Okay, I think it's done. Except for a few short fics that really weren't worth the time, all my fic is up at AO3. All, according to my math, three million words of it.

(Three million thirty nine thousand three hundred twenty three words, being exact, only that's probably wrong because math and I are barely on speaking terms with each other. Math knows what it did.)

I did a bunch of archiving because I couldn't deal with work and I needed something mindless to do. I was intending to fly to Texas tomorrow to help Mum get through her knee surgery, but now the heart doctor she should have seen A MONTH AGO is making her put it off a week until they can make sure her heart will survive the stress of general anaesthetic.

Here's what you need to understand: she's not having general anaesthetic for her surgery. And yet.

So I spent much of the morning rearranging plane flights and calling the multiple doctors who I was scheduled to meet with next week. I've managed to reschedule two of the three appointments, so there's that. Now I just need to go home and unpack my luggage, I suppose.
Well, that was terrible.

It's not my first sleep study thing; it's actually my third, and I've always tolerated the electrodes and such pretty well before. Last night was the first one wearing a CPAP mask, which has left me exhausted and cranky.

I'm sure I did sleep, and I got probably at least six hours, which usually leaves me functional. I can only guess that having a GIANT HOSE in the bed with me, plus having to clench my jaw all night to prevent opening my mouth (every time I did, I promptly choked, but then I also choked when I didn't) plus having something blowing into my face for eight hours didn't really get me any quality sleep. I woke up this morning feeling exhausted, spent the whole day feeling exhausted, and finally feel human again after three hours of sleep without the stupid mask. Which, by the way, at one point filled with water last night, making me less than confident of my odds of not drowning in my sleep.

Apparently the whole concept of a CPAP blowing air down your throat all night long is like thirty years old and is still the standard treatment, which makes me suspicious, because come on, can we not find a better way to do this than shoving a nozzle in your nose? Fifty to sixty percent of all CPAP candidates don't use their machine, apparently, which to me is a pretty large margin of uselessness.

People keep saying I'm going to feel happier and less tired so why am I so FULL OF RAGE brought on by debilitating exhaustion and the prospect of having to wash multiple parts of an intricate, bulky machine every day?

So, fuck the CPAP, they gave me one and I left it at work. I'll try it again on Friday night when I know that if I wake up sore and miserable again I can just take the invasive, horrible mask off and go back to sleep.

THE HORROR has come to Chicago.

It's summer.

It showed up really suddenly. Yesterday I mentioned to someone that APRIL WAS OVER, and just to prove April could still screw me, I walked outside in my wool trousers and leather jacket (because it was like, forty yesterday morning when I left home) and it was about seventy degrees.

I am not comfortable at anything over sixty or so. Indoors. Outside I want it to be below fifty at all times. Because fuck you I'm of Irish-Nordic extraction, that's why.

Anyway, I didn't want to walk to the train so I caught the 151 bus, and I know better, because the 151 is capricious and evil. A few blocks shy of Belmont, not even at a bus stop, my bus just stopped and the driver declared the bus was done. Fortunately there was another 151 behind him, so we all piled out of one and got on the other, and when I got home I stripped down and installed my air conditioner.

That air conditioner, I swear to god, the best $150 I have ever spent. I know it does terrible things to the environment but at least it's EnergyStar compliant, so not...as horrible? And let's face it, if I didn't have it, I would do horrible things. Someone would die by week's end, someone who probably didn't deserve it.

And I didn't even write this up yesterday because I was so cranky, and also because work is being hellacious. I keep getting assigned work that usually we get three days on, but because things are so busy I'm on same-day turnaround and of course because of THAT I'm screwing it all up.

And now it's summer. GOD DAMN IT.
I just checked my work email to make sure the place hadn't fallen apart without me today, and it turns out this afternoon we got a peek at the proposed layouts for the (super-inconvenient and vastly undesired) new office space we'll be moving to sometime in the next fifteen months. They've asked for detailed feedback about what we want and need from a workspace.

