Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood

Today I'm one year wiser, and to continue my productive non-productive week, I thought I'd take a stroll around the block to capture my neighborhood - and some of Chicago prettiest - and most famous houses. Can you guess which one is the Playboy mansion?
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Kobey: Tall, Dark and Handsome

Today, on the first day of my annual Birthday week stay-cation, after being incredibly productive this morning, I traveled up to Wrigleyville to meet the newest recruit to the Chicago crew - Kobey - my friend's adopted greyhound dog. This was a scheduled play date that I set a week before Joanna even got the dog - as I was sending her Petsmart coupons. Needless to say, I was excited to meet him. And he was definitely excited to meet me... or was overwhelmed by the smell of my cat. Either way... we hit it off.

I also have learned a lot more about greyhounds that I never knew. Things like...
  • They have a second eyelid. Don't be fooled if they are laying down and looking at you. They could still be sleeping.
  • They dream about the race track, and you're not supposed to wake them up during these. If you have to, you're supposed to yell out their name... as opposed to touching them.
  • The soles of their feet are sensitive... that's why you might see them in booties walking around the streets of Chi-town.
  • While at the race track they are caged for 22 hours a days, so they are actually good city dogs. Take that pug-lovers.
  • Although city-friendly, they aren't sidewalk-trained, and therefor are required to be on a leash at all times... because they can run up to 40 miles an hour and were trained to run after bunnies - which in a greyhound mind is anything small, quick and furry.
  • They don't wear sweaters in the winter for fashion; they need them to keep warm. Their coat is very thin and fragile.
Joanna adopted Kobey after the announcement that Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kinosha was closing at the end of the month. He was one of the 400 that were in need of a loving home. I'm sure there are still dozens more. If you are considering getting a furry friend, you should consider one of Kobey's crew. Here's the latest Tribune story on the track closing, "Love on long legs."
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 Anthem: Good Life

Tonight, as I was playing who-can-stay-on-the-treadmill-longer game with the worker-outer next to me, I stumbled upon "Good Life" by OneRepublic on my Ipod... and instantly decided this must be my 2010 Anthem.

Listen to it and tell me you're not inspired.

So I'm vowing, today on December 27th at 9:01 p.m. CST to see my life as it is - the Good Life- in 2010. And that means, no matter what these next 365 days bring me, I'm going to try, above everything else, to look at it in a positive light. Even if I have to move to a smaller apartment because I can't get a raise, or if my dating life takes an even more drastic turn for the worse and converts me into an a-sexual human being... I vow to see the silver lining in these clouds. And more importantly, enjoy the sunshine.

Because as long as I have my health, my friends and my family... and as long as I can live in this fabulous city... I'll be living the Good Life.

"Sometimes there are airplanes I can't jump out. Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now. We are god of stories but please tell me. What there is to complain about....When you're happy like a fool let it take you over. When everything is out, you gotta take it in."

Other great songs from that album:

What's your song of 2010??

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Driving with a Cat Under the Influence

Because this was such an experience, I feel that it needs to be documented. And, I promise, in 2010 I'll cut back on my cat posts. As much as I'm sure they entertain everyone. Also, as a caveot, I would've captured this adventure in pictures as well... but I felt that this made the trip even more hazardous to my health... and am just happy to have pulled into 405 E. Fairlawn Blvd unscathed.

So the Best of Driving 6 hours with a Cat Under the Influence (CUI) of tranquilizers:
  • Administering the drugs. Apparently cats are smarter than dogs. She ate around the pill in her food... leading me to have to pin her down and force her to swallow them. Great way to start off the trip.
  • Shoving her into her carrier. This is a three-armed job.... and unfortunately, I have only two arms. But I repeated the montra: "I'm stronger than a cat, I'm stronger than a cat"... and alas, finally got her into the carrier.
  • An hour and a half of her crying and shedding before I started to think... "Is this tranquilizer actually working??"
  • Pulled to a rest stop and administered the 2nd tranquilizer.
  • Letting her out of her carrier... which led to....
  • Her hitting the window down button in the back seat and almost making a break for it on the Dan Ryan... Child lock inacted.
  • Her sitting on my lap 1/2 of the ride... with drugged-induced eyes... but refusing to fall asleep.
  • Her acting as if the front seats were pieces of jungle gym equipment and climbing onto the head rests. Particularly mine. That was really the moment where I thought... "Was this a good idea?"

