Saturday, December 24, 2005

She lives!

Oh, my goodness. I really haven't posted in a long time. Sorry. I had finals and then the holidays, and I'm realizing that the latter can be more hectic than the former when my whole family is home at the same time. It's not that it's bad or anything--it's actually quite hilarious and often farcical--but between everyone's totally different pre-Christmas agendas, the demands of our elaborate family holiday newsletter that went to press yesterday, and the insufficient transportation (the early bird gets the car), my cell phone has never blown up like this.

So before I came home to Chicago, I had a wonderful whole week of Brian visiting, during which we saw a Harold Pinter play, ate many delicious meals including one amazing one at The Red Cat in Chelsea, worked at after school, and also toiled together on two of the many pieces required for my masks and puppetry final. (Yes, I am in graduate school. Shut up.) Then he left and I was all alone, continuing the papier mache marathon, breaking only to dance it up at a weird artist collective party in Long Island City with the departing Dr. Science (sniffle). My finals finished on Monday night, after which I rushed home, packed horribly, and narrowly made it out of town just hours after the transit strike had begun.

And now I'm here, eating fudge and seeing movies ("Munich"...whoa), and getting last minute gifts for people and hanging with Abbey and Taylor and getting excited for Christmas. Oh, and my sister got my family tickets to be part of the studio audience ofWait Wait, Don't Tell Me the other night! For an NPR nerd like me, it was sooo exciting to see the faces behind the voices of Carl Kassel and Peter Sagal (Carl looks just like I pictured him, Peter does not, and both are bald), and the whole thing was hilarious. Naturally, I am now the proud owner of a large commemorative mug.

And that's about it. I love being home for winter break. I love that I have a winter break. Tomorrow's Christmas Eve and all the duties that are left are cooking and eating. Hooraaaaay!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

All things go, all things go.

Two reasons today was a great day:

1) I turned in a crapload of papers and projects and one of my classes is done (although no one really understands how much work I have left with mask making alone...); and
2) I won two out of three racquetball games with Andrew today! This might have been unprecedented. I also accidentally hit him in the temple with the ball and made his glasses fly off, but don't worry, he's fine. I think I was more freaked out than him at the incident.

Also, if you haven't listened to Sufjan Stevens before, I strongly urge you to check him out. Susie wrote about this too. He's started this 50 state project where he intends to make an album for each state, I believe. It seems like a mammoth task, but he's got two of them: Michigan and Illinois. I had to start with Illinois, of course. "Casimir Pulaski Day" has been in my head for three days. I was attracted to it because of it's title; it references a random holiday that is pretty much only observed in Chicago. But it also manages to be one of the prettiest and saddest songs ever, in a good way. It's one of those songs that makes you pretend you're listening to the soundtrack of the movie of your life. You do that too, right?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Snowy snow snow.

Hooray, my blog is back! It disappeared for a few days there and even though it didn't really delay a posting on my part, I still felt a little like my child had run away from home.

Annie and I are in the NYU library, side by side with our Macs, staring out at the snow in Washington Square Park. It's pleasant. You know what's funny? Looking at other people's iTunes over the wireless network. I just realized I could do that, and it feels just a little bit voyeuristic and therefore a little exciting. Who are you, "Ben," and why do you have so much ABBA? And my, "Claudia," that's an interesting Gym playlist. At what point in your workout do you usually listen to Coldplay?

Wow, I'm getting lots of work done.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shake it, shake it.

Greetings from the laziest blogger ever. On that note, over the weekend I helped my sister edit her paper on digital media and the "second self," and I gave what sounded like very helpful insights from the "blogger's perspective," which is just hilarious to me because my friends actually have to remind me to update my blog. Triste.

Oh well! I had a most wonderful, relaxing, and fun extended weekend (and by "extended" I mean "consisting of real, class-filled weekdays that I converted into vacation days") at home in Chicago. I ate the shit out of Thanksgiving, and then after dinner all the cousins sat around nodding off while listening to our professional jazz pianist cousin play amazing songs for us. I spent the next couple of days hanging out with my sis and my parents, roaming the neighborhood, visiting grandma and grandpa, and seeing movies you have to see with your sister, like "Pride and Prejudice." (The best part about that was when Annie leaned over to me 10 minutes into the movie--when Mr. Darcy is being handsomely difficult and Elizabeth is being lovably sassy--and whispered, "this is exactly how I wanted it to be!" Totally.)

Then Brian came home from Hong Kong on Sunday, and the fun continued, since I decided to skip classes this week and not come back to NY until Tuesday night. Woot! We did everything from seeing "The Squid and the Whale," which I definitely recommend, to having sushi with Abbey. I even went to one of his law school classes on Monday, which was quite interesting. I learned all about authenticating evidence. Law school is so different from educational theatre...

And now I'm back, trying not to think about how fun and easy it is to be at home, and facing about a week and a half of ridiculous amounts of work. But then I'm done, and I am SO ready for this semester to be over! Not that it hasn't been great, but sometimes you've just had enough of certain classes. I'm trying to be very active and zealous in my approach to my final projects...we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dinner with the other Susie in my life!

So, Susannah has made it back overseas from England, and we celebrated with our much-anticipated yummy dinner. Be sure to read about it on both of our blogs, because I always wanted to be a part of her mouthwatering accounts of the meals she has. Here's my account: She met me after class and we walked through the West Village before settling on a place called Westville. I had kale soup, Susie had grilled cheese (not just any grilled cheese-- this one had gouda and cheddar and interesting-looking bread and greens), and we split this "market vegetable" thing, where we got to choose four different veggie sides--through a very egalitarian, football draft-like process--that were all amazing: beets with walnuts, spaghetti squash with nutmeg, artichoke hearts with parmesan, and snow peas with sesame and ginger. Afterwards, feeling very healthy and veggie-riffic, we went to Cafe Angelique and had fancy coffee drinks and the biggest slice of french mousse cake ever. We caught up on our lives since we both left Ann Arbor and went various places (England, Chicago, New York)--or rather, we filled in the blanks, since we already know so much from stalking each other on our blogs. I hadn't realized how long it had been since we'd seen each other. Thanks for calling me Susie, it was the perfect end to an otherwise boring weekday!

While we were enjoying ourselves at dinner, I was able to ignore my nagging cold symptoms...but now, not so much. I went to bed with a sore throat and woke up with a slightly worse one. However, I feel it could go either way here. It's one of those times where I know that by the end of the day I'll feel way better or way worse. We shall see--the morning's always the worst, right?

Monday, November 14, 2005


I feel like all I want to do is be asleep, but I haven't been able to wind down yet. Today was a really intense day, for so many ridiculous reasons. For one, Mondays are always stressful this semester, because I have classes that go late at night, and usually I have something due. And I don't get to eat in between, and anyone who knows me knows that I don't do well when not fed.

But today was hard for lots of other reasons too. I got up in a good mood, well-rested, and decided to do some research on the courses I need to register for tomorrow and other things like scholarships and financial aid. I felt really on top of things until, after about six different phone calls, I discovered that in order to keep my scholarship, I'm going to have to take more credits than I was planning to, which affects how soon I finish my program, which affects where I go and what I do next year, which affects Brian's possible plans, which also affect me, and so on. On top of that, I realized that I'm one credit short of the requirement for this semester, which I think might be solved, but I had to scramble to fix that problem too. It's not that I was greatly saddened by the news or anything, it just really shook up my worldview with a whole bunch of new things to consider.

On the way to the train, while carrying many things and trying to eat a sandwich, I bit my lip so hard that it hurt my teeth. That was just the icing on the cake, because I was already harried due to the many places I had to go: First I had to go to work for a meeting that I was late for, then I rushed to NYU to rehearse a scene that I absolutely hatehateHATE and think is horrible and annoying, then went to mask class (for which I had to carry two heavy bags and a large piece of cardboard on many subways), then I had to go to class and perform the scene that I hatehateHATE, but which fortunately wasn't quite as horrible and annoying as it had been. I have subsequently bit my lip about seven times since the first overwhelmingly painful encounter, but at least class is over. (I apologize if that was tedious to read...but it was a tedious day. What can I do?)

