* Signal Interrupted *
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I will be taking a brief blogging hiatus until Friday, when I return from yet another offsite technology training session. During this time, I will do my best to NOT stick toothpicks in my eyeballs, complain of early-onset carpal tunnel, and/or pull all of the wild, fiery hair from my head. I am certain, however, that this particular facility will not have internet access -- ergo, no updates.

On the upside, you can all discuss amongst yourselves how boring my blog has been lately and propose ways for me to get out there and do something crazy so I have fresh blog material (other than talking about my dog). Jeez, that was quite the run-on sentence. My apologies.

Peace out.

Like nails on a chalkboard, so are the days of my life
Today's Pet Peeve:

People who eat in close proximity to others, and still have the GALL to lick their fingers, slurp their coffee, and chew with their mouths hanging as if on hinges. Last time I checked, meals for one are supposed to be JUST THAT.

Put your hands in the air, and step away from the beads!
Monday, January 30, 2006
This is some scary stuff. Even scarier, some might note, when the SUPER ZOOM image is of a very hairy face. Enjoy.

"Katharine was a tall, fair-hair girl, very straight, with splendid movements. She had a bold, aquiline face, a face that one might have called noble until one discovered that there was as nearly as possible nothing behind it. Very early in their married life he had decided -- though perhaps it was only that he knew her more intimately than he knew most people-- that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, absolutely none, that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her."

Injured, Injured Bad.
Friday, January 27, 2006
I pray that, someday, my children will be this articulate. Click Here for a laugh. (you'll need sound, but headphones are preferable, or keep the volume low if you're in an office setting)

Paging Dr. Phil
Last night, a friend of mine broke up with her boyfriend. She thinks.

After a tense dinner and many glasses of wine, a fight was picked, and the inevitable occurred -- one stormed out, one held their ground, and then...dueling text messages. With her permission, I'm going to put the progression on this blog, for all of you to analyze. [Editor's note: The exact details of this interaction are slightly fuzzy, due to the amount of alcohol consumed]


She: If you leave now, it's over.
He: Fine with me (throws hands in air and leaves in huff)

She texts: Can we talk about this?
He texts: It's late, we're drunk, let's talk in the morning.
She texts: Fine, it's over. [passes out]

While she slumbers under a cloud of Pinot Grigio, he makes friends with his cell phone. Witness the following string of text messages, all of which were sent while she slept.

11:53p - If breaking up makes you happy, then fine.
12:05a - You win, I'll stop calling. I'm sorry.
12:08a - If I come over, will you open the door? I'm in a cab.
4:28a - I love you.
4:43a - Can you please call me when you wake up?
4:57a - RU awake?
6:03a - Can we talk today? I can't sleep.
6:12a - Let's talk after work, that's all I ask.
7:03a - Can we talk after work?

She wakes up at 7:02, well rested, and texts: You are mean. You took it too far.
He responds: So, we are done?

Are they? No one really seems to know. When it comes to relationships, can there be a logical conclusion -- or are we doomed to the merry-go-round of drama (her phrase) that is involved in a breakup? How important is it to have the upper hand in this situation? Is it her fault that he didn't sleep, or his? Why is she still asking, hours later, why he doesn't text her back? Are they just a bad combination of passive-agressive behavior, or do they really love one another?

So many questions, so little time. Thoughts?

What is it about Dunkin Donuts that is just so absolutely wonderful?! I can't really get my arms around it, but as I look at my plain, toasted bagel (with veggie cream cheese) and large coffee...well, I just feel good inside.

In which I shoot water out of my nose with laughter
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time.

I've decided that it's time for me to get serious about saving money. All my financial research has resulted in a million, stupid pages about "10 easy ways to save $XXXX." I'm tired of reading the same, drab article about collecting loose change in a jar. I already have a automatically withdrawing savings account, and DON'T EVEN THINK about suggesting that I cut my $1.50/day Diet Coke habit because that would just be cruel.

This is where all my beautiful, intelligent readers come in -- I need your input.

What is your secret trick for saving your pennies?

She's baaaack...
My sister is back online after her maternity leave, and has officially resigned herself to mommy blogdom. Get excited.

Thoughts on commuting halfway to Iowa
- It's surprising how energizing "Owner of a Lonely Heart" can be at 6:30 in the morning.