But I have to say, she's maybe having the time of her life in my parent's house. This is the first time she's had access to more than three rooms at a time... and first floor windows where she can look at birds and squirrels all day. I think it will work out just fine... until the ride home...

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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Night I Drugged My Cat

I have to admit. I'm a sucker for animals. They are at the softest of my soft spot. There's something about those big eyes looking right at you... saying play with me... feed me... love me. They can make you laugh after a bad day... and calm you down after hours of stressful work. They are your favorite roommates even if they wake you up at all hours of the night. They are completely dependent on your care and love to keep them alive, happy and in good spirits.

Which is exactly why I drugged my cat tonight.

In an effort to not leave my cat in Chicago for Christmas... and to share all 13 pounds of her with my entire extended family, I'm taking drastic measures.

You see, Moxie, like many felines, does not take well to sitting shotgun for 20 minutes when heading to the vet, let alone six hours en-route to Ohio. There's a lot of crying... and a lot more shedding. I'm talking extreme hair-all-over-the-place shedding. This is no laughing matter.

I call the vet and explain this situation and she prescribes a "light tranquilizer" to do the trick. But with it, she warns that this could also have the adverse effect... and that I should do a test run tonight.

The adverse of passed out Moxie can not be pretty. So I'm sitting here... creating a "calm environment" for my cat. And watching and waiting to see if all will be calm and bright this evening or if I will be dealing with the anti-Mox. Only time will tell.

This is what single, cat ladies do. Find entertainment in tranquilizers and furballs.

Anyone else taking drastic measures to be with your pets this holiday season? Tell on.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmahanakwanza in Pictures

Christmahanakwanza weekend came and went... and here are some of the best pics from the festivities. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twas the Night Before...

Wednesday, December 16

In the past four and a half years, I've lived in five apartments, had a total of eight roommates, lived in three different area codes, made dozens of new friends and said goodbye to a handful.

The one thing that has stayed constant since I moved from Ohio to Chicago, is that Monday through Friday, I have arrived at 233 N. Michigan at 8:30 a.m. (give or take a few minutes), have been greeted by the same security guy, potentially picked up my grande non-fat chai and bagel at Cosi, turned on my computer and started working.

Tomorrow is our last day in our current office. Beginning Monday, the Merchandise Mart will be the new home of B-M Chicago. My boxes are packed. Dust has filled the air. And they've pretty much shut off the heat.

After almost four years of sitting in the cubicle area referred to as "The Weiner Circle," I've been told it's time for new digs; To leave behind my too-good-to-be-true cubicle and window view and move into a fresh location.

I may be dragging my feet a bit... but in the spirit of nostalgia, I thought I'd take a trip down "Weiner Circle" memory lane, and reflect on the best of 233. 14th floor. It's been a great ride. Like McFadden's after the boat Christmas party in 2006, I'm not sure the Merchandise Mart knows what they have in store for them. Ready or not... here we come!

