Feathers were a 'Flyin
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
This morning, I ran over/hit a pigeon in/with my car. I don't know how it all happened, but this damn bird kamikaze-style dove down to street level, straight out of the sky, and right in front of my car.

This is a conundrum for me, as the resident of an urban area. On one hand, I'm MORTIFIED that I killed a helpless, innocent member of the aviary community. On the other hand, everybody knows that PIGEONS ARE JUST RATS WITH WINGS dammit, and vermin don't deserve to live.

So I cried twice this morning about it - once when it happened, and again when I got to work and had to inspect the front of my car to make sure it wasn't smeared with pigeon parts. You see, when I looked in my rearview after hitting the bird, I didn't see it lying on the ground.

Tragically enough, as in the movies, all I saw was a cloud of feathers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Speaking of needing some feedback from my readers, here's a doozy for you:

I'm thinking about buying a domain and leaving Ol' Blogger here in the dust. What should I name my new site?

Talk Amongst Yourselves
I find THIS very interesting. It's not so much an issue of agreement, but I do find it somewhat sad.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

Monday, November 28, 2005
Yesterday, I consumed my VERY FIRST peppermint mocha from Starbucks.

Yes, I'm aware that Starbucks is the origin of all things un-holy and corporate, but DAMN.

I'm itching for another already, and it's only been about 26 hours.


Giving Thanks
This past weekend, I had the chance to visit with all sorts of people that make my life interesting. One of them was Jen, a good friend of mine from high school. She is the yin to my yang in many ways...although our combined sarcasm can be too much for some people. She is calm when I am wild (and vice versa) and she continues to be the master of a little something I like to call the well-timed snort. It's a classic.

Also, the holidays are a time when I get to try on different life "hats", like attempting to play with my sister's lovely children without corrupting them. For instance, I tried to entertain young Grant by laying next to him on the floor and putting a Lamaze Brand toy in front of my face. He looked, drooled, and I slept -- it worked for awhile. Then he started crying, and my entire family looked over at me with that weary, parental, all-knowing look that says, "Well, you can't blame her for trying, but what does she know?! She only has a dog."

I also got a chance to play photographer, not because of any natural aptitude for photography, but rather because I have the nicest camera of anyone in the family. We attempted to take a full-family portrait, but that's difficult when you have a toddler in the group who is afraid of anything that operates on it's own without human assistance. (Examples include the automatic setting on my camera and Hokey Pokey Elmo)

Isn't it sad that Bri managed to get a manicure in time for the gathering, but I couldn't? Being bested by a 2-1/2 year old is no picnic, lemme tell ya. But she's cute, so I willingly concede victory.

Note to Self

Next time you take a four-day weekend, remember to pack up your work laptop and take it home. Remember how you're addicted to the internet? Remember all those people in your building from whom you can pirate a wireless signal? Take the damn computer home.

It will prevent embarassing situations, like screaming with caveman-like shock and excitement, "You have the INTERNET?!" in the middle of a cocktail party at a friend's condo.

Scratching my Head
Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My blog is worth $7,339.02.
How much is your blog worth?

I have no idea where they got this number, but if it's accurate, I may have to whore myself out and sign up for advertising.

Thankful for Family & Friends
Going back to Cali...er...Champaign...this past weekend, Sean and I took a mini roadtrip to my alma mater U of IL because doesn't EVERYONE ON EARTH want to see the twin wonders that are Champaign and Urbana?!?!

My college years were fabulous, and played a large part in the development of who I am today. SMD is a graduate of a highly-respected (but small-ish) university, and I wanted him to understand the appeal of what might see as a huge, intimidating college. We saw a basketball game and a football game, did some tailgating, and drove around. He patiently humored me as I drove in loops, spouting out random and useless information about the underground library, the dorms, the farms, and the bus system.

I was pleased to find that some of the shabbier areas of campus were being actively developed...so much so, in fact, that parts of campus could be mistaken for downtown Wheaton or Hinsdale. Gag. K^3 and I explored (okay, crashed) the rooms at Pi Phis that we lived in, remarking at how much smaller they were than we had previously thought. I suppose my perspective is somewhat changed, though, with time. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing, I wonder?

All in all, it was simultaneously creepy and wonderful to be back. I think I miss it more now than I ever did.

And, on a totally unrelated note, I returned to an impromptu family dinner at my parent's condo...where I got to see my favorite babies and their beautiful mother. A woman who inherited not just the good facial bone/nose structure, but also the long, pianist fingers from our grandmother. Bitch. Maybe someday I'll get a photo of us where we don't have our hair pulled back, and therefore, look completely bald.

Cheering Myself Up
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
In lieu of an actual post that requires thought, I present to you...PUPPY PICTURES!

Yes, this makes me a lazy blogger, but if you don't just MELT at the sight of these pictures...well, then you have a cold, cold heart.

Down for Scheduled Maintenance
Please excuse my posting absence today - the requirements of the upcoming week/weekend are mounting, and work is crazy as well.

Megan documented our trip to Champaign better than I could have...check it out!

I'm off to run errands and do other mature, adult things like balance my checkbook on my lunch break.

Monday Debate
Monday, November 21, 2005
I have always found the idea of dipping a french fry into a Frosty to be completely nauseating. I just can't get myself to do it, no matter how appealing someone claims it to be.

Do you dip?

It's back, it's back! I. CANNOT. WAIT.

Project Runway 2!

In defiance of the laws of physics
This morning, I attempted to be productive. This, you see, is atypical since I am the worst morning person anyone I know has ever met. I continually take the grumpy cake.

Since many of the streets surrounding my apartment are city arteries, parking on them in the winter will be impossible. Thinking myself some sort of genius, I coordinated a rental spot with my landlord for the next couple of months...mostly so I can avoid being ticketed, and not have to worry about finding a street spot. Last friday, I got my sticker, paid my fee, and thought I had it wrapped up.

I was wrong.

This morning, I was up early and decided to drive over to my spot (it's a couple blocks away from my apt.) and get acquainted with the layout, getting in, getting out, etc. They warned me it was an alley spot, so I thought that might be a good idea.

Wrong, again.

Unless I find a way to molecularly alter physical matter, there is no way my car is going to fit in this spot. It's average size at the bumper, where the nose of the car would be, but only 3.5 feet across at the end of the spot. Where I would need to pull in, and where I could pull in IF I DROVE A MIDGET RACER OR PERHAPS A SCOOTER. Damn you, spot #46.

Or I could just trade in my Mitsubishi for a Geo Metro. I heard they get great gas mileage.

Weekend Checklist
Friday, November 18, 2005
1. Finish packing for weekend getaway, don't forget gloves dammit!

2. Check portable grill for stowaway mini-propane tank and matches.

3. Clear grill box of either item, or simply allow car trunk to explode with brilliance and fury, whichever happens first.

4. Get on road to Champaign, check into 4-star luxury hotel also known as "The La Quinta by the Mall."

5. Tailgate for first time at UIUC-NWU game.

6. Try not to cry when Illini get massacred. Again.

7. Attempt to stay sober enough to show Sean around campus, making sure to hit hotspots such as 1005 S. Wright St., the convenience store that is responsible for my Diet Coke addiction, and other fabulous tourist attractions.

8. Sleep it off.

9. Breakfast at Denny's.

10. Drive home.

11. Make quick stop in a random town like Dwight, or perhaps Manteno, when the caffeine kicks in.

12. Get home and thank GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE that I'm not in college anymore.

Thursday, November 17, 2005
I was flipping through some photos on my lunch break (which I take at my desk, and usually work through...so I really shouldn't call it a break...I should just call it lunch) and found the following pic from this summer's vacation to SC.

I cropped it for emphasis - it's part of a photo that I took (arm's length style) of Sean and myself on the beach. How UNGODLY LONG AND FREAKISH does my neck look?! I frighten even myself!

Enormous sunglasses and ponytail hair aside, that is one scary photo.

There Goes my Social Life...
Read it and weep

"Taking both kids to the market is like trying to herd rabid cows. Aisles are not big enough for these two. They want to play tag in the wine section. They horde samples. They bump into other people with impromptu, creative jumping games."

Read more of this entry at MadOrganica, the blog of a funny, creative, vegan mom who isn't afraid to kick some ass and take some names...enjoy!

