Chicago vacation with A and my family of origin--in a few selected pictures.
Mom and Pops walking into the Chicago night together. You can tell they want to hold hands. This is Michigan Avenue. Earlier, my Pops and I went to Arlington Park to bet on the ponies. I hit a trifecta. $$$
My pops and I walked to Grant Park. Lollapalooza was there that weekend. I told him the Red Hot Chilipeppers were playing and he had heard of them so he wanted to go check them out. When we got there, the sounds of some riot grrrl band and the smells of BO and pot were making him uncomfortable from outside the fence. We didn't go in. It didn't sound like Roy Orbison. But we did see this giant metal kidney bean.
From left: R, my sister K, and S's back. They like to go back-to-school shopping. We couldn't find any pencil boxes.
A, myself and my pops saw Carlos Zambrano pitch 6 innings of stunning 12 hit, 5 earned run baseball against the always difficult to beat Pittsburgh Pirates (who are 14-42 on the road this season). Cubs lose, but we had a great time. Good seats. Good weather. Nachos and wings beforehand. We don't have cable so I don't get to follow baseball on television very often, so to watch a live game was a real treat. Also, we were able to watch the guy in the bottom right in this picture drink 9 beers (9 beers X $5.75 [+$1 tip each purchase]= $60.75.)
Because I grew up with WGN, Cubs have always been my National League team, but there has been very little to root for this year on any front. I'm very un-impressed and disappointed and bored with them. While I'm not permanently jumping ship, I have decided to adopt two other National League teams to root for. And I bought their respective baseball caps at a Lids store in Chicago. Here they are:
1. Milwaukee Brewers. I know that the Brew Crew is in the NL Central with the Cubs, but because they're not a real threat to win the division, I don't feel too shameful. And I have never felt like the Brewers have ever been a heated rival with the Cubs (rarely are either of them good enough), but more like a friend in infinite disappointment. Remember, the Brewers have never won a world series. Also: they have the only female president in the MLB, Wendy Selig, and have retired the numbers of two of the most important players in baseball history, Jackie Robinson and Hammerin' Hank Aaron.
2. New York Mets. This choice is more shameless. I badly want somebody to root for in the world series this year, and out of all teams, the Mets are the surest bet. They are heads above the rest of the NL. And so that I'm not a total schmo, I want to start backing them before the pennant race heats up--grow some little roots. Also: the Mets are the choice of the working class, I'd say, in New York, and I'm a working class kind of guy. And I'm a big fan of Jose Valentin and I'm beginning to like this new Lastings Milledge dude. And I was a big fan, growing up, of Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Mookie Wilson. So, there you go.