Friday, December 17, 2010

Cuddly-Wuddly Christ

My good friend Dave at Rather Than Working requested an appearance of our Cuddly Wuddly Savior for the holiday season or Christmas season or Saturnalia or whatever you use as an excuse to eat/drink too much in December.

So here he is.

Realizing that I'm way overdue for any sort of meaningful update, it's my goal to spend time on this between the holidays.

It's not as if I'm not thinking about the typical stuff - why this and how this and WTF that - but my life is consumed with this new job. The folks closest to me know and (mostly) understand why I've had to go underground for the past 2 months. For the rest of you - deep, heartfelt apologies for not being more available lately. Everyone here says things will slow down in six months.

We'll see.

In the meantime, happy holidays and stay warm. Love & hugs,

I am listening to: A conference call
I am reading: Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked the Something or Other (these are awesome stories if you haven't checked them out already)
And I am: Busier than a whore on nickel night (Thanks, Google!)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Good Things Friday

Da has 100% blood flow in the post-surgery leg
And no pain
He's back doing yard work and going to the gym
It's fabulous
Started my new job this week
It is amazing and crazy and interesting
I think I will love it
It was so hard leaving my old job
But I've gained 3 hours of my life now that I'm not commuting every day
I can work from home 100% of the time
But am on the train today
Feels good knowing I have options
And I will work closely with my friend Scott
Jim started his new job too
We are both zombies each night
But it's good for both of us to get out of our comfort zones
There is a giant man sitting across from me today
He's wearing chef pants
They're black/white small checked
They look comfy
The only reason I'd go to cooking school
Would be to wear the pants
I do NOT have to take the bus anymore
My new office is a 2 minute walk from Union Station
"Two weeks from today, baby!"
Got a new Mac Book Pro
It's beautiful
Instead of a 1.5 hour commute every morning
I'm using that time to work out
Every day this week
I feel fabulous
Our good friend Steve's knee replacement surgery went very well
And he's coming home from the hospital today
Judy stopped in Tuesday night after the hospital and it was lovely catching up finally
Laughed with my Mom on the phone this morning
These are the best moments of my days
Halloween was fun - I think I had more fun finding my costume (Mrs. Frankenstein) and dressing up than actually going to the party
Lunch with Jim the IT guy today
Dinner with the You Know Who's tonight
I'm unbelievably blessed
I am listening to: Prince - Little Red Corvette
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Happy

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good Things Friday – Full Poop Edition

“Do you know anyone looking for a marketing position?”

That’s how it started.

Almost two months ago. With a call from my good friend Scotty.

“I’m sure there’s somebody I know…let me think about it,” I replied.

I referred two people to him.

Then, in a subsequent conversation with him, the topic turned to me – what I was doing and more importantly, what I wanted to do.

“I’m happy,” I said. “I love it here. I love the work, I love the people.”

“Just talk to him,” said Scotty. “It can’t hurt.”

It didn’t hurt. In fact, it felt great.

I’ve always really enjoyed interviewing (I’m kinda mental that way) but this was something more – to be talking about what I do with a Great and Powerful Technology Company. It was pretty amazing.

“You should know there’s another candidate,” said Scotty.

It was mostly phone interviews – with the VP I’d be reporting to and a handful of people who would be my counterparts across the U.S. One interesting thing: They’ve all been with the company more than 7 years. So once they work there, they stay – which speaks volumes about their business and how they treat employees.

I kept telling myself: What’s the worst thing that’ll happen? I don’t get the job and I get to stay at the company I love? What’s to lose?

But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted it.

I’d never worked for a company with more than 800 employees. This company has more than 80,000. I’d be working alongside Scotty, which was always fun and creative and cool. I’d be focused on one product line, only one aspect of marketing (live seminars and events) and one region.

Then there were the soft benefits. Work from home 100% of the time. A nice salary boost. Plus, I’m 43. Jim is 50. We’re in our prime holy-fuck-we-gotta-retire-eventually earning years and working for (and retiring from) a company like this makes a big difference.

Did I mention the work from home thing? Only genuine dog lovers will truly understand this, but Grommie is 10 years old. Having the option to be home with him as he gets older and needs us more is very important.

Yes, important enough to make a life-changing career move.

I started really wanting it. Really. Wanting. It.

As it turns out, they wanted me, too.

I start November 1.

I’m sad to be leaving the melty chocolate chip cookie place, but it’s a good decision for my family and my career.

It’s good for me, too.
Other good things
Jim got a new job too
He starts the same day I do
Different place
I keep thinking of all the things I can do with the extra 3 hours I’ll have each day
Not commuting
Yes, it's 1.5 hours each way
Working out is #1 on that list
We’re loving the new show Outsourced
“You treat my country like a cash register.”
“We call shirts like that wife-beaters in the U.S.”
“Ironic, since I do not have a wife to beat.”
I imagine there are people who do not find humor in a show about outsourced jobs to India
It bothers me
But not enough to stop watching it
And Big Bang Theory
Such an outstanding cast
Barefoot Shiraz is fucking awesome
Especially with Pizza Rolls
Yeah Pizza Rolls and wine for dinner last night
Shaddap, it was good
Makes me think of my very good friend DewMama
Had yet ANOTHER fantastic weekend in Lake Geneva
With Mr. & Mrs. You Know Who
Painted their shed
Long, lovely boat ride
The fall colors were magnificent
Watched the sunset from the boat for the first time
Then I woke up early to watch the sunrise over the lake
Listened to bantering fisherman, gathered in five or so boats near the dock
And this (just before they shot off in different directions across the lake)
“It’s smallmouth today. Everything is legal, boys. Be back here at 1.”
There was comfort in their language
I really wanted to be them for the next six hours
Then Mrs. YKW met me at the dock and we went for a long walk along the lake path It was one of the best, most relaxing weekends in recent memory
Took away all the tension of giving notice on Monday
“If I’d known she was looking, I would’ve offered her a job myself.”
The Oatmeal
The “hide” option on Facebook
My new cargo pants from Target
Super comfy and cute
“I love you and our ability to be honest with one another; and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.” - Judy
Made me smile, made my day
Jim and I are doing dinner and a movie tonight
It’s been too long
Tomorrow we’re going to All Dressed Up to look for costumes
For a Halloween/50th birthday party
I am thinking about resurrecting Bride of Frankenstein
Or Wicked Witch of the East
Although Little Red Riding Hood was fun too
(If you click the link you can see the cape I wore)
Discovered a spot even closer to Union Station for catching the #11 bus
It’s great
Just in time to not need it anymore
Oh well
“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” - Meister Eckhart
I am listening to: Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel
I am reading: My offer letter packet
And I am: Excited and no longer crazy

Friday, October 08, 2010

Good Things Friday - Running with Coffee Edition

Well you didn’t wake up this morning
‘Cause you didn’t go to bed
You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red
The calendar on your wall is ticking the days off…
You’ve been reading some old letters
You smile and think how much you’ve changed
All the money in the world
Couldn’t buy back those days

Remember that crazy awesome thing I mentioned a few weeks back?
It’s finally happening
And while I still can’t let fly with the details just yet
(There are certain people who need notifying)
Next Friday you’ll get the Full-on Poop
I discovered voice dial on my iPhone
No set up, no recording/assigning names
Just say the stinkin’ contact
And it automagically dials
So much safer whilst driving
Had the kick-off meeting last night for the woop-di-do spring charity event
For The Enterprising Kitchen
This is selfish but I think you’ll understand
Doing this sort of thing is addictive
Not necessarily because of the difference it makes to the women we serve
(Although that is the goal obviously)
But because it makes me feel really, really good
Rather than draining my energy
It makes me want to do more
Oh God I looked over the shoulder of a guy reading the Trib
And those idiots endorsed Mark Kirk
The guy who ‘misremembered it wrong’ on key parts of his military career
Bread and circuses
(panem et circenses)
One of my favorite phrases
I’ll be so glad when the elections are over
I love watching people running with coffee to catch the train
It’s a herky-jerky sort of walk-run
That involves keeping the cup-holding side immobile
So glad I don’t run with coffee
There are myriad reasons why I might appear ridiculous on any given day
But that ain’t one of them
Had lunch with my good friend Jeff the IT Guy Tuesday
He works in the city now
And yes, I have Jeff the IT Guy and Jim the IT Guy
("Fuck you, cheater." - Jim the IT Guy)
There's also Andy the IT Guy, but we only talk via IM occasionally
This company I’m at now doesn’t have an IT Guy
We outsource to a team of IT Guys in Wisconsin
I don’t know their names
They are not my friends
You could’ve done anything if you’d wanted
And all your friends and family
Think that you’re lucky
But the side of you they never see
Is when you’re left alone with the memories
That hold your life together like glue

