Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Does anyone else loooove Harry Connick Jr. and that song? Man, oh man, I do. That's probably the song that led me to believe that NYE was this major event. So yeah, Harry is to blame for my unrealistically high expectations of this one night.
OK, sorry! That sounded so negative, but it wasn't meant to because I am actually super pumped for NYE 2008. And I've actually never had a really horrible one or anything. Although last year I made out with a random at midnight who I then could not get rid of until April. Oops. But it was fun at the time!
Anyway, this year we're going to a fancy all-inclusive (still deciding if that is dangerous or not) party at the famous Drake hotel. It's a lot of friends from UMich and some from Michigan State (booo, but we like them anyway), and even if they get boring (that makes me sound terrible!), NYE is always a good night to strike up conversations with strangers. Hmm, that sounded strange, but anyway, for some reason, some holidays make it easier to meet new people. Like Halloween, St. Patty's, New Year's... wait those usually are celebrated in bars and all involve above-average amounts of alcohol. Maybe that's why.
I'm not sure if I'm going to look for a NYE kiss this year. Maybe I should just be happy being single and get excited about a new year in which I accomplish a lot of my goals. Not resolutions though ...I feel like that word just sets you up for failure. The only thing that sucks is that most -- if not all -- of my friends are dating someone this year so I'm odd woman out. However, that does make me the only one allowed to flirt with randoms... maybe there are some benefits!
OK, yeah, sorry, all I have been doing is talking about making out with people on NYE. I did have a real fresh-start, new-year point to make. I've decided to create a list of goals for myself for 2009. I find the more I write them out, the more excited I get about them, and I'm more likely to go for them. The overarching theme of 2009 is living up to my insane amount of potential. I know -- I can be so humble sometimes. But this is one my roommate and I are going to work on together we decided. It's hard to explain, but we've come to the conclusion that we've been overachievers our entire lives and now is not the time to stop. This year will hopefully be a year of accomplishing big things. So, my specific goals for 2009 are:
  • Write my book! I can't really tell you what it's about just yet because I'm still a little iffy if the topic I want to write about is acceptable. Hard to explain, maybe I will later, but I can tell you that it will be humorous nonfiction. My life with all of its awkwardness and zany family members should provide enough for at least one book. Or ten.
  • Get myself back in fighting shape. I think going from college life to real world where I sit on my ass all day was a really hard transition. But I am bound and determined not to let that stop me! I already started with the personal trainer, and I've decided that by the time I turn 24 (what?!?) in June I am going to be in the shape of my life. There's no reason I can't be. I'm going to get myself back in a super regular routine (I never stopped working out, it just wasn't as intense or structured as before) and get a handle on my issues with food (long story!) so that I can be the healthiest and happiest I can be!
  • I guess this is another part of being healthy in 2009. I want to get myself back to where I normally am mentally (sorry, I am being SO vague about the new year!) and take care of myself in every way. This includes getting enough sleep, saying no to things when I am stressed, and maybe cutting back on the drinking (I'm not an alcoholic, but I know I don't need to drink when I go out). I need to respect myself a bit more and trust my own decisions as I always did in the past. No more justifying the things I do because this is my life and my life only.
  • Save some green. I'm pretty good about sticking to a budget, but I want to save a bit more moo-lah this year. I want to save up for a few rewards as I'm getting back in shape (new bag, True Religion jeans I have lusted after for over a year, etc), and I do want to visit a friend who just moved, but more than anything, I want to secure my future. I know I'm young, but it's important to start early, so I'm going to save more than what is already going into my IRA every month.
  • Date. I'm not looking for The One just yet, but I need to put myself out there a little more. So I'm going to. Simple as that.
  • Be able to say that I am proud of who I am as a person. I want to make Sunday mass a regular thing again (I'm a terrible Catholic girl right now!), I want to find a worthy cause to volunteer for, and I want to start looking outside myself more (I will admit that I can be a tad bit selfish at times) so that I can be a better friend, sister, daughter, and person in general.

Woo, that was a long list! What are everyone else's major goals for 2009? And for fun, what are everyone's big plans for tonight?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Simple Kind of Life

I think that's what I need right about now.
It's not that my life is so terribly complicated, but does anyone else ever feel like they just need a break from life in general? That they need a whole life detox?
I've been trying really hard to stay upbeat despite the cold weather and utter lack of sunshine. I've been making sure that I get enough sleep, that I get my workouts in (endorphins, people!) and eat right, that I write a little every day, that I talk with friends and stay social. I've been making sure that I stay away from the things that get me stressed and cause me to freak out and ultimately turn into a downward spiral of crappy moods. But this week, it just fell apart. In spite of my best efforts, I felt horrible all week and it wasn't something I could talk myself out of. I've been overly sensitive and on edge and really getting angry at the littlest things. Which is so. not. like. me. Everyone who knows me sees me as pretty easy-going albeit a bit type-A at times. But not this past week. Sigh.
Let me give you a few examples. First of all, the holidays are usually my favorite time of the year. I just can't help but smile. But not this year. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" has sounded really depressing and buying presents for my family (which I normally love) has seemed like an impossible task. Here's another one: the other day on the bus I was just overcome with this overwhelming urge to scream because there were SO MANY DAMN PEOPLE. Yes, I do realize that it's public transportation, meaning that other people will inevitably use it as well. Which is why I could tell something was wrong with me. Then yesterday, my roommate, another friend, and I had decided to make gingerbread houses (Ok, FINE, they were graham cracker and Duncan Hines frosting houses) because we were all in the holiday spirit (or trying to be on my part). So I jumped in the shower after my run and got out to find that they had already started and were pretty much done. For some reason I was really hurt since I was assuming this was going to be a group activity and then it wasn't. Then feeling hurt made me scoff at myself for getting upset at things that wouldn't bother a seven year old.
I just don't get why this week has thrown me off so much! I don't know if I can blame PMS since that doesn't usually affect me. Plus this really seems beyond the little mood swings I normally get right before Aunt Flo comes to town. Like I said, I think I just need a little life detox. I need to shake up my routine -- the way I do things, the people I talk to, the schedule I've been keeping, the food I eat, the thoughts I think. I'm just not sure how to get started because I can't pinpoint what the trouble is. Just this inexplicable feeling that I've slowly been going crazy lately. I've even been thinking about picking up some sort of self-help book (even though I think so many are totally hokey) or something because I am at the end of my rope! Plus I need something new to read because I am STILL working my way through The Feminine Mystique.
Anyway, does anyone else ever feel like this? Just a little nuts and jumbled? And what do you do about it? Do you shake things up? Shift things around? Got any book ideas? Or just any ideas period?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Anyone remember that song? "I've got a crush on you..."
And you. And you. And hey, you, over there, you too.

OK, lately I've been having this problem. Well, maybe it's not a problem exactly. It's just that I seem to be developing a crush on pretty much every decent looking male I meet. I don't know whether it's because it's cold out (everyone knows that a cuddle buddy comes in handy in this weather) or because it's been a while since I've dated or because I'm just crazy hormonal, but seriously if you are under 30, taller than me, not a felon, and not going bald, I probably think you're cute. Oh right, and if you have all of your teeth. Anyway, it may seem like I have listed quite a few requirements, but honestly, I think those are givens.
But really, I seem to have all these little crushes everywhere I go lately. Nerdy guy from work I ride the train with? Oh yeah. I have apparently developed a thing for Weezer-style glasses and boys who read a lot. Friends of friends whom I hardly know? Yep. I guess I like the strong and silent type now too. Old friends from school who I only see every few months? OK, nevermind, that one's ongoing. Random trainers at the gym? Yep. Although to be fair, they ARE trainers and being hot is kind of their job. Point is, I have more crushes than a seventh grade girl.
The thing about these crushes, though, is that I don't actually do anything about them. Therein lies the problem. Beyond a little harmless flirting, there's not much action taken on my part. Which is something I want to work on because I used to be so good at just crooking my finger and, if nothing else, grabbing a guy's attention. And I know that sounds cocky, but sometimes I think that's what it takes -- going a little past confident and right on into I'm-pretty-sweet-how-have-you-not-noticed? territory. Not being obnoxious and doing something so that the whole building hears you, but carrying yourself a certain way to say, "Hey, I know I have something to be confident about, so maybe you should come talk to me to find out what it is."
So. New plan. Or goal. Or something. Maybe New Year's Resolution? Whatever. I'm going to make a concerted effort to show the confidence I have in myself and show genuine interest in some of these random crushes -- if for no other reason than because I'm worried that I forgot how to date. Or because I don't want to die alone with cats.
Ladies, how do you show interest in guys you meet?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's My Life

