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!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

For Lack of a Better Expression, EW

OK, I'm not really sure if I would count this as a real post. It's more of a quick rant. But then, again, quick for me is not quick to the rest of the world. I can be a little verbose. See? I've done it already. On with the rant!
So on my way home from the gym tonight, I was happily bopping along to my ipod, most likely listening to JoJo or some other horrendous (read: AWESOME) pop star that I work out to. I was totally minding my own business, feelin' good after pumping some iron and working up a sweat, when THWAP! something lands and slides down the side of my head. I stopped, took a deep breath, and reached up to feel my hair, thinking I was going to come in contact with sticky, nasty bird crap. Oh, no. This felt a little slimier, a little less revolting. Since I was walking under some balconies where people were already celebrating the Fourth, I thought, oh hey, maybe it's just someone sloshing beer over the side of his cup. I wish.
I pulled my hand away, took a peek and it was SALIVA! Some drunkass had spit off of the balcony onto an innocent bystander! Oh, HELL, no. I stopped, yanked my ear buds out and whipped around, looking up to the windows for the offender. The offender who, of course, had oh-so-conveniently disappeared into his apartment. So I stood there in the middle of the sidewalk as everyone else filed past me to get to the bar. I stood for a good three minutes staring up with an expression of "seriously?" on my face. And no one peeked back out. He (maybe she? I'm doubting it though) sensed I was ready for a fight. Psh. Coward.
After I composed myself and put my best pissed-off-and-determined face on, I cranked up Ciara's "Goodies" and set off down the street. I was busy brooding and thinking of the choice words I could have used when suddenly... out of nowhere... before I could stop it...
I started LAUGHING. Like full-on cracking up at myself. OK, yes it was gross and I'm a little worried about the nastiness that is probably breeding in hair as we speak (and I'm not even a germaphobe!). And I almost (almost, people) think bird crap would have been better because at least it wouldn't have been such a seemingly offensive and mean-spirited act. And YEAH, I think it was an extremely immature thing to do, especially because I've seen the people that live in those apartments and they are grown men. But in spite of all this --and myself -- I had to laugh. I'm even laughing as I think of it now.
But I'm also thinking of how I'm about ready to try out my new shampoo. You know, do a little lather, rinse, repeat. And repeat. And repeat and repeat and repeat...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dating (dun dun dun...)

So last night I was talking to a guy friend of mine. Both being recent grads out in the real world, we were discussing how different it is to date now that we aren't in school. First of all, it's a lot harder to meet people. You don't have classes that force you to talk to random people on a daily basis and being heavily involved in clubs and organizations isn't quite the norm anymore. I've joined the alumni group here, but it's not like there are events ALL the time. You're also friends with the people you actually want to be friends with, not the 20,000 others with whom you were thrown into the protective academic bubble. This is good of course, but, personally, my group of friends in the city is limited, so the chances of meeting an interesting guy that I don't already know through one of my friends? Slim, at best. (Somehow, though, I really have a knack for introducing friends who live happily ever after while staying completely single myself...)
Oh, and meeting guys randomly? I've been here six months and it hasn't really worked out yet. Guys at bars? Ick. We talk. I think they're interested. They might even get my number. Then they suddenly realize that I am not going home with them and BAM, conversation is o-v-e-r faster than I can say, "it was nice to meet you!" Which is fine, because after that disgusting move, I have changed my mind. No, sir, it was NOT nice to meet you. I could have had a more enjoyable night reorganizing my underwear drawer. The contents of which, by the way, you will never, ever, ever see, you overgrown frat boy. So there. Hmph.
My mom (oh wise woman that she is) thinks I will meet the man of my dreams at a Starbucks or the library. I mean, that makes sense because I do love reading and coffee and I do spend a great deal of time at such establishments. However, I would rather not meet dates at these places. Why? Overcaffeinated, literary boys who write poetry and wear smaller jeans than I do. I'm stereotyping here. I'm well aware of this. But THAT is what makes me nervous about meeting persons of the opposite sex while drinking coffee and perusing the contemporary fiction section.
And if anyone even mentions that I could meet someone at the gym, I will invite you to come work out with me, just so you will understand that this is not an option. The guys at my gym are either gay (duh, I'm like a mile from Boystown) or too busy frolicking past the mirror to check themselves out. Either way, no one is looking at me. And thank God. I may look decent when I enter the gym (I like to think I can pull off the sport look well) but do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- expect me to look even halfway decent after a bout on the treadmill. I'm pretty sure I sweat more than the guys (and whether that is because I sweat a lot since I run pretty hard or because the guys only do like 5 minutes of cardio to warm up for their 3.5 hour strength training session, I don't know). Would you like to see my sports bra? Just give me 40 minutes to get my blood pumping and I'm sure it'll show up through my t-shirt. Mmmm... I know. I am definitely not a girly girl when I'm at the gym (OK, well, to be honest, I'm never a girly girl, but especially not at the gym). In conclusion, I will probably not meet my next boyfriend during a workout.
OK, so onto the discussion that inspired this piece to begin with. After talking about meeting people, we were just joking around about looks of the people we meet. For some reason, I'm always curious about what guys think of things that I'm not even sure they notice. Like makeup or shoes. This particular evening, I was joking around that it was my hair that was hindering my love life. [Sidenote: I have this wavy hair that can either look really beachy/wild/sexy or sort of crazy/homeless/unbrushed. At least in my opinion. And it probably doesn't help that, come summer, I don't bother with drying it like, ever.] His response? (which had nothing to do with hair, btw) "No, you don't date because you aren't trying to." Excuse me?!? Not trying? I haven't seriously dated in a few years and I think it's about time I do, so I was shocked that he said this! I was always fun and outgoing in college and I was never at a loss for compliments (OK, that came out reeeeally wrong... the point is that I wasn't a troll who never got out, OK!?!?)
But then... but then... I actually thought about it. How does one actually try to date? I want to date, but besides going out on weekends and trying to get involved in groups, how do I take the initiative? I don't have much else to say on this, other than, I need help! Anyone out there have any ideas? I need to learn how to date again! I feel like a divorcee who's figuring it all out again. Except I'm 23. And I've never been married. Or had a super serious boyfriend because I end up being heartless and roll my eyes when boys want to talk about feelings. Yep, I definitely need some help. So... help!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cool Stuff I Get to Do Because I Live in Chicago

