Child’s Play

April 29, 2015 at 8:46 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Last Thursday was Bring Your Kid To Work Day so I was excited for some adorable children to keep me distracted during the day, but only one showed up. Well, only one on our floor at least. There was some huge out-of-town meeting so a lot of bankers weren’t even around and those that were had a day-long conference to attend, so it wasn’t exactly a great day to have a kid tagging along. My supervisor brought in her 7-year-old stepson though so that was cool and we ended up BFF’s by the end of the day. No really.

How exactly did I earn the respect and friendship of a strange youth? Easy – I had an unopened owl pellet in my bag (because of course I did) so we spent some time dissecting it. Considering how this kid was filing folders and stocking paper clip holders prior to our playdate, my little scientific experiment was a welcome distraction. My supervisor only teased me for a minute about the weird stuff I carry around because she was ultimately grateful that I could keep her stepson entertained for more than five minutes. And he found three skulls in the pellet! THREE! That’s seriously impressive. He took all of the bones and pieces back home to show off to his father, who I’m sure was just as thrilled as my supervisor to have this stuff laying around their house.

So that’s an owl pellet and those are animal bones.

As fun as it was, I’m still not sold on the whole idea of procreating myself. But so long as I keep things like owl pellets in my purse, I can always make a pint-sized friend! That’s not weird or creepy at all, is it?

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Needs More Training

April 26, 2015 at 10:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Friday morning, my commute gave me something to think about. I now have a theory that the conductors of the elevated trains are lonely and in need of companionship. What makes me think this? The Chicago Transit Authority conductor I had on my way into work.

It’s fairly normal for my train to run slowly and have frequent pauses between stations, especially in the mornings. That’s what happens when the tracks are old and twisted and you have trains backed up all the way to and from the loop, so it doesn’t concern me too much. If we end up sitting for 5 minutes and there’s no announcement then people start looking around like ‘WTF’ but usually the conductor will come on at that point and give us an update. My conductor today? Gave an update for every single delay – even those that lasted roughly 10 seconds. He must have been new or something because he went into more detail than I would have thought possible, i.e. telling us how many trains are in front of us and detailing how we couldn’t move until the one ahead moved first because if we did we would run the risk of hitting them and that would go against CTA policy. At first, I thought he was trying to be a smart ass but there was absolutely no hint of humor or irony in his voice; rather, he sounded like he was doing us the biggest favor in the world with these minute-by-minute updates. So every time we slowed down, we got to hear another announcement about how we would be moving in 10 seconds or so. This was especially annoying because most morning commuters like to make said commute in peace and quiet – having a voice constantly blaring through the train car completely destroys any chances of a relaxing commute.

Did I mention that CTA trains also have automated announcements to inform of us delays, door openings and closings and their policy regarding gambling? Because they do.

At least my conductor didn’t do this.

 

But then, I considered the fact that maybe the poor guy was just lonely. Conductors don’t typically have a lot of interaction with the commuters (unless one of them is sick or crazy or something and that’s not exactly the kind of interaction anyone wants). They usually stand at the front of the train and pull their various levers and whatnot to keep us moving, which is fine and dandy. But perhaps this guy wanted to feel more a part of the crowd and figured the best way to do that would be talking to us like we were the best of friends, or at least gave a shit about what he was talking about. It’s possible his goal was to annoy us all so much that someone would hit the call button to ask him to stop, which would be a prolonged human interaction. I almost got to that point myself, after all. It could have been a perfect storm of him being new to the job and wanting to over-inform rather than under-inform combined with him not being used to working such a solo type of position. So I should feel some compassion, right?

Nope. I’ve completely avoided trains because of annoying conductors before and I will absolutely do so again if need be. But maybe I’ll give him a long, overly detailed warning about it first.

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Meet and Greet

April 20, 2015 at 7:19 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I finally got to meet my nephew this weekend! Technically, he’s Scott’s nephew but since we’re going to be getting married, I’m claiming the title of Aunt now. Or Auntie. Or maybe the abbreviation A.P., kind of like a high school college prep class? Actually, I’ll probably just stick with Aunt.

