Wednesday, July 30, 2008

in line

Blogging while waiting in line at the Salvation Army. The beauty of being in a small town is that I can always find amazing gems in thrift stores because they don't get picked over like the stores in the city do, but the part that is amazing to me is how long I've been waiting in line because no one seems to be in a hurry... And you know, I'm not in a hurry either, but I'd be interested in moving more quickly than this.

Things are going well here. My calves are terrifically sore from carrying boxes down stairs and my body is covered in mosquito bites including my forehead. I've been eating as though I've never seen food before which makes my mother happy.

I've also been managing to do some good life analysis which always seems to be the case when I am home, and I am thankful for that. I often just need to remove myself to gain some perspective.

I've also watched swim fantastic tv! The Ovation channel is so good. This morning I completed a really beautiful documentary on Sally Mann and last night it was Cindy Sherman. Almost makes me want cable, but I suppose then this would not be such a treat.

Anyway, I have a number of stories but they seem daunting to type on my iPhone so I will save them for a real keyboard.

Signed,
Happy to not be at work on hump day

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nope!

it occured to me as I was on the train heads to Michigan that I would probably run into some conservatve politics during my time here and I should be prepared to see some johnny mac signs in people's yards etc. Which I have only seen this far on the north shore of Chicago so obviously I need to get out more. Anyway, I was maing my way back to the snack car and I observed what I thought to be a Barack Obama Tshirt... Until I got closer and I realized it was A bastardized "HOPE" shirt had been turned into a "NOPE" shirt.

I almost asked the guy if he was serious. I don't understand sentiment like that.


It is good for me to get out of my bubble. I'm looking forward to more.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Almost Away

Where do my mornings go?

I'm just taking a quick minute to write as the day is sure to prove busy as I orientate students about their upcoming college experience. I think I'm getting to that point as an adult where it is hard for me to remember what some of these situations were like... I mean, 18 seems like a terribly long time ago and although I can remember the events of that time I don't necessarily remember what it felt like, in someways making 18 year olds seem much more alien than ever before. Cute though! I love that they wear new shoes to these sort of events. I can remember what it is like to feel special in new shoes.

After the business of the day I am going to run a number of errands, try to catch The Dark Knight (because I seem to be the last person on the planet who has not seen it and it has only been out for a week!) and then do some packing before I make the bittersweet trip to Michigan.

I'm afraid the next days are going to be consumed with packing boxes with 35 years worth of stuff and constant discussion about house purchasing and house building. Which, is fine. This was bound to happen and in someways this is the perfect time, but it will be an odd week. I can't say I am looking forward to it? Although, I can say I am looking forward to getting out of Chicago.

In other news of me being overly emotional, I was checking out the news yesterday and there was tons of coverage of Barack Obama and his European travels. I couldn't helped but be moved by the image of Barack speaking to over 200,000 in Berlin.



I don't ever recall feeling moved about a politician before. I just have to believe this is how people were feeling during the Kennedy Era. I know it is special.

Also, with regards to the Ford layoffs, I of course feel just terrible about all the folks losing their jobs... especially as a Michigander I understand what an effect this has on families etc. BUT! Can I just say that car manufacturers have been arguing for years that the market should determine whether they make more fuel efficient vehicles or produce more suvs etc and well, now it has. So I know this time is hard but I have to find some satisfaction in that fact that people now need fuel efficient cars and being "green" is somehow becoming market friendly. These are interesting times!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dude, drugs are crazy.

Ok, so I love me some Amy Winehouse. I really do. I listened to her album on repeat back a year or so ago and I thought it was a great throw back album which, Mark Ronson was a lot responsible for, but that Amy's vocals fulfilled. There was great irony in it all too, I mean she sang so honestly about heart break and drug use and we all knew it was true because you could actually hear it in her voice and for some reason it came across as noble or something. Nina Simone-esque? I realize that is a dangerous comparison, but you understand what I'm getting at.

But then, the truth of it all became tabloid fodder and I like many others can't help but watch in terror and fascination. I mean, it totally sucks that this talent has really ruined her body and her voice through drug use, but have you ever seen a better public service announcement for the ways in which drugs can make you crazy? I really can't help but laugh.

Exhibit A:



This is classic. How does one even begin to explain this scenario?

Exhibit B:



What is going on here???

Exhibit C:



HAha. I've posted this picture before because it always makes me laugh. The oufit. The expression. The cigarette.

To emphasize the crazy it seems as though the beehive has reached epic proportions:



And now in performance:




Incredible.

