Friday, August 31, 2007

How many other cities smell like horse?

I got paid today, and I decided to take a walk to the bank during my lunch break in order to deposit my check.

The entire stretch of inner Lake Shore Drive from Chicago Ave. to where LSD curves smells like horse. The whole way, all I smelled was the smell of horse. It didn't go away. I sniffed myself to make sure I didn't smell like horse. It wasn't me. That whole several block stretch smelled like horse.

It took me a few minutes to walk it. Not once did I actually see a horse. I know that some of those horse drawn carriages go down that street sometimes, but do they go by there frequently enough for that whole stretch to smell like horse?

If I didn't see busy Lake Shore Drive, high rises, and Lake Michigan as I was walking I would have sworn I was on a farm.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Storm Pics

Here are some pics of the aftermath of yesterday's storm. All of these were taken within two blocks of my home.

Tow Zone

Split Tree


This used to be a garage


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stormy weather

My commute home this afternoon was interesting to say the least. I left work early because I was feeling a little under the weather (pun not intended, really). It wasn't raining when I entered the subway, but by the time we came up above ground the storm had started.

The train returned above ground, but before we got to Armitage the train stopped. We just sat there for probably 10 minutes, then started moving again. All was well until we pulled out of the Addison station, when we stopped again, this time for even longer. The only thing we were told was that there was an emergency situation and we would be moving shortly.

I pulled out my Blackberry to see if there were any alerts on the CTA website (ha!) or if there were any news reports. Then I noticed that a woman sitting across the aisle from me was taking pictures with her camera phone. Other passengers were getting up and looking out the window on the east side of the train. So, of course, I had to look too. There were two downed trees. One looked like it was split in half, and the part of that tree that fell landed on a car. The other tree had been uprooted.

I'm not sure how long we waited, but eventually we started moving. It turned out there was debris on the tracks. There were a lot of fallen trees until we hit Wilson, and then I didn't see any anymore. I was hoping that all would have been spared in my neighborhood, but that wasn't to be. As I approached my building I saw that there was a tree down in the playground of the day care center. I then noticed that down the street a tree had demolished a garage. My car was parked next to that house, so I walked down there to make sure a tree wasn't on my car. Luckily for me (but not for that homeowner) the tree only fell onto the garage and not onto any of the cars parked on the street.

Unfortunately my boyfriend left the window open in the bedroom when he left for work today. There is a construction site next to our building, so there were dirty water drops on the wall and on the dresser. The comforter, some clothing in a dresser drawer that wasn't closed all the way, some of my yarn, and the carpet were soaked. I think the comforter is dry now.

I hope that any readers from the Chicago area didn't have to deal with damage.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Upcoming craft events in Chicago

There are two events coming up that knitters and crafters in Chicago may want to check out.

The first is the Renegade Craft Fair on September 15 & 16 on Division Street.

The second is Yarncon, which is being held on October 13 at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse.

I'll probably be going to both. Anyone else going?

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's that time again

It seems like winter sports are starting earlier and earlier every year. Perhaps time is just going by faster as I get older. But it seems like the Super Bowl was just a couple of months ago, and here we are, it's NFL pre-season time again. I was shocked to see a game on TV last night. And tonight the Bears take on the Colts in a pre-season Super Bowl rematch. How? It's summer! I'm not ready for football!!!

But I am ready for hockey. I bought a Blackhawks ticket package last week. I specifically chose a package that included the home opener, a Saturday night game against the Red Wings. That should be fun. I'm glad to see the Capitals are coming to town this season. Perhaps I will get to see Alex Ovechkin.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How much do I love Chicago?

Enough to get the flag tattooed on my arm.

New tattoo

I just got it yesterday, and it was still very fresh when this photo was taken. I will post another pic when it's healed and looks normal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Taken 8/4/07

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Glowing Cloud

Glowing Cloud
Taken 8/9/07

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Brew and View

Brew and View used to be one of my favorite places to see a movie. Tim and I would go on a Friday or Saturday night and see 3 films for $5. BTW, when did they stop showing 3 films on weekends?

