Curtain’s Up on the Furniture Follies

I found the kitchen table of my dreams at a craft show. The table. Not the price. So, I’m seeking a pre-owned table to sand, repaint and stencil so it matches the one I was too cheap to buy. Next comes the couch to replace the one I schlepped all the way here but was forced to give away because it wouldn’t fit into the building elevator. I won’t buy an expensive couch. I never want to wind up in this situation again. I’m getting’ too old for the lawn chair substituting for a couch currently in my living area.

Tuna and the Beer Trucks

Tuna’s found himself yet another job that doesn’t pay a cent: He monitors the beer trucks stopping at Escobar’s restaurant across the street—especially on Fridays when the bar and eatery prepares for the weekend traffic. I’m not sure what there is about watching drivers unload brews that captures his imagination and he hasn’t expressed an opinion about whether he prefers the site of brightly-colored trucks from the microbreweries or those delivering name brands. I thought of offering him pretzels or nuts, but since I can’t do the kitty Heimlich, I’m holding off on the bar snacks for the moment.

It Takes a Woman to Lead a Mission

control room
I’m no hawk when it comes to armed combat anywhere outside the borders of the U.S.–and then only in defense of the homeland–but when I heard that a woman was at the head of one of the strike forces taking aim at ISIS in the Mideast—I felt proud. According to news reports, when the 35-year-old fighter pilot began to relay messages to ground control about the operation, the female voice so surprised radio operators, they didn’t respond for 20 seconds. Yet another example of how members of the female sex have the power to leave men speechless.

Remembering a Sweet Guy

Paul Nonte
The grapevine connecting former colleagues again proved a conduit of sad news when word that a gentle, talented, genuinely nice guy we worked with at Roman followed in Robin Williams’ footsteps by committing suicide after a long battle with depression. Paul Nonte was the real deal: kind and wise and unruffled–even when everyone else threw artistic tantrums, whined and complained. I recall talking to him about his Indiana roots years ago. He returned there to be buried as loved ones grapple with the question, “Was there anything I could have done to prevent this?” Sadly, the answer never changes.

We’ve Got a Building Desperado!

A stealthy thief began plucking packages addressed to tenants from the lobby of my building. Assuming the culprit to be a disenfranchised guy looking to convert snatched stuff to quick drug cash, imagine my surprise when lobby surveillance camera footage showed the culprit to be a short, chubby, grey-haired, senior woman so experienced at lobby loot grabs, she donned an oversized ball cap after spotting the camera. Keys went out to the usual suspects (UPS, FedEx, USPS), so packages now come to our apartments. Need proof that people can’t survive on Social Security benefits? This senior desperado could be it.

We’ve Moved to CounterOfferLand

short sale
My condo short sale closing date is no longer September 30th, but negotiations between the bank, lawyer, title company and buyer (I think that’s the entire cast of suspects) have kicked into overdrive with a counter offer and acknowledgement by the bank of its willingness to absorb some of the debt. My realtor says this is a great sign, but until the prospective buyer says yes to the counter offer, I’m not buying a closing outfit. I don’t excel at the waiting game, but as long as stores stock some form of chocolate ice cream, I’m confident I’ll hold out.

So, I’m Officially Audacious

I’ve occasionally made inappropriate comments, but I think I set a new personal best on Sunday when I made this request of Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth at the Eleanor Roosevelt Tea: “Could you please wait a week to have your baby?” She laughed at my request—moving her due date from December 5th to December 12th. But, her birthday is March 12th and her husband’s is July 12th, so I may have convinced her that 12/12 is the ideal day, particularly since that’s my birthday. Not sure if she plans to take my suggestion to name the baby girl Eleanor, however.

My Butt’s Getting Bigger

I confess to watching too much TV last week. I’ve been waiting for season three of Homeland, the HBO series, to come my way and the arrival of the first disc coincided with the airing of The Roosevelts, the PBS series by Ken Burns that was broadcast over six nights for 12 hours. True, binge watching TV has become trendy, but there’s something about this many hours in front of a TV that leaves me wondering if I lead a healthy life. That confession aired, gotta go. The next Homeland disc with three hours more just landed in my mailbox.

Gunning for a Handbag

While attending a fall festival in the area, I wasn’t surprised to see kids’ activities, funnel cakes, lemonade stands and a bingo tent. Kids competitively throwing hatchets in areas too close to strolling fairgoers? Oy. But what stopped me in my tracks was the proliferation of handbags for sale beneath signs shouting, “Got a carry permit? Buy a purse designed to hold your weapon!” Some were drenched in bling. Others dripped with bullet, pistol and rifle charms. Lots of red, white and blue, too. The selection left me speechless. Fashion forward? When this trend makes Project Runway, I’ll start worrying.

Tools of the Road

IL roads
Several rocket runs to Chicago of late have me scratching my head. I appreciate interstate commerce—without trucks, goods would never get to destinations—but I’ve seen too many drivers abandon common sense of late. Case in point: I witnessed a guy driving a 10-car carrier try to silence the alarm emanating from one of the cars by frantically waving a fob out his window as he drove I-57 at 70 mph. I passed him to find a helmetless motorcyclist going much faster than the 75 mph I was traveling to get around the truck. Tools or fools? You decide.