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View From the 3rd Floor
New Things 
Orange foods consumed in past 24hrs:
5 clementines
One order sweet potato fries
Laaaarge bowl rice covered with soy ginger shredded carrots

How did this happen? Vitamin deficiencies? Cravings?
I guess I should wear blue tomorrow. It's a complimentary color.
Mar 12, 2007 - W gets some pussy

Where did I go wrong???
You raise them in a loving, liberal home.
Then rebellion--and they go and do something like this!!!
I should toss her back out on the street for this kind of behavior.

Her daughter seems rightfully horrified.
Mar 12, 2007 - Return of the yak
Shaking off seasonal affective disorder with the early blessing of daylight saving time, I'm back to subject you all to more photoblogging. Enjoy.


I returned to Chicago on business recently and I have to say the city is growing on me. Escaping the Loop and Near North this trip had quite a bit to do with it. That and the shoe convention.
And one, two, three sinks. (I brushed my teeth at each of them.)
And buying a beer from Kelly Hogan.

For the complete photo set, follow the plane.
Jan 03, 2007 - Return from paradise

Originally uploaded by 3rdfloor.
What a long strange trip it was. I'll admit, I've been hibernating a bit since I got back. But I have gotten around to uploading most of my good pics to flickr, so feel free to look through. I'll be adding captions to many of them in the coming days. I'll also post an entry with some more general thoughts on the whole experience when I've got some serious time to sit down and write.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and an excellent start to the new year!
Dec 17, 2006(no subject)
Just a quick hello from the equator! I leave from Quito tomorrow for the islands. Quito is simply massive--it sprawls throughout the valley and crawls up the mountainsides. Being veggie here ain't so bad, I'm getting more than my fair share of plaintains, white corn and avocado :)

A happy holiday season to all! I´m back on the 27th, but off work through January 1st, if you're still feeling festive.

This spanish keyboard is confusing... ¡¿´ñç!!!
My friend N recently moved into my 'hood. 1/2 a block away to be exact. I've never really "hung out" where I live because it's a pretty popular place for everyone and their uncle to hang out, which makes it less appealing to me. But it's nice on the off nights--Thursday, the new Friday. So N and I have been auditioning neighborhood bars. Qualifications: decent reasonably priced food (with veg choices), good selection of on-tap beers and lack of pretentiousness. In this case, a supply of board games is icing on the cake. After a marathon night at this particular contestant a few weeks back that saw a disputed win in "I Love the 80s" and a Scrabble tournament of champions, N and I decided to give it a second run. It was a balmy evening and this place has 3 outdoor tables; often hard to get, but one was available. We call this a sign. Meals and first rounds were ordered. While we waited for the food to arrive, I reached up into the open bay window by the front door and snagged 2 boxes of Trivia Pursuit cards. By the time the plates were cleared, we'd started our very own informal quizzo with the 2 guys at the table next to us. Best I can describe them: middle-aged domesticated hippies. They were partial to the Baby Boomer edition. As the questions and beer flowed, we were joined on the other side by a sole older gentleman and his schnauzer. Giant schnauzer. Championship giant schnauzer. He had scotch, on the rocks. The server knew all of them. N and I took our first tenative step toward regulars by ordering our next pints as "bartenders choice". During a lull in conversation (brought on by a discussion of just how much a championship schnauzer gets for his... uh... stuff) I asked the nonsequitir that's been on my mind for months: why the hell don't they paint The Bridge after it crosses onto land? I got an answer. Boy did I get an answer. Turns out Schnauzerman is an oldschool local--with some knowledge and many opinions. And aging hippie No.1 is, get this... oh yes... a bridge inspector. One of those guys that goes down in scuba gear to make sure your car doesn't take a long dive off a short pier. Drama ensueth. Schanuzerman backs up his theory of the bridge's metallic composition by it's effect on his shortwave radio. Hippie No.2... ham radio operator. And Schnauzerman's call sign is potentially older than him. Geekdom is flying fast and furious over our heads now and N and I just look at eachother and grin. We have found our "Cheers". Although when Schnauzerman brings up Vietnam, and Hippies 1 and 2 exchange glances, we decide to close out our tab.
Nov 30, 2006 - Cookie bliss.

I'm not one for pushing product, but this is an exception. I've had a love/hate relationship with TJs since they opened downtown. Things I enjoyed, things that were yucky. But these... they blow those little girl scout wafers right off the planet. My office has bought out the local stock, so seek them elsewhere.

My cousin (and birthday twin) is serving in the Peace Corps in Chongqing, China. She promises more regular photo updates now that her camera has cleared customs, and I'll share so we can all live vicariously.

I'm heading out of the country myself soon, though for far less altruistic reasons--I just want to play with giant land tortoises (torti?). I'm supposed to get a vaccination in order to do this. Easier said than done. The US healthcare/insurance system would apparently prefer to replace my liver than offer me an injection to spare it in the first place. Not to mention paying cash to some place that doesn't take insurance and is called "executive health" feels very dirty to me. Why do I get the feeling that if I stepped off the plane in said developing country, some international aid clinic would offer it to me free of charge? Whatever. I'll be forking over the $$$ since I'm quite attached to my current liver.
Nov 28, 2006 - battle maneuvers
I celebrated that most American of holidays last week. No, not the one on Thursday. The one that comes after that. The one where all good Americans lose several hours of their life, $$$ and sanity in the name of raising the GDP. I do not have the fortitude (balls? paxil?) to face Black Friday. So we decided on an early Saturday AM tactical excursion to the mecca of KofP. We brought water bottles, we brought emergency rations, we brought discount coupons and we brought a general distaste for most of what was out there. And we were all alone. Seriously. I guess everyone was in rehab after the day before. We ran around like kids on a scavenger hunt, and it proved a succesful one.

I got to spend the next day recharging myself by tearing through the true wilderness instead. Hills were charged, streams crossed. Keep these warm days coming! Please! I'll trade a foot of snow for each one.

Fought a battle of a different sort tonight--against a pair of feisty, fur-covered ninjas. "Pilling" a cat is not a procedure for the faint of heart. There will be indignation (the cat's), blood (yours) and hissing (yours and the cat's). Nicki was relatively easy. She's a momma's girl and didn't see what was coming 'til the pill was down the hatch. Claudie on the other hand is a reformed stray and already battle scarred. Twelve solid pounds of spitting, biting, razor-clawed affection. Cunning too--hiding the pill until I turned around, then spitting it out. She's too tall to hold her sitting up, so she would go all "boneless" to slip out of my grip. But half an hour and one vet-recommended pillowcase later, she was licking her lips distastefully while I sang "We are the Champions".

If you see me this week, do not concern yourself with the bandages 'round my wrists. They are badges of victory. :)
Nov 24, 2006 - Bouncy bouncy music
Ted Leo and the Rx
at some club in Lancaster on Nov 26

The Grates
at First Unitarian on Dec 10

Who's up for it?