Here are things that make me happy:

- I had an awesome weekend, spent mainly at a staff development retreat with my coworkers. We went to a summer camp place upstate, where we did ropes courses and other activities while bonding and finding each other hilarious. Seriously, everyone should get to work for people as supportive as that.

- I began to build a giant pig head today in my masks and puppetry class.

- I got my ticket home for Thanksgiving. 10 days till pie.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pretty paintings and yummy cupcakes.

Tuesday was Annie's birthday, and consequently a very fun New York day for me. It's so easy to get into a routine of school and work, and not make time for the things I should really be experiencing while I live here. The main part of the day--before the party at night--included a visit to the Met to see the exhibit of her fave Renaissance master, Fra Angelico. It's gorgeous, and even better when you see it with someone who studied him and lived a block from his monastery in Florence, so can therefore explain all the nuances, narratives, and symbolic meanings, as well as provide explanations for why certain saints are always shown with knives in their foreheads, and other fun facts. It was great.

And despite her best efforts to thwart our plans, in the evening we pulled off a little suprise gathering at Beauty Bar, at which we had cosmos and cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery. Brendan and I then whisked her to a fashionably late dinner at August in the West Village, which was deeeelicious. (Schutt, this is for you: I had an amazing Portuguese bean soup with chorizo and veggies, Brendan had tarte flambe, Annie had butternut squash and roasted garlic pizza, and we all had apple strudel for dessert.)

It was an early night, but don't feel bad for my birthday girl sister. We didn't go home early because it was a school night, or because she had to work the next morning. No no, the festivities ended early because they were GOING TO ITALY FOR ELEVEN DAYS TODAY. That's right, the Met exhibit was just a little whiff of the incredible art they're going to see for the next week and a half, and the nice dinner was just a whisper of the ridiculous cuisine they'll be enjoying. And I'm not jealous, nooooo sir-ee! Love it. Love. it.

But speaking of lovely experiences, I got to go to a beautiful wedding at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago over the weekend. Yes, aren't we fancy? It was soo pretty, I've always wanted to see what it would be like to dine and dance among contemporary painting/photos/sculpture/installations, which in our case was a gigantic, wildly colorful collage mural covering the wall above our table for the Brazilian "Tropicalia" exhibit. Awesome!

Why am I still awake at 2am? What am I, in college or something?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rock Lobsters make the best dancers.

It's all about the claws.

Peter Pan (me) and Elvis and Priscilla Lobsters (Annie and Brendan) in the midst of Halloween revelrie last night.

Halloween is fun. Also, Hail to the Victors.

Soon I will post pictures of my various Halloween experiences. All I'll say is that Brian was a perfect Tinkerbell to my Peter Pan, and vice versa. He looks hot in satin and tulle, and I rocked the green tights. Also, last night my Monday class got out at 9pm and I found myself right in the absolute middle of West Village Halloween Parade madness. And it was definitely madness...too bad I couldn't capture any of it with my teensy camera phone.

More when the pictures arrive (ahem, to a certain someone who dates my sister).

As for the rest of my weekend, Michigan beat Northwestern. I was there with a bunch of NU people...that's right, Brian and I are on opposite sides of that rivalry. We went to a tailgate before that was quite fun--thankfully it was a night game. It's too bad the Wildcat fans in the group were all sad after their loss, but I had a great time watching my team win. Fortunately, there were also tons of UM fans in the stands with us, and definitely a guy with a cowbell right behind us (do-do-do-do-do-GO BLUE!). Gotta love the cowbell.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Almost famous.

Hooray, Brendan got an agent for his novel! Who knows where it will take him next, but as he put it, it might be the happiest he will be during the whole process, so it was reason to celebrate. To do that, I stopped at Beauty Bar last night (where he DJs from 6-11pm on Tuesdays, anyone in NYC!), gave him a gift of his favorite candy bar, and had a pint of Pumpkinhead ale. And it really tasted like pumpkin. It was strange.

My weekend was fun...strangely it's almost the weekend again in my mind, since it's Wednesday. Brian was in town after three endless weeks, and we managed to go to my after school program (he runs a mean game of Simon Says, lemme tell ya, got me almost every time), go to clandestine sake bars with my roomies, visit his friends, hit a hot club, play racquetball (yes, I lost this time, shut up), and see Capote, all before he became deathly ill with the "little bug" I had when he arrived. Apparently the weird stomach pains and feverish feelings I was having on Friday were contagious, and they hit him ten times as hard. Poor guy! I felt bad, but we did have a good time before he became bedridden.

Now I have to plan fun activities for the kids today and look for a Halloween costume.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Forgive me Susie, for I have sinned.

Yesterday I committed a cardinal sin of roommatedom. I mailed the Netflix disc back before Susie was done watching it. And it was Six Feet Under. Oops. I actually realized it a few steps from the mailbox, turned around, went back and stared at the blue box as if there were some way I could retrieve it. I even checked Blockbuster later on, just in case. The final episode was just that good.

Aaaanyway, my parents were in town this weekend, which was lots of fun. I showed them my place and my neighborhood, we walked all over Brooklyn, went to the NY Transit Museum (check it out!), we met my sister's boyfriend's parents (which could have been deathly awkward but was great), ate some yummy food, and caught some sketch comedy. It was so nice to see them. I didn't realize how much I miss living three blocks away from them like I did until just a few months ago.

In other news, I'm plugging away (and by "plugging away" I mean "posting on my blog instead of working") at my latest lesson plan, that I have to present in class today. I am sooooo going to Beauty Bar after class.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


So we got a new couch, which is super comfortable and very pretty. And since Josh is somewhat of a spatial genius, he rearranged our entire living/dining room space while none of us was home today, and the results were miraculous. He found space that I could have sworn was not there before, and visual arrangements that we would never have thought of...this little nester says thank you!


Monday, October 10, 2005

Remember when I beat Brian in racquetball?

Oh my goodness, I spent so much time watching Six Feet Under this weekend it's embarassing. But it was raining, a whole lot, and I was two discs behind my roommate. Hmph!

So Susie S., who I love, who lives in England, and whose blog I read with great frequency, has instituted this system where she lists five songs that she's listening to and enjoying a lot lately on her blog, then "tags" five other people for them to do the same on her blog. And she tagged ME, and I'm ever so flattered. So here goes, they're in no particular order:

1. Your Ex-Lover is Dead, Stars
2. Calendar Girl, Stars
3. Te Regalo, Carlos Baute
4. 10 $, M.I.A.
5. ...and I need a little more time to think of the other, I'm drawing a blank.

I'm going to tag people now, it doesn't matter what kind of songs they are. And if you don't want to do this, then seriously don't worry about it, nobody's pressuring anybody here. And if you don't have a blog and do want to do it, just put it in my comments section. Then I'll feel special. Tag: Brian, Brittnye, Graham, ATF, Max, Annie (does she even know I have a blog?), Brendan. Ready, go.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hear ye, hear ye...

It's a few days late, but it must be said:

Yours truly BEAT Brian two games out of three in an intense racquetball session over the weekend. It might seem over the top to announce it on my blog, but you must understand how unprecedented it is. I wish I had a victory photo. Alas.

Anyway, the weekend was fantastic, of course. I had class for a big chunk of the time, but luckily my sister and her boyfriend generously kept Brian entertained and plied with interesting drinks for many hours at Brendan's restaurant, The Modern. And when I was not in class, we had fun. We walked in Central Park on what was possibly the most beautiful day of the year, and walked around much of lower Manhattan as well. Oh, and we had wine and cheese. (And in the process tasted the stinkiest cheese ever. Don't get me wrong, I loves me some cheese, but this was stinky on soooo many levels.) Sunday we saw this great exhibit at the Met about photography from the turn of the century that attempted to prove the existence of ghosts and other spiritual phenomena by capturing them on film (or pretending to, depending). I recommend it. And did you know that there is a phenomenal rooftop garden at the Met, with sculptures and a breathtaking view of the city? I did not.

