“Social media has created a culture of cowards hiding behind a keyboard and bullies hiding behind a screen, where it’s ‘my way of thinking or NO WAY!’ When did we turn into a country of robots?
“Social media has created a culture of cowards hiding behind a keyboard and bullies hiding behind a screen, where it’s ‘my way of thinking or NO WAY!’ When did we turn into a country of robots?
Beautiful card from my co workers to mark my 6th year at the firm. They were also nice enough to include at VISA debit gift card. From the art on the card they must know how much I adore Asian pussy. Not that I’ve ever made any secret of it.
The first question my attorney asked me yesterday during his maiden visit to my home was, “What’s with all the Devil stuff?” without any mention of any of the other stuff.
“Nobody likes a clown at midnight.” — Stephen King
Hotel where I first met Crispin Glover and spent a long day together at the House of Blues and Music Box Theater
I worked from home all day on Friday and had a brief visit from my attorney and when I finished for the day packed my clown gear and took the train into the Loop. It was a beautiful day and when I arrived at River 21 East bought Ashley and I tickets for the movie “IT” and sat at the bar inside of Lucky Strike and ordered some great grilled buffalo wings and a pint of Dos Equis. Ash was running late and I struck up a conversation with the bartender James about Grindhouse style movies and I slowly transformed into Shakey The Klown. When Ashley arrived I gifted her the presents I had purchased while in Iowa. She was thrilled no less. My clown suit didn’t attract much interest but it was funny. The real fun would begin when the movie began.
Ashley like millions of others suffers from Coulrophobia: A specific fear of clowns has sometimes been discussed in terms of a specific phobia. The term coulrophobia is a neologism coined in the context of informal “-phobia lists”. When we first met over a year ago I used to tease her but on her end it was more like torture. She once commented on a couple of creepy clown figures I have in my living room with, “I don’t know how you sleep with those things in your house.” Recently she claims that I have desensitized her fear being that I admittedly go overboard with such antics.
I never saw my hyperactive Ashley sit so still for so long (2 hrs. 15 min) except when she would jump in her seat. From the scene where Georgie finds a figure dressed as a clown who introduces himself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown.” The clown severs Georgie’s arm when Georgie reaches into the drain for his boat, then drags him into the sewer. From that moment on I was in tears of laughter during the entire which was very well made. Very well. Maybe for me the best film of 2017 and that includes Logan. The best way to describe her demeanor is petrified. She truly was the definition of the word.
When the movie ended we went back to Lucky Strike and had another round as well as some free shots from the promo girls working the floor. I met one named Julie who did a couple photos with my alter ego Shakey and told her Julie is my favorite name for a woman as it was my mother’s name. Ashley confirmed this fact. We made plans to meet up the next day when Morgan Russell gets into town from Houston. Morgan who I hadn’t seen since Oct 2014 had some recent difficulties and I agreed to help her out by using my guest room till she gets things in order. Once again Alex to the rescue.
She said her name is Julie and I told her, “That’s my absolute favorite name for a woman. it was my mother’s name.” and I meant it. I’ve only said that 3 x in my life.
This was at the end of my alley across from Byron’s this AM. As I walked down my street the second time this morning saying hello to my neighbors I was reminded of when Cari Ganiere paid her first visit and commented how nobody on my street says hello as they pass. I always do. I’ve been residing on this same street for 12 years now.
Then came Ashley and it turned into maybe my most funny night of 2017.
Saturday morning I got an amazing amount of errands taken care of by 1230. Laundry, banking, dry cleaning and groceries. I could not believe when I finally sat down that it was only noon thirty. On one of my trips out of the house I heard a strange sound over my head and turned around and saw this squirrel on my landlords apartment window. It was so bizarre I had to take some pictures. When I posted them on social meida later they were a hit. Morgan was in flight when I got a message from the Kentucky based model Tana Leggo that she and my friend Nick Huffman would be co-hosting on the Mancow show all week and wanted to meet up for lunch. When I first met Tana some year’s back she came into my office signed a photos I had on my wall and we had a nice long lunch. I decided I would make the following Friday my day off and have her Nick, Corey and whoever else for BBQ.
