rik-rat corn pile

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

holiday. day 3 and 4.

1. I woke up at 7 am on December 23rd to visit my pal, Leksi. Of course, she wasn't awake...who would be on a vacation day? So, I tooled around Oak Park, walked the dogs, drank way too much coffee, and waited for the hours to pass. Which they did quickly. Before I knew it I was at Leksi's house drinking more coffee. She told me she had a surprise and we walked onto her roof. Leksi had urban chickens! I was excited. My favorite chicken was the grey, fluffy headed lady. But Ol' fluffy-head chicken had a spinal deformity and couldn't lay eggs. Even though she was completely useless as a chicken she was good for a laugh. What a ridiculous animal. And a lucky one. Leksi and I went to eat at Lula cafe (delicious) and once we were done it was time to get home and get ready for my mother's party.
2. (Friday) At 7pm my mother celebrated her 60th birthday at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn, Illinois. Fitzgeralds is a well established music joint/bar and the band American English was playing. We got to the place at 7:45...whoops, fashionably late. 50 of my mother's closest friends were there by 8:15. I barely had time to talk with mom because she was so sought after socially. This didn't bother me, I had three of my closest friends to hang out with that night. Virginia, Ali, and Juice...not to mention Dean, Kate, Nick, Vince, all my brothers (cept' paul who isn't 21), my step mom, neighbors, and the list goes on. We drank, danced, smoked (in the COLD, Cold outdoors. I should quit smoking), and chatted the night away. American English had three set changes, each with a costume change, and they did a damn fine job. Eventually, I asked Virginia, Vince, Nick, Ali, and juice if they were hungry. It was midnight and we went on a munchy run to Wendy's then left the party and chilled at my mom's. I couldn't have asked for a better visit with my closest friends and family. Hell, I actually felt festive.

3. (Saturday) Something that is not so cool? Waking up at 8 am when you went to bed at 3am. I am no longer 18 and that is no longer "fun". But I did it. My brothers (all strapping and shown above) and I went to Rush Street to visit my dad and his wife, Cheryl. And although the Weber Grill overcooked three of the five ordered steaks, I didn't let it ruin my time. I was with my brothers. Who can be pissed when they're around?

Overall, an amazing holiday. I saw all of my closest friends and family, I got to see my dogs, the city, Dekalb. I was able to have an honest to goodness balls to the walls road trip. i couldn't have asked for a better holiday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday. day 1 and 2.

I hit the road for the holidays and had a lot to get done in a short amount of time. But, damn it, I did it and I'm damn proud of myself. My hectic day began on the 21st at 5am in Iowa. Although I was ready to leave at 5am I still had to work until 11am. So, I printed t-shirts and stared at the clock too much, I was close to insane by lunch time. 11am eventually showed up and I hit the ground running...red bull, coffee, red bull, coffee, change lanes, change highways, more coffee.

I sailed into Dekalb, Illinois on an insane caffeine high at 4pm. Ann and her fiance were house hunting so I had a couple of hours to kill in the "big" city. Its amazing, I used to hate Dekalb but after I went country feral it seemed a lot bigger and a lot more wonderful. I shopped and bought locally, take that economy. Ann was done house shopping by 5:30 and we went to stuff ourselves with Miller Light and chicken wings at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Soon it was time for ol' jane to meet a couple of collegiate chums at my favorite dive bar, the Annex. It was good to see those jerks (tim and ryan), I got some art out of the deal and an underemployed gentleman tried to sell me slightly irregular women's shoes in the alley. Good times.

12 am rolled around, I had been up since 5am and I was damn tired. Lucky for me, Ann was willing to open the doors to her home and the seat of her couch to me. I finally fell asleep at 2am. Damn Red Bull.
I left Dekalb on the morning of the 22nd and made it to Chicago by noon. I came home to an empty home. At first, I was pissed. No one's home...its Christmas time and I'm by myself. My self pity ended when I realized that my mother works. I am dumb. So, I occupied my time by staring at my cat while he drank out of various sinks in the house. Entertaining? A little.

Shortly after, my brother and I got into a fun lil' Christmas fight over cigarettes but shook hands when the fight ended...this made my mother so proud she bought us steaks and beer at the Avenue Ale House in Oak Park (my home town). Full of steak and slightly intoxicated, my mother drove us home in her new Prius and I crashed on her couch like a wet slug and watched tv into the wee hours of the morning.

Day 3: Coming tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

why, hello!

