Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back Home and The City

Having been on the road visiting staff members in every small town in Illinois for the past three days, I can definitely say that The City is an entity, a cast member in my life.

I respect the fact that not everyone wants to live in the middle of a big city, but for me, it’s like a member of my family. It sure felt great to see the towers, both Sears and Trump, silhouetted on the skyline as I approached last night.

I’m filling out my expense reimbursement today: 959 miles, two hotels, and eight meals in three days.

Here are some observations about traveling across Illinois:

Illinois all looks the same. From top to bottom, from east to west, it’s all corn and soybean fields.

There are an amazing number of TV stations broadcasting Christian programming in small towns across Illinois. And wrestling. I check into a hotel, flip on the TV and there’s nothing but Christian this-n-that and All Star Wrestling.

One night, I was channel surfing for CNN and stumbled upon this Christian pianist named Dino Kartsonakis. This guy is definitely the Christian equivalent of Liberace, only ten times as faggoty-faggy. (And I DO mean that in a derogatory way). This character makes Liberace look like an All Star Wrestler. I sat there with my mouth agape as he flitted and fluttered all over the keyboard.

And Christians like this clown? They never cease to amaze me.

Here’s a video of him on the Jim Bakker Show. Naturally. (Fast forward toward the end so you can see him play). It's the only video I could find of him.

People are friendlier in small towns. I forget that and it’s always a pleasant surprise.

There’s this giant, 200-foot cross on the side of the highway near Effingham, Illinois. Just this huge white cross in the middle of nowhere.

Oh, wait. The only other thing near there is a giant adult book & toy store, all lit up in pink neon at night. I don’t know which came first; the giant cross or the giant adult toy store.

I guess people can visit one site and then feel better about their selves visiting the other.

I checked into a hotel in downtown Quincy, Illinois and, exhausted, asked the desk clerk where one could get a nice dinner nearby. She suggested “The Patio” restaurant which was in an ancient hotel across the street.

Let me tell you, The Patio has, hands-down, the best steaks anywhere on the face of this earth. I had the best rib-eye I’ve ever eaten. (See? I'm not one of those militant vegetarians. I eat a vegetarian diet at home, but hey, if I'm at a restaurant and a steak sounds good, that cow's going down.) These snooty-McSnoot steak places in downtown Chicago haven’t got a thing compared to this charming little place in Quincy. It was truly amazing.

If you’re ever in Quincy, eat at The Patio. It’s downtown right near the Mississippi river where lots of sandbagging was taking place. For now, anyway.

One of my favorite meals is the deluxe salad with grilled chicken and a large glass of tomato juice at Denny’s. There. I said it.

I was early for my appointment in Effingham so I stopped by J.C. Penny just to browse. We don’t have any stores like that in downtown Chicago as they’re all way out in the suburbs. So, I like to hit them when I’m out on these trips.

They were having an incredible sale on Dockers clothing and I left with an armload of new shirts. I love Dockers clothing. There, I said it.

I’m now set for Casual Fridays for the next three decades.

I went to my appointment, and 255 miles of corn and soybean fields later, was gazing upon the skyline of Chicago. Where God intended me to be.


At 12:21 AM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Aww, welcome back, dooder! The city missed you--and so did I! :)

And your comment about the "cow going down" made me laugh!! :)

At 2:43 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Yep, nothing like seeing the skyline of your city when you're returning from a trip. I nearly cried when I saw Seattle last night and The Child was all, "The Space Needle! The Space Needle".

Where ere one does roam, be it ever so tall, spired and lit up, there's no place like home.

At 1:17 PM , Blogger Breenlantern said...

welcome back. sometimes the best way to appreciate home is to leave it. i'm not thrilled with our current locale (city, area or apartment) but i am always comforted to be back in our space surrounded by our things and creature comforts after a trip...


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