Reaction Videos - Praise and Rants

I LOVE reaction videos, although I'm not sure why. I only typically watch them for Once Upon A Time and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., shows that, I myself have watched probably a 100 times a piece. So what is so fascinating about watching other people watch shows I can literally quote line by line and know exactly what is going to happen during every second? Probably because I can NEVER get anyone around me to watch these shows and I kind of live vicariously through complete strangers watching them. Maybe I kind of feel like I'm "sharing" my shows with these people and it bonds us in this weird way.

I have been on YouTube since the dawn of it's inception, and I've gone through about every YouTube phase, although my favorite will always be fan videos, but reactions are now slowly topping out my history lists more than fan videos lately. But they seem to have their pluses and minuses. Most started out in their entirety on Patreon and, as much as I'd LOVE to watch entire reactions, that could just get too expensive for me. Besides, watching an entire episode with someone talking over the ENTIRE thing would probably drive me insane (one of the reasons why I rarely listen to the commentary that comes on discs). Ten minutes of edited video and a discussion at the end is good enough for me, so YouTube it is!

Obviously, I started out with Liam Duke, who got me on the kick when he started Once (and he's a HUGE S.H.I.E.L.D. fan, so that helped) and then added JayPerView, who also does both shows, although he lags a bit with S.H.I.E.L.D. I think my fascination started with both those guys because, at least on the Once front, it's not typically a show that men would typically like, and I loved the fact that these guys seemed to get very attached to Once very quickly.

Then I started looking out for other viewers, but I found out that a LOT of people start shows, but never finish them or drop off of YouTube for one reason or another. There is also a lot of copyright issues with reaction vids and, if they aren't handled just so, a lot of them get blocked. The Normies is another really great channel for S.H.I.E.L.D. reactions, and they are almost caught up in real-time, so that's been a fun journey with them, especially considering they weren't really jazzed about the show to begin with, and now they love it!

I also don't comment a lot on YouTube (rarely ever) because I do have social media issues, but I've noticed that YouTube commenters make Facebook ones seem like small potatoes when it comes to being HORRIBLE! I started a new channel, Shelley Davis, and I started commenting there, and it went well, so I started commenting over at Liam and Jay's pages as well...not a lot, but gently and very carefully.

I started another new channel, After Show Reactions and, although I watch both her Once and S.H.I.E.L.D. reactions still, I got burned VERY early on by leaving comments (trying to be nice mind you, but it went south VERY quickly). I didn't think I was being spoiler-y (I try not to do that), my first comment was basically a "hey, I really love reaction vids and I'm looking forward to yours since Once is one of my favorite shows" (or something to that effect) and how amazing the character developments were. She had questioned in the first episode whether more fairy tale characters would appear, so I believe I did mention that other characters were coming, but that WOULD be spoilers, so I would leave that info out. Someone commented about how they quit watching after a while because of "certain" events that happen by series 7...which, yes, I did goof here because I was responding to another commenter and not thinking about spoilers at that point and mentioned that, even though it was hard on the "OG Oncers" for the show to change so much, by the end of Season 7 I was starting to get into it and would have liked to see it go on, but the show literally ended on the best possible note it could have and it was the truest of love letters to the fans they could have given us. And that's where I screwed up I guess. Obviously, others had made spoiler-y comments too, but I noticed that my comment had disappeared. I have NEVER had a comment removed before! By episode 3 of Once, she was making comments in the video about spoiler comments, so I kind of freaked out a little bit and re-read my comments (which is when I noticed my second comment was gone) and I went back to re-read my first comment and further down on that page on another obviously spoiler post was a comment from someone that read that hit me like a ton of bricks (and it's a direct quote, so the bad grammar and spelling issues stay):

"i completely agree with you about spoilers . some overexcited fans can't help but give hints , i hate that , and when you confront them they give disingenuous reasons why this or that is not "technically" a spoiler . cant wait for your next OUAT reaction. i wish there wad more than one episode a week , but i'll tale that gladly :)"

I'm sorry, "disingenuous reasons why this or that is not technically a spoiler"? And the girl who runs the channel supported this commenter and, not only agreed, but swore she was removing the offending poster's comments as she was reading that (shortly after was when my second comment disappeared according to time stamps). I immediately deleted my first comment after reading that (even though I had several likes and comments following it). For the record, I haven't commented on another reaction video since (hers or anyone else's). My removed comment has since turned back up, but I went back in and deleted it myself just because I didn't care for the overall attitude.

