28 April 2009

Big D, Big Deal

Big D is a Big Deal, because he is my dad. Caitlin is obsessed with my dad because he is so cute and funny. I concur with that assessment. Today is his birthday, and I wish him oodles of fun while he is on business in Ponca City, OK. Go to a fine establishment (Chili's) and have a blast dad!

21 April 2009

Ticket to Lame

Caitlin and I have been addicted to a game called Ticket to Ride. As many of you know, this is a board game - but you may not know that it also is a great online game. We will often compete in Ticket to Ride with The Butler, the Wortley's, or anyone else we can get to play with us.
Well, they recently just changed their website policy from free to a one-time $10 fee. Ticket to Ride? No, Ticket to Rape...a raping of my wallet. They know my addictions. They know they had me right where they want me. That would be like offering me free Taco Bell for 6 months and then charging $10 per taco. I would still have to buy. Fortunately, we get one free membership because we own the board game. But we still had to buy a membership for Caitlin. I'm going to get revenge on you TTR - as soon as I finish my game.

17 April 2009

Mates of State

Concerts are fun. Sometimes I go on a hiatus, and apparently sometimes I attend two in one week out of no where. But it just makes sense - first The Presets and now Mates of State? Caitlin became a lover of the MOS when we got married, so she was equally (if not more) excited than I was for this. MOS was my first concert in New York City when I moved there (or was it Echoboy? I can't remember...). Now, five years and three records later, I was to see them again in Chicago.We tricked Don and Liz into coming with us. They had not heard MOS, but are always up for adventures. I had a feeling this was a group they could enjoy (*spoiler - I was right).The Black Kids were the core opening band. I had read a lot about them in magazines, but never actually heard their music. While I enjoyed the first few songs, the songs become altogether a little repetitive and I could have used about 3 songs less. I feel like they are probably a band that is better live, so I'll be skipping the albums. For a band that uses very few instruments, it really took MOS a long time to set up. I think this was more a factor of getting all of the Black Kids crap of the stage. To be honest - one of my favorite things about this concert was the DJ that played the music between bands. Its like he was putting on a personal concert for me alone. There were times where I wasn't even paying attention to Liz, Don, or Caitlin because I was just feeling this guy's choices. He caught my ear when he played Daft Punk, but then completely blew my mind when he played L'trimm's "Cars That Go Boom" which was one of my favorite songs in junior high. Oh man, Tigre and Bunny D - so amazing. Then he played my current favorite song "My Moon My Man" Boyz Noize remix from Feist. Man, that DJ was SLAMMIN!
And then it was MOS time! This Santa Claus guy came out and read a different poem before each band. I don't know what that was all about - but whatever. I like Santa Claus.Mates of State played a great show, albeit short. They had to be done at 10pm because it was a 16+ year old show, so the kiddies needed to make curfew. That wouldn't have been a problem if it weren't for the Black Kids, so MOS had to just fly through as many songs as they could fit in. They probably got through about 9. While I felt a little jipped, we had a great time and they played some great songs.This is the kind of concert where everyone is just singing their little hearts out. Me included. Don included actually. Everyone included.Don and Liz were happily delivered the goods and I think I just earned their trust for music for at least one more concert. I wonder what we will see next...

