Saturday, August 11, 2007

I've Moved!

I jumped on the WordPress bandwagon, so you can now find me here:

http://pbandrazz.wordpress.com/

Please be sure to update your links!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

the hotel life

For those of you who travel all the time, you probably hate it. Waiting on planes. Screwed up reservations. Living out of a suitcase. Eating weird food because you don't really know where to go for a decent meal. Being away from home.

But me? I love traveling on business. I love being away from the normal routine once in awhile, getting to stay at a hotel where (hopefully) everything is clean and someone cleans up after me. Where I can expense everything. And drive a car. Since I don't travel for work all that often, I probably romanticize it more than I should. But honestly, I've just gotten home from 2 days of being out of town and I am hardcore missing the gigantic, white, king-sized sleep number bed with 5 pillows (I love my bed, but it is nowhere as good as the one in the hotel). I took full advantage of the bed's size, sprawling across it as I slept and using every single one of those five pillows. I'm missing the freezing cold AC in my room because my apartment is super warm and my roommates get cold so easily and compromise is a bitch sometimes. Or how about a bathroom where everything was cleaned for me, and my toiletries were arranged so nicely on the counter?

I couldn't do it all the time, living out of hotels and constantly traveling. I know that it would wear on me, that the romantic would wear away and I would just be frustrated when my room wasn't ready or my plane was delayed overnight (to be honest, I drive when I go see my clients which I far prefer).

Maybe we just need a maid.

Monday, August 06, 2007

lolla 07

After last year's fest, I didn't think it could get any better. And when this year's line-up was first released, I had mixed feelings. Sure, there were some artists I couldn't wait to see (Lupe Fiasco), some I wasn't sure what to think (Daft Punk), and quite a few I had never even heard of (!!!). So I was moderately excited about it.

The excitement grew the week before the festival, even after I started remembering how much walking back and forth and back and forth across the dusty fields I would be doing. And the heat - the forecast was predicting mid 90s temps all weekend. So I braced myself for a long and tiring weekend....and somehow it managed to be SO much better than 2006.

Preview
First of all, I bought my ticket back in the Spring when they first went onsale. $150 was tough to swallow, but seeing as I would get quite a lot for my money (last year Kanye was worth every penny that I paid for the weekend), I went ahead and bought one. Then, just a week before the concert, I got a free ticket through work. So I wound up selling one of them, making some money back before I spent it all on water, beer, and wine in little plastic cooler bottles.

To top it off, just two days before the festival, I was invited to a private VIP party being held at The Underground. Dubbed the Official VIP Launch Party of Lollapalooza, the party was crazy and the most perfect way to start my weekend. Free drinks all night. Mickey Avalon (Time Out Chicago called him the "walking casualty of Hollywood" - perfect), Satellite Party, and Danny Masterson spinning. This was actually my introduction to Mickey Avalon (I didn't know much about him until Friday when I just had to find out more) and I was shocked when Simon Rex appeared on stage. This is a man I used to swoon over when he was on MTV and now he looked like he had just climbed out of a gutter (he raps by the name of Dirt Nasty). We moved up toward the stage for Satellite Party (of course this is one night I don't bring my camera), and we were close enough to see the glitter on Perry Farrell's face. The highlight of the performance was when he looked straight at my friend and I and said "What's up bitches?" (he then said this over and over again to a number of other people). I absolutely loved it. After the performance, we danced. And danced. I introduced myself to Billy Dec. My friend and I had a chat with Danny Masterson (aka DJ Momjeans). And then at 3, we went home.

Friday
I took the day off on Friday for the concert so I was able to sleep in after our very late night. How could I be so tired when the weekend was just starting? But as soon as I arrived at Grant Park, my spirits rose. My energy returned. And since I had access to the private MTV cabana on Friday, I escaped the heat and chilled out all afternoon. The cabanas were awesome (free food, drink, decent bathrooms, comfortable seating, shade). Located on the side of the main stage, we were able to catch a lot of the acts there, as well as hear the bands on the nearby MySpace stage. In fact, we didn't want to leave no matter who was playing. How could we? The one time we ventured out of the cabana, we immediately wanted to go back. All in all, I caught Jack's Mannequin, m.o.e., G Love, The Rapture, Satellite Party (round 2 but much further away this time), LCD Soundsystem, and Daft Punk. Wow.

Daft Punk was incredible. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren't, check this out.


Saturday
My day didn't really begin until 3:30 when Rhymefest went on stage, so I hung out with my roommate and checked out a few bands with her. Tapes n Tapes were pretty good, as was Acqeduct. During the latter's set was one of my favorite moments from the weekend. About halfway through the set, they announced what every band coming through Chicago should do: cover an R. Kelly song. Next came the most rocking version of "I'm a Flirt" that I think I'll ever hear. Totally random. Rhymefest was great, although the sound was kind of funky at his set. I wandered off toward the end to check out The Roots nearby (good, but a little too much jamming for me). At this point, I rounded up all of the friends I needed to find and we made our way across the park for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Now I'm not too familiar with them, but I loved how crazy this whole set was. Karen O was so over the top like any good rock star should be.

By the time this show was over, it was beginning to rain. My friends and I chilled in the middle of the field and listened to Spoon while slowly getting very wet. Since we were planning on leaving early to get to the Double Door for a show featuring Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Chin Up Chin Up, and The Ponys, we just left even earlier so we could clean up before heading out again. It was my first time at the Double Door (and went for the second time the following night). Chin Up Chin Up opened and I fell instantly in love with the keyboardist whom I later introduced myself to. My friends and I then made our way super close for Ted Leo which was a non-stop set from which I, and many others around me, emerged totally hot & sweaty. (I cooled myself off before meeting the aforementioned keyboardist).

Sunday
Knowing that I would be out late on Saturday night and that I wanted to be at Lolla around 1pm on Sunday, I set my alarm Saturday afternoon. I managed to get there around 1, making my way to the AT&T stage an hour before Lupe Fiasco, my main attraction, went on. If tehre was any artist I couldn't wait to see, it was Lupe. And I thought that it woulnd't be too crowded that early so I'd get a great spot. WRONG. Lupe just happened to be on the same stage as Pearl Jam (who weren't playing until 8), and all of these diehard Pearl Jam fans were camped out in the front. ANNOYING. It was clear that the majority of these people had no idea who Lupe was, and those of us that were there to see him were somewhat annoyed. Despite this, I managed to wedge myself up about 10 rows back from the front surrounded by a bunch of lame dudes who couldn't have cared less about this set. Boo. At one point, they even started mocking Lupe which angered me even more. Since it was early and I hadn't been drinking, I chose not to say anything to them. Instead, I just enjoyed the show even more: dancing, jumping, waving my arms, and bumping into them as much as possible. It was disappointing in that the show was great, Lupe was great...but the crowd was less than (at least in the front where I was). Still....I loved it.


I didn't really have anyone else I was dying to see that afternoon so after getting a veggie burger and checking out the Kidz stage, I met up with my roommate for some Iggy Pop (crazy shit), Peter Bjorn & John (sound problems which allowed me to hear !!! for a few songs), Modest Mouse (ehh), TV on the Radio (enjoyed), and then Pearl Jam.

Pearl Jam was pretty damn good. I've never been a huge fan, although I knew more songs than I thought I did from back in the days of junior high & flannel shirts. My roommate and I danced around like crazy, enjoying the fireworks that went off during "Evenflow". This was a much better scene than last year during crazy ass Red Hot Chili Peppers, where I got caught in a mix of crowd surfers who kept falling on my friends and I. Again, we left early (9:30ish) to make it over to the Double Door (I am now friends with the bouncer there which is probably a good thing) for another show (Los Campesinos and Peter Bjorn & John). Not too familiar with these bands beforehand, but heard great things about both from my roommate. Both bands were great with the small crowd, like when Peter and Bjorn jumped into the crowd at the front for their finale, playing among their fans.

Monday
Dead tired. Sore. Probably a little dirty too. But it was totally worth it.

The best thing about festivals like this is discovering new bands. There are so many artists who I fell in love with during the weekend and have been downloading already. My iPod is definitely needing a refresh.

Saturday, August 04, 2007



I'm at Lollapalooza this weekend! Will post a weekend recap Sunday/Monday!


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I want to peel my eyes out

That is how tired I am. Exhausted from two late nights (1am Monday and midnight on Tuesday). Then I forced myself out of bed at 6 this morning to go to they gym despite how tired I felt (and how much I just wanted to stay in bed forever). The entire day was spent at work wishing I had a couch hidden away somewhere for a little 2pm nap. And then since it's busy season and I've been leaving work around 6 for fun/drinking/lots of food, I made myself stay until 9:45 tonight.

Ugh.

I need some rest before this weekend....Lollapalooza is going to wear me out.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

it was only monday

How does this happen? One minute it's "just dinner and drinks with a rep. I'll be home at a reasonable hour so that I can get up at 6 to go to the gym." The next minute I've had one too many appletinis and it's 1am.

Yes, I said appletinis.

Which is why I got up in a hurry, threw on a the first black dress I could find, and scooted my way to work in a hangover haze only so that I could grab a bagel at Cosi before my 9:15 meeting. Ouch.

The final appletini was purchased by one of the Phillies coaches. Totally appropriate that I would be going to the Cubs vs. Phillies game tonight, right?


Sunday, July 29, 2007

BlogHer 07 and Christian Bale

At least half of that title should have intrigued you....

After attending BlogHer 07 on Friday, all I wanted to do was come home and pimp my blog (as well as read other blogs by people I had met - I earned quite the collection of business cards by the end of the day). Unfortunately, I had plans for Friday night so that pimping hasn't quite happened yet. But seriously, seeing all of these female bloggers so passionate about what they write and read and share was tremendous. Everyone was on their laptop all day (I felt like a loser because I didn't bring mine), updating their blog with photos from the event and posts about the meetings. There was excitement around meeting other bloggers who they only knew from their posts and maybe a picture or two. All in all, it was pretty damn cool (in a totally geeky way).

So as I begin to think about pimping my blog, I ask all of you using WordPress - do you like it better than Blogger? I'm thinking of making a switch.

Now for some totally unrelated discussion....

My plans Friday night consisted of going to a friend's place for dinner and wine. There were 5 of us devouring the homemade eggplant parmigiana, salad, garlic bread, and delicious chocolate-peanut buttery-cool whipped dessert. Lots of wine. We just talked about whatever crossed our minds and since we didn't all know each other very well, there was a lot that we could really talk about. Of course, with 5 ladies in their mid-twenties the conversation drifted toward marriage and weddings and being a mom (yes, one of those evenings). My friend Les provided even more details around her own wedding, which is important since I will be in it, but a little premature since there is no ring on her finger...yet. All of the marriage and He's The One talk got me thinking as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. I realized that I am totally ready for a nice, serious relationship. That is really all I want. The scary thing is, I don't necessarily want to be in that mindset when I meet someone. It might be a bit disconcerting for any man if I approach him with, "Hi, I am just looking for a guy to begin a really serious relationship with. Interested?" So I will just keep moving along, hoping that something can turn into a little something more.

And now that I have a crush on someone (ahh....I hate having a crush), I am thinking about it even more, in terms of a specific somebody. This crush happens to be work-related (aren't they all?), although he doesn't actually work in my office. However, we do work together, if that makes sense.

Speaking of crushes...I am watching Batman Begins right now and, wow, I love Christian Bale (I am also a huge Batman fan in general). He's been in Chicago filming the new Batman move, The Dark Knight," and I have been just wishing I could get a glimpse of him running around my city. Which is why when we were talking about meeting celebrities at work and my boss drops that he "was at Ben Pao recently and saw Christian Bale", I almost had a heart attack. In fact, I leaned over clutching my chest and dropped my jaw as far open as it could go. Wha? Really? Christian Bale was at Ben Pao? That's just a few blocks from my office. And I can afford to eat there. So not fair.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

hump day recap

The way this week has been, it should be Friday by now. All of my plans to blog about the rude & bitchy coworker who yelled at me on Monday, my recent decision to record everything I eat (apparently I am not the only one), and my growing hatred of the CTA were squashed by the week I've had.

Lately it seems like I can't get half of my to-do list done while I am work. Monday was no exception. I ran around to meetings all day, trying to respond to emails during the brief moments I was at my desk. Since I was going to the White Sox game that night, I knew I wouldn't be able to stay past 6 so I had to get my shit done. Yeah right. So I was frazzled when I left, but more than that I was angry. If there is one thing I hate, it's getting yelled at at work. Especially via email. When it's verbal, you can forget the words you heard. You can forget someone telling you how awful you are. But an email can be read over and over and over again. You keep reading about your failure, imagining the tone the person was using when they wrote it. It's awful.

Let me back up....this co-worker is someone I have worked with in various capacities for over a year and a half. And I have never liked her. Once in awhile she is friendly to me, but that's about once every six months. I am not alone in my dislike for her. In fact, I know more people who don't like her than those who do. I've been working with her a lot lately, so she has been grating more and more on my nerves. Which is why when she sent me this nasty email (and copied my director), I clenched my hands into fists and began breathing very deeply. After a few minutes of glaring at my computer screen, I drafted a sweet email back to her apologizing for what I had apparently done wrong. What made it all better was that my director (who was copied on the entire chain of emails) told me he thought the whole thing was "retarded". Nice.

So I was going to blog about that on Monday night, but then after the game, it took my roommate and I an hour and a half to get home from US Cellular Field. Seriously? It shouldn't take more than 40 minutes. But all this Slow Zone Elimination stuff is making everything worse, at least until September (if you don't know what I'm talking about, be thankful).

Tuesday was, like any other week, awful. Meeting after meeting. Email after email. Urgent requests. Messed up situations. And I knew this was coming; I anticipated a crazy day and decided I should come in to work early (especially because we had a softball game after work). But I have no control over the CTA, and my 15-20 min commute turned into 60 minutes. I almost passed out on the damn train, it was so hot and crowded. When I finally got to work, I had to take my top layer off because I was sweating so much. Gross. The day continued to be a typical Tuesday, followed by a softball game where I actually contributed to one of the eight runs we scored (which resulted in us winning). And then I was more than ready to go to the bar after the game and the day I'd had....so no posting.

In fact, I came home and just felt gross from the waffle fries and grilled cheese and three Miller Lites I had indulged in at the bar. I didn't have much choice given the vegetarian-friendly menu options. So I sucked it up and determined that this would be my gross meal of the week. Because I have finally gotten serious again about eating smarter.

In general, I eat well. But I have two bad habits: snacking and portion control. I love snacking. Especially snacks like chocolate and cookies and generally bad junk food. And when I have food in front of me, I like to eat all of it, even if it's an obscenely large portion. Which is why, despite my morning workouts, I feel gross. I've gained some weight in the past two years, enough to make me want to make some changes. On Monday, I signed up on My Calorie Counter, a free service where you can keep a food journal and track your progress. This is exactly what I need. I know that I am disciplined enough to maintain something like this (a food journal, albeit handwritten, was how I lost weight the first time). My will power is strong: I gave up meat for no reason and 5 years later, I'm still meat-free. I gave up pop/soda for New Year's this year and haven't had a sip throughout 2007. If I want to eat smarter, eat less, and record what I'm eating, I will do it.

I finally had the chance to post tonight because it's the only night this week I didn't have plans (which is why I was at work until 7:30...and that's another post altogether). I probably won't post again until the weekend as I've got another busy day and a work party on the beach tomorrow, and then I am going to the BlogHer conference on Friday (it's actually for work, but I'll be thinking as a blogger too). I'll let you know how it is and hopefully will come back with some tools to make PB&Razz even better (maybe posting a bit more regularly would be a good start, huh?)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

up so early

I don't think I've been up this early on the weekend (both Saturday & Sunday) in a long, long time. Both days I managed to get out of bed before 8 am. Perhaps this is normal for some of you (maybe for those crazy marathon runner types that I don't understand), but for me, it's quite rare. I don't sleep too late on the weekends (I usually get up around 9:30 or 10, but to be up this early two days in a row is strange.

Yes, there is a reason for early rising, at least on Saturday. In the spirit of all things summer, my friends had planned a canoe trip for the day and we had to be on the bus (a school bus...for 12 people) by 9am. I had to be at my friend's condo by 8:45. So I was up an hour before that, throwing clothes and towels in my bag and beer and ice in my cooler. The bus trip took about 2 hours; we started drinking around 10am. We floated down the Fox River for about 5 hours, stopping a few times on the way for pee breaks/food, and drank the entire time. There wasn't really much "canoeing" as we barely used our oars for anything other than splashing and pushing off of the ground or rocks. So the 7 mile trip took awhile, but we somehow managed to pack more than enough food & drink for the journey. Enough so that we even had beer for the bus ride back to Chicago. And it was probably not a good idea to continue drinking on the way back, but by this time, I wasn't really thinking clearly. I was dirty and tired and drunk....so why not keep drinking? By the time we got back to the city, I had this really great idea that I was going to go out after I showered and ate dinner. I'm not sure where I got this idea, but it didn't last long. I wound up at home, showered, eating a burrito, and realized that I wasn't going anywhere other than bed. I probably fell asleep around 8:45.

