Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Next Day

Today I was planning to head to work, at least in the afternoon, but after sending a couple emails stating as much, I was promptly told that I should stay home. See, the president of the university actually sent a note out to everyone basically saying if you're sick, stay home. So, I obliged and took this final day to rest up and actually do some studying before my mid term examination this evening. Although, I must admit it is very difficult to get much studying done when the internet and television are so easily accessible. I've certainly watched enough tv in the last three days to last most good people a life time.

In MUCH more important news, my father has turned 73 years old today. Imagine that? 73 years on this blessed earth. I spoke to him a bit about it and he told me how he now lived longer than his father, his grand father and his oldest brother. I can't quite imagine that feeling, but at the rate he's living I imagine he will out last many others as well.

I know I sing his praises a lot, but he's totally worth it. The best dude I know. Most admirable and the most interesting. I pray that I get a fraction of the cool jeans err genes he has been given.

Here's to 73.

I'm off to study.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oink Oink

Ok, I've been in bed for the past three days and before you even start to think it let me declare publicly that I do not have swine flu.

How do I know, you ask?

Well, I'm getting better and according to the 1 million news reports I've watched on swine flu in the last three days I would not be feeling better at this point and I would have quite a fever. I did have a fever Sunday and Monday but it has since broke and I'm feeling like a less functional fraction of my old self.

Seriously, being sick is the worst. I mean, I know that and when other people are sick I try to be empathetic, but I think you forget just how much it sucks to be stuck on your sofa for days at a time until it happens to you. It's one thing to have a cold, but another to not even be able to stay awake during a whole hour of the evening news. No eating, no coffee, none of the things that make me me.

Today has been a bit better. I was feeling crazy antsy so I made my way to Panera Bread to try and ingest some soup as I don't have any in my house. It's about six block walk... maybe 5 and I made it only to be reminded that I haven't actually spoken to anyone face to face in a while and I had to ask the girl behind the counter to speak a bit more slowly. Anyway, I ate my soup, stared off into space for a good 30 min, then came back home and went to bed.

Pooor me.

I'm hoping that tomorrow I am back amongst the living as I have a midterm exam to take in the evening. I wish this down time meant that I was accomplishing things, like studying.

I did discover this LOL while in my sick bed:

Friday, April 24, 2009

3 minutes

I've watched this commercial a good five times.

It is directed by Chris Cunningham who gained some notoriety for Bjork's "All is full of love" video.

The Gucci ad is stunning. I wish it were a bit longer.

I've been slow all around this week. For the most part the weather has been little more than a tease and my energy has been low. I'm hoping that today I can muster some energy to get the things done I need to. The other day at lunch, I was explaining to my coworkers how it is necessary for me to regularly wipe down my bathroom sink, toilet, tub etc because for some reason dust in the bathroom really grosses me out. They all thought I seemed a bit up tight about the situation, but as I was getting ready this morning I thought they would be pleased as my bathroom and the rest of my house for the matter is a mess. That maybe the object of my Friday night's affection: cleaning. When one works and goes to school and etc etc one can't seem to look forward to the weekend in the same way the rest do. OH WELL.

Last night while riding on my bicycle I tried to keep up with this guy, bout my size, bout my shape who went speeding past me. I totally couldn't do it. He 100% lost me in like 3 minutes. I need to get back to the gym.

Oh, and it is going to be over 80 degrees today.
I'm still freezing in my office.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

to Tweet or to Blog

I'm a bit torn these days over Blogging and Twittering. I know that the mere mention of Twitter makes some of you groan and I totally get that, but the more I think about and use it the more I think it is has relevance for someone like me say, over blogging. Particularly since I typically blog silly anecdotes about my life. Most of the time I'm not compiling in depth stories that require much thought, so I wonder if the microblog is actually more worth the energy. I said to Mary that I think that my initial understanding of Twitter was that it was TMI, but maybe now I think it is JEI or just enough information. Maybe the traditional blog is where the TMI exists.

I keep bringing up the Internet in my Urban and Community analysis class, which makes my prof roll her eyes everytime as she isn't one to subscribe to e-trends. I think one can't understand modern community and networking without the Internet, but she argues that it is not the real thing... I mean, I agree, but it is an off shoot of the real thing.

I called my Mother and Father last night because I haven't been able to touch base with them lately. My mother went to the cardiologist yesterday and they are feeling rather good about her heart. It seems to be functioning normally, which is an answer to prayer. She seems generally good.

The funny thing is, if ever I call my parents and they are watching television they insist upon explaining to me what is happening on the show they are watching. This typically can last for the first five minutes of conversation. Last night it was all about Gun Smoke, which my parents watch religiously (since they seem to think it still 1964.) I have to eventually remind them that I am not there and cannot see the TV so I'd rather just talk and then they can go back to watching it.

