Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween and Shit!

I am wearing an orange turtle neck* and eating a lunch of potato salad, diet coke, and mini Mr. Goodbars as I write this. If I had jack-o-latern earrings, I would have seriously considered wearing them.

Yeah, I'm that girl. I even like candy corn. OK, I love candy corn.

This is hands down, my favorite holiday although I must admit this All Hallow's Eve kind of snuck up on me. I didn't decorate my flower boxes with orange lights, I didn't carve a pumpkin, and I don't think I'll have time to watch Halloween (I have it on VHS) tonight. I have some candy, but I'm just going to give it to my first floor neighbors to pass out because they begin shooting their short film on our front sidewalk tonight and I don't want to get in the way.

*left over from a Velma costume a couple of years ago.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


The television was on in the background while I was in the bathroom getting ready for a Halloween Party yesterday. Check, Please! was on and I heard Alpanah Singh announce they were going to review the May Street Cafe--a restaurant near my place--so I ran into the living room. And there he was.

Hot neighbor. Talking up the joint. I had to call the one other person I know who's familiar with him.

Just as I was dialing Janel's number, there was a knock at my door. The workman had arrived to take a look at my shower that's apparently running into the British neighbors' flat, yet again, below me. A little confusion ensued.

"Hot neighbor's on Channel 11!" I frantically yelled into my phone, letting the guy in.

"What?" asked the workman.

"I know! I have it on!" said Janel, equally excited. I pulled the workman into the living room and tried to carry on a conversation with Janel, while explaining the whole hot neighbor thing to him.
For those of you outside of Chicago, or not familiar with the show, Check Please brings on three "regular" people who come on and offer up their favorite restaurants for review by the other two. Restaurants that get a rave review--like May St.--get a tremendous boost in business and don't look back. Consequently hot neighbor should be able to eat there free for life.

Hot neighbor--or I should say hot former neighbor as he has moved--was cleaned and pressed for the show leading Janel to say that she thinks some of his heat has cooled. Maybe a little, it's just that he's one of those guys who look really good dirty. You know the bed head, scruffy face, cigarette dangling from the mouth, walking the dogs, calling hello up to you as you're leaning out to water your flower boxes, kind of hot.

He may not live in Pilsen anymore, but he's continuing to keep it real as he lambasted the other guest's choice of Tavern on Rush. Maybe just a little over the top, because if some folks would rather eat at a restaurant sitting on a slice of Chicago's most expensive real estate knowing that their Lexus SUV is sitting safely in a nearby lot versus off a dark, industrial strip on Cermak Rd. with something that looks like a giant lit cigarette sitting on its end and belching out God only knows what nearby, then to each their own.

In honor of this hot neighbor sighting, I'm reprinting "Ode to My Hot Neighbor," originally posted in April.

Hot neighbor. You're so hot.
You walk two dogs That you got
You smoke cigarettes And I'm guessing pot.
Hot neighbor. You're so hot.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Which way you want to take?

Each Monday night after my Second City class I grab a cab from the corner of North and Wells and brace myself for the elaborate explanation I have to offer up to get myself home. There is of course the inevitable language barrier, and this is intensified by the disbelief one can get when you give your address with the word "south" before the street when you're picked up in this area.


"Yep. South."


"Yes, really." Geez.

And then we have to haggle on the route.

"So you want me to just take Ashland all the way?"

"No I do not want you to do that."

I'll offer my alternative--which fuck, I live there so I think I know best here--and they'll just kind of shrug their shoulders and we'll be on our way.

Last night my cabbie seemed to have his shit together. I popped in the back, said hello, and gave him my address. He knew the cross street and happily headed south on Wells.

"Which way you wanna take?"

My stomach kind of tightened and I said, voice lowered:

"Ontario to the expressway and get off on 18th?"

"No problem."

No problem. THANK YOU! Now that wasn't so hard, was it?

Note to the cabbie that picked me and Janel up by the Map Room on Friday night: Bill Withers sings "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone." Action Jackson/Apostle Creed as you correctly pointed out when I said it was Carl Weathers, is not a singer.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

All politics is loco

I've truly had it with campaign commercials. They're obnoxious, over-the-top, and I can't believe anyone would seriously consider them a viable resource to help make a decision at the polls.

But wouldn't it be awesome if we could produce commercials to help our own personal causes--like snag a love interest, get a new job, or sway a blog reader to choose your site over another? Read on.

Let's say I was trying to steal readers away from Justin. (Imagine serious, dark male voice reading the copy--you the know the same guy who seems to do the voice over for all political commercials everywhere.)

