21 October 2010

Third Week in September 2010

The Monday after Cowtown ... ugh. I had hoped to get on the road to Chicago by 1000, and make it in to mom's house by 1800. I was in no particular hurry. Omaha was cloudy, but as I hit the road, the further east I went the sunnier it became, no it's not a metaphor. I had lunch in Des Moines, got gas in Walcott, and was making good time, when, as I approached the Quad Cities, there was a sign that said "I-80 traffic, take detour". I was a little confused, but I got on I-280 and drove right through the middle of the Quads. The I-280 bridge over the Mississippi is quite impressive. Finally I get around to meet back up where I would have crossed the Mississippi on I-80, and there was traffic coming over the bridge. What exactly was a detoured for?

The drive is about an hour too long to begin with, and the extra 30 minutes did not help any. I finally got sick of the highway, and got off at Illinois 72, drove through Genoa, got on Illinois 23, and then took very familiar roads to mom's house getting there at about 1900. There was a beautiful sunset as I turned north on Illinois 23. I spent an uneventful evening at the house.

Tuesday mom and I went out to lunch at Chipotle. She hadn't been there before and ordered a burrito. I warned her that the thing would be as big as her head, but she insisted. The Chipotle is in a section of McHenry that was not developed when I was a kid, so it's kind of strange to see it developed halfway to Richmond. I suppose anyone driving out West Maple Road in Omaha thinks the same thing. Later in the afternoon it was repair time around the house. In the evening mom told me about ... well, this. The story is about people in the McCollum Lake area dying of a rare form of cancer that is being tied to a manufacturer in the area. If you read the story and click on the 'She's Still Here' link, you can see the story of one of my high school friend's mom, Julianna Mass, who has since died. If you look at the map, it's #15, and at least two of my fondest high school memories took place at that house. It's a sad tale.

Wednesday was the trip into Chicago day. I overslept, and then drove myself over to the train station to get on a later train. I took a book on the train, and read most of the way. The train ride hasn't changed much in thirty years. Once I got downtown, I did a little sightseeing.

This is the high rise I lived in when I moved to Chicago, my apartment was on the level of the "My..." on the sign and the fifth window from the right. This building is 49 stories high.

I walked from there down to the Art Institute...

...then over to Buckingham Fountain...

...then to Millennium Park, I'm in this picture, somewhere...

...I meandered my way north towards the Water Tower...

...where I met Shannon. We got ice cream at Ghirardelli, and then walked to...

...Oak Street Beach. I tragically dropped my ice cream cone on the way.

Shannon suggested I check out the Cathedral, which was nearby. I did, but Mass was starting soon, and I had a tough time getting good pictures in the light of the Cathedral. I left there about 1700 and went and met Jen. We went to the subway and rode north. I guess I've completely forgotten my subway etiquette, she had to tell me to take my backpack off, oops. We rode up to Belmont, and then walked back to my see my old stomping grounds.

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My apartment was the first door to the right, the first floor apartment on the left side.

Jen and I then walked over to Binney's, then to Ann Sather's, which was sadly closed. So we got some food at the mediterranean place next door, because really, you can never have enough hummus or shwarmas. We then walked up Halsted to her place, and sat and ate upstairs on the roof of her place with Adam, her boyfriend.

The view from the top of her building was amazing.

Finally I got my butt back to the train station and back home.

The theme of Thursday was food. I had lunch with Michele at a local Mexican food establishment. In the evening, my mother taught me to make Chicken Pauperkash, a traditional meal that was my favorite growing up. I have already made it ... with about 1/3 of the butter she used, but even then, it's pretty darn good.

Friday I went to church for a noon Mass, I kind of wished that I could get my mother to join me, but she wasn't interested. The church, Holy Apostles, was not there when I was growing up, so it's fairly new. In the afternoon, mom and I had leftovers and (finally after four days home) played some dice. Friday evening I met up with a few of my classmates from high school! We went to the bar in downtown McHenry that my mom used to hang out in, so I knew right where to go.

Harry Carey didn't actually go to school with us.

You can see the all of my Chicago trip pictures here.

Saturday I started driving home, and turned on some sports radio, and figured out that Iowa had a home football game in the early afternoon, and would probably be letting out right about the time that I passed through Iowa City. This coupled with my plan of meeting Rae and Larry in Des Moines for dinner in the after noon caused me to pull into a rest stop in eastern Iowa, and take about an hour nap. Eventually I made my way into Des Moines, met up with Rae and Larry at a TGIFriday's and had a nice dinner with them and their grandchildren.

I pulled into town, worn out, sick of driving, and ready to stay in ... what? What's that you say? Karaoke? I'll be right there. I cleaned up and joined Jenny and Sarah at Mic's. Takashi was there. He did an awesome version of Smoke on the Water, and by that I mean with an inflatable guitar and a standing on tables solo.

A piece of advice ladies, if you go karaokeing, and you sing an angry girl song, don't expect to meet a man that night.

Sunday was a slow moving day. First up was the last Lindy in the Park or the year.

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I took some pictures that I am super happy with...

...and this one too.

You can see all of my last 2010 Lindy in the Park pictures here. Matt also took pictures, they start here (go right).

Later in the afternoon I headed over to Saint Margaret Mary for their festival and Mass Chaos. I had a long talk with Brianne on the curb by the tower, I may end up considering it a big corner turner conversation for me. I have enough separation from VK to tell how messed up I became during the five years (on and off) I chased her, but not so much separation that I don't still adore her. Relearning to trust people is a process, it was a big step.

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