Wednesday, January 30, 2008

11 Degrees

The current temperature for sip code 60614 is 11 degrees... That's my zip code. Today's high was 14 degrees. I walked into my volunteer position this morning and was asked if it was cold enough for me.

But, Wait, it gets better! Tomorrow's high is 22 degrees, we're doubling our temperature in just 24 hours. Amazing, isn't it? I know.

Now that I'm done bitching about the weather - which, in all reality isn't that bad. (I'm inside 98% of the time and the snow in the park is gorgeous.) But I'm going to elaborate on my love affair with the 'Real World/Road Rules Challenge' - MTV has started a new season and some of my old drama queen favorites are back as well as some new faces. Half of the cast is pink from the bright sun of Mexico so it reminds me of my own family on a beach vacation. This show is the ultimate guilty pleasure for me, forget "The Real Housewives" or "American Idol". The drama on this show kills me! I love it!

The other thing I thought of is that pretty soon we'll have a second generation of Real World/Road Rulers... I know the very first seasons should be parents by now. How weird would that be if one of their kids was on a future show? The things I think of since I have way too much time to think about nothing. Hopefully that will change soon...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


My roommate coined this term for her attitude when getting into a taxi here in Chicago... meaning that if she gets in and it's unacceptable, she gets out and waits for another one. I have had several interesting experiences in cabs myself...

The Speed Racer - Drivers who think they are a part of the Indy 500. As a passenger, you're slung all over the place and can start feeling quite queasy. I'm under the impression cabbies think they increase their earning potential by decreasing the amount of time they spend per customer. I know that I tip less for reckless driving - I'm a big tipper too so they should be more aware of their customer's comfort.

Once, a friends' husband nicely said to a driver, "we're in no hurry" which worked to slow one down. So that's the line I'm going to use, my problem is by the time I realize I have a problem with their speed racing, I'm on the verge of getting motion-sick and I'm afraid opening my mouth will cause my stomach to leave my body.

The Preacher - These are the drivers who take advantage of the fact that you are TRAPPED in their vehicle for a certain amount of time to pontificate about whatever: I've been lectured about God, Bush, American's evilness, the weather, my building, traffic, Mayor Daley, etc.

The last time I was lectured was about my building: I walked out of my building, asking my doorman to flip the cab light. As I exited, a cab was pulling into my driveway and I got in. The driver then proceeded to tell me he was just turning around and the light should be on and I needed to learn how this process worked, etc. etc... I asked if he wanted to get out of the cab and wait for another (granted, while he was telling me how I wasn't doing the right thing, he had pulled out of the driveway and into traffic). So he lectured me the whole way downtown and again, his tip was my only response. I'm not about to start arguing with a cabdriver but I felt as this lecture wasn't necessary.

The Perfumer - Some cabs have distinct smells, like cigarette smoke or blantant B.O. and some have heavy and mysterious smells which are overwhelming and a little scary. Who knows what has been smoked in these cabs or what condition the driver is in. Plus, I hate heavy perfumes so I constantly feel as though I'm choking. And when it's -0 degrees as it can be in a Chicago winter, I hate rolling down the window.

But there are times when being cold is better.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Sorry folks, I've been MIA for a while now. My computer crashed and it took a while for me to admit that I couldn't fix it and then even longer for it to be fixed by the Geek Squad at Best Buy (who by the way did a great job).

Just wanted to let you know where I've been... don't have much to say tonight but I'll be back sooner than later.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Baby Willum!!

My sister sends me pictures of my nephew on a weekly basis. Keeps me up to date and I love it. Here he is at my grandparent's house - Leah and William are at my parent's house in Georgia to get his 3 month pictures made tomorrow. He's a cutie and he looks like he's gotten bigger. He has started smiling and he grins at everyone, even though he's not smiling at this picture. How cute is he in his overalls? I love it.

We've been calling him Baby Willum because our little friend Sara who is almost 3 calls him and every other baby, "BABY WILLUM!"
This is Sara kissing William during Christmas - she was aggressive about making sure he got a big kiss from her!

Girl Crush

I have a new crush... a girl crush! And on top of that, it's a celebrity girl crush. I am in love with Heidi Klum... she is so awesome. And fun. She's a girl that you want to open a bottle of wine with and get tipsy and tell stories and laugh about stupid things that boys have done to impress us.