I'm going to be completely honest with you here. I'm not always totally crazy about living in Chicago -- only because it's still the Midwest and well, I was trying reeeeaaallly hard to get out after graduation. And I really still want to live on the East Coast and maybe even down South before I finally settle down. And because all we're known for in the Midwest is auto factories and farms (odd, now that I think about it). And because no one considers it a mecca of culture or class. And because those on the coasts expect us to be fat and slightly ignorant, driving only tractors or made-in-the-USA cars. That's all.

OK, with all of that said, I truly think Chicago is awesome in its own right. Especially when I let myself forget that I'm living in a state named Illinois. Anyway...this city is so vibrant and full of culture and is really the best of the Midwest (besides Ann Arbor, of course. My heart will always belong to you, city of my alma mater!). Proving that point, this weekend I had the chance to partake in a little bit of big city life when I attended the Gay Pride Parade! I was a women's studies major at liberal Umich, but I never really got too involved in the LGBT stuff. I like to think I'm fairly open-minded and, at school, I did have LGBT friends/acquaintances but because the issues never directly affected me, I kind of took on a "meh" attitude. Kind of a "live and let live, but that's about it." Selfish. Naive. Whatever you want to call it. Anyway, not saying I'm going to go all activist on you, but I now have a greater appreciation for other people's lifestyles. And the HUGE turnout of the parade as well as the awesome amount of participation from all walks of life from Chicago really had an impact on me.

I actually had no one to go with but I went by myself because a) This was a once a year opportunity, b) It was a chance to be a part of something going on across the country, and c) It was LITERALLY outside my window. No, really. RIGHT OUTSIDE my second-floor, crappy, above-a-neon-sign-that-keeps-me-awake-at-night window. Much to my chagrin (most of the time), I live on the main drag (ha, sorry, no pun intended... you'll get it when you see some of the pictures...). But in this case, living on one of Chicago's busiest streets was awesome! I not only got to see the whole parade when I walked down the street, but I was able to see everyone getting their floats ready before the festivities from my living room table (the parade actually started a few blocks up from me).
So, without further ado -- pictures!

The news was there, of course!

One of the many crazy, awesome floats in the parade.

I wish I could upload the video from phone --these dancers were amazing!

Do you get my terrible pun from earlier now?

This made everyone standing around me cheer!

Everyone there had so much SPIRIT!

(What's that? You think I should stop with the jokes?)

Another group of awesome dancers from a community organization.


United Methodists, Lutherans.....



...every faith was showing its support!

There was just something so perfect about this.

Hot boys who couldn't be interested in me if they tried... Sigh.

I took quite a few pictures of this one when the parade was stopped for about half an hour. How can you not love it?

Loved it.

These nice ladies saw me documenting the parade in the rain and called me over to give me flowers from their float! I was smiling all day from the amazing vibes from everyone there.

HA. Nothing more to say.

I have SO many more pictures, but this one just says it all: