In which she shakes her head at how lazy a blogger she is
Friday, April 28, 2006
Seriously, people. What the hell have I been doing this week, other than ignoring my millions of loyal readers?! Here's what:

- Laundry room discovery that a drag queen lives in my apartment building. He/she is quite meticulous about washing his/her undies. Sidenote: he/she has underwear the likes of which I have never before seen in my entire life. I couldn't help but stare at it a little.

- Sean soundly trounced me in 3 rounds of Yahtzee at Guthrie's Tavern. I blame my last, most pathetic round on the fact that (immediately prior to the game) I dropped gnocchi a la vodka down the front of my (only) cashmere sweater. SHIT.

- I have officially decided to put down House of Sand & Fog (see below) and revisit it when I have tons of time to really pay attention. Then again, next time I have that kind of free time, I'll probably spend it shopping for things I don't need at Walgreen's. I swear - I can go in there for Q-Tips, and come out $100 lighter. But, I digress.

- Efforts have been made to prepare for tonight's book club meeting - discussing The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant. Even printed out (in color! excellent use of company resources!) the actual painting by Botticelli for background knowledge. Sadly, favorite sweater will not be worn to the meeting due to unfortunate gnocchi incident.

- Received, and accepted, interesting (and non-paying...sniff) offer from local magazine syndicate to write for a blog section of one of their websites. They found my blog, liked what they saw, and emailed me. Primary objective is to build up content on neighborhoods in Chicago - I'll blog about Lakeview until I move, at which point I'll blog about Printers Row/South Loop. Do I think this will be the next step in my amateur writing career that lands me a cush column at Chicago Magazine? Absolutely not. Do I think it will give me ample justification to buy a laptop, and perhaps to further procrastinate cleaning my apartment? Yep.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Currently trying to survive This book.

I do not like it. My dislike hasn't escalated to hate quite yet, but if I'm forced to finish it...let's just say that I always finish the books I read, even if I think they suck. This might be the very first one that I put away at "partially read" status.

Pick Your Poison
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
This morning, I stunned Deisy (my usual McDonalds order-taker) by getting a large coffee instead of my oft-ordered large Diet Coke. I don't typically drink coffee in the morning, but I had a 2-hour conference call at 8am and that's usually when I'm getting on the bus. It was also very cold outside, so I needed the warm-up.

Anyway...I was feeling poorly about requesting 2 creams in my drink. Then, as I stepped aside to wait for my completed order, a very frazzled woman stepped up to the register and promptly ordered a small coffee with 4 creams and 5 sugars.

That's right, 4 creams and 5 sugars. And POOF just like that, my insecurities were obliterated. Thank you for that, frazzled lady. Good luck trying to get to sleep tonight.

Drunkenness, Urination, and Spring - Oh my!
Monday, April 24, 2006
"Waiting for You" (Seal) is one of my favorite songs these days. To usher in what I believe is FINALLY spring, I played it on repeat this morning. Like every year, I'm sure our fair city will see about 3 weeks of true spring (at which time my seasonal allergies will flare up). After that, it's just a quick blink of the eye and all of a sudden it's summer.

So I'm celebrating spring today just in case summer comes tomorrow. Because, who really knows? It just might. (Might? May? Oh hell...)

In other news, I got the chance to meet 'Duk in person on Friday night at the book release celebration for his baby, his book Wrigleyworld. I also was lucky to meet several members of the cast & crew at KDuck's Rocketship. It was the first time I have ever met someone from the internet in person, and it was completely bizarre. In a good way. It defies explanation, having to introduce yourself to someone who already knows a bajillion different things about you...anyway, it was a great time and a bunch of friends came out as well to witness me drink 2 beers too many and make an ass of myself. [In my defense, I didn't have time to eat dinner beforehand and didn't realize wedge heels would be so difficult to maneuver at the end of a long night] Congratulations again, Duk!

Also featured this weekend: A trip to the dog park -- complete with Doc's first voluntary water experience, and the adventure of being peed on by a strange and foreign dog (Doc got doused, not me). Sean bought a bike -- an opportunity to consider the prospect for myself, explore the cyclery in my new 'hood, and our first lakefront jaunt with me on rollerblades. While I wasn't exactly graceful, per se, I didn't fall either. SCORE.

