Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Since I've thrown caution to the wind and shoved my face into the ether of the blogosphere, I thought I would let you all see the bass I caught last winter in Georgia. The boyfriend and I fished and fished and finally I hooked this guy ... then bashed him in the head with an oar ... then ate him.

Halloween Preemptive Party

So a friend or two held a little Halloween party complete with Laffy Taffy jokes and a keg.
The boyfriend dressed up as a hipster (his hat reads: "God, Guns and Guts Made America, Let's Keep It That Way") that has been beat up.
I dressed up as a Russian lady from a long time ago. Suggestions of my name included Anna Karenina or Anastasia. Really I was just wearing a funny hat and a dress from a high school winter formal. Ugh, the word "formal" makes me feel kind of gross on the inside. Others dressed up as their boyfriends, bees, lady bugs, a liberal arts course catalogue and shady hat wearing types.
Thanks to the lady in the car who helped us with that cheeseburger thing. And if any of you don't like your face being up and around (if you even read this which, actually, I don't think you do) tell me and I'll attempt to put a bowling ball over your visage.

Walky Talky

The boyfriend and I took a little walk to the lake on Saturday. It's the first time I've been to this section of lake (because we've moved and all). It was nice. We saw some birds hiding in trees and other things like the sky line and water.

Food Accompanies Movies

Friday night dinner. I made pureed turnips with sage. The salmon I did two ways. One, very classic, way was with a bit of butter, lemon juice and capers (poached). The other was what I did once I realized that we were out of honey and it didn't turn out all that well....it involved brown sugar, soy sauce and vanilla. I know, bad idea. Whatever. I don't even care. Along with the turnips and salmon we had some green peas and some sparkly rosa wine. The classic salmon was good.

Yam Chips (Kind Of)

To read my latest Chicagoist post click on this word right here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Making In All The Right Places

This makes me happy. It will make you happy too. I sometimes talk to the puppies like they're in front of me...the boyfriend discourages me from doing this, but I pay him no mind. The cat below is bigger than the puppy. Is that not amazing? FAT CAT CATTY CAT CAT!

Watching And Reading

On Friday the boyfriend and I stayed in. I made us a dinner of salmon, sage mashed turnips and peas and we watched some movies. The first movie was North By Northwest. I put the movie on my Netflix queue after seeing that shot of Cary Grant running from a plane for the millionth time in my life. I figured it wouldn't be so bad to actually understand the context in which he's running from a plane. I always assumed he was in a desert and that the plane was, somehow, war related. I was wrong. He's supposed to be in Illinois and war is not really what it's about (though the cold war certainly is used).
After a bit of a break we watched A Life Without Pain. This movie is depressing. Interesting and fascinating ... but depressing. Do not watch it at 11:30 at night, it will just make you sad. That being said, it was a movie about three families and the children within the families that have a medical condition that makes it so they don't feel pain (worst sentence ever). Ugh. What interested me the most was the way all the parents totally stood up to this extreme challenge and that they were pretty frank and open. Because the kids don't feel anything they're more likely to get severe injuries...thus all the parents had been, at one time or another, accused of child abuse. Seriously, these kids could break their skulls on the pavement and not notice anything wrong. Crazy, crazy, crazy stuff.
Earlier this week I read this book. It's by a woman who lived in the same area as I did in Maryland. In fact we belonged to the same pool and I had, at one point or another, a crush on her son (but couldn't find him for the boys project which was a disappointment). This book is actually for a young adult audience (my mother brought it to Chicago last time she was here and I finally had nothing else to read) and for that audience it wasn't bad. Girl protagonist learns life lessons from old woman photographer. Boys and horses etc. I liked the photography angle on all of it. Kudos for getting a book deal.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sandwich Stories

Most mornings I go downtown and learn some things and I start the experience with a beverage from Cosi. Because I go in with some frequency at least one of the Cosi people recognize me and remember what I drink. The other day the dude who remembers me remembered me. It went a little like this (early in the morning):

-Large Earl Grey tea, right?
-Yeah, thanks.
-We didn't have any yesterday.
-I know.
-I told my manager that I have customers who come in for the Earl Grey but it wasn't on the truck.
-Oh well.
-This one's going to be on the house.
- (no words but a 'why would you do that face')
-Because we were out yesterday.
-Well thank you.
-No problem, you're in here all the time.
-Oh and have this too.
-Gosh, this really is a great start to the day.
-Have a good one.
-You too.

