Monday, December 20, 2010

the elephant in the room

144 lbs.

144 lbs?

144 lbs!

Let me walk you through the series of thoughts that went through my mind as those glaring digital numbers stared up at me from the bathroom floor this morning...
1. This has got to be a weighted scale.
2. I should have never kicked-off Sunday football with that bloody mary yesterday.
3. Am I sure I got all of the conditioner out of my hair in the shower? Perhaps there's an extra pound or two (or 12, hopefully) left in the suds.
And, finally:
4. Okay, fatso. It's official. Time to start making changes.

I've, admittedly, avoided stepping on the scale ever since I broke my ankle this summer. I justified it by telling myself that I was already depressed enough at missing out on intramural softball, the Chicago triathlon and wearing the hot new heels I purchased. I just didn't want (or need) to know the physical toll the injury was inflicting on my body. The emotional toll was more than enough for one girl to handle. So I avoided it all summer. And then all summer became all fall. And fall spilled over into the winter. And now it's nearly the end of the year and I'm 144 lbs. Gulp.

For the first time since college I've realized just how easy it is to fall into the rut of not working out. Waking up at 7am instead of 5:30am? That extra hour and a half of sleep is just dreamy. Especially when it's cold and snowy outside.
(I know, I know. Surprise, surprise, right?) Running out and grabbing a grilled cheese at the Nordstrom cafe or the Chicken Salad Salad at Jimmy Johns (which, of course, is that much better with the regular dressing and croutons) for lunch? So much easier and tastier than packing a salad or veggies from home. Going straight home after getting out of work at 8pm? So much more appealing than heading to the gym.

And all that leads to one sad, sad truth: I have, officially, fallen into an unhealthy rut. And the results? Well, they don't look pretty at all.

So I've got to get back on the saddle again in 2011. (What!? Let's be honest, Christmas cookies and mom's home cooking are just too good to resist. So, I'm giving myself a two-week free pass.) P90x is sitting in my room, ready to be tackled. And I'm standing in my best friend from high-school's wedding at the end of March. Seems, to me, like the perfect combination. But since "I'm going to lose weight" seems so very cliche, especially at this time of year, I'm going to put it in the words of Knocked Up:

Alison Scott: You want me to lose weight?

Jack: No, I don't want you to lose weight!
Jill: No, uh, we can't legally ask you to do that.
Jack: We didn't say lose weight... I might say tighten.
Alison Scott:Tight?
Jack: Tighter.
Jill: Just liked toned and smaller.
Jack: Don't make everything smaller, I don't wanna generalize that way... tighter.
Jill: We don't want you to lose weight, we just want you to be healthy. You know, by eating less.
Alison Scott: OK.
Jill: We would just like it if you go home and step on the scale, and write down how much you weigh, and subtract it by like, 20.
Alison Scott: 20.
Jill: And then weigh that much.

I hear ya, Jack and Jill. I hear ya loud and clear.

125, here I come.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

time out

I had the luxury this morning of heading to focus groups, starting at 10am, rather than into the office at the normal 8/8:30. And even though I spent all night and most of the morning working from home, it was nice to have a couple extra minutes to myself this morning to break out of the routine. So, I took advantage of the late start and headed over to Einstein Brothers to pick up a bagel and a cup of coffee and just sit there for a half hour or so and eat breakfast. Ahhh, it really is the little things.

And as I was enjoying my little half-hour breakfast break, the little girl next to me took a liking to me and decided to come over and say 'hi'. So, instead of using the half hour to respond to a couple emails and check a couple more items off my to-do list, I just spent it playing peek-a-boo and giving high-fives and laughing with this little girl. And you know what? Even though I was a bit further behind by the time I left breakfast, it absolutely made my day. I needed it.

It reminded me of something I've been forgetting lately; that it's so easy to get so caught up in work and all these things that seem oh, so important. It's so easy to lose sight of the fact that life, indeed, will go on even if (heaven forbid) our newest TV spot goes on air on the 11th of January instead of the 10th. Even if the client gives us feedback on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Even if I don't respond to every single email every night. Life (my life, even) will most certainly go on.

I'm learning this more and more. Learning how to take a step back and breathe. To put the Blackberry away for a couple minutes to just enjoy cooking dinner or a birthday celebration or How I Met Your Mother. To accept the things I don't have control over and learn how to roll with the punches.

It's not the easiest lesson for a perfectionist, type-A personality like myself to embrace, but it's such an important one.

So, I'm trying. I'm getting better. But I'm definitely not all the way there yet.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

wordless wednesday

Work seems to think it has a monopoly on my life these days. Hence I haven't had a whole lot of time for writing lately. Heck, I feel lucky when I find time for the little things like eating and showering and working out. And if I fit all three of those in a day? Well, that's a good day, my friend.

But as I type this, I'm sitting overlooking the beach in Santa Monica, where it's 70 and sunny, and I have work to blame (or, in this case, thank) for my being here. And even though I'll be working long hours over the next two days on set, I was able to go for a long run along the beach this morning and even sneak in lunch with an old friend. So, I guess all things considered it's not all bad all the time. As often is the case, life could be much worse. So, perhaps I should stop complaining, shut my trap and look at the bright side. Which, when it's a gorgeous day like today, isn't very hard to do.

Hmmm, can't say I have a whole lot to write about actually. I just hate that I've been so consumed with work that I haven't made time for anything else. Haven't made time for thinking really. So I had to just start typing...

I know! I'm going to borrow (unfortunately plagiarize is probably the official term for it) the idea of Wordless Wednesdays from Lyd. If anything, it'll keep from going a week without writing something (anything!) in the future.

I think the real idea behind Wordless Wednesdays is that I should take a picture or post something other than words. But, instead, I think I'm going to post other people's words when I just can't seem to find some of my own. Because I? I am a rebel who writes my own rules when it comes to blog posts. Plus, this gives me something to do with all the quotes I've gathered through the years. It makes me think they serve a purpose other than to convict me as the hoarder I am when it comes to quotes and sayings and kooky inspirational and thought-provoking stuff like that. (I know, I know. Call it sentimental. Corny. Lame. But I'm a sucker when it comes to a good set of words.)

Since I've been obsessed with Taylor Swift's new album lately, I'm honoring her as my first Wordless Wednesday "author". And while I could probably pick any number of quotes from her songs that speak so perfectly to being a teenage girl (confession: sometimes to being a 27 year old girl), I actually want to share a couple of the thoughts she shared on the inside of her most recent cd case (sorry iTunes, but Brooke bought the actual cd so I just had to go that route) about speaking up. Speaking out. Speaking now.

Real life is a funny thing, you know. In real life, saying the right thing at the right moment is beyond crucial. So crucial, in fact, that most of us start to hesitate for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. But lately what I've begun to fear more than that is letting the moment pass without saying anything.

I think most of us fear reaching the end of our life, and looking back regretting the moments we didn't speak up. When we didn't say 'I love you.' When we should've said 'I'm sorry.' When we didn't stand up for ourselves or someone who needed help.

What you say might be too much for some people. Maybe it'll come out all wrong and you'll stutter and you'll walk away embarrassed, wincing as you play it all back in your head. But I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest.

So say it to them. Or say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it in a letter you'll never send or in a book millions might read someday. I think you deserve to look back on your life without a chorus of resounding voices saying 'I could've, but it's too late now.'

There is a time for silence. There is a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it.

I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now.

It's so true. It's so crucial. And, yet, sometimes it's so, so hard to do.

