Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I have learned in my twenties.

My birthday is two weeks from yesterday. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I shall be turning the age of thirty. 3-0. Some days I am fine with it. Other days, I begin to have a massive panic attack. (For whatever reason, this usually happens when I sit in the McHenry County Courthouse. I'm not sure if it is because of all of the farms on my scenic drive from the city to there, or just the fact that I have to wait over an hour for my case to be called and my mind wanders.) Of course, I'm not where I thought would be at twenty-nine. Face it, most people aren't. However, for your reading pleasure, I have decided to compile a list of some of the things I have learned in my twenties. Why not, right?

1. Do not lend money to anyone. You will not get it back. Trust me on this one. Not even boyfriends. CORRECTION: Especially not boyfriends.

2. Start working out. Get in the habit early. If you wait for your metabolism to slow as you creep out of your twenties without working out, it will be so very challenging to get into it.

3. Only date people that you really like and that really like you back. I was able to recover a couple of years ago and realize the value in that one. Trust me. Your life is so much better when you can have fun with the person you are dating. (Conversely, I have realized how dating the wrong person can make you a miserable person in all aspects of your life.)

4. Learn that sometimes friends grow apart and don't beat yourself up about it. As you grow up, you learn more about yourself and the kinds of people around which you'd like to spend your time. Let those who don't make you happy fall off the grid. And those that you do love? Hold onto them fiercely. Don't forget to tell them you love them.

5. Get a hobby. Odds are good that your job will be something to fund your life, not your lifelong passion. That's OK, I think. Just make sure you have an activity that makes you happy, something about which you feel passionate. I think that makes "working for the weekend" A-OK. Plus it makes you a more well-rounded person.

6. You really don't have to wash your hair every day. This is a rather recent discovery I have made. Certainly, I am wondering how many hours of my life I have spent washing my hair when I didn't really need it. Bobby pins and dry shampoo (or baby powder in a pinch) work magic.


So I really wanted to have a list of ten. But at this moment, I am having trouble coming up with more than six important things I have learned in my twenties. I guess these means I am not ready to turn thirty. Oh well. Guess I'll stay twenty-nine.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheese and w(h)ine.

Confession time: I am almost a control freak. I honestly don't know how you can become a lawyer without having some semblance of a need for control. So there is that. Combine my borderline Type A personality with the desire to plan things and you have near disaster, right?


Another related confession: I like the accolades when I plan and execute something well. Why else do you think I spent $75 on items for Bloody Marys for a brunch party? Answer: Because I knew that I could knock that drink out of the park and everyone would be impressed. (Um, and I did. I make the best Bloody Marys. A starter recipe from my former bartender brother and tweaking by yours truly means seriously good drinks. Seriously. Celery salt is key.)

So now you have a greater insight as to the inner workings of my mind. Imagine me, one who likes control, planning a multi-faceted party with both theme and location changes. Imagine the fact that I have delegated certain responsibilities to others because they want to help. (Face it, having a full time job means I need help.) Now imagine that I keep getting calls from the concerned guest of honor regarding tangential issues. And also, I have to drive two hours away to argue a big motion in court tomorrow. On the record. Did I mention that it's a Motion to Reconsider? (For all the non-lawyer readers, that means I have to go argue something that I have already lost.)

Don't get me wrong: I adore planning. Mostly because of confession number two. I can generally put together a good time for all attendees. But in addition to party planning responsibilities, I am stressed at work, stressed due to financial reasons, stressed because I feel as though I just don't have time to breathe, I feel a little crazy. Why else would I only be able to mutter the word "loca" in my Spanish class tonight?

This is why I am eating cold cheese curds with a glass of wine for dinner. Although, perhaps this was the most sane decision of my day.

I have such first world problems. I know this.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Let me preface this by saying that I love football. When I first became a cheerleader many moons ago, I realized that I would have to learn a little bit about the sport. I mean, I couldn't very well stand on the track and yell, "FIRST. AND TEN. FIRST DOWN. DO IT AGAIN!" when I had no idea about the concept of the down system. That just wouldn't do. Therefore, to learn about the sport, I would sit down with my dad on Saturdays and Sundays and have him explain the game to me. I know how the game works and I know a lot of the rules. Trust me, if I didn't like it, I never would have attempted to learn more about it. That's just how I roll.

I know almost as much as Molly from Wildcats. (Football.)

