Too bad I HATE Heineken...
Friday, April 29, 2005

Oh. My. God.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Laughing so hard.

Oh, man. I think I have a stitch in my side from that. That little ditty deserves a bookmark.

My roommate, Keri (yes, spelled like the lotion), does not have a parking spot in our garage. She bravely parks her car along the streets of NW Lakeview, dodging street cleaning signs, door dingers, and Cubs night games. This often means that she has a healthy walk to her car in the morning, or at night, when she needs to go somewhere.

Late the other night, she took the dog with her when she needed to get something from her car. She said that it made her feel better, having him with her, just in case. Her logic is not totally askew, given that he basically turns into one of the extras from Stephen King's Pet Cemetary whenever someone comes to the door.

See? Almost as frightening as visible panty lines.

However, once he greets the vile visitor (often a Pizza Capri delivery person, or a friend), he's back to being a roly-poly butterball of a cuddling dog. If we're on a walk, he's so friendly with strangers that I often feel that he would rather jump in a double stroller with some nice, Chicago family and go home to play with their children.

So basically he's a little confused about when to guard, and when to welcome. Witness the following photo, taken while he was growling at the door. The back door. If our apartment ever gets burgled by someone who has climbed to the 2nd floor back deck, and broken into the kitchen, then I guess we're protected.

Guard dog, MY EYE!

As seen on our back deck

Warhol Doc
I am starting to get used to my new camera. Don't worry, the dog is actually none of the colors you see below.

Happiness Is...
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Being able to update my blog while I wait for the insanely slow database to register the code I have just entered. That is multi-tasking, people.

Holy Hangover, Batman
Wow. The Cubs game was fun, and they won (hey, that rhymed!) but I came home thinking to myself, "what the hell was I thinking?!"

Let's put it this way: take 1 semi-reasonable girl with absolutely no self-control or self-discipline and put her in some phat seats at Wrigley Field. Add 3 lovely friends, and men selling beer and hot dogs.

1 very bad pretzel, 5 beers, and 2 hot dogs later, I was dancing on a platform at the skankiest post-game bar EVER. Yes, that's right. We went to Hi-Tops. We also did shots of Southern Comfort. Which I love, but not after a night of consistent beer intake.

Now I am left to pick up the pieces of the night, apologize for the very random, drunken conversation I had with my boyfriend around midnight, and hope that the grease from my trans-fatty McDonald's breakfast kicks in soon.


This week's resolution
Monday, April 25, 2005
I admit it - I shop in the self-help section of the book store. I've bought some interesting and bizarre books that really didn't help me at all-- well, that's not true. They mostly just reminded me of how refreshingly normal I am, and I really am relatively well-adjusted.

That being said, my current M.O. for everyday life is plain, old-fashioned denial. I resolve to NOT write anything on my blog, for at least 1 week, about my current annoyances with my job. It's a seasonally busy time, it will pass, and there's no need to drag you all down with me.

I started playing around with my new camera this weekend - took some good pictures, nothing serious. I'm off to the Cubbies game tonight, so until then, have fun!

Sadness is...
Friday, April 22, 2005
Finding out that all the work you did for the past 2 days needs to be re-done, re-printed, and re-faxed.

I would rather vomit, and then eat the resulting bile, than come in on Monday and reprocess all this paperwork. I feel that strongly about it.

Beer for Boobs
If you live in the Chicagoland area, please come to a fundraiser that I am helping to plan: BEER FOR BOOBS 2005. It will be held at Joe's, from 6-9pm (happy hour!) on Friday, May 6th. Donations will go to the Avon Walk for breast cancer.

Your entrance fee includes drinks, appetizers, and a donation to research and prevention of a devastating disease that strikes 1 in every 8 women. The next one could be you, me, your mother, my aunt, my sister, your neighbor, I'm sure you get the point. I feel very, very strongly that we're making headway on a cure, but that kind of medicine and research doesn't come cheaply.

If you're not from Chicago, send your good vibes and positive spirits! Go to the AvonWalk website (above) and see if there's an event in your town. Even if you just stand and cheer on the walkers, you will have made a difference.

Happiness Is...
Realizing that your dog loves your boyfriend as much as he loves you, thereby validating his excellent taste in humans.

