Jun 30, 2004

I am currently a useless lump. I'm falling asleep over my keyboard while my body vigorously attempts to digest the egg roll, hot and sour soup, beef with basil, watermelon freeze and HUGE raspberry brandy truffle I ingested during my "exit lunch" at Joy Yee's Noodles with my coworkers today. I'm not sure exactly why we went on my farewell lunch a week and a half before my last day, but whatever. I'm nauseated by the pan-asian stink infused in my jean jacket, but it's chilly willy in my office and I'm afraid I might get frostbite if I take it off. I tried to mask the stink with some perfume I found in my desk after my student assistant said I smelled like play dough (??) but it made it only worse. I scrounged around and found some Febreeze (you go, girl! Way to be prepared!) but to no avail. It isn't working. Does this stuff expire, or what? I don't know what it is about the restaurants in Evanston, but it seems like no matter where I go for lunch I end up back in my office over-stuffed and reeking to high heaven with evidence of where I dined. Next week I am taking a coworker to the Mt. Everest indian buffet to celebrate her birthday before I leave. I should definitely plan to shower upon returning to work. And nap.

Hopefully driving home with the windows down will lessen my stench. I just hope I don't fall asleep on the Lake Shore Drive.

Jun 29, 2004


I'm ferociously getting my blog on, for fear of not being able to post for a while after I start my new employment. I'm enjoying it while I have it, filling up these pages with absent minded blabbering.

I keep glancing at my footnote for the opossum sighting, and keep reading furor as fuhrer, imagining a little baby opossum running down the side of the road with a little tiny Hitler on his back. Ok, I'm weird, but it keeps making me smile.

I seriously considered calling in sick today, or at least calling in late because I don't want to go to work anymore. Now all I can do is count down the minutes until I can take a walk on my lunch break. Damn.

I'm totally all decked out West Side Story-ish today, in my new loafers, rolled tight dark blue jeans and a little retro cotton short sleeved button up. I never ever dress thematically, but today I just felt it had to be done.

Yesterday I told a patron that I was leaving and he would need to talk to my co-worker for future assistance, and he replied, "Really? Wow, you just don't care at all anymore then, do you?" Like, what, since I quit my job I'm going to completely slack off and not give a shit? After getting all defensive and offended I now realize he was kind of right.

Eat here. Holy shit, it's so good. Their panang curry is my new favorite thing in the world. I promise you won't regret it.

On a related note, if you want me to forgive you for something or just give you a big wet kiss, show up at my door with a ukulele (which you may play for me) and panang curry from Roong. I'm yours.

Jun 28, 2004

It figures: *no more job related posts after this one, I swear.

1. I've quit my job due to boredom, an insufficient paycheck and an overwhelming fear of technology and lack of progressive thought in my place of employment. So I've quit. Not one day after I quit, a new and exciting project working with state of the art technology is beginning, with me sitting alone in my office while my coworkers meet to discuss it and busily work with testing, contracts and policies. And apparently I've been approved for a brand new top of the line computer, with a flat screen monitor, which will be installed in my old office the Monday I start my NEW job. At least I'm still going on to a bigger and better paycheck.

2. After bitching and moaning about what a weird summer we've been having, forgetting the enjoyment I've been getting from driving with the windows down, and neglecting to think about the horrid sweat drenched walks I endured commuting home from work last summer, it is now getting warmer. Just in time for my new bipedal/public transportation commute. Goodbye air conditioned car and hello summer. They can't fire me for being sweaty, can they?

3. New job = bigger paycheck-to-be = new wardrobe = spending money = bigger bills = bigger paycheck-to-be doesn't make a difference.

4. My cute new shoes simultaneously look great while ripping and bruising my feet. Must...break...them...in...before...starting...new...job...aaahhhhggghg.

