a TigerRAWk Film

Friday, January 31, 2020

A Shared Life: The Holidays 2019

In previous editions of A Shared Life: The Holidays, I've started with drive to Warren for Thanksgiving. In light of going to the ChristkrindlMarket the week before, I decided that will be the start of the video project documenting The Holidays.

On Saturday, November 23rd Elphie and Kathleen planned to go to ChristkindlMarket in Wrigleyville. We've usually gone later in the season at the downtown location but not this year. That evening I also has the idea of being in Wrigleyville to see Mike Mains and the Branches play at The Cubby Bear so going to the ChristkindlMarket before made sense. I got some poutine from the D-Men Tap booth. It was pretty cold out and Kathleen didn't dress for the weather so we ended up hanging out in the nearby McDonald's for a while. Elphie had another friend, Alex, coming to meet us who made her a piece of art. He arrived with the art and we all hung out for a bit then I decided to head over to the show. I had missed a few of the bands already and didn't want to miss Mike Mains and The Branches. I got to see the band before them as well. Mike Mains wore his shiny jacket as he did at Audiofeed. They played a good amount of new songs with their older hits and I captured "Renegades" from their set.
Filmed LIVE at The Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville Chicago, Illinois on Saturday November 23rd, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Sunday, November 24th, Elphie and I attended DisgraceGiving once again with Disgraceland Wasteland Suspensions at Wasted Youth. I got a few clips of the suspensions we saw. It was good hangs and good food.

On Tuesday, November 26th, we went to Denny's in Oakbrook Terrace for a special "FriendsGiving" Winchester with the crew. It was another evening of good hangs, food and conversation.

On Wednesday, November 27th, we loaded up and drove from Chicago to Warren, PA for Thanksgiving. We hit a lot of rain, wind, and then snow during the drive but we made it to Warren. We brought Stein along and he handled this trip fairly well.

On Thursday, November 28th, we had a low key Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and brother due to the rest of the Sorensen's being involved with a high school championship football game. Congratulations, Gerritt!

On Friday, November 29th, my father and I went to get out hunting licenses and drove to the place our family has hunted for many years. We found a locked gate and sign stating it was no longer permitted for public use. After my father spoke to a worker in the nearby building, we foolishly drove around the gate to park and use the car to rest our guns on and shoot at a target to make sure the guns were shooting straight. While checking in on where we were going to set up for hunting the next day, a couple of guys came up to scold us for driving in and indicated that the area may be posted in the coming year. We took note and did not drive in the rest of the time I was in town to hunt. The Christmas tree was put up that evening and Elphie did the honors of decorating it.

On Saturday November 30th, deer hunting season opened in Pennsylvania. I set up where I had shot a buck years ago hoping for good luck again. I saw one deer and it was not a buck, which is all I had a license for. That evening, we went to Erie, PA for an Erie Otters hockey game against Petersborough Petes. It was a "Teddy Bear Toss" night and on the first and only goal that Erie scored late in the first period, the Teddy Bears and other stuffed animals began to fly and rain down on us. The rest of the first period was delayed and played at the beginning of the second period. It was fun. We went to this game because Pittsburgh Penguins were playing on the road.

On Sunday December 1st, Elphie and I visited with Grandpa in the nursing home before celebrating Northern Family Christmas. We spent about an hour visiting with him during his lunch time. We got back to my parents house, ate lunch, watched the Steelers game, then opened gifts with the family.

On Monday, December 2nd, I went out hunting again. It was freezing rain then turned to snow throughout the day and there did not appear to be anyone else in the woods hunting so I tried still hunting and moving somewhat slowly and as quietly as conditions would allow through the woods hoping that I might sneak up on some deer. In the mid-afternoon I succeeded in seeing some deer that I most likely spooked. At first I saw two without antlers but as I continued to watch them run (with the snow I had a bit better visibility than otherwise) I noticed a third deer and it did appear to have antlers. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a shot at it. When I could take a shot, the head of the deer was behind branches of an evergreen tree so I opted not to shoot in case it was not the possible buck. That evening, after coming home, Elphie and I moved things from the attic of my parents old house to try to help them out. We also went to Wal*Mart to purchase my Christmas gift...a car charging box that also has an air compressor, outlets, and other things to help if having car trouble, stranded, or out camping.

On Tuesday December 3rd, I took my final day of hunting. It was a very loud day in the woods due to the ice and snow so moving around much wasn't a good idea. I settled in an area near where I saw the deer the day before. I saw two deer running without antlers that had been spooked by another hunter who walked by me. He may have spooked others that I didn't see as the evidence suggested when I did begin walking later in the day. I got too cold standing and I wasn't seeing anything else. Hunting this year proved unsuccessful but I am glad I went out. I returned to my parents house and started getting things ready to head back to Chicago the next day.

On Wednesday, December 4th, we drove back to Chicago after quite the stressful morning. I don't feel like getting into all the details on that here. We had been promised that we could trade our vehicle for one of my parents cars since they had recently purchased a newer one but when it comes to vehicles and my father, things are never what they seem and always much more complicated than necessary. This went to an extreme this time. We ended up leaving two hours later than planned with a lot of heightened emotions. We made it back to Chicago alright and we did get to drive back in a car that I feel is better suited for us and should last a bit longer than what we had been driving. I just wish it had been under different circumstances.

