Sunday, September 10, 2006


Goodbye, front door.

Goodbye, 31st St.

Goodbye, USA.

I will miss you all.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The future looms

It sounds like I may have an offer on the place today. My realtor has been asked about putting a purchase offer together... get this: by more than one party.

So we'll see...

Rantirator may be rantin' right outta town... sooner than she thought!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I love my 'hood

For as long as I've been an adult, living away from my parents, people have felt the need to disparage the places where I live. From my first basement apartment in Stevens Square to my two places in Phillips to the house I have now, one block off *GASP* Lake Street. (Even though Powderhorn Park is supposedly an upgrade from Phillips...)

But guess what?

I love living here.

I love how I can go into Welna Hardware on 25th and Bloomington with my umpteenth broken window and they know me right away, and smile.

I love the Park and Lake carwash, where Sam the manager is always trying to hook me up with somebody to rent an apartment or do repair work.

I love the Greenway. I love the renovated Sears building. I love Isla Tropical rice-cream bars from the Mercado Central...

Every other car that drives by my house is blasting Cumbia, or Bachata, or Ranchero.

I go into Chicago Lake Liquors and the Eritrean cashiers are bopping their heads to merengue music.

I love that my block has a boxing studio across from a funky church run by a lady with blue and purple hair. I love the dingy-looking kids who ride around on super-tall bikes that they build from scrap and do guerrilla gardening on boulevards and byways.

What can I say? It's all just so fucking awesome. Summer evenings are like a parade in front of my house, as all my neighbors gather up the kids and mosey down to Powderhorn Park for soccer.

Ahh... and the park. Where else (okay, besides the lakes districts) can you find such a beautiful, natural space, smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood??? Where else can my dog bark vociferously at ducks, butterflies AND children, all on the same walk?


I am going to miss this place so much.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Doesn't it suck....

The way we can always tell what's wrong with our friends/family/coworkers and what they should be doing differently with their lives... but hate it when anyone tells us about our own?

A couple of friends called me tonight. (late)

The first one called my cell. I saw her number and did not answer. She then called my home. (Duh, it's supposed to be the other way around, right?) Anyway... I knew she'd be full of drama, so I let her go straight to voice mail. I saw her recently anyway, so that's enough. I have decided to alot her one meeting per month, max.

The second one was another friend whose calls I NEVER ignore, but often miss, due to scheduling conflicts. I answered immediately. He invited me to a future gathering, and then proceeded to rant about his girl problems. I swear to GAWWWWWWWWWWD I have heard his rant 10,000 times.

"she's hot, and I met her dancing"

"dammit, but she's all christian and won't sleep with me"

"who? what? the blonde? what about her? naw, she turned out to be a whore."


Anywayyyyyyy..... I don't think I need to comment on that irony, other than to use it as a segue back to my original point:

Why is it that we can see what's wrong with other people's lives/methodologies/etc but never our own?

People have lonnnnnnng been offering advice to me about which route to take; which path is best; what's stupid and what's not... ad nauseum.

When I look back on my past, I see instances where they were correct. I also see happy examples of where they were wrong, and discouraging... (thank goodness I didn't listen to those.)

But again I would like to pose the question:

When do we charge ahead, and when do you listen to others? How strong must your personal convictions be? Is there a guideline?

The only thing I can come up with is that we must all follow our own intuition... in retrospect I can identify qualms that I never shared, nor dared to even acknowledge about life choices I made... perhaps I should have listened to myself. Perhaps that is the answer.

Who knows?

There I go trying to answer my own questions once again.


Friday, August 18, 2006


I met with a realtor this week, and in seven days time (just enough to fix up up the few remaining items) this beige, stucco hulk of a building will go on the market, like so many bushels of picklin' cucumbers.


How quickly I become attached to these monstrous and dilapidated structures. This is the third building, and in many ways, it has been my red-headed stepchild. The first was a duplex off Franklin Ave... my original love, my hope, and initial taste of success. I bought that piece of shit against everyone's advice... my parents above all, who wanted to KILL ME.

Vacant for over a year, the attic windows on that sad duplex had long since been broken, and pigeons had taken up permanent residence in the snow-sopping insulation which lay haphazardly strewn about. There was a drug bust there once... the legacy of which was that EVERY SINGLE DOOR in the building had been smashed in. (Yes, that even includes some closets.)

I'll never forget the day I had a City of Minneapolis worker come out to turn the water back on... which had long been shut off at the street level. (Presumably after all the pipes had frozen and burst.)

"Alright," the guy says to me, standing on the boulevard, pole-screwdriver in hands.
"Go open all the spigots."

I did that, and re-emerged to find him poised and ready.

"You ready?" He says to me.

"I think so..." I look at him quizzically.

"Alright..." He turns the lever.

"Now git in there and see what's leaking!" He barks.

I raaaaaaaaaaaaace in and up to the second level. Kitchen: check. Bathroom: check.

Run downstairs.

Kitchen: check.

*what's that sound???*

*like rushing water*

I race to the first floor bathroom.

Too late. The ceiling and walls have virtually collapsed under the weight of water, unrestrained by pipes which have long since met their maker.....

But anyway, in spite of all that shit, the plumbing, the pigeons, the chimney which literally teetered to one side and fell down, I loved that place. I made it my own, little by little, and it became a home - not only to me, but to the wonderful couple that moved in upstairs and saw me through my novice phase of landlady-ing. God bless them.

