Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Been to the big city. It's not important which big city. Now after a brief moment when SPRING seemed to be near, there's snow in the raw, biting wind. It's cold, cloudy and crappy. The sandwich I had with raw onion at lunch is coming back up in gaseous outbursts, complicated with a cup of strong black coffee and I'm in a snit. Where to go from here... I should post this on Despair, Devastation and Dysfunction, but I won't. Folks this won't be no Roger Gavrillo Travelogue over country roads.

Dad at 87 is the photo caption. We're at an Italian restaurant in Kenosha. The food is adequate. My Italian sausage (it looked like a turd over pasta) was made by amateurs. It's a terrible burden being a gourmet with ability to make my own fine sausage. The atmosphere is pure schlock. Kenosha, for those of you unfamiliar with the Midwest is the closest burg to Chicago. It's where the criminals from the Windy City dump the bodies. Since we're hayseeds from rural America, there's a good deal of Gollee and Gosh aka Gomer Pyle coming out of our mouths. I say that sarcastically because Dawn and I have traveled extensively and purposely chose to live where we do for the peace and quiet, serenity and ability to forget to lock our doors and not worry. But sometimes I feel deprived.

The purpose of the trip to Urbanopolis is to deliver furniture, see the Dad and take him out for dinner, stay in a mid-priced motel and run the magic fingers shower head(whoo-hoo) forever and do some shopping. Between dinner and mid-priced motel we stop at Trader Joe's and do the Golleee routine in the wine aisle. Armed with ridge cut Red Bliss Potato chips in olive oil and a bottle of Sangiovese red wine we settle down to TV. We don't have TV in Kickapoo Center. I should amend that to,"We choose not to have TV in Kickapoo Center."

This is the behemoth in our backyard. The former owner says the cables coiled in the basement as thick as a bull snake could be reconnected to obtain live feed broadband-whatever that is. We decline that, the Dish network and the local telephone company's cable TV because all are overpriced. Why pay for something I'd curse and wear out clicking the up channel button on the remote. Robins love to nest in the thingee sticking up in the middle.

To pay penance for our hedonism, I schedule a dentist appointment at 8 am the next morning. My dentist has sent every member of the family running, vowing never to return. I like him because the insurance pays for everything and I trust he won't charge me $1500 for unnecessary treatment. But he runs on and on and on and on about the most inane things. After Dr. Bob tells me about his trip "out west" in detail(he knows I've spent 5 years there) and gives me the free toothbrush, we catch a quick breakfast at a local chain eatery.

In the strip mall across from the restaurant is Penzeys Spice House. In Kickapoo Center we are spice deprived. We spend $40 on ground turmeric root, chipolte chili powder, smoked red paprika, Ancho chili powder, ground fennel seed, whole fennel seed, French grey sea salt, fresh whole India Tellicherry peppercorns and an assortment of marjoram, garlic powder, Rojo sauce each with a description of their origin and use. We lose ourselves in NPR on the 3 hour drive home. Midway we stop at the Shell station for fresh eggrolls ala the Hmong owners-actually made by tiny Hmong Grandmothers.

This is my step dad. He's the man behind who I am today. The woman is his wife and my crazy Yugoslavian step mother. He's also the reason for my having to end this snit and travel to the Amish over dark country night roads to talk with Titus about hog butchering. The Dad at the beginning belongs to Dawn, my wife. He's a good man,also.

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