Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Getting Punched in the Face

My friend Amanda wrote about Chicago’s winters and summers back in April and came up with, I agree, the perfect analogy as to why we love our summers so much:

Now that I’ve survived two winters here, I have now realized the perfect analogy to explain this phenomenon for folks who don’t live here or are new to the area. Let’s say you’re walking down the street and an extremely overjoyed person prances up to you and says, “Isn’t it wonderful that I’m not punching you in the face right now?!” Of course you would look at them funny or try to avoid eye contact and escape, or perhaps just nod and smile and continue on with your day… Now, if that same person were to punch you in the face continuously for say, five (or more) months. When they finally stop and ask, “Isn’t it wonderful that I’m not punching you in the face right now?!” you would say, “Yes, oh yes! Not being punched in the face is marvelous!!”

Chicago, it’s April. Please stop punching me in the face.

Now that it’s June and the weather is still punching us in the face, over and over, giving us little shoulder jabs, just think how wonderful that one sunny day is going to seem. Whenever it gets here.

Ebert vs. Zell

I love Roger Ebert.

La Cocina de Fri-dont

I’m not one to criticize or complain about a business, unless it’s just an absolutely horrible experience. That being said, let me tell you about my experience at La Cocina de Frida (5403 N. Clark) a couple of nights ago….

I was with a couple of friends and we were strolling down Clark Street, looking for decent, fairly priced food that we could eat on a patio – not too much to ask, right? Right, that’s what I thought.

We were seated right away, on the outside edge of a very nice patio (I’ll give them that), but it just went down hill from there. We didn’t get our water and basket of chips for about 20 minutes, and our drinks came about 10 minutes after that.

As a vegetarian, I found the menu very limiting. There are roughly four appetizers (all meat-filled) two main dishes, and maybe two deserts. And they won’t allow you to modify a meal (all 3 enchiladas have to be the same style, can’t add anything, can’t subtract anything).  I ended up ordering nachos, minus the meat on top (which made the waiter frown disapprovingly at me). They were $12 and mediocre, at best.

Once we were done eating, we waited another 15 minutes for the waiter to bring our check, which he took his sweet time processing. I know what you’re thinking “maybe they were busy“. No. They weren’t.  It was a Wednesday. At 9pm (7:30 when we got there, mind you). And no. I’m not going back there.

To make matters worse, I think I left my very favorite pair of sunglasses behind when I left, and of course when I called to see if anyone had found them, all I got was a quick “nope” and a dial tone.

The one redeeming thing about the place was the actual artwork. I love Frida – I just hate her restaurant.

City Stickers

I was taking care of some bills last night and realized that I was running right up against the deadline to renew my City Sticker by mail — the current stickers expire June 30, with a “grace period” until July 15, and they say you should allow 30 days for your mailed renewal. But, oh look! There’s a website. I can renew there and it says it’ll take about two weeks to get my new sticker. Perfect. Except…

City of Chicago Vehicle Sticker Purchase

Really? How hard is it to make a simple web store that sells one thing and have it work on the Mac? Does this mean I’m going to have to go somewhere and interact with an actual person? (No, it means I’m going to have to reboot my Mac into Windows, but I’m going to resent it.)

(Your City Name Here) redux

Bank of America ad

It’s already a pet peeve of mine when advertisers do a quick “insert name of city here” to try and make you feel like they have some sort of connection to your city. But the best stock photo that Bank of America could come up with to evoke Chicago-ness is the skyline with some dorks on Segways in the foreground? Seriously?

Da Mayor and Northwestern

Well, apparently, a lot of Northwestern students are not happy about the decision to have Mayor Daley speak at Commencement this year. Go figure. You can’t please all the people all of the time. I don’t think that’s such an interesting story.

What I do think is interesting is the response the University President made to a student who wrote to complain. Senior Matthew Braslow e-mailed President Henry Bienen, in which he called the choice a “slap in the face” and that it “proved again why [Northwestern] is falling rapidly in the national rankings.” Pretty immature stuff, for a college senior. But the response from President Bienen was even worse… FTA:

“You sound like a very unhappy person,” Bienen wrote. “I am sorry for that. Hopefully things will improve for you over the years.” Bienen took this one step further, suggesting to Braslow, “By the way you think a commencement speaker has any thing to do with the national stature of Northwestern tells me we failed here in educating you.”

Is that really any way for a University President to respond to a student? Hell, to respond to anyone? Even if the student was acting like a whiny, disrespectful brat, I would have expected someone who’d risen to the level of President of a respected university to take the high road. Looks like Jerry Springer has had more of an influence on Northwestern than I would have guessed…


Why is the weather so crappy in Chicago?? Come on! I keep asking what we did to deserve this!? I hate hearing the, “well its better then snow…” response and I have to say, “NO! It is not!! It is no better!! I still have a coat on!”
In case you didn’t notice, its pouring outside. And I have been at work….well, not really working. Its not because I don’t want to work, but there is NO ONE outside. Seriously, some guy just darted by and that has been about it. Oh what a dreary day. Srsly, there is nothing worse then being bored at work. It makes the time go by so slowly!!
I did look at some silly websites today….like but that is about it.

Rage Against the Machines

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a rather tumultuous, love-hate relationship…with Chase Bank. I adore the nine kajillion ATMs blanketing the city, I really do, but sometimes, their customer service leaves me a bit cold. Recently, I was fiddling around with my online account in an ultimately futile attempt at establishing a recurring electronic payment, and I finally decided to admit defeat and call Customer Service. The bubbly representative gave her little how-can-I-provide-you-with-absolutely-mind-blowing-service-today intro, and I asked if it might be possible for her to set up an electronic, rather than snail mail, payment on my account. “Oh, no,” she responded, “The computer decides that.” And she was totally serious. Apparently, it was impossible–unthinkable even–for anyone at Chase Bank to override the computer’s “decision,” which is a little unsettling, if you ask me. I mean, we’ve all seen the Terminator Trilogy. Where does this madness end?


Top Chef Chicago: Culling the Herd

It was another good night on Top Chef Chicago. Unfortunately, the Chicago “celebrity” was “famed Chicago film critic” (what??) Richard Roeper. Man, that just made me sad… but moving on to the show. The movie theme was pretty cool, and I think the judges got it right…


I have F.O.S.

Fear of Salons, that is.

As a formerly bad-haired child, I’m very weird about who touches my hair. Trust me, you only need to sport a curly mullet once before you learn that lesson. Seriously.

I haven’t been to a proper salon in almost 5 years. A friend of mine is a licensed hair stylist, and she usually comes to my house and does my hair. Except now I live in Chicago. And she doesn’t. So it’s time to move on.

Not many of you out there get the privilege of actually seeing me IRL, but if you could, you’d be all “get a haircut, hippie!” So, I’m on a quest….for the best hair stylist/salon in Chicago. Or at least in Andersonville.

This is not going to be an easy quest – I’m a total hair snob. Call it post-traumatic stress, call it vanity. I call it “I-had-bad-hair-for-the-first-16-years-and-now-I’m-in-charge”. Yeah. I’m picky.

I did some yelping and found Salon 10, a salon that is supposedly an “Andersonville landmark”. It also happens to be less than a mile from my house. They also happen to only charge $45 for a haircut. That may sound steep to the male readership, but trust me, it’s practically stealing. I may be a snob, but I’m also fond of my disposable income.

So, I made an appointment. I happened to get an appointment with the stylist who was raved the most about on Yelp (Ken), so that was a little comforting. In the meantime, any salon feedback would be greatly appreciated, and I will definitely update on Ken’s prowess.

Wish me luck.

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