Rantopolis

Category — Chicago style

I don’t need Broadway to see Spiderman

Having a lot of real estate between my high rise windows and the outside world usually means I get a boatload of privacy.  You can run around getting dressed, etc., without worrying that someone is going to peek in.

Except, of course,  when the windows are being washed.

Typing away in my office the other day, I turned my head to see this over my shoulder.  So, of course, I had to reach for the iPhone to snap the picture.

Spidey does windows, too.

I know that sometimes people are startled when they turn around and see a window washer dangling high above the ground.  For me, it’s the other way around.  I get concerned that if I get too close to the window, I’m going to scare the window washer. Even more so, if I’m not wearing makeup.  Which, frankly is most of the time.

Also, because I’m typically dressed in Nike couture.  Usually involving exercise capris and a random T-shirt in the summer months.  I’m not exactly a candidate for the pages of Vogue when I’m occupying my home office.  More like Little Shop of Horrors.

So you can understand my concern about not wanting to frighten window washers right out of their harnesses.  (I’m pretty sure that would constitute an OSHA violation.)

Understandably, I’ve made my office a web cam free zone.  (I had a client ask me recently if I used Skype.  Sure, if you are okay with me adding hair, makeup and wardrobe charges to your monthly invoice then I’m willing to Skype.  Otherwise, not so much.)

So there you have it.  If you are washing my windows, it would be a good idea not to spend to much time looking into my apartment.  It could be hazardous to your health.

July 13, 2011   1 Comment

City living: ‘cool’ delivery via helicopter

Jaded.  So jaded.  Yeah, that’s me holding my hand up.

I’ve been living on Chicago’s lakefront for almost 20 years now.  The views are spectacular and the location is ideal for anything you would want to do in the city.  I am blessed.

However, with two decades of city living comes the nonchalant, “I’ve pretty much seen everything” attitude.  Take, for example, this morning.

As I was returning back home after a run to the river and back, I noticed that police vehicles had blocked off a street close to my building.  It was early Sunday morning.  A smile crept across my lips. This could only mean one thing.

As I approached the police officer standing there, I simply said…helicopter…air conditioning unit?

He smiled back in that knowing city way and said, “yes, mam.”

We stopped short of the secret handshake.  (Yeah, we have one. We need it just in case we get invaded by New Yorkers or Los Angelinos.  It’s how Chicagoans will be able to identify each other.)

Having seen this little aeronautic Cirque du Soleil many times before and judging by the general readiness of the trucks on the ground, I figured we were about 30 minutes away from seeing the whirling blades.  Just enough time to wolf breakfast and head to the roof with a video cam.

I’m all about sharing with my Rantopolis readers.

For those who have wondered how those massive air conditioners get onto the roof of a tall building.  I can tell you it’s not via elevator, industrial crane or stork.  I’ll let these videos speak for themselves.

The first one shows the removal of the old unit, the second one shows the installation of the new one.  The precision of this pilot as he lowers the chopper onto a Chicago side street is nothing short of amazing.  This is how we roll in the city.

I need to find out if this guy delivers groceries and dry cleaning.

July 10, 2011   Comments Off on City living: ‘cool’ delivery via helicopter

People who line jump should get 20-to-life

You’ve all been in this situation.  More than once a week you probably end up in a place where you are expected to stand in line for a product or service.

Except, there isn’t an official line.  It’s more of a free-for-all.  And what’s even more annoying is that the store proprietors don’t seem to care.  It quickly turns into a verbal Thunderdome.  You end up engaging in stare downs or having to shout “I was here first,” to stake out your territory.

I am beginning to think the store ignores the whole thing on purpose.  You know…just for personal entertainment.  I can just hear the discussion in the employee locker room.

Hey, did you hear those two fighting over who got to the deli counter first?

Oh, yeah.  I thought she was going to hurl the baby carrier at him.

Who knew work could be so much fun?!  Like when I was bagging and I put that 64-ounce of liquid laundry detergent on top of the tomatoes.  That was six kinds of awesome.

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s encourage the butcher to mess with the customers.  He’s got a big chunk of glass in front of him.  It’s too high for them to scale it and attack him.  Plus, he’s got that huge knife.  And, if he gets really pissed off at him, he can switch out the filet mignon with that dead rat we keep in the back.

