Thursday, June 30, 2011

So I creep....toward waterfalls...but I don't want no scrubs...

This morning, I went to the gym. No, this is not an attempt to get a pat on the back for going to the gym. I just need to frame the story appropriately. Because Bravo no longer plays repeats of such classy shows as Real Housewives of "anycity" or Top Chef Masters, I had to look for my morning entertainment elsewhere. MTV apparently plays videos in the morning. AMAZING.

Five minutes into my sweat session, I hear a familiar beat. Oh. No. You. Didn't. TLC. Scrubs. I had to sing. HAD. TO. I didn't care if I looked ridiculous. I danced too. Who cares? NOT ME. As I was informing my coworker of my silly morning behavior, and we discussed the real merits of TLC. (R.I.P. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes"), a story popped into my head.

The year was 2003. A young girl was coming off a month in Rome, ten pounds heavier due to a diet consisting mainly of mozzarella cheese, gelato, and vino casa (rosso, claro!). She had arrived in the most beautiful, mountain-flanked country of Switzerland, Interlaken to be precise. She and her friends were enjoying the heck out of a long weekend at a hostel called Balmers, spending the days doing fun adventurous activities like white water rafting or canyoning, and the evenings eating a sandwich called the Three Species (had to keep that Rome weight on SOMEHOW) and partying in the disco. OK, so the young girl was me. And yes, I got a rather fat ass from eating too much. So what?!

Oh. Did I mention that Balmers had a disco? Oh, it sure did. We could dance away the evenings there with the adorable Swiss tour guides with silly names such as Lukey (he was SO DREAMY). Of course, the music ran the gamut to sort of old to REAL old. As in, CrazySexyCool old. Oh yes.

I was a HUGE TLC fan back in the day. I'm fairly certain that I wore out my CrazySexyCool CD back in 1995. (The 1990s were all about the compact discs, dontcha know?) Of course, that gave me a certain level of familiarity with all of the songs. In fact, it just so happened that I remembered the lyrics eight years later at a crowded disco in the basement of a hostel in Switzerland.

We were dancing the evening away when "Waterfalls" started playing. For those of you were not such huge TLC fans, there is a part toward the end of the song when Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes starts out "I seen a rainbow...yesterday..." (For those of you who might have only heard the song on the radio, you might not be aware of the rap part. They edited the song to exclude that part on the radio, a fact that used to irritate me to no end, leading me to rap right over the part where they skipped it, including when it went into the chorus. YOU WILL NOT RUIN MY SING/RAP-ALONG, RADIO STATION.)

Of course, I remembered all the words to this particular part of the song as well. I started belting out the lyrics at that part. Apparently, I was quite the novelty to the Europeans staying at our hostel because these Europeans formed a circle around me, as my fellow American students attempted to keep themselves upright. You see, I'm blonde. White. If I attempt to "rap," it's quite hilarious.

NO MATTER. I was in SWITZERLAND. The Swiss wanted to see me rap, I gave them what they wanted.

In retrospect, I imagine I looked quite the fool rapping an eight year-old song in the middle of a Swiss disco. I imagine I looked the same amount of ridiculous this morning working on my fitness as I sang (and danced) along to "No Scrubs."

I suppose I might have grown up. But some things will never change. That's just the way it is. (Did I mention I loved 2Pac too?)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Only seven years.

This past weekend, P.I.C. and I had the opportunity to celebrate our wedding with our extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, canine relatives, they all trekked out to rural Wisconsin to visit and celebrate.

Including one particular cousin. Remember this one?

Well, we had a lovely cake with a bejeweled "Z" as a cake-topper. Well, this "Z" looked kind of like the number seven. My uncle jokingly asks me, "Hey, why do you have a "7" on the top of your cake?" My smart ass husband responded, "That's because we're going to have seven years together."

My response? "YOU ARE NASTY, P.I.C."

Of course, cousin says to me, "Why did you call him nasty?"

I told her, "You didn't hear him say that we were only going to stay married for seven years."

She then proceeded to give him a look that would wither a lovely rose (and likely make someone cry if they weren't expecting it) for a good thirty seconds. She then looks back at me and says, "That's not nice."

I said, "I KNOW. That's why I called him 'nasty,' obviously."

She then went back to eating her full plate of baked beans and side of "monster" cheese.

Clearly, my specialness runs in the family, doesn't it?

Here's to the next seven years of my life.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wedding appropriately celebrated...moving on.

Our wedding has been celebrated. Again. Now time to focus on the celebration of our new life together.

