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Hooray, Part 1 of this is up at Gapers Block, but here is my interview (in full) with my favorite author, Irvine Welsh:

Crime, the latest novel by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting, Filth), follows Detective Inspector Ray Lennox from Edinburg to Miami as he attempts to recover from a stress- and drug-induced mental breakdown and salvage what is left of the struggling relationship with his fiancée. Instead of a relaxing holiday, Ray finds himself assuming the role of guardian and defender for a frightened ten-year-old girl in the middle of a dire situation. Never one to shy away from difficult subject matter, Welsh explores everything from abuse to organized crime to innocence, guilt, secrets, blame, prejudice, truth, deceit, consequence, corruption, and ultimately, redemption in his most recent work.

Fresh off of the previous night’s Read Against Recession event at The Metro, I talk book tours, writing, teaching, sports, politics, music, film, and of course, Chicago, with one of the most well-rounded men in the literary world today.

What did you think about Read Against Recession last night?

I thought it was great. Stephanie [Kuehnert] and Bill [Hillmann] were very good. When I go to places and do book tours, I don’t really like doing traditional book shops. It’s nice to walk people through something instead of just standing up in a book store. Sometimes you have to do the big book stores as well and some of them are really good, like the Barnes & Noble in Union Square in New York, for example, but I like some of the bigger independent book stores, like Book Soup in LA. They are really good to work with. Powell’s in Portland is great for events. And Books & Books in Miami – I have a reading at Books & Books and a party at White Room after. PowerHouse is this book store that can also manufacture and publish a book, so it’s a huge, great space. Readings are quite boring, really. You can’t really perform and it’s just nice for you to put a face or a voice to a book. Stephanie and Bill both put a lot into it.

What was Bill reading from?

It’s this novel he’s working on. He keeps sending me bits of it and it’s all really good, so if it holds up as well as it looks in the interim, it will do really well.

And Stephanie was your student a few years ago, right?

Yeah, she was one of the students when I was teaching at Columbia. There were a lot of really good, talented writers, but I think that the x-factor that she had was that total dedication. She just really wanted to do it and I think that’s the sort of thing that was always very impressive, that she was 100% into it. I’m not surprised that it’s been successful, her book, and I think she’ll continue to be successful. She’s got a new one coming out next year as well so she’s kind of up and running.

How did the teaching gig come about in the first place?

I came to Columbia for Story Week and after that they asked me if I wanted to come back and do a year’s teaching. I vibed with Chicago. I liked the place and I’d become friends with a lot of people, so it seemed like a nice thing to do.

And now you have a pretty substantial connection with the city.

Yeah, my wife’s from Chicago. I met her in a bar one night and we just kind of clicked. It was a snobby kind of hotel bar downtown; it was this Irish kind of theme pub that was in the basement one of these very soulless hotels on Michigan Avenue. I was just out for a drink with some pals and she was out for the night. Because of our connection it means that I’m able to be here a lot of the time and we’ve got an apartment here. Most of her family is out of state, but a lot of her pals are here so I like to get over a bit in the summer.

Not winter?

Not winter, no no no. I like to come towards the end of the baseball season and the start of the baseball season.

Have you been to any games this year?

Not this time, no. I’ve not been in town that much, but hopefully I’m going to get to some when I come back in about ten days time. I’ve watched some on TV, though.

I read somewhere that you were a relatively new baseball fanatic.

Yeah, I’ve gotten more and more into it in the last few years. I’m a big football, you know, soccer fan and now money kind of ruins the game. You can publish the wage bill of every club at the start of the year and then publish big table at the end of the year and it’s the same. There are only two clubs in England that can win the league, there are only two clubs in Scotland who can win the league, two clubs in Spain, you know. It’s pretty boring. The Yankees, for example, can spend money money money money and still be sh*t, so you can’t really control the outcome the same way in baseball. Obviously, the money helps, but the Florida Marlins get like crowds of 5,000 and they still won the World Series twice in the last ten years.

Yeah, it’s funny how that works.

Well, they’re going to build the new Marlins baseball stadium in the Orange Bowl, which will be great for them. It will be great for downtown Miami to have as well. I mean, it won’t turn into Clark Street overnight because it’s pretty dead down there, but you’ll get baseball fans when they’re playing there regularly and you’ll start to get bars opening up and services that will revitalize that part of downtown. So it’ll be good for them and it’ll be good for the city and I think more people will come.

