Lazy Day
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
For Today…

Outside my window… a river which flows in a sort of concrete, skyscraper-lined ravine that is both beautiful and harsh.

I am thinking… about how much caffeine one person can safely consume

I am watching… my email inbox

I am thankful for… The wonderful men (who also happen to be good, kind people) who love my best friends.

From the kitchen… what kitchen? I ate a fiber bar for breakfast.

I am wearing… black tank, black open-front cardigan, b/w tweed wide-leg, cuffed pants, black half-patent mary janes with a 4-inch heel. OFFICE RAWRRR.

I am reading… The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (yes, STILL, geez)

I am praying… rarely, and feeling guilty about it, no less.

I am creating… a new direction for myself.

I am looking forward to… giving the dog a hug when I get home tonight.

A picture for today... my condo, which I am renting! Any takers?

No, really - if anyone knows of any potential interested parties, please email me at parallelfirst_at_gmail_dot_com for further details. Thanks!

*Meme ripped straight from Owlhaven, who is a lovely, thoughtful mother of many, whose life could not be more opposite of my own. Which is why I find her blog endlessly interesting.

Running Away with the Circus
Friday, June 26, 2009
Ran across these amazing photos while surfing some design blogs the other day. While this particular event is not anything like my personal aesthetic, I think it is just the most wonderful thing I have seen in months. What a fun, friendly, and memorable way to celebrate! Absolutely lovely.

Photo Credit: Josh Goleman

Running Update: 6/24/09
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
June has been a stressful, extremely busy month for me and unfortunately, I went nearly three weeks without training. For an experienced runner, this might not be a totally horrible thing, but for a novice? EPIC FAIL.

As of this past weekend, I am officially back on the road/treadmill, and I am definitely paying for my little hiatus. Last night, I was feeling particularly motivated so I just set my Nike+ ipod thingy to a 10K distance, and ran the treadmill down. I chose the treadmill because it hit 95 today (heat index of 103 in the city) and to running in that, I give a most emphatic AWW HELL NOES.

I didn't run particularly fast (not that I ever do) but it felt good, for the most part. So that is awesome, and a positive development! Yay me!

Not so yay, however, for my hips. Thanks to google and my last physical, I'm thinking that my IT bands (run from hip to shin, around knee) are just weak and adding strain to my already-weakened-by-years-of-dance-hips. I have a lot of pain in the front of my hips (the top of the joint) and need to make a point of getting that checked out soon.

Until then, I'm going to just be happy and relieved that I was able to keep a mile pace under 12 minutes (which is my race goal) after a 3-week stretch of doing, essentially, zilch. LOOK WHO'S THINKING POSITIVELY. Will wonders never cease?

Or in My Case, Fit to Flop
Monday, June 22, 2009
My friend Sara has always been a bit of a dreamer (and I mean that as a compliment). When we were dancing together in college (and each summer), I think she always knew there was something more out there - and that she wanted a piece of it. Thanks to years of dedication, a positive attitude, and one of the most focused and insane work ethics I've ever witnessed, she's making a life for herself in one of the toughest industries there is: entertainment and fitness.

Recently, she joined a small team of "Jukari Fit & Fly" instructors. The class looks awesome! Same gimmick as the hammock/hanging yoga, but far more physically demanding, as it would seem. Here, you can see her most recent press on (she's the teeny redhead in the blue tank):

Congrats on the great PR, Sara! Now when are you going to come to Chicago, so I can take one of these classes and embarass myself?

Justifiable? Yes. Deserved? No, NEVER.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Click Here to be taken to a thought-provoking article on whether or not anyone *deserves* to be cheated on by a partner or spouse.

Hmm. In my opinion, anyone who treats the most important relationship in their life as an opportunity to toy with, or degrade someone else, ultimately pays for it in some form or fashion. But no one deserves the world of hurt and betrayal that goes along with being the victim of infidelity.

Wednesday Randomness
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I have a couple of observations on this sunny-yet-ominously-foggy Chicago wednesday.

1. Men in capri pants. What say ye? I say no thank you. Even if the man in question is European.

2. Have you ever swallowed an unexpectedly large amount of cilantro? I did accidentally about 5 minutes ago, and I'm pretty sure my throat is going to explode in a gigantic Corner Bakery-fueled inferno.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I'm working on coming out of a particularly strong phase of anxiety, and for weeks, I have struggled to describe it to my friends (at least the ones who are dumb enough care enough to ask). It's not that I am any busier than any other person, but for whatever mysterious reason, I have been nearly incapable of handling the stress. Things have been crazy in my life and to say that I've been "highstrung" would go down as the biggest understatement of 2009. I've considered medication, people. It's not a good scene.

Then I ate a salad for lunch today, and the universe provided me with the perfect solution. THIS is how only-partially-justifiably anxious I am:

So there I was, doing my lunchtime 'net surfing. When out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a forgotten spinach leaf was slowly unpeeling off of the side of my large, plastic salad bowl. I didn't think much of it and went back to my work. Roughly 30 seconds later, when my mind was completely focused on something else, the bulk of the leaf finally dropped into the bottom of the bowl with a soft plop. So OF COURSE, my first thought was that something had dropped on my desk from the ceiling, or above my cube (note to self: wtf?). Well, not just something OKAY? But rather a mouse, or a huge bug, or something equally nasty and nefarious.

