Tag Archives: condo living

things i’ve been meaning to tell you: august 2015

12 Aug

One:

About a month ago, I and 5,692 other drivers in the express lanes were racing down the Dan Ryan like bats out of hell—as you do—when traffic started to slow down considerably for no apparent reason—as it does—until we got to a point where I realized there was, in fact, a reason we were all inching along the expressway. I looked to my right to see a car absolutely engulfed in flames on the shoulder of the local lanes.

Yes, Chicagoans. Great idea. Let’s all drive sloooooowly—nay, come to almost a complete stop—while passing a hulking, metal inferno that could very possibly explode at any moment. Well done. (golf clap)

A+ for you guys.

Two:

I can’t wear black pants and any kind of white top together. I just can’t. And it’s such a drag! There are oodles of cute white tops out there, and black and white is a classic color combination for a reason (it’s attractive), but I can’t bring myself to make it happen. I spent too many years as waitress, where black pants and a white shirt were requirements. There were entire summers when that’s pretty much all I lived in. So I’m sorry, you guys. I just can’t do it. And don’t even get me started on tuxedo vests.

Three:

In my Tuesday morning boot camp class at the gym, our trainer often likes to end the class with the “Superman” exercise, where you lay on your tum and raise your arms and legs in the air—like you’re flying, Superman-style, but sadly without the tights or cape. It’s a great exercise, apparently, for your back and core, but let me tell you something else: It has made me seriously reconsider what I would want my superpower to be, were I to choose.

I had generally always said flying as my superpower of choice, because just think of how much money you’d save on plane tickets! And how much time you’d save not sitting in, ahem, traffic jams going past cars engulfed in flames!

Sadly, I have very little core and upper body strength, and while doing the Superman exercise in class last week, I realized, “Mother shit, there’s no way I’d be able to fly five feet without falling from the sky from exhaustion.” I could maybe make it to the coffee shop around the corner from us. But I wouldn’t be able to hold my body like in the proper position for terribly long. I mean, I guess I could go with the Wonder Woman style of flying, because she’s more slanted rather than completely horizontal when she flies from what I’ve seen, but I don’t get the sense that she went very far with her flying—if you’re flying on an axis, you’re really going more up than you are over, right? And there’s nothing up that I want to get to. Over, yes. I want to get over there. So slanted flying doesn’t seem like the best course of action to take.

So.

Teleportation it is.

Four:

A few weeks ago, Swede was in a rush to get out the door and forgot to put Juniper in her crate. When we came home later that afternoon, we found this:

Dead Pillow

Poor couch cushion. You never stood a chance.

 While it was a disappointment that the couch cushion was now scattered all over our living room in fluffy bits, it wasn’t a terribly big surprise—the dog has had a vendetta against this particular cushion for quite some time. That cushion? Had it coming. Sadly what it had done to incense the pibble we’ll never know, as the cushion took the reason behind the feud to its grave.

Now that the couch cushion is good and gone, Juniper has set her sights on ridding the household of ALL insolent and offensive soft surfaces, including, but not limited to: the pillow in her crate, the other couch cushion, and her biggest whale to date, our bed:

 

It’s only when the bed is stripped of all the sheets and mattress pad, when it is completely bare, that Juniper will attack what she thinks is the awful-terrible-no-good bed, and try and give it the what-for. Again, the reason for this new enmity between dog and bed is unknown.

But frankly I wish they would just reconcile because the bed is the only nice piece of furniture we own.

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open letters to my neighbors and neighborhood

1 Jul

Dear Neighbor In The Building Across From Us,

The red track lighting you have in your living room—of which I have a perfect view from my bedroom, because apparently neither of us believes in closing our blinds—PS, sorry about flashing you last week—is a bold choice.

I wonder if, from the inside view, it looks as discotheque-ish/devil’s lair-ish as it does from my angle? Because when the sun sets and darkness blankets the city as much as darkness can in a city, what with all the lights from cars and shops and life, the cherry red glow that emanates from your living room is quite distinct and almost seems to pulse with a life of its own.

