Friday, December 21, 2007

Hit and Run. Literally.

On Tuesday night, I was lamenting to Chris that I’m bored with life. Nothing exciting ever happens. I go to work. Go to the gym. Go to sleep. Repeat.

I promise never to complain about boredom ever again.

On Tuesday night, Chris and I went to the gym. After our workout, we walked to back to our car, and just as Chris turned on the car — we hadn’t even put it into gear yet — we saw a car flying down the street. It hit a parked car next us, which rammed into our car, smashing the driver’s side door.

Now here’s where the story gets interesting.

Immediately after the impact, the driver of the other car (from here on, I’ll refer to him as the Bad Guy) backed up and started to speed away. And Chris — who has beat both Grand Theft Auto Vice City and San Andreas — decided to chase him.

He threw me his phone, told me to call 911, and get the guy’s license plate number. In shock, I was suddenly all thumbs and couldn’t comprehend how to even unlock Chris’ phone, let alone dial. Meanwhile, Chris was driving behind the Bad Guy. The Bad Guy drove into an industrial area full of semi trailers. He missed a turn, drove up onto a snowy area, and drove into a parked semi trailer. He got the driver’s side corner of his car pinned underneath the semi. We were immediately behind him, blocking any attempt to back out.

For a split second, we were sitting there, blocking this guy in, shining our headlights into his car, and I’m thinking, “Holy shit, he could have a gun. He could turn around right now and try to kill us.” Instead, he climbed over to the passenger side door and started to run away.

And then Chris, who suddenly decided he had superhero powers, decided to CHASE him. Meanwhile, I’m chanting Bad Guy’s license plate number out loud so I wouldn’t forget, as if it mattered. The dude just left his car with us. Not only do I have his license plate number in front of me, but there’s probably a good chance the dude doesn’t even own this car, seeing as he was so willing to leave it and all.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably more like 90 seconds, reality started to set in. My husband was chasing a Bad Guy through a dark, snow-covered, industrial area. The guy could have a gun, or a knife, or brass knuckles of death. He could be bludgeoning Chris right now. I needed to find him. So I turned off the car, got out and started screaming for Chris and running around aimlessly. He didn’t respond or show up for what again seemed like an eternity, but was again, probably about 90 seconds. Bad Guy got away (Thank God. Just what was Chris going to do if he caught him? Ask for his license and registration?).

So we called the cops and they came out, took our report, and towed Bad Guy’s car. The officer also tracked down the owner of the other parked car and filled him in on what happened. Because coming back to a parking lot and finding your car all smashed up really would have sucked. And that’s exactly what would have happened to us if we had left five minutes later. Instead, my husband, International Man of Mystery, chased him down and got him to at least ditch his car.

Now, I’ll be honest. Part of me thinks it’s pretty darn cool that Chris turned all vigilante. But at the same time, I could have become a widow Tuesday night. For this latter point, I did lots of scolding that night along the lines of “Never, ever, ever do that AGAIN!” followed by lots of hugs and kisses because I realized that I could have lost him, and because, well, the whole thing was sort of a turn on.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Officially Official

It only took 15 months, but I finally went down to the social security office on Tuesday to change my name. My delay has nothing to do with fear of changing my name, losing my identity or holding out just in case things didn't work out. Rather, it comes down to pure laziness. Spend a day waiting in line at the social security office, and you'll fully understand why name changers are prone to procrastination.

However, I'm sad to say that according to Professor Poopypants, I am no longer Snotty Pizzatush. I am now Snotty Chucklebuns, wife of Buttercup Chucklebuns.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NYE Hopeful

New Year’s Eve is one of those weird holidays for me. Midnight on NYE represents both a new year and my birthday. Sometimes, I’m looking forward to, or dreading, both. Over the past five years, Chris and I have spent each NYE together. Overall, I’d say they’ve been a mixed bag. Some wonderful, some not so much.

Our first NYE, ’02 into ’03, falls into the wonderful category. We spent it in Charleston, S.C. We ate at many a seafood restaurant, enjoyed rainy but warm weather, and laughed as Chris misidentified dolphins as sharks.

NYE II, ’03 into ’04, featured a tasty rack of lamb prepared at home, an exploding bottle of champagne (Chris decided to chill in the freezer. Whoops.), and me falling asleep on the couch before midnight.

NYE III, ’04 into ’05, was spent in New Orleans, with Chris’ best friend, Scott, and his shit-for-brains girlfriend. Other than the presence of the aforementioned GF, this NYE falls into the wonderful category as well.

NYE IV, ’05 into ’06, occurred at Navy Pier with my sister and brother-in-law, and featured Chris getting wasted before midnight and repeating the phrase, “Daddy’s not doing so good.”

