Monday, December 31, 2007

Let's get loaded and trash Emily Dickinson's house!

Who’s with me?

I did have plans tonight to ring in the New Year at a slumber party in the suburbs—perfectly appropriate for a 35-year old. But now I’m thinking we need to get on plane to New England and trash and hurl all over a dead poet’s house like these moronic teens.

What a bunch of turds, these kids. I would use more colorful language but I still have a bit of the holiday spirit left in me.

Growing up and honing drinking skills in the Midwest for us, meant throwing back beers in cornfields, behind nursing homes, on river banks, and on industrial waste dumps the EPA took 30 years too long to fence off. Just good, clean, honest, though likely cancer causing fun. As punishment, these kids should be forced to read the Iliad and the Odyssey, and maybe throw in some Chaucer for the jerks who thought to break into Robert Frost’s crib in the first place. And then, for added drama, they should throw the lot of them into a pit of boiling tar.

So we have just nine hours left of 2007. I have only one resolution—write more and drink less. . . at least until this latest hangover goes away. I guess that’s really two resolutions. But they go hand in hand, because would you believe I killed so many brain cells in December that I forgot I had a blog?

All the best in 2008, and I’ll be back soon!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pigeons are a menace!

This here's a post about pigeons.

This morning on the el I was pretty much in my stuffy head and runny nose induced haze when we pulled into Clark and Lake. I noticed one of the warming shelters on the platform appeared to be carpeted by fat and toasty pigeons while human CTA passengers had to brave the elements on their own, without the benefit of those french fry lights.

I was telling Rusty about what I saw and she shared a story about a run-in she had earlier with a pigeon. She described how she was walking down the street, in the middle of the sidewalk when she noticed a pigeon coming toward her. Whatever, she thought, she'll mind her own business and he'll mind his. But as she got closer, he continued to walk straight toward her. She moved closer to the buildings; he moved closer to the buildings. She moved closer to the street; he moved closer to the street. I'm no pigeon-whisperer, but it seems to he was trying to run her into traffic.

"I was playing chicken with the pigeon," she said. And she won.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Remember this cover? God, I miss him.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Whaddya know? Where ya been? Who'd you see?

I like to know what's going on. From the moment that first Weekly Reader was put into my hand in the late 70s, I was hooked. I was a news junkie.

In fourth grade I was an avid 20/20 fan who wished she was related to Hugh Downs. I remember my teacher would put pictures of famous old people on the wall on occasion and we'd have to guess who it was. While other kids would shout out, "Grandpa!" and "Captain Kangaroo!" I'd raise my hand ala Horshack, and say, "Uh, try Secretary of State George P. Schultz."

I used to race my Grandma to the door each day when our local paper was delivered. She hated reading it after me because I would mess it all up and never put back together right. (She really loved it when I started cutting out pics of a certain Junior College basketball player when I was in highschool.) Anyway, it was filled mainly with the latest news of corn futures and who got DUIs over the weekend until the day I was quoted in a front page story saying I thought people had a right to burn the flag. Meemaw didn't like that.

In the interest of finding balance in my life, I like to take breaks from the news once in a while. I kinda like that feeling when someone at work or wherever will be like, "Can you believe House Bill 107 won't make out it of committee?" and I'm like "Not giving a crap. I'm all about The Biggest Loser these days and TMZ." It's a state of self-imposed blissful ignorance inside a nice little bubble of marshmallow fluff. It's survival really. If I didn't come up for air once in while from my NPR, Frontline, newspapers and left wing documentary binges, I'd end up setting myself on fire or something.

You know, just to feel better.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The world may be small, but our asses sure ain't

The LA Times reports that Disney isn't blaming fat tourists for having to close up the "Small World" attraction. However, it is getting a makeover with deeper canals and stronger boats because riders keep getting stuck when the boats bottom out. The attraction was designed 40 years ago when the average adult was like 30 lbs. lighter. Hopefully they have a little foresight this time, run the numbers, and recreate the Panama Canal.

Yeah, we're fat. I remember taking a trip to DC my senior year in college when a little fruity German student who was with us started complaining about all the food stops we kept making along the way.

"Vee are eating AGAIN?" He asked, grudingly getting out the van at yet another McDonalds. "Vhat is vrong with Americans?" He gave me pause a time or two, when I realized that I, in fact wasn't that hungy. But then I'd just shrug my shoulders and get me some of those mighty tasty chicken nuggets.

I think there's hope. More and more of us are realizing that eating better and moving more just might not be a bad idea. I was at the grocery store this morning in the produce section when a boy, armed with two cans of spaghettios, came up to a guy next to me and demanded he put them in the cart.

Kid: Larry, let's get these!

Larry: No way. We'll get fresh ingredients and make our spaghetti.

Kid: LARRY! Come on.

Larry: No meho, put it back.

Kid: But look, it doesn't have that much cholesterol! LARRY!

Larry: NO!


It was kind of sad to see a kid jonesing for some Franco American. But he knew what cholesterol was, so that's heartening, right?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Chicago is so lame

So this is the big celebrity news here. Shia LaPoof. . La Boof . . whatever. . has too much to drink and gets kicked out of a Walgreens of all places? And then he proceeds to be polite, according to Chicago police. Boring. I've been drunk in Walgreens plenty and never got kicked out.

God, I'm ashamed. Where's the DUI, the hit and run, or the dead hookers? I can't believe this kid couldn't do any better.

Shia was at one of Billy Dec's bars. I don't understand why celebrities go any where near this tool. He appears to have zero discretion and I'm sure he sent out a press release the minute he heard this kid was arrested after drinking with him. My friends and I would be more than happy to take them on a tour of our favorite dive bars. So Shia, next time you're in town, we're drinking here and you can crash on Rusty's couch.

Friday, November 02, 2007

What? Me Worry?

The Chicago suburbs are a treacherous place these days for women. The wife of this guy here just went missing earlier this week. This is Drew Peterson, a Bolingbrook cop, trying not to draw attention to himself yesterday outside his house by showing us how patriotic he is and that we should NEVER forget 9/11.

It turns out a "previous wife" met her demise a while back, drowning herself in a tub (and then somehow draining the water after she died) while involved in a divorce situ with this guy.

In other news, I have the day off today. I am so fucking hopped up on caffeine and current events. At the end of the day yesterday, my manager's manager asked me what I was going to do. The short list? Save healthcare, solve the CTA budget crisis, guarantee the 2016 Olympics for Chicago, fix the 2008 election for the Democrats, produce viable alternative energies for the globe, bring peace to the middle east. . .

I have to get going. I only have until 5 to get this all done.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So this isn't waterboarding, huh?

I specifically remember a summer afternoon, I think it was in 1980, when I was lying on the couch and my mom was sitting next to me, having one of her "big drinks of water."
Bored, she asked me if I ever heard of Chinese Water Torture. I replied no, as it wasn't something taught back then to third graders, and she proceeded to describe it to me.

"Well," she said as her jewel-toned metallic glass hovered over my head, "you're made to believe that the water is going to spill on you, and it forces you to tell them whatever they want you to tell them." And then she dumped half the glass of water on my head and laughed her ass off.

That horrible behavior coupled with the time she re-enacted the finale of the Wizard of Oz, and pretended she was melting in the rain as I watched in horror from the porch, causes me to believe she couldn't weather a Senate confirmation hearing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who would you burn in effigy?

Last week in my Second City class, we were assigned to write a sketch about an event or person from history. We worked on a few ideas in class, and I pitched something about the 1886 Haymarket Riot. Awesome idea, right? What with the anarchists, the bombs, the hanging of the aforementioned anarchists, and the subsequent burning of an effigy of the Illinois Governor, who couldn't make that funny?

