Finally, the temperature in Chicago is consistently over 50°F. Back to tennis and rollerblading along the lake path in the bright sun.
I had a relaxing weekend to make full use of the warm weather. On Friday I went to Mercadito’s. Their Carne tacos were the best, perfectly flavored and crunchy. Afterwards we went to Blue Frog on LaSalle. There is absolutely no blue frog theme; the only hint of its name is a blue, neon light frog in the window. From the outside the Blue Frog looks like a shack at the edge of a parking lot. We had a lot of fun singing karaoke there. The bar goers are supportive. The atmosphere as a whole is delightfully unaffected. Afterwards, we went to the Rock and Roll McDonalds for some baklava. Then we went to another restaurant, then I went home early. I’m getting old.
On Saturday I had a picnic at Montrose beach. A dog wandered onto my blanket and ate all the pepperonis in one gulp. Then it slobbered all over the cheese. It left its muddy paw prints on the blanket. I shrugged it off and napped for an hour or so. Later I went to the gym then went out for dinner again. I feel like I’ve tried most of the well-known Chicago restaurants, so I can leave this city happy. On that note, I’ve resolved to eat out less and cook more. At night we went to Sound Bar. I was wearing sneakers but the bouncer lady was nice about it. We drank, danced, and played Connect 4. I feel like a Connect 4 pro.
On Sunday I rollerbladed eight or so miles along the lake. The wind tends to blow southward, so the return trip required more energy. Then I read A Visit from the Goon Squad. The book was told from different characters’ point of views, their stories interwoven and jumping around chronologically. All the children are miraculously precocious and the adults keep making mistakes. *SPOILERS* The author was really creative in that each character told his or her story differently, switching between first person and third person, structured in subchapters, or a newspaper article, even a chapter written as a PowerPoint presentation. How a character structured his story revealed a lot about his personality. In the title, the “Goon Squad” is time. None of the characters have a traditional happy ending; most come from broken homes and have failed marriages. The future is never what they imagine; time robs them of their original dreams. And yet they find some semblance of peace in a form that they do not expect.