Archive for the ‘These Are the People In Your Neighborhood’ Category

Local lore: Tim wants a magical button

Friday, July 20th, 2007

A long time ago, my friend Tim said that he wants a button the wall that, when pushed, would signal a troupe of dancers to come out and perform to Michael Jacksons “Smooth Criminal”.

This is about as close as I’ve seen:

Phillipino inmates, en mass, dancing to Thriller. If I ever went to prison, this is what I’d try to do too.

Weekend with Squirrel*

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

This weekend Dr. Kim came all the way from Seattle to visit. Part of me wanted to horde my time with her, keeping her up all night by plying her with Fresca, putting the cat on her so she sneezes and wakes up, the kind of effed-up stuff you can do when one of your BFFs is finally near you. The other part of me wanted to be mopey because having Kim here reminds me that I miss my friends.

COTTON_CANDY.jpg

Instead we just drank a lot of Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc (it’s good and from New Zealand, like Kim’s sig.oth.) and talked about the world. And then figured out how to make Milky Way martinis.

On Sunday we drove to Woods Hole with bikes, got on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, and biked around the island for the afternoon. You know how food and beer tastes better when you’ve been working hard? Add sea air and islandness, and you can imagine how good our slices of pizza were. I won’t even bother describing the ice cream.

05-13-07_1904.jpg 05-13-07_1905.jpg
Click for larger

Kim is gone now, and I’m hoping that this email full of fun events and … foofy martinis is enough to convince SOMEONE to move here. C’mon. It’ll be fun. Bikety bikety, drinkety drinkety, kittety kittety.

05-13-07_1924.jpg
Doesn’t this look like a girl who’s having a nice time on a ferry?

*I should clarify that “Squirrel” is the college nickname of Dr. Kim, not to be confused with Librarian Kim, who has the power to summon squirrels.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Dad gave me the impression that he was not excited about turning 60. Does this look like the face of someone who’s not excited?

The Rev in a plane

Antron arranged to rent a private plane for Dad’s birthday, and they flew over our farm, Uncle Marlan’s farm, and the town of Grand Mound. I haven’t talked to my family yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s the best gift anyone could have given him. Well, that, or my flying to Iowa so I could mow the lawn.

The farm, from above.

Just as it is surreal to hear that the girls I used to babysit are graduating college, it is also surreal to know my father is 60 years old. In my mind’s eye, the standard image of him is at about age 35. That’s probably when I was old enough for my brain to create a significant impression. Funny, I always think of my mom as being 28. There’s seven years difference between them, so my image impression theory just went from half-baked to … three-quarters baked. I’m fairly certain that was the age where my hero worship for my parents was at its peak. It’s not that I don’t care about them now, it’s just more of a “I want to live next door to you and sit on the porch and count deer and talk about current events” affection than the childhood feeling of absolute protection and absolute say.

I’m glad to see that my dad had such a great birthday treat. I’m already planning on taking him bungee jumping for his 70th birthday. Or some nice, bland oatmeal with no raisins (they might excite him too much). I think it’ll be up to him to decide how he acts – he certainly doesn’t look like a senior citizen, what with his trim figure and farmer tan. And he’s spent enough time teaching junior high students to not be completely out of the current-culture loop. I think the sign of old age will be when he finally starts up crankyoldguy.blogspot.com.

Naturalizer

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Marylaine posted a link to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website, which has a .pdf of typical questions found on the naturalization exam.

(Hey, Keem found the newest version of the exam!)

Some of the questions I knew (What are the colors of our flag?), some were hard (Why are there 100 senators in the US Senate?), and some I can’t imagine answering in a way that is easily quantified (Who is Martin Luther King, Jr.?).

Go check it out!

SmArt

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

inda ink
A photo sent to me by the famous artist Anton Green.

Smeffanie-tastic

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

That doesn’t quite work as well, because SMeffanie Tassick is now StAffanie Elexander.

I have to tell you why Stephanie makes my heart sing with joy. It’s not just because she’s my favorite model.
Stephanie

Part of my train journey yesterday included watching the first episode of the third season of Battlestar Galactica. Stephanie had been telling me about the show, and in particular about how I reminded her of a character named Starbuck.
Starbuck

I watched the mashup of the first two seasons, so I could begin watching season three and have a good idea of what’s been going on. In the beginning, Starbuck is a fighter pilot. By season three, the ess has hit the fan, and she ends up a love slave to a robot on a colony planet.

At some point, Starbuck goes from having a pageboy haircut to a Christina Aguilera mane.
Christina Aguilera

So I’m sitting on this train, thinking “I wonder if Starbuck has a weave.” There’s no way to check via internet, so I decide I must know, and text message Stephanie.
Starbuck

She called back within a minute. She confirmed my suspicion with a theory that since the show jumped forward a year during the last episode, it was either a wig or a weave. Since it seems to incorporate her hair length (read: lots of short layers on top) it’s probably a weave.

Grilling with the Maycocks

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

grill.JPG

This isn’t a picture from last night’s grilling out. It’s from a couple of weeks ago, and shows the level of neglect our schoolhouse-apartment grounds get.

