Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I was raised by a very superstitious woman.

We never slept with shoes above our head, threw our hair from combs and brushes into the trash or split poles.

Lord Jesus help you if you ever sat my mother’s purse on the floor.

And she wasn’t hardcore about her superstitions. Growing up I saw women actually sweep up their hair in the beauty shop, pull out a plastic bag and take it with them.

Now that my friends is hardcore.

In fact, I remember many of my newly acquired college friends being puzzled about why I would always flush the hair from my combs and brushes down the toilet. It took a nasty plumber bill I received a few years back for me to (kinda) stop the practice.

So it’s a wonder that when things are askew, I look at the occurrence as some type of foreshadowing. A sign from the spirits that something is about to happen.

The appearance of a lone corn cob raised all of my oft seen but close to the surface red flags.

You see it was the second corn cob that had appeared on my section of the back porch this summer. Naturally I thought someone was trying to tell me something.

But I digress.

In my quest for Chicagoland gardening supremacy, I normally put down two separate container gardens; one on my front deck and one on my back porch.

They both usually flourish and by now have the place looking like the Garden of Eden except that this year the back containers look like a bag of ass.

I was mystified why they didn’t take off like normal.

I gave them all of the love and the fertilizer that I normally give my babies. I watered religiously. I talked and coddled them like they were genteel hothouse flowers.

No go---nothing was growing on the back porch this year.

It was definitely a head scratcher.

What made it even worse is that one day when I was watering, I found a full corn cob buried in one of the containers.

Mind you my containers are suspended from flower box supports that extend from our back porch railing.

I know I didn’t include a corn cob in my soil when I was planting this year so obviously someone put it there.

My mind whirled with possibilities: Is someone trying to put roots on me? What significance does a corn cob have? Who in god’s name would put a corn cob in a flower box?

Eventually the other issues of my everyday life took over and the corn cob incident was soon forgotten.

Then last week another corn cob popped up on my back porch.

This time I knew something wasn’t right.

All the same questions popped up---Who’s doing this? What does this mean? Why are they doing it to me?

Add to the fact that a package of mine was stolen out of the mail last Friday, I was beginning to see boogey men around the corner at every turn.

Scant moments later, I happened to mention the corn cob incident to my neighbors across the hall.

Thank god not everyone was raised in a superstitious household.

They explained to me how our friendly neighborhood squirrels would take their prized booty and hide it from other woodland creatures----even if that means digging up a flower box or two.

Little bastards.

Hopefully the rats with good PR will leave me alone when I go outdoors as my neighbors now think I’m certifiably nutty.

Jesus take the wheel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Random Musings

I know I shouldn't jinx it but----

Why are the Cubs winning?

And on a completely different subject----

Ground has been broken for what looks like a new development on the south west corner of 65th Place. Due west of the proposed Living Green Lofts.

I wonder if those are the Living Green Lofts or a completely different development? From what I understand ground should of been broken for LGL this spring. It's summer already and no activity.

At this point only time will tell.

Since the 20th ward has a new sherrif in town, there's been a flurry of building activity. It's almost like someone wants to spur neighborhood and economic growth.

Go figure.

He Already Had Me With His Cinnamon Rolls

It's not like I wasn't a Tom Tunney fan already.

Prior to being the alderman of the 44th ward, he was the very public face of the Ann Sather's restaurant on Belmont.

Many a time I'd stop off after work too tired to cook, too hungry to wait and too poor to buy groceries. Methinks Mr. Tunney recognized all three and would slip a sister a complimentary bread plate to go along with my vegetable soup.

'Cause you know bread ain't free when you only order a cup of soup.

He was kind enough to chat as well. To make me feel welcome despite the fact I was spending less than five dollars (with tip).

As you can see I've never forgotten the gesture.

So it should come as no surprise that as the Alderman Tunney is leading the way to forge a set of behaviors and practices for developer/neighborhood relations.

Behold another aldermanic rock star.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Phoning It In

I had my day in court last week.

More specifically I had my administrative hearing for my taxicab complaint last Friday.

Despite the attempts of the driver to discredit my story. Justice (and truth) reined supreme and he was found liable of the charges.

But I’m putting the cart before the horse. Let me backtrack a little.

When you have an administrative hearing, you are given the option of either attending the actual hearing or phoning in and giving your testimony. Since we’re soon to be laid off, I thought it better to do this via the telephone than to burn precious vacation time.

I was sworn in by the hearing officer and was asked a series of questions by the attorney for the city which allowed me to tell my side of the story.

Once that was over, the driver was allowed to cross examine me.

If that’s what you want to call it.

He made a rather feeble attempt to discredit me by asking me if I said he picked me up on South Chicago Avenue.

I said no.

He replied, “You just said that I picked you up on South Chicago Avenue.”

I replied, “No---I said that I was standing on the south side of Chicago Avenue with the intent of the cab heading east and having a straight shot out to Lake Shore Drive.”

‘Cause anyone knows that Chicago Avenue which is on the north side and South Chicago Avenue which is on the south side are two completely different streets.

Nice try, homeboy.

He then tried to hammer away that I had a case of mistaken identity.

While I could identify the cab number, the driver asked me to describe who drove me that night and the color of the cab.

I could do neither.

The color of the cab is insignificant as a cab can be one color one month and completely different the next. The cab number on the other hand does not change.

Cab 606 is cab 606 no matter what color the vehicle may be.

Now for a couple of years I’ve been adamant about a few things when I get into a cab.

I either text a friend with the cab number that I’m in or call them with the information and that I’m on my way home. And I make sure that the person who’s driving me home is the same person in the picture of the cab license that’s displayed to the public.

On occasions, if a cab has several different drivers through the course of a day sometimes they may forget to switch out the licenses.

You always want to make sure everything is matchy matchy before you go too far.

So while I couldn’t describe the driver in detail, I could tell that he was a man of color with dark hair who spoke with an accent.

I couldn’t give a height as he was sitting down and it was seven months ago. Like I said, I just make sure the picture matches---I don’t have a photographic memory.

This seemed to satisfy the hearing officer who sustained the objection of the city’s attorney after the cab driver kept on repeatedly asking me if I could identify him.

Asked and answered butthead.

At that point, my testimony was complete. There was nothing more for me to do so I was excused by the hearing officer and hung up the phone.

An hour or so later the city’s attorney called me and said that the cab drive had been found liable of the charges.

As a result he has to pay a $225.00 fine, take a drug test and a physical as well as sign up for cab driver 101 at Harold Washington College.

Did I mention that the cab driver 101 course costs $275.00?

So the driver is spending $500.00, the cost of the drug test and physical. Additionally he will be losing money because he won’t be out making a living.

He’ll be learning, turning his head and coughing and pissing into a cup.

Wouldn’t it have been easier to take me home?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

One Year And Five Months---#2

More pictures...

One Year And Five Months

Can you believe the condition of the wood after one year and five months?

The Cake, Revisited

As luck would have it, I saw Patty Cake last Thursday at a social function.

She was resplendent in fuchsia and looked like she had never been pregnant. The baby weight had just melted away.

Naturally I asked her about life is in South Shore.

If I understood her correctly---after all it was a social function and I was drinking---she had taken a few of my earlier suggestions.

For starters, she put on the dog (translation: Got dressed up) took herself and her baby up to her condo development’s management company. Like a miracle from above, half finished projects at her development were fast tracked and completed.

Now I’m sure the other complaining owners were also a motivating factor, but I find it somewhat coincidental that after she did exactly what I told her to do things started shaping up.

I told her she’s using her whiteness for good. Why have power if you’re not going to use it responsibly?

She also stated that she’s been strolling about with her man.

Good work ‘Cake, it’s important to be seen with your man. That way people know that you belong to someone.

While this fact may not prevent anything from happening to her, at least if she goes missing or something happens, her presence---or lack thereof---will be missed.

Plus some guys tend to leave you alone when they know you have a man in your life.

I know it’s sad that in this day and age a woman’s firm “no” isn’t enough to ward off the unwanted attentions of a masher. But as I’ve stated before, I deal in reality.

Interestingly enough Patty Cake also happened to mention that there was a great deal of shootings that have occured since the weather warmed up.

Ironically my friend Rita, South Shore go to girl extraordinaire, also counseled against falling asleep on the south bound 6 bus this summer.

Apparently winding up at the final stop of the 6---South Shore’s Rainbow Beach---and having to walk home may not be in anyone’s best interest right now.

Seeing that I’ve fallen asleep and have had to walk home from Rainbow Beach three times in the past two years I tend to listen to sage advice.

So with all of the shenanigans going on around the neighborhood, Patty was somewhat dismayed by the lack of immediate police response.

At least that was her perception.

Now it also may be just another huge coincidence, but after she started calling 911 response times dropped.

Go figure?

What can a sister such as myself say to that type of effectiveness?

At this rate the ‘Cake may have this whole Afghan, Iraq & Israeli/Palestinian thing figured out by the year’s end.