Saturday, November 29, 2008

new kitty

We've had a surprising new shift in our family. When we arrived in Sycamore before Thanksgiving on Wednesday night Aaron's parents informed us that a kitty had made a home on their porch, not willing to leave because he was being threatened by a big black cat from across the street. Minna wanted to bring him in out of the cold but Jim wasn't having it. No kitties in the house! This little gray guy kept meowing and looking pitiful though the door, wanting to get in, and it melted Aaron's heart. So we brought him home with us.

At first I wasn't a huge fan. But after his first vet visit to receive his shots, we learned he was only 6-8 months old. He just a young guy, only 5.8lbs, and now I see all his craziness through a kitten lens and realize what a wonderful boy he is. So happy with people, playful, and I hope glad to be in the warm with food and family. Lainey is adjusting well too. She's a little standoff-ish but already warming up to him. Now all we need is a name. At first we liked Lou, but though the two 'L' names might be confusing/cheesy. We've been going back and forth between Hank and Bill. What do you think?

update: Hank will be new Kitty's name. I know Lou was the popular choice, but Hank just seemed to fit, and Aaron had the executive decision on this one. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving has been great. Not only did we have an awesome Birthgiving party, but I was able to spend time with family in Sycamore. Its starting to feel like winter and the gravity of that really hit me out in the country, with the barren fields and leafless trees silhouetted against the gray sky. So beautiful. Below are some highlights of my Thanksgiving: 

aaron asleep on the train


aaron, nanny, and I

changing leaves

the prefect leftovers sandwich 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

style inspirations: living on the cheap

One thing a poor student girl like me needs is to be able to reproduce things I like that are expensive into something I can afford. Somedays when I leave for school or work I relish in the fact that my whole outfit came from ebay, plato's closet, and crossroads trading post. This makes me happy. Here is an expensive outfit I'd like to reproduce from Miranda Bennett Designs for my boss from the store's wedding.

I've also been loving  Coton

Monday, November 24, 2008

I saw this man play this evening with roommate James and his jazz orchestra. Very awesome. The snow was falling outside of The Jazz Showcase where he played, two blocks from my place. I love my life. 

good morning

Good morning. I'm happy that...

thanksgiving is almost here

I get to see my mom in 2 weeks

Jon Garda is here, a great visitor

I'm almost done with a great book

the sky is gray

we have a bowl of fragrant pine cones in the kitchen

I get to go to New York for New Years Eve. Steve is moving out to work for Esquire, but we get to help him move. I've never been to NYC and can't wait.

(Aaron and Steve reading Esquire on our bed)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

chicago love

I have been falling in love with Chicago recently. Well I've always been in love with Chicago, but the feeling has been becoming more prominent as a walk through the streets. This is for a number of reasons. We have been looking for jobs in Washington D.C. The place where its all at. The destiny our educations have prepared us for. But after spending three months there last hot and lonely summer, it's hard to be excited about it. I love Chicago's jazz history. I love how cold it gets; we all hate it and we all love it.  But its not just me who has a romance with Chicago. I'm not the only one who's chest swells exploring the old book stores in Hyde Park, or walking through Grant Park under a gray sky and surrounded by orange leaves with the Art Institute lions in the distance. I'm not the only one gets giddy when the Christkindle Market pops up in Daley Plaza or when the hot summer brings out the hipster dancers at the six corners in Wicker Park or the cadre of music festivals in all corners of the city. Many others have recognized the unique rough elegance of a city of industry in the heart of the midwest, with a history of labor, slaughter, The World's Fair, Art Deco skyscrapers, and wind in all its definitions. 

A few weeks ago Pastor Bob at Grace Chicago read Sandburg's 'Chicago' to use the city as an illustration of God's love for his children. We are broken. We are sinful. And yet there is value there, and we are loved. Chicago is that rough sinful person in all its beauty.

"HOG Butcher for the World,
     Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
     Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
     Stormy, husky, brawling,
     City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
     have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
     luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
     is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
     kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
     faces of women and children I have seen the marks
     of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
     sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
     and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
     so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
     job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
     little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
     as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
          Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
     white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
     man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
     never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
     and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
     Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
     Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
     Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation."

- Carl Sandburg, 1916

No matter where I go, or how long I'm gone, Chicago will be with me. I will be a Chicagoan. I love listening to the Illinois album by Sufjan Stevens. The state is used as a means to communicate many things, again often our relationships with God, but I still feel kindred with lyrics that appreciate the beauty and significance of our often dreary midwest state. 

