Posted by: kristabella | April 23, 2007

Clean Sweep

I would like to preface this with the fact that I do, in fact, really like spring. (and get paid by the word every time I say fact.) If I hadn’t put on about 20 pounds this “winter” I would be liking it a whole lot more. Oh, and if I had a job.

So every few months in the lovely city of Chicago, the side streets get a cleaning. I can’t tell you the last time it happened. It was sometime in the fall. They do it right about the time that all the leaves have fallen off of the trees and are clogging the gutters. Chicago – We Are A Clean City.

I remember the last time they did it. Only because I got an effing parking ticket. (More to come on that.)

So what they do, is they pick like an area of this city (this is all one big guess and I’m just telling you what they do in my neck of the woods. Most people I know that live in the city park in a garage so they are all lucky SOBs.) They do a few blocks at a time. But being the geniuses that they are, those geniuses that run my fair city, they’ll only close one side of the street at a time. (Smrt.)

So they usually give plenty of notice. They tie these orange signs to trees and light posts, etc. telling you “No Parking MONDAY 9 AM to 3 PM THIS side of the street.”

Back with the mulch job, it didn’t matter. I was always gone and off the street well before 9 AM. (Except for this one time. Which, yes, I will get to.) So I paid these signs no mind. In paying no mind, mind you, I didn’t notice the days of the week printed there. Me, being the dumbass that I am, just noticed “orange sign. No parking.”

On this one occasion (see? SEE? I told you’d I’d get there) I was coming home from work (maybe? I have no idea where I was coming back from. A trip? Happy hour?) and it was later than normal (book club, maybe?) and I saw all the orange signs. I drove a good six-block radius (OK, two-block) and these orange signs? They were everywhere! Every block! Both sides of the street! What the FUCK was I going to do? On top of all the orange signs, there was no parking. What the fuck were all these other people going to do?

This is how I remember it was later than normal. Because I remember I didn’t want to have to venture too far out because of the walk by myself in the dark and the side streets with the trees and the lack of ample lighting. (Or it was the laziness.) I also remember that I was pissed because I knew I was going to be gone (or off or not home?) the next day so I wasn’t going to be gone by 9 AM.

So I just parked. And I got a ticket. (Bastards!)

I noticed as I went to my car the next day (obviously I was home. And am now even amazed at my laziness at not just getting up at 8:55 AM and moving the damn car) that I had the ticket. The $50 parking ticket. (The Geniuses are raping us! Raping! Us!)

This was when I also noticed that the sign on the other side of the street said a different day. Altogether! (Am dumbass! Shouldn’t have a license!)

I was actually worried about these things with this most recent job. Because I take took the train, and am not usually parked on the street in front of my place. So how the hell would I know what day they were street cleaning? But whew. Thank God I got fired and am all over that! (Whew is right!)

I noticed the signs late last week. My car was parked on the MONDAY side. So I set my alarm for 8:55 AM (don’t judge me people! I am weary from all the unemployment. And the inactivity.) I got up and went to move my car. With about 1,000 other people from the neighborhood. There was no parking to be found. Anywhere! Within a two-block radius! Oh the horror! And the walking!

I finally found one about 4 blocks away. And therefore, I have walked over a mile today, my friends, because 4 blocks is 1/2 mile. Because I had to go get my car after 3 PM to move it back closer. I mean, come on.

No, I actually went grocery shopping. So there. Walking. AND stairs.

I am active hear me roar. Or groan.



(If you have never checked out this site. You’re missing out.)



  1. awww snuggles!

  2. Yay for Cat Choi and Willow Bay! Cuteness overload = awesome!

  3. Too bad you don’t know someone in the garage rental biz. ! I do NOT miss the days of circling the streets of SF. It drove me to drink a lot at the bars while I lived there… 😉

  4. Thankfully my parking is nowhere as bad as it was in SF when you lived in the Marina, Julie.

    And, also a plus, no hills! 🙂

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