Friday, November 12, 2010

go back to texas

Okay, emo time is over. I re-read my post from yesterday and, boy, I can be sort of depressing when you get me going, can't I? Wowser. But the good news is now that the feelings are words, the words can be, well, erased. Just like that. And we (and by we I mean I) can move on already. From now on I'll try to save that craziness (when it does creep up) for my journal, thank you very much. Because, let's face it, no one wants to be friends with Debby Downer. Nobody.

So in other less dark, less depressing, less pity party for me, more normal news: my little brother is visiting from NYC this weekend! And while this is the same brother who co-authored and co-posted a note on my door to welcome me home from a trip to Dallas that read "Go Back to Texas" (proof below*)...

... after a couple years and now a bunch of miles between us, I cannot wait for him to visit. And the very best part of this weekend is not only is he visiting me, but we're also surprising my youngest brother by showing up at his last football game of the season.

I just love surprises. And I especially love them when someone else is in on the secret. Yes, yes, I know this surprise is likely not at the "Surprise! You're Publisher's Clearing House's next million dollar winner!" level, but I'll take what I can get, when I can get it.

Now, this isn't the first surprise my brother and I have gone in on together... In retrospect, my favorite probably has to be when we decided to take over cooking dinner for my mom one night and made Macaroni and Cheese along with a surprise salad. Bet you're dying to know the surprise, eh? Dum-dum suckers (still in their wrappers, mind you) hidden among the leaves in the salad bowl. Boy, aren't we something?

You know, the impending family weekend has me feeling all nostalgic about my brothers. About my mom dressing us up in coordinated outfits to get our pictures taken at Sears portrait studio. About playing Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and Jeopardy on our old Apple 2GS all summer long. About raking leaves into huge piles just to jump in them and have to rake them up again. About getting to unwrap just one present on Christmas Eve. About going back and cheering them on on their high-school (and then college) football fields.

It sort of amazing how you can go from telling on each other because someone didn't eat all of their peas at the dinner table (true story) and yelling at them to GET OUT! of your room to calling each other up to talk through a problem or tell a joke. It's like somewhere along the line you all of a sudden realize that your siblings actually are real people with real lives and real friends and real problems... They don't only exist within your familial frame of reference. And then you make this even better realization that they're actually pretty cool people at that. People you would want to spend time with, even if you weren't forced to around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

And as we grow up, spread out, get lives of our own and get further and further from those childhood memories we were sort of forced to have to together, I feel like it's more important than ever that they're not just my brothers, but my friends.

Even if they'd still sometimes rather have me just go back to Texas.

* Okay, okay. In their defense when you flipped the note over, the backside actually said "Lol** Welcome Home!". But still.

** Again in their defense, I think this note was written just around the time LOL was actually considered a cool, legitimate term to use. If it ever really was.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the dating game

I try not to expose too much on here. Sure I'll give a sneak peak, but I tend to avoid the really big, really embarrassing, really personal things. After all, some people actually do read this (I'm still amazed they do) and there are just some things that a girl's gotta keep to herself. You know?

But lately my mind is filled to the brim with personal things. Filled up so much that there just doesn't seem to be room for the practical, productive things like remembering to call my dad back. Or order mustard on my sammie at Jimmy John's. Or write anything somewhat amusing or insightful on here. So I think I just need to make some room in the attic of my brain. And the only solution? Spring cleaning in the form of putting pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keyboard). Because, after all, words don't ever seem quite as unmanageable as feelings and thoughts and emotions and stuff. So feel free to stop reading right now if you don't want to know me this well. (Honestly, Michael, if you want to maintain the pleasant notion that your big sister isn't actually a girl dealing with weird girlie emotions, stop.) Don't say I didn't warn you...

A couple weeks ago (after I spouted off some football stat a normal girl probably shouldn't know) one of my good friends said that she would totally date me if she were a guy. Which, I suppose, is flattering and a complement and all that jazz. But it made me realize a pretty sad truth: I don't think I would date me right now. No way. No how. Not going to happen. Just like Dr. Seuss, I wouldn't touch me with a 39 and a half foot pole.

Why not?

Because I push guys away. Good guys. Guys who ask me out on dates. Guys who pursue me. Guys who tell me I'm beautiful. Who think I'm amazing. Who bring me flowers when I've had a rough week.
Who want to spend more time with me. Really good guys. I just ... push them away.

Because I'm selfish. I've gotten so used to living my life on my own that I run the risk of not knowing how to make room for someone else. Between the late nights at work. And the various intramural sports. And the girls nights out. And the times I just need to be alone for a bit. My schedule is full and I just haven't figured out how to make the time. I haven't wanted to figure it out.

Because I'm a girl who doesn't always have the ability - doesn't always have the emotional stability - to make the best decision between someone who could be right and someone who is right now.

Because I'm addicted to wanting what I can't have...
And then it hits me like a ton of bricks. Brutally honest, enlightening bricks. Maybe it's not about wanting what I can't have. Maybe it's really because he believes, like I do, that I'm undateable. He thinks I'm pretty great. Apparently just not. quite. good. enough. (Gulp. Sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.) He's been validating my argument.

So what am I supposed to do with all that?

I guess I just have to continue. I have to go on dates. I have to make mistakes. Some big ones. Some littler ones. But I have to do it all with the best of intentions. And I absolutely have to believe that it's all leading somewhere. Even if it's taking me along the long, scenic route.

Because when it really comes down to it, I don't want to believe I'm a total lost cause. I want to believe in love and connection and soul-mates. And I want to believe it can actually exist for me. Not just for other people. I want to share inside jokes (and my spot on the couch) with someone. To find the smell of a certain guy that makes everything seem comfortable. Makes everything seem like it's going to be alright. I want to find someone who makes me actually want to make room in my life for more than a party of one.

Because as much as I don't think I'm dateable right now. I know deep down, with all my heart, that's just got to be untrue.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

my dream catcher is full

Last night I had a dream that I found a baby (a baby?) at Cedar Point. Said baby had no apparent parents anywhere nearby. No cute little basket it had been left in. No note. Nothing. So, naturally, I toted it around all day. And even though it made it rather difficult to ride some of the more intense roller coasters, I was sort of fond of that little guy by the end of the day (and the dream).

Toss and turn. Wake up. Check the alarm clock. Whew, it's only 12am. Back to sleep

Then I had a dream that from some reason I was walking around the 26th floor of my office building when I noticed some guy with a to-go bag from Chick-fil-a. Even my dreaming mind realized that this couldn't be possible. Chick-fil-a doesn't exist (yet) within the city of Chicago! But I retraced his path and, alas, there it was tucked away in this back corner, behind the elevators. It was like this little hidden gem! No more waiting until 2011 for a Chick-fil-a to open on Michigan Ave. It was here! Thank you, Chick-fil-a! (To which, of course, they'd have to respond "My pleasure". :))

Wake up with a start (and a strange mid-night craving for a chicken sandwich). Check the alarm clock. Whew, 3am. Back to sleep.

Then I drifted into a dream (possibly a nightmare) that my camera wasn't working. I kept trying to show people pictures from the weekend and nothing would show up in the screen. And just as I was in the middle of trying to show yet another person my pictures, I realized I was actually on a jet-ski on some tropical waters! Shawn was swimming around (welcome to my dream, Shawnee!) and all of a sudden dolphins started jumping right over her. What a great picture! But when I tried to take it, nothing! I couldn't capture it because of my broken camera. Such a bummer!