Yes, I am a DEVOTED Oncer and it is hard for me to explain the show without giving away spoilers, especially since I've seen it SOOO many times and it's like second nature to me. I try to be careful, I just slipped a bit responding to the other commenter. I didn't mention names or characters, but I sometimes forget that not a lot of people follow even general entertainment news like I do so, even for shows that I don't watch, I know the gist of what goes on behind the scenes. Almost the entire cast of a show getting replaced and then that series getting cancelled, would have flagged up on my radar, whether I watched it or not. It starts out with "all the fairy tale characters you know, or think you know" and since there are like 10 in the first episode, one can SAFELY assume in SEVEN SEASONS more characters are going to show up, so mentioning that isn't "disingenuous" at all! Most people who know enough about Once to watch it, know Captain Hook is a big part of the show, but he doesn't appear until Season 2. Hey, there's a spoiler for ya!

Then there is the issue of how deep people's Disney knowledge goes. People who call themselves Disney fans, I often find don't actually know that much about Disney! I am a Disney purist and Once is the only exception to that rule and I completely allowed them to break it every single week, but I've watched reaction videos where they don't know the difference between Snow White, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty, but claim they are "Disney fans". This bugs me too. If you don't know Disney, then fine, but don't spend the entire reaction video asking questions that any basic Disney fan would know and then get pissed when someone answers you in the comments. I hold off on doing that because I don't want to sound too snotty, but come on! Again, "these are the characters you know...or THINK you know", so if Maleficent has blonde hair because the actress does, GET OVER IT! (and yes, I can't believe this Disney purist just said that).

Like I said, I do still watch her channel because I do like her reactions, but I definitely stay away from the comments completely now. I can't deal. I also can't really handle how some of the commenters respond to commenters who are just trying to help (or who are really just answering other viewers of the show who know what is happening...kind of like a private conversation between two old Oncer friends...despite the channel owner not knowing what they are talking about.

The whole situation has made me want to start up a reaction channel of my own, but maybe one where I watch Once or S.H.I.E.L.D. with someone who has never seen it with my extensive background with the show, and them with no knowledge whatsoever, and I can (possibly) keep quiet while the episode is playing and we can discuss afterwards. My comment section could be as spoiler-y as people want to make it (since it would be among fellow Oncers) and it would be as friendly as possible! Who knows! I just have to find a willing victim that I can tie to a chair and make them watch it with me...which is the reason why I have to watch reaction videos because no one in my "real life" will! Oh well.

Do you guys watch reaction videos? If you do, why do you watch them and what do you think?

And I remembered...

Supernatural Exorcism...
That's about as "gothic" of a frame as I could get at Hobby Lobby, but I think it works OK. I would have preferred something much darker, but oh well.

I also have apparently been very lax at reporting new stash, probably because I haven't been buying much and I haven't stitched since, well, forever! Maybe, after all this work crap settles down, I can get back to it! But quite a while ago, I broke down and bought two new Jasmine Becket-Griffith's, including my ABSOLUTE favorite piece of her artwork (aside from the Disney's, of course), Strangely Lonely:
Strangely Lonely_000a
I would prefer to have Strangely Lonely super-sized with max colors, but it's not out that way, so I deal with what I have. And I do own this in print form anyway, so my wall isn't missing it. I also got Vampire Dragonling:
Vampire Dragonling_000a
I also found a new shop on Etsy that had a FABULOUS Once pattern, and you guys KNOW how much I LOVE Once patterns! They are SOOOO hard to come by. It's Henry's Storybook and, although it's quite simple (and reminds me of the giant brown Jesus head and had me swearing I'd never stitch anything solid brown again), I'm kind of excited about this one!
Once Upon A Time Book_000a
Her store is KPL Creative XStitch and, she's just getting started, but I'm expecting great things from her store. I'm hoping she'll do the Heroes and Villains book as well, but time will tell on that one. Needless to say, I'm watching her store closely!

Almost forgot!

