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.