Sunday, December 31, 2017

Do you have A LOT of extra yarn?

I recently tried to crochet something and it was the simplest thing I've ever attempted.  It was so simple -- just one stitch -- that I finished it.  Shall I share now that it looked like the dog's dinner? My tension was all off so it was all kinked up.  I took it to show my niece and sister as if their laying eyes on it would unkink and untwist it.  They suggested that I just undo it and start afresh.  After thinking about it for three days, last night I undid the whole thing and made a rather large ball of yarn.

I was in no mood to start the project afresh so I went to the interwebs and read the NY Times, a favorite method of murdering time.  There was a brief article with animals news of 2017, including donkeys who went to jail for four days in India and white giraffes.  At the bottom was an article about people who crochet blankets for elephants when the weather turns cold and baby rhinos whose mothers have been killed by poachers.  Those are big ass rhino throws which go on to be bedding the rhinos -- something soft in which to get comfy to sleep. But they are needed so if you have many extra balls of yarn and don't mind making ginormous objects that are about eight times normal size, get busy and help a baby rhino.  Or make many smaller throws and sew 'em together.  They don't have to be pretty!  Or maybe just make a scarf and give it to a homeless person.  "I hope you can use it," you can say, and then rush off.

Wow, you are so nice, much nicer than me.

Happy new year!

Sunday, November 26, 2017


When you don't get it together in time to plan a trip, I suggest a movie with a friend, emptying boxes from your move, and to finish watching the six seasons of "Game of Thrones" that you'd not seen (Season 7 makes much better sense with the knowledge of what went before) and then Season 7 to keep it all together.

Happy vacation to me!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Horndogs in the Hollywood, the White House, the Senate

With the revelation that, bottom line, Harvey Weinstein is a frigging horndog who likes to show his penis and, shall we say, insinuate his penis into lady parts that didn't want his penis there, comes the revelation that Louis C.K. is a horndog, Senator Al Franken has had his day in the horndog sun, Senator-Wanna-Be Roy Moore liked to date young women of ages 14 to 18 when he was a working attorney in his thirties, and Kevin Spacey has been known to grope boys and very young men, comes a big fat headache because the Horndog-and-Hypocrite-in-Chief is the worst offender of all and gets off without repercussions.  And one wonders if young men are paying attention or just paying attention to what they want to see.  And one further hopes that the day of the casting couch is indeed over.  And that the Horndog-in-Chief will have to pay for his hypocrisies.

Young men, no means NO.  Are you psychic?  If you are, get a storefront and set up shop and leave women alone.  "She wanted it."  No, she didn't want it.  She said, "No."  This is why you've not set up shop as a psychic, isn't it?  Older men!  Plez, bitches, keep it in your pants.  Are you married or in a committed relationship?  Either end the relationship or keep it in your pants.  Are you 18 or over and is he/she not yet 18?  Your pants?  Keep it tucked away.  If he/she is under 18 and is saying yes, yes, yes, and you're 18 or over, you say, "If you still feel the same on your 18th birthday, call me up."  You have to be the grownup.  Think of it as one of the things you have to do as an adult, like paying taxes, voting, serving on juries, getting an annual flu shot, and saying no to sex with underage individuals.

I feel bad for the Democrats because of Senator Franken (and I include myself among those for whom I feel bad), but at least he didn't deny it, he apologized, she accepted and said she didn't want him to resign, he called for an Ethics investigation into himself and his actions, and no one else has stepped forward and said they'd also been assaulted. Small consolation, huh?  And he was just touchy and Mr. Tongue.

Men!  Your pants need to be kept zipped with your penises stored beneath the underwear in front of you.  You don't have to be a horndog.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Flooded beaches

So even though it rained 4.5 inches in Chicago last weekend and the Riverwalk flooded -- first time ever -- the Foster and Montrose Beaches are beautifully clear of debris and water, just in time for winter.  Even though it's been a rollercoaster ride of weather -- warm, warm days that just aren't right -- for me, they're indicative of our current political clime and I am not hating it.  It takes my mind off the chicanery, the high jinks, the lies, the idiocy coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  The weather's not right and neither is this presidency.

What did they do with the water and why couldn't they do it in summer?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

1st Amendment

OMG OMG OMG and WTF?  NBC News reported some news which is to say they gave a truthful account of something that Donald Trump did and he used his favorite Method of Bile Distribution which is Twitter.  He said that NBC's license should be pulled because they were reporting fake news about his desire to increase the nuclear arsenal tenfold (which I believe it's what cause Rex Tillerson to call Trump a "fucking moron").  Later when the press came to cover a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he said, "It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should look into it."  When he was asked if he favored limits on what the media can say, he replied, "No.  The press should speak more honestly."

Let's split that into two points.  People did look into the press writing whatever they want.  Those people were the Founding Fathers and it was important enough to them that they made this the first thing (after the preamble, natch).

