Saturday, December 31, 2005

Can I just sleep through midnight?

New Year's Eve is at the top of my Overrated list. Every year, I become concerned about what I will be doing in the hours leading up to midnight, and every year whatever plans I've made turn out to be pathetic. This year was no different. My roommates didn't want to think about plans and were just waiting for some cheap (aka free) option to drop into their laps. I had an offer for a party at a Lincoln Park bar, $80 for food, drink, and some music. One of FFG's roommates was organizing a large group to go to the bar. And I thought, why not? I didn't know what my roommates were planning and was afraid they might want to go to Indy (god forbid). The day after I committed my credit card to the bar, Jill told me her boyfriend was planning on having a party. Damn! This meant that they would not be joining me at the bar and I would not be able to convince them to do so. Also meaning that I was basically going to a NYE party by myself where I knew FFG would be.

I didn't really want to go to Jill's boyfriend's party, but the options were limited. I saw myself showing up at the bar feeling awkwardly alone and paying way too much attention to FFG. What if is quasi-girlfriend was there too? Even worse, I'd be trying to pretend it didn't bother me while I got hammered with fellow alums that I didn't even like. So I called the bar, got a refund, and am going to the low key party. I'm happy with this decision and proud that I am not following FFG around. I'm trying to keep my distance from him, at least when possible. And since I haven't talked to him or seen him since our early morning encounter on the bus, I'm doing pretty well. The last thing I need to do is get drunk and worry about who I'm going to kiss at midnight with him around.

This is like an early start on my Resolutions.

Friday, December 30, 2005

A book review and some blubbering about my mom

Within 24 hours, I finished Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live. This is what I like to do on my vacation (aside from going to the movies) - read. A lot. Depending on the book or the writing style, I can get through a 250-300 pager in a day or two. Chuck Klosterman is an easy read. It was the same with Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs. His writing is direct and all about pop culture so his books are more like long-form Spin articles than nonfiction works. And since I am someone who relates much of my life to pop culture, I am right there with him through every obscure musical reference or TV show.

I would like to sit down and have a conversation with him some time.

ANYWAY, the book's premise is that Klosterman will travel around the country visiting the places where famous musicians have died. He will try and understand what it is about dying that makes artists become even more famous - or at least known. Not to ruin the book for those of you who haven't read it, but musical death takes a backseat when Klosterman is alone in his rental car, thinking about the women in his life. The women all relate to music in some way, but this book is more about relationships than rock stars dying.

I liked it.

For me, the most relevant passage came toward the very end. I would like to quote the entire thing, but that would a) take up too much space and time and b) probably be plagiarism. So I will try and split it up into something that still gets at the very meaning of what he is saying (this is page 232 for those of you who have a copy):

"We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime...But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you'll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there's still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition...This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people...[they] are not inherently different than anyone else, and they're often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really want to love someone. But that person still wins...Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else."

I say that this passage is relevant because I've been doing a lot of thinking about relationships, love (or what I thought was love), and other assorted items. I mentioned that I was feeling emotional over the past weekend, and I'm still feeling that way. There are those people, the few important ones that you meet in your life, that have this hold over you. Sometimes they disappear for awhile and you don't realize just how much they mean. Or maybe they are around often, but then you have a moment or two with them that changes everything because you see how special they are in your life. I think my mother is a perfect example. She's around all the time. I love my mother and we are very close. But it is over the past year that I've realized how sad I would be if she wasn't here. On Christmas Eve I had a dream that she died. I woke up in tears. Even writing about it now, I can feel myself about to cry. Just hours before falling asleep that night, my mom told me that she came home the night of her birthday and started crying. Because of my generous gift. Because she loves me. Because I am her only daughter, only child, and closest friend.

I promise I will get back to the nonfamily related emotions soon....

Thursday, December 29, 2005

On the state of movie audiences these days

The contents of my purse reflect what I've been doing on my Christmas vacation: my green wallet slightly fatter with money (the only gift I get these days), sunglasses in the case of sunshine on the city streets, mangled receipts, ticket stubs, and a half-eaten package of Reese's Pieces.

These last two items result from the four separate trips I've made to movie theaters this week. Since I moved to the city, I find myself going to the movies far less than when I lived at home. Mostly because the Chicago theaters are not very convenient (unlike in Manhattan), and because my mom is usually the person who accompanies me to the movies. Generally my theater attendance spikes during the holidays. Since I have over a week off, it's no surprise that I've been making frequent trips to Chicagoland cineplexes. Each of the movies I've seen has been quite different from the others, as have the audiences at these films.

I've noted before that talking or general rudeness in movies is one of my biggest pet peeves. In fact, it is the biggest. I cannot tolerate the cell phones, the talking, the bringing children to movies where children do not belong. I am reminded of a viewing of Talk to Her in New York where some patron had found it appropriate to bring their infant. Beyond irritating.

What follows is a summary of each audience, from worst to best.

Syriana: I wanted to enjoy this film. I was excited to see it. However, it was very difficult to follow and to understand because this elderly couple would NOT SHUT UP. They were sitting right behind us. I shushed them once and the effect of my shushing lasted only about 10 minutes. Elderly people in movies usually irritate me. Probably more so than children. First, they pay less for their tickets. So here I am, paying $2 more for a movie where I have to listen to them repeat every other word because they can't hear. Secondly, if they can't hear or see the movie (as was the case for this specific couple) rent the movie and watch it in your own home. Don't ruin it for the rest of us.

Chronicles of Narnia: Okay, this is a kids movie. Despite being a 9:10 pm showing, there were quite a few kids in the theater. Understood. No complaints about that. And I wasn't all that into seeing the movie in the first place so a little talking wasn't going to ruin it. However, the kids in the row behind me kept getting up (probably for popcorn and pop refills) and they kept pulling my hair when they did so. And the guy next to me was sprawled out like he was in his living room. Please observe the boundaries of your seat, sir.

Memoirs of a Geisha: I would have expected it to be worse. The day after Christmas. Packed theater. People stepping over each other to find a seat. A high concentration of individuals over the age of 55. But my movie experience was fine. In general, the audience was not chatty and I only heard one cell phone ring (the woman was sitting next to me). There were some ignorant people behind me (they didn't realize the movie took place in Japan and referred to the setting as China, even after the Japanese flag was shown), but I really didn't get annoyed.

Breakfast on Pluto: I'm going to make a generalization here - Audiences at artsy movie theaters tend to be better behaved. Note that there was that idiot who brought his/her baby to a Spanish film. But I think that most people who go to see indie/arty/nonmainstream films are going because they really want to see the movie. As a result, they observe theater etiquette and make for a highly enjoyable movie-watching experience. In fact, the theater was small (only seven rows) so it was a cozy audience; it was as if I was watching with a good group of friends.

Note: Two of these films included Liam Neeson, but in very different roles. A talking lion king one day and a sexually active Irish priest another. Talk about range.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


This was one of the only times I've gone home and didn't mind being there. I would have stayed another day or two if I hadn't planned on coming back this evening. But when I packed my bag on Saturday morning, I assumed I would be ready to leave within four days. I usually am.

My parents have been "having problems" since 1997. Eight, almost nine years. That time has changed me; I've become harder, more cynical, and more fearful of my own future. I've grown cooler toward my father, once the man I so longed to be near at all times. My mother and I have grown close, sometimes so close that she relies on me as a confidante in matters that should not concern a daughter.

According to my grandmother recently, I was "born old". I think most only children grow up quickly. You find yourself among adults often, mimicking them and putting on so that you might appear to be one of them sooner than you should. You may become close to one or both of your parents since they have no other children on whom they can depend. You have to be responsible because there is no older sibling there to look after you and no one younger for you to place blame. And when your parents fight, you are stuck in the middle. The child becomes the messenger, shuttling questions or demands between mother and father. You become an ally to one parent, and you are then used in negotiations and power plays. Or you find yourself drifting to one parent's side because it looks like the "right" place to be.

Having problems at home changed my attitude about being there. I was more reluctant to have friends over at our house during high school and college. Few of my college friends have even been to my house. And only a handful of my closest friends really understand what is going on between my parents. Sometimes I am embarrassed. Or angry. Or jealous of my friends' parents. It has made me not want to go home, to stay in my sorority house or at my apartment rather than visit my parents. People tend to see me as someone who dislikes or doesn't believe in the meaning of family. Holidays are not anticipated. Because I don't elaborate, my friends just think I'm a Scrooge.

I wish that I could look forward to visits home or Christmas at my grandparents' house. I wish I could feel the same adoration for my father that I did as a child. I wish that my mom didn't turn to me for guidance. But as I get older and these problems evolve instead of disappear, I've managed to make the best of it. I enjoyed my time at home this year because I didn't let myself worry or become sad over how strange the situation is. Instead, I spent hours baking with my mom on Saturday and laughing with my family on Sunday. I went to the movies twice with my mom and, as the only grandchild on my mom's side, I made sure to spend time with my grandma.

I kept feeling myself get emotional this weekend, tears welling up at unexpected times. Some of these feeling probably have nothing to do with my family, but I'm confident that some of the tears meant that I was just happy to have them around.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What a Neat Day

It was a balmy 37 in Chicago today, and I was given permission to leave at 1:30 to begin my week and a half long vacation. It's like being in school again.

Two of my college friends got engaged this week. That's two more to add to the list of friends who are (or will be) lawfully attached to their significant others. I've had four friends get married this year alone. No wonder I'm thinking about contingency plans. Besides, I have to see my grandmother this weekend and she is notorious for asking me why I don't have a boyfriend.

So I spent my unexpected afternoon off at home reading, watching old episodes of Felicity (I miss that show!), and munching on Christmas cookies. I did have a mini-breakdown about forty minutes ago. After talking to Max about watching movies (he was getting ready to settle down with Truffaut), I was in the mood for a movie myself. I decided on one of my favorites which, after putting it in the DVD player, it wouldn't play. I continued pressing eject for a few minutes with no result. Fortunately, I relied on the tried and true technique of unplugging and replugging in the malfunctioning appliance. And hooray! Woody Allen was on screen and I was on the couch.

This makes me want to barf. I don't do cute.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Overheard in Chicago

I wish the Windy City had a site of its own. Since we don't, I'll post what I hear.

Homeless Man: Season's Greetings! I don't do drugs! Help the homeless!

-Wabash & Wacker

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Carver Unmasked

My jaw is still unhinged from watching the 2 hour finale of Nip/Tuck. I watched the final 40 minutes of the episode in the fetal position, gaping at what was probably the most intense season finale I've ever seen.

I love this show.

By the way, I'm pretty much the best daughter ever. Just ask my mom.

p.s. I would like to add that I was not pleased with the "surprise" of Quentin being the Carver (obvious!). However, TV shows rarely make me curl up and clutch my fleece throw in front of my face. Thumbs up for freaking me out. Now just 2 more months until The Sopranos.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Set-Ups and the Single Girl

"Are you dating anyone?"


"Would you want to get set-up?"

Twice in one week this has been asked. Both times I gave a sort of shoulder shrug, "Sure, I guess so" response.

Do I want to be set-up?

One of the people who asked me saw my non-committal response and inquired further, wondering if I had had a bad experience. Not really, I told her. Which is true. I've only been set-up once and it didn't really go anywhere. So it's not past problems that are making me hesitant.

Getting set up would probably be a good idea these days. I am convinced that if I meet someone anytime soon, it will be through a friend of a friend. I don't expect to meet anyone at a bar, and I'm not forward enough when I go out to really make any sort of random encounter work. My roommate met her current boyfriend this way, but I doubt it would happen to me.

Aforementioned friend's boyfriend is the other person who asked me about a set-up. I think I am even less inclined toward meeting one of his friends for various reasons. I like Dan, but he's not the kind of guy I would go for. Nor are his friends. Not that I don't like them; I just can't see myself dating any one of them. He introduced me to one of his friend's over Labor Day weekend and, after talking to him for awhile at a party, I wasn't really upset that our future consisted of a few missed calls and nothing more. Dan suggested another friend, Joe, whom he thought I might like. He then asked Jill her thoughts on the set-up.

Jill looked at Dan as if he were crazy.

And here is the problem with the set-up. Someone thinks that you and his/her friend would make a great couple. You aren't sure why they think so, but you go ahead and meet the friend. It's a disaster. Your mutual acquaintance must not really know either of you very well. Or the basis for the set-up is some kind of vague reasoning, like you both majored in the same subject or you're both funny. This is not enough to sustain a relationship or even just a few dates.

So I am hesitant about being set-up. But I'm not saying no because these days I don't have much else to fall back on.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My room

This is what I wake up to everyday.

My Sunday was full of pizza, football, the Mafia on the History Channel, and The Nutcracker. I am ready to call it a night after freezing my ass of on Michigan Avenue trying to get a cab.

