2014 Week 31: “sometimes your arms are like a weight around my neck”

La De Blog - Goodbye SteffBomb
LA friends, take care of Steff! She is awesome.

In googling the lyrics for the Hood song I quoted in the title, I found a post about them here. I am willing to bet I know or at least know friends of friends of the person that wrote it. This song randomly popped into my head while pulling together this post. There is a lot going on in my life and I feel spread so thin; there’s simply not enough tasty jam to get to the edge these days. When I went to Steff’s going away party, I got a little teary. This was a bit funny since Steff and I are truly more acquaintances than friends, though I think if both of us had more free time that we would have been friends. She is rad and I am rad and we share a gaggle of friends in common. It just hadn’t worked out that we had hung out except for at craft fairs and maybe twice or thrice outside of that. Her going away and seeing all the people that loved and admired her reminded me of when I left the DC area for Chicago and all the love felt there and what truly makes someone a good friend. How some people you can not see for years upon years and then when you do, it’s like no time has passed whatsoever. I am very lucky to have such amazing friends in my life. Hold onto these people, dear readers.

Laini’s birthday was Saturday. I always try to do something she would have particularly enjoyed on her birthday and anniversary of her death and this year Saturday was somewhat a bust. I got to see Guardians of the Galaxy 3D with Jerroid, after a thwarted attempt to get near Showplace Icon with Lolla down the street, we wound up at Regal Webster Place but had to get seats 10 away from one another. I think Laini would have dug the movie though. I did right by Laini Sunday by going to Greek Islands with Z. He calls it the Greek version of Epcot Center and it reminds me of the place I used to go with Laini, IKAROS (which I didn’t know had moved in 2012). Googling it brought some tears to my eyes. Happy memories of that place with Laini, or just picking up spanakopita for her mom, Dorothea, from there.

This week: Emily and I began packing Rani’s stuff Tuesday night. Another 6am spin class with my fave Julie S.! Steff’s going away party @ Parson’s. Art3mis & babies wellness check @ Chicago Exotics. Deleece with Z. Guardians of the Galaxy with Jerroid and he dropped me off at Rivers “Lame” Casino (was meeting Z and Red Lobster reveler friends there – I should not have gone). More packing Rani’s stuff with Z. Greek Islands with Z.

Films watched 31st week of the year:

Guardians of the Galaxy 3D

Guardians of the Galaxy was just the right mix of comedy and sci-fi nerdery for me. Highly enjoyable and maybe it’ll make kids start making actual mixtapes again? 🙂

Welp, both of the films I watched were doozies. Basically, Brainstorm is about a technology like Google Glass if it could kill. #googleglassthatkills It was very enjoyable even though the ending was convoluted. The special effects are flipping amazing considering this was a 1983 film.

Also, this happens:
La De Blog - Christopher Walken Bike Bicycle Messenger Hipster Brainstorm
Christopher Walken, Bike Bicycle Messenger Hipster in Brainstorm

Somehow I could not find a screenshot of that ridiculous image so what is above is a photo of our tv as Z and I watched it. All credit to the director Douglas Trumbull.

2014 Week 30: AnTWEEques Roadshow, you say?

La De Blog - Antiques Roadshow
Megan & Me at Antiques Roadshow @ McCormick Place

Why yes, I did say Antiques Roadshow. Fairly last minute and awesome surprise that Megan had an extra ticket. After not seeing her for ages, Saturday was a day of Megan! I may write more about our experience on the internet in future times, but for now, that’s all I have.

This week: Takito with Stacy. Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Reading & Award @ Chopin Theater. Lunch with Rachel @ Yuzu. Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association (UVNA)/Facebook Groups Social @ Rainbo. Antiques Roadshow. Jackie’s going away party. Sunday, Z and I ran a bunch of errands and sold the tablecloths on Craigslist. People keep confirming and then bailing on me for the LAK lacquer nailpolish supplies. Craigslist people not coming through = not fun times.

La De Blog - UVNA Social 2014-07
UVNA Neighborhood Social Spread

The first neighborhood social the UVNA organized at Rainbo Club went off real great with Takito Kitchen donating their salsa trio and masa crackers; Alliance Bakery donating macarons; and Epic Spices donating pizza sauce seasoning. One of my fave spin instructors Mandee Miller also donated coupons for her personal training sessions. I think somewhere between 40 and 50 people showed up through the evening. Heaven Malone djed. It was a positive vibe and so nice to meet more of the neighbors in a social setting and drink Stiegl Radler.

Films watched 30th week of the year:

Romancing the Stone
Man of Steel
The Grey

Z had never seen Romancing the Stone, one my my favorites I’d watch with my family growing up. There is a lot of innuendo that must have gone right over my head, but the film is still dang enjoyable. Man of Steel was worthless – Michael Shannon could not save it. Do not watch. The Grey, however, was better than I thought it would be. I hope Liam Neeson is a good person and snuggles with wolves.

