Monday, June 8, 2009

Amazon Awesome-ness.

There's a popular new past time AZ helped me discover and that is the sport of reading Amazon reviews. I don't see how this has gone unearthed for me for so long as the comments section of Amazon is about as good as Speidi's performance on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."

Take the Zubaz Pants for example. Described as, "Elastic Waistband with Drawcord for Wide Range Fit" and "Loose Fitting Pant Legs with Sharply Tapered Ankle Cuffs," I knew I had a potential gold mine of reviews on my hands. As I scrolled down the page, the first one to catch my eye was from Alan E. Schmidt. Alan writes...

"I was searching for clothes that speak to me.. These pants not only spoke to me, they entered my soul and transformed me. When I get out of my bitchin 78 camaro wearing these bad boys, there's no question who the boss man is..."

The first questions that popped into my head are, "Who are these people? And how can I make them my best friends?"

Another great piece of clothing featured on Amazon is the Three Wolf Moon Shirt ( FYI - this shirt also would make a smashing combination with the Zubaz Pants). B. Govern tickled my fancy the most with his "real life" experience wearing the mythical Three Wolf Moon Shirt saying, "I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me."

Pure gold.

No one's getting out alive,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The never ending move.

So I've been trying to move for well over a week now. It has been quite the process and somehow it is still not over.

It started with my mom, FSD and sister coming down to take the majority of my stuff over to the new condo I'm living in and back to house in the 'burbs since where I am going to be living is furnished and I need alot less stuff. If you knew my family, you would know that anytime there are a number of us trying to complete a task, it is filled with mishaps and injuries so I was more than apprehensive to begin this foray into my move. Shockingly, it went off pretty well and I didn't have anything broken (not like my move out of my apartment sophomore year when my mom and my ex-boyfriend managed to break my UW snowglobe I had received for my high school graduation, needless to say I had to "excuse myself" to shed a few tears on my porch, still haven't had the heart to replace it).

My next adventure in the great move was I had to rent a U-Haul for all of my furniture because my Dad decided to "re-possess" my car like some sort of cracked out Toyota collections agent (fyi - my dad sucks) and since I was suddenly unexpectedly sans car, I got to spend a hot $160 on an oversized U-Haul that I barely filled. Luckily, my FSD jumped to the rescue and helped me load up the thing and I brought it back to my mom's house where I'm storing all my un-used furniture for the summer.

My final adventure into the wonderful land of moving is supposed to happen today. I'm moving into my new digs off of Michigan Ave. I'm excited to see and enjoy a new part of the city. Streeterville is so different than Lincoln Park that it will be cool to live in an area that feels more like the city.

We'll see how it all goes, but I'll be happy when I have it all behind me. Moving is such a pain in the ass.

No one's getting out alive,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Public transportation telephone use.

You know what is one of my biggest pet peeves? Using your cell phone on public transportation.

This week I am commuting between my house in the 'burbs and the city because my mom is in Ireland visiting my brother. Since my mom treats my little sister like she's a 7 year old with a wooden stump as a leg and a propensity to set things on fire (when she's really an 18 year old who scores 34's on her ACT and her IQ is higher than every member of our immediate family combined), I have to make the miserable trek back and forth from the 'burbs to the city, shlepping myself after work on the Metra back to my house.

I've forgotten how much I hate commuting, but what I forgot even more is my hatred of people who think that's it's is socially appropriate to use their cell phones on public transportation. I don't give a shit if you are going to pick up little Timmy from soccer practice so your wife doesn't have to anymore. I could give a rat's ass that your meeting ran over, so you didn't catch your "normal train" and you're going to be late for dinner.

A ride on the Metra shouldn't equal my ears being forced to listen to short vignettes about suburbanites painfully boring lives steeped in dinner scheduling, train arrival times and the myriad of practices/recitals/school functions they are trying to sort out.

