(this is annie)


I have seen many odd things on the bus, but today takes the cake. A woman sat down next to me on the Broadway bus today. She was carrying a bulky bag decorated with cats. She sat halfway on top of me, which was unpleasant. Right before her stop, she shifted the bag, and my eyes glanced into it. Inside, there was a white cat. An immobile white cat. A dead or drugged white cat. The woman got off the bus and I sat like a horrified statue.

betty and jiggy

My mother called this morning with this question: "What is 'get jiggy'? I have no clue what getting jiggy means. Could it mean many things? Or does it mean what I think it means?"


Henry and I went to Penny's for noodles last night. We both wondered where the hell Dick Cheney has been. Henry's theory is that the veep is dead, and that the guvmint is working on an animatronic Dick Cheney robot. I think he's just hiding out. Either way, we've decided to form a sleuthing team that searches for ol' DC... on Segways.

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I've been running a lot this week. No big distances, but just enough to get the heart beating. I've also been challenged to a basketball game, but as my would-be opponent is a foot taller than me, victory seems improbable.

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FURNITURE LUST, AS DESCRIBED TO E.K. (eric k., not evan k.): Yay for furniture! Isn't it kinda nice to have furniture? There's something wonderful about going home and feeling a little bit grown-up. I love furniture. Remember, without the first R, it's FUN-iture.

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My parents are coming to visit tomorrow. It'll be really good to see them. My mom and I have talked every day this week, and even though she drives me nuts sometimes (like this morning, when she called at 8:15), she's as much a friend as a mum. My father is cute because he's interested in my life, but feels awkward about inquiring. So he gets news from my mother, who in turn tells me what he's been asking. My father seems concerned that I will start dating an older man who has been married, has children, and is just looking for sex.
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Today is a lucky day for those who remain cheerful and optimistic: my fortune for today.


the zelda haircut

Can I just publicly say that my friends are the best? This has been a difficult week, but they helped make it more manageable. Jaime gave me a Justin Timberlake bobblehead. Karinsa, Trevor, Ann, and Chris gave nice e-mails and phone calls. Eric gave me a gold star. Henry called to say that he liked the vegan cookies. Matt and Jen shared their Kleenex. Robyn gave me a big hug. Kate sent acorns (!) in the mail. Thank you all.

Aaron O came up with a name for that popular indie rock hairstyle. You know the one: girls color their hair black, cut it short, and spike it upwards at a 45-degree angle. "Man, I hate that Zelda haircut," he said. I assumed he meant Zelda Fitzgerald, but he explained that it was an allusion to The Legend of Zelda. Now you, too, can identify the Zelda haircut, and if you have the Zelda, please note that it was not I who professed disdain for it.

The Justin Timberlake doll is actually slightly scary. He sits atop the computer monitor, watching over the U.S.S. Acorn—a wax submarine souvenir from the time Kevin and I went to the science museum. Ten half-inch-high squirrel figures (presents from Jess) lord over their ship; there were eleven, but one of them has made the long trek to Wicker Park, where she now stands guard over an organ. Here, with every word that is typed, Justin's goateed head bobs just a little, so that he looks like a mildly epileptic pop superstar.

Do you ever read The Source? It's a decent magazine. Why don't more people read The Source?

I'm looking at an artificially flavored cherry Ring Pop. The package has an illustration of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with the Ring Pop as his nose. He looks really jolly, too, as though this is really an ad for getting totally blotto. The package also proudly exclaims, "Made with REAL FRUIT JUICE!"

If you were the type of person who cares about nutrition, chances are, you're not going to eat the Ring Pop, even if it does contain pear juice concentrate after the sugar and corn syrup (and before the Red 40). Is this perhaps a marketing ploy designed to assuage the guilt that parents might feel by feeding their children candy? Or do they actually think that the drop of juice somehow makes the Ring Pop a healthy snack?

For the record, I do not eat Ring Pops. Bad for the teeth.

knitting bait-and-switch

Forgot to mention that last week, I saw a video of Allen Ginsberg performing at a poetry festival. He sang a song about rock and roll, and another about generosity. Neither song was brilliant, and I daresay that if they hadn't been performed by Allen Ginsberg, nobody would have cared. It would have been just another weird old guy with an accordion. Which (let's be honest here, folks) is really what it was.

While knitting in Local Grind the other night, a woman came up to me to ask about knitting. She was very friendly, and I wasn't expecting Ryan for at least ten minutes, so we chatted it up a bit. Naively, I thought, "This woman is so nice! Maybe she will be another knitting friend!" But then, suddenly, she pulled out that old familiar trick. She was a Holy Roller representing the God Squad: "I go to a church group. We have lots of fun talking and doing Bible study. I would love it if you could come! Could I have your phone number?" Oh boy. I declined, but politely accepted her card. I wonder if there's training for this, if witnessers go to classes about how to be sneaky-friendly. Then I started wondering, Do I look churchy? It must have been the pigtails.

