i just wanted a ride

so this morning i had a creepy agressive cab driver, which happens about half the time. it drives me crazy when these people are like "you don't know how it is in chicago, have you even been to the south side?" and because i worked on the west side and because yes, i have gone south to music venues or last weeked for owen's glass fiasco, i have seen these places and i am not immune or ignorant to them. displace your assumptions elsewhere, taxi man.

he tried to convince me that chicago "sucks" because the south side isn't developed when it was here first, dammit! and i couldn't help myself from pointing out that well, the rich people live up north, and if you think rich people controlling things is just something that happens in chicago you've got another thing coming.

it's like i'm asked to prove myself to these cabbies. this guy wouldn't relent until i told him i'd lived in southy (i was in hyde park, which is not as bad as southy - but not, you know, white collar either). THEN i had some credit. great. either i prove i've been slumming, or i'm another useless aristocrat. what's up with that?


there's an owen on my porch!

so owen came back to town last weekend! it was like, the best of times and the worst of times. we were both reasonably exhausted, i've been working 50 hour weeks lately and he had school, summer school, audio workshop, and literally hasn't been home in eight months at this point. but before going back to philly, we had some more quality time.

thursday: i got home from work, owen showed up an hour later after driving six hours from ohio. we found an AMAZING italian joint for dinner that's ONE BLOCK from my apartment! very cool. then came home and went right to sleep.

i got home from work and we hung out on the balcony until it was time for my kid sister's birthday dinner at scoozi's, a family favorite. then we tried to see Clerks II, but hey, when you show up at 9:50 to a 9:20 movie, they barely let you in and then you realize you're 30 min late when you thought you were only 10 min late and then you know what you do? you go home and watch The Count of Monte Christo and talk about politics instead.

oh, the balcony. we were outside for a little over an hour, just chatting and playing Can Lisa Name That Song, No She Can't. i am without rival when it's CD or radio, but when it's just one guitar i can barely catch Eye of the Tiger for the love of pete.

so saturday: tragedy struck. we fed the meter at owen's car, went to get milk for cereal, went to feed the meter again at 11am, and in that time someone had broken into Owen's car and STOLE HIS GUITAR. it was that bad. they took nothing but the guitar, left behind his J Crew shirts, iPod, etc and took the one most valuable thing in there. i burst into tears. owen handled it better. we called the cops, his parents, a few glass companies, i blew my nose and we headed out to the south side to get the window repaired. it was way south, like past Comiskey Park south, like i'd been down that far twice before and did NOT want to hang out.

anyway, aside from the guitar being gone it was all fixed and taken care of soon after.

i felt terrible, so bad that i think it effected me the rest of the weekend. i had expected owen to get mad or regret coming so i was paranoid and super nice to the point that i was probably being annoying and then being paranoid about whether i was being annoying. so the natural solution, of course, is to bring in more people and heighten the possibility of annoying the snot out of my friend. i took owen to my sisters' new place and he somehow managed to hang out with my affectionately overwhelming family and survive intact and enjoying himself! saturday night: just hung out. it had been a rough day, to say the least. while hanging out i made owen a present, a CD cover:

if you know anything about photoshop, you'd know this is a really easy trick, but it looks cool and i did the whole thing in about twenty minutes :) AND if you know photoshop, you'll know the pretty fantastic feeling you get when you reveal your computer monitor to the person in the frame and they see themselves in a previously unimagined setting. owen was shocked, in a good way, in the best way. i almost redeemed myself...

finally, sunday: slept in. saw Thank You For Smoking. walked around. got Owen a haircut (badly needed. you can't see those muttonchop sideburns like i could see them) (glorious). we kept walking. went back to the italian place for late lunch / early dinner. hung out on the balcony. sent him off around 7pm. by the time we had hugged goodbye three times, everything had evened out and we were back where we started, makeshift siblings who somehow will just always be absolutely fine. i still feel very mixed about the tone of the weekend - we were both tired and overwhelmed - but i saw some strength in our friendship that i knew was there.


edison park church

when i was growing up i had a neighbor who was like a second mother. then we moved, we moved again, we moved again, and i ended up only really seeing her one week a year when i was over at Long Grove Church Camp, then when she wasn't a counselor at camp i really only saw her a couple times a year, graduation parties, that kind of thing.

then Kathy went back to school and became Pastor Karch. she ended up at Edison Park Community Church and now has her own congregation! and low and behold, someone needed a website. and they knew a girl who had become a designer.

so the website isn't anything to write home about, but it's fun and simple, functional. while i was working at the architecture firm last year we had half-day fridays year round... and back when i had a car and drove to work (!) (unthinkable to pull off now) i would spend friday afternoons being impacted by a wise, wonderful, nurturing woman who is still like a second mother.

