Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 101 - 7.29.10 - The Walk Home (Part 4)

This incredible tree hangs over the sidewalk on the south side of North Avenue. These bunches look like mini-tangerines. Before we moved, I had never seen a tree like this before. Now I see it every day.

Day One Hundred - 7.28.10 - The Walk Home (Part 3)

Some interesting outdoor decor on the walk home, along the south side of North Avenue... It is a creative and artistic area to be sure. More so than the meaning of a project like this, perhaps merely for aesthetics, I wonder about the type of person who chose to undertake such a project and spend hours collecting, shaping, and assembling these varied materials. Perhaps I'll see the inhabitants of this home one day on my walk home... I hope they match the picture in my head...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day Ninety-Nine - 7.27.10 - Girl Talk

Congratulations to Tim and Beth, my friends and my brother and sister in law, who will have a baby girl in December. They announced the sex of the little one at a Bransen family dinner, via the ancient code of colored baked goods. The cake was pink... Now the name guessing can begin. Smart money is on Wilhelmina or Rapunzel...

Day Ninety-Eight - 7.26.10 - The Keys

In another inexplicably frustrating turn of events in the saga that is our condo and the condo purchasing process, the contractors who are finishing our punch list replaced the knob on one of our doors. They installed the new knob upside down, which for some reason caused Lauren's key not to work. Her key was a copy, mine was an original, and the original, for some reason, was not affected and still works. For the past few days, Lauren has been using the contractors' lock box to get access to their key so she can get into our condo.

So, knowing that the contractors would not fix the knob or make us a new key, I decided to be a good husband and buy Lauren a present, a copy of my working key. I spared no expense and ponied up for the deluxe Cubs key at the Ace Hardware. The only trouble is that Lauren was born, raised, and remains a Sox fan. She was less than thrilled with my gag gift... I'm sure it is only a matter of time before she switches her key for mine while I sleep. Until then, she carries the Cubs, and 100+ years of misery, with her everywhere she goes...

Day Ninety-Seven - 7.25.10 - Back to Reality

We've returned to the city from the Bransen family weekend extravaganza in Elkhart Lake... it is back to reality for now... The food supply in our house was sparse, so these two piggies went to market and picked up some supplies... including a fine looking jalapeno.... The colors of fresh produce are so vivid when you first pick them up. Now if we can only eat it all before the colors fade...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day Ninety-Six - 7.24.10 - Arcade On Fire

Taking a break from the sun, Brian, Beth, and I hit up the arcade at the Osthoff. It has been a while since I've been at an arcade, or even seen an arcade for that matter. It was highly enjoyable. Air Hockey, sit-down NASCAR Racing, and the NAMCO Quick & Crash Real Shooting Game were the sources of much entertainment. Brian was an ace at the shooting game... until a 10 year old beat his time record... I think kids around these parts have experience with guns, of the arcade and the real varieties...

Day Ninety-Five - 7.23.10 - Dice @ The Osthoff

Day Two at the Osthoff (Bransen family vacation weekend blowout extravaganza), Brian R. and I forced the girls to stay awake and play dice while we polished off a bottle of red wine...

Day Ninety-Four - 7.22.10 - Birds On a Wall

Someone pasted pictures of these six birds on a wall on Webster near Damen Ave. Why, I don't know, but it makes for a nicer wall.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day Ninety-Two - 7.20.10 - The Walk Home (Part 1) I Think I Smell A Rat

The new condo is located in NW Wicker Park and this requires a new walk home from the Blue Line. Most of this new walk consists of a stretch of North Avenue, between Damen Ave. & Western Ave. Amongst the shops, restaurants, and apartments, I found a dumpster with some creative street art. This will be part, hopefully, of a series entitled The Walk Home, where I'll document the sights and attractions of the span of North Ave. that I traverse almost every day...

Day Ninety-One - 7.19.10 - Comfort

Last week, Lauren and I got a surprise in the mail. My friend Toral sent us an authentic blanket from her motherland, India. It is very comfortable and fits well in our new living room. It is these little details that help to make our new place a bit more personal, a bit more like home...

Day Ninety - 7.18.10 - Pitchfork Music Fest - Day Three - Local Surfer Bois

The Pitchfork Music Fest wrapped up this Sunday. Local Natives, Surfer Blood, and Big Boi churned out amazing sets that won the day. Also, there was this cloud, that actually blocked out the sun for a few minutes. It was a much needed break for some weary and sun kissed concert goers, myself included.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day Eighty-Nine - 7.18.10 - Pitchfork Music Fest Day Two - Delorean Brings the Heat

Day Two: Surprise of the Day - Free Energy. This Philly 5 piece opened the afternoon with a rollicking set that evoked Thin Lizzy and a pinch of The Cars. I wasn't expecting too much from Free Energy, but these guys were making the most of the early slot, having fun, playing rock and roll, and joking with the fans about the heat ("I bet we smell worse than any of you").

