Newsy

March 29, 2013 at 11:41 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Aaand my NCAA bracket is officially screwed.  The IU game last night was painful to watch but if I’m completely honest, I’ll admit that Syracuse played a stronger game.  Thus ends all sports watching in our household until the next basketball season rolls around!

In other news, I’m heading to Indiana this weekend for typical Easter shenanigans and visits with family and friends.  The weather is also finally warming up and I could see temperatures in the 60’s tomorrow!  This is a huge deal, considering the high was like 20 on Monday.  I also have next Monday off work since my bus gets in pretty late Sunday night and I am quite excited about that!

YES!

In other, other news, Jurassic Park will soon be re-released in 3D in honor of its 20th anniversary.  Before I continue, can I just say how freaking old that makes me feel?  Anyway, Jurassic Park is one of my all time favorite movies and I’ve never seen it on the big screen.  I almost went to see it at the drive in when it came out but didn’t wind up going due to a storm (which, in hindsight, was probably for the best because I would’ve been crapping my pants even without real-life thunder and lightning).  In college, I had a roommate who had a projector and we hung a giant sheet on the wall and watched in in our living room, which was pretty awesome but not quite the same as a movie theater experience.  And now it’s coming out in 3D?  My dreams have come true.  I’ve already got a double date lined up to view the big event.

And that’s all she wrote.  Happy Weekend!

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The Right Side of History

March 27, 2013 at 10:31 am (Uncategorized)

Just in case you’re wondering what the news is all about  (or if you’re just curious about the red equal signs you Redmay or may not be seeing all over Facebook), here is a link that will help you learn a little more.

Regardless of what happens in the Supreme Court (and decisions won’t likely come before summer), it’s already pretty historic that they’re even talking about it.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a pretty firm believer in equal rights for everyone and that obviously includes marriage equality for members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.  Honestly, anything other than that doesn’t make any logical sense to me.  But while this may seem obvious to me and many people who think like me, it’s just now becoming commonplace in the mainstream culture.  It’s heartwarming to now see so many people coming out to support gay marriage rights and it’s even more heartwarming to realize that many of these supporters aren’t gay themselves.  I really do think that our kids and grandkids will one day see people who are against gay marriage in the same light that we see people who were against interracial marriage.  And I’m glad I’ll be on the side that embraces love, no matter who it’s coming from!

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Overheard on the Train

March 26, 2013 at 8:37 am (Uncategorized)

On my morning commute:

“All I need is a taser, a bucket of water and a candy necklace and I can make anything in the world!”

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No Thank You

March 25, 2013 at 11:58 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

A coworker came in today all excited because her niece finally gave birth to the baby she’s been toting around for what I’m assuming was right around 9 months.  Apparently the niece had a doctor appointment on Friday and they sent her home, then she returned on Saturday and they told her to go walk around for a few hours and come back because she wasn’t ready to drop yet.  So she went home, took a nap and then gave birth in her bathtub because it all happened so fast she couldn’t even call an ambulance.

Doing a Google Image Search for “birth in a bathtub” was a really, really bad idea. So here’s a picture of a puppy.

Um, no.  This is terrifying to me and I don’t even know the person it happened to.  Apparently her mother had to help her with the whole birthing process as EMT’s only arrived in enough time to cut the umbilical cord.  The baby weighed in at nearly 9lbs and 20 inches, too.  I shudder at the thought of giving birth to anything that size without being a little more prepared.  I guess her mom didn’t believe that she was actually giving birth until she looked down and saw a face, which is just another aspect of this story that scares the crap out of me.

Everyone involved is safe and healthy so this just wound up being a really good birthing story but it’s something that will likely haunt me until the day any potential children I may have have kids of their own.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go refill my birth control prescription.

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The Cave of Lascaux – Scenes from the Stone Age

March 22, 2013 at 11:36 am (Uncategorized) (, )

TGIF!!

As promised, this is a post all about the latest special exhibit at The Field Museum, the Cave paintings of Lascaux.  Lascaux is a place in southwestern France that holds some of the oldest, most well-known depictions of Upper Paleolithic art.  These paintings are somewhere around 17,300 years old and most of the paintings are of animals that we know lived around the cave at the time they were painted, although in some cases there are no fossils  that have ever been found anywhere near where the animals were painted.  We don’t know exactly who painted these or why, though there are some theories (religious or spiritual ceremonies, accounts of hunting seasons, trance-dancing, etc.)  The cave lay hidden for thousands of years until a giant storm created a sinkhole that led to its chambers.  A group of teenage French boys were walking around and stumbled across it, quickly realizing the value of their find.  Two of them actually camped out for months at the entrance to the cave to ensure only legitimate scientists and researchers could gain entrance, and then they were guides once the cave was opened to the public.

