Random Fried Bullet Points (Pictures)

Aidan Gives Me A Kiss!

· Aidan’s in town. He flew in Friday night (YAY) and has to go back this evening (BOO). Never seems to be enough time with him. Even if we’re not interacting, just having him in the house is nice. He doesn’t have his two front teeth anymore. My little boy is officially a snaggletooth! :D

· Aidan’s in love with Star Wars. Darth Vadar’s his favorite. :O

· Claudia Gray (who is super duper awesomesauce with cherries on top) has gotten Adam and me (and indirectly, Aidan) hooked on Doctor Who. I’d never seen it and felt that I couldn’t be a proper geek without having done so. We have a TiVo and Netflix and Dr. Who is on Instant Q. We watch many episodes a day. Adam wants to turn our closet into a TARDIS. And he wants the coat that the 10th Doctor wears, but it’s $300. I told him to get it anyway. You really can’t be too cheap when buying coats for a Chicago winter. But he’s being smart and frugal.

· When I read to Aidan before bed, I read each page in a different voice, determined by Aidan. Tonight, I read him HIPPOS GO BESERK, and I used the voices of Laura and the dad from The Fuccons, Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Doctor Who, and Rose.

· I am reading POP PRINCESS by Rachel Cohn again. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read it, but it blows me away every single time I do read it. Wonder’s voice is like no other. I feel the same way about Audrey’s voice in AUDREY, WAIT! by Robin Benway.

· Cover and title released for the latest Hunger Games Book!!! YOU SHOULD ORDER IT FOR ME! I mean, you should order it now!

Can’t believe there are still 190 days until it’s out!

· I went to the library last week and checked out 18 books. I’ve already read several of them.

· This Saturday, I am going to Anderson Bookshop’s 8th Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast. I’m really excited. Last year, I got to meet Meg Cabot, Sharon Draper, and Peter Yarrow. This year, I am ashamed to say I don’t really know the speakers, but there will be plenty of local authors there to chat with. And bacon to eat. And librarians to schmooze.

· I’ve been half-heartedly entertaining the thought of going back to school. I don’t know if I could get a Master’s–my college GPA wasn’t the greatest. It just seems so much hassle and there’s the money issue and the homework. But the learning and the advanced/extra degrees seem so appealing. I just don’t see how it can happen, though.

· Because I’m still really not sure what I want to be when I grow up. When I worked in advertising, I LOVED the work. Absolutely LOVED the work. I’m still running across ads that I’ve worked on and feeling a bittersweet pang of accomplishment and also missing it. But the pressure. The atmosphere. It’s just too much. When I did my Schawk stint again, the long days in the office about drove me mad, but again, I loved the work. And I especially enjoy my Loyola work, because I get to do what I love, but from home. They send me the work and some instructions and a due date, I do the work and send it back. Easy-peasy and also very inspiring because I’m reading MARKETING brochures for heaven’s sake so OF COURSE I want to go back to school. Their writers are very good! So, I love proofreading/copy editing and I’d love to be able to stick with that somehow. I’m also passionate about books and reading, so it would make sense for me to do something with reading/books/literacy/reading recovery, right? I am not sure if teaching would be the answer, but working on materials to encourage literacy–like the stuff I did at Zaner-Bloser–would be amazing. I also love children’s books and teen novels. I feel like my calling is to be some sort of proofreader/editor for a book publisher where I am working on novels, but those jobs are in New York and hard to come by. *sigh*

· I wish I had more unique talents or skills. Writers, proofreaders, secretaries…people with skills like me? We’re a dime a dozen.

· How much do I love the show Modern Family? I mean, hello. The amount of talent on that show blows me away. I watch Make It Or Break It, and I enjoy it, but I can tell most of the people are acting. I am aware that I am watching a TV show. But Modern Family? It flows so well. I feel like I’m looking in the window of someone’s house and seeing the families interact in real time, but not in a “reality TV” sort of way.

· How lucky am I that I am able to connect with former Mousketeers on Facebook or through their blogs? I mean, seriously. I know I’ve gushed about them before, but they really were a huge part of my high school years and to be able to exchange messages with them is simply awesome.

· *Sigh* I was sleeping but I was awakened by certain noises coming from above. And a wicked case of heartburn. So here I am, 4am, awake. *Double sigh.*

· My appetite for chicken has been REALLY weird lately. I don’t want any kind of teriyaki chicken, or citrusy chicken, or Asian style chicken. Fried chicken (like legs and wings) sound disgusting to me. But chicken nuggets seem OK. Or chicken parmesan (but not grilled, has to be breaded). It’s driving Adam crazy because he always wants to make chicken and my stomach immediately says NO WAY.

