Monday, January 31, 2005

So I found out that they used to make pregnancy tests for women of size, called Fat Plus, but then it was decided that they were referring to pigs, as in the animals we eat routinely- such a disappointment. And according to Jess, "I Hate Mitch" is to be her new love and passion, a crusade for all those who hate the person known as Mitch. But it is "Friends Off" until she opens her again and admits how much of Jack Bauer she sees in me. She believes that so much, she even wrote it on my chest- in permanent marker! Though I served her some great Beefaroni Sat night!

About the crew down in Normal- words cannot describe my love for you guys- thanks Lauren for introducing me to your very awesome friends/brothers/sisters/drinkers/nazis/torturers/students/strangers/ roommates/junkgrabbers/Lisa/neighbors/townies/bouncers/Fun/short shorts/bathrooms and your nearest McDonald's. Y'all are as normal as me... except y'all have holes in those beer cups down at Da Fun... and you listen to Tom Jones you bastards!

Andy, apologies man, Jess and Lauren made me guess how old you were and put words in my mouth...u know their style: they just wanna play tick/tack/toe on your skin and use you as a human canvas for their own ritualistic games involving "diarrhea" and "shocker"! The "Brick Laying" dance move dude is brilliant...gracias amigo- will put it to good use and impress the ladies (or should I Mr. 1.5 years?)!

More innocent and heartfelt thoughts tom, 'till then "Sun-blossom" wishes all of you a great evening. And did I mention Friends Off Infinity, Jess? You guys take care of yourselves!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Directions to Normal...

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
--Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Thursday. Jasmin tea for Katy. Call Lauren. Go to work. Have important discussion with Julia. Learn lesson. Maybe a movie. Call Ken about tom. Teach children about responsability and consequence. Learn that myself. Motivation. Cultivation. Snow. Get gas. Cheap gas. Drive. Put on clothing. Shower. Think. Answer. Think more. Sleep. Dream. Wake up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wednesday is here and that means only one thing... one more day 'till payday. God, what a capitalist I have become, couting days to the big moolah day! Beautiful day yesterday, nothing short of glorious. Today's supposed to be the same, but so far, not quite on par with that, a bit more cloudy. And finally, I think once this cold is over I have to get my crap together and start moving my life in a new direction. I devised a plan to start slow, with little things, and then go big, so we'll see what happens. I need a bloody punch in the face to force me to just get out there and apply for that job or school, study for that MCAT and wake up from that nap I always take.

'Till tom, the "insensitive" is signing off... explanation and more FRESH pictures tom.

The worst thing in life is wasted talent!
---Said to me today by one of my best friends, Alex

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tuesday yet again. REALLY nothing much to say today. My cold is getting better, yet I haven't done much in terms of studying, looking for a serious job, etc. Been a bum, wasting money and freeloading way too much. No direction whatsoever. And please, somebody make me stop whining and just go and do something.

Oscar nominations came out today and I swore I wasn't gonna get mad if my favorites did not get nominated... and they didn't. No
Collateral, Garden State, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Motorcycle Diaries, Bad Education, Maria Full of Grace, Intermission, or A Very Long Engagement. Damn you money hungry Hollywood. What happened to the art that is movie making? Have a good one and be good!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Yesterday was an unexpected surprise. My old HS friend Maryam came by and visited, after which we decided to go see a movie. Juli, A and K came along, we ended up seeing House of Flying Daggers, the latest Chinese export from the director of Hero (Zhang Yimou)). Good movie overall, I like the story tons better than Hero's, though at times the movie does suffer from that style-over-substance illness that plagues a lot of foreign, especially Asian movies. Fantastic cinematography and choreography, with good action and some decent acting.

What else? Got my parking spot which I cleaned and shoveled taken and then, despite my initial reaction, could not bring myself to do anything to the guy's car. Though he was out of state, he should know better. Son of a bitch is playing with fire by doing it in Chicago. Etiquette people, etiquette!