Which is why I woke up so early this morning. I'm not complaining. I managed to get my laundry done before 10am, and, in the spirit of all things Erin, I'm setting off on a little shopping trip for the day (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

advice to chicago tourists

If there is any place I hate most in Chicago, it's Navy Pier. For someone who really cannot stand the tourists in her city, this is the place she should stay away from. And, generally, I don't come here. In fact, tonight was only the 2nd time I'd been here in 3 years. I keep my distance.

If you've ever visited Chicago, especially for the first time, you may have been enticed to visit Navy Pier. Maybe you actually went to Navy Pier: rode the Ferris wheel, took a boat tour, ate some ice cream, and hopefully didn't buy any souvenirs (or souvies as I saw on one sign). If you are planning a trip to the Windy City any time soon, PLEASE don't go there. PLEASE. It's the smartest decision you'll ever make. Instead, travel on the El and visit some of the cool neighborhoods that are slightly off the beaten path. Or even walk around Michigan Avenue and go to the top of the Sears Tower. Just don't go to Navy Pier.

So...why was I there tonight?

My sorority alumni group (of which I am a board member and active dues payer - you can make fun of me starting now) had its July event at the Navy Pier beer garden. The beer garden really isn't so bad although it's not what I was expecting. It's picnic tables surrounding a stage where bands play nightly. There is food and there is beer (duh), but you have to go to a little stand and order it. I expected cute patio tables with umbrellas and wait staff serving drinks. Oh well. Unfortunately for our little group, it rained off and on today, especially as it got later in the evening and closer to the time of our event. No one showed up. Just my roommate (the president of our group) and I. So we left the beer garden as we felt the first signs of drizzle and headed inside to walk toward the front of Navy Pier (this thing is like a mile long, I swear) and find a cab. By the time we got to the front it was POURING and everyone was looking for a cab. So we decided to get some drinks and wait out the storm. But the bar choices at Navy Pier are poor (I think 75% of them sell t-shirts). So we found a place with shitty service, left, and found another place to drink a beer and hope that people would leave so we could get a cab.

In all of this finding of a bar, we probably walked around that damn pier 4 times. And it was hot. And we, like Clink, had to maneuver around heavyset Midwesterners who were more interested in leather goods and Haagen-Dazs to watch where they were going. And it was hot (all the large windows were closed due to the storm). Yuck.

So I repeat....if you are in Chicago, don't go to Navy Pier.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

so done

I was on such a roll of trying to post everyday, but I kinda struggled all weekend (I honestly had lots of things to post about but by the time I actually sat down at my computer, I didn't want to do a damn thing).

Is it really only Tuesday? Today was one of the longest effing days I've had in awhile. At 1pm, it felt like it should have been 5 already. I missed our work softball game because I wound up staying at work until 8, getting a salad from Potbelly's (probably not the best dinner option, but I didn't really know if there was food at home), and coming home to watch Rock of Love (and you thought Flavor of Love was crazy).

Wow...it's time for bed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

she's so hot...like a curry

Umm....have you watched Flight of the Conchords? I resisted at first because I didn't really need another show to get into. But to be honest, all I regularly watch these days are Big Love and Entourage (long live HBO). So last week after Entourage, I left the TV on and tried out Flight of the Conchords. A bit odd but, like many an odd show, I've watched all of the episodes now (4 in total) and am totally loving it.

Give it a shot...and I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

personalization :)

I'm a Yahoo Girl. I've never been one for Googling (my default is Y! Search at work, on my laptop there is a Google toolbar already there so I end up using it). But I love Yahoo. I love Mail and Food and News and Weather and Games and Health (I also work in digital media and am totally a nerd when it comes to this stuff). But as much as I loved everything Yahoo, I wasn't such a fan of their My Yahoo until Beta was unveiled.

If you use Yahoo and have a My page, update it. If you use Yahoo and don't have a My page, create one. It's such a better interface to use now, so much so that I only want to go to My Yahoo, not the homepage. I can keep up with blogs, news, sports, and horoscopes right there. And for those of you whose blogs I have not been keeping up with...I have enabled RSS feeds on my page so that I can see exactly when you updated. Hooray! (Not being a Googler meant not using Google Reader and I didn't really know a way to get RSS into Yahoo until yesterday).

Monday, July 09, 2007

il bel far niente (or the beauty of doing nothing)

Something about vacation really agreed with me. Walking to work today (ugh), I realized this is something I should do annually: take an entire week off of work and not go anywhere or do anything. It's rare that I just get to enjoy everything around me: the sunshine, my quiet apartment, sleeping in (which is 8:30 to me), the beach. Living stress-free. No deadlines. No meetings. No annoying phone calls.

While on my vacation I started a new book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I've been reading it slowly, just finishing the first third (the Eat part) last night. I think slowly is the way to read this book, to really just listen and enjoy. Gilbert writes a lot about pleasure in this book and, since I was on vacation, this rang so true to me. We so rarely stop to take pleasure in things around us, even if we are relaxing. Most of the time, I use my downtime to chill on the couch watching Making the Band 4 (yes, I love it) or read a book or stalk people on social networking sites. But Gilbert talks about pleasure in doing nothing and just being. And eating too. There is quite a bit of pleasure to be taken from eating. For example, on my vacation I ate Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Indian, American, Cajun, African, Southern, and Mexican (so it helps that Taste of Chicago was happening but still....I like food). I enjoyed my eating, for the most part, taking pleasure in it all. Usually, it's a quick sandwich at my desk while I check my email (not pleasurable).

I went to the gym because I wanted to (and because of all that eating pleasure). I walked a lot in the city because I wanted to. I went to the beach four times and just laid there doing nothing. I went to the MCA. I watched movies at home. I saw The Police at Wrigley Field. I shopped. I spent time with some of my favorite people. I spent time alone. I danced. I acted a bit foolish. I walked slowly to take in the summer. I walked quickly to avoid the tourists.

Which is why I didn't want to go back to work today. No matter how much I like my job, nothing compares to that feeling of having nothing to do. Of having an entire day to do with it what you please and to not feel obligated to do any one thing. Work, while enjoyable, is still an obligation. Which is why I'm going to maximize my time away from now on. Maximize my pleasure.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ouch

The worst thing about going to the beach alone is that you have no one to put sunscreen on your back. Which is why mine is a bit red today. Oops. The back of my legs are also a bit red, mostly because I did a poor job applying sunscreen to them so there are these blotches all over my thighs and calves. Sexy, I know.

So now, on Day 2 of my vacation, I don't know what to do with myself. I went on a walk this morning, then did laundry, but now what? Sit outside on the porch and read? I can't do that all day. Go to the beach and remain on my back the entire time? Hmmm....probably not the best idea. I just know that I need to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine while it's here (rain is in the forecast later today and tomorrow, and if I'm not at work for a change, I might as well be outdoors).

But aside from all my indecision, I am really liking this vacation thing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

summer break

Mmm.....it smells like vacation. Like a whole week with absolutely nothing to do. I haven't had one of these in awhile, especially where I can just totally zone out and ignore work (aside from the 10 minute conference call I just had). After this, no more checking email or talking about work until next Monday.

When I told people I was taking the whole week off, they all asked, "What are you doing? Are you going anywhere?". Nope, I am staying in Chicago (seriously, when it's summer in Chicago, why go anywhere else?). I am doing nothing except sleeping in, going to the beach, working out, and checking out Taste of Chicago (I went yesterday and the samosas at Zam-Zam are my fave thus far).

So now, I am cutting this post short so I can put on my suit and head to the beach.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

six months later


My apartment smells like a flower shop. Random flowers my roommate picked up at Jewel yesterday, my other roommate's bouquet from her sister's wedding, and two dozen roses from my parents. Because I graduated today!

I finished my MBA back in February, but the official ceremony was today. At first I wasn't sure that I wanted to participate, but I am glad I did it. Yet another cap & gown (and gold honor cords - to toot my own horn). The one thing I wasn't looking forward to was seeing A. If you recall, he and I met just over a year ago in class. When I got the text message from him back in April that he would be at graduation, I wasn't really surprised. I knew his mom was probably making him go through it. It had been over 6 months since we'd seen each other, which is weird since I see everyone in Chicago all the time. You would have thought that our paths would have crossed at some point by now.