· Crunchy tempura shrimp sushi rolls = YUMMMMMMM!!!!!! And saki, too. Mmmm sushi. I decided to try some different stuff this time around. I didn’t care for the octopus and red snapper, though. Next time I’ll try eel. Maybe. :O


· The word “underpants” is funny.

· And finally, a question: Do you ever find yourself recalling some unpleasant event from the past… something that hurt you but you thought you were over… you recall this event and you get all upset again? I hate that. Sometimes I have some really mean thoughts and I don’t like it. :( I don’t want to put negativity in the world anymore. I like being happy.

And that’s all for now. ‘Til next time!

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Random Life Stuff (Picture)

The other day, Chris asked me if I ever updated anymore because my updates are so few and far between. I’ve just been working a lot, eating, and falling into bed, or staring at my monitor playing endless word games until my eyes cross. Or, my new favorite pastime: reading The Hunger Games over and over and over and over.

I am obsessed with that book. Mandy told me about it months ago, but I didn’t get a chance to get my hands on it until earlier this year. Holy cow. It’s sooo freaking good. I love books about dystopian societies anyway (that has to be why The Giver is another one of my favorites), but this one is unbelievably awesome. AWESOME. I can’t stop talking about it. Or reading it, apparently. I was even sent an arc, and I carry that in my bag, while I keep the hardcover by my bed. I am so looking forward to Catching Fire.

Work has been crazy! Last week, I clocked a record 61.5 hours. That’s nothing. One of the operators clocked more than 80 hours! It’s a good thing I like the work, and I’m a night owl. Those late nights can be rough sometimes, but I manage.

This week, I’ve been trying out the “wild” hair again.

Randomly Playing on Photo Booth

It’s really easy to do. I co-wash it (that’s when you use conditioner instead of shampoo), then I scrunch it all up with curl-enhancing mousse, then I let it air dry. Really easy, and my hair gets a break from all the heat styling. Seems like the more I want it to grow, the more it breaks off, or just plain stops growing. I want to take biotin to encourage growth, but my nails are out of control. I’m cutting them down every two weeks, it seems! The biotin will make them even crazier. But you know what? I’ll take cutting my nails more often if it means getting shoulder-length hair again.

I saw Twilight and actually really liked the movie. I’m in one of two moods when I watch it: either the mood for the romance and tension, or in the mood to LMAO. I’m buying it when it comes out Saturday, then I’ll get the Blu-ray version when it comes out in May (whoever heard of releasing the Blu-ray version on a different date????). Thinking of attending a party at Borders tomorrow night, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying the score and the soundtrack.

I recently got a hold of Trisha Yearwood’s Jasper Country CD, and it’s really good! :) Yes, it’s a few years old, but I don’t really know much about country nor do I follow it much. I got this CD because the audio guys at work were unloading tons of music. This was in the pile, so I grabbed it. I’m glad I did. :)

A few weeks ago, I got the American Idol Karaoke Revolution game for Wii [LINK]. IT IS SO MUCH FUN. The first night Adam and I played, Adam tried singing Staying Alive, and whatever he did to that song made Crookshanks give him the most murderous look. It was hilarious. I’ve never seen a cat look at someone like that before. It was a combination of OMGeeeeWTeverlovinF and NEVERDOTHATAGAIN KTHX. I played it tonight and had a blast (and didn’t get any evil looks from the cat until I accidentally stepped on his paw, then he yelled at me and Ophelia yelled at me, too). The only bad thing about it is that it encourages those of us who are HORRIBLE singers. I put it on easy, and on easy, all you have to do is barely get the pitch arrow to skim the line and you’re good. So, knowing DARN well I have a voice that could kill plants, I sing my little heart out and LOL as Randy, Paula, and Simon praise me up and down, as the crowd goes wild, and as I nail perfects or near-perfects on every single song! And I played the tournament and WON. It’s hilarious when other contestants are sent home, a big “FAIL” box pops up by their names/pictures. Bwah. It’s great to live in that fantasy world, you know? And the game has some cool songs. Classics, newer songs, simple ones, complicated ones. Even a Kelly Clarkson song! I highly recommend the game, I have a blast playing it.

I guess that’s all around these parts. I’m gonna run, go try to Becky at a couple more games of Word Twist on Facebook, then read Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz. I decided to reread the Blue Bloods series so I would stop reading The Hunger Games over and over. Speaking of The Hunger Games (best book ever!), how exciting that there is going to be a movie????? OH YEAH!!

