26 December 2006

Hear Me Roar

I went to a Christmas party the weekend before last. I’m 24, you understand, so this wasn’t an egg nog and pigs in a blanket 7-9PM party. Nope, it was the same old everyone has a drink in hand at all times, conversation centers around other times people were drunk party. But I didn't hate it. On the contrary, I had a fantastic time and didn't get home until after three in the morning (in contrast, here's my standby party trick borrowed from my mom: walk in, say hello as obviously as possible to as many people as possible in twenty minutes, then get the hell out. Believe me, it works because everyone will remember you being there. Especially if they drink.).

So what was the difference? I guess there were a couple. The party was hosted by a former softball teammate of mine. So about 20% of the crowd consisted of people in whose company I once spent entire summers. Summers I'm unbelievably nostalgic about (nostalgic enough to play on the world's most annoying baseball team...that's a story for another day though). And I don't get the chance to see many of these girls on a regular basis. So that was something. But that wasn't the greatest factor. Since I'm not exactly a scene queen, most parties feature people I don't see that often.

And the vast majority of the crowd had some connection with sports, but I don't remember talking about sports much at all. Even when we waxed poetic about softball days, it was more often things that happened in the dugout or at hotels.

It took me two days to figure it out (and apparently ten days to write about it). The difference? No girls in tight dresses and heels, no one giggling and acting dumb, guys asking what we were talking about, how we knew each other. That's right, it was a female centered environment. It has been so long (since rugby parties at school, probably) since I've seen that, I almost didn't recognize it. It was such a pleasure not to have anyone telling me who they had slept with/were going to sleep with/wanted to sleep with/thought their roommate should sleep with/how their boyfriend had disappointed them, etc. that I just had a good time. I didn't worry about what I was going to talk about with so and so's roommate, didn't watch girls give me the once over, just caught up with old friends. Who sincerely wanted to hear about my job, my family, and my life.

13 December 2006

Houdini

Sometimes, you meet someone whose company you truly enjoy. Someone with whom friendship, common ground, and conversation come easily and seem to last no matter how much time the two of you spend together. Sure, you might get on each other's nerves occasionally, but when it comes time to part ways, you always wish the time could go a bit slower.

I can count these people on two hands. Three of them have been members of the male species. One is my brother, one is someone most of you are unaware I still think about, and the other was a very good friend of mine up until last winter...

He and I met almost two years ago and were really really tight for about a year. After hanging out for a month, he informed me that he wanted to be more than friends and we went on perhaps the most awkward date of all time. We decided (in retrospect, I decided and he didn't argue) to just be friends and though I sort of knew he wanted more, we seemed have survived it. We saw each other 2-3 times a week for the next eight months, went out to dinner, emailed at work, saw Cubs games (he must be a good friend if I did that...), hung out with each other's friends and talked all the time about things I didn't talk about with anyone else. For a long time, he was the only male the cat wasn't afraid of.

Last November/December, he started pushing again for more than just friends and though I see now that it was probably a bad decision, I was willing to try. I saw him more than anyone else (except my coworkers...work is so weird), he made me laugh, and he was male. Right? Of course, the same problems I'd had with it before hadn't disappeared and after a few more weird dates, being friends again seemed like the right move.

I thought things were okay until he all but fell off the planet that spring. Someone who had always called when he said he would, emailed nearly every day, sent flowers on my birthday suddenly stopped returning all my efforts to get in touch. After I called on his birthday, he emailed to tell me "how much it meant" to him that I remembered and that he was "dealing with some things." I haven't heard from him since. After about a month of silence, I gave up calling.

I can't let it go. I really miss him and I'm unbelievably curious and maybe a little worried about what happened. I know he had some issues with his family, but I've never met them. And honestly, he seemed pretty stable regardless. He seems to still be at the same job (yes, I'm a huge stalker)...so, alive. And, self-centered as we all are, I'm dying to know what I have to do with any of this. How could I lose my best friend in the blink of eye and not know why?

The point of all this is, I'm thinking about him a lot lately. I'm almost (but not quite) willing to try dating him again to have him back. Do I call again? Wait for an occasion like Christmas or his birthday and cross my fingers? Email him to tell him I miss him? Let it go because the ball's in his court?

07 December 2006

My Boys

No, not those boys (and unless one reappears, I don't think there are any left anyway), the show. I watched it. Both episodes from Tuesday (thank you tivo). Honestly, I thought it was pretty stupid (and yes, the Carrie Bradshaw voiceover is beyond ridiculous). It's also one of those shows where the characters are parodies of themselves--the mildly sensitive asshole, the strange, odd-looking brother, the wussy dork, and the cute-ish frat boy type who everyone hilariously calls Brando instead of Brandon.

Though it would probably be hard to be satisfied by a show where the main character is supposed to have a lot in common with you, I have to say that everything just seems a little off. She's supposed to be this 'guy's girl' and all, but she's always wearing hoop earrings. Her best (and only female) friend is a total girly girl. Basically, the only clues to her supposedly uncommon personality are that her hair's in a ponytail, she apparently works as a sportswriter (though she NEVER talks about it) and she says things like "I call bullshit" and "duuude." Sweet...

Frankly, I'd be a little offended if I were a guy as well, since in this show, 'male' seems equated with 'stupid and low-class.'

Oh yeah, and she implied that she's always "working on a crush." Now, there's not necessarily anything wrong with that and I know a lot of girls do that, but it's the damn girliest thing in the world to SAY. As a girl who does talk about sports intelligently--and almost constantly--and is generally comfortable with guys, let me tell you that finding one guy, let alone a series, who interests you beyond the role of BCS-sparring-partner (and happens to like your cat or is at least able to fake it) is next to impossible.

(The just may get another chance though. Just for the complaining potential. And it's set in Chicago, after all)

04 December 2006

Yay Gary!

I really don't like to fly. It's not that I'm afraid (though I'm certainly less comfortable than I used to be, particularly on bumpy flights), more that I get incredibly, stupendously restless. Which makes me incredibly, stupendously irritable. As in, 'why did you just take 12 flash pictures in a row out of the window, it's nightime and we're flying over Nebraska', 'do you need to do a pull-up with the back of my seat in order to get to your feet', 'is it some kind of rule that all the cranberry juice on planes has to have apple juice in it' irritable.

So we're about an hour into three and a half, drinks/snacks are over (handi-snacks?? I thought they stopped making those because of their extreme toxicity...) and I've just fallen asleep, which I know because I remember being on song 8 of my dinosaur of an iPod and now I'm on song 10. The dopey Mr. Rogers-wannabe (except young and like 6'6") flight attendant gets on the loud speaker to ask how many people lost money in Vegas this week. (Side note: If you go to Vegas for any other reason than to gamble, you get sick of this question really fast). The crowd chuckles idiotically, and some people raise hands. At this point, I'm thinking maybe I could still go back to sleep. But then, Mr. Rogers announces that he'd like to remedy that situation and proceeds to have a goddamn raffle wherein people write their seat numbers on dollar bills and throw them in the bag he runs up and down the aisle. Okay fine. They're idiots (and *no wonder* they all lost money), but I'm still enjoying the iPod. But then, we have to give Gary in 15A a round of applause and THEN chuckle idiotically (though since this has been going on the whole time, it's really just a matter of not stopping) as he walks down the aisle collecting trash as some sort of moronic penance for winning 69 one-dollar bills. (I'm not making that up, the total was $69).

Maybe I'm just the world's biggest buzzkill (funny, since I may have been the youngest person on that plane), but while I appreciate informality and little one-liners in the safety lecture and I don't mind being told when we're flying over the Grand Canyon or the like, I pretty much think you should stay the hell off the loud speaker until you want the guy next to me to stop watching Ronin on his DVD player. You guys fly the plane, I'll try to take my mind off the fact that there's a foreign butt ooching into my seat under the armrests. I bought a plane ticket to Chicago, not a bus ticket to summer camp.

*Though I promised I wouldn't, it almost killed me not to do a football post today. I hate you so much, Notre Dame.

29 November 2006

Pansies

Sorry, one more football one, then I promise to go back to real life at least for a while. We've watched *a lot* of football in the last couple days.

My new pet peeve is the roughing the passer penalty in the NFL. They've decided they're going to protect the quarterbacks above all else (nature of the game, fair play, fan enjoyment, etc.) and so now if you so much as touch a quarterback's head or hit him in a manner that the refs deem to be 'too rough.' Last weekend, no fewer than two games were handed to teams because of a rather dubious roughing the passer call.

Down 6 points in Seattle, the Packers had come up with a seeming third down stop, only to have the Seahawks given a first down on a hit which, for all intents and purposes, looked like a run of the mill tackle. The quarterback's head was not touched, nor did he hit the ground hard. Mr. Hasselbeck, I know you thought your knee injury last month was intentional so congratulations--all of your whining got you a win.

In New York, the Giants lead the Titans by three touchdowns with just over ten minutes to play. The Titans go for it on fourth and nine and Vince Young decides to run for it (I know, shocking). After seven yards, someone grabs his ankles and it looks like he won't be able to get to the line. The man is, remember, about two yards tall, so it pays to make sure he doesn't fall forward, yes? Someone comes across and does just that and gets called for roughing the passer. It was a hard hit, but he was in bounds, and still on his feet. If it was another player (say, a running back or receiver, both of whom take those kind of hits all day), that never gets called.

Perhaps I like my football rough, but if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you're a quarterback and you take a deep drop or (worse yet) decide to run, you better be prepared to take a hit. It's now possible to use the quarterback slide (which makes it a penalty to hit you) as a weapon--if you so much as look at the ground, everyone is terrified to hit you for fear of a penalty. Hard hits are the way you play football, they're what the players like to give out, and they're what the fans like to see. Are we protecting players or investments?