Yeah. I just quoted Bon Jovi.
Anyway, it is my life, and lately, it's been CRAZY. But in a completely awesome way. Like in a "OMG, I am so busy but so many things in my life are going so well and I'm just so freaking content with everything that I really can't complain" kind of way. Like I'll sit at Starbucks on the weekend (when I have five seconds to breathe) and just people watch while I think about how great it is that I live in Chicago and can see all types of people everyday. Or I'll sit at my desk or on the train and almost start to smile out of nowhere as I think about something funny or kind a friend has said. Yes, I am feeling good enough about life right now that I am allowing myself to be completely and utterly cheesy.
Let me start by telling you about this new job. I'm working on the catalog for a major industrial supply company, which isn't the most glamorous thing on the planet, but I really enjoy the work. And the company seems to really value its employees which is SO MUCH more than I can say for the old one. I'm not trashing my old company because I met some really great people there and learned some priceless skills (and because I still freelance for them so I suppose I still sort of work there), but I never felt like they actually paid any attention to what I did. In my new position, I actually get a lot more autonomy in how I work and plan my assignments, but that just makes me feel like they trust my intellect and my ability to get the job done. Plus, almost everyone there is really friendly and helpful (I've met so many people who just strike up conversations on the train or in the caf) and they all seem to like their jobs. I guess a nice salary, full benefits, 100% tuition reimbursement, and countless other perks don't hurt either. Oh, and the other girls in my department are so much fun --lunch is like comedy hour. Besides my commute out to the suburbs (only an hour there... 1.5 on the way back) and the early hours (I get up at 5:30 so that I can leave my house by 6:15), I like everything about this place. And I am now a huge believer that job satisfaction contributes to life satisfaction.
I've also still been freelancing so I have extra moolah to spend on things I've been wanting to do forever. Like personal training! Which is awesome because as I mentioned before, I'm getting my ass kicked and I'm getting to know all of the trainers at the gym. I've always been an avid gym goer, but it was always just me and my workout. Now, going to the gym has become a social event. I say hi to people as I walk in, I joke around with my trainer, and I've even gotten together with other members on weekends to go for long runs.
On top of working, freelancing, singing (one of the guys from my a cappella group actually was IN "The Breakup"...ha!), and working out, I've actually been having a really great social life, which I think is a huge contributor to my immense happiness as of late. Not that didn't have friends before, but now that I live with one of my best friends, things are a lot easier. First if all, we can be each others' kind of built-in support systems. And we meet each others' friends and are both constantly expanding our social circles. And the thing about real-life friends is that you don't have to be friends with people you don't actually like. I know that sounds terrible, but in college, sometimes you had to put up with people who weren't your favorites because you were in the same group or sorority or whatever. Now, the friends I have are the ones I've chosen to keep up with. And the friends I've made lately are so great and supportive and fun on top of everything else (sorry, I'm gushing, I don't DO that). I just am feeling so fulfilled and blessed in my life. I'm not dating anyone but I'm feeling more optimistic about everything and my confidence is almost back up to its old obnoxious level so I've been talking to a lot more guys.
For a while, as much as I tried to cover it with humor, things were not going well and I felt like I was in a very dark place. Not to get all serious on you, but I feel I need to give a little background as to why I'm so happy about, well, being happy. For quite some time, I was not myself and people who knew me had noticed. But recently, I came home for my aunt's surprise 60th, and so many of my relatives were telling my mom that I just seemed so happy and that it looked like I had it all pulled together (which I don't, but it's nice to hear!). Finally, I think I was showing that I was happy living in Chicago and that I had come back into my own. Things are just finally getting back on track and I am so thankful for everything in my life... I guess this is a fitting Thanksgiving post then, isn't it?
Anyway, I know this wasn't a good story and didn't flow exceptionally well and wasn't all that humorous, but I figured I'd let everyone (or anyone who still reads) know why I've been so crazy busy and MIA lately. I am going to try to get back into blogging regularly too, now that we have Internet (yes!). For now though, I'm going to read/watch the cable I don't have in Chicago/let this Turkey day food coma wear off. Hope everyone else has something to be thankful for as well!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Favorite Mistake

Do you know what it is? It's saying -- over and over again -- that I'll post again soon! Ugh, sorry everyone (or anyone who actually might check this?!?). This new job has got me going crazy (but I like it a lot!). I leave my house at 6 and often don't get home until 9 and then i have to crash back into bed. I've also been doing some freelance work for my old company so I've had more stuff to do (although more money IS nice). I've also been working out with a trainer twice a week and trying to fit in a social life somewhere in there. I need to take a break because I haven't had any time to just read or write (especially here!), so freelancing might be turned down this week. OH, and we don't have Internet because... well, we just don't. Once I get on that, hopefully things can return to normal!!!
I will leave you with this: I was disco Cleopatra for Halloween and wore a bracelet that could have doubled as a weapon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oops I Did It Again

No, I didn't play with your heart, but I did go a reallllly long time without posting. Yikes. Anyway, things are still a bit crazy. I just started a new job -- with an hour and a half commute. Which I try not to think about too much because I get more moolah, full company benefits, and 100% tuition reimbursement (I can go to grad school without digging myself any deeper in the student loan hole!). The pros outweigh the cons here. I will suck it up and leave my house by 6 am every morning if it means I can get my masters for FREE.
Also, my lovely little sister turned 21 recently so she and her friends came to visit for the weekend. Let's just say that last night was something. Let's also just say that I actually used the word 'homeboy' in a serious context, when addressing a male I met. No, really, who does that? Anyway, besides getting plenty drunk and stopping just short of attempting to rap, I played hostess for the weekend and gave my sister's friends a nice little tour of downtown Chicago. That was fun, especially because I got a sweet winter coat from the Gap for like 60% off (!!!). Hooray for Michigan Avenue.
In other news, I started working out with a personal trainer at my gym, which I'm really excited about. It's tough, but in a really good way. I feel like I will finally get my butt kicked back into fighting shape. It's fun too, because I feel like I'm doing conditioning for high school swimming, which I miss sometimes.
OK, I'll be back soon!!! There's actually something I really want to write about so it won't be too long!

Monday, September 29, 2008

For the Longest Time

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Has it really been over two weeks? I think it has, and that means I'm a terrible blogger! But AGAIN, I've been crazy busy (I know -- excuses, excuses...). Quick recap:

  • I'm still getting all moved in and settled and trying not to run out of money decorating.
  • Went back to Ann Arbor this weekend to see the Wolverines kick some major Wisconsin boo-tay. Redemption feels sooooo good after the past few sucky games. Also, what kind of a mascot is a badger? And no one better say one word about my precious wolverine. Wolverines are much more badass than badgers.
  • Speaking of going back to Ann Arbor, I also pretended I was in college for the weekend since I went back with the girls I lived with senior year. This means that I consumed insane amounts of alcohol (I dominated at quarters, btw), didn't sleep, ate chipatis, went to the Jug AND Rick's (bars, of course), visited the sorority house (we stopped in to talk to the house mom and then she told other alum that we crashed there! We most certainly did not.), and drank a Sparks (an alcoholic energy drink. Or, pretty much the worst thing for you on the planet since there's nothing like combining uppers and downers to give you heart palpitations.) for breakfast before noon on football Saturday.
  • I got a NEW JOB!!!! More details to come, yo.
  • I decided that I might really write a book. I know that sounds crazy, but trust me, my actual writing is much better than what I do here. And I also have so many book ideas floating around in my head and on random notebook pages that it's not even funny. I know it isn't easy getting published, but I'm going to start researching how to pitch ideas and actually get your manuscripts into the right hands. Anyway, I'm thinking about either a book of funny/entertaining nonfiction essays (a la David Sedaris or Sloane Crosley) on my opinions and experiences (strangers on the train, anyone?) or a themed book about one aspect of my life (my family always provides good material for weird/awkward stories and there's another idea I'm bandying about, but it's a secret for now). This idea is still kind of under construction, so who knows? Would anyone buy a book by this random blogger here? I promise it wouldn't be bulleted.

OK, so that's it. I meant to make that quick and witty. Oops.

I'll be back in less than two weeks this time!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

White Wedding

So, recently I attended two weddings, in one of which I was a bridesmaid and for another I was a wedding singer. Because you know, I have the voice of a freaking angel.

