30 June 2007

Good Run, Bad Skin

I ran close to 9 miles this week and i feel great. It's a bummer though, that my prize, besides greater lung capacity and deep sleep, is really terrible skin. WTF?

23 June 2007

Best Compliment, Knocked Up Guerillas + Hanging Bras

1. I got the best compliment ever today. i was waiting for the fantom kedzie/cali bus on the corner of kedzie and harrison, def one of the sketchier hoods i've been in, when this guy pulled up to the light in his van. anyway, his wife--this massive, i'm talking, totally HUGE black woman--honked the horn at me, smiled, and then gave me the thumbs up. and in inner city life, there is no one harder to please, and no compliment more rare and elusive, than when it comes from a large black woman. hallelujah: i have seen the angels.

2. Wick and i kicked it at logos today. we ate some thai, watched "knocked up," at the logan cinema. i luved the whole experience in a weird sort of way, though i stopped liking logan square once i realized it was just like the wp 10 years ago, except everyone looks alike, and there's alot less you can do there except get mistreated at lula's. consider brunch.

3. I finally bought some camouflage pants at Akira yesterday and i fucking luv them, makes me look all guerilla-urban-revolutionary like.

4. I like to play pranks on people i luv, especially on erika, so today, for fun, i decided to hang erika's bras from the fire sprinklers sprouting out of her ceiling. nothing says love like seeing your padded bras hanging from roofbeams. that's what i always say.

21 June 2007

Welcome to the Chi, Motherfucker

This is gonna be a sawed-off shotgun point of view, but dammit i need these thoughts reified for posterity:

1. When i was running last week through humboldt park, i watched as emt's tried to resuscitate a dead body in the park. talk about urban running. and i thought dodging cta buses was bad enough.

2. Erika and i gonna train to run for the PAWS race for life at the end of september. it's only 8k, but the thought of being in a race is so absurd that it makes me laugh. i do feel so much better though when i run every week. and i live across from park that was made for running--some would say fleeing.

3. I think i've become totally hooked on CSI. i blame it on erika and her forensic mind. and i'm not talking about dramatic interp either.

4. I broke down last week and bought some clinique toner, officially making me the biggest fucking metrosexster west of the mississippi. and i almos feel bad about it. except that i don't.

5. Bought some purtty pants from the salvation army yesterday that fit me beautifully. with 2 bucks, i've got a new ass.

6. Erika and i have been driving through the loop alot. along the way, i was happy to see my fave library again:

And i luv the chiscape:


Of course, i couldn't have done this without my beautiful sidekick:

7. So i wasn't exaggerating when i said that my neighborhood turned into puerto rico parade. this is what the otherwise calm street in front of my apartment looked like:



8. Last saturday, my brother and i participated in bloom's day at the red lion pub in the lp. now, lincoln park isn't one of my fave neighborhoods, but i told jeff--the director-- that i'd read for his celebration so of course i went after gawking at puertorriqueña hoochies from the cta bus window (along with all of the other passengers). but here's where it got strange:
right as jeff was introducing the prefatory chapter of ulysses, the one i was supposed to read, i was about to stand up and walk over to the mic when this overweight dude with a PONYTAIL started reading. so i had to tell jeff, so um, jeff, you told me i was going to be reading the first chapter of ulysses, well, THAT DUDE just read it and i didn't bring the other chapter you gave me cuz you told me i WASN'T GOING TO READ THAT. so jeff gives me the other chapter later on that i haven't read through even once, and then i have to give the penulimate reading from a chapter of ulysses i'm not prepared for at all, a chapter that begins, "prepatory to anything else Mr Bloom brushed off the greater bulk of the shavings and handed Stephen the hat. . ." as i told tom miller in a recent email, this was a seminal moment in my life: any man who can stand up in front of 50 people and basically read a chapter from james joyce's ulysses COLD without sounding like a complete and absolute imbecile, is, in my opinion, a fucking mensch. i feel like i should get a gold plaque or something.

9. Today, after going for a nice long run together, erika and i nibbled on the fruit salad i made yesterday, then we ate guacamole, and nuts, and she tried to poison me with one of her lady fingers, which is the most ghetto cookie ever invented. eventually we made it to nochi where we spent some time in andersonville, one of my fave barrios in the chi. we went to kopi cafe:



And after watching erika talk to her family on her cell--one of my fave pastimes:

I started taking gratuitous snapshots of her because i could:

This is her, finally protesting after my 70th picture--okay, i'm totally exaggerating:

I know it looks like she's clawing herself, but really, i was flashing her to death.

10. Today LB and i had our first argument/disagreement about:

Talking about ex's
Sex and expectations
Wanting a communicative boyfriend v knowing how to be a communicative girlfriend
Empirical solutions to current problems
The semantic differences between the words ass, asshole and dick(head)
And possibly the most embarrassing disagreement, where i got rocked:

Tv in our future possible family: yes or no? i took the hardcore liberal (aka ludic) point of view and i got my nuts slammed in the cardoor. metaphorically speaking.

Ah yes, i love that girl, even if my ego doesn't, especially because my ego doesn't.

18 June 2007

El Paseo Boricua

Yesterday, i spent time with erika and la familia. it was me, erika, marcos, emma, norma, her eery non-twin lookalike, erika's papa and mama, fia, saul, and lola, their abuela and we went to las fiestas puertorriqueñas. i've never seen so many tits popping out of puerto rico t-shirts before. it was like a whole park of daddy yankees, j-lo's and teenage moms. it was a riot.

Some of the highlights included eating:

Arroz con gandules
Bacalaito
Tostones (not so impressed. tasted like fried socks)
Arreitas con queso

Granted, it was a total greasefest. i understtand now why puerto ricans have such bad skin. but i did enjoy listening to salsa and reggaeton music and watching the families hang out in lawn chairs and observe young latinos strut and flirt with their eye lashes and unrestrained bustlines. there's something so wonderful about that.

