28 December 2006


what am i doing right this second?

- being bored off my ass.
- trying to decide if i want to do a 5k walk on new year's day. i've never done one and am not sure how mad my body would be with me the day after. my decision hinges upon what day the fed will take a day off out of respect for gerald ford. if it's tuesday, the day of the funeral, then i'm golden.. but the fed doesn't like to have four days off in a row. that whole '29 stock crash disaster and whatnot makes them very wary of banks being closed for more than 72 consecutive hours. why there'd be a stock market crash on a holiday weekend, when the fed is explicitly closed, i have no idea. i say, fuck it man, it's the 21st century. atms are rampant. unless we get a belated y2k and everything electric goes haywire, people can get to their money just fine.
- writhing in agony from having the 'so long, farewell' song stuck in my head. damned kia commercial.
- scouring my mind for albums that i bought/listened to in the past year. all the 'best of' lists out right now had me thinking, what new stuff did i hear last year? answer: not a whole lot.
girl talk.
um.. i skipped dj shadow since i had it on good authority that it blew monkey chunks.
the deaths? i only kept one song from that album. too classic rock.
oh, duh, clark. of course.
i s'pose 'nautical antiques' from pinback, too, but that was more of a b-side/demo compilation.
black heart procession. bad timing for that one. came out in the summer, but was definitely an autumn/winter album.
dabrye. the instrumental version was much more tolerable than the rap-infused one.
i'm sure there's, like, one more that i can't think of. i was updating myself on music for a while there, but when there's no one in your day-to-day life to glean ideas from and bounce them off of, the 0-day interest wanes pretty fast.

26 December 2006


so mind-numbingly bored. tumbleweeds are skipping across my work desk.

so what'd i do this weekend? my good friend justin stopped by for a couple days. we took in the sights of star and garter burlesque thursday night. odd setup, but worth it. i'll never hear 'white christmas' the same again, thank god. no more thinking of crusty dead white men. and i got to see my mini-idol, michelle l'amour, in the (copious amounts of) flesh. there's a lady who loves her job.

we were supposed to see "frank's home," a local play about frank lloyd wright featuring a role of louis sullivan, but i spazzed out due to working on the house and waited too long to get tickets. oh well. instead, we just had to play excite truck until our eyes bled. such is fate. i also managed to go off my diet and consume mass quantities of delicious pizza, fudge and mom-made snack mix. i think there was some beer in there too.

christmas day was my crowning achievement. my family celebrated the holiday on christmas eve, so that we'd all have monday to rest before being thrust back into work. traffic was much easier that way, as well. so on actual christmas, i played about eight hours of zelda, most of it straight. just like the good ol' days! i was *this close* to being covered with bedsores when i finally got up. violently unproductive was i. oh, and a great haul of loot did i get, and give. after all, isn't that what it's all about?

20 December 2006

gingerblog: success!

after several long, long, long days and nights slaving over my labor of love, i give to you, dear reader, my crowning achievement.

i knew it would all be worth it, i just knew it. i'm so pleased i could pop right now. i hope it's a fitting tribute to an architect way ahead of his time.

17 December 2006

gingerblog: excitement, she wrote

so. fucking. jazzed. it's been a hard road, but it's finally starting to pay off.

since i didn't finish baking yesterday, i took on the task today, after finishing my posts for chicagoist. those always take so much longer than they should. anyway, i baked.. and rolled.. and baked.. and cut.. and baked. bleh. i didn't get to the full-on assembly stage till about 10 pm. but once i did, whoa nelly! it's starting to look like a building of some sort:

i'm so stoked. this is the good part. it's feeling and looking solid, i haven't seriously fucked anything up so far, i got plenty of icing and candies waiting to be adhered... joy!

gingerblog: slowly but surely

i've made a bit of progress since i last posted. not as much as i wanted, but i'll take it. see, i had this party on saturday night, the very party i kinda wanted to get the gbread house done for. i was under the impression that kim (my constant ride) had to get up early to work at starbucks sunday morning, and that we'd be booking it pretty early. my battle plan was to bake saturday afternoon, go to the party, come back relatively early and finish baking what i didn't get done. 11:30 rolls around, we're still at the party.. kim informs me that, oops, she got someone to cover for her. crud.

so here i am, almost 4 am, updating my blog. christ. but i have the four main walls baked! so happy i at least have those done. with the stained glass and the inner 4-watt light bulb i'm putting inside, it's gonna kick so much ass. can't wait to decorate this biatch!

15 December 2006

the secret lives of businesspeople

at work, we use something called the bloomberg system. it's a standalone program that allows people to trade bonds, look at prices, message other traders, send files, etc. i would say it's an invaluable communication and execution tool for professionals.

imagine my surprise when i saw that people can now put their own blogs on bloomberg. so what are business bloggers saying in this worldwide forum? one offering, from a bloomberg employee, was a hangover calculator. another has a title called 'frrrrrriday' (lowercase) and talks about how this guy got drunk with this 'nice ukranian girl' the night before and didn't call his wife. and, my personal favorite so far:

title: Lobster !!
entry: LOBSTER !!

that's it.

it's heartening to know that professionals, when given the opportunity, are just as idiotic as the rest of us.

gingerblog: disappointment

all i have to say about last night's gbread outing is.. well, it can't be properly said in human language. imagine grumpy, garbled grumblings and you've got the idea.

i rushed home (as fast as i could rush with all the fucked up trains) to get back to da hizzouse. i really wanted it to be ready for a party saturday night, so my intention was to finish the cardboard mockup and bake all the pieces, then decorate friday night. hoo boy. cutting little cardboard pieces with a hobby knife takes way longer than you'd think. plus i had to take time out to watch chicagoist's very own scott smith on pbs's chicago tonight, talking about the foul state of the cta. woo scott! put that smack down on kruesi!

finally i finished the prelim structure:

i like it. it actually looked like the building now. of course, at this point it was 10 pm, with my normal bedtime rapidly approaching. i whipped out the new mixer, made a batch of dough so fast it was stupid, cut my front piece out of the cardboard pattern, ladeled some jolly ranchers in the window spaces (stopping to crush up more), then threw it in the oven for 20 minutes. big mistake. according to the directions that i forgot to follow, the candies are only supposed to bake for 10. upon retrieval, i found out why:

oops. back to the drawing board. no house for the party, but that does take some of the pressure off. now i can tweak the process..

14 December 2006

get on da holiday train

i had my first cta holiday train sighting last night. it serviced the platform across from me in the loop. i almost didn't see it. after stopping at carson's, i was going to take the red line home. turns out it was fucked up for some reason or another, so i ended up taking the brown line home from madison & wabash. i was trying to balance several bags' worth of shopping when i looked up and...there it was, in all its blaring, blazing glory. as impressed as i was, i couldn't help but wonder if the money spent decorating that train could have gone to a better place. as the train pulled away, i had the urge to shout to santa, 'hey, are the trains fixed yet?'

13 December 2006

gingerblog: wayyy behind schedule

i had hoped to start baking by this point. instead, i'm still cobbling together a mockup of the church in cardboard, per my books' instructions. as it turns out, this was a great idea; the spacing of my windows hadn't really been thick enough. my house probably would have fallen down. there's still no guarantee it won't, but now i can at least take steps to shore it up if need be.

cutting cardboard with a hobby knife is crappy work. i only got two sides done and i haven't even touched the roof. sigh. so little time...

she just crawled in there before i snapped the photo. she's been driving me nuts tonight, more than usual.. much more bitey. not cool, especially when i've got a brand new knife in my hands. silly thing better hope i don't get stabby.

gingerblog: appetite for destruction

it is deceptively easy to simulate stained glass windows in a gingerbread house. simply crush some colored hard candy, sprinkle in holes cut out from the main piece, bake for 10 minutes, and let cool. voila. this is, doubtless, the hardest part: trying to keep the candy from flying everywhere as i break it with a hammer. if i didn't wear slippers around my apartment, i'd probably still be stuck to the floor.

thankfully, my results were encouraging.

i'm pretty pumped myself.

10 December 2006

gingerblog: progression and concession

in preperation for a complete gingerbread house, i whipped up a couple batches of cookies to test the colors. i need two different colors of gbread to get the look i want; pilgrim baptist was an off-white stone on two sides and red brick on the other two. i'm having trouble getting my hands on red liquid food coloring for the brick. everyone and their mother's baking sweets right now; joann's was almost out of decorating tips, some of them even stolen out of their cardboard packaging. shameful. while i was out, i reluctantly-not-really picked up a little something to help me in my task:

i've always wanted one of these, and what better reason to get one than a gbread house? considering i'm going to go thru flour and powdered sugar like mad, plus the icing i'm making needs to be whipped for like 10 minutes, i couldn't take the thought of wasting my time with the hand mixer. haven't cracked it open yet. i'm under the spell of what might happen if i do.. i may never stop baking.

09 December 2006


i have decided to build a gingerbread house this holiday season. this is something i've never undertaken before. the urge snuck up on me around thanksgiving and has been kicking around in my head since. thing is, i don't want to do a regular cookie cutter, kit-ready house.. i want to do one from scratch. one that's easy enough in design, but still going to be a challenge for a beginner. one that, most importantly, is a tribute to one of the most gifted architects of our times, in the 150th year since his birth: Louis Henri Sullivan. hence, my contribution to the world of gingerbread masonry shall be:

pilgrim baptist church.

i wanted to pay homage to the man who lost three buildings this year, including this one, all to fire. although licorice whips going up the back of the dexter wirt building would be a nice touch, i had to take pilgrim baptist on, mostly due to its straight-forward, boxy construction. part of me is sweating before i even buy anything; the other part can't wait to see how it'll turn out. wish me luck!

07 December 2006

advil is shit

i pride myself on not being addicted to caffeine. it makes my mood swings even worse than usual, which is saying a lot. so recently i had a headache, so i took excedrin. headache went away. next day, headache came back. so i took some excedrin. headache went away. next day, same routine, until i was getting a headache every single fucking day. since advil does jack shit, i was gobbling two excedrin every time one came on, which is roughly the equivalent of an 8 oz. cup of coffee. (not starbucks coffee, mind you. that's the devil's fuel. look at how much is in that shit!)

long story short, i have a caffeine addiction i didn't even know about. to be fair, i'd been drinking diet dr pepper as well, which contributes 41 mg per bottle. in my ignorance, i thought diet shit was without caffeine. since my current lack of caffeine is now contributing to my headaches too, i've switched to advil hardcore. pure, caffeine-free ibuprofen. fuckin' worthless. it's like using a pencil to knock down a castle drawbridge. maybe i'll just get a morphine drip for work. that's not addictive, right?

02 December 2006

a pleasant surprise

christmas came a little early...

thanks, rudy!

side note: just now, to d/l the pics onto my comp, i had to take the SD flash card from out the wii, where i had put it earlier. it even plays my movies. how fucking cool is that.