Come on! Feel the Illinoise!: Pt. 1: The Worlds Columbian Exposition - Sufjan Stevens

Friday, November 21, 2008


How To Dice An Onion from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn on Vimeo.

labor pains begin

Since I've been in Chicago the fellas of 1408 have hosted a Birthday/Thanksgiving party, entitled Birthgiving. And tomorrow it occurs again. Matt and Ben celebrate their birthdays, Aaron makes a turkey and pies, and everyone eats. This year we live at 1408 so we get to host. I love this day. Friends, food, and holidays.

Old 1408 residents are coming in from out of town, such as Jon Garda: 

Here is the beginning of cranberry relish with orange,

and yummy veggies ready for roasting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Forest for the Trees" Myoung Yo Lee

I came across this photo series by Myoung Yo Lee entitled "Forest for the Trees" and am loving it. I am intrigued by the integration of nature and man; the tree is perfectly in its own environment growing naturally, and yet the inclusion of a backdrop removes it from its space and changes the way the viewer perceives the object. Such a fan. See the complete series with an interview with the artist here

I'm enjoying my day of work (always more to do for this thesis and finals are approaching), but am looking forward for all the prep leading up to Birthgiving, our friends' annual Thanksgiving/Birthday celebration. It's always hosted at 1408, which means I've shifted from host to guest. More on this later. 

I expect some snow today. yay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Aw man! I wish this were coming to Chicago!

a few of my favorite things...

I came across this abandoned building in Hyde Park recently and now I try and walk by it every chance I get. Nestled among the houses right off of 57th street stands this immense domed structure that appears to have been abandoned quite some time ago. I wonder what it was used for. What did it look like in all its glory?I think I prefer it this way though, with graffiti littering the sides, chained up doors, broken window and leaves blowing about. It has mystery and romance this way. It reminds me of Miss Havisham's ruined mansion, Satis House, where Pip falls in love with Estella in Great Expectations or the abandoned villa where Jim, Judy, and Plato have a 'fantasy family' while hiding out in Rebel Without a Cause. I love this place whatever it is. 

update: I found some info on the building: it was a turn of the century Christian Science Church, St. Stephen's, purchased by a developer to tear down and build a condo building, but development has stalled due to neighborhood concerns

(the inside dome through the window)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So here I am on a Thursday afternoon trying to write my thesis proposal. I have so many ideas floating in my head and I can't seem to get them to come out in a cohesive way and make them into a solid and well founded argument. So its much easier to play around online. I realized recently I never posted the song that was the inspiration for my blog title. No deep meaning here... I just like it. Makes me want to sing along. Hope you enjoy!

A Postcard to Nina - Jens Lekman

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a few of my favorite things...

Don't you want to see this move? Heartwarming.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


(cozy bed at the Writer's House in Kentucky from last Spring break- good Saturday bed)

I love Saturdays. This year I always have them off and spend them doing homework, cooking yummy meals, and watching movies. Typically I hardly leave the apartment- and its great. And the cold weather makes me want to snuggle in bed with a book and coffee. Today my plan is to 1) write my research proposal 2)cook butternut squash soup 3)apply for a job 4) watch an old movie drinking white russians and coffee. Can't think of a better day. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008


President Elect

Tuesday night was quite a night! Congratualtions Barack Obama! Now it time to earn those votes! I had the privilege to go to the rally in Grant Park and hear Obama accept the Presidency (thanks Katie for your +1). What an incredible experience to be in my own city, blocks from my apartment, and be a a part of the candidate I supported to become president. I surely will never forget it. 

Next up- Al Franken. Can you believe the vote came down to 500 of more than 2 million? It should be recounted but hopefully the Franken will come out as victor. Minnesota- you can do it!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I had a great Halloween. Aaron and I spent it in Hyde Park, first walking through the neighborhood streets crowded with trick-or-treaters, all of the houses decorated and glowing with orange light, leaves crunching beneath our feet. It was classic Halloween. Then we went to a showing of Phantom of the Opera at the Rockefeller Chapel. This 1925 silent adaptation with Lon Chaney was accompanied by real organ music from the chapel. Very cool. As we walked back to the train we passed by so many University Halloween parties and students in costume. It was just the perfect, classic Halloween. 

p.s. I believe the Obama family was trick-or-treating in Hyde Park that evening