Lunch Saturday was at Muskie's (Hot Doug's is, sadly, on vacation), where I commissioned Shauna to get a gen-u-ine Chicago dog, having inexplicably forgotten her dislike of tomatoes. But the meal was salvageable, and it was a good tide-over until dinner. Which was at Lula Cafe, one of my very favorite joints in Logan Square*, and although it was very crowded, the food was terrific, as was the company. We were joined by her friend Madeliene, who was great, and my friends rum_holiday and her husband Doug. Andrea and I talked about how we've been playing Cities & Knights of Catan wrong for the last five years or so; Doug and I talked about good books and bad movies; Shauna and Madeliene caught up on old times; and there was some discussion of the movie ninafarina and I watched earlier in the day. It was Time of the Wolf by Michael Haneke -- a director of whom I'm rather fond -- and it was actually less violent than some of his films, but much, much, much more depressing. So we started wondering: could Time of the Wolf be the most depressing movie we'd ever seen? I maintained that Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark was more depressing, but she disagreed. I also maintained that some of the films of Todd Solondz and Neil LaBute have a more bleak and cynical worldview, but she (rightly, I think) argued that's not the same as depressing and can even be very amusing. At any rate, it's a very good movie, but quite a monster of a downer, which leads me to today's (in lieu of a bigger poll, because I'm still feeling like warmed-over hell, see below) POLL QUESTION:
What is the most depressing movie you've ever seen?
After dinner, we headed home, and the next morning, I fixed some breakfast while we watched everything from Meet the Press (Russert grilled a military guy nicely about Iraq, but John Edwards really floundered talking about the Dubai ports flap) to reruns ofMatch Game PM (I enjoyed seeing the Z-list celebs in action and how every single frame nicely illustrates what was insane about the 1970s, but Shauna was traumatized by Gene Rayburn's lecherous-nongenarian routine). Finally, we headed to the Alley, where I had planned to spring an early birthday present on my girl of a leather Chicago cop jacket, but she ended up picking out this red-and-white New-Wavey-looking leather that, let's face it, was like a million times cuter and hotter than the one I was gonna get her, which is why I'm glad I told her ahead of time. Then off to the Art Institute of Chicago to see, among many other things, an exhibit of this cat named Girodet, billed as a "Romantic Rebel". He seemed very much the former (lots of dynamic poses, overwrought emotional contortions on the faces of his subjects, tremendously vivid colors, and really intense, violent subject matter) but not so much the latter (he managed to work quite nicely for the various power structures in France over his lifetime, from the Church to the Revolutionaries to Napoleon to the bourgeois). Definitely worth seeing, anyway. Once we had a nice lunch at the Garden Restaurant, we headed to the airport into increasingly heavy snow (thankfully, my girl got home okay, though late), and by the time I got back home, I had been overwhelmed by what turned out to be a nasty-ass fever so heavy it pretty much knocked me right out. Which brings me to today, and why this post is probably barely comprehensible: ME SICK.
*: It's a long way to Minnesota
It's a long way, I know
It's a long way to Minnesota
To the sweetest girls I know
Farewell, dear Chicago!
Goodbye, Logan Square
It's a long, long way to Minnesota*
But my heart's right there.
*: Not really.