- It's surprising how many drivers already have road rage at 6:30 am - there isn't even any congestion! Why so angry?

- My sympathies go out to the 7-foot + man who was carpooling this morning in the back of a Subaru Outback. Driving behind them, I noticed that his only two seating options were with his head cocked completely to one side, or in a seated fetal position. Robert Ludlow would have hated carpooling in hatchbacks.

- I think in my next life, I'd like to be a truck driver. No rules, make your own schedule, wear whatever you want, no obligation to be polite to people, and you can swear! A lot! And let's not forget-- the horn. 'Nuff said.

Data Overload
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I'm in north-central Illinois today (and tomorrow, lucky me) for offsite software training. For those of you that aren't familiar with this type of activity, let me put it this way for your convenience: It's a necessary evil -- sort of like a business casual acid trip with confusing and ambiguous technological terminology, enormous binders full of acronyms and codes, and plexiglass-encased computers, . I'm pretty sure they do that so that people can't hit or break the computers -- I've come close to the edge a couple of times today. Fortunately, I was saved from the brink of self-destruction by one very large chocolate chip cookie, and the discovery of unrestricted internet access in the lab.

For the record, my frustration has nothing to do with my job. I really like my job. It's the damn software that is going to be the death of me. Additionally, I haven't had any Diet Coke today, so perhaps this is all just a bit of an exaggeration.

Then again, maybe not.

I'm Going Slightly Mad
Monday, January 23, 2006
When I think back on all of the things I wanted to be when I "got grown up," I'm always surprised at how often I wish I were a psychology professor. Sure, I was a psych major for a year, but that hardly counts.

I'm mostly interested in the human capacity to cope - with anxiety, stress, happiness, noise, etc. Coping mechanisms are so intriguing to me, particularly when I meet someone who doesn't seem to have any. Regression inevitably ensues in these cases, and I wonder where those people go in their minds...what place in their history or life that is most pleasantly distracting. I also find this interesting in relation to the statistics published on crazy people, and by crazy, I mean certifiable. So often, they are the truly intelligent beings.

Where does emotional intelligence rank in the grand scheme of things? Is it everything, or nothing? For example, today has been a rough day. Why, pray tell, did it lift my spirits considerably when I was asked to shred a ream of sensitive documents? Does my resulting release spring from an urge to destroy, or am I bolstered by the mindless distraction?

Or could it be that I'm simply a big nerd?

"It always made me feel like an architect, which I had really wanted to be in the third grade. I had even designed several projects to practice, my most elaborate being a shoebox village painstakingly conceived for the squirrels that lived in my yard. With grand expectations, I had perched it in the branches of the oak tree next to my bedroom window, but it had been brutally shunned. I had always believe it was the squirrels' loss -- Reebokville had really been a rodent wonderland, resplendent with zipwires and even a fire pole from the spa down to the Acorn Lounge."

Lightening Up
Friday, January 20, 2006
In my post-book haze this morning, I completely forgot the most exciting discovery of yesterday!

Ham on the Street

In spite of my ardent attachment to Iron Chef America, this might just be the best new show on the Food Network.

Head up, young person
To be honest, I'm still very much depressed since I started reading 102 Minutes (see below). Let's put it this way: On 9/11/01, I was living by myself in Tennessee, and my cable hadn't yet been hooked up - a blessing in disguise as it turned out. The only things I saw of the tragedy were a series of updated AP photos on the AOL homepage. If my mother hadn't called me about it, I would have been hours until I was aware of the day's news.

Strangely, I have kept the images, videos, and stories of that day (and the horrific days to follow it) at bay by sheer avoidance. I didn't watch the news, I didn't pore over photos of people jumping out windows, nothing. I spoke with several people about their missing relatives, fielded a call from a student of mine who was beside herself, wondering where her investment banker brother could be - why wasn't he returning her calls? Maybe he stepped out for some breakfast across the street and forgot his cell phone at his desk - all we could do was guess, stuck in the middle, unable to do anything but sit and wait.

I hope that when I'm done with this book, I can say that it was a sort of catharsis...a "coming to terms" with the cold, hard facts of the tragedy, all the details I'd been avoiding so carefully. Right now, it's just painful to read (I know how ridiculous that sounds, relative to the suffering of others). It is difficult to think that perhaps my behavior surrounding the event could be perceived as callous, or even indulgent - when in reality, I was foolishly trying to convince myself that my distance from it meant that it didn't affect me, or didn't apply to my life.

