Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Photo Blogging: It was a FIESTA, not a shower

Tequila, wicked margaritas, shots with my grandma, sombreros, a pinata and presents. Sounds like a wedding shower to me!

Dave and I picking our margarita glasses.

Someone's excited.

Someone's drunk. (Not me.)

Look who it is, J!


Words of wisdom.

Klassy bride and groom hats from my wacky mother.

It's sombrero time.

It's tequila shot time!

Someone didn't want to be left out.

Oh, Grandma.

Would you believe she's almost 80?

Yes, we're very proud of her, folks.

She can't stop!

We can't stop laughing.

Drunkies cutting the cake.

Two of the biggest drinkers I know. Hiya Dad.

Looking rough at the morning-after brunch.

11am is the best time for a pinata.

Dave takes a swing.

Mom takes a swing.

Carrie takes a swing.

Dave bats...

...and this was the result.

Oh, heeey. Whatcha got there? That's weird. It doesn't look like liquor.

I love our family and friends. The wedding is going to be out of control.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Daily abortions, you say?

I don't have any particularly interesting to say right now, so here are some random links that I find during my research at work.

Another miss from the Bush Administration. According to this, I'm having daily abortions by popping the pill. Quick, look out behind you! It's a Bible Beater!

Are your childfree friends feeling left behind? Nope. We're too busy being drunk at happy hour and NOT elbow-deep in shit to worry about feeling "left behind," but thanks for checking in.

Solemates. But do they go with Charles David?

What's your neighborhood's Walk Score?
My neighborhood gets a 94/100 and earns the title of "Walkers' Paradise." But the suburban hood I left the second high school graduation came around? 15/100. The "car-dependent" label is an understatement.

Jessica Alba hates her name. And I hate Jessica Alba. (Thanks for reporting that hard news story, CNN.)

New dog announcements. Does this mean I should also register for leashes, bowls and a fake patch of grass so my new (future) pup can shit on my balcony? BUY ME PRESENTS.

Abstinence thongs. Because nothing says "No touchy" like flashing your ass cheeks.

Buy a bra for your butt. Does it come padded?

Linebreak fail. This is precisely why Ang and I are very careful when it comes to my copy fitting within her design parameters.

Remember that naked baby on Nirvana's Nevermind? He's all grown up. And not at all regretting the whole "naked on an album cover" thing.

Jewelry that hangs from your contact lens is creepy.

Will Smith is open to an open marriage. Sounds like someone needs to stop watching Swingtown.

Labrador runs for mayor of a town in Alabama. Is anyone really that surprised?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Restasis, Roker and more randomness

I'm in a bit of a weird mood right now -- a mix of slight belligerence mixed with extreme exhaustion-- so here are some random musings that I would put on my Twitter account if I, in fact, Twittered.

1. I absolutely hate the way the actress on the Restasis commercial says the product name. It is the single most irritating word I've ever heard uttered on TV. I would rather listen to her say "herpes viral infection of the eye" for six straight hours than listen to her say "Restasis" one more time in that nonsensical twang.

2. The other day, Al Roker asked a 16-year-old girl if she was going to stick around for the next day's Miley Cyrus concert. The girl looked at him like WTF and shot her mother a look that said "fix this." The girl squeaked out a noncommittal response and Roker goes, "All right! If I can convince mom, right? Haha. PICK CITY OF THE DAY!" Al. Come on. Miley Cyrus only appeals to 7-year-olds. This tiny incident made me vow to never be that out of touch with anything that relates to my job. Or mindless celebrity gossip.

3. In the infamous words of Dave's best man, when you're on a website (any website), you're always just one letter away from porn. It's true. ellemichelleunedited could be pornographic in and of itself, no letter substitutions required. Be careful how you type, people.

4. My wedding is so close, it no longer exceeds the expiration date on the milk we buy. Freaky.

5. Even though I have friends from high school, college, work, the South, the Dirty South, the Midwest, the Northeast, all over... they can ALL fit into two simple categories: those who know what a Google Reader is and those who don't. (Guess who I'm closer to.)

That's all I've got right now. Dave's currently out at his bachelor party destroying his liver and his sense of dignity. Seeing as I literally passed out twice at the pool this morning and then ran around on a bunch of errands AND did pilates, I'm looking forward to staying in for the rest of the night, watching TV, maybe watching a movie and passing out before Saturday Night Live even comes on. Next weekend is my own bachelorette party, so let's pretend I'm saving up all my energy for that so this will seem less pathetic.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time to part ways

After a year and a half of beautiful bliss, I think it's time to break up with my hair stylist. He holds a very special place in my heart, since he was the very first person to drastically cut my long, stringy locks into a sassy short style. But somewhere along the way, I think he got complacent. Took me for granted. Stopped putting in so much effort. We've just grown apart.

That, plus I've met someone new.

My new potential love is my wedding hairstylist, who may or may not be the actual stylist on my wedding day (long story, but I might have to end up with his colleague who he SWEARS is awesome). Anyway, I went yesterday for my hair trial, which ended up being more of a meet-and-greet where we play around with looks and he tell me what will and will not work with my hair.

But that's not all he told me....

"So," he says, "why aren't you having your normal stylist do your hair for the wedding?"

