Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Development Update?

The old fence has been removed from the front of the building and looking through the window, any passerby on the street can see a visible ceiling fan box.

This begs a couple of questions:

Is the building going condo or not?

Whatever it's fate, when will the construction be completed?

When, for the love of God, is the landscaping portion of the rennovation gonna happen? Overgrown grass and weeds are NOT attractive.

And last but not least...

They must have great security to leave a pricey looking ceiling fan box visible in the window. Normally that serves as a red flag to theives who prey on construction sites.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Here Comes The Judge

You may be a little shocked to discover this but there is more than one questionable real estate developer in the city of Chicago.

I know---who'd thunk it, right?

And because the great city of Chicago is so vast, it’s been my experience that if you want something done you’re gonna have to get off your can and let the appropriate people know.

Appropriate people = government officials = the City of Chicago & the State of Illinois.

But as most of you know, that’s easier said than done.

Nonetheless, if you’re like me, you’ll tilt at windmills until you finally find the correct parties.

You know---the people who will listen to you AND do something about your plight.

That’s the route my concerns about Mr. Knight’s real estate development took to the Corporation Counsel’s Department.

That the nice way of saying the city’s law department.

It took a long time to find someone who would listen.

And when I found someone who would listen they’d get transferred to a different division or promoted.

Then I’d have to start over again with a new person.

Then the dance would begin again.

I would have to explain my issue with our development. Why it’s pointless to sue Mr. Knight despite overwhelming evidence that the “renovations” weren’t up to code.

But eventually, someone from the city did listen---and care.

They took up the banner in light of some egregious and flagrant revelations about Mr. Knight’s development practices. While it might be too late for our association (unless we find his money), perhaps someone else can be spared the same drama.

Successfully navigating the infrastructure that is the City of Chicago is a full time job in and of itself.

Getting someone to care and act is something I truthfully didn’t anticipate happening.

But it did.

So if the city feels that they have merit to drag Mr. Knight into court, why does one judge in particular feel the need to keep on giving him break after break?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shooting? What Shooting?

This foolishness has now crossed over into just plain stupidity.

At least the police were able to apprehend the suspects (finally).

I wonder if they happened to be in the right place at the right time and were able to give chase or if someone from the neighborhood gave a piece of vital information?

...And it ain't even warm yet.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Want To Know Why They're So Much Better Than You?

A small aside to athletic opponents of Mt. Carmel High School.

You want to know why they're always so good in so many sports? It's because they're up practicing when everyone else is in bed.

When I have to work early and leave the house before 6:00 AM, I notice that the lights in the new field house are on and there are people inside engaging in physical activity.

Or at least that's what I think is going on.

All while I can barely keep my eyes open schlepping to the train.

That my friends, is some crazy stuff.

That my friends, is dedication.

So the next time your team is getting ground in the dust by the Caravan, you'll know the reason why.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Disappeared

I knew the minute I patted myself of the back about making progress, something catastrophic would happen.

This time was no exception.

Wednesday was a bloody and brutal day at the place where I work.

95% percent of my department as well as 9 other people from our location were laid off in a precise and efficient manner.

That’s if you’re looking at it from a corporate perspective.

If you choose to take the human view of things, you may have a different opinion.

Instead of retelling Wednesday’s bloodletting, I’ll tell you how my previous employer went about the process in the summer of 2007.

My whole group was notified 60 days out that our department was being eliminated and that we had that time to post internally.

Everyone and their mother knew that unless you had the in” with peeps from another department, you weren’t going anywhere.

But at least we had 60 days to wrap our head around what was going to happen, make financial arrangements, dust of the resume, clean out our desk and say our goodbyes to our work friends.

In short we had closure.

Now I know with people and things being what they are these days, you have to look out for #1.

No entity embodies this philosophy better than corporate America.

You don’t know if someone is going to screw with your internal systems or if they’re going to walk in with a gun and shoot the place up.

The world is a scary place.

That being said, it’s difficult enough to try to figure out your next move when you have 60 days notice. Imagine being called from your desk one minute and the next you’re being handed your severance package---if you’re lucky.

That might just screw with your head.

The flip side of the coin is that you’re good enough to secure employment and trusted enough to be granted access to a secure office in a secure building; it’s ironic in a manner of a half an hour you have someone looking over your shoulder watching you clean out your desk.

That’s some cold shit.

But you’re probably wondering, what does this mean for Woody?

That, my friends, has yet to be determined.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The back property taxes have been paid and my special assessment is now a distant memory.

Getting rid of debt is painfully slow but things are getting better.

A toast to progress.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Cock Starz

Exotic revues abound in Woodlawn but common sense seems to be in short supply.

It makes one ponder if the social service organization that owns the building knows about this foolishness?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Barter System

The paint job in my condo looks like a bag of ass.

Then of course it started looking like a bag of ass about the first anniversary of my move in date.

As I'm sure you can imagaine, a lot of high quality finishes went into our conversion. The paint job was no exception.

(Tounge placed firmly in cheek)

And while I like the colors I choose, I long for something new and exciting.

Becuase if you have a smudge on your wall it might be nice to wash it off without taking a large portion of the paint with it in the process.

So I want to paint my place but there are two glaring issues.

1. I'm not the best painter. I tried to paint my kitchen years ago and the efforts didn't exactly turn out House Beautiful worthy.

2. Money ain't exactly flowing around here so paying someone isn't in the game plan.

So I have a proposition---let's barter.

If you need a containter garden put down and can paint---high quality, I might add---then I think we might be able to help each other.

You'll advise me on materials, I'll advise you on materials.

You'll shop with me, I'll shop with you.

You'll paint and help me learn the skill, I'll plant and you'll get the hang of it in no time.

And when I say "help me learn the skill" and "you'll get the hang of it in no time" what I really mean is I'll plant and you'll paint and neither of will really want to learn the opposite skill.

'Cause if you really wanted to plant and I really wanted to paint, we would of learned how to do it by now, right?

But it's nice to aspire.

So if you're game, I'm game.

I'm not a master gardener but I have had some luck putting down well received container gardens for myself and others.

Because in today's economic reality, knowledge and know how may very well be better than money.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Farmer In The 'Hood

Guess who applied for a vegetable garden plot in the Jackson Park Urban Farm?

It's like a modern day Green Acres---I don't have to say goodbye to city life in order to scratch my country mouse itch.

If I get it, be prepared for rants against all forms of small animals---squirrels, possums, raccoons, rats---you name an animal and I'm sure I will have sworn a blood vengeance against it by the end of the summer.

Now to find a floppy straw hat.