To add to my football love, I dated football players as a younger girl. (I know, my entire high school life was a living cliche. In my defense, I was one of the nerdy cheerleaders who took almost entirely Advanced Placement courses.) In high school, my autumn Friday nights were always spent on the track, cheering on my team (and sometimes my boyfriend). In college, I continued to date a football player, so my Saturdays involved traveling around various Midwestern states to cheer for his team. Of course, we were both attending tiny little liberal arts colleges with smaller stadia than those of our high school years. I was generally with the parents, so there was not heavy tailgating involved. There were no massive crowds in one color singing an alma mater after the game or singing fight songs at each touchdown. (I mean, they DID play "Welcome to the Jungle" at the opening kickoff. That counts for something, right?) My college didn't even have a football team. This means on Saturdays in the fall, I don't really have a team to support. Of course, I have been known to glom onto whichever team the guy I am dating supports. (This makes for a fun activity post break-up. You know, the inevitable donation of that school's girl-sized jersey to the Salvation Army.)

So when the entire city of Chicago decides to jersey up, don their alma mater's colors, and drink beer during the day out of colossal plastic mugs, I don't really have any place to go. Of course, my friends like to try to adopt me for their team. "Heyyyy, F.A., since you don't have a team, why don't you come support OUR team." Sometimes I go along with it. A small part of me wonders if I missed out on a quintessential college experience by not attending a large school with a giant football team. I don't have that kind of allegiance to school whose biggest sport was men's volleyball. Seriously. I mean, I could root for Notre Dame because I love love LOVE the movie Rudy. Or I could root for Michigan for my dad. I could even root for Illinois since it is my state. Or Wisconsin because that's where my cousins went to school. So many choices. I have chosen not to choose.

I mean, I DO have a football team. I was born and raised a Chicago Bears fan (oh yes, I was one of those young tykes singing the Super Bowl Shuffle) to the dismay of my mom's family. They are all Green Bay Packers fans. My respective grandparents would have "dressing wars" with me as a baby to style me in either blue and orange or green and gold. Illinois grandparents (and my actual state of residence) won out. Chicago Bears were my team, through and through. So when falls around, I cheer "Bear Down!" with all my pals on Sundays (sometimes Mondays). And the Bears even have their OWN song. So in my mind, it's almost as good as having a college team. I know, many of my friends with their Big Ten schools might argue with me. A certain ex-boyfriend would probably tell me how stupid I am to compare the Bears-Packers rivalry to the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. To him, I would say, "GO BLUE."

Since there are no do-overs in life, I will just have to live with being a "whatever" college supporter on Saturdays and a Bears fan. Nothing wrong with that. In conclusion, I'd like to leave you with a really nice song about football. (Football.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wacky dreams

I tend to have very odd dreams. For example, last night I dreamed that I broke one of my teeth. That's not too weird, right? Well, turns out, my tooth was broken, and P.I.C. was trying to help my find a place to put it. Only we weren't in our home. We were in someone else's home. He tried to get me to put it on this big fancy plate. I yelled at him, "I cannot put my chunk of tooth on a big fancy plate. I need tupperware. Find me tupperware." At this point, he started yelling back, "The tupperware is all in use. All of it." Then he proceeded to dump the contents of several tupperware containers to show me that they were in use. Furthermore, wherever we were was in the same building as my dentist, so I was trying to just walk up to the dentist's office, which I was told was not allowed. Only that building was not where my dentist really is.

 I woke up in a panic, thinking I was going to have to make an appointment with my dentist. Good news, though. All teeth remain intact!

Honestly, I usually remember my dreams, they are almost always really bizarre like the above scenario, and about half the time I can relate the subject to things going on in my life. For example, the other night, I had a panicky dream about my upcoming friend's bachelorette party that I am hosting in my house. It was 8:30 p.m., the food was just arriving (when it was supposed to have arrived at 5:00 p.m.), none of the important guests were there which meant that there was nothing in my fridge besides juice boxes. Um. OK. I don't drink juice. And if there is anything in boxed form in my fridge, it's wine. Just kidding. I don't really drink Franzia. I'm too classy for that. (Alright, so I might on occasion, but I'm not about to brag about it. And I am not nearly as classy as I pretend to be. I promise you that.) But the serious issue was: There was NO WINE at the party. What a disaster! Did I mention that this tragic party was occurring in some other place, not my home?

Of course, I had to wake up and immediately check my fridge.

Whew. My beer was still there. OUR beer, I mean.
A bachelorette party without wine or beer? That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Truly. And I would be embarrassed to have played a role in that party. Good thing it was all a dream, right?