I noticed there was a little anti-Yankees, pro-Red Sox teasing in Crime. Is that your team?

The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is quite intense. I gravitate more towards the Red Sox because the Yankees have just been this big kind of horrible, soulless, multinational corporation and the Red Sox have been more like the people’s club, standing up to this juggernaut, but my team is the White Sox here in Chicago. Most of my pals are real Cubs fans. I’ve just supported the White Sox to be contrary, basically. I probably go to Wrigley Field more than I go to The Cell but I always wear my White Sox shirt or a cap or something like that and you get a good bit of banter from the fans. And I kind of learned the game down in The Cell as well because you’ve got all of these statistics around you and the scoreboards so it’s kind of useful. I do like going there.

So you’re coming back to Chicago for the Windy City Story Slam on October 4. Is that going to be the same kind of thing as the Read Against Recession event, or something totally different?

I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll probably just read a short story. Bill [Hillmann] and Don [De Grazia, American Skin], it’s their baby basically. I’m sure it’ll be good fun. They’re interesting guys because they straddle the kind of Twilight Zone between the margins of Chicago. Have you heard of this Rebel Inc. thing in Edinburgh? It’s the same kind of thing. Everybody came along, and you got some great writers and some weird and wonderful people and all sorts. It had a kind of energy to it and I think this has got that kind of vibe too. It’s taken off and I think it’s going to continue to grow.

Chicago is a great city for things like that. It’s like nothing I’ve seen anywhere else.

I tell you what – Miami has kind of taken off as well. I went to the Wynwood Art District. I went to some of the art shows down there in the galleries and there’s some great stuff. All local artists. The whole district has really just developed in the last couple of years.

Can you see yourself ever living in Miami on a more long-term basis?

I’ve got a little place in South Beach, so I get there a lot in the winter months. Yeah, I probably could. It wouldn’t be such a bad life, splitting time between here and Miami. The problem is that so much of my business is in London. So I have to be quite close to that for a large part of the year.

You’ve been incorporating more American characters into your short stories lately and obviously in Crime there are quite a few. Do you find it a challenge to write the American characters?

Not really, I don’t really think of it in that way. I think it’s because I’ve been spending so much time over here. I don’t even realize that I’m doing it, but it is interesting. I don’t even really want to consciously do it. I kind of want to keep writing about where I come from in Scotland and the UK and all of that, but it’s also good to get out of where you come from as well. You get into a comfort zone, writing about the same place, so it’s probably a good thing for me to do, but I’m not sure quite how far I want to take it.

You mean as far as creating a novel with an entirely American cast?

It’s more a sort of sense of place that’s relevant rather than people and characters. It’s like if you’re driving down Western Avenue and you see all of these car dealerships and you start to get something in your mind. That kind of setting can spark something and it would have to be an American novel. You don’t get the geography like that in the UK. You don’t really get these kinds of places in the same way, you know, they need to be located in the same type of environment.

Do you think you will ever base a novel in Chicago?

Yeah, it’s strange because I think that I could, but it wouldn’t be the same as if you get a Chicago writer like Stephanie or Bill or Don. It wouldn’t be the same. I wouldn’t have the bond with the city that they have so it would be more as a backdrop to a character-based thing rather than getting into the nuts and bolts or grit of the city. I wouldn’t rule it out because I think it’s a great setting for a novel, though.

I know you revisit characters a lot in your novels. Lennox, for example, a side character in Filth, ends up being the main character in Crime. Do you feel like you have unfinished business with them?

Yeah, it’s almost like a movie in a way and you’re thinking, “Who can I cast in this role?” Lennox just seemed to fit the bill. I thought this guy had to be able to negotiate his way around and sense crime and sense criminals, so he had to be a cop, but he couldn’t be an American cop because if he was a cop from Chicago busting up this child abuse thing in Florida he would have resources here. He would know the system and have contacts in law enforcement and be able to go into the straight bureaucracy of it all and sort it out there. So I was thinking about the guys in Filth and this guy Lennox, he’s done all of these things, but you don’t really know why he’s a cop. He seems to be a character of secrets and I thought about secrets and the idea that sex abuse thrives on secrecy within families and within society and the church and it grew organically, really.

Crime is obviously a serious novel that deals with solemn issues, but you’ve also called it your most uplifting novel. What makes it different than your other ones?

