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Juicing–not for sissys

I just read that 150 million hot dogs are consumed on the 4th of July.  I, however, did not partake of this tradition today.

While the rest of you Americans were chomping on dogs and hamburgers and downing kegs of beer, I was planted in front of the computer working away.

Long about lunch time, I had this bright idea to “juice” my lunch.  Afterall, I had purchased a humongous bag of spinach, bell peppers and celery from Costco a few days ago.  I figure if I also threw in some tomatoes, I’d come pretty close to making my own V-8.   Throw in some freshly squeezed limes and some Tabasco, and I’d come pretty close to a Virgin Mary.  Genius.

That’s what it looks like when I channel my inner Martha Stewart.

So lemme ask you.  Have you every tried to juice vegetables?

If you don’t have a really good juicer, you might as well just stick your head into a garbage disposal.  The mess and splatter that’s created will make you cry.   If you do have a really good juicer  (I do!) then be prepared to spend at least 15 minutes on disassembly, cleanup, and counter wipe down.

If you ask me, I think this is the real reason you lose weight when you juice.  The calories you expend during the clean up is equivalent to a power session with a personal trainer.

You also have a 50/50 shot of visiting the ER afterwards.  Those blades are like piranha teeth.  Think about it.  Those puppies liquify carrots.  Get my point?

Okay, so three cups of spinach, four celery stalks, two tomatoes and a cup of carrots later, I end up with this:

I wonder what this is going to do to my gastrointestinal tract.

Looks like someone whipped up some grass clippings, right?   I carefully taste it hoping it doesn’t make me wretch.

Hmm.  Not bad.  I then reach for the limes, the Tabasco and a dash of sea salt and pepper.  It doesn’t change the color any, but kicks the taste from okay, to sort of delicious.

So, I gulp down half a pitcher of this stuff all the while going through the entire clean up process.

By the time this whole fandango is done, by kitchen is clean and I am full.

Wait.  I’m going to repeat that.  I’m full on vegetable juice.  No bread.  No meat.    And I wasn’t being held hostage.

Freakin’ miracle.

July 4, 2012   Comments Off on Juicing–not for sissys

New things I learned this weekend.

In the process of renting my condo, I learned some brand new things this weekend.  For example:

1.  All females born in 1986 are named Kate.  Yup.  That’s a fact.  I had three different applicants born during that year who were named…yes, you guessed it.  Kate.   (My current tenant is also named Kate.)  You want to take a wild guess what the new tenant’s name is?

2.  People have no clue what their boyfriend/girlfriend’s birth date is.  Listen up.  You must master this skill.  Failure to do so will earn you decades of tears, reaming and other unpleasant consequences.  (Two of my applicants screwed up their partner’s birth date.  I had to point it out to them after doing the credit check.  One guy even begged me not to tell his girlfriend.)  Oh, the power.

3.  People are lazy and/or have reading comprehension problems.

  • What floor is the condo on?  (It’s clearly stated in the ad headline. When was your last eye exam? Please tell me you have a good health plan.)
  • Do you allow small pets?  (What is it about the words “no” and “pets” in the ad that didn’t you understand?  Unless you have an ant on a leash, the answer is still no.)
  • Does it have a garbage disposal?  That’s a deal breaker.  (Yes, the condo has one giant garbage disposal.  No closets, toilet or bedrooms.  Just an 800 sq. ft. garbage disposal. )

4.  Try not to say stupid things to your potential new landlord.  Like how you are going to screw over your present landlord by only giving them three weeks notice.  And then provide that landlord’s name as a reference.

5. If you are going to apply for an apartment have good credit.  Yeah, we check.

6.  If you are big boy or girl and are ready to move in with your boyfriend/girlfriend then don’t ask if it’s okay to have your parents cosign.  It isn’t.  (Why don’t we just skip the middle person and just have your parents move into the apartment.)

March 11, 2012   2 Comments

Why being a landlord sucks. Part 2

Sigh.  This has been another week of prospective tenant hell.

I am so exhausted from dealing with all of these asshats that I can barely type right now.  So, I’m going to keep this rant short.

Here’s a play by play of some of the conversations I’ve endured while trying to rent my one bedroom condo.

Location, location, location

Prospective tenant #1: Hi…I’m really interested your apartment.  I see that you are asking $1700 per month rent.  But, I’m currently paying $1,100.  Is there anyway you can reduce the rent?

Me: Sure.  I don’t see why not.  First let me call my bank and tell them to reduce my mortgage by 60% so that I can cut the rent by the same amount.  Oh, and by the way, I give prospective tenants an I.Q. test.  Clearly you won’t be passing that anytime soon.

Prospective tenant #2.  (After a 30 minute apartment showing and tour of the building.)  Oh, one more thing.  We are really looking for the lease to start on May 1st.  Would that be okay?

Me:  Of course, it’s okay.  Are you kidding me?!  I’ll just tell the bank to fuck themselves in April.  I was just kidding when I posted April 1st in HUGE type on the ad.

Prospective tenant #3. How many square feet does the apartment have?

Me:  Sorry, I cannot rent the apartment to anyone who is illiterate.  The square footage is clearly listed on the ad.  Unless you are visually impaired there is no excuse for your stupidity.

