Thursday, June 26, 2008

Four Months

Is how long it has been since I've written. Oops. I don't have much to say. I do have some pictures from the latest stint of debauchery out in New York. Christ I love that city, but for the first time I don't yearn to move there upon returning back home. I'm content here, but a little bored and a little unhappy, though I'm not quite sure why. I really don't know what the fuck I want to do with my life. This job is seriously sucking the life out of me. I don't even want to bore you with the details. Anyway, this time in NY I was able to see a sample sale (my friend's hand actually got slapped by some crazy old Jewish lady), the Trina Turk store, the NYC version of the Violet Hour (it sucked, actually), my first Mario Batali restaurant (very impressive), a Yankees game, and hung out with actual NYC firemen, including my very own mimbo! Sigh.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

R.I.P., 1998 Honda Civic DX Coupe

Okay, so GET THIS -- my beloved Honda was stolen! STOLEN! Last Sunday I left my house to go to the gym, run errands, get stuff to bring to the Superbowl party I was going to, and I couldn't find my car. "Hmmm," said I. "When did I last use it?" (last night, after going to the gym, work, grocery store, and gas station, which will become relevant shortly). "Did I park it somewhere else" No, I parked it in the same place I've parked it for the last three-and-a-half years. This is me though, so totally forgetting that I left it somewhere else, forgot that I abandoned after having overindulged the night before, or parked it somewhere else, etc. is not out of the question. "Was it towed? What's my ticket count?" There's that one ticket I refuse to pay for allegedly driving with an expired city sticker, but no. I mean there has been a lot of snow in Chicago lately, but my street isn't one of those randomly-selected snow streets where you have to move it if it snows 2.36 inches or more, or if it's every fifth Tuesday between April and November (every seventh Thursday between December and March, except when it's Leap Year, in which case it's every third Friday between 7 and 11 a.m.). "Where could it be? " said I.

I called trusty 311 - not towed, not moved, not booted. STOLEN. Motherfuckers STOLE my ten-year old, 103,00K-mile, dented, nicked HONDA. Are you fucking kidding me? And from in front of my house! FUCK!

After reporting it stolen and coming to grips with the fact that I no longer had a car, I received a call at my new job the next day (only a few people have my direct number there) from Officer Friendly in OSHKOSH MOTHERFUCKNG B'GOSH, WISCONSIN. I guess the crooks stole my car (which, by the way, had a full tank of gas in it because I like to plan ahead, lucky them), drove it Oshkosh to a new car dealership, stole three brand new cars, and abandoned my car in the parking lot. This may have been before they ripped my plates off and rifled through my things, which by the way included some purchases I'd planned to return that Sunday (including some, um, rather personal items that I could hear the officer blushing about when he asked me if I'd "just gone shopping"). Included among the things they rifled through was an old pay stub with my social security number, home address, and annual income on it. GOOD THINKING. Officer Friendly had called the looney bin looking for me, who then forwarded my new information to him. The OSHKOSH police kept it for evidence. So now I can say if I get polled for a jury that YES, DAMMIT, I've been a victim of a crime! I feel totally violated and upset and wouldn't be able to drive my car even if it was recoverable.

So a million phone calls to the insurance company, the Chicago police department, and the Oshkosh police department, and calls to the credit bureaus and my bank later, I'm still sans car and a little freaked out that criminals know a lot of personal information about me. It's one of the few times in life I wish I didn't live alone. I am kind of psyched about the prospect of getting a new car, which is something I've been thinking about doing anyway. But the fact that I still have to park it in front of my building, exposed to the elements and the thieves who stole my Civic (along with the car of a fellow resident, I've since learned) makes me a little nervous about buying something shiny and new.

I tell you, I'll feel like I've made it when I have an indoor garage space and a washer/dryer in my apartment. I guess these are the measures of success, or at least, a sense of comfort and security.

Meanwhile, it's work work work work. I've officially become one of those uninteresting people who really think and talk about work only. It's been pretty challenging thus far. To be continued on the other stuff...I'm still waiting for further news.