The first was the worst wedding on the planet (I referred to it as the nuptials from Hell before) and was so draining because over half the church and the bridal party thought it was a bad idea. And we had said so. Many times. The bride's side was practically dying and no one smiled and it was one of the tensest situations I've ever been in. Also, the minister was reeeeeallly driving home this "subservient and obedient wife" thing and a friend's father said he had never heard the word 'fear' so many times in one hour. (And we Catholics thought our guilt was bad!) Anyway, as I may have mentioned before, I was a women's studies major and I do not take very kindly when religious texts use the phrase "the weaker vessel" to describe me as a female. And just because the term "whore mongers" is in the Bible does not mean it needs to be included in a wedding ceremony. So apparently my expressions were not church friendly as I was facing the congregation. I may have actually turned my face away from everyone a few times because the anger showing on my face was getting offensive. I know that sounds rude, but you honestly had to be there. I have never been to such an unhappy occasion. After the ceremony, the brides maids and the bride's sisters and cousins all went into the parking lot to drink wine. Out of plastic coffee cups. Because we're classy like that. The epitome of, even.

However, the other wedding, which was my cousin's, was absolutely beautiful and was the most fun I've had in a long time. My dad's side is a little more crass and they all hold back a little less. They also drink A LOT more, which was fun for me! I think I danced to about 75% of the songs, including every line dance imaginable. In fact, my sister and I taught everyone the moves to the Love Shack. Apparently we are two of the very few who know it...anyone else learn it when they were younger? I've been doing it since age seven in my country club swim team dance days. Then we learned it again in gym class in seventh grade. Nevermind. I had a weird childhood. But back to this fun wedding. We danced a ton, played with all of the little ones that I never get to see anymore now that I'm not in Michigan, drank too much wine, and heard my somewhat introverted, 31-year-old cousin rap "Bust a Move" in its entirety over the DJ's microphone. OH, and I saw a football player from my high school who was a year older than me. We chatted for a bit and I learned that after going to school for three years, he dropped out and moved home. Then he became the bartender at my cousin's wedding. I'm going to hell for this, but I found it veeeerrryyy funny.

Anyway, this last wedding totally made up for the previous one. And between both of them I picked up some ideas for my own (possibly-never-happening-because-I'm-going-to-die-alone-with-cats) wedding. First, even though I do want a traditional, religious ceremony, I will not be allowing readings that tell me to fear my husband and agree with everything he says. I don't agree with everything that anyone says. And second, we will do the Macarena and we WILL have an open bar.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

All These Things That I've Done

Whew. Sorry I've been MIA here folks, but the past week and half have been sheer craziness and I'm finally just getting everything settled.
In the past 11 days, I have:
  • Attended two weddings/rehearsals. One was awesome and the other sucked. I was a bridesmaid in the latter and a singer in the former. More on that later.
  • Driven back and forth between Michigan and Chicago approximately 4 times. It was like 20 terrible hours on the road, half of them with my parents (Oh, the horror!). I don't want to travel again for a loooong time. Oh, wait, too bad I have to go home again in about 3 weeks. But that's for the recent grad reunion and UMich football and tailgating. Totally worth it.
  • Moved into a new apartment, which I am NOT complaining about because our new place is fabulous. I have a closet and a full bed, and I no longer live above a neon Venice Pizza sign on Halsted. And I am living with one of my BFFs (yes, I did use that term and I meant it because I'm still a sorority girl at heart and I will abbreve whatever the hell I want to. Obvi.), so my living situation just got a whole lot better. I no longer have a roommate that creeps me out simply with her existence. But, anyway, moving is always stressful and slightly time consuming. And right after I moved in, I had to drive home for the other wedding so I'm finally getting to spend some time here since getting back to the city on Sunday.
  • Watched Gossip Girl and contemplated whether I thought Chuck Bass was a skeeze or bad-boy charming. Jury's still out on that one. Also, I realize that doesn't count as something I really did, that, you know, took up time, but I wanted to throw it out there.
  • DYED MY HAIR. Again, I know that's not really an event per se, but for me, it's a big deal. It always makes me feel new when I darken my hair (I have never wanted to be blonde in my entire life. true story), like something is starting over. Which is why I usually do it in the fall, because I feel like that's the best time to get a fresh start. And I really like to shock people so I just wait for them to notice. Which of course is kind of disappointing when the people around you aren't even aware of the color of their own pants. Sad. But yeah, I actually was going to dedicate an entire post to the topic and call it 'Black Velvet' or something equally lame. But then I reconsidered since I have nothing more to say about it and because I didn't dye it black, more like really really really dark brown with a hint of red. Which is totally different.

OK, so I guess that doesn't sound like much, but I also spent a week at home, where I was able to telecommute for work, so lots of running around/hanging out with my mom was done. And I had unexciting things to do like get my eyes checked (especially after last month's unfortunate incident) and go to the dentist (I had a filling. My face was numb for half of last Thursday.) So I wasn't going to write about those things. Even though I just did. Hmm.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dirty Little Secret

OK, so this is going to be quick because I'm on my way back from a weekend wedding (the nuptials from Hell, but more on that later maybe), and I am exhausted in every single way.
But anyway. So last time I mentioned that I had a date, but I didn't really divulge any details. And I'm still not going to -- at least not at this point. I will, however, give you the basics. We went out to dinner and it was pretty much at the nicest/coolest restaurant I've ever been to. I was impressed, and nothing about it was pretentious. I did feel like an idiot though because I think we are all aware of how limited my culinary knowledge is. Otherwise, it went well, and I think we might see each other again.
Now that I've given you the basics though, let me tell you why I feel weird about spilling all the deets -- even though I SO want to. I have this terrible habit of counting my chicks (or is it eggs?) before they're hatched, and I'm reeeeaaalllly trying hard to work on that. Anytime there is the slightest possibility of anything remotely exciting happening, I start gabbing about it. Because I like talking A LOT. But I really need to cut it out because I think -- and go ahead and call me superstitious -- that I jinx it. Especially when it comes to guys. And since it's been SO long since I've seriously dated someone (I pretty much just had a good time in college), I'm trying to keep any dating I do --which isn't much, trust me -- at least partially under wraps. Maybe if we're both lucky though, you'll hear details later. :-) Anyone else worry that if you talk about something too much before it happens (especially with relationships) that you'll jinx it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Material Girl

A while back, I mentioned that I just had one of those faces that made random people want to talk to me. And I know that when I wrote about it, I sounded more than slightly annoyed with the fact that SO. MANY. PEOPLE were trying to talk to me in one day when I was just NOT in the mood. Now though, I'm thinking that having one of those faces might not be such a bad thing.
Sunday night, I was on the train headed downtown to have dinner with a human being of the male persuasion. (I'll pause here and let you all soak that in. Still pausing. Gathered all that information? OK, good.) Needless to say, I had actually put a little more effort into my appearance that normal (i.e. I had actually dried my hair), and I was looking pretty damn good if I do say so myself. But still. I was not prepared for this trip on the el.
I was just sitting, minding my own business, staring out the window, checking myself out in the window. Wow, I'm so vain, I probably think this song is about me. Juuuust kidding, I was really just checking to make sure that my hair hadn't started springing out in huge frizzy waves since I had flat-ironed the hell out of it before I left. Anyway, point is, I was keeping to myself. This, however, did not stop anyone from chatting me up. First a nice (read: creepy) gentleman with many gold teeth came up to me and told me I looked very nice that evening. That wouldn't have been skeezy in and of itself. But this 50-year-old man then asked for my number and told me I looked sexy from head to toe. Um. And he proceeded to ask me what the shade of my nail polish was. Luckily, I'm quick on my feet (no, not at all, I panicked for about 30 seconds before I did anything other than smile tight-lipped), and I told him I had a boyfriend.
Big sigh of relief. Until about 47.3 seconds later when another fella decided to test out his game on me. This time it was an upstanding young man by the name of Vinny (you should be feeling the waves of sarcasm washing over you right now). He told me he worked for the city. I think he maybe was a garbage collector. Or you know, he was in 'waste management,' to sound fancy. Anyway, I thought the combination of telling him I was headed to dinner and the fact that I was wearing a nice black dress would tip him off that I was going on a date (go ahead and commit that to memory. it's a rare occurrence, like a meteor shower or something), but he was persistent. He told me about 5 times how nice I looked and handed me a slip of paper with his digits. Thanks.
I walked off the train kind of chuckling to myself (and feeling a little more confident, I'm not going to lie. Even compliments from creepers can be flattering.) When I met up with my date I told him I had made some new friends on the train. He laughed and told me that was why he always had his iPod on hand -- that way he didn't have to worry about an crazies from the train striking up a conversation. All of that made sense of course, but that wasn't exactly feasible for me that night. Dress with no pockets and holding a clutch equals nowhere for me to carry any defense against unwanted socialization.
Later, I was actually thinking about it though. Do I really want to ward people off? I mean, YES, those two guys on the train were creepers. Big ones. And, sorry Vin, but I won't be ringing you up, like ever. But honestly, I love having experiences like that because they make amazing, hilarious, interesting, crazy stories. And if you can't tell, I adore sharing stories. I love hearing other people's and I love telling my own. How someone tells a story gives you immediate insight into what kind of person they are. And with me being an aspiring writer, these experiences that appall me and make me feel uncomfortable in the moment are just great opportunities for new pieces. Seriously, I could write a book. Actually, maybe I will.... hmmm...
Anyway, that night, I do remember mentioning to this guy how I actually like awkward encounters (of course, I do like non-awkward ones too). What if I had been listening to my music or reading the Red Eye so intently I could have burned a whole through the paper? Then I would have missed the chance for a fantastic conversation piece. And I said so: "Nah, I love when weird things happen to me. Really, it's the perfect material."

Monday, August 18, 2008

U Got The Look

(OK, if someone can name that song and is as obsessed with the artist as I am, we're probably the same person and would be best friends in real life. Just so you know.)
So, you know how a lot of people say they have a type? Like the kind of person they always go for or are attracted to. Their "type." Well for the longest time, I refused to believe that I had a type. "No way," I'd say. "NONE of the guys I've gone for have anything in common... no type for me." Even my friends didn't see a pattern in the guys I was interested in. There was no rhyme or reason to my selection.
Until recently, that is. I started noticing a trend toward the end of my senior year, but I wasn't sure until now. My type? It's not preppy or jock or musician or even brooding thinker (although I do love the brainy ones). Nope, none of those. My type is tall, skinny jackass.
Perhaps I should explain. For some reason I like the tall, lanky guys, and cockiness is a major plus. However, I don't mean jackass in the fratty, I-am-male-therefore-I-am-the-shit way. There's a big difference between being a bit of a jackass and being a jerky asshole. (Wow, I am doing a LOT of swearing up in huurr....sorrrryyy). I like a guy who can match wits with me, who likes a little verbal sparring, and who doesn't come at me with sickeningly sweet lines. Actually, I'm suspicious of overly nice guys. I keep the ones with the too-kind, too-smooth words at arms length. What are you hiding? What's your angle? I can't help it -- that's just the way I think.
But that's not to say that I don't like nice guys at all. Have I confused you yet? Because I'm starting to get a little lost myself. Let me see if I can work this out. The jackasses I like will get in my face and tease me, but underneath, they are actually good guys. They like my fiestiness and are usually trying to actually get to know me, not just escort me home from the bar. I like a guy who can put up a good fight, and even enjoy it, because in my opinion, they can handle a chick who can be a little bitchy in a funny, fun way. (Note: this does NOT mean high-maintenance or demanding or naggy). Those are the guys that like smart girls, and you know what? I have major respect for that.
So what spurred this discussion of my type? Well, even in a new city, I'm finding myself drawn to the same. In college, I didn't seriously date a whole lot, but that's not to say that I didn't ever go out or spend time with members of the opposite sex. Because I did. And almost all of the guys who really made me sit up and pay attention had these qualities. Well, actually the one (as in I did not have another boyfriend in college) serious boyfriend I had was only tall and skinny. No jackass factor. Just emo. Which is a problem since I'm not the biggest fan of talking about my "feelings" and "the relationship." We broke up. Duh. But moving on... I like the tall ones (over 6 feet s'il vous plait) because I can wear my biggest heels and have no worries. I really have no idea why I like the skinny ones. Maybe it's from spending so much time around runner and swimmer boys when I was younger. And the jackass-iness? (so not a word) I think I've already explained that one.
When I go out now, I notice the lanky ones smirking instead of sauntering, the ones having conversations instead of just leaning back and surveying their victims (oops, I mean the girls at the bar). I even recently met a guy at a pub (doesn't that just sound so UK?) near me, and after about an hour of flirting/exchanging clever insults, he said, smiling, "I'm sorry, I'm kind of a jackass." To which I replied (because I have no verbal filter whatsoever), "Nah, it's fine. You're just my type."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Endless Love...

I LOVE Trader Joe's. Like, if Trader Joe were an actual man, I would probably propose. All of their stuff (good quality!) is so cheap and I feel like most of it's pretty healthy (besides the chocolate-covered everything that they have in every single aisle). My bill is much lower when I shop there than when I do at Whole Foods...which means more food! And things I don't really need. Plus the employees seem really nice and helpful. And their ads are cute and funny. I could probably go on and on. But let me tell you why I was so inspired to tell you how much I love TJ's on this day in particular.
The thing is, I was just able to create a dinner that didn't include oatmeal. All because of Trader Joe's, tonight did not end in a culinary catastrophe and I didn't have to just eat lots of carrots and hummus for dinner. (Although, I did that anyway). Thanks to TJ's, I actually made chicken with steamed veggies on the side. Well, that was partially due to the Glad steam bags I have, too, but whatever. (I know they make me seem lazy and are not super eco-friendly but OMG my veggies come out so perfectly steamed!) Anyway, I bought TJ's frozen, seasoned, grilled chicken to pop in the microwave and Voila! A meal that looks like it actually took some work. Actually, having to keeping checking on it was a lot of work for me. But STILL. This gives me hope that I will not be a kitchen klutz forever. Baby steps, people.

I was going to take a picture, but then I forgot and just ate it. Oops. Anyway, I am on my way to get coffee, run to the gym, and think more about the delicious meal I just made.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blinded by the Light