‘Til next time! :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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A Potluck Entry

Friday, Jen, Adam and I went to May Street Market for dinner. It was outstanding. I had steak frites for my meal and well, I can’t even describe my dessert properly without getting all gooey inside. It was so good I wanted to cry. A blondie with chocolate chips, lavender vanilla ice cream, and toffee crumbled all over it from Terry’s Toffees. Divine. There are pictures, but the cable to get them out of the camera and onto the computer is not easily accessible at the moment. I’ll try to post them soon.

Work was fun again. Busy–I had a lot to do–but fun. I really enjoy the work, and I am excited to learn more and more. Today, someone brought in champagne. I had one glass–that was enough for me. I’m such a lightweight. I have never worked at a place that is so awesome. I plan to stay for a LONG time. Wednesday night, I was so excited about going to work that I couldn’t sleep. Man, I’m such a nerd. :wink:

Helena is peeing in naughty places again. I don’t get it. Unless she’s mad that I’m out of the house all day again. However, Helenboo told me to spray lemon juice around–cats apparently hate that–so maybe that’ll keep her from doing it.

Have I ever mentioned that I HATE hearing other people’s loud music? It drives me insane.

Our DVD player is just about on the brink. The cats kept knocking it over so it doesn’t work too well, and it’s unstable. I guess it’s time for a new one, and hopefully a decent one. I might drive over to Target tomorrow and see if they have anything good for not too expensive.

I did Wii Fit again today. I really need to use that thing more regularly. Like, at least three times a week. I really desperately need to get in shape. I’m a mess. Very few of my clothes fit right anymore and I just feel like a frump. My hair is too short, my face feels fat, and I feel like a big dork. I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can walk from work some evenings.

Speaking of weather, it’s been warming up! :D Thursday, the temperature climbed to the mid-20s which felt positively BALMY. Friday, it went up to 41! Saturday, it’s supposed to be 51 (albeit rainy). Thank GOD for mild(er) temperatures and melting snow! I am tired of wearing big, bulky sweaters and a billion layers and feeling like everything’s too tight. Hmm, maybe feeling like everything is too tight isn’t because of the layers. *sigh* I have 9.5 pounds to lose to get to my goal on the Wii Fit. *double sigh*

I did my taxes and for the first time since 2007, I do not owe! I’m actually getting a nice refund, which I will put toward paying off my car and building my savings up again.

I’m reading another Sharon Draper book and that woman is an amazing writer. I am excited that I get to meet her in a few weeks, along with Meg Cabot! YAY authors!

I’m getting sleepy, so I’m gonna go for now. Until next time….

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Random McRandomness

· The song Bet On It from one of the High School Musical soundtracks is currently stuck in my head.

· I remember years ago seeing an episode of Hannah Montana and liking it a lot. It was during a random Saturday or something, and I never figured out how to turn it on again. Then I didn’t have cable for about 18 months. Years later, Hannah Montana is suddenly HUGE. She’s everywhere, and I remembered thinking “Wow, that show was cute when I saw it a long time ago.” So a couple of weeks ago, I was looking for something else on TV, couldn’t find it, and came across Hannah Montana. I was cracking up during the entire episode. Now it’s one of my favorite shows. Sweet Niblets!

· Schawk ends in 20 days. I’m sad. *sniffle*

· Tomorrow, AIDAN comes to visit me!!!! Chris and some friends are coming to town for the OSU vs. Northwestern game and Aidan’s gonna stay with me tomorrow night and all day Saturday. I can’t wait to see him and squeeze him and hug him lots! ♥

· I completely forgot I was in the middle of writing this post, and I ended up closing the browser. Thank goodness WP has auto save. Bwah.

· Helena is lying on a carpet block right behind me. When I lay my head on the block, she grumbles and pushes it away. It’s kinda funny. If I keep doing it, she gets down.

· Have I ever mentioned that pictures of crying babies crack me up? I don’t know what it is. I don’t like to hear them cry, because it makes me sad. But to see a picture, I dunno. It’s just funny. The other night, I Googled images of crying babies and had a good, long laugh. Maybe I’m must weird like that.

· ALL of my pants are suddenly too tight for me (again). This is very depressing. I need to lose weight again because I am not trying to replace every pair of pants and jeans that I have.

· Christmas shopping has somewhat commenced. I got stuff on Saturday for Adam and Chris. I also got a box of chocolate cherries, but that won’t be happening often as those things are crazy expensive. But OMG so good. Mmm, chocolate cherries. Nom nom nom.

I think that’s it for now. I’m in a kinda silly mood tonight. But it’s shower/snack/read/sleep time. See ya!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Finally, A Weekend! (Pictures, Long)

This will be my first full weekend in over a month. I’m so glad I like the work and the people I work with, because otherwise, working six days a week would be awful. As it is, I feel weird not going in tomorrow. If I hadn’t already turned in my time sheet for the week, I probably would reconsider and pop in for a few hours! I care that much about the work and I like the job that much. But I am tired and was encouraged by team members to take a break because I really shouldn’t work six days a week for ten weeks in a row. Plus, I got sick twice the past couple of weeks, and even though the colds were fairly minor, last Saturday, I was miserable! I came home, took medicine, fell into bed and stayed there until Sunday evening! Still, I remember last year this time, I was starting that horrific three-month sore throat. I am SO GLAD I’m not dealing with that this year!

I started to get melancholy this week, because my assignment is slated to end on November 26th. I’ve never been SAD about leaving a job before, but with this one, I really will grieve! I love the work, the culture, the commute, everything, even the six day weeks and sometimes ten hour work days. Today, some people dressed up for the holiday, and people were passing out candy, and the company bought pizza and salad and beverages for all of us to enjoy for lunch.

I leave work at the end of the day with a spring in my step, because I just spent all day working my butt off and loving every minute of it. And the thought of going back to combing the job boards, sending out a billion resumes to get maybe one or two bites, then going on interviews and doing hours of interview homework frankly depresses me. It seriously makes me want to cry.

I believe that if you put the energy out there, then something can happen with it. So this is what I’m going to put out there. I want to work full time at Schawk. I want to be a permanent employee. Everyday I go in and hope that they see something in me that makes them say “You know, this girl is good. Her attitude is awesome, and we can really tell that she cares about and likes the work. We’re going to offer her a position here because we know she’ll bring value to our team and our company.”

We’ll see what happens. I know the economy, and the reality though, and I’m going to try not to cry too much that day. In the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy the time I do have there for sure. It’s the best job I’ve ever had in my life. And I mean that 100%.

Today is Halloween, and I didn’t dress up. I did wear a tee-shirt to commemorate the occasion, though.

Me on Halloween

I got a lot of compliments on my headband. :)

Adam did dress up, though. Here he is with Hector before their crazy night of Weird Chicago tours.

Halloween 2008

Helena has been a very good girl and hasn’t peed on the bed in a long time. I’m proud of her. She’s gotten used to me being gone, and I give her a little extra attention in the mornings before I leave for work which she seems to like. Some of my best evenings are when she and Crookshanks curl up beside me while I play on Flickr or something.

Honestly, though, I’m only missing one thing from my life and that’s Aidan’s hugs and kisses. It’s so hard not hearing his little voice every day and having him clinging to me and touching my cheek. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and wonder how he’s doing. The other day I was talking to him, and he said “Mommy, I was looking at the picture of you and me and Daddy and I started cwying.” I asked him why, and he said because he missed me. That’s a big void, and even though I don’t regret moving to Chicago and being with Adam, I miss my son terribly and I want need to see him soon.

Other than that, I’m really happy. And I’ve been happy for a long time now. I like working. I like coming home to Adam at the end of the day. Some nights he makes the most delicious dinners. Wednesday night, I told him I wanted something light, and he made tomato basil soup with chicken. It was perfect and amazing. Tonight, he made beef and noodles. The beef had been simmering all day in the Crock-Pot. And one day last week, he made the most delicious homemade beef stew. I have to watch so I won’t gain a ton of weight–my pants are all fitting snugly! It’s time for me to really put the Wii Fit to use.

Yes, that was a major splurge I made a couple of weeks ago! I went to Best Buy in search of a new external hard drive because my original one is almost full. Well, I found a 1T hard drive for a good price, and ventured over to the video game section. I was shaking me head at the Wii Fit towel. I mean, really? $8 for a towel because it says Wii Fit on it? And I was thinking “well, that’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to a Wii Fit….” then I walked out of that aisle and over to a center pallet that was stacked with Wiis and Wii Fits! I debated for about 30 seconds on getting it, then decided to go for it, and I am so glad. Working out with that thing is SO fun. I love the step aerobics and the yoga. Before I know it, I’ve clocked 35 minutes of exercise and for something like me who does NOT care for exercise, that is a big deal. Wii Fit = PURE WIN.

I’m trying to think of what else I’ve been up to besides working, resting, reading, and playing Wii Fit, and I can’t come up with a whole lot. I did finally get to read the latest Leven Thumps novel. I devoured the thing in a day and a half and was very sad when it was over. I have to wait probably at least a year for the next one!

Another writer friend of mine finally got a book contract, and I’m very happy for her. Out of that little group, I’m the only one who still hasn’t been published, and right now, I’m OK with that. I’m not even sure I want to pursue a writing career so much anymore. I’m getting so much joy out of the agency proofreading work, I wonder if I shouldn’t focus on that career path? We’ll see where my heart takes me. I still have the soul of a writer, and I’m always thinking of characters and making up people and scenarios in my head, so maybe it’ll come back one day. At this point, I’m at peace with where I am now, career-wise. Who knows what will happen?

A few days ago. Rosa asked me to post 7 things about myself that most people don’t know. This is going to be a challenge, as I am pretty open on my blog. But let’s see.

1. I have a terrible singing voice. I mean, it’s awful. But that doesn’t stop me from singing along with the stereo when I am home alone.

2. About twelve years ago, the house I lived in for most of my growing years was foreclosed on. I didn’t get a lot of stuff out of it, and some of that stuff includes rare 12-in. album singles with remixes of songs like Killing Me Softly by Al B. Sure and Lucky Charm by The Boys. I really, really wish I had a way to get digital copies of those songs–but the 12-in. singles were rare enough when I bought them. I’m sure it’s impossible to get them now.

3. Even though I do not like winter or the cold, I love cold-weather accessories. I have tons of scarves and hats and gloves and mittens. I like to change them up depending on my mood, and I just love the new cute ones that come out every year. Monday, when I was at Aeropostale to get a few sweaters for the upcoming winter, I started considering a new winter coat. Adam, with an exasperated look, told me that I have QUITE enough coats, thank you very much. OK, he didn’t say all that, but he did point out that I have four winter coats and I probably really don’t need a new one. But we’ll see how my coats hold up against Chicago winters. I might need to take a trip to Eddie Bauer soon. Macy’s has beautiful wool pea coats, but I really don’t want to spend $500 on a coat that may or may not keep me warm when the single digit temperatures hit.

4. I wish I had a best girlfriend. But then I wonder if I really want the time and commitment that comes with having a best girlfriend. Jen and I are pretty close–we’ve known each other since the early 1990s–but I don’t have that *best friend* who is local and who I see all the time, who I can yap on the phone with for hours and then turn around and email/IM her as soon as I hang up. It’s been so long that I’m not even sure I KNOW how to have a best friend anymore, not like I did when I was in grade school. I remember Charla and I used to get on the phone and yak yak yak for hours (13 of them once). Now, it just seems strange to call someone other than my mommy just to talk, even though when someone does catch me at a good time, it’s always great to hear from that person, and I enjoy catching up and chatting. I think every girl needs a best friend, but I guess I’m scared and not so sure how to go about it.

5. I’m generally not a phone person. I will email you long, long letters, I’ll write you letters, I’ll text you, but I’m not huge on the phone. Again, I like when people call me, but it’s hard for me to take the initiative to make the call to anyone unless I really feel driven to action. I even had a hard time calling Adam, the man I was dating, then engaged to, because I always worried about bugging him. But if someone calls me, I’m terrible about letting him or her off the phone, and we can talk for hours and hours easily. Ask anyone about my marathon phone calls with my mom. Last time it was five hours.

6. I enjoy good, long, late night conversations. I love talking to friends about anything and everything in the middle of the night, when the inhibitions are down just a bit, and we’re comfortable sharing everything.

7. I really really want to take Aidan to Disney World within the next year. Just a mommy-son trip. I know it’s probably crazy and ambitious to do a single-parent trip of that magnitude, but we both LOVE Disney World and I think the time together would be amazing. I just wish something would happen to make that a possibility very soon, before he outgrows Disney World… and hanging out with his parents. For the record, I also want to take a huge trip to Disney World with Adam, Aidan, Chris, Matt, my mom, and Adam’s mom.

Because traveling for Thanksgiving will be a logistical nightmare for me this year, Adam and I are staying in town and having Thanksgiving here. We’re going to make a turkey and stuffing, and I’ll make a bit of dressing (hopefully not as dry as I made it for Christmas–eep). I’m also making my famous macaroni & cheese and we’re having gobs and gobs and gobs of mashed potatoes. Probably some corn and/or green beans too. And a Jell-O cake for dessert! Local friends who have no other plans are DEFINITELY welcome to join us. Just RSVP to me or Adam and let us know so we can have enough food to go around.

Tomorrow is November, which means I need to start thinking about Christmas. Once Halloween is over, I feel OK thinking about it, making plans, etc. So far, I plan to fly to Columbus on Christmas to surprise my little Aidan. How much fun will that be? :) That’s all I have so far. Has anyone else started thinking about the December holidays?

I think I got everything out that’s been building up in me the past few days and/or weeks. If you read all this, thank you. ♥ I leave you with a picture of my street in Chicago. I took it as I was walking home from work one evening.

Down the Block

‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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