Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I am an anthropologist sometimes

Last night I bought my membership to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Largely, it's because I can't afford to go as much as I want, and now it's free, and I want to be able to call myself a "patroness of the arts."

I lucked out too, since that night in the cafe they were having a concert of this sound artist who did a lot of really smart things with synth and visuals projected onto he ceiling to match. It was like a hallucination scene from Star ItalicTrek had run into an interactive screen saver.

I had just took another run through the Italian exhibit, Italics, (which I sono el migliore) and I sat with a mocha listening and being the only one, in a room full of cool artists, in business casual. It was really cool though to get deep inside my own head with that kind of music.

Then as I was leaving I ran into a huge crowd of people in tight jeans, leather jackets, and hair in pompadours, like in the 1950s!! Turns out there was a book signing there from an author who wrote the book on rockabilly culture. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, google "rockabilly". They had cigarette packs tucked into their sleeves, and the women wore short bangs, red lipstick, and saucy clothes. It was so strange, especially since I was still in that meditative place that kind of music engenders. They were loud and excited, and I was...still in business casual from work, and then wandered in the design students who come in on Tuesdays to find inspiration, and the whole foyer looked like a fight scene from a Mel Brooks film, but minus the fighting.

I have to say, this is a great city, and if you just open yourself up to adventures, they are there, and they aren't hidden too far beneath the surface.

PS. you'll have to forgive any change in tone of this piece...I'm writing it at coffee before work, and it is very early indeed. Thanks to Corner Bakery though, for letting me take their wifi!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An eL Story

The other morning I was running to get the eL, and I barely made the second car.

Usually it is filled with boring business-casual like myself, and on Fridays the occasional creature who has been partying until 6AM and realizes that they need to get home. This morning was slightly different. In the car stood a hooded figure in a long, dirty jacket with its back to us.

It was clearly a deranged person, and then there was a complimentary giant figure in the back seat, who seemed to be sleeping peacefully despite the harsh light, cold, and constant bumping and noise. I'm a city girl, and I can handle this without complaint.

We, the innocent, sweet-smelling riders of car #2 couldn't do much before the next few stops, since the train only stopped for a few seconds, and slowly but surely we became aware that we were going to be stuck with the stench.

It was
homeless + old clothes + no hygiene + urine
and it was terrible. These mystery figures just stood/sat there crazily. The stinker kept rubbing its face maniacally, and those of us who were not crazy but not wanting to catch the next train 10 minutes later were looking out the window. No one was going to say anything for fear of being impolite. No one was going to call the police to get rid of this crazy person, because it was 6AM, and even police had better things to do at that time, so we sat and prayed for our stops to come quickly, or a panicked skunk to run on board.

Finally, 4 painful stops (really, "pause" describes their duration better), the conductor broke in
"you in car #2, you don't want to be in there.
We'll be stopped longer for you to get out."

We dove out of car #2, just as the rather crowded platform was emptying into the train, holding our noses and pointing to the cars in front of or behind us, to warn off potential riders. I ran full-tilt into the car directly to the south of me, #1, and let me tell you that Car #1, though still the el, smelled like roses.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Our Reactions to NU's Outback FAIL

So the NU Wildcats were playing the Auburn War Eagles in the Outback Bowl. I'll say right now, we haven't won a bowl game since 1949, so I wasn't expecting too much, and we played like I expected for the first half, at which point I sent this message:

BUT THEN we started catching up, but Demos, our kicker, kept missing field goals and extra points just when we needed them, so I sent out this one, referring to our team:

Demos then had a chance to win us the game with a field goal at the end of regulation time, BUT HE MISSED, and then we went into overtime where we handed them the game. 35-38 Auburn:

One of my fellow Northwestern fans had this to say about the "Cardiac Cats"

My friends and family were a little more surprised by our "performance"...

...but the Cats who went down to Florida for the actual game were pretty united in their sentiment

So I am a bit torn, to be honest. On the one hand: we made it to a good bowl game (this was NOT the Motor City Bowl), and we scared the pants off Auburn (who rushed the field TWICE prematurely and generally acted like jerks), and we took it into overtime, which is more than I expected. On the other hand, we lost for stupid reasons (DEMOS, interceptions, DEMOS), and the game managed to bring my hopes up very high and then dash them VERY low. So...thanks for that, 'Cats. See you next year.

December in Chicago