Adult Acne Can Kiss My Adult Ass

January 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I don’t have much time today but I do have a rant, so here I am.  As a teenager, I was told that many things would change for me by the time I was an adult.  I would have to pay more bills and work more hours but that would be balanced by being able to legally drink, not having a curfew and being able to eat ice cream for dinner.  I was also informed (by the Catholic school teachers who taught me Sex Ed) that any and all signs of acne would disappear around the time I graduated high school.  They lied to me about abstinence being the only way to avoid getting pregnant so I shouldn’t be so surprised they lied about this as well.

All day long yesterday I felt a zit growing.  By the time I got home it had developed its own time zone and was in the process of putting up a theme park.  It’s in the same spot as the one in this picture, so it seems like I’m walking around with some sort of gross and ugly beauty mark.  I had company over for dinner last night and every time I wiped my mouth with my napkin, searing pain shot through the left side of my face and reminded me of my new little friend.  I’ve named it Ted.  Ted wasn’t so livid this morning but even the miracle of concealer wasn’t helping, so I’ve accepted that he’s going to hang around as long as he wants.

If Ted was the only unholy monstrosity currently wreaking havoc on my skin, I could deal.  Within the last three hours, though, a friend for Ted has appeared.  I’m going to call this one Bill because they seem to be having an excellent adventure on my face.  Bill is growing in smack between my eyes and words cannot describe how fantastic this feels.

When will this stop?  Am I going to be dealing with pimples as a wrinkly old lady?  I know that it could be worse and I could literally resemble a crater, but I really did think this was something I would have been able to put behind me years ago.  Like beanie babies and pogs, I was expecting my acne to remain in my adolescence.  No such luck.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and try to wash my new friends off of my face.

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Ode to the Burrito House

January 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

One of my favorite posts so far was the one I wrote in dedication to my local dive bar (I think it was one of the first entries, if you have the desire to go back and check it out).  It occurred to me that I should probably also create an ode to the Burrito House by my apartment, simply because I love that place.  I go there often and I’ve taken so many different people along with me that I think the cashier assumes I’m some sort of low-class call girl who takes her clients out for cheap burritos before or after doing the deed.  He gives me a knowing look every time I bring in someone new and then smiles as if to say he’ll keep my secret.  Seriously, I can think of at least 12 different friends and/or family members off the top of my head that I’ve taken to this place – and every one of them has loved it as well.

Oh, the house of the burrito

so close I can see you from home,

I think your location is quite neato

because for Mexican food I don’t have far to roam.

You’re a bit of a dive because your food is so cheap

and you stay open so late it’s unreal,

it’s comforting to know you’re open whilst I sleep

and let’s face it – $3 burritos are such a steal.

You also serve tacos, quesadillas and yes even fries

no beer or margaritas but I’ll forgive you for that,

if I said I didn’t love you I would be spreading vicious lies

although my feelings might change when and if you make me fat.

Truth be told, you’re a reason I live where I do

knowing you’re so close helped me to sign my lease,

of course I considered other factors too

but a big lure was the promise of Mexican food served with minimal grease.

Burrito House, I promise to stay loyal as long as I live next door

you’ve been there for me through so very much,

if you paid me to advertise, I would go on a bit more

but for now I’m going to finish this gush.

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Jill of All Trades

January 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I’m feeling a smidgen proud of myself at the moment and so I think I’ll share.  Yesterday, my office received a new time poll machine for all of our employees.  I’m the lucky girl who gets to monitor all of the time punches for everyone and so of course, as the Manager of Everything, I was the one to dismantle the old time clock and install the new one.  If you know me, you know that I’m not the most mechanically, technically or handily inclined person.  This does not usually bother me but apparently all of these things were invisibly included in my job description, so I have to fake it at work.  This meant yesterday was Bring My Power Drill to the Office Day!

I’m well aware that this isn’t the heaviest of the heavy-duty drills out there but it’s always suited me just fine – and yesterday I was glad I had it.  After taking the old clock down, I was given permission to knock a hole in the wall that would lead into our coat closet.  Any time I’m getting paid to be destructive towards company property is fine by me, so I attacked the wall with a hammer and a vengeance.  After fruitlessly trying to explain to curious children why  I was hitting the wall with such a grin on my face (and fruitlessly attempting to keep them away from my drill), the hole was complete.  I then drilled in the back of our new time clock and after that I realized that I had yet to run the phone cord through the newly formed hole, so I had to take the new time clock back off and deal with the cord (didn’t I say this type of activity wasn’t my thing?).  After that, I re-drilled the new clock to the wall and nailed the phone cord up and around the door to our closet.  If this sounds confusing, that’s because it was.  It took a few hours from start to finish but by the end of the day yesterday I had a fully functional time system with cool flashing lights.  And I felt like a badass.