I should hate her - she's married and has kids and still has the most amazing body ever! I should want to burn every picture of her and smash my computer or throw my tv out the window when Project Runway is on. But it's the opposite, I really want to be her friend, I want to chat with her and I get all excited when her name is mentioned. It's really sad. But I have a girl crush.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I went over to my friend Lera's house for lunch and to meet her new puppy, MURRAY! There is nothing as sweet as a snuggly puppy who still has his puppy breath. The three of us sat on her floor and played with all the cute puppy toys for about 5 seconds... but we played with the paper towels for a good 2 hours.

Murrary loved toting his roll of paper towels around their kitchen/den area. Showing his prize off and acting as though he might share with you. Maybe... maybe... then nope, he trots off to another part of the room with his papertowels. It was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon and who wouldn't find this little guy adorable, huh?

Sorry for the quality of the picture - in the midst of the fog of my hangover, I forgot my camera so the one on my cell phone had to make due.

Made me lonesome for my own dog, Sandy - she's currently hanging out at my parent's home in Georgia. One of the many mistakes I've made in the past year was convince myself that leaving her behind would be better for both of us. This was stupid reasoning because:

  1. My parents are not animal people and don't care at all about interacting with her and she's a lover of a dog who wants to be right where you are at all times.

  2. She has to live outside at my parents' house and that's sad for all of us.

  3. I've had more free time in the past 6 months than I've had her whole life. She would have loved being here with me hanging out and going to the doggie beach and wondering all over the city this summer

  4. I wouldn't be in such a posh building because they don't allow dogs in such posh buildings, therefor my rent wouldn't be so crazy high.

I miss Sandy... here's a picture of my girl over Christmas, we're in the car about to head out to the farm so that she can run around. She's wearing her new blue collar that Santa Claus brought her. She had a stocking full of treats so we know she's loved but can't wait until I'm able to have her with me full time again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


For the last 48 hours, my life has been surreal. I feel as though I'm just going through the motions. Sunday evening my parents called me to tell me that Ben, a childhood friend, was found dead in his apartment. He had asthma and it appears he had an attack that he couldn't get under control and no one was there to help him.

Nothing makes less sense than someone dying young. We're only 28.

I hate that there is so much that he'll never get to know and do... so many experiences that he and his family will miss because he isn't here. It doesn't make sense and nothing will ever explain it.

Ben is one of the kids that I spent every waking moment with from the age of 5 until 13, we lived in a small town in Georgia and all of my memories, riding bikes, swimming, racing across the playground, etc. involve him and a couple other friends. School projects, baseball games, bike wrecks and backyard football - images of an ideal childhood involving my friend Ben.

I ache for his family. Parents should never have to bury their child.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Your Eggo is Preggo

Believe the hype and your best friend and the people riding the #151 down Michigan Avenue and go see Juno!

It was SO good!! Ellen Page was amazing. I wanted to be her! Even 16 & pregnant, I wanted to be this quirky and funny girl you couldn't help but fall in love with. Allison Janney stole the show for me as the quirky and smartass step-mother. She is one funny lady in my opinion. (Even on the dramatic West Wing she had me cracking up, NO ONE delievers a dry line better).

The girl sitting next to me (a complete stranger) giggled the whole way through the movie and she had one of those infectious laughs that doesn't allow you to sit silently beside her. Plus I'm one of those people who doesn't let people laugh or cry by themselves. It was a good way to spend 2 hours. I needed those laughs more than I realized.

I found this on the internet the other day when I was wasting time. It very much explains how I feel about my life right now...

Whenever you think you need a year off of work or life or school or whatever, think twice. A year is a long time. Believe me, I living it right now. 3-6 Months will do for most of us. This time has been really healthy and restorative for me... it's been good but I am so ready to get back into the game (as long as it's not retail) and be doing something with myself. This blog has been great for me just to have something else to do with my time during the day. I'm not bragging and I'm not complaining... I'm trying to motivate myself to formulate a plan. That's what my dad told me earlier today, to come up with a plan and tell him what it is. Thanks!


Saturday, January 5, 2008

What's Wrong with Britney?

