Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Could you just help me up?"

I asked the guy standing behind me in the bus line last night on my way home. I don't usually take the CTA to the train station...but yesterday while sitting at my desk I reached to my right with my left arm and a pain shot thru my lower back like lightning.

At the end of my work day I started walking to Union Station, but after making the turn from Franklin onto Wacker Drive, a pain started going down my legs and I had to stop to catch my breath....it was then I got out two dollars and walked, very slowly, back to the bus stop, which, fortunately, was only about 50 feet away.

The bus pulled up and as I was the next one to get on - I realized that I had to pick my feet up high to make the first step, which is when I asked the guy behind me for help and explained that my back "went out" and he obliged.

When he and I got on the bus - there were no seats - so we stood alongside each other - holding onto poles for balance - him casually holding on, me gripping mine with all my strength to try and ward off the pain. Then the tears started...I didn't mean to cry, it was one of those "you just fell off your bike when you were about 7 years old" type of crying...it just happened.

So I pulled a "Sarah Palin" and phoned a friend. Hedy has dealt with back issues and I knew that she could be on the same train home. I got out my cell phone and called her, telling her what was going on and asking if she was going to be on the 5:26 train.

All the while my "helper" guy was standing next to me and unless he was deaf, had to hear what I was dealing with.

So as we pulled up to Union Station he was the first one in line to get off the bus and I was the second.....now what do you think he did?

Did he get off and wait to unselfishly help me painfully maneuver that step down.....


Did get off the bus and run across the street...never looking back to see if I was able to depart the bus on my own two feet or if I crawled off in a ball of pain.

if you picked the first...you are insane

Monday, September 29, 2008

“He is lucky!”

is this morning’s Chicago sidewalk snippet from two guys talking about some unknown person as I sped past.

Which got me wondering if “he” knew about it?

I believe there are times when events occur and it is not until many years later that it can be reflected on and the viewer then understands how very “lucky” they are.

I also know there are circumstances that occur and you know at-that-moment you are the luckiest person on earth.

I am not sure which is the better teacher of life's lessons....the long-delayed-knowledge or the at-the-moment-one.


Friday, September 26, 2008

A Graffiti Tour

"That is a dumb idea" was my artistic son's response to me saying that his sister and I were going to spend an upcoming Saturday afternoon shooting pictures of graffiti. But since when do I listen to HIM?

So when Anna and I go on our graffiti-photo-taking-tour I will be sure to blog about some of our favs.....in the meantime here is my friday-i'm-at-"work" post:

For years I have seen incredible graffiti along the tracks as I commute to and from Chicago.

Thru the freight yards out in the western burbs, where I see graffiti entrenched cars that roll all over this great country....

and every roadway that my train rumbles under there is interesting graffiti - the concrete structures provide a perfect blank canvas for artistic talent.

And for the record, Susan's Snippets does not encourage vandalizing. I believe that if you are that gifted - you should paint on canvas and sell your art....

and if the price is within my very small Snippet's budget...your art I would buy.

because i'm fly

Thursday, September 25, 2008


is my word of choice these days in dealing with the new wave of self-centered people who love to text while walking in Chicago.

It is short and to the point....

"Look!" is all I have to say while sporting a non-combative huge smile on my face and a bubble over my head that would read "You are a selfish-inconsiderate-wants-to-be-killed-by-a-cab ass!"

hit the gas

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

“Who took my yogurt??”

She was standing in the kitchen directly behind where my cube is located and I had heard her say something…but I wasn’t exactly sure what.

“What?” I turned and asked.

She angrily replied “WHO WOULD HAVE TAKEN MY YOGURT?!? I had it right here in the door of the fridge!”

Oops!! the day before, while she was out of the office, Susan Snippets decided to clean out the fridge and discard all the outdated, fur-encrusted, bloated-beyond-normal-proportions items from it....

one of which was a container of yogurt in the door, that I could have sworn was way beyond its “use by” small-printed date.

I turned around and went back to work in silence.

I try to be honest...but with the anger in her voice...I couldn’t confess.

i will wear my glasses next time i clean....i guess

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Harvest Sun Rising

While driving to the train station this morning I witnessed a beautiful sight... a "Harvest Sun" (Joe, is there such a thing?) rising.....

it was ginormous and fiery orange and spectacular.

Welcome to the Midwest season of Autumn...with it's colored leaves, smoldering smells and beautiful weather...I love it all.

the fall

Monday, September 22, 2008

Holy crap!

is what I loudly exclaimed upon being hit with a green cloud (or would that be brown?) of stench while walking into our empty women’s washroom this morning.

It was then that I saw the lone closed stall door and immediately, and very quietly, walked back to my office...feeling absolutely horrific about my loud words of choice.....

and hoping she didn’t recognize my voice

Thursday, September 18, 2008

“Backfiring” retaliation….

As I rounded the bend of the Chicago river on this beautifully-sunny-slightly-crisp morning I first smelled him…then I saw him – a guy about 50 feet ahead of me smoking away...inhaling-exhaling - I love it!

