Sunday, June 21, 2009

The trip up from the parched valley was pleasant and smooth, even along the stretch of US 101 going north from San Jose to SFO International. The chair above seemed like a good omen, a breeze wafted audibly around the tall pines out of the tiny window view. My middle daughter JoJo showed up an hour after check-in with her Swedish friend, plus a few Dad's Day gifts and a couple of 750's of barely potable Cab. Suffice it to say that one of the gifts will make it to Carolina Cannonball's Crescat Catholic Weird Kitsch contest next year. I cannot divulge its form save to describe it as a cousin to the infamous 50's Eight Ball Answer Ball!
Dinner at the hotel bar/restaurant was a hilarious lost cause. Nobody there besides us and a walk-in couple from Fargo ND on their way to a wedding in Monterrey. The hapless bartender/wait lady was clearly suffering from what she termed a "double." We concluded that was a none-too-veiled double entendre. We ordered a round of gimlets whose proof was courtesy of Seagrams, well water. It only got stranger. I ordered against every ounce of common sense, the Encrusted potato salmon steak while the ladies sensibly had hamburgers, salads and soups. Then we asked what wines were available. The gal, Annette, said they had some Kendall-Jackson Cab, but she couldn't find an unopened bottle....would we like to kill some leftover from what she termed a "wild disco night." What the hey....sure.
It's virtually impossible to screw up a gimlet or a bowl of clam chowder, but when Annette showed up with the entrees, I saw placed before me one of those barely pink, artificially pre-grilled salmon steaks with a huge pile of BBQ-flavored potato chips topping it like they'd been deposited there by a passing tornado in the kitchen. It was the damndest thing I've ever seen come out of anybody's kitchen, a crazy aunt's even where green eggs and ham were real!
Up at 2am for the flight east. United did well. Got good rest. O'Hare and rental car went very smooth; though our new GPS whom we've entrusted a Windsorian British accent and dubbed Deirdre had a few issues with commands lost in translation. The Westin on North Michigan is great; I will gladly pass on the first Yertle Award for best discount travel service in private correspondence.
We settled in. Then traversed the Magnificent Mile on my 58 year old, but feels like 90 year old knees. Found our alternative to the usual trek to Mortons we do when in Chicago down around Rush Street- going to Gibson's for steak tonight. So, made a reservation for 9pm (which is still 7 in PST for us,) picked up a nice little California Cab called "The Girls in the Vineyard" and I decided after a couple of small sips to initiate this first of my Colloquium 09 reports downstairs where the wi-fi is gratis.
I am so looking forward to everyone meeting Wendy finally and hearing her join in the polyphony particularly. I'm really not sweating any of the schedule or which polyphonic choir to join. I'm going to hook Wendy up with MAC, Singing Mum of San Diego, and hopefully she, W and MJB can become the new Tres Amigas.
What I'm not looking forward to is hauling around the magnificent campus of Loyola on these. Parental warning: the following photo is not for the sqeamish. This colloquium will be the Bee's Knees, but these here knees need kneading if I'm to make for next Sunday's Brunch.

But I digress. The bow ties are ready, the case of fine wine will be in the residence hall on time tomorrow. Oh darn, I forgot cuff links....and all my daughters are in California. I suppose that means a brief stop at Bloomingdales or Neiman-Marcus! (Just kidding, I'll find some at Walgreens most likely.)
So intrepid readers, this first installment now is put to bed! Bis morgan....

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