Yesterday I had the realization that Magnolia is the same age Cora was when Magnolia was born. Twenty-eight months. She's actually about two-and-a-half weeks older than Cora was. But who's counting? ;)

I can't imagine what it would be like to have a newborn right now. I really can't imagine how having been pregnant for the last 7-8 months (depending on how long that pregnancy would have lasted) would have rocked our world. Barfing my guts up, weekly shots, daily Zofran, trips to labor and delivery. Whoa.

Magnolia is still such a baby to me. It may be her size, but she's also so very clingy. I don't think this is a bad thing, just if you see me, you will almost always see her attached to me - wrapped around my legs, in my arms, buried in my chest...up my skirt. And she still pterodactyl screeches. My nerves are shot a lot, especially in the car. It's not just loud, it's like multi-tonal. Like a scratchy train whistle/horn. I hate to say it, but she's as high maintenance as she is cute and sweet and cuddly. Luckily the latter stuff makes up for the former thing. Most of the time. ;)

I think the hard part (though not remorseful - not very much anyway) is thinking about whether or not Cora still needed me the way Magnolia needs me at this age. Cora was super easy, but I also started letting Sesame Street help out a little. I guess that started during my pregnancy when I was concentrating on breathing because it meant I was still alive. Anyway, it's making me appreciate Cora and all of her awesomeness a little more. Rather than feeling like I missed out on her during that stage, I'm paying more attention to all the little things that make her tick. I find myself just staring at her for several minutes at a time. Every reaction, every little movement, the way she concentrates, how her hair falls around her face, the way she scrunches her nose and purses her lips when she thinks I'm being silly. I really love who she is. She has moments, especially when she's tired where I have a hard time recognizing my sweet girl, but most of the time, I take the blame for that. I am, after all, the keeper of her bedtime.

With that being said, and no babies on the horizon, one of my [38] cousins asked for baby name advice today. I LOVE names. On Sunday, we had a little class on indexing (a part of genealogy, sort of - digitizing old records to enhance genealogy searches), and we were asked what our favorite part of doing family history is. Mine is always the names. I mean, Sofia Josephine, come on. That is awesome. Goldie Mae Lois. Get out of town. Denzel, Irl, Gail, Cloyd. I love how those names get attached to stories. The names become the stories and the stories become the names (the stories I uncover/have heard for my whole life are a close second). Anyway, my cousin is having a girl. I gave her some names that I thought went well with the middle name they have picked out as well as her last name. And it got me thinking in hypotheticals... Just like I sometimes plan what my wedding would look like if I was getting married now, I think about what I would name my babies, you know, if I needed a name today.

If ever I have another child, I'm just sure she would be a girl. Her name would be Apple. I always thought it would be Apple Eleanor Bliss. But I've since been thinking of other first-middle names. Names like Sylvia, Isabel (this has always been in the running, but Jake isn't too fond of it having such a similar ending to Apple), and Vivienne.

Apple Vivienne Bliss
Apple Sylvia Bliss
Apple Isabel Bliss
Apple Eleanor Bliss

 I also really like to say Virginia, but it doesn't work as well as a first-middle name between the first and second-middle names I love the most. I've also tried to combine our mothers' names. The best I've done is Linleigh (the first half of my mom's name, Jake's mom's middle name. Jake vetoed it. I think that if fewer baby girls we know would have been named names that have a name followed by any version of "Lee," he would be more convincible.)

And if my womb ever produces a boy, Henry tops the list. I also love Leo, Phineas,  and James. And Atticus is still there for sentimental reasons.

Someday I'll do a whole post about that hypothetical wedding.

PS: I pretended like Air Force One flew over Dot today. It was the loudest plane I've ever heard fly over, and there was another plane close behind it. There were clouds, so I couldn't see anything, but I've never heard/seen planes flying that close together, and lots of planes fly by on their way to the OKC airport. I'll see what I can find out.
PPS: According to the White House Schedule, President Obama was flying somewhere when the planes flew over us, but it was between Virginia and Chicago. Air Force One fly by = highly unlikely. But it was really fun for Cora and me to make stuff up. Being in a super polar state means not much excitement on the campaign trail.


