Thursday, October 05, 2006

Everyone Else Has Blogged About It So Here's My Bullshit Opinion

So... I was talking to my page about riding my bike and working out the other day and he told me that it seemed he had this conversation before. I apologized for being unoriginal and gave him a back rub.

This Foley guy is exactly the kind of hypocrite that good old liberal folks like me love to watch take a fall. He was a closeted homosexual who pushed a conservative anti-gay rights agenda. What a pig. He hated himself for what he was and now everybody else hates him for what he did.

Can we stop asking if Hastert is going to step down? Denny Hastert isn't going to be the speaker much longer if the GOP keeps handling all this crap so badly. If he would just say, "I fucked up but we are going to fix it.", he'd be fine. All this finger pointing is a joy to watch as a left leaning "semi-independent" (let's face it, the only R I ever voted for was Denny when I lived in his district and only because he was the speaker) as it makes me feel good to know that the wheels aren't just coming off the bus but is screaching down the highway on it's hubs. Problem is, I think that we are losing focus on figuring out how to stop this kind of shit from happening.

I am not going to equate homosexuality with pedophilia. Please don't get that impression from what I am about to say. The vast majority of cases of molestation are homosexual in nature (80% according to one study). I think a big reason for this is that many homosexual men are forced to hide their sexual orientation because it is not accepted by the society they associate with. That includes religious groups and conservative politics. I believe that many priests are driven to the cloth because they are taught to be ashamed of themselves but are trying to be holy and the only way they feel they can escape the sin that is in their mind is to take a vow of chastity. Chastity does not make a person a sex offender. Temptation and lust does. Most cases of priests taking advantage of boys is generally not with small children but rather with sexually mature (although technically still children) boys that they work with every day. Backstage at the Catholic church is a boys club. Straight priests don't molest young girls because they are never alone with them to be tempted. There are lots of occasions of priests having consensual sexual relations with adult women. Straight Priests break their vows too.

What I am getting at is pretty simple. If you tell someone that their sexuality is wicked, they will hide it. In some cases, these same people will not be able to control their urges and will look to a young object of desire that they feel they can easily manipulate. I believe that if homosexuality were not so demonized in this country Mark Foley would have led an open life and wouldn't have had to turn to booze and inappropriate correspodence with young boys to fill whatever hole he has in his life.

We need to address sexuality in all it's forms and encourage people to be open about it. In some cases we may find a person who lives in shame for having feelings for a same sex partner. We could teach them to be OK with their consensual relationship. In other cases we may be able to treat someone with a deviant and criminal sexual problem and find ways to treat them. The only way to keep sex offenders from commiting crimes is to treat them.

Anyway, that's my two cents on all this. I am sick of all this and making the age of a page 18 is only going to make the next group of manipulated kids 2 years older.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Why Is Katie Couric On 60 Minutes?

I watch 60 minutes every week because I want to watch bad guys get taken to task for the terrible shit they do to the little guy. Tonight, I had to suffer through Katie making Condoleeza Rice look like the black Cinderella. Where were the questions about the war and the report this week that concluded we are in far worse shape in regards to terrorism now than we were before the "War on Terror" started? Instead, she made her seem like she was a good loyal soldier and almost seemed to adore her. Oh, look! She plays piano. Isn't that nice and cute? And now they're talking about boys! You'd think she was interviewing my mom. Where's Ed Bradley when you need him? He would have handed her her ass faster than you can say, "earring."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tailgating Windfall

I was on my way home from visiting with my mother today (thanks to Stevie for driving) and while stuck in traffic on LSD I noticed something odd about the parking lot. It seems that there are a lot of people who cannot be bothered to clean their grills and pack them up. I saw at least 2 dozen abandoned grills. One of them looked like a full sized Weber! If it had not been pouring rain and my brother had not been in a huge hurry to get home, I would have gone over there and collected one. I recommend to all that read this to head on over to the south parking lot next home game and get yourself a free grill.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Secretary of Statesville

George Ryan was sentenced to 6 1/2 years yesterday. A friend of mine thinks that is a little harsh considering his advanced age and poor health. I think it is light considering his actions indirectly caused the deaths of 6 children in a car accident.

I have a few questions:
  1. Will he serve any time? I expect an appeal process that could carry him through to the end of his life.
  2. Should advanced age and poor health be taken into consideration when sentencing someone? It seems to me that he is lucky to be sentenced now when he is nearing the end of his life and not while he was young and full of life. To be put in prison in the prime of your life seems much more cruel than at the end.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I Think She's Gone.

A group of people I know decided months ago that the best way to get rid of Ann Cold-turd (I won't use her real name to prevent her Googling herself to my blog) was to ignore her. I just came out of my room to look around the media a little and it seems to have worked. Haven't seen a single reference to her in a while. You see, your mom was wrong. If you just ignore a problem, it WILL go away. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to ignoring the growth on my neck.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Some of you might know that I survived a serious hospitalization due to a heart problem about 5 years ago. I am having problems again but think I can overcome them once more. I want to thank everyone who has wished me well. I am going to kick this latest fight in the ass. I am fighting for myself and everybody else with my illness. I am going to kick this but I may be a little absent due to my meds and the "off" feeling I get from them. If I don't post or make a remark that is a little odd, please mark it up to low blood pressure.

I am letting everyone know so that you know that I may be hard to reach me from time to time.

I love you all,


Monday, August 14, 2006


They took down the creepy manger in frint of the building down the street. They are putting down pavers in the yard which isn't very green but at least the other crap is gone. They still have lights on the front of the building but I am hoping they come down next.

Little Miss Sunshine

This is the first and maybe last time I will ever post about a movie. Little Miss Sunshine is the most hilarious and touching movie I have seen in years. Go and see it and you will love it. I am going to see it a second time tomorrow. I haven't done that since Silence of the Lambs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


On my way home tonight I passed the Aragon and the marquee read, "Miller Temp. 107." Thank you to the folks at Miller for announcing that hell on earth has arrived.

I spent the last few days at the beach but it was pretty brutal. The only way to stay cool was to stay in the water as there was no breeze off the lake at all. Dead calm. This also meant the water was a bit warm. I think this led to a higher than usual level of water born bacteria which in turn led to a higher level of Michael born bacteria. There are dark forces at work in my lower intestinal areas today. Made for a real fun train ride.

I have to take a few movies to the mailbox. It's 2 doors down. Let's hope I don't have a heat stroke on the way.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Attention Nerds

I don't think this is a avery difficult problem but I recently had to wipe my hard rive clean and start anew on my laptop. Since then I have lost the ability to play DVDs on this friggin' thing. Anybody know what software I need to download? I have done some preliminary searches and downloaded a few programs that did not work. Please help. I am too busy/lazy to spend a lot of time on this.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

John Stamos is NOT a Beach Boy

The Beach Boys played Ravinia last night and there was a lot of buzz over whether or not Brian Wilson would be joining the group. I was skeptical to say the least but I was totally unprepared for what was to come. John (fuckin') Stamos was front and center for some of the performance. After the "You must be shitting me." reaction, I caught the early train back to the city. If I'd heard Stamos belt out a few of my favs, they'd be ruined forever as the joke the Boys have become. Fuck you, Mike Love!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Break Down

Each day, on my way to work, I walk down the bike path between the train staion and Ravinia park. Today, I came across a man sitting on a bench. I could see a bike lying on the ground not far away. He asked if I had a cell phone and if I could call 911. It was then that I looked down and saw a leg that was obviously broken. I called 911 and an ambulance arrived shortly thereafter. A fire truck came too which seemed odd for a cycling accident but that's not important.

I was thinking later how helpless we both seemed while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. I was asking if there was anything I could do to make him more comfortable and did he want a drink of my water. He said he just wanted to remain still. After a minute, I went and got his bike just so I had something to do other than stand there and stare at the guy. After a few minutes more people using the path started to gather and I felt a little better that I had someone to talk to. I told everyone 911 had been called and that they should give him some space.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm No Sherlock Holmes But...

I was taking a walk and developed a theory about the folks who named the streets in Rogers Park. They may have been pranksters. There are two streets that rhyme with names for male and female genitalia; Estes and Lunt. I'll let you figure it out. There is only one street that lies between them, Greenleaf. That is a rather clever coincidence. I am going to see if I can find further evidence in other street names.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Christmas in July

I recently noticed that there is a nativity scene in the yard of a building 2 blocks west of me on Lunt. It is enclosed by plastic and has little Santa lights hanging above it. It is never turned on and moisture builds up on the plastic on hot days. It is exceedingly creepy and the unkempt yard only adds to the effect. Does anyone know who the building owner is? I'd like to ask that they take it down or offer to help them take it down if they are unable.

I know there is an upcoming neighborhood meeting to discuss problem buildings but I have to work and will be unable to attend. If someone could mention this at that meeting, it would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I came across a show on VH1 tonight detailing America's obsession with plastic surgery. I've never been a supporter of it except in cases of correcting a deformity or wound but the crap they showed tonight made me feel sick. A woman spent a shitload of money to have her toes shortened so that she could spend a shitload of money on designer shoes that would not come in her size otherwise.

I want to get on a plane and go to this woman's house to slap her in her fake face. The song "Holiday in Cambodia" comes to mind when these issues come up. Why do we feel it acceptable to live luxurious lives and throw money to the wind when others go without? How can I complain about and spend a fortune to correct my nose when there are kids missing their faces in war torn Africa?

I am not a saint. I do not give all my spare income to charity. I actually try and save for my future and my future family but the idea of spending so much on vanity is sickening. Not just on surgery but on homes and cars and other needless excesses. I have nice things but they are quality and will last long enough to justify their price. I don't have diamond encrusted cell phones that will be outdated and out of fashion in 3 weeks.

Not all of these people are moneyed. Some of them put this shit on credit cards or take out loans. What can these folks be thinking when they get a second mortgage for the removal of a second chin?

Throwing money away on vanity is the worst thing we can do as a people. We can help so many by only buying what we need with a few indulgences to reward our hard work and the work of others. We can help so many by living with what we need and helping our communities. Instead of having a mansion that isolates me from the masses who have nothing, why not live in a modest home and help the masses? Noone is going to come asking for things if they already have them.

