Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday is starting off so promisingly.

As far as Mondays go, yesterday was a tough one. The first day back after a long weekend is never easy. Add an underfed (as of late body), a poor night's sleep the night before and a truly annoying workday, and I am reaching for the bottle of wine before I can even BEGIN to tell P.I.C. about the day's annoyances. However, this quickly-cooling Tuesday morning has started out tremendously better.

While I did not get up for the gym this morning (AGAIN), I do not consider this a failure. I went to bed at a normal hour, I slept soundly, and after P.I.C. went to the gym (Go HIM!), I slept soundly for two more hours. I really needed it. It is amazing how much a good night's sleep can give you a new, better perspective on life. Also, P.I.C. woke me up with a cup of coffee. That always makes me smile first thing in the morning.

Additionally, vacation quickly approaches. Nothing wrong with that. Of course, I am stressed about getting everything done before I leave, but I did get an email that my hiking pants have arrived. Hooray! I shall pick those up today and be ready for hiking in Central America. Fingers crossed that I make it up and down the volcano in one piece, yes?

Tuesday also means GLEE day. Lucky for me, I have no plans for tonight so I can watch it live. That makes me extremely happy. That also means I can read Faux Trixie's and Amie's dueling Glee posts in a timely fashion tomorrow. That will make THEM happy. MERRY CHRISTMAS, LADIES!

Additionally, I awoke to a truly awesome youtube.com video from Miss Sass. People who know me, know that I love a good youtube.com video. On bad days, little else cheers me like a video of a cute animal just basking in its cuteness. Or a cat video. That too. I admit, I am a bit crazy cat lady, but this video is TOO GOOD not to share.

Most Awesome Video

Props to Miss Sass for uncovering this one. It is ALMOST as great as Cat vs Printer, the translation.

Additionally, I will be in and out of the office for the next two days traveling our lovely state, a task that always makes the week fly by a little bit faster.

Not even noon, and I'm still feeling pretty chipper. I'd say that's a fine Tuesday.

Friday, November 26, 2010


So, much discussion was had (on my part) about my Thanksgiving-day chore this year. You see, I was to make the turkey, arguably THE most important part of the Thanksgiving day feast. Of course, I will always make the argument that gravy trumps all, but for the NORMAL people, I believe that turkey is THE THING to eat. In any event, I had never made a whole turkey before yesterday. In fact, I was wholly unprepared for the DISGUSTING NAKED BIRD that popped out of its neat little packaging.

Okay, so I may have screamed when I had to pull the neck out of the bird's cavity. Sickness. So gross. I like to make meat when it doesn't look like it used to be an animal. True story. My most memorable thing that happened was this little interaction. I had heard a rumor that the giblets would be hiding in the bird. After I shrieked at the whole neck popping out, I realized: I had to go back in there and pull of the giblets (if any).

I took a deep breath and PLUNGED my hand into the wide hole. I found nothing. But then I was scared. I had read that if there were giblets in there and you did not remove them, the plastic bag containing them would melt and ruin not only the giblets, but the ENTIRE turkey. I could not risk that happening. Oooooh, P.I.C.

"You need to come here and stick your hand in the turkey. I want to make sure that there are no giblets in there. I kinda freaked out at the neck so I my feeling of the turkey's insides was very fast. Please double check for me."

P.I.C.: "I can't, I just put on hand lotion." (THIS IS FACTUAL. HE ACTUALLY SAID THIS.)

"DO IT before I SCREAM."

P.I.C. removed his sweater, his watch and rolled up his sleeves. At this point, the turkey was sitting in the sink after the neck extraction and looking all dead bird-like. He walks over to the turkey rather cautiously.

P.I.C. "Oh my GOD, F.A. You can just look down in the hole. There are NO giblets in there. See?"

Really? Oh. You CAN look down the turkey's hole. And nope, I don't see any giblets too. TURKEY IS GOOD TO COOK. Good thing P.I.C. was there to back me up, right?

