Monday, April 30, 2007

Incomplete Beginning

So it's been a very, very long time since I've shared the external stimuli I've been enjoying...external stimuli=books and movies.

So now I'm going to do a quick 'best of', in terms of movies I've watched in the last few months that you may really want to think about watching too. This is a very incomplete list...since...well...this is procrastination.

Quirky low budge The Puffy Chair is at times funny, poignant, stupid and sad. If you're in the midst of relationship woes or whatnot watch with caution.
A Good Year sucked. But did make me wish I had a rich uncle that lived in France and left me his kick ass house and vineyard.
Murderball, interesting movie. I'm still not so into the sport though. One of the special features includes a bunch of the dudes from Jackass getting together with some of the dudes from the quad rugby team and doing incredibly stupid things.
Just My Luck was just as bad as this poster suggests.
Documentary about Racine, Wisconsin home of the most ridiculous and fascinating all city proms. Not too deep but fun.
Jesus Camp will scare you if you're on the liberal left and vindicate you if you're on the conservative right.
I am currently going through entourage like Robert Downey Junior (my former fiancee) used to go through blow.
Ryan Gosling has a very nice face and knows how to act with it. Half Nelson is up to its hype for the most part.
Veronica Mars. I've gotten over watching it constantly but I think of it fondly and it led me to write an essay I'm rather proud of.

Dim Sum c/o Furama Part 36?

Yesterday a No Longer Wayward SAICer and I had dim sum. It was the first time since the boyfriend's visit and I missed it. Since there were only two of us we didn't get to have quite as many things (bellies get full quicker) but we had the standards: fun noodles, shumai, shrimp dumplings, tofu skin wrapped shrimp, sticky rice. There's a possibility I'll go back next week too...crazy town!

Moody's Time!

Saturday night I was lying on our sofa after a very strenuous day of reading on our porch when there was an unexpected knock on the door. Lo and behold it was She-Who-Has-No-Blog! This was a pleasant surprise because I was almost done with my book and almost on the verge of watching subpar Saturday night television. Instead we sat on the porch for a bit before going to Moody's Pub for outdoor burgers and, in my case, cheap champagne. For whatever reason I didn't feel like Moody's more typical beer, beer or beer (though they do have a number of other beverages on the menu) so cheap champagne it was. I had the Moody Cheeseburger and it was satisfying. The fries, in my humble opinion, need a little work but the beef's all right by me.

Before The Serious

Behold the muffin like yummy I made on Saturday...just for fun! Coffeecake muffin with walnuts and cinnamon. Pretty easy to make, the only weird thing being the fact that I was using the popover tin/rack type thing as opposed to a muffin pan. Whatever. Well. I've got a fair amount of writing to do. I aim on a good number of new pages for one of my characters. It wouldn't be so bad to apply to a few jobs as well. So this, and a post or two after it are my jerk off time before settling into a productive morning/early afternoon. Yee haw!


I'm a jerk. I got this photograph from and it was captioned with the name of the artist who made the above sculpture/thing. Unfortunately I can't find it. This photograph made me think of the little walnut babies women made for my mother at her baby shower. Her walnut babies are Christmas ornaments and very pink.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Icosium Kafe

On Friday No Longer Wayward SAICer and I went to Icosium Kafe (at Foster and Clark) for dinner. This was a first visit for both of us but I had read rather positive reviews about the food and was looking forward to Turkish coffee. Icosium Kafe is a créperie (I think that accent's wrong) and has quite the selection of both sweet and savory crepe fillings. And most everything comes with either Chicken or vegetable soup. I went with chicken. The broth was very fine though the chicken was a little too uniformly chopped for my taste.
The coffee was exactly as I hoped...I asked for it sweet...I'm not sure that sweet is 'authentic' but that's how I like it and it was perfecto.
I ordered the Greek Crépe which was filled with tomatoes, olives, Feta cheese, hummus-like dressing, Halal Merguez (extremely tasty lamb sausage), baby spinach and maybe something else. The thing was massive. If I hadn't ordered the lamb it would have been $8.50 for the huge crepe and soup. I wonder if they make their sweet crepes a bit thinner, more dainty, or if they're as hearty as my savory crepe.
I'm totally going to go back.

Nature is Very Cool

Way back when, the boyfriend brought home a bunch of plants from the Shedd aquarium. Their time in the big leagues were over and we were their retirement home. They sat around, looking quite dead...and then...they bloomed.

