Thursday, December 27, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

God, rest ye [busy] gentlemen


last saturday, wichita got covered in a snow storm, one of the larger ones we've had in recent years.  anyway, i awoke saturday morning with a very large to-do list i had made for the weekend before christmas, but upon looking outside, and realizing that i couldn't see across the street, i decided that i might have to wait a few hours before venturing out.

after lunch, and feeling a little claustrophobic in my apartment, i went down to the parking lot to start my day, but the three snow-stuck cars in the street convinced me to head back up-stairs.  

grumble, grumble, grumble..........

after heading back to my apartment, i decided that i would beat this storm, i didn't need my car, i'd just walk everyplace i needed to go! ha!  so i bundled up like randy parker, ralphie's little brother from "a christmas story" and headed downstairs.  i made it about two blocks before i realized this was a bad idea as well.  

i threw in the frozen towel.

so i decided to make the most of a day inside. so i made a pot of coffee, grabbed a blanket and sat down to watch my favorite christmas movie, and although that was really the only thing i accomplished that day, it was very satisfying.

almost all of wichita was shut down.  restaurants and stores closed, roads were un-drivable, and it appeared that most people decided to stay home.  looking back, i think it was a gift from the big guy upstairs.  the days leading up to christmas can be so incredibly busy, and usually for the wrong reasons.  i think this was a way for him to say, let's all take a little break and slow things down. 

i'm hoping that most people out there spent a little more time inside with the people they loved, and a little less time getting frustrated over a parking spot.



but alas, it's time to end this post, so i can go and do my last minute christmas shopping.



"remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? this is what i wished for"  -mary


Monday, December 17, 2007

ad[astra]per[aspera]

last thursday i headed out on a spontaneous adventure...well, spontaneous...yes, the adventure part is questionable.

i heard about a little thing called the geminid meteor shower, which was supposedly taking place that night. i quickly clicked over to wikipedia where i read that the geminids reach their peak dec. 12th through the 14th, and with a new moon currently in the skies, this annual event would have perfect viewing weather.

side note: i had no idea meteor showers were annual? anyone else.......hmmmmm, the stuff you don't learn in architecture school.

the best viewing time for this astrological show, would be between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m. not really having anything scheduled during that time, i decided to head out. thinking this would be a great time to try out some night photography, i loaded up a thermos full of coffee, put on my long johns, two coats, gloves, grabbed the tripod and headed north, out of town.

i drove until the lights of wichita disappeared, and then turned onto a dirt road. as i set up the tripod i could see the metors already streaking across the night sky! perfect! i angled my camera 45 degrees away from the star of castor which is in the constellation gemini, internet knowledge gained an hour before my trek, and set a long shutter speed.

i took several pictures, some of which as a metor went by. this would be great! what an event to capture on film!. as it was very dark, and viewing a picture on a tiny screen of the night sky doesn't show very well, i would just have to wait until i got home to view my captures.

getting back home about 2:30 i uploaded the pictures, and double clicked! scrolling through the photos, i realized, not a single one had even the faintest hint of a comet. putting them in the little digital trash can on my desktop, i went to bed, disappointed.

i almost hate to admit, but it took me a couple of days to realize i had still seen an amazing show. i just hadn't captured it on film. i had the memory, and it was still amazing.

what is it about seeing a "shooting star" that remains just as magical as it did when you were a young....

i guess some memories just aren't meant to be on film....


but as i like to say, "when the world gives you lemons, use photoshop".

so to make this blog entry slightly more interesting, i've added some pictures i saved from the trash and photoshoped for your delight.

the constellation orion:


in this one, you can almost see the constellations: click to enlarge.


close up of orion's belt: this one is tightly cropped, and the contrast adjusted heavily, but that's all....a little creepy.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

classics[restored][discovered]

last friday i woke up and checked the local paper, for any interesting news. sure enough, right on the front page, i found something worth reading.

the wichita orpheum was unavailing it's newly renovated lobby friday night, along with a free showing of "the philadelphia story".

