Monday, January 17, 2011


Much to the displeasure of my family, last week I toiled around in what can only be described as a Supreme Pissy Mood (think SPM instead of PMS).  My usual solutions, wine, cosmos, chocolate, more wine, more cosmos, then some aspirin, didn’t seem to help.  The source of my pissiness: the State of Illinois.

Yes. You read that correctly. The State of Frickin’ Illinois.

If you live in Illinois, you can probably guess what is causing my disgust.  For you lucky folks who don’t, there’s two simple words, no wait, make that six simple words, which can describe my displeasure: increased state taxes, shitty weather, and Oprah.   I feel a true rant coming on…….

Let’s start with the increased Illinois state taxes, shall we?

For those of you with limited knowledge of our state, Illinois is the epitome of politician corruption.   Since the 1970’s, three, THREE! of our governors have served jail time due to their affinity for breaking the law.  Their convictions include: bribery, tax evasion, bank fraud, misapplication of funds, perjury, steering state contracts and leases, and covering up bribes.  And this doesn’t even take into consideration our last ex-governor, the impeached and hairstyle impaired Rod Blagojevich, who in August of 2010, was convicted on one federal corruption felony count and is awaiting retrial on 23 counts.  All in all, that’s a whole heck of a lot of gubernatorial shenanigans for one state. (By the way, ever notice how you can hear goober, in the word gubernatorial?)

Our latest conundrum: Illinois is on the brink of financial ruin, as state politicians haven’t been able to work within the defined state budget (surprise, surprise).  And just like the Grinch who stole presents from sleeping Whos during the night, our elected officials recently voted to increase our taxes in the wee hours of the morning.  So last Tuesday, Illinoisans awoke to find their personal state income taxes were to be raised by 66%.  New Goobernor Grinch, er, Goobernor Quinn, explained the increase will only last four years and then state income taxes will go back down.  Gee, I guess I can believe that.  If I was total na├»ve, brainless, idiot, asstwit.

But enough of that, as I have already moved on to my next Illinois aggravation after peeking out the window.  It is time to rant about the sucky Illinois winter weather, which, what a co-inky-dink! also hit full force last week too.

Let me describe my take on an Illinois winter:  It’s gray, cold, gray, snowy, gray, cold, gray, gray, snowy, gray, cold, snowy, gray and gray.  Did I mention gray?  Like the elusive Punxsutawney Phil, the sun in Illinois emerges from the clouds for 5 seconds, approximately every sixth day, and then disappears back behind a perpetual gray shroud.  This goes on for roughly 36 weeks.  On those rare days when we are lucky enough to have the sun shine for 2 hours, you can bet the temp outdoors is 24 degrees below zero and your nostrils are trying to stick together from frozen snot when you’re inside. 

As for the snow, it goes something like this: it snows, you shovel the drive, salt the sidewalk, then the plow dumps a bunch of snow at end of the drive, you re-shovel end of drive, everything all clean; oops 3 hours later it snows again, repeat shovel your drive, salt the sidewalk, re-shovel end of drive, everything’s clean; shit it snows again, shovel the drive, skip salting the sidewalk, flip the snowplow guy the bird; and then mother f’er more snow!, look out the window, decide to wait for it to all melt in April, and watch while the snowplow runs over and kills your mailbox.

So to those peeps that keep telling me I should try to embrace the winter (ahem, hubby), well, you can Go. Suck. It.

Which leads me to the last thing on my Illinois aggravation list: Oprah.  As in Winfrey.  Which? I guess technically for most, Oprah is considered more Chicago than Illinois, but since Chicago is in Illinois, it fits the criteria for me.  And since I’m in such a foul mood what with the taxes and the snow, plus I just happened to see an Oprah ad, well, I’m off…

Suffice to say, I may be the only female in the entire United States (possibly the planet and universe) who does not swoon over Oprah.  In fact, I think her ego has increased exponentially with the size of her ass (no offense meant to big-assed people).  This woman has a successful TV show, a monthly magazine, her OWN network, and one hundred bajillion dollars.  But that must not be enough for Ms. Winfrey, because in a June 2010 interview with Fox News Chicago, her longtime beau Stedman Graham dropped these little nuggets:

 “I don’t think they (people in Chicago) understand the value of who she is as a human being and what she’s done...because a prophet has no honor in its home town.”

“From an insider’s point of view, I don’t think she gets the just due based on who she really is and what’s she done for the Chicagoland area...she’s brought a lot of international attention to Chicago.”

“I really don’t think she’s that appreciated. I think they take her for granted a lot...It's natural for people to take it for granted until you leave."

Oprah’s a prophet?  Oh boy.  Let’s see, I remember the Book of Genesis, the Book of John, the Book of Job.  Uh, was there a Book of Oprah?   Holy shit, I missed that!  Maybe that’s because I am not in the Oprah Book Club.     

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge her success.  But um, folks, she’s just a celebrity personality.  And you know damn well that Oprah must have put Stedman up to saying that stuff to the reporters, because if she said it, she would have come off as a total wanker.  AND I for one beg to differ with the OpSted analysis.  I was there and watched Oprah when she started with her new local morning show, AM Chicago.  She wasn’t that slick, but back then she had heart and her local Chicagoland audience was loyal and supportive and gave her space to morph into the TV star she became.  It was a collaborative relationship that benefitted both and I’m not sure she would have had that opportunity in LA or NY.  But hey, that’s just my humble opinion.  So to remedy what OpSted feels is a complete lack of general Chicago Oprah-appreciation, I guess we Illinois minions have two options: 1) Rename the city of Chicago to OPRAHville or 2) Nominate Oprah as the official saint of Chicago and hell, even Illinois.   

I told you I was in a supreme pissy mood.  And throughout the years, I have found there is only one way to truly fix my SPM.  Using the gentle Japanese form of self-expression, I must write a haiku that reflects on the source of my frustration and cleanse the angst out of my system.  After several attempts, I found this one did the trick:

FU Illinois Haiku
Illinois I’m mad
UGH taxes, winter, Oprah
Pass me a fork now


  1. Sorry about the snow, and the gray, gray skys. Come to SA. No snow during winter and pretty much always sunny (says she who's sitting with the rain pouring down for the last week!).

    Don't even get me started on Oprah. She just grates me that I can't bare to even think of her right now!

  2. I love Oprah. And wine and chocolates solve EVERYTHING.

  3. I never realized before how similar NH and Illinois weather is ... gray, snow, two days to shovel/allow to melt to black ice, repeat. Too funny :)

    This was incredibly well-written ... I very much enjoyed it : )

  4. I've got to tell you something that will... well, I don't know quite what it will do for you, but I'm going to tell you, anyway.

    I come from Massachusetts, and was born and raised in Boston. I always thought we were the absolute cesspool of political corruption and ineptitude in governance. That is, until MY WIFE and I recently visited Chicago. We enjoyed our stay, a lot, and the place is full of great folks and wondrous sights and fantastic food and a fun subway system, but we were both amazed to read the local papers and watch the local news and find out that Illinois makes Massachusetts look like a Sunday school picnic when it comes to corruption.

  5. By the way, being a native of the state, you might like to read my extremely lengthy trip report. It's here...

    It's 5 parts, and if you like the first, I'm sure you can find the other four. You seem intelligent :-)

  6. One of your best! There must be a follow-up with the Rahm ($$$) mayorial purchase.