Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What keeps me honest

Different religions have different ideas of what heaven is like. Boring. I’d like to know what you think hell might be like. Lake of fire? All-night poker games with demons? A tough job interview that lasts into perpetuity, maybe.

Well here’s mine. And remember this is eternal damnation we’re talking about.

I’m at a bar where the jukebox has Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Lights on repeat. No matter how much I drink, I can’t get drunk and I’m fused to the bar stool next to the biggest stroke in all of Hades. He’s telling a story so boring I’d wish I’d die. But, fuck, I already have so there’s no escape. The Bush twins are dancing on the bar, and I can’t get to my friends who are in the corner, laughing and looking like they’re having the time of their after-lives.

O.K. now you go!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

We're walking. . . we're walking. . .

I'm one of those nerds who loves reading historical markers. They're usually commemorating some obscure event or person, but you never know when useless knowledge can get you out of a scrape so I'm always careful to stop and read them.

Like what if I'm held hostage somewhere and my captors demand, "I'M ONLY GOING TO ASK THIS ONCE. WHOSE COMPANY (they're yelling most likely) DID ABRAHAM LINCOLN ENLIST WITH DURING THE BLACKHAWK WAR?" And I'll reply, maybe with a smirk, "Why with Elijah Iles at Fort Johnston in LaSalle County. " Impressed, they'll of course let me go and as I'm leaving I'll shout, "AND IT WAS HIS SECOND TOUR MOTHERFUCKERS!"

So point. . . I had one. Oh yeah last weekend I was walking by the Tribune Tower where I saw a marker on the Chicago River noting that Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette were the first white men to pass through Lake Michigan into the river in 1675ish. I've walked by the spot a trillion times and never noticed it. Some group--surprisingly still in existence--calling themselves the Colonial Dames of America erected the plaque in 1925. The whole thing was troubling, and it had nothing to do with the 'white men' thing. Some of my best friends are white men you know?

Carved into the side of a pillar, this sculpture allegedly depicts the aforementioned French explorers meeting the first native Chicagoans. Homoerotic to say the least, the well built and presumably oiled Natives were on their knees clinging, CLINGING to the legs of Jolliet or Marquette and gazing up at them adoringly. Even more spectacular, an angel is floating above the group and smiling down at them. Somehow I doubt that's what the meeting looked like.

And the whole thing left me wondering if a more contemporary Chicago River incident deserves an historical marker. Lest we forget the shit bath that boatload of tourists took a while back when Dave Matthew's bus driver decided to unload their crapper on the Kinzie Street Bridge?

Don't those people deserve recognition for their struggle? Should I call the Colonial Dames?

email me at angieblog@yahoo.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Babies can't smoke and drink? Says who?

One of my pals who happens to be a cigarette aficionado and beer enthusiast from way back, has recently announced she’s with child. No drinkie and no smokie treats for Mommy-to-be for the next several months. A pre-natal hop on the wagon kind of sucks, and you know how I know? Because she said as much when we were all gathered for a wedding reception on Saturday.

“THIS. FUCKING. SUCKS!” she declared, white knuckled and gripping the edges of the table while I talked to her with a Marlboro Light in one hand and about 62 beers in front of me. It was open bar. Talk about pouring salt in an open wound.

“Um, you’ll be fine,” I said, and then busted out laughing as she took a drink of her O’Doul’s and shot me a look only a crazed woman could muster. A couple of times while I was enjoying my moderate habit I indulge in only while drinking, I spied a blond head next to me inhaling smoke deeply as I exhaled. I shoved her and told her to get away from me. I care about this baby, ya know?

It’s just too bad she wasn't married to a sea horse.

Most of us who were in utero in the 60’s and early 70’s can be quite certain that our moms didn’t exactly stay away from the sauce during pregnancy entirely. My mother and my friends’ moms actually told us so. These ladies were registering for bongs and fifths of Jack Daniels for baby showers, I’ll bet.  

Anyway, we’re all ok. We’ve got degrees from mediocre state universities and lackluster jobs just like everyone else. We turned out just fine, is what the old ladies say when they rationalize their pregnancies. To think if my mom didn’t have that six pack the summer of 1972, I’d be chief of staff of an Al Gore White House right now.

I’m certain that my friend Blondie will be a model pregnant lady. And I vow to be there at her house with a pack of cigarettes and a case of beer to celebrate baby Blondie coming into the world.          

Friday, January 20, 2006

What Jesus would blog

Using James Frey’s exciting prose style (no indented paragraphs, no quotations, and seemingly indiscriminate capitalization is so edgy) I’ve fabricated the following post using as many elements you guys sent.

