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Mumo
Interests: Pirates, Bicycles, Crime
Recent Activity
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Okay, so there isn’t really a Lake District in Michigan. The entire state is kind of a Lake District, due to being surrounded by the Great Lakes and having a vast number of less-great lakes contained within its surface area. A number of those lakes are close to where C’s... Continue reading
I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old. It was dusk and I having fun was on the small collection of playground equipment at the creekside ballpark - a merry-go-round, swings, a metal slide. The kind of old-fashioned things that were good for breaking bones and leaving the... Continue reading
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I recently canceled my membership in Chicago’s Divvy bike-sharing program after thousands of miles and trips spanning seven years. The pandemic did it. I rarely rode in the last part of 2019, when a job change shifted my commute from downtown to the north suburbs. When the virus hit, I... Continue reading
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“Something terrible is happening downstairs,” C announced as she returned home the other day. “Wurst is moving out.” This truly was terrible news. The aforementioned Wurst had been our immediate downstairs neighbor for several years. We coexisted in a state of distant amiability for that entire time. She never made... Continue reading
When I was in the fourth grade, a new kid began riding my school bus. He was in the grade ahead of me. He was nice. We were both interested in baseball and basketball and books, so we became friends. His mother and stepfather rented an old farmhouse that was... Continue reading
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There are several possibilities: 1: Banksy doesn't like you. 2: Banksy is an idea, not an individual. 3: You are Banksy. 4: I am Banksy and I don't like you. 5: Messages go to Banksy's spam folder, leaving Banksy to wonder why you stopped writing. 6: Remember that restraining order?... Continue reading
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Somehow, our sweetest and arguably prissiest cat has become our most intrepid. Mafalda MayBolt loves the outdoors. That’s nothing new. When we’re in Michigan, she has often reveled in following us out to the garden and in exploring the yard. She gets along well with the deck cats and knows... Continue reading
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It snowed in Chicago for 366 consecutive days. February lasted for seven years. Ice formed on the inside of our screen door. Snow what? A guy came one day and knocked the icicles off our balcony. Snow what? They grew back within two days. Within a week a column of... Continue reading
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The Chicago River has been our constant companion throughout these pandemic months. Walking the North Branch Trail from Lawrence to Foster avenues gave us something to do on nice weekend days last summer and fall. We’ve done it a time or two this winter, but it’s a cold walk and... Continue reading
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This year is largely one to forget. The reasons should be obvious. But there were a couple of minor, personal triumphs. Way back in the spring I learned that a short story I wrote for a flash fiction contest placed third. It was published online this summer, to my unmitigated... Continue reading
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It's Halloween! We carved our Jack-o-lanterns today. Mine's on the far left. For once, C's has more teeth than mine: I had to point out that mine has sharper teeth. When in doubt, make the teeth pointy. All in all, they're a very happy bunch. Probably because they just gorged... Continue reading
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With concerts canceled and our favorite attractions shuttered, the last few months have been an exercise in entertaining ourselves. We spent some of that time building a killer robot. No, not a Murderbot. It’s a nice robot named Orpheus. We built Orpheus from a kit my sister gave me for... Continue reading
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Fall was in the air in Michigan last weekend. Sun, clouds, sun, wind, rain, clouds, more wind. This trip was sort of a checking-up-on-things break. We covered the remaining Swiss chard against frost. Some of the split cabbages went into the fridge. C brought potatoes and squash in from the... Continue reading
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My fall vacation to Virginia happened last week. It was by turns relaxing and busy before swinging back to relaxing. We put up hay. We hauled firewood. We repaired things and enjoyed the outdoors. A spontaneous visit to the spring above the house turned into a ridge-climbing hike onto the... Continue reading
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I have vivid dreams. I always have, barring an 11-month period following my drowning when I didn't dream at all (subconscious protecting the rest of the brain from existential horror and dread blah blah blah). I've been the tri-state champ of waking everyone else up with my screams for so... Continue reading
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I’ve experienced few things as elemental and frightening as a strong storm. I remember a handful from my childhood in the mountains. Every now and then a strong hurricane would blow inland from the Atlantic coast to batter the forests around us. Ice storms and freezing rain wrecked trees. A... Continue reading
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C was flipping through a recent issue of Parade, the weekly newspaper magazine that is still part of the dwindling offerings provided every Sunday by the Kalamazoo Gazette. She drew my attention to an advertisement, as she will when something particularly striking catches her attention. This one was from the... Continue reading
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July was defined by two things: 1) Summer CampNaNoWriMo! 2) Michigan visits and gardening! C and I both won the July CampNaNoWriMo. Tonight, as a matter of fact. My project was a continuation of my April story, loosely based on my workplace and involving spaceships, murder and day-to-day mystification. CampNaNo... Continue reading
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We arrived in Michigan expecting to find a thriving garden. And yes, some things were thriving. The corn had good germination, the turnips looked good, nearly all of the 72 tomatoes we planted were still there and the potatoes were growing. Beets, carrots, squash, parsley and basil all appeared to... Continue reading
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On this day many years ago I became a cormorant. I stepped into the water and found secret places. Then I floated back, abruptly reentering the aired world on a wave. I folded my wings to hide them from sight, slipped on my person mask and walked among you as... Continue reading
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Memorial Day was sunny and hot in Michigan. C and I spent the first portion of the day planting tomatoes. We wound up putting 72 plants of myriad types in the ground, from chocolate cherries and Abe Lincolns to Black Krims and San Marzanos. They’ll be put to good use... Continue reading
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We gathered in the old house far up Wilburn Valley, as we did most weekends. It was an isolated place where my friends and I could hang out and listen to music without being bothered. It wasn’t much of a house, even when it served that purpose back in the... Continue reading
They announced on Saturday that Jeri’s Grill has closed forever. It stood at the corner of Montrose and Western avenues for 57 years, overlooking Welles Park and serving hot, cheap food around the clock. Jeri's was a 24-hour survivor from another time. It was no-frills, with unpadded booths along the... Continue reading
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It’s been a spring of dread, of hunkering down and sheltering in place. We’ve been fortunate to remain healthy and to have a few distractions to ease these discombobulating circumstances. There’s the garden. We recently spent several days in Michigan, starting seeds, transplanting seedlings and transferring some of those from... Continue reading
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The Tower of London is renowned for its gruesome history. Many famous and not-so-famous people were held prisoner within its walls, including Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh and Samuel Pepys. It’s known for being a great place to get tortured, and for its flock of ravens. Cat Tower is less... Continue reading