I love my bed. I love my room. These photos are from the photo shoot I had with my bedroom when I woke up today. It just looked so pretty with the sunlight sneaking in between the blinds.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cabin Fever

In the summertime, Chicago is a magnificent city. I find myself wanting to spend every minute possible outside: basking in sunshine, smelling the summertime smells (even the not so great BO on public transport), and dining/drinking on the plentiful restaurant patios. Once those open up in April, Chicagoans will sit outdoors even if they have to wrap up in a sweater or a fleece. That's what winter does to us.

During the summer, I catch myself wanting to go out ALL the time. Weekdays and weekends. Happy Hours and All Night Events. Seems like there was always something to do either with my friends or my coworkers. Baseball games become the best excuse to go have a few drinks. My friends and I would take careful note of the weekday bar specials and head out for cheap beers and appetizers, rather than cooking for ourselves and watching reruns at our apartment. Besides, it was summer and we wanted to enjoy it before the snow came crashing in on us.

What I notice about winter is that I never want to leave. Even the simplest errands become immense obstacles when faced with temperatures hovering below 20 degrees and snowy slush covering the sidewalks. I have become the biggest couch potato over the past month, which is something I strive NOT to be. It irritated me whenever I saw my roommates just lying around the apartment watching those awful Road Rules/Real World Challenge marathons, moving only to make some popcorn. Even if I don't really have much to do, I force myself to get out and move around. Leaving the apartment becomes a necessity. Staying away from the couch and the TV is a rule.

But when I had my wisdom teeth out a month ago, I got used to being lazy. I got used to finding something to watch on one of our 205 channels. I (finally) got my Chicago Public Library card so that I can read for free. I started to really like waking up without a headache on the weekends, and being able to start my day around 10 instead of 1. My daytime productivity increased in direct relation to my nighttime laziness.

I've started to think that I've become a lame girl lately. The partying has been drastically reduced and I usually stay in at least one night a weekend. But then I think about going outside, spending time looking for cabs while my feet freeze in the curb slush or holding my hands under my armpits for warmth. And of course I am wearing a lighter-than-I-should-have-on coat since I don't want to wear my lovely white winter coat to the bar and risk spilling and cigarette smell. None of that sounds quite as appealing as relaxing on our pink couch, watching one of my favorite films while my roommate bakes cookies (and lets me have samples of her work). Besides, I'll make up for all my lameness once April rolls around.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Now & Then

Today is one of my good friend's birthdays. We met the first day of college as she lived at the opposite end of the hall from me. Within a matter of days she became one of my closest friends and by the end of our first semester, she was my most trusted confidante. We aired the skeletons in our closets to one another, and she knew more about me than even my best friend from home.

I cannot believe that was five years ago. The other night, while trying to get to sleep, I realized that this decade is halfway over. In just 17 days, 2006 will arrive. And as I was lying in bed, I started to think about what has changed and what has stayed the same in my life since 2000.

In those five years I started and finished college. The 18-year-old Erin was far different than the 23-year-old version. That girl didn't care much about designer jeans or saving for retirement. She wore black pants whenever she went out (never jeans) with her chunky-heeled black Steve Madden boots. She often drank a lot in an attempt to get attention from boys. She was obsessed with her friends on her floor. They listened to 80s hair bands and rap music constantly. This Erin had no restrictions in her diet and couldn't imagine giving up meat. She used a phone card to make long distance calls from the cordless phone in her dorm room. She talked to her high school friends and family members primarily on the internet.

Few of Erin's friends had laptops. Erin, her roommate, and most of the girls on their floor had desktop computers. She drank a lot of Dr. Pepper and ate frozen yogurt from the cafeteria regularly. A Makeover Story was a regular TV show for these girls. Otherwise, they didn't watch much television. Her worries were minimal. Rush and schoolwork were the bulk of Erin's concerns. She also worried about maintaining her friendships with her high school friends. When she came home on breaks, Erin always got together with her friends to hang out in someone's basement, drinking beer purchased with a fake ID or by an older sibling.

Today, I have far more material concerns. My appearance is even more important now than it was at 18. I'm two/three sizes smaller than I was back then. I don't eat meat. I exercise regularly. I drink Diet Coke. I wish I could still eat frozen yogurt everyday. I still drink, but not with the intensity that I did back then (most likely because I don't have to sneak around with my booze). Technology has all but taken over my life. From the moment I leave my apartment, I am tuned into my iPod or on my work computer or watching TV or chatting on IM or using my cellphone or updating my blog or sharing photos with my digital camera. I watch more TV today than I have since high school. I don't know what I would do without my wireless laptop or my cellphone.

