Well, that was a cold damn week. I knew I was home, because when the weather actually got out of the low 50s I walked around like any other Chicagoan saying how lovely and warm it was.
We got there on Friday the 5th, with both of us dropping off because we hadn't had any sleep. I meant to get a nap before we left, but I was trying to pack and clean up up bit for my pals Jiggers and Kathy to feed the beasts, so I never got around to it...we had a 6 A.M. flight, which meant a car at 3:30 A.M. And Sarah had to work karaoke until 2:30 A.M. I caught a short nap when we got to the hotel, but poor old Sarah just stayed up. My pal Tommy took us out on Friday to a truly terrific show called A Class Act, which is about Ed Kleban, the lyricist for Chorus Line, and it was wonderful. The show is excellently written, using exclusively his own songs, and the actors were great.
Then on Saturday, of course, was the big family party, which featured food (duh...my family doesn't go in for crackers and cheese...when they serve food, they serve FOOD). I must say, that bridesmaid dress waasn't at all as bad in person (I mean in a photograph, obviously) as it was in memory. I actually looked pretty good. Then Sarah and I went off to the Old Town Ale House where we ran into my old drinking buddy Bruce Elliott, who owns the place now, and we had a nice long natter about who's where and what are they up to. This didn't take as long as one would think, for the eminently logical reason that these are people I've known for about 50 years, and therefore there's a fairly large attrition rate. But a few are still with us.
Sunday Sarah took off on her own, having gone out with her cousins the night before and made all sorts of friends, and I went over to Cass and Charlie's for the afterparty from the anniversary party (of COURSE there was an afterparty...there were leftovers, weren't there?). We had a great time laughing and scratching as usual. The thing I like about my family and friends is that we tend to just pick up where we left off last time, which makes for much livelier conversation than everybody stating what they've been doing for the last six years or so.
Then Monday night was the memorial gathering for my friend Dolores, who died last year just before Christmas. As promised, it was the most casual of gatherings, with more old friends and lots of conversation. Poor old Sarah felt like she was in the world's liveliest nursing home, I'm afraid...since I started at Encore Theatre when I was 15, I tend to be the youngest person in the room. This also holds true of the Ale House, since I was drinking there at 15 too. This is not altogether a bad thing. This was very much the usual Encore crew, with people singing snatches of song and occasionally tap dancing a little...Sarah kept wincing when peoples' knees went off like rifle fire. Honestly, the young just don't understand.
Tuesday, God help us, we had lunch with Bill the trustee, who for reasons best known to himself, insisted on driving us all over hell and gone near Chinatown to show us all the new development over there. I'm certaily glad there's new development (it was kind of blighted, after all), but I couldn't care less. I never spent any time in Chinatown anyway (good Chinese lunch, however). Tommy did much better by us on the way to the theatre on Friday, driving us through Near North and all those glorious houses. Then I asked Bill to go by Buckingham Fountain so Sarah could see that great view of the city rising behind it, and he promptly took us BEHIND the fountain. So what we saw was the fountain and the lake, which wasn't what I was after. Sheesh.
That night our cousin Nick took us out for pizza (REAL pizza...take that, New York), and on Wednesday we finally got a small glimpse of what I had intended to see anyway...The Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Wednesday night we went out to dinner at a lovely little French place on Wells Street, and Thursday my pal Carolyn took us to lunch (and God bless her, got us on the train to the plane) on our way to the airport. (Thank you, darling!)
So I never got to do much of anything I had intended to do, but we had a great time anyway.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have a question. WHY will people use unnecessary words? There was an article in the food section in today's NYTimes about snails, which a nice lady seems to be raising. However, in the course of this article, it refers to "cooking with snails."
I'm sorry, you don't cook WITH snails. You just cook snails. I can't see why I would want them in the kitchen in the sense of cooking WITH somebody. They aren't good conversationalists (or talkers at all), and they are absolutely no help whatsoever...you can't ask them to get you something out of the icebox or mince an onion, which is what I think of in terms of cooking with someone. If there are snails in my kitchen, I'm cooking them...not cooking WITH them, damn it.