Sunday, March 30, 2014

Evanston Inn: Don't give up the ghost

I say this as a friend, so take it in the spirit it's given.

Yes, yes, we are all responsible for our own lives and our own choices. But honey, since you started keeping company with that feller of yours, that development corporation,

well, let me cut to the skinny. You look like shit. Bandaids everywhere, all black-and-blue and beat up. It hurts every time I drive by. Of course I've tried knocking, but you're too proud to answer.

Anyway, I suppose you'd claim the usual excuses. "I walked into a door," or "I fell down the stairs."

I hope I'm wrong, Sugar. But the way I see it, this guy, he's going to let you fall in the next good windstorm, without even a backward glance.

Later, he'll play to the crowd, pretend shock and sorrow; sob, "But I loved her!"

After the excavation, internment, and a brief period of mourning, the papers will quote him, "One can't grieve forever. Onward and upward."

Within six months we'll have five floors of beige and orange condos.

"So all my words, however true,
might sing you through a thousand Junes.
And no one will ever know that you,
were beauty for an afternoon." FSF

Friday, March 28, 2014

That's just sick

There are few things more boring than someone who drones on and on about a run-of-the-mill illness. Where it hurts; how it feels; which viscous internal fluids are in attendance -- color and volume. No one wants to hear about it.

I have the flu.

It's that new and improved flu, the one everybody is raving about. And yes, it is special; rather like a world tour, as the thing starts (oh wait, in case you catch it, this is a spoiler alert) with a volcanic throat from, say Italy, and progresses to weird Amazon-like barking noises from the chest, and ends, four days later with a hard landing inside the nostrils of Niagara Falls.

A couple of friends left some sacrificial lambs by my front door. Meds, soup, pie. Pie? I don't know if it's because I'm high as a kite after doubling down on Theraflu, but that one seems rather frivolous to me. Like, maybe he doesn't think I'm really sick, but just kind of stay at home and watch Netflix sort of sick?

And if that's what he thinks, he's wrong, so wrong. I'm in bed, flat on my back, listening to audio books. Hours and hours of audio books. There's light years of free audio books on youtube. Which should be a good thing, but actually ended up spoiling many of my illusions.

What I've discovered is that, while 30-minutes of Sarah Vowell enchants, 31-minutes is irritating, and 240-minutes pure torture. Ditto Sedaris. Ken Burns, Cooke.

As for Winston Churchill -- put a fucking sock in it.

Then again, this just might be the Alka-Seltzer Plus talking.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What to do

when you live in a place that now goes from summer to summer,

skipping all those pesky seasons in between.

Get naked and irritated? Bash your brother? Clearly a classic option.

These days, we're dry. Parched, baked, scorched, dying for a drink.

And it's a weird thing, doing the Sophie's choice in the yard (this is not my yard). Because all my plants have a back story -- when I moved here the place was bare. So I've known my guys since they were in kindergarten. But I'm going to water some and let others die of thirst.

Is it the Bible or some hippy song that talks about water tasting like wine? Sounds biblical to me. Well, no matter. When you have no water, it's only wine that tastes like wine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Treat yourself

I attacked a bag of potato chips today, showing no mercy. Don't worry, though; it was over in a heartbeat and they felt nothing.

I started running again, just to enjoy my favorite food groups -- potato chips, cocktail nuts, Snickers. Not that I couldn't do or haven't done that anyway, but ultimately it's not a pretty sight.

I'm up to two miles now, and really slow. A fact embarrassingly apparent as Albert doesn't seem to realize we're running at all. He keeps up just fine by alternating between a brisk walk and a mild jog. But that's better than two weeks ago, when my pace was such he could inspect his favorite fire hydrants. (Why yes, he is that much of a cliche.)

Like Prius owners and vegans, runners are a smug and clubby lot. When we see each other on the street, we give the nod -- the secret nod -- the one that says, "Don't I look good!"

To stay in the club, I kick it into third gear when another runner comes along, else Albert's gait would give me away. I take long graceful strides, with arms pumping, head up, and hair flying. But exertion -- i.e., actual exercise -- comes at a price. When the danger has passed, I stop and lean on the hood of a car, gasping for air -- sweet, sweet oxygen.

Inevitably, at that very moment, someone I know crosses my path.

"Karin, what are you doing?"
"I'm running."
"Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure."
"Because you don't look so good."

Life is short, miles are long.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It might be true, the guy is smart

I know a bit about the press, enough to know that when the crows circle, always hitch a ride with Associated Press. They've got an expense account and can spring for a proper lunch. Huff Post and LA Times will only take you to Starbucks -- or worse, their own cafeteria.

He Knows

I kind of hope this gentleman is not the real deal after all, and gets to cash in on lots of high-end sushi and cocktails.