Mar 31, 2004

Number three is completely unrelated.

1. I love discount stores. Marshalls and TJMaxx are weekly stops for me. Once you've spent years sorting through the crap you kind of get an eye for what's good. For example, the $125 Le Creuset dutch oven for $60. If that's not a dreamy deal, I don't know what is. Every time I pull out the credit card at one of the two local Marshalls or the local Maxx, I use my impeccable mental math skills to add up all of my savings. If my savings outweigh what I'm spending, I can guiltlessly label myself a savvy shopper.

2. I hate rude retail salespeople. As much as I love M & M (Maxx and Marshalls), they do not seem to have a strict hiring policy. It seems to me that you can get a job at either of these two bargain meccas as long as you can keep your eyes open and stand up straight for a few minutes at a time, and even then they will make an exception if you have a stunning I-don't-give-a-shit-about-you-and-I-hope-you-die personality. Yesterday I decided to cheer myself up by taking a quick trip to Marshalls during my lunch hour to shop around for some miscellaneous kitchenwares and a bra top camisole. I found both and headed to the registers. You could have seen the sagebrush roll by, the check out lines were so desolate and empty. Happily drugged on deal-finding uppers, I peppily bounced over to the "Customer Service" counter and stood there. Two elderly ladies were standing behind the counter, each with a piece of merchandise in hand, waving their free hands at each other and shooting the shit about who didn't come to work today and who took a leisurely 19 minute break yesterday. I made a peep to get the attention of the nearest "customer service employee" who lowered her head to look at me over her glasses, took an emphasizing pause and in a way so as I could not mistake the fact that I was interrupting her important conversation, said "Yesssss?". I ask, "May I buy these items, please?" smiling pleasantly. Head still down, blank stare still in place, "Honey, no. This is RETURNS. You can't pay for that at RETURNS, you need to go to a register." Turns to her hard working fellow employee, "Shit, people think they can just pay for their stuff here, and naw, this is RETURNS [looking over her shoulder to see if I've left yet] but they can't buy things here. Shit." I am still standing there, for there is no cashier in sight and I, being a lowly customer, don't know what to do. "There's a cashier right over there [waves hand nonchalantly] but you can't pay for those here. This is RETURNS." As if I didn't hear her emphasis on the words the first two times. A young pissed off girl pops up magically from behind register 2 from eating? sleeping? pooping? who knows. She quietly rings me up without ever making eye contact while the two RETURNS desk employees gripe just loud enough for me to hear them about how I had dared to ask them to do their job. My bargain induced high was gone, and I came back to my office to immediately file a complaint with the Marshalls headquarters. I get a reply today with the usual blah blahs and I'm sorrys, explaining how Customer Service is such an important quality to them. Call me crazy but I simply do not believe it.

3. This is my new favorite quote of all time: "We're all blind to something - the mind's eye can't hold everything at once." - by Laurie King from the short story, Weaving the Dark.
Lawyers aren't all bad. As soon as she graduates I'm hiring this woman as my lawyer.

Mar 30, 2004

Getting ready to move always makes me become reflective about my belongings, family and friends. What if I leave something important at the old place? What if I break something that means a lot to me? What if I forget to tell someone I moved and lose touch with them forever? What if I win some grand prize and they don't know how to contact me? I've been having this sudden pressing need to contact everyone I know, just to make sure they know where I am. On a related note, I miss being in the same state as the majority of my friends. I hate playing phone tag, especially when it's my only means of communication with someone. It makes me sad.

I just realized that we need fireplace tools for our new apartment. What fun.

Word to the wise: don't put garlic oil in anything you plan to eat while at work. Bad news.

Mar 25, 2004

The week is almost over, and as I reflect on the week in work I realize, this week I liked my job. Amazing. I guess it's the creative accomplishments that made it worthwhile and meaningful for me. First I published our new website which I redesigned and received positive feedback from my coworkers. Second I worked on more graphic design work for the committee I have recently joined, and have come up with a great looking new pamphlet for an upcoming exhibit. I finally got through to someone that we need to hire professional cleaners for our public space at least once a year instead of the two of us doing a poor dusting job every once in a while. (I did not go to college to dust.) I also finished up some simple yet time consuming projects that I've been procrastinating on for some time, and it feels great to have it all done. All of this and only one or two games of spider solitaire. The moral of this story: When I actually DO my job, I sometimes find I like it. Add "hard working" to resume.