The Best of 233 -
*For those without two hours to read this long-winded post, I've bolded the BEST of the BEST
  • Ordered pizza to the Media Training Room while pulling an "all-nighter" before our intern presentation, "Winning With Wheat" in 2005... as one of our interns stormed out of the room with a dramatic, "I can't work like this... unlike YOU guys, I have to work here after this week." Oh the drama...
  • Diane spending half of our internship going through hundreds of data entry cards and submitting them to a spreadsheet for Zone Perfect.
  • The disappearance of Mystique Adams. If you don't know what I'm talking about... it won't be funny.
  • When I managed a Hispanic marketing tour. That's all.
  • The year more than 1/2 of Brand Marketing was pregnant or engaged. Given that I was only 23, that was a scary year.
  • My first all-office reply-all error. And my then-boss' dry reply. Lesson learned.
  • The disco cab that pulled up in front of the office to take three of us to our B-M Basher softball game at North Ave - and dropped us off at the field with disco glasses, afros and rocking out to the disco remix of Grease.
  • Our orange Chicago Cares t-shirts. And the cab somewhere in Chicago that has mine.
  • The death of the gnome creative writing project.
  • Stalking the people of WhoopAssEnterprises to create new awards for good work. Harold Burson can now be found in the form of a bobblehead at three of our desks as a pilot, fireman or policeman.
  • The launch of my former boss' blog. Complete with champagne, Bree and crackers.
  • When Nick took a shot with the cleaning lady after our summer outing.
  • Post-Thursday softball Friday lunch outings to Burrito Beach to get us through the rest of the day.
  • Diane's month-long fight with office services after New York accidentally sent enough Similac product to fill an entire office.
  • When Erin and Ali spent hours, no days, calling Sweden, China and other random countries to obtain prototypes of nursery items.
  • When Sho Jo found out Jen Furey had the intention of demonstrating how to use a fryer during a brainstorm.
  • Sneaking half-a-dozen bagpipe players into the Thinkery for Patti's retirement party.
  • Fire drills... and the orange hat crew. Lauren, you always look so stylish!
  • My continuous sneezing fits and winter eye infections... which I'm convinced were caused by the fact that the heating vents were never cleaned. Dust everywhere.
  • The spastic heat/air conditioning issue in the Thinkery. And the implementation of Snuggies during team meetings.
  • The dozens of conference calls participated in surrounding pallets, combines, seeds, greenhouses and wheat harvest for a solid year before the Urban Wheat Field event.
  • The first annual Spelling Bee and celebrating National Punctuation Day in the Barsteller.
  • Any brainstorm in the Thinkery with Andy Nebel.
  • The "sick" room that, in the past four years, has had one or all of the following: Fold-out bed, nasty green chairs, occasional sleeping person, random clothing... and the worst, a crash-test dummy that always looked like a real person when walking past the doors.
  • B-M Purge Week signage posted all over the doors of the bathroom. And only half of the office understanding the irony of those signs.
  • Catching random naked or half-naked people in the Hyatt while writing press releases, in brainstorms, during client meetings. Whenever it happened, it was awkward... and usually involved a shriek or two.
  • Hearing the food cart pull up to the East Coffee Bar - and casually walking by to get "water" to check and see if there's any good stuff, like cookies, to snack on.
  • When Obama's campaign offices were just a few floors above us, and we could no longer do the "fake swipe" to get upstairs.
  • Watching Black-Eyed Peas and the largest flash-mob dance from our desks
  • The year we had a Brand Marketing Thanksgiving party... which involved Diane and I making turkeys in our apartments and then attempting to microwave them in the coffee bar.
What did I miss? Share your memories of 233!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Holiday Letter

Tuesday, December 15

For those of you who just can't wait for the snail mail to arrive... Okay, I understand only a handful find my updates amusing... but either way, here's my writing project of the day:

My 2009 Holiday Letter (Tell me if I should retract all the mailings!)

So this year kind of sucked. I don’t think many will argue with that statement. I’m not suggesting my year was any worse than anyone else’s… I’m just saying that when VH1 creates “I Love the 00s!” they are going to be hard-pressed to find a lot of good material from 2009.

But to avoid writing the world’s worst holiday card, I’m going to focus on the things I want to remember about the year… as I think we all should. Because although money is tight, and we’re clinging to clients tighter than a boyfriend/husband in Vegas (Tiger!), there were moments this year when I thought - I never want to forget this.

Andy Rooney once wrote, “If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” As I wrote this Christmas letter and reflected on the last year, with only my overweight cat next to me, these are the moments that made me smile and the ones I hope to never forget.

