photo friday: blending in

22 May

DSC_0735

I was going through photos the other day, and came across a bunch from the few days Swede and I spent in the Shenandoah Valley before our friends’ wedding in Baltimore.

I’d completely forgotten about the fearless deer we encountered when we took a four mile looping hike through the woods. Swede got close enough to reach out and touch the animal (though he did not actually), as the deer didn’t seem perturbed by us or any other hikers in the least.

While Swede was mildly disappointed that we didn’t spot any bears or other vicious creatures, I, for one, was grateful that this was the only wildlife we encountered.

questions i’ve been meaning to ask you, part one

20 May

One: Whatever happened to the Offspring? They had some pretty good tunes, like Come Out and Play and Smash It Up, a song that was on the Batman Forever soundtrack. Which is actually a really good soundtrack, you guys—U2, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey. I know it’s from the summer before my junior year of high school, but the album holds up. Or is that just me?

Two: Why is everyone so astounded and why do they think it’s so magical that Eskimos have 50 different words for snow? How is this anything special? I’ve got at least five different words I can think of off the top of my head for underwear—underpants, chonies, (everyone’s favorite) panties, pantaloons, undercrackers. I mean, I could go on. No one thinks it’s amazing that I have that many names for underwear. What’s so special about the Eskimos?

Three: Why doesn’t it say, “objects in mirror closer than they appear” anymore on car side mirrors anymore? Granted, on our car, we don’t have a passenger’s side mirror anymore, so it doesn’t say or reflect anything at all, and it hasn’t for the past five years, ever since I swiped past a car on Davenport Avenue on my way to the grocery store. (Sorry, neighbor!) But it doesn’t have those words on the driver’s side mirror.

Why doesn’t the driver’s side mirror have those words? Do car manufacturers just assume we all know? What about new drivers? You know, kids these days aren’t as smart as they used to be, or maybe they’re smarter because of the Internet, but they shouldn’t be googling about physics and driving at the same time. So how are they supposed to know that objects in mirror are closer than they appear, unless the words are on the mirror itself?

What questions are on your mind, Interwebers?

photo friday: pibble on guard

15 May
Photo courtesy of Swede

Photo courtesy of Swede

Swede and his crew are getting boats ready and getting them in the water, and since dogs like to have jobs, Juniper got put to work as well. I’m not sure how well her performance review will go, however, considering she keeps leaving her post to chase after ducks.

things i’ve been meaning to tell you: may 2015

13 May

1) I’ve stupidly seen a lot of Real Housewives episodes recently (thank you, Southwest in-flight television), and I’d like to just tell you all here and now I’m simply not interesting enough to be a Real Housewife of Any City. Those women make my ears ring. Not that I ever had any dreams of being them, or meeting them, or having to be breathe the same catty-filled air as them, but on the off chance that anyone was wondering if I would make a good reality TV show, I can assure you I would not. I don’t care who issues an invite to whom for brunch. I couldn’t give a flying fig over some babe showing up at a party after she’d just talked smack about me at a party the weekend before. To that point, I’m pretty sure no one bothers talking smack about me. Though if they do, I’d be curious to what they’d say. Most likely something along the lines of, “Can you believe she cut in front of that person while she was getting on the bus the other morning?” Because honestly, sometimes I do that. I usually do not realize it until after the fact, and then for the rest of the bus ride I am filled with shame, worried that Stranger A will have a horrible day because some tall chick with freckles was kind of an asshole that morning. I don’t want people to have a bad day because I’m an asshole. That’s really no way to live.

2) I paid a visit to Ma and Pa McPolish at their winter home in Florida last month, post-work trip to Miami. You guys, Florida heat is no joke. It’s thick and humid and oppressive, and according to all the yelling on the local news, hotter than usual this time of year. I believe it, as I briefly dallied with the idea of taking a run outside one morning, because there’s the whole living in Chicago/no temperatures above 29.6 for too many months on end/etc thing, and the thought of running down the lane like Phoebe was utterly tempting.

And then I went outside and melted. And decided that maybe running outside, like Phoebe or otherwise, was probably not a good idea. Or really possible, considering I was a melted mess on the ground.

I really don’t understand how there are any people left in Florida at all.

3) The season of travel—wherein, for the past three months, I have been home all of two? Maybe three? weekends—has come to an end. I am more glad for that than you can imagine, because lots of travel means a lot of potential for plans going askew, like when United decided to cancel my reservation for my flight home from DC, and then every flight out of National was booked, and I ended up having to fly out of Dulles, with a layover in Dayton, Ohio. But let me tell you something about Dayton, Ohio, you don’t know. Their airport is teeny-tiny, but it is lovely and they have probably the nicest airport bathrooms I’ve ever seen, and free wifi.

