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.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

countdown to miami

This is not a Super Bowl post. Promise.

This is about a different trip to Florida, a mini-break I am taking with my roommates a month from Saturday. We'll be going to Fort Lauderdale to stay with my friend Mel, but it looks like we might start the trip with a night out in Miami.

I've never been to Miami and neither have my roommates. And while I am totally looking forward to this trip, I realize I have just over a month to get my Midwestern winterized body ready for a trip down south. This means more gym time (damn me for being too exhausted this morning), a last minute mani/pedi, and a few trips to (gasp!) the tanning bed.

I am about to leave work for the night, which means I am about to change in to my (so ugly I hate them, but they keep my feet really warm and dry) Uggs, pull on my heavy coat, wrap my scarf around my face, put on the hat Max gave me (that I get dozens of compliments on), and trudge out into the cold. And I'm somehow thankful that I can look pasty and feel bloated under all that gear - one of the few benefits of a Chicago winter.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

i need to do this more often

There is something to be said for pampering. Self-indulging. Relaxing. Being alone. Being with friends. I've had a mix of the above all weekend.

I devoted Friday to being out and about: spending money, drinking, dancing, flirting, and coming home in the wee hours of Saturday morning. It was how I wanted to start my weekend after a tiresome week. Blowing off steam by just having a good time. Delightful.

But then I wanted to follow-up the craziness with a whole lotta nothing. The past few weekends I've had some sort of commitment which hasn't allowed me to just veg out entirely. I was especially looking forward to a Sunday without football, a day where I could just hang out and get some homework done without worrying about getting a table at a crowded bar and stressing over Rex's passes.

So I spent Saturday at home, working on homework and watching no less than 3 movies by myself (Secrets & Lies, Jarhead, and Edward Scissorhands - quite a mix). I found myself crawling into bed after the last of the movies had finished, just 12 hours after I had swung out of bed with a bit of a hangover. I slept for almost 10 hours (I say almost because some asshole woke me up ringing our buzzer at 3 am. Then my roommate and her bf came home 15 minutes later and were sorta noisy. I think one of them was puking. So I was up until around 4 before I fell back asleep). When I woke up, it was time for the pampering part of my weekend - a scheduled massage and spa pedicure at a nearby spa. The walk to the spa was awful as it was snowy, windy, and coooold. But it felt good once I got in there, just relaxing all morning. By the time I left, the snow had stopped and the sun had come out, which made the walk home a bit nicer.

Now I'm just on the couch and in the dark, save for some fleeting sun outside and the glow of the computer screen. I've finished my homework for today and am ready to veg again. Perhaps it's time for movie #4?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

over it

I mentioned that A dumped for someone else, right?

Thanks to the power of MySpace, I've seen a photo of the new girl.

My initial reaction? Totally not what I expected. But then, I don't really know what I expected. From what he told me about his "type", she just doesn't seem to fit.

What I also learned from his profile is that he is totally cool calling this new lady his girlfriend just a month after they started dating. Part of me was upset about this at first: What was the hold-up with me? Why couldn't he do the same? But I realized this is not about me - it's about him. And it's really not important for me to care anymore.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

going to hollywood?

I'm not a huge American Idol fan; I watched Season Two from start to finish, but otherwise have never followed another season. However, I've got one of the audition episodes on now while I work on my homework, and what I want to know is...

How do these people become so deluded that they think they can sing? Or that they can dance? Or that they are attractive? I don't understand it. Whenever I see one of these shows, it just boggles my mind.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Super Bears Super Bowl


You have no idea how excited I am that 1) the Bears are going to the Super Bowl and 2) that they are playing the Colts. This is a big deal for us Midwesterners. Bragging rights are on the line.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

this is me not knowing what to do

So I'm a little weirded out.

Let me back up and explain.

On NYE, my roommate Anne invited her boyfriend's two friends to come out with us. Her boyfriend was still with his family in Turkey (we are a multicultural household here, it's crazy) but she reached out to his friends who were going to be around. I'd met one of these guys a few times before, but not the other one (well, I guess he was at Anne's birthday party but I was too drunk and into my own dance moves that I totally didn't notice). To make a non-interesting story short, this friend (we'll call him the Foreigner) told Anne he thought I was pretty.

Flattering? Yes, especially after I just been dumped by A and needed a bit of an ego boost. But honestly, I wasn't really interested. Sure, he is sort of cute in a strange, European way but there is no attraction there. So I didn't pursue his interest any further than just being friendly at the New Year's party. Oh, and I agreed (drunk, drunk Erin) to go to coffee with him, Anne, and her boyfriend when he returned later that week. Oh well. What's coffee with friends, right?