I know I just came off as a total socialist but I got a ride home from a few immigrant workers that work for me tonight when the train was late. We drove on Sheridan most of the way past row on row of mansions and we had a talk about wealth. We decided that we were happier embracing our friends and families and living humbly than these wealthy folks who have to spend all their time focused on money and status. I was really inspired by them. These are truly great people.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Good Night

A very busy night at the restaurant tonight. We served over 500 in about 2 1/2 hours. Incredibly busy and everything went great. Lots of compliments from people and we never ran out of anything. I was really inpressed with my kids. They have really turned the corner and understand what we need to do every day. I was really proud of them.

I think I have turned a corner as a leader as well. These kids have taught me a lot about how to lead. They are so green that I need to teach them everything. I have never worked with people who needed so much guidance. There have been some rough moments in the last month or so but I am really starting to feel that they understand me and me them.

I am pushing to get them a little congratulatory BBQ tomorrow as a thank you. We have an early show and will be done by 6. I want them to understand how much I appreciate a busy night done right. I give them cheers every night to encourage them but tonight was exceptional and I really want them to know this is the standard I've been looking for.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Punchy Drunk

I was walking home tonight when I encountered a man dressed like it was winter. I saw him from about half a block away. He was swaying and mumbling. Obviously he was drunk and I could get past him without trouble. As I approached him he looked up and mumbled some unintelligible crap. He took a swing at me that was telegraphed and easily blocked. I knocked him against the fence of the neighboring yard and that's when I realized he was all beat up. I guess I was not the first person he had taken a swing at recently.

After calling 911, the police showed up and asked if I was the one who did this to him. I explained what happened and they were satisfied. An ambulance was called and I went home. I felt kind of bad when I got home for not sticking around to find out what would happen to the guy. I used to have a friend who liked to fight when he drank and this fella reminded me of him a little. I always took care of him and made sure he got home OK. I guess I felt the need to take care of this poor guy too.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Scarred For Life

There is a commercial on TV that I have seen several times and just this morning it struck me that perhaps something was amiss behind the scenes. In the commercial is a little girl with a 2 inch long burn on her face. She goes on to say that if you use this special cream you can reduce scarring. Flash forward 2 weeks and her scar is noticeably diminished.

Here's where I thought to myself, "Are they advertising for kids with burns on their faces to come and audition for these commercials?" I can just picture a stage mom reading the paper and coming across an ad that reads, "Wanted. Adorable children with great acting chops. Must have 2 inch burn mark on left cheek." The mother's eyes widen as she turns and calls to her daughter, "Joanie! Come here sweetie! And bring the curling iron with you!"

They have a similiar commercial for a kid with scraped up knees. "Donnie, do you want skateboard lessons? ", a father asks. "What do you need pads for? Don't be such a pansy." I really hope this is not how these things go down.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

iPod PO'd

On my way home from work tonight I realized that my iPod was not in my bag. The zipper was open, which is not unusual as I am often grabbing things I need from my bag throughout the night. I asked the conductor if anyone had found an iPod on the train earlier and he told me they hadn't.

Now, I am totally pissed about the loss as all my music is in it and I need it for the gym and for long commutes. I love to listen to comedy albums on the way to work in the morning as it puts me in a great mood by the time I walk in the door. My conundrum is whether or not to say something at work which may start a big ado about people stealing. I don't know if it was stolen or if I simply mislaid it so I don't want someone to get fired for it. As you may imagine, low paying jobs in the kitchen are often occupied by people with a "history." Many of these fellas are nice guys but got into trouble lifting shit and using cons to make money. I'd hate for them to come under suspicion when they are trying to get their shit together.

Wow! Did I just come off as a huge liberal or what?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What's the Buzz?

I am starting to get settled in my new digs. I have purchased some new furniture and it is starting to feel like home slowly but surely.

The place is a gut rehab which means most everything in the apartment is new. Great appliances, nice finishes, a real nice place. They didn't replace everything however. The buzzer is still from the 70's when the building waqs built. Not a big deal but it got me thinking about something. The buzzer in Laura's and my condo is brand new. Thing is that even though they were made over 30 years apart they both make the same "BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!" sound. In fact, every apartment I have ever lived in has had the exact same buzzer sound. Whoever is in charge of product development down at the buzzer factory is friggin' asleep at the wheel.

Is it possible that some jackass actually thinks this is the ideal sound for door buzzers? The sound is a mating of a duck call and Fran Dresher's caterwauling. The noise makes every dog in my building bark and startles me. Why can't it just sound like a door bell? I mean, if my computer can let me know when I have mail in a pleasant voice, why can't my doorbell at least go "bing-bong" or some shit like that?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Public Broadcast Shit

Why is it that I contribute to PBS and WTTW every year but when they decide to run their pledge drive they pull all the good progrmming and run non-stop shit? Instead of Frontline they run a fucking Chubby Checker concert. Instead of Nova, they have some bitch talking about skin treatments. What the fuck?!

Of Many Pet Peeves

I am one of those people who are irritated by odd crap. I got lots of irritants. Today it is the issue of baseball caps that is stuck in my craw.

