Home Sweet Home

July 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I made a quick appearance in my hometown this weekend, mostly to visit with some family who have been having some health issues.  The trip didn’t get off to the start I had anticipated but I made it down safely and was able to spend lots of quality time with my mom, sister, grandparents, cousins, aunt and uncles.  I also managed to get a hair cut (but not too short…though I came close to chopping it all off), play Don’t Break the Ice and tag with three kids under 7 and stay up until almost 4am drinking beer with my mom, so I’d say the trip was a success.  It’s always hard to come home though and this is one of the reasons why:

The view from the porch

What you can’t see is the little pond on the ground in the midst of all of these flowers, nor can you hear what I heard – silence, other than some bugs and the gurgling of the water.  Can you blame me for not wanting to come back?  As much as I love the city and all it has to offer, the country girl in me needs the time at Mom’s to recharge.  My weekend home was much too short, as always, but it did a body good!

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Snip Snip

July 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I need a haircut.  Badly.  I believe my last one was in the beginning of April, which is roughly four months ago.  At this point, my hair is the longest it has ever been in my entire life and it’s driving me absolutely bat shit crazy.  Here’s why:

Scissor clip art…another great pun

  • It clogs drains.  My apartment maintenance crew has to come out regularly to clear my shower drain because they refuse to give me a stopper that fits the absurdly small opening and so they must deal with the nasty consequences.  I suppose this is a perk of renting.
  • It getseverywhere.  There’s hair on my pillowcase, my bed, my floor, my bathroom counter and my couch, even though I vacuum twice a week.  Strands stick to my back and I spend time every morning trying to remove it all.  I’ve even found it in my food, which is super not awesome.
  • It’s thick, which can be nice, but it can also be hot.  Especially when temperatures are still in the triple digits.  Ponytails can only relive so much of the pressure.
  • It gets caught under my back when I’m laying down.  Or under Scott’s back.  And he sleeps like a rock so if he rolls over and traps my hair, it’s quite the process to get it free.
  • It takes forever to wash and forever to brush.  I only air dry it because I am way, way too lazy to do so with the blow dryer.  Not to mention that would take like 10 minutes and leave me a sweaty, pissed-off mess.

So why do I still have it this long?  Well, I’m kind of stubborn and decided a while ago that I’d grow it out long enough to donate it to one of those organizations that make wigs for cancer patients.  And while I rocked the pixie cut once upon a time, I’d rather keep enough to still be able to sport a ponytail after the cut.  I actually just measured it again today and even though I have enough to donate, doing so would leave me with a little less than I would like.  Luckily I’m getting a trim this weekend so maybe it’ll be a bit more manageable after that.  Or I might just say screw it all, chop it off and deal with it shorter than I had intended.  Either way, I’ll be sure to get myself out of this hairy situation as soon as I can.

And yes, I know how seriously awesome that pun was.  You’re welcome.

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Mid-Week Round Up

July 25, 2012 at 11:51 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Just a few things floating around in this head of mine today:

  • R.I.P. Sherman Hemsley, a.k.a. George Jefferson.  I remember watching him in the 80’s and being so happy he finally got a piece of the pie.  And while I didn’t make the connection until yesterday, I also thoroughly enjoyed him as the voice of Earl Sinclair’s evil dinosaur boss on the 90’s Jim Henson show, Dinosaurs.  Who wouldn’t?

    Sinclair!

  • Ride, Sally, Ride

    Also, R.I.P. Sally Ride.  The first American woman in space deserves our respect, admiration and honor for all of her hard work, dedication and inspiration to young people everywhere.  She was the only person to have served on both of the commissions for the investigations involving the space shuttle Challenger and Columbia accidents and she was an advocate for science education throughout her entire life.  She also happened to be gay, which unfortunately makes her a second-class citizen in the country she so honored.  May she rest in peace and dignity.