As I predicted it was becoming a VERY interesting weAkend.
Sitting on the back deck sipping Deep Eddy’s and listening to LA GUNS I spotted Morgan in the alleyway with all of her belongings in 4 bags. The Gypsy Hippie Chick returns. We had a few drinks and some laughs and Ashely arrived as were inside laughing maniacally t the latest Andrew Dice Clay performance. She did well considering her sense of humor is as vulgar as mine and Morgan’s. She surprised me with a gift of some zero bars in a zip lock bag, all she could find. I was nearly speechless. This was a thoughtful gesture being that I had 2 Zero Bars confiscated from me by TSA in Tampa last December. That’s my Ashley. Before I knew it Ash was craving Jets Pizza(which I’ve only had once before this year) and Morgan complied and ordered $50 worth for delivery. When we went down to get it from the driver I also found my shipment of Bob’s Pickle Pop’s from Amazon. I discovered this product last summer while at a Drive In in central Illinois and loved it. That same weekend also noticed it was a popular item for sale in the region but I haven’t been able to find them in the Chicagoland area. I attempted to freeze pickles myself but fail to come anywhere close to the real deal. Bob’s Pickle Pops are a vegetable squeezed frozen juice ice pop treat that has NO added sugar and less than 5 calories. The vinegar is known to boost the immune system, ease digestive disorders, and can break down calcium deposits in a person’s joints and are a healthier alternative to sugary pops. Needless to say I was thrilled to be able to order this item online.
So to hell with a healthy diet this weekend thanks to the pizza. Even the wings I had the night before were grilled as opposed to deep fried. Morgan retired to the guest room early while Ashley and I stayed up later watching Rammstein Paris before calling it a night.
Back at the ranch I prepped and grilled up some veggie and shrimp skewers and also made some cucumber salad. Keeping up with the cleaning seemed ill fated but we managed. It wouldn’t be completely clean till Monday which I happened to have off. We watched some old video recording of my brother and I from 1992 and crashed. Monday was a lazy day. I grilled some more and we walked up to some shops for a couple of hours and the rest was extremely chill mostly watching Better Call Saul. It was a perfectly lazy day with a light breeze and plenty of sunshine.
An interesting weAkend indeed.
This is the bed I’m getting next weekend. 12 yrs of good service my current one had endured. I’m going all out on the mattress this time, inspired by Ashley’s. Maybe an end to insomnia.
3rd X’s the charm Oct 28 Halloween Weekend LA GUNS in Valparaiso IN and a marathon eating session at Quaker Steak & Lube w/ my metal friends.
German American Fest Sept 2014 w/ Bradford
This lady liked my hair so we took a picture
Christina at Hansa Clipper w/ her infant niece
This was adorable. I met this little girl and her mother on my way home. The little girl seemed sad so I gave her the frog I won throwing darts at balloons. She loved it and started kissing it.
Here I am very early Monday after a very relaxing weekend spent mostly in solitude. The only music I played was that of Leonard Cohen. The Book of Longing has intoxicated me. I listened to 10 New Songs, Dear Heather, and Old Ideas. Watched a lot of Breaking Bad and only have 4 episodes to go. I got a lot done around the house which has been dustier this year than in the past 10 that I’ve now called this address home. This time of year marks several milestones in my life. 19 years ago September 1st I moved to Chicago. 12 years ago Sept 1st I began my career as a research associate. 10 years ago Aug 1 I moved to this address and 6 years ago tomorrow I began my career with the firm I now support.
Festival season is over. Beach season is over and it’s time for new beginnings. An old friend complimented me on my home. Another told me I was the hardest working person he knew and another commented on how I’m the most responisble of all of his friends. (sad) All 3 of these people are fixtures of the national music scene.
