Sonnet 17

Our rollicking, frolicsome, Pollocky dream

She layers thinly, he is all Sakrete.
Each bared our own spirit, like woodland Pucks,
Through Weekend. And if we birthed no Magritte,
Yet we shared full joys, loves and laughing yucks

Under swaddling skies – for once not too humid:
A mid-summer play with nonstop undressing,
Wondrous meals, gardens, our Vrooman,
Then, as if to grade school art class, regressing.

A fungus flourishes with fertilizer
And dank (and how do buried talents sprout?).
Though the Muse worried we’d murderlize her,
With beret, face hair and Master Mike, out

came startling art. So cherish your special blue.
Till next year, when our friendships we all renew!



Posted in 2017 – WwW XVII, Poetry Slam | Leave a comment

Top Tens of Seventeen

“What the hell, Odell?” (Tommye, with an update of “To wander around.”)


“That’s not retro. It’s what it is.” (Mick’s observation of the Café 110 décor – and winner of the Most Insightful Comment about Art and Life award.)


“Chicken ain’t up.” (PT’s Barbecue. In life, sometimes the second choice is the best choice. Oh those heavenly ribs.)


“I wish I had worn more comfortable shoes.” (Deb, year 17)


Wayne’s Dali-esque mustache (Deb)


“Nope.” Bryan, staying on message throughout (From Deb)


“Blub.” (Mike attempted a comical reading of the Allerton’s rose bed signage. A nearby crane-sanctuary-like busybody offered an immediate correction.)


“I told George Wendt to go pound sand so I could hang out with you guys.” (Hage. Name dropping is an automatic Top Ten.)


Hanging cheeses. (Ask Weekender Lu about this one. Let’s just say it involves anatomy.)


And the winner of the Smallest Mushroom award … Tony!


Trains may exceed 80 MPH (And given the neighborhood, we strongly advise it.)


All Xmas cards $1.00 (“I’d like every one except this one” … “Okay, that comes to $2,454. Credit or debit?” At the Brown Bag in Monticello.)


Ha ha ha ha! (YOS found what was to become a rather tiresome laugh track app.)


The village of Farmer City.


“No passing zones not striped for next mile.” (Piatt County Highway Department. New contest: How many ways can that be understood?)


Art class / blue mushrooms / Allerton’s mansion / hidden garden (where’s the garden?) / good pizza / enjoyed the antics of the Shakespeare group / squeaky floor / hearty breakfasts / Minooka “vintage” faire / berets and hats / lunch (ice cream) on Saturday with Lu and Spinas at small park with flowers. (Tommye with a flowering of memories)


  • Learning to paint by Mike
  • “Again? How much humility can I stand?”
  • Compliments to John for implementing a spending WWW.

(From Wayne)

Posted in 2017 – WwW XVII, Top Ten | Leave a comment

Some thoughts on Seventeen

Testimonial mottos

  • “Nope.” (From Deb. Inspiration: Bryan)
  • “We put the Weak in Weekend!” (Mike)
  •  He did it again! (Success of WwW, from Wayne)
  • “Yesterday’s memories, tomorrow’s repressions.” (Bryan)

Darkest impulses/thoughts that raced through our minds

  • At some point, stop counting. No one says Fourth of July Parade #242. (Deb)
  • Give everyone only black paint for the sip’n’paint. (Mike)
  • Acoustics in the dining room, walk to the hidden garden, fell on concrete stairs at last moment ☹ but OK. (Tommye)
  • And from our eternally upbeat Weekender Wayne, with Darkest crossed out and Lightest substituted:
    • “Are you well? We both are?”
    • Allerton was fine. Now what about the other six Illinois wonders?

Suggestions for next year

  • Go with “Weekend XVIII” (Heading in the opposite direction from Deb, Mike suggests Super-Bowleque Roman numeralizing.)
  • Let’s go north (Wayne [Papa])
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Ballistic Mizzle

If memory serves:

  • 6 parts lemonade
  • 2 parts whiskey
  • 1 part cinnamon schnapps
  • A muddle of mint


Posted in Famous Recipes | Leave a comment

Weekend 17: Getting artsy with it

From PT’s barbecue to the wonders of Allerton, from half-naked acting to our grand mansion vrooms, it was a Weekend to remember. And thanks to our master teacher, we all came home with priceless fungal souvenirs to keep the memories always with us.

To relive Weekend once more, click around for photos, Top Tens, a sonnet summation and commentary. And check out our Facebook page for more.

Posted in 2017 – WwW XVII | Leave a comment


Due to the never-ending barrage of spammy user registrations, I’ve totally disabled the ability to register as a new user of the 4Images photo gallery system on this website.

If you’d like to post photos, comments, etc., please contact me and I’ll create a 4Images user account for you.

Thank you for your support and patience.

You know what they say about hindsight… anyhoo… I think at some point, we’ll need to transition our photos away from 4Images and into a new WordPress gallery. Maybe there’s a plugin for that. 😕

Posted in Announcements, Rules (Know 'Em So You Can Break 'Em) | Leave a comment

Let me tell y’all a story …

Once again unto the Vroom, dear friends. Some highlights:

  • Newbies Fran and The Johnbon (half newbie, at least) seemed to like us. We felt very much the same. They’re in!
  • We were shocked/shocked to discover Weekender Tommye, aka Emily Pennyfeather, capable of murder.
  • GoH winner MJ taught us of Grecian urns, while we came to understand so much more about each others talents.
  • Cantaloupe sorbet.
  • We hosted our first virtual Weekenders, Beth, Ike, Chris and Cora. (Next year, we shall drag them from California if necessary.)
  • Lincoln rabbit eared us. (And appropriately, we learned: (1) The Republican Party of Illinois was born in Bloomington and (2) Civil War embalming techniques. It was a pretty good 160 year run while it lasted, what with The Great Emancipator, promoting liberty, Reagan, blah blah … We have come not to praise the GOP but to bury it.)
  • Most critically, we realized: Why in the snot should we drag everything to the Ewing grounds when we can dine on our own mansion veranda?

