Hit the beach.
Indiana Sand Dunes in boots -- i think that i had more fun on a beach in a winter coat than i have in a bathing suit. My friend Jeff and I ended up there a while ago; it's less than an hour drive from downtown Chicago, but it feels a world away. At some point, i noticed that i felt strangely off balance; it took me a minute to realize that my poor brain didn't know what to do with the silence. No sirentrainalarm in the distance. Don't worry, i learned to cope.
Thanks, jbowen, for the pictures [and the magic wand].