Feb 28, 2005

Top 10 reasons I haven't been getting much work done today:

1. Still incredibly sleepy from the weekend. Busy busy busy.
2. I am the proud owner of a brand new tiny ipod. Too busy playing with iTunes and caressing the little silver parcel of ear candy.
3. My Eva Zeisel dishes finally arrived today. Too busy resisting the temptation to unwrap each piece.
4. Paying close attention to a soon-ending e-bay auction for another Zeisel piece I've been lusting after.
5. Will be here until 8:30 pm tonight. I have plenty of time to get my ToDo list finished.
6. Too much sugar and caffeine in my system to sit down for enough time to get anything done.
7. I'll be in Hawaii in 44 days! There is so much to get done between now and then!
8. My office was too cold this morning and is too hot now.
9. Phone interruptions, visitor interruptions, e-mail interruptions. And snacking.
10. It's Monday. If I get all caught up today I'll have nothing to put off until the end of the week.

Feb 25, 2005

I've been having more and more trouble waking up in the morning, and where this stems from I'm not exactly sure. I think maybe my cycles are off, depending more on the actual time of day than on how many hours of sleep I get. I can go to bed at 10 pm or midnight, and I still can't wake up when my alarm strikes at 6 am. If only I could saunter into work at 9:30 or 10 every morning, I would be perfectly refreshed and awake. Rare is it that I sleep past 9, and getting up at 8 would be a breeze. I want to propose a change in daily hourly business...instead of the corporate 9 to 5, lets push for 11 to 7! How wonderful that world would be! A little sleeping in, time to actually work out in the daylight each morning, and still off work in time for dinner. Life would be so much better that way.

The undie sale last night was a huge disappointment. 15% off $50 panties? That is not a "Huge Sale!" I almost bought a cute recycled linen tee by Woo, one of my absolute all time favorite brands, but wasn't totally in love so I passed. The sale was unfortunately smaller and incredibly less impressive than in previous years, with fewer practical items and fewer customers. Ah well. It's not like I actually needed more underwear anyway. I will sit and wait until next year.

Passing on panty purchases, I headed over to the Container Store to pick up my Nigella mixing bowls. I almost got the adorable bread bin, but didn't. Instead I also picked up one of the last sets of the little dessert bowls, perfect for my morning oatmeal or ice cream or pudding. Adorable. I took them home and washed them and caressed them, and am still irritated that I was running too late this morning to eat breakfast out of them. I'm still in love with the practicality and retro-chicness of the bread bin, with the cutting board as the lid, and maybe I'll convince the Hubb to let me get it, but at $70 it would probably behoove me to hold off. Maybe some day...

Feb 24, 2005

I'm in love.

Oh my god I'm in love.

Today is a fabulous day. I have a reserved seat on an airplane that will take me to Hawaii in six weeks, a set of Nigella Lawson mixing bowls on hold, and an amazing underwear sale that I look forward to all year to go to tonight. This weekend will get even better, with a Hubb/Wife date tomorrow, MYO sushi Saturday, and rest. Lots of rest. Maybe even a fire and a cuddle while we still have the chance.

Feb 23, 2005

Apple just introduced new iPods today, with new prices. I think I'm going to finally give in to temptation, fashion, my educational discount and trend and get a mini. I'm a sell out. But am I a green sell out, or a silver sell out? I thought I was a gold sell out, but gold doesn't seem to be an option anymore. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Thank you, Matt, my last minute angel from heaven, descending upon me with tickets to Kings of Convenience for a reasonable price. Ahh, Matt. You are my hero.

The show was fun, quiet, beautiful and Norwegian. I was actually able to see the entire show, finding a perfect viewing spot to the side of the stage. The songs were just as seamlessly harmonic in person as recorded, and it seemed that everyone in the club refrained from talking during the entire set in silent appreciation of the soft spoken duo. It was a lovely show, and I appreciate the power of craigslist that got me there. And Matt. Thank you, Matt.