I worry about bills and money and, I hate to admit, finding the man I will marry. I think a lot about my future: career, relationships, financial stability. My family life is still screwy. My parents haven't resolved the issues that were driving them apart back then and, as I did in 2000, I cherish the fact that I don't permanently live at home and can leave when I want to. I have maintained my relationships with those HS friends (I live with my best friend from home), but now I worry about keeping in touch with those friends from the early days of college. I speak with few of them regularly.

It's funny thinking about the time that has passed, the changes that have taken place. If only because it inevitably leads to thinking about the changes to come; my lifestyle and my priorities will be entirely different on the eve of 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cuckoo For Grape Nuts

I got my first blogging shout out today. Thanks TS!

Had my Econ final tonight, which followed a long afternoon of watching children's' cereal commercials. I can't say that I'm excited to see more tomorrow. Many of these ads are the same ones I remember seeing as a kid, and I still think most of this cereal looks disgusting. I wasn't big on the sugary cereals; my preference ran more toward Frosted Mini-Wheats than Cookie Crisp. And I can't see myself purchasing many of these cereals as a mother.

More later. Time to sleep. Need a night of adequate rest before getting up to go to the gym in the snow tomorrow morning.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I am an easily irritated person. I've been thinking about blogging on my pet peeves, and each time I think about doing so, I start rattling off more and more things that bother me. Not sure what this says about me.

(I think most people would say I am an accommodating person. It's not like I want everything my way all the time, even if I was raised an only child.)

1. Incorrect grammar
This results from living with an English teacher my entire life. I'm not saying that my grasp on the English language is perfect, but there are just too many people out there speaking and writing incorrectly. No, you are not real tired, you are really tired. Spelling is lumped into this one. I'm naturally a good speller. But I know some people aren't quite as talented. That's why spell check was invented. Use it. And for those tricky buggers like "their", "there", and "they're" - if you're 25 and have a college degree, you should know which one to use.

2. Leaving all the lights on when you leave a room.
Waste of electricity.

3. Not pushing in chairs, completely closing drawers/cabinets.
Just pure laziness.

4. People who clearly see you running for the elevator, but don't attempt to hold the door.

5. Loud cell phone conversations on public transportation.
Don't get me started on this one......

6. Talking during a movie.
This should be a LAW. I also once saw a person text messaging during a movie. Appalling.

7. When parents allow their children to run rampant in stores or restaurants. Or airplanes.
Pay attention to your child. That is why you wanted him/her. I don't want your child. I don't care about your child. Please keep them from bothering me while I am shopping, eating, or traveling.

8. People who don't know the slightest thing about current events or geography.
I'm not asking for everyone to know the capital of Iceland or the current debate circulating around campaign finance reform. But not knowing that West Virginia is a state or that Dick Cheney is our Vice President is just plain ignorant.

9. Walkers who do not keep to the right side of the walking/running/bike trail.
This is especially annoying when said walkers stretch out across the whole trail so that it becomes impossible to pass them.

10. People who jump in front of you to get on the bus, but then have to count out their fare in change.
I have a Chicago Card. Wave it and I'm on. Why must you, slow change counter, cut in front of me?

11. When someone finishes food, but then neglects to throw away the package (ex: cereal, bread, crackers).

12. Taking up two parking spots.
I don't drive much anymore, but this one always irked me. Another auto pet peeve: not using a turn signal.

Holiday Spirit

I've spent the majority of my 3-day weekend in our apartment with my roommate Jenn. Both of us took the day off on Friday (she was "sick", I just had extra time to take before the end of the year), and our other roommate's been out of town since she came home from work Friday evening. So the two of us have been hanging out together, only leaving for take-out food or a quick trip to the grocery store. I've been spending my time watching movies (I finally saw ET!), starting & finishing a book (Cash by Johnny Cash), and catching up on whatever else has been on TV (SNL, a Mafia series). I went out for a bit on Friday with Leslie & C, who I hadn't seen since Leslie's party. Despite Leslie's anxiety over any potential weirdness, there was none whatsoever.

Jenn's been baking. Sugar cookies cut out in candy canes, stockings, and stars. Peanut butter-Kiss cookies. Rice Krispie treats. Puppy Chow. The kitchen counter has been filled with these goodies, as well as jars of sprinkles, cinnamon candies, and chocolate chips. My will power has gone into overdrive.

