November 30, 2007

Hasta Luego

It is going to be 34 degrees with a wintry mix of sleet and snow in Chicago tomorrow. I know this but I won't get to experience it. I'm high-tailing it out of here to warmer, sunnier destinations. The snow will be setting in some time mid afternoon. By then I plan to be in a tank top and sipping a fruity beverage. And after waiting 45 minutes outdoors in the Windy City today for public transit, I can't get there a moment too soon.

See you next week!

November 26, 2007

Up Chuck Wake Up

Last night, I learned a very unpleasant way to be woken up. At 4:30 a.m., I was wrestled from slumber by the sound cat gagging near my head. I opened my eyes and looked up. There sat Oscar hunched over on the pillow he claims most nights due north of my head working up something fierce. No sooner was I awake than Oscar horked a few inches from the spot I’d been sleeping mere seconds ago. I mean really, he couldn’t have chosen the wood floors which cover approximately 95 percent of my apartment?

With Oscar out of he way, I grabbed the pillow and removed the case gently, careful not to further spread the kitty puke. I then rinsed it in my bathroom sink, thinking there was nothing much else I could do at the moment. Leaving the pillow case to dry over my tub, I returned to bed. On the way back, I crossed paths with Oscar who was meowing and raring to play. What apparently was a disruption to me was only a minor inconvenience for my cat. Regardless, we both ended up falling back asleep - Oscar on a different pillow.

November 18, 2007

Calling All Cell Phones

I have been cell phone shopping lately. I am officially out of my Verizon contract and can quit it any time I want to. (I kind of sound like an addict.) Since I don’t hate my current phone or service (minus their poor customer service), I haven’t rushed out to get the newest, latest and greatest model. I have instead been browsing. Browsing though has lead me to one conclusion: there are too many options.

I visited an AT&T (formerly Cingular) store. I browsed to a Sprint (joined with Nextel) store. I shopped at T-Mobile. Not to mention, I have read countless reviews on Doing all this has been helpful, but there is too much. And I do not necessarily mean too much in terms of a providers or models, I mean there is simply too much that comes with a cell phone these days. Apparently, we as a people have evolved far beyond nine digits and a send button.

All the latest and coolest and newest phones are too advanced for me (or I’m too remedial for them). I do not need the ability to check my email on my cell phone. Frankly, I’m just not that important. And I certainly don’t want work to have the ability to reach me while I’m in the comfort of my own home - unless someone thinks it important enough to call me. I don’t want to watch TV on a mini-cell phone screen. I don’t have cable at home, so why would I feel it necessary to watch it on my phone? I don’t care to get the latest sports and news sent to me as they happen. I’m not going to download music and listen to it on my phone. I have an iPod, which I considered to a big techie purchase for me. Guess I’m not nearly as visionary as the people at Apple. Turn by turn navigations and GPS locators seem great, but these features just seem a little too Big Brother. There’s just so much. Case and point: In Japan, your cell phone can confirm if you need to pop a breath mint.

I do think these services are great, but I know I don’t ultimately need them. They seem like more ways to tune out the world. And being a girl that’s on public transit often enough, sometimes it is necessary to block out the world in my immediate surroundings. Call me old fashion, but I’d rather do that with a book than by responding to work emails. I remember when I got my current phone, the salesman talked up Verizon’s Vcast service. He showed me how clear the sound quality was and how crisp music videos looked on the screen of my new phone. You know how many times I’ve used that feature? None. You know how many times I’ve used the tip calculator? More than I can count. See, I’m a simple girl.

There are basic phones on the market, made for people like me, but they are few and far between. And those I have been able to find, the reviews are not so great. It’s as if all the phone companies have given the fresh out of school engineers and designers these phones while all the top notch guys are creating phones that will someday tele-transport people and raise their children. Again, these are just services I don’t see myself needing.

I’ll continue my search and probably make a purchase before the end of the year. Lord knows though, what ever I do buy will already be considered outdated by the time I get it home. But as long as the tip calculator works, it will be technologically advanced enough for me.

Time's A Wastin'

I took this past Friday off work. I called in sick because I thought I might be getting sick (and I have a few sick days to use before New Years rolls around). Turns out I was just a little more tired than usual. I had a self-made, three-day weekend, and yet tonight I repeatedly had to convince myself that it was in fact Sunday night. I had an extra day tacked onto my weekend, but it passed by as quickly as any other. I’ve also reminded myself several times tonight that this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving. How can it be Thanksgiving? Didn’t November just start? I know the sun is now setting in Chicago at 4:30 p.m., but it can’t be this late in the year already -although, any storefront these days would have me believe it is Dec. 24. Well the good news is this week will be another short week followed by another long weekend. I’m hoping though the coming weekend might feel a little more extended than this one, otherwise before I know it, it will be New Years and I won't have used any of my remaining sick days.

November 11, 2007

Here Come the Dishes Again

Whenever I hear a song by the Eurythmics (which granted is not all that often) one very vivid always pops into my head: my dad doing the dishes. Growing up in my household we never had a dishwasher. It wasn’t until a few years ago, with both their daughters out of the house - me a few states away and my sister with her own family and home - that my parents decided to remodel their kitchen. With this remodel came a dishwasher.

My childhood, as I said though, was dishwasher-less. We took turns doing the dishes. I am almost certain that number of times my dad, my sister or I did the dishes doesn’t equal the number of times my mom stood at the kitchen sink scrubbing. For me doing the dishes was boring and always left me with chaffed hands, however for my dad it was a different activity all together. I almost always knew when my dad was doing dishes. If household conditions permitted, I’d see my dad walk over to our record player with the Eurythmics greatest hits album in hand., and then Annie Lennox would start singing about the rain coming again. There stood my dad, in the kitchen, gloves on, plates, bowls and silverware in hand, tapping his feet and signing along to the Eurythmics. There were times he did the dishes in a less flamboyant manner, but it’s the times he blasted the Eurythmics that I remember.

I now have no dishwasher to call my own. My apartment, as hard as I tried to find one, did not come with a dishwasher. So I do them the old fashioned way, with a scrub brush, some liquid soap and my hands. Yesterday after running some errands, I walked into my kitchen to do my dishes. It’s not a task I look forward to, so yesterday I spiced it up. Along with my scrub brush and liquid soap, I grabbed my iPod. I set it on shuffle and sang along and tapped my feet while scrubbing away. And then I realized, I am my father’s daughter.