exterior illumination

Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

this is a two-story reindeer that we found driving around looking at lights. i think it's the highlight of the evening (OH! no pun intended!)


benny the bull

Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i love when he divebombs the crowd

halftime ballet show

Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i didn't think you'd believe me without some kind of documentation.


Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i'm so close to the court that i could throw something and hit him. not that i would, A) i'm not violent and B) i'd get frogmarched out of there and it would probably be televised.


commercial break

went to a bulls game last night.
don't ask me how. but there will be pictures later.

in the meantime:
short films that explain who i am and what i do as a designer.
better than any sad little impotent try at this manifesto, anyway.

armin vit's stream of consciousness presented by veer
interview of milton glaser presented by hillman curtis
interview of paula scher presented by hillman curtis
interview of james victore presented by hillman curtis
the shell movies presented by the fine fellas over at madhouse


starbucks line was too long for coffee

so now is "next week" and i'm still employed, but for how long? at least friday, so that's nice. and this saturday i go back to Borders (never gave up that job, but had to leave for two weeks for Wunderman) which means working Christmas Eve. [insert deep sigh here, wondering if this is all worth my time]. i'm sure my sleepy-ness is impacting my post this morning, i just don't sleep enough and i'm somehow convinced that if i keep it up long enough i'll condition myself to only need four or five hours to run. so far... not working like i'd planned.

depending on Common to keep me all awake, which thankfully is doing the trick. him and Mike Doughty, former frontman of Soul Coughing. have we all listened to Haughy Melodic??? it's unbelievably good. like i can't stop listening to it even when i deliberately try good.

gonna go get some water.
come back later.


gonna keep on keepin on

i think that title's a quote from dazed and confused. anyway, i FINALLY got confirmation yesterday that today's my last day at Wunderman, land of the lovely monkey work and home of the marketing Titans that i absolutely love being around.

yesterday was unbearably annoying. that's an exaggeration, because i did bear it and it wasn't so bad. but it was the day of the office party, which meant every employee got some door prizes (zip up hoodie, lunch, awards party) and they set up a mini golf tournament AROUND THE OFFICE. that was awesome. one hole involved hitting the ball onto THE ELEVATOR and going upstairs. it was a par 5. but you know who didn't play? that's right. me. the freelancer. too bad i only had 90 minutes of actual work the whole day (which i kind of saw coming). on the other hand, i got paid to be there - wasn't sent home as i'd expected - so i brought in my laptop and had some of my own personal work fun. take that, par 5!

then the office had a real party and they all got smashed together. this morning there's a table of Burger King (Wunderman client) greasy breakfast to take the edge off the collective hangover, and any crankiness i had at yesterday was totally alleviated when i witnessed the Parade of Rampant Hangovers. now THAT was funny.

after listening to the confessions of last night's fun, i swung by one of the top people here to let him know today's my last day again. this guy, who i won't name, has always been someone who i secretly thought if we were the same age and in the same environment we'd totally be buddies. but since he's probably twenty years older than me and a family man, he sits in his corner office and i stop by and we just make each other laugh. he's so cool. so i stuck my head in to say goodbye, and - even though this time working at Wunderman i only talked to him twice - it was the most satisfying conversation i've had here. he was openly surprised and disappointed to see me go, and told me he was impressed while i was here and hoped to see me around again soon. and then someone was at the door so i scooted out - which worked out great, since that killed any chance for awkwardness.

just now i had to pause because an HR person stopped by to tell me COME BACK NEXT WEEK. i am still. employed.

all this and more before 11am.


still snow on the ground

yes, yes, yes it's FINALLY DECEMBER. it's finally white season. for those that don't know: in chicago there are three seasons -- mud, sun, and cold.

hmmm so last night i went to a Braddigan show back at Schubas Tavern, which was strange to be back in the same place for the same musician after what's come of it before. i didn't actually hang out with mister B this time around (my nana sighs with relief because talks with Brad lead to other countries), and it occured to me that i've just now known him for a year. in that year this blog began, and there was moving and job quitting and movies and owen and sunburns and marketing strategy and not-for-profits and many, many children. many of them stoners. many of them very sweet kids out to have a good time. case in point: last night i was the 24 year old among 19 year olds. i felt really old when the kyle working the merch booth asked me to get him a beer. "WHAT?" i yelled above the music. "ROOT BEER" he said, overemphasizing the words so i could lipread in the back of the room.

i'll be 25 in february. i feel old. but not tired old, like the good parts of old, liking what i like and who i like without wondering how it measures on the cool person's scale of cool things. standing up for myself a little more. trying to streamline who and what gets the best of my attention... i've started sketching little studio apartment layouts, anticipating my Great Imancipation which probably won't happen for six months but maybe sooner? maybe this Wunderman thing will work out in the long term. i interviewed to work on a new account yesterday, which went brilliantly. then a buddy i ran into last night at Schubas is apparently an old dear friend of one of my bosses, one that interviewed me. so who knows. i'm still tired of saying "who knows," but i feel better about it at least.

on a wholly different note, i made the cookies i was talking about a few posts ago. they turned out GREAT, so if you want some email me your address and i'll hook you up with some yummies.


record setting

i have a friend who spends half her year as an anthropologist in the Himalayas and the other half teaching at Berkley. she once made fun of me for loving four wheel drive, claiming that her moutain home was the only justifiable reason to get that kind of power in your wheels.

meanwhile, this December 8th was apparently the biggest snowfall in years. got stuck in my no-wheel-drive-machine three times.

maybe that's why it took me FOUR HOURS to DRIVE HOME tonight.

that's right. four.
one for each wheel drive i don't have.

spoonful of sugar for the bitter pill

target fell through.
my heart is broken.
now let us never speak of it again.

starting the job search fresh on sunday.
and baking Christmas cookies.
i will hibernate for a few days
and reemerge renewed.

but for now, i'm sorely disappointed.
it sounds like it would have been pretty sweet.


j'ai pensé j'ai oublié tout

there's a FRENCH guy SPEAKING FRENCH to his wife in the cubicle next to mine and i am SHOCKED at how much i understand of the conversation!

it's very mundane. he's asking her to find the keys at the house so he can go on his trip later to seattle, telling her what cabinet to open, etc. so whatever, the POINT is that i haven't studied french in about eight years and now i want to go to the Alliance Française de Chicago and take french classes. i found the AF Chicago when doing a project with AIGA Chicago and it's such a neat place. they offer cooking, language, travel groups.

anyone wanna come with?


feeling silly and altruistic

Sesame Street says:
today was brought to you by the letter R
and the number 3

Wunderman says:
today was brought to you by the songs of Modest Mouse
and the shortcut "indent to here" (shift + apple + \)


set 'em up and knock 'em down

this past weekend was a mess. it all began with trying to take a group to the museum of contemporary art... out of thirty invites, NO ONE showed. which is surprisingly very understandable when we consider the facts: it's money, it's the holiday season, it's snowing, it's cold out. moral of the story: we're rescheduling for january. it's the first fridays program, so there will be other chances unless i move again.

