Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Dream Destroyed - Part I

A Dream Destroyed - Part I
Originally uploaded by Michael_L
Today we cleaned out the garage. A chore I had not been looking forward to but one that I knew needed to be completed. Our garage was suddenly turning into an overwhelming cave of "things" heaped one on top of the other.

We didn't so much clean as we just pulled all the shit out and organized it so it doesn't look like a fucking rats nest of stuff thrown here and here.

As we were clearing things out I spied this huge space hog at the bottom of the heap. What is that in there?

Are those Beanie Babies?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Who owns whom?

I won't say I'm a cat person....I won't say I'm a dog person.....I won't say I'm a kid person.

But the one thing that all these have in common is that I do like them, for short periods of time, and I enjoy them even more when I'm standing at my front door waving good bye.

Now don't get me wrong, growing up on a farm we always had pets. We had a dogthat lived in the house with us, his name was Hair and a few dogs that didn't, one was named Mutch and one was named Red (it was a Redbone - how original). We had cats, they never lived in the house but they would come and go. My favorite kitty was Motor (again how original), boy could that cat purr!

I never owned gerbils or ferrets or mice or snakes, although we did have chickens, pigs and cows. My sister always made the mistake of treating the cows like pets and then when we slaughtered them she would suddenly become a vegetarian until she really wanted a steak!

As an adult, I used to own two Cats. When I lived in Columbus, OH (eons ago) we were at the Kroger where a man was sitting in front of the store with a box of kittens. My then boyfriend looked at the kittens and then looked at me and then back at the kittens. Needless to say, we walked out of the Jewel with a bag of kitty litter and a helion we named Alex.

That cat was posessed by the Devil I tell you. He was about 8 weeks old, freshly weaned, when we got him and he was so tiny and cute, just a bundle of fur......with CLAWS! I would pet him and he would sink his teeth into the flesh of my hand between my thumb and fingers! About a year later we decided that Alex needed a playmate so we went to the Shelter to find a friend for him.

We happened upon a grey tiger kitty that had just been dropped off that morning, when I picked her up to say hello she promptly batted me across the face with her paw - we named her Zsa Zsa Gabor!

Alex & Zsa Zsa lived the high life, laying on counters, hiding behind things and jumping out at you, chasing each other around the house. They even moved with me to Atlanta and enjoyed drinking Sweet Tea and never seeing snow again. But room-mate got hooked on Crystal Meth and moved out of the apartment leaving me stuck with finding a new roommate. I had a good friend that was looking for a place to live, but was allergic to kitties, it was a sad day but I decided that roommates that pay rent supersede kitties.

Now don't think I'm cruel and heartless, I'm not. We found them a beautiful place to live in the country on a farm. Literally a farm, not "The Farm" The last I heard they were still frolicking around enjoying living the outdoor life chasing birds, squirrels and mice.

I haven't owned pets since then......that is until I moved in with the current Roommate. He has a dog a Shiba Inu who is the biggest princess in the world. The Roommate has had him since a puppy and wow is that dog loyal to him. This dog and I share an apartment but that's about it. If you ever see the interaction between the two of us, it's like we don't even exist in each other's world.

When we come home from work, I'll walk in the door first and shout out for the dog "I'm home" at which point he comes running up to me.....and then goes right past find The Roommate. If The Roommate isn't with me then The Dog will just look at me and then go back to whichever couch he was sitting on before I interrupted him. Another example is walks - I'll take him for walks, but he doesn't like me to talk him for walks. When he and The Roommate walk out of the house he barks up and down and runs to the end of the yard to scare off any would be predators that might be lurking around the corner. When I do the same thing he meanders out the door, snifs some flowers, eats some grass and then looks at me and says "Come on let's get this over with."

Persnickity dog, he's just like a Cat!

Oh yeah, the real reason for the post. Have you ever been to Cats In Sinks? It's hilarious, you really should check it out.

So what kind of pets do you have?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've been Tagged

And not tag teamed like the way it should be!

Canadian Swiss that devlish little creature tagged me with a fact I can't remember the last time I actually did a meme.

So here goes:

6 Weird things I do while getting ready to sleep or while sleeping:

1. I must fall asleep with the television on. I typically get to watch about the first 15 minutes or so of David Letterman - hopefully up to the Top 10 list before I pass out. I put the timer on the TV and blissfully fade away into oblivion hoping that I'll wake the following morning.

2. I must sleep with a fan or some other kind of white noise maker. Only because I live within 50 feet of the El it runs 24 hours a day and makes quite a ruckus at 2:00 am when shuttling people to and fro.

3. I must be in a certain position to fall asleep. On my left side, with my right leg bended up and over so that my thigh is parallel to the bottom of the bed. If I try to lay any other way to fall asleep it just doesn't happen.

