Smallhouse Log

a week later
"You know the Masons? It's like that, except for little girls." -Sailor, 04/28/2009

So here I am, surfacing from another weekend. Sort of. I mean, I still need to get about six more hours of sleep. But the highlight of the weekend was the Dinner Party, Claire's clever ploy to meet some of my friends and win for herself their earnest approval. In this, as indeed in all other ways, I think it was a success. I mean, homegirl can cook. We also made it out to an art opening, and either stumbled upon a party, or it was attached to the show. This was not at all clear. But there was a DJ, and half a marching band, and it was fun times.

Even with the stress of job hunting and unemployment, I am very, very happy with my life right now.


So we had us a Scav Hunt. Claire came down for the campout on Friday, and was either delighted and impressed, or graciously humoring me. I didn't lose any fingers or much dignity; in fact, I mostly just sat around distracting the Shoreland team with long, rambling variations on "You know, back in my day, we blah blah blah..." It was a lot of fun. I sort of missed the privileges of Judgeship, it must be admitted: the Captains' Dinner, seeing more of the items, the bad movies and SoulCal tournaments. But on the other hand, I'm sort of glad not to be associated with this list. I mean, they got a lot of stuff on there that had been cut in past years. And some new stuff I probably would've argued against. Not my problem anymore, yes? I am done; I am out.

I even blew off Judgement to hang out with Claire, though I must say I was pleased with the results. The Scav results, too.

the next Tuesday

Let me tell you a wonderful story. So last night, I paid a visit to Claire, and we were all gonna watch us a movie. Claire decides she will make us popcorn. But she didn't. She made us POPCORN, all caps. This was made with some sort of fancy paprika and the kind of salt you have to fight a volcano to harvest. Bacon fat was rendered, and the kernels were popped in that. I will not be able to eat regular popcorn for months.

And that's all the news that's fit to print.


I uh, well, the weekend sort of kept going.

But backing up for a recap, we had: Lazy day with Nancy and Neha, massive Mass, lazy day recovering from Mass, lazy Sunday morning with confusing weather, surprise visit from new friend, cultural intoxication via Versionfest's NFO XPO. This was sort of like a cross between an art fair, a Scav quads item, a small business expo, and the Uchicago RSO recruitment fairs; except without prizes, people who got drafted into it, boring repetition, or the college republicans. I had the best of times. Then I took an hour break, made me some supper, and went back for the evening activities. There was an art film, which was better than I feared at first, but very much an art film. It was much much longer than, say, "The Truth Wears Sideburns".

After that there was to be some bands. The first one was alright, but too loud and nothing special. By this time I'd had the chance to meet a few new people, very interesting people. I met one of the organizers, who runs the Co-Prosperity Sphere with her husband, who is the son of the owner of Maria's, where J+J+J will be doing a DJ set later tonight (assuming it actually is Tuesday). I met a chef named Claire who knows all the regulars at Maria's, and was there just for the concert, and was at the concert just for the second act, Judson Claiborne, whose lead man I also met and talked to, mostly about healthy eating habits. Claire was quite adamant in her high opinion of this group, and I did, in fact, like them a lot myself. So much, in fact, that I am going to their concert this next Saturday (conveniently located at Bernice's) instead of to the contra.

That last paragraph may have been slightly misleading. There are other reasons I am resolved to go to the Saturday concert. And I didn't really get around to meeting other new people after I met Claire. The implications are exciting.

later Sunday

"If this isn't nice, what is?"

There I was, sitting quietly on the Bridgeport Coffee House patio, when none other than Sam, the guy I met at the Mass, comes out of nowhere with his Tiny Asian Girlfriend. They were trying to find a group from one of his classes that was supposed to tour the stockyards, but instead they found me. So I joined them as we went to the stockyards and back, but never found the tour. Sam determined he would find some culture in the neighborhood while we were there instead. I was skeptical, since the neighborhood is usually pretty quiet on Sundays. We went to the Buddist temple; they were having a service, and Sam's TAG was able to translate just a little for us. Then we went to watch what looked like an alley fight, but it wasn't an alley fight. We stumbled onto a culture bomb.