I returned to work on Thursday, December 5th and on my commute home, I unexpectedly arrived at Roosevelt Station in time to ride the CTA Holiday Train home! I looked at the arrival times, I saw the candy cane indicator then looked down the tracks to see the train pulling into the station. I got my phone ready to film this experience. As I waited for passengers to get off the train, a mom nearly corralled me with her children away from the train as I attempted to get on. I then rode this train home. It was a pleasant surprise after the stress of the previous day.

Again, with the stress on our last day in Pennsylvania, I had forgotten that Leper was having an album release party on Friday, December 6th. Elphie and I decided to go to it. I also stopped by Everybody's Coffee to see The Crossing and Glenn Kaiser play as part of the Wilson Winter Walk. I got some clips outside of the walk as well. I had a clip of the interview with Skot from the Leper album release party but it seems that I lost it so I only have a couple short clips of the party decor and some of the hang out.


Filmed LIVE at Everybody’s Coffee in Uptown Chicago, Illinois on Friday December 6th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Saturday, December 7th, Elphie and Kathleen were going to go to the Laugh Factory for some comedy. Elphie asked if I wanted to go and I said "Sure, I'll go if there is a ticket available" and so I went too. We stopped at Cheesie's for dinner and I played some Ms. PacMan. I put a quarter in only to find out it was free play. It also is set up in a way that one can continue to accumulate score after a "Game Over" so I got no where near the high score but it was fun to play for a bit. We walked to the Laugh Factory and caught some decent stand-up for their early show. As we went to board the train to head home, was saw a guy get assaulted by some teenagers. We don't know what caused it but we did try to help and let CTA workers know what we saw but it didn't seem they were particularly interested in helping and the guy who was assaulted didn't seem interested in going on the platform to identify the group. We ended up going up on the platform and riding toward home when I asked Elphie if she was interested in catching It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood at the Showcase ICON Theatre in Roosevelt Collection. We had about an hour until it started so we decided to go to watch it. I enjoyed the movie and got some clips of the holiday decorations around the area as well as earlier on our walk to the Laugh Factory.

On Sunday, December 8th, we did our usual grocery trip to Indiana. I decided after the weather we drove through returning from Pennsylvania, and to try to get more "Speedy Rewards" points, I would get gas and a car wash at Speedway. I don't think I picked the right level of car wash to get the bonus points or the discounted gas price or whatever I hoped to get but I did get a cleaner car and decided to do a split screen timelapse clip of this endeavor.

On Thursday, December 12th, Elphie received her first Christmas gift in the mail, a Levi-Wand! She tried it out and it looked pretty cool.

On Friday, December 13th, I went to Reggie's for a hardcore and oi show. It felt good to see that kind of show again. It featured Madball, The Old Firm Casuals, Fighting For Scraps, and Absent Mind but I missed Absent Mind. I captured "Pride" from Madball and "Hell's A Lot Better" by The Old Firm Casuals.



Filmed LIVE at Reggie's in Southside Chicago, Illinois on Friday December 13th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Saturday, December 14th, there was a birthday party Metal Monkey in Romeoville, IL for Amber, someone who Elphie had met earlier in the year. The birthday was themed as a funeral for her youth. There was good food. She had a eulogy while she laid in a casket. There was a metal cover band as well. We left a bit early and went to Scary Lady Sarah's Krampus Party at D-Men Tap. It was fun as well with a couple Krampuses showing up and a Krampus statue as well.

On Tuesday, December 17th, there was a holiday party at Cornerstone Community Outreach for those of us who work there. Good food and fun as usual. I wore the "Go Jesus! It's Your Birthday" sweater this time while Elphie wore it most of the rest of the season.

On Wednesday, December 18th, I decided to get a clip of the crazy dog barking and running in circles on my way home from work. Figured it made a nice bookend so to speak. I wrapped and gave Elphie a couple more of her gifts...some Tool on vinyl!

After work on Thursday, December 19th, I went to Lincoln Park Zoo to see the Zoolights. There were some folks running through the zoo while this was going on and other folks dressed in classic carolers outfits singing carols at different spots. I captured just a short bit of one carol as I didn't quite cross them again the rest of the evening. I also captured a guy playing Christmas tunes on his saxophone and a lady playing guitar and singing carols as well all within the first half hour that I was there. I made my way through the zoo faster than usual I think getting a look at basically all the lights and whatever animals were on display. I captured one of the songs synced to the light display as well before I left. I decided while riding the bus that I would go downtown to Millennium Park and get a shot of the Christmas Tree and The Bean as well before going home. I saw a homeless man and his cat that was wearing reindeer antlers as I made my way to the CTA to go home.

On Friday, December 20th, the Men's Program at Cornerstone Community Outreach had its holiday celebration so I got a couple clips while that was going on as well as the morning commute to work. As I made my way to the bank later, the CTA Holiday Train rolled through the area so I was able to see it a second time and get some clips of it.

