Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I learned in 2008

2008 wasn't my best year. It also wasn't my worst, which is good, but I feel like I've learned a lot (in no particular order)...

1. Living alone is one of the best things ever. Roommates can be stressful. VERY stressful. (Not including a good friend who swooped in to save the day and lived with me for the remainder of my lease after my first roommate up and moved one day. Thank you again.)

2. DVR might be the second best thing ever. I really don't know how I ever lived without it.

3. Tyra Banks is crazy. Though I still watch ANTM, she seems to be getting crazier by the second.

4. It's fun to be in a magazine. Though it's a tiny shout out in Marie Claire, my family got all excited for me and it was a lot of fun. My Grandpa even showed every nurse in his Quincy nursing home...kind of embarrassing, actually, but still very cool.

5. Certain jellyfish glow. I camped out on an island on the Cape in August and those little glowing things were everywhere. They fascinated me, even though I have an unnatural fear of jellyfish. Until that day, I had never actually seen one "in the wild" before.

6. Irish accents still get me all giddy. And that's all I'll say about that. Sigh.

7. It's good to live by your best friends, even if it's only for the summer. And it's really fun when they move here from a faraway city and you actually get to see them face-to-face and not just via Gchat. Hooray for all of us being together again!

8. Speaking of Gchat, that is right up there with one of the best things ever.

9. I adore Starbucks from September to December. When they get rid of the fall and holiday drinks, a little piece of my heart cries.

10. It's ok to grow up. Some aspects of it are even pretty fun.

11. Blogging is a good time and it's definitely not as scary as I thought it would be. I love to write, but I have an odd fear of writing. Doesn't make sense, does it?

12. I spend more than half my time at work proofreading. And I now realize that I really don't like it.

13. I have an unhealthy obsession with the Olympics. And getting to try on a real 2008 Beijing Olympic gold swimming medal while playing flip cup at a house party was one of the coolest things ever:
I was SO excited, can you tell? 
I really wanted to steal it...

14. Yes, the Cubs actually can break your heart a little more each year. It's so sad.

15. Apparently I love vampires sagas. And after reading them, I finally started to embrace my "porcelain" skin. Thank you Cullens for making it more attractive to be pale. Ha.

More to come, probably...

And on a side note, I just got back from seeing Seven Pounds. It's so good! I cried like a baby, but I really liked it. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I love my "Christmas break"

Yep, I've been MIA lately. I got back last night from my weekend to Quincy, Illinois. It was 65 degrees there for awhile, then a fun little thunderstorm frenzy popped up with a few tornado warnings thrown in (kind of creepy for December) and the temperature dropped like a rock. Sigh. I love Christmas. Not winter. But the trip was a lot of fun and it was great to see my Grandma and Grandpa and my Dad's whole fam. We spent the whole day Saturday at a winery. The wine flowed and many deep (and slurred) heart-to-hearts with family members followed. Good times.
So now that I have this week off, I'm absolutely loving all my free time. This morning I slept in, ran up to the outlets with my Mom to exchange a couple things at J.Crew and now I've been sitting on my bum for hours watching the John and Kate + 8 marathon on TLC. I love today. And I can't wait to continue my relaxation tomorrow...

Did you have a nice Christmas? I hope so! My Christmas was wonderful. The best part (besides Christmas Eve at my Grandma's) was my family's Pajama Christmas Day. We literally stayed in our pjs and watched movies all day. It was so fun hanging out with my parents and brother and sister like that. I'm already looking forward to next year.

And I hope Santa was very good to you, too. He certainly was good to me...I got some fun stuff! I'm really excited about my new fun red crock pot and cookbooks. Now I can actually learn to cook. And I love all the clothes, pajamas, books, Philosophy stuff, dvds, etc that I got. I can't wait to play with/wear/watch/read them all.

But the most exciting thing? My cute little iPhone. I'm in love with it. It has a charming little green case and is now chock full of fun applications (I'm addicted to the App Store). I think I've run out of batteries every day since I've had it because I can't stop playing with it. And it's so nice to have a phone that finally works...though I haven't tried it in my apartment yet. Eek. 

Now I feel like I should give it a name or something. It's not just a phone—it's so much more. I'll have to think of a good one...

And I love the camera on the iPhone! Just had to throw in this pic of my dog Rufus that I took:

Love it. Too bad my other dog Nellie is camera (and apparently iPhone) shy. Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Have fun gearing up for the New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

In the wise words of *NSYNC, "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" everyone! Cuddle up with family and friends, drink some hot cocoa and soak up the holiday cheer. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful

It just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing and....

I have never seen so much snow in my entire life. I know I'm only 23, but the weather over the last few days has been absolutely insane. And usually I love snow, especially around Christmas time, but this is a but much.

I got back from Boston late yesterday afternoon and I had a wonderful time, despite the many snow-related, stress-filled moments. But I am lucky that I even got to Boston, and I'm even luckier that my boyfriend did, too. After all, it was his family, his house and his Christmas party we were flying out for. 

You already know that my flight was cancelled an entire day before I was scheduled to fly out. They put me on the 6:30am flight on Saturday morning...and then the craziness began:

Friday: The snow was slow in coming, but eventually slammed into Chicago and then made a beeline to Boston. Thanks Mother Nature. Thank goodness my flight was changed, but unfortunately my boyfriend (let's call him J), who was flying form Milwaukee to Chicago was
 delayed. When he finally made it to Chicago 3 hours late (it's about a 15 minute flight) he found out that his flight to Boston was cancelled. Try as he might, he couldn't get booked on a single other flight and was told he'd have to go on standby.  He ended up sleeping on a little refugee cot at O'Hare airport next to a large German man he nicknamed Haas. (On the plus side, Haas invited him to explore Michigan Avenue with him if the were both stranded. My boyfriend politely declined.)

Saturday: I got to the airport at 4:15am and found J. He was 16 on the standby list for my flight. We waited and waited, and then I had to board and leave him behind. They started letting the standby people on and went through 9 people before they closed the door. So I jetted off to Boston, while J was stranded at O'Hare. Meanwhile, the weather in Boston was getting worse by the second and my flight couldn't land right away. So we circled and circled and circled some more before they told us we would land in Hartford. But when we finally landed, we were in Boston. Odd. So I met J's parents who so kindly picked me up at the airport. I felt bad that I made it there and J didn't (he is their only child), but they were just happy I made it in safely. 

So I went back to J's house and helped his parents get ready for their big family Christmas party that very night. I baked, I swept and watched the snow pour down (it was literally raining down snowballs at some points). J called to check in and couldn't get on the other 3 morning flights. We were all so nervous he wouldn't make it in. When he called to tell us he made it on the 1:45pm flight, we were ecstatic . But then it was delayed and delayed and delayed some more. And then he called to say all the flights to Boston before and after him were cancelled because of the heavy snow. Some of the people who were stranded couldn't get rebooked until December 26th...

But finally his flight took off. In the mean time, his family party started and luckily I had met most of his family before, so I felt pretty comfortable with everyone. When J finally arrived around 8:30pm and we were all so happy to see him.

Sunday: Boston Pops day. Still snowing a TON. We drove to the T to get to the city and it took us FOREVER. We saw so many spin-outs and could only go about 15 miles an hour on the highway. Nothing was plowed or salted or sanded or whatever. It was very scary. I took this from the car as we drove:

When we finally go to Boston, NOTHING was shoveled. Since I was dressed up for the night, I was wearing flats and tights (dumb, I know) and I had to wade through really deep, ice cold puddles. EVERYTHING in Boston was closed due to the weather. It was crazy. When we got to the city it was sleeting....then it poured rain...then the temperature dropped and everything froze...then it snowed again. 

But we were able to get to the Pops and it was a blast. I loved it! And when we came out...it wasn't snowing anymore! Hooray!

Monday: I ran errands with J, exchanged gifts and went out to dinner with him and his parents. Oh and his parents just got a Wii, so J and I couldn't stop playing tennis, golf and bowling. I'm kind of obsessed with it now. 