These paintings make many people envision some Neanderthal with a club standing in the cave in which he lived, painting away.  This isn’t exactly accurate – first of all, the people who painted these were Homo sapiens and secondly, they didn’t live in caves (fires sure would create a smoky environment).  The cave was likely instead used for special purposes and not someplace that anyone lived in all the time.  Also, this isn’t just  a small cave you can walk into and see the back of, it’s actually pretty huge and has many chambers that snake around underground.  There are different animals in the different various chambers but the Field Museum exhibit focuses on one area in particular – the Great Hall of the Bulls.

Yup, this is there.

I mentioned the cave being open to the public but it’s not a place people can tour any longer.  The damage created by humans quickly began to erode the paintings (along with the installation of an air conditioning system – duh) and less than 25 years after it was discovered, it was closed back down.  Only researchers with the highest of security clearances can go down there now, and even then it’s a quick visit during specific times of the year.  But since so many people were fascinated by this find, the French created Lascaux II, which is a replica of the original basically across the street.  If you know anyone who says they’ve been to Lascaux, this is likely where they went.

Now for the Field Exhibit – this was created by French councils and officials and is an even closer and more accurate representation of the original cave than Lascaux II is.  It was created using super crazy technology that I won’t pretend to understand but basically every bit of paint and even the cave bumps and lines have been exactly reproduced.  The exhibit has a huge gallery you walk through where you can see the display of the artwork and there are also representations of the humans at the time that look so real it’s freaky.  It’s also freaky to think that when these were painted, it was done by oil lamps and sometimes the entire piece of work was never entirely seen by the artist because the space in the cave was so small.  The exhibit also has some cool technology that shows what sort of damaging gases your body puts out in the air (to mimic what happened to the original cave), as well as human remains from someone who lived in the time period the paintings were done (courtesy of our own museum).  There are also stone tools on display, diagrams and interactives that show how the paintings were done, theories of the themes and elements in the artwork and a lot more.  In case you haven’t picked up on it by now, I thought it was pretty cool.

As I said, this is the closest representation to the actual cave that exists and The Field Museum is the very first place it’s on display.  It also highlights artwork that’s never previously been made available to the public, so it’s an awesome thing to have in our museum for a while.  It’ll be with us until sometime in September so be sure to check it out if you can!

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I Need This

March 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

It’s just been one of those days.

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Jailbreak!

March 18, 2013 at 11:05 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

My capacity for an entertaining and witty blog post isn’t what it normally is today because frankly, I’m exhausted.  My weekend was pretty great but it was also very busy.  I met up with my mom, sister and her friend’s on Friday evening after work and we spent some time at their hotel before getting them tickets to the IU game on Saturday, then we came back up to my neighborhood and had dinner and drinks at a bar until almost midnight.  I was up and out the door by 7:45 Saturday morning and battled trains full of drunken St. Patrick’s Day revelers before having to wade through hundreds of people doing some 7k (10k? 5k? Whatever, they were in my way) race on my walk to the Field Museum.  Once there, I attended a 5 hour lecture on the newest exhibit (I’ll get to that later this week), then I met Scott at Trader Joe’s on my way home so we could do our grocery shopping.  After a quick shower at home I turned around and went back downtown, where I ran around with the girls until we met up with Scott for dinner.  After finally finding a place that didn’t have a two-hour wait, we ate then headed to an Irish bar off Michigan Ave.  We stayed there for a while and it was almost 1am by the time we got home.  I was able to sleep in some yesterday then forced myself to go to the gym before meeting with everyone back downtown once more for more beer and food.  After eventually indulging in some Chicago deep-dish pizza, I made my way home and walked in the door around 10pm.  And now I’m at work, guzzling coffee and in need of a nap.  We all had a great time all weekend long but I’m sort of kicking myself for not using a personal day and sleeping until 2pm today.

Ballsy, that’s for sure!

So instead of writing about anything else, I’ll provide you with this link to an interesting story involving a jail break, a helicopter and Canadians.  Enjoy!

 

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Trip Booked!

March 15, 2013 at 10:56 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Oh, what a difference two weeks makes!

I’m in a much better mood than I was this time two weeks ago, due largely in part to the fact that Scott and I have booked our next big trip!  We’ll be spending a week in Costa Rica in July and we are VERY excited.  We looked at tours like we did with Ecuador but the only one that looked even halfway affordable (read: it was going to leave me fairly strapped but I was willing to go for it) was to Thailand, which of course looked awesome.  However the affordable time was during their monsoon season and the more we thought about it, the more reasons we found to go elsewhere.  Because while wading knee-deep in flooded streets sounds adventurous, hanging out a beach sounds a little bit better.  In the end I found cheaper flights and lodging on the west coast of CR, so that’s what we went for.  The B&B we’re staying at is the best-ranked in the area and looks like something straight out of a movie.  There’s a lot to do in town too as there are many adventure groups that will help people explore the area.  Also, I think we may do a day trip to Nicaragua to check out a few cities and climb a volcano!

What awaits!

As you can see, we’ve spent a little bit of time so far researching all there is to do out there.

This trip makes facing the next however many days of gray, chilly weather just a little more tolerable.  Also making things tolerable: the fact that it’s Friday, the fact that my mom, sister and two of her friends are on their way up to the city for the weekend, the fact that I get to learn about the awesome Caves of Lascaux tomorrow at the Field Museum and the fact that my boss won’t be in on Monday.  Oh, and the chance to watch IU in the Big Ten this weekend.  Smiles all around!

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Things I Don’t Understand

March 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Just some of the many things:

My own gender:

  • Girls who wear their long hair down at the gym.  Tons of make-up is one thing, because maybe you came from your day job as a stripper or perhaps you like the feeling of foundation running down your face as you sweat.  But having hair down your shoulders swing around while you use weight machines or jog on the treadmill just looks uncomfortable and sometimes, just plain dangerous.  It makes my neck itch in sympathy with how yours must feel, but who knows – perhaps it’s motivation to hurry up and finish your work out?
  • Girls who wear ballet shoes without socks when it’s the dead of winter.  Aren’t you cold?  You sure look cold as you miserably run down the sidewalk and rub your palms over the tops of your feet at the bus stop.  You do know you’re in Chicago, right?  Perhaps it’s time to invest in a pair of boots.
  • Also, I heard two girls in the bathroom today talking about a friend of theirs who uses Saran Wrap in lieu of a corset or Spanx.  SARAN  WRAP.  I don’t even know what to say about that.

Speaking of – the weather:

  • Seriously, WTF.  The few days we had in the upper 40’s sure were nice but I just don’t understand why the wind chill was 11 degrees this morning when I got out of bed.  WHY?  Can’t winter be over yet?  Haven’t we paid our dues?  This time last year temperatures were in the 80’s…not saying I’m demanding that again but something above freezing sure would be nice.
For reals.

Because it’s a crappy photo: Spring is in the air!  Right?  Please!  Almost!!

My boss:

  • Asking that I contact a client so they can send you a printable document is one thing, if the document you need to print is actually unprintable.  When it’s instead just formatted to fit legal sized paper and a simple few clicks of the mouse will magically transport it to letter sized paper, I think you’re kind of silly but go ahead and change it myself.  When you ask me to print a document and bring it to you even though you have a fully functional printer within reach of your desk chair, I don’t understand why you can’t do it yourself and think you’re kind of a jackass.
  • Similarly, cc’ing me on an email when you ask someone else to draft you an email that I already drafted and sent to you last month makes me think you just can’t be bothered to read emails.  Especially when you go with the one I previously wrote.  I wonder if I could sometimes get away with that.

My cat:

  • You have food, water and a clean litterbox.  So I don’t understand why you’re crying outside the bedroom door at 5am.  Do you think you’re being cute and acting as a preemptive alarm clock?  I’ll show you cute when I throw you in the running shower tomorrow morning.

Of course there are many other things that I don’t understand and will probably never understand, but I suppose I will just have to accept them all.  However, if someone could explain the ballet shoes thing, I’d feel a little less out of the fashion loop.

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HOO HOO HOO HOOSIERS!!

March 11, 2013 at 11:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Talk about a great time for the Hoosier Nation!

As many of you know, I’m not huge into sports and that’s fine by me.  That said, I am a born and raised Hoosier and watching Indiana University basketball is the one time that you can find me yelling, cursing, clapping and overall being a rabid basketball fan.  IU is having a hell of a season, which is awesome because they haven’t been this solid of a team in a very long time.  Read: before I went to IU (so like ages ago).  It’s been really fun watching them play but I don’t get to see as many games as I’d like because we don’t get ESPN or the Big Ten Network and I can’t exactly afford to go barhopping every time they play some hoops (note: I actually found a site last night that will let me stream ESPN so hopefully I’ll be set for next year!).  Anyway, yesterday IU played against Michigan and it was the biggest game so far this season.  And it was on CBS, so I could watch!  It was also played on Michigan’s court, which they hadn’t lost on all year long.  The entire game was a close one but the ending was intense.  With one minute left, IU was down by five and then Michigan missed three free throws.  Before anyone knew it, the teams were neck and neck with IU up by one when Michigan got the ball and drove it down the court.  They went for a shot, missed and then rebounded for what looked like an easy lay-up.  Then the ball did this:

Cue Michigan crapping their pants

After circling the rim and nearly giving everyone a heart attack, the ball tipped out and IU won the game by 1 point!  I honestly felt bad for Michigan because it was such a close call but hey, we won fair and square.  We also took the Big 10 title outright for the first time in 20 years, which is a pretty big deal.  Our team really needed this boost of confidence before heading into official March Madness and hopefully they can ride this high through the entire Sweet Sixteen.

GO IU!!

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