5. After working for two years with few lunch buddies (and often dwelling on that fact), I have quit my job. I've now had more offers for lunch dates in 4 days than I have in two years. Niiiice.


this is a test of the e-mail blogging system. if this were a real blog
entry, fascinating content would appear here: . however, this is
only a test. repeat: this is only a test. thank you.
Cheering up a sleepy girl up on a dreary rain-soaked Monday morning:

1. Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with fresh blueberries.
2. Getting ready for work in 45 minutes flat.
3. Still getting to work on time despite getting up late and working hard to avoid people who don't know how to drive in the rain.
4. Seeing a baby opossum running along the side of the road.*
5. Calmly handling two near-disasters in a row at work. I still care, people.
6. Seeing the sun come out and the sky start to clear up before lunch.
7. Recalculating my new salary, new commute, and number of hours left at my current place of employment. (T-minus 65.6 hours and counting)

* I don't know why this should make me smile, but it did. He (she?) was so tiny, and waddled with a furor to get to the bushes at the far end of the parking lot. I have always found opossums fascinating creatures, so ugly, yet so cute. And baby things never fail to put a smile on my face, even in the puffy eyed, unamused, heavy lidded state I was in at 8am.
Give me links or give me death.

It's been a musical weekend. Friday night was Spoon at the smoke-filled, over-packed, over-priced, under-whelming (did I mention smoke-filled?) venue that is the Metro. They treat you like livestock and demand proof of age at every corner on the way in. I'm never going there again. Sorry. Spoon was good but their second opening band, Thee Shams, can actually be labeled as the Worst...Band...Ever. At least in my book. Sorry guys, but learn how to play your instruments, especially the harmonica. I came home nearly asphyxiated by the black death of cancer growing in my lungs. I still get a whiff of smoke if I breathe out just right. I'll never understand the fascination with killing yourself and those around you in a non-ventilated space, but that's another entry.

Saturday night was Andrew Bird and the Magnetic Fields at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Andrew Bird is immensely talented, recording and looping his violin, guitar, bells, and whistling to entertain us as a one man show. His lyrics are a bit too self-aware, but he has more musical talent in his right pinky than I have in my whole body, so I can't really say much. The magnetic fields were great, and I have a slight crush on Stephin Merritt, with his amusing songs, deep voice, animated facial expressions and short stature. He is just too cute. The OTSoFM is a great venue, with NO SMOKING, reasonably priced drinks (all beers $4, much better than the $4.50 piss we drank at the Metro), and real honest to goodness seats. I guess this set up wouldn't work so well with a really rocking band, but for the Mag Fields I was able to thoroughly enjoy myself, and pay attention to the music instead of worrying about my lungs, my toes, and pulling my neck while straining to see more than stage lights.

The weekend before this last one, while my little baby brother was in town, we saw the Shins at the House of Blues (another smoky, pretentious venue where they treat you like cattle, herding you through a dozen ID check points, and then check you again each and every time you attempt to buy an overpriced shit beer. But they do have the saving grace of decorating their walls with interesting art and having bathrooms that actually #1-have locks on the stall doors, #2-have soap, and #3-have something with which to dry your hands. The Metro boast of no such amenities.) It was a good show, and I actually found a spot to stand where I could see more than the big HOB logo above the stage. It is a rare occasion that I can actually see a band play, as a 5 foot (and one inch) tall girl, I understandably often have someone taller standing in front of me.

Here's another link, just for fun. Thank you and goodnight.

Jun 25, 2004

It's a beautiful day and I'm happy. For the most part anyway. The job thing is working out and my last two+ weeks are starting to go pretty smoothly. I'm finally busy at work, which is slightly ironic now that I've quit due to the boredom. But this is work I can get into: preparing my office, my job manual, my co-workers, to get along without me. It's slowly inflating my head, knowing that they are so worried about my departure and do in fact truly value my presence here, and at the same time it is giving me a slight sense of unease as I prepare for my extinction, at least as far as the office is concerned. What will they do when I'm gone? Will they remember me fondly, look into my empty office and miss me?

This process of planning my permanent absence is making me think about my life, my family, my friends, my loved ones. It is also making me think about people I've lost contact with throughout my life. Losing touch with someone is a form of death, in a way. You can't plan for it, and you don't know when a conversation or hug or kiss or e-mail will be your last. I've often wondered where some of my past boyfriends and childhood girl friends have been, who they are, where they live, what they're doing right now...if they're thinking of me with the same curious concern. You never know when you're saying goodbye for the last time, so it's important to take advantage of the time you have with the world while you have it.

I've been struggling with the decision to start helping someone close to me out on a regular basis, which I guess I am worried will become a precedent for when this person needs more help, but I love her and I can't stand to see her in the state she is in right now. And it is my duty, as one of her closest friends and loved ones, to take care of her. And when she's gone, will I feel like I did enough? Will I ever feel like I've been the best friend, daughter, sister, employee, wife, and mother that I could possibly be to every person I care for? No, it would be impossible. But I'm doing the best I can.

