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So Wednesday night [personal profile] norabombay and I did pizza at the Lincolnwood Lou Malnati's, with some detours to see the sights and get gas.

I was introduced to the Chicago deep-dish pizza. Tasty! It's not my favorite ever, but it's certainly nothing for me to turn my nose up at. There was also fried cheese and a lovely salad. Oh, and one cannot forget the zucchini bits. (Korman fans, insert giggling here.)

We did more zipping around to see sights, this being downtown Chicago and all the lights, a very lovely clocktower that I did not get a photo of, the Bean in passing, the aquarium and planetarium, the view across the lake (a bit on the chilly side), Boys' Town, and lights, lights, lights. Also the grocery store, for provisions and libations.

Nora's external hard drive was refusing to talk to the X-Box, and all sorts of woe came of that, and then there were the incompatible media problems. The not-talking-to problem was at length fixed with plugging the proper cable in the proper place (as it had been borrowed at some past point).

My sleep schedule being what it was, of course I stayed up way too late, and thus it was that I had less than four hours of sleep before the Museum Day, wherein we were to be tourists.

We saw a good bit of downtown on the way there. The library did not have the tickets we were looking to get, but the siren call of a MythBusters exhibit and BABY CHICKS meant that we were for the Museum of Science and Industry. I darned a three-cornered rip in Nora's excellent burnt-orange corduroy jacket on the way there, and only stabbed myself in the finger with the needle once. Given that it was a moving car on Chicago potholes, I feel that this is a significant accomplishment. :D

The museum was great fun. The MythBusters exhibit was actually not there yet, but the chicks were lovely. There was an enclosure full of day-old peepers running about in the way that busy little chickens do. I saw one spry little darling hackling up at one of their flockmates. Never mind that s/he did not have hardly anything on the hackle to raise, the fuzz that was there was raised and there was a bit of pecking. Adorable! (It's far less adorable when it's a great stroppy rooster, of course.)

We saw two chicks actively hatching, gone from a semicircle of pips to shoved out and drying off and attempting to find out how to walk. I will transfer some of the video off my camera, because the one chick's attempts were just hilarious.

There were trains! Model trains, and bits of engine, and I climbed inside the 999 engine. Such fun. In the model train complex, you could control the "blasting" in one part of it, and of course I waited until a passing train was in the adjacent tunnel before pushing the button. Safety violation, thy name is occasionally Azz.

We saw the airplanes bit, and my head was full of "the WRONG BROTHERS" moment in MythBusters commentary, which was sort of silly for such an otherwise serious exhibit.

From there we headed for the space exploration display, which was a bit of a hike. It was getting on in the day, so the bit where I got distracted by the projector and the falling "sand" that you could catch with your shadow did eat into that time a bit, but it was earlier than we'd thought.

I wasn't expecting the space exhibit to have quite such the profound emotional impact on me that it did. I saw the Apollo 8 module on display in its huge case, and just started weeping. I couldn't help myself, and wouldn't have wanted to change it if I had been able to, but it was more than I was prepared for. I don't think that I can properly articulate it yet. Space travel is something that's always been important to me from the way I was raised. Some kids have religion drummed into them. We got various forms of science. Due to my father's field, we got space a lot more than some. I think it's safe to say that it was akin to a religious experience for me, to be in the same room as such a significant artifact of the space program. I thought that I was going to do a walk around the module and then look at the other displays, but I stayed there for quite some time before moving on, and came back. Nora did get my picture next to it. (Forthcoming.)

The little shop in that section had some truly silly items, and that did provide an effective mood insulator for me. I did press some souvenir pennies.

It was getting towards closing time, so we headed exitwards. Despite the slightly delayed start, it really was excellent timing, as I was pretty zonked at the end. I did not purchase a plush doll of the common cold.

We got some more provisions (mmm bratwurst!) and headed back; naps and dinner and various fun video-based fannish hilarity ensued; the watching of Community extended late into the night. Now I can properly appreciate all the fic that's floating around.

Community was a fandom where I was sort of apprehensive about attempting to pick it up off the fic like I usually do, but it sounded like it was going to be right up my alley. It was! Yay! An unexpected bonus: I found Troy very attractive, in a disarmingly familiar way. I eventually figured it out: I couldn't tell this from stills, but in video he resembles a former boyfriend of mine (River). Interesting!

Nora explained that coming in to the show from the first episode, you might get the idea that Jeff is supposed to be the center of the show, which can be alienating on account of he is a young white guy and also a complete jerkass. If you go in knowing that it's an ensemble show and Jeff is merely the convenient tavern in which the party ... er. The college is the convenient tavern. Jeff is just the dude who the story follows first, but other characters get a lot of story time. I would say that it's definitely more balanced in that way than Glee. One of the episodes we watched was in fact a sporking of Glee. Their description of glee the emotion as an infectious agent that you could give to your friends, but it left them better off than before, led to me snarking about glee being like Kellis-Amberlee (the hybrid mutant virus that causes so much trouble in Mira Grant's zombie series, but cures cancer and the common cold).

Good times. Good times!

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Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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