Friday, April 24, 2009

Pot Roast

That's not a pun.  I know, week of 4/20 and all I should just let you all assume that it is, but the fact is that I'm at work right now and I don't work for a technoweb-i-company or anything, so there is no pot, just pot roast.  

A nearby coworker has been preparing some fucking delicious-smelling pot roast to eat at his desk every afternoon this week at about 3pm.  

I don't even eat meat and I want to jump over the cubicle walls and rip his face off to get at it.  

I'm concerned I have the Iron Deficiency or akinatopsia or something.

Telethon in my honor coming soon.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

It has been once in a blue moon!

So, in a moment of desperation yesterday, I googled "cleaning services Chicago" just to see how much it would cost to have someone ELSE prepare my apartment for showing, since I have this whole job thing going on and Houseboy is in the midst of the most important exams of his life except for that first one they give you when you're born to make sure you don't have any terminal baby diseases.  Anyway, apparently what it will cost me is about $175, two cleaning people, four hours, and a viral message sent from my hotmail account to everyone I've ever known.  

If you're one of those people, I apologize.  If you're not, I apologize double, since apparently the message was funny enough that several people assumed I was being hilariously ironic, which I am choosing to take as a compliment.

Anyway, I've heard back from friends I actually talk to regularly, but I can't wait to see if I get messages from my former bosses, high school acquaintances I've lost touch with and my own cell phone.  

The internet is an adventure!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Don't Drive Anymore

Back when my sister was first learning to drive, she used to slow way down while driving down Main Street and I'd jump and roll out of the car, and then chase her and try to jump back in.  We also tried out me steering while she drove down the highway at 60 miles an hour with her eyes closed.  

Once I got my driver's license, I was very concerned about roadkill and kept a shovel in the back of the station wagon so that I could pull over on those country roads and give the animals a proper burial.  The first time I ever tried it I retched so hard at the smell of rotting raccoon that I never did it again.  

On the other hand, I did stop to save a baby bird and had to watch it get run over by someone else instead.  I also stopped to help a cat that had been hit by a car and once a coyote pup that I thought was a dog, which resulted in a massive dressing-down from the park ranger who told me in graphic detail what rabies shots were like and that if the coyote had rabies they would have to put my dog down (who had been in the back seat of the car) because they don't have rabies shots for dogs.

Once, on a road trip to Texas, in which I drove for 28 hours straight, I saw a drunk driver weave in and out of traffic behind me, then cut me off and drive straight off the road into a signpost.

On my second drive into Chicago, I stopped before an intersection because there was traffic ahead and I couldn't get through it before the light turned red.  A man started honking, I flipped him off and he went apeshit, drove into oncoming traffic to pull up beside my car and scream through his open window at me until the light turned green again.  I sold my car and I've only driven about five times in the last seven years.


Monday, April 20, 2009

I Promise I Don't Hate Poor People

Sure, I find the poor Distasteful, as do most Americans.  I think their choice of couch covers is almost always extremely gauche, for example.  But I don't hate them in that way that you're not supposed to hate them.  In that way where I acknowledge that it is their actual poorness that is the object of my hatred, or that I think that Being Poor is a character trait that I abhor.  

In fact, I even sometimes give money to The Homeless when I have a dollar in my pocket and they make sure not to look me directly in the eye, or if they have a child with them, because The Children are our future, even the poor ones.  

I prefer not to give money to people who stand outside my grocery store, because I feel that they are being emotionally manipulative by making me feel guilty for having reusable bags full of chips and ice cream when they don't actually have a place to sleep.  I don't want to reward them for that kind of behavior.  I will give money to the obviously drunk and/or high, however because if I were homeless, I'd be high all the damn time because it is cold outside and it even rained today.

Anyway, I don't usually actually become incensed by the actions of Chicago's poor folk, even the ones outside my grocery store, but I did almost slap a well-dressed teenager sitting on a bike who just held out his hand and said "Money?" when I came out of the drug store this weekend.  

