Thursday, August 31, 2006


Bus Banter

This drunk lady gets on the #8 bus yesterday, MARINATED in beer, sits down near me and proceeds to stare at this woman sitting across from her. After about five minutes, this is what I hear:

Souse: You have beautiful nails.

Gal: What?


Gal: (looks at her hands) Uh, Thanks?

Souse: I used to have nice nails. I’m a stripper. I don’t take my clothes off or anything, I STRIP WOOD! (starts to laugh maniacally)

Gal shoots back blank stare.

Souse: So what does that tattoo say? (leans in close) Tim or Jim?

Gal: Tim

Souse: Jim?

Gal: TIM!

Souse: JIM?

Hilarious. And thankfully it was time for me to get off the bus. The Tim/Jim back and forth probably went on for miles.

Weird garbage

Trash in the streets is not an unusual sight in my neighborhood. But I saw something a little out of the ordinary at the corner of Cullerton and Peoria that got me thinking about what archeologists would say about us in say, 500 years. There were like five dirty baby diapers and a bag of Cheetos, half-full. Open air daycare center where they serve the kids junk food? Or maybe a roving band of stray babies who stand on top of eachother to break into corner groceries for Cheetos and Similac. Like I said, weird.

Sorry Senor!

This morning I was walking to the bus when this older gentlemen coming toward me stepped to the left, lifted his hat up a bit and lowered his head.

And I didn’t acknowledge it! No smile. Nothing. It was a few moments before I realized this guy was demonstrating an extreme gesture of politeness and grace and here I was barreling by with my “Get out of my #$@& way face!.” Nice job, Angie. Real nice.

Monday, August 28, 2006

And scene

Here's my homework I did last night. Whaddya think?

“Speed Dating”

CASTPhoebe-late 20s, Northside yuppie type
Stan-early to mid 30s, Southside “ball scratcher”
Event organizer-female voice offstage

(Speed dating happy hour at a Northside bar)

You’ll have exactly three minutes per date, so make sure you ask some good questions. Have fun, good luck, and happy dating!

So, Stan . . . nice to meet you. Ever speed date before?

Nope. First time. You have some nice hoots.

Wow. Stan. You certainly don’t waste time. You . . .

Let me tell ya, you’re a beautiful girl.

Hmmmm. There’s something about you I like. So what do you do when you’re not speed dating?

I work for Streets and San. There ya go. Small talk outta da way. Where do you stay?

Where do I stay? You mean like what neighborhood I live in?

Would you look at that, a great rack AND a brain. Yeah genius, where do I pick you up?

Uh . . . just off Halsted and Diversey. And why would you be picking me up?

I hear you Lincoln Park broads are supposebly nymphos. I never took one of you out; that’s what my cousin Joe says anyways. He’s over there. (He waves at a nearby table) HEY JOE, I’D HIT THAT IF I WERE YOU!


Yeah, it means you like to fuck a lot.

I know what it means. I don’t remember agreeing to a date. But if I did, you’d have to bring it down a notch.

Fuck that. Babe, if we’re going together, you gotta be able to roll with the punches.

(carefully eyeing him over)
You’re just a little different from guys I usually date. My last boyfriend was an investment banker.

And a tool at that, I’ll bet. And no grief on the clothes, babe . . . or you and me . . . it ain’t gonna work.

So what’s in store for me on a date with Streets and San Stan?

Cute. I dunno. Maybe Narcisse . . . or Le Passage?

I love those places! That sounds great!

Yeah, we’ll I’d rather have my balls cut off with a chainsaw. God, you’re fucking gullible. What do you do that go to these fancy joints?

I’m like a aeronautical engineer for Boeing or whatever . . so our date?

Probably by my ma’s for dinner. (He reaches across the table and grabs Phoebe’s hands) She’s going to fall in love with you babe. . . just like I have.

Alright speed daters, time’s up. Gentlemen move onto the next table.

(gets up)
Let’s you and me go have a couple two three beers somewhere else.

Oh, all right.

(Black out.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Metra people, We must stand together and fight!

Last night I was the star of a show called LOST: The Elmhurst episode.

My coworker KC and I had just gotten on the train after work to head back to the city (on what I now call the Trail of Tears), when we hear we're stopping like FOREVER in the quaint downtown area of Elmhurst because of a stupid signal problem. They essentially said they had no idea when or if we'd ever return to Chicago again. So being the smart, resourceful gal that I am, I ordered KC off the train with me to search out some beer and vittles.

