Lunch-Jacked

March 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

In keeping with the theme from my last post, here’s a new story.  My lunch was recently thrown out in my office, resulting in me being very angry and very hungry.  A few times a year some unlucky sap will get roped into cleaning out the office refrigerator and every single time that this has happened in my 1.5 years with the company, they sent a massive message out right before hand and waited until roughly 5 or 6pm before getting started.  So last Friday was the day they were going to be doing the cleaning and while I knew this, I figured it would be late in the afternoon and my lunch would be safe.  I typically eat rather late (2:30 or so, which leaves very little time left of work once I return which is why I do it) and about 2:15 I heard someone mention food was being trashed.  I sprinted (literally) into the kitchen only to see completely full trash cans and a completely empty fridge.

I almost cried.

Sad, sad day

The lunch I packed for myself was going to be my best one of the week – pesto/basil hummus with feta cheese, veggie turkey, nuts, cranberries, mushrooms and spinach on toasted whole wheat bread.  I also had some raw carrots and broccoli with a brand new bottle of dressing for dipping.  This was in a very handy plastic container featuring dividers that I’ve used for years.  When I left the house that morning I was feeling proud of myself for helping to save the Earth and also for my healthy lunch choices to help save my waistline.  I was giving myself a mental pat on the back and thinking about how I’d carry those good eating habits through the weekend.  When I realized my carefully prepared, delicious lunch was gone, that all flew out the window.

Of course the guy cleaning feigned remorse and pointed to the trash can I could find it in if I so desired.  He’s now on my permanent shit list but that’s a different story.  I wound up eating cold french fries left over from another person’s lunch while quietly lamenting the loss of my sandwich.  I was so hungry when I got home that I then consumed a ton of queso and chips, only to continue eating at the bar I went to that night.  I figured that if the gods and goddesses of food conspired against me and took away my original healthy meal, the least I could do was to spite them and eat like crap for the rest of the night.  And eat like crap I did.  Beer, more fries, more chips, guacamole, a veggie burger and many beers were all downed like nobody’s business.  Apparently that’s what I get for trying to be healthy and environmentally conscious.

My lunches have been safe this week but without my old trusty blue lunch box, they’ll never be the same.

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Trolley-Jacked

March 27, 2012 at 11:32 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

On Saturday night, Scott and I had a full evening of going to the gym and then the grocery before settling in for pizza and a movie (watch out, we’re rock stars).  As I was getting ready to hop in the shower there was suddenly a loud disturbance on our otherwise quiet residential street, so of course I looked out the window.  To my surprise and bemusement, there was a party trolley just hanging out in the street, where it was likely a little too large to let any other car pass through.  Roughly 10 super drunk guys and girls hopped off said trolley and wandered into one of the buildings across from ours (I know this because I’m the creepy neighbor stalker who watches through the blinds with the lights turned off).  It was entertaining to watch these people stumble up the stairs and after the trolley pulled away, I figured that was as much excitement as our street would see for the night.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

Not ten minutes later, I heard the group come back outside and since my windows were still open and I was still nosy, I went back to watch.  Scott was laughing at my old lady tendency but don’t let that fool you, he was watching too.  So this group heads back to the sidewalk and we suddenly hear all sorts of confused exclamations, the loudest of which was “We’ve been trolley-jacked!”.  Apparently the trolley was supposed to stick around and take them to the next bar/club/apartment/seedy alley.  They stood around loudly wondering how they were going to get anyplace else before someone broke into song, and then we listened to the entire clan sing Happy Birthday to who I can only assume was the birthday girl.  Someone went inside for more beer and they commenced with some dancing and more singing, all the while wondering aloud where their rode off to.  At this point I was really stinky as I still needed a shower and my stomach was hankering for that pizza so I went ahead and hopped in the tub.  Not five minutes later Scott came in to give me an update – the trolley had arrived and carted the entire gang off to their next booze-fueled adventure (told you he was watching too).  He was surprised I didn’t hear them cheering when it showed back up, since apparently they were very grateful.  I’m glad they weren’t totally abandoned, although it may have made for a better story if they were taken away by police cars instead.

In other news, I may or may not be renting a trolley for my next birthday bash.  Who’s in?

