It took me two and a half hours to get home from the airport. An entire week of smooth sailing, peaceful if confusing transit, customs, baggage claims, millions of ways for things to go wrong.

I get back to Chicago and it's 80+ degrees out for some inexplicable reason (something I don't really intend to complain about, but is still worth remarking on). I get on the blue line, and suddenly it's packed to the brim with incredibly noisy Polish soccer fans, then a stop later there appears a silver-painted street performer who starts giving some kind of sermon about the evils of homosexuality, then I'm surrounded by Parisian tourists, and the train announcer actually calls soccer football at the transfer to the red line at Jackson. I shake my head, and think "Well hello again to you, Chicago" and head up to my bus stop.

And then I wait for my bus, and wait a bit more, and finally I see it coming, but it blows past our stop. I shout and wave my CTA pass, along with the three or four other people at the stop, but it barrels on past anyway. Whatever. It's not terribly long before another bus shows up. "Very hello, Chicago."

Aaand then there's about 20 minutes of traffic because Chicago will take any excuse to close off Columbus Drive (Chicago marathon tomorrow) and there's a big soccer game on. Then we finally get on Lake Shore and suddenly traffic just stops, because something obviously went very wrong just moments before. We're stuck for maybe 15 minutes while ambulance after ambulance goes by, police show up and alternately block and direct traffic. No one on the bus had seen that many ambulances all going to one accident in a very long time, if ever (I was in the latter category. The worst LSD incident I've seen was an SUV engulfed in flames during college). We eventually surmise that a bus must've been involved, and as we finally get past the accident, the whole population of our bus pressed against the side windows to see what was going on, we see that it is, in fact, an extra-long CTA bus far off the road in some trees.

And that's when I realize that this is the bus that blew past my stop, that I'd yelled at only a few minutes before. The bus I very easily could've been on. Thankfully it doesn't look like it's as bad as it could've been, considering it was a "full" bus (70-80 people). (I originally said no one was seriously injured, but the article has updated since then and that's no longer the case.) And because this is the age of the internet, there is even a video of the bus shortly after the crash. (I guess I should warn you, that video is a bit disturbing to me because I ride this bus EVERY DAY for at least 1/3 of the year, and I still can't think of a good reason for this to have happened and so, as is human nature in regards to the unexplained, it makes me nervous and uncomfortable. But there's nothing graphic to it, other than a very banged up CTA bus and some shaken people.)

Guys, I have NEVER, ever been so happy that a bus didn't stop for me. It's bad enough that my vacation is now punctuated with such a crazy near-miss. Freaking crap. Nothing like narrowly missing being in a bus crash to bring you back down to earth after vacation. Chicago, when I said I love cities that abuse me, I did not want you to get back up to this nonsense as soon as I got back, seriously.

I'm also still starving, which I think I'll realize properly once I stop being nervous and uncomfortable.
So, if all things fall into place, this will be my apartment starting September 1st (immediately following an approximately 12-hour period of living out of a U-Haul, or out of boxes I will scatter like horcruxes to my friends' apartments). I did a lot (a LOT) of waffling on this. My big negatives on this apartment were the imminent plant-death involved since, though there's a back deck that I really like, it's west-facing, and the apartment itself doesn't get much light, so it has the potential to be a den of SAD and unhappy house plants. Also it's basically right behind the Treasure Island, which puts me way, way too close to campus (and overpriced groceries) for my liking. But the building maintainer was exceptionally sweet, and the back yard space is amazing and belongs to enough people that I know I won't get kicked out of it by any raving nutters (and, I hope, it might be possible to claim a far corner for veggies after I've earned their trust). And I'd have a private deck, and a full kitchen. So, hey, it should be something I can live with, and, at the worst, I expect this apartment and I would have a sort of mutual respect going on, and it'll be cool. Even if I'm technically telling Chicago, yes, I'm willingly living in you for another year, so go ahead and continue to abuse me like you did tonight, when it took me two hours to get back from the loop because every single bus was full. In the end, I got to ride squished up in the front window of the third bus that came, watching Lake Shore Drive go by like it was an IMAX movie (and it wasn't a bad one, though it could've used more flying, and maybe some sharks or volcanoes).

