Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's pledge time

I love the shows about Chicago that Geoffrey Baer hosts on WTTW. I'm watching a new one right now called Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History. I'm learning a ton of stuff about Chicago I didn't already know, and it's also making me really hungry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Murder is always sad, don't get me wrong, but this particular one upsets me more than most.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter

I have it on good authority that it snowed just a little bit last night after I went to bed. Good times! I always love that first little bit of snow, and I'm a bit sad that I missed it. Notice I said "first little bit of snow." I do not like when the first snowfall of the year is a blizzard, but that's another post altogether.

It's that time of year where it's cold when I leave for work in the morning, but it's kind of nice out when I go out for lunch or leave to come home again. What to wear? Do I wear a winter coat that will keep me warm in the morning but will make me hot later in the day? Do I wear a lighter coat and freeze in the morning? Do I wear layers, and if so, which do I remove first? Decisions, decisions.

One of my favorite things to do this time of year, when it's chilly for autumn but not quite *real* winter yet is to see how people are dressed for the reason I stated above. Particularly, I like seeing the people who aren't dressed for the weather. I usually give a pass to the students I see near my apartment who probably walk from their dorm room to a classroom 100 yards away. They aren't outside for very long and therefore can dress for the indoor temperature instead of the outdoor temperature. I think it's commonplace to see dudes with shorts and bulky sweaters on campuses all over the country, even when it's snowing.

No, the people I'm talking about are the people I see walking down the street, or better yet, the people who are getting on public transportation and going somewhere away from home. I imagine most of these people will be out for a while today. Today is cold compared to days we had recently, and I saw one woman in particular who is not dressed for it. She was wearing a pair of those bolero pants that were popular last year, you know, the lightweight baggy pants that come just below the knee. Needless to say her legs were bare. It was less than 40 degrees this morning! She looked like she was cold and uncomfortable. Duh! Am I a freak because I check The Weather Channel either online or on television every morning before deciding what I will wear?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Why am I not surprised?

When the high school I went to makes national news it's never for something wonderful.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Our hopes and expectations

Over the past few days I've been doing quite a bit of walking at night. With the time change I guess it makes sense. It's dark when I leave work now.

I've always been a night person. I don't necessarily stay up really late, but I prefer night to daytime. I always wondered what it would be like to live closer to one of the poles, and to experience much longer periods of darkness in winter. Of course that would also mean having to experience equally long periods of daylight in the summer. Yuck.

Nighttime in the city always energizes me, it must be all those lights or something. That coupled with the brisk weather and crisp air (ah, I love this time of year!) have made me happier the last couple of days.

While out on my walks the past few nights I've played the same songs on my iPod over and over again. I thought I would share them with you. They are three songs in a row from the same album, and I pretty much play them in a loop.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Today it was cold enough for me to wear my new winter coat for the first time. While this turn of weather events may upset some people, it makes me happy. I love breaking out the winter coat for the first time. Usually it's not too cold yet, so I don't have to completely bundle up, but I need the heavier coat. I think I will take a longer walk for lunch than I was planning on, just to walk around Streeterville a little bit in my new coat.

Even though it should have been a great day, with my new coat and the sun shining and all, disaster struck as I got on the L platform this morning. My iPod died. It didn't freeze, it didn't do anything. The screen was off. I couldn't turn it on. I started to panic. I almost left the train station and went home to do a hard reset on it to see if I could resuscitate it, but then I thought that was a really stupid reason to go home and be later for work than I already was. (Please tell me I'm not the only person who thinks a dead iPod is an emergency.) This came at an interesting time, as a friend and I were having a conversation the other day about being more open to human interaction in the urban environment (there's a reason we were having this conversation, and that's a topic for an upcoming post - stay tuned), so here was my chance to be on the L and not be in my own little world. I guess I was still in my own little world, however, as I was doing the Sudoku and crossword from today's Red Eye during my commute. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but I still felt naked without my headphones on. I tried to plug BD (my iPod) in when I got to work to no avail. I don't have iTunes at my office, so I couldn't try a hard reset. So I tried the reset in the iPod instead, where you hold down the center button and the menu part of the wheel at the same time. Sure enough, it worked! I was so excited, and then I became angry as I had tried that on the L platform when BD died (turns out he was only in a coma) and it didn't work. It worked in the long run, but I wish it had worked an hour sooner. Now, since it's been reborn, I think I need to rename my iPod. Suggestions?

