Monday, December 22, 2008

Colder than Antarctica

It's freezing outside. It's so cold in Chicago that it's actually colder than it is in Antarctica. That's cold. Apparently by purchasing the long puffy North Face coat I have wanted for the last two years that promised to keep me toasty warm this winter season I tempted the fates and they laugh at my 700-fill down. Sorry everyone.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, I wonder what it would be like if I saw Governor, Rod Blagojevich running down the sidewalk. Well, I'll tell you, it's freaking hilarious. First of all, when first see the Governor running, you think, wow, that guy looks like Blago. Then, when you realize it is the ruler of the state of Illinois, you think, wow, Blago can't run at all. Then you think he's really sweating and huffing and puffing and barely moving his feet - it looks like he's about to have a heart attack. Then you think, I know I don't look wonderful when I run, but I look better than that.

To be fair, this could have been the end of his run. Maybe he had just run five miles. Though I live about two miles away from him, so if it was the end of his run, I don't know how he was getting back. I didn't see any security detail with him, but that doesn't mean they weren't there.

Anyway, it was a fun and funny thing to see on a Saturday afternoon as we made our way back from Target. I bought a curling iron and a hat and a pair of sweat pants and some new lip gloss. It was a good trip that ended even better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Mr. H. and I packed an emergency bag in case we had to get out of the country quickly after the election. So the good news, in addition to Obama winning the election, is that we're staying put for the time being. The bad news is that no matter how happy I am that Obama won the election, I still am still annoyed with one of my coworkers. I guess even on a day with seismic shifts, somethings must remain the same.

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Day More

I thought I'd take this time to ponder the last eight years and wonder how we will ever move beyond it. Good thing I found this book on Amazon: The 12-Step Bush Recovery Program. I'm on step two "Understanding What You've Been Through." I'm really hoping to get to step 12 by January 20. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I've also added this book to my bedtime ritual: Goodnight Bush. It helps me sleep to think that tonight might be the last time I have to say goodnight to him and tomorrow I'll wake up and it will have all been a bad dream.

Friday, October 24, 2008

elephant and castle again

trying to calm my nerves after a long week of work and poll wacthing. i don't know about you, but I'm ready for this election to be over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

America Hating Liberal

If I hate this country so much (which I must because I count myself as a liberal - and I'm pretty elitist to boot) why don't I just move? I ask myself that more and more it seems. But as the election comes closer, the more I see the GOP showing what I feel I've always known were the true colors of those who wan to sensor speech, take away choice and think if you don't believe in their God then you're wrong. Despite what they say, the McCain/Palin rallies aren't getting any nicer, as was reported at the Huffington Post today. I don't kid myself that Obama can fix everything. But I can't say that I'll be sticking around for long after January if he somehow doesn't win.

Monday, October 20, 2008


is a good thing...but can be a pain in the ass.

Possibly reverting back to the Stone Age

I have a rather long and involved tale about my cell phone where the one I had, and hate, was roaming all the time while Mr. H.'s phone had perfectly good, non-roaming service, so I go and get a new phone cause it's been two years and I'm that kind of consumer only to have it get NO service (not even a roam) in and around our apartment (meanwhile Mr. H. has downloaded NFL live and is watching the Brown's game "totally awesome" on his phone) go back to the store twice more and call customer service twice - all to no avail. Apparently some tower is down and I either have a phone that doesn't have a very strong antenna or I suddenly (but not Mr. H.) live in a rural area that doesn't get great reception. I've been told they are working to restore the tower, that and a $40 refund on my bill (which I basically had to beg for) have placated me for the time being. If the phone is still not working in my abode by the end of the week, I may go back eight or so years and be sans cell phone. You people know my work and home numbers. Seriously, is it that important?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday night at the bar

I've had a couple of comments about my lack of blogging lately. So
this is for you D and Mr. H.

I'm with Mr. H at Elephant and Castle on Adams. There are a bunch of gourds adorning the bar. Mr. H thinks they look phallic. I think they look festive. Maybe if I have a few more beers.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Thoughts

First Thought
What is up with the Cubs? I mean seriously? On the plus side, if they lose their next game at least they didn't draw it out and get all of our hopes really up. I mean, I know it's a lot to ask of the universe to let an insignificant bunch of over paid boys that never figured out how to get a real job to win to lift the spirits of fans who, let's face it, mostly just like to go to the run down ballpark to drink. But it's been 100 years. I've been a Cubs fan (sure maybe not the most devoted fan, but a fan still) since 1984. Even 20 plus years is a lot of time not to win anything. But hey, whatever. If they actually do manage to win this year or the next or ever, in a weird way they will cease to be the Cubs and then what will we do?

Second Thought
I've about had it with the people who roll through stop signs and hate to wait for pedestrians to cross the street. Last night on my way home I was fully within my right to begin crossing the street when the car on the other side of the intersection gunned it (and he had a really loud muffler so it made it even that much worse) and then swerved around me as I had not yet actually made it across the street much less past the midway point. I don't think I was really in any danger of getting hit rather so much as forcing this guy to wait a few extra seconds to get wherever he was going. I'm sure it was the emergency room or something like that and his total display of douchery was completely necessary.

Third Thought
TGIF - I know, corny but totally true.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hair cut

I got my hair cut last night. My hair dresser, Bathsheba (I know ... right?), she's opening up her own salon, Sparrow, but her landlord didn't get a permit to do work on the facade so they got a stop work order and now instead of cutting hair in her new nifty hair salon she's and her partner are working out of a friend's art gallery on Milwaukee in the middle of Bucktown/Wicker Park. Contrary to Mr. H.'s popular belief, it is not in a basement. It is however, fairly basic, just a chair and some mirrors. No shampooing, so coloring, no perms (not that I think she'd give me a perm even if I begged, but who knows...maybe next time when I go in I'll ask if she can perm my hair). Anyway, the up side is that I get pretty basic hair cuts and she's charging less than she normally does since she's obviously not a fully functioning hair salon. However, now that she's the owner of her own salon, do I not need to tip her anymore? Once, a long long time ago, I went to a place and had my hair cut by the owner and he said I didn't need to tip him because he was the owner and you don't tip the owner. I don't want to offend her by tipping. So if you have any ideas, let me know.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

OMG - I'm so bored of running

I may or may not do this Higgins Half Marathon I've been training for. The good news is I didn't have to pay anything to sign up so I'm not out any money. The bad news is if I don't do it I'll feel more than just a little guilty. I'm not saying it's totally off yet, just that it's hard to continue to train. I haven't done a long run since the Walter Payton run and it's really hard to get up early on a Sunday morning and go run 8 or 9 or 10 miles. But I'm not saying I'm done yet. Just thinking about being done. I'm going to run tonight and tomorrow night and see how I feel. And if on Sunday I manage to get myself out and run 8 miles then maybe everything will be OK. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walter Payton 16,726 Yard Run

That's 9.5 miles for those of you having trouble converting yards into miles. Mr. H. and I ran this race in the pouring rain on Saturday. I wasn't sure how I was going to get through 9.5 miles much less a wet 9.5 miles, but somehow I did it. My results:

I finished with a time of 1:35:57.1 (10:01 pace) and 198/271 overall. I finished 15th in my age group - no where near placing, but not dead last like I thought I'd be (did I mention it was raining cats and dogs?).

