In Chicago with Chaz Ebert, Vincent P. Falk and Hubble IMAX 3D

Yesterday in Chicago I had rich and remarkable experiences, all thanks to my job as a daily newspaper reporter.

The day began at the beautiful, art-filled home of Roger and Chaz Ebert, where I interviewed her for a profile to be published in The News-Gazette on Tuesday. On Wednesday, of course, she will begin to emcee the 12th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival at the Virginia Theatre.

From there Susan Kantor, a University of Illinois graduate student who will produce related video for our Web site, and I went downtown to talk with filmmaker Jennifer Burns and  Vincent P. Falk, the fascinating, pun-obsessed subject of her first film, "Vincent: A Life in Color." It will be shown during Ebertfest. My story on them runs Monday.

Later that evening Kantor and I attended at Navy Pier the Illinois premiere of the IMAX "Hubble 3D," to which a UI National Center for Supercomputing Applications team, headed by Donna Cox, contributed exceptionally beautiful "astrophysical visualization." I felt as if I were traveling through outer space. It's a mindboggling film. Look for my column on that next week.

I had been so excited earlier when I left home that I forgot my purse! I didn't miss it until I was on Lake Shore Drive, well into the city. Fortunately, Susan covered me with her credit card, and I paid her back with cash when we arrived back in Urbana.

Without my purse I felt frantic at first. And then free!

What a wonderful world, and what a wonderful job I have!

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