First off, in an attempt at timeliness, I'll mention that TONIGHT is the opening reception, 5:30-7:30, at 224 S. Michigan, of the new exhibit, "Do We Dare Squander Chicago’s Great Archtectural Heritage? Preserving Chicago, Making History" at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Can't make it tonight? The show runs Feb. 7-May 9; there's also a Preservation Perspectives video website; and I'll write more about preservation soon...I've just been busy keeping up with all the people who want to go take photos with me, and my legions (legions = 5 or 6) of new male admirers on here and Flickr, so...Also, going out in the beautiful weather for cheery shots like this one.
So after making it a full month without coffee (late Nov.-late Dec.), on a whim, I thought, why not give it up for Lent? I was going to point out "and I'm not even Catholic anymore" but I just now learned from Wikipedia that Lent isn't only a Catholic thing. Tuesday (which of course was both Super Tuesday and Fat Tuesday, and disappointingly few people called it Superfat Tuesday) I was up north and had my first visit to the super-slick new coffeeshop, The Coffee Studio (people on Yelp like it), which is sort of on the Andersonville/Edgewater border and was filled with stylish, intellectual-ish guys who I don't think play for my team (uh...my championship Scrabble team). Anyway, good coffee, but I suddenly thought, I don't like how I've been mindlessly drinking lots of coffee in the morning, and I did reasonably well without it before, why not try a little longer.
My jar of Cafix nearly out, Wednesday I stopped at Whole Foods. No Cafix, but I bought Pero, which I'm "enjoying" right now. Actually, it's not bad, but Teeccino, discovered during my last coffee fast, is my favorite. Their website even has a caffeine addiction quiz; I've been in the 300-600 mg zone many days recently ("undoubtedly experiencing some degree of mental and physical addiction to caffeine"). So I won't have any coffee, caffeinated pop, or regular tea, but chocolate is okay. If Lent just so happens to coincide with the winter doldrums/perfect hot chocolate weather, so be it. Last week, I tried THREE different kinds at Moonstruck (regular, Mexican, Peppermint Patty; only 7 to go) and right after Whole Foods I tried the hot cocoa at Caribou. Not bad. It wasn't the "Smart Choice" according to their brochure (small hot cocoa w/skim milk and no whipped cream) but the dubious one (medium, 2%, whipped cream), alas. According to the quiz, cocoa beverages are 13 mg. caffeine per 6 oz., so even a large hot chocolate would be under 50 mg, placing me safely in the "highly unlikely that you are a caffeine addict" zone.
I also found this 2007 CNN article about young people giving up social networking for Lent. A 16-year-old "says she spent an average of two hours a day on MySpace, logging onto the site at least four times a day. She's using Facebook as a substitute during the 40-day period. 'Not because Facebook is special -- I think it's boring,' she said, explaining that the site helps her to still 'feel connected.'" Facebook was her Pero! I wonder how it worked out for her.
I would have been glued to the TV and radio Tues. night for election returns, but actually a couple days before, due to MySpace, I got put on the list for a concert for the first time in eons. Aleks and The Drummer were the first (and so far only) band to send me a friend request that I'd actually already heard of and heard, and they had a few extra spots for their show at the Metro opening for No Age and The Liars. I went out in the cold, got that curious shot of the Wrigley Field sign with letters burned out (I know it's the off-season, but still...), and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Aleks sings and plays keyboards and was in a wonderful shiny gold long-sleeved, high-collared dress with gold pants. (If you're wondering, the drummer, Deric, wore a t-shirt.) I never feel like trying up-close/flash shots at Metro so you'll have to make do with these.
I wore my awesome Lego shoulder bag to show it off, but was immediately made to check it ($3, they had to get money from me somehow), putting an insane amount of stuff in my pockets to get me through the evening. (Yes, I even tuned in WBEZ between sets.) I almost left halfway through The Liars' set (they were good, but I just felt like leaving. Hey, I don't have the "it's too smoky" excuse to leave shows anymore), didn't, and got stuck waiting 15 minutes in line to get the bag back. But then the Clark bus showed up almost immediately, so I realized I would have been waiting those 15 minutes in the cold otherwise...I'm sure there's a lesson to all this...
I haven't mentioned bicycles in a while (my back wheel is still stolen and I haven't done any winter biking) but on WBEZ today I heard there are new ordinances proposed by Mayor Daley to the city council; and the Sun-Times wrote this: "He has had drivers open car doors in his path. He has had cars turn left in front of him and had a car pass within three feet of his bike...All three violations were targeted by the ordinance introduced by Daley at Wednesday's City Council meeting. It's designed to reduce the number of crashes involving bikes and motor vehicles...The ordinance establishes a fine for double-parking in a marked lane that's supposed to be shared by bikes and vehicles. And it raises the fine for driving, standing and parking in a bicycle-only lane." I've still never actually seen the mayor bicycling, but apparently he's been hit or nearly hit by car doors? I have many, many differences with the guy, but that's something I wouldn't wish on anyone. These are more ordinances possibly no one will know about or enforce, but I'm still glad to hear about them.