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Entries tagged with "chicago"

Patio View Looking UpwardsSo there are days like today - amazing blue skies, subtle winds, perfect temperatures - that make me smile, just by looking out the window. There isn't a single thing about today that I would change. There, in all honesty, weren't very many of these days in DC and that's part of the reasoning as to why I moved. These days were either too muggy, too cold or too warm for my preference.

It's days like this you need to be outside, taking advantage of this weather... and that's why I had to get a place here in Chicago with a patio/porch/outside seating area. There's nothing like sitting outside on your patio, looking skyward at blue skies, listening to a little Panic! at the Disco, - thanks Alexis for getting it into my head this weekend - drinking some great wine and doing a little blogging/pre-design. Life cannot get any better than this.

Welcome back to, in all seriousness, what will become a recurring theme on this blog... That Stupid Thing I Did!

In our first installment, I retold the tale of how I locked my keys into my apartment then couldn't get in for an entire weekend. Well, number two happened last night.

I'm a tea drinker. I drink a lot of it. Every night, I fill up my snazzy tea kettle, get the water going to nice boil, pour it into one of my French presses and add some of that awesome Belgium loose tea. Every stinking night I do it! Makes three cups. It's awesome... Heck, I even did it this past weekend on a night when Eric and I both blacked out. Apparently, I've done it enough times, I can actually do it in my sleep.

Last night, I go through the routine. I pour the water in the kettle. Turn the stove on high, throw the kettle on and wait for the water to boil. Now, I do actually leave the kitchen at this time. I'm a busy boy. I've got things I need to take care of. Last night was no exception. I left the kitchen to go save the world (Note: I didn't actually save the world. I just can't remember what I was doing.) A few minutes go by, kettle is steaming nicely and making it's usual "heating up" noises. But something's wrong. It's starting to smell... like... SMOKE! I think to myself, "what is that?" and carry on with what I was doing. 5 seconds later I realize it's from my apartment and it's *cough* effing *cough* smo-- *cough* --key in here. With all the urgency of Michael Jackson leaving a courtroom, I casually amble over to the stove and... HOLY SHIT! IT'S ON FIRE! WTF?!

Now, this wasn't some small, put out with your shoes fire. This was a full blown, "someone get the fire extinguisher" fire. I'm talking level 3. Flames about a two feet high. "How the hell did I set my tea kettle on fire?!" Then I saw it.

A dishrag.

I left a dishrag underneath the effing tea kettle... and it lit itself on fire. You have got to be kidding me. I grab the dishrag, the three square inches that weren't on fire, and threw it into the sink. Thank the lord for those mini hoses off the the side and douse this fire until it's totally gone. Now it's bad. I feel like an idiot. It stinks in my apartment and it's smokey as hell in here. Plus, the dishrag was one of my new ones! I just bought the thing at Target!

So I open up the patio door as far as it'll go and freeze for the next 45 minutes trying to air this place out. Luckily it did and there was only one causality - a brave dishrag that went down fighting.

I've been here in Chicago for a few weeks now... finally settling down and getting use to this new life of mine. In the short time I've been here I've: seen a (still sort of) green river, an enormous anti-war protest, the sun rise over the city, more Guiness consumed than I'd like to admit. I've almost been run over ON THE SIDEWALK in front of Wrigley during a drunken walk home, have shot 63 for a round of golf and was the highest of the foursome, been taken over the fence by Alex Rodriguez and seen Mark McGwire strike out and have become a "regular" at The Irish Oak... and this was all in the last 3 days. Well, that's a bit unfair seeing as I had all my high school friends in town for a Chicago-style "St. Patty's Day Massacre" (it's not normal to be nearly killed on the 5 block walk home from the bar, I don't think). It was a long weekend filled with many priceless one-liners and more inappropriate conversations than I'd had in many years. I loved every second of it.

Anyways, back on topic. I've made a little list of the things I've noticed about Chicago since arrival...