While watching the House of Flying Daggers tonight in a practically empty theater... two ladies decided to sit right next to us, on the seats with our coats. And as the movie gets going and the first major plot twist is revealed... lady #1 turns to lady #2 and in the loudest, best "grandma" voice says...
"Oh, My Woorrrd!!!!"

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Not much to say today. It's Sunday and I finally have free time to do nothing with. It's not as if I wouldn't have things to do... study, look for a serious job, read, work-out, watch Baby Looney Tunes on CN.

All right, today's photo is family related- my aunt (mom's sister) Dana and my grandma Anuta. Two of the loveliest and most amazing women I know. Though reluctant to pose for pictures, quite terrrified of my camera actually, they make this image with their expression of frustration and quiet, elegant desperation :-) Thank you ladies!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Snowstorm adventure #2. Typical Chicago blizzard includes tons of white snow, unplowed roads, stuck cars, accidents, more snow, more unplowed streets, shoveling, salt, chaos, idiot drivers, skidding, rolling overs, no parking spots, lawn chairs, umbrellas, mano-a-mano fighting for parking, crime in the name of road-rage, did I mention the bloody snow, and finally my friends and I (I stand for idiot) going out and driving all in the name of a good time. Just as expected, I had an excellent time with my peeps. J and K were great company as usual, F and P decided to call it an early night. K, thanks for driving bud, many thanks actually, and sorry about the snow in your face, though that's all I am sorry for!

And although I complain about this weather way too much, I was standing in the middle of it all this morning and it was absolutely beautiful. Quite magnificent actually: I like its quietness, the snow falling, the wind, very cold, yet beautiful! I'll make this my mantra as I shovel myself outta the snow just now. A bientot mes amis!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Just when was complaining that my life was boring and uneventful, things have a way of happening. Last night and this morning was spent in the ER with my dad who had serious food poisoning and high blood pressure. Funniest thing of the night, is that I got to watch ER (the show) in the ER, while listening to the docs and nurses complain how un-real it all was. Long story short, dad is ok, finished reading Ernesto Che Guavara's Motorcycle Diaries while waiting, I need sleep, but sadly I can't get any- insomnia creeps in when my mind wanders off unfocused and sober and I start thinking of things I should (i.e., my life, career, choices, med school, jobs, President Bush, etc).

On a happier note, I found a pair of brand new, very good quality men's leather gloves on the brown line today. They were just sitting there in the empty compartment on a seat and I took them (I needed gloves anyway and these are quite nice...and they smell good, too- no joke, of men's cologne). Someone must have left them behind in a hurry, but I see it as a sign of fate :-). Thanks kind stranger!

Okey dokey, I will attempt to get some shut eye, but we'll see how far I get. Cheers to you all and a happy Friday mates.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

G'day my friends. Feel a little under the weather today. Woke up tired (though I can't sleep) and I have this cold with a sore throat that's been going around. Again, uneventful day yesterday, except for this letter and postcard I got from Amelia in Helvetia (Switzerland). She found this by the bathroom in a night club and it reminded her of me. Maybe I'll post it later on or tom, it's great. Thanks sweet Amelia, it truly made my day.

Also, worth mentioning, Gillian Anderson, aka Scully from the X-Files (and my longest ever TV crush), got married yesterday (not to me); thanks to a couple of people who emailed me with links, that made my day as well, the fact that you still remembered. That's about it. Adios for now and 'till later, peace!

Illustration by Thomas Ott Zurich

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mind blank today. There is so much that I feel I need to say, or address perhaps, and yet my mind is left to boil as if in its own pressure cooker. Yesterday was very uneventful. It only added to the monotony and the state of idleness I've fallen pray to. Had coffee with K, and although our discussion was enlightening, I felt yet again that change within my own persona is implied (I think so), and so are my views on love, friendship and the meaning of things and people. But, knowing me, change is unlikely- perhaps spiraling down into oblivion is where I'm headed.

All right, enough daily philosophy attempted, again, Brittany, sorry to torment you with my picture taking the other night. While I did enjoy it, I also felt your pain (somewhere in my lower back, though that could have been the pushups I've been doing). And R, Happy BDay chump!

