Friday, December 21, 2012


Oh, LOL. Laughing out loud. I remember when I first started typing you, back in my early aol days. (Remember that? A former colleague of mine actually STILL used aol and I'd hear the familiar "you've got mail" at least once a day for over two years. Really. I guess people still use it.)

Then I decided I was TOO GOOD FOR THAT. I would no longer write LOL. It was stupid. Especially when a simple "hahahahahah" would suffice. NO MORE LOL.

That all changed the one day I watched this STUPID video. If you have little tolerance for stupid funny, fast forward to the 2:40 mark. "LOL penis face. TAKE THAT MOM." I can't stop laughing. So I started saying that. Then i decided, hey, I can type LOL sometimes. Or lol. I can type that too.

Now I'm back to using LOL. I feel a little gross, but whatever. I don't care.

Did I just blog about LOL? Sorry.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Trials and errors.

Two weeks ago, I had my first jury trial in five years. It was also the first time I tried a case with someone other than myself. While being on your own is terrifying, there is a certain comfort in knowing that if you screw up (which you will, it's just a matter of when), no none will be there to see you. That being said, having two other people to share the workload (and toss around strategy) is a lot of fun. Yeah. I said it. WORK CAN BE FUN. But only a little bit. Let's not get crazy here.

I don't really want to get into the specifics about the trial. It's not that interesting, really. We won, which makes all of our hard work pay off. We got a proud email from our boss to our entire office, which always makes you feel proud. And, frankly, jury trials (of the multi-million dollar demand variety) don't happen all that often, so the certain rockstardom of being a "trial lawyer" is rather fun. Of course, two weeks later, the luster has faded, and no one remembers us. Go figure.

My favorite moment? The verdict had come in, and the opposing client was getting more and more verbally angry. Eventually, her attorney asked her to leave the courtroom, at which point she stopped in front of my colleague and me, saying, "I BET YOU ARE REALLLLLLY PROUD OF YOURSELF." She then proceeded to glare directly into my eyeballs until she was hustled out of the courtroom. Since I was in court, I didn't respond, but her eye chicken didn't work. I WON THE STARING CONTEST TOO.

In any event, I remember what I like about being a lawyer. I am not a great trial lawyer, but one of my colleagues that tried the case with me truly is, and witnessing a good trial lawyer is pretty amazing. Having one on YOUR side is spectacular. Winning a trial is indescribable. The sense of achievement is like nothing else.

P.S. We all screwed up in the trial. I promise you, you will ALWAYS make a mistake. Recovery is key.

P.P.S. If I had lost, this blog post would have had WAY more expletives and gone like this: F*$K THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. I HATE MY JOB. LIFE SUCKS. FML FML FML. Aren't you glad I won?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Last race of the year: Chicago's Hot Chocolate 15K.

Yesterday, I ran my final race of the year, the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K. My training had been slightly off due to the upcoming time change. I found it increasingly difficult to get up in the mornings and run. (I'm a morning runner, and I have a really hard time running at night, so this meant I missed a lot of runs.) The weather was getting cold. Rather than get my last long run in, I cut it short by two miles.

But I sure wasn't going to sleep through the alarm when it went off. (Especially when we realized that we got an extra hour of sleep thanks to the time change that FINALLY came.)

We got up, bundled up, took our usual pre-race photo for posterity and lined up. I made us a light breakfast (scrambled egg on a bagel) to give us energy. We were ready.

Unfortunately, due to my slower-than-P.I.C. pace, I had to line up apart from him and wait. And wait. And wait. Seriously, I waited for over an hour before I even started WALKING to the start line. By the time I started running, I couldn't feel my toes, my teeth were chattering, and I had an impossible cramp in the front of my right shin. Even worse? I had to pee. Sigh. This was adding up to be my worst race ever.

Then something weird happened. I warmed up. I felt my toes, and the cramp in my shin went away. The 5K split off from the 15K and I was feeling GREAT. Then I got hot. I had to stop to walk and take off my top layer. Then I made a quick pit stop to pee. I probably lost a good 5-6 minutes getting adjusted. It was totally worth it though. Despite my necessary walk break, it was the ONLY walk break I took. When we got to the 9 mile mark, I kicked it up a notch. Seeing the walkers at this point, I knew this is where my training, although not as diligent as for my earlier races, kicked in. I was fast.

 This was my best race of the year (distance-wise). I had my best pace. I finished strong. I was smiling when I crossed the finish line. (Granted, I always smile when I cross. It's why I do it!)

Bring on 2013! I'm already signed up for two races, so let's keep active this winter, yes?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Reason Number 43 why I can be a total jerk.

About a month ago, P.I.C. and I got into a discussion about romance, particularly, his lack of romance.* This is how the conversation went.

FA: "I mean, you never cook me dinner. I always menu plan, make the grocery list, and cook dinner. It's fine, but it'd be nice if you surprised me by cooking once in awhile."
P.I.C.: "I cook you dinner."
FA: "Name one time OTHER than the night you proposed."
FA: "And you have never sent me flowers at work. I know you bring them home from Trader Joe's sometimes, but that doesn't count anymore. That doesn't take any effort, they put those flowers right in front so anyone realizes flowers are a good idea."**
P.I.C.: "Um, I don't know how to send flowers."
FA: "WHAT? How do you not know how to send flowers?"

The conversation ensued with both of us breaking into laughter at various points. He's so funny. Fast forward to two weeks ago and my birthday. He told me he was leaving work early to run an errand for my birthday.

FA: "Ooooh, are you getting me birthday flowers? NICE."
P.I.C.: "Noooo. Sorry."
FA: "Sigh."

Spoiler alert, he didn't get me flowers on my birthday. The next night, I got so bothersome about it. Mind you, I'm not really upset about this, just in a rather tenacious mood. (We'd had a few drinks, and I was relentless with my teasing.)

Eventually, P.I.C. got fed up with my antics. Perhaps they weren't as amusing as I viewed them. He sighed hugely and told me, "YOU ARE RUINING THE SURPRISE."

Wait, what? Apparently, a few days before my birthday, he had actually pre-ordered me flowers to be sent to me the Monday he was in London. He had taken our jokey argument to heart and done something completely and utterly romantic. Flowers on my birthday? Nice. Flowers just because he wanted me to know he misses me? Romantic. Perfect.

My response to this revelation? EWWWWPS. Lucky for me, this is just my personality and he wasn't too upset at me. He laughed it off.

Sure enough, Monday afternoon, I got a call to the front desk and received these beauties.

I do feel like a total jerk, but having these flowers on my desk has reminded me how lucky I am to have a husband who would take a badgering like I gave him and still let those flowers be delivered. I know you can see their beauty, but the smell is outstanding. I'm happy.***

*I realize that this is a dumb problem. I also need to acknowledge that my husband would do absolutely anything I wanted or asked of him if it was possible. I'm just a typical female and expecting him to read my mine, obviously.

**This make me look like a REAL asshole. Sorry. I kind of am.

***I also REALLY love that my husband patronized the flower shop with a purpose, Urban Meadows. This made me even happier knowing that my brattiness did some good. (RIGHT?)

Friday, October 12, 2012


Yep, that time of year again. My calendar is full of dinners, lunches, and diminished ability to get out of bed in the morning (due in part to the lack of light in the morning and also in part to the extra wine I've been consuming.)


Of course, as a woman, I shouldn't probably tell you my age. But, as the lovely Aaliyah once sang, "Age ain't nothing but a number." (Although, I think that was in reference to her odd marriage to R.Kelly when she was fifteen.) I'm 32 and proud of it.

Every year past 27 has gotten better for me. No lie. I've come into my own as to who I am, what I like to do (for real, not what other people like for me to do). I have an amazing life with a great husband (despite his confusion at the whole ordering flowers to the office thing) and strong family support. I have friends that have stuck by me for the worst and been with me at my best. I've become a runner. I lost that annoying 10 pounds from too much restaurant food. I have traveled a ton (and have two trips on the books for 2013).

Today, there are no first world problems, just birthday cake.

Happy birthday to me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My happy place.

Being surrounded by twenty hummingbirds really is my happy place. Here is one of the cute little fellas.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Yeah, I said it. I finished one half marathon at a snail's pace and immediately wondered, "When can I do it again, and do it better?" (Y'know, this thought came BEFORE I realized that my lower back was in a world of hurt.)

The race has come and gone. If I am truly honest, I am really disappointed at my finishing time. I was slower (BY FAR) than any of my training runs. It was hot and crowded, but I'm not sure how I finished with my stupid, slow pace. It bugs me, but in all honesty, I crossed that finish line fast with a huge smile on my face.

The first five miles were very tough. I just kept thinking how much farther I had to go and how many more hours and minutes I would have to run. I loved the live bands, loved the DJs, but missed out on having spectators cheer me on. I took to pretending that the signs were all for me, the slow girl plugging along near the end. It helped a little.

At one point, I could hear a spectator shouting ,"YOU CAN DO IT, YOU'RE ALMOST THERE." At mile four, that was almost enough for me to stop running and go punch her in the face. NEWSFLASH, LADY: WHEN WE ARE RUNNING 13.1 MILES, DO NOT SAY "YOU ARE ALMOST THERE" WHEN WE HAVE NINE POINT ONE MILES LEFT TO RUN. I held it together and kept on plugging along. I stopped only for sips of water for the first eight miles. But then I got tired. Everyone around me was walking/limping. I figured I could start taking some walk breaks too. So I did. This was probably my downfall.

