Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book 6.1 - The Hunger Games

I didn't have a plan in place for re-reads.  At this point they don't count.  But I still want to talk about them.

I am not going to say that this is my favorite book ever, because while appropriately hyperbolic for me, its not quite true.  I will say its for sure the best book I discovered in 2010.  And by discovered I mean was sent by C. McKim.  My book hero (for serious - if you're ever on the hunt for a good book - check her blog.  Its updated frustratingly infrequently, but its my go-to for new reading material).

Anyway.  I started re-reading this because now that the protagonist has been (irritatingly) cast I wanted to read it again from a screen-writing perspective (not that I have been hired to write the screen-play, but I feel like I should make myself available to step in).

This story is made to be a movie, y'all.  Suzanne Collins knows exactly where her bread is buttered and for that - I salute her.  Its not everyone who can make a really compelling book that will also make a really compelling movie.

Upon reading this book for the third time I noticed a few things -

1- Katniss is frustratingly dense sometimes.  Perhaps this is a by-product of growing up in the seam and having "not starving to death" being your one and only mental focus day in and day out.  So much mental energy is spent staying alive you don't spend enough time learning about subtle nuances and reading between the lines.  Eventually she gets with the effing program, but Gah.

2- I am still, most definitely (for the period of the first book at least) solidly on Team Gale.  Grow a spine, Peeta.  Maybe it's Katniss's stupidity that's to blame, but I still vote Team Gale all the way.

3- I am still not quite sure how to sell this book to others.  When someone asks what its about, I'm always like, " Erm? Post apocalyptic America annnnd reality television?  And also young people in love.  Oh, and teenagers killing each other."  That being said - I started a Hunger Games revolution in Chi-city in the 25-and-older demographic.  You're welcome, Miss Collins.

I don't know why these books are so good - but they are.  And they are a delightful guilty pleasure.  Favorite moment this month?? - Hunger Games in a Sunday night bubble bath with a glass of wine.  Epic Win.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

once upon a shoe

And now a fairy tale -

Once upon a time there was a girl who was going to a fancy event.  So fancy that she couldn't even afford a ticket.  But a very nice lady bought her a ticket, so she got dressed up and even curled her hair!  She looked so cute and, because the invitation said festive attire, she wore her patent leather red shoes.  Pointy and fancy, but with a sensible two and a half inch heel. The short heel was important because she was going to need to walk pretty far to get to the magical land of the 30th floor of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building.

So she is running late to her fancy event, because she is a girl who was bad at planning.  Also, she kind of has a headache, which had made her grouchy and maybe even a little mean to her boyfriend.  Her boyfriend did not have a ticket to the fancy event, so he was going to have to sit at home by himself.  And she may have been mean about it.  Also about other things.  Because sometimes pretty girls are mean when they are rushed and/or having a bad day.

The girl was walking to her event.  She had to walk all of the blocks because she is broke and hates cabs.  It was a little too cold for her dress and so she was walking quickly, even running a bit when she was attempting to cross a street before the light changed.

She gets to the block just before the fancy building and skittered across the intersection to beat the flashing orange hand.  There she was, a mere 40 or so steps from the entrance when, all of a sudden, her gait became unbalanced.  She feels as though, with every step, she is stepping into a hole, or perhaps a vicious crack in the sidewalk.

She looks down upon her beautiful left shoe and is devastated to discover that the heel had broken and when she attempts to fix it, it snaps right off in her hand.

Here she is six minutes late and holding a very critical part of her shoe.  She knows she had two to three hours of socializing to do and it cannot be done in her current state.  A younger, more sassy version of this particular girl might have just gone barefoot.  But this girl has a title.  And business cards.  She could no longer go barefoot to expensive benefit events.

So she does what any damsel in distress would do.  She calls her long-suffering boyfriend and hopes he has forgotten all of the not-so-nice things she had said before.

She is in luck, he is in a super hero kind of mood.  He asks what kind of shoes he should bring and tells her he'll be there as soon as he can.

As she presses the end button on her cellphone, her heart floods with love and realization.  He is quite simply the nicest boy who ever lived.  To fish through her side of the closet for the black mary jane pumps (all words he does not quite understand, in a language he believes himself to be fluent), travel through downtown Chicago traffic, on a Saturday, no less, to go to a party he was not invited to...all for her.

She walks into the party, trying to give off the appearance that absolutely nothing is wrong, that she is supposed to be slightly lopsided.  She macgyvers a temporary solution with some gum, dutifully donated by a 13 year-old boy who, perhaps, has never seen a girl put a shoe back together with gum.

