- Friday I headed north to Rogers Park, to meet thevulgartrade at Standee's. Much geek-talk was made on the usual topics: writing, computers, comics, music, grinding poverty. I contemplated picking up some Metropolis coffee for my gal ninafarina, but by the time she got it home it would have lost its fascistically mandated uber-freshness, so I took a pass.
- The weather the entire weekend was stunning (the three months a year of decent weather in Chicago is finally here, huzzah), so I tried to get out in it as much as I could, but unfortunately that turned out to be much less than I planned. On the way back from the dry cleaners, I turned my ankle worse than I have in months and sprained the shit out of it. After limping home, spending at least half the trip hopping on one foot, I ended up running the rest of my errands in the car instead of on foot. That's a drag at the worst of times, but on a day like Saturday was, it's a goddamn crime.
- Made one of my increasingly infrequent trips to Chicago Comics and picked up a pile of stuff. I got an issue of Hsu and Chan I didn't have, the first issue of The Atheist, a few of the Grant Morrison Seven Soldiers titles (verdict so far: meh, although I do really like Simone Bianchi's art on Shining Knight), the latest installment of Jessica Abel's La Perdida, the collected Seaguy (it's evidence of how much comics publishers know their suckers that they put out a collection of an incomplete comic), a copy of Killing Joke (my original's been missing for years), volume 2 of Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier (which I've decided I really dig despite some huge, huge flaws), and, to top it all off, the latest 100 Bullets collection, which I already had and forgot about. Save your receipts, kids.
I also picked up the 3rd Space Ghost: Coast to Coast collection -- stuff from when it really, really started to get good -- which I highly recommend (in both senses of the word "highly"), and the mailbag brought me tons of free CDs from my pals in the record label publicity trade. I'm taking this "Heavy Trash thing -- Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray -- to work today and give it a listen.
- Saturday night, I went with Lara & Jeff to see Hella at Bruce's Empty Bottle. The first two bands were Canadian all-girl groups (one was called Pony Up!, and was very short and uninteresting; the other, whose name I don't remember, was less short but also less interesting) who had me stifling yawns throughout the evening. Once Hella came on, though...well, I've never seen Hella live be anything but amazing. This was the first time I've seen Zach Hill and Spencer Seim play with a full band (a bassist -- who we suspected, and which a peek at their website confirmed, was Jonathan Hischke from the late, lamented My Name Is Rar-Rar -- and D. Elkan on vocals/guitar/keys/synth/sampler), and any worries we had about them not being as good with the extra personnel were pretty much immediately dispelled. Hischke is a near-perfect match for them, and while Elkan's not up to their level of musicianship, he's at least got plenty to do and understands their music. It was a phenomenal show, and as I've said elsewhere, if there's a better drummer anywhere in the world today than Zach Hill, you'll have to prove it to me.
- Amidst much cleaning and writing and general trip preparation yesterday, I made a beef and Guinness casserole from this Irish cookbook I got a while back. It turned out quite well, I think -- the short cooking time really gave the meat a solid stout flavor, and the mushrooms were a swell addition -- and tomorrow, I think, I'm going to make a Dublin coddle from the same book, since it was really good the last time I made it.
Wednesday: to San Francisco with my honey! And how's by you?