Thursday, December 8, 2011

What happens in Vegas...comes home with us.

Tankboy: What happens in Vegas...: GalPal and I were in Las Vegas on vacation last week and stayed at The Cosmopolitan for free through a voucher I got after playing kickball...

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Comeback Cardinals

Goosebumps! Here is the intro to this year's World Series "film," narrated by none other than St. Louis native, Jon Hamm:



And yeah, I said way back in October, way before the Cardinals won, that it would be perfect if Hamm narrated. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought so!

Here is some behind the scenes with Hamm:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tonight: Chicagoist Reader Meet-Up!

Oh, all the things I've been meaning to post here on the blog... Time, laziness and other various distractions (ooh look, something shiny!) are all major constraints... I'll get to all those events and photos and topics at some point...

But tonight! Tonight is the first-in-a-while Chicagoist Reader Meet-Up! Join me and the rest of the staff at supernewtrendy The Owl where there will be free beer, but most of all, good company. Plus you could win a copy the entire Pink Floyd catalog. Pretty sweet. RSVP for the event and the giveaway here and here.

The Owl:
2521 N. Milwaukee
Chicago

Hoot Hoot.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scarf Weather

I generally dislike fall because it means winter is coming, but one thing that I do look forward to as temps drop is getting to wear my favorite leather coat. I have a rule that I don't pull it out of the closet until the high for the day doesn't climb out of the 50s, that way I have a little bright spot as the season makes a marked turn to cooler weather. Another item I look forward to wearing is scarves, but if you're anything like me, you can never think of ways to wear them outside of the basic European loop or toss over the shoulder.  Here are a couple of my favorite references for "how to tie a scarf," and we're talking light square scarves as well as longer thicker rectangular scarves, too. Remember to bookmark for when you're stumped!



(via the naming of things.)


(via Pinterest.)


>Texere Silk's Ultimate Scarf Tying Guide


...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The only (known) photo of my Halloween costume from the weekend. Because I was just that sneaky.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Go Nuts Folks!

I've been quiet lately, being busy at home and work leaves me with a lot to catch up on the ol blog!

Well, tonight is Game 1 of the World Series and the Cardinals have made it! No doubt some thanks has to go to this little guy:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jamie Lidell & iMaschine



This guy never ceases to amaze me.

"Jamie Lidell performs an iMaschine exclusive version of "A Little Bit More" from the album Multiply (2005, Warp) while relaxing in bed. The entire performance was done live in one take, with nothing pre-recorded, and no post-production edits made to the song."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Battles

I saw Battles @ the Vic last week. Here's what I thought. SPOILER: They may be better sans Tyondai.

Plus, as a bonus, we interviewed drummer (and frontman) John Stainer before the show, although he avoided my best question: if they would try to see/meet up with his former band Helmet who just happened to be playing Double Door the same night!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Priced to sell -- Grab the Keys and go!



1994 EL CAMINO: 273,000 mi. 200 cubic-in. 3.3L 95hp V6 engine, 3-speed turbo autom shift, sapphire stylus, some ticks/pops, light surface noise. Working AM/FM radio, tan metalflake/woodie panels, some rust. Black vinyl seats. Priced to sell -- Grab the Keys and go! Contact Pat or Dan at (330) 510-1206

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wild Night

Last night was a wild night in baseball as both the NL and AL Wild Card positions came down to the last game of the season, meaning heads were swiveling and phones were flipping back and forth between four different games, two of which went into extra innings. Somehow though, both were decided last night so no tiebreaker games tonight. Luckily the NL drama ended just in time for me to head to the Metro to catch The Rapture.

Congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Rays!

See you at Sedgwick's for Cardinals October baseball!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stepkids, Horrors, Dancers & Beer

It was a busy weekend between the Hideout Block Party, a Dance Crash show and a quick hop to Wisco for some sausage, cheese and Spotted Cow, but last night I broke my lay-low-Sunday-evening rule to accompany Tankboy to The Horrors show at Lincoln Hall. It's not too often that we are both surprisingly blown away by a band we've never heard of (simply because one of usually previews the shows we go to), but last night the opening band, The Stepkids, did just that. They reminded me of a ton of eclectic influences, but the bottom line is that they were really damn good. I totally think they should share a bill with Tame Impala and The Besnard Lakes. It would be a trippy, epic evening, with lotsa mind bending falsetto.

