Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WHAT?!? Another poopscapade?

The other day, I wrote about how some strange person in my neighborhood has been leaving bags of dog feces on the speed bumps in our alley. (I suppose I should call them "Speed Humps." This IS Chicago. And yes, after over ten years here, those signs still make me giggle.) I haven't seen anything like that this week.

HOWEVER. There is a new problem with poo in my alley. Some strange person has now been allowing his or her dog to defecate behind my neighbor's car and is not cleaning it up. The other morning, P.I.C. says to me, "Be careful, someone let their dog shit behind our neighbor's car last night." Sure enough, there was poop there. I also feel it important to note that "behind the neighbor's car" means it is almost nearly in my path to walk down the alley from our back door. It is also a mere four steps from behind our car. So this DOES affect us, even more directly than the poop bomb person.

Sure enough, this morning, P.I.C. warns me again. "There is more dog shit behind the neighbor's car."

MORE? Yes. It was more than yesterday.

I'm not sure who is behind all of these poopscapades in my neighborhood, but I am starting to wonder. WHY? WHY DO YOU LOVE MESSING WITH PUPPY POOP SO MUCH?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My very own financial cul-de-sac.

Yeah, it's another Sex and the City reference.* DEAL WITH IT.

Some days I fear I will never be able to get out of the financial hole I have dug for myself. I went to private school for SEVEN years and now pay for it handily each month. I have worked at jobs that just didn't pay quite enough to allow me to live in a rather expensive city. I really, really (I mean, REALLY) love to go out to eat. I also REALLY love to cook and to buy nice ingredients. (Seriously, I POUT if P.I.C. suggests we end up purchasing our meat or seafood from Dominick's.) Of course, this means that I tend to live above my means.


Getting married this year also crimped my financial situation. Well, that and the SIX other weddings to which we have been invited in this calendar year (P.I.C. being in one, me being in one). AND...our long over-due honeymoon means that every extra penny is going toward some aspect of making sure we get fed while in Spain.



I know, WAH WAH WAH. I got marrrrried. I have to pay for my HONEYMOON. I can't eat at fancy restaurants all the time. I have to BUDGET. (WHINE WHINE WHINE.)

Despite feeling panicky quite often about money, I get by. Furthermore, I really do love my life and there is not a lot I would change about it. (Well, I might require that public servants get the occasional raise. I mean, I did go to school for seven years. I would think that should stand for SOMETHING.) I sure hope that after this year (and our whirlwind trip to St. Thomas in January for P.I.C.'s best friend's wedding) we might have a little bit of a breather from showers and weddings and stuff.

This post has no purpose other than to whine about my consistently first world problems. I would apologize, but it's my blog. So I can whine WHENEVER I CHOOSE.

* For those of you not "in the know," this particular statement came from the episode in which Carrie is faced with the prospect of having to buy her apartment. It is shortly after she and Aidan break up (the second time).

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things that make me stop and ponder.

This morning as I was waiting for the bus, a lady honked at herself to hurry through the light. Why?

Who is this person who insists on placing the little plastic baggies of dog poo on the speed bump in my alley so that when a car drives over them, it's like a poop bomb? Is this fun for him or her? Personally, I don't like to have to swerve to avoid the pooey mess when I navigate my way through the alley. I just like to walk normally.

Why does it give me such endless joy when I overhear P.I.C. taking his Rosetta Stone class and the beep it makes when he makes a mistake. He eventually yells "F*&K YOU!" at the program and it beeps at him again. Silly, P.I.C. That is not how you say "policia."

Mashed potatoes really can take any sort of addition and be made more delicious. For example, tonight, I'm planning on putting goat cheese in them. I've never done it before, but I am certain it will be DELICIOUS. On that note, if you're interested in stellar mashed potatoery (it's a new word I just invented), I recommend stirring in some cream cheese and sour cream, then placing them in a casserole dish and topping with cheddar cheese. Bake til gooey and VOILA. Heaven in a dish.

