Monday, March 30, 2009

One happy island.

I am now officially obsessed with the Caribbean. Before my trip to Aruba, I had never actually seen white sand beaches or turquoise water. And once I realized how amazing it all is, I couldn't get enough. I felt like I was living in a postcard the whole time.


I wanted to hug the palm trees, but I was afraid a lizard would jump out and eat me.

My sister, Mom and I out on the town

Enjoying a delicious dinner at Madame Janette's (so good!)

So in order to squeeze a week's worth of travel tales in one neat little (ok not so little) post, I thought I'd highlight the important parts in a segment I'd like to call "Happy Learnings from One Happy Island":• Going on vacation with my Mom and sister means lots of sun time, lots of reading time and lots of relaxing time. Exactly what I needed.

• Snorkeling is fun. And sometimes dangerous, especially when you jump off the side of a sailboat into the middle of the ocean on a cloudy day, in a sea of very, very choppy water. When you're trying to stay afloat with 30 other snorkel-happy people, you might collide with someone. Head on. And end up with a cute little cut and egg-sized lump on your forehead. Thank goodness the crew onboard thought to douse my head in vodka to clean the cut. Vodka buuuurns. (And I walked around smelling like a dirty bar the rest of the day.)

• Playing the "guess what I am singing under the water" game never gets matter how old you are.

• The sound of waves crashing on the beach is so much better than an iPod.

• If I ever get a pet iguana, I'm naming it Bob because iguanas love to bob their heads. There are oodles of head-bobbing iguanas all over Aruba and they love to lounge in the sun. Hence, the "lounge lizard" phrase.

• If a 73-year-old couple suggests a fun outing, they mean you'll end up at a "street festival" in the backyard of a cultural center watching little kids jazz dance and old people getting their kicks from an off-tune organ. And if you find yourself in such a place, it's not okay to burst out laughing (whoops), but it is okay to quickly sneak out the back.

• If you tend to talk wildly with your hands and feel the need to give a passionate speech about the Aruban economy in response to someone simply saying, "Aruba is beautiful", perhaps you shouldn't be a cab driver. It could result in very swervy driving, very wrong turns and very scared passengers. 

• Thong swimsuits are never appropriate. Especially on men. (shudder)

• I adore Aruba Aribas. Almost as much as I adore Strawberry Daqoladas, a hybrid of a Strawberry Daquiri and a Piña Colada. Mmm so good.

• Happy hour is so much better when tropical drinks are involved.

• It is a little creepy to see a huge missing persons case centered in Aruba resurface all over headline news when you're actually in Aruba.

• The Aruban airport is like a funhouse. Only not a fun funhouse. And it's important to remain patient while you wait in line 2 hours to even get to the check-in counter. And then while you wait in line another 2 hours to go through Aruban customs, one security check point, another security check point, a huge room full of luggage to pick up your screened luggage, a trip through U.S. customs, and yet another room to drag your luggage to the plane. It just makes leaving vacation that much more difficult...

• Don't try to smuggle a parrot home in your suitcase. It might have the bird flu (and that's clearly the only reason why it's a bad idea). The Aruban airport feels the need to tell passengers that with brightly colored posters hanging on EVERY wall.

• It's possible to take 3 million pictures of sunsets and only about 5 of actual people. See below:

Amazing. If you haven't been to Aruba, you should definitely go. It's warm, sunny and picture perfect every single day. I can't wait to go back...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From sand and sun to snow and sludge

I'm baaaaaaaack. And just in time for a springtime snow storm! Ew. I'm just glad I got back...yesterday's flights were ridiculously rough. 

Oh well! It was a wonderful vacation. I love, love, love Aruba. I had to practically be dragged off the beach yesterday morning to go to the airport. Bummer. And the Aruba airport was a trip in itself. Yikes. But more on that another time.

I'm working on a post with pics and stories of my travels, so check back soon! Here's a little preview:
 I want to go back...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If your cat is on drugs, that's not a good thing.

Last week, my coworker was telling me how she will be catsitting for her neighbor while she is out of town for a few weeks. To be completely honest, I'm not a big cat person, so I usually tune people out when they start going on about their precious kitty cats. Sorry, but I've never met a nice cat before...