Once I hit mile ten, I started to get excited. I WAS DOING THIS. I was walking quite often, but every time I realized I was getting too complacent, I started to run. We'd be going up a ramp on an incline and I'd think, "Oh hell no. I'm RUNNING this." And I did. Mile 11 came and went. The closer I got, the more excited and happy I got. When I saw that 13 mile marker, I knew that I was ready to end it. I started to run as fast as I could, bobbing and weaving between the others at the end. I FLEW across the finish line, my arms in the air, a huge smile on my face.

I freaking did it.

So, the important question is: When can I do it again?

And a related question: When did I become a crazy person?

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Tomorrow is the half marathon. When I started running a few years ago, I had in the back of my mind that my greatest running feat would be running a half marathon. Tomorrow, I make that feat mine. I will own 13.1 miles. Well, perhaps not own them, but hopefully occupy them without (a) pulling anything, (b) passing out, or (c) shitting my pants.*

I haven't been very diligent in my updates with respect to training. It's not because I don't have lots to say about it. I am sure that anyone in my life in the past two months have become horribly annoyed with me constantly talking about running. I don't feel bad about "bragging" about what I've done. I see now that running more that five miles at one time is something about which I should take pride. I do. Don't worry about that. I realize that my previous annoyance at people's pride was due to the fact that I was a lazy ass. It's true.

Honestly, my main problem has been something that I thought was entirely too embarrassing to discuss here. Rest assured, that post will happen. I promise.

But today, I just want to let you all know (if you're still out there) that I am doing it tomorrow. I created a running plan. I finished it. Today, I sit here, well-rested, fully-carbed, hydrating my body, and looking forward to crossing that finish line tomorrow.

Honestly? I don't know if I can ever go back to not being this crazy running person. I'm cool with that.

*Sorry to be so crass, but it is a REAL THING. Look it up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's know what time it is...

TIME FOR ME TO BORE YOU WITH MORE TALES OF TRAINING. I mean, really, it's all my life is these days. Well, that, and spending time with my precious baby niece. My life is pretty terrific. No complaints.

I'd had a rough time of it the last time I attempted to run more than five miles. Since then, I have had numerous pep talks from lots of runners who reminded me that I need to stop beating myself up, that every run isn't going to be perfect, and really, what matters is getting my miles in.

So, Saturday morning, P.I.C. and I set out for our long run. Nine miles. CARA runners be damned. Those of us in Chicago are very aware that it's been HOT lately. 90 degrees plus. That is HOT. I knew that my body would have to get used to the heat. So I said..."Know what? You're going to take a little walk break after each mile, have a couple of sips, and regroup." And so I did. My walks were very brief in the beginning and probably over a minute toward the end. BUT I DID IT. Even better? I felt pretty great doing it. It was SLOW. VERY slow. I'm not going to be that upset about it.

Face it, I ran NINE miles on Saturday. Most people didn't do that. So, my attitude has been checked, my body has healed from its ailments, and I am slowly building the confidence and endurance to run 13.1.

I can do it. Right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Training IS Wednesday.

So, I got a cold. One of those annoying, nasty summer colds that gets in the way of having fun. I actually stayed home from work for an ACTUAL sick day in which I watched streaming documentaries on netflix, drank tea, and blew my nose. It was awesome, except for the whole surplus of mucus. Blech.

I suspect part of the problem was that my body was just exhausted. I did the ten mile race, which was farther than I ever ran in my entire life, then just hopped right back on the training wagon without any sort of appreciable break. That's why my eight miles were so tough. That's why I STILL can't run three miles without having to stop to blow my nose.

GETTING PAST THAT, THOUGH. I'm back on the horse. I'm taking it one day at a time. My goal for the half-marathon is only to run the whole damn thing, aside from walking for my water break. (Hat's off to those of you that can sip while running, but I'm just not that coordinated.) I don't care about my time so much. I just want to run the whole damn thing. And I will. Thank you so much for those of you that have dropped a kind word my way toward my struggles. Honestly, this might be the most tough physical thing I have ever put my body through over a period of time (not including the Panamanian Volcano Climb of 2010) so encouragement goes a very long way.

P.I.C. and I have decided to take our long runs separately now. He has decided he wants to run the half-marathon faster than me. I get it. He is faster, has already run one, and I tend to be surly at times. Lots of times I don't even want to run with me. Clearly, this is going to be one where I am going to have to look within for strength to finish. Therefore that starts this weekend. Nine miles solo. Eeeeeeps.

I'll do it. I will be surly. It won't be fun. But I will do it. That's all that matters.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer in Chicago...seen and heard at street fests.

People in Chicago can be disagreeable. North side versus south side. Cubs versus Sox. Thin crust versus deep dish. I could go on and on, but trust me. There are so many things on which those of us lucky enough to reside in this beautiful city will disagree.

BUT. There is ONE THING that I feel confident in declaring. One thing on which I think all of us can agree. SUMMER IN CHICAGO IS THE BEST.

It just is. There are festivals, outdoor concerts, street festivals, movies in the park, beer gardens, friends’ patios, and I could go on for days. It’s fantastic. It is why we put up with crappy winters and shitty sports teams. (Alright not all are shitty, but lots are, and I’m a Cubs fan, so I’m just generally down on Chicago sports, so deal with it. AND deal with my run on sentences too.)

Here it is, barely June, and I’ve already trekked out to two festivals. Granted, if I were truly diligent, I would have hit up four, but come on. A girl’s gotta get some sleep, right? While I don’t love crowds, and my fear of Porta-potties is only slightly less than it used to be, these outdoor events have on quality that will keep me coming back. People-watching. Duh.

Last weekend, at Maifest, I witnessed a girl who had a rather portly middle that she rather half-hazardly covered with a shirt. She got around the fact that her too-short denim shorts DID NOT BUTTON by slapping a belt on. It was delightfully awful. To top it all off, she was drunk (at 5 p.m., not entirely unusual) and making out with what could only be a random dude. Quality people-watching right there.

At Ribfest, I witnessed some girls having a good time dancing to a band. They were having fun, drinking, throwing popcorn, whatever...IT WAS J. Roddy Walston and the Business...ROCK OUT! There were two girls in front of them, however, that were rather persnickety and with each “WAHOOO” and subsequent popcorn throw, they would turn their heads around to give a snotty look, look at each other, then get back to shifting on one foot to the other and slightly bobbing their heads. As I was behind all of this, I could witness each little episode of snotty hilarity. Loved it.

THEN there was the youthful girl that would not even “WOOOO”* at the end of a song, she would SCREAM at the top of her lungs and emit a song that I can only equate with a rape whistle. It was heinous. After she did it the first time, she looked at one of the guys she was with and said, “I know, I know. I was a cheerleader, we were TAUGHT to make that noise.”

SAY WHAAAAAA? Number one, girlfriend, I was a cheerleader too. Granted, it was MANY years ago, but I fairly certain that there is not a new trend for cheerleaders to start screaming like they are being attacked. I PROMISE. Number two, your ploy to inform the boy that you were a cheerleader was SO TRANSPARENT. “I was a cheerleader” = “I want you to picture me in a short skirt doing high kicks and stuff.” Sigh. Kids these days. But also, file THAT under hilarious too.

Summer in Chicago. Street Fests. People-watching. Never, ever, ever gets old.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Worst. Run. Ever.

You guys, never have I felt so demoralized. Not even at mile eight of the Soldier Field Ten Mile race at which point I told P.I.C. rather rudely to shove his supportive comments and to refrain from speaking to me have I felt THIS bad.

Of course, having survived the ten mile race, I waiting a few days then signed up for a half marathon. Normal, right? (I guess that depends on your definition of normal.) I jumped right into training, knowing that eight weeks isn't that long to get where I want to be for an even longer race. On Saturday, I was supposed to run eight miles. I have run eight miles before without having to take walk breaks. I did the stupid ten mile race without walk breaks. Sadly, on Saturday, my attitude took a turn for the worse.

When we woke up, I just didn't feel well. My stomach was bothering me, and I just felt a little off. We left according to plan and started our run. After nearly three and a half miles, I told P.I.C. to go on ahead. I was going to turn around and do seven miles instead of eight. I walked for a short period of time, then turned around at the next mile marker. Only I couldn't hardly run. It wasn't my knees. Those felt good. My hamstring felt fine. My damn stomach just hurt a little. I was having trouble breathing. So I would run for a bit, then have to walk. Only when I got to the "have to walk" part, I would start bawling. I'm sure that was REALLY helpful for the whole troubled breathing thing. It was just a disaster.

P.I.C. caught up to me at the end  of his eight miles at while point I broke down. I started crying, feeling like an utter failure.


I definitely need an adjustment.

Sigh. I guess seven miles, even part walking, is better than no miles, right?

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I am an aunt!!!! My beautiful niece was born on Tuesday. I found out early Tuesday morning that my sister-in-law was labor. Having a rather busy two days ahead of me, I knew I had to go to the office. was torture. Needless to say, we rushed home from work on Tuesday and went right to the hospital.

She is perfect. Never have I loved something so small so much (well, except for Oxford, of course). Seeing my brother with his child is amazing. He is a natural. The love he has on his face is just...indescribable. My time with my niece was short, and I am counting the hours until I can see her again. (27...)

That is my happiest news for right now. I mean, I can tell you that I ran 10 miles on Saturday without stopping. But really, I just want to gush about BABY. Sorry.

Also, I signed up to run the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. Clearly, I've gone crazy.

This post has no structure and no theme. I'm not sorry for that. I AM A FREAKING AUNT!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Training check-in.

I just couldn't check in with you all about my training yesterday due to the pellet gun incident. Shortly after that, the neighboring building's car alarm started going off. When I looked out the window, the "gentleman" across the alley started hollering at me about that.


"Um, yeah?"


"Um, okay. Not my car. I don't care."






In any event, despite shenanigans in my alley, I have been keeping with my training. I ran my final two miles this morning before work rather anxiously because the next time I run, I'll be putting down ten. TEN FREAKING MILES.

Pray for me, guys. I have trained my tush off. I feel like I should be able to do this. I'm still scared.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This just happened.

Let me preface this with...I LOVE my neighborhood. I love that I can get to work in twenty minutes, even WITH a transfer from a bus to the el. I love the fact that my rent for a two bedroom apartment with parking is super affordable. I my proximity to BYOB restaurants, sports bars, and dive bars. I am very happy where I am. is not the safest neighborhood. Well, it's fine, but I am in close proximity to neighborhoods with sufficiently higher crime rates. There are pockets of gang activity. The sounds of gun shots aren't foreign to me. The delinquents from the high school that is half a block away smoke weed daily on my porch. I am okay with that.

Tonight, however, I got a little nervous. I heard the repeated sound of a popping from the alley. It being a lovely spring evening, we had our windows down and could hear all of the evening's activity. Oxford, being the rather curious kitty he is, was sitting in the window, watching what was going on. I noticed two teenagers shooting a gun down the alley. Based on the sound, I figured it was a pellet gun, but still, I quickly pulled Oxford out of the window and shut the window. The kids noticed me shutting the window and smirked.

I was so annoyed with the delinquent smirk that I marched back into the living room and said to P.I.C., "I'm calling 311. This is RIDICULOUS."

P.I.C. sensibly retorted, "Do you really want to do that when they JUST SAW YOU?"

Fair point, P.I.C. So I didn't. I walked back to peek on the situation and THERE WERE SIX COPS OUT THERE. For real. The two delinquents? In cuffs. Trying to get out of it.

Awesome. Shit got real right behind my house. I didn't even have to neighborhood watch it. Honestly, I still love my 'hood. I really have been a nosy neighbor my entire life. Now I get to BE the nosy neighbor. But not really. (I have never called the cops.)

P.S. When did cops get so young? These cops were like TWENTY. And cute. All the single laaaaadies? Wanna party in my alley?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One year (and fifteen days).

I had it in my head that I was going to write this beautiful post about my wedding day. I was going to talk about the first year of marriage. No, MY first year of marriage. Then the day came and went. We spent the weekend before having drinks with friends, making fancy meals at home (one of which was a throw-back to our two week honeymoon in Spain.) We spent a rather exorbitant amount of money on an anniversary dinner. (It was worth it.)

Now, fifteen days after the one year mark of us saying, I do, I realized I should put some words down. The emotions should not go unnoticed. I should talk about them. Really, I can only do this in an anecdotal form. It's what I do. But it's not who I am.*

Today was a gorgeous day in Chicago. Just almost 80 degrees, sunny, and just perfect. Sadly, both P.I.C. and I spent it working. Luckily for us, we work jobs where we can leave at reasonable hour. P.I.C. had left a little bit earlier to run an errand. I got it in my head, I am going to stop and buy P.I.C. some beer on my way home. Burgers were on our dinner menu, nothing could be better than beers with that (in addition to a beautiful 80 degree day), right? Brooklyn Summer Ale would be perfect. It would remind us of our first trip together (NYC, of course) and would taste PERFECT. Sadly, the liquor store had no Brooklyn Summer. I settled for Hoegaarden.

I got home, proudly announcing my arrival. "HELLO, HUSBAND. I HAVE GIFTS FOR YOU THAT WILL GO WITH OUR BURGERS."

He comes out, smiling, kind of chuckling. I whip out the beer from my bag. "TAAADAAAAA. Beer."

He started full out laughing and then opened the fridge. Apparently, he'd had the same idea. Of course, his version was more hipstery and in a can (Bombshell Blonde something-or-other.)

YOU GUYS. This is why you marry someone. You have the SAME good ideas. We toasted to our similar intelligence with our beers as we relaxed on our porch with a lovely view of the dumpster and alley. Cheers to having someone who will appreciate a beer on a nice day.

On a more sentimental note, I could go on for days about stories of how I know that I married the perfect man for me. But really, you all would rather hear of my shenanigans about beers and us laughing at each other, wouldn't you?

To my P.I.C., my partner-in-crime, thank you. You make each day fun and have helped created an adventure of a life for us. Thank you for encouraging me to

*If you get this quote, I will thusly designate you blog reader of the month. YOU, officially, are cool enough to hang with me. FOR THE RECORD, f*@k you, spell check. THUSLY IS A WORD.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Running Recap.

You like how I changed up the title? I sure do.

So, did I tell you how my prize for running the Shamrock Shuffle was to buy myself a fancy new pair of running shoes? Well, I did. Turns out, since March 28, I have put 66.9 miles on these new shoes since. That's a lot right? To put it in perspective, my last pair of running shoes, purchased in fall of 2009, just hit 330 miles in March of 2012. So yeah, I've been running a lot more.

I'm also learning that running can cause certain...stomach problems. An extensive google search has assured me that I am not alone in this issue, despite being horribly embarrassed about it. (HEY. Let's tell everyone about it in the blog. That's discreet.) Furthermore, those stomach issues allow me to reach personal record paces in running home. Heh. I'm working on it. I would appreciate any tried and true tips from more experienced runners though. Cutting back on dairy and fibrous food items seems to be my first attempt to calm things down.

This weekend? I run far. Seven miles. I might die. If I do, remember me as that girl that once ran FIFTEEN MILES IN ONE WEEK.

I probably won't die. I probably will be reduced to tears by the end. But I will do it. Standby.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Life's too short to not eat bacon on a Tuesday.

I had a spectacularly shitty Monday. (YES, I HAD A CASE OF THE MONDAYS COMPOUNDED WITH ANNOYING THINGS HAPPENING ALL DAY LONG.) This morning, P.I.C. and I got up early to run. When we got home, I decided to make some bacon with our eggs. Why not, right? Life's too short to not eat the bacon in your fridge when it sounds good.

I started thinking, though. What are some other things that I have determined to just do because life is too short?
1. Well, see above. Bacon. Obviously.
2. Spend time with friends that love you as much as you love them.
3. Eat at good restaurants. Pay entirely too much to do so.
4. Make a plan and pay off the credit cards you used to eat at good restaurants. (Life's too short to be burdened by debt.) Same with the student loans.
5. Start a blog. Complain about things. Start to do things about them. Life's too short to complain without taking action.
6. Wear pretty underwear. Dress nicely. Wear skirts. Have fun jewelry. Do my hair. (Well, sometimes.)
7. Send cards. I love receiving cards. Why not spread that love elsewhere? Birthday cards, I love you cards, thinking of you cards...just because cards...snail mail is my favorite.
8. Take photographs. I love looking through my old pictures and remembering good times past. Photographs help.
9. Take care of myself. Be the best I can be. This means I need to exercise. In order to exercise, I need to have a goal. Therefore, I run. Am I a runner yet? Who knows. I do know I feel pretty awesome these days.
10.Tell your friends and family you love them often.
11. Daily hair washing is not REALLY that important. Seriously. I might do my hair, but it doesn't mean I have to wash it. Life's WAY too short for that.

I know these things are different for everyone. Some people might say, "Life's too short to spend it on a treadmill." Good for you. Prioritizing these things are definitely a way to bring yourself to your happiest. I love bacon. I (sometimes) like running. I love not washing my hair. I am at my happiest. Fact.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Training. Ugh.

Some days are great like before work last week when I ran four miles at a pace that rivaled my best 5K without feeling like death. Some days are not so great. Two days after that fantastic four mile jaunt, I did three miles at a snail's pace, feeling pretty crappy. Some days are brutal.

Saturday morning, P.I.C. and I were up for six miles. This is the farthest I have ever run. Rather than trace a path through our 'hood, we elected to drive a bit east and run on the lakefront. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. It was about 45 degrees. It was spitting out rain. It was just plain nasty. BUT NO WORRIES. We were going to run it.

We started out fine, but then got caught up in a ten mile race. We ran three, then turned around and ran back to where we had parked the car. We were IN the race, running with people at a pace that would have caused me pain for half my distance. (My strategy is to try to improve my speed on my shorter runs and basically not DIE on the longer distances.) We got out of the race and were on our final 1.25 miles. The wind was blowing directly into our bodies. I felt like I was putting one foot in front of the other and getting nowhere. I felt like I was going to puke. I nearly was hyperventilating. I started gasping for air, nearly crying out in frustration. WHY OH WHY did I think I could train for and run ten miles? I AM A TERRIBLE RUNNER. THIS IS THE WORST IDEA I EVER HAD.

P.I.C. calmly told me that we were almost done, that I could do it. So I sucked it up. It was hard. I felt terrible. It was slow. I am now terrified that I will never get past this point. But I logged the damn miles. That's what it's all about, right? Thank goodness this week is a shorter week. If I had to go out and do seven on Saturday, I don't know what I would do. Well, I'd run it. I would probably cry. I would probably hate it, but I'd do it.

Besides, we really know I'm in this for the fatty brunch afterwards, right? RIGHT?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Training: S*@t's about to get serious.

Hi guys. My obstructed internet access is really cutting into my ability to REGALE you all with stories of my running. Don't be sad. I'm right here. I'm gonna tell you about how my training schedule stopped being polite and got real.

1. Tomorrow I run 5 miles. NBD, right? Well, I have run almost five miles once. But see, I have to do that on race day. TWICE.
2. Five weeks til d-day. That means I have to run tomorrow run twice. SCURRRRY.
3. I ran four miles before work on Tuesday. I feel like I should've gotten my eggs AND some damn french toast. Alas, I just ate my eggs.
4. I have seriously started looking at the training for a half marathon. WHO AM I, AND WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LAZY SELF?

Seriously, what the hell. What freaks me out the most? I'm kinda super excited about the whole thing.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Due to an unfortunate series of events that are unbeknownst to me, my formerly full internet access at work has been revoked.* I will pause to give you a moment to mourn this FOR me.

While I did my fair share of messing around on the interwebz, I generally used it as a break from my tasks. I mean, come on, who DOESN'T do this? (If you do, I feel fairly confident that you are reading this blog at your mistake.) It makes me upset, mainly because I cannot just mess around when my brain is too tired of dealing with serious issues. Thank goodness for smart phones and their internet capabilities. They make it SO MUCH EASIER to view the day's important viral videos.

Well, I have little to say other than my life has been spent TRYING to stick to my training schedule (RUNNING) and cooking (READ MY OTHER BLOG TOO, GUYS, IT TALKS ABOUT RECIPES AND STUFF I MADE AND I TAKE PICTURES WITH MY FANCY CAMERA.) I also am gearing up to celebrate my one year anniversary of marriage. I'm sure I will have something poignant to say about that next week other than the fact that I finally solved the mystery of the magically-appearing gum wrappers. (SPOILER ALERT: P.I.C. pops gum in his mouth and just lets that wrapper fly. Not cool.)

Until then, back to my cooking. And running. Not so much cleaning. Cuz, ya know, ain't nobody got time for that.

* For the record, it is not just me, it is everyone at my office. Stop thinking I'm a f**k-up.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday update...on Thursday.

I used to enjoy the occasional writing break at work. It was a nice outlet in a world sorely lacking in creativity. Sadly, my work has reinforced its internet regulations. It no longer finds blogger an acceptable website that I may log onto at work. (It also blocks various restaurants for the reason "Restaurants and Dining" which does not make sense to me, but whatever.)

I realized this morning that I have not updated you on my training this week. Honestly, it's not been a great week for me. It's our "step-back" week which means we aren't running as many miles, but we've also had a couple later than usual evenings which impedes our ability to get up and get the gym out of the way in the morning.

So...I guess I'm just writing this to hold myself accountable? These ten miles are not going to come easily. I will suck it up and run my two miles after work tonight, throw in an extra workout tomorrow, get my run done this weekend, then move forward. I can do this. Right? Right.

Friday, April 6, 2012

There really are people this dumb.

My building, like many buildings in downtown Chicago, has two separate elevator banks. One goes to the lower floors (one through nine), and the other bank goes to the upper floors (nine through eighteen). You can transfer to both banks on the first floor or the ninth floor. I take the elevators to the upper floors. I'm high class like that.

This concept of two elevator banks confuses people immensely. Several times per week, someone will get in my elevator only to jump out at the last moment once they realize it does not stop at the seventh floor. If they do not make it, someone in the elevator (frequently me) has to explain that they have to dismount at nine and transfer elevator banks.

Today I encountered a special kind of dumb person. To her credit, she did ask me before she got into the elevator whether this elevator stopped at the fifteenth floor. That is where her credit ends. Once I confirmed that the elevator did stop at fifteen, we were off. I did note that she did not push the button for fifteen. The elevator stopped at ten to let one gentleman off. He got out of the elevator and two people boarded.

These two new passengers were dumb too. They were confused. "Why isn't this elevator not going to the seventh floor?" I had to take a deep breath. My gut instinct was to respond, "Listen, you idiots, you got into an elevator going UP." Really, their first mistake was getting into an elevator that was going up. I explained to them that they could take the elevator down to nine and transfer.

I proceeded to exit at my floor as I was explaining this. "But hey lady. You told me this elevator went to fifteen?"

I turned around, slowly, and told her, "Ma'am, you have to push the button for it to go to the fifteenth floor."

I got off the elevator slightly stunned. Was she serious? Was she really that dumb? I just didn't get it. I should have stuck around to find out what happened. However, I felt the need to put as much space between me and the stupidity in that elevator as possible.

I understand that this post makes me slightly snobbish. If you do not work in big buildings on a regular basis, or have never, for that matter, you would not have occasion to understand why buildings have two elevator banks. I understand that it can be confusing. It's just...the people seem SO DUMB about it some days. I can't help my judging. HOWEVER. Not knowing that you actually have to PUSH THE BUTTON? Come on. That's really dumb.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Weekly Check-in...again.

I forgot, I am training. Ya know, for the ten mile race I slightly drunkenly agreed to run. Remember last time when I updated my training progress on Wednesdays? I have decided to keep on doing just that. I feel by posting here, I at least make myself accountable. I certainly do not want to post one week and be all..."oh yeah...I wimped out." NOT ON MY WATCH.

After the Shuffle, I took one day off and started on week two of the training program. Thanks, Hal, for making your programs relatively easy to follow! (Especially for former non-runners like me!) It was manageable and I felt pretty good given that I was in decent shape following my last race.

Even better? This time, P.I.C. is joining me for all the fun activity. Honestly, I feel slightly burnt out right now. Having him there motivating me to get out there and run really helps. We are only on three miles this week (well, four this Saturday), but I'm struggling. Last night, I did NOT want to get out there and run. P.I.C. forced the issue. I'm so glad I went. I did realize one thing, however. I HAVE to do my runs in the morning during the week. I am simply just too tired and lethargic to run after work. Furthermore, the risk of me skipping workouts at night is HUGE. If I just get up and go, I have tricked my body into just letting it happen. So back to the morning workouts.

Additionally, I will take any words of wisdom from more experienced runners/athletes/trained people. This is by far the farthest distance I will attempt to run, and I am more than a little bit terrified.

Help me get to be a little bit faster. Pretty please? Oh, and for me to not die in my attempt to run ten miles. Thank you.

Until I can get myself faster, I guess logging the miles slowly will have to do. I feel like I was crazy signing up for this race. Let's try to prove that feeling wrong, shall we?

That darn cat.

Oxford begs. I am not sure why this is. I lied. I know exactly why this is. I tend to see what people food he will eat. It's my own animal experiment. Sometimes, I am a horrible cat mom and feed him things that could be potentially toxic. (Ask me about the grapes. Sigh.)

Last night, we were enjoying taco night with some perfectly ripe avocados. My favorite part of taco night? Leftover avocado. I put it on my plate, sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt, and eat plain. Really, truly delish. If that's not your style, I highly suggest you make it so. It's great. So, I'm sitting there, enjoying the last slice of avocado when I see him staring at me, with those big fat cat eyes.


I responded. "Cat, you do not like avocado, knock it off." But then I got to thinking...has he TRIED avocado? Perhaps not. Maybe he will like it. Let's try it.

I gave him a smidge on my finger. He licked it off as if it were ice cream (which is only his most favorite food after peanut butter). Of course. This weirdo of a cat LOVES avocado. Or the salt. I couldn't figure it out. P.I.C. and I had a chuckle at his weirdness and went on with our evening.

It then dawned on me...what if avocado is toxic to cats? OH NO. Of course, I go to google to diagnose. Turns out, it IS toxic to cats. Sigh. Worst cat mom ever. I only gave him a little bit, so I think he'll be okay. He didn't puke last night, so I think signs are good.

BUT. This morning, when P.I.C. woke me up, he told me that if Oxford hadn't puked from the avocado, he was sure to puke later. Apparently, a knot of hair that I had removed from his luxurious mane and forgotten to throw in the garbage (oops) was sitting on the coffee table. P.I.C. was sitting on the couch with his coffee when Oxford carefully climbed on the couch, leaned over to the coffee table and SNARFED up the hairball.

Gross. He will definitely vom that up later. But of course, no one TALKS about the toxicity of hairballs.

Oxford is such a treasure.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Juuuuuust behind the times.

In 2007, I gave up cable. I was living alone and not willing to prioritize it. I am VERY grateful for the person who left his or her wifi open for me so that if I perched JUST RIGHT on my window sill, I could facebook the crap out of an evening.

When my husband and I moved in together in 2010, we still didn't get cable. We were too cheap. We had netflix, and eventually hulu, so it was fine. We survive by marathon watching all of the good shows about a season and a half behind the current season. It stinks waiting, but the instant gratification of being able to say "just one more episode" is quite delicious.

Lately, we have been on a Mad Men kick. I'm not entirely sure why, but I had no interest in ever watching the show. Since we just wrapped up Season One of Boardwalk Empire (wooo!), I was ready for a new series. I was home sick from work one day and started watching.

Honestly? It's kind of boring. But I am still inclined to follow the show. Why not, right? I do, however, have some questions for you Mad Men watchers out there.


1. Why is Peggy Olson just a beyotch? Seriously. I cannot STAND HER.

2. I totally called Peggy's pregnancy. But seriously, she can't even say GOODNIGHT TO HER KID? (Alright, I'm a few episodes into Season Two.) AND HOW DID SHE NOT KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT?

3. Why is Betty Draper such a boring and petty person? Ugh. WE KNOW, BETTY, YOU WERE A MODEL.

4. Pete Campbell, seriously? I just cannot stand him. I get that he's a rich and entitled kid. STOP MAKING HIM TALK LIKE THAT. IT DRIVES ME NUTS.

