Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I heart awkward moments

Last weekend was a total blast. I was here, there and everywhere from Chicago to Milwaukee, and back again. It was tons of fun, nice and relaxing, and chock full of awkward moments, which always make for great stories. 

Moment 1:  Friday night I was out in the suburbs with my parents for my uncle's concert. A little back story: My uncle is a friar and also a bit of a musical genius. He can play tons of instruments (harp is his favorite) and he composes absolutely beautiful music. (Oddly enough, NO ONE else in my family got his talents. Total bummer.)

So we were at his concert in the theater of a nearby university, and I was standing with my parents waiting to be seated, when the usher came over to us. She was an older lady and leaned over me to get a closer look at my Mom's ticket. Suddenly, I felt her hand take a swipe at my bum. Not just an accidental graze—it was an intentional feel. 

I was a teeny bit creeped out, but decided to ignore it. 

At intermission, I walked out to the lobby and realized the same usher was staring at me. Our eyes met and she immediately walked right over to me.

"May I rub your dress?" she asked, smiling up at me.

Uh. What?

Before I could respond, she reached down and forcibly petted—no wait, more like rubbed—my thigh. 

"Oh wow! That's real madras! All those squares are actually sewn together!" she exclaimed out loud. 

Of course, I blushed and nodded and my Mom, who caught the rub down, laughed awkwardly and steered me away from her. Yikes. Who knew madras could get such a rise out of old people? Guess I better rethink my plans to wear my madras dress any time soon.

Moment 2: Saturday night I drove up to Milwaukee to pick up J at the airport. He was coming back from a school trip to Germany, which involved him taking a handful of 15-year-olds to mix, mingle and learn history with German students of the same age. It was a very cool opportunity. 

I was so excited to pick him up, so I thought I'd get there early and run in to meet him at the terminal. Unfortunately, I was running a little late and he was running a little early. I pretty much threw my Mom's car (I don't have one. Sad.) into the parking garage and ran into the airport. 

So I practically skipped in, not really looking where I'm going, and found myself smack dab in the middle of a HUGE celebration for World War II vets who went to D.C. for the first time. I had no clue what was going on—I just saw hundreds and hundreds of people dressed head to toe in red, white and blue, waving American flags like their lives depended on it. And there I was, running through the crowd in my bright purple dress, not even realizing there's an intense display of patriotism going on around me. I obliviously marched right down the ceremonial walkway the families had created, still not noticing what I was doing. And when I finally realized where I was, it was a bit too late. I felt very, very purple, very naive and very anti-American. I almost wanted to scream out "I'm Canadian!" or something. It was super awkward. And the glares I got from people? YIKES. I felt like I should grovel at the feet of a bald eagle to make it up to them.

Moment 3: I had a good time at a wake. Er, wait, that sounds bad. More like I didn't have a bad time at a wake. And it made me feel really inappropriate. Long story short, my old grade school music teacher/musical theater director passed away last week. She was a lovely woman, so lively and full of positive energy. Everyone absolutely loved her.

On Sunday, I went to the wake with my Mom. Right off the bat, she ran into her old students, including the daughters of the woman whose wake it was. So it was fun to see how they all interacted after more than 30 years, and it made me see a whole new side of my Mom. 

And then we spotted the husband of one of the daughters. He's an actor who played a pretty important role (the groom) in a certain 90s movie I LOVE about a reluctant father getting ready for his daughter's wedding. He looked exactly the same as he did back then and it made me all giddy. And then I felt weird for feeling giddy and it was vicious cycle in my head the whole time. But anyway, it really was a lovely wake...and very touching, too. 

Sidenote: I seriously need to stop listening to "Will You Be There" by Michael Jackson, from the Free Willy soundtrack. It used to be my FAVORITE song when I was 7, and now it's hitting me all over again. And I keep waiting for a whale to jump over my head or something.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Moonwalkin' outta here

I'm gearing up for a super crazy, high energy, hella hectic week. Because in exactly one week, I'll be jetting off to Disney World with J and his parents!

His parents took us there in 2007 for our graduation. It took me about 10 minutes to convince him this would be a cute picture. He was right—it's not. But it does make me laugh.

