Signing Off...
Friday, February 29, 2008
I've never understood why radio personalities say "this is XXX XXXXXX, signing off..." because I think we all know they're obviously NOT signing anything. They're not approving documents, they're not ratifying a new nation, they probably don't even have a pen in their hand! It doesn't make any sense! Is there some historical logic behind this bizarre and nonsensical broadcasting lingo? Can't they just say goodbye?

I have a hell of a weekend ahead of me - I'm pseudo-hosting a bachelorette party tonight for my friend Laura (dinner, then drinks), I have to judge all day tomorrow, and then on Sunday I am judging again as well as driving to the 'burbs to pick up my bridesmaid dress.

So I guess I'll see ya when I see ya. I have the sinking feeling that this weekend isn't going to feel much like one. (thank GOD vacation is just around the corner) I certainly won't be blogging this weekend, as there are FAR more pressing (and fun!)duties to which I will be attending.


Welcome, Sundry Readers!
Whoa dudes.

So yesterday I was surfing my blogroll, and checked in for my daily dose of All & Sundry - a.k.a. Linda's hilarious blog. I put in a comment which she, in turn, highlighted...and now my site metrics are jumping off the charts!

Thanks to all the great readers who clicked over to see my page! Welcome! I feel I need to put something REALLY interesting up so that you'll stick around awhile and maybe even laugh.

Then I remembered that I rarely write anything noteworthy. So if you're looking for a mommy blog, this ain't it. If you're looking for a tech blog, this ain't it. I am not a hipster (unless you count liking Elvis Costello). I am not in love with New York or Los Angeles - in fact, I dislike both of them intensely. I don't write about my own religious conflicts, because there aren't any to discuss. I don't write about politics all that much.

Here's what I do write about - in case you don't feel like diving through the archives. I write about what makes me angry, what makes me happy, my BF, my hair, beauty products, the perks and downfalls of living in a big city, dance, television, pop culture, and books. I write about my niece and nephew, my friends, my weirdo dog, and my family.

Please consider this post the official, virtual welcome mat for all of you new readers. Come on in, take off your coat (or, for those of you in the warmer climates, your flip flops), and have a seat.

Want some coffee or tea?

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 28, 2008
What a weird week this has been. I am finding myself increasingly distracted by the extracurricular activities in my life - almost to the point of not being able to concentrate on anything else. I think 2008 is shaping up to be a pretty amazing year, if the past two months have been any indication. I have three friends getting married this year (spaced out nicely, thank GOD) so that is thrilling. I learned how to give myself a manicure, and once I stop fussing obsessively over my cuticle health, I'm pretty sure that will be a positive thing.

The upcoming month looks like it's going to be a hectic one as well - a wedding to take part in, a vacation to finalize and enjoy, and some dance-related side work to complete. I need to get my taxes done. I need to get back on track with my diet - only 8 pounds left to shed. I need to see my family. I need to learn how to concentrate again.

Oh, and did I mention that I need to get a playlist together for vacation? I decided that I'm going to take FULL advantage of the portion of our vacation that will take place on a semi-remote island on the pacific rim. I need to have a corresponding playlist on my iPod for those moments where I'm in slippers and a robe, drinking coffee while looking out over the crashing waves. I WILL HAVE A RELAXING MOMENT LIKE THAT, DAMMIT.


So...ahem...umm...could you maybe toss a couple suggestions on relaxing music into the comments for me? (bats eyelashes and pretends that the outburst above didn't just happen) Pretty please? Thanks!

Happiness Is...
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
a spicy buffalo chicken salad with heaps of ranch dressing.

Not good for my diet, but OH SO GOOD for my attitude.

How much do I love THIS? I may have only lived in Tennessee for a year and a half, but I was there long enough to witness how ridiculously obsessed those nice folks are with their Volunteers.


Therefore, any time Big Orange gets it's ass whooped, I'm a happy lady.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
To make a high forehead look less lofty, take a matte powder bronzer or blush that's a shade darker than your foundation and brush it along your hairline, from above your ears to the middle of your forehead. Blend well, brushing towards your hair.

Oscar Mania
Monday, February 25, 2008
Last night, I watched the Academy Awards for first time in maybe 3-4 years. Thinking it might be extra dramatic or noteworthy this year, given the writers' strike situation, I tuned in for nearly the entire telecast. Here are my awards for the evening:

Best Extemporaneous Speaking: Jon Stewart
Most Stunning Jewelry: Nicole Kidman (L'Wren Scott)
Best Dress: Helen Mirren (George Chakra)
Second Best Dress: Anne Hathaway (Marchesa)
Most Disappointing Dress: Ellen Page (vintage Scherrer)
Absolutely Ugliest Dress Ever: Sarah Lawson
Most Adorable Acceptance Speech: Marianne Cotillard
Most Irritating Person of the Evening: Ryan Seacrest
Bravest Dress Award: Keri Russell (in a KHAKI Nina Ricci)
Drag Queen Award: Kimora Lee Simmons
Pointless Presenter Award: Miley Cyrus
Hardest Working Woman Award: Amy Adams
Most Hilarious Winner(s) Award: The Coen Brothers
Armpit Vagina Award: tie between Cameron Diaz & Jennifer Garner

Can we please discuss how these horrifyingly skinny actresses STILL couldn't get their underarms into their dresses? Has no one told them that they have armpit vaginas? Both Cameron and Jennifer were BULGING out of the tops of their bodices, and not in an appealing way. And despite rocking a universally unattractive color in a very lovely way, Keri Russell also had some seriously armpit rolls. Yuck.

Your thoughts?

Casual Friday
Friday, February 22, 2008
Just a couple observations to send you off into your weekend:

- What is it about swimsuit shopping that is so utterly AWFUL?! I just lost 10 pounds. I should be running around, wearing nothing but a smile on my face. Instead, I'm ordering swimsuits online, only to have them show up and be incredibly unflattering in more ways than one. I must be at some in-between size. Or I have no idea what looks good on me. Or both.

- Must start Thighs and Buns of Steels tapes STAT. I'm okay with my stomach/abs, but my thighs. PEOPLE, MY THIGHS, OMFG. OH THE OBSCENITY OF THE MILK! (Hemingway is in the hizzouse - shout out to book club! represent, yo)

- I recently purchased this dress to wear to a friend's wedding. Isn't it adorable? It arrived this week and I'm completely in love with it. It has pockets! And it camouflages my thighs! And I don't have to wear a bra with it! IT'S THE TRIFECTA OF DRESS FANTASTIC-NESS.

- The dog's coat isn't as shiny as it used to be. I'm guessing this is a result of a relatively recent change in his food (per vet's orders). I'm planning on supplementing his diet with Brewer's Yeast capsules - any dog owners out there who have used them? If so, please feel free to chime in with your feedback and suggestions.

- Bamboo sheets are the bomb. If you don't believe me, buy yourself a set. You'll never go back to old, scratchy-ass cotton, and it's good for the environment! Plus, bamboo linens (towels included) are naturally anti-microbial which is fantastic if you suffer from allergies. Or are a raging germophobe.

- Chicago has been really cold this month. I would like it to stop now.

- According to Prevention magazine, natural redheads may be extinct by the year 2100. Apparently some study in England (where having red hair is not necessarily a popular or good thing) found that the recessive gene for red hair is being dominated by darker shades through "genetic intermingling." I guess I need to start banking away my eggs, just in case I'm called upon to save the world from the absence of redheads.

- Jennifer Lopez gave birth early this morning to twins in a New York hospital. I sure hope they take after their mother in the looks department. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I'm not sure which part of this story is grosser - being 120 years old, or drinking an entire glass of olive oil a day.

Ugh, Really?
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This news is really disappointing.

Weekend Update
Monday, February 18, 2008
As are most of my weekends up until I get back from vacation, this past one was jam-packed with stuff. Friday night, I hosted a impromptu (and much needed) girls night with K, K, and J. I didn't drink too much because I needed to be up early the next morning, but I had my share. Everyone did, in fact - I almost tore a rotator cuff taking the garbage to the chute the next morning.

Saturday, I worked a dance competition (emcee this time, not judging) and managed to completely ratchet the hell out of the awards ceremony. SOMEBODY (points frantically to self) forgot to make sure the results page numbers were in order, and just went full speed ahead - leaving a wake of confusion and minor chaos as I went. Not exactly the note on which I wanted to end the day (the rest of which actually went quite smoothly). Either way, it was a great chance to earn some extra cash and see friends.

Sunday, I *almost* finished the book club book for this month. I'm so close to the end! I really want to put this thing to bed, so I'll be furiously reading up until our meeting tomorrow evening. After that, I headed out to the 'burbs to attend a bridal shower for my friend L. I got to meet the groom's mother (who is quite wee and adorable), and also the junior bridesmaid who is old enough to have a really hilarious/odd sense of humor, and yet young enough not to take herself too seriously. Adorable.

I caught the last 25 laps of the Daytona 500 on the radio during my drive back into the city - sounds like it was an interesting one. I have to say that I'm sort of glad that the Hendrick cars crapped out. I would give anything for the 2008 season to be more interesting and varied than the 2007 season, which was the definition of boring. Which is saying something, since the sport primarily consists of cars driving around in a circle for hours upon hours.

Sean has had to extend his stay overseas, so he's gone for another solid week (and then some) so that's a huge disappointment. He can't really do anything about it, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Good thing I'm so busy, otherwise I'd be really down about the whole thing. I'd just like our lives to get back to normal. I'm really no good at being content unless I can fall back on some semblance of routine.

I do believe this will be a week for concentrating on positive thinking.

When I See Them, I Get All Tingly Inside
Friday, February 15, 2008
Financially speaking, I am not in a position to be buying up multiple pairs of $395.00 shoes. I typically give high-end shoe retailers nothing more than a cursory glance. I window shop when I know I can't afford something - it's a win/win...both for my credit cards and my brain. As long as I keep a safe distance, there is absolutely no temptation for me to splurge on something like a pair of shoes. That $400 could be so many other things - things I actually use and need, like groceries and utilities!

So you can imagine my surprise when I noticed these insanely fierce sandals on the side of a CTA bus shelter. They were actually accessories in a handbag advertisement, but my eyes focused laser-style onto the shoes. Now I'm obsessed. I haven't yet put myself through the pain of going to try them on at the store, but I KNOW they would look gorgeous on me. I just know it, alright? Geez.

I also know they would fit in with my current warm weather wardrobe - mostly denims, whites, and ivories with browns tossed in here and there. Really it's just stupid that I'm so fixated on these sandals. I'll probably never buy them. But DAMN if I don't want to run down Michigan Avenue on my lunch break and unwisely use some of my recently obtained bonus on those babies.

Somebody, please talk me out of this. Puh-lease? Somebody needs to bring me back down to earth, and STAT.

It's in the Genes...or Maybe Not
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Every time I walk my dog around the neighborhood (or around anywhere, for that matter) I am asked what kind of canine he is. My honest answer to people is usually "we think half dachshund, half black lab," to which I receive astonished replies and laughter about how the physics of that mating must have looked.

Now, I know that my answer is incorrect. Unfortunately, I don't have a more specific answer, nor I really know what he is...exactly.

Just after Christmas, I used some surplus holiday cash to order a DNA testing kit from MMI Genomics. Like Ralphie with his Ovaltine Secret Decoder, I waited impatiently for it to arrive. After taking a mighty swab from Doc's cheek (about which he was less than thrilled), I sent it away for analysis.

This morning marked the one week mark after the 4-6 week results time frame, so I gave my pals at MMI a call. According to Veronica in Customer Service, Doc's genetic makeup is too varied to conclude a primary breed. In fact, none of the gene markers came back in any kind of conclusive majority.

Keep in mind, this test only runs against 38 breeds (including black lab and dachshund). So I asked if they ever considered expanding their sample pool of breed information, and she mentioned they were planning on expanding in the next few months or so (up to 115 breeds). She offered to add Doc to the test group for the new and improved process - free of charge! So of course, I consented.

A new DNA swab kit is on its way to my house now, for a second sample. In the meantime, I think I'll ask my vet about the blood test offered by Mars Veterinary group. I don't know if I can wait 6 more months to know exactly what makes up my mutt.

What do YOU see?

Half a Decade
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Five years ago, today, Sean and I had our first official date. And because I am the overly dramatic, emotional, communicative, and schmoopy half of "us," I couldn't resist proudly announcing the occasion.

I don't usually believe in celebrating "faux-versaries," but my contradictory self thinks 5 years is a pretty big deal. So I think I'll poke my head outside of the office, enjoy the big, fat white flakes swirling all around, and go get myself a grande skim no-whip mocha at Starbucks.

Even though Sean is overseas on a business trip and most likely sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress in his semi-cheesy Bangalore hotel right now, I sort of wish he could be here to come with me and order a venti raspberry latte with extra shots or whatever the hell he usually gets. I can never remember what he orders - whatever it is, the name is always longer than whatever I order (and the drink far more creative) and so therefore it flies in one ear, and immediately out the other.

Maybe in five more years, I'll finally have it memorized.

War of the Words
Monday, February 11, 2008
Hello, all, it's Miss Pronunciation here and I need your help with something.

The word scallop - do you pronounce it "Scaa-lup" (like gallop), or "Skah-lup" (like whallop)?

Please advise.

No Wonder People Rebel Against Organized Religion
Friday, February 08, 2008
So there I was, looking through an Oriental Trading Company catalog...and I just HAD to scan the page you see below and share it with the entire internet.

I can't decide what my favorite part of this full-page ad is - the child's crown of thorns, the faux Jesus beard on the kid that looks like Spanky from the Little Rascals, or the creepy-ass angel on the left. Maybe she's pissed because her costume came with those white, orthopedic shoes.

Here - you tell me what the most disturbing part of this ad is. Go ahead, make my day. (click to enlarge)

It is one thing to stage an Easter pageant/last supper - this isn't an attack on religion - but it is another thing ENTIRELY to buy costumes so cheap that they only end up making a mockery of the occasion.

Todays holiday lesson has been brought to you by the letter F for Freaky.

You Can't Handle the Truth!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Recently, I've been thinking about networking with other bloggers - why some bloggers are reclusive, why others are open, etc. I happened upon Neilotchka's Interview Experiment, and decided to sign up. Shortly thereafter, I received word that Emily of Something Shiny! was assigned to interview me.

Here are my answers to her questions:

1) Confession: I’m totally envious of your traveling. You went to Switzerland last year and this year you’re headed to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle/Vancouver/Tofino). If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Who would you want along for the trip? How do you choose your vacation destinations?

Technically, EMILY, this is four questions. Ha! I'm such a bitch. I guess the one that immediately springs to mind is Ireland - some folks might pick something a little more exotic, but not me. I'm dying to get there - I'm sure I will at some point, at least I hope so. I really want to see the lush green hills, the stonework and old homes, and I hear there's a lot of beer there. So that's also a huge plus. (smirk) I would be happy to travel with anyone, but I most enjoy traveling with Sean and my family. As for my criteria in choosing vacations, it's usually whatever gets in my brain and sticks there. I read about Tofino on another blog and couldn't get the idea out of my head, so we just went with it.

2) From reading your blog, you seem to do a great job balancing work, a social life, and personal hobbies. What’s your secret?

Wow, that is a huge compliment, thanks. I don't really have a secret because, truth be told, I don't think I balance it all that well - but the most important thing is that I'm not married to my job, and I'm not married to my friends. I think moderation in all things (except eating, of course) is a good thing. I work hard when it's time to work, and I love to spend time with my friends as much as I love spending time alone.

3) I love your “Reading” posts, where you type an excerpt of, for example, a book you’re reading and then link it all to Amazon. What gave you the idea?

BUSTED. That is a straight-up Dooce ripoff. She used to do it all the time, but either doesn't read as much as she used to, or has given up that particular formatting.

4) Whatever happened to the Tramp Stamp idea of your mother’s? (I love your dad's response, by the way!)

So far, things are pending. The women (my sister, my mother, and myself) all seem up for the challenge, and the men have respectfully told us that we're crazy and they don't plan on participating. Hrmph. When we set a date, I'll be blogging all about it, don't you worry.

5) What do you love or hate about living in Chicago? Do you ever picture yourself living elsewhere?

I love how manageable the city is - nothing is ever too far away. People are nice here (it's the Midwest, after all), and I am close to family. I hate the really, REALLY cold weather when it hurts my skin to be outdoors, and the rats in the alley behind my condo building. I could picture myself living many places, and am open to moving around, but I'll always consider the Chicagoland area to be home.

6) When you have out-of-town visitors to Chicago, where do you take them?