(OK, I KNOW that someone -- or everyone -- knows this song. I think I'm just going to have to start every post with a song title or lyric from now on. Then I can say, "QUICK! Name that song!" allll the time. And you can guess, and maybe even win! Sadly, though, I don't have any prizes because I'm poor, but I rewrite your resume (that's my job) or tell you you're neat or something. Or you could not get anything but the satisfaction of knowing that you are up on all the hits, past and present.)
For some reason, my motivation to work out has been nonexistent for the past three days. Which is very odd because if I go more than two days without some activity I get ANTSY. This might be because I'm not allowed to wear my contacts for a while (more on that in a sec), and the only thing I can really do is the elliptical or the recumbent bike while wearing my glasses. I just don't love these. Or really even like them much. I just want to ruuuuun, especially since our weather here has been perfect for it lately. But in glasses, it's not really easy. They slide down my nose or sweat drips on them or they bounce around and mess up my depth perception (my palms have met the sidewalk and many a building corner trying to run in glasses). And honestly, my eyes are so bad that not wearing glasses is NOT an option, kids.
OK, so this is the "more on that in a sec" part. I've been having problems with my eyes for a couple months. I figured it was just dirtier air from living in the city during the summer. Hmm, well, maybe I was wrong. I woke up early Saturday morning and realized that OMG I LEFT MY CONTACTS IN. Normally I wouldn't freak out so much that it required all caps, but with the eye issues, I was worried. Also, I haven't done this in forever. As in, if I did no other thing when stumbling in at 4 in the morning during college (OK, and a few times in the past few months. -- I'm really no good at lying), I took out my contacts. About 4 hours later on Saturday morning, my eyes were blood red, I had tears streaming down my face and I was having major photosensitivity issues. I HAD to get to an emergency clinic downtown because I literally could not see. The problem with that was... I could not see. Which makes wandering around the third largest city in the country really fun.
Or one of the scariest things I've ever done in my life.
I decided that I should probably not go it alone since two feet ahead (if that) was pretty much as far as I could see. So I tried calling T to see if she might be able to accompany her invalid friend downtown, but she was out on a long run. I left her one message saying, "Hey give me a call back... I kind of need a favor, but it's not a huge deal." Half an hour later, I left her another voicemail, this time featuring me crying and throwing around the word "emergency" because, well, I thought I was literally going to lose my sight. After I was on the train because I already decided that I just had to get downtown before the clinic closed, she called me back, fearing the worst. Oops, silly me, I forgot to tell her that the problem was just my eyes and that I needed her to hop on the train with me. She thought I was hurt and/or dead (can you be both? I mean... if you're dead, are you really hurt anymore? did i just ask that?) because I was an idiot and told her I could walk home alone from the bar the night before. So here she was wracked with guilt, thinking she had let her Chicago BFF (because I know that's what I am to you, right?!!?) die a less-than-noble, wine-fueled death. Sorry for the minor heart attack, T!
Anyway, in leaving my apartment, I realized I couldn't wear my glasses because I had to put sunglasses on due to the photosensitivity. But guess what, folks? My vision is at NEGATIVE EIGHT. I am that nearsighted. When they ask me to look at an eye chart without any form of vision correction, all I can (barely) make out is the gigantic E at the top. And really I think I've just memorized that -- all I really see is a big, black, fuzzy block. So for me, walking around Lincoln Park and downtown Chicago with no visual help is practically suicide. Just so we're clear, I know that actual blind people do this all the time and we don't hear about them meeting their maker on a daily basis. And I give them sooooo much more credit for that after this experience. But, you see, even though my vision IS terrible, I'm not used to not being able to see at all. On Saturday, not only was I without contacts or glasses, but I had to keep my eyes shut for most of the time I was walking around because the burning and light sensitivity were that bad. And unlike our severely visually impaired friends, I am not used to being in the dark. And I don't have the city memorized without the use of my eyes. And I didn't have a stick. I knew that when I got off at Wabash and Madison, Monroe would be to one side of me and Washington would be to the other. (Thank goodness Chicago is built on a grid!) But that was about it. I didn't have the number of steps memorized for each block, and of course, there is major construction on Wabash that is blocking the sidewalks, meaning I pretty much had to walk in the street. Great timing, Chicago.
After all that, I did make it to the doctor -- who, after looking at my bloodshot eyes, was amazed I made it without major injury and prescribed me with steroid eye drops to reduce the inflammation and clear up any possible conjunctivitis from such bad irritation (ew, yeah, I know). She also seemed a little frightened when she took a look at my eyes -- at least from what I could see. And she made me call T, who gladly obliged to pick me up on the Brown Line (and then cringed when she saw my eyes) so she didn't have to worry about me meeting an untimely death again. Then I popped in some eye drops and about 5 ibuprofen, and had to lie in bed for about 4 hours with my eyes shut with a bag of ice over them except when I was putting in drops every two hours. That KILLED ME. I wasn't tired so I couldn't really sleep. And I'm naturally kind of restless, which doesn't help when I've been told to just lie still alllll day. All I could do was listen to music and you know, be alone with my own thoughts, which is usually not the most stellar plan of action for a nut-job like moi. Like I said, people, that just about killed me.
But do you know what was worse than that about this whole day? (OK, besides the burning sensation and almost dying when I stumbled through a crosswalk that clearly said "DON'T WALK.") The worst part was having to explain to people what my deal was all day. I mean, I know I didn't have to, but everyone I encountered thought I was on drugs. I went into Starbucks in a Dominick's grocery and would not take off my sunglasses indoors. And I'm sure I was looking slightly to the left of the barista and he was thinking, "Yeah, like YOU need more coffee." Then when I had to enter my PIN for my debit card, I literally leaned my face down to within two inches of the keypad just so I could see the numbers. And on the train, I think everyone felt really uncomfortable sitting next to the potential junkie. Who was wiping her nose and twitching occasionally when she looked into the light just a little too directly. And the security guard at the doctor's building and the pharmacy girl at Walgreen's? They were none too patient with scary girl with bloodshot eyes and suspiciously dilated pupils. Until I finally kind of snapped and said, "I'm sorry, having a little trouble with my vision here, so it's just a tad difficult for me to sign whatever paper you are waving in my face." They were suddenly very nice to me.
Every other time I just got on the phone with my mom (let's call her Super Nurse Practitioner for diagnosing me via phone) to give her a loud update of my progress (yes I was THAT girl on the train) so that people could overhear and think, "Oh, poor girl, she's not calling her dealer for a fresh shipment of coke after all." You know what, maybe that was too much trouble to go through. If this ever happens again, I'm just going to show everyone my red eyes, get all Whitney on them, and yell, "Bobby! Crack is WHACK!" Then we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Give Me Two Perrr, I Need Two Perrr

(QUICK! Name that song! Anyone? Anyone?)
So today, folks, I'd like to talk about shoes. Mind you, I'm not one of those crazy people who just CANNOT STOP talking about her love of footwear, although I do love a nice new pair of kicks. I actually work with one of those, and it's annoying, so I stay fairly nonverbal about my adoration for shoes. Anyway, point is I think that more than any other accessory, new shoes can make you feel like a million bucks even if you only went to Payless and paid $14.95 for them.
BUT (yes, there is a but, here), I tend to be rather discriminatory when it comes to doling out my affection. I do not love all shoes equally. Oh no. When it comes to shoes, I never do halfway. It's all or nothing, baby.
And by 'all' I mean towering 4-plus inch heels. By 'nothing' I mean my Asics or maybe flip flops (OK and some of these crazy fun flat sandals this summer, but whatever, these details are really going to ruin my argument). However, right now, I'm going to say something that may appall many of you. You have been warned so here it goes: I HATE ballet flats. Hate hate hate hate hate. Sure, they're cute and, to some, are a good alternative to heels when you want to dress up but have a short date. But they are NOT comfortable and unless you are Gisele, they probably don't do much for you. They don't improve your posture and really don't give your feet much support. And if you are in possession of cankles (which I pride myself on not having, so I say this for anyone else's own good), flats will NOT help you. Plus they're SO girly, and despite my undying love for all things with ankle-breaking height, girly I am not.
Another thing I hate are one or two-inch heels. I mean they can't even really call themselves heels! The are frauds, fakes, impostors, high-heel wannabes. Suck it up and toss on an extra inch or two. As the lovely Victoria Beckham states in her book, "That Extra Half an Inch," "One shoe style I have little love for is the kitten heel. I think a lot of women see them as the wearable compromise to high heels, but in fact they have none of the benefits of high heels yet also none of the casual ease of flats." Amen, sister. I still don't really like flats, but I don't mind throwing on a pair of cute Pumas if wearing heels is just not practical and wearing running shoes with an outfit would be downright ugly. Anyway, point is that kitten heels are masquerading as heels when they don't really do much other than add height, and not much of it at that. They aren't any more comfortable and they just make you sit back on your heels and slouch in a weird, indescribable way. And they don't make your calves look like you run 15 miles a day the way a pair a sweet pumps does. I feel like they almost give you cankles if you don't already have them.
Now, I will tell you a little something else about why I have this all or nothing philosophy when it comes to shoes. I'm not comfortable in between. I can of course wear my running shoes forever, because they are running shoes, duh. They're meant to support your feet. It's what they do. But honestly, I can wear heels almost as long. Today, for example, I wore my heels from 10 am to 10pm. And these are big heels, no wussy summer sandals for me. I've walked literally MILES in these. No, they aren't amazingly supportive or anything. They're from Payless and they have four-inch cork (ish, c'mon it's Payless, I don't even want to know what my shoes are made of) heels. But I wear them everywhere.
Part of me knows that it's all mental when it comes to my wearing such stilts. I'm 5'7"ish and when I put these babies on, I'm almost 5'11". This is especially useful when I'm out and I meet a guy. If he's shorter than I am, then I see no future for us (sad, right?). But if I wear my heels and I still have to look up a little? Well then, sir, you've passed the first test. (You are totally allowed to call me superficial now). Additionally, when I go out with my three lovely cousins who are all over six feet tall and look like MODELS, I don't feel like such a misfit. Also, I just really like to be taller than half of the bar's patrons. I may have some issues with competitiveness. And power. Either way, the "high-heel high" is what makes me forget that I'm wearing what should be rather painful contraptions on my feet.
The other factor that enables me to wear such a high heels is all physiological. My feet are beat up and scuffed and broken and downright mangled from years of dance and running (more on this topic at another time actually). I once had a guy I knew grab for my feet and I highly advised -- warned him even --against it. He didn't believe that a girl's feet could be that bad so he went for it anyway --and paid dearly. OK well maybe not DEARLY but he did recoil and tell me they were gross. Well, duh, I told you not to do it. Anyway, it's not that my feet are dirty... they're just... tough. And I don't do anything to them but paint the nails so that the part showing in sandals looks pretty. I probably won't do anything either since their toughness makes it a lot easier for me to stand for hours in high heels.
The other thing that makes it easier? The ridiculous size of my feet. I have this theory that because my feet are so long, even when I wear tall heels or wedges, there is still a good portion of my foot on the ground. So I still have a pretty good base to stand on. And since I've already shared so much with you about my tootsies, I might as well tell you what I call my feet. I used to call them boats or skis, but now folks, I have decided to call them my drag queen feet. Mostly because the drag queens I've seen (I live pretty darn close to Boystown, kids), all walk amazingly well in heels for not having been at it as long as some of the females I know. Rarely do they stumble or look like they're limping or lilting to one side. No way, they're pros. And so am I. As one of the girls at work said after I told her my "drag queen feet" theory, "Thank goodness you have a feminine face." Thanks. I think.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Bored and My Life Is Currently Boring...

