Night at the Museum!

March 30, 2015 at 11:21 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This is my fifth year working a program at the museum where kids and families come and stay the night but I’ve never completely camped out myself. All that changed on Friday evening when my sleeping bag, eye-mask and I huddled up on the stone floor of an ancient Egyptian mastaba for the evening. We had minimal staff that night and so I was actually in there alone, which I hadn’t counted on when I signed up for the whole thing. The floor I slept on was directly above an actual mummy and I’d be lying if I said I slept easy. In fact, I was a little freaked out and had to remind myself that ghosts aren’t real numerous times throughout the night. Of course, the ghost story I had recently heard about that exact spot of the museum didn’t exactly help things but I emerged unscathed, if slightly tired.

I slept under the sign in the upper right hand corner…and the glass pane people are hovering over looks directly down onto a mummy!

Everyone showed up around 6pm on Friday and we had numerous activities and programs to keep the kids entertained all evening. Lights out officially began at 10:30 and I went with another staff member to turn everything off so those sleeping in the exhibits could get some rest. Or at least, try to. It took us over an hour of wandering through random closets and backspaces to shut off the lights and I got to see spaces in the museum I’ve never seen before. We had one moment of sitcom-level hilarity when we were basically pushing buttons on computer screens and flicking random switches in panels to try to figure out which lights to turn off but we managed in the end, with just enough time to start doing late-night checks of the exhibits. Everyone was “supposed” to go to sleep around 12:30 so there was lots of pleading with kids to put their iPads away and go to bed, as their parents snoozed happily nearby. I finally laid down in my stone chamber around 2:30am but various weird noises and the complete unfamiliarity of my surroundings kept me up for another hour or so. The fact that I was sleeping right above a mummy didn’t help my comfort, I’m sure. We were all up and moving at about 6:30am so there was lots of coffee involved in my morning and I’m very thankful for it! I’m sure the kids were thankful too because us grown-ups may have been a bit more unpleasant had we been sans cups of joe.

I was really surprised at how well all of the kids behaved and it was a smooth evening all around. The children and their parents all seemed to have a blast and I got to know some of the museum staff a little bit better. I also was told a hilariously awful story about Dennis Rodman having a NYE party at the museum one night but that’s a tale for another time, as it’s definitely not appropriate for children!

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Klumsy Car

March 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Guys. I found my new car and I’m basing my decision solely on this vanity license plate.

I'm so uncoordinated I can't even take a straight photo.

I’m so uncoordinated I can’t even take a straight photo.

Remember all of my hilariously true stories about how clumsy and lacking in grace I am? Well, apparently I’m not alone. I walked by this car in the parking lot of my gym this weekend and it literally stopped me in my tracks because this license plate seemed to call my name. At least, it called the name I’ve been called numerous times in the past. To be honest, I’m lucky I didn’t trip over my own two feet in my excited state. I almost tried to get into the car but then I realized I haven’t owned a vehicle in roughly 7 years so it couldn’t possibly belong to me, even though it seemed completely and personally customized. Instead, I took a photo so I can remember what type of plate to request the next time I do purchase a car and I nearly dropped my cell phone in the process. Clumsiness scores again.

Maybe I should’ve tried harder to get in the car because maybe it would have taken me to some parallel universe where I’m actually not clumsy at all. Perhaps in this alternate reality I’m the epitome of grace and lead workshops and seminars on how to walk like a lady and never fall out of a pair of high heel shoes. My ankles and legs would be insured for millions because there would be no chance of my twisting an ankle while crossing the street. In fact, I’d be a world-famous ballerina – take that, Mom! This universe would also contain all of the dishes I’ve dropped and broken, along with my cell phones that have been submerged in water. I wouldn’t have random, unidentifiable bruises all over my body because I wouldn’t constantly walk into door frames nor would I have a habit of slipping and falling on the ground. My clothing wouldn’t have stains and the bottoms of my shoes would be miraculously free of dog excrement. I would still have my old living room curtains because I never would have spilled hot candle wax all over them and I wouldn’t have residual cornea damage from walking into a pine tree in college. In short, I’d be in a Paige-proof universe. And what would I call it?

Complete and utter fantasy.

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

March 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

There’s clearly a lot going on.

Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated here in Chicago last weekend and since the weather was warm, all of the drunks came out to play. I didn’t attend any River dying or Parade-watching myself as I was volunteering at the Museum instead, but I did manage to witness some of the insanity. Here’s a snipped of what I was privy to:

  • Empty Bud Light cans rolling all over the train at 11:30am.
  • Packed train cars full of people wearing beads and other St. Patrick’s Day paraphernalia.
  • Guy with old school boom box on the train, thus creating a dance party.
  • Vomit.
  • Two separate fights on my way out of the train station. One seemed to be between bros I mean friends and the other looked like two strangers wanting to pummel each other for actually being bumped into. It was a super crowded train station so I’m not sure what they were expecting but apparently the booze brought out the bruiser in them.

This was all before even getting to the museum. While there, I saw many people dressed like they were about to go bar hopping, mixed with the families who told me they went to the parade and now looked dead on their feet. Dragging small children through the drunkfest that is the river dying or the parade didn’t seem appealing to me in the slightest so I could feel their pain. Then came my afternoon commute home.

  • Cue super wasted girl completely passed out on the sidewalk, where her friends were desperate to get her up and moving, with one friend saying she felt like she was about to pass out as well. Police were headed in that general direction as I walked by so I assume (hope) they just wound up in the drunk tank and not the hospital.
  • Another fight at a different train platform. Because testosterone plus alcohol is a lovely, soothing combination.
  • Guy telling friends he’s going home to write a paper and would meet up with them later. Honestly – that was the most surprising thing I witnessed all day.

Scott and I wound down the night by having some friends over for dinner and a movie (quesadillas and Alien, for the curious) and let me just say, staying away from the bar scene was the smartest move I made all weekend. If that makes me sound old then go ahead and sign me up for AARP because I just don’t care. However, I realize this isn’t the most typical view and that was highlighted today while I walked around downtown on my lunch break. Some girl with bright blue hair, who was clearly a decade or so younger than me, came up and said she was a journalism student and asked if she could briefly interview me about Saint Patrick’s Day weekend. Sure, why not. She asked what I did for the holiday and I think my answer about volunteering at a museum and having friends over for dinner slightly disappointed her but oh well. We chatted a bit and even if she didn’t fully understand my happiness over not being a drunken mess on Saturday, she took notes and nodded like she appreciated it. I know my liver appreciates it too.

Bonus – the gym was super quiet yesterday because I think most people were too hungover to come work out. Score another point for the boring grown-ups!

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Book Nerding it Up

March 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

To know me is to know I love to read. Hell, even my name gives that away. I’m also really nosy inquisitive and I often try to slyly check out what other people are reading whenever I can. The train is a really good place for me to do this and I have to say that the Kindle doesn’t exactly stop my curiosity. There have been many times that I’ve glanced at the electronic page the person next to me is reading and realized that I can tell what book it is from just a few lines – that’s how much of a book nerd I am.

Bringing strangers together since 2015.

So one day this week I was sitting on the el during my commute home, absorbed in my own book, when I noticed a woman near me kept laughing out loud while she read from her Kindle. That alone got me wondering what she was reading because there have only been a handful of books that have ever caused me to actually laugh out loud and only one that had me chuckling as much as she was. I thought to myself, “Self, I wonder if she’s reading the funniest book I myself have ever read” or something like that and so I covertly looked at her screen. The few words I saw caused me to be almost positive my guess was correct but I had to know for sure so I asked her what she was reading that had her laughing so much. Lo and behold, I was right!

The book in question is one I believe I’ve blogged about before. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore is hands down the funniest book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and she was enjoying it just as much as I had. We talked about it for a bit and she recommended a few other books to me before we each went back to our respective literary worlds. I thought about maybe asking her to start a Brown Line Book Club but figured that would be pushing my luck – the last thing I need is someone with a heavy electronic device worrying about stranger danger and hitting me upside the head. I mean, that could damage my vision and if I couldn’t read, what would happen? Well, I’d probably learn braille or turn to audiobooks but it just wouldn’t be the same. And I’d have to stop being a peeping Tom with other people’s books, which obviously sounds awful to me. But if I’m going to be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve struck up a conversation with a stranger over a book, or had a stranger start a literary conversation with me. Just a few weeks ago I realized the guy in front of me and I were both reading different Harry Potter books so we shared a nice smile over that. And like ten years ago I got into an argument with a guy on a bus in NYC about a character from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, so there’s that.

Maybe I should try to keep my nose in my book instead of other people’s business? Nope, not as long as I have the gift of sight!

