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“I Would Like The Tacky Plastic Penis Aisle Please!”

My friend Katie is getting married in September (on my wedding day so we’ll share our anniversary!) so it was time to hit the town in celebration! Now no bachelorette party is complete without a giant penis so I went to Batteries Not Included on my way downtown. I love living in a city where you have at least four places to buy large, plastic penises within a short drive from your home. You never know when you might need a penis at a moments notice. I walked in and said, “I would like the tacky plastic penis aisle please!” There was a lovely selection but I decided to splurge and get the double purple penis cup. I think the actual term was Jumbo Double Pecker Sipper. Nothing but the best for Katie!
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We started of at the W Hotel Lakeshore and took the trolley down to Trader Vic’s for a delicious dinner complete with fancy tropical drinks. Then it was down Lakeshore Drive and all the way down North Avenue to Silver Cloud for S’Moretini’s.
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It’s been a real long time since I have been down in Wicker Park on a Saturday night. When did Chicago turn into Las Vegas with everyone carrying drinks down the street in plastic cups? We boarded our big red chariot and hit the interstate. Katie did an excellent job with her bachelorette duties-
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And by duties I mean blowing bubbles, cheering and waving her purple penis cup at passerby.

Last stop was downtown to one of those $20 cover nightclubs- Le Passage-for champagne and dancing. Now it’s been a really, REALLY long time since I have been to a real night club. The kind where people pay $300 for a bottle of Kettle One. They did. Really. $300 for Kettle One! Crazy, I know!
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Melissa and I snagged a ride home with a fellow party goer-unfortunately her car was over at the Merchandise Mart and we decided to walk. 1.6 drunken miles through downtown Chicago. I alternated between being fascinated by all the people partying and being afraid of getting mugged. But the only problem on the way home were a few blisters from the hike. And a small hang over the next day.

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Go Laurie Go…to the Cubs Game

Joe asked me to be his date for yesterday’s Cubs game and while I am not the biggest sports fan I am a Joe fan so I accepted the offer. My sister was able to watch the little monkey for a few hours and John was able to take a half day off an d take over when she had to go to work so I had no excuse to stay in. Canyon was very supportive and encouraged me to go by wearing his Cubs uniform…
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There were tons of babies at the game and I just think that was a little crazy. I don’t think Canyon would find sitting in the hot sun for 3 hours a great way to spend an afternoon.
Joe and I had a good time…
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Mostly we drank beer, chatted and eavesdropped on the people around us. The dude in the pink shirt was trying to be a professional poker player but was only 20 so he couldn’t get into the casinos so he currently plays on-line. I also learned that Cubs fans hate Soriano and that you clap when they take the pitcher out of the game. It was the end of the third inning before I found out who we were playing. I wondered aloud why someone would name their kid Milton Bradley and then commented aloud that the woman who named her kid Canyon was wondering why someone would name their kid Milton Bradley. I was also eyeing the Cubs teddybears that the kids in front of us had. Joe had tried to get one from the promotions ladies but you had to be under 14 to get one and they would not be budged by his charm or tales of Canyon. We considered waiting until the end of the game with the hopes that one of the little boys would forget his bear that was shoved under the seat, covered in peanut shells, but I realized that I would not tempt bad lost toy karma so I could never steal the bear. So we left during the 8th inning.
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I have never left early for fear of missing something interesting but since I was taking two busses home I thought this would be the time. A Friday rush hour bus is bad enough, but a friday rush hour bus full of Cubs fans would be a little more than I could handle.

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Since We’ve Been Back

We got home late Wednesday night. It’s a much longer drive with baby! Not that he’s a fussy baby he’s just a baby that needs to eat!
It’s always hard for me to come back to Chicago after time spent up North. And this trip we were there for two whole weeks which made the culture shock even worse for me. I get grumpy and surly and start to look at the Minnesota real estate flyers we brought home. I hate my house and all of our possessions. I can’t stand the noise and the disorder and the traffic.
On Friday I had to call the cops because the drug dealing, gang banging asshole across the street was having another one of his ridiculous parties that involve fighting, glass breaking, swearing, yelling and playing crappy rap music. The police were lazy and wouldn’t even get out of the car and as soon as they pulled away the party goers started breaking more glass and screaming obscenities until 3am.
Earlier today Animal Care and Control showed up at my door, saying that I had called in a complaint about a small black and white dog. I hadn’t. I looked at Lilo and started to get paranoid that somehow the guy across the street knew I had called the cops and was trying to get even. Then I thought he wouldn’t have done something like that, he just would have put a bullet through my windows or had my house tagged.
Tonight is Sunday and my neighbors are having a back yard party that is super loud. And they are smoking enough pot that they have practically hot boxed my kitchen. I am not crazy enough to say that they shouldn’t enjoy their yard. I just am not in the mood to deal with it. One whole wall of my kitchen is windows with no shades which means I am basically living in a zoo exhibit when they have people over. Neighbors are usually good at ignoring each other when you live so close, but guests are not as polite. So I am avoiding the kitchen or moving through it in the dark. And sorry plants, you will have to wait until tomorrow to get watered. Now if I lived out in the woods this would not be a problem. The only ones watching me clean up the kitchen would be wildlife. And the occassional homicidal maniac. I do get a little nervous about that sometimes.
These are just some of the reasons I am not happy to be back in the city. John and I would always play pretend about what our lives would be after BMG. Well now we are halfway there. I love to fantasize about moving back to Minnesota. First choice Grand Marais, second is Duluth and my compromise third is Minneapolis/St. Paul. Most people seem to think I am unrealistic with the first, crazy stupid for the second and cool with the third. I don’t know what to think. Grand Marais wouldn’t allow for a whole lot of diversity or culture for Canyon, Duluth has a whole lotta sketchy goin on and Minneapolis would be a lot like Chicago as far as privacy and neighbors are concerned. All I know is I want to live somewhere with privacy and quiet. Like my Dad’s place.
I was looking for some clever quote to fill this out and found this…

Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing they were dead and in heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in hell.
H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)

And just for fun…

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

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The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down…

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“Those who have never seen Superior get an inadequate, even inaccurate idea, by hearing of it spoken of as a “lake,” and to those who have sailed over its vast extent the word sounds positively ludicrous. Though its waters are fresh and crystal, Superior is a sea. It breeds storms and rains and fogs, like the sea. It is cold in mid-summer as the Atlantic. It is wild, masterful, and dread as the Black Sea.”

George Grant, from B. Littlejohn and W. Drew, Superior: The Haunted Shore

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On our last day in Minnesconsin we went up to Stoney Point. It was FREEZING-the temp read 52 but with the wind it had to be closer to 40. Such a shock from the day before which you can see in the previous posts.
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“To say that Lake Superior is the greatest of the Great Lakes is to say much, but it draws no picture of the vastness of this haughty queen of fresh water who has a copper crown, the iron hills for a footstool, and the coldest blue eyes in creation… Facts and figures are poor measures of true greatness, which goes beyond reason and must be judged by impressions.”

W. Ratigan, Pretty Tall Water Here, in Shipwrecks and Survivals (1969)

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Sometimes I want to move home so badly it hurts. Lake Michigan is just not the same. I miss the greatest lake. And I like to think she misses me.

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The Power Of Then

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It was the kind of day at the beach that reenergizes you. For those few hours I felt so completely at peace with myself and who I was at that place and time. I was fully present in the moment and just so damn happy to be there, at that moment and with my family-John, Canyon and Lilo. Surrounded by the things I love-the lake, the sky, the sand, the pine trees, my favorite tie-dye bandanna…
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Beyond the beauty of external forms, there is more here: something that cannot be named, something ineffable, some deep, inner, holy essence. Whenever and wherever there is beauty, this inner essence shines through somehow. It only reveals itself to you when you are present-Eckart Tolle

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Purify Yourself (and your baby) in the Waters of Lake Superior

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Bears! Baby Raccoons! And a really cute squirrel!

I love it out at my Dad’s place so much. I spent a good deal of this vacation just hanging out on their front deck under the big umbrella, sipping drinks and watching the wildlife. This little guy hung out with me for awhile. I bribed him with sunflower seeds.
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At night my little raccoon friend would come, looking for dinner. My Dad gets these huge bags of animal food (stale bread products) from the thrift store and we feed the raccoons.
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This one took a few days to get used to me again, then I realized she was the same raccoon from last year. She likes to get a little too close-into touching range. Then she looks you in the eye and slowly starts to reach out. Now maybe she just wants to say thanks but even a nice pet with those germy claws could end in disaster so I have to keep saying, “nooooo” and moving away. Finally I had to go in the house because she was too friendly.
Last night we finally progressed in the trust chain that she let me meet her babies! I swear she brought them out because the night before I showed her Canyon (through the glass of course). She totally checked him out face to face and thought, “oh you’re a mama too! You can meet my babies!”
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It’s a little sad because my Dad says she had three babies at the beginning of the summer. I bet the fox ate one.
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I spent about 20 minutes sitting on the ground feeding this little family. The babies are so curious that they would have totally climbed in my lap if I let them. And oh how I wanted to let them.
I also totally wanted to cuddle this sweet bear out at Wisconsin Point!
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Young bears are so funny because they try to hide behind things that are too small to conceal them. Then they poke their heads out every few minutes to see if you’re gone.
We hung out with him for about 5 minutes before he took off into the woods.

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Random Canyon Cuteness

Modeling one of his Threadless T’s-

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Heading to the beach…
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His tough guy outfit. It is one of my favorites.
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I love his toes…IMG_6029

And he loves the shower…
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