For NYE V, ’06 into ’07, I repaid Chris for his performance the year before by making the terrible mistake of combining shots, deep-dish pizza and a dance club near Rush and Division. Some of Chris’ friends from KC came up for the night, but at the stroke of midnight, the two of us we trudging up our back staircase as Chris cursed me under his breath for needing to leave the party early. Awesome.

So this year, I’m hoping to add another NYE to the wonderful category. Problem is, I have no idea how to do that. I pretty much despise the whole club/bar party thing. I’d rather just go out to a nice restaurant with friends. But most of the restaurants I’ve found online that are hosting NYE events are ridiculously expensive. There are some pretty interesting events at bowling alleys, but again, averaging $125 per person, too expensive for the two of us. But ultimately, it probably won't matter where or how I celebrate. Considering my aversion to odd-numbered years, just knowing that 2007 has ended may be celebration enough.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Love Bavarian Style

Chris and I went to Munich on our honeymoon. Aside from the fact that Oktoberfest was originally a post-wedding celebration, I insisted we go to Bavaria for our honeymoon because I knew Chris would fall in love with it. He’s German and his love for encased meats is only slightly superceded by his love for beer.

So, when I decided recently that I needed to do something really nice for Chris simply because he’s so freaking awesome, I decided that the best way to say “I love you” was “sauerkraut, spatzle and dunkel weiss.”

So last night, we went here. I found the place after a quick Google search for German restaurants in Chicago. From the outside, it totally looks like a hole in the wall, which in our view, is one of the best compliments we can bestow upon a restaurant. In general, unassuming exterior = amazing interior. This assumption is even more pronounced in bars. The more it looks like a dive, the better the bar. In fact, our favorite bar fits this profile. It’s within stumbling distance of our apartment (which is a major plus), and it’s connected to and owned by the liquor store next door. So, when the bar runs out of Red Stripe, they just go next door and grab a new case out of the cooler. But the best part is, just about everything they serve is $2. On more than one occasion, we’ve spent a few hours at this bar, gotten fairly blitz, and left paying less than 20 bucks.

Anyway, back to Bavaria. The restaurant’s hole-in-the-wall exterior did not disappoint. Inside we found great food, great décor and great beer. I entered with a serious craving for German food that only an unpronounceable pork dish could satisfy. I found it in their Jaegerpfandl. Yum.

While at dinner, Chris and I realized that neither of us grew up eating German food. In fact, I can’t think of one kid I knew growing up that ever had “German night.” Like, there was always “Italian night” or “Mexican night” and definitely “pizza night.” But no “German night.” So, in the spirit of planning my children’s futures before they’ve even been conceived, I’ve decided that I need to learn how to cook German food. The schnitzles, the sauerbratens, the strudels. If any of you out there have some good German recipes, please pass them along. Future generations will thank you, or, Künftig Generationen Wille danke.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Progress Report

Last October, I made an early New-Year’s-Resolutions list. Now that it's December, I thought I’d assess how I did. Overall, pretty bad on the important stuff, OK elsewhere. Let’s take a look.

To Do in 2007:

1. Start freelancing.
Totally didn’t happen. Not even remotely. This resolution did push me toward setting up my own Web site though, which ultimately helped me land a new job, so let’s just say I broke even.

2. Keep working out. (Number of times I’ve been to the gym since saying “I Do” – zero.)
This area tends to come and go. I’ll get all gung-ho and work out a ton. Then I’ll take six weeks off.

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.
I’m still having trouble seeing beyond carrots, broccoli, green peppers, lettuce and veggies not covered in cheese. Does hummus count?

4. Speaking of eating, try to go out to some new restaurants other the same two every month.
Done and done. Some of my favorites from the past year include Coco Pazzo, Carnivale, Think, Spring, Le Lan, Ras Dashen and Nobu (Las Vegas). Unfortunately, I didn’t pay much attention to item No. 5

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

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

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.
My new apartment came with a piano. However, I don’t play nearly enough.

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.
Didn’t happen. Motivating myself to try new things on Sunday mornings is difficult, apparently even when my eternal salvation in on the line.

9. Spend more time with the baby.
I sort of did this one. Rosie went on vacation with us to Michigan (which, for Rosie, included three sun-filled days swimming in Lake Michigan, running up and down the beach, and attempting to chase kayaks and speedboats) Missouri and North Carolina (which included a stop at a national park in Kentucky just to take her hiking), and we took her to the dog beach a few times. But overall, our quality Rosie time has taken a major hit since we moved to a place featuring a back yard. She used to get two to three walks a day. Now we just let her out the back door intermittently throughout the morning and night. So, although she gets some exercise patrolling the back yard, we now spend less time with her. Before we moved, I used to think that she got so excited when we came home because she needed to go out. But now I’ve realized that she also was excited to see us. The first few times we let her out in the new backyard, she would just stand at the door looking at us, all “Hey, aren’t you coming with?” If there was such as a thing as doggie DCFS, they would totally be knocking on our door.