I’m living in Ireland most of the time and you can’t pick up the newspaper without there being another pedophile priest story or somebody suing the priests or the church or the Diocese for the abuse that’s gone on. There was a big scandal in the 90s called the Bishop Casey Scandal and since then, everybody who’s been abused, hundreds of thousands of people, have all come forward. It’s opened the floodgates, so it’s changed the relationship that people have with the church, and I think that was why I got interested in it. But I realized when I started to write that pedophilia isn’t at all an interesting subject to write about. There’s no dynamism or moral ambiguity to it. It’s just basically wrong and it’s evil and everybody’s agreed on that. There’s no ambivalence to it and its ambivalence that makes something interesting. You can argue about violence, for example. It’s destructive, but people are inherently violent in a lot of ways. Abusing drugs is always bad for people and bad for society, but the whole notion of festival is tied up with intoxication. I was writing against this whole idea that you can be like a 50-year-old pop star and it’s not sort of inappropriate to have young boys sleep in your bed, but if you’re a 50-year-old truck driver, it would be. I wanted to have no ambiguity about it at all and just see it as an absolute evil and have Lennox as this displaced avenging flawed angel that is trying to rescue this kid, but the kid is also rescuing him by forcing him to come to terms with what he’d been repressing. Because pedophilia was quite a boring, undynamic subject to write about, it couldn’t be about that. It had to be about how people get over something really bad. My interest as a writer has always been about how people f*ck up and how we live in a world that can be cruel and punitive. How we compound that by making the wrong decisions has always interested me. This isn’t one about how people f*ck up. It’s basically about how people heal themselves so it’s more positive than a lot of my books in some ways.

In the research process, you talked a lot with people who had been through abuse, right? Were they pretty open to talking with you about it?

That was the hardest part of it. At the start people are obviously suspicious because these books have a purpose. I think they’re very suspicious of journalists, but once I convinced people that I was coming as a novelist rather than a journalist and their anonymity would be respected, [they opened up]. You can get people’s stories from published case studies too, but that wasn’t what it was about. I was interested in their feelings and views and emotions. It was very, very uncomfortable and I used the more uncomfortable feelings I had when hearing these stories in the book, like when the kid is telling Lennox her story. He has to listen, but he can’t listen. It’s killing him and I wanted to get that feeling across. When someone’s telling you about these terrible things that have happened to them from a very small age you just want to be anywhere but in front of them. You kind of feel yourself withering inside listening to them but you have to listen because you’ve asked them and it’s important to them and they want to tell you and they need to tell you. That was sort of the hardest part of the book.

And you didn’t do any research on the internet?

I didn’t want to be exposed to any pedophile sex material, just because it had nothing to do with the book and you don’t want the police kicking your door down. I made a conscious decision that I was going to do no research on the ‘net and I was very particular about what I needed. I needed to engage with people who had been through that, but I didn’t want to engage with pedophiles or engage with child pornography. To avoid doing that, I limited the research very much to academic and case study and social work kind of stuff.

How did you approach the police aspect of the novel?

It’s just about having contacts. People love talking about their jobs. Take them out, buy them lunch or take them for a beer and they’ll talk about their job, provided they know that you’re going to respect their anonymity. I’m not interested in details that might get someone into trouble. I’m more interested in generalities rather than the particulars, as a journalist would be. Names, dates and times don’t interest me at all. I’m interested in feelings and emotions. Most people are game, once they realize that you’re on the level as far as that’s concerned and you’re not about exposing them, then they feel quite free to talk about it. Police officers and social workers are no exception.

Do you tend to get a different reaction from women versus men when it comes to your books?

I find that a lot of the time women are more clued up about it. They sort of get more of it, because I have quite a lot of damaged male characters. A lot of guys don’t recognize the damage and baggage that these characters are carrying, whereas women do more, because they think, “I’ve gone out with a bastard exactly like that,” so they kind of see it in a sharper focus.

Do you find it harder to write the female characters?

Not really. I did a thing – it’s not released in America yet, but I hope it will be soon – it’s a film called Wedding Belles. There’s one male character that’s in it for about ten minutes, but there are four lead characters and they’re all women. I tend to write them the same way. You write people as human beings first and then the gender specific stuff second. You see in a lot of crime novels or genre fiction where the guy’s writing about a woman character and you get two pages of her putting her bra on and it’s f*cking ridiculous, you know? You won’t have two pages of a guy shaving or something like that or putting on a pair of boxer shorts. It’s just bizarre.