I was sure that a woman who works on my floor was a zombie.* She walks kind of off-kilter and never smiles and says hello like most of the people on my floor. The other day she said "hi" to me. It scared me a little bit.

I wanted to entitle this post "Things that make you go hmmmmm," and now I have C+C Music Factory stuck in my head. I sure hope you do too.

Happy Friday!!!!

* This sentence structure and overall grammatical correctness of this particular sentence is brought to you by Amie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another weekend, another wedding.

2011 has been the year of weddings for us. Not only did we get hitched, we have been to three weddings so far this year. We also have three more weddings this year and one early next year. We are officially surrounded by people in love, apparently. (P.I.C. has put his foot down though and declared that we will not go to anymore weddings next year after January.)

This past weekend, we trekked west for our friend's wedding. We knew we were in for a good time, knowing that the bride and groom never shied away from fun and knowing we'd have some of our favorite people in attendance. After a very long drive, impeded by a sink hole blocking our access to the highway, we finally arrived. Donning our wedding attire, we watched our dear friends get hitched in a lovely glass room along the river. Then we proceeded to attack their open bar with reckless abandon. (We're really great guests.) We enjoyed the cocktail hour, laughed our way through dinner, and patiently waited while the bride and groom did their required dances. We knew our turn to dance would come soon. (We are TOTAL dancers.)

As it turned out, their wedding wasn't the only one being housed in the convention center that evening. Nope. There were two more. Of course, this lead to a very serious discussing about crashing the other weddings. How. When. Best technique. P.I.C. began trolling the rooms, checking out the goods. First room? His choice bourbon. He'd have to crash that one first. Having discussed it, we knew that we'd have to wait a bit before we could appropriately gain access. So we took a few spins on the dance floor, ate some cake, drank some more, and got ready for a little debauchery.

I had just gotten back to our cocktail table after a rousing dance session (to Ke$ha, I'm sure), when I see P.I.C. approaching me from the other direction rather sheepishly.

"What's wrong?"

"Do you have a dollar?"


"Well, I went to that other wedding with the good bourbon. Turns out, it was a cash bar. So now I have to go back and give him a dollar because I only had four ones on me."

Yes, folks, he crashed a wedding with a CASH BAR.

Rookie mistake, clearly. We later all discovered that the wedding across the hall not only had the choice bourbon, but also a  photo booth. I can't wait til that bride and groom go through their guest book of photo strips and see one of me, P.I.C. and our friends signed lovingly, thanking them for the awesome time.

A plethora of weddings in one year will make you a little loopy, I suppose.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The TOMS (and fashion) of the 20th Anniversary of Lollapalooza.

One of the best reasons to go to Lollapalooza (aside from the plethora of live music, obviously) is the abundance of jerks in their "concert finest." My theory is that people follow the gossip rags, pay attention to what people like Lindsay Lohan wear to Coachella and then attempt to replicate it at Lollapalooza. The result? People-watching magic. Just so you're hip to the outdoor concert scene for 2011, I have compiled a visual list of the most popular trends.
Fanny packs were the serious rage.

Couples who wear Toms together, stay together???

Like "Green Man," but "Half-Purple, Half-Yellow Man" doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

Awww, yeah. mom jean shorts.

Not sure what their outfit scheme was, but it definitely seemed coordinated in a horrific way.

This was another Toms couple.

Mom jean shorts AND a fanny pack...Mom? Is that YOU???

Toms and man-pris. Why not? It's concert season, live a little.

Toms hidden behind a tree.

Sleepy Toms AND Mom jean shorts? Lolla fashion all rolled up into one tight little photo.

Red Toms!

I suspect he iss a never-nude. Tobias??? CONGRATS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!

She just didn't care anymore. She was really tired.

You can barely see these Toms. They blend in with his feet nicely...ya know, for those going for the "I'm wearing Toms, but it looks as though I am barefoot" look.