My normal m.o. is to kick the pace into high gear and get in front of the smoker....and today was no exception....but the closer I got to this guy the more aggravated I became....why do I have to smell that stench?

It was then I decided to retaliate...a little sharing and caring of my own...so as I got around him....

I farted....he shared his smell - I shared mine!

Now we are even, Steven.

Except...at the very moment I farted...a slight wind came up off the river and pushed not only the smell of his smoke forward into my face....but my mr. farty smell too.

cigs and pooh...ewww

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No less than 7.....

trains rumbled along the Canal Street crossing before I was able to continue on my walk to work this morning.

After running late and missing my regular train into the city...I hurried out of Union and ended up on the Canal Street side of the station. I made the decision to walk up Canal to Kinzie, cross the infamous Kinzie Street Bridge, pass by the East Bank Club and dodge the hopefully-well-insured Land Rovers, Mercedes, Hummers and other higher-end cars leaving the Club, being driven by worked-out, showered and perfumed/cologned types heading to their offices.

But I forgot about the Canal Street crossing...and sure enough...I waited, along with an ever-growing throng of pedestrians, for no less than seven trains to slowly pass as they lumbered their way into or out of Union Station.

I have made a mental note...don't walk that way again.

For today, being already late...I just ended up a little later.

all passenger trains..no freighter

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

“Huggy Bear”

“Pimp Jimmy” or “Jimmy the Greek” were all names we referred to him as, behind his back of course - to his face he was just “Jimmy.”

Piggybacking on my good friend Hedy’s blog today.....it reminded me of a time in my life when my “good deed doing” could have gone in a whole different direction.

Some ten years ago or so, I was riding my suburban train into Chicago with my tall guy friend, who, when it comes to talking to strangers, makes me, Susan Snippets, look like a shrinking-violet-wallflower, and one day he stuck up a conversation with a handsome, nicely-muscled, older, white gentleman, who on most mornings, was dressed like a pimp.

Hence the names we called him.

After several conversations with sharing and caring being spread around, I got comfortable with Jimmy and my sometimes-in-place-street-smarts-guard went down.

So while driving to the train station one cold morning...I noticed Pimp Jimmy standing at a bus stop (let’s face it – he was hard to miss!) – I pulled up and asked him if he wanted a ride. He jumped in and off we went.

It wasn’t until several pick ups later..while I was pulling up to the bus stop, I noticed that he glanced at the building across the street before getting in. So, I asked him why he looked up there. He said that he wasn’t suppose to be getting rides from anyone unless the “transition” house had that person’s address, driver’s license number, etc.

Over the next 6 months or so...Jimmy shared with tall guy and me incredible stories of his very, very checkered past and how he ended up in prison....several times – “never for anything violent..always just for drugs.”

He was raised in Chicago, an only child of a highly-respected judge, who fell into the world of drugs, sex and rock-n-roll...and hadn't been able to climb out.

All these years later..we aren’t sure where he is..I am just happy that he hadn’t been in prison for rape or murder...although we only know what he told us...I am sure he wouldn’t have lied.

i could’ve died

Monday, September 15, 2008

A follow up to Friday...

My brother-in-law and his engineer got down from the train engine and walked back to the spot where the engineer believed he saw a body....and sure enough there were two feet sticking out from under a pile of cardboard and debris.....

and those two feet were attached to a very alive, homeless guy catching up on some much needed sleep.

at least his rent is cheap

Friday, September 12, 2008

“I gotta go…

my engineer thinks he saw a dead body and we have to check it out. I will talk to you later.” Click.

Now that is a snippet I haven’t heard in a long time.

Okay…probably never.

My brother-in-law works for a national railroad and he called me this morning, prior to my getting on the commuter train out in the suburbs, to let me know that he was in a train engine, sitting outside of Chicago and when I pass by the rail yard....I should be able to see him.

So after giving him the approximate time for me to be passing by and which car of the train I was sitting in....my train departed for the city.

It turned out that our view of each other was blocked by some container cars sitting in between our trains...so it wasn’t until my train passed his parked freighter that I was able to see him waving from its cab.

I immediately called his cell and that is when he said “I gotta go....”

I will keep you posted as to what they end up finding…..in the meantime enjoy the weekend and be safe...I wouldn't want you to end up being Susan's Snippet's blog fodder.

shot her

Thursday, September 11, 2008


....my email to Mr. Williams' started out with this today in response to his daily political-getting-me-to-"understand"-emails and I went on to say....

my head swirls just thinking about all the parameters involved in making a WISE choice for our next President. Each time I think my mind is made up...the candidate does some knuckle headed thing or I am made privy to video, etc. where they have totally FLIP-FLOPPED on their stance.

i hate this dance"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"That wasn't a great blog yesterday....

if you are looking to promote Phillip as a photographer." Keith said last night.

I disagree.

