June 26, 2005
Vacation Break

B&W is on vacation until after July 4. Here's a photo to contemplate during the pause, taken when I was stranded, with scores of other pedestrians, during one of the periodic raisings and lowerings of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Instantly dozens of cell phones, and more than a few cameras, were put into use.

Posted at 09:07 AM
June 22, 2005
Yoga Links

A summer cold, travel, and various obligations have kept hunched over the computer and not getting as much exercise as I'd like. So in my spare time I'm trolling the Web for yoga blogs, through which I can live vicariously, at least for now. There aren't as many of these sites as you'd think, strangely. Most are day-to-day diaries of practice, although a few people are doing more link-and-comment style sites. The ashtanga people are strangely prolific, perhaps because of all the sweating? This makes me sad, because ashtanga is one of the flavors I haven't tried yet. But who knows? My favorite title: No Sleep Till Mysore.


Posted at 07:43 PM
June 21, 2005
Everyone's Putting Moose* in Their Hair, and I Can't Even Find Any

Like an unwelcome blast from the past, the '80s live again with the return of LiveAid, or Live8, a megaconcert for a cause. The lineup isn't exactly groundbreaking, but no doubt it'll draw a crowd. I do remember watching the first concert on TV in 1985; it was a diversion during a long hot summer in which I had no job and nowhere to go (although I did teach myself to cook). I didn't realize John Wesley Harding wrote a song about the first concert, but this article points it out:

Well the powerful voice of pop music, solve the problems, feed the world
So what if there weren't any blacks involved there was Everything but the Girl
Bob Geldof has no ego that man should get the Nobel Prize
By the time he sang the solo on Feed the World
I thought he should be canonized...

*Not a typo. More like a joke.

Posted at 08:30 PM
June 14, 2005
Duck Blog

First the ducks in the park, then the ducks on my street. What is the city coming to, I ask you?

To dispell the notion that I only post random animal pictures, here's a link to an article about "commonplace books," which seem surprisingly blog-like:

The first commonplace books appeared during the Renaissance and contained hand-copied excerpts from manuscripts--and, eventually, from printed books--along with personal annotations. As Garvey describes, these were succeeded by something closer to what we think of as scrapbooks. In them, people of a literary bent would paste photographs or cuttings from magazines and newspapers. Between the keepsakes, they would scribble appropriate scraps of prose or poetry, or associated thoughts that might profit from later revision.

Posted at 07:31 PM
June 13, 2005
Sidewalk Sale

At the start of the sale.

We survived the yard sale, despite great heat and vast inexperience. In the end we sold almost everything, barring old computer books and random ugly pieces of glassware. Although you'd never know it to look at me, I come from a long line of the merchant class and there's a certain amount of merchandiser in me, so I amused myself by writing witty things on the price tags and wheeling and dealing a little with the crowds.

Final scorecard:
Amount of money I procured in small bills (to make change) on Friday afternoon: $100
Amount of that change I needed on Saturday and Sunday: $0 (most people paid in small bills, oddly enough)
Number of people who wanted to buy the not-for-sale radio: 4
Number of people who wanted to buy my merchandise tables: 2
Number of people who wanted to buy the chair I was sitting in: 1
Number of people who wanted to buy the plastic tablecloth I was displaying merchandise on: 1
Number of people who tried to pay me in Tootsie rolls: 1 (did not succeed)
Number of friendly bookworms who bought lots of books: 3
Number of CD browsers who knew who Momus is: 1 (yes, I sold The Little Red Songbook! I confess!)
Number of people who wanted to buy my old microwave: 2
Number of people who wheeled it away on their bicycle handles: 1
Bottles of water consumed by me: 3
Times I worried about rain: 4
Times I worried about being undersold: 1 ("what do you mean, books for a quarter?")
Number of Anais Nin books for sale: 3
Number of Anais Nin books sold: 0
Times I was asked if I was an English major: 3
Number of old ladies who wanted to buy my table and then shouted "BUMMER!" when I said it wasn't for sale: 1
Number of people who bought old computer books: 0
Total expenses: $10 (community sales fee, plastic tablecloths, masking tape)
Gross profit: $75.32
Net: $65.32

You get the idea. See you on the sidewalks next year!

Posted at 07:35 PM
June 06, 2005

Take the B&W challenge and write your own caption!

Posted at 07:17 PM
June 04, 2005
Summer Reading

Just back from a few days in Boston, city of beans, which were mostly spent indoors, alas. When out and about, however, I admired the architecture, which seemed to give a better sense of preserved history than we usually see in the Midwest. Riding around in a taxi, it occurred to me that I probably know more about Boston, historically speaking, than I do about Chicago. Seriously, how much history do you know about your city? ("Well, let's see. There were the Indians, and then there was a fire, and then...oh! meatpacking! and Daley, and the '68 convention, and the blizzard and...um...Jesse Jackson?"...sad, really.) So this summer I'll be trying to get better informed about the city I live in. See my stack of books above.

It's fitting, because in August it will be 10 years since I drove into Chicago to stay, with the kitties in the back seat. Send book suggestions to keep me occupied until 2015!

Posted at 04:23 PM