Doggy Paddle
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Well now. It's no wonder that the owner only identified himself as "Claude".

I would make up an alias too, if I was about to be publicly outed as having named my bull mastiff "Miss Pickles."

Playing Dress Up
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
So here's the deal. My 10 year high school reunion is in 3 weeks, and I have nothing to wear. And by "nothing," I mean "I have a dress but I'm not sure I'll fit, and all throughout my childhood we celebrated big events by purchasing new outfits so that is what I would rather do, because it's WAY more fun than wearing something I already have."

Ladies, help me out. I would like to wear a dress, but so many cocktail dresses make me look like I'm trying too hard.

I've been all over the internet - Nordstrom, ShopBop, eLuxury, Banana Republic, and most major department stores including the ones I can't afford to shop at - Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

J.Crew had some lovely options, and I've been back in their consumer pool after they vowed to stop using fur...but all their dresses are silk which only leaves me looking like a bridesmaid.

I tried the Ann Taylors, WhiteHouse BlackMarket, and even Amazon for God's sake. Even my beloved BlueFly was a dead end.

Any suggestions on where I should look? I want something classic, preferably in a print, in a forgiving silhouette (NOT babydoll for the love of all that is holy), and makes my boobs look good.


Battle of the Bulge: Week 1
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I'm down 2.8 pounds in one week, and I didn't even have to cut carbs (or exercise, for that matter) to do it! You all have no idea how *surprising* it is for me to realize this. What great motivation for week 2!


This Song's for You, Kate T
Monday, September 24, 2007

Blah Monday
I'm rather uninspired lately, what can I say? I had a great weekend, even though the weather was WAAAY too hot for late September. We're going through some sort of freak heat wave - it was 87 yesterday! Yuck!

Needless to say, the planned transition of cold weather clothing that I had scheduled for Sunday evening didn't exactly happen.

Saturday was a great day - vet appointment early, then brunch at Cafe Mediterra, then off to the Art Institute of Chicago with Kate, Kate, and Jen. All too often, I overlook all of the amazing things to do in Chicago! I'm six blocks away from the Art Institute, and yet the last time I went was in the 5th grade. Sad. So my wonderful, flexible friends indulged my unusual request to see some obscure photography exhibits. After the museum, we headed across the street to the always-classy Bennigan's for cocktails, chips, and salsa. Helloo, margarita. How I've missed you, my sweet.

Besides, who needs dinner when you can just have two margaritas and exactly 29 tortilla chips? Did you know salsa is zero points? RAWK!

Saturday night, I realized that I was coming down with something courtesy of an almost-fainting episode following a disco nap and shower. Half hour later, I was sweating out a 101-degree fever on my couch, heavily dosed on ibuprofen and bad HBO movies (Spanglish, anyone? BY GOD, Tea Leoni's character makes me CA-RAZY). I managed to finish a double review and took my sorry arse to bed, only to break the fever in the middle of a not-so-restful night.

Sunday, I met up with my mom, my sister, and my niece and nephew for some fall fun. We hit up an orchard to take a wagon ride, do the petting zoo thing, etc. Seeing as how it was hotter than Hades outside, we made the best of it. I also walked away with a 5-pound bag of honeycrisp apples, so all is well that ends well. See also: inadvertant sunburn.

I stopped at IKEA on the way home for some (non)essentials, and made it in AND out in less than 1 hour! I consider that a feat for a Sunday afternoon.

Now it's Monday, and another boring week lies ahead. Bring on the to-do list!

Letter to Neighbors: Version 2.0
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Hi there, ladies and gents. ( I use this salutation because I'm not really sure anymore which of you all live on the other side of the wall, and which of you are simply 19-year old transients, passing through the building looking for a party)

I'm 10:09 pm. Yes, I'm a total loser and I'm sitting at home alone, surfing the internet. Yes, my to-do list for this evening included (1) not eating everything in my refrigerator, (2) putting my laundry away, and (3) ironing. I fully realize that just because I watch "Beauty and the Geek" (goddarnit, you CW, you with the addictive shows!) it doesn't mean I know what is hip or happening these days.

What I do know, however, is that I am in NO MOOD to hear you beat out the rhythm to a Fall Out Boy song on what I'm imagining is one VERY large bongo drum. You can't fool me, I used to play snare in junior high, AND I spent half of college trying to find someone on the drumline cute enough to date. I think I know my percussion instruments pretty well. (For the record, I ended up in a horrendous on/off relationship with a sousaphone player. A sousaphone is an upright tuba. You can stop laughing now.)

Back to my point. The way I see it, you've either got John Stamos in there, practicing for his next tour with the Beach Boys, or someone is practicing for their tympani internship with the CSO. Either way, zip it.