according to the article, the lobby hadn't seen this level of glamor since it was opened in 1922 as a vaudeville venue for the city. as an architect, i thought it only appropriate that i check out the latest renovation of this great theatre. as a jimmy stewart fan, i thought in only appropriate to check out "the philadelphia story", and being a little bit of a cheap skate, i thought it appropriate to enjoy the free movie and 25 cent popcorn.

i emailed some friends, and before lunch, had a small group ready to partake. i warned them to dress warm as we were going to experience it all as they did in 1922. we all meet at my apartment, and proceeded down to the new restaurant and bakery that just opened up on douglas ave. we ordered ordered "black and white" cookies, and coffee to help keep us warm during the downtown trek.

i was pumped! how exciting! how urban! how nostalgic! this had to be the hottest thing going on in wichita that night!

as i turned the corner at first and broadway, what to my wandering eyes should appear? but the above 65 crowd bundled up, standing near.

i'm telling you...they're hip.

the sidewalk was packed with people, anxiously awaiting to get in. at six thirty they opened the doors and let everyone enjoy the new lobby. the restoration was beautiful. obviously i had no idea what it had once looked like, unlike a some of the others standing near me, but it gave the atmosphere of craft and grandeur, which isn't experienced much in this day of age. as if the lobby wasn't exciting enough, none of my friends, including me, had ever seen "the philadelphia story". we took our seats, the lights dimmed and the movie started. now, i'm not sure it if was just the atmosphere or the crowd, but the movie was incredibly entertaining, providing laughs the whole way through. but with jimmy stewart, cary grant, and katharine hepburn, how could you go wrong? everyone else in the group felt the same way, as we discussed how much we enjoyed it, the whole walk back.

so here's to classics's. be they renovated or newly discovered!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a dose of [kansas] architecture

over the past couple of months, i helped re[vitalize] ar34.

it was originally a publication reviewing kansas architecture. however due to time and lack of budgets, it fell out of circulation a few years ago. wanting to help revive it, a co-worker and i, set out to figure a way put something together, with no money.

the idea we had was to create a user supported, digital magazine. the idea being that anyone with interesting stuff, would submit a project. we'd gather them up, arrange them onto a layout, and have a magazine. it sounded simple enough.

so a call for submissions went out last september asking people to send in any architecture, or art they wanted to contribute. the idea being that anything and everything was up for consideration, as long as it somehow related back to kansas. we had photos from interns, projects from firms and former kansas students, as well as sketches and renderings from students and professors. overall a great variety for the first issue.

attached is a link to the magazine. now it's no "dwell" but i thought this would be a great way for everyone to keep up-dated with the architectural "happenings" and "going-ons" here in the sunflower state.

click on the picture, to open the pdf.

hope you enjoy...



Monday, November 12, 2007

[purple][red][black]and [blue]

i'm not a "football guy".

i'm just not.

the only action i ever saw on a football field, was back in the high school marching band. but there's something about this time of year that just isn't complete without attending at least one college football game, which was just about my average during college.

i traveled up to lincoln, nebraska last weekend to see my alma mater take on the corn huskers. as it was an early game, a friend and i drove up the night before, and stayed with friends, husker fans no less. waking up early and traveling to the game it was a completely different feel then the little apple. the stadium is in the downtown area, much different from the vast parking lots and fields i was use to. decked out in my k-state gear, we walked to the stadium. during our trek the crowds were full of red, i did my best to keep up with the football jargon, throwing out terms like, "touch down", "running back"and "bcs bowl". i believe i eluded any suspicion of my limited knowledge of this sport.

i'm not going to go into the details of the game. one, because we all know the outcome, and two, i'm really not the type of person you want explaining the game. but as the score went up, and the k-state fans slowly left, i stood my ground, cheering on my team with pride until the game ended.

although it was a different city, although i was with different people, although we lost horribly, the whole experience was very nostalgic. i found myself reminiscing about better times, most notably the weeks surrounding our win against nebraska, november 11, 2000. a beautiful, and exciting season, that i'm thrilled took place during my stay in manhattan.

times change, people change, seasons come, seasons go, sometimes you win, sometimes it feels like all you do is lose, but you try you're hardest to look forward to the next season.

thankfully, we'll always have the memories.

