Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Star is a taco joint near the north side Damen blue line stop in Chicago. Apparently (learned because of some quick Googling) their new food truck failed inspection recently. But at least it looks good from the outside!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Please consider reading....

I like to read. Unfortunately, I like to read what some people may consider not so classy fiction. (I also indulge in memoirs and non-fiction, on occasion, when I feel like it.) Therefore, I feel that it is my job to tell people that there are good books out there in every single genre, and not to discount something just because it was first published in mass market paperback form and possibly has a cover which you don't want to be seen with in public. So I have a few recommendations for you, which will hopefully become a regular feature on the blog.

If you only read one book with vampires in it: Sunshine, by Robin McKinley.
In my opinion, McKinley is an excellent author. She is mostly known for her fairy tales re-tellings, and Sunshine is a departure from that type of book. A wonderful, wonderful departure. In this book, the vampires are actually blood sucking monsters. Even though, in the end, there is one not-so-bad vampire, but he still doesn't sparkle or avoid drinking blood. Sunshine is the narrator, a baker, who is captured by vampires and escapes, contrary to everything she believes about 'the others.' The rest of the book tells of the consequences of that action. The story is told in a first person narrative, so if that is not your style, you should probably avoid it. Otherwise, the world she's created, post a massive world war, and full of magic, is explained more through Sunshine living it, not with paragraphs and paragraphs of set up. The characters are intriguing, and even side characters are interesting. In my opinion, one of the best aspects of this book is that there is no sequel. These days, I feel that you cannot turn around in a bookstore without tripping over a series of vampire books. This stand alone novel breaks that trend, and is better for it.

If you only read one middle grade novel that was turned into a movie: Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones.
Howl's Moving Castle is a delightful jaunt into a fantasy world, with sorcerers and evil witches, curses and transformations. Like I mentioned, it was turned into a movie, which was adorable in its own way, but the book is definitely worth the read, and obviously before you watch the movie. This book is actually laugh out loud funny in some places, with wonderful dialogue and a kind of mystery that falls into place unexpectedly at the end. The main character, Sophie, is turned into an old lady at the beginning of the book by an evil witch, and what follows are her adventures with the wizard Howl and his moving castle. Though written at a level for younger folks, this book is still captivating and interesting, so don't discount it. That also means that it is a quick read!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fancy Clothes (Kinda)

Dress: H&M, Sweater: Lands End, Belt: H&M, Tights: Target, Boots: Rogan's Shoes (Bear Traps, I believe)

I am fascinated by fashion blogging so recently,when Rick and I went to Galena, I picked an outfit that I felt was reasonably "fashionable" and asked Rick to take some pictures. This exercise allowed me to discover a few things. First of all: It is really hard to pose for pictures and not look like an idiot. In the same vein, when taking individual pictures of myself trying to look like this is completely normal and/or something I do every day, I felt remarkable egotistical.

Another thing: Out of the 30-odd pictures Rick took of me, approximately three turned out good enough (ie I didn't look like a complete moron) that I would share them on the blog. One of those had my little brother giving me bunny ears in the background. So here are the two I deemed worthy enough to share.

Also, in retrospect, I do not like the purple tights. Which leads me to the last discovery. I cannot imagine how ridiculously difficult it would be to come up with a new outfit every day, or even a few every week, that are creative enough to post on a blog and show other people. I frequently wear outfits that I've worn before. It is easy to wake up in the morning and throw on a red dress with a black sweater, black tights, and the same flats I have worn with the exact same outfit about ten times last winter. So, while this was fun, and I loved putting together this outfit (likely the only time I will ever wear this dress), don't expect to see more fashion blogger-esque posts from me. Definitely not my style.