Tuesday, December 23, 2008

People who have wronged me

I always do this. I don’t post for weeks at a time and then I feel the need to post less than 24 hours later. Oh well. Here goes.

Lindsey reminded me that I neglected to mention the great injustice wrought upon the Kodkagel and Johnson households this weekend. A few weeks ago we discovered that Lindsey was to arrive in Chicago days before we were to leave Chicago. She has family in Rockford, IL see. There was great joy and celebration at the revelation that Lindsey could not only come by for a short visit—but that she could even stay overnight with us. Wine was stockpiled. The guest room was prepared. Her flight was supposed to get in around 11:00 am. I am sure you can see where this is going. Since she was both flying United and flying into O’hare (the black hole we call an airport) I was certain we could expect her around 4 or 5 that evening. The weather was mildly cooperative. Her plane was not. United kept my Lindsey on a play for like 4 hours and didn’t take her anywhere. They also wouldn’t give her a meal voucher, and I’m pretty sure they made unkind insinuations about her mother. They cancelled her flight and refused to bring her to Chicago until the following evening—completely cancelling what was going to be a wonderful visit. This is not the first time United has wronged Lindsey, but it will be the last.

Also, there is a bit of a blizzard going on outside the office windows right now. It’s gonna be a fun drive to St. Louis in a few hours! At least we’re not putting our faith in United to get us there. They would probably hold our puppies hostage and make us go to Cincinatti or something. I’m pretty sure they do that sort of thing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What? I have a blog?

I think this whole remembering to blog thing will be on my New Year's resolution list. I have several important things to tell both of you.

  1. It is very cold in this Chicago place. Also, Kenny and I are brilliant. We decided to wait until yesterday to dig our car out of considerable ice and snow. It was 4 degrees below zero while we did this.
  2. Leroy expressed his undying love for Jack today. He gave Jack a thorough bath. Licked the inside of both ears thoroughly and then moved onto the nether regions. Jack seemed to either not mind it or enjoy it. Either way, it's a victory in Jack-Leroy relations.
  3. In other news and evidence of our high intelligence--it did not snow today or yesterday. We are opting to drive to St. Louis tomorrow night during the snow and ice storm.
  4. Happy Hannukah or Hanukkah or Chanukkah. The burning candles are among the few items keeping us not completely frozen. If only it were not merely the second night.
  5. Kenny has both of the puppies right now. This is in clear violation of the rules attached to the thermostat agreement the cheap bastard drew up a few weeks ago. I still love him.
  6. Monday night football is a crappy way to squeeze more unwanted football into my life.
  7. I really don't mind cleaning up puppy feces as much as I feel like I should.
  8. I might have to go see two movies on Christmas day in allegiance to both Brad and Jen.
  9. Numbers are an excuse to not have to come up with cohesive thoughts or segues.
Kiss kiss.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Soon he'll be cracking safes

Before I got home last night Kenny asked me to guess what Leroy had gotten into that day. We keep Leroy in the bathroom with the door shut. We tried keeping him in there with a baby gate reinforced with chairs, but he can easily clear the baby gate and apparently move chairs. I guessed that maybe he had gotten into the toilet paper, the towels, or maybe he’d figured out how to open the cabinet under the sink and distributed my tampons throughout the room. But no. Our new little guy had gotten into the medicine cabinet.

He must have jumped onto the toilet then onto the sink and figured out how to open the cabinet doors. Casualties included chap stick and some candles and lotion knocked to the floor. Thankfully he hadn’t gotten into any of the drugs or such. In his bed, he also had Kenny’s electric toothbrush we keep on a shelf under a window in the bathtub that is at least 4 feet high. He hadn’t chewed on the toothbrush. I guess he was just cuddling with it.

I took pictures of the crime scene, but you don’t get to see them. This whole forgetting to upload pictures thing prevents me from posting quite often. I figured today I would just write about it and you can use your imaginations.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bad Bad Leroy Brown

Two Saturdays ago we picked out a little doggie named Spike at the animal control shelter. We were excited when we found out that he would have surgery (get neutered) the next morning and that we could pick him up later that day. We went straight to PetSmart and Target to buy him a bed, collar and of course clothes. You can't have a dog without clothes, right? I began rolling up and storing away all of our carpets. Sunday morning we got a call from the shelter saying that Spike could not be adopted because he had a cough. Kenny was getting ready to watch a football game with some boys and I was getting ready to go shopping with my friend Amy. We were both devastated. I was horrible company for Amy and spent most of the shopping trip mopey. The phone call had been sort of cryptic and we were half-way worried that they were just going to not treat him and euthanize him or something. I had asked what was going to happen to him, and she just told me it was complicated and we should pick out another dog. We barely slept that night. The next night I picked up Kenny after work, and we went back to the shelter so that we could figure out what was going on. By then Spike had been diagnosed with kennel cough and was in isolation and receiving treatment. For some reason they couldn’t just call us when he was better. A nice man who worked there gave us his cell phone number and said we could call him every three days to check on Spike’s condition. Finally when Kenny talked to him this Tuesday we got good news. He said we could pick him up between five and six on Wednesday.

