Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I refuse to post

Until you all comment on how cute my cats are in their Santa outfits.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

They see you when you're sleeping...

As I watch It's a Wonderful Life and wrap the last of my Christmas presents, I thought I would take a moment to give you a very special Christmas present that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.







Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Days of Yore

I was reminded this morning after reading this
blog of days gone by when we too used to have to deal with the stress of traveling during the holiday season. I hope Net Ghost and JK^ won't think me a braggart for writing about how happy I am to not travel this year, but instead will feel a little bit better about their car travails when they recall the wonder that is the VW Bug.

So the first year that I lived in Chicago, Rob and I had planned to drive to Buffalo in what should be known as the shitmobile. We had only been in Chicago a couple of months, neither of us had good jobs and both of us had taken a while to find those jobs, so money was not exactly forthcoming. And that is the year that I discovered that a) my car still had a defect responsible for 8 recalls and 2 entire engine replacements that was no longer covered by warranty and not recalled anymore and b) bad things happen to your car only days before a road trip. Two days before our Christmas drive my check engine light came on and I went to the VW dealer where they told me my car was not drivable, wouldn't be for 2 weeks and would cost me $1000. And I sat there and cried and as I recall told the dealer's mechanic, "But how am I going to get home for Christmas??" As it happened, Rob and I had a very wonderful friend who offered to lend us her car! but also decided to not let those a-holes tell us what to do and drove it anyway. Because we were just that smart.

Over the six years that we were in Chicago, 3 times we had car problems just days before our drive, until the point where we decided to always rent a car for road trips. And alas this is how we discovered the Envoy. The car that it is my fondest dream to envision owning, although it is actually being discontinued this year (and also is American, so say no more).

Though not a car story, I would also like to take a moment to recall the Christmas that I pinched a nerve in my back and had to lay on the airport floor in tears waiting for our delayed flight and then sit unmoving in the most uncomfortable position for our whole flight. Good times. God it's good to be home.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two Angerball Issues

So right now I'm pissed. I'm really pissed for one very specific reason, and then taking it out on a second issue. But indulge me in my ranting.

Rob and I bought a fairly expensive item (which will remain nameless due to the likelihood of my mother possibly reading this blog) from Amazon or one of it's counterparts. That item was delivered today by UPS. Or at least that is what UPS says. More specifically it says, "Left at Side Door." Guess what it's not there. The package is no where to be found. Big surprise when you leave a package on THE SIDE OF THE ROAD IT WILL GET STOLEN. I called UPS but apparently I need to complain to the vendor and they have to complain to UPS. I can see this whole saga working out really well. I can also see that we're going to be out money or not get a replacement by Christmas. This all reminds me of when I worked at a gallery in Chicago and we sent a 150K painting to a guy in Hawaii and UPS left it on his back door step in a RAINFOREST.

The other issue that I am having today is Mexican food. I have really been craving Mexican food. Well not really Mexican food, just tortilla chips and really good salsa. So tonight we went in search. The last time that I lived in Buffalo, we used to go to Don Pablo's which was pretty good, though chain-y but I remember hearing that Grandma Mora's was good -- so we went there. Oh my god, the horror! When I take a flour tortilla and microwave velveeta and salsa it tastes better than their enchiladas. It was a bad situation. I came home after dinner and did a search for best Mexican restaurant in Buffalo. The search results came up (1) Elmwood Taco and Sub and (2) Grandma Mora's. It seems that Rob and I have a new quest. Anyone got any suggestions on where we should begin?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I have got to be the only one, right?

I really don't like water. I don't like the taste, I don't like the texture (that may not be the right word??), I don't like having to drink it. I would rather drink anything else in the world -- with the exclusion of carbonate things -- than have to drink water. In fact until August I was pretty much only drinking coffee. That may not be the most brilliant thing, but it tasted better.

Now, I'm actually in a position where I'm supposed to drink more water, and I inwardly sigh every time I look at a glass of water. It may partially be the aversion I have to my apartment. I mean, maybe I have created some aversion to the tap water that I imagine coming from this particular apartment. I don't seem to have problems drinking water other places. When we go out to dinner, I'll drink at least 3 glasses to the point of annoying the waiters. And when I was at Gram's last week I drank no less than 7 glasses, but here can't stand it!

In fact now I'm going to force feed myself 30 ounces just to make up for the lack of water I drank today. Ick.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Updates

Could it be that I have had two good days in a row?? I might be jumping the gun today since it is only 11:20 am, but thus far I am feeling fine. In the past two days I have managed to get off my arse and do a remarkable number of things -- including getting through to the NY Unemployment office on only my 5th call of the day!

Yesterday Rob had off for the first time in 6 days straight, allowing him to get some much needed rest and me to get my fix of Rob's comedic talents. We went to Spot together for the first time since we moved here and spent a few hours reading together. Ah, the bliss of normalcy. What can be better than actually living your life rather than watching it go by? Nothing, that's what.

I even caught myself yesterday thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, I should actually decorate my apartment (i.e. unpack). I was suddenly reminded that way back in yonder year when I was a senior in college I didn't decorate my room until February because I had this sense of the impending graduation doom that preempted any need to nest. But once I decorated I felt so much more comfortable and couldn't believe how long I had wasted. At least its only been 2 months, but there's no time like the present. Oh, and we're getting a new stove in January. Hooray! Just in time for me to begin cooking winter stews. And cookies. And brownies.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Old Lady

As many of you loyal blog-readers know, I have had a bad back for quite a while now. Over the past year, I was in worse shape than usual with several episodes of slipped discs and terrible pain. Rob and I had our suspicions that perhaps it was our bed which was starting to seem rather uncomfortable. Then we moved into our new apartment and noticed that our mattress was not only uncomfortable, it was lumpy. We each tried sleeping at strange angles and regular rotations of the mattress, but alas there was no relieve. Truly I was sleeping with metal coils digging into my hips. I could feel my hips bones loosing all padding and the bones of my body just rubbing on each other (in my medical opinion).

So we caved. We bought a new bed, just 1 short day after my last post -- but a necessary expense. And it is LOVELY. I have not had a single second of back pain since. It feels so decadent to climb into that lovely fluffy bed and drift off to sleep.

Except this morning, I woke up at 6:30 am unable to sleep longer because my hips were again bugging me. This time there was no metal stabbing involved. I think it may be time to admit that I have arthritis. Is it too early in my life for something like that?

In other news, I have just discovered vitamin water and would like to thank God for this wonderful invention which has gotten me through the past day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sigh... and in other news

I lost my job yesterday. Sadly when the economy is bad, people don't travel to foreign countries. It's not as if I didn't see that one coming -- in fact my life has been pretty much obsessed with watching economic news since January. Still it's never a good feeling.

