Thursday, December 21, 2006

Her Name is Rosie

As I’ve mentioned many, many times, Chris and I have a beautiful Rottweilier named Rosie. Here is a picture of her, or more accurately, a picture of her gigantic ass:



Anyway, to us, Rosie is more than just a dog. She is our baby. In fact, there have been many times when Chris and I have hypothesized that someday, we will probably like Rosie more than our actual children.

But sometimes, I suspect Chris likes the dog more than me. Why? You see, pre-Rosie, Chris used to make up little songs about me. These were nice little songs about me being pretty or him loving me. But for the past three years, all his songs have been about the dog. Although, it’s not really accurate to say he makes up these songs. Rather, he takes songs that already exist and changes the words. For example, we have:

Her Name is Rosie
This song is based on Suzanne Vega’s “Luka.” It goes like this: Her name is Rosie/ She lives on the third floor/ She sleeps right next me/ Yes I think you’ve heard her snoring before.

Sweet Rose
This is an adaptation of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane.” It goes: Jack, he was a banker/ And Rose…. She was a dog/ You can hear Jack say/ Sweet Rose/ Sweet Rose

Stink Puppy
Finally, we have this one, based on “Brass Monkey” by the Beastie Boys. This one’s pretty basic: Stink Puppy/ That stinky puppy/ Stink puppy, puppy/ That stinky puppy

There are others, but you get the idea. Perhaps I should be concerned, but then again, I do enjoy singing along.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sarah Pot Pie

Saturday was my three-month anniversary, and yesterday was the first time I have worked out since the big day. It was pathetic, but it felt great. Attempting to run for any length of time was a joke, but I still managed to at least stay on the treadmill for 20 minutes, even though I walked for most of that and barely broke a sweat. And despite the fact that this workout featured very little “work,” I am super sore today. That’s a good sign, I suppose.

It’s amazing how quickly I fell out of all the good habits I formed pre-wedding. A lot of that is due to my job. I feel like I am just now beginning to catch up from the two weeks I took off for my honeymoon. Granted, since the wedding we’ve increased our department by two people, which I had to interview and hire, and we’ve had two people leave — one which I had to replace and one that was my boss. So, it’s been a bit crazy ’round here, and I’ve struggled to leave early enough everyday to get home and walk the dog, let alone have time to workout.

Still, I could have gone to the gym on the weekends. And a heavy workload does not excuse my all pasta-cheese-and-fried-food diet of late. That I blame on the weather. During the summer, I had no problem eating a salad for lunch or dinner. But now, with the wind and the snow and the air, all I want is a heaping bowl of warm gooey fried cheese comfort food.

For example, after Thanksgiving we froze most of our turkey leftovers, and on Sunday I finally turned those leftovers into a meal. I made this lovely Paula Deen turkey pot pie recipe that has been busy clogging my arteries for the past two days. For those of you unfamiliar with Paula Deen, all of her recipes follow a similar theme: cook some fat, add some more fat, cover it all with sugar.

Her turkey pot pie recipe was no exception: cook some cheddar cheese soup and cream of celery soup, add some turkey and stuffing, cover it all with pie crust.

And it’s amazing. And comforting. And about 800 calories per serving. I had three.

So it’s back to the gym I go — that familiar place that’s comforting in its own way .. even though one of the four TVs is always, without fail, tuned to the Food Network. Ever try working out while watching Unwrapped? I don’t recommend it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Red, Red Wine

This month's Self-Portrait Challenge theme is RED. So, I was going to write a little tribute to red vino for this post, but after this little exchange with Chris, I had to change it all:

Chris: What's the theme of this post?

Me: It's Red, so I decided to go with Red, Red Wine.

Chris: (singing) Red red wine, you make my feet so fine...

Me: Wha?? Feet?

Chris: Those are the words, right?...

Me: Nooooo! (laughing hysterically) It's you make me FEEL so fine.

Chris: .....um, please don't put this in your blog.


Sorry honey. But to make you feel better, here's an equally embarassing photo of me:

Monday, December 04, 2006

This is disgusting...

... but hilarious. Go read THIS right now — but don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

November E-Music

It must be the change in the seasons, because I was feeling a little metal this month. Mix in some June Carter Cash, and you've got yourself a strange collection of downloads.

Amebix - Arise Plus Two
June Carter Cash - Wildwood Flower
Coalesce - functioningonimpatience
Deadguy - Work Ethic
Earth Crisis - Firestorm
Hey Mercedes - Loses Control
Lambchop - How I Quit Smoking
Nothingface - Violence
Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Office = Center of the Universe

I never thought that working for a publishing company that covers IT, HR and learning & development would lead to so many strange connections. But it turns out that people within this company are somehow connected to everyone I've ever known ever. For example:

- Not long after I started here I learned that our designer was pretty good friends with another guy who works across the hall. Turns out the guy across the hall lives with one of my best friends from high school.

- While editing a press release submitted to us a few months back, I noticed that one of our very close family friends was quoted, who helped launch an HR company.

- One of our newest hires, who grew up and went to college in North Carolina, has a bunch of close friends that went to Mizzou, two of which I used to work with at the library depository.

- After learning that I had actually heard of the band Assuck, our webmaster invited me to see the band HeWhoCorrupts on Saturday. The guys in that band are good friends of my ex, Dave. Turns out our webmaster freelances for HeWhoCorrupts, has met Dave and is planning to go see Dave's band, Chicago Thrash Ensemble, on Dec. 2.

We live in a crazy, small, small world folks.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Like man's best friend

It's occured to me recently that I'm ridiously loyal to big business. Although, not really loyal so much as lazy.

For example, I've had the same Hotmail account since I was 18. And even though I'm fed up with Hotmail and my "Stoner" address isn't exactly professional, I keep on using it. Why? Because I'm too lazy to re-educate all my contacts on a new e-mail account.

I also still have the first credit card I ever opened. It' s got an insanely high APR, and I now rarely use it. But I can't bring myself to actually close the account. (Part of that has to do with my attempt to establish a long, illustrious credit history, but I could probably accomplish that through some of my other cards).

I've had a Verizon cell phone, and only a Verizon cell phone, for years. Could I get better service and cheaper rates with another company? Probably. But I've already got my online bills set up through Verizon, and alas, I'm lazy.

Then there's this blog. Although I haven't been blogging very long, I soon realized after starting this one that other blogging sites, such as Typepad, have more features that I'd like, such as a labeling system. But I'm too lazy to actually move everything over.

However, this time my loyalty has paid off. Blogspot has released a new version of its system that has all kinds of new gizmos for my blogging pleasure. This happens to coincide with my plans revamp the old blog a bit. So, expect a few changes here and there over the next few weeks. Hooray!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Resolution No. 1

I've done a little bit to address that first resolution on my list of not-quite-New-Year's Resolutions. I haven't actually done any freelancing yet, per se, but I did set up this happy little place:

www.stonewunder.com

Just don't try to navigate beyond the home page, 'cause I ain't got that set up yet. I'd work on those now, but the Simpsons episode where Homer goes to clown college is on, and well, I have my priorities.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

eMusic Additions

So back in August I said I was going to update my eMusic downloads every month. Then I promptly forgot about it. So anyway, here's what I've gotten since then:

2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler
Bad Brains - Bad Brains
The Blood Brothers - This Adultery Is Ripe
Descendents - Milo Goes to College
Steve Goodman - Affordable Art
The Hives - Veni, Vidi, Vicious
My Morning Jacket/Songs: Ohia - split
Gram Parsons - Another Side of This Life
The Redwalls - Universal Blues
Samiam - Billy
The Staple Singers - Best of the Staple Singers
Susan Tedeschi - Better Days
Paul Weller - Illumination
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan


And now for no reason whatsoever, here's a picture from the wedding.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Imperfect Halloween Costume

So this year for Halloween, Chris and wanted to go as something fun. Something that would rise to the level of our costume last year when we went as Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone. Something that would, at the very least, make people laugh.

So here was our idea: We both dressed like we were about to go to the country club. I wore plaid pants and a polo with a sweater tied around my neck. I donned a white visor and carried a tennis racket. Chris dressed similarly, with a green polo and a sweater tied around his neck. He also pulled off a nice comb-over that made him look both like he was the president of his fraternity and also running for political office. We went by the names Porter Wellington III and Miffy Carter Wellington. We talked about our make believe kids named Cole and Preston, and theorized that our housekeeper Guadalupe was secretly making long-distance phone calls to her family back in Honduras or Argentina, or where ever it is she’s from.

Then to top it all off, we wore bug antennae. Why?

Because we’re WASPS!

Get it?

That’s OK, no one else did either.

We really thought everyone would find these hilarious. Like, “Oh, it’s so funny how you’ve made a subtle social commentary while playing off the term “wasp” at the same time. How clever! And by the way Sarah, you look fabulous in plaid pants.”

But instead, everyone was like, “Oh, right, wasps. Okay.”

Oh well. At least Chris and I amuse ourselves.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Not-Quite-New-Year’s Resolutions

In the rush of the holiday season and both mine and Chris’ birthdays falling between Christmas and New Year’s, I rarely have time to compose a list of resolutions at the end of the year more comprehensive than “1. Lose weight. 2. Pay off credit card debt.”

So, in this lull between the wedding/honeymoon and the beginning of the holiday season, I thought I’d take some time to put together a meaningful New Year’s Resolution list. And so I have some sort of motivation to actually accomplish these things, I’m posting it here so all of you can kick me in the ass if I don’t.

To Do in 2007:

1. Start freelancing.

2. Keep working out. (Number of times I’ve been to the gym since saying “I Do” – zero.)

3. Eat more vegetables. Except asparagus, because no matter how many different ways Chris prepares it, even served cold in an awesome strawberry salad, asparagus is still gross. Sorry.

4. Speaking of eating, try to go out to some new restaurants other the same two every month.

5. However, don’t blow a bunch of cash on dining out, either. Save money and put it into…

6. A condo fund. Start one so you can buy one someday.

7. Do something musical. Take out your trumpet and join a municipal band, or buy an electronic piano. Music used to be your one constant in life. So don’t forget your roots.

8. Speaking of your roots, try to go to church more often. Yeah, the Protestants might not totally jive with your current lifestyle, but it’s nice to believe in something, even if you don’t agree with everything.

9. Spend more time with the baby.

10. Start baking bread because it makes the husband happy.

11. Be more social. Make new friends but keep the old, and all that.

12. Lose weight.

13. Pay off credit card debt.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jack-in-a-Tux




I have no reason for posting this other than, "Hey, look how cute my nephew is!"

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mizzou-blah

Apparently, Mizzou's football team is somewhat decent this year. Because of this, a local Missouri alumni group put together a football viewing party at the Cubby Bear last weekend. Because the husband and I are both Mizzou graduates, and because the Cubby Bear is about two blocks from our apartment, we decided to check it out.

However, as soon as I entered the bar, I immediately remembered why I rarely feel the need to return to those college glory days. It’s because Missouri girls all look like this:



Tall, blonde, thin, perfect. They can wear Mizzou baseball hats and look adorable. When I wear a baseball hat, my ears fold over. Walking into that bar reminded me of all those years in Columbia when I felt like Frodo Baggins among Victoria Secret models.

But that's OK. I happened to be standing next to one of these girls right after she returned from the bathroom. She placed her giant purse on the floor and didn't notice that she let the straps fall open. And prominently placed at the top of her purse was this:



Talk about putting the "Rah, Rah, Rah" in "diarrhea."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Merry October

Three weeks ago I was in Spain. The temperature was in the upper-80s.
One week ago I was in Texas. It was in the 90s.
Today I am in Chicago. It's snowing.

I think I made a wrong turn somewhere.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Building A Successful Marriage: A How-To

Step 1: Have a kick ass wedding.

Step 2: Go on an awesome honeymoon.

Step 3: Leave hubby at home and jet off to a swanky resort in central Texas with no cell phone reception.

What, is this not the typical post-honeymoon process? So yeah, I'm in Texas right now for a work-related conference. It's in the middle of nowhere, and I get, at best, spotty cell phone reception. Meanwhile, my new husband is at home...all alone...and most likely spooning the dog at this moment. (Don't judge it, man. It's not like you've never spooned your dog before. Haven't you?)

Anyway, this is probably isn't the ideal way to spend your fourth week of married life. Any other time, I'd jump at the chance to travel for work. I mean, who doesn't love staying in a fancy resort, eating free food, drinking free top-shelf booze and seeing their boss and co-workers get schnockered? But this time, however, I'd rather be at home with my man, watching bad reality television and drinking Osco-brand whiskey.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Dirty Secret

This month's Self-Portrait Challenge is imperfections and dreadful secrets. I thought I'd go with one dirty little secret: I am one dirty little girl.

Literally. I'm messy.

About half of the fights Chris and I get into revolve around cleaning duties. Or more accurately, his inability to pick up after himself. He leaves dirty socks under the computer desk. He leaves clothing on the couch. He will use the same bath towel everyday for weeks until I change it for him. However, for all my complaining, I'm actually quite messy myself.

Take Exhibit A, for example: The Kitchen Sink. Chris does almost all the cooking, so I'm supposed to do the dishes. And do I complete this chore? Take a look:



Or consider Exhibit B: My Closet. Chris may leave his clothes all over the house, but I don't do much better. I just pile them up in my closet. Sure, they might not be out for everyone to see, but does that make me any less messy? What do you think?



Neither of these examples compares, however, to the horrors of Exhibit C: Our Apartment Post-Wedding. We brought home a stack of presents on Saturday and started to unwrap. And the empty boxes have taken over our living space. While most people would have been driven to insanity by this wasteland of boxes after about, oh, an hour, we've lasted 3 days:



(Since the photo was taken we've clean up about half the mess)

So there you have one of my dirty little secrets: I’m a dirty little hypocrite.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cringe-inducing

I'm thinking about changing my e-mail address simply because I can no longer stand the advertising on hotmail. It's the little guy that flips up the toenail .. gah! I can't stand it anymore. I dont even HAVE toe nails, but it makes the place where my toes used to be hurt every time I see that ad.

Who's got gmail? Is that ad ever on gmail's Web page? If not, gmail here I come. (By the way, you'll probably notice I have a Yahoo account attached to this blog. My Yahoo account is where I have all job-related stuff, and this blog used to be job related. Now... not so much.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge

This month's Self-Portrait Challenge theme is "with someone." Because I was gone most of the month, I'm doing my first one the last week of the month. Anyway, after getting married and taking a two-week honeymoon, I guess it's only appropriate to include my new husband as my "someone." I do kind of like him.

I couldn't decide between these two pics, so here you have first, Chris and I at the Englischer Garten in Munich just before we headed off to a Bayern Munich game, and second, the wedding day.


Friday, September 08, 2006

What’s going on

So I guess I should update this blog thing. There’s not a whole lot going on in Sarah Stonerland, except for maybe that wedding thing … which is tomorrow.

So yeah, I’m pretty much going nuts right now. I’m taking care of all those little things I put off for the past year. In fact, as I write this I’m sitting with some nasty teeth whitening trays in my mouth, pretty much drooling all over the keyboard. Hot.

So, we’ve got all kinds of family in town now and lots of friends coming in town today. Last night we went out with a bunch of folks from various parts of our life. Total bizzaro world to see Chris’ old roommate, my former coworker from New York, my parents, Chris’ parents and his aunt and uncle and cousins all gathered around the same table. Like, how many different parts of our life and different places lived can we bring together at the same time? Amazing.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I’ll have time to update this here blog while on the honeymoon, so for the next two weeks, think of me fondly, like, “Aw, Sarah’s drinking brewskis in Germany right now…” or “Sarah’s probably kicking it on the Mediterranean today.”

