Sunday, April 27, 2008

doo doo doo (read the text first)

This afternoon, I decided to go to a piano concert at the church I've been going to the last couple weeks. And I was oh, so glad I did.... ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! Below is a short video about the person who performed, one Huntley Brown. I was blown away. It was an excellent concert, with just enough audience participation to keep things really interesting. I was just sad the entire world couldn't be there to experience it, and that it had to end. I told him afterwards that I could listen to him play all day, so it's probably a good thing I bought a CD :) (I just wish I was rich enough to buy every one. Seriously. He's THAT GOOD.)

So, without further ado, Mr. Huntley Brown.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


My absolute favorite part of this entire week:
The little old italian lady sitting at the next table over in the cafeteria coming over and telling J, my manager, that if he & C. didn't knock it off, she was going to send the mafia after him to break his knees.
This was a few minutes after she proved him wrong - italians DO call it gravy.
I laughed so hard, I think I peed my pants a little.

Some days, I'm not sure how I ever make it through lunch.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

in over my head, i wanna go

I have recently updated/revised my book list. Here is a small list of some of the books I would like to read sometime in the semi-near future:
(Gotta love how I steal some of these from other people's lists! But I digress)
  • Diane Sutterfield - The Thirteenth Tale
  • Marisha Pessl - Special Topics in Calamity Physics
  • Jack Kerly - The Hundredth Man
  • Jesse Stuart - The Thread That Runs So True
  • Janet Evanovich - How I Write
  • Kate Mosse - Labyrinth
  • Sudhir Venkatesh - Gang Leader for a Day
  • Sidney Sheldon - If Tomorrow Comes (I miss you, Vicky!)
  • Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
  • Mercy Mayer - The Little Critter Collection
  • Sheri Lynch - Hello, My Name Is Mommy
  • Donald Ray Pollock - Knockemstiff
  • Ann Pancake - Strange as This Weather Has Been
  • Larry Doyle - I Love You, Beth Cooper
  • Amanda Hessner - Cooking for Mr. Latte
  • Jen Lancaster - Such a Pretty Fat (2 weeks!)
  • David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day

Yes, I realize it's a lot of books. And I do have to say, my local library doesn't have a lot of them, so if I'm actually going to read them I'm going to have to drive a little further. Or start investing. But anyway, that's my list. I'm off to dive into a book now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

the random trip downtown...

One Saturday during the cold, cold month of March, I decided that it was time for me to get out of my hay-feverish house and do something fun. I decided to go downtown and run around a bit. So now, let's play a short game of "Good Idea, Bad Idea".

Good idea: Deciding to do something interesting and spend an afternoon walking around downtown in the big city.
Bad idea: Deciding to walk around downtown on a cloudy 38-degree afternoon with no winter coat with which to stop the frostbite.
(Hint: UK hoodie - NOT adequate insulation. Long underwear - Best. Idea. Ever. You'd think I could've put 2 & 2 together....)

Good idea: Walking along Lake Michigan on a sunny afternoon.
Bad idea: Walking along Lake Michigan on one of the windiest days in Chicago history.
(okay, so probably not the windiest, but it sure felt like it. As did the resulting wind burn.)

Good idea: Visiting the absolutely beautiful main branch of the Chicago Public Library on a wintery afternoon.
Bad Idea: Unwittingly piquing a security guard's attention while browsing through the Chicago Public Library.
(Let me clarify: piquing an ARMED security guard's attention)

I could go on, but honestly, that would just be painful for all of us. Meanwhile, I realized a few things on this little trip of mine... First of all, I am not yet, nor do I ever think I really will be, a "city person." I guess I was just raised with too many manners NOT to hold the door open for people at the 7-eleven or smile as I pass someone on the sidewalk. I actually tried to act all non-chalant and stuff, but let's face it, I'm a Kentucky girl at heart. I have to be pretty preoccupied to completely ignore the fact that you are STANDING IN MY PERSONAL SPACE as we wait for the blasted light to change. No matter that it's not really a crowded corner, and there is plenty of room for you to stand OVER THERE to wait... Also, I think I am just too fascinated by people. I'd much rather watch everybody and everything and look at all the pretty buildings and the people walking in flip-flops in 38-degree weather on the nasty city streets and just take it all in. But I guess that's just me. Oh yeah, and I am also slightly freaked out and honestly saddened that there has to BE armed security guards standing at every corner in the public library. I come from a place where the town drunk used to spend his weekends sleeping off his hangover in the public library, and nobody cared.

