Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lobster for Lunch, Wild Boar for Dinner

As one might imagine, the title of this blog entry refers to the assorted foods I consumed over the past eight hours. The circumstances that led to my enjoyment of these menu items are, quite frankly, fascinating, but still too fresh in my memory for me to recount without a certain level of fatigue. Today's musings, therefore, have more to do with the fact that the artic weather in Chicago is driving the city's residents and visitors alike to madness. Behold the evidence:

1. A senior citizen from California has filed a lawsuit in which he claims to have suffered emotional and physical distress after having a camera shoved down his throat during a Blue Man Group performance at the Briar Street Theater. I always thought the so-called "esophagus cam" looked painful, but it never worried me as much as the Twinkie cream spewing from gaping wounds in the chests of nonverbal men whose skin has, alarmingly, congealed into blue rubber.

2. Last weekend I observed the following: A woman sitting in a parked car on Wells Street in front of my office building opened the door of her car to reveal a large pile of garbage resting in her lap—McDonald's bags, cigarette cartons, plastic cups and crumpled paper. She proceeded to slowly and deliberately shove all of it out onto the curb—fully aware, I'm sure, of my hands-on-hips stance and disbelieving stare—then drove calmly away, leaving the detritus to float down the sidewalk on a breeze. Litterbug!

3. I find my consciousness besieged by two jingles I haven't heard in years. One is: "LET'S go Kro-gering, Kro-gering, Kro-gering. LET'S go Kro-gering, you can al-ways count on US!" The other goes: "Ba-con's, time after tiiiimme…it's for YOU!"

I swear there's something in that salt they keep spreading.

P.S. The quote of the week goes to Jeff, who last night lamented his inability to do architecture-related work at his desk over the past few days because of more pressing concerns, including planning a dinner party, paying bills, downloading inspirational R&B songs on iTunes, and maintaining various friendships via e-mail. With a sigh, he said: "It's like a full-time job just to be me!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Frontier Life

When I was in second grade at Jane Hite Elementary, I used to pretend I was blind like Mary on Little House on the Prairie. I didn't think about the possibility of offending anyone, I just closed my eyes, stuck out my hand and used the grooves on the concrete block walls to find my way. Mary was the oldest sister and so was I, so I felt very connected to her. I wanted to experience her dark but 100 percent virtuous world, and that's also why I forced my little sister Claire to play school every afternoon once Mary became a teacher on our favorite show. Claire wasn't thrilled by this activity, but it was a lot better than too much Nintendo and she did learn to read at an early age.

The reason I bring this up is because my routines carry a lot of Little House overtones these days. I think of the frontier life when I'm carrying my laundry down ice-covered stairs to the basement, and when I'm pulling on double layers of socks before bed. I feel like Ma when I'm opening my oven to let the extra warmth from cooking into my apartment, and I shake my head like Pa as I review my utility bills and try to think of ways to supplement my household income. Winter is harsh. I really don't know how they did it without space heaters.

Ahem. Sorry for the abrupt signoff, but I have to get back to my regularly scheduled programming: a blend of American Idol and the Democratic debate on MSNBC. Could prime time be more patriotic?

P.S. Breaking news from Chicago: Dirty Dancing has been made into a Broadway musical which apparently will open right here where I live in September. Can you believe it?!?! Many hoorays.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Beware of Blog (A Multifaceted Complaint)

As revealed to me only moments ago by a colleague at the next desk over, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is ruling my life. With each passing day of cloud-covered gloom, I come to resemble Oscar the Grouch more and more. My hair is sticking out in all directions. My eyebrows are continually furrowed. I say mean things to strangers on the phone and think about how much they deserve it. Just now, for instance, I hung up on an operator at the Bloomingdale's call center because he couldn't pronounce my name. Maybe I'll be overcome with remorse when the first ray of sun filters through, but at the moment I'm pretty sure my irritation is justified.

Other targets of my wrath:

1. Hannah Montana. I don't get it. I can't stand it. The other night I tried to watch five minutes of this show and all I could do was mutter "Robots!" under my breath, repeatedly and with malice.
2. Dr. Phil. Seriously Dr. Phil, you need to quit meddlin'. This is an A and B conversation, so you'd better C your way out.
3. My desk phone. How rude of it to keep blinking even though it knows I can't possibly muster the strength to listen to messages. How completely disrespectful.

This must be why they call it the Windy City. Because it blows. Anywho, I'll just be here waiting on a delivery of brownie bites or Swirlz cupcakes—the only things that could possibly revive me at this point.

Disagreeably yours,

P.S. I just dropped my Sharpie on the floor. Great. Now I have to reach down and pick it up.