Monday, October 30, 2006




Sunday, October 29, 2006

Church Softball

Rachel just had an amazing idea. And I want someone to follow through with it.

She said: "Don't you think it would be great if someone did a documentary on Church Softball?"

I can imagine it now. A full feature documentary on Church Softball in the style of "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind"

It needs to happen.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sensualist's Morning

I got up this morning and grabbed my computer. I threw on Rosie Thomas' "When we were small" album and listened to the music quietly spillling out of these plastic cube speakers while Rachel climbed in the shower. I sat on the couch for a while and just soaked things in. It was a nice feeling. And I don't do it nearly enough. The world around me is so full of such wonderful little pleasures, and I don't take enough time just wrapping myself up in my own sensory experience of the world. I'm glad I did, and today, when we drive throughout Warwood dropping off meals for the poor, handicapped and elderly, I'm going to pay attention. I'm going to listen to the tires popping as we steer. I'm going to watch the raindrops land on the window. I'm going to feel the seat against my back and listen to the wind buffetting off of the windows. I'm going to smell the brown bagged lunches in the back seat that always smell the same. I'm going to listen, feel, and smell the world around me.

Good thing Rachel's driving.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Rachel and I went to Chicago this weekend, and boy did we have a BLAST. I pretty much tried to be like my brother and take cool pictures of the city, but I didn't do as well. Nor did I do as good of a job at deleting the pictures that you don't care about. So, here's a picture show to let you know what we did on our long weekend in Chicago. There are about six thousand photgraphs here so when you're sighing as you try to read through them all, just remember it took me over two and a half hours to post them all. Anyway, I'm going to try my best here, I have to put them all on backwards, so hopefully I didn't screw up too badly. Here goes... my first shot of Chicago. (And the last one I posted.)

This isn't your stereotypical opening picture for a post that is supposed to talk about our trip into Chicago. I know. That's why I put it first. Doesn't this little fella just make you want to laugh? It totally looks like he's saying: "Yep."

Go ahead, say it out loud and look at the picture. You'll laugh. That's totally what this little dude is saying right now. "Yep. That's right. I live in an aquarium. That's cool. I eat bugs."

Okay, here's your stereotypical shot of the city.

Shortly after we got into the city, we went and had a beer at this place that serves authentic deep dish Pizza. Holy cow, when they say deep dish, they mean it. I've never seen anything like this. It takes half of Wisconsin a year to milk enough cows to make cheese for one of these puppies. So sorry I didn't get a picture of the pizza. Now no one believes me. Just look how happy Tim is... it takes about six gallon of cheese and three beers to get him that happy.

I caught Tim taking a picture of the beer. Unless you're Tim-in which case, you caught Joshua taking a picture of the beer. We hung out in this restaurant for a while eating and drinking and generally catching up. Good times.

Then Tim peed on a car.
(No. Not really.)

He was actually taking pictures. The first of many photo detours.

After that we walked around the city a bit. This pic's for Dad McCowin.

Of course, we made the obligatory stop in the Apple store. Take a close look at that monitor on the right hand corner of the table...

Yeah. We did.

Then we stopped at EA where Marisa showed us the new body pillow she got.

Rachel sat in her little Oompa-Loompa chair just waiting for her chance...

And then SNAP! Out of nowhere she flies through the air to jump on the thing, only to bounce right off again.

Then we walked around the city a bit. This is the closest I think I came to capturing just how big the city looks. P.S. I love motion blur.

There's the El that we had to ride to get from place to place from time to time.

By Joshua Elek

The city really is beautiful at night. And it was just the right amount of cold that night. Every thing felt clean and fresh, like it had just been born.

Another light.

This is the mall by Tim's house that you have to go through to get to the El. I just love the way motion blur can make a really boring picture more interesting. Then again, maybe no one else is interested...

Rach being social on the train.




LOOK! The Infamous Bean! This thing is even cooler in person. I walked around it just feeling it... totally cool. This is what modern sculpture should be... something that invites you to feel it.

If you lay on the ground in the middle of the bean and take a picture with the flash on, this is what happens. I thought it was cool.

My shoe. For some reason I like taking pictures of my feet. Maybe that explains why I look at my feet all the time while I walk...

There's this big grass park just past the bean that we walked through late at night. It's amazing, there wasn't any place in Chicago where I felt scared... not like New York at all.

I don't know.

Everybody say "Tourist!"

The next day we were walking around the city on our way to breakfast when we came across these guys wiping windows... it totally looks like a freaky job. I couldn't imagine doing that.

But apparently it's not that dangerous, because all you have to do is ask and they'll let pretty much anybody up there.