I had been diligently watching the turkey experts on WGN Morning News all week, so I knew that the butterball lady had told me "NO BASTING." So I didn't. I had the oven preheated, I heaved the bird, named Tom, duh, onto the roasting pan, sprayed him with a little olive oil and put a light dusting of seasoning on him. Into the oven he went.

I had advised EVERYONE, "DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN FOR FOUR HOURS." I wanted that bird to have its own massive roasting area without disruption. See, I took the 1-800-Butterball lady very seriously. Of course, I did many random "turn the oven light on and check on if it looks good" passes.

After four and a half hours, Tom was done. Brown and beautiful. (I feel that you should make the trumpet noise in your head as you look at this photograph of my lovely first made turkey.

 If Tom could still speak, this is what he is saying in this photograph: "Hey. I USED TO be Tom. I might be beautiful and brown, but that's not gonna stop me from trying to fly away from this crazy motley crew of Thanksgiving celebrators in their eating pants."
It's beautiful right? It tasted as good as it looks, I promise. I was like a small child on Christmas who had just received the most lovely present in the world. Jumping up and down, I kept on saying "I DID IT, I DID IT!!!" (I have no capacity to act cool or calm in these situations. NONE.)

Luckily, my friend's stepdad was on hand to carve the big boy up. Despite my careful attention to Stephanie Izard's demonstration earlier that week, I was not about to butcher Tom. Nope. He cut all the bird up and it was marvelous. Only one thing: He pulled me aside and pointed to a small, rather beat looking paper bag. "F.A., the next time you cook a turkey, you can just pull these out." WHAT? Yes, kids, the giblets were STILL in the turkey. Oops. Luckily, they were in a PAPER bag, so cooking them inside the bird did not ruin anything. Something HAD to go wrong. I'm grateful that it wasn't anything serious.

On a sad note, the gravy? Not as great as I'd hoped. I suppose that I shall have to perfect that aspect of the meal.

Here's the spread:

Looks pretty good right? See that corn casserole? That's P.I.C.'s specialty. And it's DELICIOUS.

Everyone ate and I'm pretty sure everyone was happy. Please note that I did not make everything in the spread. Everyone had their share in the efforts, and not photographed was the marvelous salad with homemade dressing that was a part of the meal.

I love Thanksgiving.

As an aside note, TRADER JOE'S, really? You say "Make sure you pull out giblets, if any." How about you just TELL me that YES, there are GIBLETS in here. GET THEM OUT.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hey bandwagon, 'sup?

I cannot RESIST jumping on this "Things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving" bandwagon. I do enough griping about my first world problems, I appreciate any way to gain some perspective of my honestly pretty awesome life. I probably could spend my entire day coming up with things for which I am grateful, so I am narrowing it down to my top ten (well, top ten for today.) Without further ado, here is my version of that list.

1. I am so, so grateful that I have a family that is amazing. I don't see them nearly enough, but I know they are there for me throughout all thick and thin. I love you all.

2. On that same token (I almost just wrote toke...ooops!), I am grateful for my friends. They really are the family I get to see all the time. Whether they are friends I have had for a very long time, or newer friends, all have become an integral part (and there, I just typed party...no shock there) of my life.

3. To my P.I.C., you really do make my life better just by being in it. You put up with so much shenanigans because of me. I can't imagine life without you.

4. TURKEY and GRAVY. I don't even have to EXPLAIN that one. Both are awesome. Fingers crossed that I deliver the goods tomorrow.

5. I get a real vacation this year. Yep. I'm still bragging. Can't help it, but here it is. Not only do I have the opportunity to GO to a completely incredible place, I have the vacation days and a work that will allow me to take SEVEN DAYS (IN A ROW) away from work. Happiness.

6. Digital cameras make me happy. Photographs are my favorite way to capture memories since I seem to forget things quite often, so I take a lot of pictures. Digital cameras make that easier.

7. Oxford (my cat, not the city, although the city AND the university are pretty cool. How do you think my cat got his name?). He might puke and be a jerk most of the time and have a weird affinity for licking plastic bags, but he's a great pet and not one day passes where I don't say, "OMG, look at him. He's so cute."