I applied to a local university in hopes of taking a few classes. Their correspondence with me has been to "BrieAnn Lund." It looks so short without the Johnson. The first letter I got from them said they needed 2 transcripts. Whenever I see the name of one of the colleges on the list, my heart starts beating faster. Let's go back about a decade in the life of BrieAnn Lund Johnson, back when I was BrieAnn Lund without the Johnson. 

I was all set to go to the University of Arizona and in the process of switching my major from English to Creative Writing (yes, I was changing my declared major before school even started), but there were two minor* things standing in my way.
1. My car, Lou (the most amazing lovely, super rad first car ever, a light blue 1988 Buick LeSabre with plush navy velvet seats), whom I had grown to love very much, was on blocks in my driveway, and she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.  AKA: I was car-less.
 2. I was broke. Super broke. And jobless. 
The jobless/car-less thing was a vicious cycle. I needed a car, but I didn't have a job. I needed a job, but I didn't have a car to get there. So, right before school was going to start, I called UA and let them know I was out (I'd already met my dorm mate and everything). I had a super free ride to Central Arizona College, which happened to be right down the road from my parent's house. And I had some community scholarships to pay for books.

And then I decided to move to California with my aunt and uncle. I quickly transferred everything to on-line courses and that was that. Except that on-line courses ended up being a nightmare with lots of random technical difficulties.

Somewhere along the way, I moved back to AZ, got a job at Walgreen's (a mile from my house - walkable!), became officially engaged, and was fired from Walgreen's (I took too much time off, except that I didn't really take it off, Jake called in, unbeknownst to me, and took a long weekend off for me because he was secretly flying out over fall break to propose. When I got called into the manager's office and he started out with "We're going to need someone a little more dependable." I was like, "What? I had bronchitis." Fact: I had just taken two days off because I had bronchitis. And then the manager reminded me of the weekend "I'd" taken off right after I started working there. I was trying to remember taking time off. Oh but wait, I didn't take time off, and if my name wasn't on the schedule, then how would I ever know I was supposed to be there before my then-boyfriend called me off. It was weird, and I didn't find out Jake had done that until I was telling him how I got fired. Pish-posh. There were tears. And not to Jake, but during the actual firing. I tried to keep them in, but they would not stay. I could not believe that I, BrieAnn Lund, was getting fired. Especially from Walgreen's. Especially by a guy who was about to pop the buttons off of his uniform vest.). 

Back to school: I was withdrawn from 2 of the 4 courses, and thought that "incomplete(s)" would follow for the other 2, but that was not the case. At the end of the semester, right before I got married, I got a letter in the mail from CAC. It was a transcript. Can you guess my GPA? You'll never guess, I didn't think it was possible, and I think it might be a record.


You read that right. Point-Five-Seven. I wish I had a copy to prove it to you. I didn't know enough about anything college-y then to go in and request that they be changed to incomplete(s). And after a little tear-fest, I don't know that I cared too much either. I was getting married, and that was enough to keep my mind off of it. But I started caring when I got serious about applying to schools in Oklahoma, and the only thing I had from an institution of higher learning had my name with 0.57 next to it. One of the universities I applied to was the one I am now wanting to take some courses at. My name should have changed with my most recent application, but alas, it did not. So I am BrieAnn Lund, and they needed my transcript from CAC, which they now have, and I called today because they still need my transcript from OCU, which I sent 2 weeks ago (the call was also about the whole name thing).

I ended up going to a community college my first semester in Oklahoma. Out-of-state tuition was cheaper there than at a university. It ended up being really a good thing. I was able to take my 4.0 from there and get the full academic transfer scholarship from OCU, even if the academic transfer scholarship was a pittance compared to the first-time freshman academic scholarship. It was something like 4,000/year for transfers and 10,000/year for first-time freshman. The difference would have been 3/4 of my student loans. But seeing an academic scholarship with my name on it was redeeming, even if I was on academic probation for the first semester to make sure I wasn't really a 0.57 GPA kind of gal. I don't know how many times I had to explain that number to people: professors, financial aid, admissions counselors. Ha. It will follow me for the rest of my academic life. It's okay [now]. I've grown to appreciate the irony that exists in being able to say I have a college transcript that says 0.57 and another one that says I graduated with honor. Magna even. I'm glad the latter is the most conclusive, even if it doesn't say summa.

