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Road Tripping and Pizza

Its 8:50 pm


It is quiet in my house,as I start this blog,I am also looking at YouTube for some background music to listen to.  The cheetah is coming by and rubbing his head against my leg.

I like to say “thank you” to those readers who came by and read my entry on violence and left a comment,it means quite a bit. I know this was a different kind of entry then what the folks who have followed me on Blogger are used to. I am just trying to expand my writing a bit,to expand a wee bit more. This entry will be more in line with I usually write.

The past couple of weekends have been pretty fun as I hung out with my buddy Sue. We watched the Norte Dame-Florida State game,which was a instant classic. While we’re not fans of either school (Sue roots for Michigan and I root for San Jose State) we can sit back and watch anyone play. Which makes for the best of viewing a game,it doesn’t have to such big name schools that we watch,only that the game is well played. We both agreed that this was the best game we have each watched in a couple of years.

As I was getting to go,Sue asked me if I would like to make a run with her to Cabela’s Sporting Goods down in Dundee. I haven’t been there since Lori and I went ‘ploring down that way. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach as it always does when I find myself going somewhere we had visited together. But I agreed to go,she needed some winter gear because she works in the coldest part of our store and you really the cold weather gear when standing 8 hours on a very hard floor.
The day was a nice one as we headed south to Dundee,traffic was light and the trip was quick. It took us about 30 minutes to drive to Dundee. The three times we had been to Cabela’s,parking was pretty crowded,we had a handicapped parking permit the last two times so it was somewhat easier. However on this trip,parking was plentiful and we parked and headed in.

Cabela’s is a huge store that caters to the outdoorsman (and women). Clothes,camping gear,boots and plenty of guns,lots of guns. Sue and I went over to look at holsters couldn’t help noticing all of the drooling at the counter. The salespeople were wiping up the drool on the glass with one hand who explaining how the guns worked with the other. Sue and I had to tip-toe very carefully past the puddles as we looked for her holster.
She said she had spotted a coyote in her backyard and was concerned because of the cats that live by her house and the groundhog that doesn’t hurt anyone. She wanted to get rid of the coyote  but was concerned with shooting within city limits. I told I would help her,she would shoot it and I would put Cool Whip in its mouth and claim it was rabid and she had to shoot it in self-defense. We could take pictures and send them to the DNR (Department of Natural Resources). She cracked up at the suggestion but I could see the wheels turning in her head about the idea. I offered to let the cheetah deal with it (Have Cheetah,Will Travel) but she said she wanted the pest killed,not slaughtered so that idea went out the window.

We left the guns section and went looking for her winter gear.  Now there is one disturbing thing about Cabela’s,its full of dead animals that have donated by various hunters. They ring the store and in the center of the store stands a huge mountain full of animals shot dead. Deer,bear,rams,boars,lynx,bobcats,buffalo all on display. Its so disheartening to look at…while some species like deer do need to be culled,I find it frankly fucking disgusting to see a lynx or a bobcat on display. There is no reason to kill a animal like that unless its injured or ill. I find it appalling to think hunters need to kill some beautiful creatures. But that is man for you,isn’t it? I read that we now have only 6  Northern white rhinos in the entire world left after one died in captivity in Kenya.

Sue and I finished getting her new weather gear and we decided to head upstairs,as we headed to the elevator,we passed a senior couple riding in electric carts. They were bickering at each other,the husband looked like he was ready to his NOS button while his wife was riding his six like nobody’s business. It was pretty sad to see two people who had been through so together forgetting what had brought them up to this point of their lives. Sue and I looked at each other,I knew she was thinking the same thing.
Landed on the second floor which pretty empty compared to the ground floor. We headed to the clearance section to see if there were any bargains to be had. Lot of nice hunting gear but nothing that stood out. We backtracked out and Sue pointed us towards the fudge shop. We went inside and got a free sample. Sue bought six pieces and very graciously gave me three. Those ended up in my deep freezer,they’ll make a nice winter sweet treat on a snowy day. I picked up some pepper spray for my future walking adventures and we checked out. As we headed out,we went and looked at the camo-covered golf carts. I suggested Sue buy one and mount a mini-gun in the back to get her coyote,I almost lost my fudge for mentioning that…
We had a nice dinner of fish and chips at a brew pub before heading homeward.

