unrequited narcissism

Archives: chicago
Archives: chicago
August 01, 2006
August 01, 2006
blogher blog  - chicago

ooh! the blogher conference is going to chicago next year. although i have no idea if the conference is actually worthwhile and provides anybody with any enlightening information (my fault for not having researched it very much) it would certainly be a cool excuse to visit my favorite recently-departed city. (via)

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July 26, 2006
July 26, 2006
grandissimo chicago

one of my favorite stupid things about the el in chicago would be that when you were riding the red line downtown and approaching the grand station, the disembodied announcer voice would inform you that, "this...is grand." and i always said to myself, "yes, yes it is!"

but apparently that's now changed, sadly, and when i found out i wept a little tear.

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June 30, 2006
June 30, 2006
kal-el chicago

one of the things i miss most about chicago is, perhaps strangely, the el. i know - dudes are always masturbating on it, hobos poo in the corner, the howard station always smells strongly of urine, and the sounds that emit from it are unholy and unworldly. but it managed to sneak into a special place in my heart and stay there. truth be told, i love it much more than the metro, even though the metro is about 100x cleaner and the el didn't have a super duper last call thingie. anyways, gapers block (gawd how i wish atlanta had a gapers block) recently put up a piece about five films in which the el is a prominent feature. check it out.

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June 13, 2006
June 13, 2006
EVEN MORE PHOTOS chicago  - photos

can you believe it?

just a note to say that i see that cappseus has been uploading pictures from his fine, fine trip to chicago at the end of april. (what kind of flickr delay is that, anyways? i start getting the shakes if i don't upload stuff to flickr in under eight hours.) this shot? we're probably posting to effing zunta or something. regardless, it's what we look like 75% of the time.

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June 09, 2006
June 09, 2006
thump chicago

enough people have sent me this awesome mcsweeney's list that i now know for sure that the legacy of Noisy Upstairs Neighbor will live on through the power of the internets. good riddance.

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May 31, 2006
May 31, 2006
a double dose of good news D.C.  - chicago

the first: last night after returning from some delicious margaritas, i saw a guy struggling with a heavy-looking box and trying to get into my apartment lobby. i ran to hold the door open for him, then was, like, huh. i hope i am not letting in psycho murderer dude. so i asked him if he was moving in, because i didn't recognize him. and he said, yes, he was moving into I2, but just for the summer. and then i wept tears of joy. because I2 is the apartment above mine. and that must mean that NUN has moved out. noisy upstairs neighbor is dead, long live noisy upstairs neighbor. of course, this only happened when i have approximately 10 days of staying in my apartment left, but i'll take what i can get.

the second: we're having a party! the O street gang (that sounds terribly retarded but i'm going with it anyways) is having a party june 10. no reason, except i'm in town and am super eager to see all the lovely d.c. people in one convenient place. if you didn't get an evite, don't feel slighted - i'm just disorganized. you're certainly all invited, so just shoot me an email if you want the details.

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May 16, 2006
May 16, 2006
going to hell, straight to hell chicago

well, looks like i have a 99% sure subletter. phew! too bad i totally ignored the issue of NUN. i'm an evil person. i've also got a place to live in DC in the fall as well. (i'm really just sticking around there to see if the balcony will burn down again.) all that's left is finding a place in atlanta, which is proving much more hellish than i would have liked. thankfully, i have atlanta encyclopedia matt at my disposal, which has already proved helpful. for now, two out of three ain't bad.

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May 06, 2006
May 06, 2006
cinco de mayo chicago  - northwestern  - photos

what happens when some medill folks head to the sketchiest bar in evanston on cinco de mayo? well, actually, not that much. mostly they drink a ton of beer and play pool badly.

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May 01, 2006
May 01, 2006
yippee chicago  - photos

photographic evidence that the two lads were here and duly squired.

the weekend also provided the opportunity to meet up with several unfogged folks and dan from iconoduel, and everyone was wonderful. have i mentioned how much i love the internet?

the only crappy thing was the sucktastic experiences both tommy and kriston had getting out of the city. kriston's account is here; tommy took a cab this morning at 5am to ostensibly catch his 6:30am flight...which ended up being instead at something like 11:30am. fabulous.

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April 23, 2006
April 23, 2006
snakes on a mural chicago  - photos

so a lot of the el stops as you go along the purple line up to evanston have murals hung on the platform walls. i don't know who commissioned them, who painted them, or when they were put up, but they all have one grand unifying factor: they are so awful, both in painting and in subject matter, that they make your eyes bleed. but i think this one, at the dempster stop, is the worst offender:

what in the world is going on here? we've got a floating rhienoceros head, an enormous evil rattlesnake, weird silhouettes and faces, and some landscape that looks like a second-grader painted it. what exactly might have been going through the artist's mind during the creation of this shot? the answer is probably: lots and lots of bad acid.

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April 19, 2006
April 19, 2006
pretty spaces in office places chicago  - media  - northwestern

our class spent today at the chicago tribune building, talking to the folks of Red Eye (the chicagoan version of express, for you d.c. folks), chicagotribune.com, and tribune interactive. everyone there was lovely and smart, of course, but what was really great was seeing the inside of this gorgeous building. even better was the office space for tribune interactive, which was in the basement, where the printing presses used to be!!1!! i found that really cool, for some reason. it's very sleek and modern and loft-like down there - not your typical basement office. certainly a space where i wouldn't mind working. apparently it's won all sorts of awards. check it out.

i should also mention that we got to check out the printing plant of the daily herald last week, and for all i think of print papers, that is one impressive piece of machinery. check out some images of the press (not the DH's; a german company, i believe) here. though the daily herald is the third largest paper in illinois, it's still what many consider a suburban paper, but its printing presses are some of the newest and most sophisticated in the country. they also have scary machine forklift type robots that load the enormous 20-ton rolls of paper and i almost got run over by one. or, like, it came within 20 feet of me.

printing presses. i know! exciting! alright, more voyeurism - you can check out the pretty faces of some of my classmates here.

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April 18, 2006
April 18, 2006
great moments in college student events booking chicago  - music  - northwestern

well, well. i was strolling along this morning towards the journalism building, coffee in hand, when one of many of the taped-to-the-ground fliers advertising various student activities caught my eye.

"STEPHEN MALKMUS" it read, in huge block letters. in smaller type it went on, kind of weirdly i thought, "acclaimed singer, songwriter, formerly of pavement."

hmm. i would go see malkmus again, i thought. i've seen him twice, once in charlottesville and once in milan, and he put on a pretty decent show both times.

then, in even smaller letters at the bottom, it read: "with new pornographers and my morning jacket."

$10. the best part? they're playing in northwestern's crappy ancient gym that can't hold more than 1,000 people on a good day. i'm so going saturday night, after an excursion with classmates to a brewers game in milwaukee. first minneapolis, now milwaukee. that's right. when will my midwestern adventures end?

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April 14, 2006
April 14, 2006
the pitch chicago  - music

the pitchfork festival line up has been updated again, for those interested:

Saturday, July 29

Main stage:

  • Silver Jews
  • The Futureheads
  • Ted Leo/Pharmacists
  • Art Brut
  • Destroyer
  • Mountain Goats
  • Band of Horses
  • Man Man
  • Hot Machines


Biz3 stage:

  • Dominik Eulberg *
  • Matmos
  • Ada *
  • Ghislain Poirier
  • 8 Bold Souls


Sunday, July 30

Main stage:

  • Os Mutantes
  • Spoon
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Devendra Banhart
  • Mission of Burma
  • Aesop Rock
  • The National
  • Jens Lekman
  • Tapes 'n Tapes
  • Chin Up Chin Up


Biz3 stage:

  • Diplo
  • Tarantula A.D.
  • Tyondai Braxton
  • Bonde Do Role

tommy, sommer and kyle will be making the trip. will you?