Because our actual wedding was in such a small space, P.I.C. and I could not invite our extended family. We had to limit our guest list to our immediate families (huge in P.I.C.'s world) and a few of our friends. Since I have a rather large extended family, and I knew they would want to celebrate the nuptials, my mom and Auntie Em (and her wife, April) came up with the brilliant idea to have a summer celebration at Auntie Em's house. We would invite all of the family, and any friends that couldn't come to the actual wedding. There would be a tent, roasted pork sandwiches, potato salad, and a keg of Spotted Cow. I would don my wedding gown for an encore viewing of "the dress." A D.J. named Hugo was added to the party later. (Gotta have a serious soundtrack for a serious backyard bash!)

Well, this past Saturday, we celebrated, backyard-style. While a very small number of friends made it, the family came out in full force. We had some photographs taken in small-town Wisconsin and along some country roads with a background of corn fields and rolling hills. We stayed up entirely too late attempting to make the keg float. We laughed, we danced, we hugged, we drank beer, we went for seconds on the pork sandwiches, we drank more beer, we ate wedding cake...and it was all photographed by a wonderful photographer (and her fantastic husband, both great friends of ours).

Now, early Monday morning, I officially can say that our wedding has been celebrated to the max.

To add to our celebration, on Friday, the day before our second celebration, we found out that New York lawmakers voted to allow same sex couples to get married. It gave me great joy to revel in the loveliness of a wedding knowing that finally, equality was starting to spread to the bigger states. EQUALITY. I hope from the bottom of my heart that this is a greater trend across our country.

The happiness I felt as I married the love of my life shouldn't be limited to straight people. Every single person on this earth deserves that feeling of joy. They deserve to marry the person of their dreams. Every single time another state votes to allow this to occur, I am hopeful that soon all states will follow suit.

May each person be able to not only find that special person that makes them smile each and every day, but also be able to marry them. Let us all celebrate our happiness equally.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My addiction.

Addictions run the gamut in our society. Cigarettes. Alcohol. Drugs. Shopping. Sex.

Me? Well, aside from occasionally dabbling with a shopping addiction, I have one very serious addiction that has recently come to light.


It all started when my coworkers and I began using this calorie-counting fitness website called (It's actually a pretty good website...I recommend it for counting calories and keeping track of your exercise. And it's FREE.) We got to talking about good snacks. We all agreed that we like beef jerky.

I mean, I always knew I liked it. On my travels to far-away counties for work, I almost always have to stop for some sort of jerky-related snack. I then have to apologize to P.I.C. "Sorry, I made your car smell like jerky again." But the road tripping was really the only time I ate beef jerky.

'Til last week. It was on sale at Walgreen's. Jack Links. (You know, the kind where you can mess with Sasquatch?) $2.99. Low carb. Low calorie. All delicious. So I bought one. And ate it. The next day? Same drill. And the next day? By this point, I wasn't even telling my coworkers about my trips to Walgreen's. I was prefacing my trips with a "I'm going to go buy some nail polish" excuse, but I really knew what I was after: cheap jerky.

I stopped eating at the end of the week when I realized it seemed problematic. My weekend was jerky-free. Until coworker sends me a photo of his dehydrator. Yep, he was making us HOMEMADE JERKY. Sigh. Of course, today he kindly brings me my very own Ziploc bag of it. Within an hour, it was gone. I ATE THE WHOLE BAG.

Hi. My name is Fabulously Awkward.

(Hi, stupid-blog-name-girl.)

And I'm a beef jerky addict.

(That's the first step, right? Admitting you have a problem?)

And, in other, non-beef jerky food-related information, I added a new entry to my sometimes-used cooking blog: Check it out. But only if you're really bored.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I love hats. I always have loved hats. When I was younger and my mom would bring me shopping, I would always beeline it straight for the hat section. I would try on every single one of those hats. Why? Why not. It was fun.

Today, my coworker and I went to blow off some steam. We found ourselves in the hat section at the local bargain basement store. My eight year-old self came out in full force. Fortunately, my coworker is a great sport and she joined in on the fun. We tried on the most GORGEOUS hats we could manage. After a few hats, we noticed a group of three younger girls, probably in their early teens. They were aiming for the same idea as us. As they huddled around some lovely green brimmed hats, we posed with our pink bejeweled versions.

I suggested a hat to them to which they looked at me like I was crazy. Um. Not. The. Truth. Really, I'm not the creepy old lady talking to kids. (1) I'm not that old. (2) I'm a nice girl. (3) I really pointed out a GORGEOUS hat to them. (I guess I never really was good at the whole "don't talk to strangers" bit, huh?)