The sad thing is I really loved my job and perhaps saddest of all, I completely understand what happened, why it happened to me and quite a few other people at the company too. It doesn't exactly make it easier to take. So amidst job-searching, I will be around if anybody wants to get together and cheer me up.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Counting Down the Days

It's Sunday -- glorious Sunday, and such a perfect day to hang out around the house, read, be lazy and watch girly movies on television. So right now I'm watching the Family Channel, when what's this -- starting tonight Countdown to the Countdown of 25 nights of Christmas??? Why don't they just call it the 40 nights of Christmas? Wouldn't that make sense? And I really don't get how the Notebook is a Christmas movie.

Isn't this a sad attempt at a blog from someone who hasn't blogged in a really long time?

Well, I'll add a more bloggy detail for you all. Rob saw Jon Stewart at his coffeehouse yesterday. Apparently, and this is a quote from Rob's co-workers, "All the big stars that come to Buffalo stay at the Hampton Inn next to the Spot. You know the big stars like Dave Chappelle and Vince Gallo." Yup, that's right, the really big stars. Rob came home from work and told me all about Jon Stewart and how he got a Mike Sandwich with no bacon. Yeah, Rob's not a stalker or anything.

Monday, October 27, 2008

So What's New?

Sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I just plain old haven't felt like it. I feel kind of misplaced lately. I'm very happy to be in Buffalo, but can't seem to bring myself to unpack. Meanwhile, I have been working from my couch for lack of desk chair to give support to my poor weak back, and feeling like a schlump all day.

Last week I had to go to Chicago for a week, where I was kindly hosted by two of my co-workers and worked in a normal office all week. And what I have discovered is that work is pretty much the same. And I have now found one teeny-tiny reason to be sad to leave Chicago -- they are opening a Smoothie King in OHare airport. That's right Terminal 1, B concourse near security 3.

In other news, Rob and I are discussing taking a trip to Disneyworld in 2010 in honor of Rob's mom. And we have decided that, what the hell, we'll stay at the Polynesian Village. Because if we're flying to Florida we might just as well go to Hawaii too, right? Any body else want to join in? Fussell family trip anyone?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What a Busy Day

Things that Black Cat has knocked over:
  • Kitchen trashcan
  • Bathroom trashcan
  • Pail of Fireplace Tools

    Things that Black Cat has done:
  • Made creepy sounds at birds out the window
  • Made creepy sounds at birds out the window
  • Made creepy sounds at birds out the window
  • Chased a fly
  • Chased a fly
  • Chased a fly
  • Climbed up on the back of the couch I was sitting on while I was video chatting my boss

    Things Black Cat has eaten:
  • Gray Cat
  • A Cup of coffee

    Place Black Cat is in right now:
  • Time Out
  • Full many a flower were born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.

    You've all been very kind. I've received many condolences since Saturday -- and none of the normal ribbing that I encounter during the regular season. I think maybe we've all seen something this year which we hadn't seen before. It really was a beautiful summer wasn't it.

    I think only true baseball-lovers can be Cubs fans. Nowadays a lot of the baseball fans, are all about the win. Usually you see this with expansion teams, the brutal Friday Night Lights (baseball version) attitude. And also with White Sox Fans -- case in point, prior to 2005 you could get a ticket to a game and be one of only a 1000 people in that park on any given day. Fair weather friends. They win the series and start winning games -- all of a sudden everyone's a Sox fan. But you have to be able to love in order to be a Cubs fan. I would rather go to a game where they lose than not go at all. And I don't mind a bad play or an error or a hitless inning, because you just see the heart in each player on the team.

    We're the friendly confines. The place where Cubs fans talk and joke with Cardinals fans, and always offer cheerful Chicago advice to their foes. We don't boo our players, because it's crappy behavior. We certainly don't call our best batters "hitmen" because that is just plain old gangster, low class. We don't start fights, or go to games shirtless (unless you're sitting in the sun on the bleachers dying of heat) and drunk.

    On that note, I would just like to say -- it's truly been a pleasure. What a great year, and I hope we can do it all again in 2009.

    Eamus catuli
    AC0063100

    Saturday, October 4, 2008

    Superstition

    I find myself more superstitious than I have ever been. First, for those of you who don't know -- we did indeed find an apartment. It's truly gorgeous, hence we were willing to forgive this:

    Things that we require in our new apartment:
    • 2 bedrooms (1 for office, no we are not expecting anything but me working from home);
    • dishwasher;
    • a bathtub ideal for bubble baths;
    • lots of room;
    • a big kitchen;
    • a wood burning fireplace.


    So you may ask why we chose this apartment, why we were afraid we wouldn't get it or why Rob gasped when we walked in the front door. First of all, let's start with the neighborhood. I knew I wanted to live in Allentown, because its pretty awesome and also some of my best friends live there. When we went to see the apartment, we were just taken with the street it's on -- just beautiful, painted Victorian houses, shady trees, garden walk central... We're steps away from one of my favorite restaurants, an awesome coffeehouse and the Allentown Art Festival (in June that is).

    We walked into the apartment and the first thing that struck me was just the amazing beauty of the structure -- woodwork everywhere, hardwood floors, nice spacious living room and of course said wood-burning fireplace. Rob says that he immediately felt at home and thought that it was as if I had already decorated it. But once we stepped into the living room and looked down the shotgun style layout of the apartment we just fell in love. So yeah, it's only a one bedroom, but an awesome bedroom. And yeah there's no dishwasher and really a small stove, but it's bright and sunny, and actually something that I loved and could see us both in there cooking (yes, clearly I was delusional). All in all, it kind of reminds me of Meg Ryan's apartment in You've Got Mail.

    And then we got superstitious. The landlord was out of town, so her friend had shown us the apartment. We filled out the application right away, but the landlord was out of town for a long time! For about 2 weeks we didn't know if we had the place for sure or not. Then things started going wrong... like my past landlord was supposed to fax our references, and for some reason the landlord's friend was receiving them so she was getting upset. The landlord wanted job references for both of us, but Rob had just gotten hired, so we were a little afraid of what would happen. Oh yeah, and then our deposit and rent checks were with the landlord waiting to be cashed when our bank went under. (Hello, depression anyone??? I've seen It's a Wonderful Life, I know how these things work). Then we couldn't set a meeting with the landlord because our schedules weren't matching up!

    I was afraid to breathe. Go figure everything worked out -- we met with the landlord on Sunday and signed a lease. And I'm happy to say we move in on Friday!!

    Meanwhile, there is just one last think I'm a little worried about. Something about a curse, a goat, 100 years, a black cat, a guy named bartman, a record season, and us actually having tickets.... Tonight's the night. I'll be picking up pennies and tossing salt over my shoulder all night. Say a little prayer -- I actually think God could be a Cub fan.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    And might I add...

