The domestic partner, his brother and six other friends enjoyed our first concert under the stars together at Chicago’s stunning Millennium Park on Friday night. The program featured Tchaikovsky’s emotional-roller-coaster Pathétique Symphony, preceded by a lovely piece by Jean Sibelius and an impenetrable, shrieky post-apocalyptic thing by an early 20th century composer named Szymanowski, who may have been a nice person, but we wouldn’t have invited him to play at our wedding so it’s probably good that he’s long dead.
After that, we trekked to Navy Pier to experience Maudits Sonnants, a French ensemble that works very hard to defy categorization. Essentially a human carillon, the group hangs from a massive umbrella-shaped chandelier suspended by a crane. They play bells, beat drums and swing from trapezes as they spin around and around as we mortals gasp up in awe from the ground below.
Here’s what they look like via a camera phone without a flash. Those little pendulum things are people attached to huge collections of drums and bells. Heavy drums and bells. Spinning wildly right over our heads!
I’d been worried by Friday night’s relatively warm humid air ’cause we had to get up and run 14 miles on Saturday. Then it stormed during the night. And I mean stormed. And it was still rainy and wet when we met at 7:00 am to start our run. Fortunately, the rain had killed the heat. Also fortunately, I love running in the rain. So I had a kick-ass 14 miles … though I got a pretty hefty blister on my left achilles tendon. And 10 poor-person store-brand band-aids later, it’s still red and oozy and gross. Mmmmm!
We borrowed the domestic partner’s nieces (and their parents and assorted sisters and cousins and aunts) for a matinee of Wall•E on Saturday. Anthropomorphic robots! Adorable cockroaches! Hello, Dolly! clips! Hidden Disney references! What’s not to love?
On Sunday morning we donned bright red stickers and boarded giant buses and found ourselves one pair of culottes shy of being official tourists, but we didn’t care! We were taking the Chicago Historical Society’s celebrated Devil in the White City tour! After a brief slide show, we drove through the historic Prairie Street district, once home to many of the movers and shakers (and financiers) behind Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition. Then we drove past a bunch of houses and churches that were built with recycled architecture from the exposition. Then we drove through the old fair grounds, which are now south-side boulevards, neighborhoods and the property around the Museum of Science and Industry. The tour was interesting, but not packed with enough stuff to merit what the historical society was charging … especially because we got NO drive-bys of what’s left of Dr. H.H. Holmes’ hotel o’ serial killing, which is featured prominently in the book.
Sunday night, we were going to meet friends at Sidetrack for show tunes, but we hit a wall. A wall of laziness. We also hit a big Sex and the City DVD collection, and I have now finally seen most of the first two seasons. That Samantha was a slut.
My boss and I took a prospective new employee to dinner last night for an extended interview at a fancy-ish restaurant in the theater district. There must have been some Judy Garland retrospective (or maybe an artistic evening of Nick Lachey in a Speedo kicking the shit out of John McCain while humming the Sweeney Todd score) at one of the nearby theaters because the place was packed with homos, all of whom giddily disappeared into the night promptly at 7:15. We were just starting to wind up our interview in the newfound quiet when the waiters pulled back a curtain at the end of the dining room and suddenly we were in the middle of a freakin’ open-mic cabaret show. Do you know how hard it is to ask interview questions while a schlubby white girl struggles to channel her inner Latina dancer through three choruses and a bridge of A Chorus Line’s “Nothing”? If Madonna can be a movie star …
So I had my first official workout with my expensive new trainer (the one who can meet me at 7:00 am instead of the one they assigned me last week who was free only at 6:00 am) at my expensive new gym (the one that thinks it’s a “luxury brand” though it stocks its locker room with cans of Barbasol® brand poor-person shaving cream) this morning. Let me just get this out of the way before I go any farther: HOLY SHIT my new trainer is hot! And this may just be the drooling, giggling schoolgirl in me talking, but he also seems to be a kick-ass trainer as well. This morning, we just went through all the equipment at the gym so he could get a feel (ahem) for what I was capable of doing (ahem). On Thursday, he starts treating me like the bitch I am, whipping me into the manly man I’ve always wanted to be. I tried to take a “before” picture with my crappy digital camera this morning before I left the house, but the domestic partner was gone and I couldn’t find a place to prop the camera to take a decent picture. So I may take a delayed “before” picture when the domestic partner gets back tomorrow night. Not that I did any significant growing this morning. Ahem.