November 23rd, 2007


Whew ...

That was quite a couple of days. On Wednesday, The Girls came up with me to work. The Boss has daughters right around their ages, and since they were all off from school, we thought it would be fun to get them together. The office is "kid and dog friendly" (with a "family room" set up) so it wasn't quite like bringing them into an "office". I dragged them out and onto the El with me, got up to Davis St. in Evanston and discovered that the damn suburban bus line (Pace) had gone on strike that morning! So, the day started out funky (I ended up getting us a cab to get over to the office), and I had a pretty rough day with some technical stuff (I was trying to get an e-mail press release out that would not format correctly), but the kids all seemed to have a good time together. We didn't get out of there until very late, however, and didn't get back home until past 8pm!

Thursday morning we got up early and headed down to the Loop for the big Thanksgivings Parade, and it was cold and slightly snowy. We almost left early because, well, it was one of the first real cold days and The Girls were wimping out a bit.

We came home and got the Thanksgiving Dinner pulled together. This has become a rather isolated holiday for us as we don't "have anybody" any closer that Columbus, OH and so it's just the four of us. Since my Mom died, we've scaled the meal back to pretty much the basics, with a few "family tradition" dishes. This is the first time in ages though that I haven't baked ... but I've been so wiped out with the new job that I pretty much come home, eat, and pass out, so it would have been a bit of a challenge to get that in.

This morning we went to the Circus (one of these days I will get the pics off the camera ... I have no idea how people manage to get their files sorted and posted the same day!) which was fun. I've been "hoarding" my tip money from back when I was bartending, and dipped into that today to have some cash to buy The Girls stuff, and they seemed happy, getting snow-cones (in fancy, very much reusable {we're still using the clown head ones from last year!}, heavy plastic cups, #1 got a white tiger, and #2 got a princess pony) when we first got in, then at intermission picking a toy each, and I got them the cotton candy with the clown hat as well. Throw in a popcorn and a program, and I blew $120.00 today, but it's money that I've set aside for this sort of thing, so I'm not freaking so much on spending it (but, man that shit is expensive).

After the Circus we took the bus back to the Loop and went in search of a late lunch (it was already past 2pm at that point) ... we at first thought we'd go over to one of the restaurants at "The Store Formerly Known As Marshall Fields" but the "black Friday" crowds were just insane and we gave up on that idea before we even fought our way to the elevators. Why do people willingly go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving???? They'd have to be giving stuff away to make dealing with the crowds worth it. What a fucking nightmare.

Anyway, we had an inspiration and ducked out to the Pittsfield Cafe ... this is the funky little diner place in the lobby of the Pittsfield Building, a 1920's classic office building with a 5-story atrium where the Cafe has "outside" seating. It's charming, very reasonably priced (I highly recommend the Shrimp Basket at something like $6.50), and today nearly empty. Yes, as the avaricious (mostly) tourist mobs surged outside, we were able to have a nice quiet late lunch in a hidden gem of the city. Oh, one thing to note about the Pittsfield Cafe that's in keeping with its "vintage" setting ... they only take cash ... which is a huge shocker the first time you hit it!

The main reason we didn't just head for home after the Circus was that they were going to be lighting the Tree down at Daley Plaza at 5pm, so we were wanting to hang out for that. So, after lunch we ducked over to the Chicago Cultural Center to see what they had up (fascinating stuff by an artist who "paints" with embroidery stitch sewing machines), and to check out the always enticing Art-o-mat. Although this time the machine was well-stocked, I was a bit "tired and cranky" and didn't feel inclined to spend $5 to get some goodie out of it. I guess I'll "owe me one" the next time I'm downtown.

From there we ducked into Borders for a bit, and then headed over to Daley Plaza ... which as a zoo. One of the things they've been doing the past several years is this big German Xmas market thing, which seems to get bigger every year, so not only were there the "black Friday" crowds, but they were smushed in between these market stalls. We got up near the tree, but didn't have a view of the stage ... they did about a half-hour program of carols, etc., before the lighting. The tree got lit, there was a bit of a fireworks show from on top of City Hall, and then we went home. I came in to look at my e-mail and promptly fell asleep for an hour or two.

Had I not "fell asleep at the keys", I'd have gotten the pictures off the camera, but maybe I can get to that tomorrow and do one bit picture post of all the stuff I've been talking about over the past couple of weeks. Yeah, I know, you can hardly wait.

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