Saturday, August 30, 2008

Greetings from Kalamazoo, MI

I can now check Indiana & Michigan off my list of states visited/traveled through. Julia, just a couple hours from Chi in Kalamazoo, MI and I will spend the weekend lounging around, going to church, lunching with her family, exploring MI, making omelets & rallying with Barack & Joe in Battle Creek. Should be fun!

Friday, August 29, 2008

If I didn't have to be in class on Wednesday,

I'd be HERE.

But I don't think ditching class on the second day of school is a good start to my grad career.

Summer in Chicago

Though I missed most of the summer neighborhood festivals, I came just in time for some delicious food at the Taste of Greece in Greek Town.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It's been fun to get to know the city, and my neighborhood. Here's a little from a recent walk around my place.





Local Lore

Charlie, the leader of last weekend's photowalk, gave me a little Welcome to the City present. After hearing about my residency initiation in the form of a parking ticket, he gifted me with a pack of peanut M&M's. Local lore says that meter maids place a dish of peanut M&M's on the dash of their vehicles so, should they be deserving of a parking ticket, their fellow meter maids will pass them by without giving a citation.


Should I try it?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

You always wanted to know who was on Match

So allow me to give you a brief glimpse:

  • The "Passionate Wet Kisses" guy ... Now, sure, a kiss can get a little wet now and again, but do we actually start out hoping it gets all slobbery? Apparently one guy does, and states his desires boldly in his profile.
  • The "Be Adventurous" guy ... A "wink" followed by an email that says, 'Be adventurous, call me {insert phone number}. May I choose Option B: Scuba diving with sharks?
  • The "Atheist" guy ... The one who seems to have ignored my profile completely when I mention something about loving God and Jesus and all that stuff.
  • The "Tired of stumbling home from bars" guy ... Um, yeah. He insists he's a toad (with "bad habits, crooked teeth and too many pounds") waiting to turn into a prince, and that he's hoping to meet a woman to go home to, rather than stumbling home from bars to an empty apartment (with roomates). If I am indeed that woman, is it a requirement that we "stumble home" together?
  • The "Never met a comma I didn't like" guy ... Well, he's adventurous and likes dogs, and he would like to get into photography, so he bought a disposable digital camera, and wants to travel to Ireland, and 'wrts u n txt' mode, and he's really close to his family, lives by the lakefront, did he mention he's an electrician, ...
  • The "Not gay, gay" guy ... No comment other than to reassure you I'm staying away. Very far away.

Thank you, Lauren, for sponsoring my 6-month membership to Match! And yes, I know I asked for this, and yes, I know I must separate the "wheat from the chaff," as it were, but until then, this is fun. Or funny, depending on how you look at it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A 3-Hour Tour

You've clamored and complained, begged and and bargained, and it's finally here! Behold, the 17-short-video tour of my new place, commentary included.

(Don't worry, it won't take you 3-hours.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thoughts on a Sunday evening

  • It's 6pm and I sit, listening to the Catholic church bells toll. I find myself humming along and I suddenly realize that I know the words only in Danish. My English hymn knowledge is limited to Amazing Grace and a few other classics.
  • Not for the first time since moving, I've thought how nice it is to live close to family & friends; that way there is always someone to help you connect your DVD player to your TV.
  • I can survive without cable. Though I sure do wish I didn't have to.
  • I wonder how long I'll live without lampshades on two of the lamps in my living room.
  • The humidity that's plagued the city for the past few days has passed (at least for now), and for that I am very grateful.
  • I'm in the mood for maple syrup so belgian waffles will be the lucky vehicle for the syrup for this evening's dinner.
  • Taking public transportation makes me feel like a real city girl. As does balancing a printer on my bike as I ride home from the office supply store.
  • I assume that one day I'll look back on these financially lean times (read: STRESSFUL) and be proud that I managed to survive, even without a sugar daddy. Though I sure do wish I didn't have to.

Photowalk: Lincoln Park

Hugo & I went exploring yesterday, walking around Lincoln Park area and meeting fellow photography enthusiasts of all ages and stages. One of 50+ photowalkers (in 1 of the 3 groups organized to walk in Chicago yesterday, and one of the hundred+ around the world), we descended upon the Green City Farmer's Market, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the neighborhood in general. Here's a selection of what I saw:

Friday, August 22, 2008

One might think...

...that with no full-time employment, no school and not much of a social life that I would have loads of time and interest in blogging. But alas, I haven't. Whether it's the stress and craziness of the moving process that is finally catching up with me, or the stress and craziness of the moving process that is finally catching up with me, I just haven't been in the mood or found the time and/or energy. Strange, I know. I'm sure that will soon change and before you know it there will be more posts than you're willing to read, let along comment on.

Until then, it's early to bed in preparation for a photo walk I'm doing tomorrow with 49 others around Lincoln Park. Ta-ta for now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Leslie the Phenomenal!

My last photo subject volunteer before I left LA was Leslie Spencer Smith, musical theater actress/singer extraordinaire, whom I knew through church. Leslie's request was updated headshots. EEK! Oh, the pressure!

