In the morning, I felt better, and drove over to the suburb of Wheeling to see the Westin North Shore, where Midwest Furfest will be moving to this November. It's swankeh! (Caution for those arriving by car: there's major construction on I-294. It's passable but tricky and highly congestion-prone.)
Then I went looking for a place to have lunch. I thought I knew where all the restaurants were, but I guess I didn't remember my custom Google map very well. I was hoping to find a Subway... Instead, I found Potbelly Sandwiches, and I'm glad I did, because the sandwich was good, and there was a folksinger, named Jeff Wolf, with an acoustic guitar providing music for the lunch crowd. I heard him sing "Slow Boat To China", "White Rabbit", "Sloop John B", and oh yes, "Puff the Magic Dragon" with an extra verse he wrote himself (so it wouldn't have a sad ending). It goes:
Puff got into rehab,
Took twelve long steps to see
That Jackie Paper never had
The answers or the key.
Puff's gone middle class now,
Has a wife and family
And lives in San Diego
And runs Puff's Pottery.
After I left there, I drove downtown. I have two questions about downtown Chicago: 1. Is it ever not cold and windy there? 2. I am never driving into downtown Chicago again. Okay, that's not a question. If I ever want to go to downtown Chicago again, I'm either taking the train or asking someone who drives around there every day to take me. I went to Millennium Park again, and got to see Cloud Gate a.k.a. the Bean again, and I got to see the Crown Fountain with the huge glass-block monoliths that display pictures of faces.
But I wasted so much time and sanity traveling to and from downtown that I didn't have time for anything else. Also, the CD player in my rental car has a problem: it can't play some of my CDs. At first I thought it just didn't like Mika, but there were others it wouldn't play. One thing the unplayable discs have in common: they're all new. But there's one new disc it was able to play: "Funplex", by the B-52's. Anyone who knows how the music industry works, and who loves puzzles, want to try tackling this?
Discs the machine played:
They Might Be Giants, "Cast Your Pod to the Wind" ("The Else" bonus disc)
Cake, "Comfort Eagle"
Elvis Costello, "The Very Best of Elvis Costello", disc 1 (not to be confused with "The Very Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions")
The B-52's, "Funplex"
Discs it couldn't play:
Mika, "Life in Cartoon Motion"
OK Go, "Oh No"
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, "Love Their Country"
Anyway, I eventually got back to Schaumburg, and went to Woodfield Mall for dinner. I had a steak sandwich at The Great Steak & Potato Co., and a scoop of tiramisu ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. (Yummy!) It was nice to see the mall without its Christmas decorations up for once. :}
Tomorrow: Columbus, Ohio!