Who wants to bet I can tactfully but devastatingly convey the disgust over this move of myself and the entire staff in a thousand words or less and not get fired? I think I can. I've done more with less.

Well, I love having a view, but I guess in our new high-crime and primarily residential location there's not much to have a view of, so the fact that you've lined the windows with offices and cut off the natural light to the cubicles doesn't really matter. Parking is so important to many people now that there's no public transit near our future offices, though I know it'll be hard to decide who gets permits for the garage when we've only been allocated 120 parking spaces for a staff of over 200. But hey, you did repeatedly say we'll have a Chipotle nearby, and I know how excited we're supposed to be that we'll be losing easy access to the diverse dining, retail, and service offerings downtown but keeping our proximity to a faux-Mexican fast food restaurant. Don't think we're not grateful; we know it could have been a Taco Bell.

Don't worry. I'll be gentler than that. Mostly.

On another note, I have two Radio Free Monday items that didn't quite get in on time but are time sensitive:

[livejournal.com profile] twirlynoodle let me know that Chase is doing a competition on Facebook, with a grant going to the organization receiving the most votes (voting ends Saturday, hence the hustle). Independent Shakespeare Company, based in Los Angeles, is in the running and could use your votes! You can vote a second time at Chase Giving, if you're a Chase account holder. ISC does free Shakespeare in the park each summer, and this past summer had some of their equipment stolen, so they could really use the help.

And a local shout-out: [livejournal.com profile] supertailz let me know that MC Bar, at the corner of Ashland and Blackhawk in Chicago, is doing cheap PBRs and Patron shots for anyone protesting as a striking teacher or with the striking teachers. They're packing the bar tonight!
I ate dinner at a vegan diner tonight. Oh, man, seitan "chicken" strips. So sad. So mushy. The fries were okay, though they would have been better if they'd been hot...

I don't actually like vegetables, though I don't mind seitan. I'm allergic to chicken and I just really wanted fried chicken. That encounter this evening did NOTHING to abate my longing.

Also, okay, if you walk into a large dining room in a seat-yourself style restaurant, and there's one other person in the dining room, I don't care how much you might want to socialise or how much you think they do, PLEASE DO NOT SIT NEXT TO THEM. It's weird and pushy and the antisocial among us would like to hate our vegan chicken in peace.

I wasn't at a community table, but I have to mention that Community Seating is the big new thing in Chicago, where there's either one big table lots of people can sit at surrounded by little tables for individual diners, or just a series of long tables and you have no choice but to share. I encountered this first years ago at Durgin Park in Boston, and I didn't mind it then because it was quirky and old-fashioned and people mostly left each other alone. In Chicago, at Grahamwich and Epic Burger and Native Foods and a jillion other places, it seems to be an encouragement to socialise with strangers. We're midwestern, I guess it's what we do. I'm just here because if I take my food home it will get cold! (Colder.)

I told Mum I was either going to get a sandwich from Which Wich or some vegan chicken. She reminded me the last time she ate at Which Wich she got sick, though she perpetually blames food poisoning on the ice machines.

She used to tell me "Don't chew the ice from your drink, it's dirty." Then why is it in my drink?

Clearly I need a nap.

I woke up and did my morning routine, showered and got dressed and got on the train to work. I happened to catch sight of myself in the reflection of a train window and realised hey, I look like someone mugged me, or I just rolled out of bed.

Turned out I didn't brush my hair after towelling it off, which wouldn't be a big deal except my hair tends to set however it was when it dried, so I went through the day looking vaguely as if someone had shocked me. HI, I'M SAM, AND THIS IS MY SURPRISED HAIR.

I spent most of the morning researching a woman who turned out not to exist, but in order to prove she didn't exist I had to dig up some super-obscure links, so while trying to avoid writing a research report on someone who ISN'T REAL I ended up researching her thoroughly anyway.

I'm pretty sure most of you are real.

My poor boss spilled bean soup all over the inside of her purse. Why was she carrying bean soup in her purse? I didn't dare inquire.