5. Why is Roger Sterling so sexy? Add the hipster glasses and I go nuts. F'real. I don't care that he's a jerk.

6. Why do I care that Don Draper is such a putz? Why does he continue to kiss other girls? Well, I think I answered that question with by third inquiry. Betty Draper? Ugh. Hot, but no substance. No thank you.

7. If I were inclined to like the ladies in that way, I DEFINITELY would go for Christina Hendrix over January Jones. This isn't really a question, but I would love to know which way you roll on this issue.

Stay tuned for more questions. I am sure that I will have more.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My own "Hey Girl."

Hey girl.

I know you just HAD to go visit your friend at her bar last night. I know it would have been SILLY to not drink the free drinks she was pouring down your throat. I UNDERSTAND that you have to be at work at 9:00 a.m. I do too.


Do you have to have a loud conversation with your last night booze breath on my ear?

Do you have to CHOMP THE SHIT out of your gum IN my ear?

Do you have to plot how you can clock in retroactively while I am standing a mere 4 centimeters from you?

No. No you do not.

Hey girl. Next time be a little bit more courteous of your fellow blue line passengers.


* Not to be confused with Ryan Gosling and his cute pictures and sometimes-clever sayings.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shamrock Shufflin' Success!

I completely forgot to update you on my training last week because life just got in the way.

In any event, I had a rather lazy last week pre-race. I got out for my Sunday long run (another 4.8 miles!) and then only ran one more time. The weather was hot, I was tired, and I barely eked out two and a half miles WITH walk breaks. I felt terrified for Sunday.

Sunday came. I woke up on time, feeling rested and ready to go. I was ready to beat my self-set goal of finish these eight kilometers in under an hour. After a very quick finish, I started to get tired. I accidentally shut off my running app in my phone. My pandora switched from the upbeat poppy music that keeps me going to a total emo channel. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?! We got to the end and there was a hill. It seemed NEVER-ENDING. Right around the corner was the finish.

I finished. I didn't take walk breaks save for the two water stations where I quickly downed a cup and trotted right back out there. I didn't even pause for P.I.C. to take my photo. I was in the zone.

My result? I beat my goal. I FINISHED! I DID SO WELL. I am patting myself on the back still, if you can't tell.

I celebrated by eating brunch and drinking bloody marys with good friends. After brunch, we went home, slightly buzzed. I signed up for a 10 mile race that's in nine weeks.

Let the training (and subsequent updates) resume. No rest for me.

I learned my lesson. Be VERY wary going out for brunch on a runner's high with running friends who will use those endorphins and vodka to convince you it's a good idea to run twice as far.

I'm doing it. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday update with a special thank you.

Before I update you on my training, I wanted to say thank you. I wrote a deeply personal post yesterday that revealed more information about myself than I usually do. (I mean, you all know my aversion to sauerkraut in the workplace, but that's not all that personal. Furthermore, I'm thinking that aversion does not make me special. People who LIKE the smell of sauerkraut in the workplace are in the minority. But, I digress.)

I am not a depressed person, nor do I live a bad life. I know this. I know that my student loan burden does not make me special, nor does it render me special treatment. Basically, I wrote about it because it sucks. At times, it makes my life very difficult. On the whole, I have a good life and I don't really want for anything, aside for more vacation days, that is.

For those of you that empathized, sympathized, or just said something nice? Thank you. It means a lot to me.

IN ANY EVENT. Let's talk about my rock star training.

The Shamrock Shuffle is now less than two weeks away. Eeeek! But not really. I downloaded a new running app to my phone and set out to run four miles on Sunday. I realized within a few blocks that the GPS was not working and I wouldn't be able to track my run. I decided on a loop and figured that I would stop after 40 to 45 minutes of running. I got to a certain street and felt okay, so I kept running. I got to the point where I decided, "Alright, let's see if I can run until I either get home or reach an hour, whichever is first."

I made it home. 58 minutes. I then mapped out my route. I ran 4.81 miles. No walk breaks. (And yes, if you are doing the math, you realize that I run approximately a 12 minute mile. SO WHAT, I KNOW I AM SLOW.) This is about 1.3 miles further than I have ever run in my entire life.

I am so proud of myself. I am nearly ready for this shuffle. BRING. IT. ON.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On loan forgiveness.

I signed a petition today regarding student loan forgiveness.

I am a lawyer. I started law school in 2002. When I began law school, the office of career services assured me that the average starting salary for its new graduates was $90,000.


I didn't go to a top-tier law school, but it was a solid top-100 school. It still is. I should not have had any worries about my future employment. I signed on the dotted line. I borrowed thousands upon thousands to attend law school. I didn't borrow the maximum. I had a scholarship and some grant money. Additionally, I worked twenty hours of week my first two years of school and even more during my third year. Truthfully, the money I borrowed didn't seem real to me. Why? I was going to make enough to pay off my loans in ten years. If I graduate law school at 25 (or 24 in my case), I will have that paid off by the time I'm 35. That's good debt, right?

Um, no.

I was fortunate enough to land a job within two months of being sworn in as a new attorney. However, even in private practice, my job did not afford me anywhere close to that promised salary. No worries, right? I just needed experience to get one of those jobs. My ten year plan was not necessarily off track. Two years later, I left for greener pastures (meaning, more money). I still struggled with my loan payments.

Two years later, I took a job with the government at a significant pay cut. The main reasons? I wanted a better life. I was completely miserable at my last firm. I temporarily went into forbearance to get on my feet. Six months later, I resumed paying my loans. In total, I have been paying my loans for over six years. My current balance? Nearly $15,000 more than when I exited law school. I have had a steady job since my first job. I have paid something, whether a partial payment or a full payment, on my loans since 2005. I have not defaulted. Yet I still cannot seem to make a dent.

A few months ago, my boss told me that he was only a few years away from paying off his loans. Rather than feeling happy for him, I felt complete despair for my own situation. More than that, I became very angry.

While I full accept responsibility for my loans, I am angry. I am angry that my education cost so much money. I am angry that I was promised a certain salary and have yet to come anywhere close to that amount as an attorney with six years of trial experience. I am angry that because my loan payments take up so much of my income, I am unable to save for my future. I cannot fund an I.R.A. I cannot save up for a down payment on a house for my husband and myself. I can barely find the money in my budget to allot for vacation, one thing that is more important to me than the house, the I.R.A., or even food. I'm kidding. (But not really.)

If something unexpected comes up, I don't have that "emergency fund." I use my credit cards entirely too much. I feel guilty after dinners out with my friends, knowing that the $75 I spent on dinner and drinks would be better spent in savings or toward my loans.

In all honestly, I fear that I will never pay off my loans. Allegedly, I have thirty years to pay off my loans. That means I will be paying these loans until I am in my fifties. My children (who are not even a spark in my eye at this point) will likely be in college as I am making my final loan payments.

I know I borrowed that money. I know I have to pay it back. But I just don't see how. What's worse? The market is so much worse for lawyers (and law students) now. At the very least, I have a job. I have coworkers who make my job enjoyable. My work is different every day, which I love. I have health insurance. But my office is on a raise freeze. No cost of living. No experience-appropriate bump. Nada. Zilch. I get nothing.

How am I supposed to save for my future when I know that I will have these loans hanging over my head for over two decades? Am I supposed to get a part-time job because the job I got (for which I borrowed over $100,000 to work THIS JOB) does not pay for my loans and afford room in my budget for savings? I just don't know.

This loan forgiveness plan makes sense. It would ease not only my burden, but also the burdens of thousands of similarly-situated lawyers (or graduate program-educated professionals). So sign it. Or don't. Maybe you'll accuse me of being an idiot for borrowing the money. Perhaps you will chalk it up to a bad investment and tell me to just deal with the repercussions of such. But I think many of my fellow classmates and those graduating in the subsequent years might agree with me.

To the coworker who is on a two-day sauerkraut bender.

I LOVE sauerkraut. I really do. Ever since I traveled to Munich for the first time and lived the entire weekend on a diet of sausage and sauerkraut (washed down with beer, OBVIOUSLY), I have loved it. In fact, I ate it nearly every meal when I was in Munich two weeks ago. I really love it.



It smells like fermented farts, and I don't like it. How am I supposed to get anything done when I am trying to figure out WHO FARTED?

Thank you.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shamrock Shake.

Next year, when everyone and their mothers are going crazy about the return of the Shamrock Shake at McDonald's, please remind me of the following facts:

1. A SMALL (12 ounces) has 540 calories.

2. It doesn't taste as good as we all pretend it does. Let's be honest, if I'm drinking something cold and minty, I'm gonna hope there's some creme de menthe in it, you know what I'm saying, Grasshopper?

3. The feeling in my gut after drinking approximately 75% of one small shake is not pleasant.


Thursday, March 8, 2012


One thing that is fun about German? You can just put all the words together and make a "SUPER" word. (Only they would say ZUPERRR. That's just how they pronounce this. Funwithgermanpronunciation.)

As you may have deduced from my braggy post yesterday, I took a quick jaunt over to Munich for five days to visit my dear friend. Yes, I'm quite the world traveler, I know. I am also aware that I made a lot of statements about how good it was to be home and not traveling for awhile. Please ignore anything that I say like that. If the opportunity presents itself for me to travel, odds are good I'm readjusting my grocery budget to nothing but ramen to make it happen. FACT.

