Sunday, August 20, 2006


I’m right here. In Spain. But this time, I’m not lying.

Before I begin an admittedly feeble attempt to justify my absence from Blogland, let me apologize to my good friends La Familia Big Finn and Lady “No Longer on the Market” Di—all of whom sought to determine my whereabouts with a tenacity that hasn’t been seen since “Rambo 2.”

So, where have I been all this time? I was in Chicago until yesterday morning.

“ told us last week that you had returned from Chicago...well, last week.”

That’s right. I lied.

I wanted to post something on the VTB last week, but didn’t want to tell all those Nigerians who keep sending me emails that the contents of my house would be available for an unobstructed, week-long harvest. So...I used the miracle of the Internet to spread a bit of false information. And why not? Everyone else does it.

“ DID have access to a computer in Chicago, but still chose to post almost nothing for three weeks?”

That’s right. I’m lazy.

Plus, my brain and energies have been tugged into other parts of the stratosphere lately. But hey...that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you all. Seriously! I don’t not love you all at all.

But enough of that. The tiny flame of creativity in my head is starting to flicker again, so let’s use it before I get distracted by something sumo wrestling on Eurosport.

- WHAT DID YOU DO IN CHICAGO FOR THREE WEEKS?: I spent one week hanging out, the second week working at Acme Low Carb Tongue Depressors, Inc. and the last week hanging out some more.

- HOW DO YOU DEFINE “HANGING OUT?”: Well...I visited a bunch of old friends that I hadn’t seen in years, ate a lot of spicy ethnic foods that Spaniards wouldn't like, and drank Starbuck's Coffee. A lot of Starbuck's coffee.

- HOW DO YOU DEFINE “A LOT OF STARBUCK'S COFFEE?”: Let’s just say that, on one particular day, I nearly equalled Jimmy Stewart’s performance in “Vertigo.” People as naturally-wired as I am have no business drinking Starbuck’s coffee—no matter how bloody good that stuff tastes on ice.

- WHICH WAS THE BEST MEAL YOU HAD?: It depends how you define “best.” In one sense, the best meal I had was baked goat cheese and mini filet mignon sandwiches at Hugo’s Frog Bar in Naperville. In another sense, the best meal I had was take-out Thai food with a bottle of Bierzo wine.

- WHAT?! NO BBQ?: Nope. I had no BBQ on this trip. Nor did I have any Cajun. But I did have Indian at least forty seven times. Sorry Mrs. TBF, but I missed out on that combo sammich. But there’s always next time.

- SO, WHEN ARE YOU GOING BACK? Pretty soon. Although not soon enough.

- ANY PARTING THOUGHTS: Yes. Congrats to Lady Di and Gert. BTW...looooove your shoes!


At 11:52 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Well Sal, I can only write 'You have such good taste in shoes' ... hmmm did I mean 'I should only write' ... but we both know it never ends with a simple sentence.

Your absence is excused HOWEVER as I'm not someone who would
1. rob your house and who is 2. very demanding in terms of expectations of 'bloggers I look up to and enjoy', so you see ... I did expect a small email between coffees and Indian food.

Yes, Gert married me even knowing about this side of me ... we calls it the 'demanding princess side'.

Oh and Christine reminded me of my promise to post Vegemite emails. I received two jars on the day of said wedding ... I shall post in the days ahead.

All is forgiven ... welcome home :)

At 2:00 AM, Blogger Culinary Fool said...

Scary resemblance between you and Waldo....

At 3:23 AM, Blogger tatiana said...

Sal... are you originally from Chicago?

At 7:09 AM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Lady Di: I had forgotten about the vegemite post. Didn't I request it...say...over a year ago? comparison, my three weeks of neglect doesn't seem quite so bad.

Beep: I should have as much hair as Waldo.

Tatiana: I'm not originally from Chicago, but lived there from 1983-1999. My family and employer remain there, which is why I go back so frequently. Plus, I know a lot of the good places to eat.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

I had a demand and supply problem.

My vegemite source dried up and these are the first jars I've had since then ... and anyway, Vegemite post as compared to silence in Sal-land for 3 weeks ... no comparison.

My vegemite post will probably only convince, like most of the rest of the world that lives outside Australia and New Zealand, that Vegemite is yucky.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Welcome back, Sal!

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous said...

You mean the "best" meal wasn't at Mama DeTraglia's in Aurora -- Sal, how could you?

Nelson & Mary

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sal, It’s good to have you back - I thought you might still be vacationing. I (and many other loyal fans, I’m guessing) am/are looking forward to getting my/our “Sal-fix” once again. I’m sure you have some clever and humorous stories regarding those weeks of adventure in Chicago Land. Your wonderful writing makes for a nice break in the afternoon (don’t tell my boss I’m not all work & no play!). It’s quite a bit of pressure I/we are laying on you; with all this whining for you to return & praise of you past works. But, hey, it’s got to feel good that you have such a loyal fan base!

-- DJG

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous The Big Finn said...

Sal - We're glad that you're at home safe and sound. Tonight, we will have our first good night's sleep in three weeks.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Mrs. TBF said...

Sal...welcome back to the continent. Imagine...TBF and I lived in and around Chicago our whole lives until mid 2000 (for me from age 0 - 14 at the corner of Grand and Menard and then to the suburbs...and TBF from age 1 - 6 on Lovejoy Ave and then to the suburbs) when we embarked upon this seemingly never-ending adventure in Europe.'s strange to wonder...did the 3 or us ever unknowingly stand together in a line waiting to enter a concert or show? Did we ever dine in the same restaurant and not know it? We lived in Elmhurst when we were first married from 1987 - mid did we ever ride the same train to the western suburbs???? Do we have any mutual friends??? Perhaps we'll find out some day we're even related!!!???

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Lady Di: Waiting. Still waiting, vege-girl.

DJG: With great powers come great responsibilities. But hell...I'll take them. Thanks for the nice words.

TBF: You of all people should understand the type of food coma that a trip to Chicago can induce. It seemed to me a bulletproof excuse.

Mrs. TBF: I lived in Naperville from 1983 to 1996 (with several years in between spent in DeKalb and Champaign-Urbana) and in Oak Park from 1996 to 1999. Given the love that the three of us have for food, we must have brushed shoulders in some restaurant somewhere at least once. And of course, we--as Italian-Americans--MUST be cousins. Small world. Some day the three of us will sit down over some Goose Islands and figure it out.


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