Thursday, November 12, 2009

These are my oldest, closest friends in the world. The four of us have been through so much in the last eleven years, sometimes it seems overwhelming to me how we all survived it. Despite the fact we are growing up, moving away, getting married and planning families, the three ladies in this picture with me are probably three of the most important people in my world. I would walk through fire for them. That is why they are my beautiful thing for today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

the Glorious Ones - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

This weekend, I has the pleasure of seeing the Glorious Ones presented by the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble at the Heartland Studio. Since no video's are available from that performance, I am posting this one featuring original cast members from the production at Lincoln Center:

And this one:

If you live in the Chicago area, please, please, please go see this show. It's well worth it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This was outside the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. I love this picture because of the vibrancy of the colors. The red of the leaves offsets the green in the neighboring tree. Likewise, you can catch little hints of red and orange in the green tree. When it's put against the backdrop of the Chicago sky, I found myself profoundly moved by the amazing wonder that nature can create.

A Beautiful Weekend

What I love about this photo is the change in perspective it gives me. I spend my days on Michigan Avenue and thusly see the Hancock Building each and everyday. However, walking back from Navy Pier,  I was able to literally see a different side and appreciate it so much more than in recent weeks and months.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"Under heaven, one can only know beauty as beauty because there is ugliness.
One can only know good as good because there is evil." ~ the Tao
This is the quote that ran through my mind when I saw the light hitting this tree on the way back from Andersonville last week. There's something about the shadow and light contrast that truly moved me. Too bad, I then had to return to the reality which is my life.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The famous Wrigley Field's pretty!

Another Chicago Sunrise; taken through the window in the kitchen. However, I think the screen gives it a  nice "flavor"

A September Ball Game! NOTE: How empty the stands are on the other side of the damn field

Not a Bears Game....we're at a CUBS GAME

Chicago Sunrise

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My hybiscus finally bloomed! I must remember to prune it sooner this year so it won't take all summer for it to bloom. But at least I kept it alive through winter!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is what an Iowa City front yard looks like. When I lived in Upstate New York, I took for granted how beautiful the rolling hills were, how blue the sky could be and how undeniably peaceful it was to take it all in.
I love Iowa City for this same reason. Every few minutes, the landscape seemed to change as the sun started setting -- a nice change from the city of Chicago.
My favorite Beautiful Thing: My Niece, Willa Francis Jackson.
Traveling on I-80 you will eventually run into the WORLD'S LARGEST TRUCK STOP. I am thrilled to admit, I have now been here about 7 times. It's an amazing thing and one of those little gems I look forward to visiting. I enjoy looking at all the little trinket's you can find from "Jesus" t-shirts to Buffing kits for your rig. You can also visit the Trucker Museum, get your teeth cleaned or catch a film, all from the comfort of a truck stop.
If you are even on I-80 traveling through Iowa, I highly recommend you make a pitstop.
An Iowa Sunset
Taken from the car on I-80
A Chicago Sunrise.
Taken from my kitchen window.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'm not much for "Tweeting" and I don't really care to use a Facebook status to sum up my feelings in 2 sentences or less (unless it has to do with Oprah shutting down Michigan Ave). But this was sent my way, and I realized this person's blog post regarding President Obama's speech to school children is this weeks "beautiful thing":

Original Post can be found HERE

Pardon me while I dust off the corner of my blog labeled "politics." Because wow... it sure has been a while, huh?

But it's time.

I have been watching in shock... disgust... HORROR even...over the last several days, as the media and the citizens of this country talk about the speech that President Obama will deliver to school children today. I don't even understand how it has escalated to this level.

Parents pulling their children out of school?
Schools refusing to air the speech because they don't want to upset anybody?
Protesters outside of the high school from which Obama will deliver the speech?

SERIOUSLY, my fellow Americans? SERIOUSLY?!

The White House, in order to try to calm the hysteria over this, has released the full text of the President's speech. And it, quite frankly, is wonderful. Beautiful. Inspiring. A message every child should hear.

Yet so many of them won't.

For whatever reason, ever since Obama took office, Republicans have been totally on his ass. Not just in the traditional "the opposite party is in power and we have to knock them for it" sense, but in the "we need to DESTROY this man" sense. I don't even know how the guy manages to breathe.

people who disagree with his policies are taking everything he does, everything he says, and blowing it completely out of proportion. They call him a racist. They call him a socialist, or even a communist. They call him a muslim (as if that's supposed to be something negative). It's sick. But then I remember... these are the same people who called liberals "unamerican" and "traitorous" when we had the audacity to voice disagreement with George Bush. In other words, they're into exaggeration and namecalling.

And you know what? That's fine. Every American has the right to disagree with his policies. That's fine. It's the way it should be. It's America.

But in this case, they've (once again) politicized an issue that's not even political. It's not about politics. Read the speech. Tell me what parent would disagree with those messages. Who?

