Saturday, May 31, 2008

Botanic Gardens

We went to Chicago Botanic Gardens. I'll just let nature speak up for itself today.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Girl you are wicked awesome.

Shew! Here I am just before the midnight hour, so I'll be brief. We saw Wicked tonight and it was just that. Wicked. (You know, in the good way.) Turns out Dorothy and her cute pigtails had us fooled.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spicy Crazy Noodles

We thought it might be fun to take Eric's parents (who are in town) to Mayfest, one of Chicago's yearly German cellebrations. We thought we might dig into some bratwurst, some schnitzel. Maybe currywurst, sauerbraten, or spaetel. There was even a chance of drinking down some Schwarzbier, Weizenbock, or Rauchbier. But when we got there the grills weren't on and the band was on break. There were buckets of beer but we wanted dancing and greasy meat so we turned around to look for it elsewhere. But ended up with thai iced tea and sweet and sour chicken.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Da Boyz

My dad sent this pic to me today. It's old, from Easter I think. But look how the boys, both being held by an uncle, still have themselves connected to their dads. Lucas is looking back to dad for reassurance and Noah has a firm grip on dad's pinky. I think today my dad realized (correctly) that he had a classic family photo on his hands.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chinese Chicken Salad

I tried to take a photo of the actual salad but it came out looking gnarly, like food in an old 1970s cookbook. So I opted for the photo of the brooding weather from this morning. But this salad is awesome. I made a big batch of it today and it sits as I type in the fridge getting yummier and yummier as all the flavors mingle. Many thanks to Erin for sharing the recipe below.

For salad:
1 small head cabbage
2-3 chicken breasts
5-6 chicken boullion cubes
1 cup chopped green onion
1 package ramen noodles, crumbled (no spice packet)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 T sesame seeds

For dressing:
1/2 cup oil
3 T vinegar
1 1/2 T sugar
1 t salt
pepper to taste

Boil water with the chicken boullion cubes. When water is boiling, throw in the chicken breasts and boil until cooked through (about 20 minutes). Take out and let cool on a plate. In the meantime, chop up cabbage until it is in bite-size pieces. Mix cabbage and green onion. Once chicken cools, tear into shreds/chunks and add to cabbage mixture.

Heat over to 350. On a cookie sheet lined with foil, mix crumbled ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds. Toast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until lightly brown.

Make dressing (mix all ingredients together thoroughly) and pour over top of salad mixture. Mix well. This salad gets better the more it sits and the flavors are allowed to intensify, (no worries about it getting soggy). Add a handful of the toasted crunchy mixture to the top of the salad right before serving.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

The parks and sidewalks and streets and yes, thank God, even the beaches, are teeming with people. The second warm day in a row. As Eric pointed out on our way home from a barbecue at Adam and Cristin's, Memorial Day is the unofficial first day of summer. So it's a good thing that, even though tomorrow is supposed to be cold again, at least today was balmy. It's very likely that the whole city would have lost all morale for the whole rest of the year had it been otherwise.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

High Five

It was a good day for Chicago. It was warm enough to eat both lunch and dinner outside.

Also a good day for NASA. The Phoenix Mars Lander hit Mars all safe and sound after a nine month flight. I'm impressed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sick Day


(I must say, Eric is a fine, fine nurse.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Steps to the horse-drawn

It's sweet little things like this that you encounter on a long Friday night walk up through Evanston. Steps that used to get people up into the turn-of-the-century carriages. 

The first 45 seconds of the following video show just how I imagine Evanston to have been each and every day in 1904. Back when women fainted often, men gathered at the parlor for sodas, and gleaming bleach white was the only color ever worn. (You might have tied a pink sash around the waist. But only if you were a floozy.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

To and Fro
by J.H.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today my amazing and wonderful sister gratuated from high school. We are so proud of her.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Over and Out

I'm heading to the airport. See you in Nebraska. (Does anything look scarier than The Strangers movie? I don't know anything about it but that poster will keep me far away.) (Not to mention that I just noticed a creepy reflection in the window above reminiscent of the dude in The Strangers poster. Okay. Definitely not seeing it. I'd rather slam my thumb in a car door.)