Scroll down to enjoy the Top Tens and more from a grand Weekend — and from years past — and check out the photographic evidence of our fun.

Till 17, I remain … YOS

Posted in 2016 – WwW XVI | Leave a comment

The Suck Up Sonnet

Dedicated humbly to the exalted, dazzling XVI GoH Talent Show Judges

To what does your splendor match? Deb Dicke,
You’re infused joy, like sparkling Bryan Schneider –
The happy zing of a fresh lime rickey;
The way of the martini: Fine gin (slight stir).

No Dacron GoH, Fran Underdown:
I style you and my two Mikottii
As a Dolce & Gabbana wedding gown;
Next to Shanzhai knockoffs, a true Dior tie.

You gems of humanity, Bonnie, John,
And precious parents, Tommye, Wayne,
Electrify my life like silicon
And shimmer as a rain-washed diamond vein.

My love for you’s timeless as smashed, stopped clocks.
Hey, this don’t work? How ‘bout some cash stuffed socks?

  • YOS
Posted in 2016 – WwW XVI, Poetry Slam | Leave a comment

Sunday morning profundity

From our customer satisfaction survey (“We value your opinion! — though frankly not as much as you do”):

Quote whore testimonials

  • “J’accuse WwW of being too much fun” (Deb)
  • “I’m not doing any homework” (Bonnie. A response to being asked to fill out the survey.)
  • “Words, words, words, etc.” (John Kieken.)
  • “It keeps going and going” (Bryan)
  • “We thank God for John Hoffman who made this possible” (Wayne — well what do you expect from a father?)
  • “Will set your hair on fire” (Bonnie, submitted by Fran)
  • “Fewer and fewer unexplained odors every year!” (YOS)

Least compelling experience

  • Hamlet: He should have died in the first Act (Wayne)
  • Bloomington Museum (Fran)
  • Burr House (The Johnbon)
  • The Mary Ann reunion — people who hate people (Deb)

Some thoughts from Weekender Wayne:

  • Shakespeare should be given in regular American language
  • 2016 group of 10 were outstanding personalities — and people, too!
  • Compliments to Deb for an excellent mystery show
  • Best of off, compliments to John for doing this now and in previous years

And to the question of whether anyone has organizational proposals or suggestions for future Weekends, from Deb: “Let’s ask McKinsey!”

Posted in 2016 – WwW XVI, Survey Says... | Leave a comment

Top Ten of 16

Top Ten entries, in no particular order. Please add, vote, scratch your head ….

  1. You don’t even have to have a line to be a bad actor. (Mike, speaking of the skittish bit players.)
  2. This Indignation Meeting is hereby called to order. (We learned that when people felt irked in the 1800s, they got together and whined. We intend to revive the tradition.)
  3. The Johnbon. (Our new Weekend celebrity couple.)
  4. I feel like I’ve been put in a bowl. (Chris Hage through FaceTime. He was right. But oh what a fancy Vrooman bowl he ended up in.)
  5. It’s rude to do email at the table. (Bonnie to Fran, after we all encouraged her to take out her phone to help her figure out various functions.)
  6. …. since.” (DD noticed an open quote missing on the Lincoln plaque at Audio Tour 7 site, near the parking garage. It was theorized that the close quote was in fact a size reference, possibly six inches. Hopefully not related to a part of Lincoln.)
  7. And when I first opened the bed and breakfast, I realized people would be walking right into my area. So I built a wall. (We got a tour from Mary Ann of the Burr House, our earlier haunt, and learned explicitly what she thinks of pestering people like us. From Bryan)
  8. Fran: Anyone can use Yelp; you don’t have to pay? Bryan: Don’t worry I’ll get in you in for five dollars. (The beginning of the running $5 joke. From Mike.)
  9. Nothing ever works right, but sometimes it works better. (Mindless/sublime observation of YOS on modern technology. From Mike.)
  10. And the embalming surgeon might also sign up the subject for a trial New Yorker subscription and then observe carefully to see whether he ultimately renews or cancels. (The Civil War undertaking demonstration offered many, many tests to confirm demise. Others we wondered about: Shave and a haircut, start a knock-knock joke, take the subject to a black-tie concert and watch his reaction … )
  11. There are no double meanings. Only meanings. (YOS lamenting the dull directness of the new Match Game questions. From Mike.)
  12. That’s what we need. More Shakespeare. (Bonnie’s observation, possibly meant ironically. From Mike.)
  13. You put your hair away, and we’ll take the cheese out. (YOS with the annual cheese conveyance quote. Deb still had her Ellie Mae costume on. From DD.)
  14. Now is the time to get in on the third floor of that opportunity. (Bryan, on the vacation home boom in La Salle County. From DD.)
  15. We put the F U in “fun.” (Proposed slogan of Marseilles Fun Days, which was cancelled before we arrived.)
Posted in 2016 – WwW XVI, Top Ten | Leave a comment