Wednesday, February 28, 2007

So What's Going On?

Inspired by an episode of Frontline last night, I've decided to up the ante with my citizen journalist endeavors. This is the first installment in my "What's Going On?" series where I call people I know who have jobs and ask them, uh, "What's Going On?" Studs Terkel, you and your masterpiece, Working, can both EAT. MY. SHORTS.

My brother Chad, 33, is an Operations Manager at a place where they work on stuff. He's the boss of a bunch of guys who are considerably older than him. According to Chad, he's won over his charges.

I called Chad this morning about 9:15.

"So Chad, what's going on?"

"Nothing right now. I'm not doing a whole lot."

"Why not?"

"Cuz I hurt my finger."

"Yeah right. Nothing's going on? You've got to have something going on?"

"Well we got an engine pulled. And we pulled a trans out of a cat."

"And by cat, you mean. . . "

"Uh, a transmission out of a Caterpillar?"

"Oh. Cool. What else is going on?"

"Ted threw a fit because I leaned a load backrest against his toolbox."

"You're an ass."

"Yeah, I started crying like a baby to mock him and he stormed out. And then this guy we have here who acts like he's our pyschologist was all worried and I said, 'That motherfucker, I'm going to fire his ass.' Later I talked to Ted, and he was cool. They think I'm nuts."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

A steaming plate of Oscar re-hash

Thumbs up:

Alan Arkin winning Best Supporting Actor. He's a sexy, funny old man. I'd let him French kiss me, and maybe grab a boob.

Ellen DeGeneres was 99.7 % hilarious, which is quite an accomplishment. Loved the bringing of the script to Martin Score-says. Vacuuming around the front row of ladies was pretty funny too.

The Pan's Labryinth Mexicans were adorable. I'd love to party with them.

Will Ferrell and Jack Black and the guy with three names. . . brilliant. "Ryan Gosling, you're hip and now. . . Well I'm going to break your hip RIGHT NOW!" Loved it.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman's crusty, matted hair was gorgeous. Now my pal Rusty text messaged, "Did he just crawl out of the trash?" when Hoffman took the stage, but I think it's cool. Maybe he is sick of everyone giving him movie offers and wants to be left alone.

Al Gore finally FINALLY got the acknowledgement he deserves for his tireless, decades-long struggle against climate change. Seriously, what a guy. And who says Powerpoint can't change the world? Remember how he and Bill Clinton refused to take big campaign checks from polluters? And then how they fought globalization and the mass exodus of manufacturing jobs to countries with no environmental laws? Oh, wait a minute. That wasn't them?

Thumbs down:

Leo DiCaprio was a total hypocrite on this Global Warming thing (which coincidentally started to get worse around the time he was born.) If he wasn't so incredibly HOT, I bet those polar ice caps would be around for another couple hundred years. GodDAMN is that kid aging well.

Nicole Kidman and Gwynnie Paltrow sporting the Marcia Brady hair do's. Long, stringy, and off to the side doesn't look very hygienic to me. I hope they had to wear hair nets at the Governor's Ball.

Tom Cruise, trying and failing, to hypnotize a billion people when he introduced Sherry "The Creepy, Drugged out Robot" Lansing last night. When he said, "In 1982, Sherry was named president of Paramount Pictures," what he meant was "You will all now bow to me and I will lead us back to our home planet." And was it just me, or did he have to like activate Sherry before she spoke? He whispered some weirdness into her ears, I'm sure.

What was the deal with Abigail Breslin's little girl dress? She looked like the ballerina from those cheap jewelry boxes that twirls around when you open the lid (I used to keep cookies in mine.) And that make-up job? All subtle and appropriate? Alright, I'm kidding. I thought it would be funny to make fun of a 10-year-old kid, the little loser.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I want to take Netflix behind the middle school and get it pregnant

If you didn't watch 30 Rock on Thursday, this blog headline may seem a bit curious.

No matter. I want everyone to know just how much I love Netflix. It's quite possibly one of the most healthy, and rewarding relationships I've had in years. It's going on like two months now, and we're in a really great place.

Netflix and me, we clicked immediately. In seconds, Netflix showed me just how much it knows what I like. Netflix says, hey we think you'd like this movie, Angie. And I'm all, hell yeah Netflix! Get that shit in my queue!

Netflix gets me. And I can count on Netflix.

When Netflix emails me and tells me that a movie is coming, I know I can count on Netflix to deliver. Netflix isn't selfish or mean. Netflix said it mailed me a movie (and I totally believe them) but it didn't show up. So I told them, and you know what?

Netflix didn't get all pissy or anything. They're like, that's cool do you still want to see Happy Hour with Eric Stoltz? And I said, uh yeah, I do. And they said, well goddamn no sweat. We're shipping it all the way to you from California!

I even introduced Netflix to my mom this weekend. She's real happy for me, I can tell.

Friday, February 23, 2007

How many anytime minutes with the Morning After Pill plan?

Now I know my support for Reproductive Freedom has a limit.

I got this email yesterday from Planned Parenthood, asking me to let them buy out my current wireless plan because they’ve gotten into the cell phone business.

Props are due, I guess, for a non-profit thinking outside the, ahem, box for fundraising ideas. But Planned Parenthood Wireless? No thanks.

I can just imagine those people having access to my phone records. The same gal who states, “DO NOT INSERT ANYTHING INTO YOUR VAGINA FOR 24 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR PELVIC EXAM,” as plainly as someone who would order a cheeseburger does not need to know who I may or may not be calling.

Them: So Angie, what’s up with you and Mr. 312-555-1234? That was a pretty interesting text you sent last week. Did you give him your flower? You did, didn’t you?

Me: Uh, Planned Parenthood lady I don’t think that’s any of your concern.

Them: We liked Mr. 773-555-1234 for you. Why didn’t you call him back?

Me: Planned Parenthood lady, you wouldn’t happen to know if the NRA has a wireless plan?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Will Barack and Hilary destroy the loving artistic community that is Hollywood?

As a movie lover and proud consumer of celebrity gossip, I'm quite worried about how the Democratic presidential primary might tear Hollywood apart.

They're choosing sides already. Jennifer Aniston likes her some Obama, which means Brangelina will have to go with Hillary. David Geffen is making no bones about his disdain for the slippery Clintons. I'm even reading the name "Jackson Browne" in the news, a name I haven't seen since the guy was knocking ol' Darryl Hannah around. Publicists are likely tripping over themselves to get their charges on one team or the other. This primary could be the new Darfur spotlight grab. This primary could even be the new don't-wear-your-undies-and-flash-your-beaver spotlight grab.

It's all too much, too soon.

And it reminds me of a story I heard in junior high. During a study hall in the media center, a boy I had a little crush on told me about a great schism that had once divided his large group of friends in the 5th grade. Someone had introduced cigarettes to the mix.While a few boys decided to give them a try, others refused.

The great Smokers vs. The Non-Smoker battles of 1982 had begun. For a week or so, Jimmy said the Smokers and the Non-Smokers would meet after school at a nearby field and fight. Thankfully, they all came to their senses soon enough and remembered what they had in common:

A love for Led Zepplin and 5th grade girls.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This guy appears in my dreams if I eat spicy food too close to bedtime

Good morning!

A big Ash Wednesday shout out to a former Catholic school girl who called me last night at 11:45. She wanted to find out a where certain bar was, a bar that may or may not have been teeming with cops. Good luck getting through your work day, young lady. And you know, the baby Jesus really wants you home in bed by 9 each night.

I am in love with Frontline on PBS. Seriously. Last night I watched part two of their investigation of the media and the war and by 10 pm, I was ready to pack my shit and take whatever CTA bus ends up in Boston (I'd probably have to transfer.) I'll beg these people to let me get them coffee and mop the sweat off their brows. Dead on everytime, these guys. I really need to give Channel 11 some money. . . uh, maybe I'll catch them on the next pledge drive.

I'm heading to the library today to do some hard core, Frontline-caliber research on Relationship Marketing. It's funny how this stuff can apply to matters of a romantic ilk. This guy did a bang up job on his blog a while back with this. It is comforting to see data indicating nearly 70 percent of my "customers" can leave me, even if they're pleased with the service I've rendered. They don't need a good reason to stray, and now I know I have to work harder at building loyalty with my paramours. Perhaps sending regular service reminders, email newsletters, and frequent visitor discounts will help.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Fat Tuesday!

I think I'm giving up voting in our city elections for Lent. This is a sampling of what we 25th ward-ers have to deal with:

"Medrano (who went to jail for 3 years) was recorded by the FBI telling his new found crooked cronies, "I WORK FOR YOU!!"

"It's 4705 of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, and Alderman Danny Solis is living high on the hog at the expense of Chicago taxpayers."