8. My space heater at work. Seriously. Does it need to be FORTY degrees in here near round. My space heater makes me feel lovely. Oh yeah, and cuz it turns off when I kick it over, I know it's safe. (Please don't tell my bosses I have one. They would confiscate it, and that would make me sad. And cold.)

9. My naturally blond hair. I always have an excuse when I say something dumb. ALWAYS. (And, for what it's worth, shut up if you think that my attitude perpetuates the "dumb blond" stereotype. That is just dumb people. PERIOD.) My inherent laziness means I will not color my hair. I am grateful that it is a decent enough shade to not HAVE to color it. Yet.

10. This blog and my followers. Honestly, after a childhood and teenage years of writing every single thing down that happened in my life, I didn't write for a long time. Starting this blog (well, this incarnation of that) has been one of my most favorite things I have done in the past year or so. I'm grateful that I have this outlet to vent or just blab. I'm even more thankful that there are people who actually READ my inane drivel.


I wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two days til GRAVY day.

Oh, pardon me. THANKSGIVING. But allow me to be completely frank with you. For my entire life, I have had one very strong belief about the Thanksgiving holiday: Anything put on my plate is an excuse to eat more gravy. Gravy is truly the nectar of the gods in my tryptophan-soaked mind. Brown, luscious, covering the most mundane Stove Top of stuffings, gravy truly makes everything better.

I was spoiled growing up. You see, my grandma makes the world's best gravy. It is a proven truth. Much of my childhood was spent fighting Auntie Em for a first taste of Grandma's groovy gravy (oooh, I know how I shall market it if ever I have the chance!). She was determined that she was the "official gravy tester." I begged to differ. I suppose, given her seniority in the house, she was really the original official tester. (PLEASE NOTE, AUNTIE EM, I WILL NEVER ADMIT THIS TO YOUR FACE.)

Two Thanksgivings ago, I was charged with the task: make the gravy for the "Orphan" Thanksgiving my friends and I had assembled. (No, we are not all orphans, we just chose to stay in the city rather than traveling home for the holiday.) I called my grandma, listened to her instructions and took copious notes. Y'know what? It just wasn't the same. I was very sad. Last year, I don't even remember the gravy for the Thanksgiving feast I had prepared for myself and P.I.C. That can't be good.

This year, I have been charged with making the actual turkey for our "Functional Friend Thanksgiving Feast" (working title). Therefore, I shall try my hand at the gravy once again. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. Gravy can rectify just about anything. Dry turkey, canned cranberry sauce (OK, so this is my favorite) or stuffing, which I don't even like.

Please pray for me, and my friends. I want to give them a gravy...I mean, TURKEY, for which they can truly be thankful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Insomnia...my life and its first world problems.

My entire life, I have struggled with sleep. Bouts of insomnia made my teenage years nearly unbearable at times. I would lay in bed for hours, letting my thoughts wash over me. The events of each of my days would replay in my head as though I was watching a television show (albeit a very boring one. My teenage years were supremely tame.) I was afraid of the dark for the longest time. I would lay in bed paralyzed with fear that if I rolled over, surely a ghost would be there to greet me. Not a cute Casper ghost either, it would be one of those super-spooky apparitions that would likely make me die of fright from its very sight.

Tonight is yet another one of those nights. I'm not sure if it is the recent burglary that causes me stress, or the upcoming vacation that is not fully booked that makes me lay in bed unable to catch the hours of sleep I so desperately need. Perhaps it was the "meeting" we had today at work that despite me knowing that I haven't screwed anything up, made me feel stressed as though I was going to screw something up. Inevitable, right?

So here, I sit, well past my bedtime. I am fretting. Not from the non-Casper ghost (although I sure am glad I conjured up THAT memory), but from my life. My silly, first world problem-riddled life that causes me anxiety. After putting this all down in print, I realize how silly my perceived problems are. Perhaps now I can go to sleep.