We went fairly regularly, whenever a film we wanted to see in the theater but didn't showed up there along with another film we liked. We saw all three Lord of the Rings movies there (after seeing them in the theater too, of course) before they came out on DVD, just to see them on a big screen one more time.

Eventually we stopped going. Last night, on our way to Brew and View to see the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie (we didn't stay for South Park because T had to be up at 5:00am) we talked about why we didn't go anymore. T figured that there must have been a run of a couple of months where we didn't like what was showing, and eventually we just stopped looking. Then I vaguely remembered that it seemed like they were showing Jackass for so long, and neither one of us had any desire to see it.

Obviously we went last night and had a blast. I think it was the first time I had ever been there on a weeknight, and that might be the way to go. There were people, but it was way less crowded than I remember it being the other times I went. It's just fun and cheap, and I'm going to make a point of going more often.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lollapalooza, Day 3

For some reason we were late for the start of the Juliette and the Licks set. I think we were looking at t-shirts or something. Anyway, we made it over there eventually. I didn't really know what to expect, and I have to admit I just wanted to see how she would be on stage. I had heard a couple of their songs before and liked what I heard. They were great! A week or so ago a friend of mine asked who is the girl who is rocking right now, as Courtney Love and Veruca Salt had before. I think it's Juliette Lewis.

After that we met up with my friend and sat and listened to a few songs by The Cribs. The heat was the worst on Sunday, and coupled with the fatigue from the previous two days I was ready to crash. We moved over to David Vandervelde and sat in the trees. He was really good, and I wanted to stay for the whole set, but I had heard rave reviews of Rodrigo y Gabriella and thought that I must see them. Holy crap, am I glad I did. How do they do that? How do they make that sound with just two acoustic guitars? They are my new guitar heroes for life. One of the great things about being at festivals is the large crowd, so to hear them play "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd with the crowd doing vocals was definitely a highlight.

We stayed on that side to listen to Amy Winehouse, who came on 10-15 minutes late. You know, I love her voice. She was performing well. But I just couldn't get into it. For me I think festivals are similar to driving. When I drive I'm very picky about the music I'm listening to. Only uptempo stuff will work. I love ballads, but not when I'm driving. I'm the biggest Beatles fan I know, and I love "Yesterday", but I can't listen to it when I'm driving. At festivals I sort of feel the same way. I sort of need the music to be rocking or it's harder for me to get into it, no matter how good it is. That's why I knew straight off I wasn't going to see Regina Spektor, at least not at a festival. At Schubas or the Chicago Theater maybe, but not Lollapalooza. I don't know. Maybe I'm weird. Anyway, I think that's the reason why I couldn't get into the set. Tim agreed, so we hoofed it over across the park to hear Lupe Fiasco's last 3 or 4 songs. That was proper festival music.

By this time I was ready to die from the heat, so we grabbed some food, went across the park again, and I sat in the trees to eat and listen to the Wailers while Tim went back to hear Blue October. He sprinted back so he wouldn't miss the beginning of Iggy and the Stooges. This was my second most anticipated set of the weekend, and I really wanted to get closer, but I couldn't do it. I stayed in the trees, but had a decent view. He was so much fun to watch. He invited the crowd on stage with him, and it took a while to get them all off. I took that as my cue to leave and head over to Peter Bjorn and John.

We got to the stage Peter Bjorn and John were performing on just after their sound went out. After a few minutes I started to consider moving on, but I kept seeing people on the stage and it looked like they might be making progress. People kept leaving so we kept moving up. Eventually they came back out, and I think played a little over their allotted time.
Peter Bjorn and John
I got to see Nikki Monninger from Silversun Pickups for the third time when she and Dean from Apostle of Hustle came out to perform Young Folks with them. Their set rocked, which surprised me a little because I always thought of them as a quieter band. I was pleasantly surprised.

Then it was time for My Morning Jacket. We scoped out a spot, got food, and came back. They had the children's symphony orchestra on stage with them. Can you imagine what it must have been like for those kids? I wasn't particularly looking forward to My Morning Jacket, but they sure converted me into a fan Sunday night. So did TV on the Radio. This is embarrassing to admit, but before Sunday I didn't really get them. I have listened to both albums, and liked a few songs. The songs I liked I really liked, but then I really didn't like the rest. I didn't understand the hype. But I loved their set. I think I have to go back and hear those albums again.

