Sunday, September 17, 2017

Grin and bear it, Chicago Bears Fans

TODAY!  In Tampa, Florida, recently visited by Hurricane Irma!  The Chicago Bears vs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bucs      29
Bears     7

Get used to it, my fellow fans.  It's gonna be a long, embarrassing season.

My new favorite player is 5'6" Tarik Cohen, the running back out of North Caroline A&T.  Five foot six!  I am three inches taller than him and he's going to have a very career in the NFL.  Please, NFL players, don't tackle the bejeezus out of him and get him all concussed.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bear down, Chicago Bears

My dream of going to a National Football League regular season game and sit in a skybox as someone's guest came true today and it was great, except for the game, which actually was a game with proper scoring and mostly solid play on both sides, until the very end and then it was a sad joke.

There were about two minutes left to go, they'd already sounded the two-minute warning and the Bears were at the 5-yard line.  They had four chances to get the ball into the end zone for a touchdown which would have tied the game and forced the game into overtime.  Four chances from the 5-yard line and they effed it up each and every time.  Atlanta Falcons 23, Chicago Bears 17.

But look!  PIX!!  There were pyrotechnics and unfurling American flags and everyone singing "Bear Down, Chicago Bears," whenever the Bears scored a touchdown.  I really enjoyed our outing at Soldier Field except for the loss thing and since I expected them it to lose terribly, I was not disappointed in the least.

Bears from the mouth of the Bear through the phalanx of pyrotechnics

Unrolling the American flag

More unrolling

Almost done!

The national anthem is sung ...
... and those holding the edges move the arms up and down to make it seem like it's waving.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What I think happened, without naming names

So all this pre-election shit is true.  It all happened but the post-Inaugural stuff?  That happened but it's harder to prove, i.e. impossible.  The elected one can't keep a secret and can't be subtle which is how all roads lead to him.


In another blog I talked about the can't-keep-a-secret things that went down pre-G20.

Recently at the G20, the elected one had a conversation with his Russian counterpart.  There was no American translator present so there was no record of what they said to each other.  The conversation was about 30 minutes in length and then he got on Air Force One and headed home.  On the plane he dictated to his on what he was going to tell the feds in his investigation.  Of course, all of this came out and, of course, it's all a lie.  He probably could'nt wait to get on the plane and share his pal's instructions because if he didn't they would fly right out his badly-coiffeured head.

What I think is that at the G20 meetings, the elected one and their leader put their dishonest heads together with the Russian translator and the Russian counterpart told him what would happen or what should happen and the time line for it to happen.

The Russians are not our friends; they are our longtime adversaries.  They don't want good things to happen here as good things in America would go against the agenda of their leader.  The American elected one wants power like his Russian counterpart has but he doesn't realize there are things called the Constitution and the Congress and the Supreme Court that are supposed to make that shit not happen.  There are also "laws," but I wager he thinks he is above those.

And then something strange happened.

The Russians said 775 Americans from the Russian embassy had to leave Moscow and return to the US.  The elected one said no big deal, we had to cut down on the number of people there anyway.  The Russians were soon advised the San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC, consulates had to close.  No big deal, if you close the one in San Fran; there's another one in LA. But if you close New York and Washington, where will people on the East Coast wanting to enter Russia get visas?  Their bromance didn't think this through.  Clearly.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Air Show!

This was the weekend of the Chicago Air and Water Show.  It's an annual event and ground zero is North Avenue Beach.  Because I am about 3-4 miles north of this, I just get the big, fast stuff whipping around, getting into position to do their thing right over that beach.  The elite flying team of the Navy, the Blue Angels, made a lot of noise going close to my house and there was one other big ass jet that also whizzed close by.  How closely they fly in formation is insane and made me realize one thing and remember another.

What I realized is that I don't really much care about it.  Maybe if I were closer to the action, I'd care, but standing at my window and seeing planes getting into position to do things that I wouldn't see?  Not so much.

What I remembered is a story an old friend told me many years ago.  His father was a jet pilot in the Air Force and very good at his job.  He spent his entire working life in service to his country and retired from the Air Force.  His dad got different assignments when my friend was growing up so he and his sister saw a good deal of the country.

At one assignment, where they were based happened to be where they were having tryouts to be one of the Thunderbirds, the USAF equivalent of the Blue Angels.  His dad thought this would be interesting and would really test his mettle as a pilot so he went and tried out.  He was invited to come back the next day to do someone more flying.  That night he told his wife -- my friend's mom -- that he'd had this tryout, that he'd done really well, that he was going to be going back the next day to do some more flying with them.

