Friday, March 31, 2006

Things You Do That Make Me Happy

1) Never letting me go to bed alone
2) Burning me new music
3) Letting me hug you whenever I want
4) Getting along with my family
5) Watching our favorite TV shows together
6) Being enthusiastic about my ideas
7) Giving me confidence
8) Keeping in good touch with me when we're apart
9) Being caring and considerate
10) Sharing your life with me

Things That Make Me Happy

1) Good haircuts
2) My favorite pair of jeans
3) Ice cream
4) (Pleasant) surprises
5) My birthday
6) Bagels and cream cheese
7) Kisses from Salem
8) A day off work
9) New shoes
10) Hot bubble baths

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Friend of a Friend of a Friend

Advice is so hard to give, and sometimes, so hard to get.

I've been searching for blogs about people who've moved to New York, talked to others who have friends that have done, and even those that have done it themselves.

But when it all comes down to it, the only way to really know how it's all going to work is to do it youself.

I feel like I'm fairly independent. I've managed to find apartments, sign leases and pay my bills.

Except this time it's different. I'll be unemployed. I'll be in a city that I've only been to twice. While I won't be going at it alone, I will doing it with someone who's in the same boat (haha) and that might cause a strain on our relationship.

My cousin's boyfriend has a good friend living there now, who offered to help me. I emailed him and he got back to me with his phone number. I've called and left a message today and hope to hear back soon.

The thing is, I'm kind of uncomfortable with the scenario. Mostly because I don't like having to ask for help (OK, except from my parents on occasion) especially from a complete stranger. My cousin says this guy is great, and I believe her, it's just that the links seems to be further and further apart from me to him. On top of this, he says he'll put me in touch with his girfriends sister's friend who is a no-fee broker. OK, now that is stretching the six degrees of separation.

I'm already fretting over contacting HER. I suppose I can just drop his name and hopefully that will grease the wheels a bit.

The whole thing is that I don't have any GOOD friends in New York. No one that would let me and my boyfriend and my cat sleep on their floor indefinitely. No one that owes me a huge favor or is just that good of a friend they'd do it out of goodness of their heart, or at least our longstanding relationship.

Then I wonder how much I'd want to help someone who was moving here. Would I let them stay with me? Would I really be able to help them find a job or a place to live?

I'd have to say, for certain people I would be willing to do it. A few years ago, my friend E. up and moved back from San Francisco. I let her crash on my couch, but she was so diligent and resourceful, that she only stayed for a week (maybe less) and got a job and an apartment that quickly. I wouldn't have minded at all if she had needed to stay longer.

I wish I had a better resource out there. But for now it will have to be my cousin's boyfriend's friend's girlfriend's sister's friend.

Playing Catch Up

Last night I got together with a friend of mine who I haven't seen in two years.

We live a couple of miles from one another and there's no real reason why we haven't seen one another. I guess times just gets by us.

It was insane catching up on things have happened over the last 24 months. Her daugher is sixteen and driving. The last I remembered she was about to start her freshman year.

Her and her boyfriend bought a condo. She graduated from college. Her sister got married.

I got promoted, moved in with my boyfriend and am planning to leave Chicago.

Each of us asked the other about friends and family. Most, if not all of it, was good news, so that was nice.

There are a couple of other people I haven't seen in way too long. I wonder if I should call them and debate the significance of these quick reunions. Sometimes it's the people that are in your life on a day to day, or at least, week to week basis, that you make the effort to keep up with.

Sometimes the other folks fall by the wayside.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Coffee & Cigarettes

A couple of weeks ago I had to go to Columbia College to pick something up.

When I walked up from the Harrison Red Line stop, I couldn't help but smile. Even though some things have changed about that particular block, like the new student center, it felt very familiar.

I used to take the "L" in everyday or so from my apartment in Wrigleyville, downtown to school. Sometimes there would be a gap between my classes, so I'd pick up a Reader, head to the little diner around the corner, and sit, drinking a bottomless cup of coffee and sometimes smoking.

It felt liberating.

I miss the freedom of deciding what I was going to do each day. I'd go shopping or skip class, or have Thai food with a friend. Sometimes I'd go all the way back to the apartment to watch TV and then head back for an evening class.

I planned out my nights based on how early I had to get up the next day. I was working part-time, so I usually came in tired or hungover. For awhile, a friend of mine and I would go out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, for different events at different bars.

I haven't stepped foot into any of these place for a good three years.