Wake up. Check the alarm clock. Whew, 5:30am. Realize I have to pee. Stumble to bathroom. Then climb back into the warm covers and back to sleep.

Luckily I can't remember any dreams after that.

So, dream interpreters out there, what do you think? If I had to make my best guess I'd say my mind is just filled with a lot right now. All these ideas, questions, concerns, unknowns, deadlines (and chicken sandwiches?) jumping up and down, using my brain as a trampoline. Or, perhaps, I need to stop doing LSD before bed each night. You know, either or.

Monday, November 1, 2010


So, it turns out DST is actually next weekend.

It's always been the last Sunday in October. Until this year. When they decided to up and change it.

Just when a girl's getting the hang of it...


Thursday, October 28, 2010

daylight savings time

I hate time. And therefore I hate Daylight Savings Time. (I know, I know: you're not supposed to hate. So, I take that back. I strongly, strongly dislike Daylight Savings Time.)

Now don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against days and hours and years and what not. In fact, there's actually something nice about the individual units of time. An hour is always going to be 60 minutes long. A year is always going to be 365 days (unless, of course, it's a leap year ... but I'll let that slide). And the clock's always going to rest at 5 o'clock twice a day. I like that consistency. That dependability. You always know where you stand.

But I have big (HUGE!) problems with time when it starts to get all screwy. Time travel. Teleporting. Time Zones. Daylight Savings Time. They all have the tendency to make my head start to spaz out. I can't seem to make sense of it all... I get the basics. I get that Fort Wayne is an hour ahead of us. I get that when it's 9pm here, it's 10pm there (and probably too late to call my parents). But what happens when I drive from Chicago back home? Do I
lose an hour or do a gain an hour? And where exactly does that take place?

It probably goes without saying that I didn't make it past the 4th chapter of The Time Traveler's Wife, I could barely even watch the preview for the movie "Jumper" and I become a complete imbecile whenever Brooke tries to explain the "The Lake House" to me. (I mean why couldn't Keanu just tell Sandra where he was 2 years ago so they would run into other!? Ahhh, I just don't get it!)
It's like I wasn't built with the part of my brain responsible for the understanding of temporal relations. (Or the part responsible for phonics either, but that's an entirely different issue for a different day.)

Maybe it's because I grew up in Indiana.
Up until a few years ago the state had only a few weirdo counties that practiced Daylight Savings Time. Luckily mine wasn't one of them. So I thought it was completely normal to sometimes be on time with my grandma in Cleveland and the rest of the year with my grandparents in St. Louis. I got used to TGIF coming on at 8 o'clock for half of the year and 7 o'clock for the other. Because 2am was always 2am in Fort Wayne. And because I? I was always on the same time. Time made sense and life was good.

But then I moved to Chicago and everything changed. Now I have to deal with Daylight Savings Time. Now I have to change my clocks twice a year. Now I have to "spring forward" and "fall back". And actually grasp what those clever reminders are telling me to do! (I still don't know what exactly happens. Does 2am become 1am? Or does 2am become 3am?)

And what's worse; everyone acts like it's no big deal! It's like all of a sudden DST is here and everyone just knows what to do. Everyone, that is, except for me. I'm waiting for the news flash. The public service announcement letting me know it's coming and walking me through, step by step, what exactly I'll need to do. I'm waiting for someone (anyone!) to acknowledge that this is the most bizarre thing in the world.


Wish me and my poor clocks luck this weekend as we fall behind. Whatever that means...

preview to a post

This g-chat conversation only helps prove the point I'm about to make in my next post ....

me: what was the tv show that always used to be so hard for me to understand (because it was about time) or maybe it was a movie?
Brooke: the lakehouse hahahahahahahha
me: ohhhh yes!!!! that darn movie
Brooke: that movie was a total mess for you
me: hahaha
Brooke: haha what made you think of that?
me: writing a post about daylight savings time
Brooke: oooh my.... this should be interesting hahahahahaha
Brooke: how can you write about something you dont get? hahaha
me: honestly, i'm sort of getting work up about it just writing it
Brooke: hahahahahaha

I rest my case before I even post.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I always get a kick out of it when technology has recommendations for me based on what it thinks it knows about me, my purchases, my on-site browsing, etc. For instance, when iTunes recommends Kanye West, the soundtrack from Shrek the Musical, Frank Sinatra and Carrie Underwood in the same sentence. I mean, what kind of sporadic person would listen to all of that? Oh, wait, let me check my iPod. Ehhh. Looks like iTunes may know me better than I thought.

So maybe sometimes they know what they're doing.

But then sometimes I log into ebay and am greeted by these recommendations:

I don't know what's worse. The fact that they think I may be in the market for some old school Air Force Ones. That they think I would wear a shirt that features a bride and groom with the slogan "Game Over". That I would rock a Kenny Powers jersey. Or that they have made these recommendations based on my past "fashion purchases". Ouch.

Now I'll admit may have purchased a pair of soccer cleats and a vintage Indianapolis Colts t-shirt in the past month or so. But the fact that ebay thinks this means my fashion sense is in line with an orange tuxedo t-shirt is just unsettling.

I sure hope I have a better sense of style than ebay thinks I do. Or else, I think I may have discovered the reason I'm still single.

Friday, October 22, 2010

geography lesson

I had an interview last week. At another advertising agency. In Boston.

It's a great opportunity. It's a promotion. It's for a great client... And it's in Boston. (Which, even for me - a birdbrain when it comes to geography - is clearly not Chicago.)

Now I tend to talk a big game about being willing to take risks. About not being afraid to try something new, even when success isn't promised. About jumping and hoping the net will appear... Blah, blah, blah. But when push comes to shove, I'm not really living it.

The interview went really well. The opportunity seems really exciting. And yet I emailed them first thing Monday morning to tell them that while I appreciate the consideration, I just don't think I'm at a point where I'm ready to leave Chicago. The timing's just not right.

Oh, I justify it to myself by saving that I love this city. That I absolutely love the group of friends I have here. I love knowing that every spring and fall, the flag football team will come together again. And that every Thursday night, some conglomeration of us will be at Durkin's. That every summer we'll inevitably have a fair share of bbqs and Saturdays in Wrigley and weekends at the beach. That every fall, we'll plan a couple Sunday Fundays to cheer on our respective teams. I love knowing that I can walk less than half a mile in any direction and end up at the door of someone I know. That any time I want to go out - be it Tuesday or Saturday - I won't have any trouble finding someone to join. And that the same can be said any time I want to stay in with a cheesy movie and a glass (or, let's be honest, bottle) of wine on a Friday night.

I couldn't be happier. Really.

There's a comfort in knowing these things. In being surrounded by the familiar. And yet, part of me yearns for the unknown. Wonders if I could make it in another city. If I could start over again. If I'd be able to reconstruct a life just as great as I think this one is. If there's something out there that may be better for me. If there's something I'm missing.

But when it comes down to it and an opportunity presents itself, I clam up. I get, well, scared.
Scared about the unknown? Maybe a little. Scared about leaving what I have here in Chicago? You betcha. So scared. I know eventually more and more people will start moving on and moving away and it won't be the same here. But for the moment, I'm trying to keep this going as long as I can. And I guess I don't want to be the one to make it end for myself. At least not right now.

So, I'm not 'jumping' quite yet. But I don't think that'll stop my wondering about what it would be like if I did.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

and guest

After being single for the better part (and by the better part, I mean all) of my 27 years, there are a couple things I've come to appreciate:
  • being approached by that really good looking guy at the bar
  • finding out that the aforementioned guy actually has a personality and a sense of humor
  • the excitement of a first date and .... maybe, just maybe, a first kiss
  • the way your heart gets to fluttering when your "crush" is around
  • actually being able to have things like crushes, even if your married/dating friends tend to role their eyes at you like you're a 14-year-old girl when you use that phrase
  • not having to worry about compromising your plans for some guy (okay, maybe that's me being plain old just selfish)
But there are few things that have a tendency to stop me in my "I love being single" tracks like:
  • realizing 10 minutes into a date that I'm never going to like this guy and having to put on my best smile and politely laugh at his stories for the next hour
  • constantly having to answer the question "are you dating anyone?" every time you run into someone you haven't seen in a while
  • and the grand-daddy of them all, the "and guest" invitation
You know, after a certain amount of time, you become accustomed to replying sans guest, the mash-up singles table, the awkward let's-point-out-all-the-single-girls bouquet toss and the embarrassment of finding yourself alone in the center of the dance floor while all the couples pair up as the DJ switches from "Baby Got Back" to "Wonderful Tonight". Thanks, Mr. Clapton, but I'm not exactly feeling all that wonderful right now.

And it's at that very moment (even more so than during the actual wedding itself) when I usually feel the thumping in my heart that tells me as great as being single is, it
would be awfully nice to always know who you're going to slow dance with. To not have to worry ever again about being the cheese, standing out there alone.

So, yeah, having an "and guest" might be kind of nice.

But I think I may have found the absolute next best thing. It's not just having one guest, it's having two of them! It's 3 single friends (okay, make that 2 single and 1 friend with an MIA boyfriend) having the absolute greatest time, dancing and singing and just being a little nuts. It's couples and singles and everyone in between interlocking arms in a giant circle, belting out every word to "American Girl".
And no one feeling left out. No one feeling like they're missing a plus one. It's being able to turn in any direction and find the hand of a guy friend to spin you around. And no one standing stranded on the dance floor as "Unchained Melody" oozes out the speakers. It's remembering, again, another reason why being single is so great: you get to have a handful of significant others in the form of your closest friends. You're not just tied to one!

So from here on out, I welcome the "and guest". Because maybe one day I'll actually have a guest to invite. Or maybe I'll get lucky again and end up with another "plus two" like this weekend. And if not? Well then there's always the chance of a hot groomsman. Or usher. Or cousin. Right?

Editors Note: This revelation is only possible because of this weekend's nuptials of one of the greatest couples I'm lucky enough to know. As a perpetually single gal, sometimes it's easy to get down on love and think that maybe, just maybe, this notion of soul mates and true love and falling is just a thing of fairytales and Hollywood movies. And then I look at a couple like Dana and Jon and I can't help but believe in it all. So, thank you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

sigh, the potatoes

Email from Jules. 10:50am:

gals - i have bad news - like, REALLY bad news

I just called Dunlays - and they do NOT serve the POTATOES on fridays :( only on the wekeends - can you believe it!?!?!?

they do still have some of the items he said, like the fried egg sandwich.......

Reply from Shawnee. 11:18am:

so after experiencing the 4 stages of grief:
1) denial: scoured the online menu for some indication that the dunlay's host julie talked to is an idiot and simply mistaken
2) anger: why would they EVER think its ok to only offer brunch and those potatoes (SIGH, THE POTATOES) TWO DAYS A WEEK?!!?!?!?
3) depression: oh how my stomach cried
4) and finally, acceptance: fine. i'll believe it.

julie and i gchatted and decided alas, we'll just have to take our business elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! below are some options:
1) nookies: always a fave!!!
2) wishbone: delish!!!
3) elly's pancake house: this place at north and clark that serves brunch 24/7 (DUNLAY'S, PLEASE REFER TO THEM FOR ADVICE) that is also really yummy!!!!!!!!!

thoughts on these options LADIES!?!?!!?!?!??!??!?!?

File this under why I love my friends and think they're the absolute best in the whole entire world. Granted, I'm partial. But if you met them, I think you'd agree.

a bugs life

I pinky-promise that this is the last post that will have anything to do with my new apartment. Because a) I want you to have believe that I may indeed have a life outside of moving, organizing and my new apartment and b) let's face it, in about 2 weeks we'll be a month into our lease and I don't even think it can be classified as "new" anymore after that. But for today, humor me by allowing me to tell one more story, deal? Deal.

So there's two things I may or may not have mentioned about the new place: 1) It has this great exposed brick wall that runs from the living room into my bedroom and 2) it's an "English garden unit". (Note: this is apparently the term for a garden unit that isn't actually underground, but I'm convinced it's just the fancy pants Realtor way of saying bottom level.) Both of these things are quite all right with me. The former adds a ton of charm and character and the latter made it a whole lot easier to get my over-sized couch actually in our living room vs. left in our backyard. However ..... I'm starting to think that the combination of these two things makes for some unwelcome visitors of the creepy crawler kind. Now, don't get me wrong. I can handle a spider here or there. And I have no problem swatting at the occasional bug. But when I encounter two (two!) in one morning, even I, the aforementioned almighty bug-slayer have had enough!

The first encounter happen while I was in the shower this morning, minding my own business. As I squirted a healthy amount of body wash on my loofah and got ready to suds up, I noticed a peeping Tom, in the form of a little centipede-like creature, staring up at me from the loofah-top. Excuse me, buddy! Please keep your eyes to yourself! After throwing the loofah to the ground I stomped on it and thoroughly drenched it with the faucet. Score? Me:1 Bugs: 0.

But then as I walked back into my bedroom, I saw a grand-daddy centipede like this:

crawling around on my white bed sheets right where my head had been not 15 minutes earlier! This I am not okay with at all. So I grabbed my nearest flip-flop and went into full on attack mode, chasing this pesky guy around the head of my bed. When I finally had a decent angle, I took a home-run worthy crack at him and sighed with relief... Only to lift up the flip-flop and find a couple crippled legs where a full bug body should have been. What!? I pulled out the bed. Searched the sheets. Torn the space apart. And still I could not find the rightful owner of those disguarded legs. Now, coming from someone who spent the entire summer with only half of her legs available, I know it's not ideal. But if I could figure out how to get around quickly on one leg, I have no doubt that this guy certainly can manage on the ten he has left! Score? Me: 1 Bugs: 1. Ugh.

And now all I can think about is this still-living centipede making himself comfortable in my sheets. I'm having visions of waking up to him just hanging out on my nose. To him crawling over my legs in the middle of the night. Ewwww. Major heebie jeebies.

So I guess this is as good a reason as any to take a couple shots at the bar after flag football tonight so that I come home and carelessly pass out instead of flinching every 7 seconds as I try to fall asleep because I think I feel something crawling on me.

Wish me luck.

p.s. I've decided that while I'd like to keep my title as the
almighty bug-slayer against all things crawling or flying around the house, I would be more than happy to never encounter another centipede (and their scurrying little legs) again. Ever. But don't worry, in an attempt to calm my fears, good ol' Wikipedia let me know that they are "non-aggressive, and are generally considered harmless to humans. In fact, in Japan they are considered a useful species, as they prey on a number of disease-carrying and destructive insects." As if this makes me feel remotely better about them!? I don't care how harmless they are to humans, I do not want them snuggling with me in bed. No sirree Bob.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

news flash

An email from my mom last night:

Re: News Flash

There's a big party planned tonight for the trapped miners in Chile. When they get out, there will be lots of food and music and friends, but no alcohol...