UPDATE: mother effer. i am not changing all those crapped out bullet points. sorry.

UPDATE 2: I'm enough of a dork that I will. -Tom

comments [15] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
you are a runner chicago

i agree with matt - the chicago lakefront is one of the city's best attributes, and on a nice day, running along it can become an almost enjoyable activity instead of the life-draining suckage of suck that it normally is. you see park, you see pets, you see rollerbladers (i love chicago. people rollerblade here unironically. i feel like that wasn't really the case in d.c.), you see bikers, runners, beach, water, statues, and a fabulous view of downtown as you round the bend around north avenue beach. i even had a moment while running out on a narrow concrete pier that curves around into the water that felt like i was back in cinque terre. beach, wind, sun, happy.

that said, i have no plans to ever go running in a skirt. what is up with this? (via bexgirl)

even with the gorgeous lakefront trail mere minutes away from my apartment, i have been getting somewhat bored with the running routine lately. so i briefly thought about fulfilling my promise to give yoga a shot...but ended up back in bed with spinning. except, apparently on thursdays now, they do a fun bit o' a thing called "big spin," which is 80 minutes of spinning as compared to the normal 45 or so. it was great! "big spin" makes you want to die, be resurrected so you can vomit and roll around in it, then die again. but i'm sure my butt will thank me for it later.

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April 12, 2006
April 12, 2006
da head chicago  - music

a friend told me a while back about this, but it's still nice to hear it confirmed: According to sources in the industry Radiohead will play the Auditorium Theatre on June 19 and 20.

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April 09, 2006
April 09, 2006
gah gah gah chicago  - media

i'm an idiot. i think, on the way down from observing the amazing view from the hancock tower this morning, my family and i rode in the elevator with eric zorn. who is eric zorn, you may ask? only my FAVORITE JOURNALIST BLOGGER EVER. he's a columnist/blogger for the chicago tribune, and he's excellent. he covered the ryan trial and recent local elections like no one else's business, but he also uses his blog for silly, fun, bloggy stuff.

i didn't recognize him - he was outfiitted in cubs gear, with a similarly-styled young daughter, and he was very talkative, but pleasantly so, on the 96-story ride down. at one point on the elevator, the sign, for whatever reason, reads "EZ," and his daughter said, "look, dad! your initials!" a small lightbulb went off at that point, but i really didn't think too much of it. but a google image search seems to confirm my suspicions, i believe. ah well. two ships passing in the night, or the elevator, or something along those lines.

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March 24, 2006
March 24, 2006
you, like, totally suck at jurying chicago

i know when i talk about the george ryan trial, to anyone living outside of illinois it sounds like this "BLAH BLAH BORING BLAH." and you're a little right. if you ever sat in on the testimony during the trial, you might have fallen into a deep REM sleep caused by the hour-long discussions of license plates and real estate contracts. totes boring.

but now! look! shit has gone and gotten all totally hysterically bad ass in the form of a group of petulant, immature jurors!

first, and less interesting to me, is that the tribune exposed one juror as having been convicted of a felony back in 95 when ryan was secretary of state. that is bad, and could potentially cause a mistrial, but most likely the juror will just be dismissed and an alternate will step in.

second, and too funny, is that all the jurors hate each other with the burning passion of a classroom full of 13-year-olds:

The potentially explosive development came on the heels of earlier signs the Ryan jury was close to exploding.

They come and go together, but during the day reporters have seen the Ryan jury gathering in smaller groups. The judge told them to cut it out Thursday.

"You have at least two factions in this case that apparently aren't speaking to each other," said CBS 2 Legal Consultant Irv Miller. "They're deliberating in different rooms, in different places."

In a hallway Wednesday, CBS 2 heard one juror say to several others, "We've got to stop with all this name calling."

"I expect you to treat your fellow jurors with dignity and respect," Pallmeyer said in a stern, three-paragraph note sent in response to two notes received from the jurors in recent days.

they've got cliques! the judge is sending them notes to express her concern! they call each other names. it's JUST. LIKE. HIGH SCHOOL. except, um, these are a bunch of middle-aged illinoisians who should be discussing oh, only, the MOST IMPORTANT TRIAL THE STATE HAS EVER SEEN. get it together, fools.

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March 21, 2006
March 21, 2006
dreaming the jury chicago

for what it's worth, my chicago friends, i had a very accurately-detailed dream last night that george ryan, the former illinois governor charged with racketeering and mail fround, was found guilty of about half of the 22 counts. (the jury is in their sixth day of deliberation right now after a five-month trial.) seeing as i have previously proven myself to be a political oracle, i think we should assume that ryan will be spending at least part of the end of his life (the dude's nearly 80) sitting on his bum in jail.

anyway. sorry for the lack of posting up until now. i'm sick and miserable, tommy leaves for seattle tomorrow for a few days (bah!) and i have all these things i'd promise myself i'd do during break not getting done (i HAVE done well at drinking tea and watching the food network, though; how i miss cable!). so, i'm a lazy git. hopefully i'll be inspired later on.

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March 16, 2006
March 16, 2006
hmm. well. chicago  - music

the lollapalooza lineup is pretty great, isn't it? goddammit. not another music festival i'll have to throw money at.

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March 14, 2006
March 14, 2006
catherine goes to jail! chicago  - northwestern

...sort of. rather, my last legal reporting assignment for the quarter was to visit, with my class and instructor, the metropolitan correctional center in chicago, the federal facility right downtown (next to the sears tower, in fact). it's designed to hold inmates before and while they need to appear in federal courts before their acquittal or sentencing. we all went on a funtimes tour with the warden, and i learned several interesting things. lucky for you, i will now relay them in educational bullet points. yes, you get catherine's wise lesson on federal prisons for the day:

  • the warden, while a very nice and intelligent man, dresses like regis philbin circa "who wants to be a millionaire." this is disconcerting.

  • the MCC is triangular and, though rather ugly, kind of looks like somebody put some sort of architectural thought into designing it. which, for what is essentially a prison, is disconcerting.

  • the MCC is 26 floors. the very top floor is an outdoor roof recreation area with a very nice view of the lake. each unit of inmates, 88 to every unit, gets to go outside for an hour every day. on the roof there is a volleyball net and a couple of basketball hoops. the area is covered with barbed wire on the walls and a wire netting over top. my first thought as to why the wire was there? something along the lines of, that makes sense, if a basketball were misshot and went over the wall and fell 26 floors, that could, uh, kill somebody. but no. the real reason is that once, somewhere, in real life, a couple of inmates escaped from a jail by helicopter. this also happened in some 80s movie. and thus the federal government was scared into covering outdoor roofs with wire. maybe not a terrible idea. also, along one side of the triangular roof area, the openings are covered by tarps so that you can't see the buildings next door. the reason for this? apparently a few years back, the facility staff discovered that "ladies," paid by some unknown angel funder, were "putting on shows" from the parking lot across the street every week at a designated hour. but the tarps put an end to that.

  • according to an inmate on floor 24, i have an "apple bottom." thanks.

  • the crepes of wrath is a featured book in the prison library. plot summary? "Just desserts? Lizzie Mast was the world's worst cook--there's little doubt about that in the chatty town of Hernia, Pennsylvania. So when someone kills her with a bad batch of crepes, most folks think she got what she deserved."

    indeed.

    in fact, most of the books in the prison libraries are masterful mystery/murder thrillers. should we really be teaching people accused of everything from mail fraud to murder how to execute cunning if improbable criminal plots? i mean, just think of the terror a david baldacci book could unleash in the real world.

