Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Percolating along.....

while baking this morning..starting with Chewy Pecan Pie Squares - easy, easy, easy and YUMMY!

I will then be moving on to Pumpkin Cookies, which are a little bit of a pain to make....but sooooooo worth it.

Then, if I have time, Non-Pariel Butter Cookies and Banana & Toasted Walnut Bread.

But the BEST NEWS of this Holiday Season so far is........

that I found a BRAND NEW, still in the box, late 1950's/early 1960's Fostoria Percolator last night at a local resale store for $2.99...brought it home...cleaned it up this morning and it works perfectly!

For those of you that enjoy coffee and haven't tried using an ol' school percolator...start asking relatives if they have one they no longer use, or search your local resale shop - because it heats the water to boiling and percolates it thru the coffee...thus making the BEST coffee outside of going to the Dunkin store.

from now galore

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"City sidewalks, busy sidewalks.....

dressed in Holiday style..." was one of my Dad's favorite Christmas songs to sing and it pretty much sums up Chicago as of this week.

From the ads inside Union Station...

to the Great Street of State....

hosting Macy's (it will always be Marshall Fields to me!) with windows themed "Believe!" this year...

and then wandering into Macy's to see the Holiday decor...

the Christmas season has arrived, and as usual, way too early.

Before I bid adieu to Thanksgiving....I want to CELEBRATE IT!

My law firm has given us tomorrow off, in addition to Friday - so Susan Snippets will be spending the next five days wallowing in mashed potato and pumpkin pie glory.

So I will today wish a Happy THANKSgiving to you and your kin!

let the eating begin

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Weekend of Wonder!

Those of you that come from a large family might agree that with the blessings surrounding many siblings sometimes come the curses of strong personalities, differing opinions and “issues” in general.

I am happy to announce that with all of the above in mind, my Mother’s 70th Birthday weekend bash, which started last Friday and ended early yesterday evening was a huge success!!

With my oldest sister, her three daughters and only grandson driving up from the Bluegrass State of Kentucky; my brother Paul flying in from Virginia, and the rest of us that have kept Illinois our home – all pitching in together – the birthday weekend was pulled off and presented in style!

Friday was spent at the house that we were all raised in, eating, sharing and going thru bins and buckets of pictures that Paul was scanning into his laptop for a slide presentation at Maggiano’s the next day.

Saturday was all about the luncheon party at Maggiano’s, food, presents and celebrating.

Yesterday, Sunday, her actual birthday and the last day of the weekend bonanza was spent at the Hollywood Casino in Aurora (no big winners and happily…no BIG losers!) and ended with a very late lunch, birthday singing (again) and cheesecake!

I also want to give special props to my three aunts, my Momma’s sisters, who had a ginormous bouquet of flowers timely delivered and hugely appreciated by the birthday girl – way to go!!

motherly/sisterly/brotherly love did flow

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Friday to Enjoy and Prepare

Susan Snippets is not in her usual spot this Friday morning. Instead, I am tucked far away in the suburbs, baking non-pariel butter cookies (the smell is fabulous!) and getting ready to spend the day with my family.

A day of love, laughter and companionship that will include my sister and her girls from Kentucky and my brother Paul from Virginia...we will all be together shopping, eating and preparing for our Momma's 70th Birthday Bash tomorrow at Maggiano's.

So until next week...story filled and armed with photos...

I bid you adieu.

momma, the party is all about you

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"

This morning's walk into the office was a real eye opener!

For the first time in my long history of working in Chicago, I witnessed joblessness creativity fueled by desperation in the form of this.....

Javier Pujals was standing on the corner of Wacker and Washington donning a sandwich board and handing out this business card....

This past Tuesday, CBS News ran a story on Paul Nawrocki, who had decided to walk the streets of New York in his sandwich board attire because "...I was getting really discouraged sending my resume out every day, and not getting anywhere."

At the time of publication, Mr. Nawrocki had already landed several interviews.

Our Chicago guy, Javier, basically told me the same story...out of desperation he resorted to this not-seen-very-often-since-the-Great-Depression-era tactic and is banking on it working.

Javier's "shtick" is that he will "Buy An Interview" - pay you/your company to interview him - giving him a foot in the door - where I assume he will dazzle you with his qualifications and personal flair.

So to all the "Javiers" and "Pauls" out in America right now - I salute you and wish you gainful employment.