Really, I think the problem was that my coworker and I hoarded all the good hats for our own personal Blackberry photo session. Those adolescent girls were JEALOUS. Obviously.

No one is better at me than honing in and trying on THE most ridiculous GORGEOUS hat in the bunch. Give them ten to fifteen years, then they will have some serious skills.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In love.

I got some sad news today. I'm not sure why it takes a really sad occurrence to make one take stock of the good things in his or her life. Obviously, that is what is going on with me at the moment. After gaping at my computer this morning, mouth open, tears not quite forming in my eyes, I began to feel grateful and very happy about my very fortunate life.

These days, I am in love. With life. With my husband. With the sunshine that dares peek out from behind the clouds. With my family. With my friends. With my cat. With my entire life. (That one was worth repeating.)

I love the smell of coffee first thing in the morning. I adore the way Oxford jumps on the bed for a snuggle when he hears us waking up in the morning. The alarm sound of a new email from my equally goofy coworkers makes each day at work infinitely better. An email from a far-away friend reminds me of all the love in my life. The photos being sent to me every day by all of the friends and family who shared in our wedding day make the memories of that day more pronounced and wonderful.

I am grateful to be here. I am happy to be healthy. Today, I am not going to worry about the things I want to change. Nope. Today I'm going to embrace my life and be happy with the hand I've been dealt.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer, where art thou?

Seriously. I woke up for the second morning in a row to thunder and lightning. I know that it's not officially summer til the solstice (June 21, I believe) but believe you me, I'm ready for it now. Those few days of hotness only whet my appetite for all things summer.

I bet you might be wondering, "Well, I wonder what Fabulously Awkward is going to be up to this summer?" First, I'd correct your grammar. (But not really, because that would make that really awkward and while I'm awkward in most aspects of my life, I try to speak so people can understand me.)

BUT REALLY. Since you've asked, and since it's Friday, and since I am in a funk due to our gray skies and flooding alleys of the past two days, I will just tell you. Why not, right?

1. Lollapalooza. Choice, right? Last year was my first yea,r and I had more of a blast than I ever imagined possible. This year it is the 20th anniversary. Cool. For a gift to our two ushers in our wedding, we bought them a day pass of their choice. So my brother will be experiencing Lolla for a day with us. I'm so excited.

2. Wedding party up north. Since we were unable to invite our extended families to our wedding due to an incredibly small venue (and budgetary constraints), we shall be having another party at Auntie Em's place complete with some roast pig, a key of Spotted Cow and a DJ named Hugo. It should be amazing. Plus I get to wear my wedding dress again. Awesome.

3. Weddings. Lots more people get married this year. I didn't have to plan any of it. I just get to show up and dance and act a fool. I mean, I have been told I am a "required dancer" at weddings. So I show up, have some champagne and dance. It's my thing and I love it.

4. Travel. By this time last year I had been to Florida and to New York (well, almost). This year, due to wedding stuff, we didn't get to take any trips. However, starting next month, we will be traveling fools. I have spent more money on plane tickets this year than I ever have in the past years. Well, after we buy our tickets to Spain, that will be true. I can't wait to start having some fun.*

5. Being in town on the 4th of July. Chicago around the 4th of July is fabulous. Lots of people leave town, so things seem to be quiet (unless you venture to the Taste of Chicago). We get three day weekends to match, hopefully some sunshine, and really just a bonus staycation weekend.

What are some things that might bring YOU joy this summer?

*I'm ignoring my financial issues for a bit, I have decided. While P.I.C. and I might be a DINK-couple currently, we still find ourselves broke on a fairly regular basis. I blame our stupid decisions to go to law school and our wise decisions to partake in Chicago restaurants far too often. (Maybe it's not wise, but it sure brings us joy.) That's not to say I'm throwing out my budget. I'm just going to stop beating myself up for occasionally living outside my means. It's way too fun to stop right now.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do I need anger management lessons?

One of my coworkers apparently thinks I do. That I am a bit high strung. That I tend to threaten physical violence to others when they do not do what I request (or don't do what they should be doing).

Well. I'm here to tell you that just because I threatened to slap a coworker repeatedly on one side of his face does NOT mean I have issues with anger. It means that coworker is a righteous jerk that deserves it.

You might be asking yourself, "Why just on one side of the face?"

I'm here to tell you: if you slap someone once on one side of the face, it'll sting (personal experience). However, if you slap them again in the precise spot as the last time, they will really learn their lesson. DO NOT MESS WITH ME.