And that's when I let out a blood-curdling scream of surprise/shock. Several of my colleagues rushed over to check on me, only to find me bent over in my chair with my face in my hands - totally unable to explain what had given me such a fright. My heart was in my throat, my hands shaking, my cheeks flushed and body temperature up. Pathetic.

So ends the story of the scariest spinach leaf in the history of the world. Now maybe I can accurately explain my anxiety to someone. Assuming they ask, that is.

YOU-SHOULD-NEEDLEPOINT-THAT-ON-A-PILLOW-NEWS-UPDATE: I was talking to my Dad about the stress thing and what I think might be the root cause(s), and this was his response: "Jamie, as the old chinese philosopher once said, 'Don't f***ing sweat it'"

What a guy. Seriously - what a great bit of advice. Thanks, Dad.


And that's when it hit with the force of a hurricane. The feeling. I stood straight up, the way my mother always wanted me to stand up. My abuela was sitting there, forlorn, trying to cobble together the right words and I could not move or breathe. I felt like I always did at the last seconds of a race, when I was sure that I was going to explode. She was about to say something and I was waiting for whatever she was going to tell me. I was waiting to begin.

Minus Jamie, Sadly
Friday, June 12, 2009
Hey, all you Chicagoans, LISTEN UP. My friend Matt is part of a band, and they're playing at McDunna's in Lincoln Park tonight.

That's right, TONIGHT!

(Photo credit: Minus Six)

Aren't they adorable? And the music's good, too! I can't be there tonight due to a looming work deadline (and by looming work deadline, I of course mean girls weekend on the only weekend UNTIL LATE SEPTEMBER that we could all schedule).

If you're looking for something fun to do tonight, pop up to the north side and have fun! Tell 'em Jamie sent 'ya.

A Snapshot of My Daily Life
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Jamie (to coworker): Wow, ----, you look fantastic! You're so tan!
Coworker: Oh thanks, it's actually a leftover sunburn.
Jamie: I know the feeling. Did you go anywhere fun?
Coworker: Yeah, to the south of France for the weekend - St. Tropez, to be exact. I have a this friend with a yacht.
Jamie: I went camping in Wisconsin.
Coworker: ...crickets...
Jamie: YOU WIN.

(wild laughter from both)

Reading: In Which I Suddenly Miss College
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
(320): It would be worth it to see how drunk he is right now.
(320): He cartwheeled into the side of the neighbor's garage.
(406): Ok, i'm coming over

Feet Up, Face Down - A Kinetic Symphony in One Act
Monday, June 08, 2009
This past weekend, Sean and I took a trip to lush, scenic Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, to camp and attend the Suzuki Showdown. (more on this trip later) One would think that a couple crashes were to be expected, given that it's a motorcycle race in the rain and all. Unfortunately the biggest crash of them involved me.

I was exiting the tent with a roll of paper towels in my hand. That's it. No fanfare, no flames - just the white hot burn of my embarassment. For a helpful visual, I refer you to SYTYCD on Youtube - FF to 0:47 and I think you will get the idea of how things went down (pun very much intended):

Umm, yeah. It was pretty graceful. And by that, I mean that I may have uttered some awful, automatic growl/whoop and also? My favorite pair of jeans now has a grass stain on the left knee. That would be the end of the story, except now I'm reliving the horror through various fall-related aches and pains. Here's a diagram:

The red arrows are sore spots - most of the pain is in my face, thanks to my heroic efforts to avoid hitting my chin and biting my bottom lip clean off. Also making a rare appearance are my underachieving triceps and whatever muscles are located in the front of my neck.

So if anyone needs me in the next week, I'll be the slow-moving woman with a large bottle of Ibuprofen in the back pocket of her green-kneed jeans.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kevin Farley:
"When Chris finally left and I came in to take over the job, we opened up the drawers of his desk and there was nothing in it but Cracked and Mad magazines."

Ruining It For Everyone Else
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Gee, thanks, Vanessa Minnillo. Like the typical commitment-phobic male needs another reason to have unfounded, incorrect opinions about what women want and/or expect when it comes to engagement rings.

Seriously. I cannot believe you said this. Way to make the rest of us look like snobby bitches via gender association. Awesome.


I'm Not Really Sure How to Say This
Monday, June 01, 2009
Umm...I don't really have the words.

This afternoon, I pulled through the Wendy's drive-through for a quick and dirty lunch (homestyle chicken sandwich - PLAIN WITH KETCHUP and a large Diet Coke, thank you) and the person handing me my meal informed me that I looked like the hilarious girl on the Progressive Insurance Commercials.

You know, the super f***ing chipper one, with the blue headband and ALL THOSE STUPID ONE-LINERS? Whuh? You know the one - she's funny in a 15-second spot, but if she rolled over and greeted you in bed each morning, you'd pretty much flip your s**t?! Yeah, THAT ONE.

(in real life, she goes by Stephanie Courtney)

I'm not even a brunette. I'm just sayin'.

I didn't respond, I just took my drink and got the hell outta there. Even now, I have no idea what to make of it. I think I'll pretend it just didn't happen - like Kate Gosselin's hairdo.