My teacher mentioned that uh, it might be a little challenging to set it up, which led me into an unsolicited bit with me wondering why we don't burn people in effigy anymore. What a powerful image, I said, to which a a few agreed.

They do it every where else, the teacher said, so why not? True dat. Google "burning in effigy" and you see the Pope, President Clinton, some Indian Cricket star, and the guy you see here--Monsieur Carnaval--going up in flames.

A fellow student guessed that effigies take alot of work, so why would you turn around and set it on fire? That makes sense. I like crafts. If I was going to burn say--Ann Coulter--in effigy, I'd really throw myself into the project. I'd spend a lot of money at Glick for art supplies and order the effigy outfits out of the Chico's catalog. So yeah, I guess when it came time to drag her out to Daley Plaza and douse her with lighter fluid and set her ablaze with a lit cigarette, I'd balk.

Back to Monsieur Carnaval who I'm now fascinated with and more than a little pissed that Mrs. Johnson from high school French class never told me about. How strange are these people:

"In France, Carnival is a big celebration held before the beginning of the Christian fasting season of Lent. French adults and children who celebrate Carnival will dress up in costumes and have parties. And, at the end, they will burn an effigy of Monsieur Carnaval. Monsieur Carnaval is responsible for all the wrongdoing people do throughout the year."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In case you didn't know, winter's coming

This is a picture from the Great Chicago Blizzard of 1967, taken when I was -5 years old. This could very well be a picture from the future, say maybe January 22, 2008, of a Chicago street where everyone drives classic cars.

Anyway, yes, the mean ol' Chicago winter is on the way. The wind threatening to bust through my windows as I type this, just reminded me of this fact.

Winter. It is the season that will separate the men from the boys. The season that will cause you to revisit the weak and whiny "but we love the change of seasons" retort you yell in your head to quiet the screams of the others who say, "We're cold! No, we're freezing! Move to Mexico, you stupid @#$%!" When you're waiting for a bus in a city that can go from 80 degrees to Siberia in a matter of hours, this town can be a total bastard.

A fat, frozen, loud, slushy, salty bastard.

Like an abusive lover, let's admit, the Chicago winter tries to make it up to you. Maybe with a decent nighttime snowfall, where everything is white and quiet and still, even if for a few hours. Or with one of those random, bright and sunny winter days, when the snow melts a bit, and you can walk down the street, holding your coffee in a gloveless hand for the first time in weeks. On a day like that, you might even consider opening a window.

Man, it's going to be cold. Good God! But with a cute scarf, a flask of whiskey, and a couple two three Streets and San crews, there's not a single weather pattern we can't handle.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Alas, he is getting married. .

After lunch today, I read the news that Patrick Fitzgerald is getting married. My special, albeit neglected, Patrick Fitzgerald blog is now observing a period of mourning. I'd appreciate it if you drop by and offer your condolences.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Chicago is going to hell in a hand basket. We've got Cook County proposing a sales tax that will push us over 11 percent. Mayor Daley has offered up a budget with a ton of fee and tax hikes for a city that has the highest rate of inflation. Over at the Schadenfreude blog, Justin and his over achiever crew are coming up with a list of 500 new fees and taxes the city needs to consider to keep us in the black.

I'd like to use my forum to help the Chicago Transit Authority. The Doomsday budget scenario that will reduce the CTA to nothing more than a half dozen VW buses running every third Tuesday of the month is back on the table. I'd like to offer up the a few suggestions to end this drama once and for all:

1. Any CTA rider who refuses to walk to the back of a crowded bus, or into the middle of a crowded train, must pay a special, "I ain't moving my ass" surcharge, collected on the spot, each time a bus reaches over 75 percent capacity. If they neglect to pay, they will become identured servants of the CTA, thereby reducing labor costs.

2. Eliminate 9,000 of the 9,500 nearly empty buses that seem to run during rush hour to my one West side bus that get suburban commuters from their Loop jobs to their Metra trains and out of the city.

3. This won't save any money, but will make me feel better. If a bus driver is late, and he or she knows they're late, they have to say to their frustrated passenger, i.e. me, "Sorry dude, this is totally not my fault. I just work here. But if you hold on, and don't tell on me if I pass up everyone from Dearborn to Canal, maybe, just maybe I'll get you home by 7."

4. Buses and trains are filled with captive, bored consumers 24/7 in the city. Rent us out to marketers for focus groups and test audiences. I'd be more than happy to give Kraft my opinion on their latest concoction in exchange for reliable public transportation.

5. Buses and trains are filled with captive, bored crazy people 24/7 in the city. Rent them out to drug companies and university researchers for quick drug trials and human behavior studies. Also, the buses and trains are like petri dishes on wheels and rails. So why not, in exchange for federal dollars, let the CDC scrape the slimy, scabby crust that covers everything so they can be ahead of the curve on the next infectious "big thing."

Alright, I'm a little tapped out. Feel free to add your own, and you don't need to be from Chicago. We could use some fresh ideas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My office husband and I are having problems

Well now, we couldn't be happier. But there was that rough patch last week when we realized we went an entire Monday without dishing the weekend.
"Weekend?" he said, on Tuesday when we crossed paths at the color printer. "We didn't talk yesterday?"
"You were being a little stand-offish," I said with a wink.
I guess an entire eight hours without talking to him affected me because later in the week when we were alone in the kitchen, he said I was being mean to him. Perhaps a little less friendly, maybe, but not mean, I thought.
I'm just not ready for an office marriage, you know?
But I assured him he was crazy and we were soon back to our usual routine of goofball back and forth banter in his office, waves, little glances in the hall, and lingering chit chat at the color printer. Today I asked him if my breath smells like almonds, because I was just eating almonds, and he told me not to touch his client's report with my greasy hands.
This has got to be the dorkiest post ever. But jobs are boring and stupid and crushes make it a little less boring and stupid. Today when he called me "Ang" for the first time, I got a little stomach flip.
Maybe it was the almonds.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I wonder where the first Gen Xer is right now?

This is Kathleen Casey-Kirschling today, the first baby-boomer as she signs up for Social Security, an event that is supposed to signal the beginning of the end of us financially. We all need to run out and get second or maybe third jobs so that ol' girl and her squad can afford Geritol and Depends (whoa! Glass houses! I totally need Geritol and Depends) for the next 20 years until they croak.

Anyway I'm ready to answer the call. That's cool. I've worked in fast food and at Wal-Mart before I hit pay dirt as a Marketing Coordinator. I've got skills. I'll pitch in to help the Peepaws.

I'm just wondering though if "they"know who the first Gen Xer is? Probably not. It's like how parents go apeshit over their first kid, documenting everything and then slacking off with each subsequent child. We've got the WWII generation--the greatest generation--who survived The Great Depression, fought a war so long, the Ken Burns documentary runs for something like 4,342 hours, and invented a little something called "White Flight." Then there's Kathy and her peers, our parents, the Baby Boomers. They rejected convention, burned their bras, and birthed us, the ungrateful Generation X. Ah, yes, Generation X. Lazy asses who are only good at computers, being apathetic, and fucking.

Nevermind that the preceding two generations have handed us a steaming ball of shit, ready to explode in our faces. That's cool, we'll figure it out in between blog updates, NSA sex, and screwing up our own kids.

In the fall of 2026 when the first Gen Xer signs up for Social Security which then will likely consist of a $50 Lettuce Entertain You gift card and a trial size Colgate toothpaste, what will the world be like? Any ideas?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Is this logo conservative enough for you?

I thought I'd work up a logo for Google, free of charge, for National Assface Day which is tomorrow, October 10th. In case you have no idea what this post is in reference to, click here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What a race!

First off, a big time, HUGE ASS, congratulations to my friends Maria and Cathy who finished today's Chicago Marathon. You're insane and you rock.

