How To Guide: “How Do You Become a Scooter Rider a Scooter in Chicago?”

Do not call this your “whip.” Ever. It is not.

In this series I’ll take a look at the “how to’s” of things you always wondered but never verbalized.

Five steps to riding a scooter in Chicago

1. Become a d-bag.

*While it may be true that not all scooter riders in Chicago are d-bags, this is the best way to ensure that you will qualify to ride a scooter here.  There are non-d-bag riders; for sure.  But they’re few and far between. *

**It should also be noted that, if you don’t know what a “d-bag” is, rest assured it’s something you don’t want to be.  But you might be, so…**

2. Buy a scooter in a “retro” color (like Seafoam Green)

*It should be noted that most riders that choose traditional colors are not d-bags*

**It should also be noted that it is not always true that most riders that choose traditional colors are not d-bags**

3. Buy an obnoxiously large helmet…much too large for your head.

*This helps with shifting weight, allowing you to go around corners on your scooter that has as much umph as a rototiller*

4. Buy a satchel

*It will carry your dignity for you.  All the scooter riders have them.*

5. Sell your scooter for cash to pay for rent because no one will hire you when you drive to the job interview on a scooter.

*Full circle*


…it should be noted that I kind of want a scooter.


My Kid Doesn’t Respect My DVD’s: Living with a One Year Old

We live with a bundle of cells that is now quite mobile.  And apparently he has an opinion about how we’ve structured our household items.escient-fireball se-d1-80-dvd-mess

He generally thinks they are organized improperly.

For instance, recently he’s taken to organizing our DVD’s.

I’ve taken to being irritated about it.

You might say everyone is in their respective camps…

What’s that?  “Who has DVD’s anymore?” you ask?

I do.  They’re going to make a come back, you know.  Like records.  And as soon as you all figure out that cable companies are actually stealing your life (and your brain), and that they’re sucking information about your habits and preferences and then selling them back to you in the form of fliers in your mail, spam in your inbox, and “ads” in your news feed, you’ll go back to DVD’s, too.

Because the only person who can tell if I’ve watched one of our DVD’s is my wife.

Usually because it’s either a) not put back in the box and still in the DVD player (we have one of those, too, although you have to blow in it to get it to run…like a Nintendo Entertainment System…but whatev, it works) or b) it’s stacked on top of another DVD in a different box that was closer in proximity to the empty case at the time it was removed from the DVD player.

But, see, that’s my organizing system.

And now we have this little bundle of cells called Finn crawling around and rearranging everything, including my DVD’s.

And it’s super frustrating for both of us.  For him it’s frustrating because they don’t open like books…so when one doesn’t open, he goes to the next one expecting a different result.  One day life will teach him a valuable lesson about repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results (can’t remember what you call that, but there’s a word for it), but until then…

I just lost my train of thought.

Anyway, he’ll learn he shouldn’t do that one day.

It’s frustrating for me because I’m now going out of my mind cleaning up DVD cases every two damn minutes.

It’s probably why I’m always losing my train of thought these days.  I’m sleep deprived because I’m constantly cleaning up DVD’s.

It has gotten so bad that I’m not even that pissed that one DVD series is mixed into a different one (and that they’re not even remotely in the same genre).  Normally that would be irritating.  But I don’t even find that so irritating anymore.

I’m just generally pissed that they’re all over the floor.

Again. Perpetually.

Having a kid means constantly living in the movie Groundhog’s Day. I continually step on things over and over and over again.  Especially toys.

But it’s always the same toy: that damn tambourine.  And no matter how far I kick it, it somehow migrates back to right in the middle of the hallway outside of his room.

It hides in the dark, playing it’s own little version of The Most Dangerous Game.

(My toes are the prey…)

And that of course wakes him up, which means I have to go into his room and pat his diaper for ten minutes (which, ironically, makes the same noise as like when you wave a pom pom, kinda like you’re cheering him to sleep: “Yay, quiet!  Soooo quiet!”).

And then after ten minutes I sneak back out and step back on that blasted tambourine…and, well, crap.

I’m not a neat freak.  Anyone who has seen my office knows this.  But even I don’t think a valid organizational method is “all on the floor.”

And, yes, I know he’s not thinking like that.  His major mental task for the day seems to be finding new crevices to hide cheerios in (seriously, every time I lift him out of the high chair it’s like a deluge of food comes cascading onto the floor in some “miracle of abundance” demonstration).

But still…if we’re naming things he’s good at, in no particular order:


-staring closely at buttons and zippers

-eating and going to the bathroom

-letting us know he’s unhappy/happy/tired/hurt/excited/confused by screaming

Things he’s not good at:

-organizing DVD’s

-picking up toys

-prying off the tops of non-domestic beer bottles

-brushing his own teeth (though he does like to have it done)

I’d go through my own list of talents/growing edges, but this blog has gone on long enough.  Suffice to say, the kid sucks at organizing things.

