Friday, March 31, 2006

Mental Health Day

Okay, okay.....

I've been wanting to post, but a) internet connection at new place is sketchy and b) work has been too busy for blogging. So now I am at Starbucks, frantically trying to get some last minute research done for a paper I have to turn in on Monday night and I am finally going to post an update of sorts.

Our New Place - Although it's a mess right now, I think it will come along in the next few weeks. Well, it has to since we are hosting a bachelorette party in 3 weeks! We still need our dining table & chairs, and we are going to buy a couch this weekend. I took the day off from work today (I desperately needed a Mental Health Day) so I was also around for the Gas guy and the Comcast Duo to come and get us up and running. We went the entire week without heat or hot water. Ouch. Thank god we all have other places to shower (gym, boyfriend's apartment). There are still boxes all over the place, but none of us have really been home much during the week to get anything done.

Crush - Last Friday, the night before we moved, I had a going-away party for a coworker. What started as some cocktails after work turned into all-night drinking. No dinner, lots of shots. Which means I was a sloppy drunk. And I was sloppy around the crush. Oops. So who knows what that means.....I'm trying not to concern myself with it right now.

Other Guy - Yes, there is someone other than the crush in my life right now. I've been holding out on you (just for a little over a week). We went out last week for some coffee & sweet treats at my favorite bakery Sweet Mandy B's. And we had date #2 last night over sushi in the West Loop. The weirdest thing about it is that he lives just two streets over from my new apartment. And how did we meet? That is another post week, I promise! But so far, so good. He's cute, very kind, and a Sopranos fan. I have yet to find a reason NOT to see him again. And seeing as I haven't dated anyone in a very long time, I'm a little nervous/somewhat excited about it. He's gone for the weekend, but we'll see what happens....And it's a great way for me to not obsess over my secret boyfriend.

Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my day off! Hopefully our internet will be up and running smoothly soon so I can be a better blogger!

Friday, March 24, 2006

From Trixies to Hipsters

Ahh, the joys of living the apartment life: landlords fixing stuff, little to no committment. Unfortunately, the lack of permanence means renters have to move frequently, which can be a pain. We are moving tomorrow, to a completely new neighborhood, and I am a little nervous. It's quite an adjustment we are making, moving about two miles from where we currently reside. This might not sound far to non-city dwellers, but in City of Chicago terms, that's equivalent to about 20 miles. We are moving further away from some of our friends. Right now, the day before the move, I am having mixed feelings about the situation.

Things I will miss about my old place:
1. My bedroom - I love, love, love my room. At first, I thought it was kind of small and claustrophobic, but I grew to love it. I had a great view and got afternoon sun, which was great on the weekends when I was just lying in bed watching tv. It was the right size and, although the window faced a busy street and was noisy some nights, I adored it.

2. The lady at the cleaners - Everytime I went to the cleaners by my apartment, I was told how pretty my eyes were or how nice I looked. Who wouldn't miss that?

3. Proximity to the lake - We lived right near the lakshore which was absolutely wonderful come summertime. Sure, we could really only enjoy it 3 months of the year, but it was still nice. And we could even see the blue waters of Lake Michigan from our living room window.

4. Favorite dining - I grew to love a strip of restaurants near our apartment, which included a cheap and tasty pasta place, a crepe restaurant, a greasy grill that made some hangover-curing french fries, and a cute little Mexican place that serves up a mean veggie burrito. Sadly, I doubt any of them will deliver all the way to our new 'hood. But I'm pretty sure we'll find some substitutes.

5. Landmark Century Cinema - My favorite place to see movies! It was just a few blocks away from our apartment, so I could walk there whenever I wanted to drop $9 to see a great indie/foreign film. I'll still be able to go there after I move, but it will take a little more planning due to public transportation.

What I won't miss:
1. Riding the bus - Horribly slow and infrequent buses that I had to take to get to work or most anywhere else I wanted to go. We were too far from the El to consider it an option year-round, so we relied on the bus. Or at least we tried to rely on the bus.

2. No dishwasher - I hate not having one.

3. Loud radiators - These are why central air was invented.

4. Riding the elevator - So slow. So annoying when riding with people who insist on taking the elevator to the 2nd floor rather than walking their lazy asses up the stairs.

5. The rude women working at the front desk - Enough said.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Crush Update (or I have become 14 again)

Work and moving have taken priority in my life these past few days. I haven't time for schoolwork, let alone blogging.

But I thought I should update you on my secret boyfriend.

During the past four days, I've seen him quite infrequently. Pre-crush, I never thought about how little (or how much) I saw him during the day. Now I notice. My friend, who works for the secret boyfriend, sits right near him. Usually I stop by her desk a few times each day. I've been more nervous about going over there lately. She'll IM me, asking me to stop by because she has a question and, before I walk the 50 feet, I stop to freshen up and make sure I look cute.

I'm a dork.

Even so, I really haven't had any interaction with him all week. Today, just before he left for a client meeting (damn, he'll be out of the office tomorrow), I enjoyed a brief flirtation. BRIEF.

