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2005-06-27 - 7:47 a.m.

Air Conditioning? What Air Conditioning?

On Friday night, after an insane week, I took the Orange Line down to Midway Airport to pick up my friends. Now, we never see them. And it's just all kinds of unfair because this country is just not set up that one can be a research meteorologist and still live where one would like to. Especially when the people in question are from Michigan and need ready access to hockey, cool weather, a little humidity now and then, and a few friends -- so west Texas isn't it. Except that it has to be. So anyway, they stopped by the Midwest for a few days (apparently bringing the hottest temperatures of the summer with them) and stayed at our place for the wedding.

This wedding had been expected for something like 7 years or so, and had been officially being planned for just over 2 years, so it was a bit of a big deal.

ANYWAY. Went to Midway. I timed my travels so that I stepped off the train exactly one minute before their plane was scheduled to land. Am pathetically, dorkily, proud of that. We headed back for the train after picking up bags, took some touristy pictures on the el, and got back to the house. We collapsed (actually, I think they were far better off than I was) on the bed in the air conditioning, made some jokes about swinging, played with the (adorable) dog, and headed out to dinner.

Ed's Potsticker House is my second favorite Chinese restaurant in Bridgeport. Mmm... We had Fun With Chopsticks and Air Conditioning, then met my husband (who had been at a work BBQ at the managing partner's house) and headed to our favorite bar.

We met up with one of our favorite Bridgeporters, talked some baseball and softball, he bought us a round of drinks, and about 1/4 of the way through my second Hacker-Pschorr weisse, the power went out.

No, really. The power went out to half the south side of Chicago. The sentence, "The burning lubricant spewed acrid fumes..." rocks. Just so you know.

We stood in the bar, happy that we were probably in the safest place in the city at that point (plenty of large, tough, kind people who have experience with a bit of everything -- from fire-fighting to beating the hell out of gang-bangers when necessary), listening to a rousing a capella chorus of Billy Joel's "Piano Man"* to the light of lighters and cell phone screens.

The quote of the night (and even though I'm a Cubs fan and they had lost to the White Sox that day 12-2, it was darn funny) is, "Damn Tribune Company! The Cubs lose bad and they shut off the power to Bridgeport!"

After 10 minutes or so, when it became very apparent that there was no way the power going to come back on anytime soon, we all got shooed out of the bar and they closed. Therefore, I had to chug (and get help chugging. I'm a beer-o-phile, not a frat boy!) my beer. We headed back, lighted some candles, and packed up our and the dog's stuff as it was the hottest day of the year and we don't have a backup generator for our air conditioner.**

On the plus side, we had somewhere to go. After a few difficulties (and by "a few difficulties," I mean "a two-man job that eventually broke the garage door which thankfully is still under warranty because that's complete crap that a garage door can't be opened in an emergency without breaking," with manually opening a garage door that is not meant to be manually opened, the four of us and the 75 pound dog headed out to my in-laws' house in the suburbs in our Hyundai Elantra. They still had power and air conditioning.

*I mean, what else are you going to do when the power and therefore the jukebox go out?

**This is a really good idea. I should work on it.

My plan to go running on Saturday morning was thwarted, as I couldn't find my tennis shoes in the dark, and therefore couldn't take them to the suburbs. So I'm a big loser and will be repeating Week 2 of the program this week.

We managed (surprisingly enough) to all get the garage door down (not fixed. Just down), showered, dressed, and prettied-up in time to get to the 2pm wedding 3 minutes early.

Coming tomorrow: The Actual Wedding, or, How I Got Drunk and Kissed This Guy***

***On the cheek! I'm not a whore when drunk, just exceptionally magnanimous and loving.

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