which is still a major possibility. i called miss Rachel at Target, and we're setting up the times for me to have a phone interview with the hiring director, who will determine when to fly me up to minneapolis for the big in person interview. already nervous. let's be honest about this. nervous nervous nervous. if this works, i'll have just about everything i'm craving right now: stability, income, apartment, city to explore. if it doesn't, well, square one is never a terrible place to be.

i'm itching to get some real work going. i'm loving Wunderman, as demonstrated, but yesterday my computer wouldn't OPEN FILES and the IT kids were down here from 8am to 2pm trying to coax it back into working condition until one was almost in tears from frustration and they looked at each other, looked at me, looked at evil grey box, and decided it was time to get me a new machine.

meanwhile, i charge six freelance billed hours to admin.
rock on.

i work on a team of three right now, i'm like the loose-ends-kid (as opposed to the Sundance Kid) and if Kawi (pronounced cow-ee) has his ducks in a row, there are no ducks for me today. i am jack's waste of space (obscure fight club reference, for those who miss it).

last weekend did have some shining moments... went out with mandy, who is the coolest person on earth. she's getting married in march, asked me to be her maid of honor, and we went out to get started on this tuxedo thing. more on that in the months to come :)


contact sheets

more reasons i'm spoiled today:
- got a ride to the EL from mom this morning
- although my wallet's gone, my security badge was easy to replace
- we share music here, and i'm listening to the Daily Show audio book
- i also listened to common, kings of leon, and gypsy kings today
- after doing the contact sheets, now i get to choose picts for layouts
- which means my job is E-A-S-Y today
- and i'm still making three times what i do at Borders

spoiled. rotten.

i'm working right now (literally, RIGHT now) with wunderman chicago, which was my first job out of college and is to date still the best paid and most stable place i've sat in front of these machines that run my life.

today i'm sitting on the fifteenth floor, overlooking michigan avenue and laughing at the kid two cubicles over who found his nerf gun was not so broken as he thought. i've been here since last monday - four days now - already i've been asked to a movie and to lunch. the people that are still here from three years ago, all of them at least act happy to see me except one guy who was a real buddy of mine before so he's freaking me out a little. but this job is so comfortable, it's such a nice change of pace. it's easy monkey work, which is why i left in the first place, but now that i've gotten that creative freedom, i realize the beauty of the mundane. i can save my creative juices for the pro bono projects at home. today at work i'm making contact sheets, which means i take pictures, make them smaller, and grid them page by page so we can print them as a reference to what's on a CD. so a CD of picts comes with an index (the contact sheet) and i'm making the sheets. dig?

part of what makes this place rock are the cubicle setups. we sit in groups of four, each person has three walls with the fourth open to the middle, and these things are like little playpens. we throw things at the other groups, and because we are typically seated by project, there are territory lines drawn and inside jokes in the playpens. in our crib, if you will. this place has the best environment EVER, which is why i fought a little to get back in here.

let's not kid ourselves though, of course i would PREFER to have a creative job over a monkey job, one where i can take the creativity to work for clients i care for - that's the collective dream of design, i'm not alone here, but at the same time we all kind of know that it's one of those pedestal dreams and the prize exists only in theory. but the possible Target job is a step closer, which is why it's so ideal. the guy at Target i need to do the final interview with gets back to the office tomorrow, so i'm not expecting to hear from him until next week. check back for details :)


my favorite family pict

my favorite family pict
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

this isn't "the" end result, but "an" end result of me taking the family photo this morning for the christmas card. the one we're going with is similar but not as fun. seated left to right: me, mike, anne, laur, jenna. there are a whole series of these, but this is my favorite by far.



Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

the picture is blurry, unfortunately, because i was trying too hard to get this content expression on jen's face (cousin-in-law sitting at the fireplace) and took the picture before the camera had a chance to focus all the way. anyway, that's our monster tree pre-ornaments, and the back of papa's lovely head in the foreground.

so the day after thanksgiving, in our family, is a hangout day but also the day to decorate the house! so we started with the tree and the famous leftovers meal. then the mass napping, THEN the boxes and boxes of snowmen, santas, nativity scenes, lights, etc etc etc

getting the garland home

getting the garland home
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

we actually tried (and achieved!) tying the, what, eight foot tree? to the top of the JETTA and got laughed at by the guys working the nursery. the garland made it to the back seat with me and my sister anne. we managed it just fine, thank you very much...

soon after i decided that if (when?) i move to minneapolis i'm gettin' me a jeep. with a rack. for to carry the big things.

morning after

Taffy Apple in her natural state
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

Taffy Apple in her natural state. the day after thanksgiving should be the national leftovers napping day. that's all there is to it.


party on Dakin

party table
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

not sure if that's how you spell it. Dakin street is a block north of sheridan and irving park, a street where a trio of wonderful men live that are the college buddies of my cousins. they all know each other from University of Illinois. if i'm downtown and it's not church-related, chances are i'm with these boys and chances are i'm not getting home until 5am.

so there was a party tonight, a tree trimming party where the attire was declared "business casual" and everyone brought ornaments to decorate the boys' tree.

bobble head collection

bobble head collection
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

of all shapes and sizes, a fireplace mantle to be proud of...

the legend of the kimme brothers

the legend of the kimme brothers
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

they have indeed hit the status of legend.

luke, i mean... the vest...

luke, i mean... the vest...
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

he claims he got it as a gag gift from a party.
we all play along, but we know better.



Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

so, tarantino's, spoken and spelled in the fashion of Quentin of Kill Bill Tarantino, is a fantastic restaurant on Armitage. had a "date" with my dad and a friend in which we met for drinks at the infamous Tiny Lounge and then wandered over to Tarantino's. this is like, one of those places that i take people when i want to show off and thought i'd share the picture.


goodness, the company

goodness, the food
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

my friends Aimee and Shonda held a Thanksgiving dress rehersal last night and it was fabulous. i haven't done a downtown dinner, like small dinner party with friends, in months. everyone brought food or wine, we had all the thanksgiving treats! eight of us sat down and shared a meal for about three hours.

it was a simple, sweet time. we decided to offer our collective martha stewart-ness to the church to plan the Christmas party, and we decided after two bottles of wine to go to africa together and work in orphanges for a week every year for the rest of our lives. these girls are fantastic. the night was fantastic.

we broke up around ten (it was a school night after all) and i ran over to Horseshoe on Lincoln and Irving Park because, get this: my cousin's--boyfriend's--sister's--ex boyfriend has a bluegrass band that plays there thursday nights. no cover! great music. got home around 12:30. no borders today, so the job hunt is back on.

in other news: possibly news on target soon.

wonderful girls

wonderful girls
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

good wine, good friends, good food

serving up pie

serving up pie
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

shonda, grace, and jenny's arm


if you say so

okay, okay. comments are back on. sheesh.


just in the nick of time

this job search thing, it's no fun. no fun at all.
until yesterday.