All in all, the music was great, the fashion was heinous, and the people-watching topped it all. Lollapalooza 2011 was a real success in my book. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Fun with Oxford.

Sometimes, I forget to feed Oxford before bed. No, I'm not a bad cat momma. He is a princess diva cat and prefers his food dish to be full. (He also doesn't care that he strews half of the contents of his bowl on the ground in the process.) Once you can see the bottom of the bowl, he'd prefer you to top that business off, thankyouverymuch. When I forget to top his bowl off, I am punished.

I will be sleeping in bed peacefully, trying like mad to not be exhausted for once, when I will hear him. Some random bag left laying in the closet or even my work bag will be attacked. Clawed. Licked. Any way he can make noise, he will be doing it. I have tried to just sit up and scold, "OXFORD" really loud. That works temporarily, but not for long. He'll be back to clawing and licking whatever item he's found in short order. The only way to stop this assault on a random thing is to get out of bed and put more food in his bowl.

Last night was another evening where I forgot to top the princess diva cat's bowl off. I was having a rather fitful night sleep (if Oxford could talk, he would say this was Karma for not filling his bowl, I'm sure), when I heard him. I couldn't even see what it was that was his noise-making companion when I dragged my barely-into-REM-sleep body out of bed. I opened his new bag of food and proceeded to freshen it up. Of course, by the time I had realized that (1) the old bag was empty and (2) I had to actually open the new bag, he'd climbed back into bed with P.I.C.

As soon as those fresh little kernels of compressed feline nutrition hit the bowl, I heard his little ten-pound body land on the ground and saw him hustle over to the bowl. At this point, I figured I'd use the bathroom and drink a glass of water. By the time I was sipping my water, a mere 90 seconds later, I saw him, sitting there staring at me, sitting outside the bedroom door.

I realized, he was waiting to give me my reward for feeding him. Sure enough, I finished my water and crawled back into bed. I didn't even need to call him when he was on the bed and all up in my business. Usually, he likes to lay on P.I.C. right when we go to bed. He gets all the snuggles. But when I get up in the middle of the night to feed Oxford, and P.I.C. sleeps away, things are different.

I rested my head on the pillow when I felt those ten pounds climb right on my stomach purring away. He put his face right up next to mine and give me a few kisses. After a few minutes, he'd rotate his body. He did this every so often for ten minutes or so before he took his usual position at the foot of the bed. Of course, this keeps me awake even longer. I'm okay with that. I love his sweet little purrs almost as much as I love a sound night's sleep.

Nao I kin haz sleepz all dae.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lollapalooza Recap

Last year was my very first experience at the massive music festival Lollapalooza. For a recap, I wrote about day onedays two and three, and also about the fashion I encountered in my three long days. Not to worry, I have a special post in mind for the fashion of Lollapalooza 2011, but I figure that since I always have such a great time at Lollapalooza, I'd highlight my happy moments (and the not-so-happy moments) here.

Happiness ensued when...
...Coldplay started. I know, I know, you know I'm gay because I like Coldplay. The truth is, I do. I also love Chris Martin. He's a dreamboat. Sue me. I'm sad we only stayed for a half an hour.
...I discovered J. Roddy Walston and the Business. Number one, I love their name. Number two, the dude can rock the shit out on a piano. Number three, it was one of those surprise first-of-the-day acts that wasn't very crowded, yet blew me away. Number four, the sign language interpreters were SO entertaining...I have to smile when I think of them shaking their asses as they signed away.
...We made it over to Fitz and the Tantrums. Infectious. Happy. Dance-worthy. Download them. You will be so happy you did.
...The rainbow came out after the storm when the Arctic Monkeys finally were able to play.
...Foo Fighters. I love Dave Grohl. He's my rock star crush. Not only does he seem totally cool (not at all rock star jerky), he is so talented. I love him. I also love the Foo Fighters. Despite the fact that I had to walk barefoot across Grant Park thanks to its mud pit state, they were worth enduring the torrential downpours. No doubt. When they kept rocking out in the pouring rain and everyone was singing, it was magic.

