You just can’t make this stuff up…
Thursday June 29th 2006, 10:50 am
Filed under: General
I miss being in southeast Ohio sometimes.Â Like when I read the Times Recorder online and I stumble across little tidbits of life that just make me go, “WHAT?!”
Take, for instance, this story.Â A 2 year old horse decides to go a little on the wacko side, and somehow ends up smashing up a police cruiser.Â I’m not sure what led to the altercation between the officer and the horse, but the law enforcement in Zanesville is just not having a good week when it comes to relations with 4-legged friends.Â It could possibly be time for some type of sensitivity training, like for instance, don’t shoot a dog in the face.
Tuesday June 20th 2006, 1:48 pm
Filed under: City Life
The apartment search is over.Â Allan and I have returned from the vast fronteir with our fresh kill clutched in our hands, proudly showing that we have conquered the wild renting market, forcing it to submit to our will.
“Pay $25 each for the rental application and credit check?”
HA!Â I’ll pay you nothing and you’ll like it.
Did they question that?Â Absolutely not.Â Have you seen Allan and I?Â We look like some sort of incredibly strong tag team duo that would no doubt revolutionize the wrestling entertainment industry if we were to ever step into the ring.Â My specialty move would somehow involve not only defeating the opponent physically, but also most likely crushing their will to live by slowly picking apart their thoughts and dreams, not unlike what I do all day to graduating high school seniors.Â Allan, on the other hand, would hold them on the edge of death, only granting them mercy if they promise to move to South Africa and teach people how to use computers.
Wandering thoughts of contentment
Monday June 19th 2006, 3:33 pm
Filed under: General
I love my amazing friends.
I love Chicago.
I love sitting outside on a Sunday evening, listening to amazing big band jazz, while munching on a generous bounty of assorted snacks.Â That feeling as the night draws on and the sun begins to fade.Â Our faces begin to blend into the darkness, but the unmistakable sound of contentment and laughter carries across our blankets.Â The change in pitch and tempo between songs seemingly fitting our conversations and our energy level perfectly.Â We enjoy making snippy comments about the well-to-do suburbanites that crowd the area, but then secretly admire the stars and perfect grass and begin to understand that there are a few benefits to moving out of the city.
I think I’ll stick it out in the city for a while longer.Â How could I pass up living near Humboldt Park, or sharing an apartment with Allan for that matter?Â We are most likely going to be living across the street from Evangeline, which will of course make for an amazing summer on our extremely slanted back porch.Â The basement ceiling is about 6 inches lower than what I would like, which means I may develop a hunchback from doing my laundry.Â My mom suggested that I get a girlfriend and have her do my laundry.Â This confirmed the fact that my mom is the smartest woman I know.
Wedding season has officially started.Â Phil and Michelle will be hitching up this weekend, with Phil’s big bash on Thursday night.Â Dave and Miriam will be the following weekend in sunny Indianapolis.Â That should be a great roadtrip that will at least include Naomi and myself.Â I’m sure we’ll pick up a few other people on the way.Â Then of course there’s a trip back to Ohio to take part in Joel and Jen’s big day, which will be outdoors and beautiful I’m sure.Â That reminds me… I need to send out a few RSVPs and find out where these couples are all registered.Â Wedding season is expensive!
To Denver and back…
This post brought to you by mountains, the best birthday care package ever, and glasses…
About a month ago, I hastily agreed to help my friend Cheryl move to Denver, CO from Cleveland, OH because 1 – I had never been to Colorado, and 2 – I’m always up for a good road trip, especially when it involves someone as special as Cheryl. Little did I know how much of an adventure it would be. The logistics all seemed to come together nicely. I would fly to Cleveland and meet up with the truck on Wednesday night, then drive to Omaha (or O-town, as Evangeline calls it) on Thursday, and finish the drive on Friday. Friday night would be unpacking, with Saturday and most of Sunday for all sorts of apartment settling and mountain-flavored fun. Sunday evening I’d fly back to Chi-town in time to catch a full night’s rest and be back at work Monday morning.
Fate, it seems, cares not for simple plans.
