Thursday, July 31, 2008

Best Padme's Pad

Natalie Portman's West Village apartment is for sale. 2,500 square feet at the Charles Street Meier building, $6.5 million. Wallpaper included? Better be.

The Listing

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Best the Rest of Chicago

I can't say that the return of Owen excitement ever subsided, but we had to try to get back to our lives as normal the day after his return. Examples of efforts:

1) Went to Greg's swim meet.

Oh the glory of being there with all those mighty warriors, my heart will never lose it's fondness for a swim meet. I will never tire of looking over a pool's records. This particular pool was the Northwestern University pool, they've got the NCAA's fastest breaststroker on their team it turns out, a fellow named Mike Alexandrov who did it in a 51.56. Holy. Smokes. I didn't know we were swimming that fast. Anyway, he's Bulgarian so I think he'll be representing that country at the Olympics cuz I don't remember his name from the US trials (which I didn't really watch). Anyway, Alexandrov was there and swam in the 100M breast, he did it in a 1:04ish something. That's fast. I overheard people talking about him during the race: "You know what Mikey did for his warm up today? 30 minutes in a hot shower." Hey, if it works for you

But I wasn't there for some fancy Bulgarian superstar. I was there to watch my brother swim in his longjohns. So much has changed in the last 13 years!

2) Saw Something Very Important

Somewhere before my trip I read about a McDonalds in Chicago with a sign that was an egg that was open during breakfast hours to remind people to get their eggs from McDonalds. Turns out it's the McDonalds by Wrigley Field that has this sign. I don't know why they picked such a famous McDonalds for such a weird/awesome sign, but they did and now I've seen it.

3) Got Italian Sausage & Beef Combos from Johnnies

This is a must when visiting Oak Park and also one of the reasons we don't go downtown so much. Why would we when such important food is right by our house? Also, their ice is very special.

4) Family Dinner at Las Fuentes

Those who've read about more than one of my trips home may have noticed that there will always be a trip to Las Fuentes. Always. Don't you know I love Mexican food? That I love nachos?

5) Admired Dad's Bargain Shopping

These kinds of bulbs were on sale for 50¢ each at the local hardware store. Usually they're like $5 or something, right?

6) Participated in Other Important Family Milestones

Owen's return wasn't the only significant event of the weekend, these pictures of us in Sunday clothes serve to illustrate that Greg was ordained an Elder on Sunday. We are all growing up so much and so fast.

7) Appreciated Nature.

Look, Mom gave the cat a haircut. And the Dog finally drank from the neighbor's fountain. And there are SO MANY giant bunnies in Oak Park.

8) Remembered Past Glories

Best Worst Internet Problem

Okay, the worst thing about Macs is sometimes you try to connect to the internet and then it tells you that you have a self-assigned ip address and may not be able to connect to the internet...and by "may not" it means "definitely can't." Sometimes I can figure out how to fix this problem and other times (now) I can't and wind up at the library with the hobos because I need wireless that bad.

A mighty prize for the person who can remind me how to slay the self-assigned ip dragon.
And a mightier prize for the knight who can explain how this happens in the first place.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Best Honoring my Ancestors

My first night home in Chicago was my parents' wedding anniversary. To honor them, I cooked a dinner. The dinner was Momofuku style flank steak. This is what the steak looked like after it cooked, I wish our grill was a little hotter so I could have gotten a bit more of a seer to the outside of the steak. Oh well. I marinated it in soy sauce, apple juice, garlic, onion, ginger, sugar, and maybe something else. Probably sesame oil.

This is what the full dinner looked like, I also grilled onions that sat in the same marinade, made a pepper and scallion and sesame oil sauce/salad for the steak AND in the back there you'll see brussel sprout-style cauliflower.

For the record, here's what the same meal looks like at Momofuku (but they give you kimchi):

Ready to roll:

And what it looks like in New York:

The Newlyweds:

Best Return to the Shire

I came home to Chicago (and I'm still here) for some very important business: to join in the welcoming home of my brother Owen from his mission! I had never welcomed a missionary back before, but I should have known that it would start with waiting and anticipation and waiting.

But then, when you least expect it, he appears and the flurry of reunions begins!

This is me and my brother:

I made him point to the flight he had been on. He almost got the right one.

First thing to do when Owen gets home: Update his Facebook status!

After dinner we went to the Stake President's house and got Owen released. This is what he looks like when he's not a missionary!

Welcome home, Bilbao Baggins!

And, for the record, here's the post I made when Owen left. It was almost as short on words as this one.