Other random thoughts - Die Hard is seriously one of the best fucking movies ever. And I really need to either author or consult a dating handbook. And get some new music. And go visit someplace warm (again). And marry (or at least date) Tom Brady.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Woefully Behind

I am way, way, way behind. So much shit happened in the last month and I had the best intentions to take each thing and write about it and the accompanying thoughts, but that was shot to shit. In sum, in the last 30 days I:

- left my first and only paper pushing job after five years;
- learned a lot about myself and others that I did not think existed;
- celebrated Christmas and New Year's with friends and family (as well as leaving my job after five years, which by the way, leads to lots of drinking);
- enjoyed having no responsibilities or professional worries (Id. on the drinking);
- went to Mexico on my second solo trip (and had a fucking blast);
- puttered around for about 6 days and kind of got used to being home during the day;
- started my new job.
I mean, fuck!

I wish I had written here in a more timely fashion because now there is no way I can avoid revisionist history. For example, I felt so much emotion when I left my old job, and now I feel like I've moved on enough and have seen some true colors of those I left behind that I've kind of entered the "good riddance" stage and am just happy to not be there anymore. It's really too bad, because my firm was a special place with a special group of people. It was just so dark, and leaving the people I've left behind was so dark that I can't help but feel relief and gratitude that I was able to get out. Anyway, that chapter of my life is over, good or bad.

Christmas and New Year's was fun, and I was able to see and spend time with some friends and family I haven't seen in a long time. I caught a horrible cold, which may have been perpetuated by 5 straight days of drinking, staying up late, and hanging out with old friends and family:

Actually, now I do recall one thing about Christmas - I bought myself a real camera as my Christmas gift to myself, thank god.
I went to Cancun for a little while as a little, this is probably the last opportunity I'll have to go on vacation/I'm so happy I have a new job/I've got to go to a warm place trip. I ended up going alone, which initially I was nervous about, but it was seriously one of the best trips I have ever taken. I had just enough time to fuck around, be lazy, relax, read, eat guacamole all the livelong day, eat breakfast along the ocean, wake up to the sound of waves crashing, sightsee, shop, and hang out, and just when I got tired of being by myself, I'd meet some fun people to hang out with and go to the clubs with. It was perfecto. I was a little more cautious than I otherwise would have been because I was totally aware that if I became vulnerable no one was there to help me. I highly recommend that if given the opportunity, you should vacation solo. People are really nice to you, and you can seriously do whatever you want, and people are in great moods when they're on vacation so it's easy to meet friends. I fumbled around with my remedial Spanish, but I think the effort was appreciated and the results were getting upgraded to an ocean view/corner suite and finding great places to buy 100% agave tequila and mezcal. It was fucking awesome, and I really miss it now that we're fully ensconced in dry skin, freezing cold, grey, shitty Chicago weather.

On to the last and least fun: the new job. It's only been a couple of weeks and I'm still adjusting to it. Even stupid things like remembering to get off at Merchandise Mart or taking a left instead of a right when I leave the train station take a while to get used to. It's bigger and more impersonal, but the support system is freaking incredible. These people actually work all day long! It's a little overwhelming. I'm getting used to not speaking to anyone other than my secretary and the superiors I work for and freaking billing every second. I'm just trying really hard not to fuck up and want to make some good impressions right off the bat. I've just now realized that I've started the job I'll probably have for most of my life, if things go the way I hope. At least everyone seems fairly normal, which is not easy to find in this profession. I'm sure I'll find some wackjobs. I just hope I don't have to work for them. The one thing I do have to say is thank god I'm not new to the entire profession anymore. It feels much better to have some sense of confidence in your abilities and experience. HA! Just watch me fuck something up.
Lastly, I've recently received a piece of disturbing news that risks dragging me back a couple of years to probably one fo the darkest times in my life. I actually can't think about it right now because I need to focus on my job and not heading into that downward spiral of darkness and fear and emotional instability. It's taking a lot of self-discipline, but it's like my mind is forcing itself not to go back there. It's kind of an amazing thing, actually. I'm just hoping that when I next write it'll be with a sense of relief and not dread, and I'm trying really, really hard not to waste energy being angry and bitter at the person who caused this. I do have to say, I've also learned a lot about myself and others in the last few months and what I have learned is that people are capable of anything, and we should never take that for granted.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's Just Too Much!



- 2nd Annual Christmas Cocktail Party

- Holidays

- Dad gone for almost 20 years

- Emotional upheaval attributable to relationships


The last on that list is the biggest of all. It's still sinking in. I really can't believe it. I feel like it's been nearly a 2-year effort to find the right place to go, and it happened so fast, and then all of a sudden, I'm given the opportunity to go to a great place. I wish the other people at the Clock had good places to go. I wish it wasn't all falling apart and there wasn't so much emotional wreckage. It really was so unpredictably emotional. I've never cried so much in front of people I work with! But I guess that's what it is -- they are more than just people I work with. God, this sounds so unnecessarily melodramatic. I am right now looking forward to spending time with people I love; going on vacation in a warm, sunny place; reconnecting with people from my professional past; and gearing up for the next phase. It still doesn't feel real, and still feels like it will be taken from me. It's so scary thinking about having to start a new place and earn people's trust and establish myself. Scarier more to think about trying to move towards whatever it is that I ultimately want. That is the hardest part -- knowing what you want out of your career and your life.

Not feeling too deep right now. Here are a couple of pictures -- the spread from my party (goddammit, my camera was broken!) and people at the Clock celebrating.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Favorite Things

Still working on the manifesto. . . .

Easier is a "what have I been digging lately" post:

-- Hannah's Bretzel. Expensive yes, but also organic, healthy, comes with friendly service, fresh breads and the most delicious, vibrant vegetables available in the Loop. Where else can you get fresh arugula and fennel on your sandwich?

-- The Violet Hour. I've rambled enough about this place. I just heart it so very much, though I got the slightest amount of 'tude last weekend. I seriously can't handle other bars anymore, as they usually come with the smoke n' rube combo.

-- The Pittsburgh Steelers, who yesterday helped me nearly clinch my office football pool!

-- Bladerunner: The Final Cut. Holy shit, is this a classic. I've only seen it a few times, but honestly, you can really see that almost every sci-fi movie, from Terminator to Minority Report to Gattaca to 12 Monkeys to Seven, just to name a few, were all influenced by this movie. It is a piece of art. I only wish I could go back to 1982 and experience it for the first time so I could really appreciate how innovative it was.

-- Almonds, peanut butter, and Stonyfield Farm organic lowfat yogurt. Obsessed.

-- Bordeaux white wines. They are crisp, tangy, and fresh, but not overly sweet as sauvignon blanc can sometimes be. I'm sad that it's coming close to retiring white wine for the season.

-- 30 Rock. I generally can't really focus or care to watch network TV, but this shit is so fucking funny. Alec Baldwin plays a combination of his character from Glengarry Glen Ross and the Republican you feel guilty loving.

-- Nordstrom. Specifically, Linea Paolo shoes, Trina Turk clothes, and DKNY hosiery. And the fact that it has not yet decorated for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I'm writing kind of a manifesto I have on a theory as to why "alpha" females typically end up with loser males who impregnate them and thereby satisfy the biological or society-imposed need to be married and procreate but ultimately disappoint them and drive them away. Coversely, alpha males usually end up with pretty, simple females who will tend house and won't generally complain or challenge, and subsequently have affairs on the side to stimulate their intellect and need for someone sexually interesting and exciting. I haven't yet figured out why it is so hard to find an alpha-alpha couple. Bill and Hillary, Barack and Michelle, but these are political couples and I am way too cynical to think Bill and Barack's decisions were not motivated in part by their awareness that their careers required an equal partner. I'm depressed to say that perhaps the biological differences between men and women are just too vast to overcome. Or, I'm living in the wrong fucking city, but that's a topic for yet another post.

