Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chicago, Upper Silver Lake, and NYC again

Last week I flew out to Chicago for the week. I went up to Upper Silver Lake in Michigan for most of it. My grandparents have a cottage up there that I've been coming up to since I was a kid, and I hadn't had the chance to visit for two years. That was the highlight of the trip--though I am jealous the 90-100 degree weather in Seattle did go East to Michigan. Although I was limited to my carry-on suitcase, I found some great dishes and a lamp that was TWO DOLLARS. It is an antique milk glass lamp, absolutely gorgeous (though it needs a lampshade, which will cost approximately six times the cost of the lamp, of course). I had been eyeing a lamp that my grandma had like that, so I was thrilled to find my own!

One of the big highlights of the week was my cousins' graduation party. So many of my relatives were there, including ones I hadn't seen for a long time. We kind of grouped off into young and old, and it was fun to talk about more mature things with my cousins and their friends. Growing up I was a couple years (and a few degrees of sheltered) younger than my cousins Katie and Maggie, but now we connect perfectly, which is great. We can just pick up where we left off. My cousin Colleen, who is my age, brought her boyfriend of at least two years (I think three). They both have Down Syndrome, and are a joy to watch together. They were slow dancing in the pool, and just in general really enjoying each other's company. Whenever I see that kind of joy (and how Colleen is so able to brighten my mood), I think about how babies with trisomy 23 are often aborted nowadays. I have really mixed feelings about eliminating people that in my opinion benefit society and bring out the best in people--the ability of those around them to nurture and be compassionate, and the ability of those with Down Syndrome to bring joy to the world by showing us how to revel in its simplicity.

We got to the party at around 5pm, and stayed until 3am. I was shocked. I kept on expecting my Mom to say she was tired and wanted to go home, but I guess the wine and conversation kept her buzzed. When we left, Maggie had already fallen asleep. We seriously were the last people to leave, minus the people who were staying the night. My Mom and some of our relatives got into this long, hilarious, swear-filled diatribe against another one of our relatives right before we left. Kate and I were just laughing in shock. It was worth being tired and hungover the next day on my flight home...

I was so excited to be reunited with Eric. Seriously, it was so great. All week I had been going over our relationship to various relatives, to the point where I was like, is this really how I feel? But being back with him, I was like 'yep.' One of his friends was driving in from Philly so she picked me up from the Marine Air Terminal (a very weird one...) at LaGuardia and we all hung out. I was so dehydrated, and all I could stomach was these amazing New Jersey tomatoes with salt and pepper. I think I ended up eating two tomatoes worth of slices. Amazing. After his friend left Eric made whole red snapper wrapped in all these herbs. I looked on his computer later and he had done all this research about how to tell if the fish was fresh--he bought them in Chinatown for $5 each and apparently there actually was a great degree of difference in freshness. We had that and corn on the cob on the balcony and looked at the city. It was so romantic and I was so happy to be with him again! Later on that evening there was this ridiculous thunderstorm (earlier there was hail). Because it was dark we could see lighting illuminate entire clouds. It was one of the coolest things I'd seen lately. I'm glad I flew in earlier that day...

This week I've been getting back in the swing of things--I went for a run tonight, checked out some books and made plans for a solo weekend (Eric[s in Red Rocks, Colorado :( ). Eric and I booked our flight to COSTA RICA this November (we're going the week of Thanksgiving). I saw Pedro Almodovar's new film Broken Embraces (I like), Funny People (meh), and saw Tim Burton at MoMa. A pretty cool week for work, though I'm waiting to screen footage from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs before I interview the directors, and it's not happening, so I've been idle and dreading the fact that my deadline is getting tighter and tighter, and not being able to do anything about it.

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