Когда вы идете в темноте, вы не знаете ответа, но у вас есть инстинкт о том, как двигаться вперед. Инстинкт не является ни правильным, ни неправильным, он просто

Not nearly as great as RAW but still enjoyed it.

Finished season 5 of the Americans and have to admit I’m sad that season 6 will be the end but the cold war also came to an end in that era. 

This was the relaxing weekend I’ve been longing for. I barely took any phone calls, slept in, ate decently, enjoyed that horrendous day long stretch of thunderstorms. Luckily for me TEETH actually came on Netflix and I enjoyed it, not nearly as much as RAW but it was bizarre enough to entertainment. 

I did venture out to Little Saigon to stock up on food for the week and wanted to stop and and eat but didn’t feel like doing it alone and it was too cold out for a Bubble Tea. 

All in all it was relaxing and I ended the weekend with a mini Robert Duvall marathon that began with “A Night in Old Mexico”:  a 2013 Spanish-American co-production film directed by Emilio Aragón about a man and his grandson. Forced to give up his land and his only home, cantankerous Texas rancher Red Bovie (Robert Duvall) isn’t about to go quietly to the dismal trailer park that’s all he can now afford, and instead goes off with his grandson Gally (son of his long-estranged son Jimmy) for a road trip to Old Mexico. They pick up two hitch-hikers who have stolen over $150,000 in drug money. But after Red drives off without them, unbeknownst to him the money remains in the car. They arrive in Mexico, still pursued by the drug dealers, who are pursued in turn by another hit-man looking to recover the stolen money. Red and Gally enjoy the town’s attractions during the Mexican festival of the dead. As night falls, they visit a brothel where Red dances with the madame. They later meet a singer named Patty Wafers who is down on her luck. She is immediately attracted to Red’s fearless and outrageous behavior. Meanwhile, the hit-man kills the American drug dealers and is now in pursuit of Red. Red discovers the money and desires to keep it so that he can have a better life than the one promised by the trailer park. Patty tries to help them return undetected across the border with the money, but the hit-man catches up with them and takes it. They pursue him, then they pursue another hit-man who has taken the money in turn. As Red and Patty’s affection grows, Red begins to lose interest, but Gally, seeking his identity after the death of his father, takes up the pursuit in his place. They eventually overpower the second hit man and recover the money. Patty invites Red to live with her in her small town where she was born in northern Mexico. He accepts and is happy to go with her, knowing that with $150,000, they will live like royalty. As they part ways and Gally returns to the U.S., Red tells Gally that he has “found himself a grandson”.

I then remembered I purchased a 4 DVD set based on and around Lonesome Dove and I began that. Its 16 hours so it’ll keep me entertained for a week in between Gotham, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Law & Order SVU. 

Without a doubt the highlight of my weekend was the arrival of the new LA GUNS which includes Phil and Tracii for the first time in 14 yrs. It’s solid from front to back. Just the best hard rock record of the year so far and I think I like it as much as the new JAMC which isn’t really hard rock. I played it 3 x while working which is something I rarely ever do. Now I’m playing it loudly as I BBQ chicken. Can’t wait to see them again in 2 weeks and yet another friend signed on for the 3 hr drive and just booked a room.

 “When you’re walking in the dark, you don’t know the answer, but you have an instinct for how to move forward. The instinct is neither right nor wrong, it just is.”

Ashley D writes

I shouldn’t tell you this but I will anyway. I am mostly scared of happy clowns (like the clown featured in this picture). I’m scarred of their painted on red smiles…I see them and ask myself…why did they have to paint it on?…what are ALL of the “happy smiley clowns” hiding behind their fake smiles? My Assumed Answers Are: a creeper, a creep, and/or a criminal…and ALL clowns enjoy special attention from young children…creep! ALL smiley and overly happy clowns are creeps to me unless proven otherwise…and I still may not believe it. In my book ALL clowns are guilty…and scary…until proven innocent of creepiness!! 🎈 lol

Yeah well…I love you, Alex!! And for the record I can look up “clowns” in Google Images now and not freak out!! Yay! You did that! Thanks Alex.

