March 14th, 2005

flavored with age

Baby's birthday go bragh

And now: The Weekend.

As you may know if you have nothing better to do than keep up with the minutiae of my ridiculous life, Saturday was my gal ninafarina’s birthday. It was also the day of the 50th annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade (before that, the city celebrated Punch Out A Mick Day on the same date). How could these two incredible events possibly be reconciled? Only if my gal came to town to do both, that’s how!

Friday night I took a trip out to Midway, the airport that still kinda looks like someone’s apartment, to pick her up. Unfortunately, her flight was delayed a bit by whirling snowstorms, but I was able to pass the time by reading this ridiculous book and having a halting conversation in Spanish with one of the janitorial staff about the provenance of a Coke bottle stuffed with Starburst wrappers. Heading home in the gorgeous but harrowing weather, we abjured dinner out and decided to just pick up some groceries and hit the crib. There’s nothing like being the only people in a grocery store at 11PM on a Friday night during a snowstorm; it really makes you feel alive.

Saturday we perked up bright and early, prepping food and liquor for the big parade. Gifting my gal (who, in case I have not mentioned it enough times, is beautiful and brilliant and honest and decent and so sexy she makes the wheels come off of your fruit wagon) with some CDs, some books, and a Gaddis first edition, I headed off to the kitchen to pack up the Trav-L-Bar with intoxicants and stuff my rucksack with some fine products by the Kerrygold company. I also risked burning the whole city down by leaving the corned beef & cabbage simmering on the stovetop while we were at the parade, but it turned out to be worth it, since an O’Learian fire did not occur and we ended up with some super-tender meat upon our return. The parade was fun as always; we (we being myself and my gal, rum_holiday and her husband Doug, theletterr and his wife Lars from Mars, and the always-astounding Claire Zulkey and Steve "O’" Delahoyde, the Nick to her Nora) drank, ate, cheered on the unions and the Irish dancing tots with their fake curl wigs, and also drank. A lot*. Steve and I entertained a couple of blonde downtowner girls with our antics until we discovered they didn’t like Barack Obama; Lara, Jeff, Doug & Andrea masterminded a masterpiece of guitaroflutation; and I took a totally boss thugged-out picture of my gal which she probably won’t let me post here but believe me, it’s awesome.

After, we came home, ate an Irish meal I’d tossed together (corned beef & cabbage, Dublin coddle, green salad, and fried mushrooms stuffed with Cashel blue cheese and coated with Irish oats). We also drank more, and by more I mean a lot more. Drinking is fun and I like it. Other highlights of the day include Lara wearing an orange scarf in silent Scottish protest, Steve telling the story of the hip-hop noodle, and a drunk teenager going vom in a trash can behind us.

When the party wound down, I took ninafarina to Metropolis to feed her coffee jones, then Pasteur for dinner, then home for some Freaks & Geeks and birthday smoochin’. Then, Sunday, it was off to Chicago Joe’s for a lovely brunch, marred only by the presence of beloved local celebrity/dimwit Ronnie Woo-Woo and, even worse, some assholes who sucked up to Ronnie Woo-Woo to his face and then called him a nigger after he left. Charming.

Still and all: a swell weekend with the gal I love the most. Say happy birthday, everybody, she deserves it.

*: At the party, Claire told us she was driving back to Evanston and needed to sober up, and asked if she should drink some Guinness in order to do so. Please join me in ensuring she never lives this down..
flavored with age

Notes from the world of ideas

Swamped with freelance stuff this week, busy at my day job, and with three books to work on, I can say only this:

A certain publication here in Chicago, in addition to rejecting my last two freelance pitches even though one of them was awesome, employs a certain editor who sent me an inexplicable note about another piece I wrote for them. When I asked her to clarify her note, she replied with a blank e-mail.

This certain publication better come through with the blingo, is what, because they're turning out to be a big fat hassle.
flavored with age

IS IT JUST ME, OR...?: TV edition

Was the last episode of Freaks & Geeks disappointing?

Is Coca-Cola C2 surprisingly good?

Does Arrested Development improve with repeated viewing, a fact attributable to its oft-complex plots and delayed payoffs?

Does your friends list kind of turn into a big dysfunctional family after a while, with the damn kids and the crazy drunk aunt and the uncle you always try to avoid and all the other reunion archetypes?

Is the inflated price point on DVD box sets of HBO’s original series, like $100 for The Sopranos and $90 for Deadwood and Carnivàle especially bogus considering you had to actually pay money to watch these in the first place?

Am I posting an awful lot for someone who claims to be busy at work?

Is it conceivable that the American version of The Office won’t completely and totally blow?

Does the president’s mania for Social Security investment accounts remind you of the late ‘20s, when everyone was urged to buy all the stocks they could afford, even overvalued stocks bought on margin, because it would most definitely pay off more than just saving the money?

Is there some kind of weird “thing” going on between Nicole Mitchell and Jen Carfagno on the Weather Channel?

Does my having written a letter to Pearl River Bridge Soy Sauce telling them how much I like their product officially revoke any rights I might have once held to complain about our consumer society?