As impressive as my results are (and I know you're impressed), Mr. H's results are even more impressive:

He finished with a time of 1:13:32.6 (7:44 pace) and 38/271. He finished a close but not quite 4th in his age group. He's a little upset he didn't get 3rd in his age group because he knows he can run that fast, but I still love him.

I'm very proud of him and frankly myself. Even now, knowing I can run 9.5 miles, I have no idea how I did it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Understanding Sarah

From an article about Sarah Palin on Salon, an interesting quote:

What Palin so seductively represents, not only to Donny Deutsch but to the general populace, is a form of feminine power that is utterly digestible to those who have no intellectual or political use for actual women. It's like some dystopian future ... feminism without any feminists.

It's helped me understand why she's attractive to no only the men in power, but also some of the women who probably don't want to be seen as a "feminazi" but like the idea of having some power, even if its' a charade.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Half way to a Half Marathon

So here's the story for those of you who don't know. Mr. H. and I are training to run a half marathon. We're scheduled to run it the last weekend of October, Sunday the 26. But here's the problem, there isn't a half marathon scheduled in Chicago, or any of the surrounding areas that weekend.

See, my sister is running a 1/2 marathon the weekend before in Utah. She somehow convinced me to start training with her, but I must of missed the part where there wasn't a race in Chicago the same weekend. Once I started training it seems stupid to not continue. (This is weird for me because I usually don't have a problem abandoning projects.)

So instead of waiting to find a half marathon to run in, you know, one fully supported with a certified course and all, we decided to do our own half marathon. Sounds like fun huh? Well it seems to be for my sister who has taken it upon herself to organize a course for us complete with water stops, t-shirts and medals at the end (if I'm running 13.1 miles, I better get some sort of medal). She's currently looking for volunteers for the water stops, and I'd love someone to run next to me the whole time to help me keep going or at least some friends along the route to clap and say good job. Let me know if you're available that weekend.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Another 10k

Yesterday, Johnpaul, Jackie and I ran the Nike Human Race 10k. The race was held in more than 20 cities around the world. I'm not sure exactly how many people did the race worldwide, I heard a million, and I think about 16,000 ran it in Chicago. I finished in 108,636 place in the world, 5,921 in Chicago, and in 2,626 place out of the Chicago women with a time of 1:03:15. Not my best 10k time, but not too bad considering how many people were running.

It was fun getting there, because pretty much once we left our apartment to walk to the train we saw people wearing the run t-shirts. The shirts, as you can see from Jackie's, also had our bib number on them - so everyone was wearing them. It was cool to see all the people on the train heading toward Soldier Field for the race. However, it was near impossible to keep track of Jackie as I ran and we eventually lost each other around mile 3. For this reason only she finished two minutes in front of me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gold Medal in Sandwich Cutting

Mr. H. has a knack for cutting sandwiches. First, to understand this, you'll need to know that Mr. H. makes my lunch each day (or the night before). Usually it's a sandwich and some grapes. Sometimes I also bring some baby carrots. Anyway, he likes to cut his sandwiches not down the middle or diagonally, but by cutting a little corner off.

Now, I being more of a traditionalist, like my sandwiches either cut down the middle or diagonally. But one day last week, he accidentally started to cut my sandwich the way he cuts his (we don't like the same mustard on our sandwiches, hence a his and hers sandwich). When I got to work and saw that my sandwich had not one but two cuts in it, I called him to find out why. We had a laugh and moved on.

Or so I thought. Now Mr. H. is getting creative with the knife. So far this week I've had a sandwich cut kinda squiggly with a yin yang and marked with the American flag, that was the day after it was marked with the Union Jack. Who knows what he'll come up with tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not feeling the love

My company has decided that visiting all kinds of websites is no longer conducive to working. So I can't update my Facebook page from work. I can't blog from work, or read other's blogs from work (well not those that have a address). They've gone all 1984 on us lately and I have to say, it's not sitting pretty with the workers. First they take away cake day and now this? Where will it end?

Sure, maybe I'll be a little more productive while I'm at work. But something is going to break this camel's back and, well, that's not going to be a pretty site.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy Monday?

At least in prison
You get to shank people who
Really annoy you.

- from Office Haiku by James Rogauskas

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How to get fired from your job in five weeks or less

As promised the other day.

I recently had an encounter with a person who managed to turn off every person they came into contact with and apparently piss off enough people at the right level that they were told they probably shouldn't be working at the company anymore. It went a little something like this:
  • Get hired
  • Intimidate immediate manager
  • Have immediate manager try to pawn you off on the head of area
  • Invite yourself to a departmental meeting that is above your level
  • Complain when you are not being included in meetings above your level
  • Meet head of department (the big boss) during a meeting and proceed to tell them and others why they are wrong
  • Tell everyone how you did things at your previous companies
  • Go around an introduce yourself to everyone and try to form side pacts in what looks like an effort to play people off of one another
  • Get fired
See it's that easy. You too can start to enact your over-bearing personality upon others and, with any luck, you'll be told your services are no longer needed in as little as five weeks. Of course, this works best when you are within your first few weeks of working for a company since most people don't tend to rock the boat until they've been somewhere for six months or so.

Up next: How to stay employed regardless of how many people you piss off and departments you cycle through.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Have I been remiss?

Surely you have noticed I have not blogged in quite a while. Almost three weeks my my clock. In that time I have: Run a 10k, spent many days at work, attended a small wedding vows renewal ceremony, babysat my nephews and niece, dinned with my "big boss" from Paris and his partner (he's not gay, just not married to his significant other), attended long and boring meetings, worked some more, taken the car to have the emissions tested, attended a baby shower, attended the Wicker Park street fair, worked and worked some more. So really, you didn't miss much.

I'm trying to figure out how to get a raise at my office. Apparently getting a promotion and a raise means having to work long hard hours with above and beyond results. No slacking off for me. Sure, that's all good and fine, but when does it end? If it never ends, is the promotion/raise really worth it? Is it really worth it when I wake up and immediately start thinking about the things I need to do at work? Is it worth going to sleep feeling slightly guilty that I didn't check my blackberry one more time? This world of being available all the time has started me to long for the wilderness and solitude a la Walden, and I don't even like wilderness and solitude.

So, my dear readers, I give this oath that I will try harder to blog more as I know you look to me to (a) entertain you and (b) keep you informed on all things Melly, but forgive me if all my blogs are just rantings of the weirdness that is corporate America.

Next blog: How to get fired from your job in five weeks or less.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Feelin the love

I just wanted to say that despite the ups and downs of all relationships, I'm really happy I'm with Mr. H. I was just reading a friend's thoughts on her recent breakup and not envying her one bit. I remember how hard it was to go through that (even that one time 15 years ago with Mr. H. way before I was Mrs. H.). It makes me appreciate what I have that much more.

Thanks Mr. H. - I love you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ladies & Gentlemen, George Michael

That's right, I was among the lucky few (if you count several thousand people as a few) to witness George Michael in all his gorgeous Georgeness. With much thanks to my sis who bought the tickets, we had a fun time dancing to the couple of Wham tunes (Everything She Wants, Careless Whisper) and the big hits (Father Figure, Faith) . George worked the audience into a frenzy pretending he wasn't going to sing Freedom only to close his second encore with it, literally asking us to beg for the song.