Except coffee with friends wound up just being the Foreigner and I. Somehow Anne and her boyfriend were no longer included in the plans. Again, I went along with the plans because what's the harm in just having coffee on a Saturday afternoon, right?

But coffee turned into "Would you like to go see a movie?" and I, being the ever polite and always pleasing Erin, agreed. Because we impulsively chose to go to a movie theater without consulting the show times, we ended up seeing Borat, which I had not seen yet (although he had). It was either that or The Pursuit of Happyness and I just couldn't take seeing Will Smith looking like Jesse Jackson all over again.

We made small talk until the movie started, but the whole time I kept thinking "I cannot imagine myself making out with this guy". And I think once you recognize that, the relationship is not going anywhere. After the movie he ended, he suggested (as I anticipated he would) that we get something for dinner. Fortunately, I had a birthday party that night, so I had an easy excuse for why I needed to go home. He dropped me off and I awkwardly avoided any sort of goodbye kiss in the car.

As my birthday party rolled around, Anne invited the Turkish crew and I received a few emails from the Foreigner about how he was looking forward to seeing me. I wanted him to give up after date one, but I guess he was still interested (my cold shoulder is apparently not cold enough). I knew, however, that my birthday party would be a night where I was in my own world: drinking too much, flitting around to talk to all my friends, not paying attention to any one person for very long, and generally being too blitzed to be very cute and interesting.

Of course, this is what happened. But that didn't stop him from 1) bringing a birthday card for me to the bar and 2) sending me an email on Sunday again wishing me a Happy Birthday and letting me know that he had 3) bought me a gift so he needed to 4) see me again to deliver it. Are you serious? Some of my closest friends didn't bother with a gift or a card. And I've known this guy for less than 2 weeks? And haven't shown any genuine interest in him?

So now I am weirded out. I don't want to just be rude and blow him off, but I don't want to lead him on. And this is where I always get stuck. I'm worried about being mean, so I don't do anything and then it just seems like I am ignoring the poor guy. Truthfully, if I were attracted to him this would be another story. I would be so excited and impressed with the gift purchasing that I would be gushing about it right now. But there is no gushing; there is only confusion and concern and a generally bad taste in my mouth.

the quarter-century mark

I've been 25 for two days now. I don't really feel any older or wiser or that much closer to 30 (even though that last part is so very true). I do feel happy. Successful. And maybe I am a bit wiser than when I turned 24 (at least I would hope so).

My birthday celebration was Friday night at a trendy bar in my neighborhood. I had never actually been there before which meant I had little to no expectations. (I was also a bit nervous, of course, that my friends would think it was awful. Only one of them did.) Many of my friends showed for the party, most of them coworkers (another sign that I am getting older, right?). These many friends bought me many shots and drinks and, when Saturday rolled around, I was feeling pretty rough (additional sign of my aging). I spent my actual birthday at two bars in Lincoln Park, watching football (Go Bears!), drinking beer after beer, and eating greasy bar food. The crowd was random and, as it always happens in Chicago, I ran into a few different people I knew. The end result? Unintentionally staying out for 10 hours on a Sunday and coming home very drunk. At least I had Monday off.

This year, for some reason, my birthday didn't feel like my birthday. It kinda came out of nowhere and just happened. I didn't see any of my family members this weekend and I spent the majority of my actual day of birth with people who are not my close friends. I didn't expect any special gifts or anything (actually, I gave up on that awhile ago), so when friends of mine ask what I got for my birthday, I don't have much to tell them. Sure, I got some money from relatives, a gift certificate from one roommate and a handmade necklace from the other. I'm going to dinner with a friend tomorrow night and out with my mom on Saturday. It's all very nice, but all I really wanted was what I got on Friday night, spending time with my favorite people. Is that another sign that I'm getting older? Or just wiser?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

dancing with myself

I think growing up as an only child turned me into a very solitary person. I like being alone. Many times, I crave being alone. Walking home from work, I get excited when the lights are off in my apartment and no one is there. I am left to do what I want, when and where I want to do it. There is no forced conversation. There is no sharing. There is just me.

This love of solitude (or perhaps I am just very introverted) has manifested itself in me doing lots of things on my own. Dining, shopping, going to the movies. And last weekend, for the first time, I went out alone.

