Haven’t been contributing much lately. I’ve had a headache that’s lasted for weeks, on and off now, and I’ve been curling up in a sleep hole every opportunity I’ve gotten. Who needs a vacation, huh?

I can say this—it doesn’t take too terribly much to make me happy right around this time of year, when Chicago winter is turning to Chicago spring (except maybe this headache kicking it and my brain going back to normal consistency for a brain. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s attempting to leak out my ears when it feels like this. Headache going away would make me deliriously happy. But since every time I get my brain fixed I just go ahead and break it again, this is clearly why we can’t have nice things). But, yes. Doesn’t take much to make me happy in April. It’s the little things, you know?

Yesterday I saw that all the restaurants in the city have put out their little dine-outside patio furniture for the season. It was, to my knowledge, the first day they did this. Seeing this puts me instantly in a better mood. This is like a big, warm brain hug. Maybe with more energy than a hug, though. Like being goosed. A big, warm brain goose.

Well, that just sounds like the freakiest animal ever.

Ahh, the promise and potential of a miserable, sweltering, wonderful summer to come. Happy spring, Chicago! Iiiiiiiii loves ya.

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Follow closely

1. Yell “JERKOFF!” at top volume to the stopped driver in front of you as you pull into the parking lot, but before—this is key—remembering you had rolled down your window in anticipation of paying the parking lot attendant. And also before you can see that he was waiting for a pedestrian to cross. Extra points if she doesn’t walk so well.

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2. Wait for appalled early morning passersby to get a good look at your face. Extra points if the reason you are parking in this lot is so that you can sit uncomfortably on a train with them for the next hour and twenty minutes into work.

3. Pull into a spot where the car door of the person next to you is still wide open and taking up half your spot. By all means, do not wait for her to close it. It is very early, and you are very tired, and if you miss your train, you have to wait a ghastly ten minutes for the freaking next one. Pull into your (temporarily) half-space awkwardly, inching over into the next parking space to your right. Back up and pull back in again twice, and be certain to catch her eye as she shakes her head, grabs her purse, and closes her car door, leaving you all the room you would need should you have waited a few seconds. Park again.

4. Slip on a solid sheet of ice with your first step out the car door. But don’t just fall down and get back up. Prolong the spectacle for maximum parking lot viewership by grabbing onto the top of your open door as you slip. If at all possible, dangle helplessly from it while your frictionless little feet try in desperation to get a firm step on the ground. Flail, but don’t let go. Try to resemble Harold Lloyd hanging from the clock in Safety Last! as closely as possible. Extra points if you continue this for a good 10 seconds, until you finally fall on your anticipatory ass.

5. Get back up, and walk with dignity toward your train. The dignity is especially imperative, or you won’t look like such a complete fool when hitting another sheet of ice on a slight decline toward the street. Flail your arms, ice skate down (sans blades) gradually—slumped over at a varying 90° – 120° angles—and without grace or the ability to control your expletives.

6. Triumphantly make it to coarse ground again without falling down whatsoever this time. Straighten up, but make sure to do it quickly. Doing it slowly will signal to you far too soon that your back is in spasm.

7. Bellow in glorious pain, “Oh godinheavenjesuschristjesuschristnononono,” and drop your purse.

8. Bend down to pick it up, and lose the ability to turn your neck or otherwise make motions with your head.

9. Shrug in order to stop the rousing jolts of pain slicing ribbons into your consciousness. Now, hold that position.

10. Go sit on your train with everyone who’s been witness to your elegant ballet. Extra points if you limp the rest of the way to the train like a deranged hunchback.

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