The minute I walked into the check-in area, I saw him. Since we were both waiting in the A-F line, we waited together and caught up. We haven't really talked over the past few months, aside from some random texts and MySpace messages. It was good to see him, especially in that context. Limited time to talk, no drinking (so no Erin being stupid). And I didn't really know anyone else at graduation so it was nice having someone to hang out with.

I did get the chance to see his girlfriend (the one he started seeing before ending things with me). And this is not meant to be a catty comment, but she. is. not. cute. Seriously. Plain. Bleh. Nothing special. Probably just a bit shorter than me, not by much. Her style, from the outfit she was wearing today, was boring. Boo. All the while I was getting compliments on my sassy shoes.

So now it's weird since I saw him and am thinking about him just because I saw him. That's what I was least looking forward to, the feeling I would have after I saw him.

so you know when you see a guy and he's cute and you are kinda interested...then you look over a little while later and he's talking to that weirdo girl who is at the party and you can only think...well, i'm glad i didn't try my luck with that dude.

yeah, that was my saturday night.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I need to stop doing the following:

  • eating
  • going out multiple times during the week
  • drinking a lot of wine when I go out
  • saying dumb things when I go out
Seriously.....

Friday, June 15, 2007

summer friday


So I am wearing one of these trendy summer dresses that is somewhat loose and billowy. I love it because it doesn't cling (always a good thing). I hate it because that means I feel like I can just keep eating and no one can see my belly expand.


And speaking of bellies, I look sorta preggers in it too.


Time to get a frappucino!


(And despite the title of this post, I am not blogging because I got out of work early or anything....quite the contrary, I am very busy but no one is around and it is 90 and sunny outside and I just keep staring at the boats on the Chicago River wishing I could be out there.)

These are the shoes I wore today....it took me months to find a pair I liked.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sometimes I eat meals like I am camping.

Tonight: toasted PB&J and a s'more. And a glass of wine, which takes away the whole camping vibe.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

exhausted: a weekend recap

Is it pathetic that I've used this title before? Seriously, I've barely been able to move since I got home around 6 tonight.

Friday, after work, I came home to just do nothing. Knowing neither of my roommates would be home made it even more exciting to plan out an evening of food, TV, and sleeping. I picked up some wine on my way home, made some dinner, determined that I was craving ice cream, and went back to the convenience store where I'd bought the wine 90 minutes earlier and bought a tub of Ben & Jerry's.

(This was all a direct result of the week I'd had. Not only was I busy at work, I managed to go out twice during the week and stay out past 2 am (Tuesday til 2, Thursday til 3). Whoops. Being hungover two out of five days is pretty bad. There were a few wasted hours early on Wednesday and Friday. Ouch.)

I woke up early on Saturday ready to do something more with my day so I went for a long walk in my hood and then came home ready to head to the beach. It was a beautiful day and I could think of nothing better than spending it worshipping the sun. Since the novelty of my bike has not yet worn off, my plans were to ride to the beach (since that was part of the reason I really wanted the bike). Despite the fact that I almost died multiple times on the way (why are there no bike lanes on North Avenue?), it turned out to be a nice way to get to the lakefront. After I left the beach (a little red due to poor sunscreen application), I continued to ride down the lakefront to Grant Park, where I heard the slightest strains of blues from the festival going on.

Despite all my activity during the day, I was ready to go out and actually spend an evening outside. You see, I have a thing for summer festivals and knowing that there was one going on in Old Town, I couldn't not go - right? My roommate and I went for a few hours, capping off the night with some delicious Mexican food and then almost falling asleep on the way home. Lame, maybe, but I wasn't really up for much more than that. Especially since I knew Sunday was going to be another exhausting day. I met my mom at 11 to check out the Printers Row Book Fair (told you I like festivals) where we hunted for movie posters and books in the sun. Following a reading by Joyce Carol Oates, we decided to get some food and check out the Blues Fest. How have I never been there before? It was fantastic. Food, beer, blues on multiple stages. I was slightly disappointed that I only got to experience a few hours of the festival, but I am making plans to return next year.

After all of that (almost 8 hours of walking around today) I collapsed on the couch, ordered some BBQ (the blues put me in the mood, I guess), and watched -sigh- The Sopranos finale.

Oh, and there's a boy I have to tell you about...

Friday, June 01, 2007

my new wheels


This is my bike. I bought it last weekend after a few weeks of randomly checking craigslist for something I liked. This was the one. I wanted something used since it's not like I need a bike that is A) amazingly awesome or B) about to get stolen. She (I guess it's a she) is purple and black. She is ready to ride the streets of Chicago. I'm just not so sure that I am.

Following the bike purchase, I drove straight to Sports Authority where I picked up a helmet (safety first on these city streets), a bike lock (again, the stealing thing), and a backpack (I haven't owned one since 1999).

It's been almost one full week since I bought her, but I haven't taken her out yet. Admittedly, I am a bit nervous (maybe I should just take her around the block a bit at first), but I've also been consumed with weekend boozing, reading (Jesus Land - check it out), work, and work-related boozing. And Season 2 of 90210 just arrived. Thank goodness.

Friday, May 25, 2007

absolutely nothing

Finally! A 4-day weekend! I have been so effing burnt out by my job over the past month or two that this is like heaven! Four whole days without work! (To be honest, I did check my work email today but that was mostly to delete junk emails since I am recently ALWAYS at my mailbox quota limit.) What makes me even happier about this loooong weekend is that I have NO plans. None at all. The past two years I've had weddings out of town during Memorial Day, but this year...nothing.

So how did I spend my first day of bliss? I woke up around 9 and went on a 3-mile walk throughout my neighborhood (a fitness walk, not a stroll). While I was walking, I kept thinking about how I was going to spend the rest of my day: shopping, relaxing at home, something else? No one else was home and, because the weather was a bit dodgy earlier today, I chose to stay at home. And the thought of shopping in the Loop gave me a bit of anxiety...I didn't really want to deal with people and crowds. So I stayed home and read. For three hours. And finished the book I was reading (East of Eden - couldn't put it down). Which now means I will spend part of Day 2 going to the library to replenish my stack of books.

Post-reading, I took a walk through my neighborhood to the first certified organic bakery in the US (and the first all-organic restaurant in Chicago just opened yesterday in my neighborhood...so you can tell what kind of area I live in). I was in the mood for coffee and something sweet (as I usually am around 3pm even though I had just had a veggie burger around 2). Vegan chocolate chunk cookie? Delicious! I could only eat about half before I had to tell myself to stop and save some room for later.

And now...I am blogging. Because I actually have some free time. I'm not running around my office, hopping to different meetings or dealing with difficult people. I'm not frantically trying to put together a last-minute presentation for a client. I am just on my couch with nothing to do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

too much

The 2-hr season finale of Dancing With the Stars is almost over. I've been watching the show off and on this season, mostly because I just want to fall into something mindless when I get home at night. That's what I've needed lately...mindlessness. I like coming home and just being able to let everything melt away. The past week or so has just been overwhelming to say the least.

After my last post..

I went home to the suburbs to see my parents. I had planned to go home for Mother's Day, and I really had a great time just chilling out in the burbs. Even though being at home can be a little weird for me (yeah, if I haven't mentioned it before, the situation between my parents is odd). I spent all of Sunday with my mom and, after what had happened with Jill's dad, just spending time with her meant a lot (to both of us).

I spent more time in the burbs after that, probably more time in one week than in the past 6 months combined. Monday night a group of us went to dinner with Jill after her dad's wake. The following day was the funeral and burial service. And when I got home Tuesday night, I was just drained. It had been a long, emotional day. To top it off, work has been absolutely crazy lately. Not necessarily tons and tons of work, just a lot going on simultaneously. Even worse is that all of this work involves collaborating with some colleagues I'd rather not deal with.

This past weekend it was definitely time to let go. To relax. Friday night was drinks with friends. Saturday was my high school friend's wedding (in the burbs again) - lots of time spent in front of the DJ and the open bar. Sunday was yoga, a welcome period of relaxation after what had been and what was shaping up to be...overwhelming.

Friday, May 11, 2007

When I walked into my apartment, Jill was there on the couch talking to my other roommate. I took one look at her, outstretched my arms, and gave her the hug I had wanted to give her since 9:45 Thursday morning. We sat in our living room, letting Jill cry and be as sad as she wanted to be. We listened to her and tried to sympathize. I felt my eyes well up with tears a few times while we sat there; I couldn't even imagine how she was feeling. Anne and I bought her sushi and wine, and the three of us ate and talked until we could barely keep our eyes open. I felt better about having Jill stay at our apartment last night rather than letting her go back to the suburbs and stay at her parents' house.