Jim ‘n me had a city date this week at Uno’s
It’s not like the chain Uno’s
It’s the original
It is better, more authentic
Jim has been going there for 30+ years
I’ll never forget the first time he took me there
He dished out the salad for me
It was one of those moments
The cynical among you might chalk it up to Date Behavior
But he still does it
Even at home
We are helping the You Know Who’s paint their awesome new shed this weekend
I love love LOVE doing projects with friends/family
There’s something about it that is unbelievably satisfying and fun
Folks just don’t do that sort of thing much any more
You pull back the curtains
And the sun burns into your eyes
You watch a plane flying
Across a clear blue sky
This is the day
Your life will surely change
This is the day
When things fall into place

I am listening to: The The – This is The Day
I am reading: The Bookseller of Kabul
And I am: Fucking awesome

Friday, October 01, 2010

Good Things Friday - Figuring It Out Edition

It is a gorgeous autumn day
I’m wearing my favorite suede jacket
And a whore scarf
Eh, fuck it
I’m seriously not in the mood for good things today
I am sad because it seems like the people who hate
(the people who are stupid and cruel and loud)
Are winning lately
Like the student who broadcast over the Internet
His roommate making out with a guy
Three days later
The roommate jumped off a bridge, killing himself
Okay this is helping
The miracle of writing things down
Brings clarity
What happened was mean and heartbreaking and so not necessary
But the kid didn’t have to kill himself
And I wonder
How a healthy gay man who doesn’t feel any shame
Over who he is, how he was born
Would respond
Get angry and call a lawyer?
Laugh it off?
“Sure the camera added 10 pounds – to my cock.”
Certainly, homosexuality is less taboo than ever
It’s never been more acceptable – even cool in some cases – to be gay
And I am so not siding with the idiots who did this
But where did that shame come from?
From his parents?
And when do you respond to unspeakable cruelty by hurting yourself and your family?
[This is me, putting my perceptions on him]
Maybe I’m totally wrong
Maybe he was not shamed over being gay and outed on the Internet
Maybe it was the horror of being broadcast during an intimate moment
Regardless of the gender of his partner
I hope
I really hope
I am listening to: In Heaven There is No Beer
I am reading: The Bookseller of Kabul
And I am: Feeling a little better now

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good Things Friday - Late Edition

I am having crazy dreams
About midgets
And spinning houses
Not at all Wizard of Ozzy
Although it does feel like I'm not in Kansas any more lately
Good things are happening
But not fast enough
And it's stressing me a bit
Which is prolly why I'm fighting a virus this week
I'm wearing very comfy cargo pants from Target
And my favorite hoodie from the Grand Wailea
This hoodie from Snorg Tees
Made me laugh out loud just now
Which I found from Googling how to spell "hoodie"
So here's a crazy story that is not at all related to the current primary craziness:
I work for a company that builds e-commerce sites
My favorite cousin Chris has disowned the entire family
No one really knows or understands why
But he hasn't spoken to any of us for going on three years now
And when Da had surgery two weeks ago, Chris' mom (my aunt, Da's sister)
Was there with us at the hospital and we talked about it
I know Chris was close with his brothers and sisters
But we've always been super-duper-pooper close
So Aunt Sheri and I are probably the people most hurt by this strange turn of events
It was a good talk
Flash forward to the Sunday following Da's surgery (four days later)
I'm poking around in, our company database, looking at recent activity
Via a new Twitter-like feature called Chatter
And there's my cousin's wife
In our fucking database
Working for a potential client
With whom we've been meeting for three weeks
To possibly do their web site project
Get this
She was scheduled to visit our office the next day
It was pretty crazy, seeing Chris' wife in my office
And by the look on her face, she was surprised to see me too
I should mention they live in Michigan, last time we heard
And I live in Illinois
I will not editorialize on the 20 minute conversation we had
At her request
After the meeting
[Writing, struggling, writing, deleting, struggling, finally choosing to not say anything]
It appears we've won the business
For now
It is interesting how the Universe works, though, isn't it?
On the phone with Mudder right now
Everybody's doing great
"I've gotta get rid of this scar because I'm an exotic dancer." - Da
I am listening to: Mudder
I am reading: Not much
And I am: A little sleepy

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Midget rapist

"I had a dream I was attacked by a midget rapist."

"Midget isn't correct, they're called little people now."

"He was a rapist. Little people don't rape. Midgets rape."
I am listening to: Stairway to Heaven
I am reading: Not much
And I am: Having some freaky dreams lately

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Good Things Friday - Crazy Edition

The Universe has thrown me a bit of curveball
And as of this moment it's heading out of the park
But we'll see
Nothing is certain yet
Gromit, barking at his big pile of barf in the yard
Wednesday night
To let me know he'd been sick
Classic, amazing, smarty pants dog
Jim's garden is bursting with tomatoes
I found the perfect color nail polish
It's by Ulta and it's called Lavendering or something
It's an awesome purple
I am watching The Devil Wears Prada
There is an amazing thunder storm outside
Jim comes home from Australia tomorrow
I miss him
But it's been a pretty good week
A slower pace than usual
The Pillars of the Earth mini series was pretty good
The main character - Tom the Builder - was weak
But otherwise worth watching
Mrs. You Know Who came to get tomatoes today
And checked on Grommie for me
And brought me an awesome yummy dinner
I am unbelievably blessed
I am listening to: Rainy night
I am reading: Outlander - Book II
And I am: A little crazy

Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Things Friday - Mobile Edition

Who knows how this'll come out
I'm on the train
Typing this from my phone
Da's bladder scan was cancer-free again
Now he goes for them every six months instead of quarterly
Quitting cigarettes was the best thing
A lovely drunken dinner at the You Know Who's Saturday night
You know you're good friends when you can talk about anal for nearly an hour
And it wraps up with "Fine. Tonight. Wash."
Speaking of anal, Mr. YKW's deep dive pooper scan was all clear
The jokes on that medical event alone were totally worth the price of admission
So to speak
The Bristol Tap with Judy and Steve Wednesday night
I was super tired from work but thought "we should take every chance we get to be with the people we love"
I am changing the way I think
Tall Ships with the You Know Who's last night
My company's new web site launched early Monday morning
Worked all day Saturday
It felt really really good doing that
The content management system (SilverStripe) is making my life much easier
And fuck .NET Nuke
I'll never use that shit again
I am changing the way I do things
I was never an early bird
Always a late worm
But lately I'm really loving being up and in before everyone else
Less traffic
Fewer people on the train
And I get more done
Also learning that my posture reflects my mood
And simply by pushing my shoulders back and sitting up straight, I feel better
Jim leaves for Sydney Saturday
I love him
But I can't wait for a little quiet alone time
We have a ton of tomatoes from Jim's garden
Unbelievably good BLT's
Or just cut up with a little salt
I am watching people running to catch the train
Glad I'm not them
At Naperville, the train conductor walked over to say hi to two little kids in the back seat of a car dropping off a commuter
The kids grinned and laughed and squirmed in their seats
Something special about trains and little ones
I don't have my laptop this morning because I left it at the office
Knowing it would be a late night and I wouldn't need it
I like not having it
I am listening to: Train sounds
I am reading: Outlander book 2
And I am: Ready

Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Things Friday - Friday Edition

Had an incredible time with the P's, who returned home Monday
What a blessing those two are
Had an incredible time with Jim in the city last Thursday/Friday
Willis (Sears) Tower SkyDeck
Double decker bus tour
Sea Dog boat ride
Air & Water show practice day
An awesome 36-hour vacation in Chicago
Went to the Batavia Fart in Your Eye festival with Mom on Saturday
For about 30 minutes
The heat was suffocating
So we bought some pottery and left
So many of my friends/family donated to The Enterprising Kitchen
Very cool
Dinner with the You Know Who's Wednesday night at the Gazebo in Geneva
A nice place - good food, great outdoor view on the Fox River
Horrible mosquitos
I have mastered potato salad
Date night last night
It was a hot August night 20 years ago
When we went on our first 'date'
'Date' = the co-workers who were supposed to meet us didn't show
And that night changed my life
So I celebrated with a Long Island Iced Tea
Which was horrible
But the rest of the night was lovely
Heading out to the Sycamore Speedway
For a little Redneck Racing
Can't wait
And finally, I figured out the best response to that infernal "Why don't you have children?" question:
It's none of your fucking business
"Oh, I don't know, why did you HAVE children?"

