Thursday, September 8, 2011


Over the past few weeks, I've come to quite a few realizations. Some of them big, some relatively small. Some joyful, some heartbreaking. Here are a few of them.

I really, really love baking. I recently got a cupcake pan (finally!) and a pie dish and a cake pan. So far I've only made cupcakes, but they were beautiful and delicious and consumed before a picture could be taken. Next time, internet.

Friends aren't always what (or who) you want them to be. The person you used to tell your biggest life secrets to sometimes turns into a stranger. The person who used to be in the periphery can end up taking a leading role in your life. Someone you considered a best friend might not feel the same way about you. It's all very dependent on where you are in life and what you consider important.

Not everything is a personal attack. This is a realization I had to come to while job searching, and it's a realization I had to come to again, more recently. Things aren't really going the way I had become accustomed to, but it's not my fault. I feel like some of it is happening because I didn't do something right or failed to meet some expectation, but the reality is, that's not the case. Things are changing because things change. Things happen one way because that's the way one person decided it should happen.

Communication is key. I'm really bad at communication sometimes. I avoid confrontation like there's no tomorrow and will put off unpleasant conversations until the situation is worse than I could have ever imagined. No matter where you are or what you do, being an effective communicator is the most important skill you will ever need.

Some things just don't make sense. And probably never will. But it is pointless to try to find sense in senseless things.

That's all for now. I'll try to be better about this. And more happy. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crazy Thoughts When I'm Alone

When I'm alone is when I start thinking crazy things.

Thankfully I'm not alone very often (otherwise who knows what could happen) but on nights that I am, I usually forget to eat dinner and have super crazy thoughts. Maybe it's the hunger talking, or maybe it's my brain trying to process the 14 different idiotic things I see every day.

Here, in no particular order, is a short list of my crazy thoughts from tonight:

1. Tattooed grandmothers. It just hit me that my grandchildren (should I ever have any), will be among the first to witness tattooed grandmothers. Men have been getting tattooed since the dawn of time, so Grandpa with a saggy anchor on is arm is really nothing new. But grandmothers with stars on their feet? Birds on their ribcage? Flowers on their arm? A giant horse in the middle of their back?* Now that will be bizarre. I realize that in other cultures, tattoos are not a new concept. Heck, even in America tattoos are not a new concept. But the amount of tattooed grandmothers patronizing Old Country Buffet at 4:30pm for dinner will be astounding. I can promise you that.**

2. Horns honking. I live right off Lake Shore Drive and I hear horns honking all night. My office is also at a busy intersection in Skokie where it is not unusual for someone to lay on the horn for a full minute and a half (I've timed it) if the car in front doesn't take their right on red. Who invented the horn? Who decided that it would be a good idea to put something so obnoxious on something already so obnoxious?

3. Forgiveness. I read the "Dear Sugar" advice column every Thursday and today it was about forgiveness. Granted, the act that this woman was trying to forgive was far more terrible than anything I've ever had to forgive. But it taught me a lot about not letting that small dark, twisty place (the one everyone has, and don't even try to deny it) become a large, dark, black hole that consumes my happiness.

4. Reading. I LOVE to read. I just finished a book that I started yesterday (and I may have skipped dinner to read). It was the kind of book that makes you wish your commute was longer so you could read more. And now that I have my Kindle, I read constantly. Why didn't I read this much for the last 8 years of my life?

Well, I guess that's it for now. It's weird to see my random thoughts spelled out. And now that they're out for me to see, I guess they're not so random anymore.

*I really did once know a young woman with a giant horse tattooed in the middle of her back. She was one of my babysitter's friends when I was about 7. She's close to 30 now, probably with children of her own.
**I'm in no way knocking people who have tattoos. Just a random thought I had, and I really don't mean any harm by it at all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

4 Reason I Hate Social Media

Now don't get me wrong. I love technology. Love it. While I'm not an early adopter by any stretch of the imagination (I just got a smart phone in March) but I'm not a luddite either. I love that we have ways to reach out to people, learn an infinite number of new things every day, and can look up new and exciting things to do on any given day.


I hate technology. And here is my list of reasons why:

1. Social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) has an amazing way of making me feel excluded. I can see everything everyone else is doing. Everything I wasn't invited to. And while my social life is far from empty (I rarely have a free night), it stings sometimes to see things that I wasn't invited to. I can only imagine how much more damaging this could have been in junior high or high school, to see sleep overs and parties to which I was not invited, because it's somewhat damaging now when I have a healthy self esteem.

