Thursday, April 27, 2006

Who Was Dale Carnegie?

Dale is considered by many to be the father of motivational speaking and self-help books. From the midwest with dashing good looks and experience as a sales man, he has such credits to his name as: How to Win Friends and Influence and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

His first big hit, "friends and influence" was published in 1936. According to online reviews it is effective because of its "illustrative stories and simple, well-phrased rules. Two of his most famous maxims are: 'Believe that you will succeed, and you will,' and 'Learn to love, respect and enjoy other people.' " --1983 World Book Encyclopedia

Harold and the Purple Crayon

another letter

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Thursday is my day off. So of course I ride my bike one hour north to and elementary school in Roger's Park. I spend 2.5 hours volunteering with 1st and 2nd graders who have trouble reading. Everyone reading this right now should pause for a moment and try to remember how hard it was to learn how to read. You probably don't remember, but imagine you don't know any of these words, and you had to sound every single letter and then try to put them together. It is hard, exhausting work. I sometimes feel like I'm teaching kids how to do karate it is so tough (okay that was an exaggeration).

Speaking of girls who like to exaggerate/lie, I worked with Tatyana (7years old) this afternoon and the first thing she told was that she saw "on the news a story about a woman who put her baby the microwave and then gave it to her husband and he didn't know what it was so he ate it!"

me:you saw that on the news?!! gross!

Tatyana: uhu, and then there was a woman who threw nine of her babies into a river with crocodiles. It was in Florida!

me: we're so lucky our mothers didn't do that!

Tatyana: I know!

She likes to tell outrageous 'stories' about her grandmother and cousins and I just nod my head and say wow! she loves it. One story she told was about how she had a pet iguana and she went to the zoo with it and it flew away! "Tatyana! Iguanas don't fly." "I know" she says as she puts her hand on mine as if to reassure me, "I was just telling a story" and she seems happy that I know that she's just telling big lies and it is least more interesting

This girl is after my own heart. Four weeks ago she noticed my glasses have little stars in them instead of regular screws...Herminio, another boy I tutor told me he hated my glasses, and that I freaked him out with them on (what a honey tongue). When she found out that I ride a bike and don't have a car she laughed at me because I'm obviously crazy not to want one. "I mean you should get a car, they're faster" then she told me a story about an old lady in a fast car, and the car was just so fast it hit a man on a bike. "You need to get a car! I mean, do you still want to be riding a bike when you're 20?!"

Monday, April 17, 2006


Well I've been working a lot/volunteering to help get this artfestival going. Hopefully it will be awesome, and not simply a way to meet people in Chicago. Click on the bottom picture.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Appetizing Names

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Easter

my neighbor's yard since I moved in

The Factory Store

The Blommer Factory is the largest chocolate manufacturing plant in North America. It is in downtown Chicago where it leaves a mix of sugar and coco in the air. They have a tiny factory store with more variety of candy and chocolate than I have ever seen and LOTS of free samples. And not tiny tastes of one candy, but bowls full of about everything in the store. The price for free samples seems to be high prices (deadpan). The chocolate isn't cheap. While there are ruffles potato chips dipped in chocolate available, the dark chocolate not particularly delicious because of all the sugar and milk included. Well I guess they are trying to save us from ourselves and diabetes.

Chicago seems to be all about the chocolate. There are odd chocolate bars and cafes all over the city. They are fancier than regular coffee houses, seem rather gilded and somehow reminiscent of the 1920's. Rebecca and I worked in one with pitiful wages, in essence 3 truffles per hour. The BBC might consider it blood wages.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Guest from the Ravenswood

A: excuse me, Miss?
B: Yes.
A: excuse me Miss, don't you think Mayor Daley is doing a poor job?
B: I don't know, how do you mean?
A: miss, he's just doing a bad job. For example, color. The city should have more color; this room is really colorful. If Mayor Daley was doing a good job he'd do something like put a swipe of chocolate on all the rims of the cars. [swoosh of the arm] That would add some color, chocolate rims.
B: I guess
A: if he were really a good mayor he'd start industry. He could start factories, where they make machines to paint the chocolate on. They would just swoosh and paint chocolate on. He should make spray chocolate, don't you think Miss?

--5 April 2006, Over Easy

Saturday, April 08, 2006

When I was 6 I swam into the wall of a pool. Broke my tooth right off, just like the picture. Luckily a dentist, who always reminds my family of how his sons go to expensive colleges, and our teeth pay for it, but a cap on the broken tooth. What would I be with out that cap? I would probably never get married, unless the guy was retarded, had little to no inheritance, or already had 12 wives. Thank god for cosmetic dentistry.

It is spring and I'm feeling thankful.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

accompany picture

Comedy Nite

I've almost made a new friend.

Lauren works with me on weekends serving brunch. She is 27. Evidently her calling is in stand-up comedy. Last week she made it to the finals for the Thyme Café Tuesday night competition. A contest of crowd pleasing comedy, $100 in prize money is there for the 1st place taking. Lauren was pretty clear when she invited me, "Hey, there's a contest, I want to win the money so I need people in the crowd. Will you come? You should bring your friends."

I asked the 4 people I know in the city if they wanted to go. Graham and I walked in thinking we were on time. The cafe was small with a high ceiling. Decorated in the 'hip, yet finer-things style'. The master of ceremony was trying to kill time with a cordless microphone by telling a joke as he waited for the tabulation of winner results. The joke was: that he liked Kevin Cosner. That is not very funny; it is a joke because he thought it was funny?

A friendly dude sitting next to us tells me I'm going to have to wait a while for a drink because the MC is the waiter, and a real ham.

Lauren wins $100. The beautiful blond girl wore a huge bee costume and told jokes. They'd have been ass holes not to give her money.

I go over to congratulate her, maybe pretending like I actually saw the act. As I give her a hug the man behind her falls to the ground. At first it seems like a stunt you learn in stage acting class. But his fall is really impressive because he just seems to have SLAMMED down face first. I almost want to congratulate him. But he doesn't get up.

He doesn't move.

When I looked closer I see a dark pool near under his face.
HOLY SHit! He's bleeding. The blood is spreading and he is still not moving. The guy in charge/waiter starts yelling. The crowd is confused. "You all have to get out of here!" he screams. They roll the fallen onto his back. His face is covered in blood and he is still not conscious.

Graham grabs his knit hat and mittens. We duck out. Everyone disperses confused and feeling like maybe they did something wrong.