Because of the aforementioned reasons, and the fact that I'm waiting on the shower because my roommate ALWAYS waits until the INSTANT I get back from the gym to dive into the bathroom (it's like she's got it down to a SCIENCE), I'm going to randomly pick some pictures from my computer files and comment on them, which will most likely be really boring for you, but see, since I'm bored, I think everyone should be... right?

Quick note: I was watching Girlicious tonight (did I seriously just admit that? don't judge...actually maybe I'll write more about this later... hmm...) and one thing I just could NOT stop thinking about was how Mark McGrath must really hate his life right now. He went from being the frontman of Sugar Ray, a multi-platinum band, to hosting a reality show on the CW that manufactures girl groups. I bet he cries/self medicates a LOT.

OK, moving on.

This is the Bean in Millennium Park. (It actually has a nice name...something with 'cloud' in it or something, but no one calls it that and I often wonder if the artist resents that.) It's HUGE and reflective and you can go underneath it and look up inside and it distorts your image. Super neat (yes, I said neat). For those of you not in Chicago, it's pretty much one of the most touristy/best things you can do when visiting. Or when you live here and are showing people around. Or just when you're bored and want to look at a giant, seamless, chrome sculpture that appears to be a legume.

This is a picture of three of my lovely senior year housemates and I at graduation. I personally think we looked pretty sweet. (I'm the one with the green M, although it makes me look really short, even though I'm 5'7" and taller than some of these friends. Maybe I wasn't wearing heels...hmmm. Right, not the point). Also, I would just like to point out that our graduation was probably better than yours (sorrrrryyyyy) because we had it in THE BIG HOUSE (yes that deserved all caps) and because Bill Clinton was our speaker. Say what you want about his politics, but we had a former United States President address us. All, you know, 5,000 of us.

This is from about a year and a half ago, so maybe that's cheating, but I looove this picture, this is one of my faaaaaavorite friends from my a cappella group (she had already changed out of her pretty black dress), and I look good here so now I'm motivated to go run some more. Anyway, this was taken after our Spring 2007 concert. We had a St. Patty's theme (it was the 17th) and a lot of people showed up drunk. It was great. It was also my last concert ever as a Harmonette (and SERIOUSLY, don't mock the name. we were just stickin' with 27 years of tradition) and I got a little choked up as I was introducing a song on stage. I NEVER do that. I'm pretty sure a few of my friends wonder if I really have tear ducts. Guess I do.

Again, from last summer, but I just haven't been taking pictures lately! Anyway, this is from the ONLY time I ever wore a cowboy hat (I even opted out when we had barn dances for my sorority because I just thought I looked silly as I am not a hat person). We went to a hoedown in DETROIT, Michigan. Which should sound weird to everyone. Because it is. And really I only went to the hoedown so that I could buy and have an excuse to wear a cowboy hat (even though, yes, I just said I looked silly). This is another one of my best UMich friends because she tolerates and even encourages my awkwardness. (And she's moving to Chicago SO soon and I can't even STAND it.) Also, I would like to point out that I do this strange arm thing in practically every other picture. It's like I a) broke my wrist and I'm cradling it or b) got caught doing the Thriller dance and decided to smile for the picture in the middle of it. Either way, there is no real reason for my arm to be positioned just so. I think it's a reflex... to camera flashes... or something...

And finally, my favorite person in the entire sister! (The one in the middle is my mom and I guess I like her too.) She really doesn't look super thrilled in this picture, but I think the boat may have been making her seasick. I probably wouldn't have been beaming either had I wanted to get sick all over the deck. Or maybe I would have. Because I've got me sea legs and I'm tough, not a yellow land lover...arrrrgh! (Whoa... no more pirate movies for me...) Anyway, she's two years younger than I am and is my best friend. Seriously. Not even being sappy and obnoxious about it. Because just like best friends, we don't always agree and sometimes we get on each others' nerves. She tells me I'm being dumb and is the best voice of reason I've got. In the end, we're still the first one the other calls and are always excited to see each other after a long, painful separation. And we're always on the same team when it comes to arguing with Mom and Dad. Oh, right, and, it's like automatic maid of honor if/when either of us gets married. Automatic drama saver. Who can get mad at you for picking your sister over everyone else? Nobody. That's who.

So, this was a little glimpse into the life of yours truly. But I mean, not really. I showed you like five pictures. Sigh. I tried. I'm going to bed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

[insert clever title here]

I don't really have much to say since things have been kind of low-key/ "meh" lately. Anyway, I thought I would just bullet point some thoughts so I would at least get something written. Usually I go for quality over quantity, but I also don't like to go toooo long without writing something for fear that the 3 people who read this will get bored and never return! Whew. So, if you read, please keep reading! I promise I'll write something good soon!

On to the bullets!

  • I think I want to go to Greece. First of all, I hear it's beautiful. Perfect water, lots of sun. Heaven, essentially. And I think the food would be right up my alley. Hummus, veggies, pita, yogurt, olive oil. I also think they media is like OBSESSED with Greece/the Mediterranean because one of the style editors at Glamour just wrote about her trip to Croatia on the site and Mamma Mia is everywhere. And now I want to go see it.
  • Going off of that, I love movie musicals. They have the potential to be AMAZING or downright terrible. Which means that they go full circle and become amazing again. For example, the best/worst movie musical of all time: GREASE 2!! Pleeeeease, someone tell me that you've seen it. "I want a C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R..." "Let's bowl, let's bowl, let's rockn' roll!" or "Reproduction!" Anyone? anyone? OK, someone better

  • respond to that (I mean, please?) or at least go rent the movie if you haven't seen it. It's Michelle Pfeiffer at her finest/most embarrassing. I think this all stems from the fact that I was a half-theater nerd, half jock,half bookworm (OK, see... math wasn't my strong suit). I didn't ALWAYS want to hang out with the drama kids (it got a little weird after a while...), but I did want to sing ALL THE TIME, so I thought that if my high school were like Rydell, I would be set.
  • Also, why is Tom Hanks' son in a KFC commercial? Remember when he actually starred in a movie? With Jack Black? Now he's selling fried chicken and shocking his advertisement friends by getting a pretty girl to actually go out with him. My, how things change. (Also, if that isn't him then someone please correct me. But if it isn't, the resemblance is uncanny.)
  • My friends, college acquaintances, etc. need to STOP getting married and reproducing. I mean, they are lovely people (most of them), but it's making me feel like I'm falling behind! It's like I'm not hitting the milestones in time. And I'm only 23! Shouldn't I have more time? Graduate with honors from sweet school. Check. Move away from home. Check. Get first real job and apartment (OK my apartment is hardly real, but fine, whatever). Check. Find someone to spend the rest of life with and combine genes with? That box, my friends is very, very blank. No check marks there. I have time, right!?!?!

  • I love Jennifer Aniston. She's great. Even if she is dating John Mayer and I don't approve.

  • Oh man, and Conan O'Brien. I love him and never get to watch him anymore since I am usually in bed or at least not watching TV at this hour. But tonight I am still up for no apparent reason so I am thoroughly enjoying his incredible awkwardness, self-deprecating humor, and gravity-defying hair.
  • OK, this is for you, foodie friends: I really want to start cooking because right now, I run the risk of ruining microwaved dishes. I CAN cook, but I lose patience because I think, 'Oh, what's the use? If it's terrible, I'll have to nuke something anyway.' So most of the time I have carrots and hummus and oatmeal for dinner. Hmmm. Yeah. So from you, food bloggers/cooking gurus, I need your easiest, fastest, (cheapest?) yummiest recipes so I can become a functioning adult and not ingest so many of the chemical seeping out of my Tupperware into my food. (PS, I love all veggies and veg*n food but I'm open to almost anything, including poultry and fish, besides... well, mammal.)
  • And, last thing, I know I've written this before, but I need some inspiration, and I would especially love to know what YOU are interested in. It doesn't even have to be an opinion about something. I know I talk about me on here, but so far I haven't totally told you about me because I don't even know where to start. I know it may seem as though I divulge a lot of info because I CANNOT SHUT UP, but really I think I just say a lot of the same stuff twice (or 15 times). So help me out. Got any questions? Requests? Wondering why I can't just type one sentence and leave it at that? (Actually, I can't answer that one either.) Let me know!
OK, I need to crash to make it through one more day this week. Good night!