Why is it that any sport other than baseball would distribute baseball caps? Why do I have to look at people wearing Lakers, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, and all those other non-baseball clubs wearing baseball hats? This really irritates me. I don't know why. Maybe I am just an old fashioned curmudgeon.

On a similar note, I get irritated by the pink baseball hats worn by suburban ladies. I have wanted to swat them off the heads of all the faux Cub fans from Schaumburg for years. Now I see SOX faux fans wearing them. I am sorry to Ed and others if these morons are now making their way to the south side and driving your ticket prices up. I can't recall any time when the Cubs or the Sux ever having having the colors of pink and white. Why can't ladies wear blue? Why can't they wear black? Isn't it supposed to be slimming.?

Elvis Costello is Awesome.

Elvis played Ravinia tonight. He was scheduled to play from 7 to 9 but he played three encores until nearly 10. Wonderful show. He opened with "What's so Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding." I was in the restaurant's dining room when he started and was smiling all night listening to him. I stayed after work for the rest of the show and it was great. I didn't even care about riding home with the drunks.

I was so happy that when I got home to find a bunch of thugs drinking on the sidewalk and leaning against the gate, I actually thought about not calling the cops. But that's what's funny about peace, love and understanding. It has limits.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

More Metra Stories

Another night at Ravinia is over. I am on the train with all the giggling drunk people heading home now. I know they are just having fun but drunken people can be very annoying, especially when you are stone sober. Worse yet, they are getting drunker by the minute. Metra allows people to drink on the train. The gentle swaying and bumps must cause innumerable spills. A girl dumped half a cup of wine in her lap to the great delight of her friends. If this keeps up, I expect the train to reach Tara Reid levels of intoxication by the time we get to Main Street. A guy on the other side of the aisle from me just uncorked a bottle of tequila. I think I may move before the puking begins.

A group of people on the lower level just started blaring music from a radio and started an impromptu karaoke session. This is like a rolling sorority/frat party and the Piano Man is always playing. My stop is approaching. More later.

P.S. The act tonight was The BoDeans. Guess which song they closed with? No surprises here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ann Coulter is a Crazy and Dangerous Person

So i heard a lot of things about Ann Coulter's book that seemed too horrifying to believe. I picked up a copy at the library and am working my way through it. So far all claims have been supported. She is so vile and disgusting I do not know that I'll be able to finish the book.

On a related note, the first ting I saw when I turned on the TV this morning 06/06/06 was Ann Coulter on the Today show (I don't usually watch that show.) trying to defend the satatement that the 9/11 widows are millionaires who revel in the deaths of their husbands.

This post will be updated as I work my way through this piece of shit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Metra... The Way to Really Fly

The flying refers to nails. Not six-penny nails you use to secure your roof but rather finger and toe style. I was riding the Metra this morning when I heard an odd clicking noise. At first, I thought it was the ticket puncher of the conductor but as time went on it became obvious that it was coming from elsewhere.

There was a man on the train when I got on that was sitting in his stocking feet reading. His shoes were next to him and his feet were on the neighboring chair. This same man had started to trim his fingernails 10 minutes into the ride. I considered saying something but decided against it as the people next to him had not.

Fast forward five minutes and he has a sock off and is trimming his toe nails on the train. WTF?!!! How does a person justify this? Mind you, he does look middle eastern and may not understand western culture fully, but still.

I had to speak up. I said, "Hey buddy! That is foul! There is a time and place to do that."

He said. "It's something that must be done."

Me, "Of course. It is something that must be done at home in your bathroom. "

At this point my stop is coming up and other people near him start giving him the business so I just get up and walk off giving the offender a knowing look.

Am I an asshole for calling this dude on this? I kind of felt bad for shaming the guy.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A New Thing

I am moving into a new apartment tomorrow. I am happy to have a private place again but still have reservations. I don't want to be divorced. I miss my lady. This is going to be very hard for me. I keep thinking I'll wake up and all this will have been a bad dream. I wish I could make it all go away but I can't. This is my reality that seems so surreal. That someone I love so much is so far away kills me. My heart is shattered. It is a hard battle to stay strong and I am losing that battle recently. I am working on it though. It's just hard.

I am going back to work in the kitchen. Put a knife and a recipe in my hands and the whole world makes more sense. The work is going to be good. I am respected in the kichen. People know I know how to cook and make sure shit gets done. I am proud that this industry has embraced me. I know that I am not only competent but excellent. All you guys are going to be reading my cook-book one day.

I am going to be quite busy so I may not be posting much. I'll write as soon as I can.

Loves ya,


Thursday, May 18, 2006

B.S. is for Bus Stop

While waiting for the bus yesterday it began to rain. I was standing in the shelter and noticed that a guy was out standing by the sign and I realized he was blind. I walk over to him and ask him if he knows there is a shelter right over there and he says, "Yes, but I can't tell which bus it is so I have to stand here and ask the driver or listen to the announcement." What he meant is that this particular stop is served by several routes and he obviously can't see the number on the bus. I ask him which bus he's waiting for and he is waiting for the same one as me so I offer to let him know when it is coming and we go back to the shelter.

