the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Reunion Travelogue (Part Two)

Thursday, 7/21:

Breakfast at the B&B; was vastly better than dinner, though perhaps perceived quality is related to the fact that the OJ pitcher turned out to be mimosas. :-) (w00t!) Wandered Taos on foot, did a little shopping, then drove up to Durango. Stopped along the way to marvel at and fear the Rio Grande Gorge. Dad was still in Denver on business, so we went out with Mom to Lady Falconburgh's, a biergarten type of establishment, then back home for a bottle of Gruet's NV sparkling brut rose. Much happiness.

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One Vacation Ends, Another Begins

Got the 'rents to the airport for their flight home today. Haven't heard anything from them yet, so I am assuming that the planes are doing their various airplane things and doing just fine. I would say that the house is quieter with half as many humans, but my folks are pretty quiet any way--the big goal was to get them both to spend a week just chilling out, sleeping in, relaxing, and enjoying life. Thankfully, I think we succeeded.

We had a very nice time at Three Birds last night, a combination of an early birthday celebration for Liz, and a shmancy send-off dinner for Mom and Dad. I think we may have done some serious damage to them--their taste buds got treated to a lot of new experiences this week.

Liz is still under the weather, so I am now embarking on a stringent program of TLC--soup, tea, water, naps, bad movies, kitten therapy, leftover cornbread stuffing... that sort of thing.

One of these days (possibly tomorrow) I will have to start working on the annual Christmas card/letter, which has been on a bit of a hiatus due to extreme lack of motivation. I guess it's also time to hook up the Xbox again; I am woefully behind on LotR: The Third Age.

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Stewing in the Juices of Holiday Cheer

Haven't left the house for two days, and it feels great.

Thursday, my parents' 35th anniversary, we braved the roads to treat my folks to the tasting menu at Parker's, and there was much rejoicing.

Yesterday, I made a quickie breakfast of scrambled eggs and breakfast sausage. When lunchtime rolled around, I whipped up fancy grilled cheese sandwiches (ham and smoked gouda on some form of multigrain bread) and soup. Dinner? Cider-glazed pork tenderloin, Chianti-stained risotto with bleu cheese and sauteed pears, a spinach salad (plus pancetta, roasted red peppers, bleu cheese, spiced pecans, and a fig port vinagrette), and our infamous apple strudel, the last of which paired marvelously with the Stoney Ridge Gewürztraminer Ice Wine that we brought back from Niagara last spring.

Today--Christmas! Hooray! Santa brought goodies for us hardworking kitchen busybodies. After opening stocking stuffers and Santa treasures, the parade of good eats began again. Breakfasted on eggs, bacon, strudel, potica, a Guiness fruit cake, and introduced my parents to mimosas.

Once present-opening was concluded, we embarked on the next phase of the "feastivities," the Christmas Dinner. We opened the meal with a home-made butternut squash soup, then followed with the primary pig-out: an heirloom turkey (which cooked in about half to two-thirds the time we expected!), cornbread and chorizo stuffing (also featuring pecans, apricots, and cherries), pan-made gravy, Zinfandel spice cranberry sauce, mashed yams, and roasted carrots and parsnips. Once we've napped that bad boy off for a bit, it'll be time to flame the honey lavendar creme brulees, and pour the accompanying late harvest Viognier. Maybe there will be a baked brie somewhere in the mix... who knows.

Many kudos to Liz, whose first turkey met with unquestionable success, and to my mom, for taking over as sous chef while I napped, and did an inhuman amount of cleanup.

I hope everyone has had delicious holiday memories of their own, no matter what the menu. Cheers!

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Dear God, But That's a Lot of Snow

Dad and I went out to shovel at about 10 this morning. Got done by about 12:30 or thereabouts. Don't know how many tons of snow it was; I am content with calling it, simply, "an awful lot," and feeling a vague sense of accomplishment in having conquered it. Thankfully, the Westlake city plows were out in force, and plowing out each driveway, relieving us of the insurmountable burden of the 5-foot-high snow boulders that had been piling up, taunting us as we struggled in vain against lesser drifts.

It was an odd sort of way to spend the morning--an unpleasant task that we are glad to be done with, but one of those weird, warm-fuzzy sort of bonding opportunities. Quality Time, or some such.

Whatever.

I'm just glad to be inside, warm, and dry. Oh, and I think it's about time to pull lunch out of the oven. Whee!