In particularly tense situations you end up discussing the correct rules of engagement with your opponent. (Yes, I said opponent.  This is a death match.  Get it?!)

Like in the self-service grocery store checkout line which usually has two rows of scanners opposite each other.  There are those people that understand there is one line and others who think they are going to beat the odds by creating a second line.

This is the way to command order!

Would it kill the store to install a take-a-number system?  (I love Chicago’s Paulina Meat Market.  There, you take a number from a pig’s mouth.  How can you not love a ticket delivered from a pink plastic swine lips?!)

I’m going to be honest with you.  If you try to cut in front of me in a check out line, I’m going to go from mild-mannered middle-aged woman to the Wrath of Khan in about five seconds.  I can string words together that would make a  longshoreman blush.  And I can do it in more than one language.

Being polite and being a bitch are not mutually exclusive. Just sayin.

Somebody probably should have warned the guy at the Whole Foods deli counter earlier today about me.  It didn’t end so well for for him.  As for me, my prize was a 1/2 pound of rosemary/pepper turkey breast.

At least I’m hoping those little black bits are pepper.

June 16, 2011   2 Comments

Random Memorial Day thoughts

Chicago finally got out of the weather shit hole today after being deluged by rain all weekend.  Everybody crawled out of their homes and jammed onto the beaches, bike paths and parks.  It was terrific to actually feel sun on skin.

Like lemmings to the sea.

But the big news this weekend was that I attended my high school’s 40th reunion.  (Yeah.  40th.)  I wasn’t sure I was going to get into it, but I gotta say it was a blast.  I especially loved reconnecting with a couple of people I was really close to back in the day.

Okay, so here are my random thoughts.

1.  If you hook up with someone at your 20th reunion, it might be a tad uncomfortable seeing that person at a subsequent reunion.  Not admitting to anything.  Just making a random observation.  Especially if the alleged person may or may not have been an asshole.

2.  Some of my classmates have already retired.  I hate them.  A lot.

3.  If you purchase SPF sun protection that’s greater than 50, then you are officially old.  Back in the day, I would have reached for lard and not given it a second thought.

4.  I finally finished cleaning out my closets and bagging all the clothes for the Salvation Army.  How exactly am I going to get 25 Hefty lawn bags into my car?

New living room accent pieces.

5.  A couple of old coach handbags were rescued from the pile and labeled “vintage” to enhance eBay marketing.  Let’s see how that works out.

6.  When people ask for advice, 75% of the time they don’t really mean it.  Sadly, there is less drama if you let them fall off a cliff than trying to help in the first place.

7.  Did I mention that I hate the people from my high school class who have already retired?  Can’t stress that enough.

8.  I’m pretty sure Jerry Garcia and Captain (from Captain and Tenille) went to my high school  Or at least their doppelgangers did.

9.   I got great dating advice from a classmate.  Go to the grocery store and check out what a guy has in his cart.  He said you can pretty much figure out if he is single from what he buys.  And if there is cheap shit in the cart, keep walking.  If you see great wine and some T-bone steaks, feel free to hit on him. Awesome sauce.

10.  Okay, it’s Memorial Day.  We can officially wear white now.  However, I just got a memo from my ass. It let me know that black and vertical stripes are preferable.

Hope you all had a great, long weekend.  I’m ready for summer.  Bring it!

May 30, 2011   4 Comments

Why is there a pig on your head?

There are so many wonderful things about living in the city.  Not the least of which you are pretty much guaranteed of running into some twisted thing or another every time you leave the house.

Today’s lunchtime foray was falling short of expectation, until I was within a few blocks from my condo.  And that’s when I bumped into the guy with a pig hat.

Crossing in front of me from my left to my right was a middle-aged guy who was dressed normally, with two exceptions.  He had a full pig face on top of his head.  I’m talking ears, protruding snout, chubby cheeks and big pig eyes.

And yes.  It was pink.

As he turned slightly, I could see that he had a small, matching pig pouch hanging from his neck.

Maybe that’s where the bacon bits are stashed?

As he crossed over to the other side of the street, I reached for my iPhone.  I was faced with a Catch 22 dilemma.  Do I try to photograph Pig Man in close proximity or play it safe and let him get a more non-aggressive distance away.  Where is the pig paparazzi handbook when you need it?

