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.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

My return to the past

According to my employer, you can go home again if home is where your job is.  In spite of my most optimistic views and crazy hope, they sent those who wanted to work at home to do the job there and the two of us who didn't want to work from home have to move back to the train station.  As noted previously, I am not a fan of the train station location.  It adds 15 minutes to my commute in each direction, it is always busy, you see some weird, uncomfortable stuff.  A former coworker saw a fistfight break out on the down escalator, complete with landed punches (she isn't given to hyperbole or exaggeration so I know it must've been a sight).  My ex-supervisor witnessed a family ride to the bottom of the escalator and just stop; she had to yell at them to get out of the way, fearing a pile-up.  Heaven help you if you get in the path of a commuting hoard; you could be trampled by the group, each of whom has the look of suburban blood in their eyes.  We city folk are also trying to get to work, but these lawnhead commuters look like they would crush you under their feet given half a chance.  (I solved that problem by not looking directly at them.  I didn't want to turn to stone.)

Tomorrow morning at 8:30, lucky me gets to return to that place.  Fingers crossed that I don't spend the day crying but I usually reserve that for when greedy, stupid, lying Republicans are elected president.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

40,000 of my new best friends

Yesterday, my sister and I joined our 40,000 new besties on the March for Science.  You know -- biology, astronomy, chemistry, botany, physics, zoology, paleontology.  Science!  Maybe you were good or not so good at science in school and maybe you do or do not find it interesting now, but it's science and it touches your life every day.  Can your kids drink milk without getting sick?  Thanks, Louis Pasteur!  Is polio eradicated?  Thanks, Jonas Salk!  Are you reading this on a computer?  Thanks, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and their peers and those who came before them and since.  Is Facebook your drug?  Thank that Mark Zuckerberg fellow.  Men and women laboring in laboratories or setting up cameras that will be tripped by passing animals or gazing at the sky through giant telescopes in the middle of the night on a top of a mountain in the middle of a desert.  Science!

 So we marched peacefully to ask that funding not be cut for science projects and to note that science is everywhere in everything we do and to thank those who gave their lives for science.  Here are a few pictures to commemorate the day.

Maybe Trump's a Cialis man but science brought that, too.

And no, vaccines are not BS.

From the distant past to ask that funding not be cut!!

Science theory?  Science fact ... that cats like string.

And persists today!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Here is what happened

I lost 35 pounds over the course of about two years and I have thus far managed to keep it off.  Good for me.  What I had not lost was the wardrobe of someone who weighs 35 pounds more than me.  For  many weeks, probably a few months, two of my coworkers have been telling me I am going to trip on my pants.  About six weeks ago, one told me that the particular pair of pants I was wearing that day -- my favorites -- were going to trip me and kill me.  I said I pinned the waist and hiked them up pretty good so I wasn't scared.

Three weeks ago I dress up pretty nicely.  It was supposed to be a nice day.  I was strolling to the bus stop as I'd just missed one, another wasn't coming, so why not walk at my own pace?  The next thing I know I coming down fast and didn't even have the chance to get my hands out enough to block my fall.  I hit my jaw, I hit my head, and seriously scratched nonscratch lenses and bent 1/8" solid aluminum frames, removing a lot of the coating.   I had a gash in my underchin, a huge knot on my forehead above the eye, and ripped the heck out of my gloves.  Those gloves saved me from getting cut up hands.  Those glasses saved my life.

Long story short -- I went back to my building and called my boss, crying that I had to go to the ER.  My doorman wanted to call an ambulance but I knew it would take me to a hospital I didn't like.  I considered going to the dentist because my teeth felt like they were in the wrong place.  I really wanted to see the dentist but there was the nasty blood issue.  I walked to the corner.  The express bus that would get me downtown in 10 minutes if there were no traffic came.  There was no traffic.

Before I got downtown I texted my sister and told her what I was doing.  I fell, I hit my jaw, I hit my head, I was going to the ER.  She called me back and said she'd meet me there, which she did.  I got myself admitted, telling them that I was not concussed.  Nurses had me put on a gown, took vitals, and gave me chemical ice for the lump on my forehead.  My sister got there and I paid someone with a mobile payment device for my treatment.  She was very helpful and got me real ice for my head which felt better.  I saw an ER resident, an EMS student who flushed my chin wound with great gusto, and the resident ER doctor who poked my face with greater gusto.  My sister and I looked for Pokemon on our phones.  They took me for a CT scan and found neither a broken jaw nor a broken skull nor a swollen brain.  They found no brain at all!  Ha ha ha!  That's what I like to tell people.  I also tell them that those glasses saved my life.