My name is Jesus Dreyfus and I’m the toughest Mexican cop in Chicago. At one time my full name was Jesus Dreyfus DeJesus (I was born the year Jaws came out, my mom was big fan.) but I got it legally changed to just plain Jesus Dreyfus because Jesus DeJesus sounds kind of stupid. This is my story.

I walk into Dugan’s after a long shift on the Martial Arts-related crime task force. It’s been a Shit day and all I want is a stiff drink. I look at the Bartender. She knows the drill.
Jesus, you want the usual?
Make it a double.
She smiles and fills the glass.
I gulp it down and look at around. I see the last Broad I was screwing from across the bar. Too bad I didn’t have one of those invisible Capes. I’ve been trying to lose this chick for weeks.
Jesus, you look like shit, she says.
Thanks. It’s been one of those Days.
Why haven’t You answered my emails? What about my calls?
Look, I’m really not interested anymore. I thought you’d take the hint.
She gasps.
Goddammit Jesus, why are such a fucking Asshole?
Someone’s bitter.
She doesn’t think it’s funny.
There’s no chance for us?
A slim Chance maybe.
Like I said, a fat chance.
You know Jesus, that guy over there just asked me out. She glances over at this flannel-clad oaf next to the Pool table.
If you want to go with that crackuh, knock yourself out. He looks about as exciting as an Egg sandwich.
It’s cracker, Jesus. And he’s nice.
Crackuh, whatevuh.
She throws her drink in my face.
Bitch! This is going to stain my new shirt.
It’s just club Soda Jesus.
Since when did you just drink club soda? You’re a fucking lush.

So that’s all the Ronco Blogomatic came up with! Thanks for playing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Return of the killer hangover and my brush with pedophilia

I got my drink back.

It started last Sunday night at the Radisson Hotel bar in Peoria where I found out I can't be trusted to stay in a hotel alone. Mamatee was doing much better, so I had to celebrate and spent the better part of the evening unwinding in the Medieval-themed lounge with just the bartender and a Red Stater to keep me company. While Trish the bartender told me all about her goodfornothing kids, Louisiana Larry sucked down Makers Mark whiskey and let me smoke as many of his Carlton cigarettes my lungs would allow.

Dirty old man or not, Larry made a find drinking companion. Before he left the bar I told him he looked like James Carville, which surprisingly he took as a compliment. "Really?" he asked, smiling. If you can imagine James Carville being left in a bathtub too long, that would be Louisiana Larry. Good people, that Larry, but rather unfortunate looking.

Last night I went to a coming out party of sorts for a friend who moved to Chicago from Sucklanta this month. Ariamay (she asked that I use pig latin to conceal her identity) looked stunning and surprised me with her ability to stay atop her 19 inch heels after drinking half the liquor in the city. Even during a specially-choreographed yet underwhelming dance to Christina Aguilara's Dirty at the Liar's Club, she didn't stumble.

Ariamay and her friends are all about 5-6 years younger than me and a couple went to my highschool.

One girl told me she graduated in 1996.

"I graduated in 90."

"Shit. You guys were like done with college by the time we graduated. " Her mock horror was refreshing. I wanted to hug her for not saying things like, "Age doesn't matter."

"Yeah, and not only that," I told little Miss 26, "I was on like my third husband in 1996."

I really appreciate honesty. A couple of years ago when I went out with this guy who was several years younger than me, his sister had simply this to say when she found out how old I was.


I thought it was hilarious. And after telling said youngster that he wasn't Ashton and I wasn't Demi, our tryst was over.

At the last stop of the night, one of the even younger girls caught the eye of a gentleman. Though I've been a little out of practice I knew it was important to encourage her debauchery. He and his friend invited the two of us back for a nightcap. Of course I asked them if they were going to kill us, they said no, and off we went.

The two hit it off which left me with the friend, the TWENTY-ONE (maybe 22?) year old friend. Though nothing happened, I have to admit that I entertained the idea. Coo, coo, ca-choo right?

Toddler and I were talking and he asked me if I ever lived in other big cities besides Chicago.

"Yeah, I lived in DC for about five minutes in 1994."

"I was 10 in 1994."

When I thought about the things I was up to while this kid was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in his jammies somewhere . . . dry spell or not, it definitely was time to call it a night.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Are you taking me somewhere to kill me?

Sometimes you just have to ask.

Tuesday night I was coming back from Peoria to my hometown with my brother and aunt. In daylight it's a rather scenic drive, at least for the mostly flat and boring Illinois, but at night it's a little scary. Very dark, very woody, very Blair Witch Project with winding roads and the occasional farmhouse and one horse town to speed through.

Even though I grew up in a small town, I think I'd handle a shitty Chicago neighborhood better than the dead quiet, pitch black night way out in the country. At least in the city you'd be roughed up and left for dead where someone's bound to find you in an alley like a civilized human being. But in the country, hell you'd end up in some woodchipper and no one would notice till the spring barn raising season started.

