Da-na-na-nuhhhhhh, Da-na-NA-NA-NUHHHHHH!
Thursday, July 28, 2005
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN......! T-minus 12 minutes until I get the h-e-double-hockeysticks outta' here.

The dirty santa hat is gone, and so am I!

Vacation, here I come!

Chicken-fried Brain
Sorry for the lack of posts this week - my mind is currently consumed by a million different things ranging from work, to vacation, to raging about the cable guy not showing up this morning, to my new apartment, and off into the great unknown.

Hopefully this vacation will refresh my mental state, and give me some great shots and stories for all you lovely people.

The disgusting search engine phrases continue: Yesterday, someone searched for the term "scab picker in nose" on Yahoo, and eventually made their way to to my site.

So. Gross. Can't. Even. Think. About. It.

Exactly what part of my site was pulled in those search results?!

If I'm able to post from various vacay sites, believe me -- I will. If not, you'll have to wait and see what happens when I get back on the 6th. Oooh, the drama...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
I wrote a post earlier this morning about how work was insane, and I didn't really have time to post. Which made for a damn stupid post. So I'm sending you to another blogger who really has a way with words. She's from Chicago, and she also has red hair, which basically makes her one of the coolest people I don't really know.


Make sure to read the entry entitled "Reverse! Reverse!" Classic stuff, man. I laughed so hard, I almost chortled.

Rock Bottom
Monday, July 25, 2005
Aah, the dog days of summer. Images of outdoor eateries and CountryTime Lemonade commercials spring immediately to mind. People are smiling, the sun is shining, and all is right with the world.

Just off camera, around the corner, and two buildings into a smelly alley, you'll find my garage sale. Let me preface the meat of this post by saying that I don't do anything small or spontaneous, especially when planning any kind of event. Weeks of preparation, sign making, online classified ad placing, sorting, pricing, box making - sufficed to say that I put some serious pressure on myself to have a successful yard sale. That's what happens when the personality of an event planner resides in the same brain as an incredibly meticulous and organized person. Here's a snapshot of the weekend, as misery does indeed love company.

Friday: Spent all night pricing in the garage, sorting, unpacking boxes of knick-knacks that my mom dropped off. You can set the scene in a dusty garage with holes in the walls, and only one light - the one attached to the garage door motor. If anyone local noticed that a strange garage door kept going up and down, every 8 minutes on Friday, you can send any complaints to me at 1234 N. F--- You St., Chicago, IL, 60657. We needed that light, dammit.

Saturday: Awake at 6:00 am, in the backyard by 6:30 setting up. Finished setting up at 8:30 (with the lovely help of newly knick-knack free mother). First customer arrived at 8:35. Sale opened at 9:00 on the dot, as advertised. First rain shower of the day at 9:15. Commence wild running about, tarp gathering and application, and overall deflation of Jamie's good spirits. Tarps and plastic tableclothes are a nice solution, but it's difficult to sell a vase (even an ugly one) when it's sitting inch-deep in mud. Sun came out, tarps came off, and toweling down of the backyard began at 9:45. Second rain shower, 10:00. That rain -- he sure is a punctual bastard. By 10:30, there was consistent sun in the sky and I had learned 5 new ways to scowl. Rest of day went according to plan, if by "plan" you mean negotiating with people over $1, forgetting to ingest ANY caffeine the entire day, and watching indifferently as people steal jewelry.

* Editors note: Huge props to Jeff, JenH, and KateK for assisting with the labor of putting all our worldly goods back into the garage for the night. You saved us hours of work. Thank you so much!

