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.