Giraffe babies are cute too.

Anyway. The baby was born a couple of weeks ago but since I was sick with the plague bronchitis, I had to quarantine myself away from the little tyke. I’ve mostly recuperated though and now the baby and I are no longer strangers! It’s been a little while since I held a newborn and I forgot how tiny they are. He was swaddled up in a blanket and looked like a baby burrito, which was adorable and made me kind of hungry for some Taco Bell. He napped for the first part of my and Scott’s visit but eventually his mom decided he needed to eat so she poked and prodded him until he woke up. Then there were eyes! Little, adorable, blue baby eyes that I’m going to pretend knew exactly who I was. He grabbed my finger at one point so I can only assume he loves me the most already.

I asked the new momma how things were going and she summed it up by saying that while she’s heard motherhood described as a lot of things, so far it had mostly been watching Netflix while nursing with one hand and trying to shove food down her own throat with the other. Which doesn’t seem so bad to me but then I remember a little thing called diapers. The baby actually made good use of his diaper at one point while he was on my lap and I gladly passed him off to his daddy while patting myself down to make sure none of my own clothing was damaged in the process. Everything was fine so the kid and I are still cool.

It’s pretty exciting to see all of this happening and even more exciting because it’s calmed Scott’s parents down on the whole grandbaby thing – for now. If I could just get my sister to start popping out kids to satisfy my mom’s own wishes, I think we’d be all set! I mean, it’s all Netflix and binge eating anyway, right?

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Bronchitis-a-Saurus

April 15, 2015 at 8:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

You know what sucks? Bronchitis. Bronchitis sucks. That’s what I was officially diagnosed with on Monday afternoon and that’s what I’ve been fighting ever since. The good news is that my voice is back and I’m feeling better! The bad news is I’m still sucking down medication and I can’t go back to the gym for like five more days. I know to some people that wouldn’t exactly be the worst thing to hear but I actually like going to the gym so it bums me out. HOWEVER, skipping working out frees up my evenings and tomorrow is the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Field so I’ll be making the most of that. And I’ve scheduled myself for a massage on Friday, so take THAT bronchitis!

I didn’t go to work yesterday and spent the majority of the day in my pajamas, watching Netflix. I managed to trek out to the grocery for soup at one point and then promptly wore myself out so back to the couch it was. Because I’m roughly 15 years behind any societal trends or fads, I started watching Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and that’s been keeping me company while I recuperate. The show is admittedly cheesy but it contains actors I don’t hate and Sarah Michelle Gellar is pretty easy on the eyes, so it’s been a good distraction. And will continue to be a good distraction this evening when I lay myself back down on the couch.

Truth.

Speaking of the couch, it’s one we bought like a year ago and I’m not too fond of it because it’s not as comfortable as I initially imagined. This is because it’s a futon couch. Granted, it’s a nice futon couch and not something you’d see in a college dorm room but still. We bought it because we knew having an extra bed in our apartment would come in handy when housing houseguests and I’ve gotten used to it at this point but I still fantasize about the huge, plush sectional I WILL one day own. But realistically, something like that wouldn’t even fit comfortably in our living room so the futon it is. Ok, now that I’m done bitching about it I will say that it is actually decently comfortable as a bed and that’s what I’ve been using it for while I binge Netflix. And that’s what I’m looking forward to tonight – laying on the futon/couch, slurping soup and binging Buffy.

Actually, maybe bronchitis doesn’t suck so bad after all!

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Wild Weekend

April 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

So my long weekend at my Mom’s house was just as hectic as every other weekend I happen to go down there. Here’s a breakdown of how I spent those few days:

Thursday night:

  • Took a six-hour bus ride and was conveniently dropped off at the truck stop a mile from Mom’s house. She picked me up with pizza and everyone who had to get back on the bus to go to Louisville hated me.