Sunday: Awake at a much friendlier hour of 8:00 am, and in a much better mood after having decided to run the sale from the not-so-friendly confines of the garage. Signs were amended, new arrows drawn, and coffee drunk by 10:00 when the sale opened. Slow day overall, but still successful. Knick-Knack Queen assisted with set-up and stayed until lunchtime, when SMD took her place as my yard sale sidekick. The weather was approximately 104 degrees, with 70% humidity, so needless to say foot traffic was somewhat light. I went outside to see if people were out and about in the heat, but it was so much hotter in the sun that I ran back to the shade of the garage for fear that I would instantly explode into a thousand, tiny droplets of fire. And because I didn't put any sunblock on that morning. I'm fair skinned so just shut up about it, already. SMD and I listened to some NASCAR while I tried to convince people to take advantage of my "Sunday Special" - anything/everything you can fit into a bag for ONLY $5 DOLLARS! WHAT A STEAL! Some bit, others didn't. I spent the twilight hours dripping in sweat, boxing up the leftovers for eventual donation to some charity. Hopefully they will appreciate the rusty christmas tree stand, broken reading lamp, and 2 mismatched blue ottomans - not to mention a HUGE box of very expensive sweaters, a set of bar glasses with a "J" etched on the exterior, some old sheets with a Scottish Terrier print on them, and 3 heinous decoupage plaques that my grandfather made at summer camp in 1934.

Overall, I've learned several things about myself in this little resale venture:

- You never know what people will buy, like the crazy Jamaican lady who purchased that GOD-AWFUL foam duck decoy with real duck feathers.

- I have great friends and family. Even if said family packed boxes in 1975 and didn't open them until 1 hour before the yard sale started.

- I hate summer. Oh wait...I already knew that.

- One man's trash is another man's...trash. But that doesn't mean they won't pay for it.

- Infomercial purchases that I regret making really excite other people!

- Smashing really ugly things before putting them in other people's dumpsters is fun, and therapeutic!

- I am remarkably unsympathetic about the guy who bought the Old Style lighted beer sign, that doesn't light up anymore. You don't want to test it? Not my problem. I am a morality free zone.

I was so stressed about this sale that I didn't take any pictures of the event for this blog. (a clear indicator that my priorities are completely out-of-whack) Some of the folk that comment on this blog stopped by the sale to see me in various states of mental breakdown. Feel free to comment on your thoughts about the sale, ladies and gentlemen. It's over and I'm happy about it.

Total monies accrued: I'm not sure. About $500. Most of which will go in the bank, but some of which paid for a nice dinner last night (with a yummy bottle of red wine), and will pay for pre-vacation things like shoes, earrings, and a manicure. Because I can, so financial solvency can SUCK IT for the time being. I have needs.

Friday, July 22, 2005
News in Brief: Jamie is a little grossed out.

Two of the visitors to my site today came from google and yahoo searches for the phrases "Cybil Shepard Moonlighting" and "Michael Jackson Feet."


Critical Mass
The wrath of the yard sale has me in its proverbial clutches. It is so incredibly time consuming that I have literally forgotten about everything else going on in my life. Result? I now have a massive list of things to get done prior to leaving for my upcoming vacation.

Digression: Why is it that most females have huge checklists prior to vacations and weekends away, and a typical man's list has one bullet point? "Pack." Why do vacations seem like daunting personal productions, and is it a female trait to want to be completely prepared and have EVERYTHING just in case...or is that just my own bizarre behavior?!

To be completed-->
1. manicure/pedicure
2. alter 2 sundresses
3. find earrings that go with brown sundress (have to be at a wedding in it)
4. find shoes that go with brown sundress (see above)
5. launder every piece of clothing in possession, in case I need it
6. buy large ziploc bags for toiletries
7. get dog's stuff ready for doggy-sitter
8. write extensive packing lists (two suitcases & one carry-on worth)
9. decide whether it's going to be a brown vacation, or a black one (cuts down on the number of shoes and purses I need to bring)
10. bikini wax?
11. eyebrow wax?
12. inevitable last minute trip to Target to pick up unnecessary amounts of trial size products, and oh, just one more lip gloss won't hurt, and ooh - those little Q-Tip containers are adorable...it's a slippery slope, people
13. clean months of garage dust & spider webbery off of suitcases
14. finish up any work that needs to be done prior to my absence
15. balance checkbook
16. pay any bills that are due during vacation
17. stay on my diet
18. ingest copious amounts of vitamins and zinc to avoid cold that I think I am getting
19. clean apartment
20. try to avoid writing self a million post-it note reminders
21. file taxes so that I don't have to ask for another extension

I'm going to stop there, because I'm freaking myself out. Although I do feel somewhat better getting all that down on paper. Well, figuratively on paper.

Near Tears
Thursday, July 21, 2005
This is just awful. Really bad. I can't believe this. This is not the way.