Today, we had a brand spanking new copy printer/copier delivered to the office and once again my technical skills came into play.  Our old copier was the bane of my existence (I’ve had many a fantasy that resembled the scene with the bat from Office Space) and this new one is so nice that I want to take it home with me.  Every night.  It can even have my bed, that’s how nice this machine is.  It performs more functions than I ever thought a printer could and I’m convinced that I’ll figure out a way for it to make my coffee.  Is it lame to get so excited over such a small thing?  Hell to the no.  In fact, this blog post was supposed to be a little longer and more exciting but I spent so much time playing around with the new printer that my day flew by and I ran out of time to properly finish.  What can I say, the touch screen called to me.

And yes, I helped to successfully set up this bad boy as well.  Who knew an office job would give me so much opportunity to prove myself as a handywoman!

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The Snow is Not So Great

January 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I knew this day was coming – the day the snow stops being pretty and starts making me pissy.

For me, this day was yesterday.

As I made my way to work I was reveling in the fact that the snow which had been covering every surface for weeks had finally fully melted.  It was just so nice to look around and see grass or, more often than not in the city, pavement.  I walked into my office with a smile on my face and looked forward to a walk home on dry land.  Six hours later I looked outside my window and saw it was snowing.

It wasn’t even a good snow.  At this point in the winter, I think it should either snow a lot or simply get off the sidewalk.  This light dusting isn’t doing it for me, for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it makes everything look like a desolate wasteland and only highlights the fact that all greenery is currently dead.  It is also misleading, because a mere sprinkle of snow can easily hide random patches of ice that threaten to take me out every single step.  Precipitation can be tricky like that.

So now I’m back to walking around and staring at mushy, graying piles of ick.  It’s probably not going to get warm enough over the next few days to melt the stuff from the joke of a storm we had last night so I guess I’m just going to have to deal with it.  It’s in my nature to rebel though and I am so sick of seeing gray everywhere I look.  The sky, the ground, the grass, my skin…wait, that last one isn’t actually gray, it just feels like it is.  What can I do, other than pack a bag and disappear to someplace warmer?  That’s always an option but I’ve become rather used to having this thing called a paycheck and I’d rather not put that in jeopardy.  I suppose for now I’ll just find a picture of a beach to fantasize about while I bust out my winter boots once again.

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Apparently it’s Football Season?

January 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I will admit, I’m not a huge sports fan.  I like to play them more than anything else though there are a few I’ll sit down and watch.  I get into basketball and volleyball, don’t mind baseball and can feign interest in everything from soccer to bowling.  Football, however, is something I’ve never been able to understand.  Perhaps I would like it more if I actually took the time to learn the ins and outs of the game, but to me it’s just a bunch of big, burly guys pushing each other down, waving flags and wearing tights.  Seriously, tights?  I think the game is stopped entirely too often and I don’t understand what’s exciting about watching that pigskin advance down the field, three feet at a time.  I don’t mean to offend and I know that many of you out there are twitching in your seat and rolling your eyes as I’m bashing your favorite Sunday pastime.  Suck it up, I’m not finished yet.  FOUR HOURS per game?  What is that?!  Here is a brief list of more entertaining things I could do in four hours:

drive most of the way to my mom’s house

build an enormous fort using every pillow I own, tear it down, build it again, tear it down…etc.

make four pies from scratch

get knocked up (if I were a guy I could probably impregnate at least five separate women in this time)

paint my bathroom

fly to California

get my tubes tied

walk from my apartment to Lake Michigan and back

work an entire half day

beat Super Mario Brothers 3 (okay, this might take me a bit longer than four hours…it’s been a while)

There are many more things I could add to this list but you get the idea.

I don’t mean to sound so cynical.  It seems everyone I know is into football and this season is certainly no exception.  I’ve had to live with it for as long as I can remember and it’s especially awesome since my birthday usually falls around the Super Bowl.  Remember when the Colts played the Bears for the championship?  Yup, that was literally ON my birthday and I was kindly informed by all of my friends that unless I held a Super Bowl Party, I would be sitting solo all day long.  I acquiesced and we ended up having a party where the game played on an entire wall (thanks to an ill-gotten projector).  Personally, I thought the Puppy Bowl was more exciting but I was nice and let everyone else watch the game.  I cheered for the Colts because I lived in Indiana, but in all honestly I didn’t really care who won.  I was there for the beer and the birthday cake.  And because I lived there.