I give working parents tons of credit. I couldn't imagine having screaming children to go home to when you have the pressures of work to deal with all day which is exactly why I don't want to hear about it. Suburbanites lives stress me out. I don't want to live like that and I DEFINITELY don't want to hear about it when I am trying to unwind and catch up on celeb gossip on my TMZ iPhone app. I prefer living in fantasy land bliss post the 5pm work end time, your harsh reality of responsibility and children frankly pisses me off, so please leave it behind and don't bring it to my train ride home.

No one's getting out alive,

Monday, May 11, 2009

The band is breaking up.

So I haven't been blogging because these past couple of weeks have been absolutely insane. I went to Europe for two weeks, AZ came to stay with me for a week and I am moving out of my apartment with my room mates who I have lived with foreverrrr.

It's pretty scary/sad that we are all going our seperate ways. Just due to circumstances, it doesn't make sense for us to all move into the same apartment together again and I can't help but feel like, "the band is breaking up."

I have lived with M for the 4-5 years and with S for the past 2 so imagining not having them to come home to is really bizarre. I am moving into my best friend's mom's condo because her mom is moving to Denver for the summer. It's pretty exciting because I get to live there rent free and it's right on Michigan Avenue, so it will be cool to live in the city part of Chicago instead of one of the neighborhoods.

It will definitely be a switch though. Going from always having someone to come home to, have a glass of wine and talk about your day to only having yourself is going to be a major change for me. I'm not sure that I'm really going to like it because I like having people around much more than I like being on my own. I think it is definitely going to teach me to get out there and do more random things which is actually great in terms of timing because Chicago summer is right around the bend.

The official move in date is the 15th so we will see how it goes, wish me luck!

No one's getting out alive,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Summer/Life Plan

This Sunday over a delicious lunch at the Chicago Diner (I had the Aztec avocado tacos – AHHHMAZING) my roommate and I mapped out our new summer/life plan.

Lately, I’ve felt like we are in a slump, same bars, same neighborhood, same people. I’m looking for a change and now that summer’s approaching, warm weather, beer gardens, it’s getting imperative we make the move.

We discussed bars, restaurants, activities, groups of friends, meeting new people and getting out of our rut. For me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was on Saturday night. I was out with a couple of friends at an uber fratty sports bar. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with sports bars…when there’s an ACTUAL sporting event. However, as a 25 year old semi-professional, I was looking for something a little more than guys in jersey’s, $3 O-bombs, forty’s and grinding on a make believe dance floor. It was so frat-tastic, I could’ve barfed. If I wanted to go to a frat party, I could walk myself back to Miami.

Then the night took a turn for the worse, I look over and this guy is making out with some rando girl on the (again, make-shift) dance floor. Let me re-phrase, they weren’t making out; he had turned his mouth into a vacuum and was sucking off her face, tongue, tonsils and stomach. Spit was flying everywhere, hands groping air, it was so awkward and sloppy. I thought her head might disappear into his mouth. Then, no joke, 45 seconds later he’s making out with someone else against the wall, while the other girl watched on. This is where I put my beer down, grabbed my roommate and headed outta there.

So back to our new summer/life plan. We came up with some great places/things to try. Maybe you all can print this out and put up on your fridge; a great new list of places for you as well:

  • Hopleaf (duh, I’m obsessed and it’s stalking me)
  • Market in the West Loop
  • Speed Dating
  • Lumen
  • Danny’s in Bucktown
  • Violet Hour
  • Elbow Room
  • Live music (jazz/blues)
  • Turtle Racing at Joe’s Bar
  • Improv show
  • Subterranean in Bucktown
  • Capitalizing on new groups of people

If you’ve been to any or want to drop a reco, please feel free! We’re looking to shake things up this summer.

Attraction is not a choice,

LOLLA 2009!

I am SO SO SO SO excited for Lollapalooza this year because the line-up is AMAZINGggg. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lollapalooza it's a three day concert in Grant Park, full of amazing artists where you can lie in the grass and enjoy the Chicago skyline while listening to some of the best music around.