When I returned home from work, Elphie had the car mostly loaded up so I gathered what I needed and we started our drive to Cincinnati. I captured some Christmas lights as we left the neighborhood with the car camera as well as a quick skyline shot. As we drove I captured the state signs, the red lights of the windmills, downtown Cincinnati, and a deer as we approached the Sheehy's house all using the car camera. I also had tried to get a Christmas light smiley face but the camera did not get a good focus on it so I cut that. The deer at the Sheehy's, I wish I could have captured it with a good camera. It had quite the rack on it and stood near the car for a bit before running off but I am glad that the car camera captured it. We gave Mike and Donna some reindeer sausage we picked up in Alaska and they seemed excited to get it. We found out later that they used it on a pizza. We talked late into the night since we didn't have to get up and drive the next day.

On Saturday, December 21st, we hung around in Cincinnati. We hoped to connect with some friends but most were unavailable. We were too slow in getting ourselves moving to hang with one who was available, unfortunately and she canceled. We drove out to Eastgate to the Jungle Jim's store to see Sam for a bit at the bakery. She ended up being very busy so we didn't hang around too long. I took us on a "scenic drive" back into Cincinnati through Anderson Township and eventually we ended up in Uptown and Northside at my old home on Witler. We drove back to Uptown so I could get a couple of Jerk Chicken sandwiches from Island Frydays. I walked by the old 86 turned into a new Top Cats. We drove by the new 86 then went back to the Sheehy's, making a quick stop at Skyline so Elphie could get a baked potato. Elphie was fighting a cold or something so we just rested for a while watching Netflix christmas movies. When the Sheehy's got home, we hung out for a while into the night chatting about life some more.

On Sunday, December 22nd, we drove to North Carolina. We didn't get leaving very early but it didn't much matter. We had breakfast then left the Sheehy's. We would be returning the following weekend to stay another night on our return to Chicago. We made it through Kentucky before encountering rain in Tennessee. We ended up stopping at a Sonic to get some dinner. After we crossed into North Carolina and had been driving for a while, we passed a fairly significant light show so we turned around to see it. It ended up being like a tourist trap! We saw that it cost money and I decided to go ahead and pay it. We drove through, tuning the radio to the station and it was pretty cool. It was a labyrinth of lighting. When we got to what seemed like the end, we found ourselves stuck going into another section that wasn't synced to the music and much more spaced out. It probably took us and half hour or more to get through this thing which stressed Elphie out a bit. the light show was at Tryon Equestrian Park and I hope that the money went to a good cause. We finally arrived at her family's house and she made a ball pit for the kids out of a kiddie pool. It was some goofy fun. It was good to be done driving too.

On Monday, December 23rd, Elphie and I took her nephews to get R.O.'s Bar-B-Cue. I got a couple sandwiches to go as well as some sauce to bring back. If there is a food I have come to really like in North Carolina, it is R.O.'s Bar-B-Cue. We also stopped at the Krispy Kreme in town.

On Tuesday, December 24th, Elphie and I visited with her friend Amanda for a bit before the family gathered for Christmas Eve. On the television fittingly was Die Hard. There was a White Elephant gift exchange and I got an arcade style Basketball game. Elphie originally got some candles but swapped out for some Poo-Pourri. Before going to bed, we found "evidence" of Santa's visit.

On Wednesday, December 25th, Elphie got up early to watch Christmas presents get opened. We drove over to her brother's house for more present opening. Later in the evening, we went to Elphie's mom's house. We received some skeletal decorations and hung around for a while with them. We visited with the neighbors next door and got some dinner as well.

On Thursday, December 26th, we had some more Christmas left to celebrate. We had a taco bar dinner for lunch before the opening of gifts. Elphie gave her nieces and nephews all their gifts. She also opened the rest of the gifts I had for her which was the newest Tool album and Reese's Cups. She gave me three pounds of Skittles. We also received a gift card, a poop calendar, a hat with bluetooth speakers, and chocolate covered cherries. There was a silly string battle as usual as well. We visited with Elphie's cousin as well and had another good meal.

On Friday, December 27th, we drove to South Carolina to take advantage of cheaper gas prices. We pretty much took it easy this day. Debbie was in town from Seattle to do Christmas with her North Carolina as well so we hung out with her for a little bit but didn't do much else. I was beginning to come down with a cold so relaxing was what I would need with long drives the next couple of days.

On Saturday, December 28th, we drove from North Carolina back to Cincinnati. We stopped at Blackwoods Drive-In to get Cherry Lemon Sundrop which is packed full of cherries and lemon with the soda. It's pretty good. We also stopped at a Bojangles along the way in Tennessee. When we got near the Sheehy's house, I stopped by Skyline to get a Southwestern Chicken Wrap. It seemed though that these folks working on this particular night in this particular Skyline did not know how to make a Southwestern Chicken Wrap. It was missing the Skyline chili. When we arrived at the Sheehy's, Josiah was leaving for the evening. We hung out with Mike, Donna, Christian, and for the evening chatting late once again. Rachel Sheehy came by as well. We were bummed to have missed out on seeing quite a few of our friends but glad we did get to see some and had some downtime on this trip in Cincinnati.

