Friday, September 21, 2012

Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last 0 is for the time parameter.


2 North State Street (Madison Street) -- The Compass (0N/0E/0W/0S) 

"By knowing two important streets in Chicago, one can navigate anywhere and not be lost."  Who said this?  I did.

Chicago Street Level Zero and the Two Compass Streets.


Chicago Street Zero

"In 1909, the city of Chicago decided to fight back against the growing menace of local residents continually getting lost and throwing temper tantrums. To put an end to this epidemic, it created a completely new and foolproof address system. [2]"

There are two main streets that set the standard compass directions for Chicago, according to the Chicago Street Grid System.  Those two streets are Madison Street (or Zero Street) and State Street (or Zero Avenue) [1].

Basically, all streets (and addresses) are based off two main streets in Chicago: State Street and Madison Street, which are the compass streets. They set the grid and address paths in Chicago and Chicagoland.  Essentially, there are 8 blocks in a mile or grid block. So 800N would be Chicago Avenue (8 blocks north or 1 mile north of Madison), just as 800W is Halsted Street. All the numbered streets with exception to 1200S Roosevelt Road (12th Street) and 2200S Cermak Road (22nd Street) follow the grid [1].  All the numbered Avenues follow the same pattern for the most part.  96th Ave (or LaGrange Road) would be 9600W (12 miles west of State Street or 96/8 blocks = 12 miles). So, 8800W aligns with 88th Avenue on the grid.  7500S aligns with 75th Street.  31st Street starts the grid line for 3200S or 3S, 47th Street starts the grid line for 4800S or 5S, 87th Street (10S) and so on.

Chicago Grid in Downtown Chicago

Chicago Grid extending into Du Page County


10S779 Clarendon Hills Road would be 10 miles SOUTH of Madison Street, 7th block in that mile. Outlying, unincorporated areas of DuPage County use the letter notations in the addresses [3]. So, 10S799 Cass Avenue would be the end of the grid or the last block.  17W102 91st Street would be the first block in the grid, 17 miles WEST of State Street.  So, this begs the question, would 17 miles EAST of State Street encompass all the Eastern Suburbs?  Think about some Chicago Geography for a minute.  Hehe.  Get it?  Ok, the geography lesson is over.

Ok, for one, you all are probably wondering why I even mentioned this here.  Not only will it drive the point of this blog, but it explains WHY my address has letters in it, and WHY Google Maps doesn't understand the Chicago Grid System if you try to locate my address on there.  I had to do the research to understand why my address has letters in it.  It was no different to when I lived in E. Troy, WI where I had the same issue -- W3839 Little Prairie Road.  N8705 Scout Road, etc.

1. "Chicago's Grid System and Street Coordinates,"
2. "Decoding the chicago street grid system,"
3. "Roads and freeways in Chicago,"
4. "Lauren Strec,"


«  »

Крокодилье время.
Даже если крокодил съел вас у вас есть два выхода. - "Pay Attention!"

Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last zero is the time parameter. So, what does this blog post have to do with Grid Lines and Addresses?  Just as my previous post explains my new life and change by moving to Chicago, this post is not only informative about the Chicago Grid System and why there are "funky" street addresses in Chicago, but it's also about making a fresh start and beginning point here, staying on the grid blocks of a "path" in life. 

1.  Life is not a straight line.  They can be defined as blocks.  I moved [back] to Chicago on April 29, 2012.  This marks the time parameter for me.  Currently, as I'm typing this post, that puts time at 145 Days, 15 Hr, 52 Min, 27 Sec.

2.  With new beginnings comes an end or a death.  Before I moved here, I would've never thought I could do this.  A year ago today, I thought I was where I needed to be in life -- job, home and relationships.  I never thought I'd consider moving back here.  I thought my life was reaching its fullest.  It wasn't.

After October 13, 2011, something in me died.  Hope!  An ending of a chapter in my life occurred, but the book wasn't finished.  Just as it marked my 38th birthday, it also signified the end of a chapter and a death in my life.  A fire burned in my heart, a dark fire, a cloak, not a passionate one.  When I left Broadvox LLC in August 2011, I was so sure I was heading in the right direction for my career.  I was wrong.  I've lived life with several disappointments as we all have from time to time, but this one hit me abruptly as the hardest.

Filing for unemployment in November 2011 brought some ease to that, but it wasn't satisfying.  I wanted to get back to work and to a great career which I chose for myself in 2006.  I started looking around Cleveland OH for IT jobs.  With only a few leads and very few Interviews, it just became evident that maybe I don't belong in Cleveland.  Talking with some good business friends, I learned that I was not the problem nor any of my experience.  My resume, references and recommendations were all impeccable.  So, it just got me thinking about what I needed to do.  So, just as November 15, 1996 was the end of one chapter in my life by moving back to Cleveland OH from E. Troy Wisconsin, November 15, 2011 was a turning point in my soul and the beginning of a new chapter in my life.  I still find it odd how that time was exactly 15 years apart, and how I didn't make the connection of time until AFTER the fact.

On November 15, 2011, HOPE WAS REKINDLED!  I cried out to God for help and I believe he showed me a "path" in life.  Remember, life is not a straight line.  I believe he truly showed me Chicago [once again].  Recording a dream I had on November 13, 2011, I believe God showed me this "path."  Tuesday morning, November 15, 2011, I had a very thorough and uplifting call from an IT Recruiter in Chicago.  He discovered my profile on Dice, and he was the first IT Recruiter outside of Cleveland whom took interest in my IT experience.  Something in my soul quickly sparked and ignited.  I remember the call and I remember how quickened I was.  I actually took the call at Hinckley Lake that day.  I was sitting at a picnic table with my IT Portfolio.  We discussed at great length my career aspirations and a new direction for my career.  Still, at that time, I was completely unaware of the 15 year mark.  By November 18, I put all this together in my brain.   My soul knew what it wanted or needed, but my brain didn't make the connection until this date.

Sunset over Hinckley Lake, November 2011.

I started adding Chicago to my list for job searching after that.  In January 2012, I visited Chicago to go on some Interviews and I believe to "get a feel of my new home."  I truly felt HOME in my heart for the first time in January 2012.  I've lived in many places in life.  Even in the places I've lived at on my own (N. Royalton, Brunswick and Hinckley), never had I felt such a great sense of being home than I did (and do now).  Sure, my folks will always remain "Home Zero" to me but for myself, MY home is becoming Chicago.

Beginning of a sunset over W Road, La Grange OH, October 2011

Returning to Ohio after my trip, I was later offered a job that would allow me to move to Chicago.  I took that job and started planning for a place to live near Chicago which I finally did on April 29, 2012.  On August 13, 2012, I started a full time position with that company.

Me "daring to take the stand," 103 floors above Chicago
Sears Tower, January 19, 2012

One job interview I had.

Downtown Chicago from Dash


Quite recently, I've had to re-evaluate my life decisions and some relationships.  Growing up, I've kept few friends in life and I've never been quick to make friends.  The friends I've kept close to me over the years know me on a personal level and know my life.   True friends will always know your mind and how you think, even when you screw up.  Those friends are patient with you and forgiving; no one is perfect in life.  I strive to be that patient and forgiving friend.  I've always been a Listener and Mediator between friends as long as I can remember -- never outspoken in the group and always quiet.  That's just me, but when I see a friend suffering with whatever pain or turmoil, I try to help.  If I see a friend who is mistreated or taken advantage of, I don't stand for it -- whoever the affected member is.  I've been always protective of my friends and you don't mess with them.  They are dear to me and mean something to my life.  They are my family!  If you tip the scales, you better be ready to reap some of the consequences and repercussions that come with your decisions or actions -- this even being my own mistakes!  This is something I'm learning now.

This week, I've had to retrace my steps in my life back from Street Zero and Zero Avenue.  I ended some relationships I had in Ohio.  As I said, true friends stick with you in life.  They know you as you know them.  I know who they are, but this week, I've had to re-evaluate my life and who I share it with.  And, with some recent events, this struck a nerve in me!  I was keeping regular communication with my life on the Facebook Timeline with friends and family there.  This week, I was forced to retrace the grid of life from Street Zero.  I've drawn a new line, and I hate to be the friend or individual who has to say, "If you have a problem, don't call me."  It's come down to that now.  I've had to reflect and think about my life again from Avenue Zero.  This will include rebuilding it, not only in a new town and new job, but with new friends and relationships and ending others.  Zero.  New grid blocks!

Looking at my life in Cleveland with relationships and looking back to my cry out to God last November, I can say that I don't belong in Cleveland.  Dating?  It was never part of my life there.  I was online, looking at dating sites for the answer.  Since I've been here in Chicago, I've had one date without being on a dating site.  Meet up groups? Since I've been here in Chicago, I've gone out on several "Single Meet Ups" in the area, and I'm still putting them on my Calendar.  In Cleveland?  No.  I've had a great Summer here, probably the best so far, and I just hope Autumn and Winter continue on a good note.  I reviewed my Facebook Note from November 18th last year.  It stated this:

"Do the remnants of my life still remain in Chicago/Wisconsin?  Is my home there?  Is my career there?  Is my wife there?  And, are my kids there?  New Faith!"

I admit, but I got choked up a bit, re-reading it.  Since I've been here, I've found myself more motivated and willing to break out of my "shell."  I've made it a point to be more social.  Sure, the friends will come, and I've met a couple here.  Facebook is a nice medium to that sometimes, and I did meet one Chicago friend last year (probably April 2011, but not exactly sure), long before I even thought about moving here.  Ok, for the sake of the topic, let's call her Chicago Friend Zero. +Lauren Strec is a local "TV Personality" and Media Host in Chicago [4], and originally I connected with her because I was interested in her Website and some of the PR work she had done was extraordinary.  She was another person who was insightful and, most of all, a great encouragement about "breaking your comfort zone," which she often strongly stressed with good advice.  Ohio was just that for me, a comfort zone, just as I remember the day when I moved BACK on November 15, 1996.  I looked at Ohio as just that: A comfort zone and an escape!  "A Flock of Seagulls" put it perfectly for that moment.  "I Ran . . . So Far Away."  Events are not an accident, even the people you sometimes meet.  Lauren was one of those people.  Shortly after learning about some of the work she had done, I learned that she was a resident of Chicago.  Oökay, not just mere coincidence here in my opinion.