Last Saturday marked another return visit to another place we liked to go,Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti to watch Eastern Michigan play. A couple of weeks ago,I sent out a email asking if anyone would like to go with me to watch EMU play Northern Illinois. I knew this was sort of a gamble as NIU has been the class of the MAC to past few years and has completely dominated EMU. But the Huskies are down this year,they looked mortal in losing to Arkansas,52-14 earlier in the season.
I knew my invite was a bit late and I wasn’t surprised to find almost everyone I invited had plans…but our friend Susan Smiley was game to go. We made plans to go the game and then have pizza at Cebella’s in Livonia and meet the folks who own it,Dave and Christine Crawford. We have talked among ourselves the past year but had yet to meet each other. But with Cebella’s making a awesome looking Chicago style pie,this looked to be the perfect time to taste it.

It had been a quite a while since I had seen a EMU game but as we pulled up to the stadium,I was telling Susan about the fun times we had here. Lori and I weren’t die-hard Eagle fans but we enjoyed the experience of watching the students cheer,the various church and youth groups running around,the spirit squad shooting shirts into the stands. The crowds weren’t the best but steady at around 7-9,000 heads.
But as we pulled up to the stadium,we noticed big changes….like 5.00 for parking. We had our choice of where to park ,it was a 1 pm start and there weren’t going to be very many students in the stands. As we walked towards the ticket booth,I had our lunch in my cooler,we each had light blankets to sit on. I felt Susan nudge my arm and point to a sign…”No outside food/drink allowed”.another unwelcome change from the last we were here. We walked back and put our cooler in the car and went up….and paid 15.00 for a ticket!! It used to be 12.00 and considering how crappy EMU has been the past decade,it was a smart marketing move to keep ticket prices affordable.

Anyways,Susan and I walked into a nearly empty stadium. Rynearson holds about 30,000 and this was the worst attended game I have been to. NIU didn’t travel well but still had about 125 fans (yes,125) sitting on the visitors side of the stadium while the EMU side maybe had 1,000. The first quarter was halfway done and the scored was tied at 7. We got seated and checked out the new gray colored turf which looked very cool. The game stayed very close as EMU blocked two Huskies FG attempts and only trailed 14-10 at the half.
The second half was also a see-saw affair as the Eagles played very well and took a 17-14 lead in the 4th quarter. But fate was on NIU’s side this day as they scored two touchdowns and pulled away to a 28-17 win. We left after the Huskies stopped EMU on downs with 3 minutes to go…10 minutes later we were headed back to my house.

We got directions to Cebella’s Pizza in Livonia and headed out for dinner. Susan and Christine had been texting each other during the day so when we pulled up,she was there looking for us. As we walked into the shop,we each got a big hug from Christine while being surrounded by the wonderful smells of homemade pizzas being crafted by her husband,Dave. After meeting Dave and placing our order,we sat down with Christine and talked as the pizza was being made. As we chatted,I sat and watched the folks come in and out to get their pizzas,it was a pretty steady stream of folks and their delivery drivers were also kept going.

(this was our actual pizza!!)

After 45 minutes the pie was ready and all I can say is it was on the level as Pizza Papalis in Dearborn. Thick and chewy and covered with tomato sauce…we each had one large slice and were full!! Talking to the Crawfords,we felt like had known them forever as they are some of the nicest people one could hope to meet. Pretty soon it was time to head back as Susan had to head home to see her own fur crew.
All in all it was a bittersweet day for me but I did have a good time and I want to do it again next year. I will have to plan the date out better and get the invites going sooner.

