Monday, July 15, 2002


As promised, I have the goods on the photo papers.

First off, we have the most boring. Remember the bathroom? It's done. And I have the before and after pics to prove it. Sadly, the pics just don't convey the sheer volume of work involved. Looking at the two, it looks like all we did was throw down a new floor and cart out the old sink/cabinet and replace it with a new one. If only. The bathroom really does look magnificent. Unfortunately, it's so damn small I'd need a wide-angle lense for you to be able to see it. It's just too small of a space to photograph well, unfortunately.

Next, because it's been so long in the promising, I have the bike pics for your viewing pleasure. Here's me looking rather tentative as I ride over a pile of wood. Honestly, it's a lot harder than it looks, and I'm actually riding over it a lot faster than the 1/2 mile an hour that it appears like in the photo. Sadly, I look like a two year old learning how to ride a bike for the first time in this pic, and that log pile is a hella lot bigger than it looks in the photo. Unfortunately, photos don't do trail riding justice, as they don't show the swerving and the bailing, and the biffing off of trees. Also, I have a pic of Phil making The Log look easy. I'm still not touching this one until I at least get front suspension on the bike. I might just wait 'till next year 'till I have the full susupension. Then again, I might just ride it this weekend. We'll see what way the wind is blowing.

Then, because it struck me as funny, here's the lobby of the hotel that Anime Central 2002 was at. I swear, it's like Emporer Palpatine designed this hotel lobby or something. Everything was poured cement and/or black metal. You were expecting Stormtroopers to move en masse every time you rounded a corner, and when you walked down one of the "gangplanks" from the central elevator pillars (pictured), you just had to hum the Imperial March. Phil (who supplied this and the bike pics, btw) quipped the now famous "No Deathmatching in the Lobby" line when I mentioned that the hotel lobby would make a bitchin' CounterStrike or Quake 3 map.

Next up are some pics from the Shedd Aquarium. They recently added the Oceanarium, which normally wouldn't look as dark as it does in the picture, but they asked everyone to not use flashes so the fish/animals wouldn't go blind. I just love this pic, because it shows off just how majestic the Oceanarium is. The water from the dolphin pool (you can just make out a dorsal fin in the pic) looks like it stops on the glass for the building, and then you have Lake Michigan and the Adler Planetarium behind it in the distance. Magnificent.

While we were looking at some of the other exhibits, we wandered into this one called Rising Amazon or something like that. In this exhibit, we happened upon some horny turtles. I missed the photo op when both turtles were straining their necks out with their mouths open, either in exstasy or agony. Honestly, I'm no turtle expert, so I wouldn't know. All I know is it was damn funny watching them try and do the slo-mo nasty. Bump. Wait. Grind. Wait some more. A mother there quipped that "You could come back in an hour and I think they'd still be going at it." That one got some laughs.

I've saved the two best ones for last. While we were in the Oceanarium, we decided to go visit the pregnant Beluga they have there. This poor girl is ready to pop any minute. You can pretty much see the baby Beluga bulging inside of her. But what was extra cool/special was that she kept swimming up to us, turning so that one eye was out of the water (so she could see what was above water), and she'd look right at us and make a chirping bird-like noise as she swam by. This happened about four or five times until we decided to say our goodbyes and leave. She didn't do this for anyone else the whole time we were there watching her. I don't know why, but I've always felt a sort of ken/connection with sea mammals, and this just really freaked me out. In a good way.

As we sat on the train waiting to head back to the 'burbs, I spied a really cool photo op. Unfortuantely I didn't have any wide-angle lens (or camera that could use one), so I had to take two pictures and try and piece them together. Normally Union Station is buzzing with people walking up and down the piers (or whatever you call the cement walkways the trains pull up to). For whatever reason, it was fairly vacant while we sat on the train, and I noticed just how cool the architecture looked with the train across from us. Now, I'm not trying to make any connections, but The Wachowski Brothers are from Chicago. Surely this sort of view inspired oh, I don't know...maybe...The Matrix?

Oh, and I got my first birthday gift from a friend of mine who can tolerate my geekdom. Bigah Oh! Shotaimu!

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