Lauren Strec hosting "Family Night" for Comcast Xfinity

So, finally and truly wanting to "break that comfort zone" as Lauren encouraged, I slowly mustered the courage to do just that!  Looking at the way I worded the note and the order of occurrences, what can I expect next in life?  I've moved back here.  I have work.  Where will life take me next?  I don't know but I just have this strange "gut feeling" that I'm where I need to be; God will show me (I hope He does), and that I still just need to be patient.  I'm still hoping God will help me and answer some personal prayers I've asked Him for.  I'm looking at that picture of the scales again.  Guess what?  They're still uneven.  Just as Chicago wasn't rebuilt in a single day after the Great Fire, the same is true for me.  I'm still breaking a comfort zone on a daily basis. It's not easy and there is still a lot of stress trying to find that niche and it's going to take faith, hope and perserverance to continue on with it.  It's part of finding a new "path" on the grid.  It's slowly making this HOME.  I'm still learning AND being taught Patience and Humility.  Nothing happens overnight and there are still disappointments to face.  "I feel so humiliated today.  The bad is coming all in threes this week."  As I said that to a good friend this past Thursday when all this crap hit the fan, it really made me reflect once again and ask for God's help.  That was this past Wednesday (September 19), but crap just started Sunday.


In conclusion, never give up on people or your friends.  Forgiveness is strength of the Soul!  Forgiveness is like resetting the time parameter of the Soul!  Never turn you back on a friend who has offered forgiveness or someone who deeply cares about you.  I am a forgiving friend.  Yes, some forgiveness in my life towards others has not always been immediate or forthcoming.  Sometimes, time eases the pain; sometimes, it doesn't.

Forgiveness opened new doorways to me in February.  It also gave me closure with one person I had a difficult business relationship with.  By being able to forgive this person, I believe God opened up my "path" in life and a new job on February 27, 2012.  That was the day I was offered a consulting position with Diebold.

Dream Analysis on February 26, 2012:

"I told you a little about my dream Sunday Night. It involved [a co-worker]. Yeah, go figure right? Let me elaborate some more on what took place.

We were friends, hanging out together and all buddy buddy. Yeah, go figure, right? It pretty much went against my anger. Well, just before that dream finished I was driving in my car somewhere in Lakewood -- not sure where -- looked like Warren Road. I don't remember if [the co-worker] was with me in the car. Well, I remember stopping my car and getting out to change the license plates on my car to a different state (green colored plates).
So, [...] I prayed about this. I think God wants me to forgive [the coworker] and reciprocate the forgiveness, meaning asking for his as well. I believe that's what I have to do. I'm going to have to swallow my pride and ask him. That dream was Sunday night; Monday afternoon I got the job. I think there is a lesson to learn from the dream.

I need to forgive [the co-worker]!"

The co-worker and I contacted each other and reciprocated REAL FORGIVENESS, mutual forgiveness.  It can be done.  I was talking to a HUMAN BEING.  I blotted out the co-worker's name here.  If he's reading, he knows.  It was also interesting to hear the co-worker tell me this on the call.  "It was so good of you to call.   It took balls to do what you did!  I'm so glad you finally did -- one of us at least."  I remember it clearly.

In May 2012, my car, which I jokingly refer to as Blackbeak (because it looks like a big ol' black beak), got something new as well.  She was also home, LOL!  Another dream fulfillment?  Ok, so why do I doubt myself!?  Again, my soul knew what it needed!  My brain is slow and doesn't make the connection.

Forgiveness sets us free!

On New Year's Eve 2011, I didn't make any resolutions like I sometimes do.  I had friends over that night for a party and just before we watched the "BALL DROP," all I remember saying was "DIBS!  I called it!"  I rightly called it.  I was ready for something new in my life, and 2012 is MY year.  Without playing "the doubting Thomas" here like I usually do, it's definite that I'm on the right "path."  It's going to be a day-by-day step and a new challenge as I look past this Autumn and Winter, and to what awaits.  I pray it is a good "path" and I still hope for perseverance.

So, just as State Street and Madison Street respectively set "Zero Avenue" and "Zero Street" in Chicago, I believe retracing your steps on the grid of life and forgiveness offer the same points for the soul.  Those same two Chicago Compass Streets also teach us to "stay on the grid and on the 'path' you are given in life!  You can never be lost if you know the directions."

Chicago Street Zero

And to quote Sheldon Cooper, regarding "His Spot" on a couch from the sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, where I got the idea for the title to this blog post.

Episode 2x16, "The Cushion Saturation."

"There.  Nice comfy, cozy.  Zero, zero, zero." Penny.
"There's one more zero.  You forgot the time parameter." Sheldon.

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