Random Observations
This has been a strange week - I sort of feel as though I'm underwater. Everything has been moving slowly, languidly, then once or twice a day, I'll mentally surface and realize time is speeding by - things are noisier in these moments. It makes me just want to dive back under. Weird.


1. Talking to Sean when he is overseas is strange. I'm lucky to have all my family here in the US, so I rarely have international phone calls. I'm always dumbfounded by the call quality, and how there is almost zero delay. I know it sounds stupid, but I guess I'll always be one of those people who thinks technology is just STRANGE.

2. Eating 2 cups of grapes is really difficult. Have you ever sat down to eat 2 or more cups of any given fruit or vegetable? I portioned out all my food last night (post-grocery store run, like a good little dieter) so I could grab something on the way out the door this morning. I did, and now I've got this damn bag o'fruit on my desk, mocking me. It's going to take me all afternoon to eat these grapes, I swear.

3. I don't drink orange juice nearly enough. The more pulp, the better. Too bad it's so high in sugar.

4. Generally, I avoid teeny bopper shows and movies (with few exceptions such as "John Tucker Must Die" and "The Devil Wears Prada") but last night, I got sucked into "The Gossip Girl" on the CW. It's embarassing to admit, but I am h-o-o-k-e-d.

5. Once upon a time, I sincerely enjoyed ironing. It's luster has faded, however, as evidenced by the leaning tower of button-downs and work pants on my dining room table. Dammit.

Back on the WWagon
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I knew something was "off" last week, when I spotted a pre-shower glimpse of myself in the mirror and my great curves (curves I love having) were gone. In their place was a semi-lumpy, misshapen, sort-of-dumpy body where my hourglass used to be. I'm the biggest I have ever been in my life, and I feel really uncomfortable a lot of the time. So, I'm back on Weight Watchers and I really hope it sticks this time.

My eating habits are average at best. Also, I need to stop drinking. The end of summer was full of so many parties, I put on at least 6 pounds in alcohol weight ALONE. Yowza.

I would post before and after photos, but let's be honest - those are only satisfying when there's an "after" to be had. So I'll save those for my "after" moment of celebration.

So here it is, for all the internet to see:
Height: 5'3"
Current Weight: 146 lbs.
Official WW Goal: Lose 10% (or 14 pounds)
Current State of Mind: Intense
First Personal Goal: Fit into an old pair of Paper/Denim/Cloth jeans by end of November

Since I only want to lose about 20 pounds total, I think that goal is more than fair. It won't be easy, but it must be done. The days of carefree "let yourself go while you're young" are officially o-v-e-r. Wish me luck.

The Name Game
Taken from Robot Jumping Rope

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Gretel Galant

sounds more like my porn name, if you ask me

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Cookies-n-Cream Oreo


3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Bleu Canine

had to switch the spelling so it looks like an actual name

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Anne Gainesville

5. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Green Hefeweizen

6. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Wilbur Joseph


7. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Classique Snickers

8.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
K Charles

9. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Speers Seattle

10. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Autumn Peony

11. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Honeycrisp Heely

12. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Kashi WhiteOak

13. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Dancing Snowflake Tour

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Jesus Lord almighty, people. I will work on the hair pictures and get them posted soon. They are not as interesting as you might think, however, so KEEP YER DAMN PANTS ON.

Tales of Dumbassery
Monday, September 17, 2007
I think the more ridiculous part of this article is that a woman would drink water from a container that has been (a) left behind by service personnel, and (b) sitting in her basement on the floor next to her sump pump.


Note to Self
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Dear Self,

You know better than to read articles like this when you're a pre-menstrual wreck. Shame on you.

Now go to the bathroom and tidy your face before one of your coworkers sees you. For pete's sake.


Pupdate & a New Hairdo
So the dog is doing very well - he's acting as if nothing ever happened. He stills clings to my feet when there are large dogs around, but I can't say I blame him. His hair will grow back eventually, and the neighbor has reimbursed my vet fees, so all is well that ends well.

The new haircut is good. Nothing stellar, but I can tell that it's done correctly, as it swings the right way, the layers look good, and my bangs are super cute. I'm happy. Now it's time to let it sit for another 6-8 months and then cut for a final time. I'll update this post with a picture when I get home tonight.