Tuesday:  I knew Chicago was getting snow on Tuesday when I was supposed to fly, so I was a bit nervous. My flight was at 10:30am yesterday morning and seemed to be on time. So I said goodbye to J and skipped off to my gate. And then I waited and waited and waited. No plane yet. When the plane finally came, we started to board. And then we sat at the gate and waited some more. When we finally taxied out to the runway, we had to wait some more. Our pilot told us the weather was bad in Chicago...and it was. We got in about 2 hours late (not too bad at all) and the crowds at O'Hare were horrendous. I guess tons of flights were delayed up to 4 hours or cancelled altogether. My parents didn't think I'd even make it in.  So I was SO glad when I did. 

And guess what? It's still snowing here. But at least I had a great time and everyone made it back safe and sound.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm an idiot.

So I wrote the post that was posted earlier today last night, when I thought I would have no time tonight. But now that I found out my flight to Boston was cancelled and rescheduled to Saturday morning, I've got time to spare.  And thank goodness, because I am laying here blubbering like an idiot, trying to nurse the cuts and bruises I just became the proud owner of.

My Mom was down in the city today and swung by to pick up some stuff I need to bring home for Christmas. I was walking down my back stairs, carrying  a laundry basket with my Christmas presents when my feet slipped out from under me and in one big straight-out-of-a-cheesy-comedy moment, I flew up in the air, still clutching my laundry basket, and landed right in the middle of my back. Because I have a rather boney back, my spine took the full blow. Needless to say, I'm in a world of pain right now.

When I was finally back in my apartment, I started wondering if I dropped anything when I fell. The fall must have knocked something loose in my head, because I decided it would be a good idea to walk back down the icy stairs to see what I could find. So without putting a coat on, I threw on some boots and walked very, very, very slowly down the steps, gripping the railing. I got to the second flight of stairs down and BOOM! legs out from under me, flew through the air and BAM! landed right on my elbow. I burst into tears and to my horror realized the rather cute guy who shared the stairwell was standing above me. He helped me up and went down to look to see if anything had fallen from my first graceful fall, while I stood there crying tears of humiliation in my dirty, wet sweater, bleeding on my elbow (which is now black and blue) and hand.

Moral of the story: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" DOES NOT pertain to walking down icy stairs. For those of you who get to experience all the joys of winter like I do, good luck and be careful. Ice, especially black ice, is a total bitch.

Oh man, I feel like an old lady now...at least I didn't break a hip. But my back is swollen. Nice. 

Doin' the holiday hustle

Tomorrow is my last day of work for two wonderful weeks. My office closes between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day (which is awesome) and I was able to use my remaining vacation days to maximize my time off. I couldn't be more excited. Not only will I be able to relax and enjoy the holidays, but I'll also be able to get away from the "cesspool of sickness" that is my office, as the senior copywriter so nicely put it (every single person is sick, it's kind of gross).

So now I won't be at my apartment for about two weeks and I've been running around like a mad woman packing things, getting errands done and finishing up all my Christmas shopping. 

But once work ends Friday, the craziness really begins. I have to hop on the L, rush to O'Hare and await my flight to Boston. Unfortunately, Chicago is supposed to get hit with a snow/ice/sleet storm over the next couple of days. Not only that, but Boston is supposed to get hit with a big snowstorm, too. With those two combined, it should make for an interesting travel experience. Can't wait!

I am really excited to go out there, though. And then I get back on Tuesday afternoon, get to wrap tons of presents (I LOVE wrapping, seriously), and hang out at my parent's house. Then it's off to church and my Grandma's house for Christmas Eve. 

The most exciting thing? My family and I have decided this year will be a Pajama Christmas. Every other year we had to drive 6 hours to visit my Dad's family in southern Illinois on Christmas Day. I love my family, but spending the whole day in a car is NOT fun, especially when the only place open to get lunch is a really, really sad Wendy's in the middle of nowhere where people chain smoke and babies scream and everyone looks like they want to hurt you for being happy. But this year, we're not leaving until Friday, so we get to veg out all day on Christmas in our pajamas. I can't even wait.

It's going to be a crazy week, but it's going to be a blast. And two full weeks without work? It's going to be amazing! It's like I'm back in school again and get a holiday break...yay!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good news! I saw a dog today.

Ok so maybe I'm not as excited as Buddy the Elf, but I'm thrilled about the pretty great week I'm having so far. And here's why:

• Had to meet with my boss first thing in the morning—he told me I was getting a raise. A very, very small one, but my first one ever as a working girl. I was so excited. What a great way to start the week!
• My coworker made amazing brownies. Brownies are always a reason to be happy.
• I went to my parents' house to decorate the Christmas tree and my Mom made one of my favorite meals—cider stew. And she made brownies, too. Double brownie day!
• My parents picked out the perfect (live) tree and my Mom, Dad, sister and I decked it out with as many ornaments as possible. It's a total masterpiece now, if I do say so myself:

I always love the ornaments we made as kids, like this little gem:

Yep, that's me when I was 4. Apparently I loved Minnie Mouse...and penguins.

• It snowed...it was pretty.
• I had 1/2 a vacation day to use, so I slept in.
• We all got little Christmas bonuses at work, which was very unexpected, very appreciated and very exciting.
• The creative team got to leave an hour early to go out for our annual Christmas dinner "Meet for Meat". We went to Twin Anchors, an amazing restaurant in Old Town. 
• After dinner, we went out for drinks at a bar nearby. The only two other people at the bar got ahold of a microphone...and proceeded to put on a "comedy" routine. The one guy started ranting about life, trying to be funny. It was totally awkward, but we were forced to listen to it. Then the other guy grabbed the microphone and proceeded to serenade us with songs like "Blue Velvet". He gave little dedications before each song ("this is for the dreamers out there, hope you find your love") and then forget half the words to the songs, so he hummed along instead. It was awful to watch, but it was probably one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Good times.

•Finished all my Christmas shopping!
• Only two days of work left and then I'm off for two whole weeks. Can't wait!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another time, another place

Lately, I've been wondering what it would be like to live in a different era. Call me crazy, but sometimes I really think I would have loved growing up in another time. 

Last Thursday, when I was with my high school friends, we were playing with the conversation starter cards my one friend had. I was looking at the box and immediately loved the third question. I begged her to read it out loud, which she did: "If you could live in another era, what would it be and why?"

I immediately jumped up and yelled "The 1950s! Absolutely! I'm so traditional and those are my people. I'd fit in. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I know that's what I want."

My friends stared at me for a minute and then burst out laughing. It was pretty funny, I suppose, but I was dead serious. 

Sometimes I really do think about it and how much I'd love to be in the 1950s. There's something so appealing about the simplicity of those times. Things seemed so traditional and easy-going and the focus was on family and being together. All the great movies and music were new and exciting. Boyfriends swapped sweaters and class rings, girls got to wear  dresses all the time (I love dresses), sock hops were the rage and chivalry was alive and thriving. It seemed like such a happy, carefree time. 

And yes, I'm sure there were a lot of not-so-peachy aspects of the 50s (not to mention a cookie-cutter housewife role for women), but I like to romanticize it. Growing up, I loved shows like Happy Days and movies like Grease and comics like Archie because they took place during that time. When I found out that they weren't actually made during the 50s, I was devastated. Even as a little girl, I fell in love with those times. I felt like I could really connect to it and couldn't wait until I could sit at the diner sharing a milkshake (with two straws) with my high school sweetheart. 

But as much fun as it would be, it would also mean I'd have to live through the 60s and 70s and I can tell you for sure that I would NOT want to do that. Nothing about that era looks fun to me. The hair, the drugs, the music, the clothes...ick. So I think I'll just enjoy being a good old Millennial (I think that's what I am) right now.

What about you? Have you ever wanted to live in a different time?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Oh how I love this cute little sinus infection I've developed over the last couple of days. I think I've gone though about 2 boxes of Kleenex in the past 24 hours. Good times.

I'd love to say I'm staying in bed and resting all day, but I've got way too much to do. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Oh and thanks for all the great restaurant suggestions everyone! I can't wait to get out there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I think I'll go to Boston...

