Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Neighborhood is Perfect

A month ago a new urban outfitters moved in a couple of blocks from me. Last week a boy got shot in a drive by one block from my house. My street is one way so they shot him and then rubbered through my block. And then they circled around and shot again 2 days later. Yesterday a van was on fire 5 houses down. I don't really know what the van has to do with anything, but it was pretty cool seeing it smoke and wondering if it was going to explode.

Friday, May 26, 2006

60 Mile Ride

Wednesday was a training ride for work. I got paid to ride my bike 50 miles (to Indiana and back). The excuse was practice riding in a group and leading a group of cyclists. Hell yeah. Unfortunately I was so nervous while leading the pack of 10 I rode a little too quickly through the streets until someone yelled through the line that we were losing people in the back...ah the proud racer.

My boss is all about Chicago pride so while we rode by Wolf Lake she pointed out the fact that the "Crime of the Century" was committed there. She said that 2 men killed a boy and put his body in the lake in the 1920's. "They only killed one boy?" I asked, "and it was considered the crime of the century?"

Boss: yeah, they were lovers too so the whole sex plot was all over the papers.

(Aside from not existing at the time) How could I have missed something like this? You would think a murderous pair such as this would still be talked about...maybe it is because it was in Chicago that no one really cares. But then again people still care about Al Capone. What other fucked up historical shit am I missing?

I did research and what my boss didn't mention is that the two were Jewish! yes they were gay lovers but one of them also had a girlfriend and was a well known ornithologist, they were heirs, rich; they were smart, they thought they were superhumans carrying out the perfect crime (crime and punishment style), they lived by nietzshe, and what really gets me is that they were only 18 and 19 years old!!!

I guess the jewish community lived on the southside of chicago because they weren't allowed to live other places (now black people live there). The jewish community was stupified by the crime, and someone even said they were glad the 14 year old boy that was killed was jewish so there wouldn't have been an even greater rise in crazy ass antisemitism.

One of they guys lived and was released, moved to Costa Rica and according to EVERY internet source married the widow of a florist (I have no idea what that means or even what type of gender it is). The other boy (I think I can call 18 year olds boys) was bludgeoned to death by his cell mate while in the shower. The man attacked him with a razor all over the naked showering body, later claiming that Leob was trying to sexually assault him. For some reason no one bought that story.

What really gets me is how handsome Leopold and Leob are, so striking and even beautiful. Maybe it is just the perfection of youth? They look strong and smart and trustworthy, just the way I like'm. Proof I have horrible taste and no gay/murderdar.

25 Year old women: Are you ready to be to voice of your generation?

Reply to:
Date: 2006-05-24, 2:27PM CDT

Lifetime Television is currently looking for 5 women to star in a new documentary-style special hosted by Journalist Willow Bay. We are looking across America to find passionate, out-spoken and independent women to share what it is like to be twenty-five in 2006. This is your opportunity to be the voice of your generation! Are you a career woman? A stay-at-home mom? A social activist? A trendsetter? Do you have it or want it all? Are you looking for Mr. Right? We want to hear from you! In the 21st century, we know that being 25 means many different things to many different people, we want to know what it means to you! Please email the following information to

1. Name
2. Birthdate
3. Location
4. Contact Information
5. Why you believe you represent 25 in 06
6. A recent picture

  • Job location is Chicago and surrounding areas
  • Compensation: TBD
*** From Craigslist***

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

So, How Was That Date You ask?

Just like a bike crashing with an SUV, I recently lived through another cliche. As a waitress there were a couple of dudes that were regulars and would be 'really nice' to me (smile, leave a big tip, etc). I told one of them it was my last week. He took a long time to leave and then came up to me and asked me, "excuse me, I was wondering if I could have your number" (imagine it in a British accent).
Me: I was wondering when you were going to ask (so sassy)

He calls: Hello, this is Kevin
Me: Kevin who? (having no idea)
He: Kevin from the restaurant, I realize that I didn't even have time to tell you my name then. I was wondering if you wanted to have dinner with me.
Me: Sure
He: When would be good for you?
Me: Tuesday
He: Great
Me: Yeah, see you Tuesday. click

I've been so curt and kind of rude to him it is ridiculous, that he doesn't mind. I think he thinks it is cute, or just accepts it as the way I am. Whenever we hang out I'm always dirty. and I don't mean the usual I-have-n't-washed-my-hair, I have black stripes of bike grease all over me because of my work (and the fact that I love being dirty). He works in a lab where his number one priority is cleanliness and then good ways to kill mice.

