Weekend with Svea

Last weekend I flew to Rochester for a somewhat impromptu visit with Svea, Emily, and Kyle. I’ve now spent time with Svea four times since she was born, and she has changed so much between each visit. Babygirl is already sprouting a tooth, and she can even roll over when she really concentrates. I am very impressed with her progress!

Here’s a picture of me, Svea, and her Rag Friend.

Friday was a really nice fall day, so Svea had Tummy Time outside.

…and she told us a story over coffee.We walked around Quarry Hill, and then went to a pumpkin patch/apple orchard, where we bought both of those things.

Saturday morning it rained while we went to the Farmers market. Bubble Girl didn’t seem to mind.

Peet photobomb. He looks really tough.What a goofball! I can’t wait to see her again at Thanksgiving.P.S. This post is dedicated to Emily, who told me to start blogging again. When she says “Jump”, I say “How high?”!

Blog Break Over (and, Svea Update!)

Hello! It’s been a while, but I’m back.  Life keeps chugging along in Chicago, and here’s a brief re-cap of events since the last time I dropped by.

I went to Minnesota a couple of weeks after Svea was born. She is the sweetest, tiniest human I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  And I get to watch her grow up! I’m pretty excited about aunt hood.

I also got to spend some quality time with my favorite dog, Peet!

I moved into my new apartment shortly after my trip to Minnesota. It’s messy in this photo, but you get the gist.

Emily, Kyle, and Svea made an impromptu visit to Chicago last weekend.  We played harmonicas, ate gourmet hot dogs at Hot Doug’s, drove around Oak Park during a rainstorm, and took a long walk along Lake Michigan.

I love this baby.

In other news, I am thinking about switching to a new blog on Tumblr.  I would like to blog more frequently, and Tumblr seems to be an easier site to navigate for my basic needs.  I will keep you posted (pun intended).


A short list of things that have occurred in the past week, in order of significance:

1. My sister gave birth to a perfect baby girl named Svea June Cedermark. I am so excited to meet her!!! I can’t stop looking at this picture.

2. I signed a lease on a great new apartment. I am long overdue for a move, and this place is an upgrade for a variety of reasons:

  • Fireplace (for S’mores)
  • Patio (for BBQs)
  • Formal dining room (for formal dining)
  • Counter tops in the kitchen (for the Kitchen Aid mixer and espresso machine that I said I would buy as soon as I lived in an apartment with counter tops)
  • Office (for taking care of business)
  • Dishwasher (for washing dishes)
  • Primo location (1/2 mile closer to the train)
  • …and more

3. We had a party on the final night of OTSC tutoring, where we played carnival games and ate subs. All of the kids were given medals and the tutors were given trophies. I am going to miss them a lot this summer.

4. I joined a new and improved gym that I love. It is in a building that used to be the Wicker Park post office. This one is only interesting to me, but I did put it at #4.

It has been a good week.

Sorta Deep Thoughts and the Big Hrbowski

Baseball is back, and it makes me so happy. Even though they are not the best club in the division, the 2012 Twins have already been a lot more fun to watch than last year’s team.

The Twins have a history of clever TV creative (remember the Jim Thome/Paul Bunyan spot from last year?), and this season’s commercials do not disappoint. “Sorta Deep Thoughts” is a new series of spots in which the Twins sorta make fun of themselves. And I sorta love it.

Joe Mauer says that his seemingly reserved personality is actually a prank on all of us.

Gardy claims that if the umpires dressed up like his grandmother he wouldn’t argue with them so much.

Justin Morneau admits that the best part about hitting homers is not having to make small talk with the first basemen because they can be “so boring”.

Bert Blyleven likes to imagine his retired Hall of Fame number playing cribbage with other retired numbers in Florida.

This just in! The Twins have created a brand new commercial in which Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham and Denard Span are in a bowling league. Gardy calls on Kent Hrbek (or “The Big Hrbowski”) to pick up a spare.

Whoever came up with the idea for The Big Hrbowski is a genius. I would also like to thank them for including our new hero, Josh Willingham (“The Hammer”).

See all of the new spots here. I wonder if other baseball clubs have as much fun with their commercials?

Hoppy Friday

Last night the Easter Bunny visited us at tutoring. Javontae and I snapped a picture with him.

I also spent part of my day carrying 65 bags of Garrett’s popcorn to work up Michigan Avenue. We realized that we couldn’t use it for the event we were coordinating, so Amanda helped me bring it to OTSC to give to the kids. Our cab driver would not accept popcorn as payment.

I don’t want to see, eat or smell popcorn for a long time.

Singin’ the Blues

Lately I have been making my way through Martin Scorsese’s oeuvre. I love his Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home, but I wasn’t aware that he made so many other films about musicians. I am currently in the middle of the series Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues, which originally aired on PBS.

Here’s an excerpt from the second part of the series, in which Eric Clapton discusses the influence that Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Skip James had throughout his career.

Anyone can sing the blues. Here are some helpful tips from “How to Sing the Blues”, taken from this website:

-Most Blues begin “woke up this morning.”

-“I got a good woman” is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in right away:
I got a good woman—with the meanest face in town.

-Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes.
I got a good woman—with the meanest face in town.
I got a good woman—with the meanest face in town.
She got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weighs 500 pounds.

-You can have the Blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont, Tucson, or North Dakota are just depression. The best places to have the Blues are still Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City. You cannot have the blues in any place that don’t get rain.

-A man with male pattern baldness ain’t the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg while skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg when your broken-down pickup truck rolled over on it is.

-No one will believe it’s the Blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man—and it’s an old black suit.

-Do you have the right to sing the Blues?
Answer “Yes” if:
a. your first name is a southern state—like Georgia
b. you’re blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis.
d. you can’t be satisfied.
e. you’re older than dirt
Answer “No” if:
a. you once were blind but now can see.
b. you’re deaf
c. the man in Memphis lived.
d. you have a trust fund or an IRA.
e. you have all your teeth
f. you were once blind but now can see

-The Build Your Own Blues Singer Name Starter Kit:
a. Name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, Asthmatic)
b. First name (from above lists) or name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi)
c. Last name of a U. S. president (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
Examples: Blind Lime Jefferson, Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc.

-Epitaph on a blues musician’s tombstone: “I didn’t wake up this morning”

Seems easy! When I think about singing the blues, this scene comes to mind.

Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues.

Duluth Pack

This past Christmas I received a wonderful Duluth Pack Scout Pack from Emily and Kyle. There is a lot to love about this backpack; it is slim and simple, durable, made in the U.S.A., and comes in a variety of cheerful colors. I have the red one pictured on the bottom left.

One of the coolest features of any Duluth Pack is the signature moose stamp – on the front in leather, and on the back in faded ink.

This is a great city backpack, but I hope to take it on a hiking or canoeing day-trip sometime this summer (much like the scene below).

Duluth Pack: facilitating an adventurous lifestyle since 1882.