The problem here is that lately a lot of new shelters have been put in often up to 20-30 feet away from the actual stop and not all drivers stop at the shelters but at the sign. Why can't we make some sort of requirement that the drivers stop at the shelter so guys like this don't have to stand out in the elements? I couldn't think of a reason why not so I sent an email to the CTA and my alderman today and ask that each of you do the same thing. Thanks in advance for your help.

Monday, May 15, 2006

No Habla Bullshit

I watched our Commander in Chief bullshit his way through yet another presidential address. The most important thing on America's mind today is the war in Iraq and potential violations of privacy via the collection of phone records. So what did he talk about? Immigration reform. It's a "hot button" issue. Not really, but we can pretend it is to avoid dealing with real issues in the mid-term elections Republicans are going to look weak on.

This is a game meant to distract us from a war and a failing economy as well as a policy of deception from this administration.

I keep hearing things from morons like, "The majority who voted should be able to choose what is right and wrong." Uhhhh, wrong. There are three branches to our government for a reason. To prevent the executive and legislative from doing whatever the people (who are not always that sharp in let's say 60's Mississippi) want.

The people have a right to voice their opinion but popular opinion does not and should not direct the judicial body from doing anything other than interpret the constitution and it's ammendments. A fundamentalist or a liberal movement is kept in check by the ideals of our charter. Our charter prevents a religious sect or any other faction from taking our consitution and manhandling however they see fit.

In this case, I see the ideals of our constitution being eroded by the ideals of both parties that want to "protect our borders." This means our southern border with Mexico. The terrorists of 9/11 all came in via Canada if not through legal channels. Those minute/minute men might want to take a minute to decide if they are protecting ourselves from a cheap source of labor that pumps billions into the economy each year or if they are simply afraid that the percentage of white to brown skin is being challenged somehow. It all makes me sick to my stomach. When Bushy spoke that only the learning of English would allow people to go from picking crops to growing them or cleaning rooms to owning them, I wanted to slap him. Where does he get off. There are entire communities in my city that have fewer than 10% English speaking. Those folks own businesses and function just fine.

There is a perception in America that you cannot function without learning the "American Language" which is supposed to be English. Much of the American lexicon is not English at all. It is a language in itself. It has been added to by immigrants throughout history and will continue to evolve. H. L. Mencken's The American Language is proof that the king's english is a joke and that American's have survived and understood each other quite well without a unified language. How the hell did we get along to begin with? We slowly learned and adapted to the ways of the land. Why should that change now?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Defense of Michael McDonald

In another forum today, a person made a crack about Michael McDonald of Doobie Brothers fame. Often accused of draining away any amount of rock left in the band, I found myself defending the guy. Now, he probably was guilty of said charges but I often associate certain songs and sounds with certain times in my life. When I hear "What A Fool Believes" I get drawn in. Actually, I get sucked in anytime I hear that keyboard sound. It's mostly nostalgia. When I hear those songs I am 7 years old again and it is early summer. I am laying on the carpet with those big headphones on in front of the record player and the sun is shining through the windows. My dad is making fried chicken. The world was perfect then. I was perfect then. At least that's how I like to remember it.

There is a particularly good rant about this topic in the movie Diner. Shrevie (Daniel Stern) is a music fanatic and after his wife wrongly categorizes his records, he launches into a tirade about how each one of them takes him back to a special time and place. He knows exactly where he was when he heard each of them for the first time. The scene is really about the disconnect between he and his wife and his pining for his lost youth but it really spoke to me. Great buddy movie with stellar performances by guys no longer associated with good acting. Check it out.

Anyway, I may curse the radio for Michael's later atrocities but he gets a pass from me for the stuff he made with the Doobie's. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go download that album and tune the way-back machine to 1978. Where's my ELO records?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Who is Persecuting the Christians?

A friend of mine has been complaining that the Christians are being persecuted and that it is time they fight back. He claims that America was founded on Christian ideals as seen in many of the documents our founding fathers drafted, including the Declaration of Independence. He believes that the separation of church and state was not an intention of our founding fathers even though they intentionally left out any mention of a creator from the constitution.

He also believes the first amendment should not prevent a Christian version of the preamble from being instituted. It is something that has been tried several times since the Civil War, when Lutheran pastors petitioned the government to change our preamble with the belief that our neglecting to have God in our constitution was why we were being punished with the war. It was rejected but a consolation prize of having "In God We Trust" put on our money was given.

There is a rather large movement going on right now that wants to "stop the persecution." WTF? Don't we all get Christmas off and spring break covers Easter? Mail isn't delivered on Sundays and Catholic kids are excused on Good Friday to go and get ash smeared on their foreheads.

I know there are a few PC zealots who freak out every time that anything remotely religious pops up in a government funded institution but those few instances hardly create an attack on Christianity. Let's face it, if I don't want the 10 commandments on display in a major public building, that's a real case. If I am mad that my co-worker at the post office is hanging up Xmas cards in her cubicle, I'm a dick.