then i moved again. this was THE move of last year, the LA / Boston moves and Pastor Karch was one of the people who i tended to, shall we say, neglect while i was gone. but i'm back now, and even though i'm sans-vehicle, i still manage to stay invested in the Edison Park Community Church :) we had a very entertaining event, a guy called the church who was a guitar player / songwriter and was just like, uh, hey, can i play? and Edison Park Church answered, well sure. Come on over. Pastor Karch is seated (with her husband) closest to the camera, in the black outfit:

there was a full house, which is great for Edison Park Church. the vast majority of the congregation is over 70 years old, and they sang along with the familiar hymns.

the church offered coffee, lemonade, and a picnic-style dinnner.

we also had a raffle winner who, when she won, thought she was being yelled at for talking during the show :) she was pretty adorable.

you know, it's like... the last time i saw state radio in town Chad thanked me for helping so much with Elias Fund, and i got very "aw, shucks" and was like, "i got into this to help people." and i'm nervous i came across as being, "well, everyone needs a website," and less "i think you're so amazing i'm willing to support anything you do, even if it's not easy for me to do." and that's how i feel about Kathy, my amazing friend who has seriously impacted me for the better all along.


Rorshach dreams

1. i was cooking and started a grease fire. it was blue, not very hot, but destructive and kept spreading. i tried to stomp it out barefoot, which only spread the fire and ended up with me stomping on my own feet.

2. i was on grey's anatomy but it was real instead of a show, and i was helping two of the interns sedate a woman who was having a psychotic episode, she was attacking me and i held her off by doing that airplane ride thing you do with three year olds where you lift them into the air over you by balancing their stomach on your feet. i was trying so hard to not hurt her, trying to balance this screaming woman, and her face kept changing, the features kept expanding until her mouth was open as wide as a salad plate. i woke up scared out of my mind that she was some kind of ghost that would be floating above me once i was awake. didn't open my eyes for several minutes.

3. there was a bright room and an object floating in front of me over a white table that kept changing form. it became among other things a jackrabbit, a baby, the jack of spades, a teapot, a pear, a spider, and a rattle.



Rivera: Less fast food in New York

Click here to read the full article

My favorite quote out of this:
"There are too many fast food restaurants in New York, and our kids don't want to eat at home. It's very, very bad - it's killing us with the diabetes and high blood-pressure.... Shut them down and train the kids how to cook, if they don't know how to cook - put up a cooking school!"

that seems like it could be a groundbreaking idea. the way kids have after-school sports, art classes, etc; i wonder if opening culinary schools around the city would be appealing to families. i'm picturing the YMCA working with low-income families who would be letting their kids learn how to cook – the kids would learn something sustainable plus get a better meal than they might get at home.

wheels... spinning................


best. concert. ever.

i didn't bring my camera because i was feeling a little cynical about live music, even though i was going to see my favorite band of all time. sometimes i'm in no mood for crowds, for arrogant door people, for six dollar heinekens, for little fourteen year old tweakers sparking a bowl within four inches of me. BUT.

it was State Radio.
that show was one of the best shows i've ever been to. it started as awkwardly as i'd anticipated, i was surrounded by a bunch of high schoolers and yes, there were a couple of those potheads in the crew. but then i ran into three boys that ran the merch booth when we did the Dispatch movie premiere, and they pulled me up front with them two songs before SR took the stage.

i didn't know there were going to be four bands on stage tonight... SR was third, and blew the top off the building. the energy was visceral, rugged, palpable. they opened with my favorite song (Mr. Larkin) and all 200 of us in the crowd started jumping and didn't stop until the set was over. the room was so full of people and sweat that the Beat Kitchen opened all the emergency exit doors and the cooler air breezed in over the top of us. i was shoved around, i was burnt with a lighter, but through it all i was ten feet from a huge speaker and i got lost in the pro-revolutionary reggae funk. Chad Urmston is brilliant.

after SR made way for RX Bandits, i decided i'd had my fill and went outside to say hello to the band. i've gotten to know chad and his bandmates and his girlfriend a little because Chad is one of our Elias Fund founders, and Owen is SR's merch person when they're in Boston. so it's like we all know a lot about each other second hand, and it gets more personal every time, but i still keep it short and sweet to avoid any chance of awkward... it was great to see them. there's a lot of respect in every angle, they're very cool people.