"Oh," I say, my voice changing from chipper to slightly somber, "he actually doesn't do updos or anything."

"Really? That's so strange. I can tell you right now, I'd never want to give my clients a reason to go elsewhere!"

I study the stylist's face and silently tell him to get out of my head. He continues with a loaded question.

"How do you like your cut?"

Aaaand that's all I needed to open up about my now-unsatisfying relationship.

"Well, I don't love it like I used to, that's for sure," I blurt out. "I mean, it's not growing out well, I don't like the shape in the front, it's hard to style and chunky in the back. I just feel like it's sloppy."

Not one to mince words, my new potential love says, "Definitely."


He continues, "It's too thin on the sides here, see?" You bet I do.

"And the back, look at this," he says, swirling me around in the chair. "See these layers? It's like one big layer around the middle of your head." Gulp.

"It's just not a good cut."


How can I love someone after that abuse? To tell you the truth, as shitty as it was to hear, I was glad to have the validation that my relationship wasn't working. And, obviously, my new love knows what he's doing. He pointed out things I had worried about while I was getting this particular cut, which means that, well, he has eyes. That's all I'm looking for.

"I do see what this cut was going for, though," he says. "The execution just wasn't right."

I recognize this as his attempt to be softer and more gentle in his critique. While he's feeling kind, I bring up my color and ask his thoughts on that. Even though I've got about an inch of roots showing and I desperately need a touch up, he only briefly mentions that I could use some filler at the top. He generally likes the color itself, but says I could try stronger highlights, since this IS the summer. I figure, what the hell, and book him for Sunday to improve on this mop.

So, to my ex, good luck to you. I will no longer sit idly in your chair as you tell tales of your wild nights, drinking binges and torrid sexual encounters with other couples (yes), all peppered with innocent anecdotes about your daughter. I'm going to someone new. I'm excited and optimistic, and though you and I started out strong, I think it's time we both explore other options. Who knows, maybe I'll be back one day for a quickie. But for now, I'm moving on.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My worst airport experience to date

This past weekend, Dave and I flew to Memphis for our final wedding shower. Flying to Memphis means that we have to schlep over to O'hare and pray that our flight isn't canceled when we get there.

Long story short, it was.

Long story longer, I wish that had been the worst part of the trip.

I'm going to warn you now, if you have a weak stomach, you should probably just stop reading right now. This is going to go far beyond my usual curse-filled tirades.


We decide to leave at 6:30pm for our 9pm flight. This requires a bus ride over to Grand and a transfer to the sometimes shady Blue Line. The wait time with all of this can be anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. This trip fell somewhere in between, so no complaints.

Due to the lovely Blue Line construction at O'hare, we had to get off at Rosemont and transfer to a shuttle bus to make it into the airport. Keep in mind that we all take the train to AVOID driving in any O'hare/highway traffic, so this displeased me greatly. Even more so when some tard on the bus started running his mouth about how he's so glad we're on a shuttle bus because it's "so much faster than the train." That is the only reason I laughed when we got caught in the inevitable traffic.

At the Airport: American Airlines Terminal

Dave and I make it through security rather uneventfully and sit down at the gate. He has this habit of periodically checking his phone for flight updates while I zone out and people-watch. I'm productive like that.

"Oh, shit," he says.


"Flight's canceled," he mumbles.

Dammit, American Airlines! Those whores canceled my last flight to Memphis and it caused me to miss a wedding. (I relentlessly bitched them out and got a free ticket out of it.) But, since this is O'hare, it's almost expected that something like this will happen. I'm ready for it.

"Quick," I hiss, "Get up now. Get on the phone with AA and let's get in line before anyone else figures this out."

As soon as we get in line, the gate agents announce the cancellation, but we're already poised to score seats on another flight before anyone else, so I'm feeling pretty good.

"Can I help you?" the agent asks.

"Yeah, we're on the Memphis flight, so we need to get on a new one," I tell her. Dave, who has already reached an AA rep on the phone, hangs up and focuses on trying to prevent me from getting shitty with the agent.

"Okay, I can put you on the 6am flight tomorrow."

"No, thanks, I'd like one tonight." See how polite?


"Aren't there other flights going to Memphis tonight?" I snap. Okay, less polite with that one. Dave moves in a little closer.

"I mean... There's a United flight, but they're not accepting passengers," she says.

What kind of answer is that? I, swear, this lady--

"I can put you on standby," she says quickly. "The flight's wide open." Dave talks to her to make sure that we're confirmed on the 6am flight in case we don't make the United flight. She says we are. She hands us what we think are tickets and sends us on our way.

At the Airport: United Airlines Terminal

At United, we go up to the counter and talk to this new gate agent to make sure Ms. AA actually did put us on standby. She did not. No, wait, she did. Well, she sort of did. (Just repeating what I was told.)

Whatever, we had the guy put us on the list, even though he insisted that the flight was most certainly NOT wide open. We'll take our chances. This flight was delayed about 2.5 hours so we had plenty of time to sit in frustrated anxiety to wonder if we were going to be allowed to board.

Meanwhile, they switch our gate without announcing it to anyone whatsoever. There must be some new policy that prohibits the airlines from letting the rest of us know what the hell is going on. All I know is that the "Memphis" screen I had been staring at for an hour suddenly switched to "Portsmouth." We check online once again to see where we are supposed to be and make our way over.