The folks most interested in why we're not having children
Are the same people who spent little time considering why they should have children
I am listening to: Train - Drops of Jupiter
I am reading: Outlander - awesome series
And I am: Fabulous

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good Things Friday – Thursday Edition

Jim’s coming to the city today – I leave the office at noon
And then we’re tourists for the next 36 hours
Double decker bus tour
Glass balcony at Willis Tower
Maybe a bike ride
A little bit of Navy Pier
A boat ride on Lake Michigan
An overnight stay
Then tomorrow morning, we’re on the beach watching the practice day for the Chicago Air & Water Show
Plus heartfelt thanks to all of my friends and family who helped out The Enterprising Kitchen
I always knew I had awesome friends but your support has been overwhelming and I’m beyond grateful
The new iPhone arrived this week
It is zippity-do-da FAST
Still drops calls like a motherfucker
But I don’t talk much on the damn thing anyhow
Multi-tasking is very nice
Had an awesome Sunday with Judy & Steve, my P's and the You Know Who's
Cookout, pool, a little pig and dog basketball and lots of laughs
It's cool because my P's say we're blessed with great friends
And our friends say we're blessed with great P's
Speaking of great P's: Mom & Da are still here!
They've stayed nearly three weeks and like Mom says:
It’s been one of the best vacations EVER
Went to the Bristol Tap with them last night
Followed by Turtle Sundaes at Oberweis
We haven’t spent this much time together since summers during college
It’s been lovely and I will cry (a lot) when they leave
Have a great weekend people, stay cool
I am listening to: Steal My Sunshine - Len
I am reading: Outlander series
And I am: Excited

Friday, August 06, 2010

Good Things Friday - Lesbian Dinosaur Edition

I just ate a banana
It was fabulous
And not at all sexy
Speaking of sexy, though, Jim 'n me celebrated 12 years of marriage last night
Went to Gibson's, as is our tradition
And ran into Lou Piniella in the bar
He's really a sweetheart
He let us buy him a drink
Grey Goose Martini with regular olives
We did not get autographs/pictures
Just couldn't do it
Because a) we're not true Cubs fans (being geeks and all)
and b) I'm not a huge fan of asking people I don't know for things
Speaking of asking for things
I really need your help
I'm on the board of The Enterprising Kitchen, a fabulous non-profit organization here in Chicago
We hire motivated, low-income women who have had difficulty finding employment to produce soaps, spa products, and gift baskets. Most importantly, we provide job, computer, and life skills training during their 6 months in the program as we strive to place them in permanent jobs elsewhere.
That's their pitch, btw
But here's the key point: Harris Bank has offered to match every donation made in the month of August
So contact me if you'd like to make a donation
And if you don't have my contact info, just leave a comment here and we'll figure it out
What I like most about The Enterprising Kitchen is that it's actually helping improve the lives of real women
Providing education and training so they can find work
And we all know the value of educating women
Plus it's a LOCAL charity - for those of you who complain about how much people need help right here in the United States, this is your chance to help out
Mom 'n Da are here and it's awesome
It's been great, soaking up all this day-to-day stuff I don't get because I live far away
We're going to North Aurora Days tonight for the emergency vehicle parade
Always a hoot
Had a glorious time in Lake Geneva last weekend with the P's and the You Know Who's
My new favorite joke: What do you call a lesbian dinosaur? Lickalottapus
I am listening to: Sugar Ray - When It's Over
I am reading: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana G.
And I am: Relaxed

Friday, July 30, 2010

Good Things Friday - Trashy Novel Edition

Mom & Da are here
So I'm soaking of the 'everyday-ness' of it
Since I don't get to see them this much ever
It's lovely and relaxing
"If we were any more relaxed we'd be dead." - Da
I'm reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
It's a totally trashy historical novel
About a time traveling WW2 nurse
And a kilt-wearin' Scot named Jamie
It's short on history and long on trashy
With lots of thrusting and bodices and dirks and whathaveyou
Can't imagine what I'd do if some charming 18th century Scottish brut asked me to meet him in the stables at noon
Who the hell am I kidding?
I know exactly what I'd do
SlimFast Rich Chocolate Royale is delicious
Went to dinner with the You-Know-Who's Wednesday night
Ordered my new iPhone
It'll be here August 18
Sold my Mac Air
The check will go towards an iPad
Attended my very first board meeting Tuesday night
And immediately wished I'd paid more attention to the parliamentary procedures part
Of whatever that class was in high school
I remember someone I didn't know very well
Calling it parli-pro
And thinking a) she's such a smarty pants and b) Woop di freakin' do
Anyhow it's never too late to regret something you did (or didn't do) in high school
Dave's column on immigration law at Rather Than Working
It's fantastic
Because no one ever talks about the employers hiring "illegals"
And why don't we have a disparaging/vaguely racist name for them?
Went to Corbin's 50th birthday party last Friday
People wore crazy 70s costumes
I'd forgotten about the white tube socks with stripes
And the curling iron induced 'flip' hairdo
"If it doesn't make sense, it's probably not true."
Finding new music from my cousins via Facebook
Like this one: The Conversation
I am listening to: Conversations about projects
I am reading: About Jamie the hot highlander
And I am: Relaxed

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good Things Friday - Bending the Truth Edition

Susie was here for a long weekend - it was lovely, catching up and shopping and laughing
Discovered a new cheap yet delicious wine: Barefoot Shiraz ($5 at Walmart)
Got an owl necklace similar to this one for $3.80 at Forever 21
Never would've gone in there if it weren't for Susie
Managed to escape without feeling old
Mom & Da are coming this weekend
Life is just good when they're here
Corbin's big 50th birthday party is tonight
It's a 70s theme party
I don't have a costume
But I'm going braless
The only fitting tribute to that decade I can muster
Since I was in elementary school for most of it
Made employee of the week again on Monday
It was surprising since I felt like I was just doing my job
But it's nice regardless
Jim and I went to the Blackberry Inn Wednesday night
Then a long, zippy drive on the farm roads west of town
It was awesome
It's like pushing the reset button on my soul
Sold my MacBook Air last night via Gazelle
Enough cash to get an iPad
Feel pretty confident in my stance that starting a business relationship (hell, any relationship) with a lie is not good
And have given up arguing the point
Although it is unbelievably disappointing, given the people with whom I'm arguing
Sometimes it's more powerful to be quietly right
I've taken to drinking SlimFasts in the morning
Having something, anything for breakfast is good for you
I knew this, but it was Susie who reminded me
And I am better for it
As I always am, after her visits
She is the one who suggested breast reduction surgery years ago
She helps with learning how to shop
"Look at the price tag before you like it too much."
"Go to the sale racks first."
Anyhow, have a good weekend people and try to be kind (and honest) with each other
I am listening to: I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
I am reading: Outlander by Diana Gaboldan or something
And I am: Disappointed

Thursday, July 15, 2010

GTF - Sweating Like a Whore in Church Edition

It's hot
And I am not complaining
Because soon it will be nasty cold again
But I am sweating like a whore in church lately
Which happens to be one of my most favorite sayings
Went to the Kane County Fair Wednesday night
This is not a particularly good thing - it was quite lame
But it's given me a whole new appreciation
For the best county fair on the planet
The uber-fair if you will (and I know you will)
The Sandwich Fair
It's not some suburban bullshit asphalt fair-poser show
Speaking of bullshit
Penn & Teller's Bullshit show is good clean fun
I don't always agree with them - sometimes they're just maniacally wrong
But still, it's entertainment
The Pillars of the Earth is a series on Starz starting one week from today
It's one of my all time favorite books
I'm quite certain the movie will disappoint as most books-turned-to-mini-series do
Still, I will watch a bit
Susie is coming for her annual visit tomorrow
We will shop, sun, shop, sun and drink a little
It is good
Speaking of old friends - Corbin's 50th birthday is next weekend
Jim 'n me are going to All Dressed Up for 70s costumes
I would like to be a Disco queen
Had a fantastic time in Lake Geneva with the You Know Who's and Judy & Steve
There's something very special about swimming in Lake Geneva (or Geneva Lake as it's called)
I got a haircut last night
Here's hoping we vanquished the Billy Ray Cyrus mullet
If you haven't seen Don't Mess with the Zohan, rent it immediately
It is outstanding fun but you have to watch it more than once to really catch everything
Mom & Da are coming to town very soon
Can't wait for that
I am listening to: Quiet house
I am reading: Nothing right now
And i am: Sleepy