Happiness Is...
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Hitting every green light on your way to work in the morning.

She's totally a Monet...
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
What movie? What movie? C'mon, you know this one...

I love my apartment. It's on one of the most popular (yet mysteriously not too crowded) streets on the north side, and great new shops and eateries keep opening up in the 'hood. Recently, however, I've realized that there are very small, very bizarre things wrong with the apartment-- things one would never notice unless they lived there.

For instance, when the dog was barking/whining at 3:45 this morning, I stumbled out of bed to take him out. Upon entering the kitchen, I noticed one of the french doors that leads from the kitchen onto the deck was swinging open. I REPEAT, THE BACK DOOR WAS WIDE OPEN. AT 3:45 IN THE MORNING.

I can't tell whether we have ghosts, or if the shitty lock system on the door just gave way in a strong wind. Either way, at least I know now that Doc isn't a big fan of sleeping out "in the elements."

Viva il Papa!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Congrats to Joe Ratzinger from Deutschland, who celebrated a birthday on Saturday and then got voted in as the new leader of every Catholic on earth. Gl├╝cklicher Geburtstag!

I was interested in hearing about him, until I read this and this. The trouble begins already. Thank goodness he is 78 and won't be in the position forever.

So allegedly Pope Benedict XVI is narrow-minded. Big whoop. Too bad he doesn't have a sense of humor - I would love to see him enter and exit a room to "Benny & The Jets" by Elton John. It would make watching him ride around in that teeny, bullet-proof golf cart WAAAAYYY more interesting. Especially the part where there's just music and Elton has that bitchin' whistling solo.

I'm baaaaaaaaccccck in the saddle again! (I love Steven Tyler, even if he's part woman- I think it's something to do with the fearless collagen treatments and scarves tied to the microphone)

Up at 4:30, in a cab, on the plane (goodbye South), off the plane (hello Midwest), in a cab, and back at work. Home again, home again, jiggety jig. I was so excited to see my dog that I almost ate him whole. Thank goodness we didn't have any buns in the apartment.

My thoughts on maintaining a positive attitude are revived now that I am home. There's something about being away for work that turns you into a different person. Well, at least it does to me.

Hope you are all well! As soon as I have an interesting topic, I'll be sure to share.

Laughing my Ass Off
Monday, April 18, 2005
Don't you wish that could actually happen? Wouldn't it be great if the simple act of laughter actually made your cellulite and fat go away? I'd be at the fricking comedy club every night of the week.

I would also read this more often. I seriously had to read this posting 3 times. I don't know this guy, but the beauty of the internet is that I can read his hilarious-ness every day. His site is one of my daily must-reads. I hope that I can retain this much of my sense of humor after I have kids.


Glad Tidings
Sunday, April 17, 2005
I feel like everything I have written recently has been incredibly negative. In the face of sadness and negativity, what is one to do? Post pictures of puppies, of course! Somebody stop me before I start baby-talking to these little buddies...

** Update **
Blogger is stupid and crashed last night, leaving me with random, unexplained, tiny photos of dogs. Which is par for the course, as far as I'm concerned. So much for my attempt at positive thinking.

I can't figure out a way to get the photos to show up larger, so I'm giving up. The puppies are so cute, I can't delete the images off of my desktop. It's ridiculous how cute they are, and because of Blogger, I can't share them.


Well no surprise here...
Thursday, April 14, 2005

Your Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English

10% Upper Midwestern

5% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Yankee

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Please note for the record that the post immediately preceding this one, regarding things that make me angry, is not a jab at my colleagues. I am frustrated with the situation, our clients, and the time schedule that we're operating on.

Do my co-workers and I share the same sales & marketing philosophies and practices? Not at all, but please know that my angry blog entry is not about them. Period.

You know what REALLY gets under my skin, what makes me livid? People who think they're above the rules. People who bend the rules with a smile on their face, and people who think that regulations that are for everyone SOMEHOW, MYSTERIOUSLY BUT FORTUNATELY don't apply to them. I always put in 1000% when it comes to following the rules, sometimes to the point of severe uptight-ness. I give it my best, and I expect the same from other people. Is that too much to ask?!

