Monday, February 22, 2010

Follow Me

The blog has moved.

I Hate My Developer is now live on ChicagoNow.

Come on over and continue reading about my little patch of Woodlawn.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Moving Day

Yes, it's really happening.

This humble concern will soon have a new home at ChicagoNow, a Chicago Tribune media property.

Lift your jaws up off the ground.

You'll still get the same cracker jack observations, sleuthing and general rabble rousing that you've always loved, but you'll be surrounded by just a few more people.

And when I say few more I mean a lot more.

The business of moving the blog is underway. Once a few more things are in place, I expect I Hate My Developer 2.0 to go live sometime next week.

Strap yourselves in kids, this is gonna get interesting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


There's some unfinished business beneath the snow on the ground.

Unfinished business in the form of liquor bottles, paper and other random foolishness that people tend to dump on the parkway.

The person in charge of maintenance at Mt. Carmel has yet to respond to my latest e-mail from nearly two months ago.

Of course one might make the excuse that the snow would hinder an effective cleanup.

Yet had the trash issue been addressed in a timely manner, there would be no need for the conversation.

So I'll write another e-mail.

I won't be shocked if it's blown off---again.

Futility really does have a name---and a location.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


No I don't know when the Bloggie winners are going to be announced.

I also don't know if anyone will get a head's up prior to the awards ceremony at South by Southwest in Austin (SXSW).

I don't want to stalk Nikolai (the creator of "The Bloggies") since he actually lives in Chicago. Me peppering him with questions won't change the vote totals.

I'd like to give a huge thank you to all of you who took the time to vote for my humble little concern.

If you must know, the suspense is killing me as well.

Monday, February 15, 2010

For Sale

Here's the question of the day:

Do you think it's possible to purchase an investment property and give a shit about the neighborhood where it resides?

I'm confident that this property will be snapped up by some suburban investor who will soon renovate the building and rent it out.

If past behaviors are anything to go on, the units won't be market rate.

That may or may not be a good thing.

The building next door to this one was beautifully renovated the renters are seemingly good neighbors.

The scuttlebutt is that some if not all of the units are subsidized.

In the scheme of things, who gives a fig if the units are subsidized as long as your neighbors are decent people.

Some would say that building is an anomaly.

Perhaps the owners or property managers exercised proper tenant screening.

Whatever the case may be I will tell you this.

I'm tired of the fortunes of this neighborhood being tied to the whims and wishes of other people.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thing 1

The good news is I still have hair on my head.

The bad news is that on occasion I'm a dead ringer for Thing One from "Cat in the Hat."

I knew this transition was going to be extremely challenging.

Winter is the best time to start matters of this nature since you can easily explain away the constant presence of a hat.

Truthfully, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want my hair back.

She always looked good and allowed me to indulge my love of hot rollers and Aqua Net.

Yet you have to hold true. You have to hold fast.

Moreover I simply can't afford to spend the money.

So now I'm over a month in.

And while my hair is not looking as good as it should, it is starting to respond to my no chemical strategy.

Now that's not to say that a relaxer isn't in my future.

But putting a relaxer in hair that hasn't seen a good one in a while is like bringing a cheap umbrella to a monsoon.

Both are ineffective and won't produce the desired results.

My initial thoughts were to ease my hair back into actual styling. Hence my purchase of an electric pressing comb.

Because my hair is still fairly fragile I try to keep the heat (pressing comb, curling irons) to a minimum.

Let's face it folks, I need to be seen out in public at some point.

I prefer it not to be looking like a cartoon character.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


An exciting change is on the horizon for I Hate My Developer. Stay tuned for the big announcement in the next few days!

Really, Senator Durbin?

The back and forth continues:

Dear Woody:

Thank you for sharing your personal struggle to modify your mortgage through your bank. Too many families across the country are having a tough time staying in their homes, and our nation's banks are not doing nearly enough to help.

I am fighting to help Americans stay in their homes, but the banks are not meeting us in the middle. Congress supported the emergency aid package for banks, in part to revive the nation's credit markets. Yet lending and mortgage modification remain at record low levels.

The United States is working its way through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The mortgage crisis has placed millions of families at risk of foreclosure. Currently, 1 in 8 mortgages is in foreclosure, and more families face foreclosure as existing loans reset their interest rates.

The Obama Administration has taken some steps to encourage loan modifications, but the very banks that caused the financial crisis in the first place have been very resistant to implementing the loan modifications families need. The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP) have created incentives for banks to negotiate with individual homeowners, but many banks have dragged their feet.

I have cosponsored S. 1731, the Preserving Homes and Communities Act of 2009, introduced by Senator Reed of Rhode Island. This bill would provide targeted relief to qualified homeowners through loan modification and mortgage assistance programs. It also incentivizes states and local governments to create strong mediation programs so more families can stay in their homes. Loan modifications not only help families, they also stabilize communities protect them from greater financial losses.

Historically, home ownership has been a pillar of our economy and an integral part of the American dream. I introduced the Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act (S. 61), which would have allowed bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of mortgage loans on a principal residence for homeowners who meet strict income and expense criteria. This step is already allowed for mortgages on vacation homes and family farms and could have helped 600,000 families keep their homes. Unfortunately, because of strenuous opposition from the banking lobby and its allies in the Senate, my amendment was not successful.

Your voice is a valuable part of this discussion. I will continue to keep your family's situation in mind as Congress responds to the economic challenges facing American families.

Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Talk about stating the obvious.

While it's admirable that Senator Durbin introduced legislation to help people save their homes, his response did not answer my initial questions.

Why wasn't the HAMP legislation written to consider unemployment?

I said it before and I'll say it again---HAMP legislation was poorly written. It merely serve as a smoke screen by the government to appear as if they're helping the public.

You're screwed if you're laid off AND you have equity in your home.

Just give me a coke and a smile and tell me to shut the eff up.

That would be more effective than pretending to help.

Was it wrong of me to expect more of Senator Durbin than robotic responses?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


A few weeks ago I had the privilege to sit in on Judge William Pileggi's court call.

My developer, Carlton Knight, was back in court about the Marquette building.

It's been over two years since the city filed a lawsuit in an attempt to compel Mr. Knight to bring the back porch into code compliance.

Two years of continuances. Two years of not bringing the porch into compliance.

With that in mind, I left the south side and went to see Mr. Knight's latest court appearance about this matter.

Sadly, his case was moved up in the call and I missed his appearance.

As a bonus, I did get to see him outside of the courtroom.

And no I did not hiss at him as I passed by.

I seized the opportunity to see the wheels of justice in motion and stayed for the rest of court.

To see people who are overwhelmed with trying to do right by their homes and their communities is a humbling event.

I have a Ph.D from the school of hard knocks with a minor in getting my ass kicked.

But it was also gratifying to see the judge give irresponsible home owners and landlords the business.

Honestly speaking, that comprised only a few of the cases but it was still fascinating to witness.

Judge Pileggi genuinely and honestly seemed to fairly balance the needs and resources of the home owner, the codes and laws of the city of Chicago and the safety of the community.

In short, he seems like a stand up guy.

Which makes me wonder if his good nature is being taken advantage of.

Friday, February 05, 2010


Everything old is new again.

Thank you Mr. Ellis for reacquainting me with this wonderful piece of Americana.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Temper, Temper

Did I not tell you that hurt feelings run deep over here?

Those letter's are something else, no?

But in the Teacher's defense, I know why she's got an ax to grind with me.

And in the past I have been guilty of leaving items in hallway.

For a long time.

And when I say a long time I mean over three days. Yes, I know that's beyond the boundaries of good neighborhsip.

I've since reformed my ways but if I'm schlepping things up and down three flights of stairs, I just make sure they're not in the way or left out for over 24 hours.

While we're telling truths, I also understand why she's upset with out current president after being given a hard time about frequency of meetings and asociation business transparency.

You see my friends, when your just an owner, it's really easy to bitch about things that aren't being done; it's much more difficult to assume the mantle of leadership and try to bring about that change.

I know, I've done it.

With two jobs and an active social life, might I add.

So I know how challenging it can be keeping the ship on the tried and true.

But now this shit is officially gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.

To address her crazy rants point by point, line by line would be exhausing.

And I'm not even going to get into the things I find annoying about her little domestic situation.

I might be unemployed but I have better things to do.

Not only can you all read, but you can read between the lines. You know crazy when you see (or read) crazy.

I'm not going to insult your intelligence.

But I will submit the following photograph for your inspection:

Clearly these "cheap, fake" tucked away boots by my front door are causing a tripping hazzard to person and property.

And to be super extra neighborly, I just picked up a can of Odor Eaters Foot and Sneaker Spray Powder to deal with any stinkiness.

'Cause let's face it---sometimes you don't smell your own shit.

But I do know poor conflict resolution skills.