The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowing in the Windy City

I was in Chicago this past weekend for fun(ny) pursuits with one of my improv groups.

I love that city. The food is delightful; the fashion is superb; and the architecture is some of my favorite. I got to eat, shop, and gaze, with a dash of stage time thrown in, so all in all, a plumb peach of a time.

Here were some highlights:

  • We stayed in a house near Wrigley Field, and so, during a huge majority of the weekend, there were clusters of people drinking, wearing Cubs paraphernalia, and generally rabblerousing and carousing.

    One night, on the way back to our house, we stopped at a pizza place around 1:40 a.m. to try and satisfy our appetites. As a prime example of some of the colorful characters we encountered, the low-slung jeans guy in line in front of us could not remember how many slices of pizza he had just ordered five minutes ago. Then when the cashier asked him to sign his credit card receipt, to oblige, he started circling numbers on it. Then he tried to take three slices even though he only paid for one, none of which he remembered ordering. Awesome.

  • This heavenly item at Southport Grocery & Cafe called the Grown Up Pop Tart. It’s described as “Warm & filled with berry preserves, marscapone cheese and roasted vanilla walnuts (featuring preserves & our house-made roasted vanilla walnuts from the grocery)”. We got one for the table (thanks be to Michelle for my new favorite concept). It was ridiculously good.

    Their cupcakes were also no joke to ogle:

  • The group house was something else. It was very nice, with a back yard and plenty of refined tastes. There was even a baby crib in which I really wanted to sleep, but I firmly resisted my fetal impulses. Much of the art in the house was pretty bizarre, but this was my favorite. I am sucker for googly eyes.

  • I bumped into someone I knew every single day I walked around the city. It reinforced my beliefs re: small worlds & after all, et al. Even as I was homeward bound, I ran into one person on my way to catch a cab to O’Hare, and then I ran into two people I knew from D.C. at my flight gate who had also, unbeknownst to me, been in Chicago for the weekend. There was also a kiosk in the airport that was like Starbuck’s but everything was made with tea instead of coffee. I’m telling you! Destiny! All of it! (Or what buzzkill scientists like to call weird but mere coincidences.)
  • THE END.

    This Weekend in Food

    My dear sister visited these past few days! We gabbed, watched movies, insulted each other’s bodies and life choices, covalently bonded (but we shared clothes instead of electrons), and made cookies. Standard sorority stuff.

    Unfortunately, something went so wrong with the cookies.

    So very, very wrong.

    And they came out looking like PANCOOKIES!

    Get ready for that close up…

    Shelf life was dubious for some (read: all) of them!

    In other news, portion size in restaurants continues to break the physical laws of science and the quantifiable properties of deliciousness…
    In some parts of the world, a whole extended family could live in one of these pieces of french toast.

    Back to the Withdrawing Board

    (wise advice I could still take)
    Try to be like the turtleā€”at ease in your own shell. ~Bill Copeland

    I tried writing something today, but nothing really was coming to me. And sometimes forced writing is disciplined and admirable, but it’s not the kind of work that needs to be exposed to the public voluntarily.

    So instead feast (punintended) your eyes on this conversation snippet (conversational emotional breakthrough):

    Ok I lied. There is stuff going on with me. But it’s mostly summed up as this nonsense below:

    (To be fair, boyfie is trying to turn me back into a healthy vitamin kid, but my body is still resenting him to hell-o for it. My withdrawal is straight out of the angsty years.)

    Lastly, Oh, Hillo sent me this relaxation video, and I am now, fittingly, addicted to watching and listening to it. It’s a koi pond, incidentally also the mascot of the local Zen Buddhist High School!

    (I can’t believe someone gave this video a 3-star rating. REALLY?! If I weren’t so darn relaxed and non-confrontational right now, I would do something about that.)

    Food Fight, Party of One

    I accidentally (but with mild force) flung today’s lunch across my office because I didn’t realize the container lid was loose!

    Indian food covers a lot of distance.

    There is now okra in the cabinets,

    beans under the desk,

    yogurt in the carpet (a river of it!),

    a raw tomato piece sticking to the wall,

    and rice on my shoe.


    I Do It All for the Cookie

    Unfortunately, I am writing yet another entry about food. I decided a midafternoon cookie might do everyone well on this particular day. I made a choice, I went ahead and purchased it, and then I ate it. Let me just say it was quite unsatisfying. I mean, there are mediocre but passable easy-bake treats, and then there is sub-par gluco-carbery that has been sitting in the display far past its sell-by date.

    I’m just saying, can’t we donate old baked goods to some kind of home or assisted tasted facility? It’s just not right to expect them to function as if they were young skippies fresh out the oven.

    Hello beautiful!
    photo courtesy of Flickr and inajeep

    Also, it’s scary to get emails with this subject:

    …even if they’re well-intentioned. No cookie can compete with that educational but sensational noise.

    I will pass it around because the guilt and fear will be arriving in, oh, about five seconds…

    *If you would like more information on this subject, I refer you to the National Cancer Institute’s page on it, and will forego the absolutely scarifying, heartclenching video.

    In the true spirit of too little, too late…


    photo courtesy of Flickr and normanack

    photo courtesy of Flickr and librarianjill