All of this baking makes me wish I was going home earlier than Christmas Eve. Because it only takes 40 minutes for me to get from my apartment to my parents' house, I don't plan to spend a lot of time traveling home for the holidays unlike my friends who are not from Chicago. Even though I have a week and a half off at the holidays, I hadn't planned on spending most of it at home. I see myself wanting to come back to the city as soon as possible (both my roommates will be back, and Jill has all that time off too). But back to the baking.....

My mom and I used to bake at Christmastime every year. Maybe not every year, but when I look back I don't remember the years we didn't make cookies. As it happens whenever my mom embarks on a project, she went overboard on the baking. There were armies of sugar cookies on our kitchen table and counters: snowmen, gingerbread men, stars, trees, ornaments. We branched out into macaroons, chocolate wine balls, and truffles too (just last year we made the truffles and they were SO good). At first, I was responsible only for cutting out the shapes and decorating with the cinnamon dots or sprinkles. I took great pride in my cookie-decorating. Mom and I would spend hours and hours of a weekend or two just baking up a storm in the kitchen. I always got to lick the spoon or the mixers, and my dad would appear every so often to steal a freshly baked cookie or a piece of dough. Mom would scold him and later we would appease him by giving him the messed up cookies (or the ones I dropped on the floor).

My father loves Christmas music so there's a good chance he was playing it throughout the house while we baked. Every year on Christmas Day he made tapes of Christmas music on the radio, which he would then play for years to come. Once he finally had a CD player, I bought him some holiday CDs so he could replace the tapes. But every year those damn tapes make an appearance.

My mother and I are not so much into the Christmas music. I can take it once in awhile: just a few days before the holiday, on the holiday, or during a party. But the incessant playing of holiday music that begins around Thanksgiving drives me insane. So while we baked, Mom and I usually had the TV on, where we would watch movies like Holiday Inn or White Christmas in between rolling out dough or exchanging trays in the oven.

I was glad that my mom wanted to make the truffles last year. There's been a sharp decline in our holiday baking over the years, and we've received complaints from the family members. The truffles might not have equaled the sugar cookies, but the time I spent with my mom was just as sweet. So now, as I watch Jenn make trays of cookies, I wish that I would be spending more time at home so that Mom and I could do the same. Maybe I will have her prepare some recipes so that we can go into full baking mode when I come home on the 24th.

When I was with my mom over Thanksgiving, she regretted that we didn't have any holiday "traditions". Maybe that's why neither of us gets excited about the holidays; we keep in our minds the memories of family fights or obligations and neglect to think about the weekends spent making cookies or watching classic musicals. Because as I think about this kind of quality time I had at home, I get more excited about being there in a few weeks.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wacky Thursday

Things that weirded me out today:

- New Coke product: Coca Cola Blak, which is coffee flavored.
This could be good. Could be revolting.

- New Reality Show: Black. White. This six part documentary style series takes the idea "walk a mile in my shoes" and makes it a reality: an African American family with the use of makeup is made to appear Caucasian; and takes a Caucasian family and makes them appear African American. They then live together under the same roof for six weeks. Ice Cube is one of the producers.

- New Nominees: Ying Yang Twins nominated for a Grammy.
They must be struggling to come up with rap artists worthy of nominations. But, seriously, who's going to beat Kanye?

It's snowing a lot outside. A lot. Got to leave early because of the snow. Am glad that I have the day off tomorrow. Although I did want to get some things done and with all this crap on the ground, I don't know if that will be feasible. Grr. My days off from work are all about getting things accomplished. I will feel really frustrated if I can't be productive.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Baby Got Back

Not gonna lie, I've been checking out my ass all day.

Maybe it was my jeans or maybe I'm just having a good butt day.

But when I finally got home from work, I was in love with myself half-naked in my full-length mirror.

7 & 7

I am being forced to stay at work for a reason, although that reason has not been given to me. I also have no formal tasks or projects, so I am wandering around the internet and playing games on my computer while listening to Launchcast radio. I saw this on another blog and, since today is the 7th, it seems appropriate.

