Wednesday, January 30, 2008


If Senator Obama needs to further distance himself from Tony Rezko by giving away more money, I’m all in.

An unemployed sister could use a couple of bucks as my funds are about down to zero.

It’s expensive keeping up the house AND drying cleaning bills for interview suits.

I’ll make it for February but March is gonna be interesting.

I might get a temporary reprieve if I get a huge tax refund. It might be nice if my former employer would get off their ass and send my W-2 & 1099.

When I went to the opera on Monday I was yelled at by P.E.T.A. protesters.

I know---you’re thinking opera & fur can’t necessarily equal bleak poverty.

But let me explain, prior to my layoff I split a partial subscription with my “opera buddy.”

The resale market for opera tickets is slight but not non-existent. But if Monday night was any indication, the fierce haggling at prices way below face value was not a good sign.

I’d rather donate the tickets back and take the tax write off.

Either way I really don’t get the money that I need.


I was running late and dashing across the intersection of Madison & Wacker in my mother’s vintage mink collared wool coat.

It’s an absolutely stunning piece that makes me look a little smaller than Brian Urlacher.

But when the winter wind is howling in Chicago and your taking the CTA , looks go out the window.

I rounded the corner smack dab into a bunch of shabby, malnourished looking children giving me the stares of death.

When I realized they were from P.E.T.A. I started to giggle.

What are the odds of someone who’s been unemployed for five months and who’s 26 weeks of unemployment is dwindling running into P.E.T.A. protesters looking like the poster child for the idle rich?

Take the wheel Jesus.

Where dose the trash that continues to assemble against our gates come from anyway?

God I’ve picked up so much trash these past five months perhaps that should be my new occupation.

We don’t have any open trash cans anywhere near.

People can’t litter that much, can they?

Yesterday’s heat wave melted the snow and revealed so much soggy crap on the ground that all I could do is stand there and marvel.

I suppose that when the snow melts again I’ll go out and pick up the sodden crap so our little piece of paradise doesn’t look like our neighbor’s property.

Believe it or not I happen to get a few e-mails here and there from the occasional condo owning newbie with questions about their developer or neighbors.

As usual I give them the benefit of my knowledge.

But I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that a few things ring true:

1. You’re developer should have been paying monthly assessments for all unsold units from the date of the sale of the first unit. At the turnover, you should be having a war chest of cash waiting for you.

2. No matter how bootleg your developer may be, you can’t stop paying assessments because you’re upset with him or her. Trust me, in the end you’ll only be hurting yourselves. ’Cause if you don’t pay your assessments, you won’t be able to pay your association’s utility bills.

No one likes the water being turned off in the middle of their shower.

3. Get a friggin lawyer----right now. The money you spend now, will save you so much later.

4. It’s a business people. Like any other business if you don’t put some effort into it, it will fail. Your neighbors are your allies. If you don’t swim together, you’ll sink together.

I think this little article from today’s Chicago Tribune underscores that point.

This quote is particularly telling:

“Larry Hopkins was first to move onto the street, and first to see his monthly payment jump. When he learned his tax bill was the reason, Hopkins asked for more hours at his job as a school safety officer and cut spending.

But the taxes tacked hundreds of dollars on his monthly payment. His 2006 tax bill came to $5,001 for a $125,000 house, records show.

Hopkins said he made calls to local officials, his lender and Cook County offices but got the runaround. He went to his neighbors. "No one would get involved," he said. "They were afraid to speak up and didn't understand my problem because their bills weren't high. They didn't know the same thing was about to happen to them."

The people may have been in a subdivision instead of a condo building, but the basic premise still holds true.

My latest guilty pleasure is the fabulous Jen Lancaster.

Ms. Lancaster is the author of “Bitter Is The New Black” & my personal favorite “Bright Lights, Big Ass.”

I’ve started Bright Lights and was hysterically laughing within the first few pages.

I haven’t initially laughed that hard since I read Tucker Max’s blog.

When I first started reading him I couldn’t stop. He may be a complete misogynist but at least he’s a great writer.

You can’t deny talent.

You can’t deny talent in Ms. Lancaster’s case either.

She may be an unrepentant Fox News Network, Sean Hannity loving Republican but someone has to be, right?

Her book is so funny none of that seems to matter.

Besides don’t we all need a little diversity in our lives, no?


Redbone210 said...

I too have had the fortune of wearing my (inherited) fur coat and running into PETA wannabees - individuals who have decided to get on the bandwagon of the "environmentally/animal friendly" while wearing leather shoes and dared anyone to throw paint on my coat or any other ridiculous (and dangerous) notion. I’m a pretty mild person until you threaten my children, my husband …or my coat. I feel like I’m channeling some of that beaver that bravely gave up his life to save mine.

Anywhoo, I happen to be one of the condo newbies who wanted to say thank you for chronicling your adventures with your unscrupulous developer. We are at the toddler stages of organizing our condo association and are finding many similar issues. It helps to know that we are not the only ones living in the Thunderdome.

Randy Burgess said...

Out of curiosity, which law firm does your association use? The most prominent ones, Pearstein and Sugar, are price fairly high.

The Woodlawn Wonder said...


There is an upcoming post (and link) to a reputable lawyer in the works.

The North Coast said...

Many years back, I was given a very ratty, but extremely warm, coyote-fur coat by a store owner who had bought a huge lot of old furs he couldn't unload for any kind of money. I was stone broke at the time and was very needy of a cheap, warm coat.

The thing was very funky, but I loved it for its warmth and it looked great with jeans and a long scarf.

But I couldn't walk the Belmont Harbor area without sanctimonious boy-morons heckling me for wearing fur as I strolled past.

Why don't these people focus on real issues, such as the unspeakable cruelty and filth of factory farming, or unnecessary experimentation on animals? And these experiments are almost all unnecessary.

It doesn't take any brains or thought to heckle some lone woman walking down the street for her choice of clothing, or for some other innocent behavior that some a..hole decides is offensive.

Oh, yeah, your idea for raising funds for your condo is great.