One of the main characters in Crime is not only female, but a child as well. Did you approach that any differently?

I wanted to get somebody who in some ways is very grown up and worldly because she’s been inappropriately sexualized, and is very knowing and confident on one level, but on the other hand is still a kid. That battle is going on within her. She’s got these two sides to resolve. I think it’s not a problem writing about any age that you’ve lived through. I’m writing this thing about a guy who’s in his late 70s, early 80s now, so that’s quite a challenge. Then again, I just try to think about how somebody like that would think about things.

And you’re also working on a prequel to Trainspotting. Is that already done?

There’s a rough draft of it from the same time as the original Trainspotting. When I wrote Trainspotting, I started out with about 300,000 words. It was huge. I took a story out and I read it at this Rebel Inc. thing and a writer called Duncan McLean, a very good Scottish writer that had been published by Random House in London, says, “Have you got any more of that? I’d like to send it to my publisher.” Well, I kind of lied and said, “Yeah, I’ve got a whole novel.” I had this thing but it wasn’t a proper novel. It was kind of a mess and so I basically just chopped out the middle and wrote this kind of heist ending to finish it, because it just went on and on and on. The first part of it is all about their family background, family dynamics and how they got involved in heroin in the first place, so I discarded that part of it. The end part was superfluous so a lot of the end part I’ve cannibalized for different stories over the years. I’ve got a collection of short stories coming out next year and it’s a lot of stories that have been in anthologies and journals. I guess because I didn’t know what to do with it, I had forgotten all about this first part, really, until I started looking through some old files. I find as I’m getting older and a bit more reflective I’m much more interested in that cause and effect and family dynamics. I want to sit down with it next year and write it up as a proper novel. It probably needs another couple of drafts, but I don’t want to lose the energy that it has. You can see it’s written basically by a younger writer. It’s very much like Trainspotting. I want to bring a more reflective thing to it as well, so there’s going to be a difficult balance to it. That’s the reason I’ve not gotten on with it – I’ve been a bit scared to have a go.

What else are you doing now?

I did the book tour in the UK and I came off of that and I went straight into shooting this film, for five weeks in South Wales. It’s called Good Arrows. It’s a Spinal Tap kind of mockumentary about the world of British professional darts players. It’s about a guy called Andy “The Arrows” Samson who loses his mojo, so he goes back to his darts guru who gets him back into it again. It’s kind of about their obsession with petty celebrity and low-level fame. I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve got to go away and edit it when I come off the tour here.

Did you write it, shoot it, edit it, and act in it?

Yeah, everything, don’t you know. I mean I even did the catering and cleaned out the toilets and all that. I’m co-writer, co-producer, co-director, and I’ve got a cameo in it playing a pro. If it’s any good I’ll keep it in and if not I’ll cut it out. It’s myself and Dean Cavanaugh, my screenwriting partner, who wrote the script. I’ve co-directed it with a really great director called Helen Grace. Late October or early November we’ll have the whole thing done. ITV have got the British rights to it, so they’re going to put it out on TV in January and we’re going to make a different cut and take it to Cannes and try to sell it as a feature. And The Meat Trade, we’ve got the financing for that, so hopefully that’ll shoot either late this year or early next year.

Are you involved in shooting that too?

No, I won’t be. I did the screenplay for it. It’s all cast. It just that takes ages to get everybody working at the same time. It’s got Robert Carlyle, Colin Firth, Samantha Morton and Johnny Borrell from Razorlight.

Really? How did he get cast in it?

I don’t know, I think Antonia [Bird], the director, fancied him. I think she kind of just likes casting pretty boy British pop stars. She cast Damon Albarn in Face.

While we’re on the subject, I know you’re a big music person. Anything interesting going on for you in that department these days?

I just got a call from Primal Scream and they wanted me to present them this lifetime award in London next week but I can’t because I’ll be on tour, so that’s a shame.

Do you still DJ?