Spike’s new name is Leroy as he is from the South Side of Chicago, stands about six foot four, and is meaner than a junkyard dog. Kenny took off work early to go pick him up. We were told and assumed he’d be groggy from having had his balls cut off earlier that day. This was not the case. They think he is part beagle part Jack Russel.

He'd been home for about a whole half hour before I had to put clothes on him. In all fairness though, we keep the house barely above freezing.

Jack is of course a little mad about the whole situation. He has moved from anger to tolerance. Leroy keeps trying to teach Jack about playing. Many have tried this. None have succeeded. The picture below features the backsides of the THREE boys with whom I now live.

We're going to have to work on this whole "sleeping" thing. Leroy tried to sit on my head at 2 am, 4 am, and 6 am this morning. Also, there was a scuffle at some point that resulted in Jack being ejected from his spot next to my legs and being replaced by Mr. Brown. The excellent news is that so far there have been zero accidents in the house.

Click here for more pictures.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh yeah, that

Since we made the decision last fall to move to Chicago, I have been applying for jobs. I opted to not sign on for another year-long contract with the World Bank since we were not planning on staying in DC. I had my last day there in February. Yes, February as in NINE months ago. My resume and profile are on every job-finding site ever created. I've been on twenty-one interviews in Chicago. There were multiple interviews for several of the jobs. I've been close to getting about six jobs.

I did a search of my gmail and found 30 emails where I wrote, "Please find my application for the...position attached." In addition to those 30, there's about a gajillion jobs I applied for through companies' websites. I am 100% sure that Gallup, Amnesty, and the University of Chicago have no interest in hiring me, ever. I know this because I believe I have applied for every job they have posted for which I felt even remotely qualified. I wrote so many cover letters. Like most people, I really really hate writing cover letters.

So I think it's funny that the job I ended up getting is one for which I never applied. I did not come across the job posting. I did not write a cover letter. The people with the job contacted my people (the temp agency). An interview was had and voila! I'll be a research analyst at a company that helps rich people (which of course is similar to my life long dream of helping the poor and saving the world--only different). I start December 1 unless my background check turns up something bad I did in the past of which I am totally unaware. I will continue to do the organizing thing on the side. I have a feeling it will not be too much to handle since I have had a whopping one job this month.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Birthday Boy

Jackson turns 4 years old today. To celebrate we are giving him the wet version of his regular food. Funny how that is a reward for a puppy. He has received two birthday presents. The lovely jaunty sweater pictured above and below was made by his friend Whitney. Patrick and Amy got him the lobster costume featured in the Halloween post. They gave it to him early for obvious reasons. In lieu of a birthday party, Jack has requested that we spend a few hours on the couch taking turns rubbing his belly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why you should listen to your mother

And father and brother and brother-in-law (but not really in law because the laws are unjust):

We registered for and were given some very nice non-stick pots and pans. All of the aforementioned folks said it was a bad idea and that the non-stickness would peel and be bad and all. We thought we were smarter and thought we could take such great care of them that they would not peel. We own no metal utensils. We always waited for them to cool before cleaning. Still, they peeled and probably poisoned us and we'll probably now never conceive children or our children will have extra fingers or toes because we have consumed so much Teflon or whatever it is that made up that non-stick surface. On Saturday we wrapped them up in towels. We called my not quite brother-in-law who used to work at the store they came from, is an expert returner of goods, and an experienced finagler and asked for advice. We successfully returned them after acing a quiz about how we cared for them and got new pots and pans. After about two minutes of contemplation, we allowed ourselves to be talked into very expensive cookware. I think we were led to believe that our food would taste better for the rest of our lives and that our great-great-grandchildren would be able to inherit the set.

The temp work I did working at a packaging expo for the next three days paid for the difference in cost. This temp job is the type of job that I decide future Emoly is up for. Present Emoly has absolute disregard for the feelings of future Emoly. She will sign future Emoly for a variety of things future Emoly is bound to hate. I was told that it would be a lot of standing on my feet and that I would need to be peppy. I was most concerned about the being peppy part. Turns out, I am totally capable of being peppy. I was, however, allergic to the expo. If you're wondering what a packaging expo is, it's an expo where companies that make machines that package come together and try to sell their machines to people who need to package things. During the course of the three days, I sneezed no less than 500 times. That is not an exaggeration. I tried and failed to get out of the third day for I feared it might send me into anaphylactic shock. I suppose that is my punishment for not listening to my family. I did, however, learn a whole lot about shrink wrapping.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A few steps forward, a few steps back...

I am so excited to finally have a president I can be proud of--a president of whom I am not afraid or ashamed. The last two elections all but destroyed my faith in our electorate, but after Tuesday I am reassured that we are capable of making good choices. The elation and excitement I feel are, however, dampened by the sad choices voters made in California, Florida, and Arizona regarding gay marriage and in Arkansas regarding adoption.