10. Start baking bread because it makes the husband happy.
Totally did this one. But I’ve cut back because the ingredients are more expensive than a loaf.

11. Be more social. Make new friends but keep the old, and all that.
This one also falls into the “sorta” category. By getting a new job, my former co-workers are now friends. But outside of work, I still really struggle to be social.

12. Lose weight.
Since the beginning of 2007, I’ve gained two pounds. See No. 4.

13. Pay off credit card debt.
I’ve paid off 40 percent of my debt. But considering my salary has increased by 60 percent over the past year, that’s not so good. See No. 4.

According to last year's list, I posted the resolutions here so you all could kick my ass in case I slacked off. Seeing as how I haven't had a good ass kicking in a while ... this is all your fault. Geez, no wonder I quit blogging for a few months: you people suck.

*** um, totally kidding. I love you all. Especially You, sitting at your computer, thinking about how much time you've just wasted at work by reading my blog. And You, dude who accidentally found my blog by Googling "doggie DCFS." I totally love you, too. In fact, I'm adding "expressing my love for random weirdos online" to my 2008 resolution list.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sarah’s Sexiest Men Alive

I’m a day late with this, but look at all the hotness I’ve compiled! Totally worth it.

So, I think this list requires a little disclaimer. My tastes are a bit different than conventional. I’m much more attracted to personality than looks. And I don’t mean to come across all, “I shall see your Brad Pitt and raise you a Holden Caulfield because I’m so freaking deep and self-actualized that sometimes I just spend hours lying in a grass field during rain storms writing in my journal about my deepness until the rain soaks through the paper and the ink bleeds and then I realize that journal writing outside in the rain probably wasn’t a good idea. But you know what, fuck you. I’m deep.”

No, what I mean is, actors in general play so many different roles that it’s impossible to be attracted to all their personalities. Hence, you’ll find a few characters on this list, as opposed to actors. And you’ll find a lot of talk show hosts because, well, I’d like to assume that their quirky personalities isn’t the result of acting, but how they are ALL THE TIME. Like if I ran into one in the grocery store, they would flirt with me, ask me tons of questions about myself and occasionally make self-deprecating yet adorable jokes about themselves.

Which leads me to my first list entry, who is the master of adorable self-deprecating humor: Conan O’Brien.

He has a hilarious talk show, he used to be a writer for SNL and The Simpsons, he’s really tall, and he occasionally gets to hang out with a masturbating bear. In other words, he’s pretty much to perfect man.

In keeping with the talk-show theme, we have Jimmy Kimmel, circa “Win Ben Stein’s Money.”

These were the good years for Jimmy, before the degrading yet sometimes funny “The Man Show” and before starting his own talk show, which I rarely can get through. But back during his Ben Stein days, he was cute, funny and cruel to nerdy contestants. No wonder Sarah Silverman fell for him (who, by the way, would be on Chris’ sexiest women alive list if he were to make one, along with Maya Rudolf, Amy Poehler, Sweet Dee from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and Natalie Portman. This is why I married him).

Taking it old skool, there’s Anthony Kiedis, circa Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good photo of him back in the day, with his beautiful mane of hair, so we’ll have to settle for this blondie pic, which is pretty cute, too.

I used to have the “Fright Like a Brave’ poster on my ceiling in high school. That would be the poster that features the Peppers in nothing but socks. My room was at the top of the stairs in my parents’ house, so coming up the stairs, the first thing you’d see was that poster. Combined with my GnR posters and giant Trent Reznor poster next to my antique dresser, I’m amazed when I of all the stuff my parents had to deal with back in the day. But hey, at least I got good grades.

Going back to the ’80s, we have two of the sexiest characters of all time: Kevin Dolenz (Andrew McCarthy) in “St. Elmo’s Fire,” and Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) in “Say Anything.”

Both of these choices require very little explanation. Kevin Dolenz was a lovelorn journalist with a coffin in his apartment. Dreamboat! And Lloyd Dobler was … Lloyd Dobler. If you don’t understand, you have no heart. Or a brain. Or my friendship. Go away.

In keeping with the “character = totally hot, actor = eh, sometimes” theme, there’s Chandler Bing during the could-Matthew-Perry-BE-any-more-addicted-to-drugs? years. Sorry folks, he was just so much cuter before he got all pudgy and sober.

The final two on my list are of the talk-show-host variety. First, there’s Anthony Bourdain.

This one took a little while to ferment for me. I was quite intrigued after listening to “Kitchen Confidential,” but it wasn’t until a recent episode of “No Reservations” when I found myself incredibly jealous of his Korean female tour guide that I realized I had a thing for Bourdain.

