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Today I was off work for the second of my long weekends this year. The first was Capricon which was fun this year.
A while ago I was tipped off that my favorite band was coming to Chicago and since tickets went on sale the day after a few folks almost got shut out of seeing the "Once More with Feeling" sing-along at the Music Box Theater, I bought four tickets, figuring that if no one else wanted to go I could unload them at the door. Once I had the tickets I went to check my GCal to see if I had anything else going on that day and it turns out I had already asked for that day off!! Woohoo!
So the plan today was to take the Metra downtown, then take the El up to the Riviera. It was a gorgeous, sunny, if cold, day and the trip uptown was nice. When I got off at Lawrence there were five tour buses parked nearby. I decided it would be rude to bang on the windows demanding an autograph so I kept walking. Wandered the neighborhood a little and wound up eating at an adequate diner right next to the Riv where I got an unremarkable omlet and settled in to finish my ARC of For a Few Demons More (I liked it quite a bit, Harrison does some much needed tidying with the series and the story was stronger this time.) Once I had gotten my food I looked around for my waiter to signal him for a coffee refill and who do I see sitting on the other side of the restaurant? The B'ys!! Alan, Sean, Bob, and Murray!!! How cool is that?!?! Since they were eating I didn't want to bother them and didn't even look over their way much, but it was quiet enough in the diner that I could hear them talking, not what they were saying but was kind of cool just to hear their voices and be able to tell without looking who was speaking. They finished eating and left before I was done which sadly enough, I was relieved about. Not sure I could have asked for an autograph or a phone cam pic or even said 'Hi, love you guys, love your music, can't wait for the show!' Big chicken, me. Even though I didn't interact with them at all it was still pretty cool. After lunch I used my gps (yes, I brought it with me) to find the nearest yarn store, even though I couldn't buy anything it was nice to look at all the unusual yarn and notions. Then I went to Hopleaf to kill some more time. I had a Flagg Porter (very good), Dubbel 8 (fanTAStic) and a Rogue Chocolate Stout (good but I thought it would be a pint, not a big beer gulp) while reading the first book in Tanya Huff's Victory Nelson series. Pretty good so far. After a quick stop at Borders I got in line and it turned out the woman behind me hadn't yet bought her tickets and needed three. So I sold my extras to her, went in, bought a t-shirt and hat, checked my coat, and staked out my place five feet in front of center stage. Yeah!
Kept an eye out for oneleggedman andorigamilady,mgucciard and marniegucciard. Saw Gooch, Marnie and Jill (?) WINOLJ (?) and we clumped together on the floor, didn't see Chris and Barry until later in the show. The B'ys came out to "Donkey Riding", their traditional (in both senses of the word) opening number and we were off! It was a great show, they played and sang and bantered (briefly) and I danced a lot. They played three new songs that were well received but mostly it was standards, just a couple from the newest album ("Charlie Horse", "Captain Kidd" and one I forgot.) At intermission Chris came down and offered me a ride home which was very nice. After the show the three of us got some grub and went home.
Really great day, the only regrets I have are not speaking to the band when I saw them in the diner and not bringing my camera. You can never be sure what the rules will be about cameras and I didn't want to have to go home because I had verboten tech with me.

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