On Sunday, December 29th, we got up to drive back to Chicago. We hung with Josiah for a bit as we ate breakfast. As we drove back, we captured the state signs again as well as the windmills. We stopped by Albanese for some more gummies then went to Meijer to get groceries and of course got Taco Bell for dinner. We arrived at home and it wasn't too particularly late. We survived yet another holiday season with all its driving and I felt how we went about it this year with extending Thanksgiving trip in Pennsylvania and do our Christmas during that visit then just do the southern trip at Christmas made it more relaxing for the most part (of course some situations weren't so great with this year but that could have been avoided). I think we will probably do our trips like that going forward.

On Monday, December 30th we found a funny little meme going around the internet about it being Ramones time when midnight would hit. It would be 24 hours until 2020 or "2020 24 hours to go." I played a "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones at midnight and Elphie posted the meme.

On Tuesday December 31st, I walked through the snow to go to work. I got a clip of my commute on the train as well. As I returned home I noticed a car that had caught fire apparently. I also got a couple clips of Christmas lights and the moon before coming inside. Elphie watched the New Year's programming and flipped between networks until the New Year hit New York. Elphie blew her horn and make a racket. Stein ran away. We flipped through some local Chicago programming that wasn't really very good. It's interesting to me how bad the quality of the programming is in Chicago when Chicago is a major city and major market. When the New Year hit for us, Elphie rang it in with her noise maker inside and out of our apartment. Stein ran away again. I went outside and could hear the sound of explosions all around...most likely the sounds of the downtown fireworks as well. Perhaps I even heard some gunshots but who knows. It took a while for anything visible for me at ground level to begin to be shot off but we saw some decent fireworks in the neighborhood as well...just slow starters I guess.

For the soundtrack I picked songs relevant to the season but also songs that I felt had specific relevance to things going on in the video clips or where the video clips were filmed. In some cases the selection might be obvious and other cases might only make sense to me. "We Will Feast In The House Of Zion" by Sandra McCracken was chosen because I felt it had a decent tie into Thanksgiving. I liked how "The Virgin Mary Had One Son" by Josh Garrels sounded so I wanted to include it. The placement didn't have any significance. "The Holly And The Ivy" by Wayfarer (know known as Pacific Gold) was placed here due to being in the woods hunting. It actually ran through my mind while I was out there on several occasions. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by Kevin Max and Michael Tait is a new tune put out this year. The lines "from now on your troubles be out of sight/miles away" felt appropriate with how the Thanksgiving trip ended. I certainly hope that there will never be a repeat of that. The placement of "Jolly Ole St. Nick" by The Uh-Ohs had no real significance but I did hope to fit one of their songs into the project. "Scary Christmas To You" by Grave Robber felt appropriate with the Krampus party and other goth/metal themed things going on in that part of the project. The placement of "Christmas Don't Be Late" by Rosie Thomas and "Hearts On Fire" by Lauryn Peacock did not hold significance necessarily. Both were songs I hoped to use but "Hearts on Fire" tied in well with the lights of the Dragon blowing fire. "O Come O Come Emmanuel" by In Darkest Dreams was a song I wanted to use and though its placement wasn't necessarily significant, I decided to place it around the drive to Cincinnati and visit with the Sheehy's. "Go Tell It On The Mountain" by Seabird was included and placed in the Cincinnati part of the video due to that being their hometown. I used "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" by Nick Lowe on the southern part of the trip due to the nature of how the song sounds. I had wanted to use it and felt it was the time and place to do it. "Thank God The Year Is Finally Over" by Paper Route kind of summed up how it felt to be done with 2019. The year wasn't necessarily bad but there were enough stresses that it was good to get it behind us. I added "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones to fill the time to end the drive back to Chicago and prior to the celebrations on New Year's Eve. The other portion is from their video on youtube that we played as "Ramones Time" hit.

Footage filmed using an iPhone 6 and 8 and CrossTour CR900 by Elphie and Joel A. Swanson. Titles created using Motion 4 on a Macbook by Joel A. Swanson. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini by Joel A. Swanson

Saturday, January 18, 2020

A Shared Life: Fall In Chicago (September - November 2019)

Elphie and I returned from Alaska and arrived at home around 6am on Friday September 6th. I had hoped to go to work but I knew I wouldn't be able to stay awake so I used a sick day. We slept a little bit then we went to the Hollywood Amphitheater in Tinley Park to see Bush with LIVE and Our Lady Peace. I enjoyed it last time we got to see Bush. Once again Gavin ran around the crowd. This being a much larger venue with a lawn, he ended up running through the lawn as well extending the song quite a bit. I captured "Everything Zen." Elphie really likes LIVE and they put on a good show as well. I captured "When Dolphins Cry." I captured "Innocent" from Our Lady Peace.