I was creative and handy this week at home when I put together a kids toy box to make a new litter house for the cats. Now we have a tasteful natural wood cat out house instead of a huge plastic catbox. Add "ability to re-purpose children's furniture" to resume.

In order to come up with an obscene deposit for our new apartment, I am trying to stay on a month and a half long shopping fast. If you know me at all, you will know that this is not something I do well. The only thing I have succeeded in doing in this non-shopping state is create the longest list ever of things I absolutely beyond a doubt NEED TO HAVE. Among this list are queen sized sheets for the bed we don't have yet, new towels to aid in a new relaxing bathroom decor, perfect jeans (they never leave the list), and a really good massage. May first cannot get here fast enough.

Mar 24, 2004

5 things I'm thankful for today:

1. Even though my husband didn't get home from work until after midnight last night, he made it home safe and sound.
2. Eva was thrilled to see me when I went home for lunch today. My kitties make me smile.
3. The grocery store has Peeps out for Easter already.
4. It is amazingly quiet in my office.
5. I won the lottery. In my mind.

Mar 23, 2004

Meant for no one person in particular:
Please don't do these things:

Procrastinate when it directly effects me.
Sense my bad mood and be an ass just to make it worse.
Be overly sensitive, easily offended and super touchy just so I have a million chances to piss you off.
Be spiteful towards me. More than anything I hate that.
Be territorial about shit that doesn't matter.
Ignore me.

Please do these things:

Forgive me for doing/saying stupid things.
Listen to me when you're talking to me.
Be sensitive to my feelings.
Say thank you when I do something nice for you.
Don't complain when I ask you for a favor, especially if I have or will do the same favor for you.
Tell me you love me.

Mar 22, 2004

My best friend from kindergarten found me after being out of touch for almost a decade. It feels good to hear from her again. I feel like a fool for jumping to conclusions about why we lost contact and it means a lot to me to know that we still think about each other after all these years. It's interesting to see how people change and grow apart after being so close. I hope we can continue to stay in touch now.

Mar 18, 2004

We will be official Chicago residents starting April 22. Wicker Park, here we come!

Why I love our new place:

5. Wood burning fire place
4. Roof top deck with view of the city
3. Neighborhood with historical status
2. Dishwasher
1. Can walk to favorite bars and most importantly, our favorite sushi joint.

Mar 16, 2004

...I would be a millionaire

We're going tonight to see "THE" apartment again just to be sure this is really where we want to live our lives for a while. It's kind of like a love relationship: it's a lot of work initially, and you may have to give more than you expect, and you're afraid to commit because something better might come along, but you are also scared that you might just lose a good thing forever if you try to keep holding out. The outcome of our decision could last anywhere from 1 to 5 years, a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things, but the pressure to make the best decision is weighing heavily on our hearts and our checkbook. I wish these decisions were easier, and rental deposits were smaller.

I wrote two more cover letters today for job transfers and once again have that naive little girl optimism that things will go through this time. A new job with a new salary would help to make our engagement to the new apartment that much easier to go through.

Just when I thought it was springtime it snowed again. It's only March, I don't know why I thought it would be warming up so soon. I flexed my US citizenship today and voted, and have decided that the electoral system could use some major redesigning. The whole paper ballot system is outdated and confusing, no wonder the old folks in Florida had so much trouble last presidential election. I, being young and intuitive, was able to vote in under 10 minutes, whereas my coworker spent an entire hour trying to figure out how to push the stylus through the holes. I kid you not.

If I had a nickel for every complaint I make...

Mar 15, 2004

Dear Wicker Park,

Lovely beautiful Wicker Park, how I love thee. With your especially delicious sushi restaurants, your exciting bars and trendy shops, your trees and your park, your historic neighborhoods and grey stone three flats, I yearn to reside on your streets. Particularly in a king sized apartment with the roof top deck. I want to call you home, Wicker Park. Please accept us into the apartment with the double parlor and the dishwasher, the ample storage space and dual closet bedroom, the wood burning fireplace and gorgeous stained glass. I love you and want to be with you always. At least for the next few years anyway.

Forever yours,

Mar 11, 2004

Newly added to my wishlist: a custom created purse from 1154 Lill Studio. I already have colors and styles in mind for a bag and a matching coin purse. This could be bad for me.

Mar 10, 2004

Thank you, Caffeine, for making my headache go away. God bless Diet Vanilla Coke.

Mar 9, 2004

DC area sniper John Allen Muhammad has been sentenced to death. See the stories from the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. (The sites may require registration, but they are both fast and free.)

Lee Boyd Malvo will be formally sentenced to life in prison tomorrow, although I personally feel that he should receive the same fate as his partner.

I am an "A" student. I got a 92.5 on my exam last Monday! Woohoo! I am going to celebrate by taking a trip to the infamous communal dressing rooms (a major pet peeve of mine) at Loehmann's after work. In addition to rewarding myself for a job well done, a conservative shopping spree may be just the thing to boost my mood.

Why I need some cheering up:

1. I am STILL looking for a new job.
2. The dog upstairs is STILL jumping up and down every morning to wake me up.
3. I STILL have a headache from last week.
4. I am stressed over this whole apartment search thing.
5. My husband isn't coming home tonight after work.
6. I am having the worst cramps of my life. Being a woman is just not fun sometimes, so I will shop to make up for it.

Bitch session over. I promise.

Mar 8, 2004

Bucktown provided no serious possibilities in the way of apartments, but we did manage to figure out exactly what to ask when calling about listings from now on. Next weekend: Lakeview, Lincoln Park and lofts.

Our perfect apartment (that probably doesn't exist):

- Under $1200/month
- More than 650 square feet
- 2 bedrooms or 1 bedroom and office (master at least 10x10)
- More than 2 feet of kitchen counter space
- Pantry
- Must allow our kitties to live with us
- No noisy backwards hat party boys living upstairs (or downstairs)
- Parking either easily accessible on the street or including a garage spot or lot space
- Washer/dryer in unit, or else shared between no more than 4 units
- separate dining/living rooms
- Direct sunlight in at least one window
- Ample storage/closets
- If possible: exposed brick/woodwork, built in hutch, dishwasher, stainless appliances

A highlight of the apartments we are not renting:

- Neon green/turquoise walls craphole
- "Awesome" Nacho smelling drafty back door house
- Attack dog 6'x6' bedroom apartment
- Teeny carpeted speed walking engineer un-loft
- Unstable deck coach house
- Gay lawyer tiny kitchen apartment
- Ugly stove/no laundry/no dining room but otherwise gorgeous garden apartment

Mar 4, 2004

I am obsessed with birds. Someone should buy this for me.

I'm most definitely staying home from work tomorrow. I'm feverish.
The sanctity of marriage, being preserved and celebrated in Scotland.
Emily and the morning of HELL

After a small tiff with my ever loving husband, I go to bed last night with a slight headache and a teensy weensy sore throat that I had been nursing all day. I wake up an hour early this morning to the little shit miniature pinscher (appropriately named Bruiser) upstairs jumping up and down relentlessly above my bedroom. I roll over and pull the covers over my ears and realize that my teensy weensy sore throat has mutated into a full blown pain and that sleep did not cure my aching head. As if sensing my pain, the little asshole upstairs starts yipping his little pointy head off. I stare at the ceiling with my sore throat and throbbing brain while Bruiser violates my ears. After contemplating calling in sick for twenty minutes I decide that work will be quieter and more restful than the kennel I apparently live beneath. I make it in and out of the shower, and as I painstakingly try to fix my hair, hub points out to me that our angry weightlifting downstairs neighbor is now blasting Outkast so loud that we can hear the "hey yah"s clearly as if they were being hollered right in our own dining room. Apparently the fight he had last night with his live in girlfriend has made him wake up this morning with a new sense of energy. Sick and tired, I am forced to listen to fuck-head upstairs jumping and barking, the steroid-oaf downstairs shaking it like a Polaroid picture, all before 8:00 am. I make it to my office (I was even early amazingly enough) to a message that my boss called in sick with a sore throat and headache. My coworker comes in late (as always) telling me that she nearly called in sick as well. As I sit here I contemplate how nicely a miniature pinscher would fit into my oven, how I can't wait to find anew job and a new apartment, and how baked beans aren't such a good breakfast food.

Hello Thursday.

Mar 3, 2004

fun fun fun. googlisms I have narrowed the list down and have highlighted my favorites. I swear I didn't make these up.

emily is very sneaky
emily is here
emily is bored with no list
emily is commander
emily is home
emily is always desperate
emily is making me ill
emily is cool
emily is everything
emily is better than martha stewart
emily is silly
emily is a massive chewer
emily is doing fine
emily is awesome
emily is the coolest
emily is queen of her domain
emily is forced to consider her own financial situation
emily is optimistic and hard working
emily is my favourite character
emily is an 8" bunny dressed in a sailor suit
emily is a wonderful novel for children aged 9 and up
emily is the empathic listener
emily is about 4'9"
emily is quite advanced for her age
emily is looking odd
emily is my very special person
emily is an eastern anmatyerre speaker and one of the senior artists of the utopian art movement
emily is a nurse
emily is a bitch
emily is such a cutie
emily is a character that is normal enough so that the audience could relate to her; and yet be different in little ways that makes people love and adore her
emily is most the talented and modest athlete that i have ever come across
emily is also crazy about sweden
emily is industrious and extremely dependable
emily is a clinical hypnotherapist
emily is a dreamer
emily is an accomplished fly fishing instructor
emily is coming next weekend
emily is gone
emily is a real inspiration
emily is currently airing repeats weekdays in the usa on wam
emily is an heiress
emily is a young heroine who many can relate to
emily is a beautiful woman
emily is unique
emily is my favorite chick
emily is a bikini model
emily is everything
emily is finding it difficult to describe what she's seeing
emily is a feminist at a time when women's roles were defined by men
emily is so nice
emily is where she is supposed to be
emily is such a cutie
emily is remarkable
emily is a warm and wonderful child who has a small scar under her chin
emily is industrious and extremely dependable
emily is officially gifted and talented
emily is doing fine
emily is up in the stars as she mixes it with celebs
emily is all cutsie and stuff
emily is short
emily is a writer
emily is still alive
emily is hiring
emily is uncomfortable with there being sexy girls in bikini tops
emily is a flower girl
emily is a star
emily is the coolest person
emily is on her way home
emily is cigarette perverted porn ?????
emily is on the road to recovery
emily is very open about a lot of things
emily is growing like a weed
emily is ____
emily is viewed by the town as being among the ranks of the union and confederate soldiers
emily is forced to compete against athletes who have no idea of what it is to have downs syndrome
emily is off to school
emily is right
emily is like every other quartermain
emily is "wednesday's child"
emily is a winner
emily is so confused
emily is due in a couple weeks?
emily is my favorite friend
emily is my name fo shizzle
emily is happy doing nothing
emily is officially a crackhead
emily is running all over the place and just happy to be a little girl
emily is just dazzling
emily is the only regular poster to have been consistently nice to all
emily is the name of an angel
emily is such a fantabulous person who is one of *the best* people to build websites with
emily is a very rare male name
emily is full of fun

Mar 2, 2004

The short tease of springtime is slipping away.

I want to sleep until sometime next month.

Mar 1, 2004

Ahhhhhh......60 degrees and partly cloudy. I'll take that for now. There's nothing like a little warmth and a gaze over Lake Michigan to brighten up the spirits. I can't wait for official springtime.

My top 7 favorite things about warm weather in Chi-town:
(I just couldn't narrow it down to 5, as hard as I tried.)

7. The smell of growing, blooming plants and warming lake water.
6. The infamous wind. I just love how I can get chilled goosebumps when I'm sitting in the shade on the lake on a 90 degree summer day.
5. Flip-flops. I absolutely lived in my Mella's last summer. I have a few fresh pairs waiting for spring and summer '04.
4. Festivals galore. From Halsted to Old Town, there's an outdoor festival for everyone.
3. Sunset euro-picnics with my hubby on the lakeshore.
2. Walks to and from work. (*note to self: must take full advantage of any and all fair weather before we move to a desolate and far away land outside of walking distance to my current place of employment.)
1. Weekday lunchtime - sitting on the lakeshore. It's a slow-going soothing temporary escape from work and life.
New underwear, a new hairdo, and Monday is still nearly unbearable.

What keeps making me smile this dreary Monday? Michael Moore's appearance in the opening sequence of the Academy Awards last night.

I haven't studied half as much as I should have for my test tonight, but I'm actually feeling quite capable of doing well. Maybe I'm just hopelessly optimistic, but in my current Rosie-the-Riveter-esque state, I feel like "I can do it".

Craig and I looked at a single apartment yesterday while driving around aimlessly looking for our new future neighborhood. I am getting more and more excited about moving, and decorating, and buying new furniture. The landlord at the lone apartment we looked at told us he had a good gut feeling about us, which really does us no good unless he is willing to drop $300 a month off the rent. Ah well. We still have time.

Is it Friday yet?