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08/01 Direct Link
How do you like to fly? I would probably wear a dress, black, to my knees. Then a blanket shawl--infinitely easier, multi-functional and ten times more elegant than a jacket. Wear flats, eat what is given to me, spend the first half onboard sleeping or at least trying to: take a pill, rub badger balm under my nose, anything for some decent shut-eye. Bring a tumbler; ask for water every time the attendant passes by. Do not worry about things I thought I forgot because they will find me. And good things come to those who wait.
08/02 Direct Link
Yesterdayís veggie lasagna and bread for breakfast, tapas for lunch, hotdog with everything on it for early dinner--I've not had anything I didnít like so far. Does Millenium Park ever disappoint? There were new sculptures, and the fountain was quite a show, tourists were asking us to take their photos. We went there to see the flower garden but there were plenty of petunias and pentas and coneflowers on the way. Itís unfair how they call them skullcaps, could they not think of a prettier name? Chicago seems like a lot of fun in the summer.
08/03 Direct Link
Arrived late for 12nn class. Studio has new blue felt-like carpet which is much easier to grip with the feet and much less smelly. Ate at the nearby Quizno's, walked to the Hersheyís store near the Water Tower where there were stuffed giant Kisses and where Joni bought a very large and very yummy chunky cookie--itís subtly sweet dough didnít overpower the chocolate, I think this is how all cookies should be made. Pearl is the best place to kill time; if I had the money, I would buy out all their quirky greeting cards.
08/04 Direct Link
Up at 5 to walk 5 miles to Belmont. Second mile, everything smelled like chocolate doughnuts but Joni said he smelled bacon; on the train to Evanston I smelled strawberries. Le Egg sandwich was just as I remembered it; this time I finished the side of potatoes. Le Peepís bacon is so good! I thought itís easier to drive a manual than to ride a bike (donít know how!), but the Segway Tour made me realize: I have good balance. I took to it easily; for a couple of hours I was Harry Potter on a broom.
08/05 Direct Link
Itís one of those good days: instructor compliments my practice, twice. Sad how I canít do some poses as well as I used to, I know Iím better at some poses, which only means my body's changing. Joni and I were welling up and choking up watching Up; from the short film with the clouds to the credits, itís well worth eleven dollars, we had the theater to ourselves. Dunkin Donuts has the best iced tea. Cinnamon-covered nuts at Navy Pier; didnít go on the ferris wheel because my cameraís batteries ran out.
08/06 Direct Link
I brought a book to the train because everyone either has an ipod or a book to travel with. The House on Mango Street, my thirteenth book, exactly the kind I might write one day. Fell in line for 2 hours for the free show at the Apple Store. Chairlift's alright, but itís Passion Pit I came for--took videos for Macy. We felt so old with all those high schoolers. Then I saw this grandma in line holding an ipod, and again inside, nodding along to the beat, smiling, smiling a lot. Her favorite color must be periwinkle.
08/07 Direct Link
What I love about Chicago is its dedication to art, such that it can be found everywhere, on the streets. Everyone has access to art here. I finally saw the unnamed Picasso by Clark St., in front of the building with the postal service, where we went to ship two pairs of boots to Cami. Meant to be. I sit here with an awesome view of the Vitamin Water stage (pink one) at Lollapalooza. The main stage is blue and Depeche Mode is on to close the night--itís just the first one, the Killers will be playing Sunday.
08/08 Direct Link
This is the year of two summers; it feels like this is my first one--I didnít really do anything summery back home, this is the one summer Iíve been waiting for. For the first time I appreciated the wind, it almost lulled me to sleep--Joni wouldnít let me hug him while waiting for the fireworks at Navy Pier because he was afraid Iíd doze off. I was feeling a little sentimental, might be because of the movie--ell-played by Zooey--I just wish it didnít turn out that way for most people.
08/09 Direct Link
There is no Xiao Long Pao at Phoenix in Chinatown, maybe why the folks insisted I have some sesame black bubble tea from the restaurant downstairs. They also got us some pistachio-tapioca concoction from Tahoora after mass at Loyola. Lollapalooza 2009 might officially end after the Killers (and the crowd) finish singing Mr. Brightside--this is the loudest Iíve heard them yet. I met a lot of kids wearing wristbands (itís $250 for a 3-day pass) on the train home, I donít understand why they chose to miss this. It really feels like summer now.
08/10 Direct Link
ďWhat bus goes to Target?Ē ď12. Thereíre only two buses on that side of the road.Ē ďMaybe Iíll walk to Millenium Park.Ē ďAnd weíve come so far without going anywhere today.Ē Except a block down Michigan for Homemade Pizza. They do half the job for you--the dough, pile it with stuff--you take it home, pop it in the oven. They also sell cookies that way. A package came for me, on the envelope, for ďhungthemoonĒ. A handmade neck scarf from Bella of livejournal. She said she thought of me when she saw the orange yarn.
