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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Grunion Makes a Viewing Request

GRUNION: Yo dad!  I think the Jersey Shore premiers tonight!

KYLE:  Are you sure?

GRUNION:  Let me check the listings....

GRUNION:  Yes!  I knew it!  Where is that buttony thing?

GRUNION:  Here, make this buttony thing make the picture window show the Jersey Shore.

KYLE:  I'm not sure you're old enough to watch that show.

GRUNION:  But it teaches me important things.

KYLE:  Like what?



GRUNION:  Gym, Tan, Laundry! GTL!  GTL!  GTL!  GTL!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Someone Has Stolen My Retirement Idea

This is from another blog.  Foreshadowing?

The Grunion's First Injury

The other day the Grunion was going about his normal daily routine of eating baby cheese puffs while dancing to Sesame Street in front of the entertainment center.
All of a sudden Amy notices that he is bleeding!  PANIC!  His left pointer finger has a (relatively large) chunk missing!  BLOOD!
We determined that he sustained the injury BITING HIS OWN FINGER WHILE EATING A CHEESE PUFF.  He is definitely my son (I have done that so many times I can't count).

Elevation, pressure, and a full bath (to eliminate all possibility of germs) cured him.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicago Trip: Part Five-The Final Leg

If you have been following our story, you probably guessed what happened to me next.  After eating some shady tamales that a random dude was selling at bars I developed a colossal case of dysentery.  I was miserable.  There was some debate as to whether it was the beers or the tamales that caused my condition, but I will never believe that beer would harm me, so it had to be the tamales.

As luck would have it, this was the day that we were going to walk around downtown all day on Michigan avenue and sightsee/shop.  Whee!  After a sweltering and extraordinarily bumpy cab ride we arrived at the Hancock center.  Pretty sweet building.  I hoped it had nice toilets...
96 floors up is the ovservatory/bar where we met Kebra S. and her son Baker.  By the way, the beers were 9 dollars.

Sweet view.

And another sweet view.
Wait. WTF?  There are spiders in webs up here!  How the hell did spiders get up here and build webs?  These spiders were on the outside of the glass!  How do they catch enough bugs to eat at this height?  Nobody who worked at the Hancock could tell me.  They all just shrugged and looked at me like I was an idiot.
After spending most of my time at the observatory in the lavatory (no view).  We proceeded to shop for like 4 hours.  That is, Shannon, Amy, and the Bandit shopped while I stood around looking stupid and asking where the bathroom was in each store.  From there is was dinner/beers at the Goose Island brewery.  Cool place, great beers, but I took no pictures cause I was concentrating too hard on not going to the bathroom anymore.

We (wisely) went to bed early that night and were on the road the next day by 9:30am.  At about 11, we stopped for lunch at the "world famous" old route 66 family restaurant in Dwight, Illinois. 
Which was right across the street from the "not so world famous" retro route 66 gas station.
Immediately we could tell the place was a dump.  Amy and the Bandit were not amused.
I ordered fries and a milkshake (my stomach was still a little iffy).  Amy ordered nothing.  The Bandit ordered breakfast (eggs, toast, hash browns).  The mikshake was meh and the fries were a blatant insult to all that is fry-holy. 
First of all, they gave me exactly 38 fries (of course I counted, this is science).  Second, the fries were the blandest, cheapest, most sorry excuse for fries I HAVE EVER TASTED.  And lastly, THEY COST $3.50!  I was astounded.  Family restaurant indeed!  The only reason we didn't get up and leave is cause the Bandit's $3.50 breakfast was actually very good so we let her enjoy it.

On the road through Illinois we actually saw a cornfield farmhouse!  That was a treat compared to the drive going the other direction...
Going through Missouri, we saw an authentic route 66 tourist trap and pulled over.  Teepees!  I have never seen a teepee with a satellite dish, so we had check it out.  A man and woman came stumbling out of a trailer like building behind the teepees and told us that to go into the teepee (which was actually a store selling "authentic native American implements") we had to pay 2 bucks each which would go towards any purchase. 

