biting my nails

July 31, 2010

my latest anxiety revolves around what to do with our large furniture items… evidently, because we live in a highrise on michigan ave, we cannot leave the couches/mattress on the curb and hope a) a scavenger will pick them up, or b) the garbage truck will collect them. Plus! our building only lets us have furniture in the elevator if we reserve it and pay a 300 dollar fee in case of damage (which we get back if there are no damages). the dates for reserving the elevator are slim. hum… maybe i should put the items on craigslist. the mattress has my body impression in it. who wants that? yuck! the couch is terrible as well, tears, faded fabric.

on a happier note- work is winding down. i have had a handful of sad farewells already. next week i have a happy hour going away night at a bar with work folks. once im in RI i can finally meet my new nephew! here is a picture of him. he is so beautiful! b


Bigger images available (direct payment to artist suggested).

The photography of Daniel Geraghty:

the madrid apartment search is full speed ahead. i can’t actually commit to anything yet since 1. the apartments listed are for an august move in and 2. we don’t know if certain apartments truly exist. i was contacted by the classic scam artist. awesome apartment/great price/great location/owner isn’t worried about the money, just wants a “good person”/owner is doing humanitarian work in nigeria and needs the money wired through western union…

i have our potential neighborhoods whittled down to La Latina (connie says specifically the “almonso martinez” part) or salamanca (goya). La Latina is suppose to be classic madrid living with lovely architecture but with older buildings that might not have certain comforts (like heat). Goya is a bit uppity, but is near our tefl program and Spanish language school. pretty tree lined streets and a beautiful park to spend our days reading and lounging. i’m thinking about how to maximize my self indulgence during this trip and considering buying an apple piano keyboard to learn the piano on. maybe i will have enough learning with the language barrier though. -b


July 25, 2010


July 24, 2010

‘Dag. I need a sandwich.’ You check the cupboard.  There’s some chips in there a couple of Trader Joe’s receipts.  Check the fridge.  Fat-free vanilla yogurt and those string cheese jumps that are good, but not filling.  Freezer’s got those vegetarian buffalo chickens, but you’ve had those four out of the last six meals.  You scratch your stomach.  Think, man.  Think.

My Life

Check the bedroom and the bathroom: nope, B’s not here.  She would be creative and make something out of nothing.  Like tortellini with tomato and yellow peppers.   Or fake sausage McMuffins.  Maybe a homemade pizza with assorted cheeses and produce.

It’s the best when she does that.

But there’s no bail out coming.  Call your friend in Hyde Park?  No.  Leave him alone.  He’s got kids and you’ve already invited yourself over a few too many times.  What about a smoothie?  Your blender’s dirty and in the dishwasher and you have no motivation to clean.   Is there any way you can wait for another hour?  No, not that long.

It’s time to go out, then.  You don’t want to.  You wanted to save money.  You didn’t want to leave your apartment.  Food around here can be bunk.  It’s mostly sit-down restaurants.  You love sit-down restaurants. But you don’t have time for that nonsense.

Then you remember across the street is Potbelly’s.  You start singing like David Martinez on the organ up at Pius, ‘Rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel…’

Here’s what I get at Belly’s:

1. Large Vegetarian: swiss, provolone, American melted cheese, mushrooms, hot peppers, lettuce, tomato, italian seasoning.

2. Bag of Chips.  Either Sour Cream and O or those BBQs.

3. 2 oversized sugar cookies.

4.  Vitamin Water Zero.

B gets the pizza sandwich with mushrooms and melted American.  We both just love being there.  But it’s time to say goodbye.

I’ll miss you, girl.

Menu for Uninitiated


July 24, 2010

It’s pouring rain outside… which makes me think of the top chicago truths. 1. bone chilling winters, 2. super muggy summers, 3. party animal locals, 4. junk food eating/eaters, and 5. windy politics. i might not miss 1-5, but chicago still manages to endear itself to me. -b

12 more days of work
7 more pediatric videoswallow studies
5 more days supervising my student
2 more voice evaluations
2 more paychecks…

we have lists for everything. List for the furniture/household items we need to get rid of. List for the items we want to keep. List for things coming to Spain. I’ve started throwing things out, things that I have debating about throwing out for at least three years. So much stuff that I don’t use but am comforted by having in storage just-in-case, like pomade (which I never use) and discontinued gap perfume from 1996 (“Om”, this didn’t make the throw out list once again. I have two bottles. One unopened). I brought sonia some food coloring because it was brand new. She declined it. Emily p. accepted it but left it in my office. Anyone want an alarm clock? Door hooks? Hot curlers? bl

Band on the Run

July 22, 2010

The apartment search is on.  Hard to contain that childhood impulse of sleeping on the Madrid streets. Exploring the dark city’s underground while making money as a two-piece band.  She’s on vocals, I’m on street drums.  We’d cascade into the city’s consciousness. Top 40 before you know it.  Album cover:

Madrileno Melancholy

Goodbye Michigan Ave.

July 17, 2010

The Transformers set is here until Monday.  Mayor Daley thinks it’s an injection to the local economy.  Mike Geraghty Jr. thinks it’s the end of cinema and the civilized world.  ‘It’s not a movie,’ Mike said.  ‘It’s a goddamn product.  You should sue.’

It’s a sight. Manufactured rubble and dozen car pile-ups.  Detours home and scores of rabid onlookers, hoping for Shia to just come out and, I don’t know, beat up a Transformer.  Puffed-up security detail and inured police.   My dream of arrest nearly came true.  We huddled and then sneakily tried to creep over a bridge, through the set.  Look behind us to see four John Laws, pieces drawn, telling us, ‘It’s best you come on back.’

Everyone on production seems to be wearing yellow.    They also seem young and not casually hip.  Some of the technicians look disengaged.  They sit in their giant trucks with walkie-talkies- heads buried in their hands- nostalgic for their once robust creative ambition.

This street has been closed before.  Oprah was here, with special guests Fergie and Michael Jordan.  Mike was dressed to kill.  Suit and fedora.  Designer shades.  Forty stylish pounds of post-Wizards weight.  They hugged and I think Mike put his hand on her knee.  Their banter felt different, like it was exclusive to moguls.  I thought of Stedman cooped up in the guest house, emasculated and resigned, trying to compose a compelling Evite.

Fergie was just getting married, I think.  Well, I know.  Oprah shouted, ‘It’s FERRRRGIE and she’s GETTTTTING MARRIED!’  She performed and the crowd danced.

Yeah it was fun and different.  That day was a win.

These days aren’t.


visa submission

July 15, 2010

one more month until we leave chicago. three more weeks until my last day of work. yikes! last friday we had a meeting at the spanish consulate. it was an appointment but the office was practically empty. it looked like we could have just walked in a week earlier.

back to the friday- i got to the office before sean and started to submit my paperwork. i ended up having the incorrect background check (had one from a private company, needed one from the police station). sean didn’t have any background check because his hadn’t arrived in the mail. the guy helping me was very nice and lived in the fifth largest city in Spain (Seragovia? something like that). the guy took my application even though it wasn’t complete… despite the fact that the website says they would absolutely not do that. then sean arrived, he went through the process and we were done at 12:05. We decided to go directly to the police station. took a 10 dollar cab and ended up at the wrong police station. hopped in another cab for 15 dollars and was helped by the loveliest woman who said she was making roasted turkey and sweet potatoes for dinner. she told us she was glad we weren’t getting married abroad. after 30 minutes we started walking towards home, jumped on a bus, and made it back to the consulate office at 1:55 (5 minutes before it closed!). we submitted the forms and were good to go.

the visa application takes between 6-8 weeks to process… we are planning to move from chicago in 5 weeks. im crossing my fingers that the 6-8 time frame is an exaggeration.

thanks for reading (sophie)