Still smoky and raspy and a little hung over, I wish it were the weekend. I'm looking forward to a diy sushi and movie night with friends, and spending some time getting finances and dreams in order to begin the home buying adventure. This adventure will be long and drawn out and we're taking each step incredibly slowly, but we're officially standing at the bottom of the stairs and that's a big change from where we've been previously. The future, she is exciting.

This week has been full of happy little surprises, which I am grateful for. We sold the car, and will be car-loan free by the end of the week with a little extra dough in our pockets. I was able to attend a sold out show without bankrupting myself, and was just notified that my favorite annual lingerie sale is tomorrow night. And I finally found a less expensive airline ticket to Hawaii. It's a feel-good week all around. Except for that tax thing. That kind of sucks, but I'm not going to think about it right now for fear of losing my buzz.

Feb 22, 2005

I hate:

1. That my vacation day off work yesterday was ruined by the following:
a. Finding out that Hubb and I owe an obscene amount of money to the government this year.
b. Finding out TOO LATE that we could have had a chance to see the Kings of Convenience.
c. Rain.

2. People who won't get out of the way when I'm trying to get off the train. This includes:
a. People on the train with me who won't move an inch to let me get off at my stop.
b. People waiting to get on the train who don't get it that they can't step on until they let me step off.

3. Receiving something I've ordered, with half of the product missing.

4. Getting caught red handed turning my coworker's music down when I thought he'd stepped out of the office.

5. Indigestion from delicious foods.

6. Airline ticket prices.

I love:

1. Selling the car! Including:
a. Selling it for more than we expected.
b. Selling it faster than we expected.
c. My wonderful husband who handled it all.

2. Italian food, generally speaking. This includes, but is not limited to:
a. Carbonara.
b. Homemade tomato sauce in my lasagna.
c. Basil.
d. Wine.

3. Craigslist. For:
a. Keeping me entertained.
b. Selling our car.
c. Hopefully selling our set of dinnerware so I can buy the Classic Century dishes.

4. Nigella Lawson on sale at the Container Store.

5. The fact that my coworker keeps turning his music back up every time I leave frigging the room.

6. Taxes.

Feb 18, 2005

Inspired by a recent GB fuel, I'm feeling the need to justify my existence here in the city of broad shoulders. It makes me angry that so many close-minded angry people consider themselves better just because they know more trivia, have the entire streetgrid of the city memorized, or have lived here all their lives. Being angry at successful young people moving into trendy neighborhoods is detrimental to the growth of the city. Neighborhoods change, people change, and cities change with them. Just because I moved here from somewhere else, have a professional job near the loop, and am making enough money to allow me a nice apartment in Wicker Park doesn't mean I am the stereotypical "yuppie" that people talk about with such disdain. And so what if I was? I love my city and I love my neighborhood. If there were no successful young people in the city, the city would simply grow old and die. "True Chicagoans" who claim to love this city so much are hypocrites for hating such a large part of Chicago culture that makes this city what it is.

I am a Chicagoan. Even though I've lived in Chicago (and the surrounding areas) for only two and a half years. I'm not a native, and I'm not trying to pass myself off as one, but I love this city; it is my home. I respect it's history and I'm excited for it's future, with me being a part of it. I have done a lot of the sightseeing, visited a lot of landmarks and classic spots, eaten much of the food this city has to offer. I live here and I love it. I am a Chicagoan.

Not thinking I was a city girl, I moved here from the East Coast expecting the worst and receiving the best, and now I never want to leave. I have fallen in love with Chicago: the lake, the streets, the el, the museums, the parks, the people, the food, the highways, the neighborhoods. I know the difference between the Ike and the Kennedy, I know the ingredients that go on a Chicago-style dog, and I know how to get around on the CTA. I look forward to visiting every theater, eating at every local restaurant, attending every street fair at least once, experiencing every inch of this wonderful city.

