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I don’t have much time to write up our trip to Grant park for Obama’s big win, but it was pretty neat. Andrea put up some photos of the event here. While we were standing for ~6 hours, I often wondered what the Obamas were up to the whole time. I guess now I know, since they have a flickr photostream with new pictures taken during the returns! (thanks dillon!)

Also, I have updated the blogroll with Andrea&Nubia’s sewing blog and Michael Pierce’s enviably-named science blog.

Here at (timfoolery) we aim to deliver the best customer service possible. In response to a recent comment, we offer the following pictures and our sincerest apologies. We hope you’ll find our pictures to your liking. We know that when you surf the internets you have many clicking options, and hope you will click here again for your boredom-fighting needs. 

We were soaked last weekend while the tornadoes and floods stomped across the midwest. I guess we could have closed our windows. Alas, a stack of prized family photos were soaked, which lester was happy to keep company while they dried.

Next, we got a box of worms in the mail. Now usually I would consider this a hate crime, but we actually paid to have these worms sent to us to eat our garbage! We’re surreptitiously worm composting in our basement storage unit. Though it appears that this can be more complex than you would think, we just dumped a pile of food scraps with some dirt and this box of worms and are crossing our fingers.

The poofy purple flowers (Allium) were found at our Oak Park Farmers’ Market. They didn’t last long and don’t dry well, but brought a lot of joy to our little hearts anyways. May they bring some joy to you, too, gentle reader.

So Andrea & I are very opinionated about…just about everything. Rather than duking it out at home, I thought it would be fun to compare our views in front of the world–just quick little tidbits of things. Ok, here goes:

The Squid and The Whale
Tim: B+ I thought it was funny, and not that heavy despite being a movie about divorce. I wish other movies would be 85 minutes too
Andrea: C+
What was the point? All the characters were screwed up and did nothing to acknowledge or rectify their screwed-up-edness. I can’t imagine that family’s therapy bill!

Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager
Andrea: B+ The strawberry touch is perfect, better than any fruit beer I’ve had (so, 1 of 2). The underlying beer taste is a little bland. Perfect for a hot summer night.
Tim: B-. Not as sweet as I had dreaded. Very refreshing with just an aroma of strawberries. A good summer beer, but ultimately too diluted for my taste. (cute label!)

Great Lakes Sampler
Tim: A-. Nice range of beers. I liked the Edmund Fitz the best, although porters are a little hard to drink in the summer. The pale was great as well, although it was a borderline IPA. The only one I shrugged at was the white beer. In any case, well worth trying.
Andrea: N/A Tim sucked this case down before I could taste more than one. The white one was good — typical belgian.

God grew tired of Us
Andrea: A An endearing story of human resilience and perseverance. Also a nice double-take on our own society and customs, which we’re not often asked to do.
Tim: A. Shamefully, I tend to hide from message movies, but this one pulls you in both its treatment of the Lost Boys’ journey from the Sudan to Kenya and their relocation over here. Definitely worth checking out.

Durango
Andrea: A- I docked points only for some of the interpretation and delivery of the script, which I loved. Julia Cho nailed the Korean family dynamic and culture, which left me smiling widely and on the edge of my seat. The theatre company made inventive use of a small stage and limited funds, too. [sidebar to Reviewer #2: how American of you to insist on perfect clime wherever you go!]
Tim: B. Acting was a little inconsistent, but the script was quite eloquent. Silk Road theater needs some better AC!

The First Breeze of Summer
Tim: B-. The acting was top notch, but I got tired of the main story. My attention sort of petered out during the predictable ending
Andrea: B+ Life is predictable, it’s true! People die when they’re old! I liked the lack of formulaic plotline — sure, it rambled a bit, but that just allowed more time to get to know the large cast.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone
Tim: A-. Pitch perfect, except the lead actor’s take on her character was a bit grating for me. I love this type of absurd theater though and the scene transitions were ingeniously laced into the show itself.
Andrea: A The use of props, the acting, the lighting, the scene transitions — perfect. The lead was written to be seemingly weak, but that helped define where she held the line.

Comedy of Errors
Andrea: C- A ton of money went into this production, which was evident in the lavish costumes and the extravagant set, but though there were ostensibly two plays — the movie set and then the Shakespearean drama they were filming — the acting styles were identical in both. I was also distracted by the over-acting and two-dimensional emotions.
Tim: B. A lot better than I expected when I heard it was a play within a play (that was a period piece as well). Hammy fun and solid on the acting and technical sides. Too long for my taste, which probably has detracted from my memory of it.

Joffrey American Moderns
Tim: C+. Well, I really tried to give my first show at the Joffrey a fair shake, but I got a little tired of the dancing after the second intermission. Inner Space was pretty great though, albeit more circus than dance.
Andrea: B+ (I don’t think it’s fair to downgrade a dance performance b/c you don’t like dance) Some things were boring and overused, like sailing across the stage with helicopter arms, but the box act was incredible. There were microphones inside the box so we could hear all the squeaks of flesh against the plexiglass, and the different combinations and non-emotive emotions were fascinating.

1. Our hero cut chunks out of two fingers yesterday while trying to slice some galangala. I think that’s what he called it, but google had no pics to share with you. It looks a little like fat ginger with rings. Anyways, he may be absent from his blog since yesterday he could only moan about how little he could do with only 8 operable fingers, and then dribbled blood about the house.

(tim: it’s that goddam galangal, see image on right.)

