Team Hensley

Team Hensley

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Randi Got Her Groove Back.

Dearest ones,

Lately, I have been in a bit of a funk. I'm homesick, underemployed, and a little down on myself.
...I cut my hair off! I was in need of a new look to help jump start an all new me. I am already feeling much better.

Now I am focusing on how extremely awesome this guy is:

(photo taken on his first day of school!)

I am excited about organizing my new office, buying a gray purse (thanks, Mom!), and receiving an adorable postcard from my dear friend, Caitlin.

Most of all, I just cannot wait to meet this little one:

And I am so happy for this sweet family:

Now I count down the days until my parents visit--18!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

She's Here!!!!!!

Baby Isla Grace was born today. As you can tell from the picture, she is just perfect. 8lbs 15oz.

We can't wait to meet our new precious niece and are so excited for Matt, Rachel, and Owen. Uncle Chip Chip and Aunt Ri-Ri are looking forward to spoiling that sweet baby girl.


Friday, September 24, 2010

The Great Hot Dog Adventure

Yesterday we sought out some hot dogs. I snooped around online and found many differing opinions about which dog place was the best. After much deliberation, I decided that we should try Hot Doug's. (There is a dog place much closer to Hyde Park called Jimmie's Red Hots. They have a hot dog that has a tamale inside of it, and is covered with chili. Anthony Bourdain ate there on his show once.)
So we go off to Hot Doug's. It's about 20 minutes away in a neighborhood called Avondale. We knew it was cash only (a hallmark of delicious dining spots!), so we looked for a Chase Bank on the way there. Of course, minding the traffic on I-90, we didn't see a bank. We parked near Hot Doug's, made sure they didn't have an ATM, then went looking for a bank on foot. Boring story short, we made it back to Hot Doug's about 45 minutes later, hungry as ever. There was a line out the door (this was at 2pm, mind you), and the line continued the entire time we were there.
Some pictures:
(That's the line coming out of the store.)

My analysis of Hot Doug's? Pretty good. I did make one fateful mistake though: when ordering, I was told I had the option of a grilled or a steamed dog. I know that steamed is the way a Chicago dog was supposed to be, but I also know that grilled dogs taste better. So I got them grilled. But it was a mistake! Randi's theory is that the grilled dog adds too much flavor to an already existing flavor-overload. She may be right. Hot Doug's is good, but stick with the steamed option if you ever go there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's a Gas Gas Gas!

So I filled up my tank for the first time since we've been here. Considering that we got here 22 days ago, and considering that the tank was less than half full (or almost half empty, if that's your angle) at that time, I think it's pretty impressive.

That is all.

I Go to Big Boy School!

So I [Nate] had my orientation and registration today. I will be taking the following:
1. Perspectives in the Social Sciences
2. South Asia as a Unit of Study
3. Historical Methods

My Perspectives class starts Friday (24th), everything else starts next week.

Though I've avoided "Grad Speak" like the plague, I better learn it quickly. I don't want to start using 5 dollar words all the time (or ever), but I do have to be able to understand the people around me. ...sigh...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Rajun Cajun.

Dear loved ones,

Tonight I would like to share with you our favorite neighborhood eatery. It is an Indian restaurant! It is a soul food restaurant! It is a mere three blocks away from our apartment.

On our stroll home from Operation School Supplies (which was great fun in and of itself), we stopped at the Rajun Cajun for a samosa snack (delish!). We had been planning on eating leftover stew for dinner, but three hours later found ourselves with an insatiable craving for more samosas. We made the classy choice.
We were told by the man working the counter (probably the owner) that every Indian restaurant in town is dying for the recipe for their amazing, homemade sauces, but they're not giving it up (except for a disgruntled employee, but that's gossip for another time).
They have soul food options: fried chicken, biscuits, mac and cheese, collard greens, and biscuits. And they have Indian options. You can mix and match as you see fit.

Nate and I both opted for the Indian menu and had the chicken curry combos. I got mine with gobi (cauliflower) and Nate got his with potatoes.

So, so good. And reasonably priced. The workers also seemed to know everyone who came through the door and treated us like we were all besties. Joints like that are the best.
As you can see, we finished everything on our plates:

Then we hobbled back home in the rain. We now conclude our evening by listening to Leonard Cohen (today's his birthday) while I write to you all and Nate studies his Bengali.

Still stuffed and happy to live in Hyde Park.

p.s. The name "Rajun Cajun" does not seem to make much sense to me. There doesn't appear to be any trace of cajun food in the place. I guess that is a mystery that still needs solvin'.

Monday, September 20, 2010


This day started out pretty standard. Randi and I wanted to go do something cool, but we couldn't decide what. I found that the Aquarium had free admission today, so we hopped on the Metra and went.
It's pretty awesome. Or, the parts we got to see are awesome. Some exhibits (dolphins, etc.) were available at a discounted price today. We skipped those exhibits. Randi's favorite: Sea Horses and one Otter that wouldn't stop doing aquabatics. Mine: Jelly Fish and a very tiny Dart Frog.
Some pictures:
At the gift shop:

A Sting Ray! Or maybe a Manta Ray! I don't know the difference...

A picture of one of the two monkeys that where in one of the cases. They had their tails curled together because they're best friends. I took their picture, but they're hard to make out from all the surrounding Amazonian jungle.
A snake!
One of the fish I caught on the way to the aquarium:

So we leave the aquarium, and we are starving. We look around for a little snack, and see a hot dog stand selling Chicago Hot Dogs! For those of you who aren't in the know, a Chicago hot dog is different from your regular, not-Chicago hot dog. It comes on a poppy-seed hot dog bun; it is slathered in mustard, then sweet relish, then diced onions; it has tomato slices, some hot peppers, and a dill pickle slice; it's dusted with celery salt; it is INCREDIBLE!!!
The part I like best about the Chicago hot dog, after its deliciousness of course, is the lack of ketchup. In many places, ketchup isn't even an option. Why? Because ketchup on a hot dog is for babies, that's why. So the next time my friend Matt B. asks for ketchup on his hot dog, you punch him in the teeth for me. Ok?

After dabbling in culinary perfection, we decided to go home. But the Metra station's ticket machine was broken! So we took the bus (#2, Hyde Park Express) straight to our place. It literally drops you off across the street from our complex.

Then! We found that a package had come to us from Randi's mom. Plus, we got deposit money back from our Austin landlord, and I got two other checks in the mail! Cash money!

Then! We come up stairs, and the smell of the Irish Beef Stew I'm cooking in my crock pot smells pretty fresh. Plus Randi has a job interview!!!!!!!! It's a secretary gig working at U of C part time. It's basically perfect for her.

That's about it for now. We may hit up the zoo tomorrow.

Stay Tuned.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

By Popular Demand: Our Nest

Please come into our house. You have three options: Go right to our bedroom, go left to the living room and kitchen, or go straight to the bathroom.The bathroom:Now let's turn right into our bedroom.
Upon entering our room:
From the windows:
Now let's go left from the entryway to the living room.

And if you turn around, there is a small study-nook.On your right, the dining room.And behind you, the very small kitchen.

That's it! Tour's over. Please remember to visit our gift shoppe.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The School I Go To

So I finally went and took some pictures of the University. Really, I only took pictures of the original buildings; there are some newer ones (built in the past 100 years), but those are less interesting to look at. Less Gothic. Less Harry Potter.

Without further ado, I give to you the University of Chicago:

The Seminary:

And Rockefeller Chapel: