Thursday, April 29, 2010

The world is ending

People. Today for the first time since the mid-90's I am wearing leggings. In public*.

This is huge. I shun leggings. I shun girls who wear leggings. I shun Lindsey Lohan for making leggings (among other things). I have been shunning these things for a long time... at some point when I was in college I found myself in an Urban Outfitters and in the never ending piles of poly-blends I found a pair of grey spandex leggings With Stirrups. I looked around, trying to figure out if some how I had time traveled back to 1996. But no, these were in the present day and they cost $35. This was like 5 or 6 years ago. That was when I decided that I was only going to look forward, not back in regards to fashion.

Until recently, when I noticed that all my friends wear leggings and look adorable and not trashy. And I am one to do exactly what all my friends are doing (see: 5Ks, Crobar, being a Badger fan) so I got jealous and bought some leggings and then never wore them. They just sat, tag on, in my dresser waiting for me to give in to my inner hipster.

And I put them on a couple times with a couple different dresses (please note I said dresses - the reason my friends look so adorable is because they wear leggings with dresses, not with tee shirts. The secret to leggings is that your top must cover your whole bottom - with room to spare- for them to look cute, not trashy) but it never worked out.

Well, I've been rocking this sexy pre-summer cold for the last few days which has left me cough-y and snorffle-y and just generally grouchy and cranky. I tried to go to the gym this morning and ride the elliptical which was a disaster of epic proportions because the motion of an elliptical to a person with sinus issues is apparently akin to the motion of a roller coaster to a person with vertigo. I made it about 30 minutes before I realized that I was either going to vomit or pass out and I don't trust the people at my gym not to just leave me on the floor in a heap of sweaty mess.

So I went home and worked in my sweat pants (work from home Thursdays are my favorite) and started to feel a little bit better until 5:30 when I realized I had to get ready to go to iO for job numbero dos. No part of my being wanted to put on jeans... and my boss frowns upon sweats at this particular job...and it is far too windy for just a skirt...and I had just inherited that adorable sweater dress from L.S...

So I put on the leggings, and the sweater dress and the ballet flats and earrings and hair up in a bun (no actual styling happened today) and I walked out the door.

Its kind of windy today, but just the right temperature for this particular ensemble, which it'll probably only be two or three more days before sweater dresses will become weird and impractical until September. And I feel adorable. I'm not going to lie. I feel very cute in this get up...and what's even more amazing is I feel crazy comfortable. I feel like I'm in my stylish jammies, but its a big secret that my boss doesn't know (shhhh.)

I now remember why I wore leggings all the way until 5th grade (no joke, first pair of jeans in 5th grade. Fun fact!). These things are awesome and comfortable and I feel like I can bust out sweet dance moves or cartwheels at a moments notice (which has always been necessary in my life). While I still have some pretty serious rules about leggings (seriously, shirts should cover butts) I am now way more excited to wear them on a regular basis, at least until its warm enough for just dresses.

And once again, I realize that I judge things on a completely insane-makes-sense-to-me way that really needs to be reality checked. While some of the things I've judged before I've tried have deserved my judgement (crobar) - most of them are actually totally acceptable as things. So maybe I should not be so quick to be a dick about...almost everything. Although, at least I can admit when I'm wrong. Even if it takes the better part of a decade.

* so this ONE time my friends got me drunk and convinced me to wear leggings and a long-ish shirt out for ladies-night bar hoping. I was against it pretty much the whole time, but couldn't really pull anything else together that was to the caliber of trendy and adorable that they were all rocking. So I did it. It was pretty bad news. But it was only for a few hours so its almost like it never happened.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thanks Sylvia

My loverly Anniebelle posted this. And wow. I have (embarrassingly) never read The Bell Jar, but its now shot way up on my list.

This so very much describes me. I think it describes a whole crap ton of my friends (like Anniebelle, dur) although there are also friends who it does not describe. I have a lot of friends who picked their fig and they love it and are perfectly content to eat it all up.

Anyway, this terrifies me, but also makes me feel better about myself. Things turn out okay for Ester Greenwood right?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Good Sense about Things

So today - I let a stranger cut my hair. Which, for me, is fairly standard as I am not one of those girls to have a "lady/guy who cuts my hair." In fact, since I started paying for my own haircuts, the only place I've been to more than once is Jo Michelle in Middletown, because she does a decent job and is crazy affordable (although the internet says she might not be licensed, which I realized I don't care about--as long as they don't ruin my head).

The kicker today was, I got my hair cut in this girl's parents' basement. Surrounded by old soccer trophies, framed photos and kitchy suburban wall art she cut my hair and we talked about life. It was a great experience. She did a good job (I mean, I still have some hair, and it seems to be even enough) and she let me pay her tip in fruit.

