City of the Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher of the World

That’s the way Carl Sandburg saw Chicago, I saw it slightly differently. City of art. City of music. City of stuff going on, everywhere!

First, we drive across Michigan, past Michigan City, Indiana, to a commuter train station at Beverly Shores. The trains run about every two hours, with sleet and snow we have cut the timing very close, amazingly close. We arrive at the station two minutes late, the train is five minutes late, we make it! Then an easy trip into Chicago, where we eat lunch at Miller’s Pub, a classic. You can tell by all the photos of old celebrities in the place. The proprietor with George Burns, the proprietor with Milton Berle, you get the idea.

Me at Miller’s Pub

Then onto Millennium Park. Us in front of the big screen, and lots of pictures of the big shiny bean.

I love the big shiny bean!

We meet up with our friends, Todd and Deb, whom I was too stupid to get a picture of. We all go out to the House Of Blues to see Joanna Conner, and got our fill of Blues.

Me at the House of blues-always makes me want to redecorate my house!

Our friends let us crash one night in their very swanky hotel. The next day Mark and I stop by a little museum called Luma where we see a wonderful show called “The Art of the Creche”, rooms filled with nativity scenes from all over the world, beautiful! We find Wicker Park, a funky part of town, where I went bead shopping at Beadnik.

Lets see, how many skull beads can I afford?

Walking back from Wicker Park, Mark shot these images of a flat building beautifully painted. Even the bay windows are tromp l’oeil.

Then a little window shopping at Water Tower Place, where everything is decorated and shiny!

Then we head back, where again we just make the train, not quite as dramatic as the first time. We stop at the Shoreline Brewery for some wonderful suds and grub, and back home to the waiting cats. Great way to continue celebrating my birthday!


I’m still not there yet. But I should be, in a couple of hours. Mark and I did a bunch of raking, two furnaces went out yesterday and Mark the genius fixed them both, and I did a lot of work on my Christmas cards. So we didn’t make it to Chicago. We will today!

See ya!

And yes, it was my birthday yesterday, as Lynn seems bent on letting everyone know. It was a lovely day, despite spending some of it working. I’ll show ya what I got later!

100 Things About Me (last installment)

  1. I think I’m funny.
  2. My husband fixes antique radios. I will schlep things, I will hold things, I will go to swap meets, I will deliver things, but I will not learn how to change capacitors.
  3. I am left-handed. Very left-handed. When I row a boat, it goes in a circle. I am also left-eyed, left-footed, and left-eared.
  4. I’m also left-wing, mostly.
  5. Mark and I restore old houses, hence the landlord business. I like the houses better when they are wrecked than when they are all clean and shiny.
  6. I am a fan of graffiti.
  7. Whenever I get a newspaper, I read the funnies first. I thought when I grew up that would change. It didn’t.
  8. My two favorite blogs are post secret and wooster collective.
  9. I am not a fan of symmetry. I have three earrings in my right ear and one in my left ear.
  10. I still have big trouble remembering which is right and which is left. When a friend of mine showed her son that the left hand forms an “L” with the thumb and forefinger when held out, it helped me a lot.
  11. I like old things. I attribute this to Mark, who taught me to like old things. Good thing, ‘cuz we’re both old things now.
  12. I am married to a drummer. He keeps trying to teach me to keep a beat. Sometimes I can.
  13. I snore. I’m not proud of this, but Mark will tell you anyway, so I might as well tell you and get it over with.
  14. It is hard for me to pick a favorite artist, there are so many I love. Louise Nevelson, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Cezanne, Morris Louis, but Marc Rothko pretty much eeks them all out.
  15. I am usually too cold, but recently that has changed for short periods of time.
  16. I love lapsang souchong tea. Yes, I know it smells like tar. It’s good.
  17. I pick up shiny things, and rusty things on my walks. Maybe my totem is a possum.
  18. I was married on Halloween. At the Majestic Theater. You should have been there.
  19. I do not like bananas. I do not like the way they taste or smell.
  20. I was born in Minnesota. I moved to Michigan when I was one.
  21. I still have the fringy leather jacket my mother bought at Scott Coulburn’s and gave me for Christmas when I was 15.
  22. I buy most my clothes at Salvation Army. I told you I was cheap.
  23. A couple of years ago I rode my bike all the way from Plymouth to Northville, and back. That was huge for me. I am very proud.
  24. I’d rather eat out than in.
  25. I never thought I could get through 100 things, I got stuck on #2.

