I have been on hold most of the morning with the ever so unhelpful Orange phone company, trying to find my “magic” number, which they failed to provide me when I purchased my SIM card. Without it, I am unable to add credit to the account and do all manner of things that I need apparently. Everytime I try to get this “magic” number (by calling the number the website tells me to), I am asked, paradoxically, for said magic number and am unable to continue without it. This is clearly the land where Orwell was hatched.
ugh. I have wasted most of the morning trying unsuccessfully to upload my photos to Picasa. I gave up and created a mini album on this site which still took forever to create and upload. C’est la vie.
My last evening in Indianapolis was a fun one with the family. We had dinner at my sister Kelly’s house and the next morning I said goodbye to everyone as I boarded a bus to Chicago to meet my friend Chris. Although I was only there for a couple of days, Chicago really impressed me with how much it has changed since I was a kid. Great architecture and city fabric, beautiful lake front, and the weather was so beautiful the first day I was almost considering moving there. That is, until the cold rainy weather of the next day set in. Brrr. Still, we had a fantastic time. Chris introduced me to his wonderful friends, and Mike came in from LA to hang out on my last days in the US and wish me goodbye. Without going into an exhaustive list, I can tell you that the weekend involved brunch, fabulous apartments, gay bars and bears, inebriation of various sorts, art, public spaces, show tunes and rainbow rockets. See the pics for a taste:
After taking in a bunch of cool stuff ranging from my old high school to sites glorifying the war dead, I had to include a little video of this 90 year old guy who flagged us down as we were sneaking around the Scottish Rite Cathedral and asked us if we wanted to see his organ, er see him play his organ:
My great friend and former roommate José came to visit me in Indiana for a send off visit before I take off eastward. We had a great time, and as with Maureen at the end of our trip, it was a little sad to say goodbye when the time came. We did manage to give José a rather favorable impression of Indianapolis, and something occurred to me while he was here. Although I am from Indy, I have never really felt at home here and I realized that almost without exception the times I have made it back for a family visit have been in extreme winter or summer conditions. This is my first visit back in many years during the fall, and with the leaves changing and nice weather I have to admit that the city is not so terrible and dare I say it, even beautiful at this time of year. (Note to Mom: I’m still never moving back, so don’t even try)
Bread. Cake. Family. Brunch with friends. Coffee. Catching up. More cake. Hanging out. Planning trips to India. Cleaning up. Taking in a drag benefit with Mom. Cute as hell niece and nephew. More cake. Ice cream. Early “thanksgiving” dinner. Friends and family. Potatoes. Cake. I feel fat.
We took Mo down to Greensburg, Indiana yesterday to meet halfway with her friend Steph from Cincinnati. Greensburg has almost nothing interesting about it, except for one very odd thing:
That’s right, there is a TREE growing out of the top of the courthouse building in the city center. Go figure.
Mo and I had a teary goodbye, and I watched her and her friend drive off towards the east. I am going to miss her terribly. Mo has made my last couple of years at the LA Weekly much more enjoyable. I was surprised as all get out to meet an HR Director with as inappropriate a sense of humor as my own, bonding as we did over David and Amy Sedaris and sharing an appreciation for good food.
We took a few silly videos on the road a few days ago, I wasn’t sure if they would only be funny to Mo and me, but Mo swears they are hysterical to anyone (or at least anyone who has ever taken a road trip). Enjoy:
If you want to check out our other silly video, go to Mo’s Blog here
…and thank god for that. Here are the things I remember most about Kansas:
- Anti-abortion billboards
- Lots and lots of road kill
- Grain silos
- My damn VW check engine light coming on– AGAIN (6th time this year). I think the Germans still have it in for my people.
- The server at “Bayard’s” warning Mo and me in a concerned tone after ordering a “garden salad” that there were actual, chopped up FRESH vegetables in it.
Mo and I made a herculean effort to push through all the way to Kansas City, MO. This brought our total number of driving hours today to a record 11 for us, but did we ever make the right choice! After a brief encounter in the scary crack-dealing streets on the outskirts of the city, we made our way to the downtown area and then here to the ever so lovely Westport area where we promptly had our picture taken in front of the Wienermobile, were given wienerswag (wiener whistles, see pics) , walked around the very sweet Westport ‘hood, and made new friends at a gay bar down the street.
What happens in Longmont stays in Longmont. I will leave the preceding sentence to your imagination, but suffice it to say Mo and I had fun last night with my friends Scott and Mike at their beautifully appointed home in Longmont, CO. Ever the gracious hosts, they made us a lovely homecooked meal, shared libations (of many sorts) with us, and generally made us feel as if we were royalty.
See the album below…