I Don’t, Anymore!

June 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

WEDDING SEASON IS OVER!

Well, for me.  Finally.  Today marks the last day of a month where I’ve attended three weddings on three different Saturdays. I was a bridesmaid in two of these weddings and all three were out of town.  It was an honor to be a part of so many special days but I’d be lying if I said I was sad to see this month draw to a close.  If I never see a taffeta gown, bright pink bridesmaid dress or professional photographer trying to choreograph candid shots, it’ll be too soon.

Check it out!

The first two weddings were for my two best friends from high school and so they were obviously exciting affairs.  I knew a lot of people in attendance and even though I spent hours and hours having hair, nails and make-up done while smiling for the cameras, it was a pretty fun time.  I just realized that there are many people out there who think spending hours and hours getting hair, nails and make-up done while smiling for cameras is the exact definition of a good time – alas, I am not one of those people.

Which made the wedding this past weekend even sweeter – I wasn’t in it and didn’t have to do a damn thing other than show up, watch, drink, eat and dance.  All of which I did without abandon.  I honestly didn’t even really know the bride and groom as the bride is a cousin of Scott’s who even he barely speaks to.  It was all very nice though and there was an open bar so I really didn’t have anything to complain about.  Still, weddings eat up time and money and I’m looking forward to pocketing a little more of my paychecks over the next few months.

I told my sister she’s not allowed to get married for at least a year and I hope she realizes I meant it.  Scott and I have talked about taking that plunge ourselves and after spending these past weeks basically being immersed in wedding culture, we’ve figured out a lot of things we don’t want to do.  I wish The Field Museum would just let me get married in their great hall but I’m pretty sure that renting that place out costs about three times as much as I’d be able to spend on a wedding to begin with, so there goes that idea.  Do people have weddings where they ask guests to pay for things like chairs and flowers instead of giving gifts?  Can I do a pot-luck thing where everyone brings a vegetarian dish and I provide the booze? Can I do an entire wedding over Skype? Why can’t it just be easy and cheap, much like the bride and groom?  Seriously the wedding industry is such a racket and I will gladly do everything I can to subvert that when my own time comes.  And yes, I know Vegas is a cheap and easy option – trust me, we’ve talked about that.  The thing is that if I were to get married I would want the people I love to come out and celebrate and the party is the expensive part.  I’m all for having a big bash that has a brief 15 ceremony somewhere near the beginning.  I don’t need 10 bridesmaids, sequins, glitter, jewels, veils, huge churches, fake eyelashes, fake boobs, Spanx and Hummer limos that blare Snoop Dogg.  Not that that stuff isn’t fun – it totally can be – and if that’s your idea of a great wedding then more power to you.  I’d personally like to be barefoot in a park but things like rain and dog poop will probably render that impossible.

It’s kind of crazy how even though I’m so sick of thinking about everything wedding-related, my stupid brain automatically starts planning my own non-existent shin-dig.  It should get better with the more time and distance I put between myself and any other wedding festivities and if it doesn’t – well, I’m an adult and I can have my own open bar any damn time I want!

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Touristic

June 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Most people who live in big cities have a city-specific bucket list – places to go that you just haven’t gotten around to in your day-to-day life but that hang out on the periphery, just waiting to be utilized.  I’ve got quite a few of these for Chicago and while I’m slowly whittling that list down, there are some things that I just haven’t done yet.  I’ve found that when people come to visit it provides me with better opportunities to check things off of my list and Sunday night proved just that.  After standing in yet another wedding over the weekend, Scott and I drove back to Chicago where he dropped me off downtown so I could meet up with an aunt and two of my cousins who are around my age and live in Texas.  My aunt is here for a conference and brought the girls along, since they’d never been to the Windy City.  I usually only get to see these women once a year so I was really excited they were visiting and even though I still had hair spray in my hair from that wedding, I downed a bunch of coffee and hung out.  We went out for dinner and then they suggested getting a drink – at the Signature Lounge atop the Hancock Tower.  This is one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit but just haven’t been to yet.  The view is supposedly the best in the city and you don’t have to pay admission, you only have to buy a drink.  Not a bad trade, to be honest!  We were somehow seated in one of the best tables in the place, basically right up on the window.  This was my view every time I turned my head:

Smoke on the Water

Smoke on the Water

Talk about cool.  There was a big fog moving through the city and as we sat there the sun went down, so you can imagine the picturesque setting we enjoyed.  My cousins were suitably impressed by the city before this stop at the bar and afterwards one of them is ready to pack her bags and move (I’ve tried to warn her about the winters but some things you have to see to believe – and honestly, I’d pay good money to see a Texan battle a polar vortex).