Sometimes I really wish I could go back in time and just hang out a little more. Even though school was kind of lame, it was cool to learn new things, even though for me that meant being taught how to spin records or record voiceovers. I looked forward to things like that on a daily basis.

I didn't have this sense of dread that I do now.

I don't miss feeling the squeeze at the beginning of each month when rent and bills were due.

But at least I was having fun.

A Little Bit Of This...

-I finished disc one, season one of "24". Man, that is one awesome show!

-There was a young guy who got killed near UIC several months ago. He was beaten to death with a bike lock. One of the killers skipped his bond hearing and fled to Syria, where his mother lives. Since the United States and Syria have "tension" the authorities are unable to extradite him. Better yet, the brother of the man who died found a video on the internet that showed the murderer dancing at a nightclub in Syria. How mindboggling angry would you be if you were the brother?

-I just found out two of my friends who live out of town might be visiting the weekend Boat and I are going to New York to look for apartments. I'm bummed.

-What kind of food do I want tonight: sushi, pizza, some sort of Asian cuisine or Guatemalan?

-Sometimes I think this whole world was designed to annoy me.

-Jonathan Anton on the show "Blow Out" is the most ridiculous, melodramatic egomaniac that ever walked the Earth. OK, now I'M being melodramatic just talking about him. Seriously though, if you love shows where people are full of themselves and are completely oblivious, watch this show. Or Laguna Beach.

-Sleeping in an extra half an hour rules. Yet, it's still hard to get out of bed.

-Tomorrow I'm getting a haircut and hopefully making it to the other salon in time to get my eyebrows and upper lip threaded. Yesss...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Damn You, TJ's!

In an effort to eat at home more, I perused the Trader Joe's site to see if their new flyer was up for meal ideas.

It wasn't, but they were featuring a gyoza dipping sauce, which I thought was genius.

I also read a post on Chowhound's Home Cooking about their bulgogi.

I was all excited to cook up some hot white rice, broil up some Korean beef, and nibble on vegetable potstickers.

Well, wouldn't you know, both were out of stock.

This is the second time this has happened to me. The other was when I wanted their frozen naan bread.

It's annoying because that store is always so damn crowded. People have no shopping cart etiquette. And I hate to say it, but I wish children were banned from the place.

Don't even get me started on the parking lot.

I guess sometimes I just have to decide which is better: going there later at night, around 9, and losing my parking spot, or heading straight there after work and getting an awesome parking spot.

This is what my life has been reduced to.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I Miss

-Going to Olive Garden
-Vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and peanuts
-DQ runs
-Sharing a popcorn and cherry coke
-Talking about our parents
-Remembering the good and not so good about high school
-Our matching scrapbooks
-Agreeing to disagree on movie rentals
-Having another set of ears to hear me bitch about the world
-Knowing you are a phone call away

A Letter

Dear Pants That Used To Be Too Big,

I wish you were still too big.

Sincerely,
Bittersweet

Down State

Sometimes I forget that Illinois is a really big state and there is far more of it then what I see, which consists mostly of the city and the suburb I grew up in.

Of course, I know that going south usually means a little more farm, a little more Republican, a little more...outdated.

I may not be hip to the times, but I think I'm a little further along then most people in Sprinfield, Illinois, our state's capitol.

Perhaps it didn't help that I was down there for a bowling tournanment, but I'm going to be biased anyway.

I wish I had brought my camera SO BAD.

I stayed at a hotel called the Microtel Inn & Suites. The "indoor pool" was the size of a large bathtub. I slept on the most uncomfortable sleeper sofa EVER. I ate at a Denny's for lunch because everywhere else was an hour wait or more.

Traffic lights felt like they took ten minutes to change. People parked five, six cars on their lawn. I especially liked the signs on I-55 about guns making this country safe.

I kept thinking "I would kill myself if I lived in a place like this". That or I'd be really fat and dressed poorly.

I don't mean that people there were fat (OK, they were sort of poorly dressed). It's just that all there seemed to be to do around there was eat or bowl.

Anyway, it was an interesting place and horribly enough, I'll be going back this Sunday for three days for a work conference.

Lucky me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Just Shoot Me

Sometimes I feel like I'm staring down the barrel of a gun when it comes to my "career".

I just don't get this whole profession thing. I mean, is this really a purpose in life? To get a good job?

Someone HAS to do my job. Personally, I don't think it suits anyone and that leads me to think about how this whole concept of working is set up on the fact that there are plenty of jobs people would not want to have but do.