got a call from Target, THE Target, Target HQ in Minneapolis, and i'm going to find out this week if/when they would like to fly me up north for an interivew :) i had a phone interview last monday with a woman named Rachel who was so nice (as they are all up there. exhibit A: Design Camp). the conversation was so good that it ended with me saying, "I don't want to show you all my cards here, but i'm really excited about this."

so after all the places i've applied for full time (abbreviated list):
VSA Partners
Mobium Creative Group
Wunderman Chicago
Leo Burnett
IA Collaborative
Point B Communications
Mauge Associates
The Morton Arboretum
UR Chicago Magazine
RUSH Medical Center
Smith Design Co.
Tyndale House Publishers
Random House Publishers
Phaidon Press
Alfred Knopf Publishing
Cartoon Network

and after applying for part time jobs:
(being offered each one, thankfully i had options here)
Paper Source
Crate & Barell

the winner could finally, possibly be within reach.
this means moving to minneapolis. it means a lot of things. but like always, i'm pretty ready for the impending shift. i got really excited about it today. i was at office depot getting an accordian folder - i have one every year to keep my credit card statements, pay stubs, etc organized - and i was like, this coming year's expenses will be kept in this thing in my hand. i have the year in my hand. let's see what we do this time around. then i got VERY EXCITED

i heard on the radio that it's going to snow tonight after midnight, probably from three to six in the morning. which also has me smiling. i LOVE SNOW and i wish i still lived downtown to watch it streaming out of the sky like God doing an art project with a kindergardener who likes to pile on the glitter.


you won't even realize it's gone

because of the incessant unsolicited advertising going on in my blog comments, i've decided to remove them. we weren't getting much use out of them anyway. if you're reading this and saying, "what is she talking about?" it's because i try to delete them as soon as i see them. i find these ads repulsive and don't want anyone else to say, "oh, there's a comment! let's see what it says" only to click and see a link to, say, hair growth hormone therapy. and since none of them will give me a break, i will take one.

if anyone really, really wants the comments option back, email me and i'll turn it back on :)


state radio

state radio
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

my all-time favorite band was in town last night. owen got my sister and i on the guest list (THANK YOU, btw). the set was fantastic. chad actually had a bit of a cold, so his voice was a little more harsh than usual... maybe he doesn't realize that it's not necessarily a bad thing for their music! they played my favorite song in the encore ("keepsake") and i got to hang out with chad and the entourage afterwards - chad is one of the dispatch boys i worked for last summer. it was really great to be able to talk to him without the whole dispatch backdrop, just two people talking on the street. state radio is my favorite because it's more than music, it's a belief system i'm agreeing with. it's about promoting educated decision making and standing up for something, realizing what we have to stand up for, putting into motion the desire to do so.

this totally suits the revolutionary side of my personality.
in case you can't tell.

chad was asking how i've been since coming home from Boston and i told him that things are fine, i love being back in chicago but can't find work and started up at Borders. he suggested that i start building a niche for myself in musician websites, which i agreed would be great but secretly felt so inadequate... i'm not a web designer. that's the bottom line. i just don't know the programs to do it quickly enough to offer anyone something for money. it's like this: i can art direct, i know enough to say "make it look this way, make it do this, etc" i can talk with a programmer very well. but until i can do it, it won't be enough to go out on my own.

pretty sweet, though, to know that someone i admire thinks i'm talented.

end result: i'm starting to look at grad schools.
web, video, motion graphics, here i come.
more on this later.

state radio

state radio
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

another pict from the show.
more available on my flickr site (click on the pict to go there)


Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

zox was the opening act. they're pretty sweet too. that kid on the left is playing on an electric violin, which sounds like a guitar most of the time until he actually plays it like a concerto and it sings like you're used to a violin singing. either way, it's amazing.


major major, et al

i just saw the most amazing play. my auntie melissa has been an actress for a few years now and her plays keep getting better and better. tonight was Catch-22 at the Steep Theater. it was shattering, an arresting example of minimalist set design and precision casting. i can honestly say it was one of the best shows i have ever seen, ranked up there with seeing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in South Africa and "Agnes of God" back at Drake University.

if you can see it, GO SEE IT. Steep Theater is one of those cool places that make a person feel all cultured and in the know, a hole-in-the-wall where the play takes place three feet from the audience in folding chairs. the actors sweep up afterwards. it's like, all about the love of the game and they play the game with brilliance.


ode to halloween

twenty mintues ago:
two thirteen year olds knocked on my door
knocked so hard the knocker cracked
wore no costumes
offered no tricks nor treats
asked for handfuls of candy
were denied
took the bowl and RAN.

anyway. i ran out to walgreens and i pleaded my case to this guy, asking "do you have any big bags of candy left?" and the guy was like, "uh, if you were here yesterday" and i was like "i just TOLD you my story. they RAN OFF with everything. like JUST NOW. on HALLOWEEN. which is TODAY."

all tricks, no treats. until later, which is now, which is when i'm waiting for more costumed ankle-biters and watching Psycho on the Turner Classic Movies channel. Norman Bates rocks my world. Poltergeist is on next.

one for the money

started a job at Borders today.
it's not so bad.

i get a 33% discount (y'all are getting books for Christmas. act surprised when you get them). i spent most of the day playing with the Christmas card display, i was assigned to take them all off the shelves and put them back on in a way that looked good - very natural thing for me to do. so that's cool. all in all, i get eight hour shifts and if i were paid about three times what i am, it would be a dream job. i get to chew gum, wear jeans, and read books. this suits me very well for now.

addtitude... improving...


four parties and one church service later

yesterday was 0oooooooodles of fun
roscoe and i planned this architecture meet-and-greet for some of my boys and some of my dad's friends. i didn't even know this, but the four guys who bike with my dad are all partners and principles (and in one case a co-founder) of the architecture firms they work for! and the boys that came over were two students and three young professionals. we had cocktails and pizza and talked architecture all afternoon. it was nice and crisp, so we built a roaring fire in the fire pit and chatted about business structure / education / risks / industry trends / ADA compliance.

then we went out for halloween night... somehow everyone in chicago is more friendly in costume. i think the winner of the night was Rich in his mullet wig (impromptu costume that outdid many thought-out ones) and i was not such a winner in one of the least creative costumes in the history of costumes... trench coat, aviators, and a fedora. but Rich had everyone going when he claimed to be a hockey player during the lockout :) we hit four parties before the night was over ;)

my goodness, i didn't see the couch until 5am. then got up at 9 to go to church... i'd signed up some time ago to help with communion... plus my grandmother was in town from toledo, and i love taking her to church. it's really good bonding! and she is devastatingly sweet. afterwards i introduced her to Shonda and Aimee, and a few mintues into it she excused herself and when i looked up i saw that she was introducing herself to my pastor! so Pastor Dave got to meet Nana Helen. nana just wanted to tell him how much she enjoyed the service. she's ADORABLE.


riots in the streets

okay, okay, the white sox are suddenly after eighty-five years the best thing that's ever happened to baseball. let's move on.