Cheers!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What happened

A week from today I will be at my wedding reception. A week ago today, I was at the hospital saying goodbye to my cousin. I can’t event begin to describe the range of emotions going on inside me right now. Despair, excitement, nervousness. But mostly regret.

Chase asked if Rachel’s death was unexpected. Well, sort of. Rachel was diagnosed with leukemia about a month ago. From the beginning, the doctors were optimistic and her prognosis was good. She went through chemo, and afterward a test of her bone marrow showed that she had beat the cancer. There were no signs of leukemia in her. She was staying the hospital while she boosted up her immune system, and she was supposed to go home last Sunday. Last Thursday, she started to come down with a fever, and the doctors said she had contracted a bacterial infection. Because she had just gone through chemo and she was still recovering from leukemia, she couldn’t fight the infection on her own. By Friday, the infection had spread to her brain and she was put in an induced coma. By Saturday, she was brain dead. We all gathered at the hospital that day to say goodbye, and then they took her off life support.

So was it expected? Not really. We all knew she had leukemia, but the doctors said she was going to be OK. She was supposed to be coming home. This infection came out of nowhere.

The reason I’m filled with regret is because Rachel was in a hospital located about two blocks from my office. And in the month she spent there, I went to visit her twice (while she was conscious). Why didn’t I visit her more? I know what it’s like to live in a hospital. I know how much having a new visitor can brighten your day. I’ve been there. But I was always too busy working out, planning the wedding, going out, having fun. Meanwhile, I was missing out on the last few weeks of her life.

Rachel had a daughter in May. Right now I’d like to say that I’m not going to let the same thing happen with her. I want to be a part of that little girl’s life. But due to circumstances beyond my control, that probably won’t happen.

Instead, I’m filled with regret and with loss. And I have no way to make it better.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rachel

My cousin Rachel died on Saturday. She was 20 and has a three-month-old daughter. I've been trying to write a tribute or something here, but I'm just not ready.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Precipitation Technology

We can send people to the moon, perform heart transplants and even cram days’ worth of music into a thin strip of metal. So why is it that humans have not been able to come up with something more advanced than The Umbrella?

Sure, The Umbrella is an advancement compared to its predecessor, The Newspaper. However, stripped down to its basic parts, the technology of The Umbrella is: 1. Stick. 2. Cloth. That’s about as advanced as the basic toothbrush — Stick. Bristles. But even the toothbrush has seen some updated technologies over the years and is now motorized and practically cleans your teeth without you having to lift a finger.

My problem with The Umbrella is that it only accomplishes about half of what it’s supposed to do — keeping you dry. For starters, it may keep your head dry, but your feet are another story. In fact, pretty much everything from the waist down doesn’t get covered by most umbrellas. Plus, all the rain that’s not hitting you on the head is rolling down your umbrella and landing on your back, or in my case, my butt. Because that’s where I really want to have a wet spot.

Then there’s the whole issue of opening and closing them. Even the smallest umbrellas don’t fit through doorways and other narrow places, so you have to close them before entering or exiting things. All the while you’re fumbling to close it using those impossible metal things (which, by the way, I’m always terrified of pinching my fingers in), you’re getting rained on. And if you also happen to be carrying something else like coffee or a purse, well, you might as well forget about being dry. Plus, half the time when you close an umbrella, it manages to pour water all over you. So really, you’re no better off than if you hadn’t used one in the first place. In fact, you’re probably more frustrated.

And don’t even get me started on The Umbrella vs. The Wind. Guess what, Average Umbrella Manufacturer: When it’s raining outside, it’s usually because there’s a storm blowing through. And you know what storms produce other than rain? Wind. So maybe you should try to make umbrellas that don’t flip inside-out and render themselves useless whenever there’s a stiff breeze. Or maybe this is all a marketing ploy. The more our umbrellas get destroyed by the wind, the more we have to buy. Jerks.

So I’m begging all you smart folks out there, please invent something more advanced than The Umbrella. Seriously, if you come up with another technology to keep people dry in the rain that allows for free use of both their hands and doesn't require them to wear one of those stupid umbrella hats Professor Frink wears, you will surely become a millionaire. And please invent this quickly, because my shoes aren’t getting any drier.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Enclosed Spaces



I’m beginning to think that the nicer your view at work, the less you actually get to leave your office. That’s why you get a nice view: It’s a consolation prize for being tethered to your desk.

For example, at my first job as a reporter, my cubicle — and most of the building in fact — had no windows. However, I was rarely at my desk. Instead, I was out on the street, attending meetings, interviewing people, driving around, looking for stories, etc.

At my second job, there was a window within walking distance of my desk. At this job, most interviews were done over the phone, and I left the building less often than my first job. But I still got to leave every once in a while to go sit in other offices and interview people.

At my current job, I have an amazing view of Michigan Avenue and the John Hancock building. And I never get to leave. When I do interview people, they’re always done over the phone. I don’t even leave for lunch. Instead I eat at my desk. Staring out the window. Watching people do more exciting things. Like shopping.

But I shouldn’t complain. I like my job (even though it’s a wee bit stressful most days) and I actually get paid to work for a magazine. Now if I could only get paid to go shopping on Michigan Avenue…

See more self portraits here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I can read

A big "thank you" to Jessi for giving me something to blog about other than the wedding.

1. One book that changed your life.
No More Prisons,” by William Upski Wimsatt. (It's more about senseless fear than the prison system.)

2. One book you have read more than once.
Things Fall Apart,” by Chinua Achebe. (I had to read it twice in college.)

3. One book you would want on a desert island
How to Build Wooden Boats,” by Edwin Monk

4. One book that made you laugh
Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks,” by Mick Foley. (Who put these cookies in my bed?)

5. One book that made you cry
The Time Traveler’s Wife,” by Audrey Niffenegger. (But you already knew that.)

6. One book you wish you had written
The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” by Milan Kundera

7. One book you wish had never been written
Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity,” by David Limbaugh

8. One book you are currently reading
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk,” by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. (My friend Alex bought this for me when I graduated from high school. I'm finally getting around to reading it now.)

9. One book you have been meaning to read
All the President’s Men,” by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. (Yeah, I've owned this one since December. Still haven't read it. What was my major again?)

10. One person I tag.
Dave

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sobering Thought

I logged onto theknot.com today, and it said "24 days until your wedding!"

Holy crap.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

EE Anonymous

I had a bad day yesterday. The kind of bad day that pushes people in drink. Or in my case, pushes people to eat. Turns out, I’m an emotional eater.

I never thought I was one of those people. And to be fair, I didn’t woof down a tub of ice cream to calm my nerves either. However, at the height of my stress-filled day yesterday, I went out and got the tuna salad sub from Jimmie John’s. Scandalous, right? Well actually, for such a healthy-sounding sub, it’s got 500 calories and 19 grams of fat. Compared to what I normally eat for lunch, that’s was pretty bad. Afterward, I felt gross and vowed not to eat dinner.

But you know what I did when I got home? After relaying my craptastic day to Chris (which I’m sure he enjoyed), I sat on my ass, watched “House” and “So You Think You Can Dance?” (greatest show ever) and ate half a Home Run Inn pizza.

Disgusting. And I was doing so well. Last week, I worked out regularly, ate well and finally pushed past the nasty plateau that my weight’s been hanging onto for the past two months. However, with the bachelorette party on Saturday, my poor food choices this week (I also ate an entire bag of butter popcorn for a “snack” on Tuesday), and no time at the gym due to a case of the sniffles, it looks like I’m heading back to plateauland. (118, I hardly knew ye).

But I’ll get back on track. Today I finally feel well enough to go running again, so I’m going to relieve all that stress with a nice, hard run. I love running when I’m stressed out. It just feels so…right.

Plus, I’m eager to get back on the treadmill after watching this video that my brother-in-law sent me. It’s amazing. I suggest you all go watch it…now!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Enclosed in a Veil

This month’s Self Portrait Challenge theme is enclosed spaces. I decided to do "enclosed in a veil.” Now, I could get all psychological and say that I’m enclosed in a wedding, or about to be enclosed in a marriage. But let's just leave it at "enclosed in a veil."

