Sunday, January 30, 2011

check in

Hey Rachel,  you're doing really well with writing blogs but what about those other two resolutions?

Sigh.  I had a funny feeling this would happen - I managed to do so well writing and I'm really enjoying it - but I made THREE resolutions this year.  And so far from numbers 1 and 3 we are seeing a fat ton of nothing.  What gives?

Well.  I am BUSY.  

That's a weak excuse, but for the moment its what I have.  I can also say that I see the opportunity for massive improvements once I move (did ya hear, I'm moving??!  Its all I FREAKING talk about these days).  In the midst of not having built in reading time - and a gym/yoga studio/boot camp HQ that is not even close to being convenient I am not getting these things done like I thought I would.  

But once we are in the new place - I will start having a glorious 30 minutes purely dedicated to getting books read (and playing on my phone and listening to music and people watching).
AND!  My gym will start being smack dab in the middle of my commute.  My yoga studio will be some what awkward to get to from work - but an easy bus ride home afterward (there is nothing like sitting on a bus for 20 minutes after a bikram yoga class).  And the boot camp place will be a sweet 8 minute walk from the apartment - which will be nice because while getting up at 5:00 AM to get to boot camp is unfathomable, waking up at 5:40 is totally feasible (please note, both the yoga place and the boot camp are living social/groupon type places and so only require very, very temporary commitments).  

So check back with me in, like, March.  And see how I'm doing. 

But you're eating healthy and focusing really hard on work and not wasting all your time on Facebook, right?

Shhhhh...pass the guacamole

Friday, January 28, 2011

le cirque

So my boss has been gone for exactly one week of the four weeks she is leaving me to fend for myself.  This is not the first time that I have been left in charge - but it is the one with the most happening.  We are undergoing some personnel shifts (nothing bad or unexpected knockonwood knockonwood) and on Wednesday we had a field trip to Cirque Du Soleil.

Cirque is a totally bad ass organization with a huge social and outreach focus (betcha didn't know that!) they are really, really fantastic and love what we do (bonus!) so they give us free tickets to take kids, primarily kids who are from the not-so-great neighborhoods who may not ever have the chance to see a Cirque show, to whatever show they have going on in the Chicago area, which means that there are kids who have been our program for six or seven years and so have seen like 10 Cirque shows - which makes them this rare breed of pretentious, snobby asshats who are also eligible for the federal free lunch program.

Anyway - in my life I have dabbled in teaching but have always backed out when things got to serious (life imitates life in that way), why?  because I am not a huge fan of being responsible for other people's kids.  Its fun and all to teach them neat tricks like pirouettes or forward rolls or plate spinning but once people want me to take more than a passing interest, I kind of fade out.  Is this terrible?  Maybe... I have found, though, that when placed in an administrative position, I am far, far more interested in the lives of the youth of America.  As long as the direct contact is kept to a minimum - I am more than happy to change your kid's life for the better.

So ANYWAY - we have this field trip to Cirque and since my boss is gone - I am left in charge.  The macadamia nuts  she sent to me from lovely Oahu were nice, but they do not really make up for the epic strain this has put on my psyche. 

Here's the thing.  I am an epic, epic worrier.  I find that the best course of action is to spend most of my time worrying about the worst possible things that can happen, so that when they do happen - I am at least anticipating them (and if they don't at least maybe I've burned a few calories with all the worry and hysteria).  So for the past week or so, I have worried about this trip: worried about losing a kid, about the bus not coming, or getting lost, or all of us getting stranded on the side of the road, or the tickets not being there, or me being shot before I got to to work that day (which is not, like, out of the realm of possibility in this neighborhood) and that messing up the trip because the tickets are in my name and then I ruin all these kids' lives and they become gang members and thus do not break the cycle of poverty.

That has pretty much been how my head sounded over and over for a week - and then the trip came and everything went totally fine.  There was some shenanigans over parking (that were totally my fault) as well as kids running around cracked out on free, unlimited popcorn and soda (fail, Sears Centre, fail) but the kids all loved it and they all got on and off the bus, in and out of the theater and picked up by their parents in one piece.

Which means my worrying was exactly what the doctor ordered, because had I not worried then terrible things would have totally happened. 

And so now I am back to my regularly scheduled worrying about normal things.  But, the blog posts for the next few weeks may be a little light as I attempt to do both my own job and my boss's (ta-da!).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

my pride and joy

On Sunday night as I got ready for bed I took off my bracelet.  I took a poll of my friends that I watched the game with and they agreed - it probably made more sense to take it off and then put it back on before the season opener next year.  Embroidery floss does not really keep.

Biiiig Siiiiiggggghhhh.

Am I crazy sad that the Bears aren't going to the Super Bowl?  Of Course.  I am fairly certain that the fans of approximately 30 of the teams in the NFL are sad that their teams aren't going to the Super Bowl.  But it stings to get so close and then watch it all fall apart and have no one to blame it on but your own team.

This is the epic downfall of liking football.  I have enough disappointment in my life without relying on multi-millionaire professional athletes to do what I want them to.  They don't understand that I painted my nails blue and wore a ridiculous hat in excitement.  They don't really care that I was sooooo careful not to shittalk too much the week before the game because I didn't want to jinx anything.

And now its all over.  A Packers - Steelers Super bowl is going to be equally as boring as the Cardinals - Steelers super bowl two or three years ago.  The best part of that Super Bowl.  That was the first time I ever had my friend Alex's mint brownies - which are the best brownies in the universe (I will not listen to any arguments on this topic).

I did just find this (well, my friend J-dawg did) and I think it may be the funniest thing I've read in a few weeks.  Funny - and true for the most part.  I am sorry to hate, but I tend to call a spade a spade when given the opportunity.

This blog is kind of wandering - when I started writing/thinking about it on Sunday night there were a lot of emotions (mostly sadness and disappointment  - oh and pure rage) but its kind of all over now.  I'm over it - if the stress I felt over the NFC title game was a good indicator - I probably would have passed out due to Super Bowl stress - so maybe its better that the Bears only got this far.

And I'll put on the bracelet next Fall and we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

dressy dresses - UPDATED

My lovely friend T-bone is getting married in June, and she very sweetly asked me to stand up for her.

I am excited to get to share this day with her for a butt load of reasons, and one of them was - I like the opportunity to buy a new dress.

I know that most girls have horror stories about having to purchase bridesmaids dresses - and I totally empathize with them - its a crappy scene.  I seriously (seriously) do not understand why David's Bridal insists on making their dresses different than normal people dresses.  If I wear a four or a six in Every Single Other Brand then Why (oh Why) do I wear an eight at the DB?  It basically just complicates things and ruins people's lives.  And most of what you find is just boring.

T-bone and my bestie Beans (who got married two Septembers ago) have both been amazing about bridesmaid dresses.  Some vague ideas about what they want but in general fairly low key and just wanting their bridesmaids to be comfortable and feel good.

Anyway, in looking for a dress for T's wedding I came across this amazing website - LaRoux's Closet.  I bought my bridesmaid's dress AND my rehearsal dinner dress (both of which I will probably wear a zillion times before they wear out) and in total (including shipping) it cost $80, for both!  They are both pretty casual - but the bride loves them, and so do I.  Win. Win.

LaRoux's deal is they want to give you a good deal - and I think that's awesome.  I think that deserves a sweet blog plug and so here it is.  I wish I had bought a few more things but I am hoping that they'll be around for awhile.

AND AND AND as if this bomb ass website could get any better - I have a referral code, which means if you decide to order stuff drop the code "rgrandi" at check out and I'll get LaRoux cash to buy more adorable things.  E'rrrebody Wins!

Anyway - blogs about my epic devastation at the bears loss to come later.

Friday, January 21, 2011

my turn

Hyperbole and a Half has a new blog post up which is enough to totally make my week most of the time.  If you aren't reading her you're making a huge error in Internet judgement.

My favorite post is this one for the very selfish reason that it totally happened to me (sort of kind of not at all)...

During my junior and senior years of college I was living in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.  It was a lovely little neighborhood that bordered on one of the swankiest BK neighborhoods and one of the most dangerous.  I would get off at my train stop and I could see a White Castle just a few blocks down Atlantic Avenue but I never went there (despite my deep and insatiable love for small food) because it was, in general, a poor choice to go to places that, "Jay-Z talks about in his early work."

Anyway- my neighborhood felt safe enough but I heard plenty of stories of robberies and other stuff you don't tell your parents about so that I always was very aware of my surroundings (you don't not spring from the womb in the District of Columbia without some solid street smarts).

SO - at some point in that time I contracted a very serious case of the flu.  Having been a fairly healthy kid, I am not very well versed in how to be sick without being totally pathetic and ridiculous.  I was feverish and miserable and stayed in bed moaning.

At one point, around 10 or 11 PM I decided I was feeling better and decided I needed some ginger ale and orange juice immediately.  There was a 24-hour diner catty-corner to my building that delivered, so I called them.

"Hi, can I get a bottle of orange juice and a bottle of ginger ale."
"We don't have bottles, only cups."
"I can't get a bottle?"
"How much would a cup cost?"
"It would be $6 total."
"For a cup of ginger ale and a cup of orange juice?"
"That is ridiculous."

Even with a 102 degree fever I am a bargain shopper.

After I hung up I put on my coat.  Down the block in the other direction there was a bodega that was also 24 hours and I knew would be able to make me a better deal for more of the liquids I so desperately craved.  I had been wearing the same clothes for about two days but made no effort to do anything except put on outerwear and find some money.

I made it down the block and into the bodega just fine, but something, I don't know if it was the smell of the slightly rotten deli meat or the hundreds of virgin mary candles but I knew something was not going right.  I found my juice and ginger ale and tossed some dollar bills on the counter.  At this point I could not hold myself upright without leaning on the counter but I took my purchases (because we all know that the best thing to do when you can't handle your own body weight is add a quart of OJ and a 2 liter of Canada Dry) and walked out.

This is where things get hazy.  I know I made it across the street before I faceplanted.

As a kid I was always epically jealous of girls who fainted.  It was the way to get attention.  I used to wish that I could do it just once so that when I faked it it would at least look realistic (I was very method in my pretty, pretty princessness).

I don't quite know what happened when I really did faint - I do hope that there was an instant where I was having my teen-queen-movie-first-kiss moment where it was like, "This is it!" but I spent most of the way to the ground unconsious so there is no way to know.

Once I hit the asphalt I regained as much consiousness as can be expected pretty quickly.  At this moment, this could have taken a very SVU turn.  A smelly-ass 20-year old, with no identification on her, is passed out on the street corner at like 11:30 at night, and when I first opened my eyes I was totally disoriented (probably because I was lying on the ground) and so I kept saying, "this is not where I am supposed to be."

Luckily, the first person to come upon me muttering to myself wished me no harm.  Once he realized that I was still talking about not being in the right place he probably wished himself away from this sketchtastic scene.  But he very nicely asked me if he should call an ambulance.

"No, I'm fine."

Like I said- not super good at being sick.

I managed to stand up, fall back down and then stand up again while still insisting that I was totally fine and that I just needed to go one block and I would be home.

He was super wary about all this so, naturally, I negotiated, "listen, you can watch me walk to my apartment and then if I fall down again, you can call an ambulance."

He seemed fine with these terms so I stumbled home as fast as I could with the thought that the faster I walked the less likely I would be to pass out.  This logic managed to work as I made it in and up two flights of stairs, through my unlocked door and into bed before passing out again.

But Rachel, what about the orange juice and ginger ale?!

Don't worry.  They made it all the way through this journey unscathed some how and were incredibly restorative, making this entire adventure totally worth it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

dinner time

So Boyfriend and I are moving (DUH.) so in preparation we are doing the one thing we've managed to forget the past two times.
We are eating everything in the house so we don't have to move it.  This is all fun and games until you run out of normal food and are eating everything else.

So tonight's dinner is tater tots, baked beans and the piece de resistance - store brand velveta (that expired in July) mixed with salsa.

Do you eat it all together, do you eat everything separately with tortilla chips and/or ketchup or do you cover everything with Costco brand giardiniera and wash it down with a Miller Lite?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

mark it

Today is the day I lost all my self respect.

Its been a long time coming, and it wasn't all my fault - there were a fair number of environmental causes that lead to my inevitable down fall but never the less - its gone.  All of it (or maybe just most of it and the rest of this feeling is residual hunger and low self-esteem).

Today is the day I spent $4.02 on a 12-oz drink that I knew knew was going to make me sick.

That's right.  I spent almost $5 on something that while, super fucking delicious, has the necessary ingredients to make me extra gassy and complainy about my tummy (we call this a yummy ache).

I love the Gingerbread Latte.  I have to assume that this is the same kind of love that people feel for their first born child.  I've never had a first born, so maybe I love the latte more, I don't know.  But I love it.  Always have, always will.

Back in my day - the tall skim ginger bread latte cost about $3.00.  It was a steep price for a broke-ass college kid.  But I made sacrifices and saved for my weekly treat.  Sometimes when it came down to it, I would pick coffee over college books (and by sometimes I mean most of the time).  And I came out fairly well adjusted.

In the past 7 years that I have been drinking these monsters the price has managed to go up $1.00.  That, my friends, is totally bogus.  The price of the McChicken sandwich has gone down in that time and managed to not lose any of its disgusting deliciousness.

In the past 7 years, however, I have lost the capacity to digest milk products successfully (at this point you want to interrupt my ramblings to tell me to drink gingerbread americano - and I am here to tell you that I will not, because it tastes yucky and makes me sad and there is no reason to do anything in the world that makes you as sad as watery espresso makes me) so when I do indulge, I make life pretty miserable for the enzymes and friends mariachi band in my stomach.

For some reason paying $3.25 or $3.60 to give myself a yummy ache and a caffeine buzz seemed totally rational, but when the girl perkily announced $4.02 this evening, my self-respect nose dived into the tile floor.

That's two subway rides (almost), 4 McChicken sandwiches, a PBR at most Clark St. establishments, a bowl of chili at my favorite dinner.

$4 buys a whole crap ton of stuff that $3 does not - and so I am left feeling bad about myself, but also elated and wonderful because I just had a delicious ginger bread latte and so I know nothing can go wrong.

Monday, January 17, 2011

of thee I sing

Today I took four kids from the organization I work for to a Martin Luther King Jr event at a local church.  The kids were going to be performing in the middle of the event which meant we had to sit through a bunch of singers and speakers that were interesting for an old fart like me, but epically boring for a 12 year old boy - especially one who is from Africa, so is no real stranger to struggle or overcoming obstacles. 

At one point everyone stood up to sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing." and the 12 year old stayed sitting.

His older sister: "Stand up!  We're all singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
The 12 year old: "Why?  Its not February yet."

This struck me as funny more than anything else.  Should I be horrified that he thinks that the only time you sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is during Black History Month?  Maybe.  But, I am not his parent or teacher so its not really my problem.  I did then explain to him that you can pretty much sing any song whenever you want as loud as you want and its totally fine.

This nugget of info kind of blew this kid's mind.

Happy Monday.  Please feel free to sing or talk about the dreams you have or how you want the world to be different any day you please.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

long ago and far away

 Cape Point - the very Southernmost tip of Africa
Penguins at Boulders Beach

The hallway of my dorm on the University of Cape Town campus

Six years ago, today, I was in Cape Town, South Africa.  I was 20 and I was drunk.  I was drunk on scenery and change and alcohol.  I was confused and open-minded.  The education I got in that too-short month was so concentrated and so varied that it still makes my head spin.

There isn't a week that goes by without a passing thought about that time in my life.  A few of the pictures still hang on my walls and I still spend as many minutes as I can with my second half - Other Rachel (although, at this point we are averaging about fifteen minutes every two years).  I am so excited that a fellow alum of the program lives in the Chi so if I ever need it, I can always call her up and be like, "remember?" and she'll be like, "yeah," and I'll know it wasn't a dream.

There is this yearning inside of my insides to go back, just for a minute, or a day, or for a year - to do it all over again - like a grown up this time.  Every time I think about it there is a dull ache in my chest of wishing I could be irresponsible enough to Just Go. Maybe I was too young to appreciate all the beauty and history - but I was just the right age to enjoy being young and on an adventure.

If you have a kid (or if I have a kid) - let them travel abroad.  Its worth the money and the effort.  Its worth whatever you put into it for them to realize how big the world is.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

problem solved

We picked an apartment.  We went with the new adventure in the fancy apartment.  You only get to be in your 20's once - with expendable income and giving in to your childish whims.  The next place will probably be much more practical as it will (with any luck) be something that Belongs to us.

Get stoked for pictures!  And words about commuting (something I haven't really done in almost a year)! And the adventures of Roscoe Alexander Chompers I - the baby alligator who is going to live in our overly huge bathtub!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

another dilemma

I feel like I have dealt with some epic dilemmas on this blog.  Its all what should I do, what should I do?
And how here I am, faced again with that epic question.  This time we're talking about picking an apartment.

I'll preface this by saying I (once again) understand that this is a totally cosmetic problem to have.  I have a bed, I will continue to have a bed, in a house, with heat and love for the foreseeable future.  And I don't thank my lucky stars enough that that is my lot.  I know I worked incredibly hard to get myself to this point of self-sufficiency but it doesn't hurt to be dealt an okay hand of cards in the game of life.  And for that I understand that I am blessed.

So here's the choice.

And also - I should mention that both apartments have exactly what we need.  They are both 2 bed/2 bath with washer/dryer in unit.  They both have decent kitchens with bar style seating at the counter.  They each come with parking, a fireplace and a place to put our bikes.  We are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to have all these things.  We are lucky sonsabitches.

To the debate! 

Apartment 1-
Location- Is located in my current neighborhood, which I love.  Its close to the red line (which is easily the best train line for many reasons), and the lake.  It has a sprinkling of delicious restaurants close by and we are within almost-spitting distance of Wrigley field (close enough to take in the spontaneous game, not so close that people pee on my lawn) It keeps me within walking distance of a grocery store, and a Target.  Plus one of my besties is around the corner and I can walk to iO, and beyond on a nice day (or even not so nice a day). 

Apartment Pros - It has a Murphy bed in the 2nd bedroom which is kind of awesome and gives us more space in that room to work with.  Also pretty good hall closet. And the location.  The location is huge pro.

Apartment Cons - It has negligible outdoor space (a small deck for a grill - that we would have to buy again since they don't allow gas OR charcol and then a rooftop deck that we would have to go downstairs & outside to utilize), it has no basement storage (it does have a huge hall closet which should fit all the out of sight/mind stuff but then its not really out of sight/mind - this might make us throw things away - could also be considered a pro).  The master bedroom closet is weak at best.  The landlord would live next door which would be kind of convenient but also make us always on our toes about noise and such.  Also its on the 3rd floor.  I am not used to climbing stairs.  Wah wah.

Apartment 2-
Location - This apartment is located in a totally different neighborhood, kind of on the outskirts.  It for sure has a different vibe but has far more delicious restaurants and a wider variety to boot.  Its much trendier and closer to downtown.  Its closer to the blue line, which is practical for getting to the airport and downtown, but not much else.  But its not really near any big chicago landmarks - and spontaneous baseball games would have to be decidedly less spontaneous.  And I would go from being a 15 minute walk to work/iO, to a 30 minute train-bus combo to work which would help me get some reading done, but would mean that the nights where I am at iO until 1, are followed by a cab or a rather long wait for the bus.  Also, for some reason, this apartment is located in like an abyss where groceries are concerned.  There is not a normal person (read - Not Whole Foods) for at least a mile (see also Target).

Pros- The most amazing view of the city you've ever seen.  I've always been a sucker for skylines and this one just takes my breath away.  Its so panoramic that you could not even really do it justice with a photo.  Also - it is, as I put to Boyfriend, a princess apartment in many ways.  It is more overly fancy than I really need.  But I mean, if you're going to offer me a fancy bathroom and a fancy kitchen, I am going to have a hard time saying no - especially when it is the same cost as a non-fancy apartment (I am a princess at heart).  It has a garage for the car, which means no more snow scraping, and some storage space.   

Cons- Location, smaller than I had hoped (but still usable) closets, 3rd floor (seriously lazy).

And well, that's really it.  It is almost like they cancel each other out, the niceness of the apartment cancels out the niceness of the location.  And the meh-ness of the other apartment cancels out the not-so-great-ness of the other location.

We've gotten ourselves into a pickle.  All suggestions welcome.

Monday, January 10, 2011

cat bunny happy

Things around the world and the country and right in my own facebook page have made me very sad and frustrated these past few days.  I have been carrying this heaviness around and have yet to shake it for very long.  I am fairly sure the only true prescription will be time and a few doses of thoughtfulness and common sense (and maybe, maaaaybe some cowbell).

But on Sunday morning at 8 AM, as my boss and I skyped back and forth about work (Work!  On a Sunday morning!  Sans omelettes! I HATE being a grown up sometimes!) she sent me this video.  I've watched about seven times in 24 hours.  You don't need to have sound, its super short and totes safe for work.

Enjoy.  Feel free to watch it several times as it does not really get old.  And have a good week.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

a Saturday adventure

"Don't worry, Mom.  I'm seven, I am totally prepared for this adventure." - Mia

I have found a whole slew of really amazing things in the time that I have been in Chicago, but by far one of my most favorite has been improv for kids (I am lucky enough to play with two amazing groups Hogwash and Storytown).

Performing for kids is about one trillion times more rewarding than performing for adults.  You have to work a little harder on the offset, but once you have them, its almost impossible to disappoint them and they will tell you how much they love you.  I don't know when it became uncool to applaud and be excited when enjoying live theater, but its lame.  We should totally be clapping and cheering and coming up to people saying, "you were awesome."

And performing for kids is far more fun than adults.  You don't get the easy outs of dirty jokes and political humor.  You do, however, get the joy of fart jokes, the enemy of homework and the endless excitement of a chase scene where when you ask, "where did they go?" and everyone pointing one way, insisting that the person went the other way.  "Over here?" "Noooooo! Over there!" "Over here?" "Nooooooo!"

This morning, My name was Mia, and I was seven. I got to go to Narnia (which has been a dream of mine for well over forever) - and I got to save it from the White Witch, who on, my birthday (of all days) was making it the coldest day ever.  I went on an adventure to figure out a way to make it warmer, because all I had at my house was a blanket with a hole. At first there was an air conditioner that was sent by the White Witch to make it even colder!  And not the good kind of cold, the kind where you have to be inside ALL day AND do homework.  Then I was joined on my journey by three hilariously ridiculous snowmen who told terribly hilarious stories.  At the end of the journey we found the sun AND two Aslan the Lions who warmed everything up and made Narnia livable for ALL the animals.  As a thank you for making Narnia warm again and defeating the White Witch, all the animals and the snowmen made me Queen of Narnia.

And that all happened before noon.  There are very few things I can think of that are better to do on a Sunday morning than be made Queen of Narnia.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A shell on my back

Boyfriend and I are yet again looking for an apartment.  This our third apartment hunt in three years which is some sort of sick record.  We've had such good luck with the last two (well, except for the fact that we haven't been able to make them permanent) that we are having a hard time settling for anything less than really, really awesome.

The hard truth about not settling, especially when it comes to real estate, is that it requires an absurd amount of effort.  Real Estate, particularly rental real estate is about 98% crap.  And every so often you find a gemstone in the mounds of pooh but it takes so much effort.

And where does this effort come from?  Well, like any good virus or parasite, it sucks up effort and energy from wherever it can find it.  Work projects that should be started already have been pushed aside.  Our apartment looks like a very nice winter-themed tornado came through - leaving Christmas presents, coats, boots and other stuff littered everywhere.

 We do not even have the capacity to make food right now.  We are living off of leftover spinach dip and Christmas stocking candy.  Boyfriend has started taking a can of soup for lunch.  A Can of Soup.  Literally.  Today for lunch I had the class and sophistication to cut three or four pieces of Sommer Sausage and Cheddar cheese off their respective logs and bricks and throw them into a baggie with some stale pumpernickle.

Also there is a piece of pie, wrapped in tinfoil - I don't know a ton about you know, physics - but I am pretty sure that the density of pie cannot withstand my backpack.  It will probably be a pile of goo by the time I get around to eating it.  But I didn't think of that as I packed it, because my brain is going a hundred miles a minute about apartments and appointments and rental applications all the time.

Even this blog has felt the effects of the apartment parasite.  I started this blog at around 10 last night, with full intention of finishing it and posting it before the clock struck 12.  But no - it very much lost the battle with the other open tab on my browser - the craigslist apartments page.

Anyway - with any luck the hunt will be over soon.  Which does not make the insanity stop.  If anything - apartment hunting is a treat compared to packing, painting, cleaning and moving.  But here we go - one more time.

Monday, January 03, 2011

one two three four

[walking away] Numbers, Mrs. Landingham. 

Excuse me?

If you want to convince me of something, show me numbers! 

Its true - numbers are essential.  On the 31st (or the 1st - it was so long ago) I outlined my goals for the year.  Gym, writing, reading.  But after three days of being like, "yeah!  good things!" I realized I need to make things far more concrete for myself to have any chance of getting them done.

So here  it is - the numbers post.

42 books in 52 weeks.  That's less than a book a week - this will probably be the hardest thing as I also have to keep up the New Yorker and such as well.  I am hoping that this will also help keep me off facebook and the interwebs, except of course.

150 blog posts in 365 days.  A random number, sure, but I got so close last year to 100 that I had to up the ante.  Plus 42 of those posts are going to be freebies.

200 days of exercise.  Exercise includes: going to the gym, yoga class, biking (at least an hour, even if its broken up throughout the day), walking more than two miles in a stretch.  This will also be hard as we try to figure out where we are living and what we are doing this year.  And let's be real, this is the one where at the end of the year I am going to have to spend like 50 solid days working out.  One can only hope I'll have a gym membership again by then.

So here we go - for reals this time.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Book 1 - One Day

So this is kind of cheating, because I started this book in 2010, but its kind of like when you had the chin-up tests in elementary school gym class and you would jump a little bit to give yourself momentum so you could at least do one.  I am just giving myself some momentum.

I read this book on recommendation from McKim.  I enjoyed it.  It is a quite perfect lazy reading book.  It is probably meant for beach reading, but it was also nice for the airport and early winter mornings with tea and a blanket and some leftover pie for breakfast.

By far the most enjoyable part of the book was that it was written in British dialect.  It was like reading a language that you are almost fluent in, but do not quite grasp the idioms.  There were words or phrases that gave me pause - but overall, I loved being able to read the book in my head with a British accent and use phrases like "rolltop jumper" and "half five."

Without giving too much away - I felt that the end of the book was kind of a cop-out on the writer's part.  As if he did not quite know where to take the story and so took the very, very easy (for a writer) way out.  It makes you realize why When Harry Met Sally ends where it does.

Apparently they are making a movie of this book.  While for a moment I thought I would go see it in a theater, the fact that Anne Hathaway is in it, makes me think I'll probably wait until I can get it at the Red Box.  There is nothing wrong with Anne Hathaway - I am sure she is lovely girl, but she is 1-NOT BRITISH.

McKim and I already recast the movie with Emily Blunt and Ed Westwick.  Sadly, I just read that they have already wrapped on filming and so my wishes will probably not come true. 

On to book 2.

She's pint-sized and amazing.