- We got into Chicago on Sunday night and having not eaten any real food all day, found the only kosher place known to be open late at night. We saw it in the distance and parked in front, only to find that the door was locked. There were people inside who all motioned that they were closed. We were too hungry to give in, so we called the number on the door and after some pleading and relaying our sob story, we were allowed in. We then proceeded to gorge ourselves with pizza, fries, and nachos, and in Butch's case, pea soup and tuna.
- Monday morning, Butch and I went for a jog along the shore of Lake Michigan. They have a "dog beach" there. Humans are permitted provided they are kept on a leash.
- We spent the afternoon in downtown Chicago, which is a positively beautiful city. I immediately noticed the very different and what I thought was very cool architecture of many of the buildings downtown. Ushi later informed us that Chicago is known for its modern classical architecture. I was very impressed with myself for noticing this on my own.
- We visited Millenium Park, which is host to a bunch of various large tsatskes, including an awesome inverted reflecting metal statue thingie that turns into an amazing fun house mirror when you get close to it. Butch and I thought it was insanely cool. Ushi deemed it to be trite and artistically insignificant.
- We then visited the adjacent Grant Park, where we celebrated Obama's election victory. (We repeatedly yelled "Obama!" and "change!" while pumping our fists in the air.) It was awesome. I asked a park employee if Obama was there now and he said "No, but he was there yesterday." Unclear if he was actually there or if this guy was so high on crack that he thought it was still the day after Election Day.
- On our way out of the park, we saw a group of people playing what appeared to be softball, only they were playing with a ball double the size and much softer than a softball and none of the fielders were wearing gloves. It looked incredibly fun. I inquired about it and was told that this was "Chicago-style" softball. I would love to organize a game of this as soon as I get back...who's in?
- If you are interested in hearing the plot to a movie Ushi and Butch devised in which Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the lone loyal secret service agent amongst a corrupted agency intent on framing him for an assassination attempt against Barack Obama that in fact is being planned from inside the secret service, please consult one of them. It didn't make any sense to me. (Also, he may be from the future. Butch and Ushi disagree on this point.)
- We got 3 bleachers seats but weren't able to find 3 seats in close proximity until the 3rd inning. I brought a sandwich and ate it once I was seated. I heard the people next to me whispering and snickering, saying something to the effect of "is he here for dinner or
for a ballgame?" They had a similar reaction when I checked my blackberry. Ok, fine, so they are real elitist baseball purists, I get it (although I think eating is a normal activity at a baseball game, but that's just me.) This is what I assumed until 2 innings later when the
cheesy Cubs photographer came around and they posed for a picture together. That could have been excusable if not for the fact that an inning after that, I heard one of them politely explain the strategy of intentionally walking the 8th hitter with the pitcher on deck and 1st base open to his confused friend. WTF?
- In the 4th inning, Derek Lee hit a solo HR to left field. By standing on my seat in the last row of the lf bleachers, i was able to see the ball clear the fence and land on Waveland Avenue, where it was retrieved a young child. This child has already led a more exciting life than most human beings.
- In the top of the 8th inning, Aaron Heilman entered the game as a relief pitcher for the Cubs. I booed loudly for most of the first at bat he pitched. Nobody else seemed to join in. I assume that some time this fall, Heilman will ruin the Cubs' season and those fans near me will say "ah, that's why that guy was booing 2 months ago."
- In the bottom of the 8th inning, Astros' pitcher Latroy Hawkins was tossed for arguing balls and strikes. As he exited the field, the crowd chanted "you suck" as Astros' leftfielder Carlos Lee danced along to the beat.
- At some point, the left field bleachers started chanting "right field sucks," ostensibly taunting their fellow Cubs fans who were seated in the opposite bleachers. I don't think I have ever seen anything like this at a sporting event in my life.
- In the bottom of the 9th, the Cubs had the bases loaded with 1 out and Mike Fontenot at the plate. Piniella called for the suicide squeeze, Fontenot waived at it, and the runner coming home was a dead duck. Fontenot then hit a deep fly to center that would have easily won the game, but it was caught to end the inning. Same 'ol Cubs, but free
baseball for us.
- If the Cubs ever build a new stadium (and they will one day, traditionalists
be damned), they should incorporate the adjoining rooftops into the
structure of the new park.
- Speaking of those rooftops, one of the roofs in right field has a sign that reads "eamus catuli" and below it "AC0063100." Through a little research, we learned that the former is Latin for "go little bear" or more simply, "go cubs." The latter stands for "after championship" and the subsequent numbers recount the number of years since the Cubs last won a division (0), pennant (63), and world series (100), respectively. Will we see "AC000000" in our lifetime?
- In the bottom of the 11th inning, Alfonso Soriano hit a weak grounder down the 3rd base line and thinking it was foul (he said later that it hit his foot), did not run. He was easily thrown out and was booed loudly for his lack of hustle. So we see that Cubs fans know how to boo, just not how to boo Aaron Heilman.
- Soriano got a quick chance to redeem himself, however, as in the bottom of the 13th he blasted a walk-off grand slam to give the Cubs a dramatic 5-1 victory...Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!!! Go Cubs go!!