16 April 2009

Thus Begins Concert Season

Last December I noticed that the Presets were coming to Chicago. Their album, Apocalypso, was one of my favorite albums of 2008 and definitely my favorite dance album of the year. While I enjoyed their previous album Beams, Apocalypso built on all the best aspects of Beams and made it completely danceable on all levels. So, Caitlin bought me some tickets for Christmas.The day finally arrived and we headed down to Metro for the 9pm show. The opening band was Golden Filter, which was not entirely bad but they definitely lacked the creativity and knowledge of music that a more mature dance producer would display. The best part of their performance was when they covered the White Stripes "The Hardest Button to Button" from Elephant. I actually might have liked this version of the song more than the original - it really translated great into techno. In between performers we took time to pose for a pic or two. I could hardly contain my excitement.The Presets finally emerged. They started out solid with great songs like "Talk Like That" and "A New Sky." While it was obviously great and Caitlin and I took to getting our groove on, I started to wonder if this concert was just going to be a live version of their CD with little remix action nor surprises. I played right into their hands. Anyone who loves attending a solid techno/dance concert should know that halfway through the concert the band will start building the energy and excitement all the way to the final song. Just listen to Justice's "A Cross The Universe" for a classic example.
This was the case here. The Presets slowed down the action with a fantastic performance of "Aeons" and then launched into a killer remix of my favorite song "If I Know You." Then they just went crazy from there with high charged and intermixing versions of "Yippyo-Ay" and "This Boy's In Love." By this time the concertgoers were losing their minds in complete craziness. This is my favorite part - when everyone loses their ability to maintain composure and even the most reserved of individuals begins shaking hardcore booty. Even the Hipstinos* started losing it
(*Note: Hipstinos are a new group of people I had never seen before at a concert until tonight. Hipstinos are Hispanics who ascribe to hipster type dress and attitude. For some reason they had occupied the entire front section of the theater and would not budge. Curious)I never get any good pictures during the awesome moments because I am too busy sweating on people and dancing. They mixed in some hits from Beams and then finished up with "My People" - at which point the crowd when insane. When they finished that song my ears sounded like a busted speaker as everyone roared for more. You could even see the band debate whether it was worth it to follow the traditional procedure of leaving the stage and then coming back for an encore. While they followed tradition, they were only gone for about 20 seconds before returning.
Caitlin and I were extremely pleased with the concert, to say the least. While the CD can never match the energy of the concert, I strongly suggest you give Apocalypso a few listens if you have not already.

15 April 2009

The Xootr Marathon

Winter is on its way out. I know, I know - its freaking cold outside today. But there have been a few days recently that give us all hope. The other day Don, Liz, and myself decided to get in on some of that "unseasonably warm" days by doing some xootin'.

"What is a Xootr?" you may be asking. It is an adult scooter. Caitlin snaked one off a friend and I have been enjoying it on a frequent basis. Don saw it one day and got super jealous - so he bought himself one and then Liz. We took them down to Lincoln Park and then just started xootin'. This may not sound like a lot - but we xoot'd these suckas like 10 miles that day. Here we pose like a bunch of posers downtown.Xootin' around the bean is essential - until the police come over and tell you to stop. You might have a conversation with the cop that reminds him that "scootering" is not on the sign telling you what you can't do around the bean...but he doesn't care. He is going to make you go away.We continued on down to Soldier Field and museum campus for some solid panoramic shots. Pimp. By then we were starting to get a little tired, so we jumped on the El train and headed back to the car.First we needed food to rejuvenate our tired bodies. We stopped at Sultan's Market which had recently opened in the neighborhood. The hummus was delicious, as was my schwarma. You know what is also delicious? Aloe beverages. Liz didn't really like the solid chunks that float in the beverage, but I sure did. It was like tapioca, but more peary. Try it.

I am excited about future xootin' opportunities as the weather improves. I don't know if my thighs are excited about it, but my mind is.

14 April 2009

Lest Ye Think

Even though posts may vary by topic, the focus of this blog is still food. Any blog about Caitlin and I will involve lots and lots and lots of food, often in the form of treats. Most recent example: Easter.Easter cookies. Our family has always been fans of the sugar cookies on Christmas and Halloween. Caitlin and I decided to extend that into Easter - mostly because I really wanted sugar cookies in my stomach.Plus - haven't you noticed that icing always comes out a little pastel anyway? The oranges in our Halloween are always a little soft. The reds for Christmas are always a little bit pink. It just makes sense to do Easter. It is a natural transition.All it takes is a few more cookie cutter shapes. Who could deny frosting a duck? I couldn't. Oh man, these were good. People, you got to get in on this action.

13 April 2009

Tickle Monster vs. the Dogoodakins

It was a seemingly quiet night.
This is the home/fort of the Dogoodakins, a peaceful and skittish group of people who live in forts made of blankets, pillows, and chairs. They seek to live their lives and have as much M&M's as possible without turmoil from surrounding dangers. Little did they know that this night, there would be an attack.The Tickle Monster carefully peared in the door to see the humble surroundings of the Dogoodakins. Obviously the Tickle Monster is not looking for fine goods, but people to torment with her tickles. As she slowly crept through the fort, she heard voices coming from the fort's cove. With all her craziness and scariness, she lept around the corner with fingers outstretched.The Doogoodakins screamed in horror at the sight of a Tickle Monster named Caitlin in their tent!!!Fortunately, the brave Jack Bravedawg scared the tickle monster away with his roars of fury. That was a close call.
Thanks Myers for letting me borrow your kid for a few nights. We had a great time using all your stuff to make forts and prisons for bad people.