- Started the year off with a dance party in the basement of my friends’ apartment, complete with confetti and a limbo stick. Now that’s a solid way to start a new year.

- Optimistically predicted where our lives would be a year from now on Sanibel beach while watching the sunset with three old (in time, not in age) friends. To date, achieved none of the discussed plans, but booked another trip to Sanibel. Good enough for now.

- Discovered the beaches of North Carolina and my family’s apparent obsession with jigsaw puzzles. Who knew we were a puzzle family?!

- Learned some rules are made to be broken when my co-workers and I snuck half-a-dozen bagpipe players through Obama-proof security and into our conference room for our admin’s retirement party. Best. Work. Moment. Ever. (13th floor employees: Do I hear bagpipes?!)

- Obtained a year’s worth of priceless stories after going on horrible, yet blogworthy, dates including: No Blinker, Afraid-of-Your-Blog Boy and, most recently, Extreme-Dutch-Dating Boy. Found new appreciation for singlehood.

- Skipped the Shamrock Shuffle 10k after waking up to snow, sleet, rain and lightening. Opted for brunch and mimosas. Genius decision.

- Took advantage of Lindsay’s Tribune Cubs seats and had a girls' day at Wrigley Field involving Old Style, hot dogs and lots of well-needed sun – all while celebrating my friend Aline’s future nuptials.

- Discovered sometimes there’s nothing better than dancing to Lady Gaga with an empty pizza box and sunburned friends at Aline and Scott’s wedding in Cancun.

- Scored a free limo from Alyssa and James’ wedding back to the North side of Chicago, to drink $2 PBR in my bridesmaid dress with my friend at dive bar, Galway Bay. Grandma Hart would never approve.

- Remembered why I live in Chicago while I watched the 4th of July fireworks on the rooftop deck with some of my closest friends…sans those who got stuck walking up 14 floors because the elevators were jammed.

- Watched the largest flash-mob dance from our 14th floor windows while the Black-Eyed Peas performed “I Got a Feelin’” for Oprah’s premiere on Michigan Ave – before she announced she was leaving Chicago and we lost the Olympic bid. Whatever. Details. It was still cool.

- Learned from Kate Horton, my cousin Anne’s 18 month old, that sometimes all it takes is a Mamma Mia soundtrack and a boa to feel complete bliss and udder happiness.

- Met my first namesakee – Anna COLLEEN Stilley. She’s going to be a HART-breaker!

Thanks for all the laughs, the Facebook photo tags, the Tweets, the e-mails and those old-fashioned calls. May 2010 suck a little less and be filled with even more dancing, bagpipers and sun! J

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Notable Quotables

How Does Love Happen? (from the December Redbook)

"The process can take five seconds or five years. It's an incredible vulnerable feeling that suddenly this person - this stranger - has your happiness in their hands." - From the new book Love by Karen Porter Sorenson
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A New Tradition of Treats

Monday, December 14

Baking sheets. Measuring cups. Ovens. All quite foreign to me. Although when push comes to shove, I can put on an apron like the best of them and bake up a pretty "wicked" good holiday treat or two.

This Sunday, my friend Bullets had three of us over to her place to bake, have a few holiday "spirits" and watch a marathon of Christmas movies including "Love Actually," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Elf" and "National Lampoon's Christmas." Not only did our 6 hour bake-off result in what my friend's husband called a table of "cream dreams," ... I think we also left with a new tradition. Success!

I think the pictures speak for themselves. Anyone else discover a few new traditions this weekend? (PS... yes, I didn't quite have the right size pan. It still worked :) )

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Case of the Angry Suburbian

Last night was my flag football's holiday night out. So the players of TDMP (touch down my pants) took to Lincoln Park's ComedySportz improv show. I was expecting, as one might, that this was an improv about sports... but alas, I was corrected. This was a competitive show, complete with two different improv teams and a referee. Of course, this was no Second City... but it was funny - and a lot of fun.