  • Speaking of us gays, a big shout-out to The Jim Henson Company for standing up for what is right.  Last week, they announced that they would no longer partner with Chick-Fil-A due to the restaurant’s strong support of anti-gay organizations by stating, “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors.  Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD”.  This week, the bigoted restaurant said that they were removing the Jim Henson toys from their kids’ meals because “there were safety concerns” which is pretty much a blatant lie.  As a vegetarian, I haven’t eaten at Chick-Fil-A in over a dozen years anyway but hopefully this will convince others that being the patron of a place that discriminates means your dollars are going to fund that discrimination, even if all you want is a sandwich.  So thank you, Kermit and Company!
  • I still can’t wrap my head around the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, and I don’t think I ever will.  My thoughts are still with those affected and while I wish random outbursts of hatred and violence such as this quit happening altogether, I don’t think anyone has any good ideas as to how to make it happen.  More guns?  Fewer guns?  Metal detectors?  Wider access to mental health help?  I don’t have any answers either but I feel sick watching so many people hurt so much.  I hope they find some of the peace and comfort they deserve.

On a lighter note:

  • The heat wave hasn’t broken and I’m fully prepared to melt into my sandals.  I’m also damn sick of shaving my legs but am still enjoying the absurd look of our shaved cat.
  • There’s only 37 days until Scott and I leave for Ecuador!  And even though it’s in South America and much closer to the Equator than Chicago, the weather there promises to be in the 60’s and 70’s.  Sweet relief while on a sweet vacation!
  • I’m super, duper grateful that the Olympics aren’t in Chicago.  Like, seriously.
  • I’ve eaten pizza and guacamole for dinner ever night so far this week, because I am a truly awesome grown up.

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Tough Stuff

July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

So, I’m still going to the gym.  Crazy, right?  It’s been something like 9 months and I’ve actually stuck with it this entire time.  In fact, I woke up early on Saturday and went to work out before heading into the museum!  While it’s possible that parasites have invaded my brain, I like to think that I’ve just gotten into a new routine and that it’ll last for a while longer.

Mama said knock you out!

I usually do the same cardio/weights while there but recently I got re-acquainted with a long-lost hobby: boxing.  When I was in high school, I asked for a punching bag for Christmas and was rewarded with 60 lbs of awesomeness that hung in our basement.  I was never really shown how to use it or what form to have but I would wail on that bag to relieve my teenage angst and it was a beautiful thing.  Unfortunately, giant punching bags do not travel easily and it still resides in my mom’s basement.  However, the gym has a bag and after finding some old gloves a few weeks ago, I had a go.  And promptly made my knuckles bleed because I’m either a) a total bad ass or b) unable to properly throw a punch.  It’s probably the latter.  But it helped get out some frustration I was having with one particular co-worker and I felt much better afterwards, bloody knuckles and all!

While I’ll admit I haven’t lost a single pound in all this time, I do believe I can tell a difference in the overall shape and tone of things.  And I’m seeing muscles in places I’ve never seen muscles before, so that’s a bit of inspiration to keep this whole thing up.  Plus I do feel better after my work outs and in a twisted and sadistic sort of way, I look forward to them.  Plus plus, they’re taking the money for my membership each month whether I’m there or not so I might as well use what I pay for.

And my co-worker?  He better hope he never comes across me in a dark alley.

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Sometimes Humans Suck

July 20, 2012 at 11:29 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

My thoughts are with the men, women and children who have been affected by the violence in the movie theater in Colorado.  No one should live through that kind of terror and no one has the right to inflict such damage on anyone else.  Humanity really does suck sometimes but the universe is a vast and amazing place and I like to think that those who need peace and comfort will find it while the “man” who caused this will get what he deserves.

May everyone injured (mentally, physically and/or emotionally) heal as quickly as they can.

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Moped Vs. Limo

July 19, 2012 at 10:33 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

No, that’s not some new band name I came up with.  Rather, it’s the two vehicles I saw engaged in a street fight earlier this week as I waited for the train.  That’s not technically accurate either, as it was actually the drivers of said vehicles who were fighting.