Also, in the event that anyone decides to move to Chicago and is looking for the most awesome hipster place to live, ever, there are studio apartments in the Congress Theater building. There was one for $600 a month that I saw today as a test of my fidelity to my potential apartment, which was really cozy-looking and had exposed brick. I don't know if it's a feeling you (or maybe just I) only get in Chicago theater buildings, but there's something awesome about decades-old, worn-down wood floors and doors that you're not allowed to look behind. And the Congress has those in spades, even in the living spaces. Plus it looks like there's always stuff open, because their advertising about it isn't all that effective. (I would've taken it, except there was no ceiling fan, it weirded me out that it had its own water heater crammed into the space, and there was no laundry in the building. I'm terrible about choosing comfortable over cool, though. It's why I'll never be a real hipster.) Also, you get into concerts for free. I'm sure all of you would've loved to hear about seeing T-Pain four days after I moved in (actually, in terms of shows, the Congress isn't too great. I think the only band I've seen there was My Chemical Romance, way back in like, 2006, before all the RPS and whatnot and when people could still smoke in venues. But still. Living there would be like, instant hipster cred.)
Today was surprisingly pleasant. I got up way too early, lazed around, and then ended up helping [livejournal.com profile] euthymic get tickets for Hillside, which, if I can get the time off work, I'll be going to too. Of course, this means two weekends in a row in July will be made of music festival, but the only downside I see is going back to work afterwards. (-: And the fact that the two weekends combined will cost me a bit more than $300... but all things considered, that's a ridiculously cheap vacation. And I'm spending the money now, so by July I won't even miss it, and it'll feel like free music.

So this got longer than expected, so here is the day divided up neatly.

From 10-4:30: MSI )

5ish: In which I discover that my neighborhood might be cool )

6-8: Stringed Instruments Continue to Betray Me. And a Torontoan )

And ah... gosh this is long. 8-9: I sat down and wrote about my day because I have nothing better to do, except maybe make dinner like a normal, functional person. I guess today was an eventful day.
evilhippo: hippo (115 [hippo])
( Jun. 27th, 2008 06:12 pm)
Things you don't want to hear on the bus:

"You either die on this bus or in front of it! We ain't got no brakes!"

Which explained why the bus "stalled" every time we came to a stop. Emergency brakes. This didn't inspire much faith in me, so I got off at the next stop and watched the bus accelerate and nearly plow down a bicyclist.

Sometimes, Chicago, it's really obvious that you want all of us dead.
I waited so long for the bus this morning, Godot showed up first.

I wish I'd had my camera. I'd prove it to you.
evilhippo: hippo (101 [devious])
( Jan. 17th, 2008 10:59 pm)
I got my hair cut today. It... well, it was kind of a "I have to do this today or else I'm going to put it off forever" sort of thing, so I went to this salon I found down the street (after making [livejournal.com profile] deathscytheheck force me out of my room, since I was hiding most of the afternoon because I'm afraid of haircuts). Buuut the girl was really nice, and I had an actual conversation with her. Which is the first time I've manged that with someone cutting my hair because, well, the only other one I've had here was the blue-haired guy, and obviously we didn't have much in common, and I guess all the ones in Ohio are just kind of... actually, I can't really figure out what's wrong with some people in Ohio, but they seem to not pay attention if you're not thinking the same way they are. I think the last time I had a conversation while having my hair cut was when my dental hygienist happened to be there at the same time as me. (It's kind of bad, now that I think of this, that I've had more conversations with someone whose job it is to have her hands in my mouth most of the time I see her than I've had with people of a profession where a good percentage of the work involves gossiping with your client to make them comfortable.) I chickened out on the bangs, since I didn't want to have to deal with making them stay out of my face, but it is shorter now. And there are layers. To save anyone any curiosity, this is what it looks like now:

Temporary MySpace behind this cut! )

Before I headed back to my apartment I had to go buy a new CTA pass. And, of course, wander a bit to break in the new haircut. Somehow, I didn't read the weather correctly today, because it was freaking 14 degrees out, and I don't even want to imagine what the windchill was. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long for the eastbound 70. But, er, in grand CTA fashion there was a raving nutter on the bus who stood up and hugged me as I tried to pass. I had to forcibly remove his hand before it started creeping further down my backside, and it took a very large man sitting in the back corner of the bus to defend me. It was... um... embarrassing, mostly. I figure this sort of thing is just a risk of riding the CTA but, um... actually, maybe this means the haircut looks good. I dunno. But ew. Also, the guy found someone else to pester after the big guy scared him away from me (I owe that guy) and ended up ranting about how he was living large in a mansion on the south side and how he had no bread, and had 98 kids and didn't pay a one of them. Or something. It was... um. It was the CTA, pretty much. Then the Grand was disgustingly late so I had to run a block to catch a different bus, and the Chicago smelled like car oil and pee. Ah, CTA.