Private eyes (clap! clap!) are watching you
They see your evveeerrrryyyy move....I love Hall-n-Oates.

I recently published tracking HTML code into my blog, in an effort to get a feel for who is reading it, where they're coming from, how long they stay on it, etc. This means (visualize me wiggling my fingers and glaring down my nose a la Montgomery Burns) that I can see who is visiting. Very interesting...

Actually I'm pretty much obsessed now with checking the tracking data. In the last 10 minutes, for instance, someone has come to the site via a referral from Amy's site. Whether or not they're new, I have no idea, but it's a very clever trick, this software.

I think I like it.

In other news, I've noticed that a lot of my clients exit phone conversations with "mmm...bye" instead of just "goodbye." Is this a midwestern thing? It sounds kind of weird and I never noticed it until now. The pragmatist in me thinks that the extra syllable is sort of unnecessary, but who am I to judge? Do any of you beautiful people employ this odd telephonic farewell?

Oh. My. God.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
This is the funniest thing I have seen in quite awhile. It was originally an online marketing tool for GAP which automatically makes it A-OK in my book.

Seriously, though, take the time to download Shockwave in order to play this. You won't regret it.

Click Here

I pity the professional dancer that had to serve as the basis for these people. It's also super fun to make a really fat guy with a unibrow dance like John Travolta.

I think I just peed my pants.

Take it off
This morning, my morning radio show was talking about all the unwritten rules for strip club patrons, alledgedly emailed to one of the DJs by a stripper.

Some of them were obvious, some weren't - but then the conversation inevitably led into the topic of couples going to strip clubs together. The DJ's (and several callers) thought that women in that situation might become agitated by the pressure, and nature of the environment. I guess that's right, but if you didn't want to see that stuff, or if you're not okay with what is going on, WHY WOULD YOU GO?

My personal opinion is that it's all clean fun as long as it's just that -- clean. No touchy touchy, nothing dicey. Exotic dancers aren't prostitutes. As long as there is no perceived/actual infidelity going on, WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? Isn't it fundamentally more innocent in nature, and far more honest, than prostitution?

Women - would you accompany your significant other to a strip club, if they asked?
Men - would you be brave enough to ask?


This is for Crucy
Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hi Crucy!

Ho Ho Ho
I drive through the heart of Logan Square every morning, on my way to work. As I'm rounding into the circle interchange, I pause at the same stop sign. It's more of an active pause, but definitely not a full stop -- sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Racey.

(Mr. Racey was my high school driver's ed teacher...who married a woman named Stacey during our senior year. Ha! But I digress)

There is a crumpled, old, VERY dirty santa hat on the ground, near the stop sign. Every morning, I look down to see if it has wandered away in the night - perhaps picked up by a random homeless person, or stuck to a tire of some passing car. But it remains there, lying on the pavement, like the metaphoric death of Christmas. It's very sad, and simultaneously, kind of interesting. It's just lying there, in the crook of the curb, accumulating dust and debris.

Somewhere in the greater Chicagoland area, there's a hatless Santa Claus. It's stuff like this that makes me want to keep my camera in my car at all times. You'll just have to use your imagination on this one.

Smoke Free for Me!
Monday, July 18, 2005
If you've ever gone out to a bar or restaurant, and come home smelling like a pack of stale Camel Reds, please click here.

I support the American Cancer Society's initiative for a SMOKE FREE CHICAGO, not only because my family lost 2 grandparents to lung/throat cancer & emphysema caused directly from smoking, but also because people who work in establishments that allow smoking are directly at risk.

If you live in Chicago, please sign the online petition at Smoke Free Chicago's website. Please show Mayor Daley that you support what is best for the health and welfare of our city, and that you support the ordinance that is being hotly debated in city hall as we speak.

Am I dumb or something?
Somebody please explain to me this news I hear about Jude Law having an affair.

Paging Eric Benet....

How is it that one of the planet's most attractive men, needs to look outside his relationship with his fiancee (also one of the planet's most attractive specimens) for a piece of ass? Isn't that one of the coolest parts about engagement/marriage - that you have someone for that particular purpose at your daily disposal?

And isn't this the same nanny that he cheated on his ex-wife with, resulting in the acrimonious dissolution of their marriage?

Why doesn't he just marry the damn nanny?!