Last night the Maycocks came over and we ate brats and pasta salad, while musing over the gigantic-ness of a spider. Then we watched the first two episodes of Who Wants To Be A Superhero? It may be the best show I’ve ever seen.

OK, I’ve just burned my eyes out! AHHHHH! I went to the website, and seen who has been eliminated. I’ve only seen two episodes! They should have had a spoiler warning! Effffffff!

Still, I can say with total confidence that Monkey Woman is my favorite.
Monkey Woman

T3 writes about me. No. Wait. I wrote it.

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

So, as much as I like Vice magazine, in all it’s snarky glory, I sometimes feel bad making fun of the people in the don’ts section of DOs and DONT’s.

Last night I met Lena, who said the exact same thing, and then today told me about Hel Looks. It’s “selected street fashion from Helsinki” which mashes nicely with last night’s discussion of the band Architecture in Helsinki.

Full circle, my friends.
Ted emailed me a few days ago,
asking some questions about myself, him,
and blogging. My favorite is the “who would you have wanted Ted to date back in college”. Here are all my answers. (Nothing absolutely shocking, just fun.)

Bacheloretting and whatnot

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

I went up to Chicago this past weekend for my first out-and-about bachelorette party. (My first experience ever was a sex-toy party at the bride-to-be’s house.) I had to work at the Chemistry Library in the afternoon on Saturday, and was all anxious about how I was going to get to the party before it got crazy without me.

Luckily, Librarian Kim was heading up to her south-suburb home to visit her momz, who just had foot surgery. I got to meet her mom, who is REALLY NICE AND SUPER CUTE. It made me really happy.

So then I took the Metra up into the city. It reminded me of my commute to Waukegan, and I kind of felt nauseous, but I pulled out The Diamond Age (or: A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer) and commenced to reading.

I was pleased to find out that the party had not yet left the apartment (somehow, an apartment in the Gold Coast was rented, which was amazing) so I cabbed on up Lake Shore.

Let me just say that my expectations for a bachelorette party include some sort of phallic headdress, jello shots, and a lot of drunken-head-tiled-back “WOOOOOO!” Kate’s team of bachelorettes had managed to combine two of these things. Penis mold jello shots.

So the headdress was actually awesome feathers, which we all go to wear if we wanted. We sat around, toasting Kate, for enough time for me to get buzzed, then headed out.

Coming in from out of town, I did not have a hand in planning. That’s how I didn’t know that we had a contact at {swank place} and this person was going to try to get us in to {a popular and well-recieved hip-hop artist’s} VIP afterparty. After amassing at the place, we went to a waiting room where a few other folks were waiting to maybe get in. We had already missed the easy opportunity of sneaking up the back staircase, and our contact was trying her darnedest to get us in. Total in the room were 19 people. Our contact came in, and told us we’d have to come en-mass to a door, and she’d have to wrestle the stamper away from the doorman. (She was really, really trying here.) We all piled into the elevator, and …

… CA-CHUNK. Got stuck. We were stuck in the elevator. There was a count of heads, and some simple math, and we realized that we had overloaded the weight capacity. The walls of the elevator were mirrored, so it looked like a crowd of people that went on forever. I’m not claustrophobic, but I do enjoy oxygen. Those who were more claustrophobic-minded did an admirable job of not freaking the EFF out. After somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, someone opened the door from the outside, and we stepped up into the lobby. (Totally busted.) We vacated as soon as possible, as to not further endanger our friend’s job.

So what do you do when you can’t go to the VIP afterparty you had planned? You go to Liar’s Club. Now, we were 11 people, so we split into three groups for cab purposes. My group couldn’t get a cab to save our lives. We started walking up to the next intersection. We walked across the Chicago river, which had sidewalk construction. There were were, five young beautiful dressed-up gals (I was the only one not in heels, natch.) trying to cross the barricade to get to the sidewalk on the other side. There was sparse traffic, because it was 11:30.

We’re waiting for a car to pass when it slows and the window rolls down. “You ladies need a ride?”

Yeah right. You may be a well-dressed guy in a Beemer, but I’ve seen American Psycho.

Except there were 5 of us, there were no cabs, and the guy explained that his guests had his parking spot, and he couldn’t park legally on Wacker until midnight, so he was just driving around anyway. (God, Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.)

So we all hop in. Turns out, he’s a day trader who’s hosting some clients at his place. He was out golfing in the suburbs, and couldn’t park on his street until after 12. I think I would have had more in common with him if he were a serial killer, but whatever. Kate’s sister talked him up about golfing, and we got to Liar’s Club in one piece. We offered to buy him a drink, (plus we wanted to prove our story to the other 2/3rds of our crew).

He asked which one was the bride, and we pointed out Kate. He congratulated her, and she asked him questions based on the thought that he was a cabbie. Whoops. Anyway, he was nice, kept to himself, didn’t ask for anyone’s number, didn’t dance-all-up on any of us, and then we thought he had left, since he wasn’t with us on the dance floor.