Hmm, this is a tough one as I am kind of a shitty host in this sense. The first places that come to mind are the Museum of Science & Industry, Millenium Park/Michigan Avenue (but only if the weather is nice), the Field Museum, and to a deep-dish pizza joint.

7) I noticed that you don’t blog about your workplace (at one point you referred to it as the “Place-That-Pays-My-Bills-and-Shall-Not-Be-Blogged-About”). How did you make that decision, and why?

First off, I absolutely do not want to EVER get fired for having a blog. I am an all-or-nothing person in many respects, and if I started blogging EVEN A LITTLE about my job, I would probably run my mouth off into the danger zone. So I have a strict policy that it's never discussed - nobody needs to know where I work, or what I do. Also, I have a deep respect for my employer and my colleagues, and would never want to jeopardize my employment.

8) If you could swap jobs with anybody for a week, what would it be and why?

I would trade jobs with anyone on the management staff at a professional dance company - no question about it. I would give anything to see what REALLY goes down behind closed doors, rehearsal doors, and at meetings. The dance industry, as a business, is hugely interesting to me.

9) Where did you get your unabashed love of NASCAR?

It's all Sean's fault. He's kind of a motorhead in many ways, and from what I understand, has always been into racing. He bought tickets to the Chicagoland race three years ago, and that was all it took. Hook, line, and sinker. I love almost everything about it - it's hilarious, it's interesting, it has the best people watching in the world, and I really like having something that we both enjoy together.

10) Since you’ve been blogging for several years now (since 2004, I believe), I’ll ask this: Why do you blog? What got you into blogging?

Outright boredom. I was bored with my job at the time, bored with my life, and needed an outlet.

11) I notice that you have what you call an “actual website,” at What are your plans for the site?

Holy pajamas, busted again! I have been completely slack on this, haven't I? Sean did all the legwork on my other site as a Christmas gift two years ago, and for various reasons, I never got past the initial setup phase. For the past year or so, the site had been hacked by someone who blacked it out and covered the page in cyrillic text, but recently I've noticed that it's back to normal. This is one of the things I have on my "must bring to fruition" list for 2008. I swear.

12) Like you, I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to get a second dog. Clearly, this is something you’ve been thinking about for a while. What are your thoughts on it now? Do they change day to day?

Yes, they do change on a daily basis. I'm constantly surfing animal rescue websites for another. 95% of me is sure that two dogs would be so much fun about 95% of the time. It's the collective remaining 5% that keeps me from pulling the trigger. I think I will wait until I'm in a living environment where there are no shared walls, and preferably, with a backyard before I get another dog. It will happen eventually, though.

13) I noticed that you and I share a dislike of Florida. What don’t you like about it?

The heat. The humidity. Old people driving poorly. The sun. The heat. The humidity. The soil - seriously, it's way sandy. Oh, and did I mention the heat and humidity? I'm a cold weather girl.

14) Last year you turned 28. What have you learned in your late twenties that you wish you knew when you were younger?

I've learned that even if I'm never going to be a naturally flexible person, I need to at least TRY to roll with the punches. I've learned that I need to relax sometimes and not take it all so seriously. I've learned that I'm just as gullible now as ever.

15) You clearly have a very close relationship with your family. In what ways are you just like them? In what ways are you completely different?

I am more like my family than I sometimes like to admit. I am like them in how it takes me fifteen minutes to leave a party or gathering - I'm always still talking, putting on another scarf, petting the dog again, it's IMPOSSIBLE for me to just say goodbye and walk out the door. I am like them in my mannerisms, my way of speaking, and my freckles. I am not like them in my sometimes brash personality - all of my immediate family members have a softer way about them that is hard to explain.

That's all folks. Thanks again, Emily!

Paradise Found
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Holy cow, is it ever getting heavy up in here. Just to prove that I'm not about to jump off a cliff or listen to "mmm mmm mmm" by the Crash Test Dummies on loop, I have a happy tale to tell.

It's about my ongoing search for a mature, stylish, structured satchel handbag. Male readers, you're more than welcome to jump ship right about now because it only gets worse.