I walked through some trees, I looked up, I found this little man.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

lots and lots of sea glass.

1. Sea glass. Collected from Lake Michigan over the course of 4 years.
2. Sea glass that has been bound together with deer sinew.
3. Polished Creek Rocks from Wyoming.
4. Lead Bullet. or slug. Whatever you want to call it.

One day I will be old and surrounded by a lot of stuff I've found on the ground.

Monday, December 12, 2011

photos from the drive home.

1. Its best to treat every day like a road trip. What's the point of driving if you can't pull over ever time something peaks your interest? I was on 34 West when I noticed a large animal eating grass behind barbed wire. It wasn't a cow and it wasn't a horse...it was an ELK! I love elk farms. Elk taste delicious...I pulled off the highway, found the access road, and had a photo shoot with these beautiful cow elk. The owners of the farm saw me, they gave me several dirty looks.
2. I've always wanted a tacky, cement, lawn ornament. Seriously, since I was a kid. I found these beauties in Fairfield, Iowa. I'm going back and buying them this Spring.
3. It was very cold. The stream from this factory billowed like a cumulonimbus cloud on a breezy day. I thought it was so beautiful I put my life in danger and snapped a few shots while driving a cool 70 mph. There were no other cars near me so I'd like to think the only life that was in danger was my own.

Friday, December 2, 2011

happy friday!

Drawing faces on an unsuspecting taproot. This should put anyone in a good mood.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Horrible Taxidermy. HORRIBLE!

1. this weasel is not an albino. Its sun-bleached, horrifying and is possibly the worst taxidermy mount I've ever seen.

Customer: "Hello, good sir. I've procured a weasel this week and would like it preserved as a taxidermy mount. Can you make any suggestions on a lifelike scene?"

taxidermist: " Most weasels are in logs. I'll just cut it in half and shove it into a log hole."

Seriously, the weasel is cut in half and shoved into a log hole. Its the worst thing I've ever seen.
2. This was in the store's window display. They put it in the window display!

Shop owner: "how can we encourage customers to buy our taxidermy, friend?"

Friend: " Stick a rotting muskrat corpse in the window display. People go batshit for that stuff."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

my trip to chicago summed up in four photos.

1. The city put up a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe by the river. Its simply atrocious but the people love it. I had to see it for myself. First impression...uhhh, if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. At least there's some VPL for everyone to enjoy.

To read more visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/15/marilyn-monroe-sculpture-_n_899978.html#undefined
2. We visited Chicago's famous Billy Goat Tavern located in scenic Lower Wacker Drive. I had a Billy Goat lager but enjoyed the Schlitz draft better then the signature brew. Great ambiance. http://www.billygoattavern.com/
3. "Cloud Gate" lovingly renamed "the bean" by Chicago locals and tourists alike. Pretty cool sculpture.
4. HA! Never in all my years have I bumped into the CTA's Santa Express. Every year around the holidays the Chicago Transit Authority decorates an L trains and throws Santa aboard. I was thrilled. Santa doesn't look very thrilled, though.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

only to find gideon's bible.

Well, I feel rejuvenated. Nothing like a good trip to get the creative juices flowing.

Spent the other night in Coralville, Iowa. Of course I had to leave my' mark somewhere in the room. Petty vandalism is always good for a cheap thrill.

I also got a lucky wheat penny in my change from CVS. This is always a good omen. Next blog...my brief trip to Chicago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

dirty toes

It rained yesterday. Cold, wet drops landed everywhere all day long. Slowly but surely, it saturated the ground.

I've become accustomed to walking the dog in the back field. The dog also enjoys this ritual and I knew we were in for a muddy ordeal when we walked to our regular stomping grounds. Even with all the rain, the ground was a solid wet...not a sloppy wet. I didn't think we'd get too dirty.

Mudd and I ventured into the back field and he blasted off into the distance like a dog-rocket. He loved the dirt and had a good time running. By 5:30 we both looked like we had hoofs. There was no definition of "foot" on either of us. Just mud caked clodhoppers.

So, here's a picture of Mudd (post mud walk) I took with my new camera in low light. Mudd is showing off his dirty feet for you. He got a good bath shortly after this photo was taken.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some random finds from Sunday and Monday.

Found: In the back field and on a river sandbar.

Top: Rabbit shoulder blades.

bottom: Holes in hard rock.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I found a deer mouse nest...by accident.

Oh no! I was on a hike and my curiosity got the best of me....again.

