Archive for November, 2008

Personal Purpose

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

You’d think that someone as self-focused as I would have little problem writing about myself for hours. This may be true if it involves feelings. But grad school doesn’t care about feelings, photos, or sad eyes happy face. They want to hear about my purpose. Are you kidding? Isn’t that why I enrolled in the quarter life crisis society? If we’re not eating something homemade or expensive with one or several of our seventeen parents, Sarah and I have spent our vacation hunched over our laptops writing literature reviews and personal statements. My mom, on the other hand, has been tip-tap-typing away on her blackberry to her boyfriend, watching reality TV, or rubbing our backs and drinking micro-brews. This is fine. In fact, it encourages both Sarah and me* to do well on our written projects so that we too can get lots of professional degrees, buy things, and then live like millionaires. In fact, my mom is sitting next to me right now, spell checking my blog post and asking how early we can get to the Patagonia store because her “down sweater” has a loose thread. I shouldn’t complain, she did buy me some skinny jeans at the Free People Store on Sarah Sweet’s 40% discount. Ugh, who has time to be thin. What’s your secret, Peter? Outdoor performance gear and Trader Joe’s cereal?


You may notice that I am wearing an apron. This means nothing. I was probably cold. Thanks to Ma Sweet for taking the time to document our misery.

* Sarah and I or Sarah and Me?  KJL and SWT say “me.”  Lydia?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

From me, to you.  Cheers.


Class Notes

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Earlier today Ma Sweet and I sat in on an urban planning in developing countries course at one Midwestern university. The lecture was mostly focused on economic development principles. Something about basic sectors and multipliers and Singapore and casinos and coal mining towns and local business and sustainability. It was a lot of information at once. Fortunately, my mom took notes:

No More Neimans

Apparently Neiman’s and Macy’s are out of the picture. But Vienna is still a go.

Sunday Brunch

Monday, November 24th, 2008

We had brunch yesterday at the Mald’s where we ate bagels, an assortment of cream cheese, and cookies.  Then we talked about ourselves and took photos.  What could be better?

(photo too big for upload, will cont. in Chicagogo)

And now I’m at the Airplane Station getting ready to panic on my flight home.  Fun!  Fortunately I have seat 3B, so I can get the flight attendant’s attention immediately for comfort and soothing words since I forgot my “take it easy” pills at home.  Or maybe if I work on my personal statements my grad school anxiety will cancel out/suppress my flight anxiety and instead of crying out the window I will be weeping on my laptop. Or I will implode.  Either way, this flight’s gonna be great.

Then Ma Sweet is zip-zippity-zipping over in her hybrid express and we’re driving straight to Ann Arbor, MI for a little chat with some urban planning profs.   I’m wearing blue stripes.  So, that should be enough to woo myself into admission.  omg boarding.


Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Apparently we didn’t want to watch any of the films in Sean and Grant’s epic collection, so we went to the Blockbuster where their computer system was down and we had to convince a nice unemployed artist who makes bronze sculptures to rent the movie for us.  It’s ok, I said, Peter works for climate change.  Then we handed him “Teeth.”   A horror film so terrifying, half way through Peter said, “I could see this twice!”

But really, Mom, don’t watch the trailer.


Friday, November 21st, 2008

“There is a really strong sense of self in Chicago: People aren’t defined by wealth or by work or accomplishments, but rather who they are,” said Alex Kotlowitz, an author who makes his home in Chicago because he believes it is a place to peer into America’s heart. “Obama seems so comfortable in his skin and with who he is. That’s so Chicago.”  A New Wind is Blowing in Chicago, The New York Times

I’m probably hormonal but reading this made me tear up.

Gmail Theme

Friday, November 21st, 2008

What theme did you choose for your gmail?  Duh, Bus Stop.  Public transit is the illest.

Siggy’s Good Food

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

In an effort to redeem Peter’s confidence from yesterday’s photo posting, a handful of us went out to dinner at Siggy’s Good Food in Brooklyn Heights last night. For the first time in seventeen years I forgot to bring my camera. I felt naked. Like, emotionally naked. If I had brought the camera you would be able to see how happy and well-fed we were by organic, local, and delicious dishes, plus a fruit-topped cheesecake Shawnathon brought from the Whole Foods. The entire experience was quite lovely. Though every time I asked the mildly attractive waitress with dimples a question or for a recommendation she would giggle and I would want to punch her in the neck. But besides that we all had a really nice time. Who’s ready for Thanksgiving?

Email of the Day

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Dear top chef, I will dream of sausage pies…
Fluffed white hat, muffin to the moon;
working through sirens, on baited, antique sheets.

For health and life!  Poverty naught ruin!
One day you will have big fat kitchen
to match your heart, and slow-roast chicken.


Happy Birthday Peter

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008


You’ve come so far.  I’m so proud.