Snapping Out of It...Slowly
Friday, April 21, 2006
Helping me along my anti-funk campaign is The Freddy Jones Band, one of my all-time favorite groups. Their music feels like putting on an old, flannel shirt that is already stretched out in the elbows. Love it.

O.J. Simpson? Not a Jew...
For some reason, I have Adam Sandler's greatest hits running through my head. All the classics - Lunch Lady Land, The Hannukah Song, you name it. Because it's not something completely obnoxious like, oh say, This Land is Your Land, it isn't all that bothersome.

In other unfortunate news, I have been v. cranky these past couple of days. In a funk, if you will. I need to snap the HELL OUT OF IT, and STAT. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 20, 2006
Technically, I finished the book Marley & Me by John Grogan.

I received this book from my 93 year old grandmother as an Easter gift. In our family, we exchange gifts everytime we get together -- I have no idea why, but it makes for some expensive Memorial Day weekends, lemme tell ya. My aunt and maternal grandmother both love dogs, have always had dogs, and were overjoyed when I got a dog. Doc got Easter gifts. That's how much we love us some dogs in the Jamie family.

I have long thought that caring for a companion animal has kept my grandmother's life in order - gives her something/someone to cook for, to love, and to talk to. I think the same applies for my Aunt & Uncle, who had a Olde English Sheepdog named Sherman during my childhood. I distinctly remember riding him around like a pony, which didn't really work with our family dog (a very cranky, 14 lb. dachshund). They now have a Cairn/Norwich Terrier mix named McDuff (think Toto, only brown)...and for the record, my uncle does not make the dog wear sports paraphenalia.

But, I digress. The book is light and easy to read, with a warm tone throughout. Sweet without being saccharine, and yes, I cried once towards the end. So sue me. The stories of Marley's mishaps are enough to make me want to cook up a prime rib for Doc every night, just to show him how much I appreciate him being so well behaved.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves someone who loves dogs.

Cut it Out
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I can't stand all the press that is being given to the recent controversy (for lack of a less dramatic but equivalent word) about the group of White Sox players that are being asked to cut their hair.

At the risk of inciting anger and ire amongst any readers that might be White Sox fans, I have to say what every logical person in Chicago is thinking right now: GET OVER YOURSELVES ALREADY. Drop the bullshit and get out onto the field.

I do not say this because I am a Cubs fan, in fact I was very happy for our Southside franchise when they won the World Series. I think they deserved everything they worked so hard to get. That being said, a few players need to be reminded of the way MLB (or any other pro sport, for that matter) franchises operate. You're a player - a commodity. If your GM or your owner tells you to jump, your answer should be, "How high?" I'm not necessarily an advocate of that type of managerial behavior, but I'm also not in denial about what the pro sports environment is like.

It's pay to play out there, and I don't see it changing anytime soon. So next time I read an article in the newspaper about how some lazy, scruffy guys (who admit they are simply too lazy to get a haircut in the off season) now feel BETRAYED by their team's administrative requests, I might have to hit someone. You make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year -- you have enough money to get a damn haircut. I'm sure there are more than a few farm system players out there who would happily shave their heads (if asked) in exchange for a promotion up to the big leagues.

I know it makes me sound like a real Pollyanna, but I think that the best athlete is a mix of ability and attitude.

Next thing you know, they'll be claiming betrayal when forced to wear the team uniform and we'll have outfielders in cargo shorts and tiki shirts. You want to be Dennis Rodman? Go buy a skirt and some eyeliner. You want to play in the pros? You do what you're told.


Sing Sing Sing
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I think I may have gotten busted on my home-alone-well-except-for-the-dog-singing-showtunes-at-the-top-of-my-lungs behavior last night. I have some remnants of the Rent soundtrack stuck in my head from last week's inebriate journey into 90's-style AIDS movie-as-a-public-service-announcement-and-won't-you-stop-it-with-the-hyphens-already?


About halfway through my warbling, there was a great commotion upstairs. There are only two options when interpreting the event: (1) my neighbors wished to have a peaceful evening free of my lush, alto vibrato, or (2) their dog, Colby, knocked something very heavy over, causing it to bounce around as it made pounding noises on the floor.

Since heavy objects usually don't bounce...well, let's just say that I stopped singing. It's times like this when I really miss my college roommates, Melanie and Alison, because that is the exact moment when they would have joined in and sung along.