It's weird to think that I will never see Jill's dad again. I knew him for 14 years. He was there when we had sleepovers at Jill's house or when we needed a ride to the movies. Last year he helped us move into our apartment and bought everyone pizza and champagne when we were done. The last time I saw him, in March, he looked like an entirely different person. Gone was the "Uncle Phil" I'd known so long. In his place was a thin, weak, frustrated man. I barely recognized him and I began to understand how this was wearing on Jill.

Part of the reason I think Jill is feeling better than expected is that she didn't want her dad to suffer anymore. She knew he was ready to go and her family needed to let go of the overwhelming sadness that had been hanging over them for 8 months. And while his death is sad, there is a relief that has come over Jill.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

loss

Last night I was enjoying the sunshine, warm weather, and company of my coworkers at our team kickball outing. Last night I was joking around, drinking beers and eating tortilla chips, having a great time with my friends from work. Last night my best friend's dad died.

In a way, I knew it was coming. He had been diagnosed with cancer eight months ago and, over the past few weeks, his condition had grown much worse. Just last week he was put into hospice care at the hospital where my own grandfather had died of the exact same type of cancer. My roommate sent an email in the middle of the night to a group of our friends. I read the email this morning at work and had to turn around at my desk so no one could see me crying. I didn't know what to do or what to say. How to react. Should I reply to her email? Should I call? I left her a voicemail with the sound of me choking back tears, telling her I would do anything she needed or be wherever she needed me. I called my mom, again trying not to cry as I left a message for her at work just to let her know. She called me a few hours later and we were both trying not to cry into the phone.

**Sorry, taking a break from posting because I am at work and about to start crying again and maybe it will be better if I finish this at home.**

Monday, May 07, 2007

no pictures, please.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

What I've been doing instead of posting to my blog:

  1. Attending multiple Happy Hours with co-workers where I say I will stay for no more than 2 hours and then am Last Man Standing.
  2. Attending birthday parties where it's $25 All You Can Drink and doing just that.
  3. Flirting. Whenever possible.
  4. Going to yoga every Sunday afternoon.
  5. Having men make rude comments/stare because I am wearing yoga pants which are tight and happen to stretch across my butt which happens to stick out a bit in the fashion of JLo.
  6. Watching Sox baseball. In person. Hooray for baseball and beer and US Cellular Field.
  7. Making deliciousness in the form of Chocolate Yummies.
  8. Watching The Sopranos.
  9. Watching Dancing With the Stars.
  10. Going to my new hip-hop dance class.
  11. Recovering from my new hip-hop dance class.
  12. Attending the ballet with my mom.
  13. Eating dinner with my friend Amy who is FINALLY back in Chicago.
  14. Feeling happy/lonely because I am the only one in my apartment most of the time (esp on Sundays).

But today...I've spent the past hour or so trying to catch up on all of your blogs. It's been great getting back to reading everything you all have to say (even Clink who writes so damn much I had a lot to catch up on but I love her posts so I didn't mind).

I will try to post regularly again...I don't know how some of you do it. (Oh, maybe you aren't getting hammered on tequila on Thursday night with your coworkers?)

books i've been reading while not posting or reading other blogs

Here are some great book recommendations from my past few weeks of literary indulgence:

She Got Up Off the Couch - Haven Kimmel (also recommended: A Girl Named Zippy)
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City - Nick Flynn
Citizen Vince - Jess Walter
Avoiding Prison & Other Noble Vacation Goals - Wendy Dale
Housekeeping vs The Dirt - Nick Hornby (which caused me to read the first 3 books on this list)

On Tuesday, my book club is restarting itself after a 1-year hiatus. This means crappy books chosen by my sorority sisters. I'll have to continue reading from my own list.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I think someone tried to "borrow" my most recent Netflix movie. The envelope was open so that the DVD could slide out.

I'm guessing the potential thief took one look at Ingmar Bergman and decided I should receive my movie after all.

I haven't read a blog or posted to my blog in weeks. Any number of excuses can be used for why I haven't been a good blogger lately: crazy days at work, my busy social life, or just being plain uninterested in blogging. What I have been doing a lot more of lately is reading, and maybe that was what I needed. Reading has put me back in touch with my desire to write, but I've just been diving into books (and films) lately, which means I don't really have time for a blog post or read.

You see, a typical day for me is: wake up, gym, work (with little time for distractions like reading blogs unless they are work related), work-related event or late night at work, arrive home tired, do nothing except watch TV or watch Netflix movie or read before going to bed. Blog reading usually fits into that after-work period, but lately I haven't had the interest (no offense). I've just wanted to do mindless things (like TV) or keep up with the great books I've been reading. Once I get started on a book, I just want to get right through it. The other time that I would use for blog reading was downtime at work. However, there hasn't been much downtime lately. And when I'm in a few minutes of it, I'm usually doing something mindless again. Blog posting and reading takes up just too much actual thought to be a random activity.

But I am back! I promise. I will start reading your blogs again. This weekend perhaps? Well, on Saturday because Sunday I am going to my first baseball game of the season (cannot wait - Go Sox!). So in between re-organizing my closet for spring/summer (because I think it is finally here), I will try to be online and see what all of you lovely bloggers have been doing lately.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I feel pretty. Oh, so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and broke.

Because I just shelled out way too much money for make-up. Something I usually buy at Walgreen's at a fraction of the price. What made today different?

I never really invest in make-up, but part of me thinks that at 25 I should start. So I was perusing the cosmetics area at Nordstrom this afternoon, wondering if I could get a mini-makeover to make my day a bit brighter. I also knew that I would inevitably walk away with a few products in hand, but if they looked good on me, what's the harm?

Oh everything looked good on me. And all the brushes were necessary for applying the goodies. So I couldn't just buy one without the other, right? (Again, my former investments in make-up had not required me to own make-up brushes.) I saw the tools as the proper investment; if I bought them today, I wouldn't need to buy them again.

When my stash of beauty supplies was put into dollar form, my heart skipped a beat or two. There was NO WAY I could have possibly spent THAT MUCH MONEY on some make-up. Seriously?

So then I went and bought two pairs of shoes.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Yes, I realize my latest posts have been short and, well, lame. My excuse for not posting is usually one of two things: I am busy or I want to just relax. When I am busy, I don't have time. When I just want to relax, I don't want to touch my computer.

I would like to start posting more regularly, and that is my new goal. Promise. I've got some material in my head that just needs to come out. And I'm reading a book that's giving me inspiration to actually start writing again (Interpreter of Maladies was first recommended to me by my senior seminar professor and now I can see why).

In the meantime, there are coyotes in Chicago.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Thank you Florida Gators. And all the other teams who played in the NCAA tournament and scored the way you did.

For someone who knows very little about college basketball, I wound up winning one of the office pools (this is 1st place out of over 80 entries) and came home with a nice wad of cash. Makes up for a relatively crappy day at work.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Happiness is...

-a raspberry latte at 2:30pm on a Friday

-the promise of spring in the slightly warmer temperatures

-expecting a dentist bill of $500+ and seeing that you only have to pay $19.70

-no meetings all day

-the aching in my legs and butt from some great workouts this week

-wearing my hair curly again (no more hairdryer!)

-leaving your credit card at the bar, only to retrieve it the following day and see that you were charged $4.50 (when the bill should have been 5x more)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

There is something about the combination of Sunday afternoon yoga and a beautiful spring day that make me want to do nothing other than just be.

This is the type of day I needed.

Friday, March 23, 2007

overdone

I love when my horoscope is spot on:

Feelings of fatigue can encroach upon your ability to meet your most pressing obligations today. You may have a great deal to do and a limited span of time in which to do it, making you feel rushed and generally overwhelmed by deadlines. Combating the resultant tiredness can be as easy as stepping away from your duty roster in order to concentrate on your well-being for a few minutes or an hour. You may discover that after a rest your senses are more sensitive, and you can focus more intently on complex or challenging tasks. As you imbue your schedule with balance today, you will likely once again enjoy the heady rush accomplishment brings.

