Discussion in 'January And Everything After' started by Creole Ned, Jan 7, 2012.
Not needing to work from anywhere?
In other words, being Mitt Romney?
Look up Joni Nuutinen. He's done a bunch of turn based ww2 board game style wargames.
Its annoying in the digital age of music when you discover that Amazon only sells the album you want old school hard copy style.
Generally that's because of the publisher, not Amazon.
You know, I know I go on a LOT about Chicago, but I miss that place so, so much. Kendra refers to herself as being from Chicago and I've been off-handedly referring to myself more and more by my Chicago experiences lately.
Tonight I was casually browsing loopnet for property here in Seattle when I decided to browse for property in Chicago. We could afford to BUY property in Chicago when we can't afford to rent here. That affordability comes at a cost, though; you're mostly looking at buying in depressed neighborhoods riddled with problems. That doesn't make them bad neighborhoods - there ARE NO bad neighborhoods in Chicago, only ones that require compromise and alertness, and some A LOT more than others.
But Englewood? And Austin? There is so much focus on Hyde Park due to that being Obama's hood, but what you don't know is that many of the families he has helped have been forced out due to the rising costs of living in the surrounding neighborhoods. It is gentrifying faster than Lincoln Park and Wicker Park did. Englewood and Austin, Cicero and Garfield Park are all full of families and people who are neighborhood and community oriented, who want nothing more than to enjoy life with their neighbors and to raise their families, eeking out what meager livings they can. The projects all closing have shit out a ton of "problem people" on all ready hurting neighborhoods, but the good people often refuse to cave to the bad elements that the city refuses to deal with. Daley's answer was to ship all of the undesirables off to Berwyn; Emanuel's seems to be to threaten with re-enactments of episodes of The Wire.
One of my best Chicago friend's wife taught at a school that had three children who were victims of shootings in one year. One was an eight year old who was paralyzed, the other was a two year old that was shot in the head and died and the third happened right in front of the school when a madman rammed his SUV into the wrong car and then attempted to shoot the child inside. I'm sure the obvious question is, "why would anyone live or teach in those conditions?" Her answer was that she loved the children. They had the means to leave and she could transfer to another school, but if good people didn't put in the time, who would?
The situation is depressing. I'm not quite sure why stupid real estate listings made me think about it. I could write pages about how beautiful the community oriented nature of Chicago really is, and how horrible the City of Chicago is at managing the vast and unwieldy social problems that drive the horrendous crime that they are equally horrible at managing. No one wants to read pages and pages of that. I guess I am just prattling on about a city that is struggling for its survival, identity and sense of humanity harder than any major American city, save, perhaps, Detroit, has since New York in the 80s... and failing.
I do this sometimes too (I grew up near Chicago and went to law school in the city). I look at the reasonable rents/property prices; think of how beautiful the city is, of riding my bike on the lakefront, etc. Then I remember the two following essential facts:
1) Chicago has the worst weather in the entire fucking world.
2) When on the North (i.e. desirable) side of the city and playing the game "how many people will I pass before I see one that isn't white," it is not uncommon to reach several dozen.
No bad neighborhoods? Let's not go crazy here.
1) I LOVE the cold! Except for about a week in January/February before the first real melt when the fucking 6' tall snow banks have turned black and are as hard as concrete. Otherwise... oh yeah!
2) Hahaha. "That's a nice North Face coat. How was the ascent?" God damn I hated seeing those and the whiteout/blizzard sunglasses everywhere on everyone. (in case anyone doesn't get it, this is a slam on yuppies. Sorry, I know that's not cool, but it really is a blight on the Brown line/anywhere around DePaul/Lincoln Park.)
Yeah, it is a stretch, but you can see what I am getting at. I loved going to the (far, I lived in Humboldt for a bit) West and South sides. There are large pockets of utter shit, but for the most part, those people are like you and me, just people. Places like Cabrini were the real shitholes.
I lived in Hyde Park for a bit and while it was very nice, and many other neighborhoods on the South Side are nice, you start going west from there you enter places on the same level as the worst parts of Detroit. I like Chicago, but it's not without its warts.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever visit Ottawa.
Are you living in Ottawa currently?
Not the moment, but I've visited tons of times and I know loads of people who have lived there for long stretches of time. It's not like Kitchener-Waterloo is gonna win any awesome weather awards in the near future, but Ottawa winters are the stuff of nightmares. They're like something out of a 19th century Russian novel.
That's an amazing endorsement. "Kitchener: Not Quite As Much Like 'The House of the Dead' as Ottawa."
Pfft, man up! I've lived most of my life in Ottawa (with significant stints in Toronto and eastern Mass.). I'll agree Ottawa winters are quite harsh compared to those places but I've lived with them most of my life and found TO and MA almost quaint when they complained about winter.
Warning to all Americans: engaging Canadians in a weather complaining contest is like listening to a live version of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch. Abort.