08/11 Direct Link
Stopped by Garrettís before going in to see Paper Heart, which is cute because Michael Cera is and Charlyne Yi isnít--I thought Iíd find her adorable as the reviews say, but hers isnít our brand of comedy. Those tamago rolls from Osaka are probably the cheapest and yummiest Iíve eaten. Museum of Contemporary Photography was a quick stop before I ventured to Target, by my lonesome for the first time; went home with things I needed; shopping for basic things is an enjoyable experience here. Finally got some great shots of the two fountains!
08/12 Direct Link
Today's an exercise in letting go. Working for myself, weekdays blur into weekends, I donít know the difference save for saturday morning lay-ins that are really quite precious. I caught cold from last night, sitting on a bench, waiting for Buckingham fountain to light up just right, that I lay in bed most of today and finished my 16th book for the year--now I am back in the game. All for getting a fresh start, I am set on forgetting and beginning anew. They just set off fireworks at Navy Pier, I can see from my window.
08/13 Direct Link
I didn't take a nap today (for the first time), excited for the Art Institute which we didnít finish. I want to go see the Van Goghs again if we do go back tomorrow. I wanted to smack the waiter when she asked about my pudding, as though sheís rubbing it in that I couldnít afford a proper entree. It was Joniís treat, I dressed nicely for it, but I felt bad about asking for anything that was beyond my price range. I came out looking for a hotdog stand, I just wanted to go home.
08/14 Direct Link
Having trouble choosing my photo today; the salesperson at Akira is Filipino and let me take photos of the rainboots. Scored the perfect pair of jeans--the very first pair I wore straight out of the store; length, rinse, rise all perfect that I had to buy two, and theyíre on sale today! The Art Institute is a more manageable mouthful the second time around but forgot to see Van Gogh! Loved the souvenirs at the shop--stuffed pebbles, pantone mugs, roller skate lamps, egg banks, chickies with hearts, a Frida Kahlo stuffed doll--naturally didnít buy anything.
08/15 Direct Link
Spent hours under the midday sun for the Air and Water Show at Navy Pier. Only saw the Air Show because to see both shows we shouldíve gone to the beach--no thanks, weíve seen better ones. Being at the carnival meant quick access to food; I snuck out to get some while Joni stayed 5 hours watching the fighter planes do their tricks, he knew their names, too, Iím impressed. We rushed home for dinner with Joniís aunts at The Parthenon over at Greektown, I didnít eat everything but Iím still so full!
08/16 Direct Link
Drove up to East Dundee for Joniís uncleís birthday. The carís GPS was amazing, I amused myself watching the arrow moving along, more than an hour. Food was excellent Filipino fare, they even had lechon, sapin-sapin and bibingka; had empanada and clams and pineapple upside-down cake and clams and yummy fried rice and squid and shrimp and clams. When Joni and I went out to get some fresh air, we saw two deer eating grass, then had to go back in to tell Joniís dad he left the carís headlights on.
08/17 Direct Link
Laundry day: whites, coloreds, sheets, blanket--took more than half of today. Rode the blue line (a first) to Wicker Park, where rows upon rows of interesting shops await. CDs for as little as a dollar at The Exchange, they had EVERYTHING even DVDs of shows I loved to watch EXCEPT Mr. Belvedere. Rudyís Roundup was my favorite, scored a beautiful blue vintage just-the-right-size-and-with-lots-of-compartments bag for $12, yay! Joni got StringDollGang keychains for his friends. Santulloís Eatery serves up cheap oversize thin-crust pizzas as cheesy as I like them.
08/18 Direct Link
Finished Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst. Took a long walk to see the public sculptures around the El; photographed the Unnamed Picasso again but missed the Flamingo--will do this another day, I was often shy about taking out my map. Saw a dog that looked like a little black bear. Walked into Blickís at State, lots of interesting paper products including a big blank desk calendar Joni might like and a book on Copywriting I might come back for. Ate cheesy rigatoni with sundried tomatoes for dinner, yum! My Sartorialist book arrived but will start on Shiloh.
08/19 Direct Link
Toured Glessner and Clarke houses at Prairie Ave., the latter the oldest domestic structure in Chicago, impressive in the way theyíve been preserved, both more than a hundred years old. Thereís a little garden next to Clarke House, anyone can rent a small plot off it; saw giant cabbages, tomatoes and chilis and bees feeding off neon flowers. There we met a lady who smiled at me twice from afar while I was taking photos before she came up for a chat, asked where weíre from. Sheís Peppi from Bulgaria, I wanted to take her picture.
08/20 Direct Link
Itís my third time at Chicago Art Institute, a reservation at Terzo Piano where Obamaís chef supposedly presides. The truth is Iím glad my choices were pretty safe, gnocchi, short ribs for main, and cheese even though I didnít order wine. I was sad for Joniís dad when he didnít like his raw tuna, but he and Tita Bella always have this amazing dynamic: they switched plates. Joniís dessert was gone before I could say cheese. They gave us the cutest little pistachio macaroons. I think itís the most expensive meal yet.
08/21 Direct Link
On bus rides to downtown Iíve been observing how passengers get off from the back--do the doors open automatically or do they have to be pushed? I didnít want to find out at the expense of being perceived ignorant, so today just like yesterday, I scooted to the front of the bus where the doors open for me and I step out with no hassle, straight to Apple Store, where it is always packed and it is always accommodated. I do not trust the folks back home to fix my computer. Itís much cheaper here, too.
08/22 Direct Link
Had the best scone ever at Lincoln Park Market, nice and fruity, not too sweet. Had a little picnic with three kinds of berries and honey mint iced tea; I didnít dare taste the elk burger. The best part: Joni bought me flowers and a block of cheese. Early dinner at Maggianoís, family-style, ďlightĒ-- two salads, two pastas, and the winner is the lasagna. I only had a bit of everything but I felt so full, it was a shock to my stomach which didnít have any lunch. Back home, did 5 km on the treadmill.
08/23 Direct Link
I'm not sure if itís still August 23rd, I'm not sure what time it is, I'm not sure if Iím hungry, I'm not sure if Iím dehydrated, I'm not sure if I would be able to sleep with this headache, I'm not sure if I can get through this vacation without wishing of being home, I'm not sure if I'm still rational, but two things I'm sure of: I made a very big step tonight and I really, really, really, really, really, truly, deeply, desperately hope I did something tonight that is a big step towards forever.
08/24 Direct Link
That means a lot, you said. Iím possibly the most hurt I have been in my life but I can still look you in the eye and talk calmly--we havenít really been talking lately and I thought itís because we can be quiet around each other and be okay--I thought that it's a good thing, but now itís not always true. I must have also talked the most today, and asked the most questions, and Iím glad that I handle it the best way I know; thereís progress after just one day.
08/25 Direct Link
Black women must have a thing with hand lotion: I saw one woman dig through her suitcase for hand lotion at Seattle Airport, I remember seeing the same thing in Chicago. Seattle Airport has three different Starbucks, Iím surprised I didnít smell like coffee. There was a faint foam-soapy smell that I recognized, and some sweet but fake berry scent all around. Soon as we got into the bus that would take us downtown it smelled like old socks, there was a bum on board. At the corner of 1st Ave and Pine it smelled like Indians.
08/26 Direct Link
We had bagels for breakfast, so tasty I canít believe I had two! Watched Old School Sesame Street on DVD until I got sleepy and took a nap. Saw sculptures, the Space Needle, on our way to the Duck Tour--itís a land and water tour on a bus that can go in the water, which was quite an experience thanks to our driver and tour guide, Captain Hugo--I envy him his energy and his many hats, particularly the baseball one. Went to Safeway again, then had yummy sushi straight out of a conveyor belt for dinner.
08/27 Direct Link
ANY latte for $1.80 from 7-8.30 AM at the Crumpet Shop! Got soy caramel, the only latte made with soy that I loved--Joni said it tasted like champorado without milk. I was also going to get a little jar of Marmite--Iíd always been curious about what yeast extract tastes like--but I decided to just get a crumpet spread with butter and Marmite. It turned out to be a good idea because I donít really know how much Marmite to use, and it ended up being a little too savory for my taste.
08/28 Direct Link
Breakfast on our last day meant three different kinds of toppings on the same crumpets and the same soy caramel latte as yesterday. It is extremely important to me to have found this little warm place I like to believe I ďdiscoveredĒ that makes Seattle (or the US) worth going back to. Again I amaze myself at my ability to pack three large suitcases weighing exactly 49 pounds each. This trip is definitely not what I expected, I know that itís more of a good than a bad thing, I hope Joni and I can go back another day.
08/29 Direct Link
I should remember next time to set aside money to spend in Japan; there's always something interesting in the shops here, whether itĎs food or a trinket too special to pass up. I found a stuffed tree with a white bunny crouched on its leaves, and some other animal hiding in its hollow. I was looking for band aids to patch up the blister on my left heel that popped during the first leg of the trip, a bit disappointed they didnít have Japanese-y ones. I got Menís Pocky, cheddar strips, Dars bitter chocolate, afternoon tea.
08/30 Direct Link
I donít want you to stay because itís easy, i want you to stay because you want to, largely because we are worth it, but honestly, because i am also worth it. Show me, tell me, say and do. Thatís what I need from you now. I donít want you to stay because itís easy, i want you to stay because you want to, largely because we are worth it, but honestly, because i am also worth it. Show me, tell me, say and do. Thatís what I need from you now. Show me.
08/31 Direct Link
Nothing much has changed. Weíre even better off now than we were before certainly in terms of communication. I know you try to understand me more. We work on the other things, and despite everything, we both want to, we both still see a future for us. I should be thankful--I think today I got to show you--and I am, but Iím not always this strong. I'm done cleaning my room, except for my shoes and maybe the electric fan. But that can wait until tomorrow because I want to spend some time with you first.