More appropriately the title should be "What's Wrong with Newsweek?" Top pick story of the day! Come on people, Britney Spears thinking that the law doesn't apply to her is so 2007. Get over it. Let's all move on to the fact that Lindsay Lohan took a drink of champagne... far more important.
I'm not trying to sound condescending or elitist... obviously I know what happens in the lives of the pop-tarts as well. But I am tired of hearing about them. This stuff isn't even fun anymore, it's just sad. I lost all respect for Barbara Walters when she had Paris Hilton as one of the most fascinating people of 2006. They've all been in jail and rehab - if they were SuzyQ living next door, we would all stop talking to them. Yet they seem to only gain momentum from the news... I guess the saying, "there's no such thing as bad publicity" is true.

Today has been a great day for taking naps, the weather is dreary and even though it's much warmer, it was not an inspiring, sunny, go play outside afternoon. But a great day to curl up with a book and read the day away. And those of you who've spent more than an hour with me outside of a work environment know what I did today. I did move location several times and I did leave my apartment and go for a run this morning but otherwise I have been enthralled in my new book, "breaking her fall" by Stephen Goodwin. Such a great and touching story about a father and daughter. Highly recommend it.

I finally broke down and purchased Eddie Vedder's soundtrack for "Into the Wild" on iTunes a minute ago... I loved the movie more because of the music. More than one friend put it on their lists of top albums for 2007 and I just had to have it. I enjoy every moment of the album and want more when it's done. I'm not known for my "great" taste in music, just check out my collection of Britney and NKOTB. However, I do recognize talent and know the difference between being entertained and a talented singer/songwriter/storyteller. This is some of the best music ever, hands down, final answer.
The movie is such a touching story and sad ending. As I told my friend Brian, I'd watch the movie again just to hear the music and all I want to do now is go to Alaska. It was already in the top five places I want to visit and seeing the scenery in the movie only made me more anxious.

Friday, January 4, 2008

So Many People...

One of the things I've noticed since moving to Chicago is how many people are here.

Yes, stating the obvious is something I'm rather good at and yes, I am aware that Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the US (after NYC and LA, respectively).

But I still find myself amazed at how many people there are in a Borders bookstore at 3:30pm on a Friday afternoon. Or at the Starbucks behind my building at any given time of day. Or on the 22 bus at 1:45pm.

I know that I am not currently employed so that's why I am out and about instead of being chained to a desk, but what are the rest of you people doing?

Somewhere in the Middle

I’m always in the middle. I’m the middle child of three girls. For as long as I can remember, people have been telling me that I’m in the middle (the less tactful ones then also tell me how this will f&*k me up for life). My mom has a story of putting me to bed when she is about 6 months pregnant with my little sister and I sit straight up, crying “I don’t want to be in the middle”. I’ve got a card my mom gave me about 5 years ago about being special for being in the middle. Sometimes it’s the best place to be, other times, I hate it.

As this election looms before us, I’m feeling the pressures of having to choose when I’m in the middle of all of the candidates, some of whom repulse me and none of whom inspire me. Maybe it’s a part of getting older but this is the first election in which I’ve been able to see how the game of politics will limit the candidates and their agendas.

I was talking with my friend Lera last night about how 'in the middle' we are last night... joking about how the news will have Repbulican Political strategist and then one from the Democrats' side but what we really need is someone to explain how those of us who are in the middle needs to vote. A "middle of the road" strategist if you would.

Watching the results from the Iowa caucus fascinated me - I have several friends who say the same thing, they can't seem to stop watching it. Seeing Obama take the victory was somewhat surprising and heartening at the same time. I see him as someone who can make the country come together after the most polarizing presidency ever. Witnessing a state that is 95% white vote for a man of mixed race renewed my belief in people making choices based on something other than ignorance or fear.

I was talking with my dad last night and he told me he didn't care who I voted for as long as they had an (R) behind their name. Thanks Dad! That gives me lots of options.

I actually do like Mitt Romney which I think will surprise quite a few people. I worked for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Games as a PR intern and he was the CEO. He was well-liked, respected and a very strong presence - He also did a good job with the games during a very scary post-9/11 time. I know the state of Mass. has benefited from his role as governor. I think we might benefit from the government running like a business for a couple of years.

So as of right now, I am undecided and looking forward to seeing what is going to happen as the election ramps up over the next 11 months. I predict that it's going to get really ugly here soon folks.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Randon Thought of the Day

Random Thought of the Day:
How many hit shows can there be? Granted, right now I'm watching too much tv due to my lack of employment and excess of free time but there seems to be an abundance of "hit" shows advertised. Everything on Bravo and TLC is a hit show... what's up with that?

