Somebody's Getting Fired...
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Great job, Bloomberg editorial staff. a SHOCKED fashion
Friday, August 29, 2008
With voters concerned about McCain's age and his history of skin cancer, it remains to be seen whether they will be reassured by a woman with little to no experience on the federal stage who is a heartbeat away from the presidency.

I'm sorry, I know I'm just giving you more of the same, but REALLY?! SERIOUSLY?! I'm no longer worried about McCain's argument about Obama's relative inexperience, because he's just effectively ruined that one for himself. I literally cannot believe this is happening. What an unfortunate decision to have made.

Especially given the way he's treated the most important woman in his life. (Click, then read the first paragraph under the subheading entitled "The Personal is Political." Yowza.)

This is not turning into a political blog, I promise. I'm just a little shellshocked over here.


Hot Button, Panic Button
I realize that I'm opening up a major bag of trouble here, but this morning, I was reading the Trib online, and happened upon a "webliography" of articles clarifying John McCain's position on reproductive rights. I wasn't looking for it, I swear.

But since I found it, I thought it best to share it with all of you. I'm voting democratic this election for many reasons, and I fully respect that reproductive rights are an INTENSELY personal issue for many. But I cannot imagine a shriveled, conservative, old white guy telling me what to do with my uterus. Ever. This is an issue I think about a lot - even the group of friends who I am closest to in this world disagree on the issue.

But here's my problem. I can't imagine ANYONE telling me what to do - white, black, green, purple, old, young, etc. Because it's MY BODY. It's MY CHOICE. It's MY LIFE. It's insulting to me on such a base, fundamental level to think that anyone would ever think I couldn't make the right decisions for my own health and welfare.

This is one of the few issues for which I would willingly become an expatriate of the United States. I don't really, TRULY get up on my high horse about much, but this issue is a dealbreaker for me. Click here to read the article if you've ever been confused about John McCain's position on women's rights.

When You Find a Python That is Even Remotely Neutral, You BUY IT. Right?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Exhibit F in the case of Jamie V. Becoming an Adult:

Last night, I wandered up to State Street to browse the racks of Macy's for a sundress. Then I accidentally ended up in Nordstrom Rack, where I had a special, semi-holy moment with a pair of Cole Haan python slingbacks. I'm not even going to go into detail about how much I love these shoes, because I'd probably just get a bunch of hatey comments about what a Trixie I am. And you know what? THEY WERE COMFORTABLE.

Even at a deep discount, they were still too expensive (especially for a shoe that would only have a niche value in my closet, as opposed to a more useful neutral) and I couldn't think of what I would specifically wear them with. Needless to say, I didn't buy them.

Case Closed. Sigh.

Note To Self
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Dear Self,

For future reference, try not to blog about topics that are too relevant or important. Because then you will end up being the number one search engine result for any search related to the Girardeau Family in Kansas City, and people who actually know something about politics will go searching to feed their curiosity.

Then those people will click over to your blog, thereby tripling your daily traffic stats.

And the only other sizeable entry on your landing page will be about burping.

Not cool. Not cool at all. Remember this for future reference.


Hello, Girardeau Family!*
Monday, August 25, 2008
As some of you may know, I have Democrat leanings. Which is odd, considering that I was a member of the Young Republican association on my college campus.

In hindsight, I think I really just joined as a resume booster (and also? to meet guys). Don't ever say that I wasn't honest with you.

Typically I am more than capable of pulling aside the veil of modern political rhetoric - I was, after all, a Speech Communications major, well aware of every oratory tactic in the book- but tonight I was mesmerized by Michelle Obama's speech. I was surprised and impressed by the energy and gusto of Senator Kennedy's speech, particularly given his current condition. I thought the whole evening, which I uncharacteristically watched from 6:30pm until 10pm on MSNBC of all channels- GOD, how I hate Chris Matthews, was a graceful display of intention, polish, and accountability. There was very little name calling, very little tooth-gnashing, and I concede that I teared up more than once listening to Mrs. Obama talk about how much she loves her husband and this country.

