What a lovely evening. I spent last night having dinner and catching up with Amy, one of my dearest friends from college. She's in town for a few days for a conference, staying not far from me at a hotel in the Loop.
I hadn't seen or spoken to her in ages, as our friendship was one of the many casualties of my ill-fated last relationship. Mr. Ex didn't like me having friends of my own, and was extremely good at driving them away, so when I finally escaped from him after five years I had none left.
Amy, loyal as they come, wrote to me about a month ago to see if I was up to meeting. You betcha.
My heart was beating like mad all the way to the hotel, but the anxiety vanished when I saw her. We fell right into step again. She still makes me laugh like few other people on earth. She looks fantastic, but then she always has.
After dinner we walked over to the Levenger boutique at Marshall Field's. If books are like crack to me, and they are, Levenger is the company that furnishes the pipes. Amy is similarly inclined, but the poor thing has no Levenger shop in Philadelphia and so usually has to content herself with the catalogue. For once, I showed admirable restraint. Bought nothing for myself, but did pick up a little present for Chris, who is finishing up his first article for The Believer.
Do you know The Believer? You should. It's like an extremely hip, younger cousin to The New Yorker, minus the cartoons but full of thoughtful, witty, solid writing - enough that making my way through the whole issue usually takes a few days. (To compare, if I pick up one of Buzz's copies of Vanity Fair I'm generally done with it in 15 minutes or less.) Among the perennial delights is Nick Hornby's column, which (gasp) is about whatever he's reading, even if it's Dickens and therefore not the latest thing off the press.
I consider the magazine to be a bulwark against the rising tide of mediocrity in America, and so I boost it unashamedly. The only thing I don't like is the name. Makes it sound like a socialist periodical from the 1920s.
Tonight, dinner again with Amy before she heads back to Philadelphia. Life is, as they say, good.
I cast on the London beanie last night, my first time using cable cast-on. And I started an intarsia swatch to practice on before working the sweater sleeve. I'm feeling much emboldened about the intarsia thanks to some encouraging advice from Mark and Jon (thanks, fellas!) both of whom write lovely blogs you should read.