  • according to the warden, the difference between the male and female inmates is as follows: "you get lots of fights with the men, they'll beat each other up, but a few weeks later they'll send a note saying it's over, you won, whatever. with the females, in january, they'll have a fight over some cookies: 'hey, you've got three cookies, and i've only got two, and why you give that other cookie to your friend instead of me?' come july, they're still fighting about the damn cookies."

    well, i'm now a prison expert after my hour and a half tour, so feel free to shoot any inquiries my way.

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    March 13, 2006
    March 13, 2006
    new pornographers/belle & sebastian chicago  - music

    well, i had meant to do a more detailed, full-blown review of this show earlier, but i succumbed to that disease that affects so many of us bloggers: laziness. or was it wine? either way, here are my much abridged thoughts:

    new porngraphers - just should not tour without neko case. carl newman sounded great, but kathryn calder, sick or not, does not have the interesting or full sounding vocals to carry her songs. additionally, the mix sounded strangely tinny, and the band seemed weary and determined on tearing through the set with business-like speed. i believe i remember exactly one line of in-between song banter from newman. which is sad, because he's quite funny.

    belle and sebastian: it sure SOUNDED like they put on a great show. however, in between the two bands, dcsobloop and i opted for a trip to the bathroom and another beer, which meant we ended up on the slightly-raised second level platform. you'd think "slightly-raised" would mean "with a view of the stage," but that is exactly the opposite of what it meant. we couldn't see a bloody thing. additionally, stuart was crazy with the stories in between songs; unfortunately, apparently when not singing, he can only manage incomprehensible scottish mumbles. and, as i mentioned previously, i was frustrated that they only played one song off of "if you're feeling sinister." oh well. i guess i got my fill of IYFS songs when i saw them back in 1998 at the black cat. that's right, i'm cooler than you. i'm also old. that was eight years ago. christ.

    sigh. at least i got a new t-shirt out of the show. methinks i like it better than the old one.

    comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 10, 2006
    March 10, 2006
    stuck in the newsroom forever chicago

    so, i'm in the medill newsroom. i tried to leave about 20 minutes ago to get home, but i could not. because i am in the middle of this. and it is literally a wall of humans and it is impossible to move. i spent 10 minutes going 10 feet and gave up when i saw from a distance that my el stop appears to be servicing approximately 12 gazillion people right now. i mean, i'm all about immigrant rights. but what about catherine's right to get home, have a beer and see the belle & sebastian concert? gah.

    see, this is what i was dealing with:

    more photos at my flickr stream of the enormous crowd.

    but, you will be so relieved to know, i eventually was able to escape the clutches of the newsroom and make it to the new pornographers/belle & sebastian show. a full report to come tomorrow. but for now, i say this: ONE SONG OFF OF IYFS? SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY?!

    gnight.

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 07, 2006
    March 07, 2006
    top o' the judgeship to you chicago  - misc

    in doing research for an article about judicial elections i found out something interesting - judges in cook county, IL are something like two billion percent more likely to be elected if they're female and/or have a distinctly-irish sounding name. some wannabe judges even change their names to sound more irish.

    i love this bit from an old chicago reporter article:

    In the 2002 Democratic primary for Judge Thomas R. Rakowski's appellate court vacancy, James Fitzgerald Smith beat William D. O'Neal, Thomas H. Fegan and Roger G. Fein...

    Smith received seven "not recommended" or "not qualified" marks among his evaluations from 12 Chicago-area bar associations. O'Neal received eight unfavorable marks. But Fein, who was slated by the Democratic Party, received one unfavorable rating and Fegan, who is Irish, got approving marks from every bar group.

    Slated judicial candidates are supported by a committee of party leaders. Beating them is not an easy task, according to a Chicago Council of Lawyers' unpublished analysis of judicial candidates from 1988 to 2000, which shows slated candidates won elections for vacant judgeships 72 percent of the time.

    In addition, Smith was reported by the Chicago Sun-Times to have run for judge in 1992 as "James G. Smith" but then ran as "James Fitzgerald Smith" in 1994, when he was elected to the bench in a subcircuit race. Smith did not return repeated phone calls from the Reporter.
    ...

    In 1998, Bonnie Carol McGrath ran as a Republican candidate for a Cook County circuit court judgeship. Under the advice of her election lawyer, former Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Chairman Michael E. LaVelle, McGrath dropped "Carol" and replaced it with "Fitzgerald" even though it was neither part of her name nor that of anyone in her immediate family, she said.

    She won the primary but lost in the general election to James Patrick McCarthy.

    just in case you ever wanna be a judge in cook county.

    i also find the fact that women have an easier time of being elected to judgeships interesting. tommy guessed it might be because people perceive them as fairer and more even-handed. what do you think?

    comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 03, 2006
    March 03, 2006
    pitchforkivus chicago  - music

    anyone interested in attending the pitchfork festival/visiting me this summer in chicago, take note: passes for the festival go on sale monday, and they've announced six of their 36 bands:

  • Mission of Burma
  • Ted Leo/Pharmacists
  • Mountain Goats
  • The National
  • Jens Lekman
  • Hot Machines
  • a decent if not blow-your-minds sort of line up, and there are still 30 slots left.

    anyway, i'm going to try to snag two tickets for tommy and myself this monday. the magic futon is available for all who dare...

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 01, 2006
    March 01, 2006
    don't come between a harpy and her ice cream chicago  - misc

    hanging out in my favorite cafe, i was waiting for my drink by the register while a man next to me was ordering what appeared to be several pints of ice cream. it appeared, by the expression of the lady helping him, that this had already been a long, arduous process. it was going something like this:

    "uhhh, do you have quarts of ice cream?"

    "yup, right here!"

    dialing cell phone..."they've got quarts, okay? what do you want? okay, okay." hangs up. "i'll take a quart, of, uhh...vanilla, and....shit. hold on." dials cell phone. "what was the other one you wanted? okay, okay." hangs up. "and a quart of chocolate peanut butter."

    the lady smiles and nods and goes to scoop the quarts, then comes to the realization that they don't actually have a flavor called chocolate peanut butter and informs the man as such.

    "shit." dials cell phone. "they don't HAVE chocolate peanut butter...i DON'T KNOW, OKAY? they're OUT, or something."

    and totally audible from the other end of the line, at least to me: "BUTJESUS, I WANT MY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER!"

    dude quickly hangs up. "i'll just get a quart of chocolate. plain chocolate. thanks."

    in other news...if anyone is an expert, or, hell, even familiar with telecommunications law, i would greatly appreciate you contacting me. or if you even understand the following: Whether 47 U.S.C. ยง 201(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 creates a private right of action for a provider of payphone services to sue a long distance carrier for alleged violations of the FCC's regulations concerning compensation for coinless payphone calls.

    seriously, what the fuck, law. what the fuck.

    comments [10] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    February 23, 2006
    February 23, 2006
    bleg chicago

    i'm looking for people in chicago or illinois who have used match.com, eharmony.com, etc, for an article i'm writing. (really.) it's about a bill going to the senate about online dating safety regulations. if you know anyone, shoot me an email!