I told my sister that I considered going to the dentist first and she told me she'd have given me a concussion if I'd done that.  Do not doubt this statement.

When everything was over and I had stitches and had used the restroom, I came back to find my sister stretched out on the ER bed, looking for Pokemon. She did not budge and barely looked up.  I told her I'd take a picture of her and send it to her husband and daughters and did.  I took pictures of myself every day to document this and that one is my favorite.  It says, "Oh, you're fine, now let me catch some Pokemon."  Pokemon and life both go on, after all.

I now have some new glasses, completely different from the others.  The sensational black eye has faded; there is only a trace of a bump on my forehead; the stitches have been removed but you can't see the scar because it's under my chin.  There is still some jaw muscle swelling which Advil helps.

The big pants are all gone, out of my life and probably already in the life of someone who shops at Goodwill.  Enjoy those pants!  They were all bought on sale and I am easy on my clothing so you can get a lot of wear out of them.

As for my coworkers, I confessed to one what had happened -- she was right, I tripped on my pants and might have killed myself.  The other was out of town the day of the accident.  When she came back she asked me what happened and I said the other would tell you.  The other just looked at her -- just looked!  -- and she said, "Oh, my god, you tripped on your pants!"  Yes, I did.

The moral to this story is if you lose weight, get smaller pants.  You might think I'd know that as I think I am so smart, but no, apparently not. 

Here is the weirdest thing of all.  Since my face-to-sidewalk incident, I've felt more like myself than I have in years.  Maybe it knocked some sense into me (but probably not).

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Not all done

Finishing the job.  Really this time.
After getting my post-accident stitches removed -- no, the details have not been mentioned here yet -- I figured I would swing by the post office.  I was already later than I said I'd be, so five minutes was not going to put my job in jeopardy.  There were four people working on what I thought was a done deal which is the renovation of the interior of the Loop Station Post Office in Federal Plaza.  One was an artsy-looking man who was shorter than me.  I asked what they were doing, and Artsy gave me a smart ass answer, but not mean smart ass, "aren't I cute?" smart ass.  So I gave him some "I am cuter than you" smart ass replies which Artsy liked and told me they still had to add the trim to the paneling.  There was the fellow in this picture and from the smart ass exchange, you knew that Artsy and this man had a solid, long-term relationship.  There were also two workers who did not understand that relationship at all.  I missed the picture of the man standing on the wall -- STANDING ON THE WALL!!! -- but I did manage to snap off this one.  As I was departing, the man above was trying to get Artsy to climb the ladder and look at something.  Artsy was not going to climb the ladder.  One of the workers said to the other, "Spot me, okay?" and he headed up the ladder -- which seemed short for the job and standing too straight for safety -- while the other worker held it.  Artsy seemed like the sort of guy who would charmingly put the ladder on its side when they were all up there and go to Starbucks for coffees for each of them.  They'd be on the wall, wanting to come down just to, oh, maybe use the restroom and Artsy would be across the street, in line for four coffees.  "Aren't I great?  I got COFFEE!"

Whatever, Artsy.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Flamingo from above with snow

It snowed here a couple of weeks ago, a major news event as this winter has been very mild and pretty dry (except for the torrential rainfalls and a tornado).  It settled on top of Flamingo, a view I'd not yet captured.  Further, even though I optimistically cling to the hope that we will not have to do so, we are supposedly moving out of our client's offices, going to work virtually at home or at the corporate HQ, respectively.  There are seven people and none of us wants this.  There will be no more views of Flamingo.  Long story short, we all could be happier.

So while I still have access, here is Flamingo with snow on top.  Next week I will share how I fell down and went to the ER but no pictures!

Flamingo from above with snow and window reflection, 2017
Here is a tip for those of you who may be in a position of power in the future:  do not split up a team that gets along swimmingly, that communicates well, that has various strengths that each person will share with the others.  It will make things decidedly less good.

When this was decided, a manager skipped over to me and said, "Isn't it great, you're going to work at corporate HQ again!"  I said, "If I wanted to work there, I'd be working there."  She then said, "You can work virtual."  I said, "If I wanted to work virtual, I'd be working virtual."  She said, "You'll be able to see your friends."  I said, "I saw the one friend on Saturday and am having dinner with the other tomorrow."  She decided to change the subject.