Well anyway, the night before her neighbor left, my coworker had to go to her apartment to get trained on how to take care of the cats. Yes, trained. Apparently both cats are like 412-years-old and basically on life support. She has to give the cats a mixture of 7, yes 7, different prescriptions, 2 different kinds of shots, an IV and special mashed-up food.

Are you kidding me? First of all, I think it's crazy that the girl would leave her seriously ill cats with a neighbor and ask her to give her cat shots twice a day. I would vomit if I had to do that. Second of all, why are those cats even alive? I mean really, they sound sick! The girl even told my coworker that she wouldn't be surprised if one of the cats died while she was out of town. What?!

I don't mean to sound heartless. I love animals. Ok correction, I love dogs. And it's horrible to see them when they're suffering. Growing up, my family had an English Springer Spaniel named Chelsea. When she was 12 we noticed bumps on her skin, took her to the vet and found out that she had very aggressive skin cancer. After a couple of days, we realized how much pain she was in and put her to sleep. It was so sad, but it would have been worse to keep her alive and in pain.

After Chelsea, we had Maisy, a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. She was essentially my dog. We got her my sophomore year in high school and I absolutely adored her. But during my senior year of college, my Mom called to tell me that Maisy had been acting very lethargic, so she took her to the vet for tests. The results were devastating (ok I might cry as I type this, why the hell am I telling this story?) Her kidneys were almost completely diseased and quickly failing. The vet said we could put her on dialysis and keep her alive for another year or so, but that would be it. It was heartbreaking. As we saw our little Maisy getting slower and weaker every day, we decided to put her to sleep. And it turned out the day she went down was her 6th birthday. Yeah, she was only 6...

Ok wow, now I'm all teared up over here. Anyway, the point is that I can't imagine watching your beloved pets suffer. The girl's cats are basically on life support and now my coworker is responsible for keeping them alive. She was given an 8 page guide for the cats, including lengthy descriptions of their personalities. One was described as weak, grouchy and old; the other is rickety, skinny and doesn't eat. Hmm...sounds like my coworker is in for a fun time!

But who am I to judge, right? She must be very attached to them. I only hope they aren't suffering too much...

And on a happier note, my parents do have two happy, healthy little misfit mutts right now that keep us all quite entertained. Aww Rufus and Nellie. So cute.

Also, this reminds me that I really need to tell you all the story of how I was asked to proofread a 3-page cat obituary once at was probably one of the funniest moments of my life.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why Cream of Wheat makes me cringe

Apparently I've been obliviously saying dirty things since I was little. I was recently (and ever so kindly) reminded that my pineapple chicken and frozen lemonade slip-ups were definitely not the first times I've blurted out something wildly inappropriate in a very public setting.

When I was growing up, I went to Northern Wisconsin on vacation with my whole family (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc). Every single summer we all packed up our cars and headed up north for a week at this wonderfully run-down resort (kind of like a rustic version of Dirty Dancing). My Mom and her family had been going since she was 12, so the place was pretty much in our blood. We LOVED it there.  Sadly, the place shut down two years ago and we were all devastated.

The resort was known for having handsome college-aged waiters. And when girls vacationing there were in high school and college, it was their turn to party with the waiters—sneak up to their cabin at night, steal food from the kitchen, drink on the tennis courts—AKA be a total badass (ha). I definitely had my days, but that's a story for another time.

So when I was 10, my sister was at the "party with the waiters" stage and I thought she was SO lucky. Our waiter that year, Pete, was SO cute and I had the biggest crush on him. I'd blush (of course) every time he talked to me. And I desperately wanted to grow up faster so I could be cool like my sister and hang out with him.

One morning, Pete came over to take my breakfast order and I wasn't prepared. I was too lost in a daydream starring me and him to think about food. So I quickly blurted out:

"I want some Cream of Pete"

He immediately burst out laughing. I quickly became embarrassed, but I didn't know why. And unfortunately, the whole table heard what I said. Everyone was laughing hysterically, but no one would explain to me what was so funny. So being the total crybaby I was, I burst into tears and ran out of the dining hall. I was totally mortified. 

