June 16, 2011


As of yesterday afternoon I (and my car) are officially licensed and registered residents of the state of Illinois. I have an illinois driver's license (with a decent picture even!...whew!) and voter card, and my little Yaris is still pouting a bit after having to give up its formerly clever and colorful vanity plates...

...for a set of reg'lar ol' run-o-the-mill "Land of Lincoln" tags.

***If there are any trumpeters reading this PLEASE don't steal my triple tonguing idea...I want to use it again someday when I have a bit more time and cash.

It was fun having those old plates. I secretly loved it when people would come up to me at gas stations, in the library parking lot, or even when they'd roll down their windows at stop lights and ask what ttkttkt meant. I giggled at the confused expressions I'd sometimes see from my rear view mirror. It usually happened this way: the passenger in the car behind me would lean forward, tilt their head, and quizzically furrow their brow before nudging the driver and pointing. I would see them talk slowly as they puzzled over the string of consonants...attempting to sound them out in various combinations before sitting back with unsatisfied expressions and shrugging a little. Very occasionally however, someone would get the reference and smile heartily. I've had a lot of wind and brass players come up to me and say "I love your license plates!" Ah well...time moves inexorably forward and things inevitably change.

Now that I'm an Illinoisan, I have to start being more afraid of tornadoes than earthquakes. Though there have in recent years been tornadoes in Utah and earthquakes in Chicago, both scenarios are relatively anomalous.

Growing up in Salt Lake I developed a sizable fear of "the big one" which everyone said was "overdue" and dangerously imminent. Sometimes the rumbling of a distant plane would wake me late at night causing my heart to pound furiously and my muscles to reflexively seize in anticipation of the shaking I was sure would begin in the next second. Of course that never happened. In fact I've never felt an earthquake in my life. A decent sized trembler happened in the early 90s, but I was walking to school at the time and didn't notice a thing. I was confused when a bunch of people in a nearby church ran out of the building and asked "did you feel that!?"

Last night we had a tornado warning (yes, a warning...not just a precautionary watch) in Cook county. A funnel cloud was spotted to the south west of Chicago (I am in the north east) and in some parts of the city the sirens blew. I was heading back to school for my evening practice when I heard the warning announced over the radio. When I arrived at Regenstein I walked to the lake shore and took this picture...

...the beautiful colors and calm-ish waters provided little indication that trouble could be brewing nearby...


  1. I hope you apply soon for your TTKTTKT illinois custom plates. I would love to help you get them for your birthday. What hoops do you have to jump through to get them? I just think it's the very most clever license plate in history and you should always have it! Just saying.

  2. Kelly, Love your pictures and your writings.
    I enjoyed visiting with you at the Reunion.
    Best wishes on the rest of your summer.
    Auntie Janice