I had a great time and I'm pretty sure all of the women and most of the guys in the audience enjoyed George's patented butt wiggling and hip shaking. He may be 45 (boy am I old), but he still has it. I'll be humming GM songs to myself all day, which may make being at work just a little bit nicer.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vacation...all I ever wanted

So I'm on day three of my week-long vacation and I won't bore you with the tales of working from home on Monday and taking phone calls from work on Tuesday. Let's just say I've only looked at my Blackberry a couple of times today and they seem to be coping with out me. Not thriving, but coping.

Yesterday was my brother's 17th birthday. My sister, her husband and took him to a White Sox/Indian's game. It was a good time. My sister got two guys who were very drunk and obnoxious and threatening to throw up all over the place cut off. And we had a good time listening to the four men sitting behind us talking about pretty much everything but the game. They talked about their wives and their kids, their in-laws and their jobs. I thought White Sox fans were supposed to be true baseball fans - at least that's how they characterize themselves. We might as well have been at Wrigley for all they were paying attention to the game.

Though it was a bit of a boring game until the 10th inning. It was tied up and then the Indian's got a run making it a happy birthday for my brother, who's an Indian's fan. Then, after getting two outs, they were just one out away but someone hit the ball and got on base and then another guy hit the ball and they were able to score. Or something like that. I was too busy talking to the guys behind me about if my shoes matched my outfit to pay much attention.

If you want to see more photos of the game, and witness my pitching prowess, go here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Personal Best

I'm sure you're all excited to know that I completed a 3 mile run in under 29 minutes. 28.33.16 to be exact. This is a personal best for me. I've been running on and off for several years now and after doing a little research, I've found some of my times for races I've done (please note, this is not a complete list cause I know I did the Elvis is Alive race back in 2005 and I know my sister and did a New Year's Day race that I can't seem to find the results for.)
  • Bucktown 5k - 9/21/03 - 34:30 - Pace 11:06
  • Wacky 5k - 3/7/04 - 35:10- Pace 11:19
  • Shamrock Shuffle 8k - 4/3/05 - 56:34 - Pace 11:22
  • Chinatown 5k - 7/16/05 - 31:18 - Pace 10:04
  • Trick-or-Treat Trot 5k - 10/30/05 - 44:49 - Pace 14:25
  • Wacky 5k - 3/4/07 - 34:12 - Pace 11:00
  • Walter Payton 5k - 9/15/07 - 30:27.51 - Pace 9:48
  • Trick-or-Treat Trot 10k - 10/28/07 - 1:04:26 - Pace 10:22
  • Turkey Trot 8k - 11/23/07 - 53:19 - Pace 10:43
  • She's Got Sole 8k - 6/22/05 - 49:19.5 - Pace 9:55
As you'll notice, for the most part I bounce between 10 and 11 minute miles (that Trick-or-Treat Trot in 2005 doesn't count because I was running with a girl from Girls on the Run and she was holding me back). You might also notice that for the She's Got Sole 8k I broke my 10 minute mile time and actually ran at a 9:55 pace. Very exciting for me. So when I got on the treadmill on Tuesday to do my three miles, I stepped it up a bit and finished with a 9:31 pace. I doubt I'll be qualifying for the Olympics, or hell, even placing in my age group that has women finishing 5k in 20 minutes. I might be able to take a couple of minutes off my time, but not 10. Regardless, it makes me happy to be in the sub 10 group. Those people are a bunch of wimps! Not really, it just makes me feel better to be able to beat someone, even if it is the women in the 65 to 70 age group.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Vacation Blues

Next week I'm on vacation. We're not really going anywhere, just taking some time off, me and Mr. H. But I'm excited about that cause I'll get some stuff done. I plan on regaling you each and every day of my vacation with exciting photos of me catching up on my reading, doing the ironing that's been piling up and going to the Taste of Chicago with all the other hordes of people who don't have to work. I might even take a nap or two cause I don't normally get to do that kind of thing (apparently they frown on it at work).

Unfortunately I have the pre-vacation blues. I have things to do at work but all I can think about it how nice it's going to be on Friday afternoon when I bid this place adieu for six whole days (that's right, I'm taking a six day vacation so I don't have to come back to work on a Monday cause that' just sucks). Why is it so hard to chug away at work when you have the prospect of a few days off? What makes it even worse is that I have a few things I totally need to get done before I leave which means if I don't get on the ball I'll be super busy on Friday, which is going to suck even worse than it does now.

OK, that's all I needed. A little self pep talk. I'm better. Back to work!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sonic Scam

Have you seen those commericals for Sonic? You know, the ones with either the husband and wife where the husband's a little less than on the ball or two guys where one guy is kinda dumb and they're always talking about Sonic's shakes and what not? Yeah, you know those commercials. But do you know what a Sonic is?

You see, I'm from Oklahoma originally and so is Sonic. I used to love Sonic and when I go a visiting family in either OK or TX I'll probably end of at a Sonic at least once (this is primarily because there is hardly anything but fast food down there and those people live in their cars - and Sonic's are drive ins, the kind where they put the tray of food on your driver-side window). Anyway, when I started seeing those commercials in Chicago, I figured there was a Sonic or two in the greater Chicagoland area. BUT I just read a story in the Trib that Sonic is going to be opening a store in a couple of burbs later this year. Wait - why are they advertising here if there are no restaurants near by? I checked their web site and the closest Sonic to my zip code is in Lafayette, Indiana which is 115 miles away. They can't possibly be in the same TV market as us.

There have been a couple of times I've thought to myself, wow, that shake looks good, next time I'm out in the burbs I should find a Sonic and get me one. The only reason this hasn't happened is (a) I rarely go to the burbs and (b) it's not really that big of a hankering, more just a passing thought.

So have they been running these commercials just to whet our appetite for the last year? That seems a little extreme? Or does Sonic have so much money to burn they figure, what if someone from 60618 happens to be driving through mid-Illinois and sees one of our signs - they'll know what great shakes, and sorta annoying ads, we have. Well no matter. They'll still be in the burbs and I still won't go that far for a shake and I guess I'll have to get used to the ads as now there will actually be Sonic's in the greater Chicagoland area and I doubt they'll pull their advertising from a market they actually serve...or will they?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Snot Nose Kids

As you may have heard, some Northwestern graduates don't think Daley is good enough to be speaking at their commencement (Trib article). At the time I thought what a lot of people thought - wow, how stuck up can you be. The funny thing was if any of the kids quoted in the original story had said they disagreed with Daley being the speaker because of the corruption in the Mayor's office, I'd totally agreed with them. But no, they were upset because they were expecting the Dalai Lama. Seriously? Now this morning I hear a news story that some of Harvard's matriculating class are pissed that J.K. Rowling isn't special enough to be wearing the crimson robes (NPR story). One of the quotes from the overly educated brats was something like "she's just a writer of children's books, she hasn't won a Pulitzer or anything."

Good lord, what does one have to do to please these people? Apparently win a Pulitzer or be the Dalai Lama. Sure, I realize they have paid (or their parent's have paid) a lot of money for their big-time degrees. I know that graduating from college is the biggest thing that's happened to them so far. But honestly, it pains my heart to think of the brats we're raising in this country. It makes me want to not have kids and send them to Ivy League (or wanna be Ivy League) schools. I'll have to make a note.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jobs for the intern

We have an intern at work. He got the job not because he sooo wants to do corporate communications, or he's looking to break into the exciting world of corporate marketing and events (like everyone his age who doesn't know what he wants to do, he wants to go into advertising). No, he got the job because (a) his mom works here and (b) the woman who was our first pick in the nepotistic resume pile (actually has a marketing degree) was asking us to wait on finalizing her offer for the full-time job interview she had line up later in the month. No such luck honey I said, we'll go with number two.