The Stepkids have a new album out tomorrow. Tankboy has a couple tracks you can preview.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Miss Me?

Wondering where I've been? Giving my ol' girl Leslie away...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

09112001

It's been a couple of days since the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and while I had a few things I wanted to say about that day in 2001 and the remembrance ten years later, I know that people (including myself) really only wanted to take that one day to allow themselves to look at the images and talk about the pain of that day. That was actually the one major point I intended to make--as much as I didn't want to dwell on those images and feelings, I do think it was appropriate, and now after the fact, actually necessary to spend one day really remembering. Not that we could ever forget.

So instead, I leave you with a photo of my father leaving flowers at a flag raised on Art Hill in memorial to his friend, Denny Scauso, an FDNY Firefighter who was killed in the line of duty at the World Trade Center that day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Last night was a good, good night.

A unique moment in music happened last night at the Hideout. You see, there was a release party for the @MayorEmanuel Twitter-adventure-turned-book: "The F***ing Epic Quest of @MayorEmanuel" penned, or uh, Tweeted by Dan Sinker. The mayor himself even turned up! But here's the part that would have had me ROFL-ing had I been there: Wilco's Jeff Tweedy covering "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. I guess you could say @MayorEmanuel invited him to do this back in January. And he was right...people do love that shit.

The only thing that could have made this any better is if Brian Williams would have turned up, too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chi-Town on a Hot Streak


Behind the scenes of the filming of Hey Champ's "Silver City" music video (spy me and Tankboy on the left)...which I realized that I never posted...so here it is:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Foo

So, I didn't watch the MTV VMAs the other night, but I did watch the video that they won Best Rock Video for:



Even more hilarity today as my friend sent me their 2011 tour promo video. (NSFW, hot buns.)



Oh, and look what else I stumbled upon today…a Rolling Stone feature on the Foo Fighters that follows them on their first tour in 1995. And it ends, where else, at a truck stop outside Chicago…

Monday, August 29, 2011

Celebrity Kickball: Year Dos

Tankboy played in DO312's annual Celebrity Kickball game again this year--this time inside Lolla grounds--and I was on hand to take pictures. But, my favorite picture was taken of me with a certain star from Breaking Bad (no, it's not the RV).


One of my favorite moments of the game was someone yelling from the field that they lost an outfielder because they had to go sound check for their set. File that under things you don't hear during a normal sporting event. Check out the JBTV video below for some other highlights from the game.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gimmie Some Vinyl

I went to Longman & Eagle last night for the opening of a little art exhibit featuring the works that Jonas Torvestig did for Peter Bjorn & John's latest album, Gimmie Some. He designed the three thumb cover art, but on display were twelve separate acrylic tiles with different variations on the theme--one for each track on the album.

I even got to meet the guys in the band since they were on hand hosting the opening. I always feel like a total heel whenever I actually talk to celebrities or musicians that I like...folks that I admire I guess...but they were really nice and they signed the 7" box set that I bought there. It's super cool, it has all Torvestig's corresponding prints on the sleeves inside. Oh, and it's numbered. I'm pretty sure I heard it was a limited run of 300. Pretty cool. Now we just gotta get that record player fixed...

The band will be in town through the weekend playing small shows as part of their All You Can Eat Tour. I'm super stoked to see them again tonight in the place that I first saw them back in '07 after the whole Young Folksplosion--The Empty Bottle.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Strange Storms

Today there was yet another fatal concert stage collapse at the Pukkelpop music festival in Belgium (while Chicago band Smith Westerns were performing), adding to the tragedy of last week's Indiana State Fair stage collapse that left five people dead. And this is on top of a Cheap Trick stage collapse and The Flaming Lips lighting rig falling down during storms (luckily no one was killed in either). Many are obviously questioning the structural integrity of these temporary stages, but what about the crazy weather? Of course summer is always filled with dangerous storms, but doesn't it seem like there's been a deluge of them this year? Maybe we just forget how bad it gets from year to year...Regardless, the question turns to how soon people should be evacuated in situations like this, but where is it safe to take cover at an open air festival where all the structures are temporary? This question did cross my mind a few weeks ago at Lollapalooza as I sat at a picnic table about 50 feet behind the main stage watching crews roll up the stage's back wall as the winds picked up and a storm rolled in.

