Five Random Things

Every so often, my mind gets overloaded with thoughts, ideas and images, and some of them just “have to get out.” I like to think of it as mental purging (it’s not bad, it just is…) Here are five random things plucked from my head today – enjoy:

1. The 2104 Winter Olympics in Sochi

Sochi_2014_Olympics_aiThe Olympic Games have come and gone – I didn’t watch one minute of them, in my own personal protest against Russia and their egregious stance on LGBT rights. Thing is, it didn’t seem like anyone else was really talking about them, either. Sorry, world athletes, for not acknowledging your achievements but I really just couldn’t support the games.

2. Men’s Felt Boot Liners

boot linersFor more than three decades, my Dad worked as a heavy equipment operator, burying communications cable for United Telephone of Ohio. In my youth, I remember him putting heavy boot liners like these in his winter boots to keep his feet warm and toasty as he worked outside all day in the cold. Now that I am an old person, my feet are always freezing. I want a pair of these to wear around the house as slippers. And maybe to work, too…

 3. Cheesecake. Any Cheesecake (but especially Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake)

Cheesecake-Factory-Display-CaseI am on a life-long journey to release the “thin, happy and healthy” me I have trapped inside. Most days, the journey is a little challenging; today, my mind has been obsessed with cheesecake – especially cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I think the slice I love is called Adam’s Peanut Butter Bliss. I.Want.It.Now.

4. The Perfect Design Client

Rich LadyI have quite a few really great design clients at the moment but wish I had one, filthy, filthy rich one – like lottery winner rich – that wanted me as her personal, on-call designer. She would never question price, always agree that my taste was “superb” and we would go – on her dime – to Europe to look for really modern furniture because, in her words, “Europeans know all about great design. You, and Europeans.” And she will have a kick-ass, I’m-rich-as-Hell, country club name, something ridiculous like Aurora Smythe-van deGroot. (She hyphenated her last name after she wed her Dutch billionaire industrialist husband, Jakob van deGroot).

5. A fabulous spa weekend with my husband

massageThis has been a very full and busy year so far for my Beloved and me. My design business is growing (hooray), my Sweetie is consumed with schoolwork and classes (sometimes hooray but sometimes BOO!) and after five and a half years of uncertainty and worry, we were finally able to get off the gay binational couple roller coaster in late January when my husband’s green card arrived. The past two months – and even before that – have been a bit exhausting, mentally and physically. I’d like to go away for a super-indulgent spa weekend with my guy, and enjoy healthy, organic food, massages and mud baths, mani’s and pedi’s – the whole shebang. He deserves it, and I do, too.

So there you have it, five random thoughts/wishes for today. Thanks for reading – it helps to “empty out the old noggin” every now and again. I recommend mental purging to everyone.

Five Chicago Moments

People that follow my blog (or my Facebook posts!) know that my Sweetie and I just took a ridiculous, 60-hour, round-trip weekend to Chicago and back. It was a whirlwind visit, a mix of some annoying business and a lot of fun. My Angel all but walked me to death (but I need to get in better shape anyway, LOL!) I have lots of stuff to share about the visit but, for now, I will be happy to share five (5 – get it?) of my favorite “photos” from our trip. All the images you see here were either taken by my partner Martin or me. Here we go…

1. The Hancock Building – I can’t quite understand why we, as humans, are compelled to visit high places and be scared to death by the height. Anyway, while I have been here a few times before, Martin was a “virgin” and LOVED the 360 degree views of the city. We visited the Hancock Building at dusk, and watch the city lights “come alive.” It was pretty awesome, as is this image of the building itself:

The Hancock Building

2. The Burberry Store on Michigan Avenue – Now, I am not a HUGE Burberry fan but, honestly? This vanity “facade” featuring the company’s signature plaid – I mean, what guy doesn’t recognize this pattern from his own Burberry tie? – is INSPIRED to say the least. We didn’t go in but WOW!, what a statement piece of architecture:

The Burberry Store on Michigan Avenue

3. “The Bean” at Millenium Park – OK, technically it is called “Cloud Gate” and is probably the most obvious choice to be included here but I love it. Roughly the size of my parents’ house, it is a ridiculously impressive thing for many reasons – sheer size, remarkable finish, crazy visual properties and the fact that, no matter who sees it, they SMILE. Like the Hancock Building, I had experienced “The Bean” before but it was amazing to watch my SBF see it for the first time:

Cloud Gate with Chicago Skyline

4. The Field Museum – Definitely traditional, even classical in design, the Field Museum combines the grace and beauty of a Greek or Roman temple – I mean, it has caryatids! – with some high-tech coolness inside. I personally found this museum to be a bit of a snore fest (sorry!) but the Lascaux exhibit was fascinating. Plus, to be honest, the entire time we roamed the dusty halls and exhibits there, I felt like my SBF and I were on the set of one of the “Night at the Museum” movies, so that was kinda’ cool:

The Field Museum5. The “L” – Chicago has an elevated transit system that moves completely above ground. I know you have seen it in countless movies – it’s usually featured in some high-speed car chase under some weird, elevated platform. That is the “L.” My beloved took this image, which is pretty representational of the entire L experience:

Steps to the L

I hope you enjoyed these pics. Watch for more posts about Chicago in the coming days. We LOVED our trip there and will definitely be going back – soon!