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 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. 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 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, 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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'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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I love America

Well, today I do. A whole lot.

After I studied abroad in Ireland, I think I lost a little of my appreciation for my country when I saw how amazing the rest of the world is (sorry, USA).

But now I'm back and loving it more than ever (well, sort of).

I was so proud to vote this morning (Woo Obama) and was practically giddy with excitement all day, wishing tonight would come faster. I can't wait to see how the night pans out...especially since Obama's big rally is happening right here in Chicago. The city has been buzzing all day and it's absolutely contagious.

So now that the night is finally here, I'm off to my friend's apartment to drink some tasty drinks and watch the night unfold. I never thought I would get this excited about politics, but I am...and it feels good.

So break out the patriotic tunes, American flags and the bubbly. Happy election night, everyone!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Workin' on a sugar buzz

Ross: Someone sent us a basket at work once, and people went crazy over those little muffins. It was the best day.
Chandler: Your work makes me sad.

Welcome to my office.

Whenever anyone brings in candy or some kind of baked good, people go NUTS. It's like they've never seen food before. Everyone gets all cheerful and chatty and it becomes the talk of the office. It's pretty funny.

So that lovely little quote from Friends was running through my head all day as I watched my coworkers go bananas over the plethora of sweets in our office today.

Of course, I was right there with them. And even worse, IT WAS ALL SITTING NEXT TO MY DESK.

At 8:51 this morning, I got to the office, walked to my cubicle and stopped dead in my tracks. The counter space next to my desk was FILLED with candy. I nearly went into a sugar coma just looking at it. There was a huge bowl filled with all the Halloween candy rejects and leftovers from my coworkers' kids and houses, etc. It was overflowing with big bags of peanut butter M&Ms and candy corn and cookies...the counter was completely covered.

And then I heard my coworker laugh. She must have seen my shocked expression. She just smiled and said, "Check out the kitchen, Pam.".

So I quickly grabbed my "healthy" Lean Cuisine to throw in the freezer, and practically sprinted to the kitchen.

And there on the kitchen counter was the most beautiful display I have ever seen before 9 o'clock on a Monday morning. There were BOXES of huge cupcakes covered in creamy chocolate and vanilla frosting and dotted with lovely little sprinkles. There was half a vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge in the middle and topped with chocolate icing and bright white whipped cream frosting. And there was a huge bag filled to the brim with dark chocolate-dipped marshmallows. Amazing.

Needless to say, my mouth was watering. I've never wanted a cupcake so badly in my entire life.

But like a good girl, I stayed away all morning. Actually, so did all my coworkers. Every time I was in the kitchen, there would be at least 3 other people staring longingly at the heavenly assortment, commenting on how delicious it all looked. But no one would touch them. I think everyone was overwhelmed. There was literally enough food to feed 100 people (my company only has 25).

The mystery of the baked goods was soon resolved. Apparently one of the senior people in my company threw a huge birthday party for herself and had so many leftovers she decided to bring them in to share. I didn't know whether I should thank her or beg her to take them away.

So instead of eating a cupcake, I thought I'd just eat some candy instead. Bad idea. I ate waaay too many fun-size Snickers and Kit Kats and Reese's Whips (which are weird, by the way). And since I sit next to the candy bowl, every time I heard someone reaching in to grab something, it made me want another piece. I have a huge weakness for Halloween candy, I can't help it.

Finally, after lunch, I saw my coworkers finally eating the cupcakes and I decided to give in and try half a vanilla cupcake...and a tiny little sliver of the sheet cake.

Surprisingly, I didn't like the cupcake at all. It was waaaay too sweet, and for someone who loves sweet things as much as I do, that's really saying something. It was no Magnolia Bakery cupcake, that's for sure. I only took two bites and then threw the rest away (hey, there were still 50+ uneaten cupcakes in the kitchen!) But the sheet cake was AMAZING. It was the perfect level of sweetness. Yum...I hope there is still some left tomorrow.