    UPDATE: how morally dubious would it be for me to create and post a profile, then interview anyone who contacts me in the next few hours?

    comments [12] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    February 21, 2006
    February 21, 2006
    get a piece chicago  - food

    our lovely legal instructor loves us all so much that as we're all desperately struggling to finish our terrible 1200-word articles, she ordered us lunch - pizza from piece (her husband is an investor there). unfortunately for me, it's located somewhere in wicker park and not really accessible to my 'hood, but i'd highly recommended it. yummy thin crust.

    comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    February 18, 2006
    February 18, 2006
    pick up paper chicago  - personal

    an anecdote:

    i was out the other night with a friend of the male persuasion (who shall remain unnamed and unlinked for purposes of discussion, though many of you in DC in the LOOP will know him; ha ha, make note to remind self to pat self on back for being so clever) and we were grabbing a few drinks at a bar. this friend is an engaging conversationalist, so as we were sitting at our little table we were having a good time, laughing, chatting and drinking it up. the bar was fairly crowded, but we didn't really know anyone else there very well and weren't making an extroverted overtures towards anyone else or anything. partway through the evening, i excused myself to go to the bathroom.

    when i returned, said male friend was bemusedly holding a scrap of paper in his hand. he told me that while i had been in the bathroom, a woman had dashed over to the table as he was sipping at his beer, handed him this scrap of paper, said, "here, i think you dropped this," and dashed away so quickly that he almost wasn't even sure what she looked like.

    the scrap of paper? a name and a number. the next 15 minutes? we spent pondering whether someone else had actually dropped this scrap of paper, or whether this was a very roundabout way of picking up said male friend.

    emboldened by beer, and the fact that though we had been staring pointedly at the woman for several minutes while she studiously avoided even glancing our way, said male friend walked over and chatted the lady up.

    turns out, it was a pickup strategy. any results that might be forthcoming aside, my questions are thus: 1. is this a smart or stupid method? would everyone involved not have been better served if she had been a little more direct? 2. THE HELL? WE VERY WELL COULD HAVE BEEN ON A DATE. in fact, i think she thought we were. if i remember correctly she said something to said male friend along the lines of "....well, i wanted you to have my number just in case your date wasn't going well..." let's leave aside the fact that a) i am enormously cute and witty and no date with me could ever go badly b) uh, we weren't actually on a date so i have no right to be offended, am i wrong to, um, feel a little bit offended? that's an awfully ballsy move, considering a guy could be out with a date or girlfriend. i simply can't decide if it was good ballsy or bad ballsy. i guess if they get married and have little ballsy babies, it will have been a good one.

    comments [10] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    credit where due chicago  - misc

    i give FTD and its already-renowned shitty service no respect whatsoever in this matter, but i will say that the local flowershop they used for the somewhat-imperfect valentine's day order came through today. they called while i was at a friend's house for directions (this was apparently the fourth time they had gotten lost trying to deliver the rest of tommy's order; granted, my apartment is pretty difficult to find) and when i came home this evening, i had a box of delicious chocolates and an extra arrangement of three roses and baby's breath waiting for me by the mailbox, along with a note apologizing for the delay.

    i know. poor me. i got my valentine's day chocolates from my wonderful boyfriend THREE GODDAMN DAYS LATE. mother of god...what kind of sick, deprived life do i live?

    anyway, props to mai flowers & gifts, their sweet delivery man and their sweet owner. the chocolate is tasty and the roses (both the first and second bouquets) beautiful.

    comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    February 17, 2006
    February 17, 2006
    if you don't see me this weekend chicago

    it's probably because i've turned into a meat popsicle.

    just fyi.

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    February 15, 2006
    February 15, 2006
    ctrl-alt-rock D.C.  - chicago  - music

    fun stalkable moment: i (along with dcsobloop) will be at chicagoist's first local concert event, ctrl-alt-rock, on thursday evening. the assembly, may or may not and the alphabet will be playing. 8 p.m., $8, schuba's. if you all remember correctly, i was involved in dcist's concert last year, unbuckled, so i'm all about supporting this show.

    and guess what? i'll be at the second coming of unbuckled as well! you should be there. thursday, february 23, dc9. excellent d.c. groups the hard tomorrows and olivia mancini and the housemates will be playing. come on out!

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    beep beep chicago  - media  - northwestern

    just a note to mark the launching of beepcentral, a web site aimed at young chicago surburbanites published by the daily herald, a newspaper serving the areas northwest of chicago. beepcentral grew out of a recent medill media management project, one of the reasons i applied to medill in the first place.

    every year, a group of students who select to do the project basically spend a full quarter working as a consulting group to a local newspaper or publishing company. essentially, the company says "we want _____"; the students design, build and market a product from the ground up to suit the company's needs. generally the companies want a) something designed to bring in younger readers and b) an online component.

    i'll be doing the project this spring quarter. i've heard rumblings that the partner this time around will be the minneapolis star tribune. i'm really excited about it, even though i have no clue as to what the project could be this time around, but i'll keep you informed!

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    February 14, 2006
    February 14, 2006
    getting nailed chicago  - misc

    since my special gentleman friend isn't around this evening to celebrate that most retarded of holidays, i thought i might go off on a Great Adventure and do something i've never done before. no, not whatever you're thinking of, sicko. i want to get a manicure!

    the truth is that i have been biting my nails since i emerged from the womb. i don't do it explicitly because i'm nervous and anxious all the time (though it is a fact that i bite my nails the most when i am a) anxious b) writing an english paper on victorian literature...man, it was a brutal scene after that dickens paper on rosa dartle). i am fully aware it's a gross habit, and frankly, i thought i would magically grow out of it as soon as i became An Adult. like, adults just don't bite their nails. because they are super human. but i'm 26 now, and really, it wasn't like that.

    anyway, for the past few weeks i have appeared to break the habit and thanks to my super special friend mr. nasty tasting nail polish designed to help me stop chewing, i now have nails of a normal human length. i know it's only temporary - it always is - but i'm determined to keep it up as long as possible. and i thought maybe getting a manicure, actually spending a chunk of money to stop myself from biting off parts of my own body, might prolong the experience.

    but i've never done it before! and i don't know what to expect! and frankly, i'm kind of scared. how much should a normal manicure cost? what color should i get? do i tip? will i be infected by nail tool gross fungus stuff? how long will it last? will i become addicted if i go just once?

    girlier UN readers: help me out here. walk me through the manicure experience. you'll be helping me become a better person, i promise.

    comments [15] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    reporting bleg chicago  - media

    i'm doing an article on the lawyers for the creative arts, an organization where lawyers donate their time and services to artists and creative entities in chicago to help them with contracts, intellectual property, tax exemptions, etc. i have an interview today with the head of the organization, but i'm also looking for people who might have used their services and i'm having a bit of a hard time. i'm sure the head of the org. will point me towards the right folks, but i was hoping someone out there might know somebody, too! so if you do, shoot me an email.

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    February 11, 2006
    February 11, 2006
    citizen schmitizen chicago  - media

    i don't mean to be cynical (she said, smirking evilly, because she almost always does). the chi-town daily news seems like a good organization, intent on focusing on citizen journalism, which i, as a new media person, should totally be behind (though i must say that sites that think they can exist solely on the efforts of citizens' articles, without any work or input or guidance or pieces by editors, are doomed to fail - though it doesn't appear as if this site isn't trying to do that).

    but i just find it funny that, without fail, almost every news story published on the site every day is written by somebody from the medill news service. (we're a free wire service that sends out stories to several local newspaper clients.) that doesn't seem very citizen-journalism-y to me...