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Post-Thanksgiving

Got some good play time in on LotR: The Third Age yesterday afternoon. Having just finished the Helm's Deep chapter, I am apparently (according to the game), 56% complete. It's not a tremendously wonderful game, but as RPG's go, one could do worse. Running around various Middle Earth locales, mindlessly whomping on the various minions of darkness, and not really worrying too much about the plot is kind of fun. It's kind of like a cheap but drinkable sparkling wine; it's quite enjoyable, if not terribly deep.

Thursday we got downtown earlier than expected, so we spent half an hour or so wandering through the new Millennium Park. Highlights of the park include Cloud Gate, a giant, reflective bean-shaped sculpture that manages to capture most of the Chicago skyline; the Crown Fountain, two pillars of glass block that constantly shift colors; and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor ampitheatre that's probably my favorite of Frank Gehry's designs. The park is lovely, and dynamic, and worth repeat visits throughout the day and throughout the year.

Thanksgiving dinner at Bin 36 was, unsurprisingly, and quite satisfyingly, marvelous. Had a round of various sparklers for starters, then the prix fixe menu with wine pairings. I had the chestnut soup with wild rice and prosciutto, which matched perfectly with the somewhat oaky chardonnay. We all had the turkey as our main course, with a very, very nice pinot noir. This course included their nummy family-style extras: chorizo cornbread (my favorite!), green beans almondine, butter mashed potatoes, wild rice, marshmallow yams, and roasted veggies (parsnips, brussels sprouts, and carrots prepared with apple cider). For dessert, I chose the apple crisp, which was served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, and paired with a beerenauslese reisling, which is almost but not quite ice wine, and super-fabulously tasty.

Visited some of Liz's family after dinner.

Slept late today, drove out to Oakbrook to help Liz kill off some gift certificates at Marshall Field, and had a nice lunch at a seafood grille sort of place whose name eludes me... The aromas of the wood-fired grille bewitched us from the parking lot as we approached.

Had a bit of a rest back at Anne's, then we were out again to help her with some Christmas shopping, which can be summarized in two simple words--abject hell. Do not, under any circumstances, visit either Best Buy or Toys R Us on Black Friday. *shudder*

Of particular annoyance, and unrelated to the crowds of people, is the fact that the record companies seem to have learned from the DVD folks, and I am now faced with the prospect of double-dipping on CD's. My brief foray through the music section turned up three potential double-dips: a two-disc version of the Norah Jones Home, featuring some extra tracks and DVD material; a two-disc version of Franz Ferdinand's self-titled album, again featuring extra tracks; and a two-disc "10 year anniversary" edition of Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral, which features the original album remastered as a hybrid CD/SACD on disc one, and which collects a bunch of B-sides, demos, and previously unreleased material on the second disc. Grumble, grumble, grumble!

We followed up our sojourn in retail hell with dinner at Chi Tung, whose Thai red curry took my taste buds to a very happy place. (I have had the most incredible curry cravings lately, so this was quite welcome.)

Back to Anne's for a little tech support. Jiggled some settings on her wireless router, got Liz's Powerbook happily chatting with it, and took notes so that the next tech support victim has a reference point.

Now, it looks like it's time to drink some pinot. Tomorrow we drive to Dayton, and Sunday we pick up the kittens! (Sorry, no 11-week photos to share today...)

G'night!

[Edit@2004-10-27 21:03: fixed menu listing, added Millennium Park bits]

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Timing, Loss, Remembrance, Synchronicity

Mother's Day began with a lazy morning in bed, sunbeams probing gently into the house as birds sang out the joys of spring. Before long, though, the graceful lethargy of the morning was interrupted by the phone; Liz's mom calling to announce the passing of her mother, Liz's grandmother.

As expected, the day has been a bit off-kilter ever since.

Plans for imminent travel to Chicago are, of course, under way. Liz and her grandmother did not have what could be termed a good relationship, but it is the duty of family to come together in such times. The ritual obligations of family are not to be resented, but must be undertaken, appreciated, celebrated, for some day we will all be in need of our own celebrations and remembrances.

Meanwhile, I haven't been able to get ahold of my own mother on this particular day of mothers, haven't been able to hear her voice, thank her for my life, tell her I love her.

Mom, you'd better check the answering machine when you get home. I miss you.

And yes, iTunes really did randomly serve up Pink Floyd's "Mother" as I sat down just now to check my mail for the first time today. Sometimes I wonder if iTunes knows more than it has any right to...

