29 04 2013

Oh, my goddess!  Look, everyone!  IT’S SPRING OUTSIDE!  Right now!  Right now, spring is happening!  Just yesterday, I was walking outside past a tree–you know, those big stick-things protruding from the ground with smaller sticks branching out from them to hold snow.  Well, guess what!!  Guess what I saw on the sticks!!  I saw SOME GREEN SHIT coming out of the branches!  GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!  Beautiful!  I can’t remember the last time I saw something so beautiful!!!  This tree is not just a big stick, you guys.  IT’S ALIVE!  It’s this beautiful living thing.  AND IT’S GROWING RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES!!!!

That’s not all, you guys.  There is some green stuff coming out of the ground too.  That’s right.  GREEN STUFF IS GROWING RIGHT OUT OF THE FUCKING GROUND!  And when it comes up and out, it’s not done growing!  Gorgeous, colorful shit called FLOWERS are going to keep growing on those beautiful green stems.  AND THEY SMELL WONDERFUL!

I don’t mean to alarm you or yell at you too much, BUT YOU NEED TO GET YOUR BUTT OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW AND SMELL THE AIR AND WALK IN THE GRASS AND LOOK AT THE TREES!   Seriously.  GO OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW AND HUG A FUCKING TREE.  You’ll thank me later.  And if you don’t, that’s okay.  I don’t fucking care.  I’m so fucking happy that it’s spring outside.

Chicago actually had a winter this year–which means we all died a little bit in our soul.  But not the year before that.  The year before that, our winter was so lame, that we never felt dead inside.  I almost missed feeling dead inside.  Because when you are beat down so much by a long, cold, relentless winter, it feels amazing to have spring breeze in and rescue you.  Because spring comes in and says, “Guess what!  You’re not dead inside!  Your spirit was just sleeping!”  And just like that, YOU ARE RESURRECTED!  All of a sudden, every single religious and mythical tale about resurrection makes sense.  THEY ARE ABOUT SPRING, YOU GUYS!  They are about how you are now saved!  YOUR SOUL IS BACK!  IT NEVER REALLY LEFT YOU.  It just felt like it was gone.  But now–now, you have a new life.  And this life is fucking beautiful.  Your skin can be exposed to the outside air and not hate you for it.  It will love you for it.  You walk outside and suddenly, everything is beautiful, you’re in love with everything, and you suddenly understand how someone could write a whole fucking poem about a blade of grass.


Winter: Out Of Order, Please Have a Different Season Instead

2 02 2012

I would like to begin by stating that I enjoy nice weather.  I’m a huge fan.  And I certainly don’t want to come off as a complainer about the recent situation.  After all, a person who’s recovering from the flu has no business being outside when it’s a typical January or February day in Chicago, right?  So the fact that I’ve been able to–not just painlessly–but pleasantly walk a mile or two every day on account of temperatures being in the 40’s and even 50’s is something I should be praising the deities for, yes?


And yet, something’s off.  It just doesn’t feel quite right.  I should be rejoicing.  Isn’t the “Dreaded Chicago Winter” the only thing that makes this city not perfect?  Haven’t I declared time and time again that, “I don’t know how long I could live here–I just don’t know how many Chicago Winters I can survive” and so on?  Didn’t I write this?  And this?  I’ve never EVER talked highly of the winters here in Chicago.  Ever.  In fact, I’ve been downright insulting.  But how can something that beats down on my soul day after day deserve respect?  How can something that freezes the moisture on my eyeballs in one short trip from train station to apartment building door expect politeness?  Why would I pay courtesy to the annual event that transforms my home into something uninhabitable?

Could it be that I have begun to love this city, warts and all?  Am I donning that badge that every true Chicagoan wears?  The badge that reads, “I’m hardcore, ’cause I wait for the bus in January.”  Getting through a winter here is something to keep track of.  We all have our metaphorical notches in our boots.  I’ve got five myself.  Wow.  Five.

I haven’t made the sixth notch yet.  Because honestly, winter hasn’t happened here yet.  Not truly.  It’s already February and we haven’t even dipped below freezing.  (I can’t believe I’ve taken issue with this!  It’s insane.  Somebody stop me!  I don’t know who I’ve become!)  I haven’t worn my serious winter coat yet (the one that weighs ten pounds, the one that is insulated so well I feel like a super hero–except I don’t look like a super hero in it–I look like a huge dork).  For the sake of all that is good in the world, I still haven’t needed to wear three pairs of pants or two pairs of gloves!  Clearly, something is very, very wrong.

Frankly, we’re all just way too comfortable.  We’re not supposed to be comfortable right now.  We’re supposed to be paying our dues, ant-ing it up in the winter months so that we can really grasshopper it when summer comes.

If this continues for much longer, Chicago could face a serious identity crisis.  Think about it.  This city is defined by good theatre, deep dish pizza, crooked politics, questionable hot dog (or veggie dog–Woot!) toppings, and shitty, shitty winters. If they take this away from us, what’s next?  Full funding for our libraries?

When will the madness end?  What will become of us?  Road work is happening in February, for goodness sake!  If construction is happening now, buds on the trees are soon to follow.  You can see the poor workers out there in their hard-hats, wandering aimlessly, filling potholes, confused by how their hibernation was cut so short.  And if they’re out this early, you know they’re going to be mating by March!

Again, I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the absolutely delightful walking-weather.  Because it has been so very splendid.  I am thankful for having the odd sensation of feeling uplifted and lighter in the middle of winter.  But the Chicagoan in me knows that it’s wrong.  Call me a martyr, but it’s February, dammit.  We shouldn’t be this comfortable.

I don’t think I’m getting enough respect in this relationship.

28 05 2011

So if a Chicago winter is like being punched in the face, then a Chicago summer is like being pinched in the ass.  Just last night as I waited for the train, shivering in my winter hat and scarf, Chicago was definitely punching me in the face.  This Memorial Day, weather forecasters are predicting some definite ass-pinching weather–with highs in the mid 90’s.  So Chicago, does that mean you’re only going to spoon with me for two days?  Two days?  You didn’t even buy me dinner.  I hope you’ll be gentle with me this summer.  And give me flowers.  Lots and lots of flowers.


28 is the new 50

25 01 2011

Could it be?

Could it be that my body is growing accustomed to the winters in Chicago?

…perhaps my soul will follow…

Today, 28 degrees feels


light, happy, un-oppressive

What’s the word?


Yes, 28 feels warm.

Is this what love feels like?  Or have my priorities changed?  My standards gone?  Is this just the apologetic “I didn’t mean it, baby” in an otherwise abusive relationship?

Have I grown?  Adjusted?  Settled?



I’ll just enjoy it.