I am home. It is good. It is very, very good.
I pulled in last night at like 4 in the morning. I had a hair cut bright and early at 10:30 that morning. So I've been trucking on like 4 hours of sleep all day.
Tom is my barber. He's been my barber since I had hair. Most people, when I phrase it that way, look at me like I'm funny. "Since you had hair? What's that supposed to mean?" Many people are born with hair. Many start showing signs of growth after a few months. A year or so, and they are ready to get their first cut. Not me. I was bald. Cue ball smooth until I was four. Tom has been my barber since I had hair. I've had no other barber. He's talking about retiring. It scares me, because that means I'm going to have to look for a barber. Or grow my hair out. Now with a cut bordering on military-worthy, I'm starting to think the latter option, the one involving much shag, is starting to sound very appealing. Until then I'll look like a nice little conservative.
Duke met me late for breakfast at Sip n Snack. For those of you who don't know the glory of Sip n Snack, let me tell you. It is as close to heaven as I think it is legally possible to be (in terms of heavenly laws or something). It's this little hole-in-the-wall diner in the neighboring town of Okemos, Michigan. Val Korrey has run it since 1949. He's old now. The food is still cheap. Still cooked on one large griddle. This is great. Duke orders hamburgers, I order pancakes and bacon. His burgers have a hint of pork, and a hint of batter. My pancakes have a hint of bacon and beef. Val cooks with lard. The pancakes come prebuttered to the table. The coffee is the best coffee I've ever tasted. The walls are decorated with countless framed pictures of the Sip n Snack regulars. I'm a regular. I hope one day to have my picture on that wall. The other decor are these great Camels. Above the griddle there is a sign that says:
You don't get it your way
You have it our way
or you don't get the damned thing
Afterwards we went to Flat Black and Circular. It's this great hole-in-the-wall used record store that has a selection that is just staggering. I raided the cheap bins. This is what I got:
- The Beatles - Double White (numbered)
- The Beatles - Hey Jude
- Bob and Doug Mackenzie
- A compilation of songs from The Good The Bad and The Ugly, and Fistful of Dollars, and For a Few Dollars More
- Elton John's Greatest Hits
- Blood Sweat and Tears Greatest Hits
Then we came back to my house and played with my new Baritone Ukulele. I've figured out the mechanics of it right quick. It's just the top four strings of a guitar: DGBE. Within an hour of owning it, I managed to start writing songs on it.
Went to dinner with the parents at one of their favorite stops, the local Asian Buffet. I eat way too much when I go there. I want to go running in the morning.
James, Duke, and I went to Dublin Irish Square. It's a pub that's part of a National chain. We sat on the porch, had a pint each and some food. The one thing that I really like about Chicago is the bar scene. There is a wide variety of different types of bars. I'm more of a smaller pub guy. Less people. Old friends. Celtic Music. Smoking my pipe, and having a pint of Smithwicks or Guinness.