A really, really pretty veil.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Longest Day Ever

This Sunday is my first of two bridals showers, where I will wear a pretty dress, eat finger food, sip mimosas, and probably nurse a hangover.

Tomorrow is my bachelorette party, where I plan to wear a pretty skirt, get sufficiently intoxicated, dance like a moron, and probably throw out lots of hugs and tell all my girls how much I loooovvve them.

Tonight, one of my bridesmaids is flying in for this weekend’s festivities, and I plan on taking her around the ‘hood, visiting some local drinking establishments, and staying up ‘til dawn in total slumber-party fashion.

I’m so ecstatic about this weekend, I can’t sit still. Yet I impatiently sit here at work, editing articles written in corporate-speak, reading and tweaking e-newsletters, and occasionally staring out the window, all the while wishing that today — the longest day ever — would get off its fat ass and fast forward about seven hours.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Yay, this is fun!

My brother-in-law got me hooked on eMusic a few months back. It's awesome. For $20 a month, you get 90 downloads. I'm one of those people who likes to ration things out, so every week I allow myself one or two albums. It's hard, dude. I have about 100 albums in my Saved for Later folder. But I keep downloading stuff I already had on tape or I lost a long time ago, like Bad Religion and Operation Ivy. And when I listen to them again, it's like, "Hey, I missed you guys."

Anyway, I think I'm going to start posting what I download each month. I've been a member since May, and I can't sort the downloads by date downloaded, so here's what I've gotten over the past three months:

Alkaline Trio – “Good Mourning”
Antioch Arrow – “Gems of Masochism”
At The Drive-In – “In-Casino-Out”
Bad Religion – “Suffer”
Belle and Sebastian – “If You’re Feeling Sinister”
Braid – “Frame & Canvas”
Fugazi – “13 Songs”
Iggy and the Stooges – “Year of the Iguana”
Operation Ivy – “Energy”
Pavement – “Slanted & Enchanted”
Rainer Maria – “Look Now Look Again”
Sleater-Kinney – “Dig Me Out”
Spoon – “Gimme Fiction”
Sufjan Stevens – “Illinoise”
Sugar – Cooper Blue
The Fiery Furnaces – “Bitter Tea”
The Lawrence Arms – “A Guided Tour of Chicago”
The Streets – “Original Pirate Material”
The Streets – “The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living”
Tortise – “Tortise”
V/A – “Brain Candy Soundtrack”
V/A – “Ghost World Soundtrack”
Willie Nelson – “Yesterday’s Wine”

Friday, July 28, 2006

I've been tagged

HollyRhea tagged me for this one. And since she apparently has a human head in her freezer, I thought I should comply.

Five items in my freezer:

1. Flavor-Ice
2. beer mug
3. vodka
4. chicken cordon bleu
5. half-eaten giant cookie Chris won’t let me throw away

Five items in the closet:

1. lots and lots of newspaper clips
2. scary Christmas decorations that we never, ever display at Christmastime but we feel bad throwing away because we got them from relatives
3. stolen handicapped parking sign
4. a second iron, still in box
5. dog hair

Five items in the car (Sigh. I no longer own a car, so here are five items in Christopher’s car)

1. graduation cap and gown
2. half of our tupperware
3. lots and lots of clothing, including a jacket we found in the trunk last weekend that neither of us had ever seen before
4. golf shoes
5. dog hair

Five items in my backpack:

1. work
2. lots of red pens
3. Women’s Health Magazine
4. MP3 player
5. feminine hygiene products

Five people I tag:

1. Chase
2. Jessi
3. Dave
4. Melinda
5. Dan

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Self-Portrait as a Pole Dancer



There's this very interesting bar in Wrigleyville with batting cages and dueling pianos on the same floor. Yeah, I don't see the connection either. Anyway, on top of these dueling pianos is a pole next to which many people like to dance. A few months ago, after consuming a few too many 7&7s (about two. I'm a lightweight. I also like to blame all my indiscretions on alcohol), I started to fall asleep in my chair at this bar. However, once I heard the dueling piano players begin the tune "Bohemian Rhapsody," I immediately sprang from my Canadian-whiskey-induced stupor and proceeded to dance on pianos. Everyone else was doing it, I swear.

Anyway, following this evening of pole dancing, Chris decided to tell everyone (including my parents, his parents, his employers, etc.) about my activities. I denied, denied! DENIED! that it ever happened. But alas, my soon-to-be husband captured the event on his camera phone. (Hence, super-low-res photo.)

So there you have my first forway into pole dancing. I'm pretty sure I have a future in this: I hear that sneakers, baggy jeans and green t-shirts are what all the successful pole dancers wear. Get out your dollars, fellas.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Summary

To an outsider, my life would sound a lot like this right now: Blah blah blah, editing, blah blah blah, invitations, blah blah blah, interviews, blah blah blah, learning and development programs, blah blah blah bridal shower, blah blah blah human capital management, blah blah blah bachelorette party.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Actually, I’m enjoying the wedding-planning part. The planning has crossed over from the “so much to do, so little time” phase into the “holy crap, we’re getting married for real” phase. But it’s not scary as much as exciting. I think the crossover came when Chris got his passport in the mail. That sort of solidified that hey, we’re getting married, and guess what? We get to jet off to Europe afterward.

I’m also getting excited about our respective bachelor/ette parties. I keep telling myself that I’m not going to get too wasted at my party because my bridal shower is the next day. But who am I kidding? We all know Sarah can’t hold her booze.

Chris has a ton of his friends coming in town for his party, and I keep thinking that it’s going to be awesome to see all his friends again. And then I remember that it’s a bachelor party, which means I don’t get to go. Well poo.

However, I have decided that the weekend of Chris’s party, I am going to try to schedule my appointment for my dry run of my hair for the wedding, possibly go to a spa for a facial and maybe do a little shopping for my rehearsal dinner dress. And if I have time, I’m going to splurge on some junk food, like Giordano’s or Portillos. Because nothing says blushing bride like greasy cheese and Italian beef.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Someday

Someday I'm going to post on here again. A day when I actually have some free time to think and write.

Today is not that day.

Friday, July 07, 2006

You look like a blueberry

You Are A Blueberry Martini

You are a eclectic drink - liking to change drinks and venues often.
You are usually the first of your friends to find a cool new dive bar or cocktail.

You should never: Drink mystery drinks strangers hand you. Unless you want to wind up in foreign country.

Your ideal party: Is mobile, hopping from party to party.

Your drinking soulmates: Those with an Orange Martini personality.

Your drinking rivals: Those with a Chocolate Martini personality.

Friday, June 30, 2006

It all comes down to the shoes, pt. 2

Remember how I said new shoes would make my life better? How they would affect my outward appearance, help me get ahead in life and magically get me a promotion? That was a joke. Shoes don’t have those kinds of magical powers. However…

I just got a promotion. I’m now the managing editor at my company.

It’s possible that this promotion was the result of good fortune. Or a few lucky occurrences. Or some old-fashioned hard work. But I’m going with the magic shoes. New shoes, I will never doubt your powers again.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hot



Wow, is Chris a lucky guy or what?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Some random observations from the past few days

After spending two weeks house/dog sitting and eating nothing but junk food, I gained three pounds. Shocking.

I did the cycling portion of a triathalon relay with my mom on Sunday in the pouring rain. I got soaked. In fact, two days later, my shoes are still not dry. Anyone know how to dry out gym shoes? Anyway, I did 14 miles in 53 minutes. You'd think that in a torrential downpour, I would have cycled a little faster than that. Oh well.

After the triathalon and a bridal shower that afternoon, I went to Dave's Sunday night to watch a professional wrestling pay-per-view. (Never thought I'd type "triathalon" "bridal shower" and "professional wrestling" in one sentence). It's been a few years since I've watched pro wrestling, and now I'm bummed that I've missed so much. How could I have forgotten about the drama? The amazing costumes? The baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire?