Be it known that I do not make these threats of physical violence to people's faces. Well, unless you might be my husband. Trust me a threat of a punk to the junk with a crazy look in your eye will get a dishwasher emptied faster than you can say "please."

What can I say? I am a highly effective person.

DISCLAIMER: This has been a joke. In the event this had not been a joke, you'd close your web browser and feel a swift double slap to the side of your face.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Riding double.

After my particularly heinous Monday, post shorts-shopping trek back to the office, I experienced something that many of you likely have experienced: the "riding double" episode in a rotating door.

Many times, it's a friend who's being silly. Or a boyfriend that's trying to be cute by staying close. Or an accidental double ride with a coworker who believed it to be embarrassing for months until you knew her better and she told you how embarrassed it made her. (I'm sure my raucous laughter at the time was not helpful with her state of embarrassment.)

The other day, it happened with a random. I was walking into my work building and saw one of my coworker's secretaries. I gave a little wave as I began walking through the door and then felt a THUD. I saw the secretary's face go to confusion in the space immediately behind me. I turn my head around and see him: a creeptastic dude that has inadvertently chosen to ride double with me. Someone I had never seen before. His response, "Sorry." My response was to exit that rotating door as fast as my legs could carry me and shake off the close proximity of the creepy dude.

I saw the secretary later that day.

"You almost got stuck in the door today."


"That dude was funny looking."

"Yeah. I know."


Monday, June 6, 2011

I don't wanna be...a crappy housewife.

I spent most of today in a foul mood.

Some contributing factors included:

1. The fact that it was Monday.
2. The fact that I had to spend most of the day in a building that I am fairly certain is full of carcinogens. Well, at the very least, it has created a new host of allergies in my body. I AM SURE OF THAT.
3. The fact that I had to go to the store, buy new shorts, and realized, I AM STILL THE SAME SIZE. That dress alterations lady was full of shit. I'm serious. I had half a mind to run down to her store and give her the business.

I thought it would get better due to a lovely date night at Millenium Park only to realize: free concerts breed drunken dummies that interfere with my chill music mojo. Plus it was really hot. And one bottle of water was not enough for the two of us. My husband's sweet picnic he packed (and he packed an amazing one) was overshadowed by the douchey-mcdouchersons (no offense to the Irish) acting like fools in front of us.

Sigh. Then I got home and remembered this video. I guess life could be worse. I could be faced with the prospect of being a crappy housewife. This video...I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. After watching it six times today, I decided that I have over-thought it and it's really just a sucky video. Well, a hilarious sucky video.

Tonje, signing out. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Things I really, truly love (in photographs).

I spend a lot of time venting. This Friday, I intend to embrace the "TGI" part of the day and talk about a few of the things I love. Why not, right? I can only be rant-y SO MUCH of the time. Well, there is that and then there is the fact that I take my aggression out via email chain with my coworkers. It's very helpful.

It's no secret to my friends and family, I really, really love my wedding photographs. Like, look at them twice a day STILL love them. They're amazingly gorgeous photographs, our fabulous photographer (and her similarly talented assistant) captured all of the happy moments of the day, and  looking at them makes me so happy. So I'm going to be using HER photographs to showcase some of my loves.

I love my friends. Wholly. Completely. (I also love manicures. This photograph showcases both.)

Oxford. I know, he's unbelievably precious.

Cupcakes. And those who say cupcakes are "over" are stupid. Yeah, I said it. I love them. Yay for Luscious Layers for envisioning my crazy lime theme and making not only delicious cupcakes, but also the most ridiculous lime bride and groom on the top.

Champagne. Lots of it.

Tulips. I wanted something that reminded me of springtime on Michigan Avenue with all of the beautifully-colored tulips. Since I got married right when these flowers were in bloom, I thought this was appropriate.  Flowers courtesy of Addison Ashland Florist.

Club Lago. Well, actually Italian food. All food. And restaurants. OK, I like to eat. But CL has got that old school feeling of a time when the owners really knew their regulars. Eat here. Become a regular. See what I mean.

Um, this one is OBVIOUS. I love the Hulk. (And that guy I'm kissing.)

I'm fully aware that this seemed a post solely to show off my wedding photographs. BUT IT'S NOT. I tend to be a bit whiny. There are days when I remind myself to think of my happy life and the happy things (and people) in it.

Cheers to the weekend, everyone!!!

