Fur coats

I love spotting men in fur coats during the long slog of Chicago winters. Especially if they have a matching hat which is rare and gives me a thrill much like I imagine a bird watcher catching sight of that rare bird on their walk. I also thought of Mo, best landlord ever. Mo wins that title partially because he’d show up to collect rent at 11pm in a fur coat with eyes blazing from a spliff he had in his car. This beats mailing in a check anytime even if 11pm is typically past my bed time.


Bach evening

Joe and I rode our bikes down to see Joanna sing in her choir. The bike ride was cold but good on the way there. The choir was really impressive. I enjoyed listening to the singers enunciate the German words in that overly enunciated way singers do. That always amuses me. The whole production was pretty impressive and evening if Joanna wasn’t a part of the soprano force in the crowd I probably would have enjoyed it. The ride home was really cold and it took about half way home before my fingers were warm from the excercise. I slept well after some excersice in the cold, art and a giant post-ride meal.










Weekend Errands

I went out to the big box stores which is a very long walk, a short bike ride without a bike rack or a bus and a mile walk away. I needed a lot of things and shopping is exhausting so the bus it was. There was a lady furiously eating some food and taking up 3 seats with herself and possessions. I would have loved to have drawn her but I’m not that sneaky and she was looking around in a furtive defensive way. I thought about how the mayor and aldermans cut the funding for mental health clinics in half. They need to ride the bus more.

Good Morning

This morning I went to our front window to enjoy my coffee and I was awarded with a tai chi gathering. Lately they’ve moved to the tennis courts or other larger areas that aren’t in my view. I watch them along with a stout man in a leather coat walking foofy dogs in sweaters, older couples walking, and joggers going up the hill. I think my dad’s going to really enjoy the view when he comes to visit. He is a man who likes to sip coffee and gaze out at his backyard watching the sun come up. I’m pleased I have a good view to offer him.

Some days it just works out.

Today the train came just as I reached the platform with a seat that had a good view of the crowd waiting for me. I took the train with the intention of getting a fancy person turkey at Whole Foods after work. I marched that 8lbs to the Halsted bus and waited for a long time to find the old back-to-back #8s. Win some you lose some.

Tomorrow I’m back on the bike.

To the best of my recollection

When I thumb through my sketchbook, i am still surprised how well I remember my thoughts from the moment I sketch. This woman looked a lot more upwardly mobile than the rest of the orange line. From her diamond ring to her perfectly shiny hair, she was money. I remember a disheveled young lady who looked fairly unhinged struck up a conversation with her. The rich lady was kind and handled it well.

These two guys were having a lively discussion for 8am. They all had a lot of hair gel between them. I remember being happy I got a seat so that I had more time to draw them. I usually have one stop to draw before I get off for the walking.

The man in the circle had a phenomenal mustache and dark features. With his serious expression he would have made a great cop in a mean streets drama.  I started drawing him, but then he got a phone call and he was all smiles and he seemed not nearly as cool and dark and pensive. I moved on to the man before him who had a timeless outfit on. He was very handsome in a Jimmy Stewart way. Unfortunately my pen slipped and I gave him a wrinkle he didn’t need and overall I did a poor representation. The circle sort of brought the them together and now it’s better. If I’m not drawing something I see, I tend to just draw circles so it brought it all together I suppose.

The ones who would trample you to get to their boring appointment.

On a crowded El car during rush hour I always notice the crowded commute’s early exit preparers. The person either wants to make sure they’re one of the first to exit or they’re panicked that they’ll miss their exit in the sea of people. Depending on my life condition, I’ll find this bemusing to enraging. It shows such a lack of faith in the people who are enduring & maintaining this tenuous peace agreement while squeezed into a train. Or if I’m feeling less charitable, it shows a selfish lack of awareness that we all have places to be and a set time to be at those places. When I have conscientiously put my backpack between my feet and balanced myself for 20 minutes, I do not want to make room in the aisle for someone sitting to make their way to an exit especially if that’s my exit too.  I’ve never witnessed someone miss their exit unless they weren’t paying attention.

Now that I’ve moved, I’m not on the El as long and it’s not quite so crowded.  I’ve never had to aggressively squeeze myself into the train car. After the first stop I can often find a seat and do a quick sketch until the next stop and my exit. I was thwarted yesterday in making a more complete sketch by an early exit preparer. I smiled at the familiar pet peeve. It didn’t enrage me that day but I did find a certain satisfaction labeling my drawing.


Gossiping at the Gym and a Sketch

Monday Chris and I were at the gym in the testosterone laden portion with the free weights. Seems like every gym has one. We were able to find a bench to do some weights. The gaggle of men with gigantic muscles paid us no mind because they were too busy discussing who Jennifer Hudson was dating. They had the authority of an Us Weekly subscriber. We were amused.