Crossing thresholds and reaching milestones

September 18, 2012

On Monday, I reached a personal goal to run eight miles in one outing. For me it was a milestone.

After reaching 37 years old this month, staying in shape like an 18-year-old ain’t easy. Lemme tell you.

I’m no gym rat. And I’ve never been much of a weight lifter.

As I age, I find it’s incredibly important to do some of the things I never did (like lift weights) and keep up the things I’ve done off and on since high school, i.e. running and playing sports.

I think of it as an investment into my future.

I use an iPhone app called RunKeeper that is an amazing tool for tracking progress as well as encouraging me while running. As you run, a voice comes into my headphones updates me as to my speed, distance, and how big of a douche I am.

It’s incredibly satisfying. Especially when the voice says, “You’ve reached six miles of assholery. Great job.”

When that happens, I leap into the air, throwing my knee up and bringing down an elbow with clenched fist.

Yes!

Running the lakefront is gratifying as it is inspiring. At one moment, an 4′ 11″ tall man will pass me running beside his bike. The next minute, a guy in a wheelchair will pass me pushing with his gloved hands. The next second, a women 30 lbs heavier than I am will scoot past.

The second I feel good about myself, some jackwagon will pass me and remind me how out of shape I am.

It’s also cool, because you can find a “rabbit” or pace setter who might run with you for a while. It’s usually a non-verbal agreement you have with some other runner to go the same pace until one of you bails.

Ahh, Chicago, don’t you love the diversity!

The verity of people exercising on the lakefront reminds me of the diversity in our neighborhoods.

One subject Tina and I talk about a lot is how we’re so grateful for the infrastructure in our city that we pay significantly higher taxes for that allow us to live so well with so many different kinds of people.

We’re reminded constantly that the people around us range from the super rich — driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis – to the super poor, sitting on their asses in front of store fronts begging for change.

The contrast that we see with our suburban friends and family — and I’m talking Chicago Suburbs, not just my NC friends and family in rural NC — is that we’re reminded constantly that the world is full of so many kinds of people.

And maybe our suburban friends see somebody begging at the on or off ramp at the highway, but they aren’t getting passed while running by a guy in a wheelchair.

They aren’t approached three times in a 5 minute walk to the store by homeless people asking for change. They aren’t admiring a Ferrari one second and covering their noses from the stink of a guy hunched over at the waist sleeping (passed-out) at a busstop.

I’m not saying we’re better than they are.

I’m saying we have more reasons — besides what Jesus taught — to contribute to a government infrastructure that supports those in need. We take pride in having higher taxes so that more people can find warm places to sleep at night after having a warm meal.

We think that’s why Chicago is Blue and the rest of this fucking state is bleeding red.

One of my problems is: I think people deserve a place to live with a safety net. I think they deserve a place where they can be fucked up drug addicts. Why? At one time, it was because I was a Christian and I believed that everyone should be saved.

But now, I believe it’s because everyone fucking deserves to be saved.

No matter what the station or place in life.

I’d rather live in a place like Chicago that has a glut of corruption while giving homeless people and drug addicts the possibility of redemption than living in a place where people hide behind their Christianity so they don’t have to help the needy, the poor, and the destitute.

Redundant? I know.

At least we’re corrupt while helping the needy.

Instead of just being corrupt.

 


Thoughts on helping the homeless

April 12, 2012

 

The other night, I took the above hipstamatic. From that distance — maybe three or four feet– I could smell urine and feces. I got the impression that he was straining and either crapping in his pants or in a lot of pain.

He had a coffee, or some kind of drink and a bag of food. So I felt like he was okay, but certainly not great.

The next morning, I had to deliver a project directly to a client downtown, so I drove. On my way out of our alley, I saw this guy again laying in the grass. From a distance, he appeared to be shaking.

My heart broke.

I figured he slept outside, and he was cold or sick. I told myself that I would check on him when I got back, and see if I could find him a blanket and some food.

When I drove back up, he had a bag of food in a clear plastic bag and a large bottle of water.

So either he was able to score this loot or someone was thinking like I was and hoped to help this guy the best way possible.

My rationale for telling you is 1) to brag that I’m awesomer than you are and 2) we gotta look out for each other. And I hope you keep your eyes open for ways to lend a hand, small and large.

You know, like Jesus.

Honk.

 


Another reason not to vote for Obama, the cost of being homeless is surging

March 9, 2012

And you thought gas prices were enough reason to avoid voting for Obama this year, consider the cost of being homeless.

Imagine if you were homeless.

Remember the days when you could stop by a grocery store and pickup a sweet ride for your trashbags full of aluminum cans and miscellaneous belongings for a five-finger discount of … free?

Not anymore!

And guess who you have to thank for that!

Mister President Barack Obama and his homeless hating administration, that’s who!

During his administration, that asshole Obama and his cohorts required grocery stores to install wheel lock mechanisms on all their grocery carts, so you can no longer have transport for all your wires, microwaves and broken TVs.

Do you realize the cost of retrofitting the new carts with the old wheels? That shit is expensive. And homeless people don’t have that kind of cash.

Seriously.

Now homelesses are stuck buying wheeled suitcases and those little carts that the stores sell off the shelves.

How convenient, Grocery Store Owners!

Haven’t you seen them standing on highway off ramps with signs reading, “Homeless. Need wheeled suitcase or cart. Please help!”

That also explains the surge in cost of trashbags, the homeless person’s container of choice.

So if you’re homeless and you’re planning on voting blue in November, think again.

Santorum plans to remove locks from grocery store cart wheels as the first item on his agenda come January 2013. He also plans on outfitting waterproof blankets underneath the carriage so that when you take the cart, you also get to stay warm. He’s also going to install gerbil water feeders with booze in them on the sides, just high enough to lie on the ground and lick yourself into a deep sleep.

And there will also be a rubber glove dispenser on the sides so that you don’t get your hands dirtied with bloody tampons when you’re sifting around the trash looking for scraps of food.

Because, Jesus commanded his followers to care for the destitute and the downtrodden. And since Santorum believes in all that …

What?

Santorum doesn’t?

He’s a Christian, right?

Oh, okay.

Sorry, transients … you’re on your own on this one. The Christian nation you were born in doesn’t like you. Doesn’t want you. And certainly doesn’t want to help you.

 


Chicago Air and Water 2009

August 15, 2009

@ Wrigley Park

IMG_0969_air&water2009

It makes me sick that we glorify the demonstration of wealth over the heads of people who know nothing of its fruit.

Here are some shots I took (click below the fold for more). To open several shots at once, command click into tabs, browser willing.

Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 696 other followers