So this weekend I'll have some free time (!) since my work has finally slowed down, and I'm hoping to do some more city exploration on my own. I feel like I've fallen into a definite routine, but there's so much more to see and do that it's mind boggling. And exciting.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Funny how when I'm at my busiest I find the most time to post...

My mother ran a half-marathon today, which is a goal she's been training for for a while now. I'm so proud of her, and she came in 5th in her age group! The best part was her method of motivation during the race: she said that, in order to keep herself going, she decided to think about a member of her family for each mile she ran. She essentially meditated on each person's personality, strengths, unique characteristics, and contribution to the family for the entirety of a mile, and then moved on to another person. She had plenty to occupy her thoughts, and she looked forward to every new mile. Is that a great thing to do or what?! My mom is such an inspiration.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


So I got through another week, and in this particular week the stakes were much higher due to the fact that I started my job. The first couple of days were just okay (not disasters at all, but not what I was hoping for), and were generally characterized by craziness, confusion, and what seemed to me like wasted time. But Friday, oh Friday was one of those times, so few and far between, where I left school with a big dumb grin on my face, thinking "oh, learning!" I worked with the very very little ones, and we had fun drawing creatures in the forest and reading Where the Wild Things Are, and then I got to work with the best 3rd grade ever, a group of kids that was crazy and loud, but committed to learning new things, and actually helping each other be creative and improve. Like, whaaa...?? I was able to let go, and let their momentum dictate what we were doing next, which is a really big deal for someone like me who finds comfort in outlines. And then I got to go to class all weekend which (besides the fact that it was annoying cause it was class on the weekend) was great, because I got to reflect about the stuff I do, and do fun drama activities.

So that is the exciting stuff that's going on. Other than that, for me the "City That Never Sleeps" is becoming the "City That Never Sleeps Because It Has So Damn Much Homework." Seriously, I have no idea what fun stuff is going on in this gigantic, culture-filled metropolis, because right now my world consists of the space between my apartment and the laundromat. It's Saturday and the most exciting thing I did tonight was make a cup of green tea in a nifty electric tea kettle.

But one of the reasons I'm doing all this is because Brian is visiting again next weekend! Can you believe it? Neither can I!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My head is spinning!

Actually, I feel much more relaxed than the past couple of days, which might not be saying much. The other night I went to bed fully aware that I was going to have anxiety dreams about class and work and my new job, and sure enough, I woke up freaked out that my acting/directing teacher was shaking her head disapprovingly at the way I had handled my first day with the kids at the after school program. I guess it's always like this at the beginning of a semester, but I feel like the work is just piling on, accompanied by anxiety about lots of little stuff. I start my job at after school today, and I think my desire to be dazzlingly fun is actually the most nervewracking thing for me right now. That, and the fact that in one of my classes I have to direct and act in a scene from a play that I don't feel like I understand very well. I thought coming up with a directorial "analysis" and "concept" was a strength of mine...maybe not so much. Normally I can sort of see it playing out in my head while I read it and in this case it just seemed so awkward. Unfortunate! Oh well, I guess this is what "challenging myself" should feel like. Right?

On a lighter note, the things I'm doing are incredibly exciting. I feel like I've learned so much already, and I really do look at most of my work as a good way to improve. I read faster than I used to, work more efficiently, and last night, I slept quite soundly.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

You can take the boy out of the city...

What is that he's carrying?

In case you don't know, this is Brian, and he is indeed sporting a very hip messenger bag, or "manpurse" as he calls them. He pretends that he doesn't like them, but he wore it well and he knew it, despite his weak protests.

Brian came to visit this weekend, and was finally able to see our place and everything. We made all kinds of lofty plans, but did very few of them, instead spending time walking around, eating tons of cheese and other great food, lunching in Central Park, running around Astoria, going out with my sister and staying out waaay too late and getting up waay too early, and going to a mod-themed party. He comes back in two weeks (actually, ten days), so maybe then we'll actually do some of our planned activities (the Met, a play, etc.), but maybe not. It really doesn't matter cause it was all ridiculously fun anyway. I mean seriously, we had text messaging races and they were tremendously entertaining. Who is this boy? Where did I find him?

Too bad I have a crapload of work to do. Still, it's exciting work. I spent six hours in a class today and I enjoyed pretty much all of it. I think that's a good sign. After class I went straight to the Upper West Side--which is very pretty--and saw a production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by my Masks and Puppetry professor. His company, the Mettawee River Theatre Company, does amazing mask and puppetry work--incredibly artful and beautiful--and this performance, held outdoors at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (since when does Manhattan have ginormous European churches?) was really, really cool. I felt very productive and enlightened, and then I read about directing while sipping coffee on the bus ride home.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I have been a tremendous slacker when it comes to this little blog thing, and I apologize to those who care. There do happen to be a few of those individuals, who chastised me more than once about my lack of blog updates in the past few days, which made me feel special. Thank you, Brian and Susie S.

So, for the sake of being up-to-date, rewind about a week. I went to Chicago again, to see my dear friend Sara get married. It was lovely and fun...and crazy to watch. It was definitely the first wedding of a friend of mine, which is a bit of a trip, you know? I got to participate by doing a reading during the ceremony, which I really enjoyed because it felt like I was able to contribute something personal. It was an exhausting weekend, because we did the whole shebang, from a group manicure-and-mimosas session to the rehearsal to the whole big day itself. It was fun and I just found out that yet another friend of mine got engaged, so there's plenty more where that came from! Crazy!

So then on Monday morning I came back. Back to a new routine and lots of reading and a job to start soon and many many things to write in my very high-school-like, very not electronic planner.

Monday, September 05, 2005


I returned to New York this morning after a refreshingly wonderful long weekend home in Chicago. Even though my flight was early in the morning, even though I had to get on a crowded bus to get home from the airport, even though I really didn't want to leave Chicago, I was in good spirits. I arrived during the most beautiful weather possible, and the city simply sparkled for the four days I was there. I spent lots of time with my extended family, all in town for our uncle's gigantic 50th birthday bash. As for the various family get-togethers, let's just say: lots of food, open bar, loud loud aunts and uncles, partying with cousins, irish dancing, and many scandalous stories about my father's bachelor youngest brother's youth and not-so-distant past. It was a blast, especially since we're never ever all in town at once. I also got to spend tons of time with Brian, see his swank new apartment, and party at their housewarming. He came along to be entertained by my family festivities too, and charmed the hell out of my relatives.

Most of my cheerful mood this morning, however is probably due to the fact that I get to go back in 1.5 days. That's right, I went home for a family celebration this weekend, and I have to go back this weekend for my FIRST friend wedding ever. I can't believe one of us is getting married.

It seems silly that I didn't just stay straight through the week though, doesn't it? Problem is, I had to do this whole "first day of grad school" thing in between, and there was really no way of avoiding it. But let me tell you, if I show up there tomorrow and get anything less than a stellar lecture, if I get any of that here's-the-syllabus-now-go-home shit that I absolutely loved in college, I will be sorely upset. Because this is grad school, people. We have done the whole "job" thing (even if we knew it was just a short prelude to more school). We are living in an area far removed from campus and paying too much in rent. We are not bringing in much money at all now, and shelling out a lot of it. We are visiting our school's financial aid web page frequently. And we could have just had one plane ticket for a straight week and a half at home, but we came back because it seemed important, because in grad school the first class of the semester is always a full session, no exceptions. Right?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Damn technology.

Ummmm...yes. So I'm exhausted and I've been home for nearly two hours after a super long day, yet I'm sitting cross-legged in my room with my back starting to cramp up, wide awake for no good reason at 2:17am, staring at a screen.

Hooray, hooray, for our very own newly-installed wireless internet!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Trains, planes, boats, and the Chinatown Bus.

I feel like I've been such a blog slacker, but we got internet installed today, so hopefully that will all change. Still, it's been long enough that I think I need to do a few updates.

Recent events, in order of occurrence:

Dad and Marg win!