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And They All Fall Down

March 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

My streak is over. Here we are at the tail-end of winter and this morning I slipped and fell for the first time all season. We had great weather all weekend (and by great, I mean it got above freezing!) and the mounds of snow we’ve been dealing with for weeks finally began to melt. Which is all fine and dandy, until it got cold again overnight and turned all of that water into some lovely black ice. I could tell right away that the walk to the train was going to be a slippery one and I didn’t get more than a couple of blocks from home before it happened. I lost my footing and hit the concrete. Well, technically, part of me hit the concrete as I was able to sort of catch myself before my ass kissed the ground. I managed to hit with my wrist and knee, but the gloves and knee-socks I was wearing prevented any breakage of skin. Still, it hurt and was not a great start to my Monday. My pants were dirty (but not torn, which is good because they’re brand-spanking-new) and I didn’t have enough time to turn around to go home to change so I’ve been strategically crossing my legs all day. That’s just how we dirty ladies roll.

PSA

No one witnessed my not-so-graceful tumble so that’s something. At least, I don’t think anyone witnessed it – I did a quick look around after pulling myself back upright and it seemed deserted, so at least my pride was intact. But I’m pretty bummed about the fall in general, as this was the first time in roughly 8 years that I had a decent chance of making it out of winter without any major falls. And this one wasn’t really major (I define major as something that will leave a bruise bigger than a tea saucer someplace on my person) so perhaps I’ll pretend it never happened and continue with counting this winter as a win. Except I’m blogging about it on the internet, so I guess it’ll never go away now.

I can only blame myself. And that damn black ice.

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Wedding Woes

March 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Why is planning a party so damn difficult?

I’ve come off my engagement high and have kinda, sorta started thinking about maybe beginning to plan the big day itself. I want something reasonably priced that will allow Scott and I to show up, eat, drink, dance and have some photos taken. With 100-150 of our closest friends and family, of course. Is this too much to ask? Apparently so.

Not going to lie, I’m a little overwhelmed by the whole process and an elopement sounds pretty good. But not really. I’ve decided that it’s important for me to invite our loved ones out to celebrate our love and if a bit of a headache between now and then is the price I have to pay, so be it. Of course, the REAL price I have to pay will be a whole lot more than just a headache but whatever. It’s something that’s only happening once in our lifetimes (hopefully) so we might as well have some fun!

This is…not my dress.

I have checked one thing off my list though – my dress! I went to David’s Bridal with my mom, sister and cousin when I was home a few weeks ago and did some testing of the waters. I tried on maybe five or six dresses but one my mom picked won out because we all got teary-eyed when I came out of the dressing room, I felt beautiful AND it was on clearance! Score! Since that was so easy I’m hoping the rest of this planning process is as well but after looking at a few venues and prices, I’m not so sure.

That said, I’m taking suggestions! If you’ve done this whole wedding thing, what can you tell me? What was important that you forgot about or what did you stress over that didn’t end up mattering? Should we just run away to Vegas in my pretty dress and call it a day? Or can I maintain the patience of a saint and read the minds of all these vendors to see who’s trying to screw me over?

I can tell you this – the wedding will have booze. And maybe nothing else, other than Scott and I sitting on the floor, all dressed up and no music to listen to because choosing a DJ is just too much work. Bring your disposable cameras and get ready for some fun!

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Nice Nice Baby

March 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I went to two baby showers last week and they couldn’t have been more different. The most recent one was thrown at my office for a coworker of ours and it was a nice catered lunch in a conference room. There were gifts and cake but no games or decorations. Simple and enjoyable.

The party favor is a jar of hot chocolate, ready to be made. Told you they were legit.

The party favor is a jar of hot chocolate, ready to be made. Told you they were legit.

The first shower was last weekend and was for my future brother-in-law’s wife. So I guess my future sister-in-law? I guess I should figure out who becomes what sometime before my own wedding but oh well, I’ve got time. Anyway, Scott’s mom and sister put together the shower at his mom’s house and it was amazing. As in, it looked professionally put together. The decorations they created were ample and adorable, they had TONS of amazing food that they made from scratch plus more than a couple of kinds of booze. Which is kind of ironic at a baby shower but hey, it’s not like all of us were pregnant! The parents-to-be were treated to many new baby accessories and the only games we played involved paper and pencils, so that was a relief (anyone who has played the baby game involving diapers and candy bars knows what I mean). Everyone had a great time and it was a helluva lot more fun than the work shower I went to. Which is good, because I’m going to be related to these people at some point in the foreseeable future. In related news, I’m excited to be an aunt! Though it would be even cooler if it was my sister who was having the baby. Hint hint, sis.

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