Random Thoughts to Close Out the Week

NaBloPoMo, Day 2

  • The turning leaves tell us Fall is here in Chicago, but the warm temperatures, blooming flowers, and robins going crazy in the trees make me think it just might be spring.
  • It may be 4 p.m. on a warm Friday afternoon but if it’s Halloween, any playground will look like a ghost town.
  • I’ve decided, as I did last year, that I won’t patronize any
    business that puts up their holiday decorations before Thanksgiving.
  • I was lucky and had to wait only 30 minutes to vote early. How long did you have to wait?
  • I’m working the election on Tuesday and have calculated that in order to get eight hours of sleep the night before, I’ll need to go to bed tomorrow evening at seven o’clock.
  • I really can’t believe that this Presidential campaign has just one day remaining. I thought it would never end.

Saturday 3 p.m. ~ Planting Bulbs

I took advantage of what may well be the last warm and sunny weekend of the year to plant daffodil bulbs–about a hundred of them. I also planted some squill–those tiny blue flowers that come out just behind the crocuses in the spring. If you’ve ever seen lawns or areas under trees covered in tiny blue flowers, that’s probably squill. Absolutely beautiful.


I also couldn’t resist a bag of miniature iris bulbs, which I planted in the plot on the corner. My goal is to have a yearly blanket of blue and yellow covering the front of our place every spring. The nice thing about planting these bulbs, as opposed to tulips, is that one fall of back-breaking work and you’re done. These bulbs should multiply on their own and provide years of welcome spring color.

I spent the rest of the weekend getting all the outdoor fall chores done. Brought in all the hoses, emptied all the vegetable tubs in the backyard (including a cherry tomato plant that amazingly still had some blossoms on it), reorganized the garage to stow everything away, and gave the front stoop a good washing off. Next weekend, the indoor fall cleaning begins in earnest before we have to seal this place up for the winter.


There’s a first time for everything.

Last night, as we were merging with other cars leaving the Grant Park South parking garage after a performance of the CSO, I glanced over to see a woman brushing her teeth while driving her car. I mean really scrubbing away. Unfortunately, our lanes diverged before I was able to see where she spit.

This Week…

I’m not doing a “This Week” this week because though it was busy week, there’s wasn’t much worth noting other than Wee-J is walking like a pro and I was continually amazed by how much a cute little girl can unload in a diaper at one time.

While I have a 2-Do List that’s a mile long waiting for me at home (and a jam-packed weekend of activities that will allow for little free time to get much of anything done) I’ve decided to skip out of work a bit early and hit the megaplex to see an actual first-run movie on a big screen. Wow, I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like. Five years ago, at the height of my movie watching, I’d see a movie in the theater twice a week on average. My most recent trip to the movies was back in June. Half a year ago! I’m long overdue.

‘Tis the season when movie studios release their A-game in the first rush for Oscar gold. While I couldn’t care less about the awards and all the hype attached, it’s good news for people who love movies.

Here’s my list of theatrical films to catch in the next month:

The Golden Compass: I loved the His Dark Materials series (The Golden Compass being the adaptation of the first book in the trilogy by Philip Pullman) so I’m really looking forward to this.

Juno: The buzz on this one is great and the premise (pregnant teen seeks good parents for her kid) has promise.

Atonement: I’ll see it despite Keira Knightley’s presence. The trailer look beautiful and the story is based on a book by Ian McEwan that I kept meaning to read.

Enchanted: Yeah, I know, It’s dripping in Disney, but everything I’ve heard and read about it makes it seem like they got it right. Sweet escapism.

No Country For Old Men: Coen Brothers. A must see.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Numero uno on my list of films to see. I love Johnny Depp, love love Alan Rickman and love love love this Sondheim musical. Can. Not. Wait!

Persepolis: Based on the wonderful graphic novel memoirs by Marjane Satrapi who adapted her illustrations into an animated film. This will be one to see on the big screen.

