SXSW antidote

"They got some crazy little women there..."
"They got some crazy little women there..."

Friday morning I’m flying to Kansas City for this cute little music festival. This will be my, um, third? year. In the past, this event was held in Lawrence, with the handful of venues just steps from each other. No lines, cheap-ass wristbands, friends playing, no day shows, nightly afterparty. Very fun. Very relaxing. My brother came down from Minnesota in the past, but he won’t be there this year. Lame.

The Record Bar, KCMO
The Record Bar, KCMO

This year the fest is in KC proper. We’ll see how that goes. I’m hooking up with the usual posse, so there’ll likely be some Ethiopian food and some burnt ends on my plate. Gimme a holler if there’s something you think I should do while I’m in KC!

The Meat Purveyors al fresco encore, North vs. South, 2007
The Meat Purveyors al fresco encore, North vs. South, 2007

I get home Sunday night, hang around the ATX for a couple of days, then head out to San Francisco for a conference (Weds-Sun). I’ve never been to the Bay Area, so gimme some tips for there, too, will ya? So far, I know I’m gonna go here & hopefully here. Oh, and to some conference shit, too, of course.

And I plan to wear a sweater the whole time I’m there. Yay! Sweater weather!

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SXSW antidote

cozy mania

second try
second try

Almost every night last week, I made a cozy. I just got an iPod touch and I wanted to make my dream cozy for it. My design slowly evolved from the first one (the abomination) to the super-cute elephant-patterned version I am carrying around.

first good version (closed)
first good version (closed)
first good version (open)
first good version (open)
elephant-print cozy (closed)
elephant-print cozy (closed)

It’s very functional! I had a really hard time finding one (years ago, first iPod) which provided accommodation for my headphones. So I put a little pocket on my version.

elephant-print cozy (open)
elephant-print cozy (open)

I also made a version which is lined with impossible-to-photograph black fleece and has a different structure. I’ll make one out of something else soon & post photos.

car-patterned cozy
car-patterned cozy

I’m also planning to tutorialize these photos into something useful for my fellow crafters. You know, one day. I’m also planning to make some more of them (outta some sweet new fabric I just got) and sell them in my Etsy shop (which will also have some stitch markers available soon).

Oh, I also made a really basic one for my new camera which is making this little show-n-tell possible… Anybody out there think I should be worrying about fleece + electronics = static = bad?

fleece camera cozy
fleece camera cozy
cozy mania

Crush

Please join me in enjoying my newest girl crush: Kelly Macdonald. Yes, apparently, I have a type.

Look at that incredible nose!
Look at that incredible nose!

Check out her film works here.

Less dour!
Beauteous!

I first noticed her in No Country For Old Men. I was instantly captivated. Then I saw the trailer for Choke last night. I am now planning to revisit Trainspotting, then work my way through her other films. Mmm…

Crush

Chicago, Illinois, Greatest City on Earth

final minutes in the hostel
final minutes in the hostel

I went to a wedding in Chicago a few weeks ago. I love Chicago. Really love it. I get this big, stupid grin the second my plane touches down there. And I walk around grinning the whole time I’m there. I’m really gonna have to move there one day…

I tried to Priceline a room, but had no luck, so I ended up staying at the Arlington House International Hostel. What a stroke of (accidental) genius! The hostel was clean, convenient, cheap – $65/night for a private room w/ half bath (showers down the hall) – and located two blocks from Lincoln Park! Perfect!

I arrived early so I could screw around in Chicago for an extra day. And I planned not to do anything I’d done there before (I’ve been in a rut). I made one exception.

best pancakes in the world
best pancakes I've ever tasted

The Salt & Pepper Diner (there are several locations) serves my absolute favorite pancakes in the world. I had to go. I took a really, really packed redline train to the Addison stop, and I soon realized why the train was so packed: Cubs v. White Sox. The diner location I prefer is the one by Wrigley Field and when I got there around 10am on a Friday morning, the whole area was totally bumpin’. Cubs &/or Sox fans as far as the eye could see!

Cubs v. Sox mob
Cubs v. Sox mob

As a native Texan, I am unused to the feeling of being caught up in a rush of humanity. Sure, I’ve been to some Spurs games, maybe some other pretty crowded places, but there’s nothing like being in a big city at rush hour. All the people on the streets and trains are amazing to me. I never tire of just wandering about in Chicago checking the people out. And the train ride to Wrigleyville was perfect for this. It was packed! Everyone was in a good mood since they were probably playing hooky & had a whole day of fun ahead of them. The crowd was so delightedly boisterous!

Lincoln Park Conservatory
Lincoln Park Conservatory

On Saturday, I went to Lincoln Park without a plan. I wanted to hit the Conservatory, but other than that, I just wanted to wander about. And I did. I checked out the zoo, I accidentally went to a street fest (the back gate was open & I didn’t realize I’d snuck in w/o paying until I happened upon the real entrance!), and I had some Indian food for lunch.

a lion sunning his balls
a lion sunning his balls

I checked out the Lincoln Park Zoo, too. There’s no admission and the crowd was totally respectable, without being a mob. The weather was just lovely, as the above lion can attest.

I also took in the Architecture Foundation’s Architecture River Cruise. It was pretty good. The tour guide knew lots and was relatively entertaining. Unfortunately, I’m kind of a geek about Chicago architecture and I was hoping for something different. It was a lovely tour, though. Really.

There were more good times, but if I told you everything here, well, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about when we meet in person, would we?

Chicago, Illinois, Greatest City on Earth