4. I have been known to answer the phone while sleeping and carry on a conversation. Albeit not a very coherent conversation but a conversation none the less. One time a friend called me and said "What was up with you last night when we talked, you were so weird?" I was sleeping was my only response.

5. Now that I'm an old man, I have to get up in the middle of the night and pee, so I always try to limit my intake of liquids in the evening so I can "hold it" until morning.

6. I have been told that I snore, but since I can't hear it, I don't believe it.

Whew...that wasn't that hard was it? Now it's my turn to make a few tags....hmmmm.....hmmmm..... let's see. Red Rover Red Rover let's call out:

- The Big Finn - because I don't think he does meme's
- Andrea - becuase she hasn't posted in forever and a day
- Ms Mac - because she's missing children and needs something to occupy her time.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm in Business

Well it's official....I'm now a professionally paid photographer. Someone bought some of my pictures!

There's been so much going on here lately that it's been difficult keeping things in perspective, but one of the things I've been working on is a side business.

Last year I was at one of Chicago's many street festivals when this girl approached me and a friend and asked if she could take our picture. She snapped and then handed us a business card directing us to a website where we could view our picture and buy it if we liked it.

Well it was such a great concept for a business that I've been working for over a year now to start one of my own....and I'm very happy to say that I DID IT!!!!!!

So now, I travel around to the festivals here in Chicago (honestly there are tons of them - just this past weekend I did 4 events and could have done two more if I had the time and or energy) in my blue shirt and throw my fancy camera in people's faces and ask if I can take their pictures.

I try to look as "official" as I can without coming out and saying that I'm actually affiliated with the event I'm photographing....but if someone asks me I come outright and tell them who I am. I have a shirt with my name on the front and "Event Photographer" on the back and I have professionally printed business cards that I hand out to everyone whom I snap a picture of.

This past weekend was Gay Pride in Chicago (as well as a host of other cities) and I had a blast running up and down the street taking pictures of people enjoying themselves at the parade.

So now that the "hard" part of getting everything up and running is out of the way, hopefully I'll have a bit more time to pay attention to this here blog.

If you'd like to check out the pictures from Chicago's Pride Parade you can find them here at:

Get Around - Chicago

Oh yeah if you're a photographer in Chicago and have a nice DSLR who enjoys going to festivals and taking pictures of people, let me know - you could be making some extra money.

Oh yeah and if you're somewhere else in the world with lots of festivals - we should talk!

I made it on Consumerist! (Again)

Folks, I can't tell you how much "tags" work in Flickr.

I was running through one of my favorite sites this afternoon when there was a post about a Computer Glitch at O'Hare Airport that caused a huge snarl.

As I was reading the article, I said "Wow that picture looks familiar" and lo and behold there at the bottom of the article was a reference to me.

I recently took this picture when we went to Atlanta to visit a friend of mine who is recovering from brain surgery.

So keep snapping pictures, posting and putting tags on them folks you'll never know where they'll end up.

Maybe if you're lucky like Ms. Mac your bed will show up somewhere?!? Hmmmmm

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Solstice

Today at 1:36pm CST (you'll need to figure out what time it is where you are) is the official start of Summer!

Whooo Hooo!!!

I hope that you have a great summer. Winter will be here before you know it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We All Scream

We All Scream
Originally uploaded by Michael_L

There's really nothing like homemade ice cream.

Have you ever had homemade ice cream?

Up until this weekend, I had thought that everyone had at least tasted homemade ice cream. When I was growing up we never had a lot, but we always had a lot - if you know what I mean. And one of those things we had a lot of was homemade ice cream. Every winter we would make homemade ice cream at least 2 or three times, and it was always a big affair with lots of people around to share it. I was asking some of my friends if they ever had homemade ice cream and I was astonished to hear that almost none of them had! How could that be?

Near where we lived growing up, were these "cliffs" near the road and in the winter they would always "ice up" and make these huge icicles, more like spears that could kill you. We would go to the cliffs with a burlap bag and harvest ice to make ice cream with. To this day, whenever we pass by there and see ice we always say "Ohhh...there's ice cream"

Now that I think about it.....We used to make ice cream a lot. There were lots of times when we used fresh whole milk to make ice cream, oh the taste.....there's nothing like it. There really isn't.

This past weekend The Roomate and I were at the Red Dot Boutique when I spied with my own little eyes an ice cream maker. It was so cute and tiny, it looked like the E-Z Bake Oven version of the one we had when I was a kid. This one even had an electric motor on it instead of a hand crank - ooohhhh fancy! I grabbed it faster than I grabbed Barbie's Dream House and threw it in the cart.