Am I missing something, or is Jude Law just COMPLETELY INSANE?!

days until vacation: 11
hours until the dog gets his semi-annual shots at the vet (eek!): 8
voice mail messages in my in-box at work: 65
number of blogs on my "bookmarked" list: 52
degrees in my office: 63 (i have a thermometer on my desk just for kicks)
hours I have been at the office so far today: 1.5
minutes spent getting ready this morning: 25
hours until I get paid: 15
hours spent this weekend preparing for yard sale: 15

minutes it took for me to realize this morning that reality isn't so bad, and that I actually sort of like being a responsible adult: 15

Happy Monday, everyone!

Vroom Vroom!
Friday, July 15, 2005
And on the seventh day, He created an event so amazing and yet so odd that it could only be named...NASCAR. Before Sunday, I was a car racing virgin. I'd been to the horseracing track a couple of times, but nothing with engines, or bikini tops, or barefooted attendees.

First things first: Before anyone googling "Nascar" gets all pissed about my thoughts, remember this -- I had a phenomenal time. I had SO MUCH FUN, people. Everyone should do this at least once in their lives. I can see how people get so wrapped up in the drivers, the team feuds, the technology of the cars, etc. BECAUSE IT'S FUN. So just relax. I liked it, and I'll probably do it again.

That being said, there are aspects to a NASCAR event that I hadn't thought about. Like tailgating. I've never tailgated before this, so of course I was overly meticulous about planning the food, the size of the coolers, and so on. Then we got there, and I realized that I had forgotten the plates. Shortly after arriving, we applied copious amounts of sunblock (SMD being as fair-skinned as I am) and went off in search of people watching.

Oh, baby. Break me off a piece of that!

Enter: Pre-Race Expo. The pre-race Expo is the lovechild of a suburban street festival and the Taste of...umm...Biloxi. You can rent headphones that pick up the communications of your favorite team, talking to your favorite driver. And they're not cheap, either - these crazy car folk ain't messin' around. Each driver/team has a semi with their sponsor logo and the drivers HUGE face on the side, selling team merchandise. Looking for a solid investment? There is serious money to be made at NASCAR. The people walking around are a mixed bag, some full-out hillbilly, some in khaki shorts and polo shirts. Some scary people are completely barefoot, and most everyone is carrying a cocktail in a foam carrier.

Evidence of foam carrier...and race car-inspired fashion. Hmmm.

After eating a delicious lunch of burgers and veggies (and several beers) we ventured towards the grandstand, and the upcoming race. Once driver's introductions were done, the pace car (a Charger) started the cars off on their way. Honest to God, it was really really neat. The race began and to my surprise, the 266 laps went by very quickly. My good friend Bud Light helped that time fly, I must admit.

This is as close as I got to barefoot. Also evidence of aforementioned beer.
I really do have ankles, I swear. It's just an incredibly unflattering angle. That's how much I love you guys - I want you to see every detail, right down to my lack of calf definition. Do you see the dirt on my legs?! Prairie dust.

Other entertaining parts of the day included the guy sitting in front of me

...and our amazing seats in the second row!

This guy was near us, sitting by himself. Attention all single ladies...

I think the only thing we didn't get to see that day was a fiery crash. Many thanks to SMD who made the day possible (it was his idea). Next time, though, I think we'll take a road trip and see one of the races in another city. Bristol, anyone?

Bippity Boppity Blog
Thursday, July 14, 2005
I cringe around Disney paraphenalia - movies, cartoons, 42 year old women who wear denim shirts with Winnie The Pooh embroidered on the lapel, any combination of normal hats that have black mouse ears affixed to them...I'm sure you get my point. I have never understood the pull of all things Disney (or Warner Bros. but we won't get into that right now). Radio Disney, DisneyTV, Mickey Mouse Club, Aaaaah! I can't take it! Dogs and ducks with stupid voices are just that. Stupid.

I dislike cartoons. There. I said it.

I have been fortunate enough to travel to Orlando & the Disney complex 5 times. Each time, I hate it a little bit more. I don't understand why faux facades in a matching time frame or theme are interesting. I pity the employees that are made to wear polyester striped vests over polyester button-down shirts, with polyester calf-length skirts or long, sweaty black pants. DID THE COSTUME DESIGNER NOT REALIZE THE GEOGRAPHY OF THIS FACILITY?!