We get to the new gate and there's a swarm of people flooding the area. There are literally 4 full flights gathered around, all leaving within a half an hour of each other. Just as information-sharing isn't a priority with the airlines, neither is proper planning.

I'll skip the details, but in the end, both Dave and I made it on the flight. I was ecstatic.

Post-Airport, Mid-Flight, Total Disgust

When I board the plane, I notice that the seat next to me is empty. For a split second, I think about how awesome it would be if Dave and I got to sit next to each other, despite being on standby.

No such luck.

The seats were in rows of two and two, with me in an aisle seat. Across the aisle, to my right, there is a women with a baby. You know what? That's fine. I'll sit next to a baby. I don't even care because I'M ON THE PLANE. Bring it on, baby!

Come to find out, that baby was supposed to sit on my left, immediately next to me, but her mom switched seats because they needed the extra oxygen mask on the other side of the plane. So the person whose seat she stole ended up sitting next to me.

This is where it goes bad. Very, very bad.

My seat-mate is a 40-something woman with googly eyes and a head that seems to be permanently cocked to the left. She certainly looks unstable. Sounds a bit off too. She begins talking to me about and how she didn't like it.

Thanks for that tidbit, darling, but I'm trying to read Vanity Fair, so this is quiet time. Take a cue from the baby and hush up.

We get in the air, she pops some pills and falls asleep. We are both happy about this.

Halfway through the flight, Crazytown wakes herself up abruptly with a weird guttural noise. It was something between a gurgle and a snore. I'm not really sure. Since we have a guy in our office who makes weird noises all the time, I'm sitting there with this mindless inner monologue running through my head:

Whoa, what kind of noise was THAT? Ha, it almost sounds like something that Ginge makes. Seriously, why do people make those kinds of sounds? Do they even know they sound weird? Shit, do I make any weird sounds?? Oh god, what if I do? No, way, Ang would tell me if I did. I'm good.

Yeah, I know. Total drivel. Here's what I should have been thinking:

Whoa, what kind of noise was THAT? It was guttural, so there might be some puke coming out. Prepare accordingly.

Rather than prepare anything, I continue reading my magazine with my tray table down, seatbelt buckled, jacket across my lap, bottled water resting on the tray and legs tucked underneath me. Not exactly ready to sprint out of my seat.

After a minute, Crazytown snaps around to face me, as if I just said I'm totally in love with that awesome and I'm going to beat the hell out of anyone who challenges me.

"Uh, can I help you?" I ask.


"Okay, then," I say. Man, someone's gotta pee real bad, I say to myself.

Wrong, L. Very wrong.

So my dumb ass takes the time to fumble with my seatbelt, put the top on my water, close my magazine carefully enough so that I don't lose my page... and then I see the wretching.


I jump the fuck out of my seat, secure the tray table and snatch my jacket in one Superman-like fluid motion. Just in time, too. Crazytown vomits a ridiculous amount of grossness into her lap, onto the floor, onto the seat in front of her...

...and onto my bag.


I hit the flight attendant button and run away. Seriously, I went quite a few rows back to escape the mess. It was a scene. Side note: I HATE standing up on the plane when everyone else is sitting down. I'm so short and thus very comfortable with my status as practically invisible in crowds. Standing among a bunch of inquisitive, seated patrons makes me feel like an awkward giant on display.

Anyway, the flight attendants clean the woman, my bag and the seats while I stand for the remainder of the flight. They give me garbage bags to put my belongings in and repeatedly offer me free liquor. I kinda love them a little.

Upon landing, I rush off the flight with my garbage bags and wait for Dave to de-plane, expecting him to come off the plane very concerned to see me standing for so long and asking if I'm traumatized. He comes off rubbing his eyes as I shove my garbage bags in his face.

"Can you carry these?"

"What happened to your stuff?"

WHAT? Where were you for the last hour?? Lucky bastard was sleeping soundly in a puke-free seat next to someone who would probably be able to find the barf bag if it ever came down to that.

Oh, I almost forgot the ass kicker: Once we land, Crazytown apologizes to me and says the single most horrid thing I can possibly think of for anyone to say after such an incident...

"I knew I should have taken my medication earlier. Woulda prevented that."

Sigh. There are no words.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Whatever happened to being "cruel to be kind"?

I came across a link this afternoon that made me hesitate before clicking through. It seemed a little twisted... Made me a little uncomfortable... CERTAINLY wasn't something I'd normally click...

Operation Nice? As in "be nice to people"?

Well, I think we can all tell from my past posts that I can be a giant asshole. Short-tempered, foul-mouthed, inpatient and judgmental. That about covers it. This whole "nice" thing just seems like a pretty unsurmountable challenge.

So, I decided to try to come up with a list of nice things I've done lately:

1. When two old ladies got on the Red Line last week, I gave them my seat.
2. I replaced the toilet paper roll yesterday so Dave wouldn't have to.

Wow. I'm pathetic.

In contrast, here are the nice things people have done for me in the last week alone:

1. Three different men (different times) let me out of the elevator before them. One even said, "Ladies first," which made him sound a little dated, but it was still pretty sweet.