The Cubs lost as predicted last night. But on the bright side, I got to hang out with my buddy Candace, who I haven't seen in almost a year. Here's a little bit of Sarah history: I met Candace while working at Super Crown Books, where I also met Dave, and I got the job there through my friend Kyle, who is now married to HollyRhea. Got that?

I just saw Brett Favre at the mall. He was there promoting Sensodyne. I was surprised to notice that he has really tan legs, but in an orange-Oompa-Loompa-Jessica-Simpson-fake-tan sort of way. I was also surprised to notice that he's kind of a small guy. It sort of made me feel bad for the way he got crushed by the Bears defense last year, but then I realized that this guy uses fake tanner, so he totally deserved it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

At least it's baseball

Anyone want to join me and Chris tonight to watch the Cubs get beat by the Brewers? We bought tickets for tonight's game back in the spring when they went on sale, and then we kind of forgot about them. Anyway, if you're interested, let me know.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Blah

I am feeling blah. I want to nap. No wait ... first, I want to have a few 7&7s, then I want to nap. Then I want to take a week or two off work. And during those two weeks, I want to do nothing. No working from home. No wedding planning. No housework. Nothing. Maybe go to the gym, and the pool. I really want to go swimming. But I want to kick everyone else out of the immediate area so I don't have to be seen in a bathing suit in public. Then a soak in a hot tub would be nice. And a few more 7&7s. Then maybe another nap.

Then, after a day of swimming and soaking and drinking and doing nothing, I want to go out to dinner. And then go to some club and see some band. Then I want to go home and pass out.

And repeat. Everyday. For at least two weeks. Maybe longer.

I see none of these things happening in the near future. So I'll just keep on feeling....blah.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Helsinki Calling

Ever been having a perfectly normal conversation with your parents about Craigslist, when suddenly your dad mentions that, oh by the way, they're thinking about moving for Scandinavia for a few years? Because I have.

Turns out my dad might have the option of transferring to Europe for a couple years. However, most of the opportunities through his company are in places like Finland and Norway. If they decide to go, which could be as early as January, Chris and I would move to my parents' house in the burbs until they get back. And my childhood home, with its giant kitchen, fenced-in backyard and multiple bathrooms, would solve our housing woes for a few years.

But still, Scandinavia?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Being alone is bad for my health

I’ve never been one of those people that had to be with someone, or one of those girls who totally changed once she got a boyfriend. When I was single (oh my, it’s been four years since I was last unattached), I was perfectly happy. And since I’ve been with Chris, I feel like I’m still me. I don’t feel like I’ve changed all that much. However, I recently realized that while living with Chris for the past few years, I’ve fallen into some habits … some healthy habits.

For the past week I’ve been house/dog sitting for my aunt and uncle. Meanwhile Chris has been at home taking care of Rosie. So, for the past week, we haven’t seen each other. When I first agreed to house/dog sit, both Chris and I were looking forward to a little vacation away from each other. It’s not that we don’t get along. But rather, occasionally it’s nice to be alone for a while, you know?

Anyway, not living with Chris for a week has meant that I’ve had to cook for myself. Generally, I’m not a bad cook, but Chris does most of the cooking. He enjoys cooking, and I enjoy eating, so it all works out. Typically, he makes me chicken or salmon, salad and vegetables.

Now, I should have used this week to learn to cook healthy things for myself. My aunt and uncle have a well-stocked house. I mean, they have every kind of food imaginable, and lots of it. They do all of their grocery shopping at Costco, so they buy everything in bulk. And by “bulk,” I mean they’ve got about 40 cans of tomatoes and 20 boxes of Nutri-Grain bars in their pantry, just to name a few items. So, with every possible ingredient at my disposal, what have I whipped up for dinner this week? Donuts and American cheese.

Everyday I get home from work starving, and I immediately scarf down a few donut gems and raid the awesome, plastic, American-cheese-dispenser thing they have. Then I eat dinner. My diet has gotten progressively worse over the past five days. This is what I’ve had for dinner for the past week:

Monday: Tuna salad sandwich. Three slices of American cheese.
Tuesday: Bowl of Frosted Flakes. Doritos. Two slices of American cheese.
Wednesday: Half a Home Run Inn frozen pizza. Two donut gems. Two slices of American cheese.
Thursday: Two donut gems. Three slices of American cheese. 7Up.

If you can believe it, I had a bit of a stomach ache Thursday night after my donut-cheese ritual, so I didn’t eat dinner and drank a 7Up instead.

On the other side of town, Chris hasn’t been doing much better. Apparently, he only likes to cook when he’s cooking for someone else. When he’s just cooking for himself, he reverts to bad habits as well. In fact, I’m pretty sure he had frozen pizza almost every night this week, but last night I think he made himself a sandwich. Good job, honey.

Thankfully, Chris will be joining me at my aunt and uncle’s next week, so hopefully we’ll start eating like normal again. But first, we have to make it though this Saturday when we have our wedding cake appointment. Because there’s no better way to reward yourself for a week of cheese, donut and pizza-eating than multiple slices of chocolate cake.

Let’s hope after all this, I still fit in my wedding dress.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Torture

Sometimes when I need a break from work, I search through Craigslist looking at condos. This is torture. We won’t be able to afford a condo for a while. In fact, I found this cool mortgage calculator online, and based on our income and debt load, we can afford either a) a closet in our neighborhood, or b) a spacious three-bedroom home in Crackville.

I love my current apartment. It’s got the sweet wall design. It’s in a great neighborhood. My neighbors are a little weird, but overall I’m pretty happy there. But sometimes squeezing me, Chris and our 100-pound Rottweiler into our one-bedroom apartment gets a little frustrating. Two bedrooms would be nice. Two bathrooms would be even nicer. Having a kitchen that Chris and I could both stand in at same time would be amazing. But such a place in our neighborhood (or any other neighborhood we’d want to live) in our price range doesn’t exist.

This apartment is actually the smallest one we’ve lived in. It’s also the most expensive. Chris and I have a habit of paying more in rent while losing space. Our first apartment in Syracuse was a huge two-flat. It had an in-eat kitchen, two bedrooms, a full dining room and living room, and free laundry. Our neighbors/landlords were a little crazy (the husband tried making himself wings out of an old tent in the basement. Seriously.) But the rent was dirt cheap and the apartment was beautiful, so we were happy.

But eventually we decided we wanted a dog, and the landlords wouldn’t allow pets. So we moved out of our sweet, cheap apartment and got a much smaller, more expensive apartment that allowed pets, all so we could get Rosie. But really, can you blame us?


But eventually, we decided that we wanted to be back in the Midwest. So, after spending a few months living with my parents, we found our current apartment. It’s half the size of our first place and more than twice the rent. And so, I spend my breaks looking at condos we can’t afford, at least not now. Someday we’ll be able to buy a place, and hopefully it’ll have a big kitchen, at least two bedrooms and maybe even a little yard for Rosie. But until then, I’ll just keep torturing myself.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

So Long Howie

Last week, I sold my baby. He was only 7 years old. He was a good baby. He only acted up a few times. He didn’t eat much. He was always willing to pitch in and lend a helping hand. But I needed the money, and I couldn’t afford daycare. So I sold him and traded him in for this:



I am a horrible mother.

Here’s a picture of my baby a few weeks before I sold him.



Poor little guy. I took him to the car wash and fed him expensive city gas and loved him and adored him. We spent some quality time together, which is something we hadn’t done in awhile. He had no idea I was just making him look nice before selling him.

Then last week, I took him on his favorite ride – the one from Chicago to Missouri. We sped along 55 and zoomed past Springfield and filled up just past the state line, just like we used to do. We flew down the foothills of the Ozarks and gasped for breath on the way back up. It was just like the good old days, and we sang along to Screeching Weasel and the Indigo Girls and Bob Dylan. And the whole time he had no idea that this would be our last trip, that he wouldn’t be with me for the ride back.

I’m so sorry baby.

