Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Trip so far: unsuccessful!

Chicago Thursday -- Chicago must have the worst streets anywhere, and that includes Minneapolis! I have fallen twice tripping on broken pavement and now actually stepping in a pothole in the middle of the street and going down hard on my left side. Ankle looks like a grapefruit or more like an eggplant -- big and purple.



This hasn't actually been my MOST unsuccessful visit to Chicago. There was the disastrous job interview 20 years ago when I came out in a rain storm, went looking for my friends in the Art Institute, had to deal with snotty minimum-wage-earning desk clerk having just had a horrendous terrible interview and being totally soaked and in tears. There have been many many trips to Chicago that resulted in public transportation mishaps, getting lost, etc. But most recent visits have been ok until now. Getting sick and now having a sprained ankle makes this my most unsuccessful visit in recent history.

It took me until Friday for some reason to go and get an ankle brace. My host for this part of the trip offered to go get some things for me, but I decided I wanted to pick it out myself and I had an ever-growing list that included pain killers, cough drops, and an unhealthy amount of comfort food! Spent the whole day Friday in front of the television doing nothing but periodically sleeping and checking my facebook games to see who played song pop with me.

The disconcerting thing is that it is now Sunday, in Davenport Iowa. I have the house to myself as my hosts have gone to visit their fathers, but mine is in Florida, too far to visit right now. And I am doing the same thing that I did on Friday. Despite having much to do, or having new cities to visit, I just don't seem to have the brain power, willpower, coordination, motivation to do any of the things I need to do. Maybe I am just residually tired from being sick and am just being too hard on myself. I just feel my vacation being wasted and slipping away from me. Even this particular journal is lackluster!

Sigh.

Hope to have better travel journals soon.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chicago Day 3

So here I sit in Caribou again. I will be out 10 hours, due to my hosts not being home until later this evening. The problem -- one which was unexpected in both cases -- is that in Chicago and New York there is not really the tradition of coffee shops apparently, which is why there are so many Starbucks and Caribous and other chain coffee shops here. Manhattan, which has everything under the sun, did not have an extravagant proliferation of local coffee shops and I have not found that many here in Chicago either. Then again, haven't felt well enough to venture out too far off the beaten path this trip. I know there are a lot of readings in coffee shops here, but they seem to be farther between than say, Minneapolis, where there is virtually a coffee shop of some kind every three or four blocks, and NOT just a Caribou or a Starbucks! Minneapolitans are snobbish about their non-corporate coffee shops!

Afraid to leave Caribou. I have this heavy computer on my back and I have a lot of work to do. Also, I am still a little bit sick and am at the stage where I am in the bathroom every half an hour, water pouring out of my body as if it has been three days since I was allowed to pee, not thirty minutes. So far, I am not making the most out of this trip or this city, but I do have 3 or 4 more days here, plus an overnight wait for my bus on the return trip. I am trying not to be anxious. This does not come easily to me. I have at once too great a sense of my own mortality, of the possibility that I may not come back this way again, and denial of my own mortality, the side of me that eats junk food and makes jokes while having chest pains and headaches. Today is my first day, or at least first few hours, without a headache in about two months, I realized while sitting in Caribou waiting for the next pee pang to hit me in the bladder.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Travel to Chicago, again or, Sickness in Chicago

So since the theme of my reading on Wednesday will be Surrealist Summer Travelogue, I was revisiting a lot of my travel journals, which mostly start with Chicago. All of the same things apply. It is humid as hell here. The city is still delightful and feels a little more accessible to me every time I visit here, no matter how long it has been since the last time.

And as usual, there is "an adventure" or some difficulty on the trip down. This one keeps on giving. While on the way here, the air conditioning on the Megabus could not be turned off, in what I can only assume was some kind of "Speed" scenario in which the bus would explode if they turned the air down. So I had almost nine hours of pure cold air blowing on me, no matter how hard I tried to close the vents. The bus broke down in Madison and I was grateful not the have the air conditioning on, at least.

So, guess what? That's right, I am traveling in Chicago with a full on summer cold. Sore throat, feverish, achy muscles, have to go to the bathroom every half an hour -- which in Chicago, takes some planning. I packed my phone charger in the other bag that I took out yesterday, so even though I am at Millennium Park, or Grant Park, or whatever you want to call it (probably Millennium Park distances it from the ugly history it had in the 1960s), I am unable to take pictures today.

So, what am I doing in Chicago for this afternoon? I am sitting in Caribou. That's right, in Caribou, which I can go to in Minneapolis. Caribou which is right next door to Starbucks. But, they have a public bathroom and plug-ins so I can write my fascinating rant/travel story to you right now. It is on Michigan Avenue and it is across from Millennium Park, which I did go to for about half an hour, most notably to the bathroom in the amphitheater, and then to the dome-shaped thing. Even though I cannot take pictures right now. I can assure you that this Caribou looks like every other. And I have been told that next year every Caribou in Chicago will change over to Pete's. That is the sum total of my experience for today.

Yesterday, got into town, went to my friend's house, and slept until noon. Then, I went out exploring the neighborhood after a while, which is a largely Puerto Rican neighborhood and had a great Mexican lunch for $5 and went and explored Humboldt Park, which is on the west side. Then I went home, listened to a little bit of the Tony awards, did some stuff on the computer, and fell asleep early. I had hoped to go the Green Mill reading, but the cold had already set in and I found myself pretty much unable to move off of the bed.
I feel like I should write another metaphor here, but I'm not going to get one as good as the lotto balls. So you write your own metaphor, something about a mannequin or a doll who plays computer games. You get the drift. Cut me some slack. I'm sick!

More about my illustrious trip later. Hopefully it will get better. Or I guess I will die. I am still having that pain in my head that I refer to as my aneurism. Stay tuned . . . .