I'm becoming emotional and girly, but I can't help it. I am starting a new phase of my life and am saying goodbye to a large part of who I am, at least who I have been for the past two years. I'm starting fresh and I couldn't be happier, but there lingers this sense of unease. I've never been good at goodbyes. Looking back, I love this place, and all the crappiness I've associated with it. And I love you guys, the three of you who read this inflated and nonsensical thing.

Jun 23, 2004

It is official! (jumping for joy and grinning from ear to ear) I've officially accepted and officially resigned, and am officially so incredibly happy and excited and thrilled and joyful and ecstatic and wonderfully filled with so many emotions I can barely stand it!

I'm overjoyed that I am able to keep working for the major University I am currently employed by so I can keep my benefits including health, retirement and flexible spending account. Yay for me!

I think I need a new digital camera to celebrate my new employment.

I got the job! Woohoo! I got what I asked for, and then some! Woohoo! I have gone from being so nervous that I might throw up to being so excited that I might throw up! I start my new job on July 12. Yippee and all that! Yay for me! I rule!

I'm going to go outside to scream now. Thanks.
My stomach was eased exactly at 5pm Monday when I received a reply to my e-mail in which I carefully inquired about the decision process and offered my unending availability for questions and comments. The reply: "I am very interested in offering you the position...I promise I will call you asap on your cell phone tomorrow...if there is an official offer to make...Human Resources...negotiations...discuss salary..." I was absolutely thrilled, and left work cheery and optimistic which carried over to my day off yesterday. The weather couldn't be better as I enjoyed a vacation day with my little brother, who returns to Virginia this afternoon. We went up to the Hancock observatory, visited the Art Institute Museum (Free Ford Tuesdays! Yay for American automobiles!), did some last minute shopping and enjoyed grilled burgers on the deck. I love my little brother, and I'm glad we had this chance to get to know each other again.

So today I continue to wait for the elusive phone call and offer, but at least I know that I am wanted and am the topic of "negotiations" between HR and my future (crossing fingers) boss. I'm still in knots waiting to hear something, but I'm past the nausea of simply not knowing what the deal is.

Benefits of the new position I look forward to:

- If I get what I asked for, almost a 25% increase in salary. Yay!
- A 50% decrease in my daily commute. Double Yay!
- Leaving the hell that is my current job! Triple Yay!
- Being someone's right hand woman.
- Helping to develop the workings of an office from scratch.

Jun 21, 2004

Patience is a virtue, although not one I can proudly boast about. As I've mentioned countless times before, I like to be in control of a situation, and when the seldom occasion presents itself where I have absolutely no say in the outcome I have trouble coping, to say the least. Such is this whole job interview thing. I get so worked up and expect a phone call the minute I step out the door, so when a day, and then a weekend, and then half a Monday morning pass with no word, my stomach turns into a churning volcano of unease, my feet tap uncontrollably and my fingers vibrate with nervous tension. All of this discomfort and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Goddammit.

And then there is my boss. Asking me over and over again to make sure I don't plan to be on vacation, on jury duty, sick, or dead for a select week in August, or else the department will go to hell with no full time staff around, and his outing cannot be cancelled, and co-worker's jury duty cannot be postponed again, and what will he do without me here to guard the fort? The guilt is already setting in and I haven't even had an offer yet.

The let down of not hearing anything on Friday made me not so much fun this weekend, and with my little brother in town asking to be entertained, I felt like a giant ass on Friday and Saturday. I don't handle my emotions well, especially when I'm unhappy with a situation. I love my little brother and I'm happy to have him around, but I need some time to decompress and relax during this blind emotional roller coaster of waiting to hear if I got the job...or not. Not knowing whether the next move will be going up the hill or cascading violently down is leaving me tense and unexcited about sightseeing.

I'm calling at noon. I don't want to make myself a pest, but I very well may fall onto the floor in convulsions if I don't hear anything by lunchtime.