So we got Agnew (name changed to protect the innocent). He's a nice enough kid, goes to some little liberal arts school on the East Coast. He lets me know when he needs something to do. Problem is, every job I give him he finishes too fast. He needs to learn how to pace himself. I can't keep thinking of stuff to give him. It's interfering with me getting my job done. And I'm not the type of person to ask him to go get coffee for me or something like that. Though maybe I should be. Maybe he can pick up my dry cleaning. Maybe he can get my car washed (though Mr. H. and I just did that - no bother, he can clean it again!). Maybe I can get him to write my blog. I wonder what he'd say. He's probably complain about what a stupid job this is and how he shouldn't have listened to his mother but continued to work in the stock room at Bed Bath and Beyond. There he could at least wear jeans everyday and wouldn't have to sit at a desk staring at a computer screen waiting for someone to give him something to do other than entering crap into a spreadsheet or writing dumb stories about a guy who climbed Mount Everest. Of course, the pay is MUCH better here than his old summer job, so he might not.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Lava Lamp

The lava lamp sitting next to the TV was rarely turned on. Once it had been used often - during parties, when he was playing video games, when he had a girl over. But lately, none of those things were happening much, so he just left it off, sitting there, the wax a solid lump at the bottom.

He bought the lamp several years ago because he thought they were fun, kinda kitschy and he figured if nothing else, it'd give him some extra entertainment when he got high. At first his friends thought it was a little stupid. It was just a lamp filled with green moving slime. They didn't understand how all the hippies in the 60's could have thought these things were fascinating. But then, one night, in the midst of a debate about justice, Brian made a comparison between fairness and the lava lamp. His argument said that justice could be just as malleable as the lava in the lamp. It could change with seemingly invisible forces and what we once accepted as just was now something completely different. This incongruous comparison sparked an hours-long conversation where the lava lamp was used as a metaphor for everything.

The lava lamp, or the goop inside the lamp, was like Barack and Hillary - competing entities forced to work together within the confines of the democratic party. It was like the lack of beer in the refrigerator - annoying yet fascinating. He kept a list of all the ways the world was like the lava lamp. Each weekend, they'd come up with more and more examples. Eventually the list started to get dumb. Entries like "the lava lamp is like oil on top of a pan of water" was true but hardly a revelation.

As the ideas started to dry up, the lamp was turned on less and less and his friends moved on to other amusements. Lately it was kicking each other in the balls to see who could best withstand the pain. He'd taken to wearing a cup most of the time. He was thinking of selling the lava lamp on Craig's list and getting a new set of friends.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Richer than I thought

The other day, Mr. H. sent me this link: Have you ever seen it? It's pretty cool, and it definitely puts even what you think is the paltry amount you make into perspective. Even if you were to take out all of our so called high taxes and just put in your take home pay, you probably still are doing better than most of the people in the world. It's nice to be rich isn't it?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Why is it that sometimes people get on the train and then look around at all of the empty seats trying to decide which is the best one to sit in? Tonight on my way home not one but two guys did this. Meanwhile I'm standing behind both of them waiting for them to make up their minds. The first guy couldn't decide if he wanted to face backwards or sit in the hobo corner. He chose the hobo corner. The second guy then had to decide if he wanted to sit facing backwards or in towards the middle of the car. He chose facing backwards presumably so he could stare out the window - which is exactly what he's doing now. Finally I got to sit in the facing inward seat and here we are. I should have sat down next to one of them and then moved to the other after a couple of stops.

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


That's just too cool.

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

I'm sitting at my desk playing around with all things Google. I'm seeing how the mobile blogger works. Supposedly I can send an email to blogger and they'll post it to my blog. If this works you'll be getting all kinds of blogging updates from me.

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Letter from a Damen Ave. Bathroom

While confined here in my bathroom, I came across your years' worth of dirt and grime. Seldom do I pause while cleaning the bathroom to respond to previous tenants' filth.

I think I should indicate why I am here scrubbing the Bathroom, since you seemed content with its disgusting state. I am here because filth is here. I am aware that the cleanliness of this one room is interrelated to all other rooms in the Apartment. I can not sit idly by in the Kitchen and not be concerned about what happens in the Bathroom. Dirt anywhere is a threat to sanitation everywhere.

You deplore the efforts taking place in the Bathroom. But your actions fail to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about these efforts. It is unfortunate that cleaning is taking place in the Bathroom, but it is even more unfortunate that I was left with no alternative.

In any massive cleaning effort there are four basic steps: assessing the problem; gathering materials; donning of gloves; and direct action. We have gone through all the steps in the Bathroom. There can be no gainsaying the fact that immense filth engulfs this room. The Bathroom is probably the most thoroughly disgusting room in the Apartment. Its ugly record of unsanitary conditions is widely known. These are the hard, brutal facts. On the basis of these conditions, you, the former tenants should have cleaned. But you consistently refused to engage in even rudimentary cleaning.

Then, last April, came the opportunity of the landlord to right your wrongs. In the course of a lease signing, certain promises were made by the landlord -- for example, to clean the apartment before we moved in. As the weeks went by, we realized we were the victims of a broken promise. A quick sponge wiped over allowed the underlying dirt to return. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present ourselves armed with cleaning supplies. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of Bathroom purification. We began on the wall behind the door, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to clean years of cobwebs and hair from under the sink?" "Are you able to endure what must be urine splatters on the wall next to the toilet?" "If the stains do not come off the floor, can you live with that?"'

You speak of our activity in the Bathroom as extreme. At first I was disappointed that fellow Apartment dwellers could see my efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Bathroom community. One is the force of complacency, made up in part by tenants who, as a result of long years of living in squalor, are so drained of self respect and a sense of hygiene that they have adjusted to filth. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred toward tenants who do not keep their apartments tidy. It is expressed by Landlords who have lost faith in tenants.

I wish you had taken it upon yourself to clean the Bathroom. Yet, one day this Apartment will recognize its real heroes. They will be the scrub brush with the noble sense of purpose that enables it to wash away years of soap scum. They will be wringed and battered sponges who rose up with a sense of dignity and decided not to fear the underside of the claw foot tub. One day the Apartment will know that when these forgotten implements of washing found their way to the Bathroom they were standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our fight against germs, thereby bringing our Apartment back to those great wells of sanitation which were dug deep by Clorox and Lysol.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Objects in mirror no longer there

The red jetta has suffered an indignity of reflective proportions. At some point between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, someone decided to rip the passenger side mirror off said jetta. They didn't quite accomplish their feat as it was still attached but hanging forlornly down. Mild outrage consumed me as I pictured some young kids walking by the car and picking on mine rather than the others. Was this a not so subtle message to move the car? It had been parked in the same spot for a week. Or was it a bout of drunken vandalism - there is a four a.m. bar just around the corner. Mr. H. doesn't think we were the only ones targeted, which means it was probably kids, or drunks, or drunk kids. But I don't care about those other cars. I only care about my ability to parallel park without the aid of a side mirror.

I also wonder if possibly it was the car trying to pull them plug on herself as Mr. H. and I have been discussing purchasing a newerish car. I guess we should stop having those conversations while we're driving.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Blonde on Blond

Yesterday, after a meeting with some IBM sales people, one of them, a brunette woman, explained to some of my coworkers that she was late to the meeting because she "totally had a blond moment and went to the wrong building." She was standing right next to me and had been talking to me right before she said this. I wasn't really upset, but I did have a second of "I can't believe she just said that" incredulity. She promptly apologized and later treated me to a Starbucks.