Maybe one day they can join forces and create a MoLimo (LimoPed, if you prefer)

It all started as I was standing on the train platform, waiting to go to work.  I began hearing yelling and cussing but couldn’t see what was going on.  Then a guy on a moped and another driving a limo appeared in my line of vision, basically underneath where I was standing.  I should say now that the guy in the limo wasn’t exactly wearing a chauffeur’s outfit and carrying important cargo – I’ve seen this limo in the neighborhood and it’s a poor sight to behold.  As if the driver found it at some junk yard or police auction and decided it would be a sensible, gas-efficient vehicle to get around Chicago.  So Moped was yelling at Limo because apparently Limo had almost run over Moped and Limo didn’t seem to give a rat’s ass.  They both screamed back and forth, cussing and threatening each other like the big men they were, until Limo pulled over in front of a gas station and got out of the…well, limo.  At this point everyone on the platform was watching because 1) there was the possibility that this encounter would later need witnesses and 2) there wasn’t anything else as entertaining to watch at 7:20 in the morning.  So Limo is standing in the street, shaking his fist at Moped (who’s still on the moped but had stopped) and they are both inviting the other to “bring it on”.  Not even Moped’s helmet can muffle his taunts.  Then Limo lunges at Moped, who says something along the lines of “Are you kidding me?” only filled with more expletives, and drives away as fast as his little wheels will take him.  Limo stood in the middle of the street yelling for another moment before getting back in the limo and going on his way, still cursing loudly.

I don’t know who peed in these guys’ Cheerio’s but I’m glad things didn’t actually come to blows.  I haven’t seen too much random violence in my time in Chicago and I really didn’t fancy seeing a fist (or worse, gun) fight on my morning commute.  Thankfully this dominance display was as bad as it got and they both rode off into the sunrise, hopefully feeling as ridiculous as they looked.

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Don’t Cry Over Squashed Squash

July 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Okay.  Today is better.

But my weekend was the best.  Besides the adorable calf from my previous post, the Saturday evening I spent at my friend’s old (as in over 100 years) farmhouse was full of pizza, more cows, kittens, barns and vegetable gardens.  My weekend also consisted of a tour through my old campus (complete with a drive-by of one of my favorite apartments); beer at one of my favorite sports bars; bagels from a well-known, local establishment; meeting and greeting other new feline companions; a walk through the state’s largest farmer’s market (where I was reminded just how much I love the hippies in that town); lunch and brews at the brewery of my dreams; a cook-out; tours of the new homes from two of my nearest and dearest and plenty of good, old-fashioned catching-up.  I got to see every person I hoped to and narrowly avoided some of those I didn’t.  I was given some news from one dear friend that wasn’t exactly happy but as she seems good with it, I’m good with it too.  I’m incredibly lucky that I know such strong, intelligent and resourceful women and I’m proud to have them all a part of my life.  I’m also very, very grateful that they took the time to hang out with me as much as they did in the short amount of time that I had.  I made a promise to myself to get back down there (with Scott in tow) sometime this fall so by putting it here in the blogosphere, I’ll be held a little more accountable.  Hear that, ladies?  Hold me to it!

I thought this was somewhat appropriate.

The only downside to the entire weekend happened, appropriately, at the very end of my trip.  Before I go any further, let me just say that every person in Bloomington seems to have their own garden.  Seriously.  Everyone.  Of the four female friends I spent time with, all four have their own personal patches of vegetables growing in their backyard (or at least trying to…Indiana really needs some rain).  At the cook out I attended, gardens were a hot topic of discussion and it seemed everywhere I went, that’s what I heard.  I’m not complaining because I honestly think it’s awesome but I am more than just a little bit jealous.  If I had a garden here, it would consist of a pitiful few seeds in a plastic cup on my balcony and not the rows of awesomeness that I saw all weekend long.  So with lots of gardening comes lots of extra vegetables and I’m never one to turn down free food, although I did try to beg off in this case since I was traveling by bus.  One friend insisted I take a large zucchini though and after loading it up in my purse and making a few penis-related jokes, I forgot all about it before boarding my bus and going on my way.  Toward the end of the ride I put my hand in my bag to search for my wallet and realized there was an unfortunate stench wafting from folds of my favorite purse.  Then I realized I had zucchini mash under my nails and all over my hand.  This was not something I wanted to deal with on a hot, crowded bus while facing another hour train ride home.  Upon inspection, I saw that the zucchini had snapped in half and mush spread over my wallet, journal, book, keys and every other damn thing I had in there.  And it reeked.  I managed to find some unharmed tissues and after getting off the bus I cleaned up as well as I could.  There’s probably still a rotting, smashed zucchini sitting on the steps of the building near the bus stop but that’s not something I think they can link back to me.  Unless the security for that building reads my blog.  Anyway, it was gross and I’m not entirely sure that my favorite purse and wallet are washing machine friendly but I guess I’m going to find out.  I was also bummed at the loss of a giant, delicious zucchini but there was just no saving that bad boy.