Jun 18, 2004

I have a secret, and it's becoming harder and harder to keep it under wraps. When my boss asks me to make sure I'm here for a select number of days in August, I just smile and say "I don't have any plans for a vacation in August..." and quickly change the subject. I know this is how the world works and all, but I can't help feeling guilty. When I leave this office, which hopefully will be sometime in my immediate future, a vast hardship will fall on my department, right in the middle of the summer when everyone has plans to take their vacations and such. I can't wait to get out, but I feel guilty for wanting it so badly.

Hopefully I'll be going to a better place. Soon. Like, in two weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Jun 15, 2004

The last week has been a busy blur, full of sneezing, crying, flying, family, and meat. Lots and lots of meat. I was still sick during the plane flight to Virginia last Wednesday...the plane flight that took off TWO HOURS after we boarded and departed from the gate. I brought a full box of tissues with me and landed in Virginia with a nearly empty container. Yes, I was an enjoyable passenger to sit next to. You bet. I guess I got what was coming to me during the 8am flight back, with a screaming two year old sitting a mere 3 rows in front of me. My eardrums are still ringing, and I'm swearing off kids for at least 10 years now.

My little brother graduated high school cum laude, performed a voice and guitar solo of the class song in front of the 400+ graduating class and their 5,000 guests in the gym, graciously and humbly accepted his graduation party gifts...and ate lots of meat. I am so proud of him, I cried constantly during the ceremony, and once or twice during the rest of my visit. He has his whole life in front of him, and more talent and opportunity than I could ever hope for. While living under a single father's roof, I practically raised my brother from age age 6 to 14. I feel like his second mother, and for that reason I cried with joy as my little guy took the next giant step in his life.

I'm still in a meat coma thinking about all of the dead animals we ingested on our many celebratory restaurant visits and at-home meals. I think we hit about every major animal: we had fried shrimp, broiled fish, pork ribs, pork bbq, beef bbq, chicken wings, peking duck, stir fried lamb, bratwurst, hot dogs, chipped beef, sausage gravy, turkey sausage, lobster, pepperoni, ham, eggs, and I'm sure I'm leaving something out. My families love them some meat, I tell you, and my father sometimes has trouble putting the grilling tongs down. At a 40 person party we had enough food to feed 200, I kid you not. My dad and step mother are the ultimate carnivorous hosts. Should I ever become a vegetarian I would have nothing to eat at my parents' house.

I was in my element almost all weekend, hugging and catching up with grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. I was raised in a large family with large get togethers, and this was the first time in years that we were almost all in the same place. It was nice to be able to include my husband in my family's tradition of gathering and grazing. I often look at our different backgrounds and wonder how we'll handle these occasions when we have kids. Only time will tell, and I look forward to it, but don't hold your breath. Although cranky, tired, and still sniffly towards the end, I very much enjoyed visiting with all of my families. I'm incredibly sentimental and cheesy, and this weekend full of celebration with friends and family has left me in an excellent place, although left me here with a serious lack of sleep and an overdose of protein.

My bro arrives at O'Hare tomorrow to spend a week with us in our new apartment. It will be nice to get to know who he is, at almost 19 years old. I knew him well at 12 when I left for college, and have known the major ups and downs of his life since then, but I am eager to spend time alone with him to learn about who he is now.

So now I'm off to prepare, clean, entertain, learn and have fun. And resist as much meat as possible.

Jun 8, 2004

Still sick. At least I feel a different sort of sick every day, on my way to recovery. Bronchial infections are an adventure, and until today I felt much better than I sounded. I know it's clearing up, but I feel like I've been attacked by a truck which sits idling on my forehead, in between my eyes with its heavy load resting on my chest. I think I'm becoming addicted to Nyquil and am a little bit concerned about the results of my weeklong medicine binge as I head back to the Right Coast this week to be with my families.

I generally don't sleep well in other people's houses, especially when noise and light levels are different than what I am used to. I always make a point to pack my earplugs, sleeping pills and satin blindfold (I know...I'm such a priss) yet I still get an attack of anxiety when I lay my head down on an unfamiliar pillow with unfamiliar smells and sounds. Even in my old bedroom at my parent's house I lay awake and recall the memories that the scent of the room recalls from my subconscious. Parts of me are still 17 and living there.