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    cafe time chicago  - food

    please, do me a favor: if you live in the lakeview area, stop in at cafe latakia at 3204 belmont. it is my favorite little wifi coffee shop in the world, and yet, i am generally almost always THE ONLY PERSON IN HERE and i'm terrified it will go under if the owner doesn't start getting some business soon.

    the place is a charmer. it's beautifully decorated, with plenty of small tables, comfy chairs and sage-green paint on the walls. the owner is middle eastern or eastern european - somehow i haven't quite figured that out yet - so he's always got delicious mediterranean pastries in his glass counter. you can get delicious turkish coffee, or a wonderful affogato (vanilla ice cream drowned in espresso), and when it gets warmer, he'll have a selection of ice cream and gelato available. the rest of the coffee choices are pretty basic, and not any cheaper than starbucks, but it is illy coffee, and therefore pure goodness. plus free wifi abounds, and the owner is just the nicest man ever. usually i am a mean, rushed, cynical person - i hate exchanging pleasantries with anyone outside of friends or people i am sucking up to - but somehow i don't mind having a 5-10 minute chat with him every time i come in and get settled down at my table to work. he remembers everything about me - asks how tommy is doing, asks how northwestern is treating me, asks jokingly if i've scored a job at the washington post yet.

    there are a few drawbacks - the owner is the only employee, and can often take an agonizingly long time to make your drink if you order anything more complicated than a basic cup of coffee. the bathroom is weird and behind the counter, through the dank, messy back room and is very small and kind of creepy. but i figure that's just a result of the rehabbing process not being done yet.

    anyway, i just learned today that his one-year anniversary of owning the cafe is coming up, and i would LOVE to start seeing more people in here. (i may be making this sound more dire than it is; i only come here on saturday mornings and the occasional weeknight, and he probably does better at different times of the week). so, all three-to-four of my chicago readers, i command you: come visit cafe latakia, near broadway and belmont. you'll enjoy it, i promise!

    UPDATE: of course, in the process of writing this entry like 10 people have come in. he's fine. but still, come on by! it's a delightful little place.

    comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 31, 2006
    January 31, 2006
    message to upstairs neighbor: chicago

    please die. or sleep. or surgically turn your feet into marshmallows. WHATEVER IT TAKES I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK

    update: for reference, previous noisy upstairs neighbor issues can be found here. and here. basically, i got four hours of sleep last night, even after kindly (AGAIN) asking dude to STFU. (i caught him barrelling his way down the outside stairs, taking out his trash at 12:30 am. WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT?) and could basically hear him roll his eyes from 30 feet away. whatever, neighbor man. i'm going to take your cats and rope them to your feet like fuzzy slippers. maybe then i'll get a little peace and quiet.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 30, 2006
    January 30, 2006
    weekend recommendations 2.0 chicago  - food  - personal  - weekend report

    last weekend's.

    this weekend was more low-key, but i can still recommend the following:

    the freaks and geeks dvd. tommy got me this for christmas, and i've been too busy to watch it until now but have spent a large chunk of saturday and sunday racing through. it's certainly charming, although i'm not sure why it inspired such cultlike devotion - it hasn't totally grabbed me in that way. but still very enjoyable, and i am now also in love with linda cardellini.

    el tapatio on ashland. you know the night's going right when a) your supposed 45-minute wait to eat at a restaurant turns into 15 minutes b) the restaurant lets you sneak in your beers from the bar across the street that you were waiting at c) along with your pitcher of margaritas the waiter scores you each an extra glass full and d) even though your "burrito grandioso" weighs approximately four pounds, it's so good that you eat the entire thing.

    guthries. we were supposed to hit up this bar on saturday night, but it turned out to be too crowded to stay there. but it looked adorable - small, cozy, with a fireplace and stacks of boardgames that people were playing at every table. perfect for a rainy night. if our group had been smaller, i would have been content to snag a table and hit up some monopoly. as it was, we headed to the first bar we came across on southport - cullen's, which was basically your typical faux-irish pub but was still fun. they actually had a decent cover band that played everything from radiohead to gin blossoms.

    fudgy chocolate-raspberry bars. though fresh raspberries obviously aren't in season, the bars were still delicious and elicited raves from a dinner i went to sunday night. i was glad, because only god in heaven knows what a trial it is to bake in my postage-sized kitchen. my kitchenaid mixer? has to go ON THE FLOOR IN MY BEDROOM BECAUSE THERE IS NO WHERE ELSE TO PUT IT/PLUG IT IN.

    not recommended: lazing out on your weekend run of 8 miles such that you have to do it monday morning before your 2 p.m. class, and now it's flurrying. sigh.

    comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 26, 2006
    January 26, 2006
    planning ahead chicago  - music

    alright, my hipster friends. let's face facts: i'm going to be a lonely girl this summer. most of my friends will be in the d.c. headquarters of medill, doing a reporting quarter that i've opted out of because a) i am a sucky reporter and b) i plan on doing an as-yet-to-be-determined new media independent study. chicago is supposed to be lovely in the summer, but i am afraid i will be spending it sipping solitary gin and tonics on my balcony, staring wistfully off into the sunset.

    but you, yes you, can change this potentially pathetic scenario by planning a visit to little old me. especially in light of the fact that it's just been announced that the second annual pitchfork ne intonation music festival will be taking place july 29-30. just think of it: wonderful indie bands, insufferable chicagoan hipsters, the magic futon...it all adds up to an unforgettable weekend.

    so, who's in? c'mon!

    comments [11] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 23, 2006
    January 23, 2006
    some weekend recommendations chicago  - food

    friday night - gingerman tavern: a friend held her birthday party here, and it was a thoroughly adorable place. tiny, cramped yet cozy front room and an expansive backroom with a few pool tables and plenty of room to mill about. all sorts of people - yuppies, hipsters, plenty of medill graduate students - hanging out in perfect harmony. and extremely attractive male and female bartenders. probably a good place to get a drink before a show at the metro.

    saturday afternoon - the chicago lakefront path: despite it having snowed a few inches the night before, the lakefront path was cleared and, refreshingly, empty. i had a great seven-mile run from the belmont harbor almost down to navy pier and back. the snow stretching to the lake was beautiful to look at and the weather was sunny and crisp. i thought i was being all hardcore, running out saturday in the cold, but while running i noticed a dude KAYAKING IN THE LAKE. that, my friends, is hardcore.

    saturday night - mama desta's red sea: hooray, good ethiopian food! in september i had gone to some place called ethiopian diamond and found it truly lacking. i went on to assume in my haughty manner that no decent ethiopian food could be found outside of d.c. well, i was proved wrong when i went out to mama desta's with some friends. i should have gone earlier - it's just a few blocks up from my apartment, and is super delicious and mostly affordable. good honey wine, friendly service, jolly little atmosphere. no awesome singing and dancing a la dukem, but that's okay.

    sunday night - peter's lasagna and viewings of west wing + grey's anatomy: you probably can't get your hands on the lasagna part (though i think this was the recipe he used), but i was totally excited to sit down for two hours last night and watch these shows. i haven't seen west wing in, oh, approximately a billion years, but i thought last night's episode was really good. of course, just as it starts getting decent again, it gets canceled. le sigh. as for grey's anatomy, well, that show just gives me the warm fuzzies. i don't think i've laughed so hard in a long time as i did at the hot dog eating scene. but that may have just been the five glasses of wine.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 19, 2006
    January 19, 2006
    go, journalism! chicago  - media

    one reason i love my very local chicago news station that i watch in the mornings: as i was getting out of the shower around 7:15, this is what i hear coming from the television:

    "stacey, can you run the clip of the monkeys riding horseback?"

    comments [14] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 16, 2006
    January 16, 2006
    lakeview eating chicago  - food  - personal

    sigh. well, tommy is back safe and sound in d.c., and i just went on an hour and a half cleaning spree to keep the bad sad feelings at bay. still, though, we had a pretty great weekend. it followed the trend of us being ENORMOUS GLUTTONS every time we spend any time together since i moved to chicago. we like to eat out a lot, so when we have the chance, i guess we just go on an enormous eating out binge to make up for all the other times i, as a poor graduate student and he, as a tired web programmer, end up eating lousy dinners at the end of the day. mmm, mac n cheese!

    luckily my neighborhood gives us a lot of delicious eating options. i imagine my following recommendations are old hat to anyone who's lived in chicago for a decent amount of time, but if you're new to the area, maybe they'll help you out. you can find addresses and more info at metromix.com.

