Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween in Chicago – Part II

For lunch I headed up to Michigan Avenue. The weather on this Halloween is fabulous, so sans coat, I walked.

Along the way I found myself standing next to a group of guys all dressed alike. So, I had to say “Nice costume, guys!” Obviously not in costume, I asked what they were doing in town.

They are here today before heading to Notre Dame for the big Pitt v. Notre Dame game tomorrow where they, the drumline, will be performing. One of them said they were looking for a pizza “shop.” Funny expression...but anyway...I led them to nearby Pizzeria Uno, where they handsomely posed for this shot.....

So guys, I hope you enjoy(ed) your stay here in our beautiful city and that you found our pizza exceedingly delicious.

And for tomorrow in Irish country...I will just say Go, Panthers Go!!

let the drums roll

Welcome to Halloween in Chicago!

As a youngster I loved Halloween.

The whole figuring out what to be, which was always dictated by cost and availability of props.

We were quite often limited to being a hobo, witch, ghost or clown.

And after my siblings and I were out trick-or-treating for hours, we would come home exhausted, our brown paper shopping bags full of candy, dump them out on the floor and sort thru - trading those we didn’t like with each other and throwing away the stupid homemade popcorn balls and apples.

The remaining “good” stuff would be counted (theft prevention) and put into our dresser drawers.

For 8 kids that rarely got candy – this day was SUPREME!!

But as an adult, with now grown (at least physically) kids, Halloween doesn’t rate very high on my list of holidays.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the proper Halloween display in my front window, the still-fun-to-carve-and-roast-the-seeds pumpkins lined up appropriately on my front steps....

The I-don’t-think-available-any-more-at-Target big light up plastic pumpkin with a black cat on top aglow in my yard (slightly visible in the above picture).

And I will be handing out candy once I get back to the burbs tonight...but outside of those things and the fun of photographing the young costumed adults that indulged me this morning as I wandered into the office.....

I find Halloween, especially when older men still dress up....

kind of creepy.

tom peepy

Thursday, October 30, 2008

De “LUXE” Kitchens

During a lunch last week I strolled thru the Merchandise Mart and I was taken aback by the expansion of Luxe Home’s showrooms.

In today’s downward spiraling market there must still be money to invest in homes.

On the first floor of the Mart you can find showrooms that cater to the upper crust. These are some of the kitchens that you would see if you stopped by:

and this....

Here, on the other hand, is a kitchen and dining room in a house, a house that cost in total, about what one of those kitchens would:

and guess what?

It works.

With just some inexpensive repairs, paint costs and sweat labor, the kitchen and dining room in my 1899 farmhouse, have become the center of family dinners, huge parties, fellowship and fun.

I have learned that it isn’t about the highendness of your house and its contents, of utmost importance is love, respect and kindness to/from those that gather inside.

let that be your guide

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

“Have a calm Wednesday!”

My friend remarked as he made the turn into his building this morning.

He sensed combativeness in me.

And as of this writing, there is no need to be alarmed, I have yet to reach the level of “Moe”.

And I promise, if I ever see myself going to that extreme, I will sound off bells and whistles and flares first.

My combativeness is actually complete, unmitigated frustration over several issues.

Which the normally cheerful-glass-is-half-full Susan Snippets doesn’t deal well with.

After fighting-like-hell-for-my-life, this is where I get partially stuck.

I envision those around me thinking “Why is she complaining? For God’s sake, is she not happy to just be alive?”

For the record - put me at the top of the list for being elated to have survived.

One of the issues I have to deal with is financial - mortgage payments; a car-that-runs-fine-but-won’t-pass-emissions-until-that-stupid-check-engine-light-goes-off-only-after-getting-it-repaired-with-money-that-I-am-currently-going-to-be-pulling-out-of-my-BUTT, and the list continues....but I will choose not to chase you all away with more negativeness.

Some Susan Snippets' background....

I was raised in an old school type of home.

My father worked EVERY DAY to support his wife, who has never had to work outside of the house, and his 8 children.

So I grew up seeing a mother at home, supporting her husband and family with all that she did, but my working-outside-the-home-ethic was groomed by my father. He raised us all, sons and daughters, to be self-supportive.