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Weather, Tex, Photos

Someone check the weather forecast for Hell, because we've had two gloriously sunny days in a row here in Cleveland, with temperatures in the low-to-mid-50's. That by itself is absolutely delightful, but what's really astounding is that it was this nice on a weekend. The universe just isn't supposed to work like this!

After a couple minutes of laying in bed watching the world be sunny and nice outside, I realized that today would be the perfect day to put the last coat of paint onto the windows. I certainly didn't expect to be able to have the windows open all day until spring, so it was a real treat. And the feeling of accomplishment this evening when the blue tape came off was really quite nice. All that's left now are the muntin bars, which must still be primed and painted, but they'll be easy to take care of this week.

Between the window painting but prior to the masking tape ceremonies, we met up with [info]texodore at a coffee shop in North Olmsted. He and his wife are headed back to North Carolina tomorrow, so our schedules only barely overlapped. We had a great time getting caught up; safe journeys home, Jeff.

To wrap this up, how about a couple of photos from Christmas and my happy happy windows?

Andy, Lauren, and ShannyAndy, Lauren, and Shanahan (aka "Shanny")


The makings of a tasty holiday feast
The makings of a tasty holiday feast...


Shanny wants turkey too!
Shanny wants turkey too...


Posing with the monkeyAndy, Lauren, Shanny, and the sad, sad little chew-monkey pose in front of the tree


Free at last!Free (of blue tape) at last!


Liz removes blue tapeLiz gets into the act

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One More Sleep Till Christmas

Technically, it's Christmas now, since it's the middle of the night. But as the theory goes, it's never really the next day until you sleep for more than an hour or two. Now, operating on that basis, it means that it won't really be Christmas for all of us for another half a day. We're in Ann Arbor, at Andy and Lauren's house, and she's on what they call "Santa Watch" tonight at the ER, midnight to nine. Once she gets back, eats, and sleeps for awhile... Then it will be time for some hard-core gift opening.

Oh, yeah... :-)

Shanahan the yellow lab is delighted with the chew toy that we picked out for him. It's blue, hard rubber, with lots of odd-shaped knobby things to chew on, and little wiggly bits that are supposed to be good for his teeth. He's in heaven.

(I suspect he's not really a dog, just a localized manifestation of the Law of Conservation of Energy. Ever wonder where all the energy goes as you get older, when stars are sucked into black holes, and so forth? It's this dog-shaped force of nature, I tell you. He's off the hook!)

We were originally going to drive up last night, but that didn't work out too well once it became apparent that I was going to be cheerleading and hand-holding at work until almost nine PM. Then we were going to be heading out around ten this morning, but due to UPS's complete inability to cope with customer service requests, we had to stick around the house to intercept a perishable package that had been overnighted to us about five days late. This gave us some time to finish packing up Santa's Sleigh--Liz's mom had shipped all the presents for Andy, Lauren, and ourselves to our house rather than risking their premature opening--and take care of some things around the house. This meant that we ended up leaving around two, and that we got the snow at the front of the journey instead of the middle. Astoundingly, as we rounded a corner and turned towards Michigan, not only did the snow cease, but the fog lifted, and roads were startlingly dry!

Dinner tonight at the Zingerman's Roadhouse, a premium-ingredient American restaurant that's a spinoff of the very cool Zingerman's Deli and catalog business. Their wine list is profoundly tempting; I'd love to just stay and drink my way through it. They're the first place I've seen Bell (the Cab that [info]reasie liked so much) in a restaurant. Very cool.

Presents are now all wrapped. Socks are hung with care, and laden with goodies. The turkey is cleaned and thawing. Vintage champagne is chilling. All is in readiness... Now if we'd just stop being chatty and got some sleep, it would be full-on Christmas all the sooner. Humpf!

However... Liz has hiccups again. It's cosmic justice, I tell you. The trick is trying not to laugh so much that I get hiccups too.

I don't know when I'll post next, so I'll close by wishing you all happy holidays, whether they be Yule or Kwanzaa, Christmas or Hannukah, Giftmas or Bumbleshins (okay, I made up that last one). If you can, be with your family and friends. Even if you can't, be sure to let them know you love them. Be nice to the random strangers, because really, we're all random strangers. I almost cried today when I heard John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" while running an errand at K-Mart; the juxtaposition of Lennon's pure sentiment with the rampaging consumerist capitalism made me feel ill. Remember, kids, it's not about the presents, and no matter what Cartman tells you, it's not about ham either. It's all about being nice to each other for a change, and trying not to wreck this nice little planet of ours. So, in the words of the truly wise, be excellent to each other...

