There are two email discussion lists for you to keep in touch with the chicago Perl community, and to have discussions (not limited to Perl).
chicago-announce is a list for general chicago.pm announcements. You should subscribe to this list if you want to skip over the majority of the discussion and just get the event announcements.
chicago-talk is the main list for discussion of all things Perl, Chicago, and anything else you'd like to talk about. List archives are also available. Note: prior to 29-Aug-2003 chicago-talk was hosted a Topica, you may still be able to view those archives here.
Folks sometimes hang out in #chicago.pm on irc.perl.org. If you have a chance stop by and say "hi".