Wednesday, June 27, 2012

gnat greeks out

this year's greekstravaganza 2.0 (the greekquel) was bigger, badder, and greeker than last year's.

for one thing, this time there were decorations:

what's that you say? did i go from chicago all the way to the parthenon to throw a greek dinner party? no, that's my living room, but i can see how you might be confused.

there were celebrity guests:

of course, tons and tons and tons of food:

and TOGAS!

this time we went big on the cheese on fire - in case you need a recap of how last year's cheese on fire went down, here it is:

"a lovely little greek lady at fresh farms market told us to use sherry, but after several failed attempts to light the cheese we resorted to vodka. even so, the cheese was not as on fire as i had hoped it would be.

next time we'll use bacardi 151."

well we didn't find 151, but eileen brought me something polish called spirytus (a rectified spirit!) which definitely did the trick:

we even had ancient greek olympics,

with ancient greek olympic gold medal winners:

alright, they were silver medalists (technically they were cardboard and aluminum medalists but in this arena the cardboard and aluminum medal is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an olympian).

it was all very exciting and very greek, and so far the best greekstravaganza yet. we'll see if i can top it for next year's greekstravaganza episode III: live greek or die hard.

(this was the first of many throwback posts, written from nor cal about my many backlogged chicago adventures. on a more current note, the first thing my mom said to me yesterday was that there were record high temperatures in chicago. the reason this is funny is that for two years she did this every morning over gchat, telling me from nor cal that it was raining in chicago as i looked out my window at clear sunny skies. well... this time i finally had to take her word for it.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

gnat surfaces

alright so me being m.i.a. is not a new thing, we all know this - in any case, here's a recap of what happened after i unplugged the router and went offline two weeks ago.

we packed. and packed, and packed, and packed.

everything in the apartment broke at the same time - no kidding, the kitchen sink stopped up, we blew a fuse in the hallway, the microwave mysteriously refused to turn on... it knew we were vacating and it was not happy about it. i spent several hours plunging and cursing and fiddling with circuit breakers, all to no avail.

we packed some more. well, cara packed, i plunged.

...cara had a lot of things to pack.

i had fewer things to pack, which managed to fit in a few suitcases... with a little finagling.

i took a break from the packing and plunging and finagling to say goodbye to some friends over pizza.

finally, we managed to empty the apartment.

the last thing to come down was the chicago skyline. because we were sleep deprived and it seemed poetic at the time, each of us took down one of the three panels: eileen the first,

cara the middle,

and myself last.

and then it was time to go.

these pictures don't really capture the utter disaster that our moving day actually was - when i say we were sleep deprived, i really mean we hadn't slept properly in a few days (cara hadn't slept period), we stupidly packed the kitchen first thing in the morning and couldn't feed ourselves despite having a fridge full of lovely things like eggs and milk, the movers were hours and hours late, and as i've mentioned before things just stopped working left and right. to top it off, my girl guy must have known we were going because he started up before 8am and didn't quit all day.

i suppose none of this matters anymore, because we don't live there anymore.


we moved. i am no longer a chicago resident. this may cause you to wonder what's going to happen to gnat's chicago experiment, a blog about my life in chicago. fear not! i have plenty of backlogged adventures that never made it into posts, so i have enough material to keep the blog afloat for a bit (provided i ever get around to writing it down).

so goodbye for now, from california, more chicago adventures coming soon.

gnat unplugs the router

for the last time from our apartment:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

gnat's favorite dinner party game

behold the death chair:

of the dozen or so potential seating options in my apartment, maybe two thirds were fully structurally sound. the rest presented varying degrees of danger, ranging from "slightly wobbly" to "highly likely to pitch you onto the floor immediately." at last count, five separate individuals had fallen out of their seats in my apartment. i consider it a game, akin to russian roulette - there's that exciting moment just as you sit down when you wonder if the seat you've chosen is about to collapse under your weight. you may say that this is not a very nice thing to do to dinner guests, to which i respond that after two years of coming over for dinner once a week they should probably be able to recognize which are the death chairs and which are safe.

it's been fun, death chairs. into the trash you go.

gnat throws everything away

thus begins a series of painful moments where i hesitate to get rid of something, then convince myself there's no reason i should continue to own it. this happened last night with several items of clothing, half finished paintings, and the bag of togas and laurels i made for greekstravaganza 1.0. just now, i parted with this friend and needed a forum to say a proper goodbye. here goes:

dear ING cafe mug,

you have been integral to my success as a graduate student. without you, i would have had to pay full price for my coffee during the long, long hours i spent at ING writing my thesis and people watching through the large glorious windows. i would have had no vessel with which to transport my delicious hazelnut coffee from my apartment to work every morning. you have been an excellent friend, and you will be missed.


in the last 12 hours, the microwave has broken, the lights in the hallway went out, and the kitchen sink up and decided to quit on us. all the pans were packed away before we made breakfast, so we ended up eating clif bars and mike and ikes for breakfast. moving sucks.

more updates to come, i'm sure, as cara and i continue to deal with this:

wish me luck.

Monday, June 4, 2012

gnat relives the move, in reverse

so, there's a lot of this happening these days:

there's been a sort of sad reciprocity between the last week or so and my first few weeks in chicago. just as when i first moved here, most of my things are in suitcases or boxes or in california. i'm on craigslist constantly, only now trying to get rid of the furniture rather than collecting it. my days aren't very structured, again. i spend a lot of time wandering around - the difference of course being that now i know exactly where i am and where i'm going... and how to get back. i've reverted to my touristing ways, now desperate to soak up every experience i know i am having for the last time as a chicago resident; things as stupid and small as taking the el or walking down michigan avenue have suddenly become novel again. everywhere there are reminders of things that have happened in the two years i've been here, good and bad.

like before, i've been doing my best to pawn off as many of my belongings as possible to friends and find alternative solutions for everything that's left. i don't have bobby (my trusty nissan sentra) to take me home this time, so i'm stuck boxing and shipping anything that's worth the postage and leaving everything else. as moving day gets closer, the level of importance an item requires to warrant an airmail trip home gets higher and higher.

my girl guy has really been at it these last few days. this morning he started singing at 8am, forcing me to get out of bed and close my window and to wonder whether or not i'll miss him.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

gnat is chicagolicious

a preview of friday's adventure, which (i promise!) is coming soon:

alright, so it's me in front of a bus stop - not all that exciting, but the rest of the evening was. take my word for it. or just stay tuned.