Zen, Schmen
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
This afternoon, during particularly lovely weather, I decided to walk back from a leisurely lunch with my mother. In recent weeks, I've discovered that eating at my desk really ruins my mood as it relates to my workday, so I'm making a concerted effort to not grab something hastily, then eat it while looking over spreadsheets, inevitably spilling some of whatever it is on my chest. Which is usually what happens.

I found a shady bench outside a nicely landscaped highrise, and plopped down opposite of a rather strange (but mostly benign) looking gentleman. He sort of looked like the 65-year old lovechild of Henry Kissinger and Bea Arthur. All chin, forehead, and nose, ALL hairy. Imagine that for a moment...okay, moving along...

I acknowledged his presence with a polite smile, then pulled out my iPod. I only had a couple minutes - long enough to de-stress and get some sunshine. I put my head back, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. Thirty seconds into the first song, (It Must be Love, by Madness) I felt the bench sort of...well, shaking a little bit. Right, left, right, left. I not-so-subtly peered over at my compadre to find him filing his toenails.

Yes. Filing his very thick, fungus-laden toenails. Perhaps this is a good time to inform you that he was wearing a suit and bowtie. He wasn't some crazy druggie, or a homeless person. It appeared that he chose his lunch hour to take care of eating and, ahem, other personal tasks. Determined to not let this throw my personal goal of 5-minute Zen relaxation, I switched to something a bit more soothing. (Let it Be Me - Indigo Girls) THAT, my friends, is when the shit hit the fan.

He blew the newly dusted remains of his former toenails off his feet. And onto me. My lap, my hands, my iPod, and my black capri pants (which will be burned later on this evening). So if you don't see very many blog entries this week, you'll know exactly where to find me -- in a scalding hot shower, rubbing my entire body with liquid bleach and steel wool.

And to think - I was bemoaning my lack of blog inspiration just this morning. Be careful what you wish for.

Monday, May 28, 2007
I looked around. They were standing. All around us and in the balcony on the opposite wall, the Negroes were getting to their feet. Reverend Sykes's voice was as distant as Judge Taylor's: "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin'."

It's should come as no surprise that "meme" has the word "me" in it
Friday, May 25, 2007
I love it when fun memes come out of the woodwork just before a long, holiday weekend when I have no plans on blogging...thanks, P!

three things that scare me:

1. the thought of my family dying/going away and never coming back
2. clowns
3. auto accidents

three people who make me laugh:

1. Sean
2. my coworker Laura
3. my dog

three things i love:

1. my mom's stuffed green peppers
2. fresh air
3. vacuuming

three things i hate/severely dislike:

1. stinky and/or crumbly cheese(s)
2. balancing my checkbook
3. my tendency to overanalyze

three things i don’t understand:

1. politics
2. how some people seem to be INCAPABLE of spelling or speaking correctly
3. roman-style sandals

three things on my desk:

1. our tickets for NASCAR at Chicagoland Speedway this summer (!)
2. my favorite bud vase - a teeny necked thing in robin's egg blue
3. carmex

three things i’m doing right now:

1. worrying about whether I have enough leftover green paint for the entire bathroom
2. drinking Diet Coke
3. mentally planning my weekend

three things i want to do before i die:

1. have children
2. coach dance again
3. find a job that I truly love

three things i can do:

1. make polite conversation with just about anyone
2. a well-elevated, correctly-executed Russian jete
3. think of really good (sometimes quirky) gifts for any occasion

three things i can’t do:

1. put on a poker face
2. watch American Idol (blecch)
3. tan

three things i think you should listen to:

1. children
2. your heart
3. Alice Peacock

three things you should never listen to:

1. Oprah
2. Dr. Phil
3. Tyra Banks

three things i’d like to learn:

1. self-discipline
2. how to "not sweat the small stuff"
3. making millions of dollars by sitting around on my duff

three favourite foods:

1. refried beans
2. potato salad
3. cheeseburgers

three shows i watched as a kid:

1. Great American Hero
2. Solid Gold
3. the Smurfs

three things i regret:

1. spending irresponsibly
2. not making a more deliberate effort to continue dancing
3. being mean to my sister, for no good reason, when we were younger

three people i tag:
1. Jonna, because she hates memes :)
2. Ish because she's a fellow redhead, a former dancer, and loves living in a city that would bring me to my metaphorical knees and leave me confined to a padded room for the rest of my natural life.
3. my sister because she's about to be done with her school year, and could probably use some easy blog content!

