Monday, June 30, 2008

The Barefoot Boy

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace:
From my heart I give thee joy—
I was once a barefoot boy!

O, for boyhood's painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Health that mocks the doctor's rules,
Knowledge never learned of schools,

O, for boyhood's time of June,
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming-birds and honey bees;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides!

Cheerily, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can!
Though the flinty slopes be hard,
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat:
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prison cells of pride,
Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt's for work be shod,
Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy,
Ere it passes, barefoot boy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Deep Dish

We had friends from out-of-town last night. They had never been to Chicago and so, quite naturally, came seeking true chicago style pizza. We took them to our personal favorite, Gino's East (they have the sauciest sauces and killer cornmeal crust).

Here a description, straight from Wikipedia (because it's Sunday night and I'm at my laziest), of how Chicago style pizza is made.

"The pizza begins with a simple, thick layer of dough (made with olive oil and cornmeal) that is laid into a deep round pan and pulled up the sides, then parbaked before the toppings are added to give it greater spring; the pan is generally oiled heavily in order to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust. The crust is covered with cheese (generally sliced mozarella) and covered with meats and/or vegetables such as Italian sausage (a Chicago staple), onions, and bell peppers. A sauce, usually uncooked, of crushed or pureed tomatoes is then added. Typically this is finished with a grated cheese blend. On the usual pizza, about a pound of cheese is used.[citation needed] Deep-dish pizza is usually eaten with a knife and fork, since its thick gooeyness makes a slice of pizza larger than eight or ten inches messy to eat with the fingers."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

40 Miles

Critical Mass happened last night. The night was lovely. Several new views of Chicago. Eric and I have swollen chests after figuring out this morning that we put 40 miles on our biker's legs last night.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I am so cracked up right now...

Of course I forgot my camera this morning, but while walking Max this morning I saw these stickers stuck all over that said "Reptilian Body Snatchers" and had the image of the pyramid and the eye from the back of the dollar bill. I figured it was a band or something, and maybe it is, but when I came home and googled, I found a wonderful conspiracy theory that basically claims that the world is run by reptile aliens. Everyone is in on it, George Bush, Hilary Clinton, the Queen of England, Johnny Depp. Apparently there is a must-read book on the topic calledThe Body Snatchers and I got such a side ache from laughing that I must share the book description with you all. Does anyone else get the feeling that Brian is probably the ex of a very jaded girlfriend?

From the Introduction

This is a book about an alien race and how they are taking over the planet. This alien race is known as the reptilians; actually they are called the Draconians. The biblical term is the Nephilim or fallen angels and obviously Satan. David Icke talks a lot about them in his books9. Capt Bill Robertson whose books I have just discovered described them as Marcabians, an alien race operating to take over the planet who are able to take over adult bodies. Bill Robertson died prematurely of a brain tumour in his fifties! I think maybe they killed him for his knowledge.

Andrew Hennessy provides evidence that they are in fact dragons and I myself get a mental image of a wide jaw with sharp teeth roaring in a blood curdling way, -- a bit like a dragon This occurs when the reptilian host that I have been targeted by tried to harm me. It may be that they are in fact dragons that do not fire breath. I was targeted because I was doing a higher consciousness course called "Awakening your light body" by Luminescence and the reptilians wanted to know more about it so they could stop it.


I want to warn any one else working at higher consciousness about what the reptilians are doing, exposing it may stop it. I had become involved with a reptilian who had taken over a human spirit and body who I will call Brian, he had been body snatched. They are doing this a lot now, hiding behind a human body, convincing us that this human is still only human when its not. Brian was reptilian through and through bar his emotions.

What human could be as evil as he? He is cruel to a tee, relishing pain; telepathic with extraordinary mental abilities, I have seen him as a reptilian although at the time I didn't know this is what he was. I am absolutely convinced and have lots of evidence. Not only that but there were two reptilian spirits, his guides, attached to me for three years since getting involved with him, now they have gone.

They had been seen and identified by twenty entity removers.

Here are my personal experiences of a man who is actually a reptilian.

Publisher's Note:

This book has been a year in production. It is not your usual literary fair, nor is it your usual metaphysical research material. It contains the experiences of the author with a Draconian Reptilian entity. It is blow by blow, word by word.

It will be difficult for most of us to relate to, since we have never encountered or at least not 'knowingly' been invaded by a an alien spirit or entity.

It would be easy to discount such experiences as those of a lunatic. However, such experiences have been related since the beginning of human knowledge. Such experiences are referred to biblically.