Happiness DID NOT ensue when...
...I was forced to witness the incredibly awful fashion choices of today's youth. Mom shorts? Really? I'm pretty sure you're only sixteen, WHY ARE YOU WEARING THAT? (More on this subject later.)
...Drunk kids. I can handle people wanting to have a good time. I've been known to have a good time quite often. But when people are slamming into me, incapable of walking on their own, and actually making me concerned for their well-being, it makes me sad for them. And sad for me...because I then feel like a sober mom judging.
...I had to take the El home each night. Now, props to my brilliant husband for knowing to go to the southern-most stop. We almost always got a seat. However, on the second night, I got SMACKED in the head so hard this kid knocked my bobby pins out of my hair in his rush to get to a seat. We got into two altercations with people who refused to get off the train to let people get off. Basically, people who don't know how public transportation "works" making us crabby.
...The rain. I already mentioned that it created an amazing rainbow. The downfall? It rained pretty hard one time. Then it stopped. Rather than enjoying a full Arctic Monkeys set, then grabbing food and enjoying the end of Explosions in the Sky, we had to go wait for food. After that, we missed the beginning of the Foo Fighters, the lines were so long for the porta-potties, I ended up holding it for three hours. Also, the mud. I had to go BAREFOOT in Grant Park. Blech, to say the least.

All in all, it was a great weekend. The happy moments trumped the sad ones, and we saw lots of great music. Cheers to next year when I can utterly exhaust myself again in the pursuit of good live music!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adios, old passport.

Last night, I was brushing my teeth getting ready for bed when P.I.C. asks me, "What do you have going at work tomorrow?"

"Not much. Just have some projects to plug away on. Why?"

"Perhaps tomorrow would be a good day to renew your passport."

....Yeah. He's right. While we have no plane tickets (YET), we are nearly two months away from our overdue honeymoon. So today, I gathered all of my necessary documentation and arranged to make the necessary trip to the various places to renew my passport. It did make me think though, of how sad I was to get rid of my existing book. What adventures I had in that one...

(At this moment, I imagine the waves and music of a flashback montage are occurring. It might help if you imagine that as well.)

The year was 2003. I had recently found out that my scholarship was going to enable me to study abroad for the summer. My old passport had expired, and I had to get my ducks in a row for nine weeks in Europe. I had carefully plotted my outfit the day of my passport photo. Turtleneck. V-neck sweater. Hair straight, and parted down the middle. The photo? Black and white, of course. I wanted an old-school look. My passport was issued relatively promptly, and I was set to see the world. Well, I was set to see the Western part of Europe, that is.

Rome, Italy. May 26, 2003. The stamp was barely legible, yet I knew exactly where to find it in my book. Crooked, but there. The very first stamp in my new passport. I even traced over the number "6" so that I was certain of the day I arrived in at the Leonardo da Vinci Airport (or Fiumicino). Sadly (to us), the European Union meant that you were likely to not get your passport stamped on the train. So I went from Italy to Switzerland, then onto France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg with no additional stamps. My next stamp was London. We arrived via the Chunnel. I went through immigration as the officer grilled me on my intentions in the United Kingdom. Then, finally, home. Sweet home Chicago.

Two years later, I ventured to the Caribbean. Twice. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Not only did they plainly stamp it upon your arrival, they also stamped it when you left. Twice as nice! Finally, over five years after that trip, P.I.C. and I trekked to Panama. Sadly, that was to be my last stamp in that book.

You see, I got married (DUH). I changed my name. In so doing, my hand is forced in losing all of those stamps I acquired over the last eight years.

It's OK. While it is a collection of my past travels and adventures, I am fortunate in knowing that I will have many more travels in my future. Well, I sure hope I do!

Today I mailed off that little book, along with a new photo (they want color now), a check, and my application, with my fingers crossed that I get my new book in the next two months.

What's in two months, you wonder? SPAIN, also known as the honeymoon.