Friday, July 09, 2010

Good Things Friday

This song from Zack & Miri Make a Porno
It came up on a Genius mix from Sugar Ray's Fly
Fabulous sunny day song
My eye (MY EYE!) is slowly getting better
It's no longer got that raped/beaten look to it, just beaten
Had lunch at Dairy Queen in the South Loop last week
It was way better than I imagined
Jim's friend Tom was here twice in the past two weeks
He's a good soul
Jim & Tom were playing guitars in the basement last night
They did that 30+ years ago in Jim's parents' basement too
Wish You Were Here was quite good
Had a PB&J sammich for dinner last night
My umbrella makes me happy
The Poetry Foundation is building its new headquarters up the street from my office
Jim and I had an awesome city date Wednesday night - nice long walk on the beach followed by dinner
Made reservations for our anniversary dinner yesterday
"You have no power here! Be gone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!"
Looking forward to Corbin's 50th birthday bash - 70's style
Need to find costumes for this
I want to be a disco queen
Eric called earlier this week to thank for the visit
It was good to hear his voice
Disk Inventory X is a great tool
Weeded the whole front yard last Saturday
Very satisfying work
Jim got a flag and red/white/blue bunting for the front porch for the Fourth
It looked great
Now we have a list of dates to put up the flag
I am looking forward to this responsibility
I like the word 'bunting'
It can mean so many things
Finished watching the A&E mini series Pride & Prejudice
Soooo good after reading the book
We watched the movie Taken with Liam Neeson night before last
Actually quite good
It was a relatively intelligent thriller type movie
With no particularly disappointing moments
I recommend it
Susie will be here one week from tomorrow
For our annual long weekend of drinking, shopping and sunning
I am looking forward to at least one long, cramp-inducing belly laugh
Another lovely summer tradition
Cried as I finished the book The Help
It is just fantastic
And to think all of that happened just 50 years ago
The bus arrived just as I reached the stop Wednesday morning
It's been a good week for public transportation
A Persian cab driver said to me yesterday: "Who came up with work like a dog? Doggies don't work. In my country, it's work like a donkey. Much better."
I couldn't agree more
I am listening to: Len - Steal My Sunshine
I am reading: Just finished The Help - awesome book
And I am: Sleepy

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Good Things Friday - Peacocky Edition

A peacock lived across the street from us when we were little kids
It was sort of a mini-farm with a couple of ponies, too
And other small animals I can't recall
Mom told us the peacock was saying "My Eye! My Eye!" when it would make its loud peacocky noises at night
Yesterday morning I woke up with a huge gross broken blood vessel in my eye (My Eye!)
It aches a little
My official story is "You should see the other c*nt."
Thanks to Jim the IT Guy for that one
I'm still laughing over the fact that I'm c*nt #1 in this 2-c*nt scenario
Eric is here again - another 24 hour visit on his way home from his cross-country road trip
He's got a lot of great stories about his trip
Mostly involving women of all walks who really like dirty, rough-looking biker dudes
Including at least one 80-ish chick
Eric reminded me that (at the house across from the peacock) we pressed our hands into the fresh cement floor of the barn
Built by Da and other family members back in the mid-70's
I forgot about that
He went there and showed it to the home's new owner
And said "That's my hand, I'm Eric"
Very cool
Saw a couple of satellites while looking up at the stars last night
By the fire
It was a very good night
A young person blew a stop sign and my dad was in a car accident yesterday afternoon - he's okay, just very sore
And pissed off that his car is totaled
Why is this good news?
Because he's okay
It could've been way worse
I was nominated to the board of a local charity
It was kinda cool - they actually read my resume and liked it
My resume is updated for 2010
It feels good but is rather odd since I'm used to updating it when I'm looking for a new job
Which I'm not
My boss told the team in our status on Monday that the company is at 83% of our revenue goal for the year
It's likely we'll be at 100% by the end of July
The rest of the year is big fat icing on a rather delicious and fun cake
So yes, still warm and yummy feelings for my job after two years (on June 18)
Speaking of cake, it feels like I'm losing weight
Happens every summer
More moving, less eating
Finished reading Pride & Prejudice last week
Such a fabulous story - and so very laugh out loud funny
Off to breakfast with Eric now
Have I mentioned he's awesome?
Have a great holiday weekend, everyone
And remember with all the fireworks, food and fun
Living here with all this glorious freedom is a privilege, not a right
I am listening to: Collective Soul - The World I Know
I am reading: Nothing right now but contemplating the Outlander series
And I am: So happy and relaxed I could cry

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This moment

"Do you know this song? It's Jason Mraz. I have the album," says my brother Eric.

We're out to dinner at a local fest last Friday and the band is playing I'm Yours, one of my absolute favorite songs of 2009.

It is, in this moment, that I realize (again) how much we have in common. And yet we are so completely disconnected and distant.

More my fault than his - I moved away after all. But it is painful to consider all the vast richness of day-to-day everything I am missing, being so far away. And not just with him, but with my parents as well.

This makes me unbelievably sad.

However. It's never too late, right? Eric and me, we're off to a good start and I think (I hope) to find this re-acquainting process easier than we imagined.

This makes me happy.
I am listening to: A quiet house
I am reading: Sister Carrie - T. Dreiser
And I am: Hopeful

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Things Friday

My brother Eric is coming to visit today
I am sitting on the screened porch with Gromit
The sun is shining and there is a lovely breeze
Had a great time at Swedish Days last night
The new Chianti beer garden is perfect
I am totally lost in the novel Pride & Prejudice
Had a GREAT time with Nelson & Kyra last weekend
Cleaned the front porch last Sunday
It was a complete wreck - cobwebs, dirt, bleh
Now it's much better
Nelson introduced me to the game Angry Birds for the iPhone
It's fabulous silly fun
I love it when the pigs laugh at me for missing them
(You slingshot various types of angry birds at laughing pigs in glass and wood structures)
It sounds crazy but it's very good
Had Cheerios for breakfast
Two highly recommended movies: Zombieland and Tropic Thunder
This enlightening article on Stan McChrystal, which got him fired
I am listening to: The Fray - All at Once
I am reading: P&P by J. Austen
And I am: Fine

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Good Things Friday – Cautionary Tale Edition

“Do you want me to tell you what I told everyone at work or what really happened?”
“Well that’s intriguing. Both please.”
I can’t provide any more detail on this but it is one HELL of a story and a cautionary tale for our time
It’s the perfect illustration of a man showing his true character in the face of some horrifyingly self-induced adversity
My brother Eric will be here one week from today
This really is my favorite season because of all the friends/family that visit
Nelson was here last weekend for his annual trip
Nelson AND Kyra are here this weekend
Nelson is my oldest friend (who I stay in touch with/see regularly)
I don’t know why it’s so important
But we did meet in third grade
Which is why this ridiculous article from the NY Times on the end of best friends makes me want to puke on my shoes
These ass-tards are keeping scads of little Nelsons and Heathers from a lifetime of laughs, comfort and fun
It’s tragic
Back to good things
Speaking of old friends visiting, Susie booked her flight this week
We are doing the annual long weekend of sunning/shopping/boozing in July
Tom Cruise was on the MTV Movie Awards
He did his Tropic Thunder dance as Les Grossman live on the stage
It was fucking awesome
And (nearly) cancelled out his whole Oprah/couch dance thing
Last week is over
The worst trade show of my life
And that includes the time I dropped my mobile phone in the toilet at Oracle Open World
And not a damn thing I could do about any of it
In spite of that, we got 90+ solid leads
Hosted a webinar today with 75 more
Best webinar ever
So things are rolling along nicely
Got some rather lovely, unsolicited positive feedback from our new operations guy
And made Employee of the Week (2nd time this year – yay me)
Mike the Painter is here working on the deck
He already painted the floor of the balcony “porch gray”
And it looks exactly like I imagined it would
Had dinner with Mr. & Mrs. You Know Who Tuesday night at the Blackberry Inn
Their jalapeno cheeseburger is burn-your-face-off fabulous
Plus, did a shot of Dr. McGillacuddy’s something or other with Mrs. YKW, the bartender and wait staff
“It’s an 8 o’clock tradition for all the women”
It tasted like peppermint gum
Got to see Susan from Susan's Snippets Wednesday night
We are working on a project together and I really really like it
Got my nails done Monday night
Is it a bad thing to say a shop is “ethnic”?
Because it is
But I don’t know if it’s racist to say it
(Maybe I do know the answer but I’d like to hear it to confirm)
It’s ethnic in that everyone there except me is not white
And they like to do nails really really really long
With all sorts of funky designs and colors and shit
And I’m just this silly white chick
Who wants a simple, short French manicure once in awhile
I’m constantly fighting to get what I want there
To the point where I have gone back and said “Do over please, too long.”
The irony is, the guy who does my nails is named Long
He is Chinese but from Vietnam
What would you do?
Go somewhere else?
Stop being so picky?
STFU and stop being a racist prima donna?
I am reading Pride & Prejudice right now
It is delicious
It’s awesome and refreshing to just sit and read a book
And it makes me laugh out loud
Which is good for a book written
I am listening to: Ludacris – Get Back
I am reading: Jane Austen’s Price & Prejudice
And I am: Calm

