A Room of My Own

the inner ramblings of a self-declared geek

I Want To Ride My Bicycle August 8, 2011

Filed under: my house — aroomofmyown @ 7:56 pm

So about a week ago, my neighborhood hosted the 24 hour bike race.  It’s usually pretty fun to sit outside and observe all the kinds of bikes and riders that travel past in the 24 hour period.  It’s great people-watching, all from the comfort of home.

However, being removed from the proceedings, it can get a bit confusing.  You see some things that you really don’t know how to explain.  For instance, in the next clip, why in the hell is the guy riding around with an extra bike strapped to his back?  I have no answers to this question.  It’s frustrating as hell.

I know it’s hard to tell without being zoomed in, but trust me.  The guy has a disassembled bike on his bike while pedaling like mad.  Also, why were some people driving around with little carts behind them, almost like rickshaws?

These guys had tunes and a cooler full of beer in the back.  Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t want to pedal anything extra if I didn’t have to.  And what category where they in – the tandem?  Speaking of that, look at this one for the best tandem bike of the race.  They decorated the bejeezus out of it.  The car in the video actually stops to look at it.

Then, there are the bikes that seem to defy physics.  When I saw the bike below, I wondered what the rider does when he has to stop at a red light.  Lean up against a telephone pole?

And don’t forget the bonus checkpoints throughout the race.  My street is just the standard route, but participants can earn extra points by stopping at checkpoints and doing random things.  I found this video showing one example.  It’s pretty funny.

At the end of the day, it’s a great thing for a neighborhood to be known for, particularly in a city that loves to focus on its negative qualities.  This shows that thoughtful, motivated, fun-loving, creative and crazy people live in Riverwest.  I think it’s a wonderful place to call home.


That Can’t Be Good For You July 26, 2011

Filed under: my house — aroomofmyown @ 8:06 am

This morning, I watched Laura eat leftover chinese food with a Mountain Dew for breakfast.  When I mentioned how strange a thing that was to eat at that hour, she said it was the breakfast of champions.  I immediately pointed out that the true breakfast of champions is coffee and cigarettes.  Everybody knows that.  I practically survived on it in college.

But it got me thinking.  I quit smoking over two years ago now.  I rarely drink coffee anymore, especially in the morning, because it gives me heartburn.  And suddenly, I feel kind of old, like I’m a subdued version of my former self.  The thing is, I’m pretty okay with that.  I like this version of me.


Too Damn Hot June 23, 2010

Filed under: my house — aroomofmyown @ 7:20 pm

It’s too hot to think of anything funny to say.  The cats are all strewn about the floor in random patterns, plotting an uprising against us as soon as they can find it in themselves to move.  If I’m hot just sitting here, I can’t imagine how they feel covered in fur.  Although, they clearly aren’t all that clever, as Hurley has tried to snuggle on my lap.  He obviously knows nothing about relative body temperatures and cat-to-person inverse heat ratios.

While watching Deadliest Catch last night, I kept wishing one of those huge, icy waves from the Bering Sea would crash over me,  just for a minute.  I took a shower before bed, hoping to simulate this sensation, to little effect.  I think the plastic shower curtain sticking to my legs and the scent of Bath & Body Works shower gel killed the mirage.

I know I’m just rambling out of heat-inspired dementia, but I haven’t posted for two weeks, and I was feeling guilty for backing out on my plan to stick with this blog thing.  However, you are now reading the effects of that dedication – forced and boring writing.  Perhaps if I keep typing, I’ll get inspired…

…10 minutes later…

I guess not.   Okay, next week, I will have a better topic.  Or at least some pictures to distract the reader.


And Hurley makes three… May 26, 2010

Filed under: my house — aroomofmyown @ 5:24 pm

Kitties, that is.  I recently added a new cat to the household, much to Richard Parker’s initial terror and Ella’s continued annoyance.  Here’s a picture:

He showed up rather unexpectedly on Easter Sunday as the sweetest stray you will ever meet.  He walked onto the porch and promptly jumped into Laura’s lap.  That was it.  We were smitten with this affectionate, too-skinny and smelly cat.  After a stint at Animal Control, I officially adopted him April 17th and named him Hurley.

He has this quality about him that is hard to describe…he’s almost mystical.  It’s like a human looking at you from cat eyes.  He’s settled into the household comfortably and has put on some much-needed weight.