This year is proving to be slightly different, if for no other reason than genetics.

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last twenty four hours and/or do not have access to the Facebook livefeed, it’s going to be a Colts vs. Saints Super Bowl this year.  Obviously many, many people I know are wetting themselves due to the Colts being in the big game once again and I know most of my family is no exception.  Most of my northern family, that is.  My southern family members are also wetting themselves but it’s in anticipation of the Saints going to the Bowl.  I was having my weekly ten minute phone conversation with my father last night and this was all he could talk about.  He said that the state of the French Quarter right now makes Mardi Gras look tame and though I don’t believe too much that comes out of his mouth, I believe that.  In honor of my southern roots I tried to catch the tail end of the Saints game last night.  I flipped back and forth between the game and an episode of The Simpsons I had on DVD (I attempted to just stick to football, but I couldn’t do it).  I saw the game go into OT and then flipped back in enough time to see the winning kick (field goal?  Am I using that phrase properly?) and the Saints win it.  I have to admit, it made me smile because thanks to my father I know how many years the Saints have sucked and I always like a good underdog story.

And now I find my non-enthused self torn in a half-assed way.  I’ll probably at least be in the vicinity of the Super Bowl game while it’s playing so I feel like I should prepare myself to root for one team or another.  Which team shall it be?  The Colts, who hail from my home state and whom the majority of my friends and family will be cheering for?  Or the Saints, who are also of my roots and have never even seen the Super Bowl?

Underdogs it is.  Geaux Saints!

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Friday Randomness

January 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I seem to be all over the place today and my post is going to follow suit.  To begin with, I have updates.  My mom recently started reading this little ol’ thing (Hi Mom!) and that led me to go back and re-read every post thus far to ensure there’s nothing completely inappropriate for my parental unit.  I didn’t find much to be worried about (luckily my mom and I have a pretty open relationship) and I enjoyed reading about my past few months.  I also realized that I’ve written about a few things that deserve an update.

Remember the upside-down goldfish from the NYE party that I was so concerned about?  I thought it might have fish bladder issues and wondered about contacting its owner.  Well, a friend of mine went to a party this week at the apartment where the misdirected fish lives (swims?) and she sent me a text to let me know that he is now swimming right-side up.  All is right in his world, and so all is right in mine.

Also, I mentioned last week that a coworker of mine has a lot of family in Haiti whom she had not heard a thing from.  I am thrilled to announce that she ended up hearing from just about everyone she’s connected to, and while there are injuries and substantial property loss, most of them are fine.  On a slightly related note, my company decided to donate $5,000 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which makes me happy.  They are also encouraging all employees to send in a check, which they will match.  That also makes me happy

I love sharing good news.

To switch gears, I have a funny anecdote to share.  Yesterday was the 5th birthday of my cousin’s daughter.  I’m close with all of my family and think of my cousins as extended siblings, so I view this adorable little girl as my niece (especially since it will likely be a cold day in hell before I ever get an ACTUAL niece).  Anyway, my cousin had a little family get together at her house for the birthday girl, and of course most people showed up bearing gifts.  After the present opening, I received a text from my sister that informed me that my grandparents had bought “The Break-Up” for the 5-year-old in question.  In case you’re not familiar with the flick (I happened to catch most of it in the common room in a hostel in South Africa, of all places…gotta love hostels where you can’t change the channel), here’s its cover:

Yup those are two grown ups, in bed together, clear as day.  Apparently my grandmother thought that this was appropriate to go with the books, clothes and toys she got for her 5-year-old great-grandchild.  My sister got a kick out of it and I have to admit, so did I.  Oh, Mema.

I had another random story to share but it appears that I am running out of time.  My weekend is finally within reach and I have mere minutes until I am released from the shackles of my desk.  My internet finally started working again last night so if I’m feeling productive I may post over the weekend, but don’t hold your breath.  I have a mountain of laundry that needs my attention, grocery shopping to do, a couple of great friends to visit with and wine to drink.  Happy Weekend!

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As Seen on the Bus

January 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

As I’ve mentioned before, the public transportation system in Chicago enables me to do a fair amount of people watching, which happens to be one of my favorite pastimes.  Take, for instance, the guy I saw on the bus on my way to volunteer last night.  He sort of resembled Zorro, minus the mask, sword and charisma.  He was a larger gentleman sitting against a window and he had on a black leather-ish cowboy hat.  He also had on very large sunglasses, which was appropriate since it was quite dark outside.  None of this was too strange but the avocado pit he was rubbing between his hands did strike me as a bit odd.  It might not have actually been an avocado pit but I’m pretty sure that it was.  I think he stared out of the window during his entire ride but I can’t be sure due to the reflective nature of his sunglasses.  The thing that I choose to believe was an avocado pit was tossed from hand to hand and also rubbed against his leg.  I tried not to stare but I was curious and so I’m sure my gaze was noticed.  At least he didn’t follow me off the bus.

