Thursday, March 29, 2007

More dining room

Here's a pic of the other side of the dining room. I suppose we're going to hang something on that wall there but haven't decided what yet - possibly my print of The Kiss, which I love.

You can see more of our dining room table, which I made myself and am rather proud of. Well, I made the top and then just fitted it over our old, crappy, small table. It's almost too big for this room, but I think it will be ok.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Design Remix

My mom came up for a few days and today we painted the dining room. Here's a "before"

and here's the "after"

I don't love the picture of our "after" because it makes the wall color looks kind of boring, but it's actually a really beautiful shade called "Chocolate Froth" that looks like, as my friend C. said, "a coffee milkshake."

Here's another goofy picture of us on the front stoop. The garden is just starting to sprout little buds, it will be very exciting to see what comes up! I'll post pictures of the kitchen as soon as we finish hanging all the cabinets and put the knobs on!

I just love the jokes that come with home improvement. I haven't stopped talking about caulk since we moved in. Then we bought a studfinder - hilarious. Unparalleled joy to discover the screw on the new sconces we installed was called... a nipple!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Life Camp

Last night I saw Janice Dutts Goes To Life Camp at the Factory Theatre. It's written by a friend, Laura McKenzie, who is also the lead. It's in the same vein as McKenzie's Funk Cloud: Fight the Stank! from a few years ago - dealing with alienation and media overload/desensitization. Laura's a great writer, and I really loved parts of her play, especially the songs and dances - although in a way it really depressed me. It's about this women who finds herself at a "Life Camp" being manipulated by a Life Coach and a bunch of idiots who show her how to "make connections." I just thought, Gee, there's two kinds of people in this world, people who Get It and people who Don't Get It, and we're all doomed.

You know when someone's talking to you, and they're an idiot, and you're like, staring daggers at them, and you're giving them nothin', but they keep going, and they're like, saying your name over and over again, and they clearly just got out of a week-long seminar on how to "close"? Ugh! Those people just Don't Get It! Well, I had a recent icky experience with just such a mattress salesman, so I'm all embittered. But I do love my new bed.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

San Francisco Heroines

Via Feministing, this incredible story of a waitress and a bartender in a Noe Valley bar who busted a guy who slipped a mickey in his date's drink. The two women quickly found a way to remove the drink from the table (and save it as evidence) and also notify the woman about what was happening. Outrageously, while one of the women was telling the victim what had happened, he tried to do it again! When they confronted him, he tried to blow the whole thing over by offering to buy them all a drink (uh, HELLO?) and then get his date to leave. The bartender said (this is so awesome), "Your date's over, mister. She's staying with us." YEA! Reading that story was a great way to start my day.

In other news (not so inspiring), a report on the Smithsonian museums reveals that the institution is failing in many ways. The committee (comprised of directors from major museums around the country, including my own alma matar) stated that the Smithsonian “ought to comprise the most stimulating place in the country to explore the fascinating and complex issues of national history and national identity as manifested by the American visual imagination.” This report seems to indicate that direction might be taken to turn the Smithsonians into just such an organization, which would be really amazing. I love visiting DC and walking along the mall, going in and out of all the buildings, but, with a few exceptions (like the Peacock Room in the Freer) the collections are not the most inspiring in the country. Most disturbing about this report is that the Freer is suffering from some physical problems and there are leaks in the basement. I can't understand how that has been allowed to continue. For the most part, the problems at the Smithsonian seem related to funding, which is no surprise - our government just doesn't support the Arts.

Engagement with art – with the product of someone else's imagination – can change your life, often for the better, and sometimes profoundly. -Max Wyman

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


By the way, how to I make a post to a week ago and nobody says boo?

Home Sweet Home

Thank the Gods, we had a painless move into our house over the weekend. I was really dreading it, because the last time we moved, it was like we were babysitting grizzly bears who manhandled our stuff. We could only watch in horror as they broke our precious belongings, then charged us a ton of cash for the experience. M. says it was like babysitting convicts, but we've had convict movers before, and they were fabulous.