And finally, there’s Hal Sparks circa Talk Soup.

Before his days on “Queer as Folk,” Hal Sparks kept me company the summer I was home recuperating in college. Everyday, via Talk Soup, Hal would come into my living room, entertain me, make me laugh, and show me only the best, most deplorable moments of Ricki Lake and Jerry Springer so I didn’t actually have to watch them myself. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's blog, it's blog, it's better than bad, it's good!

I really need to start blogging again. I've been writing them in my head, but just can't seem to find the time to put them to keyboard.

There's that, and then the problem of trying to figure out where to begin. I've done a lot over the past few months. There was the whole moving thing. Then the party. Then getting a new job. And going to Vegas. And let's not forget the in-law's-dog-eating-our-couch incident, and most recently the road trips to Columbia and North Carolina and flights to New York and Philly, and then our upcoming trip to Aruba. And oh yeah, Mizzou's No. 1. Holy crap.

So much stuff going on. But I think I'm going to start with the really important stuff: People's Sexiest Man Alive rankings. I whole-heartedly agree with their top spot (Oh Jason Bourne, er Matt Damon, so forgetful, so dreamy...), but there are many, many others that People has unjustly ignored over the years. I shall compile my own list. Tomorrow. I've got plans tonight that include a former co-worker, Mahi Mahi and a case of beer.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Official News

Within the next two weeks, I will:

Visit Las Vegas
Celebrate my first anniversary
Start a new job

So, I'm pretty darn excited about life right now. I'll post about the details of the new job and the Vegas trip one of these days. In the meantime, check out two of my favorite (and quite belated) photos from the Cinco de Mayo party:

Uncle Gerry, the one and only Pat Smillie and my dad show the effects of tequila

Jack is not amused

Monday, June 25, 2007

My First 5K

I did my first* 5K yesterday as part of an annual triathlon relay I do with my mom and sister. Usually, I do the bike portion, but this year I swapped with my sis and ran. It took me 33 minutes, which is about what I expected. Deep down inside, I hoped I would break 30 minutes, but that's OK.

Right before my run, I got the idea that maybe I'd try a tri, specifically this one. Then, about 10 minutes into my run, I was like... um, no.

But we'll see. At least it would give me something to work toward, which is apparently what keeps me happy. You know that line in Annie Hall about how a shark needs to keep moving forward in order to live? "What we have is a dead shark." I sort of feel the same way. If I'm not planning something or working toward something, I feel kinda lost. With the wedding, the move and our first big party behind me, I'm looking for that next to-do item on the great checklist of life. And since the usual next steps (house-buying and baby-making) aren't quite in the works yet, maybe a triathlon can help me pass the time.

*Technically, I did a 5K with my mom and sister on mother's day, but due to the crowds, we were forced to walk the first two miles, so it don't count none.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Brain Empty

Since moving, I feel like I've run out of things to blog about. I used to write blog entries in my head while sitting on the bus or walking the dog. Nowadays, I spend my commutes trying to keep my face out of some other dude's armpit on the super-crowded Blue Line, and trying to avoid being flattened by taxis on my 10-minute walk to the office.

There's that, and then there's the whole cable issue. We finally got it. Between the History Channel, The Colbert Report and the Shear Genius marathon on Bravo, I've lost all ability to think intelligently, or even coherently. And did I mention the new season of So You Think You Can Dance has started up? Let's just forget about any brain activity at all.

I've read that the key to a successful blog is frequent updates. That would make my blog about as successful as William Shatner's singing career. I'm not sure if I should just call it quits, or keep posting half-assed until something exciting happens in my life that constitutes frequent updates, such as buying a house or getting pregnant (both of which are probably a way's off. Sorry Mom!)

I'm guessing I'll go with option number 2, although by the time those exciting things happen, no one will read this anymore. Oh well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I heart Mr. Ad Report Card

I'm officially in love with Seth Stevenson, author of's Ad Report Card. Like most folks from the editorial side, I'm not a huge fan of advertising (even if it is the fuel of a free press, as the foyer of the Missourian liked to remind me every day of j-school). But despite my disdain for advertising, I am obsessed with Ad Report Card, mostly because Mr. Stevenson is freaking hilarious, especially when he digresses into something unrelated.

For example, consider this week's post. The fact that he manages to work a Ricky Williams "Pass the bong" joke into his assessment of the Clio awards is amazing.

Or take his review of ads for The Gap. In one of his classic asides, Seth talks about how Monica Lewinsky's famous blue dress was from The Gap, but that these days, the company is no longer fancy enough for White House interns. He then sums this up with one of the funniest sentences of all time: "It's just a sign of how badly things have gone for the brand: They can't even get world leaders to ejaculate on their clothes anymore."