Hyde Park may be nice, but it is terminally dull. I couldn't wait to get out of there.
I only lasted a year there myself.
The "worst parts of Detroit" is a misnomer. It's really easy to avoid crime in Detroit (
RyanMM might kill me for this); up until the beginning of the last decade (2000s), and as of the last two years or so, it isn't so easy to do that in Chicago. The safety of the early to middle 2000s was a relative anomaly. I also think that people tend to equate how a neighborhood looks with how it actually is - just because South of UIC (I don't think that's the right acronym) and West of Hyde Park look bad it doesn't mean you're going to get shanked. Likewise, just because Wicker Park is white and hip, you will get rolled if you stay out too late after all the gentrifiers have turned in for the night.
I don't mean that in a "you see black/Mexican/Puerto Rican/poor people so you assume the worst" sort of way, because I truly don't think that is what you think. Crime statistics are incredibly misleading, though, as are appearances. I don't know if I'd live in Englewood (maybe?), and I probably wouldn't go walking alone through the neighborhood without a purpose, but if I found myself down there alone for some reason in the middle of the day I'd know what intersections/streets to avoid so that I don't get shot for walking while white.
Which, by the way, wouldn't happen anywhere but Cabrini.
FWIW, after re-reading this I don't like how it comes off. I apologize for its accusatory nature. I think that in a lot of ways, trying to defend these neighborhoods often leaves you with the appearance of guessing at people's motivations, because you have no choice but to acknowledge they are dangerous and thus defend them from a social/cultural/communal perspective. That's hard to do, and I'm certainly not good at it, so I shouldn't.
My main point in my OP and follow-up posts was that Chicago on the whole is a dangerous place, but that you can virtually eliminate your exposure to those dangers if you follow some really great guidelines, so don't dismiss what these people have to offer. Yeah, that even goes for Englewood and Austin. In the latter you definitely have a higher chance of being exposed to random or accidential crime, and the chances that youth will escape social factors that turn them to crime is sadly lower than other neighborhoods, but the case against those neighborhoods is often vastly overstated - and often out of fear or ignorance of its actual inhabitants true and good nature.
I had coffee at the coffee shop down the street yesterday and it tasted awful. It is the second cup of coffee that I've had from them since they started roasting their own beans and that one was bad too. I decided to let them know that I didn't like it and they basicly told me that I didn't know good coffee and obviously I was drinking it wrong.
I met with some friends later and they also don't like the coffee now and agree that it is bad. I've also noticed when I drive past that they aren't as busy as they use to be.
Hint to coffee shop, if customers tell you your coffee sucks maybe it does.
The only ones who can compete are Alaskans.
Oh, come on! Most Canadians don't live in the frozen tundra of Nunavut, or wherever.
It's no better in North Dakota.
Looking at a stack of tax documents from a previous year. It makes me wish tax season would come faster.
I am crazy I want to do taxes like all the time
You're insane. Productively insane, but insane.
I shudder to think what "a wild and crazy time" would be for you. Really. I shuddered.
I just like math okay D:
You were holding it wrong.
I've noticed that inhospitality seems to be the default response for a not-insignificant number of independent coffee houses. I have no earthly idea why. Even if you suspect a customer doesn't actually know what they are talking about, you never out-right say that, hell, you never even hint that you suspect it. Now, we've discussed coffee before, so I know that you enjoy coffee and that you're a smart lady, just like any good proprietor would notice of their customers, too; the fact that you have noticed a downward trend in business, even if it could possibly be colored by your experiences, is something that a competent manager/owner should take notice of as well.
But the same defensiveness that causes people like that to dismiss a good customer's or a group's complaint out of hand is the same sort of damage that causes them to put blinders on to their business's economic downturn. I've especially noticed this with shops that roast their own beans or have created their own drink "recipes" - despite the latter being a relative science. They seem to form a personal relationship to their product that precludes ever admitting any fault, which is an incredibly dangerous attachment to form unless, and even when, you have attained perfection. For people so new to a process it is almost always lethal, especially in such a competitive market.
If a customer doesn't like the drip coffee I've given them, I have a couple dozen roasts I can go through. If they don't like those, I can try them in press or espresso form. Tastings are one of my most favorite things to do. It is easy to tell when someone is ripping me off versus when someone is just trying to find a roast they like vs even when they honestly just do not like a specific roast or batch. Assuming that person is an idiot with no taste buds or group of people are all idiots with no taste buds is the last thing that ever crosses my mind to do because everyone tastes differently and it is my job, as barista or manager, to ensure that they find something they like. My business depends on it, surely. But, unless the person is being a jerk, and I can even forgive being terse due to frustration, being kind and listening and responding is also the decent thing to do. (I learned as much about coffee and beans and espresso drinks from many of my foreign customers as I did from the roasting and drink experts at my store/company - so many of the type of people you describe REFUSE to listen like that and it is a shame.)
