Brides, Babies and Blasted Boots

March 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Everyone sure is growing up (and don’t worry, there are no major life announcements pertaining to me in this blog post.  Other than a little blurb about shoes).  In the last few weeks, I’ve been told news of a family member having another baby, attended one baby shower and received an invite for another, attended one bachelorette party and received an invite for another and received three bridal shower invites.  Right now, I have weddings to go to in three of the four weekends in June – and I’m a bridesmaid in two of those.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it but I know it’s like a trillion times worse for those who are actually getting married and having babies so I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.  Still – damn.

How scary is this?

I guess I got lucky in that I’ve not really had years like this before.  I know my sister has been in more weddings than I want to try to count so I’ve managed to escape all that so far.  It just seems like when it rains it pours, but such is life.  The two weddings I’m in this June are being thrown by my two oldest and dearest friends from high school, who are also standing up in each others weddings (like I said, it’s way worse for them).  This means that both weddings are in my hometown so while it’s not a cross country flight or anything, there is some travel involved.  However, the second bachelorette party is actually being held here in Chicago so that’s pretty convenient.  I know the bride-to-be wanted to hit the beach one day as they’re coming up over Memorial Day weekend and that’s when the beaches open so hopefully the weather warms up a bit between now and then.  Yeah, right.  At least it’s sunny?

As for babies, one of my closest friends up here is due in the next few weeks with her first.  It’s kind of crazy to watch her transition into being a mom and it’s the first time a close friend of mine has gone through all this.  She’s been telling me some things I could’ve done without knowing but I guess if I ever want to embark on that path myself it’s better to know what I could be getting myself into.  Of course, I’m still not convinced that growing a small person and then popping them out of my most sensitive body part is a good idea, so there’s that.  But I will say this – those newborn onesies are just too damn cute!

Now, onto the big, life altering even that has been consuming my time – the everlasting search for a new pair of stupid boots.  When I went back home last weekend for one bachelorette party, I devoted a good deal of time to scouring the mall, shoe stores and even the outlet malls in search of that perfect pair of boots.  Still haven’t found them.  I even did the thing again where I bought a pair and walked around for a bit before deciding I didn’t like those, either.  I’ve taken all this as a sign that I should just hang on to the ones I have and to hell with the rest.  I’ve also decided that if I’m having this hard of a time purchasing a  pair of boots, it’s a really good thing I’m not planning a wedding!

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Security Now!

March 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I am officially no longer a temp!

I accepted the job I’m currently working on a temp to hire basis, which initially made me nervous because I’ve never been anything other than a direct hire before.  I was told I would be a temp for no more than 90 days so when I was offered the chance to be a regular employee a mere three weeks after my start date, I pretty much freaked right on out.  Apparently I am just so amazing and wonderful they couldn’t help but bring me on.  Or they wanted to do so before the end of the first quarter for payroll purposes.  Either way, today marked my very first day as an actual employee – I had the orientation on benefits and health insurance to prove it!

Welcome to the office.

This is a pretty awesome thing.  I will be saving hard earned cash on my commuting fees, I will become eligible for vacation and paid holidays (the first of which is Good Friday – woo!) and I will be saving even more money on health insurance.  I’ve been paying for an out of pocket plan since long before my last company tanked (because they tripled our payments out of nowhere) and it is NOT cheap.  So I am all about being an actual, regular employee.

Besides all of that there are small random perks I’ve never experienced with any job before, ever.  Such as the fact that last Thursday our company let us wear jeans and tshirts to show off our favorite basketball teams in honor of March Madness, then opened up a conference room to play the ball games on a projector.  Oh, and provided us with snacks, beer and wine.  So THAT was awesome.  Then today they ordered some fancy schmancy donuts from a boutique donut place (apparently they exist) downtown to celebrate the fact that I’m joining the team.

Incidentally, if I’m not careful I’m going to gain 100lbs.

Anyway it’s a pretty solid time in my life and I actually think that whole getting laid off thing was a blessing in disguise.  People tried to tell me that when it happened but I was all like “Bitch you crazy” – however now I’m beginning to believe it myself.  Of course it all seems too good to be true and since I still feel like I’m dealing with post traumatic stress from everything I experienced at my last job, I kind of keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and to wake up unemployed and living in a box under a bridge somewhere.  But for now – well, I’m going to enjoy all the booze and free donuts I can!

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These Boots Are (Not) Made For Walking

March 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I hate shopping.  This is evidenced by the fact that there are plenty of pictures from nearly ten years ago where I’m wearing clothing that I still wear often today.  When I find something I like I stick with it and generally, there’s not a problem with that.  Unfortunately, sometimes things fall apart and that forces me out into the world of shopping and MAN, do I hate shopping.