10 April 2009

Brothers Are Meant to Dance

New York Trip Addendum: I'm not exactly sure why - but when brothers get together, they just want to dance.

Parte Numero Dos Del Nueva Shork

Day two in New York started with a morning visit to the temple. It was a great session. I can't believe I worked there nearly every Friday night for more than 3 years. I miss working at the temple. After spiritual consumption, we hit ice cream consumption. Then we went for culture consumption at the Museum of Art and Design. They had a great exhibit called Second Lives, which portrayed arts made from existing items. For example:A chandelier made of glasses. This was the only picture I took, but you can see more at the website. It was a good museum and has opened since we left. Museum in the back.

Post temple and art, we ran up to the land of taco happiness on the upper west side. Little appropriately displays his manliness as he prepares to consume his burrito baby.A decently sized burrito. Mine had churrizo of joy in it.
We were joined people that truly appreciate Mexican food. Collin! Dave! Stephoin! Little! Caitlin! Me! I love their chips. The crew headed down to Trace Face's for some party action after that. I am not exactly sure how I forgot to take pictures at the party, but I did. I can only assume that we were too busy talking and catching up with so many peeps. Either way, we had a great time.
The next morning we went to church with Stephoin, Little, and the Butler in Union Square. It took a long time to get out of there because we had to feel Erin's pregnant belly, squeeze Liesel, booty shake with Jenn, gossip with Emily. One element of this trip is that we ran into someone we knew about every 3 hours. I had forgotten how integrated into NYC we were by the time we left. Okay, mostly we ran into people Caitlin knows...she is the popular one.
After church we went out to Brooklyn again to enjoy our digs before heading to the airport. Our old apartment!
The entire time we lived in Brooklyn, Caitlin was excited for this Trader Joes to open up across the street. Well, it didn't open...until we left. It is in a great old bank, so the inside is truly dope. Sorry Caitlin, your dreams did not come true.
Joya again? I don't see why not. Stephoin joined us for the afternoon as well.
Dumbo always has something to offer - if anything fantastic pimp shots.
We stumbled on the Brooklyn Flea Market while walking around. We checked out a few trinkets, treats, and tshirts.I'm kind of obsessed with Cardinals right now because one wakes me up every morning outside our window in Chicago. This t-shirt was too much to buy though.
Then we walked back over the Brooklyn Bridge to Stephoin's house for dinner and goodbyes. Caitlin decided to make good use of her time outside while the boys played Ticket to Ride inside. She grabbed these classic downtown shots in the process. I think Caitlin really misses NYC. What do I miss most about NYC? Brothers and, more importantly, Brothers Burger King. Each Saturday we would convene at our favorite Burger King across the street to talk about our week and bond. There is no better BK than the one on Gold and Fulton - if anything for the joy it has provided us over the years. Thank you little, but mean, Asian manager. Thank you Dr. Pepper refills.

Then it was over. Caitlin and I jumped on the subway and bus back to La Guardia and caught the only plane that made it to Chicago that day - lucky for us. Not so lucky for Don who had to come pick us up that night. Thanks to everyone who made an effort to hook up with us while we were in town! Something tells me we will be back soon enough.

