The Plan:
Drive to Chicago after work on Tuesday with Chris, go to the Logan Square Auditorium and stand in line to see Laura Veirs open for Mirah. Maybe Colin Meloy will be there. Maybe Laura Veirs will go to the Decemberists show the next day. Maybe I can do something to navigate my way around the reserved-for-friends-of-the-park seats and sit in front. After the show, spend the night at a friend's pad and then arrive at Millenium Park at 7am on Wednesday to see the stage being set-up and soundcheck, possibly chat/hang around a Decemberist or two, or five.

The Outcome:
Chris and I arrived at the Auditorium around 7pm or so, and the only people in line in front of us was a group of about four or five people. Laura Veirs came out of the building briefly to return an iron she borrowed from someone in this group. We were right in the front for the show, which was really good except that a lot of the audience was talking throughout her set and the acoustics in the place made the chatter especially noisy and bothersome. Chris got the setlist, we both got an autograph (she signed the collection of sestinas, Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man, I brought with me, thus continuing my tradition of having musicians sign books), and we got to talk with her a little bit, but she seems pretty shy so that we asked her a question, she'd answer, but there was never an opportunity for any kind of conversation. Mirah's set began, and while I have recently downloaded some of her music and like it, I wasn't completely interested in her show, both because I'd already seen what I'd come to see and because by that point I was feeling a bit blue. After the show, we go out to my car and are about to give the friend and his girlfriend a ride, when my car doesn't start. It's not that it struggles to start, it's that it never gets to the point of turning the engine at all. Nothing. So, the friend and girlfriend left to take public transportation and Chris and I prepared for a fun evening. By this point the feeling blue had reached its head and it's a good thing Chris was there, otherwise I may have destroyed a bit of self and/or property before doing anything productive about the situation. Because of AAA, we were able to get a free tow back to Dekalb, but, because of AAA, we had to wait almost two hours for this to happen. The tow truck driver pulled up, hooked my car up to the truck, got back in his cab, and stared at us through his sideview mirror. We got in and prepared for a long drive. The tow truck driver, let's call him Patty McShitty, got a little better on the highway when he started talking and being somewhat congenial. We learned that he'd been working for the past 36 or so hours, meaning he had to periodically roll down the window to keep himself awake. We finally get to Dekalb and to the parking lot behind my apartment building around 3:30am, and all is seemingly going well, or as well as it could be going. But, of course, things can always get worse. Patty McShitty released my car in the row of parking spots that neighbors the parking lot of the apartment building in back of mine. There is a small bit of grass that slopes down into that lot, and on this bit of grass are some electrical boxes. Having not been towed that often and having no instructions given from Patty McShitty when he picked us up, I had left my car in neutral. So, the car was released, it proceeded to roll down the small hill, scrape by a couple of the boxes, and nearly miss the Audi that was parked in the other apartment building's lot. Patty McShitty got my car back up and into the lot it was supposed to be in and I saw that while there was some damage cause, luckily, it was minimal. Then, Patty McShitty left. We did not tip him a fucking penny. He was a shitty tow truck driver.

It was not looking good for the Wednesday plan. However, Wednesday did turn out better than I could've ever reasonably expected (before or after the shenanigans of Tuesday night). We went as a group of four, had a fun ride, parked in the most confusing parking garage I've ever been in, got a good spot in line, and didn't have to wait that long before getting seats. We ended up sitting in what I think was the best place we had access to in the venue, and while there were some annoyances (old people who hold up their umbrellas at almost arm's length for some unknown reason, idiots behind us who didn't know they were at a rock concert), it was a spectacular show. Everything sounded great, the set list was awesome, and it didn't ever rain beyond drizzling. There was also a really great security guy who made sure that everything was awesome. The highlight, though, and a highlight that may not have happened had it not been for the change of plan: talking to Colin Meloy!!!! Shortly before the line was let in to the seating area, I spotted Mr. Meloy walking about ten feet away toward the park. I was torn between not wanting to harass him and wanting to talk to him, and I followed him a bit. There was someone else who saw him and followed to talk and get a picture. I took the picture for him, though when I was holding the camera up, I noticed how much I was shaking. Colin recognized me (!!!!!) and I told him how I was reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and how much I enjoyed the book and its illustrations (done by Carson Ellis, his girlfriend). And then he walked around the park, and I clicked my heels while walking back to the line. It was a wonderful day. Though the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, sometimes it's really for the best.


I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I've decided to edit my harem (the inappropriately-titled group of male celebrities I have huge crushes on). I think I should whittle it down a bit since it has grown rather large (and I always manage to forget one person when I'm rattling off the list to anyone who happens to be interested). I've thought about adding a few people, but I think I'll only add one. And I'll try to order them, since heretofore, it has simply been an only slightly-ranked list.

Harem prior to today:
1. Colin Meloy
2. Ben Gibbard
3. Sam Rockwell
4. Will Forte
5. Jonathan Rhys Meyers
6. Jonny Lee Miller
7. Trey Parker
8. Zach Braff
9. Jason Schwartzman
10. Jon Stewart
11. Steve Carell
12. Hugh Laurie
13. Clive Owen
14. Stuart Murdoch

Harem today and onward:
1. Colin Meloy
2. John Roderick
3. Ben Gibbard
4. Sam Rockwell
5. Will Forte
6. Jonny Lee Miller
7. Hugh Laurie

This was a hard decision and many people have been taken out simply because it is difficult to give a lot of attention to so many people. I have tried to make this new harem full of people that I actively enjoy and read about/follow their career. Sigh.