Archives for the month of: March, 2006

at this point i only bother to wear my contacts because i don’t want to get funny glasses tan lines on my face.

does consistent face-color mean more to me than my corneas?

…apparently, yes.

more strawberries

today is antonio’s last day as the big cheese, so we’re all cooking stuff. antonio is making smoothies and cracker barrel hash brown casserole and i’m making strawberry shortcake.

the strawberries charlie bought at whole foods looked like strawberries in a commercial. a commercial in heaven. bright red and plump. the insides: bright red. the taste: sweet and delicious. i cut up 2 pounds to macerate in half a cup of sugar and they smell awesome! time to go eat casserole!

update: the casserole was awesome. the shortcake was awesome. tomorrow: puerto rican food for lunch! mmm…tostones!

last week across from the western avenue brown line, next to the delicious opart thai house, i saw new grocery-store-special-style butcher paper signs in the windows of the (ex?) B.P. video (purveyor of adult videos, most certainly). they said:

CHUBBY WIENERS IS COMING TO TOWN
IT WILL HAPPEN SOON

screenshot of okaydave.com

hot crackers, is this guy’s portfolio awesome. you can find it at okaydave.com and it’s the best online portfolio i’ve ever seen. he uses after effects and flash to create a portfolio that is actually interesting and gives the visitor insight into his creative process. in the logos section you rollover the detail images and can see handwritten notes about the logo and it’s development. for each project he includes a video where he explains the entire project and his ideas going into it, its evolution and the final product.

you can also visit his professional site to read his journal and look at past projects he did while in school (most of which became paid projects that you can see on okaydave.com). okaydave.com has only been live for a month and has already won several awards, and deservedly so.

update:

eric: man he plays guitar and draws a comic strip too. when does this guy find time to masturbate? or urinate for that matter?! he must have a sketchpad hanging over the toilet!

IMing eric, listening to my favorite music, eating fun-size mint kit kats and playing internet games. ahhhhhhh.

lost: the cube

so…i’ve been hesitant to mention this, because on the nerd scale it’s only a few steps up from admitting that i’m really into d&d or gurps or i’m 38 and still a virgin or something, but for the past few weeks i’ve been hard-core diving in to perplex city, a massive alternate reality puzzle game…ok this is already sounding lame. i can sense all of you normal healthy-social-life people falling asleep or getting ready to steal my headgear.

the point is, this game is really cool. there are a ton of websites and mysteries to look into – this made-up universe is deep – a lot of intrigue, and the game itself is pretty challenging. you buy pretty foil packets of cards and solve the puzzle on each card for points. the person with the highest points once all of the cards have been released wins £100,000 (about $200,000 USD)!

the cards have other puzzles hidden in them too – the higher-ranked cards have map pieces on the back, some cards (the prime-numbered ones) have playing card markings and some have large shaded spaces thought to be parts of letters that will form a clue when the cards are arranged correctly. the cards also lead to more clues about the central mystery of the game: who stole the cube? one puzzle was to figure out a girl’s phone number based on clues, and if you call the number that leads to the girl’s website which in turn leads to all sorts of clues about the search for the cube and the conspiracy surrounding it.

so far i’m ranked 2170 out of 17,727 registered players. to give you an idea – i have 703 points and the player in first place has 7000. the game is british and the first wave cards have only been available for purchase in the united states for less than a month, so i think i’m doing alright. the packets are pretty cheap – $20 for 4 packs of 6 at insound. i figured it out, and if i buy the minimum amount of packets (no repeat cards…uh, i have 8 packets so far and like 10 repeats) to get a full set of cards, i’ll have spent at least $200. uh…yeah. so we’ll see (feel free to buy me some cards. makes a great umm…early going away gift…or a ‘just thinking of you’ gift or a ‘hey nerd, keep on nerdin!’ gift). i have no illusions that i’ll win, but i’d like to finish in the top 1000. so far some of the puzzles are really easy and some are insanely difficult. wish me luck!

get well!

posted: photos from visiting travis in the hospital, and a few snapshots from cecile’s oscar party. this get well card was drawn by antonio – look how cute we all look!

suddenly, more insight into eric’s personality: when he was little his mom read him ‘one day in the life of ivan denisovich’. when he was little. ‘ivan denisovich’.

wha?

(if you haven’t read that book – by alexander solzenhitsyn – you should. it’s fantastic. i think i have my copy here in chicago if anyone wants to borrow it.)

today i met lindsay at southport grocery and cafe for breakfast. it was fantastic! i had the house-made cereal, “our own crunchy chai spice bran & corn flakes laced with rice-nut clusters & a side of fresh fruit with vanilla vinaigrette.” it was so good, but really chewy. i was exhausted by the time i was done.

after breakfast lindsay and i met matt downtown to see the chicago river dyed green. it was really green. like, slimer ectoplasm green. and tendrilly. it looked like some sort of nuclear accident! freaky.

lindsay wanted to go to the family farmed expo at the chicago cultural center, so matt and i came too and we looked around the galleries. there were some really cool exhibitions going on and the building itself (the old public library) is really beautiful so i got a lot of (hopefully) good photos. the ceilings are amazing and in the main convention room there is a big mosaic and stained glass dome.

lindsay stayed for the organic farming expo and matt and i walked around michigan avenue for awhile. we went to the apple store and looked at the new mac book pros and the ipod hi-fi. we looked around a few stores but didn’t find anything to throw money at so we walked around until we found a place to eat.

