Saturday, February 28, 2009

And one, two, three, four AND five, six, seven, eight

There are few moments in life where I feel like more of a dork than when I'm in front of a TV, doing a workout video.

Exercise is exercise, but I can't help but think of how ridiculous I must look.  And I feel like this would be the perfect time, as I'm in sweatpants and a sports bra, for my roommate - who has only been at the apt a handful of times - comes back to pick up her mail. And see me body- rolling to the tv.... haha... oh god.

But, alas, this morning because I was too lazy to trek downtown to my gym, and it was too cold to venture outside on the running path... I broke out my roommate's Carmen Electra Striptease workout videos... 

As Carmen changed from one boob-a-licious shirt to the next... I'm not sure if I got more of a workout from the moves or my laughter.  In fact, if i were still an immature college student (ahhem) i would probably suggest making a drinking game out of the drink every time she checks herself out.  But I'm way past that... 

Anyways... the point of the video is to feel seductive and learn sexy moves... and yet, I'm dancing to a TV... in sweatpants... having not showered yet... with severe bed head. I was about as sexy Norman whatever from American Idol who went to second base with the AI banner sign in his last performance.

D.O.R.K. To the max.

To top it off, I'm going to go finish the 3rd book in the Twilight series and admit that I watch American Idol... damn... already did that.

Can you think of something to top cardio workout tapes on the Dorkster Billboard charts??

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Chicago, Bored of Trade?

When I think of the Chicago Board of Trade... I often think of a zoo. Filled with extremely good looking and successful, driven men. Ninety percent of whom I probably would never date.

Mainly, because I've dated one (and I use that term loosely... we went on A date... but I received international texts from Russia so it counts)... and I realized the lifestyles of a PR chica vs. a trader were not even on the same planet of playing fields. I'm sure you can do it... I even have a co-worker happily married to a trader.... there's always an exception to the rule.

But in my experience, I was planning a trip home to Cleveland, and he was planning his fifth international escapade of the year. Although I enjoyed the crazy stories uncovering the f-ed up practices that go on on the trading floor, I could not relate to the now-Bohemian-like, retired 30 year-old millionaire. I guess I was never destined to be a gold digger :)

Anyways... off the subject... had to share a hilarious video my friend, Christina, sent me of the zoo.

Enjoy, and HAPPY FRIDAY!!
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Macarena: New Form of Child Abuse

Watch out Push Ups... there's a new kid in town. And his video is kicking your butt in entertainment value.

This video is hilarious....

You know he's working on a cruise boat now and has further perfected his gyrations as an adult. Or he hates his mother and will be in therapy for the rest of his life.

One or the other.
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The Trib is Here to Stay!!

At least for the time being! Crain's Chicago Business officially announced that the Tribune Tower has been taken off the market.

Sam Zells will have to figure out a new location for his next condo complex.

Excellent news :)
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Notable Quotables

"If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
- Toni Morrison, Nobel prize-winning American author
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Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

As Chicagoans we have several things that could interrupt our eight hours of beauty sleep on a regular work night.

These being:

  • Lincoln Park Trixies who are stumbling home from the Tin Lizzy, ears shot from the loud music, talking loudly on cell phones

  • The bass of a TV or stereo (undetermined) from your neighbors

  • The El... if you are fortunate enough to be close enough that it shakes your building

  • Construction from the ridiculously overpriced condo complex they are building across from you...

  • Crazy, oversized cats (or dogs) who want to eat.... again....

  • Snoring boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife

  • Your insanely over-analytical self... aka self-induced stress

Thought that was a large enough list? Add one more...

Biting Bed Bugs. I kid you not... apparently they are infiltrating Chicago beds one. at. a. time. And the worst part of the Sun-Times article today is that they have no solution to this problem. Just reporting that it's a problem. Excellent.

I love when primary objective of news if to freak me out. If the bugs aren't biting... now I can worry about the bugs biting. And just recall that pretty picture they included in the article.

Sleep tight, kids. Don't let the bed bugs bite.... fo real.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anyone Have to Do the Potty Dance?

Pull-Ups have created a microsite.... and really I have no words. Other than I forsee myself in 10 - 15 years doing or watching insane things like this... and forgetting that it's insane. Okay... you got me... I do have some words.

The voiceover at the beginning was kind of cute. But then it turns creepy when it takes inspiration from children's shows like Tella Tubbies (eek!) or that Australian mens group that performs in neon-colored t-shirts... or is it onesies? Point being... i suppose kids like them. And that's why they keep producing replicas.

All I'm saying is that I'm just not sure that little one was expecting to be forced into a slightly-psychotic music video. That will teach him to pee his pants. It's just not right.

Also, notice Tori Spelling hiding upfront in the video. Could she be ashamed that her 90210/Lifetime Original Movie career has come down to doing the potty dance? Or is she just excited that her son Liam is finally taken potty training by the diaper and is using the big boy chair? Either way, good for her... these are tough economic times.

I imagine when I get to that place in my life it won't be quite as nightmarish as that video. But I'm pretty sure the image of that old man in his super short white shorts has left permanent damage...

That's all I got...
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Monday, February 23, 2009

When Rehab Turns Into Remake

Suntan lotion, unpacked. Tank tops, stowed away. Scarves, on. UGGS, on. Hat, on.

I'm back in Chicago... and hardly can believe that just yesterday I felt the warm, Florida sun beat down on my pale Midwestern skin.

Three days in the sun. I blinked twice, and it was over.

I felt like I got the city rehab that I needed. I'm rested and came back to work with a renewed energy. Maybe because I just wanted to pretend that the blue skies and sun outside was bringing 80 degree weather instead of the unfortunate reality of 12 degrees.

When I returned, I can't say I made any dramatic changes in my life. HOWEVER, my friend Helen is a different story. To give a bit of background, Helen is the most spontaneous, confident and crazy person I know... but who always makes well thought-out, smart personal decisions. And all of those decisions for some reason happen within a week or two of leaving Sanibel. 

Two years ago, two weeks after coming home from Sanibel, Helen moved from Champagne, Illinois back to Columbus, Ohio and broke up with long-time boyfriend. For good. Cold turkey. Never looked back. And randomly went into World Market and bought a sofa. When she was shopping for curtains.

Last year, after soaking up the sun, she decided to move in with her boyfriend... decision made... a week after Sanibel.

This year, literally, not even 24 hours after getting off the plane, she put her two weeks in at work... and took another job. It may pay less, but the job is more promising in eliminating unnecessary stress and unhappiness in her life. And lives up to her new minimalistic standard. 

Unfortunately, this new lifestyle also probably means she won't be moving to Chicago anytime soon... but, even so, I'm SO happy for her. And continue to be impressed by her spontaneity!

CONGRATULATIONS, Helen!! I can only imagine the power another day in Florida may have had on your life. 

Do you have a little Helen in yourself? Have a friend like Helen? Do tell...

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Notable Quotables

"In bathrooms, boardrooms, buses, bagel shops, and everywhere else, we all need to imagine a little girl following us around, repeating everything we say and everything we do. Think about all the things you want for yourself and your daughters, granddaughters, and girls everywhere -- and teach them by living it yourself" - Nell Merlino, in Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want it Their Way in Life, in Love and at Work (Broadway)
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Second City Rehab

Much like the summer, this winter I decided that sips the city weren't quite enough to get through the winter. I've been binge drinking the city... resulting in a hyped up schedule that would drive anyone insane. And I completely did this to myself. Somewhere between work, dance class, yoga, volleyball and book club... I hit a wall.

And so... my yearly "zen" trip with three of my closest girlfriends couldn't come at a better time.

For the fourth year, we'll head to Sanibel Island for a long-overdue catch up. The extent of our activities include biking to lunch at The Bean, cooking out, reading by the pool, margaritas and chillin in the hot tub. Basically heaven.

We all fly into Fort Meyers from different airports... with different baggage... We each live completely separate and dramatically different lives, but we do have a lot in common too. A one of those things is that these girls mirror my over-planning, try-to-do-everything personality. We've all hit walls... and we're all looking for a little rehab this weekend. 

So, bring on the sun, the all-you-can-eat crab place and planning to not plan!

Keep it clean in the Second City while I'm gone!

Bon Voyage!!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Notable Quotables

"Don't worry when you're not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition."
-Abraham Lincoln
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stump, the Dog

Once upon a time there was a little girl who dreamed of getting a dog. Who, in second grade, wrote stories about how spring is her favorite season because her dad said it was a good time to get a dog, and that red was her favorite color because her cousin's dog was named Red. 

And then, once upon a time there was a dog that came along to grow up with that girl.

His name was Boomer. Her name... you guessed... was Colleen.

From second grade to college, Boomer "Chewy" Hart was my best friend. He was a pure bred Cocker Spaniel... And not that I'm partial, but Boomer had the cutest face of any other in his breed. Those eyes were irresistible... even if he was waking you up in the middle of the night. His curly, floppy ears fell down in his face, often victim to snow chunks, cement, leaves... and the worst... water.

He, like most animals, had his quirks. He licked... yes, licked... the refrigerator when he was hungry... nervous... bored... etc. My mom literally had to wipe the refrigerator down daily so it wouldn't stain. He insisted on rubbing his eye gook (Cocker Spaniel curse) on your nice black pants. He took on raccoons one year when he found the neighbors stash of leftover food in their backyard (who feeds raccoons, anyways... weird). And as he got older, he stopped wanting to go on long walks... and would literally lay down in the middle of the road. A couple times I carried all 40 pounds of him home.

But he loved us. He wished he was just an itty bit smaller, because nothing made him more happy than a good ear rub as he laid on your lap. Every morning he would wait, with his chin on the bottom stair, until finally I, the last one to get ready, came down stairs. At 3:30, like clockwork, he would run to the window and wait for me to come home from school. And when you opened the back door, his little nose would inch its way out to greet you. And his stump tail would wag so much that it became a full-out rapid butt rotation. My mom's famous quote, "No boy will ever be as happy to see you as Boomer." So true. So true.

So, today, when I heard about Stump, the Dog who won Best of Show at the Sussex dog show... I couldn't help but think about Boomer. Although this dog has nothing on Boomer, he is 10 years old... 70 in dog years... and still rockin it. He's like Dean Martin.... or Audrey Hepburn... ageless.

Way to go, Stump.... Boomer would be proud (or sleeping...)... but deep down... totally proud.

Do you have a Stump in your life? Tell on... 
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Charitable Balls

For the sake of spontaneity - and to spend some qt with one of my best friends, Deanna, and her family- I accepted the invitation to attend Children's Memorial's Snow Ball charity event.

As a charity ball virgin, I had no idea what to expect.... but I was not disappointed.

Navy Pier ballroom was decorated to the nines... 1200 Chicagoans and friends of Chicagoans filled the room, looking their best. Restaurants throughout the city, like Trattoria 10, Giordanno's, etc set up booths serving their most popular appetizers. Silent auction items included sailing lessons in Evanston, rooftop seats in Wrigley, Girls' Night Out activities... week stays in Hawaii. All very enticing...all very expensive... but for a great cause.

Honestly, I could have sat at the table all night, with a glass of wine in hand, people-watching all night long.  The dresses were impressing... and the suits were well-tailored. Everything you would expect from a charity event for a Lincoln Park children's hospital.

There was something that I was not expecting... 100s of young 20-somethings. They came in groups... and were determined to drink their moneys worth. But, more importantly, they came. And, with a ticket $125 per person... that was admirable enough to look past the couples making out in the corner, screaming in the bathroom or stumbling over each other in the hallway. Oh, what's it's like to be young ;)

At the end of the night, the announced that the event raised $110,000 for the aids ward of the Children's Hospital. Despite the economic times, they were able to match last year's donations.

Excellent night. Excellent cause. 

Anyone else have experience with charitable balls? Any recommendations for others?

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Future Through the Eyes of Facebook

This morning, my friends and I got to talking about former flames... or wanted-to-be flames...reunited through Facebook. There were a lot of different stories, but as a whole, one common thread... they were all extremely disappointing, realistic and, most importantly, ridiculously hilarious.

Because I found myself laughing out loud at these stories... (with their permission) I had to share.

Incident #1:
"So, not only do I continue to find it strange that my dad is on Facebook, and actually updates his status every now and then (ex. "XYZ just finished his taxes and is feeling just fine." What?), but this morning I came into work to find out that the first boy who I ever creepily loved/stalked/obsessed about in high school wants to be my friend.

I've seen him on Facebook before, but I never wanted to request his friendship, because I didn't want him to think I was still obsessed with him 12 years later (because naturally that would be his first thought, I'm sure :)). So, just seeing this guy's name brought back all sorts of creepy memories of the things I used to do to make him notice me:

*He was my mom's student, so I would volunteer to help her grade papers just so I could read his essays, so I could learn about his favorite food, sports, etc. 
*I thought it was fate when our lockers ended up next to each other sophomore year, and began planning the names of our children shortly thereafter
*I took up an interest in golf, since he was an all-state golfer. Interestingly, this turned out well since it turns out I actually really liked golf and wasn't half bad at it.
*I memorized his class schedule so that I could see him all. the. time.
*Instead of actually doing homework in the library, I would sit in front of my locker and do it before/after school, you know, just in case he was around.