And then I got back and we ordered sushi and other deliciousness and watched Margret Cho. And it was at this point that I realized I'd somehow had one of those completely stereotypical Girl's Nights without even intending it. Salon, haircut, chatting with a hair stylist, getting groped on public transit, and coming home to delivery and an angry feminist comedienne. How weird is that?
So, I've decided that I don't want to do any sort of year in review post because... I'm not entirely happy with 2007, aaaand it's actually kind of hard for me to sort out exactly what out of last school year happened in '07, and what happened in '06. So, instead, I present to you a list of Largely Nonsensical Random Things and Moments of '07. Originally, there were going to be pictures too, but then I realized that it's dark out when I leave work, and I can't stand around on street corners taking pictures in the dark. (Well, I can, but on a night like tonight, with snow and lots of people out and about, that might not be the best plan.) So, picture may or may not be forthcoming. And, that aside:

Random bits of '07 )

I will probably add more as the night goes on.
evilhippo: hippo (27 [help])
( Oct. 15th, 2007 11:50 pm)
Dear Illinois State Legislature:

Re: The CTA, and How it Sucks Already

It has come to my attention that you are being a buttface about transit funding. Stop it. Seriously. Because if you keep up this game of chicken, they are going to cut THREE OF THE FOUR BUSES OUT OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD. And that includes ALL of the useful ones, and most painfully the ones that both [livejournal.com profile] deathscytheheck and I use to get back and forth to work. (They're cutting the Division. The Chicago would drop me off with a nice sketchy two-block walk. That means if I still have my current job in January when the second round of cuts comes, I will have no non-scary way to get back to my apartment. In the dark. Which is somewhere very high on the list of Things A Single Somewhat Skinny White Girl Should Not Do In A City. And even if I have a normal job, heaven forbid it be somewhere other than downtown because OH, I WON'T BE ABLE TO GET THERE.) This is, frankly, absolutely unacceptable, and both you and the dastardly CTA can expect real proper letters from me sometime in the near future. They will probably be soaked with tears, and I might leave them outside in the rain and burn the edges a bit, too, since THE RED LINE DIDN'T TELL ME IT WAS REROUTED TONIGHT AND I ENDED UP A MILE OUT OF MY WAY AND OH, THE 70 DECIDED TO TAKE A BREAK AFTER I GOT ON IT AND SO IT TOOK ME AN HOUR LONGER THAN IT SHOULD HAVE FOR ME TO GET HOME AND OH, WAIT, THIS IS NORMAL. So I hope you understand why, since things are bad already, I would prefer very much that they not get worse.

Thanks,
[livejournal.com profile] evilhippo

P.S. I notice you're only cutting about 20 buses. Why are three of them in my neighborhood? Why do you hate Humboldt Park? It's been improving, goshdarnit, and there are actual hipsters that get off the bus after I do. Do you want to turn us all into goths and emos? Because I swear that'll happen if you take our transit away. And I'll bet goths and emos don't pay for buses and trains. I bet they cry on them, and paint them black and cover them in spikes and sack Rome.
evilhippo: hippo (Default)
( Aug. 28th, 2007 10:55 am)
Well, Chicago, I'm still not sure how I feel about you. There was the thing with the 55 last night, which involved a good 40 minutes of sitting around waiting, and then it was the bus driver that was all annoyed at us because she was late. (I wanted to kick the bus, and keep kicking it until someone came to take me away.) But we do seem to have a decent-to-good possibility of maybe having an apartment (completion/approval of our application pending). And it's right across the street from a park. And this park has a pool with a twisty water slide. (How cool is that?)

Then you teased us with the moon, Chicago, which clouded over once the eclipse started. That wasn't very nice. But I was asleep for it because somehow I have a sleep schedule now (up at 10:30, what!) so I can't exactly hold that one against you. We'll see how you do for the next few days... we'll see.

In other news, I'd really like to get called back about some of the jobs I've applied for, because being ignored by dozens of potential employers makes me kind of sad and frustrated. Especially the ones I wrote cover letters from scratch for. Because that's a sign that I care.

I finally repainted my toenails to their usual multi-coloured state... I think it's been a month. And I'm hoping, maybe, since the month they weren't multi-coloured was rather mean to me, and I haven't had a month so mean to me since I started painting them weirdly several years ago, if I go back to how they used to be, maybe my luck will change a little. Like maybe the fates were annoyed at me for having French-tipped toenails and that's why I had bad luck. (At least this is more hygienic than having a pair of unwashed lucky socks.)
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