Anyway, I don't have the answers, but I do have one way we can help out a Chicago landmark that was all but destroyed in a hail storm earlier this summer. Eric Mahle has organized a benefit tonight at Lincoln Hall to raise funds to restore the Garfield Park Conservatory after the hail shattered panes of the glass house, putting the many rare plants inside at risk. I've only been to the Conservatory once for a wedding a few years ago, but I will say I was in awe of it's beauty. Tonight we'll do good while having fun and watching live music, all the while thinking of those who lost loved ones in Indiana and Belgium doing the same.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Chicagoista

Even though I've already penned the occasional piece over at Chicagoist, today is my "official" debut with a preview of Reggie Watt!

All I can say is that it took me some time, and almost a year off from writing regularly, to finally accept the invitation. One year Lollapalooza burned me out, the next made me miss it.

I guess, as a friend said, it's come full circle. We used to refresh Chicagoist all day long at work (shhh...don't tell my bosses!). It's how I met my boyfriend, and now he is my editor. That was one of the obvious reasons it took me some time, but I was able to cut my teeth and create my own voice over at Transmission, and he was a mentor the whole time. So I'm pretty confident we won't "fight more" (unless it's over who's going to cover a show!).

N-E-WAY, enjoy this little Reggie Watts ditty as a preview for his shows this weekend:



Thursday, August 11, 2011

"My Hero"

A truly epic moment at Lollapalooza 2011 when the sky opened up as the Foo Fighters began "My Hero." Even Dave embraced the rain. Notice the crew scrambling to cover all the equipment at the front of the stage!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Foo-tastic

So, that little Foo Fighters show at Metro? I wrote about it for Chicagoist. You should read it.


It was crazy fun. Plus it was awesome to see other music folks geeked out about a show--before and after.

Oh, and I got to meet drummer Taylor Hawkins backstage at Lollapalooza. He was super cool (duh). Thanks to Ernest!

Me and Taylor hangin out at Lolla. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tankboy: Lolla Expert

So, my boyfriend was on TV this morning. Apparently Fox Chicago News considers him some sort of Lollapalooza expert or something.

In all seriousness though, you sounded great, baby!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Meant to Lolla

Well, looks like it was meant to be. I didn't buy a Lollapalooza pass this year because I wasn't that stoked about the lineup and I frankly just didn't want to spend the dough. Maybe I was a little jaded after covering the fest last year and then my writing burnout that shortly followed. Besides, I figured the weekend has become more about the surrounding parties and after-shows anyway, so I could go to some of those and be completely satisified...and not exhausted and covered in dirt and sweat (and honestly, the older I get, the harder it is to hang all day and all night!).

But here I am with a wristband wrapped securely around my wrist--one with pretty awesome access at that. My boy Tankboy was able to score it for me so I could watch him play in the now annual Do312 Celebrity Kickball game on Saturday.

This would have been my first year missing Lolla since it's Chicago rebirth. I guess that wasn't meant to be.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sir Paul

“Are you sure you don’t want to take somebody else?”


“Are you really going to pass up an opportunity to see a Beatle!?”

Absolutely not. Especially when you put it that way! My thinking was that someone like a Beatles fanatic, or one of our parents should rightfully go over little ‘ol me, but I quickly realized what a unique opportunity* it is (I mean, what other band has members so distinctive that you would actually call them A fillinbandnamehere?!), and one that my boyfriend wanted to share with me.