File under "Anglophile"
I do not profess to be a historical scholar, but will openly admit that the geneaology of the British royal family is fascinating to me. I got curious this morning, and the wiki'ed a couple of the more notable family members. Eleventy million hyperlinks later, I found THIS. Very interesting reading.

Girl Power : Part II
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Every now and then, this blog becomes sort of racing-based. I don't apologize for it, but I feel the need to admit that those of you coming here to read about makeup, or my dog, or all the car accidents I get into, might find racing a skosh...well, boring.

That being said, it's racing season, and I love it! Here is an article that I skimmed this morning. Danica Patrick is such a role model to so many girls (and young women) and deserves to win the Indy 500. A lot of other drivers, men, do as well - but let's be honest. I'd like to see a girlie girl whoop their asses.

Laughing Out Loud
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
This post cheered me up immensely. Enjoy!

I Wish I Were Kidding, But I'm Not
Monday, May 21, 2007
Otherwise known as Artwork Tuesday! Click below to enlarge.

I'm off to go put gas into my fabulous rental - a 2007 silver Ford Taurus.

This is just so awful!
Just when I think optimism might be the answer, some jerk goes and proves my cynical side right. I hope this guy rots in jail.

Sunday, May 20, 2007
I have spent entirely too much time this weekend watching the Ninja Warrior marathon. I didn't even know I had the G4 channel, and I highly doubt I'll watch it for any other reason, but I have to admit that I am completely mesmerized. Perhaps the most hilarious part of the whole show is what passes for "entertainment" in Japan. So, SO funny.

Girl Power
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Growing up, my sister and I were spoiled. My family didn't necessarily have a ton of money at any given time, but we were certainly treated well by my parents and were given just about anything we asked for. (Full disclosure: We were, on the whole, also very well behaved) Even though we may have begged for something unnecessary, like an extra streamer for our Get-in-Shape-Girl! workout set, that doesn't mean we got it. We had plenty already, whether or not we knew it.

In short, our parents were very good about treating us well but not allowing us to acquire big heads. (I acquired my big ego all by myself. Ha!) When I see those awful reality shows like WeTV's Daddy's Spoiled Little Girl and MTV's Super Sweet Sixteen, I become irrationally angry. What happened to earning an allowance? I hated raking the leaves, but I did it. When did obeying reasonable parental requests become so loathsome? Most adolescents I come into contact with these days feel that the things my generation were privileged to have are now things to which they are entitled. I find this depressing.

Oh, how quickly I manage to get myself off-topic.

Every year, I get a chance to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity with the Place-That-Pays-My-Bills-and-Shall-Not-Be-Blogged-About. I love it when this day rolls around because I always walk away feeling like I've done something good for someone. Last year, I roofed. I know how to install a shingle roof - did you know that? Yesterday, I learned how to lay brick. [insert dirty bricklayer joke here] I also spent a couple hours shoveling pea gravel into a huge hole in the ground, but that wasn't QUITE so instructive.

Over the course of the day's work, I was shocked to find that I have a pretty complete, working knowledge of tools. I surprised even myself by being fairly good at the whole brick thing (Full Disclosure #2: I had a partner for the project and we work well together, so it went well). And you know what? It was fun!

I was also shocked to find out how little some people know about how to MAKE something. There were community volunteers onsite who had no idea what a level was, had never seen a chisel, and were so uncomfortable with the idea of using a handsaw that they chose instead to shovel pea gravel all day. ALL DAY, people. How did these people make it through life never having used a hammer?

