so was going to waste more time on the internet, but read an article about khipu in my wired magazine (facinating, just facinating) and now i'm going to macrame a little cage for my pothos to hang in my bathtub, instead.

big solutions for small lifestyles

so all sorts of green stuff is all about how small lifestyle changes can make a big impact on your life. and i'm sure there are lots of people that that is true for. but even with all the changes i make, nothing will make a big impact on my life, and that is because: i have a very small life. for instance: changing all the lightbulbs in my house to CFs will decrease my energy bills by 10%! well, that's wonderful. but the thing is, i only have (let me take a moment to go count them) 11 lightbulbs in my house. not counting the flurecent over the sink or the sewing machine lightbulb which is is like a christmas light. ten percent of my energy bill works out to like a buck fifty.

i'm getting frustrated by the green movement for two reasons right now.

1. suddenly it's trendy. not that that's a bad thing in itself, i want green to be important to everyone. but now it's this catchphrase, and instead of transforming popular culture, popular culture is transforming it. it's similar to how i feel about the beer companies cashing into the gays. i don't like to think gay liberation was about freeing us to be trapped into the same gender cliches the straights are. i'm not saying it well- i don't want to be free and accepted in their society- i want my own society. but this blog ISN'T about gay liberation. it's about ecological living. and i hate how the way to solve problems here in america is to buy things. and it seems to me that that's what the green movement is all about- buy the right cleaning supplies and the right vegetables and the right building materials for your house. buying bono's hip and trendy $50 t-shirt may be marketed as green, but you're probably gonna make more of an impact shopping at the brown elephant. i'm just saying. the thing i keep chanting is the fourth R. i read it on recycling chicago's web site, and i love it. people are all about recycling. but before you do that, you should make sure you can't reuse it for something else. and rather than have stuff around you have to reuse, you should reduce your consumption in the first place. but there's a new one! the whole thing should start out with RESIST! don't give into the temptation to get the newest, biggest, greenest thing! isn't that clever and inspiring?

2. i'm feeling, as i said at the begining, trapped by my small lifestyle. i feel like i've made all the little changes there are to make, and the big ones just aren't applicable to me. renting in the city. i am sick of being told how to save my grey water. no one has given me a useful thing to do with my greywater! my garden is aprox. 10 cubic feet of dirt. i am not going to be able to use all my greywater for "landscaping"! and i don't think my landlord would take very kindly to hooking my sink up to my toilet. i'm not going to buy a more energy efficient car, because i don't drive a car. i'm not going to build a more energy efficent house, because i'm not going to buy a house. i feel like there's no middle ground for people like me. you're either a "cloth napkin using, canvas bag carrying" hippie, or you're a "solar panel building, composting toilet owning, prius driving" organic gardner. i think that'w why i love my worms so much. cause they're something that's been adapted to my lifestyle.

here's what i really want: now that i've found a way to compost, i want a way to make my own energy. sure, i use rechargeable batteries. but there's that annoying sattelite dish the downstairs neighbors used to have. why can't i get a little solar blanket or something i can just plug into an outlet and throw over the balcony? why don't they make portable turbines, like box fans, i can set in my window? i've SEEN solar powered ipod chargers. you just unfold their little plates, plug in your ipod and set it in the sun. and there is a new messenger bag with a solar panel you can plug your ipod or phone into. i want some sort of gadget i can pull out of the closet, plug into my outlet, set the back weel of my bicycle into, and ride away the energy my computer's used today. especially in chicago, where 80% of our energy is nuclear, and the rest is coal. cause i realy use so little energy. it would be awesome to be able to make up for that.



ALSO, d let me stay up WAY too late on saturday night to finish scott westerfield's "uglies." totally riveting and engaging- i finished it in 24 hrs. but, BUT, i had to go to the sing sunday morning, and the bbq sunday afternoon. so i was never near downtown, and the branch libraries aren't open on sundays, and today was a holiday, so i STILL don't have "pretties" to inhale! how frustrating can trilogies be! i just keep reassuring myself that at least i only have to wait till i can get to the library, it's not like i have to wait for the the other two to be PUBLISHED. (and how much can that suck, hello, amber spyglass?)


