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.