Thursday, 25 June 2009

Freedom Road: Just You And I Defying Gravity ...

*Reading Crusade update: day 3 and I am on page 50. Not so good. In my defence, on Monday I went out after work and, erm, bought another book. And then yesterday I went to Asda at 7pm. So obviously, I was exhausted after that and could only watch TV. And then today, I feel like I have been punched in the arm because I went after work to get injected with typhoid, hep A, polio, tetanus and diphtheria. And then I went to Asda again to get stuff to make spinach, mushroom and pesto lasagna and to buy a totally necessary dress and cardigan. I also bought a hat for Africa which, according to CBM, 'looks a bit colonial'. Oops. Tomorrow I am watching Macbeth The Scottish Play at a glorious country house, so that will take all evening. So that leaves Friday, Saturday and Sunday to get the book done. And obviously I'll have some binge drinking to fit in too. Sigh.*

Day Eleven: Chicago

We had a bit of a lie in today. Whilst we were in a room not insulated by straw.
We were meeting C & M at Shedd Aquarium. I have a genuine phobia of fish. I feel like I am going to velch [vomit-belch, fact fans!] when I see one. For some reason, I really don't like it when the tank the fish are in has no lid on. I think this may have something to do with the fact that, in my overactive imagination, the fish could conceivably jump out and touch me on the face. I wouldn't like that. The fish phobia stems from me falling into my grandad's fish pond as a child. Twice.

But I quite like aquariums. I cannot explain this. I just do.

To get to the aquarium we had to get the bus. Mary on reception at the hotel was the best receptionist ever. She was so cheerful and she loved our accents and she gave us the most specific bus advice ever. And then we ruined it by walking out of the hotel in entirely the wrong direction. It was pretty much a miracle that we had made it as far as Illinois. Especially with me behind the wheel.

On the bus, two women were having a conversation about a body they had walked past in the street. Then another woman on the bus joined in and told them that the body had been covered up by the time she had walked past a few minutes later. I love hearing conversations like this - they should probably make me worried or something but instead they amuse me.

We got off the bus at Shedd Aquarium and waited for C&M. And waited. And waited. Turns out, there's more than one entrance to the aquarium! Why didn't we think of that? And thanks to the retarded bastards at Verizon, we didn't have a phone to tell them. Hence the Warrington based coincidence near the Nordstrom payphone.

Flotsam or Jetsam? Gratuitous Little Mermaid reference.

We eventually found C&M and wandered around the fish tanks. There was a random exhibit with a little fluffy monkey in it [in the Brazilian rainforest section]. I really wanted to steal this monkey and just hug it to death. It was adorable.

In the Caribbean Reef, they had a diver in the tank with the fish. The diver was about 65 years old. You go, girl!

We then met up with N, whom none of us knew. He was Random McRandom. And may have been the most Cockney person I have ever met. We went for some deep dish pizza. When in Chicago ... And something notable happened - I drank some beer. Quite quickly too. I pretty much hate beer. I just can't drink it. I have tried really hard but I just can't do it. I have even forced a pint of Guinness down because it was free - and then made the mistake of trying an oyster almost immediately afterwards. That is what happens if you are in the Guinness factory in Dublin on Paddy's Day.

Proof! I drank some beer! A whole pint!

We then wandered down to Navy Pier. Which was, erm, a pier. We sat at the end of the pier and looked out at the lake for a while. It was strange that we knew we were looking at a lake, but we couldn't see the other side or any shoreline at all. Your brain thought it was looking at the sea. Or mine did, anyway.

If Jo were a dwarf, this is what she'd look like.

We had kind of a lazy day in Chicago. It felt like we just wandered round and drank it all in. The whole day was building up to the watching of Wicked at the Oriental Theatre later that evening. I heart Wicked so hard. Ever since we saw it in NYC it has been my second favourite musical [after West Side Story].

Tell Dr Dillamond that I'm going to get him struck off.

Me and Jo were probably the only heterosexual people in the theatre. For serious. I think I was a tiny bit gayer by the time we headed back to the hotel. But that's alright, we love the gays. I am pretty much a gay man [in the laziest, most sterotypical way] trapped in a vaguely female body. I love musical theatre, I love spangly things and most of all, I find men attractive.

I reaaaaaaaaaallllly wish they would let me edit Wicked. I would cut Dr Dillamond in his entirety. I would get rid of his entire talking animal subplot. I would also pretty much get rid of The Wizard. I realise that these 2 characters are pretty pivotal - either as plot devices or to fit in with The Wizard of Oz - but bloody hell, they are boring.

Dr Dillamond in particular is a douche. Yeah, yeah goatman. It is a blessed relief when you stop talking. The Chicago version had exactly the same Galinda as the Broadway version. Both times, I thought she played Galinda perfectly. She plays her as a ditzy blonde - which is exactly what she is. Chicago Elphaba was not as good as Broadway Elphaba. But that was probably to be expected.

My top 5 Wicked songs:

1. Defying Gravity
2. The Wizard & I
3. As Long As Your Mine
4. What Is This Feeling?
5. For Good

Though these rotate quite often. And occassionally Dancing Through Life gets a look in.

Incidentally, my brother went to see Wicked and fell asleep after 20 minutes. He is a heretic.

We finally bought some Wicked merch too. We had been umming and aahing the last time we saw it, so we bit the bullet and just did it. I rarely took my bright green shirt off for the rest of the holiday. Bargain. We are such hardcore nerds.

Ohio, ahoy!

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