"Alderman Solis said Fred Roti, a convicted felon with mob ties, was a role model to him."

There's another brochure that never made it into my mailbox that said Solis helped Oscar D'Angelo (the Mayor of Little Italy) get a fence built between his property and Garibaldi park to keep the kids away. It even went as far as saying the next step would be an electric fence.


Monday, February 19, 2007

I've seen the future, and I'm thinking we need to get into shape

We are a nation of fatties, so we'll probably be caught with our elasticized-waist pants down, when the shit starts hitting the fan. Last night I went to see The Children of Men, a lovely, feel-good movie that gets me really excited for what's to come. For a futuristic thriller that shows us a world on the not-so-distant horizon where society has collapsed and women haven't been able to conceive for nearly 20 years, it was fairly kick-ass. (Stop reading if you haven't seen it, but plan to)

I came out of the theater feeling a couple of things. One, I was glad the streets surrounding the 600 N. Michigan hadn't erupted into chaos in the couple of hours I was inside. And two, I think I'd want to be a gun-toting maniac who can kill her enemy with her bare hands when we the globe goes up for grabs.
To be honest, I've let myself go a bit. So I'm going to have to get on my Apocalypse regimen right now. And I'll urge my friends to join me. Rusty, who I know will need no convincing, will be my knife expert, and I have a bit of a fascination with fire (I'm a Leo) so I'll cover the explosives.

As far as our bodies and outfits, I'm thinking Linda Hamilton in the Terminator meets Sigourney Weaver in Alien. Julianne Moore in the Children of Men proved where walking around with blown out hair and Ralph Lauren clothes will get you. . .

And that would be dead in the first thirty minutes of the movie.

Friday, February 16, 2007


It's already happening. Today I watched seven minutes of Live with Regis and Kelly. I spent nearly two hours surfing the web this morning, trying to come up with something to post, while I drank my coffee and had my new BFFs (The WGN a.m. news crew) on in the background. I didn't notice the switchover until it was too late. I looked up at the TV, and saw the bubbly Kelly Ripa bouncing on stage. I was immediately captivated. But I knew what I had to do. Got. To. Get. Up. Turn. Off. Television!What if it takes me EIGHT minutes to turn off the tube on Monday? What then?

Got another freelance gig yesterday. I have to write something called a white paper. And to celebrate, I'm going to see the 11 a.m. showing of Babel and maybe the Queen after that and then get my hair cut. I'm thinking I'll clock in about 4 or so this afternoon.

Despite my doctor's warning, I'm going to the suburbs tomorrow to see my friend and her two daughters who I think are like 18 and 16 by now. I made quite a ruckus when I left my job saying that I had to stay out of the burbs for exactly 9 months to balance out my 9 month commuting stint. I'm feeling pretty strong. I think I can handle it.

The City of Chicago will have elections soon. I had originally planned to volunteer for Daley thinking it would be a great way to get myself one of those jobs where you get paid, but you don't show up for. But then I remembered this whole Federal investigation thing into the city's hiring practices so I was like, forget it. Probably a good thing because the last time I volunteered for Daley it was 1995, and I got completely loaded at a fundraiser. I ended up at Gibsons with these rich guys, and called up my roomates to join us. There's nothing worse than waking up the next morning, critically hung over, and in a suburb called Park Brook, or Brook Lake, or Oak . . . whatever. One for the history books.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

It wasn't so happy for these guys on Valentine's Day in 1929. I think we should all take a moment this morning and remember this famous Chicago mob killing. I really wish they had colored film then! Man.

And speaking of hot Streets and Sanitation Commissioners, behold Michael Picardi. Now he's hot for a Streets and San guy, and the last guy, Al Sanchez? Not so hot. Yo, Picardi! You can come plow my street anytime ya know what I mean?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm bored, does anyone want to come over and play?

Being snowed in is zero fun when you're alone and you don't feel like doing work? Suicide Blonde is playing on XRT right now. I'm surprised they haven't banned that song in deference to Anna Nicole. Actually, they shouldn't play it all considering how Michael Hutchence kicked it.

The internet sucks today. And I have writer's block. A grad school teacher once told me there's no such thing as writer's block... you're just ill prepared if you can't finish your shit. He was a stroke.

Like I said, I'm bored.

