Hey, Dude

July 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Oh, the joys of pet ownership.

The Dude was not impressed

The Dude was not impressed

If you’re a friend of mine or have followed this blog for any amount of time, you know the trouble and heartache I went through with my last cat, Catsby (may her fetch-loving, furry soul rest in peace).  She was diabetic and I spent a sort of insane amount of time and money dealing with that for about a year.  Well, after she passed and Scott and I adopted our new cat, The Dude, I reveled in having a low maintenance pet once again.  Other than the occasional grooming or routine vet appointment, The Dude was as laidback and easy going as his namesake (yes, from The Big Lebowski).  Until a couple of weeks ago, that is.

We took him in for his annual checkup two weeks ago and were promptly informed that he needed the feline equivalent of a root canal.  Which I guess is still called a root canal?  Who knows.  I’ve never been through anything like that myself but apparently they are NOT cheap.  As in, this procedure cost about the same as a month’s worth of rent.  Luckily, I have a partner I can share these expenses with (and a credit card), because damn.  But once the vet pointed it out, even we could see that it looked inflamed and painful.  So we set the appointment and I woke up at the buttcrack of dawn on Friday (my day off) to get it all taken care of.

Apparently one of the two teeth removed was in such bad shape that it shattered right when they tried to take it out.  My poor cat!  He was all sorts of knocked out during the surgery so I’m sure he didn’t feel a thing and then we had a steady supply of pain meds that we shot into his mouth every 8 hours, so it’s not like he was being tortured.  In fact, he got downright dopey and while it was kind of funny, we also felt bad for our fuzzy little guy.  But what else could we do?  When you choose to be a caretaker for an animal, you sometimes get screwed in the cost department.  I imagine parents feel the same way.  He seems to be feeling better though and hopefully after we take him in for his wellness check this week we can avoid the vet for at least another year.  He’s got stiches in his mouth that are almost fully disintegrated and the fancy wet cat food in his dish so he should be well on the road to recovery.  And hey, maybe this will even stop him from meowing all night and making me want to strangle him with his own tail!

Aren’t pets fun?

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

July 26, 2014 at 9:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

So Tuesday night a couple of my sister’s friends were in town.  This couple is a couple I’ve also known for years and years and although they were only in town for a few days for a conference, we managed to carve some time out to hang.  Play ball!  They were going to a Cubs game and I planned to meet them beforehand for some drinks.  Well, in a fabulous display of luck, a banker at my office was giving away four tickets to the game Tuesday afternoon and I managed to nab them.  These seats were pretty awesome and just a little bit better than the nosebleed ones the out-of-towners had.  So I surprised them with the best seats they’ve ever had in their lives (according to them) and Scott and I were able to go to the game too!

We gave the original tickets they had away to some guys at a bar we were at before the game and honestly, we should’ve timed it better because they offered to buy us drinks but we were heading out.  Oh well, our good dead was done.  The weather the night of the game was nice but it was HOT – like in the 90’s hot.  And the water I used to wash my hands in the bathroom was also hot, which I felt like was kind of kicking me while I was down.  No matter though, I had beer and nachos and the CUBS WON!  6-0 – talk about a great game to go to!  There were three homeruns too which was pretty crazy.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night!

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Another Trip Booked!

July 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am in dire need of a vacation!  It’s been exactly a year since Scott and I went to Costa Rica and I’ve been itching to get out of the country once again.  After I hit my goal of going to every continent (minus Antarctica) before the age of 30, I made a new mission to continue my streak and go abroad once a year for 10 years straight.  In order to do that I needed to renew my passport and I just got my new one back a few weeks ago so it was time to book a trip!

Sidenote: my new passport is all stiff and full of USA propaganda and completely empty.  It makes me sad.

Here I come!

But!  I’ll start filling it soon because I just booked myself a trip to Vancouver, Canada at the end of September!  This year has been a difficult one when it came to saving cash for a vacation but I managed to do it nonetheless.  I toyed with trips to many different places but in the end, it was cheaper and easier to go just go to Canada for a few days.  I’ll be flying to Vancouver for four nights and then going down to San Diego, CA to stay with an old friend for an additional three.  Seeing as how I’ve never been to Canada or California, I’m pretty jazzed!

