Friday, January 7, 2011

Really? Chicago in January?

Sometimes I'm glad that it's hard to fly directly to anywhere from Tucson.  The fact is that the least expensive and shortest-time-in-transit way to get from here to Washington, DC involves a change of planes at Midway airport.  Now, honestly, denizens, how could I change planes in their city and not say Hi to Little Cuter and SIR?  It would be impossible. 

So I'm adding two days on to the front of my trip and I'll be in Chicago at the end of January.

I have to pause a moment when I read that.  Most normal humans would leave Chicago and flee to Tucson at the end of January.  I lived in Chicago for 19 January's and I can tell you that it is not a pretty site.  Oh, sure, there is the occasional sunny day when the entire city is on the lakefront or in the zoo or playing dog frisbee in one of the gazillion parks.  But the reality is far starker.  Chicago in late winter is most often dark and dank and the snow is no longer white and fluffy but has turned to grey slush creeping up your UGGS.  It's nigh on impossible to look stylish in January in Chicago.  It's enough to survive.

And yet, I am going to be there and that thought does nothing but bring a smile to my face and love to my heart.  My grand-dog will nuzzle me and the kids will feed me and together we will see Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Steppenwolf Theater Company.  I got the last 4 tickets for a Wednesday night performance that Terry Teachout called "a show you mustn't miss"

Little Cuter and I have been wondering if we're going to read the play before we see it.  It's a quandry.  Do you think that Edward Albee would tell us what to do if I wrote him a note and asked his advice?  After all, it's not every day that you get to experience a classic for the first time. I am surprised to say that neither of us has ever seen or read it.  She's an English major.  I read constantly.  How has this happened?  We want to get this right.

Is it going to be something like Shakespeare?  Will it be so dense that knowing the basic outlines of the plot before we listen to the actors will help us fill in the blanks when the words become arcane?  Or should we let it flow over us and see where it takes us?  We can always read it on Thursday.  I think Mr. Albee would have written it as prose if he'd wanted it read instead of seen.  But that's one woman's opinion.  As said, we're wondering.

There's another reason to be joyful about traveling to the Midwest in January.  FAMB (who really should be FAMBB and I don't know why she is not) will be there too.  We've been very good friends since we met in 7th grade home room.  We haven't seen one another in 41 years but I promise you that we are very good friends.  She's about to become a grandmother and is currently stockpiling airline tickets in anticipation of an ever-in-the-future-but-not-today birth date.  Thanks to her grandchild's desire to remain in utero for just a little longer, now it is inevitable that our paths will cross in Chicago. I'll drop off a baby gift and admire the sweet little fingers and toes and then I'll spirit my friend away for a quick cup of something and a very long hug.

Sometimes life just works out perfectly.


  1. Something really gladdens the soul to imagine you flying south to north over the heartland in the dead of winter. Bearing good cheer. I don't suppose reindeer are involved?

    More with the mysterious acronyms. FAMB this time, and not a clue on your Cast of Characters page.

    In light of some of your recent ruminations -- e.g. "Changing the Rules," from last week -- you may either get a jolt from or a kick out of Virginia Woolf. I haven't read it either, or seen it performed in a theater, but the Taylor-Burton film is a classic. (Wikipedia: "This is the only film to be nominated in every eligible category at the Academy Awards.") If you go into it with a certain frame of mind, you may find George and Martha to be hilarious monsters. Or you may find them to be just monstrous, or just funny.

    If Nance stops by at this post, I'd LOVE to read what she has to say about its depiction of the central couple, from a pro's perspective. Ex-pro's. Whatever. :)

  2. Mysterious Acronyms are designed to protect the privacy of those who don't live their lives out loud on-line< JES. FAMB(B)are initials, and yes, she is in the cast of characters.

    I'm in an interesting place for this show, it is true. I will have Little Cuter and SIR with me, though, and their happiness should see me through. If now, I'm sure it will make for a fascinating post :)

    I, too, await Nance's input....

  3. I vote for monstrous. I saw the film when it came out and it doesn't leave you...ever. My worst-case-scenario for a couples' session was that I'd wind up with George and Martha. Whenever a couple set off my G&M alarms, I quickly managed to be "not quite what they were looking for" and got myself de-selected--fairly easy with such couples. Didn't see them often, but, when I did, their pathological two-step was remarkably stable; you couldn't separate them with a bomb. Only one such couple managed a separation, and she went on to be very happily married to a man she met in one of the better online dating services. Sometimes the craziness belongs to both individuals and sometimes it seems to reside in the attachment between them.

    Now, A/B, I must know if the terrible shooting in Tucson today was near you. I've been very worried and so sad.

  4. Serious note to Ashley Burroughs fan from her brother. A/B is hospitalized after getting hit with 3 bullets in Tucson shooting. Little Cutter says she is lucky, the bullets missed organs, but shattered a hip. Surgery scheduled for Wednesday after some recovery. She is alert, cracking jokes, scared, but doctors say she will be fine.

  5. Thank you so much for this information. Somehow, I knew she was there. Any further information you can give, I would be so grateful!

  6. A/B, honey, get well, get well, get well!!

    I knew the minute I heard of Gifford's gathering that you would be there, camera in hand, sharing big smiles with Gabby, thanking her for her service. And then, you'd come home to tell us all about it in your next post.

    I send you twelve virtual bouquets of pale pink roses and all my best wishes for your complete recovery.

  7. All of what Nance said, a/b. Will continue to send specific wishes Burrow-ward. And if the report from Anonymous (and indirectly through Nance) is accurate, big big sigh of relief from this quarter.

    (Nance: thank you again for the heads-up!)

  8. Dear Ashley,
    Please accept my best wishes for a speedy recovery. You have many friends and well-wishers throughout the blogosphere (and thanks to Nance, will spread the word).

  9. Ashleigh,

    Bloggingdino here wishing you a full and quick recovery. My thoughts are with you and all those who have suffered as a result of this awful event.

  10. Ashleigh,

    Please add me to the list of your well wishers and know that your return to the helm of the Burrow is ardently awaited.


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