So at 14 in my middle-child-always-trying-to-pleaseness, I got a job and became financially self-sufficient.

That has been my story ever since, until now.

And I don’t like it.

It doesn’t sit well within me.

I get frustrated.

I cry.

I pray.

I get angry.

And I guess, at times, come across combative.

But in this process I will come up with a plan, this I know.

again, no worries, I won’t go moe.

Monday, October 27, 2008

“That’s a nice cross you are wearing.”

I said to him.

I was at McDonald's on Wacker Drive and he was ahead of me at the drink station.

I had noted his disheveledness while I was in line paying and then I noticed the crudely fashioned cross around his neck and commented on it.

“Thank you, I made it myself” he replied, smiling broadly with his missing-front-top-tooth grin. He pulled back his multi-layers of clothing to reveal the cross and his Barack Obama t-shirt.

“Would it be okay if I took a picture of it on your Obama t-shirt...just the cross?” I inquired.

“Sure. I usually have red/white & blue suspenders on…but I don’t today!” he replied.

Here is that shot:

He then asked my name, sticking his hand out, awaiting my shaking of it.

“Susan. What is yours?” I asked, stepping back, trying to avoid the shake and dropping my straw in the process.

He picked up the straw, answered my question with “Benjamin” and again reached his hand out towards me.

I firmly shook it.

He then offered me his cross, I refused it, letting him know that wasn’t my intent. He insisted, saying that he makes them all the time and gives them away.

So I accepted and asked “Where do you live, Benjamin?”

“Well, that’s a problem. I‘m homeless right now, but it is going to be okay. I am getting a sleeping bag today.” he responded.

“So sorry to hear that" I said as I fumbled in my purse for some money. "Here are two dollars, that is all I have, but I want you to have it, in payment for the cross.” I told him.

“No! Jesus flipped over tables in the temple. I will not take it.” he responded as he pulled his arms back, putting his hands up near his shoulders.

I wasn't sure what that all meant, but I did realize that Benjamin, a once-handsome-now-disheveled-toothless-homeless-cross-artist, would not take my money.

So I thanked him and with my crudely-fashioned-cross in hand, I headed to the train, not sure what, if anything, I am to learn from Benjamin and his cross.

i'm at a loss

Friday, October 24, 2008

Once Again It's Left for Me to Find Friday!

As I wander around this great City of Chicago...I come upon all sorts of interesting things that are left behind for my viewing by kind, generous, not-at-all-self-centered or lazy folks.

Here are just a couple of this week's finds:

left on the floor of the Merchandise Mart, I guess they were losers....and the lottery tickets are also.

I hate it when I run out of fries before my ketchup is all gone! Now, at least, I know what to do with the leftovers.

Once again, thanks for the unselfish displays of caring.

and sharing

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A change...

is a coming.

Having been thru more-than-I-care-to-number winters here in Chicago, I know when it is around the corner.

We go from no-jackets-required-weather to gloves-hats-heavy-coats-demanded-weather.

This morning's strong, brisk winds were my reminder....

in addition to the putting up of the little white holiday lights.....

in the trees along the river.

makes me shiver

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"You have to just let it go!"

I heard a woman say to a female companion as I passed them this morning.

Do you think guys ever say that to each other??

Anyway....what she said reminded me of an email that I recently received - a very long-rambling email, but sections of it are worth repeating.

So here are some of the “Let it Go” parts:

"By T. D. Jakes

There are people who can walk away from you.

I don't want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone.

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can't make them stay.


And it doesn't mean that they are a bad person it just means that their part in the story is over. And you've got to know when people's part in your story is over so that you don't keep trying to raise the dead. You've got to know when it's dead.

If you are holding on to past hurts and pains .......


If someone can't treat you right, love you back, and see your worth.....


It goes on and on, but I believe for today’s Susan’s-Overheard-Snippet that is enough heavy stuff.

let's get tough

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It is 2-2-2 Tuesday!

My "favorite" number continually keeps popping up. As I have written might be like buying a new "only-I-own-one" car and then suddenly seeing 100's more every time you drive.

but this is where I arrive

Monday, October 20, 2008

Belted In!