100 Things About Me (third installment)

  1. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I met Mark, he taught me. I’m still scared every minute I’m on one.
  2. I do not have a tattoo. I always assumed I would regret getting one. Now I regret not getting one. I may have to remedy that.
  3. I cannot sing. Tone deaf. I cannot play an instrument. But I need music around me.
  4. I dated Mark 10 years before I married him.
  5. We have been married 14 years.
  6. I am not one to hide my age. I’m turning 52.
  7. Mark and I go to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival whenever we can.
  8. Because I love this festival, people assume I love jazz. I do not. I love blues, Cajun, zydeco, old country, folk, rock, bluegrass, and I can sometimes enjoy opera, though.
  9. I’ve taken a lot of French classes, but I can’t seem to learn another language. This disappoints me.
  10. My dad died at age 59. Colon cancer, I get checked.
  11. If there are potato chips in the house, I eat them. No matter if I’m hungry.
  12. I’d rather live in the city than in the country.
  13. I like turtles. I think my totem is a turtle.
  14. I like to dance. I like contra dancing, though I rarely manage to go.
  15. When I was five, I let a boy put a worm on my tongue on a dare. I should never have let Mark know about this, he tells people about it at inopportune times.
  16. I love art museums.
  17. I have a builder’s license.
  18. I love making watercolors, but only if they are 4″x6″ or smaller.
  19. I never liked winter, but I mind it less than I ever have, even with seven properties to shovel.
  20. When I was a child reading the comics, I read a Ripley’s Believe It or Not about a man who was frightened to death when he saw skeletons dancing. This terrified me, I was sure I would run into dancing skeletons. To reassure me, my sister explained I had a skeleton inside me. This had the opposite effect, and is where my death obsession/skeleton obsession started.
  21. I talk to my cats, my stuffed animals, and to the tv. They are all less likely to disagree with me than my husband.
  22. I don’t mind if you make fun of me. I do mind if you make fun of my artwork.
  23. I am slowly getting over my phobia of telephones, though I still prefer email.
  24. The first rock and roll concert I attended was the Rolling Stones at Cobo Hall, with my sister. We got the expensive tickets. They were $6.50 each. We had a blast!
  25. I rarely go to big concerts anymore, Mark and I prefer smaller venues, with great music. There is plenty of that around.

100 Things About Me (second installment)

  1. I am a beer drinker, the darker, the maltier, the better.
  2. I love to travel, and I love to stay with friends and family when I do. I have a not-so-serious plan to get 26 friends to put me up two weeks a year so I don’t need a house.
  3. I love olives.
  4. I like hanging out in cemeteries.
  5. Not surprisingly, I’m a little death-obsessed.
  6. I rather enjoy funerals.
  7. I like my hair best when it’s dyed strange colors. I kind of like being stared at.
  8. I carve rubber stamps from erasers. It’s possibly my favorite thing to do.
  9. Every year, I make three wall calendars, one for my mother, one for my sister Jane, and one for me.
  10. I prefer man made structures to nature. I loved seeing Stonehenge, and I want to see the pyramids of Egypt, I liked the Grand Canyon, but it doesn’t impress me like the works of man.
  11. I can sleep 10 hours a night. I’m good at it. I can sleep anywhere, even in a bar with a band.
  12. I am married to a man who only needs 5 or 6 hours of sleep, and often doesn’t come to bed until 4 or 5 am.
  13. I’m very bad at, and consequently don’t like, team sports.
  14. Like most women, I have a love affair with shoes. Unlike most women, the shoes I love are Converse High Tops, and I rarely wear a matching pair.
  15. I always make my own Christmas cards. Partly to show off, and partly because I’m cheap.
  16. I’m cheap.
  17. I wear contact lenses, and need reading glasses. Without help, I would be completely blind. Being both near sighted and far sighted sounds like you should be able to see everything, but you can see nothing.
  18. I’m bad with plants, fortunately Mark is good with them. I figure they know where the water is, they can go get it if they are thirsty. I’m glad Mark is good with them, I do love having them around.
  19. I do not regret my decision not to have children. I thought I might, but it turns out I don’t.
  20. I worked retail for 25 years, as a picture framer. I miss nothing about it.
  21. I was very good at it.
  22. I don’t drink soda pop. I have never liked it, not even as a child. It tastes yucky to me.
  23. I liked beer from the day I was born.
  24. I am very messy. I live in chaos. I enjoy chaos.
  25. I cannot remember numbers. I could never even remember how much I made. Never ask me how much a gallon of milk should cost, I will not know.

