Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dumb Ass

I must be a masochist because I volunteered to serve on my condo board again.

God help me.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Drinks With Mr. Sassy

A few Fridays ago, I ran into a nice man with a Texas Longhorns baseball cap on and a twang to match.

We were introduced by one of the staff of the bar and made the usual chit chat one makes on a Friday night.

One thing was evident---at least to me---from the start.

My newly introduced friend was “family.” And I mean family in the gay way, not the black way.

Frankly either one was fine with me. ‘Cause I’m cool like that.

As I stated in part two of the preamble, if you want to meet a gay man just hang out with me.

So we chatted until he had to leave for destinations unknown. My new bar friend seemed genuine and nice.

I had a vague sense of the familiar when we were chatting but nothing really connected.

Plus I think I was about on my fourth glass of wine.

I meet so many people when I go out that I’ve had people come up to me on the street, on the bus, in a store and carry on conversations about things in my life that you would only know if we had actually spoken.

All the while I’m staring at them like “Who are you?”

It happens all the time.

It’s part and parcel of being me.

So I really didn’t think anything about the warm soap and water feeling I was getting from Mr. Sassy in his Texas Longhorns baseball cap.

The places where I tend to socialize are ground zero for celebrity watching in the city of Chicago.

Movie stars, political figures, big money rollers and the bright young things on the scene all rub shoulders with us common everyday working folk.

I don’t care who you are and what you have, more than likely at some point you’re going to want to take a drink.

And when you take that drink you’re going to want to be social and around people.

In my humble opinion that’s the great equalizer among human beings; rich or poor, smart or dumb we all tend to like our booze.

I’ve seen George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Aretha Franklin, Don King, U2, David Swimmer, The Honorable Richard J. Daley and a host of other names that you would only recognize if you lived in Chicago.

Their presence barely made me raise my eyebrow.

Well that not entirely true as Mr. Clooney made my stomach flutter and I almost broke out into tears when I saw Ms. Franklin.

But even through those close calls I managed to emerge with my dignity intact and not create a scene.

It is important to “act like you’ve been there before.”

Even if it’s not true, you should act like seeing a famous person is the most common and everyday thing in the world.

Ironically, out of all of the people I’ve seen, I’ve never once spotted Oprah in the 12 years that I’ve lived here.

The next night I’m at the same watering hole and Mr. Sassy appears in the doorway resplendent in a cream velvet tuxedo jacket with red hibiscuses.

My God it was one of the gayest things I had ever seen and I just loved him for it.

Chicago is a pretty conservative town dressing wise. Men just don’t wear cream velvet tuxedo jackets with red hibiscuses on them.

I made a beeline for him and directed him back to the other end of the bar where a friend and I had our drinks.

Introductions were made, drink orders were placed, attire was fawned over and the chatting commenced.

That warm soap and water feeling kept coming back; like I knew my new friend much better than I realized.

That’s when it hit me.

That’s when I figured out who he was.

I went into total 16 year old---hands over mouth—finger pointing—hysterical I know who you are mode.

Once again I was on my fourth glass of wine for the night.

I can see George Clooney and hold it together but loose my shit over a Texas born, gay wedding and event planner.

Go figure?

It’s interesting the priority that we as human beings place on others.

One woman’s gay event planner is obviously just as every bit of important as the sexiest man alive himself.

So as I’m in the corner making a scene and acting like an ass. Mr. Sassy states that he has to excuse himself to go to the bathroom.

That was the last time I saw him.

The great thing about knowing your entertaining and lifestyle mavens is that no one else in the room except is die hard dorks knows who they are.

Which would probably explain why people looked at me like I was a goober, they didn’t know that they were in the presence of event planning genius.

So there you have it---I scared away Mr. Sassy and managed to look like an ass in one of the nicest hotel bars in the city.

My cool points are down to zero.

If you’re wondering why I don’t name Mr. Sassy the answer is simple---I rarely if ever use anyone’s real name in the blog.

Just because he’s a public figure doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserver the same respect.

I’ve dropped enough clues that if you’re familiar with the players in the industry you should be able to figure it out.

Then of course an event planner that comes from a family of seven Texas football coaches shouldn’t be too hard to find.

At least I didn’t piss myself when I met him---thank God.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fruit Fly Preamble, Part II

Seriously---what is it with me and the gays?

Now this doesn’t hold true for all gay men or lesbians but I do seem to have my fair share of friends that just happen to be gay.

I remember my first gay boyfriend.

I was a newly minted 18 year old dropped off at college. Not too long thereafter I began to attract the attentions of a certain handsome junior.