In any event, we made certain to hit up on of my previously favorite spots in Munich, Hofbrauhaus. It's not the biggest beer hall, nor is it the oldest, but this is the very place in 2003 where my traveling companions and I picked up a stag party and ended up at some underground German club 'til...I really can't remember. It was light when we got home.

Here is a good comparison of how one might tell that I have grown up.

Hofbrau 2003: "Oooh, unruly British boys, let's go talk to them!"
Hofbrau 2012: "Ewww, drunken people almost puking, let's not sit there."

Hofbrau 2012: "Oh, thank goodness, they have the small beers. WHAT? You only sell the big beers after 6 p.m.? I guess we will split one."

Hofbrau 2012: "Oh, hello there, British gents. You're married and you have a long-term girlfriend? How pleasant, you're not creepy in the least."

Hofbrau 2003: "WOOOO! LET'S GO CLUBBING!!!!"
Hofbrau 2012: "Well, we've had two small beers and a pretzel, I suppose we should see about dinner."

Sigh. I guess I tend to be a bit more lame these days, but I'm okay with it. My 2012 visit didn't produce the epic night that my 2003 visit did, but I will tell you what, there is something to be said about wakingupwithoutahangover.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wacky Wednesday.

Yes, I had a rather heinous day today, but I do NOT want to discuss it. It is Wednesday, the unofficial day in which I bore the crap out of all of you and update you on my training.

I was in Munich for the weekend (NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT?!) and managed two runs. GO ME. (And best gal pal. GO HER TOO.) We enjoyed the lovely surroundings of the Nymphenburg Palace and its lovely grounds consisting of trails through a forest and ponds with all sorts of crazy ducks and geese. While I skipped out on two strength sessions, I did log running miles and counted my hours of walking as my cross-training. Four miles on Sunday and three miles on Monday. We walked for part, but still...miles are miles, I say.

While I'm not as great or as fast as I had hoped, I am amazed that I have stuck with this training program so well. I might deviate a day or two, but I get back into it.

This morning, the scale was one pound less. NOT TOO SHABBY.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday training update.

Are these annoying yet? Deal with it, it's only three more weeks or so. (YIKES!)

I have actually been staying pretty close to my training schedule with the exception of Wednesdays. I'm supposed to cross-train on Wednesdays. For whatever reason, I have a really difficult time getting up to go to the gym. I try to fit in some extra walking, but rarely do I make this day up.

One good thing: I ran 3.5 miles without stopping for a walk break on Sunday. That's the farthest I have ever run in my entire life, and definitely something about which I've been patting my back. I triumphantly told this to one of my coworkers who replied, "Good job. You know you have to run another mile and a half on top of that for the Shuffle, right?" What a dick.

I am usually able to do my runs outside without a walk break (not including the times I have to stop for a stoplight which are not significant). However, when I run on the treadmill, I just cannot run my distance without taking walk breaks. I suspect it's boredom-related. YOU try running while only able to watch morning news shows or infomercials.

In any event, I keep plugging along. Stay tuned for next week's update: Training with jet lag!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

True love...honeymoon style.

Oh yes, I'm breaking out all the good Spain stories. Maybe they aren't great, but I have fun telling them.

On our third evening in Madrid, P.I.C. and I went out, as per usual, for some tapas at a local cerveceria. As we had done on the previous night (the aforementioned episode with fino), we were inclined to wander a bit in search of one final drink. We located a Madrid-based brewery (interestingly enough, a German-style restaurant) and popped in for a beer.

We were tired and had to get up to travel to Sevilla the following day so we called it a night after one beer. Sleep came quickly for me until about 4:30 a.m. I awoke with a horrific stomach ache. I had to bolt to our bathroom to vomit. Sadly, this was not a one-time incident. I continued to have to rush to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so until probably 9:00 a.m. the next day, the time when we had planned to wake up, pack up, and head for Andalucia. (P.S. If you care, I pronounced that An-da-loo-THEEE-a, just like a real Spaniard.)

One brief aside is required at this point. If you have traveled to Europe, you are aware of the size of European hotel rooms. They are rather...efficient. Small. Cozy. THE BATHROOM IS NOT FAR FROM THE BED. So, on my honeymoon, I proceeded to get violently ill over and over again within a few short meters of my newish husband. The poor guy.

We debated staying in Madrid for another day so that I could rest. I, however, am quite stubborn, and never let a little nausea affect my life. (I'm quite adept at functioning with a hangover, thank YOU. I did go to college AND law school.) We packed up our large backpacks and began the ten minute walk to the train station. Well, it was ten minutes when we did it the day before. This day, we had to keep taking breaks for me to sit down and rest. I was so weak from all of the vomiting (et cetera) that I couldn't walk very far without feeling light-headed.

We made it. We made it to the train station. We made it to Sevilla. We made it to our hotel. We made it to our room. I didn't puke once. At this point, P.I.C has kindly offered to visit the pharmacy for me. Our dear friend (who is conveniently from Spain) advised us that pharmacies in Spain are fantastic, the pharmacists speak English, and one will certainly cure me from what can only be certain death at this point.

P.I.C. trekked out to the pharmacy. I wish so much that I might have been a fly on the wall as this went down. I had taught P.I.C. how to say "My wife is sick" in Spanish and then advised him to mime a person vomiting (et cetera). I thought he was just fine. He came back to our room rather flushed and frustrated with medicine. Apparently, she did not speak English. My phrase did not help him. My miming did not help him. Eventually, the pharmacist figured out what probably ailed me (i.e. some sort of a stomach bug) and sold him some medicine. P.I.C. sweetly brought the medicine back for me, a loaf of bread (since I hadn't eaten the entire day) and some water.

At this point, he looks at me and says, "Do you mind if I go get something to eat? I haven't eaten anything all day." What a trooper. He left me to the giant bathtub and my Nook and found a place to sit outside and enjoy a meal, sans sick wife.

So, stomach bug on your honeymoon? Not so romantic. Willingness to mime vomit and diarrhea to a Spanish-speaking pharmacist? That's love.

Monday, February 27, 2012


The other day, the lovely and rather blunt K brought it to my attention that I had promised vacation stories and failed to deliver. She is right, and for that, I am sorry. Here is one funny story from our Spain trip last October. 

We would go back to our hotel room at around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. to wash some of the grime off our bodies and to rest up for what was sure to be a later night out. I'd don my red lips, specially purchased for our trip (you CAN'T go to Spain without your perfect red lipstick I had decided), fix my hair, affix the appropriate scarf to my ensemble and we'd be off in search of something to whet our whistles. We'd probably eat something too. We had become quite fond of stocking our fridge with a supply of ham, cheese, and a loaf of crusty bread for snacking purposes.

One night, we had returned from a day trip to Toledo and then hit a local tapas place for a late bite. Before returning to our hotel, we decided we wanted one more drink, a night cap, if you will. We'd been drinking beer at the cerveceria, naturally, so I thought a rioja (vino tinto, claro!) would be the perfect end to our evening. We wandered around, and finally settled on one particular bar. La Venencia.

I walked up to the bartender and said, "Dos vinos tinto, por favor." She looked me squarely in the face and said, "No. No vino tinto." I looked back at P.I.C. and he just shrugged. I attempted to use my not-good-enough Spanish to order white wine. Based on my brief survey of the bar, everyone had small glasses of white wine. She said to me, "NO. No vino." She then proceeded to tell me WHAT they served, but she spoke ridiculously fast. I shrugged my shoulders at her and she shrugged them back, clearly frustrated with my inability to communicate with her. I wasn't giving up so easily. No way. (It was at this moment that P.I.C. started to get frustrated with the whole situation, thinking that this woman was just refusing to serve us because we were Americans. I, however, was not so willing to give up, and fairly certain that it was just a language barrier, not a discrimination issue.) Finally, I just asked her, "Is it good?" She said, "Si," and then proceeded to say more words I could not understand. Finally, I determined she was asking me if I preferred dry or sweet. Whatever it was, I ordered it dry.

She served it up and wrote directly on the bar with chalk our total. P.I.C. and I picked up our small wine glasses and clinked them together. "Salud," we said to each other, an expression that was very common among our two weeks of sun and fun on the Iberian peninsula. She put a bowl of olives down in front of us (our free tapa). We took sips. My mouth puckered as it reacted to what was most certainly fire water. As I breathed out fumes that most certainly were flammable, I perused the action behind the bar. The bartender was filling those small wine glasses from a variety of bottles, each corked with a rubber stopper. Moonshine? IT HAD TO BE.

"P.I.C. OMG. I can't wait to tell everyone at home we drank SPANISH MOONSHINE. WOOOHOO!"

 It was something much, much stronger than wine. After two sips, I was brave enough to attempt another conversation with the bartender. I asked her what we were drinking (in Spanish, of course). She responded, "Fino." I said, again, bolder by the liquor and willing to make an ass of myself by speaking in Spanish to her, "It's stronger than wine, isn't it." She chuckled and responded, "Of course."

Feeling much less inept at my language abilities, P.I.C. and I stood at the bar and began to look around. The bar looked ancient. There was a thick coating of dust along all of the fixtures. No one seemed to mind. The air was lively with conversation and the smell of olives. We noticed the bartender washing off bottles as we continued to just stand and take in the scene. It appeared that the "fino" was kept in old wine bottles that they would wash out and reuse. Again, I made the determination that fino was some kind of Spanish moonshine.* I didn't hate it. But yes, it was "mas fuerte que vino."

