Archive for December, 2009

End of the Year (Decade)

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

It was great seeing everyone during the holidays! Hope everyone has a fun, safe New Year’s Eve celebration. Seeing as it will be 13 degrees outside tonight, I feel like we’ll be hanging out in our cozy apartment. Goodbye, Decade!

Top 10 Concerts of 2009

10. Ingrid Filter at Millennium Park (open rehearsal)
9. Nomo at Millennium Park
8. Josh Ritter at The Metro
7. The Feelies at Millennium Park
6. Junior Boys at Wicker Park Festival
5. The Dirty Projectors at Millennium Park
4. Lou Reed at Lollapalooza
3. Various Artists at Pitchfork Music Festival
2. SHELebration (with Bobby Bare Sr., Bonnie Prince Billy, Bobby Bare Jr.) at Millennium Park
1. Leonard Cohen at Chicago Theatre

As you can see, we really like to take advantage of the free concerts in Millennium Park. And if you remember, I merely caught the Lou Reed set at Lolla from outside the gates, and we won two free tickets for the Ritter one. In fact, the only shows that we actually paid for in 2009 were Pitchfork and Leonard Cohen. Worth every penny!

Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2009

10. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – The Tenure Itch
9. Akron/Family – River
8. Bill Callahan – Too Many Birds
7. The Dirty Projectors – Two Doves
6. Great Lake Swimmers – Pulling On A Line
5. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home
4. Cass McCombs – Harmonia
3. Junior Boys – Dull To Pause
2. Elvis Perkins In Dearland – Doomsday
1. Animal Collective – Taste

My Top 5 Favorite Risk Taking Records of 2009

5. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE
4. Oneida – Rated 0
3. Julianna Barwick – Florine
2. Yonlu – A Society In Which No Tear Is Shed is Inconceivably Mediocre
1. Jim O’ Rourke – The Visitor

UPDATE – How could I forget Charles Spearin’s The Happiness Project?

While I was working in Shreveport, I listened almost excusively to jazz records. Below is a list of albums I listened the most (without listing multiple albums from one artist):

Top 10 Jazz Albums

10. Dave Douglas – Keystone
9. Keith Jarrett – The Koln Concert
8. Herbie Hancock – Fat Albert Rotunda
7. Phineas Newborn Jr. – Harlem Blues
6. Craig Taborn – Junk Magic
5. Thelonious Monk – Straight, No Chaser
4. Bill Evans – Everybody Digs Bill Evans
3. Sun Ra – Sound of Joy
2. Charles Mingus – Right Now: Live at the Jazz Workshop
1. Miles Davis – In a Silent Way

Top 5 Places Visited (work and non work related) in 2009

5. Cleveland, OH (Because of work I can now say that I have been… twice.)
4. Arlington, TX (The last baseball game I saw of the `09 season, Ranges vs. Mariners.)
3. Birmingham AL (Rickwood Classic!)
2. Salt Lake City, UT (Breathtaking…)
1. Fountain City, WI/Wabasha, MN (3rd Anniversary!)
Honorable Mention: Shreveport, LA (After spending two months working there, I have a bit of a soft spot for it.)

Top 10 Tourists Stops of 2009 (in no particular order)

Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago History Museum
John Hancock Observatory
The National Eagle Center
Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium
Great River Bluffs State Park in MN
Rock in the House
Garvin Heights in Winona, WI
Rickwood Classic
Harry Potter Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry

Top 5 Favorite Food Photos of 2009

Mushroom Soup

5. Our anniversary main dish was okay. But this mushroom soup starter was amazing!


4. Giordano’s – What would a food list be without Deep Dish pizza?

Sox Dog

3. The Cell – This is what baseball tastes like!


2. Bar B Que Shop – The best BBQ in the world!


1. Toast – When I die, I hope these pumpkin pancakes are waiting for me.

Top 5 Most Memorable Jobs 2009

5. Public Enemies junket at Union Station
4. Food Dude at Lou Malnati’s
3. Oprah interviews Charlie Nash
2. Bulls vs. Celtics Playoffs
1. The movie in Shreveport, LA and Salt Lake City

Grandma Jackson

Most Memorable Moment of 2009
Easy. Grandma Jackson visits Chicago.

Top 5 Favorite Personal Photos of 2009 (in no order)

Ryan Field

Hancock View

Lock and Dam


Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Last night, Santa visited Eva early.

As you can see, Eva was excited!

By far, Eva’s favorite gift this Christmas was the stuffed parrot that chirps when it’s touched. Apryl said we might have to put that one away during bedtime.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I peeked.

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I received an early Christmas present from the State of Illinois… Jury Duty notice!

Will it be like this or this?

And it begins.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

The start of the first snowstorm of the holiday season. And I get to work tomorrow!

Live Doppler

The tree.

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Put the lights on the tree.