"i like books"

Woo! It seems that one can become tipsy by osmosis. I had three watery Cokes last night, yet by the end of the night, I had already demonstrated my forceful Buffy kick. That's kind of a tipsy thing to do, but again, sleepiness is my booze. Miss K and I did indeed avoid any Faulknerian/Andersonian mishaps, though I did teeter perilously at the edge of social idiocy with this admission: "I like books." Gaaaaah. Anyway, last night was one of those nights that made me feel that Chicago is home. I felt uncommonly comfortable the entire night. When midnight came, I left and headed down a barren street toward North Avenue. I was in such a chipper mood that I broke out in a run, grinning into the bitter air, rushing the skyline and the crisp night ahead.

There's a fluffy orange cat who I see almost every morning on the way to work. The poor kitty sits at a ground-level window, forlornly watching the world go by. This cat could benefit from Kitty Daycare. Doggy Daycare exists; why shouldn't Kitty Daycare? Yes, cats are generally more independent than dogs are, but surely they would like to go to daycare and romp around, too. Why hasn't anybody taken this idea to its fullest possible extent?

A woman on the bus this morning talked to herself while staring out the window. Nothing unusual, except this woman quacked like Donald Duck after every caustic comment: "Dumbass thought he walk from 5900 west to 2400 west. GWAAAH RAWGH GWAH GWAH GWAH." Oh, the bus.


As a public service, this internet web site is happy to bring you bathroom reviews of various venues and/or bars.

1. The Hideout
The walls are yellow, with lipsticked kisses all over. This bathroom has two stalls, one significantly smaller than the other. It smells very fresh and clean, but no air fresheners are visible. Lots of Depo-Provera posters and brochures. Nice soap, twisty faucets, paper towels arranged in basket. Best bathroom ever!

2. Fireside Bowl
Everybody says these bathrooms are disgusting, but you know what? While they're not sparkling, they certainly aren't that bad. Ladies, you still probably want to aim and hover, or build a toilet paper nest. But it's not as though this pink porcelain palace is crawling with rats or mold.

3. Empty Bottle
Odd layout, with two regular stalls and a third mini-room that serves as a larger stall. The graffiti here tends to be rather mean-spirited. Rarely any soap. Floor looks as though it hasn't been thoroughly cleaned in a long time, but this may be due to poor lighting.

4. Tuman's Alcohol Abuse Center
To get to the bathroom, you must walk down a somewhat narrow eight-foot hallway with low ceilings. The bathroom cleanliness ranks up there with that of the Bottle, but the graffiti is slightly less bitchy. Apparently, the men's WC is a dump in comparison.

5. Schubas Tavern
Filthy, stinkola unisex bathrooms. Obviously, it doesn't matter to men if the bathroom is unisex, because you don't need to sit when you pee. When some men leave the seat up, this means that if we want to sit, we ladies must touch the seat, which is especially dirty at Schubas.


im vann der damnen

Hi. I was on vacation for two weeks. Two glorious weeks of sleeping until nine (or occasionally, ten-thirty), seeing friends from out of town, playing tourist in my own city. I feel content, well-rested, back to the normal chipper self that is now glimpsed so infrequently. This morning, I returned to work. We'll see how long I can hold off the eternal case of the Mondays. Over break I noticed that my fingernails were consistently very dirty. Just now I noticed that they are all clean and sparkly-white. The logical conclusion is that while at work, I bide my time by absentmindedly cleaning my fingernails with a pen cap. Such are the great observations of Jane Q. Workerbee.

Tonight, Karinsa and I are going out on the town for Team Stitch-n-Bitch debauchery. And yes, to meet up with the R-Squared. Oh, gentle reader, if you knew the awkward anticipation and nervousness! We have made a mini-pact to keep ourselves walking the straight and narrow path. This means that all references to a hit 1998 comedy as well as Yoknapatawpha County are strictly prohibited.

This city would be a lot more fun if it weren't spread out for miles. There's so much to do here, but without a car, so much of the activities have to become day trips. Going to Soul Vegetarian would involve taking the Red Line south, then a bus, then some walking. If we were to go north to Devon for its international adventures, we could take the Western bus only to Berwyn. And since either trip takes at least an hour, we should probably stay in the area for at least a few hours to make the trip worth it. The thing of it is, Chicago does have a decent transportation system for the massive size of the city. It's just that I'm spoiled and lazy and mostly socially confined to the area bounded by the lake, Foster, Washington, and Western. I don't know who this "we" is, but writing in that tense makes potential city exploration feel more fun.

On Saturday there was a big loft party. Being there felt like being in a movie: lots of hip kids crammed together, bands playing, etc. One of the bands was a quiet quasi-postrock outfit who projected films on the wall. Ted was more than a bit drunk, and he proceeded to make shadow animals. People were not amused by his tomfoolery, but it was a very Ted thing to do. The whole thing made for excellent people-watching.

O consumer of sag paneer, I wonder, did Christmas feel strange to you? This is not an invitation, just a curiosity.

say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


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