Long story short?  As my old friend put it, "He told my mom and he never went back."

But, bless her heart, he didn't end up a spot on a street corner, either.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

No secret too big to not spill

Everyone knows someone who is a lovely, dear, sweet person who just can't keep a secret.  They're like children just learning about discretion and they can't help themselves.  These types aren't gossips, they just can't keep it in.  Generally, once you and this sweetie have bonded as friends for life, that never happens again but until that time, you just have to be careful.

Of course there are those who are just boneheads who will never be lovely nor dear not sweet.  They are vicious, thoughtless, and selfish, bordering on sociopath and psychopath both.  They use this information to make themselves feel more important, to twist a mental knife into an enemy's heart, to quiet a girlfriend, to show how special they really are as in, "I know something," or they just can't keep a secret.

And so we have one of the latter in the White House.  What secrets can't he keep?

At the debates with Hillary Clinton he said that Russia should hack her accounts.  And then it turned out they were doing just that and way more -- hacking into state voter rolls.

At a meeting with a Russian ambassador at the White House he dropped secrets about Israel.

Then there was that mysterious tete-a-tete (a-tete as they needed a translator) with Mr. Putin at the end of the G-20 dinner.  Everyone wondered what they talked about, how there was no record of what they were saying because there was just Putin's translator, how it went on for thirty minutes.  In the last couple of weeks it came out that on the plane on the way back from the G-20, Mr. Trump dictated to Donald Junior what Junior's press release should say about what transpired when Junior and Paul Manafort met with the Russian attorney in Trump Tower.  And now we know what Trump and Putin were talking about.  Just my sweet little theory but it seems to me that Putin was telling Trump what Junior should say to throw people off the track.  Trump Senior probably was delighted with this, thinking the American people are dumb enough to believe this without question, forgetting about law, doubt, and people who are not supporters of his or would get sick of his shit and stop supporting him.  He forgot about Robert Mueller III and his band of brilliant attorneys and investigators.  In other words, he was the bonehead who can't keep a secret.

This past week Putin tossed out 755 American diplomats from Moscow.  Trump's reaction?  He said was glad, saying they were going to be cutting staff anyway, a combination of "so what?" and "neener neener neener."  But, honestly, I think Putin has something so huge on him and all that remains is for Senior to remove his pants and tightie whities, spread his cheeks, and bend over.  I don't care to hear if he held onto a chair or the wall or if he just took it like the bitch he is.  And because Senior can't keep a secret, you know that he will work this into a conversation and add a lot of hyperbole.  "His cock is massive, the biggest ever grown on a man, but my anus is five times the normal size so I hardly felt a thing."

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A new take on a necessary evil

In these days of a shrinking globe and increased air travel, it's safe to say that much of the New World population has been on an airplane at one time or another.  Maybe just once to go to Disney World with the folks who had saved for years to make it happen, maybe to Gran's funeral, or maybe every week for business.  Regardless of how often or when, we've all had the chance to experience the glory that is the pre-flight safety briefing.

I've never been on Southwest but my sister told me that a Southwest flight she took with my nieces had the flight attendants doing the briefing to the tune of "All Shook Up."  I was envious that she got to experience something that fun.  The airlines I take usually have something wildly dull and straight forward, if that exciting.

So you can imagine my glee when I came across this little safety film from Air New Zealand that, frankly, no one will ever outdo.  Enjoy, my precious.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Let the writers do the writing

My sister sent me this brilliant Twitter exchange so this week I am having the real writers over to do the real writing:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Milwaukee road trip

My niece and I went to Milwaukee today to visit my dear friend, Michael, and get the lay of the land.  Michael is great!  Milwaukee is cool!  My niece is always swell.  And on the way back we stopped and I bought yogurt, lunch meat, and tomatoes.  Life is RICH!!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The bombs bursting in air

It's been well documented in this web log that I live on the 20th floor of a building that looks out at the lake.  Between me and the lake is a beach, Lake Shore Drive, a strip of Lincoln Park, a big ass partially-blocking-my-view senior high rise, some high-end row houses, and the Saddle and Cycle Club.

