There. I said it.
Last week, I realized I would have Friday off for holiday. What's a girl to do with a spare day she wasn't counting on, you ask?
Well, I'll tell you.
She whips out the MasterCard, logs-on, and throws together a 27 hour trip to Chicagoland. There's nothing like feeling the sting of booking a flight two days before the plane takes off. (Good grief, how do they get away with what they charge?)
I closed my eyes and tried to reason that "it's only money," grabbed my camera and passport (yes, I keep it handy just in case a stray cruise ship appears on my front porch right here in Dallas) and headed for the aeropuerto at 5:30 Friday morning.
Don't get me wrong, Chicago is a fantabulous place - one of my favorites - but indeed, there was a reason for my crazies. His name is Kasim.
Oh, come on - you've read this far - you may as well stick with it.
No, actually, I was getting sick of the nice Dallas weather and wanted to get me a little of this:
I kid. But get a load of that? It was 50 degrees the day before I got there and apparently the Ice Fairy decided Chicago needed one more visit to the deep freeze for the vernal equinox and my thin-blooded arrival.
My flight got a wee bit ferhoodled (as is my M.O. most days) as I landed at Midway and yet my hotel was up near O'Hare. Not usually a problem, but on a blizzardy day like Friday, with me behind the wheel of a strange vehicle, there was a good chance I would end up wishing I'd purchased the additional insurance coverage from the rental place. Alas, the Magic Of Todd (and all things Todd i.e. since my goal was to see Kasim again, the M.O.T. does apply here) got me there in one piece in time to take a little rest, whore-up, and call a taxi - because I was in need of adult bevs and the above combo of CruiserMel, blowing snow, rental car, and booze seemed like it would be pushin' it a little.
I got to the Abbey Pub in time to see some of my fellow Kasim and Todd-heads and grab a bite at the bar before the show. It was great to see K1, K2, J, S, etc. again! It's so funny when we like-minds converge upon the un-enlightened. And we do cause a presence indeed. That bar didn't know what hit them.
K1 finished her supper before I did, so she sprinted into the actual showroom when the door opened and grabbed a place for us down in front, since CruiserMel does not suffer the travel ghoulies just to sit in the shadows. Nun-unh. Apparently, neither does K1. This is why we are friends.
Our other friend (K2) had brought along two friends of her boyfriend (not really sure why) and was trying to ditch them...but they pulled chairs up in front of us, only to have the pleasure of hearing K1 shoo them away like the pests they were. Heh. Behold The Magic of Todd.
If you've watched the youtube video below, you know that Kasim and Jesse left Doug behind somewhere in Ohio, so I can't tell you if he exercised his thumb and made it to Chicago, at least not until another episode of "Backstage Pass" - but I can tell you that Kasim was at the top of his game, sang beautifully, played some new songs and told some hysterical stories. (I love that.)
Woo. I outdid myself with that picture, didn't I? Nummy.
After some mingling after the show, K1, K2 and I stumbled back into the pub area to share some photos, some stories, some gossip, and finish off a cocktail or two. But before too long, K2 was whisked away by a very cranky boyfriend who had been plowing snow all day, K1 had to make an hour drive south to wherever she lives and someone from another country pulled his yellow cab alongside the curb to drive CruiserMel to her hotel.
The next day, the sun was shining and I found my favorite Chicago-style pizza joint (Gino's East), pigged-out on some awesome pizza pie, drove back to Midway and in a few hours time, was back at home.
Was it worth the hassle and the (serious) airfare? Hell yeah. It always is, when Kasim or Todd is concerned. Besides, crazy people don't know they're crazy, do they?