Wednesday, December 7, 2005

A Mike Kraus Update: Fully Illustrated and Now In Color

Starting out to be a pretty good day. I have my interview with the Feds next Tuesday. Did a little job hunting and got a couple interesting prospects. Ate some Kashi for breakfast. Not bad.

Last night, didn't do too much. Just worked on my paintings and then fell asleep watching Conan. The painting is coming along well though. About another four hours of work and it should be complete. I have one that I finished already. I'd like to get about 20 pieces done and maybe do a show or something. We'll see.

Anyway, here is another picture extravaganza. The pictures date from T-Day until just a day or two ago.

Outside view of where I work in all of it's Christmas glory

Inside where I work in all of it's Christmas glory.

The next dozen or so pictures are from the 57th floor of the Heritage. The Heritage is a new swanky condo right on Millenium Park where my work held a party for "young professionals." This is a view up Michigan Ave with the focus on the Wrigley Building.

This is the "Bean" and the ice rink in Millenium Park

Randolph St. facing Lake Michigan

Michigan and Randolph intersection.

Grant Park facing Lake Michigan.

Prudential and AON buildings.

Daley Plaza

The Smurfit/Stone Building. You may recognize it from Adventures in Babysitting.

Looking north toward Wacker Drive.

River North

This is Leslie & Andy's new dog. I think she was about three weeks old when I took this over T-day weekend. I forgot it's name, but remember it parents names had something to do with liquor. Poor sad imprisoned pup.

At Mike's Inn with Andrea and Amanda. This is how we think we look to the world.

At Mike's Inn. This is how we really look to the world.

Andrea pissed I took another photo of her.

Amanda making fun of my inability to remember my own phone number.

The least yuppie, classy, fake bar in town. Where the men are men and the women are scared.

Well, not this woman. She's been thrown out of Mike's and that is why we love her.

This is my favorite picture ever. It is of Matt. No, he is not homeless. He's just enjoying a nice PBR, which probably cost 35 cents at Mikes.

I have no idea what they are looking at.

After the show with Brian, Alice, Mike, and Jeff in Chicago.

The "M's" or the "Em's." Maybe something else. I don't remember.

This is Max. I've been told about him and everything I have heard has been true. He goes to every show in Chicago and somehow ends up on stage reading poetry about the bands that are going to play. He is amazing.

This is "Stag Party"

"Here Comes the King! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!"

At the Young Professional party for work way underdressed, tired, and about to go out on the town with Kim afterwards.

This is my co-worker Sierra. Sierra translates into "Jagged" according to a Spanish guy. She goes to school for architecture and models. She's shy about the whole modeling thing, but must have been pretty good since she's lived in New York, Milan, and Paris because of it. In this picture, she looks "Heroin Chic."

Laia is trying to steal my camera. Instead, I steal her soul.

This is my World Series buddy, Tim. He looks like W.C. Fields here.

This is Mr. R. The "R" stands for Roberto. Look at those eyes. The way he grips that MGD Light. He's an animal.

Here we are moments later on the 57th floor of the Heritage Building on the outdoor balcony. I hate heights.

Same place, but a little more posed.

This is Laia's Andrew W.K. shot. I'd put this rock star on the cover of an album anyday.

That's about it from Chi-town. I've got a lot done today already and it isn't even noon yet. I guess that's one of the joys of having your weekends on the weekdays. If I have days off on the weekends now I tend to not do anything. So, I'm about to head off to DEAL$ to buy some groceries. After that, I hope to start work on a new painting. Laia said something about going out to a movie with some of her friends. I've got to do some shaving as well so I can looks pretty for work. That's about all and I'll try to keep everyone posted about my X-mas plans. Right now, I have none.


The Surly One

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Photo Extravaganza like you never seen before.

Here's is a photo bonanza. It's pretty much all of the good pictures I've taken since I moved to Chicago in early September until Thanksgiving. There are more, believe you me. Sorry they are not in chronilogical order (so Post-Modern). Anyway, hope you like them:

Odd start, I admit. Basically it's a photo at the Art Institute that went horribly wrong, but I still like.

My neighborhood after the rain

This is the Art Institute where I worked in September and October

This is the preparation for the construction of the new wing at the Art Institute

This is where I worked at the Art Institute

Fellow Art Institute comrade

Same girl, only this time it's halloween

Again, halloween party. We are at her house.

It is her house as well.