Will the discrimination never end?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Note to Self

Next time you lift weights with Sara, take it easy. She's way stronger than you and your arms will hurt for the next two days.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Next I'll be in the basement with my red stapler

Recently our IT Security team has started to crack down on what we can and can not do from our computers at work. Apparently some people use their computers to do stuff they are not supposed to do at work - like make trades or share information about clients or whatever via personal email accounts (which are not tracked). Sure I understand that. But I don't have access to that kind of information, and, as usual, they must punish everyone for the faults of a few, and now I can't check my Hotmail at work. Fine. Not that big of a deal, just an annoyance. But then they went out and started blocking a bunch of web sites. And I'm not just talking about the porn all the traders were looking at. No, now we can't go to (which I rarely visited) or even Post Secret. Apparently PS had adult and mature content on it. So does the Tribune, but I can still read the paper if I want.

So, what I take from all of this is that they (a) want to be able to track each and every keystroke on my computer and who I'm talking to and about what and (b) only do work while at work (even if it's my lunch break). What kind of repressive regime is this?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You like me, you really like me.

I got this comment on yesterday's post: This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Câmera Digital, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

I'm glad my blog is likable. It's what I aim for. We should all reward Camera Digital for his/her very insightful comment by checking out his/her blog. It's not in English, but it has cool pictures of digital cameras. Today's camera is the Nikon D40x - which just happens to be the SLR digital camera I'm lusting after.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zero Days Accident Free

No, I didn't have an accident - just witnessed.

It all happened as I decided to free myself from the desk for a few minutes and get outside and enjoy the 70 degree weather (and 30 mph winds). So I take a little walk around the block. It helps me clear my head and get back into the game for the next three hours of work (or at least prepares me to sit here and putz around while I wait for five o'clock arrive). Anyway, the building next to my office is under construction. Surprise of all surprises here in the West Loop, they're building condos. I'm walking underneath the for your protection, sidewalk covering scaffolding when out of nowhere (not really but I don't know where it came from so it might as well be nowhere) something comes crashing down into the middle of the street missing a taxi by mere inches. I let out an involuntary "WHOA" and see bits of plastic bouncing up and a larger chunk of something skittering across the street. At first I thought the taxi had hit a large pothole and something fell off the car. The taxi must have thought the same thing because it came to a rather abrupt halt. But as I walk closer, I see that it's a hard hat with a visor. The hard hat made it intact, the visor did not. One of the construction workers picks up the hard hat and comments that it sure is windy. Apparently the hat blew off of one of the upper floors of the building. I was just glad there wasn't a person attached to it, and that I was under that handy-dandy scaffolding.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Tax Day

This year Mr. H. and I experienced the joy of not having loaned the federal government, interest free, any money. Fortunately I like to do my taxes early, so I had warning and was able to plan for the inevitable payment that must be made. Amendments were made to the W2 and next year I am hoping to come out even (I don't mind not getting a refund, just mind having to send money away). To be fair, we got about $60 back from the State of Illinois, so it's not all bad. Of course, Mr. H. and I are always looking for some good deductions but alas we have none. I don't understand why people get a credit for driving a hybrid car but I get NOTHING for riding my bike to work (ok even if occasionally, it's still something). Apparently fish do not count as dependents and buying a new Calvin Klein suit does not count as a "uniform" for work (though it totally should).

May the tax man be kinder to you than he was to us.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


As many of you know, I work for a company that is based in Paris. As such, I deal with a lot of people for whom English is not their first language. It has its fun sides - I get to remember the five plus years of French I took (you'd think I'd be fluent). But it also has its downsides. Case in point - I edit our newsletters, many of the stories being written by some of our French employees. Hence I have to translate sentences like this: Almost two High Street clothing shops a year are opening for business and taking up their swinging signs. It is the most visible signal that Paris’s most famous avenue is in a moving state.

I'm not totally sure what the author is trying to say here. I assume "High Street" is another name for the Champs Elysées - but I'm not sure. I've translated "Taking up their swinging signs" to either mean they are making their signs smaller, or maybe they're putting their swinging signs away. Maybe the signs are swingers (if you know what I mean) and they're taking them up on their offer. I'm definitely intrigued by the "famous avenue" that's in a "moving state." I take this to mean that they've installed moving sidewalks along the Champs Elysées which will make lugging all those shopping bags easier.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Moving Sale

As you know, Mr. H. and I are in the process of moving. And if there's one thing I hate about moving, it's moving stuff that I don't want. So in the spirit of Spring Cleaning and recycling, here are some things we're looking to get rid of. Feel free to contact me if you want something, but hurry, I've posted on Craig's List!

First up are several gadgets taking up space.

2 iMac remotes - Free
If you have an iMac that has the IR sensor for a remote cause you're just too far away (or too lazy) to turn up your iTunes by hand, AND you've lost your remote, well this one's for you. I can't sell these cause they were given to me. I can't use these because my iMac doesn't have the darn IF sensor.

UPDATE: One has been spoken for already, get the other before it's gone!

iPod Shuffle charger - $5
You should get one for your office cause you don't want to be stuck with no tunes on the way home. I'd keep this if someone at the gym hadn't liberated me from my iPod shuffle and I didn't already have one. I'm thinking of getting another shuffle, but they come with a charger, so I'll still have two. If I decide not to get another shuffle, and you're thinking you need three, one for the office, one for home and one for your mom's house, well, we'll talk.

Brick charger for your 2nd or 3rd gen. iPod - Free
Again, if you have an older iPod and you're looking for a replacement brick with the firewire connection (you know what I'm talking about if you have one) look no further. Somehow I ended up with two (oh, that's right, cause I already went through an iPod before this one) and only need the one charger for the iPod we never use. It's also useful as a weapon, or a paperweight or as art.

Palm Zire with charger and software - $10
Don't have a smart phone? Want to try getting organized in a not new and not fangled way? Then try what used to be all the rage and now is just a passing phase. More fun than an Apple Newton, it's a Palm Zire. Mine is actually blue cause I didn't want to jump on that "everything's white because Apple started making white stuff" bandwagon.

Next up we've got some stuff that's just lying around.

Leather Jacket - $100 obo
Think crotch rocket, not Harley and you'll get the idea. It's black with a white stripe on the sleeve. In it you'll look cool whether you're riding your motorcycle or just peddlin' your bike. Mr. H. bought it and wore it once before his arms grew. I knew he'd never wear it but I just can't say no to his jacket obsession. Sorry, no picture here, Mr. H. won't model for me.

Full Silver Sable & The Wild Pack comic book collection - $50 obo
Sorry dad, but these are just gathering dust. If you want 'em back, let me know and I'll save them for you. Otherwise, pick up this coveted mint condition collection of comic books. Lovingly stored with backboards and plastic sleeves. I'd tell you what's in them to make you want them even more, but I've never read them so I can't.