Hooraaaaaay, first place! Best Daddy-Daughter race ever! Besides the race, I got to hang with my parents, Annie, Brendan, and Dan and Cedar, who are the hippest cousins ever and have a swank new condo.

Soon after being in Boston for the race, I hopped a flight to San Francisco...wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. So I get off the plane after a 6-hour flight and Brian is there to meet me. If that's not great enough, he soon hands me a piece of paper with a map on it and directions to an address downtown. He was working the next day, so he instructed me to go to the address at 11am and tell them my name. When I got there it turned out to be a spa and he had surprised me with a massage appointment! Whaaaaa...?!! I mean, really. Don't forget, the last time I saw him he organized a surprise birthday party, so pretty much all of my friends want to marry him at this point. Anyway, the entire week was lovely, not because of the surprise spa thing but because we actually got to spend time together after a ridiculous five weeks apart. The week was filled with really good meals and pretty sights, and I would have been completely devastated to leave if it weren't for the fact that I was going to be in Chicago only a week and a half later. Woot!

Now it's back to NYC and all that, getting settled, for realz. Our final roommate moved in last night! That's right, Graham arrived from Michigan around 9:30pm (and unloaded a ridiculously small amount of stuff, compared to what the rest of us brought). This morning he and I rocked out to Spanish pop in the living room. It's so nice to have him here. Also, Abbey was in town and brightened all of our lives for a few short days (and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Reefs was reunited at last).

And oh, oh, oh! I think I got a job! It's not official, but I might now have a part time position as the activities specialist (though I prefer "activities guru") at an after-school program in Brooklyn. Basically I get to decide what's fun and do it. Word. More on that as it progresses, but many thanks to the Borkins for facilitating that one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Here are some cool things going on in my life:

1. Five days until San Francisco!

2. Andrew is back in NYC! He and Susie and I played around the Village and Lower East Side yesterday. Our afternoon included a yummy vegetarian lunch at Red Bamboo, a rather long walk to find a missing backpack, a very early and extrememly inexpensive happy hour, and McFlurries. It's so exciting to have him here, and to hear about his crazy summer as a Marine chaplain.

3. I finished my first grad school class by turning in my final paper yesterday. That was exciting, and I felt like I did a pretty good job and learned a lot. Hooray.

4. I got a carpet for my room! That's really only exciting to a few people, but it's really nice that that complicated quest is over.

Now for the next month, I get to row in a race with my father, go visit Brian (holy crap, it will have been five weeks without seeing each other by the time I get there--I am soooooooo excited), and then go home for a wacky family reunion in the form of my uncle's 50th birthday, all before classes begin after Labor Day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Take this train.

I just checked my blog to see if it had been updated. As if someone else might have done it.

Anyway, things are trucking along...I've been going to class and reading about research methods. I've been hanging out with lovely people like Zachary and Dr. Science and my sister and her boyfriend, Brendan. I've given directions to people on the subway and street. That's exciting, though I'm convinced it may have more to do with my midwestern approachability than anything that makes me look like a New Yorker. Oh, and I got hit on the head (painfully, but not at all seriously) on the subway late the other night, on purpose, by one of a group of obnoxious teenage specimens. That was awesome. It was one of the most humiliating and infuriating experiences of my life (and I blubbered about it for a while afterwards--poor Brian who answered the phone to a sniffling, sobbing me). But if that's the case, things could be a lot worse. I swore I would get angry at anyone who laughed when I told them the story, but I find myself laughing with them now...

Oh, and I registered for classes. That was exciting and nerve-wracking. So I'm all set. My saintly father arrives this weekend with all our stuff and we begin the final phase of the move.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Time Out!

I'm sitting across from my sister, who is all gussied up and fancy to go out tonight, and she's reading all sorts of potential cool and exciting things we could do this weekend from TimeOutNY, like a million different activities and festivals and shows, and I am trying not to sweat too much and my hair is everywhere and my clothes are hanging off of me all weird because of so much walking around in the heat with a really heavy awkward bag, and all I can think of is how relieved I am that I can go to bed soonish, but not until I wash the blackness of the day off of my filthy feet...

And all that sounds bad, but really it's quite good. For example:
Washington Square

This is the view from the study lounge where I spent several hours today and yesterday!

Also, here's an interesting thing!! Check out for some really interesting perspectives on media and kids. Sooo great, Cedar!

Damn hot!

I am sitting in Annie's adorable but sweltering kitchen, drinking coffee and psyching myself up for a day of work. Not the kind of work where you get paid, but the kind of work where you read for many hours and then type for many hours.

Do I have a paper and a monologue due tomorrow? Yes.

Did I arrive at 1am on Monday? Also yes.

It's not that bad, just fast-paced because the class I'm in is only for an intensive 3 weeks. It's exciting to actually, finally be doing this, and to be sitting in class and actually contributing. (Really! I raised my hand and talked yesterday and even provoked a follow-up question from the professor!) And I certainly have time for the work, it's not like I'm doing anything else except experiencing a new city, but whatever! Plenty of time for that, right?

Also: Thank goodness for Dr. Science! Man, was I happy to see him, finally!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Life updates.

So the big thing is, I'm moving to New York on Sunday. I can't even begin to address the weirdness of that transition, so I'll just leave it at that and update when I get there.

Last weekend Brian came into town for my birthday, and managed to plan and pull off a complete surprise birthday dinner for me, even when he did all the planning from way out in San Francisco. He even got my high school friends there! It was SO much fun, and I just kept looking at him in disbelief the whole night. The best part was that I never suspected a thing, even when I knew he had talked to at least two of my friends on the phone, I just believed the crap they fed me as excuses. I love surprises!

I'm so lucky.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Almost famous.

On the way back from getting a drink around the corner, Taylor and I walked down Thomas Street (the block parallel to my street), because there have been all kinds of movie trucks there for the past two days. It turns out they're filming only at night, and we saw Will Farrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal rehearsing a scene for "Stranger Than Fiction." It was cool to see-- apparently Dustin Hoffman is in the film too. The presence of this kind of production is ridiculous though, they just descend on a three-block radius with like 25 massive trucks and trailers, and then they use a positively minute space where they create some sort of environment for the scenes to take place.

So it seems to be quite the movie season in Chicago these days...Abbey and I walked past a set for the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn film downtown this afternoon too. Then we walked into the Apple store and Abbey kept pretending she was Jennifer Aniston's assistant, and that she was there to buy "Jen" an iPod.

In other news, Brian comes into town in 24 hours, and I couldn't be more excited.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

There's even a solarium.

Holy crap, we found an apartment in New York. More importantly, the owners of that apartment let us have it!

Considering all the possibilities, our search was relatively short and painless. Except for all the pain, and by that I mean the 95-degree weather with 100% humidity, and my constant anxiety. But it's all done now, and we will be living in a charming, well-located place in Astoria. More to come later.

I will now be regressing and moving in with my parents for a couple of weeks. Thank god.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My trip.

So I had pretty spotty internet access, AND I was enjoying the lovely California sights, so I neglected to post travel updates as they happened. Oh well.

I did get some cool pictures though, so those will follow...

PCH beautiful vista #1 of 1000
Originally uploaded by Margusie.

After leaving L.A. and getting on Highway 1, we saw a whole lotta this, which is freaking amazing to prairie-raised midwesterners like us. You know what ELSE is amazing to us?

Originally uploaded by Margusie.

Seals!!! That's right, I think we saw this after we left Santa Barbara, but maybe just before. Either way, we just pulled over to what looked like a beautiful place to see the ocean, and what do we encounter? About 50 elephant seals on the beach. The males were actually fighting to gain access to the females for mating, while the lady seals just sunned themselves lazily on the beach.

Originally uploaded by Margusie.

Freakin' SEALS, man!!

After all this excitement, we drove from Santa Barbara to Monterey, rode bikes, saw more seals and ocean (neither of which EVER get old), ate as many crepes as possible, then drove to our final destination: the Bay Area. Too bad we both had to go back to reality. Those 10 days were damn near perfect.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Death by Peacock

Death by Peacock
Originally uploaded by Margusie.
I may or may not have been attacked by this peacock just seconds after this photo was taken.

