9.29.2012

A Warm Taste of Fall.

78°F weather and beautiful fall colors make for a unique ride backdrop. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Quote of the Day.

The way a man treats his car (or bike?) is how he treats himself.

9.24.2012

Rock the Vote, Slut-o?!


I'm not normally hyper-political, but it's hard not to be attuned to campaign messages and propaganda during this time of the year and four-year cycle. As I rode down one of the nicest paths back home from downtown MPLS this weekend (I find my apartment hunt is best by bike as it gives time to look closely at buildings and get contact info if need be), THIS is what I came upon on the nearby train trestle.



As I'll presume you can see, it says, "Vote Sluto". I actually laughed to myself as I rode by from the juvenile humor and only turned back around for a pic once I thought about this more. Was the "artist" actually saying, vote for the candidate named "Sluto" or a more sinister message prodding all sluts to vote? (I'm sure this is an often ignored, yet quite large and untapped voter base... though I have no personal data, of course).

If there was a candidate named Sluto and they did indeed win their election, this could quite possible be the most innovative campaigning the US has ever seen. Stagnant train cars painted with crude messages to prod voters into action. Kudos. And much cheaper compared to traditional methods like those paper signs in the lawn or "TV commercials" (what a waste those are... click!).

But alas, after an exhaustive Google search it does not appear that MN has a local election with a candidate named "Sluto". So, it would appear my first theory is out the window. They really are trying to get the message out - "Vote Slut-o!" But, I really don't understand why they would want sluts to get out an vote.

And as a final affront to my common sense... there are two small words just before the "Vote Slut-o" phrase painted on the train car - it says, "Vote smart." Huh? Wha? That's your best piece of advice in this highly charged election year - "Vote Smart, Vote Slut-o!"

No wonder people stay home.

9.17.2012

A CraigsList Lovestory?

Greetings everyone I used to know...
As some of you may be aware, I sell a good number of things on CraigsList (heretofore, CL... did I use that word correctly, meh...). I often find lots of humor in the people I have to deal with to get the items sold. Maybe it's a form of human interaction I know I can get here in MN, maybe I just like helping people. Currently, as I'm in the process of moving somewhere (not known yet where), my sales have picked up a bit in the last couple weeks... Cash is king.

Sometimes the people I meet aren't so bad...
> 1 older man, 1 middle-aged man, and 1 young-ish wife of one of them (crazy kids) picked up a 4+ year old mattress and IKEA bed - they were very efficient, Lord knows there ain't much to an IKEA bed anyways.
Sometimes it's kind of odd...
> A portly Hispanic woman made me walk out to the parking lot to meet her at her pickup truck. She got out, I handed her my high-end but gently used jeans, she looked at them, felt them, held them up to look at the sizing, then yelled to her daughter in the truck for some sort of approval. I didn't think the mom would fit them, but evidently the jeans were for the daughter. Approval got! The sale was made. (Eeesh - do any of you know the best way to wash money?)
And sometimes it's really really odd...
> after picking up my free moving boxes when I first moved here, a man texted me after he left and asked me if I liked to "jack it with other men" - I politely declined, but did ask if he knew any single women (he did not respond to that... I guess I was too bold for him (?)).

And then once in a great great while it's pleasantly surprising
> I had two nice, faux leather barstools sitting under my breakfast bar for the last 18 months or so. I could probably count on one hand how many times I've sat on them and I have no clear idea if the place I move to will even have a breakfast bar, so out they go! CL here I come.

Maybe my price was high, maybe the last of summer here makes people not want to complete CL sales, but these took a while to get a bite and have it stick. Finally, a person named Karen (never assume gender on CL) said "we" would be by Friday evening to pick them up. I actually note the use of "we" in transactions like this as it usually indicates she's bringing her husband or boyfriend (if I have the gender roles right at least). There are two main reason for this pairing - to have him do the heavy lifting and to make sure she doesn't get stuck in some deep dark hole w/ a basket of lotion. I think this is smart planning on both counts.

So, we had determined that 7:30pm was the time she could meet. I hung out at home after work, puttering around and getting ready to watch The Dictator (wipe any ideas of renting that out of your mind if you have thus far been spared this turd). Now if there's one thing I like, it's being early. And Karen called about 6:45pm after arriving downstairs - great, let's get this done so I can watch my movie!

I grabbed one stool to walk it down to my foyer. When I arrived seconds later no one was there to meet me, though I thought I saw someone in the parking lot, so I ran back up to get the 2nd one. This way there's no wasted time to fill with awkward conversation as one person puts a stool in the car while the other waits inside or something. 2nd stool in hand I got down to the foyer as they were walking in...

... but low and behold, it was a very attractive, perhaps late-20s or early-30s woman, and her mid-50s mother. In all my time selling on CL I have never seen a prettier woman, let alone a mother-daughter duo (flashbacks to Mom's Weekend at UofI start now!). They greeted me heartily and seemed oddly excited by the stools they were picking up. I mean, to see the smiles beaming from their faces, this kind of reaction from one, let alone two people never happens through CL (maybe I'm selling the wrong stuff?). There was one minute of chit-chat, handing me the cash (from Mom of course) and then I jumped back into my elevator to take me back up to my suburban lair. But damn if I didn't feel like I'd just missed an opportunity (this feeling happens a lot in MN). She was gone though, it was too late. What could I do?

Now, knowing I am moving soon, haven't been on a real date in a bit, and generally have nothing to lose, I thought I might as well ask her if she'd like to get a drink. (I know, I know... I could actually become the creepy CL kind of person, but it was a risk I was willing to take after meeting them both in person). So, early Saturday afternoon (not late at night or something, I'm not a creep!), I sent this email to Karen...

Karen [strong opening, right?]

This will likely seem odd, but I meet very few beautiful women and even less through sales on Craigslist. If you happen to be single and would be interested in having a drink with me, I'd be honored.
In any case, I hope the stools met your expectations. [they really were sweet barstools!]
Regards
Now in the land of CL and really in this case, online dating, my mind was set that it would be highly unlikely that I would even get a reply, much less one only a few minutes later (thank you, God, er, Gmail?). She said...

Thank you very much for the compliment [see, not creepy - ha!]. I do happen to be single, but widowed recently [emphasis added by me], and I am not ready to go out with a guy. But thank you very much for the ego trip and the stools. 
Karen


So, in the end, not getting a drink with me was only due to the simple fact that she's recently lost her husband - Wha??!!! This is a first for me on CL. She also seemed pretty young, as in, "How old were you when you got married even?" or "Are you from Utah?" But the real genius of this reply is I basically have nothing else to say. It shuts the conversation and window of opportunity right down. You can't push an actual widow to go out with you, nor can you imply that she isn't a widow ("Lemme see the death certificate, please."). Very good reply, Karen, very good reply. It just goes to prove that savvy shoppers abound in the online market that is Craigslist.
Happy selling, er, buying.


*** NEWS FLASH      *** UPDATE      *** NEWS FLASH     *** UPDATE


As I swam my 40 laps in my apartment complex's pool (yes, my life is very much like a retiree in Florida, but my meals are about an hour later than theirs would be), I realized I may have made a slight error in my advances on this Karen woman. I now believe "Karen" is the mid-50s mom in the story. Did any of you think that too? Surely one of you must have thought so. Maybe you were just nice and not saying anything. It would sure explain why she paid the money, why she looked so happy to see the stools, and why she's also a widow already. Way to go, MK, you hit on a widow and didn't even know it. Geez, I better "up my game". Cripes.

transplanted.chicagoan

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