I met back up with my fellow Moggers to catch Pearl Jam.
Pearl Jam performing
I was looking forward to their set, no question, but I think because I had seen them twice before I wasn't as excited for them as I was for Muse and Iggy and the Stooges. They were still as great as ever. Drum solos should always be accompanied by fireworks.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lollapalooza, Day 2

We managed to get to Grant Park before people were allowed in. I think they opened the gate late. Anyway, I managed to get 3 bags before seeing our first band, and I only paid for one of them. Someone was handing out tote bags outside the gate. Then I went to Green Street and bought the tote bag with the skull and crossbones on it (and a flap and zip pocket!) that I was eyeing the day before. Finally, I went and got one of those little red XRT backpacks, which will go nicely with the blue one I got last year.

Even after getting all of those bags we managed to get to the AT&T stage well before Tokyo Police Club started their set.
Tokyo Police Club
We knew we would be leaving that set early to get over to Pete Yorn. I wasn't too disappointed because, even though I liked their set, I didn't love it as much as I thought I would.

Onto Pete Yorn. He's one of those artists I never really got around to getting to know. I knew a couple of songs, but that was it. I really enjoyed his set, as I figured I would given that I really like the few songs I do know. Tim suggested leaving just as he started playing his last song, but when I realized it was a cover of "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths, well, I insisted that we stay.

Tim decided that we must walk all the way over for Silverchair. I saw them back in the day and wasn't interested in seeing them again. I then learned the method to Tim's madness. Generally we like to walk out of our way sometimes to stumble upon a stage we may not have considered going to. Since Silverchair was at the other end of the park, and we didn't have one particular artist we wanted to see at that time, he thought we would hear several stages and be able to stumble across something. That something certainly wasn't Silverchair, and we left after two songs. We liked what we heard from Aquaduct, however, and stayed for the rest of their set before heading back.

We decided to set up shop in that little patch of grass between the Adidas stage and the Playstation stage so that we could hear the next few acts we wanted to hear.
My shoes are enjoying the show
We caught the last bit of Stephen Marley's set (and I started regretting the decision to see Silverchair because then I would have heard more of it, though I was glad to encouonter Aquaduct), then Rhymefest, then The Roots (who were absolutely amazing) without having to move.

We left The Roots early because there was no way I was going to miss even one second of The Hold Steady. Plus I was meeting some fellow Moggers for that set, so I wanted to be there early.
They certainly did not disappoint. I think this was my second favorite set of the weekend.
Even Tim, who doesn't like listening to them because he doesn't like Craig Finn's "singing", was impressed.

As I said, there was no way I was going to miss even a second of The Hold Steady's set, so we were late for Snow Patrol. Oh well. I spotted some other friends (the ones I saw Ted Leo with) and hung with them until the friend I was supposed to meet there found us. I liked Snow Patrol's set, and it was my second Nikki Monninger experience of the weekend. She's so cute!

After that Tim and I went to get a bottle of wine. It was kind of pricy, but we got to keep the plastic bottle they gave us. We decided to set up camp on a grassy hill next to where Spoon was playing, and that we would chill with our wine, listen to Spoon, and wait for Muse. By the time we sat down it was raining so I sat under my umbrella and we shared our wine in the rain. We listened to Spoon (who were great), watched people play frisbee in the rain, and drank our wine. The rain actually enhanced the atmosphere, and this was my favorite moment of the weekend.

When Muse took the stage we still hadn't finished our wine. I wanted to get down into the crowd, but obviously wine drinking took precidence. Plus, we could see the screen and hear just fine. But then, horror! The one song, my favorite Muse song, the one song I had been waiting months to hear live, started. They played Map of the Problematique second. I made Tim pour the rest of the wine and we walked quickly (didn't run as to not spill the wine) down into the crowd. It was fantastic, as was the rest of the set. This was the best set of the weekend for me. I was a little nervous before hand because I had built it up so much in my head from the day that the lineup was announced that I was afraid I would end up disappointed. I was not. Not at all. It was even better than I had hoped.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lollapalooza, Day 1

Tim and I got a bit of a later start than we wanted to for two reasons. First, I forgot there was street cleaning that morning and realized I had to move my car. So I took the ticket (ugh) off my car and started looking for a spot, and that took a good 15 minutes. Second, our Red Line train was very slow. Slower than normal. That's okay, because we had a great day.