I made sure I found Howie a good home in Kansas City, a place where he’ll fit in better. Up here, most trucks are commercial vehicles. But down in Missouri, Howie will be able to meet other non-commercial recreational vehicles. His new owner is going to take him on trips to the lake, where he’ll help transport a new jet ski. That’s the kind of stuff Howie was made for. I just know he’ll be happier down there. Plus, his new owner said he’s going to buy him some new shoes, something I hadn’t done since the day he was born.

Hear that baby? New shoes!

Because I know his new owner, I’ll be able to visit Howie whenever I’m in KC. And they might even make a trip back up I-70 and 55 again to visit me in Chicago. But I know it won’t be the same. I just hope Howie knows I’ll never forget him. I hope he knows that I cried when I sold him, that I miss him and often think back on the 81,000 miles we shared together. I’ll always remember how he helped me move from Chicago to Columbia, and back again, and from Chicago to Syracuse, and back again.

I’ll never forget the day I brought him home when he was only 11 miles old. I’ll never forget the times he carried my bike or carried my laundry or carried my friends. I’ll never forget the trip we took to Canada or the years we lived in New York or the adventures we had in between. Remember when we got stuck in the snow in my parking lot in Syracuse, and Matt had to push us out with his SUV? Remember when we transported Scott, Aaron, Phil and Jared (Chase’s favorite roommates) across town in the back, under the tarp, lying down? Remember how we made really sharp turns that trip?



Remember how I decided to name you after my grandpa for some reason? Remember when we took Roy’s old couch to the Salvation Army, and they rejected it, so we drove it all over Columbia until I talked Ross and Alex into taking it? Remember how we used to cruise around Syracuse looking for the next Eyesore of the Week, and we often got chased away by angry neighbors? Remember how you had a bench seat, which forced all my friends to sit as close to the front of the car as I did?

I’ll always remember our good times and even the bad ones (transmission going out at 45,000 miles, battery dying in drugstore parking lot, a whole lot of fishtailing during Upstate New York winters). But good times or bad, Howie will always be my first baby (I never actually owned Beluga).

I’ll always remember the way Howie’s tailgate sounds when it’s dropped, the way I’d breathe in the summer breeze through the rear-sliding window, the way I always felt like such a tough chick because I owned a truck.

So I hope Howie realizes I loved him and that it was only after a lot of soul searching that I decided to sell him. I hope he realizes that even though I will enjoy using the money I got for him to pay off some credit card debt, and I will love not having to pay car insurance bills, and that taking public transportation to work and not having to buy gas ever makes me unbelievably happy, that I will still miss him.

Howie, you were a good little truck. For seven years you were part of my identity, and that's not an easy thing to let go.

Happy trails.

Friday, June 02, 2006

London calling

Which country should you REALLY be living in?

The United Kingdom

You have pride in yourself and pride in your country. You believe that history and culture is an important factor to the future of your country, and that traditions and values should be upheld. You love your scones and tea, and reading soppy romance novels. The UK is where you should be...

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.


I'm not surprised, but I was hoping to be an Aussie. And I totally don't read soppy romance novels.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blogrolling my way into your heart

Considering two of my linked bloggers only post once a month (ahem Dave, Dan) and one of my other links completely disappeared (thanks a lot Ross), I've decided to update my blogroll.

So have a look or two, read some blogs, avoid some work, quickly minimize when your boss walks by, reopen, repeat.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: Introduction

My name is Sarah Ashley Stone

But my full name is Sarah Ashley Stone Fauver Salted Peanut Sassafras

But soon I will be Sarah Wunder

My friends call me Stoner

Or Stoney

Or Stonehenge

Or Stonezee

Sometimes my family calls me Sarafina

But usually they call me SAS

Or Sassy

Or Sassafras

Aunt Jackie calls me Goofy Kid

Aunt Jill and Uncle Rich call me Kool Breeze

Aunt Mary calls me Salted Peanut

Jack will call me Aunt Sarah

Jack's grandma calls me Sarah-bellum

Chase calls me Snotty Pizza Tush

Or Grandpa

Or mise-en-scene

My editor used to call me Lois

Christopher calls me Sarahpher

But sometimes he calls me crazy

Or Smelly Pirate Hooker

Soon he will call me wife

Someday, I will be called mom

But for now, you can just call me Sarah.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lunch today

Me: Thanks for meeting me for lunch today, honey. I never get to see you in the middle of the day.

Chris: No problem… So let’s get down to business.

Me: Huh?

Chris: For Miguel Tejada….

Me: You’ve got to be kidding me...

Chris: … I want Pedro Martinez.

Me: So the whole reason you met me for lunch today was to make a fantasy baseball trade?

Chris: (Silence)

Me: (Silence)

(Pondering)

There’s no way I’m giving up Pedro for Tejada. For one of the best pitchers in the league, I want Thome.

Chris: OK, but then I also want Rafael Furcal. I need more stolen bases. How many has he stolen this season?

Me: He’s in the double digits. But he’s my only base stealer.

Chris: Yeah, but having someone like Thome who will get you a better batting average and more RBIs will make up for that.

Me: True. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.

Chris: What is there to think about? I’m offering you the guy with the second-most home runs in baseball, and he already has, like, 40 RBIs.

Me: Yeah, but Pedro gets me so many strike outs and wins. I’ve got Zambrano, and he gets me a lot of strike outs, too, but he hardly gets me any wins because the Cubs always blow it once the reliever comes in.

Chris:Well, if I pick up Pedro, I’ll have to drop a pitcher, so I’ll give you one of my closers. That should help.

Me: Yeah, I’ll think about it.

Chris:(silence)

Me: Thanks again for meeting me for lunch today.

Chris: No problem.

Back outside

After a few unseasonably chilly weeks this month, I finally got to run outside again a few days ago.

When I run outside, as opposed to on a treadmill, I have trouble accurately gauging how long I've been out running, how far I've gone and how fast I'm going. But there are some definite advantages to running outside.

For one, instead of having to watch close-captioned "Everyone Loves Raymond" at the gym, I get to look at the lakefront and the skyline.

Also, I run outside after I get home from work and walk Roise. So, unlike the gym, I don't have to cut my runs short to get home and relieve the dog.

And most importantly, unlike the gym, if I should happen to toot while running outside, I can quickly leave the scene of the crime.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: Welcome to My Wallet



For this week's SPC Introduction, I thought I’d take you all on a little tour through my wallet. You won’t find much money in there, but here are a few things I carry around (or at least I used to).

1. My license: I think of all my license photos, this one is my favorite. It's much better than my New York license. The photo was OK, but I made a clothing error and wore a tan v-neck. Tan shirt+super bright DMV flash=Sarah looking nekkid.

2. My old student ID: I still carry this around to score student discounts from time to time. That’s not the only thing I still carry with me from Mizzou. Let’s see, I’ve got my journalism degree, a few good friends, some toeless feet and a very worn hoodie. Oh yeah, and that fiancĂ© guy.

3. Another student ID: This was the ID I carried around in London for the school I sort of went to. (Basically, we used their classrooms, but all the students and instructors were from the U.S.). This university had pubs on campus. I think Mizzou could learn a thing or two from them.

4. My old press pass: Ah, my first job. There were so many places I almost didn’t get into because this press pass looked totally homemade. But I like to think of it as a beginner’s press pass because I was just as beginner as well. I miss that job. I wish I could have taken it with me to Chicago.

5. Chicago Card: Speaking of Chicago, this is how to get around these days. In fact, I’m going to sell my truck in the very near future because it’s just living at my parents' house. So sad.

6. My business card: This is where I take the bus to everyday. I really like the location, and there’s a gym in my building, which has made….

7. My Bally Total Fitness card pretty much useless.

8. My passport: This little booklet has taken me to 10 different countries. And in about four months, it’s going to take me to Germany and Spain. Hooray!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yeah, he was reading it




Now I sort of feel like a brat for whining about footwear. But at the same time....YAY!! NEW SHOES!

Friday, May 19, 2006

It all comes down to the shoes

Remember how I said I can’t stand people who shop too much? Remember how I always act like I’m above all that? Remember how I’m a huge hypocrite? Oh good.

