chicago, october 07 [part ii].

005 i want a ringer to accompany me to shows all the time. jen took us to the house theatre's the sparrow on friday night, and it was one of the best live performances i've seen in years (which actually does mean something, since we're comparatively good about getting out for music* and have seen a few notable plays in the last few months). the show was twee in the best possible way: as jen promised/warned us, hearts were worn on sleeves all 'round, but the house team's (elementary but) extremely clever staging and genuine exuberance (a far cry from the rote and hollow crap we see on broadway here) were absolutely winning. i was on the verge of tears fifteen minutes in. jen also let me sit up in the booth with her, guest headset and all, as she called a show (for another group) on saturday night; i've always known that jen is a drama ninja, but now that i've seen how coolly she delivers her team's cues, i suspect that she's a drama superhero ninja. i was so very proud.

006 apple picking in and of itself isn't all that exciting, especially since most of the trees (in both new york, per my coworker, and in southern wisconsin, as we now know) are stripped bare by mid-october and one is obliged to scoop up cheaters' apples from bins scattered around the orchard. it is extremely pleasant, however, to exit the city and leap around in the mud** for a few hours; even the rotting apples smelled good, and i got to continue my pastoral joe photo series.

007 the wedge is but one of many, many wisconsin foam hat styles, as we learned in the cheese ghetto surrounding mars' cheese castle in kenosha (just down the highway from apple holler): in our buzz through one shop alone, i saw cheese sombreros, top hats, baseball caps, and western wear. if i'd been able to find a cheese fez, i'd probably have bought it. i'm kicking myself a bit for passing on the cheese mardi gras beads.

008 if we were serious about owning a place before...age 40 or something, we'd move to chicago. even hipster-gentrified neighborhoods like wicker park offered three-unit buildings for around $700k (i don't even want to think about what a similar place in williamsburg would fetch these days).

on a non-chicago note, my family in southern california (los angeles and newport beach) is safely removed from the horrible fires we've all been hearing about. a friend's family has been evacuated from san diego, though, and jacob's parents are far closer to the irvine stuff than my father is - send gust-discouraging, wet blanket thoughts that way, please, o internets.

*by the by, i passed on my opportunity to buy tickets to see the spice girls this winter. they were going to be very expensive, and far away, and joe would have broken one of his own limbs to avoid having to come along, but i still feel that i've failed 1997 lauren.

**and hide in the corn. i really need to stop patterning my field trips on stephen king adaptations.


baby jo said...

while the fires aren't affecting anyone i know directly, the weather out here is nasty -- it's really dry and hot (90's?) and the sky is yellow. and here in culver city, we're not even that close to the fires.

another note -- i also passed on tickets to see the girls of spice. the drawing for vegas pulled my name, but i can't justify spending $300 on a pair of tickets, plus hotel, plus missing a day of work. i guess seeing spice world in the theaters with emily will have to be good enough.

*by the way, have you heard of this? chris and a friend and i applied together.


jacob said...

well, you guilted me into calling my parents to find out if they are OK. they are. said it smelled smoky, though. luckily (for them), they're going to tahoe next week for vacation.

enjelani said...

lordy, i'm out of the news loop. called my cousin at UCSD this morning, greeting him with an obliviously chipper "hey, how's life over there?" (he also reports smoky but OK.) sending damp doldrum-y vibes westward.

by the way, apologies for the flaky silence to your invite to go a-cornmazin' last month; i was out of town, natch, and was plenty sorry to have missed it. apple-picking in october also looks charming (in photos anyway...can't catch cold through flickr). i wants me a goat bridge.

lauren said...

@jo: no, i hadn't heard of butt-numb-a-thon - and i must say, the moments before i figured out what it was were terrifying. did you guys get in?

@enjelani: i think "on tour in europe" is a pretty solid excuse for not replying - no worries! there will be future opportunities to farm it up, though i daresay we may have to get our own goat bridge started in williamsburg if we want that to happen locally. i find goats so cool that i'd actually do it.

"smoky but OK" is the word from all of the california folks i've bumped into, thank goodness. that's what i remember from the malibu and laguna beach fires when i was in high school: our soccer coach made us practice anyway, so we all ended up with miner's lung for a few days because the air quality was so poor.

this "witch fire" stuff reminds me of that joan didion essay on los angeles in slouching towards bethlehem. though JD is from sacramento, she speaks of the santa ana winds with the same horror that non-californians do (which, OK, she's from northern california). the santa anas never seemed sinister to me - they were just part of the landscape. of course it gets weird and warm and wild sometimes, of course fires get out of control. california is supposed to be dry and cruel, we've just been trying to convince it otherwise for 150 years. it's never really worked.

baby jo said...

no word yet on butt-numb-a-thon -- i think the participants will be listed by halloween. it would be really fun to go, and my friend has been trying to get in for 4 years, so i hope we do. apparently the final mix is 40% female/60% male, so having me in our mix of 3 helps considerably (applicants are mostly dudes). we'll see what happens...