For some strange reason, we also:

Got tons of free gum
Spent time at the "oxygen bar" where i inhaled oxygen that tasted like:

Bubblegum
Lemon-lime
Grape

But it was kinda weird, i mean, oxygen, going up my nostrils that has the flavor of, well, gum. Anyway, it's things like this that make me appreciate my city.

14 June 2007

8,000 Chairs

1. Last night, erika and i made vegan brownies with peanut butter chips--that were anything but vegan, but la vida es asi--and then watched "the shawshank redemption," one of our fave movies of all time. i forget what a great story teller stephen king is, what a perfect narratology morgan freeman is, and how much i like the nozze di figaro scene. those brownies are fucking addictive. in fact, i'm thinking of palming one right now.

2. For fun, i told LB at my place earlier, that she had to pick between "ain't nothing but a g thang" or "changes" and she was like, why to i have to pick at all, i was like, cuz we're gonna dance to it, and she said, well, which one is shorter? instead we danced to nelly, and she looked beautiful in her striped orange dress and barrettes with the filtered sunlight coming through my bedroom windows.

3. Yesterday, after prizing its aperture for several minutes, erika declared: i wanna stick a grape in your belly-button.

4. Today as i pawed battered copies of CONCEPTION and BABY TALK and PLUM in the obgyn office at illinois masonic where erika had an appointment, i overheard the following conversation between a little boy and his father:

--But how could she teach for 8,000 years?
--I didn't say she taught for 8,000 years, i said she taught 8,000 students.
--But if she did, she would need 8,000 tables.

Then, the boy sat down next to me, stared at my buddha tattoo and frowned.
--Hi, i said.
--Hello and welcome to planet earth, he said, walking away.

10 June 2007

Street Art Isn't Free Anymore Kid

Friday night, after walking through the hood on south kedzie--kidz, don't try this at home--something i couldn't help since my transit card expired literally one minute before the 64 bus came, which forced me to walk to the green line where i could buy a new card, i met erika in op, we went to whole foods, bought rice balls, turnip/carrot cakes, basil pesto, crawfish salad, cornbread and asian collard greens and had a feast at her place before watching "freestyle." then we made love and fell asleep, crushed by a deep opiate sleep.

Yesterday, we made out, got dressed. for some reason, i kept watching mtv's "pimp my ride," i guess i just like the imaginative recreation of space, the face-lift of design. after that, we drove to old town for the art fair, which ended up being 7 bucks before 7 and 10 bucks afterwards, and we were like, fuck that, so we walked around the chi, hit chicago avenue, salivated as we walked past the mac store, then we went to ginza--one of my fave sushi joints in all of chicago--and ate unagi, spicy tuna and salmon/avocado rolls, miso, oishitashii. the waitress and i chatted for a little while in japanese, and then she stopped, she said, your tattoo, it's cool. . .thanx, i said. after a disappointing and totally overpriced hot fudge sundae at giradhelli's, and then we did some cultural anthro, which, in the strategically american sense of the word, at least in this pedestrian version, means hitting the magazine rack at borders, jumping from aperture, photography, new yorker, FHM, paper to mass appeal, tattoo magazine, american archaeology, art culture and harper's. then we drove to the butterfly lounge, looked around the place and then went inside the Funky Buddha Lounge where we met Saul and Reny. we pretty much danced the night away for a good three hours, and the hip-hop was fucking popping! yo, that dj was fucking deft man. he was mixing songs i've never heard together, like bollywood and jay-z, or michael jackson and justin timberlake. it felt great to move again, to wax kinetic like that, and i loved the way my body and erika's intersected on the dance floor. we were madcrazybeautiful out there, we could just feel it.

We left at 2, came home, devoured the last of her 2-bite brownies, i finished off the pesto, then we made love, slept in today. and my life is nothing if not the skin and flesh of my dreamlife. i am absurdly and almost pathologically happy.

03 June 2007

Flashback to Burkina Faso (Bus # 66)

Today, after i helped sarah move her stuff from wochi to nochi (edgeh2o), i walked from morris, through loyola university as i was talking to erika on my cell, and i walked through roger's park through uptown until i got montrose, and after walking west, i discovered the brown line el is under construction, so then i'm following the el tracks, eventually i make it to irving park, i hop on the el there, i get off at chicago, and then i wait almost TWO HOURS for the 66 chicago going to the west side. i felt like i was back in burkina faso waiting for a bush taxi. . .

Here's the breakdown:

Bus 1: I missed the first 66 cuz this guy with an arm cast asked me to buy him a sweet and mao cigar.
--why can't you buy it? i asked.
--cuz they banned me from that place, he said.
--great, i said. after i bought his cigar, i realized it was actually called "sweet and mild," which made alot more sense.

Buses 2. and 3: I missed the next two busses cuz i was disoriented after i got off the el because there were construction, and exiting passengers were literally trapped in the street, some were walking through alleys, crawling over bulldozers, entering apartments, no one knew where to go, so once i made it back to chicago ave, i'd completely lost my sense of direction. once i realized i was on the wrong side of the street in every way, the next two buses passed me.

Bus 4: Got HIT in the side by an aggressive taxi, so both the bus, taxi driver (and his passenger) had to stay where they were. so close, but so damn far.

Bus 5: Stopped in front of us, completely packed from head to toe. the bus driver looked at us, and refused to open his doors. a hipster in cowboy boots and black crow suit yells, --there was PLENTY of room.

Bus 6: Finally, almost two hours i left the el station, my bus arrived. 6th bus for # 66. Some crazy numerology going on 6/3. Just saying.