Some of my favorite places to go and things to do in Chicago are not on the tourist path. I know where to get an awesome taco (or two). I've visited more music venues than just the House of Blues, I visit coffee shops other than Starbucks, bookstores other than Borders and record stores other than Tower Records. I will never know everything about the streets, visit every single streetcorner or know every trivial fact about this city, but I appreciate the diversity and history that this city has to offer and I embrace it with all of my heart.

If this makes me something other than a Chicagoan, I'd like to know exactly what it is.

Feb 14, 2005

Happy Heart Day, my dearest 3 readers. I love you.

I wish this holiday wasn't based on chocolate. It is pure milky brown evil. Or dark brown, or white, whichever you prefer. But what's more romantic than packing on a few pounds? Really.

Despite the rain and dreariness on Sunday, I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. Lots of shopping, snacking, walking, cooking, movies and making out. Wonderfully relaxing.

The sofa comes tomorrow! Yippee! The futon takes a hike on Wednesday! Double yippee!

I've been craving cheese quite a bit lately. I don't know what my problem is, maybe a calcium deficiency? I don't know, but I can't get my mind off the cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan at home, and the terrible string cheese for sale in the cafe just down the hall from my office. Oh my god I must have it.

I took a stab at some homemade potstickers a couple of days ago, and I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly delicious they were. I can't say I don't know how to make Asian food anymore! This is incredibly exciting! I've accomplished baking and Asian cuisine, all in a few short months! Yay for me!

This is really silly, but the other day I was thinking about how much I love to cook, and how I keep buying new gadgets and cookware and books to teach me how to make all sort of foods. I'm mastering recipes and learning new techniques, and having a blast doing it. I adore food, and I adore knowing how to do an infinite number of things to and with it. (This isn't an amorous Valentine's Day reference, so keep your pants on.) But then it hits me: I pride myself in the number of recipes I can successfully make, and as that number grows I run out of time to make them all. Out of 365 days, I probably cook for 250 of them, eating out, being on vacation, or eating leftovers the rest of the time. So that's 250 recipes, assuming I make a different one every night. When you factor in repeating recipes, that probably really only means a good 50 - 75 recipes that I can make, each year! That's nothing! That sucks! I need more time, or else I need to be able to cook dinner 3 times a day all year round.

I'm rambling so I'm going now. Happy Valentine's Day, gang.

Feb 11, 2005

Having a lovely lovely Friday. Feeling better, emotionally, mentally and physically; better than I have in a long time. I think it's a combination of hormones, the moon, and a mood change both at home and at the office, but I'm feeling fabulously ridiculously wonderful and adjective-y.

Shopping: I've recently found a number of terrific deals at the Filene's clearance sale: a pair of great jeans for $10, a couple of fabulous dress shirts, and my all-important best-ever foaming hair gel. I love Filene's. I also found a terrific pair of boots for an unbelievably good price (I won't tell you how good because I don't want you to be jealous) :

Best part: free shipping and they'll be here Monday! Just in time for a Valentine's Day dinner out with the Hubb.

I realize that I've been talking about purchasing things a lot lately, and for that I apologize. It will settle soon as I begin crafting and exercising and reading more and concentrate on consuming less. I'm really not as materialistic as I sound sometimes. I swear.

Next weekend I am attending a production of the Vagina Monologues with a gaggle of women. I'm excited to be a part of this year's activities, and having never been to a VM production, I'm not exactly sure what to expect. As preparations begin for the play, celebrations have begun in and around my office, with the sale and gifting of V-pops, chocolate vagina shaped lollypops. I was given one of these pops as a thank you for work I've been doing for someone, and I honestly tried to eat it, but there's something a little unsettling to me about genitalia shaped candy. I just couldn't do it. Maybe I'm prude, maybe I'm uncelebratory of the female form, but it freaked me out a little bit. I wonder if I would have reacted the same way to penis shaped chocolate...