Ummm. Fatal Attraction, anyone? Seriously, how did this guy not get a restraining order from me????

Anyway... no real reason for this e-mail except seeing this blast-from-the-past on Facebook sort of made me feel all giddy and awkward like a freshman in high school all over again."

10 minutes later....

"To add to the random e-mail below... I just "friended" this former high-school crush... and of course, analyzed his photos. Excellent news - he is longer hot thanks to a patch of unfortunate chest hair peeking out of his shirt, as well as a creepy smile that says, "i had way too much fun in college with many loose woman and too much booze, and I plan to stay this way until I'm 45."

Incident #2

"Speaking of Facebook randoms, my old next door neighbor, who I had a huge crush on asked to be my friend yesterday!!! He was just a year older than me, but since he went to public school, he seemed way more mature than the catholic school girl I was. I remember watching and waiting for him to go outside and play basketball with his friends. As soon as they were shooting hoops, after about 5 minutes (gotta play it cool), I would in turn go start showing my b-ball moves in my driveway. I always prayed that one day they would see my skills and ask me over to join in. Sad to say, not once.

So since we went to different high schools and I moved to a different street, I thought I would never see him again. Who knew that one day we would be Facebook friends, and I would find out he's married to an older woman and gained about 100 lbs."

Incident #3

"I too had that sort of experience. He was so dreamy - golden blonde hair, bright blue eyes, great baseball player's body (well, for an 8th grader anyway!)! We had all our classes together, lockers next to each other. His baseball team even shared a dugout (quasi) with my softball team bc we played for the same league (yes, i, the uncoordinated and athletically-challenged friend actually played softball. I wasn't half bad!). I thought it was fate. 

My best friend Marissa lived down the street from him, so what did we do EVERY weekend? and i seriously mean, every. We'd have a slumber party at her house Friday night after the games, then really early Saturday morning (when he was getting up for his morning run before practice of course), we would put on our cutest "work out" outfits... which consisted of Abercrombie t-shirts and Nike running shorts and our Vans sneakers... and casually and oh-so-inconspicuously run by his house. Over and over. We never went anywhere else in their huge neighborhood, just around and around his cul de sac.

He never said anything, but we were convinced we'd see him one day. And then it happened, one Monday at school, he asked me why I always run around his street and never go anywhere. I was mortified! To make matters worse, Marissa ended up subsequently kissing...and long-term dating... him!!

He actually ended up working with one of my fellow sorority sisters, so I would see him out occasionally that summer after we all graduated college. He tried to hit on me one time at Humphrey's, and sadly, I was not impressed. Damn.

We are FB friends now. He's engaged and doing his thing... apparently trying to work off his beer belly for the upcoming nuptuals. From the look sof his pics, that battle is not going so well."

So the question is.... should we just leave the past in the past? Why taint these memories of perfection/obsession with reality?

Did the image any other former flames get smothered by Facebook??? Do tell...

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Notable Quotable...

"The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them."
-Robert Frost
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Denny's Free Grand Slam/Demise of Groundhog Day

Half of today's blog post comes from one of my best friends (and most avid blog commenter), Katie.. as she experienced something weirder than I did today. Turns out Denny's did a promo (nationwide?) giving away free Grand Slam breakfasts early in the morning. Being a marketer myself, there are several parts of this promotion that intrigued me. 
  • Grand Slam. We just celebrated the Super Bowl... and not the World Series... unexpected promo. Extremely randomly unexpected. On the verge of not making a lot of sense at all.
  • We're in the early stages of what promises to be a long recession... no one is eating out... why are they GIVING food away?? Or perhaps that's WHY they are giving food away?
  • Like Wal-Mart, franchises like Denny's are strictly prohibited from the Chicago. That statement, of course, is not based on any real sound knowledge... merely observation.
Anywho... Denny was the Top Chef of the day... and here is a sip of Katie's city... St. Louis. 

