August 8th, 2001



Friday. I hate driving in big cities. Especially when you don't have a clue where things are, and of course, in USA it being even slightly harder. Well.. there were basically 3 things interesting me in Chicago. Sears Tower, Holographic Museum and some Blues Club. Well.. The street I've plotted on the map, took me past the Holographic Museum.. but I missed it somehow, still.. it was Sears Tower that was the main attraction. No big problem findig the way there. Parking were harder tho. I should've read the website a little more, since it had a direction to it's own parking. Well.. found a place to park at least. I've always been fascinated by "extreme" stuff. High buildings, long bridges etc.. Now Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur is said to be the highest building in the world (if you don't count pure towers such as CN Tower in Toronto etc), but I'd like to think Sears Tower is the highest place you, as a tourist, can visit at 412 m (1,352 ft). Second: I see Sears Tower as more of a building, since you have a flat roof at 442 m ( 1,450 ft), while Petronas Tower has a flagpole at top that reaches 452 m (1,483 ft) while the "real" roof is only at 378 m (1,241 ft). With the actual highest point of Sears Tower being 527 m (1,729 ft).
Whatever.. having that fascination with high buildings, or high places in the first place, I couldn't miss Sears Tower when I were in Chicago. After about 90 mins waiting in line, I finally got up to the skydeck. Well.. what could I say. You saw a long way, people down on the street were extremely small. In fact, you had to REALLY look, to spot one. But, as with most tourist things.. it's mostly the "I've been there"-factor. At least it's that way for me.

After having get the car back, with the cost of parking, I decided not to start running around in Chicago looking at stuff. Instead I headed back to the Steak House where Vauntess works, and had dinner. Vauntess paid half of the bill, and most of the tip, which was really nice of her. And.. well.. the food sure was ok too. Can't complain. Instead of staying in Chicago, as planned, I started towards Angola, Indiana.


Going down "94" through Chicago was an exciting trip. For most of the time, the traffic went really, really slow. Drive, standing still, drive, standing still.. Heard about the flooding in Chicago after I came home, including parts of 94 being under water. Knowing the intensity of the traffic on it, it must have been really awful.

Rolling Prairie. I stopped at a place to have a smoke, where I saw my first ever Firefly, since we don't have those in Sweden. We don't have Amish in Sweden neither, and further down the road, I saw my first of those too. Northern Indiana has a pretty large community of Amish (I found out). Actually, I never saw the Amish. Only a lot of moving christmas trees. I'm not sure if it's the law or not, or plain instinct of self-preservation, but their horse drawn wagons are heavily equipped with lights, most flashing. Stopped close to a crossing about 30 miles from Angola, and that was an eerie feeling. From both north and south came lots of Amish and turning towards the way I had came. You heard the horses as they came running, seeing the flashing lights. All the time. Friday night with the Amish, apparently. While I stood there, suddenly a police-car came at full speed, flashing lights and sirens, and a minute later, it was followed by an ambulance and a little later, a second ambulance. Made you wondering. Standing in basically nowhere, with that much going on. Went on to Angola. Since it was in the middle of the night, it was a touch late to contact my friend. Did some driving around, looking at the night-life of Angola. In a sense, very interesting. It felt "real". Quietly observing the people. Most in Pick-ups etc. Spent the night on the parking lot outside of Meier's 24-hrs supermarket. Reading the Premiere I'd picked up, smoked at times etc, and got an hour or two of sleep. Didn't intend to sleep, really, but.. well.. sat comfortably, and suddenly woke up with the Premiere in my lap. Usually, when you fall asleep, there's some notice of it.. but, there I must have just fallen asleep.

Saturday. Went to Napoleon, Ohio, after having spoken to my friend on phone. Now I didn't had planned before, to meet my "former" penpal. But.. had a penpal in Napoleon, Ann, for about 7 years, before we ran out of things to write about, and agreed to stop writing each other. Well. We still write each other, but basically only 2 or 3 letters/year, including X-mas cards etc. I did call her, but it became such a confusing phone-call, we didn't end up meeting. Whatever. Being that close to Napoleon, I couldn't miss going there, to have a look at the town I'd read about a lot, earlier. To get some kind of understanding of the place. Then I went back to Angola, and met my friend there. Now, she was working, so it was only a very brief meeting, but.. at least I got to meet her. See her and talk to her in real life, which is always nice.