I made the mistake of eating lunch at Nordstrom’s today. And now, my heart is full of longing. I want new shoes. And not just one pair. I want a whole new army of colorful spongy-soled soldiers. But I swear, there’s a good reason for it.

Here’s the deal: Because of my foot problems, I can’t wear heels or sandals. In fact, unless I’m wearing sneakers, my little stubs are in pain. Unfortunately, I have this job where I’m supposed to look somewhat professional. And doubly unfortunate, I work on Michigan Avenue, a hub of high fashion.

I would love to wear super-chic professional-women’s clothing to work every day. But the problem is clothing retailers assume that 1) all women are at least 5’10, and 2) all women wear heels with dress pants. I am 5’3, and I like to wear Nikes everyday. Yes, I can buy petite clothing, but even those designs are usually somewhat flared at the bottom, and flared pants and size-5 flats just look bad together.

So, because comfy shoes look awful with dress pants, and because flats look yucky with skirts, and because my office has a relaxed dress code, I wear sneakers with either jeans or khakis to work everyday. And I look like a total slob.

I own lots of nice business clothing, stuff that would help me sort of blend in with all the beautiful people on Michigan Avenue. But it all comes down to the shoes. I don’t own any comfortable shoes that also look good with business clothing, so my pretty business clothes live in my closet and never get to come out and play.

However, I could own somewhat-professional-looking-yet-comfy shoes. Flats are in right now. Just look at the cuteness I found at Nordstrom’s today:






There were tons more, too. Did you see how cute?! I want them all … now! I totally can’t afford them, but I’m scared that if I wait until I can afford new shoes (like, in four years), flats won’t be in style anymore and when I finally go to the store to buy new shoes, all that will be available will be stiletto heels and flip flops.

Chris, honey, if you’re reading this: Look, I know we’re broke, and I know we have a wedding and honeymoon to pay for, and I know we like to think we’re above all those other materialistic people out there, but dammit! I want to blow a couple hundred bucks on new shoes! You don’t understand. New shoes will make my life better.

Seriously, new shoes will affect what clothing I can wear, which will affect my outward appearance as well as my self esteem. And then, before you know it, those new shoes will get me a promotion. Those new shoes will help me bring in a fatter paycheck, which I will use to buy more new magical shoes. Really, we should look at shoe purchases as an investment in our future, not as a frivolous expense.

Let’s make a deal. I get to buy new shoes, and you can buy non-generic tequila. No more Osco-brand for you! I’m talking Cuervo, or maybe even 1800, but let’s not go too crazy here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

foodgasm

Oh man. I finally got around to making our appointment with our baker for our wedding cake. The cake is included in our reception package. However, they actually outsource the cake to a shop called House of Fine Chocolates, which, lucky for us, is only a couple blocks away from our apartment. We've sampled their creations before, and let me tell you, it's good.

Today, I took a little stroll through their Web site, and...Oh.My.God....you'll just have to see for yourself:










Obviously, you can see I've decided to go with chocolate topped with more chocolate. None of that innocence and wholesomeness white buttercream. Hell no. I want sinfully delicious, insanely rich, should-be-illegal dark chocolate.

And that last cake...that's a skyline. Amazing. (I thought it was the Chicago skyline at first, but now I'm thinking it's not.)

So...hungry...

See more cake designs here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: 10-Second Introduction

I like wine.



See more self portraits here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

No time to bloggy!

Ugh, I've been very busy at work lately, and I've had no time to blog. Even when I get home from work, guess what I do? More work! Argh. (By the way Dave, I promise to send you that review sheet as soon as possible. I know. I suck.)

Anyway, here are a couple random thoughts/experiences to tide me over until things die down a bit around the office and I can blog again.

Thanks to Chase's blog, I had a dream about eye surgery the other night. And unlike the television where you might accidentally turn on the eye-surgery channel and then quickly flip to another station, in a dream you're stuck watching it.

In other dream news, I dreamt about Wayne's World Sunday night, and when I woke up the next morning the first thing I thought was, "What's the name of Garth's car?" Seriously, what is it? Don't they have a funny name for his car? I can't remember. If you know, leave me a comment because this is really bugging me.

Dijon mustard is my new favorite food. I used to hate mustard and always opted for ketchup or mayo. However, now that I'm trying to lose weight, I've started replacing mayo with mustard. Greatest switch ever. Now at least once a week, I go to Jimmy John's and order the Number 4 with mustard instead of mayo. So tasty!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mommyhood


Isn't my nephew Jack adorable? I think so, too. However, Chris and I have taken such a liking to Jack that some people have started speculating when we're going to want one of our very own.

Recently my mom, grandma, sister and brother-in-law took bets on the month I'll have a baby. Eric said May 2008. My mom went with March 2008. And Laura, deciding that they were playing by "Price Is Right" closest-without-going-over rules, took the $1 route and said October 2006.

Jerks.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: Introduction



This is how I look when I’m blogging. It’s also how I look when I’m working, watching TV, hanging out or just thinking about stuff. Always the same pose. Always one arm flung over my head.

I didn’t realize I did this until I was in college. In some of my more laid-back classes, we’d be sitting around a table, discussing stuff, and without thinking about it, over my head my arm would go. Apparently that’s how I think best. Unfortunately, flinging your arm over your head also looks a lot like raising your hand. Hence, I got called on a lot in class.

I know where I got this arm-flinging tendency. My dad always sits like this. I remember when I was little, he would sit like this when he was watching TV, and it gave the perfect spot to curl up next to him. His arm would go up, and I’d rest my head on his side. Sometimes as a joke, he’d quickly lower his arm again and trap me, basically with my head stuck in his armpit.

Somewhere growing up, I started sitting like this, too. So did my sister. You should see the three of us watching TV together. All three of us in a row on the couch, all three with our arms flung over our heads.

I’m not sure why we do this. It serves no purpose. But for me, at least, it’s extremely comfortable. It helps me relax and clear my mind. I guess sometimes I sleep like this, too. According to Chris, it looks really goofy. Whatever. As long as I’m comfy and sleeping, I don’t care how I look.

Anyway, I thought this might work as an introduction. So when you read my blog, you know what I look like when I’m reading yours.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I am old

I’m not sure how this happened, but somehow I became old.

I start getting drowsy at 9:30 p.m., but I try to stay up until 10:30 p.m. to see the news and the weather. And on the weekends, I can’t sleep past 7:30 a.m.

I enjoy reading the real estate section of the newspaper.

I like broccoli.

I can’t pinpoint when this getting-old-thing happened. Over the past year or so, I’ve caught myself having particularly old-person moments. For example, daydreaming about station wagons and looking forward to dinner parties.

I was feeling old again Friday night. Chris and I went to see the Violent Femmes at the Cubby Bear. Overall, it was a great show, especially because the Cubby Bear is a rather small venue for such a well-known band. Unfortunately, though, the combination of a band such as the Violent Femmes and a venue such as the Cubby Bear, which sits in the heart of Wrigleyville, meant one thing: lots of idiot kids at the show.

I do not like most 18-to-25-year olds. In fact, I don’t like most people under 18 either, and there are a whole lot of idiots over 25 I could do without as well. These people annoy me because they are loud and say stupid things loudly in public places. They drink too much and go shopping too often. They love classic rock and they think listening to Radiohead and John Mayer makes them alternative. They are perpetual college students, and they are everything I can’t stand about America. Why? Because I am a crotchety old lady.

Damn kids.

Anyway, these idiots flocked en masse to this Violent Femmes concert. I knew they would, but I couldn’t pass up seeing the Femmes for only $15. Chris and I got to the show early so we could stake out a good place to stand because it was a general admission show. We found a nice spot with a good view of the stage and next to a column with a ledge where we could set our drinks. Unfortunately, the harmless-looking girl in front of us later had about 10 girls join her. The two girls directly to my side decided to bring enormous shoulder bags with them to the show.

Why is this necessary? Why do girls feel the need to bring giant bags with them wherever they go? How much stuff could they possibly need when hanging out at a bar? Ugh.

