Monday, July 31, 2006

Our Lady Of Perpetual Sweat

These are some photographs mousehead took whilst we were in Tennessee a few weeks back. Immediately below is the bug we found in the first we thought cicada except for the moth like wings then we thought moth except for the cicada like body. The boyfriend weighed in on the photograph and declared it a freshly born moth. It was leaking. I put it outside and wished it well.
This is a photograph of the house during a rain storm, note the torrential stream of water making its way off the roof. This storm, like most in Sewanee during the summer, lasted no longer than forty five minutes.
We barbequed twice while there, how could we not with a wonderful natural rock patio and not so awful heat...speaking of awful heat, it's awfully hot in Chicago...has been for three (two?) days, today the heat index will make us feel like it is 104-109 degrees. Clearly we're not as bad off as some of the western states or southern states but nonetheless man it's hot.
The boyfriend mentioned how sad it was that the camera is still out of commission as we've had quite a few meals of note lately. There was the porkroast with sauerkraut, the Hama Matsu sushi extravaganza, chili and other such things. Soon, or at least that's what they said when I called last week.

In other news the boyfriend and I signed a lease on a new apartment this weekend. The place is on a quiet street in a three flat building (I think I've said all of this before, sorry) with a nice front porch made of cement (hello barbeque how are you?) and a back porch that looks out at a little lawn. Included in the rent is a parking space, heat and, generally, a kick-ass apartment complete with proper kitchen pantry and bathroom linen closet....mmmm, linen closet. It is very very hot. I tried offering Meow Cat an ice pack wrapped in a pillow case that she could lie on and keep cool but she didn't get it and there was no way for me to explain it to her. You can usually find Meow Cat at a certain corner in our apartment, I can only assume she feels a cool current running by, my feet never feel any different in the spot. Ugh.

Friday, July 28, 2006

What We Care About

George Bush "cares deeply about wanton destruction". I care about puppies. That is all.
After our early movie viewing I departed our homestead and met up with M.Lady and her coworker friend (along with Mousehead and noblogger). We sat on the porch and M. Lady made me a gin and tonic that made me go, "caw caw, caw caw". Shortly thereafter we went to Friar Tuck, a bar with a door like a keg (see below) for karaoke. We took the Broadway bus and I became entranced with the two overweight older teenage girls clearly talking about/making some sort of drug deal on the phone. Entranced isn't the right word, extremely curious is more accurate or unable to concentrate on making conversation because I was too busy listening to somebody else's. This eavesdropping thing is the worst on buses somehow. Anyways. I have never performed karaoke except maybe for that one time with those Koreans who didn't speak English...but even then I don't think I sang. And so I didn't plan on singing last night either. And I didn't. I almost got excited enough to sing Weezer's Buddy Holly but then I thought about how much better it would be if I could sing that other Weezer song, the one that starts with 'Goddamn those half Japanese girls' and the Karaoke machine didn't have that song. So I stayed in my seat with my shared mini pitcher and watched others (M. Lady included) go up and do their shizz. Friar Tuck's atmosphere was good in my mind...not terribly crowded, very friendly bar tender, Karaoke singers not taking themselves too seriously etc etc. I want to go back and, dammit, I'll sing something one day.


Yesterday the boyfriend and I watched two movies. Howl's Moving Castle and a Ramones documentary. The documentary was interesting, mainly just because of the personalities of the members of the band...I'm not actually, technically, all that into their music. But that Johnny Ramone sure has an attitude problem.
Howl's Moving Castle, on the other hand, was very entertaining. It's the sort of cartoon I like to have lying around when I'm all Disneyed out...The Little Mermaid and Beauty & The Beast can only be watched so many times. That's my movie story, you like?

Lost Luggage

You may have noticed that I went on vacation a while back. Yeah, I did. So did the boyfriend, actually. He came and hung out with me and my entourage in France. I mentioned, in one of my vacation summaries, that the boyfriend arrived in France 'sans' his luggage. This was due to his having to take three different airlines (four different flights, I think, and one train ride) to get to Perpignan. The trouble was he planned on carrying on his one bag but when he got to one gate or another they said the plane's weight limit (or something) was full so it would have to be checked. So, having no choice, he agreed. This became problematic and confused and ended with him not having time to get the bag from somewhere...the boyfriend knows the details of all of this far, far better than I do. Anywho. He tried calling them in France but that didn't work out very well. Then he came home. Then he picked me up from the airport a week and a half later. We stopped by the airline's baggage office place but it was closed until was 2:00. So then he called one office or another and none of them were able to help him...they said that he wasn't giving them the right tracking number, he said he didn't have a tracking number because the bag was supposed to be carry-on luggage, they said 'uh' and he said 'you suck'. And that happened for a while. Then he got a phone call from someone in Huntsville, Alabama saying they had his bag and they were going to send it to him via FEDEX. Then the boyfriend waited and waited. After a fair amount of waiting he called FEDEX and learned that the driver had tried to deliver the bag but hadn't seen his name on the address (which is bunk because it's there) they said they would try to redeliver. Instead they didn't try and sent it back to Alabama. If we're not careful my mother's going to have to go here (which is where she got a nice shirt or two and all that yarn she sent me) and buy the boyfriend's stuff. This is bunk and all their fault.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


