Category Archives: Life

Daddy issues

exam231013PatrickScottWeddingI guess straight men aren’t the only ones who hook up with people young enough to be their kids. This couple in Ireland that just got married includes a 93-year-old and a 57-year-old – and they’ve been together for 37 years. That means they were 56 and 20 when they met. Ouch! I can’t imagine, though I can only hope if I’m still single at 56…

Gay pasta

bertolli Buitoni

I’m really amused by the whole controversy surrounding the CEO of Barilla denouncing gay marriage and saying his company would never use gay couples in its advertising. He said “if gays don’t like it they can go eat another brand” – leading to boycott calls. Other pasta makers are salivating over the prospect of getting more gay dollars, with a couple releasing these amusing advertising photos on social media, while Barilla is scrambling to do damage control. It’s going to be fun to watch this play out.

(For the record, I don’t have any Barilla pasta in my pantry – and not because of a boycott. I don’t have any Buitoni or Bertolli, either. Sorry – they all taste the same and have the same ingredients, so I just buy what’s on sale. I don’t eat a lot of pasta, anyway. I’m from Louisiana – I grew up on rice.)

Swimming in liquor

The city council just passed a moratorium on issuing new tavern licenses in my neighborhood. In 14 square blocks, there are 140 liquor licenses, including restaurants, bars, grocery and convenience stores, and liquor stores. That’s 10 licenses per block. Eighteen of those are bars that are not part of restaurants – 18 dedicated bars in 14 blocks. The moratorium means there won’t be anymore for a while.

This pleases me. While I appreciate living in such a popular neighborhood and the taxes tourists bring in, it’s becoming increasingly inconvenient for residents. Last night around 8 p.m., I walked to the grocery store four blocks away. I had to walk in the street to get past all the drunken tourists and suburbanites, and dodging cab drivers blocking crosswalks and rushing to get the next fare is putting your life in jeopardy. Then there’s all the garbage these non-residents leave on our streets – Sunday mornings are filthy. And don’t even get me started on the panhandlers who are attracted to the prospect of easy money – in one walk to the aforementioned grocery store, I was hit up for money eight times in four blocks. Needless to say, I took a different route home that avoided the main tourist strip.

I don’t want to see downtown Chicago go the way of other downtown areas in cities around the country. Downtown Chicago is the place to be, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as a residential area. The 42nd ward, which covers most of downtown, is the only one of Chicago’s 50 wards that had to be reduced in size after the last census – the population had nearly doubled since the 2000 census. This is a good thing, and it’s happening because of all the resources available to residents.

But now it’s time to take a break, to slow things down a bit. I’ve lived here for more than a decade, and the landscape has changed significantly. Almost every surface parking lot has been replaced by residential or hotel highrises. Businesses are opening left and right to provide services for all these new residents and tourists. But the growth needs to be managed, and I’m glad the city council has recognized that with this moratorium. The danger is that people who live in this area will get tired of all the drunks and move. Then you’ll have dozens of empty residential highrises and property values will plummet, and that would be even worse than the current situation.

Apparently, I’m a woman

According to this study, most men change their bedsheets only once every three months – and own only one set of sheets. I have four sets of sheets (more than women) and change them every Saturday (ditto). I can’t imagine using the same sheets for three months.

I guess I’m part of yet another minority: gay, atheist, liberal, clean.

My new favorite app

shazamCan’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a song in a store or a bar and wondered who was singing. I frequently have to ask, and I sometimes feel stupid when I hear the answer. (“That’s Madonna, dumbass.” “Oh.”) Then yesterday a friend showed me a free app called Shazam on his iPhone. I love this app! Just tap the screen, it listens using your microphone, and seconds later, up pops the name of the song and singer (with the option to buy, of course). Just don’t talk while it’s trying to identify a song – it picks up everything through that microphone.