Lexie's friend Carskey was over from Wisconsin and we went out for sushi a few blocks from my house. I can't use chopsticks, so I ate most of the meal with my fingers. Including the eel. Even cooked, it's a slimy little sucker. The plum wine, although a tradition, was pretty gross too. But being the polite girl I am, I imbibed a few glasses.
On one of the few trips to the ladies room, I discovered that the Hye Bar is actually Scottish - there is a thistle on the bar's logo. Aww my peeps! So I have made a pledge to go back there - both for live band karaoke AND for the cute barman.
Rather than head home, we caught the El train (above-ground, just like in ER) to Cesar's, the Mexican restaurant that Caroline and I had visited a few weeks previously. Downstairs, and unbeknownst to me, there is a groovy bar that sells margaritas as big as my head. And that's pretty big...but good. One lime margarita later, and I was ready for bed.
I woke up fairly late on Saturday morning, and was hardly surprised. Lex and Carskey had caught the train to Navy Pier to see "Harry Potter" at the IMAX. I spent the day performing the weekly chore of cleaning my bedroom and bathroom, and doing the laundry. The less said about this the better, however my hangover had substantially improved by the end of the afternoon.
On Saturday night I went to Caroline's and then we shared a cab out to a fantastic restaurant called Fogo Di Chao to celebrate our friend Nicolette's 25th birthday.
Fogo di Chao is a Brazilian place, along a similar line to Gaucho's in Adelaide. But here, the restaurant gives each diner a little disk. It's red on one side, and green on the other. Waiters then drift around the restaurant carrying about 11 varieties of skewered meats. If your green disk is showing, they'll stop by your table and offer you some meat. You can accept it or decline it and, once you're ready to stop for a while, you just turn your disk over to red. The salad bar is also exceptional, and helps to break up the artery-clogging potential of a full-meat menu.
After dinner, Caroline and I disappeared with Nicolette and her husband Rakesh to the Ghost Bar, a very trendy place a block or so away from my office. Rakesh knows the barman there, and our drinks were free. I knew I liked that place.
Then Caro and I went home in a cab, but she dropped me off at a pub called Guthries that offers patrons a back room to play board games. It sounds daggy, but it's actually quite fun. When I got there to meet Lexie and Caskie, they were there with 2 more of Lexie's friends from Wisconsin. They were in the middle of a rather frantic game of 'Trivial Pursuit'. I joined in where I could, and actually got some questions right, which made me feel pretty good.
The next day I was up crazy early, something like 8.45am. I think I overheated as I slept, and the first thing I did when I got up was turned down the furnace. Having the heating duct in my bedroom has SOME good points, but can also be a bit of a nightmare as I discovered that day.
So I got myself down to the supermarket and bought some fresh vegetables to make a big saucepan of soup to take to work this week. Mum & I used to make it back home and it's called "Miracle Soup", owing to the fact it has no fat in it. But it does have a lot of vegetables, tomato pulp, and tobasco sauce. The batch I made was delicious, if I can say so myself. But Lexie had a bowl too and she declared it 'super good'. Bless her.
I got a chance to flex my muscles a bit on Sunday night - literally. When Caroline moved to Chicago, the guy that owned the flat she bought left behind a leather sofa bed. Far from being generous, he left it there because the thing is so damned heavy he couldn't easily move it if he wanted to. Caroline bought herself a new couch and didn't need the leather one any more, so she offered it to Lexie and I if we could make use of it. And we decided we could.
But of course that meant we had to shift it, and that was not easy. Lexie arranged for her cousin, Alex to bring his truck and help us out. I'm so glad he did, because even with the three of us lifting the couch up three flights of stairs, it was not easy going! It took us over an hour to get the couch up the narrow staircases and into our apartment. Alex now has our undying gratitude but it would not surprise me if we never see him again - just in case he expects us to give him more chores to do! Who can blame him for that?
Then, just as you'd think I'd collapse from weekend exhaustion, Melissa from work had called me and told me that Missy Higgins was playing Chicago in a club about 5 minutes drive from my house on Sunday night. Did I want to go? YOU BET. So I went along to her gig and she is a fantastic performer. Her voice is crystal clear and so strong. And she got on stage, took her shoes and socks off, and got comfortable. She was great. And I got to meet her after the show AND had my photo taken with her. Melissa has the picture on her camera, and I promise to upload it when Melissa remembers to bring it in for me.
So after this weekend wrap-up, you can see why my brain has not been on blogging. But given that I have the rest of this week off because of the Thanksgiving Holiday (with snow forecast non-stop), I hope that the next time I post, it will be just as eventual a report, with pictures to match.