Jul 25, 2007

farewell dear focus

here is what my car looks like after being the unfortunate unit #2 in the 5-car collision i was in last week....

from the inside after both airbags deployed:

and from the back where the jackass not paying attention to rush hour traffic plowed into me, causing a chain reaction of subsequent accidents:

total damage: a whopping $6,775
the car is definitely totaled which makes me very sad. this has been a great little car; in fact she moved with me to chicago after my last car was totaled by some idiot not paying attention while driving. grrrrrrr. i'm going to miss her. *sniff, sniff* i'm actually dreading going to get my belongings out of the car tomorrow and then having to walk away, as if i'm abandoning an old pet that is to be put to sleep and out of its misery.
i will be wearing black and mourning tomorrow. should anyone want to send flowers, chocolates, or a handsome man to distract me from my sorrow, please feel free to do so.
rest in peace, little focus. no car will ever fit into a tiny spot on the chicago streets as well as you did.

Jul 17, 2007

how many licks does it take?

much like the tootsie roll commercial where the wise old owl asks how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, i often wonder how many things it takes to make us truly happy. if the wise old owl doesn't know about his tootsie pop, then i sure as hell don't know the secret to the happiness of life.

but, really, when you're an adult and you are out on your own, working, looking for relationships, balancing friends and finances, and just trying in general to find things that make you happy or even content, what does it really take?

it seems to me that a lot of people i know right now are at some sort of crossroads. maybe they have the job, but don't like where they live. others have fantastic relationships but are miserable at work. some have the job, the mate and the house, but no close friends around to share in their happiness. as for myself, i love my job and am getting a promotion soon which will help me career-wise and financially, i have a great apartment and wonderful friends, my family is (pretty) sane and we get along great. so what's missing? the guy, of course. and why, oh why, does the lack of that special someone make such an impact on all of those other things that are necessary in the recipe for happiness? i know that i'm echoing a certain episode of "sex and the city" where carrie bradshaw ponders the same kinds of questions, but the questions have merit in the real world.

i guess i'm just musing aloud (or rather in type) about happiness and how it takes so many things to lead us there. why does it seem so unattainable or just beyond our reach? when will we be happy with just the job and the house or just the relationship or just having a family that isn't completely dysfunctional? can we ever come to a place in our lives where we put aside materialistic bullshit, ignore the norms of society and what seems to be expected in terms of financial, career, and relationship success and just be content with our lot in life? is it because we are all programmed to strive for more, to do more, be better in everything we take on? and when we do find ourselves in that perfect state of happiness, why does it always seem to be so fleeting? can we be happy in our own skin, in our current state without letting what's "missing" negate what we have?

5 million questions and no answers. i think i'd like to trade that wise old owl places. at least i could figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop and not how many licks it takes to make me give up on happiness.

Jul 13, 2007

the corrections

there is a book that sits on my shelf and mocks me every single time we make eye contact. it is perched there, always reminding me that i never made it past page 113 and have picked it up on occasion and then replaced it with the sigh that comes naturally with frustration and failure. this book is called "the corrections" and it has been somewhat the bane of my existence. i first picked this book up a few years ago after my sister finally trudged her way through it and flung it across the room in victory upon finishing the last word. and i started to read. and i started to hate this book. and i vowed that it would not get the best of me, that i would finish this damn prize-winning book even if it killed me.

i don't know what it was about the story that caused me such anguish. i think it was just the fact that it didn't grab my interest or intrigue me from the beginning. i remember not really wanting to read more about one of the characters because he was such a mess and it was like witnessing a trainwreck. and so at page 113, i called it quits, put it on the shelf for another day, another time.

that time has come. my dear friend gary and i have formed a support group of sorts because, you see, gary has had the same frustrating experience in trying to read this book as i have. so we have vowed to read it at the same time, discuss, yell, encourage and do whatever is necessary to finish this. it has become a personal goal for both of us. i even referred to finishing the corrections (rather self did that for me) in my very first blog post and so now i plan to mark it off the list of unfinished things in my life. it may seem minute, but those 557 pages will be conquered, once and for all.

