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.