This is us on the way to breakfast.

We ate at this place called Lou Mitchell's. Sooooo good. They even give you donut holes for free if you wait in line. Look how many people are in line for breakfast at this place. And it's worth it.

Tim and I are pretty sure we have similar tastes in women.

Marisa laughed a lot at breakfast. Something about sticking tissues up your nose. She is so fun to be around, I really miss her.

I on the other hand did not laugh much at all because I was making out with a mug.

Then Rachel and I danced in the middle of the street because why not.

We stopped at Union Station after breakfast. You know, were the Untouchables was filmed? Beautiful structure. Here's the ceiling.

And the... uh... grand collonade? I don't know what the big room in the middle is called.

Here's another straight up city shot.

I caught Tim on one of the thousands of photo shoots he and I took. With a camera in your hand the city is like a huge safari.

These are the results of one of my own photo detours. Cool boat just sitting on the sidewalk by the lake front.

We hung out in the grass for a while. For some reason I was totally enthralled with that sewer over there... don't ask. I don't know.

Tim was practicing the Vulcan death grip on himself, and Marisa was trying to do the hand signal.

Then we took a water taxi to Navy Pier. That was cool. Did I spell Pier right?

City... ahhh...

After Navy Pier, we just walked around a bit. Tim and Marisa pooped on this building.

Another example of really great modern art. Just screaming for people to interact with it. At first I was upset when this kid lay on the ground and stuck his feet on the underside of the car for a picture, but Tim's right... this stuff should be interacted with.

Then we took the free trolly home, and Rachel... uh I don't know.

We ate dinner and then we went back out on the town to look at an old Social Work house. It was owned by Abigail Adams (who was very short by the way) and pretty much started the Social Work movement. Rachel couldn't wait to see it.

She was so excited, she fell down the stairs.

There it is! This place was pretty cool... I walked around for about an hour, and there were so many signs... I'm still not really sure what happened in this house, but I do know that Mexicans made pottery there.

It took a while for the excitement to wear off of Rachel. She was downright spritely the rest of the night.


Tim was pretty enthused as well.

This lady hates the war. She was about a hundred and sixty years old and was on the train with a news paper, a cardboard box, and a big sign with an anti-war protest on it. I snapped the picture in a hurry so she would think I was part of the CIA.

Marisa left for home, and I didn't take any pictures. Dang. It was really sad to see Tim and Marisa have to part ways. You can tell how hard it is for them. They both love each other so much and they are each going through a lot to be happy. It's amazing what a mutual sacrifice is being made. I admire what they are doing, and doubt I would ever be able to do the same myself. It's really hard, and they are doing it very well.
The Hancock Building in Chicago.

After Marisa left, Tim Rachel and I went to the top of the Hancock Building. Which is affectionately known as "Big Herbie" in Chicago.

More from up high. I can't believe people were able to do this.

Rachel and I in the top of "Big Herbie"

Tim (and not Reese) at the top of "Big Herbie"

After the Hancock Building, Tim took us to this great old Presbyterian Church. There was this amazing courtyard there that was an absolute haven from the bustle of the rest of the city. I wanted to stay here forever.

Funny, but I thought the blur in this photo helped to better reveal the serenity of the place which was in such stark contrast to the honking and blaring city just a few feet away.

The next day, Tim had to work, so Rachel and I went to the Shedd Aquarium. There they have the world's oldest fish. His name is Grandpa, he's a lungfish. He's not really pretty, but it's cool that he's the oldest known fish in the world.

They also have Lucky Nickel the sea turtle, who was hit by a motor boat and therefore cannot maintain his boyancy any more. After the aquarium rescued him, he was not eating well, so they did some tests on him and found a nickle in his throat. Hence the name, "Lucky Nickle"

Rachel and I sat down to watch the Dolphins perform. This is precisely the point at which Rachel started to cry. You think I'm kidding. I'm not. The music came on, the trainers came out, and then all at once the dolphins lept into the air. Then this one started his moonwalk and Rachel started crying and wringing my hand.

The penguins were cool. It was a surprisingly small exhibit I thought, but these guys didn't seem to mind much. Maybe they're actually sick of walking thousands and thousands of miles across the most inhospitable place in the world...

I warmed up to this fish. He was pretty cool.

That's pretty much it. We had a great time in Chicago, and we hope to return, but first we have to visit Jim and Char in Virginia and Katie and Steve in Charlotte and Dave and Peg in Boston and Amanda and Andrew in Utah... it'll probably be a while before we make all the rounds... but we hope to!

This picture sums up what it must have been like for Tim to have Rachel and I both over for the weekend in Chicago. Thanks Tim and Marisa!!!