After that day, Cream of Wheat officially became known as "Cream of Pete" in our family. And every year we vacationed there, the story was repeated over and over again. Even to this day, if I'm out with my siblings and see it on a menu, I'll always get a "Look, Pam! Want some Cream of Pete?"

The saddest part? I didn't get what the heck "Cream of Pete" meant for another 6 or 7 years (I was very sheltered), even after being tormented by the story every summer. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what was so funny about my tiny verbal slip-up. 

No worries. I get it now. What a dirty kid I was...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Aruba, Jamaica, ooo I want to take you...

Get those tropical drinks and sunbeams ready, Aruba. Here I come!

Tomorrow is my last day of work for a whole glorious week.  Then I'm heading up to my parents' house in the 'burbs tomorrow night to see my Dad (who will just be getting back from Shanghai), see my dogs and do my final preparations for the big trip. 

My Mom, sister and I will head to the airport bright and early Saturday morning to begin our "spring break" in Aruba. Woooo spring break! It's going to get rowdy!! Or not. All I really want to do is lay on the beach, squish my toes in the sand, and sip an icy piña colada with a little umbrella in it. Oh and maybe hug a palm tree or two (bad habit of mine). I've never been to the Caribbean before, so I'm really excited. 

I've been listening to Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley all week to put me in the mood and boy, has it worked. Probably a little too much. I'm pretty sure my coworkers are ready to shoot me since I've had a huge smile on my face since yesterday. Whoops.

And tonight I've been scrambling to do my last minute preparations. I did all my dishes, sobbed as a I watched Grey's Anatomy and wrote this lovely little post. I still have to update my iPod, have a little summer clothes fashion show with myself and figure out which bag to use as my carry on. Yikes! So much to do. I already know I'll over-pack by a ton (I always do), but I'm okay with that. You just never know what you'll want to wear, right? Last night I got so excited about unearthing my summer clothes that I literally threw every sundress, short-sleeved shirt, tank top, etc in my suitcase. So I guess I kind of need to do a little unpacking now...

But anyway, I'll be in Aruba for a week. Don't worry though, I won't leave you hanging. I wrote a couple of posts to you keep entertained while I'm away. And I think they're pretty good, if I do say so myself. Oh and never fear, I promise not to go follow any Dutch boys into the sea or whatever (it's a little creepy how many people have warned me of that...)

Oh well. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm obsessed with green

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In honor of my second favorite holiday, I thought I'd post some of my very favorite pictures featuring the star of the day: Ireland (well, kind of...sorry, St. Patrick)
Second trip to the Cliffs of Moher

View from the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary

View from the side of the road near Dingle
Sheep. Lots and lots of sheep everywhere you go.

I miss Ireland. I can't wait to go back one day. Everything is just so green and vibrant and lovely...

Ok wow, sorry, got all nostalgic there. 

So now I have a question for all of you. Since I'm heading on vacation on Saturday, I need some good books to read. While I normally love reading Jodi Picoult and Phillipa Gregory books, I'm looking for something a little bit lighter and and a whole lot funnier this time (not that I don't love balling my eyes out on the beach). Maybe chick lit (love Shopaholic) or maybe not...I just want an easy, fun beach read that keeps me entertained. 

So if anyone has any good suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Thanks a million!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I need the world's largest stress ball

I'm just going to apologize in advance for being completely MIA this week. 

I leave for Aruba on Saturday. And usually the whole week before I go on vacation, I'm completely checked out. Head in the clouds, day dreaming of palm trees, just floating through the days. 

This week? Not so much. Work has been insane. Like literally, it has never been this busy before. Ever. On top of that, the senior copywriter (who I work a ton with) is out starting Wednesday and won't be back until the follow Wednesday. And since I'm out all next week, our vacation time overlaps. Meaning....I have to get EVERYTHING done by 5pm Friday. On top of it all, everyone else from the creative team, my boss included, will be out Wednesday, the same day we have about 5 projects due. 

So my coworker and I sat down to map out everything we need to do and I was feeling good. But as soon as I walked away from our meeting, my other coworker informed me that we had 2 new jobs (with multiple parts) due by Friday. I was ready to scream.