Why? .....

Wait for it .....

Because they can't serve miners! :)

You know what they say; the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

new apartment resolutions

I love New Year's resolutions. I mean really love love 'em. It's really a shame that they only come around once a year. . . but then I wondered why does that have to be the rule? Isn't it more about a starting over anyway? January 1st just seems like the best time to do this. But I, for one, am looking for any excuse to make a list of things to try. Things to be better at. Things to accomplish. So I? I am making my New Apartment Resolutions. Because now seems like as good a time as any. And, basically, because I can. Here we go.

I'm going to be more responsible with my money. I will put down that adorable sweater at The Gap that I "just can't live without" and I will walk away. I repeat. I will walk away. Even if it's on sale.

I'm going to travel more. (Which I realize may fly a bit in the face of my aforementioned resolution, but I'd argue that a trip to Greece - or even to visit Lynnie in D.C - is a much more responsible decision than a shopping spree at Niketown. Even if I think those new kicks will increase my mile time by a couple seconds.)

I'm going to learn how to make coffee in a real, live coffee pot. I'm determined to. I wish this was a joke, but unfortunately it's not. I'm 27 and don't know how to make coffee. (I guess this means I was one of the lucky ones who actually learned something during their summer internship beyond making photocopies and cleaning out the coffee pot.)

I'm going to plan a little less. Live in the moment a little more. (Deep breath.) I'm looking at you, to-do list.

I'm going to floss everyday. Every. Single. Day. I'm always so good for the first couples weeks after visiting the dentist, but somewhere it becomes less and less of a daily occurrence. Which, let's face it, is just plain icky.

I'm going to learn how to golf. Now, granted, this has been on this resolution list before, but a pesky little spiral fracture got in the way of my lessons. And after a somewhat embarrassing 18 holes at a work event in August, I'm even more determined.

I'm going to stop picking every single scab on my body. (Gross, I know, but I can't help it!) I tend to fall more than the average person. Which leads to a more than average number of scabs and, eventually, scars. As I've said before, healing is a pretty amazing process. That is, if you actually let it happen.

I'm going to allow myself to not have it all figured out. To fail. To not have the answer. Instead of always beating myself up about it. I
think this is one of the worst parts about me. Having perfectionist tendencies does a person well when it comes to things like resumes and job interviews. But it's not practical for the real world. Failure is not something to be feared. It's something to be learned from. Now, I've just got to convince myself to believe that.

So, that's it for now. New apartment. New Apartment resolutions. (Hopefully) a new-and-improved me in the near future.

Now if my new kitchen table would just be delivered, I'd be all set.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

first impressions

This past Saturday a couple girlfriends and I went out to a yummy pizza dinner then stopped by a nearby bar to drink our desert before heading over to the house party next on our agenda. (It's better to be fashionably late to these things anyway, right?) As we sat enjoying our little impromptu girls night out, we were approached by a guy with more than his fair share of questions and comments. Our favorite of which had to be the point where he decided to go around the table and let us know, from his limited observations alone, what kind of girl each of us was.

Now, we've all been told that first impressions are lasting. But I wonder, do first impressions lie? Do first impressions even start to chip away at who we really are? And, if not, how can we be sure that the person we're conveying to the outside world is who we, at our very best, hope to be?

Here were his impressions:

1. You're the relationship girl. You're all-American; someone a guy can take home to his mom. Plus, you have a really nice complexion.

2. You're in it to win it. You're ready to have fun. You're down for Sunday funday any time. And you're probably the girl that will go home with a guy on the first night.

3. You're the ring leader. You watch out for the group and don't let people mess with your friends. This is not the girl you mess with. Plus, you have great teeth and great dimples.

4. You're the secret ninja. You're always scoping out the scene, wondering what's going on. Plus, you've got great lips and a great tongue
(editors note: what!? seriously, I can't make this up!). I've wanted to kiss you since I saw you.
5. No offense girls, but she's the best in bed. You're in it to win it
(editors note: must have been his phrase of the day) in the sheets. I mean, this girl knows what to do.

I'll leave it up to you to decide (ala SAT's matching question format) which of the following 5 of us matches each first impression...

a. Brooke
b. Julie
c. Kadie
d. Liz
e. Shawn

...but I will tell you this: I seriously hope I'm giving off a different first impression to the general public than I did to this one guy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

i see london, i see france

After a morning of client meetings involving slightly raised voices and enough corporate politics to make your head spin, everything was just feeling a bit nutty. Sure, I was feeling competent, accomplished, bright(!) and altogether pretty professional, but something just felt off. I drove back into the office, sat down at my desk, stared at my computer and realized that somewhere along the line I had officially become a businesswoman. Phrases like "per our conversation" and "I just wanted to touch base on" and "sell-in strategy" roll off my tongue without a second thought. I'm drinking real coffee (instead of coffee-like beverages from Starbucks) on a pretty regular bases. If I'm away from my Blackberry for more than 20 minutes, I start to have slight anxiety attacks. I wear comfy shoes commuting to and from the office and slip into my heels when it's time for real work. Ugh. It's official.

Well fast-forward to me running to the ladies' room just a couple minutes ago. In the back of my mind I'm still thinking about this whole 'Businesswoman Liz'. Part of me is getting a sort of kick out of how far I've come. Part of me wishes I could make it stop. And then I look down to see that somewhere in between the early-morning gym and the shower and the sensible, grown-up breakfast and the final preparations on the deck for this morning's meeting I had put my underwear on inside-out! Are you kidding me? So much for being a professional adult. Last time I checked, kids learn to dress themselves around age 4.

And yet it made me think.

While professional me can take pride in the fact that I can walk the business walk and talk the business talk, real me can laugh at the fact that underneath it all I still may not have it all together. And you know what? I feel like that's just the perfect balance for me right now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

who i'd be

I still remember that Spring afternoon in 2001 when I drove straight from the high-school parking lot to my dad's office after school let out. Despite the uneasiness in my head and the thumping in my chest, I calmly shut the door and managed to somewhat cohesively explain to my dad that I didn't want to go to any of the colleges I had applied to. I didn't want to go to any of the colleges I had visited. (I mean Ball State has side walk signs that actually chirp like cardinals when it's time to walk! Geesh!) I didn't want to go to any of the colleges that had offered me scholarships. I wanted to go to IU. Yes, the same IU that my father had - over and over again - tried to convince me to apply to even if just as a back-up. Yes, the same IU that I insisted I didn't want anything to do with as little as a month earlier. Yes, the same IU that had closed it's admissions a couple weeks before. That IU. That was the one. The college that I was absolutely convinced I was supposed to go to. My dad, being the amazing amazing father that he was and is, talked it out with me. Asked me all the right questions to make sure this was real and not some new crazy idea of mine inspired by 7th period study hall boredom. And finally agreed that, if this is what I wanted, he would support me 100%.

And so I became a Hoosier.

Then there was the day during my Senior year of college when my brother committed to Columbia University. My Columbia University. I was happy for him. I was. And extremely proud. But I was also a little jealous. I couldn't help it. Not 5 years earlier Columbia had been my dream, but I was told that we wouldn't be able to afford it. That it wasn't an option for me. It's hard at age 17 to hear that a dream isn't a option. Heck, it's hard at age 27 for that matter. But some how it worked out for him. So he went and lived in New York City. In my dream. And I only visited.