When I moved here in 1998 I was out one day putting up ads and handing out fliers and an artist I met who was staying here briefly from Paris commented, “There’s Alex, always working.” Yeah, that was me once up on a time back when I was buidling something. Now I just want to build a good life. Once I’m over this hurdle that has plagued me since March I’ll be on my way.
A very simple rule to live by.
Even when I was crippled before and after surgery, especially the long stretch of months before total hip replacement I still made my bed everyday no matter how long it took or how painful it was. I explained to my boss at the time, who also happens to be a Capt in the US Army and he played this speech to me.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
- from a speech by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin
Peace Frog went to Wisconsin at the start of summer (Memorial Day Weekend) and then to Iowa at the end of summer 2017 (Labor Day Weekend)
I arrived home late Monday night, saw that I had gained 4 lbs over the weekend and got to sleep around 1130PM. I had returned from Dale and Anne’s house and home to 12 cats. 5 indoors and 7 outside. I came home to just 2 and was swarmed all night and all the next day when I worked from my home office. My adventure began 4 days earlier at 4AM the previous Friday.
Up and in the shower at 4A I had 65 minutes to be out the door and hail a taxi which was easy and I had a nice ride and chat with a friendly Ethiopian driver. Then I set off for several hours of hell which began when I walked into the Chicago Greyhound station. It was loud, crowded and filthy. Luckily for me not many people were headed to Iowa at 6AM. I was able to take all of my bags on board to store overhead and took a place at the back of the bus where nobody was seated. That didn’t last long. A couple sat across the aisle from me and another passenger sat at the very back and spread himself out with his feet propped up on the arm rest in front of him thus blocking the aisle to anyone that would need to use the restroom. It didn’t get too bad until my first stop in Naperville when I got out and bought 2 waters and a black coffee.
When we got on our way the woman half of the pair across from my broke out a bag of fried chicken. It was 7A and that’s not too bad, I’ve done it, at home, but not on a bus where it funked up the entire rear of the coach. If I didn’t have so many bags I would have moved. When she finished her deep fried breakfast her male counterpart took the bag and whatever was inside of it discarded along with it and in one swift swoop tossed it into the aisle of the bus. Nice. I was disgusted at their lack of respect.Then she stretched out and slept across him till we got to Moline IL. About 15 minutes later we were dropped off across the river in Davenport where I had approx. a 15 minute wait to take another bus into Iowa City. The person who sat in front of me smelled like he had bathed in buttered popcorn. These are the kind of things that you experience on a bus. Also a good 50 % of the passengers had their belongings in trash bags as opposed to luggage of any sort. I can’t imagine what that would be like. They were obviously going one way.
At 1130 I arrived in Iowa City, was met by Dale and we had a great lunch at The Mill which has now become a rite of passage. We ordered the same thing again. I had an order of fried pickles and grilled shrimp Po Boy and he a calzone. The Po Boy here is unique being it’s grilled and not batter fried. It makes all of the difference in the world. It was perfect, hit the spot and after the waitress gave me the poster for their Karaoke event that had a creepy clown on it we were on our way to “Dirty” Johns Grocery, a place rich with history which we were given a tour of by the current owner.
TRUE FACT: Iowa City’s John’s Grocery, also known as “Dirty John’s,” is the last totally independent grocery in Iowa City. For that reason alone it is a very unique place and well worth a visit or worth being added to anybody’s “must visit” list. But it is the sale of alcohol in all of its various forms for which John’s Grocery is best known. John’s Grocery is known nationwide as one of the best places to buy beer. Why is it called “Dirty John’s?” Their own website says that it is because they were one of the lone suppliers of Playboy back in the 1950s. John’s earned its infamous nickname when a group of boys stole an entire stack of freshly delivered Playboys and passed them out to their classmates. The principal, not knowing the entire story of why his school was inundated with these magazines, dubbed the store “Dirty John’s.”
