Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Notable Quotables

"You can do anything -- but you can't do everything."
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Why Today Was the Best Day Ever...

Every day can't be amazing... but today was SPECTACULAR. And it was Monday. Why do I love, thee, March 30th, 2009... let me count the ways :) 
  • 6:15 a.m. I woke up, looked outside, and realized the hellish winter storm that swept through Sunday had passed... and the sun was out... and the snow was gone. Like it was all a bad dream. Or a result of four mimosas.
  • 6:20 a.m. Peapod delivered a week's worth of groceries to me by 6:30 a.m.... including five bottles of champagne for a work party later on in the day. Peapod delivery man made a comment about the guy down the street who drinks a bottle of vodka every three days. Not sure what he was implying...
  • 8:00 a.m. Carted the five bottles of champagne AND a fruit tray to the bus stop... where an EMPTY 143 arrived... at 8:15. This is where I should have known that nothing but good things were in store for the day.
  • 10 a.m. Received a note from the Publicity Club of Chicago congratulating my team on winning the Publicity Club of Chicago Golden Trumpet award for best Marketing program.
  • 12:15 p.m. Bagpipers arrive at work... which we secretly scheduled for my admin's retirement party. Patti loved it...the rest of the building got to listen to three awesome songs by live bagpipers... and we didn't get fired. Triple score. 
  • 1:15 p.m. Find out the SPAM 2008 PR program was nominated for a SABRE award.
  • 2:30 p.m. Get an e-mail notifying me my 4-hour layover scheduled on my return flight from Cancun is now non-existent... straight through flight!! woohoo!!!
  • 5:30 p.m. Get notice that we've got the green light to attend the Silver Anvil Award Ceremony in New York City in June
  • 5:35 p.m. Happy hour with co-workers in honor of Patti's retirement... catch up with former Burson peeps.
  • Win the lottery... just kidding... but kind of feel like I just did.
Exhausted.... going to bed before anything can ruin this untouchable day. 

Anyone else have great news?! Share the love of March 30th... 
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Notable Quotables

"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector. This is the writer's radar, and all great writers have had it."
Ernest Hemingway
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Shamrock Bar Shuffle

For the first time in four years, I had plans to run the Shamrock Shuffle this morning. The Shamrock Shuffle, if you're not from the area, is the kickoff to running season for many Chicago runners. Those years that it's unseasonably warm, runners rave about how much fun and how motivating the 8k run can be. 

I, personally, have never signed up for it being the winter pessimist that I am. I've come to terms with the fact that spring is just a season on the calendar. That Summer and Winter are the only weather changes in the 606XX area codes. I ran in a marathon in 85 degree weather... but when it comes to cold... no deal. I'll take humidity any day over not feeling my extremities. 

But, this year, my friend's friend got injured, and I had the opportunity to join thousands in one of Chicago's favorite runs. I was excited to check it out. I took all the correct precautions. I worked out more than usual this week... I stayed in on Saturday night, ate a nutritious dinner and washed and set out my running clothes for the next early morning.

My alarm went off at 6:30, and I was ready. Having not looked outside yet, I began suiting up with multiple layers of running gear. I saw the weather forecasts for that day... So when my friend, Kristine, texted me, asking what I thought about the mere apocalypse occurring outside our windows... it didn't take long for us to agree on brunch and mimosas to replace slush and freezing weather.

I thought of my dad who reminded me the night before that it's one thing to keep running if it starts raining... but another thing (insanity) to begin running in the rain/sleet/snow. One is being an athlete... the other is being an idiot.

So we decided to be smart... and overstuff our faces at Duffy's brunch... Four mimosas in and two plates of food later, I decided I probably would have felt better had I actually run five miles in the snow. But... I was a lot warmer and had a clutch table with three great friends in the midst of the crowded bar.

Overall excellent Sunday morning. And I'm not going to get pneumonia... so win win situation for everyone :) 

Anyone run this morning? How did it go??
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Notable Quotables...

"Happiness often sneaks through a door you didn't know you left open."
-John Barrymore, American actor
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Bachelorette Parties Not Welcome

Last summer, as a farewell to my days living right off Halsted (down the street from the whips and chains store AND Gaymart), I organized a Girls Night hitting up the Halsted bars. The night was fabulous, until we abruptly turned a corned onto Clark Street and quickly got accousted by exactly the men that we were avoiding that night.

I digress.

Point is, throughout the night, we did get a few stares and a lot of questions asking for the bride-to-be. One bar even had a sign, "No Bachelorette Parties Allowed." My first thought was, is this the Halsted-version of "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service"?