No, I didn't just head into a bar alone, trying to mix and mingle with random 20somethings. It was a party for a co-worker. I knew that I would most likely know quite a few people at the party. But it was still going to a bar by myself. I wasn't really meeting any friends there. I was just showing up. Alone. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive. None of my friends were able to join me that night and I really wanted to go. Rather than be lame and just stay home (knowing that Sunday morning I would regret not going), I drank 3/4 of a bottle of wine and went to the party.

You know what? I had a blast. It was one of the best nights I've had in a long time. You see, going out alone has all the perks of going out (drinks, dancing, flirting, mingling) without the annoyances of friends (getting too drunk, wanting to leave, not having fun, fighting with boyfriends). The whole night I wandered around the bar, chatting with the various people I knew and meeting new folks. I danced. I drank. I stayed out way too late. But when I wanted to leave (somewhere around 3:15 when we had gone to another bar), I could just say goodbye and hop in a cab. There was no one else to convince that it was time to go.

On Sunday morning when I woke up, there was nothing to regret except that last gin & tonic.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

so tired and so full

Haven't posted in a few days. Would like to post something substantial, but have not gotten home from work before 8pm all week. And my final session of classes (!) started this week. It's a bit much. So I'll write something soon. Maybe tomorrow? Maybe I will actually leave at a decent hour (ha). We'll see.

p.s. Okay, tonight I am not complaining because I only got home late because of a work event. A cooking class. I ate and drank too much. It was fabulous. Bananas Foster Bread Pudding. Crab Cakes. Spinach Salad. Wine. Wine. Wine. Delicious.

p.p.s. It's been one whole week and no Diet Coke. Loving it. Loving my willpower (even when I shouldn't have eaten so much of that dessert tonight).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

ice ice baby

I had no idea how great the male:female ratio is at NHL games. Even though the Blackhawks suck, it's worth the $10 ticket to be one of 5 women in the entire section.

Last night I went to my first hockey game with my friend Will (he's mine A's only mutual friend). We'd been trying to get together for the past month, and when Will suggested checking out the game instead of just the usual drinks after work, I was all over it. We arrived at the United Center an hour before the game started, which means that I was drunk by the middle of the first period. Oops. Probably didn't help that I hadn't eaten much all day. On my trip to the concession stand for beer #3, I also bought a pretzel. That was dinner.

After the game, Will & I went to a bar near his place for some much-needed pizza and some not-so-necessary beer. It was mostly me getting drunk and blabbing since Will wasn't drinking much so he could drive me home. The problem hanging out with Will is that A is a usual topic of conversation. When A and I were dating, Will and I would hang out and I'd talk about A. A and Will would hang out and the same would happen. So it's hard not talking about A when we're together. Which means that I kept getting a little sad throughout the night. It sucks.

Will and I both determined that we need to hang out more often because a lot of our other friends suck (like my roommates sometimes). And maybe he's got some other cute friends he can set me up with....

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I've given up Diet Coke. This time it's for real.

It's been two days. Right around 2pm, I find myself struggling to keep my head above my shoulders and my eyes open. But coffee is still okay, so I think I'll be making more frequent trips to Starbucks. (Hint, hint to anyone wanting to buy me a birthday gift.)

I gave up meat almost five years ago. I think I can do this.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

this time of year

What a way to start 2007: an eleven-hour workday. I just knew before I went to sleep last night that today was going to be one of those Tuesdays. Work, while usually slow this time of year, is absolutely nuts. So much to do, so many little pieces to keep track of, and so many emails/conference calls/spreadsheets. After finishing my vacation, I already need another one.

But I like the beginning of a new year, the way you feel like you can wipe the slate clean and start fresh. And seeing how the end of 06 went, I am definitely in the market for a new slate.

If there is anything that I do hate this time of year, it's NY Eve. Surprisingly, this one was pretty decent. The bar we went to was a blast. The drinks and food were incredible for the price. And our tables were in the best location at the bar. But there was no kiss at midnight, and that was right around the time I got sad. Since things ended with A, I hadn't really been out around couples (except my roommate and her bf). As we got closer to 12, I started wondering what he was doing and where he was celebrating (and with whom, of course). When the clock struck and the partygoers locked lips, I thought about how great it would have been to have spent New Year's with him. I ended up calling it a night rather early because 1) I was just ready to go home and 2) I wanted to be able to be sad and not ruin everyone else's night. A few times in the night, people came up to me and reminded me to smile. Of course, those were the moments when I had A on the brain. Most of the night, though, I was shaking my booty and having a blast.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

While 06 was pretty good, here's to 07 being even better. (I thought I was so cute with the damn hat last night.)