Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, when it rains, it pours. Probably because I'm still in Chicago.

The plan for "escape" was thus: I would fly in to Chicago, stay with my friend Kim until this morning, when we would drive to Kalamazoo. The plan failed on account of her car not starting. At present, either AAA will come and we'll (hopefully) get her car started and take off, or we'll head downtown and catch the 3:00 train to Kalamazoo. Again, hopefully, because apparently people in the Midwest have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to snow.

The Chicago adventure has been pretty sweet thus far. Last night, after eating at Subway (which incidentally is how I know Chicago is a real Canadian city), Kim and I went to the Hideout, a spectacular bar featuring live music, stuffed fish on the wall, and an enormous portrait of Barack Obama on the outside. Kim managed to pay for drinks with brownies (that's not a joke, she brought brownies and we drank for free), and the band actually made a nice little song out of asking for drinks from the bar. They were pretty sweet, the bar itself is spectacular, and I had my first Bell's since August.

Outside of all that, we should be heading home sometime soon, whether by train or by car. If you're already home for Christmas (or whatever holiday you're celebrating at the moment), you're probably not having nearly the adventure that I am. So just remember that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice!

It slowly occurs to me that I haven't posted anything new in over a month. I'm going to blame the end of the semester, but you're welcome to blame whatever you feel appropriate.

Today is, as you may know, the winter solstice. And, sadly, that means that it's the shortest day of the year: sunrise was at 10:56 AM, and sunset was at 2:43 PM, giving us less than four hours of daylight. Wahoo! I celebrated by waking up around noon and then biking on the Tanana River in minus 15 degree weather. It was an exhausting (and short) bike ride, but it offered some amazing views of the river and mountains, not to mention some awesome beard icicles.

Other than that, I'll be home sometime between Tuesday night/Wednesday afternoon, depending on whether I manage to escape from Chicago. It should prove easier than escaping from Los Angeles or New York, but I don't imagine I'll have to contend with a postapocalyptic society and rampant corruption. Wait, let's think about that last part.

Anyway, I hope you are all enjoying your break and/or winter, as the case may be. Merry Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Ramadan/Saturnalia/whatever you happen to celebrate at this time of year, and I'll hopefully be seeing some of you soon.That's part of the Alaska Range in the background (and a cross-country skiier). The picture on top is me, after I've returned home (thanks to Mary for taking the photo).