...and party on, dudes!

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Catching Up: Turkey Day Weekend

So, I've been meaning to catch up on things since last week, and just too busy and burned out to get around to it. I figure it's about time, so here's a little bit about our Turkey Day weekend.

Thursday
We slept late. It felt incredibly good. I spent much of the day in PJ's, just being a big loafy bum.

Eventually we got cleaned up and drove out to Liz's cousin Rick's house. We got the tour from Rick while his wife Jennifer addressed Thanksgiving meal preparations. Liz and I chatted for a bit with various family members, and I took whatever breaks I could to watch Finding Nemo.

After about an hour and a half of visiting, it was time for us to hit the road, and we drove downtown to eat at Bin 36, a wine restaurant that was doing a special Thanksgiving dinner menu (scroll down a bit to "Thanksgiving Dinner at Bin 36 Chicago"). Liz and her mom had the porcini mushroom soup with a delightful sparkling wine from Albuqeurque, New Mexico, while I had the confit of goose salad with a perky Gewurtztraminer. For the second course, Liz and her mom had the grilled rosemary turkey with a luscious Zinfandel, and I had the chateau briand, which was paired with a killer Shiraz. For dessert, I had the apple pie with a Muscato d'asti, Liz had the banana bread pudding with a Port, and her mom had the pumpkin pie (also with Port, if I recall correctly). All were in agreement--dinner was delicious and quite a treat. We'll definitely be back.

Friday
Friday began much the same way that Thursday did, with much sleeping in and being lazy. Granted, Liz got up to go running with Chance, but I did enough lounging around to compensate and even up the average.

Friday afternoon we went to see Blue Man Group. It was a very fun show, firing on many different levels. You have the cool visual spectacle of things like the drumbone, the PVC pipes, and fun with paint; at the same time you have goofy slapstick humor that wavers between subtle and gross; and at the same time you have a powerful artistic statement about complex issues like modern western civilization, alienation, conformity, chaos, and information addiction. Oh, and they wrap things up with KLF's "Last Train to Trancentral," which is one of those rare and wonderful things whose quality increases in proportion with the volume at which it is experienced. It made me greatly happy indeed! And how can you not like a show which requires you to wrap your head with a strip of crinkly white paper, giving the feeling that the audience are a gaggle of escaped lobotomy patients? Very, very cool.

For dinner, we went to The Parthenon in Chicago's Greektown area. Apparently, this is the restaurant that invented saganaki, one of my favorite appetizers in the entire universe. You just can't go wrong when goat cheese is set on fire!! We ordered the "family style" for three, which meant that they brought us plate after plate of miscellaneous food, basically until we were about to pop. We had a bottle of nice dry red wine, something Greek and not very expensive whose name eludes me now, but it was a good match with the food.

Saturday
Did a little shopping downtown. I picked up four shirts at Marshall Field (surprisingly, none of them even remotely black). All of them looked great on me (yay!), and were even on sale (double yay!).

That afternoon we went to see One Man Star Wars, a fabulous one-man show that covers the original Star Wars trilogy over the course of 60 minutes. It's a high-energy laugh-athon that had me gasping for breath between his excellent and loving jabs at the classic films. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who likes Star Wars; unless you are a giant nincompoop, you will enjoy it immensely.

We rounded out the evening with a visit to Sam's Wines, a giant warehouse-like wine purveyor in the outskirts of the downtown Chicago area. We picked up a few bottles of 2000 Bordeaux to age for a decade or two, then drove back to Anne's side of town for a late dinner at Chi Tung.

Sunday
We had the best, best, best luck with traffic on the way back. What is usually a six-hour drive we managed in under five. Don't ask me how, given that it was supposed to be the worst travel day of the year. The westbound lanes were not so fortunate, however; there were at least four 10-mile traffic jams that looked like absolute misery.

And, then... Hmm. We had a nice, relaxing evening, I think... It's kind of sad that I can't really put my finger on what I did just last weekend. Oh well. So it goes.