Oh no wait, I really am going to Boston. I leave on the 19th and get back on the 23rd, just in time for Christmas. I'm flying out with my boyfriend (he's from a 'burb of Boston) to visit with his family, go to his annual Christmas party and soak up the city I love so much.

I have a crush on Boston. Yes, it's possible to have a crush on a thriving metropolis. At the mention of it, my heart starts to flutter and I immediately want to talk about it and express my love. I've been there 5 times and every time I go I think I love it a little more. In fact, I could see myself moving there one day...but that's a whole other story.

Two years ago I was out there right before Christmas and my boyfriend took me to see the Holiday Pops (the holiday version of the Boston Pops) at Symphony Hall. He took me out to dinner then we went to the show, which was amazing. It was one of my favorite nights ever. For someone who loves the holidays as much as I do, it was the perfect gift. And I had always secretly wanted to see the Pops, but never told anyone (it seemed pretty nerdy). So when he surprised me with tickets for Christmas without knowing my secret wish, I knew he really understood me. I think that's part of why I loved it so much.

When I found out I was going back to Boston this year, I begged him to go to the Pops. And he surprised me with tickets again. I am SO excited. But this time, I want to take him out to dinner beforehand and treat him to a wonderful evening.

So here's a question for anyone from Boston: 
What restaurant should I take him to? It can't be too expensive or too seafood-y (sorry, can't stand it), and would ideally be close to Symphony Hall. Any ideas? I could really use some help!

And on a completely unrelated topic, the January issue of Marie Claire came out...and I really am in it! It's a tiny picture and story, but it's still really cool. I still can't believe that happened! My Mom saw it at Barnes & Noble and bought 3 copies. So funny. And Jessica Simpson is on the cover...so it's kind of like we're hanging out together, right? Ha.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

I love Christmas music. 

I usually start listening to it in October. Yes, I know, kind of crazy, but I love it. It always puts me in a great mood. I used to be in musical theater when I was younger and sang carols before the The Nutcracker in my town every year (8 performances each time!). We all had to have long curls (loved those pink sponge rollers) and dressed head to toe in Dickens caroling apparel—bonnet with a bow and all—and I loved every minute of it.

It was nearly impossible for me to pick my top 5 favorite songs. So after the first one, they aren't really in order...

1. "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby. Hands down, my favorite Christmas song. It's so sweet and festive...and that Bing was quite a stud. Those eyes and that voice. Wow. Though he kind of looked like my Grandpa when he was younger, so I guess that's weird for me to say.

2. "The Holly and The Ivy". I don't know why, but this song always gives me the chills. There's something about the melody that is so haunting and beautiful.

3. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". How could you not love this one?

4. "Oh Holy Night". I have to have one religious carol thrown in here and this would be it. I've always loved this song.

5. "Fairytale of New York" by the The Pogues. I first heard this song while I was studying abroad in Galway, Ireland. I came back to the States right before Christmas and listened to this song nonstop—especially during the flight home, crying the whole time (yeah I haven't even tapped into my love for Ireland yet on this blog yet).  So every time I listen to this song, it's like I have a little piece of Ireland with me. Wow, I am such a sap!

And I also love:
•"All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey
•"Joy to the World"
•"Home Alone Theme/Somewhere in My Memory" by John Williams 
•"Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by *NSYNC
•"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
•"Sleigh Ride"
•The entire Nutcracker soundtrack

My biggest pet peeve of the season is that "My Favorite Things" is NOT a Christmas song. Yes, it mentions "warm woolen mittens", but as a huge Sound of Music fan, I can only ever associate it with Maria hopping around her room, singing to the von Trapp children and wrapping herself in the curtains (which will later become the children's play clothes) 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Today is random

I can't think about what to write about. Hm... So how about a Love It/Hate It list about today?

Love It:
Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets No Sugar Added hot cocoa. It's SO good. I'm usually not a fan of "diet" things, but this is amazing. I'm enjoying a cup right now with a dash of cinnamon on top. Yum.

John and Kate + 8. I LOVE this show. Aaden and Alexis are my favorites. And I honestly think Mady (spelling taken from their website...seems odd) has a behavioral disorder. She comes off as such a brat! Everyone thinks Kate is too mean, but with 8 little kids I think she has to be that way. Anyway, the show is one of my favorites. It's so cute and real and funny. Aw.

I walked to the bus stop tonight lugging my extremely heavy groceries and found the bus I needed waiting there...with one empty seat right next to the "shelf" to put bags. So not only did I get to sit, I also got to make sure no one stole my whole wheat English muffins or Lean Cuisines. Very exciting moment.

Gossip Girl. What a fantastic show. But seriously, Aaron isn't cute. And I really like Serena and Dan together...

Hate It:
Grocery shopping in the city without a car. Lugging groceries on the bus is NOT fun. And since I don't live by a good grocery store, it's unavoidable. I get all grumpy even thinking about doing it. 

Having to divide my time. That's very vague, but yeah. So frustrating.

That jerk who stole my wallet. I STILL don't have a new debit card and I'm still trying to reimbursed for the one purchase that went through when they stole my card. UGH.

The pile of dirty dishes sitting in my sink. Oh how I miss my dishwasher from my old apartment...

But I guess I better start washing. Farewell. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

I literally just walked in the door and it feels so good to be back in my nice little apartment again. 

After going nonstop for a week now, I am physically and mentally exhausted. It's been a wonderful, fun-filled week, but I think I could pass out now and sleep for days. I only got about 4-5 hours of sleep each night last week. And after being out until the wee hours celebrating the Marquette victory last night, I'm pretty sure my body hates me. 

I'm really looking forward to having a relatively quiet couple of days coming up. And I'm determined to go to bed early this week. The craziness doesn't start again until Thursday and then doesn't stop until the 28th. I have friend parties, family parties, boyfriend's family parties, coworker parties, a trip to southern Illinois and a trip to Boston to squeeze in there. I now realize why it's my favorite—and most exhausting—time of year. 

Ok, that's all I have the energy to type right now. This night owl is going to bed early. Sweet dreams.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've been drinking since 2:30...

So please forgive my poor writing this evening. I just had to write a post, I was missing my blog the last couple of days. I felt like I was neglecting a good friend.

The last couple of days have been crazy. As much as I love the holidays, there's always so much going on...

Wednesday: Client party in the suburbs. Got stuck in traffic in the snow on the way there. Felt a little awkward since I'm a creative person, not an account person, so small talk isn't my thing. Chatted with my coworkers, avoided the almost all seafood appetizers (yuck), was insulted by a coworker and had to deal with the very embarrassing moment when one of our senior clients hit on me. He got way too close to me, backed me up against a wall and chatted to be about his time in the Persian Gulf War in 1991 (no joke). He asked me what I was doing in 1991. I told him I was 6...and he thought it was cute. Not so much. Because I'm naive, it took me awhile to catch on. Luckily, my coworkers saved me and now I'm the talk of the office. So embarrassing. 

Thursday: College alumni party at a nearby bar. Tons of fun. I was tired from the night before so I vowed to be home by 9. Got to the bar, realized it was free beer for the first hour, ran into tons of friends and ended up not getting home until midnight. And then I decided I just HAD to watch The Office. Good idea, Pam.

Friday: Company holiday party at a Chicago bowling alley. We got to leave work at 2:30 and it was a lot of fun. We all went to a couple of bars afterward, which was a blast. And then I got into a cab where the crazy driver was screaming about religion, premarital sex and drunk girls. I just nodded, slumped lower in my seat and prayed that he would get me home safely...and not yell at me for being one of those drunk girls. 

I haven't been out this much since college. Yikes. 

Now I'm off to Milwaukee in the morning to see my boyfriend and go to the big Marquette vs. Madison basketball game. I can't wait!

Sidnote: I went to Starbucks this morning and the same barista took my order. I told her what I wanted and she said, "Ok and that's for Jes...". I immediately stopped her and said, "Nope, still Pam." She smiled and was like "Oh yeah! You remind me a lot of Pam from The Office. Now I'll be sure to remember! Must be your hair color or something..."