2. Facebook and Twitter often bring out the most annoying sides of people's personalities. These social media outlets have given people a way to be more narcissistic than they normally are. They post millions of pictures of themselves, taken from an arm length's away, write "statuses" complaining about problems that aren't problems, and have a forum to vent all of their political, religious, and personal beliefs. (The irony of blogging about this is not lost on me.)

3. With the advent of smart phones, most people have become slaves to technology. They're like zombies, walking around with a small, touchscreen device in their hands. (I jokingly call my little sister's phone her "connection portal.") People are so plugged in that they feel lost without their phone. It's really frustrating to try to have a conversation with a person who is texting, checking Facebook, or tweeting, but it's more frustrating that it's become normal to constantly be holding four or five conversations at once (virtually and IRL).

4. It's so time consuming. I can't even estimate how many hours a week I'm on Facebook, reading my google reader, or checking out the Twitter world. But I do know that it could easily take over my life if I wasn't careful. And I do know that it has taken over other people's lives time and time again. Also, it's incredibly time consuming to manage my online profile. In the past, all I had to worry about was if I looked presentable and wasn't a socially awkward person. Now I have to worry about that, as well as if my statuses/tweets are in line with the online persona I've worked so hard to create. Do my "Facebook beliefs" match my "real life beliefs?" Do I admit that I love watching terrible television and eating peanut butter m&m's on a 70 degree day? Or would that make me look like a fat kid who doesn't play outside? See? Complicated and time consuming.

Does this mean that I'm going to cancel my Facebook, delete my Twitter, get a flip phone, and clear out my Google Reader tomorrow? No. Not even close. Because I love technology. But this does mean that I'm going to care less about my phone, my facebook page, and my twitter account. Because I have better things to worry about than if someone invited me out or what people really think about Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

4 Goals for Summer 2011

Summer is (hopefully) officially here in Chicago and here are a few goals for my first full summer in this awesome city.

1. Play outside. I find it far too easy to hide inside (where there is AC) and not go outside. I mean, I have a Kindle FULL of books to read, a couch to sit on, and cold beer. Why do I need to go outside? Probably because I live in one of the best cities on earth and my skin can use some sun.

2. Wear sunscreen. An hour at the beach on Monday left my arms and legs and chest as red as Pantone 195c (see above), and Jimmy said that sitting next to me felt like sitting next to a space heater. I am RADIATING heat. I am in skirts and dresses until my thighs fade enough to put jeans on again. So, for the rest of the summer, I will be SO MUCH BETTER about sunscreen.

3. Run more 5Ks. I ran the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge last week (well, I ran some of it and walked the rest with a coworker), but I want to run more and be better.

4. Find a local farmer's market and go. Pretty self explanatory, but this is one thing I want to do.

What are your goals for Summer 2011?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

4 Things I'd Do If This Doesn't Work Out

I often think about what I would do if my current career aspirations didn't work out. You know, if I can't hack it in the cutthroat world of marketing and PR (but let's be serious, I can). But it's always good to have back up plans and dreams.

1. Hooters Girl. Anyone who knows me knows that I can do this. And I heard once that you make hundreds in tips. So, there you go. Plan A.

2. Freelance Writer. I love to write. And the only reason I don't write more is because I simply don't have time. So if I could figure out how to make that pay the bills, I would. I know there are a lot of people (probably more talented writers) trying to make this work as well. But I do love writing.

3. Dolphin Trainer. I went to the aquarium with Jimmy last weekend for my birthday, and I decided that I want to be a dolphin trainer. How hard can it be?

4. Baker. I love to bake, and even though I don't have a scrap of artistic ability, I'd love to learn how to decorate baked items. I think that would be so much fun.

Realistically, I could end up anywhere, doing anything. But these are four things (some tongue-in-cheek) that I could do. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up being a dolphin-training, freelance-writing, baker who moonlights as a Hooters girl.

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 More Things I've Been Up To

So again with the not posting. Sorry guys. Here's a list of things I've been up to lately.

1. Baseball. Ah baseball, the great American sport. I've been to four games in the past month or so...three Cubs games and one Sox game. All but one were pretty cold. The Cubs won 2 of the 3 games I went to. The Sox were not playing very well when I went, so they lost. I'm starting to love baseball!

2. Visitors. My dad came to visit in the first weekend of May and we had a blast! We went to a baseball game (Cubs vs. Reds) and an AMAZING dinner at The Purple Pig. We also checked out the Bodyworks exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry and a show at Second City. Then on Sunday we took Paige and Kate to Tweet, my new most favorite brunch spot.
Sidenote: Seriously guys, Tweet is amazing.* It's a gay bar by night and the best brunch ever by Saturday/Sunday mornings. And just as seriously, brunch is my new favorite meal.

