Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I hate coming back to work after a long weekend, hate it, hate it, hate it. This morning I oh-so-very-much wished I could just stay in bed all day instead of trekking out into the cold for my icy, snowy commute.
Also, I really don’t want to go to that aerobics class tonight, but if I skip it, it will be week number 4 (in a row) of laziness, further ingraining in my guilt-ridden conscience the fact that this class was one big waste of money that could have been spent on much more enjoyable things, like, for example, another big black witchy cauldron.
I am very badly in need of a foil and cut, the lengths of my roots are utterly embarrassing. I called and left a message this morning to see if my lady might be able to do it on Friday, since I have the day off. Cross your fingers for me. I am contemplating doing something different with my color, I’m quite sick of being a blonde actually, but my mind always goes back to my experiment with non-permanent brown hair dye back in the dorms, freshman year. It really wasn’t flattering, but neither was any of the clothing I wore freshman year, or the way I styled my hair, or the extra 5-10 pounds I was carrying, or really my personality as a whole, so I’m thinking I shouldn’t use that experience at that moment of my life as any sort of barometer of what might work today. I like to think I have come a long way since then, although I still can’t escape the rather unfortunate contortions of my face that appear every time I attempt to look sexy or cool on the dance floor.
Wow, I really had no thematic goals when I started writing this and I have done absolutely nothing in the previous paragraphs (if you can call them that) to hide that fact from you, my dear readers. Whatever, if I accomplished anything it has been to amuse myself for 20 minutes or so during this drab Tuesday at the office. Chow.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
So, Thursday morning (yes, almost a week ago), my mom, my husband, and I embarked on a little road trip to the fabulous Windy City. I love Chicago, so any excuse for a little mini-vaca there is a good excuse, especially when it involves seeing (and hearing) my ultra-talented little brother sing in a concert for his school. He is currently in his second year studying in the Music Conservatory at the Chicago School of Performing Arts.
We got off to a rather slow start Thursday morning when we stopped over at my parents’ house to pick up my mother and the car. We had decided to drive my Dad’s Toyota Prius hybrid car, taking advantage of some kick-ass gas-mileage. The only issue I have with those crazy hybrid cars comes from my inexperience with them. Instead of starting the car by sticking the key in and turning it, all you have to do is have the key on you somewhere and press the start button. Yes, there’s a button. Well, I still have no idea what I did, but somehow I locked up the transmission and the little bugger wouldn’t start. I must have pressed that button, as well as the P (for Parking) button, 15 times, which probably didn’t help the matter at all. (You’re not even supposed to press the P button, so that shows you how screwed up I was.) In the mean time, my mom was in the backseat breathing like a crazy woman, so when Dan finally got the car started (after a call to my dad at work), we had to wait another 15 minutes for the windshield to defrost.
It was smooth sailing from there on out, unless you count the fact that I locked up the transmission again when we stopped for gas 45 minutes later. Whatever.
So you know how it’s common to bring snacks on road trips (you know, Doritos, Oreos, peanut M&M’s)? Well my mom, she is not common. She brought with her a HUGE Target bag with the following contents: two monstrous Sam’s Club size bags of lime tortilla chips (already opened), a jar of pineapple salsa, bowls from her kitchen, and a 24 oz can of pecans, almonds, and cashews. So weird.
Chicago was wonderful, as usual, and I so very much wish Dan and I could drop everything and move there tomorrow. I absolutely love the idea of living in the city, and I know I would have no trouble making it my home. I guess for now I’ll just have to get the most out of each and every minute of my sporadic visits, but I’m not letting go of my dream to live in the city quite yet.
Thursday night when we got there we checked into the hotel and did some walking around Grant Park, which is pretty much right across the street from Nathan’s college, and then went for a leisurely coffee, passing the time until the concert. The concert was wonderful, as expected, and Nathan was one of the four men with solos, which of course makes his mother and sister even more proud. His talent continues to astound me every time I see him perform, I still can’t believe my little brother is going to be an opera singer.
Off topic. Nathan told me his friend said I’m hot, is it wrong that I took that as even more of a compliment because of the fact that he is gay? I think it goes back to that whole theory (well, not sure if I should call it a theory because it is a total FACT) that women are often more concerned with impressing other women than men. I have this mentality that gay men (yes I know I’m generalizing) have pretty good taste, so I hold their opinions of how I look at a much higher level of importance than, say, my husbands friend Brandon. Just as I couldn’t care less about what Dan thinks of my new shoes, but I would give serious consideration to anything my friend Betsy might have to say about them.
Back on topic. Nathan “fit us in” for a late dinner after the concert, as he had plans to see Harry Potter at Midnight with a few of his friends. Yea, we had to remind him that we didn’t just drive seven hours to see him sing in his hour and a half concert, we were hoping to maybe spend a little time with him as well. He’s definitely the typical self-absorbed 19 year-old college punk, I can’t knock it though, I have TOTALLY been there. ;) A few years ago I took self-absorbed to a whole new level.
