Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I can't think of a more perfect night for Tricks or Treats. It's a warm night and a Friday night.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Devon Ave.

I would be remiss not to mention Devon Avenue here in my own Rogers Park. Eric took me out to dinner here last night at a favorite place for Indian food-- Tiffin's. The Avenue is known as the "International Marketplace" where an Indian and Pakistani presence is dominant but that also includes many Jewish, Russian, Arabic, and Assyrian shops (just to name a few).
Here are a few facts that I find interesting about Uptown:
1. It used to be a summer resort area for downtown "city" dwellers.
2. Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and other early film stars produced films at the Essanay Studios on Argyle Street.
3. The Aragon Ballroom, Riviera Theater, Uptown Theatre, and Green Mill Jazz Club are all within a block of each other and make this neighborhood a major entertainment locale. (Uptown played a major part in the Gilded Age, the Jazz Age, the Silent Film Era, the Swing Era, the Big Band Era, and the Rock & Roll Era).
4. It has been a filming location for over 480 movies.
5. During the '50s, Uptown's affluent population moved to the burbs and many of the homes left behind began to serve as housing for low-income migrants from the South and Appalachia. Through the 60s uptown was called "Hillbilly Heaven."
6. Uptown is now one of the city's hotspots for anti-poverty programs, one of my personal favorites being inspiration corporation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


We explored the neighborhood of Uptown today. I think I'm going to cop out and write about it tomorrow though. I've got a cuddly dog wanting a walk and a dreamy husband who wants to watch a movie. (Ain't life sweet?)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Awesome Card (Blog Fodder) From Uncle Dan



Happy Birthday to You'se! :)

In case you know anyone who likes riddles and nose hair, he and Elizabeth are selling them in packs of twelve for $9.99.

Monday, October 27, 2008


The first Jack-o-Lanterns were made out of what?
A: Watermelons, B: Turnips, C: Apples, D: Pumpkins

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Slumber Party

Last night, I celebrated my being promoted to the age of thirty by having a slumber party. As you can see, it was mostly wildly out of control, but we paused long enough from the pillow fights and bra freezing to pull out a few truth or dare games. Even though the game "Girl Talk" loses some of its luster and magic once you are double the intended playing age, I still owe the makers a bit of gratitude for the memories of LK eating a catsup sandwich,Allison wearing layers and layers of pajamas and coats, and Mara crank calling her fiance and getting hung up on.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yesterday, out of sheer boredom, I bought some Tab cola, which I'd never tried before. While drinking it for breakfast, Eric found this awesome commercial:

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'll calm down now. At least long enough to notice that it's still a lovely fall in Chicago.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Anyone want to go in on this with me?

Oh brother...

Drew sent us this photo of his yard this morning. It's he-re... Chicagoans...even though the photo was taken in central Nebraska, I recommend beginning running now. Run east for a while, then south.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beatle Dog Trivia

At the end of which Beatles' song did Paul McCartney record an ultrasonic whistle (audible only to dogs) for his Shetland sheepdog?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I seem to have fallen a day behind on everything on my blog but my little nephew Lucas celebrated his first birthday yesterday. This year went so fast!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Congratulations to the Siegel's

They threw an exquisite wedding celebration.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Old Crow Medicine Show

We had the great fortune of seeing Old Crow Medicine Show last night at the Riviera. I've liked them for a while now, but after seeing them live I can be pretty sure. They're enlightened.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 18

This here day marks the one year anniversary of my blogging career. It would be a whole lot more exciting if I hadn't (sort of?) blown it back in August. All the same, it continues to be fun (on most days). Also, the Huskers spanked Iowa State today and now we are off to Adam and Cristin's rehearsal dinner. It's a day for celebrating!