The ring of people in the vacant lot were pondering a mural-in-progress, which is part of some sort of art and culture festival, of which the concerts I was planning to go to are a part, it seems. Further, there was a show tonight, supposedly a folk show of sorts, and for the same parcel admission fee, an Info Expo. The Info Expo, I should say. It needs the definite article. I cannot even describe it, I am so jumped up on culture right now. There is an hour between the shut-down of the Info Expo and the concert, so I came home and made supper. This space, this amazing space, and the group of people associated with it, is just, like two blocks away. It's almost time to head back over, but oh, I'm so tired, I got up at the usual time. But I can't be stopped.

I have not had a weekend like this in far too long.


Sunday! The sun was shining brightly and a gentle rain was falling. I was very confused. Still kinda am.


What a day! After getting up at the usual time (four), commuting, and babysitting, I was determined to wait around Hyde Park for a while to meet up for brunch with Nancy and a visiting Neha. I stumbled upon the Outdoor Adventure Club having an Earth Day campout on the quads, and they shared breakfast with me as I told them how back in my day, we slept out on the quads in tents made of tarps and park benches. Also, none of them knew who I was, so I had my first normal conversation about Scav Hunt in five years. Finally, I thanked them, exhorted them to come to the Mass tonight, and went over to the Backstory to fix the feeds. Neha did not make it to brunch, but Nancy and I went around afterwards to collect her, and the three of us just sort of wandered around for hours, enjoying the weather, occaisionally going barefoot, interrupting private events, planning potential road trips, and generally just loitering. By the end of this, I was extremely relaxed, perfectly contented, probably sunburnt, and had a blister on my toe that always gets weird blisters. We said our farewells and I biked home, tired and happy.

The day could have ended there; I gave thought to calling it a night, since I was already tired and blistered, and by the time I got home, it was already seventeen-thirty, the nominal start time of the Mass. But I knew it wouldn't start until six, so I changed into ligher pants, grabbed a waterbottle, a patch kit, and a pump, and rode off towards Daley Plaza. By the time I got there, I was surrounded by all sorts of other cyclists. We rounded the last corner to find Daley plaza absolutely packed with people and bicycles. This did not turn out to be the most impressive ride I've ever been on (don't misunderstand me, it was a definite second), but it was by far the largest. Over a thousand riders, though how many exactly, I have no idea. The route went generally west, then north through Humboldt Park, turned east at Logan Square, and went to the lakefront. The original map had called for either the Lakefront Path or LSD itself north of there, but either our escort of cops would not let us onto LSD, or there were enough South Siders present to veto going so far north. People sort of chilled on the beach for a while after that. I had ended up towards the rear after blocking off an intersection in Humboldt Park, so most people I knew were heading south seemed to have skedadled already by the time I was ready to go. I did make the aquantance of an undergrad named Sam, and when we were good and ready, we began our own little caravan south, with a stop south of North Beach for pictures, and detour to Trader Joe's, where we had a midnight picnic and loitered harder than I've done in years. When the wind began to pick up, Sam decided to call it a night and catch the bus, and continued on home, where I took a much needed shower and almost managed to stay awake long enough for my hair to dry.

So here I sit, still exhausted, still blissful, all the windows open and a pleasant breeze blowing through the living room. The entire palm of each hand is covered in bruises; I had meant to grab my riding gloves, but one always forgets something, yes? I had wrapped the toe-blister in medical tape, and it thankfully didn't get any worse, but after five hours in the saddle, I fear I may have blisters in more sensitive places. I spend the entire day, save those four hours in the morning and ten minutes at home, outside, on my feet or on Terrance's pedals, in the sunshine. What a day.

"If this isn't nice, what is?"