Bonnaroo Blues

While I’m totally OK with our decision not to go to Bonnaroo this year, I am a little sad not to be in the midst of crazy planning, putting together road trip playlists and bags of snacks, obsessively checking the packing list to make sure every sun hat and package of shower wipes made it into the piles of stuff we’d have to carry from the car to our camping area.

Welcome to Bonnaroo!

I think I’m also just really bummed about not going on an epic road trip with these dudes this summer:


I suppose it’s not too late to change that, or to break out the Fruit & Nut or the Ben Gibbard head.


June in brief!

June was, in short, insanely busy.  First, Tina and I ran in the Race for the Cure and raised money for a good cause.  And then we ate waffles.

Team Helpful Paws
Then the next day Mel and Ray arrived from Seattle and hung out until we went to Bonnaroo.

Photos of Mel, Ray, and Fred stolen from Kevin’s wonderful Flickr.  Kevin, Jill, and Fred joined us for a fun brunch and a lot of catching up.  The next day Shane went to Michigan, returning the day after that so that we could go to Bonnaroo:


We saw some science bears play video games.

Science Bears

and connected with a bunch of Shane’s college friends!

U of C crew

After getting home and trying to beat summer colds, I flew to Illinois for my sister’s bridal shower:


I also got to be home for Father’s Day, which was especially excellent since I thought it was the previous weekend!  We made brunch for Pop since everyone was home.


No sooner did I return, then the next wave of visitors arrived. Dan stayed with us for a few days while wooing Basil:
Basil loves Dan

We went to the first Fort Reno of the season with a bunch of friendos:
First Fort Reno of the year

Linda and Jeremiah came to visit for a week from Colorado, which was very excellent. We went to a baseball game and yelled at the Red Sox:
Linda & Jeremiah

The last day our friends were here, we got the news that we’ve already posted about, which is pretty awesome!  Also Richard and Piotr were in town and we had dinner with them, but I forgot to take pictures. And then we took two days of vacation for a staycation, during which we wore funny glasses and went to Baltimore.  More on that later!

That's a look.

Bonnaroo by the numbers

Centerroo at night

Number of days of the festival : 4
Number of days inclusive of travel: 6 (Wednesday 10am through Monday 9pm)
Number of hours spent sitting in traffic on Thursday: 5
Number of miles covered in those hours: 8
Number of people in the car: 4

Number of performers (inclusive of bands, comedians, and other kinds of performers): 150+
Number of performers I saw: 17 (David Byrne, Lucinda Williams, Katzenjammer, Dirty Projectors, Phoenix, King Sunny Ade, The Features, Bruce Springsteen, Heartless Bastards, Of Montreal, Chairlift, Phish, Andrew Bird, Neko Case, A.A. Bondy, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Jessica Lea Mayfield)
Number of performers I listened to but didn’t see: 4 (Bela Fleck, Bon Iver, The Decemberists)
Number of performers I heard from the tent while trying to sleep: 3 (Paul Oakenfold, Nine Inch Nails, MGMT)
Number of performers seen multiple times: 2 (David Byrne (special guest spot with Dirty Projectors) and Katzenjammer)
Number of movies watched: 3.5
Number of visits to the Silent Disco: 2
Number of bears playing video games: 2

Number of times I cried: 4
Number of times crying was related to the weather: 2
Number of times crying was related to not feeling well: 2 (simultaneous with the above)
Number of times crying was related to the music: 2
Number of large spiders spotted near the tent, resulting in screams: 3+

Number of times I showered: 0

Number of pop-tarts: 5
Number of coconut fruit bars from the mini Whole Foods: 4
Number of amazing quesadillas from Bearly Edible: 2 (pesto mozzadilla, feta medadilla)
Number of chicken naanwiches: 2
Number of Fruit & Nut derivatives concocted: 2

One of a kind:
– Guy sitting by the side of the road with a bottle of vodka balanced on his head for 2+ hours
– 5am fight between extremely unhappy camping neighbors
– Very mellow hippie dancing in Shane’s face at Phish
– Camping neighbor stumbling into someone else’s tent and passing out – henceforth referred to as “stoneylocks”
– Girl scorning at me for running the water while washing a stain out of Shane’s shirt

Things that sucked: waiting on the road, the constant pouring rain on Thursday, the spiders omg, not enough sleep because we were sleeping in a tent, too many people smoking pot, not enough sleep because of loud neighbors, missing NIN because I couldn’t stay up, crack in the windshield from something on the road driving home, Shane getting sick on the last day.

Things that were great: fantastic music, David Byrne love, good food, Neko Case love, running into friendos, the weather when it was good, being outside, not showering, non-stop hilarity from Mike and Mark and Shane together.

We’re home safe from Bonnaroo, tired, sunburned, and scratchy-throated.  The good mostly outweighed the bad – but I think this probably was our last year.  We’re just too old (well, not old but definitely too much in favor of being comfortable) and don’t love drugs enough to make it work.  Maybe if we rent an RV we can do it again?


