Wednesday, January 31, 2007


As fate would have it, I happen to be a Chicago Bears season ticket holder.

Albeit one who isn’t going to the festivities in Miami this weekend.

Everyone says that the weather isn’t very good in the sunshine state right now but I’m betting dollars to donuts that it’s better than waking up in 2 degree conditions.

Nonetheless I found myself in a peculiar situation two weeks ago on the eve of the NFC championship game.

I had tickets to a game I didn’t want to attend.

For the most part, I’m a robust type of woman I’m not a fainting flower or nervous Nellie. But like most people I do have an Achilles heel:

My horrific sinuses.

I went to Bears’ games last season, would nap after the game and wake up with my eyes swollen shut.

I looked like someone punched me in the face without the bruising.

I already knew for this year what lay ahead and didn’t want to do that dance again.

I proactively sold or gave away my cold weather tickets. And before you ask, yes that meant the Packer game.

So imagine my surprise that on the eve of the NFC championship game that I still had a pair of seats burning a hole in my hands for one of the hottest games in town.

Now I happen to be a season ticket holder with a healthy dose of suspicion. I won’t just sell my tickets to anyone. If for some reason those tickets were re-sold, then scalped and the person doing so was caught; the shit would roll down hill directly to my doorstep.

As the season ticket holder of record, any wrong doing---any at all---is my responsibility. I’m the one the McCaskey’s will have the come to Jesus meeting with.

That also means that if you sit in my seats and act like a brain dead asshole and get the heave ho from security, my phone will be ringing on Monday morning as well.

So as the game approached I was in a bit of a quandary. What to do with this valuable commodity?

While running around like a mad woman one day, I heard that people were trying to barter goods and services in exchange for tickets to the game.

I took a look on Craigslist to see what I could find.

Mortgage brokering services and Botox didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t need a friend to buy me beer---I have enough enablers, thank you---and I don’t know how to play golf.

But I rarely get to go out on the lake in the summertime.

Unfortunately in my diverse circle of friends and acquaintances there are very few boat owners.

A nice man named Bruce wanted to go see the game and expressed that wish in his barter ad. I like to go out on the Lake Michigan and had tickets. It seemed as if we were destined to meet.

I rang him up and asked if he had tickets to the game yet. He said, “no” and we started a conversation.

Fast forward about 24 hours later and Bruce was the proud recipient of my seats and I was the proud recipient of a two hour charter for me and roughly 35-40 of my friends.

We even took pictures to commemorate the momentous occasion.

When you see the Red Witch out in late August that just might be me--Ahoy you land lubbing squabs! Prepare to be boarded!

Some things are just better than money.

I’ll be the one in the eye patch and the peg leg.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Dinner With Carlton

I knew I had to look and act like an adult.

After all I don’t go to aldermanic fundraisers everyday.

In the scheme of things, an aldermanic fundraiser is not on par with the Spielberg, Geffen & Katzenberg dust up they’re having out west for Senator Obama.

Nonetheless you do have to actually put your money where your mouth is and support the candidates that you actually respect.

Few politicians pass that litmus test. Fortunately for me my alderman does.

No I don’t have a case of idol worship but I do think she’s aces.

So off I tripped to her campaign kick off at the Seven Ten Lanes in Hyde Park.

There were few people that I knew but hell I’ll go anywhere but a white separatist’s meeting. Not knowing people in a crowd doesn’t really faze me.

My alderman was working the crowd and giving everyone the glad hand.

I actually started putting faces with names, generally behaving and chewing with my mouth shut.

You know---grown up stuff.

When I finally got a chance to steal a moment with my alderman to thank her for a job well done, that’s when I saw him.

I guess the fresh flowers dying should have been a sign.

There he was in the flesh, the title character of I Hate My Developer---Carlton Knight.

I continued my conversation with my alderman---slyly throwing in a “Why didn’t you tell me that he was here?”---during a pause in the conversation.

“Now Woody calm down.”

“Why does that man have the nerve to show his face here?’

I went to the bar to go get another drink.

A big drink.

I later found out that he is a regular on the black aldermanic fundraising circuit. Naturally everyone has to play nicey and not make waves in public. From some thinly veiled conversations with those in the know, he’s about as welcome as a case of the clap.

Then of course they could be feeding me a big load of bullshit as everyone knows my feelings for the man.

Hell it’s in the title of this blog.

I went for another drink.

Hopefully he’s still persona non grata in my ward and won’t be “developing property” anytime soon. Now for the rest of Chicago---Lord help them.

No words were exchanged between us. No glares. Glasses remained intact and knives were not thrown.

I was a perfect lady who was cussing under her breath.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Set, Match...

It took almost two years but it is finally over.

The third party judgment against the association has been vacated by the city. We are now officially not holding the bag for Carlton Knight’s responsibilities.

Well at least for this one.

Like Babe Ruth Mr. Money Bags came through and delivered on his called shot---the issue was indeed cleared up before Christmas. Specifically December 21st.

Because Mr. Money Bags is all that and a bag of chips, a handwritten thank you note was promptly put in the post.

‘Cause I’m a classy broad like that.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

I know I'm almost 40.

I know I shouldn't be shamelessly manipulated by the pop music machine.

But this song is still awesome.

I just can't help but to bop around to the funky beat.

I just loves me some Darkchild.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Why did I run into my developer at my alderman’s kick off campaign shindig last Thursday?

Holy crap!

More later.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


If I were a guy right now, I’d have a perpetual hard on.

This aldermanic corruption shit is just sensory overload for us local political junkies.

Federal charges based on a piece of property in another ward, questionable & defensive behavior by the sitting alderman, a fiery rebuttal press conference, a turncoat operative with felonies in his past, disgruntled constituents and now questionable loans at one of our city’s oldest and most respected banks?

This place is rife with corruption. Can’t you just smell it in the air?

But you must admit, Alderman Troutman has a friggin set of brass ones. To quote Jay-Z, "Ladies is pimps too."

Hell I just might pop a boner after all.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Signed, Sealed...

The city sent me a duplicate paper form to gather additional information about the taxicab incident from a week and a half ago.

Naturally I attached my blog post in all of it's unfettered glory.

I did note an appology for some of the salty language. Not everyone curses in print.

Hopefully I'll hear something back soon from Consumer Services.

A Statement Of Fact

If the information I received from the City of Chicago is correct, the 1512-1514 East Marquette Condominium Development is located in the 20th Ward.

...Just in case you had any questions about stuff like that.

Monday, January 08, 2007

This Just In

Huge breaking news!

20th ward alderman Arenda Troutman was arrested earlier today on alleged bribery charges.

Cats and kittens, this has huge implications for Woodlawn and the emerging redevelopment of the south side as a whole.

While Alderman Troutman is not my alderman---I'm in the 5th ward---but she is the alderman for a huge chunk of the Woodlawn community. If you've read my earlier posts you know that everything that happens in Chicago's 50 wards is largely controlled by the alderman.

Any official business on her plate is obviously on hold.

...And scant weeks before the election. Wow whee!

When the feds are involved that ain't a good sign.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Shock & Awe

I can't believe the city is prosecuting a developer. Read more about it here.

I also can't believe I didn't know about this when it happened. I must be losing my touch.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Crabby Cabbie

Living on the south side of Chicago is a daily test of your patience and will.

My fellow Chicagoans often give those of us who live south of Madison Street the back of their hand when it comes to common courtesy and respect.

Not being a native Chicagoan, I was often bewildered at the whole south side north side animosity/rivalry thing.

Let’s suffice it to say that after living on the south side for five years I totally get it---the mystery is gone.

One of the daily injustices that south siders face is the taxicab situation.

On the one hand you have to be organized and time conscious to get to where you’re going via public transportation. Knowing that you either have to catch a bus or a train for work or for play makes you budget your time efficiently.

On the other hand, it sucks when you have to attend a formal event and wait over an hours for a cab---if you’re lucky.

We have a little law here in Chicago that states that the cab companies must have dedicated “neighborhood cabs” that service every neighborhood in the city.

That’s a nice way of saying, “Service the south side, you bootleg motherfuckers.”

But what the law (or ordinance) says and what actually happens are two different things.

I fully know that if I call one of the big cab companies that I won’t ever see a cab. They can put the call out all they want but if no one responds, what can the dispatcher do?

Or so I’ve been told.

So in order to save my sanity, I don’t rely upon the large cab companies to come and get me but if I’m on the north side---I do rely upon them to ferry me home.

95% of the time I have no problem. But that 5% can be a problem.

So began my (early) Saturday morning.

I hailed and got into a cab at approximately 12:30 AM on Saturday morning (12/30) only to be told by the driver that he was “off duty” after I gave him my destination address.

I was in no mood to put up with some cab driver’s bullshit
He told me that since he was “off duty” that I should get out and find another cab.

Ding, ding---game on.

I was pissed.

Pissed with a capital “P.”

I stated that I hailed him, he picked me up and wasn’t off duty until I revealed my destination address. I further added that I wasn’t going to take another cab.

“You need to take another cab.”

“Are you refusing to take me to my destination?”

It went on like this for a few minutes.

The cabbie (Mr. Mohanadinoner, if I copied his name down correctly) then stated that he was going to call the police if I didn’t get out of the cab.

I told him I’d beat him to the punch and already had 911 dialed on my cell phone.

The cops arrived a few minutes later.

Unfortunately they were of little assistance.

The officers essentially refused to enforce the City of Chicago rules that state the following:

When you hail a cab, drivers cannot refuse service unless the "Not for Hire" sign is displayed
Cabs licensed within the City of Chicago may take you anywhere in the city or to the suburbs

After a boatload of hard looks and my explanation of the situation, one of the officers strongly suggested that I copy down the cab driver’s information and take another cab.

From the looks he was giving me, I knew this was a fight I wasn’t going to win. I took the necessary information and got out of the cab.

Thanks a lot Officer Friendly.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the officer’s badge number so I could file a complaint against his handling of the situation. But let me share something with you ladies and gentlemen, if you start some shit with the Chicago Police Department, you better be ready for a very unfriendly and extremely personal fight.

I don’t suggest it unless it’s a circumstance in the most extreme.

And even then you better have multiple copies of corroborating evidence and credible eyewitnesses backing your story.

It wouldn’t hurt to be the spouse or immediate family member of an officer just as an extra level of protection.

This is Chicago, if you start a fight be better damn well be able to finish it.

Even if I had his badge number, I’m not gonna start a pissing match over some bootleg cab driver.

I did on the other hand fill out the city’s online complaint form lodging an official complaint against the driver and my treatment.

I will not be treated “less than” because you perceive my worth or the worth of my neighborhood to not be up to your standards.

Fuck you.

I don’t care he thought the neighborhood was unsafe or that my fare would take him too far away from other potential fares in a mainstream entertainment district.

Hell, I don’t care if he doesn’t like black people.

That wasn’t his call.

When his service light was on and I got into his cab, all of that hoo-ha flew out the window.

Let’s see if I can acquaint the cabbie with the power of one.

I’ll keep the blog updated as developments occur.