Archive for October, 2003

Chicago addendum

Thursday, October 9th, 2003

Since Yoshi reminded me, I’ll talk a bit about a few of the people we saw at the Eddie Izzard show.

First is the poor girl who sat next to Yoshi. Anyone who has gone to do anything with me knows that I will, at some point, crack someone up. It’s just a matter of time. So me and Yoshi are going back and forth doing bits of Eddie Izzard skits and making fun of people. Finally the girl next to Yoshi can’t hold it in anymore and busts up. We make fun of some more people and she introduces herself. Her name is Laney and she is from Arkansas. She is graduating from UM-Columbia (Mizzou) in May in advertising. We talked a bit between the three of us. She was by herself and her friends were in the balcony above. That would suck. Guess she was lucky that she had friendly people next to her. Our common target of laughter was the following two though.

In the row directly in front of was a family of four. Assumably a mom and dad and their two kids, one boy and one girl. Pretty normal. Hehe, not these people. I think they thought they were animals. Seriously. The mom was the worst. She had on a white Eddie shirt and stonewashed grey jeans. But these were no ordinary jeans. They had something that looked like white rabbit fur all along the outside seams. With accessories. Attached to the back center belt loop was a foot long TAIL made out of what looked like matching white rabbit fur. It was an inch wide strip of fur that just dangeld from a small metal clip from her belt loop. Second worst was their young son. Wearing a futuristic motorcross style padded shirt wasn’t that big of a deal. The rat-tail (mini-mullet) was. From his basically normal looking hair cut sprung about 10 inches of dyed green hair from the base of his neck. The dad at first seemed normal but if you looked hard enough you could see the oddity. He had naturally kinky white hair and it looked a bit like Howie Mandel from the late 80s. However at the back of his neck was a miserable excuse of a tail. With his tight kinky hair it just came out as a puff ball like a cottontail rabbit. I felt sorry for the daughter. She seemed relatively normal. Halfway through the show she pulled her hair pack into a pony-tail but that is the only animal likeness I can give to her.

The other oddity that amused us was a man across the theater in one of those private boxes near the stage. He and his date/wife/escort/mistress (whatever) were in the front most row of seats. He was a large man. Large as in I’d estimate 300 to 350 pounds. Then his wardrobe. He wore a black shirt with a black leather vest over the shirt. Over that he wore a bright orange blazer with padded shoulders. Needless to say he would have stood out had he done nothing more than sit down. But obviously he had a friend in the audience. A friend sitting on the opposite side of the theaterin a balcony higher. How do I know this? Because the Big Man In Orange was yelling, mouthing words, waving, making hand/arm/body gestures and such to communicate to that person. At one point he must have gotten worn out and proceeded to give everyone in the theater his cell phone number. He held up his phone, then held up his fingers a number at a time till his friend got the idea and called him. Luckily this was all before the show as the BMIO was still walking about and using his arms to accentuate his talking on the phone. He must be Italian. Dunno. The other funny thing was his date/wife/escort/mistress (whatever) as she was probably all of a 100 pound blonde in a black dress. A huge contrast to the BMIO. I just hope she gets to be on top. The BMIO would crush her. *shudder*

Chicago Recap

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

Chicago. I love that city. Well at least the downtown areas. I’ve not been in most of Chicago and it’s surrounding areas to know if I’d like it all but it seems great. Of course there are the extremes of posh condos and parks and scary as hell slums but what city doesn’t?

Yoshi and I left St. Louis on Saturday morning around 10am after dropping off Guinness at my Dad’s. We stopped off in Springfield, IL to pick up some friends of ours who were going with us. They had the tickets too so we couldn’t leave them behind. As I may have mentioned before, it’s just not a road trip unless we eat at Cracker Barrel. At least for me and Yoshi. It’s just tradition. So since there was a Cracker Barrel in Springfield, I was really hoping to go there for lunch. However one of the people we picked up was set on BBQ at Smokey Bones. Not my first choice of places to eat but I didn’t want to ride with grumpy people. As I had feared, the food sucked. Well at least mine did. The turkey there is dry and tastes like cardboard. Supposedly the ribs are good, but I’d rather just not go there ever again. And then we were off again.

Driving up highway 55 is pretty uneventful. Not as boring as some of the highways in Illinois but no marvel to behold either. The amount of tollways in the Chicago area is freaking ridiculous though. Every couple of miles you have to pay 40 to 50 cents as we neared the airport where our hotel was. I guess I’m lucky living in a big city that doesn’t have toll roads. I’m sure many cities have them but St. Louis doesn’t. So I complain about them. Keep lot’s of change handy. Having exact change makes thing go much smoother.

Here’s another tip. Unless you are made of money or have connections, don’t stay in the hotels downtown. Most are way too expensive and the few that aren’t are sometimes hard to get into. Also, most hotels make you pay to park in their garages and we are talking anywhere from $11-36 per visit (depending on time spent in the garage). Even if you don’t leave the garage each day, you still have to pay for each night your car resides in the garage. The best thing to do is stay in a hotel outside of the major downtown area. We stayed at a Residence Inn near O’Hare Airport. We got a three room suite for $150 on a Saturday night. And it’s only a ten minute drive back downtown. We had five people in the room and six could have fit easily. Split that $150 between five and $30 per person is prety damn cheap for Chicago.

So we made it downtown Saturday night after checking in and met up with our friends daughter who took my extra ticket. Saved me. Although I’m not sure if the show was entirely appropriate for a 14 year old, she had a good time. Which brings me to the show.

The Shubert Theater is a beautiful old style theater with multiple balcony levels. However many of the buildings downtown are getting work done on them so scaffolding is the current architecture of the downtown area. Inside the seating is tight and the air got a little still and warm while the show was going but it was still a nice place. The stage was very plain with a simple flat backdrop which would later show an animated intro to the show as well as fluctuating lighting effects and graphics. Around the edges and above were what looked like old military camoflage of the size that would cover airplanes or tanks. And a bunch of lights.

Eddie Izzard took the stage wearing a black top with fake breasts, a long black sequined skirt with a slit all the way up, knee high black boots with heels and a grey jacket. Nothing at all like he had been doing on the Tonight Show and other appearances. Which is a good thing. He is definitely in his element on stage and in womens clothing. He went on about everything under the sun before he took a short break. Then he came back out and after a slightly slow start came to s spectacular end. The show was amazing and I am so glad I went. I can’t wait till he films the DVD version of the show so I can watch it all over again.

On Sunday we went to Navy Pier downtown and Yohsi and me took pictures while the others sloughed about. I guess it’s not fun to be around picture people if you don’t have a camera either. Dunno. We got a few interesting shots here and there and I should have them posted on the photo album by about the time hell freezes over if my current posting rate is any indication. We still had to drop off our friend’s daughter and that ended up being much later than expected. The father was supposed to meet us at 2pm but due to heavy traffic from the Bears game we didn’t get to drop her off till 4pm. So needless to say Sunday night was spent driving. I wanted to stop for Cracker Barrel on the way back but I needed to get back to town and pick up Guinness from my Dad’s house. I told him that I would pick him up in the afternoon and I already felt bad for not getting there until 10:30pm after dropping everyone else off.

So anyway, it was a great trip.

Chicago

Monday, October 6th, 2003

Long weekend.  Eddie Izzard concert was awesome.  Lots of driving.  Not enough sleep.  Need a nap.  Actually have work to do today.  Stupid work.  Will post a real update later.