There are many, many more . If you've got an afternoon to waste at work, I suggest reading all of them. And then you, too, will fall in love with Seth Stevenson.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

SPC: On the street, at a bar, under the L

It's been a while since I've done Self-Portrait Challenge. Probably because I haven't been able to find my camera charger since the move. But this month's topic — on the street — was just too good to pass up for a second week. I guess I'll have to make due with my camera phone until I find/replace that missing cord.

Anyway, here's a pic taken at this bar by my new place that's right at the bottom of the L platform. Like, if you get off the train after work, and you can't fathom the idea of taking another step without a drink, this is where you go. It's got a nice outdoor area and a pretty sweet beer selection, too.


Monday, May 07, 2007

La Fiesta

Chris and I had our big Cinco de Mayo bash on Saturday. There was food, there was tequila, there was music, there was puking.

Overall, I'd say it was a success — especially because I wasn't one of pukers for a change. Once I get some pics from the party, I'll post 'em, along with a story or two.

Until then, you can find me in my new favorite room, trying to get vomit stains out of my shower curtain.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My New Favorite Room

After lots of packing and box gathering, Chris and I finally moved last Monday. And then last Tuesday, I became intimately familiar with my new bathroom, but not before defacing some public property near the Magnificent Mile.

I will explain.

It all started with this boy:

Sure he looks cute and innocent, but he is actually the carrier of the Evil Baby Virus (a.k.a. the stomach flu). Jack contracted this virus and passed it on to his poor, unsuspecting mother. However, unsatisfied with just infecting his mom, he decided to infect his grandfather as well. Grandpa went on to infect Grandma. And between the two of them, the Evil Baby Virus somehow found me, even though I spent only about 15 minutes with the infected when I went to pick up my baby (the good baby that doesn’t infect people with evil viruses) from Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I had contracted the Evil Baby Virus until Tuesday afternoon while at work. Becoming increasingly nauseous, I called Chris and asked him to borrow one of his co-worker’s cars (he doesn’t drive to work) and pick me up from work. We agreed to meet at the corner of my street and lower Michigan Avenue.

Now, one of the joys of working on the 35th floor of a building is stopping a billion times up and down the elevator for other people on floors 1 through 34. Apparently, those people don’t realize what an absolute inconvenience their chosen floor of occupation is to the workers above them — ESPECIALLY when someone from 35 is about to lose her lunch and has to endure the feeling of an elevator stopping and starting five times in one trip.

When I finally did get down to the lower level, I was feeling a wee bit wobbly. I started to walk to the corner where I was to meet Chris, but quickly realized I wasn’t going to make it. I turned around, made a bee-line for the trashcan and successfully reached it, only to have my legs give out from under me as I sank to the ground and threw up in the grass in one glorious motion. On a downtown street. Next to the bus stop. For all to see.

One of those people witnessing my unpleasantness was Chris, who had just pulled up in his boss’ Porsche Cayenne. You know, luxury cars are nice and all, but not so much when you’re borrowing one from your spouse’s employer and you’ve just puked on the sidewalk with a high probability of round two.

Chris jumped out of the SUV, scooped me up and promptly took me home. Luckily, I did not make a mess of the boss’ car, but I did spend a large portion of the next 24 hours on my new bathroom floor, which, by the way, features brand-new off-white — very cold — ceramic tile.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Husband

Earlier this week, I sent Chris an e-mail telling him to check out this Chicago crime Web site a college friend set up called It's a pretty cool database of crimes that you can search by street, zip code, etc.

Anyway, I looked up our current block and then the block of our soon-to-be-residence. Surprisingly, our current block in relatively safe Lakeview had more crimes than our new block, which is in a slightly rougher area. I sent this info to Chris, and he wrote back:

"The crimes on [our current street] are weird, ie, telephone harassment, deception, and the like. I like my crimes like my women—rough, tough, and occasionally a peeping tom."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sometimes it snows in April

Today is opening day at Wrigley Field. It's also snowing. Ha.

So, the big news going on right now is moving day. It's a week from today. We still have A LOT of work to do before then, like, you know, packing. I now regret opening most of our wedding presents. We SO could have gone seven months without ever opening the box with the water goblets. And the decanter? Please. We filled it once with top-shelf bourbon only to be drunk on special occasions. It lasted a week.

In somewhat related news, I think I need to cut down on the alcohol consumption. I realized this yesterday when I got a bit tipsy at Easter. Because nothing screams "lush" like having a few too many while hanging out with the family on the holiest of Christian holidays.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

La La Land

I just got back from vaca in LA. I'm super busy today, but I shall return soon with plenty of drunken stories and incriminating photos.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm Totally Mexican

Actually, just a quarter. But I've decided that's enough to throw a Cinco de Mayo party.

