I'd been scheduled for a bartending gig down at the Aquarium for a couple of weeks, only the time had changed and I now needed to be there by 2:30pm instead of 4:30pm ... which meant leaving The Girls home alone for a bit until The Wife got in from the airport. If everything had worked smoothly, The Wife and I would have been passing each other on the elevators ... her flight got in at 12:30 and I needed to be out the door by 1:30, but I guess the traffic from Midway was bad, so The Girls had to wait around for an hour or so. Of course, some of Daughter #1's friends are regularly walking themselves to school at this point, so we're probably being "over protective" on trying to not leave them to their own devices, but I still felt bad about having to cut out on them.
The bartending gig was odd ... I was switched around between four bars ... they started me outside on the patio with just a beer and wine set-up, but switched me out of there after about 45 minutes because a guy they had solo on an inside full bar wasn't cutting it there. I ran that bar through the reception period and "show", then moved the bar set-up upstairs and was the "service bar" for the waitstaff to get drinks for the guests. Once the main party was over and we'd broken down the service bar, they switched me downstairs to the last major bar open by the entrance, I basically baby-sat the bottles for another half hour or so, before we broke that down, went down and sorted out the beer, and they let me go. We had originally been scheduled to 1am, but I got out at 11:30pm, which was good because the last bus swings by there at right about 1:00, and it would have been a long, tired walk to try to get back to the El (or a long, frustrating wait for a cab). Unfortunately, it was another "no tip-jar" sort of event, so my take was minimal. I am able to work up a lot more enthusiasm for this bartending stuff when I'm making $20-24/hour than when I'm making $10-12/hour!
As it was, I got on the El a bit past midnight, and was able to pick up roses for The Wife at the grocery store at my stop. I still had some "prep" stuff to deal with for The Wife's birthday, and didn't get to bed until about 3am. Fortunately, The Girls slept in pretty much and I was able to get about 6 hours of sleep. We got up, opened up the various gifties we'd gotten for The Wife, and made plans for breakfast. The Wife suggested this funky (straight out of the 60's) diner place on LaSalle, so we grabbed a cab over there (it was raining), and had breakfast. We decided that we were going to go see Garfield 2 at the 1:10 show, so had some time to kill, so we wandered over to Pearl art supplies, found they didn't open until noon, so stopped in the Starbucks under the Chicago Brown Line stop, used the washroom, got a coffee, and eventually hit the art supply store. That was a good place to kill some time because we were able to go right out from there to get the #66 bus that took us from there right over to the movie theater. Garfield 2 was O.K., and Daughter #1 only had to nudge me awake once, I think.
As we'd not had time previously to get a birthday cake, we stopped over at the new Dominick's down there and did some shopping, and eventually grabbed a cab home, where we whipped up some post-movie popcorn and either read or napped for a couple of hours. We'd decided to go out to the little French bistro up the street, and had a very nice dinner (although more $$ than we'd expected ... they've bumped their prices up since the last time we ate there!), followed by birthday cake at home. The Wife was very happy with the clean apartment, and with her birthday in general ... so, I guess, "mission accomplished".
I was hoping to sleep in this morning, but Daughter #2 decided that I needed to be up while they were getting ready to head off to camp, so I got an early start on trying to catch up with L.J. ... which brings me up to now.