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Mpls, MN, United States

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Just now, I sent off my abstract and CV for that symposium in Boston. Neither is particularly impressive, and they are less so for being late. However, now, after spending nearly eight highly unfruitful hours at my computer before finally squeezing out a few semi-coherent words to submit, I can at least inform my adviser of my rejection with a clearer conscience.

And now, more pleasant things!

I had a great time visiting Ellen last weekend. Even the drives were not unpleasant, spent as they were in the company of two intelligent, educated, and interesting friends (who also had excellent taste in music and didn't mind me singing along).

I also had some time to explore Chicago, and excellent weather in which to do it; for a while, I didn't even wear my hat! My primary goal was to see Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate in Millennium Park; quasi-inexplicably, I never had. I was prepared to like it: I'm a fan of shiny things, and tend to dig art. What I wasn't prepared for was being completely astounded at experiencing the piece in person. For me, the experience of walking under "the bean," as the locals call it, was completely disorienting and provoked one of the most visceral reactions I'd ever had to a piece of art. Because the entire surface is reflective, you can watch your own reflection as you approach the sculpture and walk around it. However, as I walked under the bean, my reflection suddenly disappeared as the surface dimpled dramatically inward. Surrounded by others underneath the bean, admiring their own reflections, I suddenly felt as if I didn't exist. I'm sure there's more to say here, but I'll save it for another time and/or venue. For now, suffice it to say that I found Cloud Gate completely fascinating and well worth the long detour I accidentally took while on the phone with my sister, due at least in part to the fact that my Google map of downtown was printed with north oriented to the right, rather than to the top, of the page. Who does that?

As I mentioned earlier, Ellen and I had a date with Daniel Craig Thursday night, and he did not disappoint. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we went ahead and went on another one Saturday night with a friend who'd been out of town Thursday (student tickets are only $6.50 in Champaign!). I don't think Quantum of Solace was as good as Casino Royale, but I could watch Daniel Craig for an awfully long time without tiring of him. I've decided it's the V-shaped torso and the blue eyes. And then there's the sexiest line I've heard in a while, delivered to M near the end of the film: "You were right." Bond, you charmer. I'd help you find the hotel stationery and all, but a man who can admit that and rock the heck out of that wool coat? Yes, please.

Friday we cooked (or Ellen did, mostly) while listening to college radio, and then stuffed ourselves. We weren't too full to go for a bike ride afterward, though, as Ellen mentioned, and it was incredibly beautiful. I rode Smoke,* and it was so easy and delightful that I started wondering whether something was wrong with the Raleigh. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm generally trying to catch the lights on the egregiously paved Franklin Avenue on the way to and from school, rather than cruising through pastures under a mellow purple sunset.

So. It was a good time. I've posted a bunch of pictures here, including a ridiculous number of Cloud Gate, just because I can.

*I love that in my comment to that post, I cited an Oscar Wilde quote that totally validates what I wrote tonight about Daniel Craig. If you want more stories about Smoke, you can look here (but looking here is more interesting).


Larissa said...

I loved the last line of the newest Bond movie too! But I guess it would be sexy to hear ANY man say that... :] Joke!

What kind of carrot is that? A beet carrot?

Ellen said...

My legs look really short in that picture...


strovska said...

i suppose you've heard the joke about the ideal "porn for women" being a video of a [fully clothed] man washing the dishes as he says, over and over, "you're right"? i would definitely stash that under my mattress.


Ern said...

I loved the cloud gate too, and I would also describe it as a visceral reaction. It's so unique and fascinating.

(I posted a bunch of pics of it on my blog and got yelled at in comments by someone from Chicago. Apparently there is so much more of the city that tourists should see; we are stupid and easily entertained by something shiny.)

Curly Sue said...

I loved most of the Bond movie. And YOW can he wear a suit. I love the picture of that carrot being held by Ellen. I think she should use it as her new profile picture, since her current one is OLD HAT.

Amy said...

is that a "dragon" carrot that ellen is holding? i tried planting them in my garden the last two years in a row but the first year they got shaded out by my tomatoes and this year something ate them. but they are a fine specimen and i will succeed at growing them one of these years.

CëRïSë said...

HA! "YOW" is so, so right.

As far as the carrot... Ellen just said it was a purple carrot. Ellen, do you know?

(And hi, Amy! Long time no see...)