GO STATE!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

pie[canned]


following up our debut last year, my firm once again decided to participate in wichita's [can]struction event.

being the most excited in the office about it, i was elected team captain this year, which basically meant i was voted to receive a lot of e-mails. throughout the past month, i had everyone in the office submit any ideas they had on what object we could sculpt. the list grew and grew, however nothing really stood out as "the one". that was until a suggestion from our secretary. an idea i loved from the moment i heard it. an object i could get excited about sculpting! an object i wanted to see built!

a giant piece of pie!

now what kind of pie to build, led to another week long discussion. a lot of people wanted your traditional apple pie, there was even some discussion about pecan. rhubarb discussed. blueberry was in the top spot for a while. however when the dust cleared, it was decided that the lattice work atop a cherry pie would be the most artistic venture.

a trip to the grocery store and we found our palate. FMV pear slices for the bottom crust, kroger kidney beans for the cherries. (yes it would have been great to use actually cherries, but they were too expensive) and packages of creamy chicken ramen noodles for the the lattice work.

there were five firms competing this year, which made the build a bit more competitive, as no one wanted to reveal what they were building. as the build continued however, the secret was eventually revealed. all the firms had great entries, but for some reason i was partial to ours. maybe is was the most creative, maybe it was the best use of labels, maybe it was the most artistic, or just maybe it was because it was a giant piece of cherry pie!




Wednesday, October 31, 2007

[fashionable] architecture

i was coming home late from work this week, making my usual trek, not really paying attention, when i nearly ran into the largest spider web i've ever seen. i flipped out, i really did. i hate spiders.

i took a step back, and shook off the "willies". staring back at the spider's web, i'll call her charlotte, i noticed it wasn't complete, but she was in the middle of making it! i was amazed! the precision, the delicacy, the accuracy. it was beautiful. before long i found myself standing and watching for a while.

my mind must have still been in "architecture mode", because as i sat there, i started to critique the web. it was very minimalist. she only used one material, silk, which seemed natural, and it was only placed where it had to be. it seemed to be extremely functional. the structure is primarily used to catch food, and it would appear that a "web" is the right shape and style to use. it seemed to be incredibly sturdy as the blowing wind didn't have much effect on it. the scale seemed to fit for the size of occupant, it wasn't one of those "mcwebs" you see being built in the suburbs. it wasn't gaudy, but instead blended into it's environs very well, yet still stood apart. i'm not sure if she was going to apply for LEED certification or not, as it seemed to be pretty self sufficient.

it wasn't all praises, however, as i did want to question her and ask if this was just "fad" architecture. i mean really, with halloween being so close, and the structure's originality, come on, couldn't she have though a little outside the web, just a little...

but those critiques fell by the wayside as i realized that i was witnessing instinct at work. charlotte was born with it. she wasn't thinking of any of that when she started out, she was simply doing what she knew how to do, and it was beautiful.

of course this whole story would have been much shorter, and less inspirational, if i would have stumbled upon her in my closet.

i woke up the next morning, almost hoping that she had written "happy halloween" onto the web, but when i went down and checked, it was gone.......

probably found a better site.

Monday, October 22, 2007

like a little [sundance]

well, i've lived in the downtown area of wichita for well over a year now, and i'm finding that i'm starting to look forward to certain events. this past weekend was one of them.

the annual tallgrass film festival.


i attended last year and loved it! i was amazed that wichita, a city that isn't exactly topping any cultural center lists, put on a film festival showcasing independent films, shorts, documentaries, and foreign films. i know i wasn't the only one to enjoy it, as the festival grows every year, quenching the people of wichita, thirsty for a little something different in the theaters.

needless to say i was excited to attend again this year. not only for the films, but i thought it would be good professional move on my part to be seen hobnobbing with some indie directors, trying to boost my totally imaginable and made-up career as a film actor.