Finally I got off the train to come home and stepped into a torrential downpour, which gave me one of my few smiles of the day, because it was sunny out while it was raining. Mum taught me that when the sun shines while it's raining, it's a monkey's birthday; Gran taught me the much more horrible version when one sunny afternoon in Half Moon Bay it rained and she looked outside and said, "Ohhhhh, the devil is beating his wife!"

Sunny rain always makes me think of Gran and grin. I'm told I get my subversive streak from her.

Otherwise this day is a total loss. I'm going to eat crackers and sulk.
Oh my god that was some epic dire Chinese food.

I read a review of 65 Asian Kitchen that lauded it as really good food in large portions, convenient in the Loop, tucked away behind the Board of Trade in downtown. I was headed that direction anyway, to pick up some new library books, and there was a Groupon, so technically it was a free meal because I have credit on the Groupon website.

Ohhh, what a waste of seven Groupon bucks. Well, you win some, you lose some.

Mind you, I'm sure that this place is way better for lunch, because they must get a HUGE lunch crowd and have everything hot and ready to go in massive amounts. And to be fair to them, since it was so dead in there at 4:30 on a Thursday, they did cook most of my food on the spot. But the shrimp fried rice was so gross and full of shrimp shells which, while I know they can be eaten, I don't actually care for and don't usually expect to find in fried rice. The crab rangoons were a despair. And expensive.

And now I feel gross, when I didn't even eat that much.

I know, I know; Chicago has a Chinatown and there are tons of great places to get Chinese there. And Chinese food in America is very much a matter of taste, since it varies so much from restaurant to restaurant. It's not like I was looking for something authentic, just something yummy. But I wasn't in Chinatown, I was in the South Loop, and I think I can safely say that, even compared to places that are not in Chinatown, it was dreadful.

Peking Kitchen, I will not forsake you again. (FYI, Peking Kitchen has for my money the best Chinese on the northside, and their portions are more than generous, even if their hunan beef is mostly hunan and not much beef.) Plus I can't imagine why anyone would go to 65 Asian Kitchen or its neighboring McDonald's for lunch when the basement of the Board of Trade has a delightful lunch cafeteria with the best battered fries I've ever eaten.

Basement dining, I've come to believe, is what it's all about in the Loop. Tons of buildings have basement cafeterias that you would never know existed if you didn't work there. Equitable and Trump have good ones, and of course there's the Secret Food Court beneath 111 W. Wacker, but the Board of Trade has the best.

Essentially, give me french fries and no windows and I'm a happy man.
The Dead Isle Chapter Nineteen has been posted!

Meanwhile, I am cultivating a reputation for being shit at writing things on greeting cards.

It's not difficult, because I genuinely am. I'm bad at picking out gifts and I'm bad at writing things on cards, but I can be good at it if I expend disproportionate mental energy. And I could do that, but given we give people cards for all birthdays, anniversaries, and departures, and I don't know some of them very well, I'm going to stick with "rather terrible at this" and just allow people to assume I am doing the best I can.

It's not that I don't care about them, it's just that I don't care about greeting cards.

In other news, an informal survey of everyone I've spoken to this morning seems to indicate Chicago will not be sorry to see Marilyn Monroe shipped to Long Beach, though we are all quite unsettled by seeing her dismantled and sitting in Pioneer Plaza in pieces. Now begins the tense, wary waiting period where we speculate about what monstrosity J. Seward Johnson will next visit upon us. Elvis would be too predictable. He's done paintings and film; I bet next up is baseball. Like, Hank Aaron's giant head or maybe Babe Ruth eating a Baby Ruth or something similarly lacking in original thought.

I really just have no patience for this man, and it bothers me, because usually I'm very much about accepting artists whose vision doesn't align with my own.

Possibly it's because he has no vision.

I went to five separate home-and-bath-and-beyond-and-crate-and-barrel-and-kitchen stores this evening, because for a going-away gift my boss wanted us to get the person who's going away a margarita kit. She said she'd do it this weekend and then didn't, which meant I had to do it tonight or we can't get it wrapped in time for the going away.