Man it was so hot. And so crazy with police helicopters flying overhead telling people to stop. Runners were eyeing the water you had saved for your friends, and then looking at you like you were sending them to their deaths (I swear I gave it away after Cathy and Maria were on to mile 24). Rusty and I saw this guy (not in this photo here-this is from being taken away on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and his eyes rolled back into his head. Scary shit. This weather took a terrible toll on these runners, no question.

People will have lots to say about what happened. Not enough water, not enough gatorade, the city did the right thing by calling the race, the city shouldn't have cancelled it, people were reckless for continuing. . . yeah, Chicago will be abuzz tomorrow.

But after a long day in that sun, cheering them on, and getting from stop to stop, you understood a little why these maniacs decide to run 26.2 miles through one of the greatest cities on this planet.

Any answer you needed was in the look on their faces once they caught a glance of that finish line.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

What up?

First off, if you're aggravated with my lazy ass and dearth of blog posts, please click on the link on the right to "subscribe to posts" so you won't have to keep coming back, disappointed or perhaps vindicated. A special interweb shout-out to my friend LS for setting it up for me, because I sure as shit couldn't.

This week I recieved an email from Planned Parenthood, urging me to blog about the clinic situation in Aurora. Although they have been allowed to open (just having to type the words "allowed to open" irritates the living shit out of me) the battle will continue. Pro-Life activists have shown up and are taking pictures of the license plates of workers and patients with the intent to make their lives hell, and Safeway is letting these folks use their property to stage their protests. Planned Parenthood is urging people to call Safeway and find out what's what. Calling them, I think is a waste of time. But choosing not to shop at their stores (which include Dominic's) is something that might get their interest. So goodbye Dominic's, hello Jewel.

Now that we're on the subject, and I'm firmly positioned on my soapbox, is anyone else in awe of Pro-Life activists? Over the summer I was coming back from lunch and Michigan Avenue was lined on either side for several blocks with these people holding larger-than life posters of aborted fetuses. Lovely. Where the protestors came from, or why they weren't at work, I don't know. Maybe they parachuted from the sky, or base jumped from atop the Art Institute, or even crawled up out of the ground in Grant Park like cicadas. Anyway they were there.

And as I studied each one carefully while I walked up Michigan, I wondered, for a moment, what this country would be like if they took a few days off from that drama, and really worked to support the women and children of America. What if they urged their leaders to support living wages so that a woman could maybe raise a child. What if they marched on Washington and demanded healthcare, and childcare for these women and that baby they want so desperately to see the light of day? What if they were holding up signs with pictures of all the Chicago Public School children killed this year by gang violence, and demanded a safer environment for poor kids in a city that they likely drove into from the suburbs? Hell, what if they spent more time being parents themselves so that their daughters would know that they have an education and life waiting for them and that getting pregnant too soon is a pretty bad idea.

In my mind, the bottom line is this. If you don't support a woman's right to an abortion, and a woman's right to have access to a Planned Parenthood for all the OTHER services they provide which, obviously would make an abortion unnecessary, then you are anti-woman and by golly, anti-child.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Clown Prince of Italy is one loud Mother Effer

Nino here, on the left has been whooping it up across the street from my place for the last three days. An Italian Circus has set up camp in the heart of one Chicago's largest Mexican neighborhoods, and each night Nino and his pals love to blare Neil Diamond and the Lone Ranger theme at ear splitting levels. It's brutal and funny all that the same time.

Earlier today I had brunch with Rusty and told her that the circus left town. (Incidentally we determined it's not the menu that made it brunch, it was that we waited over an hour for a table and even had to buy cookies at a bakery to fight off starvation.)

"That's cool," she said about the circus. "Go check on our table."

When I got home, I realized how wrong I was. It turns out Nino isn't leaving town until tomorrow, and he and his circus cronies are now competing with some sort of religious revival in another portion of the park. So anyway, the circus and the blaring religious music has driven me out of my home and into a coffee house to catch up on my favorite blogs. Perhaps they will let me sleep here.

Last week I had the ear of a former president, a one Mr. Bill Clinton. My boss made me go to his book signing at Borders for his latest, and in my view, lamest book about how we can all make a difference. Snore. But for just $20 and three hours of my life waiting in line, I had the chance to have the following exchange with Bubba (let it be known that Smokey Robinson was playing in the background.)

I said to him, "Promise me Hilary can win next year." As he was signing my copy of Giving, I see that my comment agitated him. He paused, the publisher chick handed me yet another book that will gather dust on my shelves, and in a huff he said:

"Well if she doesn't, it's not going to be my fault."

Oh snap! I thought he'd take my hand, look deep into my pleading brown eyes and assure me that the team of Clinton and Clinton was going to save me from four years of looking at Mitt Romney's face.

The Four Horsemen of the Public Transit Apocalypse have been closing in on Chicago during the last month or so. The CTA has been holding this "Doomsday" budget over our heads, threatening us with higher fares and bus line cuts if we don't call our legislators and get more dough for them. I, for one, am all Doomsday'd out. We hear this every summer, and I don't know who to believe. This drama has us all stressed out. Yesterday a lady on my bus was one missed green light from blowing up the #18.

As we're chugging along, she says, "You have GOT to be kidding me! Why are we going so slow? I DON'T UNDERSTAND!

At question were the skills of this driver, who appeared to have this "I'll get there when I get there" attitude. She, much to our dismay, was taking us all for a leisurely morning drive. Now, I've been commuting on the CTA for 11 years, and I'm well aware of situations where buses are, for scheduling reasons, kept back to avoid bus bunching. This wasn't one of those times.

Was the passenger crazy? Maybe. But I felt her pain. What you want is a happy medium. You've got some drivers who will drive on sidewalks, pass your ass up, or turn Canal Street into the Indy 500 to stay on schedule. And then you got others who don't appear to give a shit. I'm just not sure how a state budget can fix that.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Who in the hell are these people?

Can someone explain to me why your computer has to come with free pictures like a $.99 picture frame would from Dollar General? Wouldn't it be something if these were like my children from a former life and maybe in say, 1998, I had a traumatic experience and developed amnesia? If the latter is true, it appears as though I homeschooled my children.

Yes, I've been drinking since 6.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Over the summer I popped into the Chicago History Museum and it reminded me how much I loved 19th Century newspaper headline writing. HANGED! or RIOT! or ANARCHY! or DEATH AMONG WHIZZING BULLETS! Just really delivered the punch the stories deserved. Contemporary copyeditors pussy foot around, in my view.

Take this headline from today at Chicago Tribune online edition:

LAME! It should read:


Also from today's Tribune:

Now this mob trial has been going on all summer, so maybe the copyeditors are just plum exhausted. However, this might be the last great Chicago mob trial so they could inject a little energy into the headline. How about:


The Sun-Times is no better. Here's one their evening headlines:

But I think this is much better:


Anyway, let me know if you think I should submit my resume to either of our great city's Big Dailies.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I finally have something in common with President Bush!

The following has been revealed in the new book you see pictured:

Both I and George Bush have been crying alot since he's become President.
I know what saddens me about his administration. But what about him? Is it the long hours, the fact that the Right Wing can't seem to go a month without having one of their own revealed not only as homosexual, but creepy and deviant, or maybe it's just that he's losing his mind.
In other political news, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is proving to be a bigger tard than I thought he was with this budget nonsense. Politics it not only local, it is immediate and fucking ridiculous. He eliminated the state funding for a program called Cease Fire, an organization that works in West and South Side neighborhoods to quell gang violence. Cease Fire was forced to layoff "violence interrupters" who are primarily former gang members, this weekend, and fifteen people ended up dead in Cease Fire neighborhoods like Englewood and Humboldt Park. I remember an interview I did a while back when I asked a police commander about Cease Fire. "It works, it just works," he said, shrugging his shoulders.
It's too bad they weren't working this weekend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Real Men of Questionable Genius

Singer: Real Men of Questionable Genius
Today I salute you, Mr.-18th-St.-Bus-Driver-who-can't-wait-for-a-Delivery-truck-to-clear-Canal-Street.