The Saddle and Cycle Club is a very exclusive country-club-in-the-city.  Years ago, I worked at a company whose executives were members and we had a company party there.  It was lovely -- manicured lawns, a lovely clubhouse, good catering department -- and I could get home on public transportation.  It's still there and is bigger.  They've bricked the driveway and installed a roofed ice rink.  There is an outdoor heated paddleball court which members seem to enjoy most when it's freezing outside.  The lawns are still manicured and lovely and there are well-used tennis courts.  On the 4th of July, they have fireworks.

As it's a private club, they never announce at what time the fireworks will be shot off but it's every 4th of July at about 9:30pm.  People gather in the park on blankets, congregate on the street, sit on Foster Beach, drop anchor in their boats on the lake, or, like me, stand at the window in the dark and watch.  Okay, that's not what I did.  This year I stood at the window and snapped off hundreds of pictures.

These are some very good, high-end fireworks.  The Saddle and Cycle Club is not without funds!  They really tossed up a lot of exploding matter and I took plenty of pics.  Some of the shots are surreal, some look like an invasion of space aliens, a few look like fireworks exploding, and many were kind of crap and it was cool!  When it was over, the club members applauded and I could hear them.

Next year I going to grab a friend or two and a blanket and go sit in the park and just enjoy it.  Photography is nice but so is living in the moment.

The Works Surreal (or was I just jittery?)

Fireworks!  Real fireworks!

The fiery aliens thought the chrysanthemums were its real parental units.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

If you take the low road, beware of who you might meet

It happened this week:  President Trump proved that there was no road low enough for him to take.  In fact, if said goes into a metaphorical valley, down a gulch, into a canyon, and then a crevice, he seems to like it even better.  Whereas Michelle Obama said, "when they go low, you go high," as advice to her two daughters, Trump goes low, stays there, looking for a way to go lower still and finding it.  He never met a high road he wanted to take.  He can't help himself; he has to be an unintelligent bonehead which insults unintelligent boneheads everywhere including Kim Jong-Un, perhaps the wacky king of all unintelligent boneheads.

In addition to taking the lowest of low roads whenever possible, he has dishonest hair.  A man's hair is not supposed to lie.

It's pronounced "PEEN-chay." and is a souvenir of a friend's trip to Mexico. (Google the meaning.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

My green thumb

Hens and chicks, over which I futz
When I was younger, I did well with plants.  They liked me, I liked them, they grew, they flourished.  I gave them sun and water and they gave me loveliness and cooperation.  I was younger and I lived in a third floor unit that had great southern light and after a certain hour, almost no light at all.  I worke second shift and was gone from 430p until 1am. This gave the pants happiness, especially the christrimas cactus which flowered twice a year -- Halloween and Christmas.  I had a monster African violet that liked me and its pot and became huge.  And then I changed jobs.  And then I moved.

The moving killed everything I owned and everything that came into my apartment.  I stopped buying plants but one day, Mike and I were at the Gardens of Getsemane in Chicago and I saw a fiddle leaf fig.  It was small, in a four-inch pot, and I wanted it.  I told Michael that if I bought it and it died, that was it:  No more plants again in my life.

Surprise!  It flourished.  Within 10 months I had to get it repotted.  Another year went by and it was again repotted.  I moved into this place and while it took the move hard, the upper leaves have been growing.  I acquired a lower table.   I then got another plant-- a weird thing that is a version of mother in laws tongue but the leaves?  Fronds?  are all round and pointy at the tips.  I'd been doing very well.  So I decided another fig would do it and got a mini-fiddle leaf fig.  I went to greenhouse with my sister and brother-in-law and I got three other plants, and then I gave my sister some money to get me a lemon-lime scented gernanium.

Everything's growing!  I futz over them.  The begonia seems to be ready to make its move and take over my apartment -- it's doubled in size since I got it.  It's immense with many blooms.

So now I can share that I am not a fan of drapey houseplants that give off many flowers.  Upright with flowers is okay.  Small trees like the figs are great.  The hens and chicks it absolutely fine.  But if you're gonna be a flowering begonia in my home, you need to be at attention at all times.  That Tuberous begonia is happy, though, and will be with me for a long time.  My green thumb is back!  Welcome back to the world of the living.