the films were at a number of locations around town, i however stuck to the old town theater, where most of the films were playing. this year i attended a documentary called "twisted" which follows eight people and records how becoming a balloon artists has changed their lives. next was a series of shorts all falling under the theme "truth and fiction", films that blur the lines between reality and imagination. "i met the walrus" was amazing. Finally a documentary called "blood on the flat track". a documentary about the sport of women's roller derby and the rise of the rat city league in seattle. more interesting then the movie however, was the fact the audience was filled with girls from wichita's own roller derby leauge. something i had know idea even existed.

all the films were interesting, i'm not sure i'll be standing in line when the dvd's are released, but i still enjoyed them all. what i love more then the films, is the event itself. it's a little jewel that almost disappears in the small shadows of our downtown, but once you find it, it's wonderful. to those of you that say there's nothing to do in wichita, i say nay! it may be harder then other cities where culture almost bursts at the seems, but here in the ict, you have to look and pursue interesting things to do, but once you do, it's worth it.

...and hey if indie films aren't your thing, there's always roller derby!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

see [spot] see [spot] disappear

i'm not sure if i've ever fully endorsed a product on this blog or not...well, i am now.

last week, i went to grab a bite-to-eat, with a co-worker. the conversation took the usual course, jumping from current projects in the office, to weekend plans, it however ended abruptly when he pointed at my shirt and stated that i had spilled on it!

i looked down to see the damage.

it was true, i had indeed gotten marinara all over my shirt. being somewhat embarrassed and a little upset, i wondered how this could have happened! i had been so careful. peering down, i pulled a "columbo". judging from the angle of the spots, it had not been a direct drop, but instead, must have fallen off the fork, ricocheted from the plate, stopped, in mid air, made a 90 degree turn, and then land on the shirt.

other then wearing a huge adult-sized baby bib, i have no idea how one avoids situations like this! nothing makes you feel more like a slob then going back into the office, looking like you ate in a "booster seat".

sensing my annoyance, my co-worker gave me some advice on stain removal. coming from a married man, with three small boys, i felt he had expertise. he mentioned that his wife always carries around a "tide-to-go" pen.

"on the way back to work, we'll pick one up!" he said.


driving back to the office, we stopped at the nearest store. I rushed in and found what i was looking for. as i paid for it...spots on shirt...tide pen in hand, it was apparent the cashier was holding in his laughter. i appreciated it.

upon reaching the office, i followed the directions. as advertised it worked! as the applied area dried, it left my shirt spotless! I was thrilled!

needless to say, this little guy has found it's way into permanent placement within my "man-purse".


Monday, October 01, 2007

the [supporting] life

last weekend my team, participated in wichita's race for the cure. wanting to have a little fun with the team name this year i opted for "the septemberists", which i thought, not only played tribute to a great band, the month of the race, but also provided opportunity for some creativity with team uniforms.

having some discussion's with my team members about possible outfits, it quickly become apparent that the "vintage-tweed-look" i was hoping for, might not work for a race. we eventually narrowed it down to headbands and goofy socks.

we got there early saturday morning and prepared for our race, a 5k. a distance that had not previously been in my vocabulary. however, i had done some training, and felt i could do it, in slightly better form then that of, michael scott from nbc's "the office". i took a good 15 minuets to stretch and prepare my mind emotionally.

figuring a person can walk a mile in 15 minuets, i was hoping to finish under 45. i put 45 minutes worth of music on my "race_4_da_cure" play list on my ipod, and entered the line. the gun went off and i started my 3.1 mile trek. for the first part of the race, i just followed the herd and kept up. i was doing relatively well, up until the halfway point, where they were handing out water. as i approached the table of tiny cups, i was so excited! i thought to myself,

"wow, i'm actually in a race, long enough for people to hand out water, sweet!"

wanting to pull off a move like runner's do in the movies, i grabbed a cup up, as professionally as i could. as i snatched it up, some water splashed up and glistened in the early morning sun almost in what appeared to be slow motion. i kept my pace, opened my mouth and poured the water in....and immediately coughed most of it back up as most of it got into my lungs. not a pretty sight. obviously something i'll have to work on.


alright, i'll admit it.....i wasn't able to run the entire distance, i took a break in the middle, but upon hearing that we had 3/4 of a mile left from the other runners, i picked it up and finished the race, just back from a few mothers with strollers that i was drafting behind, but i am happy to admit that i still had two full songs left on the play list....you do the math.