Visit 1: 1986, family vacation. I look like I'm having fun in all the photos, but I didn't ride rollercoasters or scary rides then. So my pale father and my pale self sat in the shade with some form of ice cream while my mother and sister rode Space Mountain eleventy million times. Sister freaked out over "meeting" Cinderella, while I looked down at her dress and wondered if any of the other kids saw the holes along the yoke in her very fluffy, blue tulle waistline.

Visit 2: early 1990's, accompanying my mother on a business trip. Spent most of my time alone in the pool at the off-"campus" Swan & Dolphin resort, eating chicken salad from room service and avoiding my mother's wooden-jewelry wearing colleagues.

Visit 3: February 1998, college dance team nationals. In the throes of a battle with mono, I went to cheer on my teammates as they competed. Boy, what fun- watching someone else dance in my spot. Hoo boy. Spent rest of "vacation" in hotel, gumming down ice cubes and taking vicodin.

Visit 4: 2001, high school dance team nationals. Woke up each morning with an enormous baseball outside my door. Odd. Worked as a judge, spent most of my time keeping my mouth shut (or at least trying to), sitting up nice and straight, and barging in on Cheer/Dance Company X's CEO/President/Founder while he was getting his make-up applied. All I wanted was a bagel, dammit. Whoops.

Visit 5: 2001, college dance team nationals. Attending as the coach of a team competing in D-1 for the first time. Chaperoned members to places like Pleasure Island, while trying to stay "cool" and "hip" without relinquishing my position of authority. Wanted to ensure they didn't get wasted and go back to some random cheerleader guy's room and get killed/raped/attacked/etc. Just ended up slightly drunk and very, very tired. Team got last place and did not qualify for finals. Large victory/accomplishment for program nonetheless.

I really, genuinely hope that some other amusement park has become more popular by the time I have kids, because I don't know if I can take mine there in good conscience. I would hate for their childhood memories to involve me, with a big scowl on my face, standing next to Pluto at the weekly characters breakfast. Maybe I'll just plan on being the one taking the photos.

Trying googling "I hate Disney." The results are pretty funny.

100 Things About Me
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
I have been noticing recently that many bloggers have this little link entitled "100 Things About Me" on their blogs. Apparently it's supposed to personalize a blog, in this anonymous, online safety-savvy blog culture. Not one to be out of step with popular culture, I immediately began work on my list. It took me 5 days.

Here we go...100 Things About Me

1. Sometimes I make that fake, foreign stir-in hot drink mix and let it sit on my desk because I like the smell of French Vanilla in my office.

2. I am obsessed with CraigsList.

3. I talk to my dog like I would another person, because baby voices annoy me.

4. I love anything with vinegar in it- salad dressing, pickles, ketchup, buffalo sauce, you name it. Except cole slaw. (gag)

5. I once showered with my sneakers on in junior high (after gym), because I was wearing them without socks and was afraid that I would get teased by the other girls for having stinky feet.

6. I have a little snoring problem – it wakes up the dog sometimes.

7. I have trouble remembering details of my childhood and adolescence. I honestly think I just wasn’t paying enough attention to my own life.

8. My first car was a red ‘91 Dodge Daytona hatchback. The doors used to freeze OPEN in the wintertime, and I would have to drive with one hand while the other was yanking on the door to keep it shut.

9. I’m not good at keeping secrets. I can do it if I absolutely have to, but…

10. I am scared of very deep water.

11. I love to clean toilets.

12. My dream job is to be a Professional Organizer.

13. I love it when strangers de-lurk and comment on my blog.

14. I hate practical jokes and stupid physical comedy, and don’t appreciate the humor of shows like “Punk’d” or “Jackass.” I simply don’t find them funny.

15. I am a horrendous snoozer in the morning.

16. I love the number 16, and NOT because it’s my birthdate.

17. The only kind of bugs that scare me are the ones big enough to bite, or that seem like they’re staring at me.

18. I hate the color pink.

19. I am active with the Avon Foundation for Breast Cancer Research & Prevention.

20. I want to have at least 3 children someday.

21. I get a HUGE thrill out of cleaning out my email inbox – I like to keep less than 15 emails in it at all times.

22. I love bins and containers of all types, especially underbed boxes. Yes, I’m aware that it’s bad feng shui to store things under a bed, but c’mon – I live in an apartment. Cut me some slack.