I stole this idea from Kevin
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Answer the following questions, purely for my own enjoyment:

1. What is the worst smell in the world?

2. Post-apocalypse, you're one of two people left alive. Women, it's just you and Danny Devito...Men, you're left with Sally Struthers. Do you procreate in an effort to save the human race?

3. What is the worst gift you ever received?

4. Platoon or Full Metal Jacket?

5. Who was your favorite character on Seinfeld, and why?

You wake up suddenly...and it's WINTER
Sing it, Lionel.

The minute I stepped outside to walk the dog, I knew that fleece wasn't going to cut it today.

Risking the Ire of the Whole Wide World Web
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
You know how everyone is saying that brown is the new black?

Well, as far as I'm concerned, Amy is the new Heather. At least in my blog world.

Go on wit'cho bad self, Amalah.

Finding it Hard...
to say no when the dog wants to sleep with me, on my bed.

Could YOU resist that face?

Sunday is a FUNday
Monday, November 14, 2005
Thanks to everyone who attended my 1st annual Turkey-palooza yesterday at Casa de la Jaime. The highlight of my evening came when everyone trickled out at the same time - I went into the living room, and sure enough, The Simpsons had just ended. A typical conclusion to a Sunday evening for my friends.

Big Props to the Potluck People! Thanks to...
Jeff for his carrot casserole (how do you get the top so crunchy?)
Jen for her brie and fruit bravery (success!)
Megan for her SOOPER squash
Nicole for bringing more corn than was present at the very first Thanksgiving dinner
Keith for the much-lauded pumpkin soup
Sean for the beer
Katie for making my favorite stuffing
Barbara for knowing that I love anything dripping in caramel
KateT for the salad (dude, you forgot your dressing)
Doug for the wine
KateK for the cranberry cobbler creation and the wine
Dreamy Dave for the ice

As far as my Miller Lite wishes and Turkey dreams go...well, making the turkey turned out to be a big fiasco. It's a long and un-blogworthy story, so let's just say that I had to buy already done turkey - which made it impossible to make the gravy, so I had to buy store-bought gravy. Aaack, BARF-O-RAMA.

Other than that, everything was fabulous and I hope everyone had a great time. Based on the dog's digestive behavior in the past 24 hours, I would say that all of my friends are REALLY GOOD at giving scraps to the dog when I'm not looking/around.

Pretty Sinister Stuff
This is absolutely horrific. What a mess.

Sadder still, the family's last name is Borden...and the daughter is a possible suspect. Dark, but ironic nonetheless.

On the Radio...WHHOOOAAAA...On the Radio
This morning, while my favorite morning show was on commercials, I switched over to a crappy morning show to bide my time - perhaps listen to a little overplayed hip-pop. Instead, I heard the second half of a conversation in which they were taking call-in comments. A young woman called in, got on the air, and proceeded the use the following phrase to describe the reaction of the general public to the topic at hand:

"Everyone just turns a blind cheek."

Sounds like someone needs an lesson on anatomy-based idioms.

I don't know if she's new to American phraseology, or perhaps was raised in a linguistically confused home, but it annoyed me that she went on-air with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of listeners, and used a phrase that doesn't exist. How does one come up with something like this?

Ears listen, eyes see, cheeks...ummm...help keep your food in your mouth. So you can turn a blind eye, turn the other cheek, or fall on deaf ears. Get it straight, lady.

The Allure of an Older Man
Friday, November 11, 2005
I've always dated guys who are older than I am. I have no idea why - my friends could probably answer that question better than I ever could. I guess I've always been a bit on the indecisive side, and secretly crave someone who is going to treat me like the intelligent adult that I am, but not be afraid to tell me what to do every now and then. So 1950's, I know, but I can't help it. Maybe that sets back feminism a couple decades, SO SUE ME.

I find it interesting that all three major "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" shows feature a dominant male character. [Disclaimer: In the course of 1 week, I will watch far more CSI than is necessary] So it begs the question, then...

If I were available, and looking for an older man to date, who would I choose?

Option 1: Gary Sinise/Detective Mac Taylor, CSI: New York

Let's address the obvious -- it's Gary Sinise. C'mon, people - the man is NOT ONLY a Chicagoland native, but an acting legend. His industry pedigree is flawless. Not only can the man swab trace evidence with the best of them, but he looks at those little cotton fluffs with the intensity of a soldier heading off to war. On the downside, I'm not sure if I could be attracted to Lieutenant Dan...or someone who, in real life, heads up a rock group named after that particular character. I've never been the "groupie" type. Point of interest: Subject has a very raspy voice - is, in fact, the vocal equivalent of sandpaper.