Nervous as I was, Leslie made it easy with her great smile and goofy personality. Here are a few of my faves.
Leslie_0130 Leslie_0129ed
Remember me when you're famous, Leslie!

Happy Birthday, Lauren!

To my dear, dear friend,
I wish you so many things
and hope you have
a fabulously
wonderful day!
(Photo from here)

Road Trip: The final leg

With 23 hours of drive time left to Chicago, Laurie (a fellow speed demon) & I decided to get to the city in 3 days rather than 4. But not to worry, we saw plenty along the way: Mount Rushmore, Sturgis bike week, the famous Wall Drug, charming barns, never-ending corn fields, rolling hills, the Mississippi river, and more. 7 states in 3 days. Is that a record?

Day 5: From Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Nebraska to Kadoka, South Dakota, we saw history, lots of leather and Hell's Half Acre (who knew that was a real place?!).
Laurie's one request was to see Mt. Rushmore. Though not as big as I expected, it was nonetheless impressive and worth the visit.
Before leaving for my road trip, a friend insisted we stop in Wall, South Dakota to experience the famous Wall Drug. We were surprised to discover billboards advertising free ice water, 5 cent coffee and anything one could need at Wall Drug, already in Wyoming. Kitschy and chok full of western wear, tschotkes and well, junk, at least we can say we've been there!
Day 6: After an overnight in Kadoka we continued east through South Dakota (which, by the way, was quite beautiful with fields of giant sunflowers), continued into Iowa (filled with, as expected, rows and rows of corn), detoured into Minnesota (also lots of corn fields) and then through Wisconsin (old barns, rolling green hills, absolutely charming) where we stayed the night in Madison.
RoadTriptoChi_0024 RoadTriptoChi_0025
The M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I River (Anyone else have that spelling cadence in their head when about to spell the river/state?)
Day 7: Just 2 hours from Chicago, we left Madison and crossed over into my new home state of Illinois.
Our early arrival meant Laurie could see my (empty) apartment and we could indulge in a Chicago classic, Numero Uno Pizza. Like true locals, we took the EL.
Thank you, Laurie, for the company, the lead foot and the fun!

You can see a few more photos HERE.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It all started on a Thursday at Oh-Dark-Thirty

(Alternately titled, "FINALLY!! A post with pictures!!")

Three friends, a very early departure, 4 days, 6 states, over 1500 miles, cotton candy Blizzards, seatbelt debacles, ABBA, breath-taking scenery, near-death experiences with a bison, more cotton candy Blizzards, and more ABBA. It was great.

Day 1: A drive north through 4 states (CA, NV, UT, ID) and almost 1000 miles, we stopped for a walk around Salt Lake City and stopped for the night in Pocatello, ID.
We started each day with a self-portrait in the car.
The Salt Lake City temple
Day 2: Leaving Pocatello we headed for West Yellowstone, MT with a stop to see the falls in Idaho Falls. This second day was the day of the infamous seatbelt debacle, requiring a race to the nearest Honda dealership in Bozeman, MT. A walk around the charming town was required.
The Falls in Idaho Falls, ID
Lauren was a good sport, willing to drive 90+ minutes restrained in a locked seatbelt so I didn't have to cut it.
A tasty lunch at Garage in Bozeman, MT
Our cameras were ever present
Seen in Bozeman
Day 3: Yellowstone. Gorgeous. Breath-taking. Far more beautiful than one expects or can imagine. Our day wasn't complete until we got caught in a bison/buffalo traffic jam, resulting in an unexpected near-death experience with a buffalo.
Soon after driving into Yellowstone we came across this multi-hued hot spring, steam rising, depths unable to be seen.
A certain someone may have dared another certain someone to dip their foot in it, resulting in the knowledge that these steamy pools are steamy for a reason--they are near boiling hot! Fortunately we escaped without a trip to the nearest burn unit.
Our first bison sighting! One never forgets one's first bison sighting.
The falls at which Lauren was the unsuspecting recipient of bug kiss on the neck
L & M were always willing subjects, whether they liked it or not.
Our first bison herd sighting, which led to the traffic jam and near-death experience as I mugged for Lauren's camera with a bison crossing the street behind me. Apparantly my little friend wanted to get better acquainted. They really do just cross the road, regardless of the number of curious cars and people staring.
Our day ended watching an eruption of Old Faithful
Day 4: A drive back through Yellowstone took us past the Grand Tetons and into Jackson Hole, WY where I said goodbye to my dear friends and hello to my Aunt Laurie, who would drive the rest of the way with me.
The Grand Tetons
We took turns looking like fools as we made antlers in front of the antler arch in the Jackson Hole town square
A close-up of M & L for your entertainment
Lots of cowboys and bikers on their way to Sturgis, SD for the annual Bike Week festival
Time to say goodbye
Thank you dear friends, for keeping me laughing all along the way!
For more photos from the first half of the trip, go HERE.