One thing that I will always fail to understand about celebrities imploding is why they don't just go away. Amy and Britney I think are perfect examples. If I were them, I would take off! You've got the money! Go to an island... get some sun... relax! Stop roaming the streets of London or LA where you know there are Paps outside your door. I suppose it has to do with the addiction to that attention? But frealz! Go to the Dominican and have a nice holiday. I can vouch that it might not sober you up, but you'll at least get some rest and a nice tan.

In short, Amy, get it together! You're too good for this. And, stay inside while you do it!

Blanket apology for all future gratuitous iPhone posts

I apologize for the obnoxious post below. I'm afraid the that all these recent advancements in technology are all about the TMI and I am prone to indulging! The iPhone will exacerbate that in me kinda of like the status updates on Facebook, which are something I find myself participating in regularly, but also annoyed at just as often. There is a part of me that thinks it all very silly for people to be writing things like "Davin is hungry!" for all of their Facebook friends to see... because if we're going to do that then why don't we write "Davin has an unfortunate itch." or something of that sort. You get the idea, and I mean, I suppose I could write things like that but let's hope I don't get to that point.

Anyway, the iPhone is awesome. It really is. I left work yesterday in such a flurry because I needed to get home to get the packaging for my temporary phone to return it so to pick my iPhone. I scurried over to the store and proceeded to spend the next hour sitting at Starbucks playing because I was too excited to get on my bike and sacrifice the riding time. Mind you, I live about a 10 minute bike ride away from the store.

I'm glad it is here now and I'm glad to be able to take it to Michigan with me when I travel this weekend. It will give me ample time to explore its possibilities and maybe shut up about it after that.

This may seem like a funny thing to say, but I was thinking yesterday as I walked out of the store that I feel really blessed and grown up. It still strikes me as odd that I can desire something, save money that I earn at my job and then buy it. I mean, when did this happen? I remember being a child and wanting things and having to wait until Christmas to possibly get them.

Ok! Enough.
I have been listening to a lot of Michael Jackson lately and I came across this song which I thought sounded too much like Stevie Wonder.









Turns out it was written by Stevie Wonder. Its amazing how Stevie created such a signature style that even Michael Jackson vocals can't mask.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Live blogging!

Whoa! This is my first blog from my new iPhone.
I have no idea how most of this works but it is amazing how I am able to mistype most everyhing right now and it fixes it for me automatically.

Seriously, the technology is pretty mind blowing.

Actually! I just called Mary and I am blogging and talking on the phone at the same time.

Whoa.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Recap

This weekend was pretty much consumed by the Pitchfork Music Festival, which is a good thing because now that I've returned to work I've found the carpets in the hallways torn up and dust flying in the air. I ask myself, "why are we here?" So, I close the door and pretend I'm not.

The weekend was delightful and lovely. It rained every day, yet I never got wet. It is amazing that I could spend nearly 10 hours each day at the festival, and it rained Friday, Saturday and Sunday, yet it never rained when I was at the festival. The weather was generally muggy, but manageable and with good friends to spend time with as well as thousands of fashionably sweaty folk to look at it was and entertaining event. Oh! And the music! Yes, the music was fantastic. Friday and Saturday were my favorite days with highlights being Public Enemy and Animal Collective. As Jessica said, in the context of Public Enemy Flava Flav totally made sense and was incredibly impressive. Animal Collective really brought the best show, with a light installation that I just kept saying "wow!" to.





















This week will be a challenge.
We're passing mid summer and I'm feeling it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pitchfork

This weekend is the Pitchfork Music Festival.

I'm looking forward to standing in the heat with Chicago's finest hipsters listening to the latest and greatest in indie music.

This weekend is always a good indicator that I am midway through the summer. It is a staple of my last four summers and I appreciate it.

My crazy landlady cornered me to tell me she is having a yard sale and if I wanted to put anything in it I needed to do it by 7am on Saturday morning.

I just have one question... WHY DOES SHE WANT TO INCLUDE ME IN HER YARD SALE!?

I don't understand her for a second. I mean, it occurs to me that I do have a couple things I would like to sell and she is one of these people who regularly has yard sales and so she gets a good turn out from the hardcore yard sale people. I can't imagine I'll wake up by 7am, but we'll see.

I'm frustrated right now because my mother left me a voice message last night and I didn't listen to it, because I hate listening to voice mail lately. I hate talking on the phone lately. Maybe it is in general protest to my iPhone's delinquency, but the phone is becoming especially hard to me to spend time with. Anyway, I didn't get to the message until this morning and it sounded quite casual... but then it got weird.

"Daviiiiinnnn. This is mother. I just hadn't talked to you in a while and wondered how you are doing. We were in the ER most of the day today because your father hurt his hand on the lawnmower. I think he'll be alright. The Dr's said he didn't break any bones.... so, ok, well I'll talk to you later. I love you."

!?
!?

I've been trying to call all morning, but of course something is going on with their phone. I'm sure he is fine. My father always hurts himself with the lawnmower. Seriously. I remember numerous ER visits having to do with a lawnmower or a tractor, but I am still frustrated at myself for not listening last night.

Let this be a lesson to me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I ate this on Monday.



And, it was awesome.

I also learned how to make eggs in a basket. I know it is a simple task, but let's face it... I'm a bit simple. So now I shall eat them every morning for breakfast. Well, maybe not every morning but if you come over I will surely show you how I can make them.



Also, I have a bit of a musical confession that relates to food, sort of. See, yesterday I walked myself over to Strack and Van Til with my canvas bags (which I have been doing a great job of using btw)and I got a little shopping cart and I proceeded to make my way through the grocery buying produce and such. As I began to go down the aisle with canned goods (in search of refried beans) I heard over the speakers a familiar voice and tune that immediately transported me back to my bedroom in 1991. It went something like this:









And really, I should be totally embarrassed to tell you that because well, it is Amy Grant and I was a little boy rockin' out to her... but let me explain. I grew up very conservatively and for a good portion of my early childhood I wasn't allowed to listen to "secular" music or the radio really which in all honesty, I don't regret a whole lot because I think the reason I got involved with opera has something to do with that... but regardless, I didn't listen to much and what I did end up listening to was usually "Christian." So! When Amy Grant came out with a pop tape, it was amazing because my parents only knew her as a "Christian" artist and so I bought the tape and they approved. I memorized every lyric. But who could possibly forget such classics as...









This is my excuse for walking around Strack and Van Til with my canvas totes, shopping cart, and produce singing quite loudly every lyric to Amy Grant's "Baby Baby". I imagine this would fall into the "Aren't you embarrassed by that?" category, and yes, sure, I'm embarrassed but I figure life is too short to be embarrassed for too long.

Confession complete.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Staycation

Seriously, does anyone really get anything done during the summer?

I mean, I can really only speak for myself but I have accomplished next to nothing in the last couple of weeks and it has felt quite grand. This weekend was no exception as I had what was not intended to be but turned out to be a "staycation." Apparently, many American's are currently opting for the "staycation" as gas prices are high and the economy is biting it... so not one to be left out, I enjoyed one myself.

Basically what this meant for me is indulging in the beach as much as possible. Two full days worth of sun and sand and being close to the water. I would say swimming in the water, but unfortunately because I am a tall fella, they wont let me go deep enough to swim! I want to tell them how we do it on the other side of the lake, but I keep my mouth shut.

I will have two cavities filled tomorrow. I'm closing in on the end of the tooth disaster.

I'm waiting patiently for my iPhone.
*twiddles thumbs*

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Odd Day

I know I'm not usually a weekend blogger, but I have a few moments and nothing is on TV so I thought I'd share... because well, I'm all about the over share. (see all previous blog posts)

Feist was great.
What a lovely voice.
Ravinia is of course always wonderful and I appreciate the fact that at certain concerts I will definitely run into certain folks who I love to run into.

This morning I awoke quite early to head to the suburbs for a singing gig.
A memorial service to be precise, which frankly, is a weird gig. I often do weddings and funerals but funerals are an odd thing to be a part of as a stranger. My friend and guitar player, Marty and I were talking about this and he said that maybe in someways a funeral is more universal because not everyone will get married, but everyone will die... so in some ways it could be an easier ceremony to relate to? I don't know, but I continue to be amazed at the places life takes me.

Finally, I just spent some time at the AT&T store getting ready for the next shipment of iPhones. I made the switch. They preregistered me for the iPhone and switched my number to AT&T, which is the first time in my life that I have left a company with which I have spent a long time. I got my Verizon account in 2000. I remember it specifically, as I set it up in Muskegon, Michigan during my summer working by the lake and then one by one my friends got cell phones with Verizon and during my time working at Ravinia, we all had Verizon phones. But, times are changing and the iPhone is calling (punny!) so, I've switched and now I will carry this temporary phone until my sweet sweet baby comes home.

Lucky for us though, I've managed to record a couple of my favorite voicemail messages that sat in my Verizon mailbox for quite sometime. I'd like to share two in particular that make me smile. The first is from my parents. It was recorded in June of 2007 when I was returning from the Dominican Republic.