Uh. Sorry. Long post/tirade. Not directed at you because you know what's up, directed at the pricks who have no right running that coffee shop. :)
Speaking of hostility from small businesses: yarn shop owners. I know you non-knitter are laughing. But seriously, a lot of LYS (local yarn shops) are snobby as fuck. Don't get me wrong, I like handspun wool from sheep raised by independent farmers in Peru, but sometimes I need a cheap wool/acrylic blend that can go through the washing machine unharmed. And beginning knitters need cheap but nice yarns to knit with. And not everyone -- me included -- can afford to spend $25 on barely enough yarn to make ONE pair of socks.
Or there's the paranoid old ladies: A yarn shop in my hometown treats everyone under 40 as potential shoplifters. It is now the only shop in that town. So younger knitters have to deal with the evil glares, or else buy shit yarn at the big-box craft stores.
There is also a huge amount of sexism. Guy knitters are treated like freaks in a lot of places.
Sure, there are many good yarn shops in the world. But SO MANY OF THEM SUCK.
This should have gone in Nerd Rage, but I got off on a tangent. Sorry.
@ Bryce, I was actually talking with a barista that had been there a long time and she knows that I know coffee but another person was just coming into work and butted in. From the way that the old timer deferred to her I got the impression that she may have been a higher up from one of the other cafe's and it was the that person that was rude. Having worked a lot of customer service what really bothered me was the way she butted into the middle of a conversation and pretty much called me ignorant. When I like something I really try to educate myself and learn as much as I can. I've drank a lot of coffee over the past twenty [eek!] years from single origin to blends, from light to dark roast and the barista knew that, we've talked coffee. It was the new person that just assumed that I was an ignorant coffee person. That's what really pissed me off.
SwitchKnitter, yeah, we have one of those yarn shops here too. As much as I love their yarns I've just stopped going there, they are just to snobby for me to put up with. If you want your business to be successful you just can't treat people like that.
If I get to move within the next six months, I am going to throw a party and get so goddamn drunk.
That is how excited I am about the thought of having a dishwasher and a bath tub.
THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE
Today I realized that in 15 or so years of professional life, I've never worked for a company on an upward trajectory. It's fucking depressing.
Dishwahsers, best invention ever. Ok, maybe not THE BEST. But for me, who lives alone, it is so damn good to have one. Sure, some people might say that living alone means I don't create many dishes, which is true. But the idea of filling a sink every day or two and manually washing dishes vs stacking them all in a dishwasher and setting it off twice a week is incredible. Should I move out of my current house and go elsewhere, it will have to have a mandatory dishwasher space.
Heh, as in they've never had an upward trajectory? I've worked at several places that looked like they were going up at some point, and are now dead, dying or hit a wall and are just now coming back up to equilibrium.
I hate hand washing dishes. I've been doing it for two years now. I hate that the drying rack takes up valuable counter space too, our current kitchen isn't exactly big to begin with. Plus we've got cats, and leaving dishes in the sink is incentive for them to walk all over it. I do my best to rinse things off, but hubby isn't quite as diligent about it as I am. We've decided that any place we live in after our current one has to have a dishwasher, even if it's a small one.
And a bathtub. A lady needs her bubble baths every once in a while.
I hate cats on counters, nothing worse than getting cat hair in your mouth while eating baked food like lasagna or whatever, and realizing the cat hair was inside the lasagna.
My wife likes having a dishwasher, but she's one of those people that insists on 'rinsing' the dishes first. And I use that in quotes because she basically washes them, to the point where the dishwasher is just a glorified sanitizer. I take the other approach, and just stick just about anything in there (okay, something super sticky like peanut butter usually has to be rinsed), and if one or two dishes have to get run through a second cycle, oh well, still time saved IMHO.
I don't like cleaning the drain filter in dishwashers, so I'll rinse off any big pieces off first. Beyond that, I enjoy my laziness :)
As far as cats on the counter, I just hate having to clean the counters so often, before and after each meal I make. The last thing I need is cat poo bacteria in my food.
Nothing wrong with a little cat parasite infection, amirite?
We're the complete opposite. Unless it is one of those industrial type, three arm units, I can wash dishes/cookware faster and better than the dishwasher can. I hate almost all crappy home dishwashers because they add more work and time than they save. The big thing is just to wash the dishes the second you're done with them instead of letting them build up; for cookware you just soak it for a bit after storing the food and the grease comes right out. Most of our cookware isn't dishwasher safe, anyway.
We're definitely the exception, though. I mean, if I was rehabbing a kitchen, I'd totally go all gas VULCAN cooking appliances with a KitchenAid dishwasher because why the fuck not? Otherwise, it's kind of a nice ritual.
Yeah. The general assumption - and every interaction with every person there oozed of it - was that I was clearly just there to try to pick up chicks.
So I didn't go back. Fuck that.
Separate names with a comma.