November 29, 2006

Twinkle Toes: The Final Chapter

There is a very simple answer to the question, why is Twinkle Toes not sitting in my lap at this very moment? It is a two word answer: Joan Cusack.

I went into work Tuesday and got the back story of the Twinke Toes saga. My co-worker, Stephanie, who told me about the cat in the first place, went to Twinkle's owner's home for Thanksgiving and that's where it all went down.

Stephanie walked in her friend's home last Thursday and my little kitty was there. Stephanie ignored it (out of fierce loyalty and kindness to me) and went on to enjoy her Thanksgiving, trying to forget the whole ugly situation. However, later she overheard a mutual friend of hers ask Twinkle's owner when she was taking him to his new home. Twink's owner excitedly responded that it would be soon. She then went on to say she was invited to come visit Twinkle whenever she wanted and even cat sit at Twink's new home on occasion. Now any reasonable person would ask why a grown woman would be so excited at the prospect of cat sitting. Well it's not the cat, so much as the cat's owner.

I was told by Stephanie last week that her friend decided to give Twinkle to her co-worker instead of me. The small detail not previously mentioned was that the co-worker happens to be Mr. Joan Cusack. That's right, Joan Cusack's husband... what's his name. I can only imagine that this woman now thinks this little cat is going to be her ticket to Hollywood.

I can't compete with that. I'm just a lone girl in a studio apartment in the city. I can't offer lavish homes in Chicago's finest suburbs. I can't offer celebrity sitings. I can't guarantee unlimited call me minutes from U.S. Cellular. Clearly, the odds were not in my favor in this situation.

And who knows, maybe Twinkle Toes will be happy in the Chicagoland suburbs, roaming his large, manicured lawn. Maybe he'll be swept up in the glitz and glamour of the Cusack clan. Maybe he'll drink Evian from a golden water dish. Who knows, maybe he'll even get to appear in a U.S. Cellular comercial as the playful kitten in the background. But then again, maybe he would have been happy living with me too. I guess we'll never know.

(*Short endnote - I've been out of town for about a week visiting my peeps in Michigan and gorging myself on Turkey. I'm back in the Chi now and plan to do some catching up on my blog, so as always.... keep reading!)

November 21, 2006

Twinkle Toes

Today I learned that the cat that was to be formerly named Twinkle Toes will no longer be mine. I had planned to pick him up from his owner's home when I got back from Michigan, however that will no longer be happening. It turns out his owner changed her mind last Friday and wants to now give the cat to her co-worker instead of me, even though I rightfully staked claim to him first.

I may still get a cat, but not any time soon. The holidays are here now, so I'm waiting. But I can't say I'm not a little disappointed I won't be getting this cat. Even thought I never met it, I was starting to like the idea of coming home to something at the end of the day, other than my plants.

Oh well, I guess the lesson here is something along the lines of don't count your chickens before they're hatched.... only with cats instead of chickens. Wait. I guess that doesn't really work, but you get the jist of it.

November 19, 2006

An Unwanted Lesson

There are some lessons I would rather not learn. I was forwarded a Web site link by my Aunt Janet regarding the signs, causes and treatments of an intracranial hematoma. This information only became relevant to my family as of about a week ago when my grandpa was admitted to the hospital after taking a fall. These are not words I want to associate with my grandpa. However when I last talked to my mom, she said his doctors believe this is something from which he can recover for the most part, so hopefully I will not have to for long.

Seeing my aunts and mother relaying information back and forth about the status of my grandpa’s health is unsettling, to say the least. It is an undeniable fact that as my grandpa approaches 80-years-old, his health is not rebounding like it did 20 or even 5 years ago. And as my mother and aunts, I am certain, are coming to terms with their father’s mortality, I can’t help but think of how someday my sister and I may relay this same type of information about our parents. It is a scary, scary thought. It is a thought I purposefully cannot allow myself to think about for even a nanosecond, because these are lessons I hope to not have to learn for a very long time.

November 12, 2006

I Can't Say No to a Face Like That

This is Twinkle Toes. A co-worker informed me Friday that dear Twinkle is in need of a new home.

