Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Christmas Tree

I don't put up my Christmas tree every year. In fact, I can't remember the last time I put it up. Usually, I just put Grandma's little lighter tree in the living room window and a few decorations around the apartment and call it good.

This year? I wanted the tree up.

2014 has been a rotten year from one end to the other. I lost my job in March. Spent most of the year flat broke. Won't be able to buy presents for anyone this year--the first time in my adult life that that's happened. And that doesn't even count the deaths of friends and family. So I decided that my Christmas spirit would need as much stoking as possible. Hence, the tree.

Granted, it's not a very big tree--just a three-foot artificial pine--and the ornaments and decorations are a mixed bag of remnants from various holiday celebrations past. Some are leftovers from Grandma's collection, including Angelique near the top of the tree. Others are thrift store finds. A bunch are from Hallmark or Target (in my neighborhood, they're right next door to each other). Still others were picked up on eBay (back when I could afford to shop on eBay). And a couple were picked up during Uncle Fun's going-out-of-business sale.

I had the tree set up before leaving for dinner at Mom's house Thanksgiving Day and had it decorated by the time I went to bed last night. It's a work in progress--I usually fiddle with the tree for a few days after putting it up, and I always see more bald spots on it than anyone else does--but the living room already feels brighter.

On the Way to Mom's House Thanksgiving Day

Holidaze 11/28/14

Here's where I won't be today--anywhere near a shopping mall. The lunatics who get up at 5 a.m. to slug it out with each other over flat-screen TVs and toaster ovens are welcome to it. Me? I'm staying in, watching movies and ordering a pizza from Marie's.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gobble Gobble 11/27/14

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On the Way Home Last Night 11/25/14

This ginormous turkey looms over a yard near my apartment. I found it fascinating that he was surrounded by Jack O'Lanterns--had he been there since Halloween, or did the home owner just leave the pumpkins where they were and swap out, say, an inflated ghost or witch for Tom Turkey here?

Gobble Gobble 11/26/14

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the Way to Work This Morning 11/20/14

Tuesday's morning commute was a nightmare for North-Side CTA riders: Not only did a bus catch fire on Lake Shore Drive, but a 124-year-old elementary school that was being converted into apartments went up in flames right next to the elevated tracks that carry the Brown and Purple Lines to and from downtown. Below are shots of the aftermath of that fire--you can see the scorch marks on the parts of the building that aren't covered in sheets of ice.

Gobble Gobble 11/20/14

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gobble Gobble 11/17/14

What better way to begin the countdown to Thanksgiving than with this fearsome faceoff atop my work monitor: Godzilla vs. Gobbles! My money's on the Big G--he can even roast the turkey with his atomic breath--but...have you ever seen a really pissed-off turkey? Gobbles may go down in the end, but he ain't going down easy.

Every Picture Tells a Story 11/17/14

Friday, November 14, 2014

Every Picture Tells a Story 11/14/14

I found this floor lamp in the alley near La Casa del Terror. The only thing wrong with it? The threading on the light switch was stripped. All it needed was a knob that wasn't stripped and--ding! Let there be light. And there was. And it was good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

On the Way to Work This Morning 11/12/14

The official city Christmas tree is already in place at Daley Center Plaza, though it won't be officially lit until November 25 in a ceremoy that will also feature appearances by The Grinch, Hansel & Gretel and...um...Dee Snyder?

Every Picture Tells a Story 11/12/14

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This Morning's Breakfast 11/8/14

The Espanol Scrambler--scrambled eggs, chorizo, avocado, spinach and cheese over flour tortilla wedges--at West River Cafe.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Every Picture Tells a Story 11/5/14

Olivia says "Hi!" (Actually, she says "MeeeeeOOOOOOOwwww!" You know what she means.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Shocktober's End

The Monster's crawled back into bed.
The poor boy needs a rest.
The vampire's victims? All been bled.
The goblins did their best.
The Jack O'Lantern's time is done.
His flame's been blown out now.
Another Shocktober's come and gone--
All wicked, take a bow!

On the Way Home Halloween Night

Every Picture Tells a Story 11/3/14