Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moral Dilemma

Our building has it out for pigeons. In a big way. I've mentioned it before, but people have spikes, big plastic owls, and aluminum foil sculptures on almost every horizontal surface in our breezeway. Our building has it out for pigeons in a Bill Murray-in- Caddyshack-against-the-gopher way. Our otherwise calm, responsible and distinguished board president once came bulleting out of his condo in nothing but his whitey-tighties, slapping a broom around at a pigeon sitting on the railing. He later called me (innocent victim out watering my flowers) to apologize for the sight and said, "nothing angers me more than pigeons." That day was also Friday the Thirteenth and, according to the New York Times, National Pigeon Day. I made certain our board director knew all of this and he just huffed and agreed that those days should always be celebrated together. Anyhow, I've seen people hanging off of ladders with scarecrow tactics and throwing things, from their backdoors, directly at the birds. And you know, they have mostly disappeared.

Except for this one pigeon.

She has apparently been left behind. She sits in a window box on the sill of a guy's condo who has moved away. Besides our neighbor Don, we are probably the only people who can see her (though she's pretty tucked away-so I may be her only friend. Eric has only seen her when I've pointed her out). Long story short, I don't chase her away like I am supposed to because she sits on two little eggs-probably the two little reasons she has dropped out of pigeon society to sit for weeks in this abandoned sill. And today folks, look close and you can see, the two little eggs cracked! Little rats with wings are hatching!

I'm sure that this is bad news. Probably this means that these two tiny pigeons will forever feel that this particular square foot of planet earth is theirs. They will probably try from now on to live right there, pooping and scaring away the migratory barn swallows. But I can't help it. It's too much fun to watch and the lonely mom bird is so pitiful that I can't disturb her. If my neighbors knew they would fine me and run me out of the neighborhood. Or they would probably start throwing things at me and set up large plastic owls in the places I sit and sleep. But for now, before the catch me, I'll keep taking pictures of the newborn varmints. And I'll show them to you here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sarah and the New House

Sounds like a title of a good kids book, eh? But it's a true story.
It was great fun to stop and see Sarah today in the house she and Steve moved into this weekend. The house had all those vintage details that forces me into falling in love with any house. The house was exquisite, the garden lush and the neighbors friendly.

Sarah also introduced me to The Brown Sack for lunch. The cornbread was killer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

City of smoke and mirrors

On our last night in Vegas we went all out and gave in to the synthetic experience. We walked to "Paris"- saw the "Eiffel Tower"- had dinner at "Le Cafe" and ate french toast, french dip, and french fries. And now Eric thinks this gets him out of going to France someday.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Off to an Elvis show.(I'll replace with real photos when home.) Talk to you later.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vegas, Baby

that's where I am, yo. Can't talk now. I've lost more money trying to use the internet than I have gambling.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008


I'm pretty sure that there should be a Sci-fi flick about the attack of the killer gate arms. I'd see it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Brain is Wider than the Sky


by Emily Dickinson

The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Christian the Lion

My dear friend Steph sent this today. I must admit that both Eric and I were waiting for someone to get mauled or eaten. We thought that this was the only way a video featuring a Whitney Houston song could end. Such cynics! (Glitch in the Matrix: I just admitted to Eric last night that I love Whitney.) But truly this is SO cool. I'm adding this to my list of things to do before I die. HUG A LION. I'll make sure to accomplish all the other things on my list first.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I can't blog now, kids. I'm playing Eric in scrabble. But I will say that tonight, just like every time I beat him, he keeps "getting bad letters." Name of the game yous. NAME OF THE GAME! Vwah-ha-ha!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I know I shouldn't be taking photos in a movie theater, but hey. I FINALLY, after four long days, got to take in the movie. And it was now or never since I have something going on every night from now until August something. All I can say is that Batman was good, The Joker was great. (Truly. I'm not just saying that because everyone else is.) And that's all for now, it's late on a school night. Over and out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pitchfork Festival

The bits of the festival that we took in today were fabo.