As crazy as things have been, I almost forgot to show you that I did FINALLY get Snow and Charming framed! I also got my Supernatural Exorcism framed, but I'll have to show that later. So, without further ado (and forgive the glare), I give to you, Snow and Charming!
The main mat is actually more of the color purple where my arms are and the inner color is a parchment like flesh-color that fit in well. Anyhoo, I'll try to remember to take a pic of the Exorcism one too (my brain barely works by the time I get home)...thankfully, I hung Snow and Charming at work, I just had to remember to take it in the hallway to get a pic so I didn't capture anything "delicate".

Disney+ - Day 2

I'm not going to give a day-to-day update, but I do want to share that the shows aren't streaming an episode per day, so that probably means that new episodes of their shows will be weekly (I was SOOO hoping to get the second episode of "The Imagineering Story" last night, but alas, I guess I'll have to wait until next week!).

Oh, and the home screen is now working, but I find it too busy and hard to navigate, so I found myself wandering back over to the side menu, which is ironic since on Netflix I HATE the side menu!

There was no new original content added to the channel on Day 2, but the library of movies and TV shows had grown exponentially. Since I ended the first night on "Descendants 2" and "Descendants 3" isn't on Disney+ yet, I watched the DVD to finish up the series before I dived in on the channel. But then I was ready to hit the channel once again and had a hard time choosing what to watch!

I began with a documentary on the Marvel movies that was kind of old (it stopped at Ultron), but it was still cool and something I had never seen before and, instead of watching something else either completely new or something old I haven't watched in years, I found myself starting on the first Captain America movie and starting all the Marvel movies in order! All of this new, original, or long-time since viewed content and here I am watching Marvel movies I've seen dozens of times (and have the 4Ks that I could watch at anytime)!

But, in my defense, Disney+ does have most of these movies in UHD (or HD at bare minimum) and it's easier than changing discs all the time. They even have bonus content like blooper reels and deleted scenes in the extra categories, which is pretty cool! And, if I'm honest, 95% of the Disney movies (and some of the shows and Mickey Clubhouse stuff) I have on Blu-Ray or DVD too, so there is that. I think that documentary just put me in a Marvel mood. I started "Captain Marvel" (I'm watching them in chronological order), but I fell asleep pretty early into it (and it's not one of my favorites anyway, so that's not surprising).

I just can't wait until the Marvel shows start on Disney+, then I really WILL be a mess!

Disney+ - Day 1

Yes, I was one of those weirdos who booked my Disney+ "reservation" months in advance. I didn't pay for the year or the three-year package, but I did schedule the month-to-month package (just in case I ended up hating it, I didn't want to get stuck with it). I should have known it would be AH-MAH-ZING!!!

I rushed home from work earlier than normal last night (which, here lately, that still meant late), and it was waiting for me on my TV app screen. Granted, the home screen of the app kept crashing, but I wouldn't let that deter me, I just slid over to the side screen and those menus worked, so I had full access to all the content they had up.

I had heard rumors that the first bit of content would be limited, and it was. The new content we were promised was limited to about six to nine shows, none of which were the new Marvel shows I was so looking forward to ("The Mandalorian" was there, but I'm not a Star Wars fan, so I wasn't interested in that). But the catalog of Disney movies, Marvel movies, Disney Channel Movies, Disney Channel TV shows, and all sorts of Disney documentaries was pretty vast! There were some notable exceptions missing that I was wanting to see...Jonas L.A., Sonny with a Chance and a few others, but I think the original Jonas and Lilo and Stitch the Series will still keep me busy for a while!

I started with the new stuff which, for a streaming service, isn't technically "streaming"'s one episode at a time. I watched "The Imagineering Story" and it about had me in tears. Granted, I've watched dozens of shows about the history of the Disney Company or Walt himself (or even various Imagineers), but this one was definitely a cut above. I don't think I've ever watched such a well produced documentary on the company ever, even the ones done by the Disney company itself (which, by the way, are also on the channel like "Waking Sleeping Beauty", "The Frank and Ollie Story" and several others).

Since the first episode only dealt with the beginnings of WED, making Disneyland, the birth of Disney World and basically ended with Walt's death, I wanted to watch another episode but, unfortunately, because there wasn't another one yet, I had to move on to something else. The preview for the next episode was all about building Disney World (and some future peeks at Tokyo as well), so at least I have something to look forward to, especially if it's as good as the first and has as much unseen content as the first did. I've gotten too used to the binge-watching lifestyle and I don't like reverting back to waiting for episodes of shows. I don't know if they are releasing new episodes daily or weekly, but I may wait to watch some of the new content when the entire season is out just because I don't like waiting.