The man in question is, of course, Sir Paul McCartney. Last night Tankboy brought me as his +1 to see his “On The Run” tour at Wrigley Field. You might expect a performance from something or someone so legendary to be uber professional and stuffy, but then you have to remember this is the guy who wrote songs like “Helter Skelter” and was part of a very small club who defined rock as we know it. Of course still wildly pro, Sir Paul gave a rather informal performance--interacting with the crowd, making jokes, telling anecdotes (from his seemingly endless catalog) and just plain goofing off and dancing between songs.

Besides being nearly 3 hours of hit after hit after hit after sing-a-long hit, the most memorable moment of the night by far was “Live and Let Die.” I sure would like to have seen the look on my face through this and a couple of other songs! As Tankboy said, there was fire everywhere--puffs of flames and explosions on the stage, fireworks behind the stage (to get an idea of how close we were, I could feel the heat on my face--but at 23 rows back, that gives you an idea of how much fire there actually was!); it was pretty damn cool.

Thanks again to my lovely boyfriend for bringing me! It was such a contrast from the night before, when we were at a friend’s place for a small, intimate outdoor house concert from singer/songwriter Megan Burtt--not to undercut either! Both are incredibly unique experiences, from one end of the spectrum to the other. I get to experience some pretty amazing things, and I feel lucky for every one of them!

*So unique, that over several conversations on the subject of taking kids to see Sir Paul, I concluded that if I had one, and my partner had two tickets, without blinking I’d say, “take the kid.” Having seen a Beatle will be a much rarer and coveted experience as time presses on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Attention OFFICE Fans:

Anyone who's a fan of Chicago band OFFICE should head this way and download the new Glossies album, Phantom Films. Glossies is band leader Scott Masson's new musical project, and as expected it is chock full of his signature melodies and hooks. Man can that guy write a tune that will suck you in.

I dare you to not tap along.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The End of an Era

The Space Shuttle program is ironically the same age as me, and was a big part of my childhood growing up. I went to Space Camp in Cape Canaveral when I was in fourth grade, and yes, I totally wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. I got to ride all those simulators, do a mock mission control launch, build a rocket and meet a real live astronaut, Alan Shepard. Luckily it's mostly good stuff I remember since I was also super homesick because, well, I was young and it was the longest I had been away from my family--even though they were staying just across town with with my dad's college buddy, "Uncle Stan." They attended the Aeronautical University Embrey-Riddle together in Daytona, Florida. Uncle Stan worked for NASA at the time, so he was there when I needed to see a familiar face.

My fellow campers and I were lucky that there was a Shuttle launch scheduled during our week at Space Camp, and of course it was part of our itinerary to watch it! Unfortunately the launch was postponed until after my family left Florida for home. There was a part of me that was convinced that at some point in my life, I would see a shuttle launch in person, but today I watched the final launch of Atlantis on my computer at work as the Shuttle program comes to an end. It truly is the end of an era.

Nobody can argue that space travel is pretty frickin amazing, and I hope that we soon have another NASA program that we can watch with our kids.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Addicted.

Ever since woxy went down, I've had a hard time finding a channel I like to listen to at work. But now I'm all up in turntable.fm. There are tons of different DJ "rooms" and the playlist is user generated. There are five DJs in a room, and if one leaves, you can jump up on stage. You can even create a new room if you want.

My favorite is when there are a ton of people dancing in a room. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check it out for yourself!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jelly Music

My photos yesterday were from our trip to the new Jellies exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium. This week is Customer Appreciation Week which means general admission is free all week! (Get there early though because lines are loooong.) Jellies aren't included in general admission, but upgraded passes are available for a discounted rate this week as well.



This song is the jam, too. Anybody know the title?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Friday. Vogue.

I feel like I should get myself a Tumblr with all the videos I've been posting, but there is too much awesome in this video not to post. Plus it's just in time to get us amped up for Pride (2 more weeks!)!

ME AT NINE, PERFORMING TO MADONNA IN SUMMER '91! from Robert Jeffrey on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Judas Mashup

It's been pretty much all-Gaga all-the-time since her new album release last week.

Here's a freaky awesome mashup.



http://www.waxaudio.com.au/

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Man on the Street

The British version of "What Song Are You Listening To?"

Maybe it's just because I've already seen this trick, but Londoners are a lot more boring than New Yorkers.



