Welcome to our web site. For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!

07/31/03: I added a counter at the bottom of this page, so I can see if anyone besides Stephie and I ever look at this page!

And I also put up the contents of my Grandpa's wallet.

07/25/03: So a couple days ago, Stephanie tells me that Kisu has a new "trick": she likes to bite the leash. When Stephanie takes her in the yard to play, she has Kisu on the retractable leash. That way, if Kisu goes into her "turbo dog" mode and starts running in circles, Stephanie can just hold on and let Kisu tire herself out (which actually hasn't happened yet.) She says that when she's running around, she somehow gets the cotton webbing part in her teeth. I'm not exactly sure how, because that's never happened when I have her out. The only time I've seen her bite at the leash is when she's pulling to go after a squirrel. She'll look back and try to bite the leash to let her go, but she's never actually nipped it. I did see them in the yard yesterday, and Kisu was gnawing on the leash. I went out and told her to stop. I distinctly remember saying "If you break this leash, it's coming out of your allowance!"
    Today, since I'm taking a "mental health" vacation day and the weather is beautiful, I figure that we'll take a nice long walk. Kisu's never been to "the Lost World," which is what we call the area of Brookfield north of the commuter tracks. (You have to go through a tunnel under the commuter tracks and across the train lot to get there. Hence, "the Lost World.") So we get the sunglasses, bottle of water, bag and poopie papers and we're off.
    We head towards Ogden Ave, the nearest busy street and one that we have to cross, and Kisu's pulling hard; she's so excited to be on the big adventure. Just before we get to Ogden, she stops to sniff something on the wall. I use this distraction to catch up to her and pass her by. I get about 10 feet past her, and call her. Like usual, she runs to me, and past me, and I call her name and press the thumb brake on the retractable leash to get her to stop, because the traffic is whizzing by on Ogden. The line goes taut, and the cotton webbing snaps.
    I look down at the limp leash on the ground, and look up as Kisu, who must have paused at the sudden lack of tension, starts to head toward Ogden. I run after her and shout "Kisu, Stop!" and all those evenings of obedience classes paid off in an instant when she stops, sits down and looks at me with what looks like a big grin on her face. I grab her collar, give her a big hug, and we go home to get the leather leash and continue our walk.
    Oh, and the "Lost World" was quite nice this afternoon, but Kisu still doesn't like to drink from the water bottle. We'll have to work on that.

Tonight is Poi Dog Pondering at Ridge Fest. And today is week 2 of the "Silent Summer" film festival put on by The Silent Film Society of Chicago. Tonight's feature is "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", but I think we'll stick with Poi Dog. Next week, however, is the big "Lost World" extravaganza with full orchestra. Check their web site for more information. Stephie and I plan to be there.

07/17/03: We put up the first batch of Stephanie's art today. We're still struggling with the settings on the digital camera, so some of the pictures look a little dark. The next batch should look better.

We were able to make it down to Summerdance last Thursday to see Oliver Mtukudzi, and we had a great time. The music was great, the dancing was fun, and the location can't be beat, since it's right in Grant Park. You owe it to yourself to click here to check the schedule and try to make it down before the end of August. Hint: Thursday night is always World Music night.

Oh, and don't tell anyone, but Poi Dog Pondering is playing at Ridge Fest in Chicago Ridge next Friday, July 25. I say not to tell anyone because I want to make sure that we can get in, because Poi Dog Pondering puts on one of the most exciting stage shows that I've ever seen! The energy coming from the musicians is just unbelievable, and the music defies you to stay in your seat! When we saw them at RibFest in Naperville last year, just about everyone was up and dancing, and that's on a tummy full of ribs! Definitely recommended, as is their latest CD.

07/08/03: Hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend. It was pretty low-key for us, with the weather and all, but I did get going on my latest project: building a replacement for our aging, noisy MP3 jukebox. Details coming soon!

There are a couple fun things coming up in the next couple weeks that you might not know about, even if you live in the Chicago area. The 7th annual Chicago Summerdance has been going on since mid-June and will run until the end of August in Grant Park. It looks like a lot of fun, with dance lessons followed by a live concert, and it's FREE! There has been, and will be, all kinds of different bands to see, from swing bands to mambo and salsa, with ballroom dancing every Sunday. Not that I'm a big dancer, but this Thursday, July 10, they will be teaching something called African Expressions followed by a concert by a new favorite of mine: Oliver Mtukudzi. If it rains, he's playing HotHouse on Sunday. I hope to see him at least once, and I highly recommend his CDs.

Also coming up soon is The Silent Summer, the annual silent film festival sponsored by The Silent Film Society of Chicago. If you've never seen a silent movie before, or even if you have, you owe it to yourself to try to get to the Gateway Theatre on Lawrence one Friday between July 18 and August 22 to see one on the big screen. It's a real treat. Special Note: on Friday August 1st, they will be showing "The Lost World" (by Arthur Conan-Doyle, not Michael Crichton) with a 30-piece orchestra accompanying the live organist. Don't miss it!

Hope to have Stephanie's art up next weekend. Even though I'm out of school, there's still not enough hours in the day!

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