this morning

June 2, 2011

Isabelle is snoring and she makes a little noise – hoooo…hoooo…hooo.

I say she sounds like a little asthmatic old man.  Paula says she sounds like an owl.


life lesson

May 17, 2011

Overheard at the supermarket:

A man says to his girlfriend (wife? sister? friend?) – “The point is, you can’t buy just one twinkie. They don’t come like that. You can only have the whole twinkie experience.”



a coffee kind of day

April 27, 2011

Pretty much I’ve sworn off coffee.  But it’s chilly and raining (which has pretty much been true about this entire month, holy hell Mother Nature, what gives?) and today calls for working at the hipster coffee place up the road from our apartment.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do the herbal tea thing.  No offense, celestial seasons, but I need my daytime beverages to work harder.  So I’m hunkered down now with a latte and a tiny little vegan cupcake that’s so cute you want to kiss it.  Hello, lunch.

(Not only is it raining, but someone is sitting in my favorite chair.  I’m giving him the evil eye.)

But this corner where I’m now sitting has the benefit of a really fantastic color on the wall, and I’ve taken its picture because someday when we move into an arts and crafts bungalow or some such similar period kind of a place, I’d like this color on a dining room wall please.  It’s kind of an avocado color.



April 10, 2011

We’ve been juicing a lot lately.  I’ll write another day about all of the vegetables that get consumed in this household, but today I’ll just post a picture of our afternoon snack.  We made a quick trip to Whole Foods today and stocked up on stuff for the week ahead. A lot of this was produce, including celery, carrots, romaine lettuce, kale, bananas, green and red apples, a kiwi, a few lemons and ginger.  I wish I’d checked the fridge before we left, but we went to the market straight from brunch* and maybe if we’d come from home I would have realized that we didn’t need another two pound bag of carrots.  Come to find out, when putting the groceries away, there was another two pound bag of carrots in the left crisper drawer and about 6 stray carrots hiding out all on their lonesome in the right crisper drawer.  Damn it. Normally we’re really good about ‘no wasting’…but I really don’t know what we’re going to do with 5 pounds of carrots.  Other than juice them, which is the point, but that’s a lot of juice.

So anyway, here’s a picture of our afternoon snack –

Before it was Juice.

This is our favorite juice.  Here are the ingredients:

  • one red apple
  • one green apple
  • 4 carrots
  • one large lemon (all of it, peel included)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • one beet (today I used half of that golden beet above, and also a chunk of red beet for good measure)
  • an inch of ginger

I didn’t take an “after” picture, but all of those fruits and vegetables wind up making about 12 ounces of pure juice.  Whenever there’s a beet involved the juice turns out a shocking red color, which is kind of amazing and delicious once you get past the surprise of its appearance.  A couple of years ago Paula found a set of eight vintage drinking glasses that commemorate the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, and they’ve become our official juice glasses.  Usually I juice on my own, for breakfast, but when Paula’s home on the weekend we generally have some variation of this conversation:

“Do you want to be the Pool of Industry or the Hall of Science?” or “Would you prefer Shea Stadium or the Unisphere?” Today it was Port Authority or the Circus. Each glass gives you a history of the attraction it commemorates, and while I’m glad to have the knowledge, in general I’ve pretty much been able to conclude that the New York World’s Fair was an incredibly weird place to be.


*re: brunch – Juicing makes up for a dreadful new weekend brunch habit, one I don’t see us breaking anytime soon.  It involves picking up a copy of the New York Times and taking it to our favorite cheap and kitschy neighborhood brunch joint where we consume really dreadful coffee and at least one of us eats way, way too much french toast, a fault I can only excuse by saying that at least I tell them to hold the powdered sugar and whipped cream.  Paula does me slightly one better by ordering an omelet, however this omelet is the size of her FACE, so honestly, I rather suspect that maple syrup or no maple syrup, we’re coming out even.

maybe bigger than her face


TAL, I salute you

April 7, 2011

Last month I finally caved and became a WBEZ high fidelity member, which means I now give them a little bit of money every month, instead of a lot of money once a year. It isn’t a ton of money in the grand scheme of a ton of money, in fact it probably breaks down into just a piddly amount of money, but it is what it is. I resisted for a long time because I actually like pledging, and once you become a high fidelity member you don’t have to do that any longer. The whole point in fact is that you don’t have to call and make a pledge ever, ever again.