I'm so excited to go. I've always loved Disney World. But what's even better is how much J and his parents love it. They're so much fun to go with because they love to do everything. And I mean everything. Last time we hit up 4 parks in one day (even though we were there for almost a week). Yes, it is possible. And the best part is that this year, we're staying at the Grand Floridian. That in itself has me giddy with excitement. Throw in Splash Mountain, a little Rockin' Rollercoaster and some Goofy love, and it's perfection (well...minus the screaming kids and blazing heat). 

Before I even think about packing, I have a TON to do. I've got a portfolio to whip up, a wake to attend, a boyfriend to pick up from Germany (ha, sounds so sketchy), a huge classical concert to go to, a brother and sister to say goodbye to (they're going to Africa), a volleyball game to play, tons of work to finish, dinner with friends, laundry, a million errands to run etc, etc. The list goes on and on.

It's always so hectic before vacation, isn't it? It's like the universe really makes you work for those days off. But it's definitely worth it. I can't even wait...

And in other news, well really the only news, what a sad day in the world of entertainment. First Farrah and now Michael Jackson? Yikes. And let's not forget about Ed McMahon earlier in the week. Bad things really do come in 3s! I feel like I jinxed it a bit. Just this morning, my coworker and I were discussing Farrah's death and I wondered out loud who would be next because of the rule of 3s. Whoops. 

I'm not going to lie, I've been sitting here all night watching MJ videos on YouTube. I just can't get enough of "Black and White" and "Will You Be There".  Even though he was a tad creepy in recent years, he was an amazing performer and he will surely be missed. 

And in other not-so-pressing news, did anyone see Shia LaBeouf on The Today Show? He was so sweet with one of his fans. It's so cute! He looks into her eyes and even just watching it makes my heart melt a little bit. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just call me Cookie Monster

That's me, only not just about cookies.

I have a dear friend who sometimes forgets to eat. She seriously just straight up forgets. And she's not the only friend I have that does that, which completely boggles my mind. Don't they get low on energy? Aren't they dragging? Aren't their stomachs growling loudly? 

Much like my dear friend Cookies Monster, I practically plan my days around eating. In the morning, I have a nice complete breakfast (it's silly and unhealthy to skip it!), then I pack a mid-morning snack (always fruit), a lunch (most of the time) and a mid-afternoon snack (usually a Kashi granola bar). I can honestly say, I have NEVER forgotten to eat. My stomach would be roaring if I let it go too long, anyway. It's very vocal like that.

I love my meals, and I'm all about snacking. Even when I'm not eating, I'm counting down to the next snack or meal. Who knows, maybe I have some odd oral fixation (wow, that doesn't sound good), because I always love to chew gum or have hard candy between meals, too. Maybe it stems back to all those years I used to suck my fingers as a kid...

And when I don't eat? Not a pretty sight. I become a snarling, raging, crabby, angry grump monster who snaps at anyone and everyone, and practically swats planes out of the sky. So I try not to let that happen. It's not like I need huge meals. All it has to be is a bowl of cereal or a granola bar and I perk up like a daisy in the sunlight. Happy and snappy with a nice full tummy. 

So moral of the story, if you ever see me being crabby, throw me a piece of gum or a cookie or something. 

Wow, I guess I'm like a dog—I respond well to treats. That's a bit sad...

And now I want a cookie.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This indecisiveness is killing me.

So, it's time to get personal. And a little serious. Because if I don't address what's bugging me, I might snap a little bit. 

Lately, I've been completely incapable of making a decision. And I mean any decision. From choosing an outfit for work to what drink I want at Starbucks, everything has been an impossible choice. I can barely stick to blogging topics anymore, hence the lack of posting. I couldn't even choose the place for my family birthday dinner last week. And last night, the thought of choosing which bar to go with my friends nearly made me skip out on the whole night. At the sound of "It's up to you", I completely panicked. My heart started thumping, I began to sweat and I just kept saying, " I don't care, I don't care, " which was a lie.

I don't know what is wrong with me. I've always been indecisive about little stuff, but this is getting out of control. Lately, when I'm faced with a decision, it's like my mind shuts down. I get defensive, grumpy and really panicky. And I get really anxious and terrified that if I make the wrong choice, someone will get mad or be unhappy with me. It's like I've laid out a path of eggshells all around me, and I'm scared to make even one small move.