I also enjoyed some deep dish pizza while they were here (another thing I seem to only indulge in when people are visiting) and I’m trying not to be too jealous of the fact that they’re going to a show at Second City tonigh.  Apparently I either need to get my shit together and start spending more time (read: money) at new to me spots or around the city or I need to have more people up to visit who treat me to such treats.  Either way, I agree with my cousin – Chicago is a pretty awesome place to live!

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The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower

June 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Sweet Home Chicago

Sweet Home Chicago

I’m definitely still loving my new job.  There are all kinds of little perks here and there and anyone who’s worked for a company that treats their employees well knows how much all of that adds up.  For instance, I’ve never worked for a place that had any sort of company-paid-for work event (that includes holidays parties) and my new company has at least a few a year.  Score!  The first such event took place this past Saturday, where all employees in my department were treated to an evening at The Shedd Aquarium.

Beluga Whale!

Super flexible Beluga Whale!

Families and friends were welcome too so there were lots of super excited children running around, but not near as many as are there on any given day when the building is open to the public, so it wasn’t too overwhelming for those of us who are child-free.  We got to see whales, dolphins and just about every fish you can think of while enjoying cocktails and appetizers until the main courses were served.  There were five or six tables set up buffet-style and each featured cuisine from a different Chicago neighborhood.  I ate well beyond the point of being full but it was just so good.  There were pies, popcorn and pretzels for dessert and photo booths and face painting to keep you entertained if you got bored with the fish.  The whole evening culminated in fireworks (put on by the City over Navy Pier every Saturday night – we were just in the right place at the right time, with an amazing view) and after all was said and done Scott and I simply hopped the el back to our place.

That was a whole other experience in and of itself – there was a music festival called the Spring Awakening Festival going on at Soldier Field all weekend and the people who attended that were…interesting.  From what I gather, the festival played a bunch of rave type music that I guess I’m just too damn old to appreciate.  Scott and I were caught in the wave of people making their way to Museum Campus on our way to the Shedd and we felt like some ancient couple among all the whippersnappers who were wearing cropped shirts or bras with their super short shorts and glitter face paint.

Get off my lawn!

Get off my lawn!

We also walked past some groups who were blatantly pre-gaming by smoking a bunch of pot right by the lake…it wasn’t exactly surprising but we found it funny that this was happening as all of the bankers I work with were bringing their children through the thick of everything for our own event.  Everyone looked like they were on their way to some club and I guess that’s what Soldier Field turned into while we were at the Aquarium.  They were a…boisterous…bunch and their concert ended right when our evening did so we were back in the crowds on our way home.  The trains were full of these kids and while I initially tried to spend some time figuring out just what the hell they were wearing, I eventually gave up.  I’m getting too old for that shit (Danny Glover, feel my pain).

I guess my busy weeks and weekends finally caught up with me because, while I had the best of intentions of going to the gym on Sunday, I took a huge nap and ate a bunch of junk food instead.  And it was glorious.  That was the first day, weekend or otherwise, that I’ve had to myself since the first week of April and I won’t get another until sometime mid-July.  Everything has been good though (i.e. weddings and baby showers instead of hospital visits and jury duty) but it still wears a girl out!  This weekend I’m standing in another out-of-town wedding but I’m pretty sure it’ll go just as smoothly as the last one I was in.  So long as I don’t throw out any important receipts at gas stations, that is.

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Trashy

June 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I know this may come as a shocker, but sometimes I screw up.

