Friday 10/22 - Thursday 10/28
by Mike Sula
22 FRIDAY "There's a hunger for positive images in the black community that often pressures writers to censor their stories," says writer Sandra Jackson-Opoku. She'll address the subject of a writer's responsibility to her community at her workshop this morning, "Fictionalizing Truth." It's part of the Ninth Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Writers' Conference on Black Literature and Creative Writing, which began yesterday, ends tomorrow, and includes workshops and speeches by luminaries such as Edwidge Danticat, Nikki Giovanni, and Maya Angelou. Jackson-Opoku's workshop starts at 9:50 in rooms A, B, and C in Chicago State University's Student Union Building, 9501 S. King. Sessions are $35 apiece; the entire conference costs $130. Call 773-995-4440 to register.
After indulging in the extended adolescence of graduate school at the Art Institute and fronting the adolescently sweet pop band Love Child, Rebecca Odes hooked up with Esther Drill and Heather McDonald and got serious about teenagers, founding gURL.com, an interactive Web site for girls. They've since gone into print with Deal With It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain and Life as a gURL, a latter-day Our Bodies, Ourselves with chapters like "Boobs and What's Up Down There?," "To Do It or Not to Do It," and "Understanding Sexual Preference." They'll host a signing and cocktail party tonight at 6:30 at Children in Paradise Bookstore, 909 N. Rush (312-951-5437). It's free.
23 SATURDAY The wife of University of Chicago linguistics professor Kostas Kazazis often says "maho" instead of "macho," a mispronunciation Kazazis calls a "hyperforeignism." This morning he'll talk about what happens when people put on airs by using a language whose rules they don't quite understand. His is one of over 50 presentations offered today at the University of Chicago's 20th Annual Humanities Open House, including "The Development of Ebonics and Other American Vernaculars," "Galileo's Conflicts With the Church," and "Hell Divin' Women: Chicks in Jazz." It's free, but registration, which starts at 8:30 AM at Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th, is required. Call 773-702-4847.
24 SUNDAY Apparently the Department of Cultural Affairs believes that fuzzy feelings of international solidarity overcome people on long, arduous journeys. They've designated mile ten of today's Chicago Marathon the "Chicago Sister Cities International Mile." That means when the gasping, sweating runners hit the River North area around 8 AM, they'll pass through a gauntlet of multicolored flags representing Chicago's 22 sister cities, waved by "thousands of people cheering in their native tongues," according to the press release. Spectators are encouraged to line the sidewalks and watch, and local businesses will offer snacks and music. Mile ten begins at Wells and Maple. Call 312-744-8074.
Between the interplanetary signals of Sun Ra and the instructive posturing of the Bangles, Egyptologists have long overlooked a rich vein of possible scholarship. Local masked rockers the Goblins will mine this neglected field today at Rocking Ancient Egypt: The Return of the Pharaohs, a historical retrospective of pop songs about the land of the Nile, including versions of Metallica's "Creeping Death," Steve Martin's "King Tut," and the spiritual "Go Down Moses." It starts at 2 at the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th (773-702-9507). It's free.
Does the pope ever double-dip the wafer in the wine? Ask George Weigel, who as the author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II met with the Holy Father and "was granted unparalleled access to his oldest friends, his closest associates, and previously classified materials." He lectures tonight at 7:30 on The Achievements of Pope John Paul II at Loyola University's Simpson Living and Learning Center, 6333 N. Winthrop. It's free. Call 312-915-6653 for more.
25 MONDAY Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, best known for wrapping the Reichstag in fabric and constructing a 24-mile nylon fence through Sonoma and Marin counties in California, don't accept grants, volunteer labor, or licensing deals, believing that to do so would compromise their vision. They have, however, accepted a small honorarium to discuss two works in progress: "The Gates," a plan to install 11,000 steel gates with nylon panels in New York City's Central Park, and "Over the River," a scheme involving six miles of fabric extending across the Arkansas River in Colorado. It starts today at 4 in the Owen L. Coon Forum in Northwestern University's Leverone Hall, 2001 Sheridan in Evanston. It's free. Call 847-491-7946 for details.
26 TUESDAY It used to be that a Hindu devotee would have a color lithograph of Kali or Ganesha at home for worship, but now he can log onto a Web site that will put the deity's image on his monitor. This is one example of how technology has changed the nature of the Hindu icon over the last 200 years, which happens to be the subject of Art Institute researcher Betty Seid's free lecture tonight, From Kalighat to Computers: Website Worship for the Next Millennium. It starts at 6 in the Art Institute's Price Auditorium, 111 S. Michigan. Call 312-443-3680 for more.
27 WEDNESDAY A mobile reptile menagerie sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Dave DiNaso has been breeding and traveling with cold-blooded creatures "for nearly a decade." His Traveling World of Reptiles, on a free whistle-stop tour of Chicago public libraries this week, offers children the chance to fondle 15 to 20 different snakes, lizards, and other scaly beasts. Today he hits the Rogers Park branch, 6907 N. Clark (312-744-0156), at 3 and the Edgewater branch, 1210 W. Elmdale (312-744-0718) at 6.
28 THURSDAY Back in the 60s, Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky could pack a soccer stadium full of 50,000 countrymen eager to hear his raw, emotive work. Tonight he'll read to a comparatively insignificant handful of Americans in Ryan Auditorium at Northwestern University's Technological Institute. It's part of the four-day conference "Three Lands, Three Generations: Eastern European Poetry Today," which began yesterday. It starts at 7 at 2145 Sheridan in Evanston and it's free. Call 847-491-5636 for a full schedule of events.
According to the Official Manifesto of the International Slow Food Movement, "we are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods." Like all of the movement's branches, Slow Food Chicago promotes regional foods and ingredients that are endangered by our increasingly homogenized world. As a tribute to the Loop's organic Green City Market and its founder, Abby Mandel, the group has organized A Moveable Feast, featuring a minimarket and tastings from local chefs, wineries, and breweries that use products sold there. It's tonight at 6 in six galleries at 300 W. Superior. Admission is $30; call 773-645-3736 for reservations.
H.P. Lovecraft's story The Music of Erich Zann, about an old violinist whose strange, furious music conjures up a demonic cataclysm, is the subject of Dramaton Puppet Theater's shadow- and rod-puppet performance tonight at 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707), which features musical accompaniment by Krakatoa, an avant-garde musical ensemble. Admission is $10.