Filmed LIVE at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park, Illinois on Friday September 6th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

While at the show, Elphie began not feeling well and we eventually had to go to the Emergency Room after the show where Elphie went into emergency surgery and had to stay in the hospital for a few days. I drove her home when she was discharged and as I returned to work on Tuesday, September 10th, I watched some guys skating in the skatepark in Uptown. On Wednesday, September 11th, Elphie's mom came to visit. We treated her to Falco's Pizza. I captured some shots of lightning. On Saturday, September 14th, we wanted to take her to the Shedd Aquarium but events in the area made for terrible traffic and no parking so we scrapped that and showed her the Bean instead then drove her around the city. The car didn't start at first either but somehow it did when I messed around with plugging things into the cigarette lighter adapter. I was a bit concerned about this so I left the car running at times while we stopped at places. on Sunday, September 15th, I went to see Nick Offerman at the Chicago Theater. I got tickets in the 2nd row! It was a fun experience! I dropped Elphie and her mom off at Midway Airport on Wednesday, September 18th before I went to work. After work, I went to Cobra Lounge and caught '68 playing. I captured the intro (which used Mr. Rogers theme music) and the first song that depending on the recording is known as "G (Track 3)" or "Third Time's A Charm." I really enjoy the performances of Josh Scogin no matter what band (or duo) he is part of.

Filmed LIVE at Cobra Lounge in Near Westside Chicago, Illinois on Wednesday September 18th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Thursday, September 19th, I went to Reggies for the Agnostic Front show. They had Prong with them as UglyBones opened the night. I captured "Gotta Go" from Agnostic Front.

Filmed LIVE at Reggies in Southside Chicago, Illinois on Thursday September 19th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Friday September 20th, I drove to South Bend to see The Homeless Gospel Choir at The Well. I missed this show in Chicago earlier in the week because it was the night before Elphie left to go to North Carolina. I figured I'd spend time with her then make the drive to South Bend. I made it just as Derek began his set. I captured a new song called "Blind Faith." which I would capture later with a full band at another show in November in Chicago. After the show, there were good hangs for a while.

Filmed LIVE at The Well in South Bend, Indiana on Friday September 20th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Thursday September 26th, Leper played at a punk house in our neighborhood called the Kombucha Club. It was a night with a lot of experimental noise artists. I captured "13 Silver Bullets."

Filmed LIVE at The Kombucha Club in Brighton Park Chicago, Illinois on Thursday September 26th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Monday September 30th, we went to the Aragon Ballroom to see Dropkick Murphys with Clutch, Hatebreed, and Amigo The Devil. I saw Amigo The Devil last year with Harley Poe and found it fun and interesting. I captured "Hungover in Jonestown" from Amigo The Devil. This was my first time seeing Hatebreed and enjoyed their set and I captured "Live For This" from their set. Clutch played next then Dropkick Murphys closed the night. It was different seeing them with Ken Casey not playing bass and only doing vocals. I captured "(F)lannigan's Ball."

Filmed LIVE at Aragon Ballroom in Uptown Chicago, Illinois on Monday September 30th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On my way to work on Wednesday, October 2nd, it appeared the local thrift store was having quite the busy morning. On my way home from work on Thursday October 3rd, a guy on the CTA walked through with his pants down. Lucky me. While I waited on the Orange Line at Roosevelt Station I captured a very colorful sunset which I guess makes up for the bare butt I had to see earlier. On Friday, October 4th, there was a JPUSA wedding as Dorena and Keyce got hitched. On Saturday October 5th, we went to Reggies to see Aesthetic Perfection with Empathy Test and LazerPunk. It was a cool show. I captured "AntiBody" from Aesthetic Perfection. They had an interesting appearance and stage presence.

Filmed LIVE at Reggies in Southside Chicago, Illinois on Saturday October 5th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Thursday, October 10th, we watched Joker at Music Box Theatre. It felt like an appropriate place to see this movie with its aesthetics. On Friday, October 11th, Elphie and I got to experience a new asian food at a place in Chinatown called Xi-ain with Christi and Mike as well as the Giles family. Afterwards they came by to visit for a bit at our house. On Monday, October 14th, while Elphie was hanging with friends, I decided to go on a mission to obtain poutine! It was Canada's Thanksgiving (while we celebrate Columbus Day or Indigenous People's Day in the USA). I first stopped at The Bad Apple but it turned out that their fryer was down. I thought about going home in defeat but then decided to try to go to D-men Tap where I successfully obtained poutine and celebrated by watching hockey when I got home!

Throughout the end of summer and fall I started making clips where I would call CarShield due to their scam letters that they had sent me. I had a little fun with it and made a video playlist that I will probably eventually add more videos to. I wish I could capture every time I get scam calls but often the moment is inconvenient or I don't have another camera ready on hand when I get called on my cell phone.