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Deep Sea Discovery

March 26, 2012 at 11:30 am (Uncategorized)

Alas, IU did not win but there’s always next year.  The fact that the cable went out in my entire neighborhood during the game sucked pretty badly and we had to vacate the bar so we could stream it online from the comfort of our own living room, but in the end it didn’t really matter.  The Hoosiers played well and next year they’ll play even better so that’s something to look forward to.

I just wet my pants a little looking at this

Something else to look forward to is scientific discovery and recently James Cameron (yes, of “I’m the king of the world” fame) went where only one man has ever gone before – the Mariana Trench.  This is the absolute lowest point on earth and is deeper than Mt. Everest is tall.  I think this is fascinating because there are all sorts of mysteries at the bottom of the ocean and while some people think space exploration is the final frontier (and I guess it is), I think the depths of our oceans are a different type of frontier, as we don’t really know what goes on down there.  Cameron hoped to bring back samples from the floor that could help with tracking tsunamis and other weather phenomenon but the hydraulic hand used to sift through the floor malfunctioned and he was unable to do so.  On this trip, at least.  It’s been 50 years since Jacques Piccard made the first and only other descent but hopefully with more funds and technology available, this will become a more regular occurrence.  I can’t really imagine doing a solo dive like this myself (he was in a submarine, of course, but still) because I think claustrophobia would kick in and I’d simply lose my marbles.  The pressure is so great down there (I read it’s something like 3 SUV’s sitting on your toe) that a miniscule leak would cause immediate death.  Much like space, which I’m also not going to be venturing into anytime soon.  While I think it’s completely worth studying and all-around intriguing, my pulse races enough just reading about it and so I won’t be doing any sort of exploration like this anytime soon.  I’ll leave that to the professionals, such as famous movie directors.

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Here We Go!

March 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I honestly didn’t think my Hoosiers would make it this far but they managed to surprise me yet again.  Tonight’s game will be thrilling to watch no matter who wins but if IU overcomes UK yet again, mass hysteria will take place.  Not only in Indiana but here in Illinois where I’ll be hyperventilating and jumping up and down to the point of exhaustion.  Madness in March is fun but it’s even better when it involves the team you grew up with!

HOO HOO HOOSIERS!

Cream those Cats!

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One Potato Two

March 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This week is flying by!  A girl’s always gotta eat though, so here’s the latest from my kitchen:

Look what I can do!

So this was my first attempt at twice baked potatoes and while it could’ve turned out better, at least it was edible.  I used a recipe I found on allrecipes.com only I substituted yogurt for sour cream and diced broccoli for chives.  I think where I went wrong was in scooping out the potato innards after baking it as I was very hungry and impatient at that point and left some still inside.  Had I been more careful with that they would’ve turned out better but since I have a whole damn bag of spuds in my kitchen I’ll just keep on trying.  They weren’t too bad though and, of course, Scott and I ate them.

We also made some shells and cheese (tossing spinach in with the cheese) and I took some asparagus and mushrooms, rolled them around in olive oil, garlic salt and pepper and broiled that for about 15 minutes.  Then I heated up my vegetarian ribs in the microwave (I can hear you all saying yum now…you can pretend it’s the real thing if you must) and I was good to go.  Relatively quick (if you discount the hour potato baking time) and fairly simple, even for me.  Which is good because I’ve been so busy that simple is a must!

 

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Burned

March 20, 2012 at 11:21 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I am sunburned.  Badly.  In Chicago, in March.  What in the what?

Scott and I went to the park this weekend to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and abundant sunshine but my dumb ass did not think to put on sunscreen.  Apparently the fact that my pasty white skin hasn’t seen the light of day in half a year doesn’t matter much to me and I completely neglected to take the appropriate measures.  I am now paying for it as little bits of skin fall off my body.

Since Google Image searches for sunburns is really scary, here is an illustration of what I felt like until I looked in a mirror

It’s completely my fault and I take full blame.  It was just so nice to sit on a blanket with my book that I fell asleep before I knew it.  I didn’t realize anything was wrong until we were walking home and stepped into the shade – that’s when I looked down and groaned.  You would think that at this age I’d be a little better prepared but noooo, not me.  I tempted the sun and the sun won.  In fact, it completely kicked my ass.  But what about my red-headed boyfriend, who is the fairest of the fair?  He didn’t use sunscreen either and looks perfectly fine, albeit a bit more bronzed.  The rays only had eyes for me, it would seem.

