There is a great cocktail lounge in Chicago, full of history and live performances, called the Green Mill. Jim and I had been a few times before we moved, and this week afforded us the first time there since we moved back.
Hot off of the heels of our get-together on Saturday, our friends suggested visiting the Green Mill for their Thursday night swing music nights. Green Mill? Friends? Music? I'm there! Actually, I had a split second hesitation when I heard that the live music doesn't even start until 9 p.m., and you guys, it's a Thursday. I would prefer to be in bed by 9 p.m. But alas, we persevered (I figured that at worst, I only had one more day of work to get through) and I'm so glad we went.
Our large group ended up getting the best booth in town - the Capone booth, so named as it used to be the locale Al Capone would sit in order to have clear views of both the front and rear entrances of the place. Personally, we still argued someone could get you from the bathroom, but considering it was syphilis and not gun shots that eventually led to his demise, I guess he knew what he was doing.
Anyway, we clustered around our big circle booth right next to the small dance floor, listening to the swing music interspersed with a few jazzy Christmas carols. This is going to sound so corny, but I swear, there was one point where I just looked around our table, split into several small groups having animated conversations, with the good music all around us, and it felt quite awesome to be home.
Back in high school I loved to play broom ball. Take hockey and sub the stick for a broom, the puck for a ball, and ice skates for your gym shoes, and you've got broom ball. We played quite a bit, at indoor rinks with the drama club and outdoor ice blocks with huge groups of friends. For the first time in about a decade, I got the chance to play it today.
My department's holiday party took place at a local ice rink, with a big portion devoted to ice skating, a small section to broom ball, and a party room for less icy activities, like eating and watching Christmas movies. I wasn't going to play broom ball because I forgot to bring shoes (or socks), so I was stuck with my ballet flats. I mean, broom ball is hard enough - slick ballet flats seemed like a really sketchy idea.
But after watching my coworkers play for a while, I really wanted to join in again, so I stuck with being a goalie. At least that way I didn't have to run up and down the ice in my decidedly non-icy shoes but still get to play. I even blocked a bunch of really good shots...but I also let a bunch of shots get through. To be fair, we were outnumbered. And one of the players on the other team just got down running a triathlon. So...we won in spirit, right? Sure.
Even playing goalie, my hip is a little sore. There was a couple of times that my leg shot out from under me, and thankfully I didn't take a fall, but I definitely pulled something.