Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Eggo My Lego


This is a snowfall that started about a week ago and hasn't stopped. We've have a few inches since this was taken and about 6 more by x-mas.


The view of the bush outside my window. It has about twice as much snow after today.


This is Nick's "Yankee Gift Exchange" for Megan. Lego Star Wars guys!


They are so epic


Brave!


Fast!


LOYAL!


and the latest addition to our toy shelf...


Here's Grover on the lunchbox flashing the "Van Buren Boys" gang sign


Megan love "It's A Wonderful Life." So, when she saw that it was going to be on the big screen at the Music Box as a double feature, we had to go. We were completely unprepared. We thought we were going to a movie, not an experience. It was their 25th x-mas show that featured a choir, a organ player, and a possibly drunk Santa leading a sing-a-long. Everyone (except us) was dressed up and insane. Every time (literally) Mr. Potter came on the screen everyone hissed. Whenever Clarence was on screen people would ring their little bells. We were completely unprepared, but it was good fun.


The show was sold out. This is before. The second movie was "A White Christmas" with Bing Crosby and George Clooney's grandma. Megan has never seen it and I forgot which movie that was. Once it started, I remembered I really don't like that movie and Megan leaned over half way through and said, "I really don't like this." So, we left. The crowd for the second movie was weird too. There was some Army guy that was so excited by everything and sang along to the "Sisters" song.

Christmas plans are still somewhat in flux. I'm staying in Chicago for the 25th for sure. We're heading to a couple parties that day after we open gifts under our little tree. Michigan for a quick weekend trip (pending weather that won't kill us).

On a final note: You have to check out this story from Chicago today. It's like something out of a movie. Amazing and stupid at the same time! http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2008/12/man-survives-100-foot-fall-from-dan-ryan.html

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

German Christmas Village Santa Train Party Christmas Explosion


Downtown Chicago. The tree (or hundreds of little trees making a large one) in Daley Plaza with the skyscraper church in the background.


Kristkindlmarkt (aka German Christmas Village) in Daley Plaza


Even Jesus had a booth at the German x-mas village...


Someday, I will have a mantle over the fireplace that looks like this...


Pretty trees


Governor Blagojevich's home, which is down the street from ours. There are several news vans and a helicopter here at all times. I'm still trying to figure out how what he did is worse than any other politician. I mean, people and corporations don't give millions of dollars ($1 billion alone between Barrack Obama and John McCain) to politicians because of their "ideals" or they are "good people." They give money because they expect something in return. Ask Dick Cheney about Haliburton. Is it because he got caught and swears? I'm not a supporter or a fan of Blago, but I still don't see what the big fuss is all about.


SANTA TRAIN! Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Train! Megan and I took this to Katherine's X-mas party. My favorite is the CTA employee dressed as an elf giving out candy canes. She said this is her eighth year doing this.


Even the seats!












My "White Elephant" or "Yankee Gift Exchange" present was a frog shower cap. It goes nicely with my x-mas sweater!


Katherine and another couple at Katherine's party


Katherine was very proud of her real tree with bubbler lights. And, for you Michiganders, she did get them from Bonner's in Frankenmuth...


Megan and I checked out a few places this weekend. Here's one with a view of Soldier Field.


Now, imagine this as my home with socks and art supplies on the floor. Oh, look how well that 1999 iMac looks shoved in the corner...




A view of the Clark House (I think that's what it's called), which is the oldest home in Chicago.


Look at all the trains. There are a couple of "El" lines and freight trains in this area. The South Loop is an old train yard area. Lots of tracks remain and the train companies still own the land. But recently, they have begun to lease the "air rights" over the rails for 99 years to developers to put up buildings. The area north of Grant Park is the same way. There's a whole underground city and infrastructure around there.


Here's the view from the new Museum Park building overlooking Grant Park. Not bad. I mean, I'd expect more from a place that ranges between $1.6 - $2 million...


Here's my wife, Ann Fairbanks, deciding whether or not this property would be a good investment. "It would be nice for events..."


It's snowing like crazy out there. First, it snowed. Then in was nice and warm and melted the snow. Then, it got cold and hell and froze all the melted snow and iced everything up. Now, there's all of this. I'm so glad I don't drive...

I hope everyone is doing as well as I am these days. Lots of x-mas parties lately and a ton more to come. I think I have three more this week, one was today, and a few last week. Then there's x-mas itself... Busy...

xoxo,

Mike

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everyone Goes Coo-Coo Bananas When They Arrest My Neighbor

Our Governor (my neighbor) was arrested today. Apparently, they arrested him for being "a politician." Doesn't every politician use their political power of monetary gain? Anyway, read up on the man I saw shopping at Toys 'R Us: http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/1321300,rod-blagojevich-illinois-governor-custody-120908.article


Megan's work, American Instutute of Architects - Chicago, had their x-mas party at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies a few nights ago. This is their new building. It's facade is designed to look all busted up or something in the front. Think Robocop futuristic.












Inside at the party


They had some kind of cool looking display. Unfortunately, this is as close as I got to it.


LOBBY BLOB!!!




I love my neighbors (not Blagojevich this time) with their decorations. Halloween was pretty good too. I think they add something new everyday. Since I took this, they have added a life-sized Santa Claus and a music system.


Decorations at the fire station on Elston near Sacremento


Our Charlie Brown x-mas tree. It has a couple of gifts under it now. Thanks Katie!


This customized stocking was part of Megan's gift last year.


Which meant, this year I had to customize a matching stocking of my own...

Not too much going on here other than cold, snow, and lots of x-mas parties. I have five or six x-mas parties at work. The first is tomorrow and it should be good. Nick and Katherine's is on Saturday. There's probably a few others I'm forgetting about at the moment. Plus, I have to do my x-mas shopping still. Another reason why Thankgiving and Labor Day are the best holidays ever. Still trying to figure out the x-mas plans. I think I need to eat something.

xoxo,

Mike
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