Option 2: William Petersen/Detective Gil Grissom, CSI: Las Vegas

There is something oddly handsome about this fellow, and I can't put my finger on it. Granted, his character on the show is VERY unusual but manages to keep a certain mystery about him. Maybe if Ol' Willie stopped squinting so much, his character Gil wouldn't seem like such an oddball. There's definitely something attractive about a man who knows when to keep his mouth shut. I also have a thing for facial hair. Hmmm. Point of Interest: Has made questionable career decisions, but is named as a producer of the CSI series. Smart man.

Option 3: David Caruso/Detective Horatio Cane, CSI: Miami

I don't date redheads, I think David Caruso is unattractive in almost every way, and I think his acting stinks. I don't think I have ever liked him, or his characters, on ANY of the shows he has EVER done. So...really not an option at all. Point of interest: I could never date someone who signs their autograph over THEIR CROTCH on a glossy 8 X 10. Yuck.

Winner of my Hypothetical Heart: William Petersen

Who would YOU choose?

Content VS. Cuteness
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I'm having an Amalah-esque dilemma about this post. Should I write something witty, or should I just post the unbelievably adorable photos of my niece and nephew from Halloween?! Easy decision...

Baby Grant looks none-too-happy about being chosen to go as a cow. Here we see him looking towards the window, pondering the chances that he could escape without ACTUALLY being able to walk, crawl or gain control of his fine motor skills.

And here is a solo shot of Bri, who is apparently channeling her inner cowgirl diva. Note the ever-appropriate, yet subtle, hat contact. Somebody call the William Morris Agency...


Odd Morning
Three things I really, intensely dislike:

1. the smell of moth balls
2. the body design of that new Cadillac 2-door coupe
3. when the dog demands breakfast at 3:15 am

Quietly Going Mad
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
So there I was, at my larger-than-life desk (thank you, cancelled orders, for this gi-normous desk/table/slab of wood)...minding my own business...when a manila folder jumped out of the towering tray organizer, donned a top hat, spats, and cane (a la Mr. Peanut) and starting singing "Puttin' On The Ritz" by Taco.

Well, not really, but I'm that crazed right now so if that actually DOES happen, I would not be surprised.

How do you distinguish gender on a manila folder? Tab placement, perhaps?

All my work today demands that I stay seated at my desk. No escape, no possibility of a jaunt downstairs, nothing. So here I sit, while my mind melts into a blob, oozing down my Herman Miller knockoff chair, and onto the dark, stained berber carpet.

Is that enterprise business solution in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Bad news: Had to sit in a multiple hour meeting/presentation showcasing a potential new system for our company.

Good news: Presenter Man looked exactly like Patrick Dempsey.

Hubba Hubba!

Gobble Gobble
Monday, November 07, 2005
I decided that my official housewarming party would be a miniature Thanksgiving dinner with my closest friends - miniature in size and guest list, due to my teeny apartment and teeny-er oven. (Hope no one minds eating their dinner on a folding chair in the hallway! You think I'm kidding?)

Anyway, of COURSE I would have to make the party plans as difficult as possible, so I decided to make the turkey. I could just order it from Whole Foods or Honey Baked Hams, but I'd rather not spend $100 on poultry alone. That's just fowl.

Ha! My father (and Milton Berle) would be so proud.

Sean had a fabulous idea this weekend - instead of going out on Saturday night, we'll rent a movie and do a practice run of the turkey making. Secretly, I think he does it because he likes to make sarcastic jokes about my cooking ability, which is average at best. I'm not bad, but I'm no Julia Childs. After gathering the ingredients, buying the bird pieces (we're not talking whole turkey here, people - remember I have the adult equivalent of an E-Z-Bake Oven), and bringing it all home, we set off on the impossible quest.

Climbing Mt. Everest, you ask? No...making a Thanksgiving turkey that doesn't suck.

And we did it! I made Sean cut the onions (because I'm wimpy like that - they really make my face hurt) and I did some zesting, and made the gravy. It turned quite well, if I do say so myself. The best part? It wasn't half bad the next day, and it wasn't dry!