Margot at the Wedding: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black and Nicole Kidman in a film written and directed by Noah Baumbach. ‘Nuf said.

What about you? Anything you’re especially looking forward to?

Sorry, Wrong Number

NaBloPoMo, Day 29

Answering the phone here at work (I’m actually in the office for the first time in weeks) has always involved fielding a slough of wrong numbers. It’s been this way for years–the curse of having an easy to remember phone number with a nice round number on the end. We get a handful of confused callers and hang-ups every day.

Through sloppy dialing, incorrect area codes (the Chicago area alone has four–312, 773, 847, 630), and out-of-date correspondence printed with the wrong phone number, we’ve received calls on a semi-regular basis for a geriatric doctor’s office and a university. We’ve had calls for car repair, dental care, and ancient technology, typewriter repair. My favorites are the callers who keep me on the line arguing about the number they’ve dialed, as if I’m jerking them around just for fun. I’ve had more than a few folks ask me to look up the correct number for them.

Today, I answered what is by far the oddest wrong number in all my thirteen years of answering the company phone. After my standard greeting, the young woman on the other end of the line said, “I need to make an appointment for an abortion.”


Yeah, that sure jerks you out of your work routine.

Random Jottings on A Wednesday Night

NaBloPoMo, Day 28

  • Very big news–My newest coworker, Wee-J has taken her first wee steps and she’s raring to go!
  • I killed a mosquito–a MOSQUITO–in my shower this morning…in November, in Chicago, when the outside temp has been in the 30s! This is so wrong.
  • I watched House last night. Good news: The application competition is over! Better news: Cutthroat Bitch was fired. Even better news: House’s twist ending, duping Cuddy into letting him add three newbies. Bad news: We have to wait until January for the next new episode.
  • Only two more days of NaBloPoMo!

Ooopse, Did I Do That?

Last week we had a medical emergency in the office. It turned out to be relatively minor, but did require a 911 call and a visit by two EMTs and the requisite back-up firetruck. In the process of administering an IV, blood was spilled on a couch. Nothing dramatic but enough to make a visible stain.

Within an hour of calling 911, stabilizing the patient enough to determine he didn’t need transport to the hospital, the office settled down and I returned to the lunch I’d abandoned earlier. Standing in front of the microwave where my soup was reheating, I noticed a pair of business cards that hadn’t been there before. Sure enough, they’d been dropped off by one of the fireman, advertising his family carpet and upholstery cleaning service. (The “off duty fireman” label on the card was the tip-off.)

Great gig. Go in as an EMT, make a big mess, spurt blood everywhere, and then offer your services to clean it up–for a fee! Very enterprising indeed.

I Can’t Decide If This is Cool or Creepy

Have you heard about the 500-year-old mummy of an Incan girl that went on display in an Argentine museum last week? She’s a perfectly preserved mummy of a 15-year-old girl who was taken up to the edge of the Llullaillaco volcano and left to die as part of a sacrifice to the corn harvest. Discovered in the Andes in 1999 (along with the bodies of two other children), the ice preserved her in such a state that she looks like she’s merely sleeping. In a glass display cabinet. In the middle of a museum, 500 years after she died.

Check out the pictures. It’s amazing. To think that you can step right up and literally stare history in the face is awe inspiring. The history buff in me is fascinated. But it’s also a bit disturbing. Obviously there’s a lot science can learn from such a find, but as a tourist attraction, viewing an Egyptian skeleton is a lot different than looking at flesh and blood. Then again, how is it any different from folks parading past the body of a deceased dignitary? Or the embalmed corpse of say, Eva Peron? No, wait, that was creepy.

I don’t know. What do you think?

When Inspiration Hits

When Inspiration Hits

While commuting home from work this evening, I got to thinking about a piece I’m writing for The Beachwood Reporter. By the time I got home, following a short El ride, a stop at the coffee shop to caffeinate myself, and a 15 minute stop-and-start walk home, the box I was carrying was covered with notes. It’s a good thing the rain held off until after I walked through the door.