Sunday, December 30, 2007

Is dead animal on the head in this season?

So it's still great to be back in the city - in fact, today while walking home from dinner at Bamee with Liz, I happened to see a woman on the corner of Belmont and Broadway with a fur hat, that actually still had the animals head over her forehead and the tail in the back. It was like the Davey Crockett hat on crack. And what was more interesting was that the top of the hat, behind the stuffed animal head was open! So the top of her head was exposed under all of that fur nightmare. Yikes, bad choice. I definitely did not see that in my fashion magazines.

So tomorrow is the last day of 2007 and part of me is waxing nostalgic about how my group has changed this year. New additions to my circle of friends, thanks to knitting and our master yoda - Amanda - but it's the first year that Team Hamster won't be together either. Sarah/Thom in SF, Mike with his gang in MI and Liz, Ryan and I pulling together plans here. Kind of sad, but a sign that things can easily change in a year. Besides, tomorrow in Wicker Park at Rebecca's will be awesome - I must begin fasting early!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Home at last!

Oh it feels so good to be back in Chicago, in fact an elderly woman at the Jewel even snapped at me, calling me "goddamn rude," because I accidentally nudged her with the cart. I swear it was an accident! Ah it feels good to be back, love my crazies!

After an exhausting afternoon of moving all my crap back into my apartment, watching the men's Wisconsin basketball team win against #9 Texas in a last-minute shot and walking around downtown, I came back and unpacked (after trying hard to will it to happen on its own.) Tomorrow is the Pottery Barn mirror that I got for Christmas, that will take all of my strength.

But my little home is coming together, slowly but surely. Now if someone wants to help me take down the loads of boxes and garbage, that would be great :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Wonderland Redux

So the white Christmas Nat King Cole sang about showed up fashionably late in Wisconsin and the Midwest today, dropping 6 inches near the lake and likely 6 inches in Chicago, which will hopefully make my grand arrival back in the city tomorrow as painless as possible. I was even on co-shoveling duty, which did not feel good for the following reasons: snow was wet and heavy, I have not lifted weights in nearly 2.5 weeks and because my continually sore rib was not feeling like working today.

Fingers crossed that my pilgrimage home to my overly warm apartment will go well!

My cinema marathon also continued today, catching "Charlie Wilson's War" at the IPic theater at Bayshore. WHOA. When paying, I was enraged at $15 for tickets per person ($7.50 for the actual ticket and $7.50 for the VIP services, which include valet parking, popcorn and reserved seats - which is automatically included in your ticket price - no negotiations). But after seeing the very adult and nice surroundings, including an usher escort us to our seats and the shock and awe of actual art on the walls and the ability to not only have a bottle of wine and fresh pizza with your movie...the grumbling was subsided. I doubt I will be returning there, but for a night, I did feel like a VIP....for $15. AMC, you haven't lost me yet!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Should I be tired?

In short - no, but somehow I am! Logically, I believe that I have no reason to be tired, as I sleep through the night and wake up at a work-friendly hour still, but I'll forgo that thought and go with the fact that my body is apparently exhausted. Why? I have no idea. I'll think of that later.

More snow tomorrow, yay! (said with a sarcastic tone.) Here in Wisconsin, it'll be about 4-6 inches, same with Chicago. I'm literally praying that when I return to Chi-town on Saturday that the roads won't be too terrible. Ugh! I've also been informed that I'm on co-shovel duty since my stepbrother now has a "real-life" job. Darnit! Let's hope that duty only regulates me to shoveling the front porch and walk, while dad works the snow blower. *Fingers crossed*

Well, back to pondering the reason why I'm ready to go to bed now. Hopefully once I'm back in a workout routine and not eating "crap" foods all the time (holidays indulgences), then I'll be back to usual me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post-holiday coma

I cannot believe the holidays are over. It seems like just yesterday that I began daydreaming of purchasing gifts for friends and family...and dreading making my own list, asking myself the eternal question of, "what do I want this year?" Fortunately I was a good girl this year (phew) and I only have one return, which is amazing. I didn't get everything on my list and honestly I wasn't too upset about it. The one thing I was missing was the sequined clutch/makeup bag at Sephora in silver, which fortunately was rectified today at Mayfair.