Some three months ago, while in the religious-zealot-like-throws of the Watchers of Weight program, my belts became too big.

So big in fact, I took my favorite ones to the local shoe repair shop and had some holes put in, making them once again wearable.

I am now unhappy to report that in my falling off the Watchers of Weight Wagon (WWW) and being run over by Giant Chocolate Glazed Donuts (GCGD) I am now to the last hole of my favorite belt....but not in the direction of being smaller.

if only I were taller

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's Left for Me to Find Friday!

As I wander around this great City of Chicago...I come upon all sorts of interesting things that are left behind for my viewing by kind, generous, not-at-all-self-centered or lazy folks.

****Warning...some pictures may not be appropriate for those with "touchy" stomachs.****

Here are this week's finds:

Busch? Honestly....but then I remembered the economy is going to Hell in a hand basket and I understood the frugality of it.

A gum smile – how creative!

So...they couldn’t find the garbage can 50 feet away...Hey, maybe they were driving blind!

AND last...but not at all least......

Thirsty? Thanks for leaving that bottle of urine on the street for Susan Snippet’s to find....another unselfish display of caring.

and sharing

Thursday, October 16, 2008


For years during my childhood I would spend Saturday mornings at St. John the Apostle sitting at an old wooden desk, while a fully-habited nun taught me and my classmates Catholic biblical stories and rules.

One such Saturday was spent telling us impressionable 4th graders about THE END OF THE WORLD.

I don’t know about the other kids in my class, but for me, Miss Worry Wart, who also right about that same time, overheard adults talking about spinal meningitis and how it can kill a person - so immediately my back started ACHING; thus assuring my overactive imagination that I would shortly be succumbing to the disease, but I digress.

That particular Saturday morning just about ruined my year.

The nun said that when the end of the world was upon us “the sun, the moon and the stars” would appear together in the sky.

So you can imagine how I felt when shortly thereafter on a bright sunny day, I saw something similar to this:

I ran straight to my parent’s bedroom and fell to my knees beneath the scary-looking crucifix they had hanging on the wall, where I proceeded to cry and plead with God that it not be the end.

So this morning on my walk to the office as I spotted that beautiful moon, high up in the sunny sky, it made me think of 4th grade CCD and being scared/scarred with stories told by a nun.

it wasn't fun

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Rainy FUN Lunch....

was had by me today.

And ironically it is, in part, a continuation of only-happens-to-Susan-Snippets lunch walk of yesterday (which will be another blog post).

On this rainy Chicago afternoon I wandered to the Merchandise Mart and took the catwalk over Orleans Street to the Apparel Center, where I ended up on the south side of the lobby looking out at the rain and contemplating walking further.

It was then I noticed a guy with an earpiece, the kind the Secret Service, of course, Susan Snippets had to walk outside and investigate.

The doorman asked me "Do you need a cab?" "No, I am waiting for a friend." I responded (pretty slick, huh?)

Within minutes two black limos pull up and out of the front one steps Mayor Richard M. Daley, along with his security entourage.

As he walks past I say "Hello Mayor" while stretching out my hand. He shook it as I told him how long I have worked in Chicago. He then asked my name, I answered and he headed into the building.

I followed them partially thru the lobby in all my Mayoral-giddiness while heading back to the office. It was in the long hallway leading to Orleans Street that I spotted this just sitting against the wall.


Too funny! The paper it is on says "this painting is yours if you promise to smile at random people more often" followed by

It is now mine and I have already emailed the artist and sent him this picture.

Check his site fun is this to do during these times of financial gloom and doom?

So I told Artist Bren I would definitely pass along smiles.

And for my whimsical painting.....he is going to be encased in a black shadow box and added to my collection of art at home.

it pays to roam

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


One of the reasons I love walking in Chicago so much is it allows me to fulfill my passion for people watching.

I not only enjoy watching people in their totality, but I love looking at their faces.

By doing that I usually see what they are looking at before they see Susan Snippet’s watchful eye.

That is how I have noticed the last two times I have worn these shoes...

that women look at them - a lot.

I have been well-schooled by my two BFF's - Stacy and Clinton, on their TLC show What Not to Wear – that even when dressed casually in my normal office attire of jeans - it never hurts to throw on a pair of shoes with color for a little POP!

So don your ruby slippers and roam.

always remembering...there is no place like home

Monday, October 13, 2008

Remnants of the Chicago Marathon….

littered my walk into the office this morning.

Casually tossed aside....but symbolic of so much blood, sweat and tears.

to the runners...three cheers!

Friday, October 10, 2008

In a follow up.....

to yesterday's blog....the whacked-out 17 year-old and I had a conversation last night about boys, specifically about the ex and the now 5 other interested hormonal males.

Of the five possibilities, she has been chatting with one named Derek and although she won't admit to it, I KNOW that the interest is mutual.

Now bear in mind that the not-so-nice ex's name is Eric.

This was our late night conversation:

Me: Did Derek call you?

Her: Why?

Me: Didn't you say he was going to call?

Her: You said you didn't want me talking to him!

Me: No I didn't.

Her: Yes you did!

Me: Why would I say I didn't want you talking to Derek?

Her: Oh, Derek....I thought you said Eric!

Isn't there a Joe or a John or a Michael she could date?

Does the new interest's name have to sound exactly like the ex?

i'm under a hex

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Ebb and Flow.....

of a teenage girl's emotions, if somehow contained and turned into energy, could power a city block for an entire year.

I am just saying....

although I might have some knowledge of dealing with a whacked out 17 year-old and her emotions.....

emotions that have recently been exacerbated by a broken-off relationship with a not-so-nice boyfriend of a year and a half; the boy whom she finally got a clue about and mustered the strength to say DONE - but she still claims him as hers and says he cannot date anyone else yet because of some invisible timeline - a timeline that I can only liken to when dealing with the passing of a spouse and not remarrying right away.

She often resembles Joanne Woodward's character in "The Three Faces of Eve," where she runs the gamut of being incredibly mature....vocalizing the most profound statements, so profound, that I turn and look to see who is reverting to "toddlerdom" by laying on the floor, kicking, crying and throwing a fit.

At 17 she is very complicated.

and may be related

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"What floor?"

I inquired as he stepped into the elevator.

"Four, please" he said.

"What's on four?" I asked.

"Nothing" he replied.

I followed with "Nothing? How can that be?"

He responded in a low tone "my office" all the while looking at something that was stuck in the side mesh pocket of his gym bag.

I then saw what he was looking unused Cub's Playoff ticket.

"Can you believe it?" I asked.

"Nope, another year that I didn't get to use them" was his response as he walked off the elevator at the fourth floor.

"There is always next year!" I shouted as the doors closed.

For us Cubs' has been a ridiculous ONE HUNDRED "next years"....

but whose counting?

frustration is so mounting

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Wedding Weekend

Tonight is the kick off for a long awaited event....

Steve & Judy are getting married!

I am excited to be involved in this important weekend. I thank Hedy for introducing me to them and I also thank Steve & Judy for allowing me to glom onto their lives.

Both have marched down the white runner before and because of that they bring to this marriage a mature-lived-out-knowledge of what being married is truly about.

Tonight's church rehearsal will be followed by a gathering full of pre-ceremony feasting and toasting.

Tomorrow is the blessed union between the two - in front of us and most importantly under the watchful eyes of God.

A celebratory event at a local establishment will follow the nuptials.

But Sunday evening....ahh, Sunday evening is the gala reception – a favorite restaurant, emptied of its patrons and instead filled with the new bride and groom, along with family and friends, where we will eat, drink, dance and raise a toast....

to Steve & Judy - may they have strength to support each other in the dark times; a generous spirit of laughter and smiles to make bright times; and undying love and dedication for each other thru it all.

If they have this...

forever bliss

Thursday, October 2, 2008

“I’m bacccckkkk!!”

to work and still slightly hobbled by lower back pain, but able to walk and sit for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

Yesterday, on my second day at home nursing this wretched back....I got tired of sitting/standing/laying around the I found my way to the Red Rocket and blasted off to the local grocery store for some comfort food.

I came home with tomato soup, bread and no less than 3 ½ POUNDS of cheese!

Can you tell I was comforted as a child by my momma’s grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup?

i will never poop