I'm sure over the coming weeks we'll be looking to get rid of more stuff, so keep coming back. These hot deals won't last long.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A novel way to start a day

What's better than having no hot water when it's 30 degrees outside and having to boil water to quickly give yourself a sponge bath (don't worry, I wore lots of deodorant)? Calling your building engineer dude to have him basically tell you that yes you're an idiot and yes he knows there's no hot water. Guess that's why we're moving. Note to the renters out there, stay away from Eagle Realty.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Two Cents

It's interesting to me how biased the news media can be. I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher yesterday and the panel was discussing Obama and Rev. Wright. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) made comments about Wright's sermon's, particularly his 9/11 sermon where he talks about violence begetting violence. I'm sure you've heard some of the sound bites from his sermon, but have you heard the whole thing? You can here. I have a hard time believing the Rep. Frank and Maher haven't heard the whole thing. And yet they insist on taking things he said out of context - Rep. Barney said he didn't agree with Rev. Wright's statement about America being murderer's (which, in my mind, doesn't even matter if it is taken out of context - it's still correct if you're talking about our foreign policy which Wright was - but that's another blog for another day). Rep. Barney didn't give the full flavor of the sermon and Maher did correct him. Maybe most people watching Real Time have already heard the full sermons and so know what the context behind Rev. Wright's "contorversial" statements is. But I doubt that most of the people watching Fox and all the other news channels that picked up on the original story have. I hadn't until I went and looked them up on the internet. Are there things he said I don't agree with, sure. There are things Mr. H. says I don't agree with. It's not the end of the world. And it certainly shouldn't be the end of Obama's candidacy. What it should be the end of are people unwilling to say anything about a media that no only skews the news (in the case of Fox) but take the easy route out (in the case of all the others) and don't report the whole story.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


You know that feeling when you're at Starbucks ordering a venti vanilla latte and you go into your wallet to pay for your over-priced caffeine fix and you realize that your ATM card isn't in the handy dandy spot it's supposed to be in, and so you spend the next few anxiety-filled minutes while you hand the cashier a 20 mentally reviewing the last several days to figure out when the last time you used your ATM card finally realizing as your change is handed back to you that you used it on Monday night at the ATM across the street from your office to get money for the cab you were going to have to take (and expense later) home from the "work dinner" you were going to, so barring Mr. H. going into your wallet and taking out your ATM card - and why would he do that since he has his own - you're pretty sure you left it in the ATM on Monday (it's now Thursday) but you looked at your bank account yesterday and didn't notice any weird transactions so you hop on over to the bank across the street from your office and hoping against hope that they have it, walk in to find out that sure enough they found on it Tuesday morning and destroyed it so, whew, you're safe. You know that feeling? No? Just me?

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Believe me, I don't want to move because moving is a pain in the butt. But I want to move cause I'm just not happy where I am. So we're moving. We found a place in North Center and I'm actually excited because it's a good neighborhood and a nice apartment. It would be great if we weren't paying so much in rent (it's not crazy amounts, but less is always more in rent - except when you move into a neighborhood that makes you sad and then less is less).

Our landlord, Jim, seems like a nice guy. He liked us right away and said we could even pick out paint colors for the walls. So, if you know of any great colors we should paint our place, let me know.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not trying to be a martyr, but...

I wonder sometimes what you feel, my loyal readers, when you come to my blog and there's nothing new. It is sadness? Anger? Rage? As I've said in several blogs this last month, things at work have been rather hectic. Who knew that something I started to fill up the little spare time I had during a work day, would be decimated when I no longer had any spare time and even some of my home time was being taken up by work. Who knew that it would become something I feel guilty about because I want you, my loyal readers, to be entertained by my musings and I just have not been able to deliver lately. If it makes you feel better I haven't been able to do much of anything else either. No reading the Consumerist Blog, or the Trib. Very little TV watching and only cleaning and ironing on a needs basis. It's a good thing I have Mr. H. or the house would be a total mess, I'd have no clean clothes and I'd have to go out to lunch every day.

Because I've been so busy, it's been difficult to get to the gym. On top of work, Mr. H. and I are, unfortunately, moving again. We're not as enamored with our neighborhood as we would like to be, so we've spent the last two evenings going to look at apartments. As you know from last year's entries, it's so much fun. Anyway, not going to the gym just makes me sad and even more stressed. So it's become a vicious cycle I'm hoping to break soon. As a matter of fact, I was going to break it today by going to Yoga at noon, but I just got a call from an IT guy saying we need to send an email out company wide within the next half hour so yoga probably is out.

Ah, such is the life of a high-powered internal communication peon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Yes, I've not been very good about blogging lately. I know my loyal readers understand that work has been rather hectic lately. And I appreciate that.

I did, however, find the time to get away for the weekend to the Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin (thanks to a Christmas/birthday gift from my sister!). It was wonderfully relaxing...OK, at first it was a little stressful because (a) spending good quality time with your mom and your sister can be stressful until you get all your mom/sister stuff out of the way and (b) everyone was walking around in their robe all weekend and I kinda felt pretentious and stupid doing that but by the end of Saturday I just let it go and got into the spirit of the spa. I had a nice facial and a very relaxing massage. While I wasn't being pampered, I padded around the spa sitting in the sauna, steam room, whirlpool and actually exercising (I did this in work out clothes cause it's a little hard to run on a treadmill in a robe).

I came back to work relaxed. Actually, a little too relaxed, I was kinda tired yesterday. Today I'm back on top of my game (whatever that means) and am ready to pound out this project that's eating up all of my blogging time. It will (with all of your luck sent my way) be completed this week, and I'll be back to my previously scheduled blogging routine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A book I probably won't read

I heard this story the other day on the news about this recent college grad who now has a book deal about how he gave up his comfortable life to see if he could make it as a poor person. (You can read the story here.) He gave himself some rules - no mention of his education, only $25 bucks, no credit cards - and some goals - be in an apartment, get a car, save some money. He more than accomplished his goals (by the end of his "expirment" he had bought a truck and saved $5,000), but I find all this very disengenious. His message is "I can do this, so can you." If his message was aimed at the middle class who struggle to save money, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But since it so clearly comes across as a way people, if they just weren't lazy, could get out of poverty (he says he did it as a reaction to the book Nickle and Dimed), it's insulting. It's insulting to poor people that they are poor just because they are lazy. He seems to be saying, hey, if you're poor and you work hard enough, you won't be poor anymore. Forget the fact that he has several things that a lot of poor people don't, like a college education (even if he didn't "use" it, he had it), he' white (sure there are poor white people, but let's not kid ourselves that this isn't an advantage for him), he had the attitude of "if it gets really bad, I can just quit" (which he did after 10 months when he found out about a family illness).

Maybe he'll use his attitude, education and resources to help those who are poor not because they chose to be, but because of circumstances beyond their control.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pancake Tuesday

You may not know this, but Mr. H. is from England. Have I mentioned that before? Well, apparently in England they celebrate Pancake Tuesday the day before Ash Wednesday just like other people celebrate Mardi Gras (well, with less flashing and beads). Anyway, a few years ago my sister learns of this particular tradition and decided to take it on full force. So for the past few years she's been cooking up pancakes (they're really more like crepes, but you know they English and the French don't get along so lord forbid they use a French word for something) and filling them with delectable goodness such as cheese and chicken and seafood. Yes, they are not your typical crepes/pancakes. To make the night even more special, she invites over her favorite English friends - but since Joseph Fiennes and Daniel Radcliffe never show up she has to do with Mr. H. and the couple of other British ex-pats she knows living here. She does it all up nice too with hand-made invitations and boxes of goodies for the Brits to take home with them.