By the time we got through security we managed to miss the first few songs by The Fratellis. After their set we were going to walk across the field to see Ghostland Observatory, but then decided to just stay put and move closer for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. It's a good thing we did, because I ran into my friends and we hung out with them between sets. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists were great, as I expected, even after Ted Leo fell and his guitar strap came off.

Ted Leo

I knew more of the Lollapalooza artists than Tim did. Somewhere along the way it was decided we were going to stick together through the festival, so I did my best to try to accommodate him and who he wanted to see. I was more excited about more bands, but that didn't mean I should make all the decisions as to who we saw and where we went (though, bless his heart, he often did leave it up to me). One of the bands Tim was really looking forward to seeing was the Polyphonic Spree. I really wanted to see them too, so I decided to leave Ted Leo early to head over to the other end of the park to catch Polyphonic Spree from the beginning. I'm sure glad I did. I thought they were amazing. I was expecting something cool, but I got much more than I had anticipated. As if I wasn't enjoying their set enough, their cover of Nirvana's "Lithium" sealed the deal.

The heat was starting to get to me, and the sun was being mean to my skin, even after repeated sunscreen applications. Okay, I must digress here. The best freebie of the weekend was the white bandanna. Unfortunately I had a slight sunburn on my scalp before I got it, but once I put it on the top of my head was no longer hot. I wore it for at least part of the time all three days. Anyway, back to the heat. I was hot, so I was glad that Electric Six was up next. They were on one of the smaller stages, and there were some trees nearby, so we sat on our blanket and ate and cooled off for a bit. I don't think Tim liked Electric Six at all, but I did. At least what I could hear.

We wandered over to MIA for a little bit. She sounded good, but she looked so small on that stage! Then we headed over to hear Silversun Pickups, again sitting in the trees. I think we heard the last two or three songs of their set, and I wish I would have heard more.

Finally, we moved over to the south field. We missed the first few songs of Satellite Party's set, but we enjoyed the rest, especially the Jane's Addiction and Porno for Pyros songs. LCD Soundsystem was great! I'm glad I decided to see that, although I'm a little disappointed about missing Femi Kuti. Oh well, with so many great acts one is sure to miss a lot of great stuff.

And Daft Punk. This was the act Tim really wanted to see, and I was so glad he wasn't disappointed. He even danced a little bit! Most of you reading this probably don't realize how monumental that is. They were great. The sight of so many people dancing up a storm was something to behold. Tim said he as impressed that I recognized that the tones at the beginning of their set were from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The first of what I'm sure will be several Lollapalooza posts

Artists I actively listened to - meaning we purposely went toward the stage to listen (even if just for a couple of songs) and not artists we heard just because we passed by to get food or something:

The Fratellis
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Polyphonic Spree
Electric Six
Silversun Pickups
Satellite Party
LCD Soundsystem
Daft Punk
Tokyo Police Club
Pete Yorn
Stephen Marley
The Roots
The Hold Steady
Snow Patrol
Juliette and the Licks
The Cribs
David Vandervelde
Rodrigo y Gabriella
Amy Winehouse
Lupe Fiasco
The Wailers
Iggy and the Stooges
Peter Bjorn and John
My Morning Jacket
TV on the Radio
Pearl Jam

Friday, August 03, 2007

Have a nice weekend!

Main gate

We're ready

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Two reasons why I'm giddy

It's just after 10:00am and it's already hotter than Hades outside. Normally this would put me in a foul mood because I abhor hot weather. But instead I am giddy and smiley, which is very unlike me. Why?

Guess what starts tomorrow!!!! I'm so excited. I woke up all bouncy on Monday morning because it was Lollapalooza week, and I've just managed to become more excited each day. I'll be picking up my wristband tonight. Even the hot weather forecast hasn't managed to dampen my spirits.

2. The Cubs are in first place in the division!!

Aramis Ramirez


Click here to read my brief description of knitting on the Red Line.