Rantopolis

Category — Random thoughts

Random Sunday thoughts

To the woman from New Jersey on the 151 bus yesterday.  It is not necessary to scream out the name of every building on Michigan Ave. as you spot it.  You are on a bus, so please use your inside voice.  Otherwise we will have to brand your forehead with the words “obnoxious tourist.”

To her daughter who blocked the aisle with her baby’s stroller.  Newsflash.  “Public transportation” means that this vehicle will actually transporting the public.  This is not your personal SUV.

To the four idiots attending the Bonnie Raitt concert last night.  People paid to hear the artist, not you guys talking loudly in a drunken stupor.  We have enough bars in the city who would be thrilled to have you.

If your name isn't on this marquee, then please STFU during the concert.

To the musicians who keep dying.  Stop it.  Seriously.  Between Davy Jones, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Barry Gibb, I’m exhausted from reading breaking news bulletins about death.  Yeah, I know it’s inevitable, but can we please space these out a little more.

To the peeps at Saturday Night Live.  The season ender with Mick Jagger as the host was hilarious.  Especially the karaoke bar skit where the cast tried to sing Rolling Stones songs and Mick butchering Satisfaction.  Well played.

To Ralph Lauren.  Was it necessary for you to discontinue the 600 thread count Regent line?  I think not.

To the person who invented Pinkberry mango flavored yogurt.  I love you.

To the person who invented M Burger’s chicken sandwich.  I love you, too.

To my musician friends, who gave me two weekends of amazing concerts, I love you the most.

May 20, 2012   Comments Off on Random Sunday thoughts

Surprises hidden in the water tower

I’ve lived in Chicago all my life, with the exception of that lost decade in Cleveland.  One of Chicago’s most famous landmarks is the Water Tower.  It was one of the few structures that remained standing after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

In the past 20 years that I’ve lived down the street from it, I must have walked by it hundreds of times.  But never once have I walked inside.  In fact, I didn’t even know that you could.  Just another example of how we frequently don’t pay attention to things in our own backyard.

Or maybe this is just means that I’m an idiot.

A few days ago, I was invited to attend a play.  When I noticed the address, I figured that the theater had to be somewhere around the Water Tower.  What I didn’t realize was that it was in the Water Tower until I used Mapquest to pinpoint the location.

Hmmm.  There is a theater inside the Water Tower?!  Wow.  Next thing you’ll be telling me is that there is water in the Water Tower.

So, walk a mile down the street and enter the Water Tower.  Well, shut my Alice in Wonderland mouth!

The Water Tower has water and lots of it!

I was stunned to discover that the Water Tower not only had water, but it had a large tourist center, a lovely seating area and…..wait for it….a one-room Chicago Public Library.  And oh yeah, the theater.  (It also had a person who kept mumbling to himself, but hey, not every experience is perfect.)

The Chicago Public Library branch is on the left. Note the vinyl albums. I wonder when the last time this inventory was updated. 1950s??

Maybe next weekend, I will attempt to explore the city’s sewer system.  Perhaps I will find the lost city of Atlantis.  Or maybe just a nightclub for rodents.

May 6, 2012   Comments Off on Surprises hidden in the water tower

Random end-of-vacation thoughts

I’ve just returned to Chicago having spent half of December in the Florida Keys.  I’m on laundry load #7, so all I am capable of right now is a random list of thoughts as I transition back into the real world.

1.  Reuniting long-lost siblings. I walked into the store with a lovely cream-colored Coach handbag which I had purchased earlier in the year.   I had no idea that the bag had been separated at birth from its siblings.  Clearly, screaming to be reunited with its gunmetal and black leather family members.  What could I do?  How could I possibly not succumb to begging from supple leather?  Not to mention the salesperson waving a 30% coupon off the already deeply discounted prices.  No one can say I don’t have family values.

Family portrait.

2. Vermin.  Fifteen day vacation.  Ten mosquito bites.  You found a way to bite me while I was laying out at the swimming pool.  (Couldn’t have been any other time because I slept in a hyperbaric chamber trying to prevent a sneak attack during the night.) When I rule the world I will find a way to destroy all of you itch-inducing, red bump making fuckers.  Oh, and the one that bit me on the ass?  He will be water boarded.