I think there ought to be a ballot measure to abolish marriage between one man and one woman. I like being married and all and am very happy with my choice of spouse. I just think it's terribly unfair that thousands of people in California just got their chance at marriage taken away. Nobody ever thinks about taking it away from straight people. All those people opposed to gay marriage talk about protecting the sanctity of marriage. How sacred can marriage be if it's something that can be put on a ballot and taken away by strangers? Maybe they wouldn't think about taking it away from people if they thought about the possibility of other people taking their own right to get married away. And so, I propose a challenge to straight marriage. Who's with me?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Let's try that again

Hmm. Funny how I can fail to post for a week or so but feel the absolute need to post in the midst of my party and several martinis. As you can see and as I might have mentioned, Jack played the part of a lobster and was decidedly the most sober guest.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Currently there are three to four people racing around my living room and singing to a variety of songs from the 90s. Kenny is wearing a loin cloth of course. Ben is wearing underwear, a cape, and a superman belt. Others are wearing Christmas Fairy costumes and Mrs. Pizza costumes and are freaked the hell out. Jack is dressed as Mr. Lobster and is not drunk enough. I got a zombie nurse and suddenly zombie green day is breaking out. I think I have to go to work at 12 or 2. Either way there are people celebrating. I will wake up and edit this tomorrow. Goodnight.

That looks angry. I love you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making Missouri blue

This was one of many pictures I took hoping that perhaps my camera could see Obama. I was in Kansas City this weekend and took my mama to the rally to see her newly pledged candidate. I may have promised her a grandchild in exchange for her vote, but I do what I have to for my country. The crowd was huge. The estimates said about 75,000. We were about 20 rows back from having the possibility of maybe seeing him, but we could hear him really well. The energy and shear awe-inspiring size of the crowd were totally worth the trip. Now I can also stop laying awake at night worrying about my mother hurting America. Ah, relief.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our rockstar lifestyle

About five or six years ago Kenny and I went to a Ben Folds concert at the Pageant in St. Louis. We arrived at least two hours before doors opened, got front row spots, heckled Duncan Sheik (the opening act) and danced and cheered and sang while Ben played. I think we even went out afterwards. Basically, we had an awesome time.

Fast forward to Friday night. While we frequently have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, we decide that it would be a bad idea that night because it might make us sleepy. We don our gym shoes (which might as well be orthopedic) and hoodies. Doors open at 8:00 and the theater is about a 10-minute walk from our house. We know we don't have it in us to get in line early to try to get really great spots. We try to calculate the last possible minute for us to leave so as to minimize our standing (oh the strenuous standing) around time but not be all the way in back. We end up standing about 4 rows back and halfway regretting not going for the actual seats in the balcony (the balcony where the age group is mysteriously more similar to our own). Ben plays an awesome show as always. Kenny dances violently--sort of rocking forward forcefully from the waist. We leave exhausted. I have a headache and Kenny has pulled something in his shoulder from the dancing. We sleep for many hours and wake up sore--from you know, standing.

Saturday night, we tried to go to see the Acrocats (yes, those are acrobatic cats), but it was SOLD OUT.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jack humiliates himself for your viewing pleasure.

Jack balances a coaster on his head. Seeks beer to put on coaster. Thinks he could totally go as Chuck for Halloween.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Preparing Kenny for Atonement

When I make dinner for Kenny, I usually make the amount I would make for myself times 4. And he's usually still hungry when he leaves the table. That tummy of his is a bottomless pit. Yesterday, I spent a great deal of the day making his last meal for before his day-long Yom Kippur fasting. I began cooking around noon and made a lasagna that weighed at least 10 pounds.

In all fairness, there was approximately 1 pound left over at the end. We also got some cookies from the bakery for dessert. Ironically, one of the cookies appeared to be pig shaped.

And this is the belly after sunset. It's normally flat, so all that protrudes is dinner.

I did a good job.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And Autumn has a silent N

Fall is the best season. I'd leave it at that and expect you to agree with me, but I have a feeling most people like Spring and Summer more. Spring is nice and all but those damn flowering trees wreak havoc on my allergies and sometimes it just takes too long to get warm--and by that time you've been through all the cold winterness so you're ready for a change. Summer is also fine, but sometimes it's just too hot. In any event, I don't get all warm and fuzzy about either and warm and fuzzy is the very essence of fall. You get to pull out a "new" wardrobe. There are cardigans or hoodies to be worn, blankets to be cuddled under, and fuzzy socks to put on. Fall also has, without a doubt, the best color scheme. I got married in fall in part because the colors are just so pretty. My home is also decorated in fall. The food aspect is also an important one. You've got apples and squash and pecans and mmmmmm. We've spent the summer trying to not make the kitchen or house too hot and now it's finally okay to bake again. I'll be making my grandma's apple cake soon.

Alma's Apple Cake

Ingredients & directions:
Mix the following in a large bowl:
3 cups chopped peeled apples
1 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg, 2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda

Add 3 cups flour to the above.

Mix the following and then add to the above:
2 beaten eggs, 1 cup oil, and 2 tsp vanilla

Add 1 cup of walnuts

Bake in greased and floured bundt
cake pan for 1 hour at 350 ∞ oven.
Cool cake, frost, & refrigerate.

