Thursday Things

1. WHY.

michaels

WHY. WHY. WHY.

I recognize that it’s standard to put out holiday decorations well before the holiday itself, but come on. No one needs Christmas decorations in August! (I was at Michael’s on Saturday, so it was still August when I saw this aisle.) Of course, they had all their Halloween stuff out as well, but I get that: Halloween is the next big decorative holiday, and it’s, you know, only two entire months away. Whatever. CHRISTMAS, however, is four months from now (well, less than that at this point, but you get my point.).

Speaking of Halloween, when I was at Jewel on August 14, I saw that they had their Halloween candy out. Excessive enthusiasm for a holiday that’s two and a half months away aside, doesn’t this seem a little illogical? Is there any circumstance under which a person would need to buy CANDY 78 days before they would officially need it? If you’re one of those crazy holiday decorators, okay. I can at least try to understand why you’d want to start buying your decorations early, so you can plan how to impress all your neighbors with your mad light-hanging skillz, or whatever. But why on EARTH would you need to start stockpiling on Halloween candy now? Any “Halloween” candy that gets bought now will be eaten by Labor Day. If you want to gorge yourself on candy, why can’t you just buy the regular bags of candy?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

2. If I could have any superpower, I would pick time travel (Or teleportation. Can I have both?). I don’t necessarily want to go to the future (though there are times where I’d love to know what the future holds so I could stop stressing about it!), and I wouldn’t want to go back to live in the past – I just want to see what it was like in the moment. I’m a huge, huge history buff–always have been–and the fact that I can only experience the past through pictures and words has always been irrationally frustrating.

I’m particularly interested in local history (local being wherever I am at the moment), and a couple of weeks ago, this SUPER old school promo for Chicago started circulating around Twitter.

OBSESSED.

This is SO COOL, you guys! The video is from the ’70s, so it’s not that old, but it’s mind-blowing to see how much downtown has changed in 40 years. The skyline looks so different, especially around Lakeshore East, where literally the only tall building was the Standard Oil building (now the Aon Center). WHAT. And of course you’ve got your classic Chicago stores, like Carson Pirie Scott (RIP) and Marshall Field’s (RIP x2), which made me oh-so nostalgic. (Even though I’m not a native Chicagoan, my family used to come to the city at least a couple times per year to go shopping, and we took offense at Carson Pirie Scott closing its flagship store and Marshall Field’s becoming Macy’s as much as any born-and-raised Chicagoans.) I think my favorite part was when the video described Rush St. as the seat of nightlife, mostly because I’m pretty sure the people who were partying on Rush in the ’70s are still partying on Rush — there’s a reason it’s called the Viagra Triangle 😉

3. For the first time in a loooong time, I DNF-ed a book. (Phrase stolen from Emily).

thewalkingtour

I’m all about soldiering on when it comes to books, and would like to think I have a decent appreciation of literature, but oh. my. gosh. I got 180 pages into this 250ish (I think?) page book and what was purported to be the main conflict/action/thing described on the dustcover of the book STILL hadn’t happened. I do not have that kind of patience, especially when the plot is so convoluted in the first place. When I was reading it, I thought, “This sounds like it was written by an English professor,” (which I do not mean as a compliment), and lo and behold: Kathryn Davis, the author, is a writer-in-residence at Washington University (of course. I have Opinions on WashU, none of which are all that legitimate, all of which are negative, so to find out she works for them really put the nail in the proverbial coffin on this book for me). I followed this with the total fluffball of a book, Set Up in SoHo, which was every bit as corny and predictable as it sounds, but still infinitely more enjoyable than The Walking Tour. Also, Set Up in SoHo had a main character named Bethany, sooo. Haha.

4. This filled me with rage. The whole situation fills me with rage, really–for those who aren’t from Chicago, the basic jist is that an addiction recovery center wants to set up a residential facility in West Lakeview, which is a fairly well-to-do area of town (not the most well-to-do area of town, but a quite nice area nevertheless), and the residents are not at all pleased–because it upsets me to absolutely no end to see people who are actively trying to get healthy shamed for their actions. But those signs made my blood boil even more furiously. I don’t care who put them up or who they’re associated with. The ignorance and offensiveness of the message just makes me want to scream. The implication, of course, is that addicts or those with mental disorders are dirty, scummy, ne’re do wells who will, just by merely existing, decimate the entire neighborhood, cause it to be riddled with crime and gang activity, and send the entire North Side fleeing for Naperville.

I ASSURE you that every single day, at all hours of the day, there are people living in the homes in that area, riding the Brown Line and getting off at stops in that area, patronizing the oh-so perfect boutiques that line Southport, and otherwise living and doing life in West Lakeview who suffer from addiction or mental disorders. Just because they may be white, upper class, and gainfully employed does NOT mean they couldn’t be addicted to something, or fighting a mental disorder, or did something in the past that earned them a criminal record. Newsflash: there are already heroin addicts, meth addicts, people with mental disorders, and people with criminal records sitting on the park benches in West Lakeview. They look just like you.

Check your judgment, your assumptions, and your paranoia, and take a step back to realize what you’re opposing. You’re opposing healing. You’re opposing healing out of fear bred by willful ignorance granted by enormous privilege, and that will never, ever be defensible.

/endrant

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Are you someone who has to finish a book once you’ve started it? I was, until The Walking Tour. Haha.

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11 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Can’t we just enjoy the current season and not worry about Christmas?! Argh. My mother-in-law seriously had her kids make Christmas lists in like July once. And she starts shopping in October or November. Gross. Once I proudly proclaimed that I will not Christmas shop until after Thanksgiving (at least) and she was all wait till you have kids. But I think she does not understand my procrastination skills. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime because 95% of my shopping is done between Dec. 15 – Dec. 23.

    One of the things I learned from The Happiness Project is I shouldn’t waste my time reading books I don’t enjoy. I used to never ever quit but now if I can’t get into it, I figure it’s not worth it.

    • JULY?! Goodness gracious! Especially as a kid, I would hate that. What about all the cool new toys that came out later in the year?? I guess if you have a lot of people to plan for, it’s easier to buy gifts early, but I’m pretty strict on waiting until after Thanksgiving with that sort of thing.

  2. “I’m pretty sure the people who were partying on Rush in the ’70s are still partying on Rush” haha, very very true. And I loved that video as well! Posted it as my fav last Friday. There is a photography exhibit on the lower level of the art institute right now that is all old Chicago photographs. Very interesting!

  3. Hahaha oh god… don’t read my post… I started talking about how I started my Christmas list 🙂 I HAVE to finish all books, but I could not, for the life of me, finish The English Patient… it’s not even that long. Haha

  4. I’m a firm believer that the reason life “flies by” for people is because people are constantly looking towards “the next thing.” Always looking to Friday, to the next holiday, to the next “quarter” at their firm, etc. So everyone just chill the F out. Although I’m always in favor of Halloween candy — I’d take that year round. I can’t wait to watch that Chicago video — how cool!!

  5. I rarely DNF books as well. I always try to get through it! Also I TOTALLY AGREE about the holidays. Calm down, things already come fast enough and then they are over in the blink of an eye. I am kinda annoyed by everyone wanting pumpkin everything and fall. There will be plenty of time for that. Also fall barely lasts now a days and then it becomes a never-ending freeezing winter. Does everyone forget that?

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