all in all, i had a great time, and i want to thank everyone and anyone that participated for their support. the whole event is bitter sweet, and i was reminded in more ways then one that day, about the obstacles that are presented to us, in this life, and how no one is a failure that faces them head on and gives it their all.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

the price is [wright]

i found myself in bartlesville, oklahoma this past week, and what better way to spend a couple of hours in that town then checking out the price tower, by frank lloyd wright.

now i don't want to go into an architectural critique on the building, and why give you a history lesson when you can just go to wikipedia. instead, just a few interesting facts from the tour and a few pictures.

-opened in 1956
-originally designed in the 1920's as a set of four multi-use towers in manhattan, new york.
- plans for the building scrapped during the great depression.
-resurrected in 1952 for harold price to house his headquarters.
-wrights only skyscraper.
-cantilevered floors hang from a centralized core.
-nicknamed the "tree that escaped the crowded forest".

i found that last item particularly interesting, because while taking the tour, i didn't feel like i was walking in a skyscraper, it felt more like an adult tree house, including tiny elevators, small stairs, constricted spaces, and open balconies.

actually the whole reason for this post was so i could use the title. i thought of it on the drive back, and i'll be honest..it was cracking me up..






Wednesday, September 05, 2007

beauty and the beast [liquid version]


i had that feeling....

the start of [something]. a little tingle in the back of your throat, a few aches in your joints. was it the cold? a flu? or just a bad case of allergies? i wasn't sure. all i knew was as the day progressed i continued to feel worse.

no real need to worry, i had a plan of action. the same action i take whenever that feeling starts. a tried and true method. hit it early with a hot shower and a shot of nyquil.

ha! beat that you "early stage of sickness"!

as the clock ticked down to my bedtime, i jumped in the shower. after a relaxing 15 minutes, i changed into my p.j.'s, and then off to the medicine cabinet.

"oh no! where is it?"

the nyquil was no where to be found! no worries, i'd look in my little first-aid tote. looking under the sink and opening the tote, it happened again! no nyquil! i was a little concerned. o.k. a lot concerned. i needed that "feel better" medicine to ...well...feel better.

i found some gel caps...what a joke! those don't work. i need the original flavor! nothing knocks the early stages of, whatever you have, out more then the original "green" flavor. what about cherry you ask? ha! that's for kids, i need green! panicking, i started looking throughout my entire apartment, opening and closing cabinets.

finally there it was! i had found it, peeking out from behind the tums was a giant "Q"! picking it up much like an actor accepts an academy award, i realized that it was a little lighter then i usually like my nyquil. it did however appear to have the required 30ml i needed. as i poured this "liquid relief" into the tiny plastic cup, i noticed the expiration date.

aug. 2007!

it was close enough...i took a shot, and eased into bed.

the beauty: nyquil is the "nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, sleep better, to feel better, medicine!"

the beast: sleeping past your alarm, waking up at 10:00 a.m. , late for work, but feeling much better.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

[lapse] in time

a few days ago, some friends and i were enjoying dinner. the night was filled with the usual banter...nothing out of the ordinary. that was until a small mob of people rushed in, armed with banners, balloons, and cake! within moments the place was converted into a surprise party for our waitress! as they hung the banner, it became apparent the reason for the festivities was to celebrate our waitress's tenth year of working there.

the whole place celebrated, the manager gave a speech thanking her for all her hard work over the years, friends toasted, people applauded, the camera guy cried....it was all very cool.

as the place simmered back down, we personally congratulated our waitress, and went back to our socializing. naturally, our discussion found it's way to what we were all doing ten years ago. my initial thought was, "wow, ten years! that's such a long time!" however after doing some quick math, i realized ten years ago was only 1997! how could this be? where did the time go.

answer....college.

how did the time pass so quickly? did seaton hall somehow compress time? does it have the required critical mass to produce the gravitational pull necessary to warp the space time continuum? could it be the all nighters? the caffeine? the stress?

