Look up there. ^^^^. The Microsuede logo is based on this painting, "Chop Suey." It's my favorite painting, and the MacGuffin that kicked off my weekend, which was as awesome and exhausting as a twenty-two inning baseball game.
I'll get you caught up. Thursday I did a heap load of moving and I'm closer to getting settled into my new place. It's a basement apartment, and upstairs live a cat and a middle-aged woman and ... my idiot brother Michael. Long story, ask me about it sometime.
I forgot that the local Fox Sports channel shows Rockies games. Last season I got all into the Rockies so I'm a perfect bandwagoning fan. While organizing my new domicile I flipped on the game. Six hours later the game ended. 22 innings of baseball excitement. The best part was around the 14th inning when the announcers ran out of things to talk about.
"I might head down to the Walgreen's there and ... get some of that stuff you put on your lips ..."
(40 second pause)
The game ended around 2:22 and I hadn't even packed yet and still had a ton of stuff to do. I had to leave the house Friday by 8am so I didn't get much sleep.
I planned this trip to see an exhibition by my favorite painter, Edward Hopper. Kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity to see all of his major works gathered together in one place. In a series of remarkable coincidences, I found out that my favorite band was playing that weekend and that my good friend Rudy from San Jose would be in Chicago at the exact same time.
At the airport I stopped to buy a magazine and there was a lot of upselling. "That's it? Just the one paper? For only a dollar more you get a bottle of water. You're not going to try the new '5' gum?"
I ended up getting a water. And I had to buy gum because my total came to $6.66 and I didn't want any part of that.
I was tired, but I could sleep on the flight right? Nope. The stewardess had a voice like a number 2 pencil, and stood in the aisle next to me talking to some passengers the whole flight. My ipod couldn't drown her out and I didn't want to turn it up too loud since my hearing is still damaged from shootin'.
I walked through O'Hare and "Song for Bob" from the soundtrack to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Give it a listen here, if you'd like. Hearing this song in an airport makes your life seem much more dramatic than it really is. For a while everything was moving in slow motion.
There were a lot of sailors running around in the airport. Ensign, stop! You've got the wrong type of port!
I realized that I was completely unprepared and didn't know how I was going to get from the airport to my hotel. For all I know a cab would be a hundred bucks. I called Sean.
Sean: "This better be important!"
B: "Oh, uh, what are you doing?"
Sean: "Eh. Nothing."
I ended up taking the train. I liked the image from the top of the stairs. Like something out of a dystopian nightmare.
Here I am, boldly gazing into the future.
From the train window I spotted Ira Glass, just hanging out.
The train went subterranean and I realized I had no idea where I needed to get off, and no phone reception to verify. There was one other guy on the train car with a suitcase, so I followed him when he de-trained.
Once I got topside I was overwhelmed. The buildings in Chicago are way too big! I felt like a farm boy getting to the city for the first time. I'm no yokel, I lived in New York for a while (twenty non-consecutive days), but I was intimidated by this place.
On the way to the hotel I stopped to rough up Dan Rather, then met up with Rudy and we went to the much acclaimed Chicago pizza chain Gioardano's.
What a dish!
View from the 41st floor. The second building from the right is the Tribune building. I think a wizard lives there.
Rudy was in town to see a show by a guy named Saul Williams. The concert had been sold out for a while but I was able to buy a ticket from a sad young French girl who didn't realize it was 21+. I hope she didn't have to travel to far to get to the show.
Remember the skunk with a cup on it's head? How about a guy with a cup on his head?
I'm not sure what I expected from Saul Williams, but it certainly wasn't this.
Spoken Word/Hip-Hop meets Nine Inch Nails meets Feathers meets Facepaint meets Spiderman.
He closed with a cover of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" that would make Bono choke on his own sunglasses. Pretty rad.
Next time: Chicago, day 2