And now after I've spend the entire day eating candy, I still feel like I have a sugar buzz. But oddly enough, I'm craving something sweet now. Ugh.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Clark Kent is to Superman as Pam is to...

I'm baaaack. It's Sunday night and it feel likes WAY later than it actually is because it's been dark for ages already. It's going to take a couple days to get used to the time change...

Anyway, I had a wonderful weekend in Milwaukee with my boyfriend. We hit up a few of my favorite Milwaukee hotspots (ha), went to an amazingly touristy apple orchard and finally got to enjoy conversations lasting longer than 5 minutes (I hate you, cell phone).

And I was SO excited when I realized that not one, but TWO radio station in Milwaukee are already playing Christmas music 24/7. Though I agree it is a bit too early for that, I was still insanely jealous. The Holiday Lite doesn't come on until 11/22 here...darn it. I am so ready to get in the holiday spirit! Oh wait...I think I already am.

I got back early this afternoon (woohoo Amtrak) and my day has been way too stressful for a Sunday. I blame it all on my phone. First I was talking to my sister and she couldn't hear a word I was saying and when she finally could hear me, the phone dropped my calls. It happened about 3 times. Then a voicemail from my Mom magically appeared on my phone from hours before...she was wondering why she couldn't get through to me. Then my sister called back and still couldn't hear I picked up my phone and chucked it at the wall (I was just a little frustrated). And the damn thing didn't break. Wishful thinking, I guess.

And since then, it dropped me 4 times while I talked to my Mom for 20 minutes, and dropped me again while I was talking to my boyfriend. When we finally did get to talk, the line was so garbled I couldn't understand him. SO FRUSTRATING.

So I am currently trying to figure out if it is my AT&T service that is failing me or if it's just my phone being a huge pain in the bum. I really, really want to get an iPhone soon so I'm hoping that it's not AT&T. I also heard that even if AT&T isn't the best service, the iPhone tends to get really good reception if anyone out there has any experience with AT&T, iPhones or anything like that, please let me know! I need advice!

While I wasn't dealing with the phone from hell today, I was out running around like a crazy lady with my sister. We are going to a superhero party in a couple weeks and we both need costumes. The invitation says we can dress as superheroes, villains or a create-your-own costume pertaining to the theme.

So we have been discussing this ALL week since we knew we needed to get costumes ASAP before the Halloween stores close. I suggested we dress up as the Wicked Witch of the East and the Wicked Witch of the West. It would be easy and they were villains...but apparently that wasn't "superhero-y" enough.

If you think about it, there are barely any female superheroes/villains. Super Girl? Lame. Wonder Woman? Eh. Bat Girl? Really? Cat Woman? I refuse to wear a spandex body suit.

I REALLY wanted us to dress up as Hermey the Elf Dentist and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...even though he's a reindeer, he is TOTALLY a superhero. He flies, he has a hot red nose AND he single-handedly saved Christmas. How else was Santa supposed to get through the blinding snow to deliver presents to all the world's children? Pssh. Totally amazing, I think.

I was vetoed. Still not superhero-y enough. Four stores and two hours later, my sister decided to be Mighty Mouse. And I still have no costume. I want to be cute, but not slutty. And if I'm going to spend money on a costume, I want it to include something that I can wear a cute dress.

So right now, I'm thinking I could be Poison Ivy from the Batman series (I LOVE green and I'm already looking for a green dress for the holidays anyway) or the Wicked Witch of the West (already have a perfect black dress). The problem with Poison Ivy is that I need to be able to find fake ivy to pin on me/put in my hair in the city...and with no car, that could be a problem. The problem with the second one is that after today, I'm pretty sure it will be nearly impossible to find a witch's hat in a store..and it's still not very superhero-y.

Oh well.

I need help. Does anyone have any good ideas as to what I can be? I could also create my own superhero costume, but I have NO idea where to go with that one...if you think of anything, please let me know! I'd love some help! :)