Is it wrong to admit that I wrote this posting for the sole reason to show off my serious stash of New Glarus beer? I think a hipster might seriously CUT me for this beer. Or try to cut me. Cuz face it, hipsters aren't quite that fierce.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things that are inappropriate in an office setting.

Often times, I will sit at work, attempting to read through a brief or write my own brief, and I will be rudely interrupted by an odd noise.




Yes. That, my friends is the sound of someone clipping their frickin' fingernails at work. What is sad is that I hear it about once a week. Of course, this prompted me to think, "What else happens at work that really annoys me and I find highly inappropriate?"
NUMBER ONE: (Obviously) Clipping nails at work. I may get a file out now and again to smooth a rough edge, but a five minute clip job? Save that for your home, preferably the bathroom of your own home. I find it absolutely nasty. The sudden presence of a "clip clip" in the office makes me obsessed to find out the nasty individual doing it. STOP.
NUMBER TWO: Flip-flops in the office. All day long in the summer, I hear the "THWACK THWACK" of flip-flops back and forth in the hallway. I find this intriguing in that these plastic numbers are forbidden in our dress code. Yes some people believe that so long as they are not the rubber numbers you might wear to the pool, i.e. "These are my 'dressy flip-flops,'" that these are acceptable choices for footwear. I beg to differ. That noise all day long is agonizing. (Don't judge me for wearing them to and from the office in the summer. Rest assured that I change once I get into the office.)
NUMBER THREE: Play B96 at your cubicle. I must admit, I turn that station on occasionally when I'm in the car if I want to have a car dance party. But when I'm walking down the hall to check my mail, the last thing I want to hear is Katy Perry talking about her skin-tight jeans. It makes me feel uncomfortable seeing the 40 and 50-something support staff listening to this all day long. And I have a (not so) irrational fear that I will break out in dance. That is never acceptable. So stop putting that fear in my life. Unless you want to see my sweet white girl moves. Then proceed.
I am certain I have more. I might be one of the most irritable beings on the planet. I may have to edit this later to include more behavior that I have deemed inappropriate.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Interrogations from a seven year-old.

Perhaps it is not shocking for me to inform you that the kids in my family tend to be smart. Ya know, because it is so very clear that I am very smart. (The fact that I had to point that out means that I am worried that you all have not picked up on that.) I am the oldest of thirteen cousins on my mom's side of the family. Therefore I get a kick out of spending time with my younger cousins.

While P.I.C. got a lecture as to the better video games for which he should "save up," one of my seven-year old cousins put the screws to me and P.I.C. about our relationship.

Cuz: "Do you guys love each other?"
F.A.: "Yes."
Cuz: "Are you guys maaaaarrrried?"
F.A.: "No."
Cuz: "Why noooooot?"

Silence. (Yeah, P.I.C. Why nooooot?)

Cuz: "Well, are you guys boyfriend-girlfriend?"
F.A.: "Yes."
AT THE SAME TIME, P.I.C. responds: "Well, I guess that depends on what you call 'boyfriend-girlfriend.'" (I believe that air-quotes were involved.)

Well. I think we all figured out the reason that P.I.C. and I are not married.

DISCLAIMER: This is in no way a bitter entry about how I am always the bridesmaid and never the bride. (Even though I am.) This is just to highlight my cousins' hilarity. It runs in the family, clearly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spotted: fabulously awkward street performer.

Actually, I am not sure you can call him a street performer if he is doing his thang in the subway station. Anyone? Well, he was performing. Namely to the tune of "Independent Women Part I" by Destiny's Child. (On that note, does anyone know if Destiny's Child ever come out with an "Independent Women Part II?" Or was Beyonce doing her own thang considered a symbolic "Independent Women Part II?" See. I'm DEEP.)

Back to the performer. I trudged down the stairs to the subway station today, slightly brain dead after a long deposition. I noticed a man down there starting his boom box (pretty sure it wasn't a fancy stereo system.) The tune? The instrumental version of "Independent Women Part I." Only he wasn't singing about his girl Drew, Lucy Liu or Cameron Diaz. Nope. He was singing his devotion, or rather "obsession" (he used that word, NOT me) with Beyonce Knowles. Oh yes. The entire song was made a tribute to not only Beyonce, but also to the fact that she was going to buy him all sorts of things. I believe he said something about an Xbox.

The kicker? He was using a stuffed tiger as a prop. The tiger wasn't life-size, but it definitely was a large stuffed animal. The stuffed tiger had a chain around it. He proceeded to dance down the center of the subway platform with this tiger, using it as a prop to emphasize his words. This fit with his lyrics because he discussed how he was like a tiger and Beyonce told him to be gentle. He also referred to her buying him things such as "Hennessy and a bag of ice and a large order of shrimp fried rice." (Hey, he's got rhyming skills, clearly.)

