Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waving to Jackie O

It started when Trench informed me that we have met Taylor Swift. I have no recollection of this whatsoever. It's true that in 2007 Trench and I went on vacation to Toronto with a friend of ours who went to the Taylor Swift show and interviewed her. We didn't go with. We dropped him and the car off in the parking lot of the auditorium, then walked downtown until we found a restaurant, and Interviewer Friend met us up after the show. Trench has a mind like a steel trap, though, so for awhile I was like, "Wow, I met Taylor Swift and don't remember it at all." (I'm fairly certain that's the impression Taylor Swift would have on me.) Finally I asked Interviewer Friend if he introduced us to Taylor Swift and he replied that he introduced us to her music, but not to her. Trench was adamant that when we dropped Interviewer Friend off, there was a van and a blonde girl was in it and we chatted with her for a bit. I'm just as adamant that this never happened. Interviewer Friend backs me up. Trench laughed and recalled a story on NPR about a husband telling the story about Jackie Onassis Kennedy waving to his wife on a street in New York, and his wife waves back till she realizes that Jackie O is just hailing a cab. The husband remembers everything about this story in great detail, but the wife insists that he wasn't even there, she was by herself.

I thought this was just a one time thing, but then it happened again. Trench started telling a story about the time we went to see Dancer In the Dark and how depressing it was, and after it was over we ran into a friend of ours who had taken a bunch of shrooms before the movie because he thought it was going to be a happy musical starring Bjork.

"Wait!" I stopped him. "That didn't happen to us. That happened to our friend, Mouse."

"No," Trench insisted. "I remember it. He was wearing those giant raver pants and a shiny shirt." (This was '00 people, ravers wore that stuff.)

"That's not our story!" I insisted right back, and texted Mouse, who replied that that indeed happened to her, and that she was with her ex-boyfriend. This has not convinced Trench otherwise. He still thinks we met Taylor Swift too.

Last week we were in New Orleans and we started telling a story to our traveling companions about something that happened to us our first trip there, ten years ago. It was our very first vacation together and one night we decided to go get tarot card readings. I went to this famous tea house first, and the reading was meh. Trench went to an occult bookstore, and he liked his reading, but it was mostly him and the tarot card guy talking about Alastair Crowley, so I don't think it was a reading so much as two geeks talking. Then there was this 19 year old indie kid who was standing outside some touristy store on Bourbon Street who told us he'd do a reading. And this was the real deal. He read our cards and our palms, getting detailed enough to say things like, "Okay, I can see that you have lower back problems, so make sure you're doing yoga." However, the best part was after he finished reading Trench's cards, I shuffled the deck and he laid out the cards for my reading, did a double take and said, "Whoa, dude, you have to look at this! It's the exact same cards except in different places!" It was a defining moment in our young relationship, where we knew, "Yep, this is it."

Until Trench mentioned that the kid had long blonde hair. I clearly remember him as having short, messy dark hair.

I tried so hard to brush it's just hair color, we both remember everything else the same way. But WTF! Blonde hair? Trench even described him as "elfin." So Legolas did our card readings? I remember him as Orlando Bloom without the wig. Am I the crazy one? Maybe I really have met Taylor Swift and saw a shrooming friend after Dancer In the Dark and had my tarot cards read by Legolas? Even scarier...have we officially become that couple who bickers over the small details of stories that happened years ago? I'm afraid the answer is yes. In the end, does it really matter if one of us or both of us waved to Jackie O as long as the story ends the same? Probably not.

But that tarot kid totally had dark hair.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a post about what I made for dinner turns into a rant about vegetarianism

I just made a pretty damn good dinner if I do say so myself. There are so many times where I go to look up a recipe on the web and then get sucked in looking at pictures of delicious things to eat until my blood sugar sinks so low that I'm ready to eat hummus with my fingers and call it a night. I really can cook a good meal, I swear I can! And I've successfully followed recipes from smitten kitchen, fatfree vegan (um...I usually add a handful of cheese to these recipes. Shh! Don't tell!), and 101 cookbooks. Trench is definitely the chef of the family and I've been bugging him for about three years to start a cooking blog, but like a true philosopher, he hasn't gotten past pontificating about the blog in order to start one.

Usually when I get home from work, I just can't handle making a full on meal, and so I rely on a one-pot recipe instead. For a long time, this meant pasta. Farfalle with olive oil, diced cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, or fusilli with butter sauce and shrimp. All delicious, but probably not the most nutritious on a nightly basis. Finally I've discovered that 1 Grain + chopped up veggies + 1 protein = healthy, delicious and quick to make dinner. Tonight it was quinoa with chopped up swiss chard, pre-cooked and marinated tofu (thank you Trader Joe!), can of diced tomatoes, and a can of chickpeas. Really good, and just one dish was more than filling.

I don't think I've written about it before, but I'm a vegequarian, meaning I eat mostly vegetarian with an exception for fish. Yes, I know the technical term is "pescatarian", but I like "vegequarian" better. Giving up meat was a very gradual process for me. We didn't eat very much of it to begin with because meat is annoying to cook, with the thawing and meat juice that gets everywhere. My mom once gave me a George Foreman grill because she was worried we'd become anemic, and we mostly used it to make grilled cheese sandwiches. About six years ago I was feeling slightly ill from Thanksgiving turkey and realized I was feeling that way whenever I ate lunch meat, so I decided to take a break from eating meat. I didn't miss it, so I never went back to it.

I'm starting to feel guilty about the fish. The more I read about the modern methods of fishing, the less I want to support that industry. I don't want to give up fish though. Yes, I could finally take that step and become vegan, but there's such a rabbit hole when it comes to healthy eating. A 100% meat-free vegetarian might look down on my diet, but a vegan would snub them. (The authors of How It All Vegan refers to them as "lazy vegetarians".) The vegan might feel pretty good about him/herself until a raw foodist comes along and points out all the enzymes they're destroying by cooking perfectly healthy vegetables. Then a fruitarian who lives off fruit that falls from the tree might snap that vegetables don't want to be eaten and it's just as much murder as eating a lamb. (I'm imagining fruitarians as being very snappish and pissed off all the time because they're so hungry, but I'm sure if you asked them they would talk about how much energy they have during the day and how much sleep they get at night and that really the human body doesn't need much more than an apple and a handful of grapes to be healthy.)

Honestly, I have absolutely no problem with people eating meat, I just don't like the idea of supporting factory farms, I think they're a holocaust for animals. I'm jealous of people who live on the west coast because it's so easy to support local farms. Or perhaps you could do it the way a couple friends of mine did and buy your own farm where you raise and slaughter your own meat, knowing that the animal had a good life and was killed as humanely as possible by your own hands. As for me, I'm considering sticking with fish that's local. I live in Illinois. This probably means eating a lot of cod. However, next week I'll be visiting New Orleans. Bring on the crawfish!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Well, it's official. November beat me. After my last post a lot of stuff started happening. I got my acceptance letter to grad school, which led to signing up for classes, meetings with financial aid, a whole week of not being certain if I'd have a job in January (I do! Happy endings all around!). There just wasn't any more time for writing about "What's your favorite birthday?"

The whole point of the project was to get me updating this thing again, so it worked in that regard. Now that I've started again, I really want to keep at it, especially once I start school so that I have an outlet for something fun to write besides research papers. I'd like to do more food blogging, about the recipes Trench and I make at home. Maybe some crafty stuff about what I'm currently knitting and how it's going. More reviews of what I'm reading or watching. I've been playing with the idea of posting videos to the horrible pop songs that I hear at work every day and doing a full on rant about them.

Speaking of which, we've just switched to holiday music at work. So far I'm okay with it because it's giving me a break from Justin Bieber and Beyonce. I like the old Bing Crosby and Andrews Sisters carols, and we also have a rock CD where I can hear the Ramones "Merry Xmas, I Don't Want To Fight Tonight". I'll take any Ramones song I can, even if it's a xmas carol. The carols I hate the most are the R&B ones with Luther Vandross or whoever showing off how long they can hold a note for. Yes, your range is astounding, please shut up now.

And now, off to work I go!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What You Love About Yourself/Your First Kiss

The posts are doubling up more often. I'm shocked I'm still doing this. You won't beat me, November!

What You Love About Yourself: I don't consider myself an insecure person, but it's still hard to think of something. Maybe I'll just go with that...I'm not an insecure person. I'm aware that I'm pretty damn cute, and I enjoy it. I know how to take a compliment. I've known lots of girls who are so insecure that all they do is protest when their boyfriends say that they're pretty. I think that's terribly sad. It's strange that I'm not like that, because I was picked on a lot when I was a kid and thought I was the most worthless thing to ever walk on the earth. When I got older I was able to shrug a lot of that off, thank god. I also learned from my friends' insecurities (my friends from when I was young that is...the friends I have now are aware of how spectacular they are) and knew I didn't want to act that way. If my boyfriend told me that I was pretty, I was going to say "thank you", not start running off a list of all the things that were ugly about me. I wasn't going to constantly harp on stuff I didn't like about myself in order to fish for a compliment that I was just going to brush off. I wasn't going to play the "I'm so fat!" game with my friends (you know the game...where one girl laments how fat she is and everyone else says, "No you're not! I'm the fat one!" and so on). I also wasn't going to run in the other direction and fret constantly about my looks, contemplate Botox at 24, and get into bad relationships just to validate myself. I like dressing up and wearing makeup and looking pretty...but I know that under it all I'm still a geek girl who is likely to trip over her cute shoes multiple times and would sometimes rather stay in watching Firefly dvds. Honestly, I think that everyone is beautiful, and that if you are a beautiful person then you will stay beautiful as you age. Enjoy it in whatever way you want to.

My First Kiss: I tried to do the date-any-loser-just-because-he-asks thing, and it didn't work out. I was an insecure wreck in high school because I was the strange girl who liked to read. Unfortunately, I preferred reading whatever I wanted rather than doing my homework, so instead of being in honors classes with my friends, I was with the "normal" kids who thought I was weird and commented on my weirdness daily. (Um...I'm still the weird girl sometimes, in certain company. At least now I can deal with it better.) I met my first kiss in summer school. He asked me on a date, we went out and talked on the phone a lot. I wanted to like him, because he liked me and no one had ever liked me before, but I just couldn't do it. I remember what I didn't like about him was that he was so serious all the time. I think he was probably trying to show off how "deep" he was, but he didn't make me laugh, and that's the main thing I look for in a guy. Luckily he was in military school so he went away soon. He sent me a sappy letter about how he was in love with me. Remember a few posts ago when I said I don't believe people can be in love after knowing each other a few weeks, that love is something that takes time to build? I felt that way back then, even if I didn't realize it. I sent him a letter "breaking up" with him, although according to me we were never really together. I considered the few kisses we had to be "practice" for when the real thing happened. Poor guy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Your Mode of Transportation/Where You Live

Another double post. Can you tell we're in mid-November? But I'm still at it.

Mode of Transport: These days it's the train. A few years back Trench and I had a car basically catch fire on the highway and that was the end of us being a two car family.
Trench usually has the car because he has to drive out to the burbs for work. I miss having a car, but I think I would still take the train to work because it's in a very trendy, boutiquey neighborhood and parking is difficult. At my old job downtown I happily shelled out money to pay for parking in the garage. Sometimes with me, it's less about the money than it is about time. If it takes twenty minutes to drive somewhere, and 45 minutes on the train, I'd rather drive even if I have to pay for parking. With my current job, all the time gets eaten up with looking for parking, so I'd rather take the train and read a book instead of freaking out over parking and traffic and construction. I do take the car sometimes when I work on Sundays because parking is a lot easier and the trains run slower. The feeling of leaving work and just walking straight to my car instead of waiting 15 minutes for a train? Glorious.

Where You Live: Trench and I recently bought a condo in the most northern neighborhood in Chicago. I didn't mean to move this far north, but the further you get from the trendy neighborhoods, the more affordable the housing is. We definitely lucked out. Trench and I spent almost ten years in the same apartment, mostly because our landlord let us do whatever we wanted and never raised our rent. It was a great apartment and I miss it, but our new place is so much more updated. Central air/heat! Windows that aren't drafty! Multiple electrical outlets everywhere you look! Trench and I both take decorating very seriously so we quickly dove in with paint and artwork to make it our own.
The neighborhood isn't bad. We were worried because it has a reputation for crime, but our place is off the main strip, so it has a very quiet and residential feel to it. We're across the street from a park and just a few blocks away from a beach. Right by the train station there's some evidence of gentrification...a coffeehouse/bagel sandwich place. A massage therapy business. An Italian restaurant. A wine store (our favorite). So we might be a little far out, but I'm slowly falling for my tiny corner of the city.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Your Siblings/What's In Your Bag

I missed my post for yesterday, which was "Your Siblings", but that one is easy. I'm an only child. Done and done.

So now on to "What's In Your Bag". Hmm...let's see...

- A lot of spare change that should be put into the spare change jar we have.
- My cute little going out wristlet-purse. This should be taken out too so I know where it is when I need it.
- Benefit Dr. Feelgood.
- Double pointed needles for a knitting project I was working on. Yet another item that can get out of my bag.
- Vintage glasses case.
- Various receipts.
- Sharpie pen (not a marker, the pen).
- Pilot pen.
- Two packets of Emergen-C.
- Burt's Bees lip balm.
- Three lip glosses.
- Seven lipsticks. (What? I like lipstick.)
- Purse-hanger (the kind you can use to hang your purse on the table at a bar).
- Spare keys.
- Sample of a solid conditioner from Lush (ooh! Forgot about that!).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Inspiration

I think that instead of being all, "A poem! A beautiful sunset! My favorite song!" I'll discuss what inspires me as a writer. I've noticed I work really well with prompts. Case in point, right here. My inspiration could be a dry well for an embarrassingly long time, but if someone points to me and says, "Hey you! Write about such-and-such!" then I'll settle in with a notebook and pen and scribble away. Sometimes I can get there on my own, but for the most part it helps to have a jumping off point. You would think that just knowing this would make me a productive writer. It doesn't. It also helps to have a class or a group and deadlines. I've always wanted to go back to grad school for a writing program, but have never been able to justify the thousands of dollars that would cost. Maybe just saying here that "Writing prompts help to inspire me" will inspire me to break them out on my own more often.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Your Beliefs

This one could get preachy fast. I'm too tired to be preachy. I'm going to do stream of consciousness. If it gets preachy, don't blame me, blame the long day I had or the glass of wine I'm drinking.

I believe that wine is healthy and can be drank (drunk? drinken?) every day in moderation. I believe that the sulfites in red wine mess with me, so I drink white wine instead. I believe that white wine has just as many antioxidants as red. I believe that antioxidants are the key to staying young, as they fight the free radicals that drain the life from our cells. I believe that tanning is worse for your skin than smoking. I believe that alcohol (in moderation!) is a preservative, so drink up. I believe that you shouldn't try to wax your own eyebrows, leave them to the pros. I believe that cats are just as faithful a companion as dogs, and won't abandon you when someone else offers a treat. I believe that dogs are sometimes more fun than cats because you can take them out and play with them and get exercise. I believe that cats are better in winter when you'd rather stay inside and nap. I believe in rampant creativity. I believe in staying inside with a good book on a sunny day. I believe in dancing all night in a pretty dress and heels. I believe in buying good shoes that don't hurt your feet even if they are expensive. I believe in buying cheap clothes because who cares if they wear out? I believe no one should ever pay a lot of money for a purse, because it's just a dumb purse. I believe that a label slapped on a purse/shoe/clothing item makes it tacky and uninteresting. I believe in buying vintage designer clothing at thrift stores. I believe in chaos and that nothing is meant to be, it all comes down to the personal choices that we make. I believe that people can do anything they want...they just can't do everything they want. I believe in spirituality. I believe in science. I believe in the "poetic anatomy". I believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I believe in energy. I believe that Mayan descendants don't believe in 2012. I believe in punk rock. I believe the Brits always make the best music. I believe that my cat loves me as much as a child could. I believe that children are wonderful...for other people. I believe in the healing powers of being outside in nature. I believe that I am a city girl and could never live anywhere else. I believe that it isn't wrong to eat meat. I believe that factory farming is a holocaust for animals, and it is wrong to eat factory farmed meat. I believe that eating healthy is delicious and more people should try it. I believe that people who don't like vegetables aren't eating them the right way. I believe in very salty french fries and potato chips...yum. I believe in feminism. I believe in pro-choice. I believe that if I got pregnant now, I couldn't have an abortion. I believe in birth control. I believe in gay marriage. I believe that my trans father in law is one of the sweetest, most gentle people on earth and that fundamentalist Christians only wish they could be half as good. I believe the most ethical people I have ever met have all been atheists. I believe that no one in the world knows what is out there after we die, and that is why I am agnostic. I believe that the friends that I have are like my family. I believe that you can make amazing friendships on the internet. I believe that no one "should" be such and such a thing, and that people can be anything they want...but they can't be everything they want. I believe in faeries. Clap your hands.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Precious Item

Okay, I'm racking my brain right now, but can't seem to come up with anything. This might be surprising to people because I've always had a lot of stuff, and throwing things away can be hard for me. I think that's a bad habit that I'm growing out of. Trench and I got rid of a lot when we moved (turns out that's the best way to de-clutter...move out!). So I'm trying to think of the one precious item that I can't live without. Books? Music? My wedding ring is the easy answer, but it was my grandmother's setting, and believe it or not, she had a backup. The stone is an amethyst, which is precious to me, but I didn't exactly need to take an insurance policy out on it. Maybe I'll switch to a diamond after I'm forty, because according to Holly GoLightly, I'm too young for diamonds until then.

I think the item(s) that would hit me hardest if I lost it in a fire would be my journals. For years I kept paper journals in composition books. I tried having one for every year, which worked when I was in school, but after school they started blending together. I remember trying to find one for a specific period of time last year, and couldn't find it anywhere. I was really distraught about it, it was like losing an entire two years of my life. I found it when we were moving, right with all the others as if it had been there all along, even though I scoured them all multiple times looking for it.

Lately I've switched to an online journal (besides this's out there, but no one can access it but me). After thinking I lost that one journal, I didn't trust paper anymore. If there's ever a house fire, the internet will keep my current journal safe, although it's the paper journals that mean more.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Your Oldest Friend

I met her when I was five, but we didn't really become friends until we were ten. We went to the same Catholic school together and then transferred to the public school in the fifth grade. We sat next to each other in a class and hit it off. Our personalities couldn't be more different, but the shy girl/loud girl dynamic is a good one. Two drama queens in a friendship never turns out well, and two quiet girls might have a lot in common, but won't be able to keep a conversation going.

As kids we fought and made up all the time. There was one legendary fight where we were at the public pool and she made me hold the locker key, which meant I couldn't go on the water slide. Big fight, promises of never speaking again, didn't talk for the rest of the day. Our moms made us say we were sorry, and we reluctantly did, then made faces at each other from the cars as we drove away. The next day she called me and asked me to come over, and I said okay. That's usually how it worked.

We stopped talking during freshman year in high school. The differences started to seem too big between us...the early bloomer and the late bloomer (guess which one I was). By the end of the year she wrote an apology in my yearbook, and we picked up where we left off like nothing ever happened. She was the tall blonde who had every boy in school wrapped around her finger. You would think this would have helped me to meet boys too, but I never cared for her taste in guys. My role was the mediator...I was the one who would call her boyfriend during fights to tell him her side and get his side.

Strangely enough, she introduced me to First Love. She worked with him, and offered to set us up. When we broke up, she introduced me to the next boy, who became my rebound. She was handy like that. When she broke up with her boyfriend, I counseled her for hours on the phone and then took her out dancing. We might go for long stretches without talking sometimes, but we've always been there for each other.

She's pregnant now, and I'm excited to see what she'll have. Will it be a boy like her brother who will have tons of energy and run her ragged? Or a girl like her, who will drive her crazy when she's a teenager? One thing is for sure...she got away with murder when she was young, but this kid won't get away with anything because she's done it all. And I'll be sure to tell him/her all about it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Your Hobbies

Oh good, this post will be short. It's Saturday night and I could have gone out on the town, but decided to stay home and I'm writing my daily blog post instead. To be fair, I worked today and I work tomorrow, so really this is my Thursday.

Obviously, there's reading and writing. No arithmetic though, none at all. I also like to knit. I learned five years ago, when I first became an esthetician and had lots of time on my hands, sitting around and waiting for clients. I've made hats and armwarmers and scarves. I've made cables that criss cross like strands of DNA. I've made lace that look like falling leaves. I once made a cat toy for my cat that was shaped like an egg roll that I filled with catnip. He played with it madly, but he likes to drown things, so he dunked it in his water bowl and that's the last cat toy I ever made him. I've made sweaters and socks. There's a sweater in my knitting basket right now that only needs for me to finish the sleeves.

I haven't been knitting as much lately. When I come home from work, I'm so tired I barely have enough brain function to make dinner, watch stuff on hulu with Trench, and check facebook. Also our new condo has fancy lighting, and fancy lighting doesn't necessarily mean bright lighting. I definitely need an extra lamp somewhere. I kind of want a wall sconce in the corner above the couch. Hopefully that will get me to pick up the needles again, if I can actually see what I'm working on.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Your Definition of Love

This is a hard one! This requires deep thinking and pontificating! Hold on, let me have some beer.


Okay, that's better.

Trench and I have been married three years, but have been together for ten total. We met when we were 23. A mutual friend introduced us, not thinking that we'd get together, she just had a party and we both happened to be there. The minute he walked in the door I wanted to know him. He was wearing a beret and a kimono and used big words (what can I say? I've always been a sucker for a large vocabulary). He made a Gamera reference (cuz he's a geek) and I started talking to him about Mystery Science Theater 3000 (cuz I'm a geek too). He fell for me, but I just wanted to be friends because I was too busy chasing after boys who looked like rock stars. But I was never going to be happy with a rock star. I could give a fuck how big someone's record collection is, but a bookshelf filled to bursting makes my heart go pitter pat.

What's love like after ten years? No one cares about long term love. All the love stories are about falling in love. All the love songs are about falling in love. When a TV show finally gets their star-crossed lovers together, the only interesting thing they can think to do with them is break them up so that they can get back together eventually. Being in love is boring. A couple who has been together for years obviously never has sex and bickers all the time and longs for an affair with some hot young thing. How can you not be bored out of your skull after ten years?

The simple answer is by falling in love with your best friend. One of the reasons why I decided to try dating Trench was that it occurred to me that dating him might actually be fun. How many times do people think that? And it has been. We make each other laugh on a daily basis. We like doing things together. We get cranky if we go too long without a day off together. We get happy when the other one comes home. We fall asleep holding hands. It's been commented on that for a couple that's been together a long time, we're still as affectionate with each other as if it was year one.

It's not like problems don't happen. They do for every couple. But although it's common to hear that "relationships are work", I don't buy it. It isn't work to be with Trench. If your relationship feels more like work than play, you might want to re-evaluate.

Because of the longevity thing, I can't help feeling like an old crone, shaking my head at the young whippersnappers in love. One thing that drives me a little crazy is when people decide that they're in love in a week. To me, love is a trust that is built up over a long period of time. Anything before that is infatuation. So it isn't uncommon for me to give a derisive, "No you don't!" when friends attempt to cry on my shoulder because the guy they were dating for a month just dumped them and "I loved him!" No, seriously, you didn't, you'll be fine in a week. And get off my lawn!

That isn't fair of me, though. Because I knew right away that Trench was the guy. And now he's home so I'm signing off so I can hang out with him.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Your Music

I got into music...really got into about 15? 16? It was the early 90's and suddenly it was all Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, the Cure, Liz Phair. I felt a connection I'd never felt before. And it was all played by outsiders, for outsiders. No one in my tiny high school was ever interested in talking about books, but I could finally connect with people about music.

At 18 I started dating First Love. He was a punk rocker. I'd listened to some punk through friends before, but he took me to shows and we spent every weekend seeing bands at the Fireside Bowl. The soundtrack was suddenly Dead Kennedys, the Descendants, Face to Face, the Boll Weevils, Apocalypse Hoboken. Because my mom raised me feminist, it was important to me that I also listen to punk by women too, so I got into Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Babes In Toyland and other riot grrrl bands.

After the big break up, I discovered I couldn't listen to punk anymore, it reminded me too much of him. (This isn't the case anymore...a lot of it is on my ipod now.) It was the late 90's, and I started listening to British bands, not to mention the bands I'd fallen in love with at 15 like the Cure and the Smiths. This all led nicely to my gothic phase...Peter Murphy, Siouxsie Sioux, Rasputina (still my favorite) and Switchblade Symphony. I wore lots of black and learned how to show off my cleavage, and even if I looked depressed, I was happier and more confident than I'd ever been.

Sometime after college the goth phase fell away, although I still wear a whole lot of black. I listen to mostly British bands. I still love 90's britpop like Blur and Pulp, and I named my cat after David Bowie. I adore music with a sharp wit (the Indelicates), smart lyrics (the Decemberists), and a gorgeous female voice (The Gossip). I notice I like most of my songs fast-paced. Don't get me wrong, I adore Radiohead, but I never got into shoegaze, I'll take the Long Blondes over Slowdive any day. Although I like Slowdive. Just not love. I blame the punk music...I still need my music to have a fast beat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Your Parents

They're pretty badass. My parents have the love story that was never supposed to work out. My dad was the drummer for a band called Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders. To give you an idea of what kind of band they were, Wayne Cochran was known as "the white James Brown". My mom and her friends followed them (but don't call them groupies), and she and my dad started dating. They had an unplanned pregnancy (*waves*), and got married. It was very low key, my mom was in her disco dress and my dad wore his cowboy hat.

When I was four we moved from Florida to Chicago to live with my grandma. My dad stopped playing music and got into selling computers. My mom got a job, went to college, and built herself up in the company. I like to tell people that my mom raised me Feminist more than she ever raised me Catholic. Mom went for jobs that the men in her company never expected her to apply for, and she got them because she likes to work and likes being in charge.

My dad was fired from his job after 9/11. After trying to figure out what to do next, he discovered the answer was easier than he He started teaching drums to kids, and started playing in bands again. We saw him playing recently at a beach themed bar out in the burbs, and he let a few of his students onstage to play along. His original band has reunions once every couple of years.

I'm very lucky to have incredibly supportive parents, who still look ten years younger than they are and danced to britpop at my wedding. They can drive me crazy the way that parents do sometimes, but when I hear horror stories of pushy parents from friends, I'm always relieved that I lucked out the way I did.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Your First Love

Really, must I? It's not that interesting a story. Girl meets boy. Girl and boy are into each other for a couple of years. Girl and boy grow apart and break up. Girl and boy try to be friends. Girl finds out boy "overlapped" their relationship with another girl. Girl sends scathing email and they don't talk again for years. The end.

We did attempt being friends again years later. Trench and I had been together for five years, and I discussed it with him before contacting First Love. We hung out a bunch of times, and it was fine. We had definitely gone down different paths and I knew that any romantic feelings I had for him were in the distant past. Then we (Trench and I are five days apart) had a birthday party, he showed up already drunk from a street festival and made an ass of himself, hitting on all the girls and trying to start fights with all the guys. That was the end of that.

I had a dream about him recently. It was just a snippet in the middle of a dream, but I was in a fast food place with Trench and First Love was working behind the counter. He saw me and apologized for what happened, saying how he knew he had been an ass that night and that he was sorry we stopped being friends because of it. It was nice, and I woke up feeling...not closure because the book closed on that a long time ago, but feeling like I had finally gotten an apology and could remember him well. First Love, wherever you are, I hope that life is good.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Introduce Yourself

Technically I have a small introductory post at the beginning of this blog, but it never hurts to re-introduce. I'm a Chicago girl, living in my very first home that I own with Trench, husband of three years and paramour of a whole ten years. I have two antisocial cats, and no plans to have kids. I love reading, writing, knitting, taking long walks and traveling. I like to cook, but I'm only good at one pot meals, not really anything in the oven, and I don't bake at all. I love Halloween and dressing up, and I can be convinced to put on a costume at any point in the year. I don't like to exercise, but I love yoga and am trying to make it a point to do it much more often. Trench and I like to decorate our living spaces with wild abandon, in lush colors with as much artwork as we can hang and unique touches, but our wardrobe? Mostly black. My biggest faults are that I can be lazy and I'm a big ol' procrastinator. I originally went to school to become the next great American writer, and when that didn't pan out (hey, it still could someday), I went to cosmetology school and became an esthetician (someone who does facials and waxing). I'm currently working for a makeup store that specializes in waxing. I feel like I'm nearing the end of that career path, but when my friends start having daughters, I'll be there with skincare advice and to wax unwanted hair when they hit puberty. I dabble in what some might call "flakiness"... I believe in energy and balancing chakras and feng shui and homeopathic medicine, but I have a very dry and snarky sense of humor, so I don't take anything too seriously. I will stop whatever I'm doing or talking about if someone with a cute puppy walks by. Or an ugly old and grizzled dog, it doesn't matter. Sometimes I tend to over-think and analyze everything to death, which can get me down, but in the end I always believe that everything will turn out all right.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

national november blog month

Yes, it's true, I completely suck as a blogger. Well, not completely. I keep meaning to post. I even have a few entries that are fully formed in my head...I just haven't managed to type them out. To break this, I'm going to try NaNoBloMo this month (does anyone else think that sounds dirty?). For those who don't know, it means that I'm going to post something every day for the month of November. To help me along, I'm going to use some prompts that I stole from someone, who stole them from someone else.

Day 01 - Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Your first love
Day 03 – Your parents
Day 04 – Your music
Day 05 – Your definition of love
Day 06 – Your hobbies
Day 07 – Your oldest friend
Day 08 – A precious item
Day 09 – Your beliefs
Day 10 – An inspiration
Day 11 – Your siblings
Day 12 – What’s in your bag
Day 13 – Your mode of transportation
Day 14 – Where you live
Day 15 – Something you love about yourself
Day 16 – Your first kiss
Day 17 – Your favorite memory
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday
Day 19 – Something you regret
Day 20 – Your morning routine
Day 21 – Your job and/or schooling
Day 22 – Something that upsets you
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry
Day 25 – Your sleeping habits
Day 26 – Your fears
Day 27 – Your favorite place
Day 28 – Something that you miss
Day 29 – Your favorite foods/drinks
Day 30 – Your aspirations

Friday, September 17, 2010

"You look good wearing my future"

This week I watched a couple old favorite movies on Netflix. The first one was a very old classic...Adventures In Babysitting! Unfortunately I watched it at home with Trench instead of at a slumber party with girlfriends, where it would have been more fun. Trench only saw it once when he was a kid. My bff and I watched it about 95 times when we were in the sixth grade. We thought that Chris (the babysitter) was the coolest girl in the world, and I desperately wanted her hair. I still enjoyed it, in a nostalgic sort of way, but man did it ever not age well. Or maybe I'm just old enough to notice terrible writing, fake looking backdrops and the whitest blues song ever filmed. Though I really think that someone needs to dress like Sara, the Thor-obsessed kid who is being terribly babysat, for Halloween.

Then last night I watched Some Kind of Wonderful. In some ways, it's like a poor man's Pretty In Pink. In other ways, it's more satisfying because Mary Stuart Masterson's character, Watts, is every bit as cool as Duckie, possibly cooler because she's more tough than pathetic, and she gets the guy in the end. And the guy is Eric Stoltz, who I always had a crush on in pretty much everything he's ever been in. His character, Keith, is soooooo dumb, though. Aw, poor baby has a dad who really wants him to go to college! How terrible for him. "That was your dream, not mine!" Let's see what you say about that in ten years, sweetie. Then he blows his college money on diamond earrings for his dream girl, even though he's fairly certain she's only going on a date with him as a joke. Argh! Someone punch him in the face! He convinces his dad that he should trust him, and his dad is stunned by this logic and agrees. Oh, John Hughes, it's like you're holding up a mirror to the way reality works. And the most beautiful girl in school? Is Lea Thompson. No offense to her, she was pretty damn cute in her day, but it's obvious the director wasn't able to get Molly Ringwald for the role. The director also wasn't able to afford any type of soundtrack, except for the song "Miss Amanda Jones" by the Rolling Stones. No Psychedelic Furs in this 80's flick. But still? It is a satisfying ending, with the most beautiful girl in school turning down the love interest so that she can be alone for awhile and find out who she is, while the incredibly cool, quirky girl who drums and wears ass-kicking boots and has a star tattoo on her neck gets the boy and the diamond earrings.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The crowd I hang with is a Geek Crowd. There are a lot of Threadless tees and listening to the Decemberists and watching Dr. Who. Geeks are not to be confused with nerds and dorks. Yes, there have been conversations about this. Nerds are usually more techy, much more about hanging out with their computers and less likely to care about human interaction. Dorks love human interaction, but have zero social skills. They get really into things and will talk at length about them, but unlike the selective geek, they like Everything. It's probably their most charming characteristic. Geeks tend to like one thing, like sci fi or comic books or video games, and they like it to death and can tell you anything you want to know, or didn't care to know, about it. Do not confuse geeks with hipsters...though the clothing might overlap, you know you're dealing with a hipster when they don't like anything. Well, they like stuff if it's obscure enough that only they know about it, but there isn't enough love involved that they won't hate it when it gets a tiny bit popular.

Trench is a geek. Since getting together with him I can hold my own in a conversation about Batman. His Halloween costumes are usually intense homemade mythological creatures. I have to harangue him about putting on pants that aren't falling apart before leaving the house, or getting a haircut twice a year (if I'm lucky). We go to low budget musicals about David Bowie hosting Xmas themed variety shows, and the only sport we follow is roller derby (though Trench did have a brief fascination with curling during the Olympics).

Sometimes I feel like a geek imposter. I love Dr. Who, but can't remember every detail of every episode like Trench can. When we hang out with really hardcore geek friends, I find myself tuning out when the conversation turns to D&D or fantasy authors I haven't read. And I couldn't get into Battlestar Galactica at all. So maybe I'm just a dork in geeks clothing.

Let's figure this out...I'm geeky enough to love watching the Guild, but I don't get any of the World of Warcraft references because I don't play video games, unless you count the wii, which gamers don't. I am geeky enough that I recognized Wil Wheaton's cameo in the Guild, but I know him better from Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead rather than Star Trek. I am geeky enough that I can talk about Buffy and Harry Potter for hours on end, but not geeky enough that I've read any of the immense amount of fanfic that surrounds both those series. You get the point. So I'm probably just geeky enough. And Trench is a very lucky man.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

wireless connections

It started out very innocently. I was poking around the links of a website when I found a different site geared toward "quasi-adults" with articles about decorating, cooking and crafts for someone who was living on their own for the first time. I was in my mid-20s, and fit the demographic. I poked around and saw that they had a message board. I checked out a thread on cats and one on holiday crafting, and was impressed by all the great ideas I found, and how funny the posters were. Slowly I was lured in until I started posting myself.

It wasn't the first time I'd made net-friends...I'd posted in other chat rooms before. Something about this was special. I got to "know" the other women posting, and we became an anonymous support system for each other. Smart and funny, with a slew of inside jokes, I would often go to the board instead of google for any question I had, whether it was about world politics or what I should cook that night. I met some of the local girls and they were just as charming in real life, and although we didn't meet up that often, when we did there was a lot of laughing. These days when I travel to a different state, or even a different country, I have a couch to crash on.

It's been six years since I discovered the boards, and activity has slowed down. The site's creator hasn't updated in a couple years since having kids. Most of us have grown out of the "quasi-adult" demographic, and the threads on pregnancy and child-rearing get the most action these days. A lot of us have splintered off into blogs and keep in touch that way, or through facebook. Yet when some of us got the idea to have a meet up in Chicago, it was like a silent cry was sounded throughout the world, and people who hadn't posted on the boards in years came out of nowhere asking, "Meet? There's a meet? When should I book tickets and whose house do I crash at?" Two of us local gals hosted. One visitor came from Ireland, two from Canada, more from the east coast and a caravan drove up from Missouri. I took off work for a long weekend, and we were on.

Holy crap. There was dancing till 5AM, lounging at the beach all day, sightseeing, and just plain hanging out and cracking each other up. We were long lost girlfriends meeting for the first time, yet having known each other for years. You have to love being greeted with a big hug and a, "You exist in real life!" We all worked just as well in three dimensions as we did in two.

It felt like such a unique experience, but I know it wasn't really. Trench met his online community at a wedding a year before we got together, and we've crashed on some of their couches as well. I've seen some marriages spring from online friendships-turned-romances. Hell, there was even that scene from "Julie and Julia" where Julia Child visits her best friend and it's revealed that the best friend is a pen pal and this is the first time they're meeting.

We kept discussing future mini-meets and a possible big meet in 2012 because the sooner we could all hang out again, the better. Eventually everyone went home to their spouses, their kids and their own beds. We turned on our computers for the first time in a week...we hadn't needed to log in because our online friends were right there. And we waved a virtual hello to each other because it wasn't really goodbye...the connection was still there.

Friday, July 30, 2010

this book made me ranty

This is a very spoilery review of "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger. This means that I give away the entire plot, including the end. Do not read any further if you haven't read this book and intend to read it someday. If you have read it, or don't really care, then continue.

I think the mark of a really good book is that no matter how far out of reality it takes you, you're more than happy to follow it down the rabbit hole. For instance, in The Time Traveler's Wife there's a man who is born with a gene that makes him disappear and travel in time. His wife meets him for the first time when she is five and he is forty, and it is the beginning of an epic love story, and not at all creepy. Sometimes the characters were selfish or made stupid decisions, but it meant they were "flawed" and that was okay.

