Friday, April 20, 2007

Spring hath Sprung

It is officially Springtime in my suburb.
Unlike the pathetic little attempts of the garden perennials, or the fleeting glimpses of red-bellied birds, the one true sign of Springtime in Chicago has come home to roost - there are orange traffic cones all along the road between my house and where I turn off to go to work.

Ah, springtime! The smell of steaming asphault in the air, the honking of horns as fellow commuters give voice (and finger) to their displeasure at the delays caused by new and exciting traffic patterns to maneuver through.

On the way in, it occurred to me that we should have songs to celebrate this phenomenon - this harbinger of barbecues yet to come. CAROLS, even!

Deck the roads with traffic cones
fa lalalala lala la la
Blocking roads right by your homes
fa lalalala lala la la
Honking horns in gay abandon
falala lalala la la la
Cruising down the old Dan Ryan
Fa la la la la lala la la

It's beginning to look like road construction
Everywhere you go
Orange cones every 15 feet
On ev-er-y major street
To show you where you may and may not go!

Traffic cones
Traffic Cones
Standing in the way
Some are flanked by barricades
While others fly away -ay

Traffic Cones
Traffic cones
Make us want to jeer
Thank god my street's not the Borman
Where they deal with these all year!

Oh Traffic Cone
Oh Traffic Cone
You really are quite Orange
Oh Traffic Cone
Oh Traffic Cone
Nothing at all rhymes with Orange

Road Construction on the Eisenhower
Big delays on 80/94
Patching crews working during rush hour
And getting paid time and a half.
Every body knows

To give yourself some extra time
Especially on the Tri-State toll
Although it's been said, many times, many ways
Road construction
Road construction
Road construction's a bitch

(ok - I know it doesn't rhyme - deal with it)

640 days

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Almost all of us claim we admire it. To a few of us, it's a deal-breaker. If you aren't honest with me - brutally honest - painfully honest - even if it isn't what you think I want to hear (and may well be!), if I catch you in a lie, it's the deal-breaker.

John at Left in Aboite recently posted about the "demerit" system for men when dealing with the women in their lives. A humorous example of the differences between men and women, but one sticks out - the ominous "Does this make me look fat?" question.

Being fat, I never bother to ask this question. I'd get the answer that Randy gives "What doesn't, Dear?" Randy's not known for his tact. That aside, I also have two eyes of my own and am able to tell that yes, in fact, I do look like a pregnant hippo in those jeans. If I do ever ask something like that, however, I'd really rather know the truth than to hear that I look fine and then look in the mirror and see something unfortunate.

Brutal honesty also means that sometimes we have to look at our own "Truths" and re-examine them in the light of other people's "Truths". One example that comes off the top of my head is that someone I respect told me that I need to work on something in my life. "No shit, Sherlock" was my initial non-verbal reaction, but my inner core said "Why? No. I don't think so"

The thing is, I've been hearing this same thing from a lot of people for a long time - but every time I have "reasons" why I can't or shouldn't or don't want to. Over the last month I've been giving some thought to that, and decided this time to do a bit of work on that very thing. And interestingly enough, it's made some changes.

Oh, not sweeping, monumental changes. Small ones, like smiling when I come down the stairs into the livingroom and see what I've done, or feeling proud of an accomplishment that I'd otherwise just shrug off as "routine". Taking pride in my accomplishments again instead of riding myself for what I've not accomplished has actually added to my strength, stamina and all-around energy, which has allowed me to increase the amount accomplished - which is the diametric opposite of the vicious circle that I'd allowed myself to spiral down. (Mixing metaphors is not something I'm all that worried about overcoming just this week...)

So yes, I should listen when I get "honest truth" from those I trust. Why would I trust someone if I think they would give me poor advice? Sometimes the glass actually IS half full.

Naturally once I've caught someone lying, however, I can't trust them anymore. Especially if I catch it out several times running. Yes, Conservatives, this means you!

I wonder what the world would be like if everyone gave some honest effort toward listening - and applying suggestions - when given honest (constructive) criticism? Not just taking what every Fred, Norm and Phil say as gospel, but listening to friends and family and that tiny little voice inside us?

642 days <-Note! Updated and corrected. Folks, we have 20 LESS days of misery than I previously thought. Not quite time to REJOICE - but 20 days sooner!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Been quiet here...

Been thinking a lot, cleaning a lot, and then I got a real slug in the gut last night - not a bad one, but I got a letter I didn't ever expect to receive.

Sometimes you do something "nice" - and it actually seems to garner the result you had hoped.

I don't want to talk about it, really... but... it's got me fair speechless.

663 days