As If Driving Downtown Weren't Stressful Enough
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Over the past few weeks, this movie has been filming in/around the greater Loop area. I thought it was pretty interesting at first - for example, the helicopter they use to record aerial footage parks in my neighborhood (along with a Chicago Police Escort 'Copter). The other night, I was attempting to avoid highway traffic and took Wells Street south, and had no idea I'd be driving down the main artery of the crew's area. Trucks FULL of catering materials, wires, lights, you name it, they have it.

The filming has a bunch of streets closed at night - streets I use. A lot. You know, TO DRIVE ON. TO GET PLACES. So that part hasn't been all fun and games. Also, they close lower Wacker Drive at night (which I knew about - they used part of LW in the last film as the entrance to the Batcave, and for a chase scene, I believe). Then, it was entertaining. Now, it's just annoying, and it completely steals my shortcut from the north side of the Loop back to my building.

I swear to God, if Christian Bale wasn't involved in this project, I'd REALLY be aggravated. But the mere potential of his presence is enough to sooth my frayed nerves for the time being. This movie had better be good.

Take that, you belligerent Panini!
Mostly, I find spam emails annoying. But those select few that make it past the company firewall and into my inbox are usually pretty entertaining.

Yesterday, I received a notice that an incoming email had been quarantined - a sure sign of spam, or of one of my good friends using too much profanity in a message to me. I went in to whitelist or delete it, and just started giggling. The subject line was "irreconcilable sandwich."

In my mind's eye, I picture a cartoon bologna sandwich standing on two little legs, hands on hips, and sporting an angrily furrowed brow. You know, an irreconcilable sandwich.

Much Ado About...well, Lots of Things
Monday, July 30, 2007
Busy times here - am waiting on some developed photos to accompany upcoming posts. Until then, hang tight.

Lawyer Up
Friday, July 27, 2007
I'm not a huge sports fan, really, but I found this story very interesting. Lawyers, in my experience, are some of the most refreshingly direct people on this earth with which to speak - they know how to edit what they say, and they know the value of outright speech (as opposed to meaningless chatter). His occupational mindset makes for an interesting read, especially given the topic at hand.

On a side note: I was ready to give Michael Vick a fair shake until I saw news footage of him entering the courthouse, strutting like a cock in the hen house, fixing his pocket square and looking generally arrogant. What a d**k. The mere fact that he had ANYTHING to do with hurting those beautiful, helpless animals, makes me ill - and if he's found guilty, then I think he deserves to rot in jail.

Trouble in Gingerland
Thursday, July 26, 2007
So, umm, where does one sign up for this NAARP?

Click Here for the story.

Time Capsule Tuesday
Monday, July 23, 2007
About a month ago, I took the dog out for one of this thrice-daily walks. The path is moonlit and romantic for sure: down the freight elevator, through the smelly back foyer, and out past the dumpsters into the pitch black alley. It sure doesn't get any better than that, believe you me.

But there was something strange about this evening walk - something odd and unexpected. Outside the back door, on top of our normally smelly and predictable dumpsters, were 5 huge books. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that they were library quality consolidated volumes of the December 1989 Daily Illini Newspaper. Strange, but true. I went to the University of Illinois, so I was intrigued. I immediately grabbed Volume III (the cleanest looking of the bunch) and took it inside - my packrat Great Aunt Lillian would have been so proud.

Inside the volume was a full month of full-size newspapers - bound and ready for inspection. Here is my favorite clip from that volume: what seems like a simple advertisement for roommate placement. (click to enlarge)

Umm, am I the only one who sees this and wants to douse it in pepper spray?! Hello, 911? MY ROOMMATE IS A SERIAL KILLER, PLEASE COME HELP ME MOVE MY MILK CRATES AND HOT PLATE. No offense to the graphic design team of the 1989 Daily Illini, but you have GOT to be kidding me! That is the scariest thing I have ever seen.