I guess my moment of relaxation came when I went to Potbelly's. But even that was rushed (as was the eating of the sandwich I purchased). Thank goodness for arriving home with sushi, red wine, and nothing to do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

a letter to the guys upstairs who make too much damn noise

Dear Upstairs Neighbors,

We've been living beneath you for almost a year now. While most of the time we can coexist peaceably, there are times when the noise you create becomes a bit unbearable for us. Most of the time we hold off on saying anything to you because we don't want to come across as those lame neighbors who can't handle a little noise once in awhile. But it's not just once in awhile.

You seem like reasonable guys. We've partied with you once before and talked to you a few times about the noise factor that floats down to our apartment. In fact, during that late night of drinking in our place, my roommate bluntly told you that the sex you are having with your girlfriends is something we are all too familiar with. We hear it all the time. Throughout the entire apartment. We let you know that it is disrespectful to your girlfriend, to yourself, and to us. Since having that conversation in December, the sex noises have decreased sharply. Perhaps you've broken up with your girlfriends? Or maybe you've discovered a quieter way to get it on? Whatever it is, we do appreciate it.

However, you are still loud. We don't understand how you make so much noise, so we would like to install a camera in your apartment. This camera would allow us to see how you make these noises, which might allow us to better understand why it is you must be so obnoxiously loud everyday. From what we can tell, you guys are constantly dissastisfied with the arrangement of your apartment as it sounds like you are always moving the furniture. Or maybe it is that you are amateur bowlers and are using the kitchen floor to practice when you can't get to the bowling alley.

The third aspect of the noise is identifiable. From our hallway conversations, we've learned that you guys are part of a band. You have invited us to your gigs. We have never attended, most likely because we have our own private performances in the comfort of our living room. For instance, tonight you've been "jamming" for two hours. It's been the same two songs for extended periods of time, and someone is attempting to sing (though their voice is drowned out by the amps you've turned up so loud).

When we moved last year, one of the apartments we considered was above a soon-to-be-opened lounge. We didn't choose the apartment, partially because we didn't want to live above a bar. Instead, we unknowingly chose to live below a blues club/brothel/bowling alley.

We'll be your downstairs neighbors for another year. If you can try and end band practice before midnight on weeknights, we'd be happy. And if you'd also ask your late-night guests to leave a bit more quietly so as we don't wake up to their loud talking and stomping down the stairs, it would be much appreciated.

Next time you have a party - let us know!

Best,
The ladies of Apt 2

Have you ever done something stupid at work, and afterwards you just felt dumb?

I am having one of those weeks. I'm just looking for a way to redeem myself.

Have you ever done something stupid at work, and afterwards you just felt dumb?

I am having one of those weeks. I'm just looking for a way to redeem myself.

Monday, March 19, 2007

ouch

There has been a pounding in my head for the past few hours. Earlier today I thought I was going to fall asleep at my desk during a conference call. The computer screen not even a foot away from my face seemed like a very distant object (at the time, the preferred distant object was my bed). I woke up a little during lunch, but then a post-deep dish pizza and cookie lull set in. An iced raspberry latte at 4 had no effect. I stayed at work until 9:30 and nothing could keep me going. Rubbing my temples to try and stay focused, while also trying to avoid poking around the stash of food I keep at my desk (there are approximately 25 Pop-Tarts, some cookies and crackers, and about a dozen boxes of cereal to tide me over should I need to stay in my office for 2 weeks straight).

During the cab ride home, I felt as though I'd been trampled by a few dozen screaming children. Head, stomach, back, and knee all hurting in some way. (According to my father's telephone diagnosis last night, I have arthritis in my knee. 25 seems older every day.)

I am falling apart.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

mixmaster sunday












I learned how to rock the turntables today.

Okay, maybe I didn't quite rock 'em, but I did some baby scratching.

So now I'm putting some Technics and a mixer on my wish list.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

my daily five

1. I love the new daylight savings time.

2. I especially like that it is 72 degrees outside.

3. I am loving the fact that my boss let us leave early to enjoy the weather.

4. Trying not to think about the cooler forecast predicted for this weekend, especially Saturday.

5. Because Saturday = St. Patrick's Day = my favorite holiday.

Monday, March 12, 2007

fyi


Starbucks vanilla cupcakes are pretty damn good.*
*For cupcakes purchased at a chain coffee shop like Starbucks.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

breakin' 07

SB07 was absolutely fabulous. I forgot how much I like taking vacations. I need to do it more often, especially since I get more vacation time this year (6 more days to be exact). Escaping from Chicago at this awful point when winter seems like it will never go away was perfect. An afternoon/evening in South Beach (I had never been and was completely overwhelmed). Three more days at my friend's place in a cute little beachy town near West Palm. Loved it. Much needed time away from work and snow and cold and overall blah.

Came back depressed? Check.

Tan? Half-check. (Lack of overall sunscreen application on Tuesday made for some redness. Ouch. At least I look like I went somewhere.)

Ready for Spring to finally arrive? Check. I am in total denial that it is not yet warm enough here to run around without boots or gloves or heavy coats. Totally confused by the four days of bare feet, exposed skin, and lots of sunshine on my face.

The weatherman says a warming trend is on the way....

Friday, March 02, 2007

sunshine, here i come

Snow. Cold weather. Dry skin. Wearing my heinous Uggs. Scarves, hats, gloves, and heavy coats. Ice. Unshoveled sidewalks. Wind chills. Slush.

I'm done with winter. It hit me a few weeks ago that it's about time winter should end. I know, despite whatever that groundhog said, we've still got some cold, and possibly snowy, days ahead of us. March is tricky like that. April is tricky like that. Chicago weather is tricky like that.

Yesterday the sidewalks were wet with traces of the overnight thunderstorm and melted ice/snow. This morning they were windswept with snow, and the wind didn't stop all day. I watched out my window at work as the snow flew sideways across my view of the Marina Towers. I didn't leave the office until the end of the day. It just looked so awful outside (it really didn't snow much but the wind made it appear worse than it was).

What better time than now to be going to Florida, right? Four days of sunshine, drinks, and my girl friends. See you next week when I'm tan and depressed to be back in the Too Windy City.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

why i love chicago part 2

I wound up drinking over half the bottle while I watched Chicago election coverage. The buzz was a nice complement to the ridiculousness of Chicago politics.

In a landslide, King Richard was elected for his 6th term (close to beating his late father's record), while an alderman currently under federal investigation for bribery demanded a federal investigation on her election results (yeah, she lost). I love this city.

Thanks for all your messages of congratulations!

And Max, I did not call The Friend last night.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

why this tuesday doesn't suck

I am done with my MBA program!

I just finished taking my last final...ever! No more school, at least I hope not....

As soon as I finished my exam, I popped open a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately, I am home alone so this just means I might get drunk on champagne on a Tuesday night all by myself. Just what a business professional should do, right?

Monday, February 26, 2007

I told my friends about The Friend Saturday night. I'd been keeping it a secret from everyone but those who read my blog (isn't it strange how it's totally easy to divulge personal information to complete strangers but not to your best friends?). But Saturday night was: drinks, girls night with my best friends who I hadn't gone out with in ages, more drinks, dancing, more drinks, blabbing.

I believe the confessing/explaining started when The Friend texted me for the 2nd time that night. Because I'd been drinking, my censor was off and I exclaimed to my friend Leslie that I thought The Friend had a thing for me. She knew we had hung out recently just from casual conversation, but didn't know the extent of it. Neither did my best friend/roommate. So I let them in on the dinner, the sleeping over, the Valentine's Day dinner. I told them how I was feeling strange about everything since I'm not really interested in The Friend BUT he is SO nice and such a good guy and don't I finally deserve a guy who doesn't treat me like crap? (Reference: A or FFG). Of course they both agreed, especially Leslie, that I need someone to treat me the way I deserve to be treated. But does that mean I should date The Friend? Not necessarily says my best friend Jill. So what is a girl to do? Just keep being confused.

At this point, I feel like I've totally blown The Friend off, but I haven't really. There have just been other plans or no plans/staying in, so I've gone out with him in a couple weeks. And the next 2 weekends I will be out of town/very busy so I won't have to feel confused until at least St Patrick's Day is over.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

insufficiently committed

My alma mater is in the news...and this story makes me angry.

If my own sorority did this, I would be extremely embarrassed and angry.

Friday, February 23, 2007

once a food snob...

My children will never eat this. Ever. No matter how much they beg. It's not just the ingredients, it's the entire presentation. Feeling more yucky.

exhausted

I returned a few hours ago from an overnight trip to see my clients in Michigan. I want to know if it possible for anyone to be a vegetarian if they live in Michigan (excluding the Ann Arbor area as it is filled with college students, some of whom are presumably trying the veggie lifestyle). Seriously, I ate disgusting food most of the time I was there, finding whatever was meatless (which included a trip to Taco Bell, my first in over a year).