I've gone almost every single year that it's been in Chicago (with the exception of the year after I graduated college and I was in South America) and it's by far one of my favorite parts of Chicago summers.

Last year I went with my sister and we saw some bomb acts like John Butler Trio, Tally Hall, Iron & Wine, Amadou & Mariam, G. Love & Special Sauce, Girl Talk, Flosstradamus, Gnarls Barkley and Kanye West.

This was my sis and I in front of the Tally Hall stage which I'm pretty sure was her favorite act that year. We got really close and were in the shade which isn't a common combo in a giant, open space like Grant Park.

I on the other hand, was obsessed with Girl Talk last year. His performance was so incredibly amazing it wasn't even funny. Gregg Gillis was literally so close to me I could touch him. He crowd surfed right over my sister and I.

Then he landed in the middle of the crowd and spun from this booth they had set up. My sister and I were mere inches from him, it was insane.

This year seems EVEN better than last year. According to this blog, and his source states that ten percent of the artists he lists may be incorrect, but the potential line-up has acts like:

  • The Killers
  • Kings of Leon
  • OK Go
  • Regina Spektor
  • Atmosphere
  • Ben Harper
  • Franz Ferdinad
  • Ra Ra Riot
  • Silverspun Pickups
  • TheDecembrists
  • TV on the Radio
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs

3 days passes go on sale March 31, and I know I'll be the first to swoop mine, I CAN'T WAIT.

Also, this weekend I'm going to see another one of my favorite bands, Bloc Party at the Aragon Ballroom. I've never seen them live, but I've heard they're great and I'm amped to see them. Concerts are such a great way to hang out over the weekend without the usual bump and grind of blacked out frat boys that you have to beat off with a stick at Lincoln Park bars. This weekend, I can rage in the comfort of two of my good friends and quality tunes.

No one's getting out alive,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Moving forward, high school is dead.

So I suck at posting lately, but in my defense I've had so much going on at work that I've barely had time to come up for air. Moving forward, (this is one of those classic lines you fine integrated into your 24 year old lexicon that you couldn't have paid your 18 year old mouth to say) I am going to try to be better at posting and not let other things affect the amount of time I dedicate to said blog.

That being said, and I'm going to hell if she ever finds this blog, but last night I went to dinner with one of my high school friends. This friend I grabbed food with, was one of my best friends from high school that I literally used to be inseparable from and I've known since I was in 8th grade. Now whether you have a 60 year old perspective while reading this blog or a 16 year old, everyone knows that one of the basic tenets of being a human is that people change. That is the best way to explain the dinner dynamic I had to endure last night.

My friend from high school, let's call her Red, has been been mad at me for the past year or so because I "haven't dedicated enough of my time to our friendship." She's one of those classic needy friends, everyone has them, that takes every little move you make as a personal accost to her humanity and can't really understand that you are busy living your life and drinking beer in your basement as a 16 year old doesn't hold any sort of precedent in your life anymore.

Regardless, she took the time to send me a really sweet card for my birthday and in the card was like, "I just want to wish you a happy birthday and I would love to take you out to dinner or drinks for your birthday sometime, let me know when you are available." As nice as the gesture was, she didn't come to my birthday party so I kinda thought it was just one of those reaching out sort of things people do without any follow through.

But sure enough, come Monday, I sign onto gchat and she IMs me saying, "Hey have you gotten my card yet, would love to take you to dinner if you can?" Since she was really trying to reach out I felt bad pulling away anymore than I already had so I agreed to go to dinner last night.

Even though this was supposed to be my "birthday dinner," she insisted on me picking the place and telling me how poor she was. Due to these disclosures, I tried to pick a local, cheap spot that I knew had specials on Tuesdays.

She called me to let me know that she had gotten to dinner 45 minutes early and since the bar was more in my neighborhood I offered to have her come to my house while I finished getting ready. She refused and little did I know until I showed up at the bar that instead of coming to my house a mere four blocks away, she sat in her car.

