Archive for March, 2008

OMG, I just sold shoes to Andrew Bird

And I will feel kinda lame if he ever sees this article about me gushing about him coming into the ol’ shoe store and ordering shoes from our Boston location, but it was kind of amazing. In case you don’t know Andrew Bird lives in Chicago, and was in Squirrel Nut Zippers. I’m not the biggest fan, but he was super nice and totally cute too.

CTA President Huberman Willing To Roll Up Sleeves, Toss Jerks Off Train

I’m still new enough to city life that the novelty of public transportation hasn’t worn off yet. Granted, being an independent writer, I don’t have to pack myself like a Lake Michigan sardine into the rolling tin cans of the CTA at rush hour ten times a week to get to an office, which I’m sure sucks the romance right out of the experience.

City trains and buses are great fun for me. I’m from a painfully quiet small town in Indiana where there is very little public interchange among citizens, who mostly drive from home to work to Applebee’s and then home again in giant, socially-isolating SUVs. To me, the CTA is a rolling theater of drama and comedy, and always good for people-watching.

That’s why I was especially charmed by the CTA Tattler’s report that CTA President (and former police officer) Ron Huberman recently masqueraded as an anonymous public transportation hero, and, at 7:30 in the morning, convinced a disrespectful rider to back off the train.

From the Tattler:

“Apparently, a misbehaving guy was making inappropriate comments to a woman about how she needed to wear more clothes, was going to get raped, etc. . . . No one did anything and then out of nowhere Huberman stands up and gives the guy a glare and says, “You’re going to get off the train.”

The guy talked back and Huberman kept repeating. The guy ended up getting out at Addison and Huberman followed him out.

Wow! That’s dedication. If I were still the wide-eyed Hoosier girl I was back in ’05, a tidbit like this make me wonder if there are Food Protection agents from the Chicago Department of Public Health on hand to snatch day-old hotdogs from my lips when I duck into the 7-Eleven on Halsted for a post-comedy show nosh.

That, uh…that doesn’t happen, right?

Stolen moments with Chicago…

So, here’s the thing. For the next four weeks or so, I will be back and forth between my new hip, swingin, amazing pad in Chicago to my old stupid, stinky, job in *gasp* Rockford. It’s awful, and I’m not really happy about it. At all.

But, being the optimist that I am, I have decided to make the best of my situation. Every week when I am in Chicago for all of three days, I will take in as much city life as humanly possible. And then I will tell you all about it. Basically, I am forcing you all to join me on my final countdown as I finally. leave. Rockford. For good.

Seriously. It’s probably going to get to the point where you might even start to hate me a little. You’ll be all “Nellie, we get it, you love Chicago and you’re glad to be here – shut up already!” and I’ll be all “No! You can’t make me!”

First stop this weekend? iO!!

I’m going to go by iO tomorrow night and check out the improv jam. I’ve not been to the jam at iO yet, only Second City, and I’m very interested to see the difference and experience a whole new school of thought! And I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about my experience afterwards – don’t you worry your pretty little head(s)!

Hi, I’m going to complain in my first blog here

So Hi, I’m Miss Betty Brown and I am an artist that works at John Fluevog Shoes in Wicker Park on Milwaukee Ave. And while I was at work yesterday someone stole my phone, again!! (yes this is the second time it has gotten stolen while I was at work) Plus it was a sidekick, not just SOME sidekick, it was MY sidekick. Like my little buddy. Oh man, its so frustrating. I want to stab someone!! Well okay maybe not stab, but you know, be really angry at them here.
I didn’t even get to see who did it. There are a few suspects….
And they took $20 that I made selling art too.
Sorry, I really had to get it off of my chest. Thanks I feel better now.

aaaaaand, I’m back!

I am so sorry, metworld. I have been gone for far too long! But guess what? We moved!!! It’s over! Yay, and stuff!

Now that all of that nonsense is over with, I can start enjoying my life as a Chicagoan and true blue blogger. And my new neighborhood. First things first – shopping!

Out of sheer boredom last weekend, I decided to take a stroll down Clark to familiarize myself with my surroundings. And, of course, to see who had the best sweets in town. (Swedish Bakery, duh. But that’s a whole different entry)

I walked into Brown Elephant, and I was all “I’m not gonna buy anything” and proceeded to, well, buy stuff.  I managed to talk myself out of spending all of my money, and settled on two t-shirts. A pink “Detroit Ligers” t-shirt and a green psychedelic number. (pictures coming soon – I’m not at home)

My awesome purchases aside, lets talk about Brown Elephant for a minute, shall we? The Howard Brown Health Center, through the sales at the Brown Elephant shops, has raised tons and tons of money to help under/uninsured LGBT folks receive the health care and education that they so deserve. From the site:
The mission of Howard Brown is to promote the well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons through the provision of health care and wellness programs, including clinical, educational, social service and research activities. Howard Brown designed these programs to serve gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons in a confidential, supportive, and nurturing environment. Howard Brown Health Center is committed to working cooperatively with other community-based organizations serving and contributing to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

I’m not trying to get all political here, but I am a big fan of people being educated and safe, regardless of their race/sex/sexual orientation.  I’m also a big fan of shopping for a cause, especially when the stuff is cheap.