    MORE...
    comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    i will end you bitching  - chicago

    i'm sitting in a coffee shop in lakeview with tommy right now (he had to work today, so we're taking advantage of the place's free wifi, and i don't have class till 2). i'm sipping coffee and browsing this facebook thing (post on it and how i am seriously an old lady to come later).

    two construction guys from a site next door walked in to get coffee and are sitting down at a nearby table. one of them has a ringtone. not just any ringtone. the WORST RINGTONE ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH. it is "shake dat laffy taffy." it is on at an abominably loud volume. it has gone off no less than four times in the 15 minutes he has been there. and he takes his sweet time answering it.

    just wanted a record for posterity of how my first-ever homicide will be justified.

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 14, 2006
    January 14, 2006
    duck duck not goose chicago

    tommy and i went for bagels and coffee this morning, then took a walk down to the lake. messing around down there, we saw these:

    tommy swore up and down that white creature is a GOOSE. i say he is clinically insane and it is obviously a duck. which one of us is right?

    hint:

    tomcathat.jpg
    comments [14] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 13, 2006
    January 13, 2006
    question chicago

    the redskins play seattle at 3:30 p.m. sunday.

    the bears play the panthers at 3:30 p.m. sunday.

    will there be one single bar in the chicago area that will be showing the redskins game? i don't care if it's on the corner 1950's tv in black and white. i want my booze+football!

    UPDATE: never mind! am stupid! problem resolved!

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    January 09, 2006
    January 09, 2006
    classical radiohead chicago  - music

    i'm sorry: i know chicago is a culturally aware town, and the orchestra is very important, etc, etc, etc. BUT. the orchestra's REHERSAL is NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN RADIOHEAD PLAYING TWO DATES AT MILLENIUM PARK. not to think of the sort of revenue that it would bring in.

    i've got a compromise: let the orchestra back radiohead on those two dates. they're getting into all sorts of bizarre classical shit, and the orchestra could learn some new tunes. fun times all around!

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    December 07, 2005
    December 07, 2005
    hoorah chicago  - northwestern

    today is the last day of classes! i am delirious with typing stupid papers! i dribble coffee down my chin every morning because my lips go numb! and as soon as i turn this awful paper in at noon, i will go mad with beer.

    things that have made the past three days bearable:

    -the presence of my co-author, andrew, who has gone just as loopy as i have so we find each other very entertaining.
    -the presence of julie and jamie, who just left this morning (sad face) after visiting me on their expedition to denver.
    -the fact that julie and jamie's trip was less about chicago and more about apparently seeing as much pride & prejudice as possible. we went to the theater to see the new version (despite me having seen it twice already, once with classmates and once with kriston on a near-empty late-night showing on thanksgiving evening), then jamie had never seen the six-hour version, so we watched at least 2/3 of that while drinking spiked hot chocolate.
    -the trip to the liquor store to buy the mint schnapps for the hot chocolate, where the cashier asked us what movie we were watching, and somehow took the cue of us saying "pride & prejudice" to launch into his retelling of the story of jane eyre, which went something like this: "girl is poor. girl meets guy. girl leaves guy. girl gets rich, goes back, now guy loves her." i was like, uh, you might have missed some subtle plot points there.
    -72 pumpkin spice lattes. starbucks owns my soul.
    -the fact that tommy scored me A BUTTERSTICK TICKET FOR WHEN I GO HOME NEXT WEEK. and you know what? I'M GOING TO EAT HIM. BECAUSE I AM PART CHINESE. SERIOUSLY. YUM.

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    December 06, 2005
    December 06, 2005
    a jacket saved my life chicago

    i realized that i never posted anything at the end of november about what i was thankful for, something which i find geeky but in a geekily earnest way, so i usually try to really think about it. but you know what? i'm glad i didn't. because i didn't know FROM thankful until my mom took me to tyson's mall, led me to the north face store and purchased me the best thing to ever come into my life as an early birthday present. screw great friends, family and education. this jacket is the only thing worthwhile in MY WHOLE LIFE.

    i was totally reluctant to get any north face gear when i came to chicago, mainly because i was cloaked in bitter vestiges of north face's dominance at the preppy, preppy uva campus, and also because i assumed everybody and their dog had a north face jacket in chicago and i didn't want to be a such slave to conformity. jeez. but you know what? people have these jackets for a reason. because they save your fucking life on a daily basis. sure, every time i put it on, i feel like stay puft wearing a mattress with armholes, but it works. in combination wtih the furry hat, i'm basically an unstoppable force of fat, trundling warmth galumping through the streets of chicago. seriously, if, like, i was on a boat, and i was there with my coat and tommy, and a gust of wind knocked them both off into the water, and i could only choose one to save...well, i'm just saying - tommy is not a) waterproof b) made out of goose down.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    December 02, 2005
    December 02, 2005
    morning note chicago

    HOLY FUCK IT IS COLD OUTSIDE AND I HATE EVERYBODY.

    update: SEE?
    19F
    Feels Like
    5F

    comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    November 29, 2005
    November 29, 2005
    roller lady chicago

    i don't think i'm near tough or hipster enough, but how awesome would it be if i went to this and joined up? based on reading this article about roller derby, i'm pretty sure i would end up dead, but it still sounds fun.

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    November 22, 2005
    November 22, 2005
    chicago meets the leafblower chicago

    much props to kyle for being my first official visitor who is not a boyfriend and for braving the magic futon. also much props to him for getting me in to see the super furry animals, who put on a fun, adorable show, complete with motorcylce helmet wearing and celery crunching (by the way, the rest of you fools, kyle set a pretty high standard for visitors; from now on every guest is required to get me on a guest list for an awesome concert, or at least the equivalent. mmk?). then props for meeting matt, who is just as nice as he comes off on his site, and props to rj3, who was a master of parallel parking and unparking (he drove to the show, parallel parked, and when we came out, he had been literally bumpered in by a fancy gray bmw. how he got out of there, i'll never truly understand). so yeah. props all around! and especially major props to chicago for being such a pretty city to fly out of at night. whatta skyline.

    comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    November 18, 2005
    November 18, 2005
    chicagoist happy hour chicago

    yay! rj3 and i went to the chicagoist happy hour at monk's downtown last night. they had a $200 tab, and i got two free drinks out of it, which is more than those jerks at DCist ever did for me. jerks. though rj3 and i are apparently d.c.-troverted and spent most of the night chatting with each other about, including other things, the differences between chicagoist and dcist and the blogging scenes in each city, we did meet chicagoist's editor, rachelle, who was a super sweet heart and who, it turns out, also loves pandas! whee! i especially liked her because she listened patiently to us explain the butterstick phenomenon without once calling us idiots.

    chicagoist's report is here, and you can see rj3 and me in a photo here. i need a haircut.

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    November 16, 2005
    November 16, 2005
    so fuzzy chicago  - photos

    the one good thing about this?

    mofosnow.jpg

    getting to wear this (purchased over the summer in florence. in fact, i pretty much based my entire decision to move to chicago on the fact that i own this hat):

    furry hat 002 furry hat 011

    i am fully aware of the ridiculosity, but am also fully aware that it feels like i'm wearing an awesome, warm, baby panda on my head.

    (when in reality is really just a baby rabbit and cow)

    comments [8] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    from ist to shining ist chicago

    guess what? i'm repping for the district this thursday - mr. loop and i will be attending the chicagoist happy hour at monk's bar downtown. they'll have a tab, at least until it runs out, which i am sure it will soon after i arrive! the only real question: should i dare wear my DCist t-shirt?

    comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    November 10, 2005
    November 10, 2005
    battle of the NUN bitching  - chicago

    it had to happen. last night, around 11:15 p.m., i came face-to-face with the dreaded NUN.

    it'd been a long day. hell, by wednesday, it'd already been a long week. in class, even though it's a print and reporting lab, we're working on broadcast stuff this week, which means writing scripts for radio and tv, and then actually getting in front of a camera, nicely dressed, and talking, which is basically every non-broadcast journalist's nightmare. i would prefer to stay in my jeans and pumas and mumble and type away at my computer, thanks very much. anyway, after that totally draining and creepy episode of lost, i just needed some sleep. so around 10:30 i fell into bed.

    around 11, the typical noises started. the running, the leaping, the dropping of boulders, the elephants performing ballet, etc. it was worse than it'd ever been. after about 15 minutes of shoving my earplugs ever deeper into my ears and tossing around making stab-kill motions, i got of out bed, threw on some clothes, and stomped upstairs, fully intending to bring hell.

    except i'm a pussy. so i tapped gently on the door, and when somebody, after obviously assessing me through the peephole and deciding i looked like a crazy homeless lady with bedhead, said, "uh, YES?" obnoxiously, i was sheepishly like, "um, oh, hi, it's your neighbor from downstairs, the one without any balls, because if i'd any sense, i would have knocked your ass from here to kansas by now?" you know, except for that last part.

    a nice, normal-looking guy opened the door, and i said, "oh, i'm so sorry to bother you, but, um..." at this point my eye drifted downwards to the strange red feather duster/tickle thing he held in his hand, and i was like, either i am interrupting some very kinky sex or some very vigorous cleaning, but, well, must press on! "...i'm not sure exactly what is going on up here, but the noise you're making, well, it's kind of, uh, incredible." i actually said the noise was incredible. i'm not sure why i chose that adjective. i should have said it was murder-inducing, but whatever.

    the guy, who seems very nice, apologized profusely. "oh, i'm so sorry, but i was just messing around with my cats, and you know how it gets."

    uh. no, actually. i don't know how it gets to the point where you're messing around with your cats that it makes the sounds you've been making, unless you are STRAPPING ANVILS TO THEM AND STANDING ON A LADDER AND DROPPING THEM REPEATEDLY ON THE FLOOR MOTHERFUCKER WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO THOSE POOR ANIMALS?

    at this point a tiny, sleek gray cat escaped through the door and raced down the stairs, obviously desperate to escape whatever this guy had been doing to him and his cat colleague, like, dressing them in suits made of stone and then launching them out of slingshots straight into the floor above my head. NUN raced past him, still apologizing, and i went back down to my apartment, saying, "oh, yeah, well...thanks for listening."

    and that was that. frankly, i'm disappointed to learn that the reason for all the noise is two poor kitties. i had hoped he had at least chained a hippo up there, or was harboring a 250 lb. fugitive who liked to do aerobics in the middle of the night. ah well. the disappointing facts of reality.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    November 07, 2005
    November 07, 2005
    something d.c. has on chicago chicago

    nobody ever pooed in the foyer to my apartment in washington, that's for sure. (unless tommy and charles are hiding deep, dark secrets.)

    gross.

    UPDATE: according to a neighbor who actually saw the offending poo (i only smelled its remnants, or, er, whatever, when i came home from class around 1 pm) it looked like a "mass" that had been "scraped off of something." i am about to die of disgustedness and terrifiedness. who. does. this?!?!?

    UPDATEII: best blog post ever, perhaps?

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    November 02, 2005
    November 02, 2005
    dudes chicago

    susan gets a visitor in THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA before i get ONE in CHICAGO? a major american city? with electricity? and several airports? and a visitee with a MAGIC FUTON?

    for shame, puny people. i'm sure your pathetic excuses are legion. VISIT ME OR FEEL MY WRATH!

    comments [4] trackBack [1] posted by catherine - link
    October 23, 2005
    October 23, 2005
    beat 'em swamp 'em touchdown chicago

    yet another chicago bleg: does anybody know of a bar where i can go to watch the redskins? since i've moved here i've caught exactly one game on my noncable tv, and that was, uh, when they played the bears. i'm not a football fanatic, but if i had some free time on sunday i'd really like to watch them. they need my support! hmm. perhaps i will send my question to chicagoist.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    October 07, 2005
    October 07, 2005
    the clompster chicago

    last night, after grabbing a couple of beers with a friend, i went home and dove into my sweet, sweet bed for some sweet, sweet sleep. much-needed sleep, as school requires me to wake up at 6:45 every day, work for eight hours straight, and get home at 5. so, the sleep. i like it. it helps with the animals in churches reporting.

    but horror: at 4 a.m., ominous clomping started resonating throughout my apartment. i knew right away what it was - my upstairs neighbor, trodding around. i'd heard him/her many times before. i don't begrudge them walking around - our floors are squeaky, and you have to get from the bathroom to the kitchen to the bedroom and back somehow, after all. i'm not expecting noiseless creepy ghost gliding.

    but at 4 a.m. on a friday morning? AND FOR TWO HOURS STRAIGHT? i swear to god, it was like my neighbor had put on a pair of 20 lb. hiking boots and trod a rut in their floor. i tried everything to block it out. i put on the fan to create some white noise even though it was like 40 degrees out; i put in my shitty $1 earplugs from the 9:30 club. nothing worked. i even, and oh my god, i sound like an 85-year-old crank, took my broom out of the closet and banged it repeatedly on the ceiling. NOTHING.

    what the fuck could they possibly have been doing? why are you clomping around at 4 a.m.? why are you wearing enormous clompy shoes while you do it? why do you hate me? why did you run down the apartment stairs at 5 a.m., leading me to believe you'd gone off to do your clomping on a street corner, only to come back 15 minutes later?

    what's my recourse here for dealing with this kind of situation? do i leave a passive-aggressive note in my neighbor's mailbox if it happens again? do i storm up the stairs in my pjs and zit cream to berate them? or do i seethe silently until i can't contain it anymore and go beat them senseless with my broom?

    comments [13] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    September 28, 2005
    September 28, 2005
    the vacation city! chicago

    i don't know if chicago is really "the vacation city," but i saw that on a vintage-looking poster in a storefront today, so i'm running with it.

    anyway: you all are now commanded to come visit me at your earliest convenience. the reason? behold:

    futon.jpg

    THE MIGHTY FUTON!

    okay, so that's not really my futon - i stole the image off some web site because i was too lazy to get my camera out and photograph my own - but it looks a lot like it. yeah. i have a futon now! which i put together ALL BY MYSELF. i am exceedingly proud of this fact, because if you know me, you know that it's an effort for me to construct anything more complicated than a 5-years-old-and-under puzzle. but, after letting the enormous delivered futon box sit squarely in the middle of my living room for over a week, i decided last saturday that the beast must be tackled. it was tough, but i did it! even if it did take me three and half episodes of the buffy season two dvd.

    so anyway, now my beloved guests have a place to sleep! and catherine did not skimp out on you. when offered a choice of a 6, 8, or 10 inch mattress, which one did i go with? that's right. the luxurious 10. who loves you, baby?

    comments [3] trackBack [1] posted by catherine - link
    September 18, 2005
    September 18, 2005
    this is extraordinarily dorky chicago  - northwestern

    mccormick center
    Originally uploaded by CatherineA.
    me, in the lobby of the mccormick tribune center at medill, where i will be attending orientation tomorrow morning! wahey! i'm not about to throw up or anything!

    more photos from chicago here.
    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    September 17, 2005
    September 17, 2005
    such a product does not exist, sir; i think you must have dreamed it chicago  - food

    I was a little underwhelmed by Treasure Island, Catherine's local and self-proclaimedly eurocentric grocery store (which has no website!). But I do have to say, the fact that they carry the product pictured below is a huge mark in their favor:

    popnots!

