Saturday, May 06, 2006

A week in Chi Town

Some other places were not so good but maybe we were not so good when we were in them.

-- Hemingway

I have long prided myself on never having lived in the suburbs of Chicago. For the 29 years I lived there I never lived in a suburb, much less lived on any other side of the city except the south side. Its important to have pride, however foolish it may be. I have been asked at times if moving to Madison was a betrayal of this self imposed southside creed, and I've always answered no. The betrayal is living in the burbs or, let it never be spoken aloud, on the northside. Leaving the region is permissible. I left, settled in Madison, found a nice gig, and generally did well. So my triumphant return to Chicago (the less educated in vernacular might refer to it as a trip for a 5 day Sun class in JSP/Java development for my job, but they would be incorrect and uninteresting) was a bit of a let down in a geographical regard -- they put me in a Downers Grove hotel room. It was very close to the class so it made perfect sense, but it was a defeat of sorts. As I said, pride is often foolish and weak and I do have it and some days it is worth a great deal and I feel I should go to confession for this transgression. Very mature. Ultimately, staying in a hotel for a few days and sitting in a class is a small vacation from work so no complaints.

I did get to hang out on the southside a bit, as well as other parts of my old stomping grounds. I think I easily came back 5 lbs heavier thanks to: Palermo's on 63rd and Hamlin, Hooters in glorious Oak Lawn, Francesca's, and El Cid in Logan Square. Seeing all the great old faces (Tom, Matt, Holly, Danielle, Ty, and Scott) certainly made me miss Chicago. The people are great as always, but the traffic had me praying for cheese filled air. I'll always miss the people, but the move was at the right time for me.

Melissa at allbuttonedup has written a very sweet entry about me. Since I started by talking smack about Portland and she responded with such pleasantries, I can only conclude that she is admitting defeat through a face saving maneuver (Dwight on The Office would definitely view it that way). Truce then. Please visit and comment on her blog -- its prettier and happier than mine. Her picture of me with my old neighbor's brick backgrounding me has me wearing a plaid shirt I cannot for the life of me remember owning. This is more troubling to me than it should be.

I'm a little disappointed with the ending of Infinite Crisis. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the twists, the deaths, and the larger sci-fi concepts regarding parallel time and worlds, but the ending just wasn't final enough. I suspect this is directly related to 52 and its immediate publication. Usually the last issue of a crossover unravels things into a polite little pile, but in this case the unraveling has 52 issues over the next 52 weeks to work with so I should be quiet and feed my habit next week like a good little fanboy. I was pleased to see Alan Moore's mid-80's Green Lantern filler story pop up in a way that mattered unexpectedly in the last issue of IC.

Madison is getting greener by the day and my Orbea (along with its new wheels, chain, and bottom bracket -- thanks to Matt on Tuesday night in Evergreen Park, IL) is getting all the mileage my 30 year old carcass can give it. Its beautiful today and I will be putting in 2 hours at Real Chili tonight. A few employees bailed so the bat phone rang and I will be slinging chili yet again. Its not finals week yet so the UW kids will be drunk and tip happy for another week. A fact I am grateful to accept.


melissa f. said...

nice post.

and not just the bit about me. listen-- you're probably huge now with all that bike riding, and paul is going a little soft from all the book-learnin', and the only good thing I've got going for me is a huge right arm (from hauling a 30 lb limp kid around all day), but I'm hopelessly clumsy and a MENNONITE so... that's all to say I shouldn't be writing checks that I can't cash. you dig?

oh. and that shirt? I think you bought that shirt on a shopping trip with trish, jess and I. but I could be wrong. I've got more pics of you in plaid so it could just be something you've chosen to block out.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

This entry reminds me of a story back when I worked with the Elvis band...

Scott said...

Actaully, I think I have pictures of you in that shirt also. I know I have picture of you poking a fake horse with a stick. Clare and I pull it out when we need a laugh.

Yeah, it was cool to see you too this weekend. Don't fear, we will be coming to Madison soon.