I am back in high school again.

What has made the situation so strange is that I can't say anything to anyone. Especially my friend. It's her boss who is my secret boyfriend. And I know that she would be shocked if I told her I had a crush on him.

Fortunately, my upcoming move on Saturday will keep me (somewhat) distracted.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I was long overdue

Everyone knows the anxious/excited feelings that accompany a new crush. There is the nervousness about when you will see him/her. Will you be prepared or will you get flustered? When you talk to him/her, will you trip over your words or sound cool and collected? Should you flirt or play it cool? How interested should you be in him/her? Can you tell if they are interested in you? And what does the future hold for you and the crush?

I love having an early phase crush. This a crush of the type I described above. It's a crush that hasn't been too developed so there is still some mystery and excitement surrounding all crush encounters. When a crush goes bad, then it just becomes a painful reminder of what you can't have. That's the latter phase crush, the one you know is not interested in you. It becomes even worse if he/she knows about your crush, but does not have the same level of interest.

So yeah, I'm in the early phase now. For the most part, it's a good thing. It's a terrific distraction, one I've been needing to get my mind off other boys who are bad for me. And it's fun thinking about the 'What ifs' of the crush. It's been about two years since my last crush and I definitely needed one.

But it's also a very weird thing. This guy isn't my usual type. He's a Seth Cohen to a point: lanky, similar clothing style, same musical interests, and an overall charming geekiness. But he doesn't look like my type (dark hair, handsome in an academic/artsy way). He's got kind of crazy hair, which he recently buzzed off, and he's just sorta goofy.

Oh, and we work together.

In fact, he's my close friend's supervisor.

This is not only my first crush in a long time, it's also my first official workplace crush. I don't know what to do or how to act. The crush came on slowly and I wasn't sure how to react. Then last week, we hung out at some after-work parties and both drank a bit too much. We were the only two left standing and, from what I can pull out of my fuzzy memory, we got a little touchy-flirty.


Fortunately, he was out the following day. And so today was the first time I had to confront the workplace crush post drunk-flirting. And I didn't see him once. Even though we sit about 60 feet away from each other, our paths managed not to cross.

He did send an IM in the morning and, I won't lie, I got the butterfly/nervous/excited flutter in my stomach as soon as I saw his message.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Chicago celebrates this holiday for about eight days. Since I grew up here, I just assumed that everyone nationwide celebrated St. Patrick's Day with the gusto that we Chicagoans do. After speaking with some of my friends from other places, however, I realize that this is not the case. Many people are not wearing green today. Multiple people have asked me what Erin Go Bragh means because they have never heard the phrase before. My friend Stacey had no idea that McDonald's made Shamrock Shakes for the holiday. Is it really possible that people elsewhere don't go bonkers on March 17th? I can understand not having parades or dying the river green, but the idea of not getting a Shamrock Shake or going out for corned beef & cabbage (a family tradition growing up) just puzzles me.

Surprisingly, I don't think I'll be going out to celebrate tonight. I know, I know. It's March 17th in Chicago. I should be indulging in a Guinness in whichever Irish-themed bar I find. But I've got an all-day St Patty's Party tomorrow beginning at 9am (complete with 4 or 5 kegs of green beer), and I know that if I want to be in drinking shape I'd better take it easy tonight.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lighten Up

Not so sad today (aside from that whole impending dentist visit). During my luncheon today, I won a $100 gift certificate to 1154 Lill. And Starbucks gave me a free coffee. And You Tube is quite possibly my favorite reason to love the internet.

Please enjoy this video from the Reunion episode of Project Runway Season 2. My roommate and I were walking down Lincoln Park West singing this and dancing, despite the gusting winds and super cold temperatures.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On the bright side, I had two free meals today

I just got really sad.

Possible reasons for sudden onset of sadness:
1) I'm tired, or at least my body should be tired.

2) Work was no fun today. I got yelled at by someone. There are few things that feel worse than being made to feel like a complete idiot when you're at work.

3) Moving is stressful.

4) My roommate is driving me insane. I keep thinking, only one and half more weeks with her, but her voice right now is like nails on a chalkboard. Sharp, sharp nails.

5) I have to get a cavity filled tomorrow.

6) There is a paper deadline looming. There are many social events looming. I'm having difficulty prioritizing.

7) I still haven't found something to truly make me happy.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Chicago Cupcake Update

For those of you in the Chicagoland area jonesing for your fix of a NYC cupcake, head over to Sweet Mandy B's in Lincoln Park. So far, this is the winner of my cupcake search. Very cute little place (and it smelled so good in there), and I will definitely be making a return trip some day. Better than Magnolia since a)cupcakes were only $1.50, b) there were more varieties of cupcakes to choose from, and c) I didn't have to wait more than three minutes.

However, now that I am moving away from this area, I will crown my 2nd choice of the cupcake challenge: Alliance Bakery & Cafe. This is actually just down the street from my new apartment (which could be deadly).

