Thursday, September 30, 2004

Hey hey hey
Copious amounts of thanks to Anne for this so, so awesome article on the adventures of the 500-pound bear known as Fat Albert. Apparently, he has recently been stealing chocolate and "tasty snacks" from a paralyzed man. That's pretty low, Fat Albert.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

So, yesterday, I was on campus from 8:45 a.m. till 10:15 at night! It was pretty intense. I had that huge break in the middle where I tried to crack down on Anatomy and get it together. Some cracking was done, but that shell is pretty thick. Anyhow, after my afternoon class I finally went and checked out the Northwestern gym, which--happily--is right beside my building. The facilities are pretty nice, but my favorite part is the indoor track. I ran on it yesterday and was totally pleased with it in that it has HUGE windows that look over the beach. A little treat for making another lap. You cannot argue that Evanston isn't pretty.

In the evening, the women in my track (people without SLP backgrounds) met for a potluck at the lovely apartment of one of the women in my department. There were about 10 of us there, and it was a good time since we see eachother all of the time, but none of us had gotten to know everyone in the entire group. There was wine and lots of good food, which made me like the people all the more in that they don't shirk potluck duties! Luckily, I got a ride home from another woman who lives in the city, because coming home after 10 on the trains probably would have taken me about three hours. Okay, not really...but almost.

This was my one morning where I could sleep in (no 9 a.m. Anatomy class), and it was lovely. I woke up late, did some email, did some reading, made some breakfast and generally feel well-rested and non-rushed. We had Anatomy lab today where we looked at what is my first cadaver. Sexy stuff.

But the best news of the day is that Des and Bryan are in Chicago as we speak and I will get to see them tonight! I can't wait. Also, I get them all weekend as well. All of the more incentive to get my work done during the day so I am free to play all weekend.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I'm cruising into the first half hour of my five-hour break between classes right now. I am going to study, I promise, and have all of the appropriate materials available to do so, but am more inclined right now to sit here at the computer and goof off.

So last night I went to see Jenny and Brendan perform at Second City--they tour most of the time but once a month they're back in Chicago to do a home show. It was a packed house and a lot of fun. By the time I got home, though, I had to crawl into bed and it was about midnight. I slept like the dead, y'all. It was lovely, not in the least because I had washed my sheets that afternoon.

It's cool and windy in Chicago today. Apparently the rest of the week is going to be warmer, but today feels like a late fall day. I sleep by an open window but the wind woke me up last night, it was so strong. It was buffeting me, yo. Anyway, I dig the cooler weather visit and like wearing a coat and a scarf and bundling a little...just as long as there's the promise of warm weather around the corner.

My Lord, these fricking posts are dull as nails. No, I don't expect anyone to protest, I totally understand that they are. I was so bored my first weeks here when I had nothing to do, but now that I have everything to do, I'm at wit's end. There's no pleasing me. Anyway, that is all to say that I am sapped of energy by the end of it all and can't pump out anything close to scintillating in these posts.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Reason Chicago is great, #431
Beachfront picnics! I went today with a couple of women from my old workplace from here and we spread out some towels, some stuff to nosh on and some drinks and we whiled away the afternoon by the water. It was beautiful. Chicago weather may be nice only a portion of the year, but people really appreciate it while the getting's good. It was a nice, long, event-filled Sunday, and it's only 8:30 right now. I love it!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Don't go to the Dunkin Donuts on North Clark and Belmont
(unless you get the nice manager)
I had gone there a couple of weeks ago and try to buy some coffee beans, and attempted to use my checkcard. After some shenanigans--the employees couldn't seem to get the credit card machine to work and kept on swiping and swiping--it ended up being a fruitless expedition, since I had no cash on me. So I just replaced the bag of coffee and went on my merry way.

I received my bank statement today and sure enough there were FIVE charges from Dunkin Donuts on my statement from that one day. Jeebus! I promptly marched over there and asked to speak to the manager. I ended up having to talk to some clueless employees in the meantime, until finally I talked to the woman in charge. The story has a happy ending since she was gracious, properly contrite and quickly credited my card with the charges. Quelle hassle, though!