Pretty, pretty orchids!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Oopsy, Pizza

At some time in the past week I decided to be more a glutton than usual. I ordered a pizza all for myself and jalapeno poppers to boot. I ordered from Barry's Spot because I had tried some of the pizza from No Longer Wayward's fridge (also supplied by Barry's) a while back and had been pleased. So I ordered a medium pizza, half pepperoni, half green olive. I was told it would be forty five minutes to an hour, so I was pretty happy when it came in closer to half an hour's time. I gave the dude a three dollar tip and we parted ways. Then I opened the pizza box and found that all the cheese and a good majority of the toppings had all slid to one side of the box/pizza. I was distressed. Actually, I wasn't. I quickly called the place and said, 'uh my pizza is broken'.
And within an acceptable amount of time the same dude came back with this pizza. He also, it turns out, was Irish and said this to me: 'To err is human, to forgive is divine'. I offered the first pizza back but he told me to keep it. The pizza itself was decent. Could have been a bit cheesier...but I think most everything could be cheesier.
The poppers were kind of silly. Not bad though. I would give this place another shot.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Reading Eats

Well, it's not rotated properly but it is a photograph of the cheese, crackers and dip supplied (mostly) by me for the reading....which, I remind you, you can listen to here.

Back Attack

My first day back at home after the dogs...which was last Monday, I think...I made myself a poor man's version of fettucini alfredo. It turned out okay but cream and quality parmesan cheese really make a difference.

Jade East Stinks

After the dog park I thought I'd order some Chinese food. Now, what I should have done was order from Yen's but instead I thought 'what the heck, I'll try somewhere new and something slightly different'. That was a mistake. I had the sesame tofu (yucky tofu, watery sauce), dumplings (overlarge, undercooked) and they threw in an egg roll (yicky). Yuck. Waste of my stomach and my money.

Farther and Farther Behind

Another day the dogs and I went to the dog park and, for once, I brought my camera. Often on the canine walks we pass the house below. A very tricked out house, old school. I like the look of it. I would live in it if it was in the country. What?

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Like

I like the songs you can listen to here. Though I am slightly ashamed that I came across it because of Perez Hilton.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Reading

Exploded Viewer did some fancy recording of the reading the other day. If you'd like to listen to me reading my piece, Maria hers or Joseph Coulson his you should go here. There are pictures and everything.

Friday, April 20, 2007


After the reading (that went pretty swimmingly I think) I gathered up a few people and brought them to the apartment where I made calzones. To read how to make these calzones for yourself, go here.


This happened before Easter. It's a shoddily (well that's a little harsh, let's say spur of the moment) reenactment of a famous sportsfigure's worst moment in the spot light.

Playing Catch Up

So I'm about one week behind in my real/blog life update. This party pictured happened last Saturday. It celebrated M. Lady, Froclicker, Miss Understood and our hostess's birthdays. There was a lovely spread of dip, cheese, guacamole and cupcakes. And a fair amount of booze as well.
It was a dress up I wore a dress and a worried expression. M. Lady wore a hot suit.
The cake looked amazing but I never actually got around to trying any of it. It was a lot of fun, I thank those who hosted/helped plan the party.

Fast Food Comparison

A chicagoist writer forwarded this into my life. It's pretty funny...if you're a food loving person...or even, actually, if you're not.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Thought You Should Know

Tonight Maria Parrott (fellow classmate and bowling ball head), Joseph Coulson (published novelist) and I are reading at Powell's North Bookstore. I will be reading an essay inspired by this event. It starts at seven. That's it.


So, one day while I was watching the dogs, their owner's cleaning lady came to get her clean on I was told she would come between 8:30 and 9. So I left the house, with dogs in tow, at 8:20. We walked around for a while then went to the dog park and returned around 10. The woman, a nice lady, was still there which wasn't surprising. So I took the dogs out to the back porch to read for a while. I assumed she'd be done in an hour, two hours tops. Well, by 2:30 I was done with my book and hungry and the woman was still there. So I left. I mean, that's a really long time to be sitting on the porch. Others have pointed out that I could easily of sat inside but I just didn't feel like being in her way or otherwise acting as if I had more right to be leisurely than her (it's not my apartment let's remember). Anyways, I went to Clarke's. I was excited by the fact that they had a smoking section. I was less excited by the torn up and cramped booth they seated me in and though my eggs were cooked fine the sausage was gross. I had a piece of pie and it was really not good gooey and not in a good way. Don't go there unless you want to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. Actually, I'm sure something on the menu is good...I'm just not going to be the one who figures it out.

A Long, Long Time Ago...I Can Still Remember

Last week Exploded Viewer's daddy-o was in town. This called for some kind of dinner. I went to Exploded Viewer's and Mousehead's apartment and we ate a lot of tasty cheese, sundried tomatoes, pork loin and broccoli. It was very nice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Something Else