Owen came to visit last weekend. below is Owen, in the green shirt:we started out the way all of my most fantastic relationships begin: we happen to meet one day, and somehow just never stop talking or moving or being together. owen was my partner in crime last summer, we would both get stuck in that big house and sneak out to go to movies, or to panera, or to a guitar shop owen found and he'd test out their Taylors while i would just poke around and pretend to have any idea what i was looking for (i didn't.).

so it's been literally almost a year since i've seen this kid, and he's in ohio right now working at an audio workshop. usually he's in pittsburgh, so since he was already that much closer he decided to drive in for a weekend... and we walked just about the whole time. saturday owen arrived around 4pm, we walked my neighborhood and then went to dinner with six of my friends (they were all looking forward to meeting this kid that i reference on a regular basis who none of them knew)... after dinner we went to see the new Pirates movie (thumbs up) and walked from [ohio + michigan] to [clark + schiller] at 2am. for those that don't know, it's close to 2 miles :) lot of drunken fools out there at 2am.

sunday we took the bus to the loop, and walked from [michigan + wacker] to [michigan + congress] and zig-zagged our way back up between michigan ave and state street. got back to my place in time to catch the italy vs france world cup game, then sent owen on his way.

that kid, i'll tell you what. he's pretty awesome. we spent a solid 24 hours together after having a phone friendship for a year after living together for a couple months. i am so amazed by these relationships that come out of nowhere, and end up being the most altering and sweet influences that remind me why i shouldn't try to control my destiny, it's evidence that God's good graces will continue to find me without my help. i love the feeling that my friends are amazing and i love how much i want them all to hang out together :)


side note

one of my many side projects is to build a media library for dispatch. the manager of the "dispatch estate" just bought me a new scanner and a 500 GB hard drive to store what's literally a suitcase full of photos i've been asked to hold on to for almost a year. i threatened to sell them off on eBay unless we got crackin.

through no fault of mister manager, the box came today:
i took a picture in case the contents were damaged - but they're not :) everything's working very well, so we're good



haha, i had a blog so i could tell my family about my everyday life, and now i tell them only once every couple weeks. i am LAME.

let's go back in time... two weeks... to independence day. spent it in iowa.
tuesday: i'm in a mild panic, figuring out how to gather the moxie to ask for a half-day friday.

still haven't brought it up. recieve an email:
i will take THIS day, thank you very much mister office president. you're awesome.

thursday: work, pack, call, plan. hit the gym.

errands, drive six hours, purchase bubble yum watermelon at halfway point, blow bubbles to entertain self for three hours, arrive in des moines around 6pm. stinking traffic. took an hour longer than usual.

i was staying with my friends rocky and kortney who i know from leading youth groups during college - rocky was my director - and now they've joined the ranks of my friends who are
1. young
2. married
3. residing in iowa
rocky rocked out on the grill, and we made a small feast of vegetables and wine. it was so interesting to see them in their home (i haven't been to iowa in about 1.5 years), all set up and adult. i'm still in that transition period where sleeping in a guest room is a novelty. not all of my friends are that kind of grown up, including me - i definitely live in a room without walls... but anyway, when these kids and i get together there's a serious Christian slant, and part of what i love is our tendency to get up to our ears in philosophical discussion about, hmmm, four minutes after the inital "you're here! [hug] good to see you!"

after dinner we went to downtown Des Moines for a Sister Hazel show. there's an amphitheater on a hill that faces the Des Moines River, and for $20 we found lawn seats, shared a space with only about 200 people, and had a fireworks show...
during which the band burst out into what seemed to be a spontaneous rendition of the national anthem:
after the show we went over to see our friends paul and laura, whose wedding i missed (of ALL THE DAYS IN A YEAR, i was mandy's maid of honor that day). i was really excited to meet laura for the first time, and i'm a huge fan. she's pretty awesome. sometimes you'll hear a guy say "well, she's the girl version of me" and in this case it's very accurate. they make perfect sense with each other.

saturday: my four buddies had to go to a wedding in omaha, and i instead found some other peeps. i reconnected with some friends from the beginning of college who for some reason or another our friendships had slowed over the years. i learned that jason and i still love each other like siblings, he's just not a good phone person! and libby and i had lunch for FOUR HOURS. for the first time since college, i had to tear myself away from Des Moines. the trips back so far had been up and down, but this trip was absolutely, positively up. got back to chi-town around 10pm. crashed.

sunday: yay church!


tuesday: family day. spent it in my parent's backyard grilling, playing bocce, drinking wine, harassing my nana's dog. nice way to chill. got back to my place after an extremely full weekend and watched the city fireworks along the west horizon:
don't know if you can tell, but every little spark along the top of the buildings is another fireworks display...
click here and you can see them better on my flickr site...


because i got here at 6:03am

my left eye has officially started twitching.
i've had enough butterball.com for one day, i feel.

massive post coming later - pictures and everything...