    I have to add more to my post from yesterday because truly the Italians are hilarious:

    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/obama-president-italy

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    A World View

    Ok, I've been telling you guys this for a long time now: The World LOVES Obama. In my line of business I hear this a lot. Those of you worried about our foreign policy if Obama gets elected -- worry about our foreign policy if Obama doesn't get elected instead.

    This example may be a little over the top, but still awesome nonetheless.

    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    Home Sweet Home

    Good news! Although I have been reluctant to write about it for fear of jinxing anything, we have found the perfect apartment. A little smaller than we had originally been looking for but so absolutely worth it in every way. Today I signed the lease -- so all is set and I can official say we have a new home. We'll be moving in shortly after next weekend, and I'll post pictures soon.

    As much fun as the lake house has been, I am so excited to be moving to Allentown!

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Awesomeness has a name...

    ... and it's whoever wrote this blog.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/18/palins-transparency-proposal-already-exists-in-dc/

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Washing dishes

    My mom was telling me a while ago that when we were little and she would stay home with us all day, she would be rewarded with free time when my Dad came home from work. And when was that? After dinner, while she did the dishes. That's right my Dad would play with us after dinner so she could have alone time while cleaning up the kitchen.

    Now don't get me wrong -- I realize this statement reflects very poorly on my Dad. But stop in your tracks. To clarify -- this was my Mom's idea and my Mom's choice. You see, apparently she really likes doing dishes, and finds this very reflective. And this is the point when I realize that no matter how much I become like my mother, I am so not going to be my Mom.

    Im not an overly literary person to begin with, but it would not be possible for me to find the words to describe how much I hate doing dishes! When Rob and I first moved in together we had an apartment without a dishwasher. Things did not go over well. See when Rob was little his Mom and Dad worked nights (remember, his Dad "saved lives" by sleeping on the job at a med-tech lab) and they had a housekeeper who doubled as day care. They also had a dishwasher. While I can't speak for what they learned to do when they were little. I know this rule of thumb from the Fussell family. Fill up the dishwasher, then Fill up the sink. Then buy paper plates. I quickly told Rob, at this time when we had been living together for 2 years and there was still no sign of a ring on my finger, "You are sooo lucky you haven't proposed, because if you had you'd be 24 and divorced right now." The logic wasn't really there at that point. I get angry when I was dishes.

    See Rob was really calm about this because see he didn't WANT to have dishes in the first place. It wasn't that he wanted me to clean up after him. He didn't. In fact he saw no problem with not ever cleaning up. And he saw no reason why we couldn't just get paper plates and neither of us ever clean up. He also sees no problem with me never cooking and instead buying take-out or pizza every night. In his mind there's no downside to this.

    In retrospect, I have only had dishwashers at 2 points in my life -- Senior year of college, and in our last 4 years in Chicago in the apartment that shall always be known as Awesomeville. We're looking for apartments now and a dishwasher shall be a requirement. Meanwhile, I'm living at the cottage. Where there is no dishwasher. And where all the silverware is actual silver. And therefore must be immediately washed and dried. And never soaked. Oh that's going over really well. Really Well.

    But I must say -- Rob has learned over the years. I'm not saying that he does the dishes. I'm not even saying that he put his dishes in the dishwasher when we had one. But he has learned to take the dishes out once we're done eating and put them next to the sink. AND somedays I will wake up or finish work to discover that he has put away the clean dishes. I consider all of this step 1 & 2 of my plan. We are well on the way to Mr. Clean.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Just in Time

    All I can say is I moved out of Chicago just in time. We're talking 2 weeks of saving grace here. Can you imagine if Friday night after a long day of work, I got on the train to find this? I so would have quit before Monday morning. If there is one thing that just ruins my day it's having to stand for an hour on a crowded train full of pushy people.

    To those of my work colleagues who live on the Brown Line, see ya later suckers.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Has Karl Rove taken over as McCain's campaign manager?

    I'm a little disturbed with the latest resurgence of campaigning tactics that I saw in W's campaign. Anyone else care to join me in this one? While I'm not a supporter of McCain's plans, or really Republicanism in general, I liked McCain as a person. He's a good guy -- honest, upright citizen and such. Despite being somewhat delusional in his beliefs in how to make America more successful, he's an ok guy.

    Then the campaign rolled around and my God it was like his own ability to speak was replaced with someone else's words. He opens up his mouth and all I hear is the attitude, screaming and hatred of Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, et. al. It's interesting to me that never once did I hear ANY message delivered by McCain about how he was going to cut back government until the convention. Oh, there were little hints here and there but McCain's message has been mostly issue driven -- how are we going to solve gas prices: Give money back to the people, and all that Jazz. Now the taglines come out.... and it's all coming back to me.

    Here is the word that give me chills: Earmarks. Someone please take a look at how Earmarks became McCain vocabulary. No one reads my blog so therefore I cannot shed light on this wonderful topic to millions of deciding Americans, but I would like to direct anyone to a brief description of Earmarks many meanings. To be clear, Earmarks does not have 1 meaning. It does not mean as it does in Sarah Palin and John McCain speak getting money from the government for bad things. It's primary meaning is getting money from the government for things.

    So translation, because it sounds bad, you won't hear Sarah Palin or John McCain say "We believe the government shouldn't provide money to states, states should be independent and raise their own money from oil drilling so they can be completely self-sufficient," you will instead hear a whole lot more about how their opponents get hear marks for their constituents. Silly me. I thought that was their job and what I elected them for.

    As an after note -- this blog as already to be posted when I saw a Fox News story about how Obama had achieved the most earmarks of any candidate in 2007. A detailed graphic was then provided. Of the 4 earmarks they listed, I remember 2 which were 700 Million for crime prevention and juvenile delinquency programs and 200 million for disease research. What would this world come to if Obama got elected. The mind reels.

    Saturday, September 6, 2008

    Outdoor Photo Booth

    Some pictures that we took on our anniversary. As you may know Rob and I are fond of self portraits... and these create quite a little chain.





    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    How did we celebrate our 2 year anniversary?

    With Rocks.

    Actually we started out by having a picnic on the site of our wedding altar. We had planned to go out to dinner with Grandma but due to some car troubles the day before I had a fair amount of work to do, and had to work a little late. So instead we postponed dinner with Grandma and I hastily arranged a picnic -- sending Rob out to pick up calzone, while I set up a blanket outside, made a salad, and set up the itunes to all Sinatra and Ella songs. Then I locked the front door so Rob had to go around back and see me.


    And then Rob took me on an evening rowboat ride on the lake. Then we skipped stones for about an hour. All in all it was pretty darn fantastic.