Ok yes, yes I'm rambling. Sorry. I'm just like a giant ball of anxiety right now. I know it will get done and I'm happy to be busy, but yikes. I guess I really have to work for my time off, right?

Anyway, please excuse me while I scream into my pillow. I need to let off a bit of steam. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Green beer is magically delicious

Have I mentioned how much I love St. Patrick's Day? I absolutely adore it. Next to Christmas, it's my favorite holiday. It's all green and Irishy and lively—what's not to love? 

Yesterday was the big day of festivities in Chicago and it was a total blast. I started my morning with Starbucks, eggs, bacon and beer at 10am. And I didn't get home until about 1:15am. After consuming my body weight in green beer, I'm not even sure how I made it. But it was a beautiful day, everyone was in festive spirits and I soaked up every minute. Plus, the midday drunk food run to McDonald's helped out a bit, too. It gave me the push I needed to go to the  Gaelic Storm concert at House of Blues last night. The band just kept playing and playing and playing for almost 3 hours. Amazing. And now I really, really want to play the fiddle.

Anyway, I'll be sure to share more stories tomorrow...maybe about the horrible fashion I witnessed yesterday (thigh high socks are never good, especially not with white booty shorts) or about the Indiana Jones-wannabe at the concert who kept trying to do an Irish jig. But for now I need to head to bed. I've been a waste of space all day. Actually, I was very productive because I had to run a million errands, but my head was in the clouds all day long. It was kind of like I was just floating through the day like a little space cadet.

I'll leave you with a picture that pretty much sums up my day yesterday:

That would be me and my boyfriend trying to recreate the weird statues at the Rock and Roll McDonald's. Wow, that female statue's jeans sure aren't flattering at all, if you know what I mean. Yikes. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What the hell is Willis Tower?

Well, that would be the new name of the Sears Tower.

Are you kidding me?! They are renaming one of the most identifiable buildings in the world and THE icon of Chicago? When I think of the Sears Tower, it doesn't even occur to me that it was once named after Sears department store. It's like Wrigley Field—the name just fits. And for most Chicagoans, I doubt they think about sticks of gum before setting foot inside to see a Cubs game. 

So some British company called Willis Holdings managed to get their hands on the naming rights and BAM! we now have Willis Tower. Damn you, Brits, why did you have to do that? You just stole a piece of Chicago. I love your accents, your princes (the young, studly ones) and your tea, but that's it. Now I'm a bit mad at you for swooping in and taking our beloved Sears Tower.

I'd rather think of it as being named after the older brother on Different Strokes. And Chicagoans, I guess we better prepare ourselves to hear a whole lot of people say, "What you talkin' about Willis?" I've already heard that about 16 times over the last 24 hours. Oh well, I'm sure everyone will still call it the Sears Tower. I know I will. Willis just doesn't seem like a name that will stick. At all. 

This morning as Starbucks I was discussing the name change with my coworker. As we were waiting for our drinks, I said loudly, "Those damn Brits make themselves look like asses by swooping in and changing the name..."

Before I could finish my sentence, the guy standing next to me leaned over to get something from the counter. He grabbed his drink, turned to look at me and said, "Excuse me, that's my drink". In a VERY thick British accent. The way he looked at me, I knew he heard what I said. Whoops. But really, out of all the people in Chicago, the guy standing next to me had to be British? I have very interesting luck. 

And speaking of luck, tomorrow is the big day o' St. Patrick's Day fun in the city. I can't even wait. I'm getting up bright and early to go see the bright green river (love it), watch the parade, listen to fun music, drink endless amounts of green beer and soak up all the amazing Irishness. It's finally a day (well weekend in this case) where everyone shares my intense love of all things Irish. And then tomorrow night I'm heading down to House of Blues to see Gaelic Storm. Amaaaazing.

My thoughts exactly.  Happy early St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not-so-Kodak moments, European style

The other day I was feeling all nostalgic and decided to look through the pictures I took while I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland in fall 2005. And they made me laugh out loud. So I thought I'd share some of my favorite bizarre pictures, since everyone likes looking at pictures, right? If not, just pretend. 

Please note: These were taken over 3 years ago. My hair was frizzy and terrible (hey, it rains A LOT in Ireland) and I gained about 20 pounds over the course of my 4 months there, which you might notice in the pictures. Sick, I know, but we ate and drank to our heart's content, so I'm surprised it wasn't more.

