Monday, March 31, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about posting - but not posting. So a few thoughts:

1. I have a new purse. In terms of life changing events this isn't one of them. However, it is huge and I am not usually a huge purse person. However, this is the best Salvation Army find I have found in awhile. I love it -

2. I have started going through all the Chicago tour guide books on amazon and rating the ones I have read on Good Reads. I have several more to look up to see if I have read. I even started a Chicago book shelf in Good Reads.

3. I got this You Tube today. I think it is amazing to think, no matter what you think of this war, to think what this money could buy.

oh junior highers

I wrote this a few weeks ago and it didn't post- but I think it is good:

This week I have a group in town that is junior highers - the questions are great. I started writing them down.

"Did you walk here alone?"
-as we left an agency that I had arrived to pick them up - she later said that she would never be alone anywhere...that is what is great about junior highers they say profound stuff without knowing it

"Can people swim in Chicago?"
-as a 7th grader from Mississippi he was wondering where all the swimming pools were, and since he hadn't seen them in backyards - he went to believing that maybe, just maybe us Chicagoans didn't swim at all

"This soup tastes like ketchup and lime."
-overheard while eating the potato chowder I had made for Monday's supper, that didn't contain ketchup or limes, nor in the opinions of the college students around

My favorite one from several years ago
"Does Chicago have grocery stores?"
-again, he hadn't seen any so they didn't exist in his mind - but with this one I wanted to say something to the effect of no, we don't - instead see that building called the Sears Tower, it is actually a big farm that we all go to and get our food.

The most enlightening from my friend Reese came on MOnday:
"Boy, you city folks are just good at sharing. All those people share that church building, and the school building, and even those homes that are joined - you know apartments."
-I take for granted now that a church building has about 5 things going on at any certain point, and even that two schools can share the same building, and that apartments are a way of life. But Reese didn't; instead he saw the positive aspect that I rarely think about. Thanks, Reese.

Monday, March 24, 2008


“The anger is real;
it is powerful;
and to simply wish it away,
to condemn it without understanding its roots,
only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding
that exists between the races.”

-Barack Obama

Friday, March 21, 2008

The geek here....

I have spent the better part of the day and now the night trying to figure out how to convert an xml rss feed to output onto html that 12:18am I finally figured it out I got all that energy like Krista does when she has a group I can't sleep. So to recap I couldn't sleep until I figured it out then when I did I have too much built up energy to sleep. My issue was googled many a times till I found this site

and will soon be featured at once I do some formatting.

phew...I wish I was a programmer but I like web design better

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Krista and sleep

When Krista has a group in town this comic pretty much sums up what she's like.


I found this t-shirt company a while back and just recently found out how local they are. We had ordered some shirts and UPS decided our Church's address didn't exist. I did some research and found that both the brick and mortar store and the warehouse exist in Chicago and we were able to pick up our shirts from the warehouse.

To describe threadless I would say it's a community driven design contests where users vote on user created designs on t-shirts. The ones that make the grade are then printed. Users can earn points to spend on the site if they take pictures of themselves wearing the shirts or by referring their friends.

Which is what I'm about to do ;)

Check out threadless through this link and you'll help us out a bit too.

Yes I know I'm addicted to t-shirts my favorite one this week is this one

Happy hunting for fun shirts.

Monday, March 17, 2008

This is Your Brain on God

His theory is that the sensation described as "having a religious experience" is merely a side effect of our bicameral brain's feverish activities.

Interesting read on replicating a religious experience using technology

Click Here

Sunday, March 16, 2008

King Corn

What a film that was made for Independent Lens on PBS - to see when it might be on in your area - click here.

I highly recommend it to any foodie or anyone who has a farm. In fact, several times I was reminded of my grandfather and riding the tractor with him. Another sad image that was way too familiar was the farm auction. They talked a lot about watching the price of corn - like mom used to watch the price of soybeans. Now, I would like to see a movie based on the role of soybeans in the US.


