Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day 2008

Some pictures from the Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade:

The start of the parade.

The Chip O'tlay (Chipotle) banner.

The flying blarney-rito (burrito). (Not these guys.)

The Hamburg Athletic Association (where Mayor Richard J. Daley got his start in politics).

OK, if you were paying attention to that last picture, you realized these are not the 53rd annual parade, but the 2004 version. Readers of this blog may know (or could've guessed) I was looking forward to this for weeks. But, sometimes life intervenes.

[Non-cat people: skip this paragraph.] We had company in town from Florida this weekend. The six of us got home from dinner Thursday night and discovered Quigley had puked while we were gone. That stinks, but hey, it happens. (With Q, not much though. He's a good healthy cat.) Then it happened again, before we went to bed. Then it happened again, in the middle of the night. And the next morning, it happened again. Four times in about 12 hours, and we were a little worried.

[Details follow, if you don't want 'em, skip this paragraph.] Part of the worry was that the first two messes were watery, with a reddish tint. Even though it didn't look like blood (more like faintly colored water), what else comes from inside a cat, right? The third was undigested food (gross looking, but in and of itself not a concern if it were the only one). But then the fourth one was straight water, which I guess is a bad sign.

So TM took the Q to the vet, who wanted to keep him overnight. That obviously made us more than a little worried. We thought we might get him back early Saturday morning, but that conversation didn't go as well as we hoped it would. So we waited, and called back later in the morning. It wasn't until noonish when we could get him, and around 1pm when he and I got back from the vet's office. I gave him a little food and watched him to make sure he kept it down. TM and the tourists went downtown around 10:30 for the noon start of the parade. By the time I felt comfortable leaving him alone, they'd been standing downtown in the cold and wind for a couple hours, and were leaving the parade route.

So I missed the parade. It sucked, but it happens. I'll trade a happy, healthy Q for a parade any day of the week. Thanks to all of you who have asked about Quigley...he is back to normal and in fact, of this writing, is curled up on the bed sleeping happily.

Here's a bonus picture of the 2005 parade. I don't remember going to that one, and the pictures I took weren't as good as 2004. And for what it's worth, I missed the Chinese New Year Parade this year because of the insane cold. Do I have to move back to Paradetown just to see people walk in the middle of the street?

I joined the gang downtown for our traditional burgers at Monk's Pub, where this memorable photo occurred. Then we ventured back up to the North Side to continue the party. So that was St. Patrick's Day (observed): a lot of anxious waiting and worry followed by a lot of drinking that was mostly blowing off the steam caused by the aforementioned worry.

And now, let's focus on March Madness! The alma maters drew 5 seeds, the best EVER showing for MPF alma maters*. I think ND will win, but they got a tough draw in George Mason. The Bulldogs should have an easier road with Western Kentucky unless they get distracted by this guy.

Enjoy the March Madness, and let us know how your brackets are shaping up!

* --in the same year.

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