I'm about to sit down at some point soon and do some reading. But it's much more appealing to sit here and watch reruns of MTV's "Made." Have I watched all of these before? Do you even need to ask?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Countdown to the Weekend
The countdown is in full effect! I have one more class left, occuring in 45 minutes time, and I'm looking forward to a night out with some women who worked at my old organization. Thank the Lord.

These classes make me feel like I'm poking and prodding my brain. It's been awhile and I'm trying to get that thing back in shape, or just less lardy than it has become. It's interesting to be in school while completely motivated, though. An interesting experience...

This post is pretty much useless but I figure that it's better than nothing.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I am so very pleased that the third season of America's Next Top Model has arrived! I watched last night's episode and it totally delivered with bar fights, bitchiness, sad stories and Tyra making several women cry. awesome!
Many, many hours at Evanston
First of all, thanks to everyone for the suggestions in terms of where to buy cheaper books. I will check out all of the options.

Today I had two classes and an MA-SLP meeting. The thing is, the way that my schedule works out is that I have a class that ends at 10 in the morning and then not another class till three in the afternoon on two days of the week. That is a frick load of time to kill. I have hopes that in the next few weeks, I'll use this time to do some studying and get some work done. The good news is that there is a library that is full of light and quiet right next to our building. Since I didn't have anything to do today, I used part of my empty time to check out the main library on campus (huge, y'all), and then the second part of the time I joined a fellow SLP student to a trip to the mall to walk around. Surreal field trip!

I am wiped out, though, so I'm going to watch my programs tonight and then pass the heck out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Shiny Apples
Today was the first day of school! I had one class. But I also went to buy books (the price of my first-born child, I don't want to talk about it), attended the department's Annual Research Forum (of which I understood approximately 9%), partook in the department's luncheon, and then finally attended class. Today's class was Language Development, which I think is going to be pretty interesting--a focus on how kids pick up language. I'm actually pretty excited about the content and think that if I were to focus on any area in the field, it would be this one.

Okay, so I didn't want to talk about what the books cost, but I do have to tell you how much the bookstore was charging for notebooks (I didn't purchase any, but I was slack-jawed at the sight of the sign). For a one-subject notebook: $4.98. For a three-subject notebook: $9.98. Yes, you saw that right. $9.98!!!!!! Jeebus help us all.

It galls me to pay full-price for anything. I found out that I can return the books I bought today by 9/29 for a full refund, so I'm going to scout around online to see if I can find some better deals. I did some looking today for one book that they're out of until next week, and the price was comparable on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and even Wal-Mart. Anyone have any good suggestions of places to check out?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Chat with My Little Brother

Chat occured online at 8:10 Central Time, while Erik was "doing homework."

k: Which room are you in now?
e: guest room right next to the bathroom
k: also
e: i tried buying somezebra print satin sheets
e: but mom got mad at me when she found out they were satin
k: HA
k: That is so hilarious.

e: so she cancelled my order literally 10 minutes after

e: man
e: i want some zebra print sooo badly

The sheets in question.
Second City Neighborhood Tour Pictures
Okay, I finally managed to download those pictures from the Second City Tour.
First of all, I went with Jenny to pick up some stuff from Second City before the tour, and took this picture. Brendan was on the main stage this past weekend! How exciting is that?

Here is a picture of Jenny in action. Check out how many people are there. It was a full tour. Here is a shot of Jenny in front of some public art. The guy who created those, John Kearney (I think) is the Chicago artist who also has stuff on each side of our little street (giraffes on one side and a billygoat on the other). I haven't yet been to Oz Park, but there is a big Tin Man there that is also a Kearney piece.

Here is one and two shots of the Old Town neighborhood. Way cute, right?
Day Deux of Orientation
Last night I got about ten hours of sleep. It was truly magical, folks. See, I had stayed up late on Sunday night and shared a lot of wine with Jenny and Amie, so all of yesterday I was in this totally wiped out state. It's amazing what a little sleep can do for you.

Today I met with my two advisors (one academic, one clinical--fancy!) and we sketched out my course plan for my entire time here. I was glad to see that rather than being here for 2.5 years, I only need to be here for 2.25 years in order to complete my degree. Yay! This entire quarter is going to spent doing under-grad pre-reqs. There was this whole boondoggle since the system wouldn't allow me to register for one of the classes, since that class is listed as only undergraduate level. I had to chase down advisors to fill out appropriate forms, cross campus to the Graduate School building to get a signature and then finally take it to the registrar for another signature and left it there with the hope that they'll take care of it all.

Through this whole hassle, I met four or five other women who are taking my exact same class schedule since they are also without undergraduate degrees in the area. I am very happy to report that each and every one of these women were very friendly and seemed interesting so I will have good company.

Classes start tomorrow, and I'll have classes every day of the week, some days more loaded than others. The good news is that with this schedule, except for one trip, every other trip will operate during express train hours which cuts my commute down my about half. This afternoon I went to Evanston when the express train wasn't going and it took me about an hour and 15 minutes. I know. BUT, I came home during rush hour so my commute was about 45 minutes. Much more handleable.

I'm going to fix some dinner here and then settle in for the finale of TAR. Yahoo!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Tours and More Orientation
I just got back from my first department orientation for the SLP Master's students. Some observations:
1.) There are a lot of women up in that piece. Out of like 30 people, there is one man.
2.) I felt very, very old. There were so many people who just graduated! Oh my God. I remember back in college we used to refer to the "mature students." I think I am one now. Oh my God.
3.) I have a buttload of classes that I need to take before I graduate. I have to take the ordinary curriculum as well as the pre-reqs. I knew this before going in, and it would be the same with any of the programs I chose, but just scanning the courses today made me very tired. Tomorrow I meet with my advisors to choose the exact classes that I'll register for this quarter. Classes should start on Thursday.

Anyway, I got my student ID today and turned in some forms at the health center and am quite pleased to have that out of the way.

Yesterday, I tagged along with Jenny while she did the Second City Neighborhood tour. It was cool: they partner with the Chicago Historical Society and the tour guides take people throught the Old Town area, and give history of both the area and Second City's ties to it. It was a stunning day and the area if ridiculously adorable: there are tons of little bungalows on these tree-lined streets. I took some photos, but for some reason am having a heck of time downloading them. I'll add them as soon as I can get them on the computer.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Nields Night
I was flipping through the Chicago Reader, Chicago's free weekly, last night. Let me just say that the Reader is hands-down the best free weekly I've ever seen. There are several sections and they are chock full of everything that is going on in the city that week along with pages and pages of rentals, sales, etc. This week they had an entire spread by one of my favorite artists, Chris Ware. I am very impressed.

Anyway, I saw that Katrina and Nerissa Nields were playing at what looked like a bar close to me tonight. I found my way tonight to a neighborhood bar called Schuba's Tavern. Their back room is a nice, cozy venue that is all wood and high ceilings and looks like it's part of a church or something. I'm so glad that I went. I play the hell out of the one Nields cd that I have. Tonight, they were high energy and their playlist ran the gamut from slow and melodic to strummy and fun. They also accepted requests, besides doing their new stuff. Plus, they were so nice that after the show ended, Katrina Nields (very, very pregnant) stood there, greeted and shook hands with everyone as they filed out (there was probably something like 50 people in the audience). I love folk singers.

Let me also say a huge thank you to Don, in case he reads the blog all the way from Armenia. He had passed along his Lonely Planet Chicago before he left, and that this is my bible. I don't leave the house without it, and the maps are priceless to me. Anne can vouch as while she was here that I clutched it endlessly. Plus, they even had Schuba's Tavern marked out in one of their maps, so it made it all the easier for me.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

So Unfortunate
One of my duties in this three day stint is to handle the front desk while the receptionist is off to lunch. It's a pretty low-key job since there are no divas in the organization--you just zap people right through to people's extensions when they call, no checking out who they are first. Of course there are always a few bumps when you don't really know the office that well. Today, someone called for a volunteer who wasn't listed on the phone list, so I told them that they had the wrong number. They were confused, I was confused, and they hung up before someone came out after they heard my exchange and told me that person was a volunteer and actually in the office. Luckily the caller called right back and I was able to patch them through to the right extension. I went ahead and made a note to myself that this volunteer was sitting at that number. It wasn't until I got up to leave that I noticed what their name was...and I couldn't believe that I didn't suspect that it might have been a prank. Crazily, it wasn't.

My note to myself read:

Mo Lester
x 3467

I can't believe that's a real name. And that I was pretty much screaming it throughout the office.
Slate reports the best parts of Kitty Kelly's book on the Bush Family. Best reading material of the day, hands-down.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Waging and Slaving
So I just finished Day One of my stint for the ES HQ here in Chicago. It was a smooth, busy experience. It was easier for everyone all around since I knew who everyone was, still had access to my Outlook account, and was relatively clued in to how the system worked. It was nice to come home feeling that I have some money coming in, however paltry the amount may be.

I liked doing the morning commute, since I felt like I was pretending to be a Chicago commuter. I also enjoyed the pleasures of the much less crowded Brown line which goes around the Loop, rather than crowding my ass onto the packed Red Line (maybe all red lines are crazy). Since the ride is all elevated (hence, the "el"), it's a nice little sight seeing experience. The downtown skyline is something else. I also love passing through the various neighborhoods and peeking into the windows and over people's porches.

A nice thing about the El: every ride is apparently $1.75, no matter what time of day or how far you're going. I may be wrong about this, but I don't think so. Also, if you put certain amounts of your card, you get some bonus cash--the pot-sweetener that DC Metro used to do but abolished last year since they're so in the hole all the time.

Jenny took me last night to an official welcome dinner at this Thai restaurant in our neighborhood. It was so great and also cheap (everything appeared to be under $7). And also BYOB! I love that! I apparently love exclamation marks too!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Today I went to the new grad student orientation. It was very helpful, and thankfully I was not forced to participate in any icebreaker-gettoknowyou games, although I did hear about the threat of them happening. I found answers to stuff that I was wondering about and got to eyeball other new students, although I didn't meet anyone from my actual program--that will be for next week. Anyway, tomorrow will be one of my last days of nothing, and I'm going to enjoy it for once. I'm going to do laundry and clean and putter and I'm psyched about it.

Many thanks for Clarence and Jonathan for the cool Chicago map that they sent.

Many thanks as well to Des and Bryan for the cd full of their wedding photos: a little taste of home!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Last night I tagged along with Kevin to see Jessica's show "Welcome to Poppycock." Jessica recently went through the Second City Improv courses. She and her friend wrote a show and the theater accepted it so they are putting it on Saturdays in September. The show was great, and I was so very proud of Jessica--the woman has a goal and then goes out and accomplishes it. I was also very impressed by Jessica's mom who I had met exactly one time back in 1996 and totally remembered my face and name. That woman is good.

Besides the show, the night's highlight was a story told by one of Jessica's friends who I sat next to. He is a seventh grade teacher in a wealthy school district here. He looked through the paper yesterday and he discovered an article about a student of his: this girl recently had a bat mitzvah that cost a cool $40,000. She had a Vera Wang gown and everything. You would think that was the whole story, right? No, it gets much better. The capper is that this girl is not EVEN JEWISH. She's Irish Catholic. Her mom threw her the bat mitzvah because this girl felt left out: her friends were all having them but she was not.

How awesome is that?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

I just remembered that I can get the acclaimed WBEZ NPR station here (home of "This American Life"), and turned it on this morning. Excellent stuff.

Last night I watched my pirated version of "Fahreinheit 9/11," which was good but lost some of its power as it was recorded in a theater, so there would be moments of blackness when people stood up and went to the bathroom. Plus, it was just kind of a bummer. It occured to me as I was watching the footage of 9/11 that today would make it the three year anniversary. I can't believe that time goes by so quickly.

Before I watched the movie, I sat down and read through "Persepolis," a graphic autobiographical novel about a Iranian woman's childhood during the Islamic revolution. It's pretty great, and moving enough that I shed some tears at the end. The sequel has recently come out, and the author is speaking at a Chicago bookstore on Monday night. I am going to try to find my way there but it happens to piggyback closely the one thing I have to do next week--the grad school orientation in Evanston. Let's hope that I can swing it.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Celebrity Sighting!
..Not mine, though. Grace just called me from the streets of Georgetown because she just ran into a celebrity. Who was it, you ask? EMMANUEL LEWIS!!!! Aka, Webster. Vroom-vroom was getting out a cab when apparently Webster asked if the cabdriver knew where the Baby Gap was. Grace ended up walking beside Manny and asked him if he was indeed Emmanuel Lewis. He confirmed that he was, and she then told him that she loved Webster when she was kid. Apparently, he was very gracious. I envy Grace's ability to run into celebrities at every turn, even in DC! Grace, you should totally write into Wonkette.
Download this
Cindy's band, Full Minute of Mercury, has a song available for download at Washington
Click here to download it.

They are trying to win song of the week, so download, download, download!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Dude, I am watching the first episode of The Apprentice, and they're all having dinner in Donald Trump's apartment. That place is way too gold and shiny.
Art Institute & Apartments
I spent the afternoon today wandering around the Art Institute, which is a great museum. It is HUGE and seems to be almost the size of the National Gallery in DC and they're stacked full of stuff. I discovered that as a Chicago resident, you pay $9 for the entry fee, instead of the usual $12. Score!

Afterward, I strolled through Millenium Park again and read through all of their 1,000 Family placards in which they photograph different families throughout the world. Very fascinating. Here is one that I particularly enjoyed. You can't really read what the caption is on Ofoto, it reads this:

Massaro, Cameroon
They only agreed to pose for us so that they could look at the Polaroid afterwards. The Bororo are definitely people who are out of the ordinary; the young men wear makeup, style their hair and dress extremely stylishly. If they build their huts close to a town, it's so they can take the milk from their zebus to the market (women's work), as well as buy makeup, stroll hand in hand and look at themselves in the rear view mirrors of the rare vehicles (men's work).

I also finally uploaded some pictures of the precious apartment onto Ofoto. Here's the dining room, the kitchen (my favorite), the living room, and my messy bedroom. Check out the butter yellow walls of the bedroom, how awesome are they? The day that we moved in, I tugged on the curtains and managed to rip off the curtain rod that had been glued up there (because I am such a pillar of strength, you know). Anne suggested getting a tension rod, and sure enough I found one at the Ace Hardware down the street and paid a sweet $6 for the pleasure. If you look again at the picture of the bedroom, you can see that the curtains are hanging nicely.

You know, another thing that I love about this neighborhood is how walkable everything is. There are two grocery stores nearby, and every possible store that you might need within a couple of mile radius. I would be happier if Trader Joe's were next door, but I can still get there, and that's all that matter. Btw, oddly enough, the roasted garlic hummus from the Trader Joe's here in Chicago tastes a bit different from the one that I frequented in Virginia.
Sixth Day
Here it is on Thursday, which is about a week since I've left. It's vacation time before things get started with orientations and classes, so I'm trying to take advantage of this time to get more settled and to check out the city a little more.

Anne left yesterday afternoon, which was very sad, and more lonesome-making. I know this is a phase that will pass once things get heated up with classes, and it's an inevitable part of moving to a new place, but it's always slightly uncomfortable getting settled in.

But, to give a report--Anne arranged for tickets for us to see the Cubs on Tuesday night, so we walked over the Wrigley to watch the Cubs play the Expos. I don't know much about baseball (at one point, I asked Anne who we were "voting for"), albeit more than football, but I got into it, mostly because the crowd made for a very communal experience. The game went into twelve innings, and we left at the beginning of the last one since it was late and we were getting chilly (it's windy up in those stands, yo). I took some photos of the game. Here is an action shot of the game. Here's a shot of the scoreboard when we left.

Tuesday morning we took the El to Evanston to check out Northwestern's campus and to figure out where my department building is. Evanston pulled out all the stops for us that day, since the weather was hands-down stunning. It was breezy, crisp, and sunny, and Northwestern's campus is huge and lovely. It's right on the lake. I took some shots, and you can see the album here. Here's a shot of the lake right outside the University Center (or whatever it's called). Here's a shot of what one of the buildings looks like. We took this shot of the seal in the sidewalk pavement made by the paving companies. We saw these all over Chicago, and it's a neat sign of the pride people seem to take in the city. I'm pretty excited about the department since we peeked into the building and what we saw of the facilities took pretty great.

