Tuesday, November 30, 2010

have you heard of this????

Geocaching. Have you heard of it?

I’ve debated whether I should blog about geocaching or not. It seems like a bit of a secret society, and I didn’t want to blow it, but then in the shower this morning I realized something. The reason I even know about geocaching is from a TV show on PBS this weekend, so if geocaching can be on TV, me blogging about it certainly can’t hurt anything.

Ignacio was surfing through the channels on Saturday, and stopped on a program about geocaching. Since the program was already in progress, I was still very uncertain what the hell geocaching was. I picked up bits and pieces, and then went to my trusty iPhone to see about getting an app. You know, there is always “an app for that”.

And voila! There was indeed an app for that. Geocaching is the name of the app.

So, what the heck is geocaching? Here is wikipedia’s definition:

Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook.

Fun, right?!

So, I got the geocaching app, and then looked for nearby geocaches. There was one in our little neighborhood park. After walking home from a movie, Ignacio and I decided to try to find our first geocache. The app uses its GPS to navigate you toward the geocache. There are hints and descriptions of what you are looking for. After a short search, we found it!

It was so cool; like a treasure hunt. After our little geocache high, we had to see if there was another nearby geocache to hunt for. A four block walk took us to our next geocache. Our second hunt was a bit more difficult, but we were successful!
On Sunday, we walked down State Street for a little shopping. On the walk home, we knew there was a geocache to be found, so we did a search and were able to find our third cache. The cool thing is that there are caches all over the world. So wherever we go, we can do a hunt for a cache. However, one must be discreet when looking for caches so that the ‘muggles’ don’t spot you finding the cache.

Who knew that such a cool thing existed? I sure didn’t.

Friday, November 26, 2010

November Girls Dinner: Shokran Moroccan Grill

Pat chose Shokran Moroccan Grill for November's Girls dinner.

Only five of us were able to make it after an attack of the flu took some of the girls down for the count.
Liz and Pat

Bethany and Nancy
Shokran is BYOB, which is always a nice treat for our group of lushes.  We had our own beautiful private room.  I almost felt like we were in Sex and The City 2 eating a fabulous meal in Abu Dhabi.

We ordered vegetarian couscous, beef couscous, beef kabobs, chicken couscous, and kafta.  The meals were tasty, and there was no room for dessert.  I know, y'all are shocked that I didn't stuff my face with some sort of chocolate, but I stuffed my face at the beginning with hummus and pita bread, so there was no room for chocolate.  You can bet that I made up for my lack of chocolate consumption over the weekend though.

Next month is our special December dinner that has a gift grab bag to make the dinner even more special.  I'm excited.

Friday, November 19, 2010

PERFECT family photos--

This picture has always been my favorite family portrait.  It says everything you need to say about my family.  It is in a word:  perfect.  I can't remember why we did this photobooth photo shoot.  I think it may have been for our IDs at Dolton pool.
First, you have my brother, Tiger, shirtless and goofy.
Next, you have my mother beautiful and bodacious.
Then there is my father, 6'4" and unable to be fully seen.  The quiet giant.
Finally, there's me, giraffe neck and curls.

Every single time I see that picture, I laugh and think how that is the best family portrait my family could have ever taken.  It is so honest.

Now, for more 'honest' family photos:
Tell me if see you a theme in all of these next photos....
Tiger being goosed
Cousin Ron being goosed
my dad in the act of goosing Ron

In each photo, you will notice that whomever is standing next to my dad has a wide open mouth.  That is because for mostly every photo ever taken, my father would goose whomever was the lucky dope to stand next to him.
Yeah, our family pictures really do tell an accurate story.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

when is the parade?!

I first moved to "the city" from the suburbs over 20 years ago (holy shit, it's been more than 20 years?!).  I moved to my current downtown Chicago location more than 12 years ago.  My first November of living in my downtown condo, I was out walking and saw this banner on the light pole:
I was so excited that a parade was going to take place right outside my window (almost).  I looked at that sign and took note, "okay, parade starts at 8am, but what day is it happening??"  I walked to the next light pole with a banner and studied it looking for the "day" of the Thanksgiving Parade.  I didn't see it on that banner either.  I walked from banner to banner studying the front and back of each banner trying to figure out when the hell the damn parade was going to take place.

It wasn't until three days later that it finally clicked:  the Thanksgiving Day Parade was on Thanksgiving Day!!  Oh yeah, I'm smart like that.

So, every year for past 12 years, I've been woken up around 5:30am on Thanksgiving Day with the sounds of high school marching bands practicing and the man over the loud speaker calling out roll call.  Luckily, I've gained a couple of nephews over the years and now we have a tradition of the boys spending Wednesday night at my place, and waking up early Thursday morning to go down to the parade.  If it is too cold or rainy, we just watch from the window or the terrace.  I've always told my friends that if their kids can wipe their own butts, they are welcome to participate in the sleepover.

And this year, I look forward to Thanksgiving Day Parade number 13 with Cooper and Carter.  Let's hope for decent weather and some rockin' bands and that everyone is able to wipe their own butt.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

what i did on vacation: NOTHING

my feet looking at the ferris wheel at Navy Pier

There were no real vacations for me this year, so I have some vacation time to burn.  Last week I took 3 days off.  When I scheduled the time, my plan was to knit and read.  To, like, almost have a real vacation even though I was just going to be at home.  As the time drew nearer, my 'to-do' list grew longer.  I had 3 pages in my little notebook filled with things to get done.  That is exactly what I didn't want to happen.  I didn't want to spend my 3 days off feeling guilty and pressured because of that damn list.  In the end, I was only able to knock out a tiny portion of the list.  Don't ask me what I did because I really haven't a clue.  I know I didn't sit back and watch telelvision.  
There was a day when I had to wait for two repairmen (one for the handle on the Macy's reclining couch and one for my California Closet that fell out of the wall [good customer service grades for both companies]).  Other than that, there were no significant chunks of time accounted for.  
Bottom line is that I think I get much more done when I am busy.  When I am working, I wake up at 5am, get to the gym, and have a rather productive morning.  When I'm not working, waking up at 8am is a big time difference.

my size 11's standing almost as tall as the John Hancock
In other news, I am so excited about my new e-class that began on Monday.  "You are Your Own Muse" is a class being offered by Vivienne McMaster and it is a class about self-portraits.  So, here are the first two pictures of me (well, not me per se, but my feet).
I've been anxiously waiting for this class to begin.  I just love Vivienne's work.  Her photos make me feel something that is hard to describe.  There is a beauty and a certain peace I feel when I see her pictures.  I am hoping to be able to find some kind of magic in my own photography; the kind I see or feel when I look at other people's work.
I'm definitely not feeling love and peace when I look at those size 11's  in front of the John Hancock Building.  Actually, the longer I look at that photo, the more I am feeling a kind of Godzilla vs King Kong situation.