Archives for the month of: July, 2005

new photos! see a few shots from lombard’s lovely lilacia park – lindsay’s picnic last friday.

also, today i spent the day with eric’s family in the western suburbs. we spent the whole day at the brookfield zoo.* afterwards there was swimming at eric’s mom’s house, buona beef and jim’s hockey game. his team lost, but the game was exciting. it was the first hockey game i’d ever seen and i thoroughly enjoyed it!

* – note: not all photos will be visible unless you are one of my flickr contacts and marked as ‘friend’ or ‘family’

random updates since i haven’t written in a week:

i saw ‘murderball‘ last night and it definitely lived up to my expectations. the guys they profiled were really interesting and they found a lot of good dramatic arcs to fill out the main story.

this past friday eric and i went to lombard to hang out with mark and that evening lindsay had a picnic in a park in lombard. pat and jess came too. lindsay made this really good hummus and had some veggies and cheese and chips. it was an exceptionally good picnic and it was good to see all of those guys.

this weekend eric’s sister and her family are coming down from minnesota. jim has a few games while they’re here so i get to see my first hockey game! there might be some museum and zoo trips too. next weekend is the workshop at hamilton. mark’s letting me borrow his digital slr so i can take some better photos of the museum and the town.

wedding crashers‘ is the funniest movie i’ve seen since ‘old school.’ you must see it. plus, you can see christopher walken being rather un-walken for a change. any rachel mcadams fans out there? she does a good job as the Perfect Girl. however, in my opinion isla fisher, who played the slightly-psychotic sister, stole the show.

i’ve posted a handful of new photos to flickr – some photos from an assignment during winter 2001 and a few more snapshots from college.

this weekend ben and sara are in chicago for a baptism and they’re crashing at my place. they had yesterday to hang out so sara when downtown to visit some of her old co-workers and ben and i drove up to evanston to meet mark and eric.

ben and i found mark in urban outfitters and he insisted on us finding some clothes for him. eventually he ended up buying a shirt with a backwards franz ferdinand logo. ben and i got some ice cream at the cold slab creamery and we went to that little mexican cafe to sit and get something for mark. we got the seven salsa sampler and mark got a margarita. after eric got off work he met us at the restaurant then we went to the century theater to see ‘charlie and the chocolate factory.’ johnny depp was hilarious, but the movie as a whole was a little odd.

after the movie ben went to pick up sara downtown and mark, eric and i went to the jewel on chicago for beer and wine. we all met up at el tapatio for mexican food and margaritas. jon called while we were there so ben and sara picked him up and we all reconvened at my apartment for drinks and music and trying not to fall asleep. we watched some family guy on the tivo and the guitar was passed around – it was a great night.

photos from yesterday are posted on my flickr page.

mark: alright, i’m driving this guy home

jon: no, i’m driving him home, if you know what i mean. [whispers] sodomy!

i wrote this entry about a week ago. i’m not sure why i didn’t post it right away.

my parents aren’t particularly religious, but my dad has gone through several sects of christianity during his life – an interesting side-effect of multiple marriages, probably. he was raised catholic and went to a catholic school and has all kinds of nun-and-ruler stories, he was an altarboy and everything. when my parents got married my dad gave my mom his st. christopher‘s medal, the patron saint of travellers. my mom has always kept the medal in her change purse – she always has her wallet so the medal is always with her. i remember having to go back to aldi’s when i was little because mom had accidentally paid with the medal (which is the same size as a dime).

the medal was one of my favorite things when i was little – i don’t know why, i just liked to look at it and feel it’s little ridges and the tiny broken loop where it once connected to a chain – but as i got older i forgot about it. the summer after my senior year in high school i went on a school trip to europe. it was the first time i was away from home for a long period of time and the first time i’d been out of the country by myself (except for that whole immigration thing, but whatevs).

when i got to the hotel in london, our first stop, i was digging through my backpack, trying to find something – change, receipt, who knows. and what did i find? my dad’s st. christopher medal. he had slipped it into my bag and he didn’t tell me he had done it. in fact, i think he didn’t expect that i would ever find it, but he knew it was there. even as i type this i’m getting all choked up and teary; something about that gesture has always stuck with me…my dad and i had a sort of rough relationship when i was younger – we were too much alike, probably – and the fact that he took the time to put that little medal in my bag, even when he knew that i wasn’t religious and we were never a religious family, really made me feel good. ok, i guess maybe my mom could’ve put it in there, but i’ve always thought it was my dad. when i saw that medal in my bag i think it was the first time i realized that he really loved me – that i felt it, that it wasn’t just words or a vague warm feeling – i knew that his love was real and for always and no matter what.

over the weekend i saw two movies, “march of the penguins” and “me and you and everyone we know.” both were great.

“march of the penguins” follows a group of emperor pengins for a year of their life. it focuses on their extraordinary mating habits and child-rearing. it’s beautifully shot and if you don’t think penguins, particularly baby pengins, are adorable, then there must be something wrong with the cute-center of your brain.

“me and you and everyone we know” is the new film by performance artist miranda july. it stars july and one of my favorite actors, john hawkes. it’s a very different kind of movie – one that unflinchingly depicts some very real-feeling situations and emotions. there are some incredibly funny scenes – i can’t remember the last time i laughed so hard – and a lot of those little details that make characters feel real and make you think – ‘hey! i know someone who does that!’ or ‘i do that!’ or ‘that is just like so-and-so!’

most importantly, both of these movies will actually leave you feeling good – not just satisfied or excited – but a warm fuzzy feeling of goodness in the world. okay, maybe i’m overstating it a bit, but i think feel-goodness in a movie is important and is something that is becoming rare. “march of the penguins” is in wide-release throughout chicago and “me and you and everyone we know” are playing at the centure theatre in evanston, the landmark and the esquire.

so far tivo is pretty great. the dvr only has one tuner though, but i got it for free so i’m not complaining. so far the tivo suggestions thing has known that i like mythbusters and has recorded a really good episode of the cosby show for me. the best part, actually is the rewinding of live tv. now if i see, oh, say a really funny bumper on adult swim, i don’t have to make a lame attempt to explain it to eric, i can just show him. hooray for tivo!

i finally have all of my photos transfered to flickr, and buying a flickr pro account plus downgrading my hosting plan (no more hosting all of those photos on my server) is saving me a few bucks a year. i am quite impressed with flickr’s tag system and notes. also i’ve already had some of my photos tagged as favorites by people i’ve never met! so far i think this is a far more interesting way to make new acquaintences online than social-networking sites like friendster and myspace. thanks ian!

go here and you can look at google maps with the streets superimposed in transparency over the satellite images! genius!!

for those of you that use flickr, do you think it’s super? should i use it instead of hosting my photos on my own site?

update: after some vigourous IMing with ian, i’ve decided to jump on the flickr bandwagon. i did some figuring and even with getting a pro account, i’ll save $35 a year by being able to switch to a lower hosting plan. ian, you really should be a salesman.

TiVo Logo

i’ve ordered tivo.

i swear i wasn’t planning to, but i went to the website and saw that they were offering boxes free (shipping included) with a 12 month subscription and i couldn’t let it go, particularly since as of yesterday eric and i have real full-service cable. i am inordinately excited, but that’s usual for me when gadgets are involved.

on kathy & judy this morning they are talking about gynecological exams. one of them thinks that the whole thing is overblown and women should suck it up and deal with the 5 minutes total of discomfort involved in a mammogram and the dreaded speculum. i completely agree. i haven’t had a mammogram, but i found the pelvic exam to be completely anticlimactic. it had been built up as this awful experience but it took all of 60 seconds and i was left thinking, “that was it?” i remember afterwards my mom was really concerned with how i was dealing with the whole traumatic experience and i was more concerned with getting across the loop to sign my new lease. actually, i found the whole experience to be too warm and fuzzy and i thought the doctor seemed overly sympathetic. i felt like i was being treated like i was 5 years old and now i can’t help wondering if women freak out so much because every societal cue tells us we’re expected to. i don’t want to marginalize anyone’s feelings here; i’m sure a lot of women are genuinely terrified of the whole experience, the same way a lot of people are paralyzed at the thought of visiting the dentist…something else i’ve never understood. i guess my first reaction to these sorts of situations is one of curiosity.

i’ve always thought that my neutral, or even warm, feelings about going to the dentist had a lot to do with dealing with braces for 4 years. once you’ve had someone rummaging around in your mouth, using that little hammer to see if everything’s cemented properly and causing eye-watering pain for extended periods of time, a little cleaning and flossing seems pretty tame. however, when i really think about it, i’ve never been afraid of the dentist. i think it’s because my pediatric dentist was really great – he was funny and did voices and was friends with my mom. also my parents never made me feel anxious about it.

which brings us back to the pelvic exam – i think a lot of times if you’re told over and over that something is going to be awful, no matter how not-unpleasant the experience is, your mind will find a way to make it seem as bad as you were conditioned to believe it would be. like that passage from junior year hs english – probably one of the most “holy shit, it’s true” things i’ve ever read – the mind can make a hell out of heaven or a heaven out of hell. on the other hand, some people are just more squeamish about certain things than others. i’m okay with the dentist and the gynecologist, but show me a lobster or a herring and i am reduced to a puddle of horrified goo.

every morning i put on vh1 for background noise and see pretty much the same videos over and over again. i think i’ve seen that black eyed peas video 3 times in one morning. others that seem pretty popular (in the same hour-long period) are shakira, mariah carey, lifehouse, weezer, rob thomas, gavin degraw and kelly clarkson. something i’ve noticed during my daily payola-infusion is that the same guy keeps popping up in a lot of videos. eric roberts. what’s up with that?

he’s always playing the Other Man or Evil Guy or something like that. his reputation/type-casting as a bad guy has never sat well with me because when i think of eric roberts i think of this one movie i saw him in when i was in high school. the movie was ‘dark angel‘ and he played a good (if tortured and dark) cop who had to clear his name. because it was the first thing i ever saw him in, that role has sort of defined him for me. weird how that works, isn’t it?

it makes me think harder about first impressions in general. i remember first meeting my friend nicole in junior high and being pretty sure that we wouldn’t be friends. for some reason i thought it was a foregone conclusion that she was going to be sucked into the popular group – probably because she was tall and pretty. and when i first met mark i didn’t like him either, but i think that had more to do with the circumstances under which we met, not him.

i guess the point of all of this is: now i’m dreading the kind of first impression i make. i probably seem really cold or stuck-up, but really i’m silently freaking out because i don’t know how to act, so i end up doing it all wrong. i am not good with people i don’t know but i guess i’m not really that good with people i do know either – some people can’t read me at all when i think i’m putting it all out there while others can tell exactly what i’m thinking even when i’m trying to be neutral. there was a guy i knew in high school that could do this and it was really unsettling. even at the age of – what? 16? – i had gotten used to people (even my friends) not knowing how i felt at any given moment. then this guy who spent less time with me, who allegedly didn’t know me as well, could read me like a book. are some people just more observant, or is there some sort of mental/emotional affinity that individuals can have that allows them to tune into others so well?