Thursday, September 29, 2011

Disinfectant Thief

You know how grocery stores now have containers of disinfectant wipes so you can degerm your cart? As I was leaving the store yesterday, I saw this guy reach into the container and pull out the whole roll of wipes. He slowly stuffed it in his bag as I gave him a dirty and disgusted look. Who steals a roll of wipes like that? As soon as I was outside the store, I felt terrible. I wished I hadn't given him that look.

For some reason, stealing the stuff meant for cleaning carts seemed more shameful than swiping a container of Clorax wipes from the Dominick's shelf. Maybe because if you got caught with the container, you'd have to return it. If you got caught with a roll of sopping, disinfectant-smelling wipes, what are they gonna do? Make you stuff in back into the container? So this got me thinking about why he was stealing them. Maybe he's got a kid at home, and baby wipes are not in his budget. Wet Ones ARE expensive. Or maybe he's homeless, and he uses these wipes to keep clean. There was something going on, and I didn't know what it was. Sure, it's wrong to take a roll of disinfectant wipes from the grocery store. But I still felt judgey and awful. I automatically judged him for doing something I do never do, but he probably has some problems I will never have.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Romantic Roller Coaster Weekend

This weekend started with a very important backstory; I have been nagging Jake to go to Six Flags pretty much ever since we started dating. So, um, for 4 years? He always has a great excuse, such as it's too hot, or too far away. Last year around this time, I had planned a trip with a very dear friend of mine for the very last day of the season, but she backed out at the very last minute. To this day, I don't think she knows how crushed I was. I cried over it and moped around my apartment like a mopey mope pants the whole day. I was SO upset that my plan to ride roller coasters was foiled once again.

Finally, yes, this year, it is true, Jake caved and said we could go on a trip. But no, not Six Flags, he said. If we were going to go ride roller coasters, we were going to go to Ohio to Cedar Point, home of the biggest baddest roller coasters on the planet (or something).

He booked the hotel room, I rented the car, we headed out on our grand adventure Friday after work. Our trip was much upgraded by the satellite radio — there was an 80s station and a 90s station, which we both muchly enjoyed — a very comfortable hotel bed, and great weather for our day at the park. Although we spent a lot of time waiting in line with awkward 14 year olds, the rides were definitely worth it. They were much more exciting and scarier than our memories of Six Flags. Especially this crazy one:

We waited extra long to ride in the first car, and that one was our favorite. But even the wooden rides that didn't flip upside down were fun. We want to go back again next year and ride some of the coasters we missed. There was also a Christian metal band called Skillet playing that we could hear while we waited in line! (::sarcasm::)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Season

There's no doubt about it. Fall's here. This is how I know.

The Big Star patio, usually packed, was empty yesterday.

One of the coworkers who graciously drove me home yesterday evening joked about turning on the heat.

Another coworker noticed the yellow tint of the leaves on the trees outside our office.

Someone came to work wearing a hat.

I have a hankering for pumpkin scones and cider.

I sipped a fall-flavored pomegranate martini while preparing dinner.

Every time of year is my favorite time of year in Chicago for different reasons. The reason I like this one is because it's a season of transition. Fall is very short in this city. But it's nice to have these few weeks where I can bike to work without packing a change of clothes, a necessity both in the summer and the winter. And it's still warm enough where the windows are open. When I unlock my bike in the morning, I can here American Girl from one neighbor's apartment and If You Leave from another's.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saying Thank You

30 gifts to 30 strangers in Sydney from Lucas Jatoba on Vimeo.

I found this wonderful little 30 gifts to 30 strangers video via Operation NICE. It brought a tear to my eye. When you are living in a foreign country, you appreciate SO much the niceness of strangers. You are far away from friends and family, and when someone goes out of their way to do something nice to you, it makes this strange faraway place feel a bit more like home. I come from the overly friendly Midwest, where everyone is generally nice and helpful. You take it for granted, until you realize the whole world isn't like that.

I love the idea of turning it around and saying thank you to strangers.