That made my day. Not only do I LOVE The Office, but I love Pam (makes me proud of my name) and I LOVE that she gets to be with Jim. Now this will help me live vicariously through her. Hooray for fictional characters!

Ok...I need to go to bed big time. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm a night owl

Every night, I go through the same routine. Around 9 o'clock, I start to get really tired. I kind of take it easy, lounging on my couch, telling myself that tonight's the night I'm going to bed early. 

Then I start playing on my computer, catching up on emails, etc. And suddenly it's 10:30. So then I flip through channels to put something good on while I brush my teeth and wash my face...I have no idea why. 

When I'm finally ready for bed, it's around 11 and I ALWAYS get a second wind. I'll finish watching a movie that's on TV or remember one more thing I wanted to look up online and then BAM! 11:30. Shoot. Getting way too late. 

So then I do my night checks (hey, I live alone, I have to make sure there are no monsters in the closet), and finally hop into bed. 

And then I can't fall asleep. So I just lay in bed, watch TV, check and recheck my alarm clock (I'm paranoid of oversleeping) and freak out over every sound in my tiny apartment. 

Finally, around 12:30 I drift off to sleep...

I've gotten into such bad habits, but I can't help it. My best intentions to go to bed early are always squashed. Even now, it's 9:30 and I'm exhausted. But once I get up and do my dishes, try on my outfit for our client holiday party tomorrow night and get ready for bed, I'll get my second wind and be up until the wee hours.

And tonight I REALLY need sleep. My next few days are insane...

Ok and now I'm procrastinating and delaying my bed time even more. Bad Pam!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Son of a nutcracker!

Since I love Christmas so much, it's only fitting that I write about some of my favorite things. 

So I now present to you my top five favorite Christmas movies:

Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

1. Elf. No surprise here. I could watch this movie all day, every day the whole year and I still wouldn't get tired of it. I love it. It always makes me laugh. My brother and I constantly quote this via text message, everything from "Good news, I saw a dog today" to "Francisco...frannnciscooo" And "I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite" is my favorite movie quote ever. Love it.

We invite you to ask yourself this one simple question: 
Do you believe in Santa Claus?

2. Miracle on 34th Street. Ok confession, I've never actually seen the original version, though I own it. But I LOVE the new version (own that, too). There's something so magical about this movie and yes, I'm proud to admit that I do believe in Santa Claus.

Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
3. It's A Wonderful Life. I cry every time I watch this movie. The classic Christmas movies are some of the very best ones. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And that George Bailey is such a good man...

If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion 
love actually is all around.

4. Love Actually. How could you not love this movie? It's cute and funny and I love it. My favorite couple? Jamie and Aurelia, of course. And I love how all the characters are connected. The first time I saw this movie I remember being amazed by it all. Such great stories.

You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

5. A Christmas Story. The Christmas Eve staple. I like this one based solely on tradition. Every year TBS plays 24 hours of A Christmas Story, and every year I get sucked in. After Christmas Eve Mass, after my Grandma's house, while I'm drifting off to sleep, the next day after we open gifts, while we eat breakfast...I can't get enough of it. And that's the only day of the year I actually watch that movie. 

Honorable Mentions: Home Alone ("Look what you did you little jerk") and How the Grinch Stole Christmas—the animated version, NOT the Jim Carrey version ("I wouldn't touch you with a 39 and a half foot pole")

So there you have it. Now I'm going to pop in the original Miracle on 34th Street for the first time and hop into bed. 

...and to all a good night. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of year. The traditions, the memories, the decorations, the songs, the movies, the lights, the excitement...I love it all. And I love sharing it with my family and friends.

As soon as fall hits, I'm ready for the holidays. People complain about the decorations going up too early and the radio stations switching to Christmas music too soon, but I love every minute of it. It doesn't last nearly long enough for me. I try to savor every carol, every commercial and every Starbucks Gingersnap Latte. 

 As soon as I see this commercial, I know Christmas is officially here:

When I got back from my parents' house this afternoon, I immediately put up my little Christmas tree. I initially set it up on the ground, but it was too low, so I put it on a pedestal (aka a TV table) and covered the base with my lime green scarf. It came with lights already on it, but I as I assembled the tree, I noticed large chunks with no lights at all. Alas. Thank goodness for my bright Target Christmas ornaments. They filled in the little dark spots...
It needs a little work, but it makes my apartment feel much cozier already. 

Hooray for the holidays!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home sweet home

I'm still up in the 'burbs hanging out with the fam. Actually, I just got back from the DMV and what a treat that was. The new IL licenses look crazy!

I promise to write more soon...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

I'm just hanging out at home, relaxing in my pjs and helping my Mom make the feast. I love the holidays.

It's a day of being thankful, and although 2008 hasn't been my best year, I have lots to be thankful for. My amazing family, wonderful friends and boyfriend, my new apartment, my job, my dogs...life might be challenging, but it's good. And I'm happy. 

This picture was taken last year when I was in Ixtapa with my family for a destination wedding over Thanksgiving. We wanted to find a restaurant that made a full turkey dinner and this is what we found:

Please note the turkey holding a cooked turkey in one hand (so sketchy) and a margarita in the other. The place was actually really good. It was probably the best Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. And the chefs were so excited to be making it, they kept checking in on us to make sure we were enjoying everything. Yum...so good.

Alright, I'm off to consume a disgusting and delicious amount of food. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Liked it

I said I would post my thoughts on Twilight, but I'm feeling a bit lazy today. So I think I'll just do it in a neat little list...

• Edward Cullen playing the piano. Swoon. 
• Edward Cullen kissing. Oh. My. God. 
• Edward Cullen in general—I left the movie feeling disappointed in 
    human boys
• Bella's Lullaby, of course.

• Mike and Jessica. It was nice to see teens playing REAL teens (unlike 
    Dawson's Creek, The OC, etc)
• That is was awkwardly funny
• Kristen Stewart as Bella...at least more than I thought I would 
• Victoria, James, Laurent, Charlie and Carlisle (I found him pretty 

• Rosalie
• Jasper's hair
• Cheesy special effects
• Odd camera angles 
• Way too many shots of trees (I get that it's pretty there—give me more 
• The music. It seemed all wrong in some of the scenes

• The terrible flashbacks, especially the ones with the Indians and the 
    "Cold Ones". Completely unnecessary.

Overall, I liked it. Didn't LOVE it, but still found it very entertaining. And I have a feeling I'll end up seeing it again over the next couple of weeks.

And is that "you're my brand of heroin" line in the book? I couldn't remember, but it seemed SO out of place in the movie and it made me cringe a little bit. 

On another note, I am SO excited that tomorrow is my last day of work for the week. Then I'm heading up to the 'burbs to hang out at home (AKA my parents' house) for Thanksgiving. I get to do laundry, enjoy delicious food, drive a car, go to Target and play with my dogs. I can't even wait.

Monday, November 24, 2008

So lucky. So violated.

Today I found out how truly lucky I was on Saturday night. 

When I got into work this morning, I called and filed a police report for my stolen drivers license. I knew I should call and check up on my credit card and debit card, but I just couldn't do it. I was too nervous. I thought I had cancelled the cards quickly enough, but I couldn't be sure. And once I called and heard the fraudulent charges, there was no going back.

So I waited until the afternoon, and then I couldn't take it anymore. I started with my credit card company. As expected, the woman asked me to verify my last purchases. 

8:40pm, Saturday, November 22nd. $1,544.19 at Target in Chicago. DENIED.

I nearly wept with relief. That was the only fraudulent charge and it was denied. Thank God. I had cancelled my card only 25 minutes earlier. I would have loved to been at that Target to see that smug little thief get rejected.

So that was that. I was lucky.

I checked in on my debit card online and it didn't look like there were any fraudulent charges, but my intuition told me to call my bank anyway. And after this weekend, I know to definitely trust my intuition.

So I called my bank and the woman told me my card was cancelled, but she still had to verify my last charges.

$25 at BP. Rejected. 
$150 purchase. Rejected. 
$275 purchase. Rejected.
ATM attempt $100, incorrect PIN. Rejected
ATM attempt $200, incorrect PIN. Rejected.