I might do something about it. If I do, though, his name will change.

A Good Idea or Knot?

A co-worker introduced me to a new term the other day - knotting someone. When I asked what it meant, she went on to explain that it is a practice some people do now-a-days when they start dating. Being that I have been in four weddings, I am familiar with The Knot’s power over brides-to-be as the No. 1 source for all things wedding. Little, however, did I know that as a single woman I also should be turning to The Knot for advice.

It has become practice for some women - as proven by the fact it has created its own verb - to enter the name of a new guy they are dating to see if he is listed on The Knot. If he is, at least she gets the satisfaction of knowing she’ll never be registered for bath towels with this cheater. But if he is not, then chances are he is safe, right?

In this age of uncertainly and lightening quick Internet connections, maybe not. I think as a world we can all agree, that the invention of the Internet was more of a benefit to mankind than a deterrent of our progress as a civilization. But I don’t think single people everywhere could have predicted the ability it would have to shield us from heartache.

I don’t know a single person these days whom upon meeting someone new doesn’t Google them once learning the correct spelling of their first and last name. I’ve Googled every guy I’ve met probably since 2002. Usually the results are nothing terribly exciting. Things like quotes in articles, memberships in professional organizations or high school sports stats are most frequent. But it is the one time that I Google a guy to find a link to the FBI's Most Wanted list that I’ll pat myself on the back for being such a savvy, single gal… and then immediately erase his number from my cell phone.

Now my search usually stops at Googling, but if I wanted to take it further, I can think of at least a handful of other sites which might provide the most paranoid of girls a slight peace of mind. Dating can be rough. If the guy is married, engaged and/or a perpetual loser with a criminal history, these are things that might be helpful to know before accepting a second date.

For those who’ve been burned by a married man, there’s The Knot. Equally, the Yellow Pages can prove if he lives alone or, say, with a female with the same last name. For women who are repeatedly burned by players or your average douche bag, there’s Don’t Date Him. In a similar vein, try Women Savers for added peace of mind. For girls who want additional background info about likes, dislikes and numbers of female friends, there’s always Myspace and Friendster. Most everyone is on one of those sites these days. And for those who are incredibly paranoid, do not forget, it is mandatory for all sex offenders to register in their state. And yes, that info is online.

It is my hope that I would never have to resort to such extreme measures to get to know someone. I mean, whatever happened to just asking? Half the fun of meeting someone new is learning about their likes, dislikes and high school sports triumphs firsthand. It is no fun being able to recite the names of a guy’s closest friends before he has even told you about them. (This info is brought to you courtesy of Myspace’s “Top 8” feature.) But if it is impossible for a girl to get to that point without being certain her new interest is not currently engaged, she can always knot him.

November 10, 2006


There are some musicians who you hear on CD and think they sound good, then you see them in concert and learn otherwise.

Last night, I learned that John Legend is NOT one of those artists. He put on a show that had me, and everyone else at his sold out show, dancing and singing along to his majestic voice.

I also learned that when he comes back to town, I will go see him again because he's just that good.

November 7, 2006


There is a fabulous writer named Jen Lancaster, who's blog I read on a daily basis. She also wrote a fabulous book called "Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Ex-Sorority Girl, Or, Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office." I recommend it to anyone who likes a light, funny read or is facing an extended period of unemployment.

On her blog today, she posted that November is NaBloPoMo (AKA National Blog Posting Month). Since I am now a blogger, I plan to participate... even if it means updating my blog with random tidbits of info such as this.

