Sunday, August 28, 2005

It is so over between us!

For the record, the CTA bus system and I were never meant to have a relationship. Issues with timing and breakdowns in communication abound, and I have, more often than not, gone to bed angry after our encounters.

That said, things were going relatively smoothly for us this afternoon. The Trip Planner did not [for once] lead me astray, and I had to walk exactly zero blocks [a first!] to get from bus to bus to final destination.

But that was on the way to Target.

On the way back [note: "the way back" can also be read as "the way where I'm carrying three heavy shopping bags"] I got off at the right transfer stop, but couldn't find a stop for my second bus. I was trapped in hectic, sweaty, most likely drunk, gamebound Wrigleyville foot traffic, which I was trying to walk against, and if I wasn't shouldering my way through a sticky throng in a police-controlled walkway, I was being heckled by a scalper.

Somewhere between finally finding my stop (five crosswalks, ten t-shirt stands, and about a thousand and two Cubs fans away), waiting for a no-show bus for thirty minutes, deciding to give in and walk back to the El station, and seeing -- and chasing -- my bus for a block to no avail, I got this gem from a guy in a jersey on a street corner:

"Tickets! Anyone need tickets? I've got groups, I've got pairs. Hey, Lady, you need tickets? I got one single left!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A mystery wrapped in an enigma...

... wrapped in those damn flowey culottes that everyone is wearing and no one looks good in and that I hate.

But fashion is not the point here. The point is this: Today I rode the Red Line with Nancy Drew.

I'm pretty sure it was her: she had the ginger hair, of course, the wide eyes, the nose perfectly upturned just as one would expect such an instrument for sniffing out clues would be. There was no sign of Bess, or of Ned Nickerson, That Boy Who Didn't Really Do Anything Except Serve As The Love Interest, but I'm still fairly certain my identification is correct.

She smiled at me and I smiled back and I wanted her to like me and ask me to be her friend and teenaged supersleuthing sidekick. I was giddy: one of my Childhood Heroes of Fiction, in the flesh!

She got off at Addison, to solve a mystery involving, I imagine, an all-knowing barkeep, a corked baseball bat, and an unfortunate yet telltale tattoo.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Daily Candy

Today I was walking behind two 50-something ladies talking about how hilarious The Daily Show is, and how much they love that nice young host... Jon Daily.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sheer Coincidence

I am officially 55 percent settled in, and 55 percent is more than 50 percent (FYI, for those of you who don't deal with math as well as I do), so... I'm more than halfway done! I decided I'd celebrate with a more-than-halfway-done post on my brand new shiny desk, which, I'll have you know, I assembeled by myself. I even bought a cordless drill. (I know, I know, you're in awe of my adultlike, power-tool-purchasing independence. It's OK... but don't be fooled.)

Yesterday I bought -- and hauled up three flights of stairs, and built -- two dressers (77 lbs. each), a desk (30 lbs), a kitchen table (30 lbs), and two kitchen chairs (8 lbs each). My shoulders and forearms feel fabulous. Really. So do the screwdriver-induced calluses on my thumb and my palm. I feel like a carpenter, like Ty. Or Jesus. All gritty and sweaty and primal and getting-things-accomplished-with-my-bare-hands. It rocks.

I also spent an hour and a half on the phone with Comcast the other day, telling the local Home Networking Group, then the corporate Home Networking Group, then Billing, then Internet Billing, and finally "The Supervisor" that the technician who came to install our cable and internet sucked the big one and that I wanted my money back. And you know what? I got it. That's right. I got a hundred bucks back and I installed my own internet. I didn't know I had it in me to be so aggressive and not-pushovery. It's like magic! Oh yeah, and also? Don't mess with me, biotch! (Sorry, had to throw that in there... because I can.)

All these feelings of empowerment and general I've-So-Got-It-Together-ness just remind me that I really should be here now. I had a minor panic attack Saturday when I got into a cab to go home (home!!) and there was a video monitor in the back showing -- on continuous freaking loop -- a commercial for Sheer Dallas. I mean, really? Wasn't that show cancelled? It's not even on the air anymore, so why show promos for it in a cab in a state that's not Texas? Why?