Monday, July 21, 2008

All Eyes On Me

My eye really hurts. OK, that makes it sound kind of silly and/or pathetic. Let me try again.
My eye is BURNING WITH THE INTENSITY OF TEN THOUSAND FIRES OF HELL. And you know that's bad because I went to Catholic school all the way through high school. We parochial school kids are guilted into taking our hell fires veeeery seriously.
Anyway, I've been having issues with my eyes since spring started here. I don't know what it is about the city (OK, yes I do, lots more pollution), but my eyes have been so much more susceptible to injury. At first I had one eye that was scratched so I went to a walk-in (or wait-five-hours-during-work-only-to-have-us-tell-you-we-don't-know-what-to-do) clinic, where they suggested I might have dry eye syndrome. Which apparently half the population now has, but really I just think the docs are in cahoots with the eye care companies...and all drug companies for that matter. Which is why we are all sick, all the time, and MUST take medicine. For everything. You know, so the pharmaceutical industry's growth doesn't slow down or anything. (WOW, that sounded bitter. I didn't mean to, I promise. I just have family in the healthcare industry so that makes me an expert, right? OK, moving on).
So, thinking I have dry eyes, I go to buy some (expensive) drops. Which work just fine for a while. Until this weekend, when my eyes start feeling really scratchy again. I tried to keep my contacts out for the most part, but I was not about to wear my glasses to the bar. And going without is just NOT an option, because my vision is closer to that of a bat than a normal human being. Whenever I compare levels of blindness with people (what? you don't do that?), I am always victorious. "I don't know... my eyes are pretty bad... I'm like negative four..." HA! I STILL WIN! Negative EIGHT, baby! Which, in all other cases, is not something to cheer about. But I like this game, because it's the one thing at which I can pretty much never lose.
Right. So where was I? OK, I didn't want to wear my glasses to the bar, or the gym, or anywhere really, so I sucked it up and dealt with a little redness and slight irritation. Until today. I popped them in before I headed to the gym this morning and I felt fine. Then on the way to work (as I realized I hadn't brought my glasses or a contact case with me), I felt like I had to blink nonstop so that my eyes wouldn't tear up. Which made me look like I was on speed or had some very, very nervous tic.
At work, all hell broke loose and I kept putting the drops in because my whites were now bright red. Bad idea. The more I put the drops in, the more my eyes stung. I was too panicked about my eyes to think about that whole "cause and effect" thing, so it wasn't until about 2PM that I realized that the drops were only making everything worse. All day I was rubbing, and wiping, and squeezing my eyes shut, only to have my vision in my left all blurred with tears streaming down my face. Which, you know, is ideal when my job is to stare at a computer screen and write all day. I could hardly keep my eyes open and I had to keep looking away from the screen, except that hardly helped thanks to the fluorescent lighting in the office. So I sort of looked like I'd been crying/snorting something illegal and I kept whining about how much my eyes hurt. And I was annoyed because I looked really cute today! Besides my face.
When I finally got home to take out my contacts, I got a gooooood look in the mirror. Not only were my eyes red and puffy and weirdly dilated, but I had wiped off all the coverup from under the left eye and had smeared my mascara down in its place, creating a charming black eye effect. So I looked like I was on crack and like my dealer had beaten me up for shorting him. Oh, plus I fell down our ONE step coming out of the bathroom last night, so I kind of even felt like I had been roughed up. And by 'fell,' I mean I slipped and slammed into the door, the jamb, the step, and the opposite wall of the hallway. And then I landed on my back on our tile floor, where my roommate found me and proceeded to stifle a laugh while asking me if I wanted some ice... or a stiff drink. No, I'm just going to lie here until I figure out where my dignity went. Thanks though.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Forever, forever, ever, forever, ever?

Seeing how I work dangerously close to State St. in downtown Chicago, I tend to visit Forever 21 quite a bit (or Forever XI or twentyone or whatever the hell kinds of labels they are throwing on the clothes now). Sometimes I just browse and sometimes I actually buy things I don't need -- which, let's be honest, is pretty much the entire store.

Exhibit A:

And there's no Exhibit B because I couldn't actually find what I bought online.
Anyway, today, in my quest for more lightweight dresses (it's HOT and humid here and showing up sweating to work is making me feel a bit more unprofessional than I already do), I started thinking about how funny it is that this cheap-o, often trashy store is THRIVING and shows no signs of stopping. And please, don't get me wrong, I LOVE this store, and would probably be devastated if it were suddenly no longer. And I can't really afford much else besides this shop and H&M (gotta love the Euro trends). But, folks, if you consider Forevs to be a classy establishment, you may want to consider reassessing... your whole life.

OK, but point of this post (drumroll, please, David Letterman style):


5) How many washes do you think I can get out of this before it melts?

4) Hmm... Go up two sizes from your normal one and it should fit just right.

3) Why are the prices so weird? Does this really say $13.47?

2) Did they start a children's line?

1) Is this a shirt or a dress?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Well We're Moving On Up....

But not to the East side. In fact, we'll probably stay on the North side if anything. And, really, it's just me that's leaving this apartment. So maybe that song doesn't apply at all. But I AM moving! Well, in September. I'm still excited about it right now.
Let me back up a little. The apartment I live in now is what the French would call "a piece of crap." Or at least the French people I know. It is a tiny little room in a building I found on craigslist back in December. For a girl eager to get the heck out of Michigan, the close quarters and random roommates mattered not. Especially for the low, low price of $450 per month. Well folks, let me tell ya, you get what you pay for.
For one, my twin bed takes up most of the little space I have. I don't even have room for a desk so I place my laptop on my trunk and sit on the floor cross-legged and hunched over to stare at the computer screen. And the reason I have a trunk and multiple plastic storage containers under my bed is because I do not have a closet. NO CLOSET, people. We bought a random wardrobe things from IKEA but that only takes up more of the space that I really don't have.
I also get to trek to the laundromat every time I want anything washed, which is like, constantly because gym clothes can't be reworn as well as some items (ewwww). But this is no easy process, this getting to the coin laundry business. No, no, no. I have to stuff everything into my bag and hop on a bus for 15 minutes during which time, the stranger next to me gets to see all of my unmentionables. Then I have to drag it across this huge strip mall parking lot and head into the world's least effective laundromat. Where half the dryers don't work. And your clothes always smell sort of weird after. And where I have to watch cute sweaters like a hawk or else they mysteriously disappear. So I've got that going for me.
Oh, and my window? I get to see and hear everything that happens on one of the busiest streets in the neighborhood, which is awesome during the day, but not so much when I'm trying to get some shuteye. I hear every siren (and that's a lot because I live by THREE hospitals) and every post-bar fight and drunken conversation since I am lucky enough to live practically on top of a bar. And above a mecca for the lushes spilling out of previously mentioned bar-- a greasy pizza joint . And that, my friends, is my favorite part. I live RIGHT above the sign for this awful pizza slice place that ONLY gets business when people are so inebriated that they will eat anything. (I've had friends who tempted fate by eating it describe it as tomato sauce and questionable cheese on cardboard. At least they got the tomato part right.) And because I live right above this sign, I have a constant, blindingly bright night light. Til about 4AM. Every single night. Sometimes I don't know if it's time to get up or if the sign is just glowing a bit brighter.
I also share a teeny bathroom with two girls that I randomly decided to live with, so that's always fun. In college, I shared a bathroom with two girls in a house senior year, and with about 20 other girls when I lived in the sorority house. But that was different. I knew them well so I could yell at them to get their asses moving or to let me in to pee while they showered (TMI? Well, too bad). Sharing was not an issue. Now it is a problem because these are girls I am not friends with, and because I am moving out, I probably won't get to know them much better at this point. Which is fine (absolutely great actually), but I won't get into roommate complaints right now (maybe a later post though, like when I have A LOT of time or once I've moved out and it can't potentially come back to haunt me).
But moving on and moving out right? I am pumped because I'm getting a place with one of my best friends with college. I've lived with her already so I know it can be done. Plus when I lived with her in our house senior year, I actually had to walk through her room to get to mine, which won't be the case here. If we could survive that without her strangling me, I'm pretty sure we can share a living space. Anyway, I am so excited for September to get here so that I can live with an awesome friend and actually have an apartment that feels like home. Yay!
I have a composed a list of requirements for the new place:
Must haves: AC, closet, laundry in the building (not 5 miles away), closet, room for a double bed, closet, plenty of outlets, CLOSET (wasn't sure if I mentioned that yet)
Would be nice: Dishwasher, garbage disposal, laundry in apartment, hot neighbors
NO WAY IN HELL: on the main street, above gigantic neon pizza sign
That's all I can think of for now. Can anyone else think of something we should add to the list? Or do you have any horrible (and by that I mean awesomely awful) apartment/moving/roommate stories?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I've Just Got One of Those Faces...

