Monday, January 29, 2007

I'm sneezing like crazy tonight. Let's hope that it's not a cold coming to settle in. It's freezing in Chicago, and it snowed on and off during the weekend. My car is completely covered in salt; it's kind of gross. I'm leery of getting a car wash, though, since it seems like every two days the salt trucks go to town on the roads. Eff it.

In other news, Todd and I went to the Empty Bottle on Saturday night for a benefit show for a musician whose baby has a rare genetic disease. For a good cause and all of that. In addition to the five bands playing, they also had a raffle. A lot of the prizes were pretty good (for instance, VIP passes to next year's Pitchfork Festival). The grand prize, though, was a home visit from SNL's Fred Armisen who would "come to your house to entertain you." Apparently, Armisen used to play in Chicago bands and is friends with the musician in question. The person who won? Armisen's ex-wife. Needless to say, she didn't want it. So she suggested that they auction the prize off in the interest of earning more money. At first, the audience was kind of weirded out by the aspect of the prize, so noone was bidding and it hung at $20 for a little while. Eventually, people got warmed up, and it eventually went for $300 to the owner of the Empty Bottle.

Todd and I were chuckling over how awkward that prize might be. So he would come to your house and then do what exactly? But then we figured that it would be worth it to spend $40 to have him come over and help you move or clean or something. How awesome would that be to have Fred Armisen help you move your crap? And it would be cheaper than hiring movers!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bears Fever!
Chicago is nutty with the Bears right now. One of the first grade teachers had her kids color pictures of football players (in Bears colors, of course) and posted them outside the classroom. The local morning news is about 76% Bears coverage. I want to see if it would keep up for these next two weeks leading up to the Super bowl.

I hung out yesterday and watched the Bears game with Todd and Rich. It wasn't an unpleasant experience since I napped a little here and there and read my book most of the time.

Beyond that, it's cold as hell here! It snowed a little this weekend and left gray slushiness. The weather makes me want to curl up and go to sleep early. I think that's exactly what I will do tonight.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Before I forget:

This silkscreen print (framed and matted) is the perfectly awesome Christmas gift Todd got for me from my favorite poster/print makers, The Bird Machine. I love the art by the artist, Jay Ryan. They do a lot of concert posters, but I recently noticed that the cover of the new Michael Chabon book is done by them as wel;. Todd had picked it out from the web site, but he was first told that they were out. Luckily, someone dug a hidden one up when Todd re-mentioned it when he went over to the Bird Machine's silkscreening place (whatever you call it).

He told me that a conversation occurred with one of the people there that went as follows:

Todd: My girlfriend loves fat, furry animals.
Guy at Bird Machine: You came to the right place.

I bought another poster from them, another sleeping animal, a bear this time (to the right).

I think I need to start collecting a series of Jay Ryan's fat, sleeping animals.

Monday, January 15, 2007

How it Began
To briefly catch up, I completed my first two days of my job. I got extremely lucky and have the exiting SLP around for about three weeks so I can ease my transition. It helps to take my time meeting the kids, meeting the staff, and learning about the paperwork. Otherwise it would be a lot more frenzied, and a lot more stressful. I was a bit worried to try a new school since my school placement was so ideal, mostly because the kids were perfect angels. I'm happy to report that the kids who I've met so far at my new school are equally angelic. Plus, the SLP is leaving behind tons of materials, a beautiful therapy room (with an enormous picture window), and lots of organization. So far, so good. Plus, I got paid for today, a school holiday! It's a nice contrast to my other placements where I sometimes SLAVED, and paid a lot (both monetarily and spiritually) for the experience.

Plus, my commute is awesome. It takes me about 15 minutes door to door to get home, so I've been getting home by around 3-3:15. I know once the SLP is gone I'll probably stick around longer to get work done, but I'll still be home before 5, most likely.

In other news, I ended my week last week by taking my geology midterm. Brutal. It took me 2.5 hours and by the end I was ready to chuck it since my hands were hurting from writing. 15 definitions and 10 non-negotiable essays. But, that marks my half-way point of the course, and I bled along the way.

But this weekend was a good time. Todd and I went to see Mission of Burma and Pinebender perform at the Double Door. It was a great show, partly because the crowd was so varied (there were a lot of people who were in their 50s). Mission of Burma played two high-energy sets, and the show was still over by midnight. My kind of show. Unfortunately, the cigarette smoke at the show kicked Todd's burgeoning cold into high gear. He was out of commission all weekend, poor dude. He was mildly cheered by the Bears win on Sunday, but had to miss Indian buffet last night.

Laura, Megan, Katie and I went to Devon (Indian-town of Chicago, complete with grocery stores specializing in dried spices and gleaming department stores chock full of glamourous saris and fabric) and partook in a sumptuous buffet. It was such a deal! Besides the buffet, they brought hot buttered naan to the table and sizzling platters of chicken tandoori. All for $9.95. One of my new favorite places in Chicago.

So the week begins again tomorrow. I'm plowing through the last week of my intensive education course for teacher's certifcation, but I can put geology aside for a little bit. I've been running around today running errands: getting a much needed haircut, hassling NU's registrar to fill out paperwork for liscensure, grocery shopping, and working out. Now I'm pooped and am contemplating changing my sheets and changing in my pajamas. Chicago got some snow today and it's starting to stick, so I may take the bus to work tomorrow.
The New Year.

I decided to start out the series of New Years picture with the New Years bread pig that Grace got for my family.

How awesome is it?

Anyway, we rang in the New Year at Matt's beautiful condo. Robin stayed for New Years, and it was a super fun time. It's kind of ridiculous that I have no pictures of our host, but I'll just get them next time. The party was fun, not too crazy, full of delicious food and drinks and full of people who I love.

And it didn't cost over $50 at the door. ;)
Todd's friends, Matt and Sharon, were in DC for the New Years.
Christie and Stefan.
Christie, Anne, and myself.

Anne was such a rock start since she *worked* that day. Had woken up at like 4:30 to work.
New Years fun.
30th Birthdays.
This is wildly overdue, but I wanted to document the wee get-t0gether that Jonathan, Clarence, and I had for our 30ths. Clarence turned 30 in November, I did in December, and Jonathan will turn next month. Super good, laid back time! I also got a chance to see folks like James and Nathalie who I might not have otherwise seen.
Des, Bryan, and myself. I am sandwiched by love.
Here is one of my favorite pictures.

Grace was shocked that I liked the last Rocky movie enough to cry at the end. She didn't believe it at first. Then we decided to act out the moment of scorn/disbelief at me sobbing like a baby at a hokey movie.
Gracie and me. When we're not showing our awesome acting skills.
Finally reunited.
I think it was about two years since I had seen Christie!
(We should have gotten Madeline in this one as well).
The birthday kids. part II.
Birthday kids I.
The beautiful cake that Jonathan acquired for the birthday festivities.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Perfect Storm.
I'm not dead! I assure you, I am alive!
This week has been crazy because of a combination of three things:
1. ) I started my job. About that, my first day was today and I liked it very much. I feel heartened with the assurance that I made the right decision. Plus: money!
2.) I'm in the midst of an intensive three-week course to complete my teachers certification. Much online participation is required along with regular papers. It sucks. But I'm almost half way through at this point.
3.) I'm taking my geology midterm on Friday (my other dreaded online course). It's so much information, I feel totally and seriously screwed.

Once things settle down (this is a long weekend) I'll write more, and try to get down to downloading all of those photos from the break. So you have that to look forward to. Don't lose heart.