this weekend was/is the wired nextfest. one of the columbus, ohio crowd, dan, was in town because his girlfriend was one of the nextfest’s coordinators. so, tuesday night dan came to tuesday night pizza with eric, matt and i. i shall hereby refer to dan as ‘the idea man’ or ‘idea man dan’ as he has some of the craziest schemes i’ve ever heard for a whole range of subjects, particularly education via the internet. since eric is working for an education-related company now, the two of them had a lot to talk about.

friday i spent the day in evanston – mark and i went to lunch and then saw ‘batman begins’ – my second time, his first. after that, we met up with eric at the comic book store. i bought the first three issues of ‘fillerbunny,’ the chris ware volume of monographics and one of jeffrey brown‘s latest books. shortly thereafter mark had to leave to plan a party so eric and i went to borders so i could pick up chuck palahniuk’s new book, ‘haunted‘ (which i’m going to start reading now…i’ll continue ‘the blind watchmaker’ afterwards). on the way there we ran into ian, his brother and one of his friends. we solidified plans to meet up later that night for ian’s last big night in town before he movies to san francisco. after borders, eric and i went back to the movie theatre and saw ‘bewitched‘ then took the el to cross-rhodes for dinner. we went back to the apartment and recovered from the heat for a few hours (and napped) then left sometime after midnight to meet ian at smartbar. colette had just started spinning when we got there. we stayed for a few hours, danced and had a few drinks then called it a night.

saturday eric and i went to nextfest. a couple of the other lotek guys came into town or made it a point to go to the nextfest for a sort of mini-reunion. aaron was staying with sheila so the four of us met at garcia’s in lincoln park for lunch then went to navy pier. we met jeff at the door and all got in free by dropping dan’s girlfriend’s name. we met dan and tomo inside and stayed till closing.

the nextfest was cool in some ways and disappointing in others. it places a big emphasis on showcasing the future of technology, but as sheila pointed out, not much of it seemed genuinely futuristic. although, all of us are pretty tech-savvy and i had seen a lot of the stuff in popular science (the flying cars, for example) or on some of the tech blogs i frequent. so…i guess we were all pretty biased. it probably seemed really out-of-this-world awesome to the average non-technophile (not that i know what that person would be doing at the wired nextfest).

some cool things i saw included:

after nextfest we frank at spoon in old town. we sat outside and had some sweet potato fries and some drinks. a lot of drinks. we kept thinking that we were going to leave and go somewhere else, but no one could decide on anything so aaron would order another vodka tonic and then everyone else would get another round too. our waitress was this ballerina with the joffrey that is best friends with a girl frank broke up with a little bit ago, so that added an extra level of intrigue to the whole night. we stayed for 3 or 4 hours and i got to hear all kinds of stories, including the (in)famous aaron & vice ‘cop’ story.

today i got up early to run…er, walk – since i was pretty wiped out after all of the drinking and walking around in the heat yesterday. mom and dad were in town for a wedding, so eric and i met them for lunch at the cheesecake factory in old orchard. after that we ran a bunch of errands and bought new shower curtains and stuff for when ben and sara come to stay with us in a few weeks. we ran into at least 3 traffic jams due to accidents or whatever so we were at a standstill in the stagnant heat with the top down for a really long time. hopefully i won’t get a sunburn. so – after a pile of dishes and grout-scrubbing (not that i actually did both of those things…), i’m putting off doing laundry until tomorrow or maybe never because i’m finally cool and relaxed instead of sweaty and grouchy.