Apparently I've got that look about me that says, "Hey, you! Yeah, you stranger who I didn't even make eye contact with, come talk to me!" After work today, I got on the Red Line to head to Trader Joe's on my way home. I was tired and sticky from the humidity, and all I wanted to do was read my book and tune out. Guess my face didn't express that clearly enough.

"Hey is that one good?" I looked up and saw a girl pointing to the new David Sedaris book I was holding. After awkwardly popping theTootsie Roll Pop out of my mouth with the one hand that was not gripping the subway pole for dear life, I answered, "Oh, um, yeah, so far... so good..." I don't know what to say to that! I wasn't planning on discussing my literary choices just then! I was far too busy worrying about what would happen if I suddenly pitched forward with said candy in my mouth...would the results be tragic? Would I jab someone with the stick? Would I swallow it whole? Either way, I was caught off guard. Then, once I had pulled the sucker out of my mouth to answer, I was worrying about getting it stuck on someone else on the packed train. And not because I didn't want to offend someone. Nope, because I was concerned that if I did that, they would contaminate it and I wouldn't be able to eat it. Apparently that makes me selfish.

So far this story is kind of a snooze right? Well I'm about to make it... longer. (You thought I was going to say "more exciting," didn't you? Sorry, kid, life's a disappointment sometimes.) Anyway, after I proved to several strangers around me how socially awkward I was by attempting to rearrange my book, my sucker, and my bag as well as carrying on a half-assed conversation with random train chick, another guy stepped forward to join this stimulating discussion. Some kid in a Columbia College t-shirt chimes in with, "Oh, ummm, yeah how is it?" like he's heard of it. Again, I tell them both it's great and he says, "It's a novel, right?"

WHAT?!?! NO, fool! Sorry, but I'm a huge fan of David Sedaris. It's totally fine if you aren't knowledgable about an author, but don't act like you are because you want to join a conversation. Ask an intelligent question like, "Oh, that looks interesting ... what type of writer is he?" I will be far more impressed. After that, we all started talking (with noticeable awkward pauses every minute or so) and the conversation went from David Sedaris (go get When You Are Engulfed in Flames.... so good! Or really any of his stuff, just go, quick, read some of his work!) to his family to all families being dysfunctional to his actress sister Amy Sedaris to Sex and the City to Kim Cattrall being one hot cougar. Um...what? None of those transitions were mine. I don't think I even really contributed but both people kept talking to me like I was the one carrying the conversation.

Then I got to my stop and had to elbow my way off the train. After which, I breathed a sigh of relief. It's not that I don't like people or talking to strangers. I love both really. But I just wasn't in the mood today and felt like I was forced into chatting because I just so happened to share five square feet of public transportation space with two other people. So you can maybe see how I was happy to get off that train and go back to being anti-social. Of course, though, I didn't get off that easily. Going up the escalator, a man turned around to me and commented, "Man! That was tough getting off of the train, huh?" Maybe I seemed bored or maybe he was in a hurry, but lucky for me, he didn't really pursue it. Still, everyone thought I was Miss Friendly today.

Just when I thought that the last person I would have to talk to for the day would be the checkout guy at Trader Joe's... I passed a Columbia College shirt. Who promptly whipped around and said, "Heyyyyyy....wait a minute! I know you from the train. So tell me more about this book." Nooooooo. No, random college boy, I do not want to tell you about a fabulous book that you have no intention of actually reading. That's what I wanted to say, but I was too tired to come up with an excuse not to stand in the natural dog food/Larabar aisle talking to him. And, I've been told, I'm not really mean enough to snap at people like that. (At least not in person. But oh man, hand me a pen and I will give it to you good. Alas, I didn't have a pen and he might have thought me crazier than average by writing out my responses instead of, you know, verbalizing them.)

So he asked me if this book will give him a different perspective. What? Yeah, sure. My answers were apparently not good enough so he went on, "Like, I'm a film major, so I want to see things differently." Well I'm a writer, would you like to hear about how I'm seeing you? Or about how this encounter is pretty torturous and how I would really like to go back to checking out the nutrition labels of all of the weird health bars rather than chat it up with you? Or how I'm getting slightly annoyed that you are taking up the entire aisle and disrupting the flow of traffic and aggravating your fellow shoppers? And aggravating ME since I am now that annoying girl in grocery store by association because people think we actually know one another?! [Deep breath]

I let him go on while I mentally ran down my grocery list: Yogurt? check. Apples? check. Wine? No, silly, you still have some in the fridge. But would another bottle really hurt? If you are planning on drinking it all tonight, then yes it would. "...and like Stephen King... his stuff, it's like..." Strawberries? No, those didn't look very good. Oatmeal? check. Oh! He's done talking! Run while you can!

After a few (long, painful, agonizing) minutes, mister self-involved film major decided he should go. I'm not sure why he didn't notice my glazed-over eyes before, but I was thanking my lucky stars he finally got the hint that I would like to skedaddle. Also, why was he talking to me for so long anyway? Is he lacking in the friends department and was just SO excited that someone would finally listen to him? Or was he trying to hit on me? If he was then a) homeboy needs to work on his game and b) ew, I was all sweaty and humidified. Oh, right. And c) I'm a little too old for him. I don't go for the younger boys. At least not anymore. (What? It was just a silly little three-year phase in college!)

Finally, my day of unexpected socializing was over. I did have a close call though. I went to grab some hummus and saw that same t-shirt boy in the cold foods section. So, in the spirit of awkwardness that governs many of my choices, I decided I could go without and rough it for a few days. And with that, I headed for the checkout, trying to look as unfriendly as possible.

Monday, July 7, 2008


OK, ya'll. I'm seriously lacking in the inspiration department. I so wanted to write something creative and witty and thought-provoking tonight, but nothing was coming to me. I kept collecting these little tidbits and funny observations in my mind, but a coherent thought never really formed. Well, I mean, I'm not always totally coherent anyways... but today and this weekend, I was less so than usual. But I digress (what's new?). So, to the few people that read this blog (hey, I'm new!), I need your help! Post something, anything you think I should write about, and I'll see what I can do. I have an opinion on everything (truly, everything), so all I need is some help getting started. So let me hear it! The weirder and more out there, the better!

And if you really don't believe me that I'm stumped, here's an example of what I was thinking about writing:

"This morning on my way to work, I was walking along enjoying the sun (right before Mother Nature ripped open the sky and poured down on my cheap Forever 21 dress that probably wasn't even supposed to get wet). SUDDENLY (I'm so good at dramatics), something hit me in the neck (and no, it wasn't spit this time -- this flew at me horizontally). I figured it was a ladybug or something so I went to grab it and it STUNG ME. Right in the neck! Because it was a bee, and not a harmless little ladybug as I had assumed. The whole way to work, my neck stung like crazy and all I could think were panicked thoughts about how, no, I wasn't allergic to bees but this was my neck! It would probably swell up and block my airway and I would have to rush to the ER and then I would have to miss work. (Hmmm... actually... maybe it would be nice if I were allergic...) I could not stop thinking about how much drama was about to ensue. Then I hopped off the Purple Line and went into Starbucks and forgot all about it as soon as I ordered my iced coffee.

That is, until noon, when I remembered my unfounded panic and went to the bathroom to check out my sting from the deadly creature. Which really wasn't even there. No red mark or anything. How disappointing. Nothing exciting ever happens to me."

OK, so do you SEE how much I need some help?! Clearly that was a cliff hanger. Give me a topic here!