19 July 2007

We Both Go Down Together

Yesterday was erika's b-day, so we celebrated it in high style:

In the morning, i made her breakfast (scrambled eggs and veggie sausage, mango orange peach juice), then we visited her mum + drove to whole foods and bought comida for our pic-nic:

St. nectaire cheese
Garlic, mediterranean, provençal olives
Turnip cakes
Sweet potato latke
Hazelnut croquettes
Voso water
Freshly-squeezed strawberry and raspberry lemonade
Spinach salad
Smoked mozarella pasta
Organic grapes
and other stuff

I was going to take her out for a nice tapas lunch, but parking in chicago, especially from 4:30-6 is pretty much impossible, so after an hour we gave up and parked.

Instead we decided to walk to millenium park early and get a good seat for the concert. yeah, um, right. so more than 2 hours early, the place was totally packed. we found one last spot, i stood there for 45 minutes while erika went to macy's, bought an overpriced RL beach towel for us to sit on and an umbrella--which we WOULD need later.

The decemberists were fantastic. the orchestral arrangements worked really well i thought and as a band, they were gracious and charismatic.

Here's the crowd 2 hours before the venue. i think i see one open space:

And twenty minutes later:

And here's some people i know:

And here's a pic i like alot. well, i like LB in it anyway:

Here's the stage we couldn't see thanx to a bunch of clueless teenagers who stood up for the entire concert TALKING:

With more distance:

Add 30 minutes and you get:

And then add another half an hour and you get this vivid but blurry picture:

And finally here's my hero shot:

Luv the point of view

While we were waiting for the concert to begin (and for hipsters to wake up from their daze), we ate our yum pic-nic, and then erika opened her presents i got her, a def labor of love, which included:

1. A vanilla candle and some homemade amber soap from sabon, one of my fave soap makers of all time. their soho store is hella cute and the soap smells amazing in the shower

2. 5 different color head bands from urban outfitters

3. A watermelon candle (her fave fruit)

4. Some truffles from vosges

5. Las alturas de machu pichu by pablo neruda

6. Two antique barrettes i bought at future garb in the wp. they're turquoise with cranberry and blue flowers

7. A short white, yellow, blue and pink dress with sailboats on it from penelope's. hella cute and it fits erika perfectly. i picked the right size--xs.

8. And a love poem i wrote for her

After the concert and the invasion of first-time smokers, a few showers and a great encore, we went home, watched transformers on a bottlegged dvd and then i gave erika my last birthday gift:

A foot massage

Finally, we got ready for bed, made love and fell asleep. it was a perfect and beautiful day.

16 July 2007

Picture Story

I'm so overwhelmed with all the different things i'd like to write about that it's fucking stultifying my ass. i don't even know where to begin. okay, just like historical narrative, i'll pick a random place:

In the past couple of weeks i have i've taken a lot of pictures of the chi:

Which, in the night time looks like this:

Or, if you're taking the el when it rains, the chi looks like this:

And of course, with a slow shutter speed, chicago looks like this:

Anyway, one of my projects this summer has been to carry my d-cam with me everywhere i go. you never know when you'll see something that deserves to be photographed, and by that, i mean, preserved forever in digital memory. along the way i've seen things like:

Buckingham fountain


Electronic face totems

Concrete poetry

The moon, looking like a UFO from humboldt park, which reminds me of this picture i took of Erika that looks like this:

These are LB's legs This is an Ikea Lamp
I bought for 5 dollars
I also went to:

That looks like this from the outside:

And this, from the inside:

And here's proof that i didn't pirate these pics for the hell of it:

What am i supposed to do with my arms?
And here are some other things i've seen recently:

Navy Pier, but from a distance . . . i think i'm allergic to ferris wheels

The beautiful el

A mariachi band . . . ¡mira còmo sus pantalones son ajustados!