At the same time, knowing or being aware that such things are possible, will make us more aware of unseen principalities and powers.

Read it with the intent to broaden or open your mind to the possibilities, and in this author's mind the 'realities'.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Go Cubs Go

I don't know the names of any of the players, I don't have a Cubs t-shirt, and before last night, I didn't even know that the team was in first place this season. But I sure do love to spend at least one Chicago summer night at Wrigley Field, the second oldest ballpark in the US. It was the perfect weather and the perfect seat to watch the Cubs spank the Orioles and to eat my weight in peanuts. For dessert, a chocolate malt cup that comes with a tongue depressor/utensil that makes the whole thing taste like wood. And, naturally, at some point, I had heart-burn-on-a-bun because that's what it's all about. The food, the quiet sinking into the crowd, listening to the men behind you go from co-workers to soul mates between beers three and four, dodging foul balls, the people watching, cheering when they do, and singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game like you love the Cubbies as much as your mom.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Back in the 1920s, when this building that we live in was shiny and new, it was north of the city and in the middle of nowhere. This made it a most excellent spot for Al Capone and company to smuggle liquor right off the lake into the tunnels below the building. And so they did. The passageways underneath the building are now creepy storage spaces where we keep life jackets, coolers, and luggage. I couldn't really get myself to stick around down there long enough to get a good photo today (It was a dark and stormy day...). But as I'm sure you know, Capone had to smuggle the booze rather than buy it at the store due to Prohibition. Of course Prohibition created a new and fabulous section of the Chicago underworld and though gambling and prostitution were right up there with Al's favorite enterprises, his biggest profit came from the sale of the sippy-sips. And most certainly these funds allowed Capone the tightest of grips on Chicago police forces and politics. Kinda amazing.

So amazing that Chicago has worked hard ever since then to erase all things tied to Capone. Most of the hot spots (hotels, restaurants, etc.) have been demolished -including the Al Capone Museum which was a big animatronics show in-the-round with each of the favorite gangsters featured in (jerky) motion. I can happily say that I partook in the show during a visit to Chicago in high school. I was so moved that I bought dice from the gift shop.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Still thinking of the weekend drive...

Farmhouses, Iowa
by Baron Wormser
Invariably, a family in each one
And someone opening the fridge to fetch
A carton of milk, someone sitting in
A chair and shelling peas, someone looking

Out a window at a barn, two willow trees.
Solitude broods like a pursuing shadow;
A radio fades in and out -the voice
Eager yet eerie. Three ages anchor

The oaken dinner table: Mom and Dad
Up-before-dawn weary, Grandma perturbed
About half-thawed rolls, the children recounting
School stories, then silent. In the parlor
A whiskey tumbler rests beside a Bible.
The old collie whimpers when a car goes by.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fun with French

and portable bathrooms.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Des Moines

We went to Des Moines for a wedding this weekend. The wedding was lovely. The drive was long. As you can see, after twelve out of twenty nine hours in a car, people start acting up. And Eric starts taking snapshots while he's driving.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

1 in 112.48 million

In our search to buy a house, I always get excited when we see one that has a laundry shoot. My childhood home had one, both grandparent's homes had one. "Oh look! A lanundry shoot!" That's what I say when I see one. But now I realize that I haven't been being very pc. What would Michael Baron think? How would he feel?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Opened in 1904, Ravinia is the oldest outdoor music festival in the north suburbs and in North America. It actually opened as an amusement park with a casino and a baseball diamond. By 1912 the place was reinvented as THE place for fine opera until the Great Depression, which ruined everything.

Actually, it was thrilling to sit on our picnic blankets out on the lawn of Ravinia Park last night and listen to the voices of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant streaming through the speakers. I can't imagine preferring that it had been opera.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This morning I almost smacked into this sign before I'd had any coffee. It made me frown.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