Being a family business, John’s seven children grew up in the store. Starting the day they could see over the front counter, the children worked alongside the rest of the Alberhasky family.
Throughout the years of changes, the first, second, and now third generation of Alberhaskys have given their heart to the little corner grocery to ensure its place in Iowa City’s rich history.
I bought a bottle of Patron Cafe, a bottle of Deep Eddy’s and some cheese curds which would come in handy on my ride home 4 days later.
From there we hit up a couple thrift stores where I bought some books. On the way back to Dale’s house in Stone City we stopped at a grocery store called Lucky’s where we got food to grill over the weekend.
When we finally got to Dale’s, I took my bags down to the guest room which I refer to as “the vault” because it has no windows and set up my laptop in his dining room. Ahhhh, time for a drink.
Thrift Store Clowns
La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant 1304 E 3rd St, Anamosa, IA 52205
Anne, Dale and I sat around for a bit and then since I had mentioned I was craving a good margarita so they took me to dinner at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant 1304 E. 3rd St. Anamosa, IA 52205. It was a nice small and charming place that had an outdoor patio but we sat inside. The 2 hrs. went by in a breeze as the conversation was good and the food was great. I told my Traci Lords story circa 1983. I had seafood enchiladas after sharing a big plate of shrimp nachos. Dinner and lunch was on me since they were kind enough to host me again. When we got back I was exhausted and with the TV still set to Ch. 7 from my stay a little over a year prior fell asleep hoping to wake up to the pleasant voice of Lauren Moss.
I came upstairs as I was up earlier than Miss Moss took to the airwaves and had some coffee with Patron Cafe and sat in front of the TV. Anne had already gone off to work at 5AM. I walked around the big back yard and took pictures and hung out with the cats. We had a big day planned and it would end with us at a Drive in Dale found for us to go to. After a very big breakfast and a lot of coffee, we watched lauren host the morning news and then we took to the roads heading toward Cedar Rapids where I only wanted two things: BW3 for wings and Half Price Books. First I’d have to tag along with Dale and hit every Goodwill and Salvation Army in and around Cedar Rapids and Marion Iowa.
We did make a quick stop at a very nice bar owned by one of his friends called Uptown Snug (760 11th St, Marion, IA 52302( in a historic Marion building that originally served Civil War veterans reopened as an Irish pub and gathering place. I was impressed. The front of the space is an art gallery and quiet, classier cocktail area. There’s an electric fireplace surrounded by couches centers the backroom. Guinness signs and paraphernalia are tucked around the room, in keeping with the Irish pub theme as warm and inviting and cozy as an Old World pub should be. The beer garden behind the bar sits next to ongoing work on Marion’s ImagineArt in the Alleys project. I ordered a double Templeton’s Rye on the rocks and enjoyed the artwork and atmosphere of the place which I told Dale I’d like to return on a weekday for their after work crowd to mix. After a couple of stores we finally got to Half Price Books where I would hit the money load. I first bought a book for my brother and then my personal hunt began. (see the bounty listed at the end of this confession) We were there for a while and I filled up a cart without even making it 1/4 way back through the store. They also had a 20% off sale that day so I ended up with what would cost me anywhere else over $300 in books for only $85 and it included a first edition of Leonard Cohen’s “Book of Longing”. It is by far the best book of poetry I’ve ever owned. And funny in parts too.
As always a day with Dale involves a day of shopping. I bought so much I had to bring an extra duffel bag on the way home.