i watched the game at Guthrie's with some church folks post-Bible study. which is always fun, the way that we go out for a beer after talking about faith. and the people rock, one of them is a professional saxophone player! so i went to drop off fellow artist-friend jessica afterwards, she lives down by damen and agusta, and there were people in the streets and hanging off cars and DRUNKEN MADNESS. people were screaming and lighting firecrackers and spilling out into the street. it was hilarious, other than the fact that i was in my dad's BMW and worried someone was going to try some funny business. it seems every third person sat on the hood while crossing in front of me. what can i say, they needed a break. that's a long walk across damen? right.


renee and rob

renee and rob
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

double whammy fun

blackhawks vs the minnesota wild

blackhawks vs the minnesota wild
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

sunday was great. went to church, hung out with betsy, then went to a hockey game with rob and renee who are two college friends of mine. they are so amazing because each of them are amazing, and together they're super duper double whammy amazing. our seats were in the front row of the third balcony where we could see EVERYTHING. the game was great, i forget sometimes how much i enjoy hockey. now i want season tickets. the traffic and crowd were easy too, because of that pesky baseball series that was over at Comisky Park... i got home just in time to catch that GRAND SLAM, how sweet was that?! i don't even like baseball and i was jumping up and down.

today was full and fast paced, just the antidote for my recently talked about sourpuss state. crankytime is now fading, thankfully. time to work on the manifesto.


feet on the EL

feet on the EL
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i just can't explain it. i feel amazing when i'm downtown. everything seems so much lighter and easier. i feel so free. it's where i go to, you know, do things and be somebody.



the closing remarks of every interview i've been on.
the same every time.

"you obviously have the talent, your work is diverse and original. i think you would fit in here. everything sounds great, but unfortunately we have no capacity to hire right now. we'll keep your name at the top of the list, though, because projects always pop up and we like having an arsenal of talented people."

thank you, interviewers, but more than i need compliments I NEED A JOB.
is this some kind of codespeak that i don't understand? like when someone breaking up with you says "it's not you, it's me" but what they really mean is "it IS you, jackass." is that what i'm getting here and not realizing it? i need work. i'm going to apply to crate & barrel retail this afternoon. their marketing doesn't want me, maybe their furniture department does.

any advice here would be welcome. anyone know of any design firms?



i have been ignoring this blog for way too long because lately, my attitude about life has been for crap. i think there's a very distinct point at which i started being a crank and it's when i came home from boston. i keep referring to this past summer as an absolutely wonderful deliberate de-railment of everything i had become. but the awful truth is that in exchange for a minor notoriety among a select group, i threw away some independence and, you know, adulthood that i am missing desperately right this second.

no regrets, though, still even now.
i've been and done a lot to end up empty-handed.
to quote cake: how do you afford your rock and roll lifestyle?

i've gone prodigal son (yes, i mean daughter) and left with a full pocket only to return with an empty one. and i see my mother's disappointment when she's looking at me, and it alternately makes me feel sorry for myself and resentful of her because how easy it must be to look down upon me from the golden tower of a successful life. i'm still back at that place making the decisions that are building my tower, thank you very much. the foundation is only now being laid.

i'm only twenty four years old. and yes, right now i'm a crank because i'm STILL unemployed, i owe money i don't have, i just today found new health insurance because I GOT SCAMMED BY DIRECT BENEFIT SERVICES (so humiliating). today my mother took me out and helped me find a new cellphone plan and new eyeglasses, and it was simultaneously the most generous and discouraging thing that's happened since the plane ride from boston. i feel like such a loser. sometimes it can't be helped.

the point, ultimately, of the blog was to be honest all the time about what i'm going through. right now, this is it. this is all i know how to be right now, and i'm desperate to grow and change. i'm back at that "anything goes" choice platform, and people are suggesting relocating to minneapolis, relocating to san diego, relocating to north carolina. i have friends in all those places to help me along. but i can't shake this desire to live in chicago, to work towards living in the loft i've dreamed of since i was nine years old, to be a museum "regular," to get into the music scene, to develop the friendships i have here, even though there's a competing desire to get into samana buddhism. or maybe i'll just keep telling myself i'm cool and worth the trouble, i'll just keep blowing smoke up my own ___

Samana: contemplative. This word is derived from the adjective sama, which means "in tune" or "in harmony." The samanas in ancient India were wanderers who tried through direct contemplation to find the true nature of reality -- as opposed to the conventions taught in the Vedas -- and to live in tune or in harmony with that reality. Buddhism is one of several samana movements. Others included Jainism, Ajivakan fatalism, and Lokayata.


new music

i discovered Common today.
holy smokes.


andie, lisa, allison

andie, lisa, allison
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

also wonderful about camp: where i reconnect every year with two lovely college girlfriends of mine. they're awesome.

papermaking workshop

papermaking workshop
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

so this conference is like any other; workshops, keynote speakers, 325 attendees, your name on a badge. this particular conference has been around for 25 years now and i've been going for five. anything more i can say about how cool it is would just be redundant to all my friends, who hear me talk about it all the time :)

design camp

last keynote speaker
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

otherwise known as the apex of my design year.


having two fathers

for people who don't know me, or seldom see this side of my personality, let me explain: i act like a person who "is more spiritual than religious" but after putting some serious thought and study into it i have chosen my faith to be my constant place of solace. i will NEVER tell you what to believe or how to believe in it, but i also won't be ashamed to tell you about my beliefs. in fact, i love hearing about what people believe because it sharpens and strengthens my beliefs, and that's important. the day i close my mind is, in effect, the day my life stops growing.

last thursday i met with my pastor for coffee. we talked for the first time ever, really, and it was cool to find so much in common with the person who has been leading me spiritually for the past three years. i wanted him to know where i was coming from as a person and as a Christian, so i told him my "how i came to love God" story. jon suggested i tell it to the congregation at the next service, and i flinched. i warned him that in college, i threw up during my public speaking final. at that final i had to LEAVE THE ROOM to VOMIT and after hearing this jon was still like, you're cool. it'll be okay. give it a try.

so this morning, i told this story to three hundred of my fellow church-goers and it was amazing. absolutely terrifying. i had a paper with me, i went up after being introduced and my hands were shaking so badly that i almost dropped the paper i was going to read from. i said good morning and informed the congregation that i would simply read because of my lackluster speaking abilities. and as i read, my voice shook and my hands shook and i was scared out of my mind.

but near the end, i stepped off the page and gave a closing remark that i hadn't written. suddenly my voice cleared for the last twelve seconds of my story and i looked up and people were smiling. they were encouraging. i ended with explaining how i can trust in God's love for me because i can clearly see how things were given to me early on that prepared me for the terrible things i went through later. i know that i was prepared to survive, and prepared to be strong in God's love and grace. and i was shocked to get applause! that was pretty new to me.

this is my LIFE. this life has been saturated and heavy and full of everything. it's all been a gift, and i frankly never thought i'd live this long, which makes that even more of a present of love from the Lord. when i don't let my ego get in the way, i wake up smiling because i've seen the dirty false shit side of love, and i've seen the freeing trancendent simple love, and without the former i would never recognize and appreciate the latter as much as i do.