So I'm not always good at paying attention to things. Small things, big things, all kinds of's one of my most endearing qualities, everybody says so. Yeah, they say 'you know what I love about you, cc?' and I say 'no, I don't, why don't you tell me' and then they say 'I love how you don't pay attention to things' and I say 'what?'. Anyways, today I have paid a little attention to very unimportant Lance Bass being gay...yeah, he's gay.
And Chicago's City Council saying yes to the Big Box Ordinance...take that Walmart (or if you're looking at it a different way 'take that Chicago economy and job seekers') and Target! I would also, just since I'm here and all, like to say to those of you who think shopping at Target is far better than shopping at Walmart, um, they're both big and bad and you're not better than me. I'd tell you why but I stopped paying attention.


Yesterday the boyfriend and I went and saw Bringing Up Baby in Grant Park. It looked very much like the above photograph but I didn't have a camera so I stole this photograph from this guy. We met up with one Mousehead, one Exploded Viewer, one no blogger and one no blogger's friend from out of town. The movie was funny and if you haven't seen it you might like to. The whole Grant Park free outdoor movie thing was pretty nice though if I go to another one I'll be finding myself some sort of lean back chair type thing, there really is no comfortable way to watch a movie on the ground without one.

The boyfriend and I continue our quest for a new place. We're getting awfully close to one...and it would be is on the second floor of a three flat building, has two private porches, an 'officey sun room' space, a living room with 'ornamental fire place', a dining room with built in china cabinet thingy (with drawers), a big ol' kitchen and two bedrooms. It seems we're racing against another couple and I can only hope that we don't come in second.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Suffering Of Hipsters

Whatever shall they do/whatever did they do about this?

I Don't Have A Camera, Still

I don't have a camera, still, and that fact leads me to be unable to share images with you of the sushi buffet (c/o Noodle Zone), pork roast or barbeque type foods I've had in the past few days. But I can show you stills from movies I've seen as of late...not quite the same, I know, but what can you do? I guess 'you' could have left the camera somewhere else and understood that they wanted you to pay for it BEFORE they started fixing anything. Alas alas you are an idiot.

First off there's Yours, Mine & Ours. I netflixed this one because I remember liking Cheaper By The Dozen...I mean so many kids doing so much mischief, how can you not love it? The boyfriend didn't love it. It follows the whole 'kids don't like their situation so they make a lot of crazy shit happen and then by the end of it they love each other and wish they hadn't succeeded in making all the crazy'. So, yeah, you knew how it ended from the first shot and it wasn't as good as Cheaper By The Dozen.
Then there was Mrs Henderson Presents. I kind of felt like this was a made for British televsion movie. Judi Dench is great and all and Bob Hoskin's fake hair was kind of cool. But, to be frank, I expected more breasts.
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story was funny. Steve Coogan is funny. That other guy is funny. Was it all funny all the time? No, but you should watch it because it was funny enough most of the time. I may even read the book.
Syriana was an interesting movie to watch in this week of fucked up crazy Israel/Hezbollah everything. Though it was just a movie in the end. I kind of felt like Jeffrey Wright would have been a better Oscar nominee than George Clooney. But George is hotter so I don't begrudge him, well, anything really.
The boyfriend and I are in the process of finding a new place to live. Today I have three apartment looking appointments. I just got back from the first one...the pros of the place would be the porch, new appliances and location the cons would be the strange compartmentalized feel (no flow of rooms), not much less in price than our current place and yeah. We shall see and all that jazz.

DCist Has Its Haters

If you live or have ever lived in the DC metropolitan area you might get a kick out of this DCist post. I did, though I don't quite fit into either true camp being a suburban Maryland-ite by birth.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Though I barely ever knit these days (that sweater I started when I first moved here is stuck probably forever because I don't understand the pattern and though I've asked many people and they've told me many good things I can never quite understand what to do when I have the needles in my hands and, frankly, I only need so many scarves in my life) I still read yarn harlot religiously. This is, in part, due to my burning flame of love for knitting and, in part, because she's just funny and good at writing about her life. Today she writes about being a writer and I think it's pretty good. So go read it if you are a writer or like writers or if you're an elephant or a balloon or a balloon shaped elephant or an elephant shaped balloon.

