On Saturday, Daughter #1 was off on the south side taking an all-day Red Cross babysitting class (she's turning 12 in a few weeks, and we figured she could start sitting with the younger kids in the building), so Daughter #2 and I headed up to Dojo.
A while back I had made the discovery that Binny's (a local wine vendor) had swallowed up the Chalet and Gold Standard chains ... substantial, because last year (on Fathers Day or something), the family got me a $25 Chalet gift certificate, which I had not gotten around to using before out local Chalet (with no warning) suddenly closed. This made me sad, as this had been my cheese vendor of choice for many many years. I made a call and found that Binny's was more than happy to take the Chalet certificate, and began to triangulate a trip over to their downtown location. While not convenient to home, they are just three blocks or so up from the Merchandise Mart, and thereby the Brown Line, which is what we take to Dojo ... so once Daughter #2 was done with her class, we took the train down there, walked up to Binny's and I got CHEESE.
It is amazing how little cheese you can get for $25, however ... I got a pound of Stilton (one of my long-time favorites), and a half-pound of Pradera, which is a name I'd not heard previously for an aged Gouda (which I'd always known as "aged Gouda"). It turns out that Pradera is aged six years or more, while some aged Goudas are only aged 36 months. This stuff is like a rock (you pretty much have to chip bits off), but has an awesome, buttery, nutty taste. Yum. It's amazing that I've been able to control myself and there's still some of both left in the fridge!
On Sunday morning we were looking for something to go see ... I didn't much care to bother with the Bee movie (suggesting they could catch that next weekend while I could be seeing Beowulf) so we opted for Fred Claus. This one is a strange duck. I have since read that they had intended to make this an "R" movie with naughty bits (which goes a long way to explaining Elizabeth Banks' character ... and cleavage camera time), but I still don't get why there was an English woman cop in Chicago (Rachel Weisz from The Mummy movies). I mean, it was fun to see our city in the non-North Pole parts, so that might have made it less of a stinker for me, but don't expect it to be around long ... there were about a dozen people at the discount matinée for a showtime that was four hours in advance of kickoff for the Bears game. However, it really is not as bad as it's getting painted, it's just awfully "talky" for the kids, and the adults didn't get to see those cast-for babe bits!
Speaking of The Bears ... good thing I didn't throw in the towel this week. It was a pretty horrible game for the first 56 minutes or so of a 3-3 tie (the Raiders' kicker made a 52-yarder with about 4 minutes left, which seemed to be "it"), but then Grossman (who'd replaced the injured Greise) heaved a 59-yard TD pass to Berrian (yay "Good Rex"!), and The Bears had the lead. The Bears stop the Raiders 3-and-out, and get the ball with 2:24 on the clock. The Raiders hold and burn up their timeouts, getting the ball back with just under 2 minutes left. It was then that The Bears' defense decided to wake up and play like they're supposed to, causing a QB fumble back to the 5 yard line, which Benson takes in on the next play ... Bears add 14 points in the last 4 minutes and win 17-6. Nice way to finish a game!