CHICAGO…CHICAGO…THAT BLOGGIN’ TOWN (Installment One).
I’ve just returned from a six week stay in Chicago—which seems like a lot, but passed uncomfortably quickly.
Half the time was spent trying to keep-up with my four year old daughter and her insatiable appetite for play. The other half was spent working at Acme Low Carb Tongue Depressors, Inc.’s corporate headquarters—an experience that has me seeing putty-colored fabric walls in my sleep.
The six week stint was low on blog-worthy experiences. That is, unless you are one of the few who have a fondness for reading about shopping excursions to Target and Borders, or my endless hours spent vegetating in my parent’s Jacuzzi.
But there were two outings that are long-overdue for describing here on the VTB. Why? Because they involved other bloggers.
BREAKFAST WITH THE NERD:
Pam the Nerdy and I have enjoyed a Master Po/Grasshopper-type relationship for nearly two years. It is the evangelical Pam to whom I attribute my newly found, all-consuming passion for the ukulele.
Nerd was attending a women’s-only blogger convention in downtown Chicago during the weekend of my arrival.
We met in her hotel lobby at 8am on a Saturday—a proposed meeting time that I had assumed was a joke. It wasn’t—and I was naïve to think otherwise. After all, she lives in Seattle—the birthplace and headquarters of Starbuck’s Coffee. Presumably the caffeine content of the city’s water supply is on par with its fluoride content.
Nerd—like her blog—was great, quirky fun. We skipped across the street to a breakfast joint—where I ate blueberry and cashew pancakes, she ate a heap of eggs and mushrooms covered with cheese, and the rest of the patrons stared perplexedly at the ukulele that was the centerpiece of our table.
Yes, I brought my ukulele. My brand-spankin’ new, lava black, Flea ukulele. I had, for months, felt that it was time to upgrade Felix—who served me well as a starter uke, but alas…lacked the warm tone for which I yearned.
Nerd wholeheartedly recommended a Flea. She has one. Then again, she has about 29 ukes lying around her house. But she seemed especially bullish on the Flea. So I bought one. A black one. It rocks! It matches my shirt.
Nerd claims to be an introvert; and I, most definitely, am one. Yet we chatted non-stop for three hours.
We finished breakfast and commenced crossing the street back to her hotel. It was at that point when she stopped in mid-traffic, grabbed my left earlobe, twisted it until I dropped to a knee and—with crinkled brow—growled, “You WILL play your Flea for me.”
Minutes later, we found two cushy chairs in an abandoned corner of the hotel basement—where I made a good-faith effort to wrap quivering fingers around The Beatles’ “In My Life” and Joe Brown’s “I’ll See You In My Dreams.” It was the first time I had played in front of a live audience—albeit an audience of one.