All things lively must be used, Liberte, egalite, au jour d’hui see’est tres tres tres, Voici l’opportunite nous incroyables, I got the moves they got the grooves, Summoned the gods and they all approved

Back track:

I booked a hotel with the craziest looking pool I’ve ever seen north of the Mason Dixon for the trip to Valpo later this month for the LA GUNS show. A bunch of us are meeting up and will be kicking off the roadtrip at Quaker Steak & Lube in Portage IN. Bohne claims he’s going to devour an entire bucket in one sitting again. Everyone agrees that this is by far the best place to get wings and considering how far some of the group is travelling it’s not any stretch of the truth or imagination.

Morgan went to the burbs to stay with Vaness while Curse and Rona were in town. It was nice having her company and being able to help her out at the same time. I’m proud to say that she’s currently heading up the Bayview Pub in Sitka, Alaska which is a far cry from Houston.

Curse and Rona checked in on Friday the 29th, changed clothes and then went to The Metro. I wouldn’t see them again till Saturday morning when we all cleaned up and went to lunch at Pho Viet and we all had an excellent lunch before I hit up Viet Hoa for some produce and my latest fascination Udon Japanese Noodles. I love these things and the price is very attractive. I don’t use the sodium powder and prefer to season them with chili paste. Rona mentioned she can imagine me meeting up with a good Vietnamese lady if I kept going which is sort of the method to my madness. We walked back and stopped at Fat Cat for a drink as I showed them the neighborhood. Ashley met us at the house for a little bit but didn’t stay long. She was a ball of energy. Later that afternoon they went to the premier of Lets Play Two at the Music Box. Let’s Play Two is a concert film that chronicles Pearl Jam’s legendary performances at Wrigley Field during the Chicago Cubs historic 2016 season. Curse is friends with the director Danny Clinch and they brought me back a poster from the event. I met up with Danny Lee Hill that evening for some drinks and laughs around the neighborhood.

Sunday morning I made a huge vat of Sinigang and the entire house was filled with the aroma of  Knorr Tamarind Soup Base. We all went to El Palmar for brunch then Tac Quick for a “quick” drink. They took a walk to the lakeshore and I went to a costume shop, back to Viet Hoa plaza and then to Fat Cat where I had fried pickles. Back at my kitchen there was no shortage of leftovers. I was cranked on Hydroxycut and most likely driving them crazy before they went out for the Oghr/KMFDM show that evening. They left the next morning before Morgan arrived for her last night in Chicago before flying off to Alaska and me feeling inspired ordered out for some female companionship for the following weekend who happens to be someone most of you know of from Indiana. Enjoying the comfort of female company has been very long overdue for me. 

The following Friday as I watched the movie RAW which completely intoxicated my mind my brother wrote to me from Los Angeles where he was moving the”IT” house he helped build from Hollywood and Vine to Warner Bros studios. I suggested he hit up the Rainbow to see the Lemmy statue which he did and sent me photos of.

Saturday after I had a drink at El Mariachi the “Girlfriend Experience arrived and we managed to destroyed my bedroom twice as my guest stayed from mid afternoon  till Monday morning and it was a nice reunion which didn’t require us leaving the house at all. Upon her exit things would be quiet again for a while including my duties for work.

But I did manage to get blocked from using Facebook for a week due to a picture I decided to post just to see how far I could push it. People actually began to express concern since I had gone so many days without posting anything online. I just didn’t feel inspired and have been too wound up on Hydroxycut. 

HydroxySlut

 “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?

I had a couple nights of tortuous insomnia and this time it’s related to a diet supplement I began taking Hydroxycut Pro Clinical which does its job in suppressing appetite but hot dam the caffeine / stimulant in outrageous. Sunday night which is always the hardest night I have when it comes to falling/staying asleep was painful. I tossed and turned till around 430am and then maybe got 90 min of interrupted sleep and when my cats decided it was time for me to get up they raised all kinds of hell beneath my bed. Morgan who was sleeping in the next room was wakened and asked “what the hell was that?”