So the other thing this nice man gave me was a sandwich card...you know the kind where you have to buy a million sandwiches (in this case four) before you can get a prize (in this case a free sandwich, pizza or breakfast sandwich). But the thing about this card is that it already had four stamps. Nice man. Below is the sandwich I redeemed the card for, a club sandwich with provolone cheese. And below the sandwich is the unexpected cupcake I bought before my afternoon class...the fashion department was having a bake sale...and my class prospered (well we didn't prosper as much as get our sugar fix...I'm rambling).


A little while ago the boyfriend and I went to Hama Matsu for our sushi fix. The boyfriend had the tako su salad.
I tried a special roll: The Scorpion Roll.... a giant wasabi sauced, tobikko covered, soft shell crab stuffed roll of epic proportions.

And the boyfriend had a white tuna sushi mold.


I was down in the loop to take photographs of the fire because I was actually down in the loop to check out a new burger joint at Michigan and Adams Avenues. Patty's Burgers, actually. It was a little weird. I got there before the other Chicagoistars, so I just sort of stood around trying burger samples and nursing one beer. There had been promises of french fry samples and milkshakes...but neither appeared. The burgers weren't bad. They were, in a way, better than McDonalds burgers, but not phenomenal and certainly more expensive. You can read another Chicagoist view on the experience here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Fire

I Mean, Really

The boyfriend and I walked to the grocery store yesterday. On the way we passed an alley and the boyfriend insisted we go down it so he could show me something. I was a bit hesitant...usually when he insists on an alley walk we come back to the apartment with couches or stereos or bicycles or....but instead of a fine looking chair, the boyfriend wanted to show me these huge whatsathingers.
Cucumbers growing in the sky? Watermelons? Notice! Notice that these strange whosits are being held up...otherwise they'd crash to the ground due to their girth. Or maybe not girth...but...erm...damn, they're heavy.

A Two Stop Wine Night

On Monday mousehead and exploded viewer hosted wine night. They had a lovely spread that included cheese, veggies, chocolate M&Ms and smoked oysters. Their's is a tricky apartment for large get togethers...people go to sleep early there, I think...or something. So we ended up going to Simon's Tavern for a little more wine night.
The next day I made myself a bacon egg and cheese sandwich. It wasn't perfect but it was just what I wanted.


I think this is the gumbo the boyfriend made a while back. But whenever I think about it I want to call in Jambalaya...wikiepdia says that Jumbalaya is considered a laid back dish, improvised, casserole like. Gumbo is the more 'looked up to' of the dishes. Well there you have it.

Quick Ipod Shuffle

So I'm about to lay down a gazillion posts all in a row. I thought I would start with this week's ipod shuffle:

Dogs They Make Up The Dark- Devendra Banhart
Hand On The Glock- Cypress Hill
I Got Stripes- Johnny Cash
Screw Face- Bob Marley & The Wailers
All The Wrong Reasons- Tom Petty
Never Win- Fischerspooner
Orgiastic- Stereolab
Sad Girls Por Vida- Pretty Girls Make Graves
A Certain Romance- Arctic Monkeys
Twilight- Elliot Smith

The Roof, The Roof

Well, something big was on fire that's for sure. I took more shots of the burning building on Wabash yesterday but I was a big pansy and didn't get super close...so no fire shots just huge swells of smoke.
I actually have many a thing to post. Or at least a few things. I will get that done later after the one thing and then the other.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Younger Days