2. While my petite frame awkwardly struggled to carry a big Crate & Barrel box through my lobby to the elevators while blindly juggling my key fob to let me through the door, a guest visiting our building immediately asked if he could hold my package while I let myself in. And he wasn't being pervy.

3. When I bought a few things from Urban Outfitters and waited for the computer to accept my credit card, the sales girl blurted out, "Your ring is beautiful, by the way. I can't help but stare at it."

4. Even though our elevator bay serves floors 26-51 and we're all in a big damn hurry in the morning to get to work, a random girl smiled warmly at me when I halted everything to get on the elevator, instead of sighing at the fact that she had to make an extra stop during the mad rush.

5. After I wrote some copy for her, a co-worker made the extra effort to check back in with me, genuinely thank me for my work and let me know that our company gained 4 new customers in one day from my writing.

6. This weekend, my college roommate is driving five hours to my hometown just to attend one of our wedding showers. Did I mention she's doing this alone with her 14-month-old child? Amazing.

7. When I went to the pool on Sunday, all the dickheads stayed away.

8. While I was at the bar last night, a random guy was buying himself a drink next to me and saw that I was just about empty. Rather than bothering with cheesy flirting, he turned my beer bottle to see what I was drinking, ordered me another beer, paid for it, smiled and walked away. Free booze with no strings attached. The Nicest of Nice.

9. When I made a mistake (keeping that intentionally vague), my sister offered to take the blame so I wouldn't have to deal with any juvenile drama that may have resulted.

10. When I was pissed about something unrelated to that mistake, I called said sister and she actually listened, offered support and offered to step in to help alleviate the situation. WHO IS THIS PERSON? She's still a 21-year-old, slightly neurotic, slightly ADD, fairly busy individual, but she's been far less self-absorbed and pretty kick-ass lately. Don't tell her I said that. Wait, DO tell her. Let her know I'm being nice.

Okay, I'm going to stop there. Clearly, people have been nicer to me in the past week than I've never been to anyone, ever. So, maybe I'll try to tone down the attitude a bit.

Just for the next week.

During the hours of 8 and 6.

Regarding people who actually aren't begging me to curse them out.

And as long as I'm not PMS-y.

Yep, that's a good start. Baby steps!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thanks for trying to grope me

J and I went to dinner tonight at Quartino -- SO fun -- and as we were leaving, some hoodlum tried to blatantly grope me at the intersection of State and Ontario.

I say "grope" but he went for an unusual area: my stomach. Now, granted, I had just eaten a lot of gnocchi and downed a carafe of wine, but I don't *think* I looked too pregnant. And even if I did, this was certainly not the sweetly misguided yet overly personal stranger stomach-touch that all preggo ladies despise. This was just awkward.

Anyway, J gets in a cab and I start walking across the street to my apartment. (I know, I'm spoiled.) As I'm walking, I notice I'm about to cross paths with three men who are wearing what I would have called "manpris" had they not also been wearing backwards hats with flat brims and shitty t-shirts. Essentially, they were just wearing shorts a few sizes too big and way too long to acquire any fashion-relation categorization. Hot messes, for sure.

So, I, on the other hand, am wearing a cute but comfy strapless dress, sashaying across the intersection in a happily buzzed haze -- as I remain as I write this -- as I walk to the left of the group, who are all leering at me. I'm still smiling after saying goodbye to J, so, clearly, that was misread as "Please try to grope my stomach awkwardly."

So one did. As I pass on the left, this one jackass reaches out in a bold effort to... well, really, I don't know what the shit he was trying to do. It was almost like a playful stomach pinch, except one of us was NOT playing.

Thanks to my gymnastics-inspired cat-like reflexes, I quickly maneuvered out of his reach as we pass each other. I said, "NO," very loudly as if I were chiding a child who just tried to muddy my Michael Kors pillowcase: very condescendingly and abruptly. (Don't fuck with my Michael Kors.) For good measure, I turn to face this idiot and point my finger at him and shake it in disapproval. Whatevs, I was a little drunk and I'm much happier when I'm drunk, so he was lucky I didn't make a scene. Sober L would have gotten obnoxious and cursed. A lot.

Anyway, he turns as well... and grins. Of course.


So, thanks for trying to grope me, ya perv. Now I have another reason to dislike my neighborhood. Tourists, bums and perverts. Ladies and gents, I think we've reached the trifecta.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wedding Tips No One Tells You

The most common wedding tip I always hear is to "enjoy the planning process." As you know, I have not been enjoying it and I can't wait for things to get back to normal.

What kind of tip is that, anyway? What is there to enjoy about an overflowing guest list and a small venue, worrying if so-and-so even ordered her bridesmaid dress yet, having all-out brawls with that one jackass family member, deciding how you're going to wear your hair in pictures you'll look at forever, researching countless limo companies to see who's reliable without robbing you blind? I'm sorry, but none of these things are appealing to me. Being married, yes. Planning, no.

I think brides out there need some better advice than to revel in the chaos. So, I came up with a few different wedding tips. Some of these things come from my experience, others come from other people's experiences. All I know is that I wish I had this list in front of me when I got engaged...

1. Don't get all giddy and start telling everyone you know that you can't WAIT to send them an invite. You can wait. And you should. Engagements make us think we're best friends with everyone we've ever talked to. We're not, so get under control.

