Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 133 - 8.29.10 - LouFest Sunday - Jeff Tweedy Day

On Sunday, August 29, 2010, Mayor Francis Slay declared it Jeff Tweedy Day in St. Louis. A proclamation was presented to the Wilco frontman an hour or so prior to his stellar solo set at LouFest. Again provided with incredible access to the back and side stage areas (thank you Kara), my friends and I were able to spend a quick moment with one of our musical heroes, grab a quick photo with him (photo credit to Kara as well), and enjoy his music from just feet away on the stage. It was a beautiful night that will not be forgotten... Happy Jeff Tweedy Day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 132 - 8.28.10 - LouFest Saturday - On Stage w/ Built to Spill

LouFest is St. Louis' version of the summer music festival. Kara (pictured above with husband Josh and friend Michael) works in the mayor's office and scored us VIP passes. These passes allowed us access behind the stages and allowed us on the side of the stage for one band of our choosing. We chose Built to Spill and they rocked our socks off. Tomorrow, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy.

Day 131 - 8.27.10 - GDB in STL

Gary Donaldson Bowlin, dog son of Josh and Kara Bowlin, friends from St. Louis, waited on the couch to greet Michael and I as we arrived in STL for a weekend of fun and music at LouFest... Band photos tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 128 - 8.24.10 - Art City

Almost every day I walk around our great city, I see art in the most curious places... I'm constantly wondering what prompted someone to make a particular piece, and what caused them to display it at a particular location. This is one of many things that makes Chicago so great... art is all around us, every step of the way...

Day 127 - 8.23.10 - The Walk Home (Part 7) - The Final Chapter

For the final installment of this series, two views from the Damen Blue Line stop. To the west, the stretch of North Avenue between Damen and Western. To the East, one of Bucktown / Wicker Park's most recognizable buildings , located at the intersection of Damen, North, and Milwaukee.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 126 - 8.22.10 - Lazy Sunday

Day 125 - 8.21.10 - Hawkey is Just Around the Corner

I awoke this Saturday to find two great reminders that Chicago has a champion sports team in town. After the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, I collected a few newspapers, and for my birthday, Lauren had two of them framed. A fantastic gift, but my lovely wife as banned them from the walls of our new home. They will make the trip to my office this week... I was also reminded that the NHL season is just 6 weeks away. Gotta love the short off-season.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 124 - 8.20.10 - Goodbye Brown Boxes

The final phase of moving is finally, after six weeks, complete. Out last boxes, filled with my books have been unpacked and pitched in the construction dumpster in front of our home. We have books, but no bookshelves, other then our dining room windowsill. Here they will stay until a better home for them is found. CB2, here we come.

Day 123 - 8.19.10 - The Walk Home (Part 6)

Not much to say here. I like this glass on the front of a building on North Ave.

Day 122 - 8.18.10 - The Walk Home (Part 5) - The Blago Edition

Today, the disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted on just one of the twenty-something counts brought against him by the Feds for corruption and various other nefarious activities. The window pictured is part of a store front on North Ave. that happens to be papered up with an old Red Eye from the day after Blago was indicted, over a year ago. As it so happens, this edition also covered the Bears' acquisition of quarterback Jay Cutler. That was a big day for the city. I'm hoping that as the weeks pass by and we head into the winter months, the Red Eye will have more stories about Jay (and many Bears wins) and less about Rod. Unlikely, as Rod can't seem to shut up or stay off of TV.... Unlikely, as the Bears O line still scares me... but a guy can hope...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 121 - 8.17.10 - Escape From Rachel Zoe

As the sun sets on Tuesday night, a monster lurks in my living room... a monster that my wife adores. Her name is Rachel Zoe and when she and her "project" appear on the television, I run and hide in the bedroom, protected only by sports programming or a good movie. Tonight, as the Cubs are borderline unwatchable these days, Youth in Revolt starring Michael Cera will get the opportunity to keep Zoe at bay and keep her out of my nightmares...

Day 120 - 8.16.10 - Filming in Chicago

Transformers 3 has been filming in Chicago for the past month or so and nearly all of the locations have been clustered within a quarter mile of my office. There have been explosions, gunfire, base jumpers, and scenes of destruction all over the loop, and seeing these scenes has been quite commonplace. Today, I walked right past this scene being set up and almost didn't notice it... I'm sure there will be more explosions tomorrow... loop workers and passersby won't even bat an eye... tourists will stop and stare.