Friday, June 04, 2010

Good Things Friday – Hmm Hmm Hmm Edition

44 years ago today, Mom & Da got married
That’s a very long time to be with one person
But if anyone could do it, they could
I think the key to a good marriage mostly depends on having a good sense of humor
Sang the “Happy Anniversary” song to Mom this morning (out of tune)
“Thank you. I just got done singing it to your father.”
I’m not going to tell you what she said next
But it involves partial nudity
And a good sense of humor
It’s been a tough week at work
More stressful than the usual
Not because of anything I have control over
I guess that’s what makes it more stressful
The guy who looks like the eagle from The Muppet Show is sitting across from me on the train
He looks crabby and mean
And all I keep thinking is “Naked! People…under their clothes are NAKED! Birds…under their feathers…NAKED!”
One week from today I’ll be picking up Nelson from the airport
We drink, we laugh, we bitch, we listen to music, we hang by the pool, and we play Scrabble
Can’t wait
His annual visit always kicks off Official summer around here
Went to the original Ferrara Pan Candy family bakery on Taylor Street Wednesday
If you’ve ever had Lemonheads or
You know about them
It’s very cool
Jim was in Paris & Belgium this week
So I’ve been singing “There’s a place called France where the ladies where no pants…”
He gets home tomorrow
While I really enjoy the alone time, everything is better when he’s here
I am reading a fantastic book right now: Give the Lady What She Wants – The Story of Marshall Field & Company
It was written in 1952
Great history of Chicago and the guy who pretty much invented the money back guarantee
Anyhow who sells anything should read it
It’s about customer service and marketing and merchandising – fascinating
Plus the great Chicago Fire
Lots of old photos too
Got my teeth cleaned yesterday
And a haircut
Always feels good getting spiffed up
Found out the AP Stylebook is an iPhone app
It is very cool and makes writing press releases much easier
I watched the original Willie Wonka movie earlier this week
And I’ve had the song “Pure Imagination” in my head all week
I am listening to: Morning huddle for work
I am reading: Give the Lady What She Wants
And I am: Trying to get in tune Hmm Hmm Hmm

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good Things Friday – Monkey Balls Edition

10 years ago today, Grommie dog was born
Best Dog Ever
I tell him all the time
It’s a beautiful day
The Veterans are out with their poppies
There’s a woman abusing herself with an eyelash curler a couple seats over on the train
Whatever gene it is that makes you wanna do extremely private stuff in public
I don’t have it
Well maybe I had it for a few indiscrete moments in college
But it was just a phase
Certainly not genetic
We’re having a Welcome to the Neighborhood Party
Tomorrow night
For our new neighbors Pam & Eric
We’ve invited a lot of neighbors that we don’t typically see
From all over the ‘hood
Should be fun
Ever walk into a store knowing you wanted something but not exactly what?
I got this small wallet phone holder thingie from Carson’s
It fits my phone perfectly
This is that something
The Hipstamatic camera app for my phone is fabulous and fun
I’m wearing the scarf I bought at Coldwater Creek
Shopping with Mom Mother’s Day weekend
I met with Adam yesterday
He’s the guy who built our web site
It’s going to be awesome
I haven’t been this happy about a new web site in 6 years
The content management system is called SilverStripe
And it’s fabulous
Way better than .Net Nuke
Which sucks hairy monkey balls
Ball sack
I bet when you woke up this morning
You didn’t expect to hear about hairy monkey balls
Did you?
The woman across from me (not the eyelash curler masochist)
Is wearing pink Converse tennis shoes
As cute as they are
Those shoes have never looked all that comfy to me
It’s Memorial Day weekend
All day yesterday it was “Are you coming in tomorrow?”
“Are you coming in tomorrow?”
“Are you coming in tomorrow?”
Hell yeah, I’m coming in tomorrow
I’d sure like to know when the day before a holiday weekend became part of the holiday
It never used to be that way
Our government is finally doing (sort of) the right thing
On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
If the most well-trained military organization on the planet
(The Israeli Army)
Doesn’t have a problem with it
Why should we?
I am listening to: All-American Rejects – Swing Swing
I am reading: Press release for Internet Retailer conference
And I am: Sunny with a chance of monkey balls

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"We are out of toilet paper."
"Does that mean I can't poop?"
"You can poop all you want. You just can't wipe."
I am listening to: The fan on the MacBook
I am reading: Eh nothing good, too much worky
And I am: Glad I keep a secret stash

Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Things Friday – Loading the Truck Edition

There’s a guy in a rented Bobcat
At the Aurora train station
Loading chunks of asphalt and concrete into a dump truck
It’s masterful
Jockeying the scoop under the pile to maximize the load
Carefully positioning it high over the truck bed
Followed by the drop and the quick flick to empty
Sometimes I wish for a job like that
Where at the end of the day I could say
I built this or
I moved that or
I loaded the truck
It’s date night
Me and Jim are going to dinner then IronMan 2
I can’t wait
Which after almost 20 years is pretty fucking cool
I know I say it a lot
Perhaps to the point of being irritating
But it is pretty fucking cool
Speaking of irritating
I finally got to drive myself to the train station today
After a long week of being shuttled by Jim because of car repairs
This made me extremely crabby
The good thing is
I realized my moods are directly related to
How often I work out
How much alone time I have
How much I have to rely on others
For anything
This is something to really think about as I get older
Celebrated Mr. You Know Who’s 50th birthday in Lake Geneva last weekend
Realized that all of my favorite bar moments involve Mr. YKW
“And the whore will have a Jack & Coke”
“You call your wife a whore?”
“Hell no, she’s not my wife”
“Thank God you’re here, before you arrived the best looking broad in the joint was the one armed junkie whore sleeping on the bar”
We went to a special beer dinner with Mr. & Mrs. You Know Who and friends
Wednesday night
Sponsored by Leinenkugl
It was a fabulous gourmet meal that paired different beers with awesome crazy fun foods
We’re going to do it again next month for sure
There’s a car wash a block from our office
Fancy-schmancy cars in and out all day
Walking to lunch, someone was backing out post-wash
And I needed to wait on the sidewalk
For this small delay I got an amazingly open delightful grin
From an old gray-haired dude in a spanking new Mercedes
It was totally unexpected and made me smile right back
One of those fantastic, unplanned moments you share with a stranger
That stays with you
For days
I finally finally finally hired someone to do our web site
It’s what we do (build web sites for companies)
But I can never get our guys to do it for me
Which is good because we’re busy and profitable
But our web site really sucks ass
Which kills me
But not for too much longer
We got a new comforter set for our bed
It is awesome and soft and comfy
Plus it’s huge – I sleep better because now I’m not fighting for covers
If someone would invent a comforter to prevent snoring we’d be all set
The diner-type joint called Yolk at Wells & Chicago in River North
It’ll put you in a good mood no matter what
I bought a 2-terabyte drive on Amazon last night
To begin storing all the movies and TV shows I’m ripping
It’s such a fun project
Another fun project: Unsubscribing
In the past month I’ve unsubscribed from at least 50
Bullshit industry newsletters, email alerts and daily news bulletins
The ones I never read are gone
Which makes me more likely to read the ones that are truly valuable
“How many mee-nutes?”
That was the wrinkly old Italian dude waiting with me for the #11 bus yesterday
He saw me checking the schedule on my phone
It was cute how he smiled and asked
Then looking up and around, he said
“Chicago…is beautiful, yes?”
“Yes, it is. Are you visiting here?” I ask
“No, I live here 27 years. Beautiful,” he says
Yes it is
I wonder
How to make my job feel more like loading the truck
More meaningful
Because I realize it’s on me to do that
Every day it’s on me to look up and around
To find the beautiful
In what’s old and familiar
I am listening to: World Exploded into Love - B. Schneider
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Loading the truck

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Things Friday - Glitter in the Air Edition

Pink - Glitter in the Air
My new favorite song right now
FANTASTIC, RELAXING, WONDERFUL time in Michigan for Mother's Day weekend
I love how talking to my Mom always brings clarity on a subject
Got my nails done tonight
It's such a simple, silly, girly thing but it makes me happy
I think it's mostly because at least one very small part of my existence feels 'done'
Ya know?
Watched the movie Elizabeth this week - it's really quite good
And it always rejuvenates my old crush on Joseph Fiennes
He's just plain old yummy
I appreciate the fact that we live in a neighborhood where I can leave a door open and be gone for more than an hour
There's a lovely cool breeze coming in through the doorwall
Gromit is snoring on the couch
And I'm ripping movies
Hoping to have all of our shit digitized by end of summer
I'm done beating myself up over silly mistakes
Spending the weekend in Lake Geneva with Mr. & Mrs. You Know Who to celebrate his 50th
It's going to be a blast
Any time I can play a semi-dirty word on Facebook Scrabble, I will, even if it means less points
Like 'anus'
Or 'tits'
The new iPhone comes out in June and I'm thinking I might be on it
The iPad is interesting - but I can't make calls from it and don't want another device to carry around
The ideal scenario: I'd be able to make calls from it and switch it with my iPhone whenever I don't feel like carrying the iPad around
Now that would be cool
The Logitech Universal Remote has saved our marriage
I'm dead serious
It is smarter than I am when it comes to getting our shit to do what I want it to do
"Is the DVD player on?"
"Did this help?"
It's amazing
I'm wearing my Obama 44 sweatshirt
It's very comfy
Although I always have reservations about wearing it in public
Like an angry teabagger will beat me up or something
I fantasize they'll say something like "Your shirt offends me"
And then I'll have the opportunity to say something like "Eat my ass, fucktard"
Or maybe I'll just smile and say "Your ignorance offends me, so let's call it even"
Something like that
I am listening to: Gromit snoring and the traffic on Randall
I am reading: This blog, which has some very interesting stuff about the founder of Facebook
And I am: Okay

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flying Cars & Potato Chips

I use Google Reader on my iPhone.

