Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Saturday Snapshot #29

     My wife being a lawyer ruined the Shedd Aquarium for me, for many years.
     I probably should let you puzzle over what the connection could be for a little while, one of those links utterly mystifying until revealed, when it becomes obvious.
     The answer: her white shoe law firm would have its Christmas party at the Shedd. A band, a bar, a dinner—I always ordered the fish, it seemed an amusing perversity.
      Because of this, when there wasn't a lux party going on, the aquarium seemed plain. Just fish. I'd go back to do a story—my look at the enormous backroom operation feeding the fish is one of my favorites—but unlike the Art Institute or the Field Museum or the MCA, it just wasn't someplace I was going to swing by on my own volition.
     Years went by. 
     That changed over Valentine's Day. My wife and I didn't have any plans to go out-of-town this winter, so decided on a "staycation"—a morning at the indulgent Ancient Aire Baths, lunch at RL, and then a visit to the aquarium.
     Somehow, I knew I would like it more than previously, and I also knew exactly why: my iPhone. Somehow, taking photographs of the colorful fish made it more real than just looking at them. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, it just is.
    We spent two hours there, took in the whale show, bonded with an octopus to such a degree that I don't believe my wife will ever eat them again, not even perfectly broiled at Pstaria, though knowing myself I will find a way. I learned more about fish in those two hours than I've learned in the previous two decades, with plenty of intriguing species I want to explore more fully at a latter time, such as the swirling vortex of "false herring," a spinning sphere of fish which, given the name, must be something else masquerading as herring though, alas, the Shedd guide narrating to a group about fish in the tank could not illuminate the situation. I'll get on that.

Sea nettle


  1. I've never been able to eat creatures I perceive as cute, which is why I've never tasted venison or rabbit. Since I want to keep enjoying seafood, I think I'll stay away from the Shedd.

  2. When my wife was a little girl rabbit was often on the menu. She enjoyed it until one day her mother asked if she wanted some more bunny. Bunny?!!!!


  3. Somehow, taking photographs on my crappy flip-phone makes things less real for me than just looking at them. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but whatever it is, I find I don't take very many of them...maybe a few dozen in the last half-dozen years. Many are images of our cats, mostly when they're sleeping in the sun or sleeping next to my sleeping wife...or just looking cute, which is a lot of the time.

    I'm like one of those characters in a Western who chooses not to wear a gun...I don't carry my phone most of the time, except when I'm in the car, and even then, only occasionally. Probably a mistake...better to be with it than without it (like the old maxim about guns).

    I'm just not a phone guy. Most people I've met who choose not to carry one seem to be cranky male geezers, like me. I'll leave that one for the shrinks, both professional and amateur, to figure out.


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