It also raises questions about life, love, strength, faith, service, family, randomness -- for instance, what would this event have been like without the widespread use of cell phones? It's just massively and incomprehensibly tragic. It's a revelation, at least for me, that has been 4+ years in the making.

I am heartbroken.

Thursday, January 19, 2006
Reading something like this can really put your life in perspective. All of a sudden, my decision to get bangs isn't so important anymore.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I'm consider getting bangs. Why is this such a difficult decision? It's just hair - I'm aware that it will eventually grow back.

The Name Game
In an episode of SATC that I recently watched, Carrie discusses her writers block with the girls at the coffee shop. In mentioning that she is in a "dating desert," she briefly recalls a few dates she a guy named Randall - "Randall the Sandal guy." I find this interesting, partially because who would ever date someone in REAL LIFE that dresses as bizarrely as Carrie Bradshaw did on SATC? But I digress.

This behavior is interesting to me as well because it's 100% accurate. I also can identify with the wacky nomenclature patterns of past relationships - romantic or otherwise. Every woman I know has a cute, concise name for her exes and old friends...usually this name is known only to her inner circle as a means of expediting the story being told, or to prove a point. The instant I say, "Steve 1" or "George the Med Student," my close friends know EXACTLY who I'm speaking of. Who? Whom? Whatever.

These names serve as a life pedigree, like medallions given to soldiers with war wounds. Purple hearts, congressional medals, and bronze stars, oh my!

Bits & Pieces
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Last night I watched the Golden Globes with cheap, red wine and some fantastic leftovers from Tango Sur. All in all, it was a classic Jamie night. After my second glass of wine, I decided that I needed to stop drinking. And what is the best way to come down off a mild buzz? Walk to the Jewel for Ben & Jerry's, OBVIOUSLY.

So if you saw a girl in blue and green polka dot pajama pants, a grey hooded sweatshirt, khaki suede clogs, and a puffy, white down coat wandering the streets of East Lakeview....well, that was me. My grandmother would have died on the spot if she'd seen me - granted, this is a woman who still wears white gloves and a hat to church. In hindsight, it was pretty entertaining -- I received some pitiful, sympathetic stares that I received from all the post-workout, legging-clad, skinny bitches who watched me as I checked myself (and my tub of Chubby Hubby) out.

Upon my return, the only logical thing left to do was have another glass of wine and go to bed. Good times, good times.

Monday, January 16, 2006
I find Playboy magazine interesting. Especially now, since one of my favorite D-list celebrities is on the February cover...none other than the Joliet native, Adrianne Curry. She was my pick to win on the first season of ANTM - I called it on the second episode. I'd link to her photos but I think my mom (who occasionally reads this site) might not appreciate that.

There's something appealing about how unapologetically blatant Playboy is. Somehow they find a way to be direct and in-your-face about their purpose WITHOUT being trashy. The articles are fresh and surprisingly edgy. I love debating over whether or not someone's boobs are good fakes, or bad fakes...and the Playboy Advisor? HA! Don't get me started. It's too funny.

I know a couple of my more conservative readers (those of you that freaked last year when I defended stripping as a legitimate profession) might not agree with me, but I think Playboy does an excellent job of representing their opinions without tarnishing their own reputation. I don't subscribe, but I'm not offended by it.

For the record: I have never seen an issue of Playgirl, nor do I ever want to.

Be careful what you wish for...
Saturday, January 14, 2006
In setting up the design of my new site, I quickly realized that I've been spoiled by Blogger.

I have absolutely NO IDEA what the hell I'm doing in Movable Type. Not a clue.


Self-Portrait Friday: At Home
Friday, January 13, 2006

What can I say? Obviously I am the epitome of trendy, urban chic - there is nothing hotter than drawstring sweatpants and a stained t-shirt. In fact, I'm even watching Sex and the City (see season 3 dvd screenshot). I am also paranoid about losing my lense cap and can we DISCUSS HOW LONG AND SCRAGGLY MY HAIR IS GETTING?!

Thursday, January 12, 2006
This time from Kristin.