The surprises, however, didn't stop at ComedySportz. Post performance the team headed around the corner to Trader Todd's to take a shotski for our friend's birthday and maybe sing a karaoke song or two. It was there that I surprisingly almost broke my no-meeting-boys-in-December rule.
As the shotski parted and the crazy karaoke guy stopped singing "She's Like Wind," I spotted who we'll call "Suburban Adam." Tall, good looking... nicely dressed... good looking. There wasn't too much of a thought process before talking to him. Conversation was flirtatious... we were hitting it off. Then my friends pulled me on stage to sing some embarrassing rendition of a song that people once liked. Awesome. Not the smoothest part of this story.

Long story short (and I do realize this is becoming a long story), I approach Suburban Adam while noticing he was sitting by himself at a table by the window. We start talking, and I find out he's a high school teacher in the suburbs and 29 years old. High school teacher (and over the age of the avg. Lincoln Parker) = hot. Suburbs = not... but times are tough, and I understand that sometimes teachers have to go to crazier places than the Chicago suburbs to get jobs. I go on and invite him and his friend to next week's Christmahanakwanza Ugly Sweater Nativity Bar Crawl... and things are all headed in a good direction.

Given that him and his friend are in the city... let alone Trader Todd's... I take it that, like every other 20-something (or 30 or 40-something) I know who is stuck in the suburbs, that they are just looking for their break into the city limits. I was sadly mistaken.

I'm not sure when or how this conversation took a turn for the worse... but all of a sudden, and what seemed to be out of no where, Suburban Adam gets on his soap box... and begins to tell me about why living in the city would be his hell on earth. How there's so many people, it's so crowded and expensive, verbal vomit, insanity talk, etc. Clearly I can't control my facial expressions, because after this what-seemed-to-be 10 minute tirade, he stops, commenting, "What? You look like I just told you I have some disease." My reply being, "You do know I live in the city, right? I've just never met someone IN the city who has no intention or even desire to move here."
Then enters one of the TDMP boys to save me. He tries to strike up conversation with SA, and in doing so, stirs up this anti-Windy City conversation again. We politely let Suburban Adam know that it was nice meeting him... and run far, far, far away. Even TDMPer admitted that SA was really starting to piss him off. I mean... I wouldn't go out to the suburbs and talk about how culdesacs give me panic attacks. It's just rude.

Sooo much potential, but so lame. This is the sad state of affairs for a single gal in the city. Another story to bring home to the aunts, uncles and cousins in Ohio when they ask me if I'm seeing someone.

Have you ever met someone with these same pro-suburbian thoughts in Chicago? Could this be a new movement out to the land of strip malls, garages, baby showers and Wal-Marts? I don't know what to take of this new information...

And needless to say, I don't expect to see them at our pub crawl.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Best TV of the Decade

Throughout the day I often re-tweet (RT) interesting posts from media outlets, friends and bloggers. You really don't know if they appreciate your Twitter pimps, so today when @Metromix sent out a link to their Top TV Shows of 2000s, specifically calling me out knowing I would enjoy it... I have to say, I felt pretty freaking sweet. THANKS @Metromix!

Especially because I DID enjoy it. I can't get enough of the end-of-the-year countdowns. Here's their list - with my commentary - and then my additions. Hey, this is MY blog. What did you expect?! I did include the link as well so you could check out what they did say.

