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


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.