Funny enough, I deejayed for the first time in seven years in Edinburgh for this festival and it was a total disaster because I realize now that people just do it from the computer. They’ve got this mixing software and all of the mixers and the laptops there and they’re not set up for vinyl and I come in with a big box of vinyl and they couldn’t get the mixer to work with the decks. It’s kind of sad. I felt like such a dinosaur. The whole thing was beset with technical problems and in the end I just slapped on the records and made a party of it. I actually enjoyed playing some records again, but I think to do it really well you’ve got to be constantly doing it. You have to be hanging out in record shops all the time and you have to just be mixing all the time as well, and practicing. I used to be obsessed with it and I found that I was using it as an excuse not to write, doing it all day and sometimes for days on end. There are some really great DJs and great people working in music, and I thought I’m better at the writing than I am at this so I have to acknowledge that fact. I’ll still occasionally get a bag of records and do it at a pub.

You also directed the music video for Keane’s single, Atlantic, a few years back. What was that like?

We shot it in four days down in Sussex, on a beach in Hastings. Their studio is just up the road, so they came down to watch us in action. It’s funny, because when you’re directing and you’re against a timeline, it can bring out the tyrant in you a little bit. I remember the band had come down and they were watching me line up this shot and we’d gotten them to close off the beach. Then this girl and her dog came along and they were walking into the shot and I just sort of went, “Get dodgy, f*cking her and her scabby f*cking dog off the f*cking beach!” Tom [Chaplin], the singer, turns around to me and just goes, “Actually, that’s my girlfriend.” But we had a great laugh about that.

In the press and even on your website, you’re described as an “often controversial” writer. Do you consider yourself controversial?

No, I don’t really. I’m sure there are some people, particularly some of the press in Scotland, that think I’ve got this list of everything that’s going to piss people off: heroin addiction, pedophilia, football violence. I just don’t think that way at all. It’s just much more organic and much more about how we mess up and how we actually get over it. All of these thematic issues come out of that. I’m not really interested in courting controversy, but I am interested in exploring issues that other people would deem to be controversial.

Is there anything you wrote that you had to think twice about putting out there?

No, not really. If it’s something that I feel uncomfortable with, that’s a reason for me to write it. I kind of like to make myself feel uncomfortable. I think if you’re starting to feel uncomfortable with something when you’re writing it, that’s the reason really to push on with it. At first, I was kind of concerned about the reaction of family and friends, but once they see that you’re not about exposing people, it’s a transformative thing. It’s fiction, you know? And once they start to see that, they get much more comfortable with it. I think there is a natural thing that you feel when you’ve written something taboo because you just don’t want to expose the people you’re close to.

Do you follow American politics at all?

Yeah, I’ve actually been asked by Sky, which is basically FOX in Britain, to work as a pundit on the American election [while living] in Miami. And I did a piece for the Financial Times. You’ll see it online.

What have you noticed, politically, living in Florida?

It’s got quite a young population and a very old population as well, so it’s going to be a really interesting battleground. It is going to be about age more than anything else, rather than race there. I think if Obama gets people out, he’ll win. It’s going to be very tight, though. When I did this article back in the summer, it was just as Obama was about to get the nomination and around the time Clinton officially dropped out. I thought that once the real forces of conservatism were unleashed that it would be a whole different thing and I actually thought at the time that McCain would probably win. Now, I think that there are just so many people that can’t afford not to have Obama win. He’s gotten so many disenfranchised people back into the political system that if he didn’t win, the disillusionment in America and the idea of more of the same failed policies of the last eight years, internationally and domestically, would be so bad for the country and the world as a whole. You’ve got this whole new generation of people that, for the first time, are being energized by politics and if you shut the door in their face I think it’s a terrible thing to do. People are starting to realize that the stakes are very high. It’s still too close to call, but it just feels like it’s time to grasp history and I think people will do that. I think the Sarah Palin thing has really helped McCain, though.

What do you think of her?

I think she’s a total absolute f*cking lunatic basket-case, but it’s been a great thing for him. I saw this picture of her looking like this kind of sexy librarian on one side of him and Cindy McCain looking all glam on the other side of him and you can just see some of the blue collar guys are going to go, “Pfwaaa, he’s an American,” you know? It’s taken away all of the question marks about his age and health and this old, kind of country bumpkin thing about the Republican Party as well. If people see through to the fact that she’s just a really reactionary basket case, good, but it has given him a kind of superficial makeover that he needed. The idea that if he drops dead the first week in office and she’s the President, I can almost feel myself getting nostalgic for George W.

How do people feel about the election in the UK?