When we went into the restaurant, there was a half hour wait. While we waited it was butt-clench central. It couldn't be more apparent that we had just drifted apart, through no fault of either one of us, we just weren't the same people anymore. There was nothing left for us to connect upon and we had grown and changed from the 16 year olds, excited to have our licenses, to 24 year olds who had nothing to talk about.

We spent the next hour and a half at dinner, re-hashing high school drama that I could care less about before going our separate ways. Finally, when the bill came, after she had ordered the majority of the check, she asked if we wanted to split it. In my head, I'm thinking, okay you've managed to harass me into a dinner that I didn't want to attend and into paying for food that I didn't want to consume with you, but please, can we split the bill! Either way, I ended up accepting my debit card fate and throwing it down.

Moving forward, it just goes to show you that no matter how many tears you've spilled in sweaty garages over emo talks while guzzling Mike's Hard Lemonades as a teen, there comes a day when there's just nothing left to talk about.

No one's getting out alive,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fav Chicago BYOB's

I LOVE going out to eat! It is one of my favorite things to do and to be honest I may be addicted. On average, I go out to dinner 1-2 times a week and eat all my meals out on the weekend. If I gave up eating out, I’d be a freaking millionaire. Brunch and BYOB’s are my fav!! While we are in a recession and I’m not made of money, unfortunately I can’t hit up the hot spots every night. Sure, I’d love to frequent Table 52, Charlie Trotters, Eve, Carmines, Rosebud Prime and Gibsons on a regular basis, but let’s get real.

BYOB is the greatest thing ever! I hardly ever go anywhere that’s not BYOB and Chicago has so many great resources. A couple months ago at my favorite wine shop, Kafka Wine, I picked up the best book ever, “BYOB Chicago,” complete with all BYOB restaurants in the area.

And, just this week, I got the new TimeOut Chicago’s, “BYOB Guide” which lists the magazines top 50 picks, and yes some of my favorites did make the list. So without further delay, here are my fav hot spots:

Adesso on Broadway in hopping Boy’s Town:
The braised short-ribs and creamy shallot polenta are to die for and I usually end up getting this every time. I try to branch out and get something new when I go, but it’s just too hard. This may just be my favorite restaurant, as it’s in walking distance to my apt, has good affordable Italian food, is BYOB (duh) and is so cozy and quaint. Reservations are a must as this place is teeny tiny and on the weekends is packed with glorious gay men.

Terragusto on Armitage:
So excited when this place opened up a second location in Lincoln Park (original is in Roscoe Village). My first experience was with friend's family and we got the chef’s tasting menu. It is still to this day one of the top meals I’ve ever had. I recently celebrated Valentine’s Day here with “all my single ladies” and highly recommend the “pop’s hat pasta filled with butternut squash” (also featured in TimeOut). Definitely drank heavily on V-day, so I hope this reco lives up to my memory.

Think in Wicker Park:
This one is a little on the pricey side, but well worth it, if you’re celebrating or on a romantic date. The duck risotto and lobster stuffed red peppers are a must and the white linen table cloths and candle light make you feel like you’ve stepped out of the blistering Chicago weather. I do not recommend going out after as the food tends to be on the rich side.

Thai Classic on Clark in Wrigley
This is a true hole in the wall and on Sunday’s they have an all you can eat Thai buffet, I have yet to go. They have an adorable seating area where you must take off your shoes and sit with your feet in the ground, very authentic and fun! This is my favorite delivery go-to and always get the green curry or any curry for that matter.

Jai-Yen on Braodway in Lakeview
Nestled off the beaten path, next to an empty store front, this sushi place offers low-key, convenient and affordable sushi. When I first moved to Chicago, I celebrated many a birthdays as I did my current job at this neighborhood go-to. The maki rolls are all great, my fav is the crazy and giant maki and the fried rice and mochi are also great staples!

Coast in Bucktown
Another great spot for birthday’s, I've celebrated a couple here. Coast tries to think outside the box and offers up unique and creative rolls. Aside from sushi, they also have great extras, such as the tuna tartare. Reservations are a must and be prepared to wait on weekends even with a ressie.

I highly recommend the new TimeOut Chicago. I know I plan on hitting up each and every spot listed, with SMOQUE number 1 on the list.

Attraction is not a choice,

Monday, March 9, 2009

40 Days and 40 Nights...

Apparently it is Lent and Catholics all over are giving up an array of things for forty days and forty nights. As someone who is not Catholic or religious, I am fascinated with all the stuff people give up.

My understanding is you have to choose something that is a true sacrifice – something that would be very hard to live without. As a Miami alum you’d think I’d have this down pat by now. I mean you were a minority if you weren’t Catholic, one of the only ones who stuck around Easter weekend when Oxford turned into a ghost town and drank herself silly (two of the best weekends in college). I sometimes forget how many are out there and was shocked when they started coming out of the woodwork all around me.

I find it quite interesting that most things sacrificed had to do with food. All of a sudden I had to constrict what I ate because my roommate had given up meat. Although I have to admit, we did go to an amazing seafood joint in Irving Park, Glenn's Diner. A great deal of people gave up the following

  • Soda
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Starbucks
  • Buying lunch
  • Carbs
  • Shots

However, I have yet to find anyone who gave up sex, liquor, coffee, TV or cigarettes. Sure people gave up Starbucks and shots, but they still are able to make their own coffee and drink liquor, beer and wine. So where’s the real struggle in that? None of the true vices were given up, because lets be honest, who could really go 40 days without those? And you have to actually partake in them to give them up. Just because you’re on a dry spell doesn’t mean all of a sudden your amazing, because you gave up sex…none of that!

Is it all a way for girls to proclaim their food neuroses out in the open? For the next 40 days they constrict what they eat, drop pounds and then on the 41st day are right back in the saddle? What’s the motivation behind it, how do you choose? What on earth would I give up? Good thing I don’t have to! I can have my Starbucks at work, my beer at the bar, my cheese on the weekend AND eat it too!

So, I want to know, what’s the craziest thing you’ve heard given up? What’d you give up this year? Do we have anyone who went for the gold and is in withdrawal? Comment here and let me know!

Attraction is not a choice,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Snuggie Revolution.

So because I work in PR, I get these emails from editors requesting information about all sorts of subjects asking for images, spokespeople, experts, information, etc. that they want us PR folk to provide. The other day an editor from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette sent a request asking for information on the Snuggie. He was planning on writing an Op-Ed about whether the success of the Snuggie had any correlation with the recession (Did anyone tell you yet that we are in a recession? If not you heard it here, first!). His thoughts were that because people are trying to cut back on expenses during these "faltering economic times" they were choosing to invest in things like the Snuggie to stay warm. He wanted us to provide him with any statistics or experts who could speak to his hypothesis.

Now unless you're blacked out like Amy Winehouse and have been living on a remote Caribbean island to heal your heroin scars, I would hope by now that you are aware of the Snuggie. It esentially looks like Lord Voldemort's cloak, except instead of it housing a a nose-less demon, it can keep you, Bobby, Billy Sue and Ginger Ann warm for only $19.99. It also comes in three stylish colors like Burgandy, Royal Blue and Sage Green so if you didn't think you were hideous enough swathed in polyester cotton, you can look like a giant period stain, cookie monster or a booger, simply smashing. It's the most absurd thing I have ever seen since it is essentially a bath robe put on backwards. It reminds me of the kids from my high school who used to wear their backpacks on their front instead of their back to give off the look that they are pregnant, socially inept or both. It made me want to punch them in the face, I feel the same way about people who wear the Snuggie.

And now, coming to a Chicago-land area bar near you is the Snuggie Bar Crawl which is the only thing that could actually break my disdain for the Snuggie.

Alcohol -- Check
Costumes -- Check
Looking hideous in costumes -- Check
Blacking out while looking hideous in costumes -- Check and Double Check

Count me in!

No one's getting out alive,