Sigh. Don't cry for me, Argentina. I will be in Panama in T minus sixteen days. It's not South America, but it is close enough. I have a feeling that nine days in warmer climates with a fabulous hike and a few days on the beach will be just what I need to recharge my tired battery. I mean, it has been five and a half years since my last vacation.

What did I tell ya? Nothing but first world problems.

Hilarity ensues in suburban county courthouses.

Any attorney in the Chicago-land area knows the drill for getting into the courthouses. Some have special cards by which you can bypass security and metal detectors. Some counties are stricter and have even more special cards that you have to pay for above and beyond your annual registration fee for your bar card.

One of my old coworkers (and P.I.C.'s current coworker), we like to call her "Hi guys, crazy eyes," had a really hilarious (well, to all of us) experience in one of the counties where they make all attorneys go through the metal detectors. Read the following email.

Apparently it is a security risk to wear a bra going through the security. I was stopped, wanded and patted down before the officer publicly announced that my bra strap was setting off the alarm. I would like to add that I remained professional and cooperative though I was embarrassed, unlike the "don't touch my junk" guy who freaking out in the airport and made the news. :)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, lawyers are subject to nasty scrutiny just like the laypeople in the courthouse. Apparently bra straps are a security problem. Good to know. Next time I go to that county, I'm going SANS bra. (No. I'm not. That's really not my style.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another kind of home intruder.

I am so very grateful for all of the kind words from everyone regarding our recent burglary. Slowly, but surely, we are starting to feel back to normal in the Awkward household.

Wednesday night, we were invited over for a lovely dinner party by the fabulous Amelie and her husband. Honestly, the dinner with friends was just the ticket to have a little fun, good conversation and lots of wine. The burglary was put on the back burner, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We returned home, happy, well-fed and in a much better mood than when we had left. We also returned home to a new "friend" on our porch.

He looked like this guy. Only not on a computer.
(But I couldn't resist this photo.)

Oh yes. A little cat was waiting for us on the porch. He was not one of the neighborhood alley cats. I had never seen him before. Furthermore, he was completely friendly. From the moment we walked up to the cat, he wanted two things: (1) For me to pet him and (2) to come inside our home. However, we already have a cat that we adore very greatly. Furthermore, both P.I.C. and I are allergic to the short-haired domestic cats. (I can't make sense of it either, but our red, itchy eyes and sneeziness prove this to be the case when we are around this type of cat.) Having a sleepover with a strange gray cat was just not acceptable.

I tried to woo him away with some food. He wanted none of that. He only wanted my love and affection. Oh, and my warm and cozy apartment. Clearly, he wanted that too. Every time I opened the back door, he'd BOLT through the door. P.I.C. had to form a human shield to keep him out. I sat on the porch in the cold night, getting misted on by some sort of precipitation, and pet the stranger for a little while. Why not? Despite the sneezes I could feel welling up inside of me, an affectionate animal is one thing I am powerless against. He was so damn full of snuggles. I could hear Oxford inside meowing at me to COME INSIDE. STOP PETTING STRANGE CATS, MOM.

Since it was obvious that getting in the backdoor sans intruding cat was not going to be an option, I came up with a plan. I would walk around the side of the house to the front door and attempt to "lose" him. Of course, the moment I started walking away, this cat started following me. He stopped, but then I felt so guilty. It was cold and damp. I am fairly certain that he was someone's cat because of his sweet nature and friendly personality. I hope he made it home. Well, I either hope he made it home or found someone like me who didn't have my allergies.


Stupid allergies.

(Thanks to http://virusdefeat.com/?page_id=58 for the funny cat picture.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Things I'm glad he didn't steal.

I moved to Chicago in the fall of 2000. It is the fall of 2010 and it (finally?!) happened: We were burgled. Yep. Yesterday, as P.I.C. and I were off putting bread on our table, some jackass found it necessary to shimmy through our front window and steal our shit.

We called the police, they sent a guy to dust for fingerprints and then were left to survey the real damage and determine what else was missing, aside from the obvious.

In an attempt to refrain from crying over the certain irreplaceable things they took, I am going to tell you all of the things I am grateful he DID NOT steal.