Monday, November 05, 2007

I actually miss something about living in the suburbs

This is my favorite time of year, and Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. I have found that my joy for Halloween has diminished somewhat over the past few years. At first I thought it was just because I got older, but that's not it.

I miss seeing children in costume.

Here in the city I saw many, many adults in costume, but very few children. As a matter of fact, the only children I saw in costume this year were two who live in my building. I think there might be 3 children under 18 in my building, though I could be wrong about that. I saw two of them. One was an alligator. I forget what the other was.

For the first few years that I lived in the city I would drive to my mother's house to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters. Officially the kids are only supposed to go trick-or-treating while it is still light out, and my mom would still be at work then. Of course there are tons of kids who go trick-or-treating after dark, probably because their parents weren't home from work to take them until then. But most of the kids came before dinner time.

Over the past few years, however, I have been unable to go back to the suburbs for Halloween. This year it was because I went to a concert. I'm not sure why I couldn't go in past years. I guess it just doesn't feel like Halloween unless I pass out candy. I miss it.

Oh well. Now it's November, and I have to start thinking about what I'm going to bake for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Too many residents, too few machines

There are approximately 100 units in my apartment building, yet the laundry room only has four washers and four dryers. This doesn't seem like enough to me, but whatever, what can I do. It really peeves me when someone monopolizes all four machines, as if they are the only residents that matter. I don't know. Every once in a while I'll go downstairs to do laundry and see that all four washers are in use, and I'm more irritated when they are all being used by one person than when they are being used by two or more people. Perhaps it shouldn't matter because either way I have to wait to do my laundry, but it somehow seems less rude when four washers are being used by more than one person.

I got up early this morning to do laundry because I felt confident that the machines wouldn't be in use early on a Sunday morning. People who have lives wouldn't be doing laundry at 7:20 in the morning, would they? They wouldn't! No machines were in use when I went down there. I put laundry in two machines. One load consisted mostly of pants, the other mostly of delicate washing (predominantly undergarments). I only used one basket and left it on top of the machine with the pants, and I headed back upstairs.

About 40 minutes later I went back downstairs to put my laundry in the dryer, and now someone else was down there. Someone who decided to monopolize all four machines. She had removed one of my loads of laundry and put it on the dryer so she could use that washer. Fine. Guess which load she moved. That's right, the one with all the undergarments. And she didn't put it in the basket, although to be fair she may not have known that both loads belonged to the same person, and since the basket was on top of the other machine decided not to use it.

But seriously. There were two machines with laundry in them. One had a basket on top. From that alone, wouldn't it be easier to unload the machine with the basket, put the clothes in the basket, and move it over to a dryer than it would be to unload the other machine and move stuff over in armfuls? And I don't know about you, but if I know I need to move someone's clothes to a dryer and see there are two loads, I would rather move someone's pants than paw through their underwear. I mean really. This person must have gathered armfuls of our underwear (granted, there were other things in there too, a few shirts and stuff, but a lot of underwear) and moved them. And I have to say, when someone has the choice of moving underwear or pants, it creeps me out a little bit that someone would choose moving the underwear. Ew.

Drying takes longer than washing does. If my underwear is out of the dryer when I get back and the pants are still in the dryer I will be even more grossed out.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Please enjoy this video I found from the Hold Steady show I was at on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween from Art Brut and The Hold Steady

Art Brut 2

The Hold Steady 9

See all 10 photos here.