Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Buckingham Fountain

This is Buckingham Fountain:

It is located in Grant Park, just south of downtown and a block from the lake:

It shoots up a big jet of water like that every so often. This is what it looks like at night:

It is among my fondest wishes to go swimming in this fountain, despite all the bird poop. However, I only want this to occur under very specific conditions. They are as follows:

1. There must be at least four people, but there could be six or eight. There must be a roughly equivalent number of men and women. The majority of them must also swim in the fountain. Being the only one while everyone else stands at the edge and watches you is not satisfying.

2. We have to be dressed up. Like super dressed up, tuxes for the guys and long evening dresses for the women. These clothes should be the real deal: expensive, and probably ruined by splashing around in duck poop. We can't be dressed up to go swimming in the fountain, we have to have come from some fancy formal event, preferably in a limo, with a driver that will lean stoically against the car while we are in the fountain.

3. We have to be slightly intoxicated, but only slightly, in the giggly-swimming-in-a-fountain-full-of-duck-poop-seems-like-a-good-idea stage, not in the falling-down-drunk stage, because it would not be fun if someone drowned in the fountain, and vomiting is never glamorous. Also, we want to remember it later. It would be ideal if we were drunk on champagne, and had brought bottles with us to the fountain, but only if it's reasonably expensive champagne. It's lame if it's Korbel.

4. It has to be warm out, obviously. In any case the fountain is dry in winter.

5. This is the most important condition: we can't be arrested. It's ok if the cops show up. It is definitely ok to be escorted, in your dripping wet evening wear, from the fountain by two (preferably handsome) policemen. It is not, however, glamorous to then wind up dripping on the police station floor in said ruined evening wear. It's only fun if you get to flirt with the cops, then drive away in your limo. This being Chicago, this can't be an impossible thing to arrange, but on the other hand, the fountain swimming has to be spontaneous (obviously, not undreamt of, but not planned before the intoxicated formal event in question). Clearly, the best solution would be to be the daughter of the mayor in the 1930s or something. Granted, this is the best solution for most of my problems.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Thing From The Internet This Week

As brought to my attention by Mandy: My Drunk Kitchen

There are a bunch of episodes of this delightful mini-show. I am a big fan of cooking while drinking, although I usually am more ambitious with the cooking and thus try to get through it before reaching this level of drunkenness. That's not to say I never overshoot.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Heart Palpitations, Apparently Still A Thing In The Twenty-First Century

I've been having heart palpitations and it makes me feel ridiculous. Like i am suddenly a crazy victorian woman: fetch me my smelling salts, colleen, whilst i faint on this overstuffed divan!

p.s. the grocery store is still out of vanilla.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Back From Vacation, A Series of Random And Largely Disconnected Thoughts

There is going to be a movie based (?) on the classic game "Battleship." Yes. That is correct. The trailer is visible here and confirms the judgement that everyone in their right mind made upon reading that first sentence (or whichever sentence that first brought this information to your attention): this is possibly the most retarded movie ever made. EVER.

On Wednesday we went to the jazz night at the aquarium and to see the jellies. They were amazing:

But it was really crowded, so we bought some wine at the bar, put it in our bag, and went out on the grass to watch the fireworks from Navy Pier. To be honest, I'm not sure we even needed to stoop to subterfuge. To be sure, drinking in the park is probably technically illegal, but this is Chicago, so I don't think anyone minds very much. The city looked like this (I only had my phone, so the firework pictures didn't come out well at all. Someday I will bring my real camera and try again):

I am in the process of switching over to gmail because Mediacom is stupid (there is a more detailed reason, but it is not interesting). Anyway, the mediacom address will still work, but I'm going to try and move most of the traffic to gmail. Here's the thing about Google: they are actually helpful. For example, just now, I was having trouble setting up POP. When I went to the help pages about it, not only did I find a useful answer, I found it right away, and worded exactly like I needed it to be worded - "if you want to check mail on multiple devices, IMAP is a better choice." Yes. I guess what I am saying is that Google might take over the world but I am pretty ok with that.

This week I have been struggling to overcome the feeling that I am still on vacation. August is just like that. If only we were the French and just took the whole month off, I think that would be sensible. Since I returned to work on Tuesday, I have accomplished some important things (final resubmission of my paper, data entry of all summer data, decisions regarding Sweden trip), however, if you actually add it up, it amounts to maybe a full day's work - spread out over four days. The elementary school child in me is, I think, secretly disbelieving of this whole "work through the summer" thing. Well, anyway, next week it would become me to buckle down and churn out a new draft of my proposal.

As I mentioned above, sometime in the next two or three months I will be going to Sweden to stand on some beaches and squint at some plants. I am strangely reluctant about this, I think because it is (a) a trip for work, not a trip for fun (b) I will go alone and meet people I have never met before (our Swedish collaborators) thus (c) I will be a bit stressed and also have to be on my best behavior. This is, of course, the polar opposite of the last time I travelled in Europe when (a) we led a charmed life in which the concept of "work" in any form had no place (b) I travelled with a variety of intimate companions in booze-soaked harmony thus (c) I could remain happily co-dependent and could operate under the eccentric and idiosyncratic behavioral code particular to the Florence house. *Sigh* The tragedy of being a responsible 25-year-old on a career path rather than a carefree 19-year-old with a credit card and very little homework. Also, it's possible that the trip will cause me to miss the beginning of the NHL season, which bothers me more than I am prepared to admit, or would have believed a year ago.

To close: another picture of the Chicago skyline at sunset: