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Thursday, November 12, 2009

"From Sanity To Distraction, And Back Again"

Well folks, it's been a week since my last post, and that's not at all what I had planned. I hate it when that happens. I get caught up in things. Then time flies by, and before I know it, a week is gone. Very frustrating sometimes. But, I'm back. Time to fill in the blanks a bit.

Last week Friday, I went down to Chicago -- to see a billy goat. That sounds strange, I know... so I'll explain. Back during the 2008 MLB baseball season, my friend Tom made me (and another friend) an offer. If the Milwaukee Brewers made it into the Playoffs at the end of the season (which they did), he would take us down to Chicago. Our destination of choice: the Billy Goat Tavern -- the supposed source of the "Curse of the Billy Goat" placed upon the rival Chicago Cubs.

Perhaps a little history lesson is in order, though. See, back in 1945, the then-owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, Billy Sianis, was asked to leave a World Series game at Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs), because his pet goat's odor was bothering fans. He was outraged, and declared: "Them Cubs, they aren't gonna win no more," which has been interpreted to mean that there would never be another World Series game won at Wrigley Field. Ironically, the Cubs have never been to the World Series since.

So, since Tom and I are avid Brewers fans (and love to dislike the rival Cubs as a result), we went down to Chicago to visit the famous "source" of the Cubs curse. And they have great cheeseburgers too, so it just happened to be lunch as well.

Back to Friday, though. Tom, his friend Tom, and myself took the train down to Chicago early in the morning. It was an hour and a half ride; nothing fancy. When the three of us got there, we walked from Union Station through the downtown streets of Chicago (dwarfed by all the giant skyscrapers above us!) until we arrived at the Billy Goat. We stopped along the way, exploring some of Chicago's history, stopping in a few of the old buildings, taking pictures, that sort of thing. By lunch time, we were at the Billy Goat. A cheeseburger, beer (yes, I had a beer!), and some good conversation later, and we were back on the streets exploring.

As we killed time before catching our train back to Milwaukee, we stopped in Millennium Park, saw the big mirrored "kidney bean" as I like to call it, witnessed a fight almost break out in McDonald's between an employee and a bum digging in the trash, and explored historic Union Station for a while. It was a fun trip, and a great opportunity to play tourist in the Windy City.

On Saturday, I went to see a fun interpretation of the play, "The Mouse That Roared" at the local Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Scott (my roommate) helped adapt the 50's play to the modern day for his aunt, who was directing. And since it was also her last play as director there, Scott and I brought her mom (Scott's 95-year-old still-quite-spry-for-her-age grandmother) as well. Fun was had by all, and the play was well worth seeing.

The next few days, though, were just a busy blur. Sometimes frustrating too. Just work, some play, and lots of brainstorming. On Tuesday I discovered that Kelli (my fiancee living and teaching 100 miles north) has developed back problems. She's getting treatment to correct the problem, but has been in great pain since. So... on top of my sometimes frustrating work, brainstorming new ideas (and not being as creative as I would like), Kelli's health is on my mind as well. Definitely an emotionally frustrating week. Maybe I should have stayed in Chicago. :)

On the up side, though, today is Thursday. It's a new day, and I refuse to be pessimistic. Starting later this morning, I'll be painting one, maybe two, apartments -- both at the buildings where I used to live. I'll be working into Friday as well, so, it'll be a nice distraction from my office. After that, it's the weekend... and I could really use another weekend to unwind.

For now, though... painting. Roller, walls, and white-ish paint. After that, we'll see.


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Jon Baas

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