fabulous food

so this weekend- saturday i went to the sing, and when i came home, d had all these little bowls of vegetables all chopped up, like i was on some cooking show. i called christopher and he unfortunately had double booked, so it was just d and me and ch and hugo. for appetizers we made garlicky pita chips and homemade hummus. we had a delicious salad of arugula, endive and mint, with yellow peppers, shitake mushrooms, small white beans, asparagus, and golden raisins. the main course was risotto, with red onions and my saute mix which included all sorts of greens, spinach, chard of all colors, more arugula, and many weeds i couldn't name. and for desert, a strawberry rhubarb crisp. it was very super vegan spring, and we had a delicious, delightful time.

sunday i sang again, then d picked me up, cause one of her friends was having a barbeque in hyde park. we stopped by the co-op and i got all wistful. i saw dennis, my favorite bagger stacking up carts. and they no longer carry tamarind tree instant indian meals! wah-wah. now i"m REALLY gonna ration the ones i've saved up. the bbq was fine- i was really tired after singing, and so it was hard to be social with all those strangers. d lit the fire and grilled, so i was on my own for most of the party.. i guess i often go to parties where i don't know anyone by myself, so i don't know why i was feeling so whiney about this set-up, but it's DIFFERENT if you're there with your girlfriend who knows people. oddly enough, the host's brother was there, and works at a hyde park bike shop, and sold me my bike three years ago or however long it's been.

but there's one more food story in me about the weekend, because today was a holiday, so d was off, and she made breakfast! i was SO not in the mood for omlettes, and i had all this fruit, and i was worried about what d was making.... but she made CREPES! and they were perfect crepes. i can't even describe. here, pictures for all.
the setup for a beautiful breakfast
day 119- crepe!
restaurant level crepe


sing sing

sacred harp's midwest convention was this weekend. i went down both days to sing. now i'm too tired to blog. singing at the top of your lungs all day is exhausting!


slow summer

it's been that feeling recently. i know when we start shooting, my life will explode, but right now i'm reveling in the pleasure it gives me. ch keeps talking about how other unimployed friends of ours need to get jobs for their mental health or money or whatever, and i keep counting myself in with them, because i feel like i don't have a job. i DO, but i don't FEEL like i'm working. i DID set my alarm yesterday morning. but for 10. so i wouldn't accidentally miss liz. we met at metropolis artisian coffee roasters. i walked there. in my sundress. with my rice bag. i sat outside at a table under an umbrella. i drank fruity herbal iced tea and ate a spinach feta pie for breakfast. liz brought scrabble, a deluxe edition with real wooden tiles and church pews. she didn't beat me by very much. we were both over 250. i had some good words- vim, ovoid, fife (using both fs already in place) she had some really wonderful ones- qualm, quiet (using the q in both directions), exhude. it was nice.

i came home, and practiced the fiddle. i've been trying to write down at least 1/2 a fiddle tune per practice session (and trying to practice at least every other day) because i hate listening to the tapes and playing by ear. it's much easier for me to read music. and it makes me feel really talented and musical to be able to go the other way, to take something i can play and write it down. i don't know if i'd take fiddle lessons again, beacause they didn't harp on me about posture or fingering or holding the bow write or anything, it was more about teaching tunes. i would want to take violin lessons so i can do it right. cause i can learn tunes on my own- that's my theory. to prove that, i'm learning one of my favourite irish tunes, i know it from nightengale's cd. i was SHOCKED, simply SHOCKED (did i blog about this already?) to realize while listening to it on my ipod one day that i can distinguish the A and B parts- i can hear the structure of fiddle tunes now aabb, aabb, change tunes, same pattern. so i guess that is one good thing fiddle lessons did for me. it's hard, learning from the mp3, listening to the same measure over and over again, trying to pick it out. but the tune is really familar and i've been taking it one measure at a time, and if i don't have it, i have somethign really close. i got the last bit of the b part today. i'm really really proud of myself. i want to play it for my mother.

after practicing the violin, i make lunch- boiled whole wheat pasta, chopped up the last of my fresh picks arugula, a tomato and some garlic, and mixed it all together with parmesan. i don't LIKE arugula, but i really don't HATE it either. it tasted good in this. after that, i started sewing. actually cutting. i got all the tube tops cut out, and the kimono sleeves. it was easy to do while listening to this american life. 81 words. good, good episode. it aired on mother's day and ch and i were trying to listen to it, but it kept buffering, so after i heard the podcast, i burnt a cd for ch so he can listen too. that evening, i took my chains and went upstairs to knock on my 3rd floor neighbor's door. he was home and let me climb out onto his balcony and hang chains for my plants. i was out of bagles and needed to go to the grocery store, and so i bought the aforementioned cherries and stuff, and talked to d, and ch, and a. i watered the garden, listened to pandora, serged my rectangles. i googled all the people in my crossword puzzle (i am so culturally illerate) and used the crossword dictionary for the ones i couldn't get. i cleared my hot spots, scooped the cat box, did the dishes. had a small bowl of ice cream. climbed into bed with my book. it really doesnt' get any better than this. i know it's the spring talking, that i feel this way every year, but i am so happy and greatful when it comes. i think being a perpetually sad person makes me really love and appreciate the joyous times. like i have a fear someday i will say boo hoo i'm always sad and miserable i never feel good. but i can always say, no, here are days, weeks at a time, when you were so happy you wanted to jump out of your skin, you were living a life you would be jelous of if anyone else were living it.

ok, there could be a LITTLE more joy in my life. if i could get this chair to stop smelling like smoke, my joy would have no end.

minature taste sensation

for 1 black forest bite:
1 cherry (2 pitted halves) fresh from the fridge
3 organic semisweet chocolate chips, frozen

mix together on tongue. ooooh.

more vegetables!

i ordered extra stuff this week in order to have a small dinner party this weekend. the hot delivery chick hauled it up the stairs and took the crate back, so i don't have to store it in my kitchen all week. she just handed me the big bag of veggies to explode all over my kitchen table. i got asparagus, a kiwi, goat cheese, honey. my regular mix included spinach, salad mix, saute greens (i think they're collard) pink pink radishes, cilantro and bright rhubarb. their strawberries didn't come in, so they sent me 2 boxes of blackberries- free! i'd gone to the the grocery store yesterday to buy more bagles, and i ended up buying yoguhrt and granola as well, cause it's a better hot-season breakfast. a nice change. and i bought a great big bag of cherries, because i was hearing the berry siren song. and the cherries came in bigger bags than blueberries or blackberries or raspberries. they're a bit early, and so are alternately crunchy or sour, but they are beautiful in the blue colander.

MY REFRIGERATOR IS FULL OF BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY, YUMMY THINGS! i wish so many of you could come over and help me eat them all.


what i didn't buy at the grocery store

have i mentioned how hard this boycott is for me?


full of feathers

wings, wings, my life is full of wings right now. head on over to flickr to see what it's all about. i need to make tube tops and kimono sleeves tomorrow. must. sew. more. it's late. i wanted to get that stuff cut out. but i saw ruth stopped by my blog, and it made me want to post something new for her to read. how did i know she stopped by? well, my counter shows me interesting statistics, like, "referers." most of the time it's 1 or 2 google searches, a blogger link, and the rest are all "direct hit" which doesn't help me much, other than knowing i have regular readers who have me bookmarked. BUT, it also says the OS and the browswer used. windows, explorer, blah blah blah. BUT whenever a linux user with firefox shows up, i know it's ruth. who else uses linux and firefox?
i think i'm too tired to cut anymore. i'm just going to shine my sink and go to bed. scrabble with liz in the morning!

day 113- grown up toys

told ya i'd photo this.


shrek 3 and other childhood memories

went to watch it this weekend with d and jr. i made a joke that i'd blog about it, but then she asked why i hadn't and i thought, why not? it shouldn't just be a joke.