(You would not believe the disgusted lecture I got at Bloomingdales Home over how they weren't about entertaining, they were about presentation, and thus didn't stock "margarita kits".)

I finally gave up on a margarita kit and just went looking for a shaker and some margarita glasses to buy separately, and THIS IS WHERE IT GETS WEIRD.

As it turns out -- and I'm taking this as true since two independent sources at Crate & Barrel and Macy's told me so -- margarita glasses are seasonal. Like fruit and wild game. You can't get margarita glasses out of season. My mind is fucking blown.

But I'm sorry, Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday. Do you people need an engraved invitation? IT'S MARGARITA SEASON. DISH 'EM UP.

So instead I bought martini glasses because fuck the world, and then I came home and stopped at the liquor store and bought a bottle of Patron to make up for it.

Temptation to drink the bottle of Patron: rising.
Today has been the ultimate day of awkward. I haven't held a coherent conversation with a single person all day long. Awkward Coworker and I can't even be within ten feet of each other.

I think on my behalf part of it is that I didn't get enough sleep last night, but I can't explain why everyone else I work with was, well, acting like me.

I finally gave up on getting anything productive done -- work, writing, basic social interaction -- and huddled in my cubicle with a podcast and a cup of pudding and some budget work until it was time to have All The Meetings. Then we had All The Meetings, and very little got done, but at least I didn't have to talk.

I'm going to go home, take a nap, and spend the evening trying to recoup the utter loss this day has been.
Oh man that was not how I expected my afternoon to go.

So, the doctor told me to fast from 11am onwards because I was going to have bloodwork done at my 3:30 appointment. I had breakfast around eight and thought, ok, no more food. I arrive at the doctor's office at 3 for my 3:30 appointment, because I'm like that, and they said "No paperwork! Go ahead and have a seat."

3:30 arrives.

4:00 arrives.

Round about 4:10 I got up and asked if maybe I could get an ETA on when I would see the doctor. I know doctors get behind sometimes, I was cool with waiting, but it's unusual to be half an hour late and not even put someone in an exam room.

Turns out not only is he running late, but they forgot about me. So, and I only found this out around 4:45 (yes, 4:45) when they put me in an exam room, they bumped me to after the patient behind me, making me the last person the doctor will see that day. At 5:03, I decide my doctor is not going to be my doctor anymore; he can write me a scrip and then he is fired. He is super fired when I hear him checking his voicemail in the next room at 5:20.

At 5:30 it ceases to matter, because a different doctor shows up and says he's filling in. We talk, I get refills on one prescription and a change of another, and he mentions that the lab techs have gone home so I will not be getting blood tests today. He decides, I don't know why, to take my blood pressure at this point.

My blood pressure is 140 over 90, not surprising, as one of the reasons I see this doctor is elevated blood pressure. But he says "That's a little high". Now, I'm tired and hungry so I'm crankier than usual, and so I reply rather drily, "Well, I have been here for two and a half hours now."

And he says, "What?"

So I explain what happened, and he says "I'll be right back" and then I hear shouting. I'm pretty sure I caused some kind of doctor fight. Which was not my intention, but I can't say I'm upset that finally someone went to bat for me.

Then he came back and apologised to me and said I could go, and we'd get the blood work done next time. And I took his business card.

And then I came home and ate an apple without chewing it, the end.
Some days you just want to hide in your cubicle and read fanfic.

Three different websites broke down for three different people today -- mister, did you seriously just complain to me that you have to log into the website every time you go there, where before you didn't have to? -- we have an interview candidate I have to arrange a schedule and parking for, I have a biography to write of a ridiculously wealthy woman for our research side, IT can't seem to produce a simple telephone to save its life, I've been put in charge of arranging and catering a meeting between the research teams of four different companies, and there is a SMELL IN THIS BUILDING.

What's funny is, because for so long I was a central info point, people still come to me about stuff like THE SMELL IN THIS BUILDING. One of the other admins came up to me and asked, "Did you report the smell?"

