Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GPOYW: Sunny in San Fran Edition

Post coming soon. For real this time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mom's shit car

As I mentioned once in a previous post, I have this undeniable prejudice against minivans.


In a word, they're gross.

My mom is a freakishly proud minivan driver. She does not have young children. She does not have after-school activities to carpool to. There is no actual reason why she should be driving one of these beasts.


Except for the fact that she bought the minivan in freakin' 1998.

Oh, yes. It's not just a beast, it's an ancient beast.

Back in 1998 when she bought it (after her station wagon started spewing smoke and refused to run anymore), she did have 3 children living in her house. So I guess it served its purpose.

But now?

Now, she needs a new car. And I'd like to emphasize the word "car."

I have suggested a nice, reliable sedan. But she vetoed it because she "wants to be able to tow things."

My mother, the barely-reformed hippie from New York, wants to tow things. Not that she has ever done this. Not that she ever will. But she wants the option. So, cars are out.

I then suggested a nice, reliable SUV or crossover. She whined about their gas mileage and started daydreaming about hybrid minivans.

"Woman, stop it with the fucking minivans!" I told her. "You don't have any kids to cart around anymore. You're a classy, mature adult and you need a car that reflects that."

"Ugh, FINE," she said. "Can I have one with a CD player?"



Yes. It's not 1998 anymore.

"Okay, well what about a cassette player?" she asked. "I need to be able to listen to my tapes."

WHO still has tapes?

My mother.

I had to break it to her that I didn't think any vehicle on the road had a cassette player anymore, but I tried to distract her from this issue by showing her pretty pictures of vehicles I'd like to drive myself.

Anyway, within the next few months, she's going to test drive some of these vehicles and finally understand the beauty of dashboards that don't creak, seats that move automatically, radio knobs that aren't broken off, doors that work and CD players that come standard. I'm pretty sure her head's going to explode.

Soon, we'll all be able to say, "Welcome, Fran, to 2010."

Friday, March 26, 2010

I think Justin Bieber hates us

Suz and I had some beers and tried out Chatroulette for the first time last night.

In the midst of guys' junk, 14-year-olds, hairy shirtless guys and Europeans, there's also JUSTIN BIEBER.

Aside from the fact that I feel creepy for knowing who he is (god, we're old), it was a welcome change from the pervy-pervs on there. So thanks, Justin, for not flashing your dong.

Oh, and then we talked to a bird.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things I've wanted to tell people on Facebook

  • You picked the stupidest name for your baby.
  • I know you want us to take you seriously in that big-girl business suit, but your completely unnecessary cleavage is demanding otherwise.
  • Enough with the Jesus talk. It's seriously freaking me out.
  • I know you're engaged and I hate to break this to you, but you are (and have always been) a lesbian. Please, stop fighting it and just be yourself. The charade is killing me.
  • Remember how we used to be good friends until my wedding happened and you got bent out of shape about things? Well, are you over it yet so we can go back to normal?
  • Aren't you too old to be posting on Facebook as often as you do?
  • It's not 1994 anymore. You can throw away the puka shells.
  • Hey, way to be a completely stereotypical caricature of your political party.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicago's Food Fight for Scleroderma

Sunday, April 18

3 chefs. 30 minutes. 1 winner

Three top Chicago chefs go head-to-head in a live culinary battle!
Watch the showdown, sample the food and vote for your favorite.
More info

Chopping Block @ The Merchandise Mart

5pm - 8pm

Tickets are $45.00

Benefits the Scleroderma Foundation

Friday, March 12, 2010

The time I set myself on fire. For serious.

It's no secret that I'm not quite the world's greatest chef. Sure, I have my moments of culinary brilliance (aka, I read a recipe and do exactly what they say), but for the most part, I don't spend too much time in the kitchen.

When I am in the kitchen, things usually go fine, save a few minor mishaps like overdoing it on the salt, or forgetting an ingredient or two.

But this week? I reached a new low. A terrifying, life-threatening, never-go-in-the-kitchen-again low.

I set myself on fire.

Well, my dress, to be specific. My NEW dress.

Let's back up...

This is what my stove looks like:

This is where the spices are:

This is how tall I am:

When you put all of these factors together -- a short chick cooking on a gas stove, realizing she needs the spices that are above it -- you get caught on fire.

In my cute dress, I stepped on my Big Girl Stool, leaned over the flaming stove and started searching around for onion salt.

That's when I started feeling kind of warm near my thighs.

Weird, I thought.

Now, a normal person would have looked down to see what was going on. Not me. I was on a mission to find that stupid spice. So I continued looking while my dress continued flaming.

After another 10 seconds, I started feeling really hot, so I looked down.

I. Freaked. Out.

All I could think was "stop, drop and roll." Damn you, third grade! But the last thing I was going to do was roll all over the fire and spread it around my body. So what did I do?

I blew on it.


I was standing there in my kitchen with flames growing from the bottom of my dress and I decided to blow on it.

Forget about putting water on it, even though I was standing next to the sink. Ignore the fire extinguisher we keep in the kitchen for these exact moments. Just do the most illogical thing you can think of and hope for the best.