look what i found

create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

you register for free, you maps of all the countries you've visited, and access to the coolest person-to-person travel site anywhere... VERY helpful stuff.

the places i've traveled are colored red :)


tonight after work i'm having coffee with my pastor, and then going to roscoe's to get schnockerd. at least i have my priorities in order.

after two years of talking about it

i've written and am starting to lay out the manifesto. anyone want a sneak peek? i'm looking for a few editors. email me and i'll send you a couple pages...

it even has a priggish title (AND subtitle!):
"Weary and Restless
Songs in the key of my self-destructive behavior:
iambic pantameter as sung by my nomadic tendency.


song of the day

colin hay
waiting for my real life to begin*

*with no sense of metaphor for my actual life right now. my life is picking up speed at just the right rate. it's just a great song of its own merit. unfourtunately i could only find the non-acoustic version to link to. the acoustic one is unbelivably good, soulful.


internet politics and contradictions

• design for democracy, an AIGA initiative
Mark Fiore political cartoons
• the best news team you'll ever see
• a comedian i saw last night
• the only news i bother to watch
• a special link for graphic designers recovering from Katrina

read 'em and weep, boys.
this country's getting nuts. i never thought i'd say it. i still haven't informed myself enough to say anything better or more important than anything that's been said already, but i really am reading the communist manifesto and i think the time is approaching for me to develop some actual political ideas.

it's tough, because at the same time i'm very much of the opinion that whatever point i make will always have a valid counterpoint; the only thing you can say universally is that nothing can be said universally. that's usually when i step out of the argument and always try to point out the other side in discussions regardless of what i actually believe (REALLY fun). but last night my nana and mother were talking and it occured to me again that i'm very liberal for a conservative, totally conservative for a liberal, mildly buddhist for a christian, and very socalist for a capitalist. where does opinion end and belief begin?

can i really be anti- something? anti- G-dubbyah? anti- news media? anti- corporate? can i be absolutely opposed to anything? i don't think i can. there are two sides to every coin. we are all birthed of the same desires (another link - Maslow's hierarchy of needs), and that philosophy is what keeps me from becoming immobile on anything in this world.


starfish and coffee

anyone else feeling unnecessarily introspective today?
i've suddenly snapped back to some habits i've been missing.

today i wore black. i watched the Daily Show, started reading the Communist Manifesto at a coffee shop. i read articles about design on the AIGA website, and i wandered through a small set of feelings i have about sending a wedding present to the first person i ever really fell hard for (i sincerely don't think he reads this) (if he does, well, then the secret's out). i also worked today, a good full day over at Mobium. i also got two job offers from other design firms in the loop, thanks AGAIN to my AIGA designjobs portfolio. i really need to write some thank you notes to the AIGA. how do you write to a corporation?

i took a train home and found myself laughing to no one while walking to the station from the office. i walked home in the rain, splashing in puddles with absolutely no sense of irony. i clipped out a quote from a magazine that reads, "if you want to know about a man's soul, ask his dog." maybe i'll get a dog.

what i learned today

"Perhaps the most obvious loss is what we call our sense of reality. Television combines news about the war, Paris Hilton’s career, global warming and Geico commercials into events of equal importance. The result is an enormous population that believes nothing matters....

When one is informed, one is strengthened. Persuasion does not guarantee the same result."

milton glaser, the designer/citizen. published on AIGA.org september 20, 2005


[insert jeffersons theme song here]

so today i cleaned off my hard drive. it's like a brand new computer. which is great, but only because i backed things up - a habit i developed ONLY THIS SUMMER. if this had happened six months ago? would have lost EVERYTHING.


so tonight i'm filling up my laptop again, with some oldies and some goodies. what is rather nice about this is that i can kind of keep an eye on organization stuff, something that seems like an insurmountable task unless you really really have to do it.

and tomorrow -- tomorrow i work my new part time job, which is fine, but then in the afternoon i get to interivew with Crate & Barrel! apparently they have an opening in the corporate marketing side of things. i'd like to take this opportunity to thank the AIGA, where i found the job posting and where i was able to post my portfolio. seriously, that portfolio link on the right has gotten me job offers. rock on, AIGA.


nowhere to go but up

broken things surround me like cotton on my skin
MAN DOWN. i call my laptop napoleon because i secretly believe that it can take over the world without my help. i found out that you can't sell my computer in several countries because it is technically a SUPERcomputer. today, napoleon officially started to bite the dust. i'm posting from my mom's presario POS b/c my dear silver bullet is sitting across the room with his orange creepy screen. i have to apparently clear off the hard drive and reinstall everything. my worst electronic fears have been realized. i have to mess with the inner workings of napoleon, and the apple kids at the "genius" bar aren't going to help me. it's outside their jurisdiction. wonderful.

my digital camera needs replacing. not fixing. replacing. but i've said that several times already. sorry for the redundancy.

my cell phone doesn't work out here in the magical land of glenview, so when people call me it's a tease and i can't pick up or else they will think i'm hanging up on them. people have been offended, it's no big deal. friends, who needs 'em. wait. i totally do. that's why i call them back on the house line if my phone even registers that there's someone calling.

today i started a part-time job at the Paper Source and i'm upset tonight (ah, the reason emerges) because they all think i loooove it there and i'll work there forever [insert "the shining" twins here]... forever... but in reality i'm just biding my time until crate & barrel interviews me tuesday and offers me a job. then i'll have a great decision to make: mobium vs. crate & barrel in a knock down drag out cage match, who can give the better offer? the suburban desk job at the global homegoods megastore vs. the crazy little downtown marketing firm That Could. fight to the death. last job standing gets me, the wild card designer who's willing to bribe via a currency of baked goods and pirate smiles.

i just feel terrible about Paper Source. it's really not a bad job, there's nothing wrong with it. it's not the job i hate, it's being in a place where i need this job for money. i hate living at my parents' house, i hate being in the BORING suburbs, i hate that i'm in this state of waiting for my real life to begin. but wait, THAT'S IT.

THAT'S WHAT'S GOING ON. i think about this job, any job, and i realize that working today made me just feel numb. what happened today? nothing. no-thing. people came in, some of them bought stuff, they left, i parroted "can i help you with anything" for hours. i am so understimulated, and that's why i'm having such a hard time these days. that's why i travel, why i volunteer, why i like church, why everything with me always ends up with an element of drama even though i'm not dramatic: i get so bored so quickly. without my computer here, what is there to do at home? watch TV. i need to get downtown so when i go for a walk, i can see more than the same block every day. every time i feel my routine starting to form, i derail my train and do something crazy that puts the rest of my comfortable little life at risk.

what am i here for? what's around the corner?
it's ironic because i really, truly desire to feel settled. to feel peaceful. but there's this malcontent inside me rearing its ugly head and saying DON'T YOU DARE stop moving until you've actually moved.

church tomorrow morning. that will make me feel better, like it always does. nice company, good learning, sincere hugs. all things that ease my soul (no pun intended).


things to aquire before design camp

a new digital camera.
it IS the camera, i've discovered. for the LOVE of PETE.

business cards.
what am i gonna do, write my email on a bar napkin? come on.

let's see if i get anything pulled together to fund this jaunt up north, eh?

iPod converter. my friend griff still has my toy that plays the iPod in the car. it's a ten hour drive, after all. if i have to rock NPR the whole way, i'll show up in Nisswa twitching.


if i was the swearing type, i'd do it now

i go to the camera store and explain my problem. the girl takes my camera, turns it over in her hands, sighs, and says "Well, the problem is either with your camera or your memory card. Your camera would be $200 to fix and $250 to replace, and they don't make this model any more, so you should get a new camera. Or, your $70 memory card might just be corrupt. Memory cards don't have warrenties."