In other news, I hear there's a show about a girl who talks about sports a lot on TBS. Seems like maybe they haven't thought the premise all the way through yet (much like Prison Break), but I'll check it out.

27 November 2006

Bear Down...Far Down

People like to whine about how hard it is to be a Cubs fan, but you know what? It's pretty freakin' hard to be a Bears fan too. Seems like a silly complaint seeing as they're 9-2 and a sure bet for a playoff berth, but I think it honestly might be better if they were just bad. Instead, they're close to good, but unwilling to tie up the final loose ends (Boston Red Sox fans, I never though I'd say this, but I guess I feel you on this one). Or loose *end* to be specific. I think it would be fair to say that the Monsters of the Midway haven't had a seriously talented quarterback since Sid Luckman (1939-1950). They've had 'guys who didn't hurt them too much' (McMahon, Kramer that one golden year), 'guys who had no business playing in the NFL' (Quinn, Krenzel, Orton...the list goes on), and the dreaded 'Rex Grossman' category, which proves to me that their player personnel department absolutely can't tell the difference between 'guys who have good arms' and 'quarterbacks.' Jim Harbaugh fits in this one too. Mostly, I'm just angry because I see the inexorable decline towards the second annual first game home playoff loss. The only consolation for me is that next summer, the Cubs will have paid *even more* for a bad team.

In other news, I'm currently in Las Vegas. Everytime I'm here, I wonder why I don't live here. Then I remember that there are no jobs. Or rather, there are lots of jobs, but in casinos. Right.

19 November 2006

Possibly Offensive, Sorry

Last week, we went to a board meeting of a Down syndrome non-profit. It's a group of energetic, dedicated people who really do, as they say, focus on ability intead of disability. At one point, a board member mentioned that he was planning to step down in the spring following the birth of his fourth child, and his second one with Down syndrome.

I had to struggle to keep my poker face. Here's a family who already has a kid with Down syndrome, not to mention two other children, knew in advance both that Down syndrome was a possiblity and then later that it was a reality, and they're going to go ahead with it. In a way, I was impressed. That's really putting your money where your mouth is. They always say that having a child with Down syndrome is a blessing and they didn't back off when it counted.

Well, they're pretty religious too...

16 November 2006

Ding Dong

I go by a nickname. Pretty much always have, though I was originally named so that I wouldn't (my nickname is longer than my name). Things change.

I had this brief fantasy that once I grew up, I'd go back the given name. I use it on my resume, so for a while, I had the new boss using it too. But after he called my references and heard the nickname on my voicemail, he asked me what I wanted to be called.

Seems a bit trivial, but it became a bigger deal when I realized that this job was for real. Honestly, it's going to be the base of my career. Which points to using the more professional given name, right?

I couldn't do it though. I suppose the nickname suits me better. It's less formal, more unique, more substantial, and just...me, I guess.

Or maybe it's a Peter Pan thing, you make the call.


*sorry, I know this would be easier to read if I just used my name, but hey, relatively anonymous is relatively anonymous. I'm trying not to name anything private, including myself.

14 November 2006

A Little Humility Never Hurt Anyone

I like the new job so far. I really do. Even though I can't really work independently and spend a large proportion of my time looking for things like stamps, the stapler, and the bathroom key, I'm sure I've made the right decision.

I'm generally a decently quick study, and this is no different, but I'd forgotten the big downfall of new things (particularly new jobs, apparently): I'm basically wrong all the time. I guess that's why you don't get to make big decisions immediately. Seriously though, in the last week, I've

-used stamps from the wrong drawer
-put three different letters in one envelope...twice
-typed a bank balance wrong (ten minutes to figure out the ten dollar difference)
-plugged the cord into the incorrect slot in the fax machine (it took us an hour to figure that one out)
-ripped out both receipts when one was supposed to be for us (yes, *that* I should have known)
-forgotten to close the bathroom door (very important heat purposes)
-been unable to figure out how to unlock the front door.

And sorry to sound arrogant, but just like I told you before that I wasn't particularly clumsy, I'm generally not particularly wrong either. I have an excellent memory, good research skills (thank you, pointless liberal arts major!), a type-A personality, and a more than healthy sense of pride. The combination allows me to rarely be wrong about things like "how many boxes we brought to the conference' or 'how old Bill's brother is' or 'how to use the copy machine'.

On the plus side, I have been put in charge of the two bonsai trees (potential names: Bill and Ted) and they seem to be very much still alive.

On a side note, I'm back to posting now, I promise. My mom was in town promoting her book (more on that later!) and there was less time (well, and considerably less need for a place to vent)

05 November 2006

Frog Princess?

I had a conversation with a friend some months ago in which we both agreed that though we consider ourselves to be self-confident women with a lot going for us, we're still able to be rattled by a decidedly put-together woman who seems a whole hell of a lot cooler than our high school selves remember being. (Sorry about starting a post with a sentence that long, won't happen again) In other words, despite feeling smart, funny, and attractive enough most of the time, the 'pretty girl' still holds her place on occasion.

Funny because on day two of the new job last week, the boss and I went out for lunch with this painter who rents a studio upstairs from our office. She came while the boss was on the phone, so I went out to keep her company for a bit. She seems to be a pretty good painter (I don't know anything about art, but I liked it, and she paints Chicago for the most part), but she's one of those kind of typical 'I don't want to fit in' types. You know, she's wearing corduroys and some funky t-shirt, birkenstock clogs, not perfectly groomed eyebrows, oversize sweatshirt instead of a coat etc.

She seemed a little stand-offish and I thought maybe she was just shy, but when we headed out to lunch, it became apparent that, though quiet, she was much more comfortable with the boss. Then I realized, I was wearing boots, eye shadow, and a long wool coat...I was the pretty girl!

What goes around, comes around I guess, so remember, you're probably someone's pretty girl (or jock boy), so be nice!

29 October 2006

Just Friends, Or How My Intimate Knowledge of Tigers Pitching Is Ruining My Dating Life

I met S. for drinks a couple of nights ago. Not too bad as far as first dates go, but I don't want it to go further as anything but friends. But as I was checking out the Tigers-Cards during a lull in the conversation, I wondered exactly how he would know I wasn't interested.

I don't really get nervous on dates, I get along well with guys anyway (and enjoy talking about sports), and given a reasonably warm date I'm friendly (though not flirty) from the beginning without the typical awkwardness period. On early dates, these all combine to make me act similarly whether I'm interested or not.

I was still thinking about it the next night when K. came over for dinner. The same general friendliness that might have given S. some false hope has caused a couple of guys I did like to tell me that they couldn't figure out if I was interested in them. I suspect it also caused K. to leave the first two dates with a kiss on the cheek. So how would I keep it friendly rather than cheesy, but let K. know I was interested?

Then I realized that, well, I could kiss him. So that's what I did.

24 October 2006

Who, Me?

Last week sometime, I put up an away message that said 'apparently, i have a social life now.' If I remember correctly, it was in response to a busy week in which I was glad to have a free night. My mom unintentionally called me on it, however, and I was forced to admit that well, I didn't. It was a rare busy week.

But this week, I honestly appear to have found one. Tonight, I had drinks with my Chicago mom (when your real mom moves away, you gotta find a way to cope) then found myself home in time to head up to the north side to hang out with my soccer team (more fun than the baseball team in that there are males and everyone is less...misguided). Both were an absolute blast, and I may even go to a Halloween party this weekend with the latter group.

I also seem to be dating two boys currently (feast or famine), which I actually like for its inherent lack of pressure, though hope not to repeat the disatrous double of March '05 in which I had the 'let's just be friends' talk with one only to have the other have it with me a few days later. I haven't talked to either one since last summer. Whoops. These two seem to have more promise though. I promised K. pasta if he finished the marathon (apparently I can't stay away from the runners), and he did, so I'm cooking him dinner on Friday. S. and I are meeting for dinner Thursday night, but I've only seen him once, and I'm having that mild panic that I'm not going to recognize him. I'm great with names, but not so amazing with faces.

I'm already missing my cat time though, so this social life of mine may have to be reigned in...

On the other hand, want to know how to be an absolute pariah? Have someone cut your hair slightly unevenly and then try to convince people to fix it for you. Everyone will back away with a deer-in-headlights look and mumble something that begins with "I don't think I" and ends with "disaster".

23 October 2006

Two Months 'Til Christmas

Today was the first legitimately cold morning, but I didn't really know it was winter until I was on my way home. I had planned to go to the grocery store tonight to remedy my lack-of-deli-meat problem. The closer I got to my front door, however, the less compelling my reasons for going became. Sure enough, within one minute of walking in the door, I was on the couch in my sweatpants with the cat sleeping in my lap, grocery store plans abandoned for 'later this week...sometime.'

22 October 2006

Pagans and Slutty Schoolgirls

Interesting article in the New York Times last week about the devolution of Halloween into some kind of porn movie. I enjoyed it because, as you may or may not know, this is one of my pet peeves. I assume that the "sexy" (ahem) costume phenomenon (slutty cop, slutty criminal, slutty devil--my absolute least favorite, slutty angel, slutty slut...you get the idea) only reflects the general trend of dressing "sexier", but it offends me. Though underdressing may be fun, blowing off steam, a chance to venture away from your comfort zone, whatever, its roots are irrevocably sexist. Just as I was annoyed a few weeks ago at the girls in tight dresses with guys in crumpled T-shirts, I'm offended by the girls in full porn costume with guys in jeans, t-shirts, and a Scream mask.

The message: I'm yours and I'm not worth any effort.

So have some pride and dress up for fun and for yourself. Be Led Zepplin, a zombie, Derrek Lee, a flapper, anything, just make sure it's a costume and not purely an excuse to be mostly naked in public. You may not be actually selling yourself in the slutty librarian costume, but you're toeing the line.

