Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: April 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not Enough Visual Content


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So...After re-reading my blog on someone else's computer earlier today, I realized that I simply don't have enough visual content on here!

I thought I'd add some "eye candy" for your pleasure....



I talk OH SO MUCH about how I love coffee. Get the world's finest Italian espresso. This is how you get the world's finest coffee every day.




Ok...that is all for now...time for bed! Can't wait for tomorrow!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kidnapped


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Let me set the scene...
The year was 1996 or 1997 and I was working as a bartender in a small cigar bar, in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. The Chicago Bulls were on their 4th or 5th championship, I can't remember which, it was the final game of the playoffs. Chicago was on fire! People celebrating all over the place, shooting their guns in the air on the west side and looting where they could.

The bar where I was working was completely empty. The police had blocked off traffic coming from the suburbs to avoid a flood of additional revelers heading downtown to party in the streets. The streets surrounding our bar were very difficult to get to due to all the road blocks, therefore we were dead. My manager decided to let me go home since we didn't have any business that night.

I left the bar and was headed to a nightclub where my then-boyfriend worked and where my friends were drinking that night. I walked down Clark Street for several blocks, I realized there was not a taxi to be found. Finally a cab filled with guys pulls up and one of the guys yell "Get in!" I ignore the suggestion and continue to walk on. The guy then sticks his head out the window and says "you'll never find a cab tonight, we're getting out in a block, get in and then take the cab from there". Though this seemed like a terrible idea at the time, I got in the cab filled with guys.

This is not where I was kidnapped.

The guys were genuine, they truly were getting out of the cab in a block or so, at another nightclub. When we pulled up to the nightclub, the guys got out, paid the cabbie, and I was to stay in the cab and head to my destination. Instead, the moment the guys got out another group of guys RUSHED my cab. I tried to push the group out and I yelled, "I am not getting out! This is my cab!!" They did not care, they simply got in the cab and said, "We can share it."

I didn't have much choice but to agree. They were going north east and I was going north west. It was out of the way but they were paying for their share and I was paying for mine and what else could I do at this point.

The second set of guys got out on the corner of State and Division, they paid the cabbie $7 for the fare and got out. I continued westward on Division to the nightclub where my then-boyfriend worked. On the way, we passed two police road blocks, cops monitoring the back to back traffic crawling through the streets of Chicago. Cars were honking, individuals screaming out their window, etc.

Just as we approached Cabrini Green (the projects that were much more scary 15 years ago) the cabbie turns on his hood light and says "Don't I know you from somewhere?" I look into his rear view mirror, begrudgingly, to see his black eyes starring back at me and I say, "No, I am sorry, I've never met you. I take cabs several times a week, you've probably just picked me up before."

Just at that point, I realized that the meter read more than $10. I thought back to what the boys who got out paid, and they paid the cabbie $7, the cabbie had not re-set the meter. I asked the cabbie, "Why didn't you re-set the meter when the guys got out?" He said, "Why would I, this is the fare." I went on to say, "But they paid you $7, what do you expect me to pay?" He said, "The fare on the meter." In a stubborn fit, I demanded that he let me out of the car - right in front of Cabrini Green.

The cabbie and I started to argue. He didn't stop the car and he didn't turn right on Halsted like he should have to take me to my final destination. The cabbie blew off a red light right in front of a police block which made me believe he was crazy enough to do anything. He started to speed down Halsted street going southbound, opposite of the direction I instructed him to go. I screamed at him to stop the car. I rolled down my window and stuck my body out of the window and started to SCREAM for help until my throat felt like it was bleeding! The only response I would receive is a shout back from Bulls fans in passing cars. "WHOO HOOO" they thought I was just celebrating. I grew increasingly frightened and the cab driver would not stop the car, he continued to speed up.

I contemplated jumping out of the moving vehicle, I even opened the door, but his speed was increasing and I was wearing giant platform shoes and thought I'd break an ankle. Feeling helpless, I reached inside my bag and pulled out my pencil case filled with quarters.(SIDE NOTE: After each bartending shift, I would collect all of my quarters and put them into a mesh pencil case, I normally had $20 in quarters in that pencil case at any given time) I took my case and I started to beat the cab driver over the head, hitting him repeatedly. Imagine hitting someone over the head with 2 rolls of quarters. After four or five blows, FINALLY! HE STOPPED THE CAR.

As soon as the cab came to a stop, I jumped out, didn't close the door and started running down the mniddle of Halsted street. The only thing I recall after that was a car yelling at me "Hey, get in! Get in!" I was SO confused. I see women in the car so I get in. I squeeze in the back with these women and they explain that they saw me in the cab and heard my screams but they didn't know if I was just celebrating. When they saw me running down Halsted street, they knew I was in trouble so they picked me up.

Here is the embarrassing part. The girls ask me where they can take me. I was about a 1/2 mile from the nightclub where my then-boyfriend worked as a manager. As I break into tears, barely coherent, I ask them to take me to the nightclub. Here I am, potentially just finished fighting for my life, and I am now going to a nightclub - seemingly to have a good time. Which of course was not at all the case.

I found my friends immediately and I couldn't speak. The moment my then-boyfriend walked up to me, and I looked up at him, I burst into tears. Because I rarely cry, he knew something was significantly wrong. Once I was able to tell him what happened, he tried to put me into a cab but I refused to get into another cab that night. I sat in the nightclub office until he "cut" one of his bartenders so they could drive me home.

It was a terrifying night. I learned ONE big lesson, always get the cab drivers name and cab number. Make sure the picture on his license MATCHES his face. And, never argue with a cab driver until you reach your FINAL destination and you're out of the cab and in a crowded area.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank God It's Monday!


