Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wishing For Spring

The thing about living in a place that has distinct seasons is that you reach your threshold with one just as another is about to come. I'm done with winter and wishing for a sunny spring.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weekend with Fred

I'm smack in the middle of finals this week but wishing that I could go through all the photos I took this weekend of Denise & her family. In particular, the times Denise spent with her grandfather Fred as he played the piano, his fingers stiffer than they used to be. They were sweet moments to be a part of.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mike!

To a great brother-in-law, wonderful father to my niece and supportive, loving husband to my sister. Wishing you a wonderful year with many adventures.
(If I were in Portland right now I'd buy you a bacon-maple bar at Voodoo Donuts to celebrate.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Back from the 'burbs (bearing gifts!)

In addition to their loving presence, Denise & Matt brought me a little gift from California. For at least three (wisely rationed) meals I'll enjoy the Mexican food of my childhood. With the recent trend for airlines to charge extra for baggage weight, this gift was extra precious.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Off to the 'burbs!

Yesterday Denise & I roamed the city playing tourist before we met up with Matt for drinks in the Hancock Building lounge followed by a gluttony of Giordano's pizza & cupcakes from Molly's Cupcakes. This afternoon we're off to the 'burbs to visit her family for the weekend. Until then, a couple of the love-birds.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It was a rainy, foggy Sunday.


It's Tuesday

That means I'm at school from 9am-7pm.
That also means I tune out a professor who tends to ramble and go off topic.
This then means I browse random things online, including my pictures on Flickr.
This Tuesday means that I tonight get to see the dear faces of two of my dearest friends.
This Tuesday also means that I have just 8 more days until I am finished with this semester.
This Tuesday has me imagining future travel plans and hoping that I will find time and money to go.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Here: A Day in the Life of a Peep on Easter

(Click the image)

More to come: A day in the life of a Peep on Easter Sunday

A Peep and its friends asked me to come with them to church yesterday, and then to photograph them as they gallivanted along Michigan Ave and had lunch at Grand Lux Cafe. This Peep wanted a professional photo of him during Easter worship service but I declined to pull out the big guns while worshiping the Lord and used my camera phone instead.

More Easter Day adventures to come.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Risen today!


Saturday, April 11, 2009


As my last second semester of my last first year of grad school enters its third last week I have several projects and long papers due. One particularly long paper + power point presentation is due on Tuesday.

So naturally I'm procrastinating.

If you're looking to procrastinate with some online TV/video watching, here are a few suggestions:

  • Premier episode of SOUTHLAND, a new drama about the LAPD. Watching it makes you understand why so many police officers are alcoholics or have terrible family lives.
Happy procrastinating!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Recipe Wanted: Pinto Beans

In the hopes of filling the hole of my much-missed California style Mexican food, I picked up some dry pinto beans at Whole Foods this afternoon. Only problem is, my past attempts at making homemade beans have failed, leaving me with bitter beans no matter how many times I soak and rinse them before cooking.
Anyone have a good recipe? Preferably no suggestions requiring a slow cooker as I can't seem to find mine though I do have a Le Creuset dutch oven, so hopefully that will suffice.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hana Matsuri

As part of an assignment for a class on diversity a couple friends (Andrea & Caitlin) and I recently attended a Sunday service at a Buddhist temple and participated in a meditation session. Lucky for us it was a special service in honor of Hana Matsuri, or the birth of the Buddha. As the legend goes, the man who came to be regarded as the Buddha was born to a King and Queen in a little kingdom in northern India. While traveling, his mother went into labor and gave birth to him in a garden while a soft, warm rain fell upon his face. Buddha went on to reject his princely destiny to instead be a messenger of peace with many followers. In honor of Hana Matsuri it is tradition to ladle sweet tea over the head of the baby Buddha statue, symbolizing the rain that fell on the day of his birth.

(Although I imagine visiting a Buddhist temple in Thailand or Japan would have been amazing, I doubt they would have let me take pictures inside. :-)


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hello there.

Every Wednesday this semester I have a 3-hour morning class and a 3-hour night class, with a 6-hour break in between. While this makes for a long day I planned this deliberately to force myself to stay on campus and use the 6 hours for studying and completing assignments. As you can imagine, it's a long 6 hours but fortunately there are a few of my school friends who have a similar schedule and we typically find a study room together and (try) to hold one another accountable for actually working. I'm getting ready to wrap up today's study session and just received the following IM from a friend in a study room down the hall:

"Study Break!"