Uh, report it your damn self, lady, you have the exact same job I do for a different department and I know you have login info for the "Report things wrong with this building" website. But, having just been downstairs a few minutes ago, I knew the smell was worse there, so the building office on that floor clearly knew there was A SMELL IN THIS BUILDING. So no, I didn't report it, but I did forward her the email I got a few minutes later from the building, explaining THE SMELL.

Though they did not proof it very thoroughly.

From: Management
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Subject: Stong Oder Memo.

I can't stop saying "Stong oder". It's so much fun to say. THERE IS A STONG ODER IN THIS BILDING.

I might be having a day. But I keep deciding I can't be having a day, because if I were, the only real course of action would be to go home tonight and have a very large drink and not go in to work tomorrow, and I have to go in to work tomorrow, I'm getting trained in electronic accounting (the irony, it burns).
Oh and btw, before I leave, I'd like to congratulate Avos on buying Delicious, a website that Yahoo was going to kill, and then overnight turning it into something that nobody wants to use anyway.

Thanks, Avos, for removing the subscription feature! It's not like I used that on a daily basis to find new links that were relevant to my interests, and of course the "follow this person" feature is exactly the same, because people who share one interest with me surely must share ALL my other interests! See, my friends and I have no divergent interests at all. We wouldn't be true friends if we did!

I also appreciate how you've removed my option to view more than ten links at a time, and apparently "restored" to my account about a million links that I had deleted months ago. This won't be annoying to sort through and clean up! In addition, you appear to have deleted every tag related to the Chicago Public Library, along with all the links tagged by them. I guess this means I've finished my reading list...

You're really rocking the "website designed for young children without much dexterity" look, and that mascot is totally helping you project a professional image.

So thanks, Avos, for turning Delicious into a less useful version of Facebook. Keep up the good work!
Sweet Loki in a hoopskirt, LJ, what is wrong with you.

My personal chaos field appears to be holding steady, but on that note as I am supposed to be nominally on the side of good, I wanted to mention one or two things. I think probably 99% of the Cafe doesn't need to hear this. But I'm on a broadcast band, guys, so if this doesn't apply to you, just feel well-adjusted and scroll on for justice.

First, someone the other day linked me to a website where a portion of Cartographer's Craft was archived without credit. Normally this would be An Incident, but it seemed reasonably obvious to me this person was archiving it there so they could read it on some kind of mobile device in their spare time. (Why else archive starting at chapter fourteen? I mean what?) So this is just a reminder: even if you're stashing something away for personal purposes, the internet is like a giant series of WIDE OPEN DOORS and people who enjoy looking into them. Lock that stuff up or credit it; most people would also prefer that you ask first. They'd probably love to hear you want to read their porn on the train!

Second, I don't even know how to get into this, but I will give it the old college try: if someone is writing you a fanfic to a prompt on a kinkmeme, and they are actually filling the prompt, and they happen to toss in something that you dislike in two or three chapters out of, say, fifty...could you maybe stop and think before flipping your everloving shit? I get that there's shit not everyone wants to read, but I thought we'd been over the whole "sexuality is not something you warn for" thing. Also even if you're not the original shit-flipper, but you want to be warned for a specific genre of sexual relationship -- I get that in a kinkmeme the ships might not always be 100% clear immediately but perhaps you may wish to consider avoiding A KINKMEME if you can't deal with ladyparts.

Dude it isn't even me writing it, I just can't believe what I've seen go down in the past two days. We have had this wank already! Wank done! No take-backsies!

Third, if you're going to tell someone the quality of their work is declining, may I refer you to The Table Of Praise And Criticism? Unless you can back up your criticism with something less vague than "declining quality", consider not opening your mouth and proving to the world what a dipstick you are.

I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER NOW, YOU GUYS. My latent anger at Overboss for sending me ten questions a day all of which are answered in his own personal copy of the Big Book has faded completely!

In return for putting up with my crap, enjoy five minute distraction: Draw A Stickman.
Well, that was a thwarted afternoon.

I did not get a book or trousers or barbecue. I did get rubber cement and headphones. Blick sells both things, though the headphones are somewhat novelty. Still, for ten bucks, I now have earbuds that look like tiny salmon maki, which is pretty cool.