Translation for non-geek types: Google (the search engine) also allows me to set up news preferences, automagically sending top stories from newspapers all over the world to my iPhone. This means I don’t have to visit every news site – I get it all in one place. It’s a quick, convenient way to get a snapshot of world news during my morning commute.

Anyhow. That’s not the point.

This morning I’m on the late train to work with Google reader, when I see this ├╝ber-enticing item from the New York Times:

“The Moment You’ve Waited For”


Really? GREAT.

The flying car is finally here!
They’ve invented a potato chip that won’t make my ass fat(ter)!
They caught Osama Bin Laden!

These are the things that came to mind. In that order. Yep.
Hedy, Hedy, Hedy.

Flying cars and potato chips? Really?

No world peace? No end to hunger and other global strife?

What sort of left wing liberal whore are you?

The sort that really wants a flying car and a potato chip RIGHT NOW, goddammit.
“What could it be?” I thought. “This magical moment for which we’ve all been waiting.”

Am I part of the group ‘all’? And what makes this thing so universally momentous?
Nope. And nope. Turns out it's a cool story but certainly not the moment I'VE personally been waiting for, to my utter disappointment and disgust.

It’s a story about this very cool photography project called A Moment in Time. Here's the explanation.

So what's the Moment You've Waited For? First thing that pops into your head. Go.
I am listening to: A co-worker talking too much as usual
I am reading: Google Reader
And I am: Cold and damp

Friday, May 07, 2010

Good Things Friday - Detroit Edition

Drove to Michigan this morning
There is something about being on the road
No agenda
No deadlines
Nobody really knows where I am
Just me singing in the car
I am writing this from Mom & Da's computer
Per a request from Dave @ Rather Than Working
It's thundering out now
"I have a real problem with my hearing."
"What are you going to do about that?"
Kisses from Rudy dog
Mom gave us a fashion show of all the clothes she bought for the big Hawaii trip in November
Everything was amazing-bursting-green on the way here, like nature exploded
I wrote another scene from my screenplay on the way here
Being on the road does that
I had a great week at work
Got so much done
And the owner/president/my boss says we're ahead of projections for the year
Which is so cool - I forgot what it's like to be part of a thriving, growing too-busy-for words company
The song "Closer to Fine" by the Indigo Girls
My Mom's home made potato salad
My Mom's home made Navy cake
The thunder is shaking the house
'Beerfart' as a term of endearment
Sleeping in my old room tonight; the dreams are always amazing
I am listening to: The storm and humming Indigo Girls
I am reading: My own stuff for a change
And I am: Closer to fine

Friday, April 30, 2010

Good Things Friday – Magneto Edition

Did my very first 5k last Sunday – walked 90% of it but it felt great

Like the very start of something wonderful

Next 5K is in May, then another in June

I’m wearing flip-flops today

Just had some Light & Fit yogurt – blueberry is best

Had a GREAT conversation with Da this morning

Belly laughed with him about an extremely heated political argument we had on Monday

It felt soooo good

I told him about the first time I ever heard the word ‘magneto’

I must’ve been about 6 or 7 and he was taking apart the lawn mower

And explaining all the different parts

I remember feeling like I really needed to hold on to that moment

And soak in everything

Like the little gray sponge in the air filter

Mom & Da are really enjoying his retirement

It’s fabulous

Jim comes home tomorrow from his annual spring European tour

He is not a rock star in the classic sense of the word

But very popular there nonetheless

He was in Basel, Switzerland for part of the trip

I like saying Basel


It feels good, you should try it.


Magneto is a good word too


I missed Jim but the house sure stayed clean this week

My good friend Jim the IT guy showed me how to digitize our DVDs

I’m halfway done ripping Season 3 of Six Feet Under

It’s a good project

He recommended MakeMKV for ripping DVDs – it’s fast and easy to use

And Plex Media Center for Mac for managing and viewing our whole digital library – music, tv shows, movies, photos, etc.

It’s pretty slick and I can’t wait to get it connected to everything

Been listening to Green Day’s American Idiot this week

It’s one of those rare albums you can listen to all the way through

So much poetry, so much intensity

Really captured the Bush/Cheney era

I watched this Butterfinger commercial 30 times last night

Could not stop laughing

Something about the sound the phone makes when it hits his forehead


Had a great week at work

Selected our new corporate logo/brand

Next up is the web site re-launch and exhibit booth

After 20 years of doing this stuff I still get excited about it

There’s a man on the corner of Wacker & Washington who says

“Have a blessed day”

To everyone during the morning and evening rush

It’s our dear friend Judy’s last day at the firehouse today

She’s going off on an exciting new adventure after 14 years there

I’m a big proponent of shaking things up and going on adventures every so often

We’re wishing her nothing but the best


I am listening to: Green Day – American Idiot

I am reading: Nothing

And I am: BaselBaselBaselBaselMagneto

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good Things Friday - Only If I Have to Edition

This morning I opened a yogurt and SPLAT - it shot out all over my chest.
Not as sexy as it sounds.
Then I opened an orange juice - same thing.
By 10 a.m. I looked like I'd been rolling around in the gutter.
Which also is not as sexy as it sounds.
Anyhow, I'm at work crabby as hell and then the mail came, including a letter from the Make a Wish foundation here in Chicago.
Thanking my company for donating some Bulls tickets a few weeks back.
In it, was another letter from a boy named Tony:

Even though the past two years were the worst days of my life, I have been so fortunate to have so many people reach out and be so kind and thoughtful. I cannot believe that someone would actually give up such good seats to someone they do not even know. Please let them know that I had one of the best days of my life and I was SO GRATEFUL.

I have no idea what this boy's life is like.

But I do know that the petty bullshit-stress-drama-whathaveyou we deal with on a regular basis is nothing compared to the life or death struggles of this kid.

This kid that I don't know. Who had one of the best days of his life because nobody here could use our court side tickets.

An IM from my friend Taxman earlier today
Asking about the Friday blog
And telling me that my former friend Spike called him Hedy Jr.
(which Taxman says he took as a compliment)
Which made me smile
I made Spanish rice last night and it was excellent
My first 5k EVER is this Sunday morning
It is a walk/run
I will be on the walk side of things but this is the first of many races
In which I hope to eventually run
Had a great conversation with my friend Kyra on the way home from work Wednesday night
Found out my parents are going to Hawaii with us for An Extra Special Wedding in November
To have (most) of the people I love the most in my most favorite place on Earth will be unimaginably outstanding
Road the train in with Susan this morning
Went walking with friend/neighbor Debbie two nights this week
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart makes me laugh out loud pretty much every day
Antonio and his crew came this week for the spring yard clean up and it looks OUTSTANDING
Plus, they cut out an area for the vegetable garden I'm planting next month
The research is fun
I cried a little yesterday thinking "Gosh I wish my Grandpa Kammer was here so I could ask him questions about growing a garden. What a great conversation that would be."
It was a sad, totally unexpected cry but took me to some very good memories
I am trying to figure out if his garden was really as big as I remember or if I was just so small
"I'm thinking Blackberry tonight" - email from Jim just now
It'll be three date night Fridays in a row for us
Understanding that some people survive on bullshit alone
And I am not one of them
I am listening to: Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Iz
I am reading: A client case study
And I am: Grateful

Friday, April 16, 2010

Good Things Friday - Bubbly Edition

My new song list: Hed's Happy Time Tunes
My toes are a-okay and ready to be pedicured tomorrow
Walking to/from work instead of the bus - it's a hike but I love it
The cab driver who gave me a copy of the Quran Wednesday
Today is pay day
Planning date night
Planning a trip to Michigan for Mother's Day
Planning You-Know-Who's big 50th birthday in LG
Planning the trip for Nelson's wedding in Hawaii
The juggling balls from Judy for my birthday - love them
Doggies in a car next to the bus - smiling at me
My friend/co-worker Kathleen got engaged
Her ring is gorgeous - I rarely feel jealous but this is Gee Whiz Amazing Beautiful
That's about all I've got today for some reason.
I am listening to: The Rainbow Connection - Sara McLachlan
I am reading: Nothing much
And I am: A-okay