Yesterday morning, we went strolling along the lake. The lake path is a couple of blocks away, and it's pretty fabulous. At one point, we stopped at one spot and enjoyed the buffeting wind and the expansive view of the water. Look at the view! Here are both Anne and myself being windblown.

Here is a shot of my street, North Elaine Place. It's in the Lakeview neighborhood, which is close to Wrigleyville and the lake. I love this little street since at one end, on each side of the street are enormous giraffe sculptures, apparently made out of car bumpers by a Chicago artist. On the other end of the street is a sculpture of a goat, also made out of bumpers. They are way cool. Here is a shot of our apartment's courtyard. Check out how adorable! The tree in the middle is laced with Christmas lights. There are also bunnies! Anne noted that this is definitely the place for me, since bunnies abound, and the bunny is my familiar.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Spike and his favorite bobble-head, Eddie Pope

I really, really miss Spike.
Photos from the first week in Chicago
I finally downloaded some photos from the Chicago move. I'll be taking more pictures later of the apartment and my street, but I wanted to get down some images that I have so far...

Here are a couple shots of Anne and myself driving the Penske.

Here is the Chicago skyline (the blocking done by Anne). That's one of the lions in from the Art Institute.

Here are Jenny and Amie who putzed around with us this morning.

Look at the rest of the album here.
Okay, so I discovered that I can access wireless in our apartment. I'm sitting by the windows, in a comfortable wicker rocking chair and am quite happy to be online and connected once again. Awesome.

Yesterday was a successful touristy day. Anne and I took the El to Navy Pier (the El is very easy to navigate it seems, btw) and then took an hour-long architectural boat tour. It was very edifying and quite gorgeous. There are so many different buildings of different styles, and it is quite stunning. Then we got out, walked along Jackson street where we stumbled upon a Jazz festival, walked under the spray of Buckingham Fountain, and then strolled up Michigan Avenue, past Millenium (sp?) Park, and then rounded the corner to Marshall Fields.

Kevin took us out last night to two hot gay bars. Many, many well-sculpted men were present.

Now we are going to take a trip top Trader Joe's. wooo!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Anne and I pulled into the neighborhood on Friday afternoon around four o'clock. Our drive to Chicago from Virginia was pretty smooth--we left on Thursday evening around six, and then drove three or four hours, stopping for the night in Morgantown, WV. Annie had given us an alternate route that avoids the Pennsylvania turnpike and all of the tolls, and this route was nothing short of amazing. There was very little traffic and the scenery was stunning...until you roll into Gary, IN which is a suckhole.

The Penske truck was astonishingly easy to drive, but luckily Anne agreed to drive the end of the trip when we rolled into Chicago. There, the stress started in. We followed the directions to get on Lake Shore Drive and were happily mired in traffic there, admiring the scenery, when a police tow truck dude pulls up next to us and admonishes us to get the hell off of Lake Shore because no trucks are allowed on it. I think he had good intentions since he said that if a policeman saw us, we would be sure to get a ticket. Whoops. We only had a few more miles to go on Lake Shore before exiting, so decided to stick it out those miles and try to stay clear of the tow truck guy's window during that time. We actually DID pass a policecar when we were almost off, but for some reason he didn't follow us and then we were homefree. Those were some tense miles, though.

We found the apartment without incident, doubleparked, turned on the hazards and unloaded the truck. That was great fun, as was expected. Anne deserves some kind of medal for being so good-natured throughout all of this, especially when we were trying to navigate my ultra-awkward dresser out of the truck, through the courtyard, up the stairs and around the stairwells and into the apartment. My shoulders are still a little sore from the moving, but that was the worst of it.