3.  Reclining bastards.  Do you asshats realize when you recline your airplane seat, you are shoving the back of your seat into my eye sockets and thrusting my tray table into my solar plexis?  Is a three-inch recline that important to your comfort?  Here’s hoping an air bag explodes into your ribs during your drive home.

4.  Thrifty car rental.  Even after I changed to a fourth car during my 15 day rental, you still didn’t get it right.  There was a warning on the dash that said, “oil change required.”  The warning would not go off, which means that it covered the space where the odometer should be.

When I tried to report it at the end of the rental, the attendant did not know the word “odometer.”  He kept pointing to the speedometer and telling me that it was working fine.  The highlight of my weekend will be filling out the customer satisfaction survey.  I will be using phrases like “douche bag customer service” and “Flintstone mobile.”  Or why don’t we skip all of this and go right to the huge discount you will end up giving me on my next rental.

5.  Miami airport.  My hate of this place continues.  Even the people who work there hate it.  How do I know?  They bitch about the place more than I do.

6.  A French street corner.  About 20 years ago, I bought a collapsible bag made from parachute fabric on a French street corner.  I spent the equivalent of $7.  This bag has served as my emergency second bag (translation: I went shopping) since that time.  It’s as light as a feather and collapses to the size of a paperback.  The French excel at croissants and street luggage.  I have proof.

7.  The best beach pillow.  A couple of years ago, I bought a back support pillow from The Back Store.  It didn’t work out so well for back support, but turned into awesome sauce as a beach chair or blanket pillow.  Another cool part is that it totally deflates and inflates automatically.  And the fabric is perfect for wet hair, etc.  It doesn’t absorb!  Don’t ya just love multipurpose stuff?!

Collapsible bag + beach pillow. Awesome sauce!

8.  Russell Brand/Katy Perry.  Russell filed for divorce today due to irreconcilable differences.  You entertainment types are relationship wimps.  My marriage lasted for four whole years and my ex was Satan.

Okay, so now I’ve gotta go take yet another load out of the washer as my tan continues to fade.

December 30, 2011   4 Comments

Neti pots. Anybody else on this train?

If someone had told me a year ago, that I would be shoving a ceramic spout into my nose and pouring salt water through my nasal passages, I would have died laughing.  (The only thing funnier would have been someone projecting that I would be featured on the runway at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.)

Does this thing come with Aladdin?

Typically, what happens behind the “doorway” of a human orifices is not something our society tends to discuss in publicly.   (Notable exceptions include televised colonoscopies and commercials on teeth bleaching.)

But back to the neti pot. Apparently, nasal irrigation has been used in many eastern cultures for centuries.   Who knew?!  (Here in the U.S. we prefer killing trees and turning them into tissues that can be blown into.)

Anyway, since Dr. Oz brought the technique to the attention of the viewing public on an appearance of The Oprah Winfrey show, the neti pot has gotten  a big awareness bump.

As one who tends to suffer from dry nasal passages in the winter (I know….TMI), I thought I should give it a try.  (Also, my ears were feeling a little stopped up.)

Living in a high rise, I considered—but then quickly rejected—riding up and down the elevator to see if that would do the trick.  (No, we don’t have nasal hoses in our elevators, I was referring to relieving the stuffy ears.)

So, I turned to the neti pot.  Basically, you fill the little pot full of lukewarm water and then put in a 1/4 teaspoon full of pharmaceutical-grade salt.

Now for the tricky part.

You lean over the sink and open your mouth.  You put the spout up against a nostril and start pouring.

If you like the sensation of drowning you are going to love this! (Sarcasm is my friend.)  You will immediately flashback to how you felt when you were first learning how to swim.

The key to all of this is to stay bent over and breathing through your mouth.  Otherwise, you will be very unhappy from the resulting choking and gagging that is about to follow.

But here’s the thing.  If you do it right, you will feel awesome immediately afterward.  Within seconds, “everything” had opened up.  It was as if a plumber had roto-rootered my head.  There was a lot of draining, but without a huge bill and a butt crack.

Apparently eastern pros at this technique graduate to oils and other products as irrigants.  Somehow I can’t picture myself shoving pomegranate-infused extra virgin olive oil into my sinuses, but then again, I’ve never been known as being super adventuresome.

So, there you have it people.  I am now a deep breathing maniac who is consuming more than my fair share of oxygen.  But I’m not going to get worried until I accidentally start inhaling small things like paperclips and grapes.

December 8, 2011   3 Comments

Is this time change stuff totally necessary?!