This year's festivities were doubly exciting because it was not only Super Tuesday, which allowed us to talk politics with four people who can't even vote in this country, but Mr. H's brother, little Mr. H. (Little Mr H. being a complete misnomer as said brother is taller and bigger than Mr. H. However, he is still younger, so qualifies for the "little" title.) was in town visiting. He's lived in this country since he was about nine so has no English accent to speak of. It's weird, he sounds like an American, looks like an American yet isn't an American. Oh well.

The best part of stuffing yourself on my sister's wonderful pancakes on Tuesday is it makes fasting for forty days not as difficult (not that I'm actually fasting ... I'm just saying, if I were, it would be easier.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

What...the Giants Won?

Mr. H. and I were too busy white-knuckle driving our way back from the west 'burbs to care what happened in the fourth quarter. As luck would have it, that was the most interesting quarter (the first three kinda being lame). Anyway, I've learned two things from this experience (a) don't go to the 'burbs to watch a football game cause you're just going to have to come back and (2) if you do go to the 'burbs to watch a football game, you might as well stay until the end because if you leave (c) something interesting will happen and (4) parking will be just as bad regardless of what time you get home.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

I'm out in the burbs at our friends John's parents house. We're in the finished basement with a what looks to be 50 inch flat screen TV. All is good. The chili is cooking, the beer is cold and the Jello shots are chilled. I'll see you back when the game starts, unless something interesting happens before the game start.

Ok Jordan Sparks is singing. I guess winning American Idol gets you something. Theirs Eli and Tom. And now the commercials start. The Prison Break commercial was kinda funny. I don't watch that show, so it doesn't mean that much to me.

Here's the coin toss. I think it's a quarter, oh, no, they make a special coin just for the game. That's silly. The Giants won the toss. We've already started the betting here. Pat and Greg had a bet on what the coin would be. Greg won 5 bucks on the coin toss. Tom C's face looks better now that they've completed the skin grafts.

1st Quarter
The kick off and NY has the ball on the something, I can't tell, the TV's so small. Oh, it looks like they're on the 20, and Eli hands off. How much throwing do we think he's going to be doing this game? Bilicheck (I have no idea how to spell his name) has a red sweatshirt on. But the sleeves are still cut off, so that's good. Henry, the baby, has a red white and blue sleeper on and we've all decided that he's rooting for whomever wins. He's keeping his options open. Outside of the baby, the women are talking about the cool tattoos the players have.

Bud Light commercial - guy setting everything on fire gets a laugh from everyone and a "that's what's going to happen after you eat John's chili"

Audi commercial - weird, all the guys want the cars.

NY just picked up the first down and we see a shot of Payton. He's silently crying into his beer. Manning just got away from the blitz and another first down. We're all rooting for NY (except Henry who's hedged his bets) because really, who wants New England to win? Giants are on the board first with a field goal.

Diet Pepsi Max - mild chuckles

OK - I'm taking a chili break. I may be breathing fire when I get back.

Well, the unstoppable Patriots are on the board now and we've got more movie commercials. Oh Angelina you're so cute.

Oh, it's the big Go Daddy commercial, nothing will ever beat the original commercial. I my official feeling is the Dell commercial sucks. Good lord, the Super Bowl is nothing but commercials really. We like the commercial and really like the Tide talking stain commercial. Now the boys are taking bets on what song Tom Petty will sing during half time. Now Greg's trying to help me blog by pointing out all the famous people and now Manning just threw a crazy pass and some guy (81) made a crazy catch - oh Toomer - "it's not a toomer."

Damn - manning just threw an interception.

We're ready for the Budweiser commercials. Aw the dog's helping the horse make the team for next year. And now we've got yet another movie commercial. Seriously, Robert Downy Jr. is no super hero.

Well, NE didn't score after getting the interception, but then the Giants fumbled the ball.

Now there's a heart running around, ah a Career Builder ad which John says is stupid because you're not supposed to like your job. Now Naomi Campbell is drink life water and dancing to Thriller. A little weird.

Blogging during the Super Bowl isn't as much fun as blogging during a fight. There's a lot more going on during a fight. Oh - pretty boy Brady just got sacked, twice! Wow, there's a chance for the Giants if they keep that up.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Week from Hell if Hell were covered in 10 inches of snow

Actually, it hasn't been that bad. I've seen worse (like last week). Actually, I'm kinda excited. But it's a hesitant excitement. Things are getting interesting (in a good way) at work, but, as past experiences have taught me, I am a little wary of any change. Excited, but wary.

I remember being in fourth grade at John Adams Elementary. It was a big class, probably 40 or more students. One day, early in the year, several of us were, maybe 15 or 20 of us were taken aside and told that we would have a new teacher. They decided the class size was too big and as of Monday were splitting up our class. We all felt really special. I remember walking back into the room smiling and eager to move. The non special students had to stay in this same 'ole classroom.

So on Monday we reported to our new classroom, with Mrs. Disch. She was totally different that our previous teacher. She was young, just out of college and wore her hair in a side ponytail (this was 198x after all). She had all these great ideas for things we were going to do. We were going to have play areas with a grocery store and post office and puppet theater. She was an eager new teacher. But like a lot of eager people, she promised more than she could deliver and I don't think we ever saw the grocery store or post office or puppet theater. That isn't to say she wasn't a good teacher. I learned how to read and add (well for the most part) and the time that I forgot my lunch on a field trip day, she had an extra lunch to spare just in case. But in the end, it wasn't all that great being special. I still had to go to school and do work.

So yes, while I'm excited by these thrilling times at work, I'd rather not be too special.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Week from Hell if Hell were -10 degrees

Actually, my hell would be -10 degrees. I can take the heat, but this cold is another thing.

Anyway, it's 1:43 on Friday, and thus far this week I have managed to
  • arrange a party for everyone in the Chicago office at Union Station for Monday
  • arrange a press lunch for Monday
  • yell at caterers
  • print out and bind numerous presentations
  • send a last minute email out to all our customers (not as easy as it sounds)
  • cajole accounts payable to cut checks on the same day so I can pay vendors
  • not blow up at frenchie even though he really deserved it
  • not freeze to death

I have not however had a chance to go to the gym or go to yoga. I feel like a big flat slob. Even though I have managed to get out of the office each day by 5 or 5:15, I've been getting in early and am so brain dead by the end of the day, I just fathom going to the gym. Yoga at noon just wasn't doable.

The good news is, my boss is back on Monday. The bad news is his boss and our new CEO is in town for the week and we've got all these meetings going on (none of which I'm going to be involved in) but that means my boss will be all tied up and so people coming and looking for him will continue to turn to me and my other coworkers. Let me tell you, they just don't like it when you say you don't know. Even when you say the helpful, let me find out, they don't like it. They just want to know now.

But whatever, it's almost over for a couple of days. I'm not anticipating having to work much this weekend (never say never though). And while next week will be hectic, I'm hoping not as bad as this week. You see what it's done to my blogging.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Could it get any colder?

I mean seriously? (Is it a bad sign when you start to talk about the weather on your blog?) I am sitting in my brother-in-law's place practically freezing. I have my shawl on (which is basically a big blanket). I've had more coffee than is good for you and I dread going outside to go over to my sister-in-law's to watch the football games. I could just stay here, but Sheppard's pie is over at her house. The only thing Adam has to offer is a can of beans.

We're getting ready to leave in a few minutes so I just wanted to check in, let you know I hadn't frozen yet. Keep warm and go Bears (OK...Packers).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Working, Cleveland Working

It's Saturday and I'm working. I'm in Cleveland and I'm working. It's Saturday in Cleveland and I'm working.

