Archive for December, 2006

My Failures of 2006

I’ve done plenty of things in 2006 that I’m proud of, but here are a few things I meant to do this year and didn’t:

– See Ken Vandermark perform. The man’s a freakin’ MacArthur Grant recipient, he plays in Chicago all the time, and the shows are pretty cheap. No excuse.

– Visit the Green Mill. It’s up in my neighborhood and I used to see shows or the Poetry Slam all the time. Erica loves the place and has friends in bands that play there regularly. And in the two-and-a-half years we’ve been together, we’ve never been there together.

– See a high school football and/or basketball game. It just sounds like such fun. One barrier to our getting to a game is that we don’t actually know any high schoolers and I never could seem to find a centralized resource for finding out when games would be where.

– Get to a single night of Summer Dance Chicago. Forty-four nights of free dance lessons and performances, plus weekly appearances by world class DJs. Erica’s a dancer. Were we really that busy? I’m going to put it on my calendar for June 2007 right now.

I second that, Fuzzy.

After a warm and soggy two weeks in Philadelphia, I too am back in Chicago. And it feels really, really good.

Thankfully, my return flight was not delayed as it was when I left Chicago–I never thought I would spend that much time in Midway Airport. So, I had some beer at Oak Street Beach Cafe in the B terminal, and got through half of Devil in the White City, which I enjoyed a lot and had to read for a class anyway.

Since this is the [tail end of the] time of the year where travel consumes our lives, and flights are bound to be delayed, the savvy traveler knows to go to the airport prepared with distractions. What do you all do in the airport when you’ve got a few hours to kill? Suggestions are always welcome. There are still parts of Midway I haven’t explored.

Ads of the CTA: Chicago Sketch Fest

Chicago Sketch Fest ad on the CTA

There’s always so many great groups performing at Chicago Sketch Fest that’s it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to see it all, especially with 3 stages going at once. Just scanning the schedule, I see Fowler Family Radio Hour, Cusick and Hallal, Your Little Ponies, 45 Minutes Locked in a Room with Don Hall and Joe Janes, and Elephant Larry. But I’m not sure any of that is an excuse to inflict the nearly-naked form of Brian Posen on unsuspecting commuters.

Why, hello Chicago, it’s good to be back.

Why, hello Chicago, it's good to be back.

The South Side as seen from Southwest flight 999. Austin is alright, but it’s good to be back home.

polaroid, woman, dog

polaroid_woman_dog.jpg

Number One Food Item

Sandwiches aren’t just for lunch anymore. The Chicago Tribune reports that sandwiches are the number one food item in America, now a $121 billion market!

I hardly touch the burgers from McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s, but must admit I’m a sucker for some of their breakfast sandwiches. I also catch myself at Potbelly’s and Panera Bread once a week around lunchtime when I’m not packing a brown bag.

Any great sandwich places near your office or neighborhood that we should be visiting?

Bears – Packers New Year’s Eve Shuffle

The NFL has changed the Bears – Packers game from a noon start time to 7:15, which will mean about 60,000 fans will stream out of Soldier Field around 11 p.m. The time change is sure to alter plans at hotels and restaurants, and also cause some problems for the Chicago Police Department.

Let’s see. I was planning to go over to a friend’s house to eat, drink and watch crappy NYE shows. Now I’ll be eating, drinking and watching the Bear’s game! Sounds good to me. What does it do to your plans?

Holiday Train

Holiday Train Interior

I’ve seen pictures of the outside of the CTA Holiday Train, and even seen it fly by up on the tracks, but I’d never realized how much they did up the inside of the train until I caught the last Red Line Holiday Train (of the year, not ever) on Wednesday. Nearly every surface inside the train is holiday-ified — the lights are all red and green, the poles become candy canes, the ads are replaced with jokes and ads for elf and raindeer businesses, and even the seat covers are replaced with Christmas tree and Santa covers.

It’s kind of remarkable how a couple of colored lights can trigger a stereotypical ‘holiday feeling’. I was running late leaving work that day and just missed a train when I got to the Chicago stop, so I was in kind of a bad mood. But when the Holiday Train pulled up, I was instantly all smiles. Even the immediate announcement that we’d be delayed for 5 minutes waiting for the train ahead didn’t bring me down — it meant more time on the Holiday Train!

Even more oddly, just sitting on the Holiday Train I felt a responsibility to be cheerful as we passed other trains and pulled into stations. (Not everyone shared that feeling — an old man sitting at the Armitage stop flipped off the entire train as we passed.) I ended up being a super-dork and missing my stop so I could stay on the train until Howard. Merry Christmas!

Lincoln Park Chad Society

As a follow-up to my post from September that mentioned the old Lincoln Park Trixie Society site, I’ve been been pointed to the Lincoln Park Chad Society. I have to admit, it’s pretty comprehensive. I mean, they’ve got science going on…

Chad Trixie Lifecycle

(Thanks Juliana)

Macy’s Window

Macy's Window - Mary Poppins

The name may have changed, but the workshop is still the same. Erica‘s eagle eye noticed that Mary Poppins‘ “magically putting her clothes away” wheel is the same as Harry Potter’s “mail magically coming out of a bag” from last year.

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