living in chicago

Letter to Mother Nature

O Mother Nature,

I understand that it’s February and we’re in the thick of winter and all, but really, are the BITTERLY COLD temperatures necessary? I **get the point** when the temps drop to the low 30s and upper 20s. It’s winter. It’s the cold season. The smart mammals are hibernating and oblivious to the madness. I don’t need to continuously experience temps in the teens and single digits. And those days of below zero temps were just CRUEL.

So please, will you spare us? I’ve experienced enough winter to last a lifetime. I am willing to compromise. Give me upper 20s and lower 30s. Upper 30s would be ideal, but I have the feeling I’m pushing it by asking for those. I know there are two bitterly cold days coming up, and then a day in the 30s. Can we not dip below those beautiful 30s for the remainder of the season? The bitter cold temps will not endear me to future winters, but NORMAL temperatures will make them more bearable.

I beg of you. Think of the CHILDREN.

Looking forward to mid-May (when Chicago finally realizes that it’s OK to get warm and stay that way),

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Back To Life, Back To Reality (Picture)

Coming back to Chicago and to temperatures that didn’t get above 0 degrees Fahrenheit was quite a shock to the system. One day, the HIGH was -16 or something ridiculous like that. Hello, is this MINNESOTA? Ugh. I HATE winter, I HATE the cold, I HATE the snow, and I cannot wait for the temperatures to warm up. Unfortunately, Chicago likes to hold on to the cold as long as possible, so I know it won’t be tank top weather until mid-June at the earliest. Depressing.

Now that I am out of the holiday haze and the kicking off my year in Disneyland phase, I’m settling into “real life” phase. Not all that willingly, mind you. I’m back to job hunting; sending out resumes like they’re going out of style and hearing nothing, learning of yet ANOTHER friend losing his or her job (I know more people out of work than with jobs now), freezing to death, mounting piles of laundry and wondering how I’m going to get my car out so I can DO laundry at a decent laundry place and not the icky laundry room in the courtyard, the looming emissions test and IL registration and city sticker acquisition for my car, cleaning the apartment, the possibility that the furnace is dysfunctional in the apartment (it’s rarely a comfortable room temperature; it’s usually blowing out acrid heat or blowing out semi lukewarm air), hoping what I have saved is enough to pay my bills until I have a steady income again, praying I don’t owe on taxes this year (a refund would be VERY helpful), and taking care of our cats plus Jonathon’s cats, who are still with us for the time being. I got to learn again what it’s like to have a cat choose me. Charlie barely gives Adam the time of day, but she always wants to follow me around and cuddle with me, and she purrs and purrs and purrs when I pet her. The last cat to choose me like that was Little Lucy.

It sounds a lot worse than it really is–you know how I start freaking out and worrying in the middle of the night (as evidenced by the time stamp of this post)–but I do think I am worrying about some valid things, right?

On the flip side, I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with a lot of OLD friends on Facebook. People from junior high who I NEVER thought I’d hear from again. Some of us have been posting old, embarrassing pictures which is too funny. Who needs when you have Facebook?

Speaking of embarrassing pictures:

Liek OMG
I was about 21 here, and I LOVED the movie Clueless. I wish I still had those shoes and socks. Knee socks are very helpful in -16 weather.

I’ve been reading like crazy. I’m back to keeping my book list on Google Docs. I fell off board with it last year in the middle of the move and reading a lot of OLD OLD books that I’d read when I was younger. But I’m back on it again. I’ve already read 11 new books this year, and I started my 12th 90 minutes ago. I’m a book addict. I’m also a House Hunters (and other assorted HGTV shows) addict. I’d better get my fix in now, though, because Adam and I are trying to figure out how to cut costs, and cable is on the short list of things to go. I’ve lived without cable plenty of times, so I know I’ll be OK, even though I know that Oxygen shows ANTM marathons every Sunday now. I just hope Adam will be OK.

Next month, I get to meet Meg Cabot! Adam was invited to Anderson’s 7th Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast (I got to attend #5 in 2007 and LOVED it), and he got me a ticket so I could see Meg! I’m so excited, and I don’t care HOW long the line is, I’m going to try to talk to her and get a picture with her. MEG CABOT, you guys! Oh yes. The author fangirl in me is alive and well. She is SUCH an inspiration. I ♥ her. :) And maybe one day, they’ll be inviting ME to speak at one of their breakfasts.

That’s all for now. I can’t sleep, so I guess I’ll go and try to read some more. Or I’ll take a Tylenol PM (if I can find the things) and hope for the best . ‘Til next time…

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Hello Winter! (Pictures)

Winter came in like a lion, let’s hope it goes out like a lamb. :) Here’s the latest weather update, screenshot taken from my iPhone:

Temperature December 21, 2008

I was supposed to head up to Jeff and Deborah’s today to have a little party, but Adam and I talked it over and decided that it’d be safer and make more sense to stay in where it’s warm. I was looking forward to hanging out with Jeff and Deborah, but we rescheduled. So now it’ll be a combination birthday/Hanukkah/New Year’s party. :) All the more reason to celebrate, right?

Speaking of celebrating, I had a really great birthday. Adam kicked things off at midnight with this awesome box:

Birthday Present!