Sure, there are those that will tell us we can do what makes us happy, that we can wake up every morning and look forward to going to work. But I just don't see how that's possible considering how many crappy ass jobs I've had in my life. Jobs that were totally uninspiring, boring and sometimes out and out unethical.

Excuse me for how this is going to sound, but seriously, your job, the one you're doing right now, it's not that important. In fact, it's pretty damn pointless. Think about it.

However, if you're happy, then hey, that is really fucking cool and I can only wish that one day I too will love my purpose-less job.

Please just ignore me. I hate my job and that's not anyone's problem but my own.

Blah

Sorry.

I was at a conference yesterday (a super boring, pointless conference) and didn't feel like blogging when I got home (early).

Anyway, my head is currently spinning around and around and I have put too much on my plate tonight and this weekend. I go back and forth between trying to fit it all in and figure it all out, to just going home and taking a nap.

But no, I will do laundry, stop by my friend's birthday gathering, go to the Asian American Film Fesitval's opening reception and make it home in time to get to bowling by 10.

I will then wake up tomorrow at 8:30, pack my bag, pick up my cousin, and drive four hours to Sprinfield where I'll be bowling in a two day tournament.

Then I'll get home sometime Sunday night and have to be back at work that week, where I will be the only person in the office for four days.

Gee, can't wait.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blood

My extended family on both sides is a little weird. I'm closer to my mom's side because most of them live in the city. However, one of my aunts moved to California before I was born. She had three children, two girls and a boy.

L. has two kids, A. has one, and C. (the son) isn't married.

They are my cousins, but I don't know them, and they don't know me.

On my dad's side, two of my aunts live in California, one is in Wisconsin and my uncle is in New York. I have one cousin who I've hung out with a few times in her thirteen years of life. I have another cousin who actually lived with us a few times when we were growing up because my aunt was just not taking care of her, and at the age of 10, she was basically on her own. I haven't seen her in over three years. Her half sister is missing and I haven't seen her in a good fifteen years. The half sister has a son, who I know I'll never see again.

It's weird to think of all of them out there, living there lives, and connected to me by blood.

I know a lot of families are like this. We all have cousins we don't know, or don't remember.

It makes me kind of sad to think that my circle could be so much bigger if I were closer to all of them. I know we can't choose our family and that maybe we wouldn't get along if it were forced upon us.

But I still wonder how different my life would be if had we all been around for one another.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I Really Don't Know

Everyone's been asking when our move to NYC is, and I really have no idea.

Boat and I are going out there in May to find an apartment, but if we don't find one, plans will have to change.

We have a few options in mind, though I'd rather it not come to that.

It's weird to be working towards something without any definite answers, but without jobs or a place to live, it's impossible to pin down any dates.

We might not be gone until mid-summer or even the end.

I'm not sure which is going to be harder: finding an apartment or getting a job.

Either way, I can't wait for this to all to be figured out.

FOOD!

So the past week or so has been all about food, in case you didn't notice from my "illness" post.

Last night Boat treated me to a delicious Cuban meal at the restaurant where we had our first Valentine's Day. And then on to a Costa Rican restaurant for an oatmeal shake to go.

He also bought me a gift card to The Chopping Block to take a hands on cooking class. I'm busy the night he chose for me, so I'm going to change my registration. I think I might sign up for another hands on class, even though I could take two demonstration classes for the same price.

There is still leftover pizza and cake from yesterday, which I'm sure I'll eat today. For the past month I've been half-heartedly trying to get back on track with my pseudo-diet, but my half-assed attempts haven't gone very far.

I'm hoping April will be a different story.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hahaha...Boohoohoo

My 22-year old brother sent me a text message wishing me a happy birthday.

He said to get over turning a year older I should get drunk tonight and that will make everything better.

Except that, now that I'm 27, Monday is no longer an acceptable night to get crunk and celebrate.

Oh to be "young" again.

Things That Make My Eye Twitch

1) Watching The Bulls
2) Voicemail
3) Unexpected walk-ins
4) Long lines
5) Talking over talking
6) The internet being down
7) Thinking and or knowing I have something on my face, but no access to a mirror
8) Traffic
9) Being low on cash
10) Running late

Everything is Making Me ILL

Yeah, so for over a week now, I've been having some stomach issues. More like bowel issues, but I wasn't going to go there. Fine, I did.

Anyway, I basically can't eat anything without something going wrong, yet I've done nothing to diagnose or prevent this.

It could be that I'm becoming lactose intolerant. It could be that I have a stomach virus.