The second was left by and unnamed friend. It places lyrics from a classic pop song to one of the hymns we sing at church. Just take a moment and listen to this beauty...










Now, I'll wait patiently for the day when I can actually make posts like this from my phone.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Quick update!

I've been up for quite sometime this morning as I decided to make my way to the at&t store and get in line for an iPhone. I picked a store that was off the beaten path assuming the line would be less, but I was mistaken... it was a good 200 people long. So, I waited for an hour or so until a man came down the line and told us they were gone.

Of course!

This is not a surprise and although I really wish I had a new iPhone in hand currently, I will wait and make it happen soon. It was kind of fun standing in line with people and chatting about the ridiculosity of it all.

Also, I completed the race successfully. It was really quite a lot of fun being part of the mass as we made our way through the west loop of Chicago. The best part was when the heavens literally opened up and poured forth most might rain upon us. The skies were ominous and scary, but we just muscled our way through wind and rain and made it to the end.

Here is a before.



Here is after.



Awesome, right? I am really thankful to my two lovely coworkers for pushing me to do this and also to my dear friend Linsey who stood at the end of the race under her giganto umbrella and cheered me on. Incredibly nice.

She also took this sweet video as I crossed the line.



It's all kinda hilarious when I think about it, because well, I don't like running and it occurred to me that I haven't done anything remotely athletic and competitive since umm, junior high?

Today is a busy work day as students are coming for orientation.

Tonight I will see Feist.









Thursday, July 10, 2008

Race Day

If I were to quote a movie that would represent how I feel today, it would be...

"With two weeks until the pageant...
(continued labored breaths)
I was practicing my talent. Finishing
my costume, brushing up on current
events, and running eighteen miles a
day on about four hundred calories. I
was ready."

"The nurse gives her a hit of oxygen. Mary smiles and
gives a THUMBS UP from behind the oxygen mask."

Drop Dead Gorgeous.

I love this movie. I think it is brilliant.
Apparently I tell people that a lot because the other day when I mentioned it at lunch my coworkers said to me "WE KNOW! YOU LOVE IT! YOU'VE TOLD US!"

Anyway, today is indeed the Niketown Bastille Day 5k and "I am ready!"
Actually, I don't feel so ready, but it will be fine. I've purchased some new gym shorts from Target and I've been loading up on carbs. Just kidding about the carbs... but that would be funny if I ate a bowl of pasta for breakfast on the day of my 5k race.

Tomorrow I buy an iPhone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

To Run

Yesterday, I ran home from work. I'm not saying this figuratively as though I was in a hurry or something, I actually physically ran home from work. I put on my shorts, and my sneakers and took off running. It turns out it isn't that far. I originally thought it was three miles, but I think it is more like 2.7, since it didn't really take me that long to get there.

I have to be honest, I hate running. I think that running when you're not in a hurry is a silly thing to do but I was reminded yesterday as I was forcing myself to not stop until I was home that it is a healthy thing to challenge one's self in ways like that. I actually had to have a conversation with myself that went something like this:

"This is stupid. I'm going to walk."
"You're stupid. Keep running you wimp. You can't make 3 miles?"
"I will be fine for the 5k... I'll have adrenaline. I can just stop now."
"O. M. G. Just run and stop doing everything half assed. You do this with everything and now you can't run all the way home?"
"Who am I trying to kid? I'm so out of shape. I can't run. Oh wait. There is my house. Whoa, I can totally run faster than this."
*sprints to the door*

It's silly, but when you're focusing on something like that, with no other distractions, the inner struggle is so much more audible. So, I made it and I think the race tomorrow will be quite fun. I'm looking forward to it, if not for any other reason than to say I actually followed through with this and completed it.

In television news, I thought this was pretty entertaining.



My favorite line is "I don't mean to be cliche, but I'm not here to make friends."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Snippets

Tuesday!

The weekend seems so long ago, except it was just a day... but when you return to your desk after a long weekend of good things, work makes it feel oh so distant.

The fourth holiday weekend was really a nice one. On Friday I kept repeating that I couldn't believe it was Friday and not Saturday, which I'm sure was annoying for those around me but I really couldn't believe it. It felt too good to be true... especially with 75 degree temps and sunny skies. So in no particular order, I did some fireworks, saw Matt and Kim, spent hours in the sun, cooked out with the 'ole crew, beached for a while, lit bottle rockets (well, watched while others lit bottle rockets and covered my ears), more cooking out, some brunch, grocery shopping, potted a new plant and some cooking! Yes! Real, live, cooking. I made myself a fresh summer pasta salad, which I should be ashamed to say that I've never done before.