It was full of Lush goodies! My very favorite kind of present! He kept hinting that it was something I’d love, but would never buy for myself. Or that I’d want it but constantly talk myself out of it. He was so right. I love it, and I would have never got myself a box that big of Lush stuff. He got me a Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, and a cheeseburger from Salerno’s which was yummy, and my friend Jen came over. We went on the Weird Chicago tour where another one of the patrons shared my birthday (but he was a year younger). One of them bought us all drinks. I had an Amaretto Sour. Adam had Scotch. The tour was really cool. As I’ve said before, every one is different, and I hadn’t been on one in a long time. This time we went down Prairie Avenue and looked at gorgeous houses. The snow was that pretty, soft snow. See?

Snow in Chicago Snow in Chicago

Jen & Adam Snow in Chicago

After that fun night, Jen, Adam and I came back and hung out and chatted. It was very pleasant. We have kidnapped her for the time being. :)

My Facebook wall BLEW UP with birthday greetings, and I got an eCard that I have yet to check out. I talked to Aidan, my mom, and my old friend from college Rita. I feel very loved and blessed.

Only a few days until Christmas!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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A Potluck Entry (Pictures)

We’re getting snow like whoa at the moment. We could get up to 12 inches, and it’s really coming down out there! Winter is here, even if the official date isn’t for a couple of days. The weather’s also been hovering between frigid and really dang cold. It hasn’t been above 30 since Sunday. Right now it’s 26, tomorrow it’s SUPPOSED to be 33 (we’ll see if that happens) and then we’re going to get hit with the lovely teens again. But hey, as long as it’s not snowing December 25 or 26 or 30, I’ll be happy.

Tonight, Adam and I met Sarah at Christkindlmarket downtown in Daley Plaza. It was a lot of fun. We drank hot chocolate, and took pictures. I’m wearing my new coat in this one. It’s super warm.

Sarah, Me & Adam

Hidden Mickey in Chicago Little VillageMenorah Santa's House!

We also went to Macy’s and visited the most exhausted Santa Claus ever, and we saw the big tree on the 7th floor in the Walnut Room:

Macy's Christmas Tree

We also went to Old Navy and Sears, where I got a new pair of gloves (Isotoners with Thinsulate to keep my hands warm!) and Adam got some clothes that he really looks cute in! (He said I can post pix of his hate tomorrow, but I guess that means today, seeing as it’s after 4 am CST.)

We ate deep dish pizza from Pie Eyed and Christmas cookies, and watched some TV. It was a fun night. :)

I have officially reverted back to night owl status. It really does go against the grain for me to be awake during the day, but I feel less guilty when I am. But as you can see by the time stamp on this entry, being up all night is much more fun for me, as well as more natural. There’s something about sunshine that makes me want to sleep.

We are cat-sitting for Jonathon until this weekend, which means that we are now taking care of four cats. The visitors are Ophelia and Charlie. Ophelia is a black and white kitty with kind of a squashed face and a very vocal little meow. She’s adorable, and she has lots to say. Charlie is a fluffy black cat with beautiful eyes, and she takes longer to warm up to strangers, but now she’s sitting right beside me on the couch. She does the head tilt thing when I pet her, and she rubs against my hand, and she closes her eyes too. I think that means she likes me. Plus, she always lays in my spots when I’m not in them. :) She actually jumped up to sit beside Sarah tonight, and she tried to follow Sarah out the door when Sarah left! She’s also INSANELY soft and fluffy. I have to get pictures of the visiting cats before they go home. I am enjoying having them here, although that Ophelia gets into more mischief than even Helena! I will be sad when they leave. Adam says we have enough cats, so NO MORE. :O

Helena and Crookshanks were happy to have the new cats, but the new cats aren’t being that friendly to them. It’s obvious that Helena and Crookshanks just want to get to know the new cats and play with them, but only Ophelia puts up with either of them, and she clearly likes Crookshanks more than she likes Helena. She and Crookshanks will bump noses, but she hisses at Helena. :(

Thursday was a good day for me. I got a birthday card with money inside from Grandma and Grandpa Selzer, and Mikey surprised me with an adorable apron that was on my wishlist. I’ve never owned an apron before, so I’m really excited. Then there was hanging out downtown with Sarah and Adam, and eating pizza. Now I have a fluffy black cat beside me and I’m feeling pretty good. :)

Did anyone happen to catch the Muppets – Letters To Santa special on TV Wednesday night? It was so adorable! :) And seriously, I can’t believe that it’s now less than a week until Christmas. That’s crazy! It comes so quickly, and yet it doesn’t. I can tell that Adam’s tired of all the Christmasy stuff, but I really don’t want it to end too quickly. And it always seems to do so.

I’m starting to yawn, so I suppose I should get to sleep. ‘Til next time! :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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More Holiday Fun! (Pictures)

I really do love this time of year!

New Ornament #1
My new Mickey Mouse ornament! Got it from The Disney Store last week.

Cookies! Helena and the TreeNew Ornament #2
Cookies, Helena, and another Mickey Mouse ornament! :)

Stockings! Mine is the big red one, Adam’s is the blue one.

The Tree Revisited
The tree again. This time there are presents underneath. :) Adam’s gonna be SPOILED.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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