I was beginning to think it was a sign, but by the fourteenth time they showed the zoom-out-to-Dallas-skyline shot, all I could think was... heh.

I'm sorry, Dallasites, I know you have a building that's (gasp!) outlined in green neon, and that (omigod!) Reunion Tower is, like, the only golf-ball-resembling building ever created. And I'm just as impressed by those architectural wonders as the next girl, I really am. But Dallas' skyline just doesn't do it for me like Chicago's. It doesn't give me that tingly, glowy, Oh-my-god-I-need-a-cigarette-after-that feeling like Chicago's. Sigh.... Yeah, I know where I need to be.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I think #4 has the most growth potential

I'm surprised - and a little disheartened - that unemployment hasn't afforded much TV time. Still, I managed to squeeze in a circa-1989, Richard Dawson-era episode of Family Feud the other day, and thank goodness I did. At a time when my career plans are up in the air, I'll take guidance anywhere I can get it. And if that means takin' it from a cheesy '80s game show hosted by a sleazebag who can't keep his mouth off the female contestants, well, so be it.

So here's the sitch:

It's the double points round. Farrah Fawcett Hair from Family A (50 points) is at the podium, set to face off against Ken Doll Lookalike from Family B (89 points); cheeks have been kissed, hands have been placed behind backs and on buzzers, and it's on.

Rich: Top four answers are on the board. Name a profession... in which a woman...

Ken: HOMEMAKER!

[I'm shaking my head in disgust just typing that, like obviously, if the question is about "women" and "professions," homemaker must be on the list of answers. I mean, there are only, what, like five total instances in which "women" and "profession" can be used in conjunction with one another, and homemaker is so the obvious first choice, right? Dick.)

Rich: ... can flirt.*

[Ohhhhh. Well, that changes everything, doesn't it, Kenny? When was the last time your wife the homemaker flirted, huh? Ha! That's what I thought.]

FawcettHair: SECRETARY!

Rich: Can I see 'secretary?' (wait for it... wait for it...DING!) Number two!

Family A opts to play. They easily accrue points for "WAITRESS!" (Number 1, listed on the board as 'Waitress/Barmaid') and "STEWARDESS!" (Number 3). But now they're stuck. They're mentally ticking off female-friendly occupations in their minds. I think one guy is actually using his fingers ("Let's see, we've got waitress, secretary, homemaker's not on the list, stewardess, what else IS there?")

He guesses "SCHOOL TEACHER!" Alright there, Captain Letourneau, way to think through your answer. It's not on the board, and Family A garners its first red X.

Rich continues down the line, and Family A starts biting their nails in nervous anticipation as "AEROBICS INSTRUCTOR!" earns them another X. Family B huddles up and murmurs possible answers for the steal. Rich is at the end of Family A's line. He kisses the final player (ew) who squeaks out "ACTRESS!" and is almost instantly granted the death blow. Dammit, Family A, you had to give it up to HOMEMAKER! Ken, didn't you?

Family B has ceased deliberating and they're ready with their final answer. It's "SALES CLERK!"

Rich: Let me see...'sales clerk' (wait for it... wait for it... BZZT!) Nope.

Now, everybody knows that the best part of Family Feud is when Richard Dawson reveals the answers that nobody guessed, and everyone on stage throws up their hands in exaggerated exasperation, and everyone in the audience reads the answer aloud in that 'you-should-have-known-that-you-idiots' tone. This one was particularly sweet.

Rich: 100 people surveyed. Name a profession in which women can flirt. Can I see the number four answer?

Everbody: PROSTITUE!!!

So there I have it. Not one potential career redirection, but four. How lucky am I that I had the urge, at 11:30 in the morning, to roll out of bed and turn on the Game Show Network for the first time ever? Pretty damn lucky if you ask me.

And now I'm off to buy some lucky red patent leather thigh-high boots, you know, for my new profession.

* Those of us playing along at home yell out "GRAPHIC DESIGNER!!!!" Then, those of us playing along at home realize that a.) We are playing along at home alone; b.) We are no longer graphic designers. We are unemployed; and c.) Unemployment has made us crazy. Crazy as in shouting at the TV like 80-year-olds and referring to ourselves using the royal we.