This is a playlist of clips where I have a little fun by messing with scammers, cold callers, robo-callers, unsolicited mailers, etc.
The Intro was created using Soundtrack Pro on a Mac Mini with animations and titles created using Motion 4 on a Macbook.
Filmed using an iPhone 8.
Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini.
Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson

On Friday, October 18th, we drove up to Howell, MI. We stayed at the Baymont Inn and Suites as we did on a previous trip we made to Hell, MI. I got us in a room with the jacuzzi only this time it was above the pool for some reason which ended up being a bit noisy. As we drove, after stopping for food, our GPS indicated a five hour delay. We kept driving but eventually decided to take the detour which probably still put us about an hour later than we had hoped to arrive...but definitely better than the five hour delay. We never were able to figure out quite what was going on to cause such a delay. On Saturday, October 19th, we drove to Fenton, MI for Jennifer and William getting hitched. It was a nice wedding. The Shaw's and Sheehy's were there as well. It led to some interesting discussions about other things going on in life. On Sunday, October 20th, Elphie and I returned to Hell, MI. I decided to use the car camera footage in a split screen and overlapped some shots that Elphie got as we drove in and out of Hell. While in Hell, we got some ice cream and hung around for a bit...listening to tunes from Creepy Clyde. As we drove back home, we stopped at Albanese Confectionary. Elphie got chocolates and various candies that she included in some Christmas gifts. I got a few bags of gummy goof-ups!

As I walked to work on Monday, October 21st, I saw some of the Chicago teachers on strike. On Saturday, October 26th, we went to The Forge in Joliet, IL for the Prison City Halloween Massacre 12. It featured some suspensions by Disgraceland Wasteland and music by BattleCross, Whut?, Villainous Grin, Extraction Point, Catapult The Propaganda, Another Misfits Cover Band, and a costume contest.

Filmed LIVE during the Prison City Halloween Massacre 12 at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois on Saturday October 26th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Wednesday, October 30th, we had our first snow of the season and it got worse the next day. We went just over six months without snow in Chicago. On Thursday, October 31st, it was a snowy Halloween. It was also our Halloweenaversary! Our relationship began officially on Halloween in 2013! We went to IHOP for dinner because of the Addam's Family themed foods and drinks. Elphie went all in on it whereas I got the milkshake but stuck to my standard French Toast with strawberries and bananas.

On Friday November 1st, we went to Dave Canfield's Horrible Halloween Party after a horrible commute home. We drove up to his house and hung around for a while. The party was cut a bit short due to people who had to work early in the morning but it was fun. We even had a viewing of a Carman video! Ha! We drove down to Metro for the All Hallow's Eve Nocturna event. We hung around for the whole night, saw some RAD costumes then decided to drive our friends Kate and Larry home. The car would not start. All power went off, similar to what happened in September but I could not get it to come back on and get the car running after trying various things that have worked before. We ended up taking the train home.

Clips from Dave's Horrible Halloween party in the Northside and Nocturna at Metro in Wrigleyville Chicago, Illinois including part of a performance by Sindy Vicious and the costume contest. Filmed using an iPhone 8 and edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini by Joel A. Swanson

On Saturday, November 2nd, after sleeping, I tried to look up solutions for the car situation. I asked on facebook for any suggestions and rode the train back to the car. Thankfully it remained where I had left it. A suggestion was cleaning the battery terminals and connection cables. I used baby wipes because it was what I had available. I tried to start the car first...same thing as the night before. I disconnected the battery then wiped the connectors and the terminals with the baby wipes. I also pushed on the car a bit and heard a click. Last year at Audiofeed it was a suggested to roll the car back slightly when it wouldn't start and then it started. Something about the gear teeth might not be lining up right, I guess? Anyway between pushing on the car and wiping the battery connectors and terminals, the car started! Unfortunately, it was too late to go to The Uh-Ohs house show and party. I drove home, got some food, and we went to Hope House for a 6'10 show with Elle Michelle and Families. I captured a new song from 6'10 called "See You Down The Road." It was fun hanging out at that location again. We hadn't been there since it was Risen Savior. It was good to see some people we hadn't seen in a while and just overall a good hang out. The car started so we were able to go home afterwards.

Filmed LIVE at Hope House in Southside Chicago, Illinois on Saturday November 2nd, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Friday, November 8th, I drove back out to The Forge in Joliet, IL to see Flatfoot 56 play as part of T1 Fest. I arrived to find a rap concert going on and was taken down the street and around the corner to another entrance to where Flatfoot 56 would be playing in "The Sapphire Room" It was a speakeasy sort of feel, ha! It was in a room above the rest of the venue. I got there in time to see a couple other bands. I captured "Curtains" from their set. It may have been the first time I heard it played live. As I left, I decided to capture the sign indicating the historic intersection of Lincoln Highway Route 30 with Route 66.

Filmed LIVE during T1 Fest at The Forge’s Sapphire Room in Joliet, Illinois on Friday November 8th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Saturday, November 9th, we went to the Beat Kitchen to see Harley Poe with The Homeless Gospel Choir and Billy Liar. Billy Liar had played at the show I was at the night before but I missed his set. We got to chat with Derek for a bit before the show and he told us that the van his band was using broke down just outside Chicago today so it had been a stressful one for him. He was glad to be traveling with a band so he wasn't alone and had help from local friends as well who were able to give the band a place to stay. I captured "Blind Faith" again, this time with the band. I captured " I Still Struggle" from Billy Liar and "Suckers" from Harley Poe. It was a fun show!