2. We saw a wonderful play last weekend — Dead Man’s Cell Phone at the Tony award-winning Steppenwolf. Lots of great scene changes and creative uses of light and props, which capped off great acting — including acting drunk! Laura’s mom tipped us off to this little treasure, the Saints — a volunteer usher org that allows you to see plays all around chicago fo’ free!

3. We’re headed to Seattle tomorrow! Our hero is being honored for stellar dissertation-writing and we are all proud. We hope to see you there! And, we hope to have some nice pics to color this increasingly bland site. If our hero is too gimpy to take some, perhaps he can flash his pearly smile once or twice.

Last night was a good time. We ended up driving for what seemed like hours to get to this little all-night Korean restaurant, Hai Woon Dae that had gotten good reviews. Andrea decided against reason to take the long route from the Kennedy to some city streets…or maybe it was her Asian radar leading her to Lawerence street in Albany Park where there were a ton of Korean restaurants, bakeries, churches, and things. We scuttled up California street to Hai Woon Dae and were not dissapointed: the place is similar to most Korean BBQ joints, but better, with actual coal-fired tabletop grilling and 15 (!) types of banchan. Had we known that there was going to be enough food for us with just the banchan, we wouldn’t have ordered three entrees.

Stumbling out afterward, in a full blown meat-sweat (thx) we drove dropped in Cary’s, a little bar on the eastside of Devon where the air was literally thick with the smell of curry. Cary’s has several things going for it: (1) Free pool with a good table and cues (2) Real dart boards (3) No tv’s/fratty boys (4) good, plentiful beer (5) What looked like a homemade jukebox, ala the Monkey (7) Live country music, which goes down nice after a few (6) hand’s down, the friendliest set of regulars in Chicago (Fabian, Don, Geraldo, Valter!). I got a $4 Hoegaarden that got poured into what appeared to be a half-gallon juice glass that required two hands and a lemon.  Carefully signing up for pool led to one of the regs (Fabian ‘natch) yelling out something like, ‘Hey everyone, it’s Tim and his white man’s 40’. Two hours of pool and trash talking later and I wish Cary’s was closer to home.

moneyplant1.jpgI checked out Chicago’s chinatown last weekend with Dianne and Andrea (the Swedish one), south of the loop on Cermak and Wentworth. It’s pretty small, but densely packed with some nice lively shops. There were a couple small grocery stores with some interesting stuff (no Uwajimaya, which is fine by me). I really wanted to take pictures of these milk crates full of turtles and some ridiculously large frogs, but the owner wouldn’t let me. I picked up a money plant (that’s it on the right in my house) at a plant store that was stuffed to the gills with bamboo. Now I know what fun shui smells like) ..and then there was a store called woks n things that had a lot of cool kitchen stuff. It inspired me to reseason my wok, which with my awesome new stove might have a little of that elusive ‘wok hay‘. I made some five-spice ribs with a nice crust of sichuan peppercorns over the weekend that later became a tasty meal with a ton of kai lan.

fyi: I have a beamrun going on right now, followed by electron microscope training and experiments, followed by 3 more weeks at APS, followed by more conferences so I posting will be sporadic until April.

I made a run to Perfomer’s Music today to pick up some recorder swag.  Great store, but I was even more blown away by its location: the 9th floor of the amaaazing Fine Arts Building.  If you’re ever in Chicago, you got to check this place out if for anything to ride a manned elevator for the first time.  The place is full of artists and music–tonight piano and opera echoed through the halls.  I really wished I had brought my camera, but there are some ok flickr photos out there, including this one of the store where I got my stuff.

winterinthecity.jpg

good 3-4 inches already…should get a fair amount more by tomorrow.

Wire season 4 out today–should I savor each episode or gorge on it all at once?

I had a lovely time in Seattle.  I didn’t take too many pictures, which was unfortunate since it was sunny and fall-like every day I was there over thanksgiving.  I put a couple below, one from Ballard and another from a nice new restaurant in Wallinford name Tilth, which serves what I think is the best breakfast in Seattle now–hands down (but only on weekends).  I also threw in a picture of a light from a Turkish bar Diane and I went to in Andersonville yesterday, some simple bread I made loosely from this recipe (while incorporating whole wheat flour, honey, and milk for richness), and a trainer I got for getting some exercise when it’s snowy and icy out like it was this weekend.

seattle1.jpg tilth.jpg turkishlight.jpg sammiebread.jpg trainer.jpg

I’m back!  The run is done and my four day vacation to beautiful, sunny Seattle (every day I was there at least) is behind me.  I did a red eye and slept in, followed by a trip downtown to study and do a little shopping.  After getting off the blue line at Jackson I queued up some neutral milk hotel and started my little downtown journey.  Around track 8 I realized that the buildings were getting smaller.  I turned around and saw the Sears tower (essentially the western border of downtown) in the distance.  D’oh!  I guess I lost myself in the music and got turned around.  I walked all the way back and then some and settled down with a cup of mate.  After a little bit of work and some shopping (art supplies!) I decided to go home.  I had a general idea of where the blue line was, but after getting lost this morning I managed to walk right by the station.  Again.  Fortunately, I turned back east at the Chicago river and found the station and jumped on a convenient train that pulled up just as I was walking down the stairs.  I put the headphones in, cranked up some enon, and started reading a new yorker (the cartoon issue!).  About half an hour later, at the end of the express line, I realized I was on the wrong train.  After taking a pink line back to the loop, I got on the correct train, and–finally–got back home.  The end.