I just found out that the Shedd Aquarium has a free admission week every January and this year the January discount week is January 13-19 so I have emailed some of my co-horts to see who is interested and I will be visiting this great Chicago attraction for the first time in a couple of weeks for FREE!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Love The Fool

Here's a new quote that I found in Oprah's magazine, October 2007 issue. I've had it sitting on my desk and thought it would be better to post it here before I lost it. I like the message of self love.

"I must learn to love the fool in me - the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool."

-Theodore I. Rubin, MD

I bought the book Skinny Bitch for myself on the recommendation of Karl, a personal trainer who I've been working with over the last couple of months. I'm only on Chapter five and I have to say, I don't like their style. It's written in a very straight foward and aggressive manner. I'm going to finish it, well, I finish every book I start and I'm sure there is good information in it. I'll give my final verdict when I finish the whole thing. They have a cookbook as well which might be more helpful since I'm more interested in cooking more healthy.

I talked to my mom this morning - she is at my sisters' house in Mississippi. She flew down there yesterday to babysit my nephew while my sister and brother-in-law went to the Sugar Bowl. My nephew was born on October 15th so he's 11 weeks old and is just starting to giggle. Delighting my mother and sister. I won't get to see him again until we go on a cruise the last week of February. But here are some pictures of him when we went to see Santa Claus at Christmas to tide all of us over until then. (He slept through a lot of it).

'No Chance'

While I'm excited for the win, about halfway through the Sugar Bowl last night, I felt bad for Hawaii. What a sad way to end what was a great season. I had such respect for the energy they mantained for the entire game - the celebration for their lone touchdown was great. And the emotion displayed by Colt Brennan when June Jones made him stay on the sidelines after getting sacked one too many times. The senior quarterback will play in the pros and his coach was making sure he didn't get hurt in a game that was already lost.
I am not impressed with the comments of the UGA players - we're not number one, we didn't have a perfect season and we didn't make it to our conference championship. If they feel that strongly about it they need to make sure next season happens differently. I'm glad we played well and hopefully we'll be positioned for a good ranking for next season.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre

Happy New Years!

Here we are - we've made it another turn around the sun and I'm excited for 2008. This past year has been great becuase of changes I have made to improve my life. I am still searching for my direction and yet I feel stronger about who I am than I have in the past couple of years. Plus I'm happier which is always a good thing.

Last night was a fun party - nothing crazy but good times. Fun people, good food, great champagne and just enough cheer. My friend Jessica has an amazing apartment in the heart of Lincoln Park which was the perfect place for a great party.

As always I'm thinking about my resolutions for the upcoming year, so here it is:

BE THE PERSON I WANT TO BE - everyday I make choices, seemingly small choices without much thought. I've realized, the hard way of course, that is is those small choices which make a big impact upon shaping me as a whole person. So I am resolving to be thoughtful in the small choices and daily decisions to make sure I make better choices.

Once again I woke up to a Winter Wonderland. I live right beside Lincoln Park and the snow fall from the night coated the park and everywhere I look is a picturesque scene from a winter movie. As a kid of the south, the snow fascinates me in way I can't explain. I enjoy every moment of it, every flake that falls - I love playing in it and being out in the snow. I understand how people hate it or find it inconvient or annoying. But if it's going to be cold, I'd rather it be snowy and cold. Then at least, there's some beauty in the moment of frigidness. And being the total nerd that I am, the first snow of the season, I was out in the park, hiking around and playing in the snow. Here are some pictures from that excursion.

I love the snow but the people who running the snow... those people, I think are a little crazy. There was some sort of a footrace in the park this morning and people were out there running through the snow. Nuts. God invented treadmills for a reason.

As I'm writing this, Tennessee has just defeated Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl - that brings the SEC to 5-0 for the BCS Bowl season. If Florida defeats Michigan and Georgia beats Hawaii and LSU beats Ohio, will people finally stop arguing against the SEC? Will they finally recognize how difficult the conference is? An interesting statistic is that Ohio is 0-8 against the SEC in bowl games - they've never defeated an SEC team! I'm hoping LSU will continue this tradition. I'll continue to talk about this as the bowl week goes on and the results come in.