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 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


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.