San Diego was lovely. We visited the zoo and Balboa Park, saw some very large aircraft carriers, explored the beach in La Jolla, and hung out with my dear friend Erica.

Now we're in L.A. We were planning on just driving through, but Santa Monica was really nice, so we decided to stay a night. Contrary to what everyone ever has said, I really dig L.A. so far. On top of everything, we got to stay for free in a ridiculously beautiful hotel, which is a long story, but my dad is here on business so we lucked out, big time! Last night we ate at Eurochow, a place that looks like it sounds. I think the most notable culinary delight of the evening, however, were the $1 homemade ice cream-cookie sandwiches at Didi Riese in Westwood. Wtf?!! Why isn't this everywhere?

We're going to the beach now.

Originally uploaded by Margusie.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

California looks like my kitchen!

You may remember (or not), that yours truly was supposed to be in California as of this morning. Tragically, I am not. Before I explain, however, I just have to put this out there: did YOU know that United flies out of any Chicago airport other than O'Hare? No, that's right, you didn't. Thank you.

FYI, for the last month, the annoyingly-marketed "Ted" (as IF I want the lame United Junior airline to pretend it's my "friend") has been flying out of Midway Airport. But neither of us knew that until, of course, we were at O'Hare at 5:30 am. Thank goodness for my father, who saved our lives by chauffering and feeding us throughout the harrowing beginning of this ordeal, and for Brian's parents, who helped us immensely when we were getting new flights. Long story short, after waiting two more hours we discovered that we are not cool enough to merit standby, so we thumbed our noses, went home, and got tickets to San Diego on Southwest. We love them.

So the hopefully exciting stories that will come out of this trip have yet to begin. Our plans changed--for the better, we're convinced--because we're now starting in San Diego instead of trying to get there and back from the Bay area. I'll post pictures and news soon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


My new computer is so so soooo pretty.

I'm going to look at it more now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Everybody just keeps trying to feed me...

Today is supposed to be my last day at work. I should be free right now.

So what the crap am I still doing here?

Eh, well. I guess I can't complain-- lunch on the bosses, well-wishers, it's not a bad distraction from the horrifically boring task of sorting through my millions of computer files...I'm going to miss these people, they're ridiculously nice.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


This is an image from Postsecret. Go there if you haven't already, it's an incredible idea.

Por fin!

Today is my last full day of work, meaning it's the last day I will have to go to both of my jobs in one day. Tomorrow "all" I have is a sure-to-be chaotic field trip, for which we will ferry 65 screaming children to Navy Pier. At least my mom is coming with. Then next week I have two short days at the hospital, which I plan to spend cleaning out my office (and by cleaning I mean absconding with office supplies), deleting all evidence of my copious web activity from the computer, happily handing other people my files, and getting taken out to lunch.

One of the last things I had to do at the hospital was complete a self-evaluation for my boss, a terrible exercise for which I had to balance my perceptions of their perceptions of how I was as an employee with what I know to be reality. (For example, they think I was busy much of the time, I know that really wasn't the case. Same with my punctuality. No one really noticed that I was usually late to work, but that doesn't mean I can be sure that they would say I "consistently exceeded expectations" in that category.) I had to make sure to give myself a good score, but not too good. I'm not too worried-- I know I did a pretty good job, and besides, I'm convinced that my boss thinks I'm great simply because I find her hilarious (I do), and our meetings have always consisted of at least an extra hour of her storytelling. Ahhh...I'll miss this place. But only a little.

It's my last full day of work and the sun is shining!

So, who wants to get a drink with me tonight?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nothing much.

Seriously, anyone know where I could get my shine fixed?

I haven't had the drive to post anything super edgy lately, in case anyone hasn't noticed...

Here are some little things that are making today very nice:

1. Pushing the snooze button 4 times, then resetting the alarm for 20 more minutes.
2. Warm weather, even if it rains.
3. Pretty pictures here.
4. Realizing I only have 8 days left of work.
5. Planning for a trip to California and Baja!!
6. Two words: Mango smoothie.

Monday, May 16, 2005

T minus 14 days.

Yikes! I haven't posted in a while.

Last weekend was fantastically fun-- we spent it running around New York. My sister once again secured her title as the Best Host Ever. She not only let us stay in her lovely apartment and cooked us more than one fantastic meal, but she had a spread of cheese, fruit, and wine waiting for us upon our arrival. At midnight. Brian just about passed out. Anyway, we had tons of fun, saw my friends and his friends, the new MoMA (beautiful), my soon-to-be new school, and pretty much ate the whole time. The mark of a great weekend.

Brewin' it up in Union Square...

This weekend was normal and fun, though I'm ready for it to be consistently warm. Yar. The good news is, TODAY begins my second to last week of work. And we all know the last week doesn't count, so basically this is my last week! Crap, I'm late for work.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Good times.

Oh, that wacky East Quad! SO much time spent there (and as a slacker employee in the Benz Library), I do miss it so...

Thanks to ATF for the article!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fix up, look sharp.

Let it be known that the drama subsided (in my head) about 15 minutes after that last post. It must have helped! Hooray for blogs.

I feel like it's the weekend, as I do every day that I don't have to work at the after-school program. It's not that it's a bad job at all--it's actually quite fun, and when I'm not there I do miss the kids (most of them), but a one-day break from the mental and physical energy needed to do that job is like a tropical vacation sometimes.

That's all, really. No great theme today (as if there ever is). I'm reading A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and liking it. I like it so much, in fact, that I read it for a bit too long at my desk today. Why is that so much more naughty than reading a million blogs on the internet? I don't know.

Also, we're going to see Dizzee Rascal this weekend at the Double Door. Hooray!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hear ye, hear ye.

It's been a while since I forgot something that I definitely, completely should have remembered, that someone else was depending on, but as of today let it be known that:

I am sometimes a stupid asshole.

Let it also be known that I am sometimes very dramatic, but it kills me when I forget something (something little and, to some people, trivial, but nevertheless important to me), simply because I'm absorbed in my own silly thoughts.

Damnit. Okay, this is my attempt to get over it and move on. Let's see if it works.

Monday, April 18, 2005

A cookie is a sometimes food.

FYI: As a result of Sesame Street's new theme of healthy living, Cookie Monster will be singing a different tune...

In other, less groundbreaking news, this weekend was a lovely smorgasboard of activity. Allow me to explain:

- Friday night. Brian and I attend a ceremony for the St. Viator high school Athletic Hall of Fame, where his father's 1969 football team was being inducted. I know that any description I attempt will not do it justice. Suffice it to say that the event was held at the White Eagle banquet hall in beautiful Niles, Illinois, and if you have ever talked to me and thought that I have a Chicago accent, then you would be blown away by the voices of the people there. "I mean, ahhhnest tah gaaaaahhhhd!!" Brian was all worried that I would want to slit my wrists after spending the evening there, but I was actually thoroughly entertained. And I learned some pretty good jokes from his dad's friend. (What's Irish and stays out all night? Patio furniture! Get it?? Paddy O'Furniture? HA!) The speeches were kind of endless, but at least the drinks were free.

- Saturday night. Friday was Brian's birthday, but because of the White Eagle extravaganza, we moved celebrations to Saturday. I took him to Green Zebra for dinner, where we got a table with very little trouble and had what may have been the best meal of my life. And even though you might not care, I'm going to outline that meal for you because it was so wonderful. And because they have a menu online. And because I love how Susie S. describes all her meals on her blog.

They were all tasting portions, so we shared everything:
1. Baby mixed greens, shaved manchego, sherry-hazelnut vinaigrette
2. California inside-out roll, with fresh wasabi, citrus-coconut sauce
3. Okinawan sweet potato dumplings, fresh water chestnuts and star anise broth
4. Gnocchi that is indescribable (and not on the menu online), other than that, upon tasting it, Brian sighed and said, "I could eat this all day. Every day."
5. Root vegetable terrine, with vanilla-salsify puree and citrus vinaigrette
6. Cream puffs with three dipping sauces: caramel, pineapple-mango, and spicy hot fudge.