(via The Daily What)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"What song are you listening to?"

This amuses me to no end. This guy asks random New Yorkers with headphones what song they're listening to. Gives you an idea just how many different atmospheric moods are happening around you every time you walk down the street. Plus how typical or surprising (or embarrassing) people's selections are. I also find it interesting how most have have to look at their iPods or the like to find out what they're actually listening to.

Ok, ok, on to the video...Oh, what was I listening to on my way to work? I'm with my fellow nerd girl at 5:03: NPR - This American Life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

oM Covers The White Stripes

My buddy Marcus over at The Onion's AV Club sent me a pic of Kevin Barnes in their office the day they recorded this. Of course I was jealous, but luckily was seeing them at the Vic that night! Yay!


Of Montreal covers The White Stripes

Monday, May 23, 2011

"It really chokes you up when you see what's happened here..."

It really does. I've posted a lot about tornado victims lately, but in one of the most deadly seasons our country has ever seen, I can't ignore it, especially when it's affecting my home state. In this video, The Weather Channel's Mike Bettes chokes back tears after surveying the damage in Joplin, Missouri, where Sunday night an EF-4 EF-5 tornado destroyed more than a quarter of the city.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Two Happy Tails

Two tales of pets who miraciously find their way home after being ripped away by the tragic tornados that hit Alabama last month:



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No More Code

It's a sad day in Chicago...One of my favorite TV shows, "The Chicago Code," has been canceled. Now, I'm not saying it was a great show, but I loved it. I loved it in the same candy way I liked "Prison Break." In even worse news, another favorite of mine, "Lie To Me," wont be coming back either. But in even worse news, "Glee" has been renewed for yet another season.

FOX, you are dead to me.

Thank goodness "Community" is still hanging on by a string...

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Friday!


of Montreal @ the Vic last night*...

Peter, Bjorn & John @ Lincoln Hall tomorrow night**...

I don’t want this weekend to end...


*the second tier tour truly is more fun.
**I may not totally dig the new album, but I still love me some PB&J.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Too Far?

Festival footwear? This is a thing now? I think this is a sign that the music fest gamut has gone too far.

Monday, May 2, 2011

We Got Him


You may have heard by now...Osama bin Laden is dead. Killed by a US raid in Pakistan. There are a zillion hilarious internet memes exploding on the internet today, too many to keep up with or even pick a favorite. There are also a zillion opinions and feelings circulating...most reminiscent of 9/11. It's honestly the news we never expected to hear after almost ten years.

But the thing I think is so interesting is the significance of Twitter. At first there was zero information besides a little scroll at the bottom of the television screen that President Obama was about to make an important speech (obviously odd news so late on a Sunday evening). I went straight to Twitter to find out what was going on. Many times in the past few years, Twitter--or social media communication in general--has been a quicker source of information than television or radio news, including during February's blizzard. The way we communicate and get information has truly shifted.


I was having a rather lazy Sunday, monitoring my feed pretty closely, and it was a slow day to say the least. Until about 9:30pm. Twitter estimated that there were upwards of 5,000 Tweets per second around the time of the announcement. It started with speculation of what the speech would be about, and then clever jokes and observations continued late into the night. I could barely keep up with my own feed, reading, tweeting and re-tweeting, right up until I saw this one:

"I lost 6 friends on 9/11. u can be cynical, or shit on this moment, but I'd like to say, hey, Jim, Matt, Andy, Clint, Tommy, Tim, we got him"

I'll hold back the name, as they have deleted the tweet since, but I still think it's poignant. My joking and laughing with my boyfriend stopped in it's tracks as I read that tweet, and I decided it was time to go to bed. It was getting late, and there wasn't really anything more to say or learn anyway.

(Photo: Michael Appleton for the NYT, taken in Times Square)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Vegetables Are Good For You!

Another year, another mixtape. Once again, I had a lot of fun putting together a mix CD for this year's Rock For Kids music auction. My theme this time around? Veggies.



Gapers Block staffers are among the contributors this year along with Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, Bloodshot Records, Gapers Block Jim Newberry, Jon Langford, Nora O'Connor, Sanford Parker, WXRT, The Empty Bottle, Metro Chicago, and more.