Who among us wouldn’t be swooning at the prospect?

This stylish, good looking, older man---with a car I might add---took an actual interest in me.

Zit faced, hill jacked, slightly goofy, Care Free curl wearing me.

Good Lord, I thought he was the one.

Little did I know he would be the first of many gay men who for some reason seem to flock to me like the swallows coming back to Capistrano.

As I stated earlier, this doesn’t go for all gay men.

There are just as many misogynists that happen to be gay. Straight men don’t have the monopoly on marginalizing, humiliating or hating women.

And to be fair, I’m just not everybody’s cup of tea.

Most people would call me a fag hag but I’ve always hated that term.

I don’t like using the “F” word and I am a lot of things, but a hag isn’t one of them.

Instead, one of my good friends who also happens to be gay has coined another term---a less harsh moniker—he calls women who attract gay men a fruit flies.

Kinda catchy, huh?

Coincidentally, I’ve learned not only a lot about myself but a few do’s and don’ts with regards to gay men in general.

I’ll get into those points in another post so I can remain focused.

So combine my love of the lifestyle arts with my tendency to find gay men and it was only a matter of time before I ran into Mr. Sassy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fruit Fly Preamble

I’m a closet home design freak and a wannabe lifestyle maven.

Now I didn’t start out this way. I was never the girly girl with the matching pouf valence that coordinated with the bed skirt.

Baby, it took me years to realize my inner girl.

While I used to live for Style with Elsa Klensch on CNN; I was that girl who just didn’t quite have enough sense, style or money to look effortless and chic.

Frankly that girl isn’t completely gone but she’s grown into a woman who has some idea of what looks good on her. If pressed I can perhaps host a small dust up for a few people.

Mother Martha and a host of friends worked very hard to get me to this point.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my own mother a source of domestic diva inspiration.

She could can some tasty bread and butter pickles.

She also sewed most of our clothes in our younger years.

Money was tight---blowing it on garments that we would grow out of in a season just wasn’t practical. Why buy clothing when you could run a cutesy poo dress up on the sewing machine?

So it was from this background that my interest in the domestic arts arose in my mid-twenties.

Gracious, elegant living doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.

Or so Mother Martha convinced me.

Starting roughly around 1995 I bought my first edition of Martha Stewart Living. In 1996 I started subscribing.

I may have let a few subscriptions lapse and I may be missing a few issues here and there but rest assured of one thing:

I have every last regular edition Martha Stewart Living magazine I’ve ever purchased. I don’t throw them away and I don’t give them away.

Hell, I don’t even let them out of my house. And no, you can’t borrow them to get recipe ideas. If you can’t get it online at her website, you’re screwed.

The exception to that rule is the Martha Stewart Living Weddings editions.

I feel at 38 I may not get married so I gave them to my former neighbor when she started to plan her wedding.

Sometimes you just gotta let it go---you know what I’m saying?

Anyhoo, Mother Martha got me interested in other lifestyle magazines and now deem it absolutely essential for my existence to have House Beautiful show up every month.

The bug continued to spread and I started watching those cooking, home décor and gardening shows with renewed vigor.

Fine Living Network, The Style Network and HGTV should be the basis for everyone’s T.V. watching schedule.

I even own chaffing dishes.

Colin Cowie, Debbie Travis, Christopher Lowell, Mother Martha---all big names in the lifestyle, event planning and home décor games.

I’m a normal rational person (mostly).

I know these people aren’t my friends and have branded themselves and their products so they and their business partners can get rich.

It does seem that when you see someone all the time on the telly and they’re giving you such great tips on how to make you world a little brighter; you can’t help but to feel as if they're your long time pal.

I mean if I saw Preston Bailey in front of me in the Jewel, I’d almost piss myself.

Is it any wonder that since lifestyle gurus are the rock stars of my world that I would inevitably make an ass of myself when I actually met one in person?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Come To Jesus Meeting

Two Sundays ago, I saw the straw that broke the camel’s back.

My new neighbor had the keys to our front door duplicated and given out to her frequent visitors.

I about lost my shit.

I understand that a single woman who lives by herself needs to make sure that a trusted friend has a set of keys to her home. But when the let’s go kick it crew is rolling in and out of the front door of our home, that’s a problem.

So I fired off this little ditty to the owner of the unit:


While out on my front porch this morning I noticed that two or possibly three people have the key to the XXXX-XXXX building front door. Obviously I don't know who's authorized to live in the unit but the number of people who have access to our front door is, on its face, troubling.

Can you or your agent confirm with either XXXX or XXXX who is officially on the lease and take steps to stop your tenant from distributing keys to our front door. This is an egregious safety issue that concerns everyone who lives in or visits our home.