2. For the same reason, don't send out your Save-the-Dates too early. A friend of mine sent hers out about a year before her wedding and regretted it many months later when she was stuck inviting people she was no longer close with.

3. Don't give your crazy Jewish grandma her own guest list so she can invite people you wouldn't recognize if you fell over them in the street.

4. Don't get crazy and immediately tell your 5 BFFs that they are SO going to be bridesmaids -- especially if you're planning on a long engagement.

5. Different styles of bridesmaid dresses in the same color seem like a good idea, but it only works if you stick with the same fabric by the same designer. Just because two different designers have the same name for a particular color doesn't mean it's going to look the same. Plus it's just hell to coordinate.

6. Try on the wedding dress you think is too plain. Simple isn't a bad thing, and you don't need layers of organza and sequins to be beautiful. I hardly gave one dress a second look, but once my mom told me to "just try it on," I knew I'd found it. No pouf, no frills, no bustle, not strapless. Just a sleek, beaded drop-waist silk gown from Nicole Miller, the one and only place I bothered shopping. Done and done.

7. Before you put 10 fluffy towels on your registry, go to the store and buy one. Use it after your next shower to make sure it's as absorbent as it is fluffy. No matter how comfy it may feel, a wet towel in the morning is as jarring as getting to happy hour only to realize they took away your favorite specials.

8. Don't change stuff on the registry without discussing it with your fiance first. I did this. Big shocker. Little did I know that when I removed all of the individual, pricey knives Dave wanted in favor of one big block of knives (cheaper, more efficient, same brand) that I was undoing a few hours of research he did to ensure he was getting the best knives at the perfect lengths.

9. Don't add random items you don't need/want to your registry just because your guests want you to. You'll end up shoving a bunch of new household items in storage because you can't find room for them in your tiny apartment. So what if they want to buy you something "cooler" than a blender? Gift-giving isn't about the guest, and if you don't need extra random items, don't register for them.

10. Random items you DO need: a towel warmer, a wine preservation system and a food processor. You'll thank me later when you're warm, drunk and well fed.

11. Don't bother registering for china if you don't even have a kitchen table. You can buy china later (besides, your tastes may change by then anyway).

12. When registering for plates/bowels, get more than the standard eight. It may seem like a lot, but some clumsy drunk may break them or you may be shocked to find that you have more than six friends/family over for entertaining. Either way, 12 is a safe bet.

13. Don't wait until after the wedding to open all your gifts. The last thing you want when you drag yourself home from the honeymoon are a shit-ton of boxes that need to be opened, sorted, accounted for and put away.

14. Start putting aside money for the honeymoon IMMEDIATELY, even if you don't know where you want to go yet. I started by automatically transferring $200 each paycheck into a savings account... until I realized how much that interfered with my shopping habit. I cut back a little bit until I had enough saved up, and even though we're all covered for Australia already, I'm still putting a token $100/month in just to be sure.

15. Hire a calligrapher. The money you spend is SO worth it. You'll save yourself the time, stress and hand cramps that come with handwriting your own 100 invites, realizing that the invitation company can't send enough blank envelopes for all your screw-ups.

16. Be very clear with said calligrapher. The way I set up the Excel document with all the info was apparently confusing to her (come on...) and she ended up writing completely separate inner envelopes for babies and children.

17. Don't freak out about stamps.

That's all I can think of for now. My wedding is about two months away, so I might come across a few more tips to compile in a follow-up blog. Got your own tips to share?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Chicago & LaSalle is the worst place to be at 5pm

Ugh, I HATE the intersection of Chicago & LaSalle. I honestly don't know why I walk that way anymore. There are so many different routes I can take to walk home, yet I'm a creature of habit and never realize my mistake until I'm almost run over by some jackass. Yes, that's why I hate Chicago & LaSalle. Something bad happens to me there once a week.

What is it about that intersection that makes rush-hour drivers lose the tiny shreds of sanity they had left and plow through the streets as if we don't live in a busy, pedestrian-ridden city?

Last night when I was walking home, I was crossing Chicago, heading south on the west side of LaSalle, with the crosswalk's little white walkie man giving me the go-ahead. Yeah, I often cross when the big red hand is saying NOOOO, but this time I was good. The drivers were not.

As I step my foot onto the street, I see a white van out of the corner of my eye, going for the right turn. Right into me.



I kept going, because I care more about proving a point than preserving my life, apparently. This forced him to stop and glare (don't mess, I'm the queen of the stink eye) while a guy coming from the other direction decided to squeeze past everyone and bust out in front of all of us. I turn my evil eye to him and continue walking at a normal pace. I figure that if I pound someone's hood, they deserve it for being close enough for my tiny fist of fury to reach them. But, alas, I didn't have time for physical violence. He drove too fast. Such a let down.

Another time I was walking around Chicago & LaSalle, heading east this time on the south side, I actually got a little more vocal. Perhaps it's because I was SERIOUSLY almost run over. Me and another girl actually, except I was closer to the car that nearly plowed into us. A silver Mercedes with the Douchebag of All Douchebags at the wheel.

Mr. Douche thinks he's in the 'burbs where you can make right turns on red rampantly. As this girl and I are crossing -- again, we had the little white walkie man -- this guy comes flying up to the red light as if he's just gonna go for it.