I debated on watching another original (there was a really cool show called "The World According to Jeff Goldblum"), but instead I went on to the DCOMs, some of which I haven't watched in years, especially "Avalon High", which they never released on DVD for some reason. And then I just got lost in DCOM-land until I fell asleep. I have the feeling, Disney+ is going to keep me busy for a VERY long time!

One thing I did notice, I've seen a LOT of press recently about how the international market (who got Disney+ before we did) has already made "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." the highest rated show on the channel so far, but I couldn't find it anywhere in the show library for the U.S. All the other Marvel shows were there, but not S.H.I.E.L.D. Disappointing for this massive fan of that show. I was kind of hoping that, if the ratings in this country soar too, we'd get a S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off once the series ends next year, maybe something Fitz-Simmons! A girl can dream, right?

Chicago Tales #7 - The Ghost Tour

Pic heavy post guys, so warning!

Well, overall, the Ghost Tour was a total bust except for one or two key moments. You guys know that yes, I do believe in ghosts, yes, I do sense ghosts thanks to that little pesky sensory overload gene that most Aspers have. For those that don't know, most Aspers have EXTREMELY strong senses in all capacities. If it wasn't for this stupid eye disease, I'd probably have beyond perfect vision too (but, even with this, I have night cat eyes, so there is that). As my Daddy used to say when I was little, "she can hear a mouse fart in Kentucky and probably smell it too!"...he wasn't far off. But, added to that, I can also sense "energies" (for lack of a better word). It's why I can judge people's characters so well the first second I meet them, it's why I don't like specific places the second I walk into them, and it's why I know when a place is genuinely haunted or not.

I should add a disclaimer that no, I don't typically see ghosts (although I have seen flickers of one or two throughout my life), nor do they talk to me (although I have heard sounds once or twice). When I was a kid, this sense scared the crap out of me and often made me sick. Imagine not understanding who or what you are (which I didn't), being hit with a blast of negative energy (which often occurs in a haunted place because most are from violent deaths) and then try to deal with it and NOT seem crazy! Yeah, doesn't work so well. My mother often said that, as we were driving down a road, even as a wee one, I would start crying well before we got to a cemetery, even if it was a road we had never been on before and I couldn't see out the window. My teenage years were the worst with the nausea when we'd go to these sorts of places. For example, we used to go to the Biltmore a lot when we'd visit family in North Carolina. I didn't like it, but I'd go anyway, until the last time when I had to leave the tour crying over the maid ghost in the servant's quarters (one of the few I've ever seen) and, after that, I put my foot down and we didn't go anymore. It was well into my 20's before I got a handle on that part of it and I've really only come to terms with it in the past 5 or so years and learned to tune it better so I can either block it out so it doesn't make me sick, or focus it so I can sense where more "action" is if I'm looking for it (which I don't often want to do, but sometimes I need to know for "safety's sake").

Now, back to the story at hand, so we start this ghost tour which goes down the river front, with stories of overloaded ferries and drowning people, and I felt nada. I figured it was because I wasn't actually "in" the water or because there is a LOT of foot traffic along the waterfront and has been LONG since the tragedy and it's just too much overloaded energy to feel the original bad ju-ju. This is more of a skyward shot, but I was trying to keep out the other tour members:
Then came all the mob stories and how the train lines were the best places to run their "whatever" merchandise and the best place to knock off people. Still nothing (other than the overwhelming crushing vibe of too many living people and THEIR negative energy...not one of the most positive places in town):
The Chicago Theater and all the tales of Al Capone (who featured prominently in all these stories we were mob vibes at all, BTW):
Honestly, at this point, I was digging the architecture more than the tales:
But then he takes to this, as a general rule, alleys in big cities aren't the best places to be and I'm already acutely aware of this being a paranoid person. This alley already had two people in it smoking pot (I kid you not), who scattered like rats when we entered. This alley in particular was the back alley to what used to be the Iroquois Theater. Back in 1903, theaters used to lock their doors to keep people from sneaking in after the show had started, so everyone was essentially trapped who didn't know where the doors were that weren't locked (which were few and far between). The fire exits weren't finished either, which also added to the problem. The theater caught fire and, because of what happened during that event, it's why we now have fire exits and the fire rules we have in almost every single building we have today. Apparently, people tried to get out and couldn't, they overloaded the fire escapes, which collapsed, people climbed to the roof and jumped, and eventually, because the theater had been packed to the brim, so many bodies had piled up in that alleyway, people were able to just walk out the fire escape doors across dead bodies to get out.

