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December 28, 2002

freshwater city

People in Seattle often comment on how the social network seems so small since you always seem to meet the same people randomly, or find out that people you've known for awhile know each other. Plus, when you are in one hood in Seattle, you only need look up to see some other neighborhood - but a hilltop away. In Chicago, though, in each of the four directions you see only the street you're on going off infinately into the horizon.

It is a serious city. It's a city that swollows me up whole and makes me instantly anonymous. Always the brand new structures are towering among the crumbling monuments of history. Its people tend to be a bit grim. No one thanks the bus driver. There's no Fremont.

There's no network of smaller lakes, just one big lake, Lake Michigan. It's a huge wall bordering the whole eastern border of the city. It's one of the great lakes. It's almost like an ocean, a body of water that you can't see land on the other side, but the water is freshwater.

Seattle has only one token ethnic neighborhood, but in Chicago, huge stretches of road throughout the city are devoted to Thai or Vietnamese or Korean owned shops. Whole stretches where I can't read a single sign. Tough Korean old men who stay in their own community...living forever in the wilds of the freshwater city. And I just a white Seattle boy among them.

tinyblog chicago style

Amazing.

I'm writing this post in Chicago, Illinois where I'm visiting my Dad. Sometimes I don't know who's more of a spazz, me or him. It's been nice to see him, though, even though we have always ended up locking horns.

We went to Edwardos and had about the yummiest spinach stuffed pizza you can get. Plus, a few days ago I hung out with my friend Bill Hada and had another great local pie at a little pizzeria. I'm in pizza hog heaven. Maybe I'll even end up getting a Chicago-style hotdog before I leave.

I made it into Illinois a few days ago on Christmas Eve, just in time for the Holiday Madness to begin. I'm staying at my mom's house in Rockford for most of the time I'm here. We had Christmas with my mom's boyfriend Art, Art's son Dan, and Art's mom and aunt.

Art's mom Astrud is starting to get fairly senile, but man, does she like to party. She's the fiestiest 89 year old I've ever met. She mainly drank whisky sours and playfully came on to me as I sat next to her on the couch. "They say you should watch out for me," she'd say, winking and poking me in the ribs with her elbow, "They're right!"

Her sister was even more forgetful, and deaf in one ear. She kept forgetting some very vital information. "I think I forgot where I live," she said to Art.

"Don't worry," he assured her, "I'll get you to the right place."

"Do I have two dogs?" She started to worry about how long she had been gone, and whether her dogs would be okay.

She was mostly deaf and had a very croaky vaice because she had been a chronic smoker her entire life, had developed throat cancer and had radiation therapy in order to treat it...none of which she remembered. She chain smoked in my mother's living room (my mom suspends the rule about smoking in the house for little old senile ladies) and told us she wasn't sure she wanted to spend $500 on a hearing aid when she thought that her across the street neighbors were into the occult and were cursing her.

It was actually very funny and very sad at the same time. My sister was so concerned for her that she ended up slipping her a little picture of White Tara (a Buddhist compassion and long life diety) and told her it would protect her from any evil occult powers. For some reason that made me feel greatly better.

It's been stressful, but last night my mom couldn't sleep so she came out on the couch and passed out there with her legs on my lap. I just read and said mantras for a long time because it was so nice to just be there with her quietly on the couch.

I just gave my Dad a massage before he passed out and now I sit here on his housemate's ancient compaq hacking away into the wee hours. His computer was set to 256 color and I changed it to 24-bit color...he probably didn't even know about that. I wonder if he'll notice. Hehehehe, I love being the beneficient computer gremlin. My god, this is turning into the post from hell.

My mom doesn't have a computer at her house so I've gone into browser withdrawal. If I don't spend a certain amount of time typing into a textbox, I get a little jittery.

December 23, 2002

stupid weblog!

"What a stupid world."
- Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes

Samadhi, Rzan's son, has a love for comics, especially TinTin and Calvin and Hobbes. So lately he's been emulating Calvin by expressing his disdain the Calvin way.

Sam: I want that pecan pie for dessert after dinner.
Mom: Are you sure?
Sam: Are there any cupcakes left?
Mom: No.
Sam: Stupid cupcakes.

His Mom: You have to eat your your dinner if you want any dessert.
Sam: Stupid dessert. Stupid dinner.

December 22, 2002

update

I'm going back to Illinois for Christmas.

I did finally ending up getting some sleep, and most of my christmas shopping done.

December 17, 2002

guaranteed

If I have something I have to do in the morning, then I just can't get to sleep. And my tummy hurts.

Hey, how about if I tell you a story, you know...since we're both here.

There was once a millionaire prince who lived in Romania. One day, he was shuffling cards at his desk. He liked to practice shuffling, and then cutting with one hand, all in one fluid motion.

One may think that millionaire high-rollers are born and not made, but this is a myth. The prince practices his poker-face for hours each day in the mirror. He would like to think he is James Bond, but alas, he is just a millionaire prince with no request for service from the Queen of England. Although he could probably get away with killing someone, he does not have a license to do it.

There is one thing that the prince fears above all else. He knows he will die but it seems far away. He fears no man or beast in his kingdom. He fears only boredom, which is clearly this Romanian prince's lot in life. Really no diversion is good enough.

I am too tired to finish this story. If only I were tired enough to actually sleep so I would be rested in the morning. Damn this story anyway. Damn this weblog. I just want to go to sleep.

December 16, 2002

beth said she had a better santa picture

beth_w_santa.jpg

Who can argue?

December 15, 2002

go ahead, freeze my pussy off

Who knew that topically applied yogurt could help with Candida, but evidently it does.

Since rzan has a pretty tough case, of it, for the last several months I have found myself being CYA (Chief Yogurt Applicator).

If you're the kind of person who is already thinking, "This is too much information for me." Then perhaps you should go elsewhere.

So anyway, Rzan is the kind of girl who can't tolerate cold hands being warmed up on anywhere except her butt (which is hard to get to when you come in from the cold and your girlfriend is on the couch in jeans). Plus, the yogurt generally has to be stored in the refrigerator.

I hope you can see where I'm going with this. As CYA I really try to warm up the yogurt in my fingers before applying it, but even if it gets to the point where it doesn't feel cold anymore, she still jumps. I was discussing this with her, and I think she thought I was complaining.

She looked over at me with a little pouty face and said, "Go ahead, freeze my pussy off."

I did with relish. God I love that girl. :>

December 2, 2002

christmas impends

gross_santa.jpg

I'm starting to get the christmas sweats. I am woefully underprepared and broke. But like it or not it's time to make lists and gather addresses. Goddamnit I'm gonna do it right this year!