With my bffl, Abraham Lincoln

Meeting Mr. Lincoln

Whether you measure these things in Celsius or Fahrenheit, it’s unreasonably hot outside. To avoid frazzling to a crisp, I’ve turned indoors for some housekeeping. But housekeeping is hard, so I’ve merrily press-ganged others into service too. First, Randi and I stole Jatherine’s car and joy rode to IKEA so that after a year of living in my apartment I might have somewhere in my room to indulge in extravagances like (a) putting clothes away and (b) sitting down. Then Todd revealed that he (and I quote) “loves” putting IKEA furniture together, so I plied him with Budweiser and basically did nothing for 2 hours, 1 minute and 15 seconds (target time: 30-45 minutes) until I had a chest of drawers. Success.

Even more fun, because it didn’t involve going to Schaumburg, Illinois, was virtual housekeeping. I re-jiggered my home page, added some fancy maps of places I’ve been, and upgraded to Windows 10 on the day it came out because OF COURSE I was going to do this.

And occasionally, I was social: meeting Randi’s work peeps and feeling quietly ashamed for never having read Kierkegaard, celebrating Nolan’s birthday, that kind of thing. But most importantly, because it generated photos, I also went to the state capital of Illinois: Springfield!

The state capitol. The roof is apparently occupied by Cybermen.

The state capitol. The roof is apparently occupied by Cybermen.

I'm proud of this photo because Randi seems tall

I’m proud of this photo because Randi seems tall

Trying to be helpful and give them some warning

Trying to be helpful and give them some warning

"Excuse me, but you're doing it wrong"

“Excuse me, but you’re doing it wrong”

With my bffl, Abraham Lincoln

With my bffl, Abraham Lincoln

The original inspiration for this trip was meeting someone who worked for the under-threat-of-closure Illinois State Museum, and wanting to visit while we still could. But Springfield is not the kind of town you head back to in a hurry, so we also took in the state capitol building, the old state capitol building (they claimed it got too small but it seemed perfectly adequate to me) and, most excitingly, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Strictly speaking, only Hoover and onwards got ‘official’ museums from the National Archives and Records Administration, but some of the golden oldies were popular enough to inspire unofficial efforts. And who would begrudge Lincoln his due?

Springfield clings pretty closely to Lincoln in general: they’ve gone so far as to preserve a whole street where he lived in nineteenth century style, though relenting to twenty first century sensibility by adding a warning sign that the paving of this era ‘may be uneven’. (I dread to think of what they would make of Brent council’s paving standards.) But screw museums and memorials: in Springfield, the 16th President is apt to wander into a bar and strike up conversation. Nice chap, and very forgiving. I approve.

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