Friday, August 22, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Don Janes...

Don is seen here learning to cope with taking care his mentally challenged brother, Corky Janes. Merrie Greenfield disavows knowledge of taking this picture.

Because my brother has been hogging his computer, you are more current with his blog than I am. So, please forgive any any repetitive redundancies.

Despite the five hour train delay at the onset of my adventure, and even though I failed to receive a check that had been specifically budgeted for my vacation because some wing-ding mailed it to a city in which I have never lived, it's been a most excellent trip.

The weather has been ideal. Joe has been an exemplary host. (Of course, I've been a near perfect guest.) Houdini, Joe's 4am alarm cat, well, I think I'll let him slide, only because he does stop meowing every 30 minutes.

Gotta admit, I'm still in awe of a place like Chicago. So many people, so much culture. And them there buildings is purty dang big! Ok, I must officially express my disgust with learning that Donald Trump is building a structure destined to exceed the height of the Sears Tower.

Even though I dubbed this my 3M vacation (Museums, Movies, Meals), the fun began with getting to watch Joe in the sterling WNEP production of Metaluna. Absolutely brilliant stuff. Great performances by everyone in the cast. I definitely give it two "hairmps" up. But, just to reveal my true rural side, here's what I'll probably tell my posse back home first - I MET ONE OF THE JOKER'S HENCHMEN. (I can only hope for forgiveness from the rest of the truly talented members of the production, especially since I helped strike the set after closing.) See, the thing was, I met David on Saturday and then saw him the Dark Knight movie on Monday - IN IMAX! Well, there you go.

The Dark Knight may not even have been the best movie I watched, but the worst was definitely Baghead. After Joe vicariously recommended it, I barely managed to stay awake through it. Do not waste your money. Don Hall will back me up on this.

The museums, and I include The Shedd in this category, have been worth every penny Joe or I or no one (thanks Gabe) have paid. Joe refers to this type of culture indulgence as "touristy" but nothing could be further from the truth. If you live here, enjoy what you have. Mind you, once every other year is likely sufficient, but there are invaluable displays of art and history at your doorstep. Do not take these for granted. The closest thing to culture we have in Ottawa County, Ohio is the Walleye Drop on New Year's Eve.

Other Chicago observations:
I still get a puerile kick out of seeing a sign that says "Speed Hump."
I'm still easily confused by the Brown, Red, Blue, Orange, Pink, and Purple lines.
Part of the solution to the homeless problem here is to ban benches.
Riding a bicycle on the streets of this town is ballsy. Doing it while talking on a cell phone is just plain nuts.
The El (is that the proper spelling?) really needs the same overhead straps used by the buses.
The RedEye needs to toughen up its crossword puzzle.

Well, I enter my last couple days here with only $30 cash in my pocket, but a rejuvenated debit card, so I plan on closing strong. Having to stretch my money has kept me out of the bars, but that's about the only thing I may have done differently. Next time, and I certainly hope there will be a next time, I plan on doing some extremely touristy things. Stay tuned.

- Don


Yesterday, I asked...

"A 37-year-old woman from a Milwaukee suburb celebrated her birthday by helping her 17-year-old son do what?"

15% said "have a baby"
- Not even sure how the logic works out on this one. She's pregnant? He's pregnant? Leave me alone. I'm tired. Too many touristy museums in one week.

9% said "finish high school"
- She'd be more on board for this if it was "finish high school OFF!"

Everyone wisely avoided "eat their weight in pie"

76% got it right with "rob a gas station"

According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a 17-year-old in town from Chicago for his mother's birthday is suspected of robbing two gas stations in Greenfield and Milwaukee at gunpoint before he and his mother - suspected of being the getaway driver - were captured by Greenfield police Tuesday night. Others along for the ride? The woman's three other children, a 13-month-old girl and two boys, ages 10 and 14, were in the woman's car, according to Greenfield police. Police said the younger boys were aware that their older brother was robbing businesses after planning the holdups with their 37-year-old mother.

You know, at my age, I find this horrible. Absolutely reprehensible. Everything that's wring with this country. Why was this woman allowed to spawn? However, if I were 17, I would think I had the coolest mom in the world.