My sister sent an email last night telling me that she had receieved word that she would probably lose her position as a music teacher next year. It seems the recession is hitting most everyone I know in one way or another. It's also terribly frustrating that the art teachers are the first to go.

Because NPR and I are friends on Facebook, I became aware this morning that they are streamig St. Vincent's new album. It is pretty great. I particularly like "Marrow." Seems like lots of indie ladies are putting new albums out recently.

Check it out:

Speaking of NPR, I was thinking how frustrating it is to be a donor to something and still have to listen to a pledge drive. I mean, I get it, but I've already donated. Isn't there a secret donors station where we don't have to listen to it all again?

I have to run to a mtng now, but remind to speak about foam rollers later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh, Miracle of Miracles

I say this with the utmost of apprehension, but I think, just maybe, my tooth is getting better. I've taken significantly less pain medication this weekend and I'm feeling bits of relief. I don't want to say anymore for fear of jinxation, but !!!!

Friday, Tina and I saw Adventureland, which I quite enjoyed. I was honestly a bit bored at first but as the story picked up a bit and I got more into the groove of the film I really enjoyed it. It is good little piece of nostalgia. Further on the topic of movies, last night I was fortunate enough (thanks to Linsey's DVR) to be able to watch Grey Gardens. It was all I expected. Actually, that is not true because I remember upon first seeing the advertisement, releasing a loud groan at what I thought would be a flubbed up version of reality. I mean it seems silly to try to build on a documentary that we've seen and known, but the result was quite successful. The makeup and costumes were incredible as was the acting. It's rather tragic. If you have the chance to catch it on demand or on dvd, I say give it a go.

Most of the weekend was dedicated to homework with a brief stint singing at a benefit for the William Ferris Chorale. It was quite odd, taking place the in common room of a condo building, but it seemed the people enjoyed it. We also were rewarded with mini cheesecakes and free wine. I'll sing whatever you like if that is what I get afterwards.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This kind.

Dear Friends,

My frustration at this very moment has reached epic proportions. I say that hesitantly as I vowed not to use my blog as a forum for complaints, but I've just returned from the dentist's office and I can't remain silent about how simply terrible I feel about it all.

See, I had this cavity filled six weeks ago and ever since then I've been in pain. Not just "ouch, that hurts" pain, but "OMG I MIGHT DIE" pain. It also is wake me from my sleep at 4am every night/morning kinda pain and I just can't deal with it anymore. I had a root canal to try and fix the problem and well, that didn't work. Since then I've just been praying and taking pain pills and that doesn't seem to be helping either.

My trip to the dentist today just yielded more "wait and see." When mentioned extracting the tooth, I told him to go ahead. He thought I seemed too eager and told me that was a last resort. This is the second time in my life I've had a situation just like this, but last time I could point the finger more easily. This time it just seems to be blamed upon my body's inability to heal itself, or the tooth next to the tooth that was fixed being angry.

Actually, I snapped a picture of my X-Ray. Look at what a mess I am.

Have you ever seen anything like it? How about that impacted wisdom tooth. They say that isn't a problem... But for now, I just wait and see and try not to keep complaining.

This morning I attended the CAAP grant recipient breakfast, which was quite the scene. All Chicago artists who had applied for and received money from the city to make art. I couldn't help but sit there and think about how most of these folks really identify as artists and I feel like I just take pictures... and frankly, I don't do too much of that these days. It was good to be in that company and a reminder that I need to keep moving. I also found out that I will be able to get some feedback from the process as apparently there are notes taken based on what the panel said with regards to your application, so in June I will have a meeting and hear about those notes. Maybe in June I'll feel more like and artist.

Finally, this morning I awoke to a text message from CNN. I have signed up for these and found them extremely useful as they alert you only occasionally about significant events that take place. For instance, when the pirate rescue thing happened I got a text message. Anyway, my text message this morning (at 7am!) alerted me to the fact that Ashton Kutcher had reached 1 million Twitter followers, beating CNN in a contest. Really!? Really, CNN!? You're gonna use my text messages for information like that? I rolled my drowsy eyes and then went back to sleep.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In Threes

I'm sitting here drinking coffee out of a mason jar and eating "weight control" oatmeal because I couldn't find the "less sugar" version that I usually get. I don't think the "weight control" is actually less sugar, I think it is just a marketing scheme to get us fatties to buy it. Well, it worked.

I sang at this funeral yesterday in Berwyn for a lady that I did not know. But it was all rather strange for me as I was not able to attend Jane's funeral in Michigan and this funeral happened at the exact same hour for a woman who was the exact same age. It seemed oddly serendipitous, or as my father would say "divine providence."