The Harold Washington Library never has the books I want, even though it always says it does. It's like a goblin went through the library and removed all the books it knew I would want, without telling anyone. And I didn't get trousers because I have NO TIME for someone who wants to sell me skinny jeans. Also I have either uncovered fashion's ultimate insanity OR the salesman has the worst patter ever, but I decided it was time to leave the store when he tried to sell me "wide leg skinny jeans".

Actually my afternoon was filled with skinny jeans, because after that fiasco I went to Wicker Park, one of the neighborhoods of Chicago, which I am not cool enough to walk around in. I saw more sockless boat shoes and skinny jeans and tattoos in one block of Wicker Park than I've seen in the rest of Chicago all year.

I didn't go to Lillie's Q. I walked past it and decided I didn't want barbecue, and I especially didn't want barbecue from somewhere I'd have to sit in a high cafe chair in a window to eat it.

By the way, as long as we're talking about how I got back on the train to go home, fuck the Blue Line, it's full of assholes. If you ride the Blue Line, I apologise, but surely you're aware you're surrounded by assholes, right? My god, I will never take the Red Line for granted again. Or live on the Blue Line.

So now I'm home, and I'm feeling thwarted, and I'm not going out again and you can't make me.

I just got back from the emergency clinic, where they put two stitches in my left hand because some STUPID DELIVERY GUY dropped a package on my hourglass which shattered. I thought, no big, it's messy but contained, I'll clean it up.

Glass, sand, me...I think we can all guess what happened.

I wouldn't have bothered with the clinic but BossBoss caught me rinsing the wound and said it was an on-job injury so I had to get it documented, and the clinic is close and fast. They cleaned out some glass and sand and put two stitches in the cut. I get to go back to the doctor I saw when I broke my wrist, next week, to get the stitches out and see if I need any physical therapy. At least I know a hand guy?

I'm way more upset about my hourglass, which will not (like my skin) heal itself. It's not like they're expensive, I've already gone online and bought another one, but it was a gift from my mum and I loved it and now I have to wait a week to get it "back".

Okay, world. We need to have a talk about Chicago.

Places Chicago is not:

Des Plaines.
Mount Prospect.
Oak Park.

I might give you that last one on a technicality because Frank Lloyd Wright lived there, but if you say you know of a great burger joint in Chicago, you cannot then link to a burger joint in DES PLAINES. And much as I hate to say it, Chicago TARDIS, you are not in Chicago. You are in Lombard. I don't care if you have a Metra station. It's still Lombard.

Here's a rule of thumb: if you can't get to it on the El, OR if it costs more than $30 to get to it from the Loop by taxi, it's not Chicago. Yes, you can get to Evanston on the El, but I've never caught Evanston claiming to be Chicago, because Evanston is Chicago's plucky little brother who has really good self esteem and doesn't need to be Chicago.

I realise Des Plaines doesn't have the cachet of Chicago, and neither does Lombard. I know both stand right on the border. I get that it's easier to say "Chicago" when you mean "anywhere in Illinois where you can't see a farm".

But you don't get to be Chicago if someone who lives in Chicago, ie me, cannot get to you. Either move to Chicago and put up with the expense and the coyotes and the humidity, or shut the fuck up.

I might be having an Angry Day, but this has been festering for a while. It's not that I think the suburbs aren't worthy of being Chicago, it's that they taunt me when they say something really awesome is in Chicago and it turns out it's in Des Plaines.
Okay, today has been so exhausting and Friday The Thirteenthy that I cannot even dredge up the energy to explain to you all why it has SUCKED SO BAD, but I'd like to mention that the day began with me thinking, "Hm, it's 80 degrees out once again. Casual Friday! I think I'll wear shorts and a polo and not bring my jacket to work."

Current temperature: 54F and falling.

In unrelated news, or maybe not, I can't tell anymore I'm so weary of today: does LJ's new banner look like the cover of a book on the power of positive prayer to anyone else?

