Christmas in Chicago 2011

Christmas Ornaments 2011

It’s Christmas Day.
Or technically, the wee hours of Christmas morning.
(the night owl in me likes to wait up for Santa)
My mother, sister, and son are in town.
The house is crowded.
But there is a lot of love.
And food.

Mailing Letter to Santa

Aidan’s sent off his letter to Santa.
He trashed several drafts before mailing off the
perfect message.

Aidan and Grandmommy

My mom has always wanted to see Chicago at Christmas.
She loved seeing the windows at Macy’s.
She loved all the decorations downtown.
She enjoyed the cream of chicken rice soup we had at Maxim’s.
She wanted to get a picture with Santa
but the 1+ hour wait deterred ALL of us.

Decorations at Macy's

I have to be honest.
This past week has been a challenge.
I had a fantastic birthday. My facebook wall blew
up with nearly 200 greetings. I got really neat gifts.
But the fates thought a cold would be a good gift for me
as well, complete with coughing, sneezing, nausea, and tiredness.
I am still feeling fatigued, and the random nausea
…is quite random.

Still, it’s much better than
four years ago
When I was in month three of a four month
sore throat and sinus infection.
The pain was so bad that I could barely eat
my mom’s Christmas dinner.

It’s hard having extra guests.
Everyone has to compromise and sacrifice.
The cats are out of sorts.
Our grocery bill has probably tripled,
but it’s OK because we love to feed people.
Everyone is comfortable, well fed, and happy.

All is well.

Christmas Ornaments 2011

dear friends, readers, commenters, and lurkers.

…psst. want a copy of my holiday newsletter pdf? get it here.


The Test Audience Experience (Multimedia)

The Rosie Show Test Show

Today, Adam and I attended a test taping of The Rosie Show. As you may know, The Rosie Show has moved into Harpo Studios, and the show will begin airing next month on OWN.

I’d never attended any sort of big scale show like this, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I freaked out about my outfit. They asked for bright colors and warned us that the studio would be cold, so to wear long sleeves. Well, guess what? All of my bright colors are summer clothes, thus short-sleeved or sleeveless. All of my long-sleeved clothes were pretty dark. I wore a boring grey tee-shirt and skinny jeans.

When we got to the studio, we stood in a big line. Someone came down the line asking people for funny stories about meeting celebrities. I told them about how I met Mario Lopez when I was 17 and wanted to stick my finger in his dimple.

When we got inside, Adam gave them our name, and we had to show them our IDs. Once we were checked in, they handed us a blue card and a green card to fill out. We were then moved into a room where they searched my purse and had us walk through medal detectors. Then it was time for a potty break. Harpo Studios has one men’s room and two women’s rooms. Smart. There were still lines.

We headed upstairs to the holding area, where they passed out bottled waters, pens to fill out the cards, and cupcakes from Sugar Bliss. They were cute and yummy.

The Rosie Show Test Show

The green card had information that could probably be used in a show as filler. The blue cards had a number on them and asked for some basic contact information. After we snacked and turned in our green card, it was time to head into the studio. They called a bunch of people by name, and then the rest of us by the number on the blue cards, which they collected as we filed into the studio. They were NOT kidding when they said the studio would be cold. IT WAS FREEZING. And naturally, my bladder began sending signals as soon as I got settled. Typical.

Someone came out to warm up the audience, and I was really amazed at how warm and responsive the crew seemed to be. We were introduced to the house band. The leader is the person who wrote “Dick In A Box” for Saturday night live. How cool is that? Then, Rosie ran across the stage and yelled “You can’t see me!” and everyone screamed. She looks fantastic. She opened the show with a monologue that was very funny. Then she introduced the guests: Randy Jackson, Noland Gould (who plays Luke on Modern Family), and Crystal Bowersox.

It was fun watching the guests. It was really cool when Randy Jackson talked about his new eyeglasses line, and then announced that all of the audience members were going to get a free pair! Wooo! Crystal sounded amazing, and Nolan was hilarious and super cute.

At the end of the taping, Rosie stood on stage and allowed people to take photos of her. If there were children in the audience (she allows kids–how cool is that?), she let them actually come on stage. She was really great with the audience, making personal connections and letting people ask her questions in between segments.

