Moving things right along, our elaborate scheme to repeatedly fall in love all over again progresses to plans “F” and “G”. Yes, “The Alphabet Dating Project” appears to be in full swing now. You are invited only as an afterthought.1
Fondue Forks For Everybody
F, the second time, was not the same as the first. We are in a much better place—not in the “we’ve died and gone to heaven” sense, but in the lovingly married sense. I would have said “wonderfully”, but I’m not on the Wheel of Fortune and you are not Pat Sajak.2
The Melting Pot was our destination for the first time, again. I suited up. She wore a little black dress. She was lovely.
We splurged for the Big Night Out. My wife, doing her thing, had a certificate for $25 off their signature dinner for two. It’s a rare thing when we can get quality seafood and steak in the same meal. Few could ever be displeased with the dessert chocolate.
Dinner and the atmosphere were great, as expected, but took second stage to spending an extravagant evening with my wife. There was something special about being alone with her amongst all the other patrons. Maybe it was “Lovers Lane”. Maybe it’s just knowing that we’re together, through it all.
Even if I leave our credit card to be locked in their safe.
As it turns out, before our G date I hadn’t been to a concert in over five years. That’s quite a long time given the amount of recorded music I consume. Recently I had gotten way into Jonathan Coulton. His music is entertaining and funny and different from what I normally listen to. It also helps that his story is inspiring to the common cubicle dweller.3
Heather noticed my little man-crush4 and found out that he was going to be in Chicago on October 10th. Then, with much twisting of the arm and other extremities, she convinced me to go. After planning and re-planning and realizing that a long-time Internet friend of Heather’s was going to be in Chicago at the same time, we decided to make an overnight date of it.
It was fast and furious, but better than a movie. We crammed much into a 24 hour trip. It was amazing the amount of fun we ended up having on a weekend I was afraid would end up being mostly about things I enjoyed. There was even a shower scene, but we’re not going to talk about that.
Things did start out a little rocky. We ended up leaving a little later than expected and ran into construction traffic after having to pull off the interstate and replace the air filter in my car. Sometime after lunch I realized I had forgotten the tickets and my wife’s medicine. There was marathon traffic in Chicago and and after we checked into the hotel we realized we forgot a few other things. That was pretty much the end of our troubles, though.
Somehow it all just seemed to glance off us. We had replacement tickets waiting for us at the box office. We picked up additional meds. Even the hour plus wait at Giordano’s was just more time to stand around chatting and enjoying each other’s company and the company of Real Life Internet People™. It was just an all around good time.
In the days before the concert, some amazing things happened. They Might Be Giants were playing in Chicago at the same time as Jonathan Coulton, and doing a Flood show to mark the 20th anniversary of their landmark album.
Some “behind the scenes” stuff happened between Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants—which probably involved grown men in dresses and vigorous Pokemon trading—and it was decided that Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm would also do a Flood show.
And so in between their own sets, they played the entire Flood album, front to back. It was magical. That is all I have to say about that.
Somewhere during the opening set, Heather fell in love with Paul and (mostly) Storm and became a bit more geeky. We don’t fault her for it.
After the show we hung out at the merchendice table, loitering until the performers came out for a brief meet and greet. We got to gush and drool and shake hands with Internet super-stars. It wasn’t enough for me to cross #5 from my list, but it was still quite enjoyable.
Before we knew it, it was time to leave not only the show, but Chicago altogether. Our weekend was over, not before, but right when we knew it. We’ll go back someday and probably get more of the world’s best gummi bears on our drive back.
Perhaps I won’t wait another twelve years before seeing Chicago again.
1 All apologies for the cryptic nature of parts of this post.
2 Seriously. Watch Wheel of Fortune. Damn near every contestant is married to someone “wonderful.”
3 You can get a sense of it from some of his interviews.
4 Shuddup. If you come over, I’m totally making you watch BEST. CONCERT. EVER.