I’d be more jazzed if Scott was coming with me but he’ll be busy with school so this is to be another solo trip (at least the Canada part, since I’ll be with my friend in CA).  That’s okay though because there seems to be plenty there to keep me busy!  I’ve already booked my hostel and have found an awesome anthropology museum and a pretty cool library I will definitely be checking out.  There are lots of markets to peruse and the nature around looks beautiful so I’m sure I’ll be doing as much as I can while I’m there.  The area I’m staying in seems pretty walkable and it should be a nice time of the year to go.  Not going to lie – I’m pretty excited!  And I’ve got plenty of time to plan some stuff out, though I’m sure the trip will be here before I know it.  At least, I hope so!

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Grin and Bear It

July 21, 2014 at 7:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I hate going to the dentist.

Aaaah

I went last week after waiting a year (thanks, lack of dental insurance after my lay-off) and while it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be, it sure was close.  I think the dental hygienist I see is some sort of sadist because she scrapes my teeth like it’s going out of style.  I was also treated to her nonstop babbling, from everything about how she doesn’t really like Game of Thrones (excuse me what?) to the fact that she’s never gotten a mammogram.  I don’t know how we got there either, trust me.  She’s a nice enough person but I want to punch her in the face so all of her teeth fall out and she’s the one who has to sit in a chair and endure painful dental work.  The fact that the whole time she was talking she had her fingers stuck halfway down my throat probably added to my annoyance, as all I could muster were small smiles and spit during the entire one-sided conversation.  Although I guess it’s a good thing I couldn’t speak because by that point, Lord only knows what would’ve come out of my mouth.

The actual dentist (who I saw for a whopping 2 minutes during my hour long visit) wasn’t much better.  Sure, she’s friendly and competent but she told me some story about a birthday party she was going to for her uncle’s new wife.  I guess the woman is turning 50 but is insisting on having a Princess themed party…another excuse me what?  I don’t know if they teach these people to make inane small talk while treating patients or what but I had to stop from rolling my eyes.

Good news is I have a clean bill of dental health and I don’t have to subject myself to that torture for another six months.  I would’ve had a huge smile on my face as I left the office but to be honest, my jaw was sore from holding it open for so long!

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If I Had a Garden…

July 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

…I would eat stuff like this every night:

Top Chef, here I come.  To watch.

Top Chef, here I come. To watch.

I would seriously love to have a garden.  I would grow leafy greens, tomatoes, peas, zucchini, peppers, all kinds of herbs and just about anything else I could keep alive.  I think it would be fun to get my hands dirty and I know I would really appreciate eating produce that I produced myself.  Unfortunately, city living doesn’t provide many opportunities for being a farmer.  There are shared plots I could purchase but none of them are super convenient to home and let’s be real here – if it’s not literally in my backyard, I’m not going to maintain it.  So I settle for buying my produce like all of the other city folk while looking upon every garden I see while being green with envy.

But!  During my last trip home in June, my mom sent Scott and I back up to Chicago with a little herb planter we can keep on our back porch (when I say porch, I mean stoop…you can fit a chair and a few plants but that’s about it).  So we now have fresh herbs, which I kinda sorta forget are out there but I’ve been trying to incorporate into my meals when I happen to remember.  Then yesterday I had a brilliant idea while doing my Sunday Funday grocery shopping – buy some cheese!  I had tomatoes at home and of course fresh basil, so I created the above dish as an appetizer to my pasta meal.  It was pretty dang delicious and if mozzarella was a little healthier I would’ve had it for breakfast and dinner tonight too.

Surely stuff like this can keep me happy until I either live in a place where I can have a garden of my own or until technology allows me to grow produce on the side of a brick building, right?  Well, we’ll see.  In the meantime I’ll be eating better tasting foods and enjoying some homemade pesto, too.  Now if I could figure out how to grow chocolate chip cookies in that herb planter, I’d be all set!

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Beer Me!

July 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm (Uncategorized)

Why yes, I think I will

Why yes, I think I will

As I mentioned in my last post, my mom was here last weekend and during her stay I treated us to manicures and pedicures.  We went in the early afternoon on July 4th but the salon had a bit of a wait so we had about 30 minutes to kill.  The salon is right next door to the new Mariano’s I know I’ve blogged about so we decided to go inside and get a beer while we waited.  Sure is convenient when the grocery has a bar with full band just sitting at your disposal!