Singer: You're on a tight schedule

That's right, your busload of sleepy commuters would rather die in a head on collision then be five minutes late to work

Singer: You want to get them to the Red Line.

Oh yes, drive up on that curb, take the sidewalk, and then maneuver through those signs back onto the street because who knows when that semi will make it into the dock.


Bonus: I added two new sketches over on the sidebar. Be kind as these are DRAFTS! Comments are welcome.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gotta go! My dates are here!

It was a beautiful day here in equatorial Chicago. A perfect day for a long stroll down 18th street where you meet a neighborhood friend who says at first when asked, that he’s doing fine, but then admits, “Actually no, I’m terrible. I’m so hungover.” You tell him that his sad, bloodshot eyes and bedhead gave him away, and that you are on a quest for an enormous iced coffee because your head feels as if it is stuffed with cotton.

Yes, it’s a day where the AC can be turned off, the windows opened wide, and the sunshine and pleasant mercury-tinged air can pour into your apartment.

It’s also, apparently, a perfect day for your neighbhor’s house to catch on fire.

I was in my powder room seeing a man about a horse late this afternoon when I heard the sirens. Not an unusual occurrence in these parts. But there were several sirens and they all seemed to stop close. The smell of smoke soon followed, so I hurried up my business and rushed to my front window to make sure it wasn’t my building going up in flames.

The streets below were lined with fire trucks with scores of black and yellow-clad Chicago firefighters spilling out to attend to a fire about a half-block from me.

So adorable, these guys. Each and every one. A bigun dragged a hose over to the hydrant below my window and I fell in love immediately.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just finished the Ark

One more week of this torrential downpour business and we're going to be all Atlantis'd-out.
Anyway, I built the Ark on my lunch hour today. It's moored over at Monroe Harbor. Everyone's invited.
Peace out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meet Me in East St. Louis

I had a dream last night that scared me to my core. This morning as I sat at my computer, I tried to determine its meaning. And it led me here. Back into the arms of my blog.

Non sequiter first. How in the hell does Carrie Bradshaw smoke and type? I'm trying it now, and it's impossible. Mislead by TV again. It's easy to drink and type though. Five minutes ago, ok fifty minutes ago, I cracked into this beer that you can't get in Illinois anymore. I picked it up last month in Michigan for a beer-loving boy I know who is currently in Alaska, most likely drinking beer in an Igloo with an Eskimo chick right now. Whatever. I bet she's frigid.


Back to the dream. I had a quasi sex dream about Fred Thompson last night. Now we only spooned, but I'm freaked out just the same. It goes right up there with the dream I once had about Don Rumsfeld where he was interviewing me for a job while we both sitting on a twin bed covered in a frilly white comforter. And my all time favorite--the full fledged sex dream starring me and Medavoy from NYPD Blue.

What can I say? I'm strange and my dreams are exponentially stranger. Writing helps one keep the demons in check. So here I am. It was either blogging or therapy.

I had promised in June to come back with an exciting recap of the summer of 2007. Though it wasn't a bad summer, and one certainly befitting a woman of (gulp) 35, this is all I have for you:

Work, cocktails, beach, 35th birthday, Second City classes, cocktails, work, sassy new haircut, cocktails.

About the post's title. I was on a project today where I had to do a little research on the city government of the aforementioned East St. Louis. You don't have to be from the Midwest to have a preconcieved notion of life in this city of about 30,000 across the Mississippi from St. Louis. What's striking is how the city's government embraces this image on their web site by including the following as their city's trivia:

East St. Louis was mentioned on an episode of The Simpsons as one of the 300 most liveable cities in America, coming in right below Springfield as number 300.

Another Simpsons episode mentions East St. Louis when Homer flees the country to open a casino on a tropical island.

On another episode of The Simpsons, Homer mistakenly brings Barney to the AAA rather than the AA. Homer then inquires about a trip to East St. Louis, stating "Is there any other St. Louis?"

On That '70s Show Kitty states that Red is going to turn their home into East St. Louis with his drug dealing

On the April 17, 2006, episode of WWE RAW, Vince McMahon stated that he thought he was in hell, but his driver just made a wrong turn into East St. Louis.

Poor East St. Louis. They need a hug. You'd think being the hometown of Senator Dick Durbin would give them a little boost, but alas, this is not the case.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sorry folks, blog's closed! Moose out front shoulda told ya!

I was walking down 18th Street the tother day when I passed Pilsen's only Chinese restaurant. It was closed, with a sign in the window telling everyone they were closed for summer vacation and they'd be back in September.

Eureka, I thought! That's what I should do! While I certainly don't want to keep throwing up the occasional half-assed post, I don't want to say good bye to my blog forever. So I'm taking a summer break. Consider this your end-of-school yearbook entry.

See you in the Fall, and I promise to deliver one helluva guess-what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation blog post by Labor Day!

And (I just looked at my freshman yearbook for inspiration) party hard, stay cool, don't get pregnant and good luck with whoever.

Frenz Forever,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ald. Ed Burke is in the house!

He's even pinker in person, like piglet pink. No offense to the piglets.

I'm just kidding, I don't know enough to have a beef with the 14th ward alderman or why he was standing in the lobby of my building when I came back from lunch. Maybe he was there to pick up Mayor Daley, whose doctor's office is in the same building as my job? I should have walked up to him and told him how glad I was that the SEIU was able to unseat a few of his incumbent cronies this past election.

When I got off the elevator upstairs, I told a few folks leaving my office that Ed Burke was waiting for them. They didn't care. "He sure is red, that guy," I said.

"Hmmph. He's probably drunk," a coworker said as the elevator doors started to close.

Check out 10 things you might not know about the Chicago City Council.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A beer drinkin' woman*

La Salle. Peru.

Two words that don't mean much to some of you (like my amigo in Madrid who reads this blog, hola dude!) but to a few others. . . you just know where I'm going with this post.

La Salle-Peru is a pair of twin cities about 100 miles west of Chicago. I grew up in La Salle, and like many, I have a conflicted relationship with my hometown. Though I bitch, and bitch I wouldn't trade my early years there for a stint in some fancy suburb. No sir. A few years at a fancy English boarding school? Well maybe.

Anyway, I was there over the weekend for a belated Mother's Day celebration slated for Sunday, so on Saturday I decided to forget my troubles and got sucked into a hazy vortex called Elle's, my favorite local watering hole that was celebrating 25 years of existence. It was fun. It was funny. It was at times, ugly. It was Elle's.

When I was a wide-eyed young Democrat interning in DC, I lived in this all-girls dormitory. One night I was sitting in the family room with the house mates and everyone was talking about where they grew up. I remained quiet a bit until a girl from Texas asked me where I was from.

"Uh Illinois, from a small town west of Chicago."

"Where?" she asked, interested.

"You wouldn't know it. It's like a hundred miles away."

She sat up in her chair. "Seriously, where?"



Everyone likes to drink there. Yep, she knew the place all right. She jumped up to call her grandma by the way. Of course the old lady didn't know my last name (my mom and her family were carpet baggers in the 60s) but I was able to prove to her that I was indeed the geniune article:

A LaSalle-Peru girl, an LP girl if you will.

Perhaps the grandma was a little nervous because indeed, I turned out to be the intern that semester who quickly grew tired of the other girls who wanted to sit around, nurse a drink and chat about New Gingrich and the Contract With America, while nervously casting glances around the bar. I would leave them, go to the bar, slam beers, bum cigarettes and try to make the Irish bartender fall in love with me. I was also the intern who got a 19 year old intern so drunk, she came home and threw up while I used her phone to call my LP girlfriends. . who were at . . . you guessed it, Elles.

