photo friday: table 12 rocks the house as well

31 Oct


Last weekend, Swede and I and the DC Family traversed to Baltimore for a Family Member’s wedding. The bride—who rocked the house in Michigan—knew well to put our motley crew next to the dance floor for her wedding in Charm City.

It’s just better that way.

Pre-wedding, our Baltimore bride informed us that in addition to being next to the dance floor we were also “a stone’s throw” from the bar.

“What kind of stone?” we asked. “And do you mean a light throw, or a solid toss?”

“A light throw,” she responded.


It was more akin to a medium-solid toss with a modest-weight rock.


On the plus side, if the bar was one leg of a triangle, and the dance floor was another, the third, closing leg was the photo booth.

Photo. Booth.

With props!

(At one point I sported both a crown and a fake hook hand.)

(I looked amazing.)

So all was forgiven.


stocking the bar through useless knowledge

29 Oct

Mount Gay rum

For the past six months or so, Swede and I have hit up the monthly trivia night at the yacht club. It turns out that this is a phenomenal way to stock our home bar. Three out of the six months we’ve come in first place, and are consequently in possession of two bottles of Mount Gay rum and a bottle of Dewar’s.

I knew all of this useless knowledge of mine would prove beneficial some day!

But here’s a question—where did I get all of the useless knowledge?

I don’t really know.

Well, wait. That’s not quite true. For one winning question (Category: Things. Question: These can be slow-twitch or fast-twitch. Answer: Muscles), I can thank Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s wife. She was Swede’s high school phys ed teacher, and there’s a story he tells about how Mrs. Secretary of Education once told him he had slow-twitch muscles.

But the rest of the useless knowledge, no clue. No clue where it came from. I’m guessing osmosis, though, because there is no other way I would know that Madonna’s brother is named Christopher Ciccone, and he wrote a book called Life with My Sister Madonna. I have looked, you guys, and that book does not show up on any of my yearly book lists.

Anyway, the point is that we are full of useless knowledge and now our shelves are full of booze, and if you want to join us sometime, please do. Especially if you know sports really, really well. Because we’d be six for six if we didn’t keep blowing the sports questions.

photo friday: hitting the high notes

17 Oct

Chicago Opera copy

Sometimes you take a walk at lunch and stumble across an absolutely lovely piece of architecture, like the cavernous front of the Lyric Opera House. This is Chicago, though, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

I’ve been to the opera all of one time, while studying abroad in Rome. I can’t say that I really enjoyed it, and in fact remember thinking at the end, as the main lady singer was trilling out music as her character died, “Oh, would you just get ON with it already and die?”

Probably not the most auspicious first opera experience.

But! I will also add that I recently went to the ballet with my friend Cassie, and I didn’t hate it. In fact, I actually quite enjoyed it, and wouldn’t mind going again. This after I hadn’t been to the ballet since age eight, when my mom took me to see Cinderella and I was bored out of my gourd and swore never to return.

So maybe it’s time to give opera a second chance, too.

Chicago–we call it the second city, but perhaps what we mean to say is the city of second chances.

cheerleading basics

15 Oct

Fifty million people ran the Chicago Marathon last Sunday morning, a glorious, perfect fall day in the city. Our home is smack at the end of the racecourse—the last mile starts literally at the front door of our building—and our balcony provides a pretty good view of those people who willingly chose to spend upwards of four or five hours running around the city chasing after friends and family who run the race, hoping to catch a glimpse of their sweaty kin at mile 17 or mile 23 or whatever spot was designated pre-race when racers and fans were still sane. And most likely not sweating.

See, this is the glorious thing about living on the marathon racecourse, and why I recommend buying property on the nearest marathon course near you: If you are a friend or family member of someone who enjoys spending an entire Sunday morning, and perhaps part of the afternoon if they’ve stopped here and there along the racecourse to take a breather (nothing wrong with that in my book), running, you can save yourself the L fare and/or the distress of creating your own marathon course while runner-stalking by telling your runner you’ll see him or her at the 25 mile mark, and then you just have mimosas and bagels and maybe watch some Wild Kratts with your nephews until the magical interweb marathon app tells you your runner is scheduled to run by your front door in approximately 20 minutes.

Feel free, of course, to swap mimosas for a bloody Mary if you’re allergic to citrus.

And when the magical interweb marathon app pings, you just gather up the signs you lovingly and painstakingly made for your runner that read, “THE END IS NEAR!” on one side and, “NO, REALLY! ONLY A MILE LEFT!” on the other, and head outside to clap wildly at every passing runner who even remotely looks like your runner because you think it’s your runner despite the fact that it’s really, really not, including that woman in the green-and-white-striped socks and bumblebee shirt, even though you know your runner was not wearing that when you left him or her at the starting corral. And then clap and yell and shout even more wildly when you finally see your actual runner.

When your hands are blistered from clapping, and you’ve gone hoarse from cheering, that’s the time you go back inside your house and have another bagel, or maybe a goo and a banana, because marathon day is not over yet. The hard part is over, yes, but you still need to be prepared to recover that afternoon with your runner. The couch is not going to sit on itself, you know. Thankfully, since you live so close to the end of the race, your runner doesn’t have far to double back to meet you at the Reunite Area, also known now as Your Home, after her or she crosses the finish line.

So it’s probably best if you go call your realtor right now, and look into finding a marathon course home for yourself. I imagine after I post this, marathon course real estate is going to be snapped up like wildfire. So if you get a good deal, be sure to thank me.

You’re welcome.

Mile Marker











photo friday: hello down there

3 Oct

Sears Tower_edited-1

There was this one time the Sears Tower and I met eye-to-eye. But more often than not it’s more like eye-to-toe.

photo friday: table 5 rocks the house

12 Sep

Table 5 rocks the house

A few weeks ago, my sweet friend Lindsay decided it was a good day to get married. So the DC Family and I traversed over to East Lansing, Michigan to partake in the festivities, and let me tell you something about me at weddings that you don’t know: It turns out I can dance for four hours straight in 3 1/2-inch high heels.

I just can’t help myself, you guys–especially when Locked Out of Heaven comes on. The sweet, sweet dance moves just want to spring forth out of me and make themselves known to the world. Though to be honest they’re not terribly particular about my footwear.


photo friday: not helping, part 2

5 Sep

The very first morning after the very first night we spent in our condo, I tried to have a very Maria von Trapp moment as I walked out onto the balcony, and promptly put my foot through the screen door, forgetting it was closed.

I love our balcony, and I love that we have a screen door so the fresh city air can waft in along with horns blaring and thug life music blasting from the street below. I do not love that there was a big, gaping hole that let flies and other riff-raff in, and I loved even less the fact that Fat Cat decided to try and make this small hole into an even bigger one, as if to create a cat door when we weren’t letting him outside fast enough for his liking to loll about under the tomato plant.

So earlier this summer, I tried to patch the hole (it only took me a year to get around to it. Pretty speedy of me, no?) with a kit from the hardware store. As that did not so much work, I turned to the no-fail solution of duct tape.

Long strips now cover the hole on both sides of the screen, and neither fly nor cat has been able to get through. The day I performed this feat of astute intelligence, Swede was out and about doing other things, but I couldn’t let him miss out on my sheer brilliance, and knelt down to snap a picture.

And was promptly photobombed by this sucker who has never quite grasped the meaning of “helpfulness.”


Not helping 2 copy


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