Marketing . . . where writers go to die

I had dinner last night with three freakishly smart, unbelievably funny friends. We all worked together a while back at a kid's magazine and like to catch up and share any gossip about our former employer. Our employer was an eccentric nut job, and in the fall of 2000, we quit within a few months of eachother. After we quit we kind of felt like those left were stuck behind the Iron Curtain.

I love our little meet ups. It's inspiring to hang out with people whose talent you admire, and hope rubs off on you. One gal, author of this blog headline and more humble than a bakery that only sells humble pie, told us she has a book deal at work. "I only get royalties," she said. Are you kidding me? That's $#@! awesome, I say. Library of Congress. . . . . she is so there. When it comes out, I will devote no less than 10 blogs to this book.

Our other pal shared that Sun-Times ran a blurb about his recent career move. Again, no big deal. No. Total big deal. And on top of all that moving and shaking, he found the time to grow a beard. Amazing.

So that left me. The jobless blogger who wonders what the statute of limitations is on being able to say "I'm freelancing" for when I'm done with one project and waiting on the next. And there's my kindred spirit, a science writer who has been freelancing for a few years now and says she's having a bit of a dryspell workwise, so she's been checking out perfume and makeup blogs. She made it downtown early before our meeting and had sampled several new scents at Lord and Taylor.

"Hey," I told her, "at least you smell pretty good."

Monday, February 12, 2007

My name is Angie T, and I lose shit

Even though it has been AWOL for like the last two months, I've finally come to terms with the fact that I've lost my iPod shuffle.

I first fessed up to not knowing where it was to my pal KC who saw me with it everyday on the train. Even though I checked everywhere imaginable, I told her "Ya know, I just don't feel like it's really lost."

So I waited. It's gone. I'll admit it.

I've bought jewelry before and have honestly had the following conversation with my purchase:

Me: I love you, earrings. Too bad I'm going to lose you.

Earrings: (silence)

Me: I'll try to put you back in my jewelry box after each time I wear you, but let it be known that the day will come when I'll pass out wearing you and wake up a few hours later with sore ears. Then I'll take you out and throw you across my bedroom thinking I'll come find you after I've slept off whatever it was that made me pass out in the first place.

Earrings: (silence)

Last week I had lunch with Jennifer, who has become quite adept at knitting. She gave me a lovely purple chenille scarf that looks simply fabulous with my gorgeous, long black hair. On Saturday I met her and her husband for drinks and dinner. She asked me where the scarf was.

"You lost it, didn't you?" she asked.

"No! I just think it looks better with my dressier coat," I replied, half in horror.

"I don't believe you. I want proof you still have it. Like a picture of it with the current day's paper."

She's a tough one.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Where were you?

When you heard Anna Nicole Smith died?

I was taking a bit of a nap, listening to WXRT when the dj broke the news. The events of 2/8 made me think of some other notable "where were you when you heard" moments in the last couple of decades that has shaped our generation. Here's a brief list:

Yanni and Linda Evans announce their love to the world on the Oprah Winfrey show

Baby Jessica McClure resurfaces after being stuck in a well for 58 hours

Michael Jackson is burned while filming a commercial for Pepsi

Nancy Kerrigan takes a pipe to the shin just weeks before the Olympics

The girl from "My Sister Sam" killed by a stalker

William Kennedy Smith arrested on rape charges

Prince and Appollonia split, Apollonia gets role on Falcon Crest

US Forces invade Grenada

Transfats determined to be bad for America's health

Coke abandons "New Coke" and brings back the old school formula, calling it Coke Classic

A phone conversation is intercepted between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in which the Prince says he wishes he was a tampon so he could be completely encased in Camilla's whoo-ha

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I've perused the Job Market forum on Craigslist so you don't have to

This is priceless:

Question re: L-1 visa holders < working_gal > 02/07 18:26:43 Okay... this may be coming from left field. I have a crush on a co-worker who holds an L-1 visa. He transferred from one of our foreign offices. He said he'd be around for 3 years (he's been with us for 1 year so far). Can he cut that short if he decides he wants to go back to his home country (Scotland)? Just wondering..

Of course < BottomChompinGnome > 02/07 18:32:42 L-1's are not enslaved, he can leave any time he wants once he's tired of vast abundance of obese chicks that is America. "n'ary an animal alive that can outrun a greased Scotsman!"

haha, funny but I'm not fat § < working_gal > 02/07 18:34:43

Does he have a crush on you too? Would it be < awkward-to-date > 02/07 18:53:32 someone you work with? Would you follow him to Scotland or Asia in 3 years?

I think he thinks I'm cute < working_gal > 02/07 19:00:32 but nothing has developed. Not sure about the other part of your question since nothing has really developed between us. We don't work on the same things and he sits on the other side of our department so we don't really see each other that much. (I worked only briefly with him, and he works with one of my bosses so we have phone contact and such.)

There's no such thing as "cute" American girls! < GrasshopperMoth > 02/07 21:09:53 Soon enough the lad will be back to Scotland or Asia to find attractive chicks!

OMG!!! I know you!!! < miss-violet-from-WiFo > 02/07 19:52:25 Is it you? The one who top-posts every Friday about her mundane interactions with this guy ("So today, I was at the machine making photocopies, and he totally walks right by me without saying anything! But then, the day before that, I was leaving the building and he was coming in and he said "Bundle up, it's cold out there" which obviously means that he was picturing me naked because I had on my winter coat at the time and I know he felt the heat between us so I'm not sure if there at the copier the attraction was just too much to handle or what. so what do you think, should I drive by his house tonight or not?") If so, it's good to see you expanding your repertoire here. If not, my apologies. But do check her out some weekend, if you're feeling nostalgic for junior high.

And with that, the thread came to an abrupt end.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jobs are for suckers

Last Wednesday at approximately 8:15 a.m., I was stepping off a Metra train in Villa Park, Illinois.

This morning at approximately 8:15 a.m., I was dancing in my underwear to my new Chris Issac CD.

Last Wednesday afternoon, I was concerned about wrapping up three years of work.

This Wednesday afternoon, I'm concerned with shipping off a freelance article that's going to rock, and getting to see the Komodo Dragon at the Shedd that's completely going to scare the shit out of me.

Have fun at the office, kiddos!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Global Warming, Please!

Chicago, you are making it really hard for me to love you today.

If you're wondering what kind of jobless, carless idiot would have chosen to go out in this nightmare and walk 8 blocks to the coffee house, just scroll up and take a look at the header art on this blog.

What was I thinking?

It is so cold, if you dare breathe the air directly in your lungs you will find yourself coughing, no gagging, like a 13-year-old girl who took too big a hit off her cousin's water bong. It is so cold, that one false move can cause a single thread of your scarve to shift, thereby destroying your carefully constructed shield and leaving you vulnerable to death at the corner of 18th and Bishop. It is SO COLD that your glasses become completely frosted and you are convinced they are going to crack and stab you in both eyes, leaving you blind and vulnerable to death at the corner of 18th and Bishop.

All I need is five more degrees, and I'm going to make a break for it. Otherwise I'm stuck at this coffeehouse until Friday.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ya don't see this in the suburbs

If I wasn't scared and frozen (it's -7 degrees today with the windchill) solid I would have taken a picture.

Imagine if you will, walking toward your bus stop and hearing a crazy man yelling in the middle of a million pigeons. Then as you get closer, said crazy man begins walking in your direction. In his left hand is a dead pigeon with its entrails hanging out. As you say "Fuck!" and veer as far to the left as you can without jumping into traffic, he says, confused, "I just like birds is all."

I love the smell of unemployment in the morning

I wanted to start documenting my sabbatical first thing this morning, but I got a little sidetracked.

First I text the following message to my now former coworker at about 7:15 a.m:

Have fun at work loser!

She immediately responded with:

Thanks butthead, now go back to bed.

This is the same poor girl, who as my last week wore on and it became increasingly clear that there were more than a few things I'd be unable to wrap up in time, will now be buried under a mound of work for the next 1,762 years.

Then I watched about 15 minutes of WGN "news." The broadcasters, who I think are pretty funny and basically run the show as if they think no one is watching, were badgering a couple of dorky Indy newscasters over Sunday's Superbowl when I turned the tv on. When they were sick of talking to the Indy folks, they started doing the "what? what? we can't hear you? wha. . .?" and then pulled the plug.

After that it was time to do something called "working out." I gave my apartment a whore bath, gave myself a whore bath and hit the coffeehouse where I'm now typing into the blogosphere.

Isn't this the sweetest cake ever?

My co workers gave me a lovely, and generous send off yesterday. The "Man" sprung for some pizza, and my fellow inmates bought the cake you see here.

When you're single, live alone, and only see your friends a few hours a week, by and large you are spending the bulk of your days with your colleagues. So in my mind, you sure as hell better like them and I did. Apparently they liked me as well.