It's in our DNA, I'm telling ya.

A girl who grew up in LP likes beer, and will never be the lady who sips a fruity mixer and acts all silly after one cocktail. An LP girl most likely has had a run in with the police well before her 21st birthday. An LP girl has made out with a boy(s) in the woods, in the dead of winter, and may or may not have come home that night with her bra in her jacket pocket. An LP girl has to be careful on dates to not out-drink the guy sitting across from her. While an LP girl has a high tolerance for alcohol, she has a very low tolerance for self important, overly stylish places where drinks cost more than a week on the 60.

Well anyway, I know I have fewer and fewer of those nights left in me. And I'm ok with that, as I am closing in fast on middle age.

*As I was writing this post, a blues song called "A Beer Drinking Woman" by Memphis Slim came on WXRT. Here are the lyrics: The story's true ladies and gentlemen. All the names have been changed to protect the innocent. The year 19 hundred and forty. The city, Chicago. The place, Rubin's Tavern. The story goes something like this:I walked into a beer tavern to give a girl a nice time. I had forty-five dollars when I enter, When I left I had one dime. Wasn't she a beer drinkin' woman? Don't ya know, man don't ya know? She was a beer-drinkin' woman. And I don't want to see her no more. Now, when I spend down to my last dime. She said, 'Darlin' I know you're not through'I said, 'Yes, baby doll. And the trophy belongs to you. Wasn't she a beer drinkin' woman?Don't you know, man don't you know? She was a beer-drinkin' woman. And I don't wanna see her no more. Now she'd often say, 'Excuse me a minute. I've got to step around here'. And ev'ry time she came back. She had room for another quart of beer. Wasn't that a beer drinkin' woman? Don't ya know, man, don't ya know? She was a beer drinkin' woman. And I don't want to see her no mo'.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Alexander Hamilton was hot

About 7 years ago I was in New York for a wedding when I walked by Alexander Hamilton's grave at Trinity Church and told my friend Jennifer that I thought Alexander Hamilton was hot. Why? I don't know. I thought it was funny. Later, hammered, at a hotel bar with the post-reception crowd I pulled out a twenty dollar bill and said to a girl, "Wasn't Alexander Hamilton hot?" She grabbed the $20, held it close to her drunken face, and said, "You're right! Alexander Hamilton was hot!" So what if we were looking at Andrew Jackson, aka "Old Hickory." They all look alike.

So why the Alexander Hamilton story? Because I'm a gigantic dork with next to no life, tonight I'm watching Alexander Hamilton's American Experience thingie and I'm super excited about it. And on Wednesday night? I'm going to find out the untold story behind the Spanish Inquisition, and maybe drink alone.

Go see the new movie Waitress with Felicity. It was adorable and I was glad I saw it until this morning when my boss reminded me the Writer/Director/The Vera-like Waitress Adrienne Shelley was the one who was murdered in NYC last fall. That made me sad.

Today at lunch I was in line at the CVS when this bum busted through the door, marched in, grabbed a T shirt and something else I couldn't see, and walked right back out, alarm be damned. The guy behind the check out shrugged his shoulders and told me he wasn't about to do anything. I then demanded I too get my stuff for free and started stuffing shit in my bag, urging others to do the same. Just kidding. I said, "That's awesome, good for him." and walked out with my purchased flavored water and $35 pack of gum.

On the bus home tonight I was captivated by this gent wearing a cap that read, "Jesus NOW!" My, my I thought, aren't we pushy? What if Jesus is busy (I don't imagine he has a ton of down time these days), and he's like, "My child, I will get to you when I can. Be patient." And this dude would be like stomping his foot and whimpering, "NO! JESUS NOW! NOT LATER, NOW!" What a jerk.

When Jesus Now got off at the train station, I scanned the packed bus and saw my friend KC's husband at the front holding on with one hand and trying to balance his bag with the other. Frustrated, I couldn't get his attention, so I called my friend and said, "Call Adam and tell him I'm on the bus!" She thought that was funny, but I was serious. I then told her I'd text her if I saw him making out with the driver.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Here I am!

Forgive me James Brown, for I have sinned. It has been two weeks since my last post. I haven't a viable excuse to offer for my absence. It is my longest to date, and I feel awful!

So anyway, I met this fella you see here this weekend at the Kane County Flea Market. Think Lemon Shake-ups, funnel cakes, chocolate covered bannas . . . oh, and mint condition, recently deceased R & B singers! (I didn't buy him, I swear, although I need to spice up my cubicle at work.) The perfect end to a day of flea marketing was a six pack of PBR and a smattering of smokey treats on Rusty's porch.

I have been hurting for blog material as of late. With a job that has yet to illicit any feeling from me one way or the other, a short commute that hasn't produced anything remotely blog-worthy, and a feeling that maybe beer soaked tales aren't that funny, I'm kind of tapped out. I did ask a new pal (an Atlanta transplant) if I could use one of her stories, and she obliged. I'll try and capture her voice (imagine drunken southern drawl, peppered with hiccupy giggles) Editor's notes are in parentheses.

"So I was with a bunch of guys from work at (I forget the name of the restaurant) in North Carolina (or maybe South Carolina). Bubba (forgot his name) said it was a great place for fried chicken. We hadn't ordered yet, so I went to the ladies room. It was a small bathroom, but it had a stall and I walk in and see this woman with her pants pulled down DRYING HER ASS. I said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry!' and start to leave, but she tells me it's ok, I can stay. Horrified I went back to the table. The ass dryer soon exited the bathroom and WENT BACK TO WORK."

Where is Dateline NBC where you need them?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Operation Overkill

I'm with the Little Village folks who are pissed off at the way the federales handled the fake id raid yesterday.

Immigration officers hit a mall, wearing the garb you see here, toting rifles and machine guns, and stopped 150 people, the Tribune says. It freaked a lot of people out. They're saying this big show was put on to intimidate Mexicans, and with an immigration rally scheduled for next week, well, the timing is mucho peculiar.

Now they did arrest 22 people, including the leader who is wanted for conspiring to commit murder. But acting like Little Village is Baghdad? Not a good idea. An already police-weary demographic doesn't need another reason to not attend a community police meeting, or call 911 when something is wrong in their hood.

I've watched enough cop shows to know that if you really anticipated some big "fire fight" that would have warranted all that heavy artillery* and military uniforms, this raid wouldn't have happened with all those innocent people milling about. And if you really wanted to hit pay dirt with the illegals, why don't you raid some condo developer's job site next time, or any of kitchens of the fancy downtown restaurants?

Yeah, that won't happen.

Unfortunately Pat Fitzgerald was at the center of this. Maybe he's losing his edge after coming up empty on the CIA leak case.

Pat, ok, fine. You got a bad guy. But at what price?

*I made that up. I have no idea what heavy artillery is.

Monday, April 16, 2007

What is that pointy white thing in the background?

About a year and a half ago I was sitting in my friend Jennifer's North side condo doing what we've done about a billion times before over the past ten years. Drinking beer, talking, and hanging out with her dogs. It was a couple of weeks before her wedding and Jennifer asked me if I wanted to move West with her and her soon-to-be-husband Scott.

"West? Uh sure. Like Irving Park?"

That actually wasn't what she had in mind. I was thinking she meant the West side of Chicago, and she was talking about Portland, Oregon.

As in half-way-across-the-country-Portland, Oregon.

As in you'll have to get on a plane and set your watch back and use different money to be able to hang out and drink beer and speak in code and annoy everyone around you Portland, Oregon.

They were serious. It was Portland or bust.