Monday, May 19, 2008


I love this sign. It points to a store where you can buy $8 Captain Crunch and $5 canned beans.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Freaks and Geeks

Somewhere after The Wonder Years but before Napoleon Dynamite was some beautiful television called Freaks and Geeks. Not even a full season, I believe, but oh such a delight to take in on DVD. Except for when it hit a little too close to home, which was at least once an episode.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


The nest with two gigantic eggs was actually a cooler photo op than this big mamma swan sitting on them. But she felt obliged to let me know that those were her eggs and that she'd peck my eyes out if I came any closer. So here is a picture of her instead of the eggs.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tip Top Tap

We ate dinner upstairs in the Allerton Hotel tonight- an old and charming hotel on Michigan Avenue, home of the once swanky, now closed cocktail lounge named Tip Top Tap. It was once the place where "Chicago came to relax after the theater" tonight it was where Eric had a work dinner, where we sprang from at 9:00 so that we could hurry home and collapse to a dvd. But that old neon sign remembers when cool people used to glide through the rooms, stay up late, and smoke inside.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Evening Sky...

One by Robert Bly

An Evening When the Full Moon Rose As The Sun Set

April 11, 1976

The sun goes down in the dusty April night.
"You know it could be alive!"
The sun is round, massive, compelling, sober, on fire.
It moves swiftly through the tree stalks of the Lundin
grove as we drive past....
The legs of a bronze god walking at the edge of the world,
unseen by many,
On his archaic errands, doubled up on his own energy.
He guides his life by his dreams;
When we look again, he is gone.

Turning toward Milan, we see the other one, the moon,
whole and rising.
Three wild geese make dark spots in that part of the sky.
Under the shining one the pastures leap forward,
Grass fields rolling as in October, the sow-colored fields
near the river.
This rising one lights the pair of pintails alert in the
shallow pond.
It shines on those faithful to each other, alert in the early
And the life of faithfulness goes by like a river,
With no one noticing it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Every once... a very great while, the El pulls right up to the platform just seconds after you've arrived, the car is quiet and nearly empty, and the train delivers you to where you are going in a mere ten minutes. It's damn near perfection.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday the Thirteenth

A couple of things:
1. Someone mentioned that I should get a better photo of Max's goatee up here. So I oblige.
2. I've tried for a long time to resist writing about this because it feels kind of mean, but today I decided to give in. There is this guy who I see on almost a daily basis. I've never seen him walking, sitting, standing, talking or dancing. He is always, always running. Seriously. 9 out of every 10 times I take Max outside for a walk up the lake, this man is running, back and forth along the strip of sidewalk that connects Chicago to Evanston. The thing is, working from home, I take Max out at completely random times, whenever I find a good place to break. Before or after I eat something, before or after I shower, whatever. But this guy is out there running almost every time I randomly walk Max. 2 o'clock, 11 o'clock, 4 o'clock. I'm not great with ratios and probabilities, but the odds just aren't there to make it likely that he happens to step out to run 9 out of the 10 times I happen to step out with max. Thus, I am led to believe that the man constantly runs. Or at the very least, he runs 4-5 hours a day. And that's not all. On all occasions, even in freezing snowy weather, he is in shorts and sometimes topless, bare chest to the icy wind. Today, one of the first days all year warm enough for me to wear flip-flops, running man, still in shorts, wore a wool hat and thick gloves. See, just writing this makes it sound as if there is no question that he is ill, but if I really thought that were true I wouldn't blog about him. I'm blogging about him because I can't make him out. I really think I'm going to sit outside and start taking field notes on him. Besides the odd running habits, the guy seems friendly, polite, (fit). He kindly moves for bikes and maneuvers around walkers. He smiles at dogs. Because he runs back and forth between the corner of my block and the corner of Evanston, he laps me many times. He usually nods hello once and then keeps to himself the rest of the time. What is happening here? It's awful because I've come to giggle when he passes by. Ah well. For all I know, he's home right now blogging about the girl who is constantly out walking that labradoodle with a goatee, who giggles for no reason, and carries dog poop around in a plastic bag.
As my dad would say, we're all bozos on this bus.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Native's Guide

Eric and I both played hooky from work today in order to sit at a favorite kitschy diner and flip through a new book we got called A Native's Guide to Chicago (even though we are not natives). So far, my new favorite prospects for city fun are the Division Street Russian and Turkish Baths, Monday night bingo at the California Clipper, and Chicago River Canoe and Kayak.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Walk Hard

We walked from our place to the John Hancock building today. I'm tired.