So here's what I'm thinking. Last weekend, my family suggested I have a Memorial Day party (basically, I'm just looking for an excuse to have people over to our soon-to-be-new apartment). But the problem with Memorial Day parties is that people always have eight places to go that day, and lots of people go out of town. Plus, a party couldn't go very late because everyone has to work the next day.

So instead, I'm thinking I should have a Cinco de Mayo party. For starters, it falls on a Saturday this year. Second, people probably don't already have plans that day. And third? Margaritas.

The only problem is, I have no idea what type of food to make that can serve lots of people. With a BBQ, you can grill two dozen hot dogs and hamburgers, and everyone's happy. But with Mexican food, how do you cook for the masses? I've already decided that I'm going to make cream of poblano soup, which I have been obsessed with lately. But other than that, I'm stumped. Give me some ideas!!!!!

By the way, here's me and Laura on 05/05/05. We're totally Mexican.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sarah who?

So, even though I don't advertise my blog at work, and even though I've deleted all posts containing my last name so as not to be found in a Google search (by the way, that means no more using my new last name in comments, folks. It's rough, I know. Think of all the superhero posts I can't do now), I've decided that it's probably not best to rehash some of the hairier details of my job at the moment.

In other news, after two years in our teeny one-bedroom apartment, Chris and I have found a new place. Looks like we're probably moving to west Bucktown. The apartment we found is a two-bedroom two flat with a fenced-in backyard for Rosie, dishwasher (Thank God!), granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and washer & dryer, among other snazzy amenities. But the best part? This place comes with a piano. A FREAKING PIANO! I seriously almost cried when I found out. To think of all the stress relief and happiness those 88 keys will bring ... I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


One of Chris and my favorite shows (and guilty pleasures) is the show Cheaters. At least it used to be. But now that I know, first hand, how embarrassing and real life this show is, I’ve lost my taste for it.

Chris and I went out of town this weekend to visit the family in North Carolina, and while we were gone, Rosie called Cheaters.

The episode is set to air sometime next month. But if you can’t handle all those commercials for payday loans and get-rich quick programs, here’s the brief summary:

Investigation Day 3:

Suspects Sarah and Chris are seen in the company of an unknown male companion.

The suspects and the companion spend about an hour together playing and laughing, before retiring into an unknown residence, which they don’t leave until the next morning.

Investigation Day 7:

The suspects are once again spotted with the companion, now identified as Baron von Wunderhund.

Sarah, Chris and the companion exchange looks of adoration, and even pose together for a “family” photo.


Cheaters detectives brief Rosie on the whereabouts of Sarah and Chris. When Rosie learns of the new companion, she’s left distraught.

Regular Cheaters host Richard Greco was unavailable for this episode, so Rosie talked to new Cheaters host HollyRhea (who is totally pregnant, in case you haven’t heard) about her hurt feelings toward Sarah and Chris.

Despite these feelings, however, Rosie said she would like to try to repair her relationship with Sarah and Chris.

The Aftermath:

It’s been a few days since Rosie was reunited with Sarah and Chris. Although the suspects said they have not ruled out seeing their North Carolina companion again, they said they never intended to hurt Rosie. They hope to be able to put the incident behind them and move on with their lives.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tales from Upstate

Whenever I tell people about the weather in Syracuse, I always mention the first January I lived there and how we got 100 inches of snow that month. Most people mistakingly believe I'm exaggerating.

I used to think 100 inches in one month was insane, until I read this.

And to think I drove a rear-wheel drive pick-up when I lived there. And I drove around A LOT back then because I was a reporter at the time. I'm amazed I never ended up buried in a snow drift, reporter's notebook and felt-tip pen (ball points freeze) in hand, listening to Tony Kornheiser or Terry Gross as I met my eternal rest.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Chicago's It Girl

Last week, I convinced myself to go out one night, alone. and hosted this networking event for folks who work in Web publishing. I do a little Web publishing at my job, but mostly, I was digging the free drinks and totally wanted to meet Oprah.

She wasn't there.


Anyway, although I didn't get to meet The Big O, I did get to meet Laurel Touby, founder of I even got her business card. So we're like, best friends now.

Don't believe me? See for yourself!

Here's Laurel...

and here's me, doing what I do best...

...staking claim to the food table.

You see, the quesadillas we're REALLY good. And, well, I knew NO ONE and I felt super awkward. Me and small talk do not get along. This is why I can't make new friends. What am I supposed to say? "Oh my god, you have brown hair?!?! Me too! What are the odds? Want to be my new best friend? ... Please?..."

But after a glass of wine or three, I opened up and started chatting up some people, got some cards, did the whole networking thang. I even ran into a woman I used to work with when I interned for a local athletic magazine. I don't think she remembered me at first, and for some reason, I could remember every little detail of her life that summer, so I'm pretty sure I freaked her out.