1. Oxford. One thing is for certain, he sucks at being a guard cat. The truth is, however, had something happened to him, I would have been devastated. I mean, look at this face:

Hi burglar. Want to pet me????

2. The coffee maker (and grinder). Because, as our burglar quickly discovered, we are the epitome of a young urban professional household and we love our Cuisinart.

3. The current pile of non-perishables I have been amassing for Daisy, JD's Comments for Cans drive. (Upon visiting her site, it looks as though I need to hit up the store for some more cans.)

4. Sex and the City. So, apparently the burglar loved P.I.C.'s brand new xbox 360 and all of his games as well as Mission Impossible (One AND Two, but not Three), but they had no interest in my collection of Sex and the City DVDs. My inner Nancy Drew tells me our burglar was definitely a dude. (Not to worry, I did inform the police officers of this deduction.)

5. Our passports. We can still go on vacation, guys! Yay!

6. The booze. Because on thing is for certain, after finding out that someone broke into your home, you definitely need a drink. Word to that noise.

We are also grateful that our friends and family (and the Internet universe...those people on twitter that follow me and I have never met...) had such kind words and are sending good vibes our way. We will get through this.

So, to my friends and family reading this: Thank you.

To the guy who broke into our apartment yesterday: Fuck you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The house is warm.

The other day, P.I.C. says to me, "You need to have a reason to make those Swedish meatballs. Those are delicious. I crave them."

So I figure, LET'S HAVE A HOUSE-WARMING PARTY! We threw together a small gathering with some of our favorite friends (well, those that can hustle together on short notice) and had a wicked* good par-tay.

Turns out, "occasion for meatballs" just meant I should make them while we watch football on a Sunday. However, it is my personal belief that house-warming parties are way more fun.

Welcome to my life. One big fiesta.

The truth is, I look for nearly any reason to have a party. I love to make fun party foods. I love to have people over. This party was no exception. I got to make people martinis. While I do not LIKE dirty martinis, I love to make them. Shaking the cocktail shaker is one of my life's simplest pleasures. If you're my friend, odds are good, I will shake something up for you and serve it in a triangle-shaped glass. Dirty martini? You got it. How about my newest special sensation of a drink: Vodka plus cranberry juice plus pineapple juice. I call it "sunshine in glass." I also call it "Five-Oh." You know, like Hawaii Five-0? (I'm SO SMART.)

I am eating chips and salsa for "breakfast" at 1:00 p.m. P.I.C. brought me Coke in bed. WITH a bendy straw. I got up and had coffee with my Coke. And we watched The Hangover. Appropriate, yes? There is ONE clean glass in our entire apartment. I think the party was a success.

* For any folks from Boston reading this, do not be shaking your head thinking..."Oh no, she did NOT just say wicked! Midwestern girls cannot say that." Yes I can. And I will. Suck it, potential judgmental Boston readers. I am wicked awesome. It's a fact. WICKED.

Friday, November 12, 2010


So, I'm sure you all think I am funny. Duh. I'm hilarious. Naturally, that means that I have equally funny friends. Today, I received an email from a dear friend, Ginger. It was too hilarious not to share. With her permission, she gets to be my very first guest post on this blog.

Dear The Nest,
I am no longer nesting, as I am no longer married.  Why do you not allow me to unsubscribe from your mailing list?  I've entered my email address and clicked "unsubscribe" several times so your article today on "Your Couple Sleep Style- Decoded" was a little hurtful.  As was the one about "20 Great Dinners to Cook Together" and "How do You Know When You're Ready For a Baby?"  
Not to mention, your evil big sister, The Knot, apparently did not get the memo that I got married on May 30, 2009, not EVERY year on May 30th.  So please also let her know I am not looking for any romantic honeymoon getaways this year, and she can stop sending those emails.  Today she taunted me by letting me know that there were "199 days left until my big day!"  So unless she is planning an AWESOME surprise for me on May 30th, 2011, please tell her to back off, mmmk?
Suck it.

Hey Ginger? Don't be a stranger in these parts. You can guest post anytime.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yo tengo mucho crabbiness.

You ever have those days when you are at work, walking down the hall to check your mailbox, and all of a sudden you get an incredible urge to PUNCH a box that is off to the side? No? That's just me?


In any event, I have nothing substantive to say today. NADA. (You will also notice that I am incorporating some Español into my vocabulary. Turns out I'm not so great at the speaking of Spanish. I'm trying to remedy that before I go to Panama.) I have, however, compiled a list of things that are bugging me today. LUCKY YOU GUYS.

1. TRAVEL EXPENSES. Why won't you pay me timely, work? Please? I mean, I really love driving all over for you guys, but come on. You make me so very sad.

2. Ice cube trays. P.I.C., did you really need to leave ALL FOUR TRAYS on the kitchen counter this morning? That is the chore I hate almost as much as I hate taking out the trash. (It's OK, I forgive you because you made me breakfast.)

3. WORK. Why is it so annoying day after day? Is there NO ONE on this earth who would like to finance my life of watching youtube videos and eating microwave popcorn from the comfort of my couch? NO ONE?

4. Diet. Why do I have to watch my calories? WHY? I want immediate results while I can still eat chips and skip running/

5. Exercise. Jackie Warner, my arms STILL hurt today. That workout was only fifteen minutes. Now not only do I not have a fully functional upper body, I feel like a total and complete wimp. I hate you so much right now. Also, why is it that I cannot seem to run any faster than twelve minutes per mile? I just don't get it. (And if you say it's because I will run for a week then skip three weeks, your fate is like that of the boxes in my office hallway. Consider yourself PUNCHED.)

6. Hump day. Please do not say these two words to me. They annoy me. In fact, don't ever use the word hump in my presence. I hate it.

7. Daylight savings. I mean, I really love when I leave work and it feels like the middle of the night. (I used my sarcasm font there. Did you see?)

8. No coffee delivery. Why, oh why, can't Dunkin Donuts just deliver me coffee to my office. For free. Preferably the pumpkin coffee. Oh, and WHY isn't that just delicious brewed coffee? We just found out it's a syrup that makes it so pumpkin-y and good? Hidden calories SUCK.

9. This current warm weather. SERIOUSLY? Mother Nature is gonna make some absolutely GORGEOUS days during the week then have it turn cold again for the weekend. Awesome. Really awesome.

10. DRIVE-BYS. Come on. I decided to go for a run on my usual route yesterday. TEN MINUTE after I had ran by a rather busy intersection (in broad daylight, I might add), there was a drive-by shooting. Now everyone is telling me I live in a dangerous neighborhood. I hate that. Violence happens in the nice neighborhoods too. Suck it. (And to whomever I need to thank for keeping me out of that particular cross-fire, THANK YOU. I love not being shot.)

11. Followers. SERIOUSLY. I have been stuck at thirty-three followers for awhile now. Don't you people love me enough to follow me? I feel such a small level of validation, and MY NARCISSISM MUST BE FED. But anyhow, I'm funny most of the time, and only occasionally make glaring typos or grammatical errors. Follow me. It's good for you. I know you people read me. SO FOLLOW ME TOO, DAMMIT.

And that, my friends, is the state of my Wednesday. CRAB-TASTIC.

(Sorry for all the caps and the shouting. It just felt right. And this is my blog. I can do what I want.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Busted by the shoe police.

Cohabitation has been going pretty well. Our schedules are just different enough that we don't get into each other's way during morning rituals. Sharing one bathroom is not as tragic as I had imagined, aside from the rare occasion when P.I.C. forgets to put the toilet seat down and I yell, "P.I.C.!" He always knows why.

Truthfully, he is an excellent roommate. We have adjusted to claim our own chores. For example, he makes the coffee in the morning and I clean out the filter and wash the pot before I leave. He takes out the trash. Well, that's because I almost refuse to do it. (WHAT? I'm lazy! And it's heavy. He should feel all sorts of MANLY that I let him do that.) Oh, and I clean the cat's box. Cuz technically Oxford is my cat. Although he seems to like P.I.C. better. Traitor.