Then the lure of post-Christmas sales got me and I got an ornament (which I don't need) from Restoration (at 60 percent off though) and a scarf from Gap (fortunately also on sale.) The big coup of the day had to be the new lamp I got from Pottery Barn, originally $119 without the base, marked down to $90 and then to $21.99. I thought I might have been drunk when I saw that so I asked the nice saleslady to confirm, and fortunately, I was not drunk and the price was correct! Unfortunately, there was a chip on the base, which would normally make that lamp dead to me, but whatever alcohol was left in me didn't seem to care. Very exciting! I love Pottery Barn floor models!

Well I'm ready for an afternoon "lay down," which in our house is basically a nap without the actual sleeping part. Then I am off to bond with my future sister-in-law, who will share the same name as me once she marries my brother. It's scary, but just remember, nothing beats the original JB :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's almost here!

Ho, ho, ho! So tomorrow is Christmas Eve and in true family tradition, this year's potent cocktail is one shot of simmering resentment, one shot of anal-retentive holiday planning with a splash of "when can I go back to Chicago?" Seriously though, I'm kidding...partially. I give it until Tuesday evening when the drink will explode.

So the weather here sucks...much like the Packers/Bears game did today too. Nice 40 mph winds mixed with light snow, which makes it snow horizontally, which is always a treat too. So far so good on the homestead. Today, dad and I went to the local gym, where apparently they only hire unhelpful, unmotivated tools? Who knew!? My doctor will not be happy that I engaged in aerobic activity, but between being inactive for two weeks, along with holiday eating, trust me, I'll take my chances. Fortunately, I felt great after - no chest pain, unfortunately, the elliptical machine smacked me around like a red-headed stepchild (actually I'm a brown-haired stepchild).

Back to the gym tomorrow before it's time to get ready for family togetherness and church. I was a good elf and wrapped all my gifts last night - and I have to say - yay to me for the lovely wrapping job. Liz would be so proud of me and my corners!

Happy Holidays everyone, more to come in a day or two, when I'm sure there will be more juiciness to share!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Let the Festivities Begin!

Back in Wisconsin - ready to officially start the holiday fun, which includes fighting, drinking and faux happy togetherness in our household. I'm kidding - about only one of the things that I listed.

Fortunately the train ride into town was pretty easy, I even found a Chicago cab driver who didn't fight me about paying with a credit card! Lucky me.

The weather here is horrible - gray and rainy and dismal, which makes 2 p.m. feel more like 8 p.m. Definitely plan on starting to wrap my gifts and relax tonight. My Ipod is 13 songs fuller and I feel slightly festive.

Well I hear an argument starting downstairs so that's my cue to go, before the yell for my help comes out of dad's mouth.

Until later (likely tomorrow)!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chicago's Next Top Model and the 151

Last night I pilgrimaged to Lincoln Park to see the most beautiful newborn, who is bound to be Chicago's Next Top Model...Miss Ada Quinn, who is 8 lbs of beauty and with a full head of brown hair! Amanda is a rock star, looking totally normal after 5 hours of labor and delivering a child less than 24 hours ago. And the cutest part of all? Ada "hums" when you hold her, apparently it soothes her but it is the cutest thing ever!! And she didn't cry when I held her so maybe babies do like me.

En route to the hospital, Rebecca and I were doomed to ride the slowest 151 in the city...which caused me to have a near emotional snap after it took us an hour from South Water to Diversey/Sheridan. I did say a few expletives near the Wrightwood stop, followed by the phrase "can we go???"

More great news! The Daily Show and Colbert Report return to Comedy Central on January 7, which makes this member of the Colbert Nation beyond happy. Plus, the AP just named Colbert its Person of the Year, which makes me highly anticipate a hilarious "Who's Honoring Me Now" segment!