None of the pictures I took in that alley came out clear. Whether or not it was me shaking or the alley, I can't say, but that's the first time I've come close to that nauseous feeling since I was young and I had to fight it like crazy. I kept turning around because it felt like someone was literally hanging off my back (someone smaller, like a child, like their feet wasn't touching the ground) and that was a feeling I had for days after I came home (which I mentioned in an earlier post). Even my Sister eventually noticed that I wasn't right because I, not only kept backing out of the alley involuntarily, but I had this horrible look on my face that must have said "I want out NOW!". If he literally had kept us in there a minute longer, I would have left of my own accord (I couldn't decide which way he was going out, which was what I was trying to decide in my head, or I would have left already). But anyhoo, here are some of the pics (sorry, my Sister's nose is in this one):
She wanted a pic of herself by the stage door, I had to take it multiple times to get it to come out this good (which is still sucky):
The alley looking how far he drug us into it (and keep in mind the entire thing had been filled with bodies):
And how far up the lowest fire escape is (so again, body-depth level):
After that point, what he said and what I paid attention to, dropped off significantly, but something happened in one of the apartments above this McD's (I personally felt nothing):
Something happened over there (again, nothing):
Underground subway mall where a mob hit took I was feeling some major oppression...felt like I was being screamed at and again, I just wanted out as quickly as possible:
But again, out in the dark of night, something happened here and I couldn't tell you what because the "kid on my back" was back:
Then we had a sort of "break" at the haunted Palmer House, a hotel I knew was haunted before I walked in the door thanks to various ghost shows:
But once inside, I was more fascinated with the architecture and again felt NOTHING ghostly (maybe it's just the rooms?), so while we had a few minutes, I wandered around taking pictures:
Supposedly where the mobsters met...nada:
Am looking around:
You guys know I love me a light fixture!
Once we were in there for about 15 or 20 minutes for our "break", my nerves calmed down enough that I was able to finish the rest of the tour without issue (almost). Got to see the start of Route 66 sign:
Which means, even though I did it backwards, I've been to both ends!
Of course the last stop of the night was the Congress Hotel, which is probably one of the most Haunted places in Chicago..good ole H.H. Holmes himself like to snag victims from there...but for me, again nada:
...except, see that grassy tree area to the left in this next pic? He dragged us a bit too deep up in there (for nighttime at least), close to the zoo, to tell his tale:
and I was NOT a happy camper about it! I kept taking pics (or trying to, it was cloudy) of the moon to distract myself. Needless to say, I did take another pic of another supposed haunted area of the Congress which, I supposed if I was actually IN the room, I might feel something, but either I was too far away, or again, too many people vibes have cluttered the haunted vibe (or I was just too freaked out by the woods I was standing in)'s the four windows with the curtains completely closed, they supposedly don't rent out those rooms anymore:
And that was the end of the tour! We were close enough to our hotel to walk back (with a stop at the Walgreens), where I proceeded to have my Chicago Tale #1 incident.

Chicago Tales #6: Everyone's an art critic

Guess what guys...this post has pics!

I was a bit relieved I didn't have to go to the Art Institute with my Sister because we do tend to end up fighting over the time I tend to spend in the Impressionist/Renaissance time periods. I just lose track of time. And considering I really only had the two hours anyway, I was already pressed for time. I was whipping through, snapping photos left and right, thinking I would take my time and look at them when I got home. But I did get caught up with the Monet's (shock) and there were approximately four rooms of them, so I was in heaven! And I've never actually seen any of his London series in person, so that was a real treat! Thankfully, the masses were more interested in other pieces, so I had them all to myself for quite a while...and there were four of them!
and, of course:
ironically, my cell got a MUCH better photo of my favorite, more true to color...go figure!
but they all got me for quite a while...longer than I had time for.