After one glass, we paid our three euros and forty cents. We left our two small wine glasses on the bar, mine slightly smudged with my Spanish red lipstick, and meandered home, not quite in a straight line. One glass of the fino was enough to do us in.

*A tipsy google search once we returned to our hotel room taught us that fino was not moonshine as I had previously proclaimed. It is fortified wine, or a sherry. As our dear Spanish friend told us, "drink lots of it, you'll have a great hangover." We fortunately limited it to one glass. But I'd be willing to investigate a fino headache. I'm fun like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday check-in!

Another Wednesday, another week of check marks on my training schedule. (I had to print it out. There is something so very satisfying about checking things off, right?)

This week, I have started to feel my motivation waning. I am really, really tired. I don't want to get out of our warm and cozy bed in the morning to go watch the OCD guy on the treadmill next to me take fifteen minutes to wipe down his machine (including the belt) with his own towel after he has sweat out about twelve pounds of water weight. (I know people bitch about gym etiquette, but I just don't know what to say about this guy. He's so bizarre.) I don't want to have to be faced with the realization that I cannot watch Teen Mom 2 that early, that I have to watch either the news or infomercials (seriously, does anyone NOT buy the Proactiv after watching a few of those commercials?).

I ran 3.1 miles without stopping on Sunday for the first time since October. I felt damn proud of myself. Sadly, on Monday, I let my laziness get the best of me. I spent much of the day in the car after placing a long-overdue visit to a dear friend and her beautiful new baby and was exhausted when I got home. Plus, I felt a little baby crazy after seeing her tiny little hands and perfectly-shaped head. (Seriously, she's precious.) I just didn't want to work out.

Yesterday, I sucked it up. I did both Tuesday's workout (2.5 miles) and the strength training I skipped on Monday. This morning, I got up and did my workout too. I wasn't happy. But I did it. I'm rather proud of myself. P.I.C. has taken to commenting on my newer slimmer figure. (This could be an actual observation, or it could be that he finally got it that I need that external validation on a daily basis. Either way, smooth move, P.I.C.)

I'm scared, this weekend I have to run 3.5 miles. I will attempt to do it without stopping. This is something I have never done. Keep your fingers crossed, people!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Infamous and Inquiring Cousin Returns.

Hey, remember this cousin (also highlighted nine or so months later here? She was back in her finest form at my brother's wedding the other weekend. Here are some things that I learned through her now wiser and nearly nine years-old self.

1. I talk about beer too much. When I begged to differ, she informed me that the night before I talked about buying two pounds of beer. Riiiiight. Well, perhaps all of that dancing to no music got to your head, cousin. RUDE.

2. Drinking rum is gross. That's what pirates drink. (It doesn't matter that I was on an island that PRODUCED rum. I was gross for drinking ANY rum.)

3. Sparkly nail polish is the best. (I concur with this particular bit.)

4. Upon finding out that my mom was no longer married to my dad, she wondered why. My mom informed her that my dad had married someone else. Cousin's response? "WHAT. A. JERK. No one should leave a pretty lady like you." (Lesson to learn? She listens to EVERYTHING you say and will regurgitate it and/or inquire further information from you.)

Despite her hinting at the fact that I might talk about drinking too much*, she still makes me laugh really, really hard. She's is one of the funniest kids I have ever met.

*Auntie Em pointed out to me that this was silly. Our entire family enjoys bonding over a beer or seven. Cousin had better get used to it now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A running update!

So I had all of these goals, and one of them was to report in on my training. Ooooops. I forgot last week. Sue me. Just kidding. Don't, please. I have already been sued once and it kinda sucked.

ANYHOW. Let's talk about the important stuff. My training.

Honestly? It's going really well. I'm sticking pretty close to Hal Higdon's novice training plan, which is relatively manageable to me. I miss a day here and there, but have been pretty good about picking it back up. I make up for my missed day with extra cross training one day, or else I swap out my running for a day when I have more time. Face it, Sunday's couch plus PJs party would have lost something if I had gone to run and then showered. No way. I made up for it on Monday.

I actually have impressed myself with my tenacity. I tend to give up with a lot of things. Most "diets" I have attempted in the past don't last because I enjoy a cheeseburger on occasion. (Or white bread. DO NOT make me give up a loaf of crusty white bread. I do not eat it every day, or even often, but damn, I love it.) My fairly recent life changes (since December of last year) have been so good for me.

Exercise is a priority. This training program keeps me on task, but I still feel less me when I don't get my workout. I don't work out for hours on end. That's no fun. I get in and get out (that's what he said?) and then move on with my day. Even when we were out of town. I ran on the beach in St. Thomas. (OK, only once, but we got busy with wedding stuff.) I got up early on the morning of my brother's wedding to get my cross training done. (I had to swim short laps in the tiny pool due to a wholly insufficient hotel gym.) It wasn't a pain to do these things, they are just a part of who I am now. I really, really like it.

This morning, I tried on a pair of nice work pants I had bought probably two years ago. I have never been able to wear them. I zipped them up. They buttoned. THEY FREAKING FIT. So exciting. I have no idea what I weigh now (my bargain gym seems to have lost its scale), but I know I'm down something.

Wanna know the best part? I ate McDonald's on Sunday (hangover cure, naturally). A McDouble? Oh yes. The difference? I have already run over five miles this week.

I WIN. So far, so good. I will attempt to do a better job at reporting progress, I promise.

Happy day-after-Valentine's Day!

We tend to not go out for holidays. Birthdays, yes. Valentine's Day? Nope. I make dinner.

I planned for a relatively easy dinner: delicious cheese and fruit for an appetizer, mussels for the entree, and a side salad with roasted beets, toasted walnuts and goat cheese. Perfect right? Well, until we ate too much cheese. I nixed the salad. Then I realized that three pounds of mussels for two people is entirely too much if you want to eat the delicious heart-shaped double chocolate mini cake from Alliance Bakery you had been salivating over for the better part of a week. (We ate it. It was as delicious as I had dreamed.) I fully intend to post about our meal in my food blog that has been neglected as of late. Sorry. I've been busy.

Sadly, we had to throw out the remaining mussels since reheating shellfish is a bad idea. I suggested leaving a bowl of them outside, but somehow, I didn't think that the guys that troll our dump

Oh, and I should never share a bottle of cava and another bottle of wine with P.I.C. on a school night. My head has been aching dully all day.

We did, however, celebrate our first married V-Day together. It was lovely. We listened to music, braided each other's hair*, and drank wine. It was fabulous. Then again, I had no doubt. Time that we spend tuning out of normal life (i.e. catching up on hulu and bitching about work) and focused on each other is always special. I'm a lucky lady. I think that every day.

Cue the awwwwwws. Sorry, but I had to say something.

* I DID braid P.I.C.'s hair. After a few glasses of cava, we got into a debate about whether his hair was JUST long enough for me to French braid. Guess what? It is. I have, however, been forbidden from displaying the photo I took of my fancy hair fixing. Trust me, it was gorgeous.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oxford's rough weekend.

Sigh. So while P.I.C. and I were off sunning ourselves in the Virgin Islands, Oxford was at home. He's not much of a swimmer, and he absolutely HATES iguanas. He had to stay home, obviously.

When P.I.C. and I arrived home from the airport at midnight, Oxford seemed a bit off. At first, I thought he was just miffed at being alone, but then I realized he had a distinct odor...of poop. Further investigation led to the discovery that our little guy had not only pooed himself and gotten it stuck in his fur, it had really morphed into a bad situation. As in, I could see his little kitty business sans fur, bad situation.

To the ER vet we went, smelly cat in tow. (Seriously, what were we feeding him?) A shave of the butt, a dusting of Gold Bond, some pain meds, and antibiotics administered, and he was discharged. He has been steadily improving, is off the pain medication (thank goodness) and seems to be back to his usual lovable self. I'm so relieved.

I felt like a bad kitty mom, but during the follow up visit to our usual vet, he assured me that these things happened and that I could perhaps consider getting him sanitary trims. Sanitary trims = shaving of the butt hair. Really, it's like a cat Brazillian, which Oxford is sporting right now.

What can I say, he likes to live right on the edge.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, some photos from our most fabulous trip to St. Thomas.

Drinks out of monkeys? SIGN US UP.

A view of the Soggy Dollar Bar...we swam ashore...hence the name!

The view from our balcony. Not bad at all.

One of the cutie duck-like creatures that were on the beach. I named this one Frank.

Second floor on the end was the vacation home of the Awkward Family for the week. We were sad to say goodbye.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Big goals this year.

Alright, I have a confession to make. I DID make resolutions for the new year. I wrote them down on a yellow sheet from my legal pad and put them in my desk drawer at work. Every day I remind myself of them.

One of those goals is to run an 8K and a 10K. I have done many 5Ks. Truth be told, they aren't easy for me. Running has gotten easier, but those 5Ks still get me. In any event, for the upcoming 8K, I have decided to train. I want to do it well. I want to improve my speed. I don't fool myself into thinking that I am going to ever be a fast runner. But ya know what? I will improve because I need to keep challenging myself. NO LAZY ATTITUDES HERE. (That's actually hilarious to me because I am really quite lazy. Well, maybe not as much as I used to be. But still. Quite lazy.)

Last night I started my training for the Shamrock Shuffle. Yeah, yeah, it's a crowded race, it snows half the time, blah blah blah. I have heard all of this. I, however, am one of those people that needs goals. I need an endpoint to motivate myself.

I guess I feel the need to write about it to keep myself accountable. Here is my plan: each week I shall post once about my "training." Hold me accountable. Let me know if you're training too! We can motivate each other.

'Til then, see you on the roads. (Or the treadmill. This is winter in Chicago, after all, despite recent warm temperatures.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Post-vacation depression.

Yep, I've got it.



What if I told you that upon returning home last night, I had to take Mr. Oxford to the emergency vet? Does THAT make you feel sorry for me? I didn't get to sleep til nearly 3:00 a.m. and yet am in the office, working it out. Please say you feel a LITTLE bad for me and for the poor bubs.

(You should.) I shall keep you posted, I think the bubs will be fine. Well, once we ween him off the painkiller that makes him physically incapable of putting his tongue back in his mouth.

Photos to follow. Both of the drugged up cat and of our fabulous trip down to St. Thomas.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm too old for this.

[SUBTITLE: How I know I married the right man.]

Last night P.I.C. had the lovely opportunity to attend a party where the wine was flowing quite freely. In fact, it was a rather good Cabernet that the bartender poured so heavily the glass nearly needed two hands to hold. I know, I know, I said I made life changes and I only have one glass of wine each night. BUT, that is only when I am at home. I do, however, allow for exceptions in the event of such a nice Cabernet that took the chill off a frigid Chicago night. FACT.

In any event, we enjoyed our few glasses of red wine and then had to make one more stop at a friend's house to pick something up. I realized shortly that I had to use the ladies' room. No matter, we'd be at our destination in a few short minutes, I could use their bathroom.

Only said friend wasn't home. So we had to wait. My need to use the bathroom became urgent. Code Red, if you will. (I like to term things in colored codes so that P.I.C. knows how fast to walk home sometimes.) I admit, I do have a tiny bladder and sometimes forget to go before we leave places. SORRY. Anyhow. This was one of those times. Code Red became NEON in color. I was standing on the sidewalk doing a dance to distract my mind from the pressure in my bladder, but OMG it was bad. P.I.C. even called ANOTHER friend to see if she was home and I could run around the corner to use HER bathroom. Only by that point, I'd parked myself in a discreet place in the alley and gone au natural.

Gross. P.I.C. who'd been approaching me in the alley, saw me just as I finished, and told the other friend, "Never mind, we're good." He shook his head at me and started laughing.

P.I.C. "No. Definitely not."

I was basking in the wonderful feeling that had taken over my body in the warm car when P.I.C. got all smirky and said, "I'm going to have to treat you like a toddler and ask if you need to go before we leave places."

It was a fair statement I will admit that.

Yes, I'm gross. This is a gross story. I'm too old to behave like this, I'm aware. The last time this happened, I was twenty-four.

It was New Years Eve 2004. We'd left the bar, not a cab to be found. Similar situation, including the fact that I probably should have gone before we left. We were walking around, and I just had to use it. FOR REAL. Only this time, I didn't have my P.I.C. It was my ex-boyfriend. By all accounts, he was kinda lame. Fine, but he liked to get mad at me for my own brand of shenanigans. Peeing in an alley? Unacceptable. BUT NECESSARY in a Code Red situation. Well, I went that night, only I had to deal with his ridicule and scorn the whole night.

Two things to learn from this story:
1.) I REALLY need to make a stop in the ladies' room before we leave; and
2.) I definitely picked the right man.

I know. I'm gross. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Life changes.

I recently made the conscious decision to change my life for the better.

This was not a resolution for a new year. I started in December 2011.

I am was tired of feeling lethargic and lumpy. I saw my metabolism slowing and what used to be an easy ten pounds to shake once a year became twenty, and then thirty pounds that are not going anywhere.

This is not about losing weight.

When my Grandma passed away, I was very sad. Obviously. I had a hard time with it. However, I saw her in the thirty-one years of my life as someone who made little effort to maintain her own health. She did quit smoking. She didn't drink much in the late stages of her life. But she just wasn't healthy.

I don't want to be like that as I age.

Who's to say that I won't walk out this door and get hit by a bus and die. (God, that's morbid, but true.) I am fully aware that life doesn't always deal what you expect. However, I do recognize that there are certain facets of my life that are within my control exclusively.

I needed to make exercise a priority. I needed to just eat better. I've never been a regular fast food eater, but I have been known to imbibe from time to time. (Honestly, if I was really craving something these days, I'd give into my craving.) The truth was that I was eating way too much. If I got a little hungry at work, I would go to Walgreens and buy myself and beef jerky and eat it. ALL of it. Sometimes two packages. I've never been good at preventing a binge. I was drinking 2-3 glasses of wine every day (weeknights!) without seeing it as a problem. I wasn't working out. Scratch that, I was working out, but barely. I'd hit the gym up maybe one to two times per week and do the bare minimum of 45 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical machine. I was not sleeping well which meant I could not get myself up to work out many days each week. I just wasn't taking care of myself.

I'm fortunate in that no real health issues caused me to reverse my path into bad habits. Really, it is knowing that I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to have children and live to see them grow and be healthy. I want to raise children to have a healthy outlook at food and exercise. I want to feel good every day. I want to know that the choices I make benefit not only me, but also the people that love me.

I just decided to change. For me.

I started incorporating some weights into my workouts. I signed up for an 8K with the intention of doing a 10K later this year. I am starting to try to improve my running workouts so I am faster. I have been working out four to five times per week.

I am eating a ton of fresh vegetables. I am making my own hummus. I am trying to eat whole foods. If I want to splurge on something, I do. But I allow that splurge to stand and then go back to eating mostly vegetables and whole foods. I have one glass of red wine a night, if I drink at all. Some nights I don't have anything to drink. I plan our meals. I try to change our dinners and lunches so that we enjoy our meals. We don't eat salads all week long. I am aware of every morsel that goes in my mouth, good or bad. I let myself have a second glass on the weekends and have been known to have a bloody mary or two (WHAT? I'm testing out my husband's recipe, it would be rude to NOT drink what he makes). I'm not worried about that.

Right now? I sleep like a baby. I am not starving myself. I drink a ton of tea. P.I.C. and I enjoy dinners at our kitchen table and savor our one glass of wine each night and really enjoy mealtime. I have lost two pounds and am starting to see some biceps. I feel so much better about myself. Of course, the weight loss is a very lovely side effect of my changes. When I put on my bikini next week in St. Thomas, I'll feel better about it.

But really, this is not a diet. This is a life change. I'm so glad I made it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oxford needs a manicure.

For those of you keeping track, yes, I am the "momma" to a fluffy Himalayan cat. Why? Number one, I love cats. Sorry, I'd be a cat lady if allowed. LOVE. THEM. Number two, I'm allergic to most other cats. It sounds backwards, I'm aware, but short-haired domestic cats make me sneeze and make me want to claw my eyeballs right out of my head. (However, this does not stop me from snuggling them and petting them and playing with them. I love them that much.) I realized through my parents that Himalayan cats do not cause such a reaction. Therefore, if I wanted to live with a cat and retain my eyeballs, I had to get a Himalayan. That's how I came to own my little bubs.

Now, Himalayan parenting* comes with additional challenges in addition to the usual pet issues. They need to be brushed frequently to prevent matting and knots in their fur. They need to have their faces wiped down because the flat faces, while cute, can create drainage issues. Sexy, right?

Last night, I was attempting to comb Oxford. He unequivocally hates this activity. I usually have to pin part of his body down and fake let him go, only to catch him and pin him to the ground. This might sound mean, but if they get knots, they pull at their tiny little bodies and cause problems. So he must be combed. Oh, and the person that said if I did it from a young age? You lied. I brushed that little asshole from the day I got him at 7 weeks old and he NEVER liked it.

Of course, I do the occasional lion cut to make life easier on both of us. He doesn't have to do the whole "I'm pissed and going to claw out your eyes"" thing, and I don't have to treat my wounds with hydrogen peroxide. Chicago winters make me not want to do this, however. So in the winter, Oxford gets brushed. I usually bleed, but he gets brushed, looks pretty, and gets really pissed off.

So, back to last night. I was brushing him with the FURminator, a relatively fantastic grooming device that not only pulls out any tangles, but also thins out the coat to create less potential for mats in the fur. Of course, this particular brush is the one Oxford hates the most. He cowers and runs from me at the very sight of this brush, so I have to hide it behind my back as I approach him. I was really getting him groomed last night when he got me. His nail stuck into my leg so far, it got stuck. Of course, it hurt like mad. It was more of a puncture wound than the usual scratch. Clearly, grooming time was done. I was covered in a thick coat of shedded cat fur, bleeding from my leg, and near tears. Time to put the brush away. I cleaned myself up and was done for the night. I attempted to woo him back to me with his favorite treat, but he was still rather cautious around me.

This morning, he started clawing at me from the bed, as he does sometimes. (He likes to establish that once I leave, the bed is his territory, and he will defend it.) Well, I felt his claw and realized that I should check his nails to make sure we don't have another ingrown dew claw. (That was a rather pricey incident that caused my vet to look rather judgily at me.) I picked him up to check, which I can usually do with relative ease when he stuck me again. RIGHT. IN. THE. THROAT. I removed his claw carefully, then hurried to the bathroom.

It didn't appear to be quite as bad as my leg, so I was relieved. Another swabbing of hydrogen peroxide and I was on my way to the gym.

Rest assured, in addition to some combing, that cat is getting his damn nails clipped tonight.

* Do I sound like a pretentious douche for saying "parenting" instead of ownership? Or perhaps I sound animal crazy? I don't care. I suspect it's a side effect of cat scratch fever, which I am sure I have given the amount of blood my cat has drawn via his claws.