Pretending to sleep at an ancient burial ground in the Burren. We were trying to be peaceful, but I couldn't stop laughing. And now I'm afraid my mockery earned me a one-way ticket to hell. Whoops. Next time I'll just stick to snapping pictures of the painted sheep.

This was taken at Dropkick Murphy's pub in Edinburgh. We saw the "craic" sign (a gaelic word for "fun", pronounced like "crack") and thought it would be fun to pose with it. But apparentlyI didn't get the memo to flash rockstar fists. Instead, I mimed snorting crack. As in the drug. Can you even snort crack? I don't know, I'm super anti-drug, which is why this picture was extra bizarre. 

This little beauty was taken at the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. We thought we'd look cool and snap a pic of us taking our first sip. Only, that was the first time I'd ever tried Guinness and clearly you can tell by my face how much I liked it. I look like I might vomit into my glass. 

After pleading with my brother to take this very touristy shot in Leuven, Belgium (where he lived at the time), he finally agreed. That right there is an actual grilled cheese vending machine. I kid you not. Is that not the coolest thing you've ever seen? I was amazed. And it pops one out in 60 seconds! I was dragged away before I could actually buy one (I was told they were sketchy). Bummer. 

Oh how I miss the scary European cigarettes packages. Not that I've ever smoked before, but they always amused me...until I came across this one in London. It was a bit depressing for me and after a long night of drinking, I just had to have a picture with it. It says, "Smoking can cause a slow and painful death." Yikes. Just say no, kids.

Munich was full of these crazy painted lions. Each one had a theme (the Santa one was my fav), but when we found this one, we couldn't figure it out. It was wearing makeup, a belt, daisy flip flops, rings, a bitten chocolate heart necklace that says "I love Munich", a checkered bib and it's holding a liter of beer. 

And as I typed that, I think I finally realized what it's supposed to be. An American. No wait...a trashy American woman. Hmm...

A totally classic pose in Paris. Being the cheeseballs we are, we had to take this pic. But it was only later that I realized we might have chosen one of the worst spots to do this. How nice that we thought to frame the lovely graffiti in the background. I think I might be one of the first people ever to make the Eiffel Tower look ghetto. Nice work.

There were oodles more, but I'll spare you tonight. Maybe one day I'll put up my favorite good pictures from Ireland and beyond. Or not. You'll just have to wait and see.

Have a great night everyone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Betrayed by the blush

My cheeks have a flair for the dramatics.

No, no, not those cheeks. I mean the ones that everyone sees, right on my face. The ones that are always a bright, rosy red from my constant blushing.  

You see, I blush really, really easily. Normal people usually just blush when in the presence of a cute guy or when giving a speech in school. Lucky ducks. I blush when my boss asks me a question, when my Pilates instructor corrects my form, when the guy working at Panera calls my name to give me my sandwich, when someone asks me for directions on the street, when the bus driver asks me to re-swipe my bus card...the list goes on and on. 

And if that's not bad enough, when I realize I'm blushing, I only get more embarrassed. Which of course, leads to a more intense blush. So by the time the interaction is finished, my face is beet red. No, worse than that. It's like the color of an embarrassed, sunburnt tomato suffering from scarlet fever and dressed head to toe in a beet red Snuggie. 

And of course, with my mix of German, Irish and Norwegian ancestry, I'm about as pale as they come. Oh wait, sorry, I'm porcelain. That sounds much a little doll that sits on a shelf for years collecting dust and secretly scaring the children of the house. Or not. But anyway, my nice white skin provides the perfect blushing canvas. So there's really no escaping it. 

It's amazing to me that they sell blush as make up. People actually want to look like they're constantly blushing? Hmm, yeah okay, I own some. And I wear it, too, but you probably couldn't tell. My natural blush tends to override the effect of the make up blush. Sad.

Oh and in the latest installment of "Pam Says the Darndest Things", I had a bit of an awkward and very blush-worthy moment today. 