Cream cheese frosting: one 8 oz cream cheese,
1 stick of margarine, one to two pounds powdered sugar,
1 tsp vanilla. Blend together and then frost.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Great Break-In 2008

Kenny brings me an apple with a bite taken out of it yesterday. He asks me if I am responsible. Of course I am not. Who would do that--take a bit of an apple and then put it back in the fruit bowl? I am ticked off that he is accusing me and then I quickly freak out at the realization we must have mice. Kenny goes back into the kitchen and I see him looking at a little bowl. The little bowl used to have almonds in it. It had been sitting next to the window and near the fruit bowl. It is now empty except for a few shavings of almond skin. "Well it's not a mouse," Kenny yells to me. You see, he found this.

A squirrel had scaled the wall to our second floor window and gnawed through the screen so he could break in and steal our nuts. He was doing nothing to help squirrel stereotypes. We think Jack caught him in the act and scared him back out the window.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nothing to see here

So I've been doing this whole professional organizer thing since the beginning of the month. I've been enjoying it and the accompanying lifestyle quite a bit. I get to help people and I get a good workout. It's nice to have a legitimate outlet for this need to organize. When I temped I always had to fight the urge to "fix" peoples' desks and really too often I would lose that fight. As of today, however, I have had too many days off in a row (haven't had a job since Monday morning) and I'm getting a little stir crazy. It's 3:00 in the afternoon and I'm in PJs. I got a library card yesterday. That was my big errand for the day. It's getting so bad that I am actually giving serious thought to joining a gym and also going to the gym.

I continue to feel the need to reorganize my home. Following last week's job I absolutely had to reorganize my kitchen. I must say it is now so much better. I'm really close to running out of things to clean out around here. Jack and I are going to have to go on an adventure tomorrow or something so that I'll have something interesting to write about. For now, he unashamedly wants to let you know what he's been up to:

There used to be a very cute stuffed hamburger filled with all that white fluff.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Emily does kind of begin with M

Last weekend there was a monumental reunion of the 3 Ms (Molly, Megan, and M.ily) in Chicago. I've been best friends with these girls for over 20 years. We all lived in the same city for the first 16ish years and I lived in the same city with Molly up until May (because she follows me and I fully expect her to move to Chicago in a matter of weeks). It's been quite a while since we had uninterrupted time with all three of us. There is nothing quite as familiar and perfect as spending time together.

They were fortunate enough to be here for Chicago's rainiest day in history (or the rainiest day since they've been keeping track of that sort of thing). I made sure they had plenty of fattening Chicago food like pizza and stuffed French toast since they're both looking rather skinny what with having gym memberships and all. And they took turns making sure I didn't drink entire bottles off wine by myself. We went shopping of course. I'm not sure how I've been bumbling through stores without them. I bought my first ever real-life makeup counter makeup. For years I have been wearing brown eye shadow when I really should have been wearing purple eye shadow. Why has nobody told me this before?

I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that didn't cry during the weekend but only death, my brother (I think it's a deeply ingrained little sister defensive response), Oprah, and Extreme Makeover Home Edition can make me cry. Molly ate olives (which is really the quintessential image of Molly for me and no, I don't know what that says about her or me), and Megan somehow skated away without plucking my eyebrows. She is the best eyebrow plucker I know, and I can't believe I missed the opportunity.

Because I am a fool, I have no pictures of the weekend. Clearly it only occurs to me to break out the camera when Jack is wearing funny clothes. Luckily, this is not the first time the three of us have been in Chicago together. I scanned these pictures from a trip we took over winter break in college 5 or 6 years ago and we can pretend they apply. The first is of course Megan and Molly posing with mannequins in what was at the time Marshall Fields. The second is in the Rock 'n' Roll McDonalds.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In which she still fails to really post

Kenny just informed me that the cookie dough I made and fed to him gave him a tummy ache. I'm a little worried about the cookie dough because I think the eggs I made it with are old. I made cookie dough and not actual cookies beacuse I thought the cookie sheets would be too many dishes.I hope I didn't give us salmonella or rotten egg disease or anything. Enough about the cookies though. What I really wanted to say is that I want to write about my awesome weekend visiting with my friends. I also wanted to talk about my new job and how it's seriously kicking my ass this week. But all I can think of is whiney and incoherent. I've been working hard labor eights and also commuting about an hour each way. The mapquest directions say 30 minutes, but really it's an hour or so. I failed to meet up with friends last night and also tonight. I do like the new job though. Oh, and another thing--my mom told me tonight that she likes Sarah Palin. This is to be expected and troubling on a variety of levels. She likes her glasses. My brain will work again soon and I hope to write a real entry then.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On my day off

The Sunday before last I started my new job as a professional organizer. While I went off and got degrees in other things, this is something I've always enjoyed doing. It nice to enjoy your work I think. The work has been exhausting so far, but thoroughly rewarding. I worked at one job from Sunday until Thursday. Thursday on my way home I went on a mission to find new hangers and a storage solution for our guest room. So yes, on my day off from organizing I decided I absolutely had to reorganize my closet. You just can't make other people's homes look nice all day and then come home to this:

And then it had to get worse before it got better:

And finally, ah...

...all better. And then I couldn't stop there. I had a physical need to clean out the guest room and the storage space downstairs and oh my drawers. So that was our weekend. Sorry Kenny! I'm gonna wait until tomorrow to clean out the linen closet.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Julie and Ben get married, Part 3: The Wedding

Ah, the wedding. It was a beautiful and touching affair. The ceremony and reception were at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. The colors were red and black and there was of course a bicycle theme. For those of you who do not know Ben and Julie, they are avid bikers and met when Julie rescued Ben after he got hit by a car on his bicycle. As explained in their ceremony, it's kind of a damsel in distress story except Ben was the damsel.

The pretty cake. Note the aforementioned red, black, and bicycle:

The happy--no ecstatic--couple during their first dance. Julie looked gorgeous!

This was the view from my seat--if you were really short:

Obligatory photo of Kenny dancing. This one with our friend Audrey.

And this is the bar we went to after the wedding. It was in the wedding hotel and it was hilarious! It's called the Aqua Elegant Restaurant and Lounge. It's hard to see in this photograph, but there are bubbly tanks all along the bar. This place took the contemporary/water theme and went as far as the lucite and fountains could carry them.

This concludes our three part series. Tune in next week when we see what work is like outside of the cubicle walls. I start my new job this Sunday as a professional organizer. Yikes!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Julie and Ben get married, Part 2: The Essence of Wisconsin

Ben and Julie's wedding was in Milwaukee and no trip to Wisconsin would be complete without paying homage to the state's two pillars: beer and cheese. We of course did our duty with great fervor and deference. Our first stop was the Sprecher Brewery. They are famous for their root beer, which apparently the owner developed so that he wouldn't have to buy somebody else's soda products to give to kids after brewery tours. The tour guide pointed out that you can get quarter kegs of the rootbeer for kids' birthday parties--and that it was a great way to get them used to the tap concept early. I didn't take notes or anything during the tour, but I think you make beer by taking some of this:

And then putting it through things that look like this:

Then adding some of this:

And voila! You have beer. I really like the idea of a yeast room. I imagine that to be much like a living room or a dining room as in, there's two bedrooms on your left and on your right you'll find our yeast room.

On our way back, we also stopped at the Mars Cheese Castle. With a name like that, how could you not? I find the name to be very coercive--so much so that it should probably be illegal. I'm not sure it's possible to see the name and continue driving. I'm sure some people have attempted it. I just don't know how they lived with themselves afterwards. We bought some smoked string cheese, white cheddar cheese that is older than Jack, and cheddar bratwurst. The brats were made by Klement's and probably due to the fact Kenny lived in Wisconsin for 11 years, he is not capable of just saying Klement's. He has to say, "Klement's, easily the best." Sometimes he tries to just say Klement's, but invariably 15 seconds later he has to add, "easily the best." You may notice the Mars Cheese Castle looks oddly like an amusement park. That's because it is.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Julie and Ben get married, Part 1: The Bachelorette Party

Over the past several days, my liver, dignity, and uncoordinated dance moves have been challenged in ways with which only a freshman frat boy can really identify. This is the first of a multi-part series chronicling the recent road to marital bliss of Ben and Julie. Today, let us examine the bachelorette party.

Exhibit A: note the innovative use of the glow-in-the-dark penis straw in a wine glass full of either champagne, beer, or Sparks. When comparing this drinking experience to other's I've had, I'll employ the phrase a friend used to differentiate Perkins from Denny's this weekend, "It's just classier."

Exhibit B: the T-shirts. In my experience, for a successful bachelorette party, you need T-shirts and catchy tag-line. Note both are present in the image below. I plan on wearing this shirt for part of every day for the rest of my life.

Exhibit C: Wherein all dignity is lost. The tagline on that t-shirt might have foreshadowed this next picture for some of y'all. This is me seconds after mounting the bull and seconds before giving up and sliding off the bull. There is some unfortunate video footage of the incident. Note: pants would have been a better option considering the evening's planned activities.

Thank God there are no real pictures of the dancing. I'm still sore because really? I was doing it wrong. All in all, it was an excellent and thoroughly memorable evening. Did I mention there was a limo? Because there was a limo, and it was awesome. Not since prom have I been in a limo, and that one certainly did not have a bar.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Does this mean I'm gonna have to help do the laundry?

Every morning I remove about five pillows from the top of Kenny's head so that I can find his face and kiss him good bye. If Jack has relocated himself to the couch, I pick him up and put him back in bed with Kenny.

When I get off the train coming home from work on most days I find Kenny and an excited little black puppy waiting for me on the corner. I really look forward to that part of my day.

I guess we'll have to come up with a new routine since yesterday somebody decided to hire that husband of mine.