People are really excited by Obama abroad because he seems to be the first American presidential candidate who has ambition to go out of the country. In a sense, with the power of globalization, you are kind of electing the leader of the Western world to an extent. This is the first time that I can remember where American politics is much more interesting and exciting than British politics. British politics has stagnated over the last twenty years. Our supposed candidate of change is an old, white, middle class, male member of the Conservative party. I mean, that’s our f*cking candidate of change. How stagnant and tepid the whole British political scene is now is just beyond belief.

Well, I’ll try to end on a happier note. You write, tour your books, make films and music videos, play football, box, run marathons, and now you’re a political pundit. How do you find the time?

Well, I only box for fitness now. I couldn’t properly spar with anyone now who was any good or they’d kill me. When you’re sedentary at a desk you’ve got to do something. I like trying different things and I get a bit bored with the same thing. I write in kind of blasts. Because I’m promoting the book right now, I’m not really doing much writing, but once I get back into it, I’ll just vanish basically. I’m a director at two film production companies now and I should be around. They get all nervous, like, “Oh f*ck he’s gone.” Just lock myself in a room, stop answering emails, stop answering the phone and I come out with something.

I use Twitter…which means blogging for me is hard. With Twitter, it’s instant gratification. I say my piece in 120 characters or less and I’m outta there. I do it a few times a day and there’s a record of what I was thinking or fuming about or observing, or whatever. It really isn’t much more effort to sit and write a few coherent sentences about my day, but for some reason, more daunting. I think that I’m afraid to start writing because I might not be able to stop. I might get on a political rant or a train of thought that involves something as simple as the weather and just talk talk talk. I must get over this, because I need some sort of better record of me. Most of what I do is in response to others nowadays. I see someone’s status on Facebook change to something interesting and I respond. I see someone has posted a beautiful picture and I respond. Someone sends me an email and I respond. Why? Because I feel obligated. The problem here is that I’m not taking the initiative. It’s all reaction with me. Some of that is time-related, some of it energy-level related, some of it due to the intense feeling of being overwhelmed when starting anything at all.

So, here’s what’s been going on. Last month, I started as a contributor for Gapers Block. Immediately, I got an email that involved the opportunity to interview Irvine Welsh. I don’t know how, but fate has decided that I get to do this amazing thing that I never thought I would have a chance at. In the meantime, all I have to do is read his most recent novel, come up with questions, buy a digital voice recorder, gain confidence in myself and my ability to hold a conversation with a stranger, and keep contributing to the website. I have failed miserably in the confidence and the contributing. I have fallen behind on my posting, mostly because I’ve been reading/researching questions. In about a week, I WILL be reviewed and I may be let go (even though it’s a volunteer job, I don’t want to lose it). This worries me, but I need to focus on doing a really great interview and if I get let go, so be it. I hope it doesn’t happen, but an important lesson in everyone’s life is how to fail and hold your chin up, I think. I haven’t been so good at that as of yet, but I’ve seen it done and it looks brilliant. If I can somehow manage to fail and still love myself, than this whole experience will be more than just an opportunity to meet my favorite author and a man I admire a great deal. It will be something I can keep with me for the rest of my life. If I don’t fail, even better. 😉

See what I mean about not being able to stop?

I have so much more to share. I’ve had months of experiences and haven’t recorded a single one of them. This year will always be a blur to me. Moving, broken legs, learning how insurance works, people jumping in front of trains, people jumping off of buildings, new things, new people, old people coming back into my life, other people leaving, missed reunions, friends becoming adults, friends becoming mothers and fathers, playing psychologist at work, having mental breakdowns at work, feeling useless, feeling useful, helping, hindering, reading, writing, regurgitating the already written, trying new things, straining to find routine, vacillating between awe and boredom, and so much more.

I have a lot to do this weekend and I’m going to try my hardest to enjoy it instead of letting it loom over me, because in the end, I do want it. I want to be happy and productive and artistic and I want to learn.

That’s all I have to say, really. Everyone I know has an iPhone. I thought I would be more jealous than I am, though. I like my cheapo Sprint plan too much to change it. and I would be all paranoid about dropping/scratching the iPhone. I’m good with not wasting the $300, surprisingly.

Hooray!

I just found out my friend Jessica (whom I’ve known since 5th grade) is having a baby! She’s really the first pregnant person in my life that I would consider a real friend. I don’t know any of the details, but she was one of the first people out of our high school class to get married, and she’s been with Jeremy forever. We’d always talked about how kids were annoying and icky and we’d never have them. Ah, but alas she gave in. She’s such a sweet and smart person, so I know she’ll be a great mom. I just don’t feel old enough to be friends with people having babies! It’s weird.