7 Things I want to do before I die:
1. Travel to Greece
2. Appreciate my family more (or just the idea of family)
3. Learn how to save money (or, better yet, invest it)
4. Publish something I've written
5. Volunteer regularly
6. Own a home
7. Grow old with the person I love

7 things I cannot do:
1. Do a French braid
2. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages
3. Cartwheels
4. Unwrap a Jolly Rancher with my tongue
5. Drink dark rum
6. Run long distances
7. Whistle loudly (the kind you do with your fingers in your mouth)

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. Intelligence
2. Witty & clever sense of humor
3. A nice, full head of hair
4. Taste in music, film, books (this is specific to what I like. Call me shallow, but these things matter)
5. Being taller than me
6. Dark hair/features (please see celebrity crushes below)
7. The way he looks at me

7 things I say most often:
1. It doesn't matter to me...
2. And I go...
3. Thanks Buy Owner
4. Def (short for definitely)
5. Holla
6. Let me know...
7. If ellipses were a word, they would be my most used....

7 Celebrity Crushes:
The new one - Joaquin Phoenix
The traditional one - Brad Pitt
The "if I was forty years older" one - Paul Newman
The sexy surgeon - Julian McMahon
The goofy one - Ashton Kutcher
The New Yorker - Chris Noth
The dark chocolate one - Taye Diggs

7 people I want to do this
I don't think I have seven blogging friends, but if anyone wants to be like me and make their own lists, have fun.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's Tuesday....

I was flipping through my journal over the weekend and realized I haven't written in it since early August. I guess this blog has sort of replaced my personal journal writing. And I'm not sure what that means.

Chicago is experiencing one of its coldest Decembers in history. It is ferociously cold outside. Highs around 14 degrees. Wind chills making it feel like less than zero. And it is in this weather that I am forced to wait for the bus. I'm suing the CTA if I get frostbite this winter.

One of the reasons I don't like this time of year is that it becomes so busy. And unlike the summertime, when life is just as busy, it is far more difficult and/or annoying to meet all of the obligations when it is 11 degrees and it takes over five minutes just to wrap yourself in enough warm articles of clothing to venture outside. There are just too many parties and events (it seems that the majority of my friends and family were born between December 1st and February 28th).

I haven't been able to sleep lately. Last night I couldn't get to bed and I wasn't even feeling drowsy. I turned out the light around 10:45 and was still awake by 1. Yet I managed to drag myself out of bed to go to the gym this morning. I'm a slave to my routine, I guess.

At least work has become sort of busy this week. More tedious than busy, but I'll take anything over the boredom I was experiencing over the past few weeks. Lots of numbers and time spent with Excel, but this comes on the heels of having my first ever performance review at a job. I feel like I should be hanging it on the refrigerator. The review was completed by my old group, and it made me feel like I really accomplished something with them. And it's always reassuring to hear that you are missed.

I'm getting anxious about New Year's, which is (in my humble opinion) the most irritating holiday of the year. So much emphasis put on such an insignificant date. Yet every year I have to worry about what I will be doing, how I will be spending this overrated night on the town. And seeing as my friends don't get their shit together in advance, I am often without plans until the 29th, or even the 31st.

I've read a lot of incoherent posts lately. It must be the weather. I apologize.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Staying In

Yesterday was my company's annual party. It's an all-day celebration. And by all-day, I mean 11 hours. Most people arrive at the office earlier for the party, than for a typical workday. I didn't think I had that much to drink and when I left the party around 6:30 last night, I was feeling decent for having been drinking as long as I had. But a dinner of vegetable pad thai left me feeling less than great. By the time I left Leslie and climbed out of the cab at the intersection near my building, I was about ready to call it a night. I stumbled in (neither of roommates were home yet) and, within 10 minutes I was climbing into bed. My stomach was heavy and I felt nauseous. It wasn't even 9 pm, but I knew that I would be getting sick at some point during the night.

So that's why I'm lying on the raspberry couch, having just finished watching Closer. I threw up 9 times last night into this morning. I didn't manage to get out of bed until almost 2, when I made a trip to Walgreen's for Gatorade and saltines. I've spent the remainder of the day lying in my bed or on the couch. I've watched about 4 movies. It's been great (aside from the whole vomiting thing).

I had invites to four different parties tonight, but didn't make it to one. My roommates tried to convince me to come out tonight, but my stomach was still tumbling and I couldn't imagine cleaning myself up and going out. I don't mind, though. I like a night all to myself spent relaxing in front of the TV. I can hear the cars honking just out the window and I can see the light covering of snow on the sidewalk. I know it's cold out there too, another reason for staying in. It's actually quite stifling in our apartment (we have no control over the heat - the joy of radiators).

It's about time to find something new to watch.