Don't poke the bear when the bear has an opinion.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

And they renovated the USPS Loop Station

The USPS Loop Station at Federal Plaza in Chicago is a building that was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.  "Flamingo," well documented as a favorite Chicago sculpture of mine, was created by Belgian artist Alexander Calder and is located just outside of this post office in Federal Plaza.  The interior of the post office was exhausted because the original paneling from 1973 was looking tired and like the dog's dinner.  The paneling was removed and new paneling put up.  Paintings were taken away and cleaned and a bust was encased in a box while the work was done.

The job is complete and below are some photos that document some of the progress.  Please remember that they don't like photos to be taken in the building -- noisy tourists have been chastized and advised to stop -- but either I've not been caught or the guard who sees me every day, Monday through Friday, knows I am about as dangerous as a newborn lamb.

Bricks and studs!  (One of the 211 S. Clark entrances to Loop Station)

Close-up of bricks and studs

Dry wall, studs, and bust in the box
New paneling and bust still in the box


Cleaned painting, bust still boxed

All done!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hey, Republicans! Wake up and smell the gauze bandages!

One of the lousy arguments about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is that it requires that all citizens have health insurance or pay a penalty.  Arguments the Republicans have offered all boil down to "You can't tell the public that they have to buy health insurance.  That's just not right!"

Except it's right when we compare it to, oh, auto insurance.  Fifty states in the Union and all of them except for New Hampshire and Virginia require its residents to buy auto insurance.  This is what I found on the internet:

"New Hampshire and Virginia do not require motor vehicle insurance. In New Hampshire vehicle owners must satisfy a personal responsibility requirement; instead of paying monthly premiums, and prove that they are capable of paying in case of an accident. In Virginia vehicle owners may pay an uninsured motorist fee."

Yeah, that is all sorts of bad grammar but 48 states require it and NH and VA make you pay if you don't. 

We now recap:

1.  48 of 50 states require auto insurance.  NH requires residents to prove they can pay if they have an accident.  VA requires car owners to pay an uninsured motorist fee.

2.  The ACA requires citizens to buy health insurance or pay an uninsured human being fee.

Paul Ryan was on TV this morning wetting himself about how it's wrong that those who don't buy into insurance have to pay a penalty.  The government can't tell people what to do!  Paul!  Explain the states making people buy auto insurance.  They've done it -- it's been the law in Illinois for about 30 years -- and obviously it's legal and constitutionally proper because it exists everywhere in some form or other.  And no, it's not different unless by different you mean, "the same."

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My new habit

So every night I Swiffer my new home.  Dry Swiffer on the woods floors and tile floors and then twice a week, I visit the tiles with Swiffer Wet.  I've bought a wet system for the wood floors and they will get the once over at least once a week.  The only night I didn't Swiffer was a few night ago when I went to see David, my lovely hair guy, who turned me quite blonde.  I didn't get home until after 10 and only arrived when I did because there was rain with lightning and I didn't want to get fried so I took a cab the last 1/2 mile.  I've missed two thunderstorms in my home but I've slept through both.  As soon as I got home after being blondified, I opened my umbrella to let it dry, brushed and flossed my teeth, removed my mascara, and went to bed.  The storm was starting up in earnest but I knocked off as soon as my head hit the pillow.

What you've learned about me this week:

1.  I am new and improved with blonde highlights.
2.  Scared of lightning!
3.  I now clean my home.

It's a world gone freaking mad.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

More Pokemon and I still care

From summertime Pokemon hunting at Adler Planetarium
Those scamps at Niantic, the Pokemon company, have released 80 new Pokemon into the world and okay, thanks!  If I take the 147 bus to work, I sleep as soon as my butt hits the seat until I get off somewhere on Michigan Avenue (depending on mood).  If I take the 136, from home until Wilson I look for Pokemon and am often rewarded with rarer things.  After Wilson, it becomes a cavalcade of the usual and I put away my phone, hug my backpack tight, and close my eyes to cop a few zzzzs.  I am not as dedicated as some but I am still looking.  It keeps my attention, makes the ride go faster, and, hey, I even catch some Pokemon!  Whatever Pokemon there are out there that I've not caught, I AM LOOKING FOR YOU, even the though you will probably flee.  You so like to flee, you vicious wild beasts.  Thanks, Niantic, for the distraction because I still care that they're there.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

For days!

It's been in the 60s and sunny for days here in Chicago, gateway to the tundra.  It's weather, not global warming, and it is freaky but, damn, it's very enjoyable.  People are walking leisurely about.  Runners are dashing to and fro in shorts and sleeveless tops.  The sky is blue and the sun is shining.  It's lovely.

Now please do note that global warning is real but this is weather which is different.  There are plenty of freaky cold days in spring and summer and there are the occasional 60-degree Christmases.  This is a week of warm that we'll remember fondly when it's 34ºF on Friday or even tonight when it's 38ºF. 

