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Sunday, March 19, 2006


Before I took off the last week and a half, my posts had been getting relatively short even when I had something to write. Lately, I have had a lot to write about but I haven't had time to write. I think the last time I wrote, I said that I was going to South Carolina for the weekend to visit my friend Jerry. I did do that and had a great time. I flew out on the morning of Friday the 10th on Northwest. I arrived in Greenville at noon and met Jerry. We went to lunch at a Thai place which was verry good. The stereotypical Thai food is very hot which causes it to be impossible to taste. This stuff was very tasteful. After lunch, we went to Jerry's house where I hung out while he did some work. He put me on his Playstation while he worked. I also got to meet his 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Callie and Tucher. His wife Cathy came home and we hung out by his pool and talked while Jerry worked. Jerry finished most of his work and we went out for dinner at a sushi place. We ended up ordering a whole mess of sushi which we all enjoyed. I have to say however, that it was a little strange to see a sushi roll listed that had fried chicken as the meat part of it. I have no idea how that was because I don't consider fried chicken sushi and we didn't order any. We then went to a marble slab ice cream place. If you have never tried this type of ice cream, you must. You start out with vanilla or chocolate ice cream. You then choose between one and three flavors which are then cut into the ice cream on a marble slab. The ice cream is then served in a dish or a homemade waffle cone. I had green tea and cheesecake. We then stopped for some beer and went back to his house and watched Blackhawk Down. I ended up hitting the sack at about midnight. Cathy was on call on Saturday so she had to get up early Saturday morning which meant Jerry had to get up early.

Saturday, I slept in, getting up around 9:30 AM or so. I got up and Jerry fed me an omelette, sausage, and bacon. We then went out, got Cathy lunch, and then played video games at an arcade for several hours. Jerry had a great run on the basketball game, ending up at one point with several hundred tickets. We ended up giving them away because there wasn't really anything we would want. We then went back to Jerry's place, had a good dinner of steak and potatoes afterwhich we went out again. We went to a pool bar with the thought that we might play pool. This was a rather dumb idea. The tables were by the hour and there was a long waiting list. We had a beer, walked over to a brew pub near by and had another beer. We got back home and crashed. I ended up getting up about 8:30 AM on Sunday morning but I let Jerry sleep. He ended up coming out about 10:30 AM. The high point of Sunday was going to the Mast Store, a store that was kind of a cross between an old general store and an outfitters store. In the lower level of the story they had a bunch of bulk candy. I bought a bunch of Squirrel Nut Zippers among other things. Jerry thought the name was pretty cool and he had never heard of them so I gave him one. What I forgot was that Jerry was allergic to peanuts which is one of the main ingredients in a Squirrel Nut Zipper. We had to go back to his house so he could take a steroid to take care of the allergic reaction. I was very embarrassed and apologetic so I was ripe for a jab. Cathy, who was laying in bed when I came to apologize to Jerry again said, "So Gary, I hear you tried to kill my husband." What could I say? After he recovered, we went to the beautiful waterfall park downtown and then went to a wings place for dinner.

Monday, I left to return to Chicago. According to the plane schedule, I was supposed to arrive at O'Hare at 4:02 PM but because of a windstorm in Chicago, I was delayed, ended up having to change flights, and was delayed again. I ended up arriving in O'Hare at about 9 PM which got me home at around 10 PM (I took the bus).

I get a lot of email everyday and if I don't check it, it stacks up quickly. My job Tuesday after getting groceries, paying bills and making dinner, was to start wading through the 160 emails that weren't spam that had stacked up over the weekend. It actually took me all week to catch up with my email. I finally caught up on Friday night.
I probably would have caught up earlier except that I went to a very funny, Tony Award winning musical called Urinetown. I hadn't planned on going but I got a free ticket and you can't beat free so I went.

On Thursday, I won tickets to a play on Friday and a movie on Monday. I forgot to call about the tickets to the play so I didn't go but I did manage to pick tickets up on Friday.

Saturday was the 3rd Anniversary of the Iraq War and I had to go to the protest. I emailed my other friend Cathy to find out if she was going to be there. She is also very involved in the antiwar movement. Unfortunately I didn't hear from her so I went out by myself. It was very big. Estimates put the crowd at about 7,000 and we actually got to march on Michigan Avenue this time. It was very cool. It was also very cool that Cathy and her husband Marcus, who was also arrested in 2003, found me on Michigan Ave. We ended up marching together until we reached Daley Plaza where the "parade" ended.

Today, I volunteered for a group called the Night Ministry which provide a temporary place (up to 120 days) for homeless youth. The facility that they are setting up is new so we were tearing paper off the floor that had been put down for wall painting. We also moved and assembled furniture. It was very gratifying work. It was also very definitely work but it was a lot of fun.

So what's on the horizon? As I said, on Monday, I'm going to see a documentary called the "Devil and Daniel Johnsten" and on Tuesday is our monthly book club meeting where we will be discussing, "Thank You for Smoking".


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