Friday, September 21, 2012

The Sites, Sounds and Abnormal People of Chicago

Wendy's eating gear, now on sale at Target.
If "people watching" was a sport, I would for sure have played D-II in college. Oh, and don't you dare judge myself or others for doing so, because gawking at the number weirdos you see every day is an impossible hobby to avoid.

After moving to Chicago, it took me very little time to realize how much better the art of observing others had improved. It was like I upgraded from diapers to Pull-Ups. I've had way too much fun taking pictures and commenting on the people I see via social media. In Chicago, it's almost intense how many weirdos are around you at work, on the train or out in public -- owning a few pairs of sunglasses is a must.

If you don't follow me on Twitter (@StephenSchu), then you've missed out on some of the greatest reporting of the actions and individuals I've seen in Chi during my four months here. Likewise, since I'm only followed by the director of "Baby's Day Out" and my parents on Twitter, I feel it's appropriate to share these pictures and comments from yours truly with my blogging community. Enjoy:

Call me maybe - Tabasco Sauce Queen?
Sept. 20 - "No need to apologize for violently burping outloud, ma'am. Your casual wear of water aerobic shoes screamed weird well before the acid reflux."

June 25 - "Fairly ideal running weather outside today in Chicago. And according to the woman by the liquor store, also a good day to spit on people."

Aug. 15- "I'm kind of a fan of this weird guy at the office. I'm pretty sure he only gets paid to sneeze and drink Big Gulps, but I like him."

Sept. 19 - "No, sir. I didn't make that face at you because you smell of cigs. It was, because, you know, you were eating things out of your fingernails."

Aug. 18 - "The dude in the Disney shirt kissing his girlfriend's neck and back on the train really gave me hope that I will find love some day."

Ey, gurl. Wat's yo name? Wat's yo sign?
Sept. 12 - "Someone was playing "Heart of Gold" out loud on their phone in the bathroom, followed by "Bad to the Bone." 70-80s rock has GREAT fiber."

Sept. 17 - "Mystery Bathroom Stall DJ continues today with "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper & "Can't Get You Out of My Head" by Kylie Minogue #MusicFiber"

July 31- "Absolutely convinced the large woman sitting next to me on the train used Funfetti Cake Mix as her perfume this morning."

Sept. 11- "As kind of you as it was to sneeze on the sports section of your paper and then offer it to me to read on the train, no thank you, sir."

Sept. 7 - "The guy casually walking around and shaving with an electric razor at our office should be beaten to a bloody pulp and thrown out the window."

Aug. 23 - "Whoever is habitually urinating all over the floor by the urinals at work- I promise I will find you and mop the pee up with your hair."

Sept. 3 - "I was just going to complain about how no one was blasting Gucci Mane at our apartment complex! Thanks, 37-year-old single woman!"

I have the same hat...
Sept. 18 - "Oh, no worries, dude. We all really wanted to listen to your Papa Roach ringtone on our way to work this morning."

Aug. 31 - "To the dude eating Chick-fil-a with gloves on: Let's hang out later!"

Sept. 12 - "I missed a great photo opportunity: Nothing says productive like a suite coat and snow pants."

Aug. 27 - "I was absolutely certain I just saw the real life Bilbo Baggins, but, alas, it was a woman."

Aug. 23 - "To the dude wearing a Lolla wristband on the Brown Line - It's time to move on."

Aug. 15 - "Unrealistic how bad everyone smells on the train right now. Has all of Chicago completely thrown the act of hygiene out the window?"

June 4 - "At least 15 hipsters just boarded the Red Line. What do I do? I'm surrounded and wearing a suite. Do I offer them PBR as a peace offering?"

On the verge of tears...while reading a Batman comic.

Aug. 11 - "Two clowns just drove by in a Camry."

Aug. 5 - "If one more fat person with a coffee obstructs my walking path by woddling into it today, I'm stealing the mini-fan out of their other hand."

Aug. 30 - "I'm not sure if I want to embrace this guy with a hug I can see looking at Muppet memes or punch him in the head."

July 30 - "A large woman yelled at my for getting too close to her bag of McDonald's while I was walking to lunch."

July 2 - "Something about the people purchasing Chicago souvenir items from Walgreens is innately depressing."

June 24 - "I thought I saw an unattractive pregnant girl, but it was a fat gross man."

Aug. 29 - "I like this guy at the office who wears floral shirts and gets paid to meander around in old running shoes and eat almonds."

June 19 - "Why are the loudest people on the 'L' always also the most obese?"

Sept. 4 - "And seeing that fat woman on an adult tricycle has officially completed my day."

Best seat in the whole city.
Another stumper.

Friday, September 7, 2012

First trip out to Montana + Winter Traveling Update


Sam's Tap Room at Red Lodge Ales
At the end of August, I got to go to Montana for the first time on business. The excitement around the trip stemmed from the fact that I picked up fly fishing earlier in the summer. Packing up my fly rod and gear I was beside myself. Fly fisherman around the country save up money to go on trips to Montana and I was going for free and was going to be situated on the Yellowstone River - one of the most renown fly fishing rivers in North America.

Beartooth Pass
The night before I departed I was staring up at the ceiling in bed until midnight. It was as if Santa was coming. Upon arrival and completing my work day I set off to Red Lodge, MT - a town about 50 minutes west of Billings. I set up outside of town along the Rock Creek river, a tributary of the Yellowstone that flows out of the Beartooth Mountains. The first night I was fish-less. Red Lodge is a nice, quant town that has a great brewery on the outskirts. Their double IPA is killer and you can't beat their prices.
Rock Creek River

Overall, the fishing was great. I only reeled in two fish for the four nights I spent there but wading on the Yellowstone and Rock Creek was unbelievably peaceful and rewarding. I'm looking forward to my next trip out there.

Baby Brown Trout

Winter Travel Plans

My January and February months are going to fly by. Here are my travel plans so far:

  • A 7 day ski trip to Denver
  • A 5 day ski trip to Utah
  • A 6 day trip to Hawaii. (hopefully learning how to surf and getting in some bone fishing with the fly rod)

Round 2 coming up this winter!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Let me serenade you with a poem

Sometimes after I have a bucket full of coffee and red wine (I call it "colon pepper"), I indulge in the finer things...eggs, chemistry, scented candles, horse tails...and even literature. Often times, after reading Little Critter's First Shave, I feel provocative enough to write something of my own. And, since I've already written several short stories about me shaving myself, I've branched off into other artistic mediums. Recently, I wrote a poem, and I would like to share it with you:

You Are My Crypt, Inflame My Soul

Don't decay, darling.
Live on like the embalmed Latino women
in my neighborhood.
Absorb my rapture and let me dine
in your coffin.
If our love is paradise then my heart is satin.
And if we don't make it to heaven,
let us shock the souls of Limbo.
Sinless infants will dance
above Purgatory,
shaking the chandeliers of coping families,
so they won't forget us
like the embalmed Latino women in my neighborhood.