I don't know.

Either way, it's almost funny now that I can't eat anything without getting a mild stomachache.

It also hasn't kept me from eating any of the following: large chocolate ice cream cone, Jimmy John's, Costello's, Shamrock Shake, Crunch Wrap Supreme, garlic bread, meat tortollini in a spicy tomato sauce, or pancakes.

It's good to know that self control begets self control.

They Say It's Your Birthday

It's my birthday too!

OK, so Saturday night was a lot of fun and I'm glad everyone (well everyone except for the one person who claimed to not be invited, though she didn't bother to look at the Evite), was able to make it out and that it appeared they too had a good time.

The best part: free drinks for two hours. After some confusion, we were given a nice section in the back of the bar. My friend T. whipped up a homemade yellow cake with chocolate frosting: sweet. I received some fancy soaps, body cream, hand crafted earrings, an eggling (little egg that sprouts out fresh herbs [mine is basil], a bank-gift card [I think I'll used it toward buying a suit] and some funny cards.

I think it's sort of sinking in that I'm leaving...and that it means leaving behind all of these great people. I'm trying not to focus on how homesick I will probably feel for the first few months.

Anyway, today my friend J. is bringing in pizza from Pompeii. My co-workers got me an ice cream cake and later, Boat is taking me out to dinner at a surprise (per my request) location.

Now, if only I didn't have to work, today would be perfect.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I Want To Eat More Japanese Food

Last night E. took me out for Italian for my birthday. It was a very nice restaurant, called Bella Notte. If it were any darker in there, I wouldn't be able to see my hand in front of my face, but that's called romantic ambiance.

The food was delicious. We started with a grilled seafood appetizer. Octopus was my favorite. She had chickem parmisan and I had meat tortollini in spicy tomato sauce. My carrot cake was flavorful, but I should have ordered cannolli. E.'s tiramisu looked amazing and I did have a taste of the decandent marscapone cheese topping. Yum.

I think if I lived in Italy, I'd be fat and tired. Red wine plus pasta is a lethal, yet wonderful combination.

I've often considered trying to eat a Japanese food only diet. I'm still thinking about doing it, though there are just so many cuisines I enjoy. A family friend went to Japan through the JET program and has decided he'd like to stay there for good. He lost 40 pounds!

I just loved the part in Lost in Translation when he's on the phone with his wife telling her he wants to eat more Japanese food. It sort of sounds ridiculous, but logical at the same time.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

If I Didn't Know You

-I wouldn't own a cat.
-I wouldn't know anyone on the Bulls, let alone care.
-I wouldn't be following the NCAA.
-I wouldn't have most of the music collection I do now.
-I wouldn't eat so many sandwiches.
-I wouldn't have quit coffee.
-I wouldn't sleep on my stomach.
-I wouldn't moisturize everyday.
-I wouldn't be moving to NYC.
-I wouldn't be saving money.

Out To Lunch

I've already alluded that with summer fast approaching, my work ethic is at an all-time low. Even if everything with the move blows up in our faces, I still won't be working here. Or at least, this is what I've promised to myself.

Tomorrow is my co-worker's last day and for awhile, there will only be two of us handling everything. Honestly, being asked to do more than I already am at a time when I've mentally checked out doesn't really work.

There is a huge, huge part of me that has decided as much as coming in here and surfing the net for hours sucks, it's better than actually doing work. It's better than being the office bitch.

Last night I caught the end of "Dave", where he gives the speech about getting everyone in America a job. It made me feel bad that I don't come here every morning with a sense of duty, that I don't take my job very seriously, or try very hard. It's pathetic, really, that I get paid considering how little I accomplish day to day.

I think I'm lazy here because I don't see the point in all of this. I don't care about any of it. And best of all, I'm not held accountable as much as I should be.

You know what I'm good at here? Buying birthday cards and arranging someone's going away party. Not that that means I should be an event planner. I'm just sayin'.

The truth is, I don't want to be at home doing nothing. At least, not seven days a week. I don't want to be one of those people who grew up rich and never knew what it was like to have a "real" job. Fine, we can't all be poets, musicians, painters or food critics. Heck, maybe I'd hate all of those optinos too.

All I know is, it feels kind of rotten to hate something so much, yet spend so much time doing it. It's an end to a means, they say, but work + sleeping doesn't amount to very much of those means.

In conclusion, I should 1) get a new job that I actually like and 2) do something constructive and meaningful with my time away from work.