As I was blowing on my dress and trying to awkwardly maneuver my body away from the fire, I saw the kitchen filling with smoke. So, I ran outside. And there I was, standing outside my place with a smaller fire emitting from my crotch area, blowing on it to make it stop. Which it did, eventually. So then I just had to sit outside while the smoke died down. Which it did as well.

And now?

That's my beloved dress. Sad, right?

I think I'm going to use my mad sewing skills to turn it into a tunic because I'll be damned if I only get one wear out of that thing. Fire or not.

And that, my friends, is the story of my first kitchen fire.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

San Francisco teaser


More to come this weekend...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shop 'til you drop

San Francisco was awesome and you guys were right -- it was hard to leave. I'll do some sort of recap this week or weekend, but in the meantime, here's another way I've been spending too much money lately...

Bluefly sent me an email the other day saying that they missed me.

OMG, I thought, I miss you too!

So, to show my love, I bought a few fun things with my discount:

As if that wasn't enough, I then arrived at a hair appointment a little early and decided to kill time by wandering around Urban Outfitters. I ended up walking out of there with a gray skirt, ivory cardigan, white scarf and black leggings. That's right, no color here. Apparently, I should be living in the black-fashion abyss of Manhattan.

And then, because THAT wasn't enough, I went to and used one of my gift cards from Christmas.

And after that, the whore-y case for my iPhone tore so I clearly needed to buy a new one:

And then, my bank account screamed, my check book burst into flames, food stamps fell from the sky and an invite to rehab for shopping addiction magically appeared in my hands.

Well, whatever, there's nothing wrong with a little retail therapy every now and then. Right?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My dog is not a killing machine

Never in a million years did I think I would get a boy dog, much less a boy pit bull. But here I am, a happy mommy with the sweetest pup on the planet, full of cuddles and love.

Those of you who know him know that he will hurl all 55 pounds of himself onto you as soon as you sit down. He'll rest his head right in your lap while we talk. He'll give you kisses if you want them. He'll nudge closer and closer until he's practically on top of you. He is the very definition of sweet.

Yet, whenever I walk this people-loving, dog-friendly pit bull, people act as if I'm walking Hannibal Lecter on a leash.

They cross to the other side of the street to avoid him.

They plaster themselves against a fence to stay out of our way.

They stare, wide-eyed and terrified as they pass.

It. Is. Infuriating.

Most people don't even give him a chance. One girl, while waiting for her bus, actually walked into the street so she wouldn't be too close to us. Seriously. She'd rather get hit by a car than risk getting sniffed by this obedient, leashed dog.

On that same walk, an old man didn't even give us the opportunity to move out of his way; instead, he immediately started walking on ice to avoid Rocco. In case you don't know, old man + ice = DANGER. But again, he'd rather break some bones that risk getting a glance from my pup.

Now, I understand that some people are scared of dogs. But this happens far too often for that many people to have a canine complex. No, this is pure, unadulterated pit-bull prejudice.

It really disgusts me how many people give us that "look," the one that says, "Ugh, how dare you bring a vicious, fighting beast into this neighborhood and have the nerve to walk him within 20 feet of my personal space." Is Rocco stronger than most dogs? Yes. Is he aggressive? Absolutely not. You'd know that if you didn't sprint into oncoming traffic to avoid us.

But because he's a pit bull, he is deemed dangerous. And it's bullshit.

I don't know every single pit bull in the world, so yeah, there are some shitty pits out there. (Just like there are shitty labs, greyhounds, poodles, etc.) There's even one pit bull in my neighborhood that always tries to attack Roc for no discernible reason. It's true that these dogs were originally bred for fighting, and, unfortunately, some ignorant people still follow that tradition, giving all pits a bad name.

That said, stereotyping every pit bull you see as a murderous killing machine is just wrong. Not just morally or ethically, but logically.

According to the American Temperament Test Society, pit bulls have an average temperament score that even beats out the "ultimate family dog," the Golden Retriever -- not to mention many, many more. Generally speaking, they are not the carnivorous little devils that you see in the media.

Speaking of the media, if you want to read some stories about heroic pit bulls, click here.

I couldn't be happier that Rocco is in our lives and I don't know what we did to be lucky enough to end up with such a well-trained, kind-hearted little love machine. What I do know is that I keep hoping we're helping change the unfair stereotype about pit bulls. And in the meantime, if you live in Chicago and want a little extra puppy love, you know where to find us.

Monday, March 1, 2010

First trip of 2010

Dave and I are headed to San Francisco on Friday!

I've never been there before. Actually, I've never really been to the West Coast. I was technically in LA for two days on my honeymoon on our way to Australia, but I was such a sick little mess that I barely ventured out of the hotel room. (And not in a good way. I wanted to die.) So, really, it doesn't count.

This time, we're going to SF to visit Dave's best man. I have no idea what the weekend will entail besides heavy drinking and decent weather -- which is all I require on a good trip. But if you've been before and you know of a restaurant, bar or boutique that I cannot, should not miss, let me know!

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