It was the right amount of excellent music and outdoor fun. There was some dancing to the rhythm of the Occidental Brothers. A fine fine band that puts ants in my pants.

But certainly you must know, nothing could compare to M. Ward. Still, officially my favorite music in all of the world. Listening live was thrilling.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Our friend Sarah had the good idea of attending the Evanston International Arts Fair today. It was quite possibly set up for kids at the kids table but we found our way to the henna tattoos which were certainly one of the highlights. But so was the vegetable curry and the antique mexican shrines. I also loved that for part of a good while a Dolly Parton cd was playing over the loudspeakers.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The swan eggs hatched! (Almost a month ago now.) Thought I'd share the excitement of the day since the disappointment of the day was piercing. We pulled up to the movie theater on this the biggest weekend for summer movies and it was closed due to power problems.No Batman for us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Yes. This is me forgetting to take my camera with me anywhere today, taking a picture of a house plant, and posting it on my blog. Sometimes, that's just the way things are.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille

I'm one who tends to get worn out by politics even before a campaign gets started. But can you blame me? Look at how the candidates treat me toward the end of this movie! (This is awesome.) (I could ignore my work all day.)
Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Urban Wilderness

Just outside the door to my building is this old tree that makes me feel like I'm in the middle of a forest when I look at it.

Monday, July 14, 2008


We just celebrated our six year anniversary and had to smile when we both found ourselves with wrapped flat 12" by 12" gifts. We'd both gotten the other two records. I am now the proud owner of Sarah Vaughan at the Blue Note and the Grateful Dead's American Beauty. Eric now has Petula Clark's hit singles and Frank Sinatra's Stranger's in the Night. It's not quite like I sold my hair to buy Eric a chain for his watch and that then he sold his watch to buy a comb for my hair, but hey, after six years we're melding, folks.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend trip

This is what I stared at all weekend. As well as the faces of my girls from Benedictine College. It was so good to see them.

I have to correct myself from earlier- the hotel where I thought The Shining was filmed was actually the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write the book. And where the melodramatic, stomach churning, made-for-TV, mini series version of The Shining staring the kid from the Welch's Grape Juice commercials was filmed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our Condo... often a mess. But I have to admit she cleans up real nice for school pictures.

These are the photos from our listing. We're hoping the Sinatra record helps draw a sophisticated (and moneyed) crowd to our first open house tomorrow.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Pretty quite on the home front today, but not so much for Jessie and her gaggle (pack? brood? clutch? pride?) of girlfriends from college, who have been perusing the world's largest collection of keys at the Baldpate Inn in Estes Park.

Jessie claims the Baldpate is better than the Devil's Rope Barbed Wire Museum in McLean, Texas, but I just don't understand how that could be.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'm turning it over to my prom date for the next couple of days as I leave Chicago for the mountains of Colorado. My friend Lindsay warned in an e-mail that the cabin we are staying in has had a bit of bear problem the past few weeks. I can't even begin to see this as a problem. If I see a bear this weekend it will more than be worth the overpriced flight into Denver. And just when I should be getting excited for the cool mountain night air and long afternoons of hiking, I'm way more excited about the potential for getting to tour the hotel where The Shining was filmed. Talk to you later kids. Enjoy Eric while I'm gone. And do whatever he tells you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bike Lane

I took one of my favorite bike routes today to meet Sarah for coffee. It's the one that wiggles through some cozy Chicago neighborhoods and then turns down Damen Avenue where there is a nice comfy bike lane, leafy trees, and shops you can see inside through big picture windows. It's the route that gets me to coffee in no time. Come to think of it, it was Sarah who first introduced me to the route. No better way to take in Chicago than on a bike. Good, cheap, and clean summer fun. To (literally) burst my bubble though, I rode smack over a tack as I pulled into my driveway at the end of my journey. Yep a flat-headed tack, popped right into my tire like only usually happens in cartoons. The tire is now flat, like my bangs to my forehead.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Folks, this is Grete. One dearly missed Grete. She's in town this week for a wedding, but used to live just around the corner in Evanston. A nice walk for Max and I. We looked forward to coming upon her house, her big porch, Grete on her porch swing, swinging, waving.
Now she has a house and ginormous garden in the mountains of Virginia. It is from this house, from this garden that she is plotting to achieve her life's goal, which is to get all of her friends in the world to move to the same neighborhood. It may be one of the best goals I've ever heard anyone declare. And most ambitious. Grete has first to decide where she wants to live. But then she'll get to work.