One more secret, since I'm in a divulging mood:
I never sent in Thank You notes for the community scholarships I got in High School. It has been pressing on my mind. I appreciated them, and I didn't even ask for the other half of them because I didn't want them to be disappointed they picked me. I still remember what they were. I'm sure I could contact my high school and get the addresses. Yes, I think I'll do that. AND...

I wish it was a one-time thing: We never sent out Thank You notes from our wedding. But we wrote all of them. Every single one. But after a while, it was like, do we go ahead and send these? I think we held onto them for 4 years before tossing them. Let it be known that I am still thankful for every dish and dollar and card and towel and kind word and pot and utensil and glass and crock pot and iron and basket and picture frame and every big and little thing. I'm sorry I never let you know. AND...

I didn't send out a few of the Thank You cards after Magnolia was born. I wrote them! But they live in my top drawer. They are in the picture above. We moved when Magnolia was 7 weeks old, and I didn't have addresses for a few of them in Chicago. The cards moved to two different houses now, and Jake thinks it's crazy that I still have them. But I do. So:

Mardee Clive (orange envelope)
Monica Crews [who is now Monica Phillips] (orange envelope)
Amber Dowdle (pink and green envelope)
Carina Bischoff (pink and green envelope)

Thank you for watching Cora while I was on bed rest and for the meals and for the cute dresses and for the kind words. I'm still grateful from the bottom of my heart for you helping me take care of my darling daughter and family during a difficult pregnancy.

And George and Celeste Jones (pink and green envelope): Thank you for the cute clothes for the girls. I loved that you got something for both of them. And I loved that they were both yellow.

And Carl and Margaret Edgerton (yours is the big white one): I wrote you a card after a service over a year ago. I'm still going to send it someday, and I still mean every word I said. 

And maybe I'll send all of these cards someday. It's not like I'm going to toss them now after I've had them for so long.

I'm happy to report I'm doing much better. As you can tell, writing a thank you note has never been a problem. It's the sending it - and that might be just as important as the feelings of gratitude - but my collection hasn't grown in a couple of years, so hopefully this lack of sending ability is a thing of the past.

Redemption, True Colors, Being Better, and Hair.

I spent this evening with earbuds and my favorite tunes. This period of checking out was brought on by the debate. I've been trying not to obsessively check the election polls. (I always check Real Clear Politics because they take an average of all the major polls. The debate season has made the polls look like a roller coaster.) Bob Marley's Redemption song put me in a better place. It always does. How could it not?
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our mind. 
Easy Silence is playing now.
Anger plays on every station
Answers only make more questions...
I come to find a refuge in the easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me. 
I just wrote a paragraph and deleted it. Then I started another and deleted it. And now all I can think about it a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley.
Each of us can do a little better than we have been doing. We can be a little more kind. We can be a little more merciful. We can be a little more forgiving. We can live with respect and appreciation for those not of our faith. We can improve the world about us, in our homes and in our social activities. We can do it...
Yes, we can do it because I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors and that's why I love you. And don't be afraid to let them show. Your true colors are beautiful...

You know, like a rainbow.

And onto the really important matters of life. I want to cut my hair. Off. Shorter than ever. The timing is odd because I usually average a haircut about once a year. It's only been 3 months since I got it cut last. I think. I really don't remember. These are my photo inspiration. All from The Glamourai. [I don't know how I just found out about this blog.] I'm really sort of obsessed with her hair.
The photo that started the obsession and began the photo tracking hunt that led to the Glamourai

Front and back-ish

Everything Else - the heart of the matter, really.

We stayed with some dear friends while in Chicago. Since we stayed with them for fall break last year, I'm gonna go ahead and call it a tradition. I haven't come up with something I don't love about them yet. And since we were only in Chicago together for one year, I feel like we're still getting to know one another, even if I sometimes feel like I've known them forever.

Matt is working on getting a new business going. I hope it takes off and soars. And not just because I want this success for him - it's a really good idea. On our last day, we stopped by his office which is located in Merchandise Mart and part of an AMAZING space called 1871. Within 1871 there are hundreds of people working on different startups. It was started by a few people who wanted to give small businesses a place to grow. Each member of the business (Matt's has 2) pays a small "rental" fee to use the space. As one can imagine, there are wonderful networking opportunities in a place like that. We heard just a few ideas from some of the other individuals working on businesses, and I am still caught up in the creativity that happens in so many ways, but especially in making intangible information useful on a large scale.