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Labor of Love

    I've always loved Labor Day -- the perfect mix of summer and fall when even the potential bad weather can be awe-inspiring. For many years now, my family has celebrated Labor Day at the cottage. While not one of our more famous holidays and never one to bring distant family members home to attend, we've generally had a picnic lunch and hung out together. And I'm happy to say... I've just hosted my very first one! In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, I've just hosted my very first family anything. It went swimmingly: beautiful day, lots of food, good company and conversation and even some of my favoritest distant family members making an extension of their visit for the day.

    Sadly, this holiday does actually celebrate those who labor -- namely me, and thusly bring up some concerns of mine. I'm still a little tentative about this working from home thing. I was amazed at how well things went this past week. Brilliant concentration and strict scheduling paid off. It's a busy season for us, and truthfully I enjoy my work. But so far I've found the biggest distractions to be the people that I work with -- not Rob the person that is near me while I work, but my actual coworkers who ichat me often with work related stuff, but still distracting. I realize that I took on a lot more responsibility with my recent workload shift, but I haven't felt like I've gotten anything more done.

    I head into this next work week feeling slightly less organized and less in control than I would like to be. And what's more I'm going to be starting things on an off foot because my movers are finally delivering our stuff -- tomorrow morning in Buffalo, an hour away. So slight delay of work startage for me. But at least Rob will have lots of clothes again (poor self-sacrificing husband that he is).

    Sunday, August 31, 2008

    Tech Savvy Chica

    As many of you know -- I've avoided the cell phone craze. For one brief moment when I first moved to Chicago back in 2002 I had a cell phone. It was never turned on, I never used it and once it rang in purse and I peered around the store I was in trying to figure out which idiot wasn't answering that annoying phone with it's shrill ring tone. Shortly thereafter I got rid of the cell phone and only occasionally borrowed Rob's for emergency situations (like grocery shopping when I needed Rob to help carry in the groceries and our doorbell didn't work). Once I was envious of Rob sending text messages to Nanny who was sitting one table away from us at a restaurant in Las Vegas. Other than that -- I never really wanted one and in fact termed myself as someone who should not have a cell phone, i.e. I am the person in the airport terminal answering Rob's cell phone in a ridiculously loud voice, screaming "Can you hear me?" when I know full well everyone within a 10 mile radius can hear me.

    Alas, my life has come to a point when I really need a cell phone. We are currently living at the cottage which has no landline (and also receives only 3 TV channels, but whatever). I am also working from said cottage at an office which consists of a dining room table, laptop and awesome view. So I knew I need to get technified.

    On our second day in Buffalo, I headed to a cell phone store, and proceeded to go all out. I got a Blackberry (no small steps for me!) Rob and I now have a family plan with unlimited text messages to each other. Thank God, because I don't know what I would have done without texting Rob about the security dogs while waiting in line at Canadian customs in the same car as him -- and also it provided an amusing moment when I got yelled at by a customs officer with said dog through an open window. For your reference, cell phones must be turned off while waiting in line at the Rainbow Bridge.

    However, despite my miraculously mastering proper volume control while talking on my Blackberry, we are still quite technically challenged. The Blackberry functionality still can't be set up because apparently Blackberries require a stronger signal. So if I turn on any of the functionality I loose my connection. Additionally my reception drops periodically and people get the impression (obviously with which I do not agree) that I am not cut out to have a cell phone and constantly turn it off -- not the case people! If you have my cell phone number and are trying to call me, don't give up, call back later!

    Rob's cell phone somehow manages to work. Despite an incident last night when our neighbor called to tell me he was going to bring us flowers and Rob's cell phone battery died as soon as I answered, prompting said generous and kind neighbor to think that I hung up on him. (He still brought the flowers).

    We have also purchased a plug-in USB connection, the sort that Bill Curtis my almost work-landlord/neighbor advertises on TV. Thankfully, this connect-miracle seems to work down here quite well, and is even faster than dial up. Sadly it cannot sustain a strong enough connection (or bandwidth -- whatever that means) to allow me to video chat, an integral part of my job as my boss LOVES video chat. So thus, we will be driving up to Buffalo every so often. Those of you in city are welcome to come down and see us, or if the drive is to much, call my cell and we can do dinner or after work coffee or something. Just remember my cell phone may be out of range -- NOT turned off. I am savvy in the way of the modern girl.

    Friday, August 22, 2008

    My Kind of Town, Chicago is...

    I just couldn't get out of Chicago without having at least 2 more CTA incidents. On Thursday I was stuck on a train that the doors only opened for every other stop. And then on Friday, we sat at Fullerton while the station PA ran repeatedly announcing, "There are pick pockets on the train. Please watch your purses and pockets. Police have been called." It should come as no surprise to you that no police arrived.

    I am officially able to make this post because we are no longer in Chicago and therefore no CTA karmic kick can punish me for my complaining. That's right, we're in Buffalo now! I'm posting at my Mom's house, where we stayed for our first night. We'll then head to the cottage either today or tomorrow depending on the movers ETA.

    We spent our last day in Chicago (Rob's birthday) at a ridiculously hot, but awesome Cubs game. We had sushi and walked our neighborhood and then took one stroll down memory lane also known as Welles park, before heading home to finish up any packing.

    The movers arrived yesterday at 7 am, and were easily done by 9:30 -- all of our junk, including Rob's Uncle Johnny's ventriloquist dummy was welcomed by a mover who I swear looked like Carlos Zambrano's cousin. I did tell that I would tip him if the dummy did not make it onto the truck (and subsequently not into my closet where he normally resides), but alas correct mover policy dictates they cannot leave possessions on the side of the road. Rob also pointed out to me how wrong it would be to leave the dummy in its antique suitcase in my closet -- imagine the new tenant finding that as a welcome gift.

    We left our apartment in somewhat cleanliness having previously arranged with our landlord to pay for the cleaners. Thank God, cause I just do not do that well.

    And then we packed the Bug with what little would fit, and a wide array of cat accessories including 1 travel sized litter box a Pet Hammock and 2 collapsable meowing cardboard carriers. Meowing stopped by about 11:30 am and shortly thereafter, I opened Grey Cat's box. Despite having plenty of room to get out and lay on the seat, he decided to instead sleep in the travel litter box (luckily with fresh litter). Later on he decided to crawl underneath the Pet Hammock, causing at least 10 minutes of panic as Rob and I became convinced he had escaped from the car at the rest spot.

    But alas, we have survived, the cats have survived and indeed seem to like traveling (I'll post a picture later).

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Getting Closer

    Ok, I feel better now. At this point I only have 2 cabinets, 2 drawers and my dresser to pack. Most of the various accessories of the apartment are done, but I feel like there's stuff lurking everywhere. Tomorrow is the big Dining Room Giveaway and then I get to throw lots and lots of stuff out.

