Thursday, December 25, 2008

Whoa, cute!

Merry Christmas! I got my parents a webcam!

I die.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In the fast category

The snow doesn't seem to stop.

It snowed all day yesterday, so much so that you nearly could not distinguish the roads from the yards. That of course, did not hinder my mother and I from going to Meijer for some groceries and last minute Christmas gifts. That of course meant that I ran into people from high school, which was fine, but even though I know it will happen it still takes me off guard. I find myself wondering if my answers to questions sounded big enough, which of course is silly, but these are the things that go through my head.

In the evening we made our way to the church that my parents now call their church community. I can't say I was excited to go, for a number of reasons, but my father was singing in the church cantata and I wanted to support him in that. The sermon made me squiggle a few times as it mentioned Bill O'Reilly's war on those who are trying to use Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. It also involved a rapture invoking rendition of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." But you know, there were also tidbits of lovely and so I did my best to hang onto those and enjoy the place that my parents seem really excited to be a part of.

So, just in time for the snow I got my boots yesterday from Tretorn that I ordered. Here is something that amazes me about the USPS. How unbelievably fast things can arrive. What is equally amazing is how excrutiatingly sssslow other things can arrive. In the fast category would fall these boots:

Which really are a bit more like wool lined golashes, but they will be perfect for my travels amidst the wet and snowy city streets. I can't bring myself to clunk around in "real" boots as my feet just get to hot, but I think these will do the trick.

I'm going to do my best today to take some photos. I need to jump back on that horse before it rides away.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Beyond Train Travel

I come to you from the land of more and more snow.
The Today Show plays in the background as I sit by my parents gas fireplace which conveniently turns on by the flip of a switch. This is a far cry from last year where my father used to go out and chop wood in an effort to get the fire started, but this is in general a different year.
The fact that I am able to use the internet is a big change.
They have new cell phones too. I set them up for them last night.

I took off yesterday after running a fool for about a week. It was quite a lovely train ride as the sun shown upon us. I nearly missed my trip because I for some reason am in the habit of not paying close attention to my departure times. This is actually a habit that extends beyond train travel as I find myself showing up to the wrong airline for flights etc. I digress, but I made it and I got here and we've already been sitting around the tree and wrapping presents with coffee in hand.

Though, this very moment, right now, right here, is a classic experience with my mother. She sits down and just starts talking and talking and talking... and I do nothing more than grunt at her, but she keeps talking. It usually takes place while I am trying to watch a television show I am interested in, but currently she is just chattering mid blog composition.

Actually, she just left and came back spraying Lysol around the room. My father has a cold and her exact words were "I told dad I'm gonna spray Lysol to keep the bugs down!" That she did.

I'm glad to be here.
It is always a test of sorts when I return home. I feel simultaneously relieved and terrified when I make my way back... and I think it all eventually gives way to just eating and watching satellite television. I'm ok with that.

Anthony Bourdain's travel channel show marathon will keep me company today. I can't complain.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Still Full

I've had two days of nonstop eating, possibly in preparation for the next week of eating?
Wednesday evening, I took the ladies to Semiramis as a Christmas gift.
I think it was everything I had cracked it up to be. They really loved it and we all ate more than people should eat in a lifetime. I actually woke up during the night longing for a time when I would not be full. But then, last night, I made my way over to Karyn's Cooked and did the exact same thing. But, I must express that it was sooo worth it. Yum.

Last night we had snow storm number two of the season, resulting in my shoes sitting atop the vents right now as they are soaked. Chicago is somewhat of a slushy mess, with more snow this early on in December than I have seen before. I fear the Farmer's Almanac is right.

I completed some of my Christmas shopping yesterday, taking full advantage of the fact that everything is on clearance everywhere. It is a bit overwhelming to walk down State street and feel as though each store is calling your name with something cheaper than the previous. I stuck to my guns and purchased only things needed, but I'm curious to see what things will be like after Christmas.

This is me right this very minute.

Wearing plaid, and with a freshly shorn do. Zoran gave me the same haircut he always gives me and for that I thank him.

My coworker snapped it on her iPhone and sent it to me.
I question why I'm actually at work today, given the weather and the lack of bodies in the building but I suppose it is necessary that I wrap things up before two full weeks of vacation. When was the last time any of us had two weeks of vacation? It seems like it's not actually going to happen, but my calendar says it will.

Tonight I'm eating stuffed shells and having holiday beverages with my coworkers. The remainder of the weekend will be singing, holiday partying, getting ready to go... and then out the door and off to Michigan.

I'm ready!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Here are two gems I came across yesterday on the internet:

Ha! Now I presume Miz B and Mizter J (ha!) are at a basketball game, so then one would ask what would provoke a reaction like this? It appears to be a look of disgust? And then if you look and think further you might wonder .. Is that Chloe Sevigny next to them? Does she go to basketball games? That's weird. But wait, look at that dude behind them all.. the one with the busted up face.


And then I came across RuPaul who managed to make the best Christmas Card of any of us.

Thanks, Ru. That made me lol.

We had a terrible snow storm yesterday. I mean, in the grand scheme of snow storms it wasn't that bad, but the first storm in the city is always bad because people have to relearn how to deal with it. I actually just got off my bus and walked home because the bus was simply not moving and it seemed more efficient if also a bit more cold. I love how the news always interviews people on the street and person after person is all "Get over it! This is Chicago. It snows."

After teaching a voice lesson, I managed to just stay in, take care of things around the house.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming time away.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Explain That

Ok, I mean, this has to make you giggle a little, right?

It did me.
There is a part of me that feels it inappropriate to giggle at such a thing, but then I think of all the lives lost in Iraq and I think Bush can handle a shoe to the head. Although, he managed to move quite quickly. I'm sure I would've taken the size 10.

This weekend was nonstop singing and I can't say I don't feel exhausted by it.
Friday evening I was in Oak Park at this beautiful Church Called St. Edmunds with the William Ferris Chorale. The concert was sort of a comedy of errors due to sickness and transportation issues but given the nature of the beast it all went off without much of a hitch. The inside of the church was so beautiful. I snapped it with my iPhone.

I think I've said this before but one of the weirdest and cool thing about my singing jobs is the fact that I end up in all these beautiful churches all over the city that I think most people never enter. They are really quite wonderful. After the concert, Linsey, Christina, Ryan, and I enjoyed some hoity toity mexican food that tasted quite yummy.

Oh, I forgot about the fact that I woke up Saturday morning with some sort of weird allergic reaction that caused my eyes to swell up. I didn't even realize this until I put my first contact in and realized how weird I looked.

I honestly don't know what the cause was. By the end of the day they had gone down and I was back to normal, but I've never had anything like that happen to me before. I looked pretty crazy.

Yesterday I did our Lessons and Carols service at Grace Chicago Church, to which many people came! Even some of my coworkers made their way out on the windy morning. It was great to have so many familiar faces there. Afterward we enjoyed a nice brunch at Kitsch'n.

Today the temperature is 40 degrees less than it was last night at about 10pm. It was 46 degrees then and now it is 6. Explain that.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Whoa, Frustration

Nothing works!

As of last night my external hard drive isn't working properly which begs the question why do I back up on an external hard drive?? Is it not to protect my stuff? So technically should I be backing up twice? Ugh.

So I call the manufacturer and they tell me I have the wrong number and to call another number. That number gets me to an answering machine which tells me to call the original number! So I call back and they finally get me to another number where I wait on hold only to be transferred to an answering machine where I have to leave a message.

Has this become the story of my life? Is all I do deal with the nightmare of being a small consumer in the midst of these poorly run manufacturers and internet providers. grrrrr. I feel greatly frustrated with the impermanence of things.

In other news, I've stopped reading Perez Hilton.
Maybe I shouldn't admit to having been a reader in the first place, but I figure it is common knowledge when one sits at a desk for most of the day it is easy to get into reading things that update so often... its a bit addictive, but the truth of the matter is I think he is not a good person and it occurs to me that I shouldn't support that kind of behavior. Besides, Michael K over at DListed is actually funny. :D

It was 13 degrees farenheit this morning.

I have a weekend of holiday shtuff ahead of me, and I'm thankful for that.

I can't get enough of this song today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Whoa, Mr. Governor

Sooo, you know how the windy city isn't really called the windy city because of the wind? It's actually the politics? Well, it seems appropriate that for some reason today the fans are blowing so loudly in my office that I can barely hear myself think. For this, and everything else right now, I blame Rod Blagojevich.

Or, "Blowjobavich" as my coworker calls him. What a fool I say? And I suppose what irritates me most about his arrest has little to do with the specifics of what he has done as even in its most shocking form it doesn't shock most Illinois residents, but rather with the ways in which is tinges a beautiful period of possibility for the city of Chicago and the future of its politics. Lately, if one were to mention this city one could almost feel the glow coming from our hometown kid, President Elect Obama. They would probably then bring up the Olympic bid and give an opinion on that, whether it be good or bad I bet you they have one. And then, how about the fact that we had already put one other Governor in jail, two years ago because of his behavior and that seemed to send a message? maybe? but no. This man lives in some sort of state of delusion and I hope he is now surrounded with "no" people rather than the "yes" people that I'm sure have filled his ranks for the last 5 years.

I did a focus group last night. I still can't tell you what it was for, but possibly something to do with beer and text messaging? That seemed to be what the questions kept getting at, but it was never clear and somehow ended up feeling more like group therapy? Asking us why we do what we do over and over again. But, I walked away with some cash in my hand and I can't complain about that now, can I?

I'm wearing quite the purple sweater today.

Monday, December 8, 2008


My office party games were a success.

I say that as though I'm conveying the message from others because I was told immediately following the dinner that the games were a good idea and they worked wonderfully, so I hold my office party head high.

The weekend was terribly busy.
One office party.
Three WFC concerts with three wears of my tuxedo.
One trip to the South Side and one trip to the far reaching suburbs.
About 15 pastries with amazing Italians.
One brunch and movie with Ryan.
One trip to the grocery store ($120 worth of groceries).
One Christmas tree purchase with Linsey.
...and not much sleep.

But here I am, and no worse for the wear, really.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I don't get it

Wow, Thursday afternoon at 2:30pm already.

I've completed my first grant application. It is for a City of Chicago Arts Partnership grant and it is to fund portfolio development. The grant is for "new and emerging" artists, so hopefully I fall into that category on some level and they'll give me the money I've asked for. It was an extensive application and I worry I didn't handle it with enough care as I realized it was due at the last minute, but having completed this makes me realize I need to be doing more of these things as $ is available to me and I need to take advantage of that.

This morning was a killer as far as cold goes. Something like 13 degrees Fahrenheit as I walked to the bus, and it sure felt colder. Winter is here and I already feel a bit ready for some warmth... a beach or a warm field or something.

I've been tirelessly thinking of games that would be entertaining for my office Christmas party which will be happening tomorrow. Ok, maybe tirelessly is a bit of an exaggeration, but I've been trying hard to come up with something out of the ordinary, entertaining, maybe slightly embarrassing and able to be played at a table in an Italian restaurant after a glass of wine... oh and with coworkers. This idea for a game is not mine though, it is the Dean's. He believes we need some sort of activity and so I took on the responsibility in an effort to spice things up from the usual, but I'm reminded that the unusual is sometimes hard to think up. I'll let you know if my chosen ideas succeed, but I'm too embarrassed to put them out there now.

Otherwise, I'm spending this week in music. Rehearsals and teaching and intermittent online christmas shopping. Speaking of which, this is my nieces christmas list:

A blue butterfly chair that is very squishy
The High School Musical 3 sound track
The High School Musical 3 DVD

You know, when I was home and we were playing the wii (me, (err mii) for the first time) we played the High School Music Karaoke game. Yea, that exists, and my nieces and nephews know every word to every tune and all I could think was how High School Musical is a direct help in understanding how old I actually am now as I can say with assurance "I don't get it."

On Tuesday, Robin and I had the best soup in the city of Chicago at the Soup Box. It honestly is the best. I want some right now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Mix

I made a mix that you are welcome to download if you like. It has a bunch of tunes people have shared with me or what I've been listening to lately.

Download here: Up All Night

Digital Love

The highlights!

It is snow central here in Chicago. The first of the year, and although I find it to be a bit discouraging given the fact that a bad winter is being forecast, I think this first snow is pretty pretty. I quite enjoyed making my way through it to the bus this morning, but not standing and waiting for the bus in it.

Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State, which I think has a lot of really amazing implications. I can't help but be excited for the next (8!) years.

I am wearing this amazing sweater that mother pulled out of a closet while I was home. It was my grandfather's. He received it when he graduated from High School in 1924! It is wool, navy blue, and has an incredible shawl collar which buttons shut. I am pretty crazy about it and can't believe it fits so well.

I had a wonderful time at home, with a big ole Thanksgiving dinner that I'm still full from and some time with the parents helping with errands and such.

I took/made this video while I was home.

I am also in this book that is coming out, umm, today I think!

Lines and Shapes Connect Us

If you don't hear much from me for the next while there may be a couple reasons. One is that I have a ton-o-performances coming up. Three this weekend with the William Ferris Chorale and then some other various holiday shtuff. Tis the season! But, the other reason may be because I have a NEW TV. It is amazing and life changing. 22" of digital beauty. Perfect for me. Now even without cable I get about 50 more channels of high definition love and it is addictive I tell you. Who knew that PBS had so many channels? I imagine it will consume me...