The Rosie Show Test Show

I snuck and took this tiny video of her thanking us for being there:

We got to watch them tape a short segment for Access Hollywood, then we were led out. We were then given gift bags (which consisted of a The Rosie Show tee-shirt, a small bag of Garrett’s popcorn, a bag of PopChips, and a Vosges peppermint candy cane bar). We were given a coupon for a free frosting shot from Sugar Bliss, and a postcard to mail in for the free Randy Jackson sunglasses. We’re also going to get tickets for a real taping that’ll take place in October or November!

I’m looking forward to it. I also know not to drink a thing and to layer like a mofo. It’s really, truly freezing in those studios. And I apologize for camera quality–I didn’t want to take any chances of having my Canon T3 confiscated.

Thanks for reading! :)

YAY and BOO & Other Stuff (Long, Pictures)

Monday was an up and down kind of day.

– Adam was sick.
– I was feeling really depressed and discouraged about you-know-what.
– Someone broke into my car. Almost a year to the day of it getting broken in last year.
– Now I have to shell out $$ to get the window fixed again. >:(
– I went to Barnes & Noble to use my giftcard to buy THE PATRON SAINT OF BUTTERFLIES and they didn’t have it.

– I booked a nice work-from-home freelance gig for Tuesday.
– I got a package from zenosidal full of Aidan goodness. There were school pictures, handwriting, progress sheets, a Mother’s Day card made by him (best Mother’s Day gift EVER) and an interview paper about me for Mother’s Day. It said the following:

What is Mom’s name? Ronni
How old is Mom? 43
How tall is Mom? Smaller than Daddy
How much does Mom weigh? 50 lbs.
What is Mom’s favorite food? Everything and spinach
What is Mom’s favorite drink? Fruit punch
What is Mom’s favorite color? Pink
What is Mom’s favorite television show? The Power Puff Girls
What is Mom’s favorite thing to do around the house? Bake
What is Mom’s favorite thing to say? Everything
My mom is the best because… She loves me.

(The last sentence made me cry).

– Adam and I got a package from Adam’s mom and dad that included cool things such as brandy snifters, cheese, and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.
Adam: They’re trying to turn us into alcoholics!
– There was nothing in the car that interested the thieves, so nothing got taken out of it. Although I can’t imagine why they broke in to begin with. I guess to rifle through the glove compartment. I’m glad to have disappointed them.
– Got new books out of the library. Only 15 more days until I can take out more than five items at a time.
– Adam got me some Garrett Popcorn. OK, I know I know, I normally don’t like popcorn, but this, ladies and gentlemen, is no ordinary popcorn. If *I* am eating it, you know it’s good. I like the CaramelCrisp. Mmm. *pops some in mouth*
– I took a bath with a bath bomb. :)
– Gossip Girl. HOLY CRAP!
– This list is longer than the BOO list.

Cut for …. The Weekend with Rosa!

Good Times, Great Oldies (Pictures)

Last night was a good night. My friend Sarah has been in town since Wednesday night which has been great, but last night was the first night we were able to really relax and enjoy the evening without obligations and whatnot. So, what did we do? Go on a Weird Chicago tour, of course! To make things even more fun, we met up with Jen and magecky413 at the tour site. The Ohio transplants were taking over the bus!

The Girls in Death Alley
Me (in my big ass coat), Becky, Sarah, and Jen in Death Alley

The tour, as always, was fun. I’ve been on tons of them, but each one is different because you never know which stories adamselzer will tell. I heard at least three new ones last night.

Jen in the Gold Room
Jen in the Gold Room at the Congress Hotel

Sarah in the Florentine Room
Sarah in the Florentine Room at the Congress Hotel

After the tour, we grabbed some food at Portillo’s and then came back to the apartment to eat and hang out. Then we decided it was time to teach Adam how to drop it like it’s hot.

Adam Dropping it Like it's Hot

Jen also astounded people with her amazing ability to put away large amounts of food in short amounts of time:

Jen Is Eating

Then we put on some Michael Jackson music and videos, danced and moonwalked and yelled “WOO” and “OH!” before finally calling it a night. All in all, a very fun Friday in Chicago. :) YAY.

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