But I like listening to the pledge breaks, and I like holding out to wait for a matching donation hour and basically I like hearing the pitch from all the people at the station who normally never get to be on the radio. It’s only a matter of time until they get the night security guard on there, and I like to call when people like that are pitching.

(On a different note, I’ve also learned that if you pledge during rush hour, and if they happen to thank you on-air, then you will hear from every person in the Chicago area that you have ever known at any point in your entire life, because it turns out that all of those people listen to WBEZ too.)

So anyway, I was ambivalent about the high fidelity thing. But this time they had a special on the This American Life flash drive – become a high fidelity member and it can be yours for a discount, and it seemed like a fun thing to have, and so…like that. The flash drive arrived this week, and honestly, I was thinking it would be a little metal thing with a TAL logo on it, but it’s cooler than that.

swag done right

The letters are made out of rubber and it comes in its own little box and Paula immediately co-opted it for her desk at work. At some point we’ll even download its contents and listen to some episodes. Nice.


An addendum: Pictures! – Benjamin Moore Sail Cloth Paint and Minwax Special Walnut

May 4, 2010

So the 1439 project is over, but every day there are hits on this website from people searching for pictures and images of Benjamin Moore’s “sail cloth” (or “sailcloth”) paint color.  There are an equal number of hits from people looking for pictures of Minwax floor stain in “special walnut.” To help all of the google searchers out there, here is some information on both…

Paint: BM markets Sail Cloth as an exterior color, but I used it as an interior color and it works beautifully.  It looks a bit bland on the paint chip, but it comes up as the perfect neutral taupe.  I highly recommend it and it’s pretty much going to be my go-to color now for any future projects.  Enormous thumbs up.

Floor Stain: The vintage floors here are red oak.  (Note: if you are renovating a vintage Chicago apartment from the 1930’s and you’re not sure what kind of original wood flooring you might be working with, it’s almost certainly red oak.)  Special Walnut came up very nicely when it came time to stain the floors and I’m happy with it.  Dark, but not too dark.  Warm, without being too red.  It’s a solid choice.  Final note, we applied a satin finish.  The alternative was semi-gloss, which I was assured was also lovely, but satin won out in the end and I don’t regret it.

Here are good clean pictures of what “sail cloth” looks like up on the walls, and “special walnut” looks like down on the floors.  These pictures are a good indication of how these finishes appear in reality.

BM Sail Cloth paint color with Minwax "Special Walnut".

Benjamin Moore Sail Cloth (Sailcloth) Paint Color / Minwax "Special Walnut" floor stain

The same scheme in better light.

So for all of the google searchers who found their way here….I hope this helps with your decision making process.  If you want to leave a comment, please do, I’d love to hear about the various projects out there.


the news, it is good

April 5, 2010

ok y’all, I have news.

The apartment is rented.  It went to the first people (I think) who came to see it, which confirmed my general learning from this phase of the process –

* It’s not that easy to rent out an apartment on your own.

* It’s super easy for a professional company to rent it out for you, and now that I’ve seen all they’ve done I don’t even begrudge them the month’s rent it cost me to use their service.  Thanks Chicago Apartment Finders.

Thanks everyone for going on this journey with me.  Now that it’s done I feel like it might be time to make some radio again.  I’m not sure what it will be about, but I’ll think of something.  It’s been too long since I dug out the microphone and put on some headphones.  That’s it….over and out.  Peace.