We practically floated home, and after our very high-brow dinner, we joined Brian's friends for a hilarious night at a decidedly low-brow bar, where (because we kept losing everyone and it was so loud we couldn't hear them anyway) he and I did funny dances all night and pretended that there was a Star Trek-style forcefield around us, protecting us from the crowd.

Not a bad couple of days.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wheeze, hack.

I've begun telling people that I've been smoking filterless Lucky Strikes for the past 50 years, because that's what the cough I have sounds like. Yesterday it started getting this intense wheezy quality to it as well, which, while really annoying for me, is at least quite dramatic. If you're going to irritate people with your incessant hacking, at least make it good so they wonder whether you have the black lung or something equally awful, and you might keel over at any time.

I'm feeling much much better than a few days ago, however. Just in time for the weekend.

Monday, April 04, 2005


"Information about time cannot be imparted in a straightforward way. Like furniture, it has to be tipped and tilted to get it through the door. If the past is a solid oak buffet whose legs must be unscrewed and whose drawers must be removed before, in an altered state, it can be upended into the entryway of our minds, then the future is a king-size waterbed that hardly stands a chance, especially if it needs to be brought up in an elevator.

Those billions who persist in perceiving time as the pursuit of the future are continually buying waterbeds that will never make it beyond the front porch or the lobby. And if man's mission is to reside in the fullness of the present, then he's got no space for the waterbed, anyhow, not even if he could lower it through a skylight."

- from Tom Robbins' Skinny Legs and All

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


The smell of the warm springtime air coming through my open office window is driving me absolutely crazy. Why on earth did I not find an excuse to skip work today?? If I don't get to go outside and play at some point, I think I might just die.

That's one of the many things I have always adored about Chicago: the beautiful smell of the air when winter is finally over. It could just be because I have positive childhood associations with it, but I think it's just the most wonderful thing. (I must confess, it's something I'm not so excited about in New York-- I know from experience that summertime air there mainly smells like garbage, though I could never put it as eloquently as my dear friend Dr. Science did, upon his arrival in NYC many months ago...)

Speaking of warm weather, we're going to the Working Bikes Cooperative this week to get Brian a bike, so we can bike everywhere! Working Bikes is an excellent organization, by the way. If you're in or around Chicago, you must needs check it out. And one of the first places we'll glide into on our bikes will be The Handlebar, obviously.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Ain't no Hershey's.

This Easter, my mother bought me a chocolate bunny, which she has done every year for as long as I can remember. Only this year, the bunny she got me is made out of very fancy chocolate. Having consumed unthinkable amounts of chocolate over the weekend, I saved my bunny to eat at work today. It was only then that I realized that the little bag that holds the bunny is tied with a lovely ribbon, and on that ribbon is a card. The card says this:

In my native southern India, I regularly indulge on the beautiful flowering plants! Bite my ear and you will be swooned to India, curry, coconut and milk chocolate. A must try for the adventurous sort!

Haut chocolat, indeed.

Me, myself, and Monday.

Today, so far:

1. Woo hoo! The Once and Future Dr. Science now ALSO has a spin-off blog! We are so the hippest.

2. Woo hoo! It's not the most freezingest day ever, in fact it's sunny!

3. Crap! (Merde!) No one but royalty can afford to fly to Paris in June, apparently!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Let's go fly a kite.

Thank heavens I'm going back to school soon, because I never want to work again. I tasted sweet, sweet freedom this week, and being dragged back to captivity might be catastrophic. But I'll try not to be too dramatic about it all.

This week I basically took two and a half days off (and Monday and Tuesday were short days too), and did whatever I wanted. Wednesday Brian and I spent hours at the gym, where he wiped the floor with me in racquetball and then I kicked his bee-hind in basketball. When do we ever have that much leisure time? We were so tired. The rest of the time I socialized, played euchre with my high school friends, hung out with my sister, read, ate meatballs, saw the grandparents, went to see Watchers play their CD release show, slept a good amount (though not enough), and watched lots of basketball.

Oh, and speaking of basketball: I am a hardcore Wolverines fan and will be until the day I die, but I just need to express my pride in my home state Illini. Amazing! Down by 15 points with four minutes left and they win by one point in overtime?!! What a phenomenal team...

Too bad I missed tonight's game because I went to see a mediocre play. Yar.

Hey, Happy Easter. I've already consumed my weight in chocolate, and my mom hasn't even given me my hollow chocolate bunny yet. Mmmm.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

My apartment smells like lilies and I love it.

It feels like I've had a pretty quiet weekend to myself, even though I wasn't by myself much of the time. After what seems like the longest week of my entire life, probably because it was leading up to CPS spring break and thus a sweet, sweet vacation from after-school this week, I almost fell asleep for the night on Friday at about 8:30. But thanks to Josh (Susie's boyfriend who's in town), I already had a ticket reserved for me for a show at the Empty Bottle, so I dragged my ass out of the house and enjoyed myself, even if I did leave around 12:30 after sort of falling asleep standing up. Hopefully everyone just thought I was really enjoying the music, which was good. Josh and Susie have had several social engagements this weekend (and Brian's out of town, which I wish would hurry up and stop), so yesterday I had a lazy afternoon. Last night I got to see a friend of mine from study abroad, Vanessa, and it was fantastic. I've literally seen her twice in the last three years, but she's such a funny, open, intelligent person, and it's one of those things where you just fall into a normal, fun conversation right away. She, Alex and I drank wine and then she and I were treated to a lovely Italian dinner at a restaurant with their childhood friends--I was the only non-DC native, strangely enough--and then had more drinks later. I fell into bed at 3am and made damn sure I slept until 11.

Sunday afternoon was as lazy as Saturday...many Sopranos episodes...and now that Josh and Susie are going out, I'm going to make some kale and white bean soup (thanks, Martha!). It's clearly nice to have some chill time, time to watch DVDs with no set time to stop, to write boring-ish life update blog posts, to wander around a bookstore and almost buy Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities (seriously, the intro was soooo interesting), to not set an alarm to wake up for anything, to think that I should use some Sunday afternoon time to vaccuum the dust water buffalo that have accumulated around our apartment and then decide not to and read Bust magazine instead. Let Spring Break 2005 begin.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


It is currently snowing, very hard, and has been since I got to work this morning. It is now 1:30 pm, and I will have to brush off my car. This after Sunday, when Sus and I took a long walk just for the sake of walking and looking at pretty people not wearing coats in the 65-degree sunshine. Oh, Chicago weather, what a rocky relationship you and I have.

Related: Chi love.

Oh, and winter's not all bad: Pretty Chicago winter photo.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Mmmmm...all that friendly cilantro garnish makes it look harmless, but it will kick your ass. Kick. Your. Ass.

Sus and I have decided to shun our five-minute-quesadilla dinner regimen, and have stepped up our cooking motivation this week to make some wicked meals. We got all excited about new recipes, and on Sunday we bought everything we need for all of them shopping trip!! If you know us and our granola bar world at all, you know this is unprecedented. Anyway, the week began with a lovely seasoned, pan-seared halibut on a bed of asparagus. So good, Sus! Then I made spicy sweet potato and coconut soup, very yummy, but spicy as hell. (I know we're both total spice wimps, but maybe we didn't need a whole tablespoon of red curry paste, hmmmm, Real Simple Magazine?) Then last night we made pecorino ravioli with walnuts and marjoram. Interestingly, the ravioli were made with fresh wonton wrappers. They made for an exceptionally thin, delicate ravioli, and no, dear sister of mine who "cooks really well" and "knows a lot about food," they were not italian potstickers. Shut up.

We are so fabulous.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Planetarium and Pulaski

Saturday night Brian and I got all fancy-fancy and went to the wedding of someone I work with. So much fun! The ceremony was at a Greek Orthodox church; we understood very little of the ceremony and had to stand for an hour, but the church was lovely. The reception was at the Adler Planetarium, in an area of the museum where the entire wall and ceiling were windows, with the most incredible view of the lake and skyline. AND, we got to learn all about stars and planets while drinking mojitos and eating yummy food. Amazing. The bride is Cuban and the groom is Greek, so the music alternated between salsa, merengue, and cha-cha that we could dance to, and many circle-centered Greek songs during which we were sort of exiled from the floor, even though I think we really could have held our own had we tried.

This afternoon, I will honor Kasimir Pulaski, the great Polish hero of the Revolutionary War. Chicago seems to be the only enlightened city that recognizes his heroism properly, by marking it with a public holiday. This means, of course, that I do not have to work at the after-school program. Thank you, General Pulaski, for all that you have done for our great nation. I will reflect on your valor and selfless contributions as I finish up disc 2 of Ali G this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I [heart] Bolivia!

Check it out.


Wow, I'm officially one of those people who can't survive on less than 6 hours of sleep a night after about 3 nights. How sad-- I've always loved my sleep, but I had entire semesters in college where I never got 6 hours at once, and I was generally fine. In fact, I did some of my best work during those times. Now that I'm an old fogey, I guess that doesn't apply anymore. Nerts.

The weekend approaches at a snail's pace...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


It's a cold, rainy/snowy Tuesday with zero sun, I have way more work and way less time to do it than I ever have at the hospital, I'm unprepared for after-school, my office is cold, and I'm hungry, but it's 10am and I feel that, while it will be fabulous eventually (thanks to Sus), it's just a bit too early to eat my taco soup.

And, almost a year ago, I was here:

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Solid as a rock...

Last week I spent time with some old, old friends, guys I've known since seventh grade and haven't seen in a long time. Come to think of it, they're probably my oldest friends, since I literally know nothing about the people I went to elementary school with, except for scattered anecdotes. Anyway, my junior high friends and I have all moved back to the neighborhoods where we grew up--they in Hyde Park, me in West Town. Over cheap drinks (and by "drinks" I mean Polynesian-looking bowl-glasses of liquor for them and deliciously bad, mouth-staining wine for me) at the Far East Kitchen, we traded stories about other folks we'd seen recently, and I also discovered they have a joint website with a couple of other junior high friends. Of course they do. I like it a lot.

In other news...a politician who's tremendously in-demand these days is Barack Obama. I like him a lot. Besides the fact that I agree with his position on many issues, he's also my friendster friend, AND we work out at the same gym, once it was at the same time. So we're buds, and I know he's a great guy, but until today, I had NO idea he had such a great campaign theme song! A friend of mine from high school works on his staff, and he sent me the song. It's still running through my head. Why doesn't everyone know the words?! Seriously, I think every serious political candidate needs one of these, don't you? How could anyone, after experiencing the beautiful lyrics and complex, weaving melody of this little ditty, NOT be moved to cast their vote right then and there?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


This is just an update post, no catchy/snarky theme, and you know what? That is o-kay.

First of all, I don't have to work at the after-school program today because it's a half day and holy crap, it's so wonderful! Not that I don't enjoy it, I just didn't ever realize how absurdly nice it is that Chicago Public Schools has a half-day every three and a half weeks, and that means a day off for me every time. I'm still at my other job, but really, it just does not matter. Also, a little while ago ate a Three Musketeers because I forgot my awesome lunch at home. Who eats Three Musketeers anymore? Still, it put me in a pretty good mood and prevented the hungry monster's resurrection.

But back to after-school. Things are sort of working themselves out. I wish I could make it more organized and effective, and only part of it is under my control. I'm working on it. Discipline is a constant battle, not because they're bad kids or because it's a strict program at all (it's not), but they need to do at least a teensy bit of homework and walk somewhat quietly in the halls. The rest of the time they can seriously just play. I have a couple of kids (one in particular) that cannot follow simple directions or sit in a seat for more than a few minutes. One girl...I just don't know what to do, because she is incredibly socially destructive and starts fights with everyone, she's academically about three grades behind, and she clearly has a very very unstable home life. While she's threatening to hit kids and walking all over the place and defying every possible rule, how do I reach out to her and not make her feel like there's one more authority figure that can't stand her and thinks she's a lost cause?

These are things I think about when I should be sleeping.

Anyway, I'm super psyched because, besides the extra time off today, I'm taking Brian to dinner and the theatahhhhh tonight, and the play is supposed to be outstanding. He doesn't know what it is yet (part of my mediocre effort to mimic his incredible secret-keeping ability and V-day surprises for me over the weekend), so on the off chance that he reads this today, I'll make sure to post about it more specifically later.

Here, look at some pretty pictures.

Monday, February 07, 2005


Stirring fondue.
Thirty sternos.
I'm good. No, great. Actually, perfect.
The Inner Town.
...The laugh that comes with them.
Plans for Paris.
Semi-free brunch buffet.
Running around.
Dress shirts.
Dishes in the morning.
Law school papers.
Arrested Development.
Being there Monday morning too.

(Wonderful weekend.)

Happy Birthday, Susie!

She just glows, doesn't she?

Saturday we celebrated the 24th birthday of my bestest friend and HLP (Hetero Life Partner), with a lovely fondue party. I daresay we pulled it off--both the cheese and the chocolate, in four different pots--and it went smashingly.

I've lived with this lady for the last, oh, five years. By now, we can communicate pretty much in grunts and hand signals, if necessary. Our names have been combined and used regularly by friends. I've known her from Welcome Week freshman year and throughout college (during which our brains pretty much melded together), we've gone barrelling through South America, been through two years of post-college Chicago...and thank goodness she'll be with me during this looming New York move. She's an amazing teacher, hella intelligent, an activist, a burgeoning mandolin star, the most driven person I know, hilariously funny, and the greatest friend in the world. I love you Sus!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


San Francisco at sunset.


Or is that Meriwether Lewis??

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Lookin' out for number one...

Um, yeah.

Holy crap, a weekend in California was EXACTLY what I needed. I visited my dear friends Dave, Todd, James and Zack and just generally dug the Bay Area for a long weekend. Best part? It was 60 degrees and sunny the whole damn time. We hiked in Marin County, went out in the Mission, sat in the garden, watched DVDs, danced, saw the sunset, and ate great food. I'm posting pictures.

I'm just a regular jet setter these days, huh?

Now I'm back, starting my second week of three-job wackiness. The after-school program is definitely fun, and definitely challenging. We keep running into new and more formidable hurdles, but so far there have always been little triumphs as well. Also, as Susie pointed out, I've spent about 10 cumulative hours with these kids, so I can't pretend to have any idea about how it will eventually turn out. Last Thursday was the best day ever with the kids, culminating in the most consistently bored-looking kid announcing at the end of the day, out of the blue, totally deadpan: "I had a lot of fun." I think I actually got kind of teary-eyed at that point, as I sighed, clasped my green teacher folder to my chest, and waved goodbye to them wistfully. Today was not so fabulous and I kind of hated everyone, all children, but I think that had more to do with the fact that I had a sore throat and a headache than anything else. They're really cute, and many of them hugged me when I walked in and told me how they missed me. And, although many of them were completely testing my limits today (and the new girl kind of creeped me out a lot), I still came home and eagerly went out with Sus to find fun books to read aloud to them. So it's good so far.

I'm going to pass out now.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Pantalones de Pollo

I'm eating potato and cheese pierogi for lunch, given to me randomly by my mother this morning when she gave me a ride. So they're surprise pierogi, which makes them even better. Thank heavens they're so good, because the chicken soup she also included in the lunch bag pretty much leaked all over my pants as I came into work today, attempting to balance three bags at once. So I'm smelling really nice right now.

I had a lovely, snow-filled weekend in Ann Arbor. We ate lots, bought sweatshirts like the good alums we are, and laughed nonstop with friends. I was filled with nostalgia pretty much every second I was there, but it was the good kind of nostalgia. I guess that means that, although I miss the place so much sometimes it hurts, I'm pretty happy where I am right now. Max describes that feeling much more concretely, though.

In one hour I will leave work at the hospital and head up to Logan Square for the first day of this new after-school program. I really have no idea what to expect. I'm armed with word puzzles though, so I should be golden. Right?

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Once upon a time, I was a dancing bear.