Jul 11, 2007

singing praises

as we all know of the summer television schedule, it's full of re-runs, sub-par pilots and reality tv. so when i sat down last night to tune into nbc's new game show the singing bee, i wasn't really expecting a whole lot. joey fatone, previously of the boy band n sync and now known for his stint on dancing with the stars, hosting a game show where contestants hear part of a song and then have to sing the next line or phrase without missing, changing or adding a single word... i was a little unsure of how entertaining this would actually be.

to my surprise and delight, the show ended up being extremely entertaining and fun to watch. in fact, i'm pretty sure i'm already a singing bee addict. the roommate and i sat last night with the boys in 1R, drinking margaritas, watching the show, belting out the words to every single song that was played, yelling at the contestants who missed the easy ones and laughing our asses off.

the only bone i have to pick is the presence of scantily clad women in - not kidding - outfits designed to resemble the black and yellow markings of bees. yes, bees. and to make matters worse, they are referred to as "the honeybees." puke. they just kind of dance around and have no real purpose but to be eye candy for the male viewers around the country. they don't even have cases with money in them or showcases of prizes to display. but, i guess that's standard in the game show world. in truth, i blame bob barker.

that said, the singing bee is worth giving up half hour of your life every tuesday night. hell, i think i could rock as a contestant on that show. maybe i'll have to check into that...

Jul 5, 2007

to spark or to settle?

lately i've been mulling over the notion of settling when it comes to dating and relationships. not settling in the sense of "settling down" but the idea that when you're single and find yourself faced with a nice, attractive, fun person who is interested in you but with whom you don't really spark, is it "settling" to give the guy a chance and date him even without the crackling chemistry?

webster's defines the word "settle" as the following....

1 : to place so as to stay
2 a : to establish in residence b : to furnish with inhabitants :colonize
3 a : to cause to pack down b : to clarify by causing dregs or impurities to sink
4 : to make quiet or orderly
5 a : to fix or resolve conclusively b : to establish or secure permanently c : to conclude
6 : to arrange in a desired position
7 : to make or arrange for final disposition of

not necessarily the most helpful, that mr.webster. from the above definitions, i would assume that settling means a life of stability, permanence, repression, calm/boredom, contrived contentment, and finally death. and while some of these things such as stability, permanence, and even calm are quite positive traits to have in a relationship, there are so many things missing. from the definition above you certainly don't get any fun, excitement, change, variety, or surprises - the stuff new relationships are made of.

so what do we do? is it settling to date someone even if there's no spark? is finding a good, decent guy so difficult that we're trying to decide if we even need the spark? admittedly, the spark dies down after a while, but do we want to surrender ourselves to a relationship that doesn't even simmer? how important is the spark and is it better to just find a good guy and hang onto him, even if that means sacrificing the stomach-flipping, exhilarating, heart-stomping, electrifying attraction that we so rarely find, typically with the wrong person?

dating (or lack there of) blows.

Jul 4, 2007

sweet land of liberty

in the spirit of my great country's independence day, i thought i would take a moment to reflect on some of the wise words carved into history by our fearless leader. let us all pay homage to W, eloquent master of the english language....

"This process has been drug out a long time, which says to me it's political." --George W. Bush, discussing the controversy surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Sofia, Bulgaria, June 11, 2007

"One of my concerns is that the health care not be as good as it can possibly be." --George W. Bush, on military benefits, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

"And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it." --George W. Bush, interview on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007

"I think -- tide turning -- see, as I remember -- I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of -- it's easy to see a tide turn -- did I say those words?" --George W. Bush, asked if the tide was turning in Iraq, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006

President Bush:
"Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?"
Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times:
"I can take them off."
"I'm interested in the shade look, seriously."
Wallsten: "All right, I'll keep it, then."
Bush: "For the viewers, there's no sun."
Wallsten: "I guess it depends on your perspective."
Bush: "Touche."
--an exchange with legally blind reporter Peter Wallsten, to whom Bush later apologized, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006 (
Watch video clip)

"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006 (
Watch video clip)

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --George W. Bush, interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

"Wow! Brazil is big." --George W. Bush, after being shown a map of Brazil by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 6, 2005

"Because he's hiding." --George W. Bush, responding to a reporter who asked why Osama bin Laden had not been caught, aboard Air Force One, Jan. 14, 2005

