28 February 2007

a new addition to the family

with my old CRT TV really hitting the skids (the sound got fuzzier and fuzzier until it was fuzzy all the time), i finally, finally broke down and got an HDTV. samsung, 32", LCD, from amazon. $1000 with free shipping. and oh my is it ever sweet.

i did not receive it without some tribulations, however. the delivery guy kept asking me out, even going so far as to hug me (!) and kiss me on the neck (!!!) after he set up the box. very, very surreal. unfortunately 1. i wasn't interested and 2. i wanted to dive into 720p goodness. he seemed to be okay with it.. it felt like a 'hey, i'll give it a shot' kind of situation. still, ultra weird on my end.

but! the set's looking great so far. checked out a couple movies on it (even made washed-out london look decent), played some wii with new component cables (not really made for HD, but i'll take it), and i discovered an extra-long S-video cable that works from my computer's vid card. verdict? i can watch downloaded stuff on my new HDTV:

so. honking. jazzed.

27 February 2007

bone china, let the summer come again

i keep a personal start page on my PC with lots of links i visit frequently. it beats google's plain jane website; plus i get to use self-made graphic tiles that i wouldn't ordinarily get to see in practice. anyway, i haven't updated it in months upon months, so i was rolling through various websites and blogs looking for links. i came across olivia's personal (well, business, too) website, which i didn't know existed. somewhere within that quiet mass of beauty and technical prowess, i saw this photo. click on it, i'll wait.

now tell me you can't see the huge, puffy clouds hanging overhead, stark against a velvet blue sky.. feel the strong late summer sun beating down upon your body, as sure as the wind slices through your bones today. this photo, despite its seemingly grim subject matter, is so evocative of the coming seasons that i just.. can't.. i simply can't wait till it's summer. and yet, without this hideous winter.. i wouldn't want summer nearly this much. bright, shiny days, you will be mine again...someday.

21 February 2007

farewell, carson's

i didn't work out today, so i figured i'd make up for it by walking to avenue and buying some pants. (infallible logic, i know.) however, on the way there, i got sucked into the tragedy that was carson pirie scott's final day. i didn't know it would come so quickly; reports i'd read said the 28th was last call, but i guess today was the final day you could buy retail merchandise. not that there was much left:

in fact, the only merchandise left was some fur coats, seriously slashed at 80% off. if i didn't hate fur i would have been all over that shit.

as sad as the ground floor was, the basement was.. well, crazy. they had an amazing amount of stuff for sale down there, just not the typical retail things. a table of angels went for $225 each. a fetching pair of bamboo-style screens could be mine for $300. there were nails, a half-used steno pad (which i seriously considered buying), old printer ribbons, mattresses and box springs, torsos on hooks, cabinets, etc. it was like a garage sale, but eerier. i felt as if i were in an abandoned building with a bunch of other people, just looking for wreckage to scavenge.

i made out with two signs, a red christmas banner and a square blue sign that just says "F", cuz i'm mature like that. i toyed with the idea of just walking out with them, since they didn't have prices. according to one of the associates, they were worth a buck together. okay, fine, good deal, sez i.. until i had to dig out another dime. they charged me tax on two flippin' wasteass signs they weren't even planning on selling. in addition, they attached two ugly orange stickers that i probably won't be able to get off completely. thanks. whatever.. i'm just pissed i didn't see that this clock was for sale earlier. it only costs as much as the HDTV i just bought...if i were richard nickel, i would have canceled my order and bought the damn clock. who needs a ceiling fan anyway?

i'll miss carson's. i'll miss the jewelry section to the utmost. i'll miss being able to look out of curved glass onto downtown state street at night. i'll miss the retail experience without the extreme snootiness. but most of all i'll miss, at least for a little while, being able to walk into a functioning, breathtaking piece of art.