Every so often I catch myself referring to Virginia as "home", and it has become an odd feeling. Chicago is my true home now, my grown up life with my new family, my safe haven and comfort central. I feel wrong calling anywhere else "home", yet I can't find a better word for where I grew up and where my family still lives. I had barely moved out before my old bedroom became something unfamiliar and completely not mine, and now everything has changed, from the furnishings to the pets. But there is still that comfort of being in my daddy's house. I guess this is just part of growing up and moving on, dealing with the emotional transition between two places.

We have a busy week ahead: Work tomorrow morning, then fly to VA in the afternoon. Tomorrow is my mother-in-law's birthday so we stay with them, Thursday is my father's so we head to his house, Friday is my little brother's high school graduation (I'm so proud!), Saturday we see my mom's new home and it is my husband's grandmother's birthday and a party later on at my dad's house. There are about a million reasons to celebrate with my family on Saturday, aside from the above mentioned occasions, my brother-in-law's birthday and his wedding anniversary with my step-sister (I guess that would make him my step-brother-in-law), early father's day, hub's and my visit, etc. Sunday is back to the in-law's to spend with the grandma. We fly back at the crack of dawn Monday morning, and immediately head back to work. Thank goodness for drug-induced sleep and wakefulness, I say. Hurrah for Nyquil and coffee.

Daddy, I'm coming home.

Jun 7, 2004

Chicago's first nice weekend, and I spend it hacking up my lungs inside my newly air-conditioned apartment. I guess I deserve it, it's been quite a while since I've been genuinely ill. Today: off work at noon to get better sipping oj in a swimsuit on the deck. Poor, pitiful, sick me.

Jun 3, 2004

Though everything still remains vague and nothing can be described as "definitive", I'm still slowly morphing into a sniffling pile of quivering emotional heartache at the mere thought of a final clear negative response. That's right, emily, get it all out now so when the heartache presents itself fully, all games aside, you can go on with your day without skipping a beat. I've still got it; I am still managing to fall in love with every new and probably unreal opportunity I glimpse. The new me is up and running, bouncy and resilient as ever, ready for the next stumble, donning knee pads and a huge neon green helmet to either soften the blow or just let them know I'm coming.

Add "slightly emotionally unstable" to resume.
I sit and wait in a state of permanent nausea and anxiety, waiting to hear a few little words that will alter the path of my life ... for the better, I hope. A simple phone call is all it takes, people! Come on! I'd even settle for a one sentence e-mail, just to satiate my desire to know SOMETHING, anything, a word, a yes! Or a no. Either way will determine the next rise in the hilly interstate of my life. I don't fare well in states of unease, a flaw of mine which I may have neglected to mention. I'm a planner, an organized and detail driven (freakishly so) planner, the likes of which you want, you NEED. You will call me and you will tell me you love me and you need me and you want us to be together. For always.

Until you achieve that moment of clarity I wait. And wait. And wait. But don't forget our match made in heaven, our perfectly fit puzzle just waiting to happen. It could be such a beautiful picture.

Jun 1, 2004

fun for nature boy...or girl.

How many times can emily post in one day?
I'm back from lunch, energized and exercised from a walk around the lake. Sitting on the grass I was amused to see how thrilled the bugs were to have a human to explore. Ladybug after ladybug tried to dive into my pasta, which I quickly learned was not a good food choice for picnicking, but was a delicious lunch nonetheless. Insects just love garlic and mussels, and apparently birds do, too. I made friends with a couple of crows who fought greedily over a mussel I tossed their way. They followed me along my walk and landed nearby to caw at me when I stopped to rest on a bench. I wish I'd brought along some bread for them. I treated myself to a small frozen yogurt on the way back to the office, and now warm, sugared and full, I am enjoying my view looking at the trees basking in the sun. A small group of barn swallows are hanging out on the oak branches right outside my window, continuously falling, flying, and returning to sit and sing to each other.

One day like today can make up for a month full of rainy three day weekends.
Memorial Weekend Adventures

Friday: Beer and tacos with new friends until 3am. Hubb and I suddenly realize with embarrassment that we haven't been in a bar at last call in quite a long time.

Saturday: A broken microwave and an absent landlord do not a happy tenant make. Makeup chinese food and the first half of Airplane are serious therapy for a rainy day gone bad.

Sunday: Rain and rain and rain. And shopping until we are dropping.

Monday: Cleaning the grill in the sunshine and grilling our dinner in the rain.

And today, back at work with nary a rain cloud in sight.