Anyways, we went to the beautiful Grand Lux Cafe down on the Magnificent Mile and were seated in a booth by the window with a great view overlooking Michigan Avenue. My mom’s comment of “Oh, I thought this came with REAL lettuce” to the poor guy who dared to bring out her lettuce wraps with iceberg lettuce, (though that’s generally how they’re served), did manage to bring down the group a bit, but only momentarily.
The next morning we went for breakfast at this dive-y diner called Beef ‘n Brandy, only about four blocks from my brother’s dorm and our hotel. It was the kind of place where you can get a decent breakfast for $2.99, enjoy a bottomless cup of weak black coffee, and listen to old ladies gossip in the booth next to you, the table across from them piled high with their tacky hats and crazy poofy coats. It was the perfect way to start out the day in Chicago.
After breakfast Dan and I got time to ourselves to do some shopping while my mom sat in on my brother’s voice lesson. I ended up finding the coat I have been looking for since the beginning of fall at Filene’s Basement for $100, down from $250.00. So even though Christmas is coming up and there is no reason why I should be spending money on myself, I bought it anyways. I haven’t worn it yet because Dan suggested having his grandma give it to me for Christmas, which would subside some of my shopper’s guilt. I should probably start working on my surprised face now.
Nathan had to go into work for a few hours so the three of us spent the afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago, roaming the European painting and sculpture galleries for most of it. I have to say, seeing the original paintings that I have studied in textbooks throughout middle school and high school is just so humbling and awe-inspiring, especially the French Impressionist stuff – Monet, Renoir, Pissaro. Absolutely incredible. That place is monstrous, by the way, we were there for almost four hours and didn’t see half of the collection. Definitely somewhere I’d like to return to, when I have more time.
When my brother got off work we met up with him and decided to check out Millennium Park. We watched people skate on the ice rink, walked around the Lurie Garden, and I took lots of pictures of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is just incredible. It was nice to just be a part of Chicago on a Friday night; the city is so vibrant and alive, even in the cold winter. My brother took us to Hackney’s for dinner, a very small and quaint pub with a kind of “neighborhood” feel to it. Definite “two thumbs up” goes to the management who, at pretty much the end of our meal, came over and very graciously asked us if we would be willing to move to the table in the corner so they could accommodate a big group coming in shortly. It was like we had won the lottery; they offered us another round of drinks on the house and free deserts, and all we had to do was move to a table 5 feet away that was way better than the one we were at. I think my response was, “Well, Yeaaah!” I’m certainly not one to pass up free stuff! The key lime pie, by the way, was delicious, though I could only stuff a few bites (bummed off my mom) into my already horribly full stomach.
Saturday was our last day, and we weren’t staying long, so we got up pretty early, checked out of the hotel, had a quick bagel and coffee, and headed out to do the ultimate Chicago touristy thing, we paid $12 a piece to go up on the Sears Tower Skydeck. I admit, it was cool to see the entire city from up there, and we had a really good time, so it was worth it. (Definitely just a “one-time-thing” though.) After that, we were pretty much out of there; we said our goodbyes and got on the road. We went a bit out of the way so we could stop in Aurora, a suburb about 45 minutes out of the city, and visit my cousin and her husband, whose baby girl Alexis (their first) was born just a few weeks ago. Our little visit turned into four and a half hours and take-out Chinese, so we didn’t really leave the Chicago suburbs until after 6:30 PM. Blech. So the drive home, well it sucked really really bad, but we made it, and we were fast asleep in our cozy bed by 2:00 AM.
So that is that - - our trip to Chicago, in way more detail than I’m sure anyone would care to know! It was a great time, and I’m all ready to do it again (except, of course, for the driving part, I can’t stress any more how much that really really sucked on the way home).
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Will we get any clarification about the numbers this
Damon: Carlton might want to punch me for actually going on record and saying this, but I think that that question will never, ever be answered. I couldn't possibly imagine [how we would answer that question]. We will see more ramifications of the numbers and more usage of the numbers, but it boggles my mind when people ask me, "What do the numbers mean?"
Excuse me, but what? How can he even have the audacity to say that it “boggles” his mind that people want to know what the numbers mean. Ok, how about the fact that the fricken numbers have been the central mystery of the show since last season? Not only are they a huge part of Hurley’s back story and are the supposed reason why crazy French-lady Danielle and her team ended up on the island to begin with, but this season the same sequence of numbers ends up on the hatch and is the code that must be put into the doomsday computer every 108 (which is actually the sum of the numbers) minutes to keep the world from imploding. I could go on for days talking about the references to the numbers in the show (Flight 815 anyone?) because yes I am that big of a geek, but also because the show’s producers have given us these little nuggets all along. Now they’re going to tell us there’s no actual point to all these references, we are supposed to chock it up to a series of coincidences?