Feb 10, 2005

Things I love:
  • Morningstar Farms Buffalo Wing "casserole"
  • Returning non-returnable merchandise
  • Conversation Hearts
  • Discovering I have worn the seat my favorite work pants so thin they are not practical to wear as pants anymore, but should be reassigned as chaps or some sort of sick corporate lingerie...
  • Walking up and down flights of stairs to relieve boredom
  • Big hair
  • Winning vintage dinnerware on the ebay
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Objectivism
  • Collecting things

Things I'm looking forward to:

  • Valentine's Day with the Hubb
  • A socially active weekend
  • The sofa being delivered on Tuesday
  • Getting rid of the futon. Finally
  • Possibly selling the car
  • The conversation hearts being eliminated from the candy dish on my desk
  • A day late Chinese New Year dinner
  • Getting new pants hemmed
  • Finally dropping those last few pesky pounds

Feb 9, 2005

I was recently wooed into filling out an umphload of surveys and entering my e-mail address into about a trillion little entry forms by the idea of winning two free airline tickets (*) to anywhere in the world! Woohoo! I want to go anywhere in the world! I want those tickets! So, after spending two full days at work trying to figure out the best way to answer demographic survey questions, and trying to find a way out of signing up for 7 different monthly (fill in the blank) clubs, I gave up. Now I get at least 30 spam messages a minute promising to "Win a Kitchen!" and "For Real: Get Your Free Laptop Computer!". I do not need a kitchen at the moment, nor a laptop computer, and I don't want to sign up for the Columbia House DVD club (again), a monthly diet pill subscription or another damned credit card. I have whored out my mailbox and now I'm paying big time.

I am, however, promised to be entered into phase 3 of the Publishers Clearinghouse Gimmick...I mean Contest, guaranteed to be one of the finalists for a million dollars. If I win I'll let you know.


So every spring (not that it's spring quite yet, but I'm trying to cheer myself out of SAD and PMDD by thinking of sun and trees with leaves) I go through a frantic bathing suit buying episode where I purchase multiple bathing suits, one of which I might wear at some point before fall comes again. I'm at two so far this year (well, one and a half really...a one piece and a single bottom to a tankini that didn't come in different sizes last year but is now a mix and match so I can buy the correct sized bottoms), and am feeling rather sheepish because I noticed two bathing suits in my closet from last year that still have the tags on them. But I'm going to Hawaii! I need a swimsuit that is hott and functional and comfortable all at the same time! And oh my god how cute is this thing?

I admit that I own more swimsuits than most women, which is slightly ironic because I haven't actually been swimming in a long time, but many of them I won't actually wear in public, but only on my roof in the middle of a weekday when all of my neighbors are at work. I think I can comfortably wear this one out of the house, in front of people(!) no less. Yay for the bathing suit! I may have to take a week off work this summer just to have the chance to wear all of my bathing suits on my roof.

Feb 7, 2005

It's Monday and that means I am grumpy and tired and would rather be at home in bed playing video games. I pulled out the Nintendo 64 this weekend to start a new adventure with both Zelda and Mario. It brought back a lot of memories. Where has all my time gone that I have left the 64 to collect dust?! My next mission is to recover the old original Nintendo of my youth. I could go for a little Mario 3.

The Super Bowl was a success, or at least the huge quantity of food I prepared was. Except for the almond tapioca pudding. The toasted almond slivers ruined the soft sweet quality of the pudding I love so much. So it's back to the drawing board for that one. Sometimes two delicious ingredients do not yield an equally delicious result. It's a shame. I don't really remember much of the game, as Hubb and I really only watched for the commercials, which were not so great this year.

I recently purchased the Food Lover's Companion and I am in love. I plan to read it cover to cover and carry it with me for quick on the go explanations and descriptions and handy proof of my food and cooking knowledge. Like when I was at the grocery store one day last week and someone asked me where to find (and what the heck was) a demi-glace. The lovely reference book actually fits quite nicely in my new purse. I'm going to look like a weirdo reading it on the bus now.