If that’s the worst thing that happened, though, I still think I’m super lucky.  And next time I make a visit, I’ll be sure to bring a plastic bag for any produce that comes home with me!

 

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Case of the Mondays

July 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

I had a great weekend but today sure does suck so here’s a picture of a calf that I took on my friend’s farm Saturday:

What are you looking at?

Perhaps I’ll get to update on my trip and more later this week.  If I’m lucky.

Can I retire yet?

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College Reunion!

July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

So this weekend I’m taking a solo trip on the Megabus down to Bloomingtion, Indiana, where I’ll be reuniting with some of my old Indiana University friends.  The last time I made the trip to Bloomington was almost two years ago (geez) for a wedding and even though I’ve been talking a lot of talk about going back, now is the first time I’ve been able to make it happen.  I’m lucky to have numerous wonderful women in my life (and ironically, 90% of them have names that begin with the letter ‘L’) and I might just get to see them all while I’m there!

Oh the memories!

Besides the wonderful company, I’m also looking forward to the wonderful food and drinks.  Specifically, a brewery/restaurant that I used to frequent back in the day.  Their wheat beer is to die for and I’ve been having visions of sitting on their patio, cold brew in hand, since I booked the bus ticket months ago.  Add to that the fact that I purposefully planned this trip when I knew the city would be devoid of students and you’ve got what I would call a perfect weekend.  It’ll be fun to reminisce and I hope I can find time for a nice walk through campus because the campus at IU is gorgeous and one of the main reasons I chose to go there in the first place.  I’m sure a lot has changed since my last trip and I’m excited to check it all out.  I’m even more excited to get out of the office and begin my weekend!  Here’s hoping you have a little something to look forward to – and if you’re in Bloomington, you can look forward to seeing ME!

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Open Wide

July 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I think I have the most chatty dental hygienist in the entire world.

No on has this much fun at the dentist.

I went in for my regular cleaning earlier this week and that woman scraped my teeth for damn near an hour, while talking my ear off the entire time.  She claimed it was a cleaning but I think it was more of a practice in ancient torture methods and I’m pretty sure her talkativeness was just another aspect of the routine.  Seriously, the military could learn a thing or two from her in extracting just about any type of information because by the end of the night I was willing to tell her I was the Queen of England wearing a Paige suit just to get her to leave me alone.

Here are some of the topics that I got to hear about while being stuck in a chair and having my mouth held open for a supremely uncomfortable amount of time: her bad back and the surgeries she’s had along with how her upbringing in Minnesota is to blame because she spent all her time pushing trucks out of ditches; how old she is and how much she wishes she was still my age; how much she doesn’t want kids, how she used to sneak out of her house all time growing up and how her family thinks her niece is talking to creepy men online so they sent her to live with her grandparents and she doesn’t know yet that she’s not going back; how technology is ruining our generation and how her trip up north was over the 4th of July week, which she booked off months ago; the recent heat wave and her favorite TV shows.  I think I’ve complained before about how dentists and their assistants talk when you can’t respond yet they somehow expect a response anyway – I think this one was content to prattle away regardless of whether or not I was listening.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t not listen and even the sound of her scraping metal against my teeth would’ve been preferable, if I could’ve just turned that up.  At one point she paused long enough to ask me if I did yoga and when I responded in the negative, she said it felt like I was doing some deep breathing exercises.  Little did she know that I was doing deep breathing so I could focus all of my energy on not biting off her fingers and spitting them in her eye.  I managed to make it though and was rewarded with an assurance of no cavities, along with floss and a toothbrush.  And luckily there’s six more months before my ears and teeth have to be subjected to torture again.

 

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