Friday, October 17, 2008


LK had the brilliant idea to throw together "courses" for ourselves where we devour the work of favorite writers. Consequently, we will be spending the fall with Flannery O'Connor. Yesterday we talked about things Ms. O'Connor said about writing. "In good stories, the characters are shown through the action and the action is controlled through the characters, and the result of this is meaning that derives from the whole presented experience." and "The basis of any art is truth, both in matter and in mode." Any of you who have read a story by Flannery might agree, even though the circumstances are extraordinary, it's hard to ever say "this story is about that" and "the moral of the story is this" yet you have an experience. And that seems more like real life than some fiction.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big Adventure

Well, I was sitting down to blog when I realized that Netflix had delivered to us Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Some of Tim Burton's finest work. (And Phil Hartman's and Paul Rueben's for that matter.) So I have to go now, but if you have ten minutes, take this trip back to 1985. And get a glimpse of my dream house. (No WONDER we haven't found a house yet. There is just no compromising on the details that make a home perfect.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Herb Cubes

I love Trader Joe's for countless reasons. But today a nice lady showed me these frozen herb cubes and I am very excited. I think the whole world should know about them. You keep them in the freezer at all times and pop one out when you need one. Today I got minced garlic (1 cube=1 clove) and chopped cilantro (1 cube=1 tsp.). The Trader Joe's lady said that she uses them all the time now and that they taste super duper fresh. I'll let you know if they don't, but for now I'm thrilled. (Guess it doesn't take much.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Three awesome things

1. Drew sent me new pics of my niece (in a tutu her favorite aunt sent her) and nephew (wondering where his gift is).

2. Eric brought home a silver pen that has a flash drive under the cap. The pen has more memory than Eric's first computer in college.

3. This:

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's awful that we just can't stop picking on Jacko.

But isn't this the creepiest Halloween mask you've ever seen?


(By Hy Conrad)

Sherman loved Halloween. It gave him a chance to dress up as Sherlock Holmes and still seem normal. The pudgy detective was in his usual costume, escorting a squadron of children down Elm Street, when he noticed a crowd gathering in front of old Miss Cleghorn's house. "She must be up to her usual," chortled Sherman. "Putting on some horrific mask and scaring the kids at the door." Miss Cleghorn was indeed scaring the kids but not intentionally. Inside the open door, Sherman could see her frail body lying in the entry hall, wearing a monster mask, her head surrounded by blood. A plastic bowl lay nearby, its contents of wrapped candy strewn everywhere.

Seargent Wilson sood beside the body. He glanced over at the man with the calabash pipe and deerstalker cap. "Is that a costume, Holmes? With you it's hard to tell."

"What happened, my respeactable partner in crime?"

"It's an accident. It took us a while to reconstruct the what happened." Wilson pointed up to where a strand of large pearls lay centered at the top of the stairs."

Two cars pulled up at hte curb, one behind the other. Sherman recognized Miss Cleghorn's niece and nephew, Emma and Bobby, as they got out of the cars and approached the front door, both dressed for a night out and seemingly unaware of tragedy.

"Aunt Rita," Bobby gasped.

"Your aunt had an accident," Seargent Wilson told them. "She's dead. The kids had been coming up to the door for half an hour or so and getting no answer, One of them finally looked through the window and saw her."

Bobby noticed the spilled candy and the mask. "What's she doing wearing a mask?"

"She was obviously doing her Halloween thing," Emma said.

"She promised she wouldn't this year. We were taking her out to dinner."

"Well, obviously she changed her mind. " Emma said, shaking her head. "I don't know haw many times I told her not to wear a mask on the stairs."

"When did you last see your aunt?" asked Sherman.

Bobby stared at the rather overage trick-or-treater. "Uh, I dropped by this morning. My daughter left her skateboard here. Aunt Rita made me coffee and we chatted."

Sergeant Wilson grabbed Sherman by the collar and dragged him aside. "Don't try to make this a murder. The neighbors say there were no visitors since this morning."

"Someone could have driven up the back alley and come in that way," argued Sherman. "Believe me, friend, this was murder."


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Me and My Shadow

Sometimes, when we're walking, Max's shadow makes us laugh really hard. I think it's the beard. And the fact that his head bounces up and down so much. It looks like a cartoon.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We are all feeling tired and sleepy tonight. Talk to you later, kids.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm always a bit behind the times but I finally bought the Vampire Weekend cd today and I must say that I'm pleased I did. I had fun bouncing around to them while I cleaned out drawers and closets this evening (it's that eyes on winter claustrophobia kicking in). Anyhow, this is my favorite song on the disc. There's something about the video that makes my day too.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Two dogs

Two dogs are boarding here today. They are good pups, but I know what they are thinking. They think that they can team up and finally take back the couch. I've seen them eyeing it. I've seen Clara trying to talk Max into it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Oh! I almost forgot to tell you kids that Kirk Cameron was on our flight out to LA (where we stopped before heading to San Diego) this weekend.
This was trippy for two people who grew up on Growing Pains.