2014 Week 29: Time for some ice tweem

La De Blog - Rhymes with Twee @ Coterie @ Pitchfork 2014
Rhymes with Twee set-up @ Pitchfork’s Coterie

This week: Christina & Shaun came over to meet the hedgehog babies. Emergency UVNA meeting about St. John’s church. Coterie @ Pitchfork – I saw Beck from afar; watched Neutral Milk Hotel and Slowdive. The last Post Perspicacious Pitchfork Party @ Nick & Erin’s – I think I am missing one P there.

As for Coterie @ Pitchfork, I had an excellent time. I ate a Temptations vegan ice cream cone every day. Lovely booth neighbors and wonderful customers. One guy bought a pink lady (Dowager Countess) tote bag from me and I saw him later and he hugged me. I <3 my customers. I'm feeling low on words this week, so here is a video of a wee tapir and its momma. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHMlmBb03oY Films watched 29th week of the year:

Cronos *

* documentary

This week and getting ready for selling at Coterie @ Pitchfork made me feel like I didn’t have anything left. One freaking exhausting week. Cronos was pretty to watch and nice to have on while multitasking.

2014 Week 28: Mon ami, Coterie

La De Blog - Ian's Birthday @ Kitchen 17
Ian’s Birthday Dinner @ Kitchen 17

I am posting 5 days after my intended post day of Sunday because I’ve been super busy AND gearing up for COTERIE at Pitchfork. Come cool off in the tents with us. I’m near buddies Megan Lee Designs and Red Ava Designs. <3 This week: Dinner @ Thai Village/Drinks @ Hala Kahiki with Z, Stacy, Derek, and Amanda. My first attendance of a Wednesday Friendsday @ Happy Village. UVNA Board Meeting. Ian's Bday dinner @ Kitchen 17. Mica's Party. Trader Joe's. Handlebar with LCB, Adam, Amy, and Kimmi. Dropped Bean Baby onesies @ Neighborly. Made dinner for the boo who'd been in Cleveland. There is a lot of baby hedgehog news to post, but I need to sleep to ready myself for Pitchfork. And, goodnight. Films watched 28th week of the year:

Girl Most Likely
They Came Together

I thought both of these would be funnier. TCT was pretty good, but I feel like there were lots of romcom cliches not touched upon. 🙂 Paul Rudd & Amy Poehler, come on kiddos.

2014 Week 27: Baby Scrunch Face Hedgehogs!

La De Blog - Art3mis Baby Scrunch Faces x 3

La De Blog - Art3mis 2 week old baby hedgehogs hoglets
Art3mis’ Baby Scrunch Face

This week: Inventory at work – yowza. Z made veggie lasagna for vow dinner – repeat but with different veggies this time. I finally went back to spin to my friend Paige’s ‘Murica spin class. Got to check Art3mis’ nest for the babies and all three survived – then we have to wait until Friday to start further socializing. Went to my neighbor Judith’s to see her gorgeous weaving. Party @ Pat’s. Party @ Adrianne & Rachel’s. Wolf Park with Z, Kimmi, & Jen S – it was a really fun little roadtrip. Music Box for Snowpiercer. RWT business.

Going into the weekend, I decided to reshoot all of my paper good product photos for Rhymes with Twee with my new lightbox and that was a huge undertaking. Wowsers. The shop looks AMAZING now though: Rhymes with Twee Etsy Shop. Huzzah!

Films watched 27th week of the year:

Sex Positive *

* documentary

I watched a lot of tv shows this week. I loved the premise of Snowpiercer and n’doi, Tilda Swinton was amazing; the best. I will absolutely be re-watching it because there is a lot I am sure I missed. Sex Positive documented a figure I had not heard about in the AIDS/HIV movement, Richard Berkowitz, and was directed by Daryl Wein. I’ve seen a number of documentaries about this, but I still learned new information.

2014 Week 26: Swap a dee #3

La De Blog - 2014-06-29 Chicago Food Swap - what I made
What I brought to swap:
pulled jackfruit, you’re a dahl mix, lime macaroons & malörtaroons.

La De Blog - 2014-06-29 Chicago Food Swap - my haul
My swap haul

This week: Dinner with Stacy/Amber @ Lula. Joong Boo with Jen S. Applied for DIY Trunk Show. Library. Vegan Vortex. Canada Day Party. Made food for food swap. Chicago Food Swap with Linsey @ Sur La Table downtown. Movie with Z, Heidi & Ed.