We've just been unpacking boxes and trying to get settled. I'm navigating a new train line (I used to be a Red Line girl, now I'm Purple.) As I was unpacking the bathroom, I was getting a bit frustrated, because everything wasn't fitting, and then I remembered, "OMG! I have a whole OTHER bathroom!" Awesome. Parking the car in the garage and bringing in groceries was a dream. You know what I do if I'm hot or cold? I just adjust the thermostat! Incredible. I've never known such luxuries.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Help End Global Warming

On March 21st, Al Gore will testify before Congress on the immediate action that needs to be taken to end the climate crisis. Add your name to the list of citizens that stand behind him.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


We're moving this weekend, and I'm trying to pack up the rest of our stuff. It's laborious and painful, but I just keep thinking that this will be our last move for a while, and that we're moving into our very own, sweet and freshly painted house. And life there will be wonderful. Do you know that I have moved 13 times in the last 15 years? Check it out:

1992: moved to Bangladesh for 7 months
1993: moved to first dorm room in college
1994: moved to first apartment sublet with A.
1994: moved back to dorms
1995: moved to summer sublet (with J, M, B)
1995: moved to first apartment (A & J)
1996: moved to studio apt. by self
1997: moved to 1st San Francisco apt
1998: moved to 2nd SF apt
2000: moved to 3rd SF apt
2003: moved to Chicago
2005: apt. went condo, moved to 2nd Chi apt
2007: this move

That sucks! I'm seriously sick of packing up my entire life every year! Well, I gotta get back to it...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

We're the Watchdogs

I remember as a kid being taught that in the Soviet Union they didn't have freedom of speech, and scientists and scholars might be killed or threatened for speaking the truth. And it was instilled in me how lucky we are to live in the US where we can criticize the government all we want and face neither harm nor imprisonment (although several of my friends spent a night in jail for doing just that.) Then it was a bit confusing, because, rather suddenly, it seemed like Russians were the pals of the US, and all was forgotten.

I only mention that because I love irony and there's nothing more ironic than living in a police state in America, is there? Not only does it appear that they're still killing outspoken journalists in Moscow, but the Bush Administration is hot on the heels of scientists and activists in the US. From the "inappropriate" firings of 8 US Attorneys from our hack of an Attorney General's office to these ridiculous memos telling biologists not to mention GLOBAL WARMING at a conference entitled "Gee, Why Are All The Polar Bears Dying?" it's not difficult to find daily examples of just how our civil liberties are at risk every day. (Read copies of the memos - click on FWS Polar Bear 1 and 2).

Sign up for the mailing list of the National Resources Defense Council - to receive updates and petitions and to stay abreast of the laws that effect our environment. And, of course, you'll want to sign up for True Majority as well if you haven't already.

Monday, March 12, 2007


This weekend we had a marathon painting session at our new house. My mom was a huge help - she's a master of all things interior and came up to teach us a bunch of neat painting tricks and help us bang out three rooms in one day! (Also had some great help from friends DeBordian Perruque and Sweetkealoha - THANKS GUYS!) I'll post some before and after shots soon, if you don't see them first in Architectural Digest (it looks that good!) Everything looks so great, and I'm really inspired to knock out the rest of the house soon. We picked a very daring bright green for the kitchen, which, initially applied resembled yellow highlighter. I was thinking, "Honeydew is a honey-DON'T!" hahaha (I couldn't help myself!) But, it mellowed. It looks like a shiny granny smith apple in there.

Last night we watched Stranger than Fiction. I liked the beginning a lot, and I loved the GUI interface-like thing (it was made by this company called MK12 - I really dig their aesthetic - it's like a really sophisticated version of this) but I thought the ending was a little weak. I mean, what it essentially came down to was whether life is more important than art, and, to me, it's a stupid question. And, although radiant, as usual, I couldn't figure out what purpose Queen Latifa's character filled. There are a couple of interesting extras on the dvd - one about the aforementioned GUI, and another about Chicago. I only realized the film took place in Chicago when Will Farrell's character ran through Daly Plaza by the Picasso, and I was like, "I didn't know there was a matching statue in NY!" It was interesting, because usually Chicago movies show the same ol' landmarks, but this movie chose really interesting locations and showed a whole different side of the city.

Our 10 year old television rather inconveniently played it's last ANTM last week, never to return (it was like "No... more... Tyra...") Now we're trying to figure out how to recycle a tv in Chicago (anyone?) but NOT, btw, missing any tv, since everything's online anyway! Awesome! Check out Andy Barker, PI - there are like 4 episodes online. If the cancellation of Arrested Development left an aching hole in you, prepare to have it filled (and, Buster's in it! Also Fake Francy, from Alias. Back when it was good. Mike says to me, why Fake Francy, why not just Francy? But, I don't know, she looks more like Fake Francy to me.) And, if that doesn't do it for you... how about: Cats that Look Like Hitler ("Kitler"?) and Cats in Sinks.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

1. Cut a hole in a box

Oh yeah, I got sidetracked on the introduction of a crucial new human to the world, and forgot to blog about two celebrity sightings I had in LA and one funny anecdote. (I love anecdotes.) We went to see the new Damien Hirst show at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills and there was this dude hanging out at the receptionist's desk, who I only noticed because I was also kind of hanging out at the desk reading the catalogues on his work. And I was all thinking to myself, "Who are these douchbags who go to shows and then don't even LOOK at the art?!?" Later that afternoon I was doing some web research to find out if Hirst actually constructed these butterfly pieces himself (he doesn't) and I came across his photo. Guess who? Ugh! So, it turns out I'm a douchbag.