We didn't think too long, quickly took a shot at that bar and left... knowing that although we weren't a bach party, we were pretty much everything that one might be... dressed up straight girls who belonged more in Central than Sidetracks.

So I found it interesting this morning, the Tribune had an article entitled, "Gay rights put a strain on parties," discussing just what we had witnessed ourselves. I completely understand the bachelorette thing... because it's a bit insensitive given the current laws on gay marriage. But does this mean no more birthday parties at the Kit Kat Club?!

Let's just hope not. Are you a straight girl who just enjoys the trendy and fratboy-free Halsted dives? Or a gay man who is sick of Vegas-style bachelorette parties from Wisconsin crowding your bars? Do tell...
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Notable Quotable

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Yogi Berra, National Baseball Hall of Fame member
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Proud to be Irish Because...

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd reflect on reasons why I'm proud to be 95 percent Irish (dang rando German guy who squeezed into the family).
  • I have a reason for being pale... and sometimes I can get enough freckles to merge together to appear like a tan
  • I contribute to the 10 percent of the population that require SPF 60
  • I have the ability and excuse to hold a grudge for decades
  • I can (and have) convince(d) strangers that I was a professional Irish dancer as a child... River Dance is a hit at the bars circa 1 a.m.
  • My dark hair and blue eyes are au natural... and were there long before brunettes were the new blondes
  • I can tell stories that begin, "this one time when I was six and my grandpa took me to a pub dressed in all green..."
  • I went to an Irish high school for two years, and can say I not only knew, but was in the same class with three other Colleens
  • My native ancestors had awesome accents and beautiful country-sides
  • I'm probably weirdly related to that crazy dude who has searched his whole life for leprechauns
  • Everyone wants to be Irish today... 
  • Conan O'Brien is hilarious and so all Irish people must be funny, right?!
  • Green beer takes better than regular tap... unless served in May... it's happened before... great deal
  • Celtic crosses and jewelry
  • Luck o' the Irish isn't just a phrase... 
  • When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay -- When Irish eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away
Are you proud to be Irish?! Tell me why....
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Dear North Face Part 2

Dear North Face,

It was 72 degrees today. I don't need you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day,

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to Master Chicago St. Patrick's Day with a Marathon-Mind

Surviving St. Patrick's Day weekend in Chicago is a skill that takes years, and a lot of practice, to master. You need to go into it with the mindset of a marathoner... not a sprinter.

For those who are still hung over, heed the advice of a pro...and by pro I mean seasoned professional :)
  • Pre-Race Prep: The nights prior to the race are important to ensure you're body is in top-notch condition. Pre-party prep... stay in the night before. Hydrate like it's your job and eat a solid dinner.
  • Carbo load: Day-of, don't be an idiot... you need fuel in your stomach before the big event. That means, if you go to a brunch... actually eat the brunch. Brunches were not meant just for mimosas.
  • Pace yourself: All serious runners know that pacing is the key to survival for distance. Those who get too excited and sprint the first few miles are sure to be passed miles down the road by the slower, more steady racers. 10 a.m. does not call for drinking games. Ease into it, so you're not the party pooper trailing home at 5 p.m.
  • Know when to leave the race: If the conditions are extreme at any point, weather is bad... as a runner, you need to know when to cut your losses and call it a day. As a day drinker, you must also know when to start drinking water or to bow out of the party. These conditions include, but are not limited to, crying, getting sick, fights, giving your number out to randoms, etc. Just go home.
So... top o the evening to ya... hope everyone had a fabulously Irish-tastic weekend! Did I miss any advice? Please share... 
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Corkage Fees Illegal?

Who knew... apparently it's illegal to charge corkage fees at BYOB restaurants around Chicago!

Way to enlighten, Time Out Chicago. This reminds me of the time I found out that all cabs are required to take credit cards. Don't let them convince you they need to drive you to an ATM before dropping you off. They are lying.

Thank you, Time Out, for bringing a little honesty back into the world.... or at least Chicago.

Drink on.
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Notable Quotables

"If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place." - Nora Roberts, American Author
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Looking for Luck?

Is it seriously already Thursday?! Where has this week gone? Or as some people may ask, where have the leprechauns gone?

I came across the strangest story this morning talking about a man in Ireland who has a webcam set up to spot leprechauns on St. Patrick's Day. Apparently, for more than 10 years, John Murphy has been researching leprechauns. He runs this webcam on irelandseye.com which is set up in a remote area of Ireland called the "fairy ring" in Belfast, Ireland. Visitors are encouraged to report sitings.