Sunday afternoon I ran to our local grocery store and picked the freshest of ingredients - cream, heavy cream, whipping cream and strawberries, all to create a most delicious potion!

It was much easier than I remember and a whole lot warmer. Since we only made ice cream in the winter all I remember as a kid was running to check and see it was done and then flying back to the house to warm up, of course with a hand crank ice cream maker we kept ourselves warm by cranking.

Within an hour I had freshly churned ice cream, and I couldn't wait for the first taste. There are only a few things that are "the best" on the first taste.

For example, beer. I like beer but it's not my first choice of drink, but sometimes the first drink of beer is just delicious. If it's hot outside, and I'm hot and the beer is ICE COLD then the first swig is the BEST drink ever you feel like you've died and gone to heaven....but only on that first swig, after that it's all downhill.

Ice Cream is the same way, but oh so much better. There is NOTHING like the first spoonful of ice cream after it's finished. It's smooth and creamy, frozen but not frozen solid. And strawberry ice cream at that!

I wish you could have sat on our back porch and had a bowl with me, I'm sure you would have enjoyed it as much as I did.

I'll let you know the next time I'm making it, so you can stop by.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Roommate

The Roommate
Originally uploaded by Michael_L
The Loopy Fruit Network strikes again......I was there a while back and now The Roomate made his internet debut.

Check him out kibbitzing with David & Raul HERE

Friday, June 15, 2007

Where are the Fucking Cicadas?

If you don't live in the Chicago area you can just press the next button to go to the next blog.

But if you do live in Chicago....have you seen and/or heard any Cicadas?

At the end of May we were inundated with stories in the Newspapers and the TV News people telling us that we were going to be overcome with the onslaught of the 17 year Cicadas. That our dogs would eat them, but live, that they would overpower any outside gatherings with their loud hummings and strummings.

But as of today - June 15, 2007 I have not seen a god damn cicada, and I'm a little miffed about it?

I mean come on people, you warned us and nothing happened, do you think I'm really going to believe you next time? I'm just so glad that I didn't invest in that banner that said "Welcome Cicadas" and that frozen Margarita machine to make Cicadagaritas.

Although someone did tell me that it has been a little crazy in the suburbs but in the city where there isn't a lot of undisturbed ground that there haven't been a lot of sightings.

Have you seen the Cicadas?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's just not the same

You know some things just aren't the same as they used to be are they?

I've finally decided that I NEED to lose weight, not a lot of weight, probably just about 20 pounds - no more than that, I'll be a skeleton for god's sake! At this same time The Roomate has decided to quit smoking.

So to celebrate our both quitting something (well I'm quitting eating as much) I walked to the Dominick's to get us some sugar free popsicles and yogurt (I never ate yogurt before but now I'm addicted to it).

While I was looking for our treats I saw that right next to it were sugar free Dreamsicles and Fudgesicles - maybe this dieting thing won't be so bad after all?

I quickly ran home because the last thing I wanted to happen was have my fudgsicles melt on the trip to show The Roommate what I had found.

He was as surprised as I was, sugar free dreamsicles - how fabulous!

I put them in the freezer for the customary 15 minute hardening time and then we dug in.

Well let's just say, Sugar Free Dreamsicles and Fudgsicles sure sound a lot better than they really are, it's just not the same without sugar.

Maybe this dieting thing is gonna be hard....oh god forbid I hope I don't have to join the gym!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Test of All Test

The Everything Test

There are many different types of tests on the internet today. Personality tests, purity tests, stereotype tests, political tests. But now, there is one test to rule them all.

Traditionally, online tests would ask certain questions about your musical tastes or clothing for a stereotype, your experiences for a purity test, or deep questions for a personality test.We're turning that upside down - all the questions affect all the results, and we've got some innovative results too! Enjoy :-)

You are more logical than emotional, more concerned about others than concerned about self, more atheist than religious, more loner than dependent, more lazy than workaholic, more rebel than traditional, more engineering mind than artistic mind, more cynical than idealist, more leader than follower, and more extroverted than introverted.

As for specific personality traits, you are outgoing (100%), adventurous (88%), slutty (71%), innovative (57%).

Old Geezer100%
Emo Kid56%
Life Experience

Your political views would best be described as Libertarian, whom you agree with around 68% of the time.
Your attitude toward life best associates you with Middle Class. You make more than 100% of those who have taken this test, and 93% more than the U.S. average.

If your life was a movie, it would be rated NC-17.
By the way, your hottness rank is 67%, hotter than 73% of other test takers.

brought to you by thatsurveysite

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Paris Hilton out of jail already?!?