I know I'm feeling this way because I've got big, big changes on the horizon and I feel like my life is spinning out of my control. I'm really, really excited about the future, but I'm scared to death to put myself out there. And therefore, I feel like I have no right to make any choices, even if it's only about what food to eat. Time is flying by and I feel like I'm desperately clinging to anything I can to keep up. It's really starting to weigh on me. I've been sick, I'm not sleeping well, I'm not eating well and my emotions have been on an insane roller coaster ride. One minute I'm in a funk, wondering why everyone hates me, and the next I'm giddy as a school girl. 

Ugh, what the heck is up with me? I don't get why I'm feeling so....lost. And out of control. Even now, I'm sitting here wondering if I should even post this or not. My mind just changed itself about 7 times in the last minute. This is ridiculous.

Anyway, on a happier note, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and had a chance to get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather (well, here in Chicago at least). I know I did...and I have the lovely splotchy sunburn to prove it. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two dozen years old today

It's my birthday! Hooray!

If you can't tell, that's me with the pigtails.  This was taken right around my 4th birthday.

Twenty-four years ago today I came bouncing into this world. It was Father's Day (awww) and I arrived just in time for lunch, much to my Mom's delight. Apparently, she was really hungry. 

But surprise! I was supposed to be a boy. So when I arrived and my parents realized the name Michael wouldn't really fly for me, they were stumped. The girl names my parents did have—Emily and Marie—just didn't fit. And so for a few hours, I was just known as Peanut. How my parents decided on Pamela, I'm not quite sure. And once my sister stopped pouting because she didn't like the name (she had a "mean" babysitter named Pam), it stuck. And the rest is history.

So here I am. 24. Ah! How did I get to be 24? That seems kind of old to me. 23 was just kind of silly...but 24 means responsibility. And being grown up. Yikes. There are 24 hours in a day. And 24 years in my life. Not sure where I'm going with that, but whoa.

Today is only the second birthday EVER that I haven't gotten to play all day. The last two years I took the day off. And before that, I was always on summer break...except the one summer I was working in a bank vault. Eek. This year, I chose to save my days for real vacation. I guess we'll see if I regret it...

But on the plus side, I'm using this opportunity to finally live out one of my childhood fantasies: To bring in treats on my birthday. I've never, ever been able to do it, so I'm really pumped. I made Rice Krispie treats and I couldn't be more excited about them. 

The rest of the day should be good, too. I bought myself a special breakfast of blueberry Eggo waffles (love them!), my coworkers are taking me to an Irish pub for lunch (yum!) and then my family is taking me out to dinner (still not sure where). Sounds like a perfect day to me (minus the whole working thing).

I'd like to give a shout out to my fellow June 16th birthday buddies: Tupac (RIP), Ben Kweller, Diana DeGarmo and Ann Shoket (of magazine and ANTM fame). Ok yeah, I definitely had to do some digging to find any names I actually recognized. 

Oh and fun fact: I can sing "Happy Birthday" in Swedish. Guess that's what happens when you have a super Swedish first grade teacher. I have no idea how to spell it, but you can bet it's playing on repeat in my head right now. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back in action and feeling good

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I was sick last week. Really sick. I hadn't been sick in ages, but lately I've just been really feeling rundown due to lack of sleep and an all-Cheerios diet (yeah, I know, not healthy). 

I don't really know what I had. It started with a headache that lasted three days. When it finally went away, I developed this weird cough. A few hours later, I was hit by the fever train. I had the aches, the chills, the loss of appetite—everything. Last Tuesday I woke up and I felt AWFUL, but I somehow managed to drag myself to work, trying hard to keep myself propped up on the bus. I was at work a total of 25 minutes before I asked my boss to go home. Then I went home, slept and watched daytime TV (I love reruns of The O.C.). 

I managed to get back to work on Wednesday, but I should have stayed home. All I could do was sit slumped over at my desk and will myself not to pass out.  I finally felt better by Friday, but still had no appetite. And thankfully by now, I'm almost as good as new, minus my pretty gross chest cough.