He even puts up with my slightly messy disposition. But about once a week, we do a thorough house clean (picking up the respective rooms, dusting, sweeping, etc.) It's good because I get to leave my business strewn about for several days, then it doesn't seem as though he is nagging me. However. He has figured out the reason why I have never owned a coffee table.

I have always had an issue of taking off my shoes and just leaving them in the living room area. I remember my dad complaining about how I always left my shoes around. There were times when I lived alone and I counted EIGHT pairs of shoes in my living room. Well, now we have a coffee table. I have discovered that it's quite convenient for me to slip my shoes off when I want to put my feet off. Inadvertently, I end up kicking the shoes under the coffee table.

Well, this weekend, it was time for our weekly "pick up the house" routine. I was out and about on Saturday, so he did a bit on his own. I walked into our bedroom and noticed this massive pile of shoes. I was confused, because I knew that I hadn't left those shoes in the middle of our bedroom floor. We were chatting and he mentioned that he'd begun picking up. We then had the following conversation:

P.I.C.: I see why you never owned a coffee table. (Imagine this in a rather snide tone.)
F.A.: Um, cuz I always had small apartments? (Still clueless.)
P.I.C.: No. Because you HIDE YOUR SHOES under there.
F.A.: What? I DO NOT.
P.I.C.: Oh, you mean to tell me you completely missed that pile of shoes in your bedroom.


F.A.: Aha! You admit that it's MY bedroom.
P.I.C.: Stop changing the subject. You hide your shoes under the coffee table, ADMIT IT.


F.A.: COME ON. You knew I had a problem with putting my shoes away LONG before we moved in together. KNOCK IT OFF. What are you, the SHOE POLICE???

At this point, we both start laughing.

The moral of this story? While I might have a problem putting away my shoes, the bedroom with the actual bed in it is mine. He'd better toe the line or else I will make him go sleep in his (bedless) room.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pay it Forward...Comments for cans this Holiday Season

November is upon us, and the stores are inundated with Christmas cheer already. While I am a huge Christmas fan, I always feel that Thanksgiving gets the shaft. Who wouldn't want to celebrate a holiday that ENCOURAGES over-eating and napping? That is neither here, nor there, I suppose.

In any event, when Thanksgiving is on the horizon, I am reminded that I am pretty fortunate in my life. I have a roof over my head, a working furnace and plenty of food in my fridge. I am also reminded that there are people not so lucky or so fortunate. It is in this vein that I got on board with this Comments for Cans idea.

One of the blogs that I enjoy reading is that of Daisy. She is silly, smart and has the most adorable puppy that occasionally steals the show over at her site. Additionally, although I have not met her in real life, she seems to be a genuinely nice person. The other day, she wrote this post about something nice she did for a coworker and how powerful the concept of paying it forward can be. Karma and all that jazz, you know. She made a  pledge: For each comment she got on that entry, she would donate a can to our local Chicago food bank. Naturally, since she's a nice person, she attracts some nice followers. Several of us have committed to match her donation to not only the Chicago Food Depository, but others around the country as well. Of course, I love when opportunities present themselves for me to do something good, so I jumped on board. (Special thank you to Daisy for making it easy for all of us to jump on board!)

So please, visit Daisy's blog and leave a comment. Help us stock food banks across the country with food for those who are less fortunate this season.

Friday, November 5, 2010

P.I.C. seems to be ashamed of me.

I have come to a serious conclusion this very chilly November morning: P.I.C. is fully ashamed of me. Why? I know. I wondered the same question. By all accounts, I am a pretty awesome chick. (Well. By my OWN account. I just figure everyone agrees, duh.) So why could be possibly be embarrassed of dating such a fully awesome girl? I suppose you need to know (part of) the full story in order to understand.