So this made me laugh today. My brother and his family moved to a small town in middle America. And when that happens, everyone notices. They've pretty much already been elected mayoral family and pretty much have their own float in the 4th of July parade. They also pretty much know all of the town folks and if not, the town folks know them. The other day, a nice senior citizen lady delivered the gift pictured here. She'd made it for them and their new home. (Doesn't that just melt your heart?) That's not funny, what is funny is that my brother called today and wanted to write the lady a thank you, but didn't know what to call the gift. "What name do you give something like this? I'll send you a picture, check your e-mail." (They took a family photo to give to the lady.) But I failed to know. What is this lack of knowledge? A generational gap? A regional thing? The twenty-first century? We felt ashamed, but googled words long enough to come to the conclusion that you might call it a "doily" and that she may have "crocheted" it. What to do with it? "Frame it?" I guessed. "Or use it as a bookmark, perhaps." Kids today.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What We Have

by Ruth Stone

On the mountain
the neighbor's dog, put out in the cold,
comes to my house for the night.
He quivers with gratitude.
His short-haired small stout body
settles near the stove.
He snores.
Out there in the dark, snow falls.
The birch trees are wrapped in their white bandages.
Recently in the surgical theater,
I looked in the mirror at the doctor's hands
as he repaired my ancient frescos.
When I was ten
we lived in a bungalow in Indianapolis.
My sister and brother, my mother and father,
all living then.
We were like rabbits
in the breast fur of a soft lined nest.
I know now we were desperately poor.
But it was spring:
the field, a botanist's mirage of wild flowers.
The house centered between two railroad tracks.
The tracks split at the orchard end of the street
and spread in a dangerous angle down either side.
Long lines of freight for half an hour clicking by;
or a passenger train,
with a small balcony at the end of the last car
where someone always stood and waved to us.
At night the wrenching scream and Doppler whistle
of the two AM express.
From my window I could see a fireman stoking
the open fire, the red glow reflected in the black smoke
belching from the boiler.
Once I got up and went outside.
The trees-of-heaven along the track swam in white mist.
The sky arched with sickle pears.
Lilacs had just opened.
I pulled the heavy clusters to my face
and breathed them in,
suffused with a strange excitement
that I think, when looking back, was happiness.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Drive In

Mike & Ike's from Walgreen's. Hot popcorn from the concession. Baggo with 10 year-old strangers. Yeah, last night was pretty much the perfect drive-in experience.

And as we drove away after the first of two features, I could swear the movie screen smiled at me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 14, 2008

There are about a million sailboats on Lake Michigan today. Lifeguards are in their rowboats, kids are in the sand, dogs in the water. Families are in the park grilling corn and the smell is so good it breaks your heart.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hamburger Mary's

We rode our bikes down to Andersonville for a date at Hamburger Mary's where I declared that I had finally put my teeth around the world's best turkey ruben. We also got our bill in a high heel.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I've taken to Spanish classes on Thursday nights. After two hours of concentrating really, really hard, my brain is whopped. Audios.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Phone Call Idyll

by Henry Allen

I want to live in a town where the women wrinkle their eyes
and say "Mmmmmmm," a little sexy.
Like, a small town where it's a morning in early spring,
and things smell sweet and dead like cold sand
or a chewed-on pencil, and the wind twists the STOP signs,
and you don't have to go to work or school,
just drive around all morning, drive past the drugstore,
where the windows shake in terrific sunshine,
drive past sidelong dogs and startled birdbaths, drive
till all that stands between you and the horizon
is the drive-in movie where the sign says
SEE YOU IN THE SPRING! But it is spring.
You park in the gravel by a phone booth
that trembles in the wind. Inside, it smells
like canvas, or wet matches trying to burn in the glare
of smeary glass like a dog went crazy in here.
There's an old Christmas card on the metal floor.
There's your own breath planting fast clouds
on the black mouthpiece and things smell like teeth,
and things smell like a drawer full of firecrackers,
and the woman on the other end of the line
wrinkles her eyes a little sexy and says "Mmmmmmm."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


A quick bike ride away, this coffee joint serves one of the best cups in town. And anyplace where you can hunker down next to piles of coffee beans is quite a lot like heaven.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008


We had a pile of laundry so big and so great that we almost lost Eric forever. But nothing turns laundry into a party like snacks and an Elvis record cranked up. Like magic, t-shirts get washed, socks get dried, and towels get folded.

Speaking of Elvis and towels, I went looking for my current favorite Elvis song "Love Me" on youtube to play along while you read my blog (why not add snacks and make it a party?) but found this clip from a concert that The King dialed in to one day. He is actually singing "Love Me" but it's extremely hard to tell. The back up singers are like "What the...?" Elvis is like "Where am I?" and the towel replacement dude is reminding himself, "I beat out 7,000 people for this job." The best part is that the audience doesn't seem to mind that Elvis doesn't know the words to one of his greatest hits or that he forgets that in order to be heard the microphone needs to be held to his mouth and not his ribs. They only mind if Elvis skips over them and hands one of his 400 sweat towels to the next person over. I can't believe that he didn't hand one to the cute granny. What a sham.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


So this here is Cristin. It's sort of wild how we got to know her. Back over a year ago, when we were living in Washington DC, we weren't quite ready to come home to Chicago and decided to extend our stay. We couldn't stay in corporate housing any longer and thus, we turned to Craigslist.