After my evening at the food pantry (which was extremely hectic as we were short staffed and there was a “situation” which called for police intervention…in short, drunk people should not be allowed in the pantry) I once again boarded the bus.  This time I was treated to the sight of a man with an iPhone problem.  Or rather, a problem seeing his iPhone.  He was totally absorbed in the device and his face was about thisclose to the screen.  I don’t think you could have fit a sheet of paper in between his nose and the phone.  At first I thought maybe he was looking at something with super small print but he continued to use his phone in this way for the duration of my bus ride.  Isn’t there an app that works as a magnifying glass?  If not, there should be and this kid should buy it.

I suppose if I was cool enough to own one of those fancy cell phones then I would be able to take pictures of these interesting bus riders to post here on this site.  Too bad my current phone takes pictures about as well as a soup can.  And really, I would feel like a creep if I was  anonymously posting pictures of strangers on my blog.

Speaking of soup cans, I have a rant I need to share.  I went to the grocery store yesterday to pick up some things for lunch and I decided that I should load up on soups, since it’s a good winter meal and all.  I wanted something that wasn’t laden with sodium and high fructose corn syrup, both of which are apparently abundant in the souping industry.  I came across the Healthy Choice brand and became excited because I like vegetables that cook in microwaves.  As I began reading the labels of the cans, however, my excitement quickly turned into frustration.  Every single can had either beef stock, animal fat or chicken stock in its ingredients.  EVERY CAN.  I can understand it to an extent but when soup otherwise labeled as tomato or vegetable is secretly laden with animal product, I find it misleading.  What’s a vegetarian to do?  Write a letter to the company?  Well, that’s what I did.  Who knows if I’ll ever get a response from them but it made me feel a tad better to question their motives.  I guess I’ll need to find a good soup recipe and take care of things myself!

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Recipe Time

January 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I’m short on time today so I figured I would simply post about what I had for dinner last night, as it was damn delicious.  As a relatively single twenty-something living alone, I will admit that I don’t cook too often.  It’s difficult to get into making a huge meal for just one person so I usually keep my dinners quick and easy during the week.  That and I’m also somewhat tired by the time I get home so when my couch is begging me to join it for an evening it’s hard to get motivated to do much else.  I’m not above cereal for dinner.  I pay my bills and I’ve earned the right to eat kid’s breakfast foods anytime I please.

I do eat things besides cereal and cookies (sometimes).  I do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and they have lovely frozen options for the frugal and lazy, such as myself.  Case in point – these eggplant cutlets that are conveniently boxed up and ready to go.  I realize that not all of my readers will dig the whole eggplant thing, but as a herbivore I’ve found it to be a nice vegetable that adds flavor and texture to many a meal.  I had some of these in my freezer last night and as I looked around to see what I could create with such an item, inspiration struck.  I already had some fresh mozzarella, pesto and marinara sauce (the sauce already had fresh carrots, zucchini and garlic added to it from a pasta dish last week) and I also had bread, so I was set.  The eggplant cooked in a skillet and as it browned I added slices of mozzarella and the veggie-filled marinara sauce.  I toasted my bread, spread on some pesto and put it all together.  I then cooked the whole thing on the stove top for a few more minutes, to ensure it was all nice, warm and freshly melted.  Voila, a tasty eggplant sandwich that took less than ten minutes to make!

I was going to take a photo of my dish to add to this here post, but the internet I coughstealcough at my apartment has been evasive this week and I don’t know when it will come back.  I’m sure you’re creative enough to imagine a sandwich though, or at least I sincerely hope you are.  Either way, take my word for it that it was a tasty dinner.  If you ever want to try one of my creations just let me know – cooking for two is always more fun and I like to play hostess anyway.  You bring the wine and I’ll cook the eggplant!

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Thrifty is Nifty

January 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

My long weekend was both fantastically fun and fantastically cheap.  I saw a hilarious comedy show on Friday night (free with my date, who performs there), I went to the Field Museum and visited the mummies and dinosaur bones on Sunday (free with my membership) and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry on Monday (free day there).  On Saturday I had coffee with a lovely friend of mine and since I was so proud of my well-budgeted weekend, I decided to splurge with a visit to a thrift shop.