I believe it shows that he thinks outside the box and his now-famous-chip-picture was perfectly framed, center-focused and the colors of the chips melded complimentarily with the background - set off by the little snippet of green in the upper right from his sister's now-also-famous-homemade-guacamole.

And there were other interesting photos he took that day....

like this one of Anna and I getting the house ready.

Or this shot...

of his girlfriend setting those glorious chips out.

Hey, I just realized that he is a great photographer...of us slaving away!

"Now, now calm down Susan Snippet's.....we all have our strengths and talents...his just happens to be through the lens of a camera taking shots of those he loves working like crazy."

not that he's lazy

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A rule in having an artistic child...

and asking that artistic child to be your photographer for your 50th birthday bash is that you have to accept his photos as they are taken with his keen-God-given-talented eye.

This past weekend I was hardly able to contain my excitement when Phillip handed over the disc of pictures from the party....I couldn't wait to see how I looked (because, of course, in my mind's eye...I looked young, thin and fabulous!) and reminisce about who was there and how my clean/decorated house and yard, that we had worked so diligently on for weeks, photographed.

So after uploading the pictures on my computer...I present to you, my readership, the best shot he took that night....

Like I said....

it is accepting his keen eye.

he really is a talented guy

Monday, September 8, 2008

“Have a nice forgiving day!”

I heard him say to his female companion as they parted ways this morning.

I had been walking alongside them for a while so I recognized that they were friends, but I am not sure what exactly was behind his snippet.

It churns up all sorts of things.....one of which is the affect that anger and unforgiveness has on a person.

The only positive it has had for me is the motivation to grow and learn from a negative, unforgiving experience.

I, as we all do, have had many instances in life where I have held on to anger and unforgiveness due to an alleged wrong that had been done to me and/or someone I love.

“It is not fair!”

“They are not going to get away with that!”

And other snippets that have gone thru my head a millions times...all ending with the same physical scenario....

A stomach ache and the overall horrible feeling that stress puts on me.

All because of anger, unforgiveness and now that I am writing this, I also want to throw in the desire to GET EVEN, that I allow to well up inside of me.

When I let my anger go and forgive, seriously, wholeheartedly FORGIVE (not forget) a person or a situation....


I get back my power – which I unrightfully gave away to unforgiveness and anger.

And it feels great!


Friday, September 5, 2008

"How do you keep your sanity in that house?"

my morning commuting buddy recently asked me.

He had kindly agreed to come to my humble abode prior to the big party and help me with the back flower gardens.

Now mind you he lives alone.

No kids.

No pets.

So he is not accustom to the unending chaos of my house.

I love people, I love my dog and I love music...so my house is rarely quiet.

And when I start planning a gathering - I always think that if I have to clean the house and cook for 4 guests....why not invite an extra 4 or 40!

Which might have something to do with the fact that when it comes to money - I could always use more.

family & friends i adore

Thursday, September 4, 2008

“It’s get a clue time!”

is my smack down snippet today.

Here is the clue....when it has been raining and EVERYONE ELSE on the sidewalk has put down their umbrellas....it might have something to do with the fact that it has STOPPED RAINING. So instead of whacking me upside the head with your open umbrella while trying to squeeze thru a narrow walkway.....put it down!!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"I am just not in the mood!"

I said to my co-worker this morning.

We were discussing my progress on the watchers of weight program. I am currently at lifetime, which means I have to weigh in at least once a month and if I keep within 2 pounds of my some-months-ago-achieved-goal-weight - I do not have to pay to attend the 6:30 a.m. Saturday meetings.

If at my once a month weigh in I gain over the 2 pound limit (in a month...give me a break I can gain 20 lbs!)..it costs me $12.00 to be weighed in and sit thru the 1/2 hour meeting each time I attend until I am back to my goal.

They use the fee as an incentive to stay at or verynear your goal weight.

I understand the whole philosophy - this is my third time being involved in their program.

Which is why I know that if I wasn't held accountable by the Saturday morning scale police I would soon be the size of a Macy's Day Parade Balloon...

but for the moment...possibly due to post-party exhaustion, the beginning of my winter bulk-up, or just not giving a rat's ass....I am setting 12 bucks a week aside.

with powder my inner thighs still glide

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

“It's a Pop Tart Morning!”

The young guy walking in front of me over the Franklin Street bridge said to his buddy. The only thing he had in his hand was a box of Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts.

No briefcase, no bag, nothing but the blue-boxed-8-pack.

Yum...what a great way to start off this day, especially after Keith (a.k.a. yard boy; sweaty boy; and slave), my family (with special props to my sissy, Vicki, who came up from Kentucky and was a help beyond words!) and I prepared like crazy for my 50th Birthday Bash on Sunday and having it end up even more spectacular than I could ever have imagined (it included a fireworks' display)!

So in the aftermath of that great weekend, I wish you all a "Pop Tart Morning!" with the sweet, sugary smell and warm, fuzzy feelings they bring on this hot, muggy Chicago day.

i’m still party gay