Need to be sliced, diced, and put into Jeffery Dahmer's freezer? Maybe you want to wake up in the middle of the night to find your turtlenecked roommate watching you sleep while humming "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters? No problem! Just call the DI Classifieds - 217-333-7777.


Cancel Your Redbook Subscription
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I know it's been done, it's been said, and it's been analyzed. It still makes me so f***ing ANGRY!

Click Here for the awful truth.

I certainly don't have a perfect body, but I'm healthy and happy. Next time I catch a glimpse of my naked self in the bathroom mirror, I think I'll smile instead of wincing. Our culture is so messed up.

Pooch Update
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I just picked the dog up from the vet. He's got some liquid meds to take, and injected fluid under his skin (which I have to admit looks pretty wacky and makes me laugh because it's just so pitiful). He's not to undergo any stress in the next 3-4 days, which is similarly amusing to me considering his day consists of laying around and eating. He's got my dream life. It's real stressful, lemme tell ya. And it appears that I'm about to whip up my first batch of bland food - boiled chicken, white rice, plain yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Which, incidentally, comprises the entire diet of my best friend Kate. (well, except for the granola bars)

Doc's spine is fine, his brain looks okay, and his bloodwork came back high in chlorides and white blood cells (indicating a bacterial infection, thus the liquid antibiotics). Thank you for your good vibes, everyone! I appreciate it.

(deep breath)
Apparently summer is a rough time for my dog - it sure was last year. The past couple of days, he simply hasn't been right. Something has been "off," and he hasn't been himself - so I made plans to take him to the vet today.

After a tenuous night of un-Doc-like behavior, I woke up this morning to find him banging his head against the wall. Literally. I don't think I've ever gotten out of bed that fast. I'll spare you the details of any bodily fluids that may have been inadvertantly emitted, but sufficed to say that he collapsed and lost most of his muscle control and balance. He kept trying to stand up and regain his balance but was unsuccessful and kept falling over into the wall. It was awful, and I came completely unglued. The weirdest part of all? He had his episode right as my alarm was going off, as if he had tried to wait until I was awake.

A few minutes (and some heartwrenchingly pathetic whimpers) later, I put him on the bathroom rug to rest, got in the shower and put on a clean version of my pajamas. I carried him to the car, and we headed straight for the vet. He's there right now, undergoing tests, while I sit here at work, unable to concentrate.

Hopefully it's just a mild case of gastritis like last summer, and not something with his spinal nerves, or his brain. I'll know more later, but for now, please keep your fingers crossed.

Holy Pajamas
Monday, July 16, 2007
I need to post about this past weekend, as it was our annual NASCAR outing at the Chicagoland Speedway. All the staples of a trashy fun fest were present: fat women in too-small, handmade bikini tops, drunk guys stumbling into the leg of our tent/canopy, disgusting port-a-johns, and as always, insane pick-up trucks that rest approximately 11 feet off the ground.

I need to get my photos developed (you didn't think I was going to risk getting sunblock and beers all over my beloved camera, did you? i went disposable this time, just in case) and then I'll be back with a synopsis of the event. And also how Sean's favorite driver narrowly beat my favorite driver, which meant that I had to hear about the stupid race results all the way home.

Until then, I'll be busy overmoisturizing my forehead hairline and wondering why the dog suddenly seems to hate my guts (most likely for leaving him at the kennel for a whopping two days) and is punishing me by refusing to eat. Can't wait to see what he does when I steam-clean the carpets this week.

Recipe: The Best Breakfast Ever
Thursday, July 12, 2007
This is for Duk. (My advance apologies to the vegetarian readers) I'm not much of a cook, but DAMN if these little babies aren't easy to make, and very tasty. I adapted the recipe from one that I found online - I'd link to it, but I can't find it anymore. To hell with Fried Cheese Curds...THESE should be the official appetizer of the Midwest.

Without further adieu, I present to you: Sausage & Cream Cheese Poppers.