Because - at the end of every day - isn't our President just a man? A human with indiscretions, flaws, and doubts? I went out and voted for John Kerry in 2004, in a predominantly Democratic state where my vote perhaps didn't even make a statistically significant difference...and watched as my hopes for the end of Bush's reign were washed away on a swiftboat into the infamy that is a failed presidential campaign.

I wish I could find a clip of Obama's speech on Youtube - I am sure there will be one by the time this post is live. But for now, I will continue watching the DNC from Denver with interest, and hold out hope that the Republicans manage to conduct their event with the same dignity and respect.

All that said, the highlight of the evening (for me, at least) was undoubtedly Sasha Obama's commandeering of the microphone* during the Senator's live feed from Kansas City. If any of you have a 4-7 year old in your family who is even REMOTELY social, you will understand the blind confidence that they have in front of a crowd, a microphone, a living room, etc.

Turns out, Shakespeare was right. All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. I can't wait to see how the rest of this week develops.

In Which I Realize Happy Mondays are a Possibility
So far, so good on the whole "monday" front. Here are some other things I love - an impromptu list, if you will:

- picking out paint
- overpreparing for simple weekend trips
- Dunkin Donuts Coffee
- looking for the perfect pasta salad recipe
- figuring out what to spend a giftcard on
- a wakeup call in the form of sleepy dog nuzzles
- Post-it Notes shaped like arrows
- procrastinating the creation of a new masthead
- good hair days
- the new Lady Antebellum album
- cool, pre-fall Chicago breezes
- buying stationery
- Finesse Curl-Enhancing Mousse
- people who sing aloud on the eL

I Love You, Tom Bergeron
So it's official - the next season of Dancing with the Stars is going to be wicked. As in WICKED AMAZING. Not only will there be serious, Olympic athletes, but also the likes of Cloris Leachman and Kim Kardashian, Hollywood's Trainwreck-in-waiting.

Click Here for the details.

My money is on Maksim & Misty-May. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, August 22, 2008
I do not possess the words to adequately describe how much I love Mimi Smartypants, so I'll use HER words to try and make you understand...

...a few days later I arrived at work and went to the bathroom, which is the first time I had done so in daylight owing to my very early commute, and noticed that I had huge black ink stains all over my underpants. Not so coincidentally, it was right about the expected time of My Womanhood, so immediately I thought oh god, I am leaking black oil like that X-Files episode, but then I figured it out and it was all good in the hood. Kind of inky in the hood, but good. I just pretended my girl-bits had been violated by an octopus for the rest of the workday. Office hentai! To whom do I complain? Some of the cephalopods around here could use a sexual harassment seminar!

This is What I Get for Trying To Be More Ladylike
Thursday, August 21, 2008
In the past couple years, I've honed a particular ability to burp aloud. Up until about 2005, I really couldn't do it at all - on command, I only managed a soft hissing sound. Very disappointing party trick.

But it would seem that being older has done something funky to my torso - maybe gaining weight expands your gastrointestinal piping? Whatever. The point is that now I can *almost* outburp the men in my life. This fact (and the newfound burping skill itself) HORRIFIES my mother. I think, deep down, some repressed frat-boy part of her finds it hilarious, but mostly I know she detests it.

Apparently burping is unladylike. So sayeth Sally Field.

This is a longwinded way of saying that, in my effort to suppress the rumblings of a post-lunch burp at my desk, I actually ended up half-burping and the pressure was so great that I actually heard my upper spine pop into realignment. No joke.

I am my own chiropractor.

Oh Good Lord
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Blecch. Just YUCK.

Happy Birthday to Me
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
For those of you that weren't aware, this past weekend marked the 29th anniversary of my arrival into this wonderful, mixed up world. It was celebrated, for a short time, at the wedding reception of my good friends Kate and Dave. Kate (and my friends Jen and Kate) surprised me with a cake (chocolate on the inside - YESSSSSSSS). I thought I had escaped public embarassment until someone across the room started up, and before I knew it, the entire reception was singing.

