Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ingrid Graf 1969 - 2009

Ingrid Susan Graf, a remarkably bright and engaging young woman, much loved by friends and family, died on March 29th at the age of 40.

A graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep and Oberlin College, Ingrid continued her pursuit of useful knowledge by completing two masters degrees: Masters of Social Work at Loyola University, and an M.B.A. at the University of Illinois. Ingrid applied her great intellect to helping people, working first at the Department of Children and Family Services, and then for 11 years at the University of Illinois Survey Research Lab, where her colleagues appreciated her energy and imagination, and her skill at planning and directing their important social science projects and coordinating their efforts.

She is survived by her boyfriend Chris Williams and her immediate family--cousins Cindy Paulauskas, Terri Lydon and Tom Lydon, uncles John Radner and John Reque, Aunt Barbara Radner, and mother Mary Ann Pike--as well as by hundreds of friends. Her family is deeply thankful for the great efforts of the Chicago Fire Department and the extraordinary care of the doctors, nurses and staff at Northwestern Hospital, and for the many kindnesses of Father Paulson and Ingrid's friends during this time of loss. There was a private burial on March 31st, and there will be a Memorial Service on May 16th where her hundreds of friends can celebrate her life and enduring friendship. "In a chaotic world, friendship is the most elegant, the most lasting way to be useful. We are, each of us, a living testament to our friends' compassion and tolerance, humor and wisdom, patience and grit." (Lonely Planet, Steven Dietz, 1992.)

The family has established a scholarship fund at St. Ignatius to honor Ingrid. For information, contact Tom Ramsden: 312.432.8346, tom.ramsden@ignatius.org.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Last Snowy Sunday (hopefully)

Above is a picture of Clara and my newest Craigslist find - an Eames (esque) Terrarium! Not sure if I'm gonna put an animal in there (a turtle perhaps) or some plants.
Well, this is what it looks like 2 days before the beginning of April....does winter in the Chi ever end???
Below is a shot from Jessica's wonderful dinner party last night. Many, many bottle of wine were drunk, and we observed Earth Hour for 5 hours! You're welcome, we made up for all you non-eco freaks.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Camouflage: Reoccurring Themes

Above is a photo I took yesterday at the Kohl Children's Museum. The kids can look up and see themselves on a monitor, blending into the trees. At left is a shot from Garden State with Zach Braff. This image really hit the nail on the head for me. I had a vision of this (type of) image for a long time and I think I'm not alone. Below is a picture I took in 1996 as a new photographer. What is it about camouflage?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Memory Foam Can Change Your Life

Clara and I have just come into some Memory Foam (you can see it there on my bed)and it is Amazing! Sleeping is super dreamy, like floating on a cloud.
Misc. shot of the Volvo from my view.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

So Nice!

New Appreciation

Today I gained a new appreciation for Nick Colella and his amazing skills. Also for how amazing his tattoo machine is, below.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Srsly? WTF!

I was thinking about having a contest to have people make-up a kooky caption for this photo. But then I realized that the truth is stranger then any fiction you could ever dream up, and so, I will share it with you. Below.
Just like many a great story before this one, this tale begins on Craigslist. As many of you may know, I am moving in May to a much larger apartment. I have been looking for furniture, on craigslist. I found a great 50s table, sturdy American-made-no-name-faux-Danish affair with a built in magazine rack. (see below)

I took a trip to Evergreen Park.
South on the Dan Ryan to 95th.
West on 95th till you pass the Walmart just past Western.
Go left....
No problem.
The Ryan was flying. Express lanes upwards of 85mph. A quick trip over 121 city blocks. Northside to Southside.
I saw the table and offered the asking price ($40) because sometimes it's just not worth bargaining.
I was cruising back home, feeling sweet, hoping to make it to the gym before 9 Westbound on 95th it happened.
My car WAS ATTACKED by a pothole TWO FEET DEEP and SIX FEET WIDE with a raised manhole cover right in the middle of it!It was a hungry monster and my Volvo was easy prey. I wasn't going very fast but that thing came out of NOWHERE.
I limped my injured car through the crazy intersection, bypassing the on ramp back home, pulled in a gas station. a Mobile ABC SNACKS, whatever the hell that is.

Shit. I have to pee. I have a flat tire on the front driver's side and I'm parked at a nasty South Side gas station with bullet proof glass. And bums, and drug dealers and terrible drivers (I witness two accidents and another casualty of the monster)! Allow me to set the scene.
This corner is jumpin' 95th Redline stop, a gang a bus's and of course the Dan Ryan. Bums and crazies are out in full force, like a foul smelling, meth smoking casting call for Thriller. It's deep south baby. And I realize that I can't change the tire here. In fact. It would be best if I stayed in my car and called AAA. My spare is in the back under my new table and my back hatch doesn't stay open on its own. It falls on your head.
God I'm glad I'm not blonde.
I put my hood up and tried to blend in. Everybody wants to talk to the white girl. When I get out of my car they are on my like white on rice. Do I need help? Do I wanna buy a CD or socks or give him some money?! or my number.
Scowling and swearing loudly, I throw them for a loop long enough to survey the car and get back in. 1 hour 45 minutes till the guy comes. Where am I gonna pee...? I can't make it that long.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bum Art

Here is a close up of, what I think is, some Bum Art.

Mondays on the Northside

Always something goofy going on. A cute little swim suit for my sisters baby-on-the-way.
Behold, the leaning tower of Niles! A YMCA building and Chicago landmark, sort of.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Chicago Bears van passing a local chill spot.

Colt, baby!

I saw this Dodge Colt Vista today on the Blvd.

Below (right) is my old Colt parked next to my buddy Frank's wagon. This was at Augusta and Rockwell 2001.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Black Lips @ the Logan Square Auditorium


An amazing calendar on the wall at Chicago Tattoo Co.
Buy one for yourself at right!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Rain Day

It rained like cats and dogs all day and broke around two for an hour or so. Also, the clocks went forward an hour so it was a weird day.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Haircut Day

for two boys in my charge. I told the hairdresser "short".

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sharing a Shamrock Shake

Irish Twins. Sharing a Shamrock Shake.
Happy St. Patty's Day a bit early!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


My left leg should be outlawed like a metal bat.

Just hope you don't ever meet my left leg.
I did that with pads on.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cock Van

You gotta love this Cock Van! Not one, but TWO cocks* and of course, windshield fringe. Logan 4-EVA!

*A late night drive by revealed a Third Cock on the street side of the Van.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Death of Solve.

Snow Scenes

Winter: So Far

For the umpteenth time in the last three months I woke up to a blizzard of snow outside my window and temps hovering around 0˚.
So, I put on my snow pants and grabbed my dog to run a few errands. This garbage can really spoke to me...this is just the winter so far. Wanting it to end will not make it so.

see above for a Claradog cameo.