But hey, at least I made some headway on a New Year's resolution. (Be more social? Check. Eat more vegetables? Eh, not so much...)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Note to self

Stop dabbing your nose with your sleeve. Because even though your nose runs incessantly in the winter, and even though there isn't always a tissue near by, noses should not be wiped on sleeves. Especially when you wear a white sweater. And ESPECIALLY when, due to all the dry air, your nose might actually be bleeding, not running like you thought.

Because now, everyone in the office knows you wipe your nose with your sleeve.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I hate people

Sometimes, living in a big city, and especially taking public transportation, can lead to utter contempt for the human race. Just about every little thing people do irritates me. Wearing a backpack while standing on the bus. Placing your backpack on the seat next to you while the bus is packed and then sighing loudly when asked to move it. Hugging the pole rather than placing one hand on it while standing. Refusing to walk toward the back of the bus so more people can get on. And, in general, just being alive.

Although these people annoy me greatly, I never go out of my way to scold them for their behavior. Dealing with other people and their obnoxious quirks is part of the price you pay to live in a metropolitan area. You get to live in a culturally rich, vibrant, amazing city. As a consequence, you have to deal with idiots, tourists and the morbidly obese. And you take their faults and keep your mouth shut because it’s all a part of living in a civil society.

I have witnessed, however, people who haven’t grasped the concept of civil behavior, who don’t realize that because it’s “public” transportation, anyone and everyone who pays fare is free to take the bus or train.

For example, the bus I take everyday is an express from Michigan Avenue to the Lakeview neighborhood, which is mostly comprised of young professionals. As a result, we rarely see children on our bus. So, when three British women and their SIX children, all under the age of five, took over our bus one day, we were all a little perturbed. These kids were hellacious. They spent the entire ride kicking and screaming and whining and crying and running around and pretty much making everyone else on the bus miserable. But like I said before, it’s PUBLIC transportation, not only-18-to-35-
income-to-spend-insane-amounts-of-money-on-Marc-Jacobs transportation. Therefore, you take the minor inconvenience of uncontrollable toddlers on your bus, and you forget about it.

What you don’t do is what this incredibly rude 30-something guy did. Right before getting off the bus at his stop, he turned to these moms and said in the bitchiest voice I’ve ever heard, “You need to take some parenting classes,” then snapped his head, threw his nose in the air and walked off.

I felt so bad for these women. They were strangers in our city and our country, they were here visiting and probably just trying to figure out how to navigate Chicago’s incredibly confusing bus system, and in return, some jerk yells at them for procreating and having the audacity to bring their offspring on the bus. Way to make our city look good, dumb ass.

Anyway, why do I bring this up today? Well this morning, I was on the receiving end of some idiot’s totally uncivil behavior.

While on the bus this morning, I happened to be standing in front of two people who were chatting up a storm. Generally, people do not speak on the bus, especially in the morning. There’s this unwritten rule that during the morning commute, you’re supposed to sit quietly and either listen to your iPod or read the newspaper or a book. You don’t talk. So, when I found myself standing opposite two talkers, I automatically pulled out my iPod so I wouldn’t have to listen to their conversation about a dog in a wheelchair. (Seriously, that’s what they were talking about. Apparently the dog had a stroke...) Anyway, I pulled out my iPod and plugged in. And as soon as I did, a woman sitting RIGHT NEXT to the people talking tapped my hand and said, “I can hear your music. You need to turn it down.”

I was dumbfounded. For starters, you can ALWAYS hear people’s music through their earphones. I have yet to be in the general vicinity of someone listening to an iPod and not been able to hear their music, unless I myself was also plugged in. But the reason this woman’s comment caught me so off guard was that she was sitting next to the people yapping away on the bus. How on earth could my music be more disruptive than two people using outside voices on an otherwise-silent bus? And more importantly, didn’t she realize she was breaking the golden rule that, in order to maintain civil society and avert potential conflict, you NEVER tell complete strangers what to do?

I thought about telling her this in response. I also thought about saying back to her, “Yeah, well I can hear your ass growing.” Then I thought about breaking into tears, and in my best Marlee Matlin impression, sobbing, “I’m hard of hearing and this is the only way I can experience music! You make me ashamed to be me!”

But instead, I glared at her for a moment, then turned down my music so I could no longer hear it above the still-ongoing conversation about the wheelchair-bound dog, who had a stroke, and just recently, had to have hip surgery.