But in the meantime, I just have to write a few thoughts down for the woodchipper category.

WTF is "rockabilly?" That is among the terms that I just ABSOLUTELY detest. Rockabilly? What the fuck is that!? Fucking hipsters. If someone I know actually uses that term in an effort to seem in the know, it would take a significant degree of self-control to keep me from slapping the shit out of them. Add to that: fixie, DIY, and PBR. SHOW, don't tell. Other words that are in the "if someone lacks the self-awareness or intelligence to realize what they sound like when they say [the word], s/he belongs in the woodchipper" category: Mag Mile, foodie, snarky. I mean, just think about what your state of mind has to be to let any of those words unironically come out of your mouth. Overuse of a popular food term, such as "edamame," "Meyer lemon," "empanadas," or "pomegranate" brings you dangerously close to the woodchipper. Christ, people. Any other suggestions that belong in the woodchipper category? The invitation is open to all.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Boo(ze) Camp

Oh man. Fucking baby boomers strike again. I couldn't make this shit up. Two terminally ill men strike a deal to do a list of things before they die? Starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as the magical and wise black man? Really? Rob Reiner is really falling out of my favor, even though he directed the best romantic comedy of all time. This movie has every painful, ubiquitous, overdone BB cliche:

- Stars BB superhero Jack Nicholson as a crusty old curmudgeon and Morgan Freeman as the magical black man who gives JN a whole new perspective on life.

-- They engage in every "have to do this before I die" cliche imaginable, including skydiving, visiting the Taj Mahal, stock car racing (replaces the cross-country motorcycle trip a la Easy Rider) and seeing the pyramids. I'm guessing visiting the local gloryhole is not on the Bucket List.

-- JN of course has an estranged relationship with his daughter who MF of course encourages him to rekindle. And the estranged daughter of COURSE has an angelic young (blonde) daughter.

-- And of course, they are old and are knocking on death's door. HELLO, BABY BOOMERS? SOME SELF AWARENESS, PLEASE.


In a vain and likely futile effort to stave off the inevitable winter weight gain, I've signed up for a bootcamp style workout program at my gym. We meet twice a week in the a.m. and work out and discuss nutrition. I'm kind of annoyed because for a fairly hefty price tag, it seems very beginner-focused (i.e., I don't think doing 20 pushups and situps and jogging for 10 minutes really qualifies as 1 cardio and 1 resistance workout, but whatever). I figured the pain of being weighed weekly and measured every 4 weeks would be enough to shame me into eating 100% healthy all the time, but I figured wrong. It doesn't help that I've already lied to the cute trainer (did I know he was running it? NO, I did NOT) who runs the program about my weight. Not my proudest moment, but this was an unusual weekend for me, what with the fried Cuban food Friday and the Violet Hour bonanza (and post-VH grazing) on Saturday! At least it gets me to das gym 1 day more a week than I typically go and kind of, KIND OF forces me to resist evils like the Krackels in our office candy jar and gets me thinking about adding protein and fiber and getting rid of all empty calories. Of course, the one thing they keep driving home is that we have to cut out booze. Um, fat chance. If that's what stands between me and losing 3-4 lbs., then I'm just going to live with being 3-4 lbs. away from what I consider my ideal weight. Fuck, I would MUCH RATHER do 30 more minutes of cardio a week or lift a little extra each day than cut out my wine and manhattans (and gimlets and sidecars and dark & stormies and, um, never mind).

Anyway, we have to keep a food journal and workout journal and the food journal at least is pretty painful. Since it's been so long since I've written in a private journal, it shows me I've become the kind of person who lies in my journals! I'm glad I'm on a workout kick though, b/c I do feel a tad stronger. I think I've got my running pace down to a *.** minute mile, which is pretty cool. I'll update (myself) on the progress but at this rate, I'm going to be happy if I just coast and stay the same, maybe with slightly more toned arms. : )
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