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From Chicago

from Saturday, November3rd of the year2007.

I can no longer think about the word “Chicago” without hearing the opening of Steve Reich’s Different Trains. Anyway, I’m here, and it is so gorgeous out you could die. I just had a lovely illinois-field-museum.jpgrun via what appeared to be Chicago’s Edutainment District, featuring the Natural History Museum (which has a cartography exhibit advertised that I am 250% going to see the minute I can), something called the “Shedd Aquarium,” which is more enticing for the double-d spelling than the fact that it might contain dolphins. Running around is a great way to see a new place, too, because you make quick navigational decisions that normally you would fret about, and usually end up somewhere unexpected. And, most importantly, if you messed up, you’re moving quickly enough that it doesn’t really matter.

– Rehearsals for Step Team are going excellently. I, of course, neurotically had this fear that a team of people dressed up like Janet Jackson from the Rhythm Nation video20040304l40l40not_16_i_sco.jpg were going to pop out of trap-doors in the floor and threaten my life on account of my regressive harmonic agenda, but, no foot-soldiers arrived and instead everybody has been incredibly kind, warm, and generous. Plus I saw Ara Guzelimian now DEAN Ara Guzelimian!

– Today, during the Step Team rehearsal, a performance of From Here On Out happened in New York. I like this idea that if I were hit by a bus during my run, the music could go on without me. Satisfying.

– I haven’t done this in AGES, but what would happen if I got room service breakfast tomorrow?

– I had breakfast today at a cafĂ© with Steffani, and when I ordered my omelet, I was asked by our waitster, “Would you like organic eggs or not?” I struggled with how to answer it; usually if somebody asks you if you want bottled water or tap, you answer, “tap is fine” implying that while you your_mommy_kills_animals_co.jpgunderstand that bottled water is naturally preferable, you’re going to “stick with” tap. In the case of the eggs, I wasn’t sure if I said, “conventional is fine,” if the Janet-Jackson-Boulez-PETA squad was going to arrive in their hybrid black helicopters, throw red paint over me and my breakfast date, tattoo me with a Babbitt square as a reminder, and hand me a copy of “Your Mommy Kills Animals” or if it would be fine for me to spend $2 less on an already vaguely expensive omelet. (I ordered the organic eggs and thanked him for giving me the choice).

Don’t forget to set your clocks back. I received a friendly note under the door of the hotel room advising me a such. The note concludes with the vaguely Book of Common Prayer-sounding “It is, and will continue to be, our pleasure to be of service.”


  • On arriving in Chicago, did your friends meet you at the station?

    Yeah, I said it.

    Also, the egg trap is brilliant. Imagine: if their eggs cost two bucks more, people would start buying their omelets elsewhere. But when they ask you to pay two bucks more for organic eggs, you can’t refuse! I’m pretty sure Zizek described this exact scenario in The Puppet and the Dwarf. And I’m 100% sure that if you went into their kitchen, you would not even find any non-organic (inorganic?) eggs.

    Well played, Janet Jackson. Well played.

  • the eggs bit is funny. I assume that you went to Lula Cafe in Logan Square? i was faced with a similar quandary, and responded with much laughter, ‘well, what choice do i really have?”
    I ate organic eggs that day.

  • there is a similar choice at Balthazar where I recently ate breakfast. I ordered an organic, and therefore for some reason, brown egg which arrived beautifully and perfectly boiled and in an eggcup, of course. Slicing of the top off the shell with that necessary delicate but dramatic crackkk revealed immediately that I got exactly what I wanted. But the lady across from me, a Canadian tourist, ordered two boiled eggs with her larger breakfast including meats and her eggs arrived white and less artful nesting together in a simple bowl. ( I guess she was meant to scoop them out into the bowl rather than eat from the shell in the egg cup). The point here is that the “good” organic egg with rustic brown colouring required more delicate eating…implying a more high grade eating experience , while the white “bad”eggs came with no expectation of ceremony, and from where I sat seemed over -cooked.
    You decide what any of it means