maybe the Third World his first time around ...

I spent the first part of Saturday afternoon participating in a research study for some radio group. Had to listen to 10-second bites of bad music and answer how much I liked each song and on which of 4 local stations I thought I would most likely find it. The focus group itself was comprised of a bunch of guys, most of whom wore moustaches and looked a bit older than me. Now, to get into this study, I lied and told them I listened to two of these awful AOR stations more than anything else on the radio (I *may* take in maybe an hour or two a week of NPR and college radio), but I needed the extra money and what they don't know won't hurt them. I think most of these guys live in the W. or SW. burbs. Midway through, during the break, one of them told me, "Gee, I think I'm gonna go home and listen to my radio."

Later, N & her cousins Anthony and Ava and Anthony's wife Natalie and I drove a homemade birthday cake the far, far, way to Mokena, IL, for their cousin Margaret's birthday. Margaret's mom is in hospital recovering from car crash injuries, so we were all feeling varying degrees of some necessity to do nice things for family. Mokena is really out there, and is pretty desolate. We wondered aloud why so many of their family members live so far from the city, and referred to this barren burgh as "Mokena Faso."

It was alright, though. N's aunt made us spritzers of Sparkling wine and cold California Merlot and we watched "Napoleon Dynamite" before the younger cousins started wrestling and it was time to return to our first-world digs in Chicago. I would have liked to have gone for a drink or two with everyone, but we were so late getting back and everybody was tired.