Monday, January 03, 2005

And A "Baba-Booey" To You, Too!!

If I had to choose between cold rain and just cold in January I guess this would be the lesser of two evils. Normally I would be manning the bar this this evening, but we're shut down for renovations until Friday- specifically we're re-upholstering the booths and lying new carpet in the main space. So today was a good time to catch up on end-of-year paperwork. And I have to drag that out until tomorrow when the vendors come a-callin' for their money.

The bottom line is that I find myself in the unusual position of having time on my hands on a Monday night. So I've spent the afternoon doing some extraneous cleaning, minor home improvement and web-surfing. I came across this wonderful piece on Salon about the late Reggie White that I highly recommend.

For those of us who've ridiculed the sight of athletes, actors, or musicians thanking God for their worldly achievements and accompanying financial reward, the article is simultaneously heart-wrenching and respectful- sincere, in fact- about White's faith and his evolving relationship with God away from the gridiron. Reggie White was a large reason I flirted with the notion of attending the University of Tennessee after high school before deciding on military service. He seemed like one of the handful of athletes who belief in God was genuine: so much that in retirement he was learning Hebrew so he could study the Old Testament without translation, which frightened his peers in the ministry so much that many distanced themselves from him.

I'm not religious by any means, but this was an unvarnished portrait of a man with unwavering faith. Please read it.

I Will Sell Someone On This Neighborhood Today!! I Will Sell Someone On This Neighborhood Today!!

Actually I didn't have that in mind when Michelle came down to do a walking tour of Bridgeport Friday afternoon. Her search on the north side of the city had been, to that point, fruitless, and I graciously offered to show her around the neighborhood in the hopes that she might be charmed by the peculiarities of the Near South Side of Chicago. We were walking down Morgan, past the Bridgeport Coffee House. I was talking about how the neighborhood was safe when, while trying to cross 32nd Street, a kid driving a beat-up Ford Aerostar minivan came screeching into a turn and the driver's side door flew open about eight feet from us.

"Oh shit!!" the kid shrieked as he fought to shut the door while trying to stay in the van at the same time.

Michelle looked at me, her mouth agape. "Although some of the kids like to test the boundaries of safe driving laws", was all I could muster. The rest of the walking tour went without incident as I took her past the townhome development on Racine and then to Puffer's for a beer. Yesterday I was eating a slice of kugelis at Healthy Food Lithuanian restaurant when Michelle called me on the cell. She'd signed a lease on a two-bedroom in Logan Square that was steps from the Blue Line (one of her requirements for apartment hunting). I didn't begrudge her, but I couldn't help but feel a bit like Anette Bening in "American Beauty": "I will sell this house today! I will sell this house today!"

Which leads me to what's happening outside the window as I write this right now. Streets and Sanitation is fixing a water main leak in front of my house that's left the street slick all weekend and half the block- including my apartment- without water for the past two hours. They just got around to it this evening.

And not a hired truck in sight.

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