I’ll live and all but I do feel rather stupid.  I guess it’s good to get it out of the way now and not when I’m on vacation in May, right?  Maybe.  I still feel like an idiot and am red in the face (in more ways than one).  So I’ll sit here and simmer while applying yet another round of Aloe.

Welcome to Spring!

 

And PS – GO IU!!!

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Indiana, Our Indiana

March 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Go IU!

 

It’s Madness!  In March!!

I don’t typically get into sports, but when I do I get into some IU Basketball.  And now is a great time because we are back in the NCAA!  I watched their first game in the tournament last night and I am happy to report that we won our first battle.  The next one is tomorrow night and while I’m sure I’ll be freaking out while I watch, I’m just happy they did as well as they have this season.  It makes me long for my days in Bloomington but I can sure be a cheerleader in Chicago!

HooHooHooHOOSIERS!!!

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Goodbye Encyclopedia Brittannica

March 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

The below news story covers the end of an era.  While I understand the necessity of this move, it makes me sad that future generations won’t be sneaking certain volumes in order to learn definitions of sex-related words like I did.

Encyclopedia Britannica is closing the book on its print edition. The move may be the single most powerful symbol to date of our rapidly changing media world, a world in which hard copies of books could become a quaint thing of the past.  

Thanks for all the non-digital knowledge!

Today, we clutch iPads and Kindles and Nooks, bragging about how they lighten our load and encourage us to read more. When we want to “look something up,” we’re far more likely to reach for our laptops than walk across the room to thumb through a reference book.

And that unquenchable desire for convenience makes for a world in which a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica — the oldest English-language encyclopedia in existence — no longer has a home.

“Change: It’s Okay. Really.” That’s the headline Encyclopedia Britannica’s blog, Facts Matter, uses in discussing the encyclopedia’s transition to a digital-only product.

Yes, it’s sad that we’re bidding farewell to 244 years of history, the blog says. That’s how long the thick reference volumes have lined shelves around the globe, providing a “source of enlightenment” to all that rifled through them. But fear not, the blog says reassuringly: “…in a larger sense this is just another historical data point in the evolution of human knowledge.”

The encyclopedia will live on, “in bigger, more numerous, and more vibrant digital forms,” the company promises.

And for starters, it will be cheaper.

The flagship 32-volume printed edition costs $1,400, according to Reuters, and will be available only until current inventory is sold out. An online subscription will set you back about $70 a year. One superior digital advantage: The online edition is updated constantly with new data, in keeping with the rapidly changing world around us.

Reaction at the encyclopedia website ran the gamut.

“Printed books have been around for more than 600 years; e-books have been around for only a tiny fraction of that time. Isn’t it too soon to put all your eggs in the digital basket?” asked one commenter at the blog.

“Thank god,” said another, “tired of searching for 3+ minutes for my answer in an encyclopedia when I can google it in 3 seconds. Best change ever.”

And then there was this comment:

“We have the set of Britannica that my mother-in-law bought for my husband and his sister. I told the kids that they are a love letter from Grandma to Daddy. It says ‘I want you to grow-up, learn everything you can, succeed, and be happy.’ You just need to sell the idea that the subscription is the same kind of love letter. I hope you’ll make it available on Nook Color!”

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The times, they are a changing.

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February/March Book Club Review

March 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Yours truly was in charge of the E-vites for our February Book Club, which means that it was my decision whether or not to call on account of bad weather a few weeks ago.  I fell victim to the hype that the news was spewing and cancelled on a night that was supposed to produce half a foot of snow and horrible, awful driving conditions.  In actuality, we received a bit of rain/slush and that was about it so I looked like a fool for pushing our date back, but oh well.  The cancellation caused our next meeting to take place in the first week of March, hence the combo this time around.

More like The Neverending Story

I also happened to be the one to suggest our book of the month, The Adventures of Augie March.  I can tell you right now, I batted a big whopping zero in this department as well.

I chose the book because I had read that the story of a young man growing up on the streets of Chicago during the Depression was both interesting and entertaining and it wound up being neither.  What it was was long, boring, dense and difficult to even force yourself to try to read.  This was a book that the City of Chicago used in a city-wide book club (another reason I chose it was because there were like a bajillion copies in the libraries) but I would be shocked if more than 2 people read the thing in its entirety.  As for the ladies in our book club, a few of them didn’t get past the first 20 pages and those that did didn’t make it much further than that.  I read the most of anyone in the meeting (I felt like I had to punish myself some way for the choice) and I didn’t even make it half way.  And I really did try.

Until I lost the book, that is.

Let me preface this by saying I’ve never lost a library book, ever.  Until this behemoth, at least.  When I took the Megabus home a few weeks ago to visit my mom, I had the book in tow.  I read some of it Friday evening before falling asleep on the bus and then didn’t really think about it again until I was packing up to come back to Chicago on Sunday, when I realized I couldn’t find the damn thing (it was a busy weekend and I didn’t have much time for leisure reading).  While it’s possible that someone sneaked into my mom’s house with the sole purpose of stealing this book, chances are I just left it on the bus and didn’t realize it for days because I wasn’t that invested in it to begin with.  And as anyone who’s ever ridden the Megabus can tell you, if you lose something you’re pretty much screwed.  So the book is gone and I had to pay the library to replace it, which was frustrating because it’s not like anyone is going to read it anyway.

But I digress.

We ate at Anna Maria Pasteria and I had as much fun at dinner as I do while saying the name of this Italian eatery.  Of course, I always have fun with the book club girls so I guess that’s not a shocker, especially considering the half priced bottles of wine we indulged in.  To be completely honest though, I felt the place was a tad overpriced for what it was.  My spinach stuffed cheese tortellini was delicious and all but I think I’ve had better pasta for cheaper in the city.  The ambiance was cozy and had an authentic feel though so I’m glad I gave it a whirl.  Also being seated by Maria of Anna Maria Pasteria gave me a bit of a kick.

Even though it was delayed and provided dismal reading material, I think the evening was a success.  At least everyone had a good sense of humor about the book, although I banned myself from choosing our next one.  I’m a little disappointed that I don’t know what happened to Augie March but since I’m not invested enough to go check it out again, that will remain one of my life’s little mysteries.  Like what happens to my socks in the dryer.

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What Winter?

March 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

To live in Chicago is to bitch about the winter but this year has allowed us to all keep our mouths shut.  We’ve had a grand total of maybe 8 inches of snow all season long and the temperatures have been consistently hovering around 30 degrees.  Considering how in years past I’ve spent entire months and never seen double digits (while seeing nothing but mushy, sooty and depressing piles of snow that were too cold to melt), 30 degrees seems downright humid.

Not this year!

It’s been ridiculously warm and while I really want to sit back and enjoy it while I can, it’s tough because I know in the end this probably isn’t a good sign for our Mother Earth.

Regardless, when it got into the mid 60’s yesterday, everyone had a smile on their face.  Granted, there were 40mph winds and that smile might have been forced due to the gales nearly blowing us over but we smiled nonetheless.  The boyfriend and I actually went out to the local pub just because we wanted an excuse for a walk and a chance to get out of the apartment while it was nice enough that we didn’t loathe every moment of being outside.  It seems that spring is in the air but most of us Chicagoans are holding our breaths because we feel like there’s just no way we can get off this easy.  In fact, it hasn’t even felt like winter and I haven’t needed my heavy-duty coat or super thick scarves and gloves once yet.  What’s a girl with all of the necessary accessories needed to survive frigid months to do?  Trust me, I’m not complaining, I’m simply in a state akin to shock.  It will probably snow 4 feet in late April or early May although that won’t stop me from keeping my fingers crossed that this was just a fluke of a season and is no way indicative of climate change.  And it’s easy to keep my hopes up when the ten-day forecast just gets warmer and warmer!  I even saw a guy in shorts over the weekend…though given this city, he could have just been a little deranged.

 

 

 

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