Justin Kaufman will do just about anything for a laugh.
He supports amnesty for illegal aliens, consorts with so-called "pimps" and "ho's",
and has appeared semi-nude several times on stage.
Justin Kaufman. Just what is he thinking?
Show Justin the joke's on him.
Send him a message on November 7th by clicking Blogdiggidy on his list of links.

Perhaps I'm trying to a sway a guy to choose me over another girl?

Suzy says she wasn't picking out china patterns after date two, but isn't this Suzy at Macy's with a known Chicago wedding coordinator?
Suzy says she's cool with you hanging out with your friends whenever, but isn't this Suzy crying on the shoulder of her roomate when you said you didn't want to come over?
Suzy says a lot of things.
Just who is the real Suzy?
Vote Angie Tee on November 7th by texting "you up for xoxox?" to 773-322-XXXX
What if it's down to me and another candidate for a job?
Sure George has 10 years experience working in public adminstration,
but let's look at exactly what George was administering.
You guessed it. Final Four office pools, after work happy hours,
and alka seltzer smoothies to get him through morning meetings.
Party Boy George a good fit for this job? Think again.
Reaffirm your committment to office decorum on November 7th by saying yes to Angie Tee.

Friday, October 20, 2006

They're not the greatest . .

I got a new phone last week . . . one that takes PICTURES! So now when I tell you I walked out of the coffeehouse and right into a protest against McDonalds, or when I wine that its too dark for a human to be up and about ready to leave for work (this a cockeyed view from my living room window) you can see what I mean! Yippeee!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Drunken Monologue

For tonight's class I have to turn in a one page monologue for a character we created in last week's class. I feel creatively stifled by the character (a 38-year-old soon to be divorced man who sells insurance and has a plastic surgery addiction) I came up with, so here's one that's a little closer to my universe. Some of these lines have actually been said by actual people I know.

Ahem. Here goes. . .

It's me. You up? It's not that late . . .3:30? Oh. . .well why in the hell did you answer your phone then? In a cab. . I don't know. Uh, excuse me, Mr. Cab driver? MR. CAB DRIVER? Where am we? Lake Shore and what? Gram? Grand? Oh, yeah Grand. I'm like 15 minutes away. I have to pee can I pee at your house? What do you mean what's wrong with my bathroom? I'm in a cab asshole. Hey, Mr. Cab driver? MR. CAB DRIVER! Uh tell this guy you won't let me pee in this cab. See? I told you. My bathoom's fine. I got a new shower curtain and it's sooooooooooooooooooooo cute. It's red and pink and yellow and red. Oh, I don't feel so good. I need air. Excuse me, Mr. Cab driver? MR. CAB DRIVER! Can you roll down my window a little, it stinks in here. Wait a minute someonesbeepin in. Hello? What? I can't hear you dumbass! I'm in a cab. I told Brian, God! Gyros? That sounds fucking awesome. What he thinks because he bought flowers it's all ok? Fuck that. FLOWERS DIE! They fucking die. Tell him I said that. No, I'm going straight home. I didn't call no one. Ask my cab driver. Excuse me, Mr. Cabdriver? MR. CAB DRIVER? Uh, can you tell my stupid drunk friend that you're taking me straight home and I'm going anywhere near Halsted and 15th. See? Would a cabbie lie? I think it's like an oath or whatever. OK Bye. . . No, I'm still going to Halsted and 15th, that was just. . . SHIT!. . . Still there? Sorry. Roosevelt and Columbus. It was ok. They're still up there. Lincoln Park is ba-roooo-tal! Not much. Some beers and a shot that looked like urine. Golden shower? Come on. Cigarettes. Just cigarettes. Really. OK, a couple puffs of a cigar. No I'm not going to puke. . . I can handle it. What are you going to be for halloween? SO WHAT IF YOU'RE 40! I'm going to be a undercover vice detective from the 70s. I've got an afro, and I'm going to carry around fake coke, money, and a gun around. That's not stupid, it's cool. Fuck. I really have to pee! Yeah, have a beer ready. And I'm not coming over to do it. I just really need to pee.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Frizzy, Bushy Mullet That Once Rocked My World

Yesterday, I did the unthinkable. I downloaded a Richard Marx song off of iTunes.

I hadn't thought about Mr. Marx since I was like 15, but after reading this story in Sunday's Tribune, it all came rushing back like the emotion one feels when they hear a sweet Richard Marx ballad.

In the spring of 1988, my first concert experience was a Richard Marx show at the Peoria Civic Center Theater. I guess I was a big fan. I had a big poster of him--purchased at Spencers--hanging in my bedroom.