Luckily, I pulled myself from my sick bed just in time to head up to Wisconsin for the weekend. I hit up Milwaukee on Friday night and was greeted by J and the sweetest/cleverest/most thoughtful birthday gifts ever. 

Oh yeah, did I mention Tuesday is my birthday? Because it is! I LOVE my birthday. Well, I love birthdays in general, so naturally mine falls under that category. 

Anyway, more on that tomorrow.

So then early Saturday morning, J and I got up and drove to the high school where he teaches. He had to attend graduation so he dropped me off at a nearby Starbucks for a couple hours. That way, I didn't look like the random creepy girl sitting alone at a high school graduation.

When it was over, J took me to Madison to continue the birthday festivities. I had only been there once when I was 9, so I didn't remember much. Which is a shame...I love it there! We just meandered all over town, making quick stops for ice cream (of course), drinks and a quick moment at the lake. It was so relaxing and it was the perfect escape we both needed. After taking a quick nap back at the hotel (I still wasn't feeling 100%), we went out for some margaritas and dinner. It was perfect.

And now I'm back in Chicago, in my very messy apartment, getting excited for the week ahead. I was sad to say goodbye to J today, but I'm also so excited for him. He's jetting off to Germany this week with some of his students as part of a high school exchange program. He'll only be gone 10 days, but I know he's going to have an amazing time. I only wish they needed an extra chaperone. I would have volunteered in an instant. 

I hope you all had wonderful weekends! Anyone do anything fun? Gosh, it's good to be back in the blogging world. I missed it last week!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A cautionary tale of identity crisis (x3)

Normally I'm quite the perky, happy, "I love everything!" blogger. But tonight I might have to be a bit more serious. (gasp)

You see, after spending 45 minutes on the phone with an IRS agent today and finding out that once again my tax refund is being withheld due to identity theft, I'm a bit irate. Last year was literal hell on my credit and identity, and I'm not happy at all to see that I have to deal with it again this year. Apparently I have so many red flags in my file that I will probably be dealing with this for years and years to come. AWESOME.

This post is not intended to get sympathy or anything of the sort. I'm hoping it will just kind of show you how important it is to take care of your credit. You have to keep an eye on it at all times because you never know who can get their hands on it. I never, ever thought anything would happen to me, but I was wrong (dun dun dun)

December 1, 2007. The day my troubles began. I was at a bar watching the Marquette vs.Madison basketball game at a bar here in Chicago, when my phone rang. It wasn't a number I recognized, so I let it go to voicemail and then walked outside to check it right away. I had an inkling something was wrong and boy, was I right. It was my credit card company letting me know there had been suspicious activity on my card.

I quickly called back and the customer service rep asked me to verify charges—almost $900 at a cell phone store in Montreal. I practically screamed, "What?! That's not mine!" into the phone, in a very panicky, high-pitched voice. 

Turns out someone got my credit card number and was using it to their heart's content up in Canada. It was an awful feeling. I had to cancel my credit card, file a police report, report identity theft, etc. It took months to figure out and get everything back on track. What a pain. And just when I finally had the charges cleared and got my new card...

March 2008. One day when my brother, sister and I were home, my Dad mentioned that our family accountant had filed all our tax returns. Except mine. There was a "glitch" when he tried to submit it electronically, so he had to mail it in.

The glitch? Someone had already filed taxes under my social security number. 

The accountant swore it wasn't a big deal. He said someone must have mistyped their own social security number, and that it would all get figured out. Right.

April rolled around and my brother and sister got their nice little tax refunds. Me? Not so much. Then it was May...then June...then July. Finally our accountant had an update: I was being investigated. I was given about 10 different numbers to call, affidavits to sign, more police reports to file and various people to check up with. It was a disaster. I sat on the phone for hours almost every day for weeks trying to figure it all out. I went through so many automated systems, I was ready to flip. 

Long story short, I didn't get my tax refund until late October, when they finally realized I was the REAL Pam. Turns out, someone was pretending to be me. Sounds cool...or not. But it all worked out and I was happy, until...

November 22, 2009. After watching the holiday lighting on Michigan Avenue, my friends and I went to a nearby bar in the Loop. I was sitting at a high top table, with my purse hanging next to me, against my arm and under my coat. We were enjoying our drinks when all of a sudden the waiting area (right by my seat) got really crowded. My chair got bumped a few times and then I felt a sharp tug on my purse. I immediately knew something was wrong. 