If you're curious, I recently dressed up as the 'Da Bears' fans of Saturday Night Live fame. Classic.

16 October 2006

A Religious Experience

Had dinner with the new boss and his wife tonight. They're a lot of fun, yuppies, but in kind of a good way. You know, they're smart, they know the city because they've lived here a long time, married a couple years, no kids, etc. I had a really good time (even if his wife did say "it's like talking to a guy" when I glanced at the TV screen to check on the Bears) and it made me even more excited to start the new job (as soon as I tell my coworkers...yeah).

I was reminded, though, of a conversation my mom and I once had. I was saying something about how one of my problems with guys, particularly white middle to upper-middle class guys, is that they're trying to fit a very narrow mold. They have to be or at least pretend to be reasonably athletic/into sports and motivated solely by sex and beer. Guys who are already outside the minority, whether that's because of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, whatever, seem to be less susceptible to this kind of pigeon-holing. (Yes, I know that's not a word, but I'm feeling lazy).

My mom pointed out that you could theoretically consider Jews a minority. Maybe not in certain places or high schools I may or may not have attended, but Jews have traditionally been outside the mainstream. Spending some time tonight with the new boss and wife, both of whom are Jewish, I can't help but notice that the vast majority of people to whom I've taken an instant liking, who have made me instantly comfortable, who seem to have a very similar sense of humor, have been Jews. Coincidence?

That's not to say that I haven't ended up great friends with...ahem...gentiles, I guess I just didn't see it coming.

Sorry to sound like a JDate ad, but it's a culture as well as a religion.


EDITORIAL NOTE: Holy shit, go bears!!!!! Better to be lucky than good!

12 October 2006

No More Bocce Disk In The Hallway

There won't be a hallway in the two-person office.

I gave my notice at work yesterday. Gave.My.Notice. It was weird, and even though the new job honestly might be *exactly* what I've been looking for, I really thought I might cry. (Thank god I didn't) Particularly when my boss handled it beautifully, told me she was happy for me, that the new job sounded great, was flexible about my last day, etc. None of that helped the crying situation though.

In the last two weeks, I've gotten three written thank you notes from coworkers, one accompanied by lunch, all for helping their trainings/teaching responsibilities run smoother. I know their spouses and children, their favorite foods, and their weekend routines. I'll miss the impromptu musical numbers (if you've never worked with art people, try to do it for a while), the almost endless birthday/going away/staff meeting day/baby shower parties, and the inquiries as to how the cat's adjusting to the move. Even if you're not enamored of your job, that's a hard place to leave.

So now my boss knows, but only one other person does, and I have no idea how to tell everyone else. Or if I'm supposed to. I suppose it's my news, but maybe there's a way this gets handled. Seeing as I've never changed jobs before, I guess I wouldn't know.

09 October 2006

Happy Columbus Day!

This isn't about Columbus Day, though I have started reading Devil In A White City (it's about the Columbian Exposition/1893 World's Fair in Chicago)--a little long-winded with eye-roll-inducing faux suspense, but the old-time Chicago references are a blast. Particularly imagining what the loop used to look like under that thick layer of coal smoke and slaughterhouse stench. Sometimes, it's good to be living in the 21st century. If you're from Chicago, pick it up.

I've been really busy lately. I grrrreatly underestimated how well, not exactly stressful but time-consuming, moving would be (Liz, take note). I feel like I've been unpacking for years, yet I'm still surrounded in boxes and every time I turn around, the cat is happily chewing on some piece of packing detritus that she really shouldn't have access to. Add that to busy data-entry time at work (and related interviewing for a new job), freelance writing and editing, baseball, soccer, taking full advantage of my shiny new DVR, and harassing my landlord for a mailbox key, and there's not a lot of time left. So I'm behind on the blogging, which is ironic, since it's quite possible that I've never had more to say. If I could just download thoughts, I'd be golden. I am learning to multi-task though. This afternoon, I discovered how much a phone interview gains when simultaneous snuggling with the cat is a possibility.

We've had some bites on the job front, the most notable of which wants to meet me for breakfast tomorrow morning to "discuss the job a little more". I'm trying to let my chickens hatch, but they may have already been counted. And between Michigan being good and the Bears being downright freakin' incredible, I'm mildly worried that I'm out of luck. Good thing it's all skill...

05 October 2006

Dates and Depth

An former coworker made a documentary about dating. Eight or so four-hour interviews cut and juxtaposed into a one-hour diatribe on subjects from ‘the first kiss’ to ‘the bar scene’ to ‘porn.’ Beautifully edited and a real look at what people are thinking when they meet you, marry you, sleep with you, kiss you, call you, and find you taking a crap with the bathroom door open (apparently at that point, “the honeymoon’s over.”)

Talking about the failures of past relationships, one woman said that she’d noticed a pattern with the men she’d met. Whereas she wanted to get to know them, to see how their minds worked, to determine where they were as a couple, she came up against a wall when they “didn’t want to dig too deep." They were happy at surface level.

That, ladies and gents, is my problem with an awful lot of the people (not just men) on this planet. I know that most of the people I saw today went about their business the same as everyday without even a single thought about what life has been like for their bus driver or whether there’s a better way they could do their job or why public education is only adequate in white school districts. Instead, there’s paychecks, beer, and clothes to take up your time. It’s one thing to simply lack intelligence, but it’s entirely another to have the ability to dig deeper, but not the will.

Another hilarious moment in the film: a woman implied, though perhaps accidentally, that she’d rather have a man cheat on her than tell her he was a vegetarian. Classic.

28 September 2006

Welcome To The Jungle

I stop by a party, dressed very casually, having just spent an hour moving boxes. I find that, as usual, the girls are in tight dresses totally inappropriate for the weather (and everything else, save for attracting disgusting little boys in men's bodies whose dumb-as-a-rock-but reasonably-hot girlfriends will soon become their dumb-as-a-rock-and-increasingly-less-hot wives and proceed to raise daughters who will have the best time of their lives in high school) and the guys are in dirty jeans and t-shirts they obviously pulled off the floor. Anyone else see a problem with this picture? Starts to feel like one step forward, two steps back.

Anyway though, I’m wearing those Teva sandals that have one extra ‘X’ in addition to the normal flip flop configuration. I finally get dragged into a drinking game, which comes as a welcome distraction from my previous effort to avoid either strangling or vomiting all over every other female in the room, and what does my lovely partner do? She looks down at my feet like they have grown a layer of fungus and practically spits out, “Wow. Those are some intense shoes.”

Thanks honey, way to stick together. I know you and the other trixies are all wearing the same 4-inch spike heels, and that’s great if your one ambition in life is to get one of these little boys here to sleep with you and then treat you like one of the other ninety or so girls he’s slept with, but I apparently didn’t get the memo. The fact that I’m carrying you in this game of beer pong (no, I haven't played much before, I just happen to be coordinated from nearly TWENTY YEARS of sports, but you wouldn't know-you've never asked) will have to be enough to prove my worth.

And Then There Were...One.

When I was in middle school, I went to California, all by myself, to visit my grandmother. It was probably the first time I'd been responsible for taking care of myself (albeit briefly) and I was nervous. The next morning, I watched my grandmother make freshly squeezed orange juice (in much the same way that my mom moved away from the midwest and instantly became a desert person, my grandmother instantly became a California hippie)...

Me: Do you like living alone?

G: I enjoy it very much. Why do you ask?

Me: Aren't you lonely?

G: Sometimes, I guess. (winks) But I don't know, Peanut, there's just something about it.


And indeed there is. Despite the fact that the kitchen lights don't work (let me tell you, cooking in the dark is a whole new challenge), the back wall of the bedroom is painted hot (HOT) pink, the shower drain is less than ideal, and I have no mailbox key (the landlord says she's "not sure what to do"), the new place is great. The cat and I can sleep as late as we want, walk around in our underwear, and DVR History Channel specials to watch at two in the morning. If I was ever up at two in the morning...

I have to admit though, it was slightly hard saying goodbye to the temporary roommate. I guess I rarely meet people who a) I genuinely like to hang out with and b) are up for genuinely hanging out.

26 September 2006

Patience...

More posts soon, I promise. I have plenty to say, but little access to internet.

Move went well though, and the cat has stayed friends with me and made a new friend in the form of the water heater. Take it where you can get it I guess.

20 September 2006

Great Minds...

At about 10:30 this morning, I gracefully spilled water all over my desk. Thank you, elbow. Honestly, it was a welcome break, as most of my day consisted of data crunching. I got up to get paper towels, walked around the corner, and what do I see but a coworker tearing off about ten for herself.

Me: Hey K., did you spill?

K: Yeah, I just knocked my water all over my desk.

Me: Touche.

19 September 2006

Want Some Cheese With That Whine?

Back story for you: #18 Oregon beat #15 Oklahoma last weekend thanks in part to an admittedly terrible call that gave the ball to Oregon even after a Duck (yes that's the mascot, I'm not making it up) touched an onside kick before it had traveled the requisite ten yards. The Sooners (again, not made up) and their fans went absolutely apeshit. Below is Pat Forde's (of ESPN's weekly Forde Yard Dash...still not made up) opinion, which I thought was quite apt.

Get some perspective, kids. How embarassing for the...lovely...state of O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A.

-----------
The Dash understands why Sooner Nation lost its collective mind after the officiating fiasco at the end of the Oregon game, which was won by the Ducks 34-33. The non-call on the onside kick stunk. The inept review of the call was worse. The Pac-10's one-game suspension of the offending officials was completely justified.

But the Oklahoma reaction has become an overreaction. In fact, it has transitioned from righteous indignation to outright insanity.

The actions of school president David Boren make you wonder whether he isn't actually the booster club president instead of the guy running an institution of higher learning. The former governor and U.S. senator pushed out his pouty lip and dashed off a petulant letter to Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg that is embarrassing on multiple levels. "… The Big 12 should request that the game should not go into the record books as a win or a loss by either team in light of the level of officiating mistakes," Boren's letter said.

And strike the Kansas City Royals' 1985 World Series title from the record books because of that terrible call at first base by Don Denkinger, too!

"It is truly sad and deeply disappointing that members of our football team should be deprived of the outcome of the game that they deserved because of an inexcusable breakdown in officiating," Boren concluded.

What's truly sad and deeply disappointing to The Dash is the fact that Boren should have such an inexcusable breakdown in perspective.

Is there really nothing better for the president to do at the University of Oklahoma? Like, maybe check in on the college of arts and sciences? Or, if he's that terribly concerned about the football program, perhaps he could lend a hand to the compliance office and help monitor players' jobs at local car dealerships. Y'know, make sure they actually show up and do some work.

If the president can put down his pompon for a minute, he'll realize a couple of things:

1. Bad calls happen. In every game. A few times a year, they can play a critical role in a game's outcome. Are we going to set a precedent of presidential hissy fits after each critical blown call?

2. The game did not end on this bad call. Oklahoma still had the lead, still had a chance to win. It didn't get the job done.

But instead of absorbing this as an object lesson -- life is not fair, but you have to deal with it -- the school president is setting the sore-loser tone.

Coach Bob Stoops went off shortly after Boren, all but declaring the officials and the Pac-10 unforgiven for the damage done to Oklahoma's season. (Bob: You can still win the Big 12 title and go to a BCS bowl. And you weren't going to win anybody's national championship anyway. You might have sustained the illusion for another few weeks by winning this game, but it wasn't going to happen.)

When asked about Boren's letter, Stoops thanked the prez for taking time away from reviewing game film to join in the bitchfest.

"We have a great administration," Stoops said. "President Boren is the absolute best president a head coach can have."

Clearly. The question is whether he's the best president a math professor can have.

Then again, maybe Boren is simply following presidential precedent at Oklahoma. It was OU prez George Cross who once explained to the state legislature a need for more funding because, "I would like to build a university which the football team can be proud of."

In closing, The Dash will take the obnoxious step of quoting itself, just to help the honorable president Boren. This was from an August column enumerating 23 new rules of conduct for college football fans:

If the scoreboard says you lost, you lost. That's not going to change. Take an hour to vent postgame, then try to regain your sanity. Do not diminish your quality of life -- and the quality of life of those around you -- by spewing for days about the refs who cheated your team, the flagrant league bias against your team or the complete lack of class displayed by the team that beat your team. Your team l-o-s-t. Try to deal.

18 September 2006

Hail To The Victors Valiant

This may have been the best football weekend of my entire life. Michigan crushes Notre Dame (bye bye national championship, bye bye Heisman trophy), and the Bears, for the second week in a row, look like they maybe possibly hopefully could be for real. And though we're all sure it's a total sham, they seem to have found a quarterback as well. They're playing the Vikings next week, so I guess we'll see what's what.

Got a call during the game on Saturday from the ex-boyfriend (no, not that one, the one whose voice I've kind of missed hearing lately even if it still doesn't pipe up quite as much as I'd like). He's another (Irish) Catholic who is well aware of both my Michigan fandom-ness and my intense hatred of Notre Dame. Anyway though, it was really nice to talk to him. Though things didn't work out for us as a couple, I know (and always knew) that he genuinely likes me as a person.

Well-timed too, considering I asked for help with various aspects of the moving process (some easy, some more time-intensive) and wasn't exactly thrilled with the *outpouring* of support (sense the sarcasm?). Let's just say there are three types of friends. One kind responds promptly with something along the lines of, "Can't do Thursday, but any other day just tell me when and I'll be there." Another responds after a day or so with "I might be free Wednesday night, but work is crazy and my boyfriend wants me to watch his hockey game and my dog is sick, so I'll let you know." Finally, there's the total lack of response. Brilliant. Not that anyone's a bad person or anything, but you certainly know where you stand.

I don't mean to complain so much (really) and I know that my life is considerably smoother than the vast majority of the planet. It's just that college makes you used to having a solid group of close friends around and it has been really hard to lose that.

14 September 2006

I Hope The Next Time You Get A Double Decker Strawberry Ice Cream Cone The Ice Cream Part Falls Off The Cone Part And Lands In Australia

On occasion, I have a day so ridiculous that I can't even believe it's part of my life. Yesterday was one of those days.

I woke up early because I was due to lead a training at work and wanted some extra time to get settled. I was greeted by Noah's Ark-style rain but, hey, at least I was on time.

So I get to the train aaaand my ride card doesn't work. It's got a little chip in it, and has been giving me some trouble on occasion, but yesterday it wouldn't work at all. So I stand there like an idiot rubbing it against the censors with grumpy, wet people piling up behind me. Finally. the ticket agent comes to see what the holdup is, tries the rubbing a few more times, decides he believes me, gives me a lecture about calling the customer service number (look buddy, I will, the thing is that cards just work until they don't and today is apparently the day) and lets me through. I've missed a train during this whole ordeal, but they come every 3-5 minutes during rush hour, right?

Except no, because the train I missed while card-jockeying seems to have somehow been the last one for 17 minutes. Which means that the next one opens its doors to reveal a completely impenetrable wall of people. Wet people. Guess I'll let that one go. The next train is also not within the 3-5 minute rule. Instead, it's a nine minute wait, during which the stupendously loud P.A. system breaks in every single minute to announce "Brown Line riders traveling north and southbound, we're experiencing a delay." Oh really? I hadn't noticed. But thanks for covering only one-eighth of the platform so that these delays are as bad as possible when it rains. Anyway, the third train that shows up is packed too, but I have no choice but to cram in.

The training actually went fine, but then I had the pleasure of spending the rest of the day taping paper, making copies, and calling everyone who was at the training to tell them that the schedule I gave them mere hours ago was wrong because of an oversight by someone else. Except it doesn't pay to blame other people, so I just had to eat...doody. See, this has to be someone else's life, because I don't remember signing up for this.

Oh yeah, and a coworker I really like is apparently leaving to stay home with her first child. No comment on that one. I hope she'll be happy.

All's well that ends well though, since I saw the Marky-Mark movie. If there was an Oscar for Best Slow Motion Mud-Football Scene, well, you have your winner.

11 September 2006

Hell In A Handbasket

I got the apartment I wanted, which was GREAT, both because there was a fair amount of drama and because I haven't gotten some...other...things I wanted lately. But now I'm deeply mired in the whole moving process.

I have some overlap between the two leases and can easily move the small things myself, but have a few bigger pieces of furniture that I don't really trust my friends with. Let's just say that good intentions don't move a queen size mattress down a curved staircase. So I need a little help with labor, but moving companies don't seem to differentiate between a full scale apartment and a couple of pieces of furniture. So I'm left with independent little operations and everything sounds great, but you just don't know when push comes to shove if they'll really show up and be as experienced as they say.

I guess I wouldn't know for sure, but it seems to me that even one generation ago, this kind of thing was a little more certain. Or at least it would have been horrifying if you did get ripped off and definitely would have merited more than a shrug. What do you suppose has changed that? Increasing uncertainty in the world? Globalization and the resulting breakdown of the insular community? Anonymity of the internet?

Anyway, cross your fingers that my guys show up.

07 September 2006

Don't Judge A Book...

The brown line trains were delayed on the way home today (something about faulty equipment--maybe that could happen at a time other than rush hour?), so my train was beyond packed when an old, rather unkempt, likely homeless woman shoved her way on at Clark and Lake. From my vantage point jammed into the vestibule, I watched a preppy banker type in a pink oxford shirt jump up and clear the way for her to take his seat. He blushed and began to fiddle around in his pocket as she smiled at him gratefully and told him he was a nice young man.

By the time we got to his stop (Sedgwick, of course--he couldn't be all anti-stereotype), the train had cleared out a bit, and I had a great view as he pulled a twenty dollar bill out of his pocket with the intention to give it to her. As the doors opened, he pushed it into her hand on his way by the seat. She started to shake her head, but he leaned down, whispered "I insist" and disappeared out the door. This time, she blushed.

04 September 2006

Happy Labor Day

Speaking of labor, you know what I don't understand? The job market. You know why? Because I somehow failed to get a job I was absolutely perfect for. There's a non-profit in Chicago that uses sports to empower young women and teach them leadership and life skills. They were looking for a program coordinator for their after-school program in the Chicago Public Schools (yes, many of the same schools I'm working in now).

So. Let's get this straight. These people needed someone with an interest and background in athletics to do my job with the same kids. Not only have I been practically doing this exact job for two years, I can actually prove an interest in sports--I still play at least twice a week! I've even coached kids before. Ever hear the story about the person that sent her resume to HR to apply for her own job and didn't get it? Well...

Having failed to get a job where the description pretty closely resembled my resume, I guess I go back to applying for jobs that
a) I'm mildly qualified for and
b) sound slightly less dull than my current job.

31 August 2006

A Room Of My Own

Despite the occasional moment of quarterlife crisis, I’ve had very little trouble adjusting to life as an adult. I show up for work on time, pay my bills, appear in places I said I would be, remember to feed the cat, buy milk, change the oil in the car, take out the garbage, buy city stickers, mop the kitchen floor, and even occasionally call my little brother. It has been a fairly easy transition, likely because there are very few obstacles of this ilk that I couldn’t have handled at the age of 14.

Still though, there are certain events in the life of a twenty-something that never fail to make me feel like a child. One such occurrence is finding a new apartment. I’m honestly appalled that I could be allowed to decide on a place to live without the approval of at least one other person. I would guess that having a child feels the same way.

On top of that little insecurity, I had possibly the least helpful agent at Apartment People “helping” me yesterday. They didn’t really have much in their listings that fit my criteria, which is fine. I know they get new apartments every day, and I’m still a little bit on the early side. Instead of politely suggesting some other neighborhoods I might think about and telling me to call back next week, he gave me a frown and a frustrated sigh, made a big production out of showing me a couple of places that he knew weren’t even close, and said, “I can’t find anything. I think your budget’s wrong. What do we do?”

I don’t know what we do, you jackass, but it might help if you had an iota of kindness or at least a working knowledge of the city to go on. I’ve been checking Craigslist and asking other people what they pay for months, so please don’t dismiss me with “there aren’t any apartments in the city like that.” I know you’re just an insensitive jerk who would give anything for a real job, but you make me feel like I have no business trying to be an adult. As a friend says, thanks for being not nice for no reason and ruining my day.


*also, to whoever wrote me about blogging on the golf site, I'd be happy to help you, but as you didn't leave an email address, I have no way to contact you. Leave me a comment with your email (no one else will see it if I don't publish it) and I'll write back.

27 August 2006

Concessions Revisited

Thanks for all of the comments, both public and not, on Oh, The Concessions We Make. They made me think a little more about it and I’ll be excited to hear your thoughts on part two:

I remember a lot of complaining in college that there was no middle ground between being essentially married and simply hooking up. I see the same problem here in the (semi-) real world. There’s an idea that someone who wants to and is able to really see you has the potential to be a spouse (or at least a long term relationship) while everyone else is “just for fun.”

That creates a huge problem for me, since I’m wholly uninterested in any kind of close relationship with someone who doesn’t have a clue who I am. That goes for friends as well as boyfriends—if I talk to you regularly, you can be sure it’s *your* company I want and not just company. I don't have much, if any, experience in long-term relationships, only in short ones where I'm fairly uncomfortable being with someone when I have a nagging feeling that he could have the same experience with any other girl on the street. I tend to read people fairly well, and I’m generally not willing to give the benefit of the doubt to someone I think isn’t trying.

That leaves a small window of time for the “getting to know you” part (and likely explains why I rarely date people longer than a month), but there have been people with whom I felt a very quick, very real connection, almost like we were transparent to each other. Right from the beginning, we had a baseline, a backbone to our relationship. Three were female and two were guys who were taken (and still are, as far as I know). One of those flamed out rather quickly (she wasn’t the person I thought she was, which brings up another list of questions, I suppose) and I only keep in regular contact with two out of the five, but I’ll recognize that connection when it happens again.

(For the record, I have had that kind of connection emerge later in a relationship, but the difference is that we weren't trying to force so much one-on-one time--or anything physical--in the meantime. It grew before we became close friends, which seems more natural to me.)

25 August 2006

I'm Hoping For Sons

There’s an article in the New York Times today about how fashion designers are starting to aim their advertisements at girls from 4-9 years old. Among the examples are a four year old getting a pedicure and a nine year old who says that Seven jeans are “pretty much the only ones she wears.” If this isn't a sign of the coming apocalypse...

It’s interesting that it comes up now, since I have the following story for contrast:

I’m pretty sure I saw someone I went to high school with on the train the other day. She would be hard to miss because she was born very premature and the bone structure in her face is a little off and very noticeable. She had some developmental delays too, from what I remember.

She didn’t recognize me, or maybe she didn’t see me, but she sat down across the aisle slightly in front of me on a middle-of-the-afternoon, empty brown line. I watched her look out the window for a few minutes and I started to feel gradually happier. Happy for her, that she looked healthy and was headed somewhere, and happy for me because I had one of those moments where everything seems a little more clear.

Suddenly, I see all of the ridiculousness surrounding appearance anxiety and body image (particularly for American women) for exactly what it is—ridiculous. It’s totally self-centered, ignorant even, to worry about having a certain look or to judge others accordingly. What if we could all be satisfied with being happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and supported by our families and friends? Can you imagine that world? I did for about one minute…

24 August 2006

Oh, The Concessions We Make

A friend's date tried to hold her hand after just two minutes of date #1 (sorry, hope you don't mind me stealing your story), and I think I've figured something out.

The reason the hand-holding bugs me (and I assume her) is because it just isn't legitimate. It's one thing if a guy grabs your hand in the middle of a flirty conversation at the end of the night, but if he does it two minutes in, it isn't you he's into--it's the idea of having a girlfriend (or the idea of having sex...). And maybe he'll eventually see you and want to be with you, but maybe he'll always be dating his fantasy of you or maybe he doesn't even care all that much what you're like.

And you know what? I have these doubts a lot. I'm continually suspicious, particularly with relatively young guys, that he honestly has no idea who I am and worse yet, that he doesn't really care. That the idea of me, a physical relationship, and the occasional funny joke is enough for him.

Now, of course if that's what you're looking for as well (namely, a nice enough, presentable, reasonably-enjoyable-in-bed guy to call your boyfriend), that would work out well. But I can never escape the feeling, sane or not, that I want a whole lot more than he does out of this, or any, relationship.

I hate to say it, but maybe this is just one of those differences between men and women. My mom often teases my dad that if he ever ran into her out of context--on a crowded street, in the airport, etc.--he wouldn't recognize her. And I can attest to the truth of that, having actually run into my dad on Michigan Ave. and had to literally step into his path to keep him from walking right past me. It was certainly a funny occurence (and I love and respect my dad tremendously), but just how abstract is that example?

Whether it's your boyfriend or your husband, does he really see you as you are? Do you really see him? How much does it matter?

20 August 2006

Yardstick Cupcakes

L. (new co-worker): Did someone say something about cupcakes? I make really good cupcakes.

E. (also co-worker): Really? Great. We were talking about the cupcake issue for K.'s baby shower.

Me: K. always makes the cupcakes for our baby showers, but now she's having the baby, so I guess we can't ask her to make her own cupcakes.

E: And she always decorates them all cute, with little baby faces--

Me: And pastel frosting!


"K. always makes the cupcakes for the baby showers"...
Isn't it weird how things can get normalized so quickly? We've had so many new babies in our office (5 out of 14 women in about a year and a half) that we now have a baby shower routine. Which nicely feeds into our other routine of having parties approximately every other day...

Disturbingly, or not, the rather frequent baby milestones at work are providing me with a telling yardstick for my maturity. The first two babies, born 18 months ago, were (and continue to be) very cute, but I couldn't really get too excited about them. What I felt was mostly 'it's neat that you made that, but I sure don't want one.' The next one, born nine months later. totally captivates me. I can't take my eyes off of him when he's around. I still can't really imagine having one soon, but hey, I used to think I didn't want children at all because of their unfortunate 0-6 years old stage. And now, I'm making sure someone's in charge of the pastel frosting for the baby shower cupcakes. Oh, how times (and working with nearly all women) have changed me.


Side Note: Can you email me if you wrote the comment about having the preemie veins?
Just so everyone knows, if you choose 'Other' as your identity when you make comments, you can leave just your first name (and just leave the 'web address' part blank).

18 August 2006

Top Three Annoyances of the Week

3. Car insurance
So, my auto insurance was up for renewal this month, and I finally got around to grabbing a quote online from Progressive--turns out I can save over $500 per year. Which is great, except silly me, I actually feel bad about leaving behind my AllState agent, who has been wonderful to my family for a number of years and is just generally an all-around nice guy. So I wrote this long, involved, apologetic goodbye email and then felt slightly better. I seem to have so much trouble with (even mild) confrontation with strangers, which is funny, since I have no problem when it's people I know well.

2. The cat, who made me eat my words the other day. I was at a co-worker's house--somehow, we bought a digital recorder that is not compatible with MACs, which is funny, since all of our computers are MACs--and she has two dogs. They're very sweet dogs and all, but as you may have previously read, I hate dogs. They're clingy, loud destroyers of important property. I was congratulating myself on the way home for owning the greatest pet known to mankind and then I walk in the door and my roommate is on his hands and knees cleaning up his rug. A certain furry friend likes to play with hair rubber bands and occasionally gets so excited that she eats them (which makes sense, since I occasionally get really excited and eat baseballs...). They are undigestible, of course, which necessitates the finding of the only non-hardwood floor area in the apartment and the subsequent unloading of foreign substances. If anyone sees a 'sorry my cat puked on your rug' card, pick it up for me, will you?

1. U.S. Cellular, who has decided to advertise the fact that their customers can now get cell service in the subway tunnels. My mornings on the red and/or blue lines will no longer lack that guy arguing with his girlfriend about who really gave her the clap. So, yeah, thanks for that.

15 August 2006

Sorry, Baseball Again

I've been to two Sox games in the past week, one a much-awaited 5-0 drubbing of the Tigers on Friday night, and the other a rather lackluster 4-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals (apparently it possible to lose to the Royals). The former I watched from the second row with my Tigers fan friend M., and the latter played out from the upper deck to the soundtrack of a bizarre combination of my baseball teammates and "somebody's church friends" (that's how they were introduced to me).

When did people decide that 'the Cell' (yeah, I bought in) was an extension of their living rooms? People are getting up six and seven times a game for ever more ridiculous kinds of food ("Kid, are you seriously trying to put dippin' dots on an elephant ear right now? I'm calling security."), chatting in the aisles in the middle of an inning when they should be taunting the opposing pitcher, and text messaging friends instead of noticing that 5 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball has come to an end. Even M. spent the top of the second chatting on his phone. I miss the time when your living room and the ballpark really were different.

Additionally, I sat next to a woman who said she'd been going to Sox games since the '60's and apparently ushers used to make you wait until the end of the half-inning to go back to your seat. What happened to that?!? I sure didn't buy tickets to have your butt obstruct my field of vision four times an hour!