Don't put your hands into mysterious holes, friends. I've been surprised far too many times. The other day, I spied a a wooden drop box at the Lake Miami nature trail. I had to see what was inside, what if it was money?

I opened the lid...

Nope, it wasn't money. It was a mouse house and there were five nuzzled together in a filthy nest. Of course I had to photograph them and I managed to disturb their tranquility while doing so. The mice quickly decided that they had had enough of me (who can blame them?). One by one, the furry animals exploded out of their box and onto the ground. They jumped like gold medal Olympians and I was truly impressed by their leaping abilities. In order to prevent head to head collisions I had to duck.

Touché, mice. Touché.

No mice were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the iowa whitetail.

The young bucks of Lake Miami.
Don't you just love fall? I certainly do. The best part for me?... rutting season. Rutting season is that magical time of the year when the whitetail deer decide its time to get it on. When the deer decide to make some babies they make their presence known to the general population of Iowa. The deer are, literally, everywhere. They're on the side of the road, in front of my car, littering empty corn fields, in my backyard, they're even by the damn bowling alley...throw a stone, you could hit an Iowa Whitetail. Just try not to hit them with your car.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

painting time.

Here's a snippet of the new painting I've been working on. The full image is approximately 15 X 22 inches...painted with Windsor an' Newton gouache.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a snake tail.

UPDATE! : I've been told that this is not a young bull snake but is an adult brown snake. I've got some smart friends. nov.2

The dog and I have been taking a lot of walks. Every time there's a walk there's an adventure. Saturday, Mudd's ears perked up and he began to paw at dry grass. Of course, this perked my human interest and I bent over to separate the grass blades and maybe figure out what the dog was looking at.
This is what I found. But it's kind of an odd story. The snake was small, about seven inches long, maybe 9. I reached down to pull the snake off the grass and had a hell of a time trying to get it to release it's grip. A small snake couldn't hold on that strong, right?

I was partially correct. I finally got the snake off the grass and it was super heavy. I looked at the bottom of the snake and a small grey mammal was voraciously gnawing, biting, shaking, and HANGING from the snakes tail. It was a shrew and it was trying to eat the snake! Wow. Eventually the shrew released it's death grip and disappeared into the tall grass. I stood there, befuddled.

I shook off the shock, photographed the snake and returned it to the wild.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Iowa Artifacts. 2011

Since arrowhead hunting is officially over for the season I'd better post a picture of all of the great pieces Kyle and I found. We started at Spring's first rain and ended after the leaves began to fall off Autumn trees. If you look close there are some pretty amazing pieces... It takes a lot of work to find this much stuff. Probably 3 hours of walking for every piece you see.

Monday, October 24, 2011

more souveneirs.

Wow, I have way too many smashed pennies. And by way too many I mean not enough. In all seriousness, if I took all of my sp's and multiplied each of them by 51 cents I'd be in the red well over 200 bucks. Oh well. I found these guys in my Tupperware full of random souvenirs...I realized I have over 4 Iowa Truck Stop pennies...I must smash one whenever I drive across 80.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I found an arifact all on my own!

I've learned a lot about stone artifacts over the last two years. I've been on a lot of adventures and have found a lot of wonderful objects. But I never went out on my own to find an arrowhead...until yesterday.
Mudd (the puppy) was pooping in a ditch when I noticed a cache of small stones in the dirt. I picked through a few pebbles and found flint rocks. Flint is a hard stone that can be napped into shapes (you may have seen arrowheads napped in obsidian at fairs or rock stores), where one finds flint one finds artifacts. I was optimistic about finding a piece at that point. And, sure enough, I picked up a brown piece of flint and saw nap marks where an Iowa native (500-200 years ago) would have used an antler to bust off small pieces to make a sharp edge (see below for napping patterns).
Now, I know that it may look like "just a rock " but it's not. If you look at the top photo you can see the clam shell shape of the rock, a sure fire sign that the rock was shaped by human hands. So, there you go. I found a scraper...a scarper is a multipurpose tool used to scrape fat off hides, bark off tree, meat off bone...you get the idea. I'm freaking geeked about my find. All by myself!

Here's a video on flint napping. Check it out


Monday, October 17, 2011


Well, Kyle and I did a nice thing this weekend. We helped an Adopt a Highway group clean up 4 miles worth of dirty roads.

List of gross stuff I found while cleaning:

1. deer skull
2. dead vole
3. underpants! ew.
4. too many McDonalds wrappers. People that eat there litter.
5. A rope that was 1 mile long.
6. porno!

