My kind of town (except for some cabbies), Chicago is…

Warning: Today’s post will be in a “stream of consciousness” mode today.  For those who don’t especially care for scattered (and scatter-brained) thoughts, you might want to skip this one…

  • Looking forward to going home tomorrow, although being here in the Chicago area has been great!  It was a real pleasure to serve at the wedding here this weekend, as well as to spend time with the brethren in Chicago, again, who are just plain wonderful.  But I am looking forward to resting my head on my own pillow tomorrow night.
  • Somehow managed to annoy a few cabbies today in downtown Chicago.  In the first instance, I was in the rightmost lane of the street — not, however, a “right turn only” lane — and planning to proceed through an intersection once the light in front of me turned green.  The cabbie at my left seemed happy while we were stopped, but once the light turned green and we took off, he honked and swerved in front of me gesturing unhappily as if I had done something wrong that personally inconvenienced him.  I’m not sure what I did, but I suspect that I am on a Chicago Cabbie Blacklist now.
  • The Chicago Field Museum was fantastic!  Sue the Tyrannosaur did not disappoint (being the main reason we went, as the kids had seen something about her the week before on TV).  Not surprisingly, the museum’s literature did not — as far as I could tell — mention anything about the controversy surrounding how she arrived at the Field Museum.
  • By the way, doesn’t “Sue the Tyrannosaur” sound like a game show for prehistoric lawyers?
  • The Underground Adventure exhibit was a lot of fun.  You pretend to shrink to one-hundredth of your normal size and then wander around “underground” to see the sights and learn about the wonders that exist in everyday soil.  (It was actually neater than it might sound!)
  • Although the Underground Adventure was fun for the Smith family, it was not necessarily fun for one little girl we saw who was clearly TERRIFIED in there!  Apparently she thought all the giant ants and spiders were real.  Her mother told her, “If you don’t stop right now, we are leaving!”  The little girl was obviously more of a logician than her mother, as she did not stop screaming.  (However, they did not leave at that time.)
  • The Mythic Creatures exhibit was also rather enjoyable.  Some of the speculation about the inspirations behind griffins (my childhood favorite among the mythological beasts) was new to me.  The incredible and obvious contrast between Biblical writings and mythical stories was not. 🙂
  • Too late did I realize that we had a prime opportunity to tour around Chicago and visit sites that were used in the Bonnie Hunt movie “Return to Me.”  (Not that this is an endorsement of the aforementioned movie.  I don’t endorse movies.  And if you mistake this for an endorsement of a movie, I have some prehistoric lawyers for you to talk to…)
  • In other news, James Taranto of the WSJ has, once again, discovered some horrific reasoning out there.  On today’s Best of the Web, he deconstructs the painful illogic of Slate’s “If Obama Loses” article (subtitled: “Racism is the only reason McCain might beat him”).  Again, not trying to be political here, but when people start going from “If P then Q” to “If not-P then not-Q” then they really need to work on their basics.  Actually, I might recommend that Slate editors talk to the little girl screaming in the Underground Adventure exhibit…
  • OK, back to Chicago news: You know, it wasn’t until I titled this post that I realized Frank Sinatra and George Lucas’ Yoda might be one and the same: “My kind of town, Chicago is…” “Calling me home, Chicago is…” “Tugging my sleeve, Chicago is…”
  • Did not see Balki Bartokomous or Larry Appleton in Chicago, today.
  • Did not see Frank Sinatra or Yoda in Chicago, today.
  • Did see a life-sized statue of a giraffe made out of LEGO®, however.  Well, technically it was in Schaumburg.  And actually it was just the front half of a giraffe.  I suppose it was a “half giraffe.”
  • Oddly enough, no “half giraffe” appeared in the Mythical Creatures exhibit at the Chicago Field Museum.  Not-so-oddly, neither did Frank Sinatra or Balki Bartokomous.
  • Did not see Michael Jordan in Chicago, today.
  • Did not see Mayor Richard Daley in Chicago, today.
  • Did not see Eliot Ness or Al Capone in Chicago, today.  Didn’t even see Robert Stack or Robert De Niro in Chicago, today.
  • And did not (thankfully!) see any glitter in Chicago, today.

WHEW!  Nothing like a little rambling to cleanse the mental palette…  My apologies to those who actually waded through all of that hoping for something of substance, but now that I have that out of my system I can go to sleep unburdened!

On a more serious note, this trip has been a real pleasure.  It was a privilege to be able to serve in this weekend’s special event and to speak this past Sabbath to the fantastic brethren in Chicago.  We got to visit with many people we had not seen in a long time, as well as meet many new faces that we hope to see again soon!  My wife and I agreed that we look forward to finding a reason to come here to the Windy City again in the near future.

Yet, we are all looking forward to being in our comfortable little part of Missouri once more — only a five or six hours drive away.  We hit the road tomorrow (actually, I suppose I should say “later today” at this point), so I’d better hit the sack tonight!

And for those who wish an apology for reading this entire post without the payoff of anything substantive whatsoever, you have my sympathies.  Please feel free to send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and I will get you one at the earliest possible opportunity. 🙂

5 thoughts on “My kind of town (except for some cabbies), Chicago is…

  1. rakkav

    Maybe you ought to post on one of Slate’s bulletin boards — the Frays — and tell the author of “If Obama Loses” what you just told us. Oh, wait, you would need an e-mail address on MSN or Hotmail, and I’m sure the last thing you need is another e-mail address. I hope one of the more sharp-witted Fraysters says the same thing.

    But speaking as a Frayster (almost entirely on Poems Fray, as White_Rabbit), I’m afraid the Slate editors wouldn’t profit from talking to that little girl. You see, they’re too used to certain Fraysters screaming in a similar manner.

    יוחנן רכב

  2. The ownership dispute over Sue certainly is interesting.

    While in New York, NY, the cabbies were honking at me in the sidewalk as soon as they got their green, before they even crossed their stop line.

  3. Craig

    And…you didn’t even see Oprah!

    My favorite spot is the Chicago Botanic Gardens (especially the Japanese garden), but I suspect the boys would find it boring! The Museum of Science and Industry would be more to their liking. The U-boat for sure!

    For next time.

  4. Howdy, and thanks, Mr. Marley — we’ll have to try those next time.

    And Oprah would’ve been a great one to list! I didn’t think of her until we were leaving yesterday and saw some exit sign mentioning Harpo-something-or-other.

  5. Thatsteveguy

    I remember taking my son and daughter on a trip to Chicago back in the early nineties when they were 10 and 8. We spent the day at the Field Museum and the following day at the Shedd Aquarium. My son couldn’t get enough of the German U-Boat display at the museum! I always wanted to return and spend another day at the museum with them because of the fun time we had there; but being on the west coast, regretably we never did. A person needs more than 1 day at this museum to do it right.

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