I would have never been comfortable with yesterday's activities had it not been for my childhood of "if you want something done, then do it." I attribute my natural confidence and general capabilities directly to my parents and the way they raised both my sister and me. We were no prissy princesses - we had skinned knees each summer, and yet we weren't tomboys. But we did learn vital skills like communication, decorum, and how to nail two pieces of wood together. I will never be one of those women who just stands by, watching a man fix her drywall, and I'm pretty damn proud of that.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

Confession Wednesday
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Ok, so I'm just going to throw this out there and hope it doesn't blow up in my face:

I really can't stand Rachael Ray. I pretty much hate her. I find her irritating, overly smiley, and shrill. If I didn't love the rest of my Food Network homies, I wouldn't even bother turning to the channel at all.

Can we get a petition started to suggest she be given the boot? Anybody?

Over the past year or so, I have been incessantly yammering about wanting another dog. I realize it's sort of a dodgy topic - it would require a bit more money, a bit more time, and a bit more attention. On the flip side, can you imagine the payoff? More puppy love, more excitement on walks, and being able to save a dog from months spent in a kennel, or worse, euthanasia.

You can imagine my shock and delight at finding this young chap online this morning at Chicago's AntiCruelty Society. I cannot express to you how badly I want to bring him home with me TODAY - not only is he half-black Lab, half-long dog (like Doc), but he has one of the best pet names I've ever heard.

Here's the issue - before I was kidding, and now I'm starting to get serious. I really, really like this dog, despite all of the convincing reasons why I should wait to get another one. Please leave a comment with a reason why I shouldn't get another dog - I need to hear some common sense, because otherwise I will go over there after work and get the damn dog. HELP!

Sunday, May 13, 2007
It's been fairly boring lately around these here parts. I haven't had any run-ins with violent homeless people recently, the dog hasn't been interesting, and my mother's day weekend was wonderful - but I'm not about to put photos up in place of prose.

I will say this, however - on my way home from my sister's barbeque today, I saw a group of spectators cheering on what appeared to be a little league game. Upon further inspection, I realized all the kids were handicapped in some way - some with leg braces, some in wheelchairs, but even the ones that needed help running the bases looked like they were having the time of their lives. It filled my heart with an amazing, instant joy, and brought tears to my eyes. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Hope you had a great weekend, everyone. I'll work on being more interesting this week.

Oh Boy
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The prodigal son leaves the nest.

I can't wait to see how this one plays out.


Simply Awful
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
This story makes me sick to my stomach. That the parents claim they "didn't know anything was wrong until minutes before [the baby] died," is categorically asinine. Having alternative eating habits has nothing to do with bad parenting - but starving your child does.

And In Wackier News...
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Dear Car Thieves:
Please turn yourselves in, or at the very least, leave an anonymous message for the cops regarding the whereabouts of the car. You can't sell it without anyone finding out anyway - it's not like you stole a 2004 beige Toyota Camry.

Besides - it's a damn show car. A replica.

You are a dumbass.


Needless Judgmental Bitchery
I fully agree that every child born is a gift from God, but do they really need 17? C'mon, lady. Give your uterus a break, and tell Jim Bob to snip it. Literally.

Spring Cleaning
Monday, May 07, 2007
This weekend was one of those times when I wanted nothing more than to break out the mental Clorox and disinfect everything - I really need to start exercising, watching what I eat, and being more responsible. My intention was to start that this weekend.

Instead, I mostly just did this:

I also managed to fly into a spontaneous, hormonal, tipsy rage which included, of course, tears. Because when you're unnecessarily upset, and also perhaps a bit irrational, why NOT cry?! IT'S MY OWN FAULT THAT I'M MISERABLE RIGHT NOW, HELL, BRING ON THE WATERWORKS!


On the upside, I had a really good hair day today. It's a small victory, but at this point, I'll take anything I can get.

What did you do this past weekend?

Saturday, May 05, 2007
I find most memoirs to be pompous, in a way. I realize this makes me an hypocrite, given that I have a blog. I grabbed the book quoted below awhile back, remembering that several people had suggested to me that I might like it. And in spite of myself, I found that they were right. While I admit it's a corny turn of phrase, this particular passage speaks to me. It also puts into words a feeling with which I have struggled, and been unable to clarify.