I chose the latter.

Pig head on the move. Please excuse the fuzzyness.

On the other hand, I’ve gotta give it to this guy.  While I would freak out at the thought of wearing white after Labor Day, this man was rocking a swine on his head.

Clearly, he has a much larger freak flag than I do and not afraid to fly it.

On the other hand, it’s possible that his chicken outfit may have been his first choice, but it was at the dry cleaner along with his bear suit.

Dude.  Any baby back ribs in that closet?

May 16, 2011   Comments Off on Why is there a pig on your head?

Random Saturday encounters

My day began at 6:30 a.m. with a visit to church for an early Easter communion service.  I was moved by the beauty of the candles flickering and people praying before most had woken up for the day.

Some pray for world peace, others...

My mother, typically deep in prayer, leaned over and whispered.  I’m praying to God that we get a new priest.  I don’t like this one. I stifled an out-loud laugh.  Alrighty then.  (No need to wonder where I get my sarcasm from.)

Tweeting and dining frowned upon here.

After going home for a nap, I decided to head over to the neighborhood diner for brunch.  I was killing time waiting for my food to be served by updating my Twitter accounts and posting on Facebook.  My eggs were delivered as I was finishing a blog comment.

They weren’t on the table for more than 10 seconds before Miss Bossy Pants with the coffee pots comes over and says:

“I can’t believe you are letting your food get cold.  What you are doing can’t be that important.”

OMG.  Seriously?!! Oh, no you DIDN’T?!!!

In that split second I had a decision to make:

a.  Shall I verbally slice her into a million pieces?

or

b.  Am I going to take pity on this wretched soul and only slice her into a couple of pieces?

Being that it was Easter weekend, I decided on the slightly less acidic option “b.”

“How could you possibly make a judgment call on what I was doing since you don’t know what it is,” delivered with a set of piercing eyeballs.

Dumbelina didn’t get the hint.

“Well, I just can’t imagine what could be that important.”

Again.  Seriously?!!

Right.  And I can’t imagine how the employer of this fine emporium is allowing you to run around the place without electrical tape wrapped around your mouth….you freakin’ MORON!!

After leaving the restaurant, I decided to walk around the city.  (What a glorious Saturday for Chicagoans who have been subjected to one of the most craptastic, never-ending winters I can remember.)

Every single seat of every outdoor restaurant in Chicago’s Old Town was filled.  (I tried to photograph a handful of diners, but albinos don’t show up well in photographs.)

So with that, I wish those who celebrate Easter, a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends and laughter.

April 23, 2011   2 Comments

Chicago politics, oy vey!

Tomorrow Chicagoans will head to the polls to elect a new mayor.  (Assuming someone gets an absolute majority.  If not, there will be a final election on April 5th.)

Coming along for the ride are the aldermanic elections.  Which means we are being spammed to death by a whole slew of phone calls.  They were all pretty similar in tone, up until I received aldermanic candidate Mitch Newman’s recorded message a few minutes ago.

It began with “oy vey.”  Yeah.  Not making it up.

He was trying to be funny referring to the many calls I may have received from his campaign and my supposed desire to reach through the phone and choke him.  (Mitch, you’re a shoo-in for City of Chicago Mindreader.)

But “oy vey?”  As an ethnically-diverse shiksa, I get the whole oy vey thing, but I’ll bet you a dead person’s vote that a whole bunch of other voters may have been perplexed by the greeting.  (Mitch, I’m thinking you would have gotten better mileage out of a more main stream message.   But then again, I am writing about you, tonight, so maybe you made your point.)

This caller ID screams "don't answer"

Now that the  greeting door has been opened wide, Mr. Newman has got me wondering if any other ethnic messaging will come my way before I head to the polls.

Will hispanic mayoral candidate Gery Chico begin his call with an “hola chica?” How ’bout former U.S. Senator, now running for mayor Carol Mosely Braun? Will she be hollering “hey girlfriend?”

Too bad Alexi Giannoulias isn’t running or else we’d be screaming opaa over a gyro sandwich.

Oy vey, is right.

February 21, 2011   Comments Off on Chicago politics, oy vey!