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Journey to Turkey Day

We ended up leaving several hours later than originally planned thanks to the last-minute chaos at my office. There's nothing like being one of the only geeks around during a holiday week and having to get something new and potentially dangerous designed, coded, tested, jammed through QA, and live in the same day. But I got it done, and got home, and we hit the road. Little did we expect the adventures and silliness that lay ahead...

The Accident
About forty-five minutes out of Westlake, we came upon a most horrendous accident on the turnpike. At least the ODOT folks had gotten the signs out to warn people to expect to stop, and placed them far enough out to give adequate notice. Traffic started to thicken and slow to a molasses crawl. When we finally got to the scene, strangely accompanied by the sounds of They Might Be Giants on NPR, we saw what all the commotion was about.

First was the mini-van on the eastbound side of the road; I couldn't really see the front of it, but most of the back was visible... or what was left of the back; the body was pretty much missing, leaving it looking like someone's deranged stick-figure drawing of an automobile. But as there were more flashing lights, and more police and ambulances, we knew there was more. About a quarter-mile further was a Highway Patrol cruiser, facing somewhat eastbound, embedded in the concrete barrier of our westbound lanes, its hood penetrating the smashed wall and hanging a foot or two above the shoulder. Yikes. Luckily, we only had to contend with the rubbernecking; the westbound travelers were not so lucky. We figured that they were bumper-to-bumper and not moving at all for about eight or ten miles.

The Quest for Food
Neither of us enjoys turnpike fast food very much--in fact, neither of our digestive systems seems to even want to tolerate it very well--so the quest for dinner on the road is always exciting. But according to billboards, there was a Bennigans at exit 144, somewhere in the middle of Indiana, and that seemed like it might be acceptable. So, off we went at exit 144, to see what we could see.

The first thing we had to contend with at exit 144 was the dizzying array of twisty, criss-crossing little access roads and side highways, none of which were marked terribly well. Once sufficiently disoriented by the process of exiting the highway, we looked around and saw nothing. A complete lack of what one would expect to find at a turnpike exit, especially food. Just intersecting roads and darkness. In the distance, we sighted a motel that looked like it didn't have food with it, and in another direction we could make out the signs of the outlet mall, another of the billboard promises. We set out south toward the outlet mall on the theory that food would be in the same direction. It turns out that unless you like the buffet at places like Dress Barn, that an Indiana outlet mall is not the place to go looking for dinner at 9 o'clock at night. Unless it was only eight -- both of us missed the time zone sign last night, so I don't know what the actual time was.

Discount Cancer Outlet
We kept on south past the outlet mall, and the world grew dark and devoid of civilization again. As we crested a hill, a lighted group of buildings emerged from the gloom, and our hearts leapt in anticipation of dinner. Alas, it was not to be. We had come upon the Butt Hut, a discount cigarette outlet of massive proportion. More creepy than the drive-through window was the large sculpture of what looked like an anorexic Mickey Mouse, made from what might have been wood, but might also have had giant cigarettes for limbs. It was blocky, and stretched thin like some kind of Iggy Pop nightmare, and it definitely had big ears. It's really a shame that we left the camera at home; it was worth sharing, if only to prove that it was real. It's also worth noting that, when you're as punchy and giggly as we were, saying "Butt Hut" as many times as possible is pretty freaking entertaining.

Pokemon State Park
We pressed on, coming to a T-intersection. To our left was a highway underpass with little promise, and to our right was a big, scary forest with even less hope. The entrance to Pokagon State Park was to go up a little rise, and then down, down into who knows where. Inky darkness, absolute black, where even the menacing outlines of the trees faded away into the pitch-colored shroud of night. It looked exactly the kind of place where a Soprano goon would take you out and kill you, the kind of place where little Hobbits should not tread for fear of black riders and Old Man Willow, the kind of place where Aragog or Shelob would make a nice winter home. We promptly renamed it "Pokemon State Park," laughed at it, and turned left.

Bennigans of the Damned
We crossed under the highway, came up a hill, and behold, to our wonderment, was the strange love-child of the Bennigans/Ramada Inn. We entered, were seated at an oddly chilly table overlooking the river, placed an order, and giggled stupidly and silly jokes and conversation. We wondered if perhaps it was a bad sign that even though there was plenty of staff, so many tables were left un-bussed for the duration of our dining experience. The staff were nice enough, and the food came... eventually. It was... edible. We gave thanks, and ate until full enough to continue with our trek.