And there were about five more attempts to get my money—all of which were rejected. They were ALL within a 50 minute window, and all only mere minutes after I cancelled my card. 

By the time she finished reading the charges, I was shaking. I had never felt so violated in my entire life. I couldn't believe how far those people went to try to get money from me. It's so wrong and it makes my heart break a little that people could be so dishonest. 

At the same time, I realize how incredibly lucky I am. If I hadn't listened to my gut right away, the thieves would have been successful. They would have completely over-drafted my account and ruined my credit. And if the manager of the bar hadn't let me use his computer to find the right numbers to call right away, they would have succeeded. 

I am so lucky.

I am going to call that manager tomorrow and thank him profusely for his quick thinking and kindness. I can't even imagine the state I would be in now if I hadn't acted quickly...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You've been hit by a smooth criminal

My wallet was stolen last night—right out of my purse.

This comes almost exactly a year after I found out my credit card number was stolen (even though I still had my card) and someone had charged $900 in cell phones in Canada. And it comes nearly 9 months after I discovered that someone had gotten ahold of my social security number and filed taxes under my name. Both incidents took me months and months of phone calls, legal documents and stress to resolve. 

So I'm sure you can guess how much this latest incident thrills me. Because not only was my credit card in my wallet, but so was my debit card and $8 (thank goodness). The real crime? My driver's license was in there, too...so now I have to go to the DMV and wait in a loooong line again. I am so mad about that. 

Long story short, the night started out great—three friends and I made a last minute decision to go down and watch the Festival of Lights on the Mag Mile from the comfort of my nice, warm office. Then we headed to Emerald Loop and got a table right away. The table was by the area where people stand to wait to be called, and also where they check in with the host. I had the unfortunate seat that backed up to that area. As I sat down I put my purse on the back of my chair, underneath my long coat and scarf, and up close against my side because I knew my seat was a tad sketchy.

So after some appetizers and couple of drinks, I suddenly felt my purse swinging a lot. There were a TON of people in the crowded waiting area...and there was a man standing right next to my chair "putting his coat on" and smiling.  It was weird and I immediately knew something was wrong. It didn't feel like my purse was just accidentally bumped.

I grabbed my purse and started going through it. No wallet. My friend looked through my purse. No wallet. We all started looking through my coat, under the table, around the table next to us. Still no wallet. I knew it was gone.

I was handling it really, really well, until the manager came over and told me how well I was handling it. Then, I have admit, I shed a few tears. I was so frustrated.  I composed myself after a few seconds and then I knew I had to act quickly. So he let my friend and I go to the back, through the kitchen (eek), to his little office where we looked up my numbers and cancelled my credit and debit cards. I think I caught it right away, but you never know. We came back and the manager bought us a round of drinks because he felt so bad. Magner's really eased the blow last night.

So now I have no money, no access to money and no ID. I am just glad that I'll be home this week for Thanksgiving so I can get a new driver's license and debit card up in the 'burbs (have to get them up there unfortunately). And I'm SO glad I took a few things out of my wallet last night, like my insurance card, my Border's Rewards card (which I couldn't live without) and my CTA card (again, so happy about that). I do think I might have a lost a gift card, which stinks, but oh well. I'm also glad that it wasn't my nice wallet—it was only my little pink bar wallet. And I'm glad that my digital camera, nice earmuffs, phone, etc were all left in my purse, completely untouched. 

After hearing about the string of violent muggings that have been happening in my area, I almost feel relieved that this is all that's happened to me. How sad is that? 

Friday, November 21, 2008

I need sleep

I'm exhausted.

I went to the midnight showing of Twilight last night, and didn't get home until about 2:30. I was still giddy from the movie, so I had to settle down a bit before I could fall asleep. The last time I checked the clock was about 3:20.

After awhile, I had a very vivid dream in which Edward Cullen was standing in my room, watching me sleep. I opened my eyes and saw his shadow out of the corner of my eye, standing off to the right side...and I literally jumped up and flew out of bed. I really thought he was in my room and it was really scary and really exciting at the same time. Naturally, it took me a few minutes to get my heart to stop racing so I could fall back to sleep...

And then my alarm went off. I got 3 measly hours of sleep. And boy, was I tired all day long. Thank goodness for my Starbucks Gingersnap Latte, that's all I can say. Oh, and the barista didn't call me Jessica today. She didn't call me anything, actually. I think the dreadful bags under my eyes must have scared her away.

So anyway, I'm off to bed. I left my cousin's birthday party early because I could barely stay awake. I'm not going to post my thoughts on Twilight until next week, after most people have seen it. I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

I'll just leave you with the images that have been running through my mind all day...


Just got back, but I won't tell.

I just got back from seeing Twilight. No worries, I won't spoil anything. 

All I'll say is that Rob (we're on a first name basis) is hot and a VERY good kisser (from the looks of it), Kristen was surprisingly good as Bella, and there are A LOT of trees in this movie. A LOT.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A confession

Now that I've officially been called out, I guess it's time to 'fess up.

I'm bad at sharing.

Ok there,  I said it. To my friends and family, it's really obvious. I just don't like to admit it about myself. It's not due to bad parenting or having a brother and sister who loved to tease me and hide my things and watch me get upset (got to love older siblings)...I don't ever remember being a bad sharer growing up. I just always liked to keep my things neat and clean, and that was that.

I can pinpoint the exact moment when my issue with sharing started. It was fall of freshman year in high school and I was just getting used to everything...new people, new classes, new ways of doing things. I was sitting at my lunch table with my friends, eating my turkey and mashed potato meal (oh so good cafeteria food), when this snooty girl I barely knew walked up to me. She smiled at me and asked, "Oh, can I try your potatoes?" WHILE she dug her finger into them and scooped some up. I stared at her in shock as she licked the potatoes off her fingers and went back for more. 

I slapped her hand away. Not only did she stick her hand in my food, but she also licked her fingers, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. She looked surprised and then said, "God, you are such a bad sharer." I tried to tell her that she stuck her dirty little finger in MY food, but she just flipped her hair and walked away.

The next day I had a note on my locker that said "World's Worst Sharer". Seriously. And the sharing "jokes" continued until we graduated.

And since then, I've been bad at sharing food, books, movies, clothes, etc. It's really hard for me. I get all nervous and grumpy about it, I don't know why. I don't think I'm the worst at it, but I could get a lot better.

I'm really trying to work on it. And in the mean time, I feel like I can relate to this wonderful moment from Friends:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Early to bed

 On most nights, I usually don't get in to bed until after 11:30. And by the time I fall asleep, it's always after midnight. I guess it's safe to say that I'm a night owl.

But tonight I've decided I'm going to bed early. As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to walk right by my sink full of dishes (oops), put on my pjs and crawl into bed (wow that sounds like that Jewel song).

The reason for the early bed time?

1. I had a hellish day at work. One of those days where I ended up crying in the bathroom. I actually have never had one of those days before and I hope I never have one again. Of course, the head of my company was in the bathroom when I was crying, so it wasn't long before everyone knew I was upset. I wasn't in trouble and I didn't make a big mistake or anything, I was just stressed. In the end, everything got done and it all worked out. Thank God. 

2. I stayed up until almost 1am watching Made last night. Bad idea..but I was hooked.

3. I am so disappointed with the ANTM finale. McKey, really? I mean I guess I liked her better than Samantha, but still. I wasn't a big fan of either of them. I wanted Annaleigh to win.

4. I feel like I'm getting sick. My whole body feels weak and tired and blah.

5. I need to rest up for tomorrow night...when I see the midnight showing of Twilight! Can't wait!

And thanks for all the great blogging advice, I really appreciate it. I can't wait to start exploring more this weekend when I finally get some free time. 

Sweet dreams, everyone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blogging for dummies

I need help.

I'm a blogging newbie. Big time. And I'll admit that I had a bit of a rough start finding things to write about, but I feel like I've finally found my voice, hit my stride, carved my niche, (insert other cliches here). 