The Girl Next Door
Lonesome Dove 4 DVD Collection
5-DVD Collection gift for my brother
A 600 page MARVEL COMICS Essential Graphic gift for my brother
Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir
(gorgeously illustrated, full-color graphic memoir, Stan Lee—comic book legend)
Leonard Cohen Book of Longing
(Leonard Cohen wrote the poems in Book of Longing—his first book of poetry in more than twenty years after 1984′s Book of Mercy—during his five-year stay at a Zen monastery on Southern California’s Mount Baldy, and in Los Angeles, Montreal, and Mumbai)
Taschen The Best of American Girlie Magazines
(A facsimile reprint of some of the most famous American girlie magazines, this volume contains a compendium of the covers and contents of 250 magazines)
Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone by Marky Ramone
Clint: A Retrospective Hardcover
(A richly illustrated retrospective celebrating the life and films of Clint Eastwood—written by renowned film critic, and acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Richard Schickel)
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Hardcover by Frank McCourt
‘Tis: A Memoir Paperback by Frank McCourt
Teacher Man: A Memoir Paperback by Frank McCourt
Train Wreck: The Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith
Blank Dia De Los Muertos: Day of the Dead and Sugar Skull Book (blank journal)
Gonzo Tapes: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (5 CD audio book)
Enigma – McMxc a.D.
On the shopping excursion I also found an antique radio which would be too big to take home on this trip and picked up 3 items for Ashley. Afterwards Dale dropped me off at Buffalo Wild Wings (1100 Blairs Ferry Rd NE #101, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402) while he continued to shop and I ordered 24 wings and 1 big beer. It wasn’t fun doing wings alone that’s for sure and I never want to do that again as most of the enjoyment comes from conversation. It’s a ritual to me.
When we finally got back to the homestead we packed up for the drive in. The movies for the evening I was not the least bit interested in and it was a double feature. The ride there reminded me a lot of the ride to the drive in I went to a year before in central Illinois. We went the highway and country roads to our destination The 61 DRIVE IN THEATRE 1228 Hwy 61Delmar, IA 52037. The movies showing were RANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT [PG13] beginning at 8:00 pm followed by THE DARK TOWER [PG13].
True Fact: The 61 DRIVE IN THEATRE had recently converted their old 35mm film projection system to the newest state-of-the-art digital projection including digital FM stereo sound and have bragging rights as they were the first drive in theatre in the midwest to have made this conversion.
We parked 2 rows back and sat our chairs out in front of the car which was parked backwards with the hatch open so we’d have good stereo sound. I was more interested in the experience than the movie and I had every intent to indulge. I had a mix of vodka in a Sports Plastic Bottle With Straw. At the concession stand I ordered a hot dog, a burger with jalapenos and a big pickle. Not as good nor is any pickle as good as those Original Bob’s Pickle Pops that I discovered in 2016. (actually just looked them up and I can order online!) I think by now if not a very long time ago that I’ve established that I’m a sucker for nostalgia.
The movie began and I was amazed at the clarity of the digital projection. It was crystal clear. Dale loves the Transformers movies whereas I loathe that kind of cinema. When I finished my food I went back in for nachos and was being much too chatty for Dale as he was taking in the film and looked at me and ordered, “Shut the fuck up and go get some Dippin Dots.” Which I happily obliged and for the first time I ever had Dippin Dots was unimpressed. There is no such thing as the “ice cream of the future.” At least never again in mine.
True Fact: Dippin’ Dots were invented by Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduate Curt Jones in 1988.
When Transformers ended we drove back to his place where I had a night cap and crashed down in the vault with Ch 7 on the TV.
It should be noted that when I had arrived at Dale’s Friday afternoon my allergies were raging and luckily I carry allergy meds with me n my backpack these days. KWWL even reported that high pollen and ragweed levels across eastern Iowa were high and that many people were suffering. Around mid-August into September is when they usually see the spike of the allergies. Ragweed is one of the most prominent out there across eastern Iowa and the mid-west. The particular OTC I brought along caused me some serious drowsiness and Sunday it would be the worst. I had been experiencing fatigue and till I realized it was from the meds and not my travels I had been drinking energy drinks and taking Mini Thins which are still legal to buy and sell in Iowa.