He has also proved to be quite playful.  He and Richard Parker are developing into lifelong friends, as they play and chase toys together.  Hurley does have a strange habit of placing his “kills” in odd places.

It’s interesting being a 3-cat-household.  One day, Ella will forgive me.  I have drawn a firm line, however.  Any more felines and we are in danger of becoming crazy cat ladies.


Road trip? Can I come? June 22, 2009

Filed under: me,my house — aroomofmyown @ 5:00 pm

I’ve been meaning to write about four different posts lately, so this is the uber-post, a sort of stream-of-consciousness, amalgam of all the random things in my life lately.

I went to Ohio about a month ago to visit some friends.  Can I just say that Indiana is the flattest, emptiest, boring-est state in the entire effing Union? (sorry Laura)  I might not have made it had it not been for the audio version of Harry Potter (book one) to keep me company.  Problem was, the pleasant British man reading the story had to compete with the bossy wench on the GPS, who kept cutting him off.  However, she did successfully navigate from one end of Chicago to the other, so I guess I owe her more than cheap laughs and name-calling.

Here’s a picture of me, staying at Ken’s and playing Rock Band on his giant-ass home theater.  He made me stand in the picture for perspective, but that is not my “rockstar” pose.  I’m not even doing the dramatic kick.

Ken's screen

A few weeks after that, I saw Fleetwood Mac in concert.  I was sort of ambivalent about the show beforehand, but now I feel rather lucky that I got to experience Stevie Nicks at least once.  She is still strange and twirly, even at 60-plus.  More incredibly, she sounds like she did 30 years ago.  Not knowing much about music, I can appreciate the longevity of a kick-ass voice.

And Lindsay Buckingham may be the hardest-guitar-player sexagenarian.  However, he has the most unfortunate “rock-out” face I’ve ever seen.  It’s like a cross between sex-face and constipated-face.  Perhaps he should practice with Rock Band.

I also realized I haven’t posted any pictures of the kitties lately, so I’ll end with a couple of those.


Richard Parker wants to be just like Ella.  He even sleeps like her.


Summer might be Ella’s favorite time of year.  She chases bugs, watches birds out the window and is endlessly fascinated by the longer daylight hours, using the time to watch for bits of light reflected of anything you can name.  A spare cd, a water glasses, my wristwatch.  She’s not choosy.


Richard Parker spends his summer days patrolling from window to window.  When all is said and done, this is how we find him.


We could name her Trixie, or Miss Kitty Fantastico… April 28, 2008

Filed under: my house — aroomofmyown @ 5:45 pm

I’ve been swamped lately, hence the general lackage of updates. But I wanted to take a moment to display the adorable cats that live with me.

Ella, or as we affectinately refer to her \

This is Ella. I might point out that this is a very flattering angle for Ella, as she is a whole lotta cat to cuddle. She has, however, lost an ounce in the last couple of months. You don’t want to rush these things.

Aren\'t I cute?

This is Richard Parker. If you recall, he started out this life as Luna. But he has since adapted to his maleness and has fulfilled the role of the naughty boy of the house. He has never met a toy he doesn’t like.

Peace, for now.

Most of the time, they get along. This is them, sharing the new chair they think we got just for them. You wouldn’t know it to look at this picture, but Ella is a terrible bed hog. And Richard Parker loves to sleep on his back.

See? He’s a weird cat. It’s a good thing he’s so handsome, because he’s not all that smart. He’s definitely the “beautiful person” in the household.

I swear I’m not some crazy, cat-lady who dresses them and stays in on weekends. Just wanted to share the cuteness.


I didn’t have a boy, I had a girl… November 1, 2007

Filed under: my house — aroomofmyown @ 8:36 pm

A few weeks ago, my roommate got a new kitten. After much debate and deep soul-searching, the kitten was named Luna. She quickly became the cutest, most entertaining part of the household (to everyone except Ella, the now-alpha cat. Ella isn’t letting go of her role as the naughty baby of the house lightly).


After two weeks, a nasty cold sent Luna back to vet for some antibiotics, when the news came. It was a feline version of the Crying Game. Luna was, in fact, a boy.


Can you see the difference?

We had to rename him, switch our pronoun usage and come up with entirely new terms of endearment. Hence, I present to you the new, new kitten of our house, Richard Parker.

Richard Parker will be provided for public viewing, on account of the fact that he’s so goddamn cute. I think, eventually, he’ll even win over Ella.