I'm so confused? It's only Thursday, she's been in the clinker for 4 days now. I thought she was supposed to be there for 40 days? I guess someone must have erased that 0 there at the end.

Why oh why is this such important news that it warrants the local channels breaking into the middle of Judge Mathis and Live with Regis & Kelly? And then when the shows come back on its with that dreaded message "We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress." Well of course it's in progress you fuckers, now I'll never know if that bitch was lying when she said she had the receipt but lost it when her car was stolen, that was MUCH more important than Paris.

Why is it that Anna Nicole died, I got 14 text messages telling me that she was dead? And now that Paris is out of jail I've alredy received 3 text messages and 5 emails.

It's freakin' Paris Hilton....did you really think that she was going to spend the WHOLE time in jail?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What the World Eats

Time Magazine did this recent article showing the food that typical families around the world eat in a weeks time.

It's amazing to look at the disparity of food that people eat and the amount of money they spend on food. Of course, we Americans are shown over indulging like we do in EVERYTHING!

You can check it out HERE

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Oh're terrible!

I have been terrible haven't I?

I apologize...there has been a lot going on, but then isn't that always the excuse? But REALLY, there has been a whole lot of changes going on over the last few weeks and it's just been wearing me down.

I promise that I will do better at posting and being happy about it, but latey I've not been in that mood. Like the changing of the seasons, this too shall pass I'm sure.

So with my promise to post more, I give you Part II of the long lost adventures of a Boy on his way to Ohio to meet up with blogger friends.

Megabus - Part II

We continue our story about our Megabus Adventure aka as "how a city girl finds himself on a big charter bus driving through the outlands of the United States."

To catch the first part of the Adventure check HERE

As you recall, our heroine (that would be me) had arrived at the appointed location outside Chicago's Union Station to find The Megabus and had already scoped out the perfect seat.

When people would ask me what I was doing for the weekend I would say "I'm taking the bus to Cleveland." At first I would get a blank stare which turned into a quizzical look and then morphed into laughter. Invariably, the next question out of their mouths was - "WHY?"

Well, why not!

Andi and I had been talking about Megabus for quite sometime and I had been quite intrigued about the whole concept of a bus ride that only costs $1.00 (+ $0.50 transaction fee) and I wanted to see what it was all about.

I really wasn’t too concerned about the bus….Megabus is owned by a British company and I was going to see my British friend and the British have always treated us American’s well, so I figured I had nothing to worry about….hmmmmm……maybe they’ll serve tea and biscuits?

The thing I was more concerned about was, well how do I put this gently…… fellow passengers, I mean come on…it’s a $1.50 to go halfway across the country, who else (besides me) buys a dollar bus tickets?

While we were standing on the sidewalk (uhm, that's why the ticket was only a dollar), I looked at all the people standing with me, it hadn't hit me until then, but what if someone was actually going to sit next to me. I hadn’t really thought that there might be someone sitting next to me, well I guess I had thought a little bit about it but it involved this hot frat boy that was going to Cleveland to see his girlfriend and got a call halfway through the ride from his girlfriend telling him that she was breaking up with him and he needed a shoulder to cry on.....ok, back on track, I mean other than that I really hadn’t seriously thought that I would have to share THAT much space with someone else for 6 hours.

Fortunately, we were only at about ½ capacity, I think there were only 4 people that sat together and that was because they were traveling together, everyone else on the bus got to have two seats all to themselves.

Once I got settled I got my travel things in order: a book, a Sudoku book that The Boyfriend bought for me, some trail mix and my bottle of…..wait, where’s my water? Didn’t I buy a bottle of water? Oh fuck…I forgot to buy a bottle of water…..there is no way in hell I’m drinking the water in the bathroom – I’ve seen Dateline, thank you very much! Shit, I remembered everything except a bottle of water, I hope I didn’t get thirsty on the way, well at least now I wouldn’t have to worry about using the onboard facilities.

The seats were very comfortable, there was even a foot rest, which was amazing, why don’t they put foot rests on airplanes….oh they do, it’s called Business Class International Air Travel. I got everything settled and was ready to begin the adventure, but I still had my Xanax at close hand just in case things became too unbearable to handle.

Before I knew it the bus was pulling out and joining the Friday afternoon rush to get out of the city.

There was one big advantage to riding in a bus that I hadn't thought about - truckdrivers!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Flo is Famous!

It's official!

Flo is famous.....her manager has been working hard to get her back on the Showtune Circuit and it's starting to pay off.

Recently Flo was featured changing a tire on car, and that picture was picked up by The Consumerist to compliment a story they were posting about the ravages of not having enough air pressure in your tires.

You can read all about it and see Flo's fabulous face HERE Way To Go Flo!