Ahhhh, Bloomington! The Dallas/Fort Worth of Central Illinois, how could I not love thee? Apologies for the last drunken post. Very uncharacteristic of me--not the drunken part, but the posting while drunk part.
Moving on, I took the Amtrak up from St. Louis to here last night. Amtrak will never replace flying, but for short trips (Like DC to NYC) you can't beat it. Amtrak is like the attractive, gold-digging secretary who you have sex with once in a while, but who you will never leave your wife for. ("No, really, Tammi, I will tell my wife about us...soon. I mean, my kids are graduating from college in 8 years, so just be a little patient...now go try on that lingerie I bought you.")
I like midwesterners because they are genuinely nice people. Southerners are "fake nice", but if a midwesterner says something like "come back soon", they don't mean the exact opposite, like people in the south. I think that's why it's so surprising that most serial killers come from the midwest. And the attitude toward crime is really different too. When we went for dinner the other night in a St. Louis suburb with my old roommate, he literally didn't lock his front door. "what for, we're only gonna' be gone a couple of hours?"
Now, before I get some hate mail, let me say that I know a lot of nice southerners. And the food there can't be beat (except for grits, which I don't understand what the fuss is about). I mean, deep fried cheese versus something like a mississippi mud pie? That's like a fight between Woody Allen and Randy Coutoure. So while there are some really nice southerners in particular, the average midwesterner is nicer than the AVERAGE southerner.
That said, Central Illinois is a weird bird. The entire middle of the state is completely flat. You could build a hundred houses here and not use a level once. Besides being flat, every square inch is covered in corn to keep the evil spirits away. Corn = good mojo. I'm leaving for the wedding in a couple of hours, but just to show you how nice people are: when I asked about renting a car at the front desk, the clerk said "you don't need to rent a car, that's the church that Charley over there goes to, he can probably give you a ride." So I'm getting a ride with a really nice midwesterner who I just met in about an hour...who I hope is not a serial killer who will kill me and eat parts of me, and make a weird human suit out of my skin and dance around in front of the mirror with his bits tucked between his legs. Wish me luck!