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I started the weekend on Thursday by attending the "So You Think You Can Stip" contest at The Admiral Theater, the full nudity strip club on the north side of Chicago was hosting an amateur contest where the winner was eliglbe to win $5K. The festivities were advertised with a 10:00 PM start time, yet the contest didn't get under way until well after 11:00 PM. The opening "act" was a burlesque dancer and then each girl performed a well thought out "skit" with props, staging, etc. I was impressed with how much detail each dancer put into their skits. The winner, Roxy, is a student at De Paul :)



Thursday night I didn't get home until after 1 AM and had trouble falling asleep. Friday, I had a late a.m. meeting with a tour operator in Turkey. Trying to grow the tour operation end of my father's business, we are looking for a suitable tour operator in Turkey and we met with the owner of Hello Turkey tour operators. It was a great meeting followed by a lunch.

After my lunch #1, I met my friend Brit for lunch #2. We had a few cocktails with lunch and then moved onto a seocndary location - Trader Vic's. We had a mai tai at Trader Vic's on Rush street in Chicago and then headed to my friend Matt's for dinner. Matt grilled some food and we continued to imbibe. It was a LONG FRIDAY, seemingly endless.

Saturday, I took it easy. I was crushed from Friday night, I tried to work a little but couldn't concentrate. I was able to enjoy the excellent weather in the late afternoon by sitting outside at Lux Bar with some friends. I ended up acting as their designated driver and chauffering everyone home as I was NOT drinking on Saturday.

Sunday was fantastic. I woke up early, went to an a.m. yoga class at Lululemon in the Bloomingdale's building and then joined my friend Mark for "Eating in a Liquor Store" event. The Binny's in the South Loop has a bar and a fantastic deli. We ate pate, dried meats, wonderful cheeses and I had a Pinot Noir flight. Everything was great. What better way to end the weekend....great food, conversation and wine!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why I Hate Anonymous Comments


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I hate Annonymous comments from people because the people who leave them are big, fat, giant babies. They usually have nothing to say that makes any sense or is of any interest. They call names and that is about it. End of blog entry.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mommy Blogger I Am Not


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Mommy Blogger I am not...however, today I feel like one.

I have so much to do, the kids are driving me crazy, my mother is getting older, we're strapped on funds and I get drunk by 8pm every night - Mommies can relate, right? None of those things are true, that is just how I mock Mommy Bloggers. I imagine they all bitch about stupid things like "I have to stay home with the kids while my husband works and I can't define myself". WAAAAAHHHH. Here's a thought, get a fucking job.

In reality, Mommy Bloggers make me crazy because they have SO MUCH POWER. I could only dream of having that kind of power. They are every where and some of the most successful bloggers on the net are MOMMY BLOGGERS. I just picture a bunch of women sitting around wondering what to do after Oprah and before their husband comes home with carry-out Thai food. To kill the passing time, they read Mommy Blogs. Or, they get drunk at "play dates". In case you're single and don't know what a Play Date is... "play date" is synonymous for "bored housewives getting drunk while their children play with sharp objects."



Last night I spent about five hours re-working my blog and creating a custom template. That was a ton of fun, I truly enjoy it. I still have a lot to tweak in terms of the design so be on the lookout...it's important!

I walked over to my mom's for dinner around 8pm. She was a little upset because I let the hours slip away from me and I was an hour late for dinner. Thus, my lamb was cold. My mom and I watched JumpTV, her "Turkish Television," until I couldn't take it anymore and I made her tun on the normal TV.

Last night was SUPER COLD (for the second week of April it was 40 degrees), I was very lazy, too tired and cold to walk home, so I slept over at my mom's.

Today I had breakfast with an old friend (I am like a retired person, I must schedule myself up all day, every day) and then I went home. I dicked around on the computer doing some THINGS, necessary things. Then, I cleaned FOR HOURS. I did 2 loads of laundry, organized the closet, loaded/unloaded dishwasher, removed all my books from my shelves and dusted the shelves...finally, I made dinner and ate.

Tomorrow, I have another lunch. I feel like the lunches will never end.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Blog Layout


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I spent several hours with my friend Mike changing my blog site. I am pretty excited with the way things turned out....so far. I'm working on a new header, one with a photo incorporated.

What do you think so far?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Birthday Weekend Extravaganza


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This Weekend I Celebrated My Birthday

I won't say which year! 

The weekend started out with dinner on Friday night at Boka. Great food, wine and conversation. I highly recommend Boka, it is more casual than I expected, which was nice. It's everyday gourmet.

I woke up Saturday on the actual date of my birth, to a million text messages, phone calls, emails & facebook wall posts wishing me a happy birthday. The love was overwhelming. Around noon, my friend TT and I went to Berry Chill for a delicious frozen yogurt blast and then we drove out to the suburbs for some discount shopping. I treated myself that afternoon with Wendy's - I rarely, if ever, eat fast food.

Saturday night, I went to The Aragon Ballroom to see Morrissey. It was the best! I have been a fan since I was a teenager. I remember buying my first Smith's album "Louder Than Bombs" at a record store in Rogers Park when I was 15. Saturday night, Morrissey put on an incredible show, approximately 60 to 70 minutes of very intense performance.



Morrissey came out on stage wearing a tuxedo with his very young bandmates all dressed in black with the accent of a white tie. Their white ties had an image of Morrissey's face on the tie. The drummer was highlight of the show. Great lighting as well, for a small venue without many extras, lighting is very important.

Today was brunch with some friends at Le Lan and tonight (I am on my way out the door) is dinner at Mado with my family. Will fill you in on the food from tonight....a little later!