As Far As I Can Tell

To Grandma

Omar and Barb Hochstetler

This morning Barbara Hochstetler, my Grandma, died of cancer at age 73. There’s so much to say, but I can’t right now. I’ll miss you Grandma.



No more pointy hair

Today was the first real Moped Army meeting of the season. It’s nice that we have the Rocket Star to meet at now. Last year we would go to 1977 or The Crows Nest. The moped shop wasn’t very comfortable and there were too many repair related distractions. The restaurant never really welcomed us and required that people purchase food or drinks. Dan has a habit of opening new businesses that fill all his needs.

We figured out the details of the upcoming Moped BBQ 10, taking place Memorial Day weekend. We’ve modified the race so it’s safer, and planned a weekend that’s going to be fun for both in and out of town members.

It’s still almost too cold to be riding mopeds at night, but during the day is perfect with just a jacket. Every spring I forget just how much I love it until that first ride. Mopes are worth all the hassle.

On Saturday I got my haircut. Gone is the twisty swirl, sitting precariously on my forehead like an oversized ice cream cone. I rocked that style for far too long and I’m happy having less hair to deal with.



aww, no swirl? the passing of an era. i’m looking to move out of chicago this fall. perhaps kalamazoo, land of opportunity and mopeds, is where i should go.

Posted by: jim on April 26, 2004 7:40 AM

Kalamazoo is an okay place, but doesn’t have nearly as many opportunities as a larger city. As far as jobs go, you’re lucky if you can get a good one. Generally there is only one or two places that anyone in a particular career would want to work at — to the point that most people leave town if they lose their jobs. Are you getting tired of Chicago?

Posted by: simon on April 26, 2004 9:01 AM

Spring in Chicago

Everything in Chicago this weekend worked out perfectly. It turned out that even though they added a second show for Bonnie Prince Billy the original one wasn’t sold out, so Ivo was able to come with me.

Saturday was the start of the two week long Version 4 event, so we stopped by Buddy for the ZROX show on our way. The gallery showcased Xeroxed flyers, some from exhibit invitees and others put up by gallery goers. There was a copy machine so you could take your favorites with you. The outside roof was open for a viewing of a political video projected on a giant blowup TV. It was my first time on the Buddy/Heaven roof and while I’d seen it from the train I didn’t realize what a nice space it was. It’s great to be so close to the blue line with no real barrier in-between.

From there we headed up to Logan Square, bought Ivo a ticket, and ate a delicious meal at Lula before heading upstairs to the auditorium. I’ve wanted to see Will Oldham play for years now, and I wasn’t disappointed. He started off by himself and slowly added accompanying musicians every couple of songs. The build up to the full band nicely mirrored the range of accompaniment found in his recordings. During the set he played nearly every song I wanted to hear, including a 4 song encore entirely from Ease on Down the Road. I even succeeded in staying calm when hecklers started yelling requests for him to “rock out” and shouting various obscure requests to show how cool they were.

The following day was my most successful clothes shopping trip in recent memory. After a Leo’s breakfast with Ivo, Andrea, and Tim we headed downtown. The weather was warm enough for just a sweater and reminded me how much I love walking around the city in the spring.

I had forgotten about a Version 4 printmaking show I wanted to check out until I was already heading out of town. I made a detour by the In These Times offices for the Paper Politics exhibit. Outside was the Quimby’s zinemobile, giving away free zines to pedestrians. The modified bicycle has a fold-up curtain with pockets for zines to fit in. This is one of the street projects in the festival along with The Human Television Network. The show had prints of various mediums but all dealing with social change. The work was mixed, but there were a few pieces, especially the wood block prints, that I really liked.

So everything went swimmingly, though I wish I would have eaten some elotes. I’ll have to hunt for them next time.



oh elotes, how I long for its mayonaise goodness. I was very wet and cold, but in Paris…April in Paris.

Posted by: meredith on April 19, 2004 12:30 PM

gah. i totally forgot to do ANY of that stuff—and the two art shows you went to were the ones i wanted to go to. i was even goign to bring a piece of art with me that i did on a copier in college. also! LULA’S! i go there with nate all the time—he lives like three blocks from there!

Posted by: jim on April 20, 2004 1:11 AM

Birdie in the window sill

When my writing here lapses it feels like seeing an old friend who I don’t keep in touch with much. There’s a lot to tell — enough that you can’t really think of what to say. I may recap, but you might just have to fill in the gaps.

It could be spring, or the fact that I have so much time alone with my thoughts these days, but I’m feeling restless. I’m getting confident about making some changes, if only to do something new. I’m going to Chicago this weekend and looking forward to getting out of town. I’ve been talking to Meredith about her travels throughout Europe and getting jealous. Soon (say it with me now…soon!) we’ll be traveling together.

I taught my last class at Western tonight and I’m left with mixed feelings. I’m glad I did it, but I guess I was expecting too much. It might have been better if it was a part of a degree program instead of an elective, or if there were an advanced class for the students to work towards. There are a few students who seem genuinely interested and excited about what they’ve learned, so it was worth it. I’m just glad I was given the opportunity, which doesn’t come up for most people my age.

I’m working on the Rocket Start website, and I’ll be able to pick up the pace now that my class if over. I’ve been taking it really slow through the design phase, analyzing needs and ideas for the site. In reality most of the design up to this point has been non-visual. I think it will be the better for it though, and having the website launch with a solid base of customers might not be such a bad thing. I’ve created a survey to solicit ideas and expectations. If you’re a Rocket Star customer or just interested in helping out, please take the survey.

Listening to: Blonde Redhead, Modest Mouse, The Rapture, Sufjan Stevens, Utah!, Sea and Cake, Iron and Wine, Atmosphere, Diverse



simon! i want to hang with you this weekend! i have nothing going on! let’s do this!

Posted by: jim on April 16, 2004 9:28 PM

Sufjan Stevens and Iron and Wine are Great! I will check out the others.

Posted by: Gig on May 14, 2004 7:12 PM

As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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