A few of my baseball teammates are Cubs fans and came to "cheer against the Sox." Now, I hate hate hate the Cubs and whatever I might say in my living room, I know how to be appropriate at Wrigley Field and I appreciate good baseball for what it is. The Baby Bears don't play too much of it but when they do, I clap. In general, it worked out though, since by "cheer against the sox," they apparently meant drink beer while facing the other way and taking dozens of cell phone pictures.

None of this was helped by the fact that the girl who sang the national anthem said "whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous nights" and no one noticed! Like Krusty the Klown once said, should have taken those cue cards.

I hate to say it, but I think the national pastime has lost the magic. Where's Cal Ripken Jr. when you need him?

14 August 2006

Bush League

An interesting sports ethics question came up earlier this summer. Here's a link for the article:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2549340

but if you don't feel like reading, here's the gist. Romney Oaks, a ten-year-old from Utah, was found to have a brain tumor at age four. He survived, but treatment stunted his growth, left him with a shunt in his brain, and denied him the opportunity to play contact sports. He's allowed to play baseball if he wears a helmet in the field, which is exactly what he chooses to do. Almost needless to say, he's his team's worst player and has only managed two weak hits in 12 games. So with the championship game on the line and his team batting with two outs and the tying run on third base, Romney stands on deck with the best hitter on his team in the box. What does the opposing coach do? He instructs his pitcher to intentionally walk the best hitter to get to Romney, who predictably strikes out on three pitches to end the game.

At first I thought, what a jackass. An adult walks all over a cancer survivor to win a fifth grade championship, but then I started to have some doubts. After all, this guy's team worked hard to get there, and they deserve every chance to win. Did they treat this kid like every other player by employing sound baseball strategy--no one wants to face the best hitter if you don't have to--or did they teach these ten year olds to prey on the weakest animal? And when exactly does and/or should sports instruction switch from sportsmanship and all-around positive experiences to playing to win?

In the end, I'm swayed by the fact that it's an essentially watered-down league where everyone bats and there's a four run per inning maximum. In a league with rules like that, I think you shouldn't intentionally walk anyone, regardless of skill level and game significance. Touchy-feeliness aside, fifth grade sports are about making sure the kids have positive experiences and learn sportsmanship and fundamentals.

Part of me thinks I could just as easily make the other argument though.

Fire Signs, Take Your Mark

Though I was born August 1st, smack dab in the middle of the Leos, my original due date was September 6th. So now, every time I read anything having to do with astrology (which isn't that often...), I get all annoyed because I was obviously meant to be a rational, analytical, stable Virgo, not a boastful, center-of-attention Leo who "loves to entertain." Riiight.

But I recently told another handful of people about the blog and guess what? It turns out I'm a huge ham! Everyone's responses, questions, jokes, comments about the extras on the Moulin Rouge DVD, etc. make me so happy! It's like virtual college life (you know, when everyone's always on your bed, eating your peppermint patties, and wonderfully way too involved in every aspect of your daily existence)!

It's also an added motivation to keep writing, which is excellent. I was kind of worried for a while that I'd begin to feel like the subjects were limited, but then I realized (possibly while certain baseball teammates were telling me to keep my opinion to myself two weeks ago), when have I ever censored myself anyway? I don't know why I would start now.

So thanks a million for reading (and commenting/reacting) and if you have any inclincation towards writing, I highly recommend starting one of your own.

*As a side note, I guess this is officially public now. So despite the fact that basically everyone who has a remote chance of being interested and can read English is already privy, feel free to tell whomever you (or I) like.

13 August 2006

West Fest

So we're walking to West Fest (street fest just like every other street fest except this one is in hipster/yuppie--yes, it's possible--West Town) and J., who I guess could only realistically be described as my boyfriend at this point, just went to a wedding of a college roommate. So we're talking about weddings and I mention some friends of mine who are getting married and how though I think they're young, they've been living together in the "real world" for a while, so they kind of have a head start. And just as I'm about to say, "I can't imagine getting married without living with someone first", he blurts out "I would never live with a girlfriend before marriage."

And honestly, I suppose this doesn't matter, because I don't want to marry him. But it did make me turn and look him straight in the eye.

So it turns out his sister basically spent the summer doing missionary work and I seem to have found myself another guilty (if very confident in who he is) Catholic. Which is fine I guess, but not being religious myself, I can't understand how people can pick and choose like that.

That said, we had a great time at West Fest, good conversation, a nice little stop in the courtyard at that amazing Ukranian church on Superior (where there was actually a wedding going on, believe it or not) and an amazing chocolate malt. Mmm...malts.

30 July 2006

Idiots

We played a doubleheader today. Or, we would have if we hadn't been thwarted by a near-flash flood that finally brought the end of the heat wave...in Kalamazoo. The weather in Chicago is still hot and humid as ever.

The "managers" (if you only knew how ridiculous the whole thing was) got together before the game and decided that since it was so hot and it was a long backstop (editorial note: boo hoo), we'd play only two steals per inning and runners couldn't advance on wild pitches.

Makes sense, right? Except, no. Here are the reasons that drive me almost insane. For one thing, either we're playing a game or we're not. And since I got up at 5:30 this morning to drive to good old Western Michigan, I really hope it wasn't just for practice. But most important, this would never, ever, not in a million years, be done to a guys' game. And though I, for one, like softball better anyway (don't tell anyone that though), the mission of our team/organization is to "bring the national pastime to the other half of the nation", which I really respect. But if we're going to do that, then it needs to be the same game. Not a watered-down, beer-league rules to suit the weak little girls who aren't going to make it through the heat.

And I made that comment, and a few of my teammates damn near took my head off. At which point I proceeded to play the best game at shortstop I've ever played. In your face!

27 July 2006

Sprinkles and IP

Last night, I went to get gelato with my brother's friend's girlfriend (long story, apparently we're friends now). We went to Mario and Gino's, the lovely neighborhood storefront that's open for approximately five minutes per year. I have no idea how they make money.

A (the girlfriend): I'd like the Bailey's flavor.

Scooper: Cup or cone?

A: Cup, please. And could I have rainbow sprinkles on that?

S: Oh, uhhh...I'm not allowed to put toppings on the gelato, only the ice cream.

A: Oh?

S: No. It's their policy or something. I can't use it for shakes either. But I can give you the sprinkles and then you can put them on.

Me: Do you know why?

S: No, that's just what they told me.


As far as I know, Mario and Gino's is a one shot deal, not a chain. And I can't decide if this is the weirdest thing I've ever heard or kind of cool. On one hand, you're in business to make money and if someone wants to put weird combinations of food together, what do you care? I mean, I think it's pretty weird to put rainbow sprinkles on high-quality gelato too, but as long as she's willing to give you the extra quarter...

On the other hand, they're proud of their gelato and this is their attempt to protect their intellectual property? Which is kind of heroic, if perhaps misguided.

If there was a third hand, it would wonder why anyone would ever get anything besides the hazlenut biscotti kind.

25 July 2006

Two

Sorry for the lack of posts recently--my mommy was in town for a while, which was delightful. There's something about having a parent around that just makes everything feel safer or more comfortable or something. The fact that she's willing to drive everywhere probably doesn't hurt...

---

I've always been pretty darn happy single. Though there are times when I want a guy around (a lightbulb goes out, I want to see a sports movie, I watch a couple kiss goodbye on the el, etc.), it takes a lot to convince me to give up my alone time. Or my cat time for that matter. But last night I was headed over to J.'s house for date #4 and I have to admit, I loved picking up two sandwiches. I almost tossed a needless "my boyfriend" at the clerk. Which is funny, because it's date #4 for god's sake. Though being single is much more acceptable than it once was--and I like it!--there's a small (I hope *really* small) part of me that feels more comfortable as part of a pair.

As a side note, I made him watch Moulin Rouge and he had the good sense to at least pretend he liked it. Which is nice, because otherwise, I would have concluded that he had no imagination. Not only are musicals hilarious, they're great litmus tests!

16 July 2006

The Grinch of Summer

That's what I am. It's about 95 degrees here in Chicago today with a heat index over 100 and I'm supposed to be all excited because "it's summer!"? We played three hours of baseball this morning and I swear, it felt like we were all playing in my shower. Do you realize that it would feel just like this if you were occupying space in your own bloodstream? How does that qualify as good weather?

The funny thing is that no one ever gets bothered for complaining about winter. Nope. From January to March, the capacity people have for listening to whining about the weather is essentially unlimited. But put the sun out and the temperature above 65 (no matter how far above) and it's "nice out."

Baseball is a blast though, and I appreciate being able to be outside. I think I'm really just sore about it because Chicago may have the worst weather anywhere (well, Minneapolis...). Okay, it could be worse than 100 degrees, but it's not like this is the tropics--in five months, it could be ten below zero! That seems just a little unfair. Just saying.

The temperature is supposed to break a bit (down to 85-woohoo.) on Tuesday for the much awaited arrival of my mommy, and I'm looking forward to perhaps the only person who can complain more about the humidity than I. Mom, I am impressed by your almost complete metamorphosis to a desert person in a year and a half after a half century in the midwest, so I will do my best to lower the humidity to something below swimming.

I did get an opportunity to get a good zinger in today though. I was on deck pretending to do something besides sweat, and I turned to the dugout and asked, "So, how much hotter than this do you think hell is?" The consensus was maybe about 30 degrees. Good night everybody! Don't forget to tip your server!