Maybe he wasn't a street performer. But he was definitely performing. It was highly awkward. I think the tiger gave him the fabulous edge.

(Also, you may wonder why I keep using "thang" instead of "thing." It makes me feel a little sassy. Deal with it. I do my thang, you do yours. Even if you call it a thing.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Word on the street is that other people think I'm smart(ly).

Hi friends. I am very thrilled to report to you on this lovely Monday morning (what?? I used the sarcasm font!) that my very first piece is up on

Oh. I didn't mention that I was writing for another website? Well, now you know. Please head there, read it, and leave me some comment love if you have a few moments. I am thrilled to be a part of this website (and called a "writer") and am even more thrilled that people are interested in reading about my silly life.

Now that you've checked it out once, I recommend that you check back on a daily basis. Each day there is a new, fresh piece from some truly terrific writers that I admire greatly. I also want to say thank you so very much to each of you that follow me via this blog. Knowing that someone is reading my words makes it so much more fun for me to write, and way more likely that I will write on a regular basis.

So, yeah. For me it is a lovely Monday morning. (This time, no sarcasm.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An ill-fated trip to the laundromat.

Two weeks into cohabitation, the world is fine. Well, aside from our Internet provider being the sole jerk of our utility experience. On that note, SERIOUSLY? P.I.C. attempted to sign up for this service a week before we moved. It has been botched every single way it could be botched, including in an hour and a half phone conversation this morning rendering P.I.C. over an hour late to work and none-too-pleased. It also screwed up other plans that made me near tears.

Shaking it off. Shaking it off. Shaking it...

OH! There is one other event that has occurred in our lives since we moved in together. Our first trip to the laundromat. We do have one washer and one dryer in our building, but when you have a household in which both parties own and wear a lot of clothes, sharing one washer and dryer on laundry night just doesn't cut it. Fortunately, or so we thought, we live about a half of a block from a laundromat. I have been to laundromats in the past and found them a rather good place to get laundry done. Yes, it is annoying to leave the comfort of your own home, but getting five loads of laundry done in less than two hours is worth it sometimes.

So earlier this week, we packed up our three weeks or so worth of laundry and drove through the alley for laundry night. We were pleased when we first walked into the place. There were tons of washing machines and tons of dryers. We both proceed to load up our clothes and let the washers go for it. Here is my inner monologue at first, "Clean clothes, here we come! Oh boy, FREE dryers. Can't wait to save my quarters THERE. Oh, and there's Glee on the television. Even better! Time for me to siiiing."

But then, during a commercial break, I began to take stock of my surroundings. The entire wall of thirty-four dryers was chugging away. Upon further inspection, it was one family using the entire bunch of dryers. The dryers would run for ten minutes, then you had to go push the button again. For my entire wash cycle, I watched the dryers turn off, then one of the mom's three accompanying children go push them all on again without checking whether the clothes were dry. Over. And over. And over again. The brow became furrowed and I started to get crabby.

Then I noticed a crazy lady that muttered to herself then repeatedly filled an empty laundry soap container with water and proceeded to dumb container after container of water into her currently-running washing machine. Creepy. Each time she walked back with her water, she'd mutter something like, "They need more water. water. water." I later realized that there were more dryers in the place, so I investigated this situation. Turns out, there were two more families (with at least three children each) that were doing massive amounts of laundry. They had entire tables full of folded clothes. The kids were running around, pushing each other in the laundry carts, eating Cheetos and being unruly. The crabbiness started moving throughout my entire body. When my washer stopped, I was able to sneak into one of the thirty-four dryers on the wall. But the rest of them occupied by that one family? They kept on plugging along.

This was my view:

Hmmm, is it possible to be occupying more dryers? Lemme see if I can swing it. I bet I can get this blond girl's head to spin in Exorcist-like circles. She looks mad.

You can see the offensive party up there. Her kids were on the opposite table folding MORE laundry. You see those dryers? I had one of them occupied. Just one.

P.I.C. and I were approaching the point of no return, i.e. the point where Fabulously Awkward is neither fabulous, nor awkward, but simply ragey, when the tamale guy showed up. Y'all don't know who the tamale guy is? Well, here's a photo.