My boss (who is very sarcastic, which always makes me nervous because I don't get sarcasm very easily) is going on vacation tomorrow so today was his last day at work for awhile. On my way out tonight, I stuck my head in his office to tell him to have a nice trip. He made some comment about how he can't wait to get sun because he's so pale. I was about to say, "Oh no you're not, your skin looks good," but then caught myself because that would sound borderline creepy. So instead, I giggled awkwardly, tripped over a couple of words and said way too excitedly (and with a kind of Popeye arm-swinging motion), "Oh you just gotta love that Vitamin D!" His response? A pity laugh. My response? A nice scarlet blush. 

And I'm supposed to be a witty copywriter. Yikes. Thank goodness for erasers and backspace buttons, that's all I can say.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Barbie bites the dust

After reading Cheryl's (of Confessions of a Twenty Something Year Old fame) post about a terrorizing Barbie story, it got me thinking about my own  crazy doll-ridden past.

When I was little, I used to love dolls. I made up long, dramatic stories for them, played with their hair and picked out cute outfits. I used to sit in my bedroom and in the "Barbie Room" (my house had a music room (aka only a piano) and that's where all my Barbie stuff ended up, hence the name) for hours, talking out loud, making up stories and playing with myself.

Wow. Not like that. I was a good, innocent kid.

My first doll was my Pamela doll. In a creepy, high-pitched computerized voice she'd say things like "Do you want play with me?" and "You are my special friend."And when you pushed her stomach, she'd giggle hysterically. Ok wow, I just realized how incredibly creepy that sounds. No wonder I have an obliviously dirty mind if I was hearing things like that as a little kid. But for a girl named Pam, she was the obvious choice for me. Creepy doll or not, us Pams have to stick together. And I loved her until I painted her toes and fingers hot pink and tried to crimp her hair. What a disaster. She looked like white trash Pamela by the time I was finished with her. And her purple and green overalls sure didn't help...

After Pamela, I was all about Barbie dolls. I thought they were the greatest things ever. I had a huge pink and white Barbie mansion, complete with a huge front balcony, walk-in closets and pink windows, a silver Barbie Corvette convertible, and even a hot pink Barbie shower that pumped real water (that's just opening a whole can of weird-Barbie-play worms). I think at one time I had almost the whole gang—Barbie (including the super cool Rockstar Barbie with the pink hairspray), Skipper, Theresa, Stacey (she was my fav), Todd and Ken.

Alas, my poor Ken. Late one evening when I was in second grade, my brother (who was in 6th grade) needed to finish a diorama that was due the next day. Of course, it was last minute and he had to make something involving a mummy. When my Dad and brother couldn't find anything good to use as the actual mummy, they kindly asked me to use my Ken doll. I tearfully said no, but then had to sit through a whole lecture about what it means to be a family. 

So that night, I watched through tears as my precious, hunky Ken doll was slathered up with glue and wrapped in cloth. It was a bit morbid actually. My brother promised he'd unwrap it when he got it back from the teacher so I could have him back, but he got an A+ on it (clearly due to Ken's good physique) and didn't want to destroy it. So sad. Luckily, my Mom let me pick out a new man doll and I soon became the proud owner of studly Prince Eric. Move over, Ariel. Barbie needs a new man.

I was all about my Barbie dolls for a long time. I used to sit up at night, thinking of wonderful stories of what Barbie could do the next day. It was a blast. And then one morning, I came downstairs early to play in my Barbie Room. I walked in the room, took one look at my precious Barbie dream house and screamed bloody murder.

My brother had taken 6 of my favorite Barbies and hung them all from the balcony and rafters of the dream house by little shoelace nooses.

I screamed and screamed and screamed some more. I really believed my beloved Barbies were dead. I woke up my whole family and threw a fit, while my brother just stood there laughing at me. Now he wasn't a morbid kid at all, but that was pretty dark. He got in big trouble and I was too afraid to play with my Barbies that day. Actually after that, I didn't play with them much at all. I was traumatized.

So then I moved on to American Girl dolls (the original Pleasant Company ones, thank you very much), which were way cooler by then. But that's a story for another day... Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

P.S. RIP Samantha Parkington. She was my first and favorite American Girl doll and it's a shame they're "archiving" her. Who else will befriend Nellie and take a ride in handsome Uncle Gard's new car?!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The 100th. And my obliviously dirty mind.

