Friday, February 26, 2010
Role model mom and her baby, boyfriend and a couple of friends followed me into the car and never shut up about the incident all the way to Rosemont. I have no idea exactly what they were saying because he normal looking couple sitting behind me turned out to be a woman and her father who were loudly reliving the details of the woman's divorce hearing that they had just attended. ALL THE WAY TO ROSEMONT.
Fast forward to the return trip on the Blue Line. At about Montrose our car was filled with the smell of something burning. Sure enough there was a small fire on the outside of the car - just near the door. We high tailed it onto the platform where we herded ourselves into the more forward cars. After a 10 minute delay we were on our way downtown - and as an added bonus, the train ran express to Logan Square- making up for lost time. I got home on the #66 with no incident and boarded a #146 to my meeting at the Harold Washington library. At the next stop two slobbering, foul-mouthed drunks who staggered on gave a running commentary ALL THE WAY TO STATE AND LAKE.
Returning home from the library I was grateful for the relative quiet of only cell phones and texting.
No kidding - all this in one day on the CTA - I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Thanks, again Blago.
Monday, February 22, 2010
An errand took me to the Harold Washington Library today. I had not visited in a while. The 145 bus dropped me right at the back door - an interesting way to enter this building, full of twists and turns. The shining surfaces must be hard to keep gleaming, but they do it well. More than just a library, this is a gathering place, part museum - part learning center. My errand was completed quickly and with grace and efficiency by the librarian on the 6th floor. I was not in any hurry to go back out into the cold, damp gloom. I decided to treat myself to a self guided tour. While somewhat overwhelming, once I caught the rhythm of the progression from floor to floor I was amazed.
Private spaces in this nine story building abound. One floor had what seems like hundreds of computers set up for use by cardholders. There was a waiting list, and handily, a comfortable seating area with newspapers from all over the world to peruse while waiting.
Every floor has nooks and crannies with either tables or cubicles with wi-fi connections. There seemed to be people doing taxes, writing papers, preparing resumes and just enjoying reading. Others, sad to say, had picked a warm place to settle in (with possessions in tow) to avoid the cold. Everyone was respectful of each others' silence.
I ended my tour on the ninth floor in the magnificent Winter Garden. Another great escape from Chicago's winter. Somehow looking up through the glass roof made the snow seem more palatable. I'll be back and next time I'll stay and read a book in one of those great private spaces. Check it out yourself.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
What looks like an ordinary spagetti scoop has also been used in our house......
....As a back scratcher
.....To reach items on high shelves
.......To pull the speed change chain on the ceiling fan
..........To drag a shoe out from under the bed
.............To scoop out laundry from the bottom of a deep washing machine
................To open a cabinet when my hands are sticky
And of course to pull pasta from the boiling water.
I'll bet you can think of other uses. I can't live without mine. How about you?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
No need to have stressed. The trip was well worth it. In a nutshell:
*Free "Blago Pass" rides to and from O'Hare
* Friendly airline and TSA agents
* Any flight that lands is a good flight
* Fresh grouper hours from the ocean - yum!
* Fun friends from all over the country/world
* The Osprey nest that was blown away in a hurricane is back - and occupied
* No internet, TV or mail
* Hair blond, skin tan, mind rested - don't ask about the waistline
Now I can spend my time stressing about something else - like world peace or political sanity.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My 46" carry on is almost packed, the newspaper and mail delivery have been dealt with and the ice maker has been turned off. My 3oz bottles of essentials sit staring at me from their 1 qt. see through baggie on the counter, practicing for their performance tomorrow morning for the TSA person who will barely bother to look at them.
After the theater tonight we will jump into bed, set our alarm for 4:00 AM and then spend a sleepless night worrying that the alarm will fail to go off. Tomorrow bright and early we will head out for the Blue Line to O'Hare hopeful that the "...we are being delayed waiting for signals ahead" announcements will be few and far between. Once at ORD, shoes and coats in hand, we and our carry ons- we refuse to pay $100 to check our bags - and our baggies of plastic bottles will be carefully scrutinized (or not, depending on the mood of the TSA agent). Then on to the gate to wait for our boarding group to be called. Instead of reading my book, I will probably be sizing up our fellow travelers for their propensity to commit acts of terror.
If we are lucky enough to land in Miami as scheduled, we will jockey for position at the car rental counter in hopes that our car is there and smoke free, as promised. Getting out of Miami is tricky, but once on U.S.1 its a pretty straight shot to the causeway leading to the Overseas Highway and our destination at Milemarker 92.5.We'll have two weeks of no newspaper, TV, Internet, ice or snow. For the last two days of our stay we'll start the process of preparation for travel all over again.
I sometimes think we should just stock up on seafood,unplug ourselves, buy a sunlamp and some Beach Party and Gidget movies, and stay home.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Layered up and feeling like the little kid in The Christmas Story, I walked the four frigid blocks to the 66 bus and climbed aboard. There were only three of us on the bus. I pictured myself walking into a deserted Navy Pier,the end of the line. Who goes to the pier in 14 degree weather? Evidently, lots of folks do. The energy, as I pushed through the doors to the main lobby was palpable. Families and other groups filled the benches surrounding the silent stage just basking in the warmth and the light coming from the Crystal Garden. The carts that sell gee-gaws of every kind were surrounded by the curious and paying customers alike. Every restaurant and bar was filled to capacity although it was mid-afternoon. (What recession?) I couldn't help but notice most people were drinking beer, snacking on popcorn and finishing up with ice cream. Summer has returned.
The temporary tattoo artist and the guy who does caricatures both had lines. The entire length of Festival Hall was filled from stem to stern with Strictly Sail, a 4 day show of every kind of vessel from kayaks to luxury yachts. At the end of the pier the magnificent ballroom, overlooking the frozen lake and lone lighthouse was set for an elegant party - a 30 piece orchestra was prepping on the stage.I'm told its a mile out and a mile back on the pier - so I guess my two jaunts out and back were about 4 painless miles.I'll be back.