Hey you. You look hungry and drunk. You wanna tamale?
 Usually, the tamale guy only shows up to bars late in the evening to capitalize on the drunkards' need for food. Apparently, this particular zoo of a laundromat is on his list of places to stop. Fine. We were hungry and knew that cooking dinner at home was no longer an option. We ate tamales for dinner and washed them down with a Diet Coke from the vending machine. FINE. YOU WIN, LAUNDROMAT! I busied myself with taking photographs of the offenders and looking at them with all the venom I could muster. Even the children received nasty glares. (Yeah. STOP PUSHING THE BUTTONS! YOUR PILLOW AND TWO TINY T-SHIRTS WERE DRY THREE BUTTON PUSHES AGO. I HATE YOU, SMALL CHILD.)

At one point, P.I.C. looked at me with rage in his eyes (bless his heart, cuz he so rarely gets ragey, and when he gets as angry as me sometimes, I know I'm not being irrational for once) and says, "I am ready to take our sh*t and bring it back to the other laundromat and PAY to dry them." Well, we decided that the time spent doing that would be a waste so we opted to just sneak into the dryers when we were able.

It took us two and a half hours to do our laundry. It should have taken half that time. Our conclusion at the end of the night was to never, ever go back to that laundromat again. Sadly, I suspect it might happen. It's close, and I don't do laundry regularly. Prepare for more rage-filled rantings about the laundromat. It's only a matter of time before they spew forth from my fingertips.

For now I will go back to blocking out the entire episode save for the tamale guy. The tamales were the highlight of the evening. Oh yeah, and the singalong I staged to JOURNEY night on Glee. (Does anyone else thing of J.D. from Scrubs and his love of Journey when you hear it? I sure do. He knew a great cover band named the "Love 'em, Touch 'em, Squeeze 'ems," "Book them now, thank me later." Classic.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two pools, gotta ask the neighbors.

Remember how I was talking about how awesome it was that P.I.C. and I had decided that we were going to go to Panama? Well. The truth is, we are wondering if we can really afford the trip now. Despite my diligence in saving money for vacation, airfare is just a bit more expensive than I had budgeted. I don't want to go on vacation to a far-away place and constantly worry about money.

Therefore, we are tossing around other ideas. I'm a bit sad that it seems Panama is nearly ruled out. (Not entirely, but still.) I've started subscribing to the "cheap vacation" websites. I regularly email P.I.C. with deals. The other day, we were talking about a resort on Puerto Rico, and I mentioned that it had two pools. P.I.C. responded, "Wait, do we have to ask the neighbors?"

Yeah, I didn't get it for a second. Then I remembered. Ooooh. That weird guy! From when P.I.C. was looking at apartments a year ago.

Last year, P.I.C. and I were driving around near my old apartments looking for "For Rent" signs on buildings. We had pulled over at one place and I was jotting down the number from the sign when a guy walked out of the building. He was tall, dark-haired and extremely hairy. Something about him on which I couldn't put my finger rang creepy. Since I wasn't expecting someone, I was a little startled (well, that and he was generally creepy). He approached me and asked, "Wanna come see the apartment?"

I motioned to P.I.C., who'd pulled over in front of a fire hydrant to wait for me. He threw the flashers on, and walked up to me. Creepy Dude said, "You'd better be careful. Cops are real dicks around here." Then he continued to mutter under his breath about the general dickishness of cops in the first ward.

At this point, give his level of creepiness, my apprehension, and the under-the-breath muttering, perhaps I should have told P.I.C. that we didn't want to see this apartment. In retrospect, he did give off the psychopath vibe. Yikes. But we forged forward, and went up the stairs.

The apartment was on the second floor of an older building that was looking not promising at all. It was a rather open floor plan with a lot of light, which was nice, but there were old clothes and stuff all over the floor. The faded black and white photographs of a young man in the military and a young couple led me to believe that this was the former apartment of a grandparent that had passed away recently. If it was possible, the apartment was getting creepier and creepier, as was the situation. The sink in the kitchen was old and full of dishes. There was a disposable razor on the ledge along with an aerosol can of shaving cream.

Turns out there was no sink in the bathroom. Huh. We were really going through the tour so he wouldn't slash us to be polite, so we just followed him around, me screaming with my eyeballs at P.I.C., P.I.C. refusing to look at me for fear of breaking out into uncontrolled bouts of laughter. Finally, we stopped wading through piles of old clothes and general crap and he led us back down those stairs, talking the entire way. His last selling point? He bragged, "Two pools available, but ya gotta ask the neighbors."

With that statement, I turned away, waving behind me, as the tears of laughter poured out of my relieved head. He seriously offered up the neighbors' above-ground pools. Thanks to that parting remark, I believe that this brief interaction with a crazy man is cemented in my memory as the "Two Pools, Gotta ask the Neighbors Creepy Dude."