I had a good time, though. I got some exercise, hung out with some nice people, and found this lovely piece of smut of the side of the road. Of course, I had to censor her a lil' bit. I guess all garbage isn't bad. Should I hang her on my wall?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Friday!

I wish I owned this poster. I also hope/wish I win big tonight. Kyle and I are gonna go gamble the night away at some casino. Big money, Big money, Big money!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Click on image for a better view.

Well, guys...its Fall. Summer has come to a close and we've traded green grass for falling leaves. And for the first time in many years, I'm not mourning the loss of a season.

Unfortunately, the changing of the season also means its harder to find stuff on the ground. No more fossils and rocks until next year...they're hidden under crunchy leaves. I've scanned in some interesting objects I haven't gotten around to posting until now.

Left to right top to Bottom:

1. River Amber (such a strange rock. Its soft, see through and looks a lot like the amber from Jurassic park. I've only found two pieces. Both were found on the river so I named it River Amber....take that scientists).

2. A geode: Its the state rock of Iowa, check out this interesting and fact filled page http://www.igsb.uiowa.edu/browse/geodes/geodes.htm. Apparently, Keokuk (iowa) is one of the best places in the United States to find Geodes.

3. You can't totally tell but this segmented rock is also semi- crystallized and very beautiful. I can't figure out how to identify it. Its bumming me out. Help?!

4. Quartz with flakes of pyrite (fools gold). You can make out the pyrite on the left side of the rock. Cool stuff.

5. An impression of a shell on a flint like rock. Fossils!

6 and 7. I haven't been able to identify these either. I imagine they're volcanic or were somehow blasted with heat a long long time ago. At first glance they look grey and unimpressive but if you hold them up to the light you can see through them. When you jingle them together they make a beautiful clinking sound. Sort of like a wind chime.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

turkey nuts.

I'd like to consider myself an adventurous eater. Put a new food in front of me and I'll try at least two bites before I politely spit into a napkin while I pretend to cough. I used to be a semi-picky eater...that is, until Andrew Zimmern's show came out. Bizarre Foods opened me up to a new world of interesting tastes.

Deer, Bison, Elk, gizzards, poutine, scallops, squid, eel, octopus, goat, deep fried dandelions, pigeon, wild mushrooms, heart, liver, deep fried oreos (snickers, reeses peanut butter cups, and three musketeers...ALL DEEP FRIED AND DELICIOUS), oysters, clams, mussels, seaweed, vegan food, kibbeh...and the list could go on. I'll try anything.

My interest in new foods got me into trouble the other day. Big trouble. Bizarre food caliber. Almost vomit on my lap trouble.

I was at a barn party last Friday. It was good times. Lots of nice people, bonfires, and beer. Did I mention that someone brought turkey balls to the party? Yeah, a whole gallon of them in a large zip-lock bag. I was surprised by how large the testicles were...some of the bite sized snacks were longer then my pinky finger. And round. Ugh.

I was "cocky" and boasted...

"I'll eat those greasy bastards."

I shouldn't have said that. About ten minutes later Kevin walked up to me with two balls in his hands. I grabbed the smaller one and popped it into my mouth. I gave it one chew and swallowed. I also made the mistake of saying it wasn't too bad. I said it tasted like chicken. Kevin handed me the second testy. It was a big fellow and dripped oil. I popped the second turkey nut into my mouth and bit down. Instant gag reflex. For some reason the second bite was way worse then the first bite. It tasted like wet chicken fat mixed with organ meat. The hot oil that poured from the center of the morsel didn't help, either. I started to panic, I had a mouth full of balls and nowhere to spit.

I grabbed the nearest beer can and unloaded my palate. It was a horrific experience. Three other people tried to feed me turkey balls that night.

I told them to go piss up a rope.

Monday, October 3, 2011

an interesting optical illusion.

I managed to catch a pretty great optical illusion on camera.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

smashed pennies.

Obsession runs deep in this kid. I can't get enough of these smashed pennies. Its gotten to the point where weekend trips will revolve around whether or not a smashed penny machine exists at the location. Unfortunately for me, both of the penny machines at the Blank Park Zoo were out of order (it didn't stop me from trying, I lost two bucks. Damnit)...I was a little disappointed.