(Though the real problem is that when I leave here, I feel like a total worthless slug, whose eyes are burnt from staring at a computer all day and my motivation is hovering around 0% after my drive home. This usually leads to the wretched combination of: eating dinner, watching a lot of TV, and going to sleep. It doesn't help that Boat is diligent and paints for a good three hours while I stare at him from the kitchen trying to decide if I should watch the Bulls game, or lay in bed and start the second episode of "24". My god, I am one sorry-ass human being.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Doctor is OUT

It's weird how the same things look different now that I'm older.

Going to the doctor when I was young made sense. Mom called, I got in, she paid the bill. Done.

I trusted her judgement, not knowing the doctor was chosen because they were in a particular network that took our insurance.

I was sick a lot between the ages of 7 and 12. I had asthma and allergies and even got strep throat five years in a row. I took a lot of amoxicillan back then.

The only time I ever remember feeling bad about the cost of something like this was when my mom complained about how much my cavities getting filled would be. For some reason I thought the co-pay took care of everything back then.

Nowadays, I obviously know differently.

I work for a freakin' hospital, yet got better health coverage when I was working for an evil, for profit place. I pay a $300 deductable and still make co-payments to see my doctor.

Apparently she is gone for the whole month of April and can't see me till May. That's just not going to cut it since I need birth control pills ASAP.

Instead, I have to see her colleague. The same guy who gave me the wrong antibiotics for a UTI, in which I had to make another appointment and buy a new round of the CORRECT medication.

Of course, I appreciate health coverage. I'm thankful I have it. I'll be even more grateful in a few months when I might be unemployed and uncovered.

But I can still complain. A whole month? Really? Your shitty colleague? Seriously? $320 just to get a refill on my fucking birth control? Are you kidding me?

Things I'd Like To Do

1) Make homemade scones
2) Finish the song
3) Watch "24", "Felicity", "Sex and the City" and "Alias"
4) Take a knitting class at Knit 1
5) Pick a great place for me and Boat to eat
6) Buy new bras
7) Get back on track with eating healthy at work
8) Find a job in NYC
9) Tone my arms
10) Spring clean

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Self Critic

Boat copied an MP3 of my performance on to CD for me, which I listened to on the way to work.

It's weird hearing yourself live, and also just hearing yourself sing period.

I couldn't help but notice every missed note, or flubbed lyric. There were weak and strong points.

I wonder if I'd listen to my music if I wasn't the one making it.

More than one person has suggested I do my own thing, especially with the move coming up.

I don't know if I'm confident enough to try my own thing, even though I feel like I'm capable.

In my ideal world, I'm a singer and Boat's an artist and this is how we live the rest of our lives. No more 9-5's. Free spirits.

Nevermind

I considered suiting up in workout pants and a sports bra to try one of the supposed workouts on Comcast.

Instead, I slipped on a pair of pajama pants and started watching season one of "24", which my friend so graciously burned to DVD for me.

It was way more fun lying in bed under the covers with the heated mattress pad on than sweating to the oldies.

I may have gone a little overboard eating chocolate cake in bed too, but it felt a tad scandalous.

So much for exercising!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Just One Of Those Days

My boss comes in to ask me to run a report, to which I see no point to and want so badly to say so, but can't.

It's going to be one of those days where I really don't want to be bothered with anything.

I suppose I could try and slap myself around, remind myself that I am in fact getting paid to be here, to work, and that I don't have a legitimate exuse for wanting to close the door and sleep the rest of this day away.

I try to create little things to look forward to, like closing my door and sipping on a diet 7-11, surfing the net, which I do anyway, but at least I can do so without minimizing the window every few minutes.

I try to look forward to upcoming events, however big or small.

I dread stupid things, like how I have to pick up my bowling ball after work and stop at the grocery store for bananas and dinner for the week. I'd much rather drive directly home, slip on comfy pajamas, and take a long nap.

All this, and it's only 9:30.

Sure, there's a brightside somewhere in this mess, but I'm too lazy and indifferent to find it at the moment.

Misc.

-Don't get me wrong: I love brunch. And it's true, restaurants have the tendency to serve portions that are out of control. But I like brunch meals to be big: lots of carbs and starches; variety. It's not that my smoked salmon omelette wasn't worth the $10, it just didn't satisfy like a normal breakfast out. Plus, you inevitably wait a good 30 minutes no matter where you go on Sunday morning. I suppose it's just all part of the experience.

