Friday, March 18, 2011


SO happy to be home from my trip to Chicago.  It was great to see friends and family but it seems wherever I go these days I'm wishing I was home.  It was gloomy and that damp bone chilling cold the entire time we were there and we had left behind sunny 60 degree weather.  We only saw glimpses of the sun for 3 days, kind of depressing.

I took some photos around my grandmother's neighborhood because there wasn't a whole lot to do and I didn't want to leave her for too long to go into the city.  That's the other problem with Chicago, the traffic is so bad that if you want to go anywhere it turns into an all day affair.

I've long been fascinated/horrified with the changes over the years to my childhood neighborhood.  The house on the left is one of the many garish castle-like McMansions that have popped up in stark contrast to the modest post war mid-century ranches and split levels that make up the neighborhood.

Another behemoth eyesore

This is a more typical house with a garage that was added on years after the original construction

Even in the current crappy real estate climate this relatively modest 1700 square foot house recently sold for $500,000.   The ugly 5000 square foot McMansions go for around a million.  The reason for this is the school district.  New Trier typically gets ranked in the top ten public school districts in the country.  My high school had its own radio station and cable t.v. station.  How ridiculous is that?  Almost as ridiculous as the $8,000/year property taxes that the house above pays.

Growing up I always thought the architecture in my neighborhood was hideous but now it seems somewhat historic.  The neighborhood was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright and those flat roofs are a huge pain in the ass but still, something nostalgic about the houses especially in view of the atrocities replacing them.

The house above is very similar to the one I grew up in (we were fancy and had a garage) and I thought I grew up in a mansion.

I survived the wedding, just.  David Lynch could have gotten some good inspirations for characters is all I'm saying.  I think by design maybe all formal weddings resemble a David Lynch film to some extent.  It was a Jewish ceremony and it's traditional for the groom to stomp on a glass at the end and the rabbi explained the various reasons for the ritual.  My favorite explanation was the old school, superstitious interpretation that back in the day people broke dishes outside their homes to keep the evil spirits away.  I was sure the mother of the groom was going to transform into a demon and scamper away, cackling with evil laughter after her son stomped on the glass.  The woman looked like she was from one of those 'Housewives of I Can't Take Care of Myself-ville' reality t.v. shows.  She had a tattoo of a parrot/tropical scene that covered her entire back and the important thing to note here is not the tattoo but the fact that she was dressed so inappropriately for her age and the occasion that I could report to you that the parrot covered her entire back.  The 'What Not to Wear' people could have had a field day with the age inappropriate outfits at this shindig.  Copious amounts of cleavage and/or short, skin tight dresses is simply not a good look for the 50-60+ crowd.  And this is coming from someone who wore fleece lined lycra black running tights and a pair of smart wool socks with clogs with her dress.  I'm sorry but if I'm going to a wedding in Chicago in March I'm going to have to do something so I don't freeze. 

Then there was the father of the groom who looked like the leader of a creepy polygamous cult and was groping women throughout the reception.  He also looked like he was sky as kite on something and I have to admit I was a bit jealous.  Maybe that's how people get through weddings.  Probably shouldn't have disposed of the Vicodyn from my foot surgery 2 years ago.  Then there was the copious amounts of eyeliner that the 20-something guys were wearing along with black suits and pork pie hats.  At first I thought we were having a live ska band for the reception but no such luck.  I know, I'm tossing huge boulders from glass houses by commenting on other people's fashion disasters but I had to do something to keep myself amused.  My aunt seated us at a table with complete strangers and I had to listen to a guy boasting endlessly about his grown son's Harry Potter website.  Seriously.  According to the father J.K Rowling did 2 interviews after her last book, one with Katie Couric and the other with his son.  Because while most kids grow up and give up their fan websites this guy stuck with it and absorbed them all and has the biggest one.  The father was quite proud of this.  I was envying my secret agent cousin who got out of this wedding because supposedly he's on the Afghan border dealing with the Iran/Afghan crisis.  That's his story anyway.  I wonder if I could start making up stories like that?

Ah well, I'm home now and Cody was fine at the vets as well as the other 2 trouble monkeys.  I nearly called the vet at one point to check on him but I restrained myself.  Have to draw the 'crazy dog lady' line somewhere before I slip too deeply into the abyss.  Looks like sunny warm weather for the next few days so I can finally put the finishing touches on my dogwalk and reposition it so it's hopefully workable.  Decided not to enter Strum in any Standard classes or Grand Prix for his upcoming trial in a couple of weeks.  His dogwalk is still only 60% or so in practice and I can't imagine it being fixed in 2 weeks, especially since it seems to be getting worse rather than better.  I may do the unthinkable and resort to a stride regulator but we'll see.


  1. LMFAO!!! At least there was no shortage of entertainment.