21. Extras (HBO) Not going to lie. Never watched it.
20. LOST: Definitely had a binge LOST weekend with my friend Cristy the summer of 2005. We lived with a couple that worked at Blockbuster. We have been hooked ever since. Can't wait for the beginning of the end!
19. 24: Around the same time I became addicted to LOST, 24 was all the rage. At that point, I didn't feel like I could commit to two intense shows. And, like Harry Potter, because I didn't jump on the wagon soon enough... I surrendered to be out of the loop on this one.
18. Amazing Race: Love it. Agree... also reminds you that you need to travel with someone before marrying them...
17. Top Chef: Given I'm in food PR, I've stalked this show more than I would have liked... but they have used more than one of my products, so I'm a fan!
16. House M.D.: Hmm... nope, never watched it.
15. Friday Night Lights: Heard this was amazing. On my list of shows to watch.
14. Battlestar Gallactica: Really? really? I'd like to agree to disagree.
13. American Idol: Yes. yes. and yes. This is a show that became a power brand in the past 10 years. They will be talking about this phenomenon in television history classes years from now.
12. 30 Rock: Hilar.
11. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A friend introduced this one to me... and ever since the wine-in-a-can episode, I've been hooked. It's the Seinfeld of the 00s.
10. Wonderfalls: No idea.
9. The Office: YES! I buy "The Office" desk calendar every year... because there's nothing more funny to me than random and awkward office dynamics.
8. Curb Your Enthusiasm: Funny stuff.
7. Undeclared: Never saw it.
6. Summer Heights High: Never saw it.
5. Arrested Development: Good.
3. Mad Men: Yes! Love watching agency life in the 60s.
2. The Wire: Never saw it.
1. The Office (UK): Heard it was even funny than the Scranton, NY version. Brits are just funny. I believe it..

Shows this list did not include that FOR SURE warrant mention. Something tells me this list was created by men. I mean, beyond just the byline. Those are clearly Dude pics. Here's a woman's perspective.
*Gossip Girl - This may be a teenage melodrama filled with kids that are too rich and too old for their age, but this has jump-started all of those character's careers, created an over-sized following of all US Weekly readers and caused an avalanche of angry Mom blogs.
*Ellen - Not only has she won numerous Emmy's... she's just freaking funny... and married the prettiest lesbian in Hollywood. Power couple and power show.
*Sex in the City - How is this not on the list? It completely put Manolo Blahniks on the shoe map, made Starbucks a pop-culture icon and everybody's affordable luxury and popularized the Cosmopolitan drink. This for sure deserves to be top 5.
*To Catch a Predator: No one will ever welcome Chris Matthews into their home the same way ever again.
*Laguna Beach: Say what you will about "Laguna Beach"... I wasn't a fanatic, but I will give it credit in that the cast of those first two seasons created a monster of over-dramatized, over-soundtracked (?) reality shows that have lasted a decade.
*The Soup: What is "The Hills" without "The Soup"? Given the rise in reality shows this decade, "The Soup" presented the perfect comedic relief to balance all the crap that started appearing on our TV screens.
*The Bachelor: That show has been pimping out men and women to each other, on camera, forcing proposals (and later breakups) on camera. Success rate: 1.5 couples in 10 years.

What did I forget? Have to head to bed for my big trip to Minnesota tomorrow in the early help me fill in the rest...
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Song of the Day

"Let there be peace on earth" - Harry Connick Jr. Download it. Call Delilah and request it. Enjoy.

A little shout out to Walsh... this was her favorite song and she loved Christmas :) Her over-enthusiasm for Christmas and month of spoiling her grandkids may have something to do with my December holiday obsession...
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Daily Dose of Bacon

I'm thinking of getting a dozen or so of these for my Christmas letter this year. What do you think? Bacon-flavored envelopes... who said snail mail couldn't be tasty? :)

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Playlist of 2009

Sunday night insomnia led me to this post. Listening to tunes on Itunes... thinking about the year...and thought it would be interesting to think about the 10 songs that will always remind me of 2009. Here we go...

10. I've Got a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
9. How Far We've Come - Matt Nathanson
8. PYT - Michael Jackson
7. Waking Up in Vegas - Kate Perry
6. Fight Like a Girl - Martina McBride
5. Kiss Me I'm Irish - Gaelic Storm
4. Lucky- Jason Mraz/Colbie Caillat
3. Run this Town - Jay-Z feat. Rihanna/Kanye West (new fav)
2. Party in the U.S.A. - Miley Cyrus
#1. Just Dance - Lady Gaga (Dance offs!)

What's your #1 song for 2009??
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wine in a Boot?! Yes, please.