    Although I may not have consciously formulated the desire, I think I've been yearning for this snack food ever since reaching the bottom of my first bowl of popcorn. Now to find a PopNots! distributor in the DC area...

    Those with port 8090 blocked (and who consequently can't see the image): click here.

    UPDATE: Naturally, there's a website. These people are serious about half-popped popcorn (appropriately so). Apparently "Smoothie Time" is the nearest store that carries the product. And yes, I am aware that this is intensely uninteresting to just about everybody but me.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
    September 16, 2005
    September 16, 2005
    i'm confused, and a little bit drunk chicago

    is it the El or the "L"?

    comments [6] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    cupcake battles chicago  - food  - photos

    everybody in d.c. knows about cakelove, and everybody in d.c. has an opinion on it. the bakery specializes in gourmet cakes and particularly cupcakes, both of which will run you a pretty penny. personally, i agree with many others that the cupcakes are entirely overrated (can't speak as to the cakes) - the cake is dry, the icing is a cold slab of butter, and you generally feel like you've been ripped off $3. but some people love 'em. those people are crazy.

    well, when i was out running errands today i decided to try out another gourmet cupcake shop that's at the end of my street. it's called cupcakes, and it's run by some physicist-turned-baker chick. it's a postage-stamp-sized bit of a store, decorated with clouds and white tile and other cutesiness. the cupcakes are also $3, and you've got the same variety of traditional+wacky flavors that cakelove has. i chose the double chocolate and the red velvet; they were packed up in cute little boxes and i came home to eat them as my afternoon snack and part of my apparent general plan to get extraordinarily fat in chicago.

    well, yum. these cupcakes take the cake. hahahaha. no, seriously, they were stupendous. they're not refrigerated, so the icing isn't rock-hard when you eat it. it's the same type of icing as the cakelove cupcakes - italian buttercream - but it's much more flavorful and smoother. the cake part of the concoction is also moist and delish. overall they're smaller than the cakelove cupcakes, but of much higher quality. so suck on that, warren brown.

    comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    wondrous D.C.  - chicago

    the chicago tribune lists the reader-voted seven wonders of chicago here (use bugmenot for registration). in short, they are:

    First wonder (26,231 votes):
    The Lakefront

    Second wonder (19,718 votes):
    Wrigley Field

    Third wonder (18,800 votes):
    The "L"

    Fourth wonder (17,957 votes):
    Sears Tower

    Fifth wonder (17,747 votes):
    The Water Tower

    Sixth wonder (17,004 votes):
    University of Chicago

    Seventh wonder (16,962 votes):
    Museum of Science and Industry

    as far as what i've seen, it seems like a reasonable list, though i'm not convinced the el is as amazing as some people seem to think it is. we'll see if it does the previously-thought impossible in the coming year: make me appreciate WMATA.

    anyway, what'd be the seven wonders of the d.c. world? the cherry blossoms would have to be up there (they really are beautiful), and i don't doubt that loads o people would vote for butterstick. the smithsonian would surely make it, and there are enough monuments to fill the list on their own (not to mention stuff like the white house and the capitol). the insane amount of awesome ethiopian food? ben's chili bowl (though i know, i know, many think it's overrated). the chicago hot dog did make it on the lower half of the list, after all, so there's no reason not to think the half smoke couldn't do the same thing. personally, d.c. foodwise, i'd vote for kriston's smoker. a work of brilliance if there ever was one.

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    the friendly confines chicago

    tommy and i attended a cubs game last night at wrigley field, which turns out to be less than a mile from my apartment. it was a drizzly, cool night, and tommy asked the box office guy for "the cheapest seats you've got," and he gave 'em to us, alright. we ended up in the very last row of the upper deck behind the third base line. unfortunately, it was also the spot where all the wind in the entire world converges, so by the start of the game i was huddled into a ball, shivering in my thin, long-sleeved shirt. i even resorted to the detestable popping of the collar in a feeble attempt to gain some warmth. tommy looked over at me at one point and said, "you are so. screwed. this winter." i just chattered my teeth in agreement.

    besides freezing my ass off, i found wrigley to be a pretty charming ballpark. it seems incredibly small and twee, after the concrete bohemoth that is RFK stadium; there are plenty of bars surrounding it where you can grab a pre or post-game drink; the bleachers situated on roofs of buildings behind the outfield are adorable (what's the story with that, anyway? do people charge to sit up there?); and the concessions were yummy. also, this is just me stereotyping and looking at folks through misty, out-of-towner, suburban-raised rose-colored glasses, but everyone i ran into at the game seemed like a very salt-of-the-earth type character. i know, i'm ridiculous. but the concession stand folks were all scrappy and droll; a group of old men in satin cub jackets brought along a slew of marching band instruments and played them in between every inning; and i don't know! i just like chicago!

    tommy and i only stuck around for five innings or so, due to the aforementioned-freezing-off-of-ass, then raced down clark street through the rain to get some killer margaritas, which were indeed killer, yummy, and huge. today i make a foray into the unknown wilds of my neighborhood: GROCERY SHOPPING! i even bought one of those little drag-along grocery carts that old ladies use and plan on pushing it back and forth like the ancient 25 year-old that i am. and i better go soon: the contents of my fridge right now, as they stand, are 12 bottles of water, and, uh, a brita filter.

    comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    September 13, 2005
    September 13, 2005
    ms. margarita chicago

    according to mr. loop, i live within a block or two of seriously killer margaritas. this is an option i'll be exploring in the next few days. but let's all hope they aren't quite as killer as the 10 or 11 susan and i downed (with disastrous results) on our last forray into the city.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    wired chicago

    daily candy today has a list of a few fun wifi spots in chicago. anyone know of where i can find some more?

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    September 12, 2005
    September 12, 2005
    i love stealing chicago  - northwestern

    ...wifi, that is.

    well, i'm here! thanks to the grace of god, my father, and the budget truck. all the stuff is haphazardly strewn in boxes about my apartment, thanks again to my father, and my friend carl, without whom i'd be lying on the floor. sobbing resignedly. with a dislocated shoulder.

    my apartment is pretty cute, though a bit rundown, and small, of course. the bed will, sadly, be going in the kitchen. but i can deal with that. the neighborhood is lovely and leafy and cute. and gay, gay, gay. 10x gayer than dupont circle, if you can believe that. lots of cute bars and restaurants. AND - wait for it - a DSW SHOE WAREHOUSE ACROSS THE STREET. wrigley field isn't too far away, the el is close, and stuff seems good.

    anyway, i'm typing this while lying on the floor against a rolled up carpet, and i'm pretty sure that's the way i'll stay for the rest of the evening. one week before classes start! i'll be sure to update you on my adventures along the way.

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
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