Jessica has a Kindle. If I weren't a student who was required to read scholarly texts, I think that I would also like a Kindle.

I'm still dealing with a tooth ache. It has been nearly 5 weeks. In that five weeks I've been to the dentist as many times and have had a root canal. I can say that it is better than it was, but this morning I was awoken at 4am with terrible pain. I was visualizing myself strangling the dentist in an effort to lull myself back to sleep.

Have I told you that my communications instructor has a stutter? He often repeats things three times. It's ironic, but maybe apropos. I was thinking last night that I would embrace his repetition as a way in which I may be able to remember what he is saying... repetition of threes.

I'm getting a new computer here at work today. I will try and show it as it is quite redonk. It is a 24" iMac. One could take it home, hang it on their wall and watch movies with much satisfaction. It is bigger than my TV in my living room. I'm not complaining, but I find it quite humorous given the nature of my job.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I don't want to complain

I complete marathon Easter weekend only to realize I am embarking upon marathon after Easter week.

My dilemma right now is that I don't want to complain.

If I were to blog proper right now it would be an all out rant about a number of things. My teeth would be at the top of the list, but I've vowed to stop talking about it for now.

And like I've said before, I know that when people take the time to blog how busy they are it can be epicly annoying, so I wont go there either.

So, I'll just take one moment and say that I had a wonderful Easter brunch at Christina's home. I would imagine 25 of us had a wonderful brunch that brought me into an afternoon coma which I went home to fight off and do homework. That kind of brunch makes me happy to be an urbanite. I don't know how to expand upon that, but it does.

Sorry, this is mostly just food, I guess. There were people there too.

I also managed to stop into see the Valentino documentary with Charlie on Saturday which was really great. It is a good piece of a escapist cinematography. Precisely what I was looking for this weekend.

Finally, I will say I was a bit resistant to the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, but it has grown on me and I'm playing it nonstop. Same goes for Bat for Lashes. Although, when listening to this album you have to get beyond the Kate Bush element. Once you do, it is really a great piece of audio.

I'm off to class.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jane Scamehorn 1917 - 2009

I was sad to find out this morning that Jane Scamehorn had passed away.
She is one of the people in life who has known me the longest. Since pregnancy actually and her wedding anniversary was on my birthday. She was one of the most blessed and generous women I've ever known.

I know these things become cliche, but in these last years life was not especially easy for Jane. I have to believe that she is much happier now than she has been in a long time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Leave it at that.

I gotta tell ya, it's been a hell of a 48 hours.

To top it all off, I sit here saggy lipped after my root canal, which I felt actually really thrilled to be getting if it would indeed stop the pain. But, there was one thing I forgot in all of this physical pain and that was the forthcoming pain to my pocket book. Let me outline some costs for you.

Actually, I'll start by saying that I have great insurance. It allows up to $1500 in dental work a year AND covers x-rays, which is huge. I am very thankful for it. That being said, I have a $200 deductible to fulfill at the beginning of the year then must pay 20% after that for each appointment. Prior to my visit today I think this year, since January, I think I've spent about $600 out of pocket. I also have spent $800 out of the allotted $1500 leaving me with about $700 to go. This was all well and good until I needed a root canal because today's root canal cost $1100. Fortunately, I have my wonderful insurance which I am thankful for that covered the $700 remaining dollars I had and I paid $400 out of pocket. I of course don't have $400, but I will figure out how to pay it.

Here's the kicker. A root canal is never just a root canal. It is also a post and a crown. When I was reminded of this today, I scurried over back to my dentists office to setup and appointment for this and figure out what my future costs would be now that I'm all outta insurance. Well, here it is: $1400

I mean, seriously? $1400? I expressed my shock and the girl looked at me knowingly with only the response "Dental work is expensive." I didn't respond but I wanted to tell her that is one thing she didn't have to tell me. I already know. But for goodness sake, can a guy get a break?

So, although this is a beautiful day and despite my recent frustrations in life that I had managed to feel better than because of the sun and the elongated weekend, I feel frustrated. These things work out. Don't I know it. But frankly, it's not fair.

I will leave it at that.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I woke up this morning and saw upon my counter what appeared to be the holy trinity of prescription medications.

The light was hitting them just right and I couldn't help but be thankful that my morning doesn't normally look like this. So, needless to say I took the Vicodin and I have to say "not bad!" Honestly, my tooth was begging for it as the Ibuprofen was just not getting the job done anymore, so I gave in. I feel completely functional, although those around me might beg to differ.