I feel yucky.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

why i love chicago, part 1

This is one of my favorite Chicago bloggy sites. And I love the random question that they ask every few days.

Yesterday's question: What convinces people that spring is finally here? What do you do to celebrate?

Not only is the question perfect, but the responses are even better. Check it out, even if you don't live in this wonderful town.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

so he's nice but...

Thanks for your advice on my situation with The Friend. It does help hearing feedback, even if I don't know any of you.

My reluctance to move forward with this situation is a sure sign that I don't want this to go anywhere. And yet I am still "confused". Why?

I have a history of getting into relationships with guys who do not pay me enough attention. No, I'm not asking for someone to worship me, but I am asking for a bit more give and take in the relationship. I am usually giving and giving and not getting anything in return. That's how it was with A all of the time. And I see the pattern in my past relationships, dating guys who would never drop everything for me. Once in awhile they come through, but that's not often enough. The Friend, however, is a guy who would take care of me. He already does. Since we've been friends, he's always been the guy to look out for the girls and make sure we're ok. When we spend time together, I see it in his eyes. I can tell that he would totally be there for me, whatever I needed. And because I know I need someone like that, I start thinking that I need him.

The problem is, I'm not really attracted to The Friend. That's what is lacking in this situation. He's kind, generous, funny, and I can talk to him (evidently) for hours. But, for me, there's no spark or passion or lust. When I was at his apartment on Wednesday, I found myself imagining the situation with another guy, a guy that I was totally crazy for (like in the early days of A). And imagining that scenario made me see the difference in how I feel about The Friend. If that had been A making me dinner on VDay, I probably would have jumped on top of him as soon as we'd finished dessert. I would have accepted his offer to spend the night. There would have been no holding back or reluctancy.

But because I am a confused girl, I am probably making the situation worse. I sent The Friend an email on Thursday, only to receive a lengthy response from him on Friday about hanging out together this weekend. My plans were to stay in all weekend, getting some homework done and keeping out of the snow. But I said I might be up for his suggestion of watching a movie on Sunday (Erin, why would you do that? You're only making it worse). And I got a text from him last night when he was leaving the Blackhawks game, wondering if I was interested in going out at all.

Nothing physical has happened, and I haven't given any indication that it will anytime soon. But I can't help but feel like I'm leading him on and that he's building up hope around something that shouldn't happen.

Friday, February 16, 2007

my new view


This is the new view from my office. Love it. Except that it gets a little cool in the evening AND at night my computer screen is reflected in the window (so everyone can see I am blogging or social network stalking and not doing actual work).


Thursday, February 15, 2007

a very long dinner

I walked into my apartment at 3:20am this morning.

I'll back up...

The Friend picked me up at 7:45. I had only 20 minutes to get ready and, knowing that we were just having dinner at his house, I didn't feel the need to get too dressed up. Besides, there is almost a foot of snow on the ground and I refuse to attempt cute shoe wearing in all of that snow.

The car ride is nice. We talk about our week, our day, the snow. I'm trying not to feel awkward. That is until I walk into his newly cleaned apartment where there is light music playing in the background and dinner is about to be made. I stand around awkwardly while he pours me a glass of chianti. I continue to stand around awkwardly while he makes dinner. I don't know what to do, where to go. The kitchen is small so it's not like I can be in there, so I stand just outside the kitchen, talking to him while he makes dinner. And it's good stuff: caprese salad, fish, sauteed veggies. He would have scored some major points if I was keeping track.

After we finished eating, we stayed at the table for awhile to finish the bottle of wine and talk (the wine increased my talking, as it always does). But in the midst of conversation I was yawning. He was yawning. A glance at my watch said 11:54. I had not planned on staying this long.

He suggested moving from the quite uncomfortable IKEA dining chairs to the much softer couch. I obliged, even though I knew this was just prolonging the evening. We kept talking. The music stayed on. And I found myself backing into the corner of the couch, obviously keeping my distance.

When the clock finally reached 3, I knew I had to go. But The Friend suggested that I just stay at his place. He could drive me home on his way to work. Or he would be fine just taking me home now. I knew I needed to leave. The last thing I needed to do was spend the night, confusing him and myself even more. So we bundled up and he drove me home, looking a bit dejected.

I am feeling all sorts of confused right now. I go back and forth and back and forth thinking about him. Thinking about dating him. Sometimes I think it's okay, it could work. Other times, it weirds me out. All day I kept thinking about how things were left last night after I asked to be taken home. Feeling bad, I sent him an upbeat thank you email this afternoon, but haven't heard back from him yet. And that's just confusing me even more.

Today's Daily Om Capricorn horoscope:

Since you are likely in a sensible and realistic mood, you may be quite amicable to the idea of doing whatever needs to be done to ensure your financial security, emotional health, and physical well-being.

Which is why I skipped the gym (more later) and spent a few hundred dollars on White Sox tickets this morning?

p.s. I promise an update on last night - I just don't have time right now at work.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

you choo-choo-choose me?

Flowers? Nope. Candy? Just whatever my coworkers gave me. Sexy evening plans? Nope. Do I care? Nope.

I'm not a Valentine's Day person, nor do I ever think I will be. I'm in the camp that believes this is a fake holiday dreamed up by marketing professionals looking to make some money on cards, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, and whatever else we are "supposed" to buy for our significant other.
So far, I've celebrated VDay loving myself, indulging in the things I love and not getting down on myself about anything. My new office has a lovely view of the Chicago River and, after the snow stopped falling this morning, I got to enjoy a beautifully sunny afternoon. I'm wearing one of my favorite outfits - all black from head to heels. On my feet are my ab fab favorite shoes, a pair of shiny green patent leather stilettos. They'd look like stripper shoes if I wasn't wearing them with black dress pants. I went to the gym this morning, even after completing yet another snowy hike through my neighborhood to the El stop.

Now, as the workday comes to a close, I reach a dilemma. Or maybe it's not a dilemma, but a problem. A sticky situation, perhaps. Ideally, I would leave work and go to my empty apartment (the benefit of having roommates with serious boyfriends and, therefore, VDay plans). I would lounge around, eat, and probably watch a movie or some generally bad television. Finally, around 10pm, I'd get into bed with my new issue of Real Simple and read until I was tired.

But....I've got plans.

Remember how I told you about my guy friend and the potential awkwardness? Yep, it's gotten more awkward. Emails and phone calls from him during the week last week. We made plans to hang out Saturday night at a party at a bar (happened to be A's favorite bar - lucky he wasn't there). After the drink special ended, we wound up just going to his place to hang out and have some beers. Nothing more. Being late, cold, and at least an $11 cab ride from my place, he suggested I just crash there and he would drive me home the next morning. I was game (although slightly skeptical). I slept in sweats and kept my distance when I crawled into bed. Nothing happened. Totally platonic sleepover. The next day I ended up hanging out at his place all day. By the time we woke up with our mini-hangovers, we didn't want to do anything except watch college basketball or anything else we found on TV. Before I knew it, it was 10:30 and the Grammys were over. Oops. The Friend drove me home and, as we got to my place, asked what I was doing Wednesday night (notice the lack of holiday mention).

At the time I thought it would be nice to have plans for VDay. I didn't want to spend it alone. But as the reality of what this might indicate to him sunk in, I began regretting my decision. Stupid Erin.

So now we've got plans to hang out, most likely just at his place (he offered to make me dinner since reservations and weather make going out a bit tricky). And while I appreciate all of this, I'm nervous as hell about what he is thinking and where this evening might go.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

snow day

I guess the good thing about the snow is that they let us out early.

Because I moved offices today (hello, window!), my computer was dismantled between 2pm and who knows when. The official closing time was 3pm. Since I couldn't really do anything (thank goodness for technology), I let myself leave to try and beat some of this mess home.

It's probably snowed close to 8 inches since this morning. My trek home from the El station was like another workout as I trudged through heavy snow. Most of the sidewalks were unshoveled. I had to steady myself with my hands out at my sides because the wind was so strong and the ground was so slippery. I envisioned myself biting it in the middle of Division. Fortunately, I made it home without falling; I was just tired and sweaty when I got to the door.

The benefits of coming home early? Getting homework done, watching Law & Order, and doing my laundry. Hooray for snow.

it's effing winter


I am hating Chicago right now.


Snow.


CTA.


Snow.


