Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Let the Good Times Roll
My friend Emma had an '80s themed roller skating birthday party in the suburbs. She was turning 35, obviously. It was amazing. There was cardboard/ketchup pizza and everything.
It was '80s night at the rink, except that no one else was dressed up and they played mainly '90s music. Maybe they didn't have time to consult Wikipedia about what happened in the '80s?

The rainbow suspenders were specially purchased for this event, if you can believe it.

The shorts I've owned for a while, though. They work for so many occasions, but mainly funerals.

Melissa even remembered how to skate backwards. I mainly remembered how to eat cake. I didn't even fall down once, thought!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Here We Are Again

Busy week.

Went car shopping on Monday night. Embarrassingly enough, this is the first time in my life I've looked for a vehicle without my parents' active involvement. It's kind of icky. A bit like Glengarry Glen Ross come to life. I told them that I wanted to take some time to do some research and think about it and they responded "okay, but why not now?" See, that was the part I had already explained. I do think it's time to part with the 2003 Corolla, though. I think soon it will be just four wheels held together by duct tape.

Tuesday we took our mandatory trip to see the Avengers movie. It was okay. Parts were a bit Whedony for my taste and I can't for the life of me understand why there would be continuity issues with other movies released by the same company last year, but it was entertaining. Also the theater had reclining leather seats, which won me over big time. I could have been watching an auto da fe and been relatively content.

Last night we hung out with my mom and watched Mad Men. We're halfway through Season 5. Clearly we won't catch up before it ends next weekend, but least these episodes aired in the current decade. Although the '00s were very good to me.

So I'm here now. Isn't anything ever good enough for you?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sweet Mother of God

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! Does it kind of bother you that it is "mother's" day, singular, when we are supposed to be honoring all mothers, everywhere? No? A lot of things are just me.

We had a good day -- I took my mom to church and then my sister and her husband came over for pizza and frozen yogurt. MTV showed The Parent Trap and several Amanda Bynes movies, as is obviously appropriate for the day. Seriously, what is going on over at MTV? Do they just have an Apple IIe randomly airing shit now?
We also had obedience class. Aubrey is perhaps not the best student. As in she tries to ignore everything that they're trying to teach her and just keeps staring at us in a disbelieving rage. Which is kind of how I was in Con Law, so I get it.

And now I'm like super exhausted. I used to think that might mean there's something medically wrong with me, but now I know it's just life. Beats the alternative.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

By the Book

Since our little Aubrey has taken to eating books off of the bottom shelf, we decided to prune our collection a little bit this weekend. (Some people say that you want your pets to change their behavior to conform to your needs, but in my experience it is definitely the other way around.) This was in part a terrible idea, because driving anywhere in Lakeview on a gorgeous May Saturday when there is both a Cubs game and some sort of kite festival (not making this up) is about the stupidest thing a person can do. It took about an hour, round trip, and that includes the time I saved by simply dropping the books inside the front door of the Brown Elephant without so much as a hello. (If they try to track me down I will simply deny everything. Including climate change.) But it was also kind of fun, because it allowed me to learn that Ian owned Nicole Richie's book. Of course, it also allowed Ian to learn that I not only owned Lauren Conrad's fiction debut, L.A. Candy, but also did not wish to part with it at this time. As I told him, I'm not looking to be a hero here. I'm just trying to keep my dog from choking on Ian's lightly-used kabbalah manual.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Deep Thoughts

I sometimes wonder if the existence of the Internet has entirely destroyed my productivity. Not just because I can check email every five minutes to see if I got a notice that I won the HGTV Dream Home sweepstakes (no luck yet), or even because I can look for breaking entertainment news with a similar frequency (if Hilary Duff has done something, I want to know about it, damn it). No, the issue I've noticed lately is that there is no thought so idle that I cannot follow up on it with a google search. Suddenly remember the name of that girl who ate candy for lunch every day in junior high? Might as well check to see what she's up to now. Having difficulties remembering the entire plot to RENT? Easy enough to look it up and even find some unflattering photos of Idina Menzel as part of the deal. Wondering why that girl from the Tomorrowland trailer looks kind of familiar? IMDB can tell you she starred in the Lifetime original film "Triple Dog" in 2010.