A few of us went, and our friend Julie's dad drove us. He had a buddy tag along, and the pair went to strip club after dropping us off which is a little creepy. So last night I tried-frantically even--to find the ticket stub for this post--I've had it for years--but all I could find was crap like a campaign poster signed by Teresa Heinz Kerry. I figured I didn't need proof. Because who would make this up, right?

So anyway, I guess now Richard is quite the accomplished country music song writer who doesn't want anyone to know in what Chicago suburb he lives. It was a very informative piece. I was surprised to learn Richard wrote an N'Sync song in the 90s --a song I secretly--ok-- openly loved, and I downloaded it as well. (My friends were aware that I liked N-Sync then, but they never knew just how much. I thought Lance Bass was the cute one.)

Make fun if you wish. But I will defend the genius of Endless Summer Nights to the end. It was the best 99 cents I've ever spent.

And Richard, you're right. Summer DID come and leave without a warning--it was fucking cold today. All at once you looked and I was gone, you say? Well I had to move on to other music like Poison and Bon Jovi. Now I'm looking back at you, yes because of that Tribune article. I'm searching for a way that we can be like we were before? I guess that's true because I did have to search for you on iTunes. The city doesn't look the same, I agree. Like I said, it's really cold today. But you don't need to give your life, that's a little dramatic. I will, infact hold you tight, and take you there again--metaphorically though. I remember how I loved you, that's why I put you on my blog. All we had back then was time until that day we said goodbye? Richard, are you trying to make me cry? Yes, I remember every moment of those endless summer nights too! You remember those walks along the beaches? Me too! My hair glistened in the sun? Ok. Um, I don't remember you making love to me under the moon though, I was like 15 dude. Yes, there were a lot of nights we spent in silence, because that's about when I started drinking. So you're saying now we can have it all again? And you want me to say this when? When the sun brings my heart to yours? Uh, wha? And I can't run away from what we had together? Can we slow things down, Richard? And I'm sorry, but it can't be only you and me tonight, well unless you want to watch Grey's Anatomy and the Office.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And I thought I was a spaz

I got to keep it local today, and work in my neighborhood so I went to a place that has better coffee than I do and faster a web connection. I can't tell you how awesome it was to "clock in" at 8 a.m, after waking up at 7:30, throw on some sweats, go through a very rudimentary hygiene ritual, and walk 10 minutes to my new "office."

By 11:30, I felt like I had been working for a week straight so I decided to clock out and move on to yet another coffeehouse that has an awesome roasted veggie sandwich for my afternoon shift. I was standing in line to pay for my shit, when this chick jumps up from her chair, shouts "OH MY GOD!" and takes her laptop, her plate of food, her cup of coffee and her glass of water with her as she tried to run out the door. Her companion looked as if she wanted to dissolve into the floor.

My only guess? She drank way too much coffee. Or maybe she thought a passing city truck was going to tow her car, which looked nothing like a tow truck. . . I dunno. But it was pretty painful to watch.

Alright, afternoon blog break is over. And I'm hungry again.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

"The local bookmaker would like to buy you a drink"

Last night was more than a little fucked up.

I was up in Lincoln Park yesterday afternoon pounding the pavement to promote an upcoming work event--it was a gorgeous day--and the sunshine coupled with all those beer signs caused me to think drinking alone might be a great idea.

After dropping some cards off at a used bookstore, I saw an Old Style sign on a non-descript bar nearby that was begging, BEGGING me to come in. I'm an urban explorer and always in need of new material, so I walked in.

The paneled bar was dark and had two TVs on either side of the room with the games of the moment on--the Cardinals, and some college football thing. There were a half dozen flannel-clad old coots sitting on their stools who all turned--as if on cue--when I walked in.

"HI GUYS!" I said, finding a stool in between two of the older coots. The bartender, a very friendly guy, came over immediately to get me a $3 Old Style.

"You at the bookstore, huh?" He said.

"Yep. I've decided to drink alone today, and I have this book here just in case no one talks to me."

"Joe will talk to you," he said nodding at the coot on my right. Joe was hunched over the paper and was wearing a dirty brown cardigan. He looked like a some sort of teacher or professor.

"You look like some sort of teacher or professor," I said to Joe, introducing myself.

"I'm in IT." Joe then went on to fill me on on this big merger thing at work that will more than likely cause him to lose his job. He and his coworkers don't do anything anymore except play video games. I urged Joe to hang on until his severance package comes in.