Sunday morning after watching the news and another hearty breakfast we made our way to Wapsipinicon State Park and checked out The Ice Cave and Horse Thief Cave and started to make our way to Painted Rock State Park. First we drove through Riverside Cemetery Anamosa which is where Grant Wood is buried which I paid a visit to a year before. It is also the final resting place for the founding fathers Col. William Shaw and Edmund Booth.Then we stopped at Gary’s grocery on the way and picked up some snacks. By the time we got to the park which has some awesome hiking trails that I did in 2016 I was haggard. The Red Bull and Mini Thins did nothing to counter the allergy meds. I was dozing off so we went all the way back to Dales and I took a long nap.
When I woke up and came upstairs Dale had begun preparing for grilling out that evening and invited his mother Ruth, her boyfriend Dean and his sister Kelly for dinner. Dale’s grill which was a gift from Anne inspires GRILL ENVY with its solid fame and 5 burners. In all it was a great time and we had lively conversations but I was exhausted and had to excuse myself to go to bed by 9PM. This would prove to be a hefty mistake.
I woke up, wide awake around 2AM. There was some news on and then to my dismay, wrestling. I got something to drink and my sinuses were raging. I tossed and turned wishing I had a fan in the room. I went up and checked my email, there were some newer warm correspondence to and from Kimberly aka Jessica Rabbit who moved away about 2 yrs ago to Ohio. That was it. I went back and tried to sleep. Finally when I heard Dale up I came upstairs and then began to pack. I had purchased so many books we had to find an additional duffel or suitcase to take home with me. It was still very tight. Anne went for a long walk at the State Park and Dale and I watched Bad Santa 2 and drank coffee and had a light breakfast. My bus wasn’t due to leave Iowa City till 540P so we had a lot of time to kill.
Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp Iowa City
On our agenda as the Endless Shrimp Fest which began that day at Red Lobster in Iowa City. We got there around 230P. I couldn’t even eat the 4 portions I had ordered I was also dragging as I had been awake at that point for 12.5 hrs. I was dreading the ride back home. After we ate shrimp we hung out at the Java House in the heart of the University of Iowa campus. This was by far the largest and nicest looking coffee house I’d ever been to and it was unique in many ways. I enjoyed a cup and the temps had dropped by at least 10 degrees since the day before. We were 3 blocks from the bus depot and as we parked the bus pulled up. It was about half full and I got a seat near the back. We only had 2 stops going back and it was running on time. This was when I wished I had taken some sort of booze with me and is a first but I’ve been cutting back significantly. At our first stop we had 15 min and I only bought a beverage. I wish I would have got some food or some booze but I was exhausted. A lady behind me talked non stop on her cell phone almost the entire ride. (she need to go buy some Dippin Dots) Another woman in the seat behind me, go figure, had bought some fried chicken and I not only had to smell it again, but had to hear her slurping and sucking on the bones. Did I ever wish I had a drink more than ever. I got hungry so I ate some cheese curds and that hit the spot.
We got back into Chicago by 1015PM and I had no problem getting a taxi. It was nice going back as the streets were empty and there was barely any traffic. We got to my door and I walked into my building. There were 2 large boxes and two smaller packages waiting for me. My arms were full so it could wait. The cats were in attack mode after 4 long days without human companionship. I didn’t bother unpacking and checked my email, set my alarm and went to bed. I’d work from home the next day and slowly unpacked.