Does that make me a racist?

Yeah, it probably does.  


Friday, April 17, 2009

I am. Sofa King. We Todd Ed.

Just a few notes on the things I like and hate about Chicago as I enter my last few months here.  In the "like" column:

  •  I rode on the bus yesterday woman with a woman reeking of booze at 7 o'clock in the morning, and she was wearing nurse's scrubs.  I hope she didn't kill anyone yesterday.
  • Last night we tried to order Chinese food, but the gas was out at the restaurant, so we settled for Indian.  Where I grew up we didn't have pizza delivery until I was 12.
  • Last weekend someone rang our buzzer and told me they wanted to tell me about a funeral, and I came downstairs in my workout clothes only to find out that it was a funeral for Jesus, being put on by the Mormons.  
In the hate column:
  • I have to go to a work party this weekend at a coworker's house, and it is 20 miles from my house, and we both live in the city.  And I don't even live at the farthest South end.  Where I grew up, 20 miles got you to the big town that had a 4 screen movie theater and a Walmart.  That was more fun.
  • It has not even gotten warm yet and already the air here is choking with tar stench.  Why does every roof in the city need to be re-tarred every spring and summer?  Can't they invent some kind of new tar that lasts more than a year?
  • The White Sox.  And the Cubs.  And the Bears.  And the Bulls.  I hate them all, to differing degrees and in different ways.  The Blackhawks are wearing on me too.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Books are Boring

So, I haven't had a book blog in awhile because I keep running into duds.  This is another side effect of just reading your way alphabetically through a shared collection of books.  Sometimes you end up on the bus going "Really?  Really?  Why the fuck do we own this crap?"  And since I hate being a hater*, I'm not going to tell you about all the ones I read and hated.

Except for one, because the author is long dead and everybody thinks they're so great if they read it, but you should just know it sucks before you head into its blank verse nonsense.  It is "Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained" by John "fuckface" Milton.  Now, the first problem with this book/these books is that it is (as mentioned above) written in blank verse.  That means high-falutin' craziness to all you illiterates out there.  Personally, I have liked other things written in blank verse.  I have even occasionally enjoyed the sort of lulling rhythm of it.  In this case, though, it just about put me to sleep (and I know that's blasphemy to say about Milton, but it's not like you all have a leg to stand on in criticising me, so back the fuck off).  

Anyway, the only thing that saved me from actually nodding off on the bus while reading this was Milton's intense hatred of women and radical and heretical interpretation of scripture.  First, according to Milton, The Fall happened because, even though they had been warned about Satan (which Eve overheard because she was eavesdropping instead of fetching the food like a good woman should), Eve suggested that she and Adam split up and tend to the weeding in different parts of the garden.  Then, she is accosted by the snake, who is super happy to see the weaker of the pair alone and unguarded.  The snake says all kinds of flattering things about her, which she especially likes since she and Adam just had a fight about how she's not smart or strong enough to go off on her own.  The snake also tells her that the reason he can talk is because he ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, which makes Eve want to eat it, even though she can already talk, because we know how the bitches like to gab, am I right?

All that so far is a somewhat sexist interpretation of scripture, but not TERRIBLY far off what's in the Bible.  Now is when it gets downright ridiculous though.  Eve brings the fruit to Adam, who knows it's forbidden and doesn't want to eat it, but he's so sad that Eve has been condemned to Hell that he decides to sacrifice himself for her sake and eat it so that she won't be alone in damnation.  Such an upstanding guy, this Adam.  Not to mention that, when God realizes what they've done, there is a small amount of recrimination, but it's mostly on Eve's part, who basically devolves into a crying little girl while Adam takes the punishment like a man and explains to Eve that they deserve it, and they'll just have to put their hope in the future.