Anyway, when the shoulder-bag twins and their 10 friends weren’t posing for a billion pictures together (“Oh my god, girls’ night out! We are so Sex and the City!”), they were talking to each other incessantly throughout the show. And occasionally they would talk to another friend who was directly in front of me. This left me constantly trying to look around three idiots just so I could see the band I paid to see. Because that’s what you do when you pay admission to a show. You watch the band. You don’t talk the entire time and take pictures with the camera phone that you also keep using to text message people while a band is on stage.

If these annoyances weren’t enough, one of the shoulder-bag twins decided to make use of the drink ledge next to me. However, she had to reach past my chest to leave her drink on the ledge. But, she didn’t just set down her drink. She continued holding onto it while resting it on the ledge. This meant that during the show I had a shoulder bag in my face and an arm extended across my chest. This was just too much.

Chris and I took a two-sided approach. After each song Chris would loudly clap in the girl’s ear, and during each song I would dance so wildly that I shoved my boob into her armpit on more than one occasion, and I bashed into her arm enough times she nearly spilled. She got the hint and eventually stepped aside.

Afterward, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have found this so annoying in my younger days. Probably. I’ve never liked college students, even when I was a college student. I guess I’ve been a crotchety old lady for a long time. Now all I need is a cane, which I will use to hit those idiot kids when they walk on my lawn. And then I’ll shake my fist and swear at them, because old people who drop the F-bomb are hilarious.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Happiness is...

I've sort of had a craptastic week. Basically, I've just been super busy at work, which means I haven't been able to work out at all, which makes me cranky.

However, these are the things that have made me somewhat sane this week:

Because she is really unpleasant.

Because poop is hilarious.

Because profit margins are also hilarious.

Because this is where I'll be 135 days.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Introduction

The theme for this month’s Self-Portrait Challenge is “Introduce Yourself.” (By the way, Self-Portrait Tuesday is now called Self-Portrait Challenge. So I'm not late, I swear.) Anyway, I thought I’d start with the basics, for example, my job.

I am a copy editor for a group for trade publications. My job is to fix grammatical errors, check for libelous or untrue statements and basically make your writing sound pretty.

So, what happens is you turn in your carefully crafted prose to me, and I do this to it:



Then you read it in the magazine later, and you don’t realize I changed a thing. Why? Because generally I don’t change what you say. I just change how you say it.

For example, you say: “The performance management initiatives are managed by the leadership development team.”

And I say, “Your passive voice hurts my eyeballs. And how many times can you use some form of ‘manage’ in one sentence?" And I change it to: “The leadership-development team handles the performance-management initiatives.”

Then you say: “To properly manage talent, executives must …”

And I say, “Split infinitives? Hell no.” And I change it to, “To manage talent properly...” Or sometimes I delete your adverbs all together because most of the time they’re useless anyway.

So yeah, that’s what I do, ALL DAY. I also write a little bit and post some magazine content on our Web sites. But pretty much, I copyedit and proofread.

Unfortunately, copyediting full time has turned me into one of those people that corrects other people’s grammar. I hate those people. You know, the ones that say, “No, you tell the dog to go lie down, not lay down.” Yeah, that’s me.

I also yell at the television a lot. When the idiot newscaster says, “There are over 100,000 immigrants literally filling the streets right now,” I yell back, “Over 100,000? What, are they somehow suspended over the streets? Learn about prepositions, moron. There are more than 100,000 immigrants in the streets. And you don’t need to say literally filling the streets. We know they’re actually there. We can see them on the television thanks to Chopper Live. It’s not like we thought they were just pretending to fill streets. Oh, and by the way, that fuchsia pantsuit you think is so cute makes you look fat.”

Yep, that’s my introduction. And that word you’re looking for right now? I believe it’s “nerd.”


I’m sure at this point many of you are scouring my blog looking for grammatical errors. You’ll probably find a ton. I don’t copyedit my blog because you’re never supposed to copyedit your own writing. That, and I’m a huge hypocrite.

Monday, May 01, 2006

It started here



Every time I hear the song “Healthy Body Sick Mind” by Operation Ivy, I think of my sister. Same with “Castles Made of Sand” by Jimmy Hendrix. They’re both on a mix tape Laura made me for my 14th birthday. (I can't believe that was 12 years ago.) I still have it, although it doesn't play so well these days.

Like many younger siblings, I always tried to be like my older sister. I remember going into her room when she wasn’t home and listening to her music. That’s how I was introduced to Green Day’s “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour,” Teenage Fanclub’s “Bandwagonesque,” and Sugar’s “Copper Blue.” She used to hang CD long boxes on her wall. I copied her, but I must admit her Sugar Cubes, Peter Gabriel and Screeching Weasel were far superior to my Jesus Christ Superstar and Guns N’ Roses.

Laura was a master tape compilation maker. Her tapes never had too much from one genre. There’d always be something on there you wouldn’t expect. (For example, sandwiching Cypress Hill between the Grateful Dead and Jane’s Addiction.) Once again, I tried to copy her. I made her a mix tape when I was in junior high. I don’t remember all the songs, but I distinctly remember putting both a song from the Aladdin soundtrack on there as well as Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” Yeah, I needed some help. That’s when Laura taught me one of the cardinal rules of tape making: Never include radio hits.

On the front of the 14th-birthday tape, Laura pasted this picture:


Laura was 20 at the time. It was sort of her way of taking me under her wing, introducing me to the counter-culture and explaining why listening to Top 40 is not cool.

I’ve gotten lots of mix tapes and CDs from other people since then. Lots of mixes from friends, exes, roommates. Many are still in my regular rotation. Many had themes, like some of the ones I got from Dave such as the “AlphaVinyl” tape and the tape that has 127 songs on it. But Laura’s was one of the first. It was the tape by which all others were judged. Looking back it might seem a little dated now, but to my 14-year-old ears, it was a whole new world.

Sister - Lenny Kravitz
Castles Made of Sand - Jimmy Hendrix
One Way - Levellers
Jack of All Trades - Soul Asylum
Beach Party Vietnam - The Dead Milkmen
Science Fiction/Double Feature - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Skankin' To The Beat - Fishbone
Alsatia's Lullaby - Toys Soundtrack
When love Comes to Town - U2
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
Cerulean - The Ocean Blue
Watermelon Song - Poi Dog Pondering
Blues Before Sunrise - John Lee Hooker
Happy Birthday to Me - Cracker
Change - Blind Melon
The Sniper Song - Naked Raygun
Summertime - Janis Joplin
I Was There - Green Day
Land of Competition - Bad Religion
You Win Again - Grateful Dead
Hand on the Glock - Cypress Hill
Down In It - Nine Inch Nails
I Would For You - Jane's Addiction
American Music - Violent Femmes
I Will Not Take These Things For Granted - Toad The Wet Sprocket
Thrift Store Girl - Screeching Weasel
Healthy Body Sick Mind - Operation Ivy
All That You Have Is Your Soul - Tracy Chapman

Thursday, April 27, 2006

My, where does the time go?

Someone stole* the hands off the Wrigley Building Clock.


*OK, chances are they weren't stolen. But isn't that more fun than being taken down to be cleaned or whatever? Glad we're in agreement.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Puppy Portrait Tuesday: Silly Pet Owners

So, I could post a self portrait today, or I could post pictures of my puppy. What would you rather see? Stinky, post-workout me, or puppies. Puppies? Oh goodie, me too.

OK, so remember how I said I have noisy neighbors? Right, well part of the joy of having loud neighbors is also having a 100-pound rottweiler that has to investigate every bump in the night. With every crazy neighbor noise at 3 a.m., Rosie runs to our window to investigate while making little sleepy woofs, like so:



This investigation tendency led Chris to name her "DSI: Dog Scene Investigator," which led me to take the joke too far and dress her up as a cop, like so:

Special Agent Rosie examines the victim's home.


Agent Rosie secures the perimeter.


Agent Rosie takes extra time investigating the bedroom.