Wednesday, April 23, 2008

spring ignites the crazies

While I was walking the dogs to pick up Max from guitar yesterday, I was talking to my sister on the phone, while trying to walk Axel and Nola (two huge, lovable, well-trained German Shepherds...who also try and kill every dog in their path). My sister was talking very loudly, denying that she was drunk, despite participating in an outdoor, campus-wide MayFest party. "You wouldn't even believe it! It's crazy here!" "I don't know," I replied. "I've seen a lot of crazy things."
And sure enough, up ahead a few yards a man stood on the sidewalk holding a leash attached to a cat. "And now people walk cats. How's that for crazy," I said to her. Call me crazy, but to me that's crazier than college kids drinking, which is about as common as, say, a dog on a leash.

I arrived at Avenue N Guitars and waited outside with the dogs, propping myself up onto the window ledge. Nola dutifully sat on the stoop staring into the shop, not letting anyone enter or exit unless she saw it was Max. Axel stood on the sidewalk, his tongue hanging out, staring at people with his big head and crooked face (permanent damage from a bad middle ear infection last summer). Oh and he wears booties on his back feet now to prevent the nails, which have worn all the way down to his paw, from bleeding. People walking by laughed at his shoes or whispered about the size of his head. Then. A small, old man rode by on a bike in the street and yelled, "TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF!" Not even in a suggestive, perverse manner either. He seemed to be quite angry that I was wearing pants.

Max came out from his lesson (20 minutes late) and I said, "I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone right now," and recounted the cat and cyclist. And as if the universe wanted to prove my point even further, just then two woman jogged around us, wearing matching gear and voicing the rhythms of their runs-"BUM BUM. BUM BUM." Training for a synchronized running team? Max and I looked at each other and laughed with questioning eyebrows.

When we got home I went up to my apartment to read on the couch, which nestles between three (almost) floor-to-ceiling windows. As I desperately tried to catch up on my New Yorkers, I heard an amplified bicycle honk from outside followed by some chanting. I looked out and saw 6 (or 7?) people on some kind of boat-sized bicycle contraption slowly pedaling up and down Leavitt. Every few feet one of the guys chanted something into a megaphone. I thought I heard "Obama" mentioned, but I could have been hearing things.

Then, while in the backyard (which is actually a side yard) throwing a Frisbee with Max, we saw three girls in the new adorable corner park that just opened across the street from our house, who looked like witches. And I'm not being influenced by my reading material, as I have not yet started The Golden Compass, due to never having time to stay on top of the weekly New Yorkers (of which I received TWO this week!?)

So i decided to join in the craziness and run around like a madwoman today getting supplies for my upcoming art show and managed to blow through my entire paycheck. I am now subsequently broke, as I have been before every art show. I also bought new aviator sunglasses, proving once again that I was born in the wrong generation, seeing as the only sunglasses that didn't look horrible on me incidentally make me look like a 70s porn star (or Jim Morrison?).

Oh, and I chopped off my hair. Well, I didn't, but my brilliant stylist, Vanessa (seriously--she'll change your life--Salon Lorrene in Palatine) did. And as you can see I am now sporting somewhat of a funky "Jew fro," just in time for the Passover season, which p.s.--speaking of crazy--is driving me insane! It's my own fault because I went a month without grocery shopping (I do 4 other people's grocery shopping, yet can't find time to do my own. Figure that one out.) and decided the best time to remedy the empty-fridge syndrome was the same day that Passover began at sunset. So I filled an entire basket of yummy things from around the world at Trader Joe's--Mexican, Indian, Italian, etc.--and can't eat ANY of it until Sunday at sundown! This made me question my belief system because I realized that the only two Jewish traditions I participate in (besides lighting the menorah) involve starving myself (no flour for 8 days of Passover and no food/drink for 24 hours of Yom Kippur). This doesn't really make any sense because I don't believe in God and I very strongly believe in eating.

Also, I was thinking today after marveling at the cloudless sky and 75-degree sun--Do people in "paradise climates" (such as southern California) appreciate nice weather? Because, my thought process continued, today explains why I love living in Chicago. I enjoy a challenging/spontaneous climate. It Keeps life interesting and doesn't allow taking for granted beautiful days like this one. Thank you, Mother Nature.

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