Unfortunately I did not have the e-mail address to your property manager on my home PC as I would of sent this e-mail directly to him, but I felt this issue was so important that I wanted to address it with you directly.



While I never received a written reply to my concerns, word had it that the owner’s property manager would attend our next association meeting.

In the middle of our meeting, he did actually show up.

Unfortunately for him, he got an earful that night.

I renewed my concerns about everyone and their mother having a key to the front door. I also let Mr. Property Manager know that the frequency of his tenant’s pot smoking was a well known open secret.

Not only is the hallway filled with smoke but since I live directly above my smoking neighbor, my home smelled like a bong as well.

The other residents of our building that were in attendance all shook their heads in agreement.

Mr. Property Manager had already addressed the front door key issue but did not know that there was a pot smoking issue as well.

Luckily I was there to notify him of that fact.

One of my downstairs neighbors on the other hand, really let her feelings be known about the tenant situation.

While none of our building’s residents appreciated any of these shenanigans, my first floor neighbor is on the front lines of all of this disturbing foolishness.

She hears the increased traffic coming in and out of the door, the people walking over her head, the playing of the loud music at all hours of the night and in some cases the loud voices that accompanied by the increase in foot traffic.

Needless to say she is not a happy camper.

She “expressed” her concerns in a way where there was no doubt to her meaning.

In short we let Mr. Property Manager know that we’re NOT “the spot” or “the let’s go kick it place.”

The fact that we even had to express the lack of communal courtesy from this tenant made the phrase “proper tenant screening” surface in the conversation several times.

We got our point across.

In the few weeks since we had this come to Jesus meeting with the property manager, my new neighbor’s behavior has dramatically improved.

The constant stream of people has been reduced significantly and the 24/7 pot smoking has dropped off quite a bit as well.

Only time will tell if things are getting back to normal.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I swear both of these conversations happened when I was at my usual watering hole last night:

“You're African American and a woman---do you know Oprah?”

Later on in the evening a nice lady from Kentucky said

“Do you know Oprah?” “Is she still with her boyfriend? What’s his name?”

Twice in one night---that’s a record for me. I haven’t been mistaken for or been asked about Oprah in a few years.

So as a public service to people to those few people in the world who may not know it, not all black people know one another.

Moreover, people tend to surround themselves with others who share something in common with them. Aside from our color, Oprah and I really have nothing in common.

Let’s run down the checklist:

Oprah owns her own business, I don’t.

Oprah has allegedly purchased fabulous new digs on east Lake Shore Drive; my fabulous digs are in Woodlawn.

Oprah has vast real estate holdings; I own the house I grew up in South Bend.

Oprah has been in movies, I haven’t.

Oprah is estimated to be a billionaire, unfortunately I’m not.

Oprah has a jet, I don’t.

Oprah has been to the Oscars, I haven’t

Moreover she’s been to the Vanity Fair Oscar party and Mr. Carter has yet to send an invitation my way.

So as you can see the black woman thing will only take you so far.

While I’m sure if I ever met Oprah again we’d have something to talk about, it’s not like we run in the same circles.

So to make myself perfectly clear---I don’t know Oprah or Michael Jordan for that matter. And no, I don't know how to get tickets to her show.

Now stop asking.

Friday, December 01, 2006


The Indos finally won one for the---Gipper---or at least his Indian equivalent. The final score was 28-23.

The website for our soon to be new neighbors, Living Green Lofts, has been enhanced. It now has floor plans and pricing (God I love the concept of rising property value---taxes---not so much) as well as smattering of "green products" that will be standard in the units.

The hoody ho seems to be abuzz with construction. A second new condo project is getting ready to break ground in the 6500 block of Dorchester. The frame and shell of a new condo building has almost been completed on 65th Place---down the street from the Living Green Lofts.

I'm a sucker, no a glutton for punishment. I nominated myself and will be serving on my condo board yet again. 2007 ought to be interesting.

I'm already planning my balcony gardens for next spring.

Piney the Christmas tree is up and almost decorated. Luckily the gay boyfriends took me to get Mr. Piney on Monday when it was 60 degrees and I was sweating. Today our low will be 18 degrees. Not the best day to get a tree. Once he's all festooned and bedecked, I'll post a picture.

The bathroom is done. Thank you Jesus.

Diligent readers have already seen the back splash transformation and heard about the original floor. The painting has been completed; the light fixture and accessories have been installed. I'll post yet another picture before the end of the year.

My goal is to make my home look so luxe you'll wonder how I can afford to live there.