Thursday, June 30, 2016

Three Things That Bug Me

Nose rings. If that's your thing, if you want to punch a hole through your nose and walk around like a prize sow, that's your business. But it bugs me. That's because I have allergies. All I can think about when I see a nose ring, especially the kind through the septum, is how the hell do they control the snot? The drip, drip of a cold winter nose or the pollen of springtime. What do these people do when uncontrollable snot comes running out of there? And did I mention that I really, really don't like it on somebody who is serving me food?

Gray Hondas. Yes, the automobile, they bug the living crap out of me. When we lived in Florida, Hondas were relatively rare. For some reason, here in Chicago, every other car is a Honda and they move very slowly and very stupidly. Drivers of Hondas don't seem to be able to figure out stoplights, the lines that divide the lanes on the street, or just what that long pedal to the right of the other pedals is for. Seriously, we get behind one of those rice burners at least ten times a day. They are always gray and they are always the slowest car on the street.

Fire-fucking-crackers. God knows I loved those things when I was younger. Blowing up model cars, blowing up my sister's dolls, blowing up neighbor's flower pots, and my favorite, sticking the fuse through a lit cigarette and leaving it on somebody's window sill. Yes, I was a little asshole when I was a teenager. But I am not a teenager anymore. I am a crabby old guy who walks an eighty five pound dog around the block every evening, who does not like it when the punks at the corner blow off cherry bombs just as we walk by. It is amazing how much power that dog has. Eighty five pounds of dog dragging two hundred pounds of fat old guy all the way back home.

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.