Anyway, I spent the day being awed by the library, going to see Buckingham fountain (which, let me tell you, did a lot of good in the winter when there wasn't any water running), walking along the Lake for awhile, walking back up Michigan Avenue, wandering around a little looking at stores, going into a 7-eleven and buying a Moon Pie (for the sheer personal irony... I'll always think of RC1 when I see one. Which later Chico found on my chair at home and completely smooshed trying to break into the package), and going to my favorite little Greek Walgreens. At which I heard all about the cashier's upcoming back surgery. Every. Little. Detail. Tell me, why is it that people don't get the fact that the polite smiling and nodding going on are not invitations to hear MORE about why you are mad that you were called in to pull an extra shift even though your back hurts and you're scared about an upcoming surgery that I now know WAY too many details about? But anyway, I purchased my over-priced postcards and a small bag of easter candy and left as soon as her painstakingly-slow cashier skills would allow. I walked (read: limped) back to the train station and picked up some dinner and read while I waited for the train home. Which was totally and completely packed, thanks to the Blackhawks game that had just let out a few blocks over (which my boss & coworker had attended, unbeknownst to me). I think the Blackhawks fan sitting next to me was a little weirded out by my laughing at the Evanovich book I was reading, but you know, sometimes you can't help the out-loud part.

So that was the gist of my day. I leave you with a slightly scary picture of me (hey! I was completely numb at this point) next to the still-green river (it being the day before St. Patty's and all).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

it's been awhile....

I have been quite lax in my blogging of late. Although I seem to be addicted to reading everybody's elses lately, I haven't actually managed to sit myself down and do any blogging of my own. Hopefully there'll be a few posts in the next few days to talk a bit about what I've been up to and such.

One thing I have been doing a lot of lately is reading.... I just finished reading The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro. I have to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with it. I've heard/read her highly recommended by a few people, so I thought I'd try it... I'll admit, there were several times that I laughed out loud, but I have to say, I'm really not that "into" a bunch of short stories about drinking-induced stupidity. And sometimes, really, there's only so much exaggeration that works. Too much and it's pointless. But the super-short chapters were nice for a quick pick-up-and-read. And the story of her grandpa filling the back seat of her car with free day-old bread from SafeWay was awesome, but only because of the very close resemblance of her grandfather to certain people I know who shall remain unnamed.

I also recently finished Jim Cramer's Mad Money. I must say, he's freaking awesome. The show is great, and the book made me understand much better what goes on in his head, which I learned is a very educational albeit very scary place. But he makes the stock market interesting, fascinating even. Not that I'll be investing anytime soon (he suggests you have $10,000 of disposable investment income before you become a serious investor... um, yeah. not me.), but it's still very interesting to learn about.

A couple other books I've read: Five Quarters of the Orange, Joanne Harris - excellent book. Freakonomics - outstanding. I do not necessarily agree with everything Levitt & Dubner put forth as the obvious answer to whichever topic they're writing about, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book and finding new ways to look at the world. And it's so well-written and non-academic, I was hooked from the beginning. And now I have at least 2 new books to add to my list, and another blog to read every day (see Freaky link to the right). I've read some more Evanovich chicklit, never as good as the Stephanie Plum books but still light and easy to read and funny as ever. Confessions of a Shopoholic, Sophie Kinsella - all I can say is, I can't wait for the movie! There's also the latest Jen Lancaster memoir... what can I say, she makes me laugh. And I like her a lot better now that she's not quite as narcissistic as she was back when she was all that in the world.

Okay. I think that's it for now. It's almost Monday.... I'm going to go now and enjoy the next 12 hours as thoroughly as possible.