You see, P.I.C. and I met through a mutual friend. Alright, he wasn't a friend, he was my ex-boyfriend. This ex-boyfriend was a complete jagoff by all accounts. (And I feel that this is a pretty universal statement. The guy sucked.) P.I.C. and I were friendly. He got me my last job at his office. We became good friends. I later broke up with the ex-boyfriend. So did P.I.C. It turned out that he was just as bad of a friend as he was a boyfriend.
One day after the break-up, P.I.C. kissed me. (This is a disputed fact. He says I kissed him. I say otherwise. But this is my blog and my story. HE KISSED ME.) We started dating awhile after that. The snag? We worked together. While we knew we weren't in a volatile relationship, we did not want our bosses to think that the relationship would affect our job. I am fairly certain that we were transparent after awhile. But we both maintained the facade.

Eventually, I moved onto greener pastures, also known as the office building across the street. I got a new job. We no longer worked together. The whole "we can't tell anyone we are dating because we work together stigma" was gone. For a Christmas gift, I framed a lovely photo of the two of us and told him it was for "when you want to come out of the closet." This was Christmas 2009. That photograph now sits on the dresser in his room. In our apartment. Yes, it is true. We live together, and he still attempts to hide the fact that we are dating from his bosses.

It is not that he hasn't had the opportunity to confess our relationship to his bosses. In fact, he told me that last night, he was having drinks with his boss. His boss asked him, "Well, who are you going to Panama with?" Um. Yeah. Guess it's not with me. I may have deemed him a pathalogical liar this morning upon hearing this latest stupid opportunity wasted.

The ONLY conclusion is that he is embarrassed to have me as his girlfriend. Well, that or he really likes messing with people. I did already know that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Perhaps my title reminds you of this little diddy. Maybe it doesn't. That is not importante. Why am I using a little bit of my Español in this post? Well, I have big news, readers! I am going on vacation. Yes, a real, "take more than a week off from work" vacation. I need my passport to get there. It's all very exciting right now. P.I.C. and I just bought our tickets and now are working out the details for the specifics.

For now, here are some of the highlights on our agenda.

Of course, we will be checking out the Panama Canal:

We also plan on spending a few days in Boquete. During that part of our trip, we intend to embark on a hiking trip to the top of Volcan Baru, the highest volcano in Panama. Allegedly, on a clear day from the summit, you can see both the Pacific Ocean to one side as well as the Carribbean to the other.

Hilarity should ensue becuase we will be camping. P.I.C. and I are not really campers, but we feel like this will be an amazing way to experience the highlands as well as the beautiful nature of this region of Panama.

After a two day hike and hopefully touring a coffee factory (the coffee from this region is supposed to be amazing), we are going to be beach bums for a few days.

Doesn't that just scream serenity? I hope so. This will be our last stop before we head home to what most certainly will be snowy and unpleasant climes in Chicago.

Has anyone traveled to Panama recently? I would love to hear travel tales or suggestions.

(CONFESSION: The main point of this blog post was to make you all insanely jealous that we are traveling to Central America in FIVE WEEKS. A secondary point was to get that Van Halen song stuck in your head. How successful was I in both of those endeavors?)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What would YOU do?

Yesterday I spent my day trolling the various precincts in a ward on the near west side of Chicago. Election duty is fun, and it is truly a great way to be a part of the democratic process. It is great to see fellow citizens in my community out and exercising their civic duty by voting. However, I don't want to talk about politics. I want to pose a hypothetical scenario and get some feedback.

Say you are walking back to the passenger side of a car. You look down and spy a $20 bill, folded and resting in the gutter on top of some dirty leaves. No one is nearby. You certainly didn't notice it when you had gotten out of the car, but there it was, just laying there.

Do you:
(a) Leave it on the ground?
(b) Pick it up and walk up and down the sidewalk asking anyone you pass, "Excuse me, did you drop $20?"
(c) Pick it up and keep it, using it for a bottle of wine post-election duty?

Look at me, just laying here on the ground. No owner. No one to spend me. Won't you pick me up and take me to someplace real nice?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November promises to be a very smart month.

How can it not? I mean, I started it off right by having a piece in The Smartly.

Check it out, and leave me some love.

I love to be called Smart(ly).

Drop a comment if you feel so inclined. Thank you for reading!