But the the Botanical Center had a machine. Thank goodness. I bought all four and couldn't be happier with the beautiful penny designs. But it gets even better. You may notice the penny on the top right has no design. Trevor made me a smashed penny...he laid some pennies on a train track and went back the next day to collect the cool objects. Old school smashed penny, not too shabby.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Highlight of my trip to the Blank Park Zoo: the carp pond. Holy hell was that pond packed with gigantic goldfish. These things had to be 10 pounds a piece and were hungry as hell. I'm kind of scared of fish so I decided to do something bold....I stuck my finger in a carp mouth! It bit me! But it made me laugh so hard I almost fell into the stinky fish pond.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Check out this beastly caterpillar. Regular sized spoon...gigantic caterpillar.

Friday, September 23, 2011

animal photos from vacation-time!

1. An afternoon jaunt turned into a rare animal sighting. Apparently, albino squirrels are fairly common around the Minneapolis area and every local has several albino squirrel sighting stories. It's lucky Rachel spotted one, now we have a story as well.

2. I found a fuzzy and hilarious caterpillar at the Springdale Cemetary in Peoria. Poor buddy, we harassed him for a full ten minute photo session before releasing him on a nearby tree. (identification: the Banded Tussock Moth, Halysidota tessellaris.)
3. The sheep donned fancy outfits at the Minnesota State Fair. I can't decide if I think the outfits are adorable or clannish.
4. I almost stepped on this gnarly fellow.
5. Suckling pigs! They're cute but those teets are kind of grossing me out. Have a nice Friday, guys

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

end of summer haiku.

farmers combine corn.

the fields are empty, leaves fall.

Goodbye summer birds.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the mall of america.

We left Peoria and drove to see Matt in Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a great city for smashed penny collectors mostly because of the Mall of America...sort of because of the State Fair. Before I left on the trip I went to www.pennycollector.com and looked up all of the pennies available at the Mall of America...I was hell bent on collecting all of them. We walked around the mall for hours...we went through a mirror maze (baffling ordeal), rode a roller coaster (horrifying) and a mechanical bull (i stayed on for 11 seconds), all the while collecting smashed pennies. I ended up with well over 25 and for some reason they had a "I love Canada" machine. I know Minnesota is close to Canada but Minneapolis isn't...what's the deal? Mostly, there are a lot of Rainforest Cafe pennies. That place sucks.

As for the fair, it boasted something I've never seen. A free, FREE smashed penny machine. The only problem with that is the line. A huge line full of children, inept at smashing, stood behind the machine. Of course I waited, they were free.

Friday, September 16, 2011

vacation pt.2

Good morning world! It's a beautiful Monday morning, the grass is wet, the birds are cold, and I didn't hit any horses on the way to work. Good deal. I'm content with all of these facts.

I'm still rolling along with the vacation blogs but am realizing that I'm not doing it very diligently. I didn't write at all last week, I blame stress and diet. But, I kept a sketchbook the entire trip and it's filled with a bunch of narrative. I plan on scanning in a few choice entries for a blog. But until then,


Rachel and I were in Peoria for a few days. We had some adventures and were ridiculously social.
Some highlights include: a visit with Juice and her puppy, letterboxing jaunts in various historic graveyards, lots of salivating over really nice road bikes. Steve worried about sewage in a basement, we all ate way too much ice cream (and Avanti's cheap Italian food, delicious), and rachel and I found a hilarious caterpillar.
Some Peoria Hot Spot Stops include: Avanti's, One world, Emo's, Co op Records, Mexican food, country road driving, pool, Blue, The Peoria Art Guild, Art Show, etc
Some people I saw: Rik, Juice, Erica, Gabe, Gabe, Bruce, Drew, Steve, Chris, Shannon, Christian, Bethany, Rachel's mom, Oscar, Ann, Sarah, Heather, Dave, Sarah, Eliz, Beth, Christy, Janet, oh man and the list goes on, I'll add to it...if I forgot your name it's because it's early and I still love you.

And in case you're wondering about the clown photograph, let me explain. This clown is the face of Peoria as far as I'm concerned. It's the Emo's ice cream shack marquee. I have countless memories of friends and I sitting on colorful parking lot benches while we munched on coney island dogs. Their ice cream is fabulous and the place does all it's math by hand. No fancy registers at that place (a math teacher opened up the icecream place many years ago. To encourage his young employees to be diligent at basic math he eliminated the register).

