good things

1. Sealed windows and pretty gray curtains make for a warm(er) bedroom
2. Begrudgingly good maple-mustard pork chops Rachael Ray
3. The Prestige and getting free movie passes due to terrible projection
4. Articles on the Camino Blues
5. Good healing so far, and a new cast in ten days

vacation update!

Exciting adventures:

Breakfast in the sun

Kasey’s going away party

Showering outside at Mel’s Memorial Day party.


Going to a Cubs game with Shane and some long-missed Chicago friends (Heather is sad because she can’t have cotton candy).


Shane is growing a beard in a bad beard contest. I don’t think it’s so bad.

Things I have read in the last month:

Things I have watched in the last month:

  • Shopgirl
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Hustle & Flow
  • Prime
  • Hero
  • The End of the Affair
  • Wonderfalls – 1 DVD
  • 24 – last 4 episodes of this season
  • Twin Peaks – beginning of season 2
  • The X-Files – end of season 1

Friends that are moving/moving away:

  • Kasey to Philadelphia – already gone
  • Sam & Brian to a new! house! in Champaign
  • Sarah & Greg to a house! (albeit rented) in Champaign
  • Nicole to Texas – this weekend
  • Erin & Ben to St Louis – June 10
  • Karin to Philadelphia – June 17th-ish
  • Ryan to St Louis and Americorps – end of the summer?
  • Angie & Chris to parts unknown – TBA

It’s been a lovely summer already.

I am very cold, and more tired than I think I even realize. It was – an odd weekend. I’m really scatterbrained tonight, and I want to make sense of things here, but it’s just not happening. Instead, some highlights:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events on Friday with Shawn – much better than I expected (feared?) – imbued with a lushness I can’t really describe.
  • The creepiest email I have ever received, period.
  • A Yule brunch at Mel’s, where I was the odd man out but had a lovely time anyway. Mimosas + cute kittens + good food + nice people = a v nice afternoon.
  • Carnet de Voyage, read in its entirety at work over the last two days – I can’t tell you precisely why it moved me so deeply. I wish I could.
  • Bar-hopping, pool, and video photo hunt with the Aroma crew – so good to just be out with friends – even if I am the worst pool player ever, I did kick some serious ass at photo hunt.
  • Writing $500 in checks for bills, which should bring my debt to zero (my paycheck too).
  • Buying preserved lemons for dinner, and being regarded as if I had a second head.
  • Two hours of chess with Dave – and still making more in tips during those two hours ($4 each) than Nicolette and I did during our six hour Tuesday night shift ($3.65 each).
  • Nearly totally melting down before dinner as things weren’t turning out right – then having the Lebanese lemon chicken from Jamie’s Kitchen turn out to be the best thing I’ve made or tasted in a long time.I hope the winter days are treating you kindly, my dears.
  • There was a great booming storm last night, the kind that will wake you from a dead sleep. I wanted to sit up and watch it, but my sleep had been weird already – to bed at 11:30, back up at midnight until 12:45, then the sneaking suspicion that someone was in my apartment, only to remember the uneven bookcase and the way it shifts without provocation.

    Last night was $1 sushi at Kamakura. We sat on the floor in the coatroom reading our books as what seemed like half of C-U crowded in – then had our $12 worth of super tasty sushi. What a great idea! $1 sushi should be every day – or at least once a month.

    A few movies of last – last night was Vertigo. I haven’t seen many Hitchcock films, but it was immediately apparent that the references to this one are everywhere. Over the weekend I finished Frida, which was very good, and we watched Pitch Black, which afforded Vin Diesel the chance to speak some amazing lines and generally display his hotness.