But in thinking back on these trips and the memories they brought up,it raised a question I have been wondering about. I really don’t travel outside my town much,everything I need I can get here (except for Cebella’s pizza). I decided to ask other people with whom I share a common bond with about revisiting key places that they had created memories at. I was wondering if it was just me feeling this way. When I asked about this,I was sort of relieved to know that what I am feeling is normal (whatever that means). You would think after 18 months,these feelings would have faded and I guess for some,they do. But I can tell you that I still feel a lot of pain and awareness of Lori’s passing when I do the mundane things that we loved to do.
I don’t think that will ever truly ever go away,no matter where I am.
I guess that is why I am re-watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show again on DVD.  Sometimes I close my eyes and see us watching this together in the living room. I still can hear her saying how delighted she was getting to watch the show like that.

I like to take a moment to thank Susan Lundberg aka Black Canary for her on the fly guest blog post. I had finished this entry and went to save it but Word Press is buggy and wouldn’t save my entry,I lost it all and had to re-write this one all over again. I have been reposting some of my older blogs from FB and Blogspot to build up content. I am seeing more people able to comment now so I am trying to have something new to read.  Susan donated a very sweet poem and I am glad my readers,old and new,supported it by liking it and for my dear friend Cezanne  for commenting as well.


Well that will wrap it up for tonight. Thank you for reading,following and commenting.
If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400


Shout outs

Lauren Hill and Britney Maynard – thank you for your courage and strong wills. You won’t be forgotten.
Sue- Thanks for the Barnes and Noble run,maybe next time I will remember to read a magazine!!
Kansas City Royals – An amazing year,no matter what!! Glad to have you back as a AL power!
Chris B – Thanks for the fun duel! That was scrap decking at its finest!
Susan – Thank you for hanging with me at the EMU game. I just heard about Townes,my heart is with you.
Phillip – You and your crew can only do what you can,no shame in your game!
Dave and Christine Crawford – Wow,awesome pizza!!! Seriously excellent. Is there any chance you want to be a official pizza of The Inner Circle blog?
Paladin – my 12 pound cheetah battled a 20 pound possum and notched his first kill….#fearthecheetah
Darryl C. – enjoyed working with you and Brian on Halloween…gotta do it again soon!
Monique P- Happy birthday!!
Everyone else 18 and over:





3 thoughts on “Road Tripping and Pizza

  1. I always enjoy your blogs, Michael, and I think I have to say, for obvious reasons, this one is my favorite! 😉 lol! And I am SO glad that Cebella’s Chicago style pizza lived up to your expectations! (My wonderful husband does make a damn good pizza. As does the rest of his staff! 🙂
    It really was great to finally meet you and Susan in person after all this time!! (thank you for introducing me to her, btw. She’s so awesome! We’ve talked a lot and I feel like we’ve known each other forever.) And I’m so glad you finally made the trip out of Canton, to 5 Mile & Newburgh to have our pizza. We hope to see you there again soon!
    On a little more serious note, I wanted to tell you that I’m very proud of you for not only going back to EMU to watch a game, but even more so for being the one to initiate and plan it. (And thank you again for inviting me to the game as well!) I think that took a HUGE amount of courage on your part. As did making the trip back to Cebela’s (its weird spelling it like that!) after all this time and with all the memories associated with both places. I think its a significant step, especially with the anxiety and butterflies in your stomach. You did it anyway and made fun, new memories with your friends. Again, I’m very proud of you. {{Hugs}} to you!!!

    • Christine,I told my manager Howard about your pizza…when I compared it to Pizza Papalis,three of my co-workers got pretty excited because like me,they think that is the best pizza around. I might have you send a menu and if you have a corporate/catering rate,include that as well. You have every reason to be proud of the food you and Dave put out. I was I was much slimmer so I could eat more pies without feeling super fluffy!!

  2. P.S. At first my comment didn’t work but I copied it to my clipboard before I attempted it and the 2nd attempt worked like a charm! lol!

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