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In other words, asshats like me can write about what we think of events of the day.  I express my opinion and I get out.  I urge people to vote.  I urge people to just think about my point of view.  I do research to know my facts are pretty solid.  Then it's over for a week.  Who do I have thank for this?  Those sweet Founding Fathers of ours, a/k/a the Framers of the Constitution.  Thanks, guys!  If you came to this world today you'd shit your collective pants but because of you, I can say how you might shit your pants if you came to this world today.

Because of those guys, I can say that Mike Ditka is very probably insane, stupid, concussed one too many times, or a combo of all three, because he said there had been no oppression in this country for the past 100 years.  Yeah, the Negro League of Baseball was there because there was no oppression and everyone could play ball nice together.  The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized a massive march for Civil Rights because there was no oppression. In 1939, when African-American contralto Marian Anderson was barred from singing at Constitution Hall in Washington because it was owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and those wacky gals put whites-only into the contracts at the time, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt immediately resigned from the DAR.  NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White suggested a concert on public land and so Harold Ickes, the Secretary of the Interior, built a stage onto the front steps of the Lincoln Memorial and introduced Ms. Anderson to a desegregated crowd of 75,000.  One of the most celebrated of opera stars sang for 25 minutes, starting with "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."  When he introduced her, Harold Ickes said, "In this great auditorium under the sky, all of us are free.  Genius, like justice, is blind.  Genius draws no color lines." Hey, Mike, does this sound strangely like there was oppression to you?

So thanks again, Founding Fathers, for that swell first amendment, the freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the press.  And thanks, too, to Gold Star dad Khizr Khan, who offered to give Donald Trump his copy of the Constitution.  What a shame Trump didn't take him up on the offer.

As to the press being honest, liars don't know what the truth is because their lives have been so firmly run by lies and falsehoods that the only truth they know is whatever lie they're peddling of late.  Yo, Trumpy?  Feel the heats?  Yer pants are on fire.

Monday, October 9, 2017

What happened to Sunday

I went to Ikea, Costco, Joann, Lands' End, all in the suburbs.  I left at 9:30; I returned at 5.  I was bushed, I assure you, and I was in no mood to think about blogging and then I forgot about that, too.

See you on Sunday.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Not a surprise, really

The Chicago Bears were summarily handed their asses by the Green Bay Packers.  A personal message to Mr. Mike Glennon:  How can we miss you if you won't go away?

Attention Bears owners!  Cheap ass, dumb, and seemingly apolitical as you are, wouldn't it be a good idea to grab Mr. Colin Kaepernick, he of "The Knee," and make him QB?  He took the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl.  Mike Glennon can rarely get the ball to move 5 yards into the end zone.  And think of the attention you'll get!  It can be a rest-of-season-plus-post-season contract -- he's not working so it could be a bargain and I know you love a bargain -- and then renegotiate next year if things go well.  Otherwise, hey, one and done; no harm, no foul.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Two reasons, really.

First, the president of the United States of America, who will go nameless here, is engaged in a verbal dick measuring contest with the Supreme Leader of North Korea.  The nameless president called Kim Jung-Un "Rocket Man," against the advice of his advisors.  It's doubtful that Kim Jung-Un has advisors to whom he listens and he called the nameless president a "dotard."  Very imaginative!  Arcane but imaginative.  We all raced to our electronic devices to google it.  The nameless president IS a dotard -- although I prefer how my coworkers says it, which is "DOE-tard."  And because these two can't just get together, drop trou, and settle whose member is the more huge of the two, the escalation continues.  The USA flew bombers off the coast of North Korea for the first time in this century.  North Korea threatened to do a Pacific Ocean test of a nuclear bomb which is insanely dangerous as the wind could carry the fallout all over the place.  Nameless president said he would destroy North Korea and K J-U said he'd do something similar to the USA.

The USA can't do squat to North Korea without also doing damage to South Korea and China and maybe Japan.  Who the hell knows what North Korea can do to us.  K J-U wants to be taken seriously and nameless president wants to be the biggest gasbag of them all, or, as we used to say at my job when we had someone that was particularly long-winded and whiny, "Gas, gas, gas, gas, gas."  Does he think that K J-U will back down?  Does K J-U think nameless president will stop being a gasbag.  ATTENTION NAMELESS!  He wants to be taken seriously and exert himself on the world stage. ATTENTION MR. K J-U!  Namless is an old man who has never ever not even once apologized ever, ever, ever and he isn't going to change.

Seriously, let's get them a room at a hotel in, say, Frankfurt.  The Steigenberger Airport Hotel, let's say as it's right by the airport and on the edge of a forest; part of the hotel was once a hunting lodge.  Make the woods crawl with Secret Service and whatever they call the guys who protect K J-U.  They get a big room.  They drop trou.  There can be perfunctory measurements and even pictures.  Then they pull up, zip up, and go home.  The bigger penis has rights to usage for holiday cards.

I like it.

Second, the Bears won a game!  They beat the Steelers which is a good team!  Congrats and bear down!

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.

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.


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." 


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


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.


Sunday, January 8, 2017


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.