Grete also refuses to be pinned down to just five favorite things. She says it's too sad to think of all the other things not on the list. So I've decided to make one up for her (based on very strong evidence and some actual truth).

My take on Grete's five favorite things:
1. A long walk that ends with breakfast, lunch or dinner
2. Swimming (she once tried to teach me some strokes, but I'm hopeless)
3. Sharing books (I still have one or two of hers)
4. Making her own bread
5. Evanston, Illinois (Okay cheap I know, but while she's trying to decide where to end up I thought I'd plug.)

It was so nice to see you today Grete!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Homemade ice cream

As I type, Eric is running to the liquor store to get another bag of ice. Tonight he is running project homemade ice cream. Making homemade ice cream makes him happier beyond belief so I usually am not much help as I stand around and grin and observe. The grocery was out of rock salt (for the machine) but Eric can't be stopped when there is homemade ice cream is to be had. So he stole a load of sidewalk ice melt from the building. And though I think this is shady and poisonous, Eric says that he will share this vat of cream and eggs and sugar with me.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


We drove out to see a movie at the drive in last night. The theater itself is in the burbs and, naturally, miles and miles of burbs must be driven through to get there. This is a picture to show you what miles and miles of Chicago suburbs look like. Just like this.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Nebraska Project

For anyone with $15 and 90 minutes to spare, we'd recommend The Nebraska Project, an original play by the Bruised Orange Theater Company that was inspired by Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July Hot Dog Eating

One of my very favorite parts of the 4th of July is the Coney Island hot dog eating contest. This show of human greatness makes me stand in awe and shake my head out of pride. For six years in a row, on this American holiday, my greatest hero was a Japanese guy. Takeru Kobayashi finally lost last year after vomiting during the competition but remained my hero when preceded to eat the vomit. Sadly, after seriously injuring his jaw in 2007, he came in 2nd again today. Warning: the included video of the 2007 contest just might make you gag.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm a birder now. Remember?

These are some of the baby barn swallows that live in the carriage way of our building. The same barn swallows that dive bomb us when we are grilling and when we let max chase bugs on the back stoop. They are the same ones that wake Eric up at five in the morning, the same ones I sleep right through. They are the same barn swallows that I called purple martins for three straight years.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

This morning walking home with Max, coffee in hand, I was greeted by the sweetest sight. A couple, mid to late eighties, came around the corner holding hands and laughing. The woman had a bright red sweater over a house dress, a straw hat and black socks pulled tight up to her knees. The man had shorts and a plaid shirt and drank coffee out of a tall plastic cup.

Even if I'd remembered my camera, I probably wouldn't have had the nerve to steal their image. Instead I thought I'd describe them to you.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


For the first time ever Eric and I drove to the garden center and purchased hanging baskets of flowers. We both noted that it was yet another momentous step into adulthood. Other possibly non-meaningful yet cause for pause moments of sudden advancement into adulthood as discussed with Eric and other friends include: 1. Buying a suit, 2. Keeping a plant alive, 3. Paying attention to paint color on your walls (and adjusting when appropriate), 4. Sending birthday cards, 5. Sending sympathy cards, 6. Buying wine just to have, 7. Going to a real stylist for a hair cut

Things that I (sometimes we) did as kids, outgrew, and then grew back into as adults: 1. Biking, 2.Biking to get ice cream, 3. Checking out library books for fun, 4. Wearing jewelry, 5. Writing thank yous, 6. Listening to records, 7. Eating bananas

This, of course, is only the beginning of each of these lists but enough for now. It's time to eat food we prepared in the microwave (one step backwards...).