This is so cool. Courtesy of Jon and his dorky but informative video game forum, these are a few of my favorite things…

What I listen to...

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The Coolness

Jon is watching the NBA draft right now, which gives me plenty of time to ignore the television and write a few lines here. So, first off, I’ve moved. Now in my second apartment in Chicago, I’m much happier. I didn’t hate the first one. In fact, it grew on me more and more the longer I lived there and made it my own. And don’t get me started on Andersonville. I loved living in that area, but unfortunately it was just too far away from downtown. It’s pretty amazing how close we are to Grant Park now. I’m definitely looking forward to being able to walk to Lollapalooza and back home again.

I’ve posted some pictures of the new place on Facebook and Flickr if you haven’t seen them yet. It’s still pretty messy, but I just can’t bring myself to come home from work and spend the whole night cleaning/putting stuff away. It doesn’t help that my leg is broken and I have to either wear this boot or sit and elevate my leg. I don’t know if it’s getting any better. It doesn’t seem to be, but maybe I’m just being neurotic. It’s still swollen every day when I take it off. I am not exactly sure what the boot is supposed to do, because it’s not really tight on my leg no matter how hard I pull the straps. I guess I’ll just have to follow doctor’s orders and see what happens.

I’m ready for a vacation. Like a legitimate, lie-in-the-sun-and-drink-margaritas type vacation. Too bad my mum didn’t tell me she was getting married in Key West a few weeks back, that would’ve been a perfect excuse for a trip. Oh, yeah, that’s some news that happened recently, I suppose. My mom got married. No big fancy church ceremony. It was just her and Laz on the beach. I still haven’t seen the pictures (she did hire a photographer, luckily), but I’m looking forward to it.

We now live less than a half mile away from Target. That could be really bad for my bank account.

I’m so glad we don’t have a car anymore and I don’t have to worry about gas prices (other than how they’re affecting me at the grocery store or if I want to book a flight).

My new apartment building (condos, really) has a Bally gym in it and we both get free memberships. Between that and the Wii Fit, I BETTER be in shape a few months after my leg heals.

Our landlord (the lady who owns the condo we live in) is apparently the hardest person in the world to get ahold of. This wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t have to go through her for every maintenance request. Cross your fingers that everything stays working and lovely and we don’t need her.

It’s been almost three years that Jon and I have lived together now. Three years and three apartments and we haven’t killed each other yet. That’s gotta be good.

I wish I had a fancy camera. I love mine and it takes awesome pictures, but I just know they could be so much clearer/brighter if I had more megapixels or something. I always want things to come out in pictures exactly how I see them in life, and it’s frustrating when they don’t.

I want I want I want…I am whiny and ungrateful.

I miss writing. I write all day and am too tired to do it for fun anymore.

Is there anything more boring than watching the NBA Draft (especially when you don’t watch basketball)?

Jon is a bad influence. I hadn’t eaten out all week and yesterday he made me get a giant burrito at Qdoba. Now he’s offering me ice cream.

Oasis has a new album coming out in October. I’m excited, but I don’t want it to be cold again!

We live on the 10th floor of our building. The windows in our apartment open out about 8 inches or so, which would provide a lovely breeze off of the river. The only problem is that they don’t have screens on them and I’m afraid that Tia (the cat) will get curious and fall out of one because she doesn’t know any better. For this reason, we will probably never open them. We do have central AC, though, which is rare in Chicago.

It is lovely to have carpet again. I know everyone LOVES hardwood floors, but I love me some nice soft carpet under my feet. It’s probably better for my leg too.

It looks more and more like my friend Bryn is coming to visit for Lollapalooza in late July/early August. She has apparently put in her letter of resignation at work so she can come back to the States…permanently? Semi-permanently? She has been living in Sri Lanka now for 3 years or so doing good and making the world a better place. Maybe only 2. I can’t remember when she went there, but she was in Canada for a year before that. She’s been to visit a few times since going, but I’m sure it will be a huge adjustment. I don’t know where she would live or what she would do, but I hope she likes it. I know I’ll be happy to have her back.

I’m exhausted! I think it’s time to call it a night for now. I’ll leave you with a picture taken a few evenings ago from my living room window.

Room with a view