Well done, Howard Brown.  I’ll shop to that!

Maybe It Was A Job Offer

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything here because I’ve been scrambling to find a new job. Those recent statistics regarding the jobless rate? Yeah, that was my bad. Sorry.

I’m temping now, which is fine. Nothing exciting, but I do have a new commute. I’ve learned in the last twelve years that every bus and train route is its own unique adventure, and even that adventure has variations based on what time you begin your trip. I’d like to share with you a conversation I had today on my new homeward route. It took place at about 5:45 PM, on the corner of Irving Park and Sheridan while waiting for the Irving Park bus…

SOME DUDE: Hey.

ME (taking off my headphones): Yeah?

DUDE: You going home?

ME: No. (It’s true. I was going to Starbucks.)

DUDE: I was wondering if you could do me a favor.

ME: Um, what’s that?

DUDE: I have to go take this breathalyzer test–

ME: Oh-ho! No. Nuh uh. I can’t help you with that.

DUDE: Okay.

(About thirty seconds pass. I should point out here that Mr. Dude looks vaguely like me. Very vaguely. Similar build, similar complexion. But that’s about it.)

DUDE: Hey.

ME (again removing my headphones): Uh, yeah?

DUDE: I know that sounded like a weird question, but if I could just find someone who looks kinda like me–

ME: Yeah, I’m not up for that. Sorry.

Yay! That never happened on my old commute. It’s a brave new world out there.

Food Orgasm With a Side of Beans

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Hot damn. If you haven’t paid a visit to La Cocina de Frida, Andersonville’s latest Mexican eatery extraordinaire, I don’t know why you’re sitting at your computer right now. Go. I sampled the Enchiladas Enfrijoladas stuffed with fried plantains last night, and by “sampled” I mean “stuffed into my gaping maw at an alarming rate, leaving fellow diners disturbed and slightly nauseous.” The free chips arrived with a deliciously smoky Chipotle salsa, which I highly suggest double-dipping with an order of guacamole. The mole negro and flan are reportedly top notch as well, although I didn’t have the pleasure of gorging myself on those. Yet. I’ll keep you posted…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day (sorta)

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I’m approximately 0% Irish* so I usually don’t bother wearing anything green on St. Patrick’s Day. But this year I’ve got an Irishman I can get behind.

Pedants will point out that the feast day of St. Patrick was actually Saturday, March 15 this year (moved to avoid running into Holy Week). To which I’ll respond that my local Dominick’s had decorations up proclaiming “Happy Shamrock Day” — St. Patrick’s Day is well on its way to the same fate that has befallen Mardi Gras in this country. Stripped of any cultural or religious significance, it’ll be just another Excuse to Drink Day where you wear a seemly-arbitary color of beaded necklace.

Am I ranting? Oops. Happy You’re-Irish Day!

* I’m sure if you back far enough on my Norwegian side, there’s some cross-North Sea genetic transfer.

Evolutionary Excrement

Evolving Planet at the Field Museum

I won’t be sending this post to any of my friends, because once they find out that I’m blathering on about the Field Museum’s Evolving Planet exhibit yet again…well, it won’t be pretty. I guess you could say I’m a little obsessed with it, but trust me, I have good reason. I mean, where else could one traipse from the Precambrian to the present in under two hours, taking in such dazzling wonders as authentic Wooly Mammoth turds and suggestive fertility sculptures?
And if you’re in similarly dire financial straits, don’t forget to pick up a Museum Passport from your local library and kiss that pesky admission fee goodbye.

[Photo courtesy of Luke Schierholz.]

Hawk in the city

I’m feeding my friends’ cats, and as I was leaving their place this morning, I glanced out the window to look at the top of the awning next door (I have an affection for an upside-down plastic alligator that’s been there for 2 years) and there was a hawk sitting there, with a torn up pigeon in its claws. Because of the arrangement of the buildings, it was about 8 feet away from me. I tried to get my camera out, but I guess the movement spooked it, so it flew away. I went outside and I could see the hawk up in a tree in the backyard:
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