It was a great trip spent with two of the very best people I know. I fall in love with Iowa more and more as I continue to fall out of love with Chicago. But it’s home now for 19 years, my apartment has been my home for 10. I’ve been in my current career for 12 and with the same firm for the past 6. As my friend Adam Becvare advises, “You need an exit plan bro.”
and waiting for me at home, 3 boxes from Amazon
T-fal C112SC Signature Nonstick Expert Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Red and Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set
Coonskin DVD a 1975 American animated film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi
I knew within 30 seconds of pushing play that I just found my favorite CD of 2017
Tuesday night grillin’
Bree walked up to me
and she asked me if I wanted to dance
she looked kind of nice
and so I said I might take a chance
When we danced she held me tight
and when I took her home that night
the full moon above was shinin’ bright
and then Bree kissed me
Bree kissed me in a way that I’d never been kissed before
she kissed me in a way that I want to be kissed forever more
Thursday 8/31/2017: It’s rare that I sleep till the alarm goes off at 445AM. When it did wake me I was in the midst of a very strange dream that had to do with an ex girlfriend from 12 or so years ago and shopping and taking photos of Marica Hase present day. It was a fun dream that was abruptly ended by the very loud alarm next to my head. I slept well and that is good. I set my alarm for 4AM the next day as I have to leave home ay 510AM to catch my coach to Iowa City tomorrow. All I need to do now is pack as I’ve managed to clean my home, including guest room which is now fresh as can be, and make sure the cats are taken care of. I am in desperate need to this getaway.
I had a nice visit from musician Michael Allis Tuesday night. he’s moving back to Cedar Rapids with his fiance Jessica in November. I’m really going to miss this one who has proven to be a talented, fun, dependable, loyal and trustworthy friend. Something so very rare in this day and age in the world of Alex Zander.
My reading materials for the 5 hr. journey into Iowa Friday morning.
What I will wake to Saturday morning.
“They say there’s just enough religion in the world to make men hate one another but not enough to make them love.”
Last Thursday night Green Day played Wrigley Field followed by Lady Ga Ga on Friday and the Zac Brown Band on Saturday so the neighborhood was hopping. On my way home from work on Friday I went grocery shopping and took a taxi home. The streets were full of MILF’s dressed to the hilt in not age appropriate clothing but it livened up the ride and made for interesting observations. It was a nice distraction from the droves of people in Blue and White Cubs attire. Exuding their femininity was a welcome relief in my eyes.
At home I dodged my cats as usual as I tried to put everything away. I made a drink and sat outside before coming in to continue binge watching Breaking Bad. I had no plans other than to take care of some business for myself and also ordered a new pair of dress shoes for the office.
I also completely went off of my diet and had a double cheeseburger from Five Guys earlier for lunch. Friday evening I ate more of the BBQ Chicken I grilled the night before. My guilt would not kick in till Monday morning.
As I began laundry and going to the bank I treated myself to breakfast at El Palmar. It was quiet and enjoyable. My plan was to gather more cleaning supplies that afternoon and slowly clean up and clean out the guest room preparing for Curse and Rona’s visit next month. first I biked up to my mailbox in Lincoln Park and then all the way north to Edgewater and picked up some items as well as some candy for my forthcoming 5-hr bus ride to Iowa City over Labor Day weekend. I’ll be making up for my cancelled trip of last year. Candy on a long bus trip is a good way to make new friends.
Earlier in the week I had taken my main bicycle to the bike shop to have the damage repaired from it being stomped out across the street where I park it in the summer. The front brakes were damaged and the chain kicked off on the back tire. It was a quick and easy fix and ready for riding again.
Biking back toward Uptown proved to be a challenge with all of the construction. The streets are literally ripped up so I had to bike through parking lots and the campus property. When it’s done it should make for a vast improvement but for now it’s just a pain. I’m happy that I biked and didn’t take CTA. Weather wise it was the perfect day.
After getting supplies I stopped by Target to buy some new pillows. Having everything strapped by bungie cords to the rear rack must have looked hysterical. But it was well worth it being they have improved my slumber greatly.
Earlier in the week I had invited Danny Lee Hill over for ribs and fixin’s and we set 4PM for a good time. I made some very very spicy Elotes and southwest potatoes. I grilled ribs with Devils Spit Hot Sauce and had it all done by the time my old friend arrived. He hung around till around 930 chatting, chewing and playing guitars. When he left I started watching Pedro Almodovar’s Volver.