Especially DVD’s.

And that’s disheartening because, well, they’ll be his one day and he needs to know that The Office does not belong in the West Wing rack (though I can see how he could be confused about that…offices are confusing).


Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Buttheads…

They were buttheads.auntiebuttheads_Large

Really; no two ways about it.

I was lifting, minding my own business, and they were chatting.  Just out of high school maybe?  Maybe rounding out their senior year?

Doesn’t matter.  What matters is what they talked about.  Well, actually, that didn’t matter much, either.  You’ll see why.

BH 1: (arm curls) You know, I want to go to our High School reunion to see just how far Jake didn’t go.

BH 2: (mirroring arm curls) Yeah, people change their senior year, you know.

BH 1: They do change…

BH 2: I was a late bloomer, that’s for sure.

BH 1: What are you drinking this weekend?

BH 2: Well, I had a 24 pack but I drank it all last night.

<I’m going to pause at this moment to let that last line sink in.  Because when he said that I looked over at him and snickered…and got noticed for eavesdropping.  But, really, this kid drank a 24 pack last night? Yeah right.  My thigh is bigger than his waist. Obviously the lie of someone who has NEVER drank 24 beers in a night…Ok. Back to the programming>

BH 1: Yeah. I got a six pack at home.

BH 2: What you drinking?

BH 1: Bud Lite.

BH 2: Yeah, I like that.  Or some Corona.  With lime and salt.  The good stuff.

<Again…the labeling of Corona as “the good stuff” deserves a pause>

BH 1: I like Heineken.  That stuff is strong.  Heineken, though…that’ll make you sleepy, you know?  I drink that and I’m all like “Man, I need a nap…”

<At this point I wanted to interject and tell the BH’s that actually it’s not Heineken, but rather just alcohol, and over consumption, that makes one tired.  And, really, they shouldn’t be drinking at their age anyway because, well, it didn’t appear that they were chock full in the braincell department as it was, and thinning the herd wasn’t doing them any favors.  But I just kept quiet.  Lifting quietly so as to hear the continuing idiocy.>

BH 2: Heineken is no good, man.  You gotta try Platinum.  That stuff is great.

<Oh Lord…>

BH 1: (Switching to bench press)Yeah.  Say, what’re you gonna do now, man?  I’m gonna do manual labor.

BH 2: I don’t know.  I might be a physical therapist.  Or maybe business.  You know, ’cause I’m really persuasive.

BH 1: You are, man.  You like to kiss ass.

BH 2: To get ahead you have to, man.  I’m good at it.

BH 1: Yeah, you are…

BH 2: You know?  I can bull with the best of them, too.  I can sell water to a well.  I can sell ice to an Eskimo…

<And this all is to be lauded?  At this point I resolved myself never to let Finn, at least to the best of my ability, think being shrewd is better than being noble. Seriously.  Oh, and to let him know about the dangers of underage drinking.  And that Corona is not “the good stuff.”>

BH 1: Yeah, you’re going to be a yuppie.

BH 2: You know it.  Can’t wait. (Switch bench presser and spotter)

<Actually, we should take a moment of silence in reverence for something absolutely original.  No one has ever said, “You know it. I can’t wait” in reference to their future as a yuppie.  Usually, when it dawns on you that you’re a yuppie, you start to grow a mustache and pledge allegiance to PBR as an attempt to claw your way into hipsterhoood.>

BH 2: You know what else?  I can get girls to do anything for me.  It’s like a super power or something.

<Good Lord…>

BH 1: I feel bad doing that, man.

<Ah! A bright spot>

BH 1: Unless I’m drunk.

<Ruined it>

BH 1: Then I’m all sorts of smooth talking and can do it.

BH 2: You know how many girls I have bringing me food?  Like Amy brings me food every day.  Every. Day.

BH 1: Amy?  She’s the ugly one, right?


BH 2: Naw; she’s not so bad, dawg.

<Do not say “dawg.”  You cannot say “dawg” with any sort of credibility, future-mr-yuppie.>

BH 1: Whatever man.  Alright, I’m done.  You?

BH 2: Yeah. Cool.

Butthead 1 and Butthead 2 went to parts unknown.  Probably to sweet talk some not-so-bad girl into buying them burritos.

Here’s what I learned about our friends:

They’re too young to be drinking, do not drink honorable beer, think being a “good businessman” means swindling people and kissing butt, want to see how far their classmates fall, and use women for food.

Oh, and they can each curl 30lbs and bench 120lbs.

…and the one is a “late bloomer.”

Fascinating, really.  Like watching hamsters in the wild: they’re as useless as when they’re caged.


Mamas (and Papas): Don’t let your babies grow up to be buttheads.