So, the other day, Toby wrote about going to the movies with a girl (and her mother) and the etiquette of being twelve and liking somebody. His story reminded me of some photographs my mother sent me last month that I had been meaning to post/write about. So here they are.
Before these arrived I had been thinking about this night. It was someone's birthday or a bunch of people's birthdays and so the parents of these kids had pooled their resources and rented a recreation center for the night. Because it was a bunch of different kids, I didn't actually know everyone there. There were boys there, boys never before seen and cute. What I remember is two (or so) cute boys and this ring of girls around them, flirting and teasing while the boys, for the most part, just stood there looking confused. I was not in this first ring, I was a little behind them thinking to myself 'that is so not how you get boys to like you'. What I find interesting about this is that I was so, totally, wrong.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dim Sum c/o Furama Part 29

Yeah. Dim sum. A beautiful thing. Every time. Furama is greatastic.

Themed Potluck

Yesterday I made a pumpkin soup to write up for Chicagoist. I will not show you the soup because I have yet to write up the post and I usually like them to be simultaneous (what?). It was actually quite kismetic that I planned on making pumpkin soup because the boyfriend and I were invited to a pumpkin/gourd/apple themed, Vassarite sponsored, pot luck on Saturday. So I was able to make the soup and then foist it off on other people...I didn't actually like the soup, though all those at the potluck who spoke to me said they did.
Others brought: salads with apples, chicken, butternut squash soup, pumpkin seed brittle, sweet potato pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie.
The boyfriend and I weren't sure about attending this event since we're not, actually, very familiar with the host who threw it. And, well, new people scare us. But I thought that it would be good to meet some new people and have more conversations with these Vassar types. I was right, it was a nice evening complete with a strange run-in.

The boyfriend and I got to the potluck on time and were one of a just a few people there (we didn't know anybody but the host). A little later on a girl and a guy came in and I had a very strong feeling that I had, if not actually met him before, seen and heard this guy talk. But since he didn't seem to give me a doubletake I assumed it was in my head. But when, ten minutes later, the boyfriend also commented on his familiarity, I decided that there was a mystery and it needed to be solved. I asked the dude if he went to Vassar, he hadn't. I asked him what he was doing in Chicago, I forget if he answered the question. I was going to ask something else when it all suddenly made sense....A few weeks back player with words had a birthday party. It was a well attended party, most of the wine night crowd showed up as did a number of first year MFAWers. One of the first years brought a friend who had recently moved from Oxford to Chicago. And this friend was the dude at the potluck. This is strange and interesting to me because of the bare thread that connected me to this most recent party and the bare thread that connected the dude to the other one. I guess it's rare (for me) to see random people twice.

Golden House Breakfast

Saturday morning tonguethruster, the boyfriend and I met up with exploded viewer, mousehead and she-who... for breakfast at the Golden House Restaurant. This was a first visit for all of us. It's nearby and I was always curious by its Chinese looking sign advertising pancakes. It was the sort of strange juxtaposition that kind either lead to a wonderful eating experience or a really terrible one. Thankfully, for all of us, it was the former. I ordered the continental breakfast (or I think it was the continental, but it could have been the combo): two eggs, two sausages, two strips of bacon and three pancakes. I gave the boyfriend the pancakes in exchange for some of his biscuits and gravy. My meal was a little over five bucks and satisfying. The coffee wasn't that bad either. Definitely a place to check out if you live in Chicago and like standard breakfasts in non-pretentious surroundings.

Friday Night Out

I haven't been going out much lately. I'm not sure this is because of my schoolwork or the extended dogsitting/tivo television or just a little bit on a brain funk. But whatever it is/was, Friday night I was glad to go somewhere new with some old faces. Thanks to mousehead and she-who-has-no-blog (both art history MAers) the boyfriend, tonguethruster and I got the chance to go to Lakeview Broadcasting Company's two hour free vodka night. The bar was a tad bit hipper than I'm accustomed but because of the company and event (three olives flavored vodka free from 8-10) I didn't really notice. At some point she-who and the boyfriend got into a little bit of a tussle which ended with a very dizzy she-who. You don't mess with the boyfriend, he will pick you up and spin you around. Good night.

