Readers, sorry I’ve been such an absentee blogger lately! Summer in Chicago is even better than Spring in Chicago. I think I must have brought the heat with me as we came North. One hundred in Chicago is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in Oklahoma. Why? Because there are many places here that don’t have A/C, and almost none that have Central A/C. The window units are efficient, but not when it gets this hot!! (I know all of my friends in Oklahoma are turning green with envy!!)
I bought a summer scarf (yeah, that’s a thing here) last week, but have only gotten to wear it once since purchase. Stupid heat wave ruining my wardrobe choices. But enough complaining, let 2012 be known as the year that I waited the longest to have AIR CONDITIONING!
As you can see, R2 is fitting in nicely around here. Ferguson was a bit apprehensive when they first met, but he’s learned to see R2’s value to the family. We didn’t bring him into the family until June 20th!! (It’s hard to believe he hasn’t even been with us for a month.)
In May we had quite a few visitors, and we celebrated our 4thanniversary. Sidney surprised me with three lovely roses.
Our first visitor was Jeremy, my step-brother. He stayed with us while he looked for an apartment to move to the city. I hope he had a good time staying with us, despite all the space challenges! Then Elaina was here!! We had the most awesome time ever!! We went to a Cubs/White Sox game, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the mandatory Architectural boat tour, which was awesome as usual. We didn’t get to go to Shedd Aquarium, as we planned, because NATO was here. (That weekend was referred to by the Chicagoans as “Nato-pocolypse.”) I don’t think it affected my life too much. I just avoided the buses and couldn’t go to Shedd, but then again I don’t live in the loop. Some buildings downtown were requiring residents to show ID before they get into their own home!! Hysteria.) But we did find a soccer bar in Lakeview. It was foreign to have that many soccer fans in one place, at one time, not playing soccer.
Elaina and I enjoyed fabulous food every meal. I have found my favorite eating companion!! Elaina likes all the food I like, so splitting plates and doing Victorian Samplers worked amazingly well. She and I split the Crab Cake Benedict from Ann Sather(AKA “The Cinnamon Roll Place”), which is impossible for one person to eat solo and is unacceptable to go.
It was awesome not having to waste the other crab cake like I usually do! We went to Andie’s for a 10:30 dinner on her first night. (Yeah, we can do that here.)
Before the Cubs/White Sox game we went to a ridiculous sandwich place named Lucky’s. This place puts fries and coleslaw on every sandwich.
Cu-razy. It was featured on Man v. Food, and Adam (the host) ate three of them within like 30 minutes or something insane. I ate less than half of one. The wings were notably awesome too.
The next visitors were my step-daughter, Anaya, and my wonderful mom who came down to help us out with Anaya. Sidney was unable to take off more than a day of work while Anaya was here, so it was amazing that mom could come down and hang out with Anaya while we were both at work.
And we finally got to go to Shedd (first time since the honeymoon!!). I think I agree with my brother, Matthew, that children should be banned from the aquarium. Or at least, should have to be with more than two adults. The child to adult ratio should be 1 to 3, to keep the kids curbed. There were little people everywhere, but we still had a great time!
While Anaya was here, we had the opportunity to see Caitlin doing what she does best: a Southern accent. She was starring in a surprisingly humorous adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird. Caitlin, or “coats” as the kids call her, was the narrator and Miss Maudie. And believe me, I’m not saying this because I’m her sister, she was the best one on stage. Anaya enjoyed it so much she wanted to see it again at the final performance.
Then we had graduations.
Cousin Nehemiah graduated in May, and then Caitlin graduated in June. King Rahm spoke at Nehemiah’s graduation.
It was interesting to see him in person and hear the story of how he lost part of a finger to gangrene.
How can my baby-sister already be graduating college? Can nothing be done to prevent this?
The occasion brought Matt, my brother, and his girlfriend, Cheryl, to Chicago. This is the first time I’ve had the chance to meet her. I was delighted by her. She is smart, bold, fun, and patient; all the qualities she needs to get along with our family. She also introduced us to a local Andersonville specialty, Glogg Slushy. Frozen mulled win for the win! (And a rough morning for Sidney.)
The night before Caitlin’s graduation (or the night of, depending on how you look at it–there are two graduation ceremonies. In two days she had more graduations than I’ve ever had!), we went to Marcus Samuelson’s restaurant, C-House.
It was quite good. As usual, I think I enjoyed the appetizers the most. We got the octopus, fish tacos, a beet salad, house-made ricotta, and pickled herring. I was done at that point, but still managed to eat some of my delish duck!
Sidney, Libby, Brandon, and I went to Ribfest, which was enjoyable for those who like ribs . . . but I am not one of those people. There were a lot of fist-bumping-yuppies everywhere. We could barely raise our elbows to eat. Fortunately for me, I was wearing my new ridiculously large sunhat, which gave me a buffer zone. Sidney calls the hat my “blinders,” and I must admit that sometimes the amazing and oft-complimented hat can cause collisions.
Other than the hat, I think the star of the entire event was the basil lemonade, which is a surprisingly tasty and refreshing combination.
We had our first game night Saturday before last! Before game night, we went to Glenn’s Diner for dinner. We had the most amazing mixture of cornbread, shrimp, scallops, and scallions. It was so sweet and textured and savory.
But not sweeter than Libby and Brandon giving us the most thoughtful house warming gift, ever! A cake stand, with a lid!! No more plastic bowl lids for me. Thanks guys!!
We started off with an icebreaker game of Taboo and then moved on to the intense Settlers of Catan. The boys won Taboo, which I give a big “Boo” to, especially because I prefaced the game by mentioning that women are better communicators. In defense of the women, there was one more male. Sidney won the first game of Settlers, but Aubry, a first-timer, won the second. Poor Libby and Brandon had a rough couple of games, but I hope they haven’t completely given the game up! I made Jalapeno Bacon dip, veggie dip, and Che-gooey brownies. I kept it simple and I think it was well received!
1:36AM After Game night.
Sidney: There’s no dip left.
11:12AM The day after game night.
Sidney: Where’s all the dip?
The next day Russ and Caitlin came over, and we all went down to the Pride Festival. It was, as most parades are for me, a study in the backs of people. The spiky hair, chaps, tutus, and glitter were ubiquitous. It was crazy just being on the periphery. I can’t even imagine getting there the requisite three hours early to have a front row seat.
Work has been crazy-busy (as-promised). I barely have time to get all my work done daily, let alone take care of important things like blogging, paying bills, and internet shopping. Crushing.