The beers were decently priced ($3 for a domestic bottle or $5 for a craft draft) and the bartender was attentive without being annoying.  As we sat down and ordered, he pulled out a few dishes with some snacks for us to munch on, free of charge.  They included some delicious cheese cubes, pita crackers and a bunch of olives.  They also gave us samples with a very generous pour, so that was a plus.  I don’t even get that kind of service at some of the snooty hoity-toity bars in the neighborhood, where you’re lucky if you find a half-empty dish of some peanuts or pretzels that have been sitting out for way too long.  The snacks and the beer were more than enough to keep us entertained while we waited for our appointment time and even though I’ve always thought it was kind of silly to drink and “hang out” at the grocery store, that experience did give me another view to consider.  It may not be a place I’d like to spend a Saturday night but for a quick brew and some people watching, it did the trick!

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Fantastic Fourth

July 8, 2014 at 8:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Man, I love my mom.

She came up for a visit this past weekend and from Thursday evening until Monday afternoon, I got to enjoy her company.  We managed to do all kinds of things in that time, including but not limited to:

  • Drinking beer while shopping at the grocery store
  • Grocery store shopping a record of four times in four days (we didn’t drink each time, I promise)

    I'm not super religious but God this is beautiful

    I’m not super religious but God this is beautiful

  • Enjoying home-cooked dinner and breakfast (gotta love pancakes!)
  • Pampering ourselves with professional manicures and pedicures
  • Imbibing in beer at Hopleaf, a very well-known Chicago tavern
  • Watching three hours of fireworks at the park down the street from my apartment (okay, we watched for about an hour and a half while we enjoyed a huge picnic.  The fireworks went on much longer than that but since those shooting them off were drunk and sloppy by that point, we packed up and headed home)
  • Walking through The Field Museum, ate Chicago hot dogs (veggie for me), took a water taxi across Lake Michigan and wandered through the Stained Glass Museum on Navy Pier
  • Eating a meal at Bad Apple, another awesome Chicago restaurant
  • Sunday brunching at a bar by my place while enjoying their unlimited Bloody Mary Bar
  • Visiting with a friend of mine who recently had a baby and agreed that, while he’s cute as hell, it’s probably good I don’t have one
  • Watching the following movies (not in a row): Hunger Games Mockingjay, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Major League (thanks, Netflix!)
  • Reviving the plants I had that were dying a slow and sad death
  • Walking all over my neighborhood and all those that surround me
  • Talking – lots and lots of talking (just ask Scott!)

Mom hasn’t been up here for a visit for at least a year so this was kind of a big deal.  I had an absolute blast with her and wish she could’ve stayed longer but alas, the real world doesn’t stop just because I want to spend some time with my momma.  We had the best time ever though and that’ll have to hold us over until I go home again later this summer.  It was seriously a perfect long weekend – great weather, great company and a great visit.  Thanks, Mom!

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Downpour!

July 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Chicago got hit by a massive storm last night and I got to walk home in it.  Granted, my walk was only about five blocks but it was NOT FUN.

Not yesterday but close enough.

I was at the gym when the storm hit and I basically watched the sky grow darker and darker before it became pitch black, all in about a five minute period.  When I left it was like the skies had opened up long enough to dump buckets of water straight over me.  The streets were flooded pretty much immediately and while I did have an umbrella, I was more concerned that it was going to kill me than keep me dry.  There was more lightning than I’ve ever seen in my life and I could picture my umbrella acting as a rod to fry my poor little self while I huddled over my gym bag trying to run home.  Seriously, the lightning was so close I could smell it and I couldn’t help but freak out a bit.  I may or may not have screamed a little, too, but in the end there wasn’t really any damage.  Car alarms were going off all over the place though and I felt like I was in a bad Tom Cruise action flick.  I passed a UPS delivery guy and seriously considered bribing him to drive me to my door but he looked as miserable as I felt so I just kept running.

I eventually made it home and none of my possessions were ruined due to water damage but I was completely drenched.  Thanks, umbrella.  After a hot shower and good meal I was able to actually enjoy the storm a little bit, as the lightning was pretty impressive and lasted for hours.  Thankfully it had cleared up by the time I had to walk to the el this morning but my sneakers were still soaked so they stayed at home.  And if the weather had been one iota as bad this morning as it was last night, my ass would have stayed at home too!

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