see, the thing is, i love movie reviews. especially the clever time out chicago ones. and i've taken classes. most notably gender, culture, and media. so afterwards, we tend to have discussions like this:
me: did you like the movie?
d: yeah, i thought it was good. i really liked it. it was funny.
me: jr, did you like the movie?
jr: YEAH!
me: what was your favorite part?
jr: i liked when he went WOOSH, and then the bad guy when KRUNCH, and then he wnt POW! that was cool!
d: did you like the movie, caitlin?
me: i did like the movie. i was particularly pleased with the large number of women cast members, and the strong roles they were alowed to play. there was even the scene were they mocked their traditional counterparts for sitting around waiting to be rescued! there really aren't enough movies where there's a pack of women who turn into ninjas. also, of course, is the sweet and loveable fiona, who is one of the few positive roll models who's big and fat and green. so that of course gets lots and lots of points from me. there were only 2 things that really got on my nerves. first, the king's death wasn't very respectful. i felt uncomfortable laughing at the king 'croaking" in various fits and starts. and i was very upset at shrek not considering fiona getting pregnant as the natural result of their marrage. if he was REALLY worried about not starting a family yet, there are precautions he could have taken. really, you'd be amazed at the other uses of some of those swamp plants. but those were minor things in the sweep of the whole movie. i really appreicated its messages about beauty, that having good hair doesn't matter, it's being kind to others, and protecting those you love from danger even when it means sacrificing yourself. i didn't even mind the fart jokes.
d: oh.

so you can see how i can be annoying to take to cartoons.

actually, while typing all this up, i remembered somethign else that annoyed me. after all those le leche league meetings i went to as a child, i cringe at baby bottles in films. but i justified it by saying that though fiona breastfed, she didn't have enough for triplets and suplemented with slug juice.

which brings me to a totally different topic, toys i was not allowed to have as a child:
1. guns
2. baby bottles
3. anything advertized on saturday morning television.

i think i'm going to do a 365day portrait about that.

and THAT makes me think of something else from my childhood. in the catagory of "crazy childhood theories" you know, the answer to the interview question, the subject for the "kid logic" this american life episode.

so i had this theory as a child. that tv could somehow track your spending habits. and they sent you commercials for what they thought you needed. and once you bought it, they turned the commercials off. the basis of this theory was toothpaste commercials: colgate and crest advertised heavily, but aim, the toothpaste my family used, never ever advertised on tv. so i occasionally requested saturday morning cartoon toys not so much because i wanted the toy, but because i wanted the stupid commercial to stop repeating itself.


say goodbye..

i've been trying. but it's so hard. but i got a forward from my GRANDFATHER. so now i'm doing it. that bag of minatures in my freezer is the last one. no more hershey's for me. it will be replaced with worse tasting, 4 times the price fair trade chocolate that hasn't closed plants in PA and exported jobs to third world countries, while enslaving african cocoa harvesters with unfair wages. goodbye. goodbye to 5th Avenue, Alaternatives, Almond Joy, Breath Savers, Candy, Caramello, Care*Free, Chipits, Chipits baking chocolate, Fast Break, Fruit Stripe, Glosette, Good & Plenty, Gum and mints, Heath, Hershey's, Jolly Rancher, Kit Kat, Krackel, Milk Duds, Mounds, Mounds coconut flakes, Mr. GoodBar, Oh Henry, PayDay, Peln Pelo Rico, Reese's, Rolo, Skor, Special Dark, Twizzlers, Visconti, Whatchamacallit, Whoppers, York, York Bites, York cookies, York Swoops, Zagnut, Zero.

can you believe it? tv- easy. wal-mart- not even noticeable in chicago. meat- never really liked the stuff anyway. but giving up hershey's chocolate's perhaps the hardest boycott i've ever done.

say goodbye..


empty landfill

so my trash situation is kinda crazy. i produce about 1 shopping bag worth of trash per week- and it's clean and lightweight, mostly fabric scraps and packaging like tetra-pak or saran wrap. (also, oddly enough, junk mail and catalogs. i have such a problem sorting. i don't know why there's such a mental block for me to recycle them, but there just is.) there is nothing "ew" about it all piling up stinkly till i can walk to the dumpster, and this makes me so happy. there are three major reasons for this:

1. d and i drop off our recycling at the city of chicago's bins- it's easy to do, but has a better chance of being recycled than blue bags mixed in with the trash. also, they accept plastics 1-5.

2. the worms. anything icky, slimy, stinky, mushy- it all goes in the worm bin. the really gross stuff in my kitchen trash was organic, so as long as it doesn't weigh more than a pound or so, it's safe to just clean out my refrigerator into that little black box. i tested it with a whole container of cheezy pasta primavera i made secretary's week- and ended up carrying around with me for 48 hrs. it was about a pound and a half and was pretty nasty smelling before i buried it. i was sure it was going to stink up my kitchen, but for a day or two it just smelled earthy- a good dirt smell, not disgusting at all. then it got this huge black mold on top. then it dissapeared. horray for the wormies!