Hopefully, no matter where P.I.C. end up on vacation, if there are two pools at our hotel, we don't have to ask the neighbors to use them.

(In case you are wondering, P.I.C. elected not to rent that particular apartment.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me talk pretty one day...En Español, claro!

Today is twenty-nine days until my birthday.* Twenty-nine days until I can kiss my twenties goodbye and enter (GULP) my thirties. Of course, I have taken stock of my twenties (some years totally sucky, some years bordering on awesome) and faced the dreaded "Five-Year Plan." Of course, five years ago, my plan was so very different. That makes sense, right? You grow, your plans change, you never make as much money as you had hoped. The market takes a nose dive, making the thought of home ownership practically inaccessible and the guy you were dating? Turns out you didn't like him all that much (and it was glaringly obvious that he just wasn't that into you.)

Constantly we are starting from scratch, reevaluating our lives and making new plans. However, I have had a constant "goal" for quite some time. I want to speak Spanish. In high school, I was able to start my Spanish classes a year early, ending with A.P. Spanish class my senior year. I did so well that I placed into junior level Spanish classes in college. Sadly, my two years of Spanish in college were filled with native Spanish speakers that weren't so kind to me. I was shy in class and therefore didn't speak much. Here's a tip, for all you wanting to learn a language: You MUST speak it to be able to learn it (big duh there, right?). Well, when the girls in my class would laugh at my pronunciation attempts, despite my writing skills blowing theirs out of the water, I decided it wasn't for me. (And also, one time I came to class wearing a baseball cap and no makeup and the one girl thought I was a boy, told me so, then proceeded to laugh about it with her friends. What a jerk.)

That one decision might be one of my greater regrets in life. I wish I would have stuck with it. I wish I wouldn't have let those girls get to me. Sadly, at nineteen, my skin was quite thin and I couldn't grasp the concept of two more years of humiliation via a foreign language. Because I stopped taking classes, I didn't take the opportunity to travel abroad in college (another one of the great regrets in my life.)

Now that I have you all sad and "woe is this awkward chick," I am pleased to announce that not only is my skin thicker these days, I am putting regrets behind me. Rather than sitting at home and reading subtitles and regretting that decision to quit my Spanish studies, I am...going back to school! Well, I'm taking Spanish classes. Ten years after I made the decision to stop taking classes, I have made the decision to start taking classes.

Oh boy. I'm nervous. I did the little self-evaluation and placed into the beginner level, which, face it, is a slap in the face to someone that used to be on the fast track to being bilingual. However, I figure that I'd rather not be overwhelmed with the tenses that I have completely forgotten over the years. Therefore, I will once again begin my studies in the beginner level. Proudly.

My current five-year plan? It really is a work in progress. I guess we shall see how it pans out. As of right now, I am glad to start crossing those things off my list that I have been "meaning to do." A natural procrastinator, I decided last night that I was going to stop procrastinating. Well, tomorrow. Tomorrow I will stop procrastinating. (I'm kiiiiiddding.) Maybe in five years I will be able to write out a five-year plan in Spanish. Wouldn't that be fancy?

* My dad will appreciate this notation. You see, I have always loved my birthday, so as a kid, I always maintained the exact count-down to my birthday. He could ask me at any day of the year, "How many days til your birthday?" and I would be able to answer. As a kid...right.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Once upon a time...

...there was another blog. Its name was "A Liebenswert Girl's Stories" (or something like that.) It was a funny blog, much like this one. It wasn't as widely read because that girl didn't try to get any more readers than her parents. It contained many similar stories to this blog that ran the gamut from crazy cat lady tales to annoyances at work.

But that blog was not meant to last. Nope. One day, that girl had a really bad day at work. Well, face it, she had a string of really bad days at work. Upon expressing her frustration at her boyfriend, he encouraged her, "Why don't you write about it in your blog? You don't have to be funny ALL the time."

"What a good idea," that girl thought, and she sat down and wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. She wrote about how she used to love her job. She wrote about how she no longer loved her job. She went on and on about how she didn't even want to be in her chosen profession any longer. After that blog? She felt much better. "So this is catharsis," she thought.