I needed to steel myself for the unknown.

There was some sort of brutal car show in Elmhurst, so there were lots of people having an extraordinary amount of good, clean, wholesome family fun. (If you need a visual, think Gilmore Girls meets American Graffitti.) We ducked into a sports bar and I ordered a tall Blue Moon and then ran to the Walgreen's at the behest of KC to purchase some smokey treats ( for a mere $3.50 my friends--anyone interested in going in on a black market enterprise?) We gobbled our food, moved to the bar where we ignored by two Tara Reid wannabee bartenders, and then headed back to the platform to see if the 8:13 was going to materialize.

In a crisis, it's amazing how strangers can bond. Commuters who had been standing there for hours gave us updates on what was happening. Which was nothing. Because the Metra announcer who comes over the P.A. apparently fills his mouth with peanut butter and crackers before getting on the mike; this is what you hear:

"Attshen Mera Shumaldlk! Dadkashmmudhdi shidruiop sildk. Blug uialkd Shakd. We apologize for any inconvenience."


We discussed sharing cabs to Oak Park where we could get on the Green line el. Together, we all had our hopes raised, then quickly dashed as train lights creeping toward us turned out to be a freight train. KC found her inner hobo, when she suggested we jump on one of the empty flat beds moving by us. A train coming from the city moved passed us slowly, filled with weary Loop workers who were now just shells of the people they were when they left their families that morning.

While I was taking all this in, my three tall Blue Moons (and 3/4 of a regular one) quicked in so I ran into a Chinese Restaurant to pee. I was on the toilet, when I received a frantic call from KC.


I finished my business, ran through the restaurant, took off my shoes and sprinted to the train.

A train that would finally get me home.

I hate you Metra. I really do.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How in the world are they going to find this guy?

This has got to be the single worst police sketch ever.
This "artist" must have watched one too many episodes of Fat Albert.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I finally got my first sketch assignment last night at my Second City class. The class goes until 10 pm, and the assignment came at 9:55. I had been up since 5:30 a.m. , and (imagine Ralphie getting his theme assignment in A Christmas Story) when the teacher gave the order, I started conjuring up all these brilliant ideas and started to space out, but my eyes remained focused on the teacher’s face. I didn’t snap out of it until he said, ‘Angie, Angie. . . uh, you look like you have a question?” Embarassing, yet funny.

I was talking to myself this morning in a very odd fashion. Example: “Mamma’s going to be late!” “Mamma doesn’t have a thing to wear!” I shared my concerns about this with a coworker, and she said, “Well you are the woman of the house.” True true.

There was a middle aged white guy walking like George Jefferson down Halsted in Greektown. I wonder what his deal was.

There seems to be a rogue hair dresser in China Town. Interesting styles coming out of that hood, lemme tell ya.

I gave my coworker a hard time about the drama surrounding her wearing contacts for the first time (I’ve had them for about 18 or 20 years). I said, “Hey, you’re acting like you had a heart transplant or something!” She didn’t laugh. And I didn’t even know she wore glasses.

I just hung up with a salesman here at work. When the phone rang I decided to be very nice to him and he said, “Geez, no one talks to me like this at the office. All they do is eat my food and drink my soda (it’s true we drank all his Diet Coke one day when the delivery guy forgot our drinks)” He then said someone took his food and replaced it with a sign that said “Fuck you.” I doubt that, but we are all stressed lately. I did end our conversation with a direct order that he is to bring me a Diet Coke if he comes in this afternoon.

Monday, August 21, 2006

She's blogging about produce?

The benefits of living alone are many. Besides being able to practice your secret single rituals with reckless abandon (i.e. witchcraft, infant sacrifices, etc.) the thermostat is always the way you like it, a clothing optional policy is acceptable, and you get to know yourself so well, you begin to finish your own sentences.

Life for the most part, is good.

But then a day like yesterday came along. It just seemed like a fine day for some watermelon. (About a week ago I started yet another health kick—one where beer and the occasional cigarette is always going to be ok—so consequently I’ve been fruits and veggied-out. After dinner and a movie with pals, I tagged along with my car owner friend Janel to the Jewels.

I grabbed some bananas, and then to the big box where those lovely green orbs sit. I picked one up (mother effin heavy, my God!) and the incredulous Janel was all like, you are sure going to have A LOT OF watermelon to which I immediately dismissed her and said, oh I’ll just cut it up and put it in containers. It’ll keep.

