11 February 2010

a happy list

so in my effort to write on here more frequently, and in my love for lexie, i have decided to follow in her footsteps and make a happy post. and guess what? i'm doing it from bed!

1) happy chef, chinatown chicago. everything from chicken feet, sharkfin soup, to the pork buns and chow fun, this place is some of the best chinese food you can get outside of china. and for the price you can't ask for much more. if any of you visit me in chicago, there's a chance i'll take you there - and we'll eat all the buns and noodles that we can handle - topping it off with an ice cold crisp can of coca cola.

2) a chicago style hot dog. i'm talking mustard, pickle, celery salt, relish, hot peppers, tomato, cucumber, a vienna beef sausage, on a poppy seed bun. and never, i mean never put ketchup on it. if you're up for the wait - i suggest visiting hot doug's on the northside of chicago, and going on a weekend to try the duckfat fries. they are divine. ps i apoligize to all my vegetarian readers!

3) my room, southloop chicago. i'm not sure if it's the relief i get after walking up four flights of stairs, or the view from my window, but i think i have the best room in the world. perched on top of my family's town house, i have a space that really is my own. my sleeping area is just that - separate from the clutter of my clothes, which are in a closet space in the hall of my room. it's difficult to have clutter in my room - something that really makes me evaluate what i own and i love it. it's the coziest happiest place i know, and i love it. why do i have to move out one day?

4) museums. i LOVE museums. i love the smell of a natural history museum - all of the old stuffed animals, and insects, and bones, and birds. i love the little metal buttons they make you wear at art museusm. i love the feel of the museum map in my hand, the rich paper they've selected. i love weaving my way through exhibitions, often looking at other peoples' faces while they look at what's on display. i love the gift shop and the cafe. i love how safe it feels.

rubens' medici cycle, the louvre, paris

the musee d'orsay, paris

the rothko room, the tate modern, london

taxidermied specimens, the field museum, chicago

5) receiving mail. there's something about looking into my k-box and seeing a magazine, letter, yellow package slip, note, candy, you name it that really tickles my fancy. i love love love mail. i love sending it and receiving it. i must confess, that i've mailed people bananas, fake teeth, candy, admiration letters - and i love every second of it. i'm thinking of a project where i burn cds for everyone in my senior class or something - but that's rather ambitions. we'll work on it. 

i'm posting my college k-box address up here temporarily if anyone feels inclined to surprise me.

sandy caribou
knox college - 725
2 e. south street
galesburg, il 61401

6) the knox college library. and every library for that matter. i love the smell of books. i do. i love reading books too. but i especially love our library. i'm pretty sure that lexie has already made a post about it on her blog, but let me reiterate how amazing it is. it's the reason why i came here. it's cozy. well lit. warm. quiet. welcoming. an overall extremely lovely and productive environment. and there are  a few really nice paintings in the bathroom. i am such an art history nerd. i think that saddest part about graduating is that my library card is deactivated and i lose access to all of those books. i'd be nowhere without the library/books/and research librarians. i'm sending them flowers when my thesis is done.

7) cooking with my mom. in every house i've lived in, the kitchen has been my favorite room. it's funny, most people prefer to lounge on the couch in the family room, or love the solitude of their bedrooms, but i love my kitchen. my mom is an amazing, i mean AMAZING cook and she has literally taught me all that i know. i want to cook my way through her recipes like julie powell did with julia child. i feel as though it'd be a way to be close to my mom when i can't be because i'm here or wherever my career takes me. i love waking up early to go to whole foods and tj's to get there as the doors open to avoid the rush, and then having the afternoon to listen to npr and bake and cook. mom, i know you are reading this - i love you and i love your cooking. you are seriously my role model.

mom doing her thing in our old kitchen

8) going out to eat with my dad. where my mom is an expert in the kitchen my father is an expert in the restaurant world. i've never had a bad meal with him. here is a laundry list of every restaurant he's hipped me up to that i've loved (that i can remember): hot chocolate chicago, urban belly, tank sushi, oysy sushi, the carnegie deli, happy chef, momofuko, i latini, quattro leoni, hot doug's, tre kroner, france's, clarke's, coco pazzo, the boingo room, and the new discovery xoco - and i'm going to rest my case there. he loves zagat's and always picks up a time out for whatever city we visit so we never have a bad meal. i love love love eating out with him. our dates are things i've come to treasure when i visit home. so thanks, dad. i love you very much!

9) this american life. i listen to this when i drive home/ to kentucky/ to indiana. i listen to it when i fall asleep. i listen to it in the car with my mom, before wait wait don't tell me. everything about this show makes me happy. i love ira glass. i got to meet him right before i left for college. if you haven't already heard it - download this past week's podcast. it's one of their best episodes yet! and if you have the chance, try to see a show live! it's a lot of fun!


here's a link to the house on loon lake.

10) clay. and last but not least, is my boy. we've been through the good, the bad, and the ugly - but the good seems to weigh out the bad. i am so fortunate to have him in my life again and i love every second we spend with one another. clay, you are the best. you make me laugh. i love you.

and there you have it. my happy list. since i'm supposed to retag 10 people i guess i'll do my best to fill that quota.


  1. oh my gosh! this is the best list ever!

  2. just found your blog through Lexie's actually (she's one of my favorite bloggers ever, so naturally you must be amazing too :). and boy is this a fabulous introductory post! You're a girl after my own heart, food food food! my dad is the foodie of the family- both the amazing cook and the restaurant snob so I appreciate your list. for some odd reason that chicago hotdog photo looks sooo delicious (been to chicago but never had the hotdog...oops, on to do list now). the knox lib does look lovely, my college's lib is like entering a prison. definitely the last place I want to enter, usually it means I am way too behind on homework ugg haha.

    ps I love old fashioned letters as well!

  3. oh, forgot to add, we must trade links! :)

  4. yes, yes, yes this all makes me happy love it!

  5. please please keep writing. your posts are charming, well written, and well photographed already, so don't stop!

    as for tips:

    if you want more readers you have to do a lot of reading yourself. I call it PR in a way. a lot of it is giving others a pat on the back. stopping by your favorite blogs and commenting (with a little side note about trading links at the end)is a really good way to start building up the blogroll and readership. If you're willing to read someone else they will normally read you too. and since your blog rocks anyways, they will read you and love you :)

    post fairy frequently, but not too frequently. people like blogs they know are busy. they want to know that when they click your link there will be something new there. blogs that go weeks and weeks without posting aren't too popular. but if you post too many times a day or week then it may become too difficult to keep track of posts for the average reader. I like to make sure I get a few comments before another post (as I've gotten more readership my minimum number of comments has gotten higher hehe).

    personal is better than generic. you seem to have this one down already, but people can read about a new CD, a new fashion label, or a book anywhere, so if you personalize it the blog becomes more fun and interactive. on my older blog I used to post about the latest movie or pair of shoes and that was it, no one really read it b/c it was so blah.

    hope these were helpful/ not too patronizing