The first time I went to Emo's a girl named Dani brought her rabbit with us. The rabbit's name was Yishi Spudnick and I wanted to hold her while I ate my ice cream. Bad idea. The rabbit peed all over me and I dropped my cone. I learned two things that day: rabbits pee way more then you think they do and giant flying bugs like to land in cheese dip. Oh, I forgot to mention that right after a rabbit urinated on me a giant bug flew into my cheese fry cheese dip...rendering it useless. You'd think an experience like that would turn me off to Emo's but nope.

Needless to say (which I say a lot needlessly), I had to come back to Emo's at some point during my stay in Peoria. Rachel and I hiked over and were pleased to find out that they had lemon flavored ice cream...it tasted like a girl scout cookie. I got a cherry dipped cone and some cheese fries. It was good times.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Check out what I almost Hit on the way to work.

Its 6:30am and I'm heading to my car and I'm mad. I've got to go to work. I've got a bunch of deadlines. I need to exercise. I'm hungry. I'm in a bad mood and when I'm in a bad mood I like to drive faster then necessary.

I slam my car door, buckle up, turn on the engine, drive down the alley and turn onto the country road that heads towards work. Driving 80 feels great at the moment. I'm living dangerously and crack the windows to feel the morning air. My mood improves.

At the bottom of a hill I can see large shadows loitering in the road. I have no idea what they are. I'm going 80 mph and these shadowss are huge! I brake as hard as I can, the car begins to swerve and there are SEVEN horses right in front of me. I finally stop and need a paper bag to breathe into. I'm 10 feet away from the horses that almost did me in. Jittery as hell and barely able to hold the steering wheel I try to gain composure but all I can smell is burning rubber.

I honk at those stupid horses until they start running, I follow them with my car into the area where I assume they came from. And I drive to work.

Stupid fucking morning. I was so happy I didn't hit them I brought doughnuts to work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

That was Quite a Vacation. Day ONE!

Hey guys. My blog hiatus is over and, unfortunately, so is my time off from work . However, it was whirlwind of a vacation and it felt like Rachel, Matt and I didn't stop moving the entire time.
The trip began with a lovely jaunt to the Des Moines airport where Rachel landed at the ungodly hour of 11:15pm. It was too late to drive to Peoria and too early to settle down. We decided to have a couple coronas at a nearly abandoned bar then get a room at the Super 8. We made the mistake of ordering Papa John's when we got there. I haven't eaten that stuff in well over a year...I remember why. The horrible food coma and ridiculous BLOATING.

The morning came soon enough and we hit the road hard. Peoria was only 4 hours away but I had a lot to do. The reason being...2 freakin' art shows! The second we got into town we were greeted by Steve, Chris, Shannon and their entire gang. Steve and Chris live in a home that houses traveling musicians, wayward bike riders, and good people all around. It almost feels like a hostel. But it was a quick Hello followed by a quick goodbye. Shannon, Rachel and I had some errands to run

1. Hang the salon style show at Blue
2. Buy 90 beers and drag them to the Peoria Art Guild
3. Set up the cheese tray.

And I don't like to brag but the show looked amazing. Ryan Nelson, of the Peoria Art Guild, totally rehabbed the first floor gallery. It was a beautiful flowing space and all of the artist's work hung together like it was always supposed to hang together. Jillian's work was immaculately beautiful and delicate, Chris's work was humerus, complicated and multi-layered, and mine...my work looked OK too. Shit, it must have looked good because someone bought two pieces at the show. They wanted to remain anonymous and I'll never get to know who they are (but I hope they know me and Chris appreciate their generosity)

There was a constant flow of people through the gallery. I saw my old professors, my old school mates, Erica came in from St. Louis, Brian came in from Chicago, even Rachel's mom was there (i was worried she thought I was drunk but I was really just nervous). It warmed the heart to see so many close friends in the same room together for the first time in a dog's age. As a matter of fact, I felt warm and fuzzy the whole night...or maybe it was that cooler of 90 beers that helped everyone feel warm and fuzzy that night.

The evening continued until 2am... the after party was at the Peoria bar called Blue. My friend, Shannon was nice enough to help me plan the whole event. Damn, it was a party and I smoked too many cigarettes and drank too many beers but at least I got some quality time with quality people. I even sold some t-shirts (with my drawings on them) and wow did that help pay for my trip. Eventually, the night ended with Erica and I in Steve's basement...we talked about art and boys.

Tomorrow, Day 2.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We Interrupt This Hiatus

This is Jane's old pal Rishika. Hop on over to my blog I am in South Korea to read about my recent travels to Shanghai!

Happy reading! ^^