In other news, Sean leaves for a business trip to India this afternoon. So that's a bit of a bummer, as he won't be back until the end of the month. Here's hoping he'll get there safe, and come back malaria-free and ready for a cheeseburger.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
So here's what happened last night. On our way back inside from the last walk of the day, Doc and I waited patiently in the elevator lobby. The elevator came home to the first floor, and I bent over to make sure Doc was sitting and tightened the slack on his Chicago Cubs leash. The door opened, and out poured a couple with their two large dogs (one yellow lab, one siberian husky). As I stood up and noticed them, their Husky flew towards Doc, grabbing him by the scruff and shaking him around like a rag doll.

There may have been some growling, I don't remember. I couldn't really hear much - everything was muted by the sound of blood rushing in my ears. I screamed "oh my God" and the husky's owner started yanking at his collar and yelling, "Stop!" She pulled her dog over to one wall, and I retreated to the other while Doc skittered underneath my squat position, shaking and clearly confused.

The poor guy who also happened to be in the elevator with the couple and their dogs looked the most rattled of us all.

Doc and I got back up to the apartment, and I found a couple puncture wounds (or rather, bite marks) on the back of Doc's neck, bleeding profusely. If it had not been for the blood, I probably wouldn't have found them at all. I ran down to the lobby (leaving Doc alone) to wait for the couple to return from their walk. We exchanged information, and I ran back upstairs to take the dog to the emergency vet.

Three hours (and hundreds of dollars to be reimbursed by my neighbor) later, we got back home and I'm not sure who was more tired - I'm still like a damn zombie. Now he's got antibiotics to take, and this bizarre looking reverse mohawk, where the vet shaved off his hair to treat the bites. Fortunately, they are relatively superficial and should heal easily.

Assuming nothing flares up with his back in the coming weeks (courtesy of the violent shaking he received), all will be well. I'd post a picture of the wound, but it's really gross.

Keep your fingers crossed for us, please. Thanks.

Momentous Day
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Today is a momentous day. For many reasons. A lot of things happened on this day in history - babies smiled for the first time, people got married, a friend of a friend was lost forever.

one year ago today, I bought my very first home. Yet, I strangely feel I cannot celebrate. How many years will it be before we can celebrate again? When does that collective pain subside? I don't know.

So whatever today means to you, see it for what it is - a new day with new possibilities. New opportunities are everywhere, every day. Seize them now and make September 11th momentous in your own way, for your own reasons.

Prince(ss) of Tides(me over)
Monday, September 10, 2007
I'm so uninspired this week, it's criminal. A whole post about my hair? Seriously? I don't think a "State of the Follicular Union" address was really that necessary...but I'm dragging here. I have nothing interesting to write about.

On the plus side, I did have an excellent experience with a lip gloss these past couple weeks - click on that link, or head to Delush for my review.

Before and after pics coming your way, Thursday morning...Peace!

A Hairy Situation
P recently commented on this site, asking "yo, whattup?" in regards to my hair. I have blogged extensively about my hair - not in a narcissistic way, but rather in a sense that it is my personal hallmark. Well, that and my very wide nose. It is the first thing people notice about me, and usually one of the only things (aside from my generally mouthy personality) they remember. This has everything to do with me being incredibly finicky about how my hair looks, and also its color.

Ms. P and I have known each other for about 10 years now, and she has witnessed my hair in a virtual array of lengths, sizes, colors, etc. Recently, she chopped all of her fantastic, always shiny (bitch!) hair off into this fantastic pixie cut that ONLY someone with her cheekbones and petite stature could pull off.

Her question is timely, really, because I recently made an appointment to have my hair cut later this week. I haven't trimmed it since right after the big choppity-chop of Fall 2006, and MAN is it ever shaggy. I don't typically cut my hair unless it's bothering me, and I reached my breaking point late last week. It took a week of desperate, mid-morning ponytails to convince me, but it is definitely time.

I am also spending an ungodly sum of money to have my hair cut PROPERLY. No more Little Miss "I'll just pick the first salon that I see on Citysearch." I'm going to a stylist that regularly flies to NYC and LA to cut celebrity manes - someone who comes so highly recommended to me, that I was afraid I might not be cool enough to schedule an appointment at all. The way I see it, I haven't gotten a haircut in 10 months - I should probably get a good one, and STAT.

The game plan, as it stands right now, is to continue growing my hair out until it's roughly even with my collarbone. Also on the menu: swing bangs for fall. I think my new glasses (and my incredibly disproportionate forehead) would do well with a fresh set of bangs.

Because, really, why not? It's hair. It grows back.

Reader Submissions Welcome
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Autumn is just around the corner, and I feel the need for a new masthead on this site. I was tinkering in PhotoShop last night (when I should have been sleeping) and am seriously lacking in direction and/or inspiration. I can't update my masthead as often as perhaps Mr. W might, but I need to do SOMETHING.