Signing off, your very own pragmatic dreamer. Laters.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Bloody good times last night (pictures posted today, lots of them). And Lisa, many thanks for driving on the way back. And Lenny, happy BDay again you little bastard. Yep, last night was an excellent time of a little (???) drinking and dancing, good friends and attempted discussions about the meaning of life and love, the nature of friendship and uninhibited expression of all of our personalties. Pete, Ricardo and Brit and Arlette left early, but Lisa stayed, along with Mimi and Ken.

Back to the real world today where I have work and responsabilities, along with a little less pocketfull of money. But," je ne regrette rien", in the wise words of Edith Piaf. Y'all be good, 'till tom!

Monday, January 17, 2005

In Vino Veritas is today's motto in celebration of Lenny's Bday...

Had a good darkroom day yesterday... so watch out for tons of new B/W stuff. Every time I go and work on my photos, I get this sense of peace and calm, it relaxes me, I sort of lose track of time and I get lost in the whole process. A bit foolish, but I do love the smell of the chemicals and the rawness of making a print physically.

Anyway, y'all have a good monday, and if you're in Chicago, one more day of stay warm. A domain mes amis!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Nothing to say today. Am a bit tired (this lack of motivation and focus is starting to worry me), but have plenty of darkroom work to do all day today.

While cleaning some of my drawers last night, found my old autographs from my collecting days and the one that stood out was Ms. Stewart's (met her at KMart a few years back). After all, only 50 more days 'till she's released from prison (thanks for the info!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Yesterday was all I had planned for and more. I managed to do everything I had hoped plus some. Day started off with the Science Fair where judging went really good. I tried not to be such a hardass (aka fair), but Peter kept giving me grief for being so pedantic about scoring. He was on Benedryl, so that explains his moodiness. I then went downtown to pick something up work related and got back just in time for my meeting about darkroom use at my former school. I miss that very much, but it looks like at least this week-end and next, it's all mine and I can finally do some bloody nice pictures! Thank you MLK Jr. for this Monday holiday!

After that, Juli dropped by and we had lunch with Alex and Big Don, one of my favorite people, a self described "old hippie" with a lot of soul and the heart of a philosopher. An amazing person to talk to. He also has a Deli in Rogers Park where they truly make the best sandwiches.

But the evening wasn't done. After falling asleep and telling Juli I wasn't going to Too Much Light, Lauren called and said she'd be by...and so I went. I am such a bastard, apologies all around. The show was good, Ken and Lauren were great company once again, and you can read his take on the night on his blog. All in all, a long, but a great day with friends I am very fond of and care a whole lot about. Not both, just one of the two.

This is Margo and she and her mom kept me company on the ride downtown. A very sweet little 3 year old, very full of life and the energy of a million Red Bulls. Good Saturday y'all! Literally!

Friday, January 14, 2005

One busy day ahead... Judging the Regional Science Fair from morning 'till afternoon, then some darkroom work, a quick meeting with a former professor and trip Downtown (work related) before 5pm. Wish me luck and buy me a drink if I see you. :-)

Also, yesterday, Juli and I finally saw Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles (A Very Long Engagement), a French movie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie and City of Lost Children). What a gorgeous looking movie, an amazing story, quite depressing actually, but absolutly brilliantly made. A love story and war story, a mistery with existential touches, it has so much heart and possibility one might get lost in its intricate dazzle of a plot and execution. Juli didn't like it and we have quite different opinions on the ending, a bitter-sweet piece that is pure Jeunet and nothing that you might expect. The rest of the film has deffinite Kubrick (Paths of Glory anyone?) and Truffaut influences scaterred throughout with Jeunet's signature style and story-telling. Highly recommended!