So if you're staying home from the crazy Irish shaninigan's next Tuesday, check it out...

Maybe you'll get lucky ;)
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Dear North Face....

My dearest North Face jacket, 

I'm sorry my psycho cat ripped a hole in you and caused a ridiculous amount of down feathers to come flying out. I'm also sorry I had to temporarily fix you with scotch tape for day, and you felt embarrassed that you looked cheap for a milli-second to the Chicagoans I passed on the bus.

I know you're in the warranty department right now... and I'm getting slightly worried that you're enjoying the California weather a bit much. It feels good right!? You're probably basking in the sun while you wait another 4 - 6 weeks to get a thread of yarn pulled through you. Wake up... NF... you're not on vaca.

I'm beginning to also think you're a little lazy, North Face jacket. And that you don't love me anymore. Not like you used to. You're taking me for granted... that I'll always be there... you know what will always be here?? Winter.

I miss your sleek black coat... and the way you made 40 below feel like just 10 below. How you fell all the way to my feet and made me feel like a marshmallow every time I wore you.

May I remind you that it's still cold here. You're leaving me with my measly pea coat, made by J. Lo, while the Chicago wind is prepared at any moment to sweep me away to Wisconsin where I'll most likely be eating cheese and drinking brandy all day.

Come back. I miss you. I'm cold. 

Yours Truly,

C to the OL to the Leen
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Sunday, March 8, 2009

City o' the Irish

I've seen a lot of crazy things happen in Chicago around St. Patrick's Day. In many ways, in the past four years, March has been a bit of a bizarre-o month --which may or may not be caused by excessive amounts of green beer. But this weekend has to have hit a high on the rictor-crazy scale. 

Saturday afternoon, after a familiar Toro lunch, me and three of my friends braved the rain and trekked over to the one-and-only Duffy's for a St. Patty's Day party. This was no regular day drinking extravaganza... and no regular Irish celebration. When I asked what the specials were... my friend Alyssa informed me that her friend had actually RENTED the entire bar with his buddies. Not only was there no cover, it was free beer for ANYONE... absolutely no invitation need. Non-exclusive. Completely crazy. From 2 - 6 p.m.

As expected, the usual Duffster crowd was there... but with the added bonus of the most random collection of people I've ever seen at that bar. Once we found a spot to hang out far away from the intoxicated, completely non-Irish chica who thought it was okay to throw beer and literally mount guys while dancing, we had a great time.

The party was hilarious, but, as expected from any soiree at Duffy's, I do have a reaffirmed love for Galway Bay and Bridget's... the real Irish bars of Chicago.

Any other fun St. Patty's Day stories from the weekend? Let the countdown begin... 8 days!!

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Monday, March 2, 2009

The MOST Dramatic Rose Ceremony YET!


Thank god for the Bachelor... because otherwise, what would I have to look forward to on a cold Monday?

Tonight is the final rose ceremony with cute, single dad Jason... who was reminded the first 10 episodes that he got his heart broken, tragically, by the late (now single) Bachelorette, DeHanna.

The teasers are literally killing me they are so dramatic. Given that I've been a fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette far too long to admit, I've learned that the larger the build-up, the bigger the let down... because it is bound to be 100% less dramatic than advertised.

The best part of the teaser is where the host announces that the taping of the scenes has been made as private as possible out of respect for the parties involved. I'm most intrigued by this... given that it is national television. I'm just not sure how taping can be made private, unless you don't air it... and I'm sure if it's as dramatic as they are portraying, ABC is going to air it.

They do have me going a bit. The clip where Jason is wrenched over, crying in pain... I can only suspect that has to do with his ex-"girlfriend" showing up the day he's about to propose and saying, "I think made a mistake." Excellent timing DeHanna. Excellent timing.

However, given my experience with ABC teasers though, he probably caught the flu and was actually throwing up.

So my guess is that Jason ends up with DeHanna... and the other two girls feel cheated... OR he flips out and chooses no one. And if that's the case... I'm going to feel cheated. And then stalk him and convince him we were meant to be together :) Just kidding... given his choice of final two, I don't think he would mesh well with my pub-crawling crew. Something tells me once you have a kid, you have to (or find yourself wanting to) give up things like fanny pack bar crawls.

Anywho... any predictions? And don't write anything if you're one of those people that likes to find all the spoilers and tell people :)
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