I got the recipe for the dish from the Food Network. Search for "Turkey," then look for any recipes from Rachael Ray, marked "easy." I'm a big advocate for ANYTHING marked easy. I'm also a big advocate for dishes that don't turn out to be total disasters. Hooray! Jamie can cook!

Happy Birthday...Kahtay...hey that rhymed!
Friday, November 04, 2005
Because I have been busy this week doing stupid things like DRINKING TOO MUCH, I have forgotten to write a love letter to one my bestest friends. Kate turned 27 on Tuesday - yes, I'm aware that it's Friday...I feel bad enough already so just shut up about it. She's officially in her late twenties.


1 Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila, FLOOR!
Bathroom floor, that is.

It all started innocently enough - just some yummy mexican food and 'ritas with Katie and Barbara. After one margarita, I was okay. After two, I started alternating with water - a measure I stupidly thought would prevent any crazy, uncontrollable drunkenness. I didn't even finish the third.

After a strange (and unexplained) wave of nausea hit, we hightailed it outta there. Katie very kindly offered me a ride home - and it's not her fault that we had to take Addison, which is being torn up and repaved, to get there. I really don't remember very much after being dropped off, at least not the details. I have no idea why the contents of my purse were scattered all over the dining room table, and no concept of the night's timeline after leaving dinner.

Following several unsuccessful attempts to (ahem) get rid of the problem, I put myself to bed. More pathetic evidence in the case of Jamie V. Her Very Low Tolerance.

This is why I don't like practical jokes
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I find this incredibly frustrating. Some might laugh, but on a fundamental level, this is just so meanspirited and unnecessary. Poor guy.

Funny Stuff
This is one of the many reasons I think having kids would be a blast - Click Here.

I was busted this morning by dear ParisJasmal in regards to my dance background, and I feel like there is a pressing need for me to clarify my experiences before people I don't know start to jump to conclusions. Not that you would, PJ, but I'm just saying in general...

God knows I don't want to add fuel to the fire of anonymous comments I've been getting about how stupid I am, and how I'm a guy's worst nightmare.

I was on dance team in high school - suburbs. In retrospect, yikes. After high school, I started work for a wonderful company that gave me many opportunities to make contacts and work in the dance industry, for which I am very grateful. It remains, to this day, my most favorite job. I was on 2 dance teams in college - one competitive, one performance, I loved both. After college, I moved to TN to coach a collegiate dance team which I loved. Then I moved home and in an effort to continue my activity and stay "fresh", I did what any rational cheer/dancer would do. I turned pro.

I spent some time here and here. I left each of these teams for different reasons. Being part of groups like the ones above is hugely consuming of one's energy, time, and sanity. I have friends that are on each team, and I love that they can find a way to rearrange their lives to be a part of the action -- it's very difficult to compromise other parts of your life to take part in this kind of stuff. It's all or nothing a lot of the time - my priorities changed, and I left. Next time you see some sweet T&A on the court at halftime, think twice about pigeonholing those ladies into some mental image of Pamela Anderson - they are lawyers, students, mothers, scientists...I'm sure you get my drift.

There. Now you know.

Shake Whatch-yo Mama Gave Ya
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Somebody asked me recently how I got started in dance. I told them, honestly, that I couldn't remember -- it was just always something I had done.

My mother would be more qualified to answer that question, I'm sure.

Brianna has this CD of kids songs and dances that she LOVES with the fury of 1000 Wiggles DVDs. Her rendition of "Going on a Bear Hunt" and other classics are...well, memorable. And adorable.

Does this early aptitude mean that Bri will be a dancer, or an artist, as well? Who knows?! It's interesting to see children develop, and wonder where they'll go with their personality and ability. If nothing else, she could always tour with Cirque d'Soleil.

In Total Denial
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Dear Ass,

Please get in gear. You are larger than you used to be. You and Brain really aren't communicating very well. Can I recommend the services of a third-party mediator, like Metabolism? I heard she can really get things going. Maybe the three of you can work together to get me to the gym tonight.

Concernedly yours,

P.S. I heard a rumor that Cellulite is back in town, and he's nobody's friend. Please avoid him.