(this is annie)

my boo

For Halloween this year, I was going to go as Buffy. But then I got cheap and lazy, and maybe a wee bit dejected that tonight there are no parties to attend. So my impromptu backup costume is Kathleen Hanna. I will write SLUT on my belly, smear red lipstick on la bouche, take scissors to an old tank top, put my hair up, and maybe find an old (my my) MetroCard.

The best costume I had was a Crayola. I was three. My artist father created a little red cone-shaped hat, and my mom sewed a felt crayon wrapper to go around my little body. I wore red tights and bright red rosy cheeks and a smile.

A dark cloud hovers over this year's holiday. Yesterday, my doctor gently scolded me for eating so many sweets (or "treats" as I invariably call them). Now I am allowed to eat treats only twice a week. The doctor seemed to think that this would be a reasonable, easy regimen. But how can you go from three or four treats per diem to two per week? No more creme brulee dinners, no more fun as I grudgingly turn to wheat germ and yogurt with raisins.

The Onion hasn't been very funny lately. The stories just seem predictable these days, humor without bite. Perhaps the Onion writers should move back to the midwest from Manhattan. The midwest is a more easily amusing place; we have mullets and F-150 trucks and twangy accents.


brok martin is dashing

Ooh, such a good mood today! I'm listening to Sloan, singing along, and dancing around in my chair. Happy happy happy, as GooglyMinotaur would say. Seasonal Affective Disorder, I hardly knew ye.

During a heated argument with a friend (we'll call him Tex), I suggested that his making dinner for a first date was a bigger deal than going out for dinner is. You might think otherwise, but it's more meaningful to make food than to buy it. Plus, you're showing off your cooking talents (or lack thereof) to a potential lovebird. When I realized that he had trekked to the fancy supermarket to buy strawberries, that sealed the deal. "You know what that was?" I yelped to Tex. "That was a sex dinner!"

In other words, it was a meal that was meant to show that this was not merely hanging out with a friend, but that it was a date. Tex seemed offended at my nomenclature, but isn't "sex dinner" an amusing phrase? You can use it if you'd like. The night does not have to culminate in activities worthy of Barry White's endorsement, by the way.

(Oh god, my brothers and mom are probably reading this. They probably think I invite people over for sex dinners all the time. This is not the truth! I do enjoy making appley treats and cookies and the occasional stir-fry for suitors, but never have I traveled to the fancy supermarket for food. I won't lie to you; I've invited people over for dinner, but with only the purest culinary intentions. )

I keep dreaming about my grandfather. At night, he's still alive and healthy, eyes bright blue behind his rosy glasses. This year's Christmas will be the first without him, and it looks like our celebration will be only me and my parents. We've done that once or twice before, but it was always because of inclement weather. He used to do the cutest things during the holidays. When I was a baby, he dressed up as Santa Claus, which confused me. He knew that I loved Hershey's Kisses, and so when my mother left a toddler-me under his care, he fed me a whole bag. That's the kind of grandfather he was. He used to own a small house on Fletcher, and the building still stands. An apartment was up for rental shortly after my grandfather died, and I desperately wanted to live there. I couldn't afford the rent, but I looked inside the apartment anyway. I was amazed by how small it was, how four people had lived there. I hope to never stop seeing him in my dreams.


all mixed up

Last night, I dined alone at a fancy restaurant. My dinner consisted of garlic whipped potatoes, bread and butter, and crème brulee (oddly, this questionably nutritious food intake is color-coded beige). The waiter seemed crabby that I wasn't ordering a big dinner, but there were only two other groups of customers in the whole place. And more importantly, the menu offered no vegetarian entrees. Thirdly, it's my business, and finally, I still tipped well. Some people. The guy was a little spooky. He reminded me of the Osiris-worshipping bad guy in Young Sherlock Holmes.

Eating poorly is a required part of my "young single urban girl" lifestyle. I come and go as I please, go out if I want, stay in if that's better. The cats treat me well, I garden and am developing a stitch-n-bitch friendship. And obviously, I get to eat crème brulee for dinner if that's what I want to do. It's like being Holly Golightly, except with those hooker parts.

Big shout-out and thank yous to Ann E. T. and Karl for the fun film night. We saw the new Coen Brothers movie (film noir, dark humor). It probably won't be a big hit with audiences, as it's done in black and white. I'd like to see it again, if only to figure out why alien spacecraft played any sort of part in the plot.

i am jo stockton's empathicalism

We went to Brew and View last night and caught about a half-hour of both "Planet of the Marky Mark" and "Jurassic Park 3." At $5, it was a cheap double feature, but today, Matty Allen informed me that pitchers of beer are $10. So the View isn't that expensive, but the Brew is. I will go again soon and smuggle in some apple cider and gingersnaps.

Leaving the blankets was next to impossible this morning. Today was best suited for couchy lethargy. Now at work, it's difficult to be productive in even the slightest manner. I escaped for a break around noon and rode north on Halsted to Grand, where I turned right. There's a candy factory off Milwaukee, and its chocolatey scent floated through the air. The sky was a bland light grey, the rain came down in more than a mist, less than a drizzle. I parked at Grand and Wabash (Wacker? Something with a W, near the IBM building) and walked around slowly, like a lady of leisure. A slow pace allows—nay, forces—you to notice everything around you: the arches of doorways, the cold majesty of steel and glass buildings, the perfect uniformity of a cloudless sky.


Yesterday, this page turned five years old, and that's worth a little hoo-ha, right? Initially, I'd hoped to have a redesign done for the occasion. That plan crumbled into a "Yay, half a decade of polluting pixels" popup plan. By yesterday it had completely disintegrated. I marked the occasion by making stir-fry with Kevin, but that was really more about eating than throwing a party. I also backed that azz up into a radiator before getting into the pre-bedtime shower, but that has nothing to do with anything but my own clumsiness.

These years have been the first of my adult life. I have started and finished college. I have lived in four cities and ten apartments. I almost died once. I fell in love for the first time, then out, then in again, then back out, to here knows when. So it goes; it's all here, if you can find it.

Here's some of the stuff that sticks out. Thank you for reading.

"Girl, hello! Look at that haircut. You look better than Jenny Jones!" —StreetWise vendor outside Dominick's. And later: "Oh, you have a good night. Yeah. You look better than Jennifer Lopez." Why does this man like to compare people to various Jennifers? And does he think that it's a great compliment to tell passersby that they look better than a tacky talk show host?

Something is wrong. I'm not able to breathe deeply, even normally. I have to take short, spiked breaths. Otherwise, I get a sharp pain in my left rib/lung area. It feels the way your belly feels if you've run too fast. Hell to get old. There. All better now.

Also, that's not meant as a symbolic emotional response. I really do get these odd chest pains every now and then, but going to the doctor seems like such a hassle. Unless it's Dr. Kamel. She is the coolest doctor and I would pay to see her. Oh, wait, I do. Never mind.

voila ma gigi

As if my choice of watching Buffy instead of partaking in my regular Tuesday Museum Night wasn't proof enough, here's more evidence that I am becoming dumber every day. As Kevin gently pointed out, 'orange' has two syllables. Not one. Two. I guess I knew this in my mind yesterday when I wrote the below babble, and what I meant didn't come out correctly. See, I was thinking that one-word establishments tend to sound good. I thought of other well-named establishments: Bird, Grace, Bliss, Find... and they all happened to be monosyllabic. Orange is not, but it's a short word. So you can see how easily I got mixed up.

It was very windy driving to work today. At Fullerton and Halsted, I started imagining that a gust would lift Vespy off the ground, lifting me and the scooter into the air. Think E.T. with hoverbikes, except with a scooter, and without a candy-jonesing alien. But at Halsted and Belden, my flying Vespa dreams disappeared. Yellow "Police Line Do Not Cross" tape surrounded an apartment building on the southwest corner. An orange (there it is again!) Wolley cab was parked at the northeast corner. This wouldn't have been overly strange, but the cab was blackened by some sort of explosion. The hood was completely gone, the windshield blown out, the front half of the car charred black. The plastic on the steering wheel had melted, leaving only a metal skeleton. Peculiar. Did anybody else see this? What do you think it was? Do tell.


goodbye. lay the blame on luck

This morning I had to suggest a place to get breakfast, and it made me realize that I am no breakfast connaisseur (connaisseuse?). All I could suggest were Dumpy Dawgs and Le Peep, two mediocre places by my workplace. The loveliest breakfast haunts in Chicago are Nookies and Orange, both in Lakeview/Boys Town. At Nookies, they know what I'm going to order every time, which is comforting in a Chicago's-finally-home sort of way. Orange just opened, and instead of going for a cosmopolitan vibe—always possible when your establishment's name has just one syllable—the restaurant's tagline is "A contemporary brunch spot... with a peel!" Too cutesy, although their french toast is made with coconut milk. I have since started making french toast that way, and damnitall if it isn't the tastiest way to do things. You can steal that idea and impress your breakfast guests. Why don't people have breakfast parties? I would love to do that.