The show doesn't start until tomorrow, and people have been streaming in and out of our showroom all day today. Why haven't we shut the doors, you ask? Because we're here to sell, and if people can't see the product, they won't buy. I get that. I was a business major for a time - I think I have the basics covered. I, and the rest of the staff onsite, however, are not prepared to sell. We're still hanging posters, changing out lightbulbs, and working on finalizing prices. We're dressed in jeans, jerseys, and ugly, baggy sweaters (that would be me - it's freezing in here!). We can't have a meeting in the back room without someone walking in, seeing no one and yelling, "Helloooo? Eeez der ahnyboddy at hoome?"

Long story short - we do not look professional. My hair is in a ponytail, and not the cute, polished kind. We look like locals that were hired to install drywall, and yet we've been forced to service people THAT AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE HERE UNTIL TOMORROW. I hate not appearing polished when it comes to sales and work, I hate that we don't have our shit together, and MOST OF ALL, I hate that people attending this fiasco of a conference CAN'T WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW.

If I had my way, I'd have papered over the windows, locked the doors, and opened on opening day. Not let people watch us vacuum, dust, paint, and arrange flowers through 3 glass walls as they walk by. Sales quota bedamned, I think we look like a bunch of ragamuffins hocking someone else's furniture. Nobody else seems to be bothered by the fact that we LOOK TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL. Inside my head, I am screaming.

Today is the kind of day that makes me want to cry. Literally. I might, later.

Booties, Bottles, Boobs, and Other Words Beginning with a B...
Are you sitting down?

Britney Spears is pregnant, and I have bright, red hair. I'm sure that both of these facts are a complete surprise and shock to you.

Piedmont Triad
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Please excuse my absence from the blogging world, as I am in North Carolina on business. I am in a funny area called the "Piedmont Triad," consisting of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Highpoint...I think. I am too high from all the secondhand smoke to truly grasp the geography of the town. Aack. I think I hear my lungs crying out in pain.

My good friend KT pointed out that after the very recent and very tragic loss of Illinois to UNC-Chapel Hill, it must be even MORE difficult to be here in the land of tobacco and deceptively sweet, vulnerable women. And it is.

The minute I stepped off the airplane, and walked into the PTI terminal, it occurred to me that I should have dressed in University of Illinois apparel from head to toe. Then it occurred to me that I would look like a TOTAL FREAK, and I decided my jeans and sweater were far more appropriate.

Have a great week, everyone. I'll be posting again when I get some free time - I'm thinking sometime in early June.

Channeling Jack Kerouac
Friday, April 08, 2005
This weekend will be one of my last weekends spent "on the road." I am starting to think that's a good thing, given that I'm constantly unpacking one bag to re-pack another, and I'm pretty sure that I've fallen out of favor with my dog. As I was packing this morning, he just sat there on the bed with his little chin resting on the edge of the suitcase, with his big brown eyes looking up at me pathetically, as if to say, "I know what this big, red, clothing receptacle means, you horrendous pet parent, you."

I'm off to Philadelphia and New York for the weekend - super fun times! How sweet it is to have a boyfriend with extra travel points to burn (and is willing to burn them on me). We're going to eat at my favorite Philly restaurant tonight! Eeeeeee! I have been salivating all day, thinking about their blood orange margaritas. I'm sure you all needed that last detail.


Then we're off to NYC for Saturday and Sunday morning - sightseeing, dinner with my good friend Sara and her husband Sean, then out to meet up with SMD's college buddies who live in the area.

Until then, I'm here at work -- staring at the clock, watching the hours tick by before I leave for the airport. Oh, wait. I don't have a clock.

Rage Running Rampant
Thursday, April 07, 2005
A little customer service alliteration for your day. Don't say I never gave you anything. Ooh, a double negative! It's a 2-for-1 day around these parts.

It is befuddling to me how stupid people can be sometimes. I get off the phone with some people and immediately think, "How on earth do they live every day being that incredibly dumb?!" I literally cannot imagine some of our clients being smart enough to handle mundane tasks, such as balancing their checkbooks, picking up the groceries, or perhaps taking care of the dry cleaning. These are people who seemingly can't follow the SIMPLEST of instructions in the workplace...and yet they manage to drive, have pets, keep plants alive, take vacations...