Dayton airport for the win, you guys.

photo friday: the lord giveth

8 May
Photo courtesy of Swede

Photo courtesy of Swede

A couple weeks ago, Swede and I headed down to Munster, Indiana for our first ever Dark Lord Day experience. Friends of ours had guest tickets, and graciously offered them to us, and while crowds and beer and crowded beer are not my most favorite things in the world, I was intrigued enough by the reputation of the event, and the once-a-year-beer-release, to be all, “Sure! I’ll go!”

And when the actual day arrived, the sky broke loose and dumped a great lake’s worth of rain on northwest Indiana.

All that aside—the waiting for two hours in the rain to get into the event, the waiting in line in the rain for another 90 minutes to buy the special release beer, the woman carefully moving a garter snake from one mud pit right in the path of sopping, slipping beer drinkers to another mud pit where the snake wouldn’t get trampled—it was one of the more intriguing beer events I’ve attended. They don’t mind if you bring in your own food and beer. There’s a friendly charge in the air that entices you to make friends with strangers, and share your beer with them, all of you geeking out over beers from other parts of the nation, the world, that you’ve never tried, and were it not for this kumbaya beer fest, you probably would never been able to try them.

And that’s pretty cool.

that time i didn’t know about the biggest fight of the century

6 May

So I’m buckled into my seat, ready to fly to Vegas last week for work, and I hear the two guys sitting next to me, and the three people in front of me, and the one hundred seventeen people on the other side of the plane murmuring about the Big Fight Coming Up.

“Is there a fight this weekend?” I asked the guys sitting next to me.

And you know how sometimes someone says something so absurd you can’t even muster an expression? Your face just kind of goes slack—not like a cartoon, with your tongue hanging out or anything, just sort of no muscle control whatsoever—and your eyes sort of glass over because your brain is working overtime due to the fact that someone just said something and it does not, for the love of all that is holy and decent, compute.

That’s pretty much the look I got.

“It’s only The Biggest Fight of the Century,” one of the guys told me. He didn’t say it condescendingly, more like he was afraid for me, that here I was, this unsuspecting traveler, on her way to Vegas for one of the biggest weekends of the city’s career, and I was clueless.

“Oh,” I said nodding. “Right. I think I heard something about that.”

No, I hadn’t.

Well, no, that’s a lie. I had heard some chatter on during the sports segments of the news about Mayweather, but I thought it was just general talk about boxing and…stuff. I didn’t realize it was because he was fighting Pacquaio in The Biggest Fight of the Century for hundreds of millions of dollars.

**

It turns out that with The Biggest Fight of the Century comes a lot more Vegas nonsense than I could imagine. Tickets to the event sold out within 30 seconds, my driver to the hotel told me. Hotel rooms on the Strip were completely sold out, and even the nearby crappy hotels that did still have a sprinkling of rooms available were going for upwards of $600 per night. Prostitutes from around the world apparently fly in for weekends like this, the hotel staff told me, and extra law enforcement had been brought in as well (for the general public, not necessarily for the hookers).

Top it off with the fact that the Kentucky Derby was also last weekend, along with the NFL draft, and I’m pretty sure that the sports books were out of their minds.

Anyone who knows me knows that I get annoyed with crowds and while I love rolling craps I am a horrendous gambler. So last weekend? Even once I learned about The Biggest Fight of the Century, last weekend was totally lost on me. While Vegas was making history, Mayweather was remaining undefeated, and a million people were cramming themselves onto the Strip, I was holed up in my hotel room watching The Roosevelts on YouTube and asleep by 9:30* because I am wild and crazy and nothing if not fond of spitting in the face of sports lust.**

I feel like I should apologize to Vegas for my lack interaction during this melee.*** I so incredibly did not participate in the fervor of the weekend, and it’s entirely possible I let Vegas down. First I didn’t know about its mega event offerings, and then I did know, and I totally ignored them. So, I’m sorry, Vegas. I’m sorry if I let you down while I was there. I promise to try harder next time.

Maybe.

Perhaps.

You know, let’s just play it by ear, how about that? I don’t want to make you promises I’m not sure I can keep, especially if it involves anything happening past 9 pm.

*Two hour time difference you guys. It’s killer for a routine-craving person like myself. 

**Lie. I have been known to get utterly vociferous about college football, hockey, and White Sox baseball, for a start. And I adore Derby Day, but sadly it fell in the middle of the workshop I was staffing, and I’m relatively sure stepping away from my duties so I could throw a box on a few horses would be frowned upon.

***Except I’m not all that sorry as I learned the area outside of the Tropicana was cordoned off because of a shooting after the fight. Not that I was staying at the Tropicana, but whatever.

photo friday: what’s so funny?

17 Apr

Peace and Love

I’m in Miami for the second time in as many months, and while it’s not my favorite city in the world, I appreciate the sentiment they display for people as they fly in, out, or through Miami International.

Peace & Love to you this weekend, my friends. And may you pass it on in spades to those around you.

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