Thursday, January 31, 2008

031/366 - Black bird and white snow

Black bird and white snow

Mixed up

My friend Lucy has a wonderful blog, it's one of my favorites, and I was flattered when she asked me to contribute a mix to it. I did, and you can find it here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

030/366 - Wow, an actual pay phone

Wow, an actual pay phone

Last night we watched Once, and my boyfriend commented on the fact that there is an actual pay phone in use in the film. Pretty much the only place I see pay phones these days is on L platforms, so yes, in order to use these phones one must pay the transit fare first.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

029/366 - Oh rainy day

Oh rainy day

Monday, January 28, 2008

028/366 - Enjoy your pee


Bathroom stalls often contain plenty of reading material or art to look at. This was one of the best I had seen in a while. Thank you, anonymous patron of the Earwax Cafe.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Should it have been obvious?

Sometimes, when something is gone, I don't notice it's absence right away. Even if the impending absence is very noticeable.

When I first started going to the United Center I always felt a sense of sadness when we would be walking from the parking lot to the building because I could see the old Chicago Stadium. Every time I went to a Bulls game, Blackhawks game, or a concert, there would be just a little bit less of the building I loved so much. First I noticed some holes, then just a skeleton of a building, then just a few walls, finally a pile of rubble.

Then, one day, I went to the United Center and I didn't feel that sadness. Why? Because Chicago Stadium was gone. No walls, no rubble, nothing. Just an empty lot. It didn't hit me until I was inside the United Center for a while that Chicago Stadium was completely gone. I noticed the demolition in detail, but the first time I went past it and it wasn't there, I didn't notice the absence.


I had the same experience last night. My boyfriend and I went to a local bar to celebrate another step on my way towards graduation. We were in the bar probably a good half an hour before I saw gentleman get up, go outside, and light a cigarette. And then it hit me. We were in a dive bar, and I didn't smell smoke. Up until now, when entering a bar, the first two things I noticed was the smell of beer and the smell of smoke. But I didn't even notice the absence of the smoke smell until I saw someone go smoke outside. Given how much publicity the smoking ban got, one would think I would have remembered that upon entering the bar. But no.

It's odd how the absence of something so familiar can go unnoticed.

027/366 - lights


Saturday, January 26, 2008

026/366 - Head


The problem with lip liner is that it stays on longer than the lipstick does. You know, you could make out with someone, drink some coffee or whatever, and your lips have an outline but no color. I knew this was a problem for humans. I was not aware that this was also a problem for mannequins.

Friday, January 25, 2008

025/366 - Salty floor

Salty floor

Commit to the Indian

Denis Savard isn't happy with some of his players.

They don't want to commit to the Indian, let's go upstairs and get them out of here.

From AOL FanHouse:

If "Commit To The Indian" isn't the name of a Blackhawks blog within the next 48 hours, I'll seriously question my faith in Chicago puckheads.

You know, at one point I wanted to start a hockey blog, and actually sort of did, but I got over it quickly. Now I'm tempted, because that would be a great name for a blog. But I won't. Don't worry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

024/366 - Construction

024/366 - Construction

Usually, when there is snow on the ground, you see more chairs in the street than you do construction horses. No chairs here.

Chicago Music Venues

Gapers Block Transmission is doing a series of reviews of Chicago music venues. The first set of reviews focuses on Red Line Tap and, one of my favorites, Schubas.

You can read about them here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

023/366 - I


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

022/366 - Let the sunshine in

Let the sunshine in

You know it's time to change workstations when the sun finally comes through the window and burns your retinas.

Monday, January 21, 2008

021/366 - What the hay?

What the hay?

Can someone tell me what the uses for straw are in the city?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

020/366 - Ceiling


You know I am getting desperate when I'm taking pictures of the ceiling while working in a computer lab at school. The problem isn't that there isn't anything good to take pictures of in this city/neighborhood/campus, it's that I'm in the computer lab for so long to begin with.

In a completely unrelated matter, music is the only thing that is keeping me sane right now. If you could please suggest an artist you think I might not have heard of, I would appreciate it. I'm pretty much up for anything except country. Thanks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dear Mother Nature,

You always even things out, don't you? You gave us a couple of days in the 50s a few weeks ago. But since that was unseasonably warm, you just had to go and give us a few unseasonably cold days, didn't you? Why must you be that way? Don't you know that I don't like it when it's so cold outside that I get a headache just walking to the car? Can't we just get back to our regularly scheduled winter?


019/366 - What the...?

What the...?

How did that get there?

I've seen many odd things in trees, but I think that is the weirdest thing I've seen in a tree.

Friday, January 18, 2008

018/366 - Reflection


Thursday, January 17, 2008

017/366 - Very windy city

Very Windy City

Something happened from the time I went out to lunch until the time I left work. Holy crap did it get cold! This is going to be a very uncomfortable couple of days.

Ramage gets 4 years

From CBC Sports:

Former NHL player Rob Ramage was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday in a Newmarket, Ont., court for his role in the death of former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Keith Magnuson.

Magnuson, 56, died instantly on Dec. 15, 2003, when a rental car driven by Ramage, 48, veered into traffic and struck two vehicles near Vaughn, Ont., just north of Toronto. Magnuson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

016/366 - Rocks


As much as I love looking at the lake during the day, I love listening to it at night. I think it's the sound of the lake that is so soothing, and when it's harder to see it, my ear picks up that sound much more easily.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

015/366 - Water Tower Fire House

Water Tower fire house

Monday, January 14, 2008

014/366 - 312


I finally have a ticket to a show, but seriously, how come the shows I want to see most are when all of my school work is due? I'm wary of buying tickets too far in advance for fear I won't be able to go. Ugh.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

013/366 - Cushman's


I found this while walking around near my apartment. I was taking a break from school work, and to clear my head I really wanted to notice the details around me. This was behind a wrought iron fence that surrounded a vacant lot. I have walked past this vacant lot many, many times in the past few years, and yet I have never noticed this was there until today. The lot is very interesting. It must have housed several buildings, likely business, because in a few places in the lot there are remnants of flooring. It makes me wonder what all used to be there. What Cushman's was. A store?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

012/366 - Gaming


Taken with my new camera. I just got it today.

I promise to start including more non-project 365 content soon. I've just been slammed lately, and it's all I can do to just upload a photo a day right now.

Friday, January 11, 2008

011/366 - Blowing off steam

Blowing off steam

Thursday, January 10, 2008

010/366 - Empty Campus

Empty campus

In a few days, a photo taken from this spot will have a lot more people in it as students go back for the spring semester. The beginning of a semester has always been an inspiring time for me. Even when I got to the point where all of my studies were independent, there's something about the start of a new semester that fires me up. It makes me wonder if that will continue after I graduate.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

009/366 - Lobby


Uptown Theatre

While my boyfriend and I were watching Chicago By 'L' a few weeks ago, we talked about the fate of the Uptown Theatre. Although I have never been inside, I have always thought it was a beautiful building and that it should be rehabbed and saved. The longer it has sat empty, however, the more I thought that nothing would ever be done with it. What a shame that would be.

Today I read that Live Nation is interested in taking over the Uptown Theatre. The article makes it seem like there are many hurdles to overcome. I don't know how I feel about Live Nation one way or the other, but I do think it's a shame that such a wonderful theater sits in disuse.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

008/366 - Cloudy

Getting foggy

This weather has been crazy. Warmth and thunderstorms in January??? Unheard of!

The problem with warm weather in the winter is that the climate control in large buildings doesn't get adjusted. It was so hot in my office, as well as the stores I went to during my lunch break. Unbearably hot. And humid. Yes, humid inside. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd rather it just stayed cold until spring.

Monday, January 07, 2008

007/366 - Cutting garlic

Cutting garlic

I was very busy today, so I didn't get out much. My boyfriend cutting garlic finely - the most interesting thing I've seen all day. Actually, this is interesting considering that if I tried that I'd lose a finger.


I found this article on Chi-Town Daily News about the musicians who perform in Chicago's subway stations.

This article got me thinking about the musicians I encounter while waiting for trains. Generally they are there when I'm on my way home, right by the staircase I take down to the platform. I must say that musicians I hear regularly are quite enjoyable. Sometimes there is a man singing and playing and acoustic guitar. He's there the most often. Sometimes it's a woman playing a traditional Chinese instrument (I don't know the name of it). Every once in a while, though, there's a really good violinist. Sometimes I even turn off my iPod to listen to them. People who know me well know how shocking that is. I've never dropped change into their cases. Perhaps I should think about doing that more often.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

006/366 - Aragon


It has been far too long since I have experienced the thrill of live music. I'm going through withdrawal.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

005/366 - From the sunroof

From the sunroof

Although I love being downtown during the day, I especially love being there at night. The city looks like a completely different animal at night.

No go shows

Winter is generally a slow concert time in Chicago. I can't really blame artists, I wouldn't want to be touring through the northern part of the United States in January and February. A few brave souls do, however, and with the money crunch before and after the holidays, I'm not seeing any of them.

I keep entering contests to no avail. Apparently all the luck I had in October means no luck in the winter. I've not managed to come into money that I feel I can spend on concert tickets. This makes me very sad. So, if I had money, here's what I would be seeing. Most of these aren't must-see artists for me, but I'd still like to see them. Instead I'll be sitting home, writing my dissertation, knitting socks, and watching sports on TV.