After reading this post on Oh! How Lovely! (one of my favorites), I realized that I still have NO clue about the world of blogging. 

I decided to check out FeedBurner and even signed up for it. But what the heck is a feed? What is a partial feed? Apparently I have one now, but I don't even know what that means.

I got a message today about joining a blogroll...what's that? Do I want to join one?

Is there anything else I should know? All I know right now is how to post...and that's about it.

Yes, I realize I am incredibly naive and I know I could look it all up on the internet, but I was hoping all you blogging experts out there could give me some insight. I would really appreciate it.  :)

And in other news...Rosie O'Donnell has a variety show? Oh geez. I can tell you what I won't be watching next Wednesday night. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sometimes I hate being a grown up

I think I've got a bad case of Peter Pan syndrome. And cue music:

"I won't grow up 
(I won't grow up)
I don't want to go to school 
(I don't want to go to school)"

Oh wait, I grew up and finished school. Damn. 

Sure, being a grown up is fun and all...I can drink and drive (not together), have my own place, do what I went, when I want (as long as it's legal) and even make money...kind of. 

Money really has me down these days. Now that I live alone, I find that all my bills make a much bigger dent in my finances that they used to. My first check of the month goes almost entirely to pay my rent. The second check of the month used to be my grocery/fun money. 

Not anymore. 

The last few days I was nearly giddy with relief that I had money in my bank account. I could splurge on my favorite cereal! I could buy new winter boots! I could buy that dress from Gap that I love! I could even start my Christmas shopping! WOW!

And then I got home from work to find a stack of bills in my mailbox. How amazing that they ALL arrived on the same day. Lucky me. So, because I'm a good girl, I paid all my bills in full (including my credit card), and now I find myself almost in a panic. All that lovely money is gone. Ok not all of it, but a very good chunk of it. And yes, I am happy to have cable and electricity...but yikes.

So as a direct result, I e-mailed my sister and called my boyfriend to tell them that I would have to spend less on them for Christmas this year and apologized profusely. Totally unnecessary. And I started researching new winter boots. I was finally going to cave this year and buy Uggs...though I don't like the looks of them much, I like to have warm feet. But now I think I'm going to pick up the Target knock-offs. I know, I know, it's lame, but they had good reviews, and they're cute.

I'm starting to really freak out...I was supposed to buy a new Pilates package tomorrow, how can I do that? Am I going to have to live on cereal until Christmas? I still need a new hat, which I have to get because my poor little ears can't handle the cold, but can I get the cute one I really like? My friends and I are trying to figure out plans for New Year's Eve, will I have money to book it? And I have to pay my Mom for our trip to Aruba soon, too, though it's not until March. And what about Christmas presents for everyone?! AHH!

Ugh I hate worrying about grown up things.  And hearing about our economic crisis is not helping. I just need to be happy that I can pay my bills, right? I need to focus on the positive. I'm glad I have heat and electricity and cable and a roof over my head. And I am so glad I live alone, drama-free and away from crazy roommates of the past. I am lucky...I just have to be thrifty for a little while. I'll make it work. 

And...I just bought tickets to the midnight showing of Twilight on Thursday. Definitely worth the splurge :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Ok, I'll admit it. I'm watching the last ever episode of Total Request Live on MTV right now and I'm getting a bit sad. 

My 12-year-old self is mourning the loss of all her teenybopper glory. When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I used to sprint from the bus stop to watch TRL. It was on at 3 and my bus dropped me off at 3:06, so I always missed the first few minutes. But don't worry, I taped it every day just in case I missed any news on my beloved NSYNC boys. 

As I mentioned in a preview post, I LOVED NSYNC. But I don't think I mentioned just how passionate I was. When I was in 8th grade, my Mom got a new car. It was going to be my car when I turned 16, so I got to have a say in what color car she got. And what did I choose? A baby blue car. Why was that? Well because it was Justin Timberlake's favorite color, of course. Dead serious. And I drove that baby blue car until last year, when my parent's sold it after I moved downtown.

When I was so obsessed, TRL fed my addiction. My goal in life was to go see TRL really live in NYC one day. I had a HUGE crush on Carson Daly and I hung on every word he said. Though I always wondered why he wore black nail polish on random fingernails...was it code for something? He was a bit odd, but I still loved him. I used to vote online every day and counted down to the world premiers of new videos. TRL was my life. 

It continued through the first year of high school, when I was still really into NSYNC. And then it all just faded away. Carson left and I grew up a bit and that was that...I haven't really seen a TRL episode since maybe junior year of high school, but I always knew it was there. And now that it's the final episode, I'm feeling  a bit nostalgic. It was such an integral part of my tween years and now that it's over, I guess I have to face that I've really grown up. Aww...

All those days watching Tearin' Up My Heart, Genie in a Bottle, Baby One More Time, I Want It That Way, I Drive Myself Crazy...(sigh).

I kind of feel like I should start blasting NSYNC's greatest hits and dance around and scream with giddy glee, but I'm not going to. That would be silly. I do think I'll play around on YouTube for a bit...I need my Justin fix for the day :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

A case of mistaken identity

Today is Friday, AKA Starbucks Day. So after our 9am meeting, my coworkers and I headed over to pick up some delicious drinks (a PSL for me, of course). 

We go to one of the Starbucks on Michigan Avenue so it's always crowded and there is always a line. To keep things moving, they have baristas take names and drink orders in line so after you pay, your drinks will be ready. It's a pretty good system.

So I quickly recited my drink order in my head (you have to be on the ball at Starbucks) and was ready to go when the barista approached. And this is how my morning began:

Barista:(excessively chipper) Hi! What can I get for you today? 
Me: Hi, can I get a tall, non-fat, no whip pumpkin spice latte, please?
B: Sure, and that's for Jessica right?
Me: (pause) Uh, no, I'm Pam
B: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah...I'm Pam
B: I could have sworn your name was Jessica, you really look like a Jessica.
Me: Nope, still Pam
B: You should ask your parents why your name isn't Jessica because you really look like one.
Me: Um yeah, ok.

It was bizarre. And even worse, I had the EXACT same conversation with the same barista last Friday. For some reason, she really believes my name is Jessica. Maybe next week I should just go with it. I could have a secret Starbucks identity or something that would serve absolutely no purpose. How weird.

Ok and is it just me or do Kristen Stewart (Bella) and Robert Pattison (Edward) seem really unenthusiastic and awkward in interviews for Twilight? It seems like Kristen hates the movies and books and hates even talking about the movies and the books. And Robert just seems kind of out there...and not a big of any of it either. It's a bit of turn off to be honest. How sad.

Alright I'm off to a superhero party that I'm not dressing up for. Good times. Long story. Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Up to my eyeballs in stress

Today was stressful. It started out on the wrong foot when I woke up 30 minutes late and was running around to get ready while trying to inhale a bowl of cereal (even when I'm in a hurry I need my breakfast). From the moment I walked into work, my stress level was through the roof. There were projects to revise again...and then again. A 25-page single spaced document to proof...3 times. A press release to write (haven't written one since college), a bio to write, and new copy to write for my boss. It was insane. I was able to take a 3 minute break to microwave my frozen pizza, and that was it. 

At 5:30, I went down to the gym in my office building to try to burn off some of my energy. It helped for a bit, but now that I'm home, I still feel stressed. Really stressed. And it has nothing to do with work.

As I've mentioned, I'm in a long distance relationship. My boyfriend of almost 3 years lives in Milwaukee...I live in Chicago. Sure, it seems close enough and we see each other at least 2-3 weekends a month, but sometimes it's still hard. I have a tough time dividing up my time between my boyfriend, my college friends, my high school friends and my family.

My brother and sister and all my older cousins live in Chicago, all my high school friends live in Chicago and most of my college friends live in Chicago. They all love to plan fun things and go out a lot. And they all invite me to everything, which is great, but of course they always fall on the same nights and weekends. I never know what to do. Most free weekends I have, I go up to Milwaukee or my boyfriend comes here. And when I am here, I have to divide my time between friends and family, which gets really difficult. I feel like I am always missing out on some great moment or some great story that people tell for months afterwards. And I feel like I never get to spend quality time with anyone. I always hear, "Pam, we haven't seen you in forever!" And it's true.