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Moving Project [Part Deux]

    Ah, and I thought we were doing so wellllll yesterday. Today I got home with a handful of extra boxes, hoping to finish the kitchen and my closet. Rob meanwhile had been home for a few hours and had finished his to do list including his closet -- a huge coup! Rob is not only assisting in packing but leading the way. I seriously caught myself a good one the day I married him.

    Sadly his success is my failure. As it turns out, I was completely unable to get ANYTHING done despite my efforts and seem more tired for my lack of completion. I packed parts of the kitchen, and parts of my closet -- but that still leaves all of the dishes (!! damn my years at Pier 1!) and my dresser. Packing the closet ultimately led me to unearth -- gasp, my sewing machine. How do I pack a sewing machine? We're now down to those ridiculously shaped items that refuse to fit in any boxes, and random things that I have no idea how to pack.

    My dining room table has since turned into a yard sale on crack. Those of you who wish to attend said yard sale (also known as I'm giving this stuff away for free and you can take a half-empty bottle of liquor too non-sale) can email me and then stop over on Wednesday. No, seriously, come get stuff -- that's one less haul down to the dumpster.

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    If anyone gets engaged in the next week...

    Don't tell me because the Martha Stewart Wedding Library has been cataloged, archived and packed. Also the Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazines -- as well as:


    • Our entire library of books (all labeled with "Books:Black [1]" or "Books: Red [5]")
    • Our hall closet (snow shovels have been thrown out to be replaced when we have something to shovel)
    • Our living room (with the exception of part of the corner cabinet)
    • Our linen closet
    • Most of the kitchen mini-appliances and the cookbooks


    Still to pack?
    • Closets
    • Bedroom and Dressers
    • The rest of the kitchen



    Sooo close to being done. By the way, if anyone wants random books, VHS Chick-flick movies, dusty picture frames or various random crap, an air conditioner, or possibly a 10-speed bike (you have to convince Rob) stop on by. In lieu of a yard sale, there will be a dining room sale, where will be happy to supply you with half empty bottles of liquor upon your purchase (and proof of ID).

    By the way, Black Cat is helping.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Who wants an update?

    OOOOOHHHHH, interestingly I just noticed that my IT guy at work updated my computer with a new version of my web browser thereby allowing me to see blogger's shortcut buttons. Blogging has never been this easy. Awesome.

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say is -- We are moving to Buffalo! I know this has been official for quite sometime, but it is officially happening soon. Want the details? Here they are:

    • We have no place to live, so we're living here:



    • So we're going to be staying there until we find an actual apartment, and our stuff gets to stay in storage.
    • We have hired movers (because we are smart), but no we aren't packed yet.
    • Pick-up date is scheduled for August 24 (day after Rob's birthday) or August 25 -- we don't find out until a little closer to the date. And we will be leaving that same date.
    • The kitties are not in the least prepared for their move and therefore this should help.
    • And I officially start working from home on August 27 -- so yeah, I'll see ya'll Labor Day weekend.

    Time for Q and A. Anyone?

    Sunday, August 3, 2008

    Politiking

    I spend a lot of my evening quiet time silently thinking over my response to the evening news. I like most people in America (I hope) have been grossly dissatisfied with the media since oh, about 2000 -- when news stopped meaning objective facts and started meaning round tables and editorial comments. After listening to the news, I generally debate the points in my head, marshalling my arguments, generally trying to work off my mad. The other night I had a fit of rage, when I watched the news accusing both McCain and Obama of dirty ads, including the celebrity comparison and the 'Obama is elitest because he likes arugula and power bars memo.' Seriously, these are dirty ads??? No, this is a slow news day in which you as the main stream media feed into America's growing dispassion for all things political and train us to stop paying attention to what you say. Dirty politics was what you forgot to report in 2000, when Karl Rove's small minded men engaged in phone campaigns throughout the South asking what people would think "if" they knew that McCain had a child of a different race. Accusing people of eating arugula or being "Same Old" not dirty politics -- just boring.

    Now, that being said, the other big issue that seems to come up A LOT both at home and throughout those lovely round table discussions is the question of whether or not Obama is all talk and no substance. I don't consider it a bad question. Our nation has traditionally had longer serving candidates, and Obama is a relative unknown to the majority of the country. For those of us in Illinois, he's an old standby. He was an institution in this state when I moved here in 2002, so he to me is characteristic of Illinois politics. When I went to school in Louisiana, people used to talk about Louisiana Politricks. I think the term applies here too. I moved to Chicago, when Illinois was cleaning house Obama being one of the cleaners-- the biggest scandal of course being the indictment of Governor Ryan who has since been convicted.

    When Obama spoke at the Democratic Convention, I had already been thoroughly dissolutioned at the democratic party. I was a Gore supporter, big time. It was obvious to me that John Kerry was not going to be elected, though I voted for him anyway. I knew that the Democratic party was in danger of becoming the villian, something that physically hurt me because the meaning of the party, the purpose of the party is so incredibly popularistic that it is essential to our very being. How could the Republicans be the party of family values -- when the concept of a government caring FOR the people is the tenant of the Democratic Party? DNC leadership had failed, and I knew we needed a superstar -- a Kennedy, a Clinton, a something to steer public attention away from the backwater of party dealings.

    Obama's speech was moving, and truthfully, I told Rob that night that I thought O should run. But I didn't think he would, and I wasn't 100% serious. Until August 30, 2005 and the days following. Those of you who know me well know I have recently been obsessed with Colleen McCullough's First Man In Rome series about the late days of the Roman Senate. Though never a fan of the Republic(an) system, I was fascinated for the first time about the pure intentions of Senate legislation -- and saw in this plan of Obama's a Caesar, or a Princeps Senatus.

    I started paying attention to the political plans which were not appearing on the evening news. Any articles on Obama's plans were clipped and neatly tucked in whatever book I was reading at the moment. Having a compendium of articles on Obama's the war, environment, tax, and economy plans, I never really understood why people were unsure of what he would do if president. I found his plans more extensive than most. Yes, I realize that plans must be altered as the moment requires, it struck me as fascinating to see that he was able to come up with intensely detailed plans, covering all of the eventualities that I could possibly envision.

    Subsequently, I knew from the Katrina actions on, that I was voting for Obama. I chase news about Obama now because I like to see what he's doing and I'm starting to realize because of that I may hear things that other people don't. My ears prick when others don't. For example, when I was waiting at O'Hare for a flight in June, I heard Obama's name on the CNN broadcast and sat down to listen to an article on Obama and McCain's response to the Supreme Court's verdict on Guantanamo Detainee rights, in which Obama spoke out about the importance of the right of habeas corpus for all individuals. (I'm sadly disappointed to say that the media had very little interest in this story.)

    All of this is merely to say, why I like Obama and does not allay the fears of those concerned for his lack of experience. To you, I offer this rebuttal. There is no experience to prepare any one for the job of President of the United States short of being President of the United States. If you recall, George W. Bush had experience (5 years as governor -- a far more highly rated type of experience than senator). That turned out really well, but I bet you knew that back when you didn't vote for him. Other people who had experience? George HW Bush (26 years experience in government), Richard Nixon ( 6 years in Congress, 8 years VP) Herbert Hoover (7 years, Secretary of Commerce), and Rob would like me to add Jefferson Davis (US Senator and 7 years US Secretary of War). If that doesn't reassure you, then you've gotten the point. There is no assurance that any one will make a good president. The most we can do is look at his or her character.

    Quite frankly when I hear people concerned about Obama being all talk and no substance, it all the more reminds me of one of the biggest reasons I'm voting for him. My number one concern for our country is our current lack of respect for the global community, our current unethical conduct and completely immoral recent actions. The number one thing that I know we are going to get from Obama is diplomacy -- and the number one thing you need for that to happen? A good talker.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Argh... Yawn

    This week has been rough! I'm guessing it has been for a lot of you out there, because the internets seem to be pretty quiet lately.

    This week Rob has had to work a lot of mornings. These can be tough for us because it means if we're going to eat together we have to eat as soon as I get home, so he can go to bed super early. Then I spend the rest of the night tiptoeing around because I feel so bad for him having to get up at 3 or 4. To heighten the intensity of this weird schedule we also had horrifying thunder and lightning last night. I thought I was going to die at least 2xs, one of which was when I think I saw sparks coming out of our air conditioner, the other of which was at 2:30 am. AND (though not a hardship) the Cubs-Brewer series is ongoing, which gets both of us pretty excitable and thus makes it harder to fall asleep. Jeez, it's tough when you're winning all the time. Sorry Brewer fans. Oh, wait I don't know any Brewer fans.

    So last night, I get home at 6:12 pm with a plan to a) order pizza (haven't had time to go grocery shopping and been out of food for the past week) and b) do yoga (cause I'm a good girl and my back hurts). So I have the phone in hand to call in the pizza order and am pulling out the yoga mat when I notice a message on the machine. From my landlord. That he is showing our apartment at 6:30 pm. We spend the next 10 minutes scrambling to pick up (we are a little messy!) while I him-and-haw over dinner. If we have to leave the apartment, we can't order pizza until later and by then Rob will have to go to sleep, and we can't cook because we don't have food, and we can't go grocery shopping because we can't bring groceries in while people are seeing our apartment.

    That's when I said F*@! it, we're going to Spacca Napoli. Best damn pizza ever. Their special last night? Bianco nero: white pizza with Buffala Mozzerella, Porcini Mushrooms, White Truffle Oil and Black Truffle infused Fior di Latte Mozzarella. Tell me where else you can find that. Tell me.

    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    Brideshead Revisited

    I just finished reading Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. I've always wanted to read it, primarily because my mom has mentioned several times how much my father liked it. I don't know when or why, but somewhere along the line I must have swiped my father's copy from our house in Buffalo. Since then it's sat on our "Orange" shelf in the dining room, just waiting to be read. At one point I picked it up and read the opening pages which failed to capivate me.

    Well, I finished the 4th book of my Caesar addiction and surprise, surprise the 5th installment seems like the Holy Grail of literature, out of stock every where and completely unfindable. While I wait for it to arrive on my lovely amazon wishlist, I figured now was as good a time as ever to read Brideshead Revisited. Particularly timely since the movie is opening soon.

    I've now discovered the pleasure of reading someone else's book -- one that smells of old age and as with all of my father's books comes littered with surprises. Pressed within this book were two items which made me laugh. The first was a newspaper cutout from a January 1982 edition of the Buffalo News, reviewing the PBS miniseries starring Laurence Olivier and Jeremy Irons. The second was a receipt dating from March 1982, showing a purchase price of $2.69. Clearly my dad read the article and was moved to start reading. As was I. This past weekend, the New York Times ran an article on the new movie. Yes, it's now joined my father's article pressed between the somewhat fragilely bound pages.

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    Compare...



    Our New Home?

    I booked our movers today. Check. Only 10,000 things more to do on my list, which may be provided by Buttoned Up. By the way, I'm fascinated by their blog and it now finds a place in my favorite places to visit.

    We decided to go with movers after discovering (a) it's not that much more expensive than doing it ourselves and (b) taking a stroll down memory lane to the last time we moved. Oh, that was not a good moment for us. That move took us a week and a half. And we only moved 1 block away. Of course, I made Rob do all the moving because I did all the packing. But still is that really an excuse for not moving in a double bed and box spring in less than one day, right?

    At any rate, my moving company asked me where we would be dropping off our estimated 4000 pounds of items and I sadly had to say, "Can I get back to you on that?" Thankfully this is apparently not a problem. I was advised that I can wait until the day of pick-up before I have to tell the driver where to take our stuff. Ah, good times.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Cavernous

    Some of you may recall that I have a great fear of dentists. I'm all growns up now (not really, but I like to make-believe) so I go to the dentist every six months now. It's official -- I had my first cavity EVER. And you know what? Getting a cavity filled does not hurt at all. I was shocked. Years of being scared for nothing.

    By the way, I'm a little blogged out right now because I've been working on some blogs for work. They're not posted yet so no need to hurry over and look (I'll put a link when I can). Needless to say work blogs involve thought, proper grammar and even research (blah!) Oh, and I stayed up until 1 am watching the stupid All-Star game. I'm tired. I'm going to bed. Night!

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Summa

    This afternoon, I was sitting at home watching a ballgame. The windows were open for the most glorious summer breeze (warm, but cooling, ah...) and I smelled someone cooking hot dogs on the grill. Delish. Is there anything more summery than that?

    We're showing our apartment this weekend -- well, not "we" but our landlord. So we've cleaned it all up, and spend most of this weekend feeling like we might have to evacuate at any given moment. Meanwhile, there's no stress whatsoever in knowing that we don't actually have a new apartment to move into. We did have an almost option, but we passed because it was too small (I do need space for a home office, remember!) We won't be able to go back to Buffalo before the move, so at this point, short of some sort of miraculous happening, we're moving to the cottage (and storage) at least for the first month.

    Not such a bad thing to look forward to, huh?

    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    When I grow up I wanna be a...