Happy Wednesday! Hopefully your day was just brightened like mine.

(My favorite is the self-spank.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Craving satisfied (& rekindled)

I finally had the chance to return to that delicious Viennese cafe I'd talked about a couple months ago and again the food did not disappoint! This time a Croque Monsier and a pot of Strawberry Creme tea.


(Thanks, Liz for humoring me in my request to go to Julius Meinl, even though you'd just been there a 2 days before.)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Have you heard the one about the parking tickets?

(This is not a joke.) The one where I got 6 parking tickets in a period of about 4 weeks? Two of which were for having "smoke" tinted windows? Suffice to say I figured it was better for my wallet (not to mention my stress level and the feeling of being targeted by those parking ticket cops) to simply have the tinting removed rather than risk additional tickets.

Three hours and $90 ("If you pay cash we won't charge you sales tax..." says the guy as he pockets my $90 cash) later, my windows are clear as the day I drove my Honda Accord off the lot a little over 2 years ago.

But getting to the point of the post, the tint shop I chose to use happened to be in an area of town that I'd been meaning to visit: Pilsen. Pilsen was to be the embodiment of this California-bred girl's dreams. What dreams, you ask? Well, I'll tell you: good Mexican food. Suffice to say I've been disappointed with the Mexican food I've had since moving to the mid-west. But Pilsen, I'd been told, would fix all that & satisfy every craving. Essentially, "Welcome to the Mid-West's Mexico." So even though it was only 10:30am when I dropped my car off for what was supposed to be an hour long procedure, I decided it was lunch time.

But alas, although this food was indeed better than other places I've had since last August, it was no Rudy's (Oh, Rudy's, how I miss your bean & cheese burrito, no salsa!) or La Adelita (your enchiladas - one chicken, one cheese, no rice, extra beans!). There's just something different about the way they do Mexican food out here in the land-locked mid-west states. Not quite sure what it is, but I sure do miss my Mexican fix. (Even the canned pinto beans are different. They don't sell Sun Vista. GASP!)

But getting to the real point of this post: after eating an early lunch I wandered around Pilsen and snapped a few. A lonely chair sitting beside an alley dumpster caught my particular interest.
With many old, interesting buildings, colorful graffiti and other Mexican restaurants for me to try out in search of the best Mexican food in Chicago, I'll be back with a purpose.

PS. If you curious about the parking tickets, they were for the following offenses: no Chicago city parking sticker, parking on a curb (that had been covered with snow when I originally parked, and was revealed to be a curb when it melted), "abandoned vehicle" (after it'd sat parked in the same spot for 8 days. 7's the limit), expired California plates (I had my IL plates but didn't have the wrench needed to replace them), and, of course, the 2 (2 weeks apart) for tinted windows. Fun!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ginger's Visit: The Evidence

A few weeks back I had the joy of a weekend visitor, my dear friend Ginger. Although Ginger & I have plenty to talk about, she is probably the person I feel most comfortable sitting with in silence. That's always the mark of a solid friendship, I think. After pulling an all-nighter in the maternity wing of a hospital, acting as a doula for a friend in labor, Ging just made her morning flight out of Long Beach. Although I had to work a couple of the days she was here, we still managed to relax with a restorative cup of coffee/tea, sleep late, enjoy a delicious steak lunch at Gibson's, take the Sear's Tower elevator to the 99th floor for an amazing view, have pre-dinner cupcakes at Molly's Cupcakes, and, of course, inhale Ann Sather's amazing cinnamon rolls.

Great friend + plenty of laughter = Rest for a stressed grad-student's soul
I adore this picture of Ginger, huddling against the cold afternoon wind as we waited for the bus.
(The opposite view of here.)
President Obama was home for the weekend and stopped to say Hello.
Ginger was a good citizen of the Earth & picked up the flying newspaper as we sat along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Laughter. Always lots of laughter with Ging.
Thanks Ging. For your visit and your friendship.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

There is evidence.

My dear friend Ginger came to visit a couple weekends ago. There is photographic evidence of that fun time together. It will be shown here. Promise. (Eventually.)

(Have I mentioned how exhausting grad school + work can be? Very.)