23. I am finding it hard to write this list. 100 things is a lot! Who is the genius that made this activity up?

24. Sometimes I search talent database website to see if there are any interesting casting calls going on in Chicago. Anybody need a short, pale extra?

25. I hate competition, interpersonal friction, awkward situations, and rudeness.

26. In order of preference: winter, fall, spring, summer. I dislike being sweaty.

27. I remember the randomly generated password I received from my university upon registering.

28. When I’m bored, I download free fonts onto my computer.

29. I have always dreamed of going to Ireland, Egypt, and South Africa.

30. I hate cats.

31. I secretly love listening to Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell, especially on rainy days.

32. When no one else is at home, I sing my favorite show tunes at the top of my lungs.

33. I have a compulsive habit of looking at my planner, paranoid that I will forget some hugely important social engagement.

34. I am obsessed with Carlos Santana heels – who knew that a musician could also design kick-ass stilettos?! I have two pairs, and am currently coveting a pair of brown pumps with leafy beading.

35. My favorite condiment is ketchup, with BBQ sauce running a very close second.

36. My least favorite SATC moment is when Carrie goes out to lunch with Mr. Big, has too many martinis, breaks down in the middle of the restaurant, and then trips on her way out. I feel so bad for her, I have to fast-forward through it every time.

37. I think that people who wear too much clothing from Anthropologie look like old ladies. (see: Mary Kate Olsen)

38. All through school, I never once cheated. Not once.

39. I didn’t write on desks, either.

40. In 6th and 7th grade, I was in the Computer Club.

41. My retainers are made of a glitter plastic (silver). They don’t fit in my mouth anymore.

42. I find NASCAR interesting and entertaining.

43. I probably would have stayed in Tennessee if I had friends or family living nearby.

44. I know how to double-dutch.

45. I have very weak fingernails, and have to keep them short.

46. I am obsessed with the Post-It Notes with lines on them.

47. I love to karaoke, but won’t sing unless I’m wasted.

48. Human characteristics that annoy me: those who meddle in other people’s business, people who invite themselves places, people who are naturally touchy feely…I’m pretty territorial about my personal space.

49. I felt personally connected to Lenny Kravitz throughout my college years. To this day, I really don’t know why.

50. Condensation on glasses and cups bothers me – I have an absorbable stone coaster on my desk for this very purpose.

51. I am a replica of my mother in appearance, but with my father’s complexion and hair color.

52. People who line up their back windows with tons of random stuffed animals bother me. Can someone please explain this behavior to me?

53. I love margaritas and Mexican food.

54. My hips pop constantly, sometimes audibly.

55. I look really bad in tube tops and other strapless shirts. I need at least 1 strap.

56. I used to prance around in my mom’s old toe shoes when I was little – I think they are the reason I began dancing.

57. I enjoy deep tissue massage, but only on my back and legs.

58. I have premature eye/forehead wrinkles, because I can never find a pair of sunglasses that I like.

59. I hate my nose (reason for #58).

60. I am most productive in the afternoon.

61. I always wear eyeliner.

62. My favorite color is blue – esp. “Columbia” blue, cerulean, and royal.

63. The most liberating thing I ever did was switch from a Palm Pilot back to a paper planner. It’s just more “me” to have little post-its and notes everywhere.

64. I always misspell the word “separate.”

65. I have a mini iPod (in blue).

66. I detest the font “Times New Roman,” and all of its variations – yuck.

67. People who don’t knock annoy me – anyone who walks into my office without announcing their presence will be ignored. Half the time I legitimately don’t even notice them standing there.

68. I hate the taste of water.

69. Every so often I attempt to cut my hair very short and, more often than not, end up regretting it.

70. I have an unabashed love for beer.

71. I feel somewhat arrogant writing this list.

72. I had various stomach problems from 8th to 11th grade that we never could diagnose, and that went away without explanation during my junior year.