Let me just comment on the apartment and the neighborhood. The place is in the Lakeview/Boystown neighborhood and close to Wrigleyville and I am quite besotted with the surroundings here. The streets are vibrant with shops and cafes and coffee shops and cozy, stylish little bars. Outdoor seating is everywhere and people are out and about. It's a pretty self-contained area since there are a couple of grocery stores in walking distance and there are two accesible El stops. The apartment itself is wonderful and airy with huge windows, a spacious living room, dining room, and kitchen (with the best black and white checkered floors ever) and exposed brick walls. My bedroom is painted a light yellow color and I think will be quite great once I unpack and deal with hanging curtains up. Right now, I have boxes piled everywhere and am trying to unpack bit by bit, but am not quite as quick about it as I would like to be. I'll take some pictures to post at some point. Right now, I'm using Jenny's dial-up service (which feels ridiculously slow compared to cable and T-1 lines that I had been using the past couple of years), but we've discussed getting cable here so hopefully that will come to fruition.

Friday night we went out with Jenny and Brendan and some of their friends and proceeded to make a real night of it, coming back after two. I have no idea where we found the energy to do this, since we had been traveling since six in the morning, ET (five am central time) and had moved all of my worldly possessions out of a truck, across a courtyard, up stairs, and into my apartment. Saturday, Anne and I were both pretty dead to the world. We managed to return the truck that morning (long boring story there) but then spent the rest of the day lazing or walking around the neighborhood. We walked to the lake (which is like three blocks over, awesome) and walked along there until we crossed over to Lincoln Park, another hot neighborhood. Then we walked back home and then came back *again* to catch a movie (we saw the Metallica documentary, which is highly, highly recommended) and then back home again. I developed a couple of blisters, but it was good to get out and move around.

It hasn't sunk in that this is my new home, I still feel like I'm visiting. I know that it'll take about a month to get used to the idea and acclimate but right now it's very weird. I think because there are still several things I need to get sorted out before starting class and a real routine, so I feel like things are still up in the air. I am quite relieved to have gotten out here in one piece, though with no damage to the truck or ourselves. That challenge has been met and is over, thank God.

Today I think that we're going to go on an architectural boat tour and maybe a run on the lake path.

To sum up, the trip here was successful, Chicago is great so far, and I appreciate it but my head is still in the "wha' happened?" mode. I'll check in later using the dial-up, but I might need to go and find some place that offers wireless. Any suggestions on places that might offer it out there?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Okay, the truck is all loaded up and I have about an hour to chill before I pick up the Annester and we start our trek. I'm happy to report that the truck took then less than two hours to fill. I'm going to lie on the couch motionless for a little while now. Before I do, t though, let me just say that the personnel at the Public Storage of Crystal City are crazy-ass slow. We got there this morning just on time at 10:30 a.m., but didn't get to leave till 11:15 since their printer was broken and the guy helping me had to painstakingly fill out everything verrry verrrry slowly. I felt my blood pressure rising and offered at one point to fill out the forms myself. Oh my god.

MANY thanks to my dad and Erik for all of their work and chauffering me around. My dad also lent me his snazzy tie cords so my furniture doesn't bounce all over the place, smashing CDs and mugs as they go. We have a ten foot truck, the smallest they offer for one-way trips, and my stuff fills it up a little more than halfway. Not very efficient.
Miles to go before I sleep
And so it begins! In about ten minutes I'm taking off to my parents' house where I will drop off my car and hitch a ride over to the storage unit where we pick up the truck. Then back to the apartment and load up the truck with all of my junk. I should have some downtime after that while I wait for Ms. Anne to come from her work and then we hit the road! I stocked up on water and nuts and Luna bars for the road. Anne printed up the directions. I'm going to the ATM this afternoon to get extra cash for tolls. I'm doing my last few loads of laundry so I can arrive in Chicago with fresh stuff.

Wish us luck....

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I should move all the time
It makes me productive! This morning I went and got an oil change for my car, visited my grandparents and cleaned and packed up some more. I'm about to go off and have lunch with Clarence, Jonathan, and Grace with a close to clear conscience. Last night I even cleaned out most of my scary products from the fridge (although it occurs to me that I better start eating some sugar free popsicles and fudgiscles like my life depends on it...don't want those to go to waste).

I have a lot of crap, though. Too much. I can't bear to let any of it go though.

This afternoon is going to be dedicated to spackling. Matt is supposed to come over to help though so it should go pretty quickly.