Anyway as they say, time flies when you are having fun and by golly if Jennifer and Scott didn't go and buy a house in Portland. The day of reckoning is here. They close tomorrow. Then they come back to Chicago, pack up their dogs and drive west to an adorable house built in 1910, complete with a yard, ghosts, and trees! (I'm a little jealous about the yard and the ghosts, btw)

On Friday, I enjoyed some Mexican food and dangerously strong beers at the Map Room with Jennifer, Scott, and his friends Steve, Chris, and Jeff. It wasn't a late night, so when the former Chicagoans decided it was time to go I declared that I must say goodbye to her in a bar and not on a cold Bucktown corner. So that's what we did. We hugged, I sobbed and said "I wish I knew how to quit you!" she slapped me and told me to snap out of it, and then we stood back, waved and watched Jennifer and Scott leave.

We were speechless for a bit. They really did it. I guess maybe there was a little part of me after all, that was ready to call their bluff. Like maybe they'd run back in laughing and say, "Portland? Are you kidding me?"

Chris spoke first. "Hmmm," he said, "if I knew they were really moving, I would have bought their dinner tonight." I thought that was pretty funny.

In an effort to stay strong, we did a shot of tequila in their honor, swore to continue fighting the good fight without them, and then I went out and hailed a cab on that Bucktown street alone.

Did I mention that I have my own room at the new house?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bar hopping with Phil Cline

God, I am on a freakin roll with this law enforcement celeb spotting. Last night I was at Hawkeye's completely captivating my friends with my dramatic Fitzgerald story, and wouldn't ya know it? The soon-to-be-jobless Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline walked by our table.
As a friend of the police, I had to greet him. He was quite personable and didn't try to beat us up once. Jennifer was pee-oh'd because she was in the john when I stopped him and she wanted to tell him she thought he got the shaft, what with his "early retirement" and all. I wanted to send him over a drink, but he snuck out.
Later when I was in the cab going home, I called Jennifer to tell her Rusty and I were at Dugan's with Phil Cline.
Today when I left my job the very nice hr lady told me to come to her with anything, anytime. She said I was "part of the family" now. I thought that was sweet. But the one family I have now is plenty. Back in the day when we used to fraternize (not canoodle, there was never any canoodling) with middle-aged homicide detectives, we were invited into their "family." That was a second family I did want, because there were perks like cigarettes and beer and armed escorts home into your questionable neighborhood and promises of getting off if you ever killed someone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Of all the girls on all the streets of Chicago, he had to walk by me

I am the world's biggest spaz. And possibly now one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted.

At approximately 12:48 p.m. CST, Patrick Fitzgerald passed me on Jackson somewhere between State and Wabash. I couldn't believe it. I did a double take, and stopped for second, and tried to get my shit together. I wasn't sure what I should do. Of course, I quickly began to think of the implications for my blog. .

Do I take a picture? Do I chase after him? Do I continue on to Walgreen's to buy toilet paper and shampoo like a normal person would?

Fuck that.

I decided follow him. Now, don't get excited, I didn't have to run or anything. He hadn't gotten that far, I just had to walk fast. Pretty fast actually.

The Federal Building is just a couple of blocks away from my office (something I seriously didn't think about when I accepted my job, I swear) and apparently he was hungry and popped into the Cosi at State and Wabash.

I snuck in the line behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. He had just taken out his PDA and thought I was trying to get ahead in line. He gestured for me to move ahead.

Now for the second time in my life, I proceeded to act like the biggest dork in front of Patrick Fitzgerald. I said something to a long the lines of "I'm a big fan" and "I really appreciate the work you do." And he said something like, "I'm not the only one, there are a lot of people working with me." I shook his hand, told him to enjoy his lunch, and bolted.

I had to get out of there. It was too much. I had originally planned to act cool and buy a soda or even a second lunch but I couldn't.

That poor guy, he probably gets out for lunch like once every year and he had to run into me.

And anyway, the timing with a new job couldn't be worse. I couldn't come back and email my friends or update my blog with this breaking news. Instead, I was forced to tell a group of new coworkers sitting in the kitchen when I got back to the office. It's way too early to "just be myself."

"Hey, how is it outside?" One asked.

"IT'S GREAT! I JUST SAW PATRICK FITZGERALD!" I exclaimed, not too loudly though because our employee handbook warns against being "boisterous" in the office.

Silence. Blank stares. More silence. I went to my desk.

Later one of the gals came up to me and said they all kind of talked about me after I left the kitchen.

"Most didn't know who he was. Or they thought you said Peter Fitzgerald."

"What? Patrick Fitzgerald! PATRICK FITZGERALD!"

She smiled. I think she likes me. And who wouldn't like the crazy new girl who stalks public officials and causes them to look a little scared when they're in line to buy food?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter Themed Image Gallery

This one of a 80s era Jesus closing a deal is my favorite.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good night and good luck

I just sent my mom’s resume to CBS in case Katie Couric needs an understudy for her nightly news cast. Now Rhonda has no formal jounalism training, but she does have vast experience delivering the news of our family in a very unique fashion. Our family news is what my teachers at Columbia would call hard news. Crime, drugs, mayhem, with maybe a little tale of redemption thrown in here and there.

My old lady, she's so transparent. There's the I-got-something-good-but-I-promised-not-to-say-anything tone she'll have right off the bat. Like I'll call, we'll talk for two minutes and she'll blurt out, "Did you talk to Chad?" Uh, no I didn't, why? "Oh nothing." WHY? "Noth. . alright I wasn't supposed to say anything, but---"

You get the idea. Tonight's phone call was her shrewdly trying to interweave disturbing news with the mundane. I don't know if she's either trying to test whether or not I'm listening to her, or she's secretly hoping I'll miss these nuggets and she's only telling me because she feels obligated. Here's how it went:

Mom: You coming home for Easter?

Me: Yep, and I don't want any ham, you hear me!

Mom: I don't care. you're cooking. I had to turn my heat on today. Are you warm enough? Sammy's getting married next week*. How's your job?

Me: Whoa.

Mom: Natalie wants everyone to call Clarence on his birthday*. Kenny's in the hospital, his colon looks like cottage cheese*.

Me: I'm eating!

Mom: What are you eating?

Me: Eggs.

Mom: Eggs? Why? How's everyone doing? Are you being careful? I know, your my city mouse, and I'm just a country mouse. I think Kenny has AIDS.

Me: How can someone's colon look like cottage cheese*?

Anyway, with that I swayed the conversation back to what we were going to eat for Easter and then I pretended I had to go number two.

*My cousin Sammy is 23, lives at home, is a total jagoff and shouldn't be allowed to marry anyone.
*Kenny is my Aunt Laurie's brother-in-law. Kenny has been in a long term relationship with a gentleman named Leon for the last 30 years, at least.
*I haven't talked to my cousin Clarence in over 10 years.
*Seriously, how can this happen?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to memorize this:

"In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad, known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories."

I'm alway thinking up fun things to do to keep myself occupied. When people ask me my hobbies, I say: writing, watching TV, painting pictures, burning President Bush in effigy, drinking beer, gossiping, shrinking from my responsibilities as an American, and oh yeah, wasting big blocks of time.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I hate this fucking blog

Alright, not really. But I am completely blogged out. I thought not having a job was going to seriously make my blog like the champagne of blogs, but I've come to realize that being relaxed and happy is terrible for my art. I've lost my muse. I need to be miserable again.

To that end, I went back to work today. I achieved my simple dream of a job in the Loop, an hour lunch, and casual Fridays. I was back on the ol '60 this morning and I think everyone was glad to have me back. Except the hot guy who gets the bus in Little Italy. Tomorrow I'm going to push my way to him, throw his Wall Street Journal to the ground, and scream "WHY WON'T YOU LOVE ME?"