We left the gallery and had lunch at this little diner down the street and my sister leans in and says, "Dude from the Oh See, three o'clock." And I'm all, "Please! Like I watch the OC." But I did watch Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (and, God help me, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday.)

I made the dubious choice of showing my parents a certain video featuring a certain box and that set off a horrible chain reaction of my parents referring willy-nilly to any and all personal anatomy as "junk." This proved mortifying many times over the course of my trip and my sister's pregnancy as you might imagine.


Despite promising myself I wouldn't do it, tonight I settled in front of the tv and prepared to toggle back and forth between America's Next Top Model and American Idol. My sister got me vaguely interested in the (women on) American Idol, much to my chagrin. But, some mighty force stepped in a caused our television to break about 10 minutes into each show. It was a fate.

There's an interview with Tyra in Feb. Vanity Fair wherein she claims that "Daytime Tyra" (AKA: Tyra of the Tyra Banks Show) is the "real" Tyra, while "Nighttime Tyra" (of ANTM) is "a character." So, pay attention. This is the Real Tyra:

And this is a character named Tyra, played by Tyra:

After the dollar coins came out, I got a few at the bank because I wanted to look at them. Tonight, M. says to me, "Do you still have those dollar coins?"
and I say, "One." and he says, "Get it." Turns out, some of the coins have flaws and they're worth ... more than a dollar. I almost spent my last one on coffee today, then I thought, "Nah, I might want to look at it some more." And I actually paid for my coffee with a bunch of quarters, which I have not done for lo these many years because I habitually horde quarters for laundry. But now that we're homeowners, and, more importantly, washing and drying machine owners, I can break my old habit. Anyway, my dollar coin was perfect, and therefore worth only (approx.) US$1.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Movies, good and bad

This morning I watched Babel and last night I watched 2001's Iris - I'm going to write about Iris over on my book blog if you're interested in that. I thought it was really stunning and beautiful, while Babel was just another movie that's really depressing and therefore "deep" and "Oscar-worthy" apparently. God, I'm so sick of those movies (which is why If I Picked the Oscars TM, Borat would win.) Babel didn't show me anything I didn't already know, breifly outlined:
  • I hate guns
  • No one should handle guns, especially children
  • Mexican/American border relations are all cocked up
  • Brad Pitt is totally hot

    In other news, I've finally set myself up with what I believe is called an RSS or an RRS or something. Anyway a certain husband kindly tested a few out himself and decided that Google Reader was a good one - if you read a lot of blogs, like me, you can set up the reader to list all new postings of the blogs you read, that way you don't have to go from blog to blog looking for new content.
  • Friday, March 02, 2007

    Big week for two sisters

    Wed. my sister and bro-in-law brought home a new baby, and that night I flew back to Chicago, and on Thursday M. and I closed on our house! What a week! I have to tell you, after watching a baby being born, handing over a huge check for a house wasn't as daunting as I thought it was going to be. The closing went very smoothly - we listened to the seller's realtor talk about her cats and her lawyer talk about sail boating in the Caribbean (apparently that's all very normal) and then we drove over to our house (our house! OMG!) joking about pot holes and how our property taxes must be going up some county official's nose. We walked around the empty rooms, dreaming about what color we were going to paint, speaking ambitiously about landscaping and shelving and wondering what day the trash goes out. We have a garage! With a garage door opener! And a refrigerator that makes ice! And the freezer door stays closed when you shut it! Then we went to our Local in Andersonville and - what else? Got drunk. ha.

    Here's my sis bringing home baby:

    Here they're introducing Murphy to the baby:

    And this is hilarious - don't freak out, he's just yawning! BTW, we went by the book introducing Murphy to the baby - first I brought home the baby's clothes after he was born and let Murphy smell them so he would know the scent. Then I explained to him that he was going to be the Prince Harry to the baby's Prince William. And how like, you know how Harry has to go to Iraq? It might be like that for a while, but he was still really important and everyone loves him.

    And here's the extended family.

    and here's MY family in front of our new place: