Thursday, December 9, 2010

gnat eats sin city

gnat's chicago experiment is taking a hiatus from chicago. thus, in lieu of real snowflakes, here are some fake ones courtesy of the mirage hotel and casino in las vegas:

yes, i went to las vegas, and in keeping with what seems to have emerged as a trend in "gnat's chicago experiment" the only thing i'm going to talk about is the food. actually, over the course of the weekend there were several exciting food experiences including the PANDA SANDWICH which, i wish i could say was self explanatory but upon some reflection i guess it isn't.

it starts with four slices of pizza, a three entree combo from panda express, and four willing food experimenters (not pictured):

the chow mein goes on first, then the other entrees are layered on top:

and that, my friends, is a panda sandwich. simple enough, no?

shockingly delicious. survey says orange chicken and chow mein are the best toppings, broccoli beef didn't cut it, and kung pao chicken was forgettable at best. comes with 900% of your daily recommended sodium. all you need is $4 and a dream.

also, because they are my absolute favorite thing about vegas, there were piles, nay, mountains of crab legs.

there would be better pictures if i didn't have to clean all the crab gunk off my hands to handle the camera.

also notable in vegas, pastrami sandwiches from capriotti's (all this talk about food is making me hungry), betting on horse races, a superman snuggie (yeah, you read that right... are you jealous? because i am), more cowboy hats than i have ever seen in one place at one time (the national rodeo championships or something like that were at the MGM this weekend), and, well, other vegas type stuff. read about it on "gnat's las vegas experiment." or not, because that's not a real thing.

so now i'm back in california, (still) writing papers and basically bumming around for the holidays. yeah, ok, it isn't going to be a white christmas, but all of the palm trees have christmas lights on them and i think that's kinda neat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

gnat experiences falling snow for the first time in over two decades

i woke up this morning and looked out the window and there were white flecks lazily and confusedly floating down, up, sideways, in circles, in every direction, really - SNOW. yes, friends, today, for the first time since my family left illinois 20 years ago, i saw snow fall.

after taking several photos from my living room window, i threw on every item of clothing in the immediate vicinity so i could go outside and stand in it.

once the initial giddiness had passed (i'm totally lying, it's been several hours and i still can't stop looking out the window) i found something magnificent sticking to my sweatshirt:

guys, SNOWFLAKES ARE REAL! to think, all these years i thought snowflakes were a mystical imaginary entity created to keep me busy with scissors and coffee filters in arts and crafts during the winter months. no, snowflakes are an actual thing, and they're seriously amazing, and you can bet your ass i stood outside my apartment in the cold for several minutes, like an idiot, fumbling with my camera to capture the little bits of magic stuck to the front of my sweatshirt before they melted.

so much for considering myself...

an (honorary) today's chicago woman! i don't know if i've talked about the honorary street names yet, they're all over the city and some are pretty amusing. i spotted this one yesterday on ontario outside the corner bakery by school where i study. i wonder if my snowflake photographing stunt disqualifies me?

in far less exciting news, it's time for a FALL FOLIAGE UPDATE!

so, there's no more foliage. the city of chicago was nice enough, though, to replace it all with little christmas lights, which i almost like more:

speaking of christmas, the city is starting to get ready and i'm glad i get to see it before i retreat to california. my girl guy has taken a break from his favorite two lines of music and has instead been regaling us with christmas carols. there's a tree up at the hancock center down the street from the apartment:

and the tops of the buildings are all lit up green and red. here's the hancock tower:

the temperature has barely dipped below 20 and cara and i are already desperately struggling to keep warm. because it felt more winter-y, last night in lieu of taco tuesday we had posole, my new favorite soup, with homemade tortilla chips:

(you may be surprised to see the avocados floating in there... cara brought them back from california after thanksgiving.)

there's a very little part of me that's sad that tomorrow i'll be leaving the novelty of "real winter" behind for california's 50 and 60 degree december lows. there's a much bigger part reminding that little part that i'll be back for the VERY real january and february and that REAL winter does not mean the 20 degrees and fun little flurries of snow i'm so excited about right now...