He slams his brakes and comes within about two feet of me. My heart was pounding so fast and I was shaking. No too scared to yell at him though...

"What the FUCK are you doing, jackass!? This isn't Schaumburg!"

I refrain from pounding his precious car. He refrains from acknowledging me. Or the other girl who let out a demure, "Oh SHIT," just as it happened. My heart pounded the rest of the way home.

And then, there was the worst incident of all.

A few weeks ago, I was walking in the exact same area as the Mercedes incident as I saw two shady-looking, loud-talking assholes in a parked sedan. Sure, go ahead and park in the turning lane. You'll regret it when an expensive car comes barreling into your bumper. Whatevs.

Then these guys actually started yelling at me!

They go, "Hey, baby! Hey there." I roll my eyes and give them the don't-bother look, which, incidentally is pretty close to the fuck-off-cuz-I'm-way-better-than-you look. Needless to say, they didn't like it.

"Hey, BITCH," one screamed.

Now, why does that get my attention? Why did I turn? Why, why, why?

He continues, "I'm talking to you, BITCH."

This is what ran through my head:

Oh HELL to the no. Don't let him talk to you like that. Who does he think he is? Tell him to fuck off. Now.


Whoa, whoa, just kidding. You're seriously going to tell some maniacs to fuck off? They will follow you home! What if they get out of the car? What if they wait there for you tomorrow? Do NOT antagonize the crazies. You don't even have your pepper spray, you idiot. Walk away.

So I walked away. Walked right back to my apartment, put my pepper spray promptly in my bag and cursed the dangerous intersection of Chicago & LaSalle once again.

Maybe today I'll remember to take a new way home.

Happy Belated Birthday Moe-Moe

Yay, Moe is 4!

This is definitely a belated birthday post, but none of us have any idea when you were actually born, Moe. Unlike my baby princess, Monty... her birthday is January 23. Aw, Monty. So perfect...

But what about you, Moe? No clue when you were actually born, you little maniac. We think it was at the end of June, but who knows.

In honor of Moe's 4th birthday, whenever it really was, here's how he came to our family and the reason why we don't know his exact birthday...

Back in 2004, my lovely sister (who may or may not read this) was working at a vet's office in Memphis. Dave and I came in town for the 4th of July to celebrate with the fam. At some point early in the weekend, I was driving Dave and my grandma over to my parents' house when my sister called. This was our conversation:

Me: What up.

Carrie: I'm bringing a dog home.

Me: We already have a dog. What do you mean, you're bringing one home?

Grandma: What's happening?

Me: Hang on, Grandma.

Carrie: There's this tiny black puppy at the vet and Doc is out of town all weekend and the puppy is too young and sick to stay there alone. So, do you think mom will mind if we keep him for the weekend?

Me: Um, yes. She'll flip her shit. You know how she is with puppies. She'll want to keep him and send him back all at the same time. It's a very schizophrenic phenomenon.

Carrie: I'm kinda hoping we do keep him. He's adorable.

Me: You can give him to Grandma...

Grandma: Don't give anything to Grandma! What's happening?

Me: Carrie got you a dog.

Carrie: No, I want to keep him myself!

Grandma: I don't want a dog!

Me: This is too easy.

So, we return home to see my mom cradling this tiny black fur ball. He was so sick, he wasn't moving very much and he was very weak. We could tell he was the most loving little thing, despite his fragile condition.

We named him Moe because he was so mopey. (We're a very creative bunch.) Little Moe was apparently abandoned in the ghettos of Memphis and found, near-death, by a police officer who brought the pup to his church. A woman at his church brought Moe to the vet's office and my sister scooped him up and took him home.

So, we ended up keeping him. Naturally.

And here's a story about how we discovered what kind of dog he was...

My mom and I were at PetSmart picking up dog stuff for Moe. As he grew, his features become more distinct and less generic-black-dog. But we still couldn't figure out exactly what he was. So, at PetSmart, I wander over to a rack of "Breeds for Dummies" books.

Me: Ma, come here. I think I found Moe.

Mom: Oh my God! I've been dying to know what he is! Let me see the picture. Oh, wow! That's definitely him. What breed is it?

Me: Okay, but don't curse.

Mom: Why would I cu---

I flip over the book.

Pit Bulls for Dummies.

Mom: Oh, what the fuck. Goddamn it. Fucking shit.

Me: Well done.

So there you have it. We accidentally adopted a Pit Bull. He is the sweetest, most loving dog ever. He doesn't stop giving kisses (annoying), he cuddles when it's bedtime (adorable) and he lets me use him as a pillow without squirming or anything (awesome). He's still kind of a shithead sometimes, but I think it's because he's a boy. Go figure.

Happy birthday, you little shit.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dickhead Day at my pool

I think today was Dickhead Day at my pool. Pretty sure of it actually. Either that, or some very obnoxious characters came out to play all at the same time. Maybe the universe just works that way.

So, I get down to my pool at 9:30am. I'm very serious about my tanning, since my wedding dress is backless (except for the crazy criss-cross straps I can't figure out). I get down there and park myself in my usual area, with three chairs on both sides of me. I lay out my towel, spritz on my oil, grease up and start to bake.