3. flushable. cat. litter. best idea ever. i think i'd probably use it even if it was WORSE for the environment, i'm such a fan.


it's happening

have you seen the manifest pictures? they're wonderful. i was so pleased to be up on stilts, and while there was still some bad moments of balance, in general it was a delightful experience. hugo and ch and d were all there, looking up at me with their cameras, and i felt so surounded by the love of my peoples. even christopher had to look up to me. it reminded me so much of the parade at the michigan womyn's music festival, when i was on stilts and my friends could be picked out of the crowds with their cameras pointed up at me.

saturday was work at the flowershop, 200 single red roses to wrap up, while ch had 40 centerpieces to make. happy mother's day. it was going really slowly, but then d showed up and she really turned ch and i into a factory and we made great progress until she had to go to her square dance class. while i worked on bags (i have NINE right now! so overwhelming!) she made dinner- i had my arugula to use. and i am not a big fan of arugula. what to do with it? ch suggested pizza, and that's what d made. it was so delicious! i may need to go eat leftovers right now, from thinking about it. i should finish this entry first.
after dinner d and i couldn't focus on bags, so we watched an movie. i made lots of progress on sunday. sunday morning d and i went to the chicago diner for mother's day brunch. even if her son was with his dad, i thought someone should take her for mother's day brunch. so we filled up on vegan delights, then she had to pick up jr and i started working on bags.

we entertained jr with alf dvds- it was pretty funny. was greatful to my dad for burning them for me. d made meatless loaf and sunchokes, and defrosted corn from the farm. she used morningstar farm crumbles, and it was excellent meatless loaf- all the good things of the real stuff and none of the bad things. i was very greatful. i called the costume designer for the movie, and she came over at 2 today. so i had the morning to sleep in. YEAH! it's been awhile, it feels like. she brought barrels and bags of wing fabric, so i have lots of wings to create in the next day or two. i should get my podcasts caught up on, listening to npr and handsewing sequins on to wings. i also need to make a supply list and re-read the script. i better get busy!


from hugo's cell phone

happy manifest! more pictures on flickr.


day 99- helix

day 99- helix
Originally uploaded by unglaubliche caitlin.
got my third piercing again this weekend. there's a spiral jewelry piece i want to go through all three holes, but getting it pierced has been a doozy. i got the current middle piercing in april 05. when that had healed, i went in dec. 05 to get two more below it. they never did really heal right. they were still painful to the point i couldn't sleep on that side or talk on the phone well into fall 06. which was fine for me, but more trouble when sleeping with the girfriend. finally after persuasion from gf and mom over christmas, i took the bottom one out until the bump went away. both piercings immediately felt better, but the bump's still there.. though the hole's closed up. so this weekend i got it re-pierced above the 2 i still have. i have high hopes this one will heal as nicely as my middle one did... and in a few months i can wear the jewelry i've been dreaming of for the past 2 years!

myspace meme

because hugo did it for me, and i always follow directions...

Directions: Leave your name in my blog comments. Once you do that, this is what I'll do for you...

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle you in.
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
8. If you do this you MUST post this on yours. You MUST. It is written.

scented world

this weekend: magic. lilacs bloomed, suddenly, bursts of purple across chicago, on what were once merely newly green bushes. walking to work this morning i walked under a glowing pink tree, some sort of flowering branch dripped a delicate rain of petals when the wind blew. ch bought an herb hanging basket from our wholesalers last year, and loved it. he got it again this year, but alas he has no outside space. so i brought it home, and hung it from my balcony. chewing delicately on leaves. it has lemon thyme, lemon balm, peppermint, pineapple mint, and lavender. it is green and sweet smelling and fills me with joy, like the rest of chicago these beautiful days.



