Chicago, though, is harder to summarize. I grew up in the 'burbs, and spent a lot of time in the city - but I don't know anybody here these days, am completely out of touch with the local culture, most of my old haunts have disappeared, and so forth. It's quasi-familiar, but also rather alien. (My avid dislike of the cold and snow and overcast skies has only gotten worse, if anything.) Haven't spent nearly as much time with my sister as I'd thought I would, either; it's probably due to the fact that we're a family of hermits, and all the family togetherness can be a bit much sometimes.
I've yet to really go out and explore. Part of this is due to it being cold and blah and having no energy; part is due to the notion that I "ought" to be moving back to the SF Bay Area; part is probably my dysthymia; part is due to the fact that while things are different, I don't know how much actual change there is - or for that matter, where to start looking. Not really knowing anyone here isn't exactly a spur to action, either.
I suppose it's consolation that I can veg out at the 'rents place for (more or less) as long as I wanted, while trying to recover from the mental/emotional trauma that El Goog induced; the big issue is bootstrapping myself out of it.
January 13th, 2011
My trip across Europe wound up around a month ago, and I've been in Chicago and Austin since then. Austin hadn't changed as much as I'd feared (although The Drag seems like it was a shadow of its former self), and the food was still entirely too tasty and menacing to my waistline. As my brother and his brood are now down there, I may be visiting more often.