So yesterday was the day I always associate with a friend of mine, Carter Waghorne, dying my junior year of high school. It was sudden and it was terrible and though time has definitely passed I still think of his death more often than once a year (by that I mean that I don't go a whole year without thinking about him and then suddenly this date pops up and I go 'oh yeah that happened' ). It was an event in my life that shaped the way I thought about friendship and tragedy and the sometimes terrible nature of life. I'd rather not make too many comparisons about what happened yesterday since that would seem rather, um, direspectful and stupid. But I did, on the train this early morning, read about some of the details of the Virginia shootings and tear up just thinking about how individuals in that specific community must be feeling and will continue to feel in the coming weeks, months and years. I can't imagine having to grieve while, simultaneously, there are a million cameras trained on your every tear, your every embrace. I have no photographs of Carter, or at least not digital ones and could find none online...the closest I could get was this photograph of the "memorial seating area" built in his honor at my high school. At the risk of embarassing myself or making anyone uncomfortable I am going to include the short piece I wrote the night I, and everyone else, learned he died. It's a bit saccharine and it's not all that great but it represents an important period in my life where, when faced with nastiness, the only thing I knew to do was write and, more importantly, I believe that, even now, it captures just a little bit of how (you know what, I don't know how to end this sentence so I'm not):

We awaited the news, on benches, in rooms, on beds, in the grass, alone, or huddled in groups, we waited, and we waited, afraid to voice what we didn't want to hear. And as we sat talking about things that weren't on our minds, working around the word death, a man walked hurriedly through our groups, with a purpose all his own, and I saw him, and knew what we didn't speak, and our conversation without meaning continued, as his presence filled my mind. And soon it came to be time to hear what none of us were ready to accept, and as we heard it, our tears came. The tears welled up, coming from so deep inside we didn't even realize we had them, after hours of denial and analyzation of the events, we were faced with the finale and reality we strived to escape. We cried, and we cried. And every new face, with their fresh tears, reminded us once more of the truth, and our tears would spring anew, with a vengeance and force surprising us all.

"I thought I was all cried out."

Memories began to fly through the air with such speed, we were afraid we wouldn't be able to fill the rooms fast enough.
He held my hand.
He hugged me when I was down.
He took showers five minutes before class.
He ran barefoot.
He always gave.
He danced.
His laugh filled a room.
He was the only person I would let sit next to me in French.
He was a friend.

"He could die, but he won't...he can't"

And as reality seeps in we go to our respective places of solace, and wait for the waves of inevitable grief to ebb. There is nothing that can make this easy, many of us have things we wish we could have said, and still more things we wish we hadn't said, and all we can hope for is that he knew this, he felt this, and that we can allow ourselves forgiveness for our discrepancies. Facing up to it is not a five hour process, nor a week process, this is something that will take time, we cannot push it aside.

"Was he in pain?"

As the thoughts go circling in my head, like so many others, I cry. I wish I could say something inspirational, uplifting, and strong, but what can I say to soften an absence like this? I will miss him, and his funny little jokes, and odd spontaneous actions. I will remember his smile, his voice, his presence, his love of music, and his love of people. I haven't taken it in yet, the finality of it all, it was too soon, and none of us were prepared. And all we can do is be there for each other, hug each other, look out for each other, let the emotions come, let the feelings out. Mourn in whatever way is best for you, go to a friend, or go on a walk by yourself, do what's right for you, take a big breath and remember.

All I can say is that Carter will be missed. He was loved, and we can never forget all he gave to us, and all he had left to give.

"I wasn't ready for him to go."

Two Things

I just like this.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Chicky Baby

I've been hanging out with the dogs and I think my first or second night there I made myself chicken drumsticks marinated in a bit of everything, baked and then broiled for a little crispyness.

Lunch At M. Henry

Josie and The Pussycats enjoyed their breakfast at M. Henry so much that before they left on Wednesday the went back (and I came with them) for lunch. I like the food there but perhaps not as much as they did. Everything sounds and looks good and tastes not bad but there's a little something missing from making the food really compelling. This time around I had the vegetarian chili that I would classify as more of a black bean soup.
And I had the grilled cheese with tomato and bacon...along with Asian slaw.

The Quest

Last Tuesday I gave Beef and Brandy's fried egg sandwich a shot at greatness. In way it lived up to it. Though it wasn't entirely fair...I asked for my eggs fried or scrambled...and it wasn't entirely cheap. I'm pretty sure it was the most expensive sandwich thus far. It was good though.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Being A Glutton For Oysters Is A Wonderful Thing

So the high school friend (who from here on out I will refer to as "Josie") and her boyfriend (who will forever more be referred to as "The Pussycats") are lovers of oysters in a similarly obsessive way as myself. So it seemed like their last night in Chicago should include a few. So we went to Fulton's and sat at the bar...where we learned they had a happy hour special on their seasonal varieties of oysters (a buck per oyster!). We got a little oyster happy, me especially. Josie was interesting in trying the chicken fried steak sliders. I tried half of one and was, once again, not overly impressed by Fulton's hot food offerings.
We had Stingrays, Beau Soleils, Fanny Bays, Kusshis, Rappahonocks (sp) and a few more. I'm hoping Josie might stop by the blog and fill in the blanks...she took notes as to the ratings we gave each variety. She may not though. So, um, I forget which ones I liked and I'm ashamed.

This is me wooing the oysters, whispering sweet nothings in their slowly dying lack of ears.
And this is me eating them.