We’re coming up on the Winter Solstice (the Farmer’s Almanac tells me that it’s at exactly 4:02 AM on Monday, December 21) so I hope all of you have been like the good little squirrels of the forest and depositing your acorns at the First Nutional Bank to get ready for hibernating in your treehouse this season.
(an excerpt of Now That Summer is Gone, a 1938 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies short directed by Frank Tashlin.)
If you haven’t yet, it’s a good time to pull down your storm windows, change the filter on the furnace inlet, and/or insulate your windows with plastic. For renters who might need some assistance, it’s perfectly OK to check in with your landlord or maintenance person to see if this is stuff they can help out with. A little bit of preventative work can save you on your heat bills and save them the possibility of bigger repairs down the road. And if you’re renting, and your landlord refuses to do necessary repairs, here’s Illinois Legal Aid’s advice.
Once you’re all settled in and squirreled away (sorry) (no, not sorry), make yourself a bowl of arroz caldo, one of my favorite foods. If you’re familiar with this dish from the Philippines, I prefer leaving the safflower out, and you can also do it without the fish sauce. Check out this recipe from the Kawaling Pinoy blog. And make a big batch to share on December 21 while you watch Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang celebrate properly with their annual Solstice concerts.
Things to read, listen to, or try out this weekend:
- Another Chicago Reader Book Club online meeting is coming up! Pick up a copy of Riva Lehrer’s Golem Girl and join us on December 17 at 6:30 PM.
- Some Chicago albums that our music writers covered this year that deserve your attention: Ashley Stevenson’s Freedom, Chicago Mass Choir’s My Soul Says Yes, and Mother Nature’s Portalz.
- I’m having fun with this sexual identity generator. Don’t worry, the link is totally safe for work.
- And speaking of, Cody Corrall recommends Queer Japan, a new documentary available for streaming at Facets Virtual Cinema through December 24.
Upcoming virtual events:
- Thu-Fri, 8 PM, Sat, 7:30 and 9:30 PM, and Sun, 3 PM, through 1/9/21: Kerry Reid made a case for Hell in a Handbag’s new online offering The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, and I’m going to watch it toot sweet.
- Sat 12/12, 5 PM: The Hideout’s annual production of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is virtual this year!
- Sun 12/13: There’s a number of virtual music-related events scheduled for Sunday: you can check out the Chris White Trio performing A Charlie Brown Christmas at 7 PM, Pasión Latina (a Lyric Opera presentation) at 6 PM, a conversation with composers Tim Story and Hans-Joachim Roedelius at 2 PM, Steve Earle’s yearly benefit concert for New York’s Keswell School at 6:30 PM, or Andrew Bird’s Gezelligheid concert at 7 PM. Whew! Check out our events listings for more.