My jerkface brother took advantage of my uneasiness about midway through the drive. I was sitting in the back seat and was leaning forward talking to my companions when everything went black. Mr. Smarty Pants had cut out the lights.

"HEY!" I shouted/whined. My heart started to leap out of my chest.

"Uh, I just wanted to see how dark it is. It's pretty dark," he said chuckling.


Usually I deal better with the unknown. Back in our roaring 20s, friends and I embarked on what seemed at the time to be adventures (late night ministering to the sick with cute cops, getting rides back to a London hotel with strange men) but we were always careful to ask the all-important question.

"Are you taking me somewhere to kill me?, or Are you taking her somewhere to kill her?"

And if the answer was no, then you got the greenlight. Because everyone knows that if you kill someone after telling them you weren't going to, then you're going to be in a lot more trouble.

Can you imagine the trial?

Big shot prosecutor: Did YOU or did YOU not tell the victim you were not taking her somewhere to kill her?

Cute killer: (whispers) yes.

The courtroom gasps. Cute killer gets the gas chamber.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pour some Splenda on Me. . .

Men's Fitness magazine rated Chicago the fattest city in America. While I'm sure most of us living here could give one of our rat's fat asses about it, for a moment I thought I had something to do with it.

You see, I've been AWOL from my step class since September, and consequently I'm beginning to actually roll out of bed in the morning. It's not good. I was worried enough to go their site to see if this was the case. And I was curious how they arrived at this.

"Don't get your hopes up for a convenient tee time: Chicago's ratio of public golf courses to citizens is the third-lowest in our entire survey."

The mother of a friend of mine once said, "Golf is for nerds and assholes." Besides that, this is a dense, metropolitan area you fat heads! Our land goes for over-priced condos the owners of which go to the suburbs for golf. Duh.

"Commuting here burns up a lot of people's free time and contributes to stress, which raises hormones that increase the likelihood of gaining weight. How bad is it? The same trip takes 50% longer during rush hour than during off-peak driving times-the third-worst in our survey."

Geniuses, rush hour means traffic in the third most populated city in America, with . . . what did you say. . the third worst congestion? Incredible!

"Good luck finding a place to get sports equipment: Sporting-goods stores number in the bottom 10% in our survey."

OK, now this is just plain stupid. The ability to purchase exercise equipment does not a fit person make. How many of us have treadmills/laundry hangers?

The rest of America can go "moo-moo" behind our backs when we walk by, we don't care.

Friday, January 06, 2006

"You can tell I'm stoned."

Yes you with the morphine drip, I can.

So my mom's one less kidney and tumor free as of Wednesday afternoon. She sailed through the procedure, at least for a gal with her rusty ticker, and resting comfortably as I write this at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. I forgot my laptop but these kind folks are nice enough to have computers in waiting areas so families can update their blogs.

I almost had a coronary when I saw her surgeon come to grab us about two hours before he said he was going to finish. He looked at me when he came into the room, and gestured for us to follow him into a conference room.

Holy fuck ,I thought (sorry Catholic hospitial computer) this is not good. "She did excellent," he said, smiling a bit and I dare say a little surprised.

He then went on to explain the surgery and what was going to happen for the next day. When you have a super-sick relative you learn that one day at a time, is a literal thing. It's kind of the only way to get through stuff.

We thanked him and at first I reached out my hand. But then I hugged him, which caught him off guard. Hey, the dude didn't kill my mom, so he was going to get a freaking hug. It was the least I could do (well there's always more I could do.)

Now I know a little what winning the lottery might feel like. It was a good day.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Dry spell

I've yet to use this blog as a dumping ground for crap about boy-related stuff. I made a conscious decision to leave that to the other gals in blogland.

Never say never, right?

So there's this episode of Seinfeld where George achieves intellectual higher ground after going without sex for awhile. No sex freed up parts of his brain previously used for obsessing and strategizing about sex. Soon he was like solving mathematical equations and curing cancer.

No sex had the exact opposite effect on Elaine.

She turned into a blithering idiot.

I think that's happening to me! I'm not going to disclose how long it's been for me, but I will tell that I watched Jeopardy on Saturday and blurted out like fifteen answers that were WAY off, almost embarrasingly so. My mother and my sister looked at me like I was having a stroke. And yesterday I tried reading the paper, but sounding out every other word was exhausting so I turned on the WB.

It's this goddamn dry spell, I'm telling ya!

I've tried to take the high road and not reconnect with former paramours, and this isn't the 90s so some one-nighter is out of the question. Even though there's this sensitive fellow who's trying to romance me and who happens to be about 12 feet away as I type this, he'd probably want to cuddle. And talk. And I'm not interested in that unless get fired because I forget I have a job, or get lost coming home one day.