Good Christ, was she right.

That watermelon has been in my life for less than 24 hours and if I never see another piece again it will be too soon. Would half a watermelon make a suitable Welcome-to-the Building gift?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pure Imagination

Since I live in my head--have been for the past 34 years--I know the place pretty well.

It's cluttered, colorful, and occasionally scary. Things fly in and out at blazing speeds. Oh, and the stairs creek at night, it can get drafty in the winter, but mostly it's a cool and comfortable place to be.

I really became aware of my tendency to escape from the world into the old noggin when I turned 10. It was the summer of 1982 and my family and I left the trailer court to move across the river into an old rented house next to a Clark gas station. It was me, my sibs, Mommatee, Grandma and my Aunt Deanna (we called her Aunt Dee-animal then because she was kind of a bitch and we were little assholes, and well, it was funny.) To my absolute delight, it was just a three block walk from the public library and that summer I just about moved in.

The library had air conditioning--we did too until the first electric bill came--and this amazing little spot called the geneaology room that was crammed with old books, pictures and other tidbits on the area's local history. Located in the basement level off the children's library, there was this musty, ancient book smell that would hit you like a wall when you walked in. I love that smell. (To this day if I pick up an old book at a thrift shop, it is not unusual for me to sit at home and stick my face in it and take a big ass whiff. But it's not a sexual thing in case any of my perv readers are wondering.)

The day I turned 10 I went to the library with my cousin and kind of sat there. I remember looking around and being all like, "Wow, so this is 10," and just taking it in. I kind of got that I might be a bit more introspective than most 10 year old girls, and considering at that point my only friends were this insane curly haired girl I met one day while she and her cousin were yelling "SPICK!" at me from across the street*, and my stupid brother, it's understandable that I wanted to retreat to my fantasy world where I was an only child and both my parents were doctors.

Anyways (Angie's favorite word when she's too lazy to write a suitable transition and wants to get a beer and maybe have a cigarette--hey for effect, imagine a heavy sigh and then me blurting out, "Anyways.") you can probably guess that 24 years later, I'm even more nuts. But in a good way, right? RIGHT?

That's what thought.

*This is actually a somewhat funny story. I was leaving the grocery store and walking home when I heard these girls yelling "SPICK! SPICK!" from across the street. Since I'm half Mexican and was raised by my white mother, I never really thought of myself of anything other than white. So I start looking around for some Mexicans, and then it hit me like a truckload of illegal aliens.

It was me who was the spick.

And don't worry, fate has gotten even with Little Miss Racial Epithet.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If you can only read one blog . . .

Make it this one, the funniest effin source of celebrity gossip and pictures anywhere.

And I have to give a special thanks to Sarah in Jerusalem for turning me on to Dlisted.

Sarah, a sincere thanks. And happy blog birthday!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I’m a bit of an Anglophile. I think my love for British crap started when I was around 8 or 9 when I’d go over to my Grandma’s trailer on Sunday nights for a sleep over and Masterpiece Theater. It seemed like the perfect end to a weekend that started at her place on Friday nights with that hottie Hugh Downs on 20/20 (for real, I had a crush on him and about the same time--a posthumous thing for LBJ. What a weird little girl I was.)

Anyway. . .

In high school, I really didn’t get much into reading books like Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and stuff of that ilk. I read what was assigned and filled out the rest of my reading list with Sassy and my mom’s tabloids and True Detective magazines. Then after a breakup in the late 90s, I picked up Jane Eyre and I was a goner. God, I loved that book. I decided that if I couldn’t find a way to become an early 19th century English governess, then I might as well just hang it up.

As the years wore on, I perfected an English accent that I use all the time (totally kidding), read both of the Bridget Jones books and watched the movies, drank my way through London, and had a fling with a dude from Liverpool last year. Last month I met a 24-year-old security guard from the motherland and impressed the hell out of him with my knowledge of Parliament and the fact that I took a class called “Britain Under Stuart” in college.

Those are some creds, eh?

So you can only imagine my glee when my landlord tells me he rented the apartment below me to an English couple, who are not only English but journalists as well!!!!! Now, I will have to be newsworthy like all the time, and my fertile imagination has conjured up images of me and my new neighbors sipping tea in the late afternoon and discussing the events of the day. And then of course they’ll have me over for steak and kidney pie (yuck, but I’ll eat it) and we’ll wash it down with ale! ALE I TELL YOU!

They move in today. Those poor, poor people.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My kind of town

On Chicago Tonight, Tribune columnists Eric Zorn and Mary Schmich offered up the places they send friends and family when visiting Chicago. While Schmich seemed to try and break a sweat with her list, Zorn was Mr. Lame-O with suggestions like the MCA and Millenium Park. (EZ-Wouldn’t you want to show guests stuff they ordinarily couldn’t find on their own?)

Now to be fair, this is a city with about 3 million people and if the WTTW producers called anyone of us, they’re likely to get about 3 million different lists.

Since they didn’t call me, I’ve decided to share a few places I’d take an out-of-towner. My attitude is if you really want to see a city, you have to grow a pair and get your hands dirty. And of course, it helps if you’re a drinker because it takes the edge off. (Also, make sure you ask this all important question before doing things like hopping in a cab with strange men for a drinking tour of London’s West End. Or running off with a Hugh Grant lookalike--at least with beer goggles--in Boston.)

(By no means is this an all inclusive list)

Breakfast: Palace Grill on Madison across from the 911 center. Greasy, good, Flintstone sized omelettes, and the owner wears crazy pants all the time, and might look at you like he wants to put you on the menu.

Lunch: Jared and Subway and go scratch. Go to Conti di Savoia on Taylor Street. Kick ass Italian sub and deli counter worker’s attitude is totally free. Tell Art and his pals sitting outside I said hello.

Dinner: Three Happiness in China Town, Nuevo Leone in Pilsen, or anywhere on Taylor Street. If you walk around China Town, tell the eel at the grocery on Wentworth (and a couple blocks south of Cermak) I said hello. If you’re going to drink your dinner, Dugan’s on Halsted has great popcorn.

Dugan’s in Greektown: If those walls could talk, I’d like them to call me and fill me in on what happened from 1999 until about mid-2002. Seriously. Some good things come out of that place though. We have a solemn promise from Area 2 homicide detectives that if we kill anyone, we’d so get off (but the body has to be found in Area 2).

Basically anywhere: Who am I kidding? I personally go for dive bars with low pretense, low prices, and well this town is full of places like this, so drink up tourist! I’m totally curious about this place I see every day off of the Metra line. It’s on Kinzie just a few blocks west of Kedzie called the Walter Fobb Social Club. Maybe I’ll hijack a tour bus and take some folks there this weekend.


Any el train or bus: I’ve always felt that public transportation is one hell of a social experiment. Here we are, from all walks of life, packed like cattle onto train cars or buses. We’re hungry, tired, pissed off (Or maybe that’s just me?) and somehow most of us manage not to kill each other. Remarkable. And lucky for folks I don’t take the CTA in Area 2.

The corner of 18th and Blue Island: There’s always some thing new playing. This week, there’s the crazy homeless guy sitting on a bench with a shopping cart filled with trash and wearing one shoe. He feeds pigeons Doritos and seeing him reminds me that I might be the crazy one because at least this guy isn’t commuting 35 years each way to his bird feeder/crazy homeless guy job. Maybe he's hiring.

The front stoops of three flats in neighborhoods where people actually sit outside and talk to their neighbors: (I’ve never lived in hoods like Lincoln Park and Lakeview, and maybe this stuff happens there, though I doubt it.) Living in Little Italy and now in Pilsen, I’m used to warm weather bringing everyone out into the streets. I used to drink my neighbor’s old style in Little Italy and get invited up to sample homemade Italian ice. In Pilsen where the media would have you believe you’re dodging bullets everywhere you go, I’m dodging soccer balls, street vendors, and those annoying ice cream trucks. Oh, yeah, and the occasional gun toting and knife-wielding maniac.

Red? Is that bad?

I seriously had to go to the Department of Homeland Security site this morning and refresh my memory.

It was a little unsettling to see that they haven't updated their web site to reflect the latest hullabaloo. Mr. Chertoff, the nation needs that graphic changed! It will be anarchy until this is done!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Use your Photoshop skills only for good!

A Lebanese freelance photographer is in the hotseat for doctoring pics from the Israeli-Lebanese war. He used Photoshop to add more smoke and throw in a few extra Israelis bombs or whatever.

I think the sky's the limit with this. Check out this picture I helped along.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Brought to you by the number 34

Jeez. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was a carefree girl of 33.

It is my birthday today. A year closer to middle age. A year closer to the grave. Whatever.

