A (NEAR) PERFECT TWO DAYS

SPENDING AN HOUR LOOKING THROUGH RECORDS AT SHAKE, RATTLE & READ WAS NOT ON THE AGENDA FOR SATURDAY, BUT MY FRIEND KIRK AND I FOUND OURSELVES THERE IN HONOR OF NATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY. I’M NOT QUITE SURE WHAT IT IS ABOUT MY WEEKENDS LATELY … NO MATTER WHAT I PLAN, I NEVER SEEM TO GET ANY OF IT ACCOMPLISHED.

Oh … the weekend.

It doesn’t matter how my week is going at work, I am on constant countdown for Friday now that warmer weather has finally hit. When 5 p.m. came this past one, I knew I had no other concrete plans than grabbing a beer with friends that night at Hopleaf … and I liked it that way.

Cleaning house, seeing a friend I keep canceling on and going to watch “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” which another friend has music directed, were the main items on my agenda for Saturday and Sunday.

But somehow, it never seems to go that way.

My friend Kirk and I celebrated National Record Store Day Saturday afternoon at Shake, Rattle & Read. Less than $10 was spent for Sonny Rollins and XTC on vinyl, and I was proud of my finds … and Kirk’s $15 copy of “Zeppelin III” as well. Then we were off to take Huxley to the dog beach at Montrose Harbor … which thankfully wore him out for the rest of the day. When Kirk dropped us off after the beach, I told him I would come up to his place after I cleaned some, so we could hang out and listen to records.

Less than an hour later, I was standing in the middle of Target with my friend Jessica. Having gotten a ZIP car for work in the suburbs Saturday, she called to see if there were any errands I needed to run before she returned the vehicle. Although nothing was pressing for me, spending the early evening doing retail therapy with a great girl was enough incentive for me. After lots of laughs – and lots of cash – I found myself back at home … and later at Kirk’s for coffee and Katamari. (Yes, I am too old to be playing video games … but it’s quite an amazing one.)

Sunday morning found Kirk, his roommate Hunter and I waiting for more than an hour to sit down for brunch at Tweet. (Even a screaming baby at the table next to us could not override our joy at finally being seated.) A favorite place for the guys, it was my first time venturing into the “famed” breakfast spot. The coffee is great, the food fresh and the staff super friendly … Although fully worth the wait, I’ll be making it a point to go during the week now that the sun has come out of hiding.

After a necessary walk back home, we found ourselves lounging on the couch listening to Beck’s “Sea Change” as we gave our food time to digest. Next, we all headed north on the Red Line for coffee at Metropolis where we hung out for an hour or so enjoying our lattes and French presses while deciding what to do next. We agreed on “dinner” (cheese and crackers … fresh pineapple … and later ice cream) and went our separate ways, after agreeing to meet up again just an hour later.

And that’s exactly what we did, as we ended our weekend back on their couch with snacks and “Inglourious Basterds.”

It’s Monday now …

My apartment looks as if it was hit by a tornado. I never went to see my friend Amy. Thankfully, “Whorehouse” runs through June. And I have further proof of why I don’t like to actually make plans.

Besides … there’s always next weekend to accomplish all the things I failed to do.

It’s only about 96 hours away anyway.

YES, THE FACT THAT IT IS FINALLY SPRING HAS A LOT TO DO WITH ME FEELING SO RESTLESS AT THE MOMENT. AS TULIPS POP UP EVERYWHERE ALONG THE STREETS OF UPTOWN, I FIND MYSELF WANTING TO SPEND AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE OUTSIDE ENJOYING NATURE’S COLORS.

TWEET, JUST A 10-MINUTE WALK FROM MY UPTOWN APARTMENT, PROVIDED A GOOD WAY TO BREAK UP THE MONOTONY, AS I USUALLY END UP AT GOLDEN HOUSE NEXT DOOR TO MY BUILDING FOR BREAKFAST WITH FRIENDS ON THE WEEKEND. DESPITE THE DELICIOUSNESS OF THE FOOD AND COFFEE BOTH, THE FIRST HOUR AT THE RESTAURANT WAS EXCRUCIATING, AS I HAD TO WAIT WITH TWO GUYS WHO HAD YET TO HAVE THEIR CAFFEINE … AND WERE LOW ON PATIENCE. BUT THE CORN AREPOS MORE THAN MADE UP FOR THEIR DISCONTENT.

A COMMON PLACE TO FIND HUNTER, KIRK AND I HERE LATELY? ON THEIR COUCH LISTENING TO ONE OF COUNTLESS RECORDS OR WATCHING AN OLD MOVIE HUNTER THINKS WE “JUST HAVE TO SEE.” THANKFULLY, HUXLEY HAS ALSO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE “FAMILY,” SO HE’S NEVER LEFT HOME ALONE.

AFTER ONLY ONE VISIT, I KNOW THAT METROPOLIS WILL NOW BE MY GO-TO PLACE FOR COFFEE. HUNTER HAS BEEN SINGING THE SHOP’S PRAISES SINCE I MET HIM, AND EVEN THOUGH I HAVE HAD THEIR BREW BEFORE, I HAD NEVER BEEN UP TO THE CAFE ITSELF. COZY, ODDLY QUIET, AND WITHOUT AN OUNCE OF PRETENSION, METROPOLIS NOW HAS A FAN IN ME.

HUNTER, UPON FINDING SPILLED ADVIL ON THE GRANVILLE PLATFORM, REALIZED IT COULD BE USED AS CHALK. WHILE I WAS ABLE TO SPELL OUT MY WHOLE NAME USING THE IBUPROFEN, HUNTER KEPT IT SIMPLE WITH HIS “H” WHILE KIRK LATER IMPRESSED US WITH HIS MODERN MEDICINAL ART SKILLS. YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF FINDING JOY IN THE SMALLEST OF THINGS. AH … THE WEEKEND.

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