No really. Seriously. Cuz I fucked up a lot in those early days.

The second place was a fourplex. It had its issues too, but it was BEAUTIFUL. Actually, it was kind of like a spoiled beauty queen... demanding and aggravating, but you had to forgive it, cuz, well, it had THAT WOODWORK, and THOSE BUILT-INS, and it was so CLASSY looking. Plus there was the wonderful vacant lot that came with...

This place I have now, this final hunk of beams, plaster and lathe, is not my favorite. It never has been. The place was supposed to be a single family home, and yet some dipshit cut it to pieces, mangling its charm and eroding its character. They wallpapered the ceilings, for god's sake. They painted twelve layers of cheap-o Glidden crap over the top of it when it went out of style. They put KITCHENS IN A SECOND STORY ADDITION.


I ask you....?

But anyway... I scraped and I scraped and I scraped some more, and I enlisted the help of many kind souls along the way. Somehow (through my powers of bullshit) I managed to attract quality tenants, most of whom I would easily now count as friends.

Aaaaaand, the house has been (temporarily) wrested from the vicegrip of the demon Trumpet Vine... and the trim has been painted, and solar lights now grace a lovely, curving flower bed along the south side of this once-trash-ridden corner.

So it's ready to go. The apts have been cleaned, painted, and decorated ala Ikea, and they shine like virginal prom dates... for the moment.

And it is nearly time to say goodbye.

I hate goodbyes.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Molten Garbage, anyone?

I know, I know, bitching about trash AGAIN, you say?

Yes. Damn right.

There's nothing quite like chillin' in the yard with a lemonade, smelling the sweet fragrance of cat litter, spoiled milk and half-eaten chicken wings... all tastefully baked in my dumpster by the 95-degree day.


It's even more exciting to discover these goodies spread across the carpark by an industrious squirrel with a taste for 3-day old burritos.

What boggles my mind is that in spite of my mass emails to the residents of this building every 3-6 months outlining the expected procedures for garbage disposal, NOBODY SEEMS TO BE LISTENING.

Is it sooooooooo fucking hard to use PLASTIC GARBAGE BAGS (not paper shopping bags) and to TIE THEM SHUT??? How the hell does one dispose of food waste in their apt in a paper bag anyway? Do we only eat dry foods? What the hell?

And who swings the dumpster lid open and just leaves it that way? I mean, are we on crack here? It looks tacky, smells disgusting, and provides welcome refuge to squirrels and other aggravating life forms.



Thursday, August 03, 2006

I smell a conspiracy!

Former Mpls CM Dean Zimmermann's trial for bribery charges has now begun.

I gotta tell ya, this whole situation stinks to me....

I know Dean Zimmermann. He was my old Park Board Commissioner-turned-CM, and used to be my neighbor as well. He's a decent guy, and I was shocked at the charges. Having said that, I DO acknowledge that he is not the sharpest tool in the box....

But here's what's REALLY WEIRD:

So Z apparently accepts bribes from Gary Carlson, a local developer who wants a zoning change on his building "Chicago Crossings" at 24th and Chicago Ave.

AND? you say?

Um, Carlson is a bit of a sharper tool, and there is no way in HELL he thought that Z could actually get his zoning change. I mean, if you look at Z's voting record and lobbying record on the council, you will laugh out loud. The man could not get a damn thing done around there - and the other members treated him like a child.

Carlson is not stupid. If he REALLY wanted to get shit done, he would have gone for Robert Lilligren, Z's incumbent opponent and then-VP of the Council. I mean, I doubt that Lilligren would have taken a bribe... (hope not anyway) but at least he should have been a focus of some strong lobbying.

So... WTF???

And then there is another interesting tidbit that nobody is talking about... Who is the Gary Carlson guy anyway???

I know...

Aside from being a cocky, Walmart-style-nouveau-riche-type developer, he also happens (or happened) to do business with more than one of the infamous Sabri brothers.

Do we remember the Sabris?

One of them is still in prison for bribing another South Minneapolis Councilman. (That would be Basim Sabri and CM Brian Herron, respectively.)

Now, what's all this got to do with anything? Well, I know for a fact that the Sabris (those not in prison, at least) were highly interested in the outcome of these previous city council elections. In fact, Hamoudi Sabri (the youngest brother) even took an ad out in the paper seeking a political staffperson to run smear campaigns against both CMs Gary Schiff and Robert Lilligren.

The Sabris wanted to support and protect Z, because he was seemingly in their pockets.

Does this make any sense to anyone??? Not to me... One of the Sabri's partners hooks up with the FBI to bust Z (their guy) for bribery???

So strange....

Oh, and remember that zoning change that Carlson (and his Sabri partner) wanted for the Chicago Crossings? Well it went to the zoning and planning commission, and I was in attendance. Of course it went down... Because Z could not marshall any support from the rest of the council.


What was interesting was the way that Carlson BLEWWWWWWWWWW UP in the corridor afterwards at his Sabri partner... Telling him that he f-ed it up, and that Carlson was sick of him and his "no good brother Hamoudi" who had apparently bounced a $100,000 check to Carlson recently... (for what? for what?)

I thought he was going wet himself, he was so mad.......

So what the heck does all this mean? Did Carlson set Z up after this, cuz he was pissed at not getting his zoning change? Couldn't be, since the bribery stuff began earlier.....

So WHAT???

Conspiracy theories welcomed.................................

(oh, and regular theories too)