The big shebang takes place tonight at SmartBar. Support the future of rock and bid on some one of a kind mixes!

Smart Bar - 3730 N Clark
6pm. Tickets: $10

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beastlie.

My day was totally dragging ass til I finally started streaming this new Beastie Boys album:

The Hot Sauce Committee pt 2

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tornado Alley

Is it ever going to stop raining? That's about all I've been able to think for the past week +, along with a blog post I wrote more than 3 years ago of the same title (granted, some other obviously strange things were happening about that time). We had a little peek of sunshine yesterday, and Friday is forecasted to be warm and sunny, but then it's right back into the unseasonably cool, rainy fog. Uggh.

But we're nowhere near as unlucky as those south of us in "tornado alley," including my family in STL. Last Friday, a tornado hit Lambert International Airport, basically tearing it to shreds and shutting it down. Luckily, there were no fatalities and only a few injuries, but things are much worse for those living in rural Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. We've already hit the record for the most tornadoes in April, and there is still more severe weather to come, including massive flooding.



To keep up with this, and any other severe weather around the country, follow Mister Weather Channel himself, Jim Cantore on Twitter.

(photos from www.stltoday.com)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Little did I know I was working on my beach bod all winter...


Last September I started having back spasms, even if I didn’t know they were spasms at the time. I was in pain, lots of pain. I would get these sharp pinches in my lower back that would just not let go. It hurt to stand, it hurt to sit, it hurt to lay down, it hurt to sleep. I finally saw my doctor and she told me my options: chiropractor, physical therapy or massage therapy. I chose to start with massage since I figured it was just a knot that needed to be worked out and I’d feel better in no time. Plus I’d be getting massages paid for by insurance, right? Yay! But these massages were anything but relaxing. Once my massage therapist focused in on my problem area, it was an hour a week solely on that spot, and it hurt. She told me it was going to be a long process. I had problems that went beyond that one knot. I got worse before I got better. I almost gave up. After another visit to the doctor (a sub as my regular doc was on maternity leave by this time) after an especially painful spasm, and I was given a scrip for muscle relaxers. I never filled it.

The place I was sent for treatment was Universal Health Institute, a health center that focuses on more holistic care. I’ll always be thankful that my doc referred me there instead of pumping me full of drugs and shoving me out the door.

After a couple of months of massage, I was ready for physical therapy. Since that knot was the result of years and years of weak muscles not supporting my spine correctly, we had to figure out exactly where I was weak and bulk me up. Just a few simple exercises once a day, and I slowly started to notice strength and bulk in muscles I didn't even know were there...between my shoulder blades, my hips, my glutes. My clothes started fitting differently, my posture improved, but best of all, I wasn’t in pain anymore. I felt strong.

Six weeks later (that’s how long it takes to build new muscle), I started chiropractor visits. Slowly, over the months with my MT, PT and chiro, we worked backwards through years and years of back pain, long ago pains and twinges that I had completely forgotten about--we’re talking some that took me all the way back to high school. Muscles just kept overcompensating for other muscles that should have been supporting me until they just couldn’t anymore, and ended up spasming.

The twice a week visits seemed like a lot. I felt like I was spending all my time (and money) there, and wondered if I would ever get better since we always seemed to be uncovering new issues. Up until a few weeks ago when I suddenly “graduated.” I didn’t need them anymore, at least that’s what they told me. Of course I’m nervous that I’ll get lazy, that I’ll end up right back where I started, but my PT gave me the tools to stick with it. Over the months that she worked with me, she taught me all kinds of simple exercises of varying difficulty for each of the muscle groups I need to maintain (plus other areas to work on), so I won’t get bored doing the same routine all the time. And of course, the folks at UHI are always there if I need anything. I’ll still be in occasionally for tune ups with my chiro and MT, and to just say hi.

All it takes now is my own motivation. And I’ve done really well so far. I still do push-ups, bridges and ab work every day, even when I don’t hit the gym. I’m at the gym 3 to 5 times a week maintaining, plus I’ve started running (instead of elliptical), which I love. I’ve always hated running. I even took a zero half the days in my high school “weight training” class because they required us to run a mile every other day. Now I have a goal to eventually sign up for a 5K.

I know it’s only been a couple of weeks out on my own, but I’m confident that I’m going to keep it up. I’ll never forget how much pain I was in and I don’t want to feel like that ever again if I can help it. Plus, I look amazing. I’ve always been really thin, but usually too skinny to feel confident in certain clothing. But now I’m gaining muscle weight, and filling out in all the right places. I have a butt!

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Skip Work," it's Friday!

Consider it double feature Friday. Local band Archie Powell & the Exports encourages us to "Skip Work" on a Friday afternoon. With such a catchy tune, it's hard to resist.

Coachelletta Friday

Super cool perspective of last year's Coachella shot by Sam O'Hare.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

From The Heart

I get a lot of perks at my job, including the occasional suite ticket to sporting events, and this weekend I'm attending a black tie gala where my company has purchased a table. What the heck, get all dressed up and take part in the open bar? Sure! But then I realized I have a personal connection to the Chicago Heart Ball's beneficiary.

Although I've never had any direct affiliation with the American Heart Association concerning my heart attack, I'm sure it's their support that led to the development of the device that I now have in my heart, along with all the treatment that I received. My situation was not near as dire as the AHA's current featured survivor, Megan Moss, but like Megan, the type of implant I received in 2003 was brand new, not even FDA approved at the time. Had it happened even a couple of years earlier, my story could have been different.

I never considered myself a "survivor", but I suppose that's what I am: a heart attack survivor. And this weekend instead of trying to forget that it happened, pretend that I'm "normal," I'll give thanks that I was so lucky...while playing dress up.

Read up on some of the American Heart Association's tips on getting healthy, warning signs and symptoms of heart attack and heart failure, and even information on strokes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

This Happened.


You don't realize how much you want to be there until it's happening. LCD Soundsystem played their (claimed) final show Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. James Murphy is quick to say that they will still record music under the moniker, but no more touring. The "Long Goodbye" was streamed live on Pitchfork.com.

Even though I wasn't there, I still have fond memories of seeing that giant disco ball at the Metro and Pitchfork Fest in 2010.

Photo by Alexander Stein for Pitchfork.com.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

CMD-SHFT-DANCE


CMD-SHFT-DANCE*, Chicagoist's DJ counterpart to their live band CTRL-ALT-ROCK series, debuts tonight at Beauty Bar. They've got Only Children, Lady Foursquare and Sparkletone kicking off the monthly DJ series brought to life by Mister @jakeguidry.

It's free before 11pm (doors @ 10), plus they have drink specials. 1444 W Chicago.



*Gotta hand it to Benjy for such a great name, including the Apple nod to electronic audiophiles.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Couch Potato

My new sofa was delivered a couple of weeks ago, and as excited as I was to write about it the day that it came, I couldn't decide just which angle I wanted to take since there were so many hurdles that make this couch so much more than just a couch. I wanted to take the "adventures in sofa shopping" angle (store after store after store--what style do we want?--what color do we want?--that one costs HOW much?!--hey look at this disco-mirror deer head), but now that it sits in my living room, it's a lot heavier than that. Tankboy wrote about how it helps our house become a home; here's my version.

After living in my roomie's condo (that he owned) for a couple of years, and then living temporarily in Tankboy's apartment for many months (we literally used one bedroom to store most of our stuff while we shopped for "our" place), I grew tired and frustrated living in a state of limbo for so long. I was excited to finally get into a place that I could put my own stamp on. But we've been in that place for over a year.

At the same time all of this was going on, I was getting my debt and finances in order, so money for decorating was more than tight. Making that shift in thinking and budgeting is hard enough, so saving and waiting to be able to afford a new sofa was tough, especially when the couch we did have was, while cool looking, less than comfy. But, the waiting gave me lots of time to plan. Everything I've done in the house is intentional, and with some things, I'm glad I mulled it over instead of making impulsive choices (which is ironically a lot of what got me into such debt in the first place).