Wrorrrr! Someone seriously needs to sic the Lostzilla and those f-ing polar bears on J.J. Abrams and his crew of smirky ass-hole writers and producers.
Monday, November 14, 2005
- The new Strawberry Yogurt Burst Cheerios. These little buggers absolutely deserve the number one spot because they are the most delicious little morsels of sustenance that I have quite possibly ever put into my mouth. I know I’m kind of late on this, I’ve seen them being hailed all over internet land for quite some time now, but I finally bought a box on a whim during one of Dan’s and my lingering trips through Target. I couldn’t imagine how they could be as good as people swore they were, but I was wrong. Oh was I wrong. So wrong. They are heaven in a box. I implore you to buy yourself a box, and leave the bowl in the cupboard, the spoon in the drawer, and the milk in the refrigerator because all you need is a couch on which to plant your little bottom and the delicious box of goodness that in no way should be saved for breakfast only. Eat them as a snack, or desert, or better yet, for dinner! Believe me, I have.
- My treadmill. I’ve abandoned it for months now, but this past week I finally got back on the mother and started running again. I don’t understand why it’s so easy to forget how AMAZING running makes you feel, but I’m thankful I am finally back into it. And many thanks to my darling husband who gave me that final kick in the ass to get back in the game when he started up again a few weeks ago and made me feel incredibly guilty about not doing the same.
- Peanut Butter. I am in a total peanut butter phase these days, and I’m still not really sure what triggered it. I would be happy eating peanut butter sandwiches for all meals, and seriously, screw the jelly, who needs it? I crave the stuff, and when I’m putting in on my bread, I have a horrible time resisting the urge to stick my finger in there and go to town sans bread. Only once has my willpower failed, and in an attempt to save what little dignity I still had, I got myself a spoon instead of sticking my germ-ridden fingers in the little jar. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, and I swear to God, I’m not pregnant, so don’t even think it.
- Fitted cowl-necked sweaters. I am obsessed with sweaters these days, I love how cozy they are, how pretty and soft they make me feel, and I am especially digging the cowl-necked sweaters. They have the turtle-neck neckline I love, without the choking and gag-inducing affect that a turtle-neck actually has on me. I have had a really bad gag reflex for as long as I can remember; case in point, I threw up on my dentist on a few occasions when I was younger, I can’t even hold a pencil in between my teeth for more than 3 seconds without feeling like I am being choked within an inch of my life, and sometimes during a messy and slow commute home I actually take off the turtle-neck shirt I’m wearing from under my coat while driving because I just can’t stand to be in it any longer. So, as you can imagine, cowl-necked sweaters are my saving grace, and I adore them.
- TV. I know, I am such a loser, but I haven’t really been into very many TV shows since the days of Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, and “Must See TV” on Thursday nights. Now, all of a sudden, I’ve found myself crazy obsessed with way too many TV shows at once. Here’s my couch-potato schedule:
- Sunday: Desperate Housewives & Grey's Anatomy
- Monday: How I Met Your Mother (have you seen this show, it is soooo hilarious, our dear old Doogie is insane) & Related
- Tuesday: Commander in Chief
- Wednesday: Hello… Lost!
- Thursday: The OC (last week’s episode really sucked though, anyone else agree?) and Without a Trace
Thursday, November 10, 2005
So I got to work just before 7:00 and immediately started feeling like crap. It was sort of an arbitrary crap, because I’m not sick or anything, I just felt… yucky. I had a raging headache, and was feeling tired and unmotivated and bored and cranky and fat. So into my head popped the idea of leaving work “sick”, and once it’s in there, there’s really no turning back. I sat for ten minutes staring at an email to my boss saying I was going home sick, debating whether or not I should hit the send button. Well I did, and by 8:00 I was back in my car headed home, calling my husband to let him know. He, of course, ridiculed me for a bit, but we decided to meet for lunch later on before noon. I drove home in a happy daze, my head full of ideas of what I could do with my day. My headache had mysteriously vanished.
It was strange listening to the radio morning shows on the way home from work, I have to say that was a first. Even more strange was that I heard my aunt call in to the station to weigh in on their discussion on marriage and money, and how couples deal with the whole “how much can you spend on yourself?” dilemma. She was talking about her handbag fetish, and how she can easily drop a few hundred on a new purse, but he will call and get her permission before making a $20 purchase for some sort of tool he needs. It’s not that she makes him ask for her permission, he just does. I think it’s safe to say, my poor uncle is officially whipped.
