Anyway, had a meeting with the career counselor today, but she's broken her leg and can't get downtown and her office is out in one of those suburbs that you just can't get to on public transportation. So, for a noon appointment, I had to leave the house at 9:30, take the El out to O'Hare, get the rental van out to the car place, rent the car, and try to figure out what route through the spaghetti-plate of expressways out there was going to get me to this suburb that I hadn't even HEARD of previously. I was hoping to get some coffee somewhere along the way, but as it was I just got there on time.
Once the meeting was over it was back on the expressway and back to Chicago. Of course, with a car, the city is a nightmare too ... even at 3:00pm I was having to do some serious searching to find a parking spot. I lucked out, actually, having found a spot on the Clark St. side of Bughouse Square (about 3 blocks from home) where the view of the spot with the open meter was being blocked from on-coming traffic by a garbage truck ... I only saw it because I was getting ready to make the turn in that lane. The parking in my neighborhood is insane ... the meters by my building are 15 minutes for a quarter, and most of them run from 9am to 9pm (there's even a stretch where they run till MIDNIGHT). Fortunately, the ones by Bughouse are 30 minutes per quarter and they just run till 6pm. I got there with 1 minute to spare around 5pm to slap more quarters in, having had an object lesson on the way of a couple having a fit about a block away over a parking ticket they got when they showed up "just 3 minutes late"!
Tomorrow's going to be worse, of course, being Saturday ... I may take my mom up on her offer to put the car in her garage ... they charge her about $15.00 for overnight parking there but we can always get in since only residents and their guests can park there ... it's like $25 overnight in our building, assuming the garage isn't full, so we almost never park here ... but I doubt I'll find a meter any closer than 10 blocks when we get in.
At least with it being Saturday tomorrow I won't have to go out at crack-of-dawn to move the car ... where the car is turns into a tow zone from 7am-9am on weekdays. There are a precious few meter spots in the neighborhood which are both 30 minutes for a quarter, just run till 6pm, and don't have daily tow zone areas! When I had the station wagon back in '93 (I was doing a project with a sculptor friend and needed it for schlepping stuff that summer) I'd leave it about 6 blocks away (near Cabrini-Green!) on a stretch that had legal, unmetered, parking ... just had to move it the days they did the street sweeping ... of course that's long gone since they built the new high school right there.
Bleh. Cars suck.