Hemingway's birth home in the op (if any of you know tim's email, please give it me), which looks like this from afar:

This looks more have, than have-not to me . . .and i hear there's a garden of eden in back too, the perfect place for ménage à trois's!

I also played possibly the greatest game of scramble in my life with erika. our board looked something like, okay, it looked exactly like this:

I'd like to point out that my 363 points came from some of these gems:

and the 14-points from the important southern word, known as "ho." god bless triple letter squares!

Now, if i was a firm believer in supernatural semiotics, i think i'd have a fantastic case for arguing that the afterlife is trying to tell me something about my life. evidently, i'm lazy, i kick it with witches and bums, i eat tiny italian pasta shapes, i'm down with ballet jargon and i like the most boring atari game ever made.

These past 14 days or so, i've also witnessed the following:

Zoe dressed up in a ladybug outfit. you can't tell, but she absolutely loves dress-up.

Lake Michigan

A sangria commercial . . . only in puerto riquito man.

And i took some pics of pretty stoops in the wp and ukrainian village:



Okay, this didn't come out the way i wanted it to . . .

And here are more photos of the wp:

Mormons, sweating their asses off on ashland avenue, possibly trying to flee from this intimidating-looking building:

Or, maybe the dark sky seemed to be falling far too quickly for their own comfort:

Or the nomida asterisk (aka six corners aka the clusterfuck) really messed with their minds. understandable considering you can't tell which street is going in which direction:

But those are other people's theories, not mine. personally, my theory is that they saw this and it shook them up a little bit:

They're coming to get you my mormon friends! they know all about your special mormon underwear . . .

On a more sad note, filter cafe RIP:

For those of you who are plugged into the café scene in the wp, is now officially closed. Here's proof:

Those boxes you see are filled with books compiling all the conversations you'll never have in a wicker park cafe. sigh.

But here's some good news to end this blog: I still love Chicago

05 July 2007

Explosions in the Sky

Today LB and i woke up, went for a run that was absolutely suicidal considering how goddamn humid it was, then we ate yum quesadillas with a nice chipotle salsa with tomatillas and spicy guacamole, then we played with zoe, made love, took a nap, drove to target, during which time i finally called my brother who was angry that i hadn't called him back even though he called 3 times in 12 hours. We went to whole foods, bought some turnips cakes, a salad, mushroom pasta, watched part of csi, and then we drove to my place. . .

And it was beautiful. there were fireworks going off in every direction. every township, every village, every suburb was having its own fireworks display. as we drove on 290, i felt like the drive was the show, everywhere i looked, to the side, to the left, behind me, there were exploding dandelion heads atomizing in the sky in brilliant strings of color. it felt like the fireworks were being shot over the highway.

After eating a sinsational chocolate mousse cake, erika and i played scramble tonight for the first time. i barely won, and honestly, she was really good. it kinda surprised me cuz i just assume i'm the dieu de paroles, and she was spelling all these cool words like "jinx" and "gelato" and i had crappy words like "little" and "vat" that weren't worth shit, pardon my eloquence. anyway, she lost with grace and i won without style.

As erika was lying on my bed, singing to herself as she looked at her letter blocks, my new baby fan cooling our ankles, i realized i want to spend my life with her and fill our house with (precocious, multilingual, religiously pluralistic) children. scary thought, that. but so right at the same time. for my boo, i offer this diddy song as a simple piece of public love. if only i'd written it myself. someday LB, someday inshallah.

04 July 2007

The Revolt of Fried Chicken

Yup. today, i broke my veggie vow to eat fried chicken, biscuits, gravy and coleslaw with LB, and i have to say, it was absolutely fantastic. every 1-3 years i break down and hit the southern chowtrain and never look back. of course, hours later, erika and i felt kinda miserable and jittery--she was having heart palpitations, i tried not to think of how much sodium, trans and saturated fat i'd ingested--but it was a beautiful and bonding moment. i think she loved watching me eat chicken, made her feel, i dunno, naughty. . .