Monday, June 30, 2008

Today was the day

After signing our names about 54,206 times this morning, it's official - WE'RE HOMEOWNERS!

Pictures to follow in a later post.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

An Appropriate "Taste of Champaign"

We visited Taste of Champaign yesterday, an outdoor "festival" where local restaurants, artisans, etc. hawk their wares as mediocre local musicians bellow to a captive audience. The festival fell just short of my low expectations, like most things in Central Illinois.

The centerpiece of this event is supposed to be a representative sample of food from local restaurants. Not surprisingly, there is little variety. More prevalent than food vendors were "arts and crafts" tents with aging hippies and pretentious college town types selling pottery, bronze sculptures, and other useless trinkets.

Jenny wisely suggested that we spend no more than $10. The best $2.22 of that amount was spent on a colada smoothie from a high school band booster club. Tasty and refreshing. On the bright side, we walked the 2.7 miles in each direction. Notable sights along the way included some amateur tree pruning by a south of the border crew (including tree limb disposal in a 1990 Dodge Caravan) and the goose shit laden sidewalks surrounding the absurdly-named Crystal Lake Park.

Not to mention that we got an approving smile from a someone on a Vespa, who was apparently pleased that we were walking and saving mother earth. At least we got some exercise.

We had low expectations for Taste of Champaign, and it managed to fall just short. It is not surprising for a decidedly mediocre part of the country to fail to meet even mediocre standards. The people must be content to meander along at a snail's pace, with the assumption that everyone else is like them, and has little to do except rear children and slowly pursue polite incompetence in everything that they do.

Another not so hard earned D- for the American Midwest.

Monday, June 16, 2008

16 Bags of Pretzels

Yesterday was my 26th birthday, which started with fried "dippy" eggs made by my loving and beautiful wife. We then celebrated with a visit to Seven Saints and some minature golf. Jenny handily won the mini golf match.

It's a sad state of affairs when the two best restaurants in town have both both been burger joints, but Seven Saints is possibly our favorite restaurant in Champaign now, and specializes in small hamburgers called "sliders."

These little burgers (possibly made famous by the White Castle chain) each are a little system of flavors (including a "tropical" with grilled pineapple and thai peanut sauce; and a "blackjack" with pepperjack cheese, spicy aoli, an onion ring and fried jalapenos).

I believe that my favorite is the smokey BBQ slider, with smoked cheddar, BBQ sauce, and smokey bacon, that is kind of like getting slapped in the face with a 4 oz. beef patty and a tube of liquid smoke. Washed down with a Rogue Dead Guy for me and a Blue Moon for Jenny, and it was a delicious lunch.

I also sampled from my birthday present: 16 bags of Tom Sturgis Pretzels. Jenny was nice enough to order 12 bags of these pretzels specially, because one can't find anything beyond Rold Golds in this midwestern shit hole. I suppose that the savages out here are content with their deep dish pizza and hot dogs with tomato and pickles. Nasty stuff.

In addition to Jenny's present, my mom also sent 4 bags of Tom Sturgis pretzels, so I will be sitting pretty for quite some time. Unfortunately, there is no Yuengling to wash them down. C'est la vie.

To end the day, Jenny made her delicious chili. Eggs + Sliders and Beer + Milkshakes + Pretzels + Chili and Beer = one gluttonous B-day that would make Bacchus proud.