J’adore mon petit canard

It’s not like I’m trying to brag or anything. I’m just telling you that I won a very prestigious award over at The Collective. That’s all. No need to slash my tires.

Mrs. Puppet

Some people believe in destiny, others in fate, but me? I believe in serendipity. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Like a few weeks ago, when I first saw the Puppet Bike. The whole experience made me so happy that after I wrote this entry about it, I wanted to express my gratitude, so I emailed the Puppet Biker to let him know that my proposal of marriage was bona fide.
Last week I received this response:

You lifted the spirit of all of the puppets… thank you so much. So far, your proposal has been almost unanimously accepted by every puppet and puppeteer, as well as a few others with no affiliation whatsoever. I hope your schedule is free for a lot of courting!

Now, some of you might be thinking, “Wait… what do you mean almost unanimously accepted? Who’s the holdout?” I can’t be sure, but I suspect it’s the alligator. He seems like a bit of a skeptic, so maybe he thinks that I’m just trying to marry them for their money.
Nothing could be further from the truth. My love for the puppets and puppeteers is unconditional. And I’m completely willing to sign a pre-nup if that’s what it takes to prove it.
This Sunday, I was driving home after a long day of taking photos by the lake, when I saw a crowd gathered on the corner near my apartment. I craned my neck to see what the commotion was about, when suddenly my heart raced a bit. It was the Puppet Bike again! Was this a sign? Were they trying to tell me that they had accepted my hand in marriage? I squealed into my garage, grabbed my camera and ran down to the street corner.
puppet bike
I stood there, grinning madly and snapping photo after photo, hoping for a nice one I could put on my desk at work. The kittens were kind enough to stop for a moment and pose for me, but then they went back to the grueling work of show business.
getting paid
Anyway, it’s strange to think that I might not be single for much longer. Stranger yet is the fact that I’ll go straight from single to polygamist, but love is blind. I haven’t talked it over with them yet, but I think I’d like to start a family right away, so in lieu of wedding gifts, please send us new or gently used socks, spare buttons, googly eyes, hot glue guns and perhaps some felt.


Chicago Non-Emergency, how can I help you?
Hi, I’m calling to report that there is water bubbling up out of a crack in the street by my apartment.
Is the water coming out of a sewer grating?
No, it’s coming out of a crack in the street.
So it’s not coming out of a sewer grating?
No. There is a crack in the street, about a foot or two from the curb, and water is bubbling out of it.

Okay. I’ll just need the address and I can report it.

Great, thanks.
Chicago Non-Emergency, how can I help you?
Hi, I’m calling to report that there’s a hole in the street and water is bubbling up out of it.
Is the water coming out of a sewer grating?
No, it’s coming out of an actual hole in the street.
So it’s not coming out of a sewer grating?
No. I called yesterday to report that it was coming out of a crack. Now the crack has expanded into a hole about a foot in diameter.
Is it on the curb near a sewer?
There are no sewers anywhere near it. It’s a hole. In the street. With water coming out of it. Seems like a problem to me.
Okay. Can you give me the address? I’ll write it up.
Great, thanks.
Chicago Non-Emergency, how can I help you?
Hi, I’m calling to report a giant sinkhole about three feet wide in the street outside of my apartment with water gushing out of it. And it’s nowhere near a sewer.

It’s not coming out of a sewer grating?

So is it in the street?
Yes, it’s in the street. I called twice now to report this. It started out as a crack. Then it was a hole about a foot wide. Now it’s a hole about three feet wide. At this rate, the entire block will be gone by Friday.

And do you know approximately how wide the hole is?

Yes, it’s approximately three feet wide and one foot deep. Look, people are parking their cars right next to this. Someone from the city needs to come out and at least put up some barricades before it gets any worse.
So it’s in the street along the curb then?
And do you have the address?
::Sigh:: Yes, I have the address.
Okay, I’ll write it up.
Great, thanks.
River runs through it

With precision

When he looks up from the table, it becomes apparent that he is much younger than his white hair and pale eyelashes would indicate. He is muttering to himself as he lines up seven packets of sugar on the table. One by one, he places the packets in his left hand. He taps the packets gently against the table to square them in his hand, adjusting them with precision. He tears them open all at once and quickly empties all seven into his coffee.
This continues with the seven creamers he has lined up next to his cup. Picks one up, shakes it, pulls back the lid, pours it in, taps it three times, pushes the lid inside the container, licks the singular drop of cream off the index finger. Then six more times, identically, including the lick.
He only stirs once.

Martha Stewart-Bin Laden

I was rifling through my glove compartment today in search of a pair of sunglasses when I found a folded-up piece of paper containing the following list:
• Blue poster board
• White poster board – 5 pieces
• Rope
• Hook
• Gold paper
• 8 “C” batteries
The strange thing is that this list was written in my own handwriting, and yet I have absolutely no recollection of creating it, and cannot for the life of me imagine what it was for. This makes me wonder if I suffer from some sort of dissociative identity disorder, and one of my personalities is either really into arts and crafts, or is a terrorist.
I’m kind of afraid to be alone with myself. This must be what it feels like to be a werewolf.

Some People

People will tell you that it’s not interesting to write about what you ate for dinner, but sometimes you just want to confess that you ate Whoppers and Sour Patch Kids for dinner. Especially when you received the Whoppers and Sour Patch Kids in a mysterious package in the mail.
People will also tell you that you shouldn’t take candy from strangers. People are so dumb. I feel just fine, aside from a severe case of acid reflux.
People should just stop telling us what to do.