He is as excited about his work researching pancreatic cancer as I am about bikes and bike safety. He thinks I'm a freak because I'm all about bicycles, and I get nervous when he talks about his work because he actually starts to smile and talk fast. Exactly how does he talk you might ask? I wasn't quite sure, so I gave the timid guess "so, you're not from Chicago?" He laughed, no London, can't you tell? He does have an English accent but it is kind of weird because he spent a lot of time growing up in Omaha, NE. So he is kind of a snotty British man, and at the same time a weird kid who grew up in Omaha.

The most interesting thing is that he has spent the past few years living in a half way house. He's an alcoholic in AA. Evidently he was way out of control, lost everything (money, job, friends, his family wouldn't even talk to him). When I asked him if you have to believe in God for AA he said, "no, AA can be your higher power. " "Does my alcohol problem make you nervous Sarah?"
Me: no (thinking about my mom, and how any white guy who persues me inevitably has some sort of disorder. It isn't that I think I'm better than the bi-polars and alcoholics, I just wonder when disorder my will surface, there must be a reason they pick me, takes one to know one?)

He likes my jokes so I tell more jokes.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Job

what seems like less than a week ago I got a phone call on my cell phone while I was in the bike shop getting my cranks fixed...that is a fancy way of saying my pedals were about to fall off my bike. My Peugot is really old and french so it took a long time while the mechanic who was very nice, weighed a lot, and no joke had a mustache that curled up on the ends with wax tried to re-attach my pedal.
I sat in a chair made out of old bike wheels covered in rubber intertubes. It is novel but not comfortable. The point of the story is really the phone call. After I left the shop I checked my messages and a woman from mayor daley's office had called. She wanted me to call her back 'as soon as possible'. I had applied for a job as a Bicycling Ambassador a month ago and been turned down. Now one of the 6 they had chosen had gotten sick and they needed a replacement. Could I quit my job in then next 4 days? God damn I'd quit in a second, all they had to do is ask.

For the summer at least I am finally free of waiting tables. The job pays and it means that I ride around the city and give people information about biking and safety. AWESOME. I'm an employee of the Chicago Department of Transportation until September 11th, 2006.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Lettuce Entertain You

Sometimes in a fit of oddness I decide to have a salad for dinner. I bought lettuce at the store as I was buying some much needed bread, mustard, and lunchmeats. With my new job I have to bring my lunch in a bag. Having worked in restaurants so far I have no self feeding supplies.
The story continues:
I rinsed the lettuce, excited to try the new Newman's own dressing, yuppie style.
I eat it and it is still crunchy. I know my own weaknesses and one of them is that I'm not very good at cleaning. So there's still grit on the lettuce alright, sand never hurt anyone. I keep eating and crunching. Then I look down and see a bug on one leaf of lettuce. Eww, I pick that sucker off, it has tiny legs and a plump translucent body. I do not feel badly for my karma, it is a bug and it didn't belong there. I'll keep eating, I'm a tough girl. Good thing I saw that one before I ate it.

Pause. Glance. I see another. and another bug crawling on the lettuce. All the crunching I've been doing. I stand up and spit out a mouthful of cud lettuce. I have been eating mounds of what look like leaf ticks. It is disgusting. In a fit of panic I call my mom. I can't believe I left a message on her machine asking what I should do. God I'm almost 23.

Being 23, a curious age, I looked up lettuce bugs on The results were interesting. Some were of course tips for gardeners but what was odd was a big section on Israel. Some articles came up in hebrew, and under image search there were men crying in yarmulka' lettuce in the shot. Is this a SNAFU (situation-normal-all-fucked-up) of google? or is there a plague in the holy land that no one told me about? I begin to itch and feel boils, maybe rain blood.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Simplified Mustache Issue

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Red Menace

"And now for a story about food that is not winning any culinary awards. If you have a fifth grader you may well be aware of a Red Menace."

ha. serious news reporting

I just listened to All Things Considered and heard a piece on flamin' hot cheetos. They reported that kids are going nuts!! over these hot cheetos and they have to be banned from schools (in california). The piece is really funny because the reporter interviews kids on the playground and they're all going crazy yelling together about cheetos...and telling him that if he eats a whole bag it will give him the runs and a burning bum. This is interspersed with interview with the principal who is against the artificial nature and color of the food and the mess it makes in the hallways. The Red Menace. It is Hilarious..please . listen for yourself.