So this sofa represents a lot of things; I guess it represents becoming an adult.

Now all the other pieces (literally and figuratively) can fall right into place. When I'm finished painting the living room, I'll have more decorating adventures--including some before and after photos--to post here. And who knows, maybe one day I will tell the "adventures in couch shopping" story--including my lengthly prep for it's arrival!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Paul's Boutique

I just learned that there's a Paul's Boutique that doesn't have anything to do with the Beastie Boys.
Pretty badass bag though.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I need a garage.

Jim: did you see this?
This April, Foo Fighters will be playing songs from Wasting Light, the new album they recorded in Dave Grohl's garage, in the garages of eight lucky fans in eight North American cities.
me: I need a garage.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Properly Fitted

Properly Warned: Gentlemen, this is a post about bras. Feel free to read on, but this is some of the most informative and least sexy talk about boobs you’ll ever hear.



Alright ladies, it’s time to talk about bras. That’s right: brasseries, over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders, tit slings (?!)--whatever you call them, the one you’re wearing right now is probably the wrong size. At least that’s what all the sales people are trying to tell us, and you know what? They’re probably right. I recently went in for a fitting at Intimacy, an upscale retailer that boasts life-changing bra fit makeovers (Sorry, but those haphazard fittings at Victoria’s Secret just don't cut it). I had saved up and was willing to spend a lot of money on a new bra or two that fit properly, because being the base of what you wear every day, I knew wearing the correct size would make me more comfortable and improve how i felt each day.

Intimacy specializes in holistic fittings, which means no measuring tapes. Be skeptical if you will, but I ended up feeling more comfortable in a bra than I have for most of my life. Here’s the key: the band is supposed to be really tight, tighter than you probably think it should be. Not so tight that it’s cutting off circulation to your head, but tight enough that the straps don’t pull the back band up. The band should be level all the way across. The idea is to support the girls in the front, not let them pull everything else down (duh). Here’s the best part, when you get yourself into a smaller band size, you’ll likely also wear a larger cup size (yay!). *

The fittings at Intimacy are free, and unluckily (or luckily) for me, they didn't have anything in stock in the style, lift, and color that I was interested in, so I was sent on my way with nothing but a number and a letter. I took that new information straight over to Macy’s and dove right in to their intimates department, and left with three new Calvin Klein bras for a fraction of the price that I would have spent at Intimacy.

Three bras is a great start, and I say start because obviously the more bras you own and wear, the longer they will last. Another good tip from my “bra fit stylist” is to rotate your stock--don’t wear the same bra day after day. You’ve got to give them a break, they work hard for you all day long! But, remember, they don’t last forever. Whether your size changes or not, once the straps start pulling up that back band, it’s time to retire it.

Now that I’ve got the basics covered with a few “boring” bras that look great under clothes, I can head to any store armed with my new size and buy any fun style or color I want, cheap or expensive, to expand my arsenal.

* * *

Daily Candy has a great video on finding your bra size (using that measuring tape) that demonstrates the smaller-band, bigger-cup phenomenon I talked about, plus lots of other great tips for a perfect fit (One big one that will extend the life of your bra, and save you money, is that you should start with the last hook and work into the tightest one over time as the band inevitably stretches with wear).



*But don’t think this means that the cup of one letter is the same size across every band size. As Charlotte points out on Swelegant Style Shopping, “a 32 DD and a 36 C are superficially the same size bra - in that they will accommodate the same sized boobs - but the back size is massively different.”

Shopping ASOS

A friend recently intoduced me to ASOS, an online apparel retailer with free shipping and free returns. I've been hooked ever since to their reasonable prices, massive selection, quick turnover, and of course, style that is right up my alley. I've been fiscally well behaved though--I've only ordered a couple of things (most of which I returned for various reasons), but yesterday I continued my endless search for tall black boots by ordering these KATE Boots. I ordered two different sizes to make sure they fit (with free shipping and returns, why not?!). They're part of ASOS's current 30% off shoe sale, putting them under $100. Real leather boots (that aren't totally ugly) for under $100? That's a deal this wallet-minded shopper can get behind.