-I remembered another good reason for cutting coffee out of my diet: yellowing of teeth. Mine are bad as it is, and I sipped on a few cups of decaf this weekend. No more of that if possible.

-This weather has me totally confused. I ended up leaving my coat in the car going into work today because it was too warm. My office is still a sauna. I set the thermostat to 65 and it's reading 75.

-Boat was sick all weekend, so I did my best to keep him comfortable and not allow him to get out of bed too much. Needless to say, we didn't do much and I was bummed to miss our normal date night dinner, but there are plenty of weekends for that. Who said the tradition had to stop after we move?

-This is my co-worker's last week and I'm dreading next week when we're dealing with everything minus one person. Nothing has been discussed about taking phone calls and dealing with walk-ins, but either way, it's going to get stressful (AKA, annoying). At least Monday is my birthday and I can escape to the conference room for ice cream cake.

-I'm sort of in a slump at the moment. I'm on the brink of getting my period, coming off a slow weekend, and coming down from the performance on Thursday. My mom pointed out that I always say "I don't want to go to work tomorrow", which is absolutely true and I can't remember if I've ever NOT said that.

Friday, March 10, 2006

A "Bachelor" Reflection

I did get to see The Bachelor finale even though I was in Mexico. Boat recorded it on the Comcast DVR (yesss!), even though I already knew who "won".

Yeah, yeah, I know it's already over with Travis and Sarah. Bigfuckingsurprise.

Anyway, I read a commentary about Moana written by some reality TV critic online. The gist was that he felt bad for her, that she needed someone like Travis to prove "guys like him" do actually date "girls like her".

What I took away from her emotional breakdown in the limo after he REjected her, was to feel really sorry for her, and also to understand some of that pain.

The word that stood out among all of them during her confessional was "foolish".

When you are dumped, that word seems to define exactly what you're feeling. You feel foolish for giving someone your heart, foolish for telling them secrets and letting them in, foolish for apparently liking/caring for/loving them more than the liked/cared for/loved you, foolish for thinking it was going to last, and foolish for not being smart enough to see it was going to end.

You feel duped and humiliated, beat down to an emotional state so raw, that the rational, mental part of you tries hard to dig your feelings out from under the ground and make them realize they are not to blame for what happened.

Yet at the same time, it's your mind, with all if its thoughts and memories, that conjure up the physical feelings of sickness and heartache.

I felt bad for Moana because she was honestly hurt. I think most of us can identify with that pain.

And I hate that when things end in such a manner (OK, not on live television for a show in which you and 24 other women compete for one guy), the result is that we feel like fools.

A Captivated Audience

Last night was amazing.

I had such a great time seeing all of my friends and family.

I didn't get to talk to people as much as I wanted and felt like I was half out of it from nervousness and excitement.

I was blown away by how many people showed up and it made it that much better to perform our songs in front of a nice sized, live audience.

It's times like these you realize what an incredible network of people you've managed to create over the years.

When I first moved to Chicago, it was really hard to meet people and make friends. It would have been so comforting to know then that in the future, I would have met all of these really cool, down to Earth, smart and funny individuals.

It's a really cool feeling to accomplish something you've always wanted, but never knew possible.

I owe a lot of last night's experience to Boat for encouraging me to contact the guitarist to work together again. And of course, I owe the guitarist a lot for asking me to collaborate and coming up with all of our songs!

Anyway, I'm still on a bit of a high and it feels good.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Real Take on My Vacation

Sorry I didn't post about this earlier. I guess it just didn't occur to me again until now.

First let me say, I realized I'm a priviledged person to go to Mexico for five days and do nothing.

I understand the need for tourism, and that it helps countries generate revenue and jobs. For the most part, it's probably a positive thing.

However, as a tourist, I found it rather disconcerting. It seems every city in Mexico has it's "Hotel Row", and across the street from us was a shopping area and restaurants. I was bummed to see how many places were serving up fancified seafood dishes and Italian food instead of authentic Mexican dishes. There were even two sushi joints.

Not to say that things should have been dirt cheap, but paying an average of $20-25 on dinner wasn't what I had in mind. I wanted tacos and tamales and instead I got dressed up fajitas.

The thing is, these towns are totally created on the IDEA of what Mexico and what other beach destinations should be like. Happy hours, American music, outdoor seating that features the sunset, ocean views. They're all part of what we THINK these places should be like. The locals who work in the hotels and restaurants and shops set everything up to be tourist friendly.