"My mother was waiting, calmly holding her glass of zinfandel. What is it you think you might like to do? I contemplated opening with something blunt and direct...Of course I didn't know what to say because I didn't know what I wanted. My inability to see life in anything but black or white prevented me from understanding my contradictory self. Yes, I wanted to loaf and lean against the bar, but I also wanted to strive and succeed, to make lots of money...Failure was so painful to me, so frightening, that I was trying to appease it, make an accommodation with it, rather than fight it head-on...Half of me wanted to conquer the world, half of me wanted to hide from it."

Random Drunken Updates
Friday, May 04, 2007
Do you know what happens when you drink 2 glasses of white wine before bed? Well, if you're me, you become unexpectedly drunk. So there's that.

Just as an FYI - my computer has movie trailers on it, and in my semi-drunken haze, I've watched several. I now want DESPERATELY to see the following:

Knocked Up
Away From Her (especially this one, as it seems particularly sad)
Fay Grim
Peaceful Warrior
Year of the Dog
The Valet

Also...I may, or may not have pseudo-dated this guy in college. From what I can remember, he's straight. FYI. (shrugs) Who knows? All I remember is that we used to call him "Bridgeport," because that was the neighborhood from which he came. Whatever. I wish him the best of luck.

** Update ** It's morning now, and I have figured out that I was just acquaintances with the aforementioned actor. I had him mixed up with someone else. Whoops! Someone needs to get on the wagon, and by SOMEONE, I clearly mean ME.

That is all from Hollywood News Central. Over and out.

Been There, Done That
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I think I may have just wet my pants with laughter. I should know better than to read this blog at work.

Note to Stacy: you owe me a fresh set of skivvies.

If you’ve parented a dog, you’ve danced with the dingleberry. It’s not a big issue. I suspect that if I had fur on my butt it might catch a fly-away barnacle from time to time.

Stats All, Folks
It's that time again - time to investigate who you crazy readers are, and whatcha been doin' on my site.

First off, I must welcome my international readers. Most of you stopped by only once, but in the off chance that you return...THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! (yes, the use of deliberate all-caps) It's a long way 'round from your parts of the world:

Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Chunchon-Kangwon Do, Republic of Korea
Kongens Lyngby, Kobenhavn, Denmark

A lot of readers seem to be coming my way courtesy of Tequila Red, which I appreciate - especially since TR's site is high on my list of quality blogs.

And in other news, people continue to find my blog by googling rather odd and disturbing things. Here's a heaping slice of recent Google referrals.

"graceland cemetary sleepless in seattle"
"bikini wax logan square"
"testes kick high heels girls"
"zac posen craigslist"
"mazel-tov" (Note: I am not Jewish.)

On an unrelated note, I would like to announce that I really hate the phrase "chew the fat," and would like everyone to stop using it in my presence. Thank you.

Good Days
Tuesday, May 01, 2007

This past weekend wasn't just a short trip - it was like taking a trip to another planet. In my less discreet moments, I've disclosed on this blog my hatred for sweating, being sunburned, and generally all things Floridian. However, my wonderful friend Jen lives there and that makes it tolerable. I should amend that statement, actually - she doesn't just live there, she has this adorable home (with an adorable patio) in a beautiful town that is centrally located between many, many beaches.

In three short days, we managed to accomplish the following:
- an airboat ride in the everglades
- kayaking on the Loxahatchee river (river? inlet? what was that anyways?)
- two trips to two very beautiful, warm, pleasant beaches
- eating yummy food
- tours around some very affluent communities with mindboggling real estate
- much swearing about old people driving slowly
- stalk private property that we think might belong to Donald Trump
- laughing so hard my voice was raspy and my sides hurt

I've had several people ask me how I manage to remain so close with my friends from high school. There is no simple answer, no formula to which I can refer. I don't consider them my high school friends -- I consider them my best friends. We choose to remain in touch because we can't imagine life without one another. They know my every fault, my bad habits, my pet peeves, and my favorite foods. They know things about me that my own family doesn't know.

I wouldn't willingly go to Florida for anyone else.