Friday, April 09, 2010

Good Things Friday - Late Late Edition

Today was the final battle in a life long war against my in-grown toe nails
My doctor puts smileys on the bandages
As in:
Jim the IT guy: "If I was Jim, I'd have Petersoned your ass long ago."
Me: "Petersoned?"
Jim the IT guy: "Yeah, as in Drew and Scott. Petersoned."
I signed up for the Sweetness 5K on June 5
The movie: Sweet Home Alabama
A classic chick movie
Jake (Josh Lucas) is just awesome
Jim making me belly laugh via email today
The word 'putz'
As in, since we have no plans this weekend, I am going to putz around the house
Weather permitting, I will cut the grass for the first time this weekend
I can't WAIT
The movie: He's Just Not That Into You
Great scenes between Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck
Sure wish she could get more roles like that because she's not an idiot
My chiropractor
The user group/meetup I started last month now has 88 members
And people are attending from Minneapolis and Kansas City this month
It's just cool
New song by Pink: Glitter in the Air
It's just beautiful
I am listening to: Pink
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Relaxed

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Things Friday - Late Edition

Marking days off my calendar with a blue marker
Which may not seem like much of a good thing
But I was out with mono for most of Jan/Feb so it's satisfying
Blue is for in the office, red is mono and the pink dots represent days I've worked out
I moved my desk at work on the advice of a Feng Shui consultant and it actually feels really good
I'm happy to say I've never shit my pants as an adult
I realize that could change at any time
It's been 80 degrees the past two days
Where are all the "Global Warming is Bullshit" folks now - the same people who crowed about all the snow
During one of the warmest winters on record
(Assholes are not a good thing)
But oh well
I have flip flops on and it's April 2
A co-worker April fool'd me yesterday via text
I liked the emotional roller coaster - "Oh, NO" "You asshole!" "Hilarious!"
It felt good
My toes are bright pink
Well I think more fuschia
I had to look up how to spell fuschia
I've been walking to/from work instead of taking the bus or a cab
It's a 35-40 minute walk
I see a lot of cool stuff
Like men placing small squares of plywood near a building
"What are those for?"
The next day, a scaffold was sitting on the small squares
Now I know
I am blessed beyond belief with the best husband on the planet
He makes me laugh and cooks and helps me take life less seriously
My co-worker was on the news this morning for a Make a Wish room makeover
For a 12 year old girl with Long QT syndrome
(this is not a good thing)
But seeing her smile at the new bedroom - all purple and fun - was pretty cool
Hearing about a lot of people getting new jobs - hopeful sign that things are turning
Lunch with my friend Susan yesterday
Sitting on 'our' bench in the park
In the sun
Catching up
Was lovely
Text message from Jim just now: "Do you want to do a date?"
My response: "Sounds great!"
I have a full container of Wet Ones on my desk
(unrelated to the earlier statement about shitting my pants)
But it's a comfort having them
Figured out how to switch the phones over myself (moving my desk)
The phone lines in the server room were like spaghetti
But not so complicated when you really focus on what needs to be done
From my new desk, I can see the five buddhas in the conference room
And they can see me
I am listening to: Indigo Girls - Closer to Fine
I am reading: Not much
And I am: Closer to fine

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Angry Republicans

Here’s what confounds me most lately: All of these Republicans – they’re angry at people they’ve never met who’ve supposedly taken something from them they never had.

You know them.

The angry people. There’s a lot of them lately.

They’re angry at the current state of affairs and they’re blaming lazy, unmotivated, freeloading illegal immigrants and lazy, unmotivated, freeloading poor people. Or they're blaming socialist/communist Democrats (which if you understand anything about socialism, communism, or Democrats, you'd know there's no way in hell to be any of those three things all at once.)

Let’s take a step back, shall we?

Let’s take a long, deep breath.

Mmmmmm. Ahhhhhhhh.

Now let’s try – really try – to understand why things are the way they are rather than screaming at the sky all the time.

First, illegal immigrants. Republicans are very angry at people who come to this country illegally. Why don’t they go through the proper channels? Why do they think they can just come here and why don’t they learn English and why why why?

1) The majority of illegal immigrants come here for jobs
2) Jobs that are offered by people
3) People who, for whatever reason, don’t want to pay a fair wage or health insurance or unemployment insurance or anything else that employers are legally required to pay
4) If the illegal jobs weren’t offered, people wouldn’t come here
5) Why would anyone break the law to come to a foreign country to work at jobs that no one wants for crap pay and zero benefits?
6) Maybe it’s because it’s slightly better than what their own country has to offer and maybe they have families they need to feed
7) And wouldn’t you do the same?
8) Is it so hard to imagine someone desperate to provide for their family – are all of us fat, happy Americans so disconnected from reality that we can’t see this as a possibility
9) And have a little compassion?
10) Here’s a better question: Why is all the Republican outrage directed at illegal immigrants (foreign and brown) and not at the people making money off of them (wealthy and white)?
11) Republicans want a crack down on illegal aliens but they don’t want to look at the source of the problem – the illegal employers.

Next topic: Republicans are angry that someone, somewhere out there is getting a Free Ride.

Think of someone you know. I am right now. He’s a relative, so no, I’m not thinking of you.

They haven’t held a job most of their life, living off the good graces of family and friends. Occasionally, they come up with a Brilliant Plan for Making It Big This Time involving some un-small monetary investment on your part that invariably ends in a fizzled up pile of frustration and excuses.

We all know at least one person like this. Maybe two.

If you’re fortunate enough to be a member of two or three different families (mom’s, dad’s, spouse’s), odds are you’ll know two or three of these people, but no more.


1) Most people want to work
2) The national unemployment rate is around 10% right now; 9.7% to be exact
3) During good times, it hovers around 3%
4) Which means 97% of the U.S. population is gainfully employed
5) Which means 3% or less of the population will always be unemployed
6) Because for some, that’s the way they want it
7) And there’s nothing we can do to convince these people they should work
8) So why waste all of this anger on something a) will never change and b) we can’t do anything about?

Oh and if you’re thinking most of those people who don’t want to work are non-white – I hate to tell you this, you’re a racist.

Here’s the bottom line (mostly because I’m at work now and can’t write anymore):

Rather than being angry and/or afraid and looking for someone to blame – rather than being overly concerned with a small percentage of people you’ll never, ever change – here’s a thought: Why not be the fearless, powerful self you are and try to make a difference in the world?

You’ll feel better. And quite frankly, so will I.
I am listening to: Counting Crows – Rain King
I am reading: Nothing good lately
And I am: Fearless and powerful

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good Thing Friday

Here's to the best thing that ever happened to me: My Mom.

Today is her birthday and I'm ever so glad she was born.
I am listening to: Tracy Chapman - Sing For You
I am reading: Not much
And I am: Happy

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good things Friday

I am wearing my favorite new comfy-cuddly sweater/wrap thing from Ann Taylor Loft
I do not look like this in it
Jim calls it a poncho
“Is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho?” - Frank Zappa
The sun is shining and it’s relatively warm
A big golden dog smiling, hanging his head out the back seat of a Jeep
Kicked off a user group this week that is going to be huge
Remembering the last time I had an uncontrollable giggle fit
It was at a small playhouse in Chicago with my friend Susan
“Do you know what the Nazis did first? They took all the guns away from the Jews.”
The actor stopped in the middle of her monolog, looked at us and said, “Is there a problem?”
Which only made things worse
You really had to be there
Da’s birthday is tomorrow
I am so grateful he was born
Planning a trip to Michigan in May to shop estate sales with Mom
Planning Nelson’s annual trip to Chicago in June
Planning Susie’s annual trip to Chicago sometime this summer
The “Bang” song from How I Met Your Mother
A date with Jim at the Roundhouse last night
It’s so cool and amazing how, after all these years, we still have great conversations
The restaurant Yolk on Wells in River North – great omelets and amazing fresh fruit
I’m finally awake and thinking clearly after two months of mono
I am listening to: Some jerk yap yap yap
I am reading: Nothing much
And I am: Comfy-cuddly

Friday, March 05, 2010

Good Things Friday - Hairy Mammoth Edition

I’m finally kicking the mono’s ass instead of it kicking mine
The famous 'hairy mammoth' of Chicago
Laughing with Mom on the phone
My fingernails look great
The sun is SHINING!
Lunch @ Portillo's with Jim the IT guy today
Going to dinner with the You Know Who’s tonight
“That looks a little big on you, let’s try the medium.” - the angelic and delightful salesperson @ Ann Taylor Loft in Geneva Commons
The Old Spice commercial – “I’m on a horse.”
Still haven’t had any chips since June of last year in spite of many opportunities including a special 'mono dispensation' from Jim
The upside to mono: lots of reading. Recommended: Game Change, The Lost Symbol, and Hawaii by James Michener
“Practically every week I hear somebody say ‘You should see all the great things Heather is doing for LCG.’ We really screwed up letting you go with Larry.” - the guy who fired me 2.5 years ago
“Well I believe everything happens for a reason and I’m really happy now.” - my response
It’s funny – I didn’t even think before saying that, it just came out. Must be true.
I am listening to: Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better
I am reading: Nothing right now
And I am: Rockin'

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The myth/math of networking

I've mentioned it before: The best jobs never get posted to Monster or Careerbuilder.