Somebody has the wrong idea
Monday, April 17, 2006

My first instinct is to give her twenty dollars just because. But everyone always says I'm too nice...maybe I should just leave her a note and nothing else? Hey, sweetie, here's your tip -- avoid touchy-feely agents. Smell you later. Love, K-Rock.

All the rain we've received over the weekend has really done a number on my good mood. After a relaxing day off on Friday, and a hilarious girls night out on Saturday, I wanted to roll into Easter Sunday with a smile on my face. At around 12:30 pm, when I yelled across the brunch table to my uncle and he still couldn't hear me over the din of a million pastel-clad families, I realized something unfortunate. I'm the Easter Scrooge.

Let's put it this way -- I don't get a chance to see my extended family very often. Outside of religious holidays and the occasional birthday, my correspondence with them is relatively limited. I was genuinely looking forward to seeing what sports team my uncle would be supporting (Duke, as it turns out, in honor of Sean's alma mater). The fatal flaw in our plan, however, was the choice of dining at a lakefront resort in Wisconsin -- you know the type: huge ballrooms of families, with an enormous all-you-can-eat-and-then-some buffet, kids running everywhere, and the damn place is so loud that I can't even be alone with my thoughts. Is it inappropriate of me for wanting to have eaten in a place where I could hear the conversation at the table?! Aaargh.

I was crabby all day yesterday, because what I would have really liked was a quiet dinner at home, with family, and just OUR munchkins running around. Driving home in a rainstorm didn't help either -- I know it's selfish, but it just took me awhile to decompress and collect myself. My family doesn't center around me, which is a good thing...I guess I just didn't show up prepared to compromise my reclusive tendencies with my family's extroversion. It took me one chick flick and half a book to recover. Yet another sign that I'm not quite ready to have kids yet.

On the bright side, I can at least practice by spoiling these kids--

That spot on Grant's face is the remnants of an unfortunate battle with eczema. In other news, Bri has hair! Yippee!

I Never Was Very Good at Math
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Two glasses of wine + the movie "Rent" = ridiculous, unnecessary, premenstrual crying jag at midnight.

Puffy, morning eyes are the new black. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

Mwa ha ha...(snort)
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Click Here for some flat-out funny

Caveat Emptor
Click Here


One must never own up to a fart in public. That is the unwritten law, the single most stringent protocol of American etiquette. Farts come from no one and nowhere; they are anonymous emanations tha tbelong to the group as a whole, and even when every person in the room can point to the culprit, the only sane course of action is denial.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
My think I bruised my tailbone when I fell off the diet wagon this weekend. It's interesting to think about how food affects a person - especially when that person is me, and food is one of my favorite things. Ever. In the whole, wide world.

Time to get back up on the horse, it's a fresh day and a new start, etc. I'm lacking the proper cliched, overused phrase, but you know what I mean -- it means that I'm going to eat that leftover whole wheat pasta for dinner tonight.

In other news, have you ever noticed that the good french fries are always stuck in the rear, lower portion of the fry holder? What the hell is that?! I shouldn't have to dig around. Whatever. Trans fats make me cranky.

Phil Me Up
Monday, April 10, 2006
My darling Phil,

I wanted to write you a letter to convey my congratulations to you on your second Masters win. Ever since I first laid eyes on you in the 6th grade, you have been the apple of my PGA eye. You deserve every bit of praise that is currently being lavished upon you.

That being said, I'd like to inquire about your recent hygiene choices -- most notably, your hair. Even Larry Flynt and Jack Nicholson can manage a healthy shampoo every once in awhile, so what's your excuse? And don't try to blame your greasy look on the sweat from your recent 18 rounds - you look like a sleazeball on days when you haven't played. Emulating Jon Lovitz is not a good look on you. If you'd like to reclaim your status as the Golf King of my Heart, please take this constructive criticism to heart. And head.

I'll wait for you forever, Philly.


Because It Makes me Laugh

It would be like a dog of mine to be passionately attached to the cheapest, least sophisticated, I-bought-it-at-the-grocery-store dog toy.

Thanks for watching out for the budget, Doc. What I'm not spending on toys, I'm doomed to spend on anal gland expression. SCORE!