Sweet Homey

So now I'm back in Chicago, have been for nearly a week. It would have been a week if I wasn't so quick to turn around and go to Tennessee one full day after getting off the plane. Scooter (moushead) came along and we spent five days reading, watching Inspector Lynley mysteries, drinking beer, barbequeing, counting deer, swimming and generally relaxing to the max. The camera is still out of commission though, supposedly, it should be fixed soon. Until then I can't share with you any new experiences or meals I've had in a visual way. Grr. The other night I watched The Fall of Fujimori on PBS, I was really just skipping around aimlessly but this drew me in. Now, who was it that I was talking to who didn't like Ann Patchett's Bel Canto because they thought the premise (embassy sieged by Latin American rebels for many months) was completely unbelievable thus the rest of the story didn't ring true? Because, here's the thing, that's EXACTLY what happened in Peru (minus the opera singer, female rebel, love story) so you (whoever you are, I really can't remember) should try that book again.
Also, while I was in Dublin my parents and I watched The Wind That Shakes The Barley. It was good, if necessarily depressing and predictable.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The End

For dinner the poet's son made, from scratch, an Indian meal that included dal, the spinach and cheese dish that has the word 'paneer' in it and aloo gobi (I think). He even made his own cheese, impressive and an all-day affair. It was, with perhaps the exception of the guy I knew one time who fell in with Hare Krishnas thus had to make and then bless his own vegatarian/Indian cuisine, the best Indian food made by a white person I've had.

After the dinner the whole group of us (numbering 7) got into two cars and went to see a circus. This was no ordinary circus, if it had been I probably would have been grumpy. No this circus reminded me of a site specific theater class I took in college but done on a much, much larger scale. I took some photographs but they're all blurry and not good. If you ever happen to be somewhere where they are you might like to's a bit too long but has very attractive people jumping around to good, live music. Really.


The next morning I walked around in the field in front of the house. It was blustery and spitting rain which was very, very different from the weather in England and even very different than the weather in Dublin. The weather deteriorated later in the day to full on rain and temperatures, I'd say, in the fifties. That led to a day spent mainly in the house, reading. I read Bluesman by Andre Dubus III which I liked very much and may reread at a slightly less frenzied pace. I also read another book that was like chick lit only for men....but probably read mainly, still, by women.
For lunch we had tapas of a sort. A little salad, a little sliced meats, a little cheese, a little bit of olives, a cucumber yogurt salad/relish, sundried tomatoes etc. I couldn't stop from having just one more piece of cheese or just one more slice of salami. Satisfying, yes.

Food Is Good

Once we finally arrived at the poet's abode we had tomato/cilantro soup along with a variety of cheeses and bread. I put a bit of boursin into my soup and it was a very good idea, though the soup was very good sans the cheese.

Mmm, chocolate biscuit cookie things.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Love Sheep

We drove from Dublin to the poet's house (or his partner/girlfriend's house or both of their house...I'm a little confused on that one) in the country near Kilkenny and Clonmel. It could have been a faster drive if not for festivals and a puttering pace through exceptional scenery. It took six hours.

Another favorite photograph of me...I'm all scowly in the pretty.
Best photo I could get of a magpie.
Things we saw.

Table we used as a picnic table for a snack.

Where We Was

Two photographs, one of the outside of our hotel room...the second balcony on the corner was ours and only ours. Temple Bar had narrow streets, like the photograph.

Food In Dublin

I got my sushi on with the parents, poet friend and his son whilst in Dublin. It was good but not Hama Matsu, Tanoshi or, well, any of my favorite Andersonville sushi spots. The ikura had a very bitter taste unlike what I am accustomed to. Though the sashimi salmon and tuna was nice and cold and melty mouthy...not to mention pretty generous in portion.
On the night after the sushi I met up with "She Only Has Words To Play With" for dinner at Rubicon Restaurant. We shared the duck tempura spring roll...which was playful and different and then had linguini in a garlic cream sauce complete with truffle oil which was so good I ate each and every strand of pasta in my bowl.
Spring roll below (duh).

Barreling Right Along

After Italy won against Germany there was an impromptu parade...these were late arrivals to the parade as seen from our hotel room's balcony.
The poet friend was teaching at Trinity for the summer so he and his son were living in one of the university dorm suites. We went there the next day for lunch, it looked like this:

It was a nice indoor picnicky lunch.

