Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hello Barack, I Was In Chicago

Hello Barack

Hello, hello. I was in Chicago. But I was in a hurry, in and out. Sorry I could not meet you.

Road Trip To Chicago And Back

Greyhound Bus
Depart December 15 New York 10 AM Arrive 4:55 AM 19 H, 55 M Transfers 2 Carrier NYP Schedule 0250
Depart December 16 Chicago 5 PM Arrive 11:25 AM 17 H, 25 M Transfer 0 Carrier GLI Schedule 1604
Non Refundable Fare $183
878 miles

Chicago Greyhound Station, 630 W Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60607
Immigration Court, 55 E Monroe St, Suite 1900, Chicago, IL (1.3 miles from bus station)
* Go East on W Harrison 0.4 miles
* TL on S Franklin 0.4 miles
* TR on W Monroe, Arrive at 55 E Monroe on Right

Request For Change Of Venue
December 10, 11, 16, 18

After I got back a friend told me a trip by Southwest would have been cheaper.

I worked out extra the day before departure. It was a few days of exercise packed into one, a few hundred crunches, 600 situps, 600 pushups, and then 600 crunches in the morning before departure.

The bus got out of the city and onto the standard interstate highway landscape. Looks like Greyhound has built some new bus stations. I found some new facilities along the way. I was carrying six bottles of water and some Desi snacks with me. And still on day one there was a trip to Burger King on the road.

There was a Homeland Security check along the way. Two guys got in and asked everyone for documents. One of them called into their system to confirm I was headed to court.

I walked towards court, took a coffee break at a Starbucks a block from court.

In court, I checked in, saw my name on the list. Then there was a few hours of waiting. Finally the clerk told me my case had been transferred to New York. Did your lawyer not tell you? That was the system lying again. My name was still on the list this morning. I was still scheduled to show up in the Chicago court when the Homeland guy called in to check.

The judge finally transferred my case. If he had done that a few days, a few weeks prior, I could have saved a trip. But that's okay. It was a nice walk in downtown Chicago. I went to the see the field where Barack gave his victory speech. Then it started snowing rather heavy. I took a cheeseberger break. It was still snowing. I went for another walk in the snow, my first major snow of this winter.

Chicago is the number two city, but if New York is number one, it is number one by a wide margin. Walking around in downtown Chicago, and seeing the train there overground like in Brooklyn or Queens, you could see Chicago was number two.

I made it a point to take a leak at the Sears Tower, just to say I did it.

The back trip bus did not start out at five as scheduled. The smart female driver decided to skip the rush hour, heavy snow cocktail. And the bus had many more stops than was printed on my schedule. But I was back in the city around two in the afternoon and took the train home.

It felt good and normal to be back.

The December 16 court appearance went fine. My venue has been shifted. My immigration court date in New York could be anywhere between a few weeks and a few months away.

December 18

I got a city court date tomorrow. I have been led to understand the second charge gets dropped tomorrow. And then things are back to normal.

Then I will still have the social decision to make. Do I or do I not show up for DL21C events? After tomorrow it will be legal, I have been led to believe. I will see how I feel after I have an email from Leah telling me of progressive events in the city. I will play by the ear.

In The News

Caroline Kennedy makes public interest for Clinton's seat in Senate Xinhua
Court Denies Request to Remove Blagojevich New York Times
Tumult in Iraqi Parliament Over Shoe Hurling New York Times
Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma to perform at inauguration The Miami Herald
US governor vows to open up in Obama Senate seat scandal
Obama team advised to spend more than $600 billion The Associated Press
Barack Obama: the latest in a line of sport-obsessed presidents
Bush Prepares Crisis Briefings to Aid Obama New York Times
Person of the Year 2008 The Interview: Person Of the Year Barack Obama TIME
West Asian media critical of India, sympathises with Pak Times of India
China preparing to send navy ships to Gulf of Aden International Herald Tribune
A Tax on Many Soft Drinks Sets Off a Spirited Debate New York Times
NY Transit Agency Passes Budget With 23% Fare Boost Bloomberg
Google as evil, now from The Wall Street Journal
Google accused of abandoning net neutrality ideals
Morgan Stanley Posts $2.2 Billion Loss on Writedown
Film Review: Seven Pounds Hollywood Reporter
Tom & Katie Celebrate Her 30th Birthday All Week People Magazine
Why Is Steve Jobs Skipping MacWorld? Time
Is Caroline Kennedy Ready for the Senate?
A Brief History of Safe Sex


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