matt had a prior engagement (a friend’s father’s birthday party) so i wandered a little and enjoyed the beautiful weather – 64°! i saw a lot of pretty convertibles and felt a little sad that since eric sold his car, that meant that someone else was probably driving the saab at that very moment, and that someone wasn’t eric and i with the ipod plugged in, zooming around the city while singing loudly.

after matt and i parted ways i went to the office and charlie took an hour break from the omnipresent dvd project so we could finally watch this week’s ‘house’. on tuesday my tivo choked and managed to record an hour of the wrong channel, totally cheating charlie and me out of our well-crafted plan to watch it and the season finale of ‘project runway’ in one night. was the episode worth all the trouble it took to see the damn thing? just barely. the whole episode was basically an hour long safe-sex psa. use condoms! don’t cheat on your spouse! gonorrhea could get you killed in a horrible car accident! etc!

on my way home this evening the temperature was still in the 60s. i walked down the street and enjoyed the warm air and made sure to take a few moments to enjoy my health and happiness, which sounds totally lame, but is true. for tonight: maybe some perplex city or catching up on tv or…probably just lying here and falling asleep early since i got very little sleep last night. i had to get up fairly early to meet lindsay and last night antonio, charlie and i saw ‘the hills have eyes‘ so i didn’t get home until late and i was still anxious about it when i went to bed. oh! that reminds me – aaron, antonio and i went to a meeting in pilsen last night and afterwards we looked around at some artist’s lofts down there. they were so cool! this one guy – a stained glass artist – actually MADE a theremin. he built the circuit board and everything! we all got to try it out. i definitely want to go back for next month’s ‘second fridays’ open house.

kara: i just used ‘twee’ in everyday conversation. i don’t think anyone knew what i meant

kara: i’m ahead of the curve!

kara: …the dork curve!

eric: i think that’s a valid word to use, but yeah not everybody is gonna know it

eric: like among some groups it probably gets over used. belle & sebastian fans, for instance

eric: they’re all: “How was your bowel movement?”

eric: “Oh, it was kind of twee I guess”

at lunchtime charlie and i made a bubble tea run up to BeBoBa at western and addison. i bought a round for my coworkers – mine had no bubbles, of course, because the last thing i want when i’m enjoying a beverage is to feel something unexpectedly solid, round and eyeball-like touch my lips. delicious!

afterwards we had to circle the block to drive back to work. we were on a side street and a blue panel van came zooming out of an alley, crossed the street in front of us and disappeared into the alley opposite. the whole thing took less than 4 seconds. no honk, no slowing down – just barrelled out of nowhere at probably 40mph. i was not very fazed except to think, ‘jeez what an asshole,’ but as charlie pointed out, had we been a few seconds further along we would’ve gotten creamed and charlie would be dead and i’d be…well, i guess i would’ve been mostly ok…since charlie’s car has side airbags…but STILL – let’s focus here – point is, what was that crazy prick doing? i think he was just a thoughtless dickface, but charlie’s theory is bank robbery.

my worry here is that this crazy blue van near-death experience coupled with last friday’s alley 187 has the makings of a chain of probability-defying events that will a) kill one or both of us; or b) combine to create the most confounding series of episodes ever experienced by two people in a subaru. so yeah – knock on wood.

han solo frozen in carbonite, in legos

do you like legos? everyone likes legos. these people, arguably, like legos a little too much. amongst the models, a 61-note harpsichord and a scale model of a volvo xc90.

mmm…cookies. these make me want to bake something. maybe some more fancy cupcakes or a pinapple upside-down cake. haven’t had one of those in awhile. who has a stable oven i can use?

last night charlie and i hit a double feature in evanston – ‘16 blocks‘, the new bruce willis/mos def thriller and ‘night watch‘, the incredibly popular and incredibly awesomely-subtitled russian fantasy/horror movie. both were pretty good and i’m excited to see the sequels to ‘night watch’.

as i said, the ‘night watch’ credits were insane. if the action was slow, the subtitles faded on and off. if a character suddenly stood up, the subtitles would be pulled out of frame. credits wiped on and off in time with characters crossing frame or camera pans. blood-red credits over a swimming pool scene dissolved into tendrils of red liquid. freaking AMAZING. but i guess when you have the highest grossing russian movie in history, you can afford to make some pretty hardcore subtitles for your US release.

the visual effects were good too – not too in-your-face, which i like. there was a really awesome scene near the beginning wherein a woman turns into a TIGER and leaps across an apartment, but unfortunately there was no more of that in the rest of the movie. hopefully we’ll get to see tiger cub and bear and olga change back and forth into their animal forms in the rest of the trilogy.

overall the night was pretty laid back except, oh yeah, the part where charlie and i are sitting in the car on western near the blue line and suddenly a guy chases another guy into an alley. shortly after this is two separate volleys of shots. a lot of shots. by some natural instinct for ‘guys about to get popped’ charlie knew something was up when he saw the two guys running. i however, was totally at a loss as to why he was suddenly so quiet, allowed a single curse under his breath and was staring out the window. also, hey! why are those cars all backing up? and, what is that sound – fireworks?

at this moment it is 91°F in my apartment. it’s the middle of winter and i’m sweating like it’s august.

ahhh. reminds me of living in my freshman dorm.