Scam, but what the hell?  When we got inside the teepee store we realized that the couple running the joint were REALLY stoned.  We could easily smell the weed on them.  They wouldn't let me take pictures inside, but it was impressive.  Lots of crap you see at trucks stops.  And there were no prices on anything-you just had to ask and it was clear that they would just make up a price on the spot.  We were not surprised, but we still felt duped.

It was a fitting end to our journey, since we didn't get Chicago to bring back headbands (yet).

Chicago Trip: Part Four

When I awoke on the third day, Claire had pooped in my mouth again.  What is it with that cat?  I made a mental note to sleep on my stomach (or at least my side) to try and keep it from happening again.  Andy was at work, so we decided to go to Devon street to have Indian food (cause he wouldn't have gone anyway).

Devon street is packed with Indian restaurants, shops, event centers, etc.  We chose a restaurant at random that happened to have a buffet.  The Bandit inspected the buffet and gave it the thumbs down, so we decided to order from the menu.

US:  We would like to order from the menu.
WAITER: (perplexed) But there is a buffet.
US: We know, but we would rather order from the menu.
WAITER: But everything that you might order is on the buffet.
US:  That's okay, we still want to order from the menu.

The waiter then listed every single item on the buffet.

WAITER:  You see?  Everything is on the buffet.
BANDIT:  I'm an ovo-vegetarian.
WAITER: blank stare..
SHANNON: Do you have wine?
SHANNON: What kinds?
WAITER: All kinds.
SHANNON: Do you have a white wine?
SHANNON: Is it chardonnay, pinot gri-
WAITER: I will bring you a white wine.  What else?
KYLE: Tell me about these Indian beers on the table tent.  Are they any good?
WAITER: They are brand new.
KYLE: blank stare
AMY: Let's have one Taj Mahal beer and one Hercules beer.
WAITER:  Okay, I will be right back with the menus.

We surmised that it may have been the waiter's first day.  In short order, the waiter brought Shannon's mystery wine which was FILLED COMPLETELY TO THE RIM.  Hilarious. 

He also brought the two GIANT beers.  They were at least 26 ounces each.  The Taj Mahal was hideous.

And the Hercules was not only hideous, but the label on the back indicated that it had been brewed in September of 2008!  Yuck!

Contrary to the beer and wine, the food was awesome.  No fries though, so no pictures.  We left Devon street, picked up Andy, and met some friends in "Old Town" at a joint called Old Town Social (not a very original name).

At this place, they had GOOSE FAT CHIPS.  Fresh cut potato slices fried in goose fat.  Weird.  They also had the obligatory fancy mac and cheese and french fries.  Andy ordered corn dogs just to be funny.

The mac and cheese was great, the fries were meh, and the goose fat chips were a total bust-ola.  What a racket.  Elliot Ness would have busted this place for racketeering.  Not only was there no discernible "goose fat" taste, but the portion size was also really small.  4 bucks down the toilet.

We were so upset we decided to go out and have "a few drinks" after Andy went to bed.  We had to get up and meet Kebra S. the next day at a decent hour, so we absolutely had to be in bed "early".  We went to a bar where the tables were made out of cut up sections of bowling alleys.  Cool.

The Bandit had an Abita Purple Haze which for some reason prompted her to rifle through her purse in search of her credit card.

After a thorough search, we determined that it was lost.  Panic!  Disaster!  Shannon calmly called the bar from the night before and asked if they had the Bandit's card, which they did.  Crisis averted!   Shannon is so much better at this adult cosmopolitan stuff than we are.  "It's a gift", Shannon said as she artfully sipped her Pinot.

SHANNON: You know, it's only fair that when we swing by the bar to pick up the Bandit's credit card that we have a few drinks to thank them for keeping her card safe.
US: Umm, we're supposed to be up early and we probably should just go home.
All of a sudden, we all turned into banditos!
SHANNON: I'm Anita Bandita and I aim to have some drinks at the bar we had drinks at last night.  If you scalywags (is that pirate or cowboy?) don't ride with me I mean to fill you full of finger gun lead!