Don't remind me about how I'm becoming one of those crazy dog people. At this point, I think the jig is pretty much up.

All the Boys Think She's a Spy
I'm trying hard to think of a clever way to write this, but must admit that I'm completely distracted by my overwhelming, brain-shakingly strong craving for a bagel & schmear. Because I'm a huge fan of lists, here's one to kick off your week.

- Asked a cabbie if the song that I was singing aloud to (Bette Davis Eyes, playing on his radio) was the original, or a cover.
- Drank rum, red wine, martinis, and Budweiser all in one night.
- Tried to slip a plastic pecker strawtopper into a strangers pocket without them knowing.
- Attempted to keep Doc contained in my room during the night, so that my lovely houseguests didn't wake up to a face full of warm, hairy, dog ass.
- Forgot to bring my camera to the party, leaving me with a bevy of shitty, unusable cell phone photos.

In other news, my good friends Kimbo and Erin visited, giving me an opportunity to use my many sets of bed linens simultaneously, and to laugh a lot. They are very special women, and I don't get to see them often enough! It's not everyday that one has houseguests that replace the toilet paper when it runs out, strips their beds before leaving, and don't wake you up until they're leaving b/c they know it's really, insanely early and that you've all had too much to drink. I love you guys.

Doc update: The citronella collar appears to be working, leaving Doc a bit stunned (at least chemically), a bit quieter, and with one very lemony ear.

Not so Ruff
Friday, April 07, 2006
Went to crack some skulls at the 'lord earlier this afternoon - his office is only 3 blocks from mine, so I figured I could dish it out in person. Then I got there, and realized that the legalese-intimidating-letter-writing-man was skinnier than me and roughly the same height. Seriously - one punch and he snapped like a Triscuit.

Okay, I didn't really punch his lights out. Conversely, I must say that everything worked out in the end. My building's live-in superintendent has apparently been showing an apartment that is in my stairwell (upstairs and across the hall). Every time he walks potential tenants up the stairs and past the front door, Doc goes berserk. This fact doesn't surprise me, as he can be territorial and can be upset easily when he can't see what he hears. Since I'm not home during the day, I had no idea any of this was happening.

Sidenote: In my file, the super had written, "bark is very loud - sounds like an enormous lion." HA! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Apparently Doc wields his 19 pounds with the strength of Mighty Casey at the bat. Moreover, since when do lions bark? Whatever. Moving on...

I had to fill out a permit, pay $25 for the month of April, and it turns out the guy was really nice about it. I think he appreciated that I'm not one of "those" people who owns a toddler-eating rottweiler and claims that it's quiet, calm, and sweet. He did send me off with a mafia-esque goodbye, though, which was a little creepy-- "So make sure you bring that paperwork back on Monday, and keep that little one quiet. Otherwise I'll break your arms. Hahahahahahaahahahahaah!" and walks away.

Ummm, whuh?

So it's an easy problem to fix - Doc stays crated during the day, in my room with the door shut. That way, he can't hear people walking in the stairwell...and if he does and barks, at least it's muffled by a wall and a hallway. I'm just glad that this wasn't brought about by an unhappy neighbor - that would have been just downright embarassing.

So Doc can stay, as long as I can figure out a way to shut him up. I'm thinking cage during the day, citronella collar by night. Thanks for your support, all.

Do you want the GOOD news, or the BAD news first?
I always choose the bad news.

Yesterday I received a letter from my landlord stating that I was in violation of our building's pet policy by having a dog. The letter stipulates that I have 5 business days to remove Doc from the property, or they will take pursuant legal action. PURSUE THIS, BITCHES. I won't even get into defending Doc's personality (though I concede that he is territorial and sometimes barks at inconvenient times - like the middle of the fricking night)...but I will say that my apartment broker informed me that all that paperwork was taken care of when I signed my lease. I thought I was paying the monthly fee. I thought the landlord knew. The landlord thinks I was trying to hide my dog.


The good news is that I measured myself last night, and realized (yet again) what is completely obvious to the rest of the world - staying active and watching what you eat will help you lose weight! EUREKA! Einstein's got nothing on me. No change in my upper arms, bust is bigger (sweeeet), lost 1 inch on the waist, up 1 inch on hips (wtf?!), down 1/2 inch on the ass, and the sweetest number of all...lost 1-3/4 inch on my thighs. Yay! The anti-jiggle wedding season campaign is a hit!

