Category Archives: Travel: The Americas

CHICAGO: Day 00 (!)

I’m here.
Originally uploaded by fredlet.

At the corner of Clinton and Van Buren in Chicago cooling my dogs after flying all night (and surprisingly, *sleeping* on the plane all through the SAN>>ORD leg in the center seat) then taking the CTA to Union Station-ish area where Amy and I ended up last time we passed through here.

I dub thee MY STARBUCKS! They even got my triplebrevetepidnofoamlatte right.

Hell’s bells.

I was kinda sweating it taking the blue line since I didn’t obsessively plan this trip like the last time I was out here… and I have slept since then so the details didn’t stick too well.

In fact, I’m surprised I am not freaking out right now… could be sleep deprivation, since I didn’t put EVERYTHING into my Treo (though having an unlimited wireless connection helps my Asperger’s more than you’ll ever know) such as the station I should get off of to get to Union Station, the exact name of the hotel (but frankly, I googled it earlier and only found one of that general name, and can google it from the Treo – see? Calming effect.)

One would think that I am calming down, but I think its just that I have found a suitable remedy for my neuroses.

I was walking from the plane to the blue line and was thinking about how other cities *in the U.S.* make me nervous, but other countries don’t.

Haven’t figured that one out yet.

Also haven’t figured out what makes me such a nervous nellie at times and yet, some people tell me I’m very brave… I think I just fake it well.

We shall see.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. (think JournalCon without those pesky conferences and all the food, drink and more shopping with the same crowd. JournalNon if you will)

I was reading TranceJen’s entry about this weekend and was happy to note that it wasn’t just me who is in a state of awe at the friends I’ve found on teh intarweb. Now I kinda groc the whole letter writing culture of old that has been resurrected in a slightly updated form.

Well, there’s your disjointed entry for this weekend. I’m going to have about 3 hours sleep in the next day (added to the distinct lack of sleep I inflicted on myself by leaving getting ready until almost last minute before I left… (Hey, I think I’ve been kidnapped by aliens and my pod person is a slacker.))

It reminds me of going to Paris and the resultant out of body state I usually have getting used to being at home again in my city and th 9 hour time difference between SFO and CDG.

More later…

Great Day to Be A Frog

By Jimmy Patterson
Online Editor

KERMIT — The founding fathers of this small town can thank Teddy Roosevelt’s son for their original namesake. Its present-day residents can thank Jim Henson for putting it on the map.

Kermit on the water tower in...Kermit
Kermit on the water tower in…Kermit

Kermit has never been like it was Friday when it welcomed the world’s most famous amphibian and his entourage. The frog was treated like a prince by the 5,700 townspeople, who rolled out the green carpet in high-hoppin’ fashion for His Greenness.

As one harried school teacher said as she bustled to help oversee over 500 school children who were dismissed early for the downtown festivities, “Everything’s frog.”

“These are salt of the earth people,” Kermit said in a post-celebration interview. “Where else could you come and have people treat you so well?”

Kermit, mysteriously traveling sans Miss Piggy, said it was helpful to be in a town that also bore his name. “Makes it easy to remember,” he said as he set out on a 50-city tour celebrating his 50th birthday.

The frog’s first leap landed him in Kermit, a town that couldn’t seem to do enough for the lovable Muppet. An artist’s rendering of Kermit’s head was unveiled atop the city’s water tower; a park was named after him, a street, too. Even pylons blocking off downtown were, you guessed it, green. Kermit was master of ceremonies at the Kermit High School homecoming parade and he was also to be crowned homecoming king at Friday’s night’s football game.

Kermit was even read a lengthy proclamation by mayor Ted Westmoreland, designating Friday as Kermit the Frog Day.

“Boy,” Kermit said at the completion of the reading, “that’s an awfully long proclamation for such a little frog.”

Kermit, Texas, was chosen by Disney officials, parent corporation of Kermit’s creators, The Jim Henson Company, over Kermit, Va., a tiny village with only 200 people.

“We’re just happy to have that golden name,” said Westmoreland, in his 13th year as Kermit mayor. “Something like this will make us known to the rest of the country.

As only the best of mayors would, Westmoreland used the opportunity to pitch the benefits of living in Kermit, and he hopes an event like Friday’s would become an annual event, further casting a postive green sheen on his town.

“Kermit’s a nice town with a wonderful climate,” Westmoreland said. “We hope to make ourselves attractive to retirees and small business.” We hope to make ourselves attrective to retirees and small business.”

Kermit Celebration Days was the culmination of almost three months of hard and orchestrated volunteer efforts. Work started even before Disney made it official that their famous frog would be there.

“This will put us on the map,” said Kermit Police Chief Ron Hoge, who was tasked with security and coordination of an inter-departmental police presence that included officers from Monahans, Odessa and Ward County. Disney had anticiptaed a crowd of as many 30,000 visitors, but by mid-day it was apparent that the number may be a bit smaller.

Even though the crowd didn’t appear to be what was expected, the mood was festive and for many, a day so big had never been seen, and may never again come around, a distinction that for Kermit’s publicist, Danielle Clark, was daunting.

“Wow … more than anything, to be a part of something like is an honor,” said Clark, who prior to representing Kermit was a publicist who worked with Halle Berry and Hillary Duff. She said despite having worked for those two megastars, she had never seen such celebration around a star as she had Friday in Kermit.

When the Green One’s duties are complete in Kermit, he’ll next be honored at the NASA Space Center, south of Houston. Kermit’s Birthday tour, which will take him around the globe, will conclude in 15 months. Steve Whitmire, the creative voice and talent behind the Kermit, will be along for the entire ride. Whitmire became the breath and life of Kermit after Jim Henson’s death in 1990.

WHO TV – Des Moines: Kermit, Texas, honors the green guy

KERMIT, Texas Kermit the Frog has begun a globe-hopping tour to mark his 50th birthday — with a celebration in Kermit, Texas.
The town of about 57-hundred rolled out the green carpet today for the famous singing and dancing Muppet and former star of T-V’s Sesame Street.
Kermit was given the key to the city and crowned honorary homecoming king. The West Texas town also had Kermit’s face painted on its water tower.
Kermit thanked the residents for helping him launch his birthday whirlwind celebration.
A 50-stop tour will cross four continents and last until the end of 2006.
The beloved frog’s stops include the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China and Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Kermit’s creator, Jim Henson, was born in Mississippi and named the frog after a childhood friend.” – Hoppy 50th, Kermit (the frog) – Hoppy 50th, Kermit: “A 15-month world tour begins Oct. 14 in Kermit, Texas, taking in 50 stops, including a USO appearance and a run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.”

I should get everyone to take pictures of this…
Are you one of the few people who know where this town is? =;)

UPDATE: So, the skinny is that my nephews will be in the parade, Kermit will crown the homecoming queen, (and if I understood my nephew’s 70 mph explanation) he will be homecoming king.
Disney got busy and painted frogs all over town as well as the water tower.

As soon as my aunt sends me some pictures I’ll post ’em.