Days past, and the girl was in a meeting at work. Her boss summoned her to her office for a conference call. Only on that conference call, another boss was called. They wanted to talk about her blog. Her WHAT? She panicked. Apparently, a competitor of her law firm had a "word alert" search set up that took them to her blog, which had mentioned the type of work she did. No client's name was mentioned and no employer's were mentioned, but that girl's name was on that blog. You know, that blog, where she had griped about how much she hated her job, how she was miserable in life, how she wanted to leave the very profession she was in? The dots were connected, and the powers that be (aka that girl's bosses) figured out exactly who was so incredibly miserable at her job. Yep. That liebenswert girl. True story. They told her it would be best for her to delete that posting. Furthermore, they told her that if she was so miserable, perhaps she should quit. Perhaps that lay-off they had done earlier in the year should have been her.

So she went home that evening and deleted that post, crying the entire time. A few hours later (and more than a few sips of the sweet nectar known as vodka), she deleted the whole thing. No blog means no problem, right?

But that girl was sad for many days. Days turned into weeks and then weeks into months, as they usually do. A couple of months later, that liebenswert girl started a new blog. "Eff them," she said. "I wanna write. And I miss my blog. I just won't get personal." She named the blog Like a Birdie. Why? Well, she felt free for starting the new blog and that she wasn't letting the "man" get her down. A few weeks later, she was called for an interview. New job! Exciting! After another interview, she was offered a new job. She started that job, and then decided that she was happier so no more "I'm so free, I'm a bird" statements. She was gonna be fabulous. But the one problem was that she was innately awkward.

There you have it, everyone. How this blog came to be.

And kids, THAT is why you always leave a note. I mean, THAT is why you never complain about your work on a blog with your name attached. (If I had a one-armed man, you would REALLY learn this lesson.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Turn that frown upside down.

Probably like most people, I have those random thoughts and memories in my mind that never fail to make me smile. I could be in the worst mood when a random thought will pop into my head causing the laughter to spill from my lips before I even realize my mood has shifted. It's quite amazing. (And no, this does not mean I'm bipolar. I swear.)

Today, I was taking a stroll on my lunch hour. CORRECTION. I was briskly walking. (I have to put it that way so that I can write down that I "worked out" today.) I was briskly walking to pick something up when I encountered one of the more offensive types of city people: the multi-person sidewalk stretch. Now, if you're a city dweller, you are nodding your head up and down quite vigorously because you know the exact group of people. You're minding your own business, walking on your half of the sidewalk when all of a sudden, there is a panel of people walking your way. Three people. Taking up the entire sidewalk. Rather than shift in their three-person formation, they will continue to walk forward, oblivious to anyone else on the sidewalk. Your two options are to (1) shrink into the side of the building aka duck out of their way or (2) play a game of human chicken and teach them a lesson. My approach varies based on the day. If I go for the first approach, I almost always throw a passive aggressive "Excuuuuuse me" toward them as they pass me. Today was an approach (1) day.

I was crabby for a moment, all ready to vent about the rudeness of people when a memory popped into my head that caused me to laugh out loud. It involves approach (2).

The summer I studied for the bar exam, I spent a good deal of time with my good friend Esser. We lived nearby and would commute to our bar review course together, either by bus or cab, depending on how late we were running. Often times, Esser's friend, N, would accompany us, as he lived in the neighborhood. N is a tall guy, probably over six feet two inches tall. The three of us would often be walking to and from our classes together, but NEVER in the multi-person sidewalk stretch formation. NEVER. Come on. I have more consideration for people than that. We'd utilize the relay formation, one person dropping back and the other person dropping forward to form a single file line that was entirely on the right side of the sidewalk. (Note that in this relay, there is no baton, however, it could be done if you were sharing an item while walking.)

One day, we were walking away from class when we had to pass under scaffolding covering the sidewalk. Scaffolding makes the passing a bit more difficult because it takes up much of the sidewalk. Maneuvers such as the relay formation are critical when there is scaffolding. We were in our relay formation with N up front when we see a woman approaching. While she was walking on her own, she was not paying attention and had drifted to her left side of the sidewalk. She was drifting, looking down, and about to collide with N. I saw this all in slow motion. Because we were walking under scaffolding, there was no way to take the first approach and get out of this woman's way. (Furthermore, ducking out of the way is much more challenging when you are in the relay formation.)

This woman gets closer and closer to N. Since he can't get out of her way, he prepares for the impact by making himself as wide as possible. It looked as though N had puffed his shoulders up and just . And she did. A full frontal body bump happened right before my very eyes. You do not see this every day. I promise. She was so flustered, while the three of us burst into gut-busting laughter. I don't know if it was the exhaustion or depression brought on by the heinous experience that is studying for the bar exam, but it truly was one of the funniest moments that still emerges in my brain to this day.

After I ducked out of the way today thanks to a three person sidewalk stretch, the slow motion full frontal body bump popped into my head and caused me to laugh out loud. As a woman, I don't think I could ever pull off a full frontal body bump. It's rather creepy. But imagining N do it never fails to make me smile.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Live from a coffee shop!

Yeah. It's not really that exciting. However, moving means utilities are screwed up for awhile. (No Internet for two weeks. We might. Not. Make it. According to William Shatner, that is.) Therefore in order to get my Internet fix, I have to either (a) not work and get it all done during the day or (b) find a place that will feed me and my desire to get my Internet fix. Since (a) would not be conducive to my lifestyle because, ya know, I need my job, (b) it is. Thanks, Letizia!

Unpacking is  progressing nicely, for sure. Storage issues prevail, and we are still exploring those options, but we will figure it all out. Right? (Please say yes.) Additionally, we must find a home for an extra queen size bed. Stupid bed bugs rendering even slightly used mattresses unable to be sold on Way to cramp my style. Jerks. (On that note, does anyone else have an irrational fear of them? I swear, anytime I have an itchy spot, I become convinced that I am the one with the bed bugs. But I don't have them. I swear. Wanna buy a bed??)

Oxford, the wondercat, has vacated his hiding spot under the bed and come out to explore. Mainly that entails jumping on boxes, staring at the big, beautiful television and attacking his old buddy, the yoga mat. It's nice to see him getting used to the new digs.

As an aside (man, do I LOVE asides, huh), I really hate using the Internet in a public place. I feel that the dude writing in his composition notebook wearing a stocking cap is judging me for my constant checking of facebook. I HATE BEING JUDGED. True story. Especially because my Internet usage is probably something about which I should be ashamed. I like to do it at home. In private. No judgment. I mean, come on. New roomie loves his own Internet obsessions. And Oxford doesn't judge. Cuz he knows I'd bring up his yoga mat obsession and he'd be all "Touche." Truth.

Anyhow. I'm out. Mostly to make this dude STOP LOOKING AT ME. (Seriously. A stocking cap? I know we are having a cold front, but it's still 70 degrees out. You look ridiculous.)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Moving update: It's done!

Remember the entire month of August? When I chose to use this blog as a forum for non-stop bitching about moving? Well. Guess what? I have moved. Two days ago. The movers showed up TWO minutes early and finished about three hours less than the estimated time. We came in under budget. How often does THAT happen. (But seriously, I cannot recommend this moving company enough. I have used them twice, and both times have been blown away by their efficiency and care. Use them.)

So, P.I.C. and I have joined the ranks of the cohabiting couples. So far, so good. We had already determined that we would use my dishes, and solved the two knife sets problems by flipping a discovered-in-the-move candy coin, and are now trying to figure out places for all of our merged items. One annoying discovery? There are only two tiny drawers in the entire kitchen. We have no idea what to do with the flatware. (Suggestions welcome.) In fact, the kitchen, despite being recently remodeled, is sorely lacking in storage. It's irritating. However, we welcomed the dishwasher into our relationship with open arms, having ran it once intentionally. (Apparently, my butt/hip region kept bumping the "delay start" button and turning the dishwasher on. Oops.)

On another interesting (well, it's really not that interesting, but whatever) note: while we had no issues with the merging of the dishes, the DVDs might be a point of contention. Apparently, P.I.C. does not want to alphabetize my Sex and the City box set next to Star Wars. (Another funny aside: when I first made this accusation, I used Starship Troopers as the "s" starting man movie, and he was so completely offended that I would think he would own that movie. He was, however, quick to suggest Star Wars as the movie that might be closest to SATC. Nerd? You decide.) I began joking with him that my movies would be like the "secret stash" movies. I will have to wait til he goes out of town to break out Steel Magnolias. And if he were to come home in the middle of it, I'd have to come up with some quick explanation about why that was on the television. (By the way, I don't care if it's a total chick flick. I LOVE that movie with a fiery passion.) I imagine we will work out some sort of arrangement regarding the DVDs without causing each other any undue shame.

This cohabitation will be an adventure, I can see that. However, I can't imagine being on this adventure with anyone other than my P.I.C. (Cue the sappy music and audience cooing, "Awwww.") That is, if we don't kill each other over sharing the bathroom. That may be the biggest challenge. I mean, I know he's a dude and all, but he like to brush his hair one hundred strokes in the morning and one hundred strokes at night. I find that a little bit excessive. (KIDDING!) But still. The bathroom might be the tough room to get over sharing. We shall see.