I, of course, thought it might be prudent to use the restroom before getting back on the road. The Bennigans itself has no toilets, so I had to cross the hotel lobby, passing the surprisingly large collection of tourist attraction fliers (who knew there was so much to see in Indiana??), in order to find the men's room. I had assumed that a hotel or restaurant bathroom would be less scary than a turnpike rest area, but it turns out that this time I assumed incorrectly. Granted, the bathroom at Bennigans/Ramada was well-lit, and it was ADA-compliant... But it chilled my soul to the very core.

The first item of note was the floor. I'm used to the occasional small puddle or bits of goo and ick on a public bathroom floor, and in fact expect it. This was a whole new ballpark, however. We've all been to the movie theatre and experienced the sticky floors by the seats, with their layers of spilled soda, decomposed candy, and slippery pseudo-butter slime; but we don't expect a similar experience in a bathroom floor, do we? Though to be fair to the movie theatre floors, this bathroom floor was just sticky. Sticky, sticky, STICKY! It was actually difficult to lift my feet to walk across the bathroom to the toilet, and my shoes made a sickening schhhlurp-schhhlurp noise as the floor suckled greedily upon my soles.

The third item of note (I'm saving the second for last, so it has the proper impact, you see) was the sink, which featured two exciting temperatures for my hand-washing pleasure: ice-cold, and glacial-runoff! Now I understand why Liz was complaining about cold fingers so much after her return from the bathroom.

Second, but scariest, was not the toilet itself, but what was found thereupon. Again, I'm used to seeing little splashes and spots around public toilets. De rigeur, goes with the territory. For God's sake, it's a men's room! But... There was one little bit of dried-up splashy fluid near the front lip of the toilet that I could not identify, that I did not want to identify, that gave me grave concern. It had all the appearance of a urine spot, but the dusky rose coloration was rather unexpected and disturbing. I strongly suspect that somebody, somewhere, needs to seek medical attention. (Ick, ick, ick!) Oh, how I vigorously washed my hands after that! And that's how my hands got so cold after my restroom visit.

I guess business must not be good at the Bennigans/Ramada Inn of t he damned, because, according to a sign that Liz found, if you stay there for two nights, they'll give you a free Back to the Future DVD set, something that seemed almost as weird to me as the signs urging us to make reservations for celebrating New Year's Eve with Bennigans/Ramada.

After paying, we delightedly rushed out to the car, zipped back under the highway, past the foreboding Pokemon Forest, past the Butt Hut, around the confusing twisted little roads, and got back on the highway.

Animal Present
Every so often, there would be a road sign declaring:

ANIMAL PRESENT WHEN FLASHING

Ummm... Okay... Whatever.

After the third or fourth of these signs, I started doing Animal (the Muppet) impressions, much to our mutual amusement.

The Hiccups
I get the hiccups like crazy. Usually after having a full meal. Liz will say something, or tickle me, and I'll have hiccups for hours, and I cannot stop them, and it seems like an age passes before I can settle down again.

Well, friends, here is proof of divine justice in action--I did not get hiccups at all on our drive; Liz did.

About fifty miles outside of Chicago, Liz started hiccuping, for no reason that we can really explain, and didn't stop until shortly after our arrival at her mom's house. Every few seconds, she'd let out a sharp YARK! or HORKUP! and then break out laughing at herself. It took all my strength to keep from laughing uproariously at this turn of fate, for I knew that once I started laughing, I'd have the same problem.

Ah, justice is sweet.

Arrival, Goat, Plans
We pulled in at Anne's house around eleven or eleven-thirty local time, unloaded, and met the goat.

Okay, he's not really a goat. His name is Chance, and he's a dog. But in photographs, he looks extremely goatish, and has a stubby little goat-like tail. He was pretty barky about our late arrival (sorry!), and was even more barky about being put in the back yard while we finished with suitcases and whatnot. He settled down pretty quickly and made friends with Liz, and was satisfied with giving me a few sniffs before deciding that if I was going to ignore him, it would be okay for him to ignore me.

He's a good goat.

Plans for the rest of the weekend include:

  • Brief visit with the Chicago side of the family this afternoon
  • Thanksgiving dinner tonight at Bin 36
  • Blue Man Group tomorrow afternoon
  • One-Man Star Wars on Saturday
  • Drive back on Sunday, just like the rest of America... I fear for the road congestion.

Time to get cleaned up and start the day. I suppose it would be nice to let Liz use her laptop again at some point.

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