So, Paradise Regained.  About 9/10ths of the book was the Paradise Lost part, and it only takes a little while to win it all back by betting on Jesus.  I guess his story just isn't as interesting.  Which makes sense, since according to Milton, God created Jesus sometime before Adam and Eve, and his only real role in the beginning was to make Satan jealous and precipitate his fall and the creation of Hell.  Way to go Jesus.  Thanks for that.  On the other hand, he does petition his dad to let him come down to Earth and save all our souls, which was nice of him.  

Close observers will notice that all this is complete heresy, seeing as how 1) God did not "create" Jesus, 2) There was no "time" where God existed and Jesus didn't and 3) I'm pretty sure God and Jesus don't have disagreements or argue about shit.  Not to mention that popular lore has it that Satan fell out of jealousy over the creation of humans, not jealousy over Jesus, which would be jealousy over God which is some kind of time warp vicious cycle nonsense.  

Okay, so don't read Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained, because even though I know I made it all kinds of fun, 400 pages of that is just not.  

* Obviously I don't hate being a hater, but I do feel bad saying mean things about books, since they're really super hard to write and I've never done it, plus there's the whole "eye of the beholder" aspect, so I'd just as soon not be a bitch about it.  Most of the time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


So, you've heard of a "staycation" right?  It's where those of us who don't have money for tickets to Hawaii take our vacation time and watch Bones reruns and drool over Dr. Sweets because we have special emotional problems.  

Yes, I'm attracted to pre-pubescent boys in ill-fitting suits.  I don't see what's wrong with that.  

Anyway, Houseboy (who hit puberty long before I met him, and can even grow facial hair, so don't worry about that) has invented the concept of a "Staybattical."  Basically, once he's a full for-real professor, he's going to take the first opportunity he can to take a sabattical, but we're not going to Spain or Africa or Kentucky.  He's going to hang out in his underwear in our tv room and "write a book."  

I think he's brilliant, don't you?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Parents Put Up With a Lot

One time, when I was in first grade, we went with my family to an aquarium.  I remember that there were giant, um, aquariums, with fish inside and they were colorful and all.  But mostly I remember there were eleventy million people there and I was short and not pushy like my sister, so I didn't see much.  At some point I guess I got bored with that, because I crawled under one of the aquarii and fell asleep.  My parents and my sister moved on to the next exhibit, which was probably sharks fighting alligators or something, because they didn't notice I wasn't there.

I was awoken by a middle aged woman (though I was 6 years old, so actually she might have been like 25), who gently got me up, asked me where my parents were, and when I couldn't tell her, she brought me to the main office because she thought I was homeless.  

I hung out there for awhile until they found my parents, who were like "Yeah, thanks for thinking our kid is homeless.  We'll make sure to wipe the chocolate ice cream off her shirt before we go out in public next time."


Monday, April 6, 2009

A Case of The Mondays

Why would you sit right next to me on the bus when for once there is no one else on it and there are tons of open seats?  I wish I could fart on command and make you regret it.

Let's put this to rest right now.  BMI has absolutely nothing to do with your percent body fat and it doesn't tell you anything more than a height/weight chart does.

I imagine running for the elevator was the most exercise you've gotten since you were 12 years old and had to take the Presidential Fitness Test, but if you're still panting when we get to the 11th floor, you should really go see a doctor.

I wish that pithy phrases and "words to live by" would actually help me, but last I checked "A lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part" is not the kind of thing you can say to the damn CEO.

Please, if I offer you a mint, take it.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Saying a Fan is No Good, Just Because You Can't Use It As a Vacuum Cleaner

The title today is a new phrase I invented my very own self that I hope all of you will add to your arsenal immediately.  


"That guy is an asshole.  How could he even tell if other people are assholes?"

"That's like saying a fan is no good, just because you can't use it as a vacuum cleaner.  He has a perfectly good asshole-detector.  He just can't turn it inward."

Yeah, like that.

