For Rent: Half-Truths In Bold Fonts

The building manager put this up on the front door hoping to rent our apartment out before the city inspector gets here. I thought it was ridiculous, and to make myself feel better about the whole situation, I fixed it, for accuracy sake.

Real Estate ads should be nothing if not truthful.

farragut for rent

I didn’t actually change the sign, pretty sure that would legally be interfering with something. But posting it online, that’s what the web is for! Catharsis?

What would you have done?

love and moving soon,



Post Apocalyptic Survival and “The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller

Since first being exposed to the the genre, post apocalyptic fiction has been an affinity of mine.  My mom’s copy of On the Beach by Nevil Shute, snuggled, worn and thin, between books collected over years of casual reading, was my initial glimpse into a world that had previously only existed in cheesy religious movies about the rapture. I hated those movies, A Thief in the Night was at least retro amusing. When they later came out with the book series in the early 2000s, my head and eyes ached. Give me Brave New World, 1984 and A Canticle for Lebowitz any, and every day. I even kinda enjoy the worlds created for games like Bioshock and Fallout 3. I never played, but when my ex did, I would sit behind him immersed in the guidebooks, directing missions through the wasteland.

So when waiting for a flight out of Orlando, with a choice between The Dog Stars or someromanticfluff, the choice was obvious. I don’t do fluff… or Victorian literature, but that’s neither here nor there.

From that moment on, The Dog Stars became my traveling book. After tagging along from Orlando, it began accompanying me back and forth to work daily, and then it broke my heart.

It’s the classic story of a man and his dog, only transported into a world in which the masses have been wiped from the earth by a flu adjacent virus, and of those who survived, many developed what is only described as a contagious “blood sickness.” It’s a sweet and harsh story centered in seeking personal contact in an inhumane world.

I don’t want to say much, but I can say it’s not for kids, or weak stomachs, or sensitive souls with no backbone to support them. There’s a good deal of swearing, a bit more blood, and a very realistic fear of imminent violence which are all encase in a ‘kill or be killed and fed to my dog,’ kind of world.

If you can handle it, read it. The characterization is great, as is the unique voice in the first person narrative, of a partially numb survivor that somehow maintains the ability to remind us of the beauty and hope in the smallest of moments. The comfort of your sleeping dog’s weight against your knee. We listen to Hig, our hero of sorts, push on daily with only a survival driven, gun modification enthusiast, and a dog named Jasper as protection and company. His prose is sparse and pointed, and although I usually lack those writing qualities, I admire them wholeheartedly.
Canis Major & Minor & Lepus
This is he first passage I noted,

“Grief is an element. It has its own cycle like the carbon cycle, the nitrogen. It never diminished not ever. It passes in and out of everything.”

and this is one of two that stays with me,

“I once had a book on the stars but now I don’t. My memory serves but not stellar, ha. So I made up constellations. I made a Bear and a Goat but maybe not where they are supposed to be, I made some for the animals that once were, the ones I know about.”

I’ll let you find the other for yourself.

Love and happy reading,

The Symptoms of Internships, Moving and Mold

I (meaning my best friend and conscience living in the Philippines, Philip. That’s seriously his name, irony is not enough to describe it), keep reminding myself that I need to pay better attention to this blog than I have been doing. I did start writing about how Chicago could have a new serial killer when bodies kept showing up in the North side harbors, but that stopped before I could post. What luck.

Apologies apologies, etc. moving on.drumming coworker

What I want to talk about, is what’s been going on that has kept me from this essential outlet and happiness of mine. I was interning as content management at a startup internet marketing company. It’s been great. They actually hired me, kinda. Well there was talk of salary and then bam, financial troubles and I’m paid per piece. Not ideal, since I do a lot more than blog and produce web content for them (Social Media FTW!). But whatevs, life goes on. To be honest, I don’t think I learned as much as I wanted to there. Since everyone is so busy, pretty sure my internship ended up being a little unbalanced. Like, I worked for free and learned that headphones= sanity, because Tom, on the other side of my cubicle thing, drums with his feet without realizing it. What I wanted to learn was more along the SEO, SEM analytics interpretation thing, all of which I don’t know enough about to be totally comfortable.

I also moved to Andersonville, the best Chicago “ville” in my opinion. It’s indie without being douchy. And that’s exactly what I want in my life. To walk outside and be greeted by nice people with dogs looking at sidewalk sales of vintage inspired happiness.

AAAAHHHHH!!!!One problem.

I started getting sick. Like severe sinus infection, fluid in lungs, bloody noses sick. Why? No effing clue, but it really put a damper on functional life, and all the coughing re broke my rib.  Luckily, one of the blogs I write is for a biohazard removal company whose owner was kind enough to come over and check things out. Here is an article I wrote for them recently.

black mold

black mold

RESULTS: The entire basement underneath our apartment was covered in mold. Landlords won’t admit to it, they say “Annalise, you’re allergic to the apartment,” which is insane. I’m not allergic to drywall. I’m allergic to the mycotoxins floatinging up and around my living space. Seriously, I have an inhaler now. AN INHALER! Not cool mold.
Directly below my bed lives a troll.I won’t even go into the creepy bed and junk that’s down there. It’s very unsettling in a Josef Fritzl way, my friends. We are currently looking for another place, and compiling evidence (pictures, dr bills, pharmacy receipts) for our lawyer.

Life, I suppose is a little frustrating right now, but antibiotics have been taken and we are aiming at a new, healthier situation for cats and peoples alike in the same neighborhood (because damn it, I love this place!).

And don’t worry, soon I will regain health and sanity, and get back into the DIY stuff that I love to share with you all. I’m thinking my cats have enough toys, but my client cat’s definitely could use some love. Then on to jewelry ideas, magnet creation and lamp experiments. And probably a blog or two about urban climate parallels between Chicago and The Wire, and whatever book I finished on the train last. Currently The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.

Who knows, I will never be satisfied with just one thing buzzing through.

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

Robert Frost