Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Fortunately, I did speak with a manager, who was very apologetic about the situation and was able to resolve the situation. And now I get a free eyebrow wax and they threw in a coupon for a free meal at the Nordstroms Cafe and Coffee Bar for me too. I said thank you and apologized for Rage Girl's actions. I usually end up having to clean up her messes. This was almost as bad as the whole "belt incident" at Nordstroms too that Liz had to step in to regulate on.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
- "By continuing to provide for their twentysomething kids, parents hinder their children's ability to be financially responsible. If you don't learn to budget early on, what will inspire you to do so when your finances become your own prerogative?"
- "...it is possible to live in any city regardless of your age or income, it just takes budgeting and prioritizing."
The article focuses primarily on men/women whose parents go above and beyond paying for things, such as half of their kids New York rent, all of their utilities or let their kids charge on the parents credit cards so they don't go into debt. I agree with her that this is excessive, much like the behavior from parents on shows like My Super Sweet 16, where the parents feed their kids materialism but then chide them for being materialistic. But I don't think you're less of an adult because your parents do help you on occasion with things like a cell phone bill or unexpected medical/dental expenses.
I live in Chicago, where I pay my own rent, utilities, food and shopping bills, even if I get a bit excessive in shopping one month. I don't run to my parents to "make it go away," but I have gone to them for help when I needed to put down a security deposit on an apartment or when I needed to have a root canal and crown done and my out-of-pocket costs were due right away. They were happy to help and put me on a "payment plan" to refund their money at no interest. I think it's okay to use the "Bank of M-O-M and D-A-D" for certain items as long as the parents have set up the guidelines with the kids of when they will be repaid.
Her second point about being able to live in any city regardless of age or income I don't 100 percent agree with. She comments about the "life" and "diversity" of a large city like New York, yet she feels you can survive and thrive in this environment by forking over 80 percent of your salary to rent and not being reliant on your parents. If you're putting out that kind of money for rent, I'm not sure what else you sacrifice to stay afloat in the city, eating or transportation? My guess, eating.
When I moved to Chicago as an intern, I made around $9/hour, which barely helped me afford a small studio apartment, transportation around the city and food. I lived on noodles and casseroles for six months until I found full-time employment and during that time I didn't do really any fun stuff around the city because I couldn't afford it and I wouldn't take money from my parents. I'm not saying my parents should have paid my rent, etc. but I don't see the harm in taking $20 from them here or there if it lets me go have fun and build a social network in my city.
That doesn't make me less of an independent adult to ask for help and it doesn't make my parents "enablers" by giving me money at times or offering to take me to Banana Republic to buy some new shirts for my job.
The author also comments, "Financial independence means social freedom and absolute control over my own life. Yet among my peers, I seem to be the only one who feels this way."
No honey you're not, so please don't group all of us twenty somethings in there with you. Maybe you just have catty, spoiled friends whose parents are inattentive and show their love only by giving them money.
Am I totally missing the mark on this? The article gave me quite a "bee in my bonnet."
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
It's true that I haven’t been “warm,” except for my time around a microwave and heat lamp, since I arrived on Thursday, but I would come to this conference again in a heartbeat. But next time, I’ll bring warmer clothes as opposed to the “cute cool” clothing, which I currently have. Yeah cotton jackets and layered T-shirts = not a good idea. I should have listened to my friend Sarah's advice a bit closer.
- Cab trip to the hotel
- My interview with the New York Times
- Bloggy meet ups
One of the most interesting things I overheard in a break-out session was, "I work in porn, but I don't use my real name. I mean I want to be a teacher one day." Awesome, just awesome.
Famous blogger "run-in:" At the BlogHer Community Keynote speech on Friday night, a co-worker I was sitting with casually leaned over and whispered at me:"Do you know who is sitting at the table next to us?
"Dooce, she's sitting like in your seat at the table next to us."
"Really? No way." (Turns out my co-worker was right, so to share this news, I texted a few friends about my fortune, followed by me repeatedly staring at Dooce without trying to look like a crazy stalker.)
The time change has been hard over the last few days, but that hasn’t stopped me from partying like a little rock star! Thursday night we went to the Newbie party at the hotel, where I got to see my Chicago blogger buddies and meet a Katelin and Vanessa in person! The bar at the Newbie Party was also very generous – Teresa’s cranberry and vodka was about 80/20 in mix, with the 80 being vodka. Meow!
