1) Last month we had a birthday party for my Swede. We managed to pack about twenty-five people into our little bootbox of a condo, and a good time was had by all. Even the cats enjoyed themselves. But the highlight of the night was when a bottle of tonic exploded on the balcony.
That, my friends, is how cold it gets in Chicago in the wintertime. So cold that you’re having a good time rocking and rolling and eating chips and guac maybe with a side of hot ham and cheese sliders while you’re chit-chatting with your friends and then BAM. A party guest blinks in disbelief and points out that the tonic on your balcony—put there to chill for the possibility of gin and tonics—just up and exploded.
Take that, puffy-coat wearers in 50-degree weather.
2) Speaking of the cold, beside unintentional science experiments as described above, one of the best things about living in Chicago in winter is that everyone gains an extra unlimited-sized refrigerator/freezer, which is extremely handy when you’re having a party. All that extra food has a place to wait until your guests arrive, and there’s much less of a chance that a veggie platter will rain down on you when all you’re trying to find is the mustard for a pre-party sandwich snack. Throw those veggies on the balcony and call it a day! (Just keep an eye on your beverages, apparently.) And why shouldn’t you have a party in the dead of winter? Warmth in numbers, my friends. Warmth in numbers.
3) I took a train to Michigan in February to visit some friends, and I’d like to know why there isn’t more train travel in the U.S.? Granted, my train was two hours late getting into Ann Arbor, and an hour late getting back to Chicago, BUT OTHER THAN THAT, it was quite a lovely experience. Minus the really bitchy lady who sat in front of me and berated her daughters for a goodly portion of the trip. And minus the nervousness that gripped me when I left my stuff in my seat (electronics and all) to go to the bar car to get a glass of wine (because my train was two hours late and what better way to pass the time than with wine and Diet Pepsi?), completely convinced someone was going to steal my shit while I was gone. And minus the fact that the wifi didn’t work onboard at all. Otherwise, totally lovely. Let’s all ride the rails.
4) When we first got the dog, she used to spend quite a bit of time in front of the oven, staring and huffing and woofing at her reflection in the door. She still stares at herself, but no longer barks at her reflection, which makes me think her train of thought has altered from, “WHO IS THAT DOG IN OUR HOUSE OVEN I WILL PROTECT YOU, MY HUMANS, FROM THIS VICIOUS VICIOUS CREATURE,” to, “Yup. Still as gorgeous as ever.” It was bound to happen, I guess. She is pretty cute, and 95 percent of the people we meet on the street tell her as much. I think she might be developing a complex.
5) Can we all please stop saying “Because [fill in the blank]”?
Example: “Because hilarious.”
Example #2: “Because vacation.”
Example #3: “Because cilantro.”
Why do I want people to stop saying this (or rather, populating Facebook status updates with it)? I want people to stop saying “Because [fill in the blank]” BECAUSE it gives absolutely no explanation to what you are trying to say. Is something actually hilarious? Or are you being facetious? Why are we unnecessarily leaving out articles and/or key descriptive words? Are we all trying to be some bizarre, updated version of Bridget Jones?
BECAUSE CILANTRO WHAT? WHAT ABOUT THE F-ING CILANTRO?
There are so many ways that could be answered, and it is not fair to leave me to fill in the blanks on your inexplicable and incoherent sentences that grammatically aren’t even sentences anyway. (And I should know, considering how often I do not speak in coherent, grammatically correct sentences.) Use your words, people. Stop sacrificing them for twee, hipster phrases. Use them! That’s what they’re there for.