Thursday, September 27, 2007

Creepy Bus People

There is a mother/son combo that gets on the 156 with me sometimes in the morning. Their relationship bothers me a little. The son is about 6 or so, old enough to be in school; the mother seems to be an older first-time mom. They hold hands at the bus stop (sure, that's normal), and hold hands while walking on the bus - him in front of her (awkward, but ok), and then hold hands the entire time they are sitting on the bus together (which seems weird). Each time, they deboard at the zoo.

The really strange thing is the way she talks to him. I can't capture the tone, and it might not translate how I want it to, but she speaks to him the way you talk to a child you don't know, like your boss' kids. Today, for example:

Son: We rode the 151 yesterday and had to jump a puddle.
Mom: You did?!
Son: Yeah.
Mom: When you were with Daddy?
Son: Yeah.
Mom: Did you like that?
Son: Yeah.
Mom: I'll bet you did. I bet Daddy liked it too.
Son: Yeah.
Mom: You're such a good boy.

Mom says that last line constantly. There's just something about the way she talks to him that tells me the kid is going to grow up to either sing Judy Garland medleys in piano bars, or cover Asian women in Wesson oil before killing them, leaving the 7 of Clubs behind as a calling card.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

And Speaking Of Side-By-Side Comparisons . . .

He's baaaaack!

Here's a side by side comparison of OJ Simpson's mugshot from 1994 after being booked on double homicide charges (left), and his mugshot from 2007 after being booked on multiple felony robbery charges (right).

I'm a firm believer that you can't do a bad deed and truly get away with it. Let's see how this plays out. With any luck, he won't have R. Kelly's judge.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Don't Let America Fool You

When I first saw this month's cover of Glamour while standing in line at the Jewel (really, I swear that's how it happened), I noticed covergirl America Ferrera, the otherwise ugly ducking star of Ugly Betty, and thought, "hey now, America has dropped some major pounds. Good for her, but how will that affect her character?"

And then I saw her on last week's Emmy Awards and noticed the weight loss was not so prominent.

Pasting photos side by side (Vogue, left/Emmy, right) will show that Glamour, just like GQ did to Kate Winslet, has taken the heroine of the everyday normal girl and airbrushed her to hell and back. Here is a person who, along with the character she plays, stands up against what fashion has long dictated is the "right look". And now she is its latest victims.

Young girls who see America and Betty as role models will pick up Glamour or Vogue or Mademoiselle and be barfing in the toilet within minutes. And no one is held accountable.

Monday, September 24, 2007

2 : 1

Today marks my 2-year anniversary of moving to Chicago. Since then:

2 jobs
2 cardiologists
2 apartments
2 Super Bowls
2 gyms
2 volleyball championship tee shirts
2 games of putt-putt golf
2 Wright Brothers
2 holiday parties at Neil & Bob's
2 Oscar Nights
2 watch batteries
2 dinners at Ole Ole
2 gluhwein parties
2 seasons of Project Runway
2 blog designs
2 Vegas hotels
2 farewell parties for Matt
2 trips to southern Illinois
2 birthdays
2 IMLs
2 Blue Man Group New Year's Eves
2 Cirque du Soleil shows
2 vacation trips
2 Volley Follies
2 Hallowe'en contests
2 weddings
2 "Dave's birthday parties for himself"

. . . and through it all,
1 BF

I'm glad I moved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stop, Hey, What's That Sound?

If this dude put as much energy into redecorating his place, he might not be living in such a dump. But, enjoy.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

R. Kelly Is Still Out There - Guard Your Children

Five years after being charged with child pornography, the R. Kelly Chicago trial had been set to start on September 17th. But a Cook County judge has postponed it because the lead prosecutor had a baby recently.

Kelly was charged in 2002 and is accused of engaging in videotaped sex acts with an underage girl. Since his arrest, the case has been hit with numerous delays. A new date hasn't been set and the trial has been delayed "indefinitely". Since being charged, Kelly has had six best-selling albums and three nationwide tours.

This man will never go to trial. R. Kelly has been arrested and accused enough times for us all to accept the basic idea that he has deep, ingrained pedophilic tendencies. Where's Chris Hansen when you need him??

Thursday, September 13, 2007

That Tuesday

I was living in DC at the time, working for a graphic design firm. I was walking to the office and stopped in the little corner store to get my usual quart of milk that I was drinking every morning at the time. The news was on a small TV but the sound was off. So I wasn't really sure what I was watching. I watched for a few minutes, as the building was burning and smoke was filling the sky.

I entered the office and sat down at my desk. Nancy, the Production Manager came in and asked, "Have you heard?" We started receiving phone calls as rumors began to fly around DC. At first we heard that a plane had landed on the steps of the Capitol Building. And then we heard it had landed on the Mall. And then we heard another was headed towards the White House.

My boss, the principal designer, brought a small television from her home upstairs (the business was in the combined basement apartments of two townhouses). We watched as the first building collapsed, and then the second. And we were told a plane had crashed in rural Pennsylvania (40 miles from my parents' house) and another had crashed into the Pentagon.

The TV news was telling America that the Pentagon was located in DC. My parents, not knowing exactly where I was working in relation to the Pentagon (which is actually in Virginia), called me at work, frantic. The phone lines had been jammed, and it took them a few hours to get through to me. I can't imagine how panicked they must have felt.