  1. On the sidewalks, every 6 steps I "break my mother's back."
  2. What is the deal with everyone running off the el? Seeing as I didn't take mass transit in DC - and even when I did we had escalators that took you up and down - this whole stair racing thing is new to me. People jump off the train and head straight for the exits, only to literally run down the stairs. I've come to two conclusions so far.
    1. It's cold. Everyone's is in a hurry to get home and out of the bitter winds that this place is famous for.
    2. It's what I like to call the "Last Day of School" Syndrome. You know that last day of school when every kid is excited about the upcoming summer? The prospects of doing nothing but sleeping in, hanging out and catching up on their tv shows. You distance yourself from the majority of other kids in your school just to forget about school. Sure, there's a select few you still see and those are your true friends but everyone else you can't get away from fast enough. Well, it's like that. But everyone is so excited to, not get out of school for three months, but to get off this crowded, uncomfortable train that've been on for the past half hour. They are so filled with joy to be off the train they want to distance themselves from the strangers that were pressed up against them in awkward positions for so long. So they run down the stairs to freedom. Or maybe I've just over analyzing this and I walk really slow...
  3. I have trouble focusing on my writing when listening to songs I know the lyrics too. This brain of mine can only process one thing at a time. I'm listening to my Podsafe Music mix right now (Matthew Ebel, Valley Lodge, Brother Love) but I know all the words to these songs. Every once and a while I'll find myself typing out some lyrics and not thinking about it. Thanks Brother Love...
  4. Every morning, at the Belmount stop, the Red and Brown line trains coordinate to be at the stop at the same time. I CANNOT stress enough how important this is to me!
  5. If you ever tire of this skyline, something is seriously wrong with you. There's a little area on the Brown/Purple line between Armitage and Sedwick where you see an entire panoramic of the skyline, from the Hancock to the Sears. Just awesome!
  6. Speaking of the Sears Tower, did you know that it's so flat here in the Midwest that I can see it from Ikea? No joke. It's nearly 30 miles apart but you can for sure see it. Quite freaking awesome if you ask me.
  7. How in the world did I ever live without Fox Soccer Channel? I mean, seriously. It is, by far, my most watched station. It's not even funny how much soccer I've seen since moving. Just gets me ever more excited about a trip to London. Alexis, how about this summer we actually do it instead of talking about it? But here's my catch, we have to catch an EPL match on the trip. That's all I need and I will be forever happy... well, that and a World Cup match in a country that CARES about soccer.
  8. I've found a nice little podcast by the great people at Hungry Magazine all about Chicago cuisine. I'm a HUGE fan of this and based on their recommendations will be checking out Butter when Alexis comes to visit in a couple weeks.
  9. Not having any bedroom furniture really stinks. I'm waiting for my bed frame to be delivered but, seeing as it's on back order, this may be a while. So in the meantime, check out the Flickr set of my living room. Sorry about the poor images. Somewhere during the move I lost my digital camera.
  10. Ugh. Yes, I LOST MY DIGITAL CAMERA! So buying a new one has been added to the list of things to do in Backpack, which I've been using a lot lately to help me accomplish little tasks (ie responding to important emails, changing bills over, freelance job progress, when I need to blog again and such). It's really a lifesaver.
And on that note, it's my bedtime. Count another task checked off in my Backpack.

As those who are close to me know, and those who check this blog periodically have noticed, I'm pretty much stopped writing for the past couple months. Please bear with me on this one. There are numerous reasons as to why:

  1. I've moved halfway across the country to a city I should've probably been in all along. Chicago. Yes, back to the Midwest; back to what I hated for SO many years of my life, back to the ever-changing weather, back to the flat lands, the flyover states. I know all this and it was a very tough decision to make. I've realized, I'm from the Midwest. I tried out the east coast - as much as you can say DC is the east coast - and... well... it just wasn't for me. Don't get me wrong. I loved living in DC. I met some incredibly talented people which made my decision to leave much harder than I expected. But, in my heart, I knew it was the right move.

    For the time being, I'm working with the wonderful people at Elevate Studios, who have even given me a warm, cuddly fleece to survive this weather. They do some great work for some even better clients from what I've gathered. Plus, I now join the mass-transit-taking-to-work public! That's right. No more driving 1.4 miles to work (yes, I honestly DROVE that everyday). I'm in Wrigleyville now, about 4 blocks from Wrigley (baseball, w00t!) and 2 blocks from the beach (summer, w00t!). I have a nice little back patio that'll be AWESOME in the warm weather for BBQs (Note: I'm not giving out my ACTUAL address because, chances are, if you're going to be coming over for a BBQ this summer you already have it. If you don't have my address and want to come over for a BBQ email me and I've sure we can be friends. I love to BBQ!).
  2. Onto my second point, this blog. Ugh... I launched it about a half year ago with no ado. Since, I've found it tough to feel my way through this "blogosphere." I've been rehashing other stories, blogging about nothing of ANY importance (is it any coincidence the most popular page on this site is How to Iron a Dress Shirt ?) and just basically polluting the internet because I can. No real helpful information. I was a part of this over-saturation of content. I wasn't helping anyone with this site. I wasn't making thought provoking insights, wasn't making cutting reviews, wasn't retelling great stories of my life. It's been bugging me for six months until I could finally figure out my solution: My life goes here, design articles go there, no critiques of ANYTHING unless they are thoroughly thought out and edited. Extremely simple right? Well it took me half a year to figure it out.
  3. Due to her complaining, my Alexis will no longer be refered to as "The Girl." Just go with me on this and know when I say Alexis I mean "My Girl(friend)"...
  4. I'll be Flickring pics of the new apartment as soon as Ikea decides to send me my new furniture. So stay tuned...


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