If not in the field you are qualified for, then, at the least, in advertising for local sandwich shops....

for creativity - total props

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Client Confidentiality

In these days of office portability, when you are able to commute and work via laptop, Blackberry’s, etc., how is client confidentiality being dealt with?

My ride in via Metra this morning had me sitting behind a gentleman, who for the entire trip, was working on a client’s loss spreadsheet.

Naming the client, their accounts and the totals.

What if I was with a competing company?

Or, I knew somebody that worked for a competitor, or that company itself?

In my experience...this world is becoming a very, very small place.

How often do you meet a person and they have heard of you, your company or somebody somehow related to your company?

So what are/should be the Confidentiality rules as we get even more portable?

publicly viewed data is recordable

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Where’s my soda?"

Joe inquired after I had made myself nice and comfy on the train home last week.

Every so often I bring Joe a can of ginger ale (his fav) from our office fridge.

One of the perks in my office is that we get to order any type of pop and drink it to our heart’s content – for free.

Years ago I had a 6-can-a-day Diet Crack…I mean Coke habit. These days, except in rare cases, I don’t drink soda, especially diet soda.

Unsweetened Ice Tea, preferably from McDonald’s in their Large Sweet Tea Styrofoam Cup, is my drink of choice.

So I don’t feel too bad occasionally taking a can of Ginger Ale from the office fridge to give to Joe.

And I know Joe appreciates it.

But on this day…..while walking to the train…I witnessed a homeless guy on the sidewalk drinking the leftover swill out of cups and cans that he had collected in his own garbage can.

I first walked past with my usual Susan Snippet’s no-poker-face-“look-of-disgust” ablazing.

Which was followed by that little voice in my head saying...”Give him the clean can of ginger ale!”

“What? I am bringing it for Joe! This guy obviously has a screw loose!” was my in-head response.

I started digging into my bag, while turning around and with only the tips of my fingers holding the can…I extended my arm as far as possible as I approached homeless guy. "Here, drink this instead!” I told him.

He took the can, threw it into his garbage can and started dragging it into the alley.

“What!” I thought, “He is throwing it away!”

So I followed him and said “Are you throwing that away?”

“No.” he responded as I surveyed him to get a sense of hostility or danger.

Sensing nothing dire....I asked if I could take a photo of the can in the garbage, thinking if Joe asked, I could show him where his soda ended up.

The guy said “Sure! What is your name?”

“Susan” I responded.

He shouted at me "TUESDAY?”

“NO, S-U-S-A-N!” I said “What is your name?”

“James! Do you want to take a picture of me drinking it?” he asked.

“Sure.” I responded.

So here is James drinking Joe’s Ginger Ale.

I think James really enjoyed the whole encounter.

As for Joe missing out..Joe could probably afford to buy his own can of pop.

james' life and my own - i wouldn't want to swap

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Friday Email....

I just received an email from the Merchandise Mart and upon opening it - I thought it was a joke.

But I was so wrong.

This is the "high end" bath designed by Sanjay & Singhal in the Mart's DreamHome 2008.

If you ask me, Buddy My Dog, could have decorated this room with more style and class.

Just how relaxing would it be to take a bath in there?

its hideous i swear

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Can't you call Bible Study...

and tell them you are sick?" Keith asked yesterday. He knew I would enjoy going to his sister's house to attend her CMA Awards Show party.

"No, I can't call in sick to BIBLE STUDY!" I said and then continued with "That is almost as bad as the time I was offered a bootleg copy of The Passion of the Christ!"

it's just not right

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

“It is an American Woodcock….

they are migrating thru this area right now.” Dawn from the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation said.

I had simply stepped outside of Singha to make a phone call, while awaiting two soups to go, on this rainy, gray Chicago day when I first spotted him.

Camera always at the ready – he allowed me to take this close up shot of him:

Which told me that something was wrong. I walked back inside to ask the restaurant staff if they knew how long he had been there. “About an hour or so. He had been walking around, but now he is just sitting. Do you want to call like animal control or something?” they asked.

So another Susan Snippet’s most-excellent-lunchtime adventure ensued.

I called Chicago’s 311 number, told them what I was dealing with and they referred me to Flint Creek.

Dawn answered the phone at Flint Creek and after asking me to describe the bird, identified him and asked if I could get him into a box.

