Thursday, May 29, 2008

Needed: A New Roof Over My Head

Bob The Landlord is raising my rent because he says he’s ready to get out of the game, and higher rents throughout the building mean a higher sale price when he unloads the place later this year. As much as I want Bob to be able to retire in luxury, I’m not exactly cool with the price hike, so I’ve been putting some thought into alternative living situations.

Plan A: Move into the gazebo of a mansion being built one block south of where I currently live. The house sits on four or five combined lots, and word on the street is that it will soon be occupied by Michael Jordan (and now me). The gazebo is easily as big as my current apartment and far better insulated, I’m sure.

Plan B: Take up residence in the volunteer gardening cottage next to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This cottage has been recently refurbished and exudes coziness and rustic charm. It is convenient to many bus lines.

Plan C: TBD. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? Please keep in mind that I refuse to occupy any abode that features carpeting, lack of a dishwasher or the necessity of chitchatting with strangers on elevators.

Meanwhile, a few things have occurred that are Very Suspicious Indeed.

1. This morning I was writing on my calendar, filling in the little day boxes of June with all the events I plan to attend and giving myself heart palpitations over the calories yet to be consumed. Suddenly, one of the plastic clips I use to hang the calendar near my desk popped off the wall and flew without warning toward the window, narrowly missing my eyeball.

2. For about one hour yesterday afternoon, I feared someone had stolen a large piece of chocolate in the shape of a toilet seat which was recently sent to me by a new plumbing showroom and which I was saving for all the editors to enjoy on a special occasion, like a Friday. I later discovered it wasn’t stolen, but it had transferred locations into a box of lip glosses and shave creams. So one mystery was solved, but another remained: is there a beauty bandit in our midst?

3. I swear there were four bananas on my kitchen table when I woke up on Tuesday. I took one to work. When I returned home that evening, only two bananas remained. BOB?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Locks They Love

Other than the Usher song “Love in This Club,” my obsession of the month is my own glorious hair. It all started a few weeks ago at a friend's birthday party when I received a tap on the shoulder with the greeting: “I’d know that hair anywhere!”
Indeed, I thought. Indeed.

Last week, in came an e-mail pitch with the subject line: New Bucktown Salon Has Long Hair Treatments and a Parking Lot! I could only conclude that the PR person had researched me online and discovered that A. I have long hair and B. I am easily wooed by free parking. In the body of the e-mail she pointed out, “Even Rapunzel needs a trim once in a while.” Do I enjoy being compared to Rapunzel? Of course. I wrote back and booked one of those long-hair treatments for next week. I will be driving myself there.

On Monday, feeling nostalgic for the lower gas prices and uncomplicated breeziness of the mid- to late- 90s, I headed to Best Buy and bought Say Anything, a late 80s classic that I considered an appropriate pick because I was still watching it frequently 90s. I modeled my own high school graduation hair on the character of Diane Court, so I wanted to check back after a decade’s absence for a little side-by-side evaluation. Whose cap-and-gown curls were better? See for yourself.

Today, I sat down with QVC “Million Dollar Man” and celebrity hairstylist Nick Chavez to hear the scoop about his new product line. “You have gorgeous hair!” he said. He couldn’t get over it. He reached out to touch it a few times during our meeting. Being an American Indian who owns a ranch in Arizona, he also admired my cowboy boots.

All in all, these occurrences served as a nice confidence booster where my hair is concerned…though I'm not sure I needed it.

P.S. Speaking of e-mail pitches, I got one today that tried to convince me Sunday is the new Saturday. Um, no. I can buy Thursday as the new Friday, but there is no way you will see me at a fashion show, in a nightclub or even ponied up at a neighborhood bar on a Sunday. Gross.

P.P.S. My only thought about the Ashlee Simpson wedding is this: Pete Wentz and Papa Joe are not going to get along.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Haunted Derby

Despite the prevalent sunshine and general overall floweriness of this year’s Derby weekend in my hometown of Louisville, I couldn’t help but notice an ominous cast to the proceedings. I was feeling a little morose when I drove into town, thanks to an incident in my personal life that I can’t recount here because it would be tacky to use too many cuss words in this blog. Suffice it to say, my state of mind was already leaning toward the dark side. The following only served to further disturb:

1. When I met my granddad at the Middletown Wal-Mart at 8AM on Friday morning (he was treating me to an oil change for Black Beauty), the place was deserted. We roamed the aisles killing time, he with a cup of coffee, me sipping from a Minute Maid juice box. Florescent lights hummed, Muzak echoed in the rafters, and all around, gigantic, gleaming, black plastic horses gazed blankly and unmovingly upon our progress.

2. Later, Liv and I were hustling up a hill while taking our exercise around the scenic loop at Cherokee Park. Suddenly, we heard strains of ice-cream truck music blaring from behind. I turned to see what kind of vehicle might be approaching, and it was not the usual white truck decorated with pictures of popsicles and sno-cones. Instead, it was a trundling, faded black Chevy van, likely an early 80’s model, its windows tinted and covered by curtains. Perhaps it was a genuine retailer of frozen treats, but it might as well have had the words “Kidnap-Mobile” stenciled on the side.

3. Still later, I found I needed a drink. We headed to a liquor store downtown, where we stood in line behind a man with a minimal number of teeth, his stringy hair pulled into a haphazard ponytail and his skin tanned to a dull, burnt orange that spoke not so much of years spent in the sun but of a force that darkens from within. He was buying the biggest beer I’ve ever seen, brand undetermined. Suddenly I wasn’t so sure I wanted to drink ever again.

4. Walking toward Gate 1 at Churchill Downs, we passed people selling ponchos, hot dogs, flip-flops, and race paraphernalia. Then we came across a man who hoped to sell us on God. His pitch involved singing and strumming along with the popular Sunday school jingle “This Little Light of Mine.” Remember the line that goes “Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine?” I don’t. I think we sang a lighter version at my church growing up. In any case, this guy was really growling out the word Satan, making sure to give it a special, menacing emphasis every time.

And then, of course, there was poor Eight Belles. I would like to dedicate this blog entry to her, the filly who ran her heart out against the boys only to meet an untimely death on the other side of the finish line. RIP, Eight Belles. I could cry just thinking about you.