'Till tom, have a good friday mates and so long!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

G'Day friends and strangers... it's raining here today, after a day of 60 some degrees. And tom, we're supposed to go below zero. My friend Ken refered to it as Schizo weather and I have to agree...this weather is sick! Yesterday was a quiet, eneventful day. Guys and I went out to have a pint at a pub by our houses. It seemed we were all kinda blue, tired and just not in the best of moods. It was a productive discussion, cuz I personally didn't know that dreaming of a floating coffin is the worst dream you can have! Yep, topics of conversation went from women ( the must topic), music (the personal stuff), death (the fun and uplifting topic) to dreams (this is the demented one). Fun night, fun night! I joke, but it really was just a quiet one among friends with a pint of ale for company. That's it for today. Don't have much to talk about; maybe later. All be good and 'till tom.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Had a pretty dull, funky day yesterday. It was one of those that lacked direction and focus for me, a day with no motivation for anything. Sort of a lethargic, grey and depressing day; I felt tired as hell and had no desire to do anything. Work was all right, but I felt completely useless for the most part. I'd say it's menopause, but that's too early :-) Could it be SAD? As in Seasonal Affect Disorder?

It also rained big time this morning, so that it woke me up from my deep sleep (went to bed at 11 or so). This weather has gone completely insane. Hope you all have a good one, be good and signing off 'till tom!

Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.
--Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

All righty... so let' see, an unplanned last night. Where do I begin? Friends and I went out for a bit (yeah, was back at 3) and had a good time as usual; ran into Aaron and Lenny came, too. Ken has more on his site, a bit of a psychological assessment of the evening, and although he aologizes to me for some tension and him being self-centered, I assure you all, it was all in good fun and Mr. Ken is by far the most modest and humble person I know. Like I said on his blog, I on the other hand, should have a blog dedicated to daily apologies to people I've pissed off the day before. So back to last night, it was fun as usual, with just a touch of drama (Pete, it was Lauren grabbing you and no, I didn't mind driving with you although Ken's plan made sense; sorry).

Also yesterday, I got Alex and Lori's very classy invitations for their wedding. This makes it that much more real. Seems like everyone is getting married or engaged, or going steady... Also, I bought a new digital camera, a litlle Pentax, played with it for a while, we'll see what kind of pictures it takes. Off I go now to eat and carpe diem to you all!

Only fighting warriors fall in battle,
How can a kneeling coward know what it's like to fall?
-Indian Proverb

Monday, January 10, 2005

Monday, bloody Monday... yep, it's monday again kids and this means a new beggining. I somehow feel energized and yet lazy, if that's possible at the same time, but knowing me, anything is. I have work today, both teaching and at the library, but besides that, not much. Yesterday, I ended up hanging with Julia and Florin and Amanda for a bit, we had coffee and then we called it a night. Short and sweet. And cuz of Ken and Lauren, I am now watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, not only because of Futurama, but cuz of that stupid Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Damn you Ken! In a good way be damned, of course. And yo, Ruben, if you're reading this, hope yoou had a good flight back home! Ok my little friends, 'till later!

Overheard conversation at a restaurant (as reported by Julia, complete with noises)...
Woman on her cell phone talking lively while on the toilet in next stall while doing the #2...
Woman: And what's your name again?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Did nothing last night and it felt great. I went to bed at 9 or so, for the first time in months. I slept like a baby. Woke up at 8 this morning, as usual. So nice to finally get sleep before midnight. Nothing much going on today, I like sundays that are free of plans and to-do lists. It has become a tradition of sorts that I hang out with some of my friends from HS on sundays, but we'll see how it goes. In other news, my artsy-fartsy (in a good way) friend Julia, the guru for anti-technological development as it relates/interferes to human life and its passion for creation, joined the ranks and bought...a cell phone. Yep, a bloody mobile phone! 'Tis the end of the world!

Have a good sunday people and until tom, be good, healthy and lazy- it's sunday after all!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Good Saturday y'all! Hope it's as good as mine so far. Am here at work, with barely two minutes to do this, so i'll keep it short. Last night was another fine night, hanging with me peeps (beautiful Lauren, controversial Peter and adventurous Ken) at Spin. I believe we all had a fun time, I sure enjoyed myself after a few Alka Seltzers and a vodka tonic (felt like getting a cold earlier in the evening from all the sickos around me... you know who you are Ken and Peter).