And for the briefest of moments, the thought of moving out the suburbs, buying a gas-guzzling SUV and joining the millions of other drivers who clog up the Eisenhower everyday, but get to do it alone and listen to music at any volume and have an hour every morning that doesn’t require interacting with another human being, seemed mildly attractive. But just then my bus crossed the river and started to approach Michigan Avenue and the Wrigley Building, and I remembered why I live here and why I put up with the idiots and the tourists and the stupid people on the bus with their stupid ugly faces.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The food that moves

In my quest to not only lose weight, but also eat better, I’ve been trying to meet all my “daily recommended” values. So far, I’ve had no problem consuming the right amount of calories, carbs, vitamins, fats, etc. However, the area that I can’t measure up is fiber. According to my guidelines, I’m supposed to eat 25 grams of fiber everyday. Do you have any idea how difficult this is?

I started by buying some Bran Flakes, fruit and whole-wheat bread. But a bowl of Bran Flakes only has a measly 7 grams of fiber. An apple? Only 4. And a slice of whole wheat bread has so few grams of fiber, it might as well not exist.

If I actually wanted to get my 25 grams of fiber a day, I’d have eat nothing but prunes and beans for every meal. And by that point, who’d care if I were fit and healthy? I’d have such horrendous gas that no one would be able to stand in my presence.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Put on your party hats...

... the Bears are going to the Superbowl!

Odd-numbered years might not be so good for me, but they sure do treat Chicago sports teams pretty well. First there was the Bulls in 1991 (and '92, '93, '96, '97 and '98), the White Sox in 2005, and now the Bears in '07. Maybe this year will prove to be the year for the Cubs, too, and we won't have the embarrassment of entering 2008 — the year that marks 100 years since the Cubs last won the World Series — as the crappiest team in MLB history.

Or maybe not.

Go Bears!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lactose Intolerance

In a moment of weakness, I bought myself a bag of Pizzaria-flavored Combos today. In case I didn't feel bad enough about all the sodium, fat and empty calories, when I flipped over the Combos package, it said this:

The cheese filled snack of Nascar.

I think I'll go puke now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Longest Year Ever

It’s only 15 days into 2007, but I already know it’s going to take forever to pass, and I’ll be counting the days. The thing is, I have a problem with odd-numbered years. Basically since high school, the odd years have sucked.

It all starts with 1999 and that whole meningitis thing. That, along with a bad break-up, sort of put a damper on that year.

Then there was 2001 when I felt trapped in a dead-end relationship, and Chase and I spent half the year living with a whiny hypochondriac. We spent the other half living with an unpleasant exchange student who bathed in the sink and brought home things found in the Dumpster.

Next was 2003, which featured an anti-climatic final semester of college during which time I was miserable in Missouri while Chris was in New York. I spent the summer living alone before moving to Syracuse in the fall. With an English degree and a Journalism degree from “the best journalism school in the country,” I spent most of the rest of the year unemployed or working at the mall.

And finally we have 2005, when I spent most of the year with an unfulfilling job, and Chris spent most of the year studying for the bar and looking for a job, which made him not exactly fun to be around.

Meanwhile, the even-numbered years have been the complete opposite.

First, there was 2000 when I got to do all kinds of fun bridesmaid things for my sister’s wedding. That year was also the only time in my life I spent dating. Previously (and since then), I’ve a serial long-term relationshipper. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but dating that year was fun and different.

In 2002, I met Chris. In addition, for the first half of the year, I was the editor of a school newspaper, and during the second half of the year, I was in Europe.

2004 featured my still-favorite job to date working for a weekly newspaper in Syracuse. I also traveled to Las Vegas and New Orleans for the first time in 2004. And last, but certainly not least, that was also the year we adopted Rosie.

Finally, 2006 saw my wedding, the birth of my nephew, a new job and a promotion.

So it’s with some trepidation that I enter 2007. Maybe I’m just being superstitious. Or maybe the fact that my internet hasn’t been working right for the past few weeks and my worse-than-normal accumulation of black heads is an indication of what’s to come in 2007. What else could this year have in store for me? I’m too terrified to think about it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Disappearing Act

I’ve been a bit absent from the blog lately. Partially, it’s been due to the holidays, work and both mine and Chris’ birthdays. But mostly, it’s because right as I was hitting “post” on my last entry, my dad called to tell me that my grandpa was in the hospital and probably wouldn’t make it. He didn’t. He died on Christmas Eve.

Just like when Rachel died, I find I can’t write about it. I have no problem pounding out 500 words about the ridiculousness of umbrellas or shoes seen at Nordstrom. But when it comes to something I actually care about, something that actually means something to me, I’m at a loss for words.

Instead, I keep thinking about how my grandpa told me at my wedding that it was the best wedding he’s been to in a long time. Or how I feel bad for moving away to college and living in Syracuse and missing some of the last seven years of his life. Or feeling guilty that the last time Chris and I went to visit him and my grandma, we prolonged our trip until halftime of the Bears game. I remember how, when we left their condo that day, he insisted on walking us down the hallway to the elevator, and he stood there smiling and waving until the elevator doors closed between us.

And in the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.