Whether I'm playing tour guide or simply looking for something to do on my lunch break, I find that I'm often drawn to the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue. The slightly-over-125-year-old building was a library for decades, which explains the literary quotes carved over doorways, and now plays host to free art exhibits, musical performances, lectures, and various private and public events. That was vague.  I've sat under the Tiffany glass dome for string quartets at noon and wandered around the galleries looking at chandeliers made out of human bones. I happened in there a few weeks ago and discovered Shawn Decker's weird and wonderful Prarie, an "electro-mechanical sculptural sound installation" that mimics the aural ambiance of a sweeping grassland. You never know what you'll find!

Photo via Shawn Decker


Let's talk about more things that I can put on my head! I bought a new handmade headband in Knoxville from Fizz during my visit a couple of weeks ago -- a couple standing next to me in the shop told me that if I didn't buy it for myself, they would. 
I attempted to add it to my little box of headbands when I got home, but there was no room -- I might have a problem. Blair Waldorf would be proud.

Hat trick.

More hat talk! Between my big silly hair and my big silly brain, I rarely find a hat that accomodates my headwear needs. This one is more suited to a black and white crime film from a decade long ago, but I can pretend. Where did I put my magnifying glass?

Such a NATURAL pose.


My brother and his lovely lady came to visit for a weekend, and his only demand was that we end up in a hat shop. Wish granted. We stopped in at Goorin Brothers on the way home one evening and we both  picked up new items for our heads and came out with hat boxes in hand [I'll show mine off another time]. Everyone was feeling hat-ish back at the apartment, so I dusted off bits of my collection and we had at it. "Hat" at it? Har har har. Tiny hats, feather hats, glitter hats, we hat it all. [Sorry.]

All you kids and all you bowlers!

We flew out early from Chicago a few weeks ago to make it to Cleveland for a brief visit home, mainly to procure the afore mentioned snacks. I also talked my parents into bowling, which was awfully fun, despite the fact that we were a little sore the next day [even me, at a very young thirty]. I was surprisingly okay, despite my penchant for chucking the ball halfway down the lane, my mother had beautiful form, David... eventually got better, and my father was the comeback story of the day, miraculously cleaning up in the final game after nearly benching himself due to injury. 

Bowling is fun... for those of us getting strikes.
Comeback kid.
Thanks for being game, parents!


One of my favorite things about visits home are the wonderful snacks that my parents ply me with. My dad baked this creepily realistic cornbread fish to accompany an amazing lentil stew [and let's not forget the cheese bees on the side]. What, your family just eats cornbread slices? Amateurs.

A Vida Portuguesa

I wanted one new blog post in 2017, with the promise to myself to document my travels in the new year, before I completely forget the a...