My class last night was rather intense. There were only six of us in the class last week and two have dropped since then, but another two have joined, so we remain at six. Last night though, one person was gone, the two new folks hadn't done the reading, and one dude is just painfully shy. What was left? My big mouth, another girl who seemed to only be able to talk about how boring her life is and my professor who insists upon shouting out the names of authors followed by the statement "EVERYONE KNOWS HOW XXXXXXX IS, RIGHT? RIGHT? WHO DOESN'T KNOW XXXXXXX?" At which point, we all raise our hands. She then huffs and explains how XXXXXXX coined such and such theory yada yada yada. It's actually quite comical and takes me back to the scene in Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon is in the bar with that know it all Harvard kid. That being said, I quite enjoyed what almost seemed a one on one conversation with my professor. It was like we were out for a beer debating sociology, except, I don't really know anything about sociology.

This is Robin and me at Duck Walk the other night playing with the "pin hole" function on my camera.

Tonight is my only night off until Sunday.

Monday, April 6, 2009

To Vicodin or not to Vicodin?

There is this thing that happens in Chicago around February where all of us start bemoaning the winter. It is to be expected as February is terribly dreadful month. But then, once we start complaining outloud about bad it is, you start to hear people say things like "Well, don't get your hopes up. March is worse." I'm one of these people. I think March is that absolute worst month because you think it might be Spring by March but it is SO not Spring. It doesn't even pretend to be Spring. But, the thing about March is that you don't hear people say "Well, APRIL is even WORSE!" Never! In our minds, April is like flowers and light jackets and sunshine and well... IT'S NOT TRUE! Today is April 6th and it has been snowing for two days. Don't kid yourselves my fellow Chicagoans. April sucks, too.

But, May...

In my hand right now, well, not actually in my hand but next to my hands sit three bottles of pills. See I'm still nursing this killer tooth ache and I wont get the canal done until the 13th, so in the mean time I have to venture into some previously charted medicinal territory. If I hadn't have gone through this whole root canal thing before it would be uncharted, but it has DEFINITELY been charted.

The first bottle is for Clindamycin, which is an antibiotic, which is supposed the help kill the infection in my bum tooth. The thing about me and Clindamycin is that it makes my stomach all sorts of a mess. Like, the kind of mess, you don't really tell people about. But, I mentioned this in vague terms to my dentist so he also prescribed for me Metronidazole. This is supposed to even out all the bad things that antibiotics do to your/my poor little tummy. Then! comes the pain killer, our friend, Vicodin. Now I understand that many would find this prospect exciting, but having taken Vicodin in the past, I know the results are not so desirable. Sure the pain will be gone, but frankly, so will I.

So, what to do? What to do??

I don't want to deal with the pain... but I don't know that I want to deal with side effects of all these meds either.

I'll keep you posted. Or, maybe not.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rain and snow and sleet and and and

I've read about 300 or so pages so far this weekend.

It is both raining and snowing right now.

But don't worry, through the magic of Skype I remain less than sad and mostly entertained.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

I have so many other things to say, and maybe I will have time to do so tomorrow, but in short I found out on Friday that I've received grant from the city of Chicago. It is called a CAAP grant. I think I applied for it in October and am now just hearing, but regardless, they want to give me $$! Score. It is for "portfolio development." Now, if only they could pay me in time as well as money.

Oh! and if you have a chance, listen to last weeks episode of This American Life. Act II about how the FDIC takes over banks is going to blow your mind. I promise.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Ok, so, I'm on day three of my first week of hecticity.

I'm doing alright. Did I tell you I'm taking Mangosteen now? My Dad takes and oz every day and swears that is has helped him with a number of ailments. So, since he offered me a bottle ($17) I've decided to give it a try. I'm only on like, day three, so I can't really speak to its benefits yet, but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Robin and I had the most delicious curry last night before we headed off to rehearsal for the William Ferris Chorale. I'm still thinking about it. Given the nasty, rainy, and grey nature of yesterday it was just what the Dr. ordered.

Speaking of doctors, yesterday morning was time with my BFF the dentist. I do need a root canal and although I knew that going in and kind of hoped he would just do it right then and there, it turns out he just hollowed my tooth out and stuffed it with gauze covered in meds to kill the pain until I can get in with another Dr. He told me that he doesn't do molars anymore because other dentsits have more sophisticated equipment with microscopes etc, so he hands it over to them. I suppose that is good? I just want the pain to stop, honestly.

Also, in one piece of April fools news, I totally feel for the gmail joke. I mean, as I read I was thinking it was ridiculous, but it didn't occur to me that it was an April fools joke until I was thought about how Google usually pulls on us... then I realized.

My mother has cataract surgery today. There is a chance that when you have the surgery you will be able to see without glasses after. I'm hoping this is the case for her.