    This weekend was Sara‘s sangria party. By the time I got there the sangria was all but gone, but it seemed like everyone had a terrific time. I had some sangria-soaked grapes and did some bouncy dancing, which is always a good time. Shawn looked majorly hot, but then I’m a little biased. 🙂

    Mainly right now I’m feeling a little isolated – like I’m wrapped in a big thick layer of blankets or insulation – and this layer is cutting me off from being able to really know what I need or want. So if I seem a little distant or odd these days, that’s a big part of it.

    thoughts on stuff

    A lot of things on my mind that I can’t seem to really wrap words around, so here’s a small list:

  • I read today that despite the spread of nuclear power, in 1984 only 13% of our nation’s power came from nuclear plants. That made me wonder if electricity is cheaper in this area because of the concentration of nuclear plants in the northern Illinois region. No real point to that pondering – just wondering.
  • I wonder what the new Manchurian Candidate will be like. Shawn and I watched the original spread out over last night and today (because, yes, I fell asleep). I found it disturbingly visionary, and just generally great, despite Frank Sinatra’s excessing sweating.
  • I finished Chuck Palahniuk‘s Stranger than Fiction, which included observations from his research as well as personal essays and portraits of various people (including Juliette Lewis and Marilyn Manson). More to come on the book club page, but suffice to say that this book was thoughtful and odd – and ultimately proves that he can do the wonderfully introspective just as well as the hella crazy.
  • I really think Alan Lightman’s Dance for Two is a lot of what Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything wanted to be.
  • I think I’ve worked out my position on death. It’s somewhat similar to my position on heights. I understand death and its eventuality as a concept, and am fine with that, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for it personally. On the other hand, though, I wonder at the industry we’ve made of prolonging life at all costs.
  • This morning I read in bed while Shawn slept for a while. The reading lamp shone on his blond hair, and it was like all kinds of cliches – a pool of gold, radiating a holy light, etc. It just made me smile.
  • I know I said I was going to take a break from blogging, but we all knew that would be short-lived. It’s hot, and I’m bored, so what else am I going to do? I got off work at noon – they ran out of things for me to do – and I’ve been hanging around waiting to hear from the kids so we can take off for Rockford. Not that I’m packed or anything. I do have my laundry together, and my apartment is (relatively) clean. I went through a bunch of junk, and sorted out what I think are the last of the things to be returned. I’ve watched a couple of movies – Hideous Kinky and Down With Love. The former was gorgeous, the latter fun. I watched some of My So-Called Life and remembered being 15 and feeling desperately lonely and unattractive and like no one would ever want to be with me – not that I knew what I wanted anyway. And it was hard to realize that in many ways I’m still that fucked up 15 – though I think I was better at the straight face back then.

    Yesterday was a rocky day. Work was fine – they found things for us (me and two other trainees) to do, which involved filing and climbing around in a record room and data entry. I got home, and five minutes later I was on my hands and knees soaking cat urine out of the couch again. Gypsy made her point – extravagantly. Cursing and crying followed, and a feeling of being utterly overwhelmed. My apartment was a mess. I’m broke. My cat is so bad. I’m lonely. My hair is falling out. Blah blah blah. So I took a hot shower and felt sorry for myself, and then forced myself to snap out of it. I did some dishes, then went to Kopi for food. Sitting in the window, watching the storm, drinking coffee and reading – just doing something nice for myself felt really good. I came home and finished cleaning, then talked to the boy for a few minutes. I know he’s really busy, and that it wasn’t a good time, but he feels so far away from me right now, and that’s a hard thing. He’s really quiet and withdrawn sometimes, and that’s hard to deal with, even when I can see his face. I hope I’ll get to talk to him this weekend, but I don’t know. The Academy starts in earnest on Sunday, and after that who knows. I have a photo of us by my bed – it’s from the weekend I moved here, so many months ago. We’re lying on the futon at the kids’ – he’s lying behind me and our hair is tangled up together on the red pillow. His arms are around me, and my hand is in his sleeve. We look so happy and peaceful, even though things were still so tumultuous. Remembering how crazy things have been makes dealing with the current crazy a little easier.

    So right now I’m hot, and bored, and ready to go. I’m ready to swim, to see my sister and my parents, to go to IKEA. I’m ready to get out of town. Have a great weekend.