Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chi-Town, Mangina, and the JCSS Cover Band - Part Two

We left off with my brother ruthlessly denying me my one true dream by rejecting my classically trained, college degree endorsed* Mary Magdalene skillz for his Jesus Christ Super Star cover band which doesn't even exist.  It's like he had all the power in the world to grant me a tiny slice of happiness but was totally a glutton and hogged all the happiness for himself.

*I'm pretty sure that my Bachelor's degree in music education covers any formal training I may have needed to be in a JCSS cover band.  If not, I'm sure I can find some on-line university to endorse it for the right price. (*exaggerated wink*)

Natalia, Steve's girlfriend of many moons whom I've never met, got off work and met us at the restaurant.  I'm sure it wasn't intimidating at all to meet her boyfriend's entire family in one fell swoop.  (And while many might consider Cassie the threatening one, what with her gun and career in law enforcement, I find that I'm the one to look out for because sometime's I pee when I laugh too hard I'm the oldest sibling and might be out to defend my self-proclaimed status as the most important member of our family.

But alas, Natalia is really sweet, super pretty (not to sound too much like we are checking out horses, but her teeth are amazing), and she is 100 percent Polish and articulates her words much cooler than the average Midwesterner.  I could listen to her talk for a while, which says a lot if you know me because I'm someone who really likes the sound of my own voice, youknowwhatI'msayin'?

When Steve asked what we wanted to do, my only criteria was that I wanted to ride something.  Cassie threw out the idea of going to the Navy Pier, but Steve emphatically informed us that "the Navy Pier sucks."  End of discussion.  We settled on taking the train (YES!) downtown to see the Bean.  Or, as it is formally known, "Cloud Gate."

Waiting for the train, A.K.A. the First Form of Public Transportation I've ever taken. (Unless you count the buses at Disney World.  Which I don't.) I was strangely disappointed because I kept looking around to see crazy people and/or poop, both things I've heard can be experienced on public transportation, but none of which I encountered.  

Cloud Gate, A.K.A. The Bean.
It was a little rainy.  We passed a wedding, peeked into the Pavilion in Millennium Park, and walked down the Magnificent Mile without stopping in any stores because Steve believes in passive aggressive forms of torture.  I did get to see his office building.  (He does something entirely brilliant and nerdy that I don't understand involving genomics.  This involves DNA and a lot of other scientific words that sound like "blah, blah, blah" to the untrained ear.  Every so often I encroach upon the internets to find me a science-y joke to email to Steve because he loves spam so that we can share a moment that involves his brains and career.)(I usually don't understand the joke at all.)

One Chicago gem I would be remiss not to share?

"Hey Kel, is that the building from the movie Adventures in Babysitting?"  "Um, yes, it is.  And no, apparently they don't just let people up to the top to try and reenact the scene where Sara slides down the slanted glass windows.  But you can sing 'Babysitting Blues' with gusto out on the street."
When the sun started to set we flagged down two cabs to take back to Steve's house.  Cassie, Doug, and I went in one.  My mom, stepdad, Steve, and Natalia went in the other.  The cab ride was thoroughly uneventful until this:

Super Quiet Roommate Doug said out of the blue, "Does that vanity plate say MANGINA?"
(A brief pause while Cassie and I checked it out.  Then an internal dilemma ensued.  Because it totally didn't say Mangina.  Was the proper response then to correct this person you barely know who has thrown out a word like "mangina", or do you go along with it and agree that it's crazy that someone would pay to have "mangina" on their license plate, or do you bite your lip so freaking hard so you don't explode with the giggles that are going to eventually leak out in spontaneous bursts that you will try to cover with coughing and/or accidental duck noises because you can't believe "mangina" just showed up unexpectedly?

The answer is: Doug realized it didn't say "Mangina" but instead said "Mangia". (Because probably the driver is Italian and likes to eat.)(I totally figured that out using my noodle.)(Noodle? Italian food?*giggle*)  He said, "Oh, it's missing an 'n'," and went on with normal life because he is a mature grown up, but I spent the next few minutes reminding myself that I am also a mature grown up and repeating, "Don't laugh out loud," in my head, but it totally didn't matter, this was just like when someone farts in Ab Lab.  It is hilarious.

Back at Steve's house we took a preventative pee break, shared heartfelt goodbyes, and headed back to Michigan.  Our Super 8 motel was about two hours away.  Most of this travel time may have been spent in quiet reflection of the day interspersed with gut busting laughter whenever Cassie or I said out of the blue, "Mangina."

And the Super 8?  Totally had a continental breakfast.  With waffles.  So yeah, win.  Plus it was on the second floor so it totally had a view:

Behind those trees?  The highway.  You can't pay for convenience like that.  (Actually you can.)
Thank you, my dear family and the great city of Chicago, for a wonderful trip.


  1. Too funny! You had me laughing at work over the mangina. I couldn't find a way to explain what was so hilarious without getting fired. So I didn't. I quickly pulled up my go-to picture of a fat mouse on a swing and showed them that. Job saved.

    1. "Mangina" drew my largest audience since my weight loss posts. Can I say how impressed I am that you have a go-to picture for covering your tush? I love a planner. Well done.

    2. Now you have one too. You're welcome. :-)


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