Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Fine Day in Chicago

There’s a vacation. And then there’s a staycation. I think we took a daycation yesterday. Scott and I drove into Chicago for the day. Just a little outing, but I’m always energized by a visit. We headed to the Art Institute, one of my favorite spots in the whole of Chicagoland.

I’ve driven enough in Chicago to no longer be too anxious, and I accept that paying $25 to park the car comes with the territory. So, once we parked in the Millennium garage, headed over to our destination, and plopped down 30 more bucks, we were ready to see some art.

We had in mind what we wanted to see and focused on that without being distracted by all manner of “art.” The quotes are because for the life of me I can’t appreciate some contemporary art. Maybe if someone could explain it to me, I’d say, “Yes, I see.” But I don’t. And I’m fine with liking what I like.

We spent the most time viewing the museum’s Impressionism and Post-Impressionism collection. Monet, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec — whose famous paintings I never tire of visiting. The contemporary section held less interest, and I readily agreed with Scott that an immense canvas with charcoal and crayon doodling looked suspiciously like the artist might have been a preschooler. Picasso and a quick walk through the ancient Greek and Roman section of the Institute made up for our disappointment. An hour and a half in all. Just enough culture for the day.

With the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs, this day the whole city seemed awash with Blackhawk banners and t-shirts. Even the stately Art Institute lions proclaimed their support with giant black hockey helmets.

As Scott and I exited the Art Institute, a wedding party scurried across the street in front of us.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Waiting Game Plays Out in Gulf Oil Spill

I hate to think about the impact of the oil making its way to Gulf shores as I listen to the news. Some of my earliest memories include running out of a motel room right onto a bright white beach. Those were the days before the condos came to the Redneck Riviera. Now,  those mom-and-pop motels of my childhood where our family stayed when we went to the beach are nearly gone.

Tough environmental lessons are learned when places you love are threatened. Will the Alabama-Florida Panhandle beaches escape? Today, Gulf Shores, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City Beach, you are all on my mind. Maybe I can return one day to those beautiful beaches I remember so well. I hate to think not.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Can Email Be Far Behind

One of my colleagues at work and I had a friendly, ongoing difference of opinion. I said, “Web site,” and she said, “website.” Every time we’d edit work for each other, I would correct her “website” and she would mark my “Web site.” And I would say, “I follow the Associated Press Stylebook (dubbed the Journalist's 'Bible').” To which she’d reply, “It’s website.”

Well, in case you are not a language nerd (credit Washington Post writer Rob Pegoraro with that term), you might have missed the hoopla over the AP’s decision a couple of weeks ago to change to “website.” Faster Forward writer Pegoraro wrote, “My instinctive reaction is to stick with traditional practice, but I'm not completely sure what to think.”

A couple of days after I read the news about the switch, I printed out a post about the change and left a copy on my colleague’s desk with a note: “I guess I’ll be changing to website.” However, I didn’t say she was right. Or that I liked it.