He is the President of the United States. Regardless of whether you agree with him, he has reached the highest-ranked position in this country. He is one of the most powerful people in the world. Should children not strive to be like him? Should he not serve as a role model?

The youth in this country need a fire to be lit under their asses. These are the children who will grow into the adults who will lead this country someday. This country. This totally fucked up country.

And the President of the United States wants to speak to them. So, my god! LET HIM.

I think the saddest part in all of this is that if it were announced that some celebrity--oh, I don't know, let's use Miley Cyrus for an example--wanted to deliver an inspiring message to America's school children, people probably wouldn't have batted an eye.

And she's practically a stripper.

Yet people are up in arms about the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES talking to school children about never giving up on their dreams and striving for greatness. Oh, the horror.

To take it one step further... I happen to believe that even if President Obama's message to the children was political, the children should still watch it. What is the harm in presenting both sides of an issue to children? Should we really be sheltering them from messages just because we don't agree with them? I sure as hell don't think so. I actually think it would foster educational and thought-provoking conversations between children and their parents. But you see, parents are lazy. God forbid they actually have to TALK to their children about important issues. God forbid should you have to turn your TV off and have an actual conversation at the dinner table.

"No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in... So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?" (excerpts from Obama's speech)

I believe this is a good message for kids. Sure, they should hear things like this primarily from their parents, their teachers, and their peers. But maybe they don't really hear it. Or maybe they don't have people around them to inspire them in this way. Maybe 10, 20, 30 years from now, there will be just one child who remembers the day back in 2009 when he or she sat in school and listened to President Obama, and it changed his or her life. Is that not worth it?

We should do everything we can to help encourage and promote the opportunities that lay before these children. They have the potential to grow up and change the world.

I think we need that.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What Dreams May Come...

Very Ernest Hemingway

This was inscribed on a rock at the end of the pedestrian walkway, on the south end of Hollywood Beach.
It was about 95 degrees in Chicago this weekend. The only thing we could do to escape the heat was to go to the beach and walk in the breeze. There was an impending "storm" which ended up being a slight rain, but nevertheless, you can see it in the distance

My cats amuse me. When it rains, we put our umbrella's in the bathtub to dry off. Dwight never knows what to make of the situation.

Then you throw Beasley into the mix. And well...mischief and mayhem ensue.



In the summertime, I get off a stop early and walk about 10 minutes to work. I find it's a nice way to start the day -- get the blood flowing as well as a chance to clear my head before the day ends.

This church on Chicago/Rush is home to the archdiocese in Chicago. Last winter, the chapel burnt to the ground overnight. It was devastating. But they are starting to rebuild and have even opened for mass in the last week.

I'm hardly a religious person, but I do enjoy walking by this sign every morning. Whether the Big J.C. is among us or not, I still think he has a beautiful house.

~*HECTOR*~ part ii


When I was on my way to the airport on Sunday morning, I had to pull over and get at least a few pictures of the lake. I remember the first time I went to Hector was Thanksgiving, 2002. It was dark and cold and difficult to capture.
It wasn't until Easter weekend in 2004 I was finally able to tootle around with Ky and see the beauty that this little secret town held within it's boundaries.

Since moving to Chicago, I have grown a stronger appreciation for the simple quiet that Hector brings to my soul. I left a little piece of my heart in Hector this last trip; and I cannot wait to go back.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Amanda sent this my way this afternoon -- as much as I loved the balloon fest back home since it was right down the street, this picture makes me miss Albuquerque so much. I remember getting up in the morning and eating breakfast on the back porch with my dad. Since Albuquerque is built in a valley, the entire city is on a downhill slope. From where our house was you could see the entire sky just filled with balloons.

I have had many homes in 25 years. But whenever I see balloons, I miss Albuquerque.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


My other uncle took this one:
Sunset in Oka, Quebec

My uncle took this picture at the Sandbanks in Canada while he, my aunt and my two cousins were camping last month. Incredible?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What I love about this picture is the amount of quiet energy that moves through it. I sat at this pond for quite a few minutes, just watching the water silently ripple around the lily pads.

Do I really need to explain what's beautiful about this?

In Chicago, I find this kind of expression does not exist. There are a number of street performers in Chicago, don't get me wrong. But there is a sadness to them, a quiet desperation as they plead for your attention.
With these fine gentleman, you could hear the jubilation in their song -- their passion for expression, their joy in sharing their gift with the people and just the gratitude for being able to be present and completely in the moment on this day.
I found it beautiful.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Me + Thai Garden

I wish I could sit there all day...
There is something about pictures taken in a reflecting pool...

Thai Garden

Thai Garden

Serenity .... sweet, sweet serenity

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lucky Guy:

Yesterday, Chicago experienced some UNBELIEVABLE storms: hail, wind, skies that were pitch black were just the beginning. When I got off the train, this is what I saw two blocks from the apartment:

I think come to find out, D's car is parked....on the same damn street:

But since he is the luckiest guy in the freakin' world, his was one of the only cars on the street at escaped unscathed: