Squish Squash

August 26, 2015 at 4:48 pm (Uncategorized)

No one really likes mammograms but they are a necessary evil, especially if you have a history of breast cancer in your family. I’ve been getting them for a few years now and while it’s not exactly a walk in the park, it’s not the absolute worst thing in the world either. For instance, I once had a catheter and that was slightly worse! Just joking. Sort of. At least mammograms are over fairly quickly and there’s only one technician in there in case you cry.

I planned ahead for my recent boob-squeezing and took the entire day off of work. I had a morning appointment, which Scott was nice enough to drive me to, and then I used an old gift card for some spa treatment that afternoon (a facial – I’ll get to that later). The doctor’s office told me to allow three hours for my appointment and since I was finished in about 45 minutes, I had a bit of time to kill before my facial. Scott had a class so I was on my own to date my favorite city and since it was a gorgeous day I started wandering around. All I wanted in the world was brunch and a Bloody Mary but apparently brunch is only a weekend thing downtown, as I found out the hard way. Silly white people and their silly weekend-only brunches. I finally settled on some outdoor cafe place where I ordered a veggie burger and my blessed Bloody Mary (the burger had the option of a fried egg on top which would have satisfied part of my craving but I passed on that). After my meal, I walked along the beach for a while and found a place to read, which I occupied until it was time to head to my fancy spa date.

I did NOT look like this. Thank gods.

Now for a disclaimer – the only spa type treatments I’ve ever received are manicures, pedicures and massages. Since I had this gift card to use I decided to try something totally new and different, hence the facial. I even added on some sort of peel just because I could. When I arrived at the spa, I felt all famous and posh because they gave me a nice robe and slippers to wear and even offered some strawberry water as refreshment. If I’d known what was coming I may have requested another Bloody Mary but oh well. So the facial took place in a warm room under a warm blanket, with a warm water mister thing spraying constantly in my face. I get that it was all to open my pores and everything but I’m not going to lie, I was sweating like a whore in church. Then the technician started working on me and at first it was nice and relaxing. Then she warned me of an incoming burning/tingling sensation and boy was she right about that. She fanned my face for a bit, which helped, but then when I tried to scratch the itch on my shoulder she snapped at me to keep my hands far away from her workspace. Okay, my fingers have oils and bacteria and sin on them so I understand that too. At this point I was uncomfortable and when she started asking me about my skin-care regimen, I became really uncomfortable. Apparently I’m like a ten-year-old boy in that I’m not using proper cleansers and moisturizers and I’m lucky the skin on my face hasn’t fallen completely off. So then the technician started pinching and prodding my skin in what I can only assume was an attempt to squeeze all of the crap out of my face and into the palm of her hand. I don’t know for sure because my eyes were shut tight to prevent tears from leaking out. All I could think was how I could’ve been getting a massage instead of this medieval torture but it was too late for all that. Honestly, that part of the facial was almost as bad as the mammogram.

In the end, my skin was smoother than it’s been since I was fresh out of the womb. Then I went out and bought new facial cleanser and lotion because I’ll be damned if I get facials four times a year like the technician recommended. But hey, at least I didn’t have an allergic reaction! And at least I didn’t have to pay for it myself. Plus, the redness from my face matched the redness on my chest and gave me a good excuse to spend the rest of the day on the couch!

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Sad, Mad World

August 19, 2015 at 2:30 pm (Uncategorized) ()

I try not to get too overly political here but this recent news story hits close to home and breaks my heart. I obviously have a love for all things anthropological, historical and museum-related and the kind of senseless violence that results in a death like this just makes me shudder. Not that any senseless violence is okay but people who try to preserve and understand the world we live in don’t deserve this. In fact, no one does.

RIP Khaled al-As’ad.

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Sweet Home Chicago 

August 18, 2015 at 3:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Ah yes, the Windy City.

I took this picture while sitting on an outdoor patio with Scott, his sister and her boyfriend. It was taken last Saturday, which was a gorgeous afternoon and we were enjoying some great beer and great company. I’m posting this here so I can look back in the upcoming months and remind myself why I live where I do. I know we’ve still got some summer left but I also know the cold, hard truth.

Winter is coming.

But not yet! And I’m going to soak up as much sun (and patio beer) as I possibly can, while I can. It’s what helps me hibernate, after all!

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Phoning In

August 15, 2015 at 9:35 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday, I upgraded my phone on my lunch break. I made the transition to a smart phone way back in 2010 and in 2012 I jumped from an Android to an iPhone. I’m not a huge tech person and I had the iPhone 4 for two years before Verizon changed their entire business model yesterday and released me from the tyranny of the two-year contract. Basically, instead of waiting for the end of my contract to upgrade my phone and start another contract, Verizon now allows me (and you and whoever, I’m no special snowflake) to upgrade at any time if you pay for part of the phone. I made this poor rep in the store explain things to me about seven times because I’ve had contracts since I was like 16 and wanted to be completely sure I understood everything and wasn’t getting screwed. In the end, he convinced me to pay the extra cash and get the iPhone 6, which I must admit is pretty awesome. My payment also included the purchase of two phone chargers, a portable charger, a case and a few screens. AND I don’t have to deal with a crappy contract! Plus, my camera is way better and my phone will now sync with our AppleTV, which is also pretty awesome. Even though I just learned what AppleTV is like a month ago.

I hear you, sister. With my hearing aid.

I must admit, I felt pretty ancient when the Verizon rep was explaining things to me. Since I’ve never upgraded from one iPhone to another I wasn’t sure how everything would transfer and asked if he could give me a piece of paper and pencil so I could write down which apps I would need to download again. He managed not to laugh at me when he said they would all switch over automatically and when I worried I’d lose photos and texts he continued to patiently explain how the world of phone transfers now works. My mind was blown but I tried to play it cool when he handed me a phone that had the exact same interface as the one I just turned in. Okay that’s a lie, I was pretty impressed and let forth a few exclamations that admitted just that. Then I panicked because I had forgotten my wallet at work (because it’s always wise to go shopping sans wallet) and offered to leave everything I had on me as collateral while I ran back to retrieve it. He couldn’t hide his reaction this time and I caught him slightly rolling his eyes as he informed me they could just charge my account. Apparently things have evolved so much I don’t even need a wallet nowadays and it was just another moment where I felt like a grandma. Except I think my grandma has had the iPhone 6 for a while now.

In the end, I grabbed my walker and prune juice and hobbled from the store slightly poorer but much more “with-it” than I was before. At least I will be once I can find some young whippersnapper to show me how this all works!

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Super Summer

August 11, 2015 at 4:32 pm (Uncategorized)

This summer has been a busy one. Here’s a smattering of things that have kept me occupied since the beginning of May:

  • Three weekends hosting friends/family at our apartment
  • One weekend home for a baptism
  • One weekend home for a funeral
  • One weekend in Louisiana to visit family
  • One weekend in Texas for a wedding
  • Six weekends of food pantry/museum stuff
  • Three fancy work events involving boozing and schmoozing that happened to be on the same Wednesday night
  • One night at a fancy charity gala where I also got to booze and schmooze, courtesy of a woman I work with
  • One Howl at the Moon party featuring cheap drinks and dueling pianos

    I’ve totally got this. So long as a stork doesn’t drop a baby in my lap.

And here’s a few things I have on the horizon between now and the end of next month:

  • Four weekends of food pantry/museum stuff
  • One weekend visiting old college friends in Bloomington
  • One weekend helping at a family yard sale at home
  • One Groupon Pontoon Boat ride that was hard as hell to schedule and better be worth it

Oh yeah, and I have that pesky day job and visit with friends and whatnot as well. But am I complaining about all of this? It may seem like it but honestly, no. Pretty much everything I listed above (with the exception of the funeral) are fun things and I’m lucky to have so much good stuff going on! Though I will admit that this coming Saturday is looking to be the most laid-back, relaxed day I’ve had in a while and I’m quite excited about it. Even if I know I’ll find something to do!