Well here we are. The one you've all been waiting for. The super duper 100th post. Can you believe it? I know I can't.  

Cue Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" and cliche image of a celebratory cupcake:
I thought long and hard about how I could make this post "special". So I thought I'd share with you the funniest (in my opinion) story I have. Well, two short stories actually. I keep them locked tightly in my brain so as not to humiliate myself. But for you, dear readers, I'll gladly pull them out.

Both stories have one thing in common: my obliviously dirty mind. Without intending to, I say some really inappropriate things at really inappropriate times. If you look at me, you’d never expect it. I’m like a straight up prep monster (so, really preppy). I’m totally traditional, really shy about a lot of things and just a tiny bit naïve. So basically, I'm like a blonde-ish Charlotte York. And I think that’s why when people hear these stories, they're a bit shocked. And that's what probably makes them a bit more amusing, too.

A couple summers ago, I went out to stay with my boyfriend and his family at their home in Massachusetts. I was there for about a week and then my family was flying out for a week to vacation at the Cape. So on my last night with his family, his parents took us out for a really nice dinner. I had this amazing pineapple chicken meal that I was kind of obsessed with it. And I was determined to savor every last bit.

So as everyone finished  eating, there was lull in the conversation. And in that quiet moment, I looked down and noticed I still had a piece of chicken left. My eyes lit up as I excitedly exclaimed,

“Oh, this little guy needs to come in my mouth right now!”

I kid you not. That is exactly what I said. Word for word. My boyfriend almost choked on his food. His kind, sweet, conservative parents pretended not to hear, but to this day, I think they wisely chose to ignore my outburst. I was so embarrassed. But at the same time, I was trying so hard not to laugh. I couldn’t even look at my boyfriend again for fear of causing a scene. So I sat staring down at the table, biting my lip and giggling quietly to myself. Yeah...I think his parents think I’m a bit of a head case.

So you would think after that embarrassing moment, I would learn to think before I speak. Not so much. 6 days later, I almost outdid myself.

By that time, my family has joined us out East and while we were all staying at the Cape, our families met up to go to a  Red Sox game together. Unfortunately, it happened to be the hottest day of the year. The heat index was 112 that day and we were sitting in direct sunlight in the outfield. So needless to say, it felt like I was wrapped in tin foil and sitting in a sauna in a giant oven on the surface of the sun. 

When the frozen lemonade vendor came around, I just had to have one. I didn’t even want to eat it, I just wanted to hold it. But of course, I cracked it open and shared it with my Dad. As we were eating it, my boyfriend leaned over and asked me how it was.  I told him it was nice and cold and said,

“It feels so good, I just want to stick it between my legs.”

For a minute, I didn't realize what I had said. My Dad paused, gave me a funny look and then quickly decided to ignore my statement. He must have thought I was hallucinating in the heat or something. My boyfriend immediately burst out laughing, and once again, I wanted to die of embarrassment. I meant to say that the cold cup felt good against my skin…but yeah, there was no salvaging that one. 

My lucky boyfriend got to witness both moments firsthand. He thinks they’re hilarious and LOVES to tell people. He regaled my cousins with the stories so now at every family gathering at least one person makes a hilarious joke about things coming in my mouth. Really classy, I know. My aunt and uncle had a field day with that one. 

And he even told his coworkers. When I met some of them for the first time at a holiday party, one of them smiled and said, “I hear you really like pineapple chicken.” And then they ALL laughed. I was mortified. Not that I minded, it is quite funny. But still. 

I'd like to say those are the only times I've made verbal slips, but that would be a lie. I won't even tell you about the time I commented out loud about the "huge pansies" in some city flower beds, only to notice (a bit too late) the gay men holding hands walking in front of me. I got a very dirty look for that one. Whoops!

So moral of the story: I need to think before I speak. And now I'm craving pineapple chicken again. Happy 100th everyone!

Monday, March 2, 2009

And in the most dramatic post in blogging history...

The season finale of The Bachelor is on tonight and I'm ridiculously excited. Probably a little too excited. I mean, I've read all the spoilers and rumors already (yeah, I'm a cheater) and if those are correct, I already know what's going to happen. But I can't help it, I am a total sucker. Will he choose Molly? Will he break Melissa's heart? Will Jillian be the next Bachelorette? O.M.G. Way too much excitement.