This week was nutty. Much like this costume.

So, as if the grad school thing wasn't enough of a development, I also got another job teaching in an after-school program. I'm really excited, but it definitely starts Monday and I definitely know very little about what it will actually involve. I'm going to have to change my schedule drastically. I've been craving this kind of thing though--a job that actually involves contact with other people--so I guess all I can do is just jump right in.

But getting out of town first was a good idea, I think!

Right now I'm at Susie's mom's house in Manchester, Michigan, and her yellow lab Charlie and I are watching tons of snow fall on the evergreens outside. In a little while we will drive back to Ann Arbor where our friends are, and begin our Eating Tour by hitting Flim Flam for the breakfast I've been anticipating for ever so long...It's so good to be here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

So it goes.

I'm a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut. Welcome to the Monkey House, his collection of short stories, is one of my favorite books. Have you ever read the story called "Harrison Bergeron"? The premise of the story is that the government has decided to attempt to equalize every citizen in terms of intelligence, physical strength, and talent. Those who are "average"--those who can't think of anything except in short bursts--go through little change, but those who are considered above average are made to endure different forced methods of physical and mental limitation. Highly talented ballerinas dance with weights on their legs, so that they don't dance better or leap higher than anyone else. Pretty faces are masked. And intelligent people have devices in their heads that emit loud, piercing sounds every few seconds, so that they are not physically able to sustain any one thought for an extended period of time.

I'm reminded of this story simply because I feel like I haven't been able to think of one thing for more than five minutes in the last three days. I keep forgetting about the grad school thing and then remembering, and then my stomach does a little flip (an aftershock of the giant drop that happened when I first got the acceptance) and I attempt to go about my normal business. It's crazy. And great. And crazy.

I'm off to have dinner with Abbey at Green Ginger now! Yes!

Monday, January 17, 2005

N to the Y to the...


About a month ago, I applied to grad school. This morning I got an email from the program--Educational Theatre at NYU--informing me that I had been accepted! Yes!

My stomach pretty much dropped, and I sort of spun around in my desk chair for a few moments, not knowing what to do next. Then, of course, I called my parents. Then I spun around a little more.

Oh man! It's a huge change and kind of scary, but it's exciting, because I feel like finally (!) my life has a little of the direction I've been craving for such a long time. Susie took me out to lunch and when she picked me up I skipped to the car.

I can't write much more about all of this now, since it hasn't sunk in yet.

I think I'm going to go to Ann Arbor this weekend, for the first time in a year and only about the second time since I left there for good. I miss it so much. I think the timing is perfect.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I love this picture, of my sister (right) and me in her apartment in Brooklyn. Her boyfriend took this photo, and he has a blog that I like very much.

Last night I took the bus home around 10 and walked home in the pouring rain. It was actually quite pleasant, because it was about 60 degrees outside, and I had good music going on the iPod. Still, need I remind anyone that I live in Chicago, and that it is January? Also, it's dropped about 30 degrees overnight and now it's snowing like crazy. Tomorrow's high is 18 degrees. Hooray!

Not too much else happened today, so....speaking of the weather, I think the days are getting longer again! When I left work today the sky had a beautiful pink glow, not that awful orangey-blackness I've been seeing way too much lately. This discovery made me unspeakably happy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Algonquin Roundtable, or Dorothy Parker: BFF

I had dinner at Tango Sur last night, which was excellent. As usual though, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, and after the empanadas I could barely make a dent in the main course. I'm all about it today with the leftovers, though.

Last night my dinner companion (as if I have a new one every day!) asked me what historical time period I would choose if given the option to live at any time. I love that he asks me these questions. I said maybe New York in the 1920s, although depending on my social status and other things, it might also be cool to live somewhere like Paris around the turn of the century. You know, I'm thinking really hard about places and times where intellectual life and art were in a revolution of sorts, all that good stuff. (Because of course, if I lived in the 1920s, clearly I would have been right in the middle of all of that--a frequent guest at the Algonquin Roundtable, if you will.) So then I asked him the same question, and he thought for a moment. With a smile and a twinkle in his eye, he shrugged and said simply "You know, I really enjoyed the early 90s." This is a perfect example of why, sometimes, he just charms me to death.

In other tidbits, I suppose everyone has already heard of her since she was featured in the article about bloggers being ABC's people of the year, but have you checked out the world's youngest videoblogger? Very cool. And just committing to a template scared the crap out of me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

City of Big Shovels.

This spot is currently reserved.

As anyone who knows me can attest, I'm a lifelong Chicago resident and I love the city with all my heart. Along with that love comes a fondness for its eccentric traditions. The one that's most visible this time of year--the time of snowdrifts and endless slush--is the practice of saving one's parking space once one has shoveled it out for the first time after a big snow. These parking space "reservations" are marked with combinations of castoff lawn furniture, milk crates, cones, two-by-fours, or other bizarre medium-to-large objects. This results in an impressive exhibit of found-object sculpture lining the side streets all over the city. In most neighborhoods, it is perfectly acceptable to "save" the spot for yourself in this way for indeterminate amounts of time. Seriously, it's kind of unbelievable, even for someone like me who's seen it for years. I've never done it, but I have respected it in most cases (there may be a small fear of tire-slashing involved), but after about two weeks, at least in my neighborhood, those spots tend to be fair game and the claimers are just trying to see how long the tactic will work. This practice of saving, of course, isn't allowed in other cities, but our city government and mayor just sort of look the other way.

When it comes to snow parking, anything goes here, in the City of Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher of the World, Stacker of Wheat and Milk Crates and a Wooden Board over a Nasty Lawn Chair...

Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm huge in Italy.

Or something.

I'm listening to Mirah at work, which is making my Monday morning quite a bit easier. She's so wonderful. I expect to crash in an hour or so, once the cafeteria caffeine wears off and the weirdness of my recent sleeping patterns catches up to me. What a nice weekend, though. I watched some DVDs, played nearly two hours of racquetball (which resulted in tons of endorphins as well as some extreme arm pain), booked a ticket to San Francisco, went to a party, and saw "The Life Aquatic," which I enjoyed very much and recommend, even though I still like Wes Anderson's other films better.

Phew. There, now I'm getting a little more used to the fact that I can write about my everyday life here. Last night I was talking to someone I know and admire about the fact that he loves to write, but he can't just let himself go and write a whole bunch without stopping and thinking obsessively about every little section. I told him maybe he should start a blog, even if no one knows about it. Ha. I'm exactly the same way-- I begin to analyze everything before I'm even done writing it, which makes it really difficult to actually produce anything. I think it does contribute to my enjoyment of literary analysis and editing, however. My former boyfriend wrote a lot of plays when we were together, and it worked so well because he would write stuff without thinking too much, and then I could look at it and see metaphors and connections that he couldn't, and then more ideas would come from that. I think it's also why I enjoy directing so much; I love analyzing someone's work of literature and putting my interpretation of it into every aspect of a production, from acting to sound to scenery...

But anyway. I’ve been given actual work to do for the first time in at least a month, which I’m happy about, and of course it’s only making me write more emails and read more online articles. Whatever. My silly browser hasn’t been working much in the last few hours, so I’m having trouble with that part of the post where I include something clever, you know, a snarky link that's supposed to show I’m cool and not just writing about myself? Yeah, not so much of that today.

Awww, what the hell. Everybody go make a snowflake.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Art for Social Change.

Pretty, isn't it?

Even though no one is reading this yet, I have to say something about PerformNow. It's a new website, recently created by myself and a couple of friends, and we're very excited about it. It's designed to function as an online public resource for progressive performance material. Browse the site, find plays, poems, music, or other performance ideas, or submit your own! Through this, we can begin to build an online network of progressives who are willing to use creative solutions to ignite dialogue and change.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Happy New Year, eh?

So, I figured it was time for one of my own. In fact, it's kind of hard to believe that I let so much idle desk time go by without it. Or is it? I've been happily posting on a blog with friends for many months now, and will continue to, happily. But I'm excited for this one, my own, to evolve. Let's just get past the first post, yes?