Friday morning, Scott and I hit the road to drive down to Southern Indiana as I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding on Saturday.  When we got in his car I commented how there was a lot of trash floating around and he told me that he would clean it all out once we reached my mom’s house.  About halfway into our drive, he was hungry so I dropped him off at a Subway and took his car to fill up the tank.  As I did so, I thought it would be really sweet of me to go ahead and throw out a lot of the trash that had accumulated on his floor and in his console.  I really did think I was being helpful and would be saving him some work later on but boy was I mistaken.  I picked him back up and we got back on the road – about 20 minutes into the drive he opened his console and started freaking out, asking where all of his papers were.  To be honest, I thought everything in there was old receipts and that’s what I threw out.  How was I supposed to know that he had some very important phone numbers written on one such receipt?  I mean, aren’t phone numbers supposed to be kept in, oh I don’t know, your phone?  So an argument ensued where he was upset for my not listening to him when he said he would go through the trash later and me being upset with him not being more responsible about saving contacts in his phone.  Of course, he did ask me not to touch anything so he was in the right but MAN I hate when he’s right so I was being just a tad bitchy myself.  It didn’t help that one of the only things we argue about is the fact that I’m constantly cleaning and sometimes that frustrates him because I move/throw out things he still needs.  So I offered to turn around and go back to the gas station, not really thinking he’d take me up on it.  But he did, so I did.

I was in flip flops and shorts. Talk about nasty.

We got to the gas station and I parked next to the can I had emptied his oh-so-important receipts into.  And it was empty.  There were two girls in gas station uniforms walking around cleaning the grounds and they confirmed that they had just emptied all of the cans.  I looked forlornly at Scott as the girls pointed to the nearby dumpster and he reiterated that he really needed those phone numbers.  Super lame but as I didn’t want him holding this blunder of mine over my head for basically the rest of my life, I decided to suck it up.  Trying not to think about my recently manicured nails, I used a nearby piece of cardboard to lean on as I carefully balanced myself over the side of the dumpster.  It was luckily empty sans a handful of bags at the very bottom, but they weren’t exactly easy to reach and I absolutely didn’t want to have to climb inside the damn dumpster.  I found a paint roller to the side of the dumpster and, stretching as far as I could, pulled the bags over and began ripping them open.  I dug through five in all before finally finding the missing receipt, phone numbers intact.  Glory be and all that jazz.

We hit the road after I spent a good bit of time washing any exposed body parts in the bathroom and made it to my mom’s with plenty of time to take a long shower before we had to go to the wedding rehearsal dinner.  Which was good because I kept getting whiffs of garbage as I drove – this could’ve been entirely in my imagination but it probably wasn’t.  So gross.  Scott did thank me profusely for all of my hard work, even though it was my fault in the first place, and I made it very clear he wasn’t allowed to bring it up ever again since I fixed it in the end.

The things we do for love.  And to avoid having to listen to a lecture about cleaning too much every time I get in his car or too close to a trash can.  I learned my lesson though and his car can remain cluttered until the day he trades it in!

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Close But No Cigar

June 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

On Friday night, I happened to be in the right place at the right time and I think I saved prom for two stressed out teenagers.

Hopefully they made it.

I had an event for kids and families that I was working at The Field Museum and I finished up at about 9pm.  As I walked around the front of the building waiting for Scott to come pick me up, I noticed a car pull up and stop.  Two very dressed up teenagers got out (the girl was carrying a bouquet of flowers) and they ran up the steps towards the front of the building.  Another, older, man got out of the car to watch and I could tell he was dressed up as well.  I thought perhaps the kids wanted a photo or two in front of the museum and as I passed the man I commented on how nice they looked.  He said they were going to a prom at the Shedd Aquarium and since the Shedd is basically next door to the Field, I still didn’t think much of it.  We chit-chatted for a moment (he was the chauffer for his son and his son’s date) and then I realized the kids were trying to get in the front door of the Field.  Since the Field was full of small children running around making arts and crafts and taking photos of dinosaurs, I figured something was off.  I told the man they wouldn’t be able to enter the museum due to a kid’s event and that’s when he looked panicked.  He had apparently gotten confused on which museum was which and the poor kids who were expecting a prom got a locked front door (and they were about to get security) instead.  He immediately started yelling and waving at them, telling them to hurry up and get back in the car because they were already late.  I gave him directions to the right museum and he thanked me profusely, saying he was so glad we started talking because they never would’ve figured it out.  I felt like a superhero and watched like a fairy godmother as they sped off in the right direction.  Here’s hoping the rest of their prom went smoothly and was full of dancing, laughter and an age-appropriate amount of partying and fondling!

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