A couple months ago, I started to intensely dislike my current choice of handbags. (not surprising given that I usually buy whatever I gravitate to, without any thought as to form or function in the long term - which lends itself to the collection of completely random handbags, all of which can only be worn in one particular situation) After much thought and consternation, I hit upon a gaping hole in my handbag collection: the swing bag. And by "swing," I mean, "a bag that I can use for work and also take out to happy hour without being embarassed." Something that held my big wallet, cell phone, iPod, keys, a book, with a bit of room to spare. It seemed this was an impossible feat to accomplish - particularly considering how picky I am.

And by "picky," I mean "don't even suggest anything that remotely resembles a diaper bag." I really wanted to be able to use this bag WELL into the future - so it also had to straddle the line between stylish and trendy. I know myself, and if it looks dated in 10 years, I'll get rid of it. It needed to be as timeless as possible.

After two months (no joke) of searching high and low, after a month of intensely raking through every respectable retail outlet known to man, I found her. The Flatiron Satchel at Banana Republic, of all places. It has just enough pockets, the right amount of hardware (in gold - my favorite!), the zippers are substantial and durable, and despite having two handles (something to which I was initially opposed), I love love love it.

Thanks to holiday giftcards, I managed to spend almost nothing on it, which only made my new handbag euphoria more intense. After a week of indoors-only testing (just in case I hated something about it and needed to return it), I realized that we were meant to be.

And we've been together ever since. Awwww.

State of Affairs: Brain Dump
Sometimes, I think my 21-year old self would see my current, 28-year old self and stroke out. I feel like I am so much different than I was back then - most notably, more secure in my own identity. I wasn't crazy back then (at least not relative to the people around me), but I did some stupid things. Said some stupid words. Dressed in some stupid outfits. Dated some stupid guys.

When I decided that I would no longer attempt to make even a part-time living as a dancer, something inside of me clicked. It was perhaps an imperceptible shift to those around me, but as soon as I immersed myself in the "real" world, I was given a taste of security and confidence that was unlike anything I had previously experienced. I was no longer worried about keeping my hair just the right way, keeping my body just the right size, and keeping up the image that I was totally, 100% confident. It was the beginning of a quarterlife struggle between my left and right brains.

The balance that I have now is the hard-won result of many years of this bizarre, internal pushing and pulling - regretting some decisions, then fighting off a wave of self-hatred for giving in to the "what ifs." I am not the type of person who makes a decision and immediately moves forward as if there was no other option to be had. I hem, I haw, I write endless pro/con lists. I analyze options to the point of driving those around me to madness. I feel I'm building up an arsenal of logic to justify what may ultimately become an emotional decision. I try to get my heart and my head on the same page, but sometimes fail miserably.

All of this to say that, in short, I have a hard time being happy. I find it unnatural - those people who constantly see the glass as half-full, the people who have a light, pithy answer to the question, "How are you?" (I usually think too literally and answer in some form of overly melodramatic complaint then feel bad later about being such a buzzkill) I am very rarely satisfied with what I have, what I feel, etc. It's not that I want more, necessarily, but rather something different. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. Usually, just something different.

Getting back to the point - change. What would my wild, backless-silver-tank-top-wearing, year 2000 self say to my corporate drone, wants-to-make-pillow-covers-on-friday-night-instead-of-going-out-drinking-with-friends, year 2008 self? And if I knew what that conversation would sound like, would I even care?

Would Year 2000 Jamie be concerned about my weight? Would she wonder why I seem obsessed with learning how to quilt? Would she scream, "YOU'RE TURNING INTO YOUR MOTHER!" at the top of her lungs? Maybe Year 2008 Jamie is just having a hard time letting go of useless, emotional baggage. Maybe Year 2000 Jamie had it right all along - just stop thinking and be happy, dammit.

I guess I'm just wishing that it was as simple as "making the right decisions for yourself, and good things like happiness will come to you." What I wouldn't give right now for a really good scapegoat - something on which I could blame everything. All the neuroses, all the melodrama...but I've had a happy, healthy life with zero parent issues. No abuse. No violence. I am, by most definitions, blessed and lucky.

It seems silly to think of "be happy with your life" as something to include in my lengthy to-do list for the week. Maybe all I need is an occasional reminder of how good I have it...a reminder to look around and notice that I have all I need (and then some)...a kick in the pants, basically. Maybe.

Damn this blog and all this THINKING. All this thought is really weighing me down. Is anyone still even reading this stupid thing? If so, got any tips on how to just relax and let it all shake out?