Why does everything have to turn into a polarizing battle? Why must there be a line drawn in which you are evil on that side and good on this side? Isn't it more probable that the people spewing this shit to divide us all into goups are simply serving their own interests? The people who poison us with hate for one another are the real enemy. I have learned to respect my friends' faiths so I wish it would come around that they will respect my need to keep their Jesus out of my government while I keep my government out of their Jesus.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

School Pride

While riding my bike down Madison today I was passed by an old station wagon spewing all kinds of filth and noxious gases into the air. Rusted out wheel wells and duck tape on the bumper. A real piece of crap. In the rear window there was a sticker for Illinois State University. I went to ISU and I thought to myself, "This is not a good omen for alumni of ISU. One guy in an old jallopy and me on a friggin' bike." At least my bike doesn't emit noxious gases.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Moussaoui Gets Life, Life.

I was delighted to hear that the jury decided not to sentence Moussaoui to death today. Not only am I happy that we chose not give this fella the martyrdom he wanted, but it proves the people of this country have the character and courage to do the right thing.

I am against the death penalty for lots of reasons but my biggest one is that I believe that the law should protect us from our lesser selves, our vindictive selves. I am no saint and may in a rage one day want someone, who has wronged me or my family, dead as a doornail. I don't want it to be an option because if one day I am able to forgive the person, it's too fuckin' late when they're pushing up the daisies.

I was raised Catholic and though I am not a believer anymore, the message of forgiveness that was instilled in me is still with me. Forgiveness and opportunity for redeeming ones self is something that I think we all should cherish.

I am thrilled by this decision and it really made me feel better about my country and the people in it. Maybe we can use this as a springboard to launch a movement to abolish the death penalty completely.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Number 2

In another forum I have been discussing child raising with a few friends. I am not a parent but having 4 younger brothers gave me a lot of insight into the process. It all made me think about how my early childhood influenced who I am.

A topic that came up is that parents learn different things with each child and therefor treat them differently. The first child is rarely left unattended. Number 1 is the child parents are worried to death will die if not constantly tended to. Good parents will eventually figure out that kids are made of rubber and have remarkable healing powers and stop fussing too much over the little one's every move. Hopefully, not too much damage has been done by the time they figure it out.

I was number 2. Parents have learned through the first child (unless something terrible happened to number 1) that kids are pretty rugged things and can take lumps and recover pretty well. As number 2, I was given more time to myslef and left to do what I wanted (often whatever my older sister wanted) and I assumed the role of kid who fought for attention. Number 1 already had trained my folks that she needed constant praise and attention. I am the one who is always going to be OK. I was given the role of the independent one from a very early age. I did not like that role.

I fought for attention constantly. When my sister learned to read, I learned to read better. When my sister brought an art project home from school, I would work madly to copy a picture from a real artist so that it could go up on the fridge. I had to out do my sister. She was not competitive and at some point she gave up. She was held back a year in school and I was advanced so that we ended up in the same grade. This lead to even more attention being given to my sister's problems and having a younger brother at home just made it harder for me.

More kids came and as time went on I did all sorts of things. Instead of remaining competitve ,since I assumed the role of eldest child once I had been in the same grade as my sister, I started acting up and getting into trouble. Not only did I get attention that made me feel important but it was fun to be bad. A lot of fun.

Now that I am older (I hope wiser) I wonder how much of my personality and the way I act is influenced by my younger years. I know I am not the same person but I know that I still try to "out do" people and do things I know are wrong from time to time. How are we all affected by our early development and how does that affect how we view the world?

Bye For Now

For a lot of reasons, I am leaving Fargo for now. My wife and I are going our separate ways but I don't want anyone to think poorly of her or her family. They are all great people. My wife is still the best one and she knows it. I know it.

I hope that she will be my best friend until the day I die. Her folks are great too, and though it has been disappointing to them, I want them to know that I have loved them very much and will always think of them well. They are my family now and I hope they will continue to be. I know that they need to protect Laura now but let's hope we can understand each other in the future.

Jerry, I love you like a father. You and I were great companions at family gatherings when most other fellas wanted to speak of golf. I also liked that you appreciated the simple things. Nothing is better than a plate filled with your ribs and a story. I hope you can understand that this was not my plan. I really love you. You mean a lot to me.

Kathi, I love your odd sense of humor. You would laugh at jokes that noone else would laugh at and also jokes noone intended. That takes a keen ear. Also, your pride in not eating fruit seemed odd to me but also made me like you since I grew up as an odd duck. You are sweet and odd and that is a winning combination to me. A unique person with strength and humor. You charmed me.

Laura's brother, Jim, deserves special respect for everything he has done for me. He has been the one person I have been able to have unbiased conversations with since this all has started. He is the best man I have ever met and I want him to know that I will respect him always.

I want everyone to help make this as painless as possible.

I will return soon and I don't know where. Until then, keep watching out for our neighborhood, It is bigger than me and my wife even if I can't see that right now.



Monday, April 17, 2006

Guilty! Will they hear an appeal?

George Ryan found guilty on all counts:

My guess is, "Yes." This case just barely avoided a mistrial after the tainted juror controversy. Even though it seems such a conclusive verdict, I doubt it can be avoided. Should the states attornwey's office bother to carry on with the trial of an elderly man? What do you think?