Friday, May 9, 2008


The dog, who must always touch me while I sit at the computer, got a shave today. Eric thought it would be hilarious to have them leave a goatee on him. And it is. Hilarious.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


So kids, this is Allison. It's high time I introduced her since I've already mentioned her several times by now. (Brother with the likeness of Jesus, salt caves, She and Him.) Not to mention that she is the very inspiration for this blog. (She gave herself a daily photo assignment all of last year and posted right here each day. (Serious fun to look at.)) Allison is loads of playfulness and good stories, great to sit and have drinks with. And she's also one of those women many others envy. She's got her career pulled together (managing, mind you, MANAGING editor) all the while, she's sort of a rock star. She takes full and constant advantage of the music scene in Chicago, reviews records on Daytrotter and gets e-mail from famous people in famous bands just saying "hi." Sample of my luck (also known as most people's) vs. Allison's. Me: driving around trying to find a parking spot in hopes of seeing an Andrew Bird show, find one, get to entrance, "Sorry honey, all sold out." (I know, I know, I could CHANGE my luck by buying tix ahead of time. Neither here nor there.) Message from Allison (and sample of her rock and roll luck): "Bummer you couldn't get in! I ended up having drinks with Andrew Bird and some of the band after the show!" Sheesh. Anyhow, thus far it's been a treat knowing Allison. Not to mention that she's a raw food enthusiast and get-togethers often involve some sort of delicious choco-nana pie with crushed nut crust. (Say that ten times fast.) Oh, and she runs a must read blog of her own.
So now that you've finally been introduced, you can raise your glasses to Allison whose five favorite things are:
1. Naps
2. Chocolate
3. Smooching
4. A good pair of jeans
5. Road trips

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


One of the very best features of this, my Macintosh laptop is a seemingly unimportant feature called "photobooth." It has all these wild special effects and has provided my family and myself with some very good laughs. But I'm not even going there. I'll save the special effects tour for another day.

For some reason, (probably letting children play with my laptop while not watching them) the photobooth feature pops up above everything else each and every time the computer gets turned on. And so, we often click "capture" absentmindedly before we move on to things like e-mail, work and the news. Sometimes I think it just takes a picture when it wants to without warning, all the while recording a sort of photo journal through the eyes of the Mac. Today when I was supposed to be working, I started flipping through the pics and ended up blowing diet pop right through my nose. I hope you enjoy them too.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Confucius says what?

I read this today and liked it.

"If you know what is enough, then you will have enough. But if you wait until you have enough, you will never have enough."

Monday, May 5, 2008

The first thing...

...I'll do when we live in a house with a yard is plant a magnolia tree.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Today we drove out to the western suburb of Wheaton, IL where our little friend Melanie taught Eric how to hold a baby correctly. Fun fact: Wheaton has 63 churches within city limits, and 30 more in surrounding unincorporated areas. According to the Genus Edition of Trivial Pursuit, there are "more churches per capita than any other town in America." There is also a college in Wheaton that I visited years ago. It was actually a trip to their C.S. Lewis Library (full of C.S. Lewis books) (who I was writing a paper on). Anyhow, the library was cool but the campus seemed strange. Maybe it was the time of day or something but everyone walking around seemed sedated. A couple years later I saw a documentary where people from Wheaton College were arguing that there were dinosaurs on Noah's arc. So I've decided that they must do a lot of drugs.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sweet dreams

This is one slow and lazy Saturday. It began with sleeping in and not long after a walk and sandwiches in front of the television, I felt like good healthy saturday afternoon nap. I'm normally not much of a napper, so Eric wasn't sure of what to do. "Should I sing to you?" he asked. "Like a lullaby?" I asked. "Yeah," he said. "Sure," I said. And so I closed my eyes and Eric broke into his best rendition of Ms. Jackson as I drifted off.