Hollywood has infiltrated Chicago, but I still don't think I'll see Transformers 3. I mean, I'd be totally lost because I haven't seen T1 or T2... or any film featuring Shia LeBeouf for that matter. I intend to keep it that way.

Day 119 - 8.15.10 - Creature Comforts...

Lauren and I have returned home to Chicago from the Grady family vacation. We had a blast, but it is nice to be back in our new home, which is still slowly taking shape... It will be nice to sleep in our own...

And use our own...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 118 - 8.14.10 - A Crustacean Feast of Epic Porportions

Behold, the culinary subjects of the 18th Annual Klauder Crab Feast, hosted by my Aunt Nina and Cousin Ben in Rockville, Maryland. It was the final stop on our ultimate family vacation, and it was great to see the rest of my east coast relatives, including the aforementioned Ben and Nina, Ben's wife Mary, their one year old Helen (named after my maternal grandmother), my cousin Matthew, his wife Audrey, and their four boys, Alexander, William, Henry, and Benjamin (all under 5). The crabs kept the hands busy as the mouths helped family members catch up in between bites of one of the two things Maryland does best (the other being football, according to the writers of Wedding Crashers). I stuck to the claws that were cast aside by cousin Ben who claimed they were too much work for not enough payout. As someone who generally avoids seafood, the claws were just fine for me...

Day 117 - 8.13.10 - Toy Story

After we returned to D.C. from Delaware, Madison wasted no time in getting reacquainted with her toys...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 116 - 8.12.10 - One Last Day at the Beach...

Today Lauren convinced me to opt for the beach instead of the pool for the afternoon of our last full day in Delaware. It turned out to be a great couple of hours sitting in the sand, wave jumping, dolphin watching, and gull chasing. I tried to get a snap of the dolphin fins, but without a zoom lens, the pics did not do the dolphins justice. Instead, this increasingly friendly and bold seagull wins the day... Back to DC tomorrow... leaving is for the birds.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 115 - 8.11.10 - Captain Jack's Pirate Golf / Wacky Gator

I think that there is a proportional relationship between the amount of family vacations you take and the amount of mini golf courses and arcades you encounter. Tonight, Lo and I attacked Captain Jack's Pirate Golf and the Arcade at Bethany Beach. I took the golf crown by a wide margin, but Lauren proved that she can whack a Gator with the best of 'em.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 114 - 8.10.10 - Babies in a Basket

With toys and games aplenty, the beach and the pool just steps away, the most entertaining item of the day was a laundry basket. Go figure...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 113 - 8.9.10 - Right Near the Beach

The beach. The Delaware beach. Our first state. Our first beach. The beaches of Delaware begin with dunes that roll up against the exquisite homes adjacent to the sand. Then a plateau of khaki brown sand, that is just gritty enough to feel, but not uncomfortable. Broken seashells and cool packed sand mark the previous high tides. As you approach the water, a 45% downward grade leads to the crashing waves that pound the beach. The two to four foot waves are modest, but relentless and sound larger than they really are. They rise and crash with impunity, all within a span of 25 feet or so from shore. Tugging rip currents challenge ocean waders, but they can be dealt with, for the most part, easily. Our first beach is not the most serene or the most beautiful in America, but it might be the most "classic." It certainly has the seagulls to prove it...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 112 - 8.8.10 - Bayside Ain't Just a Fictional High School in California

Bayside Resort Golf Course rests along the marshy edges of the Assawoman Bay (seriously) in Fenwick Island, Delaware. Blayne and I teed it up early in the morning and did our best to beat par on each of Jack Nicklaus' expertly designed holes. Jack bested us more often than not. Water, wetlands, traps, and forest awaited us on every hole. Landing areas were present, but narrowed and became more treacherous with distance. Wisely, the drivers stayed in the bag, and we attempted to stay on the short grass as much as possible. It was a beautiful round on a beautiful day, the kind of round that makes you want to grab a quick bite for lunch and knock out another eighteen holes... and go another 36 the next day.

Day 111 - 8.7.10 - Jilly's Photo Op

With the rugrats running around, photo opportunities are plentiful...