Day 320 - 6/12/08

We’re back from nearly a week away at Bonnaroo – well, four days at the festival, and two days in transit with hilarious dudes and our trusty Richard Simmons. Over the course of the festival, I slept on the ground, ate awesome samosas, and saw a whole lot of fabulous music:

Some highlights:

  • MIA’s last show ever was flat-out insane, especially immediately following !!!. I danced my ass off and was sweat on by a variety of people.
  • Managed to catch the only MGMT song that I really love.
  • Soul-fun with Sharon Jones in the hot-hot sun.
  • Somehow almost every band that I saw had at least 5 people on stage. Broken Social Scene was no exception.
  • Aimee Mann playing “Save Me” and “How Am I Different”. Mark said that was the only time all weekend that he got goosebumps.
  • Iron & Wine was magical. I cried like a baby. So did Shane, a little.

I’ll be posting more photos over the next few days, but in the interim I’ve also created a post-Roo muxtape to capture the highlights. I’m so glad that we went.

a happy crazy person

Oh man, I wish nothing was happening. The last couple of weeks have been INCREDIBLY busy, so I’ll just give you the highlights:

Work: rolled out Moodle for the LEEP kids on or around 9 June after a long week of really intense work. Two training workshops (led by me), a number of forum discussions, and a couple of live sessions later, things seem to be going smoothly, and we’re “cautiously optimistic” for fall.

Work: turned in my notice at Aroma – my last normally scheduled week will be the week of 31 July. Feels like the end of an era. I said I’m fine with being on-call, but with my fall schedule (whatever it will be – 40/2 or 20/4), I just can’t do it anymore. Oh, and we changed the menu, which has made things needlessly complicated.

House: keys have been delivered, and I’m headed to Rockford this weekend to meet with a realtor, do a ton of yardwork, and generally figure out what needs to be done to the house to get it on the market. The ex has been cooperative, which I really appreciate. This is hard, but it could be a lot harder.

Adventures: spent last weekend in Chicago at Intonation and visiting Amanda. Good times all around, even though the festival was so-so, and it rained part of the weekend. Bloc Party was awesome, so was Jose Gonzalez, and I enjoyed seeing/hearing a bunch of new bands, including a lot of fun hiphop. Shane and I did some shopping downtown and at IKEA, both of which were fun. I got a gorgeous dress for Sarah’s wedding on consignment, and we looked at things for an imaginary shared apartment (code name: Basil Land). Pictures here.

Adventures: spent the weekend before in central Tennessee at Bonnaroo, which is/was an experience that can’t be summarized in a short paragraph. More on this later, but in brief, it was four days of dirt and sun and music and food and friends. I was relaxed and happy and very dirty, and coming back to the “real world” was difficult. I saw Andrew Bird, Radiohead, Beck, Rusted Root, The Magic Numbers, Buddy Guy, Cat Power, Matisyahu, and a bunch of people I’ve already forgotten. Pictures here.

General: things are good – exhausting, but good. I’m running around like a crazy person, but a happy crazy person, and that makes a world of difference.

some news

I’m on break at Aroma, eating a chicken quesadilla. I didn’t particularly want a chicken quesadilla, but I also didn’t want to throw it away when a customer’s order was wrong (not my fault) and I was hungry. Also, I just got a catering order. Suck,

This week has been filled with news + excitement + running around. So much stuff has been going on, and I just don’t even know where to begin. I’ve been spending all my time at school, with friends, on my bike, here and there doing everything – it’s wonderful and dizzying and not conducive to productivity.

Yesterday I found out that I’ve been accepted into the PhD program – no one seems to have doubted my application except me, which is wonderful, and I’m totally thrilled. I spent most of yesterday making a high-pitched squealy noise. After so much anxiety the last few months, it’s good to know at least where I will be and what I will be doing for the next 4 and change years. On a related note, I need to buckle down and spend more time on my work, even though I don’t have that much to do at the moment.

On Wednesday I bought my plane ticket (boleto) to Portugal – I’m flying Chicago > Montreal > London > Porto, at which point I will join the Camino Portugues and follow the coast (costa) north to Santiago. I can’t – I just can’t believe it’s really happening. I have a lot of saving to do between now and then, and a lot of working out, but it’s really happening. I’ll be gone most of May. I started Spanish lessons last night – Mike’s going for full immersion, and would speak French if I didn’t understand the Spanish (I speak NONE), and English only as a last resort.

There has been a lot of really good time with friends lately – watching silly TV, working out, dancing, designating new hangouts, sleepovers, plans for summer adventures. We tried to figure out – complete with colored pencils, lists, and terrible drawings – if Coachella was feasible (the line-up is amazing), but have decided instead to travel en masse to Bonnaroo instead – it’s closer, more reasonable, a better time, etc etc. I can’t wait.

Much to the surprise of all parties, I’m actually in a relationship. It is good and simple and easy and I am really happy.