My mom instilled in me a love of thrift shops at a very young age and as the years have gone by I find my appreciation for these places only deepens.  While I was in high school, I found an old house in my little hometown that had been turned into a huge thrift store and I frequented that place as much as I could.  I found such gems as a Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff CD and a wooden Nintendo trunk with Mario and the Princess adorning its sides.  I never really saw many others in that old house and I was worried about its ability to survive without me when I moved away to college.  Sure enough, on my first visit home during my freshman year I went by and the place had closed down.  I’m sure it would have closed whether or not I was still around but it made me sad nonetheless.

Since then, I’ve had to move on to other thrift stores.  I have also learned that (especially in places like Chicago) a place that is advertised as a thrift store might not actually be a fountain of cheap finds.  Many places like to use words like thrift or consignment in their names and descriptions but in reality they will charge you an arm and a leg for just about any item you find. I took this jaded attitude with me on Saturday but wound up being pleasantly surprised.  The fact that the entire store was having a half off sale all weekend didn’t hurt.

The first floor of this massive store held various pieces of furniture and electronics.  If I was looking for new kitchen table or living room set I would have been in heaven but since I’m not I simply moved on.  Upstairs was all the clothing but I had some sort of cosmic attraction to the bag section and so over there I wandered.  And I was rewarded.  I found an almost-brand new Timberland backpack that will be perfect for any trip three days or less.  I had actually told myself I needed one of these a long time ago and was going to splurge on one for my birthday, but now I can splurge on something else!  I felt so confident with my backpack that I went to the basement of the store, where I knew it would come in handy.  For the basement held the books.

To be honest, this is where I spent most of my time that day.  The entire basement was full of various volumes toppling off of dozens of bookcases and arranged in piles all over the place.  A true bibliophile’s dream.  It was quiet and light classical music wafted from hidden speakers.  Of course, I had to look at just about every shelf before my curiosity was satisfied, and again I was rewarded.  I found the Autobiography of Charles Chaplin, a humor book by Steve Martin, Les Miserables and a book discussing the role of women in today’s media.  I know this might sound awful to some of you out there, but I was (and still am) excited with my finds.

Before leaving I decided to peruse their DVD’s and I found another bargain – this hilarious Margaret Cho comedy special.  I then had a lovely conversation with the guy checking me out about female comedienne’s in general, including the raunchy Sandra Bernhard.  I was feeling pretty good about my purchases, until I saw my total for the day.  Then I felt ecstatic.  I managed to get the heavy duty backpack, DVD and four books for a combined total of TWELVE DOLLARS.  That’s right, I am awesome.

Talk about a glorious day of shopping.  And yes, this constitutes a day of shopping for me.  I was so excited I had to call my mom to share my news, and I think I made her proud.  She taught me well!

Between the comedy show, thrift store, museums and fantastic company I was lucky enough to be surrounded by, my weekend was a smashing success.  Living in this city never gets old!

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Heat Wave!

January 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Sort of.

This week marked the first days that the temperature has been above freezing since Christmas (which was 23 days ago, not that I’m counting).  I even managed the 1.8 mile walk home from the train yesterday so you know it’s a little warmer.  The snow that has been decomposing all over the place is almost gone for good and the weather forecast says the next ten days will stay in the 30’s.  The 30’s!  Everyone around my office is talking about how nice and balmy it is outside and I must say, I agree.   I also realized I am officially a Chicagoan because I’m excited about temperatures above freezing.

What am I going to do with this burst of warmth?  Sunbathe, swim in the lake, wear sandals and install my window air conditioning unit?  Not quite.  I will, however, enjoy wearing one less layer of clothing every day.  Perhaps I’ll even switch to the lighter of my winter coats.  Mostly I’ll be enjoying the fact that my face doesn’t begin to freeze the minute I walk out of my apartment.

This sudden switch to warmer weather really messes with my head.  After weeks that barely topped out in the upper teens, it now feels as though Spring is on it’s way.  However it would be foolish to actually start to believe that, because everyone knows that February is the coldest, dreariest and most miserable month of the year.  I keep having to remind myself that the weather is only going to get nastier and the worst of winter is far from over.  If it wasn’t for the fact that the day of my birth falls in February I would say we could do without the month altogether.

Well, I plan on enjoying the warmth while it lasts.  I think tomorrow it could actually hit 40 degrees, in which case I will be playing outside in a tank top and shorts.  Or doing errands outside in appropriate winter wear but with a large grin on my face.  Only time will tell.

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