Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What Drives Them To It?

Mere moments ago, my friend Jeff forwarded me an e-mail with a link to pictures of an infant child recently born to his high-school ex-girlfriend, who is now happily cohabitating with a fine gentleman back home in Louisville (“He cussed in front of the nurse!” Jeff marveled, after visiting the couple in the hospital post-birth).

Though I’ve never met this ex, I’ve heard many tales about her life and therefore feel somewhat connected to her, so I clicked through to view her new offspring. I saw the baby wrapped in a pink blanket, the baby wearing a hat, the baby drooling, the baby in a car seat, the baby with her hair twisted into spikey little points. Cutie patootie. Then suddenly, the most shocking image appeared on my screen: a close-up of THE BIRTH ITSELF. Gag me with a spoon! As Jenny Berg would say, I cannot. I absolutely refuse to. Why anyone would choose to expose such details I’ll never know.

Then again, I’ll never understand why people buy animals whose certain areas are not tastefully shielded by fluff and whose eyeballs might eject during a forceful sneeze. For instance, I once dated someone who owned a pug. (Previous to the pug, he had dachshunds, another questionable choice for a person more than six feet tall. He treated them all in the manner of “disposable pets,” handing them off to his parents when he tired of their puppyish ways. As one might imagine, this illuminating little habit crept into many other aspects of his character.) Anywho, whenever that dog sat on anything, all I could think about was Bacteria.

One more: There is a woman on the lakefront path whose workout ensemble is all the exact same pink as her skin. What would possess her to appear as if jogging in the nude?

P.S. Quotes of the Week:

Raquel, a particularly enthusiastic dental hygienist: “You know what I really can’t get enough of? That Johnson & Johnson floss. Not the wax; it’s woven, almost more like yarn. It feels so good to get my teeth real clean with that. Ooh! I can’t wait to go home and do it again.”

The aforementioned Jeff Corney: “Everyone is the same. They all want two things in life: an iPhone and true love.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Various Conversations in a Variety of Locations

In a cab:
Emma: "Excuse me, but could you please turn on the air conditioning?"
Cabbie: "Huh? It's already on. Oh man, my meter's broken."
Emma [one block later, fanning face furiously]: "Sir! Really! It is stifling back here. I'm about to expire."
Cabbie [Stabs distractedly at buttons on meter with complete disregard for surrounding traffic or navigational matters]: "The air is on, I told you!"
Emma: "Yeah, it's on YOU!"
Cabbie: "I can't hear a word you're saying."
Emma: "Forget about it."
Cabbie: "This day is a total wash. I won't make a dime. I guess I'll head back to the garage."

A teenaged granddaughter in the ladies' room at RL, the Ralph Lauren restaurant, whilst viewing herself in the mirror:
Girl: "Grandma, do you remember when I used to be really skinny? I mean, I was really tiny."
Grandma: "Yeah, I used to be really tiny, too. Everyone's tiny when they're four."

My dear friend Bunky Cushing, also at RL, while seated at Bunky's Table and nibbling Bunky's Cookies:
"You see, they come in here straight from the American Girl Place. They walk right on in wearing their Bermuda shorts and T-shirts. What do they think this is, Applebee's? There's one. Don't look. Right there." [Inclines head toward questionably attired tourist.]

Two lady friends, both wearing massive turquoise rings on every finger, dining at Cyrano's Bistro [yes, Graham, you beat me to the punch with this one, but I cannot withhold it from my readership]:
Friend 1: "Did I ever tell you about the time I laughed with Julia Child?"
Friend 2: "I think so. Tell me again."
Friend 1: "It was the best laugh of my life. She was demonstrating a recipe at the old Marshall Field's. We were both hysterical."
Friend 2: "Really?"
Friend 1: "No one got it but us. Me and Julia Child. I could barely breathe."

P.S. The other night I parked Black Beauty with the valet at a certain Boystown nightclub. Yeah, it was Sidetracks. Anyway, they left her right there on the street in front of the door, hazards flashing. That's because Black Beauty is an oldie but a goodie. She is timeless. I was never prouder.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Stickery Situation

Today I got Black Beauty washed and had them scrape off last year’s city vehicle stickers from the inside of the windshield with a razor. I needed to make room for the new stickers, which I recently purchased at the currency exchange.

Then I went home and began the excruciating process of positioning my new city and residential zone parking stickers IN THE EXACT RIGHT SPOT in the lower right-hand corner of the windshield. I can think of no activity more exacting, more nerve-racking, more likely to bring on a fit of self-inflicted rage. This is an entire year of sticker viewing we’re talking about. They must be perfectly perpendicular. They must be precisely aligned, straight as an arrow, with just the slightest and most symmetrical line of space between the two. My God, it is stressful.

And so, with one trembling hand holding the stickers inside the car, I twisted my torso slowly around to the front of Black Beauty to inspect placement. Every muscle tensed, I began pasting—millimeter by millimeter—the stickers onto the glass.

I stood back. I inspected the results.

For the rest of this week I will reflect admiringly upon my sticker placement skills while walking past cars with their new stickers haphazardly slapped on, bubbled, wrinkled and torn. I will tell myself that if a man picked me up for a date with his vehicle sticker so randomly applied, I would know everything I needed to know right then and there. If he also wore a gold rope necklace, I would probably just walk right back inside.

P.S. Quotes of the week:

1. My friend Tim Reilly, upon spotting an overly exuberant male guest at the annual sun deck party of a certain Chicago health club: "Wow, look at that. I bet he's hung like a Tic-Tac."

2. My brother Lee, signing off from a phone conversation last night: "Hey Emma, give me a call tomorrow when you're at work. I'm gonna be kinda bored."


Dear Midnight Bandit,

Apparently Black Beauty was looking a little too stunning after her bath yesterday, and you couldn't resist the temptation to see what treasures might await within her super-shiny confines. I can't imagine why you didn't want the most recent issue of Cooking Light magazine from the passenger door panel, but I hope you enjoy the barely operational 2nd generation iPod with the scratched screen--particularly my extremely popular Haute Living playlist. Track 12 is really quite soothing. Toolbag.

Shown above: Black Beauty's driver-side window shattered on the ground, still mostly adhered by tint sticker.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

All Signs Point to Something or Other

I can’t stop thinking about this one sign I see every day at the Lincoln Park Zoo. (Yes, I go to the zoo every day. I stretch by the seals and hold my breath past the stinky flamingos.) Anyway, the sign says, “Siberian tigers can thrive in many different climates and habitats.” It makes me think I need to take a good hard look at my life. Am I maximizing my ability to thrive? Why do I fare so badly in extreme climates? Why do I cling so stubbornly to my current habitat?

Other signs that have recently left me perturbed:

1. A billboard on I-65 South in northern Indiana: HELL IS REAL. You know, I’m just trying to get from one state to another.
2. I-65 North in northern Indiana: JESUS IS REAL. Once again, the side of the expressway is not your personal pulpit.
3. The newish Indiana license plates: IN GOD WE TRUST. Clearly, separation of church and state was not considered in the creation of these government-issued decals. “The Sunshine State” is a fine thing to write on a license plate. Land of Lincoln. First in Flight. Stars Fell on Alabama. Come on people, let’s keep it light.
4. At Foodstuffs in the Merchandise Mart: JULY IS NATIONAL HOTDOG MONTH. Duly noted.

P.S. I feel dizzy. Possible causes:
1. Someone slipped something in my bottled water.
2. I’m experiencing an inner ear situation.
3. My new Paul & Joe belt with the large gold circles is cutting off my circulation.