on friday, i finally found time to hang out with my sister and her boyfriend… although they’d been dating for like 7 years, i haven’t really had the chance to spend time with them at all. i’ve been so lax [lax meaning lazy, not lax as in sweet dreams, my l.a. ex] in my familial responsibilities, it’s tragic. but, hey, that’s why i’ve
subjected myself to been in indiana for the past two weeks.
on thing i’m realizing about america is how perfectly polished so many things are. i have a critical eye, and living in london, one was met with constant examples of sloppiness or lack of attention to detail. for example, you go to the bank, and everything’s a little bit dirty, the plastic pens are all broken, and there’s a sign taped up to the teller window, in times new roman font, with two punctuation mistakes and one misspelling. or, you buy some orange juice from the shop, and the packaging wasn’t properly designed and the label doesn’t really fit and the color printing was askewed. or, you go to a tourist attraction and you get a photocopy of some brochure from 1982 and that’s it.
needless to say, coming back to america, i’ve been impressed on several occasions, the most recent example is our visit to the museum of science and industry in chicago, which i hadn’t been to since i was but a wee [wee meaning small, and having nothing to do with urine] lad.
anyway, just inside the museum, before you even pay admission, there was this exhibit showing off the pioneer zephyr, the streamlined train from the 1930s, which zipped across america in record time. keeping in mind that we’re still in the free section of the museum, i expected it to just be a train that you could walk through and read little placards explaining bits and bobs about the train. my expectations were a bit low, presumably due to spending four years in england.
you go in, and are greated by a man dressed like a conductor, who explains that we’re just about to start our journey. he closes the door, and the train starts rocking back and forth, creating the illusion that we’re moving. you can even feel the clink-clink, clink-clink bumps on the rail. then he starts talking to this animatronic donkey, who explains the purpose for a high-speed train in 1930.
in the next carriage we sit next to passengers [mannequins] who are having a loud conversation with each other about the train. it’s cute, and they all have authentic 1930s accents. the conductor tour guide fella stays in character throughout.
we eventually end up in the first-class carriage, where the animatronic inventor of the train and his animatronic family tell us more about the train, and through the windows we can see the fields of nebraska zipping by.
i could go on about the amazing bodyworlds [phalanges! ribs! tendons! eyeballs!] exhibit or the submarine exhibit [mister smartypants learned a lot!] as well, but let’s just say i left the museum feeling a bit like i’ve been living in a third-world country for the past four years.
had a blast catching up with kimmy and kevin… it’s great realizing that my lil’ sis is very much an adult now, and watching their dynamic was like watching a typical sitcom married couple [for better or for worse]. after driving around in kevin‘s huge four-door pickup truck monster truck, we stopped in at this amazing rib shack, presumably called the chicago rib shack.
home cookin’ home cookin’ home cookin’… ribs in a tangy sauce that just fall off the bone, hot wings the get your fingers all messy and your lips orange… proper soul food that i hadn’t had in such a long time. and we got to sit outside, something that is next-to-impossible in london, but what i’m already fantasizing about in l.a.. had a great time catching up with those two, kimmy and i retelling lots of family memories, kevin and i trying to ressurrect memories from our middle-school days long gone.