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Chicagoland Redux

Thu, Aug 02, 2001 11:03PM -0600

Bleh. I'm having problems with XSLT these days. The damned parser isn't doing what I want it to do for some reason.

In any case, the motivation that made me scrawl down a rough outline of my NYC trip is making me want to write briefly about my Chicagoland jaunt. It is by no means anywhere near as exciting, but I thought I'd do it for the sake of completeness.

Monday, July 16th, 2001

OK, so I've actually been here since July 14th, but I seriously can't remember what I did for two days, except for being stranded in the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport for hours on end, and fortuitously meeting a classmate at O'Hare, meaning I wouldn't have to take the 2 hour long "L," Metra, and walking tour. I somehow ended up with $79 speakers and few other sundry items that I probably don't need but bought anyway. But this is the context in which Ben is landing in.

Oh. I forgot to talk about my malady. Ben and Jen had tickets to New York for weeks if not months now, and I still hadn't decided to go, being torn by silly, silly reasons. It was with major internal wrestling that I finally clicked on that OK button on Hotwire. (And in retrospect I am very glad I went--see yesterday's entry for an overview.) Yes, I know it's frustrating to deal with me when I get like this.

In any case, I picked Ben up from O'Hare, then we went to a local bar called the Greenleaf, which Jenny (Gerard's old roommate, not my sister...) said she was going to. I didn't see her there, but we got a good dose of the middle-of-nowhere lifestyle.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2001

It actually rained quite hard this morning. I think (but am not sure) that this is the day we went to Ikea and had Gino's East.

Wednesday, July 18th, 2001

I'm mostly sure that this is the day we made it to the Loop--the Mag Mile specifically. After some extra-greasy food at Popeye's, we checked out some of the malls on Michigan Ave. (Yes it was hot, and the A/C was quite refreshing.) One of them had practically no one there. (But it did have an amusing sign in the washroom that stated "All illegal acts committed in this washroom will be prosecuted to the fullest extent." I thought of drug use while Ben thought of sexual acts, which goes to show that it may very well be a useful psychological diagnostic <g>) The other one we went to was Water Tower Place. We also haphazardly tried to watch "Jurassic Park III" near Northwestern med school campus, knowing full well that it was going to be terrible. Unfortunately, the last matinee show was sold out, so we ended up watching it in the middle of nowhere later that night. I still can't believe I spent nearly $10 on that debacle, but at least it was fun. We also hit the Virgin Megastore and Tower Records while downtown.

Thursday, July 19th, 2001

Repeated trips to Pic n Save for pizza, beer, cigarettes, flaming hot Cheetos, and huge cases of Pepsi One come into the picture somewhere around here and all around.... What can I say. Breakfast of Champions. This little adventure had the potential to quickly turn into a Fear and Loathing episode, but luckily we were all out of mescaline and ether.

Today I remember a completely unscheduled trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin. No, we never made it to the Art Institute, nor to any of the other museums.

The days began to begin and end progressively later. This may very well have been the day when we went to sleep at 4:30am, doing nothing more than smoking cigarettes and drinking beer on the patio.

Friday, July 20th, 2001

We ate an incredibly late lunch at The Pacific Ring in Highland Park or thereabouts. Maybe it was Northbrook. All the suburbs look the same to me. I hate suburbs. No offense intended. I just do. It's not my fault that I've always lived within sight of a metropolitan skyline.

We then headed into Chicago to meet Arnel, Gerard, and Joan. We had really, really cheap sushi at Benihana's just off of Michigan Ave. (who'd've thunk it?), hung out and had a few drinks.

Saturday, July 21st, 2001

We went to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, then we headed for the City down the Eisenhower Expressway. There was a nice thunder and lightning show. We tried to meet up with Julie, but instead ended up driving through random Chicago neighborhoods, until we got lost around the University of Chicago. After that, we headed home for more beer and cigarettes.

Sunday, July 22nd, 2001

We actually made it to church in Lake Forest, then we shot up to Gurnee to quickly run through the outlet mall. Afterwards, we went down to Arlington Heights, trying to find this vegetarian restaurant in order to meet up with Julie. Unfortunately I had somehow botched the phone number of the place, and the 411 operators couldn't help me out, so we just ended up eating at Subway. A storm suddenly broke, and I dropped Ben off at O'Hare. The drive up resembled a 45 mile long carwash. I don't think I could've seen more than 5 feet, and yet recklessly, I continued on, giving my latent deathwish free reign. The rest of the evening was a daze as I tried to pack for New York, and I don't think I got to sleep until 1:30am.

Well despite the relative non-eventfulness of these seven days, it was still an adventure. Maybe I'll chronicle my last few days in L.A. tomorrow. Or some other day. Or never. Who knows?

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