Back from India: Justin Returns to Chicago

I got an email from Justin earlier in the day, letting me know he was safe and sound back in the States. More than that, he was safe and sound over at Dave’s apartment.

A few phone calls and a few hours later, a bunch of us were meeting up at Rodan for some dinner/drinks.

Ah, the dark, blue interior of Rodan. Justin, looking out the window, marveling at the absence of any animals wandering down the street.

Thanks to that handy “A Year Ago Today” module I installed recently… I noticed that Justin and I visited Rodan exactly one year ago, to the day.

As we were ordering up sake, I inquired about whether or not any of the rare sake cups were still around. Sadly, our waitress claimed to have never seen them, so it’s possible that those cups are now all broken/gone.

As more and more people joined up, Justin shared more and more fantastic stories of his travels. I’m going to refrain from trying to re-tell them here, and point you instead to his Flickr photos. Hopefully, we’ll all have a way to see some of the great video he’s taken as well.

It’s silly, but in my head I’m imagining the stereotypical person-with-a-slide-projector boring family and friends with vacation slides… but I’d actually love something like this, were Justin to do a show and tell.

Outside, after dinner, sharing in a post-meal cigarette. L to R it’s Chris, Allison, Justin, Dave and Ben.

I was bad with the cigarettes again. I had two tonight, although I was only able to get about halfway through each one. While it was a hedonistic indulgence, the physical sensation of smoking was consistently NOT the pleasurable experience I anticipated.

The “tickle” of inhaling actually felt unpleasant, and exhaling felt a bit more like a steam valve. It may have been the cold, but I got none of the nicotine exhilaration… and felt only nausea. Which, actually, was probably for the best.

I don’t know that I’ll be picking up smoking again, anytime soon. So far, the past two times I’ve tried smoking again… I’ve felt pretty crappy afterwards.

A pretty great paper-mache display, over by Myopic Books. I’m not doing this thing justice, as you can’t really see the look of delight on the guy’s face.

We walked over to the Damen/Milwaukee/North trisection, where we parted ways. Everyone else was headed off to continue the evening over at Clubfoot, but I opted for an earlier night, and headed home.

Before saying goodbye, we all paused over by where Filter used to be, before Bank of America took over their space.

This was pretty great – on the Milwaukee side, we all spent a brief moment admiring the graffiti CEO portrait of Kenneth D. Lewis (Chairman, CEO and President of Bank of America). The fact that this portrait has remained on the bank’s exterior almost serves as some kind of implicit approval of the art work.

Ah man – I miss Filter.

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