KYLE: Arrgh! (definitely pirate) I think we should do what Anita says!

AMY:  I can make the angriest bandito eyes anyone has ever seen!

BANDIT: Gumballhead!  Gumballhead!  Gumballhead!

So we jogged (for the exercise) back to the bar from the night before to get the Bandit's credit card and thank them for keeping the card safe.  As we walked in, they were playing Shake Your Rump by the Beastie Boys and Shannon and the Bandit went ballistic.  The Bandit sat on the table and wore the lamp as a hat.

While she was doing this, the bouncer/doorman was reading a book.  WTF?  Bouncers in Chicago read books WHILE THEY ARE WORKING?

The Bandit saw a random guy selling tamales from a cooler and decided that I needed some.  She literally chased the guy down the street and bought me like 8 of them.
They smelled okay.  Surely nothing bad can happen from eating tamales made by some random guy that he sells late at night without a license.  I'll just eat a few....


Chicago Trip: Part Three

In the morning on day two, I awoke to a situation I had not encountered for many years.  It seems that while I slept, Shannon's cat Claire had POOPED IN MY MOUTH.  I forgave her when I saw that she too was bringing back headbands.

As it was Sunday, we felt that brunch was the order of the day.  And since it was only 96 degrees outside, Andy thought it was only logical that we walk several miles to the restaurant he had chosen.  So off we went, walking through Wicker Park.  Ah, there is indeed a park.

The place we were going was located several hours by foot in an area of town I can't remember so I will just refer to it as HEAT TOWN.  Andy told us lots of artists lived there, blah, blah, blah WHERE IS THIS RESTAURANT AND DOES IT HAVE AIR CONDITIONING?

We finally got to the place and got a table.  It was hot and LOUD.  For some reason everyone in the joint was screaming at the top of their lungs.  Strange.  I would have guessed that a brunch place in an artist section of town would be full of hung over people wanting quiet.  Anyhoo, this place had fancy mac and cheese (like apparently every restaurant in Chicago-what is their deal with mac and cheese?) so we decided to try it.  It was okay, but not great.

You know what is great though?  French Fries!  I ordered fries for breakfast. They were meh.  Five bucks and bland.  The only good thing was that they gave me a good amount.  Oh well, even bad fries are better than salad...

Amy ordered eggs benedict with sweet potato fries on the side (she rocks).  The sweet potato fries were better than the regular fries, but since I categorize sweet potatoes as a vegetable they can't be "great".

On the long walk back to the condo it was so hot that a zippo lighter someone dropped melted into the road.

After we re-showered and re-hydrated we decided to take a driving tour (with copius air conditioning) of Lakeshore Drive and the surrounding area.

We saw this guy wearing THE LONGEST SHOES EVER.  Look at the toe area!  Sweeeet.

After the drive we went to a Thai restaurant that was really good but I didn't take any pictures cause they didn't have french fries.  Since it was Sunday and Andy had to work the next day, he retired and Shannon, the Bandit, Amy, and I went to a neighborhood bar for "a few drinks" so the Bandit and Shannon could show off the hats they bought earlier in the day.  I also needed to continue bringing back headbands.

BANDIT: So, Shannon, what beers are good here?

SHANNON:  Remember the Gumballhead you tried last night?  They have it here.

BANDIT: Oh.  That was pretty good.  I'll try one of those.
KYLE: Me too!
AMY: Me too!


BANDIT:  Man, everything is getting kinda fuzzy in here.  I think Gumballhead is like Sneaky Pete.

AMY: Yeah.  I feel like there's a giant lampshade on my head....

KYLE:  Shannon!  How come you didn't tell us the Gumballhead was Sneaky Pete?  Notice I was still bringing back headbands.

BANDIT: My hat is really heavy.  Maybe I'll just......argulbufmmmpf....

The waitress brought the tab in this fancy check folder thingy that lit up so you could see the ticket.  The Bandit really wanted to sneak it into her purse "because she really needed it to see where she was going", but we distracted her by promising her pancakes at the condo and she left it behind.

When we got back to the condo we all fell into a deep, pleasant, sleep.