November 6, 2006

MySpace is the Devil

Things I planned to accomplish tonight and the reasons why:

1.) Work out - I am on a health kick right now, and the second I let my motivation slip my kick may disappear for a very, very long time.
2.) Do my dishes - If I didn’t do my dishes bad things would happen. Like A) they would start to smell, and B) I would not have a clean knife to spread cream cheese on my bagel tomorrow morning.
3.) Cook dinner - I didn’t want to eat out for lunch tomorrow, and I also didn’t want to bring the same lunch I had today. To curb this from happening, I knew I had to make dinner tonight. (Side note - my lunch today consisted of a banana, Wasabi peas, hummus, carrots, pita bread, a soft pretzel with cheddar cheese, Colby jack cheese and yogurt. I did not eat this all in one sitting, but rather snacked on it throughout the day. I don’t eat full meals. I snack every two hours. I'm like an infant, really.)
4.) Watch “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” - I don’t know how I initially got hooked on this show, but I am. It’s on Monday nights at 9 p.m., so I had to watch it.
5.) Update my blog - I felt like such a slacker these past few weeks so, I’m trying to make up for lost time. Is it working?
6.) Be in bed by 10:30 p.m. - I keep waking up later and later every morning, mainly because my bedtime keeps getting later and later. I’m trying the whole 'early to bed, early to rise' concept.

I am proud to say I accomplished everything on my list tonight, with the exception of my bedtime. It’s going on 11:30 right now and I think it will be close to midnight by the time I actually fall asleep. Now why you ask? The answer is simple. It's hard to quit MySpace.

I signed on to my MySpace account to quickly post a few comments and 45 minutes later I found myself emailing people I haven’t talked to in years. And you know why, because once you start, it’s hard to stop. Those of you who have MySpace accounts understand how entire blocks of a day can suddenly be eaten up searching for the kid who used to sit next to you in fourth grade. Because honestly, what better time to find out if he or she's gotten fat or had five kids than 11 p.m. on a Monday night?

And if you don't understand this at all, be very, very glad. MySpace is like smoking. If you never start you won't get addicted. Granted MySpace won't kill you, but I can guarantee you will be a whole lot better off for having tried it. Case and point... I'll be lucky if I don't hit my snooze five times tomorrow morning.

Damn you, MySpace. I curse you! (Just please don't leave me.)

November 5, 2006

Pissing the Night Away

I live on a very cute, quaint and for the most part quiet street. It has a bit of an old world charm, with most of the buildings having been built decades ago and lit by the soft glow of street lamps. I like my street. It’s tree-lined and generally at the end of the day it’s a pretty nice street to stroll down on my way home.

Being that a lot of the buildings are older, they are classic courtyard buildings. That usually means the building is no taller than four stories and there is a courtyard leading to the main entrance. For instance, my building has a few shrubs lining the walkway, which lead to a few steps and a small patch of grass with pine trees in the middle of five different building entrances. Some courtyards are nicer than others. I can’t help but look with envy as I walk by some of the nicer units that have better landscaping, better lighting and gated entrances. For the most part though, I’m content with paying about $200 less a month to not have these and other amenities that come standard with the nicer buildings on my street.

That is until Friday.

It was about 6:30 p.m. when I got off the bus. It had been a long week, and I was looking forward to my weekend. On my mind at that moment was what I was going to eat for dinner and making sure I had something clean to wear to my midnight yoga class. As I approached my building, my head was down to fight the wind, so I barely noticed this large, 20-something guy practically blocking the walkway to my building.

“It’s cold out tonight,” he said, while rubbing his arms that were covered only by a long sleeve t-shirt. As I walked past him, I quietly said, “Yeah, it is.” What I was thinking as I shook my head was, “Yes, it is cold, which is exactly why I’m going to stand here and make small talk.”

I set foot on my steps and as I ascended them, still head down, I heard someone say, “Busted” ever so matter-of-factly. When I reached the top step I finally raised my head to see not one, not two, but three, count them THREE, guys PEEING IN THE COURTYARD OF MY BUILDING!!!!!!!!! (I am making gagging sounds as I type this.)

I was flabbergasted and a stream of profanities immediately began flowing through my head - much like their pee was flowing onto my building at that moment. This is not what I want to come home to on a Friday, or any day for that matter.

I put two and two together and realized the cold dude at the entryway of my building was their lookout… and a bad one at that. Because if he had been good at his job, I would not have seen three streams of pee while walking up to my building.

I continued walking past the pee-ers (whom I can only assume were trying to finish up at that point) screaming, “What that hell!” It was the only thing that came out. I wish I would have said much more. And as I walked I saw these three children who appeared to be all of 20 start to scatter away from my building. I turned my key in the door muttering “You’ve got to be kidding me”, stepped inside and tried to regain my composure. My week has officially ended on one of the worst notes in recent memory.

So what do I take away from this? I take away the lesson that it might be worth the extra money for a building with a gated entrance. I can almost guarantee the pee-ers picked my lovely courtyard because it didn’t require getting buzzed in to participate in public urination.

Now, granted I don’t pay as much rent as the people who live in the gated courtyard buildings do, but I feel I still pay enough that I should not have to step over streams of pee as I walk up to my building. Is this really too much to ask? I am just praying to God this was an isolated incident because if it happens again I’m subletting my place and moving to a building with a gated entrance.

November 2, 2006

A Mixed Bag of Sorts

I am surprised at my own laziness as of late. I never thought I'd go two weeks between posts, but alas I have. I hope I haven't lost you. Have I? Are you still there? Please, oh please, come back.

I have only this excuse for my lack of writing. I have been out living my life these past few weeks and have neglected to fill you in. So here is my attempt to make up for lost time. A potpourri of life lessons if you will. In no particular order:

Dennis Haskins Will Do Anything for a Buck
For those of you who are not children of the 80s, let me inform you that Dennis Haskins was Mr. Belding, the principal of "Saved By the Bell" for four glorious seasons on Saturday morning TV. And the reason why I know he'll do anything for a buck is I saw him in a bar on Friday night. He was there as a promotion. For what, I still am not sure. Let's just say Dennis was the most senior person in the bar by about 40 years. He was surrounded by children of generation X who were dressed as slutty school girls, slutty nurses and super sperm (no joke). And as he stood in the DJ booth tossing out DVDs, T-shirts, snowboards and beer drums, I couldn't help but think we must have been keeping him out way past his bedtime. Clearly, he was there only for the paycheck he received at the end of the night.

Windex Kills… Big, Scary Bugs
When I entered my shower a few weeks ago to find a big, scary bug with far too many legs, I did what any savvy, single city girl would do. I screamed and ran out my bathroom. Knowing I was not going to be able to sleep if it were still alive, I tried to think of the best way to end its life. I wasn’t concerned with causing it as little pain as possible. I was concerned with not having to come within arm’s reach of it. I scoured my kitchen, grabbed my Windex and confronted the bug. I used half the bottle to drown my disgusting, unwelcome guest, but it was small price to pay. So I say forget Raid, all you need is Windex.

Richard Crowe Loves Ghosts, but Hates Everything Else
A few weeks ago, I and a few co-workers went on a Chicago ghost tour. Richard Crowe was our tourguide, and by his own account has given these types of tours since the ‘70s. Granted I never saw him in the '70s, but I would wager a hefty sum that his tour wasn't quite so political back then. As we drove through various Chicago neighborhoods, Crowe showed us where gangsters were shot, cemeteries used to exist and ghosts are said to roam Southside streets. And in the midst of these explanations, Crowe also told us how Chicago's politicians are corrupt and we should all start beating one another as an alternative to capital punishment, all the while pointing out neighborhoods like "Jew Town." I don't think I'll be going back for another tour of Mr. Crowe's. I like my ghost stories void of political agenda.

I Love a Parade
I actually hate parades, but I went and watched one on Halloween. I live very near the gay Mecca of Chicago, known affectionately at Boystown. Every year since 1996, that neighborhood has held a parade, and it is magnificent. With no exaggeration whatsoever, in this parade you can see a kid dressed as Sponge Bob Square pants, followed by a Drag Queen dressed as the Tropicana Banana woman, followed by a dog dressed as a bumble bee followed two gay guys walking hand-in-hand dressed as “Kermit the Fag” and “Fuzzy the Bear.” It’s got something for everyone, which is why I love a parade… but only in Boystown.

It is Possible to Love Someone You've Never Met
My friend, Lexi, and her husband, Rob, had a beautiful baby girl on Oct. 24. I have only seen pictures of Laynie online, but I can say without a doubt, I love this beautiful little girl already.