Before I went to her house though, while getting ready this morning, Boyfriend asked if I was nervous about going to some strange person's house to let her cut my hair.

"How'd you hear about her?"
"CIN." (that's the Chicago Improv Network)
"Do you know anyone else who has gotten their [sic] hair cut by this girl."
"Uh, there were some names I recognized in her post on CIN."
"So you're going to some girl's house after talking to her on the phone once, based on something you read on the internet?"
"Not worried you're about to get murdered?"

This was apparently surprising, which reminded me of a similar (sort of) experience in my freshman year of college where I saw a craigslist ad for a guy doing free headshots out in Flushing, Queens. ANY sensible person would have ignored it, but I really needed headshots and had no money, so I figured out how to get to this guy apartment, which required about 45 minutes on the 7 train and a 20 minute tour of lovely Flushing. Which was quite the experience.

Right as I got to the guys house I called my mom.
"Hey Mom, so uh, I e-mailed this guy off craigslist for free headshots and now I'm at his house in Queens and this is the address. If I don't call you back in like an hour, can you call the cops."
"No, I'm sure its fine, but if isn't, uh, yeah, please call the cops."

So I am sure my mother spent that hour watching the second hand on the clock. I spent that hour with a totally weird dude, who took some pictures (fully clothed, from the neck up, pervs) and then that was it.

My mom had some choice words for me when I called her back, namely - don't ever pull that kind of stunt again.

But I do. I am totally a go into a situation, back out if it gets sketchy kind of girl. Now, of course, this has not gone wrong - yet. But if it did, it would probably go really, really wrong. But I'm an optimist (in this one very small part of my life).

And normally I can tell just by an e-mail or phone call if something is a good idea or a very, very bad idea. And I follow that intuition, most of the time. The times I don't - I normally get to a place (a few pyramid scheme job interviews come to mind) I just get up and leave, sometimes I don't even bother telling people why. It's a you waste my time, I'll waste your time kind of thing.

Of course, this whole process falls apart when there is free food involved. Because I am a sucker for a free piece of shitty pizza and an ice-less dixie cup of RC cola.

But the thing is - a lot of these ridiculous things I try end up going really well. I've made good friends, gotten free movie tickets and now have a super sweet hair cut. She did an adorable job and the fact that it cost less than like, an adult movie ticket, made it even more worth it. And so now I have a lady who cuts my hair in the City. All because of the internet.

Thanks internet.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ribbon around the finger

As I sit on my back porch with my free Starbucks coffee, a bunch of deliciously tart grapes and some perfect made-to-order Chicago-style Spring/Summer weather, listening to the cheers at Wrigley Field getting paid to do my part to make the world a better place, I am happy and content and know that I have one of the best jobs in the world.

So in six months when things are rough and I'm grouchy because making the world a better place is really hard and not always fun - I hope I remember this day; when my boss told me to go sit outside in the sun.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spoke tooooo soon

I'm going to my first Wednesday afternoon Cubs game THIS Wednesday. Naturally, once the seed had been planted and the opportunity presented itself there wasn't much I could do. I have the most amazing boss in the entire world and she is perfectly fine with my 4 hour lunch break.

Hey Chicago Whaddya Say?

Happy Home Opener!

This might be the year I play hooky for a cubs game. We'll see how they are doing towards the middle of the season, but there is nothing better than a Wednesday afternoon Cubs game (so I've heard). Really, there is very little in life that is better than a baseball game on a sunny, warm day. Its like a picnic, with 40,000 strangers. And you get to yell and scream and sing.

And Wrigley Field, I think has spoiled me forever. There is so much history in that park. They still have people who change the score board by hand! And there are men screaming, "cold beer! peanuts! hot dogs!" It is comfortingly stereotypical and cliche. Also, Old Style! Its so watery, but it tastes like a baseball game. And you don't have to get up. They just walk past your seat.

There is alot about me that's changed since I moved here, but one of the biggest things (as most people can attest to) is how living here makes you (well, me) a sports fan. There's something to be said about living 10 blocks from a national sports landmark. And it'll change you, if you let it. Plus, its super fun. Really, I promise. Baseball games are fun. If only because its a large, open air bar with lots of boys running in circles on the field.

Friday, April 09, 2010

mile...after...nope, just one

So I now go to the gym 5 days a week (when I can). This is a change from my usual never ever going to the gym ever policy, but apparently my metabolism has decided to just stop. Like Stop. Food goes in my mouth and directly to my muffin top. The choices were to stop eating, or work out. Obviously option 1 is a horrible choice. I LOVE eating. So I have started working out.