18 February 2007

kitty wellness

i took my troubled kitty to the vet yesterday. it's been almost a month since her last transfusion (god that sounds so unreal), and i wanted to see how she was doing. intially, the vet gave me a diagnosis of myelodysplasia, a rare blood disease where bone marrow makes only immature red blood cells. a semi-effective cure in humans is a bone marrow transplant, but i was told those aren't done on cats. not knowing what to do, i kept feeding her the meds they gave me and hoped she wouldn't bottom out again.

when i asked for advice, the vet said i should get in touch with U of I down in champaign-urbana, since they have a great vet program. they talked back and forth with my vet, and thankfully, they talked right before my appointment yesterday. turns out the problem's not with her bone marrow, but with her autoimmune system: it's attacking her red blood cells before they have a chance to mature. big difference between that and not ever making any mature RBCs. as a trial, the meds bailey's been taking function to stop the faulty immune system from destroying those RBCs. the vet did a blood count, which ended up right smack dab in the 'normal' range! so far, my kitty's okay! finally, a vet session that didn't end with some crushing, horrible news. i just wanted to share. yay!

14 February 2007

black wednesday

another valentine's day come and (almost) gone. i celebrated in true single fashion by blowing a nice chunk of money at lord & taylor and nibbling on a 72% dark chocolate ghirardelli bar. oh, and getting toasted.. nicely toasted.

speaking of toasts, this brainwashed holiday reminds me of a favorite toast of mine, of unknown origin:

here's to the men we love,
and here's to the men who love us.
but the men we love aren't the men who love us,
so screw them all,
and here's to us.

keep the faith, sistas.

13 February 2007

winter wonderland

i am so not here today. how can anyone work with this beautiful weather? and i mean that with all sincerity. when i walked out this morning, the snow was all virgin in the vast expanse of my courtyard, pure confectioner's sugar, cold to the tongue. i threw on some old police stuff onto my ipod - cuz i'm a bandwagon jumper like that - and drifted off into some enchanted world. i was probably the only one smiling throughout my entire commute. this wonderful snow is what keeps a little light burning in my heart for chicago winters. i hope it never stops.

..provided i don't have to drive in it, anyway.

10 February 2007

piddling pooches prohibited

a crappy companion cartoon to a story i did on chicagoist about dogs pissing on those huge headless statues in grant park.

09 February 2007

unspeakable hearts

okay, i've been drinking, so bear with me. apparently kim enjoyed my hearts very much, of which i am very proud. we made plans to get together tomorrow (saturday). getting ready to go home from work today, i get one of those damnable ideas, much like building a freaking gingerbread house, that won't go away until realized. i pick up a package of godawful chalk hearts (made from bone meal & earwig honey) and aim to do a little candy graffiti...

my materials.

how i got the sloppy slogans off.

someone at necco has an unhealthy obsession with the '80s.

some scraped hearts.

words, words, words...

and finally, the fruits of my labor. (obviously, best viewed large.)

two more late entries.

i need help.

05 February 2007

those most blackest of ♥s

now that the super bowl is history, the media is free to focus on my most hated holiday: valentine's day. case in point: even as i write this my coworker next to me has been talking to his sigoth for what seems like two hours. makes for a very fine ipecac. verily, the only way to get through this hellacious sugar-soaked mush fest is to riff on it mercilessly. so to prove to myself i still have the mind of a 10-year-old who just discovered swearing, i went over to the good ol' candy heart generator. you know those goddamned "conversation hearts" that are good for nothing but chalk substitution in inner city schools? (fuck, there's an idea...) borrowing heavily from bittersweets, mst3k and a lovely site highlighting the substance behind these tasteless atrocities, i put the machine to work:
classy, eh?

03 February 2007

stephen colbert wants his elephant

so i did a chicagoist post today about wikipedia. the gist of the story is that wikipedia is being cited more and more in legal cases as a legitimate resource. i want to know who was smoking what when the first case went through citing anything from a website where anyone in the freaking world can write anything they want. hell, wikipedia itself lays out a disclaimer on their site saying they're responsible for absolutely no information posted in any articles. how on earth can that be cited as legal precedent? are judges and paralegals looking at a wiki article and saying to themselves, "hm, that looks about right"?

wikipedia's been made fun of a lot in the past. and sure, broad satire or blatant revisions can be funny (or lame - i remember seeing brian urlacher's entry a couple weeks ago where strippers were mentioned in every sentence), but easily fixed. it's the subtle twisting of facts that worries me.. facts that may or may not be true, but inserted quietly enough into an entry to where it seems believable. the whole thing boggles my mind. a completely democratic website with very little accountability just cannot stand up in the legal system as far as i'm concerned. it's ridiculous.

who am i, though.

off to finish my jaw-droppingly delicious homemade pizza and watch mst3k's "the day the earth froze." appropriate for this weather, no?