Thursday Things

1. I went to see Six last week and I loved it!

One of my friends went with her in-laws a few weeks ago and raved about it. Knowing my love of Hamilton, she suggested we go, so last Thursday we waded through the beginning of the Excessive Heat Warning to Navy Pier to catch the show. Six is in the vein of Hamilton in the sense that both shows are musicals that recount historic people/events using modern music (hence why my friend’s knowledge of my love for Hamilton would make her think I’d enjoy Six), but the structure of the two shows is quite different. Six is more like a concert, while Hamilton is more like a play. Regardless, they’re both enjoyable shows!

Six is about the six wives of Henry VIII, who I knew basically nothing about until going to the show. In fact, I don’t think I even knew that Henry VIII had six wives–I knew he had multiple, but I didn’t know off the top of my head exactly how many there were. During the show, each wife tells her story through a solo, the premise being that they’re competing to see who had it worse (but is that how the show ends?! Buy a ticket to find out!). It only ran 80 minutes (with no intermission), so it wasn’t too much of a time commitment, either, which was really nice for a Thursday evening show.

My friend and I got to the show right before it started, so I didn’t have time to peruse the program until I got home that night. I was stunned to discover that Jane Seymour was played by Abby Mueller of the Mueller siblings! Outside of Karen Olivo as Angelica in Hamilton, she’s definitely the biggest Broadway name I’ve seen live (well, and the entire cast of Dear Evan Hansen, but that’s different because I saw them on Broadway. I’m talking about Broadway names in Chicago shows.), so that was quite exciting to realize!

2. If you follow bird news in Chicago (oh, not everyone does that?), or possibly just general news, you might be aware that a Great Lakes Piping Plover pair decided to nest at Montrose this year. Considering that there are only about 70 known Great Lakes Piping Plover pairs, period, the fact that one of the pairs decided to nest at Montrose is A Big Deal. It became an even bigger deal recently, when the pair’s second clutch of eggs hatched, bringing three new plover chicks into the world!

Not wanting to miss what could be one of my only chances to see Great Lakes Piping Plovers at all (in the area, at least), never mind plover chicks, I went to Montrose after church on Sunday to see if I could get a glimpse of them. I wandered around Montrose for awhile trying to figure out where they were and then eventually saw a group of older people with gigantic camera lenses and thought, “Ah! My people!” So I, amateur, non-retiree birder that I am, went over to join them.

The plovers are pretty far from the birder encampment, and my lone, came-with-the-camera-package lens couldn’t possibly compare to what the real birders had, so I wasn’t able to get any pictures. In fact, I couldn’t even see them until one of the ladies there lended me her binoculars, because I’m such a birding n00b that I don’t even have binoculars. I’m an embarrassment.

Anyway, none of the chicks were up and about when I was there, but I did see Rose! (Rose is the female in the pair. Her mate has been dubbed Monty. Get it? Monty and Rose – Montrose. Heh.) That’s enough to add her to my life list, which is very exciting. I would’ve liked to see one of the chicks, because they are unspeakably adorable, but I’ll take what I can get.

3. Thin plastic grocery bags have been banned in the city of Chicago since August of 2015, and as of February 2017, all store-provided bags, regardless of their material, came with a 7 cents/bag tax. Since that tax went into effect, I can only remember two times where I ever got a bag at any store, grocery or otherwise. Carrying reusable bags with me just became a way of life, and I honestly forgot that thin plastic bags in particular even exist.

Until I moved to the suburbs! BOY was it a jarring experience to walk into Jewel out here for the first time and see people leaving with carts full of thin plastic bags. I was literally repulsed by it – like full on, nose-crinkling, “What are these people DOING?!?!?!?!” repulsed by it. When I didn’t have enough reusable bags by the bagger’s judgment at my first trip, he put some of my groceries in plastic bags, and I fumed about it for the next hour. I was outraged. HOW DARE HE (especially since I told him to just put things in the cart, and “NO PLASTIC BAGS.”). It’s absolutely wild to me that no one uses reusable bags! At all! When I was at Jewel this past Saturday, I saw one other person with reusable bags in their cart. ONE! It’s insane!

It also reinforces my theory that rewarding people for changing their behavior is less effective at making them change than punishing them for continuing with their current habits. Getting 10 cents off at Whole Foods for bringing my own bag wasn’t enough to get me to always remember to bring my own bag when I’d shop there. Getting charged seven cents per bag was definitely enough to get me to put a reusable bag in my backpack and leave it there. And now that’s my habit! Avoidable taxes, especially in a state where it feels like we get taxed for everything short of breathing, are an excellent way of changing behavior, in my personal experience.

8 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Totally agree with you about rewarding vs punishing. Especially because the “rewards” are a joke. Whoo hoo, a whole 10 cents per bag! Such incentive for me to remember my 5 bags for a whole 50 cents off the $100 worth of stuff I’m buying! I’ve never understood offering such paltry rewards. It’s almost insulting. Why offer them at all? Not only that, but most companies don’t even bother to advertise them.

    I’m trying to get better at remembering mine. We shop a lot at a local market that offers paper bags, which I like because we can use them for our compost. The grocers here have started offering plastic bag recycling, so we could FINALLY get rid of the enormous mound of plastic bags we’ve accumulated over the years.

    • That makes a lot of sense about the paper bags and composting! I haven’t regularly shopped at a store that gives out paper bags in a long time, but I definitely preferred them to plastic (except when it rained and I was walking home. Then plastic would’ve been a lot sturdier!).

  2. I bet I would like Six! I have read a lot of historical fiction about Henry VIII and watched The Tudors a few times 🙂

    Have you shopped at Aldi yet? I think you will like their bag policy 😉 I wonder if the bag charge will make its way to the suburbs!

    • Oh yeah, you definitely would! I’m sure knowing more about the six wives going into it would make the whole show even more enjoyable, since you’d catch the references instead of realizing you might’ve missed them when reading up on things after the fact (*looks at self*).

      I’ve never been to Aldi! There’s one not too far from me, though – I should make a point of going there!

  3. I’m excited to learn about Six! I’ve read Alison Weir’s excellent The Six Wives of Henry VIII; I’ve watched “The Tudors” from Showtime; I’ve read assorted Philippa Gregory novels (most famous for The Other Boleyn Girl).
    In general I like getting plastic grocery bags because I use them in all the small trash cans around my house (bedroom, bathrooms, sewing room, next to my desk…), and I keep a stash as dog poop bags. I also use them when I work out at the office gym, quarantining sweaty clothes until I get home that night. My incoming plastic bag rate definitely outpaces my use, though, and I should get better about bringing my own bags.

    • I bet you would love Six in that case! I hope you’ll have the chance to see it. It made me a lot more interested in the wives, so I’m sure if you’re already interested, it’s that much more enjoyable of a show!

      I always used plastic bags to line my trash cans, too, and when Chicago got rid of them I started hoarding plastic bags to use as trash can liners. But then I stopped using them (and just empty my trash from smaller trash cans into one big bag) and was surprised by how much I didn’t miss them. If I had a dog, though, I’d definitely be more inclined to keep them for poop bag purposes!

  4. I NEVER bring bags for my groceries because I always go to the store when I am coming from somewhere (gym, work, etc.) and generally its unplanned. I used to live in IL and I am sure they will start taxing for bags all over the state soon BUT in Minnesota it is more common to get the paper bags an I actually prefer that because then I can use them in the trash can for our recycling. 🙂

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