Cristin's ad for the apartment:
"1br - Perfect 1 Bedroom Available Immediately
A furnished one bedroom is available for immediate rent in a luxury South Arlington garden apartment community. Apartment was completely gutted and renovated last year. Appointed with new carpets, appliances, and cherry cabinets. Washer, dryer and dishwasher in unit. Brand new pool and gym in community. Free shuttle to Pentagon City Metro (about 1 mile). Apartment is fully furnished including appliances, housewares and linens. Ideal for professionals seeking a furnished corporate apartment."

My ad for us (cracks me up now, sounds like a personal):
My husband and I are a young professional couple looking for a furnished place for feb, march and april. We have a trained, docile and quiet dog. Is this a potential for this rental? If so, we would like to stop and see the place. Thank you for your

Lo and behold, we rented the place as Cristin left DC for the lovely neighborhood or Rogers Park in the fabulous city of Chicago. And today, after Cristin kindly returning to us a stack of mail, we are neighbors and friends.

Knowing her first as a gracious "landlord" and now as a bright and funny gal, a calm and collected bride-to-be, and a newly appointed consultant in the city of Chicago (rather, at long last, than in the land of Canada) I am excited at the potential for seeing her around more often.

And last but not least, her five favorite things:
1. Macaroni and cheese
2. An unexpected snow day/free day
3. Good design
4. Reading in the bathtub
5. Thanksgiving

Friday, June 6, 2008

No chicks

I checked up on my swan today. I also got a glimpse of the enormous eggs she's sitting on but when I pulled out the camera, she snuggled in tight. I know, I know. It's her job. And she's lovely, but those eggs are so cool looking in that big nest, I was really hoping for a photo. Ah, well. I'll check back in a couple weeks.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ain't she sweet?

This is my new old bike. We took her twelve miles last night and she didn't disappoint. Hello summer.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


And now I will introduce you to Mitch-a friend from Nebraska just recently moved to the fine city of Chicago. Today Mitch helped me score a used bike at the noon bike sale at Working Bikes. To show my gratitude for his getting filthy dirty helping me load the (heavy) bike into my car, I bought him a $2 tostada. I hope he still likes me. Anyhow, Mitch is one in a million. I think that the fact that he would lipsync on youtube with a paper bag puppet says worlds more than I could ever write. (And says that youtube needs a more hearty filter.)

And though I couldn't be sure of which he was being sarcastic about and which he wasn't, I'll post the five favorite things he gave me.
1. Snow days
2. Laughing
3. Pay day
4. The yearly McDonalds Monopoly promotion
5. Finding worthwhile bargains

Welcome to Chicago Mitch!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

More work than a workout

Pretty much the only time I successfully complete a pilates workout in the luxury of my own home is when Max is on a long walk with Eric or at the groomer. Whenever I pull out the pilates mat, Max is perfectly comfortable on one end before the other is even rolled out. He thinks that the mat is some wonderful gesture, some special treat entirely just for him. There is no doubt in his mind that he belongs there. If ever I actually get him pushed off, he stands above me sniffing my ear or takes the chin tuck to signal a wrestling move.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Often, when driving along Western Avenue, I've wondered what this building with all the faces in the window is. I'm still not sure I know who the faces are but at long last I've looked up the "CPC" from the banner and found a cool looking printmaking studio. I've looked into buying equipment for doing etchings in the past (not that I'd know the first thing about using any of it) but soon remembered that we don't even have room in the condo for a new pair of shoes. So what a find! I'll report back if I ever take a class but when the summer inevitably gets away from me, and it turns cold again and I start to whine, someone, please remind me that I need to take a class here. Many thanks.

NOTE: Since first posting this, several people have informed me that the faces in the windows are Chicagoans who have died in Iraq.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


You know how it is when you finally get over the flu and then you're back 75% then 90% and then finally one day you're back 100%? Well today was that day. I suddenly remembered how good it feels to be healthy. I gained back my full appetite and then some. All that eating I was unable to do finally came around today and demanded a new way of doing things. Eric took this photo after I pulled the car over and "tried out a new ice cream joint." (And, unfortunately, I forgot to take other photos today, so this is it folks.)