13 July 2006

Official Good Deed Day

1. I donated blood today. I'd pat myself heartily on the back except it has been nearly two years since the last time I did it, so maybe not so hearty of a pat. For the first time ever though, I felt seriously lightheaded. Tunnel vision, sweating, nauseous and everything. I know that's totally normal, but I think I honestly used to pride myself on my ability to give blood (and even watch them stick the needle in) without so much as blinking. Still, ice packs saved the day, I got my lovely Cran-Raspberry Drink (Dear Lifesource: bring back the clearly superior Cran-Grape!), and even got a free test for the West Nile Virus. So all's well that ends well I guess. If you can handle the needles and aren't from Africa, find a center and go do it. I hate to be morbid, but we're all one unlucky coincidence away from needing it.

2. If you haven't seen 'An Incovenient Truth' (yes, the Al Gore movie), please do that as soon as possible. As a public education/healthcare freak, the environment has never really been one of my pet causes. I think because I thought that it wasn't really an immediate problem. Turns out, that's exactly what they want you to think. It's not a conspiracy theory, it's a conspiracy. To make a long story short, environmental degradation is an acute problem that we have the tools, but unfortunately not the political will, to solve. Get that political will. See the movie and go to www.climatecrisis.net

You can make a difference for yourself, your children, and your grandchildren, even where your country won't. Whew. Better go to bed before I vote for Al Gore for president.

10 July 2006

Schmank

I'm at the grocery store checkout and I've just finished unloading the cart. I pull out my trusty bright yellow debit card and swipe it, congratulating myself for not yet succumbing to the 'Pay by Touch' phenomenon (hello, Big Brother). I enter my pin, okay the amount aaand....


Cashier: "Oh, it didn't work."

Me: "It didn't?"

Cashier: "(sighs) Just try again."

I do and...

Me: Nothing.

Cashier: into microphone (bringing up major 'price check on tampons' associations) "Floor coverage to 3."

Floor Coverage Lady: "What's up?"

Cashier: "She used her TCF card and it came up as 'incorrect transaction.' I've never seen that before."

FCL: "Oh, yeah, sometimes TCF has that problem."

Me: (turning head incredulously to look at TCF branch a mere 30 feet away) "They do?"

FCL: "Yeah, do you have a check maybe?"

Me: "(sigh) no, but I live five minutes away. I guess I'll be back in ten minutes."

On my way out, I decide to stop by the TCF branch next to the door

Teller: "Oh, sorry we're closed."

Me: "Yeah, I know."
(mutters to self: Apparently, 'convenient hours' means you're open for an hour and a half on Sunday).
"My card didn't work at the checkout and I was wondering if you knew of any reason that might be the case?"

Teller: "Oooh, yeah, sometimes we have that problem."

Me: "So I've heard."


So, it seems like sometimes, it's time to get a new bank. There's this teller that flirts with me (half creepy, half fun) at the Citibank where I perform gopher duties for work. Maybe I could make his day...

07 July 2006

Hot Rod

Date went well, I'd say. The guy has a sense of humor, seems to be an adventurous eater, and cares about public education--I think I'll see him again.

On the way home a little before 10 (school night after all), I'm stopped at a red light going north on Western Ave., and a big 'ol beater slowly pulls alongside me and slightly past. The movement catches my eye and I turn my head and see the driver, average looking and maybe about 25, all-out staring at me. Head over his shoulder out the window and everything. Now, this has happened before--men are not subtle and I no longer look like jailbait. But when he sees me catch him, he doesn't look away! Instead, he maintains eye contact and gives me that cocky little head incline that all guys seem to have in their repetoire. For some reason, this really throws me off of my whole 'you're a perv' eye roll and before I know it, I'm grinning at him. Not a smile, mind you, this is a grin. I may have actually giggled.

The light changes and he speeds off. Perhaps not surprisingly considering the condition of his car, he drives like a maniac. Stopped again under the tunnel just south of North Ave, I know I've caught him (see kids, driving quickly really doesn't save you any time) and I can't help but sneak a peek. He's got his head out the window again, onlly this time, he's holding up his open phone. Fun is fun, but I don't really know about a guy who picks up girls while driving like a bat out of hell on Western Ave. I awkwardly pretend not to see him.

So all's well that ends...the same, I guess. But I'm still grinning about it and I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Do I need someone unpredictable? More forward? (Before you ask, no the date didn't kiss me, though I knew he wanted to) Does every girl once in a while need to know that she's a choice cut of meat? (why do I suddenly feel like a traitor to women?) Thoughts from the four people who read this?

05 July 2006

Roomies

It's official. We found a subletter to replace my roommate, who is moving out at the end of the month. The lucky winner is Z., a New York-based podiatry student who will be in town for some sort of summer rotation. Z. is male, a fact that I am pretty excited about. I had a good experience with the current roommate for sure, but there are many ways in which I'd prefer a guy. The same qualities that make girls terrific and interesting friends (intensity, chattiness, complexity) make them really annoying roommates. Men tend to be...simpler, shall we say...but they're consistent and suggestible. We'll see if I eat those words later. Or possibly tomorrow, as another in the series of first dates is looming. We're meeting at Cafe Selmarie, so at least the food will be good.

On another note, why is there someone outside setting off fireworks right now?? Go home, it's over. You missed it.

04 July 2006

Damn Yankees...

There's two things people always say they hate that bother me. One is the Taste of Chicago and the other is country music. So imagine my delight when the Country Music Festival coincided with the Taste over the holiday weekend! A lovely Sunday complete with jerk chicken, pierogis, and italian ice to the strains of Phil Vassar, SHeDAISY (silly name, catchy tunes), and Jo Dee Messina. And a few tickets left over for lunch next week.

So first, let's discuss the Taste. Yes, it's crowded. Considerably less so between 11 and 1 than later in the afternoon. Also, you know there will be a lot of people, so stop complaining and jump in and fight for that meatball. And actually, the people watching is really the best part. Yuppies from River North meet yokels from Wisconsin meet gay couple from Boystown meet that woman behind me trying to order a pierogi in Korean. Good times. It happens once a year, there's free live music from great bands (Liz Phair and Fountains of Wayne are facing off against the World Cup championship next Sunday...tough choice), shut up and go!

Now, country music. Is it just that people who say they don't like country have only heard 'Achy Breaky Heart'? If so, don't worry, that is objectively bad music. Today's country actually edges toward pop and is really just feel-good, down-home, easy 4-4 rhythym for a sunny summer day. I know you think you're all indie-rock naming bands we've all never heard of and that's fine, but if you don't like Phil Vassar's 'Joe and Rosalita', you don't like music. Period. (see post title)

28 June 2006

Americrap

So I did turn down a job over the weekend. It was fun in its own way, but I think I'd rather have a job/future plan. In many ways, the position was perfect: part public policy/legal process, part community outreach, part research. The catch? It's an Americorps position, meaning you get paid not really enough to live on.

The point of the low Americorps stipend (as I understand it), is to have corps members live at the economic level of the communities they serve. Whether that's a good idea or not (debatable...), it seems totally irrelevant to the office job for which I applied. They're not looking for someone who can learn a valuable lesson by living in and helping a poor community. Instead, their ideal candidate is a recent college grad who has the ability to live at home, rendering the financials irrelevant. I'd be willing to bet that the person currently filling the position is doing just that. Either that, or she lives in a bad neighborhood while working in the loop alongside lawyers making 5 times as much (still not much for lawyers, but you get the idea). Also, they don't change the stiped based on where you live. Considering the circumstances, I'm fairly offended that the organization is even taking Americorps funding. Non-profit or not, if you want good work, you should find a way to pay for it.

Okay, rant over. My New Year's Resolution was to learn to let go of things I can't change. Well, that and to be more agreeable.

Off to bed to enjoy a good old midwestern T-storm.

25 June 2006

I'll Be Your Spiritual Guide This Evening

Finished The Da Vinci Code last week. I resisted reading it for a long time because I knew it would be poorly written. Which it was. And even poorly conceived in a lot of ways .

(Dan Brown's idea of suspense: 'she thought about telling him the important secret, but decided to keep her mouth closed for the time being' end chapter)

But I really enjoyed it. A good conspiracy, great (if often obvious) symbolism, and historical context to boot. If only the man had a decent editor.

My point, though, is that I really appreciate books that make you believe, even for a minute, that there might be a little magic in the world. When a lot of your day is spent with your face in some guy's armpit on the el or having people swear at you from their cars, it can be hard to believe that there's any spirituality or even enough basic kindness left in the world. Though Brown certainly tears down some of the foundations of modern Christianity (memo to Church: relax, it's fiction!), he also lays out a fairly convincing argument that we, as humans, are part of something greater than our individual selves. Brown's characters (both dead and alive) may be a bit flat, but they're cognizant of their place relative to the generations before them and the generations to come; they show us something above a plodding day-to-day reality; . I'm not religious, but it's nice to believe, even for a minute, that we're in this together.

I hope that makes sense. I haven't slept all that much this week.

I've moved onto The World According to Garp. John Irving doesn't disappoint.

Oh yeah, and the job didn't work out. More on that later.

21 June 2006

Feast

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a bite. Someone sent me an email on Monday night because he wants to "talk further" with me about a job I applied for (non-profit if you're curious). So that phone call is on Friday.

Monday night was positively thrilling. Work was exciting since we're having all-staff meetings, weather was beautiful, I had dinner with my friend, got the interview request, and found out the Gin Blossoms are playing Friday night at the zoo (believe it or not, there's a summer concert series called Jamming at the Zoo). I wasn't aware that the Gin Blossoms were technically still a band, so that was *really* good news. Whew. Needless to say if you're familiar with my excitability, I had some trouble sleeping and annoyed the cat mightily with the almost constant movement until 2 in the morning.

It's either feast or famine for me on the exciting life quest. I'll have to find a way to balance that out.