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Free, Funny Friday

August 10, 2015 at 11:00 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

On the last Friday of the month, my company sent all of us Admins to the company box suite at the United Center to see comedian Kevin Hart. I didn’t really know much about him or his comedy but seeing as how I’d never been to the United Center (ever) and the tickets/food/drinks were free, how could I say no? I couldn’t, just like I couldn’t help myself from doing a little jig when I walked into the box and realized there was tons of snacks and booze for me to enjoy. Obviously I didn’t go crazy since I was around work people but I did have a few drinks and more than a few plates of nachos. And that was before the show even started!

Sweet indeed!

It was really fun to have an after-hours event with some of the women I work with and I’m glad I went. That said, I could’ve done without the warm-up comedy acts. Everyone made me laugh at least once but a lot of the jokes from the warm-up acts just weren’t funny. Some of them were homophobic, racist and misogynistic and it was more than a little awkward to listen to jokes about blow jobs with co-workers who are grandmothers. Just sayin’.

We made it through the openers though and Kevin Hart’s act (while also bordering on the line of comfort a little bit) was a lot funnier. He also incorporated some graphics on a huge screen behind him into his routine which were like bonus points of hilarity. I was having a pretty good time and satisfied with my Friday evening but THEN! THE DESSERT CART APPEARED! That’s right folks, a dessert cart. I had a bowl of ice cream with a huge piece of pie (that I may or may not have smuggled home in my purse…okay I did) and I wound up with a stomachache but it was totally worth it.

The show wrapped up around 10pm and it took me about another 30 minutes on top of that to flag down a taxi but I made it home safe, sound and with pie in my purse. What’s not to love about that?

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Wild Wild Wedding Weekend

August 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Scott and I traveled to Houston, Texas last weekend to attend the wedding of one of my cousins. It was a great (albeit hot!) weekend full of family, friends and tons of fun. And it got me even more excited for my own wedding!

And a photo booth!

We didn’t actually stay in Houston as the hotel and venue were about a half hour drive north in a smaller town. Fine by me, we were able to walk to lunch and a nearby Walgreens for wine so we were set. The trip down wasn’t the best thing ever and we were late getting out of Chicago, which mean we were running through the airport in Minneapolis to make our connection. This was after some stupid twerp of a girl ran over my foot with her suitcase as she rushed to get off the first plane we were on. I said something to her (probably “Jesus Christ woman!” and she defended herself by saying she was trying to make a connection. Duh, so were we but now I got to run around half-limping as well. We made it RIGHT before they shut the gate so we were sweaty and tired but arrived in Houston on time! Luckily, we then had enough time to take a nap and relax a bit before some other family rolled in, after which we all stayed up way too late drinking wine in the bar of the hotel. The next day we had a huge lunch at some nearby BBQ place and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to find an entire vegetarian meal, even if it did mostly consist of salad and macaroni and cheese. That’s about what I live on anyway so it worked for me! Then we spent some time by the pool while the wedding party was spray-painted with make-up and shellacked with hairspray, after which it was off to the venue! There were huge shuttle busses to haul everyone around which was great, considering the wedding was open bar. The ceremony was a bit more religious than I had expected but was beautiful nonetheless and my cousin made a gorgeous bride. Her now-husband couldn’t suppress a “Wow” as she walked down the aisle and she did an adorable little excited hop as they were pronounced man and wife, so it seems they were both pretty thrilled. Which is all that counts, after all!

The reception was full of delicious food and beverages and my favorite part of the evening – the photo booth. I think those things are a blast at weddings and I’m glad we’ve reserved one for ours! We got some really cute family photos and had a ton of fun in the process. There was more hotel drinking after the reception ended and a nice farewell brunch the next day so even though the trip was a short one, I felt like we all enjoyed a lot of quality time. Plus, my mom was able to see some of my dad’s side of the family for the first time in over a decade and that was just plain awesome.

We had a nice 3.5 hour layover on the way back so there was no rushing to catch a plane, only me eating lots of greasy pizza to soak up the booze from the previous night. We got home late Sunday night and I was off of work Monday because I needed a vacation from my vacation and now I’m looking forward to my own wedding more and more, even if it is over a year away. Another Southern cousin will be getting married right around me as well and his wedding will be in Austin so I’m already looking forward to another great trip to Texas. You can’t mess with that!

 

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