100 Things About Me

I’ve joined in the fun, and I’ve written 100 things about myself. Because I feel this may be too much mindless prattle for my friends to read in one sitting (or even at all), I’ve decided to divide it up into four installments. Here is the first: only 25 things about me.

  1. My two favorite books are Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins and Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut.
  2. I am a landlady, through marriage.
  3. I think landlady is the worst feminine word. You hear actor and think thespian, actress and think bimbo, prince and think heir to the throne, princess and think whiny pain in the butt, landlord and think property owner, landlady and think cigarettes, hair rollers, and slippers. Though it’s a look I may try out.
  4. I don’t like dealing with tenants, but I actually enjoy a lot of the cleaning and yard work.
  5. If I don’t get outside, I get sunlight deprived and get depressed.
  6. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Creative Studies. My major was fibers.
  7. I always thought make up was too flighty and froo froo until I started to know men who wear make up. Is that weird?
  8. I never wanted to live in a house. My game plan was to always live in apartments. Now I own seven properties, with no end in sight. How did I get here?
  9. If I could live anywhere, I would divide my time up between Paris, New York, and New Orleans.
  10. I am very close to my mother and my sister. I have dinner with them once a week, usually Tuesdays. Mark refers to us as the holy trinity.
  11. I’m happier now than I have ever been in my life.
  12. My favorite album (you can tell I’m old because I say album) of all time is still The Velvet Underground and Nico, ever since I bought it in 1967. It has always been my top desert island pick.
  13. I never cared about cooking much until I went to Europe in 2000 with my mom and sister, then I learned what food is supposed to taste like. I don’t always eat well, but now I have the sense to be bummed out when I don’t.
  14. Mark and I try to see live music whenever we can. It’s important to both of us, it’s one of the many things that keeps us glued together.
  15. Mark and I also can’t work unless there is music. We will drag radios and cd players all over the neighborhood to be sure we have music.
  16. I really enjoy entertaining, and judging from the fact that people keep showing up, I’m not too bad at it.
  17. I have many, many interesting friends. But not enough. I keep looking for more.
  18. I can’t imagine living without a cat. My sister believes a house without a cat is a house without a soul, and I agree.
  19. I love watching old movies, I can spend all day watching Turner Classic Movies, and if you can give me Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, and a host of others from that era, I am very happy.
  20. I mistrust movies made in color. I like a lot of them, but they have to win me over.
  21. I automatically like black and white movies, and find myself watching some horrible stuff just because it’s old and in black and white and so I think it can’t be bad.
  22. I am a vegetarian, though I do eat dairy and fish.
  23. I became a vegetarian when I was 15. You don’t die if you don’t eat meat.
  24. I don’t mind that other people eat meat.
  25. I believe we are all part of the problem, and part of the solution. If being a vegetarian works for me to be part of the solution, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. You will find something that works for you.