And no, I do not name my houseplants.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The sale

I swore I wouldn't be buying more clothes but I lost weight and many of my clothes look flatout stupid on me, like I am wearing sacks.  No, not a good look.  Lord and Taylor,  a store that got me through many years of chub at bargain basement prices, was having a sale and while I tried to stay away, the lure of having things that fit was too strong to resist.  It was just not a good idea except for the additional 30% off, y'all.  Things marked way down and then 30% off that.  I scored a hoodie, a belted rain jacket, a pair of pants, and two tops and the bank wasn't broken.

Then I went to Costco and got grape tomatoes and chicken meat and gas for my car.  Meijer gave me bottled water, watermelon chunks, a Chobani four-pack of key lime, and a headache.  I had to get a raincheck at Meijer and they just do not have their Guest Services shit together.  Then I went home where I shall remain until I go to work tomorrow. It's nice here!  There are some great shaving-cream clouds over the lake, the sky and the lake are both blue, and my a/c is on so the humidity is nonexistant.  My dishwasher it having its way with my dirty dishes and I'll be cooking broccoli and cutting up chicken for my lunch tomorrow. 

Sale items, good food, a gas-filled car that's working just fine for being 19 years old, a good place to call home -- life it rich!  Now if I could just unpack the remaining boxes, life would also be full.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pokemon are coming to me

Yesterday I found out that the first worldwide Pokemon Go Fest will be held in Chicago and, frankly, I want to go.  I might be on my own because even though ours is a Pokemon Go family, previous commitments do supersede Pikachu and his pals.

July 22, 2017 it comes here.  I am hoping for a Pokemon stampede!  That shit's crazy cool.

Can you find me there?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

It's summer! Wear damn sunscreen, you idiots.

Okay, I admit it.  I am not a fan of the hot months.  I find too much heat to be, as my friend, Michael, called it, "gross."  We had some warm weather and then it got quite chilly -- I was wearing my winter jacket at the end of May -- so the 91º we had today is welcome, even by me.  It's also welcome because I'm living in a place with air conditioning!  Yes, yes, y'all.  I walked into my small condo and enjoyed cool.  The dishwasher is running and it is cool.  I rearranged my closets and was cool while doing so.  I went out to run errands and it was 91º.  Come on, it's not going to be cool on the sidewalk although the a/c in my 19-year-old Civic was cranking some mighty cool breezes.

I am very pleased to report that the beaches are open and that people are enjoying them.  It's almost 6pm and people are still at the beach, enjoying the cool lake water, enjoying the day. 

They best be wearing sunscreen.  Sunburns are dangerous.

Foster Beach, 5:45pm on Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day

Don't thank a veteran; tell a veteran you are sorry for the loss of his comrades in battle.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Fab Four

This is a little bit of something from before the election, when we call all still had hope and were convinced that Hillary Clinton would win the election.  I never saw it until today, I was tired about talking about my new location (still not in love), and thought this might make you all smile.  Close your eyes and take a deep breath.  Open them and hit play.  It's the end of October 2016.  Enjoy.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

My return to the past, week 1

Things are sometimes just not as horrible as you thing they will be.  Moving back to the train station actually hasn't been so bad EXCEPT for the commute home.  When I arrived, one the guards with whom I was friendly raced over and embraced me and told me it was nice to see me again and where had I been and oh my goodness, it was nice that I was back.  The evening cleaning lady told me I looked skinny and she embraced me and showed me pictures of her grandson, her son and daughter-in-law's wedding, and her step-granddaughter.  People came up to me and told me they noticed how much weight I'd lost and said they liked my blonde hair.  It was, dare I say it, nice.  I didn't mind doing the job away from the client although I miss seeing my coworkers and our client manager.  Hell, I miss the commute and, bigger hell, I miss the food that was provided to us.

I brought my lunch every single day and I still hate carrying my lunch almost more than anything.  As we speak I am cooking up a kale burger to have for lunch tomorrow, with a side of cherry tomatoes.  Tuesday I will bring along some of the Chinese food I am having tonight for dinner as a treat.  Wednesday?  Probably another sandwich with a side of cherry tomatoes.  A snack of raw pecans.  A banana.  Damn, I hate doing this shit but lunch in my building is costly and I got no raise when I made the change.  In fact, no longer having food provided costs me more and the longer commute takes time from me.  When I was in college my dad told me that you cannot buy time.  In this case, you can't even be compensated for it.

There is the odd combination of people and we won't talk about that.  Some of them are wonderful and odd and others are just odd and one is wonderful with oddities.  It's just like where you work, I'm certain.

I am back and get to see my friends every single day and in spite of my objections, it's been very good to have them around.