The hotel was also hosting a People’s Party, which we got to a bit late and thus lost out on the goodie bags. They were really cute too, which made it all the more disappointing that I didn’t get one.
But Sprout was doing a drawing for a gift bag, full of yoga mats, SIGG bottles and kid-friendly toys. And let me say, I entered the drawing only because I know I wouldn’t win. I never win stuff like this but I always throw my card in anyhow. So you can imagine the SHOCK on my face when the woman doing the drawing pulls out a business card and says, “Everyday Adventures of Me in the City? You’re the winner!” I seriously burst out laughing and “woo-ing” very loudly (because of a glass or three of wine). So I grabbed my HUGE bag of stuff and filtered through it in the hallway answering “no I’m not a mom but my friend is!” to people’s questions about my prize. Now, I have plenty of gifts for my beloved Ada, Sarah and some for me too.
Then Saturday night, TNT hosted a BlogHer party and I was particularly excited because, as you all know, I just listed The Closer on my list of “things I love” right now. Gina Ravera (Det. Irene Daniels) from the show was there and I was literally trying not to geek out in front of her.
I had my picture taken with her too, but I need to track it down from the photographer so it’s coming! I’m not letting that slip by. And some of my 20-something peeps at the party and I closed that night club, Ruby Skye, down…at 9:30 p.m. It was a ton of fun, and proves again that Chardonnay for me is very effective in helping me to loosen up.
Below is a picture of the cocktail napkins at our Macy's party last night. I thought this napkin was the most genius idea ever. By day 2 of the conference, a lot of bloggers had run out of business cards so this was a proper substitute to hand out to people. Our Chicago/LA/Texas bloggy group thought it was awesome. I hope someone grabbed a stack before we left the party.Christmas morning-like joy
OMG I have so much stuff, I’m so glad I brought a big suitcase to take back to Chicago. Below is a picture to show you a sampling of the stuff I got here at the conference. I will definitely be keeping some of it and donating it to my friend Sarah, who is hosting me Sunday-Tuesday at her apartment, and giving some to Yoda Amanda’s daughter Ada. I’m getting Karma on my side by paying it forward here.
So in a nutshell that’s my time at BlogHer. I could go on and on about this for days, but rather than ramble about it, I’ll just say this on top of my highlights. Going to BlogHer was definitely an experience. It was overwhelming at times, but totally worth it. I got to go to some great sessions and meet some really cool people. It wasn’t all play (I was there for work) but the opportunity to go was amazing and I really hope I can go next year too. And I have more pictures to collect so there are more antics caputerd on film that are not represented here.
So what's next? Well while co-workers and blog buddies are flying back to Chicago today, I'm opting to stay behind on the West Coast and get some "R&R" with my buddy Sarah, who lives in San Fran now but is in the process of moving back to Chicago in August.
I’ll be back in a day or two with the second part of my San Francisco adventure: the chronicles of Jess and Sarah. And our adventures are starting with the Dark Knight in IMAX and will likely end with someone being drunk dialed as we sing/scream Journey into the phone. Beware.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I've already listed things that I'm grateful for so now I'm going to share with you all some things that I'm loving and hating right now that aren't maybe as profound.
- Clinique City Block, SPF 25 - I wear it all year but especially in the summer. I live in it.
- Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Mask - My skin is super sensitive and I have rosacea and honestly this stuff calms the extra redness on my skin. Just don't laugh while wearing it, your face is pulled tighter than a sheet.
- Old Navy fold over skirt - Yes the fabric is non-natural but it's great to wear in summer and it doesn't care if you're having a "fat" or "skinny" day.
- Reef Sandy flip flops - I have these in about 5 colors and I wear them all the time. I even have them in black now so I can "wear" them to work.
- Ice cream/fro yo - Now that it's warm out, I crave this all the time. Our go-to place in our building just raised prices though so I'll be paying for my treat, so I'll have to space it out more.
- Bloggy business cards - The beautiful Ang made some for me for BlogHer and they are AWESOME! I'll post a picture of them soon, they are adorable!
- The Closer on TNT - my parents got me watching this show and I love it. It's only on in summer so it's on my "must watch" section of the DVR.
- Babies! - Yes I will be an awful mother but I sure love getting my baby fix, thanks to Yoda Amanda and the beautiful Ada. I got to visit both of them this weekend and I got lots of great pictures of the lovely Ada Q. I just need to get around to turning the flash off my camera so I don't hypnotize her with the flash light. I seriously have 10 photos of her with the same look on her face - see below.