What, too much? Hey, at least I'll get a blog out of it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

This is awesome

From the Chicago Tribune:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson suggested firing Chicago federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in a 2006 meeting with then-White House counsel Harriet Miers, Sampson told the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon.
Sampson proposed adding Fitzgerald's name to a list of U.S. attorneys slated for dismissal, but was greeted by silence from Miers and another White House lawyer, Bill Kelley. "They just looked at me." Sampson, under questioning by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, said he immediately realized that bringing up Fitzgerald's name was inappropriate and he regrets mentioning him to this day.

He's hot

Seriously, I'm all over the Comptroller General. If Joseph P. Kennedy and FDR had a child together. . . this is we'd you'd get. He's really pissed about the HUGE national debt, fyi.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A new crew for The View

Alright, so I've been off work for eight weeks now so today I'm celebrating by watching The View. Twenty- three minutes into the show and I'm ready to jump out my window. Or get on the next flight to NYC and kill them. It's brutal. They're yelling over each other, struggling to sound remotely intelligent while debating the U.S. attorney firing scandal.

Now my friends and I have been known banter back and forth about the issues of the day. Usually drunk, always funny and engaging, I'm thinking we need to replace Rosie, Joy, Barbara, and Elizabeth. What follows is a fictionalized transcript of a debate on the same topic The View ladies are attempting to tackle.

Angie: I can't beLIEVE they said my boyfriend is like doing a bad job or whatever.

Rusty: What are you talking about dude. . . whose round it is?

Jennifer: Whose round it is? I got the last one.


Jennifer: I miss Bubba.

Angie: Let's call someone!

Red: Give me your phone.

Rusty: Let's call Canada!

Angie: I can call whoever I WANT! It's a free country. . . for like another week or so at least. .

Rusty: Ha! You're funny dude. Here, here's that Toronto guy's number. .

Angie: It's his voicemail. . . hello Canada? This is the United States of America calling. Please call us back at your earliest convenience.

Red: Alright, another round?

Rusty: YEAH!

Angie: Seriously, Bush blows. The world's going to end. Who cares if I get a job. I need a cigarette.

Rusty: Whatever dude, you always say that.

Red: Whatever.

Jennifer: I miss Bubba.

Monday, March 26, 2007

What is wrong with this picture?

Do you remember that scene from Ferris Bueller's Day off when Matthew Broderick disappears and then when his friends find him, he's floating by in a parade?

Well yesterday in Greektown, the two troubled youths you see here with the red arrows kinda did just that. Perhaps I need to get out more, but it was one of the funniest fucking things I've ever seen.

Yesterday began ordinarily enough. I woke up, had a little coffee, and met Rusty to head to Grant Park to watch Maria (the troubled youth on the right) run in the Shamrock Shuffle. We collected our runner at the end of the race, went to Miller's for lunch and beers and met Bradley (troubled youth on the left) who has abstained from beer for like a year. This of course, inspired us to ply him with as beer as possible (or it at least inspired me.)

After lunch, it was off to Greektown to Dugan's where we were surprised to find the neighborhood abuzz with some sort of Greek celebration. Halsted was lined with Greeks and Greek enthusiasts, but our beloved Irish bar had plenty of seating near the big open windows and $8 pitchers. With a sunny, 70 degree day on top of this, one cannot ask for more, I think.

The boring parade started, and then stopped inexpicably like five minutes later.

"What in world would bring this parade to screeching a halt?" Bradley queried. We were super pissed because the Cook County Treasurer's truck was blocking our view of the Jesse White Tumblers, who completely rock.

"Those fuckers can fly!" Maria said. We could see their legs speeding through the sky over the top of stupid Dorothy Brown's vehicle. The parade started moving again, the next hour or so was a series of pitcher, cigarette, pitcher, moderately entertaining float with Greek goddesses and Spartans, pitcher, pitcher, cigarette. . . you get the idea, right?

Then things started to get interesting. I was finishing up in the powder room when I heard a freight train bust through the door.

It was Maria.

"I'M GOING TO BE IN THE PARADE!" She said, running into a stall with a blue shirt in her hand. She slammed the stall door behind her. I was like, ok, whatever, shrugged my shoulders and went back to our table. Bradley was no where to be found as well.

Rusty, a lovely Irish gal named Maureen, and I waited to see the above scene flash by. It was too much. I honestly thought that maybe they'd walk by, buried in a group of people but nope, there they were on a float, waving their Greek flags with a fevered passion for their new found heritage. Bradley said later he was waving and pointing at people saying, "I'm waving at you, yes you. I'm waving at YOU!"

I was never so proud to be a Chicagoan.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Oh no he di-int!

I know you all know that I want to take Fitzgerald behind the middle school and get him pregnant. I am, I'll admit, very biased on this U.S. Attorney story. But I hope the above story (click on the headline to read it) hopefully sways a couple of Bushies to realize the people they voted for, and defend at every turn, are a bunch of maniacs.

Putting my boyfriend Patrick Fitzgerald on a mediocre, not-distinguished list is hilarious. I think I'm the only one he hasn't prosecuted here in Chicago (because love isn't a federal crime....ha!) Democrats, Republicans, mobsters, gang bangers, white collar criminals. . . Ol' Fitz is bringing them all down.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Doesn't KSM look good?

Someone (whose name rhymes with smangie ) has way too much time on their hands.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I want to be a vegetarian

How can I get President Bush and his adminstration to stop saying things like "I serve at the pleasure of the president." Or, "the U.S. attorneys serve at my pleasure." You are not a king, sir. All you dickheads serve at MY pleasure (and the pleasure of those who read my blog.) It's like nails on a chalkboard.

I gave up meat for Lent, and its been smooth sailing. I'm still eating fish and eggs, and as of yesterday, I'm going to try and give dairy the heave ho as well. Am I the only one who never considered the fact that cow's milk was meant for to turn calves into fat cows and it has naturally occuring growth hormones in it that's not good for humans (especially women) to be drinking? It's interesting that soy milk and yogurt is almost twice as expensive as cow's milk and I'm sure that more to do with our agricultural policy and the dairy lobby than real production costs. Anyway, I'm going to give it a try and I promise to slap any of my friends or family (who serve at my pleasure) with a big, infected, cow udder if they roll their eyes.

This just in. . . Regis is up and doing well after his bypass surgery. Kelly Ripa is acting all choked up and happy, but I think really she wanted the show all to herself.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Finally, a candidate I can support

After the 2006 State of the Union, I posted this, telling everyone that in my world of lollipops and rainbows, the inflatable pilot from Airplane! is our president.

Well his name is Otto, and he wants to run for re-election.

Don't let the uniform fool you. Otto is pretty liberal. He supports gay marriage and universal health care. He's still smarting from the time when Reagan fired his air traffic controller buddies in the 80s, so he's a union man through and through. He does have a bit of a problem with the hootch, but he's working on it. We got the John Edwards camp to agree to keep the time Otto kicked his ass in a bar brawl on the down low--because hell, Edwards doesn't need to look any more girly.

Made out of vinyl, Otto is 100 percent committed to finding a way to turn back global warming. His carbon footprint is non existent, because most nights he's deflated and placed in his handy carrying pouch. There's no sprawling, energy guzzling mansion to explain here. He did, however have an affair during Bill Clinton's impeachment trial. But we got his goomad to promise to keep her trap shut.

He wasn't a POW like McCain, but he was MIA from 1998-2001. Someone left him in a cabana at a pool party and he was mistaken for a toy. He was sold at a garage sale for a quarter, and ended up on ebay where he was rescued. He doesn't like to talk about it.

Well, we're still scrambling to decide where he should formally declare. I say The View would be a good show for him to start getting over his play boy image, but he's a big Charlie Rose fan. . .

