Three words: VEGAS ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!
I will explain in a moment.
Somebody was asking me, recently, what is up with Level 3 Sex Offender Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer's attempt to serve you with a (baseless and frivolous) lawsuit?
Well, there's things I CAN say, and things I WON'T say, and things I WISH I could say, but here's what I'll ACTUALLY say:
Where's the fun in dodging legal service when the other side isn't even TRYING?
I kind of miss the good ol' days when Spanky Pete wouldn't immediately violate his probation and go to prison if he served a lawsuit without the assistance of a licensed attorney and the permission of the chief judge of Hennepin County District Court. (Licensed attorney being defined as, "Not only holding a law license, for the moment, but not on disability inactive status")
One reason I miss the good old days is because...
It allowed me to sort of, almost, not-quite-but-kind-of go "off mission" with this blog and post "Johnny Northside location" clues that were a bit of a personal travelogue. What other excuse but Spanky Pete's attempts to serve me would I have for mentioning that I'd recently been in the airspace of GREENLAND?
Following my deployment to Afghanistan, I have been traveling and reconnecting with my immediate and extended family, especially my teenage son. My blog posts about North Minneapolis end up getting written from the most incredible places. Yesterday a journalist talked to me about slumlord Mahmood Khan while I was sitting in one of the Smithsonian museums. (They're all FREE; those Smithsonian museums)
At the moment I'm in a McDonald's in Maryland. Who knows where I'll be tomorrow?
Still, for the last month or so I have the feeling my journeys are not my own. I go to see other people, not just because I love them but because I feel an obligation to visit. I find educational roadside attractions for the kid, sometimes things I've seen before. I eat where he wants to eat, I sleep in places more comfortable than I would choose myself. On my own, I would sleep in my vehicle, the better to put gas in my tank. I would heat up a can of beans over a tab of Sterno off the side of the road at an abandoned gas station.
Then again, who needs Sterno? Beans are fine cold, if you buy the right brand.
But I don't expect my kid to endure without choice what I see as the cost-effective fun of "roughing it." He will have small luxuries, like a $39 hotel room that reeks of curry.
But the incredible father and son summer road trip will, at some point, come to an end. My son will go back to school in the fall. And I will start to think, "After all those visits to family, all that time with my kid, I want my own road trip."
I've never seen Las Vegas, except a layover once at the airport. The problem is I rarely gamble. Oh, sure, I will sit and play blackjack with my kid for nickels, which I want back when we're done. But gambling is not really something I do.
But recently I was reading an article about the Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas that don't involve gambling. And I realized my professional obligations will soon take me to the Southwest, anyway. And I started to hear a little voice in my head, and the voice is repeating something in a demanding tone, like a protestor at a demonstration, like the scene in Animal House where everybody wants a toga party, this little voice starts chanting...
At some point it occurred to me.
John, Spanky Pete is just a crutch. This is YOUR blog, and if you want to post about your road trips, you can do that. It doesn't have to be a "location clue" when Pete is trying to serve you his crappy legal papers, and you don't need to justify the blog post by connecting it, somehow, to North Minneapolis.
Every now and then, between newsy posts about North Minneapolis events, you can blog something personal.
I don't know what it is--well, I suspect it's the spectacular downfall of attorney Jill Clark and her inability to effectively sue me and all my friends right now, plus living through deployment to Afghanistan--but I feel FREER, lately.
Who cares if the enemies of my blog know where I am at any particular moment? The progress of our neighborhood is UNSTOPPABLE. The big mansion on Hillside Ave. N., which used to be a flophouse for transvestite hookers, has caught the interest of television's "Rehab Addict," Nicole Curtiss. The Butter Roll Bakery on West Broadway has been purchased by a new, well-heeled owner dedicated to the cause of Northside revitalization. Super Geek Jeff Skrenes is now a homeowner on Pen Ave. N.
There's only one way to express such a feeling of surviving, of having the rest of my life ahead of me, of having obligations (oh, yes) but long moments where fun can be squeezed in between the obligations.
LAS VEGAS ROAD TRIP!!!!!