There was one Monet that I had never seen before, but I had another visitor, who was standing in front of it, ask about it as I was walking by (why can't people read the plaques beside the paintings...more on that in a moment), and I immediately just said, barely looking at it, "it's a Monet". I felt weird saying that, and I'm not sure why I did, but I did glance at the card to make sure I was right and was happy that I hit the nail on the head! I stopped myself and got lost in it and she walked off. I'm not sure if I ran her off, or if she felt like she was intruding on my space, but I was tearing up again (a recurring theme with me and ol' Claude, the man gives me the feels, what can I say?):
Other people do tend to annoy me in general, but there were quite a few student groups there, including foreign students, so I had that to contend with as well (more on that in a moment), but it was a congregation of three teachers (high school...had to be), that got on my nerves the most. Granted, I get that impressionism isn't for everyone. My Sister doesn't care much for it (but I don't like Modern Art, so there you go). But as I was waiting to take a picture of yet another Monet, I had to listen to these three women's banter and I about lost my, and unfortunately there is no other way to say it, lost my shit! Here is the painting in question, just another one of his branches of the Seine near Giverny, one of the dozens of the paintings he did around his home (not including the HUNDREDS he did of his actual garden at Giverny):
Now, I get it's an impressionist painting of a riverbank. But logic tells you that you have a riverbank, with trees on the side, the sun is setting, so there is a reflection in the water that mimics the tree line, so what is above, shimmers below in the water, no? These women were INSISTENT that the painting was either hung sideways (hinting that the treeline to the left side was bushes, rather than half trees, half reflection of trees in water) or it was mush that wasn't meant to be understood. EVERY PAINTING IN THERE has a description beside it's title and painter, so it's not THAT difficult to interpret for the artistically impaired, but these were also TEACHERS. Granted, I do expect they were on the high school level and probably NOT art teachers, but I can't imagine they couldn't figure out river, riverbank, trees, water causes reflection of trees in water. It ain't rocket science! Or maybe it is and it's just rocket science that I can easily understand and other's can't. Thoughts? Can you see what I do or does it look like mush to you too?

I was forced to listen to their diatribe because I wanted a picture of the art, but I ended up raising the camera OVER their heads to get the picture because they just WOULD NOT move while they had their debate. It took everything I had to walk up to the painting and go..."tree, tree reflection!". But I did mumble "stupid idiots can't tell what a reflection is" as I walked off. I'm pretty sure they heard me, but I didn't care. Two rooms later, I tried to get back in there, and they were STILL STANDING THERE debating it! I wondered about the children they were "supposed" to be there to supervise! At that point, I was done and went looking for the Seurat that I had come there to see in the first place!

I wasn't expecting it to be as big as it was and, you really can't tell from this picture, but that sucker is huge! Probably ten Monets easily!
I couldn't bring myself to walk up close and look at it...part of me was afraid it would destroy the magic of the art and I think everyone around me felt the same because NO ONE got closer than I was to get the whole thing in the shot. Until, an entire group of foreign students came into the room! They all got right on top of the painting and started taking photos, literally inch by inch! The guard, who was manning the roped off area around it (again, pointing out that the painting was meant to be looked at from a distance), kept trying to get them back, but they all acted like they didn't understand her and kept snapping away. She got more aggressive and brought in more guards to help her push them back, which FINALLY succeeded after quite a BIT of yelling, but most of the usual visitors had already cleared out because no one else could get pictures or appreciate the art because there were dozens of little heads on top of the photo snapping pictures of every square inch. I wish I would have gotten a picture of that (but I didn't want to get in the same trouble), but I did stick around to watch because it was funny, especially when they all were escorted out! By then, the room had cleared, and I had most of the Monets, Degas', and even a few Manet's to myself!

But from an OCD standpoint, I do wish they put the Monet's in one room, the Degas' in another, etc. It was like an easter egg hunt trying to find them all and that place is spread out in multiple different rooms! I'm pretty sure the Monet's were just in four of the rooms, but I hope I didn't miss any!

Found an amazing Renoir:
They also had quite a collection of Camille Pissarro's, another impressionist that I have never seen in person, although we are pushing more neo-impressionism here, so it's not quite the same, but I still count it:
By the time I got to the Renaissance, I had dealt with the bloody foot issue and my shoe was still squeaking, so I hit it VERY fast, taking more wide shots than close ups, although I got a Rubens:
It was so silent in this room, I was almost scared to take a picture (my shutter tends to be quite loud), but then I saw the guy on the bench talking on his cell, so I just started snapping away:
And you can always count on religious imagery to be quite graphic!
And I'll stop there for now although I have dozens more (you can click through the album to find them). I wish I could have gotten more pictures. There were rooms I didn't even get to touch. I'm pretty sure I made it completely through the Impressionists, the Byzantines, the Greeks, Romans and part of the Renaissance, but I never found a Da Vinci or a Van Gogh, and I'm pretty sure they had at least one of both. Maybe next time I go back, I'll find them!