This is what 5:30 p.m. looks like in Chicago right now.  (I promise you, it didn’t look like this yesterday.)  No, I didn’t shoot this from a plane.  I live in a high rise.

Fade to black for the next five months.

Twice a year we have to go through the time change garbage.  Twice a year I bitch.

The bitching commences as I am about to change the clocks in two different apartments (mine and my mothers).

Come to think of it, that’s a lie.  The bitching really commences in the fall about a week before when Europe changes its clocks and we don’t.

However, in the spring, I have to remember that the U.S. changes two weeks ahead of Europe.  I also have to remember “spring ahead” and “fall behind.”

Like I need more things to remember.

So for three weeks out of 52, we are not in our usual sync with Europe.  Do you know how much fun that is trying to coordinate business calls and other deadlines with a different continent?  Not.

Honestly, is all of this really necessary?  As I understand it, the reason behind this is to save electricity.  Whatever.  It’s really annoying.

Thank god for electronics, such as my computers and phone, which switch automatically.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I did not bother to change the clock in my car.  I’m picking up my new one sometime this week, so I’ll let the time change be someone else’s problem.

Oh, and if you think I have a bad attitude about this today, just wait until five months ago when we have to change clocks and lose an hour.

I promise you.  That rant won’t be pretty.

November 6, 2011   6 Comments

Murphy’s Law. So over you.

Some days are great.  Others, not so much.

1.  I had a client change a few PowerPoint slides in a presentation and then email the whole thing back to me.  Unfortunately, he had somehow managed to introduce a French language default into the pages.  This meant that all of the English words that were correctly spelled, were coming up with the squiggly error line underneath.

I tried a zillion things to turn change it.  It took several hours to fix the problem.  By then, two other PowerPoints were “infected” with the default.

Merde.

2.  I returned home after taking my mom to the grocery store during lunch.  My housekeeper was standing at the doorway.  She greats me with, “I have something to show you.”  I immediately think that some valuable item has been destroyed.  She shows me this:

Don't ya just hate when this happens?

Now I have to figure out how to get a replacement hose.  Or maybe I should just try duct tape.  Or maybe I should turn into a hoarder.  No need to worry about the floors then.

3.  Missing sock syndrome.  Really people.  WTF is this about?!  I now have a collection of five unmatched single athletic socks.  Where the hell do these socks go?  Do they feel imprisoned and go over the wall while we sleep? Are they being kidnapped by one legged people?  Do they biodegrade?  Are aliens responsible?

Why do we just lose socks?  It’s not like we put in three shirts into the washer and only pull out two.  In my experience all the shirts come out, but not all of the socks.  Very freaky.

In my opinion, the person who solves this mystery should get Nobel Peace Prize.  Hopefully, they would be willing to buy me more socks with the cash honorarium.

October 20, 2011   3 Comments

3K thoughts per day. Really?!

I recently read somewhere that humans have 3,000 thoughts per day.

Really?!  Everybody?!

Have you met some of my relatives?!  Ten to 15 thoughts…max.  Seriously.

I’m also pretty sure that half of those thoughts have to do with eating and the other half are about going to the bathroom.  If they are having a cerebrally-heavy day then maybe one or two of those thoughts might be about sex.  But that’s about it.

Who are these 3K people and why don’t I know more of them?  Could they be these people?

Hypochondriacs:  1,000 thoughts/diseases; 1,000 thoughts/cures, 1,000 thoughts/planning funeral services.

Claustrophobics: 3,000 thoughts about how the brain is jammed into a small, tight scary place.

Agoraphobics:   3,000 thoughts about shopping online because leaving the house isn’t an option.

Acrophobics:  2,000 thoughts about tall, scary things; 1,000 thoughts about the sound you will make upon landing after falling from a tall, scary height.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you also have those who flit from one thought to another.  (Unless they are heavily medicated, in which case they just stare.)

All I know is that thinking about thoughts has prevented me from thinking about more important things.  Like what reality show to watch tonight.

The way I see it, trying to keep track of the various relationships on these shows will easily consume 300 thoughts per hour.  (That number shoots to 500 if there’s a cat fight.  The extra 200 thoughts go toward figuring out if someone’s weave is going to get yanked out or not.)

But first, I have to go to the bathroom and figure out what to eat.

September 15, 2011   Comments Off on 3K thoughts per day. Really?!

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