While doing laundry last night I watched the "Fun Run" episode of The Office, where Michael hits Meredith with his car (which wins my vote for the best season premiere opening yet). I still find the parts about Angela's cat dying hilarious (claw marks on frozen peas!) but it makes me sad that there is nothing but crap TV on anymore because of this strike. My DVR is not happy with its new taping selections either.

Tonight is my platonic girl date with Liz - cannot wait! But first there is laundry and of course, a trip to Nordstroms spa to pick up my rock star Christmas gift for Cathy - OH YEAH! More on that later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Much excitement in the Windy City

Great news to start off today!

My knitting yoda, Amanda, and her husband Rick, welcomed the newest member to our Chicago knitting family - Ada Quinn - last night at 8:32 p.m., weighting 8 lbs. This knitter is so excited, she could burst! Part of the knitting family will be heading to St. Joe's tonight to visit her and the new mom and dad. Thank goodness I brought the digital camera with me today!

Also - my wine is no longer being held hostage by Bin 36 - dad confirmed that it was delivered last night at 7:30 p.m., outside of the scheduled 2:00-4:00 p.m. delivery time, but hey it's here.

Finally - check out this great article I read over the weekend in the New York Times about department stores overhauling their shopping bags to make them more multifunctional for us city-folks. As a Nordstroms devotee, I do reuse those bags frequently to carry shoes and lunch items. I sadly also save the large J.Crew bags that they give me when I rarely buy a large item from the store to reuse as well. It's definitely true what they say in the article - the bags are an extension of my purse many times. And from the look of the Scoop bag, I might have to save my pennies and get one of those after the New Year.

My vote for the next store bag to be overhauled - the Gap with it's horrible draw-string bag, which makes it awkward to hold with multiple other normal-size bags. Anyone agree or have thoughts to add?

More to share tomorrow about the newest knitting family member!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pre-Christmas dilemmas

Oh Christmas-time, headaches galore, along with some holiday cheer. Right now UPS is holding wine that I bought and shipped home from Bin 36 hostage - yes hostage. According to this evening, my wine is still "out for delivery," which is impossible because I've never seen UPS work after 5 p.m. We'll have to see what dad says tonight when I call to check-in. Might be time to call and complain to Bin 36, I think I smell a refund on shipping coming...

On a separate note, I had an interesting ride home on the 146 tonight. The very stuffed bus was making its way down Lake Shore when apparently the back bus exit wasn't working. So rather than walk their way up the front of the bus to exit, people started pulling the emergency exit level to pop the back door open and de-bus, leaving our bus to stall while the door had to be manually shut. Imagine having this happen at every stop, because why would it be only one person that pull the emergency lever in a non-emergency situation. This was combined with an older man who was carrying his briefcase and a bag of groceries on his side, allowing his several-pound turkey to continuously collide with my knee. This along with the exit and my unsuccessfully trying to blow my nose, it's a typical trip home on the CTA.

In closing tonight, big blog shout-out to my KMo, whose poor baby toe was inappropriately assulted and pinched by her high heel late this afternoon. We're pulling for your toe KMo, stay strong.

Is this blog on?

Woo hoo! First blog post on my site! This is very exciting for me, if you all can't tell by my insane use already of exclamation points. My journalism teacher would be very disappointed in me. But hey, she gave me an A- in the class so I'll call it even.

I'm in cubicle mode now, slaving away for the man. We'll use the term "cubicle mode" when I'm blogging about things at work. Just an FYI for my readers....of which there are none just yet.

In closing...I'm off to move the needle forward on arranging a meeting in Miami in January, which is now becoming more like February. I hope this is wrapped up soon - my pasty skin is crying already for the Miami winter sun! Then piggybacking off of that, I will likely have more to share tonight once I watch my guilty pleasure - Gossip Girl - and begin the torturous task of beginning to pack for the holidays at home with the family.

Until later....