This shot does not do the view justice. Here, old views without Trump Tower...

Around 11am, Asshole # 1 shows up. She is tall, unnaturally thin and has definitely had a nose job. She lays out her towel one chair away from me to my left and saves the one on her left with her massive bag. She is on her hands-free phone -- not the bluetooth kind, but the kind with the headphones where you have to hold the mouthpiece up to your mouth. (If you're already holding something anyway, why not just use your cell phone in the first place?)

Her phone conversation is very annoying. She's pissed someone didn't call her back last night. Well, okay, fine, he DID call her back, but not when she could answer. That jerk. At this point, I'm slightly annoyed that she's bringing her toxic attitude into my happy zone, but whatever. The pool radio is playing Sara Bareilles and the breeze feels great, so I'm still holding on to my good mood.

Until she pulls out a cigarette. Whore, do not smoke by me when we're on a rooftop pool in Chicago and the wind is blowing RIGHT AT ME. I look over and glare at her. I keep shifting around, making a bit of a scene, wiping my nose. Yeah, dramatic, I know. But at our pool, there are unspoken rules. One: even if there is nothing on the chair next to someone, still ask them if they are saving that seat. Two: smoke outside the pool area. Asshole #1 doesn't care, obviously. I do.

So I get up in a huff and go in the water. I get in the water and glare at her again. This time, I shake my head too, for good measure. That'll teach her.

I'm in the pool, feeling refreshed, breathing clean air and baking nicely. I look over and while Asshole # 1 is STILL on the phone, she has already gone through 4 cigs and is taking a break. I get out of the water and back to my seat.

Enter Asshole # 2.

He walks in and takes the chair on the other side of me, my right, leaving one in between us. He's also pretty skinny and looks like he is from Alabama. He starts getting on HIS phone. "Hey, iys Erwyyn thayer?" Yep, sounds like Alabama to me. Erwin is not there, so he gets off the phone, removes his wife beater (yes) and dives in the pool. I moved to Chicago to avoid this kind of creature, but whatever.

When Asshole # 2 comes back, he takes out a cigarette too. HOW DO THEY FIND ME? Out of all the people at the pool, the only two smokers have surrounded me. Come on. Really, universe? Really?

I give him the same glaring, shifting, head-shaking treatment before I go back in the pool, away from these morons.

(In general, I couldn't care less about people smoking. But when we're in such close proximity and it's so easy to be courteous and move 20 feet away, do it. Especially when that's what everyone else does.)

Then, God smiles on me. Asshole # 2 actually gets up to leave. I glance at Asshole # 1 who is still on the phone but almost through her pack of cigs, so I'm optimistic. I lay out in my chair once again, turning my head away from her.

Meanwhile, a new girl comes by and asks me if the two chairs on my right (where Asshole # 2 was) are taken. I jump at the chance to give away his seat, even though I'm pretty sure he's coming back. But this girl doesn't move fast enough. While she is hauling one of the chairs away, Asshole # 2 comes back and sits in the remaining chair... right fucking next to me. Of course.

He immediately pulls out a cigarette while he is less than two feet away from me. I don't even bother putting my coverup on -- I let out an exasperated sigh, give one last glare, throw on my flip flops, pick up my bag, snatch my towel and stomp off in a huff. Take THAT. I mean, I was planning on leaving around that time anyway, but why not go out with a bang?

So here I am. Back in my apartment, ranting on my blog. But it's fine because I'm happy with my tan, happy to be back in air conditioning, happy thinking about the Chipotle Dave is bringing me on his way home in an hour and happy that those Assholes are going to kick the bucket a little earlier than I am. Ooo, shit, I just wished an early death on strangers. Looks like I'm Asshole # 3.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

More Wedding Drama

Last night, I was reminded why so many (smart) couples trek down to City Hall and tie the knot quickly and painlessly. God, I want to do that. Too late though, so I get to deal with all of the bullshit and drama that inevitably comes with planning any wedding. How people do this for a living, I'll never know.

So, last night's debacle centered around my uncle and grandmother. Those of you who know my family are not surprised. For those of you who don't know the history, here's a little background...

Once upon a time, in Long Beach, NY, my grandma had two kids. One good, one evil. The good one, my mom, was responsible, kind and motivated. The evil one was a monster. A complete shithead. Selfish, lazy, ungrateful and stormed around with an overbearing sense of entitlement. Unfortunately, he was always treated as the prodigal son, fueling his disgusting attitude. Here are a few highlights from his life:

-- He tried to kill my mother. Literally. She wouldn't let him borrow her car once, about 30 years ago, so in retaliation, he went underneath the vehicle and cut some wires. Death -- that'll teach her.

-- He lived in a bush. No, that's not a euphemism, you pervs. Although, on second thought, that applies too... Anyway, he moved to California because NY life was so "miserable" and when couldn't afford an apartment, with his money going to drugs and all, he lived in a bush.

-- He's mean-spirited and a liar. As if the attempted murder wasn't enough, he tries to destroy people psychologically too. Case in point, when my parents were trying to have children, he decided he needed money and needed a good lie to get it. The most hurtful one he could think of? He said that he got a girl pregnant and needed money for an abortion.