1 roll spicy sausage (I use Tennessee's Best)
1 package fully-fatted cream cheese (8 oz.)
2 canisters of crescent roll dough (I like Pillsbury's Big-n-Buttery)


1. Preheat the oven to whatever temperature is needed for the crescent rolls.

2. Brown sausage, drain.

3. Mix drained sausage with cream cheese.

4. Scoop large spoon's worth of sausage/cheese mixture onto flattened, triangular crescent roll piece.

5. Fold crescent roll up around sausage mixture, making sure that all holes in the pastry dough are closed. 1 scoop of mixture for each crescent roll (IMO, this is the best dough to sausage ratio)

6. Add ventilation holes in the top of each - I just stab each one with a fork

7. Put on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for whatever time is stated on crescent roll directions.

8. Wait anxiously at oven door while unbelievably good smells fill your kitchen.

9. When crescent roll tops look golden to golden brown, remove. Allow to cool for as long as you can stand to wait.

10. Enjoy!

Time Off
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
So the week-long vacay was a blast, but as always, I am more than glad to be home. Here's the recap: (click to enlarge pictures, or view Flickr set on sidebar)

Friday - Wait 7 hours at O'Hare for delayed flight to Atlanta (thank you, nationwide storm system). During wait, endure inappropriate comments about my hair - ALL MY HAIR - from a portly gentleman with a limp. Decide not to read him the riot act, as he is clearly disabled, thereby activating my midwestern guilt. Instead move lamely (ba duh dum) to the other side of the terminal and act busy while waiting for boarding group to be called.

Saturday - Arrive in Atlanta at almost 2 a.m. Meet up with a very sleepy Sean in baggage claim. Sleep. Wake up, drive to house in East Tennessee. Question personal safety during 1/2-hour drive from main road to rental house - a drive that included many houses that should be (if they are not already) condemned for public health reasons. Decide that should I decide to try crystal meth on vacation, I would be all set. At least one of those homes HAD to have a meth lab inside, and perhaps even that abandoned, black schoolbus with the tinted windows.

Sunday - Grocery shopping, trip to the Dollar General for very important things like pool noodles, $1.50 floatie toys, and swirly wind wands that will probably be left behind upon departure from the house. Dinner at mediocre resort restaurant, and upon seeing the MILLIONTH pair of bermuda shorts, wonder if I haven't stepped into a time machine and am now inside the production of Dirty Dancing. Only there isn't a talent show, and this cleary ain't the Catskills.

Monday - Spend day aboard rented pontoon boat. Learn that pontoon boats can actually pick up some serious speed, especially when you're clinging for your life behind one in a rented tube with broken handles. Klassy with a K. Who knew the lake would be so warm? Pee in aforementioned lake. Twice. Midwestern guilt sets in and I feel obliged to loudly announce that I'm peeing so that no one (including my 4-year old niece) comes near me.

Tuesday - Wake up and realize that nearly every chest and upper arm muscle is now strained, thanks to fabulously fun (and semi-drunk) tubing on previous day. Medicate with some hot tub time, and some beers. Niiiiice. Decide to attend a 5 Division Championship Race at the local speedway / dirt track - after a solid hour of shaking in her tear-filled boots, my niece informs me that her favorite one is the pink and purple one. Huge surprise there. Awesome time, and as with almost all races, excellent people watching. (and yummy sno-cones)

Wednesday - Somewhere in the middle of the week, I golfed roughly 9 of 18 holes. I am not a terrible golfer, but I am also not a good golfer. I forget how boring it is, even when you're playing it! I'll never understand that, by the can it possibly be so damned boring? Also, how can it involve a surprising level of physical activity? Maybe when one actually knows HOW to golf properly, one does not spend half the time searching high grasses, and climbing up and down steep hillsides, looking for her G**AMNED MAXFLI 4 ALREADY. Good Lord.