Then you have Her Fearful Symmetry, which has you screaming "WTF!" at every plot twist and end up hating the characters. Edie and Elspeth are twins. It is hinted that they haven't spoken in years because Edie stole Elspeth's fiance. Edie moves to America with Jack and has her own twins, the creepy Julia and Valentina. Why are they creepy? For one thing, they are 21 and still dress alike in 8-year-old twin clothing that includes pleated skirts and knee socks. They sleep in the same bed, curled up together. Neither has had sex because if one of them lost her virginity before the other, it would be tragic. I'm sure any boy from their high school could have suggested a logical solution to that problem.

Elspeth dies from cancer in London and her younger lover Robert is distraught. This is when the book is still on the rails...I teared up at poor Robert mourning his dead love. Elspeth leaves her home and entire fortune to her nieces. They are to live in the apartment for one year and their parents aren't allowed in it.

Exposition, exposition, exposition. The twins move to London, discover they are rich, and then spend their days sightseeing. Seriously. These are 21 year old girls in London, and not once do they ever go to a pub. Robert follows them around for awhile because he's too shy to introduce himself, and even he wonders if they're ever gonna go to someplace cool.

Turns out, Elspeth is a ghost, haunting her own flat. She gets stronger and figures out how to make herself known. The book is still good. Robert and Valentina start an affair. The book is still good. Valentina and Julia begin to fight because Valentina wants to grow up and become her own person and Julia wants them to stay matching bookends forever. The book is still good. Elspeth figures out a way to communicate with them all. The book is still good. Then all of a sudden...


The book is replaced with a soap opera. Elspeth accidently takes out the soul of a kitten and then jams it back into the body really quick before it dies. This gives Valentina the brilliant idea that in order to escape Julia and become her own person, she will have Elspeth take out her soul, and then put it back in after the funeral. What?! Apparently this is a better alternative to her collecting half of the money and going to college herself, which was the other option that was presented. But no, she explains that Julia will never let her go because she's so controlling, even though there was a scene where Julia has a black eye from Valentina. The idea of her parents hearing that their daughter is dead gives her a twinge of guilt, but that's it. Elspeth is horrified at the idea. Robert is told and is horrified at the idea. Then they give in by rationalizing, "Well, if we don't do it, she'll kill herself anyway." Huh? The girl needs a shrink, not a resurrection!

So they do this horrible, selfish thing, and it gets worse. We get the big reveal on what happened to Edie and Elspeth all those years ago. There was no big fight...they had switched identities. Edie used to be Elspeth, who was engaged to Jack and pretended to be her own twin coming on to him to see what would happen. Jack falls in love with the other twin, and instead of coming clean, they decide to switch identities, so original Elspeth will now be fake Edie in America with Jack, and original Edie will be fake Elspeth in London, and they decide never to talk again so Jack won't find out. But! Fake Elspeth has sex with Jack one night as a joke (I'm being serious), and gets pregnant with the twins. So fake Elspeth moves to America with Jack and pretends to be Edie, even though she is really Edie, so I guess she's pretending to be herself? And she doesn't even like Jack? And she hates being a mom? So she goes back to London and switches out with fake Edie again, and they live happily ever after, even though they still can't ever see each other again. Did you follow any of that? Because I had to read it over five times to get it all straight.

Then the plot twists a little more, and Jack reveals to Robert that he knew about the twin switch ALL ALONG! He was pissed at real Elspeth pretending to be fake Edie, so he decided to play along and it got out of hand. He knew they switched after the London trip because, duh, your body changes after being pregnant. Stretch marks don't just disappear! The the plot twists a little more, and Robert tells Jack about his having sex with fake Elspeth, which he never knew, and Jack breaks down because he has only now realized—after Valentina's death—that the twins are his own daughters. This is supposed to be tragic and make me feel bad for him, but I can't because he is a FUCKING IDIOT! In fact ALL of them are idiots, except strangely enough for Julia, who was set up as being the controlling, manipulative one, and ended up being the only one with sense enough to say, "Hey, here's a problem, we should talk about it." Have I mentioned how much I hate plots that hinge on the characters having a complete lack of communication skills?

Not surprising, things go wrong when Elspeth tries to put Valentina back in her own body. Then...another plot twist! Elspeth jumps into Valentina's body herself. Robert is freaked out, but Elspeth explains that Valentina was a weak, misty ghost and couldn't get back in her body, so Elspeth saw this perfectly good body (it had been kept cold) not being used, and thought, "Hey, why not?" This actually makes sense to me. Valentina was the one who wanted to be dead so badly, so she can just stay that way. Team Elspeth!

Blah blah blah, Elspeth disguises herself with hair dye and contact lenses, gets pregnant (seriously, what a way to ruin your perky 21 year old body. And why did she get want to get pregnant? Because she was such an awesome mom the first time around?), moves to the country with Robert, Robert leaves her because he's so grossed out by what she did (but not too grossed out that he didn't screw her), the end. Jack tells Edie he had always known about the twin switch, and somehow it's all okay, the end. Valentina becomes a stronger ghost, gets out of the flat, and becomes a happy phantom, the end. Julia lets Valentina go and gets a cool boyfriend with a motorbike, the end.

What I haven't mentioned is the side plot about Martin and Marijke. Martin has OCD in a bad way...can't leave the house, has newspaper covering up the windows, boxes of stuff piled up everywhere. Marijke can't take it anymore and leaves him. Martin and Julia strike up a friendship, and through this Martin begins to sort himself out and take medication so that he can get back to his wife. This was the epic love story of the book, and in every review I've read, this is the story that everyone loved, not Robert and Elspeth/Valentina. Martin and Marijke would have made a great second novel all on their own, but it seems like Niffenegger really wanted to write a gothic ghost story, so instead you get a plot that VC Andrews would have found implausible. Please Hollywood, I beg of you, leave this book alone and don't turn it into a crappy movie.

Monday, July 12, 2010

serious post is serious! (or: A Very Scary Night)

It's rainy and the internet is spotty and I really hope it lets me post. Most of you read on facebook that Trench and I had a scare the other night that took us to the ER. Here's the long version.

Basically, he's had a cold for the last week that had started getting better. The current theory is that while he was sleeping, some post nasal drip went down the wrong pipe in his throat and started choking him. He woke up unable to breathe and that triggered his first ever panic attack. Trench does not get panicky or anxious or angry or anything other than his usual placid self. It was four in the morning and he got out of bed and said that he was light headed and was having a hard time breathing. As is my usual, I began searching for some sort of home remedy to treat him (where is that neti pot, anyway?). We tried going back to bed, but his hands started tingling. Finally he said, "This might be bad." I asked, "ER sort of bad?" He said yes, so I got up and grabbed some clothes to put on. We've done this routine before, with broken bones and swelling bug bites and such. I was looking for a book to bring and he was trying to rush me out. (I just told him that the reason I took so long getting a book is because I'm reading Her Fearful Symmetry right now, which is all about death. So I was looking for any other book, thinking, "Can't bring Her Fearful Symmetry, anything but Her Fearful Symmetry!") We got in the car and things started getting worse. He begged me to blow off the stop lights and to drive faster, faster. Thank god the ER is fairly close to us. He couldn't undo his seat belt by himself so I did it for him. His hands were starting to freeze up into claws. I ran to the passenger side to open the door for him, and he couldn't get out. There was a paramedic standing outside and he asked if we needed help. He got a wheelchair and (very slowly in my opinion) walked over to Trench and helped him in it. By this time his groans had turned into panicky screams. Freaking out doesn't begin to cover it for me.

I re-parked the car since I hadn't bothered with looking for a spot before, just parked outside the doors. A nurse gave me papers to fill out for him and took me to his room. The nurses were asking him questions that he was trying to answer. Stuff like, "Have you been anxious about anything?", which is a laughable question for Trench. They said they'd come back with a doctor who would give him something to calm him down. They left and I kept saying, "They're coming, the doctor is coming, it's going to be okay." And then sat there, waiting, while my husband couldn't breathe. Finally I walked over to the nurse's station and meekly said, "Um, he can't breathe." The nurse grabbed a doctor and said, "Can you see the panic attack in room 9?" It's the first time they called it that. Now that Trench is able to breathe and is back to his easy going, placid self, he says that it's okay that they didn't come right away, it's the ER and they have lots of important things to do, and other patients take precedent. Not exactly his line of thinking while he thought he was suffocating, but oh well.