Chicago Tales #5 - Bleach and Marble - The Aftermath

The final bleach and marble story (and thankfully, it's a short one)...that sock, the one I used to soak up all the pure Clorox? The one I THOUGHT I threw away? Well, it somehow made it into my suitcase. It ruined by favorite (and brand new) Fitz from "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." shirt, a pair of jeans, multiple pair of underwear, as well as the inside of my suitcase.

I was able to order a new Fitz shirt though (even though I had to pay full price for this one, the other one I got on sale) and the underwear doesn't matter, no one sees them but me anyway. It was WAY past time for new luggage, and the jeans I just wrote off.

I STILL have NO CLUE how that sock got in my suitcase in the first place! I am 99.9% certain I threw it in the trash, so I don't know if my Sister found it and she threw it in with my stuff, if I picked it back up with the few toiletries I kept by accident, or if I somehow managed to pick it up with another day's dirty clothes...I just don't know.

But even when I got home, the second I opened my suitcase, the bleach and marble was once again another day's problem and a stark reminder of my time in Chicago. I will, henceforth, forever associate Chicago with bleach and marble!

Chicago Tales #4: Bleach and Marble - Part 2: Blood EVERYWHERE!


This whole trip came about because my Sister had a conference and she asked me to tag along. She added an extra day so that we would have time to do some sightseeing, but in the process of planning, she ended up having to go to two conferences instead of one, so that ruined her extra day of doing anything, but it meant that I had more time on my own to do stuff. I was a bit afraid that I would end up stuck in the room the entire trip because I've been extremely anti-social of late, but once I got used to the hop-on-off bus with her, I was fine by myself.

This was a good thing too because, she and I have VERY different views on art and The Art Institute was one of our sightseeing places that we were going to do together, but I now had all to myself. I was worried that we would end up fighting (as we often do in Art Museums...I tend to spend too much time in the Impressionists and Renaissance areas and she likes Modern Art, which I can't stand).

As an important side note, I didn't plan on the weather to be as warm and/or as humid as it is down here, so I didn't pack clothing comparable to what I would wear down here. I packed capris, but only dress flip flops (not meant to be worn for everyday use). But it was so warm, I decided on my museum day, I would wear my dress flips anyway, and just blister pad line up the top of my foot (just in case).

Again, here is where I screwed up. Because of the schedule of events, I didn't get to the Art Institute until 3 pm and it closed at 5 pm, so I was moving at a super-fast pace. I have been there before, so it was OK, I just needed some Monet time and I haven't seen the Seurat for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte in person, so I was anxious to do so. I wasn't paying ANY attention to my feet and my flip flops, despite their dressy nature, were Yellow Box, so they were super comfortable and the tops of my feet were covered in blister pads to block the irritating nature of the scratchy tops, so I wasn't bovver'ed. Room to room I bounced, snapping pictures left and right and, despite the fact that my shoes eventually started squeaking (which I just attributed to me getting hot and sweating, although I didn't feel like I was hot at all, it was pretty cold in there actually), I felt no pain.

Once I got to the Greek section, my shoes were squeaking louder, but again, no pain and it was 4:40, so I still wasn't bovver'ed, until a security guard stopped me (the third one to do so for various different reasons...I was a popular tourist, apparently...Aspers just LOVE to be noticed, thank you VERY much!) and very loudly exclaimed "MA'AM! ARE YOU ALRIGHT????". My answer in the weakest, quietest voice I could muster..."yes, thank you, I'm fine, thanks for asking" (since now everyone in creation was staring at me), "BUT MA'AM, YOU'RE BLLLEEEEDDDINGGGG!!!!" and she pointed to the trail of bloody footprints that I had left on the marble floor from the Byzantines to the Greeks.

Yea, one of the blister pads had come loose and I had rubbed my foot raw enough that I was gushing blood from one of the few visible veins I have, like someone had cut a major artery or something! That squeaking I had been hearing, for god knows how long, was the blood soaking, first my shoe, then the floor!