Credon, Inc. embodies everything evil on the internet. i go to my blog and i see four comments posted on my latest entry and i foolishly think "oh! people missed me! maybe people DO enjoy my writing!" i absolutely understand that blogs are inherently narcissistic, but i like to pretend that i'm entertaining here. but no. all four comments are from some morons who actually think i won't DELETE THEM AND ALL THEY STAND FOR. credon inc, i smite thee and thy comments. jerks. who do they think they are, to try and ursurp my comments to get free advertising?

this morning my mom had company and i had to clear out of the house. two starbucks and one panera later, i returned home without finding ANY free internet. precious. time. lost. morning ruined. then i went to the camera store.



the times, they are a-changin

so because i haven't posted in so long, i felt it was time to compensate by shaking things up. quite a bit. from green to grey, as Virginia Colition would so eloquently say it.

man. lot's happened since the last time i said something here. Katrina, interviews, church stuff, family time, and now that sound in my backyard that sounds like an unholy cross between a frog and a duck being throttled by several crickets. the suburbs are a strange and unchartered place to these urban ears of mine.

i'd do some retro-posting like i usually do, except i'm in a mild panic over my digital camera, whose screen flashes "memory card error" when i try to take pictures. so i'm having trouble remembering what i have been doing every stinking day. i'll go over a few highlights. catch everyone up.

JOB. i've had three stellar interviews, and i'm starting a trial period at Mobium Creative Group on thursday. you can read about them by clicking here. it's been a cool process, i COLD CALLED them, which is not something typically done (with any success, anyway) between the unemployed and the marketing firms. but they're just that cool, and i'm just that blessed, that it might just be a perfect fit. i'm sure i'll have more to say about it on thursday :)

FAMILY. spent labor day weekend with my dad's side of the family hovering around the ohio/michigan border. i haven't been out there in a couple years and it was a TON of fun. i wish, wish, wish that my camera wasn't having such a crisis because not only are my cousins the most beautiful people around, but i also got a driving tour of my dad's childhood. and i'm finally old enough to get it, to internalize where he came from and how that relates to where i come from. and downtown toledo is crazy, man. absolutely nuts. the oversimplified way to put it is that there was this car industry, and part of it fell apart, and now there are 25 story office buildings that sit unoccupied. kind of wierd.

KATRINA. my church is, this very second, is filling up a truck to bring to jackson, mississippi. we've teamed up with a church down there to distribute non-perishable foods and first aid supplies. if you HAVE ANYTHING, LET ME KNOW. i will come get it and it, and it's guaranteed to get there. this is another reason i'm madly in love with my church. we're not just collecting stuff, we're working out a plan in the long-term as well to stay involved in the rebuilding of their community. so if you have anything to give, or not otherwise sure how to help, here you go.

i think those are all the big topics.
that and i'm getting the camera looked at tomorrow.


joke's on you folks

i just found out that several people thought my blog ended when the summer ended. i say, life's an adventure and although it's been slow for the past month or so, three interviews thus far have been excellent. and once i have an income again, there will be trips to denver and san diego, plus DESIGN CAMP, and there's other camping to be had.

so... yeah. there will be more blog for quite some time. it's free, it's an outlet, it's a way for friends i don't talk to every day to know what's up with me. plus, my life is cool. why not share it.



Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

three cheers for Fall Out Boy, who won the MTV2 award at last night's VMA's!!! here's my celebrity connection: bass player Pete Wentz and my little sister are childhood, oldest-and-dearest friends. so i knew this kid pete back in his awkward phase... when he dyed his hair blue and started rocking. now he's all in the iTunes top 100 albums, interviewed by Risen Magazine, has an article in Rolling Stone. good stuff.

nice job, Pete. i'm amazed. rock on.


lawrence hall crew

lawrence hill crew
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

my parents got involved through a friend of theirs,
and now i'm pretty moved by it, too. these kids are great.

breaking hearts

rooftop view 1
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

what else is new? cubs lost today.
all five of their runs happened in ONE INNING. lame.

but it was a sweet game - i went with a group that was sponsoring people from Lawrence Hall, an organization that works with DCFS to care for children taken out of their homes. from their site: "Lawrence Hall is a not-for-profit child welfare agency established to assist at-risk youth and their families through a seamless delivery of services designed to develop the self-worth, knowledge, and skills they need to lead independent and productive lives."

basically, i met a bunch of cool kids and two cool directors, and we chatted it up in front of the best view ever of a cubs game. i spent most of the game talking to director Henry about various not-for-profit strategies and awareness programs. i explained the Elias Fund, and he was pretty excited about that too. the kids seemed to have a great time, we brought presents for them, toys and candy. it was a beautiful day.

too bad about the cubs, though.


i can't believe i grew up here

i can't believe i grew up here
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

when i go home i have to see the water. i love chicago, and i love that i grew up within a mile of water that i can't see across. it spoils me, especially after being on Semester at Sea and getting to be on oceans. man, i just get near that water and i want to float out and out until there's nothing but blue below and blue above.

i worked at this beach to help pay for Semester at Sea for two summers, working 9 to 5 as a beach cashier, then 6 to 12 doing security. they were ninety hour weeks and a year later when i had my feet propped up on the ship railing, watching the pacific ocean roll around me, i was thankful for every minute of it.

today i hung out there with my best friend mandy, and it was like the microscopic righteousness of everything that ever was good in high school, all at once. totally euphoric.


Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

mandy rocks. that's all there is to it.


cold calls

i could not leave worse voicemails if i TRIED. i just left one with a partner at my number-one-choice place of application. my exiting remark: "if you're busy, that's fine, i'll call again if i don't hear from you." WHAT?!?

alien language: "if you're busy, that's fine, i'll call again..."
translation: i REALLY want to talk to you. i think you'll be so great.
result of not translating well on the voicemail:
i want to dig a hole in the backyard and crawl into it.

on a more uplifting note, i have a portfolio and resume available online:



design camp

design camp
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

it's like Christmas, it's the constant apex of my design education. three hundred designers around a campfire, talking about design. people i see once a year, for three days. this is my fifth year going.

there are college girlfriends, special camp relationships, mixer dinners, name badges, workshops, speakers, flirting, red wine, cabin lodgings, walking home through the forest. a ten hour drive each way to think about how and why i love this, the work i do.

who's coming with me???
click here to go to AIGA Minnesota and check it out for yourself.


the cynicism sets in

feet at the summer palace
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i'm currently ingesting a new idea: that time and alcohol are the two of the last true currencies around. money comes and goes (mostly goes); words are only as good as the actions behind them; and work does not equate to, nor require, morals.

time and alcohol.
there's nothing like spending time with family and friends. the phone is good, but not the same. i'd rather have fifteen minutes on the front porch rocking chairs than an hour on the phone. "let's catch up sometime" is useless. words are not the currency.

alcohol is the bridge builder of our times. as far back as there's been beer, there's been "let's go get a beer," or "let me buy you a drink." it's the door opener, the smoothing over, the unraveling of personal mystery. and when you're me and don't need a beer to loosen up (when you're fairly nutty to begin with), it STILL works because that's how you get other people to catch up to your laughter...



downtown cathedral
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

so i've narrowed my list of "places to apply" down to three big winners. i feel that if i say them here i will jinx the whole process irrevocably. call me and i'll tell you.

i ran into someone from one of them today!!! i was in a cab on my way to meet my cousin louie for dinner, and right out my window at a red light was this guy brian, who i haven't seen in two years, who had one of those "is it? i know you, right?" looks. then i smiled, then he smiled, and if i wasn't in a car i'd ask him how his baby daughter is, how things at the office are going. he looked pretty good, but not in a "hey, there" kind of way. like he just looked like he'd had a good day.

dinner was a blast. we ate at the bar / grill just outside the pritzker pavilion at millennium park. lou, brad, roscoe and i shared a meal and then walked over to what will be lou and erin's new condo. erin met us there and i walked them to their church, where they're meeting the priest that will perform the ceremony in about a year. these kids are just growing up so fast.


simple pleasures

dinner party
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

my church is amazing. my friend patrick spoke today instead of pastor jon or pastor dave, which was a treat. patrick is an amazing speaker, very natural on stage, and here's an unusual talent: he uses big words. patrick doesn't sacrifice his vocabulary to make his point, which is a hard line to draw for any public speaker (consider, if you will, that newspapers are written at a fifth grade reading level).

we're following the book of ecclesiastes, which is kind of a dialogue from king solomon. some background: he's regarded as the wisest and probably one of the richest kings of biblical history. so this morning, patrick led us through solomon's ideas of the world: that this life and this world are crazy. they don't make a lot of sense. they really, really don't. but it's up to us to not get caught up in it, get caught in realizing how often it's the cheaters and liars that get ahead in life, and the kind get suckered and kicked around. nice guys finish last, et cetera. but that can be overcome by realizing that while we can't control what happens to us, we can control how we react and process it. life is as beautiful and complicated and excruciatingly wonderful as we let it become.

after church i headed out to my grandparent's birthday party (they're both august babies), and spent some quality time with the family. we had a huge meal at maggiano's and just basked in each other's company for a few hours. my cousins' kids are starting to remember me (they're all under five), so that's kind of cool. they still don't, say, know my name or anything, but they also know i'm not a stranger. so they know it's cool with the parents to play with me.


perpetual motion

mickey flying by
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

today was the monster engagement party, where we finally hung out with my cousin's finacee's family. they ARE AWESOME, which is no surprise given how cool erin is.

i spent a lot of time talking to her parents' neighbors, who are foster parents to a couple kids, aged four and two. i was excited to learn that they have no intention of raising these kids. instead they work with a program that takes children out of situations until the situation improves. because the neighbors don't have kids, they open their home time and time again to all kinds of children who more or less need a place to crash until their guardian gets their act together. i was in such awe of the shape that love has taken in their lives.

our own family is crazy and beautiful. jeff and his wife effie are expectant parents and are building a house. tommy and his wife jen are hoping to get pregnant soon. earl and his wife angie just had their third child. andi and her husband johnny just got married and hope to move into a new house and start a family in the next three months. my sister anne is applying to law schools. my grandparents both have birthdays this month, and my parents, as of monday, will have been married for 29 years. it's a great time to be around. everything is so vibrant!


ideas without resolution (yet)

kids in zimbabwe
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

today was a big day - i read over our 1023 form that lawyer Pat fed-ex-ed me for the Elias Fund. then i picked up eric, who was in town driving to denver from boston, and the two of us took Pat out to lunch! eric had never been to downtown chicago before, which is such a foreign thing to me by now. we found Pat's building without a problem and the three of us went to a small thai place around the corner from her office. it was really, really cool to meet her in person. Pat's energetic, smart, and agressive. she is excited to help us out. i'm glad we can give her a sense of giving, and VERY glad to be on the recieving end :)

eric and i parted ways after the lunch meeting, he still has hours of driving ahead of him. i went back home and caught up on some emails until my sister jenna got home and suggested that i move downtown with her and a friend into a three-bedroom apartment. this is such a big maybe. i don't know what my income will be, i don't know if i care to have roommates anymore. i'm kind of really looking forward to having my own walls, my own art, my own crap everywhere. but then again, with studios going for about $600 to $800 per month, saving money would be great. splitting rent sounds kind of nice.

finished off the evening having dinner with the family and blogging late into the night after everyone else goes to bed. sometimes that's the time to get things done, in the stolen hours of the house in its quietness.

cover letters and resume

Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

there are three places where i will first send my information
i am PARALYZED and STUCK (and totally afraid)

what if i don't get a job?
what if i'm really not good enough?
what if i'm really no good at all?
why do i suddenly have absolutely no confidence?
what if i DO find something amazing?
when can i move downtown again?
how do i know what to put in a portfolio?
what do i need to do to break out of this funk?


super sized smiles today

theater on the lake
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i am in a great mood.
everything today was great.
every person was in a good mood.
all our ideas were uplifting and had promise.
awesome. awesome. awesome.

my new best friend is the Director of Development for the Daley Center. this guy helps plan all the music festivals, marathons, farmers' markets, and any other special commemorations. he's a rockstar, and just so easy to talk to! i think we're going to have lunch next week. his take on the movie is really different from other people's, this guy wants to show it in an art house and make it a multicultural event (hello, Elias Fund?!). so that was sweet. this picture is from a play i saw last year that was hosted by the city. and THEN this guy that i mentioned before ("whoa there tiger" guy) calls again and is absolutely ready to come on board with all his resources and i still have to tell him that he's amazing, but hold off a bit!!!

that was my morning. in the evening, i met up with some church girls for dinner before heading to wednesday Bible study. dinner was fun, and Bible study is different than usual this month - it's movie month, and each week we watch a new flick and then talk about it afterwards. this week was "super size me," which i'm sure we're all aware of. church is a facinating place to discuss health and apropriateness in eating / exercise habits. and added bonus for my boundless narcissism: the same thing happened as did sunday where people i didn't expect to care that i'd returned... really cared that i'd returned. very cool. i love everyone. what a great day.


oh, the possibilities

sunset at sea
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

so monday: spent on the phone. all day, literally nine to five ON THE PHONE. i was collecting opinions to see if we can convince some key people to bring "last DISPATCH" to chicago. how much would that rock? so i called everyone i could think of to get the ball rolling. one person is like ten steps ahead of me and is ready to pull togther radio sponsors and a beer tent. i'm like, easy there tiger. at this point, all is strictly theoretical. but i like how you think.

