Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Chicagoversary

As someone who watches/listens to a LOT of news, I've spent the summer debating which new media favorite word is more annoying--"staycation" or "veepstakes." I'm guessing "Chicagoversary" is worse than either. That's what August 11 is for me, the anniversary of the day I moved to Chicago (from Iowa City, where I lived nearly a year), some years ago.

Monday I put the Lil Wally's photo, in a previous post here, up as my anniversary shot on Flickr (and it made Explore, which is cool). I eventually made it out of the house to try to do something new in Chicago. (Which overlaps with my idea to do something new on each of the 30 days leading up to my birthday, 8/29.) I ate at Top Notch Beefburgers on 95th. That wasn't new for me, but actually having a sit-down meal, and something besides a burger (a tuna melt) was. I had a vanilla shake as well. Even though I was about to go to my "real" new thing for the day--The Original Rainbow Cone, around 92nd & Western. I had a large rainbow cone, which is a pastel concoction of a bunch of flavors in the same cone. I knew having a shake and then ice cream for dessert was a dubious idea and I'm a tad embarrassed to admit I did it anyway, not for ZOMG FAT AND CALORIES! reasons, but because I thought I'd feel queasy from that combo later. Ooops.

I was pleased that the Gapers Block Book Club, which discusses books with Chicago authors and/or content, was meeting on this day. Except I hadn't finished the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Which was written three blocks from where I've lived in Chicago for years now! (The exact location of the house is hard to pin down, and I couldn't find a good link for this either.) I might have read it as a kid, and I certainly knew most of the plot. It was so crowded by the time I showed up, I sat in a cushy chair and observed, not participated.

I'll definitely read the next one, Native Son. And I haven't read it before. Now is as good a time as any to point out how scandalously ill-read I am in the classics, and the modern classics, even though I've read over 1000 books in my adulthood. Don't get me started on what movies I haven't seen, that's mind-boggling. (Perhaps I am dateable for the sheer thrill of dates being able to show me movies they can't BELIEVE I haven't seen.)

Anyway, I at least wanted to stick around to maybe meet some of my Goodreads friends, but didn't recognize any. During the introduction, this guy introduced himself as "Jack" and despite Chicago having, you know, millions of people, I thought it could be Jack Cantey from Flickr, and wondered if I should say something. Then I ran into him in the store afterwards, and got "Are you Katherine from Flickr?"

Hmm, I didn't realize I was so old-fashioned, you know, waiting for a guy to recognize ME from Flickr. Anyway, nice little discussion about abandoned buildings, and the advantages of using a small point-and-shoot instead of SLRs, not that there's anything wrong with, say, bringing four cameras to shoot an abandoned building...He gets really great photos with a Nikon Coolpix. I loved using the hand-me-down Coolpix my dad gave me in December. Then I was bicycling around St. Louis in June with it in my pocket. A short story: "This is probably a bad idea." *CRASH* "Lens error." (The end.)

Flickr stats: by meeting Jack, I've now met exactly 25% of the people I have as Flickr contacts. As of Sunday, over 25% of my photos have been favorited (JoeM500 favorited my 666th photo). As of Sunday--and if you think it took me a while to get out of the house because I wanted to see this happen, you are sadly correct--my Flickr page had 25,000 views. (Which means I don't have another number to really look forward till until 50,000.)

Sorry to be so immodest with all this; it's the meeting contacts one I'm by far the most interested in now. These photos are from a Southwest Side excursion in early June, mostly Back of the Yards. I wondered if the "Erectors" one would get any silly comments on Flickr, but no, clearly my contacts there are too polite and demure for such remarks.


Jennifer said...

*giggle* Erectors!

I wonder... Do I count the first move-in day, the first day of freshman orientation, the first day of my first term, the first day of the first summer term I didn't go home for the summer, the day I completed my thesis, the day I turned in my last assignment, the last day of my last term, the day I graduated, the last move-out day, the day I got my Real Job, the day I started my Real Job, or the day I moved into my Real Apartment?

Or maybe I don't get a Chicagoversary. Or maybe I should just arbitrarily pick August 23, but then I wouldn't be able to go to Rainbow Cone to celebrate because I'll be out of town that weekend.

Eric Allix Rogers said...

I like "Chud's". I could make inappropriate comments about that, but my intentions here are honorable, unfortunately.

I don't see anything wrong with the word "Chicagoversary". Of course, I am also having a "staycation" to Six Flags, so I must not be easily annoyed by words like that. My Chicagoversary will be September 20th. I've lived here continuously since I showed up on the first day of orientation. And this will be my 5th Chicagoversary! I better do something!

I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to books and movies. I'm not nearly as well-read as people always assume I am, and there are so many movies I "ought" to see. I have lists.

Congrats on the Flickr milestones, and getting explored!

Katherine said...

Jennifer, move-in day is the day you moved here, so I'd count that (if it actually matters). I didn't have any plans for school (or a job) when I moved here...and I recommend going to Rainbow Cone at any time, just not after having a milkshake.

Eric, congrats on the 5 years!
Well, I thought my recent posts made it clear I haven't been "explored" in a while...
Okay, I'd like to apologize to everyone on the planet, and future generations, for the previous sentence. Ahem, didn't you say I do a better job than you of keeping my personal life off the blog? I think I'll write that in giant letters and post it on the wall as a reminder...

Mike Doyle said...

Ooh, take me next time you go anywhere near Original Rainbow Cone. I'll rent a bike and cycle next to you down Western if I have to!

54cermak said...

It would have been 9 years this June if I'd stayed. The 3.5 years I was there feel longer and more important to me than the 6 years I've been back.

David Johnsen said...

I've been thinking about my Chicagoversary lately because it will be 15 years, which makes me feel really old (even older than being married for 10). I don't remember the exact date, but it was Labor Day weekend so maybe I'll celebrate all three days.