Chocolate Night Out

Last Wednesday I went to a chocolate/wine tasting/holiday collection preview at Ethel's Chocolate Lounge. The boyfriend came along/was forced to come with me. You can read my not so great review of the event here. The problem, in writing it up, was my lack of real knowledge about wine or chocolate. I also didn't know whether to focus on Ethel's as the gourmet experiment of the founder of Mars chocolate (with predominantly Chicago locations but a factory in Las Vegas) or to forego history and simply write about the holiday collection/wines...but then if I exclusively focused on the latter, well, I'd be setting myself for 'you're such an ignorant bastard' comments. So, instead, the piece is sort of meandering with very little detail. Ugh. I know. Whatever. Though I can say I liked the Vouvray.

Way Back

Way back last week some time I made a little plate of cheese, olives, pate, chorizo and red onions. The boyfriend and I ate this little plate right up. Actually, the boyfriend added the onions.
Later that same day (I think) the boyfriend made a salad...thanks to the greens, beets and onions from the farm share.
Along with the salad, the boyfriend made eggplant parmagiana (also thanks to the farmshare, at least in relation to the eggplant). All was good and warm or tasty when appropriate.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fat Cat Catty Cat Cat

So one of the Chicagoist contributors sent us all this photograph of his cat. This cat is amazing. Look at it, really take it in. It has manly, meaty haunches and is bigger that that girl's head. Okay I guess most cats are bigger than most people's heads, but still. I just thought this was incredible and thank you, cat owner, for image permission.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dona Flor And Her Two Husbands

A little while back I finished reading (for the second time) Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. This book was turned into a movie...don't watch it, the book is far better/more subtle (imagine that). The basic premise of this book can be guessed at through the title but how it's done is interesting and engaging. Dona Flor is a subtle character who could, at first glance, seem a little dull-but dull she is not. Oh, why do I ever try to write about why I like books when I get all flummoxed within three sentences? The book tells the story of Dona Flor's first and second marriages and investigates what makes a person whole...in Dona Flor's case it's raunchy sex and the respect of her community. You should read it. I keep on thinking about trying to make one of the recipes in the book.


Last night the boyfriend and I watched a movie called (entitled?) Whole. Whole is a documentary that focuses on and explores a very small group of people who are 'wannabe amputees'. Through interviews with about six men and, in some cases, their spouses we learned about the lengths these men were willing to do in order to feel 'whole'. One man (the one in the photograph) purposefully put dry ice all over his leg until he developed frost bite. Another man used a shot gun to shoot the offending appendage off of himself. Weird, strange and fascinating. There are comparisons (at least in my mind) between the way these men have always felt 'wrong in their bodies' and transgendered/transexualized (?) people. Though, in many ways, this is far more bizarre and hard to understand.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The boyfriend and I went to Walgreens to pick up some cold medication (I have become addicted to pink grapefruit Wal-Borne). It was fate that we found the pop tarts, one box for $1.50! Mmmm, pop...tarts. I was never allowed to have poptarts. Or I don't think I was. Or if I was I would only be allowed the kind without icing...and that's just no kind at all. Mmm, poptarts!


Mackey is perplexed.
Blurry Bear.
M. Lady and She-Who-Has-No-Blog came over to the dogs' abode and watched Grey's Anatomy with me last Thursday. We ordered a pan pizza with olives from Art of Pizza. Though the pizza didn't arrive until after the show, it was still good as good can be.