If something would have gone differently, I could have been a Columbia Lion. And yet I was a Hoosier.

Then there was the past weekend when I visited East Lansing for the Michigan State vs. Notre Dame game. After a jam-packed weekend of tailgating, college festivities and eating awful (but oh so wonderful) college food I wondered what it would have been like if I had gone to Michigan State. It's a really charming campus, the football team is sure more entertaining than IU's and green is a much better color on me than red.

If something would have gone differently, I could have been a Spartan. And yet I was a Hoosier.

I get sort of sentimental when I think back to my years at Indiana. I think back to my freshman year when I had absolutely no clue what to expect. No clue what was in store for me. No clue who I would become over the next 4 years. I think back to sophomore year when I moved into this wonderfully nutty place called Delta Zeta and learned how to live with 130 other girls. I think back to junior year when I was pulling all-nighters in the library with a Polar Pop to keep me going. When I was balancing a million things just hoping to keep my head above water. I think about senior year when we lived on Hunter Ave and fought off the bats in our attic. When we spent Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night hoping in and out of the bars along Kirkwood. And when, just as I seemed to finally really truly appreciate it all, it was time to leave.

It’s so crazy to think of just how far I have come since that Spring afternoon in 2001. If even one little thing would have gone a different way, I could have ended up any of those colleges I received acceptance letters from. I could have ended up in NYC. Or East Lansing. Or anywhere, really.

And yet I was a Hoosier.

And you know what? If I could go back, I wouldn’t do anything differently. Not a thing. Because if I did, I might not be where or who I am today.

But it's always fun to wonder what if.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

multiple definitions

Overheard at Starbucks . . .

Girl barista: A date is a pre-planned occasion to spend time together and learn more about each other.

Guy barista (er, baristo?) #1: A date is shelling out some cash and hoping to get to make out at the end of the night.

Guy barista #2: A date is spending enough time with a girl to figure out whether or not she's crazy.

You decide who's right.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

peter pan

There are times when I feel like I may actually be, despite my best efforts not to fall into that trap, a real grown-up making real grown-up decisions, dealing with real grown-up issues and making real grown-up purchases (note: my brand new super deep, super comfy couch). And I have to admit, it's a little intimidating. When did I become an adult and what can I do to make it stop?

Then there are times where my trip to Target results in this. . .

A 12-pack of Bud Light, a bottle of Andre and a pair of leg warmers.

And I realize that I still have a lot of growing up to do.

Thank goodness.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the heeling process

I'm absolutely blown away at the process of healing. How, within a span of 9 weeks, you can go from hurt to healed. Broken to whole. Damaged to repaired. With little remnants to remind you that you were ever injured in the first place. How, with a little time, your body does all this healing on it's own! It's pretty darn amazing if you stop to think about it.

Not only am I feeling healed, but I actually wore heels for the first time this week! And that, my friends, feels like a victory.

If anything, this process has taught me to appreciate the little things. Graduating from a crutches to a walking boot. Walking on my own two feet again. Being able to walk down stairs normally. As much as I wanted all that to happen within the first week, I had to accept the fact that it was going to take longer. And so the last 2 months made me take a step back. Slow down for a second. It certainly wasn't a lesson that I embraced all that willingly, but I can only hope that I learned something because of it. That I've come away a little stronger. A little more appreciative of the little things I took for granted before.

I may not be back to 15 mile runs quite yet, but I'm back in 4 inch heels.
So, it's a good week.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

i'm falling

Pumpkin Spice lattes are back at Starbucks (yum!) . . . College football is kicking off . . . It's dark and rainy and overall pretty crummy outside today . . . It's September 2nd.

It's officially FALL.

And I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

it's just lunch

I'm in the process of selling some extra Carrie Underwood Ravinia tickets on Craigslist and had planned to meet Amy, one of my buyers, outside of the Wrigley building at noon today to exchange my ticket for her mula. Simple enough, right?


At about 5 minutes til noon (what? I'm always early) I text Amy to let her know where I'm standing and that I'm wearing a black short-sleeved dress (at which point I feel like I should tell her I'll be holding a red rose, you know, just to see if she has a sense of humor) . . . Well, about 10 minutes go by and there's no response from Amy. No problem, it's a nice day! I'll just take advantage of this excuse to stand outside and enjoy the nearly perfect weather.

Then possibly one of the top 10 most random/awkward situations happens. I would try to summarize it, but I don't think I could even start to do it justice. So, here's how the situation played out:

Scene opens with Liz standing outside the Wrigley building, catching up on a couple emails on her Blackberry, soaking up the nice weather, waiting for Amy to show up. Between writing emails Liz looks up to take a quick survey of the surroundings in case Amy forgot to bring her phone with her and now has no way of finding Liz.

Mid-email, Liz senses someone approaching.

Guy: Hi. Are you Liz?

Liz: Yes . . .

Guy: It's so nice to meet you in person.

Liz: . . . Yes, you too (?) (What! In the same way that you instinctively say 'bless you' after a sneeze, it just came out without me even thinking!)

Liz tries to process the situation and quickly assumes that Amy must be stuck in a meeting and have sent a co-worker/friend to get the ticket for her. I mean it's the only reasonable explanation, right?


Guy: Wow, you're really beautiful in person. I almost didn't recognize you.

Liz thinks to herself "Recognize me?" and realizes something isn't quite right.

Liz: Wait, are you friends with Amy?

Guy: Wait, you're not Liz from eharmony are you?

Lightbulbs go off!

Liz laughs. (But with him, not at him, I promise.)

Liz: No, I'm sorry. I'm actually waiting for a girl named Amy to sell her a concert ticket. I thought maybe she had sent you instead. Especially since you knew my name was Liz. . .

Liz laughs again. Because, really? what else can you do at this point? This is hilarious!

Guy: Oh, wow. Ummm. I'm so sorry. I'm really embarassed. Errr. I'm just going to go back and stand over there and act like this didn't happen.

Liz: Gosh, don't worry about it! This is funny! You just made my day! And, on the bright side, at least you have a really really great story to tell Liz when she does show up!

Guy: Ummm. Yeah. Ahhh. Good luck with the ticket.

Liz: Good luck with Liz!

Liz and Guy proceed to wait for Amy and Liz, respectively, for a couple minutes when, suddenly, the real Liz appears! (Editors note: while Liz and Liz have sort of similar hair colors, their similarities end there. Liz wonders how Guy ever confused her for other Liz.)

Liz pretends not to be listening, but hears Guy tell Liz about the earlier snafu. Both Lizs look up at each other and smile. Liz (me Liz, gosh! this is getting confusing!) waves awkwardly and tells the couple 'good luck'.

End Scene.

Eventually, Guy and Liz walk away to what I pretty confidently am assuming was their first date, Amy shows up, the deal goes down and I head back to work. (Of course I had to tell her the story before letting her leave!)

And I can't help but hope that this Guy and Liz really hit it off and eventually fall in love. I hope at their wedding reception Guy gets up and tells the story about how he met the right girl. How he met the right Liz. Everyone will chuckle and comment on what a great story that'll make for their grandkids. And they live happily ever after.

I mean could this story be any better?

Well, I suppose he could have been incredibly good looking and decided that Liz (me!) was who he'd rather be meeting! Gotten my number and had lunch with that Liz and dinner with this Liz. And our grandchildren could hear this great story someday.

But, I digress.

