Monthly Archives: June 2008

Running down a Dream

After months of enough darkness and snow and ice to make any person turn into a couch potato, I needed something to inspire me to put my running shoes back on and lose the winter blubber that is building around my waist. If running down Lake Shore Dr on the beach towards that beautiful skyline isn’t enough to get me back on the exercising wagon, than this story inspired me to, not only start running again, but to never stop so I can be this amazing and strong at 61 years old. Rosie Swale-Pope just finished her run around the world, which lasted almost 4 years. Induced by the death and grief of her husband’s death, she ran across Europe into Russia, spent two mind freezing winters in Siberia, made it across the Northern Pacific to Alaska, through Canada eh? Across the US, Greenland, Iceland, and back to the Motherland of England.

If that isn’t enough to get you into your running shoes, then maybe some rockin new music will. When I was in middle school we used to warm up for our volleyball and basketball games to the Jock Jams megamix. What better way to get ready to rumble! And ride that train into a victory than with 80s and 90s one hit wonders?! Safe to say the beats and songs that get me into a good workout mindset has improved since 7th grade. My running playlist has grown over the years, but keeps to the same path. Danger Mouse, Jay Z, Gnarls Barkley, Girl Talk, and an assortment of other mixes and mash ups by the Hood Internet thanks to DJ Boutit JL. Well this list has become so overworked and unpaid that it was losing it’s magically ability to make me run 5 miles. But without fail, Girl Talk stepped in to brighten my day and fill my head with new beats and samples. His new album, Feed the Animals, was just what I needed to put some new blood into my ol’ faithful playlist.

Always the innovator, Girl Talk used the same name-your-price pricing as Radiohead for their In Rainbows album. And since Bono says its “courageous and innovative” then it MUST be! But in all seriousness I have mixed feelings about this. The business side of my brain wonders about the economics of the pricing but then again perhaps it shows how little $$ the artist makes off album sales in the first place, if they can let their fans buy the album for free without forcing RIAA intervention. And the music-is-food-for-the-soul-and-the-fans-are-the-meat side of my brain thinks it is awesome to allow the fans to be involved in the process of the success of the band. It seems like a way to show the band allegiance or view of them, through how much money one is will to part with for the sake of the bands music. I paid the $10 partly out of guilt and partly out of the hope that my $10 will go towards Girl Talk’s tour to Chicago again. Where I will still inevitably pay up to $50 for a ticket. Circle of life baby.

Extreme Room Makeover

In the extreme highs and lows of moving into a new apartment (see “Apartment Search in three parts”) there is always that glimmer of success at the end of the grueling search and move; decorating.

I moved into my apartment almost 2 months ago and still I stare at blank walls at night. Although, thanks to my roommate’s creative talent (you will see her work showcased at the Lincoln Park art fair in September!) our kitchen and living room look put together and cozy with her painting on the wall and color coordinating rugs and furniture. But my room has become somewhat of a burden with its eggshell bare walls and exposed holes in the plaster from the last resident. The task of decorating my room has become so daunting that my brain hurts if I look at paint samples on the Sherwin-Williams website too long and have had to stop myself from surfing the pages and pages of decorating ideas on HGTV.com.

In the past 5 years I have changed rooms so many times, it always seemed like more work then it was worth to paint it any color other then the off white it came with. I found various ways to cover it, with magazine cut outs and posters, but never a permanent stamp of life. After I moved out of my home in RO, one tearful trip home showed me that my bedroom had become a guest room with a splash of my childhood in the pictures and MSU decals scattered around. I have accepted that that will forever be my room and my home, but it was finally time to create my own safe haven. I have loved the fact that my life in the past 5 years has taken me to so many different places that I haven’t had time to settle down with a bedroom long enough to call it my own. I would have it no other way. But now that I am starting to settle my life (as settled as a 23 year old who isn’t ready to settle can be.) I am ready to start this next step in the confines of a room that mirrors myself and my potential.

So with all that said, you can understand the stress of trying to plan a room around such lofty expectations and desires. I want something bright and colorful, I want lots of art and pictures on the walls, I want lamps and pillows. Lamps and pillows are easy when you are a constant fixture in the clearance apartment section of Urban Outfitters. Art.com and the gift shop of the Chicago Museum of Art will be perfect for my Andy Warhol prints and Beatles posters. But the color of the room has become the biggest decision. My favorite color is purple and I would love to finally have that color coat all the walls around me. But unfortunately the confines of practicality limit my limitless dream of the perfect room. What about when I DO have to move in 2 years, how many hundreds of coats of paint is it going to take to cover that lovely deep velvet purple? I have to run my paint choice by my landlord as well. And, although she is a great 30 year old that I know would embrace the boldness, I am still hesitant to ask. My biggest problem with color choices is that I have no idea what I am going to get until the room is done. I might pick some dramatic eggplant purple that I would love if I saw on a dress, but then after I see 6 gallons of it on my wall, might lose myself in the Harlequin brothel of it all (which is debatable whether that is a good or bad thing…..)

I found this handy little application on Behr.com to help people like me that need a visual before I will commit to anything. Its called Color Smart and for $4.95/year (which I will promptly cancel after using) you can upload a picture of your room and preview what colors will look like against your funiture and bedspread. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but when I inevitably do, I will let you know how it goes. It could be just what I need to help me commit to a colorful future. (I should be getting a commission from Behr for this!)

Hot fun, Summer in the City

This hot fun, summer in the city has become the greatest writer’s block. I moved into a new apartment in a new neighborhood with a new roommate in May. Since then I have been bar crawling to all the new watering holes around my corner, getting the cultural taste of the city with the Rib fest, Blues fest, Belmont Fest, (attempting to) play beach volleyball with the rest of the Chicago Sports and Socialites, settling into the patios of restaurants all over the city, and generally enjoying the lack of wintery freeze coating Chicago. I don’t find much time to relax with my glossy magazines and blogs like I used to. But after catching up with Boutit’s all-things-music blog and a little life changing decision of my own, I’m back (yet again).