 

I worked from home starting around 630am and took a break long enough to break down my 12 yr old bed and put the frame out on the deck and as I walked to the store saw the local Hispanic alley hunters and had them take away old ironsides. That bed which served me well for a decade plus was also another reason sleeping has been so irregular as of late, it was busted and even turning over in it made a lot of noise. It had been long overdue for me to buy a new bed and I ordered a nice one as well as a  Mattress Pad Cover Queen Size Down Alternative Quilted Fitted Mattress Topper and a Clara Clark 100-Percent Egyptian Cotton Flannel 4-Piece Bed Sheet Set. I would soon discover this combo would make for one of the best nights of sleep I had in a long time. This bed is solid and sturdy and it looks pretty good to me.

New bed. The guys unloaded it, brought it up 3 flights of stairs and set it up in 5 minutes. They were excellent.

Over the weekend my friend Rob from the Pearson family that I’ve been friends with since 2002 after meeting at the campground in Wisconsin,  informed me that his father had passed away. I met and became close to his father and we have shared many tales, food and drink over the years. I thought the world of him and according to Rob the feeling was mutual. 

Robert E. Pearson, 79, of South Beloit, IL died at 8:07 p.m. Friday, September 22, 2017 in Centegra Hospital in McHenry, IL after a lengthy illness.

Born July 22, 1938 in Rock Island, IL, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore and Dorothy Pearson. Married to the former Pamela A. Sanders in Woodstock, IL on November 9, 1979. Robert was employed as an Electronic Communication Specialist by the Illinois Tollway for 34 years, he retired in 2009. He was a Veteran of the United States Army, during Peacetime.

Survivors include his wife Pamela, children Tom Pearson, Debra Pearson, Jeff Pearson, Mary Dornbush, Steven Pearson, Robert Pearson, Martina Sullivan, Kelly Pearson, and Jackson Pearson, numerous loving grandchildren and great grandchildren, brother Allen (Betty) Pearson, sister Linda Laz, and numerous Nieces and Nephews. Preceded in death by his parents, his son Kevin Pearson, and a brother David Pearson.

 

Once I learned that my sourish treat are used by athletes to curb muscle cramps I ordered another shipment. The only downside is 250 mg of sodium per pop so moderation is key. But damn these things are good. 

Yesterday afternoon Morgan Russell had a Skype interview for bar manager at an island back in Alaska. Her dream has come true and she flies out on Tuesday. I’m glad I was able to help her get on her feet. 

 

 

Talking ’bout Monroe and walking on Snow White, New York’s a go-go, and everything tastes right

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. 

Chicago Love. 

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.

Sunday morning was upon us and I attempted to sleep in but rolled out of bed around 730. I put on the coffee, opened the house and when Morgan joined me I spiked the java with some Irish whiskey. A new spin on an old Sunday morning ritual. We sat outside for a while and then watched a few episodes of Better Call Saul before heading out to Pho Viet off of Asia/Argyle for lunch. I of course had the Shredded papaya w. shrimp, pork, onions, basil, cilantro, Vietnamese coriander, lime juice, and roasted peanuts and she a Banh Mi Vietnamese sub. We went to a couple of grocery stores before heading back home. It was a perfect Chicago day.

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. 

Dear Di­ary, I mean no dis­re­spect but you are more sub­lime than any Sa­cred Text. Some­times just a list of my events is holi­er than the Bill of Rights, and more in­tense”

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. 

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed

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

FINAL DRAFT: I met a girl, she was crazy about me, and in a lifetime this happens once or twice, maybe. And who’d have thought that it would ever happen to me? I met a girl, she was crazy about me. The two of us are getting high We don’t need drugs ’cause we know how to fly

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. 

DVD’s:


LUCY
The Girl Next Door
Lonesome Dove 4 DVD Collection
5-DVD Collection gift for my brother

Books: 
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)

CD’s
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