By this time three guys who had been heading into Singha for lunch stopped. I said I would go inside and ask if they had a box, but I was slightly afraid of birds, so “would one of you guys be able to help get him into it?”

One brave soul stepped up to the challenge and after I got the box, which the restaurant employee kindly loaded up with soft paper towels...the brave soul and I got Mr. Woodcock safely inside.

I called Dawn back and told her that I had the bird and I was taking him back to my office. She cautioned me to keep him in a quiet area and not to “open the box and show him to anybody.”

Are you kidding me?? I assured her that I was NOT going to be opening the box.

Here he is sitting on our conference room table awaiting his ride to be rehabilitated.

Within 20 minutes of receiving a call from a volunteer, she was waiting outside of my building. I jumped into her vehicle with Woody – filled out a form giving some of my personal information and whatever else I knew about where he was found, if he was fed, etc. and within minutes I was back in my office and Woody was on his way to feeling better.

So after that lunchtime fun, I need to give props to all of my kind helpers at Singha’s, both inside and outside, certainly to the wonderful organization of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation (that exists ONLY on send them some $$$$) and to Mr. Woodcock himself, for being a nice bird and not pecking his way out of the box and attacking me.

next an ornithology degree

“Roast Pork…..

LION” is what I typed and sent off to Maggiano’s as part of the final menu for my Momma’s 70th Birthday Gala on the 22nd of this month.

I also sent a copy of it via email to all of my siblings.

Almost immediately I received an email response from my younger sister, Wendy, which read:


I can't wait to have Roasted Pork LION with garlic mashed taters.

made me laugh

have a gas”

Sitting in this law firm, I burst out in uncontrollable giggling!

Although if you were to ever meet my family, you might understand that quite possibly that “typo” was actually a Freudian slip....

Seven siblings with German/Irish heritage and to put it simply...we aren’t always tame.

sometimes we act like wild game

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Grand Opening!

Several weeks ago there was a much-celebrated-grand-opening in the Fulton River District neighborhood of Chicago.

Just slightly over three blocks from my office, Jewel-Osco has opened its first "green" grocery store, thus allowing Susan Snippets some new healthy lunch options.

So I walked over to peruse this glistening, clean, green store and found that the possibilities for lunch are endless, dependent only on my state of mind and taste.

If I am not too hungry and want something a little lighter I could go with one of these:

If I needed something a little more "filling" and possibly had just won the lotto, this might be the way I go:

If it was the week before payday and my wallet wasn’t very full – this could be my lunch of choice:

If my sweet tooth is really acting up...I would probably buy something like this for dessert:

And just in case I ever “eat” too much during lunch – I probably should purchase one or two boxes of these:

Oh, were you thinking I was going to talk about food? Well, what can I say...


Monday, November 10, 2008

An Electric Touch...

my lunch walk wanderings took me past the Hard Rock Cafe on Ontario, where parked in a majority of their parking lot was this tour bus.

So, I walked inside to see who was there and got directed to "the band" who had just finished their sound check.

Two of the members were gracious enough to pose for a picture

(I hate using flash!) and let me know that they are performing an all ages show tonight at 9 pm with proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

So if you are out and about tonight, looking for food, fine music, and the feel good of supporting a great cause.....

head over to the Hard Rock Cafe in the River North neighborhood and tell the band that Susan Snippets sent you.

then write me a review

A pot of gruel....

is what I call the soup concoction that I eat most days for lunch.

It is healthy and inexpensive.

"That sounds awful!" somebody recently remarked when I called it that.

So I thought I would post a picture of my "pot of gruel" that I am having today.

I take a can of vegetable soup and add to that lots of goodies.

Today's add-ins are:

fresh spinach;


whole wheat cous-cous;

extra vegetable broth;

and the ever present hot sauce!

With the winter like winds biting at us today in Chicago...I am happy that I have something, not only healthy and inexpensive to eat, but also warming to my belly.

although after-effects can be smelly

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Marketing Mania

This morning’s walk in produced an armful of giveaways. So many so, that I had to ask for assistance to get into my office because I didn't have a free hand to open the door.