And with no segue at all, that brings us to this week's Books of the Week.  Yes, yet again I have read TWO books this week, and you have to suffer through hearing about them both.  The week began with The Little Sister, by Raymond Chandler, featuring (as they always do) the six foot tall sarcastic detective, Philip Marlowe.  Since hearing that Clive Owen bought the rights to all the Marlowe books, I can't help but picture him as the main character, which wasn't an altogether unpleasant experience:

So, since I imagine you don't read Raymond Chandler, since you don't read anything because you went to public school, I suppose I ought to tell you a thing or two about the book and the writer. 
  1. They are good
  2. Marlowe is irresistable to the ladies (I dare you to resist)
  3. They are good
Raymond Chandler fits well into the noir genre, and even Marlowe seems aware of that fact.  In The Little Sister he more than once warns other characters that they are dealing with real life, not the stuff of a pulp novel, shortly after which he either gets shot at, has a woman swoon in his arms, or lights yet another cigarette.  If you think you might like that, this is a good novel to start with, since it doesn't have any homosexual or "ethnic" characters to act ridiculous and detract from the fun of the mystery*.  

Book number two this week is a collection called The Best American NonRequired Reading: 2007, which I bought when we went to Barnes and Noble to buy a DVD, because I'm physically incapable of leaving a bookstore without buying a book.  This was a good choice, since it's edited by Dave Eggers who is my secret best friend, and secret best friends are better because then only you know how bestest friends you are.  

Overall the stories and essays in this were fantastic.  The only one I wasn't particularly enamored with was the last, entitled "Literature Unnatured," by Joy Williams.  Maybe my attention span was just waning at the end of this long collection, but I got bored early on and decided that it was yet another example of a Baby Boomer bewailing the fall of culture since their awesome generation, which I seem to be encountering a lot of lately.  Again, it may be my age and status as the child of a Baby Boomer, but when they bewail it bothers me much more than when others bewail.  

But that is a topic for another day, this has gone on long enough.

* This is meant to be a comment on the existence of stereotypical characters in other noir novels, not a statement that I think homosexual and ethnic people are ridiculous.  I think all people are ridiculous, no matter their race or sexual orientation.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'll give you a Twitter

Today in my perambulations of the internet, in between arguing with stupid people and yelling at Unix, I have encountered at least ten references to this thing they call "Twitter."  I figured that if I don't say something soon, I'll be outed as an old and probably granny-panties-wearing loser, and I do not want a repeat of 3rd grade, thank you.

Anyway, consider this my vote of NO.

No to Twitter.  No to people using Twitter, or "Tweeting," no to people reading Twitter, or "Twitees" and definite N. O. to people like me, writing about people Tweeting and getting Twitted, who will now be known as "Twitterpaters."  


P.S. - Has anyone else noticed how often I've been using the "Mental Illness" tag lately?  Is that something I should bring up with my therapist?


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jesus Came to Earth Covered in a Chocolate Shell

So, I'm religious and all, and some might even call me Pretty Religious, since I go to church every Sunday and I even teach the little ones about our Lord and Savior as a Sunday School teacher.  This being Lent, I'm extra serious about Episcopalianism, and we're coming up on Holy Week, when I'll get even more for serious, and attend church a lot even on weekdays.  As a matter of fact, I'm so Episcopalian that Holy Week is my favorite time of year, even over Christmas, because it's so dark and ominous and I get my feet washed, which is ticklish and uncomfortable, and your religion should make you uncomfortable at least once a year, in my opinion.

Anyway, all that is to say that Easter is fairly important to my Belief System, and the raising of The Son of God from the Dead matters a lot to me, but fuck if I'm not going to just become an atheist if I can't find a Cadbury Creme Egg pretty damn soon.  

I'm aware that they are just chocolate filled with icing.  But that icing is white on the outside and yellow in the center, just like a real egg!  And they come wrapped in foil which sometimes sticks to the egg because some of the icing leaks and you have to suck on the foil to get all the sugar and then it touches your "tin soldier" fillings and makes your whole head feel a little funny, like you're communicating with aliens.  

And besides which, Jesus likes them.  I'm just saying.