■ In July, as I mentioned, we saw the accomplished Larry Yando in the Writers’ Theatre’s production of The Dance of Death. Reviews here and here. Unsurprisingly, Yando and Shannon Cochran (Alice) were nominated for Jeff Awards, as was the director, Harry Wishcamper. (By the way, when you read over the nominations, remember that I (sort of) predicted Kate Fry’s nod, too.) There is no question that Yando’s superior performance as Edgar presaged his searing turn as Lear at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, a production we saw earlier this month. Reviews of the CST’s King Lear here and here. Highly recommended.
■ Before the fall semester began, we visited Fermilab. It had been four years since we were last there. Wonderful stuff, particularly since we were assigned an engaging and knowledgeable docent.
■ Mr. M-mv and I volunteered one evening per week at the local library throughout the summer months. We have been on hiatus from that gig, though, while we complete the orientation, classes, observation sessions, and practicum required for certification as literacy volunteers.
■ Speaking of Mr. M-mv, he and Miss M-mv(ii) gave a performance at a local venue in late August. They were amazing in a mandolin and ukulele duet followed by a guitar duet. They are continuing their lessons and plan to perform again in the spring.
■ And speaking of music, because Miss M-mv(i) is able to continue violin lessons with her current teacher. They had thought their lesson in mid-August was their last, but the college course load, while time-consuming, is not at all overwhelming. They were so delighted to begin working together again last week.
■ My flute lessons began the week before that, and, yes, I am thoroughly enjoying the pursuit.
■ The Misses have just entered the sixth week of their fall semester at the local college, and all is well. They experienced great success in their two summer session courses and have made a strong beginning in this one. They’re full-time students there — Miss M-mv(i) is a freshman; Miss M-mv(ii) is a high school senior participating in the college’s dual enrollment program — and at this writing, it looks as if they will have either 34 or 38 transferable credits when they head into the Fall 2015 semester. They have narrowed their list of colleges to four (which has made this season of college visits less stressful), although [insert name here] University emerged as a particular favorite this past week, following meetings with the chairs of their respective departments, a long talk with the director of the University’s honors college, and a compelling description of the scholarship package Miss M-mv(ii) will be offered.
■ As they did last year and the year before, the Misses will work as swim instructors and lifeguards in the community swim program during the academic year. They are also looking for a meaningful volunteer project. They met the service coordinator at a college program last week and were invited to visit the office for help making contacts.
■ We’ve all been walking, biking, and reading, too. (My reading list is kept here.)