Turns out, he had gone up to the bar. He came back and said (well, shouted), “They don’t have any trays here, so you’ll have to come up to the bar.”

He had bought us ALL shots of a VERY smooth tequila. Wow. So we all did shots, WOOOOOed, thanked our knight-in-shining-auto, and he left.

Dance, dance, dance. Drink, drink, drink. We left Liar’s Club for Carroll’s, and found ourselves in the midst of a half old-guy, half hipster full house. There were a couple of people who looked ready to go home (too tired, too drunk, or both) so we took a cab back to the apartment. (I am a champion of cheesing out and going to sleep.) I got to sleep with Jen in a pullout bed.

Many hours later, it seemed like, the rest of the partiers came home. Kate and co. closed down Carrolls, which I think was her goal.

So that was my Saturday night adventure. I had planned to visit several different friends on Sunday, so I woke up at a fairly normal hour. Kate woke up too, so we had a nice talk at the kitchen table while Laura (her sister) had a Happy Birthday phone call with their other sister Martha. Somehow, the subject of early boyfriends came up, and I mentioned that I had an early-college ex from Cedar Rapids. I swear I had talked about this with Kate before, but apparently I hadn’t, because the guy WAS HER NEIGHBOR.

So then all of a sudden, Kate, Laura, and Martha (on the phone from DUBLIN) are all going, “EEEwww! Danny Redacted!?”

Yeah. Right. Well, that’s why it was early in my dating life. I didn’t get a chance to tell them about how when we broke up he drew a portrait of me, which he gave to my parents. They keep it behind the piano. We rediscover it every once in a while when a hamster gets loose or something.

Anyway, I was glad to have some quality time with Kate before I left. I had three other friends to see, and I haven’t seen any of them since I moved last August.

I went to brunch with my good friend Abbie. She suggested Heartland Cafe, which is the best restaurant in the city. I had the apple-raisin-mozzarella omelet and the cornbread. I was in heaven. We sat and talked, caught up, and Abbie told me some fabulous news about her getting to shortlist her goal of moving to London. I’m so freaking jealous happy for her.

We then surprised our friend Kandy, who lives in Rogers Park (where Heartland is). We hung out with her at her place (which I covet) and caught up more. It was fantastic.

I had one more person on my list to see, so Abbie drove me back down to Roscoe Village (in her sister’s truck – so awesome) and I met up with my Abbott friend Angela. She fed me a beer and guacamole (which reminds me why we’re so compatible) and caught up too. She had a HILARIOUS date story, which I keep thinking about.

My plan was to take the 8 pm Amtrak out of Union Station, and I left Angela’s around 5:30. I took the Damen bus down to Quimby’s, because I was aching for a Bag-o-Mags, and some new zines. They closed at 6, so I still had two hours to kill before the train left. Instead of going down really, really, painfully early, I decided to call my other Abbotteer, Steve. He was actually my boss, which is kind of hilarious, because I think we make much better friends than co-workers. Well, actually, he’s in the particular ring of hell I was in while I worked at Abbott (the one where you do about 20 hours worth of work during your 40-hour week, all while commuting from the city). I finally got to see his place, which I’d been hearing about when he was in the process of buying it. It’s super cool, which totally fits Steve. It’s not so much metrosexual as it is just an amazing space. Oh, except for the fabric samples on the couch.

Steve, I stand by my decision that the plush swatch looks too much like car upholstery – especially in grey.

Anyway, we went to Earwax for smoothies (I introduced him to my favorite – the chocolate/peanut butter one) and he drove me down to the station. I was worried about being late, but as it turns out, the train was delayed.

So I went to sit down and wait by the boarding area, and I saw a guy who’s in my program. We had a class together last semester, but I didn’t really get to know him that well. I think it was a product of him not being a chatterbox, and therefore not getting a word in edgewise.

So we sat together on the train, and talked the whole way home. It was really really fun, and I’m glad I figured out how cool he is (he studied Italian! he works with rare books! he’s liberal!) and I hope he can come to LNB next week.

So, all in all, my weekend was AMAZING. I celebrated Kate’s upcoming wedding without it being too … body shot-esque, saw way more friends than I thought I would, didn’t forget to call anybody, and was home in time to go to Bentley’s for a really well-made bloody mary. Woo. I only wonder what next weekend will hold.

Oh wait. Right! Charles and Silva are coming! YAAAAAY.

You may be surprised with the detail I have outlined my weekend. Growing up, when my parents asked me how my day was, they meant it. At least, I think they meant it. Oh well.

I’m so proud of you, Teddy Bauer.

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

After four years of collegiate bonding (and the unfortunate nickname “Donya”), I’m pleased to see my friend Ted move away from home and go to grad school – for acting, no less. I’ve been reading his blog, learning about the intense stage fighting he’s learned, how he’s become partial to Shakespeare …

Oh, Ted.

So this made me really, really happy. Like, really happy. This is a photo from “THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL” (which apparently has to be in all caps). Woot for T3.