lindsey and andrew visit chicago!!

lindsey changes her plans:
this december has been a busy one.. i am normally much more involved in the holidays, but this year i decided to do it a little differently. almost every year, i start in early november trying to come up with the perfect gifts. i bake pies for the man at the convenience store, and i plan and plan and plan for my annual christmas party. this year, though the decorations did go up as scheduled, i decided to focus more on seeing my favorite people- rather than buying things for them. andrew and i flew to chicago on the 18th. this trip had a few purposes. the first purpose is to see alex (my favorite little brother ever) and his house and roommates.

yellow shirt saves three planes:
we had 6 am flight on thursday morning and i had a noon appointment in chicago to make (woof). we arrived at the airport with about an hour and a half to spare and walk in to see (literally) the longest line in the history of lines. it wrapped around so many gates you couldn't see the end from the beginning. it actually had to double back around because there was a wall halfway through. everyone was upset. two really nice girls behind us were extremely disappointed to be missing their ski trip in colorado. we were all lamenting and discussing what could possibly be done! when suddenly... the man in the yellow shirt appeared. he was in fact- the man- in charge- possibly only for the moment- for united airways. he stood at the highest point in the room (a chair) and said "everyone! please do not panic. we are holding the flights!" a small cheer rang out among the crowd. then he raised his arms and said "everyone going to san francisco- come up to the desk!" the mass of people headed to california rushed the desk while those of us bound for illinois and colorado stood still- holding our bags in anticipation. the word began trickling down the line from some guy at the front that needed to know all the details. through the grapevine we came to understand that we made up 97% of the passengers of these three flights and without us, each would have to depart with a mere 4 people. this was re-assuring. however, when one's blood pressure rises so significantly and their body isn't due to wake for at least another 4 hours, there is a slight feeling of anxiety coursing through one's veins. colorado came after san francisco. and headed to denver was a very large family (moving on this very day) with 2 enormous bags per person. (woof again) at last, chicago was called. we were checked in- ran to the gate- and boarded just in time. the 2.5 men that happened to arrive extra early and had been waiting on the plane for an hour were quite displeased. surprisingly enough, we made it there with only a minor delay!

a greeting on fullerton street:
we landed with plenty of time and got our bags after only a short wait. i still reject the idea of any kind of wheel-ed bag, and thus carried my incredibly heavy duffle on my back while holding a scalding hot cup of starbucks coffee (why they must make it so hot, i will never know- but i swear that lava could cool it down). for a reason unknown to myself, most airports in the world try to place as few signs as possible- perhaps out of a need for greater navigation, intuition, and patience on the part of american citizens. i have none of these things and was therefore quite frustrated at the difficulty we had locating the train. and yet after we did it was a quick ride to the california stop on the blue line! we emerged from the train and began walking toward my brother's house. he met us on the street about halfway and very willingly (or unwillingly) carried my bag the rest of the way. this is something most humans would have found frustrating, but alex too refuses to be grouped in with the rolling bag population.

the yellow house vs. the dust bunnies:
we arrive at alex's amazing yellow house (which is ironic, for i too live in a yellow house) and the first thing to be seen is the decor. there is a deer's head above the mantel (which has apparently been the object of thievery twice before) and the walls are papered in randomness. alex swears that cleaning day is sunday and that the end of the week is always the worst for the house, and i do not want him to feel i am being judgmental. however. the dust bunnies might have rivaled toby. it was the ultimate in relaxation. no need for cleanliness. only fun. i said to alex, "well at least you tidied up for us" (to which he responded with an equally sarcastic rebuttal). andrew's response? "see lindsey! i told you- this is why i miss living with the bro's." hence my reasoning for never understanding my gender's counterpoint.

ceyda has a fold-out couch:
i have yet to mention my brother's beautiful and amazing girlfriend. ceyda. she is from turkey and has the cutest accent. she only recently heard about the kkk and that martin luther king was black. she is an incredible hostess- i got to try turkish coffee and liquor! and she is absolutely the funnest (word?) person in chicago. on the way over alex was explaining (possibly complaining) how ceyda has a tendency to clean a lot. we arrived at her apartment and- as promised- the door opened onto (**angels 'ahh-ing'**) ceyda's very clean home. i stayed on the fold out couch. and alex won't read this, so i'm not too afraid of his response.
lindsey visits art school?:
so about my degree situation. i did not like UT. i enjoy claiming it as a school i was accepted to. i enjoy cheering for their football team (national championship- woot). and most of all i enjoy living in the beautiful austin texas. however, i am ready to move on. therefore, i have been considering s.a.i.c. (the school of the art institute of chicago). though the people at this school are very clever, none of them were ever good at naming things. even still, they have a painting program over which i lust. i had a visit with the admissions office (with an amazing fellow named larry lee) and was given a very thorough yet very unofficial tour by our own alexander james. i loved it. everything about the city and school- i loved it. i hope toby won't mind the cold!

j.r. and jack daniels show up for the party:
what a fantastic night! i was taken to a lovely bar downtown and got to hang out with the best of the best of alex's posse. my dearest friend j.r. (now a chicago resident) came out to see us and the night only progressed in funness. in short, it involved an expensive round of pink shots, a conversation with an cowboys fan on the train (whom accused me of rooting for the saints), a trip to 7-11 for some jack daniels, a bit of a dance party at ceyda's apartment, jenga, sun chips, and a vacuum cleaner. what a good night it was!

all things must end- with pancakes:
we wrapped up the trip with some pancakes (that i can only assume were good) and a brief trip around downtown. the cowboys played new orleans on saturday night and andrew and i forced alex's friends to watch the game with us. i appeased them with a 100+ dollar order of pizza and wings, and then everyone scattered off to fun while we sat in disbelief at the cowboys shocking win. we woke sunday morning (another early flight) to a winter wonderland. the city was blanketed with snow and the quiet morning stirred only with the arrival of our train back to o'hare. unfortunately we arrived back in dallas to a sunny 70 degrees.

looking forward:
christmas is a mere day away and i am as excited as ever. i believe my annual christmas party might be pushed into a "post-christmas party" and hopefully still be fun. my shopping is done and my presents are wrapped. the eggnog is in the fridge- chilling in preparation for the 24th. as i type a cold front should be blowing into texas, so hopefully it won't be a total bust as far as the weather is concerned. i have watched home alone 3 times each (one and two) and muppet christmas carroll 4 times. i am fully ready for st. nicholas. so to all you readers- a merry christmas indeed. i hope all of you get a chance to enjoy your families as much as i. merry christmas eve (almost) with love!

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