Just look at all this blue that I can see from my apartment bedroom. 

It's February 19th and it's warm.  Enjoy it, y'all!
Those are people on the beach.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Still in love with the man in the moon

The view into my bedroom on 09 Feb when I got home from work
Everything is illuminated!  I walked into my condo home, saw this view, and said aloud, "Oh my god!  That is BEAUTIFUL!"

Yeah, talking to yourself is still a very useful tool but, yeah, this is beautiful.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl LI ... or maybe you say 51... and "24"

The time for the annual gridiron blood lust that is the Super Bowl is here and Tom Brady just got sacked!   HAHAHAHAHA!  I am not a Tom Brady fan and HAHAHAHAHA he got SACKED by Atlanta.  That means they took the BALL from you Tom Brady and not an under-inflated ball for which you were finally punished this year, Tom!  Four games that you couldn't play and what happens?  You and your team and your coach are so good that you end up in the Super Bowl anyway.

Sigh.

And he and his wife, now-retired Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen?  One of the most stunningly gorgeous pairings on the planet.  I wouldn't want to try to have a conversation with either of them but they are absolutely beautiful to gaze upon.  Kind of like George and Amal Clooney except you could have a conversation about anything with the Clooneys because they have brains (especially Amal who is no doubt too good for George and I hope he's thanking his lucky stars every single day).  But you can't look at them for too long because your brain will turn into the pages of back issues of "People," all yellowed and crumbly.

The REAL reason for watching the Super Bowl is coming up!  Yeah, you know I mean the half-time show, this year featuring Lady Gaga who get 15 minutes to be great in front of anyone who is watching the Super Bowl or who tunes in to see her at half time.  She will have an even bigger audience than usual and when she's finished I will bide my time until the new version of "24" comes on after the game.

Lady Gaga is wonderful but oh my god, "24."

++++++++++++++++
 Post-game addendum:  Lady Gaga took the night!!

Except Tom Brady pulled a win out of his ass.  The Pats were down 25 points.  25!!!  And they won in overtime, 34-28.  Beautiful and a brilliant QB.  I still don't want to have a conversation with him or his spouse, though.  That'd just be weird.

And because the game went into overtime, I am still waiting for "24." 

Sigh.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I am still moved

Yes, I am not leaving this spot for a few years.  It snowed some today but just enough to change Foster Beach from sandy beige to white.  The grassy areas are not quite covered and the roadways weren't affected so my view has not much changed.

I decided to not make my bed the moment I woke up today and did a load of wash.  I had some breakfast and had a post-washing nap and left the house with three dishes in the sink.  I ran errands!  I went to the dry cleaner to drop off sweaters, Nordstrom to make returns (as I lost weight and the things no longer fit) and an exchange (a smaller size in the pants for the aforementioned reason), to Target to see if they had a showerhead I might want, the Xfinity store to get a cable, Menards to view their showerheads, Costco for gas, Bed Bath and Beyond to view their showerheads, Home Depot to view their showerheads, another Target to view their showerheads and get some toilet bowl cleaner, and, finally, Jewel for frozen veggies and cottage cheese.  Total time out of the house:  about three hours.  I really am very efficient when it comes to the errand running.  I wish I could be as efficient at work as I am when running the errands.  (The showerhead will come from Target as it's $3 less than the one at Home Depot.)

At home I cleaned the toilet and the stainless sink and fridge.  I am getting ready to sweep the apartment and prep the bathroom for a repair tomorrow.  I tell you this about my bathroom repair:  If I have to leave this place for some reason, those pipes are coming with me.

Fingers crossed for me, my friends.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

So, yeah I moved

AND I AM STILL EXHAUSTED!!

There were 60 boxes and now there about 20 boxes.  I have looked into the future and it's box free.

Boxes were emptied and some items were repacked to be given to Goodwill or the Brown Elephant.

My friend, Ray, rescued my bacon AGAIN by helping me unpack many of the boxes and get things put away or repacked.

Ray for KING!  Ray for EMPEROR!

Ray loves and respects order and things become orderly and organized in his presence.  I asked him to put certain things in a certain drawer.  That drawer is perfect.

He offered to organize things for me and I said, "You'll let me see where you're putting stuff, yeah?"  He said of course he would.

Order may be coming to even me.

ALL HAIL RAY!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

MOVING DAY APPROACHES!!

I am moving next Saturday, y'all.  Give me a chance to get settled and I will see you in two weeks.

Wish me luck!  I so need it.