Monday, August 18, 2008


So today I woke up with one red eye and a scratch across my nose. I went on to curl my hair for the first time since getting it cut short. It was partially successful--and by that I mean that one side of it curled and behaved and the other side had a completely different idea. At work, I made the mistake of thinking I could get a cup of coffee successfully to my mouth. Since I'm not wearing pantyhose and can therefore not get a run, I imagine I will just fall and skin my knees this afternoon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Now I can die knowing my existence mattered

I came to work with a sense of purpose today. A sense that I could make a difference. When I went to the kitchen to get some coffee, I realized that the beverages in the refrigerator could stand to be restocked. The fridge is once again fully stocked and organized. I eliminated any and all possibility that problems might occur if like ten people showed up out of the blue and all wanted a cold diet coke.

Next! I straightened the already neatly organized (because the person who was here before me didn't want me to have anything with which to occupy my time) drawers and cabinets. I restocked the cups and candy jars as well. There are five people in the office most of whom do not eat the candy? Surely we need at least five full bowls scattered around the common areas on the off-chance somebody gets a craving. This move may in fact save lives.

Finally, and I don't mean to brag when I say this--but I totally reloaded and fixed two staplers all by myself and in less than four hours. I won't say that I didn't have to go to the Swingline website to look up diagrams and I won't say there was no profanity involved. I will say I now have the option of stapling in either the copy room or at my desk and I can staple up to 150 pages at one time--no problem, whatsoever.

I better take it easy for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Running to get my aquanet

Just check this out.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Princess Jack deigns to enter Lake Michigan

Kenny's parents came for a visit this weekend and brought their dog, Rosie. We decided to take the pups to the doggie beach. Now, Jack is not what you would call a friend of the water. While other dogs at the dog park lay down in puddles, Jack will go out of his way to walk around them. He also avoids mud and sometimes his own water bowl. In instances of rain during walks, Jack has been known to throw giant fits and try to pull us back home. I imagined Jack would stay about 50 feet back and probably get an infection from sand blowing in his eyes during our voyage to the beach.

He came to the edge of the water and let it touch his toes. He ran back away from the water, but after much coaxing with Charlie Bears he came in a little further. He eventually allowed his whole body to submerge and for a brief moment he swam. My little baby swam! After the short-lived swimming episode he high-tailed it out of there and began to walk home (by himself). But he swam!

Though I failed to bring my camera to capture the event, I did take a picture of the adorable aftermath at home.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Our life in Chicago, quantitatively speaking...

Between the visits that have already occurred and the ones planned through September we will have had

25 nights booked in that cozy guest room of ours
13 people stay with us
8 additional people who have visited but stayed elsewhere and
13 nights spent by Kenny and I in
5 other Midwestern cities

Also, as of today we have had

4 temp jobs
9 interviews and
0 full-time jobs

And we've only made

1 trip to the Magnificent Mile
1 trip to the Navy Pier
1 trip to the beach
1 trip to a concert
0 trips to museums
0 trips to plays (in Chicago)

But we have made

3 trips to the $3 movie theater
5 trips to Boystown
4 trips to the Cozy Corner Diner (home of the cheesecake stuffed french toast)
5 trips to BYOB restaurants

And we've been to

10 grocery stores
3 farmers markets
3 liquor stores
3 Chicago-style deep dish pizza places

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Appendex 1

Let's pretend I posted these with the I-70 post a couple of days ago. We carried around the camera for the entire trip--saw friends and family, did lots of things--but it only occurred to us that maybe we should take pictures on these two occasions. Not sure what this says about us.

The picture below was technically taken immediately after our return--but it is a pictures of our souvenirs so it counts. The alcohol tax in Chicago is a little crazy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My little dependency

One day while temping a couple of years ago, my gchat stopped working. It was down for almost an hour. I had tried signing out and back in, signing in from various locations, restarting my computer, everything. The error message seemed to indicate a firewall or the network administrator had killed all chat. I called Kenny in a panic and near tears. I was hyperventilating a bit. I could handle the ridiculous lack of work and coworkers I had--but only with my gchat. I imagined all the hours that lay before me sans chat. Online news can only entertain you for so long. I would go insane.

Thankfully gchat came back to me that day. Today, however, the cubicle world has lost another weapon in its collective arsenal against boredom. Scrabulous is gone. Assuming Hasbro and the Scrabulous folks don't work this out and give me back my Scrabulous I think this will be a day I'll always remember. I'll remember where I was the day they took it away. I'll remember work life in terms of before Scrabulous died and after it died. Maybe one day I'll have one of those jobs where I'll be busy all the time. Maybe the pain will lessen over time and I'll find new ways to fill my time. For now, I'll just contemplate this travesty in disbelief--maybe talk to my friends on gchat about it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Exotic travels along I-70

So. Kenny and I went on a little tour of Missouri over the last week. We had to go to Kansas City to find out how much damage an eight-pound poodle had done to our loft. Also we went to court to evict said poodle and his owner. Good times were had by all and definitely let me know if you or somebody you know is interested in renting a really beautiful loft in the heart of Kansas City. We have decided this time, however, that we would prefer to rent to people who pay rent as it is our favorite quality in prospective tenants.

