Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here we go again

Dear Mother Nature,

Thank you so much for giving us Chicagoans such a lovely Memorial Day. It was very generous of you to give us a nice warm day for cooking out, and for waiting to turn on the rain until late in the evening. It was wonderful to have an actual nice day on a holiday!

I think I need to inform you of something, however. Many people consider Memorial Day Weekend to be the unofficial start of summer. So doesn't that mean it should still feel like summer today? Sure, I can look at a calendar and see that the official start of summer is still about a month away, but couldn't we have another nice day? There's nothing like a complete weather change to tell you that your long holiday weekend is over.

Next time, please try to be a little more consistent.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Buying cheese from Cheeseheads

Wisconsin Welcomes You

Yesterday we drove to Wisconsin to go shopping at the outlet mall in Pleasant Prairie.

As I experienced last week when we went to Indiana, sometimes just getting out of Chicago, even for just a few hours, really helps recharge the batteries. I felt relaxed and happy while shopping, even though the shopping completely tired me out.

I bought many articles of clothing and three pairs of shoes, but nothing had me more excited than I was when we went here:

Mars Cheese Castle

Although I get their catalog and have been past the place numerous times, until yesterday I had never stepped foot into the Mars Cheese Castle. How could this be? I love cheese, I love sausage. When it was determined that we would outlet shop in Wisconsin I was absolutely adamant that we stop in.

Mars Cheese Castle

I could have gone crazy in there. There was tons of cheese and sausage, a bakery, wine, and some microbrew beer. Ultimately we bought the following:

Andouille sausage
Cheese bratwurst
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale mustard
Dill mustard
Squid pieces
Cheese with blueberries in it
A beef stick to much on during the ride home
Chocolate caramel truffle coffee beans

I could have bought so much more. I almost bought some cheese curds. I wanted to buy some of the beer, but ultimately decided against it. And the cheese, oh my goodness, the cheese. I'm beginning to think we will have to make a trip up there every month or two. Seriously.

Friday, May 23, 2008



The "Ouch" refers to the gas prices, which might be hard to see since they are small. It was the best shot I could get while stopped at a stop light. This picture was taken yesterday afternoon at the corner of North Ave. and Clark. I think this is probably one of the most expensive places to get gas in the city. The price for regular at this particular station was the same as the price for premium was up in my neighborhood. Right now I'm really glad I don't have to drive every day. It didn't seem like it was that long ago that $3/gallon was really expensive. I laugh when I hear the national average price, which is cheap in comparison to the prices here in Chicago.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's only me

It's only me

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Paddy Casey and KT Tunstall - Vic Theater - May 16, 2008

A friend of mine won tickets to this show and invited me, and I gladly accepted.

I wasn't really familiar with Paddy Casey before this show. I knew I had heard a few of his songs, but I really had no recollection of them. I didn't even remember if I liked him. That doesn't really matter. What really matters is that I like him now. He played his guitar and sang so earnestly.

KT Tunstall's performance was a little different from the other times I have seen her. Homier? I don't know how to describe it. The stage looked sort of Western themed, but not tacky. Just different. My favorite part of her set was when she did a cover of "Ain't Nobody" by Chaka Kahn and Rufus. I couldn't find a video of it from that night, but here's her singing it in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flight of the Conchords - Chicago Theatre - May 14, 2008

Sold Out

I didn't really know what to expect when when I went to see Flight of the Conchords live last week. I was hoping it would be funny, but at the same time I had heard the songs so many times, would I be bored?

Arj Barker, who plays Dave on the show, opened with a stand up set which was hilarious. He introduced Flight of the Conchords, who opened with "Robots." While they played many of the songs that have appeared on their show and albums, there were some small differences that made the songs funny. Also, there was something different about seeing the songs performed in person. Even though I had seen videos of the same songs performed in person many times, it's not the same as seeing them onstage yourself. They also did a couple of new songs, as well as songs that, while not new, I don't think were quite as well known.

In between the songs they would banter, and it was pretty much what you would expect. It was their humor, awkward and naive. Many girls in the audience were yelling things at the guys, but they seemed really shocked when a guy in the crowd asked them to take off their pants. I don't think they had heard that one before.

Here is "Albi the Racist Dragon":

Monday, May 19, 2008

No more Project365

I was behind anyway, but now I have given up. I will still carry my camera around with me and post photos of interesting things I see. However, I am sick of coming up with something to take a picture of when I don't see anything good. Also, I've had few text posts since I started taking too many pictures, and that makes me sad. So there.

Michigan Ave. streetwall endangered

Chicago's Michigan Avenue 'streetwall' named to list of nation's 11 most endangered places

This appears to be a complicated issue.

I love the streetwall. I took a Chicago Architecture Foundation tour of the street wall a few years ago. It was really interesting and informative. It's amazing how many details of those buildings I hadn't noticed before, even though I have driven and walked up and down Michigan Ave. countless times in my life. I highly recommend the tour if it's still available.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

126/366 - City Hall

City Hall

Monday, May 12, 2008

125/366 - Marina City

Marina City

Saturday, May 10, 2008

124/366 - Blushing car

Blushing car

Friday, May 09, 2008

123/366 - Random CTA artwork

Random CTA artwork

And it's festival time

Lineups for some of the neighborhood street festivals have been released, and there are two I'm particularly excited about.

First is the Do Division Street Fest. I don't know that I would go both days, so here is my dilemma. I've seen Ted Leo and the Pharmacists twice, and love them. Do I go see them? Or do I go see Lucero, a band I haven't seen before but have it on good authority that they are awesome live? Decisions, decisions.

Second is Taste of Randolph Street. I finally get to see Drive-By Truckers!!! There are other good acts too, but I've been wanting to see Drive-By Truckers for years, and for one reason or another it has never worked out. It better work out that weekend.

And then, on a whole different level, of course there's Stevie Wonder for free at Taste of Chicago. That might be the one act that actually gets me to go to Taste of Chicago.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

122/366 - Twilight


It was a beautiful night, so we went for a walk and bought some coffee. Then we decided to sit by the lake for a while, because it was just so nice out. We were afraid it would rain while we were walking, but it didn't. I have to say that the dark, brooding clouds added to the atmosphere. I actually enjoyed that, but I'm weird like that.

121/366 - Urbs in Horto, or Horto in Urbs?

Urbs in Horto, or Horto in Urbs?

Monday, May 05, 2008

120/366 - Blooming


It's beginning to look nice out there.

I was supposed to go to the South concert tonight, but decided earlier today that it wasn't a good idea for a variety of reasons. It's a good thing I hadn't bought tickets yet. I'm so slammed over the next couple of weeks, with my graduation and birthday coming up, plus a dentist appointment and Mother's day. So yeah, staying home tonight was a good idea. I chilled on the couch with my knitting and my boyfriend, watching Appleseed: Ex Machina.

It would have been nice to hear some live music, though. January was the last time I went to a show, and that's quite a long time for me. I'm thinking of seeing The Kills on Friday, if I have the time, the money, and if tickets are still available. I also get to see Flight of the Conchords next week, so at least there's that.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

119/366 - I haven't worn these shoes in a while

I haven't worn these shoes in a long time

Saturday, May 03, 2008

118/366 - Go Cubs

Go Cubs

Did you get your free comic today?

In case you weren't aware, today is Free Comic Book Day. To be honest, I don't think we would have known about it if it weren't for a flier left on my car by a local comic book store. That store happens to be Evil Squirrel Comics. We went down there this afternoon to get our free comic books.

I've been past this shop a few times, but I've never gone in. I don't think my boyfriend had either, which is surprising given how much he loves comics. I thought he would have checked out a neighborhood comic book shop right away. The staff was friendly and helpful. Toufic El Rassi was there signing copies of Arab In America, so I bought a copy and got it signed. I can't wait to read it. This is the sort of comic I like. I said as much to the man behind the register, and he gave me a bunch of recommendations. We figure we will be back in this store many, many times.

Friday, May 02, 2008

117/366 - Yesterday


116/366 - School of Law

School of Law

Thursday, May 01, 2008

115/366 - Celebration