Sunday, March 25, 2007

H and C hit the ice

H says Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ought to pay him. because every time he comes to visit, chicago is hit with the most spectacular weather. i can't explain it, but the evidence is on his side: at the end of a bitter november, we strolled around Navy Pier without coats because a) being from southern cali, he doesn't have one, and b) it was 60 degrees F. at the beginning of january, he was able to troll the shops on michigan avenue with me in search of a coat because it was so very lovely. and a couple weeks ago, after a long bout of below freezing, windy, icy conditions, it was suddenly 70F the weekend he was in town. of course, the boy takes the good stuff with him; as soon as he gets back to his own zip code, around here the temperature drops and the inclement weather sets in.

one thing i had wanted to do all winter was ice skate at the outdoor rink set up in front of the bean at Millennium Park. i had a vision of us reflected in the sculpture's distorted shiny surface-- rosy-cheeked and smiling with long stripedy scarves fluttering behind us, gliding around holding hands and chuckling about how many marshmallows we could fit into our mugs of hot chocolate afterward. you know, just like those oldschool Currier & Ives christmas cards.

photos courtesy of H

"Cloud's Gate," by Anish Kapoor

view from under the arch

the reality, however, was quite a bit different.

we finally made it out to the park the last time he was here, a few days before they shut down the rink until fall. unfortunately, it was also 70 degrees and sparkling outside, which made for a gigantic puddle of water in varying depths on top of the entire rink.

we hobbled onto the ice, confessing that neither one of us has been skating in more than a decade: me, who hadn't really been since i quit lessons in frustration of the backwards swizzle in junior high and he, whose ice-rink experience mostly consists of broomball, which doesn't require skates at all.

it was slow going at first. there was no holding of hands, only small bursts of gliding and there was definitely no chuckling. we were on a mission, dammit, to make it around more than several times without falling, bumping into one of the zigzagging little kids or being knocked over by one of the showoffs gliding around with smirks on their faces.

and it didn't help that there was a tv news camera crew at the wall, obviously capturing fodder for their let's-say-goodnight-on-a-bright-note shot. you know, because 55 minutes of murder and mayhem is perfectly canceled out by a 30-second segment featuring stickyfaced kids or furry baby animals. sadly for us, H lost his footing and wiped out on his back directly in front of the cameras while i spun around on my palms and skates. he was okay, and he played it off very cool despite the bastard who laughed. the watery ice made for some serious Slip 'n Slide action and probably kept him from getting injured. but H knows how to put on a show. i'm sure everyone at home enjoyed it that night.

regardless, we had a good time. though far from what i had expected, downtown skating was pretty cool; there were even people in suits there on their lunch breaks. i was just glad we made it before the season was over and had a decent time, even if the experience had us looking into ankle-strengthening exercises and H changing out of his soggy clothes. but the best part of the day was seeing the perfectly appropriate tags we happened to get on our rental skates:


Radioactive Jam said...

Something's different...

Syar said...

Jam : Eh?

Love the pictures. I can't ice-skate at all, so I appreciate the difficulties you two went thru.

Karmic serendipity with the tags. That's way cool.

omar said...

That bean is pretty cool. Had I known that existed last time I was in chicago, I would have made a stop!

And on a side note, I think H might be in my town, because it's in the mid 60's and sunny today.

Alexandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexandra said...

i love it when there are pictures on jugglethis!!!!! they had those things in NY too

how funny the "c" and "h" thing! :)

Jon said...

we pretty much only have indoor rinks here, so there's not much chance of puddles... unless of course the employees that operate the rink are really really bad at their job... that could definitely happen...

Guyana-Gyal said...

Haha, that influence on weather...every single time I'm in Australia it rains barrels full.