I'm in Evanston, Illinois right now, with CCL in his grad student lab. I'm just recovering from a cold so everything kinda hurts. I won't say much about being here just yet (I'll talk about it when I get back), but suffice to say I've had a great time so far. CCL is the most accomplished musician I know, and we have been abusing his department's resources. Studio time like this would probably normally run me up a few hundred bucks. As it is, I've got super-cheap recordings of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, among other things.
Anyway, I also had a good time with Kevin in Cordova, TN (which is right next to Memphis). The drive up there was nice... I'd gotten a CD player with a power adapter and CD-to-cassette adapter so I could listen to all my CDs, which includes the Johnny Cash Unearthed collection that Brent gave me for Christmas. From Nashville to Memphis, I stopped at what was, coincidentally, the Johnny Cash rest area. Unfortunately they didn't really have anything cool, just a couple of Cash-related articles hanging by the men's room. Sacrilege!!!
I got to Kevin's sometime in the evening, and I decided to take a picture of him almost right away, less I pull another stunt like I did in Franklin and left without pictures of the person I was visiting. By the way, CCL just loaded up the Punisher trailer on his mac, and it looks good, except John Travolta is in it, and after Battlefield:Earth I'm not sure that's a good thing. Oh well. There's a trailer for Garfield too. CGI fat cat and a real Otis... kinda weird. Anyway, that's Kevin with his computer, on which he gets to do all kinda of work-related stuff. He loves his job, so he wants to bring work home. Unfortunately, that means he doesn't really do anything else... but there are much worse spots to be in I guess.
Of course, I got to ride his pride and joy: a Subaru Impreza that goes from zero to sixty in 4.5 seconds. I learned more than I ever knew beofre about turbo engines and power cornering, and I took a pic of his dashboard, which has a turbo meter next to the steering wheel that apprently tells him nothing useful, but it looks cool nonetheless. He wouldn't let me drive it, though... I guess I would've wrecked it if I even tried to reverse out of the parking lot. I got to share with him my dream car: a lime green new beetle. With a little flower on the dashboard. He kept his distance a little bit after that, because maybe I was contagious.
The day after I arrived, which was a Sunday, I met Lydia at church, who was in Memphis with her family. As it happened, the church they were going to was close by to Kevin's place, so it worked out beautifully. Germantown Baptist it was called. I took communion in the wrong order, because I didn't know the bread was sandwiched between the two cups they gave us. Where's a Catholic church when you need one? Kevin might visit again... it was a good place but a little too big for me. It was nice to see Lydia somewhere that was not Knoxville. Again, I took a photo before she could get away.
For lunch, Kevin drove out to where he worked and a ways after that, to eat at Gus's, which claims that they sell the best fried chicken ever. The drive up there was real pretty, so I took a picture just for the heck of it:
...and the outside of Gus's...
...and a sign with an amusing claim...
... and of course, the chicken, when it arrived.
It doesn't look like much, but it really tasted good. I told Kevin he needed to acquire the recipe and sell it in Malaysia. Unfortunately, he enjoys his job far too much, and wouldn't consider a creer change. Go figure.
The rest of the day we didn't do much... we spent some time at Barnes and Nobles (where he showed me pictures of cars in a magazine) and then went home for dinner. The next morning, I hit the road for the long drive to Chicago.