Also. Turns out Kansas City recently birthed a whole new area. I swear it wasn't there last time I visited. They've been talking about the Power and Light District for a long time, but now it's there and it's really quite spectacular. I think it would be more fun if I was single and/or younger--but good for KC. We were there with Megan and Andrew so that of course made it a good time.

We stopped in Columbia to visit people and restaurants. Sophia's (our favorite Columbia restaurant where we had our first leaving the house date) was temporarily closed and I almost cried. We went to Addison's instead and then to the 'Berg of course.

Next stop was St. Louis. There we helped Kenny's dad pick out and set up a new computer and email account. One day he'll learn to love tabbed internet browsing and gmail's conversation grouping. I just know it.

Perhaps the highlight of the trip was our three visits to Culver's. That's three visits in three different states. We got butterburgers in Iowa, Kit Kat swirl custard in Missouri, and fried cheese curds (dipped in ranch of course) in Illinois. I really have no idea why my pants are getting snug.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prime resume material.

A big part of being a temp can be finding ways to fill your time. At the job I've been at for the past week or so there is about 5 minutes worth of work in any given day. The rest of the time it is important to be here so that I can answer the phone in case somebody does finally call, and it's not a wrong number and it's not a Spanish recording telling me to dial 1 to claim my prize. The following is a list of things I have had time to do so far this week.

  1. Spend 3 hours trying to determine the best place to take my father-in-law to get a hot dog.
  2. Take naps in the little fountainy/flowery area in front of the building.
  3. Spend 3 hours trying to determine the best place to satisfy my father-in-law's Jewish deli request.
  4. Play a good 10 or 11 games of Scrabulous.
  5. Go to my high school class reunion site and discover that 80% of my former female classmates have spawned an average of 2 children. Find out that 3-5% of those mothers have given their children socially handicapping names.
  6. Get a money order for my boss and prepare his traffic ticket guilty plea.*
  7. Both receive AND send letters and various packages.*
  8. Apply to 3 jobs. Hmm. Maybe more time should have been devoted to this one.
  9. Read 300 archive entries on Dooce.
  10. Work on my putting skills with the office's golf set thingy (because corporate offices have those?)
  11. Look for an apartment and a dog for a friend.
  12. Resort to clicking on links to blogs in various people's comments sections because I have already read all of the blogs I usually read and damn it, I need more blog reading material.
  13. Eat all of the M&Ms.

*These items were actually required of me by said job.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Careers I ruled out...

I've talked myself out of lots of careers in my life. It's good thing I narrowed all of my options down to...temping?
  1. Interior Decorator: My friend, Erica, and I used to use old design books and random counter top samples to play pretend when we were little. I rearranged my room weekly and watched Designing Women incessantly. I later decided that I did not need to be a decorator professionally and that I could always just redecorate my own house.
  2. Journalist: I was on the newspaper in highschool. I ran for Editor (did not get it) and had a column that I really enjoyed writing. I went to the University of Missouri-Columbia for college. Sure, it's the oldest journalism school in the country and is often ranked as the best--but I decided that I didn't need a journalism degree to be a journalist or at least to be a columnist, which is what I really thought I wanted to do. I decided to go get a degree in something else that would make me more qualified to write about things later. I ended up getting Sociology and International Studies degrees instead--because those are a million times more useful, right?
  3. Teacher: This one I only briefly considered. I think I would enjoy it if I could teach Social Studies or English and only teach children who were nice. I would like the summers off. My mom picked this career because she wanted to have the same schedule as her kids. Makes sense. But. There are all those kids that aren't nice and also those ones that are just annoying? And all of that grading and lesson planning in the evenings?
  4. Lawyer: It might be completely impossible to be a high school debater (shut up) and not contemplate this career path. I looovveeed debate. A lot. I liked building and dissecting arguments. I'm not really sure why I decided initially to get my Master's instead of a law degree. However, while I was working at the law school to pay for tuition I witnessed the mess that is your typical law student. Law school can be grueling and really competitive and people just didn't seem happy. Also, you graduate with big debt and then have to try to get one of those jobs where they pay you lots of money but make you work 80 hours a week. Or maybe I've watched too many movies.

Pretty sure the list could go on. I wonder why I felt like I had to talk myself out of everything--why there was this big need to cross things off the list? These days I just need there to be something on that list. Something that people will hire me to do.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oh yeah, last weekend...

God bless America. And beer.

Kegs and Croquet. This is how we celebrated the birth of our country. Our friend Abby invited us to her parents' house for a weekend of merriment. Turns out I was much better at hot tubbing part than at playing croquet part. There was a pretty serious tournament complete with time trials, brackets, semi-final and final rounds. I think I learned (though never implemented) that the trick to playing well is to not hold the mallet correctly or in any way resembling a golf putter. Instead, center it on your body and push it like a broom or swing it like a pendulum...if that makes any sense. Think about using it like a pool cue sometimes. Whatever you do, don't hold it at all like I tried to. It was not pretty. The search for the one sport I am good at continues...

The state of Kenny.

I was sitting in the living room while Kenny was taking a bath, and I kept hearing a strange sound. It sounded like he was underwater blowing bubbles. I went in to check on him and found this:

He had finished his MGD Light (that he took to the bath with him?) and had decided to use it as a bath toy. He was submerging it and then pouring it out and starting over again.

