for those who are in or around sane

Tuesday, June 27

for when i'm not busy with "life"

it's about this time each year when i create a list of movies i'd love to see before the end of the summer. i dont have central a/c so the refuge of a huge, freezing, 30-theater cineplex is appealing. each year, i only see a small handful of the movies i'm jonesing for. usually, i end up seeing more movies that i dont necessarily want to see. lets put my choices in order of appeal, on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the ones i'm tweaking over. at the end of the summer i'll review what i have seen, re-rate them and then bitch about the movies that left the theater before i got the chance to view them (ie kiss kiss bang bang last year).

superman returns:
4. i am not really a superman fan (freakin' goody-two-shoes). i am a fan of comic book movies. if, on a very hot day i am with company who really wants to see this movie, i'll go.

the devil wears prada:
8. i'm a girl. i crave chick flicks. also, i finished the audiobook this month, and i would love to see how they presented the characters in the movie. is andrea a smoker? can they make wholesome anne hathaway do that?

strangers with candy:
4. i wasnt an avid fan of the show, but i'd go see amy sedaris in her element.

pirates of the caribbean: dead man's chest:
10. i WILL see this movie. preferably 2 or 3 times.

lady in the water:
6. M. Knight Shamalamadingdong hasnt let me down yet.

8. too many good reviews from friends and family to not go see it. however, i believe that everyone i know has seen it but me. which dropped it to an 8.

nacho libre:
6. i indulged in jack black's regular video podcasts during the filming of this one. it looks really dumb, and prolly will tank in the theater. but can you blame me for having faith in the man?

4. i would have rated this higher, but it's been in the theaters for so long that i doubt i'll actually have a chance to see it, period

prarie home companion:
9. it cant be a 10 b/c i need to see it in mn. i know i'll be back next month, but with timing, who knows if i'll get to the theater??!!

a scanner darkly:
5. after having 3 guys talk my ear off about this one, and b starting to get excited about it, i'll reluctantly go. this is the movie i'm sure i'll see, but am not terribly excited about it. which also means i'll prolly like it a lot. good thing i'll do a re-rate in september.

Friday, June 23

non-guilty pleasures

"not all who wander are lost"
- j.r.r. tolkien

first quote in the sisterhood of the traveling pants. i havent read juvi lit in a while. confession: when i was an adolescent, i spent counless hours pouring through candy books. when i was into the babysitters club series, i remember getting 6 books for christmas one year, and having read them all by the end of the day. my friend talked about addiction in her latest entry. well, i think i was addicted to reading. i read absolutely anything i could get a hold of. i spent hours in the library limiting my selections to 10 books, after which i'd run to my room and deliberate over the reading order.

the summer i was into lois lowry was also the first summer i became a promiscuous reader. during the day, after lunch and before running through the sprinkler, i'd grab anastasia krupnik for a few chapters. after brushing my teeth but before sleep i'd pick up encyclopedia brown and rush through as many chapters as i could before i got yelled at for being awake.

memory, being blissfully imperfect, leads me to think that i also became an insomniac that year. reading early into the morning. regretfully abandoning the rats of nimh to get a little sleep before daytime. waking up groggy and confused, with what i now am familiar with as "sleep deprivation". and doing it agian the next night.

i found it again. and it's not insomnia.

at midnight, several chapters into the traveling pants book i borrowed, i am thrown this quote:

"if you don't find it in the index, look very carefully throughout the entire catalog."
- sears catalog

snicker/snort... oh, the late night giggle! infectious to no one other than you. it's late. mule's coming tomorrow and i will prolly regret staying up tonite, but hell, i have to keep reading after that quote! and read i did... and i kept going. laughing with the jokes, scowling at the mistakes, switching from one girls' plot to the next, comparing and contrasting myself to these characters and who i was at 15/16 and who i am now at 26. falling in love, i gave my heart to the book. i couldnt stop reading it. i yawned, i stretched, i shook sleeping limbs, distressed my cat with gaffaws and read and read and read.

i could have put the book down at any time and slept. it's not insomnia, it's love.

Monday, June 19

ny, ny...

i had an absolute blast in ny. it's hard to put it all into an articulate blog article, but i shall point out a few good parts, including more pix, as best as i can.

things got a little "spooky" in ny, so,
who you gonna call??? GHOSTBUSTERS!!

i know, i know, lame joke... but i wasnt the only tourist snapping pix of a library just because it was in a movie. :o)

we also hiked up and down 5th avenue to view tiffany & co, prada, st. john etc etc, and we picked Saks to walk through and oogle. i picked out (well, rather, pointed at) a gorgeous $500 skirt, and rhett enjoyed a $300 fedora.

on our way we passed the empire state building.
we had seen it in passing via cab at night, and it looked very inviting. so i wanted to see how much it would be to ride up and do the ultimate ny tourist activity. $16. and i still needed to fill my metra card. so, this is as close to the empire state building as i got.

we passed by the brand new apple store, which is housed underground.

and... we had a little fun with the new macbooks...

aren't i sooooo cute??? heh heh...

a moment of reverence: the dakota building at 1 w 72nd st in central park west. this was an educational visit for me: its the one-time home of john lennon, yoko ono and their son sean, and also the site of john lennon's assasination. small groups of quiet people walked past the building, stopping and looking, taking it in before crossing the street to the strawberry fields memorial.

new yorkers impressed me. i love the harsh accent, the differing boroughs (yes, even hoboken), the steadfastness of the people, the smiles, shouts and cheers i'd hear walking through central park, across the avenue of the americas or people-watching at st. mark's. i got to breathe in the words at nyu's grand library, pet not a few eager dogs, eat gratuitious amounts of east coast food and even pick up a little lingo, "yeah, right?" (no sarcasm!!).

it's a place i'd be proud to call my own, but for now, i'll smile and think about the decent our 737 took around manhattan and into la guardia; i'll think about how the anticipation, beauty and grandeur prevented me from sitting still - so much so that the little boy behind me would follow the direction my head moved, taking it all in.

Sunday, June 18

thus far...

highlights of this trip:
1. delicious bass.... was caught for me. mm-mmm!
2. NJ is NOT necessarily the "armpit" of the usa
3. knock offs - current total = 1 pair D&G sunglasses. superior bling. ($5 CAN buy you happiness)
4. julia roberts waved at me (bringing the celebrity toll to 3 - oprah waved at 8 year old me and chris o'donnell called 18 year old me from a chicago golf course. seriously.)
5. central park (see below)
6. carnagie deli corned beef, munster w/ spicy mustard on rye (and a knish)
7. avenue q - click link, laugh with me. and, it sucks to be me.

manhattan view from hoboken (aka, NOT the armpit of the usa)

central park on a glorious friday

times square light lunch rush (site of the knock off DG sunglasses)

and more to follow!! (we need to get me a better camera phone).

Wednesday, June 14

fanny packs and velcro shoes - in or out?

Standing in my underware, sucking in my spare tire, surveying the chaos in my room lead me to only one conclusion: I have no clothes worthy of New York City. Sure my style is a bit off beat and rumpled, but for Chicago, on a good day, it’s reasonably hip. One might even say sophisticated (on a VERY good day). But I’m going to NY in a few days to visit a friend and here I stand, with a pile of unsatisfactory clothes to shove into my suitcase.

I’m not looking to be trendy. I just want to blend it. To not look like a complete and total Midwestern tourist. But, with my current budget, I guess that’s all I can hope for.

One might ask where I got this idea of “fashion” in my head. One might ask this b/c I’m not really “savvy” in this department on a daily basis. Well, thank you media. My audiobook of the moment is The Devil Wears Prada (which is decisively poorly written but brain candy nonetheless) and the talk of haute couture is contagious. I am also a huge fan of (what else) Sex & the City, and, on the opposite yet still trendy end, the literary scene. Both of which advertise a “look” and a “feel” of what a good NYer is supposed to emulate.

So I must revel in my Midwestern tourist charade. Charade? Is that the right word? I’m not pretending to be one, I am, in fact, one. But as a 20-something professional, I feel that I should represent Chicago in an appropriate manner. Instead, I’ll hang my camera around my neck, grab a nylon fanny pack and start walking blindly around Manhattan…. No… i kid. But I do believe that I will say “eff it all” and don my tshirt, jeans and sensible walking shoes and wander around Central Park, enjoying the fact that at least I’m not the one wearing a fanny pack.

Thursday, June 8

the infinite

So the longer I’m here, the more I enjoy it… this city is pretty damn amazing. Please please, TCers, don’t get me wrong – I love MN and all it has to offer. I miss a lot about that place and you wouldn’t have to drag me kicking and screaming back there. But Chicago has really surprised me.

There is too much to do. Every weekend, every nice night, there is something to do. I’m at work, and looking ahead to an evening of self-reflection in front of prime time tv, a little elliptisizing and maybe a home cooked meal with my roomie. Then I get an email about a pick up volleyball game on Montrose Beach at 6:30pm. Of course I go to the beach. It’s not prime season yet, so the sand is still finely combed, the poles stick out, naked and eager for nets, and occasionally, you can watch a storm attempt to roll in through the lake breezes (ok, they are more like blindingly huge gusts). Afterwards, its off to one of the local digs for boozin’ and supper. And, a round of “cheers!” or “slainte” to many many more evenings of such glory.

There are also the planned nights. The music nights. Since I’m still not quite up to snuff w/ my music, I rely on a few trusted pals to usher things my way. On one such night, I went to O’s and from there we hiked to the Metro and saw the Islands – aka the Unicorns. O was, admittedly, a bit hyper and cruisin’ for a boozin’, so quite a few ridiculously expensive lite beers later, we were bopping around to the nutty music (opener was the Busdriver, whom I am lead to believe is actually from MN) and running all over the Metro, finding little things to keep our interest for more than 30 seconds at a pop. We found a photo booth. Oh yes we did! Revel in our beauty. Revel.

And last weekend, my ex-co-worker Lauren came down to the city, CHP books in tow. The 3 TC presses pooled resources and garnered a booth at the annual Printer’s Row Book Festival. We had an absolute blast – tons of people came! It blew my mind that there were so many bookish people here. not that it should have, but in the twin cities, the literary crowd is significantly smaller and slightly cliquey (not hoity-toity by any means, but it always appears that you know or have seen every person at the book reading you’re at).

CHP author Lolita Hernandez came down from Detroit to be on a panel and to hang with us at the booth. The three of us plus Graywolf’s Publicist Mary and author Tess Gallagher ventured out for cheap Italian food and wine-and-exhaustion inspired pontifications on war, women and literature. Lolita’s clever photoshop abilities documented our adventure.

This weekend is BluesFest, and there will also be a shin-dig at a notorious apartment, famous for their lack of brakes, both of which I am missing due to an important wedding (hoorah for Spayne!) . But I know that the next weekend I have free, there will definitely be something for me to do besides bike on the beach, read in the park, or any other blissful solitary experience Chicago has to offer.