Thursday, April 13, 2006


This is where the van that occupied much of my waking moments once rested. After nearly a year of work and nonstop complaining/cojoling it is finally gone! I am so happy I could spit. Thanks to everyone who put pressure on the owners to have it removed. I was satrting to think it was going to be a permanent resident in the neighborhood. I am hoping this is part of an effort by the owner to improve the property. Maybe they will plant grass in front of the building that is currently bare dirt? I can dream can't I?

Friday, March 31, 2006

A Well Job Done

There's an old joke that asks, "What's blue and sleeps four?" Answer: A city truck. Anyway, they woke up long enough to come out one day last week to address our sink hole problem and here's the result.

They moved the hole. But don't worry. We'll put a board over it. See? Good as new! I wasn't going to complain thinking they would come back out and finish the job in a timely fashion but it has been over a week and we haven't heard a peep. What a mess.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Shooting Death at Ashland and Fargo

This is a photo of the sidewalk where a young man's body lay last night. It's hard to make out but this is a faint blood stain with a few puddles of blood near the building. The colorful splotches are from candles that were laid out in tribute to the victim. The shooting occured sometime after 8 pm about 3 doors down from my building. From what I could gather from the crowd, he was 19 and probably the victim of gang activity. I tried to learn more this morning but it appears that the murder of a young man in this neighborhood does not warrant much press. Here is a link to the only news I could find:

Anyone with any additional information are encouraged to post here. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I am listening to news of Zacarias Moussauoi's trial on NPR right now and
it is making me angry. Why is it that the prosecutors in this asshole's trial don't
understand that by pursuing the death penalty we are martyring the
bastard and doing exactly what he wants? He admitted that had he not
been picked up on immigration violations he'd already be dead after
flying a plane into a building. He doesn't want to live in jail. He
wants to die for his cause and the prosecution is going to give him
just what he wants. Are we a nation of vindictive 6 year olds who
don't understand the consequences of our actions? I am so pissed off
right now I want to go outside and just start slapping people for no

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Return to the Hole

After getting no response from 311 after several calls and being told, "We'll put in a report." I decided to contact the ward office in regards to the matter. I have posted the content below.

Good Evening,

This past week a sink hole in the parkway in front of my building appeared. It is approximately 8 inches wide and goes back under the sidewalk. The washout under the walk appears to be extensive. I have contacted 311 on the matter several times but have not seen any action thus far.

I put a small wire fence around it since it presents a serious tripping hazard.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.


Michael Kaszynski

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Bone to Pick... Up

The smiling man you see above is the most recognized purveyor of fried chicken in the world. I love fried chicken and just about anything else that can be battered and fried. Who (unless you're a vegetarian) doesn't? Problem is, in this neighborhood people seem to be under the impression that walking down the street eating chicken and simply flinging the stripped bones wherever they may fall is perfectly acceptable behavior. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a dog away from chicken bones? Hell, even I am tempted by the prospect of free fried chicken.

This is indicative of a larger problem in RP and many other neighborhoods. There are a large number of people who don't care if their neighborhood looks like crap. Cheetos bags, juice containers, beer bottles and an endless array of junk. I've seen TV parts in the park. I've seen doll houses in the street. Last week my dog almost got her mouth on an untouched baloney sandwich laying on the sidewalk. A week before that, an entire loaf of bread stuffed in some bushes. What are these people thinking? Forget about the rats and pigeons that feed on the discarded food. Forget about the safety hazard of broken glass in the sand at the beach. Why does it seem that so many people are hell bent on destroying anything of value? Are they all nihilists? Do they like the way their street looks when they look out the window?

If someone can help me understand the impetus behind this behavior, I'd love to hear from you. Until then, I'll be outside picking up the leavings of the day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Parkway Cave In

This is a hole that suddenly appeared on the parkway in front of my building. I did not put the cigarette butt in the frame for scale but it does the trick. It's about 7 or 8 inches wide and goes down several feet and back under the sidewalk. The wash out under the walk looks fairly extensive. I have contacted 311 3 times and have been told they'd make a report. So far I have seen no response. I put a bit of garden fencing around it to keep people from stepping in it. If noone comes to investigate soon, I will try contacting the ward office.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Something I think is funny

I was looking over the 49th ward's website today and I happened to notice something a little odd about the alderman's photo. If you look closely, you'll see that the post he is leaning against is tagged. Kind of a bad choice. I could touch up this pic in iPhoto if he wants. I wonder if noone has noticed til now. I know I've seen the pic several times and this is the first time I noticed it.

The Fox is Tending the Hen House... Again

Before story.cunningham.speech.jpgstory.delay.file.pool.jpg After

Can someone please explain how it is that Tom DeLay, currently under indictment for conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, landed a seat on the House Appropriations Committee? The spot was made vacant after Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from defense contractors. I understand that many Republicans have a history of standing by their guy no matter what, but this is a slap in the face to people looking to get America out of the mire of scandal after scandal.