ended the day by meeting mandy at baker's square for a slice of pie around 10:30. it's an old tradition. we get pie to go and take it to lake michigan, snack on the beach. it's amazing what a comfort traditions like those can really be.

tuesday. i'm searching frantically for a wedding present that i'll probably have to get online. but it's SO worth it. this present is the best present ever for weddings, and it's probably going to be my standard wedding gift from now on. so i won't reveal my secret here. it's a gem. so i spent the morning looking for that, came home empty-handed. spent the afternoon wandering with my mom, she wants to buy me shoes but i just can't bring myself to care. not about her desire to give me something, that's wonderful! but my desire for shoes? there just isn't any. i felt bad because i was a little frustrated, waiting for some of yesterday's calls to be returned, and it kept popping up like little pockets of crankiness. i try not to be that person, but sometimes it gets the best of me. sorry, mom.


her brother

wind up baby
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

our wind-up wonderbaby who leaves full grown cheetas in his wake

my little cousin

my little cousin
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

who ends up like this when she tries to do cartwheels. i love her.


it's not what you think

pastor dave teaching
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

today i went to CHURCH for the first time in a month, and i was home again at my Christ's Church of Wrigleyville, zip a dee do dah IT WAS GREAT! my church is amazing. pastor Jon spoke about King Solomon's view of money as laid out in Ecclesiastes. i didn't tell anyone i was coming back, i just showed up, and the warmth with which i was recieved was lovely. i sat with some of my favorite girls, and it's just so amazing when people approached me afterwards to say hello, people who i didn't think would miss me or even know i was gone. to be told i was missed made me feel so cared for, and in a way very free. i feel like i've begun to carve out a place for me in the world.

afterwards i went and checked out my friend aimee's new apartment, it's very nice and just around the corner from church. i came home to my parent's afterwards and some of my second and third cousins were over - i've explained to gary a few times that these people are as close as my first cousins, my family is HUGE and very in love with everyone in it - and so some cousins were over to share a meal and catch up. the kids were awesome. i suddenly had more babies to play with, and one of these little tykes was on the verge of walking and so crawled so quickly i was suprised there wasn't a trail of smoke in his path. very fun.

mandy came over in the evening, mandy is my oldest and dearest friend. we met the summer between seventh and eighth grade, at the wilmette public pool. i was amazed by her. she somehow thought i was cool. nothing has changed. we talked about our lives, she's also on the brink of many things like i perpetually seem to be. we talked about the nature of f**king up and i decided that to do that you had to give up and give in to things less than your capabilites. poor girl, she thinks that's what she's done. i don't believe it for a second. we fought off that fear of f**king up by making a list of things we need to do by age thirty.
so far the list includes:
• doing a cattle drive in the style of City Slickers
• taking a class in speaking italian
• getting some creative writing published


letting go

physics day, 1998
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

friday was spent unpacking lazily. then i threw a bunch of stuff out. and it was great. three cheers for more room in my room and in my soul!

i love taking bins of books to donate to the public library. i have some good stuff, and sometimes i'll look at a book and think, "i only, only have this so that someday, someone will look at my bookshelf, some man will look at the crap i have around while i'm getting ready for a date, and maybe this book will up my cool points." but what is that?! i don't do that anymore. those books, they get to go. citizen designer, the communist manifesto, short stories by kipling: i will read and re-read those. they have a purpose. they can stay.

between friday and saturday the whole summer dismantled into various parts of my parent's house, where i will be residing until i have an income again. i have a sudden epiphany understanding of nostalgia, the desire to keep things around that are so indicative of a different time and place. i spent a few hours on the phone today, catching up after i threw out the majority of my photos from junior year prom and that sort of thing. i kept a few to keep around and show my kids someday, if there ever are any. but what do i remember of that time? and what will i remember of now?


catching up with the family

equator rainbow
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i woke up and there were BABIES IN THE HOUSE for me to play with. i haven't had babies since march at the nicaragua orphanage! so good morning, babies. let's chase around the house and make a big stinking ruckus. the moms forgot why they had me watch the kids, cause let me tell you it was not any less noisy with the big kid playing too.

then i went to grandma's. which i'm saying to be silly, but i call her my nana and i went to see my nana and papa and they are tons of fun. i brought the picture frame and it went over very well. we didn't stay all day, just all afternoon. after getting home, i realized that i'm still pretty darn tired. i miss everyone. every single person i've ever known, i miss you right. this. second. i can't go back to boston even if i wanted to because it's already different, gary and owen are gone and most of the rest of the house is too by now. c'est la vie.


like i said, just starting

back at the reception
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

today i woke up at 6:30. it was uncalled for. i took my sister anne to work - happy to be downtown again, if only for a couple hours! i hit a starbucks for breakfast and then headed over to the music box theater to talk to one of the managers. i'm trying to see what they thing about showing "last DISPATCH," what obstacles they would forsee, if they would want to work with us to make it a huge success. they are, indeed, interested, so that rocked my morning.

i was out of my mind after that, and took a nap for most of the day afterwards. in the evening, i worked with my mom to assemble a photo frame that holds forty pictures - a gift for my cousin andi and her husband johnny, whose wedding i photographed. i think we did a nice job with it!

today felt ten seconds long.
probably had something to do with all the sleeping.


home sweet home

plane ride home
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

the last time i titled a post "home sweet home" i had moved to boston. now i'm moving out. i woke up at nine to a wild flurry - none of it mine. i sat back and watched a little as the Elias team got some papers together and left to open a bank account and depsoit all the donations collected from the weekend. we ended up raising over $12,000!

there are certainly some mixed emotions here. i checked in with Lawyer Pat again, and realized that this is the end of one thing and the very beginning of another. Dispatch and Elias Fund have become part of who i am, and both have a future. with dispatch, i still have about a thosand pictures to go through as i start designing the Dispatch Coffee Table Book (working title...). elias fund will still be raising money and still be moving ever forward. my new location doesn't mean a thing. this will never be out of sight, out of mind.

so i had to call a cab to get to the airport as it turned out; the elias kids took longer than planned and i wouldn't ask to bum a ride from gary; half of his stuff was in his car, a quarter outside waiting to be loaded, and the last quarter inside waiting to be packed. i went upstairs around three, myself having been packed for about two days now, and kind of waited out the last hour with gary and jeff. well, actually mostly jeff, gary had to pack and i was annoyed. couldn't he wait? but then as the taxi pulled up, it turns out gary had been writing an inscription in a book he bought for me, a gift that is just beautiful: The Psalms of David, by James Freemantle. i read it the whole way home.

my parents and sister jenna were there to pick me up from the airport, and of course the first thing we talked about was the Next Step. when will i start looking for a job? for the love of pete. ride home was uneventful, i'm exhausted and emotional and about to collapse. hello, bed. it's almost 2am. nice to see you again.