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Sweet home Chicago.

I SOMETIMES WONDER how I got myself into this situation. When you're homeless and sleeping in your car you have plenty of time to think about what the hell you're exactly doing with your life. But as I'm sitting in some salsa bar in Hollywood, CA, listening to Olson tell tales of the sexual exploits on his latest trip to Sweden, I realize being homeless is actually pretty great. You have no priorities and no plans; you just have to live in the moment and go with the flow. I've been lurking around southern California for six months now, and although it's been the greatest time of my life, I finally got homesick. So I rounded up a few friends, packed all our shit in the car, and headed back home to Chicago, IL.

AFTER 40 HOURS of driving and hardly any sleep, the main priority on everyone's minds when we arrived home was to check their profile. The sheer anticipation of hopefully seeing a new, pointless message, image comment, or friend request seemed to outweigh the need for sleep or a shower. I admit I'm guilty as well, and I made sure to let everyone know that since it was my house I got to check my profile first. As I took my time looking at all my new, totally awesome messages, my friends sat looking over my shoulder like junkies impatiently waiting for their fix. You see, is like a drug. It's very addicting. I've even heard people say that they were going to quit looking at that site or at least cut down on the amount of times they visited it each day. Everyone I've heard say that, though, has relapsed and come back even harder, making sure their profile is updated daily and their friend list contains over 2,000 random hot chicks that they've never met before in their lives.

SINCE I'VE GROWN ACCUSTOMED to skateparks like Channel Street (where they purposely build stuff that's extremely hard to skate), the mellow trannies of the Midwest provided no challenge for me as I annihilated every three-foot quarterpipe that was in my path of destruction. As I soared throughout the park on the first day I could see people looking at me, amazed at the feats that were laid upon their eyes by this barbarian in the bowl. Everyone else skated pretty decently as well, but my shredding was a bit too much for my friends to handle and they let me know that it was time to hit the streets.

I LOVE SKATEBOARDING in Chicago. The ground is rough, the spots aren't really that good, and it's 100-degrees in the summer yet zero-degrees in the winter. While it seems like it sucks, it actually makes you more determined and appreciative every time you get to step on your board. This feeling was something that I'd long forgot living in California, where skating sometimes seems more of a hassle than fun. With the first few days lost to handling "business," I made a promise to myself that for the rest of the trip I was going to concentrate on having a good time and hang out with my friends and family. And though I sort of wish I had skated and shot some photos of the local rippers, this trip was actually more of a vacation for me and I wanted to leave that business side of skating back in California.

The fourth of July fell on one of the last days in town and we celebrated in true Midwest fashion. Instead of chilling in the city and watching fireworks by the lake, we opted to head to Indiana where the fireworks are abundant, the beer flows all night, and chicks are nowhere to be found. In honor of our beloved country a fire fight commenced, lasting what seemed like an eternity. The highlights include (but are not limited to) an innocent bystander getting blasted in the chest by a flaming fountain hurled from 30-feet away, chucking smoke bombs and jumping jacks into the garage (safe zone), sending the non-participants scurrying about the yard, and me making out with the only female there thus giving me the status of "the pimp of the party." At the end of the night we finished off the brews and I bid a proper farewell to all my good friends, for who knows when we'll meet again.

THE LONG DRIVE back to California gave me plenty of time to think about all the good times I'd be missing out on back in Chicago. And although I love that city more than any other, I must say that I've found a new home here in Southern California. I've made some new friends and I'm truly having fun, but I'll never forget Chi-town and all the great people I've gotten to know there. I may never return, I may move on with my life, but I'll represent the Midwest until the day I die.
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Author:Conway, Adam
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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