Outside the window, people in suits were walking home. Some seemed to be strolling casually,; others were running. This was about 11:00AM. All of us at the design studio wanted to go home as well. No one knew if it was over, if it was just the first wave, if there was more to come. I lived and worked 11 blocks from the White House. Anything seemed possible.

I wanted to go home, pack a bag, and drive to my parents' house. We heard rumors of streets being blocked, so that no one could get out of the city. Was it worth the effort? Was it even safe to go outside r travel? Were there gases or poisons in the air? Would I get stuck if I tried to drive anywhere?

My boss wouldn't let us leave. "Nancy's husband is out of town, Dop and Chris both live alone. I don't see the point". So we stayed at work all day, but didn't actually do any work. I think my boss - an unmarried woman in her 40's - just didn't want to be alone either.

I left work at 6:00 and walked home. I turned on the television and watched the same scenes over and over and over and over. Each time, it sunk in a little deeper, made me a little sadder.

That night, a group of friends and I all sat outside on the sidewalk in a big circle with candles. We held hands, we cried, and we prayed. The world as we had come to know it was now changed forever. We figured nothing would ever be like it was.

And it still isn't.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fight Club

Sorry, folks. I just don't understand how this can be classified as a sport: two men, locked in a cage, beating each other until one either bleeds excessively, passes out, or - at worst - dies. All while a crowd is cheering them on. How does this differ from a mob, hate crime attack or gangland beating?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cheetah Gym

My old gym closed last week without warning. And not just that one location - but all three Cheetah Gym locations in Chicago. The owner cited "employee theft and graft" as the reason. And it begs the question - how much loss does it take through employee theft to close a small business.

The owner, David Wilshire, had posted an harangue on his company's website last week (thanks, Jim!) that was nothing more than a "poor me" essay on how he has nothing left in life and that he's lost everything. However, miraculously, all three locations - as well as a new location in Logan Square - will reopen this week. Wonders never cease.

Sounds more like a case of a drama queen overreacting. If you have a chain of stores, and one or more employees steal, that's no cause to close everything down - especially when you've just taken every member's money for their monthly memberships. It doesn't sounds like the public is getting the true story, or at least all the details, about whatever happened at Cheetah Gyms last week.

But I, for one, am glad I don't go there anymore.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Symphony In Black

I have long been a fan of art deco. Back before I really understood what art deco was, I fell in love with its long, sleek lines, chrome accents, and punches of black and purple. When I was a kid, I remember wanting to buy an old silver bus and convert it into an apartment. Perhaps it was art deco's association with jazz, perhaps its association with Chicago, perhaps it was the thoroughly modern fashions of high society puttin' on the ritz - whatever it was, I loved it (you can imagine my glee when black lacquer and chrome was all the rage in the 80's).

And then one day flipping through a book, I saw Erte's Symphony in Black, arguably his most famous artwork. And I fell in love with her. The sassy fur hat, the daring bare shoulder, the glorified muff, the Morticia Adams train! I shuddered. I think it was my first awake wet dream. Tall and slender with killer purple eyeshadow - she was the epitome of garish style, taking her black greyhound out for a walk on its diamond collar and leash.

I wanted to be her.

Several years ago, I was at a drag show and when the curtain parted, there stood my favourite piece of art in the flesh. I was overcome by the strange feeling you get when you realize there are others out there who think like you do. Granted, no one with me knew what we were witnessing. But I was about to see my heroine come to life - albeit through the body of a drag queen. The music started, and without moving, SIB sang, "How Lucky Can You Get" from Funny Lady. I went all giddy. I don't remember the drag queen's name, but I thanked her afterwards for doing great justice to something I had long admired.

When art deco makes another revival about 20 years from now, Symphony In Black will be hanging back up on my wall for me to admire, envy and adore. Some little boys want to grow up to be firemen, policemen, even ballet dancers. I just wanted to walk a dog.

Monday, September 03, 2007

How I Spent My Labor Day Weekend


Woke up with The BF who proceeded to leave me and go for an 18 mile run. I popped in a Netflix movie - in this case, Funny Lady - and then took a shower. Unfortunately started watching a marathon of Cycle 5 of America's Next Top Model . . . which is what I continued to watch for the next 10 hours. I did manage to move from my bedroom to the living room after the 5th elimination, and I made a quick trip to the Jewel to order a cake for work on Tuesday. Otherwise, I watched Tyra go from ghetto to demure in .009853 seconds and a house full of bitchy spoiled girls just get more bitchy and spoiled.


Woke up with The BF, had some breakfast and sent him off to BMG. I took a shower, and then unfortunately turned on MTV and yet again got sucked into a marathon, this time of Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model. After my fifth hour, I decided to save myself and spent some time in Border's. I met The BF after work, and we rented Team America.


Woke up with The BF, had some breakfast and watched Word Wars, a documentary on the National Scrabble Championship Tournament. I then went into the office and decorated the space for the start of our fiscal year on Tuesday. Blue and white balloons and streamers everywhere. After I sufficiently gayed up the office, I met The BF so we could finally see The Bourne Ultimatum, where I also had to snap at and shush an older couple half way through the film. Great movie, by the way!