    Do you fell grown-up? I wonder if anyone ever truly feels grown up. I remember having a conversation with my Mom once in which she told me that she still looks in the mirror and expects to see her 20 year old self. For me its more of an internal drama. I still associate myself with the recent college grads and even college coeds. I've never been particularly concerned about the passage of time. Rob once told someone that he worked with that I wanted to be a wedding planner someday. The girl he was talking to (a 19 year old) gasped and said something to the effect of "but it's too late for her to switch jobs!" Rob and I laugh about that one quite often. Because it has never once dawned on me that my life holds endless possibilities regardless of my age.

    But I still have high hopes that one of the things I might grow-up to be is a grown-up. There are certain things that I just cannot seem to master, despite all my attempts to be a grown-up. Those of you who know me may be surprised to realize that I actually act quite irresponsibly. I won't go into all the details, but here are a few examples:

    • I simply cannot keep a clean house -- at all. Not just neat, but clean. Both adjectives completely evade me (despite my being able to keep a very neat AND clean office space.)
    • I should not be able to own nice things. Nice things get ruined around me. Note to anyone shopping for Christmas gifts -- don't buy me nice things. I appreciate the thought but you actually give me guilt when I ruin/break the nice thing you gave me. A certain oriental rug comes to mind here...
    • My best friend and I have always joked about being co-presidents of the Lazy Club. Oh, am I lazy... See all previous blogs about television -- nuff said.
    • Procrastination is my middle name. See previous blog about my car.... Hello: 1800 reasons why procrastination is bad.


    Oh, there are soooo many ways that I am not grown-up. So the question is... who here thinks I will ever grow-up? And who here thinks that they consciously recognize themselves as a grown-up and can tell me when they first realized this? The floor is yours.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Oh, Nemesis you

    Last summer I started doing yoga. I loved it! It made me feel powerful, healthy, super young, plus it made me loose weight. AND I even felt more spiritually in tune with the universe (I realize how dumb that sounds). This winter I just sort of drifted. Secretly I blame Bikram yoga. Bikram ruined my cool. Bikram is my nemesis. I secretly believe that yoga is to me what George W. Bush is to the US. Until I impeach Bikram nothing will be right. So I find myself sitting here thinking -- I really need to do yoga today. And then thinking -- Naw, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is on. And as much as I hate Bikram, that's how much I hate Angelina Jolie. Yet I keep coming back for more. The endless circle.

    Sunday, June 22, 2008

    Ciao!

    I'm back! I know you all missed me. Rob missed me so much he a)learned to cook and b) started watching Jon and Kate +8 all by his lonesome. I had an absolutely fabulous time. Even though this was a business trip it really did not feel like one at all. It was a FAM trip meaning, you are to get familiarized with an area in order to better sell it. That's the best kind of business trip ever, because you essentially take a very busy tour with no free time.

    Here are a few pictures -- and then I'll tell you about my providential incidents:

    I actually had a really good time in Milan. You hear some wonderment in my tone because nothing has ever gone right with me in Milan. It's a city that just doesn't agree with me but this time -- I liked it!

    Teatro alla Scala -- I used my Italian here with stunning results.


    Gallerie di Vittorio Emanuele II one of the coolest shopping centers ever.


    The Duomo, still under construction after 2 years but absolutely stunning.


    I learned that you're supposed to make 3 wishes when you enter a church you've never been in (hello - the trinity!) Plus I lit some candles. So that's bonus.

    Most of our time was spent in the Lake District. We stayed mostly in Lake Garda, but spent one night in Lake Como. Truthfully, I think Garda is more beautiful. It's untouched, whereas Como has just become over populated and complex. Plus Garda is much more accessible (less expensive, easier to drive around).

    The view of Lake Como from my otherwise crappy hotel in Cernobbio. That bell tower looks pretty doesn't it? Two minutes after I took this picture I could still feel the vibrations from the bells ringing.


    George Clooney's villa in Lake Como


    Lake Como as seen from Villa Monastero with clouds at mid-mountain level


    Lake Isole (a very pretty, small, remote lake that not many people know about)


    The town of Sirmione on Lake Garda on a very, very rainy day.

    So those are the pictures -- here's the providence. Usually when I go to work functions, I dread them, because the people are not always so nice. This time I met a bunch of people that I genuinely like and want to stay in touch with. The providential part is that I met someone who reminded me of Rufus, a dear friend of our family who recently passed away. Hanging out with him helped me feel a little more at rest (plus he's an Obama voter).


    Tony, Maria and Don (the one that reminded me of Rufus) in the beautiful raincoats we all had since it rained everyday. This picture was taken in Varenna on Lake Como after a visit to Villa Montastero.

    Then on the flight from Rome to Chicago, I sat next to a young, soon-to-be priest named Tom who was just heading to his ordination after graduating from (drumroll please...) the North American College in Rome, where my Dad went. Normally I hate sitting next to people on planes because I don't like talking during flights. But Tom and I talked for about 4 hours and it was kinda cool. To me it seemed providential -- like a little reminder that my Dad was watching out for me.

    Sunday, June 8, 2008

    The Family Picture


    Less me of course, who is the photographer for this particular moment.

    The Family Picture Outtake

    And this is what happened behind the scenes:



    Oh, there's always one in every bunch.

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    A Week in the Life...

    This week has gone by fast hasn't it? Truly I thought this week would be hella long because I haven't worked more than a 3-day work week in 3 weeks!! But not the case. I always have a point towards the end of the week when I look back and say, "This week felt like 2 weeks worth of work put together" or "Seriously, it's Friday? I thought it was Tuesday." Then I like to discuss it with everyone that I work with to see if they feel that the time has gone equally fast.

    Anyway, rather than a blog topic or theme, I just have a couple of interesting items to share with you about my week:

  • On Tuesday, Rob and I went to the new Julius Meinl. For those of you not from Chicago or who don't have a Meinl, it's a pretty swanky coffeehouse. For about 5 months there have been rumors circulating in the hood that we were getting one. And then 4 months ago they started work on the building 1 block away from us. AND then they put up signs to tempt us for at least 3 weeks. So I went in for the first time on Tuesday, while Rob went in for the 17th time. While we were in there, the owner of the Grind walked in! Worst nightmare, we the loyal customers of the Grind were caught being disloyal. She started talking to me and very kindly gave me dispensation while scouting out the competition. Then Rob enters the conversation and says (with no preamble mind you), "Here's how much they charge for a medium Americano," and holds out his receipt. The look on her face was a priceless mix of "I'm not sure how well I know these people" and "Are you special in a mentally disabled way?" Well, at any rate, we can always go to Julius Meinl.

  • Yesterday, I took Rob's keys to work. As well as my own keys. And our doorbell is broken. Meaning that Rob had no way of getting back in the building. He loves me soooo much. Maybe we should give someone else a key just in case (oh, wait, we're moving.)

  • I cried on the train the other day (no not out of fear!) I just can't help it! I'm reading Caesar's Women by Colleen McCullough and I am deeply involved in the saga of the Caepio Servilius - Livius Drusus - Porcius Cato clan. It was seriously only a 30 page section, and tears were rolling down my cheeks. Read it! But start with First Man in Rome.

  • I got a bunch of recipes from one of our cooking class suppliers in Italy! I just glanced down the list before I left the recipes in the printer at work, but I saw the words "Bacon-Crusted" so I'm pretty sure they're good. I'm not sure I would be allowed to share, but maybe if you beg, I'll invite you over for dinner. Oh, and have I got a recipe to try for you Buffalonians when I live there!

  • I spent 3 hours over a 2 day span at the Federal Building getting my passport renewed. Which means that I was in the same building as Barack Obama's Offices! I saw the sign next to the elevator bank and I touched it. Then the security guard told me not to do that. But I have a new passport and that means, I can go to Italy next week!!! More on that later. I promise to share all my pix.
  • Monday, June 2, 2008

    Today, we discuss the cats

    So I've been obsessed with this lately. Thanks to Sarah for that wonderful find! It's like the cat version of Amelie and reminds me soooo much of Homer (my previous roommate).

    Apparently this morning we ran out of cat food. We now have an automatic feeder as part of an effort to control the fats. Since we don't actually have to feed the cats anymore, we often don't notice until the last minute that we're out of food. So this morning, the automatic feeder goes off but nothing comes out. Oh, do I wish I had my camera at that moment. Picture two very confused and pissed cats. Not 1 minute after non-feeding time, a fight breaks out. I kid you not, black cat (aka the beast) sat on grey cat and tries to bite his neck. The beast is smart. He knows that food must come from someplace!! And he furthermore knows that grey cat has claws so he has to find a weapon to his advantage -- which would be his girth. Crafty. Have no fear, Rob went out and bought cat food before grey cat could be eaten or the beast was depleted by living off the fat of the land.

    At the same time, I must confess how adorable the beast is. Today when I came home, he perked his head up in his nap chair, blinked his beautiful green eyes at me and said, "Me-meow." Which translates to "Hello, Mommy, how was your day? And by the way I love you." He then wandered up to me and asked to be picked up (which he does by standing on his back legs and holding his front paws up in the air, like a toddler). Yup, I love him. Here's a picture.

    Thursday, May 29, 2008

    The Big 3-0

    I had a fantastic birthday! Since I had the whole day off (thank you Andrea!) I got to spend the entire day thinking of absolutely nothing. We went to the Grind twice (yes, they totally noticed and commented on how often we go there). I read a lot, thought a lot, spent the entire day with Rob. We went to Bistro Campagne for awesome food. I even had a Southport Grocery cupcake. And now I am official 30.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Lucky you -- Two Posts!

    Just today I was riding the L, and once again had the incredible sense that the train was going to tip over (more on this at my previous blog). But no, part of my birthday musings was to make a little commitment to myself to let go of the fear. I mean of course the train isn't going to tip over and no L's have fallen off the tracks since like the 1920's.

    http://www.nbc5.com/traffic/16413245/detail.html

    http://feeds.chicagotribune.com/~r/chicagotribune/news/~3/299936033/chi-train-derailment-web-may29,0,185486.story

    My favorite part of this story is that the train operator realized the train was going to derail, thought it would go off the tracks and therefore ran out of the drivers cabin and ran towards the back of the train (while passengers sat there thinking why is the driver running away when the train is moving.) Tell me this is not the worst transit system in the nation.

    Wait I've just heard my other favorite part. As passengers were waiting to be evacuated the CTA played the recording which us commuters love the most. "This train is being delayed waiting for signals ahead."

    The Eve

    Hi Everyone! So I write this post on the eve of my 30th birthday. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am!! I decided to take the day off tomorrow. Here are the current plans: sleep-in, read the very best part of Pride and Prejudice (look how that just happened to coincide with my birthday!), get my hair done and possibly some other salon activity, go out to dinner at Bistro Campagne, see Indiana Jones... I really feel like the possibilities are completely endless. Doubtless one of my activities will be blogging, so I shall keep you abreast of the sitaution. I'm sure you will be checking in periodically throughout the day because the number one thought on your mind will be, "I wonder what Alex is doing for her birthday?"

    Seeing as how this is somewhat of a landmark year, I've been thinking a whole lot about things that I have accomplished and what the next year will hold for me. I do have this picture of what the next year will mean for me, what my life will be like before the end of next year. Truthfully, I'm not sure how much of that I want to share with anyone (short of Rob who gets to listen to my constant musings and likes to dream away the years with me -- and also who wants to travel with Road Scholar the learning travel company run by Elderhostel). I picture this whole life where I take an extra large step forward in my job, my home and family life and have a working car, but it's pretty hard to describe. Plus, I recently read this article which makes me worry about oversharing in my blog, so I particularly like to be a little private. But I like to think of this blog as sort of the email that I never have time to write. Given the development of my life, I have a lot of friends and family that I don't see too often. Those visits and phone calls that I do have with each of you never seems substantial enough to allow full disclosure of all my daily details. That's why I blog, so you know what's going on in my life.

    On that note, I really want to say to all you New Orleanians that we really do miss you all! Normally this is our annual absolute must New Orleans visit complete with family reunion. This year we just couldn't make it and I know it's kind of crappy. It's crappy for us too, because we really miss the fam and home. But I know you all understand that even though it seems like travel should be easy in this here modern day, traveling to NOLA may as well be traveling to the ends of the earth -- especially right now what with the cost of airfare and gas. Ugh. Once we move, we really will have more time and more money to visit.

    Monday, May 26, 2008

    Bliss Part II

    More pictures from Melisa and Jim's Wedding:


    Mr. and Mrs. Pociluyko


    Facing the world together....


    The Wedding Party


    Melisa gets some help getting in the care (it's just like Princess Diana in the carriage).


    Happily Ever After.


    The First Dance.


    Everyone was soooo impressed with Rob's suit and silk pocket square that perfectly matched my dress. And he tied that tie all by himself!


    Mrs. Torres gets down to her song: "Get this party started" by Pink.


    All my favorite people.


    A celebration on the balcony.


    How sweet it is.


    David loves me!


    Not as much as he loves Rob!


    Or Kat loves Rob!


    The Puerto Ricans -- the most fun table of the night!


    Seth and Kat.


    Jim's sister Janine and her boyfriend Bryan.


    This has to be one of my favorites -- clearly it's all about Rob and I.


    Melisa gives her bouquet to the newest single lady --Jenny's daughter (due in November!)


    A kiss for the bride.