Right now while most of you are toiling at your stupid jobs, I'm eating some mighty tasty Oreo cheesecake, drinking a trough of coffee, and downloading Cracker's "Happy Birthday to Me" at Cafe Jumping Bean. Maybe I'll listen to it 34 times. Maybe I'll eat 34 pieces of cheesecake.

Who knows. It's my birthday. I can do what I want.

I'll be at Flatwater at 5:07 tonight if anyone wants to stalk me (an ideal birthday present) and/or buy me a drink.

Friday, August 04, 2006

You get what you pay for

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine was ghostwriting J. Peterman’s biography and he buys some of Kramer’s stories? Well yesterday I bought the following story from a coworker. She knows she can no longer claim this happened to her, and since she would only provide the barest of details I paid her a dollar and spiced up the rest.

The Day I Stared Down the Barrel of an
Overexcited Suburban Cop’s Gun

It was one of those raw, gray days in early March and I just returned from lunch to my job at a high end clothing store. The week prior, I had all but given upon my dreams of becoming a shock jock on Chicago’s hottest radio station, and was dreading what was ahead of me—a lifetime of telling wealthy, bored housewives they look great, when in fact they usually look like shit.

When I arrived at the store, a mere 15 minutes late, my manager Wanda rolled her eyes and went to the storeroom. I flipped up my middle finger at her turned back and mouthed the words “Fuck you.”

My coworker was taking all this in from the behind the counter.

“Angie, are you like trying to get fired?” she asked.

“Shut up.”

“Angie, why are you so mean?”

“You want to see mean?” I pushed her and she fell forward, reaching her left hand out to break her fall. In the process she hit the store’s robbery panic button that brings the police around.

“Angie! Now the cops are going to come! We have to call the 911!”

I started to light a cigarette, casually of course. I took a drag and then exhaled dramatically.

“The pigs? I ain’t calling no stinking pigs,” I said shaking my head.

I leaned against the counter with one hand and took long drags off my cigarette. I chuckled as she frantically told the 911 operator that it was a false alarm. After about 3 minutes of this, I decided my shift was over. I put my cigarette out on the cash register and made my way to the door.

“Angie, stick around! We need to tell Wanda what happened. . . ANGIE!!!”

I turned around, and said, “Hey, what if I don't Wanda stick around?”I busted out laughing. and headed back toward the door just as police cars began to barrel through the parking lot toward the store.

Four officers--seemingly appearing out of thin air--broke through the doors with their weapons at the ready. The few customers in the store coward behind clothing racks.

One cop stepped forward and pointed his gun right at me.


I raised my hands over my head. "It was just a false alarm," I said utterly shocked at the response we got. And I wondered why he chose me to get such a close look at his gun.

"Well, where's the manager? I need her to tell us it's ok," he said.

There's no way I wanted to face Wanda so I quickly devised a plan.

"Dude, your fly's down." I said. The cop looked down at his zipper and I kicked him in the head and quickly grabbed his gun and a customer all in one deft movement. No one knew what hit them.

I dragged the customer at gunpoint to a Pace bus stop and the two of us got on. My "hostage" and I became pretty good friends fast and I hung out at her place until the heat died down.

I've been on the lam ever since.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blogger's block

My brain is constipated. I’ve wanted to write a post for days, I swear. There were lots of stops and starts—posts about the heat, my impending 34th birthday (yuck), and my dreams of becoming unemployed. But it all sucked.

I’ve decided to use a writer’s version of a laxative—the free writing technique that I was reminded of Monday night in my sketch comedy class. Here goes. Hold your noses. I can’t be held responsible for what’s about to come out. I, Angie Tee, will write whatever pops into my head for 60 seconds and promise to not go back and edit it.

I am eating an enormous burrito right now. We got them from a place called La Placita but I think I’m funny so I call it La Placenta. That grosses all my coworkers out but they still want to eat form there. Go figure. I was 36 years late to work yesterday, apparently when you are a city to suburb to commuter, waking up 15 minutes late can translate into being well 36 years late. Fucking A. I've never heard this Tom Petty song before. This burrito isn’t nearly as hot as it should be. I wish I had some jalapenos. I’m thirsty.

In my class Monday we did the free writing, but only with a pen and paper. I hate writing the “old school” way, and ended up with a major hand cramp and three pages of “I hate fucking free writing when is this jagoff gonna tell us to stop,” written over and over and over.