Marry Me, Puppet-biker!

There are a lot of reasons to love Chicago, and no matter how long you live here, you can always find new ones. Take this weekend, for example. Natasha, Farnsworth and I were at our usual Friday sushi dinner where we have become regular fixtures. Although unlike Cheers, no one actually knows our names there, but they do know who we are. Farnsworth is “Jalapeno Bomb,” (so named for the special dish he always requests), Nat is “Jalapeno Bomb’s girlfriend,” and I am either “That Other Girl,” or preferably, “Allergic to Sesame.”
But back to why I love Chicago. It’s been an annoying week, and Nat and Farnsworth had been listening to me spout my “People are the Worst” tirade for the past four days. As we headed down the street to cap off the evening with a martini, we heard some music and noticed a couple people gathering on the street corner.
We saw what appeared to be puppets and I squealed a little. It was the Chicago Puppet Bike!
I had never seen anything so wonderful in my life, and I was absolutely transfixed. The crowd started to get bigger and bigger, and eventually, there were about 30 adults being completely entertained by dancing kittens and penguins and alligators. At one point, Natasha and I started yelling, “Kittens! Bring back the kittens!” Then another woman chimed in, “Yeah! We want the kitties!”
When the kittens suddenly appeared, the entire crowd cheered and laughed. I dug through my purse for all remaining singles. A man gave the monkey a $20 bill. My face hurt from smiling. I have the song “Ragg Mopp” stuck in my head. I am going to marry the Puppet-biker and have all sorts of puppet babies.
So sometimes when you begin to fantasize of moving away to that cabin in the middle of the wilderness in Wyoming, you find someone in a box attached to a bike playing old-timety music and performing the most glee-inducing puppet show you could ever imagine.
I love Chicago, but I am in love with the Puppet Bike.

Summer Summer Summer Time

I don’t know if it’s the heat + humidity combo or all the anabolic steroids I’ve been taking lately, but I’m feeling more violent than ever these days. Mostly just today I guess.
Here’s what happened:
I was waiting for my iced decaf soy latte at Starbucks when this youngish guy shoves next to me. He was on his cell phone having a really loud conversation that was something like, “Dude! That would be so awesome! No way! That’s so f*cking awesome. Are you serious? Awesome.”
So I snatched the cell phone out of his hand and smashed it on the ground, stomping it with my heel, then I got real close to his face and screamed, “You know what would be awesome?! Do you?! It would be really awesome if you would close your goddamn mouth while you’re chewing that goddamn rice krispie treat like a goddamn cow! And it would be really awesome if you stopped saying awesome, you backwards Cubs hat, flip flop wearing, mouth breathing mofo!”
And then I shoved him hard so he fell backwards into the display, shattering coffee mugs everywhere. I grabbed my iced latte and walked out the door while some people applauded.
A couple of those things happened.
I think I’ve become a character in a Spike Lee movie. It’s just like Do the Right Thing, where it’s the hottest day of the summer and everyone has a hair-trigger temper.
And just now, I slipped on a copy of Bust magazine (the one with Amy Sedaris on the cover) and my bare foot wedged underneath my bedroom door, leaving a big gash on my little toe. I was about to tear up the magazine out of spite, but then I realized that it wasn’t Amy’s fault. I’m the one who left her on the floor.
I guess once I make it to Beijing, all the ‘roid rage will have been worth it.

Who You Gonna Call?

I lean back to watch the beginning of Ghostbusters on the DVD player in my brother’s minivan. This is at least the fifth time my eight and ten-year old nephews have seen the movie.
Older nephew: “Rick Moranis is such a good actor in this movie.”
Younger nephew: “Rick Moranis is such a good actor in EVERY movie.”
Me: “Are you kidding me? Rick Moranis sucks!”
Older nephew: “What are you talking about?! He’s the best! Didn’t you see Ghostbusters II?”
Younger nephew: “Yeah! Or Honey I Shrunk the Kids? He was awesome in that!”
My brother: “Yeah! Or Little Shop of Horrors?”
Me: “Ohmigod, it’s genetic.”
My nephews – the Siskel and Ebert of a new generation.

Happy Independence Day!

Q: Guess where I’m going tomorrow?
A: Way, way up north Wisconsin on a fishing trip with my whole family, because I just can’t get enough of those corn-fed mosquitoes.
Q: Guess who remembered to reserve a boat for this fishing vacation, knowing that on the 4th of July weekend there’s no way you’ll get a boat last minute?
A: None of us did!
Q: Guess who will be fishing from the pier, hoping to catch her weight in crawfish and sticks?
A: I will be!
And thus I must leave you, dear friends, to embark on an exciting journey to the wilderness. Such deep wilderness that I will be without internet access for four days. FOUR ENTIRE DAYS! It’s quite possible that I will craft a crude laptop out of cheese curds and empty Pabst cans just to feel connected to the world. So please don’t take offense if you comment and it doesn’t get approved until my return… just know that you are in my thoughts during this challenging time.
Happy 4th of July! Fireworks are responsible for over 9,000 injuries each year! A vexillologist is an expert on flags! Over 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on the 4th of July! Go USA!