Mr. H. and I made a trip to Cleveland to visit his family. (We would see my friend Melissa and her baby Wyatt, but she never calls me back.) Anyway, things at work have been kinda hectic and now that our company is headquartered in Paris and Monday is not a holiday for the rest of the world, AND my boss is officially on holiday the second the Packer's start playing tomorrow night (and not back in the office until January 28), I have been tasked with, wait, let me check the list he left me, more than a dozen things to do. Now all of this doesn't have to be done this weekend. Most of it is stuff that has to happen next week. But I thought I'd get a leg up and do some work today. Also, I ran out of room in my work email box and it wasn't going to let me send any more emails unless I deleted some.

So I hauled myself and my computer and my SecureID fob off to Caribou Coffee (actually I would have gone to Starbucks, but Caribou is closer) so I could log on the the Net and get some work done.

When I walked in it was packed. For some reason this is the place all the Eastern European men (maybe Russian, I'm not sure) who live in Lakewood hang out. I'm not sure why, but they always have. Actually, when I used to live here, I don't ever remember seeing large numbers Eastern European men about. But I've been gone for a long time, so maybe there's some Lakewood/Russia exchange program I don't know about. Anyway, all the tables were taken because these guys sit around and drink coffee and play cards and dominoes. It's quite the atmosphere. But I was in luck. See, Mr. H's family is rather large. He has seven or eight siblings (depending on how you count and what kind of mood he's in) and several step bros/sis's. Well, Jenny, one of the step sis's, was sitting here studying and so I was able to snag a table with her. I felt like I was back in college. Except in college I didn't have a cool laptop that I could wirelessly log on to the Net. I don't think there was wireless back then and Lord knows I barely knew what the Net was in college. There definitely weren't blogs and an over abundance of coffee houses to write your blogs from.

It's nice and cozy here (I'm sitting by the ubiquitous Caribou fireplace) and I managed to (a) do a presentation and (b) delete a bunch of email. It says I'm back down to 82% of my capacity. I was trying for 50% but I'll take what I can get.

Now the Russian's are gone and the kids have invaded (high schoolers and younger), so I might head back to the house where the rest of the H's are hanging.

No worries, I've got more work to do tomorrow or at least Monday, so you'll get another thrilling dispatch from Lakewood, Ohio!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is my boss trying to tell me something?

On Friday my boss said that I wasn't anal retentive. I don't think he meant this as put down, just an observation. Of course, I totally took that to mean he wanted to me to be more detail oriented. Fine, I can do that.

Then today he gets a pamphlet from SkillPath, you know those people who do the "soft skills" seminars, titled "Dealing Effectively with Unacceptable Employee Behavior" and he says to me, "Someone gave this to me in regards to you." Sure he's laughing when he's saying it, but really, now I'm starting to get worried. I don't do that much blogging while I'm at work. Do I?

Thursday, January 10, 2008


In a Tribune article about the girl in Buffalo Grove who has filed suit challenging the Constitutionality of the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act, I read this: Despite a 1961 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a religious test for Maryland public officials, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina bar atheists from holding public office, and Arkansas prohibits atheists from testifying in court.

I know I probably shouldn't be surprised, but I am. That sentence stopped me cold. I don't even know what to say. It's amazing to me that people can be so ignorant, that a country founded on the belief of religious freedom would do this. Apparently religious freedom means you must have a religion, we just don't care which one it is (unless it's something weird like Islam). I could go on, but I won't. I just wanted to share this so you could all share my pain too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Things I Now Get

Last night Mr. H. and I watched Aliens (well, we watched some of it until I started to fall asleep because I prefer to be watching TV while getting drowsy - and then once my eyelids are a droopin', Mr. H. turns off the TV cause he can't fall asleep with it on. Ah, such are the compromises of married life). Anyway, during the half hour we watched two phrases were uttered that I have often wondered the meaning of - "five by five" and "assholes and elbows."

Now if you're a Buffy fan, this whole "five by five" thing will have bothered you for a while. You kinda gather from the show that it means something like OK but the way Faith uses it, you're never really sure. Well, according to Wikipedia, it means that things are clear, understood or going the way planned. They reference the scene in Aliens that we were watching, so it's good to know I'm not the only one that this causes some trouble to.

Now the "assholes and elbows" phrase I kinda figured out too, gathering that it meant something like "get to work." Unfortunately no Wikipedia entry on this one. A general Google search turned up several links that say it means to go quickly or do something quickly. Possibly deriving from Vietnam era Marines meaning if someone is running away all you'll see is assholes and elbows. For some reason, as I was drifting off to sleep, I thought that if someone was scrubbing the floor, all you'd see were assholes and elbows. No wonder I have weird dreams.

Now you'll be prepared for your next vocabulary quiz.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rare Saturday Sighting

I know, I usually don't post on Saturday. But keeping with my resolutions, I was just updating my checkbook, making sure that AT&T gets the money they so desperately need, and I figured I'd check in. Mr. H. and I have so far (a) had coffee (b) played The Godfather on the Wii (well he played, I just commented on how un-nice it was that he was extorting money from people he doesn't know. However, it was fun to watch him make his character cause you can do this whole face thing that lets you change the way your character looks, so his guy pretty much looks like an Italian version of him, which got me to wondering if this is what the FBI uses now instead of artists because it's so much easier, that's bad for the artists I guess. What do you do when you're a profile artist who's replaced by a computer program?) (c) shaved (again, that was Mr. H.) (d) put in a Peapod order for tomorrow and (e) discussed what we are going to do for the rest of the day. So far we've decided to (a) go to Best Buy so we can decide what to spend our gift card from my dad on (thanks Dad - your official Thank You Note is in the mail) (b) drop off some old clothes at the Salvation Army (c) go to Target for some new clothes. That's it. That's our Saturday in a nut shell. We may go out tonight with the sis and her husband, but that hasn't been decided on yet. This is why I don't normally blog on Saturday. See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2008


I've got a lot for this year, so I'll just launch into them:
  1. Stop paying attention to celebrities (already broken this one cause I just couldn't turn my eyes away from the latest Britney fiasco)
  2. Pay bills and balance checkbook promptly to avoid two-hour long fortnightly drudgery
  3. Continue on good exercise and eating program that I began last year
  4. Don't spend money on things I don't need (this includes coffee, meals out and shoes)
  5. Hang out with friends willing to treat for coffee, meals and shoes
  6. Watch less TV, play more video games
Feel free to let me know any of your resolutions.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Looking for a distraction

I'm looking for something that will get me though the rest of the day. i want to be able to just go home and curl up on the couch and watch tv or read a book, maybe knit. No, knitting takes to much brain power. i think my brain is fried after this merger and the holidays and such. Getting back into a routine is difficult when you have major holidays in the middle of the week. I just want it to be Friday. But it's not Friday. It's 2:42 on Thursday afternoon. I have, in addition to fielding annoying phone calls from people at work who want me to send them the logo or the word template or something they could easily find on our Intranet if they just took a moment and LOOKED for it, I have read the newspaper, looked at blogs and looked at the entries for Abbie Hoffman and D.B. Cooper on Wikipedia. It has been a less than productive day, though I can say I have accomplished a few things. I have, however, not figured out how to make time go faster when I want it to or slow it down when I need to. If someone could work on those things for me, I'd be very grateful.

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