Four jobs I’ve had in my life:

1. Corporate Travel Onsite Guide
2. Cashier at scary formalwear store in mall
3. Salesperson at Limited Too (when I could fit into their clothes)
4. Dance instructor

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. Sliding Doors
2. Napoleon Dynamite
3. White Christmas
4. BBC's Pride and Prejudice Series

Four places I’ve lived:
1. Chicago, IL
2. Gainesville, GA
3. Murfreesboro, TN
4. Duisburg, Germany (albeit temporarily)

Four TV Shows I love to watch:
1. CSI
2. Project Runway
3. The Biggest Loser
4. Inside the Actor's Studio

Four places I’ve been on vacation:
1. The Grand Canyon
2. New Orleans
3. Great Britain
4. Italy

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Amalah
2. This Just In...
3. KDuck's Rocketship
4. way more than 4, actually about 25 more than you listed on my blogroll

Four of my favorite foods:
1. cheeseburgers
2. cajun roasted sweet potatoes (from the Whole Foods salad bar)
3. my mom's "chicken slop"
4. hash browns

Four places I’d rather be:
1. in my bed
2. at the laundromat (practical yes, but you haven't see the piles)
3. at Kinko's checking my personal email accounts
4. Atlanta

Four books I’ll read over and over again:
1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2. The Time Traveler's Wife
3. Emma by Jane Austen
4. The Dive from Clausen's Pier

[Editor's note: It is cruel to make me choose just 4 books.]

Being Taken to the Cleaners

Literally. I was standing in line at the dry cleaners this morning, and the woman in front of me wrote out a check for $150, picked up her armfuls of blue, plastic bags and left. Sean recently had to pay $4 to get ONE SHIRT dry cleaned.

Dryel, folks. All the cash-strapped 20-somethings are doing it. Or is that just me? Doesn't anyone know how to iron with starch anymore?

How much is too much? Where do we draw the line on dry cleaning?

Happy National Delurking Week!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Seriously, people. I get hits from all over the map -- friends of Kevin, Kari, Megan, and even my newest linking buddy, Tyler.

C'mon beeyotches- last time I did this, I got a pathetic response. Give your girl a shout-out. Be sure to include your site if you have one.

Bad News Breakfast
Usually I don't eat breakfast (yes, all you crazy healthy people - I know I should eat breakfast so just SHUT UP). In an effort to sooth my growling stomach this morning, I treated myself to a vending machine breakfast.

T.G.I. Fridays Potato Skins Snack Chips in Cheddar & Bacon flavor.

No, no, and well....no. Never again. Trust me on this one.

Rough Ruff
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Do you think my co-workers will notice that my cube smells faintly of urine? Because I just pissed my pants laughing. Or perhaps this is only funny to me because I grew up with a dachshund JUST LIKE BO. So, so classic.

A Dog's Life
I'm going through a bit of a slow, dull phase in my blog right now. When mommy bloggers have this problem, they just slap a bunch of baby photos onto their site and all is well. I may not be a mommy blogger, but I definitely subscribe to the same lazy school of thought.

In that vein, please enjoy the following photo montage of MY baby. I realize this makes me look like a crazy dog lady, but that's just a risk I'll have to take. Besides, the people who really know me are aware that I'm just plain crazy, dog or not.

This is the day I picked Doc up from the shelter in Michigan -- back when we were both thinner, and he was in a state of constant ear perk-up:

When he finally realized that I'd purchased a PURPLE collar and leash for him, he mellowed considerably. Aah, the sweet smell of total resignation...

We've travelled together, mostly just for relaxing weekends like the one you see below. You'll notice that Doc is completely disinterested in the game we're playing, and prefers to throw a few [tsp.] back and go to sleep.

Please excuse the angle of the photo, which at first glance, would indicate that I am a pointy-headed hunchback who is dating a pointy-headed albino (red eye reduction anyone?). Clearly, I disagree with my "teammate" about our answer to the question at hand and am consoling myself with a large glass of cheap wine.

Doc and I have lived in two apartments together - I took this photo when he was engaged in his favorite pasttime: looking out our bay window at the street below.

Now we're in a new place, smaller but far more cozy. Just him and me, two species in a pod. I think I've proved all the naysayers wrong on this one (that means you, mom and dad).

I think he looks pretty damn happy.