"Well, I was among the estimated 2 million to join in the fun today, braving a 25 minute wait mostly outside in the freezing 9 degree temps. But oh did the Gram Slam taste good. :) 

Here's the skinny on the free Denny's. Way too many homeless-looking people, another bunch of smelly college kids, and only a few "professionals" braving the crowds and long waits for two eggs, two pancakes, sausage and bacon. I did, however, make the 6 p.m. news in the background of a show by News Channel 5. I haven't searched for the clip, but you may be able to find it at"

So quick update on Denny and his eggs. Katie... and smelly college kids... are famous tonight in the SLU. Congrats!

On a completely unrelated note... who else is pissed about the lack of Groundhog Day coverage these days? As someone who clearly looks forward to spring/summer, this day means a lot to me... and for the second year, I had NO idea it was yesterday. And I consider myself slightly whorish when it comes to being on top of the media (ha... that metaphor seriously just came to me... sorry, fam... i couldn't resist).

Is it because we live in Chicago? Do they not promote it here like they do in Akron because they know winter clearly will last more than 6 weeks, whether or not a disease-infested rodent sees his shadow?

Did anyone catch the Pennsylvania news? What's the deal with the GH? Shadow? No?? I'm sure Google can answer these questions quicker than a response... but I am curious to find out if anyone actually knows.
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Maneater Lyrics....

Hahahahhaa... I spoke too soon. Has anyone actually looked at the lyrics to Maneater?!

They are completely ridiculous. See below. My favorite lyrics are in bold.

She'll only come out at night.
The lean and hungry type.
Nothing is new, I've seen her here before
Watching and waiting.
OOH... she's sitting with you but her eyes are on the door.
So many have paid to see (is she a stripper? call girl?)
What you think you're getting for free
The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar (no words...)
Money's the matter
If you're in it for love, you ain't gonna get too far.
Watch out boy she'll chew you up  (that seems to be where they're getting the "eat" part)
She's a maneater.
I wouldn't if I were you
I know what she can do
She's deadly man, she could really rip your world apart
Mind over matter
Ooh, the beauty is there but a beast is in the heart

How I miss 80s lyrics. How creative :) 
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Maneater... birth song??

Interested in finding out what was #1 on the Billboard charts the day you were born?

Finding out "Maneater" by Daryl Hall & John Oates was on the top charts on Dec. 30th, 1982 is slightly disturbing to me.

I really don't understand the original or remake of that song all that well anyways. What really is a Maneater? Is it a female player? Is it a heart breaker? Or is it a psycho girl?

And could a birthday Billboard hit be indicative of a lifetime cursed by ridiculous dates/dating experiences?

Perhaps a little too deep for a Monday morning.

What's your song?
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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Showing off Chicago...

I've fallen back in love with Chicago... bad weather and all. 

The activities of the past couple weekends sealed the deal for me. Chicago is a keeper. "I do!!"

1) Skiing in Wisconsin. Last weekend, with a high of 10 degrees, a few of us joined Chicago Sport and Social for a day trip to Devil's Head ski resort in Wisconsin. We froze our asses off, but had a blast being bundled up... and then thawing out in the lodge over excessive amounts of beer and pizza.

Coming back to the city, it may have still been cold... but not flying down the hill, can't-feel-your-face cold. We were refreshed and ready for the week.

2) Entertaining. In the four winters that I've lived through in Chicago, I've never had anyone visit me in January. People just don't come to the Antartica of the Midwest unless they live here or are forced to go to one of the many conferences that take place in Jan/Feb downtown.

Two of my best friends from home were in town this weekend... and we had an absolute blast laughing the entire weekend... and running around the city... making the most out of every single minute. Events included....
  • Friday: Homemade dinner at my place then to Old Town for Second City's "America All Better" main stage show. Best Second City performance I've seen yet. LOVED every second of it.
  • Saturday: Shopping downtown (anyone else noticed how picked over Mich Ave stores are on Saturdays??), dinner at Cafe Iberico (heaven-sent tapas restaurant on LaSalle). The weekend was topped off with a crazy night out... involving leftover liquor from NYE, Apples-to-Apples game, crashing an all-you-can-drink party at Schoolyard on Southport (somehow avoiding the wristband... but taking advantage of the deal), Goldslagger shots, flirtatious notes on a napkin (drawings included) and late-night drinking and dancing at Big City (Shitty) Tap on Belmont. 
I've had so much fun... I think I forgot it was still winter. Or just accepted it.

January is like that point in the middle of a marathon/race where you just accept the fact that you are just going to be running for, what seems like, the rest of your life .... so you might as well enjoy the scenery.

And the scenery is great....

Totally wiped out and watching the Super Commericals... I mean, Super Bowl... 
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