That's it. That's what happened on friday. Today's schedule includes work and finding a parking spot within a 10 mile radius around my house that doesn't have lawn chairs and garbage cans in it. For those who don't know, that's how we do it in Chicago: one for one, none for all (at least when it snows). Hasta luego amigos!

Friday, January 07, 2005

So Happy Name Day to my dad and everyone else whose name is John. My friend Peter is always the one to keep me on the path of rightiousness with reminders on what we celebrate on what day and when do I need to go to Church (after every night out?). Thanks again Pete!

And speaking of Peter, he and I had discussed a to do list of sorts for the new year and while he has his on his blog, I will not grace you with mine. But, I will tell you that the game is now on. He wanted to get in shape, so did I. He wanted to learn how to swin, so did I. But it's war now!!! Peter whatch out for the next Romanian triathlete!

On a more serious note, I am still simply amazed at the devastation in Asia. New video they were showing today on CNN, shows the magnitude of the event. Bodies everywhere, orphan kids, nothingness, wow, simply amazing.

Good friday mes amis, a domain!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

All last night was insane. And it's all my fault. I had the billiant idea that Peter, Lauren, Lenny, Ricardo and I go out for a bit (yeah, right, we ended up back home at 2:30), despite it snowing like it was the end of the world. So, having the best car around (not really!!!), I was the DD and on we went picking everyone up and driving down through what looked like a snow globe of giant proportions. As adventurous as I am, man, I gotta say, it was all worth it, no second thoughts (loved seeing Lauren and Rick singing "Hold On"" after eating my frozen Snickers bar). How can you say no to dollar booze wednesday and two free packs of cancer sticks??? It's just like this magnetic pull. We danced, we drank, we danced some more, we drank again and then we sobered up...well, almost all of us (I dn't need to mention any names, right Rick and Lauren?). On the way home, my sweet patron saint, whoever you are, the streets were empty and even Western and Lincoln were snowed in big time, almost unpassable... to describe how much I hate snow storms in the city is beyond words. 'till tom, signing off and going to dig my poor car out of the snow...pretty, bloody white snow! An next storm guys, we're taking a taxi!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

So officially Chicago's weather sucks and blows at the same time. As much as I complain about it, well I admit it is normal for the month of January. But this damn frozen water-thing, keeps on coming down; and this white color makes me tired. Oh, and please, please people take a look at Peter's blog yet again cuz I think love is in the air. I am a little jealous, yes, how come this bastard can generate more traffic after two days of posting and me...well, I can only dream. I am joking Pete!. And yeah, forgot to mention, Sunday I caught this movie directed by Pedro Almodovar, called Bad Education with Gael Garcia Bernal (Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mama Tambien). I liked it, though it's not for everyone; don't wanna bore you with my thoughts at the moment, but I'm sure I'll have plenty to say after a few days. One last thing. My new year resolution, well sort of: to learn how to swim and to get my life in order (i.e., finding the meaning of life)... wonder which one I'll manage to accomplish first. Help wanted!

Insight of the Day
Student 1: He looks like that guy from that sports commercial with the cereal.
Student 2: No, man, he's not a famous tennis player, he just my teacher.
-- At school

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Damn tuesdays... I find that the only consolation is the day off I get tom. And oh my sweet Jesus I promise I will never have coffee after six pm. Pete, Lenny, Lauren and the rest, we all went out to eat after work and then the usual monday Showtunes night and like the idiot that I am, I had real coffee, instead of decaf. Well, I was awake for what seemed like an eternity. In other news, weather here in chicago sucks... do I say that enough on this blog, or what? Ken, welcome back from sunny California, this picture is for you. And y'all, please check out Peter's blog again, there is fresh drama brewing under the comments for his first day. This could only be love or the end of the world as we know it.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A warm welcome to my friend, Mr. Socki... and his new creation...

The BLOG of Peter Socki

Insight of the Day
Friend #1: You were busy doing what all day?
Friend #2: Busy being fabulous, what else?
Me: Shakes head multiple times.
--Car ride back from the movies