Nanu, Nanu
Last night I watched the movie Contact for the millionth time. I love Jodie Foster's overly dramatic, tense stares into space (pun intended). You know what else I love? Matthew McConaughey plays a religious guy, and he doesn't even LOOK THAT ATTRACTIVE. (Sorry, KT)

Now all I can think about is how they end the movie. What a frustrating plot - it isn't even a real story twist. It's a half twist. Someone call Greg Louganis.

Reader Survey: Do you believe that extraterrestrial life exists?

Monday, January 09, 2006
Well, folks...it's a Monday for sure. Off to a late start this morning, and walked in to a desk full of work that I'm not really sure if I can finish. It's only my 4th week on the job for goodness sake. I sort of just want to go back home and crawl into my bed.

I think Doc has the right idea here:

In other news, I bought drapes yesterday. Nothing fancy -- Pier 1 was having a phenomenal sale and nothing spruces up a room like new curtains. The ones I bought for the living room look better in the dining room...it's a bit of a dilemma.

My weekend was wonderful - went out, stayed in, deflowered my new Crock Pot with a big batch of chili, and basically just hung out. Maybe that's why today seems so incredibly painful somehow. Hmmm.

Reason # 43,899 that Jamie is totally naive
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Dear Man illegally soliciting for change outside McDonalds,

This morning, I was in a fairly good mood. You greeted me sweetly and didn't throw me any of those guilt-inducing looks that I sometimes get from Streetwise vendors and other assorted street-level personnel. I can't imagine what it is like to have to beg for your breakfast (or any meal for that matter) in the cold, drizzly city. I can't imagine what it might be like to ask all day, at the risk that you may receive nothing. I can't imagine what it might be like to feel so depressed that you feel that you can't utilize the shelter system, or can't pick yourself up and go out and get a job to pay for your own breakfast. It breaks my heart a little actually - not out of pity, of course, but out of plain old compassion for another human being.

So it would make sense that when I presented you with a $5 Arch card that I had purchased specifically for you, that I would hope you would head inside to warm up and fill up. When I looked back at the end of the courtyard, you were still sitting outside begging. Go get some damn breakfast!


Chicago, IL

"Do you know a lot of curse words?" "I know a couple." "I'm not allowed to use curse words." "Bummer." "What's bummer?" "It's a bad thing." "Do you know 'shit'?" "That's a curse, isn't it?" "Not if you say 'shiitake.'" "Guess not." "Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake."

Hip, Hip, Hooray!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
This is what I do when I get really excited:

(Ok, you'll have to imagine my face pasted on this stock image, but whatever)

I got the most wonderful text message ever this afternoon - it was a URL address. FOR. MY. OWN. WEBSITE. A belated holiday gift from Sean! As soon as I decide on a domain name, I'll let you all know. Eeeee!

Exclamation points all around!

Feel The Burn
I'm not really a big fan of reality television -- I've never seen even PART of a Survivor episode, I have no idea how any of The Apprentice seasons resulted, I never even got "into" The Real World. The only ones I even REMOTELY enjoy are Project Runway and Iron Chef America. Recently I caught a couple episodes of The Biggest Loser, but certainly don't watch any of them religiously or regularly.

So you can imagine my surprise when, late last night, Sean and I happened upon the debut episode of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. So weird and so interesting! I don't know what appealed to me most - the "where are they now?" aspect of these Z-list celebs, or the daunting nature of televised weight loss. I'm sort of embarassed that I liked it so much.

This season's list of celeb contestants to cheer for: Bizarre (of D12 fame) and Chastity Bono.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Update: Prior to writing this post, I was NOT aware that Dick Clark had recently suffered a stroke. This makes the majority of my previous entry seem not only callous, but extremely bitchy. My apologies. I had no idea he was ailing. Nevertheless, I am still grossed out by the oh-so-public makeout session - even if it was his wife, I really didn't need to see it. So go ahead and hate me for being anti-PDA.

[Text removed]

Dick started counting down [text removed] and then after the ball dropped and everybody started cheering...there it was. In place of what was supposed to be a shot of (I hope) the crowd cheering in Times Square, it was a drawn-out shot of Dick Clark SWAPPING MAJOR SPIT with some blonde lady. I glimpsed a shot of Dick's tongue and screamed out loud.

Now, days later, I'm still trying to wipe the image from my memory.