The doctor and a paramedic student gave him oxygen and hooked him up to an ativan drip, explained that he was having a panic attack, and talked him through breathing...inhale, hold your breath for the count of three, exhale. He stayed that way for the next two hours and thankfully calmed down. His hands slowly relaxed and he concentrated on his breathing. Eventually they gave him a chest x-ray and an EKG. His heart rate was 130 when he came in, and down to a normal 76 by this time. The doctor explained about the post nasal drip and sleep-choking and asked if he wanted antibiotics, which he didn't think was necessary because the cold was clearing up.

We walked back out into the sunshine to our car. I was exhausted. It was after 7. Sometime around 5:30 Trench had asked me if I would call in to work, and I said I wasn't sure if it was a good enough reason for them (I hadn't been admitted to the ER after all). Trench said, "I think having to spend the night in the ER with your husband is a fucking good reason." By 6:30-7, I agreed with him. I was so tired I felt drunk. I didn't want to leave him alone for the day either, and he didn't want me to go. When we got inside, I heard my alarm go off. I called my manager and woke her up, explained what happened, and she said she might still need me to come in for some clients in the morning. Luckily she got a hold of the new part timer and she agreed to come in for me. We slept till noon, woke up, then stayed in bed awhile longer, till about 2. The rest of the day was normal and it's still normal. The panic attack was a freak thing, and if it ever happens again, he'll know what it is and be able to breathe through it. Still scary though. And makes me have morbid thoughts about fifteen, twenty, thirty years from now when it might be a real stroke. Those thoughts will just tear you apart if you think too hard about it, so I'll just push it away and concentrate on now, when we're both healthy and fine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

some nights you should just order in

I got home a little early last night, before Trench, who has been sick lately. I was starving and knew exactly what I wanted to make for dinner...homemade Chinese fried rice, made with the leftover rice from the last time we ordered Thai food, and stir fried with egg, shrimp, onion, garlic and soy sauce. I had plenty of time so I just snacked and indulged in some after work downtime. Finally I sauntered into the kitchen and looked for the rice in the refrigerator. And looked. And looked some more. Damn! Either Trench had eaten it, or we had accidently thrown it out.

Well, this put a damper on my dinner plans. I had no idea what else to make since we were getting pretty low on groceries. I considered ordering from grubhub, but I was hungry and it was already late, and I didn't want to wait 45 minutes to get dinner. I decided on an easy mac n cheese recipe, where the pasta is cooked in the dish with the cheese mixture. I had all the ingredients (except I substituted cream cheese for cottage cheese because cottage cheese just isn't something we keep around the house) so I combined them in a bowl and mixed it all up with my immersion blender. Then I took out a casserole dish, and started to pour the mixture into the dish. This is the moment where the dish slipped out of my hands, fell with a clunk on the stove and sprayed cheesy-milk all over me and the kitchen.


Okay, so the bowl was probably slippery. Or maybe my hands were, I don't know. It's one of those dumb little things that happen. But I was (and still am) absolutely convinced that something in the universe made this happen just to fuck with me. The fact that my blood sugar was low and my stomach was screaming for food didn't help.

I cleaned myself and the mess up as best I could, and there was still plenty left for the dish. I put it in the oven and then looked at the recipe to see how long it would take, figuring it would probably be about 20-30 minutes. SonuvaBITCH! The damn thing cooks for an hour! I totally could have ordered food, not gotten splashed with cheese-milk, and gotten it sooner than it would take this thing to cook!

I figured by the time it was done, it would be 9:30, and that just wasn't happening. I decided that would be lunch/dinner for the next day and that I would make scrambled eggs for dinner, and Trench would just have to fend for himself. I had just gotten the eggs mixed up when Trench came home with groceries, including raviolis. Dinner is saved! I covered up the egg mixture to use for the next day too, and boiled water for the raviolis. I tried explaining to Trench how miserable my dinner-making experience was, which he totally wasn't getting because he was sick and just wanted to sit down with the laptop. I boiled the raviolis and went to drain them in the colander. Two of them slipped out and fell into a dirty dish. The colander threatened to tip over the rest of them and I gripped it with two hands, shouting, "NOOOOO!" I saved it. I brought food out to Trench, had delicious but not entirely satisfying raviolis, and eventually put the mac n cheese in the refrigerator for later.

Next time I'll order Chinese fried rice instead.

why I never get anything done

I fall into a Morning Funk pretty often. Today I’m scowling because I have to work at 10:30 and I’m not used to working that early on Saturdays. Which is dumb because at my last job I had to be there at nine on Saturdays to sit in a basement for ten hours. This should be nothing. I don’t know if it has to do with my job, or if it’s just because I hate mornings. Even on my days off I have a tough time getting myself moving. I would feel so much better about myself if I could wake up, have my coffee and then be all, “It’s time to be productive! Let’s clean the cat box, do laundry, straighten up the apt and exercise!” Once in a blue moon I get a random shot of energy to do all that, and I do feel better about myself. Pats on the back all around! But on most mornings off, I ease myself into it gently by drinking coffee and surfing the internet until—hey, check it out! It’s noon! I should do something! Wait, let’s look at facebook once more time…crap, it’s one! How did that happen?

So workdays are worse because going to work severely cuts back on my coffee drinking and internet surfing. Okay, actually it doesn’t because there’s a Starbucks down the street and I have an iphone to play with during lunch and commute. But now I have to do those things wearing makeup and contact lenses, and I have to interact with people! Bah to that!

Growing up I was definitely not a morning kid. Bedtime was at 9pm, but getting to sleep at that time was difficult and I was always getting in trouble for turning on the light and reading. (I’m sure that now kids get caught web surfing with the laptop hidden under their sheets.) Waking up at seven was torture. My grades throughout grammar school and high school were dismal, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as soon as I got to college, where I could have class start in the afternoon, I suddenly had a 4.0 gpa. Waking up early is not for me.

Now I’m a grown up and my schedule is scattered enough that most days I go in late, or at least later than the average 9-5er, but I still have the mentality of, “I don’t wanna go!” I’ll hit the snooze button five times and take too long doing everything. It’s not even necessarily that I want more sleep, I’m just not good at bounding out of bed, throwing open the curtains and being ready to Do Things! For those who can, or who can at least fight through the scowling and grumbling enough to get a few things accomplished, my hat is off to you.

Fashion! Turn to the left...

I’m sitting in a cafe, doing “important” work on the laptop, because when I’m at home all I end up doing is checking facebook and reading other people’s blogs. For some reason, I’m more productive when I get out of the house. Unfortunately, I was planning to go to yoga at 4pm and realized that I have about ten minutes to get there. That’s not going to happen. Crap. Maybe I can hit the 6pm class. I think I can, I think I can?

There’s a shoe store in the neighborhood that’s going out of business. I got an email from them this morning saying everything in the store is 50% off. Now the last thing I need to do is buy new shoes while I’m packing up to move, but 50% off? Score! So I went over there to check out the goods, but didn’t see anything I wanted. Isn’t that always the way? When something is expensive, you want it. When it’s affordable, you think “meh.” Although to be honest, I never bought much from that particular store. Expensive shoes don’t bother me, because if they’re well made and last a long time, I feel like they’re worth it. But the shoes in this store are pretty trendy. Pointy, strappy boots…boots that aren’t Uggs but look like Uggs…pointy spiky high heels…sporty shoes that look like they have no arch support…meh. I work in a very trendy neighborhood (not hipster-trendy, but yuppie-trendy), and I’m getting tired of seeing skinny jeans tucked into tall faux-motorcycle boots or Uggs topped off with an Anthropologie sweater. And I’m resentful that strappy motorcycle boots are now killed for me…since when do yuppies wear that stuff? It’s like they all collectively saw how much Frye boots cost and decided that if they’re shelling out $350, it must be cool.

