Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Different FB FU

The other day I received a text from my father, "Went up Half Dome today. Very strenuous walk. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest!"

Naturally I shared this text with the person that was hanging at my house. She barely looked at me and said, "What's half dome?"


Once I gathered myself I realized I should try and be diplomatic about this surprising lack of knowledge, and quickly looked up a picture online. She was unimpressed.

I asked her, "So, what state are you from?"

I hoped that this would explain some things.

She said, "Washington."

Me, "The state...or dis..trict....?"

Her, "The state. West coast."

Me, "Oh."

Ever heard of Ansel Adams?

Or Yosemite?

Or California?


Puget Sound?

Obviously, we aren't kindred spirits.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Probably Robots

Today I determined that it was time for me to ride the bus whilst listening to my iPod. I was taking a relatively well known route and felt confident that I wouldn't miss my stop. So, like a cool kid, I put my ear buds in and pressed play. Suddenly, something happened! I heard music! Wonderful, dancing, shout the chorus music! I couldn't keep my legs from keeping the beat. My head simply refused not to sway to the rhythm. The music possessed me! I loved it. But during all this joy, however, I felt like I was doing something wrong. The cool kids never move to their music. I've never seen even one person bopping to their jamz. I took a discrete look around, to see if anyone with ear buds had the music flowing through to their feet.
Nope. Not one.

What are these people listening to? Are they listening at all? Maybe they are robots, because I don't think a human could avoid dancing to the music of their choice. People get to choose what they listen to, so why does everyone look so bored and depressed?

I know you are itching to know what showed up on my iPod.

Lollipop by Mika
Check Yes Juliet by We the Kings 
Pickup Man by Joe Diffie
Mood Rings by Relient K
Save the Last Dance for Me by Michael Buble

You try listening to those songs, and see if you don't want to dance.
If you don't, then you are probably a robot.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Changing of the Gaurd

I'm sure after I have been in Chicago for a while I will be one of those jaded bus passengers that can just sleep or listen to their iPods until their stop, but I am currently not one of those people.

I am alert. I am attentive. I'm incredibly obsessed with getting off at the right stop. Part of my plan to get where I need to go is looking around a lot. You can do a lot of looking around without actually making eye contact with people. I like to see who gets on the bus and if they are creepy. I like to look out the window and try to memorize the scenery. I try to remember which Walgreens or which CVS is on what corner, and of course, I am always conscious to which stop we are approaching.

Today I was riding the bus when we made a routine stop about half way to my destination. I watched as people got on the bus and paid their fare. Then I saw the bus driver get up. They sometimes do this when a passenger needs assistance. However, he didn't help anyone. Instead, he just got off the bus and went... who knows where. Maybe to Walgreens.

He just got off the bus.

I was baffled.

Then I noticed another bus driver had taken his place. I guess I'm not as alert and attentive as I thought.

So, if you are a bus driver, do you take a bus to the stop where you will begin your shift? And then when you are done with your shift, you just get off the bus? And try and catch a bus home? If you are on the last shift of the day, you can't take another bus home. I'm sure there is some type of giant bus barn or dispatch center of sorts, so the buses must return there nightly. How do the employees get home? They wouldn't park their cars there, because they didn't start their shift there. Or did they? Maybe you report to the bus barn (via bus) and then a giant bus drops everyone at their assigned destinations? I've been fascinated by this concept all day.

Do you think the next CTA employee I see would object to being interviewed? I've got to get to the bottom of this.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


That's Friend Betting Follow Up, in case you were wondering.

I am taking finger to key this evening to tell you of a possible friend experience I had just the other day. We were at the Cheesecake Factory. Normally I would never go to the Cheesecake Factory, seeing how I don't care for cheesecake, but my roommates and a bunch of their friends were going, so I made the decision to be sociable. Yuck. Just typing the word "cheesecake" gives me the creeps.

While we were waiting for our table, we were looking at the cheesecakes. One of the girls said, "Oh wow, those look so great!" and then looked to me for confirmation. Usually I say something like, "Oh, yeah, it does. Mhhmm, cheesecake!!" Now, don't shake your head at me, thinking I am betraying myself or something. I respond in the affirmative most of the time because if I say "Yeah, mh, whatev," people turn to look at me with eyes wide and mouth agape. Once they have recovered themselves, they shout "WHAT?!" and we then proceed to have a conversation about how my distaste for cheesecake is the worst decision I've ever made.

But this time was different. I threw caution to the wind! I said, "Oh, yeah, I don't actually like cheesecake." She looks up at me and says, "What do you like?"  I responded that I liked ice cream and frozen treats in general. She informed me that there were at least four frozen treat shops in her neighborhood, and proceeded to tell me about them. I was loving it. I had to try them all! So I said, "When are you available to show me around your neighborhood?" And just like that, I had an appointment with a potential friend.

