cubs game…um…

May 17, 2011 Comments Off on cubs game…um…

Oh, there’s nothing quite as beautiful as Wrigley Field in May.  Unless, of course, it’s 42° and raining, with a 30-mile per hour wind out of the north.

I got tickets the day they went on sale for the Sunday Giants/Cubs matchup.  We were huge Giants fans when we lived in San Francisco, they’re the world champions, and they’re a great team to watch.  So this seemed like a no-brainer.

Except, of course, for the cold front.  We rolled in to Chicago Saturday night, just in time to turn on that night’s game.  Which.  Looked.  Awful.  There were about 200 people left in the stands by the third inning, all of them in parkas and under golf umbrellas.  The players looked like they’d gladly give up their multi-million dollar salaries for one of the cups of hot cocoa being delivered via scuba gear.  It looked, in short, like a Giants game at Candlestick.  “It’ll warm up,” I said.  No one believed me.

And it didn’t.  Sunday morning I swear it was snowing.  And snowing straight across, not up and down.  “We’re going,” I announced.  “By God, we are going.”  Everyone agreed.  We decided to forgo batting practice, at least, and to get lunch downtown.  We’ll go see the game, we decided, but we’re not spending one more minute outside than we have to.

And as it turned out, we didn’t have to.  They called the game two hours before it was supposed to start.  The Cubs sent me a nice e-mail saying it had been rescheduled for June, and keep warm.  The odds that we’ll get Lincecum vs. Zambrano that day are zero, of course, but I’ll gladly take the weather.

Museum of Science and Industry instead.  Renewed the membership.  Total nerd.  Here’s C messing with Bernoulli’s principle in the new (and COMPLETELY AWESOME) Storms exhibit.  Not baseball, of course, but we were not-so-secretly glad to be inside.  And MSI is a worthy alternative for damn near anything, even if we were there four weeks ago.  Avalanche tables.  Tsunami tanks.  Tesla coils.  Anatomical sections (which some of us like more than others).

And, of course, Jollyball.


jollyball and just jollying around

March 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

The Museum of Science and Industry may be the greatest 20 acres or so of stuff on the planet.  OK, scratch that, it’s second to the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  Still, it’s another of our favorite stops in the Big City.

They redid the entrance a few years ago, so you come in from an underground parking garage through the bowels of the place.  It’s not as impressive as the stairs, but at the top of the escalators is…Jollyball.  A giant pinball machine made of junk that the sculptor found around Switzerland that takes a large stainless steel ball on a tour of the (admittedly not very huge) country.  Every trip to MSI we’ve watched a few rounds, and pick up something new every time.  Oh, look the ball’s drunk when he’s walking out of the tavern!  This time we had the added excitement of a real live mouse running across the floor in the middle of the show.

Sunday was just a jolly around the Loop.  K and I could walk the city for a whole day and not really do anything, but we always seem to forget that for the kids just being downtown isn’t that big a deal.  So as we’re walking up N. Michigan Avenue and noticing that the kids are clearly on another forced march, I saw a couple of LEGO shopping bags coming the other way.  I pulled out the iPhone as discretely as I could and showed K the results.  “Yup,” she said, and we successfully guided the kiddos into LEGO paradise.  Not too badly damaging, either.  C wanted the $400 Death Star (down from the $600 version he saw a year ago), but settled for some Ninjago.  O got some LEGO Kingdom stuff, and I picked up a seriously bad-assed LEGO Boba Fett keychain.  C wanted the giant MechaGodzilla there behind him, but took ‘no’ for an answer.  Thank goodness.

And, as we’ve learned, there is no afternoon jaunt complete without the obligatory coffee and pastry stop.  This is a fine mood elevator for all concerned…

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