I’m mentioning all of this because my favorite pair of comfy, all-weather and all-terrain, best walking boots have fallen apart. I purchased them a few years ago from *ahem* Payless and so I should’ve known they wouldn’t last forever but I’d rather hoped they would.  In fact, I’d hoped so so much that I took them to the shoe repair guy in my neighborhood recently to have the soles glued back to together because they were beginning to leak.  He kinda sorta mentioned that they were peeling (they weren’t leather) and that there wasn’t much he could do to revive them other than glue them a bit but, in my desperation, I told him that was fine.  I was able to get a few more good days of wear out of them after that but now I must admit, he was right.

I need new boots.

I need new boots.

And I tried to buy new boots, I really did.  I went shoe shopping last weekend and found a perfect pair – ON SALE – and not my size.  Then I found a semi-perfect pair, bought them and decided two hours later I wasn’t satisfied so I went back to the store, returned them and had them order what I thought was my size and send them to a different downtown store.  So I went there the next day on my lunch hour, tried them on and THEY didn’t fit either.  So much for my size.  I found yet another pair that were pretty solid (and not on sale, mind you) and while they seemed to fit, they were about a size smaller than what I usually wear.  But I bought them anyway, walked back to work and decided shortly after that they needed to go back too.  I just wasn’t going to spend that kind of good money on something I wasn’t entirely sold on.  And back they went, right after work.

Now I’m back to the drawing board.  I may perhaps look again this weekend, or I may scrub the ones I have down and then fill in the peeling parts with a brown marker.  Because I really do hate shopping.

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What Month is This?

March 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This is the scene at an apartment down the street from us:

Time warp!

Time warp!

In case you can’t tell, that’s a Christmas tree and lights.  This was taken a few nights ago and the decorations are still up.  I apologize for the crappy photo quality but I felt kind of stalkerish/weird/illegal standing outside of a stranger’s home and taking pictures so I didn’t really take the time to make sure it was a perfect shot.  That’s actually why I didn’t cross the street – because I like my clean record and the fact that I’ve never been arrested, thank you very much.

So I understand that this winter has been one of the longest, most painfully horrible things we’ve endured for a while and I guess it’s possible the person who lives behind those windows decided to leave up some holiday cheer to help them get through it.  It’s also possible that the person who lives there died in their sleep and is slowly being eaten while their cats, but had all of their bills on auto pay and no friends to know they’ve gone missing.  Seriously, it’s happened before.  But I do realize that the most logical explanation is that they’re lazy and it’s been too cold to take the damn tree down to the basement.

At least, I hope.  After seeing a coyote on my sidewalk last week, I realized anything can happen in this neighborhood.

 

 

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My Mom is the Best Mom

March 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm (Uncategorized)

So, our new bed is amazing.  As in, sleep-like-a-rock, never-wanna-get-up amazing.  I almost wish we had bought it back when I was still unemployed so I could spend all day, every day enjoying its comfort but I couldn’t have afforded it without being employed, so it was kind of a vicious cycle.  Anyway, the bed rocks.

Even if she is a sneaky woman.

As Scott and I set it up on Sunday afternoon, we found a set of clean sheets that we hadn’t used in a while.  I had received a newer set for Christmas and we’d been sleeping on those (don’t worry, they were washed regularly) so the older set was put away.  The main reason for this is that the older set had a huge tear in one corner of the cover sheet from where (I assume) Scott tossed and turned all the damn time.  It did, after all, occur on his side – which made it easier to make since I knew which way went where.  As I mentioned, we hadn’t used the sheets in a while but since they were the only clean set the day the bed arrived, out they came.  And as we went to put them on, complete confusion set in.

There was no tear.  We looked at each other, looked at the cover sheet and then looked at each other numerous times, all the while confirming with one another that yes, in fact, it had been torn the last time we had seen it.  We were quite certain of that, and also certain of the fact that neither of us were ever within 40 feet of needle and thread, nor did we take it to the dry cleaners to have sewn.  We kind of shrugged it off because this was the second time in two days that something in our apartment seemed to magically fix itself (more on the other later, though it’s not a terribly fascinating story) and we just enjoyed the new mattress.  Then today, it hit us.

My mom.  The last time we went home to visit, we brought laundry (per usual) and she likely used this time to fix the sheets herself.  I immediately got on the phone with her and yup, that’s what happened.  I felt pretty bad that it took me this long to realize it but I’m very, very grateful.  Aren’t moms just the best? I know mine is!

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IKEA’d Out

March 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I spent four straight hours at IKEA today.

You would think I’m a glutton for punishment, and perhaps I am.  I’m certainly a glutton for food.

