Nope, I'm not.


Found: Abandoned and Abused Car

© Rena Katinas

© Rena Katinas

Last week, around 4 a.m., some obviosly mentally altered people drove this car into the back yard of an empty foreclosed building on my block and proceeded to set fire to it. It took the Chicago Fire Department about 30 minutes to put it out and this is what’s left. Now it’s just sitting around, licking its wounds, watching the leaves fall and generally minding it’s own business. It graciously posed for my camera phone, even though I am of the same genus and species as its abusers.

To the owner of Illinois plate R97 1695, here is your car, in Logan Square. It’s a little worse for the wear but your license plates are in good condition and maybe you want to call your people about this. Our local gang of neutered feral  kitties, also known as SOFAKC (South of Fullerton Avenue Killer Cats) and that one creepy possum who rudely stares at me will be keeping an eye on it for you in the interim.


A Word Is Enough For The Wise


I found this in my email’s junk folder, this must be the funniest piece of spam I’ve ever received.


Re: Urgent Attention Required…


Good day,

This is the Department of Homeland Security. We have a vital mission which is to secure the nation from the many threats as well as internet Fraud. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber security analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear – keeping America safe.

By the way, your file just came across my desk, and we are happy to inform you that your funds valued at USD $10,700,000.00 (Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) have been approved by the Treasury Department of the United States.

Kindly get back to us for further directives.

Note: Do not reply to any e-mail that comes from the FBI Director. The FBI director does not e-mail people; He will rather send an agent to your door step in person. Do not fall a victim of scam again, a word is enough for the wise.

Thank you and have a good day.


Mr Jeh Johnson
Secretary, United States Secret Service
U.S Department Of Homeland Security (DHS)
Washington, DC 20528,USA
Phone: (513) 201-5881 (Text Message Only)

It’s the End of the World and My Carpets Aren’t Clean!

I had fully planned on posting a list of things to do before the end of the world (who knew?!) which I only found out about on Thursday. I figured I could blog and do a little spring cleaning on the traffic areas of the carpeting at the same time and set up my SpotBot for carpet ass kickin’. I pressed the set in stain button and the SpotBastard doesn’t work, all the lights light up and it beeps incessantly. Perhaps it knows it’s the end of the world and just doesn’t care any more. So instead of preparing an Apocalypse list to post, I spent all yesterday evening googling and testing, making a giant flood-mess in the bathroom, then an hour on the phone with the Bissell customer “support” zombies, then more fiddling and generally getting nowhere fast.

Now I’m facing the end of the world with dirty traffic areas, plus I didn’t get to eat a lobster with lots of butter, or party in the streets like it’s the end of the world. Well I guess there’s always the day after the end of the world, and up until the final end of the world on October 21. I’m not exactly sure, because I couldn’t be bothered to read the entire end of the world summary. I think that’s the period of time when we are supposed to sit out on lawn chairs while holding umbrellas and just watch stuff fall apart until October.

It’s not clear what time the apocalypse is scheduled for today, so far the neighborhood isn’t a flaming pile of rubble. I’ve checked out my windows, hoping to see the likes of Cheney, Bush, Newt, Rush (Limbaugh, not the band) and those two genital warts, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin engulfed in flames, floating up to the outer atmosphere until they disappear. So far nothing, but it is a foggy day today, here in Chicago.

Well I guess there’s always the next end of the world, or the one after that. Until then I’ve prepared myself with a big beatin’ stick, a large capacity stock pot, my “Judgement Day 2011 OR 2012″ T-shirt, and pina colada fixings. I’ll be gathering apocalyptic recipes for the many things that might rain down upon us: the sky, locusts, frogs, Tea Baggers, (er, Tea Party members) even the reanimated corpse of Ronald Reagan.

Here’s hoping you all have a warm and festive apocalypse today and many more to follow!

Two Days Till…

Christmas Tree

There’s only two days left to enjoy the tree. I wish it were more, the best part of the holiday season, for me, is the tree. Somehow a tree strung with lights manages to make winter bearable for me. This is why, to many a friend’s annoyance, in the past I’ve left the tree standing WAY past it’s expiration date. Some years they have just grabbed my tree and chucked it off my porch, or out the window (that was pretty fun to watch!)

If only there were a way to keep that seasonal magic going through February. The starkness of winter really hits me once the twinkle and sparkle are put away for another year. I think I may need to create a winter decorative tradition that can last through the long bitter cold nights of January and February. I guess I could just completely invent some more winter holidays or figure out how to put a fireplace into an apartment without a chimney and without killing us all.

I think Brutus the Malamute  and Séamus O’Reilly the cat will miss whacking the ornaments across the apartment for me to find later, covered in drool and god knows what else. It’s quite a hoot for them; not so much for me.

Wanted: Underwear For This Man

My friend John and I saw this guy, standing in front of the Armitage-Western-Milwaukee Walgreens. John isn’t gay and I’m not into overly-tanned, shiny guys, but it’s really hard not to notice those glowing orange shorts.





photos courtesy of John Clark III ©2009

Chicago Winter Chair Ritual On The Decline?

Winter-time in Chicago means many things to many people, but to all Chicagoans it means snow and chairs left in shoveled out parking spaces. Are these chairs left out for the casual passer-by to stop, rest and have a leisurely look around the neighborhood? No, but I do think it would be fun to play a block sized game of musical chairs, the passing traffic would add to the challenge. Maybe motorists could join in the game by pretending they are going to hit players with their cars, but I digress.

I have never understood the mentality of a person who places a chair in a public parking space, in order to save that public space as their own. Is the chair some sort of implied threat, “park in my space and I’ll hit you with this chair?” People who weren’t lucky enough to have a spare chair in their car, pocket or purse to stake an empty parking space were just out of luck. The chair-less were forced to drive the neighborhood streets, looking for a spot where someone left their space and forgot to move their chair back from the lawn to the street.

I have noticed considerably less chair-leavings this winter, and it disturbs me. I wonder what has happened to that Chicago Winter Parking Attitude of Self-Entitlement? It used to be that you would even see an occasional coffee table, saw horses and once in a blue moon an actual Lazy Boy. Though I think it is a meathead thing to do, I don’t remember hearing of any Chicago-based Meathead Purges of late. Could it have to do with Barack Obama being elected President? Are Chicagoans actually becoming egalitarians? What’s next? Total strangers looking each other in the eye and saying “hello” when passing each other on the street? 

Though this winter tradition has always annoyed me, I would like to ask Chicagoans to participate in it for just one more year. I’m hoping to find six new (to me) dining room chairs by winters end, people! And those of you who are already participating in the Chair-Leaving Parking Program, do you think you could put out something a little better than those white Rubbermaid outdoor chairs? C’mon now! How am I supposed to put those in my dining room?