I guess the good news is that all of this can be accomplished pretty quickly. But that's also part of the bad news, because it definitely makes a lot of sketchy topics seem worth looking into.

I bet they don't have this problem in North Korea.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


I went back to my undergrad for a bit on Friday. They had asked me to make a speech for Honors Day, and for reasons that I can't explain (I like making speeches, maybe?), I agreed. So I spent about seven hours in the car to speak for ten minutes and spend about another forty-five minutes judging poster presentations I was in no way qualified to judge. Well, I guess I was qualified, since the judging criteria were all about style points, but I understood very little of the substance, which dealt with biology and nursing. I did understand nearly all of the prepositions involved, however. And I'm very good at smiling and asking "do you have any ideas for future research in this area?" A winning combination.

Anyway, it is always weird to go back to campus. Or perhaps I should say it is usually weird, because for the first few years after I graduated I still knew people there and it was no big deal. But now I just feel this strange sense of remove from everything that's going on while I'm there. They tore down a bunch of the crappy old houses where we always used to have parties. They built a new science building and turned the old one into a building for the school of business; I have no idea what they did with all of the creepy stuffed birds. They added crosswalks with flashing lights. It's not that it's better or worse; it's just not my place any more. And I am, of course, fifteen years older. That probably can't help.

I don't know, it's probably good for the past to remain the past. At least that's what I picked up from Back to the Future. Not to mention Back to the Future: Part III.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

On the Aisle (Seat)

I forgot to mention that my recent international flights gave me the opportunity to catch up on the recent cinema. Also to eat freeze dried beef, but that's another story. Here are my thoughts on a few no-longer-current releases:

St. Vincent -- Every bit a manipulative as I feared it would be, but I still fell for it. It was nice to see Melissa McCarthy in non-caricature mode, and Naomi Watts' accent had to be seen to be believed. Bill Murray is well recognized as a national treasure, so I need not say any more.

The Imitation Game -- Somehow I thought there would be more to this. Very straightforward, old fashioned storytelling. It was kind of like The King's Speech but with homosexuality in place of the stuttering. And human beings in place of Helena Bonham Carter.

Foxcatcher -- Okay, I was pretty bored. Good performances, fascinating story, but lots of talking. And not talking. Also, not sure what I was supposed to take away from it. Other than Channing Tatum in a singlet.

Whiplash -- I thought I would hate this, but it was pretty good. Completely implausible and kind of painful to watch at points, but entertaining. I do want to stress that I still find Miles Teller fleshy and weird, however.

Obviously, an excellent use of my time. Next up: my key learnings from the Sky Mall catalogue.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dog Days

Here are some images of Miss Aubrey. She definitely knows how to work it for the camera.

Here she is meeting our incumbent animal, Boo. Wariness personified. (Dogsonified?)

Enjoying the sun at my mom's apartment, immediately after refusing to walk and making me carry her for a block because she didn't like the fact that someone was hammering.

Watchdog. Not sure what she's watching. Mainly Hallmark Channel.

She is still trying to solve the mystery of who broke into our house and ate these books.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In Other News...

We have a new dog. Her name is Aubrey. We did not give her that name; she is a rescue. Not that there's anything wrong with the name. I was actually kind of relieved to not have the responsibility of giving another living creature a name.

The process to get a rescue is kind of insane. We had to do an application, a phone interview, and a home visit. A woman brought her beagle to roam around our home and make sure it wasn't fatal to animals. And she asked us questions like "So, uh, do you have a backup plan for that trash there?"

I mean, what, like to eat it?