Sunday all I had on my itinerary was to clean the bathroom floor and start on the guest room. I spread the duties out over the day and watched about 5 hours of Breaking Bad in the same manner. Damn my brother for getting me hooked on this show a week ago. It was a seemingly lazy not so lazy day. I put a dent in some house work and hope to knock out cleaning my office this week. It has been dustier than usual which I’m sure is a combo of all of the area construction as well as the rain.
I also massivly screwed up my diet by eating the leftover sides from the night before and 2 ribs on low carb tortillias. Then I ate some chicken on tortillas and throughout the day 3 hot dogs. Though I slept great I had terrible guilt Monday morning.
Friday very early I’m off to Iowa and I cannot wait to spend 4 days with 2 of the best friends I have. First stop will be the Mill for lunch in Iowa City and then off to Dale’s spread in Stone City population 192.
That was a doozy of a weekend. But a bit of a rewind first.
My brother returned from LA early in the week where he spent 38 straight hours helping build the “IT” Experience on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. He didn’t get to have any fun as they turned an empty lot into an exhibit which has gathered a lot of press over the past week. I’m very proud of him. I had a lot of fun sharing it with people and even though I scared a co worker with the link Ashley admitted that after knowing me a year that she’s been “officially desensitized” because of me to her “coulrophobia”. Another one cured!
Thursday night after work I came home and grilled a whole lot of skewered Chile Lime marinated shrimp. I put so much shrimp on the Barbie I was still eating tacos of it on Sunday morning. I had some Japanese sticky rice with it but my phone rang so much I didn’t get much time to sit down. Not till 830 did I finally relax in the Warhol room.
Friday was a very long day as I had other commitments outside of work and fit it all into a day that began at 430AM. I already knew my plans for Saturday had fallen through so Ashley offered to join me and like a true friend and trooper we made a day of it on Saturday. Friday night I went grocery shopping and as my cats were running circles around my feet as they do when I come home after a long day, I bumped into the shelf with my hot sauces and a bottle of Habanero sauce fell onto the cat water dish I’ve used since 1993 (It was a gift from Missi) and both the bottle and the dish broke covering the middle of the kitchen floor with a mixture of both. I was pissed and of course stepped on some glass and had to tie a kitchen towel around my foot as I hobbled around that evening. I sat down and tried to watch the Defenders on Netflix but couldn’t focus. Blood was splotched all over the tile in the kitchen.
I got up early Saturday but skipped doing laundry and prepared for Ashley to arrive and we’d go to Montrose Beach. It was a perfectly beautiful hot day and the Air & Water show was going on. I was actually happy that my pending plans fell through. It was too sticky hot to be comfortable in anything more than what I ended up wearing. Not a good day for a first meet under the sun.
Always dependable and reliable, Ashley arrived early and we had a drink and then took a taxi to Montrose Harbor. After a nice lunch at the Dock which involved cocktails she treated as I had bought her a bottle of her favorite Smirnoff Sour Fruit Punch. I mixed some vodka and grapefruit juice for myself. By the time we walked to the waters edge and set up camp the alcohol began to take hold. We had a really good time although doing the water was unplanned and she didn’t’ t bring a bathing suit, in her heavy metal fashion she went in wearing her underwear and a t shirt. That’s my Ash!
We parted ways after a few hours and I dropped my bag off at home and walked over to Tac Quick to see Bradford and found KK KwanKong (Surussawadee Sailop) was wearing the Cheap Trick shirt I bought for her earlier in the year. It made an already great day even better. Back home I had no problem falling asleep. Sunday I tried to stay in bed till noon. As I do most days after sharing a block of time with Ashley I felt like I had been kicked around by a mob. I got next to nothing done and watched 4 hours of the Defenders and 3 of Breaking Bad. Laundry would be put off once again. It was a much needed day of r&r.