One Year Working Anniversary!

March 27 marked my first anniversary at my job! Kinda exciting, because it also marked my first year in Chicago (okay, Oak Park). Dale didn’t join me until June so this time last year was very stressful but also exciting.

My mom was in the hospital fighting for her life, I was starting a new job in a new city without my husband or kitties, and Dale was scrambling to pack up our lives back home and driving back and forth every weekend to scout for places to live! Remind me not to repeat that this spring!

Every employee gets a little “thank you” on his or her anniversary date! I got a little bag of M&M’s branded with the company logo and colors! I also got a pen (maybe because I’m an editor? I didn’t ask!) and a little card with my name on it! Cute!

In honor of my first anniversary I took a snapshot of my desk! This is where the magic happens! Ha! And also, a lot of caffeine is ingested–you can even see the watered-down Starbucks Iced Chai next to my phone! Now this is real life! And my old school headphones that block out noise from nearby coworkers! And, no, that’s not a manuscript on my screen. I’m clearly checking my gmail AND using the gmail chat function. I am nothing if not an exceptional employee!

I keep a bamboo plant my mom sent me when I was going through a rough patch when I worked for a magazine aka The Evil Empire! Also, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Kim Possible–crime-fighting, kick-ass girls who save the world!–protect my dear husband in a velvet frame. He’s delicate, that Dale!

This is my reference shelf! Things editors need: Merriam-Webster’s, Chicago Manual of Style, Elements of Style, Woe Is I, and The Dictionary of Modern American Usage (my favorite). Also on the shelf: Pride and Prejudice (we publish “sequels” and I have to look stuff up sometimes), all of the company’s catalogs, Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch (another one we publish), some wedding planners for research (I had a hand in developing our new wedding planner), and scads of sex and love coupons (we are the #1 publisher of those wacky things).

This is my “book” shelf. It’s filled with “books” that are not bound and are on their way to your local bookseller. One day I will make a post with the books I’ve worked on in the last few months! Lots of fun titles.

I wish I had taken pictures of my “art” work which includes paint-by-numbers I did myself and a cool photo of a castle Dale took in Scotland! Maybe on my second anniverary?

Wedding in Jacksonville!

My friend Heather got married to a very nice gentlemen named Michael last Saturday! We’re very happy for her! And can’t wait to invite them to visit us in Chicago!
Happily, we also got to meet up with my friend Fumie and her awesome husband, Ben. Fumie is pregnant and we’re very excited for them to greet their first baby!
The wedding was on Saturday afternoon and on Saturday evening we headed to the ocean to see the water, enjoy a walk along the pier and have a delicious sushi dinner with Fumie and Ben!

Dale was very excited to see surfing! Surfing on the ocean! He has always wanted to try surfing and enjoyed seeing the folks brave the March waters.

Beautiful sunset image of the shore from the pier.

The pier was filled with prehistoric creatures!

Also known as pelicans!

Relaxed Weekend in Chicago

We love Chicago! Dale and I were contemplating how to waste a perfect Saturday when we noticed that Food Network’s Alton Brown of Good Eats (which just so happens to be Dale’s favorite cook on his favorite cooking show) was appearing at the Crate & Barrel flagship store on Michigan Ave! Very exciting. We didn’t get to meet him–the crowd was insane–but we did get to see him talk about knives (Dale loves kitchen knives and I love gadgets) and quality.
Alton Brown is famous for being as much a teacher as a cook and his show is populated with silly visual gags and props. To demonstrate the elements of a knife, Alton brought out a huge foam rubber knife. Very amusing. He made jokes and talked about how much he loves the pricey Japanese Shun knives.

We also wandered around Michigan Ave. for a spell and wandered in and out of a few shops and had a light lunch. I had fun checking out the kitchen gadgets at Sur La Table and had a cheap and delicious salad for lunch. We also always enjoy seeing folks performing on the street.

This gentleman was beatin’ it out on his drums. Dale used a couple of different processing techniques on these shots and wanted to share them!

Sunday in Chicago

Today, we took a train downtown to go to one of the few free museums in Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Dale was quite excited to check it out. There were three exhibitions, each of them interesting and well worth making the trip. The three exhibitions:

Robert Heinecken 1932-2006: Sex and Food, a Memorial Exhibition: An interesting exhibition about women, sexuality, and their place in visual cultural. Larry Sultan: The Valley: A sampling of photos from a porn shoot! But not what you’d expect. Odd imagery; some nudity but nudity isn’t the point. It’s just the odd everyday lives of sex industry workers. Misty Keasler: Love Hotels: This was my personal favorite! Images from the amazingly bizarre Japanese “Love Hotels” –themed hotels catering to young couples looking to get away from the prying eyes of their family! Young people live with their parents until marriage and finding a place for “fun” can be tricky! Wow. No nudity. Just images from the rooms themselves. Fascinating glimpse into a different culture.

After enjoying the museum, we decided to wander down Michigan Ave. and see what was up and grab a coffee. It was chilly! They installed new bike racks–how cute are they?

In front of the Chicago Institute of Art, we spotted an anti-war/anti-Bush demonstration and I snapped a couple of pictures. The signs read ‘Honk to Impeach’ and the horns were blaring! There were three groups of folks wandering about, handing out fliers and such so it appears more dispersed/empty than it was.

Across the street from us on Michigan Ave. was the Big Bean and the commons area that turns into a skate rink in the winter. You can’t see their toes, but the folks above are sliding about on skates, under the spectacular silver cloud.

Finally, we ended up at Intelligentsia coffee house and enjoyed a hot cocoa. They had neat tiny plants on the tables. I took a picture because I’m a dork.