From the category archives:

Small town in the midwest

I feel like a true Midwesterner this month, which is unusual for me. I am happy to claim this part of the country as home, but it’s generally difficult for me to really connect with it. If I lived in Chicago, I would feel a connection to the Great Midwestern City. And if I was […]

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Every morning for the past month or so, Jason and I have awoken to the sound of golf balls falling from the sky. The sound of golf balls, mind you, not actual golf balls. Instead of errant golfers, we have gangs of evil squirrels throwing black walnuts down like ammunition. As we lie in bed, […]

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If you take County Road 1600 east from Urbana for about seven miles, then turn north on County Road 1000 and drive for another five miles, you’ll land in Sidney, Illinois, population 1,100. From what I can tell, Sidney’s main attractions include the homemade soft serve and shakes at the Dairy Bar (or Barn, depending […]

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I am sitting at Caffe Paradiso. All alone. Missing Ellen, who used to join me all the time, back in the good ol’ days when she was studying to become a midwife, rather than being a midwife. I know I’m being selfish—being a midwife is more satisfying (and lucrative) for her. And I realize we’re […]

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OK, here are a couple of classic This Town is This Big interludes. (See my second post for Part I, which includes an explanation of the This Big Syndrome.) Part II On Saturday, this past weekend, we went to a dessert potluck at Jim and Lisa’s house, where you can always count on an eclectic […]

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What do the National Rifle Association, Chicago Cubs fans, and the Green Party have in common? A place in the lineup of the Champaign-Urbana Fourth of July parade. They each have their fans lining the parade route, too, as do the gay and lesbian group and the Cub Scouts packs and the United Church of […]

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Last night, Jason and I went with Nic and Heather to hear a 14-piece psychedelic rock band called Dark Meat. They were playing upstairs at Mike and Molly’s, and we had to stuff pieces of bar napkins in our ears to combat the regular screaming into the mike and general chaos on the ears. While […]

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Perhaps no one in my life sums up the Halfway to Normal concept better than Dorie and Elie (“Eliezer,” if you happen to be his former Yeshiva teacher or his mother on a bad day). Even before Dorie and Elie moved to that literal halfway geographical location, Farmer City, they were halfway normal in a […]

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The first thing you need to know about the phrase “This town is this big” is that it must be accompanied by a visual: hold your thumb and index finger about a half inch apart, and squint your eyes ever-so-slightly, as if you’re straining to see something quite small. The other thing you should know […]

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