I say all this only to counter with: I'm not sure seeing the "real" Mexico is what I had in mind when I booked this vacation. In fact, I know it wasn't. I'm not really the type to explore the "great outdoors" by any means. I'm not a backpacker or camper or mountain climber. I need air conditioning and hot showers and a comfortable bed.

So I'm not sure what my point is. Maybe I felt disillusioned by the whole experience. Yes, in my head I wanted pool side beverages and perfect weather, but a whole city catered just to those wants seemed askew.

Another Failed Shopping Excursion

I told myself I'd only go into Nordstrom's Rack to find something to wear for tonight, but their selection was terrible. Rounders filled with "layer tops" or sweaters made up the bulk of things and neither were appropriate. Lots of spring/summer looks, which also didn't work.

H&M had tons of cute stuff, but the fact that I thought I was overestimating by choosing things in a size 10 was so totally off and the size 14 top fit better left me a little annoyed. The one shirt that seemed cute on the hanger was just confusing on.

Filene's Basement had the same stuff as December when I went hunting for holiday wear.

And Old Navy...well, they're Old Navy. Everything was tank tops, flip flops, board shorts and bathing suits.

The problem is, everything either doesn't look right on, or just isn't original enough. I know that I'm no fashionista, but if you want to stand out, a cookie cutter flutter sleeve top ain't gonna cut it.

Instead I'll be defaulting to a shirt I bought for vacation and a cardigan, a pair of jeans and some old slides.

So much for looking like a Rock Star.

::Sigh::

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This Is Not About You

I love Chicago. I really, really do. There are so many things I love about it, I couldn't possibly list them all here.

I'm not leaving to get away from the city itself. I'm not going somewhere else because I think it might be better, or that it has more to offer.

It just seems like you are so very defensive about this place. You think I'm abandoning it, your town, your home, the love of your life.

But I wish you'd just step back and see that there are thousands of places to live, thousands of cities and communities to explore. Some will be better than Chicago, some won't. Maybe that doesn't interest you, and that's OK too. I don't look down on your for staying.

If you are reacting the way you are because you'll miss me, then say that instead of ragging on New York. Say you're sorry to see me go instead of proclaiming here is better than there.

It's time to spread my wings, time to try something DIFFERENT, something NEW. And you're right, maybe it smells, maybe it's dirty and expensive and overrated and snobby. I can't argue otherwise at this point.

I don't think I'm better than you when I say "I'm moving to New York City". I don't think I'm trading up. If I told you I was moving to Montana would your knee jerk reaction be the same? Are you just trying to stick up for Chicago, or do you just want to put me down for going to New York?

This move isn't intended to offend anyone, especially the Windy City.

Not A Bad Defense

I'm pretty sure several years ago, a woman claimed PMS caused her to kill her husband. At the time, I thought that was ridiculous, but lately, I think it was probably legitimate.

Maybe it's the fact that I've been on three different pills in the last 10 or so months. Maybe my body just doesn't like being invaded by extra hormones that trick it into thinking it's pregnant every month.

I liked getting my period every three months. Fine, that's not "normal", but it's not unhealthy either.

It's borderline ridiculous to think of the things we all do (men included) to make absolutely sure we do not get pregnant. NO BABIES, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Luckily, I don't have to worry about anything like STD's.

Recently I read some lame ass Cosmo/Glamour tidbit about why are hunger seems to spike during PMS. They say we want carbs and other fattening food, but why not have something healthy?

Listen bitch, when that week rolls around, I'm not thinking about picking up a carrot stick or nibbling on raw broccoli. And if you get in the way of me and my comfort food I WILL kick you in the face.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Softie in Cynic's Clothing

I don't believe in god, heaven, or hell. The list goes on, but you get the picture.

I've mentioned this before, so I won't go into detail about that.

Instead, I'd just like to say, that for the Reeves' sake, I hope there is a heaven. Maybe that sounds super fucking corny, but I'm serious. There are plenty of other people I hope there's a heaven waiting too, but today it's Christopher and Dana Reeves.

I'm sure it seems lame to waste a wish on a celebrity and his wife, but they seemed like good people. Good people who tried to make other people's lives happy and healthy. Good people who died rather tragically, and far too young.

Today is the memorial service for our dean, who passed away a few months ago. I've been able to push his memory out of my head, much like I've done with my cousin, uncle and grandmother. It's probably not a good way to deal with things, or an honest way to cope. But sometimes the only things you can think of are those that are right in front of you, those that are still within arm's reach.