Wow! That's all I will say

When they started building this at the Art Institute, I thought they were building a patio for a hot tub or something

This is what I tried to capture with the earlier abstract photo

Alice at the Addison stop

Alice's most awesome wonderful Korean food ever.

Alice's view of the city

Alice at Blue Bayou

Andrew and Kate rockin' out at Murder House

Aragon Ballroom

This is where I work now at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Again, the Chicago Architecture Foundation

Mike and Audrey at her going away party. She quit her job. She didn't really leave us.

Best mailbox ever

Restaurant near my house

Blue Bayou.

Chicago Brauhaus

This is what happens to all of you failed musicians who don't know when to give up.

Danke, gut!

Brian and I at Murder House

Chicago Bucket Boys as featured on a KFC commercial

There is no liberal bias in Chicago.

This is Alice's cat. He is the gatekeeper of hell. And, according to a TV commercial, owner of a pool hotel for lovers on a romantic getaway.

Chicago is beautiful

Chinese restaurant monster near my apartment

Cloudy Chicago fall day

Club Foot

This building was featured in Batman Begins.

I am a proud customer of this store. They keep me supplied in nails, paint, and plungers.


The Crobar again. Thanks Alice for the VIP treatment

Chicago Symphony Orchastra at Millenium Park

My dad tipping a few at the Brauhaus

Damen stop on the Blue Line.

Damen Stop on the Brown Line

Art Institute Co-Worker, Co-Killa

Double Door show

Why would wine called "Dry Sack" be so cheap?

Best anti-drug message ever

Ellen DeGenerous (sp?) look-alikes driving around for some reason

Farmers Market

First day of work at the Art Institute. I look like a Jarhead

Thompson Center. One of my favorite buildings.

This is how German my part of town is. This is in the library.

This is outside of the library. It is the Maypole.

The Chicago lakeshore

The world famous "chouch" being moved to our apartment

The Grizzly Bear Scare.

View from the Hancock Building

Another Hancock shot

Once more.

World's fancies Home Depot

This guy actually lives near me. I am in love.

The Grizzly Bear at the most authentic Irish bar I've ever been to

Mike, Audrey, and myself at Jimbo's during Sox playoff


Playoff madness

WGN interview

Media outside of Jimbo's

Jimmy Buffett madness outside of Wrigley

Too many Buffett fans.

Most awesome Karate poster ever.

Art Institute Co-Worker

Art Institute Co-Worker and neighbor, Crystal. She was so trashed. I cropped this photo unfortunately. You should have seen the look I was giving her back.

After my, I guess, date with Monica.

The loneliest balloon ever at the Art Institute. The girl in the pumpkin outfit killed in minutes later for no other reason than to kill joy. Did I mention she's also a teacher?

My magical fountain

My magical park

Megan and Alice at Club Foot

Megan, Erika, and Alice at Club Foot before 2 of the 3 took off and tried getting themselves raped and killed. (Just kidding, kinda)

Meigs Field.

Most true representation of Michigan I've ever seen

I waited over two years to eat this Mild Curry Chicken. The most addictive meal ever.

Millenium Park Prarie

Pritzker Amplitheater at Night

Chicago moonlight

My 8 x 10 shot when I was going to attempt being in a Clint Eastwood movie. Didn't use it since I got a job and didn't have time to waste anymore.

Do you know Rod Stewart?

This is Murder House in full effect

The New Soldier Field.

Uptown building that I had no idea was so beautiful

Nick's 21st b-day present

Mike and Nick on his 21st

Matt at Nick's 21st

Mike and Nick a little later on his 21st

Milwaukee/Damen/North on an early Fall night

Some kind of mayhem

Beautiful artwork at the Golden Nugget

Palmer House, the longest continuously running hotel in America

Palmer House again

These are a friend of a friend of a friend who had a tiny puppy with them at a party. It was at DePaul University.

So many damn birds

The most beautiful plywood ever.

Peace protest at Federal Plaza also advocating for the impeachment of George W. Bush.


They were lined up like this around the whole area


The saddest little angel ever. Won't you end the war and impeach Bush to make him happy?


Police swarm area for no apparent reason

Police swarm area to prevent flag burning by anarchists

Police get into faces of protesters

Ararchists and police negotiate

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Rise up.

There she goes

Look at all the journalists

Rayon smells bad while on fire

The media.

At least it was keeping me warm that day.

Can you really take a cop on a Segway seriously? Maybe if they had some guns mounted to it.