Lisa graduated from law school earlier this year, and is currently working on a masters in policy. When we got there, she was just about to send off her resume and cover letter for a fellowship. We proofread before she hit send, and I was glad to do so. I love what she wants her life to be about. In a super teeny tiny speck of a nutshell: finding ways to lessen the impact and scope of poverty especially where women and children are concerned. I enjoy our conversations, and I especially value her insights and honesty about questions of faith and doubt.

They recently moved into a new building that once had a theatre with 3,000+ seats. The theatre was torn down several years ago to make way for a parking lot, but the lobby of theatre is still intact, just closed off from the rest of the building. The idea of velvet curtains and chandeliers hanging for no one to see makes me sad. On a very adventurous night, Matt hoisted himself up on a fire escape to access a door with a mystery on the other side. The reality ended up being more fire escapes, but it was thrilling thinking that we might be able to make our way into the lobby. I must see it someday. There is also a ballroom on the top floor of their building that is locked up (with a super boring and very frustrating padlock). I could easily develop a tic brought on by amazing spaces that aren't being used. I get really sort of obsessed with things.

Jake and I went to the Art Institute. It was at the top of my list as I've never been able to go without a child. The Art Institute is one of my favorite places in the world. I always say if I had it to do over, my undergrad would have been in Art History. It was one of two textbooks I loved to read. The other was psychology. I also really loved my human rights texts. After being in Chicago, I decided that my career path should have included something like a PhD in the History of Art and Architecture. My very favorite part of my gigantic Art History text was the little snippet on Green Architecture - a movement that takes old structures and transforms them into useful spaces in the 'modern' world (see above obsession with old theatre lobby and ballroom). Aside from all of the pieces I enjoy seeing at the Art Institute, I was especially overcome when viewing three pieces/installations. All were in the contemporary wing. The first was an overwhelming collection of items with a singular thread of music running throughout. It's called No Time to Start Again by Allen Ruppersberg, and it was really one of the most complex exhibits I've ever seen, and I would need to spend much more time with it to write anything adequate, but I was touched by the faces in the images, all living their lives in a time, all connected to one another by collective experiences human beings can't avoid. It was when I read the line Everything is collected, nothing is saved that I felt the power of the collection and its relevance in my life and being. It was powerful. [Click on the picture to read more about it.]

When I came across Hinoki by Charles Ray, I was first caught by the scale of the sculpture. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's so big, and something that I've seen before, a fallen, decaying tree. But because this was a model of a fallen tree, it was naked. Every little mark was exposed, and the middle of the trunk was hollow. I could have spent an hour or so just staring through it. I felt transported, like all of the answers to life's mysteries were waiting on the other side. 

The last piece was Sanctuary by Martin Puryear. I loved its story, so I'll just share what I read at the Art Institute.
In 1977 a fire destroyed a vast body of Martin Puryear’s sculpture, as well as many of the artist’s wordly possessions. Resulting in what he called “a period of grieving followed by an incredible lightness and freedom,” the event proved pivotal in directing the artist’s subsequent work. One year later, Puryear began a series of sculptures around the themes of movement and shelter. Sanctuary embodies what he described as “mobility with a kind of escapism, of survival through flight.” The sculpture appears to be in a state of arrested motion. This whimsical and sophisticated work reconciles a longing for stability with a need for change. By pairing the wild tree saplings with a carefully fashioned shelter, Puryear celebrated the beauty of wood in both its natural and refined states.
"A longing for stability with a need for change." Yes, that's exactly right.

Lastly, I've got to give a shout out to The Chicago Diner and public transportation. Before going to Chicago, a friend asked what I was most looking forward to. While I forgot to mention it, public transportation is always at the top of my list. I love the ease of trains and busses and arriving where I need to be in collaboration with good old-fashioned walking. It makes me feel all kinds of free. I love seeing all of the people, and sharing a cramped space, and rubbing shoulders with strangers. There were two random points of excitement. One was on a very crowded bus on our way home from downtown. A woman got on at the stop after we did, and I didn't catch how it started, but she started fighting with the driver. One stop later, he was honking for some police officers on bikes, and she was escorted off. The second was waiting for a train in the loop. A man passed by Jake and I and just started talking to us. His size was intimidating, but when he spoke, he was like a child. He explained that the [very clearly marked] on-coming train was the brown line, he said a few more things I didn't quite catch, and then he started saying I was pretty and going over points of my physical appearance. "You have blonde hair. And blue eyes. And a nice coat. And..." And then the train came, and I was glad. He got onto the same car we did, but went through a different door. I slouched next to Jake so if he turned around he couldn't see me. Even though Jake was next to me, and even though I'm almost certain he was harmless, situations like those start a sort of panic inside of me. We got off at Merchandise Mart, visited with Matt, and then made our way to The Chicago Diner.