If you're in the market for a new gig, it'll find you. That's the power of your professional network. It can be explained using this simple formula:

R x T(I) = QPN

R = Reputation
T(I) = Time spent in an Industry
QPN = Quality of your Professional Network

If you're good, this isn't something you should really need to work at - your professional network just grows through the normal course of your career.

That said, I'm not a huge fan of the new millennium brand of Networking.

You go to a 'Networking' event. You chat with an ass-load of boring people you don't know. And, according to Expert Networkers, VOILA! BAM! POW!

Business comes your way.

Not so much.

And here's why. Let's call it Hedy's Neediness Quotient.

Well maybe not quotient. Theorem? Ack. Hypothesis?

Eh, fuck it, I was never much into science.

Let's call it Hedy's Neediness Something-or-Other That Implies It's Not Quite a Rule Yet But Should Be.


Yeah, that sounds fine. And fuck you, I'm a little rusty, cut me some slack here.
What's the goal of networking? To help your business, right?

You find people who need what you're selling OR you find people you need to hire to help you sell more. Right?

But the more needy you are, the less likely you'll be able to provide something of value to other networkers. Right?

And the less needy you are, the less likely you'll need to attend a networking event.

See the problem? The people who have the most power to be of help at networking events AREN'T THERE.
I've been trying to figure this out for months. Well off and on for months.

Okay, maybe just for a few minutes here and there while I'm on the crapper, but still.
"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." - Mark Twain
I'm working on another theory for how this relates to the usefulness of social media. Again, it's all about needs.

99% of what gets Twittered, Facebooked and LinkedIn'd isn't worthwhile to anyone but the social retard who posted it. Myself included.
"I'm an introvert, that's why I don't do networking events."

That was my original reason but it never quite sat well. First of all, I believe that "introvert" is mostly a state of mind - we can choose to be outgoing and sociable if we deem it worthwhile. More on that another time.

Today I've finally (roughly) figured out the real reason why I've always been so negative on networking events: They're simply not worthwhile for people like me.
Please. Tell me if I'm full of shit on this. Or if I'm just full of shit in general. It'd be great to hear from you.
But Hedy, what about the altruistic aspect of networking? What about just putting yourself out there to be of some small help to The Universe?

I can think of other ways to do that - ways that don't involve making small talk with strangers while downing crappy crudites and piss-warm wine.
I am listening to: Dream Big - Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand
I am reading: Zeitoun by David Eggers
And I am: Rusty

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Where ya bean

When I was a kid, I thought we were all human beans.

Green beans. Lima beans. String beans. Jumping beans. Baked beans.

And human beans.

Learning that I'm not a bean was one of the single most disappointing moments of my childhood.
Speaking of my childhood, I've spent the past year dissecting every aspect of my existence in a class Jim calls Charm School.

It's over now.

And this is one of the first Tuesday nights I've had free since last year around this time.

I went into the class thinking I was relatively self aware (food issues, anger issues, and maybe some - yikes - sex issues) but overall a relatively healthy, functioning human bean.

The class helped me figure out some pretty important things about myself and it took a lot of my time and energy to do so. Thus the lack of writing.

Or the lack of public writing anyhow.
Here's the thing: Way back in Oh Hell Whenever I started writing here, I swore I'd tell the truth.

The unedited, unpretty, and the unpolished.

I uncovered a lot more of that sort of stuff in Charm School and it became decidedly dangerous and uncomfortable to let some of it fly here.

Or maybe I'm just a coward.

Anyhow. That's the poop.

This feels like I'm easing back into something comfortable and comforting, so we'll see where it goes.
I am listening to: The fan on the Mac
I am reading: Hawaii by James Michener
And I am: FINE

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mono without all the fun of getting it

I am realizing - by the stilted reactions of several acquaintances - that there's a bit of a stigma around mono.

"Mono? Feel better."

"Mono? How'd that happen?"

"Mono? I always knew you were a whore."

You get the picture.

I sincerely wish I'd had some of the fun involved with contracting this evil virus. It would make having my ass embedded in the couch so much more enjoyable, with at least a few good memories to pass the time.

Mono IS contracted via saliva. It can be spread if a person sneezes on their hand and then shakes hands with someone or touches a door knob/handle.

Which is how I got it. I'm assuming.

Perhaps this isn't the best time to confess my penchant for sucking on door knobs?
I am listening to: A very quiet house
I am reading: A user experience assessment for Zumies
And I am: Crabby and tired

Friday, January 15, 2010

MORE Good Things Friday

"This is Dr. Zimmer from Dr. C____'s office, has anyone called you about your blood work yet?"


"You have mono."

"That's GREAT. I'm not crazy."
Pos: "You may have mono, but that's not a mutually exclusive condition from 'crazy'."
I am listening to: Gromit breathing
I am reading: Googled 'mono'
And I am: Relieved

GTF - Late Edition

"You're sick again?"
"Not again. Still, apparently."

Anyhow, here are some good things from the past week:
"You've lost 5 lbs. since we saw you between Christmas and New Year." - my doctor, today
Watched Slumdog Millionaire - good story, a little contrived, but good.
And the soundtrack is awesome
Taught myself how to add motion to a PowerPoint presentation
It might not seem like a big deal to you, but as one friend puts it, I'm easily amused
All of the Christmas decorations are finally down/away as of last weekend
I am wearing Christmas socks, compliments of Mom.
They are comfy.
The Red Cross, making it easy for all of us lazy-asses to help Haiti via texting
Craig Ferguson
Talking to Judy last night about her brilliant book exchange idea
"Did you hear Pat Robertson said Haiti made a deal with the devil?" - me
"And that's why they've been living so well all these years?" - Jim
I've been having my nails done on a regular basis for about two months now
My hands have NEVER looked nice - and now they do
It's a totally girly thing but it makes me feel good so fuck it
The mentor meeting went well last week - I'm supposed to write my obituary by Jan. 22 when he gets back from Mexico
I don't think he's planning on killing me - yet
I am wearing my favorite sweatshirt from Granite Peak in Wausau, WI
The house is clean
Two weeks, 4 days from tomorrow I'll be on my favorite beach with a few of my favorite people
I am listening to: CNN Haiti coverage
I am reading: Ugh - nothing
And I am: Tired and crabby

Friday, January 08, 2010

Good Things Friday – Back in the Groove Electric Boogaloo Edition

The 2009 holiday season was the best EVER

A fabulous pre-Christmas trip to Michigan to see family and friends

Nelson and Bec are getting married in Hawaii this November and it's just crazy-awesome-cool

Skiing in northern Wisconsin – one of my very favorite traditions and a great way to kick off every new year

I'm not a great skier but it's relaxing and fun for me

The cupcake charm Mom sent for my Pandora bracelet is wonderful

"You're a cupcake. And who doesn't love a cupcake?" - Mom

1Password – software that keeps all your password, ID, credit card, and software license info in one secure and easily accessible place

Sorry, it's only for us really cool Mac people

Jim built an amazing, awesome bar in the basement

He’s calling it the Wong Way Inn

(his nickname is Wong)

It makes me think of my favorite golf joke

Anyhow, it’s growing on me

Can’t stop watching the new Star Trek movie

It’s just good clean fun

And Leonard Nemoy's cameo is priceless

Good week back at work

New Motorola wireless headphones for Christmas - fantastic sound quality, and so much easier on my tiny ears than those damn iPod earbud thingies

I hate the word 'earbud' it sounds like something ugly growing in my ear

Finally sucked it up and got another copy of my Best of Ed Bruce CD, which was stolen years ago

Definitely one of my top 5 favorite albums

“Everything’s a Waltz” and “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies” are sublime

Ed Bruce actually wrote the song made famous by Willie and Waylon

And sang it way better than them on this CD

The guy’s like 80 years old now and still kickin’ with the ding-dang sexiest voice on the planet

Like a very old Kid Rock

He had a cameo in Public Enemies with Johnny Depp

My boss and a co-worker made it home to Chicago last night

Keith at the front desk and Andre the Giant - two guys in our office building who keep things running smoothly

It's the only way I can remember his name - he's Andre and he is the Largest Human Being I've ever met

I have my first meeting with my mentor today finally

He scares the crap outta me, that’s why I asked him to do this

Had a pretty horrible dream on Monday but by Wednesday had it mostly figured out

Fantasizing about everyone on the train singing “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies”

It’s been like eight or nine months since I’ve had a crunchy/salty chip

Still haven’t given up sweets as planned

But I’ll get there

Realized yesterday that 2009 was the best year of my life


I am listening to: TLC – Diggin’ on You

I am reading: Eat, Pray, Love…sorta

And I am: Like peace…in a groove