IKEA had a deal today (and probably every weekend) that if you spent more than $150 on home furnishings, then anything you ate in the food court would be comped from your final total at checkout.  Since Scott and I were both hungry upon arrival, this seemed like a great deal and we definitely took advantage of it.  I’m not going to go into details with what I ate but I will say that lunch was almost eight hours ago and I’m still not hungry and we ended up with $32 shaved off of our final total when we left.  I know that it’s not technically a free lunch but it sort of felt like it!

After we ate we actually had to start shopping, which was initially difficult with such full stomachs.  Luckily IKEA is a maze of gargantuan showrooms and walking around was good exercise.  The whole point of the excursion was to get a new mattress, because now that I’m a working woman with real life paychecks I can finally afford to go halfsies on one.  The mattress we currently have was given to me by a friend of mine sophomore year of college, which was *ahem* over a decade ago.

And good riddance!

Her mattress wasn’t exactly top notch then and after a year or so of his complaining about backaches, I finally admitted to Scott just how old mine really was (I also admitted to myself that the mattress could be the root of my own back and shoulder pain).  He was shocked and appalled.  We bought a nice foam memory pad over a year ago but it only helped so much and as we tried to flip the mattress a few months back, he smacked it in frustration.  The whole thing reverberated like a loud musical chord and apparently they’re not supposed to do that.  I’ve also noticed that when we laid in bed, we’d both roll towards the middle until we became a giant heap of anger and pain.  On top of all of this, the mattress was originally part of an entire bed set that included a canopy that attached to the frame.  Well that bed set was long gone by the time I acquired it but the sharp metal protrusions that stuck out at the food of the bed to attach to the canopy were not.  I have struck my shins on those evil metal bastards more times than I care to imagine and a year or so after the first time I shoved a pair of shoes onto them to at least remind myself of their presence.  It has looked like I’m keeping a dead body under my bed since that time and I still occasionally whack my shins.  All in all – it was time for a new mattress.

When I woke up this morning I gave the finger to our bed and happily fantasized about what I would be sleeping on tonight.  Unfortunately, the IKEA we went to is just outside of same-day-delivery range so we won’t actually have this wonderful new mattress until tomorrow.  Since I’m very stubborn and was dead set on the idea of not having to sleep on the old one ever again, we’ll be pulling that memory foam topper to the living room floor tonight for a slumber party.  We have Interview with a Vampire from Netflix so we’re in for a night of movies and feeling like a kid again.  I also feel like a kid again in anticipation of my new bed.  We got a good deal and a close friend of mine actually just bought the same one for himself so it comes highly recommended.  I’m not sure when things like this became so exciting to me but if I had to guess I’d say turning 30 had something to do with it.

I also got some new Tupperware and kitchen towels.  I’m just a kid at heart!

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It’s Fat Tuesday, Ya’ll

March 4, 2014 at 9:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Well, at least for a couple more hours (Central Time).

Fat Tuesday is traditionally the day to cut loose and let wild before Lent begins.  A time to indulge in all sorts of debauchery before giving up something fun, like candy or soda, for the next 40 days.  Of course if you’re a recovering Catholic such as myself, Fat Tuesday is a day to eat, drink and be merry before….another day of eating, drinking and being merry.

Until we meet again

Until we meet again

The Mardi Gras time of year always makes me long for New Orleans and this year is no different, especially since I have some friends there now and they keep posting their damn pictures on Facebook.  I know I was just there in November but I’m always game for a stay in The Big Easy so it doesn’t take much to make me miss it.  I’ve been going there regularly since I was a teenager and in that (gasp) decade or so I’ve been there with all manner of friends, family and lovers.  It’s a great place to experience with all of those people and even though I don’t remember all of the memories I’ve made in the French Quarter and surrounding areas, I’ve almost always had a good time.  And while I’ve never been to a Mardi Gras myself, I like to think I can somewhat imagine what it would be like.  Especially since my mom has been twice in the last few years and provided delightfully drunken running commentary while there.

So what would I give up for Lent if I was the giving-up-for-Lent type?  Hard to say.  I tried to give up talking one year and lasted all of 20 minutes before I caved, Lord help me.  I’ve done the candy/sugar/sweets thing and I think once I vowed to be nicer to my sister for those 40 days, which I can’t promise I did.  In my smart-ass teenage stage, I gave up eating meat…as a vegetarian, this was not difficult.  Then I gave up giving up things for Lent and that seems to have stuck.  I guess if I was going to give up something this year I would try to stop talking about the weather.  It sucks, we all know it sucks and it’s going to continue to keep on sucking.  As a well-known movie once said, “I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.”

Luckily, I’m not giving up anything for Lent and as such, I won’t be forfeiting my right to bitch and moan about our weather anytime soon.  For instance, Chicago winter has had the most days at or below zero this year – EVER (or at least since the mid 1800’s).  Awesome, right?  At least we’re in the double digits for at least the next ten days.

Mardi Gras is the only sign of Spring I see.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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