Sunday, April 27, 2008


Oh my goodness - the weekend has just flown by! Now that I'm workin' again the weekend is but precious time that slips through my fingers. The first few weeks at my new job were good - I think I'm going to like it there, long term. I was really exhausted because I got sick right away and was getting used to a new schedule and not wearing pajama bottoms all day, and that took a lot out of me. But, I think this week will be better.

Watched Michael Clayton and loved it - George Clooney just gets better and better, doesn't he? I thought the dialogue, and especially that opening monologue by Tom Wilkinson, was just amazing! It was like David Mamet wrote it! Aside from being a great story, I'm really interested in bio-engineered food and seeds, so I liked how that was the dirty underbelly. Another great source of info-tainment (I can't believe I just wrote that) about that stuff is Ruth Ozeki's book, All Over Creation.

We also installed a chandelier in our dining room - what a difference, huh?
Before - boring light one might see in one's grandmother's bathroom:
After, gorgeous light you want to host fabulous dinner parties beneath:I bought the light online - you can get them for much, MUCH cheaper than in a lighting store, and we also got one of those nifty ceiling medallions to give the room an extra architectural detail. Naturally, we used CFL bulbs - they're lately becoming available in dimmables.

Check out the new Top Five!

Monday, April 21, 2008


My parents came to visit over the weekend to see a Cubs game with us - but we really lucked out because (once again!) they helped us with our out-of-control yard. Such digging and tilling and replanting you have never seen.

The Cubs game was fun - and ridiculously cold, even though we were experiencing a relative heat wave of mid-60s weather. The crowd was crazy, and we had a great time screaming and shouting and singing along with everyone. Here we all are:

You've got to head over to me da's (much ignored) blog for a very interesting story of his celebrity encounter!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I've started my new job and so far it's going really well. Wouldn't you know my second day I started to get an itch in my throat, yesterday I was really sick and today a little worse so I stayed home. Feel terrible about the bad timing, but what can you do? Anyway, aside from that, it's great, and I think I'm going to like it there. My boss is cool and into reducing and reusing like me, and told me about this nifty flash video called The Story of Stuff. Check it out!

Speaking of stuff - there was an article in yesterday's NYT about a study that indicates that money does buy happiness. I learned that back in the late 90s when I moved to San Francisco and started making a lot of money. It makes sense - people who have money most likely have well-paying jobs and therefore don't have to worry about stuff like rent and medical bills and various payments and food-on-the-table - things that make you insane when you don't have it. Of course, another thing I learned was that money buys stuff, and stuff, explicitly, does not buy happiness. Which (see how it all comes full circle?) is what that video gets to.

In other news, my parents are coming for a visit and a Cubs game this weekend and I hope to put them to work in our front garden, which is an absolute mess right now. Last week I practiced what I tagged Intuitive Gardening, where I just sort of followed my intuition with little to no actual gardening knowledge. We'll see what happens. I want to put more flowers in the garden this year, so I planted some seeds - I hope they come up.

UPDATE: I should mention, shoes don't count as stuff - they're simply marvelous things that have also been proven to buy happiness, just like money. (:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Movin' On

I'm about to (am I?) stop watching American Idol as mysteriously as I started watching it in the first place. Last night's "Idol Gives Back" was like an old fashioned variety show (and not in a good way). I can't help but find it ridiculous that the welfare of our world is in such dire straights, that even multi-million dollar corporations like Fox figure they've got to throw it a bone every now and then. I mean, is that how our government deals with crises of health and social welfare? Just wait for some self-serving company to take care of it?

Although, I did enjoy the performance of the great Annie Lennox very much.
In other news, I volunteered for the last time (hopefully not for ever) at the Art Institute yesterday. By some coincidence, I was listening to Selected Shorts by Symphony Space on my 'pod, when a story about a person who passed a long period of the Art Institute came on! He wandered the halls of the museum, imagining, hoping, to wake up in the luxury of some of his favorite paintings. It was called “Killing Time”, by Stuart DybekI really loved my work there, but, alas - I must go on. Before I left, I took a short walk to my favorite place in the museum (and Chicago), the Ando Gallery, where I've passed many a happy, peaceful moment.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

6 more months, one less bag

Saw this great, easy crrrraft on Martha that just about anyone could make: a shopping bag from an old tshirt (everyone's got at least one of those!) A bag for every bag! That's my motto. I'm going to make one of these and see if I can jimmy it into an ICoE bag.

Here's another interesting looking crrraft - a diy silhouette. Cute, huh?via DesignSponge

You know who else is (nefariously) crafty? Bush and McCain. Check out this illuminating video by

Sunday, April 06, 2008


My friends, the unthinkable has happened and I am once again gainfully employed! I couldn't be happier. A long period of loneliness and couch-potato-ness comes to an end, and now I shall once again be a hard-working, disposable-income earning Special K of days gone by. I'm going to be working at the local university, as a "Training Specialist". I can't thank my good friend DeBordian Perruque enough, because he hipped me to the opening, then very kindly told glorious tales of my ability to multi-task, how well I work with others, and of my striking penmanship.
Me, on the way to my interview

Had a great weekend, celebrating my new job with friends, celebrating the b-day of the very sweet Sweethealoha, and today, mucking about in the garden, raking and rejoicing over the tiny buds that are finally sprouting up. The weather in Chicago was absolutely amazing this weekend, and everyone (including us) has been going crazy running around outside. Mostly we looked like grizzly bears emerging from our caves, grumpily rubbing the sleep from our eyes, unshaven, with twigs hanging in our hair, trying to find someone to feed us brunch at a sidewalk cafe.

Wanna see some cool stuff?
Check out Google's office space in Zurich,
read Peter Sagal's reaction to forgetting girls in Whoville,
and a new Top Five.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Somebody stop me!

I just can't stop blogging about American Idol. What is wrong with me? (Last night M said, "Blogs are so 2005." and I said, "Blogs are forever!" and M. said, "I'm going to write that on a t shirt and give it to you." Now I really want that t-shirt!) My sister rather astutely pointed out that when Randy doesn't like a song, he'll ask them a question like, "How you doing tonight, dawg?" instead of "Listen up, dawg..." She was dead right on that one, folks. Re: last night's American Idol, all I can say is "How you doing?" I thought pretty much every single song kind of sucked for this one reason: No one can sing a Dolly Parton song like Dolly Parton. Her voice is just so sweet and perfect and full of expression, I'm crazy about her.

Last night really exemplified that je ne sais pas of the difference between a good cover and mere karaoke, 'cause I thought all those songs just sounded like karaoke. IMHO, there are only two covers that come close to being good covers of her songs - the ridiculous and dated I Will Always Love You by Whitney, who nevertheless knocks it out of the park at the end, and a Jolene, by Mindy Smith from this dumb album called Just Because I'm a Woman, which is a bunch of people singing Dolly Parton's best songs not half as well as Dolly.

Viva la Dolly!