July 20th, 2004

Donating Blood.. and The Obsession Continues

Yes, I donated blood this evening. They gave me a one-gallon pin at the front desk. But then another lady, while taking my blood pressure, mentioned that I had donated 27 pints now, which meant I was at over 3 gallons with this particular blood bank outfit. So if I've given 3 gallons, why am I being given a 1 gallon pin? Am I supposed to wear three 1-gallon pins as a set?

So, having been told to avoid heavy lifting, I decided to do something restful, and here is where the obsession comes in. I rented the CD of A Mighty Wind. And then... I watched the film with the comments on, all the way to the credits. I have never done this with any movie. Until now. I guess I am seriously obsessed with the film. Which is kind of scary. I should probably be off in a corner doing some serious introspection. But it's hard to maintain a serious attitude when thinking of the movie keeps making me chuckle to myself!

Rhyme of the day:

I am unworthy. I bow before
Catherine O'Hara's trailer door.

Seriously, she is amazing in this movie. (Your evaluation may differ!) Does donating blood make you light-headed? Do I sound light-headed to you?

Millenium Park

Well, it was supposed to open in 2000, as the name suggests. But here we are, 4 years later and millions of dollars higher, and the park has been officially opened, at last. It's still not quite done, but it's almost done.

It's a park that is built in airspace over a bunch of commuter train tracks. That's right, when you are walking on the grass, there is a giant train cave beneath you, as well as a giant car parking lot, hidden away out of sight. A lot of the cost over-run came when they decided to put heavier architecture and modern-art pieces in the park. The stuff was so heavy that they had to re-engineer the supports underneath.

Today, I just want to talk about The Bean. It's an alleged sculpture in polished stainless steel, shaped like a giant - and I do mean giant - bean. It has an official name of Cloud Gate. You can see photos here:


I like the funhouse mirror reflection of the cityscape. That's pretty cool. It's beautiful in its way. It weighs 110 TONS. You can see why they needed to reinforce a few support columns. The park as a whole cost half a billion. Some of that was private donations. But not all of it. The city started work when it was flush with cash. Right now, the city is hurting for cash. Maybe there's a lesson there.

If someone demands I regard the Bean as a real sculpture, I will be offended. I think of it in comparison with gilded Winged Victory copy at Dearborn and Adams. That statue really does something for me. I walked by it today. Here's a photo of it:

Rhyme of the day:

I've seen the Bean,
But what does it mean?

Actually, the best thing about the Bean, in my opinion, is the way it reflects something really spectacular - the Chicago lakefront skyline.