Hippy anarchist yuppie motha fuckas dancing around a flag. They have truly shown the man what is up

More hippie/anarchist dancing

Cops decided to hang out instead of provide security. Amazingly, no more incidents happened. Coincidence?

Girls pose for "My First Protest" picture. Very cute.

Kim (aka Kimchi) told us about the most amazing pumpkin carving show ever at Phyllis' bar.

Alice peddling amazing animated pumpkin machine. This is true art. As the table turns, a strobe light goes off lighting a single pumpkin. It's basically a hung flip book that's good for your legs and ass.

This is what the animation was of.

Creepy Siskel and Ebert pumpkin. I saw Ebert not that long ago and he lost a lot of weight since I saw him in October of 2003. He must of had that surgery.

Can you tell me what this is? It's from Kim's animal collection. It is my belief that the Beany Baby company had lots of leftovers and decided to make a Military Bear Rabbit.

Am I wrong? Isn't this the fortune telling machine from "Big" starring Tom Hanks? If so, I will make a few wishes next time I am there.

Alice and myself in the foreground. The Jennifer Aniston/Sarah Jessica Parker girl with red eyes in the background is Monica. My wingwoman set me up with her when I first moved to Chicago. Last I heard, she's going to move to Boston to work at the zoo as a vet. Very impressive.

This is the creepiest halloween decoration ever at night. It's at the school across the street from me. They also had something that looked like two homeless people making a drug deal at their back door. Weird.

Chicago Architecture Foundation's security system. If you ever see me running down Michigan Ave. with a fog horn, you will know there is a shoplifter somewhere ahead of me.

My manager, Jenny, showing me how the security system works. She is a star on PBS.

The rogue Segway Gang of Chicago. Can you believe each one of these people paid $70 to do this? Man, I'd rather get the beat down most gangs give you for initiation.

I don't even remember. Very emo myspace though

My adoptive home.

White Sox duck fans. Very strange people must live here.

Sox Pride!

Look at all these people looking at a lion wearing a hat. No one ever does this when I wear a hat.

Installing the hat as I head to work. I like the guy straddling the lion. Very hawt.

Picasso wearing a hat. Every damn thing in Chicago was wearing a hat. Mayor Daley demanded it.

Stag Party show on one of my first nights in chicago with Nummerdor

Look at this display at a store near my house.

View from my apartment.

Tearing down a house

Ted Leo show. I have a crush on the lead singer of the band "Just A Fire." I don't know why. I think it's just because she seems very talented and very honest in her art.

More Ted Leo

All of my neighbors at the show

Balcony of Ted Leo show at Metro

Mo' Ted Leo


Just A Fire setting up.

Seemed to fit the mood of what I was thinking when I was unemployed and walking around at 4 am on a weekday.

The lady forced this poor Mexican immigrant to play his guitar. He could have recieved a $300 fine for this.

He knows how to rock though.

Poor caged angel.

Why is this lady so sad. Doesn't she know she lives in Chicago, the greatest city in America!!!

These people were protesting Turkey for some reason. I couldn't figure out why, but they were pretty funny.

I don't like heights. This is where I see my movies usually and it gives me a touch of vertigo.

The sweetest violin lesson ever. It's halloween and that is why the child is wearing a cape. I wish it was just because he is that cool.

Western stop connection to German village. My ancestors lived in this part of town when they moved to the United States. It kinda makes it feel more like home having a history here.

This is were I worked at the Art Institute.

Beheaded mannequins at Sears murdering each other. It's like Baghdad in there.


I think each and every one of these guys hugged and kissed me at some point during the victory celebration. It was all girls on Halsted. So, it wasn't all bad.

My friend Tim is on the far left. This is one of my favorite pictures and I plan to have it made into a full sized poster when I have an extra $70 lying around. It reminds me of the French Revolution.

And they screamed, "GO SOX! FUCK THE CUBBIES, GO SOX!"

This viaduct was so damn loud after the victory.

This is wear we watched the final World Series game. During a live broadcast on Univision (the spanish network), Tim bear hugged the reporter and screamed into the mircrophone, "THE FUCKIN' SOX ARE GOING TO WIN THE FUCKIN' SERIES! AAAHHH!!!" They cut the broadcast and told him not to swear into the camera. He retorted "How do they know I'm swearing? Don't they speak Spanish?" Touche.

Well, I hope you all liked my overwhelming posting of photographs. This is what my life has been like since I moved to Chicago. I hope to post these a little bit more regularly. Anyway, I love you all and will see you soon.

-Mike Kraus

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