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.

gary and jeff

gary and jeff
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

i really did nothing today until about 5pm... the morning was spent packing, wandering in the mess and aftermath, and talking with our Elias Fund lawyer, my patron saint and friend Pat. i've explained to her what a glorious thing it is that we can rest assured the IRS isn't going to be able to seize our resources. so... this morning was a haze.

gary took jeff around his workplace and the town there, apparently it's pretty sweet. when they got home, we hung out on the front porch for a while and then piled into gary's car and, on my mother's suggestion, went and saw harvard. we walked the quad, checked out some shops, and had some good italian dinner. we broke into the law school, wandered some other buildings, and while jeff wandered off by himself in one, gary and i sat outside and talked philosophy: this time, the nature of negativity. we headed home, but had some serious trouble - we got lost and passed by the same place we had dinner. FOUR TIMES IN A ROW. UNINTENTIONALLY. it was great. seriously though, the boys had great attitudes about finding our way home. they weren't stressed or annoyed, and it made it really funny. we ended the night nice and late, i gave gary a backrub and he gave me a hand massage - have we all done this? hand massages are unreal. i've never heard of it. it was awesome. but then suddenly it was 2am and i needed sleep. i'm sleeping tonight on the third floor - it's cooled down a little - and sleeping in a BED is GREAT.


this is wade, from ALASKA. seriously.

this is wade, from ALASKA. seriously.
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

we populated somerville. took it by storm. kids and guitars were everywhere. it was amazing.