Fortunately we were cleared. And then they told us they didn't have any dogs available that matched our profile. So we cheated on them with another rescue organization that actually allowed us to leave the adoption event with Aubrey in tow. Like, we went out to Orland Park not owning a dog and came back owning one. Sudden. But great!
Miss Aubrey was very reserved and fearful for like a week and then all of the sudden had tons of energy and wanted to chew on things all the time. I have a lamp that is no more thanks to Ms. Aubrey. And she pooped on one of my flip flops. They were pretty old flip flops, though.

She is a sweetheart! She loves to cuddle and nap together. And she likes other dogs. I genuinely believe if she had been the candidate against Rahm, it would have been a real horse race. Or dog race, whatever. We have a new dog!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Barcelona Photos, Part 4

I think this will be it? Yeah, probably.

This is the Catalan Art Museum. What is Catalan art, you may ask? I've been there and I'm still not sure I know. Pretty ballin', though. 

This part of the museum used to be an ice rink. Now it seems to be used mainly to hold piano recitals. Good trade.

This is the market, which apparently is swarming with people at all times. Lots and lots of raw meat available, if that's your thing.

We accidentally spent twenty Euro at this candy stand. I have no regrets.

Just your basic painting as big as a room, that's all. I'm sure this random guy is super happy to be in my photo, as he has long harbored ambitions to be the next Linda Evangelista.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Barcelona Photos, Part 3

The saga continues.

More Gaudi. This is inside Casa Batllo. I included that guy taking a picture in my picture on purpose because I'm really meta.

This is the exterior of La Pedrera. Those wrought iron balconies are super cute, sure, but they're murder to get your sweater snagged on.

Part of Park Guell. A Top Model final runway was actually filmed in this park, which makes it all kinds of historic. It's how Caridee English became the single biggest name in fashion.

The front entryway at La Pedrera. Which is beautiful but sort of impractical, if you ask me.

This is the attic at La Pedrera. It has that "geometry lesson" feeling that's so popular these days.

This is the exterior of Casa Batllo. Logically it probably would have come first, but blogger seems to have its own ideas about the order of things. Who am I to judge?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Barcelona Photos, Part 2

And so it goes. Sagrada Familia gets its own day. I mean, just look at it.

They estimate that it will be under construction for several more decades. Which is nothing compared to road work in Chicago.

We got to go up in one of the towers, which was a terrible idea since I am mildly afraid of heights. Overall worth the panicked grabbing of railings, however.

Gaudi invented all these new geometric forms for his design, like these branching columns. Which isn't really a big deal, since I invented sexting.

I love the stained glass, which is by the way unretouched in this photo. Like I even know how to do that, or anything.

This is the ceiling. Which you probably could have guessed. It doesn't look like, say, the mud room.

Did I mention it's tall? It gets tired of being asked how tall it is, though, so try to contain yourself.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Barcelona Photos, Part 1

Different city, same basic concept. I took a bunch of pictures of stuff and am now inflicting them on you.

This is the cathedral in the gothic quarter. They seem to have masses like all the time. It's all very holy.

This is the Columbus monument. He's still a really big deal there, like One Direction or something.

This is the courtyard of the cathedral. I don't have anything particularly witty to say about it, I just thought it was pretty.

The gothic quarter has all these crazy Roman ruins. Well, I'm sure they weren't crazy to the Romans, but that's how they come across when they're next to a Burger King.

They let you climb up on the roof of the cathedral for a nominal fee. And I'm pretty sure falling to your death is free.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Madrid Photos, Part 2
This is still happening. At least I'm not disappeared any more, right?

They let you climb up on their cathedral, where there are all these stressed out statues. This one just lost his iPhone, I think.

Goya is everywhere in Madrid. Well, not the actual Goya; he's still dead. I know because he's actually buried in this chapel he painted. I guess after all that work it kind of seemed like the thing to do.

This is the entryway of their history museum. I'm pretty sure I saw something like it on Love It or List It once.

There is no shortage of fountains, statutes, and the like. I think their economy is pretty much statute based.

Their archeology museum has lots of cool mosaics and other old things they dug up. Even they drew the line at digging up Meg Ryan, though.

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