He also got a seat on a subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department's investigation into the Jack Abramoff scandal. That is friggin' hilarious. You might as well congratulate Jack on his acquittal now.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


During Coretta Scott King's funeral services yesterday, many speakers paid tribute to not only Coretta but also to her husband and others who gave their lives to the civil rights movement. One such speaker was Rev. Joseph Lowery. In a long rhyme he stated, "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here -- millions without health insurance, poverty abounds. For war, billions more, but no more for the poor." Although I think his position is correct, I wonder if it can be stated that using a funeral as a platform to launch a political attack is maybe in poor taste. I must admit that watching the look on the Bush's faces (seated directly behind the podium) made me giggle a little. Giggling during a funeral is probably inappropriate too.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I've decided to make a few changes to this blog to make it more accessible to people that don't live near me. I want to be able to communicate about all things of interest to me and how I feel about things. I will still post about community issues but on slow news days I want to be able to post about other things. Hopefully, this will not be a snooze-fest for everyone who reads this.
Last night's meeting concerning the re-zoning of 1791 W Howard street was boring to say the least. Most folks seemed most concerned with parking issues. I thought this was a non-issue considering that there is a huge parking garage a block away where people can easily rent parking. I really can't believe that people are worried about increses in residences on Howard . A few years back, it was a ghost town.

I did voice a few concers with the historic preservation of the building but, to tell the truth, I was really just trying to make sure it was on people's radar and not really that concerned that it would ever become an issue.

Sorry for such a boring entry but not a lot to report. There were a few folks who seemed more concerend with complaining than the effort at hand. Hell, I think I would have enjoyed a few more fireworks just to justify the fact that the meeting went on so long. I left before it was all over so maybe there was something I missed.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The van that has occupied so much of this blog still sits in the driveway on flats. A not was recently attached to the wiper asking if the owner would be interested in selling it. If anyoune out there has contact with the owner could you let them know the note is there? I think it might be from a realtor who would be willing to pay a few hundred bucks to take it off their hands if it means the hood will look nicer to prospective buyers.

Friday, January 27, 2006

You may have noticed a group of men pruning trees in the neighborhood over the last few days. I am glad for the work as it helps keep the trees healthy but they didn't take the branches away. They left them where they fell and it doesn't appear that they have any intention to come back for them. I saw a few green trucks but forget the name of the company. Did anyone else happen to catch the name? I wold like to contact them about the mess they made.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Everyone has seen the scrap metal collectors driving around with their trucks piled high with all manner of things. Old appliances, computer shells, and bed frames stacked 10 feet high. I worry that this is dangerous but don't report it because I know these folks need to make a living. Making the life of someone (who obviously is having a hard time already) more difficult is not something I will readily do. Problem is, I have seen questionable merchandise tossed up in the back of these trucks. I saw what looked like a few brand new ovens in a truck today that I fear were stolen from a construction site. In the past I have seen a bike rack in a truck with bikes still locked to it. On another occasion, I saw a truck stacked high with wheel chairs. I called the police on my cell phone when I saw that one. Stealing from building sites is one thing but stealing from a hospital is low.

My question is, "Should I call the police when I see these things?" Am I risking sending a person to jail and ruining a family? I wish I could approach the drivers and ask but worry that I will end up in a fight or worse. If anyone else has had any experience in these matters, your comments are very welcome.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

There has been a lot of activity in Jarvis square recently. They have been putting in new flooring and installed a counter at what will soon be a coffee shop and are painting the walls in the storefront to the north. The new grocery has new windows and I have seen that they're bringing in coolers and other equipment already. The sound of construction in what will soon be a restaurant in the old liquor store space has also been heard. Rogers Bark pet salon seems to be doing good business and the new theater space is also coming together. All this new business makes feel very good about the economic health of the neighborhood. Most people I know around here have been complaining for years that we need new businesses that people can go to. New buisiness means more tax dollars and hopefully continued improvement. Nothing attracts money like money.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Idle hands are the barber's playground. Or something like that. Since I am no longer looking for a job and I have a few weeks before I start my new job, I have decided to grow a beard. I will document its progress by photographing it each day. On the day before I start work, I will shave it off in increments and create as many different facial hair fashions as possible. Once the project is complete, I'll post the photos for all to see. Unfortunately, I will be shaving my neck so I will not be able to demonstrate the Grady from Sanford and Son full neck beard. Keep in mind that this project is only going to last a few weeks so it might not get that long. More soon.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The fellow who exposes himself at Arbour House did it to me today and then proceeded to urinate in the yard. I called the police and they came and spoke with him. They think he may not have a legitimate mental problem as he seems to understand that what he is doing is wrong but malingers well enough that they could not make an arrest. Their exact words were, "We'd like to bring this guy in but if we did our Lt. would have us working the South Side tomorrow."

They said that we should call on every infraction we see and encourage our neighbors to do so as well. If enough complaints are received they'll be forced to clean up their act. They said that while in the building they saw a guy they arrested a few days ago for drug posession. They got the very distinct impression that the facility will diagnose most anyone with a mental handicap in order to have them admitted and have seen it before. They make money by having people in the facility. It is terrible to think that some of the gentle souls that inhabit that building are being constantly exposed to criminals. Please call 911 and ask to speak with an officer any time something shady is going on. Thank you.