For the record, those three women are the ONLY people on earth who are allowed to do something like that to me. Just so you know.

It was a fantastic birthday - thank you to Kate, Kate, and Jen for the cake. Also - thank you to everyone that dropped me a note on Facebook, sent me an email, called or texted, and to Babs and Adrienne for the cards!

Mah Eyelids - They are a' Droopin'
Monday, August 18, 2008
This weekend was a white wine-induced blur of activity, and I had this grand plan to seriously make Monday my bitch. You should have SEEN my to-do list. For real.

Then I woke up, unable to breath and with eyes glued shut courtesy of some mysterious, extraterrestrial crusty goop. After promptly shelving my to-do list, I dragged myself to work and here I sit, contemplating what I can *actually* get done this week. Other than paranoid, repeated handwashing, that is.

We'll see.

Until that little mystery solves itself, I've been thinking a lot about Chicago's bid to become the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics. While I love the idea, and think the entire world should know how amazing our city is, I also think it would be infrastructural CHAOS. Traffic is bad enough as it is. Also, I suspect that Mayor Daley's honest, shoot-from-the-hip manner may ruin the bid...all it would take is ONE of his angry, ill-timed outbursts, and our chances are effectively gone. Then again, maybe it would finally get Milwaukee to stop dumping their sewage into Lake Michigan. Hmm. All I know is that I HOPE TO GOD that I'm not living here in 2016, because I'm pretty sure my neighborhood would be an epicenter for insanity.

What do you think? Great for the city, or a recipe for disaster?

Friday, August 15, 2008
This weekend, one of my best friends in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD is getting married to a wonderful man who loves her very much, indeed. They are having a classy affair that highlights what is best about living in (and loving) Chicago. So it's appropriate that I snapped this quick shot on our approach into O'Hare - I could not have picked a better time to come home for something that really matters.

(click to enlarge)

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Viva Italia!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I finally got the bulk of my Italy photos uploaded into Flickr - click here to see, or click on any of the photos on the sidebar to your right.

More stories later...

Ah! Choo!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
One fateful day about three years ago, I found out that someone had linked to my blog from their website using the link title "Chicago Trixie." That link actually brought me some traffic. (For those of you that are unaware of what a "trixie" is, I suggest you consult this Wiki. Go ahead, I'll wait.)

Back now? Okay.

So I've gotten some rotten comments from people too chickenshit to leave their names, instead using the ever popular "anonymous." I chalked it up partially to my own dumbassery for writing in a way that portrayed myself in a negative light, and also to the fact that "anonymous" didn't know me in "real" life.

Then I had the awful realization that perhaps the person commenting as "anonymous" actually DID know me in real life and was hamhandedly trying to teach me a lesson. Besides, who am I to keep people from expressing their opinion?

It really made me think about my words, my actions, and the way I come across on the outside. Yes, I like expensive things. Sometimes they are expensive AND unnecessary, like handbags and shoes. I also like inexpensive, unnecessary things like pineapple flavored candy and Target-brand boxed wine. The people who matter most to me know that there are other, far more important parts of my personality that vastly outweigh the superficial stuff. Belongings do not define someone. They merely accessorize that person. After all, you can't take it with you.

I may never be subtle, slender, or perfectly pressed at all times. I may never own a fancy car, a fancy house, or fancy jewelry. But I am me, for better or for worse, and this blog has done more than you can imagine to teach me that I don't owe ANYONE justification or explanation for my choices, my words, or my life.

So you'll just have to forgive me when I say this:
I saw these unbelievably gorgeous shoes in Rome, and I want them with every fiber of my being. I don't care how ridiculously expensive they are, or how impractical they may be. Someday, I will buy a pair of shoes like this just because I can. Maybe not now, but someday.

So go ahead and think I'm a stuck-up bitch if you want, whoever you are. As far as I'm concerned, you can stick it.

Back...and Reading
We are back from Italy - which was an incredible trip. I got to see Rome for the first time, and it was as spectacular as people told me it would be. I'm too busy getting back into the swings of things to post all my photos, but when the time comes, I'll have more information and pics up.

Until then, you'll have to check the following book - it SAVED my sanity on our 9.5 hour flight back from Rome.

Morrie would contend that anything, no matter how banal, could be raised to the level of intelligent debate if the minds that attended to it were good enough. He told the story of the little cobbler in a shtetl in Russia who was spreading honey on a piece of bread when the bread fell to the floor. To his amazement, the bread fell right side up. "How can this be?" he said, and with the slice of bread in his hand he ran to consult the rabbi and the village elders. "We are Jews in Russia, how can it be that I spread honey on my bread and when it fell to the floor it landed right side up? Since when did luck such as this come to a Jew?" The rabbi and the elders pondered the point for several days, consulting the Torah frequently. Finally they called the little cobbler to the synagogue. The rabbi pronounced the verdict: "The answer, my boy, is quit clear. You honeyed your bread on the wrong side."

We had all cawed and moaned at the story, but Morrie, as usual, had made his point: good conversational debate is an end in itself, and talking for the love of conversation is what makes us human.

Capture the Flag
Sunday, August 10, 2008
So I've missed the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Anything I need to know about? Click here for unedited, uncensored, totally free and clear communication courtesy of the Chinese government.

Ahem. Or not.

I say Fab...
Friday, August 08, 2008
...well, half Fab. I can't approve of the shoes.


C'mon - don't leave a judgmental beeyotch hanging. Dish in the comments - I'm in Italy, LAND OF CUTTING EDGE FASHION for goodness' sake. What do you think?

Quilted Comfort
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I know Heather Armstrong gets a bad rap amongst some bloggers - she is simultaneously revered and lambasted for her life choices - but I just love her. I do. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

So it's not great shakes that you should be redirected to one of her posts in my absence. I can honestly say that her choice to display quilts during a week of "dooce style" rocked my brain. She is so unabashedly mid-century hipster that I wouldn't have thought that she would dig quilts.

Apparently, I was mistaken. Enjoy!

Monday, August 04, 2008
Ludacris, you just stepped in it, and like Don Imus, you don't get a pass.

I may not have fully supported Hillary Clinton's bid for Presidential candidacy, but I definitely support Erika Alexander's breakdown of Luda's recent rap gaffe.

Ludicrous indeed.

I Suggest All Male Readers Take Note
Saturday, August 02, 2008
I don't know what is going on with Elaine these days, but whatever upset her has resulted in something really, truly beautiful and heartfelt. She has a way with words, and managed to capture the sentiment that so many women feel but are afraid, perhaps, to communicate.

In a world where Playboy Magazine and young (vapid) Hollywood culture operate as sexual benchmarks for what is normal (God, I hate that word), we could all use a reminder about what a woman needs - and also about the realities of being in committed, supportive, romantic relationship. Thank you, Wannabehippie, for your relevant and refreshing perspective.

Click here to read

In Absentia
Friday, August 01, 2008
Midday Saturday, a couple of United codeshare flights are going to whisk me out of town and into Italy. For whatever reason, this trip feels as if it was planned in five minutes, and has arrived so quickly I almost don't even know what to think. This vacation marks the very first time in my life where I have not stressed an OUNCE about the trip, what to pack, what to do, etc. It's as if it was meant to be - laid back, some tours, some down time, etc.

In short, I am SO excited.

I do not, however, want you all to be bored. While I'm gone, I'm going to do the only noble thing - redirect you to other blogs, of course. I've set up a new post every couple of days to enlighten you on the workings of some other quirky, brilliant mind - other than my own, of course. Ha. Shut up.

So I hope you all have a phenomenal week - I will be back (and perhaps posting for realzzz from Italy, we'll see) on the 12th. Ciao!