Monday, April 27, 2009

Chinatown: Chicago

After my wildly successful (and slightly life-threatening) trip to Chinatown in NYC where I discovered the joy of knock-off purses, I've been wanting to try my luck at Chicago's very own Chinatown. Given my need for a new summer purse, the finally pleasant weather, and my new obsession with riding the "L", I made my sweet boyfriend take me down there for a shopping trip over the weekend.

I was pleasantly surprised with our Chinatown. It's fairly small, just one main street with lots of gift shops and restaurants and a little outdoor "mall" with some more of the same. But look at this fabulous gate!

But I know what you're all really wondering about: How was the knock-off purse selection?? Well, it wasn't nearly as exciting as New York's. There was only one store that really had a large selection, and there was a back room, but it was rather accessible and not really shady at all. Too bad.

Nevertheless, I found pretty much the perfect purse, and I would say our first Chicago Chinatown experience was a huge success!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Animals Living in My Car

That's right, I have animals living in my car. I've never actually seen them, but they've made their presence known on two separate occasions, both ending with me having to pay extra money to tidy up their mess. Little devils.

Over the winter, the fan in my car started making terrible noises whenever I turned it on. I brought it in to find out that some stupid animal was hiding food in there.

But today's incident at Jiffy Lube really takes the cake. I was sitting in the waiting area minding my own business, when I notice a few of the Jiffy Lube guys staring under the hood of my car in disbelief. They waved me over and commented that they didn't know mice were so organized. This disturbed me. Then I saw it. An animal of some kind had made a serious home for itself in my air filter box.

On the left side of the box, was a lovely rectangular "bed" made of yarn and other soft things. It was perfect. Perfect enough to be creepy. On the opposite end, was a good sized stash of mostly whole animal crackers; some chewed on, some not. It was truly incredible.

I almost felt bad cleaning it all out after this animal had clearly worked hard to organize it all. But not really.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Fun

I have to say this was a great Easter! I played in the orchestra at all 5 of our services at church (2 Saturday night and 3 Sunday) which was tons of fun, and very moving. And my sweet boyfriend attended 4 of them. Such support! The only slightly sad part was that the orchestra was basically hidden on the stage behind some huge white screens. I guess it taught us a good lesson in humility :)

These large screens took up most of the stage and between them were these big gold doors that opened up at the end of the service when our pastor invited people who accepted Christ come up and walk through. The best part was the smokescreen coming down from the top of the doors with an image of Jesus projected on it. So yes, people walked through Jesus. At first I thought it was going to be kind of hokey, but it turned out to be really good, and pretty emotional. I cried more than once, even though all I could see from my position in the orchestra was shadows and feet.

After church, Scott and I finished up our fabulous bunny cake:

He's fabulous, I know. We brought him over to my family gathering in the afternoon which was lots of fun, especially with all the cute children we now have.

The highlight of our family time was when my cousin Christine sang a very special song for me. Christine is quite talented in her singing and guitar playing skills and has recorded some songs. So one night I had this dream that she recorded this Paul McCartney song, Mull of Kintyre, that I don't necessarily know that well but somehow it made it into my dream. Anyway, in the dream I was in the car listening to it and it was quite excellent. The next day, I sent Christine a quick message telling her she may want to consider this song for future recordings. So to my great pleasure, Christine found this song, learned it, and sang it for me on Easter. It was quite lovely.

The only thing missing from my Easter was a viewing of Easter Parade, but I am remedying that right now!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tribute to Dean

So I have this bowling ball that I love very much. It's name is Dean and I bought it at a garage sale a number of years ago for $5. I named it Dean because it says "Dean" on it.

It's been basically the best ball ever. It's nice and light, but it has a big thumb hole which was the main selling feature for me. It's also purple.

So I've used this ball with great success for many years. Yes, everyone thinks I'm a huge dork for having my own ball, but I don't care because every time we go bowling, by the end of the night, everyone loves Dean.

But this weekend during a bowling outing with some friends, disaster struck when Dean started chipping in the thumb hole making it very painful to bowl. I tried to cover up the chip using some bowling tape (see below), but it didn't help much.

I had to start using the other bowling alley balls which were sub-par and my last 2 games were a disgrace. I averaged like 30 pins less than usual.

I'm not sure I want to get a new ball. Dean has served me well. But if it costs more to repair him than it did to buy him, then that just seems weird. Plus, if owning my own bowling ball makes me a dork, I can't imagine what it would mean if I actually paid money to repair said bowling ball.