I wonder if his wife looks forward to dying, looks forward to joining him in the afterlife. I think I'd like to be comforted by such a thought when dealing with the death of a loved one. I'd like to believe that there is somewhere you can go that's infinite, and that you never really lose anyone, only are apart temporarily.

I can't believe in heaven just for the sake of "good people", or even selfishly. I know I don't live a life that reflects the mantra "you only live once", even though I really do think this.

Death puts things into perspective, and sometimes I wish I could hold on to those fleeting reactions and thoughts long enough to make a difference in my life.

Gut Feeling

Have you ever talked to someone in customer service (or someone like this) and asked that something be done or changed and got off the phone or walked away knowing it probably wouldn't get done?

Once I called Verizon to stop an automatic payment on my bill. I called them three times in fact, to make sure it would go OK. Did it go OK? No. Not only did the automatic debit go through, but they cashed my check, which caused not one, but two overdraws. Fucking idiots.

A couple of weeks ago I cancelled my YMCA membership. The guy had me sign one little piece of paper and said it would be taken care of. Yesterday I checked my bank account and sure enough, they withdrew $44 this month. Now they want ME to fax them the copy of the cancellation form, even though they have the original. Somewhere.

There's nothing worse than that feeling that you're talking to a brick wall. It always happens with money, doesn't it?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Get A Life

The weekend before I left for my trip, a friend's brother was in town from NYC with his wife.

I'd met the brother a couple of years ago when he was visiting, and I thought he was very cute, nice, funny, personable. Sure, as a single girl back then, I was bummed to hear he was married, but it was still nice to meet him and hang out.

This time around, his wife was with him, a woman my friend doesn't really like (that's putting it nicely). He expressed annoyance about her behavior, but I decided I'd do my best to give her a fair chance upon meeting her.

We met up for lunch last Saturday, with a group of people. I brought Boat along and I thought everything went fine. I didn't get a chance to talk to the wife at all since she wasn't sitting next to me, but she didn't seem horrible or anything.

Way later that night, my friend called to say they were going to a late night bar for drinks. I went sans Boat (he went to sleep) and had a couple of beers. We chatted about this and that, especially about NYC since they live there and we're going to be living there. The wife complimented my ring, and I told her I really liked her purse (it was cool!).

I went home (they may or may not have gone out for food) and that was it. "Have a safe trip back, nice to meet you".

When I got back, one of my friends who was at the lunch, informed me that the wife apparently thought I had been staring too much at her husband.

WTF.

First of all, I was not STARING at your husband. Second, I have a boyfriend and am very much in love and don't do rude things like stare at other people's significant others. Third, I'm not that desperate or obvious. Fourth, it's quite normal to look at the person you're talking to. Fifth, GET A LIFE!

I cannot stand this kind of total bullshit from women. Does she really think I'd have the gall to flirt with her husband in front of her, his brother, and my boyfriend? Is she so insecure in her relationship that she has to go around making false claims to somehow justify why she feels the way she does? Can you say JEALOUSY ISSUES? I don't mean that she actually felt threatened by me, but that she probably thinks EVERY woman is trying to hit on her husband.

Whatever the reason, I'm annoyed by her accusation, but the truth is, I shouldn't care what she thinks. She's no one to me and it's just too bad her perception is so totally off.

Back To Reality

It's only been a few days since I got back, but it feels like I never left.

Work hasn't been all that bad so far, and I only had one voicemail, thanks to our awesome administrative assistant.

I cleaned up most of my work email at home, so that too has been pretty bearable.

Other than that, not much is going on.

Tomorrow night I'm going to a Bulls game, which should be fun.

The performance is this Thursday, which I'm nervous and excited about. I haven't found anything to wear, so it may just be something I have in my closet. (No Fun)

I guess I just hope this week flies by...and the next 15 as well.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Day 4...Last Full Day...BOO HOO...

I spent $13 on sunblock, SPF 45.

I finally jet skiied!

I haven't found anything cool at the flea market, so I probably won't be bringing anything back for anyone. Sorry...

Don't ever order t bone steak here...or eat outside because you'll be attacked by flies.

My nail polish has held up well on my toes.

I wish my hair would do this funky curl thing in Chicago. Actually, it will once the humidity picks up.

I can't believe we're already coming home tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Day 3

Watch your head!

Lots of older folks vacation here.

Sunburn: affirmative

I don't feel so bad about my body.

Guacamole never gets old.

Weird: air conditioning, riding with the windows down, wanting something cold to drink.

I'm going to miss wearing tank tops, skirts and flip flops when I get back.