Thursday, June 23, 2011

gnat celebrates one year

i'm posting today from the floor in terminal d of laguardia international airport in new york. exactly one year ago i was sitting on the floor at las vegas mccarran, waiting for a flight that had been delayed due to a tornado watch in chicago and wondering what the hell i was getting myself into. that's right, today marks the one year anniversary of my chicago residency. i can't say this year has been anything at all like what i expected it would be, but i suppose that isn't surprising and it certainly isn't bad - quite the opposite, in fact.

it looks like i'm stuck here for at least a few more hours, but if i ever make it back to chi i think a celebratory cupcake from more is in order.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

gnat eats all she can eat

aleck has been talking about all you can eat fish and chips at duke of perth in lakeview for months. because i LOVE fish and chips, for months i have been responding positively to the idea and yet for some reason we never went.

well, last friday we (cara, aleck and i) finally did it, and boy was it delicious. and painful.

every wednesday and friday duke of perth offers all you can eat fish and chips for the same price you would normally pay for one serving. upon receiving my first serving, i began to wonder who really needed more fish and chips than they typically cram onto one plate.

nevertheless, we finished our first plates and, feeling confident, asked for second half plates. while we waited, we had a lengthy discussion about peas. i don't recall having a problem with peas as a child, but i don't think we ever ate them plain so i never had the chance to do the following experiment: do they look like more when they're all clustered together in the corner -

or spread out all over the plate?

i may have cheated and eaten some in between.

our second plates were far smaller than the first, so by the end i still thought that maybe one more half plate would be a good idea...

(notice that it's beginning to get dark. at this point we have been fishing and chipping for just shy of two hours.)

it was an epic struggle. i finished the fish, but without the relief of peas on the final half plate the chips proved insurmountable.

while we were doing battle with the fish, cara was also completing an entirely different eating feat. our table started with a full bottle of ketchup:

which cara had singlehandedly demolished by the end of plate two.

she claims that peas taste better with ketchup. i don't buy it. (blech. ketchup.)

yeah... i hate ketchup.

all you can eat fish and chips is, i think, both one of the worst and one of the best food related ideas ever. my taste buds were delighted - i can only imagine that my arteries were not.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

gnat discusses the pitfalls of craigslist furniture

longtime readers may remember my complicated relationship with the ugly chair, which was left behind by the previous tenants of my apartment and for several weeks was the only furniture i owned in chicago. once cara moved in and we assembled a respectable collection of real furniture, i gleefully relegated ugly chair to the trash room.

well today i finally had to do this:

see, it turns out "real" furniture purchased dirt cheap from craigslist isn't always of the highest quality. the chair pictured above is one of three (the other two are also of questionable structural integrity, though this one is the worst) which were generously included free of charge with our $30 dinner table.

this particular chair has collapsed under an unwitting diner not once but twice, and since my attempts to reassemble and secure it with packing tape have failed into the trash it goes. taco tuesday regulars will either be very excited about this or disappointed that they will no longer experience the brief, exhilarating moment upon sitting down when they wonder whether the chair beneath them will hold up or take them tumbling to the ground.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

gnat says cheese

let's begin with a photo today, shall we?

if you looked at the picture above and immediately thought, "my god, that's a grilled cheese sandwich with macaroni and cheese spilling out of it!" then you would be absolutely correct. where can one find such a sandwich?

at cheesie's!

cheesie's is a brand new restaurant and bar dedicated to the art of the grilled cheese sandwich. the spot it occupies formerly belonged to a kickass hole in the wall mexican restaurant which closed its doors shortly after the first and only time i ever had the chance to eat there. let's be real - had it been replaced by just about ANYTHING but a grilled cheese restaurant, i would have been thoroughly annoyed. as it stands, and i am only very slightly ashamed to admit this, i was at cheesie's no fewer than three times within a week of its opening and have tried almost every sandwich on their menu.

the restaurant's walls are decorated with parodies of great works of art, which are in my opinion vastly improved by the inclusion of sandwiches. (seriously, though, what isn't improved by the inclusion of sandwiches?)

(note the bitterness in the cow's face. upon further consideration, i'm not sure how i feel about a cow coveting dairy...)

in the far corner below is my favorite, "cheesy night."

now, i make a pretty damn excellent grilled cheese sandwich. (in fact, i remembered that i had yet to blog about cheesie's while concocting such a sandwich in celebration of finally having turned in a 25 page philosophy paper...) perhaps that's why, once i had tried most of the sandwiches and the novelty was gone, i was basically over cheesie's. still, it brings me joy to know that there exists, not very far from here, an entire restaurant dedicated entirely to one of my favorite foods.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

gnat promises better blogging

yes, i've been absent for almost a month now. i promise - it was for a good reason.

you may recall at the end of my last post, during which i gleefully announced the beginning of summer, that i said this:

"stay tuned for more whining when the weather takes its inevitable sharp downturn and i am forced to wear a jacket again for several more weeks."
well folks, i was right. after three or four days of gorgeous weather that almost made me forget i was upset that winter ever happened in the first place, chicago chuckled and slapped me across the face with more cold. remember the beautiful tulips? most of them were beheaded by 90mph winds. (i made that number up, but it feels about right.) the ones that weren't ended up looking like this:

so, as the temperature dipped back down to 39 degrees (i didn't make this number up. on the evening of may 26 it was 39 degrees in chicago, which would make me less upset if it had not, at the same moment, been 69 degrees in anchorage, alaska...) i made a calculated decision not to update, knowing that if i opened this window all i would do was curse this whole city and swear up and down to move as soon as opportunity struck. rather than subject you all to (more) diatribes against chicago and all of its inhabitants i waited for summer to actually arrive and improve my spirits before blogging again.

you're welcome.

anyway, it has been consistently beautiful out for several days now and i have been in a consistently excellent mood. i have a long wishlist of chicago adventures which i will be executing in a calculated and methodical fashion (lies) so that i have things of substance to tell you about outside of the weather, how bad the weather is, and what a horrible mood the bad weather puts me in. get excited.