Monday, August 23, 2010

fantasy football

Now, don't get me wrong, I take the selection of my fantasy football team pretty seriously. As a past fantasy football champion (yes, I'm bragging), I have a lot of pride on the line. And, despite my inability to secure a running back that amounts to anything consistent or to ever be in a position to draft Peyton Manning, I like to think that I know what it takes to draft a winning team. However, as I gear up for draft day (8pm CST this Sunday for my all girls league), I've decided to put together the ultimate fantasy football team. For this team, players are judged on their overall appearance just as much, if not more so, as they're judged on their athletic ability. And, come to think of it, my fantasy football team name (2 Addai 4) seems to be the best way to sum up this team. Because with their good looks and athletic prowess, these boys are certainly to die for.

Adrian Peterson - Running Back - Other than Chris Johnson, AP rightfully finds himself on the top of most fantasy draft picks. Plus, have you seen him run in slow motion!?. Talk about muscle definition. Good looking and able to single-handedly crush most NFL defenses? That, my friends, is a true fantasy pick.

Reggie Bush
- Running Back - Anyone who has the ability to distract some attention from a teammate as good looking as Matt Leinart deserves to make it on this team. Since USC, Bush has gone on to win a Super Bowl ring and Leinart has a handful of less-than-sober-looking pictures of himself in a Jersey Shore-inspired hot tub scene floating around the internet. Clearly, Reggie did something right. Plus, the boy's got a killer smile and, when completely healthy, can juke a tackle like nobody's business. He may be a risky actual fantasy team draft pick, but for this team, he's a shoe-in.

Miles Austin - Wide Receiver - Gosh, two Kardashian boyfriends on one team! I didn't intend that, but Kim sure knows how to snag a good looking football player. I'll give the girl that. He racks up yards and has a smile that could make most girls swoon. Basically, he's smokin' hot on and off the field.

Wes Welker - Wide Receiver - He's on the shorter side and he spent a significant amount of time injured last season. But he's one of the most consistent receivers in the league. A go-to guy in the Patriots offense. And you can't argue with blue-green eyes like his when it comes to this fantasy team.

Hank Baskett -
Wide Receiver (honorable mention) - I'll admit it, I'm a big fan of Kendra. So, after watching a couple seasons of the show, I feel like I actually know Hank. He's charming and genuine and little Hank is adorable. (Which has to, at least in part, be attributed to Hank's great genes.) But I cannot and will not actually draft Hank for this team after the great onside kick debate of Super Bowl XLIV.Yes, it's just one play. And one single play does not make or break a game. But the Colts were never the same after that play. At that moment, they were defeated. And I blame Hank. But, gosh, little Hank has got to be the cutest football baby I've ever seen. For that, Hank gets a mention.

Tom Brady - Quarterback - As if there was any question. He's got 3 Super Bowl rings, 2 Super Bowl MVPS and the greatest chin dimple I've ever seen. I'll just let this picture do the talking. . .

Jason Witten - Tight End - Hands down my favorite player in the league. (Okay, that's not entirely true. But he's a close 3rd to Peyton Manning and Bob Sanders.) Witten has, in my mind, the absolute ideal build. Tall. Strong. Not too juiced-up or too defined. And when he's not wearing a helmet, he can usually be found in a backwards baseball cap, to boot! Witten is by far the captain of my fantasy football team. (Sigh!)

Adam Vinatieri - Kicker - Vinatieri looks like he belongs in a business suit instead of a uniform, but when the game's on the line he's Mr. Clutch. It doesn't get much better than that.

And a couple defensive guys to round out the roster . . .

Dwight Freeney -
Defensive End - One of the most stylish guys in the NFL and one of the most threatening to opposing QB's. Plus, he just happens to play for the best team in the league. Check, check and check.

Will Demps -
Safety - He's a little more GQ than NFL, but oh my, that skin. That smile. Those abs.

Okay, okay. This is arguably about the girliest you can get when it comes to football. So, sure, you can laugh now. But I'll be the one laughing when my real fantasy team (as if I'd reveal my strategy for that one) brings home the championship this season.

Let the fantasy games begin!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

cuckoo for lulu

I finally caved in.

I've been holding out ever since it moved into town. Ever since it opened it doors onto Halsted Ave. and started tempting me with it's butt-hugging pants and electric yellow sports bras. Ever since I saw those red totes all over town. A store that combines athletics and fashion? I think I've died and gone to heaven.

Yet, somehow, by my own better judgement and self-control, I had resisted. (Sometimes, I surprise myself.)

But then the two greatest brothers in the world gave me a lululemon gift card for my birthday. I now had the excuse I always needed to dip my toe in the water. To walk through those doors and flip through the racks. I knew myself. I knew once I started browsing, I'd never stop. I knew no price tag would seem too high when I found the perfect pair of running pants. I knew I should have brought in the gift card and nothing else. No credit. No debit. No cash. No checkbook. Just the gift card. I knew better. But I just didn't know how bad (slash wonderful!) it would actually be.

$208 later I walked away from my first lululemon experience. Hey, it could have been much much worse. I reluctantly (after much internal deliberation between the bad angel on my left shoulder and the good angel on my right shoulder) had put back two $54 tank tops. I had even resisted the $28 leg warmers, which sounds much easier than it actually was mind you. And I has passed up the $98 neon yellow nylon gym bag that I couldn't help but stare at the entire time I was waiting in line. I had been good! And yet, I ended up spending twice what I went in there to spend.

The immediate damage to my bank account tonight isn't nearly as bad as the impending future damage this store is bound to cause. I'm still longing for those two tank tops that got away. I'm still trying to find a way to justify leg warmers in 2010. I'm hooked. Hook, line and sinker.

lululemon will eventually be the financial death of me. I guarantee it.

But at least I'll go out in a fitness fashionable way.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

scary, but true

“Nobody knows what’s wrong with themselves and everyone else can see it right away.”

- from last week's episode of Mad Men

Friday, August 13, 2010

movin' on up

Somehow 'find a new apartment' has landed on my annual to-do list ever since moving to Chicago. It's right up there with attempting to figure out New Years Eve plans that will accommodate all my friends, a nasty case of strep throat, renewing my city parking sticker, filling out my income taxes and (sorry, guys) the dreaded trip to the ladies doctor on the list of things that happen once I year whether I like it or not. It's not that I necessarily intend it to be that way, but rather it's just a reality of being twenty-something and living in a big city. Regardless, except for that two-year stint that B-Trice and I did on Dayton (which I only attribute to it's huge closets and the fact that it just so happened to be within stumbling distance of our favorite bar of all, Durkin's), every year we're searching Craigslist, viewing endless dumps, finally finding a place we like, hiring movers, packing up all our shit, trying to negotiate with RCN on a better rate, sweating as we transport box after box and then making sure that we have every little thing put away and every picture hung within 24 hours of move-in. (That last one I blame on my type-A personalty and obsession with organizing.) Then, whew!, we fall in love with our new place. At least for 12 months, until life throws a curve-ball and the cycle starts again.

Well, like clockwork, moving day is approaching again. Only this time, my cousin so rudely scheduled her wedding day on October 2nd. The very day after we move into our new place! And not only that, but she had the audacity to fall in love with a guy from Neenah, Wisconsin. Not somewhere convenient for me like Chicago. So, yes, I am very very happy for my cousin and her approaching life of wedded bliss. But at the moment, I'm just feel cranky because I have to drive up to meet my family in Milwaukee on Friday night so that we can make it to Neenah in time for all the festivities on Saturday. How in the world am I supposed to concentrate during the vows and dance the night away during the reception when all I'm going to be thinking about are all the boxes that are still fully packed up? All of the walls that are still bare? All of the things I could be putting away? Arrgggghh.

Life is so cruel, isn't it?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

weather or not

I'm addicted to Addicted. Against my own better judgment, I constantly feel the need to look up the 10 day forecast or, better yet, the hourly forecast. (Eeee! What could be better than knowing the exact temperature and chance of showers for every single hour in the foreseeable future!) Despite the fact that time after time, let's me down. Gives me bad information. Leaves me ill-dressed for my 8:30pm flag football game. Causes me to tote around an umbrella in my purse all day for no reason. Or, worse even, leave my umbrella at home in the morning only to get drenched on the walk from the El at the end of the day. I just keep coming back. never fails to fail me. But yet, I can't get enough of it.

I wonder if sometimes we don't get addicted to being told half-truths. Addicted to being let down. Addicted to disappointment. Or maybe just addicted to the possibility, however small, that this time will be different.

For what it's worth, it's supposed to be 88° F with a 10% chance of precipitation at 6pm tomorrow. I should learn from my mistakes and bring an umbrella just in case. But something tells me I won't.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

hope floats

There aren't many things that I look to the Detroit Lions for beyond losing and roster instability. And I wouldn't consider head coach, Jim Schwartz, to be a regular beacon of knowledge. Now, I realize that's probably unfair, but if you ask me, anyone taking the head coaching position with an organization as messed up as the Lions either has a God-like complex, believing he can turn things around, or may be just a little crazy. Either way, I don't usually look to Schwartz, or anyone connected to the Lions, for inspiration. But then I stumbled upon this quote from Schwartz in the middle of's Camp Confidential report: "Hope is not a strategy". I mean, I was just reading the article in hopes of finding a couple digs to keep at hand when my guy friends start boasting about their Lions finally turning things around! But, this? This caught me off guard. It's sort of one of those duh! statements. Of course we know hope isn't really a strategy. But how often to we act like it actually is? Like if we want something bad enough or hope for it strongly enough, we can just will it to happen. Just like that! Hope is a really powerful thing. But I think hope, on it's own, can sometimes be debilitating. Hope isn't enough. It's never enough. To accomplish any great feat, to make any big change, to do anything worth doing, hope has to be present. But it has to be accompanied by a strategy. By a blueprint. By a game plan. By a way to put one foot in front of the other. Hope, alone, can only do so much. It's not going to move you from point A to point B. It's not going to change the world. And it's not going to win football games.

Who'd have guessed that it would be
Jim Schwartz to remind me of this?

I guess it makes me wonder if the Lions are going to catch a couple teams, just like they caught me, off-guard this season . . .

Friday, July 30, 2010

it's the little things

Thanks to my office neighbor, Tina, I'm now obsessed with my new plastic tumbler from Starbucks. Obsessed.

It's doubly insulated so my water stays cold and my ice cubes stay, well, cubes. (And it won't get all wet and leave rings on my desk.) Plus, it's complete with a sturdy straw! (After all, everything's more fun to drink through a straw.) I've already consumed my daily amount of water. . . and it's only 11:30am!

I think I'm in love.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

if i only had a brain

It's Thursday afternoon. But it's one of those weeks that felt like it should be Friday by about 2pm on Tuesday. Late nights. Long decks. Meeting after meeting. Deadline after deadline. A to-do-list as long as my leg. But, after a 9am-1:30pm client meeting, I'm finally back to my desk, ready to dive in and all my mind will do is wander. So since I can't concentrate, neither can you, my imaginary friend/reader! Welcome to the space that should be my brain . . .
  • I have a bird's eye view of the patio at Sixteen, the chic restaurant/bar in the middle of Trump Tower. And I can't help but wonder. . . who are the people always sitting out there in the middle of the day, sipping cocktails (that's, at least, what I'm assuming), without a care in the world? And where can I apply for their job?
  • I wonder if Craig from the Bachelorette ever gets confused for Peyton Manning?
  • And while we're on it, what's with this new influx of Bachelor-themed E! specials and 20/20s? And why are they on every cover of every trashy magazine? I mean, holy Bachelor overload! (Even for me.)
  • If everything continues to heal well, I'll be boot-free as of Monday, August 9th at 8am! I wonder how many days/weeks before I can run again. Or, better yet, wear heels. :)
  • I would seriously consider buying a Hug-Me-Pillow, if it didn't seem so, well, heebie-jeebies-creep-me-out-strange. But, seriously, what's better than snuggling!? Even if it's with a disembodied arm.
  • My favorite part of Chad (Ocho Cinco) Johnson's new dating show, cleverly titled "The Ultimate Catch", has to be the presence of Bernard Berrian in a host-like capacity. Especially since Chad's nickname for him is B-Twice. I mean, I want a B-Twice in my life! I'm thinking I may have to nickname my best buddy, Brooke, B-Trice. Get it? Best Buddy Brooke. I can't wait to tell her. She'll be thrilled. (Pretty typical reaction to most of my 'awesome' ideas.)
  • Why is it that no matter how many times you check and double-check the technology you're using before a big meeting, something inevitably goes wrong in the IT department? This can't just be coincidence.
  • I'm planning a trip to Greece in the next year. There, I said it. (Isn't there some stat about goals being more likely to be accomplished if you write them down? I'm banking on it.)
  • How in the world did I become so addicted to and Chelsea Handler? Both are usually a little vulgar. A little inappropriate. And make me a bit embarrassed, but I love 'em.
Okay, back to life. Back to reality. Hopefully my brain will cooperate.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ants in my pants

I feel antsy.

Like something's got to change, I'm just not sure what it is. Or why.

Maybe it's turning another year older. Maybe it's seeing more and more friends get engaged. Move to new cities. Go back to school. Make changes in their careers. Do big things. Or maybe it's that I'm just not sure I'm who, what or where I should be at 27.

At 17 if you would have asked me what my life was going to look like in ten years, I'm not sure what I would have said. I'm guessing 27 would have seemed so far into the future that I wouldn't even know where to start. Married? With kids? Working my way up the corporate ladder? Living in a great condo with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops in a big city? Uber-successful? I don't know, maybe my current life would be exactly what I imagined. Exactly what I hoped for. But what if, after staring into that fortune teller's magic ball, 17 year old me would be just plain disappointed with future me?

I think 17 year old me would love the view into the heart of Chicago from my 29th floor window-side desk. Would love going out to LA for advertising TV productions. Would love the friends I'm surrounded with. Would love rockin' a killer pair of pumps and smoothly running a meeting with senior clients. Would love going on a variety of first dates with Chicago's eligible bachelors. Would love the feeling of running along the beach on an early Spring morning.

27 year old me certainly does.

But what about the fact that I still haven't had a relationship that's lasted over 6 dates? That I'm sitting here dreaming about reporting from the sidelines of the NFL or being a writer or a realtor or owning my own business instead of doing something about it? That my business card still reads Account Executive despite the actual responsibilities I've been given? That my savings account is what can only be described as pathetic? That, except for the 1996 Honda Accord I purchased from my parents when my brother went to college, I don't really
own anything?

27 year old me isn't so sure of these things. (To say the least.) I can only imagine what 17 year old me would think.

And so I'm antsy.

About where I'm at. About where I'm going. About what the heck I'm going to do to get from here to there. About what it's going to take. About what comes next. And about what I might have to give up in order to make it a reality.