Thursday - Another blank day. This, my friends is the downside of deciding NOT to bring your planner on vacation. It's nice and stress-free, but also makes for poor blogging. I believe this was the day that Sean and I decided to abandon the group and see Ratatouille at the local movie theatre. $2 for 2 people. Yes. $2. The friday night combo, I noted, was $10.25 for 2 adult entrance tickets, 2 large drinks, and 1 large popcorn. Then again, taking advantage of this deal on a regular basis would include moving to LaFollette, TN. Which I will not be doing anytime soon.

Friday - Wrap-up day. Time to cook up all the leftovers, pig out, and do laundry. The nice thing about renting a house (thanks Dick and Sally!) is that I get to arrive at home with clean clothes. Gotta love it. Poker night - betting with loose change. We're Rockefellers, I tell ya. Lose all money (as usual, given the quality of my poker skills), and end up taking self to bed.

Saturday - Up early to make sausage & cream cheese poppers for breakfast. Pack up, head out. Drive back to Atlanta, find my favorite hair product EVER that the Chicagoland ULTA stores no longer carry. Purchase two, make mental note to have Sean buy more when I run out. Admit that while ULTA shopping excursions may be slightly emasculating, but it's not like I'm sending him out for tampons, GEEZ.

Taken on Saturday morning, during a quiet moment just after the sun came up.

Sunday - Up before dawn to catch punctual flight (thank you, airline Gods). Home by 9am to pick up car, dog, and unwind.

What is it about vacations that makes me tired? PHEW!

The Bitch is Back
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Well I made it back alive from Madcap Family Vacation 2007, with a couple more freckles and some really fond memories.

Actually, make that great memories because the word "fond" seems contextually wrong (in addition to sounding a LOT like it's perverted cousin "fondle"). Anyways...I'm busy unpacking, planning a gastrointestinal detox designed to rid my body of the 95.4 lbs of chips & french onion dip that I consumed, and unwinding in general.

Next up: dreading the amount of work waiting for me at the office tomorow morning. Fun activities all around, and I will be posting as soon as I feel I have a handle on my life.

Oh wait, I never feel that way. Regardless, here's a Random Jamie Factoid to tide you over until my return: There are three (and only three) songs in the universe that will cause me to spontaneously bust out dancing (even if I'm behind the wheel of a car - I laugh in the face of vehicular danger). Those three songs are "Freeze Frame" by The J. Geils Band, and "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Stevie Wonder, and "Don't Lose My Number" by Phil Collins.

You may discuss my questionable taste in music amongst yourselves.

OH, the decisions...
Friday, July 06, 2007
Okay, have at it. Do I attend BlogHer or not?

It's across the damn street (basically) from my apartment
Exposure to interesting content and people

Costs Money
My blog is pretty lame, and not all that famous, so really, what's the point?

I can't decide.

Reading (In the shady corner of the deck)
Absalom, a biblical character, has the oddest death so far in the encyclopedia. During a battle in the forest, Absalom got his flowing hair caught in the branches of an oak tree, which allowed his enemym, Joab, to catch him and slay him. This, I figure, is exactly why the army requires crew cuts.

Vacation Update
Monday, July 02, 2007
Days Spent on Vacation: 2.5
Days Spent at O'Hare Airport, waiting for delayed flight to take off: 0.5
Cans of Beer Consumed: 411.75
Questions Posed by Inquisitive 4 year old Niece: 11,230
Questions Sufficiently Answered (according to Niece): 3
Hot Tub Sessions: 1
Episodes of Army Wives Watched: 1 (thank God for DirecTV)
Potential Meth Lab Shacks Seen from Entrance Road to Resort: 28
Shirtless TN Residents Seen: 3.5 (do toddlers count?)
Times Email Checked: 4 (thank God for wireless internet)
Beautiful View from Wraparound Porch: 1

So far, so good. I'll get around to taking pictures of all the activities you guys suggested in a few days.