Friday:

  • Went and looked at a wedding venue – and by gods, I think it’ll work! Nothing is for sure yet but the price was right and they handle pretty much all the stress, which is basically all I wanted. There was also a swan that lives on the property and it was swimming in their parking lot due to some heavy flooding. They assured me if something like that happens they can pump the lot but I kind of liked watching that swan do its thing.
  • Made dinner for my grandparents (sweet potato soup) and had my grandma ask me what a lot lizard was because apparently a cousin called me that since my bus dropped me off in a truck stop. So that was a fun conversation with an 85-year-old lady.

Saturday:

  • Woke up at 7am to go watch my sister and her bf run a 10 mile race in Louisville. They finished with the healthy glow of people who accomplished a triumphant feat and I had the glow of someone who had been drinking coffee with Kahlua for way too long.
  • Stopped by the Dairy Queen I worked at through high school to pick up shakes for my grandparents and had to work very hard to keep my mouth shut because those darn kids weren’t stocking supplies like they should have been, plus they took way too long to take my order and give me my shakes. And they looked sloppy while doing it. Also the counter could have used a good scrub down. Kids these days!
  • Went back to my grandparent’s house and dyed two dozen Easter eggs because my grandma is convinced they taste better after being dyed. She kept them all for herself, by the way.

    I tried but I just couldn’t get my mind out of there!

  • Back at mom’s house, I cleaned all of the gutters (the hard way – I’m apparently too chicken shit to climb on the roof so I moved a ladder about four inches at a time all over the house and scooped out the muck by hand. Thankfully thick gloves were involved). I also did a bunch of other random yardwork because I’m her favorite daughter.
  • Fell asleep sitting up because the day plum tuckered me out.

Sunday:

  • Woke up early to go to Easter Mass with the family. Proceeded to make funny faces at small children in church and get scolded for making them laugh too loudly. Story of my life.
  • Back to mom’s house to dye eggs, peel eggs, make deviled eggs, make other food and prep for a family party.
  • Attend said family party and hide eggs, eat eggs and play with babies who once originated from eggs (see what I did there?)
  • Back to mom’s yet again, where I helped carry her Christmas tree down to the basement. Finally.

Monday:

  • Up early yet again to eat a quick breakfast before the drive to Indianapolis where I hopped back on the bus. Upon arrival in Chicago, I grabbed a large coffee, went to the gym, tidied up the apartment and made dinner. Then to bed, completely and utterly exhausted but rather satisfied after such a good, productive visit!

And now? Working for the weekend once again. But at least this time there won’t be any gutters!

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This is The End

April 1, 2015 at 9:45 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Well, I have an announcement.  I’m going to quit writing this here blog.

I know, I know, you’re devastated. I don’t love the idea myself but I’ve just been too damn busy to keep up with it. Between work, volunteering at the museum, working part-time with various programs at the museum, writing my freelance magazine articles, volunteering at the food pantry, sitting on a new committee at the food pantry and now planning a wedding, my plate is just too full.  Added to that is another announcement that I feel I should reveal – I’m pregnant!

It’s not exactly on the time frame Scott and I had in mind but we’re thrilled nonetheless. It’s going to be a crazy time and we’re freaking out in the best way possible but I have to kind of start focusing on this baby growing inside of me and oh god I can’t keep this up because it’s all a bunch of bullshit. Happy April Fool’s Day!  I imagine you may have picked up on this prank as I feel the pregnancy bit was taking it a little too far but I just couldn’t help myself. Although to be fair, if I really was pregnant I probably would quit with the blog but that would mostly be because I’d be crying in the corner of the one and only closet in our apartment, wondering how to fit a crib in the dining room. Thankfully, that is not currently a concern!

Nothing’s changing and I’ll try to continue posting as much as I can, when I can. I’ll be out of town all weekend celebrating Easter and looking at a potential wedding venue (my list of things keeping me busy was actually pretty accurate so maybe I’m the fool) and I’ll be offline for a few days. That said, I hope everyone has an April 1st void of vicious or embarrassing pranks and an Easter full of chocolate and deviled eggs. And I promise, that combination is not a pregnancy craving!

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