By no means do I think that I am superior in intellect, but c'mon people! READ THE DIRECTIONS! THE ANSWER IS RIGHT THERE, STARING YOU IN THE FACE! AAARRGH!

Speaking of Death...
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
One of my favorite authors has passed away.

Papal Apathy
Does that sound like an eye disease to anyone else, or is it just me?

A couple of you, dear readers, have asked why I have refrained from commenting on the Passing of the Pipe, er, I mean the Pope. To be frank (am I ever any other way?), I'm kind of indifferent to the whole situation.

I'm sure he was a wonderful man, who displayed courage and strength in trying times, and all that jazz that every newscast and newspaper seems to be spewing lately. But I have my concerns where the Catholic Church is concerned-- massive guilt complexes, alleged sex scandal, worshipping saints, I just don't know what to make of all of it.

I do, however, feel a great deal of sympathy for the millions of people worldwide who feel that they've truly lost a great leader, and a friend. Rest in Peace, John Paul. Good luck to your successor.

I hereby conclude the official Papal Post of 2005.

Strange Morning
Two odd stories about my morning so far:

1. Upon my asking "What can I do to help you out today?" to one of my colleagues, I received an answer of "Leave me alone." Oddly, I am not at all offended by this remark, as I know this person relatively well - or at least enough to understand that the remark was made on a literal level, no emotions involved. I love being on the same wavelength (like this) with people. No pussy-footing around for me. Tell me how it is, and I'll go on about my business.

2. I pass 4 crossing guards on my way to work each morning, 1 on west Belmont, 1 on Damen, and 2 on different stretches of Logan Boulevard. The second one has a distinct, lazy pattern about her crossing guard work that I didn't notice until today. She stops traffic, lets the children get about halfway across the street, then heads back to her post on the sidewalk. EXCUSE ME?! THEY'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A 4 LANE BLVD AND YOU'RE STANDING ON THE SIDEWALK WATCHING?!?!?! The other 3 guards always stand in the center of the road, arms extended, and stare down the traffic as if to say, "When these children are on my crosswalk, they're mine. If you even so much as roll forward an inch, I swear to God, I'll come over there and..." But NOOOOOO, this lazy crossing guard just watches from the sidelines. Maybe I should report her. There must be some Better Bureau of Crossing Guard-dom, or something, right? If I were a mother of one of those children, I'd take her reflective orange vest and shove it so far up her behind, that she'd have neon orange hairballs for a week.

It's Here! It's Here!
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
My Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder arrived in the mail today! Aaah! I immediately ran to the bathroom to inspect my first message.

In actuality, my camera arrived today. Did I tell you that I bought it used from a very nice guy who takes some very beautiful pictures? I feel like the camera carried its excellent chi/karma/mojo all the way to Chicago from San Francisco.

The weather is so beautiful here, I want to leave work, go skim the manual and immediately start photographing. Forget the pressing apres' work appointments, forget the dog (whose bladder is inevitably bursting), forget everything! I am going to go take some pictures.

Or maybe I'll do all the responsible things I have to, and get acquainted with my camera during some free time...which is more likely what will happen since I am boring and predictable like that.

Oskee Wow Wow

Old Princeton yells her Tiger,
Wisconsin her Varsity,
And they give the same old RAH! RAH! RAH!
For each university,
But the yell that always thrills me,
And fills my heart with joy,
Is the good old Oskee-wow-wow
That they yell at Illinois.

Yes, they lost. In a way, however, they are still champions. Go Illini!

Gag me with a Spoon
Monday, April 04, 2005
Isn't it amazing, sometimes, how a comment can be almost invasive? I know words are just words, but...

Think of it this way. I had this friend (wink wink) that went to Subway for lunch today. Upon entering the store, a courteous homeless fellow opened up the door for her. She thanked him, and went on about her errand inside the store. The man looked something like this:

Upon her departure, she spied the man walking back from a grassy patch to his post at the door. She thought to herself, "Maybe he's a Subway employee on break." He said to her, "You take care now," and she robotically (thanks to her mother) replied, "Thank you, you too." She walked away in the sunshine, smiling at the pleasant interaction that had just taken place.