Half an hour later her cellphone vibrates while she is piling a plate with delicious looking sushi.  She gave the plate to the person standing closest to her and runs, ever so daintily out of the room.

As she runs, her temporary solution proved itself to be, well, temporary and the heel of her shoe falls off yet again. The people standing at the door stop her and attempt to discreetly tell her that her heel has fallen off.  They are distressed, because they are good at their door-guarding jobs.

"What are you going to do?" the lady guard says in a distressed tone.
"Oh, I am about to be rescued!" the girl says as she skitters down all 30 floors in the elevator.

She runs outside and does not even regret not getting her coat out of the coat check, she is so happy.

There he is, the valiant knight in a green hoodie walking towards her carrying a pair of black Steve Madden mary janes.

"You came!" she cries.
"Of course I did," he states in his most matter of a fact voice, as if she is silly to be so surprised and happy.

He waits as the girl quickly changes her shoes and then he picks up the broken ones.

"Have fun at your party," he says and kisses her forehead before walking off towards his Mazda 3 (the noblest of steeds).

And she did have fun at the party.  But was also very happy to go home to her knight who was sitting on the couch playing Angry Birds.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The end.

Book 6 - The Pilot's Wife

So, I'm pretty sure I started reading this book when I was fourteen or so.

image (via)
(I have no idea why this picture is so wee)

But honestly, I cannot remember if I really did.  That was a long time ago, and there have been a bunch of books since then, but for some reason I have this memory of picking this book up while baby-sitting and not getting interested in it at all.

Which is weird, because this book is very very gripping.  Anita Shreve knows how to sell her 'ish.  You know?  She can turn a phrase to keep you reading.  And I dig it.  I like a book that keeps me reading (dur - if you want a book that doesn't keep you reading read Catcher in the Rye, yawn).  

I read this for book club and I am curious to see what everyone else says about it, its the 2nd Anita Shreve book we've read in the past year (We read Testimony pretty recently) and I will say - they are two different books, but you can tell they are written by the same (albeit very talented) lady.  

Also, in the grand scheme of the three books I've read by her - nothing holds a candle to Fortune's Rock. I was super stoked that the house from Fortunes makes an appearance in this one.  It sounds like a gorgeous house - I would like to go to there (mmm, imaginary real estate porn).

Obviously, I don't want to give anything away - but this book made me second guess everything in my life.  Like Everything to the point where Boyfriend was like, "you need to remember that there is a difference between books and real life, although sometimes that difference is very, very small (and for the most part more attractive) - also this book did nothing for my complete and total irrational fear of flying.  So, that's great.

There is also some historical stuff that was touched on but not really discussed towards the end of the book and I think that maybe because of when it was written, there wasn't a ton of backstory (ie - when it was written, this particular thing was a whole bunch more prevalent) so I am left scrambling to the wikipedia and feeling like an uneducated loser.  So I'm just saying, maybe a little more context would not have hurt things.

Anyway.  Pilot's Wife is totally worth picking up at your local resale shop (I feel like I always see copies of it around) and reading.  It has some surprises in it that I wish were better explained, but left me feeling satisfied and made me feel better about reading it.  I feel like her books walk this very fine line between Chick Lit and just books about girls and boys and love - and this book for sure fell in the second category.  Despite the ending which almost tipped it back into the chick lit ocean.  

Monday, March 21, 2011


A few nights ago (or more precisely a few mornings) - I had my second real honest-to-Betsy anxiety attack.  I've had minor melt downs before, but nothing that compared to this feeling of total helplessness.  Of truly feeling that I am not in control of my own body or mind.

Its one of the most terrifying experiences and I am bummed to the max that it has now happened twice.  Had it only happened once (which was about a week and a half ago), I could write it off as a crazy fluke.  But twice in two weeks - that's a pattern.

To be perfectly honest, I am not 100% sure that what happened to me last week, and a few Sundays ago, was truly a anxiety attack.*  But I don't have any other words to describe the sensation of alertness and dread that came over me.  I woke up suddenly and every nerve ending, every fiber of my being was on alert - except for this one part of my brain that was tired and wanted to sleep (all of this was happening at about 2 AM).  It was this bizarre tug-of-war happening and I felt completely powerless.  Which is the strangest, hardest part for me to understand, because I was powerless against myself.

How upset and stressed does your body and mind have to be to turn on itself?