I think I've been doing a really good job with juggling everything, but lately I feel like I'm going to crack. I don't know what I want anymore...

And on top of it all, I'm considering moving to Milwaukee next year...a city I swore I would never live in again (no offense to any Milwaukee people out there), but I love Chicago...or even Boston (where my boyfriend is from). It excites me to live in the same city as him again, but it scares me at how serious it all is. EVERYONE asks me if we'll get married then...and I just don't know. I'm 23! All I know is that I love him and I want to see what happens with us...we've been dating too long to just give up. I really want to try and make it work. 

Half of my friends are really supportive of the move, but the other half has told me that he should move to Chicago, end of story. 

I just don't know what to do. I feel like no matter what I choose, whether it's about weekend plans or moving to a new city, I'll be missing out on something. I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see the future. I wish I could know what would make me happy in the long run...

Ugh my stomach is in knots. I hate feeling like this.

I think I'll choose to be inspired by this tonight:

I'm off to make some hot chocolate and swoon over Pam and Jim...I loved The Office tonight. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I know I don't know you, but let me tell you my life story

Some days I feel like I have a huge tattoo on my forehead that says "Please talk to me." 
Today was one of those days. 

I find that random people often like to strike up conversations with me. Not that I mind, I take it as a compliment. I must look friendly and approachable or something, which is always a good thing. And I find people fascinating, so it's interesting to talk to them...but I wonder why it only happens some days, and not others. And I wonder what it is that gets them talking in the first place.

Today I decided to brave the soggy weather and run to Cosi for lunch. On my walk, I cut through the front of a hotel, where the doormen/valets hang out to get people in and out of taxis. There is this one doorman who ALWAYS talks to me...always waves, smiles and goes out of his way to be friendly. It always makes me smile, but it's a bit embarassing...my coworkers love to tease me about it. 

So after having my little run in with him, I walked back into my office building, still smiling a bit. As I stopped to wait for the elevator, I caught the eye of an older man standing there. 

"Cosi again, huh? What did you get?" he asked me, as if he had known me and my eating habits my entire life.
"Yep, I love Cosi. Just got a sandwich..." I replied.
"A sandwich? What kind?"
"Sesame ginger chicken."
"Oh wow, I only ever get a salad there!"

We then got in the same elevator and he proceeded to tell me about how he loves to get Cosi before class...the class he takes at Northwestern for fun. He went on about what classes he's taken before and the different things that interest him...and then he got off, telling me that he'd "see me again soon."

For a second I wondered if he was some friend of my parents' that I hadn't remembered...but no. It was just another random encounter. It was great to learn about him, but still a bit odd.

The strangest random conversations (yes, plural) I've ever had took place last year. I was waiting at my bus stop, the same bus stop I had waited at every morning for about 9 months, when the lady next to me, who I had seen almost every day, decided to chat with me. I can't even remember how it started, but before long we boarded the bus together and she took the seat next to me.

She then proceeded to tell me all about how she hated her job, riding the bus...and 20-somethings. Then she asked me how old I was, which was amusing. So I told her and she goes, "Oh, well you're a nice one then. You're the exception." Thanks...I think. 

I knew more about her after our 15-minute bus ride than I knew about some of my friends in college. She even asked for my e-mail address to send me something after she found out what my job was. And yes, she e-mailed me.

After that, I kept seeing her, at least two mornings a week. We chatted a lot and always sat next to each other (even though I do not like chatting on the morning bus ride...I just want to read my book). She was very nice and a bit negative, but now that I moved, I never see her. And I'm back to my (mostly) quiet morning bus rides.  

So I guess it makes every day a bit of an adventure. I never know who I might end up talking to or whose abridged life story I might end up hearing. Hey, at least I'll have good character insights if I ever write a book, right?

Ok off to finish The Holiday. I loooooove Jude Law's character (swoon).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nothing much.

I don't really have a lot to say today...nothing much happened. I went to work, used all my willpower to resist a Starbucks run (I try to only go once a week),  struggled with a ridiculously hard crossword puzzle, contemplated my future for a bit, went to Pilates, bought a green dress at Urban Outfitters (see above) and then watched The Biggest Loser.

Fantastic show by the way...but that Vicky is such a jerk! What is her problem?! She and Heba...geesh. 

I recently took the plunge and signed up for DVR when I moved into my current apartment. I can honestly say that it has changed my life...probably not for the better. I have become addicted to TV during the week...

Monday: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill,  John and Kate + 8 (I LOVE that family) and sometimes 17 and Counting (the Duggars are so odd and fascinating to watch)
Tuesday: The Biggest Loser
Wednesday: America's Next Top Model and Stylista (sometimes)
Thursday: The Office, 30 Rock (just starting to get into it) and Grey's Anatomy

Not to mention the other shows I love like My Fair Wedding, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Passport to Europe, True Life (yes, the one on MTV), Say Yes to the Dress, What Not to Wear, etc.

Kind of crazy..but I'm hooked.

And I also can't stop listening to Bella's Lullaby from the Twilight soundtrack. It is SO good.

I'm thinking about going to the midnight showing of Twilight next week...is that crazy? I know I'll be super tired the next day at work, but I am dying to see the movie, so I think I just might. Maybe I'll hit up Starbucks and then go. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

"It's so nice to meet you. Can I have a hug?"

I love celebrities...the gossip, the fashion, the "stars are just like us" section in US Weekly, the drama, excitement...it fascinates me. But the thing I love most of all? Hearing people's stories about meeting/seeing celebrities in the real world. That's when you find out how they really are...if they're nice, total druggies, way hotter in person, so not as cute in real life, etc. 

Up until I was 19, the only "famous" person I had ever met was Steve Kerr from the Chicago Bulls...hey, he played with Michael Jordan. But to me, that just was not cool enough. I envied my friends who had great stories about meeting Zachary Ty Bryan getting off a plane, seeing Danny Devito going through security at the airport or running into Lance Bass and Joey Fatone in an alley in Chicago...though those definitely aren't the coolest celebs around, it was still something to talk about.

But that all changed October of my sophomore year in college. As I headed back to my dorm room one fateful autumn afternoon, I glanced at the slew of fliers taped to the walls of the hallway. And one of them literally jumped out at me. It was advertising a rally for John Kerry for his upcoming election (yes, it was 2004)....with special guest star JAKE GYLLENHAAL!! I was SO excited. I had just seen Donnie Darko the week before and totally fell for him. He played a completely dark and twisted character, but he looked so darn hot doing it. I just HAD to meet him.

I immediately ran to my friend's room and told her we had to go. She was already planning on it. I felt a teeny tiny bit guilty because at that time, I am very ashamed to admit that I could have cared less about politics. But, I thought I could fake it for the night and be all about John Kerry.

So that night, after taking a long time selecting the right outfit and making sure my hair and makeup were perfect, my friend and I headed over to the Union to see Jake Gyllenhaal...oh and root for Kerry, too.

The Union was FILLED with girls. It was hilarious. And every single one, myself included, was clutching a camera nervously and grinning ear to ear. We all eventually sat down in front of a makeshift stage and had to listen to the College Dems give their little speech about voting (yes, I did vote that year).

And then Jake Gyllenhaal came in...and I nearly bit my lip off trying not to scream with excitement. The teenybopper in me was threatening to jump out of my skin.

So he gave a little speech about John Kerry and voting. And I was very, very surprised to learn that he was not a good public speaker. I don't know if he was drunk or high or tired or what...but he was all over the place. I think at one point he was like, "Oh man! You like just have vote. Just f'ing vote! For John Kerry! Because he is...awesome." It's a good thing he gets to use a script for his job. Not that any one was really listening to him...I couldn't stop staring at him. He was sooo handsome...MUCH better looking in person.