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tracy Morgan Wasted on Live TV

Regis is having bypass surgery

That's why I'm late with my post. I'm beside myself right now. And I'm a little thrown off with the time change.

Good morning!

Spring has sprung and everyone is going crazy. I love it. Fifty-degrees and we were all walking around yesterday like it was Death Valley. People were in shorts, drinking lemonade and cursing the heat (just kidding.) I went on a five mile walk, starting at the coffeehouse where I grabbed a large (yes large, I live in the last neighborhood where there are no Starbucks) coffee and headed east toward the Target on Roosevelt. I forgot that it was Maxwell Street market day, so I took a little rest to peruse the vast array of stolen power tools. I'm always on the lookout for a good deal on a table saw.

The U.S. Olympic Committee guys are long gone, I guess. I'm sure Mayor Daley and Chicago 2016 impressed the pants off them last week. I'm very much in the pro-Olympics camp, or I was until I realized I'm going to be 44 in 2016. That's depressing. Do you think my robot husband will want to go to watch rhythmic gymnastics? Maybe they'll have a cure for being 44 in the year 2016. Let's hope. Oh, and all that belly-aching about Chicago taxpayers being on the hook for $500 million, is whatever. Let's show the world we're not a bunch of cheap bastards!

So now I have to be weary of homeless ladies wearing bags on their feet? That Wrigleyville fire story is just awful. Those poor kids. Reading the Tribune coverage just reaffirms that news reporting wouldn't be for me. The piece mentions that the families of two of the victims (who were burnt beyond recognition) didn't want to comment because the Medical Examiner hadn't confirmed that their children were in fact, dead. Pressing people for comment in situations like that, not a fun job. I had to call the mother of a girl once who was brutally murdered and raped in the mid-80's because the guys who were convicted turned out to be innocent. I felt like an idiot asking her, "so what's your reaction?"

Friday, March 09, 2007

I am livid. LIVID!

You know how you can get so mad you can't see straight, let alone type? I wake up this morning, turn on the computer, and see this headline:

Gingrich had affair during Clinton probe

Oh my fucking God! I wanted to throw my laptop out the window. I can only hope that by writing about this on my blog, I will begin to see how funny this all is. I need help right now. Do I call 911? What? What do I do? How can I function in a world where Republicans and their moronic followers also live, and not want to kill them? Seriously, I have an interview this afternoon at this place where they help people take over other people. What am I going to do? How can I not tell the lady, "Uh, lady, this job sounds nice and all, but I will not be able to speak to, work near, or share the same water cooler with anyone who voted Republican in the 20th or 21st centuries." (I have no quarrel with Chester Arthur supporters.)

Read the Gingrich story. It's sickening. Gingrich fucking another woman, not his wife, while lampooning a man for infidelity is really something. And of course he says he's not a hypocrite, because they were going after Clinton, not for the blow jobs, but for lying about the blow jobs. Bull shit. Bull shit. Bull shit! They were like this bunch of fucking high school geeks pissed at the cool, popular guy who didn't trip over himself like they had hoped, so they had to scramble to sabotage him. And of course, it was about the sex--it always was, and with them it always will be. I don't know why it is this way, but it is.

And then we have Mr. Bush still sitting pretty in the White House. Starts a war on a hunch, blows billions of dollars, kills thousands of soldiers, embarasses his country at every turn, yeah THIS guy was never in any danger of going anywhere.

Have a great day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Cubicle shmubicle

For those of you keeping track, it's week five of recess. I was talking to Rusty last night, telling her it seems all at once like it has been longer than the 4.5 weeks, and shorter. Without the weeklong drudgery that keeps you looking forward to the weekend, each day is just that, a day. Oh it's Wednesday, you say? What's a Wednesday?

I am looking for one those regular "job" things I've been hearing so much about. I'm also going to pursue freelance work, because regardless of the intermittent longing for someone to ask me "what are you doing for lunch?" or say "Bob's being a total dick today!" there's nothing like working in your underwear. I had an interview on Monday and I even made a point of asking them what their bedhead and flip flop policy was.

In order to get my head on straight while I ponder my next step in life, I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the jobs I've had in the past to help regroup and refocus.

At age 13, I spent two weeks mid-summer "corn detassling" for minimum wage and maximum fatigue, sunburn, and inspiration to never have to do manual labor ever again

At age 15, I washed dishes at Vicki's restaurant, essentially a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere. How I got the job? My mom's derelict friends showed up one day and asked, "Does Angie need a job?" My mom's like, "sure does." And off I went.

At age 16, I stuffed the ads into the Saturday paper at the LaSalle News Tribune. You stood on your feet for hours, lost several pints of blood from paper cuts, and nearly hurled from the smell of newsprint and soy ink.

At age 17, I flipped burgers at the Hardee's. Highlights include cleaning a fryer, and encouraging a co-worker to spit in the food of a girl we didn't like from the Catholic high school.

At age 18-I worked at Walmart. Was promoted from the snack bar to fabrics and crafts.

At age 21-I rented tents and equipment to fraternities at the campus outing center. Brutal.

At age 23-Temp work. Favorite job including the midnight shift at the hospital switchboard. Major duty included paging the priest and checking out people when they died. Seriously, phone would ring and it was, "Mr. Thompson in 312." I'd interrupt, "Dead?"

Quite a resume, eh?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I killed a few brain cells says I'm 26% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!

Take the test, don't cheat, and post the results here!

The posts get later and later

This dude sitting about three feet away from me at the cafe has all his hair piled on top of his head ala Marge Simpson.

Not a good look.

Good morning! I have a few things to report:

I just called Team Spears and asked if Britney needed a roomate at Promises. I had a rough ROUGH night on Saturday night and I blame it all on Jesus dying for our sins. Seriously. I had two friends over, one of whom gave up beer for Lent, so she substituted vodka. And I suggested wine. And Blue Moon made an appearance.

So let's do the math:
Wine + Blue Moon +Vodka + 2,332 marlboro lights + three thirsty, bored ladies + phones = (drinking and dialing) X (all sorts of insanity)

It was gross and best forgotten. But writing about it today feels somewhat cathartic. And I must say even at 34 I still have the ability to order up boys late at night. The boy store hasn't closed.

I'm doing a little freelance reportage for a monthly paper and covered a community meeting last night. I thought it was going to be BORING! But I saw an Alderman nearly cry, a guy from the Department of Planning and Development whine about how he worked on Pulaski Day, and a crazy man talk about tomahawks. Good times. And a little insider information for you: if you plan on buying a condo in a yet-to-be-built development ask if they have secured the permits (in fact, call the city) and find out if the neighbors want to firebomb your future home. Seriously. I can't believe a developer can sell 3/4 of a development and then hear the Alderman say the kabosh has been put on the permits because the neighbors are (rightfully) flipping out about huge, grotesque towers sprouting up in the middle their low-rise hood. At least ask these questions of your developer if there's an election going on.

And now onto laundry detergent. This is a bottle of $1.89 soap I picked up at the local store. I will be cleaning my clothes with the essence of Baby Seal. Who needs the Tide pen in their purses, when you can just pull a Baby Seal out of your purse and get that soup stain out of your blouse.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Oh, so THAT'S why he hasn't called. He's in the pokey!

Meet Hillard Jay Quint, aka Matthew Goldstein, a chap who appeared in a Cook County Court today for allegedly scamming ladies he met on the internets, out of some serious dough.

Read the story here. What's hilarious to me (and I don't mean to call out the women he scammed, especially the one who gave him over $160K) is the terrible Photoshop work he did to support his crazy claims. I love that fucking program, and I take issue with anyone who uses it for evil.

Take the picture you see here. After telling one of his victims he was named "Achiever of the Year" by Success Magazine (Achiever?) he sent this email:

What a creep. And the grayscale? Nice touch asshole.