First of all, I managed to find myself at Midway airport with plenty of time to spare before my flight left. Too bad my flight was leaving from O’Hare. After a $70 cab ride at speeds that made me wish cabs came equiped with barf bags, I found my way to the American Airlines domestic line and immediately began to regret bringing a suitcase that would have to be checked. The large signs on the desk in front of the angry looking American Airlines employees boldly stated that all checked bags had to arrive 30 minutes before take off. Even with the 20 minute delay, there was no way my suitcase would make it past security. After giving me the kind of look I’ve only received from my mom and Miss Clark in 8th grade when I turned in an encyclopedia print out for an extra credit essay, she finally informed me that my only option was to show up and fly stand-by the next morning. What did that mean? That meant being on train by 5:30 so I could be at the airport by 6:00 and be first in line for the flight.
Thankfully I made it and touched down in Cleveland in time to meet the Napoli’s and turn the truck west. Over the course of the next two days, I logged 1400 miles and put away close to 8 gallons of water. I saw tumbleweeds and rocked out to random radio stations. I made emergency pit stops and was given a free half bottle of wine from the flirty girl at the front desk at the hotel in Des Moines. When I finally pulled into the hotel parking lot in Denver, my knees felt like they were leading a small uprising against the rest of my body, but thankfully a quick workout in the hotel gym (and 600 mg of ibuprofen) helped to ease the pain enough to move Cheryl in the next day.
Highlight of Cheryl’s apartment? It’s right across the street from…
So obviously hanging out with Cheryl was great, but I also managed to squeeze in a little Sarah Gnizak, which is a must for anyone who visits Colorado. She is one fantastic chica and there are never enough hours in the day when she is around… especially when I’m falling asleep from driving all day. The effect of the high altitude on the beer surely didn’t help that.
Oh, and somewhere in there we saw mountains. I have a couple of rolls of B&W that will be developed soon (including some sunrise shots that will hopefully turn out), but the few digital shots I have yielded few results…
So Sunday night rolls around, we say our goodbyes and I head to my flight. But what’s this? An earlier flight with stand-by? I frantically search for the gate and request a stand-by spot. There are already 20 people on the list! Drat! But what’s that I hear? A well-meaning United attendant butchering my last name on the PA system? Could it be? I find the counter, only to be crowded out by an angry father with a pushy wife and whiney kids in tow. I laugh under my breath when the United guy totally puts Mr. and Mrs. Entitlement with their Platinum membership in check by telling them that there is a line, even for people of their “status.” I find my way to a seat – Economy Plus… score! Extra leg room and a tv in the headrest. I check the anticipated arrival time and see that instead of getting in around 11:15 Chicago time, it will be more like 10:00. Mother Nature cares not for my sleep though, and managed to keep us on the ground for an hour and a half. After landing at O’Hare around 11:30, I stumbled to the train and tried as hard as I could to stay awake for the half hour ride to my stop. I honestly don’t remember half of the walk to my apartment, but I do remember the way my bed felt when I finally crashed.
My apartment was a mixed bag to return to. I was greeted at the door by a package from mi mama that had obviously been sitting out there for a couple of days. I remembered the multiple times I’ve been rudely awakened by a UPS guy with some random delivery for one of my roommates, and got riled up as I pictured my roommates walking past and ignoring the small box that was not addressed to them. I also found 4 days worth of dirty dishes on the counter, a week’s worth of garbage on the back porch, and a couple of empty fast food containers in the basement. Luckily for them, the package was my birthday gift from my mom, and what a fantastic birthday gift it was…
“What’s that beautiful picture,” you say? Only a box chocolates and a bag of roasted cashews from Tom’s Ice Cream bowl. After seeing the absolute disgrace that my roommates have let the apartment become, I needed something like this. I doubt my mom will ever understand how wonderful and needed these little treats were.
Work today was incredibly tough to get through after my serious lack of sleep this past weekend. Somehow I managed to make it to 5:00, which allowed me to make it to my optometrist in time to pick up my new glasses. It’s been like 8 or 9 years since I have worn glasses regularly, so this is completely weirding me out. My doc tells me that due to lack of Oxygen getting to the eye because of my poorly designed contacts I’ve been wearing since high school, I’ll be wearing glasses for the next couple of months.. something about blood vessels and losing vision… I’m not really sure. When I picked these frames out, I was not only without the aid of my old glasses or contacts, but I also had my pupils dialated. Going off of the way they felt and the somewhat affirming office assistant, I picked out a pair and I think I’m ok with the results… and even if they get old, it’s only a couple of months.
What do you think?
“Welcome to Chi-town, sir”
… technically I’ve been living here for 11 months, but the friendly guy at the DMV doesn’t need to know that.
I now have my official Illinois license.Â Crazy.Â My picture definitely reflects the fact that I was standing in line at 8:00 at the DMV this morning.Â At least if by any chance I do get high and get pulled over I’ll resemble my lovely picture on my new license.
Colorado is calling my name.Â I need to get out and drive and have fun and spend time with Cheryl and Sarah and be a kid and wear shorts and sandals and take pictures…
I may not come back.Â I guess I’d have to change the name of my blog.Â Small price to pay.
Why I’m a Slacker
Thursday June 01st 2006, 11:43 am
Filed under: General
Oh Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and your Driver’s Services branch, why do you taunt me?!
Ok, yes, I should have taken care of this months ago.Â The state of IL says that you have 90 days after moving here to obtain an Illinois license (I’m now a few days over 90…), but leave it to me to wait until 2 days before my Ohio license expires to finally do something about it.
So I call the Secretary of State’s office and work my way through the phone tree to the Driver’s Services branch, where I realize that I have not been in an accident or had my license revoked (which are the only choices), so I have to wait patiently for an operator to direct my call.Â Waiting patiently turned into a half hour of the absolute worst hold music ever.Â It would have been more pleasant to listen to Jake babble on about the evils of meat and the importance of a finely groomed mustache while being sucked dry by Minnesota’s West Nile-infested mosquito population.
I finally get connected to a very soothing state employee who kindly tells me that my current out-of-state license does not count as a verification of date of birth.Â I’m not a license-issuing expert, but usually the date of birth on a legitimate out-of-state license is pretty accurate.Â I know I look like the shady type that carries around a false ID, but it wouldn’t be that hard to call the state of OH and confirm that my license really is valid.Â What really gets me is that if you have a current IL license, that can count as your date of birth verification to get a new IL license.Â We’re not talking about getting your license renewed, which you can apparently do over the phone in IL, we’re talking a whole new license.Â What’s the Illinois?Â You think you’re better than other states?!Â Yeah, well the Indians beat the Sox AND the Reds beat the Cubs last night, so who is better than who now?
The lovely state employee on the phone was pretty confused when I started ranting about Illinois elitism being defeated by sports dominance, but she still held to her claim that an out-of-state ID would not work.
So she asks, “Do you have a passport?”
Great, not only do I feel pretty bad about my lack of travel, but now I have a state employee rubbing it in that I don’t have a passport.Â Well, if you don’t like spaghetti and meatballs, why don’t you just get the heck out?
So she asks, “Do you have a military ID?”
Oh, so now it’s going to get political.Â No I don’t have a military ID.Â I do have my official AmeriCorps ID issued to me by the VISTA coordinator in the state of Pennsylvania.Â My picture was taken in a hotel lobby in front of a gold curtain by an i-Zone Polaroid camera.Â They even let me laminate it myself.Â Does that count as official enough?Â No?Â Well I gave a couple of years for my country too, dang it.Â Just because I did it without the aid of a rifle while living in poverty doesn’t diminish my sacrifice for this country!
“Do you have an official high school transcript in a sealed envelope? ”
Well, I actually have about 8,000 of them sitting on my desk.Â I wonder how closely they actually look at those things though, because I’m SURE I could find a transcript for some kid born on June 3rd.Â No?Â It has to be my own transcript?Â Well, you got me there I guess.
So it looks like I’ll be waiting for my mom to ship my birth certificate to me.Â I have a strange feeling that it won’t make it up here by 3:00 pm tomorrow afternoon, which means I may be without a valid driver’s license until Monday or Tuesday next week.
Apparently part of the new license issuing procedure is an eye test, which does make me a little nervous.Â I’ve been putting off making a trip to the optometrist for way too long, and my last pair of contacts are still the prescription from… well, it’s been a while.Â I even have freaking vision insurance, but I’m somehow inept in making time for the dang visit.Â I’m still flirting with the idea of getting a pair of funky glasses, but finding a pair that will match my rather large head is a barrier I have not managed to cross.
Motivation in general is just not there.Â I need Colorado to get here QUICK.