Since I didn't had to spend that much time in neither Angola or Napoleon, I were able to start towards my next "target", Memphis, about a day earlier than I had planned. Now, it wasn't a detailed plan, but.. you always have to plan with things taking longer than they might do, in case they actually take as long, or longer, than you've planned. In that sense, it's always nice to be ahead of the schedule, especially in the beginning of the trip, in case something happens, or freeing up time to do extra things.

The drive went smooth. Mostly big highway. Stopped at some Rest Places, and in both Indiana and Illinois, they're really great. Stopped and bought some Dr. Pepper and a King Size Milky Way in Fishers outside of Indianapolis. Now, there's a bad thing about traveling. The one I paid was really, really cute, and I wouldn't have minded getting to know her, but.. it's hard when you spend like 30 mins the most, in Fishers, Indiana, in probably your whole life. Of course, if you meet the fairy princess of your life, you would quickly change your plans etc, but.. She wasn't exactly that. I sure hope she wasn't, at least. She was interesting enough to get "noticed", and remembered. Someone you'd like to find out more about, get to know, and see if she's that princess, once you know more about her. Well. I had my Dr. Pepper and Milky Bar, and went on. Stopping in Salem, Illinois, at a Super 8 to sleep.

Songs of hope and despair

Ok.. now I stole this from Morganstar (who in her turn stole it from sarahcide(?).

1.Song that reminds you of waking up in the morning: Nothing actually, since I have a boring beeping alarm-clock, or just wake up and hearing whatever is on the radio (which is on all night).
2. Song that's best to drive to work/school to: Now I don't drive to work, but.. I would say something with Blondie, who made the most perfect walkman-music ever. Or "Working in a coal mine" with DEVO.
3. Song that's best to drive home from work/school to: The Beautiful South
4. Song that's best on Sunday afternoon: Either Mylène Farmer or Reba McEntire
5. Song that's best to listen to at night driving: Now, the only CD I had the first half of the trip in USA was the OST "O Brother, where art thou?", it was basically the only thing I listened to, over and over again. With the sing-along and cheerful quality of many of the songs, I noticed it sure was a way of keeping awake. Especially "I'll fly away" with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.
6. Song that's best to listen to at night at home: In fact, the same as 5.
7. Song that reminds you of your childhood: Popcorn - Hot Butter.
8. Songs that are best for sex, or reminds you of sex: The American Graffiti Soundtrack, for some reason.
9. Song that's best for when it is raining: Winter - Tori Amos
10. Song that reminds you that you're in love: Anything Mylène Farmer
11. Song that reminds you of traveling: Can't think of any
12. Song that reminds you that everything is wonderful: "Det vackraste" (The most beautiful) - Cecilia Wennersten
13. Song that makes you cry: Starman soundtrack
14. Favorite music groups: Devo, Art of Noise, Talking Heads.
15. Favorite music group when you were 13: Kiss, Suzi Quatro
16.Music group that you liked then but do not anymore: I don't think you ever stop loving the music you loved when you're 13.
17. Music group that you still like after years and years: Suzi Quatro
18. Music group that you are embarrassed that you like: Spice Girls
19. Sexiest male voice: no idea.
20. Sexiest female voice: Danielle Dax
21. Most annoying female voice: Mariah Carey
22. Most annoying male: Bob Dylan - Great songs but better done by others, for some reason.
23. Male singer's voice that makes you cry: Arthur Simms of the French movie Subway
24. Female singer's voice that makes you cry: Emmylou Harris

An addition.

Song that makes you dance: Little Bitty Pretty One - Thurston Harris.
Music you would play if you got a male visitor: Moby or Talking Heads.
Music you would play if you got a female visitor: Mylène Farmer or Bryan Ferry.
Song at the moment: Lady Marmelade from "Moulin Rouge".
Artist you would most like to meet: David Byrne or Tori Amos.
Artists whose voice impress you most: Danielle Dax
Song at funeral: Either something in style of "Rotterdam" with The Beautiful South, or "Down to the River to Pray" Alison Krauss (O Brother, where art thou?")