This Saturday afternoon I did something outside my usual routine... left the apartment. Not only did I leave... my friends and I joined hundreds of Chicago families and tourists at the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza.

Perhaps Saturday at noon may not have been the best time to head to a tourist spot like that... but none-the-less... it helped me locate some of my missing Christmas cheer.

If you haven't experienced this event yet, I'd say check it out... even if it's just for the photo opps. Although I would recommend going after work if you want to avoid pushing through every family from the greater Chicago area. Daley Plaza transformed into a German Christmas village might be the closest thing to a Norman Rockwell photo that I'll experience this holiday season. It's complete with Weinerschnitzel, roasted nuts, authentic German ornaments, coo-coo clocks... and German hotdogs and pizza (?). What more does one need??

Of course, the main attraction (for us at least) was the hot wine presented to us in commemorative made-in-china German boots. Arm in arm, we fought our way through the crowds, cutting off strollers, old ladies and a man who barked at us to try this much-talked-about beverage and ease our martini hangovers. It's not a drink I would indulge in everyday... had interesting spices... but it smelled amazing and was definitely worth trying.

Other highlights included trying to decipher the reasoning behind the creepy angel on all the signage (why does she have stars on her boob?), checking out the city's Charlie Brown-like Christmas tree and listening to a trumpet group in leiderhosen (?) play holiday tunes.

Excellent Saturday decision. This was followed by a trip to the State Street Macy's... which apparently was under invasion by crazy holiday shoppers. I swear it was as packed as Halsted during the Gay Pride Parade. That was not such an excellent decision. Online shopping for me this year. For sure.

Anyone else find their holiday cheer this weekend? Was it in the form of Lifetime's 12 Men of Christmas, cookie making or eggnog?

Do tell...

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Friday, December 4, 2009

There's a Sale at the Clothes Shop

Yes, when writing that title I had the automated voice in my head of Mall Madness.
Anywho... so last night, I had some time to kill before my all-so-important bang trim appointment, so I sauntered on down to H&M in hopes that I might find a trendy outfit for this weekend's shenanigan's.

What I did find was a slew of ready-to-fall-apart outfits that I just couldn't bring myself to pay $35+ dollars for. BUT, all was not lost.

H&M rarely has sales... and I'm often scared to even look at the sales rack when they do... but yesterday, there was a sale worth looking. 50% off of all scarves, hats and gloves. And then, if you buy two items, you get 50% off the most expensive, and the other item FREE. So, although I did not get a fashionable item for the weekend... I did buy a scarf and gloves for $5. Holy great buy. And I'm sure they still made $4 from the sale.

Take that recessionistas...

Anyone else know of any good deals this weekend? On the holiday gift prowl....
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Day the K Drive Died (Momentarily)

We felt the first hiccup of the Big Move to the Merchandise Mart today. It came unexpectedly and almost quietly. But it came... oh did it come.

Around noon, I get a call from my co-worker. The conversation goes a little something like:

Cool Co-worker: So... I was working on a few documents last night... I saved them in the K: (shared) drive, and they aren't there this morning.

Me: Did you call STS (IT)?

Cool Co-worker: I was just going to... but isn't that weird? It's like I didn't exist yesterday. I mean...they weren't that large of documents, but still. Weird, right?

Me: Definitely weird. Let me know what happens.

A couple hours pass, and then cool co-worker takes a turn to close-to-crazy co-worker... calling me...

On-the-verge-of-crazy Co-worker: (Crazy laughs) Hahahah

Me: Whaaat's going on?

On-the-verge-of-crazy Co-worker: Oh my gosh... a lot.

Me: Oh no... what happened?

On-the-verge-of-crazy Co-worker: So, as it turns out, all the documents I saved in the K drive yesterday are not there. None of them. You should check your stuff out... because the same thing happened to [insert other crazy co-worker's name].