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fuhgeddabout It

After waiting approximately eighteen months, I am eagerly anticipating the first episode the new (and sadly, final) season of The Sopranos. I've been catching up on the past episodes HBO has been airing since December, but nothing beats something new.

Actually, I am pretty excited about the rest of my Sunday. I woke up and headed straight over to a coffee shop by my apartment so I could get some school work done. Once I go home, I'm off to continue my quest to find a great Chicago cupcake. Today's destination is Sweet Mandy B's. I've heard some great things from a trusted cupcake connoisseur- my friend Stacey who, like me, spent some time living in New York and longs for a Magnolia/Buttercup substitute in the Windy City. And apparently the cupcakes at Sweet Mandy B's are only $1.50. I'll have to let you know if this one meets my expectations.

Following a trip for cupcakes (I'm running to the bakery to negate the calories), I think I'll pop in my newest Netflix rental and relax until 8 pm, when Tony & Carmella find their way to my TV.

(What all this laziness equates to is NOT packing. Yes, we are moving in 2-3 weeks. No, I am not going to start packing yet.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spring has not spring (or, We only have two seasons in Chicago)

This is why I hate Chicago.

Today it is a balmy 60 degrees. Though rainy, it is still pleasant outside. I didn't shiver in the early morning cold while waiting for the bus. My coat was unnecessary when walking from the gym to work this morning. I'm wearing a skirt, but I don't fear an evening chill when I leave the office for dinner and theater tonight.

The gloves, scarves, and hats have all been removed. Everyone on the streets has opted for lighter coats and are actually visible without all the winter accoutrements. Chicagoans are thinking about baseball, the lake, outdoor happy hours, and flip flops.

But true Chicagoans know that with these early Springlike days come late Wintry days. Many of the worst snowfalls I remember have occurred after February. What makes them especially painful is their timing. Once March rolls around, we in the Windy City start crossing our fingers, not even saying the "s" word for fear that we'll jinx ourselves and remain in the artic freeze. And since this Winter has been quite mild, it would be entirely appropriate for Mother Nature to dump a few feet of that stuff on us.

Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to my weekend of 60-degree springtime weather, which will only be followed by a blizzard.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Upside of Irritation

Thanks to Sizzle's reference to Daily Om, I decided to check it out for myself. Not only do I receive a daily horoscope, but I've also subscribed to the Daily Om newsletter which provides articles on living a more spiritual/enlightened life.

It's making me think, something that doesn't usually happen with a daily e-newsletter.

I've already told you, I'm irritated easily. I like control, and having control over my surroundings. Most of the time, my irritation stems from being completely unable to control the environment (such as people talking during a movie or my roommates leaving three days' worth of dirty dishes in the sink). Today's article "The Upside of Irritation" reminds us that desiring such control is egotistical (duh). However, learning from irritation and building one's patience is necessary for spiritual development.

"The more we try to eliminate annoyances, instead of learning to handle them gracefully, the further we get from developing the qualities that come with spiritual growth, such as patience, tolerance, and acceptance."
I'm going to make the best of those daily annoyances whether they are at work, on the bus, in my apartment, or in the Starbucks line. I would like to think I can become more tolerant, more accepting of those people for whom I currently have little to no patience. This is the beginning of my journey on the path to spiritual enlightenment...I hope.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Piggybacking is okay with me

When we originally set up our internet service over a year ago, we did not opt for wireless in our apartment. We only had one computer, a desktop, and wireless seemed like an unnecessary extra. But in August, when I bought my iBook, I feared that I wouldn't get to use it at home. Would I have to go to Starbucks for some Wi-Fi access? Would I still need to use my roommate's computer which sits atop a mini child's desk?

My fears disappeared when I realized I could tap into unprotected wireless networks in my building. Most of the networks were password protected, but a few were open and almost always available. The signals were best in my bedroom so I did most of my computing from there, occasionally trying out the couch when I needed a change of scenery. In a high-rise like mine, getting into these networks was relatively easy. And it's not stealing per se since the "owners" can still use their service, even when I'm on. (Apparently, some people don't agree with me.)

However, I have been having trouble getting a signal the past few days. I'm afraid one of my open networks has moved out of the building, leaving me high and dry with my computer. Meaning: more infrequent blogging. In the meantime, ff I can get away with it at work, I will. And once we move in April, I vow to actually purchase wireless internet so I don't have to deal with these elusive connections.

Friday, March 03, 2006

apologies & joaquin


I feel as though I have neglected you recently. My posts have been insubstantial and infrequent. I apologize. Life has been exhausting and unpredictable recently, and it has caused my blogging to go by the wayside. I feel like there are so many things I need to tell you and I've been holding back. Don't be offended; this has happened with my best friend before. So much so that we developed JETT (Jill Erin Talk Time) which is our opportunity to just talk about anything because we will go a few weeks without really saying anything to each other. This weekend I've got very minimal plans, just a few birthdays to celebrate. Meaning I will be able to devote my attention to you.


p.s. This photo of Joaquin from Vanity Fair is now tacked on the wall next to my head at work. It's getting me through the long days. I recommend this practice to anyone spending too much time at work.