To be powerless is the worst feeling in the world.  But to be powerless against yourself goes beyond what I could image hopelessness to feel like.  If even your own body and mind are in revolt, who can you turn to?  I remember feeling my fingers kept reflexively clenching into fists either to start a fight or to release some of the energy coursing through my veins.

I attempted some breathing exercises I had been taught to calm myself down (fun fact - if you ever find yourself in the middle of an anxiety/panic attack - your first instinct is going to be to take deep breaths, but that is actually just going to make it worse.  You want to take a deep breath, hold it in for a few seconds, and then let it out.  This way you are ever-so-slightly denying your body of oxygen which slows everything down and, with any luck, relaxes all the panic away).

They helped a little, but I was still feeling the strange pull of exhaustion and yet being totally awake.  So I did what I have been doing since I was a kid and couldn't fall asleep.  I went into the bathroom where I could turn on the bright light and not bother anyone, and I lay down on the cold tile floor with a towel in a ball under my head. And I read.

How I wished that I had access to a Blackhearts in Battersea or a Wild Magic - something I knew all the words to.  But it was the New Yorker I found next to the bed - specifically a literary review, boring as all get out but melodic and calming.  For some reason the panic and anxiety dissipated when I was reading.  The distraction of the words did more to calm me down than the breathing and the trying to be still.  Which shows you just how big a nerd I am. Words have healing powers for me.

Eventually I fall asleep on the cold tile floor and then eventually I wake up, and the anxiety has left.  So I pick myself up off the floor and head back to bed.  I don't know if this will ever happen again.  I'm hoping that the act of writing about it (though not writing about what I think may have brought it on, which is really neither here nor there) has massaged out the mental knot that is causing it.

**So after talking with a few people, it seems like what I had maybe labeled as an anxiety attack rather than a panic attack.  Which is fine.  Apparently panic attacks are worse.  So, yeah, I'll take what I can get in terms of nocturnal meltdowns.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Great clothes

Tonight when I was brushing my teeth (where most of the brilliance happens) I realized I was wearing two pieces of clothing that belonged to my great grandmother*

I considered taking a picture of myself wearing these "pieces" but after a few cell phone photo test shots, I realized this was a terrible, terrible idea.  I am a pretty girl, but right before bed is not a super attractive time for anyone.  So a vivid word description will have to do (I will do my best to keep it under 1000 words).

I am wearing her old tee-shirt with a B. Kliban cat in a tub.  I've sported this shirt out in public before, so there's a chance you've seen it on me - but its getting old and I'm afraid of getting food on it.  The design is so old I cannot find it on the internet (even when I add vintage to my google search).  Which means it's probably from before I was born.  Great Granny wasn't much of a t-shirt kind of lady, so I don't know if she ever wore it.  But its super comfortable.

Over the shirt I am wearing one of the most recent additions to my closet - an excellent LeRoy black cardigan that hits me a few inches above my knee.  It doesn't have buttons up the front, but it does have excellently large pockets.  They're good for a cell phone and chapstick.  Or about 20 tissues, when your nose is still all snotty.  This sucker is also probably older than me.

Anyway!  The clothes themselves are kind of irrelevant except for the fact that they are probably around 30 years old and still kicking!  How great is that?!  Great Granny must have done a phenomenal job taking care of her clothes because I end up with holes in most things after about a year.

Also, I feel crazy lucky that I've ended up being the only girl in my family who fits into Great Granny's clothes (some of my younger cousins probably would also fit, but they are too busy loving Justin Beiber to really care).  I also have two other shirts that belonged to her in my closet but I am terrified that they're not fashionable enough - I should probably get one of my trendy friends to check this out for me.

Weight and clothing size is such an Issue with my Mom's family (a bajillion girls will do that to themselves) and I've never quite felt like I was really the right size, especially since I have a gorgeous older cousin who is/was/will always be taller, skinner and more glamorous than I am.

But if I was any taller this tee shirt would ride up too high on my stomach.  And if I was any smaller, this sweater wouldn't be as warm and comfortable (okay- that's a bit of a stretch, but it fits quite perfectly).  Anyway - Great granny was an awesome, awesome lady - and I am incredibly lucky to have these reminders of how wonderful she is around all the time, keeping me warm and cozy.

Good night.

*At least this is what I think I have been told.  After someone in my family reads this blog, I am sure they will correct me with a quickness.

Monday, March 14, 2011

in and maybe out

I have been thinking about breathing a lot over the past few weeks.  For a variety of reasons (some of which I will eventually get into on the blog) breath has been on my mind.