If you want to drive a PR agency person mad... just mess with their shared drive. I watched myself quickly flip out, along with my co-workers, when realizing hours and hours of work was erased... and, more insanely, when I couldn't remember 1/2 the materials I worked on yesterday. I jump from project to project so many times throughout the day, I was forced to go through e-mail, my timesheet and anything else that could jog my memory.

So, in the age of media being social and whatnot... of course, as soon as I hung up after my frantic 911 call to IT, I immediately started Tweeting and Facebooking the chronicles of this saga. As did my witty mc. witterson co-workers.

As a highlight of the updates... and to help you understand the insanity of the day... here are a few of the Tweets:

  • Dear K drive... I knew I placed too much faith in your saving abilities. Please bring back ALL my work from yesterday. Going insane...
  • Can someone please explain to me why our company has so many IT problems? Honestly. #ChiBM
  • Beloved #ChiBM peeps, the K drive has failed. Work done on the K drive yesterday: gone. All. Gone. #fail #fail #fail #fail#fail #fail #fail
  • OMG #ChiBM It seems our beloved K drive might have failed us - files not there @dwendland
  • Need to reach us at #ChiBM today? Write us a letter. Work here and need to save your work? Transcribe to paper.
  • @SMKieras @ColleenHart This is utterly ridiculous. Carrier pigeons and smoke signals are more reliable. Morse code. Sonar. Whatever. #ChiBM

So, the best part of the day was at 5 p.m. when IT came down to one of my crazy co-workers with a print-out of all the Tweets from the day... asking if he knew of anyone else who was having these issues. Uhhh..... so the big man upstairs is actually listening to us. Brilliant. Good news is that we know someone is listening. And from what I hear it's a phantom Tweeter from the New York office... they are all listening.

Are they listening now?? I'm not taking any chances.

I love my job. I really do (thought I should add that in... just in case).

Continue reading...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Taking Back December

I've always loved the holidays. I was that kid that begged Dad to go get the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. I played with the nutcracker ornaments like they were Barbie dolls. I decorated the entire house the year I was going into surgery in December and thought I'd miss it. I listened to Mariah Carey Christmas cd starting in October.

I played Christmas songs on the piano all year round. I knew of and watched all the claymation videos... including Nester, the Donkey. You haven't seen them all until you've seen Nester. I didn't know the actual date of my birthday until I was about 10 years old. It was 5 days after Christmas. That's all the counted.

You get the picture. I was hopped up on holly. A ball of Christmas cheer. Perhaps this is why since moving to Chicago, December has been quite a lucky month for me. In fact, the only two guys that I've completely fallen for in Chicago were met at holiday parties. Completely sober, of course. Given both of the bar meetings, the longevity is pretty freaking impressive... or depressing. Depending on how you look at it.

Longevity being both are in some way still in my life. Don't get me wrong... these are clearly both great guys, and I wish only the best for the both of them... I mean... I do have excellent taste (and clearly so do they given those lovely photos above)... but for some reason, Monday night as December approached out of nowhere... I began to dread the nostalgia that this month could bring.

The only place it has brought me in years past is to January 1st AM... where I'm either reviewing embarrassing texts that I sent the night before... or just wondering why my Inbox is void of any midnight "Happy New Years" greetings from either #1 or #2. It's really just not the best feeling to start off the New Year. Trust me. The feeling of rejection stings just a little harder on New Years Eve and New Years Day.

So, to avoid that slit-your-wrist New Years day feeling... I've decided to take back December. To embrace all the fun that December holds... to spend these precious 31 days last days of 2o09 with those who have made my year memorable and amazing...and to leave #1 and #2 to the memories.

And in the meantime... I will be sure to avoid any potentials until St. Patty's Day. At least that way, if they become exs in the future... we might spread the nostalgia out amongst the year a bit. Why can't March be an Irish girl's lucky month for once???

Until then... Happy Holidays, all! Break out the spirits early... wear a little more sparkle than necessary or socially acceptable... and laugh too seconds too long (okay, make that three seconds). It's been a long and rough year. We all deserve it.

Continue reading...

My Peeps


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