Anyways, so back to my day-o-laziness. When I got home I snuggled with my very surprised and excited pup on the couch for a few hours, tried to get a little nap in, put on some comfy jeans, and headed back out to pick up Dan. It was so nice to see him and I felt horribly guilty about the fact that I was playing hooky and he had to go back to work after lunch. When we were driving back to his office, we went right by a movie theatre, and I immediately knew what I wanted to do with my afternoon.
So for the first time in my life (if you don’t count the movie I saw in our hotel in Vegas last winter) I went to a movie theatre all by myself. I’ve wanted to see In Her Shoes since the fricken day it came out, and the fact that it was noon and they had a 12:15 showing was like God telling me to go for it. My solo-movie-going experience ended up being kind of bizarre actually. First, after purchasing my ticket, I went to the snack counter, because you just have to go to the snack counter when you go to a movie. Since I had just eaten lunch (I could literally still taste it), I wouldn’t allow myself to get my usual “popcorn, light butter”, so I thought I would just get a drink. Yes, I decided, one nice big Diet Coke with lots of ice and a straw was exactly what I wanted. So without looking at prices or options, I asked for a large Diet Coke, and I took note of the weird look that the hippie counter boy gave me as he went about fulfilling my order. I was given the reason for the weird look when he handed me the most enormous plastic cup I have ever seen and told me it would be $4.25. I had just bought 64 ounces of nutri-sweet and caffeine, all for myself. It was almost too big to carry with one hand! When he asked me how many straws I wanted, I sheepishly told him, “just one”, and ran off to the bathroom to flush my bladder in preparation of 2 hours alone, in the dark, with 64 ounces of Diet coke.
I was surprised to find the restroom completely pitch black. Despite my efforts to press the button on the wall that wasn’t really a button and jump around to initiate what I assumed were motion lights, it stayed dark. It actually kind of freaked me out, so I got the hell out of there and practically ran into the guy standing out in front of the men’s restroom. I come to find out the lights are off in there as well, and he has recruited another hippie boy to get them back on. Ten minutes later, I’m still standing there, sipping on my 64 ounces of Diet coke, talking to the three guys now waiting to use the restroom, watching as hippie movie theatre boy runs back and forth in a frantic fury. At this point my need to go to the bathroom had intensified, due to the aforementioned sipping of my monstrous soda. Finally, the guy fetched a couple flashlights and told us to go for it so we didn’t miss the beginning of our movies. I have to say, I was a little freaked out in there in the dark, but I forged through the fear.
So I’m finally sitting in the theatre, accompanied only by about 6 retirees (the only people seeing romantic comedies at 12:15 PM on a Wednesday), and the little commercial/TV thing has finished and told us the movie would be starting momentarily. Cut to another ten minutes later, we’re still sitting there staring at the frozen screen. Hippie guy finally runs in and apologizes, says he’s been dealing with the bathrooms, and at last the movie is up and running. My bladder prep wasn’t exactly successful, and I ended up going to the bathroom three times during the movie, not even making a dent in the 64 ounces of cancer in my cup holder.
The movie ended up being great, by the way, they stayed so true to the book, which I loved, and Toni Collette was just wonderful. Go see it. Really, really good.
In summary, my day yesterday was, in one word, awesome. It was so great to just take a day off in the middle of the week and just do whatever I wanted. It’s definitely something I shouldn’t get used to, but I can’t say I’m feeling very guilty about it. One thing I do feel guilty about, however, is skipping Belly Dancing last night. Bad. Bad, bad, bad.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
So we have a new food service company in my building, and this change makes me happier than Jesse Katsopolis singing with the Beach Boys on a really good hair day.
Check this out, they have a breakfast salad bar with yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and granola. Ummm… can we say yum?
And this morning I discovered that there is also a little oatmeal bar with toppings including chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, brown sugar, and more of that tasty granola! Good lord, it is just amazing!
So I’m a happy girl this morning, as I sip my coffee and munch on my cup of piping hot fruity oatmeal. I could definitely get used to this.
Did I mention it only cost me a dollar?
It’s sad what gets you excited in the corporate world, isn’t it?
Monday, November 07, 2005
- Sleep in as late as your sweet little pup will allow.
- Take all the time in the world to do your hair and make-up, (there is no one around to rush you and absolutely nothing to be late for!)
- Go here and try on 627 pairs of boots until you have found the perfect pair (scratch that, pairs). Remember, there is no reason to rush, your husband is at work, safe and sound, unable to pout and sigh and give you “that look” that means he may spontaneously combust if you do not make a decision in the next 2.7 seconds.
- Treat yourself to a new book and a long leasurely lunch featuring a delicious bowl of cream of chicken wild rice soup and a scrumptious caesar salad.
- Make sure you get that cozy little corner booth so you can lounge and read and slurp your diet coke for two whole uninterrupted blissful hours.
I treasure my lazy Fridays off every other week. I know it probably sounds horribly dull, but it was seriously EXACTLY what I needed.