I am watching a DVD of America's Test Kitchen that came through Netflix - I am working my way through it. Yesterday, I was thinking how it would make a good funny quiz....What ATK personality are you? Julia, the funny loving chef that seems to enjoy ribbing the host, Christopher Kimball. Bridget, the no nonsense chef who is all about the business of cooking. Are you the host, Christopher? Or what about the every so often other chef that presents one recipe and then is never to be seen again...Or are you Adam the testing equiment guy? Or the taste test guy?

I think I am Bridget, but I want to be Julia.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What is interesting me right now:

** On Monday, I had a group of teens following me and as we were about 2 blocks from my house and the church that they were staying, I saw that there was a small object on fire on the sidewalk. There was no sidewalk on the other side of the street, so I decide to turn to the group and announce “there is a small fire on the sidewalk up ahead, please walk single file until I say otherwise”. We then walked past the coat that was on fire safely. I was quite proud of myself for being so calm and collected in the moment even though I have never seen an object on the sidewalk on fire. I thought that the group would not be alarmed because I was not. I was wrong; when telling about this event to Brian – my calmness made them believe this happened everyday. Brian said it did not, and that he would have reacted quite differently to this event including screaming. Boy howdy, when I think I make the right decision, it never is!

**I am getting back in the group groove – we had 54 participants this week. I was up at 5:30 each day to make sure I started breakfast preparations at 6 am. I often wouldn’t get home until 10. I am pooped. Welcome to my world for the next several weeks.

** I become a big mean boss who uses her power on Tuesday. I looked at Brian who looked like death warmed over and said – Go home. He looked at me and said, “No.” I said, “You don’t have a choice, your boss is telling you to go home.”

** I am following the Barack Trinity story quite closely. Here is a link to several stories about the story. Then Barack’s blog post about it. I understand as a politican that Barack must distance himself from the radical statements that news reports are mostly taking out of context, but it disappoints me. Trinity is a voice of the much of the time voiceless and I see hope in Barack in that way – but instead of advocating for what is true, he must focus on the politics of it all now. Please, if you read this blog, do not believe what most of the press is saying about Trinity UCC. It is a wonderful church that believes in upholding people and social justice issues and because of that is being dragged through crap. If they were a run of the mill church, none of this would be happening and I wouldn’t love them so much.

**Tomorrow, we are going to the St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown and watching the dying of the river green (a silly Chicago tradition) and then going to a screening of King Corn before heading out to celebrate Jaime’s (Jim’s dad) birthday.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jim's comic of the day

Check this Fox Trot carton out for an interesting take on Jim.

If it is a commodore game, I am not really that into it - however, Jim was a finalist at a contest where they played smash brothers - the game in the cartoon. It cracks me up that people would go pick up a game at 12:01 -but my husband did!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

thoughts on thought

As only I could do, I have been thinking about a comment a friend made on my interaction with strangers being very different than hers. I have been trying to figure it out since she brought it up - why do I interact the way I do?

Today, I was walking to my favorite place in Uptown – CafĂ© Too- after dropping a team of students off at a homeless shelter and minding my own business, I saw someone I remotely knew, I stopped and had a conversation and we decided to do a business lunch on Tuesday. This brought my mind back to this comment about public interaction with strangers or public interaction in general. I went into my head thinking while walking.

Not 500 feet later, at an intersection of two major streets in Uptown, an elderly woman asked me where Lawrence Ave was. I told her where it was. I happened to be walking towards there and she talked with me for two blocks about antiques and CTA bus bunching.

The whole time I am laughing on the inside because I had been thinking of my public interaction and then it happened. So here is what I think about the interaction:

1. I get asked directions a lot. No matter if I have 30 people following me or not – I get asked by myself a lot. When Jim is with me, he laughs and says, “You asked the right person.” So when asked directions, I feel like I have a duty to help people get where they need to be. In the last week or so, I have walked people to Union Station, given directions to tourists pulling out a map in front of a train station, and given several directions from memory. It provides an opportunity to have something to talk about.
2. However, the real question is why do I get asked? What is it about me that I get asked which then draws me into the public interactions? I don’t know for sure – but I made a choice awhile ago to look at people as they pass me on the sidewalk I try to look people in the eye, and I usually look like I know where I am going. One interesting thing is that I am not usually smiling as my natural in thought look is not a smile. I don’t think I dread public interactions and it usually makes a good story – like today’s event.

I had another interaction with a woman at the homeless shelter later. She came up to me and started talking to me as if I had asked her a question. She drew me in and she was fun talking to her too.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

overheard on the bus

Yesterday, I got to take a tour entitled "The Sears Tower and its next door neighbor" offered by CAR. It was really neat and it helped me understand the next door neighbor better! The Sears Tower too but I know a lot about it.

I was going home yesterday from the tour and I was on the Harrison bus - which I like because it has a stop a 1/2 block from home. When riding by UIC, a stop at Morgan St had about 35 students at it and they all got on, making the already full bus packed. At the next stop, two people got off near me. Now, if a group had been with me I would have declared that they sit down allowing more room for others. However, in my nice naive voice said to those standing around me -

"Would you like to sit down?"
no response
a little louder "Would you like to sit down?"
no response
a little louder "Would you like to sit down?"
A older woman: If it isn't coming out of an ipod or a cell phone -they won't here it, hon!

I held in the laughter.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ave Q

Jim and I are the proud owners of two tickets to Ave Q in Chicago on May 22nd!

Krista has a life

As I was standing in a used music CD store yesterday, I realized a change that Jim has made in my life. Before I got married or actually before I got serious with Jim, my evenings were packed with either meetings, commitments, or I just planned to do more work in the evening. I usually only had one night at home a week. I loved my life but I often joked that I didn't have a life.

With Jim around and the fact that I want to be with him most nights, I work better during the hours that he works, and I have lessened my outside commitments in the evenings. I don't remember ever saying -no, I can't do this or that because now I am married- but I have less meetings and make less plans for the evening.

That allows for some free nights to say go out to eat and then go to several stores that we had been meaning to go to - threadless, which is just opened a hard store after being on the internet for 8 years. And then we just happened on the used music store - which I tend to go crazy.

I just read an article about non-profit executive directors retiring and people my age having no interest in taking over because of the long hours and no life. This is also something I have heard about teaching - people aren't as willing to make their job their life. Now, I am far from not being defined by my job. However, I think falling in love with Jim made me realize that I wanted more than just my job! I think it is an interesting shift to think about in society that apparently is living itself out in my life.

The place we went out to last night was Kuma's Corner at 2900 W. Belmont. It was a Check Please find. You can see their menu here. Jim liked his burger, and my make your own mac and cheese filled me up in about 5 bites - it was rich, better for cheese lovers than me - Jim worked on it a bit, and then is eating the rest for lunch! We would recommend it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sunday Drive

We did some driving after church yesterday, and went by a UCC church that is using the Still Speaking information...which I love. Here are some of their quotes:

"Never place a period where God has placed a comma"

"If Jesus embraced Lepers, Prostitutes, & Convicts, shouldn't we?"

"We don't sing 'Come some of ye faithful.'"

"Our faith is over 2000 years old. Our thinking is not."

Are they not great? What faith statements should be!

Michelle, she is more than a possible first lady

I heard about this speech awhile my class several weeks ago...I saw a link to it today. Click Here.WOW! Now, I know that it is no secret that Jim and I are huge Obama supporters. But I am way impressed with Michelle's speech. I have read a lot about her, how she is very grounded, and it seems to be true even in this speech. One more reason to vote for Obama.

I think in this primary season (Ohio and Texas may make the primary season a done deal tomorrow) the spouse is a big deal. A former president is a huge asset for a first man. I am just glad that I will be voting for a woman or a black man this November.

It is a long speech, I put in the background to listen to it while I worked, like a radio program.

Dear Husband

I would love to pick my husband up from work tonight - but he can't get email at work and he can this blog, so dear husband if you see this message, post another so I can plan on it.