The Chicago Diner is all vegan. And all good. We had the Gyoza salad, and then I ordered a BBQ bacon cheezeburger with macaroni and cheeze and a cookie dough shake. Ummm, WOW! I am still blown away. I was telling Jake, it's not just that it's a good burger or that it's vegan, it's like the best BBQ bacon cheeseburger I've ever had. The same with the shake. The mac and cheese was not the best mac and cheese I've ever had, but it was by far the best vegan mac and cheese. Jake got a Ruben. I was almost sure we were being duped. We don't normally eat things that imitate meat, nor food that is so "heavy," but having something so old timey in our dietary evolution was fun. If you live in Chicago and you haven't been there yet, or if you go to Chicago and want some awesome food that will surprise and amaze you, go to The Chicago Diner.

More Comings and Goings of Fall Break in Chicago

 We saw a lot of other great spaces for Open House Chicago. While in the Daley Center, we learned that everything is custom in the building. The doors, the windows, the floors, even the white paint is custom and fittingly named "Daley Center White." The architectural features are custom because the building wasn't built using the standard 12 grid scale. I think it was built on an 11 grid scale, but that is sketchy in my memory. In order to retain landmark status, everything must keep the designated color scheme. That means no custom paint colors in offices. While I thought the artificial lighting in the areas without windows was oppressive, I really appreciated the minimal design elements.
A hallway in Daley Center

The Kemper Building was built in 1962 and was "the tallest marble-clad office building in the world when completed. It had Chicago's first 360 degree observation deck on the 41st floor, but it had been closed for almost 40 years, that was UNTIL it opened for OHC this year. It had wonderful views of the city. Kemper also had pictures of other Open House sites all along the observation floor, so you could look out and learn a little bit about the building you were seeing. It helped us pick a few more spots to go see. I hope they will permanently reopen it. 
Kemper from the north side of the river
W/NW view from the observation deck

Lake Point Tower had two areas open. The point that got us there was the circular restaurant [Cite...that's the actual name of the restaurant, not a note for me] with 360 degree views of Chicago and Lake Michigan (and on a clear day, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin - it wasn't a clear day). The other area was the 2.5 acre rooftop garden. It's three-stories up on-top of the parking garage. It's undergoing renovations, and we led by a landscape architect who was explaining the changes they were making/had made while attempting to keep the whole thing true to Alfred Caldwell's original vision. I enjoyed hearing the details as well as having an inside look at the original design elements. So much thought goes into things that are unintentionally overlooked.
 A view of the rooftop garden. It has a pool, "lagoon," waterfall, bbq area, etc. It was lovely. I forgot to ask how much room there was between the landscaping and top of the parking garage.

The Inland Steel Building was my favorite modern skyscraper. Hands-down. I don't know if I can pinpoint exactly why just yet. I suppose it's for the same reason I love Roosevelt's Auditorium Theatre: the innovation in design from decades ago is still striking to me. The space surprises me, and I love surprises. We just went up to the second floor as the entire building is being renovated. The building is essentially two towers, one for elevators and bathrooms, and another for completely unobstructed work space. Having things like elevators and bathrooms separate allows for uninterrupted floor to ceiling, wall to wall, window to window, wide open space. And I love that. We entered the building just as it started raining - the crazy downpour, an umbrella isn't going to cut kind. Jake and I were also the only ones on the floor. It felt like a quiet perch just above ground level. 
Inland Steel Building
The new Wabash Tower at Roosevelt University was fun. I love the Auditorium Building most because I love old buildings, but I love what the university was able to give to their students. The classrooms are amazing, and still some of the best views in Chicago. I also love the design of the building in contrast to the Auditorium Building is seems to rise out of. And let it be known that from the 15th story up is student housing. That's right. How would you like to score the penthouse dorm room overlooking Chicago? Me! Do-over. 
The wavy Wabash Tower rising above the Auditorium Building. You enter into the Auditorium Theatre at the street level under the tower of the AB (can you see those "little" arches? That's where).