I came down with a post-Green River cold on Saturday that is still lingering (and will probably continue to make me grouchy for the next week or so).  My nose has been conquered by massive globs of mucus that my sinuses are powerless against, making it nearly impossible to breath in and out through my nose.

Which means that I have taken to holding my breath for minutes at a time.  It isn't until I start to get a little dizzy that I remember to breathe through my mouth.  It would make sense to just breath through my mouth all the time, but that leaves me with my mouth hanging open for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time like a particularly dim bovine. 

I'm not sure what the best option is in this case...assuming my nasal passages will continue to be held captive for a day or two more - how do I keep myself from eventually passing out?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

green city

I had this fear, possibly somewhat irrational but not totally unfounded, that in two or three years (or six or seven) that when I move away from Chicago I will suddenly realize that I had never seen the river dyed green for St. Patrick's Day.  Its one of those things that are kind of touristy, and yet I feel - an important part of Chicago tradition.

The rich culture of tradition is one of my favorite things about Chicago.  And some traditions are stupid and annoying, but they never fail to make me feel like a part of something.  And its the dumb songs, and the inside jokes and the nonsense that I love so much.
I have been told that the true amazing thing is to watch the river actually get dyed (as opposed to just seeing it all green) but that was not something that worked with my schedule this morning - so this will do for now.  I wish I had brought a real camera.  I also wish that downtown Chicago was not the epicenter of inebriated girls wearing too-little clothing, if only because it makes me feel very, very old.  Also, I don't like stepping on/near vomit (also, its NOON, learn to pace yourself).
Friday night, over too many drinks, I wondered out loud to a few of the friends I was with - if with the new Mayor coming in - the green dye budget was going to be cut.  And they assured me that people, many who would never bother to vote would be Up in Arms if their river did not get dyed.  They don't care who is in charge - they just want their more-green-than-normal.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

all the things

There's been a whole bunch going on in the past few weeks - I apologize for the lack of posts, but life keeps getting in the way.  It seems that with life and exercise and the need for cat food (how are we always out??), I can only manage to spend an hour or two at home before bed and that hour, I've decided, is best spent away from my computer and with Boyfriend and the hungry, hungry kitten.  And of course - on the never ending search for the missing drill bits.

Anyway - here is some stuff that is happening.

1-Last weekend Kristin and Howie got engaged last weekend.  Making them the 7th couple I know to get engaged since Christmas.  Congratulations KristinandHowie!! and the rest of you - and the 4 couples getting married this year.  I am totally happy for you - and also wondering if there is some sort of Kool-aid or water or something that I should be steering clear of.

2- I had blood drawn today and x-rays.  Nothing too big, but it required me to fast from midnight last night to 9:45 AM.  For normal people this would be no biggie - but I am an emotional wreak when it comes to food.  I am used to eating by 7 or 8 AM, if I'm awake.  So the fact that I did not get to eat until 11 (after all the testing was done) - meant that I was completely irrational.  There was a farmer's market inside the hospital (a bizarre occurence that I never even though to question while I was experiencing it). And so I had to buy 2 pounds of organic, free-range bratwursts and a loaf of banana chocolate chip bread.  This, in hindsite was dumb but I was so hungry!  They say not to go to the grocery store hungry. I say - don't put the grocery store inside a place where I am forced to be hungry.

3- I am excited that people are deciding to visit me this year.  Cougar AND Buttmunch might be coming, and my big 'Cuz!  Summer in Chicago is amazing, but its a bajillion times better when you get to share it with other people.

4- I finally bought a day planner two weeks ago.  I thought that maybe this would be the year I would become a digital planner, but since I STILL don't have an iphone (come on July!) this is not the case - because I have no way of synching my computer with my phone or anything else.  At least 5 days of the week - when I am glued to a computer, this is not a problem, but on the off chance you try to plan something with me on a weekend, for the entire month of January and most of February - There was a chance we would make plans and by the time I got home and powered up the laptop, I would have forgotten.  So I went to Borders and bought at $1.00 planner.  I keep forgetting I have it though.  At 10 cents a month, I still feel like I am getting my money's worth...

5- E! plays Sex and the City from 7 - 8 PM every weeknight.  It has made my hour on the elliptical far less tedious.  Even though I think I've decided I hate Carrie Bradshaw - its a nice walk down memory lane.

6- I think this might be the year I go downtown and watch them dye the Chicago river green for St. Patrick's Day.  I have a meeting that morning, so I won't be down there until noon, at which point it might be back to its normal green color.  I have this funny feeling that if I don't make a concerted effort to go see it in the next two years, I will be moving away in a decade or so and realize that I never saw them dye the river green.

That's all.  See you in a few days.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Book 5 - Quite A Year For Plums

We are just humming right along.  Thanks public transit!

To be completely honest, I never would have picked up this book if it hadn't said "Author of 'Mama Makes Up Her Mind'" on the cover.  That was one of my most favorite books when I was 11 or so (I had NPR nerds for parents).  I loved Bailey White's short-possibly-some-what-autobiographical stories and hoped that Mama might make an appearance in this one.

Sadly, there was no Mama.  There was a whole bunch of other characters that I could never keep straight.  Ms. White provides a handy who's who list in the front of the book - but I was switching back to it so much that I got impatient.  Ultimately, not quite knowing how all these people were related did not really affect my enjoyment of the book.

And I enjoyed it a fair amount.  The tone was remarkably different from MMUHM - in a way that kind of disappointed me a little bit.  Part of the reason I loved MMUHM was because she was so frank and immodest about these crazy people, where I feel as though in this book - she was very delicate with these people who were pretty nutty.  It seemed as though she was worried she was going to offend, maybe? I don't know.

Anyway - Its an okay book.  At the end of it I was kind of meh - but also in a good mood and not sobbing my eyes out, so we've made some progress since the last book.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

could use a timer

How to hard boil an egg when you're me:

1- Make Boyfriend buy eggs.

2- Wait about a week because you're too lazy to figure out how to boil eggs.

3- Run out of acceptable alternative proteins for your daily lunch salad and figure now is as good a time as any.

4- Google "how to hard boil an egg."

5- Get judged by Boyfriend for never having hard boiled an egg.

6- Retort back that in Your Family, hard boiled eggs are an "Easter-only" food and it's not like Boyfriend could give you accurate instructions so who is he to judge.

7- Decide how many eggs to hard boil - this is especially challenging because you know you want to make scrambled eggs or maybe omelettes or maybe french toast this weekend, so you have to chose carefully.  Because there is no possibly way you can go to the grocery store between now and the weekend.  Its IMPOSSIBLE.  New neighborhood sucks.  Select 5 eggs.  Because there is nothing like the frustration of having a single egg left in the carton. 

8- Put eggs in saucepan and fill saucepan with water so the water covering the eggs by about an inch or two - or really just "some" is fine because you have bad depth perception and the water isn't really helping.

9- Turn on heat under saucepan of eggs and water.

10 - Wait 3 minutes.

11- Remember you were supposed to put salt in and so throw some in and watch it gracefully fall to the bottom of the already heated pan where it can sit there uselessly.

12- Go back to watching Top Chef: All Stars, playing on internet, and looking for Boyfriend's missing drill bits (not a euphemism). 

13 - Remember that you are hard boiling eggs.  Run over to stove to see water boiling away happily.  Wig out a bit because you read that the water is only supposed to boil for a minute and take eggs off heat immediately.  Cover the saucepan with lid that is too big for saucepan because this is FAR too stressful a situation to find the correct lid.

14 - Worry a bit about if the water had just started to boil and so maybe you actually took the eggs off too early.  Judge yourself.  Eat some home-made whipped cream straight out of the blender. 

15 - Eat dessert, continue to search for missing drill bits, fold clean clothes that have been in hamper for 6 days, unpack single box and feel incredibly successful.

16 - Remember that you are hard boiling eggs and that you were supposed to take them out of the water 20 minutes ago.  Decide against using the kitchen utensil that is made Specifically for this task and use your hand to drain the water out of the saucepan.  Fill and then drain the saucepan with cold water a few times. 

17 - Realize it takes your cold water almost as long to get cold as it takes your hot water to get hot.  Decide that this is super strange.  Fill and drain a few more times. 

18 - Put eggs in tupperware container.

19 - Decide that eggs are not cool enough and put them back in the saucepan with some (actually) cold water.

20 - Brush teeth, floss, put on pajamas, read book, get into bed, turn out lights.

21- Remember that you still have eggs in a saucepan of cold water on the stove.

22- Ignore Boyfriend's laughs as they follow you down the hall back to (now dark) kitchen. 

23- Take eggs out of saucepan, put back into tupperware and put tupperware of eggs into fridge.  Leave saucepan of water on stove to instill bad habits in cat.  Realize that you thrive with cooking that either requires strict concentration or 5 hours of simmering and you can't really handle anything in between.  Except Pasta, but that doesn't really count.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

fancy ketchup

There is very little in the world that feels as satisfying as being all caught up on New Yorkers.