Prospective tenant #4.  (Provides a number in the query email for me to call him.  I dial it and the name on the voicemail doesn’t match the name on the email, so I reply to the email stating that.  He calls me shortly after and tells me that the autofill put in his old work number.)

Me:  Seriously?!!!   Did you not notice the incorrect area code and digits?   Are you capable of going to the bathroom without supervision?

Give me strength to find a suitable tenant before I commit a felony.

March 8, 2012   Comments Off on Why being a landlord sucks. Part 2

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

New York Chronicles–Part II Subway drama

OMG NYC, did a crack fiend come up with the signage (or lack thereof) at your subway stations?!!

Did someone wake up one day and decide to make it impossible for a visitor to get from Point A to Point B in the same decade?  More importantly, did someone with severe psychosis come up with the weekend subway schedule?!

This may look like a subway map, but actually it's a roadmap to insanity.

I have used the subway in multiple countries on multiple continents.  Bar none, the signage in NYC is the worst!

Here are some of the low lights:

1.  I follow the signs at Columbus Circle to the downtown A train line.  They tell me to stand on the right side of the platform to catch the express train.  There is no signage for the local.

How the hell am I supposed to know if I can take the express?  There is no map or timetable that shows me what the routing is.  I have to then ask several strangers ( and hope they know what they are talking about) before I board.

2.  I end up shopping in Soho Saturday morning and enter the Spring St. station, attempting to head back uptown.  After waiting on the platform for 10 minutes, someone from the station yells that the uptown train doesn’t stop there.  I need to use the tunnel to get to the other side to take the downtown train one stop, change back over and then proceed uptown.   (Oh and because I had to exit the station before heading in the opposite direction, I had to pay twice.)

3.  One of the stations actually had a police- type ribbon on the side of the platform at which trains were not stopping that day.  (A friend of mine tried to warn me.  Not all trains stop at all stations on the weekend. )  How are visitors supposed to know that?  Are you supposed to travel with a Metropolitan Transportation Authority appointed psychic?

I’m surprised there aren’t more chalk drawings on the platform floor representing people who have died trying to figure out which train to take.

4.  There was a frustrated and frantic tourist from France who just wanted to get to JFK airport using the subway.  I heard him ask five different people.  No one could help him.  Then I noticed that there was an information booth one level above.  I suggested to him that he drag his bag upstairs to get some assistance.  I think he came very close to kissing me.

Now, let’s move on to my rant of Penn Station.  There are so many different train lines intersecting in that place, and of course, poor signage, that you literally can get lost down there for so long that you can enter in autumn and not find your way out until winter.

I thought it was going to be pretty simple.  Get off of the subway and get on the train to Newark Airport.

Bhhhahhhaahha.

First of all, you have to know that you want New Jersey Transit.  Not Amtrak and certainly not the L.I.R.R. aka Long Island Rail Road.

However, “knowing” and “finding” are two different things.  And even when you find the NJ Transit area of the station, you have to find which train line goes to Newark Airport.  You would think it would be posted somewhere, but it isn’t.  (I had to locate a spaghetti map like the one above, identify the two lines that run through the airport and then try to find the name of the last stop so that I could identify which train to board.)

Oh, then there’s the matter of paying for the ticket.  I found an automated kiosk and figured out the right buttons to press.  I inserted a $20 bill.  What do you think came out of the change slot?

Love the woman; hate the coins.

Yeah, a pile of Susan B. Anthony dollar coins and no receipt.  Nothing like pouring a bunch of metal into your jean pocket to set off those TSA alarms.

Then, as I exited the train at Newark Airport, they collected the tickets.  I used cash to pay, they didn’t give me a receipt and I no longer have the ticket stub.  It’s like Mission Impossible.  They’ve erased all evidence that I ever took the train.

Honestly, NYC.  Check out Paris, London and other cities that know how to properly manage their subway systems so that tourists don’t want to fling themselves onto the third rail.

Oh, and would it kill you to put in some escalators?!

October 3, 2011   1 Comment

Pi or pie day? It depends.

Back in 1989, some geek decided that pi (the mathematical reference to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter) needed its own special day of commemoration.  (Does this guy know how to party or what?) So, using the first three digits as a reference point, he picked 3/14 as the celebration day.

I’m guessing pocket protector day, calculator month and propeller-head Sunday were considered and discarded.

But back to pi, the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet.  (Random detail.  Pronounced “pee” in the original language.  I think I just heard an entire class of sixth graders snickering.)

However, I was reminded earlier today when reading a message board that not all peeps are mathematically inclined. Someone had incorrectly interpreted this homage to geometry as a celebration of pies.  The edible kind.  No matter that the “es” was missing.  (I’m guessing they thought it was some cutsy abbreviation for cherry, key line and pumpkin, much like IDK, LOL and in this instance….the more appropriate WTF.)

So, for those of you who wouldn’t know 3.14159, etc.  from banana creme.  Here are some cyber flashcards for you.

Mathematical.

Edible.

Just so I can regain some faith in my fellow man, please tell me you know the difference between a radius and radial tires.

March 14, 2011   2 Comments

Welcome!

Welcome to Rantopolis!

Please visit the About section if you’d like to read more about the birth of Rantopolis.

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In the meantime, I hope the ranting and laughter turns you into a frequent visitor.

January 26, 2011   Comments Off on Welcome!