Monday, July 07, 2003

Stars and Stripes Forever

(Written at 9:35 PM, July 6, 2003)

It’s been a great weekend, folks. Started on Thursday, after my REU finished for the week, when Trey and I went downtown. We hit the Taste of Chicago event, at which every major Chicago restaurant sets up a booth to sell portions of their food. You can get shrimp on a stick, Rocky Road cheesecake, fried plantain, tacos, fresh fruit, all in a row. There were about 500,000 other Chicagoans there, by my scientific count.

Then we caught the Chicago fireworks from Grant Park, watching the explosions build to a spectacular finale, then begin again with new colors and tricks: clusters that burst into a spreading willow tree, spiraling rockets that whistle miles away, gigantic starbursts that leave you waiting for the sound wave, anticipating the deep cannon sound echoing off the skyscrapers behind you.

Then, on the Fourth, I went with Lam and his friend Victor to see “Terminator 3” before meeting up with the other housemates at the barbecue Rachel’s uncle was holding. He had a pool, which was great news, because it was hot and muggy. I didn’t bring my swimming trunks, so I borrowed a pair from their family. Of course, they were ‘70s style, so I was forced to endure taunts of “Who likes short shorts?” and laughter that lasted until I picked up a Styrofoam water noodle and began beating my verbal assailants. We all horsed around, playing Marco Polo with increasing strategic sophistication until the night fell upon us.

Saturday I did a whole lot of nothing. I kicked butt in a house game of poker [“I raise you 500 Turkish lira,” the equivalent of 1/20 US cents] and was unfortunately labeled a “drama queen” for my quite effective portrayal of a bluffing man.

And today, after Mass and brunch, I went with my friends Greg and Maggie, and her sister Cathy, to watch “Finding Nemo”. It was about as different as can be from my other movie of the weekend, but hey, the former was a good action movie and the latter was a good cartoon fish comedy. Then I came home, ordered pizza with my house (the resident chef being gone to Milwaukee for the weekend) and chilled out.

Good times.

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