Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Today's View From the Unemployment Line

Time is running short for me here in Chicago. In just a couple days I will be headed back toward the region of my origin, the East Coast. Seems like I just arrived in the Midwest. Saying "pop" in reference to soda still makes me laugh. I haven't started saying "da" in place of "the." I don't like the Bears (in fairness, that never would have happened). I couldn't tell you much about what's in between Chicago and 1) St. Louis, MO; 2) Minneapolis, MN; 3) Green Bay, WI; and 4) Indianapolis, IN. I think corn is all. I didn't cry when the Cubs clinched the division in 2003. I have not spent any time on Lake Michigan. I never stepped foot inside the Sears Tower. I have never visited the Lincoln Park Zoo. The ferris wheel at Navy Pier has not carried me above the city. I never went to the Museum of Science and Industry. I don't know the Dan Ryan from the Stevenson. Tornado warnings that name counties still mean nothing to me. I always drove right past Wisconsin Dells. I still think "Des Plaines" should be pronounced how the midget yells "the plane!" on Fantasy Island. I didn't have a piece of concrete fall on my head at a Cubs game. I have never seen "downstate" Illinois.

On the other hand...

I've spent significant time in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Minnesota. I attended baseball games at Wrigley Field, New Comiskey, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, and Busch Stadium. I saw football games at Soldier Field, Lambeau Field, Notre Dame, Penn State and Ross Ade Stadium (Purdue). I watched the Pacers beat the hapless Bulls at the United Center, the Fire crush DC United at Soldier Field, and Purdue beat then lose to the Indiana Hoosiers in Mackey Arena in W. Lafayette, IN. I ate several combos, deep-dish pizzas, and Chicago-style dogs. I drank Old Style to excess in the bleachers at Wrigley. I caught a fish on the Fourth of July in Portage, WI. I bought a pair of Carhartt coveralls. I laughed my behind off at Second City. I talked to Dan Akyroyd about cool blues bars to check out. I commuted to work in -8F temps and a stiff wind. I played beach volleyball along Lake Michigan. I paid tolls every time I left the city. I said, "Maybe next year." I passed the Illinois bar exam. I drove past the Budweiser factory in St. Louis. I paid several $50 parking tickets for phantom "street cleanings." I attended a rain-shortened Indianapolis 500. I saw Sammy Sosa hit a 520 foot homerun. I partied with hundreds of Cubs fans when they won the division in 2003. I saw a number of tornadoes forming mere miles from my vantage point. I rode the El. I experienced a June 1 at 42 degrees and a July 1 at near 100 in the same summer. I sat in a plane for three hours on the ground at O'Hare airport. I watched the Blue Angels twist and roll and defy gravity above my apartment. I fed a cow. I ate soybeans off a live stalk while strolling along a road in Indiana. I walked down Michigan Avenue after the annual Christmas lighting ceremony. I watched a Cubs game from a rooftop across the street. I saw a bird fly backwards in a stiff Chicago wind. I struck out a batter in a baseball game for the time in 13 years...and I gave up a homerun for the first time ever in the same game. I shot the breeze with friends around a fire pit on a frigid October evening in St. Paul, MN. I attended a football game in Green Bay on a day when high temperatures reached 5F. I drove in a straight line for several miles without seeing an exit, traffic light, or stop sign. I saw the Florida Marlins play the Montreal Expos at US Cellular Field. I was nearly killed by falling icicles in the Loop. I caught four kids trying to steal my bike at Northwestern University. I walked to Fado at 2am to watch World Cup soccer games. I skipped an afternoon of work for a Cubs day game. I endured over 30 straight days of subfreezing temperatures. I listened to the 7th Inning Stretch religiously from my deck in Wrigleyville and sang along on occasion (and twice saw Coach Ditka perform it). I watched waves crash several stories high along the lake after a cold front went through. I fished in a flooded quarry. I arrived at work late after waiting in line for Cubs tickets on the first day of sales. I saw the Gateway Arch. I snuck into the Wild-Reef attraction at the Shedd Aquarium. I fish-fried with some hilariously accented suburbanites in Elgin. And best of all, I met my future wife.Posted by Hello


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