The Fisher Building is an old office building that has been converted into [mostly] apartments. We saw a model apartment, and the highlight of the apartment was the wallpaper. The building hallways were neat because it still looked like the occupants were small offices. All the doors were wood with class insets with a business name painted on. The transoms were also all still there. It was interesting. Much cooler than most apartment building hallways. The highlight of this building was on the second floor. There are two businesses that remain in the building, one is the leasing company, another is Wheeler Kearns Architects. Wheeler Kearns was AMAZING! The office was visually stimulating with hundreds of models all around. All of the architects had a workspace in the middle of the main area. We slowly made our way around looking at everything, and on the last leg of the loop, our friend Matt asked one of the architects a question about their use of models vs. newer ways like 3D printing. That is where the magic happened. It was so fun to hear this architect talk about his craft. He answered more questions and I loved his passion for his work as well as his work being a sort of fulfillment of his childlike wonder, creativity, and craftiness. His words fed me.
 Fisher Building

The opera balcony wallpaper that was so super rad

A view of Kearns and Wheeler Architects on the second floor of the Fisher Building.

The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts was celebrating its opening while we were there, and also was part of OHC. It's the new arts center at the University of Chicago, and they announced construction plans while we were there in 2009. It was fun to see the finished product. The building has something going on in every corner. The art studios, scene shop, several rehearsal spaces an many more areas had glass walls. I think it would take me forever to get anywhere because I would constantly be stopping to look at what was going on. We explored this place from top to bottom, pausing for a while in the Performance Penhouse to listen to a jazz ensemble. My respect for jazz has officially multiplied. It was amazing. Amazing is a stupid word for it, really. It was an experience. A moment I decided to fully embrace. After the jazz group, we found a classroom full of chairs on wheels. I think we would have stayed there for much longer had it not been designated as a green room for the jazz performers. Highlights of the building: the wheely chairs, the classroom that had window walls that completely open up to the outside, the Performance Penthouse, the "transparency" between spaces, the creative juices that were a flowin'.
Logan Center

Some Comings and Goings of Fall Break in Chicago

We got home from a great trip to Chicago last night. Every night we stayed up until 1. We rolled out of bed between 8 and 8:30, ate lunch at 3, dinner between 8 and 9, etc. I've decided that's a pretty sweet schedule. When we got into town on Friday evening, we got the parking spot right in-front of Matt and Lisa's apartment, which is no small feat. (We didn't move our car (I've decided her name is Olive) until we left Tuesday morning.) We ate dinner at Medici, our favorite restaurant in Hyde Park, and were delighted to see they now have dairy-free cheese. We had a Margherita pizza, and while nothing will ever top the spinach goat cheese pizza, it was completely satisfying. So were the fries. I love Medici fries with the house bbq dressing as much as I love the pizza, maybe more.

On Saturday we headed downtown to take part in Open House Chicago festivities. Last year was the first year for OHC, and it is awesome. Dozens of buildings open up to the public. It floats my explorer boat. We decided to see the big performance spaces that were open, and made our way into other buildings along the way to each one. And while the buildings and views are definitely the best part, a major perk is that it's all free.

We saw the Civic Opera House first. The most impressive part, to me, was the set for Elektra, the opera that was going to show that night. I liked the lobby better than the house, but my mind is still trying to grasp the six-story fly space above the stage.
Next was Oriental Theatre. There was so much detail. While in the house taking it all in, I wondered/worried what would happen if one of the ornate plaster figures decided it didn't want to be stuck on the ceiling anymore. The theatre itself was putting on a show.
 My favorite theatre space was the Auditorium Theatre that is now part of Roosevelt University. The Auditorium Building was finished in 1889, and was the tallest building in Chicago and the largest in the country. The building was comprised of the theatre, office space, and a hotel. Roosevelt University now occupies the entire building, plus a new highrise addition. And let it be known that Roosevelt is one of my favorite places in the city. The building is amazing, and the views of Lake Michigan are perfect, plus there are inspiring quotes by the namesakes of the university (Franklin [and Eleanor] Roosevelt) throughout. Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the school "to the enlightenment of the human spirit." I feel something like that when I am there. 