- Sunburn - I've gotten two minor ones this summer already. I need to be better about applying the SPF all over and not just on my face.
- Humidity - Very unflattering on the hair. Plus I hate sweating already before I get to work. Ick.
- The possible actor's strike - I love television, please do not keep me from enjoying my favorite shows (primarily the Office) this fall.
- Birds - I have a flock of them that hang out in the mornings near my bedroom window and the chirping is driving me crazy!!!!! They do it every weekday and even on the damn weekends! Come on!
- Cleaning - Erin has a great idea of doing the cleaning in 15-minute intervals during the day with a set goal of what to clean each day. I am planning on adopting this method in my own apartment but for now, I hate cleaning, especially the bathroom and kitchen.
So that's what I'm loving/hating right now. Anyone have items to add to the list?
Note to my lovely readers: Thursday I leave for San Fran and I'll try to blog as much as possible from BlogHer so you can all see the awesome pictures and read the updates from this Everyday Adventures girl/woman. My Reader right now is pretty out of control and I'll try to post as many comments as I can before I leave and definitely when I return. So please keep comments and I'll return the favor ASAP. I have not forgotten!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
When I go home to Wisconsin to visit my family, I've noticed that the Amtrak train magically puts me in a time warp once I board at Union Station and I exit the train as a 16-year-old again. This is not always a bad thing, but there are a few teenage memories I would prefer not to relive.
The major issue I have when I go home is: the car. I don't have one in Chicago because a) I don't need it and b) right now I couldn't afford it between gas and parking so I happily walk, bus or El just about everywhere I go. I rarely ever take cabs and when I do, it's a treat. This is why I look forward to going home because I get to DRIVE. I love driving, singing to the radio, driving on the freeway, parking, you name it! Sometimes I fear that I'll forgot how to drive when I haven't been home in a while but it's just like riding a really big bike :)
My dad is great about basically handing over his car to me after he picks me up from the train station. The car and a full tank of gas is pretty much at my disposal. Awesome! I always return it with at least three-quarters of a tank and try to leave him a couple of bucks to contribute to the refill, but that doesn't always happen.
The only drawback about having to rely on my dad's car when I go home is when it's not as available as I want it to be. There have been a few occasions when the stars align and somehow everyone needs to use their individual cars at my house, thus leaving me to beg for rides or sit around and wait for people to come back with cars so that I can leave. I look like a little lost kitten in the window, pawing at the glass, asking when I can go out to play.
There is nothing more demeaning at the age of 28 than begging your dad to borrow the car for the night. Usually when I say, "dad can I have the car, PLEASE," his automatic response is "where are you going?" followed by "what time will you be back?" I usually shuffle my feet and come up with a half-correct answer but then he'll sometimes say, "well if you don't want to tell me, then you can wait or I'll come with you." Most of the time it's okay if he comes with me (no I'm not going to the sex store or to cruise for guys) but when you're home and in a three bedroom house stuffed with people, I need me time alone and I don't want company. Plus why do I have to actually tell him. Come on, just give me the keys, it'll come back with me in one piece!
The other way I get the car when the stars align so unholy against me is if I take dad somewhere to meet his golf buddies on the weekends they spend the day at the course. Of course the drawback to this is that I have to take him to meet the guys at some ungodly hour of the morning on the weekend (around 5:30/6 a.m.) and promptly have to pick him up at 2:30/3 p.m. that afternoon when he's done. Sometimes that just seems like too much work so I spend time hiding in my house so that I don't get picked to do yard work or garden while he's gone. Thank goodness for Lulu and Wi-Fi at our house because they have kept my stepmom from finding me! Another benefit to being petite.
Ah to be 28 going on 16 again those weekends. I wonder what other painful teenage memories I can relive when I go home? Hopefully not the whole being-caught-by-your-parents-while-making-out-with-a-guy bit. No thank you.
Also, one week from today, from right now, I will be in San Francisco for BlogHer and I cannot wait! Counting down the days to California sun and bloggy goodness.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I laughed when I saw this note on my parent's oven Sunday night....
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I blame my caveman approach with guys, specifically when it comes to making out, on my first boyfriend, Peter (names have been changed to protect his identity). Peter was a great guy and I actually saw myself marrying him, but he was more of an "I don't want to disrespect you" kind of guy, which is sweet at first. And I was fine with the getting-to-know-you stuff and talking and whatever when we first met and started dating.