Point being; I bought a pair of warm tights and some earrings. Which will be much easier to pack.

It’s all too easy for me to rail against fashion that I hate, so I should write about fashion that I love. I favor retro clothing. Pinstripes make me swoon. I’m a tiny girl so I prefer clothing that’s well-fitted, and stay away from anything too blousy or babydoll. I have a large collection of tank tops and baby-t’s that I usually layer with a cardigan or a hoodie. Oh gods, how I love hoodies. I wear nothing but skirts in the summertime, and if I lived in a warmer climate I probably wouldn’t own any pants at all. Fishnets are a wardrobe staple. I adore John Fluevog shoes. Those puffy coats everyone is wearing look warm, and have the added bonus of not being a cat hair magnet, but I just can’t wean myself off of wool pea coats. I own more black skirts with white polka dots than one person should. Almost everything I wear is black, with splashes of red, burgundy or purple thrown in. And yes, I do own a couple pairs of skinny jeans that I will sometimes stuff into tall boots, but the exception always proves the rule…and the rule is that I can rock it better than a yuppie.


Let’s take a break from packing so I can write about my absolute favorite type of food to make…soup. When I was a kid I had terrible eating habits, and I don’t think I ever had soup apart from chicken noodle when I was sick. Maybe this is why I didn’t like soup? Even as an adult I didn’t like chicken noodle (before I gave up eating farm animals). Being served it whenever I was sick gave me that association so I couldn’t handle it when I was well. It’s also likely that I didn’t like soup because it was food that was “mixed together” and I was the type of picky eater that needed all my food to be kept in its own separate sections on my plate.

Once I got older and started branching out in my food choices, I discovered that I liked soup. It has my two favorite elements…it’s hot so it keeps me warm in the winter, and it’s savory. I love salt, and the sodium-fest in a can of soup kept me very happy. I would order french onion soup at the cheap diners my friends and I would go to. I think french onion soup is like a gateway soup…even if you’re not a fan of onions, you might just order it for the cheesy bread that tops it. Mmm…cheesy bread. Where was I?

So between french onion soup at restaurants and canned minestrone at home, I still wasn’t an adventurous soup eater. I had a memory today (what inspired this post) about a trip to Ireland I took with a friend after college…specifically visiting the Kilmainham Gaol and stopping for lunch in their cafeteria. I ordered a vegetable soup, and was presented with the Best Soup I’d Ever Had. It was savory but not too salty. Full of vegetables cooked just right. A little bit of sour cream. Remembering it, I just realized that that was probably the first homemade soup I’d ever had.

The first year I moved out of my parents house, I lived on canned soup, yogurt and boxed pasta (with some fruit here and there to ward off scurvy). Then-boyfriend and now-husband Trench moved in after year one and our attempts at cooking together weren’t much better. I remember a lot of Annie’s mac n cheese, and cooking to us was slicing up vegetables to put on frozen pizza. That year for Xmas I told my family that I wanted a cookbook…a “how to boil water” type of cookbook. My aunt bought me “Help My Apartment Has a Kitchen”. This book honestly taught Trench and I how to cook. We made our first pot of chili and took off from there. Now Trench is practically a gourmet. I simply increased my love for one pot meals, and cooked my way through the chapter on soups. Once you start making homemade soups, you can’t go back. Chili, soups, stews…I’m all over it. I’ll leave the tilapia with mango topping and roasted kale to Trench, and thank the fates for linking me with someone who considers that to be “lazy cooking.”

introducing myself

For some reason I feel compelled to do an introductory post, and that’s making it hard to start this blog because it’s daunting. Also, I’m sick right now and can’t think of anything clever. So I’m going to re-post an old “random things” survey from facebook. I promise that this blog isn’t going to be silly surveys, this will be the only one. It’s just so I feel like I explained a tiny bit of who I am, and I can do “real” posts from now on.

1. I love days off and downtime and just lying around doing a whole lot of nothing, but every time I’ve ever been unemployed, I’ve gotten extremely depressed.
2. I think the only people who have clean kitchens are people who don’t cook.
3. I do brazilian waxes for a living, and at this point have seen more naked vaginas than entire frat houses put together.
4. When I was in my 20′s I resented all the condos that went up around our neighborhood like mushrooms. Yuppies go home! Now that I’m contemplating buying one I’m all, “Ooh! Stainless steel! Look…a jacuzzi!”
5. The idea of having kids terrifies me. I’m just too lazy for that kind of responsibility. I think I’ll stick with cats, and maybe a puppy someday.
6. However, if I did get knocked up, it would be fun to mess with people by saying things like, “We’ve decided on the name! Mordocai if it’s a boy, or Zool if it’s a girl.” Or if someone tries talking to my belly, making it talk back in an evil demon voice.
7. I used to go to concerts all the time, and haven’t been to one in a very long time. Don’t know why, just haven’t.
8. Last night at a bar a friend and I were sitting next to a couple on a first date and kept eavesdropping. The guy wouldn’t let the girl get a word in edgewise! Men of the world: If you want to get laid, STFU!
9. I don’t have cable and don’t really feel the need for it because of dvds, netflix and the internet.
10. However, it would be nice to have the Food Network.
11. I gave up eating meat a few years ago and haven’t really missed it.
12. But I still eat fish so I refer to myself as a “flexitarian” or a “vegequarian.”
13. My favorite cancelled shows include: My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Veronica Mars, Firefly, Arrested Development, Wonderfalls and now Pushing Daisies. I’m starting to wish TV shows would run exclusively on dvds and avoid the networks altogether.
14. Before I get my period, my mind gets very fuzzy, to the point where I can’t remember words like “table”. And god forbid you ask me the name of a movie.
15. My work uniform consists of white scrub pants and a baby blue t-shirt with rhinestones on it. I’m at the point where I don’t even bother doing my hair or putting on makeup because what’s the point? I just look like I’m wearing pajamas anyway. Sometimes I’ll do my makeup at the end of my shift before I leave.
16. For the most part, I get along better with the massage therapists at my job than the other estheticians.
17. I’ve been drinking vodka since I started drinking, but I’ve been trying to get away from it these days. I’m alternating between gin and tonics or jameson and gingers.
18. Yes, I was a big socially awkward nerd in high school. I can say this proudly now because I’ve seen myspace pages of jocks who used to pick on me trying to call themselves geeks because they like Superman.
19. I’m glad I’m not a teenager now, because instead of being a painfully shy wallflower, I’d probably be a very annoying emo girl. I’d rather be socially awkward than emo.
20. I’m still very much in love with my husband, and happy that we’re still so affectionate toward each other after being together so many years.
21. February is the point in winter where I start getting depressed. I wish Chicago would start warming up in March the way other cities do.
22. I’ve thought of moving somewhere else, but I can’t find a city I like as much as Chicago.
23. Money is important but I’m baffled by people who are obsessed with it.
24. I went to school at Columbia College with Joe Meno, but refused to read any of his books until I found out “The Boy Detective Fails” inspired the show “The Venture Brothers”. It was very good, and I highly recommend it.
25. I sliced my thumb yesterday when cutting a bread roll for my sandwich. I iz smrt.

Adding that #4, #15 and #16 are outdated. My consort and I have bought a condo (so recently that we don’t even have the keys yet), and I got a new job shortly after posting this survey. I burned that uniform.