A few years ago, Adam and Andy and I were shopping at Encore, which is a used record store in Ann Arbor. We found a very funny straight edge record by a band called Plagued With Rage. If you molded all the straight edge cliches (Champion hoodies, Xes everywhere, GO!, floorpunching, teenagers) into one band, Plagued With Rage would be it. Of course we bought the record for its comic value. We went back to Andy's room in South Quad, put the record on, and shouted the lyrics while fingerpointing and doing Ray Cappo kicks off the beds. It was the worst record, but the best time. We revisted the lyrics this afternoon over IM:

Adam: You can't take away my pride / The youthcrew stands by my fucking side / The unity - The strength / The feeling from inside

Adam: uhhhmmmm. check out your meter there buddy

As Annie and I discovered today, the interweb does not have any fan sites for Peter Jennings. We believe that such a man, who has shown journalistic grace under pressure during the past month, deserves his own subsite. We will resolve this void soon.

catch catch catchfire

About a year ago, Brian gave me a mix tape. I used to walk around listening to it on solitary almost-cold nights, kicking wet leaves beneath me on the sidewalk. Whenever I listen to those songs, it's easy to remember the smallest details of the south side of Fullerton Parkway. In Sholisian fashion, I've been making mix tapes, too. The goal is to create one a day, at least on paper. I am terrible at actually giving people their mix tapes, just as I am a letter hoarder.

From the "dur" files; While sitting at my desk here, wearing headphones and rocking out to Red Stars Theory, I suddenly realized that things might sound better if I were to plug the headphones into the speakers.

Last night I was on my way to Penny's for a snack, and after Jen dropped me off at North/Milwaukee/Damen, I ran into JJ. We both complained about the rampant misuse of apostrophes. Oh, wily copy dorks. And when I walked into Penny's, there was Mr. Weeks! It felt good to see familiar and kind faces within a half-block.

I can't really say anything real or introspective today. I'm feeling too honest for my own good.

the last day of sunshine

In about a week, this page will be five years old. Perhaps that's a sign that it's time to learn some PHP and make all of this slightly more manageable and organized. In an ideal world, I'd change the name, add meta tags and search, and have a clean design. I know exactly what the page should look like; I just don't know how to do it yet.

Saw Sigur Ros with Aaron O last Thursday. I met Aaron while trying to sneak into his house years ago. He lives in Chicago now, and hanging out with him feels like home. We were to meet before the show outside of Belmont Army Surplus, which is next to the Belmont El stop. Teenagers were hanging out by the newspaper boxes, and of course, one of them had to talk about my arse, the little punk. His comments made me feel like my skirt was too tight. Anyway, Aaron and I met up around 7:30 and walked over to the Vic. After a fruitless search for his friend Jimmy, we sat on a bench and sipped Cherry Cokes. The Album Leaf played (one of their songs is called "Vermillion," which is a pretty word for a pretty song) and I suddenly realized that I must find a keyboard and start a band.

Aaron and I climbed to the balcony's nosebleed seats to watch Sigur Ros. Apparently, we were also in the Weed Section. Hoo. It seems inaccurate to call Sigur Ros a band. They're more like a four-piece modern orchestra, if that makes any sense. Every sound was clear and beautiful. Films with oversaturated color played in the background while a slow disco ball sent tiny beams swirling around the ceiling, spotting our faces with light. Sigur Ros played a song I hadn't heard before, and as I stared at the abstracted face on film, my heart hurt for my grandfather. I cried, and after another song, Aaron and I descended to the first floor. I made a bathroom run. Upon return, Aaron was talking with his now-located friend Jimmy. The three of us hopped upstairs to the side balcony, which offered a view of the stage and crowd below. There was enough cigarette smoke in the air that everything looked grainy, like a film.

After the show, I helped Aaron pass out flyers for the Godspeed You Black Emperor Exclamation Point show. I probably said hello to about 200 people, which drastically increases the chance of becoming a Missed Connection ("You were overdressed, but as you encouraged me to enjoy Canadian music, I was struck speechless. Be still my post-rock heart"). Then, about a dozen of us or so went to Berlin, which is this campy dance club on Belmont. We stayed for less than a minute before walking up to Sheffield's. There, I had the least tasty Shirley Temple in my life. Kiddy cocktail? More like shitty cocktail. I met John, who had maybe enjoyed one extra beer, because he was awfully talkative; we talked about war history and generalized gender relations. Andy and I were raggedy and laughing as he walked me home. Such a fun night.

Friday night was American Analog Set at Schubas, which does not need an apostrophe. AM/FM opened, and the woman in the band was wearing a miniskirt. That wouldn't be worth mentioning, except that her purpose seemed to be minimal in the band. Every few songs she'd do a barely audible "la la la" or jingle-jangle of some bells. Otherwise, she sat on a high stool. I saw those American thighs and did not know where to look. I know I probably sound like a sexist cochon, but honestly, it was embarrassing.

On Saturday, I went to a party in the Ukranian Village. To make a long story short and run-on, mostly because it's almost time to go home: after the po-lice broke things up, my compatriots decided to watch Dude, Ou Est Ma Voiture?, so I took a nap in Maysan's friend Zack's bed (alone! no Hughesian party hookups for me), and when I woke up, I was more lost than usual. This is more proof that I am not good at attending parties, but very good at hosting them. More stories tomorrow.

say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


© 2009 avt

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