Today's Trivia in two parts:
1. Who did Kirk Cameron play on Growing Pains? (Is it even possible to forget America's favorite big brother?)
2. Which of these stars did NOT appear on the show?
a. Brad Pitt
b. Jennifer Aniston
c. Leonardo DiCaprio
d. Hilary Swank

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

He's so cute...

...that I can't stop stealing photos of him from my brother's blog and putting them on mine.

By the way...

My nephew Noah turned 1 on Sunday. Can you believe it?


Back to Chicago and fall time rain is comin' down. It had rained in San Diego a few days before we arrived and people we still talking about it when we got there. I thought this was weird but soon discovered that it had been the first time in six months that a rain cloud had crossed their sun. Ah well. I'll take Chicago and it's rainy days. But only because I've gotten a Mexico fix. (Tijuana was delightful.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

San Diego

It's a lovely day in San Diego but I can't figure a place to plug my camera into in this hotel buisiness center so I will have to post photos when I get home. One of the highlights for me has been the botanical building in Balboa Park. They had Venus Fly Traps, which I had never seen in person. Now I'm off for a tour of Tijuana while Eric is in meetings.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008


On Friday afternoon I got a call from a dear old college friend.

Andy: Hey, do you know where I can find a good eye doctor in Chicago?
Me: Is this like a knock knock joke?
Andy: No, can you look one up for me? I tore a contact.
Me: Are you coming to Chicago to fix it?
Andy: I'm walking around the loop right now. But I can't really see anything.

So this is how he tells me that he is coming to/is in town. In fairness, he won cubs tickets and hopped on a last minute flight to come watch them lose. But anyhow it was a delightful surprise and great to have Indian food with him tonight even though he tried to order a hamburger.

And since I'm into posed photos lately, I'll share with you the photos we took last summer when he and (another college friend) Mike came to visit (with way more notice). We decided to drive up to the Bahai Temple where the natural thing to do was pose for senior pictures.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Good as always to share a table with these ladies. Thanks to the kindness of strangers (and to Allison for giving the stranger man a flirty wink) for this very crop-able photo.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The El

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Sometimes the taking the train can be harrowing. Despite, for the most part its being a fairly slick system, years of construction, baseball games, rush hour, derailments can have you reaching for aspirin when you finally get back home. It's counting on those small things that can sometimes get you through a commute, a seat, a quiet car, no unexpected stops where you sit on the tracks and then starts the incessant beeping that tells you over and over the obvious fact that the train is unexpectedly not moving. Today, a few of us were scurrying up the steps to catch the approaching train.
Woman in blue coat: Are we going to make it?
Me: I think so.
Woman in blue coat: Is that a purple? (Express train)
Me: Yes, it is.
Woman in blue coat (now firmly on the platform throwing her arms up into the air and leaning back in giddy exuberance): Thank you JE-sus!!!

It was loud enough that most of the people hurrying to the platform paused and smiled. And in one way or another, agreed.

Then we pushed one other out of the way for seats.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It was good to meet Sarah for dinner tonight. I finally got to experience Kopi a Traveler's Cafe, where I ate a meal called "sunshine on a shingle" and which is nestled in with a good slew of other cosy bookshops, churches, and food places on Clark Street. Back in the day, Clark Street was where Sweedish immigrants hung around to do their business. Except instead of condos around the corner, there was a fabulous cherry orchard. Today Andersonville is still known for something of a small town charm with an incredible about of independent and locally owned businesses.

I've always thought that this was confusing, but Andersonville is actually a part of a larger neighborhood called Edgewater.

Actually, that's really not that confusing. It's pretty straightforward. But I'm already getting grouchy about all the strange ways Chicago comes up neighborhoods and then sort of can't remember where they went.

Which is not the case with Andersonville. But still.