She’s hot as a pepper but smooth as a Mexican brew. So head for the border and put in an order or two. The wings of the blackbird will spread like an eagle for you.

Chicago Will Be Colder Than Mount Everest, Antarctica, And Siberia On Wednesday

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the double-digit subzero temperatures forecast for the city are life threatening and “not to be taken lightly.”

Subzero temperatures will begin Tuesday but Wednesday is expected to be the worst. Wind chills in northern Illinois could fall to negative 55 degrees (negative 48 degrees Celsius). The high temperature forecast at O’Hare on Wednesday is negative 14 degrees (negative 25 degrees Celsius), which would break a record set on Jan. 18, 1994.

 

Some headlines:

Metra, Amtrak, CTA, Pace Updates Ahead of Dangerous Chicago-Area Cold

Transit authorities encouraged customers to only travel if necessary during dangerously cold conditions this week across the Chicago area. For those who must take Metra, Amtrak, the Chicago Transit Authority or Pace buses, leave extra time and dress appropriately. 

Evening rush to run without South Shore, Metra Electric trains; more than 1,800 flights canceled.

Deep freeze expected to ease, but school closures, flight and train service cancellations continue. 

Subzero in Chicago 1/31/2019

After we had 13 days of continuous snow the deep freeze the weather service had promised us had arrived. Since instructed on Monday morning everyone from the office has been working from home Tues. – Thurs not just due to the hazardous weather but the trains were all experiencing mechanical issues.

This morning I woke up to this post from Minna who saw a news story regarding our weather on Swedish TV.

I’m not a fan of working from home but am happy I can do so being that my phone has been blowing up with messages from the CTA regarding train delays and mechanical failures all week long, something I had personally experienced 2x the week prior. Standing out on the elevated platforms in the cold and wind is never a pleasant experience. 

Overnight the heat in my building has been raised to un-godlike proportions. I can actually wear short and no shoes or socks. The office and my apartment both have very dry heat and I’ve been suffering for weeks now waking up and blowing chunks of bloody membrane from my nose. I do I the same at work and on the train.  I wake up a lot since it’s so hard for me to breathe. The trade-off for this weather are the magnificent Chicago summers though. I can’t think of a better city that Chicago when the weather is favorable. At least on the north side. 

Mark left around 3AM on Tuesday back home to Iowa. His office instructed everyone to work from home as well. At least we had a very good time Sunday afternoon.

 Monday morning commute

Mark and his fiance Beth got a room downtown for the weekend and she arrived last Friday morning via AmTrak. They had a concert to see Saturday night and we had planned to meet up for breakfast on Sunday. I chose Garcia’s based on the fact that Beth really likes Mexican food. El Mariachi with their weekend endless mimosa brunch would have been too loud and crowded to enjoy. That morning I arrived about 30 minutes early and took a table, ate some chips and salsa and waited. They were running a little late so I ordered a margarita at 11 AM (which I will go on record and say they are the best in the city) and an appetizer of 10 Flautitas (Deep fried chicken tacos garnished with sour cream and guacamole) and only ate one when they arrived. 

They also ordered a margarita each and I another. My entree was a combo Chile Relleno and Enchiladas (1 chile relleno and 2 enchiladas) and proved to be the best Chile Relleno I’ve ever had. The margaritas Mark agrees was the best around and we finished our food and sat in the bar where a very cool bartender named Mariel poured us drinks, bought us shots and we split a pitcher before leaving around 3PM going around the corner and having a drink at Hansa Clipper. I hadn’t had a Sunday out like this like this in several years and the company and conversation  was wonderfully entertaining. I don’t know when I will ever again with teh podcast pending. At one point Mark mentioned that the pic of Echo she had sent me which I printed and put on the fridge was “disturbing”, a comment which later made its way onto social media. Beth got really buzzed and funny and I suspected she’d sleep on the train going home a few hours later. I took the train and a bus home and not before stopping into Tac Quick, which is right at the bus stop, to ask about the Saturday night thing again and have a couple of soda free Long Island Iced Teas. Ittachi seems to have hired a new crop of girls from Thailand. I will be checking out the scene there this weekend after Christine and I make and bottle hot sauce from scratch. I slept like a rock and Mark and I were both up and getting ready for work when we knew what would be ahead for the next few days. It was snowing very heavily out, 7 inches in just a few hours. It severely affected traffic and the train service as well. He was back at 1PM and planned to return to Iowa as I mentioned. My plan was to got to Walmart after work to pick up my Rx and some food and get home a little later. Instead I was stuck at a stand-still on the train for over 30 minutes but at least I was inside this time. I felt for my co workers who were behind me. At least I had my new Leonard Cohen book of poetry to read. 

The Flame is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the revered poet and musician whose fans span generations and whose work is celebrated throughout the world. Featuring poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, The Flame offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist.

A reckoning with a life lived deeply and passionately, with wit and panache, The Flame is a valedictory work.

“This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” writes Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, in his foreword. “It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.”

Leonard Cohen died in late 2016. But “each page of paper that he blackened,” in the words of his son, “was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”

When I finally got to my stop having opted to go to Walmart the next day I walked into Walgreen’s to get some milk. The line to the front and to the pharmacy were long, and I was frustrated. The service at this location has gone downhill significantly over the last year. It’s painfully management has changed and there have been cutbacks in staff. As I was waiting i noticed a co worker and asked if she was lost. She had to transfer to a bus due to complications on the train and was inside to keep warm. I ended up giving up and returned the milk and came home. I just now went to get the milk 3 days later. Yes the line was too long yesterday as well. 

So I’ve been home-bound for 3 days and am almost stir crazy. I have lots of work but can’t wait to get back into the office tomorrow the first of a month that is certain  to be life changing. 

 Garcia’s 4760 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

Tac Quick

The lovecats Anny and Katrina in the dining room where I’ve been working for 3 days laying along the big radiator for heat.

The McZander 1/3 lb seasoned beef patty, Cholula Green Pepper Sauce, slice of onion, romaine lettuce, roma tomatoes on an onion bun seared to very rare. 

 

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