After his speech, they gave everyone the chance to line up and meet him. I started getting SO nervous. So what did I do to pass my time in line? I called my sister and practically shouted, "I am about to meet Jake Gyllenhaal! He is so hot!" To which my sister said, "Who?" and I replied, "Donnie Darko! Boy in the Bubble! I am pretending to like John Kerry to meet him!" I realized I sounded way too giddy, really crazy and was being way too loud, so I immediately ended the conversation.

As we got closer, we noticed everyone was just shaking his hand. So the random girl in front of me decided to put an end to that. When it was her turn, she marched right up to him and asked for a hug...and he actually hugged her.

And then it was my turn. And naturally, I wanted a hug. (well actually, I really want to jump on him and make out with him in front of everyone, but that would just be crazy and get me arrested). As I stepped up to him and took one look into those blue eyes of his, my heart nearly melted. "Hi...Jake" I said in a whisper. "Hey, how's it going?" he said with a smile. I think I stared for a minute, just taking him in. He not only looked good, but he smelled good, too.

Then I said, "It's so nice to meet you. Can I have a hug?" Yes. I actually said that. So he laughed and said, "Wow, look what that last girl started." And then reached out and HUGGED ME. It was the best hug of my entire life. Ok that's exaggerating...but it was definitely top five. It was close, it was tight and it was hot. Then he let go and we took a couple pictures together and then I had to leave (sigh). My friend met him next and got to talk to him for a good 5 minutes, the lucky duck. She pretended to be confused by the voting process...what a good ploy.

So yes, I met Jake and I hugged him and it was amazing. And yes, the little teenybopper inside me just knows that if he saw me again he'd remember me and totally want to date me...HA. No, no I love that he's dating Reese Witherspoon...mainly because if there was ever a movie made about my life, I'd want her to play me.

Below is the proof that I actually met him...Yes, I look terrible and yes, my cheeks are red because I blush like crazy when I get nervous...and I tend to sweat a lot. I was so nervous I think the entire campus could hear my heart beating...

Wow, my hair looked awful...but look! His cheek is resting on mine and his arm is around me. SWOON. 

Does anyone out there have any fun celebrity stories they'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My radiator makes me laugh

Buddy: "There's a horrible noise coming from the evil box underneath the window. It sounds like this. EEEEEEEEHHHAAAAAAHHHHHH"
Walter: "It's... It's, uh... It's not evil, Buddy. It's a radiator and the heat makes noise when it comes on."
Buddy: "No, it doesn't. It... It's very evil. It's scary to look at. It's... Okay, I'm going... Oh wait, yes, it is. Okay, it's okay. it's okay, everything's fine. You were right."

I had never experienced the joys of a radiator before I moved into my current apartment. The first time it went on was about 4am on a random weekday morning. It scared the hell out of me. First I thought someone was breaking in to my apartment, then I thought my apartment was flooding with rushing water. When I finally got the nerve to get up and investigate, I realized that it was just the radiator. 

And from then on, every single time I hear the radiator go on, I think of that quote from Elf...and it makes me laugh.

Shoot, now I want to watch Elf again. I LOVE  that movie... 

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I feel awful this morning. And I think my body hates me.

So I went out last night...yeah. I hadn't been out in a few weeks, so I decided to make up for lost time. Bad idea.

I had a great time, but oh man...this morning I am hurting. A lot. And in a couple hours, I have to be up, dressed and ready to go to a huge family party. My boyfriend is driving down, my grandma and all my aunts, uncles and cousins are coming into town and my parents are driving in from the burbs.

Uggggh. I love my family, but right now I want to crawl under my covers, finish watching Rookie of the Year and slowly drift off to sleep.

And on top of it all, I cannot get this song out of my head:

That commercial is on ALL the time. I enjoy it the first couple times I see it because it means Christmas is on the way...but after that, the little jingle gets stuck in my head. Much like the Daisy sour cream jingle, "do do do do do do a dollop".

My grandma took all the girls in the family to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular last year when it was in Chicago...and I didn't like it. I know, I know, that sounds terrible, but I thought it was cheesy! I am big fan of the classics, like the Holiday Pops and The Nutcracker. And when people dressed in teddy bear costumes came out and danced to The Nutcracker at the Radio City show, I was shocked...and a little annoyed. Teddy bear costumes? Really Why? It ruined it... Yes, the Rockettes were pretty cool, but the show was just all over the place. And the living Nativity? Also cool...but bizarre. Camels? Donkeys? Woooow...I didn't know what to expect, but that sure wasn't it.

Ok enough being grumpy, I better go shower and try to perk up...yikes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's getting cold out there...

So here's to thinking warm thoughts...
(photo taken last November in Ixtapa...one of my favorites)

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So the craziest thing happened to me yesterday...

It was late yesterday afternoon, about the time I usually zone out and stop being productive, and I was really ready for the day to be over. I was chatting it up on gchat (the best thing ever, by the way) when a new message popped up from my friend, one of the fabulous ladies from Working Girl , one of my very favorite blogs.

I read her message..and then my jaw dropped to the floor.

WG: hey
marie claire magazine just e-mailed working girl
asked for your # and e-mail
they want to interview you on being gutsy and handing your resume to your boss for a feature they are doing about getting
jobs in different ways

me: WHAT?!
shut up

WG: yea

me: you're kidding right?

WG: no
i'll forward you the e-mail

So she did. And it was real. I gave her my contact info to pass on and then I sat in shock for about 5 minutes, just staring at my computer. I felt like my heart was pounding through my chest. I got nervous/anxious/excited/happy/more nervous in a span of about 10 seconds. These kinds of things NEVER happen to me. Ever.

Within the hour I had a new voicemail on my phone. Because my phone doesn't always work in my office building (or at all), I had to wait until after work to run outside and check the message. My heart was fluttering, my palms were sweaty and I was ready to scream with excitement.

After dodging the long lines in front of Tribune Tower, which I later waited in to buy the Chicago Tribune with the incredible Obama victory as the feature story, I found a stone bench, plopped down and listened to the message. It was the features editor from Marie Claire. She hoped I would be interested and asked me to call her back immediately. She hoped I would be interested? Ha. OF COURSE I WAS!

After 10 very intense minutes of phone tag, we finally connected. She was so nice and like the giddy girl I am, I think I kept saying "Wow, this is seriously so cool!" and "I can't believe this!". You would have thought I just won the lottery or found out Jim Halpert was real or made out with Justin Timberlake or something. God only knows how I would react if any of those things happened..

So I told her the whooole story about how I landed my first (and only) job.... Long story short, fall of my senior year in college, we had a speaker in class who was a creative director at a small Chicago ad agency, a place where I wanted to work when I graduated. So I whipped up a cover letter, updated my resume and at the suggestion of my Dad, walked right into class that day and handed him my resume...before even really meeting him. He was so surprised that I did that, especially since he hadn't even talked to the class yet. He ended up emailing me a few times over the year, and then out of the blue, after I had graduated, he emailed me again asking me if I wanted to interview for junior copywriting position. I did...and now he's my boss.

I suppose it was gutsy...but at the time, I was acting solely on nerves. I still remember how nervous I was to do that...

You can read the original post I wrote here. It was the first blog post I had ever written and I was a nervous wreck to write it.

Yes, I am a nervous person.

So anyway, she said the story was great, asked me to send her a picture of myself and said she would send me a copy when it was printed. I rushed home, found an appropriate picture with the help of my friends (I hope they crop out the purple party beads), and sent it over.

She sent me the very short write-up...more like a shoutout...today and it sounded great. A few too many exclamation points for my taste, but I'll let it slide. ;)

So yeah...I'm going to have a tiny quote and pic in the January issue of Marie Claire. How crazy is that?! It seriously just made my entire month. No wait, better than that. It made my entire season...as in fall. Move over Pumpkin Spice Latte, Marie Claire has you beat.

For this great honor, I'd like to thank the wonderful girls of Working Girl. I love your blog...it's clever, fun, witty and very informative. You do an amazing job and you definitely help me procrastinate at work, so thank you.

I'd also like to thank my cell phone for not dropping my calls for once, and the Chicago Tribune for reprinting the paper yesterday so I could finally get a copy. Woo!

A night to remember

Absolutely amazing.