Latest posts by Beerguyrob (see all)
- Hope Clicks Eternal – The Divisional Round – January 18, 2018
- Your “Spinning My Tires Out Of Here” Wednesday Evening Open Thread – January 17, 2018
- Your “Peak Philly Fan Achievement Unlocked” Tuesday Evening Open Thread – January 16, 2018
So, on November 17th, I was supposed to undergo my second colonoscopy in two months.
Because of a previous bout of kidney failure – involving a viral infection, 40 lost pounds, and organ function bad enough to be considered for a transplant – I have been on a five-year cycle of scopes since I was 35. Also, in the past 5 years I’ve had four rectal abscesses removed, proof that the universe will get you back for all the gay jokes you tell in your teens.
I originally had a colonoscopy done on October 12th, and they removed another fistula (basically, a pre-abscess). But they couldn’t complete the procedure because my internal organs had “shifted”, and the doctor was concerned that the sharp corner from my sigmoid colon to the large intestine would result in the scope tearing the walls of one of the two, and thus I have to go to a “specialist’s specialist” to have the procedure completed. The date for that procedure was November 17th. So far, no one’s seen fit to hang me upside-down like Batman to see if that will aid the process.
Coincidentally, my lovely wife said she needed one more trip outside business in order to make sure she kept her airline status for 2018. Looking at the map, we had to find 3000 miles (1500 each way), a non-stop flight, and a city of reasonable amenities to make a weekend journey enjoyable. From Vancouver, those cities were:
- New York
Next came looking into what attractions might be available for enjoyment that weekend.
- Chicago – Bears vs Packers; Blackhawks vs Hurricanes
- Dallas – Mavericks vs Cavs
- Detroit – Lions vs Browns; Red Wings vs Blue Jackets
- Houston – Rockets vs Grizzlies
- New York – Rangers vs Oilers; various Broadway plays
- Montreal – Habs vs Sabres
- Toronto – nothing
That narrowed the list from seven to three – Chicago, Detroit & New York. A few quick clicks on Ticketmaster & Stubhub made the decision for us:
We landed late-Friday November 10, so all that was expected was to find the hotel. I let my wife pick the hotel; she chose The Silversmith Hotel. She liked the pictures of the rooms; I liked the central location between Soldier Field & the United Center.
Neither of us knew the L was right outside the fucking window.
Luckily, we ended up on the other side of the building, so that wasn’t a sleep impediment. So, after a nice meal & round of shuffleboard in the “Game Room” of the Chicago Athletic Association,
and a trip to the roof for the view,
it was off to bed, with adventure on board the next day.
I awoke to discover Saturday the 11th was going to be an “adventure” called “shopping”. My lovely wife works in business, so the ability to try on suits in a big city wasn’t lost on her. I work with drop-outs; as long as I’m wearing pants & a collared shirt I’m practically overdressed.
Luckily, I could count on commerce to provide me with the distractions I needed, nicely dressed up as “art galleries”.
There was Dr. Seuss,
and there was Charlie Brown.
So I could be left in the grown-up equivalent of the IKEA ball pit while my wife went through the self-loathing exercise of trying on clothes. It was cheaper than filling me with beer.
I put on my finest jeans & we proceeded to make towards Soldier Field, a nice half-hour walk from the hotel. Plus, after a breakfast of the delicious chilaquiles at the The Gage,
I was ready for a nice stroll. “Perfect for burning off beers,” I thought to myself. The rain & cold had other ideas.
The walk to Soldier Field was uneventful. Just a pleasant walk down Michigan Avenue in the rain, like the song that’s never been written,
and then around the Field Museum & up to the entry. Our seats – not bad
Fifth row of the fourth deck on the west side of the stadium. Close enough to see the heat when the players are barfed out the Bears bear’s mouth.
The game itself was – as you saw – a numbing affair. We had a semi-excellent view of the fumble-cum-touchback.
I expected it to be Bears ball on the one-yard line. The guys behind me – well-accented, long-time season-ticket holders – predicted a touchdown. No one expected something worse than “Touchdown Seahawks”; the actual call caused the guys behind me to lose their fucking minds, and they left at halftime due to their “disgust” with the “corruption” of the NFL. [Mind you, these same guys were also upset at the late arrival of the flyover, then upset that it wasn’t a plane, and also upset they were only Apache helicopters. So, whatever]
A miserable game ended with a Packers victory, and everyone left seemed relieved that they could finally leave a game the cost involved obligated them to stay through the end of. How wet?
That wet. My hair reverted to its “Wet Hitler” look. Also, because I am an idiot, I only brought one pair of jeans to Chicago, which meant I had to spend an hour blowdrying them once we got back to the hotel, before we left for Event #2.
We were staying at Madison & Wabash, so it was a quick 15 minute bus ride straight there. I’ve never been to a Blackhawks game in Chicago. (I have seen them kick Vancouver’s playoff ass many a time, however.) The House That Jordan Built is also an excellent venue for hockey.
If you ever want to learn about the almost 40-year gap between titles, have a brief read at Deadspin’s obit for former owner Bill Wirtz, a man so reviled he was booed during his on-ice memorial, and then read about how he refused to lift the local blackout during his lifetime.
Anyway, the game experience. I knew about the anthem singing, but the player intros – to paraphrase Big Daddy Drew – also make you want to run through a goddamned wall.
The actual game was a throwback to the 1980s.
It ended 7-5 Devils, despite the Hawks ending the first up 4-2. The arena had plenty of non-Bud Light options, and I stuck with the Goose Island Four Star Pils I’d been drinking the whole weekend.
The next day, we were due to fly home at 7:30PM, so we had the ability to take advantage of the sights & sites. Since it was two blocks away, we settled on the Chicago Art Institute.
Of course, I got my Monet on,
checked out the Rodan exhibit,
and got lost in A Sunday on La Grande Jatte
Y’know, as one does.
They also had a fantastic special exhibit on the propaganda of the Soviet revolution.
The exhibit focused on how the Soviets used all forms of media to promote their cause, and made history try to catch up to their vision. For a history major like me, that shit is gold.
My wife caught me playing “need it, need it, got it,…” with the posters.
Then, after a few hours acquiring “museum back”, we flew home.
We flew down on Air Canada, and got everything included. We flew home on United, and were invited to repeatedly fuck ourselves. United did that stupid thing where they say you can’t access the in-flight entertainment on their app, but you’re welcome to pay $7.99 for DirectTV access for the flight. Luckily, the guy in front of me paid, and then watched the Panthers-Dolphins game in its entirety, so I missed nothing except the Open Thread, which was a shame because no one around me wanted to exchange dick jokes.
Wednesday morning, 24 hours before I’m supposed to start the Dulcolaxing, I get a phone call saying the procedure has been cancelled due to physician illness. Well, I guess so, since I don’t want him sneezing while progressing the camera up-inside me. Last time I heard an “oops” in an operating theatre I had to spend the night due to them lacerating my renal artery while doing the biopsy. I’m now rebooked for December 8th, so the day before I’ll be doing to the shitter what the Japanese did to Pearl Harbor.
To sum up: it’s good fun to go watch sporting events in other cities. I highly recommend it. Culture is where you find it. Oh, and maybe lay off the gay jokes; karma will eventually circle around, and medical butt stuff isn’t nearly as much fun as Brazzers makes it out to be.