What should my Fall of '07 masthead look like? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007
So. Apple has redesigned the entire line of iPods. Hrmph. This is upsetting to me on several levels.

The realistic side of my personality sees the 8gb capacity of the new nano and thinks, "Gee, that's more space than I might ever need since my iPod is merely a music storage device and not used for video or photos. I could add a lot onto that without running out of storage space."

The sentimental side of my personality says, "But we love our precious, sky blue iPod mini with its surprisingly difficult-to-read display and 4gb capacity. It was a gift and it carries a moderate degree of intrinsic value."

The materialistic side of my personality says, "NEW! NEW! MUST HAVE NEW, SHINY, BEAUTIFUL NANO!"

And the rest of me wonders when the hell this will all just calm down. I think technology is a wonderful thing, but when does one just call it quits? If I buy another iPod, then will I just need another one in 2 years when the 450gb version is on sale at $49.99?

How are we to know when enough is enough, and for GOD'S SAKE ALREADY, how do these Apple junkies afford all the gear being shilled?! I feel like we're all just chasing our tails, waiting for something else polished and full of memory to appear - and then we're all off to the races again. Thinking about it makes me tired.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Note to self: when you get all excited and motivate to be productive after watching an episode of Making The Team 2: The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (which of course makes you nostalgic and also feel like a fat, corporate schlub), DO NOT ATTEMPT A BAKING PROJECT.

As I was putting the groceries away, I realized that I buy WAAAY too much food for one person. Seriously, what is wrong with me? I have no excuse. I am on a cooking/baking bender these days, and the recipes are lined up in a long queue, just waiting for the right time for experimentation. Apparently, the butterscotch oatmeal cookies were called up to the plate tonight - mostly because I could only fit the butterscotch chips on the countertop over the dishwasher. I needed to run the dishwasher, which meant the countertop would heat up just enough to melt the butterscotch chips, which would clearly be a cooking tragedy and completely trash my recipe.

So I made the cookies instead, simply to clear a couple more things off the countertop. (I also needed to make something with which I would drink the last of the milk) I'll give you a minute to let that bizarre logic sink in. Also in the dishwasher: one of Sean's baseball caps that DESPERATELY needs a good washin'. We'll see what happens.

The cookies turned out well, but not earth-shatteringly tasty. I will probably take them to work tomorrow so that I don't eat every single one of them.

Also turning out to be mediocre? The movie "Superbad." It had its funnier moments, but truth be told, I didn't really like it. Jonah Hill's character was FAR too angry to register as consistently funny, and while Michael Cera did a phenomenal Meh. It was no "Knocked Up," that's for damn sure.

Done anything mediocre lately?

It Feels Like Monday
So here's the nutshell version of the weekend.

Got a dresser off of Craigslist that I'm not terribly thrilled about. It'll do for the time being (and looks MUCH better now that I have put new hardware on the front), but to be honest, I'm just not loving it. Then again, it was cheap and the dude delivered, so I should just shut up about it already.

Did some serious cleaning, including shampooing the carpet in my condo. Over the course of the last week, the dog decided to pee somewhere in the back half of the apartment. I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of coming home to the stink of dog piss, so I felt it was time to clean the carpet. Found the pee stain, and tried everything under the sun (including Nature's Miracle, vinegar, baking soda, and carpet shampoo spot-treatment) to clean and deodorize it. May have ruined my beloved Dyson attempting to vacuum up the loose baking soda from the spot, only to find that my vacuum is now covered in a urine/vinegar/baking soda paste. (sob) The stain is still there. It still reeks.

Took in some estimates for hardwood flooring.

Did 3 loads of laundry. I swear to God, I am the only single person I know who does this much laundry. I'm a clean person, but not freakishly so. Do I have too much clothing? Should I be wearing things twice before I wash them? I don't get it.

Made a conscious effort to NOT call up my best friend Kate upon hearing this news because she is a Michigan alum and (like many other alums) sensitively defensive about her beloved Wolverines. I did, however, make the decision to mention it here on my blog because (a) I can, and (b) MAN, WAS THAT EVER A FANTASTIC BUTT-WHOOPIN'. Anyone who has graduated from a Big Ten school can appreciate how easy the first game of the season is meant to be - it's meant to be a walk in the park and everyone knows it. UM paid near $400K to bring App. State in for the game, only to have their precious, little asses handed to them. See ya, Lloyd Carr, wouldn't want to be 'ya.

Hung out with friends and drank too much beer while playing Nudie Photo Hunt at the bar across the street.

Watched Reno 911! Miami and Hot Fuzz. I personally thought the former was funnier, but I would recommend both. They managed to take my mind off of the urine paste in my vacuum for awhile.