73. I think log homes are tacky, even in the middle of the forest.

74. I love the smell of cedar.

75. I have always wanted to paint a bathroom in my home in (tasteful) shades of yellow and brown, just to see if anyone notices.

76. I love double-sided tape. Best thing since the advent of tampons and electricity.

77. I am awful at hanging mirrors & pictures – the concept of wall anchors is totally befuddling to me.

78. I’ve never understood the phrase “For Pete’s sake…” Who the hell is Pete, and why are w e all meant to cater our behavior to suit his needs?!

79. I recently developed a liking for guacamole. I still don’t like plain avocado.

80. I look best in gold jewelry, not silver- I’m allergic to sterling silver, so if you ever want to buy me anything, go for the gold (white or yellow).

81. I have always wondered how Michael Jackson did that leaning trick in the “Smooth Criminal” video.

82. I learned to snowboard this year. I am not good, at least not yet.

83. I prefer to buy books, as opposed to going to the library. I like owning them, so I can always go back and re-read if I want to.

84. Just because I’m a redhead, doesn’t mean I’m Irish.

85. I dislike leather furniture, because you can’t nap on it – what if you drool? Then you wake up either stuck to the couch, or find you’ve just slept in a warm pool of your own saliva.

86. Chocolate – need I say more?

87. The only vegetables that I will not eat are kale and brussel sprouts.

88. I traveled in and out of the big train station in Washington DC once, and felt like a 1920’s millionaire walking through it. I think train travel is very romantic.

89. I think Chicago is the best city on earth. London runs a close second, and D.C. and San Francisco are tied for third.

90. Architecture from the 1970’s confuses me. Why all the concrete?!

91. In junior high, I had one obsession per grade level: domestic poverty (6), the Titanic (7), and Frank Lloyd Wright (8).

92. I was generously given all of the original American Girls dolls (3!) when I was younger, but never really played with them.

93. I have a large keychain collection – I stopped actively collecting when I was about 16, but can’t seem to part with it.

94. I love garden accessories and shopping for plants, but am still iffy on all the effort it takes to actually grow something. I never remember to water.

95. I love coffee, but mostly as dessert after a long meal.

96. O’Hare airport thrills me. I never get tired of walking around and pretending that I’m going somewhere interesting and foreign.

97. I was an active Girl Scout until I turned 21.

98. I never say Jane or John Doe to describe the “everyman” or anonymous person in a hypothetical story – I prefer to use Polly Pringle and Joe Lunchbucket.

99. I am almost done with this list.

100. I like disco music.

Frank The Tank, Frankfurter, Frankincense
So I'm still sort of on a high about meeting Frank (see previous entry). Growing up, my family had a red, smooth, miniature dachshund named Gretel. She was a feisty bitch, quite literally. She loved my mother with the fury of a thousand suns, but didn't pass up an opportunity to bite any of my smaller limbs and digits. Someday, I'll scan a photo of her and put it on this site.

Behold, the cute doggy butt:

Despite the occasional (and unpredictable) hostility towards me, I must admit that I'm very much a dachshund person. They are stubborn, intelligent, exceedingly loyal, and have all the perks of small dogs -- small barks, small poop, small dog accessories, etc. Hanging out with Frank the Tank was a reminder of all the pros & cons of having a dachshund, and made me very appreciative of Doc's lablike personality. He's definitely the best of both the dachshund and labrador breeds. And his one white toe is so cute.

Weekend Update with Jamie Jamerkins
Monday, July 11, 2005
This past weekend was one of extremes-- extreme heat, extreme people-watching, and extreme puppy love. Translation: Doc had a play date with an 8-lb. dachshund named Frank the Tank on Saturday (thanks to my hosts Melvin & Kim), and SMD and I went to the USG Sheetrock 400 NASCAR Race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.

Hoo boy, lemme tell ya what - them there NASCAR folk sure is interestin!

More to come once I get the photos I took at the race, but for now, enjoy these pix of Doc and Frank...

I wanted to put Frank in my purse and take him home with me

Oh, the embarassment
Friday, July 08, 2005
I listen to my iTunes during the work day -- I do. So sue me.

When the phone rings, I'll typically either pause the player, or use the muting shortcut on my keyboard before I pick up. In my haste to get a call this morning, I did things a little out of order and it came back to bite me in the ass big time.