Another funny thing about when they thanked their sponsors they thanked Papst Blue Ribbon! what? Usually it is financial investing companies, engineering groups, or architectural firms; now it is PBR. I wonder if they are finally angling for my demographic.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

city fights

It is really hip to be regionalist? all the hipsters are getting outlines of their state, famous bridges from their city, and state birds tattooed on their arms. my generation/demographic (economic, college educated, baby of babyboomer group) feels the same way about finding a city as they do about finding a mate, they have a fairy tale idea that they will find the perfect one that will match their needs and fulfill their vision of themselves, make them a complete person/citizen. This might even extend to socialists who say we should settle down and just stay where we were and deal with what we were given; even that seems to be over romanticising the role of the city in your life.

That said, I will shamefully do a little city romancing of my own. I just got back from visiting my sisters in Boston, MA. My mom wants me to move there (or to NYC) for three reasons:
1. she wants me closer to home
2. she's east coast centric (she thinks the east is more civilized and culturally advanced, so not much good can come from Chicago)
I don't know if she really really thinks all these things, but it is what i've gathered from conversation with her. needless to say it makes me really defensive about the midwest and my choice to live here. I was kind of an ass, the whole time i was in boston, I kept thinking and maybe saying how it sucked and chicago is SO much better. While sitting in the airport I decided to do something scientific to prove once and for all, beyond all subjective bias which city was better. The best I could come up with was a top ten list. You will have to assign points to each list, and which ever's sum is highest is clearly the winner, i mean most elegant, inviting, and innovative metropolis.

Boston TOP 10::
10. Fresher seafood
9. Public transportation is cheaper
8. Lots of cute college boys with one can only hope bright futures ahead of them
7. Free art performances from students
6. the garment district + lots of craftsters
5. big parks in the middle of the city
4. everyone is really boston/red sox proud (proven with t-shirts)
3. UFO and Sam Adams are pretty good beers
2. Twin Do-nuts diner/completely fake meat Grasshopper restaurant
1. My sister told me I had camel toe (invaluable comment...more important and harder to say to a stranger than your fly is down)

Chicago TOP 10::
10. Fresher Beef
9. Public transportation is quick and efficient and runs later than 12:30
8. clothing style is meaner (more leather, less lambs wool cardigans)
7. TONS of independent art galleries and theaters
6. Aay's live action screen printing
5. actual bike lanes in the streets (only have lake parks which are nice, but out of the way)
4. A diverse/divided city. lots of ethnicities all living in completely separate neighborhoods...heck we aren't even united by one baseball team...but that's cuz its big
3. PBR everywhere, Budwiser is not popular
2. Burritos and cheap hotdogs, the concept of korean-polish bbq (sausage + kim chee)
1. * * * hard to beat a sister or friend close enough to tell you about the c. toe

bikes before they are donated to africans

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Notorious Bettie Page

I saw this movie last night with Rebecca. It was kind of confusing because there wasn't a traditional plot, but one was expected (a dramatic life and main character were present). Instead it just shows a woman who gets treated badly by men in everyday situations: abused by her dad, gang raped, shitty boyfriends, no respect from any man, etc. She just kind of floats through life, being cheated out of scholarships and being friendly to strangers she meets on the street (regardless of race). The only place she's treated well is by the kinky porn industry where the producers seem much more healthy in their respect for women(they're just doing it for these weird people who pay them money for pictures). They are nice and fun and it is too bad when they get persecuted by Congress. Bettie just smiles and is happy through her whole life, maybe just a little nervous sometimes. She just floats through life, a life that actually does not seem very sexy just powerless and then she returns to the church when all the creeps keep staring at her even more because they recognize her from all the smut they bought.

I wonder if a man would have made this movie differently. That is of course a ridiculous question implying there are 2 ways to tell a story, but I must admit that part of why I decided to see the movie was because it was directed by a woman.