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.