Sunday, April 23, 2006

a weekend of art, bread and spencer tracy

I had an unusual afternoon Saturday - judging the third-annual St. Paul Bread Club bakeoff. I had never heard of this little club until the president called up our office a couple of months ago and asked if someone would be available to participate - no baking experience needed. (I guess he felt it was important to have a Catholic on board?) I love homemade bread - who doesn't? - so of course I volunteered! What a scene: The bakers showed up Saturday with entries in almost a dozen categories. I ended up judging the quick breads category, so I sampled seven batches of scones, banana breads and muffins. Judging was completely subjective - it was all based on what tasted good to me. And it was all wonderful, but my winner was a delectable lemon-raspberry streusel muffin, which had just the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness and held together so nicely in my hand ... mmm.

With all the international films showing around the Twin Cities, Steve and I planned to see at least one Saturday night. But I was tired after the bread thing, and Steve was tired from painting the baby's room all day. (Plus, we had gotten up early that morning to babysit Steve's niece.) So instead, we watched a movie on PBS that I'm glad we stayed home for: Judgment at Nuremberg, from 1961, starring Spencer Tracy as the lead judge in a tribunal for Nazi war crimes. The cast was full of Hollywood stars, many of whom played German roles - Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster and more - although I didn't recognize anyone except Spencer Tracy and Judy Garland until I Googled the film afterward. (Even Judy Garland was a disconnect. She played a wronged, beaten-down German woman, and it was only her Dorothy of Oz voice that made me look a little harder and realize who it was.) Anyway, it was a really good and thought-provoking movie about who was complicit in the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.

Though we missed the film festival, we did make it to the St. Paul Art Crawl Friday night. And I have to say, the blogger of Cool on the Hill gets it exactly right:
All weekend long, the lofty artists of Lowertown are hosting the Saint Paul Art Crawl with extended hours so you have even more time to pretend to be gazing at their art while you're really checking out their appealingly bohemian apartments.

So true! Every time Steve and I go, we start to entertain fantasies about buying a loft in Lowertown and living the hip, urban life ... hanging out at the Black Dog for coffee and strolling over to the St. Paul Farmer's Market on weekends. ... Still, we do look at the art - and we did not go home empty-handed Friday night. Argh - we really should know better than to bring the checkbook to these things!

Finally, thanks to the diligence of public radio, it's been hard to escape the reminder that today is William Shakespeare's birthday. Nonetheless, it was an e.e. cummings poem in the program at church that captured my attention this afternoon - because today truly has been the most gorgeous of days.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


liz said...

Sounds like a great weekend!

Thanks to my parents, we have Tivo and recorded "The West Wing," so let me know if you'd like me to throw it on a DVD for you. It was really good (Rob Lowe was back!).

Emilie said...

Liz, I may take you up on that ... thanks!