November 12, 2004

Sojourn in Chicago, Part Two

After reading my normal comics stash, couldn't sleep - tried to make my way through the first few chapters of Blacklist, by Sara Paretsky, who does for Chicago (in my opinion) what Raymond Chandler did for LA...although with a stronger social conscience. Half-awake, unable to trudge through the prose (not her fault - mine), turned on the television, caught Letterman (with a very sexy cook named Nigella Lawson), then Conan (with Selma Hayek, my current unattainable woman)...then drifted to sleep.

Seizing the opportunity, drove through Chicago, visiting old haunts and trying to revive childhood memories. Luckily, much of current Chicago pop culture - Svengoolie, the Empire Carpet Guy - is still thriving. However, much of the changes have saddened me - the smoke shop where I was first introduced to comics is now a Walgreen's; Kroozin' Music, my first "real" record store, is now an annex to Kelly High School; and Chaos in Print (a great name for a comics shop) is now an Internet cafe.

Much of yesterday was spent reconnecting with family - my cousin, my godson, my uncle. (I will have to see if I can blog a photo of Logan, my godson - he's cute). Living in St. Louis is great, but I do miss Chicago - not enough to actually move back, but it's great to be in familiar territory.

Right now, part of me feels very guilty - I'm falling behind on my online novel for Nanowrimo (but hey, I can always catch up later); I have a strategic planning survey to complete for work; but I needed this break. I needed time away, time to reconnect, recharge, and just get some rest.

(Plus, I burned through several more chapters of Sara Paretsky's Blacklist, and Mom just bequethed me her copy of Sue Grafton's R is for Richochet. Sometimes, though, it makes me feel like Burgess Meredith in that classic Twilight Zone episode.

Until next time, kids...

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