Sunday, December 30, 2007

christmas in chicago

my first christmas away from home was...weird. it didn't feel like christmas, but spending it with my best friend, jessica, made it feel more like home. plus, chicago was pretty awesome! it was beautiful, enchanting, and i didn't get mugged! we went to chinatown, ate chicago deep dish pizza (not in china town) (mmm...1 inch of melted cheese...which promptly made me sick...soooooo good), went to the lincoln park zoo, and to the field museum and the art institute of chicago.

here are some pictures of a monkey, a roaring lion that would not be fun to cage fight, a mummy, and a moche pot.we lived, we ate, we traveled via bus, train, & taxi, and we lived to tell the tale. look at how contented jessica is!i hope everyone was/is having a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 17, 2007

"as long as i know how to love, i know i will stay alive."

hmm...i should update this thing. but why? what has been going on in my life lately that warrants a blog post?


well, last weekend, i spent most of the weekend laying in the dark with a heated rice pad over my face. i hate migraines.

although, in those moments of doing nothing but zoning out and getting bored pretty easily, i turned on the discovery channel and watched a marathon of "man vs. wild," and, needless to say, i zoned out more.

but at the same time, i found myself feeling an odd mixture of awe, guilt, and "this is ridiculous!" if you've never watched the show, the "man," bear grylls (yes, his name is bear) jumps out of a plane or helicopter in some remote location, and he then spends the next day or two "surviving" in the "wild" location he has placed himself in. and shortly into this marathon, i started feeling this odd mixture in the following order:

1. awe
this man is climbing up sheer cliffs without equipment! he's eating bugs and snakes! he seems to know everything about the environment around him! wow!2. guilt
man, maybe i'll find myself lost in the middle of the saharah one day...or in the mangroves of panama. i should be taking notes: "eat the desert bugs for protein, don't be lulled into a false sense of security by all the water around you, it will kill you, and if caught in a sandstorm and a dead camel just so happens to be lying there, gut it, drink it's innards for water, and crawl inside." check.
3. "this is ridiculous!"
as i'm taking notes, "if caught in quicksand...try to pull your legs out...really hard..." hmm...riiiight. quite the tip there, bear. moving on, "assuming you survive the hundreds of miles of desert and reach the atlas mountains...climb over them." right, bear. i can climb over mountains like you. what the heck? i'll be sure to remember these essential tips when i'm dying in the saharah, because i go there so often. the three stages of bear. and the cycle continued. for hours. i couldn't tear myself away from bear! and the wild! so amazing! and so attractive...and hot...and he keeps taking his clothes off because it apparently helps him survive...must remember bear survival techniques! what the...come on, bear! you're insane! now, i don't know if this was the migraine, but i then came up with the idea of a bear catchphrase drinking game. or maybe bingo. yes...bear's lingo bingo. which would include the following phrases:
  • usually said when eating something disgusting "it's better than nothing!"
  • as he's scaling a mountain, or precariously working his way down the side of a waterfall "you've got to be reeeeally careful."
  • several bingo squares briefly describing the most common ways bear says you could die, including dehydration, parasites, insect/spider/snake bites, falling to your death, and dysentery.

i'm still working on that one. hopefully, there will be another "man vs. wild" marathon on soon. until then, i'm off to survive the rest of the holidays, which includes air travel (that little pillow they give you on the airplane might help your neck survive the tree even though it's tiny, but it's better than nothing), navigating the perilous streets of chicago (the rats might be a good source of protein, but i don't be fooled...they could give me the plague and i could die), and trying to finish my christmas shopping, which includes going to the mall (i've got to be reeeeeeally careful).

happy christmahanukwanzakah!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

"what do i care? i've got my love to keep me warm."

does anybody want to take a gander at how much i enjoyed the snow this weekend? well, i know i can be a winter grinch, as i hate being cold, but i loved the snow this weekend! it really felt like christmas, and it was so beautiful. i ran around a park sunday afternoon after the sun had come out and took some pictures of the snow with my early christmas present.also, ann-marie & i were in the city's politically-correct "winterfest" parade as elves. we were so cold all morning, but we had fun! happy winter! i hope all of you enjoyed the snow this weekend as much as i did.