Ode to Daylight Savings Time

November 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

While an extra hour of sleep was a nice little gift

and the sun now greets me as I awake,

I sure could use an extra boost or lift

because now the days seem a little fake.

The sun almost starts to set while I’m out on lunch

and the dying light blinds me by mid-afternoon,

it’s not normal for humans to feel this, and according to my hunch

we’ll all be dealing with SAD very, very soon.

It’s completely dark by the time I leave work

and feels like midnight when I head home from the gym,

everywhere I look the night continues to lurk

it’s completely black outside – not even dim.

It zaps all of my energy and makes me want to sleep

I guess this is what hibernation is all about,

Laying down quietly and not making a peep

Using all your energy to cry and to pout.

Eventually the sun will come back and provide sunshine at the end of the day

While everything will brighten in my life,

And every year, this is all we can say:

the spring will make it worth dealing with all of this winter strife.

Maybe.

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And They All Fall Down

March 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

My streak is over. Here we are at the tail-end of winter and this morning I slipped and fell for the first time all season. We had great weather all weekend (and by great, I mean it got above freezing!) and the mounds of snow we’ve been dealing with for weeks finally began to melt. Which is all fine and dandy, until it got cold again overnight and turned all of that water into some lovely black ice. I could tell right away that the walk to the train was going to be a slippery one and I didn’t get more than a couple of blocks from home before it happened. I lost my footing and hit the concrete. Well, technically, part of me hit the concrete as I was able to sort of catch myself before my ass kissed the ground. I managed to hit with my wrist and knee, but the gloves and knee-socks I was wearing prevented any breakage of skin. Still, it hurt and was not a great start to my Monday. My pants were dirty (but not torn, which is good because they’re brand-spanking-new) and I didn’t have enough time to turn around to go home to change so I’ve been strategically crossing my legs all day. That’s just how we dirty ladies roll.

PSA

No one witnessed my not-so-graceful tumble so that’s something. At least, I don’t think anyone witnessed it – I did a quick look around after pulling myself back upright and it seemed deserted, so at least my pride was intact. But I’m pretty bummed about the fall in general, as this was the first time in roughly 8 years that I had a decent chance of making it out of winter without any major falls. And this one wasn’t really major (I define major as something that will leave a bruise bigger than a tea saucer someplace on my person) so perhaps I’ll pretend it never happened and continue with counting this winter as a win. Except I’m blogging about it on the internet, so I guess it’ll never go away now.

I can only blame myself. And that damn black ice.

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Cabin Fever

January 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Chicago is in a similar state as much of the nation these days, meaning we’re all basically frozen to our couches.  We’ve had temperatures in the negatives for days and on Monday the wind chill was somewhere around negative 50.  I believe it’s also about that cold on Mars.  Alabamians (is that a word?) had weather in the single digits which I can only assume made them all crawl into holes and wish for instant death.

Next in the forecast - freezing rain.  Man I love Chicago winter!

Next in the forecast – freezing rain. Man I love Chicago winter!

Personally, I didn’t leave my house on Monday.  I guess there are some perks to being laid off after all, huh?  I spent last week unpacking, celebrating New Year’s, going crazy cleaning and preparing for the book club I hosted last Thursday (I’ll post about that later).  So last week I was pretty busy and still getting in the groove of the whole unemployed thing but this week cabin fever has definitely set in.  We can’t get Scott’s car out of his parking spot and since he’s still waiting to be released by the doctor to go back to work after his physical therapy, he’s been stuck here with me.  Luckily the temperature has skyrocketed to non-negative numbers so we can actually leave the house without looking like Jack Nicholson from the end of The Shining.

So.  It’s really weird not working.  I’ve pretty much had a steady job since I was 14 (minus a two-week stint about 3 years ago) and it’s just strange not having any real structure to my day.  Or any source of income.  I feel lazy and sort of worthless but there’s not much I can do about it other than continue to job hunt.  I’ve had some luck and even a second interview at a place I really want to work at yesterday but won’t know anything for sure until the end of the week.  Since I’ve already spent a bunch of time sending out resumes this morning, the rest of today will consist of going to the gym and volunteering at the food pantry.  Of course, it’s not like I have to really go to the gym because just walking to the train in about a foot of snow is a workout enough!

But I’m going anyway just because it’s another excuse to get out of this house.

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Soup’s On!

January 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

In an effort to stay warm during this cold snap and also in an effort to kick the ass of the cold that tried to attack me earlier this week, I’ve been eating a lot of soup.  Like, a lot.  I even made some on my own in my handy-dandy crock pot and it turned out so well I figured I might as well share.  And it was so easy!

Crock pots are wonderful because you can just throw everything in, turn it on and go to sleep (which is exactly what I did on Tuesday night).  I always forget how simple it is to cook in a crock pot but this was a good reminder.  To get started, I raided the fridge, freezer and cabinet and grabbed anything that looked halfway decent.  You can do the same, or just use what I did:

  • vegetable broth

    Campbell's has nothing on me.

    Campbell’s has nothing on me.

  • spinach
  • frozen leeks
  • two cans of vegetable lentil soup
  • one can of black beans
  • frozen vegetables from a bag
  • vegetarian Italian sausage
  • pre-cooked quinoa

Every single thing on my list is available at Trader Joe’s, in case you’re curious/hungry/cheap like me.  Anyway, I really just dumped all this into the crock pot, turned it on for 8 hrs and walked away.  When I woke up in the morning my entire apartment smelled delicious and I brought some with me to lunch for the day.  And not to brag or anything, but this was the best damn soup I’ve ever made.  Maybe the best soup that anyone, ever, has ever made, anywhere.  Or maybe not, but it was still very good.

However, it does not look good when it leaks out of its container in your bag onto the ass of the jeans that you brought with you to wear out after work.  In that case, it looks like someone had an accident and needs a diaper.  Just letting you know.

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What Winter?

March 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

To live in Chicago is to bitch about the winter but this year has allowed us to all keep our mouths shut.  We’ve had a grand total of maybe 8 inches of snow all season long and the temperatures have been consistently hovering around 30 degrees.  Considering how in years past I’ve spent entire months and never seen double digits (while seeing nothing but mushy, sooty and depressing piles of snow that were too cold to melt), 30 degrees seems downright humid.

Not this year!

It’s been ridiculously warm and while I really want to sit back and enjoy it while I can, it’s tough because I know in the end this probably isn’t a good sign for our Mother Earth.

Regardless, when it got into the mid 60’s yesterday, everyone had a smile on their face.  Granted, there were 40mph winds and that smile might have been forced due to the gales nearly blowing us over but we smiled nonetheless.  The boyfriend and I actually went out to the local pub just because we wanted an excuse for a walk and a chance to get out of the apartment while it was nice enough that we didn’t loathe every moment of being outside.  It seems that spring is in the air but most of us Chicagoans are holding our breaths because we feel like there’s just no way we can get off this easy.  In fact, it hasn’t even felt like winter and I haven’t needed my heavy-duty coat or super thick scarves and gloves once yet.  What’s a girl with all of the necessary accessories needed to survive frigid months to do?  Trust me, I’m not complaining, I’m simply in a state akin to shock.  It will probably snow 4 feet in late April or early May although that won’t stop me from keeping my fingers crossed that this was just a fluke of a season and is no way indicative of climate change.  And it’s easy to keep my hopes up when the ten-day forecast just gets warmer and warmer!  I even saw a guy in shorts over the weekend…though given this city, he could have just been a little deranged.

 

 

 

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Snow Show

January 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’d almost forgotten where I live with this weather we’ve been having lately.  50 degrees and sunshine in January?  Pssht, unheard of around these parts.  However, as anyone with access to the internet, a television, a newspaper or a radio will tell you, SNOW IS COMING AND YOU BETTER BE PREPARED FOR IT BECAUSE APPARENTLY EVERYONE IN THIS CITY HAS FORGOTTEN HOW TO ACT WHEN WHITE STUFF FALLS FROM THE SKY.

This is how I feel today

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a little over all the hype surrounding this, the first “Winter Storm” of winter.  Not that I’m not ready for it – at this point in every other year of my Chicago existence, I was so sick of the sight of snow that I would’ve paid someone good money to place large heaters along my route home so I didn’t even have to look at it.  Now, though, I’m anxious for a little bit of a winter wonderland.  The sparse dustings we’ve had so far have really done nothing other than tease and while I know the newness will quickly wear off, I’m good with a nice old fashioned heavy snowfall.  I just wish the city wasn’t freaking out like it’s the first time it’s ever happened.  If you have warm clothing and a good set of boots there’s really nothing else you need (in case you drive…then you’ll need good tires, plenty of gas and a chair or piece of plywood you can carry around to help save your parking spots).  It’s something we deal with every winter and just because we’ve made it this long without it didn’t mean it wasn’t going to happen.  And while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the downright balmy temperatures we’ve been experiencing, if it means there will be snow in June I shall be pissed.

Regardless, it looks pretty outside right now and I’ll enjoy the novelty of the first real snowfall of the year while I can because, if I know Chicago,  it won’t be a novelty for long.

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Ho Ho Ho

December 22, 2011 at 8:43 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Is it Christmas already?  Well, it’s close.  This has been a whirlwind past 7 days full of work bar outings, friends’ birthday parties, a walk through with my coordinator of the tour I put together for the Field Museum (she loved it and I even taught her something she didn’t know!), apartment cleaning, shopping, gift wrapping, more shopping, Home Alone watching, anniversaries and the birthday of my boyfriend.  Not to mention the craziness at work, as a HUGE project I’m in charge of will be launching January 2nd and December 22nd (today!) is my last day in the office until that launch date.  Thank you, unpaid vacation time that my office is making me take.  Not that I’m really complaining because the idea of having the next 10 days off to go home and spend time with my awesome family and friends makes it all worthwhile.  It would just be better if I were getting paid for it.  Regardless, I haven’t spent 5 nights in a row at home since…well, I’m pretty sure since high school, so this will be an experience.  And the boyfriend will be with me the entire time so it will be a test of his endurance as well.  I hope he can handle it because he’s my only ride.

