Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Mystery Machine



What Mark thinks his Ford looks like.

We're driving over to Big Chicks for dollar burger night. Mark is at the wheel.
"Move that damn Scooby van." He screams. "Why would anybody need a giant vehicle like that? How tiny is your dick mister? Look at her, she's texting." (Mark refers to every driver in the feminine) "Bitch, mooooooooove! The light isn't going to stay green all day."

I've created a monster. I insisted that Mark start driving more so that he would get used to the narrow streets and aggressive drivers here in Chicago. Now he is one of those aggressive drivers. If I had a bucket of water in the car, I would throw it on him just to cool him down. Mark honestly scares me when he drives. I try to remind him that almost everybody in Chicago has a gun in their pocket, but still he screams out the window at them and cuts people off in traffic. He truly has the Chicago "fuck you, I was here first" driving style down. What he hasn't figured out yet are the narrow streets. Mark always thinks he is going to hit the cars on either side of him or run into things that are easily ten feet off to the side. I have told him over and over again that the Ford is not twenty feet wide, that he has plenty of room spare. Still, he freaks out. He freaks out even more when I drive, because I tend to squeeze through the smallest gaps, almost kissing the other car's door handles. But I'm not worried, I have visually measured the Ford's width and I'm pretty sure it looks like this.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Saturday June 25th Around 6PM



I am not a big fan of Mariachi Music. Especially when I'm choking down a burrito at a cheesy Mexican restaurant. I hate those roaming bands that go from table to table, because you have to stop eating and acknowledge them, and I assume tip them. Something I have never done. You don't tip Mariachi bands or feed stray cats. It only encourages them to return. On a warm June evening, with the grill fired up last Saturday, I was the unwilling audience along with all my other neighbors to a Mariachi serenade. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Washtenaw Avenue Mariachi Band.

 

Friday, June 24, 2016

City Life



We've been in our new Chicago neighborhood for a month now. A twenty seven year absence from Chicago has made it seem like I stepped into a time warp. Chicago is much more ethnic than I remember. I don't have a problem with that, it's just a bit jarring to be shopping at the supermarket and see these ghostly figures in black roaming the aisles. I'm told that they are women and that those are burqas that they are wearing. I notice that the men aren't wearing a male version of it. Chandler has adapted quite readily to his new home. He has declared the entire block that we walk, to be his. Do not walk in his territory or you will suffer the wrath of Chandler. The nice folks at the end of the block have already discovered that. But you can't blame Chandler, I warned them not to try and pet him. Mark, on the other hand, only knows our house and the walk from the back door to the garage. Which would be nice if he were driving. But no, Mark is terrified of Chicago traffic. He has me driving everywhere despite the fact that I really shouldn't. Mark cannot deal with the narrow streets, the expressways, or Chicago drivers. Especially the drivers. He says they're too aggressive, as he screams out the window at them. I really do need for him to start driving more. I need some quiet time alone, and I can only get that if he learns how to deal with city driving so that he can go shopping. I'll worry about what to do with all the crap he'd end up buying when the time comes. We do have a super big basement, plenty of room for his crap down there... or I could move my recliner and a television down there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

We Got the Tickets!



When I talked Mark into moving to Chicago I made three  promises. One, he'd get a brand new, deluxe, gourmet kitchen. Two, I would pay off his Visa bill. Three, I'd get him tickets to Hamilton. The first two were really easy. It's the third thing that would be a problem. At ten in the morning yesterday, Hamilton tickets went on sale. I had two options. I could go down to the Loop and stand in line with the rest of the mopes who were buying for scalpers, or I could try to buy the tickets online. I chose to sit at home in my underpants and buy the tickets online. At exactly ten o'clock I hit the button and entered the Ticketmaster hell hole. For the first ten minutes all I could get were error messages. Finally, after many tries, I was in. I picked out two nice seats in the Orchestra section and hit enter. A message  popped up telling me that it would be a forty five minute wait. So I waited while a little wheel spun, counting down the minutes. Sure enough, forty five minutes later something happened. Ticketmaster sent me back to the original page without any option for going forward. So I tried again, and again I had to wait. Only this time there was no spinning wheel, no countdown. Only a message telling me to sit tight, they were searching for seats. Over an hour later, over two hours since I had signed on to Ticketmaster, I gave up. Fuck  Hamilton, fuck Ticketmaster, fuck Broadway.

It is now five hours later, nearly six o'clock in the evening, and Mark lets out a scream of joy, "I got 'em. I got the tickets!"
Sure enough, after all the hoopla of the morning, after seeing ticket prices on the "secondary market" soar to over nine thousand dollars, Mark was able to secure two tickets at only eighty seven dollars apiece. Best of all, those two seats were right next to four hundred and ninety seven dollar seats. One was listed as limited view, and the other as obstructed view, and they were for a January performance. I don't give a shit, we got tickets, and if I have to I will lean over into those four hundred and ninety seven dollar seats for a better view, maybe even fart so that they'll move.

Monday, June 20, 2016

China Grill



Mark grilled me up some outstanding steaks in the backyard Saturday. He also roasted some corn-on-the-cob and coated it in mayonnaise, Mexican cheese, and some kind of lime-pepper concoction. Sounds disgusting, but it was de-fucking-licious. Of course I had to earn that wonderful meal. I had to assemble the grill that Mark had purchased over a year ago. It sat in the shed, in the box, in Florida for nearly a year, and has been sitting in my mom's garage and now ours until two days ago. As you can see, I have been putting this one off for quite a while. For good reason.


Look closely at the assembly instructions above. I looked at them, and then looked again, and again. I re-read it over and over. I took a small break and thought it over for awhile. After a few dozen well placed F-bombs, I studied it more closely. It seems that they were trying to tell me to attach left front leg (2) and left back leg (3) to the grill body (1), showing me clearly in the drawing that the front was the back and the back was the front. Well goddamn, in a land where the front is the back and the back is the front, is it no wonder that the world is screwed up? Finally, after much cursing and throwing of things, I figured it out. Left front leg (2) and left back leg (3) were interchangeable. It did not matter whether they went on the front or the back, just so long as they were on the same side. So I got the thing put together alright, but it better not try to go to the bathroom in North Carolina.