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America's high five!
Originally uploaded by rubbernun
Went to Michigan to see the family for the long weekend. Here's the nutshell version:

--Wildlife seen on the train from Chicago to Pontiac, Michigan: hawks, herons, swans, geese, ducks, and a gorgeous 12-point buck standing flank-high in a field of corn.

--Despite my general dread of crowds, art fairs, and food on a stick, I went with the whole fam-damily to Arts, Beats & Eats and had an OK time. We didn't stay for any of the musical acts, which did not make me cry one bit. The headliners were fogeys like Mark Farner (Grand Funk, y'all), and the other stages had things like The Camaro Brothers, which is just about the most Michigan band name anyone could ever think up. Let's hope they're being ironic.

--Last time we were in Michigan, Jim revealed that he had never been to a cider mill as a child (or since, really), which simply needed to be rectified. I mean, it's just not autumn without a trip to the cider mill! So on this visit, I made my parents take us to Franklin Cider Mill, one of the most popular field trip destinations for Michigan school kids. Oh, man! It was just like I remembered it from 1979, except less crowded (it was their first day open this season) and with fewer bees. We loaded up on apple goodness (pie, scones, cider) to take home and snacked on cider and hot donuts by the river. Perfect.

--That evening, everyone headed over to my brother's for a cookout/pool party to mark my niece's 22nd birthday. I actually played pool volleyball, despite being the least athletically gifted person in my family (or in most families, really). For some reason this weekend, I was feeling uncharacteristically laid-back about things that would normally fill me with disdain and alienation: sports, crowds, Michigan, etc. For most of the evening, the party was just my immediate family, and it's so rare that we're all together and getting along. I just went with the vibe, and it was a good one. Also, even though the food at this party was mostly stick-based (grilled kebabs), it was delicious.

--On Sunday, we saw Superbad with my mom. People, do you want my advice? Do not see Superbad with your mom. There are way too many penises in it for anyone to enjoy themselves.

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