19 June 2006

A Non-Profit Girl in a Corporate World

Had dinner with an out-of-town friend from high school tonight. She brought someone she knew from college. Both definitely corporate types, but certainly down to earth enough for me to enjoy the company. S., (the friend of a friend) seemed a little stand-offish at first, but she warmed right up at my stupendous tour of Millennium Park (really, it’s good, you should take it) and dinner is going well until….


S: You know, the daughter of the owner of McSorely’s went to Yale. I met her once. It’s totally the best bar in New York. Seriously. Well, I mean, all the other ones like it are in Brooklyn (waves hand dismissively).

E (the high school friend): I heard her grandfather lost it in a poker game.

S: True story. And she’s really intent on getting it back. I can totally see why. How great would it be to own the coolest bar in the city?

E: Amazing

S: We should open a bar. You know how much money you can make through mark-up on a keg?

E: Why don’t we? How much capital would we need?

S: Quite a bit, but you already know tons of people in the finance industry. And plus, you don't even really have to pay the bartenders much because people tip so well in New York.

Me: (finally finds voice) Wait a minute. You guys could really be happy owning a bar for the rest of your lives? Selling overpriced beer to 22-year olds and making small talk for a living?

E: Sure

S: Why not?


Particularly interesting for me, since I’m starting to look for a new job and there seems to be a fork in the road. On one hand, na├»ve as it sometimes sounds, I honestly feel a responsibility to use my good fortune and my education to make some difference in the world. I need to make sure that my job allows me to look myself in the mirror every morning. And I'm proud of that, so thank you parents (and happy 29th anniversary, by the way!). Still, despite their sometimes inane conversation topics and occasional socialite-in-training comments, these two ivy leaguers are driven and really, really intelligent (Park tour led to dinner led to coffee and almost four hours of truly stimulating conversation, despite the bar blip) and I just haven’t found enough of that in the non-profit world. In some ways, elitism and over-ambition (thanks for the word, mom, it’s apt here) is easier to take than the frighteningly slow pace of change (??) and general lack of precision in the non-profit world.

So do I find another job with a small do-gooder non-profit (perhaps with a bit more leaning towards policy, which is where I ultimately want to end up) or do I sell out slightly and take a consulting-type job that guarantees young, intelligent coworkers and a faster pace? Guess we'll see who responds to the resumes first...

18 June 2006

Sands of Time...

The radio station I listen to is doing an all 90's weekend (coincidentally, the temperature is also in the '90's this weekend so they're thrilled) and I'm happy as a clam. Blind Melon, Savage Garden, The Spice Girls...hilarious! I was somewhat surprised to find that we're far enough out of the 90's that the music from it seems old. I'll be 24 in about six weeks and while that's still often embarassingly young, it's apparently old enough to be able to hear music and say "I used to listen to this in high school."

I never used to understand how people could get stuck in a certain music era with so much new stuff coming out all the time. But rocking out to my 90's weekend, well, it's starting to be a little more clear. Like it or not, I'm headed right towards being one of those 'back in the day' people.

A girl I sometimes play baseball with is 14 and while I know intuitively that she's spotting me ten years, sometimes it really bites me in the butt. The other day, we were talking about September 11th for some reason and she said, "I remember really well, because I was in 3rd grade." Whoa.

I leave you with the immortal words of Geggy Tah

All I wanna do is to thank you/
Even though I don't know who you are/
You let me change lanes/
When I was driving in my car/


What do you suppose ever happened to those guys?

16 June 2006

I Can't Sew Either...

My protocol for deciding when to get a haircut: One day, I wake up and I can't stand it anymore. That was yesterday, so I got a haircut last night. Luckily, my stylist seems to be available short notice, which is maybe a bad thing...

Haircuts, though, are not my favorite. I've realized that I'm mildly uncomfortable among women who have the so-called 'feminine skills' that I don't. Mostly because I have no idea how to answer their questions. Here's a good sample of the way it goes:

Stylist: Wow, you have a lot of hair.

Me: (staring at self in mirror) Um, thanks. It, uh, grows fast.

Stylist: Okay, so what are we doing with it today?

Me: Well, I was hoping *you* could make it shorter.

Stylist: Well, I can't make it longer. (popular joke)

Me: Yeah. I, uh, I just want to still be able to pull it back.

Stylist: (disappointed) We can't cut much off then.

Me: The ponytail is about 4 inches long now, so I was hoping maybe 3 inches?

Stylist: No way. If you cut off 3 inches, you'll have no hair.

Me: Oh, um, okay. Well, however much you can cut off then.

Stylist: 2, 2.5 inches maybe. Longer in front or back?

Me: Uh... (stares self in face in case answer is buried deep within eyes)

Stylist: If it's longer in front, it will be easier to pull back even when it's short.

Me: Oh, sounds good. Front then.

Stylist: Layers?

Me: Um, yeah, I think so. Whatever you did last time, I liked it.

Stylist: Oh, okay, I'll do that.


I like the haircut though, so I guess all's well that ends well.

I have the same problem at the dry cleaners, where they once asked me what kind of thread I wanted them to use to fix my sweater. Look honey, I'm not that kind of girl. Though to be fair, the Home Depot guy once wanted me to saw the wood myself (yes, good policy: customers use the saw!)

15 June 2006

My Office

I work for a non-profit and generally, that's a good thing. It's sort of like built-in tool repellent. No one's in it just for the money. Which is good, since there's not too much to get. So I like the people, but the administrative and organizational hurdles are *killing* me. I present to you the reason I can't get my work done this week.

We use an online system to compile our student data and different programs are stored under different usernames and passwords. My computer crashed recently (another bonus of non-profit work--crappy technology) and I lost all of my old email, including the password for a new program group I had created. No matter, right? I'll just ask the online support people to resend the password. Someone else in my office is the "account coordinator" so the password can only be sent to her for "security reasons." (if only terrorists wanted to steal the password and enter data for me). Fine, except her e-mail inbox is full, meaning she can't see any of her new mail and though she usually means well, she's totally incapable of thinking of anyone except herself. In conclusion, she "hasn't gotten around" to cleaning it out and without that five minutes of busywork from her, I can't do my damn job.

One nice thing about having no power and basically doing what you're told all the time is that I can just sic my boss on the account coordinator and cool my heels. Outside of watching The Office a couple of times, I wouldn't really know, but I bet this kind of thing doesn't happen at a for-profit. Time is money, after all.

I'm starting to understand why people like construction work so much. See pile of materials--create building.

12 June 2006

Pairs and Pork

Had some friends in town this weekend for Ribfest in North Center and general visiting. I was actually completely kidding when I told them they should come (though pork is GREAT it may not be worth 250 and 500 miles), but they needed a vacation and it's as good an excuse as any to see each other.

I didn't realize one of them was bringing her husband until sometime last week. He's a good guy (and generally when any guy is with 3 or 4 intelligent women, you barely notice him), but it's just that I'm beginning to realize that my life is on the verge of changing. I may have been expecting just my girls, but really, why wouldn't she bring him for ribs and beer? They're married, they both have weekends off, and though he and I only know each other through her (well, and one stupendously boring math class), we're certainly friendly. "Real adults" of the world, help! Is this something you're supposed to assume when people begin to pair off? And will I see her alone again, or is that part of our relationship over?

*Of course, no one is forbidden to do anything alone, but how many married people do you know who have a tight group of friends that excludes their spouse?*

07 June 2006

Arf

The American dog epidemic is really getting out of control. I've had three people in the past six weeks ask me if they could bring their dogs to my apartment, two for a short period of time and one for a the weekend. Luckily, I have a cat who is afraid of her shadow. Pontificating on what might happen were she chased around her own territory by a dog gives me a convenient excuse to avoid the dog zealots, but really I'm sort of peeved by the request, which makes me feel like the bad guy for refusing. Particularly the short term requests. It's not my fault you saddled yourself with a pet that's about three quarters of the way to a baby. If it can't stay home alone for a few hours, then I guess you can't be away from home for more than a few hours.

And lately just about every time I'm in a park or even on a public sidewalk, someone's lab or westie is all over me. I don't mind tossing a tennis ball with a friendly golden retriever, (the cat will play fetch with a headband on occasion, but I get the distinct feeling she's just trying to restore the household order I have so unceremoniously disrupted), but I don't understand when it became acceptable to make everyone else deal with your pet.

I mean, I love love love my cat and I probably talk about her a little more than everyone else ideally needs, but I don't dump her on your lap during your lunch hour walk, do I? In fact, I tend to ask guests in my apartment if they mind her on the couch. If they seem uncomfortable, off she goes. (Her memory is about 10 minutes, so I think I'm making the right decision).

I know they just asked and it's my right to say no, but I just keep thinking: if only people put half this time and energy into raising their children...

04 June 2006

Klutz For A Day

Last night, I walked directly into a screen door. Not once, but *twice* within the span of half an hour. And I was...stone.cold.sober. The first time I was thankfully alone, the second time not so lucky.

I don't want to imply that I'm a ballet dancer or anything, but I'm just generally not clumsy. I'm careful, coordinated, and relatively little, so other than ripping my pants jumping a fence when I was 12 and having a fantastic nap interrupted by the announcement of my train stop and subsequently stumbling into the door frame about three months ago, this isn't a frequent problem for me. But klutzes of the world: today, I salute you because jeez, that was incredibly embarrassing.

FYI: If you walk face-first into a decently-constructed screen door, you will, in fact, bounce off into the person behind you. Just so you know.

31 May 2006

Not All Cheese

something has changed within me
something is not the same
i'm through with playing by
the rules of someone else's game
too late for second guessing
too late to go back to sleep
it's time to trust my instincts
close my eyes and leap
...
i'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so
some things i cannot change
but 'till i try i'll never know
too long i've been afraid of
losing love i guess i've lost
but if that's love
it comes at much too high a cost


I told you, musicals! After about 6 weeks, I located my Wicked CD inside a different CD case. If only I were more organized...