First thing out of the station, I met the Science Diet folks. They have been around the city for some time...handing out 7 oz packages of Nature’s Best dog food and being Susan Snippet's has a dog, Buddy, who, as a black lab that was found on the streets all those years ago, before being turned over to Anderson Animal Shelter and adopted by me and my kids (who had written letters begging for a dog, the traditional “we will walk him everyday” and the greatest lie “we will pick up his pooh”)...a stray that was never claimed, possibly sustaining life while on his own by devouring small animals (i.e. opossums) and/or eating garbage, which groomed him to basically eat anything he finds in his bowl, or on the floor (outside of pretzels and carrots) or in the backyard, etc.......

So when I was handed three packages of the dog food....I remarked to the woman “My dog loves this stuff!”...which got her to hand me three more packages. That will be 6 meals for ol' Buddy Boy that I won’t have to pay for.

Further along on my journey, I ran into John Paul (or would that be “Jean Paul”?), who was handing out insulated mugs bearing the image of Snoopy on behalf of MetLife, along with a free cup of hot coffee, all just for listening to his 15 second spiel and taking a flyer (threw away) telling me about

Over these years of pounding the pavement here in Chicago I have been the recipient of many freebies.

Cold drink giveaways are popular - orange juice, energy drinks, sodas, etc.

I also recall that back in the 80’s it was not uncommon to get free little packs of cigarettes, 4 smokes to a pack, and at the time, being in my social smoking phase (Man, I was cool!), I would wind round and round the area where they were handing them out, me and the homeless guys, shoving each pack into my purse or pocket, and then circling around again, smiling and thanking them, until I was overloaded with cigs.

Little boxes of cereal and small bags of chips, trail mix, crackers are not usual either.

But back to this morning....after entering the elevator in my building, laden down as I was, I asked the 4 other women within that small space if they have ever bought a product because they received a sample on the street?

All four said “No!”

So just a little word to company marketing departments, Susan Snippet's says this is not a good return on your money because I believe that most people are just like me....

only take it because it’s free

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"I have never seen anything like it!"

a woman walking past me said into her cell phone this morning.

I can only assume, post-election, she was talking about THE RALLY which was seen by millions around the world. A sea of people, safely, respectfully, tearfully supporting their candidate...

I walked up Jackson to Michigan Ave. and then headed north, winding my way into the office, in search of remnants from the rally, anything that I could photograph, but remarkably the streets, sidewalks, everywhere I looked was clean.

The only leftovers I saw on my quest were these....

Now, as we all know, the hard work begins....the undoing of the wrong and the DOING of the right.

If the man I heard giving his acceptance speech last night and then proudly standing on that platform in Grant Park with his family......

follows thru and walks the walk....I envision good things coming our way.

for now that’s all I will say

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The day has FINALLY arrived....

and I am NOT talking politics!!

I am speaking of my baby girl's EIGHTEENTH, yes, 18th Birthday!!

So in honor of her special day, my wonderful little surprise of all those years ago...a couple pictures of her life that I have on my computer...

as a fashionista...

dressed up for a daddy/daughter dance...

when she and her brother use to get along...

and owning the dance floor with her mother...

In whatever you do, Bug, I wish you happiness, love, kindness and a fulfilled soul.

that's how you should roll

BTW - As you can see....

she might take after me

Monday, November 3, 2008

Who would Christ vote for?

My friend and fellow blogger Hedy posed that question to me last week.

The day after Hedy asked...I met Benjamin and wrote a post about it.

Remember his cross that I admired? When he opened his layers of outerwear to show it off, it was lying on an Obama shirt.

Was that in answer to Hedy’s question?

If so, it was tempered this morning by a Christian friend of mine that I ran into coming off the train in Union Station. He inquired if I had ever heard of a pastor that he had been listening to on his Ipod.....after letting him know that the name didn’t sound familiar, he went on to tell me that this pastor has a long list of reasons why NOT to vote for Obama, some of which are, besides his pro-choice stance, Obama lives in the same neighborhood and has ties to Louis Farrakhan and, of course, there is Bill Ayers and his ex-pastor, Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. My friend definitely, because of what he has learned, will be voting for McCain and claims "voting for Obama would be very scary."

As much as I do not like writing about politics, I will say that this election has me stymied. On the eve of this historic Presidential Election, an election which has polarized people in a way I have never seen, part of me remains undecided, but mostly I want it done and over with, a new President in office, heading us (hopefully) in a positive, work hard, do the right thing and be able to live in a free, safe and prosperous America direction.

That is what I pray for.

values of the core