3. Work. Well, this is a given. But I've been working a lot lately. I've started this new thing where I go in at 7:30 so then I can get a good day of work in and still be able to leave at 5, and then I have a little free time and can enjoy the sunshine before my body starts to cry for sleep. But I've really been enjoying work and I'm trying to learn as much as I can as I go along the way!

4. Yoga. I finished Beginners 1 (aka Yoga for Dummies) and signed up for Beginners 2 (aka Yoga for the Dummies who finished Beginners 1). I'm still not very good, but I really enjoy it and am starting to feel more comfortable in the difficult positions like shoulder stand, plough, and crow. I love it because there are only 12 asanas (poses) and it's easier for me to remember exactly what I'm supposed to do for each one, rather than trying to follow along with new poses each week. (We don't do the pose pictured above, btw.)

5. New friends. I've made a few new friends since moving here and have been spending a bit of time with them lately. I recently went and saw "Bridesmaids" with the ever lovely Anna and have been doing all sorts of fun things (such as bowling at Southport Lanes, seeing shows at iO, and wandering the city) with my new boyfriend Jimmy.

That's about all I've been doing lately, and it keeps me pretty busy! I'll try to get back on here a bit more regularly to post about the random thoughts I have throughout the day. Unfortunately, I'm feeling a bit under the weather right now but I've been to the doctor and should be all fixed up in no time!

Some projects for the next few weeks are finding more recipes that I can make using my square foot of counter space, actually making the cookies I've been wanting to make for a while, using my black bananas for banana bread (my coworkers will love that!) and keeping the chaos in my apartment at a more manageable level. Oh, and figuring out my Health Insurance, paying off my credit card once and for all, and celebrating my birthday!

*If you ever go to Tweet, you have to try the Chilaquiles. Trust me. It's amazing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

8 People You'll Run Into In The City

Now that I've been living here for a little while, I'm starting to notice some characters that come through my life every once in a while. This post was originally going to be much snarkier (if that's possible) because I was very, very frustrated today. But then I went to yoga and relaxed and didn't feel like being so mean anymore.*

So anyway, here are 8 people you may run into while traveling around the city:

1. Young men with neck tattoos. Your mother must be so proud. The same goes for those young men with tattoos all over their face.

2. The homeless woman outside of the train station. I don't purposely avoid eye contact and ignore you out of the meanness in my heart. I find it easier to avoid contact and communication than repeatedly say no every day. And I don't say no because I'm judging your lifestyle. I say no because I, too, have very little extra money besides what I use for rent, food, and the necessities.

3. The lonely looking person waiting for a train or bus. Sometimes you look so sad. I just want to give you a hug and say, "Hi! You're not alone in this world!" But most of the time you look like you want to be left alone. Sometimes this person is me.

4. The slightly crazy looking person on the sidewalk. (Or the train, or the bus. Most of my interaction with crazy people happens during my commute.) Please stop flipping me off. Please stop singing Michael Jackson on the train (ok, don't stop doing that. I loved it). Please stop following me down the sidewalk. But mostly, please don't try to talk to me when I'm reading my book.

5. The "socialite." Don't you ever get tired of going out? Do you ever wake up and say "What am I doing with my life besides partying?" I'm hoping you find your bliss in hangover-free mornings, and soon.

6. The cute guy walking a dog. Yes, I realize you're married. But you should know that I'm not staring at you. I'm thinking of a way to become friends with your dog.

7. Suburbanite teenagers on the train. (Or bus.) Yes, the city really is the big, scary place your parents warned you about. And yes, this means you should act terrified on the Yellow Line** and the northern half of the Red Line. Oh and PS, the seats on the train aren't all covered in urine***. I promise. But if you're really worried about it, take a cab. Those are mostly clean.

8. Me. Well, I'm a 22 year old woman who's apartment is always teetering on the brink of disaster. I'm getting into yoga, addicted to my phone, and starting to learn as much as I can about marketing banks. I love my Filofax, chocolate, and my family. I'm trying to figure out how to leave my mark on the city, but thus far I'm quite content with my (mostly) quiet little life in the big city.

Which one would you most like to meet?

*Sorry, Heather.
**I'm of the opinion that the Yellow Line is the tamest CTA line there ever was. I mean, it goes to SKOKIE for goodness sakes.
***I like to think this. I'm sure there are a lot more urine covered seats than I want to know about.