newyorksubalien has evolved. New city, new life, new blog

newyorksubalien has evolved. New city, new life, new blog.

Yes, I’m still socially-insecure and still deemed too primitive a life form for a bank account. I still can’t say ‘water’ correctly and voice-recognition software still doesn’t understand my number 8.

Meanwhile Superalien is still as super (at least in my eyes), Male Mini-Me is taller than all of us and Mini-Mum has returned to the home of the Mini, only popping back from London to sleep, be fed and help balance out testosterone levels.

But in my new home of Chicago, I can at least lay claim to my own subgroup. I’m now Chi-rish as in Chicago Irish. Apparently the hyphen is important so as not to be confused with Chinese Irish or the town in Armenia. But I’m trusting my readers not to be churlish and to forgive these, my (hyphen-less) Chirish chatters…..

Friday, March 21, 2014

You know it's Spring when the cigarette buds start to appear...

Yesterday officially was the first day of spring and we awoke to a light covering of fresh snow and a lovely Google Doodle of a little man (who bears an uncanny resemblance to my other “Super” half) making flowers magically appear from what, to snow-weary Chirish eyes, looks like our backyard until a few days ago.

To be fair, a more realistic doodle of things sprouting from the Chicago snow banks would be cigarette trees, going by the huge number of cigarette butts which have emerged from the melting ice packs on the streets.

So far the only fields of green I’ve seen were the hordes of be-hatted, be-scarfed and be-jewelled St Patrick’s Day revelers who filled the streets last weekend. And yes, the river did look like a psychedelic bed of clover.

But the city is definitely emerging from its winter chrysalis. Along the lake shore, the runners are back, stretching their wings after several months literally spent on a treadmill. And if I, in any way, doubted the Irish heritage of our new home town, the swiftness with which the locals are donning shorts and bareing their legs the minute the temperatures rise above freezing has convinced me that I truly am in Chirish-land.

Perhaps one of the biggest signs for me that Spring is here was a solitary male member of the 'metallus detectoris" species that I spotted yesterday amongst the trees in Lincoln Park. Known for its distinctive high shrieking call, this elusive creature emerges when the snow has finally melted, spending its days wandering the grasslands in the search of materials with which to feather its nest.

This particular specimen may have been a little premature as while the snow may be gone, it would take a metal grinder not a detector to break up the ground. And while this is not a huge issue for those of us with only a small backyard and in no rush to unearth the garden trowels,  for the maintenance teams at the city’s baseball fields, drastic measures are being adopted.

At the US Cellular Field, home to the White Sox, the crew is facing 30 inches of permafrost. If that sounds like some hairdressing salon disaster, the remedy does even more so. Essentially the ground staff are using something akin to a giant hairdryer under a tarpaulin to blow hot air on the frozen pitch in an effort to thaw it out before the season opener on March 31.

From an energy-saving point of view, where are the city's infamous long-winded, full-of-promises politicans when you need 'em!