I am assuming this sensation of accomplishment is akin to conquering a small land-locked country or perhaps winning a People's Choice Award.

The past year and a half it has been a struggle to keep on top of this monster.  Back in the day when I was on public transportation a solid 3 - 4 hours of my day, I could finish one in about a day and a half - but once my commute became on foot - I was lucky if I made it through one in a week.  This meant that I no longer read many books because if I was reading a book, I was abandoning my New Yorker responsibility and they start to pile up and you start coming home late and your wife smells like someone else's cologne...its a slippery slope.

Anyway, with my new commute (Still think its okay!) I knew it was a matter of time before I conquered this particular monster.  And I will be real with you, I did not read all the articles.  And I did not read most of the fiction (I am very picky about my New Yorker fiction - for absolutely no reason at all - in case you were wondering).

The problem with stuffing this much knowledge down my retinas is now I have no idea what I am talking about - but I totally think that I do.  In one week I read articles about....a whole bunch of things that I cannot remember right now and I won't be able to remember them until I start talking and getting all confused.  And then there is judgement.

Anyway, I am feeling quite accomplished and like there is nothing I can't do...except maybe get my ass into a gym.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

work it.

I've been bad about blogging and I really have very few excuses.  But there have been some interesting things going on.

I went to a fancy black-tie event with my dad.  He got invited by one of his baller business cohorts and I came along for the free food and the excuse to buy a new dress.  Naturally it was very strange to be at a networking event and not networking (and since they were all dentist people, I couldn't even really like fake network because we had no common ground).

I did end up making friends with a girl who was my age who was going to be seated at our table.  She actually is someone my dad should have been networking with, but instead she and I tried to forge a friendship based on the fact that we were some of the youngest people there.  This tickled my Dad to no end, because when I was a kid I always had the ability to make new friends wherever I went.  Only very rarely did they end up being long term friendships, most only had the shelf life of however long we were where we were, but it was an excellent coping mechanism none the less.  And I am sure it is one that has served me well in all of my many relocations.

This was by far the fanciest networking thing I've ever been to (and not been working) and I have to say - these rich people really like to booze it up.

Here's some math for you.

We went to the pre-gala reception which was from 4:45 - 6:15 (we got there around 5:45).  This was drinks and very wee, very weakly passed apps.  Super delicious (fig with gorgonzola wrapped in prosciutto?  Yes please) but not really food.

Then there was cocktail hour round 2 which was from 6:30 - 8.  So, more booze - but this time, no food.  Awesome, feeling good.

Then dinner was supposed to start at 8, but there were many speeches and hands to be shook before we actually started eating but the waiters (bless their hearts) were having a grand old time pouring the wine.  So we started eating at about 8:45.

And at that point, I am already hammer drunk (TM Chelsea Long).

Why?  Because I had been subject to three hours of open bar and I am only human.  Even at pacing myself - that's at least four or five glasses of white wine on (essentially) an empty stomach.  And I MISSED the first hour.  Thank the baby jesus, because other wise, things could have gotten really, really messy.

And it wasn't just me.  My new (and now forgotten) friend also admitted to me that she was a little drunk.  Maybe they expect the networking to take up most of your attention and so the drinking gets forgotten?  No idea - but that plan failed on me being the +1.  Failed.

So of course, once the food got there, I completely forgot how to interact with other humans and ate all of my food as fast as possible, hoping that some of the steak and crab stuffed prawns would soak up the bottle and a half of white wine I had consumed.  (I am the classiest girl you know.)

The rest of the event was fun, I was hella pissed that I got outbid on a pair of earrings I was lusting after during the silent auction.  They used these fancy touch screens where you just put in your bidder number (practically located on your name badge) and you could touch the screen and look at everything.  This technology was far too cool not to utilize, so I bid on the cheapest thing.  This was going well until one of the high roller auction guys outbid me - I think just because he thought I would get into a bidding war over them.  Wrong again, Steve Jones.  Have fun with your Black Onyx drop earrings, sucker.

I did come away with a rather pretty (if poorly set) ring that was gifted to me by another of my father's business pals.  Apparently they were auctioning off this sapphire ring and if you bid you got like a place holder ring to get you all excited for the real one.  He did not win the real ring, and I am afraid that just the site of his faux ring made him remember his terrible luck.  Its cool, I'll take it.

She's pint-sized and amazing.