Okay, quick disclaimer: I don't drink coffee. More accurately, I can't drink coffee, because it gives me headaches. I haven't had any since I was seventeen and realized the link between a coffee at seven and blindness at eight-fifteen. I am a morning person by nature so this rarely bothers me.

But this means that in my personal sphere, cafes are kind of pointless. I don't socialise well and I can't appreciate good coffee or even whine about bad coffee, and honestly it's ridiculous to pay like four dollars for a cup of stupid tea. So I don't go to cafes much.

But I've been meaning to try Julius Meinl because I heard it had really good pastries, and I can personally vouch for the fact that their crepes are awesome. Except, you know, they don't bring you anything with which to eat the crepes.

Okay I'm telling this story backwards.

I WENT TO JULIUS MEINL. I walked in and it was approximately the temperature of the sun inside, and also the host was, I don't know, having a smoke or something, so despite there being five people in Julius Meinl uniforms in the room, none of them would seat me until she got back. By then there was a line, and she briefly attempted to seat me with the three strangers behind me.

Once we sorted that out I asked for an outdoor table, because it was Very Warm indoors. I was seated, and the waiter showed up and took my order, which was a lemonade and a nutella crepe. Not rocket science, at least I assume not, I'm not good at making crepes but I don't ask people to pay seven dollars for my crepes.

Radio silence for twenty minutes. And I'm looking around myself thinking, you know, other people have waters. Other people have beverages they paid for, even.

And then a guy appears, a different guy from my waiter, and gives me a confused look.

"Are you the crepe?" he asks.

Yes. Yes I am the crepe.

He puts it down in front of me. "Did you want anything else?"

"Well," I said, "I'd like a glass of water, and the lemonade I ordered. And some silverware to eat my crepe with would be awesome."

I'm not proud of being a dick. My one consolation is that when I said this, the women at the table next to me started laughing like crazy.

So he disappeared and about five minutes later came back with silverware and a very warm lemonade. I assume because it had been sitting in a cafe the temperature of an active volcano, waiting to be brought to me, for twenty minutes.


Mind you, it was a very good crepe.
This morning's featured Groupon is for Domino's Pizza. I may have loled.

And it's a dreadful Groupon -- $8 for a large pizza, online-order-only, carryout only. Which is not a groupon so much as a coupon you can get at Domino's pretty much half the year. Plus apparently you have to go to a special secret website they only tell you about once you've registered with them, which is pretty shady. Plus, Domino's Pizza is kind of gross.

Not as gross as the pizza I had last night from Apart Pizza, mind you.

I know I've wailed about this before, but I don't understand Chicago. Has nobody here ever heard of low-moisture mozzarella? Low-moisture mozzarella is what melts into delicious, creamy, soft cheese with a little caramelised crust on top, at normal pizza places. Chicago appears to have come to a decision, sometime before I moved here, that they preferred cheddar on their pizza instead. Setting aside the debate about whether deep dish is bullshit (though for the record, it is, and if you speak to most Chicagoans their only real defence of it when pressed is that it's good when you're drunk) every thin-crust pizza I have had in this town has had that disgusting grainy cheddar crap on it, the stuff that as soon as the pizza stops steaming fuses into a rubbery wad with oddly plasticine qualities to it. Pizza Apart has lovely crust, spicy sauce, nicely crispy pepperoni, and then ruins the whole damn thing with cheddar cheese.

Between deep dish and cheddar cheese, I do not understand how this town got a reputation for having good pizza. The one exception to the shittiness of our local pizza places is The Pie Hole, and The Pie Hole had to up sticks and move to Evanston, so I can't even get their Angry Pesto Pie anymore. Which for the record, if you live in Evanston, is amazing, and you should go and have an Angry Pesto and some parm twists in my name.

I would LOVE to support local restaurants, but it's very difficult to pay more than I'd pay at a delivery chain for pizza I actively wish to avoid.

I would make my own damn pizza, because I'm not bad at pizza crust and I have witnessed firsthand the glory of low-moisture mozzarella, but I can't get the stupid sauce right.


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