Adult life. Responsibilities, bills, children (not applicable in some areas, void where prohibited by law), work. Bleh. Ah, but that last one. Real adult work that pays you real adult money and gives you real adult paid vacation (granted I can‘t imagine many worse feelings than stepping out of your car at work your first day back from a great vacation, but every silver lining has a cloud). We took full advantage of those last two things this year, adding two extra days to our trip. The last two years we went to Chicago a day early, which was nice and allowed us to do something extra, but basically just one thing. You can kill a day in one museum, and there are so many sights to see and it takes so goddamn long to fight your way through traffic and bafflingly labeled roads to get to them. That is the reason we still didn’t quite make everything we wanted to do, but we hit the majority.
Setting off at 5:30 Tuesday morning we arrived at the Morton Grove Best Western around 12:30 and set up camp. Since we were going to be in the hotel for a total of five days, we really cozied in and got to use the drawers. Much nicer than living out of a suitcase. Rolling in at virtually the exact same time, just like last year, were Osco Sean and Tim Telstar, with whom I’d been planning this trip for several months. We forged alliances and demonstrated generosity by swapping some books. Well, I say “some”, and what I really mean is he got a bag full and I got a damn library. They’re still all over my dining room table as I have nowhere else to put them for the nonce. Between Tim’s stacks, the wonderful history tomes I got from Edward IX (more on that later), and the overkill from the used book shops (going shopping with El Santo is doubly dangerous to your bankroll because not only does he know every book that’s awesome and you need whether you knew it or not, he also knows exactly where to find every one of them like some bibliognostic bat expertly snatching dusty, papery moths), I seriously doubt I’ll be anywhere near finished with all this stuff by the time B-Fest 2012 rolls around.
So, alliances forged, generosity demonstrated, check-in chores performed, it was off to a nearby Half Price Books to kill some time until El Santo arrived. When it was discovered he was waylaid, me and the boys headed over to Second Hand Tunes to kill some more time. Malorie, less interested in a record store than settling in and starting a book, stayed in the room. Second Hand Tunes used to be a traditional stop for the Brotherhood of Bad Movies crew, but the last few trips there have been really disappointing. Granted, I picked up a copy of the Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny soundtrack for three bucks, but living in a small rural town you expect any used record store in a town like Chicago to blow you away. Apparently they are not actually beholden to live up to those expectations. Working in one of the biggest independent record stores in the country for five years probably spoiled me.
Supper at Seven Brothers rounded out the evening. I finally got to try some matzo ball soup, and discovered that it’s basically chicken noodle soup but instead of chicken there’s a giant wad of dough. So in other words, it’s delicious. Santo rolled in a few hours late after being held up in the mountains by a moving van inferno, and we were all feeling the effects of travel and excitement, so we made plans for the next day and crashed.