So we didn't leave the car at CarMax this weekend. Hopefully the time it takes to sell it to a real person will leave us with at least 20% more than CM offered. Their offer would have just paid off our loan, and that's it. And that's no good.

Hubb turned me on to this website. It's amazingly engrossing. Perfect for a day when I want to accomplish nothing at work. I love how dorky the whole premise is, and how adorable all of his friends are.

Feb 4, 2005

Just some notes:

1. Someone made two tiny snowmen on a ledge on the side of the MCA. I forgot to take a picture but take my word for it, they were damned cute. And they were melted by the end of the day.

2. I haven't worn pointy shoes in a while, and so today as I wear my favorite pair, my feet hurt real bad.

3. I really love my kitty cat. (p.s. - bye bye futon.)

4. The coworker who I do not have the best relationship with gave me a chef-autographed cookbook today. Which is nice.

5. I didn't know Daley resigned.

6. I really dislike noise battles. Like interrupting and talking over people. Or turning up your music to drown out your neighbor only to have them turn it up to drown you out in return. It's an endless cycle that contributes to noise pollution and extreme annoyances.

7. It's Friday night and I feel allright.
three compliments in an hour and today is off to a good start. maybe someone will take me on a date to my favorite restaurant to celebrate my good hair day and red shoes. mojitos and lobster tails and plantains and flan and ending the week with a full tummy.

i'm wearing lipstick and earrings, and slutty stockings and i feel like the girliest of girls today.

i just realized that i haven't yet seen the lake once this winter, which is incredibly pathetically sad because i work not a quarter of a mile from it. sad sad sad. hubb reminded me again that we've been going out less this winter now that it's cold out, and i think that bothers him but i love my house and my fireplace and my cats and homemade popcorn and i don't want to go anywhere. i just want to stay home and cook and eat and watch csi and good eats and old movies on tcm. and do sit-ups and bastardized yoga on the floor of my living room while watching the food network. and stay as close to my warm down comfortered bed as possible. i'm sorry hubb.

but i am looking forward to the thaw (as well as not...because it means no more fireplace for many many months) because it means bike rides and eating outside and flip flops and grilling on the deck and walks around the neighborhood at night and late nights drinking in the moonlight with friends on the tippy top of wicker park, only a spiral staircase away from home.

there is a for sale sign on our car, and an ad for our futon in the paper (soon). i am thrilled for change and ridding ourselves of responsibility, but these in between times also leave me full of sorrow and grief. i'm saying goodbye to good memories and happy days and fun and transitional periods of my life. i'm both happily moving on and i'm grieving for the loss of my past.

hello weekend. i'm happy you're here and i'm relishing the idea of spending quality time with you. if only you came more often.

Feb 2, 2005

I like how I'm not leaving for Hawaii for another two and a half months (and haven't even purchased my ticket yet) and I'm already planning what I will pack. I bought a super cute white messenger style canvas bag (white - so tropical!) and a white linen skirt for walks on the beach. I'm ready to go. Pack a pair of jeans, one pair of flip flops and a tank top or two and I'm off. Oh, and the bathing suit. Maybe. As I'm still struggling with after holiday poundage, I'm kind of afraid to see how the tankini fits.

On a related note, I'm starving and am craving beef like you'd never believe. Every once in a great while I get irresistible cravings for bad things like cheeseburgers, french fries, and chocolate (I ate six hershey kisses in less than two minutes yesterday). Even though I brought an incredibly healthy lima bean/chicken/rice thing for lunch today, I may have to go out for some form of cow. Or something fried. Which brings me back to the bathing suit thing. I would love to drop a few annoying little pounds before my trip so I can gallivant around paradise in my tankini, and I have to keep reminding myself that cheeseburgers and thai food aren't going to get me there. I have this seriously low self control issue that I just can't seem to shake. Whether it be a cute skirt, a new Body Butter (passionfruit, yum!) or a Chipotle burrito, when I want something, I get it. I'm a spoiled brat, I know.