Sure enough, I opened my purse and my wallet wasn't there. My debit card, my credit card, my drivers license—everything—was gone. Luckily, the manager of the bar (a very nice Irish man), let me use his computer to cancel everything immediately. And thank God he did, because I later found out that only minutes after I cancelled my cards, there were failed purchases totaling $900 at Target, numerous ATM attempts, charges at gas stations, etc. The list went on and on. I have never felt so violated in my entire life, but I was so lucky I caught it quickly.

And now I'm dealing with the IRS for the second year in a row. They even called my CFO at work to check up on me and confirm my identity. I suppose I'm glad, but really? It's me. I wouldn't ever touch a fly, let alone commit tax fraud. And now all this checking up makes me feel like a criminal...

So please be careful. Trust me, you never, ever want to deal with this. It's completely unnerving and so unnecessarily stressful. Check your credit reports (listen to those lame commercials and visit freecreditreport.com), keep your personal info safe and NEVER say your credit card numbers out loud in public places—especially if you're on a very crowded city bus (I've heard it more than once, which is absolutely ridiculous). 

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, "Good grief."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Creepy guy in a bar

I just got home from a night out celebrating my brother's birthday and despite the fact that I am exhausted and a wee bit tipsy, I felt the need to post. I'm that creeped out. 

You know the standard creepy guy in a bar? You have to—everyone does. There's always one at every bar you go to, no matter where you are. They're never there with anyone else, and they always stare a bit too long, let their eyes travel a bit too far and look a bit too content. 

As soon as I saw Creepy Fonzie (his nickname for the evening), I know he was the creepy guy in the bar:

Obviously, it's the guy in the white t-shirt. I snapped this really quickly, before he saw me.

This guy randomly snuck into our group—my brother, sister, cousins and friends—to order a drink. Initially, we thought he was with the group next to us. But when he kept sneaking in and lingering a bit too long, we knew he was a creep.

And for some reason, he kept focusing on me. I wouldn't even look at him, but I could sense that his gaze was on me. Like he was staring at me, urging me to look at him. Everyone else in the group noticed. My brother's friend and I even came up with the code word "burrito" to yell so I would know when he came up close behind me...because he kept doing it.

They all thought he looked like a slicked back, older Fonzie. But that's not who he really looked like. In my opinion, he looked EXACTLY like the bad guy from Kindergarten Cop: 

So finally my cousins and brother made enough rude comments in his vicinity for him to the the hint. We watched as he slowly walked away, then made a big circle around the bar, weaving in and out of all the girls. He seemed to stop on the other side of the bar, and I finally felt at ease. 

And then, not 5 minutes later, I felt a hard squeeze on my shoulder. I whipped around quickly and saw him. He smiled, slowly dragged his nails across my back, and walked away without looking back. 

I literally felt a shiver run up and down my spine. I felt so violated and so creeped out. And when I left the bar, I practically ran home in case he was following me. 

And now I'm writing this, wondering what happened to him. I hope he goes back to his home, which is far, far, far, far away from me. Ick. So weird.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Life's Little To Do List

In my one of my previous posts, I mentioned one of my "secret dreams"—to take a trip to the Ben & Jerry's Factory in Vermont. It's something totally random that I've always wanted to do. And recently, I've started filing away little "secret dreams" or "to do once-isms" in my mind. They're just little things I'd like to experience once in my life, no matter how small or silly they are. 

Perhaps some would refer to it as a Bucket List, but I think that's pretty darn morbid. So I'll just call it My Life's Little To Do List. This list doesn't include all my crazy travel dreams to go to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, China, South Africa, Italy, Greece, Spain, back to Ireland, etc or my dream of writing some sassy chick lit one day. And it definitely doesn't touch on getting married, having kids, getting a dog or owning a lake house (hey, I dream big). Those are part of My Life's Big To Do List. 

This list is all about the everyday trips I want to take or little things I want to see or do in order to experience new things, whether it's tapping into musical talent or not stressing over laundry for the first time ever. Please note: These are definitely not in any special order, other than the way they came spouting out of my head.