I can’t tell if those red track lights are focused on something on your wall—I don’t see a TV, or a piece of art, so presumably they are simply focused on a blank wall? Though I do think I see the tips of plants peeking through the window, so now I’m wondering if you have some sort of greenhouse in the making going on in your loft apartment. Are you a budding horticulturalist?

Please Do Hide Your Light Under a Bushel,

Your Across the Parking Lot Neighbor, McPolish

**

Dear Neighbor One Floor Down and One Unit Over,

I’m sorry my dog always woofs at you every time you venture out onto the balcony to fire up the grill. It’s just that whatever you’re making smells delicious to her, much better than the kibble we feed her, even if we do douse said kibble with homemade chicken stock or mix in pureed pumpkin because God Forbid this dog eat plain kibble, what is she, an animal?

Anyway, she’s not woofing at you out of anger or because she thinks you’re going to rob us. She’s woofing because she’s demanding. Demanding that you give her some of your grilled meats. Demanding that you pay attention to her. Demanding that you just come on over here and let her give you a cuddle.

You’ll get used to it after awhile.

Sincerely,

Your Neighbor With the Adorably Demanding Pibble, McP

**

DEAR ASSHATS ARGUING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AT 3 AM ON SUNDAY MORNING,

GO THE F HOME AND FINISH YOUR FIGHT THERE OR SO HELP ME GOD I WILL PUNCH YOU SO HARD IN THE GUT YOU WILL BARF UP ALL THE TEQUILA YOU JUST DRANK AT THE MEXICAN RESTAURANT ACROSS THE STREET WHICH IS A TOTAL WASTE OF YOUR MONEY BUT REALLY I COULD GIVE A SHIT BECAUSE OH MY GOD NO ONE GIVES A CRAP ABOUT WHO SAID WHAT TO WHOM THIS IS NOT AN AUDITION FOR REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ANY CITY.

NO, I WILL NOT STOP YELLING UNTIL YOU GET THE HELL OUT OF MY AIRSPACE,

A VERY IRRITATED AND MCPOLISH BECAUSE SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WAKE ME UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?

**

Dear Neighbor at the End of the Hall,

You smoke a lot of weed.

Well, wait—I don’t actually know how MUCH you smoke, but by the smells wafting from your apartment that are smellable as soon as the elevator doors open, I can say that I know how FREQUENTLY you smoke. Which, to be fair, I’m not sure if it is actually frequent or not in comparison to pot smokers at large. So maybe frequent isn’t the right word, either. What I’m trying to say is that you smoke weed, and your neighbors know it.

And I’m not writing you this blog-letter (bletter?) to judge you about your weed consumption. I could give a shit, frankly, and I wish for your and others’ sake that pot was just made legal already. I’m writing you this letter simply to tell you….

Well, I don’t really have anything to tell you.

So, yeah.

Have a nice day.

And sorry to bother you.

Carry on.

Best,

Your Down the Hall Neighbor and Condo Board Treasurer (Why You People Entrust Me With Your Money I’ll Never Know), McPolish

and introducing….

17 Jun

Last summer, I never told you about how I was the Greatest Gardener On The Planet, did I?

(Yes, initial caps even on the articles. I’m That Good.)

I’m guessing I probably did not. Which is a shame, because I was. And probably still am.

In Summer 2014, I discovered that I have a green thumb galore. Specifically when it comes to plants in pots on my balcony. I had four plants—a veritable forest—each of them named and special in my heart. There was Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the basil plant; Vivian, the tomato plant; Clive the Chive; Dilbert the dill plant. They all thrived throughout the summer months, and I was in my element tending to them and only freaking out mildly when I’d discover that overnight a spider had spun an intricate web between Vivian and the balcony railing.

To say I was happy with my balcony garden would be an understatement. Let’s consider for a moment that the year before when I had a (nameless) tomato plant that produced all of seven tomatoes.

Seven.