Dublin Day 1

We left England and flew to Ireland where we landed just in time for a bomb threat that led to our plane (with all of us in it) sitting on the tarmac for two hours. Once we finally got off the plane we went to the baggage claim area and, after relatively little trouble getting the bags off the carousel, had to contend with this:
That is me with my hat and Chicagoist shirt standing in a mass of non-moving people. Don't I look happy? I was really, really happy.
Once we got to the taxi stand (forty five minutes of shuffling in the above madness) everything went much, much better. We stayed in Blooms Hotel in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. We went to a Thai Restaurant and had the early bird special. I had the calamari appetizer and then the beef curry. My mother had the chicken curry. My father had the soup and corn fritters.

Afterwards we met up with an old college friend of my father's at a poetry reading. I ended up not staying for the reading...I was interested in the Germany/Italy game (I liked that no matter who I was rooting for I could call both teams fascist) and doing some blogging. That was day one...truncated as I'm feeling a bit like I'm tired of writing about my trip and yet I can't not finish what I started.

Choo Choo!

Our last day in England was spent, by me, reading books and feeling embarassed. I read Ordinary People in a couple of hours and then got very far into, but did not finish, Julia Glass' new novel. Dinner was at a place and consisted of a small Caesar salad and a very unsatisfying chicken sandwich.
On the drive back there was a balloon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Now We're Getting There

Upon arriving in England everything went 'afoul'. The ride back had even more screaming children then it had going (two little girls were on both flights but on the second one they were backed up by two more little girls, ugh). After we got through customs we went to see what baggage carousel we needed to go to get, believe it, our baggage. There were maybe a little less than 100 people milling around the screens with this information. We stood there and we stood there and we stood there some more. We stood there long enough to hear people groan over England's loss (or maybe it was some other team's loss). We stood there long enough to see our flight number make it to from the second screen (low down) to the first screen (high up) until, all of a sudden, our flight and its blank spot that should have been filled with a carousel number disappeared entirely. I believe all this standing took about forty minutes. That was disgruntling. Then we got our baggage, my mother and I and met up with my father who had gone on ahead to get our car. And that is where disgruntlement got notched up to severe tetchiness. Basically what should have been, maybe, a forty five minute drive from the airport to our lodgings for the night became an epic two hour (or more?) drive around and around and around. It was bad. At one point we stopped at a roundabout to consult my father's fifteen years out-of-date map and the police came with disapproving looks...those looks became a little less disapproving once we opened our mouths thus branded ourselves hapless Americans. The policemen's directions got us another, say, five miles down the road before we got flummoxed again...and again...and again. Oh! And again. We finally arrived at The Brocket Arms around 10 and it's a good thing we did because if we hadn't, well, erm, it wouldn't have sucked. We were welcomed into a small but bustling pub and quickly had pints in our hands. The landlord/governor type, whose name was Toby Wingfield Digby (first initial C), held my hand in a slightly creepy but actually kind way and helped us figure out how to turn the car lights off. Though the kitchen was technically closed for the night they opened it up again for us. Mom and I each had a bowl of soup (it was kind of too thick and not so good) and shared some fried shrimp (nicely fried but forgettable). Dad's venison sausage and chips on the other hand was quite tasty. I think the general rule with pub food is keep to the basics and don't ever think that maybe something exotic will be done very well. I went to sleep after my second beer.
The next morning we had breakfast outside as cooked by the guvna'. He and his wife have an English Springer Spaniel that bounded along anywhere the wife went (mainly it seems she was going back and forth between the stable and the house) but occasionally stopped at our picnic table for a quick petting. After our breakfast we needed to get going in order to get to our next destination...Lodge Down order to be part of 150 (250?) people celebrating the 2005 Derby winner, Motivator. This horse was owned by the club that the Lodge Down owners belonged to...thus the shin dig. Before we left, however, we had to settle up with the guvna'. This included a credit card, a small glass of beer and, with said glass of beer, a beer baptism. That's what I said. Beer, on my mother's, my father's and my own naked foreheads with wishes of health, happiness and grandbabies. It was weird.

The horse party included a tent, live musicians and me becoming the 'drunk, brash American'...I had kept her under wraps for most all of the trip but somehow that afternoon and evening seemed like the time to unleash her on a bunch of Brits.
But before I became brash, I had three different kinds of salad.
And a heck of a lot of strawberries.
Then I got drunk and refused to call a young gold professional by his name and opted instead to call him 'golf guy'. Croquet was played, a pool was swum in, some (not I) recklessly rode around on a lawn mower, snooker seemed to have been played and I generally behaved badly. Though without breaking anything nor insulting anyone (says my mother). Whoopsy!