Oh my Dear God in Heaven
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Just when I think I'm an okay writer, somebody like Stacy comes along and blows my theory out of the proverbial water. God almighty.

Monday, February 04, 2008
I reflected on my life...and the blessings I have...
and the people who fought for me to have these rights and blessings...

and I’m not talking about a "black thing"
I’m talking about a "human thing" me as a "person"
an American...

That speech made me think of Martin Luther King...
Kennedy...and Lincoln...
and all the others that have fought for what we have today...

I don't care who you vote for, and I don't think Barack Obama is the only person (Democrat or Republican) who could bring about positive change in American politics. I think each candidate has their own unique qualifications and strengths. I think being American means being proud to exercise your right to choose - for your body, for your leaders, and most importantly for yourself.

If you live in a Super Tuesday state, please get out and vote.

Weekend Update
Man, that weekend FLEW BY. Oh, and did you know it's February now? Just yesterday, it was Christmas. Seriously. This time warp feeling - is it a sign that I'm getting older, or just more forgetful?

Wait, don't answer that.

Friday night, I prepared for what I knew was going to be a relatively busy weekend (at least for my life). Put laundry away, vacuumed twice, ordered groceries, and worked on planning details of our upcoming vacation to Seattle/Vancouver/Tofino, BC. It was nice to get it done - all the housekeeping that normally falls straight to the bottom of the priority list.

Saturday, I was up with the sun (damn you, generic grocery delivery window!). Made some coffee, read some Hemingway, and finished putting the second coat of paint on the pantry walls. I always curse my way through painting, but LOVE LOVE LUUURRRVVE the results. So it was time well spent.

Then off to a haircut (bangs! again! Will I never make up my damn mind?!), then to see a movie with Jen and KateK, with a spicy, fun dinner afterwards. As a small group of close friends, we have so much stuff going on these days (events of every type and kind) that we haven't really hung out a lot. It was so nice to sit down and just chat about everything and nothing. Also, red beans and rice: need I say more?

A profile of the hair and my enormous nostrils:
Will I NEVER learn the proper self-portrait angles? Geez.

Sunday morning, I slept in (thank you, merciful Gods of small, canine bladder control), ran to get a big Diet Coke and the paper. Fifteen minutes later, my parents descended to help me finish the pantry renovations. My father, whom many of you know as P-Bomb or Dick Cheney, was an instrumental part of this work. Last week he decided that he knew exactly what I wanted, and based on a diagram I'd emailed him months earlier, went out and bought everything he needed. (gotta love a bored retiree) So my parents showed up with everything, literally, and we all got to work. He was right - he knew exactly what I wanted.

I hate it when he's right.

Four hours later, I had the most beautiful pantry in all the history of the world. Or maybe just the world of people who own studio apartments. Either way, I am thrilled with the results. So thrilled that I took my finished pantry photos to a SuperBowl party with me yesterday.

It's a miracle I even have friends anymore with that kind of behavior.

No, really, I took a pantry that is approximately 2-1/2 feet square and made it into a really functional, modular storage/drygoods closet of sorts. Rather, I had the vision and my father made it physically possible. No more cheap-arse wire shelves that bow and don't really hold anything small, no more sessions of strategic rearrangement every time I want to cook something, and now my spices are organized. Amen. Also, did you know that grip-palmed oven mitts are really useful for holding slick-finished wood panels when they're being sawed? I BET YOU DIDN'T.

This morning when I woke up, I ran into the kitchen, threw open the bi-fold door and just sort of stared at it in all its organized glory. I wanted to (a) make sure the goodness hadn't been some sort of dream, and (b) the dog was scratching the hell out of my leg, whining, and generally wanting to be fed.

As for the superbowl, well that was a great end to the weekend. I met up with my closest friends at a beautiful condo, had a little too much beer (just a shade too much, I wasn't trashed or anything), stole some perfume directly from KateT's neck (courtesy of a completely white trash maneuver that I learned from a sorority sister of mine in 1998), and was only brave enough to cheer out loud at the very end, when I revealed my loyalty to the underdog at the precise moment they decided to reveal the ability to win under pressure (how cute is that Strahan guy?! I love the gap in his front teeth).

(what is up with me and the parentheticals today?)

(i don't know)

Hope you all had a great weekend.

I Love an Underdog
Sunday, February 03, 2008