And while those seven tomatoes were a semi-proud moment, last summer’s bounty blew that shit out of the water. Seriously, Vivian especially was incredibly rambunctious in her production last summer, popping out tomatoes well into October. Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler also held her own, and Clive the Chive would regenerate his skinny-stalked self within days of my snipping him down.

It goes without saying, then, that I expect this year to be equally as phenomenal, if not extraordinarily better. Because, as I mentioned, I am The Greatest Gardener On The Planet.

I’ve changed things up a bit in the balcony garden this year, partially because Clive the Chive (who is supposed to be a perennial) did not return, and partially because I wanted to try expanding my gardening gloves. This year, I have five—FIVE!—plants nestled on my balcony, ready and waiting for my deft, agile hands to tend to them with kindness and love, and also shoo away the g-d cats and dog when they get at little too nibbly at the leaves.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you this year’s balcony garden stars, all of whom will, if they know what’s good for them, provide me with a cornucopia of herbs and vegetables.

We have Fine Girl, a Brandywine tomato plant (the dog already shows a suspicious amount of interest in her)

Watch it, dog.

Watch it, dog.

Franklin, the basil plant

Oh, Franklin. I do hope you make it past July.

Oh, Franklin. I do hope you make it past July.

Pepper, the mint plant

Pepper

And Clooney, the rosemary plant (the g-d cats seem particularly taken with her; since Clive the Chive did not return, I have a feeling that Clooney will bear the brunt of their gnawing if I’m not careful)

Clooney

These were all starter plants that I repotted two weeks (no judging) after I bought them at the farmer’s market, but I wanted to also try growing something from seed, as I’d had such success with Dilbert last summer. This summer, I decided to plant cilantro from seed, because thank the good lord above I do NOT have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap and honestly, I can’t get enough of the herb. If I could walk around with a bunch of cilantro in hand to sniff whenever I wanted and not look like a complete weirdo, I would. For now I will settle for inconspicuously inhaling and snuffling cilantro-scented candles.

ANYWAY, the point is I also planted cilantro seeds, and now there are a few buds peeking through the dirt. It’s like a miracle! Of nature! That I made happen! (Then again, are we surprised? I am The Greatest Gardener On The Planet.) Hard to tell, though, if this is actually cilantro, or if I’ve been fertilizing weeds the past couple of weeks, but either way I’ve decided to name her Nadia.

Nadia

Meanwhile, the rest of the plants seem to be doing….well. While I am The Greatest Gardener On The Planet, Franklin struggled for a bit there, as did Fine Girl, but I think they’re on the up and up. Pepper is growing like, well, like a mint plant, that is to say: We will soon have to move out of our condo due to mint infestation. Clooney seems to eat up the summer sun, and if all goes the way I’m hoping, she’ll stick around well into winter.

Welcome, Summer. And welcome home, balcony garden loves.

photo friday: intruder

5 Jun

DSC_0091

It’s all fun and games until the cat tries to butt in on your photo shoot. Again.

photo friday: just kidding

7 Mar

Remember the amaryllis plant I wrote about last week?

Yeah.

Turns out it was just propped up against the window, and has been dead for a couple of weeks now.

DSC_0092

Whoops.

As Swede pointed out, though, we may not be able to keep plants alive, but so far we haven’t killed the cats.

Well done, us.

I think.

photo friday: in the sky

7 Dec

PaintI have a thing for the color blue. And that thing is that I just love it. When Swede and I moved in to our new condo, one of the first things we did (four months later) was paint the bedroom, transforming it from an ugly taupe brown to a calming and serene gray-blue. I adore it.

And as Swede had a moment of free time the other day, he decided to tackle the bathroom, another shade of blue, this one sky and pale and lovely. It was a bright yellow before he started painting, which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t nearly as happy as this color.

And girl, please. If there is one room in your house that is happy, shouldn’t it be the bathroom?

 

 

photo friday: not helping

15 Nov

not helpful

Things that are unhelpful: This cat.