Chicago Trip Day 2

We departed Banks splendid hospitality Saturday morning and again took Rt. 30 west.  I started the day with a positive portent where I thought myself tricky by grabbing literally a handful of ice to recharge my car cup.  Ice is cold.  We arrived at the zoo at 9:30 and we were quickly met by TheChief/Jim German.

The Cast


Jim German/TheChief

His children already knew all of us by game name (which was creepy) and also accosted Tardbagel for not going to enough Steelers’ games.  The rest of of the party arrived including the following:


Peter Jerde/Pants

My first meeting was odd as I was used to seeing him in pictures with more beard.  He was also usually sitting so his 6’3″ness was more…vertical than I anticipated.  He has a perpetual sparkle in his eye requiring “gee golly, mister” to be prepended to all statements of incredulity.


Clinton Haymen/Jazzysax

I made at least 2000 references during the weekend to Clinton being short.  At a mighty 5’4″ he’s apparently tall in his family although I was perpetually afraid of backing up suddenly and crushing him.  He has an asymmetrical face which makes him look like he’s been pulled from a Picasso painting or was hit with a 2×4 during his formative years.


Mike Weber/VirginBride

He has cuffed jeans.  I also correctly guessed he had granite countertops.  I don’t know why, I just saw him as having granite countertops.  I was partly expecting him to meet us at his door in a velvet bathrobe and direct us to his leopard print couch.  He took public transit home so I had no opportunity to verify this image.  After meeting him, I’m glad I had no such occasion.


Will Gattis/FlamedDemon

I have better portraits of Will elsewhere in the Flickr feed but thought this summed up much his time at the zoo.  He’s a chronic texter on his iPhone in the way I’m a chronic searcher on my iPhone.  The faux-hawk with red highlights was excessive in my opinion but I’m told this is a method among his people to court someone during the Illinois mating season.

/OnaZ”]IMG_1146-20090613-ZooDespite having the “Douchebag” appogiatora added to his forum account, the fact that he apologized for being in the way of a 5 year-old charging through a display dispelled that.  He’s training to be a piano tuner which I think is getting to him as per his shock of gray hair.  During the day after getting bored at one point he yelled for us to “change the map”.  Oh, topical humor.


Lea Dekker/littlekitty

This isn’t the most representative picture of Lea I have but the others made her either look fat or like she was about to eat someone so I thought this was a nice compromise.  Lea’s education has proven… lacking in some areas which I documented throughout the weekend.

List of Things to Which Lea Claimed Ignorance

  • Beaver as synonym for vagina
  • Cornbread
  • John Stewart and Stephen Colbert
  • Exit Only as a statement of opposition to anal sex
  • What a “b-boy” is
  • Mr. T
  • Porn on DVD
  • Understatement
  • Chuck Norris (added 30 Jun 09)
  • Religion of the Pope (added 30 Jun 09)

This is not mocking her ignorances merely that it was an interesting collection.  Most people would fake knowledge, Lea refuses to, which I think is to be valued.  The last note “understatement” requires a bit of explanation.

Peter: Bluthium thinks we harsh on hackers too much.
Me: I think that’s a spot of an understatement.  We exterminate them with extreme prejudice.
Lea: Well, what’s wrong with “harsh”?
Me: I don’t think “harshing” is strong enough.  That’s like saying the Nazi’s “harshed” on the Jews, Roma, and gays.
Lea: But they did.

The Meerkats

The best portion of the zoo trip was the meerkat pen where Peter and I proved extremely popular with the lil’ bastards.


Turns out they really liked my camera/monopod combination, to the point where spent about 30 minutes staring at them staring at us.  We were eventually yelled at by a park docent for scaring them despite doing nothing besides standing and staring at them staring at us for about 30 minutes.

We took a constitutional on the false promise of coffee.  The bathroom had a profoundly powerful (I say diesel powered) hand dryer which may have served as inspiration for the pyro’s compression blast.


Will approved.

The search for coffee involved an 8-block walk to get sufficient caffeine to have the energy to walk 8 blocks back.  Caribou coffee appeared to be more descriminatory than Starbucks or my more familiar kitchen coffee pot as none of carried sufficient Apple products to sit inside.  I could have walked back to my car to grab my iPod and iPhone thinking that’d be effectively a MacBook Air but decided against it.

We had dinner at a restaurant that found a way to hid an entire tossed salad into the hamburger.  The ribs blew and I left a measly 28% tip.  Tard and I returned to Pants’ appartment where Tard fell asleep.  I learned a vital lesson: Pants can hold his liquor like a f*ing champ.  Peter and Audrey make their own soda to avoid the 10% Chicago “pop tax” and over the evening he downed two 1-liter bottles of grapefruit soda.  Except instead of using water as his base he used vodka.  The only indication that there was a trace of blood in his alcohol level was when I challenged his sobriety and he said “my sleech doesn’t splur”.   I met Ivan, his 16 lb cat who sports a crappy Russian accent in which he largely says “I am sooo fat”.  I really wish I had a recording.