Jamie: "Company X, this is Jamie..."

Client: "Blah blah blah-biddy-blah..."

"When the Remi's in the system, ain't no tellin
Will I fuck 'em will I diss 'em, that's what they be yellin
I'm a pimp by blood, not relation
Y'all be chasin, I replace them, huh?
Drunk off Crist', mami on E
Can't keep her little model hands off me
Both in the club, high, singing off key
"And I wish I never met her at all..."

Client: "I'm sorry, did you say something?"

Jamie (flustered): "Oh, sorry, no...that's um...a coworker's cell phone ring. (Fingers flying over keyboard) I'll be sure to let them know about it - sorry for the interruption, what were you saying?"

Turns out that some of the songs that I *cough* downloaded in college were of a really bad sound quality. Imagine that. When I moved them over into my iTunes library, the discrepancies in the input volume of each song was magnified. So when I thought I had my music at a respectable, professional level, it was really just some dead time between songs. Enter Jay-Z at DEFCON LEVEL 5 VOLUME.

It was blaring, seriously. I can't get rid of that hot, embarassment flush on my face. Whoops. Fortunately the client is an old, crazy, coot that wouldn't know Jay-Z from Smokey Robinson & The Temptations. Damn you, shuffle feature!

The ball is in motion, people. The first of my close friends is now engaged!

Congrats to Jen and Jeff-- perfect friends, who are perfect for one another. May you be as happy in the future as you are today. Love you both.

September to Remember: Fall into Fun
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Who says a sorority is all shallow, lipstick-hogging girls who just want to steal your boyfriend?!

I have some friends from yes...my COLLEGE SORORITY...that have developed into very close, post-college, adult friends. I was in a sorority, so just stop judging me, internet. I loved my sorority days, so sue my faux Greek ass why dont'cha? While we recognize we are very busy people, we also like to make time for one another each year in the form of a weekend trip.

This year will be our fourth annual getaway, held as always at my family's home in Galena, IL. I will admit that it's a fundamentally unhip place to hang out, but it's quiet and we love it. (And we can scream as loud as we want, drink copious amounts of cheap wine, and laugh as long as we want, without having to worry that we're bothering anyone)

We've starting planning this year's event, if you can call picking a date "planning." Well, with 7 women, that is pretty difficult in and of itself. But we don't know what to do with ourselves - we need an activity, people! Does anyone out there in the great internet abyss have any ideas? Past activities include: making taffy apples, holding a mini-pageant, horseback riding, and of course, shopping.

Last year, Megan and Heather decided that every 5 years, we'll take our show on the road. So next year, I'll be polling my MILLIONS of readers about where we should go...but until then, any great group activity ideas?

Happy Wendt-sday
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Work = busy. Mind = full. Jamie = stress case. Blog = too much thought.

Photo of George Wendt = today's post. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Over the past couple of months, I have been attempting to reform my bad decision making when it comes to my finances. I know that money is a funny/awkward topic for some people, but I'll ignore this social anathema for now to ask for your advice.

If we equate spending money needlessly to crime, I'd really only be guilty of a petty misdemeanor or felony. I certainly wouldn't be a serial killer. My credit standing is surprisingly good for someone who has almost no financial self-discpline to speak of.

I'm gradually getting better about spending too much, and saving too little, but still looking for the magic piece of advice. That being said, what is your best suggestion for budgeting? Any tips for me, the girl who was raised in a "money is meant to be spent- you can't take it with you" household?

All comments must begin with the phrase, "Dear Big Spender..." mostly because I like that song. And it's relevant. And I think it's funny.

Happy Holiday Weekend
Saturday, July 02, 2005

I have a good feeling about this weekend. It's starting off beautifully- left work a teensy bit early yesterday, had a relaxing night in with some lo-carb beer (at this point, I'll drink anything) and a video. Today started off with a homemade breakfast, courtesy of SMD - buckwheat pancakes w/cinnamon, sausage, and 1 very gross egg that was all my fault.

Looking forward to a girls night tonight, then meeting the boys out.

The weather here is GORGEOUS, mid-70's, breezy and sunny! And I have no plans for the next 3 days! As Homer Simpson would say, "Woohoo!"

Have a great weekend, everyone. Be safe and please think before you drink.

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