What would you expect with a conscience so small?

Trashed my own house party ’cause nobody came

This is a cry for help. Somebody please, please save me from Adena’s atrocious mix CD. We’re coming up on day six in Arlington Heights, IL, and if I have to hear “I Try” by Macy Gray one more time, I will call this whole project off. Don’t test me.

Unfortunately the centerpiece of this mix is a song I could never deny, never truly tire of:

Curse you “Fat Lip”!!!!!!!!!

We just wrapped up our second day of shooting with our second interviewee and everything went almost frighteningly well. After shooting in Millennium park we went to a Jeff Koons exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. And then we hiked like psychos to catch the train back to the hinterlands. My feet hurt but we saw some real good art.

“This city’s got big buildings, I like food, bye.”

This picture was hanging in the booth at the Italian-ish fast food place we ate at last night in Arlington Heights. SKEEZER!

We saw Mamma Mia! with Adena’s mom on Wednesday.

Y’all. This movie was outrageous and terrible and I loved it. I think our friend Jess said it best when she said that it’s like a studio paid millions of dollars to produce someone’s inside joke. Honestly you ain’t seen nothin’ until you’ve seen Meryl Streep writhe uncomfortably on top of a goat house while singing ABBA.

And now we’re watching SHAAARK WEEEEEEK!


We spent Monday night in my ancestral land with my mom’s cousin, Tony, and his family. I’d never been to Oklahoma City (my grandparents were partial to the greater Tulsa region), but I found it terribly pleasant and extraordinarily spacious. The highlight of the trip was probably our tour of downtown OK City when we sort of forced Tony to paparazzi drive for us around a residential area so that I could get a picture of a particularly goofy-looking man on a Segway. This is the best shot I managed to get:


…despite the fact that at one point we had totally cut him off in a parking lot and were stopped directly in front of him. I really let everyone down in that moment with my shoddy photography skills, but at least we had fun just chasing him.

And now, after a 12-hour drive through 2 magnificent heartland states and Missouri (snap! Missouri sucks!) we’re in Chicago with Adena’s family. Two things: 1) I’m currently in a basement, 2) like a strange land under some sort of terrible curse, Chicago gets COLD at night in JULY! But it’s also home to my friend Jess Combs, who I haven’t seen in months and won’t see again until January due to poor study abroad planning, so I’m thinking it’s not such a bad place after all. Also the suburbs here don’t look like a city had food poisoning and spewed out strip malls from both ends all over its outlying areas, so…that’s a bit of an advantage over where I come from.

Southern Illinois was kind of boring, but I liked these smoke stacks:


And here’s a group pic from the Jaws night:


We don’t need no stinkin’ sleep

Life is full of harsh compromises and brutal consequences. Por ejemplo, if you attend a midnight screening of Jaws, then get up the next day at 5 a.m. to drive to San Antonio and conduct an interview, you will get about two hours of sleep (or less, if you’re me).



I can’t say I regret it–all of my Houston friends were there and seeing it on the big screen was an amazing experience–but the timing could have been better, I admit. As a result of these shenanigans I was definitely dragging ass yesterday at our first interview. Adena held it together remarkably well, but I felt as if I’d been interrogated by the Stasi, then forced to run a marathon, and my demeanor was hovering somewhere around Government Employee on the cranky scale. Needless to say, it was a less than ideal situation, but I think we got some pretty good stuff for the interview, and today we set off for a second, much more well-rested day of shooting.

Probably the most awesome thing we saw yesterday was the cover of this local business magazine in Jason’s Deli:



Did you know?

The greater Houston area is mostly built in the 70’s. I feel that they made a solid attempt at interesting suburban architecture, though Kate is not so sure. There are no tumbleweeds. It does not get cold at night (people from Chicago, I’m talking to you). The accents aren’t too out of control, but people say things like “It’ll be a hoot!” more often than you’d expect. Most things are delicious, but let’s be honest, that’s a motif in my life. The only things that are remarkably bigger in Texas are houses and my body fat index.

On a personal note, no hugely diverting anecdotes as of yet, but never fear, we’re still in the quiet before the storm.  We spent the day bouncing around the city, devouring delicious foodstuff, and digging through porcelain figurines, etc in antique-y type places.

Note: I will provide few real pictures, since I’m operating largely with a polaroid.

Some of you may not know this, but Houston is actually in the future.

Some of you may not know this, but Houston is actually in the future.

Breakfast Klubs waffle & fried chicken. I had to stick to Texas toast.

Breakfast Klub's waffle & fried chicken.

Ill leave this to your imagination. Lets just say we nearly had a breakthrough in squirrel-human relations.  Nearly.

I'll leave this to your imagination. Let's just say we nearly had a breakthrough in squirrel-human relations. Nearly.

One more day in Houston before trucking off to San Antonio. I can feel the Alamo calling me home. So dear Alamo, let it be known, I have not forgotten thee.  More on this later.

In preparation


Adena reading up on documentaries with a trusty Shiner.

We’re in Houston for the next few days doing prep work and eating meals with various local characters. My friends Allie, Morgan, and I didn’t even let poor Adena get to my house last night before a round of late night tex-mex at a fantastic establishment that is honest-to-god called Tex-Mex.

Tomorrow we’re going into town and seeing everything worth seeing in the big, fat midsection of the cruel and unusual mistress known as Houston, Texas, which raises the question–just how many meals in one day can a person physically tolerate? Stay tuned.

Instead of packing…

I made a picture to represent tomorrow’s events. When I’m on that airplane and horrible visions flash before my eyes of my phone charger sitting plugged into my wall at home, I’m going to wish I had spent this time packing and not making a Super Duper Necessary/Awesome Picture. But right now I’m pretty much certain this was the correct thing to be doing.

ps This is in fact a correct depiction of the geography of the US.  Illinois is floating vaguely below Texas in an otherwise seamless ocean.  I suspect this can be attributed to global warming.