Tuesday, February 25, 2014

doings | yerkes observatory

I love getting the opportunity to play tourist in my own town.  And despite my best intentions to tour Yerkes Observatory, it's just never happened.  I've grown up hearing stories and wondering about this famous refracting telescope that sits on a hill overlooking the lake and decided that Saturday looked like a great day to go.

My little sisters are fascinated with stars and astronauts and such.  I figured they'd be up for an adventure.  

They absolutely were!  

I'm just plain crazy about museums, architecture and other things that most people find boring.  The three of us were practically giddy when we left the house at 9am.  The rest of our family told us to "have fun!" and rolled their eyes.  Oh we will, thank you!
The tour didn't disappoint!  Our guides were funny older gentlemen who've spent waaaay too many years here at Yerkes.  We learned all about the beginning of the observatory (lots of money & Chicago politics involved).  

And there is it, the telescope!

I affectionately call these girlies my "space cadets", even though they're actually brilliant.  The building that houses the telescope is unheated, it was a toasty 17 degrees inside, but it was worth it to be on the floor as our guide raised and lowered it for us (and whistled a sic-fi theme, bonus!).  

We stood in the very same spot that Einstein once stood.

The architecture was surprisingly ornate.  Terracotta exterior and painted plaster inside.  The pillars had celestial designs and very funny characters hidden throughout.  It reminded me a bit of Rosslyn Chapel, one of the strangest places I've ever been.  
And then we bought postcards and astronaut ice cream in the gift shop.

Because I believe in supporting great museums.  And where else are you going to find astronaut ice cream?

Friday, February 21, 2014

doings | not much, just freezing

My sister mentioned several times that things have been quiet over here at the blog.

It's not for any reason in particular, just un-inspiration.  It's been colder than cold here, and the only thing I want to do is hibernate.  And drink coffee.  Although I can't recommend doing both at the same time, I recently tried it and ended up with my coffee all over my white flannel monogrammed sheets.  Thankfully, they washed out beautifully.

The other weekend, one of my best friends in the world, Anna, called me to let me know that her connection flight at O'Hare was canceled and she was spending the a few days with me.  It was such a great surprise!  She promises that she didn't arrange this.  I promptly drove down to the airport to retrieve her, the roads were a mess, I was going about 25 mph while driving a huge SUV and was still white-knuckling it the whole time.  But it was worth it to catch up with her over the commute!

Anna is a true southern girl, I'm always telling her about our snow here, you can't appreciate 12 foot snowdrifts unless you're looking at them.  It's just about the opposite of when I visited her in August and she had to tell me about all of the things that South Texans do to beat the heat.  Parking in the shade?  Well, I never.  Different worlds.

Anyway, we had a great time together (always!) and it's funny the things you talk about face-to-face versus text or phone calls.  I think we solved most of the worlds problems along with unlocking several of the mysteries of the universe.

Anna is a serious film buff, how she keeps track of plot lines and TV episodes I will never know.  Last winter we got in the habit of watching movies together long distance, and then texting a commentary.  I loved it!  Although I can't sit through a whole movie without twitching so it usually went like this...

  anna "lol! that scene is my favorite! monty cliff is so hilarious!"
  abbe "haha! yep, such a funny one that cliffty"
  anna "what???"
  abbe "oh sorry..."
  anna "you there?"
  abbe  "sorry, just washing my face mask off"
  anna "lol!  that line kills me"
  abbe "......"
  anna "abbe?
  abbe "sorry, switching my laundry over, be right back"

It's amazing that she puts up with me.

We watched Miracle (while I finished typing up an email, sorry about that) with the family on Saturday.  I'm not sure if it was in honor of the cold, or the Olympics or Kurt Russell's brilliant Minnesotan accent.  Let's talk about that for a minute... Good gravy!  Having spent my entire life living in the north, I'm so very familiar with the regional accents of Chicago, Wisconsin, Northern Wisconsin, and Minnesota, because they just delight me to pieces.  It's amazing how well he nailed it.  My parents love hockey and, although I'm not into sports even a little, I LOVE a good sports flick.  We talked about the significance of that one game in history and where my dad was when it aired.  Who would have ever thought that one hockey game would make such a difference?

And that's about all of the content that I have.  

Just hoping beyond hoping that this winter slump is nearly over.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

quotable | remember when?

Anna:  "So, do you remember a few years ago when the banks were really unstable?"
Abbe:  "......."

A conversation that begins with this line cannot end well.

And also, I'm not allowed to disclose anything further.