More snow.


More cold.
On the bright side:
At least I don't have to drive to work.


Note: The photo above is beautiful Lake Michigan. Frozen.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

it's like a tundra sometimes

Cold day after cold day, I find myself staring at the women wearing heels or not wearing scarves or hats. These are the women for which winter is merely a season of coats and cute boots, not of unbearably frostbiting temperatures and crunching snow underfoot. With recent highs in the single digits, there have been noticeably less of this sort of woman on the streets of Chicago. But I still see them teetering around ice in four-inch heels (not heeled boots, just heels). I don't ask myself if I will ever be one of these women, caring more about my appearance than staying warm. I do wonder, however, if I can ever pull off looking halfway cute while being bundled in multiple layers.

Catching my reflection in the El's scratched window, I look more homeless than hot. Black Uggs that are splotched white from winter 05-06, which I haven't cleaned because I don't like my Uggs in the first place. Long, brown belted coat which looks beautiful with a tidy scarf and flats, but bulky when paired with hat, heavy scarf, boots, and thick underlayers of wool and cotton. In the mornings, on my way to the gym, I care very little about my appearance. It's cold and dark (although that's starting to change), and all I want to do is get to the El station which, after a few inches of snow fell this week, seems like it's across the Great Plains. My dirty boots crunch across the haphazardly shoveled sidewalks. It actually surprised me Wednesday morning that anyone had shoveled. You see the last time we had a lot of snow in December, the sidewalks became a disaster: covered in ice which was covered with snow. I found myself walking in the street when possible. It's not out of laziness that our neighbors don't shovel, it's that they might fear being sued. (Some Good Samaritan law which states that shoveled sidewalks and individuals falling on said sidewalks equal potential lawsuit. Do nothing, someone falls, and you aren't at risk. Nice.)

Seriously, it has been so cold that appearance has been of little interest to me. Usually I take time to choose an outfit for work the next day. When it's cold, I pair some pants with a sweater and I'm done. I bury my face in my scarf, look at the ground and walk briskly to work, home, the gym - no need to glance around at everyone else. But there are people who do it, people for whom the cold means nothing. They go out like it's springtime, running around the city or going out every night (that is an entirely different blog post altogether - going out when it's freezing). You know, maybe I'm too practical. Or maybe I need to move.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I was going to post today, but then my Firefox "unexpectedly shut down" and I hate using Safari ever since I got Firefox, but I seem to have so many issues with Firefox lately (when it shuts down or just stops working so I can't type anything and I have to close and reopen it), and I should probably stop complaining because it seems like I just complain a lot lately about things not going well but then there are good things going on, aside from this horribly cold and snowy weather that we're having in Chicago (even though it's really the most winter we've gotten all season).

Whew.

Monday, February 05, 2007

crazy update

After things ended with A, I resolved to make new friends, especially of the male variety. For some reason it's been very difficult for me to make new guy friends since high school. In college, I attributed it to living on an all-girls floor during my freshman year and then joining a sorority. I was surrounded by girls for four years. And while I had a small group of guys that I considered my friends, very few of them were solid friendships that have lasted past graduation. After college, it's been more of the same. Most of my male friends are either coworkers or guys I've met through friends' boyfriends. So the process of cultivating more male friends beginning in January has been quite arduous.

What makes the prospect of male friends so challenging is that I have a history of getting romantically involved with them. Whether it's me that is interested or vice versa, it takes the friendship to another place and it's usually very difficult to return to the friendship with that other relationship hanging over us. These guys that I've been spending time with over the past month aren't, initially, the types of guys I would usually be interested in. I find myself putting up my guard, being cautious of their intentions and trying to recognize my own. But the more time I spend with them, the more I become interested in them being something more.

This is why I felt like I was going insane the other night. After a nice dinner out with one of these male friends, I found myself thinking about him as something more. Maybe it was the 5 glasses of sangria or the dimly lit table at the restaurant. Maybe I'm just looking so hard for a new relationship that I'm making something out of nothing. But it freaked me out. When he dropped me off at my apartment, I couldn't help but feel some sort of awkward tension in the car as I said good-bye.

It's silly, thinking about dating him in the first place (after being friends for over a year, being anything else would be very strange) so I'm not going to think about it. I just hope the tension will be gone the next time we go out.

they're still super

I'm still wearing my Urlacher jersey with pride (figuratively, not literally of course. I have changed since last night, especially since I reeked of smoke and booze). Although we lost and although a large portion of this city is hanging their head today, I am still proud of the Bears for getting as far as they did. After 21 years of no-gos to the big game, we finally made it. I hate that we lost to Indianapolis of all teams (we are never going to hear the end of this), but there is hope for the 07 team.

Honestly, the loss didn't hit me as hard as it did others at the bar last night. I was pretty drunk by the 4th quarter, or actually by the time Prince started singing "Purple Rain". All that beer desensitized me to the confetti that wasn't for us, the trophy being held by someone other than Brian Urlacher, and the cheers from fans wearing blue and white.

Now, can we please stop talking about Peyton Manning, commercial whore? (If you sensed my bitterness, good for you.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Bears Are Who We Thought They Were

My craziness update....will take place later.

Now it's time for the Super Bowl.

BEARS BEARS BEARS BEARS!

update on my sanity

I am going crazy.


More to come.

Friday, February 02, 2007

this IS a Super Bowl post

The city is covered in blue & orange these days, with every newspaper in wall-to-wall Bears coverage and every store hocking championship merchandise. Even Macy's has Bears flags flying on State Street. Each night (since the playoff started) Loop office buildings turn on their orange and blue lights to say Go Bears. The lions standing guard outside the Art Institute are wearing football helmets. For the most part, the city is wrapped up in the Super Bowl (with the exception of the few transports from other cities who root for some other team - the worst being those from Indiana).

It's even more exciting than October 2005 when the White Sox clinched their World Series victory. While most of the city was excited, there were a few party poopers who root for that other Chicago baseball team which is apparently "cursed". Right.

Most people at work are dressed in Bears gear (we have a Super Bowl party starting at 3:30 today). Of course I am sporting my Urlacher jersey proudly, especially aruond my coworker who is too proudly wearing her Reggie Wayne one. Boo.

But this whole Super Bowl thing has been a bit bittersweet for me. I spent the majority of the 2006 football season watching games with A (in bed, on the couch, in a bar, or on the phone at own places). As the Bears kept winning and Super Bowl talk increased, I got excited thinking about how we could spend the big game together, rooting on the Bears. So it's a little disappointing that they did make it this far and I can't share in it with him. But I do appreciate all he taught me about football; it's become very useful these past few weeks, especially when flirting.

I will bear down and watch the game Sunday, celebrating our first trip back to the Super Bowl since I was 4 (and rocking a 72 Perry jersey). Hopefully there will be more to celebrate once the game is over, but even not, it's been a great trip.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

this time of the month sucks

I feel like I have a 93 lb tumor inside of me.

For the past few hours I've been sitting at my desk feeling my insides rolling around. At first it just felt like cramps, which could be possible on this date. So I treated myself to a latte. Bad idea. I don't think the coffee did so well with whatever is going on down there. But only after I had drank half of the latte and eaten a cookie did I start to feel really awful. Now it just feels full and gross, and my lower back is hurting.

Did I mention I'm surrounded by junk food (Pop Tarts, chocolate, cookies)? No good.

All I want to do is go home, lay on the couch in my gray sweats that I have been living in every night this week, and watch some Grey's. It really needs to be time to go home.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

viva pedro

There are unwanted magazines lying all over my office which I tend to pick up for evening/weekend reading at home. Usually it's Glamour or In Style that I pick up, but once in awhile I catch a stray New Yorker in the discard bin. I always snatch it up quickly, as if one of my peers is also dying to read it, though I know none of them are. So today after I found the most recent issue in the bin, I was just casually walking back to my desk, flipping the pages but not really reading anything until...

My eye caught the word Almodovar. In an ad. As soon as I was back at my desk, I flipped through the beginning of the issue frantically trying to find what I thought I saw. And once I read the ad in its entirety, I went a little crazy in my cube. A Pedro Almodovar box set? Released yesterday? Can it be? At once, I went to Amazon to see how much it would be. Even though I already own two of the films within the box set, I'd be willing to buy it just for the other 7 films, most of which are unavailable in the US as individual DVDs.

The set is actually pretty inexpensive (it's on sale at Amazon right now), and I have this Best Buy giftcard burning a hole in my pocket any way. Seriously, you have no idea how much this has made my day.