This is not just Kenny being messy. This is where he keeps his pants now--next to the couch--because he doesn't need to wear pants when he sits on the couch. Also, chances are, if he needs to put pants on, they will be close to him if they are close to the couch.

Thank God this experiment is over.

I want to be a Temp when I grow up.

This week I babysit the silent phone in the fancy office. It's not the worst thing in the world, really. It's like couch time, but more productive.

Julie tagged me in her blog to write 6 random things about myself. I'm not sure how this is different than any other post I write, but let's give it a try.

  1. Sometimes I check my own blog to see if there are any new posts.
  2. I have a history of becoming emotionally attached to objects in a somewhat socially ostracizing way. First there was a collection of tiny plastic farm animals I would occasionally set up on my desk in junior high. Then there was the plastic corn and banana necklaces my friend Molly and I wore at debate tournaments in highschool. Finally there has been Booger--who at least appears to me to have generated less ridicule than the earlier objects.
  3. I had an irrational yet debilitating fear of Eyeore for years.
  4. Speaking of the irrational, I don't eat veal, duck, goat or sheep--mostly because I find them to be too cute and similar to puppies.
  5. All of the men on this floor have to come get keys from me so they can go potty.
  6. I hate mini-golf. I suck at it, and I am convinced that nobody really enjoys it after the first 4 holes.

I am taggging Megan, Courtney, Lindsey, Molly, Jack, and Jack's friend.

here are the rules:
link to the person who tagged you.
post the rules on your blog.
write six random things about yourself.
tag six people at the end of your post.
let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

4 Things

1. I got fired.
Except that is an exaggeration and completely not true. My temp job ends next week so it might be back to the couch for me.

2. Maybe we're just on vacation.
Or maybe we should act like it. I think we should go to the beach and if lastminute.com can make it happen, we just might. Nothing quite gets your mind off the finances and joblessness like an all-inclusive getaway.

3. Kenny is buying Jack's affection with copius amounts of food and treats while I'm at work.
I think the tide is turning and Jack might love Kenny more than he loves me now. I can't compete with the daily bits of lox, spontaneous peanut butter kongs, and hamburger grease Kenny's been feeding him.

4. I just asked Kenny for a glass of water and some brownies.
He's in the kitchen baking now. He's the best. Maybe he buys everybody's affection with food?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bubble Wands

Ah, Friday night. I have my Aldi brand "Mexican" beer and we're watching Yentl. Jack has knocked all pillows off of the luv seats and beds. Booger is squarely in the middle of the bedroom floor once again.

I've spent a lot of the day contemplating an Oprah I watched last night. It was a show about the Law of Attraction and the Power of Positive Thinking and how the universe will give you what you want if you think about it and want it in the right way. There was a lot of discussion of this one time when Oprah was thinking about how she'd like to blow bubbles and then she went to her dressing room and there was a bag of bubbles and a Tiffany's bubble blowing wand sitting there. That's not the part I was contemplating.

I was thinking about how it makes sense that I find little job/career gettage/satisfaction. It's because I have no idea how to really answer the question I get asked all the time: What's your ideal job? How am I gonna get it if I don't know what it is? So. I'm gonna figure that out real quick, and I think everything should work itself out nicely. If you have any thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear them. As previously indicated, I'm kind of lost on this matter.

That Oprah, she's always making me think.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The good stuff

I was at my last job for over a year--in some ways, I was there for two years. About a year and a half into the job I got my name put on a mailbox. The end.

After being at my new temp-to-perm job for two days, I was given a real-life-printed name plaque on my cubicle. Today I was handed a new directory with my name on it. I've met at least 90% of the staff and have had lunch with many of them. Many people stop working during lunch and go into a room that is completely separate from their desks. It's awesome. Also, we have free coffee, tea, soda, and the occasional goldfish snack.

In other news, we've lived here for about six weeks and have been visited on various weekends (plus) by my mother, my brother and his partner, a friend, and my father. The in-laws arrive in a few days. So this is what it's like to have a guest room...interesting.

All of these visits have forced us to get out of our house and do a little Chicago exploring. I'm starting to feel like maybe I live here, and maybe I'm not just a visitor. I still gotta figure out the good places to take people, but that takes time--it did in DC too.

For now, here is my top of list reasons why all of my friends should move here:

1) Better prices (groceries, restaurants, housing, airline tickets...I could go on)
2) Friendly people (cliche, but true)
3) BYOB restaurants
4) The flatness--it's incredibly easy to bike here
5) The spring/summer weather--I know a lot of people think the weather is a good reason to not move here (and yes, I know it's not winter and I will probably be singing a different tune then), but it's been so nice and 60s and 70s ish for most of the time we've been here. There's also been plenty of rain and thunderstorms. I'll probably eat my words, but man I love snow and I am looking forward to that too.
6) Pizza. It's everywhere--and not just deep dish. Oh pizza, I love you so much.
7) Water--we got a lake AND a river.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gratuitous puppy photos, just because