Set of the Day - Delorean. As the sweltering heat settled in, the breeze subsided, and clouds flirted with blocking the sun, but never did. Delorean, a Spanish punk-gone-electro foursome, took the stage and buzzed out the set of the afternoon. There was little banter, only track after track of synth-fueled dance rock that encouraged the growing crowd to move and power through the sweat. Frontman Ekhi Lopetegi did inform the crowd that the weather in Chicago is "much worse than in Spain."

Solid Day Closer - LCD Soundsystem. As expected, James Murphy and LCD cranked out an epic collection of his dance, disco, punkish-electronica worthy of the Saturday headlining slot, including a dialed up and racing version of "All My Friends." Murphy and Co. are quickly becoming Gods in the Pitchfork universe, and deservedly so. Their live shows (including one at the Metro in Chicago this Spring) are undeniably sharp, surgical, and professional. They deliver with regularity and impunity. Dancing, and a ton of it, is a foregone conclusion.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day Eighty-Eight - 7.16.10 - Pitchfork Music Fest Day One - Swede Home Chicago

And the Swedes take Day One... Dylanesque singer songwriter Kristian Matsson, a/k/a The Tallest Man on Earth, started the afternoon off with an inspired set of his folsky songs. KM's uniquely strained and grisly voice sounded amazing as it poured over a crowd that was warming up for the day (figuratively and literally... 90+ temps). A criminally short set (30 mins) cut this rising star's momentum off early, but TTMOE was a great way to start the festival.

A couple of hours after TTMOE graced the Connector Stage, his Swedish "sister" Robyn, as he called her, and her lab suit clad backing bad laid down the set of the day, and maybe the entire weekend (only time will tell) on the Aluminum Stage... Over the span of her past couple of records Robyn has become quite the darling over at Pitchfork, not to mention a mega pop star in Europe, but for some reason not in the US. Perhaps the music is too progressive, to dance-oriented, too thoughtful, or too good for American radio. Robyn powered through a pulsing selection of her recent tracks, and was met warmly with the cheers and dancing of thousands of adoring hipsters. And Robyn danced as well, oh did she dance, nearly non-stop, through the entire set. Popping, locking, thrusting, grinding, stalking across the stage, and hyping the crowd up with impunity. She showed us in no uncertain terms that great pop music can make anyone smile and can make anyone dance... and the crowed loved her for that...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day Eighty-Seven - 7.15.10 - Home Decor

We have guests this weekend, and Lauren has been decorating... With each passing day, the condo comes together a little bit more...

This will likely be the last "home" post at least for a few days. The 3 day Pitchfork Music Fest starts tomorrow here in Chicago. I'll be attending all 3 days. Hipsters, rockers, hipster rockers beware... the camera to my eye will be on you...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day Eighty-Six - 7.14.10 - Royal Flush

Our new home has been built by a contractor with "green" sensibilities. My favorite feature resulting from these sensibilities is the dual flusher on the toilets. The small button uses less water and the large button uses the normal amount of water. Each is designed for a very specific type of deposit... I think you know what I'm talking about...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day Eighty-Five - 7.13.10 - Setting Up (Part Two) - Lost in a Sea of Cords

5 days in and the amount of electrical components and cords are stacking up... and intertwining... must... be... remedied... tomorrow...

Day Eighty-Four - 7.12.10 - Setting Up

Things are slowly coming together... It will be a while before the place is where we want it to be aesthetically, but wouldn't you know it, the kitchen is the first room that is really starting to take shape. For two people who love to cook and eat, this comes as no surprise.

Day Eighty-Three - 7.11.10 - The First Meal / Dinner Bets

On Sunday, we finally did a little grocery shopping and Lauren prepared the first meal at our new place. She had to cook because I won one of our dinner bets. The bet can be about anything at all. This one was about a certain NBA-er who made a decision of sorts last week. Lauren thought this player would stay at home and re-sign with his home team. I thought that he would bolt to another squad. As it turns out, I was right. The bet winner selects a recipe and the loser must shop, cook, and clean up after the meal. Lauren makes a great chicken parmesan...

Day Eighty-Two - 7.10.09 - Settling In

Ozzie is quickly taking to his new surroundings, and he is pictured here, doing what he does best (begging for food) on his first day at our new home. In the background, you can see his favorite toy, a squeaky woodland creature named Justin Beaver.

Day Eighty-One - 7.9.10 - Closing Costs

Today Lauren and I became homeowners for the first time. We also became intimately familiar with all of the various closing costs, of which there were many... Of all the costs of the day, none was more worthwhile than the costs associated with the movers. I've never hired movers before. I'll never not hire them again. Totally worth it, and made a busy day go just a little bit more smoothly...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blog will be back up and running tomorrow night...

Have been without the interwebs the past few days because of the move... will be back tomorrow to document the last few days... See you soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day Eighty - 7.8.10 - I Think I'll Head Home

Bring me a day full of honest work and a roof that never leaks... I'll be satisfied... Closing tomorrow... Moving home tomorrow...

Credit to Midlake for the lyric.