Filmed LIVE at The Beat Kitchen in Northside Chicago, Illinois on Saturday November 9th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Sunday, November 10th, on our grocery trip to Indiana and our usual Taco Bell stop, we put our order into the automated device which asks for a first name and last initial. I have been putting in Lt. Dan T because I think it will be funny to hear them call out for Lt. Dan. It would be even funnier at an ice cream shop so that we could hear "Ice Cream Lt. Dan...Lt. Dan! Ice Cream." So far, only once have they called out "Lt. Dan" but I wasn't able to get it on video. One time they did say "Lieutenant" but didn't finish. This time that was captured they called out "L.T. Dan" and it was funny enough to keep. But I will keep trying!

Additional soundtrack includes "Autumn People" by Timbre, "Hell's Ditch" by The Pogues, and "Bat Out Of Hell" by Meat Loaf.

Footage filmed using an iPhone 6 and 8 and CrossTour CR900 by Elphie and Joel A. Swanson. Titles created using Motion 4 on a Macbook by Joel A. Swanson. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini by Joel A. Swanson

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Shared Life: Summer In Chicago (July - August 2019)

On Tuesday, July 9th, as I came home from work I noticed that there were a lot of emergency vehicles down the block from our home. I checked it out to see that a house had been on fire (inspiring part of the soundtrack for the project). I returned home, ate a quick meal then headed to the Beat Kitchen to see As Cities Burn. I captured a new song called "Live Convined" from their set.

Filmed LIVE at Beat Kitchen in Northside Chicago, Illinois on Tuesday July 9th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Thursday, July 11th, Elphie and I went to Kate's grand opening of her shop Outskirts with Skot and Rachel Shaw. It is a vintage shop full of interesting clothes. Afterwards, we got ice cream at Johnson's Ice Cream. On my way to work on Friday, July 12th, I noticed some interesting signs posted around my neighborhood regarding I.C.E. as the new gestapo. That evening I went to Reggies to see H.R. from Bad Brains perform. I captured "The Youth Are Getting Restless" from his set. Also playing were DownTown Brown (who played as the backing band for H.R. as well), Top Shelf Lickers, and OvejaNegra.

Filmed LIVE at Reggies in Southside Chicago, Illinois on Friday July 12th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Saturday, Jul 13th, between rain storms we went to a Goth yard sale. Later that evening, we went to Ashbary Coffee House in Willow Springs where Leper was playing as part of the Ashbary Family Values Festival. I captured "Where Is Thy Sting" from their set. On the way home we were detoured due to a fiery inferno on the highway.
Filmed LIVE at Ashbary Coffee House in Willow Springs, Illinois on Saturday July 13th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Sunday July 14th, as I drove to church, I decided to take the highway and see the aftermath of this inferno. It appeared the northbound lanes were still closed so I drove Archer home and ended up following a disgruntled customer of Hawk Auto. Later that evening I went to Villa Park Punk Night to see Desiring Dead Flesh with Democide and American Slang. I captured "God Bless Afghanistan" from Desiring Dead Flesh.

Filmed LIVE at O’Neill’s Pub in Lombard, Illinois on Sunday July 14th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Tuesday,  July 16th, I went to Live Wire to see Leper as they performed with Seven Spires and The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors. I captured "Cabaret Of Dreams" from Seven Spires and "13 Silver Bullets" from Leper. Leper really impressed one of the patrons that evening and was able to sell one of everything to the guy.

Filmed LIVE at LIveWire in Northside Chicago, Illinois on Tuesday July 16th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On my was home from work on the evening of Wednesday, July 17th, I was treated to some free entertainment on the CTA. A young man decided to play a tune on his violin (...or fiddle?) for those of us who happened to be on board at the time. On Thursday, July 18th, I celebrated National Hot Dog Day then went record shopping at Reckless Records, in part for Shawn Browning because he found that there were copies of Grave Robber on vinyl in Chicago so I picked them up for him. I also picked up some Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Rancid vinyls for myself. On Friday, July 26th, I witnessed a strange argument in the Roosevelt station of the CTA. I took note of when the next train would be coming in to go home then watched the argument for a few moments until it came to an end. Later that night, I went to Reggies to catch the Pilfers who were playing with The Prizefighters, J. Navarro and the Traitors, and Stop The Presses. I captured "Right Apart" by J. Navarro and the Traitors. I enjoyed all the bands and it was nice to have several ska/punk/reggae shows to go to over the summer.

Filmed LIVE at Reggies in Southside Chicago, Illinois on Friday July 26th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Saturday July 27th, I tried to go to Beat Kitchen during the day to catch a screening of the Ska documentary Pick It Up! but it had sold out. I found out at the door which was a bit annoying to make the trip all the way there only to find that out. It would have been nice to see it posted on the social media since it had apparently sold out earlier in the morning. Oh well...that night I went to Subterranean, which was also sold out but I had a ticket! I caught Hepcat with Deals Gone Bad. Both had played the night before during Wicker Park Fest which was continuing outside.

Filmed LIVE at Subterranean in Wicker Park Chicago, Illinois on Saturday July 27th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Friday, August 2nd, I caught 2Minute Minor and Some Kind Of Nightmare with Turbo Vamps, El Escapado, and Take The Reins at Liar's Club. I captured "Corruption Runs Deep" from 2Minute Minor's set. It was my first time seeing them with the entire newer lineup on stage.