She called another guard on their walkies, they sat me down in a chair (much to my horror), they asked if I needed an ambulance (again, I swore I didn't, much to my horror), I used Kleenex to clog up the bleeding and wipe down my shoe and begged them to at least let me get to a bathroom (which they FINALLY did). Once there, I washed off my shoe (which REALLY made it squeak), put a new blister pad on the space (I forgot I had them in my bag until I got in the bathroom) and bolted out the door for the bus.

Ironically, on my way out, there was a janitor mopping the floor with, you guessed it, bleach!

Once it was all clean, it looked like nothing, and even a couple of days later when I got home, I can't see how I managed to lose THAT much blood from such a superficial wound:
I only wish I would have had the sense to take a photo of the bloody footprints I left in the museum! Wonder if I was the first person to ever do that? Seems like I left my mark on a lot of marble in Chicago! But next up, the final bleach and marble story, the aftermath!

Chicago Tales #3 - Bleach and Marble - Part 1: Purple Stains

Remember the purple shampoo I mentioned in the last post? Well, it haunted me BIG time once we got to Chicago. Granted, almost everything non-clothing I own is purple (I tend to wear black and shades of heather gray when it comes to shirts and jeans as a general rule), so when my purple shampoo leaked in my purple toiletry bag (which is also purple, but I always bag it in a ziploc for just such reasons) inside my checked bag (you guessed it, purple), I wasn't too worried. The bag would dry and it was just shampoo right? WRONG!

Of course, that first night I wasn't conscious enough to grasp the situation of the spill and I didn't wash my hair, but I did the next morning and, because of the light-colored marble in the Hyatt bathroom, I was EXTRA careful to make sure that no purple shampoo remained in the shower so it didn't stain. What I didn't plan for was that my toiletry bag was still wet and that housekeeping would push my bag against the marble-tiled backs plash of the sink and it would leave stain marks on the back splash!

That second night, I noticed it right away and, thankfully, my Sister had Clorox wipes, but they didn't help. I tried hairspray, nail polish remover, and every chemical concoction I could think of to get the purple stain out of the marble, but NOTHING worked! So that night, when we made our Walgreens stop for sodas, I bought pure bleach and a scrubber.

This entire time of my trying to remove said stains, my Sister kept telling me not to worry about it. No one would notice. I was TERRIFIED she would get this MASSIVE bill from the Hyatt for replacing those marble tiles (it literally covered two tiles), so I was not about to let that happen.

On night three, I spent over an hour in the bathroom scrubbing, and scrubbing, and scrubbing those purple stains. The lighter ones FINALLY came off, the big one didn't. I decided that maybe the scrubber wasn't the best plan because I might damage the marble, so I switched to my toothbrush (yes, I finger-brushed the rest of the trip because I couldn't find a purple toothbrush at Walgreens). When that didn't work either, I decided NOT to use the hotels towels or rags, but instead one of my own socks...this would haunt me later (I was afraid that, if they got soaked in bleach, it would ruin their laundry and they would figure out I was up to something nefarious...paranoid much?). Still nada. The hotel had cotton balls in plastic, so the next day, I soaked cotton balls in bleach, placed them on the worst spots, locked them against the wall with my perfume bottle, and hoped for the best!

THANKFULLY, this last-ditched effort worked and the spots were all gone! But, because I had bleach sitting against the wall all day (with my bleach-soaked sock underneath), I had cleaning up to do that night. I made every attempt to make sure there was no pure bleach sitting anywhere and washed down every surface with water, but I did have to get hotel towels involved in the process. I stacked them all up to the side, dumped the remaining bleach down the sink, threw away the bleach bottle, my toothbrush, the scrubber, my sock (or so I thought), and my favorite toiletry bag just to keep it from getting purple everywhere else. But throwing away my toiletry bag meant I had to loose a lot of toiletries as well since I didn't have anywhere to keep them but in a ziploc. I also threw a bunch of other trash on top and hoped that housekeeping didn't go through it all down to the bleach bottle and got suspicious (although, since it was toiletry heaven, I'm sure they did).

My Sister laughed off the whole debacle and told me I was making a big deal out of nothing, but I was just scared about the stains and what they could charge her.

Note to all those who use purple shampoo for blonde STAINS! Now, remember the bleached sock...that will come up in a later story, but I do have one more bleach and marble story first, and this one is WAY off from this string!