Joe and I continued on with our polite banter, when I heard one of the younger guys at the end of the bar go on about how women he dates need to understand sports. His name was Pete. I could tell his rant was for my benefit.

"PETE, MOST OF US PRETEND TO LIKE SPORTS JUST SO WE CAN GET LAID." I yelled at him down the bar. Pete thought that was pretty funny. Pete then offered me a shot. "WELL OK, PETE BUT JUST ONE!"

Pete and I gulped down a Ruppleman's shot. It's like rubbing alcohol blended with melted candy canes. Blech! But I was a guest, and thought it rude to turn down the offer of free alcohol.

I had only been there for about 30 minutes when I realized maybe I'm not the best candidate for drinking alone. I checked in with a friend who was nearby and he said he'd be right over, being more than happy to babysit.

The bartender--Mike--then came down my way to hang out. He told me the neighborhood bookie would like to buy me a drink and honestly, I couldn't have been more honored. After 10 years of living in Chicago, I never met a bookie, let alone drank with one. I asked Mike if bookmaking was a fulltime job, and he said that it was all this guy ever did since was a kid. "He learned the job, works with the wiseguys and well you know."

Dan "The Bread Man" came over to say hello on his way out of the bar. He was very personable. Mike said they feel bad when they beat him. I could see that.

When my friend arrived about an hour later he found me on the floor playing with three dogs who were also regulars. He doesn't drink, and as I got drunker I was HANGING on him. But that's a different blog post.

I called in one more reinforcement--Janel--and the three of us hung out in the backroom near the pool table. We were "playing" pool when I noticed Mike duck into the backroom.

He came out and handed me a perfectly rolled joint. "Don't smoke it here," he said sternly.

Well doesn't this guy like to party, I thought. I put the joint in my purse and though I have no plans whatsoever to smoke it, I won't throw it away.

Because, hey, free pot you know?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mr. Foley, he's just not that into you

I took a few minutes today to read the Foley IM transcript on the ABC news site. An interesting read (not nearly as long as that damn Starr report) and I was struck by the fact that Foley couldn't get that this kid really didn't want to have a creepy IM sex exchange. Foley's like, uh what are you wearing? And the kid replies, "normal clothes." Foley goes on about hard ons and stuff, and the kid's like, "settle down." The kid establishes that he likes girls, and is more concerned with bitching about how inept his mom is when it comes to computers. But that Foley, that crazy guy, keeps on keeping on. It was like he was having a conversation with himself. And I'm glad that I now know that Foley always makes time to rub one out. I wonder how many votes the guy missed in the House over the years. . . . but his masturbation record . . . fageddaboutit.

I have a coworker who drifts over to my cube periodically to discuss the latest and greatest with the Iraq War and the Bush Administration. She's heavy into NPR and Air America and she--understandably--gets pretty upset with each revelation. She'll come over and go on and on about facism, and I'll just be like, seriously I can't deal with the dissolution of habeaus corpus right now. I've got shit to do.

If it wasn't for this Foley scandal that I'm completely obsessed with, I wouldn't be paying attention to any news. Like this week, the only thing I let upset me was the Italian girl from Chicago not getting a rose on the Bachelor and my inability to find History Detectives on PBS. Last night I was so uneffected by yet another amazing Frontline about the return of the Taliban (they never went away really--they just moved to the suburbs, fyi), that I fell asleep.

So back to Foley. Obviously I hope the GOP implodes over this. But let's face it, folks on both sides of the aisle knew what a dangerous creep this guy was and kept it on the downlow for all these years.

The weasels we have running this country, man.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blogdiggidy Exclusive! More Foley IM transcripts

This is going to get me the Pulitzer. I'm sure of it.

MAF54: Did you measure?

HAS1: Foley, it's me, Dennis.

MAF54: Doh! How pissed are you? LOL

HAS1: So not funny. No ideas on how to get out of this . . .

MAF54: I got a couple

HAS1: Well?

MAF54: Say when you heard I liked minors, you thought they meant miners.

HAS1: Don't think so. .

MAF54: You know. . . like miner rights?

HAS1: Understood. Even Rove's stumped.

MAF54: When you start on IM?

HAS1: My grandson showed me

MAF54: Is he hot?


MAF54: Seriously . . . the miners. Those accidents were terrible.

HAS1: Don't think it would work.

MAF54: I was doing research for the online protection bill?

HAS1: Are you drunk. . . lol

MAF54: hammered

HAS1: we need help. . this could be the big one

MAF54: Gotta go

HAS1: Why?

MAF54: No just got copy of TAPS from netflix ;-) badaBING!