Then she heard him say, "Girl, you got a sexy walk. You make a brother wanna..." and his voice faded in the distance as she quickened her pace across the parking lot. My friend then got in her car, locked the doors, and sped back to her office, shaken by his comment and how it had been more than just words.

Why so shaken, you might ask? Because the insulting man really looked like this:


Trip to the Big Easy

Cemetaries are very unique in New Orleans. The ground is marsh and swamp, so all the graves are above ground. We took the streetcar to the cemetaries and I saw this on top of one of the family tombs.

The history of many European nations converge in New Orleans. Most streets in the French Quarter have signs like this one, to educate the public about the roots of each street name.

Statue on the riverfront, near the aquarium. New Orleans riverfront area is great - lots to see and do. Taken prior to our trip down the Mississippi on the Cajun Queen.

View from our hotel

SMD took me to Cafe DuMonde, the original coffee shop, so they say. All I care about is their beignets, clever fried dough pockets COVERED in powdered sugar. Doughnuts, Schmoughnuts. I could eat a million of them.

Spires on the park gates in Jackson Square

SMD and I had breakfast at Brennan's, which is a New Orleans tradition. They serve snapping turtle soup, which is apparently very good. I didn't have it, and I'm glad for that - because they have a little pool in the courtyard of the restaurant. With. Turtles. In. It. I think this little guy was trying to escape his fate.

Behold, the view from our hotel room. There's nothing I would rather wake up to is an old man, sunning himself, NEARLY NAKED on his balcony across the street. That's hot, people.

Weekend Update with Jamie Jamerkins
Sunday, April 03, 2005
This weekend has been a study in extremes -- Friday evening and Saturday, I was completely productive. I got my errands done, my laundry done, and went to bed with that amazing feeling of completion. You know, like Wonder Woman but with grocery store preferred shopper cards wrapped around my wrists instead of bullet-proof golden wrist cuffs.

Then today dawned, and it's like the earth stopped spinning. I've gotten nothing accomplished. The only major activities that I accomplished today were setting my clocks to reflect daylight savings, taking the dog on a walk, and getting a cup of coffee. I didn't even make the coffee.

A shift imperceptible to some but to me it felt like an earthquake. This can't turn into a slump either - I haven't gotten my taxes done yet, I have a pair of jeans that need 4 inches (yes, I am that short) taken off before this weekend, and I'm this is my last week of work before a weekend trip with SMD that will parlay directly into an 8 day business trip. Blecch.

Somebody send me some good vibes, because all I want to do is curl up in a blanket with the puppy and watch SATC all night...and that can't happen. My to-do list is just running through my head. At least someone's getting some exercise around here.

I have nothing better to post, so...
Friday, April 01, 2005
Every morning I exit the bathroom post-shower and the dog is in a different spot in the apartment. I swear -- this dog would curl up and sleep in the trash can if you let him. Sometimes, when it's super sunny, he will visit one of his favorite spots in the apartment: the front window. It has a nice big ledge on which he perches, and watches the world go by. It also lets in direct light on the back on my overstuffed sofa. He pretty much owns the middle cushion.

Those marks on the window are doggie nose trails. I think I need to have a chat with my old friend Windex.

Sing it with Me...
We're loyal to you, Illinois
We're orange and blue, Illinois
We'll back you to stand, 'gainst the best in the land
for we know you have sand, Illinois!
(rah rah)

So crack out that ball, Illinois
We're backing you all, Illinois
Our team is our fame protector, on boys
For we expect a vict'ry from you, Illinois

Cha-hee Cha-hah Cha-hah-hah-hah
Go, Illini, Go!
Cha-hee Cha-hah Cha-hah-hah-hah
Go, Illinoi, Go!
Illinois, Illinois, Illinois!

Fling out that dear old flag of orange and blue,
Cheered on by sons and daughters fighting for you
Like men of old on giants placing reliance, shouting defiance

Amid the broad green plains that nourish our land
For honest Labor and for Learning, we stand
And unto thee, we pledge our heart and hand
Dear Alma Mater, Illinois

"Illinois Loyalty" was first performed in 1906 and was written by Thatcher Howland Guild specifically for the Marching Illini. "Illinois Loyalty" is the first school song (predating the Notre Dame fight song, which is commonly believed to be the first school song) and is very much the same today as it was written.