day 96- shopaholic
Originally uploaded by unglaubliche caitlin.
got into trouble at clark and belmont. tried so hard to control myself- didn't even go in to fashion tomato or pink frog or ragstock or any of the places g and i used to frequent. no, i was good. i stuck to my list: use my gift cert for leathermart/cupid's treasures, get purple hair dye, get my ear repierced. BUT, the alley's sale distracted me. the leather jacket- the one i always wanted!- was on sale for $85. which was just too much money, i couldn't justify it. but then, at the superdiscount store, they had this one, so close, for just $15! who could say no to a $15 leather jacket? apparently not me. the skirt was so cute, and perfect for the fraggle rock themed party. and it was $10 instead of $25. and the chucks were half off. granted, i can't imagine anyone would pay $40 to begin with for chucks, and what's up with them being made in china now? i was shocked when i got home. but the last pair of chucks i got were for high school graduation (the other two pairs were from sophmore year of high school and a handmedown from justine about 13 years ago) so i thought i was long due a new pair. also, at cupid's treasures (EVERYTHING was way too big for me at leathermart- the tshirts, the leather pants, the dildos... everything was geared to big gay men) i had the hardest time deciding but i finally picked a corset with fraying trim which i got another 25% of on. so it was a sale coup.
OH!! and yesterday was free comic book day, so i picked up my 6 free comic books at central comics! so though i spent more than i should, i can justify it all, right? right?



well, from the last post, i got 3 of the first 4 things done. didn't clean under the desk, but did clean it off, and it was quite a task. also painted in the bathroom and fiddled. i took desk pictures, before

and after

one of the things i unearthed in the little scraps of paper on my desk was a list of things i forgot to blog about. i mean, i blogged about these subjects, but there was always one point i forgot to make.

in my blog on brown line construction i forgot to mention one of the best parts. sure, i'm as grumpy as the next person about construction. but they're CONSTRUCTING something! i really like transfering and once a week or so noticing, "my god, they destroyed the whole TRACK" or "where did the PLATFORM go" or "check out the new shiny fence". it reminds me of nan saying she minded lsd construction much less once she saw the machine that unzips the barriers from one side to the other to open up a lane for rush hour traffic. i would feel much more miffed at all the construction delays if all there was to show for it was some police tape.

in my blog about garrison keillor's a writer's almanac,, i forgot to mention the best part, perhaps. which is his tagline. i think i want to take it up as a personal mantra to live by. my life statement, the goals, a summary of the way i live. at the end of every podcast he says, "be well, do good work... and keep in touch." what more could ANYONE ask for out of life?

finally, in my list of all the things that are changing in my life between may 9th and 19th, i forgot to mention postal rates. which would have been a nice extra item to fill out my list.

hey hey! one more note i can throw away!

day off list

FINALLY! no work today. it seems like i've been working since forever. anyway, with my newfound freedom i am going to today:

-clean my desk off
-and under it, too
-practice the fiddle
-paint my bathroom furnature orange
-finish sewing my jacket
-remake d's tshirts
-return my library books
-go to belmont and
-get my cartlage repierced
-buy purple hair dye
-use my gift certificate for leathermart
-go to garfield park conservatory for the art opening and paint the flowers

tomorrow is the vesting bee, my dentist appt, and going out night, so i won't have time to do it tomorrow. think it will get done today?


habeus corpus

have been listening to that episode of this american life, about guantanimo bay. am about 15 miniutes into it, but am already feeling physically ill. i don't know if i can finish it. i feel so powerless. it makes me want to burn my passport... yet i won't. it disgusts every moral fiber of my being, yet since it doesn't effect me directly, i'll just not listen to it or think about it, because it can be avoided, and there is nothing i can do to make it better. and any other distancing myself i could do, i won't do because it won't make it better either, it will just make me feel less involved.


busy, but you've heard that before

i feel like it's not blogging season. i have nothing to write, no one reads, i have relationships with real people, so i don't need imaginary online ones... still, i'd like to keep in touch with y'all.

my life continues down its crazy path. i can't quite get it through my head how radically my life will change in less than 2 weeks. fiddle lessons are finished, square dance graduation's coming up. manifest will happen and spectacle will be over. my tenure at the flower shop will go on hiatus. and the movie will begin. all within 1 week.

and then other things are happening too. mom switched our phone plans, and i have a new phone, a flip phone, with a better camera:
day 93- urban commuter

mitzi's got her new cat litter. i bought new ice cube trays, my ice cubes are now shaped differently.

i think my downstairs neighbors are smoking pot. the smell is creeping into my house. ew.