(Also, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge my most fabulous photographer. If you need one, please hire her. She is fabulous from start to finish. She also takes damn good photographs. Dawn Roscoe. Look her up. Love her photographs, then pay her to take yours. You won't regret it.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Avoiding the "R-word."

I admit it. I have said some really socially unacceptable things. While I consider myself to be a rather nice person, and I am usually aware at how the words coming out of my mouth can affect someone, I'm not perfect. I have said some things that really aren't appropriate.

I used to say things were "gay" without even realizing it could be offensive. (Hey, I'm not proud of this.) Eventually, I became close with a friend that made me realize that my constant reference to things as "gay" was probably not the best way to describe things. It was offensive. Perhaps it wasn't offensive to him (he is rather forgiving), but to others, it likely would be. So I stopped calling things "gay."

Another word with which I occasionally slip is "retard." I don't use it to refer to mentally disabled people. I think that in my adolescence, it slipped in as a synonym for "stupid." However, being admonished occasionally for saying it and really, seeing this PSA makes me really realize how my words could hurt someone else. I know, I need to stop saying it.

Granted, I tend to believe that I have a pretty decent filter when it comes to what is right and wrong. I really don't say too many offensive things other than the well-placed F-bomb when it's required. (Sadly, I feel as though my job requires that particular word every day.) I don't use racial slurs. I, for the most part, refrain from using my words as a method to hurt someone. Being on the other side of verbal assaults for a time will create an awareness of the power of language.

So this is my pledge: I will stop using the "R-word." It's really not acceptable, and I should know better. I mean, come on, I like, stopped saying "like." (Well, really, that's not offensive, unless you're over the age of sixteen or not in a sorority.)

I was discussing this issue with P.I.C. the other night. We were discussing non-polarizing words to describe people. You know, some words that could convey a certain level of irritation without offending any person.

Here is our list (for now):
-Chode (or choad?). (Add smoker if you're feeling fancy. That one takes me right back to high school.)
-Douche(bag). I don't even think that I need to explain this one. It shouldn't offend anyone. Seriously. Think about the function of the actual object. Yeah, it's not a nice thing to be called. But offend any particular group of people? No.
-Dick. This one can be put with a ton of other words too to add a creative spin. Some more interesting takes? Dick cheese. Dick face. Dick knocker. All acceptable, and sometimes hilarious.
-Goat scrotum. This may be one of the more creative insults hurled at me in the past month or so, and I find it completely hilarious. Really, do you think the goats will be offended? Not me.

I am really very interested in expanding on this list, so please drop me some suggestions. The funnier the better, I always say.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash my mouth out with soap.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Adventures in mothering Oxford.

Friday, I left work early. No, it wasn't to start my holiday weekend off right. I didn't have big dinner or drink plans. Sadly, I had to take Oxford to see his doctor. I had noticed on Wednesday that my little fella seemed to have a claw issue. Since he was about two months overdue for his rabies shot, I figured I would just suck it up and take him into the veterinarian.

I got in the car with the cat, all set to just have the offending claw snipped quickly and a rabies shot administered.

As you've probably guessed, it ended up being an atypical visit.

Not only was I given a reproachful look for allowing his claw to grow as it did, I was given a stern lecture on how important it was to take him for his dental cleaning. "He is eight years old now, and this needs to be attended to. I see gingivitis and suspect that there will need to be an extraction or two. Oh, and he likely needs blood work at this age. We do that before the cleaning since we put the animal under general anesthesia. They don't just open up and go 'ahhhh,' you know." (SERIOUSLY. She snickered then.)

Sigh. Poor little buddy was already traumatized by the thermometer up his butt and the shot given. They then took him to another room to take care of the nail clipping. They bandaged him up, and gave me antibiotics. Total cost for an afternoon at the vet? $175. But the shame that the vet brought on me for my negligent cat parenting cost me so much more.

This is how we both looked when we got home:

That cast on his leg cost me $26. The vet put it on Oxford on Friday and instructed me to take it off on Sunday. Oxford walked around the apartment like he had no leg, tucking and rolling now and again to see if it would fall off. Within two hours, it did just that. The $26 for the fancy red cast was for nothing.

Oh, and you try giving a squirmy cat an eyedropper full of bubble gum smelling liquid twice a day. It's super fun.

The good news? Oxford seems pretty chipper now. He is without a cast. He runs and slides on his scratcher. He's also back to snuggling after about two days of sullen isolation.

Does anyone have any experience in taking their feline for a dental cleaning? Yea or nay? Is the vet just trying to get me to pay for a service, or do I really need this?