1/5 Dresden Dolls - Vic
1/9 Company of Thieves - Schubas
1/11 The Bird and the Bee - Schubas
1/18 Rhymefest - Metro
1/24 Velvet Revolver - Riviera
1/25 Editors - Vic
1/26 Dan Deacon and Girl Talk - Metro
2/2 Buffalo Tom - Double Door
2/8 Yeasayer/MGMT - Schubas
2/10 Cat Power - Vic
2/16 Super Furry Animals - Metro
2/23 New York Dolls - Double Door
2/23 St. Vincent - Schubas
2/23 The A-Sides - Subterranean
3/1 Black Lips - Logan Square Auditorium
3/5 The Pogues - Riviera
3/6 The Pogues - Riviera
3/12 Dropkick Murphys - Congress Theater
3/17 Jose Gonzalez - Lakeshore Theater
3/17 Simian Mobile Disco - Sonotheque
3/18 Cocorosie - Metro
3/18 The Raveonettes - Double Door
3/31 Jens Lekman - Logan Square Auditorium
4/3 Dirty Projectors - Subterranean
4/18 Reverend Horton Heat - Metro

Friday, January 04, 2008

004/366 - Going Up

Going Up

On the way home from work tonight the train I was riding on was stopped for a while. The delay resulted in the train becoming an express with the next stop being my stop. Obviously I was ecstatic. This was in contrast to another woman on the train who was clearly upset that she would have to get off the train and wait for another one in order to reach her destination.

When I've been on trains that changed to express status in the past, sometimes you can tell people were grumpy about it. I would hear a few people mumble, "Oh man," and maybe hear some people cursing under their breaths. This woman, however, was more vocal than that. She yelled at the doors because they didn't open fast enough. She yelled when the train didn't leave the station right away. Finally, as the doors were closing, she said to no one in particular, "I'm sorry, I have no patience." But she didn't really seem sorry that she was a loudmouth and being annoying. I think she was just explaining herself to everyone, not actually apologizing for being loud.

At first I was annoyed by her behavior. Many people on the train were in the same situation, and this woman clearly couldn't suck it up. Even with my iPod on I could still hear her. But then I felt sorry for her. Imagine if you were of the disposition where having to get off a train that was running express and having to wait a few extra minutes would promote that kind of outburst. Even if it wasn't her normal disposition, imagine having a bad enough day that your reaction to a minor inconvenience was to let everyone on the train platform know that you have no patience. I don't think it would feel too good to be that person.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

003/366 - Art Lunch

Art Lunch

One of the places in Chicago I resolve to get to in 2008 is the Museum of Contemporary Art. I've been in the Wolfgang Puck restaurant there, I've been in the gift shop a few times (how much do I want this doormat???), but I've never actually been in there to see the art. I walk past this place almost every day, yet I've never actually gone in to see the art. I haven't even seen this exhibit, which, if you know me, is incredibly surprising.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

002/366 - We Three Kings

We Three Kings

When I was a little girl my favorite Christmas decorations were nativity scenes. The set we had at our house was made of white ceramic. It was plain, but in my head I sort of saw the figurines in color, as they should look if they were real people.

The nativity set at my grandparents' house was very colorful. They also had a stable with the star with some straw on top of it.

I would play with the figurines as if they were dolls. The three kings would come with their gifts, and I made up conversations between them and Mary and Joseph. I was probably 7 or 8 when I grew out of it. Now I wonder if my playing with them was sort of disrespectful, but I don't think it was. I was using my imagination and playing in a respectful way.

Here's your bum back

Yesterday afternoon I was trying to decide what to watch later in the evening. I felt I had 2 choices:

1. Watch the Blackhawks game.

2. Catch up on some shows I have recorded.

I decided on the latter because, as much as I love the Blackhawks, I didn't really want to stay up late enough to watch the whole thing. Today is my first day back at work after the long weekend, and I didn't want to be dragging. Besides, I had already watched the Winter Classic earlier, as well as a bunch of soccer over the past couple of days, so I think I was sports'ed out. I can't believe I just said that.

Anyway, it appears I made the right decision. Holy crap! 9-2???? Losing is one thing, but 9-2??? In hockey? I'm glad I was peacefully asleep while that butchering was going on.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

001/366 - New Year's Karaoke

karaoke is done

I have decided to give Project 365 a shot. I hope to not just post a photo, but to use it as inspiration for some text or music inclusion. This will be above and beyond whatever I would choose to post on any given day.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to explore Chicago more. I'm good about getting around, seeing different things, trying new restaurants, and generally just having new experiences. However, there are plenty of days where I could go for a walk and see something new and I just don't. I want to get to know the city better this year.