This was my third time taking part in the Chicago Food Swap. I came back with even more sweet than the first two somehow. If you’re reading this looking for a food swap tip, bring savory, bring savory, bring savory! I wish I’d made more ‘you’re my dal mix’ (tweaked this Mark Bittman recipe to be a mix). Also to note, a lot of swappers were scared of my pulled jackfruit. I used this recipe from Clean Green Simple as a starting point, but deviated somewhat. Many people had no idea what it was so they were reluctant to try it. If I make another jackfruit recipe in the future, I’ll write a descriptor like “vegan pulled pork” would have given people an idea of what it meant. It was my first time making macaroons and I veganized this recipe from Dessert Now, Dinner Later. I made a double batch and subbed coconut flour for flour and canned coconut milk for sweetened condensed milk. I also made a malört version I’m calling a malörtaroon because, thanks to my friend Rachel’s malört cake, I’ve been making malörty versions of sweets just because – also, I met Rachel’s friend Allie (working at SLT) at the swap. Chicago is endlessly small.

I’m vegetarian, but eat vegan often, so I do look for vegan items, but there were far fewer vegan items than usual even with a fairly large group. My fave swap items were: kraut & cranberry kombucha. linsey’s lemon curd! sea salt brownies. dulche de leche macarons. I picked up bacon jam made by The Cooking Cop who I enjoyed chatting with at the end. I love that food swaps are bringing together such a great mix of people in Chicago. Again, must make more savory items next time. Not sure I’ll be able to make the July food swap since it’s Pitchfork weekend and Rhymes with Twee will be selling at Coterie, but I might be a loon and still try to swing it.

Films watched 26th week of the year:

Go Fish
Purple Rain
The Fault in Our Stars

I’d seen Go Fish before, but before I lived in Chicago. Had never seen Purple Rain even though I’d always meant to. Wow, it is incredibly misogynistic and was pretty bad to boot. TFiOS was really good and met my expectations and I didn’t cry as much as while reading the book. 🙂

2014 Week 25: Art3mis’ Immaculate Conception

La De Blog - Hedgehog Babies made by Art3mis

Friday morning I went to say goodbye to Art3mis when I pulled back her fleece and found 3 SQUIRMING LITTLE BABY HEDGEHOGS under her fleece. The Hedgehog Welfare Society was told that the two female hedgehogs were housed separately from the male hedgehogs, so Art3mis immaculately conceived her babies. It all makes sense that Art3mis seemed more distant from us every day – that’s what future hedgehog moms do when they are preparing to give birth. SO, crazy surprise for me that morning. I called in to work saying I was running a little late and might possibly need to take a half day because I needed to find out what I had to do. After doing research, the word is to take out her cage and do nothing for 2-3 weeks and be very quiet. We only hear Art3mis when she runs out to feed and have only caught glimpses of her. So freaking surreal to have tiny baby hoglets in there but we can’t check in on them at all. MADDENING!

This week: Music Box with Z and Jason Anderson for Night Moves. Daddy’s Gonna Kill Ralphie, Z’s high school friend Toby’s band @ Burlington. $6.50 Movie @ Regal City North. Dragonlady. Music Box to see Filth with Q&A by Irvine Welsh. Sold at Renegade Chicago Mini Market @ Mana Contemporary – what a nice space, wonderful customers old & new, and great vendors – I loved splitting the booth with Betsy of Foxglove Accessories. Dinner at Bite. Sold at RCF Chicago Mini Market Day 2.

Additionally, I made two brand new cards to debut at Renegade Chicago Mini Market; a Malort birthday card and a lady date card! They are up in the Rhymes with Twee Etsy Shop.

Films watched 25th week of the year:

Night Moves (2013)
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Rust Never Sleeps
Bad Milo!

One of the best movie weeks in some time. Night Moves really did a number on me. It compared extreme environmentalists to the people they are trying to convince that large changes need to be made in our countries/lives. Dakota Fanning is truly one of the great film stars of today. It was a really stressful film to watch. Felt like The Cove meets early David Gordon Green cinematography. Masterful filmmaking by Kelly Reichardt.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 was even better than the first. I LOVED the message that, even with a physical disability, you can do amazing things, even better than others. I read a number of articles about the film because it struck me so. One interesting article on The Dissolve called We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome was one I disagreed with about Valka in this film essentially not having a point. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. Her role is not a throwaway one. She never went back to the island after being taken away during the dragon siege because no one ever listened to her that dragons could be allies rather than enemies. Listen to a woman? No way! She did a brave thing by going against the social norm; killing dragons, and finding her own path of studying/befriending dragons and this was A MAJOR plot point in WHY Hiccup became Hiccup. I felt there was a good amount of time on Valka in the film. When she was attacked at the end, her pacifist nature came out and she just could not bring herself to kill. This is her true nature – how could she kill a dragon? Yes, it is a truth that we need more strong female lead characters in film, but Valka was a strong supporting character who stayed true to her convictions, and she was one I was very glad to see.

NY&CH:RNS was good to have on in the background while I was editing photos. Bad Milo! was pretty bad, but fairly fun. I knew James McAvoy was a great actor, but in Filth, man, he proves he is multi-dimensional. The film was good, but it felt like something I’ve seen numerous times before.