Brace yourselves: From this day forward, you'll have to arrange your leisure time without the help of A.J. Buckingham. A.J., who began editing this gallimaufry of gimcracks, gewgaws, and gambols way back in early 1977, is hanging up her phone book and retiring her letter opener and going off to complete her PhD in clinical psychology. We'll do our best to carry on, but we thought it only fair to warn you: you won't have A.J. Buckingham to poke around for you anymore. Bye, A.J.! Thanks! Good luck!
Curator Suzanne Cohan named it The Nourishment Show as a way of commenting on the American obsession with consumption--of food as well as other things. This exhibition features paintings, sculpture, and poems (enlarged and mounted) that focus on the ways we nourish ourselves: spiritually, sexually, and through the family. The opening reception, from 5 to 8 tonight, will feature some of the poets reading their work and piano performances. The show runs through October 31 at the Beacon Street Gallery, 4520 N. Beacon; it's open 9 to 5 Monday through Friday and 10 to 3, by appointment only, on Saturday. Free; more info at 561-3500.
Learn why Godzilla could never exist in real life, how much a human would eat if he or she were a pygmy shrew, and whether your shoulders are as large as William Perry's, at the Field Museum's hands-on exhibit Sizes, which opens today. Fourteen exhibits show graphically why sizes differ and challenge visitors' perceptions of their own size. The museum, Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive, is open 9 to 5 every day. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for students and children, and 50 cents for seniors; or $4 per family. Details at 922-9410 or 322-8854.
The Chicago-based Phantom Ranch String Quartet explores the sonic range of various stringed instruments through "structured and nonstructured" improvisation. Members include two violinists, a cellist, and a bassist. They perform tonight on a double bill with Milwaukee's Steve Nelson-Raney, who will play solo saxophone improvisations. 9 PM at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. $5; more at 281-0824.
A two-day course on the behavior and properties of Stars and Nebulas starts today at Governors State University, Stuenkel Road east of Governors Highway, University Park, Illinois. Today's session runs 9 to 5; the second half is next Saturday, October 17, same time and place. Tuition is $50; register at 534-5000, ext. 2320.
French bulldogs will show off their obedience, Staffordshire terriers will show off their temperament, and borzois will just plain show off--all at the International Kennel Club of Chicago Dog Show and Obedience Trials, 8 to 4 today at Donnelley Hall, 23rd and Martin Luther King Drive. Also offered at the annual, day-long competition, involving more than 130 different breeds, will be a demonstration of spinning and weaving dog hair. Sixty or so vendors will sell such irresistible items as dog portraits, in oil, and personalized dog feeders. $5 to get in, $3 for seniors, and $1 for children under 12; 237-5100 for particulars.
Marilyn Lauriente founded the Acanthus Chamber Orchestra hoping to break down the usual barrier of formality between audience and musicians: Acanthus concerts will be held in small neighborhood churches rather than large downtown concert halls; talks on the history and architecture of each church will precede the concert; and the conductor will periodically interrupt to talk about the composers, the music, the musicians, and rehearsal problems. Acanthus performs today at 3 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Avenue. The program will be repeated October 25 at St. Vincent de Paul, 1010 W. Webster, and November 1 at United Lutheran Church, 409 Greenfield, Oak Park. $8; for information and reservations, call 975-6580.
Actor Jonathan Frid, best known for his vampire role on Dark Shadows, is currently starring in Arsenic and Old Lace at the Shubert Theatre. In the same spooky-yet-funny vein, he will read a selection of short stories and poems by authors including Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, and Ogden Nash in his one-man show Jonathan Frid's Fools and Fiends, tonight only, 8 PM at Second City, 1616 N. Wells. Wisdom Bridge sponsors the event; tickets are $20, $15 for Wisdom Bridge subscribers and contributors. Reserve at 743-6000.
Puppet shows aren't just for children, says West Berliner Ulrich Treu, but rather constitute an art form "equal in value to drama, pantomime, or dance." Puppentheater Berlin, which he founded, comes to town today to present Faust, 8 PM at the Puppet Parlor, 5301 N. Damen. Admission is $5; make reservations at 774-2919.
Per Anger, a retired Swedish diplomat, used to work with Raoul Wallenberg, who is credited with saving nearly 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi death camps. After Wallenberg's 1945 arrest by the Soviet Union, Anger led Swedish efforts to release Wallenberg and wrote a book about his experiences, With Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. And ever since his retirement in 1979, he--like many others--has been trying to find out whether Wallenberg is still alive. Tonight at 6:30, Anger will speak at a dinner forum on Raoul Wallenberg: Friend and Colleague, at the Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan. The requested donation is $18; info at 781-6220.
"Are you tired of admiring the air ducts thinking they're part of the show?" is the rhetorical question posed by the course catalog of the Latin School of Chicago. The solution is to take How Can You Tell It's Art?, its course on contemporary art appreciation. Dennis Alan Nawrocki, director of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art, teaches the three-evening course, which begins at 6:30 tonight and continues the two following Wednesdays, October 21 and 28. It meets at the museum, 237 E. Ontario, and costs $35. Register at 664-8760.
To celebrate the Hubbard Street Dance Company's tenth season, artistic director Lou Conte presents a slide lecture on the company's history at 5:30 today at the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Free; 346-3278.
The development of the Superconducting Super Collider will entail "spin-offs, discoveries, and innovations that will profoundly touch every American," says U.S. Energy Secretary John Herrington. It'll be 20 times more powerful than the world's largest particle accelerator (at Fermilab near Batavia); it'll also cost $4.4 billion. The Chicago High Tech Association presents an information forum, Accelerating Opportunities: The Superconducting Super Collider, from 1:30 to 5:30 today at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 N. Orleans. It'll cover what scientists hope to learn from the SSC, factors influencing where the SSC will be located, and its effect on the Illinois economy should it be located here. The $60 registration fee includes a cash-bar reception, 5:30 to 6:30. Registration and information at 641-0311.
Eurythmy is movement that "overcomes finite space [by] bringing together elements of music, body sculpture, speech sound, color images, and drama of poetry," according to the Oasis Center for Human Potential. Students of the center's course on Eurythmy: Dynamic Poetic Movement will try to embody American Indian poetry. The class meets tonight, 7:30 to 9, at the Oasis Center, 7463 N. Sheridan, and then every Thursday through November 19. The fee is $65; $55 for members. Loose clothing, comfortable shoes, and notebook will help put you in the proper eurythmic spirit. Register at 274-6777.