Yesterday  I went to Chicago with my dad, aunt, cousin, and grandma.  It was a fun time and I think my little cousin Alexa (She’s 11) had a pretty good time overall. We went to Shedd Aquarium, Rainforest Cafe and then the Wrigley Building, for the last leg of the trip my dad and I split off from everybody while they went to the “American Girls” store. I guess it was something Alexa really wanted to do. Took the South Shore Line both ways.

The Aquarium was pretty nice and we got a chance to go to several of the shows they had available there. On the one hand that place is pretty expensive but I also bet it takes a lot of money to spend on upkeep for it.  I’m always amazed at the wide range of animal life that there is on the planet. All the amazing eccentricities and oddities that species have. Some fish with horns coming out their heads and ones that are almost perfectly flat, bright almost neon colored ones and others that could be mistaken for seaweed. It’s all so amazingly diverse. The variations from one climate to the next (even in water) is also stunning. The aquarium tries to make the experience as interactive as is can, with models and sculptures to help entertain kids. In fact we went to a (4-D Theater) showing of a portion of Planet Earth that had 3D glasses and seats that moved a had blowers and sprayers to simulate wind and water during certain parts of the show. They also had a dolphin show where they took a little girl from the stage and put her in the show a little bit with penguins and dolphins. It was all a little cheesy but at least they were trying. I hadn’t been in a long time so it was nice to go.

We had to walk around Chicago and it was a pretty hot day. I regretted the fact that I do not own a pair of shorts. After the aquarium we took a taxi to the Rainforest Cafe where we had delicious but slightly overpriced food. I thought about buying something in the shop but decided against it. I couldn’t decide if I found the frequent  “thunderstorms” and jungle noises charming or annoying.

At this point my dad and I walked to the Wrigley building to watch a brief WGN radio broadcast. It should be noted that there is filming being done in this part of town for the next Transformers movie, because apparently two of those movies is not enough for them. What was kinda interesting was that there parts of the street blocked off and full of fake wreckage, apparently from the oncoming decepticon attack that will ravage the city. which meant the use of styrofoam and other material to resemble wrecked concrete and steel bars. At this point we dropped by Barnes and Noble where I had to constantly remind myself to not buy a book because there are too many that I need to read already. One of them happens to be a philosophical reflection on the nature of art called Art without Borders. It has some interesting information, history, and ideas in it but it’s also really dry and I can’t seem to be able to get through it with ease because I always end up distracted. I’ve learned among other things that blue is the most popular “favorite color” in the world and that touching a woman’s foot in ancient China was an unmistakable sign that you were coming on to her. As well as that it appears that when it comes to facial features people tend to view the same “ideal” face as beautiful regardless of race or culture. The book frequently refers to without directly endorsing evolutionary biology as an illuminator on why we find certain things beautiful. I don’t entirely disagree but I’ve always felt that evolutionary explanations for specific human behavior are a little contrived and they seem to have a highly mechanistic view of human nature.  read a little bit of this book on the ay too and from Chicago but getting through it will be no mean feat. I should add that evolutionary explanations for art seem especially inappropriate because of the highly spiritual nature of art. Art is a personal expression of the human being and in any way reducing its expression to an evolutionary mechanism seems inadequate. I don’t deny there might be some of this at play but there are also a wide variety of factors that seem more important with art. Plus, quite frankly this explanation just seems to reduce the value and importance of art.

After Barnes and Noble we headed back to the train station where we grabbed a quick ice cream cone. After a bit of waffling on my part I selected Superman Ice Cream. If you have never had it, it is a brightly colored ice cream found mostly in the Midwest that has the colors red, blue, and yellow, which is where it gets its name. It has a flavor similar to blue moon (this is one of its composite ice creams). If you have never had blue moon ice cream then I don’t know if I can describe the flavor to you. Blue moon is one of my favorite ice cream flavors and is named for its bright light blue color. After doing some research I found that there is not a consistent answer in explaining the source of the flavor and that it is only found in the Upper Midwest. Many of the companies that produce blue moon ice cream keep its ingredients a secret so there may not be a way for me to express how unique and delicious this ice cream is. Blue also happens to be my favorite color so this flavor works for me on two levels.

The train ride to chicago from Michigan city is around two hours and it gave me some time to read and sleep, as well as talk to my relatives. My grampa wanted to go but he has a bad back and is going in for surgery soon so he couldn’t make it. I’ve gone to see some of my mother’s concerts in the past few weeks and have liked the opportunity to be outside, even though it has been really hot. I also went to te county fair a couple nights ago, which turned out about as to be expected, lot of country music, carnival rides, 4H and deep-fried foods, haha. Some I like, some I don’t but its a chance to go out and do something and in LaPorte there aren’t always a lot of opportunities to do that. Hopefully I’ll have more philosophical reflections soon but for now I just need some sleep.  Adio