This is my latest Chicagoist post. Hopefully the photograph makes the meal look appealing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Olive Oil

Last Thursday she who has no blog and I had a little conversation about homebirths. This came up because of a pointless story I was telling about a girl I kinda knew and the birthing chair I sat on in her house. Then she-who told me a story that her mother told her about a homebirth...and (some of you are not going to like this) how the midwife put olive oil into the woman's vagina and slip, slop, the baby came out. I didn't believe this (I still don't) so we did some google searches. The factual evidence on the olive oil story was never conclusively decided. But I did find this picture that was made in (I think) 1513 and was what the medical world thought babies looked like in the womb. Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


So. Yesterday. Yesterday the dogs woke me up at three or four thirty in the morning...for no good reason. I left the house around seven in order to get downtown early enough to get a few last minute things figured out for the class I was going to teach at nine. Those last minute things were, primarily, to get certain things printed and copied for the kiddies. Alas, coming early meant that none of the places I had planned on printing the necessary papers were open. Strike one.

I checked my email and found an intriguing message from a fellow Chicagoister offering a free dinner (appetizer, entree, dessert) to the first person to respond. I responded but I didn't make it very clear that I was, in fact, responding with the hope to get that dinner into my belly and because of this, did not get to have that dinner in my belly. Strike two.

I continue to struggle with the teaching. Or the students continue to struggle with me. I'm not sure what it is. I only know that they're not talking no matter how vague, specific, general, open, closed or non-related-to-any-thing-we're-doing the question/topic I bring up may be. This continued to make me feel large amounts of despair. Strike three.

You'd think I was out...but, well, I wasn't.

After the class, my belly full of Earl Grey tea, desperation and dread, I plugged my ipod in and started walking towards the Adams/Wabash brown line stop. I was smoking a cigarette and generally feeling shizzy when a clean, not homeless type dude stopped in front of me and gestured at me. I interpreted his gesture as 'hey can I bum a cigarette' and was not feeling overly giving. But then he asked me if I lived in Chicago...and that's when I got my 'wary, you're trying to sell me something or rape me' face and said yes and started to move away, slowly. He then said something to the effect of: I work at a hair salon in Chicago. And I realized that the original gesture was not one concerned with cigarettes but, rather, with hair. But at this point my wary/sell/rape face's vibe had gotten into my circulation and I simply continued staring at him weirdly and shaking my head. It wasn't until I was waiting on the brown line platform that I realized that there was a good chance that the dude was offering some sort of discount (if not outright free haircut) and I refused it (I got roots like you wouldn't believe and am, in fact, in need of a trim). Strike four.

Small things, really, but accumalated all before one o'clock in the afternoon. Waah, waaah, waaah. No, really, it made me feel bad...like I'm not taking chances or some such nonsense. Or, maybe it's not about chances so much as being open. I mean, wouldn't it be cool to randomly get a free haircut? Yes, yes it would. But I'll never know. Whatever. Blegh.

Thai Classic Restaurant

Yesterday, after much consternation (due entirely to the boyfriend's misleading sushi suggestions/the fact that the boyfriend can still go by the name of Sicky), the boyfriend and I had dinner at Thai Classic Restaurant. A nice restaurant on Clark Street, with both regular tables and the sitting on the floor with your shoes off tables. Decor? Check. Our meal? Our meal started with rice crisps accompanied by that quitessential Thai sweet/spicy sauce.
I ordered the special Shrimp Stick appetizer (do I need to capitalize that?) and was pleased that the menu had not lied when it described the shrimp as marinated. You know sometimes they say things like that, but it just isn't true, so you get this bland boring shrimp and that's no fun.
I had the Lad Nar with shrimp for my entree. It wasn't as good as I had hoped but it wasn't revolting either. The boyfriend had the beef salad which was very nice to look at (though none of the photographs I took could possibly convince you of that fact) and a lovely experience in one's mouth. The boyfriend commented on the salad's deceptive spiciness...it was the kind that doesn't burn your tongue's taste buds but does managed to bring a sheen of sweat to your face by the time you're done.

All in all, happy making.