i have a theory. as hard working little architecture students, we all knew that on the average, the four days before a project felt like one day. some more, rarely less. therefore we can then say that four days to the average college student equals one day for us. being extremely generic and keeping simple math, four years becomes one.

any takers?
it's almost as if upon entering the college of architecture you entered a coma.....time passes...you graduate, you wake up, and suddenly it's five to seven years later!

now to the point. i don't know if it's because it's august and school's starting again, or if it's because four days, really do feel like four days. but looking back at this coma, i can't help but think, what a wonderful environment it was to be [stuck] in. i'm not just talking about manhattan, although i fully believe it's one of the most beautiful cities in kansas, but rather the college atmosphere. the energy, the life, the experiences, the wonder, the people........

now, i'm not saying that life isn't exciting now. there are new goals, aspirations, experiences, adventures... it just seems like it's on a different time....real time.

we may have all been in comas, but what a wonderful dream it was while we were in it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

a [change] in professions?

a few weeks ago, i read that a movie crew would be filming in wichita, using our old cowtown museum as the set, and they would be having open auditions for extras. not having terribly too much to do that particular saturday, i drove to the auditions. after standing in line for a couple of hours, they took my picture and sent me on my way.

right about the time this whole ordeal slipped my mind, i received a call asking if i would be available for two days of filming! without thinking of any responsibilities i may have at work that week, i agreed.

the movie is titled "the only good indian", and is centered around a young indian boy, forced into the boarding school process in the early 1900's.

i arrived on set last friday at 6:30 a.m., and got into wardrobe. after hours of waiting along with other extras, i was called to the set, where i was instructed to walk down the street. after 10 takes, i was sent back to the "extras" lounge. after a few more hours of waiting and a free lunch, i was called to the set again, this time, the general store. waiting to be an extra in the store they looked at me and said.

"hey, you'd make a great cashier, go to wardrobe and change."

i went to wardrobe, and received a "cashier's" outfit, and then was told to go to "make-up." at make-up i was told that i would have to shave my ever present five o'clock shadow to look more "cashiery". after shaving, getting my hair slicked back, and adorned with make-up, i made it back to the general store. being placed behind the camera, a producer came up to me and asked if i had any idea of what was going on in the scene.

"no idea" i said.

he then instructed me that i was to take a package over the counter, smile, nod, and then walk out of frame.

"can you do that?" he said

"i think i can do that" i replied.

"good" he said, "let's see it"

the camera and lights were set, sound was on, and they were about to roll, when the director peered through the camera and saw me looking like i had just run a 5k, sweating in the 103 degree heat.

"can i get a pat down on an actor?" he yelled, to which the on-set make up artist patted me down with a dry cloth.

i only did my scene two times, but in those two times, i really feel i stretched my wings as an actor and explored my creative space. i mean, how can i best convey to the audience that i'm really receiving this package? i dug deep, and brought up a lot of different feelings and emotions i had felt with various packages i had received in my own life.

i hope it worked.

alfred hitchock once said that "actors were cattle", and it definitely felt that way. we were all herded into a room, and guarded at the door so we wouldn't wonder. however instead of grazing on grass, we hovered around a large refreshment table filled with countless goodies, and beverages.

although it was a lot of "hurry up and wait," and of the two days of filming, i probably made it on camera a total of twenty seconds, it was worth it. the whole experience was educational and fascinating, from seeing the preparation that goes into a scene, to the choreography of movement, to talking and getting to know the other extras.

i'm not sure if i'm ready to give up the architecture gig for professional"background artist", but you never know, i mean in just one day i went from towns-person #12 to general store cashier #2!


wichita eagle article: here

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the [young folks] talking about the [old style]


is it just me, or does the, "above 65 crowd", know how to party?

i don't know, but every where i go, i see this "crowd" living it up. walking down the sidewalks, gallery crawls, free concerts in old town, music theater, estate sales, and working out at the downtown Y, actually that's one of the reasons i frequent the downtown Y. i find that even with the shape i'm in, i manage to be in the top 50%, fitness wise. actually i just squeak into the top half, because i know there are a lot of old men that could wipe the floor with me at racquetball.

now it could be very possible that i'm just incredibly old-fashioned and i enjoy the same activities as these hipsters, but i'd like to think that it's something else. a love of activity. doing some math, i figure this generation was just prior to the "baby boomers." a generation not raised on televisions and transistor radios. they were a little too old to get into all the individualists ideas, experimentation, and social change of the sixties and seventies. this generation new how to seek and find entertainment through social interaction and other events, for themselves, instead of having it fed to them, in the many modes of media that developed after WWII.

i remember my grandpa telling me about how the towns in western kansas would organize and put on dances during the summer months. events that would draw people from different areas and create interaction. at one such dance he saw a young women that he wanted to dance with, they fell in love, and as they say the rest is history.

i know that i'm being extremely hypocritical here, for the fact that i'm sitting here blogging about this, but the social interaction that takes place on-line today, is sickening. now there are advantages about being so cyberly connected to everyone, but, i'd like to think that some of the best activities out there making our cities lively are because of the values and traditions of an older generations, that i hope we don't loose as the years progress.....

or maybe i should just stop wearing brute.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

a second [city] to think...

i never needed a break from work, more then i did last week, thankfully, i had already planned a few days off. i used the placement of the fourth of july, on a wednesday, as an excuse to take an extended holiday weekend and travel to chicago.

there were a number of events during the trip, that could be lengthened and elaborated on, to the point of becoming mildly interesting "blog-worthy" anecdote's, however, in keeping with the idea of a"break-from-work" i'll keep this post short, and just mention a few of the events, i'm thankful for, that made this vacation...a vacation.

-the generosity and hospitality of old friends
-millennium park
-fireworks on montrose beach
-meeting new and incredibly fascinating people
-thrift store shopping in wicker park
-coffee in wicker park
-wicker park
-meeting mikael jorgensen, the keyboardist from wilco, on the train, and telling him how much i love the new album (well.....hopefully it was him)
-the food and conversation at bistro campagne
-traversing an entire city without car
-shedd aquarium
-driving through the flint hills at midnight, with oldies playing through my truck speakers
-coming home, and highlighting the new roads taken, in my atlas.

Monday, July 02, 2007

if [you] could read my mind........

"...what a tale my thoughts could tell..."

last wednesday, my dad cashed in on his father's day present.

tickets to see gordon lightfoot.

now that name might not be recognizable to most people, but as everyone in my family knows, this is my father's favorite artist, and has been since the early seventies. basically, gordon lightfoot was a song writer in the sixties, that helped popularize folk music, who then went on to his own solo career. to make a very quick analogy, and put things in perspective, colin meloy is to eric, as gordon lightfoot is to lloyd. the only mark against my dad's "number one fan" status, is the fact that he's never seen his favorite artist in concert, so upon hearing that mr. lightfoot was coming to wichita, i think it was absolutely beautiful, on my mom's part, to get him tickets.

now, love may not be a strong enough word for how my dad feels about gordon lightfoot. not only does he have most of his albums on vinyl, but he can also play a number of his songs on the guitar. as a kid i can remember, late at night, after i was suppose to be in bed, i could hear dad in the garage playing, "if you could read my mind" which is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. now i'm not sure if it's this childhood memory that influences that opinion, all i know is that i loved when my dad played it,in my opinion, better then the original, and as i kid, i wanted to play guitar just like him. that's why i was so honored when i got to go to the concert with my dad. gordon was the main reason my dad started playing guitar, and my dad was the reason i started playing. last wednesday, with our tickets in hand, we went to see this pioneer of folk music. sitting up in the balcony, listening to his set, i had never seen my dad so excited about music before. it was like sitting next to one of my friends. he knew all the songs, was the first to clap when the song ended, give a few loud whistles, and of course led the standing ovation in the balcony area.

for just a moment, in the vintage atmosphere provided by the downtown orpheum, it felt like we had stepped back in time to 1975, and we were both in our twenties, enjoying the same show.

i'm not sure who got the better gift that night, my dad seeing gordon lightfoot for the first time, or me, seeing my dad, see gordon lightfoot for the first time.......