In other news, it's Friday. [audible, heavy sigh of relief]

Thursday, April 06, 2006
So I have no idea whether I can paint or not. I am like Icarus without wings. But the desire to fly was very strong in me. I think I was always looking for a Daedalus.

Sell a Million Copies and I'll Bring my Crazy Uncle (who likes to dress each day in a sports uniform head-to-toe) to the Book Release Party
I'm going to take my posting time today to pimp out my internet friend Kevin. See, this is the strange and wonderful thing about the internet. We've never met, but that doesn't mean that I can't give him mad props for the book he has written, Wrigleyworld. In fact, he was on the city's number #1 radio morning show just this morning. My good friend [deleted confusion here] sent me a text alerting me to the appearance -- a text message that I got at the last minute, so I only caught a snippet of the interview.

Traditional athletics were never my forte. I often explain it with, "I'm not good at ball sports." I have such a way with words. I prefer to watch the game -- although I did almost catch a touchdown pass 2 years ago during touch football with friends. (Key word there is almost) I haven't read the book yet...DAMN YOU AMAZON AND YOUR DELAYED SHIPPING...but as soon as I do, there will be a review here for all to see. The review of a person that really doesn't know anything about anything when it comes to sports. Awesome.

So short story looong: Buy the book already.

Sidenote to Kevin - you have the perfect voice for radio. When you become a bajillionaire off the wild success of the book, and tire of the constant partying/coke/hookers/debauchery and excess, you can do radio for fun. Think about it.

Saved by the Bell
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I've woken up at the 11th hour twice now in one week - the kind where you're awake at the normal time, then POOF ALL OF A F***ING SUDDEN you jerk awake and you've got 10 minutes to make the bus (or in my case, take a shower then basically jump naked into the cab and do everything else on the way downtown). I may be a fervent snooze-button jockey, but this is just crazy. I'm beginning to think that it's psychosomatic. Other than a clear need to have me looking bedraggled and baggy eyed, my body is obviously trying to tell me something.

I'm not usually the type who rolls into the office in sunglasses and weird shoes, but I had to play the crazy card today. Maybe I'll get my act together tomorrow.

Mmm, Pickles and Peanut Butter
Monday, April 03, 2006
Over the past couple of months, I have been having some bizarre cravings. And NO, the tummy I sport is not a pregnancy tummy so don't even START with the questions and/or rumors. My current bulge is the slightly deteriorated remains of my former abdominal muscles. Has anyone else dealt with this? It defies logic.

List of foods that I have craved in the past 6 months
Jewel-brand taco dip
grape flavored bubble gum
chips and french onion dip
roasted red pepper hummus
ginger ale
colby jack cheese
refried beans
microwave popcorn
dried apricots
ice cream sandwiches
bbq pork fried rice

Seriously, folks. Either I am really strange, or there are darker forces at work. Please tell me that I'm not alone here - maybe just spring fever?

Weekend Update with Jamie Jamerkins
Saw: "Waiting" w/Ryan Reynolds (and others). Pretty damn funny, especially if you've worked in a restaurant before, which I have.

Ate: 1 handful of M&Ms and an unnecessary amount of Jewel-brand Taco Dip. GOD, I love that stuff. I've decided that Sundays are my days "off" of my diet.

Beat: Sean in the fantasy NASCAR league, for the second week in a row. Yessssss! I've surprised even my non-competitive self with how trash-talky I've gotten about this damn fantasy stuff.

Ordered: new bed for the Doc-inator...chew proof surface and a wood frame! Finally he'll be graduating to a big boy bed. Now if only he'll sleep in it - keep your fingers crossed.

Relented: I know, Dryel won't work forever. Must take all work pants (and winter coat) into dry cleaners immediately for a professional cleaning. My wallet hurts just thinking about it.

Splurged: on sunglasses. I finally found a pair that I don't hate, and they actually look good on my face! IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Unfortunately they were slightly more expensive than I was hoping - now I know why people go apeshit when they lose their sunglasses.

Worked: on my website. I swear to God, people, I did. It's just taking longer than I had originally planned. Keep your pants on. Or don't, either way the site isn't ready and you're probably feeling an uncomfortable draft right now.