So my creative juices aren’t really flowing today since I have so much else on my mind.  This is a pretty lackluster post; my apologies.  I had a long-haired, greasy looking fellow give me a business card in the elevator at work this morning for his Ozzy Osbourne cover band, so that was sort of exciting.  Gross, but entertaining nonetheless.

I won’t miss this place over the next 10 days.

I’m not sure what the holidays hold for you and yours but I hope you find happiness and joy somewhere along the way.  Don’t be a Scrooge and try to remember the reason for the season – food.  Or wine, I’m not sure which.  Whatever it is, I hope it’s merry!

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Nice While it Lasted

November 10, 2011 at 11:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Well, it’s cold.

Brr

We’ve been relatively lucky so far this winter and temperatures haven’t caused us to cry just yet.  Today that all changed.  I’m not entirely sure the high will get above the mid-40’s today and I had to bust out my large winter coat for the first time all (seasonal) year.  I knew this was coming and so I can’t really complain but I’m sure not happy.

Why does summer seem to go so fast?  I know that I chose to live in a city with an extremely brief burst of warm weather but I can safely say I made the most of it while I could.  I hit the beach a number of times, read and napped in the nearby park, went to various street and music festivals and spent many a lazy afternoon enjoying a cold one on my back porch.  I’ll miss all that while Chicago freezes over and I seriously contemplate moving to Mexico.  There are a few winter festivals to look forward to but it’s hard to get excited about putting on four layers just to walk to a bus stop.  And to be honest, it’s not even that cold out today – in two or three months I’ll be begging for temperatures in double digits and anything above freezing will feel like a heat wave.  There were even reports of snowflakes today but I luckily didn’t see any myself.  My opinion is that the first snowfall of the year needs to actually mean something and produce some accumulation – none of this wispy washy flurry bullshit.  Of course Mother Nature has never really listened to me or my opinion so there’s a chance I’ll see some snow tonight.  If it’s light enough to see anything by the time I get out of this building.

Is it Spring yet?

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Uh Oh

September 15, 2011 at 10:51 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

On Monday, temperatures were in the upper 80’s and I was entirely too comfortable in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals.  This morning I wore socks, shoes, a sweater, long pants, a scarf and a jacket and I almost cried when I stepped out my back door.  We’ll be lucky to see a high out of the 50’s today.

Not yet...but soon

Yuck.

I like fall, I really do.  I just don’t appreciate being thrown right into the seasonal changes like this.  My allergies and sinus’ don’t appreciate it much either and I can say the same for just about everyone I see in my office or hear on the train.  Sure, the change in weather brings about a change in wardrobe and even popular foods and drinks but in all honesty, I’m still not quite ready for summer to end.  It rained more this summer in Chicago than almost any on record and I don’t feel like I got the sunshine and Vitamin D I need to ensure I don’t go homicidal over the coming 8 months.  I guess we’ll see what happens and in the meantime I’m going to be checking the weather religiously in hopes that we’ll have one more burst of warmth before Old Man Winter rears his ugly head.

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Mother Nature’s Sick Sense of Humor

April 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

My current feeling towards winter

Eight days ago I woke up and put on my sandals for the first time in six months.  I then put on a tank top and shorts and spent roughly 4 hours walking around outside in temperatures well above 80 degrees.  After donning snow boots and heavy coats for months on end, I can only try to describe how glorious it was to enjoy sunshine and warmth.  I knew that such a heated day was an anomaly but I enjoyed it while I could and began to allow myself to think that winter might actually be over.

I then put away my extremely cold weather scarves and hats and I think that’s where I went wrong.  Why?  Because today I woke up and saw snow on the ground.

After spending a bit of time crying, cursing and generally denouncing the distance from the equator in which I find myself living, I rolled out of bed and put on more layers of clothes than I should be wearing this late in April.  I didn’t put on my snow boots out of principle though I did have to dig in my closet for a hat, muttering my hatred for the weather the whole time.  I realize that this sort of thing happens and should honestly be expected at this point but come on.  Enough already.  I surrender.

I’m traveling to southern Indiana this weekend for Easter and I can only hope the weather is a little nicer down there.  However, if it’s too nice there’s a good chance I just won’t come back.  Are you listening, Mother Nature?  I know I can’t be the only one cursing you today.  Though if it helps, I promise to bring back all of my winter gear and leave it out until August, if you just bump up those temps a bit.  If you agree, simply stay under 40 degrees and rain for the rest of the day.

According to Weather.com, it looks like we have a deal.

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