-- He has been married twice. The first time produced children until his wife got smart and divorced him. His second wife was MY AGE. 'Nuff said.

-- He does not like said children. They interfere with his party life and are total mood-killers when he's trying to bang twenty-somethings in his one-bedroom apartment.

-- He prides himself on dating women who are too young for him and too stupid to realize that a 50-something man with kids, alimony to pay, a crappy job, a tiny apartment and a complete lack of human decency is NOT a catch.

-- He takes money from my grandmother, who does not have much more than he does. This is perhaps the biggest injustice of all.

So there you have it. He sucks. Back to the wedding drama.

I have been a basketcase over the wedding guest list because we invited more people than can fit in the venue. This is no secret to my family, especially my grandmother who got her own damn guest list while Dave and I had to trim down our own to make room. I'm not a big fan of people I don't know attending my intimate wedding, but the MAIN reason people can't bring dates is that we simply don't have room for people.

Well, even though my uncle's divorce from his 20-something wife is not yet final, he has already dated some other chick, broken up with her, found another one and moved her in with him because she's too poor for her own place. When I created the guest list, he was still with his wife, so this has all happened pretty fucking fast. Since I can't keep up with his concubines, he does not get to bring a date to the wedding.

Oh, by the way, he's not paying one penny for his travel expenses. My grandmother is covering all of it for him and his two children.

So, I've made it clear from Day One that Uncle Assclown doesn't get to bring some random whore to the wedding, especially on my grandmother's dime. My grandmother, who enables him terribly, has decided that she now makes the rules. She told him this weekend that we can just "find" room for one more.

Oh, you think?


I was pretty brutal in my handling of this, but I told my grandmother in no uncertain terms that this will not be happening. I'll leave it at that.

Well, my uncle did not leave it at that. He freaked out on my mom when she called him to correct my grandmother's assumption. Here were some of his ridiculous rants along with my thoughts...

You're being rude!
No, you're rude. You have no right to demand that you bring a guest, especially when you're not even paying a penny. Pay for your own travel expenses before you talk to me about rude.

I'm trying to be a family man, here. She should be included.
She is not family. She is a nameless, faceless number in a long succession of brainless, classless women. A hooker, if you will. Though hookers actually make money.

I'm LIVING with her, come on.
Like that's a symbol of love for you? See previous response.

She is important to me and I want her there.
She is not important to me or Dave, and we don't care what you want. Now or ever.

Why did you invite the kids if you don't have space? I'd rather you just invited me and my girlfriend.
Way to be a family man.

This is going to be a weekend of HELL for me.
For YOU? You?? Please don't feel that you have to grace us with your presence, O Holy One. I'm *pretty* sure I'll make it down the aisle without seeing your slimy face.

I'm an adult and I should get a date!
Adults pay for their own expenses. You are not an adult. You are no better than your 16-year-old daughter. She doesn't get a date and neither do you.

I can't believe you're going to make me travel alone with my kids.
Uh, your kids are teenagers who have flown alone before, remember? Are you high again?

If she can't go, I don't know that I can.

That was pretty much the gist of it. I'm leaving out the parts where he called my mom names and threatened to call me to discuss this. Can you imagine how that phone call would have gone? Oy.

So, the end result is that we were not swayed by his juvenile threats, whining and attempts at emotional blackmail. My dad says to ignore him completely. My mom had it OUT with him and finally put him in his place. We're done. There's nothing more to say.

My advice to brides-to-be? Hightail it to City Hall and avoid this hot mess. Ugh. I'm definitely drinking at lunch today! Off to Kerryman in an hour with a refreshing vodka lemonade calling my name...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Brand Tags. Too fun.

I found this in one of my media blogs and it has provided TOO much fun for a Tuesday afternoon:

On Brand Tags, you find out what people really think when they see your brand logo. Insightful, from a marketing perspective. Hilarious, from a procrastinating editor perspective. Here are some of my favorites:

Jim Beam
I quickly wrote "redneck." I didn't even think about it! How telling. I'm not the only one though -- several other people also associate that term with the brand, along with "hillbilly" and "white trash." (As a side note, not too many people can spell "whiskey" correctly... See previous sentence for explanation why.)

Taco Bell
I personally love the Bell. It's cheap and it doesn't fuck up my world like it does for some people. I actually didn't know how badly it messes with folks until I saw that "diarrhea" was one of the most common terms. Ew. I'll still eat it, though.

I wrote "assholes." While a bunch of people wrote "comcastic" (suck ups), others preferred terms such as "evil," "jerks," "liars," "shit," "slow" and "sucks." Sounds about right to me. And then I saw that a couple of people wrote "who?" Lucky bastards.

Interesting tidbits:

  • Not many people wrote "Britney Spears" for Cheetos. Am I the only one who is obsessed with the genius that is Dlisted?
  • Tons of people think NASA is "cool" and "awesome." Indeed, but is that really the FIRST thing you think of? Seriously, put down the Jim Beam and focus.
  • People don't seem to understand the difference between Bobbi Brown (cosmetics) and Bobby Brown (crack).
  • More people associate The Simpsons with FOX News than they do Bush.

I'm sure I'm missing some other fabulous stuff, but I wanted to leave some gems for you to find on your own. How else would you spend your Tuesday afternoon?

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