I normally alternate between an hour of weight machines and an hour on the elliptical and I try to throw some sits ups and stretching in at the end. And I have seen some weight loss, which is awesome because I still eat as though its going to get taken away from me at any minute. But I am still having muffin top/bingo wing issues.

Apparently, according to my "trainer" the best way to deal with these monsters is straight up running. So I have made myself start running. On weight days I force myself to run a mile before I do anything else. It is a nightmare. It makes my shins and my feets and my back hurt, probably because a- treadmills are terrible and b- I have crappy shoes and c- I am easily the worst.runner.ever.

Aside from the painfulness of running, the thing that gets me is the delirious tedium of it. I listen to music or watch tv which helps, for sure, but eventually my brain starts to wander and I have an existential crisis and complete mental break down.

Here's how it goes.

Oh, I like this song. This song reminds me of high school. Its weird that I still listen to music from high school. I should probably listen to newer music but I think everything is whiny and there is too much guitar. Oh man, high school. That was the best worst time ever. No not even. It was just lame. Why did I think it was so important? High School was useless. I didn't really learn anything. Well, I mean I guess I learned some stuff. But mostly I just was skinny and awkward and I had bad skin. Oooophf. Man I was weird looking in high school. And then college. College was a little bit better I guess. Well, I mean, college was a pretty sweet time. I really had no responsibility and I ate everything and drank everything and still looked pretty great except for the skin. The skin was always bad. I wish I could be in college again. HOW HAVE I ONLY BEEN RUNNING FOR TWO MINUTES?! Why am I doing this to myself? Why can't I just be happy how I am? Am I ever going to be satisfied with anything in my life? Ugh, is there any other way to lose the muffin top? Maybe I'll just buy bigger jeans. But if you buy bigger jeans the terrorists WIN. I HAVE to be almost done right? Wrong. Maybe I can just do a half mile today because I worked with kids. Oh, come on, that's horse pucky. Lets do this.

And then I let myself get distracted by Fox News or Pardon the Interruption or whatever other crap tv is on. And eventually after 10 agonizing minutes I'm done. People say that it will get easier which, at this rate, will happen in 10 years. There is something to be said about the sadistic nature of making yourself run so you look better in jeans. I try not to think about it when I'm not running though.

If people have any good music recommendations, they would be appreciated.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


I thought that I didn't really like Easter when I started writing this post, and then I realized despite its flaws (ham, not as good as lamb or turkey) its got some serious bonuses (Peeps! Robin's Eggs! Cute dresses!). I think my favorite part of it is all the traditions that my family has discovered, lost, and rediscovered along the way.

This was the first Easter I spent with someone else's family (as opposed to with friends or alone with a 104 degree fever which was Easter 2007). I was somewhat terrified about the proper etiquette when experiencing a new Easter. Do I teach everyone the egg game? Do I sit quiet and hope that some else brought an Easter Pinata? Should I tell someone that its not actually Easter if you don't have a mimosa?

Because I am so very awkward in social situations I told everyone else (ie - all the people I would have been playing with if I was at home) I really wanted to play the egg game but then once I was sitting at dinner I got shy and realized that my traditions are mine, and no one else actually has to care or participate. So I kept silent. Until Boyfriend insisted we play. So we played the egg game. His family was willing to oblige although I think they filed this in their "weird East Coast girl" file (which is probably pretty thick at this point).

Everything was fine after this. I had gotten my Easter goobs out and felt like the holiday had actually happened (although it almost made me miss my family more, also -- still no mimosas). I was happily eating food that was eerily similar to all the food I am used to - and so I was happily making myself a ham and potato roll sandwich, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I hear,

"Are you making a sandwich?"

All of a sudden all eyes are on me. I look down at the sandwich in my hand with a face of guilt.

"Um, Yes? Is that all right?"

My family has been making ham and potato roll sandwiches for years. Its not just an Easter tradition, its a forever tradition - is it rude or completely inappropriate to do in mixed company? I was PANICKED.

"Yeah...its fine," I was told hesitantly.

I looked around at all these faces that are still somewhat unfamiliar and put me a little on edge. I quickly finish my sandwich and eat grab for something else to eat, something I know how to eat correctly...

But suddenly my world is upside-down because if you can't put sliced honey ham on a potato roll, what can you do?

I eat slowly, so as not to draw attention to myself. Once again insanely self conscience. Is there a wrong way to eat a deviled egg? Potatoes?

About five minutes later, boyfriends Brother takes ham, and a roll and makes his own sandwich.

Its nice to start a new tradition.

She's pint-sized and amazing.