Spring came and… it is still here in June. There’s little bits of trees and flowers filling the air and getting in my eyes as I bike through the Northside of Chicago. I don’t have seasonal allergies, except that I suddenly do this spring. My dog Buster’s happy to be outside exploring again, and we helped mom out with some of her Spring jobs (usually I’m the family tech lead, hooking up modems and testing iPads and not cleaning leaves out of the gutter). Our Mother’s Day Chinese meal at Yu’s left me with good omens for my Dallas trip the next week.
I find myself in Houston for work quite often, usually in the suburbs, but this time it was downtown Dallas. Going in May meant it wasn’t too hot yet, and we ate at a fun burger place near the hotel just past a rundown place that one would assume to be abandoned until she saw the lit sign for “Jade” spa. I couldn’t help but think those quote marks were on the wrong word in the name.
Weather in Chicago is fickle, and in April I decided it was not freezing enough to make the ride to The Chicago Botanical Garden in the Northern suburbs. It wasn’t snowing but there were no leaves on the trees, we fought a lot of wind and the occasional drizzle. One positive part of the ride’s timing was seeing so many deer. Without leaves on the trees it was easier to spot all kinds of wildlife and the deer were fairly aggressive about guarding their space along the North Branch Trail.
I didn’t grow up in a sports family. Sure, my mom watches every Cubs game but that’s just part of being a Chicagoan. I wrote about traveling through southern India to see the Bears embarrass themselves in the Super Bowl a few years ago — also just my responsibility as a Chicagoan. Hockey, I like. Hockey I chose for myself. Soccer… Soccer?
Sometimes you wake up at 6:30am, ride your bike across town, and shatter your iPhone on a sidewalk just to watch your boyfriend’s favorite team win the championships. Well, one of the championships. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about soccer, it’s that there’s always another championship, another game, another something to win.
Last year we had the polar vortex but this year feels worse somehow. I spent one glorious day outside in Houston before starting a work gig and people were outside having picnics and genuinely looked not miserable like us northerners.
Chicago has been dreary all December—we received something like under 30 total minutes of sunshine during the first three weeks. I need sunshine! To make matters worse, I was blessed with great work this month… in Minnesota. Three trips to Minnesota in December with my days home in-between dreary and cold was not the way I wanted to start this long Chicago winter after last year’s horrible and long Chicago winter.
There was a time once when I would drive into the city for live music every weekend. I followed bands, religiously read the liner notes to find even more obscure bands to fall for, and hung out after the show to get the set list and the band’s autograph. Sloan is one of those personable bands that always hangs outside after a show to talk to fans—at least they used to. I’m not sure anymore because halfway a set my back is hurting from standing in place and I’m wondering if they will finally play my favorite song. I’m definately not standing outside in the cold to see if Chris remembers me from the Twice Removed tour.
Before I left on my first RTW trip in 2004, I was really into music. When I came back a lot of bands I followed had split up, weren’t touring, or were now so popular that I no longer wanted to see them live. Every once in a while it bothers me that I’ve given up what was once such a huge part of my life.
Still, what can you count on staying around for ten years? Sloan. I can count on Sloan.
Why does the best season in Chicago have to be so short?