1. Visit the Ben & Jerry's Factory
2. Go on a "bar crawl" around all the countries at Epcot 
3. Learn to play the violin
4. Ride in a hot air balloon
5. Be an extra in a movie
6. Be able to do a handstand
7. Go sky diving
8. See a grand slam while in attendance at a Cubs game
9. Visit/tour a vineyard 
10. Go to Cedar Point
11. Learn to like exercising (ha)
12. Be a bridesmaid (yes, that's right, a bridesmaid)
13. Live in an apartment with in-unit washer and dryer
14. Meet Jimmy Fallon
15. Find a bar in the U.S. with a name as cool as Boo Radley's
16. See a live taping of talk show/sitcom/late night show  (I'm looking at you, Fallon)
17. Visit the West Coast (San Diego, LA, Portland, Seattle...)
18. Finally finish a scrapbook
19. Get my tonsils out (bizarre, yes, but these monstrosities need to get out NOW)
20. Learn a ballroom dance
21. Go to and/or volunteer at the Olympics (Woo, Chicago 2016!)
22. Find out where in the world Carmen San Diego is
23. See the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person
24. Go to a state fair
25. Learn a second language 
26. Go to In-N-Out Burger
27. Find a real sand dollar 
28. Teach myself to like peppers and tomatoes
29. See Monsters, Inc. so a certain friend doesn't kick me to the curb
30. Learn to go to bed at a decent hour

Yikes, I guess I have a lot to do. And these are only the things I can think of off the top of my head. I better get started now...too bad I already missed out on number 30 for tonight.

What about you guys...do you have a "to do" list for life? If so, what's on it? Or maybe I'm the only one that keeps a running tally in my head. Hey, sometimes you get bored on the bus and have too much time to think.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tales from the pissed off +1

Ok, my writer's block is officially dissolved because now I'm a wee bit ticked off. And when my feathers are ruffled, I like to rant. 

So where should I begin? Hm, I think I'll start at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start). I'm going to have to use fake names to protect the innocent. Sort of.

In college, J (my boyfriend) was good friends with a guy, let's call him Ron. So J and Ron had a lot of classes together and used to hang out all the time. Then Ron met a girl, we'll call her Beth, and he was one smitten kitten. He fell head over heels, only none of Ron's friends liked Beth. During senior year, he started spending all his time with her, ignoring J and his other friends. And not long after he graduated, he proposed. 

Ron and I always got along well. J didn't like Beth very much, but I tried to be nice. I was excited for them when they got engaged, plus I was pumped for the wedding. We were all friends, so I knew it would be fun.

Though J and Ron have grown apart, we still hang out occasionally. And the last two times have been WEIRD. He's barely acknowledges me. The last time we hung out, he introduced his other friends to everyone but J and I. He hugged everyone but J and I. And besides a "hi", I got nothing. When we had to talk, he was very short with me. I had always thought we got along well, but he was acting as if I had done something to personally offend him, and to be honest, I was a little hurt.

And then the Save the Dates were sent out. J didn't get one, but his parents did. And it was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. J, J and his dog. Yes, his family DOG. WTF. J was really offended at not getting one personally (I don't blame him) and I was offended that his dog was included, but not me. At that point J and I had been dating 3 years. I mean, really? What the hell?

So a bit of time went by, and I forgot about it. Until today. J just got his invitation to the wedding in the mail. And it was addressed to Mr. J...and guest. Are you kidding me? Maybe I'm nuts, but I'm really offended. It's not like I'm a stranger. I know both the bride and the groom. Ron knows we're a serious couple, so why wouldn't he include me? I mean, seriously, J was invited to his coworkers' wedding and though I've only met them a couple times, they addressed their invitation to both of us. Hmph.

I feel like I somehow pissed Ron off. At least, that's how he's acting. But for the life of me, I can't figure out what I would have done. And he's being really weird to J now, too. It's completely bizarre.

Perhaps I'm a little crazy, but for some reason this really, really gets under my skin. It's not like we can go to the wedding anyway because J will be back in Massachusetts for his dad's birthday. But maybe I will go...and bring his dog. I'd be proud to be a weiner dog's +1. 

And in other news, I seriously need to stop watching the New Moon trailer. Why am I so addicted? I just can't seem to get enough.