More about the building: The ground underneath is 100 feet of soft blue clay. Because of the weight of building, they needed to come up with something to keep it from sinking into the clay. The architects/builders ultimately came up with a wooden foundation that would stay wet and essentially float above the clay to prevent settling. The foundation is continually kept moist by the original aqueducts that carry water from Lake Michigan. The foundation has settled. A lot! The tour guide said it is typical for foundations such as the Auditorium's to settle 10 feet. The Auditorium Building has settled 20-25 feet. The floors in the lobby are wavy, it's amazing. And some parts, especially in the balcony, which is six levels above the house, don't seem like they could still be sound with how much they lean. 

Not only is the building an architectural feat that amazes me, the technology that was originally infused still seems revolutionary. The stage has a false proscenium that they can fly out to expand the opening of the stage from 47 feet to 75 feet. There are also hinged ceiling panels that were operated by huge cranks that could block off the upper two balconies to make the space appear more intimate. The crank system no longer works, but it should! I want to see those babies in action. Go here for more detail about the building and all of it's super awesomeness. 
Roosevelt Auditorium Theatre House

Roosevelt Auditorium Theatre Stage
Cross-section of the house. 
Can you see the curved ceiling panel above the upper balcony? And the hydraulic lifts under the stage? One must walk across one of three catwalks to access the upper balcony. I was holding onto something the whole time I was up there. If authentic can describe a space, that's what this one was, especially when compared to the other two theatres we saw, which were amazing, but I feel like I could spend days (probably weeks) exploring every little corner of this place.

PS: All of the light bulbs in the Auditorium Theatre are replicas of Thomas Edison's carbon filament bulb. The glow is stunning.

Tots on a Thursday Night

My throat started hurting when we were on our way home from Fin and Feather. It's a craft show/flea market/junkin' spot all set on an old resort on Lake Tenkiller. My favorite thing we got: A very large frame. So large we're having difficulty getting it home. But it's awesome. When I got home, I took 2500 mg of vitamin c and went to bed. Aside from some wheezing while I was running the Hot Mamas Run on Sunday, I felt like I was staying on top of staying well...until I woke up Tuesday and one side of my face was swollen. I took suphedrine, pulled out my flonase, and was just about to curse the fact that I had another sinus infection. Luckily, I think thanks to large quantity of vitamin c I took, I'm on the mend. This is record time. Today my nose has been a leaky faucet though, but I'm glad my face isn't swollen.  

The Hot Mamas Run: I entered a giveaway sponsored by Keep It Local and won free registration. That was super exciting. The run was at Mitch Park and was the first race in Oklahoma just for women. I really like the idea behind the run as well as getting to be part of the first event. I'm sure it will be recurring. The only thing I didn't like: the logo. It transformed the image of a woman most often found on mud flaps, bumpers, and/or the signs for "gentlemen's" clubs and made her appear to be running. Of all the images/silhouettes of a woman they could have used, that one was pretty disappointing. The course through Mitch Park surprised me with its hilliness. Hilliness and wheezing aside, I was happy with the results. I placed 82/676 overall, and in my age division 17/118. 5ks are my favorite races. I think it's the sense of familiarity.

Jake took Cora to the dress rehearsal for Cosi fan tutte tonight. They were pretty much leaving at the same time Parker was leaving (Parker was able to join us for dinner after dropping their parents off at the airport). Cora was getting her shoes and coat on, and Magnolia followed me saying, "My sweater. My sweater." I put it on her, and she was ready to go. BUT...she wasn't going anywhere. I decided to take her on a bike ride so she wouldn't feel left out from doing something. We rode through downtown and over to Bricktown where we stopped at Sonic and got some tater-tots.

We got in some fantastic people watching. There was a group of about 25 college kids who met at the tables near us, laid down some rules, and then split for a photo scavenger hunt. It made me laugh. Magnolia talked to me the whole time, naming everything she could see,  and asking me what some things were. She made her way through the tots v e r y  s l o w l y. On the ride home, I thought she might fall asleep, and I'm sure she would have if she hadn't still been talking. I loved this little evening. I like the contrast between day and night of familiar places. People in the library were much more visible through the windows. It was Thursday night, so there was a group performing on the roof of the art museum. Their sound carried for several blocks. I haven't seen the chairs lit up at the memorial in a long time. My sweet little Goo and me riding around while the "sun was hiding" on a crisp fall night.


Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top