08 April 2009

New York I Love You, But You're Making Me Fat

This post chronicles our first two days in NYC over my spring break. We arrived on Wednesday night around midnight to find Little, Stephoin, and Pamsky eagerly awaiting us.
Little shows off his new body. He had lost about 22lbs as of the taking of this picture, but is getting closer to 30lbs at the writing of this post. He is becoming a crazed chick slaying demon. Apparently no soda, no junk-food really works. Pamsky is also killin' it on the weight loss front. I call her anorexia girl now (even though she does eat - I saw it with my own eyes).We were glad to see Pamsky for the before she had to run off to the airport the next day to go back to Boise. I'm not sure why I am sitting so weird in this picture - it just happened. I think it is because it is a wicked small couch.
The next morning I went to meet up with Asian 1 and Halesaclause in Madison Square Park. I couldn't help but admire the above apartment building which is finally nearing completion. I been watching them build this for over a year. We had Shake Shack on a cold, but worth-it day. It was great to see them both. Halesaclause is engaged! Asian 1 hopes to be engaged after 10 years of dating! I'm so glad they both have jobs and are doing so well. Man, we had some amazing times at work together. Wish I could have seen all my old friends from work. While we did SS, Caitlin met up with her old co-workers and bonded in their office up the street. We met up around 2 and headed on a walk toward downtown.We walked south and passed by this new part of the Cooper Union School of Art. On the right is a new hotel which we really liked. It is still partially under construction, but the gentlemen at the front invited us in to walk around and check out the building.We stumbled over to Rice to Riches for deliciousness.Yes. It is delicious.We did some shopping in Soho while we mossied around. When Caitlin shops, she means business. Who can walk out of Muji without at least ONE thing? Me thinks it impossible. We probably would have bought more if we didn't have to get downtown to meet up the brothers for dinner.Ah, the old digs. We boys lived here together for 3 years at good ol' Broadway/Nassau. Just looking at this picture makes me homesick. At this point, Caitlin and I were already making massive plans to move back without any regard to reality or consequences. Its hard to go back to something so familiar after 6 months of constant change in a new place.Surprise! Where did we go? Joya. The best thai restaurant on planet earth. Okay, at least outside of Thailand. The staple items there are done with class and crazy goodness. Also - the price is extremely right. Little couldn't believe it was within his budget!Yes, I am ferocious about the vegetable pad thai.And what special meal at Joya would be complete without a stop at Blue Marble ice cream on Atlantic? The people there sheltered us from the rain and took good care of us in the form of awesome creamy happiness. With sprinkles.
End Day 1.
The next morning we ran up to Times Square to buy tickets for Guys and Dolls where I could honestly enjoy the benefits of a student I.D. In the subway we ran into my super buddy Edward!!! He was so excited to see me! I gave him a $, as is customary when I see him. We bonded, spoke briefly in espanol, and bid farewell. It was great to see him doing so well.
We dropped our stuff off at Trace Face's and went running in Central Park. It was an amazing day and we loved running around the reservoir, one of Caitlin's favorite places in NYC. Then it was lunch time.
Big Nick's whole wheat pizza! HEAVEN!Mine with pepperoni and a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda. Seriously, nothing better.We were glad Mike still works there. He saw us and instantly asked how Chicago is treating us. Now that is a server. Six months and still remembers his favorite customers.For dessert (essential treats): Levain Bakery. When Caitlin told me that Levain Bakery made the best cookies on the planet, I was doubtful. How could anything beat homemade cookies straight from the oven at home? Well, these can. They kick your mom's best recipe. Sorry to your mom, but its true.With bodies full of food, it was time to walk. We stopped by the Time Warner Building to remember our wedding. Twas a glorious day that August 4th.We headed down to Chelsea and began walking south with the ultimate goal of meeting Trace Face for dinner at Grey Dog. Little joined us with his skateboard (that he only carried to look cool...never actually got on it).Our time in the West Village was easy breezy. We looked at books, bags, bicycles, jewelry, CD's and frozen yogurt. We people watched - and mostly just tried to remain pimp. Caitlin was extremely kind to buy me a congratulations gift from Jack and Jimbo's Bike Shop for getting my summer job.Only famous people pose this hard, so I was hoping someone would come ask for my autograph. No dice. Thanks for being the paparazzi Little.We found Trace Face and had dinner at Grey Dogs. Then it was up to Times Square for our show. The new TKTS booth is finally finished and pretty rad at night.Guys and Dolls was really good. This theater was the home of Rent for a long time and was just recently fixed up. They did a great job. Still doesn't change the fact that Broadway theaters do not leave room for people over 4'11'' to sit down.Post show Magnolia Bakery for banana pudding.Proof that Trace Face was indeed in attendance.
Stay tuned for the final two days in NYC. Clearly, we meant business.