Filmed LIVE at Liar’s Club in Lincoln Park Chicago, Illinois on Friday August 2nd, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

While shopping for groceries at Meijer on Saturday August 3rd, I went to get corn and found empty husks. I managed to find some corn that had corn in it but the empty husks were pretty funny. On Monday, August 12th, Elphie and I were invited to celebrate Kori turning 50. There was good food and good hangs in general. On Friday, August, 16th, my parents came to visit. We took them to Huck Finn's for dinner. Elphie had strong feelings in regards to the donuts that they serve. On Saturday, August 17th, we took my parents to Tio Luis for dinner then to the Wheaton All Night Flea Market. On Sunday, August 18th, I took my parents to see the Chicago Air and Water Show. I also took them downtown to Millennium Park to see the Bean up close as well as the Crown Fountain and its faces while it spits water. My mom had an issue with her iPhone and set up an appointment at Best Buy so I took them there, then took CTA home to get the car and come back to pick them up. We got Chop Suey City for dinner. On Monday, August 19th, we took my parents to Tre Kronor and to the Sweden Shop. On Tuesday, August 20th, we took my parents to the Field Museum. We didn't get a lot in at the museum but saw some interesting specimens in the nature walk area. We got Falco's for dinner. On Wednesday, August 21st, I decided to go see the Navy Pier Fireworks. I wanted to film them using my Canon Rebel T6. I was not able to get set up quite quick enough to use my tripod while I used my larger lens so the footage was quite shaky. I also captured the Bean and Crown Fountain faces in Millennium Park before going home.
Filmed along Lake Shore Drive and in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago on Wednesday August 21st, 2019 using a Canon Rebel T6. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Friday, August 23rd, there was a cookout celebration at Cornerstone Community Outreach. I captured a short clip of that along with the new murals that had been painted in the alley. On Saturday, August 24th, Elphie wanted to get rid of things so she had a yard sale. I captured some clips of a butterfly while we were out doing the yard sale. That evening, opening up a night of Nocturna there were performances by Autumn and The Bellwether Syndicate at Metro. I left early to go to Liar's Club to see Good Saint Nathanael and Black Swift. I captured "White Flag" as done by Good Saint Nathanael as well as "Better" with the songs going into each other. I was glad to have been able to see Nate Allen, I wasn't sure if it would happen with Nocturna going on. Earlier in the month, Burt from Black Swift stayed with me for a couple of nights. I had heard of Black Swift due to a few interviews Sally Grayson had done on the "Urban Achiever" and "Never Was" podcasts so I was very interested in seeing them as well. It worked out! I also was able to purchase some Black Swift albums on vinyl. I captured "Bang Bang" from Black Swift's set. As I was returning to Metro for more Nocturna, Elphie texted that she was ready to go. I picked her up and we returned to Liar's Club to wait for Nate to be ready to go. We had Nate stay at our house then I drove him to the airport the next morning. We had some good hangs and good talk. It was an unusual but fun night. It also got quite cold that night for a summer night.

Filmed LIVE during Nocturna at Metro in Wrigleyville Chicago, Illinois on Saturday August 24th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

Filmed LIVE at Liar’s Club in Lincoln Park Chicago, Illinois on Saturday August 24th, 2019 using an iPhone 8. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Monday, August 26th, Elphie captured a guy making his own smoking section on the CTA between the cars. On Thursday, August 29th, I went to Cobra Lounge for Brick Assassin's last show. I captured the full set. I used my Canon Rebel T6 for this show and was able to set up in a little spot isolated from the crowd and elevated slightly above them. It worked out fairly well and though I was side stage near the speakers, it wasn't overbearing for the camera's microphone. I was pretty happy with how the footage turned out overall. Also performing were Frueza Bruta, Victory, Law/Less, and Udusic. At home, a fan fell out of the window causing Stein to get very scared and panicky. He ended up peeing on our bed. Elphie didn't have the best evening.

1. Intro
2. C.B.C. (Chicago Brick Crew)
3. Ruled By You
4. Today Your Love Tomorrow The World
5. Bonehead Dicks
6. Poison
7. Colossal Man
8. R.T.R. (Stomp The Nazis
9. LEt Me Bleed
10. All The Lessons
11. Entitlement Generation
12. New Age

Filmed LIVE at Cobra Lounge in Near Westside Chicago, Illinois on Thursday August 29th, 2019 using an iPhone 8 and Canon Rebel T6. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini. Filmed and edited by Joel A. Swanson.

On Friday August 30th, we flew to Alaska. That project and blog will follow at a later date.

The soundtrack for the project is "You Were A House On Fire" by Listener, "Turntable" by Rancid, and "American War Machine" by The Huntingtons.

Filmed using an iPhone 6 and 8, Canon Rebel T6, and CrossTour CR900 by Elphie and Joel A. Swanson. Titles created using Motion 4 on a Macbook by Joel A. Swanson. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini by Joel A. Swanson