Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Chicago Fun Times

Hi y'all! I'm coming to you over my lunch hour to tell that our weekend trip to Chicago was fanTAStic. Yay!

Friday Evening
B came over from Columbia, meeting us at our house around the time I arrived home from work. We drove and drove and drove up Illinois. Chicago always seems so much closer than it actually is.

When we finally made it, I was pleasantly surprised by K&B's Humboldt Park digs. It's pretty! It has a bathroom that is not falling apart! And, no bug problems! Yay!! K&B deserve a nice place after living in their CoMo shithole last year. But that's another story...

K's birthday was on Sunday, but Porkchop and I went ahead and gave her our presents: a matching felted bag and wallet combo. Actually, the items were just sort of felted. I took the bag out after just one cycle because I was worried that it would shrink too much vertically. Here it is:


We started our Saturday outing with super-yummy sustenance from Bleeding Heart Bakery. Oh my gosh! If I lived in Chicago, I would never leave this bakery!! It is so pretty, so tasty, and so politically right! I can't say enough good things. I wish I had brought my camera to document all of the achingly beautiful pastries. Sigh. While there, I settled on a salty caramel-chocolate mousse tart. Dang it, I wish I lived in Chicago so that I could try one of everything. Sigh again.

After snacks, K&B and Porkchop and I parted ways so that K&B could visit a friend who was in town from Minneapolis. That meant that Porkchop and I hit the Renegade Craft Fair by ourselves on Saturday. It was probably for the best - we were both overwhelmed by the visual stimulation.

What we purchased:
  • A t-shirt for me from Mary Ink. So cute! I will definitely buy more online in the future.

  • A t-shirt for Porkchop from a vendor that I don't remember. Will update later. [Update, it's by Alison Rose.]

  • Soap from Biggs and Featherbelle. Smells so good!

  • Map buttons from Emily Kircher, Recyling Artist. I was acquainted with Emily through a friend in Madison, and I love her rugs (already have one). She's got some fun stuff, and she's so nice. Check it out.

That's it. We saw tons more, but you know, one can't buy everything that one likes.

After craft fair shopping, Porkchop and I walked around the Wicker Park/6 Points area (I think that's what it's called). Our major stop was Quimby's, where I was fortunate to find the Doris anthology.

And now for an interlude...

Why I Love Doris, Why I Hated Grad School, and Why I Like My New Workplace
I didn't know it at the time, but when my friends and I were working on our zine in Columbia, I was really trying to do something like what Cindy does with Doris. Relating simple stories about everyday life to things much bigger than all of us. So, when I found Doris in Madison, I was floored: This is it!, I thought.

I love that Cindy doesn't write Doris like she's an expert on something, not even her own life. In the beginning of the anthology, Cindy writes about how she likes to learn dialectically. So do I, which is a big reason why grad school didn't gel with me.

In grad school, I had to sit in tiny rooms with people who, when they spoke, sounded like this to me: "Fwhah fwhah fwhah, I once read a book about Derrida, so now I'm an expert on everything. Derrida, Derrida! Let me bore you with my secondhand knowledge that I will pass off as my expertise!" Even though these classes were supposed to be seminars during which we exchanged ideas, the meetings usually turned into one-pony shows. There were rarely exchanges, just monologues.

The place where I'm working now is so totally the opposite. The center's purpose is to apply theory and research to the lives of real people. To make changes! To not just talk, but to do things and to listen to others! And they're working internationally and locally!

Anyway, I love Doris because it's full of vulnerability and secrets and knowledge. At the moment, I can't quite articulate why this is connected to grad school and where I now work. But in my head, it is. I guess because I might actually feel invested in my new workplace. I haven't felt very invested in anything (besides my relationship, close friends, and knitting) in quite some time. So, I think my new work and the Doris anthology are stirring up concurrently feelings that I used to have. It's nice.

Saturday Night
After K&B and Porkchop and I reconvened, we went to Treat, an Indian-Mediterranean restaurant in the Humboldt Park area. Yum! Curry shrimp!

At Treat, K gave us advice on how to pose for pictures. Instead of looking straight on at the camera, tilt your head down and to the side. Porkchop and I practiced (note my super-cute new t-shirt from Mary Ink - also, I think the massive power supply plug really adds to this photo):

Pose Practice

After filling up on yummy food, we went back to K&B's, where we had to rest before enjoying a slice of K's chocolate cake with chocolate ganache (from the Bleeding Heart Bakery). Yum!

Porkchop and I got up bright and early Sunday morning. After K&B roused themselves, we went to the Flying Saucer for brunch. Yum! The best brunch I've had in a while by far: crêpes with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, pesto, poached eggs, and greens. With a side of roasted potatoes.

Afterwards, it was back to the Renegade Craft Fair. Porkchop and I mainly hung out by the dog park this time. Oh, and I bought a gigantic cookie at the Wicker Park farmers market. Happiness.

Later, we went to Filter for some cold drinks. There are some really funny and painfully accurate reviews of Filter posted on Yelp. I don't know....maybe I think they're funny because I think the hipster thing is just hilarious. I love it when K mocks the hipsters!

After Filter and after finally getting back to K&B's via bus and our legs, B, Porkchop, and I had to leave. *sadness*

But, all in all, a very good weekend!

No comments: