Wednesday, March 5, 2008

From the Archives

So my work laptop, as I said a couple days ago, is kaput. They're ordering me a new one, which I should have by the end of the week. Unfortunately, my request for a "pretty" one is likely to go unfulfilled. :-) And they just about laughed at me when I asked if I could have a Mac. Stupid PC-centric world.

So for the next few days, I'm using my personal ibook for work and personal stuff. It's running a bit slow, but I can deal with that. And what it means for you, dear readers, is that I am posting from a computer that has my photo "archives" on it. So, today, here are some pics from the archives for your viewing pleasure. And since the theme of the month is lists, they make up a list. 

Today it is 70 degrees and sunny here in northern California, and everything is spring-y and a-bloom, so I am loving life here. But sometimes I miss "home." The midwest, that is. So here is a picture list of things I miss about the midwest:

1. Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory:

Okay, so it's in the ghetto.  To take the El here would perhaps be taking your life into your own hands -- it's on the GREEN LINE, people!   But it's worth a little danger.  It's got this huge old Victorian-looking central greenhouse, surrounded by a bunch of smaller ones, all full of lush green plants and running water.   Plus (and this is my favorite part), every time you go, there's random art interspersed.  In the picture above, you can see the lovely yellow hand-blown glass flowers that were there for a while.  Once, I went there and the entire cactus house was full of these alien-looking ceramic sculptures hanging from the ceiling.  It reminds me of being in high school at this place.  Along with an elementary school, two middle schools, a high school, and a couple museums, Cranbrook has a graduate art "academy."  When I was in high school, we spent a lot of time exploring the massive grounds, and sometimes you'd come across some odd stuff -- huge boulders arranged into an S shape next to the lake, ceramic bird-house looking things in the middle of a pond, fabric wrapped around trees in odd formations.  We always used to say, oh, don't mind that, it's just art.  

2. Corn Mazes:

Do you know about the joy that is a good corn maze? Basically, the idea is that the farmer cuts a maze, often in some Halloween-themed shape, into a big-ass cornfield and then you get to go in and get hopelessly lost.  Sometimes, you're even allowed to do it at night. Then you get to try to totally freak out your companion by grabbing their arm unexpectedly or making ghost-y noises. Unless you're me, of course, in which case you are the person getting freaked the eff out.  I live in farm country  here in the Bay area, and I did see a couple corn mazes here last fall.  But, frankly, they looked tiny and pathetic compared to the behemoths you find in the Midwest.   I'm pretty sure we spent at least 2 or 3 hours lost in the one where this picture was taken.  

3.  Icicles.  

Actually, I miss winter in general.  Not so much the March part of winter, when you're just ready for it to be OVER, already, but the start of winter, when it's still magical every time it snows.  The hush that falls over even a busy city like Chicago as the snow blankets it.  The deadly  glitter of icicles as long as my arm.  

Anyway, I've grown tired of waiting for my flakey internet connection to upload images, so that's it for this evening.   

PS. I also miss Wrigley Field hot dogs, the earthy smell of lake-water in your hair after you've been swimming, and the fact that exit 69 on 1-75 in Detroit is called Big Beaver Road (hee), but I don't have pictures of those.

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