Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sound Advice

This afternoon I interviewed Wall Street Journal reporter Dorothy Rabinowitz.

I rarely get nervous before interviews, but I was a bit nervous today before calling her because, well, she's a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and she's a Pulitzer Prize winner. In fact, she's the only Pulitzer Prize winner I've ever interviewed - or even talked to - I'm sure.

She won the Pulitzer in 2001 for commentary, mostly for columns about people wrongly accused of crimes. You can read the pieces here.

After a few questions I relaxed and she also became more open and conversational. I of course found her wildly entertaining. She must be at least in her 60s.

Anyway, we were discussing what journalists love to discuss: The supposed any-day-now demise of newspapers and the fact that advertisers are leaving them.

I told her it is worrisome for me. She agreed that it is very worrisome.

Then she said: "But if I were you, my dear, I would write more and worry less."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

Free zoos rule!

When I found out the Lincoln Park Zoo was free I anticipated some stray dogs, maybe some kittens napping on each other and perhaps a bear.

Instead I found this gorgeous beast. He was in a cage by himself, and of course I felt a little bad for him that he wasn't out stalking prey on the veldt. But a few cages down was a lion and lioness, who were taking turns roaring, which I'd never seen before, and their roaring made the tiger roar too.

They were very passionate cats.

It's the closest I've ever been to these big kitties. They were only about ten feet away, with no glass between us. It was pretty cool.

Here's a crappy picture. The lighting was low and my hand wasn't steady enough to keep the shutter open long enough to take a decent photo.

In other whirlwind weekend news, Jen and Pat got officially engaged, which was why I was in Chicago. Apart from the engagement and tiger, my next favorite part of the weekend was the pizza pot pie I ate at Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinders.

Hello? Pizza pot pie... Best food ever.

AND... drum roll... we won our first soccer game!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

To Move Or Not To Move

The first night I came to my apartment to see it after I signed the lease, there was water leaking from the light fixture and onto the floor in the foyer.

Months later during a heavy rain, my apartment sprang about a dozen leaks, with water coming up through the floor in the living room and closet, seeping through the drywall and light switches, even down through the ceiling fan.

I called the fat perv of a maintenance man and he gleefully came down to have a look-see and then asked, "What do you want me to do, hold an umbrella over the roof?"

He was soon replaced by another maintenance guy, who had high hopes of fixing the problem. The funny thing is, I live on the fourth floor of a seven floor building, but neither of my neighbors' apartments leak, only the crazy lady downstairs, and they fixed her leaking pretty early on.

Over the last year or so, these leaks have occurred with varying degrees of magnitude. Sometimes there's a lot of water and it smells really bad, other times there's just a little water.

I lovingly call my apartment The Maxi-Pad. Because it's super-absorbant.

Granted, there should be no water at all, but I've gotten kind of used to fearing heavy rains. Besides, the worthless yet genial rental girl knocks my rent in half whenever it happens. So it's saved me a lot of money, really. But it's also caused me a lot of grief. Fortunately it hasn't damaged any of my belongings, but my couch has gotten plenty wet. But it's been shredded by my cats, as well, so it's not like I care much what happens to it anymore.

The last time it leaked, a few months ago, it was really bad, like it was raining inside my apartment. So they replaced the horrible, indoor/outdoor type crap carpet that was in here with some really nice plush carpet. I was pleased. And the new maintenance guy stuck all sorts of stuff on the deck above mine to stop the water from coming in. So far so good.

I told them then though that I wanted another apartment. I couldn't deal with it anymore.

The rental girl called me last week to tell me another apartment on my floor, exactly like mine, will be open soon and I do I want to move into it? I told her I'd think about it.

It's very likely my apartment will leak again. (Which is really unfortunate with the new carpet and all.) But I really hate moving, which is why I've been tolerating this all this time. It's traumatizing for me. I've had some pretty rough days in my life, and I can truthfully say that some of them have been moving days.

Even though I'd be moving only a few doors down, I'd have to pack up my stuff, move it myself (it's not like they're going to hire movers for me), change my address, magazine subscriptions, cable, Internet, phone, etc., and then unpack. It would take up a weekend that I don't really have the inclination to fill with the tediousness of moving. And like I said, it really is somewhat traumatizing for me.

I haven't gotten back to the rental girl yet. I guess I'm still "thinking it over."

Right now, it is either thundering or the Reds hit a home run. I've got my fingers crossed for the latter.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Saturday Soccer

I whiff the ball three times for every one time I kick it.

But I'm really good at posing for pictures after games.

When I'm not whiffing and posing during games, I'm team photographer. Some of my finest work is on the The Kicking Kincades soccer blog.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dance Class Costume. Discuss.

I’m thinking about not attending my dance class recital.

On the way to Starbucks with Kelly, Mike and Jon this week, I told them the story of how I don’t want to go because no one I know will be there.

The reason no one I know will be there is because I won't let anyone go. The costume is too ridiculous.

Kelly said she was surprised that I would worry what others thought of the costume. Her opinion was that I should own the look, no matter how heinous, and attend the recital.

Jon said the costume is just an excuse for not wanting to dance in the recital in the first place.

Mike said if the costume makes me uncomfortable, and clearly it does, then I shouldn’t go it if I don't want to.

It’s not bad enough that I danced at the Florence Mall wearing mariboo around my neck. That I can live with. Mostly because I was also wearing black pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and even though it had mariboo pinned around the scoop neck, it wasn’t too horrible.

But this. This awful, black, velvet body suit with the shiny pumpkin orange upper, not to mention the diamond studs, it’s just so bad. So very bad.

The capper is that for tap (of which there are two dances), we’ll be wearing an equally terrible black velvet fringed skirt. For hip hop, there are black velvet pants.

I’ve tried it on, and yes, it does look that bad.

The problem with dance classes is that the costumes haven’t progressed since I first started. In the third grade.

It’s not that I’m so vain that I can’t allow my friends to see me in it, it’s just that I’m not in the third grade anymore.

Initially I thought I’d dance in the recital, wear the outfit and just not invite anyone. But that’s no fun. I at least want someone I know to see the moves that months of dance class has got me.

But at what cost? At what cost I ask you.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lucky shot, eh?

Suegus and Doogus kissing, just after being pronounced husband and wife.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Beware of this guy at Clearwater Beach. He is armed, with a camera (see his right hand), and takes pictures of all large breasted women in bikinis who come near him.

Needless to say, I wasn't worried for myself.

A woman with a pretty rockin' bod was on a towel near mine with her boyfriend and at one point Ol' Lech here walked over closer to her with his camera aimed right at her. It was brazen. But when her man sat up and caught him, he skittered away.

Just to ruin his fun, I would sit up and block his camera view of her when he'd try to photos while she was lying down. Whenever I'd sit up, he'd give up until I layed back down.

It was pretty shocking, really. Sort of.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sick Mac

Poor iBook. For the last two months it's been tethered to the outlet. The battery won't recharge anymore yet the computer still thinks its fully charged. So sad.

I took it to the genius bar in it's gorgeous pink little Timbuk2 laptop bag to get it fixed last week. I was all excited to get home from Tampa and hopefully have it back, but no, it's not ready yet. I even called the Apple store twice yesterday to see if it was ready to bring home.

I'm nothing without my iBook.

Stay tuned for exciting photos from Florida and Sue's wedding! But of course, there will be no photos of lecherous fat men on the beach until I get my Mac back.