Yum, right?

Here are some other snippets of the weekend.















Snippets.

So, in an hour or so I will be headed downtown with some coworkers to do this $10 buffet at the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock where we are going to enjoy this special that only takes place on Tuesdays during the month of July.

Sweet!

And finally, I present to you my summer mix 2008.



You can download it here: Summer Gamez

You might not like it. I don't know. I think it is fun and kind of dancy and representative of the stuff I've thinking about and listening to lately. Also some stuff people have recently sent me.

Sooo, enjoy if you like.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Angelina, indeed.

I saw Wanted last night.

Whoa, yes, ok.

I loved it. It was totally cheesarific and wonderful. The plot was superfluous to the incredible stunts and special effects... and boy, Angelina does that whole "bad ass pouting lips" thing really well. I mean, I guess she is probably not pouting as she has rather large kissers, but you know what I'm saying. The don't mess with me eyes and all.

This is my coworker, Dan.



He became and American citizen yesterday.



He read an oath that said he would bear arms on behalf of the United States if called to do so... which I find really interesting, because apparently I read that oath by being born here? But regardless, we are all very proud of him and excited that he can get a passport now. Yay, Dan!

Also, this is my new favorite plant.



Not because it is really special at all, it is just a basic house plant, but see I broke it off another plant and encouraged it to grow roots like this:



And then it did and then I gave it a wonderful home in a coffee can, which I am slightly obsessed with lately. Buying my coffee in cans seems more chic and potentially useful, provided I encourage more plants to grow roots.

Finally, here is a picture of Sara getting ready to enjoy the ice cream we went to pick up on Monday night.



There are a lot of good things about summer, but ice cream is right up there for me. If I could eat it every day I would... well, maybe I do... but shh.

I think this weekend is going to rock my socks off. I have brought along my swimsuit in anticipation of leaving work early and heading with some coworkers to the beach. Then, fireworks, cookouts, and ?

I'm going to try and make leisure (read as LEH - ZURE) the biggest word in my next wordle.

Off we go.

Oh, I almost forgot.
I'm feelin' this as a summer jam.







Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And the award for...

best email from a coworker, goes to: *******

"All,

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I need a haircut. I hate getting haircuts and usually wait until I can pass for the Yeti to get one. Or, when someone says something. So, I implore one of you to confront me saying, “*******, unless you’re auditioning to play Bj√∂rn Ulvaeus in an ABBA tribute band, you need a haircut.” I may lash out and become agitated but it’s what needs to be done. Thanks."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leisure and...

Where to even start?

I had such a lovely weekend and stellar birthday. Exactly what I had hoped for. Not too planned, but enough activity to make a boy feel like an old man.

Friday started with a bang, literally, as I dropped my cell phone and it snapped in half. Yes, completely in half and as I stared at the ground looking at its broken self, the only thing I could think to do was take a picture... so I pulled out my camera, opened it up, and realized it too, was broken. Yes, both Robin and I came away from the beach last week with sandy/broken cameras. So, Friday seemed a little less than stellar, but I decided to do my best embrace my unreachability and let the wind take me where it would. Two galleries, some Mediterranean food, a party. It was good beginning to my weekend.

Saturday was on the low key side. Laying out in the sun, picking up around the house, and putting the finishing touches on Taylor's going away present. The party that evening was a blast, but at the same time very sad. It feels especially odd that this friend is moving because she has been here since the beginning of my time in Chicago. When Jarrett and I first moved here, she was the first person we really hung out with and we really explored our first days in the city together so it seems to signify something that she is leaving... I mean, a lot of people have moved since I've been here, but this is the first long term mainstay.















Sunday, I got up and packed a backpack that would prepare me for most any situation. I headed off to sing at church and then let the day take me away. It was an odd day as the weather seemed to sporadically change from beautiful to ominous, but I embraced it and walked for quite a few miles ending up with friends and strangers along the way. At one point I was at a house party with some strangers who told me they were going to vote for McCain to spite the way the democratic party treated Hillary and I nearly lost my birthday bliss. Then I scurried home to get gussied up for my fancy dinner with the ladies. We enjoyed one of the better meals I have had in a long time at the Green Zebra.











After the Zebra, I headed home... only to be coerced into heading out dancing until the wee hours. I told myself that if you don't do these things on your birthday, when will you do them?

It was really quite a wonderful day.

And this week? I expect it to be more of the same.
Remember my committment to leisure and the Benjamins this summer? Well, I'm doing a good job on the leisure part, but I need to kick it up with the Benjamins. Maybe next week I'll get working on that...