"Who could have possibly envisioned an erection -- an election in Iraq at this point in history?" --George W. Bush, at the white House, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2005

and for more fourth of july fun, test your knowledge of our revered POTUS by taking the bush trivia quiz, challenge your ability to fill in the words of the president by completing the bushisms quiz or figure out your own political affiliation with the republican or democrat quiz. hours of good clean fun for the whole family! maybe we'll invite scooter libby over now that he won't be serving time in jail and we can get the low-down on how having a creepy vice president as a friend can save your ass.

so exactly how would mr. bush respond to my salute to him on this, our most patriotic holiday? i'm thinking something like this.....


Jul 2, 2007

accidentally fabulous

the summer has been a rush of plans, activities, events and friends so far. may flew by, june has come and gone and though i've had a great time staying busy, i was very much looking forward to this past weekend of having absolutely nothing to do. my biggest goal for the weekend was to go to the grocery store and perhaps do something that somewhat resembled physical activity. maybe.

so when
the roommate initially proposed that we visit the taste of chicago for dinner on friday night, my first reaction was to wonder why in the hell 2 sane chicago residents would venture to the taste on opening night. however, the weather was gorgeous, i had no other plans and the list of participating restaurants and food vendors was too tempting, so hunger won out over common sense in the end. we headed to the taste and thoroughly enjoyed tapas portions of samosas, curry-spiced fries with chutney sauce, toasted ravioli, falafel, cheesy garlic bread, pound cake with fig vodka butter sauce drizzled with chocolate (i just drooled on my keyboard) and - just for you arrested development fans - frozen chocolate covered bananas. (10 cents, however, does NOT get you nuts) all in all the food was great. i won't even go into a description of our fellow taste attendees - that would have to be another post of its own. suffice it to say, i will never be returning to the taste of chicago again, but i am glad that i went once to sample lots of yummy goodness. the end of the night consisted of a movie and a bottle of wine, which was exactly what i needed after stuffing myself silly.

having no set plans on saturday, i slept very late, had lunch outside at one of my favorite neighborhood places, played tennis, went to the grocery and had a fabulous healthy dinner. later that night i went out with friends and we simply sat outside, had a few beers and just enjoyed good conversation and the nice weather. after the friends left, roommate and i headed across the street to the irish pub where we had a couple more beers, met a romanian guy who gave us a grueling geography lesson and bought us a round, and finally got kicked out by the bouncer when the bar was closing. we stumbled home and i don't even remember my head hitting the pillow.

sunday dawned sunny and warm and begged everyone in the city to come out and play. i obliged, going with the roommate to the beach and lying in the sand, soaking up some sun, and dozing to the new ryan adams cd on my ipod. it's been a long time since i felt sand between my toes and relaxed to the backdrop of vivid blue water. having worked up quite an appetite with all of our outdoor activity, we abandoned the beach in search of mexican food, outside seating and some margaritas. we found what we were looking for in logan square and a pitcher of margaritas later we were spontaneously on our way to the pontiac for honky tonk bingo. very few things compare to sitting outside, drinking beer, and listening to a vulgar man with a thick country accent call bingo numbers and give away shitastic prizes like rubber chickens, cardboard airplanes, hot wheels, and crayons. amanda was one of the lucky winners - she got a 1000 piece puzzle and you better believe we'll break that bad boy out one of these nights. honky tonk bingo night would not have been complete without some country music and
fulton county line gave us our fill. after a couple beers and several rounds of bingo, we decided to be responsible and call it quits. driving back toward our apartment, we approached a certain bar which, for reasons that need not be discussed or rehashed, has been dubbed "the gates of hell." as luck would have it, there was a parking space right outside and it was as if amanda's car parked itself and chucked us out in the direction of the bar. once inside we chatted with the bartender and ended up having drinks and doing a couple of shots with him and his friend. finally after midnight we payed our tab and headed to the nastiest of nasty - the taco bell.

tucking in after 1 am with my belly full and my head fuzzy, i had to smile about the weekend. it was stress-free, fun, and everything just fell into place from the weather to the bars to the random people we encountered. it's the kind of weekend you just can't plan for and you don't want to end. muy bien!