It was a perfect afternoon: four frozen treat shops and two book stores. She and I are even friends on That doesn't mean anything of course, but what I'm saying is that I have only been here 15 days. We'll see how this progresses.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Adventures" or "Anything But Fine"

I've determined that the more I blog the less texts I receive with "hey, how's it going" so maybe I should update my blog a bit more frequently.

I'm not saying that I don't enjoy your texts, but I am saying that there is a time for texting and a time to enjoy the latest Flavia de Luce mystery. Also, there happens to be a lot of time for adventures.

Even in the small jaunts I have taken in my own neighborhood, I have seen A LOT of churches. Most of these churches offer services in Polish, Spanish or German. Don't they know that the Bible has been translated into English for years now?

You should know that Chicago has one of those library systems that has a main library with many small branches in each of the neighborhoods. I have been to my library, but I really wanted to go to the downtown library. I wanted to take the train and get off at the stop entitled "Library". If the library has its own stop, it must be cool.

And it was. That's nine stories, baby! It has millions of books, and to get there, you go through an escalator maze! Even if English isn't your thing, you could just check out a book in any of the other 25 languages available. If you don't believe how awesome the library system is, perhaps this little article will change your mind.

Oh, and guess what I found? Water! Woot woot! I simply adore water! My roommate was playing in a beach volleyball game and asked if I wanted to go. The term "beach" sounded like maybe there would be water nearby. It is important to check out any and all potential water sources.

I also found the skyline that is in every Chicago movie, but particularly in My Best Friend's Wedding.

I've also been to the Lincoln Park Zoo. When I got there, all I could find was this:

But I couldn't find the entrance to the zoo. It was bizarre. So I wandered around, found a giant lily pond, and also the Park part of Lincoln Park, but no zoo.

I put my spying glasses on, and I spied a rhino!

Knowing rhinos are not indigenous to Chicago, I walked toward the rhino, and found myself in the zoo! It's important to know indigenous animals in case you ever find yourself in a situation similar to mine.

Also, as an embarrassing side note, I went to see Step Up 3 in 3D with a million other people that my roommates know.

I have never watched a movie in 3D before. I've never wanted to admit this, because it seems a bit silly, so when someone would mention they watched a movie in 3D, I would always ask how it went, casually trying to glean information from the experienced people of the population. Unfortunately, everyone always says, "Oh it was fine."

What? What kind of report is that? "Fine"? It was in 3D, and you say it was fine?? Well, I have finally seen a 3D movie, and I'm here to tell you that it is much better than fine! It is da bomb dot com! It is awesome! It's trippy! It's nauseating! It's a bit frightening! It's anything but fine!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have made it to Chicago. I can tell because I'm hot and wet. Last night was a night of sweating, lugging, and meeting new people.

This morning I woke up to some weird rumbling noise. Is it my bed? Is it the train? I didn't think we were that close to the train. Maybe it's some house noise I'm not familiar with. As my consciousness was coming out of dreamland I realized it was thunder. Huge, massive, crazy claps of thunder. Rain was pelting my window. There might have been lightning, but I didn't see it because I rolled over and went back to sleep. Ah, the power of closing your eyes.

Later I got up, and...had no idea what to do. What was the plan for today? What do I normally do when I wake up?
Oh, breakfast.
Was I hungry?
I don't think so.
I better eat anyway, it's what I normally do.

While cerealing, I remembered that I was going to go exploring; maybe find a library. I hadn't counted on rain. I had no rain back up plan.

So I sat on the couch.

Soon I heard noises in the apartment and realized I had a roommate home. A human! Maybe she could help me!

We chatted a bit, and then she said, "So, you wanna work out?" YES! I remember now! Yes, that is something I do in the mornings! Work out! After that, she took a nap, and I opened all the cupboards and doors in the apartment. When she woke up and we got ready, we went downtown to experience touristy Chicago.

By the time we stepped off the L, it had started raining again. I didn't notice it, however, as I was a bit wet when we began our journey.

We walked to Millennium Park and saw The Bean.

I'm waving to you, Mom.

We walked by a water feature where lots of kids were playing. I guess if you are already wet it doesn't matter if you get more wet. But my favorite thing was these two guys wrestling each other into the water, under the watchful eye of the security guard.

After that my tour guide suggested that maybe we come back on a sunnier day, and catch a bus to the Water Tower to go shopping.

We passed a Chess Party, but because it was raining and we wanted to check out the stores, we didn't stop and watch.

When we made it to the mall, I realized it was five stories tall. I spotted a Sephora on the map, and instantly started running for the escalator. Sephora, I am sorry to report, isn't much bigger than the Sephora in San Luis Obispo. I took one look around and left. Been there, done that. Shouldn't the store be bigger than SLO? Shouldn't it? Well, it wasn't.

We also went into a fancy shmanz store where I found a hat that I simply had to have, but at a better price, and perhaps poorer quality. I expressed my mission to my companion, and we set off on a search.

I am sorry to say that I couldn't find anything. Perhaps another day. I hope so. I would love a Chicago hat.