I'm really not sure why I like this show so much. It's totally staged, the success rate of the couples is about 1.2% (love Trista and Ryan), and ABC edits it all so much that there's hardly anything left. Yet I still get sucked in every time. EVERY SINGLE show has "the most dramatic rose ceremony yet" or "the most romantic one-on-one date in Bachelor history" or the "most drawn out pre-commercial build up to ever appear on any show, anywhere in the world". It's amazing. 

I wonder if the writers sit there with a giant Thesaurus next to them trying to think of new ways to say "dramatic" and "romantic". Oh wait, no they don't. That's how they describe every moment on the show. There really should be a drinking game for The Bachelor. Wow...that's actually a great idea. I bet I'd be passed out in my Snuggie before they even finished the "Here's what happened during the most dramatic season of The Bachelor ever" segment.

You just have to love Chris Harrison. He has the easiest and best job ever. Yes, he's the host of the show, but what does he really do besides those awesome, overly-dramatic, the-world-is-about-to-end voiceover previews? He stops in once in awhile just to say "hi" to The Bachelor and to of course kindly (and ever so dramatically) remind the girls that "this is the final rose". No kidding. Like those girls aren't staring at and obsessing over it as if their love lives depend on it.

Interestingly enough, my "prophesy" in my yearbook  senior year in high school was that I am "most likely to be the next Bachelorette". While that didn't happen (they don't let 18-year-olds sign up. Lame.), I do wonder if I'd ever do it if I was older, single and dying to be on a reality TV show. I just think it would  be kind of fascinating. Some of those dates are pretty cool. I'd love to jet off to New Zealand or fly over Las Vegas in a helicopter. Though I'm not sure I'd want all my family seeing me make out with handsome men in a hot tub on a nightly 

Anyway, to anyone watching the show tonight, enjoy! And if you'd like to discuss it, I'm all for it. I'll just be sitting here with my glass of red wine, willing the endless number of commercials to end faster so I can get some more crazy drama on my plate.  

P.S. Is anyone else really excited to see Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight? I love him...and his first guest, Justin Timberlake of course. 
P.P.S. I don't get the Jonas Brothers. At all. They are no *NSYNC, I'll tell you that much.
P.P.S.S. What is Rihanna thinking?! 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Damn you, lion.

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. Apparently, this March is coming in like an angry, mean, windy, snowy, icy, frigid lion. I can only hope it will leave as a bright, sunny, green, springy, flowery, happy little lamb. Ha, not going to happen. You can't tame a crazy lion in only 31 days. At least not here.

This year, spring officially starts on March 20th. But here in Chicago, it doesn't actually feel like spring until mid-May. Sure the biting cold wind-chills die out in late March (hopefully), but we still get snow, freezing rain and pretty cold temps for another couple of months.

So you think I would know this after living in Chicago (and Milwaukee for college) my whole life. But yesterday, I found myself SO excited that today was March 1st. March is a sign of hope for me. It's a sign that the short, freezing days of winter are almost behind us and that spring is on its way. 

This morning I woke up, jumped out of bed, ran to the window, threw open the shutters and peered into the depths of the early morning. Or more like...I crawled groggily out of bed, stumbled over to the window and tried to peek through the dusty blinds. And what did I see? A flippin' winter wonderland. Fluffy white snow swirling EVERYWHERE.

And of course, it was lake effect snow. Meaning it was coming straight off  lake and only hitting small parts of the Chicagoland area. My boyfriend drove home and said that 10 minutes away from my apartment the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. My Mom up in the 'burbs couldn't believe it was snowing—she, too, was enjoying a nice, sunny day. I felt like I was in one of those cartoons where the little rain cloud sits over your head and follows you around all day. Bummer.

Oh well, at least it's already March. We've got to be at least a tiny bit closer to spring now, especially since Daylight Savings is next weekend. Isn't that crazy? It will be nice to have it stay lighter longer though. And it's definitely getting me excited for my vacation. I'm going in less than 3 weeks and I've already I've started to check out a bit. Whoops.