cupcakes, fishes, and por-shoes (in other words, my weekend)

Weekends are too short.  Especially when you start packing in as much as possible.  Or at least in my case, when you try to pack as much in just one day.

I spent Saturday at home.  I had thought about going out, but really apathy took over for most of the day.  I did manage to get out for a bit when I took Libby out to dinner for some buffalo wings.  But truly, my weekend was spent on Sunday.

My main motivation for getting out was based on a tip from the wonderful Jennifer of Free and Flawed.  I was on the hunt for $2 tank tops.  I searched all over that store.  Even up in the kids area to see if maybe they had sold out of the women’s… Nope.  No luck.  (And just FYI — yes, I can still fit into little boy’s XL, but I was going to get them for my niece rather than myself.)  It wasn’t a total bust.  I got a new bikini.  That’s definitely a win.  Major win.  Now I just need an occasion to wear it/them.  (I got one pair of bottoms, and two tops — so unless I plan on doing a costume change at the beach, maybe a few trips to the beach would be nice…)

Having failed at my search for cheap summer wears, I decided that I wanted to find a cupcake bakery down in the Loop I’d heard about.  The cupcake hunt was a major success.  I found Sugar Bliss.  Fewer selections than Phoebe’s, but still nice.  And it was while treating myself to some mini cupcakes that I decided that I needed to indulge myself even more.  I hopped in a cab and after about 7 minutes of my driver hitting on me and reminding me that he likes European girls and I seem very European, I ended up at my desired destination, Shedd Aquarium.

I honestly couldn’t recall the last time I had visited Shedd.  It was back when my Gram was living in Hyde Park and I thought that you could walk from there to Wrigley Field.  (My childhood version of Chicago is skewed, to say the least.)  I have no qualms about going to such attractions as zoos and museums by myself.  Sometimes I prefer it.  I get the freedom to check out the exhibits I want to see, and the freedom to sit and stare at a particular animal for 20 minutes if I so choose.  Sadly, the animal I wanted to stare at for extended periods of time wasn’t on display.  The shark tank was closed for the day.  They did have two bonnetheads in the caribbean reef tank.  Not to mention that the Beluga exhibit was finally open again.

I know some crazy animal rights groups absolutely loath zoos.  And while I agree that a zoo is not the ideal home for most animals, I do believe that most zoos are doing good and are promoting great causes.  I can definitely say that zoos and aquariums pushed me over the edge with my love for wildlife, something sparked by great programs on networks like Discovery.  The LP Zoo is one of the city’s parks and is free to the public, allowing tons of city kids a chance to see animals such as polar bears, giraffes and lions for the first time (and to hear of animals like red pandas, spectacle bears and takins for the first time as well).  As much as those groups can complain and picket, organizations like Shedd, the LP Zoo, and Brookfield are doing far more good than harm.

So.  Besides staring a fish and marine wildlife for hours, I also got out of my element this weekend.  While I was out, I received a call from Oliver informing me that there were fun times to be had (along with BBQ and pies) over at the Hideout.  So after a quick breather at home (I had done a bit of shopping, even finally picking up the painting I’ve been eyeing for ages, so I needed to drop off bags)… I skirted up and caught a cab.  I arrived to a full on barbecue, a forklift, and aural blast of country.  What I had come into was a day, yes a full day, of country music.  Now, thanks to the my uncle and the Globe, I can tolerate some folk and bluegrass.  But I don’t really listen to country.  At first I wasn’t sure what I should do, so I just tagged along with my bandmates David and Susie for a while.  Despite my own taste in music, I can acknowledge good music.  And there was definitely some great music there.

After the bands were over, some of us were hanging by the forklift (hey, how else are you supposed to arrange large benches?)…  Oliver’s shoes were stolen… And well, an impromptu game of Por-shoes was started.  How do you play por-shoes?  It’s simple.  Take a pair of well-loved Wal-stocks sandals and heave them, under handed of course, towards the Porsche convertible.  Get it in, win your round and the love of everyone.  It may sound sort of… odd, but it’s truly fun.  I got a half point for getting a shoe in the puddle.

So, lessons I’ve learned from my weekend:

  • these new cute fashion sandals are so NOT worth anything more than $5.  Seriously.
  • people are stupid and no matter how many signs or verbal announcements you make, they will not turn off their flash for the well-being of the animals
  • don’t pay with credit card when your cabby is hitting on you, because then he learns your full name.
  • kittens hate when you’re gone all day
  • I’m not too old to sleep with a stuffed shark (yep. I bought a hammerhead — note to future boyfriends: yes, I do take plushie gifts)
  • There are some guys out there who will drive out to see you, even after last call, for just a few minutes… (ha, if you want updates on this, you’re just going to have to wait…)

Now next weekend… yeah, that’ll be a trip. I’m meeting up with a mass of 20-something bloggers for a weekend here in the city.  It’ll be a great time, if everyone is as awesome as the people I’ve met already.  And hopefully there’ll be more cupcakes too.  (Seriously, I think I have an addiction now…)