Monday, July 30, 2012

things that make a home

We've been living in our apartment for almost two months now and it is still awesome. Both Boyfriend and I keep telling each other how happy the place makes us. With any luck, we'll be here for a long time.

Rather than taking pictures of each room (sorry, Mom), here are my top 5 favorite things about the apartment (right now).

Okay - so the first picture is a room, but it is the smallest room in the house. Its my wee little office (that I am very good about sharing). Its painted the nicest, pale yellow (this apartment has the BEST wall colors) and its perfect for books and thoughts and a desk full of treasures. When the sun shines in, its one of my favorite places to be.

Speaking of sun shining through - Hazel has found her favorite spot in the whole apartment. The window sills in our bedroom are super deep and just right for a nap. She also crawls through the blinds when they're down so she can sleep inside but pretend like she's outside.

Nearly everything in this apartment is modern and updated, except this amazing light fixture in the entryway of the apartment.  Its so fancy! Most of the lights are recessed halogen fixtures which I find to be super boring and unflattering but this totally makes up for it.

This picture is from one of our first days in the apartment, but it still makes me so happy. Look at our little yard! Its so nice to be reminded that things grow in the city and to get to see them every day. I can't wait to plant things next year.

I am sure this cabinet has some sort of practical application, but it has become my things-I-love-that-need-to-be-shown-off cabinet. Right now its holding my whale measuring cups, my Lilly Pulitzer animal cookies, my favorite panda mug, a chocolate alligator from Florida and fancy Queen's Jubilee tea. Things I don't need, but it just makes me happy to look at while I eat breakfast.

Its so nice to be in an apartment that finally feels like our home. Come visit.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Here are some things I am not going to miss about our cat Buffy, who passed away earlier this week.

1 - Her room clearing farts. Apparently, once you lose half your colon - your gas becomes more frequent and potent. Nothing like a purring cat on your chest who rips a noxious gas bomb and then refuses to get off of you.

2 - Her uncanny ability to vomit directly where you are about to walk. Something about cat puke on your bare foot first thing in the morning that makes you reevaluate all of your life choices.

3- Her pathetic yowl. It was like a meow, if Lady Gaga meowed and it wasn't autotuned.  Luckily, it was something she just did when she was hungry, which was pretty much all the time.

I loved her very much. She was a wonderful part of our family but with all old pets, it is eventually time for them to go. I don't know if I'll ever know another animal as dumb and as patient as she. And let's be honest, for the reputation of cats everywhere - that is probably for the best.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two Mangos in a Pepper.

Sometimes. I think Boyfriend and I are made for each other...

This weekend while I was in Vermont, I discovered this amazing Mango Habanero business (the one with the twee little checkered cloth) and brought it home as part of Boyfriend's prize, only to find out that while I was gone, he went to the grocery store and bought pretty much the exact same thing.  Although, I am sure that his will not be nearly as good mixed with cream cheese and slathered on a cracker eaten while wandering around gorges and thinking about maple candy.

You live with someone for four years and you think that finally you have it all figured it out. And that you've found the person you're supposed to spend at least four more years with. And then this shows up in the mail.

Seriously, Boyfriend. Knight and Day? Someone is losing Netflix queue-ing privileges for a while.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good Fences?

My Mom has lived in the same house for 20 years. I love it. There is a part of me that wants to quit my current life, move home, and spend my next few years renovating it. We've had our share of kooky neighbors, but we've always had pleasant enough relationships with them. Perhaps not friendly, but always cordial and respectful.

Well, this morning (last night?) my Mom found this note taped to her front door.

This woman's house (that she doesn't live in, mind you, she just rents out - driving down every one's property values in an already *awesome* real estate economy) has a driveway that we have been using for 20 years. Before we used it, the people who owned our house for 20 some-odd years before us used it. Why? Because when you live in small town full of nice people, that is what you do. You share things like decent, civil human beings.

But now Kathy Afzali has decided (after a single complaint) that being neighborly, and kind, and a decent human being is trumped by being kind of a dick.

This has nothing to do with her being a delegate for Maryland (which is something she is probably fine at doing), this has to do with her not being a particularly nice person and I, for one, wouldn't want not-nice people representing me in government. But, I don't vote in Maryland anymore. Its not really up to me.

I feel like this is a perfect example of how people have just become more rude and antisocial. Why is that? Why are we all jerks? Even just 20 years ago, there was no question about us using that driveway and now we are getting passive aggressive notes addressed to "neighbor." Kathy Afzali didn't even have the decency to find out what my mother's name was and address it to her personally.

This note is not particularly rude when just read, but when you take the time to learn the back story, and if you know the community - you would know that the polite thing to do would have been to knock on the door, and work things out. When you own property in a small town, you do things the small town way, right? Otherwise, what is the point of living in a place like this? Move to Urbana if you want to be mean.*

I am just angry. And disappointed. I don't image that Kathy Afzali has any interest in being a good small-town neighbor and I doubt this blog will change that. But I wanted to put this out on the internet in the hopes that it gives someone else pause before being so inconsiderate.

*Ooooh. burn. Sorry Urbana, I didn't really mean it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

if by sea...

Chicago, more than any other city I know, is best viewed from the water.

This city at sunset makes my heart stop sometimes. Not in a million years did young Rachel ever think that she would call this place home and now, I find it hard to imagine leaving.

 More time on a boat at sunset with champagne and fresh caught salmon. Those are the goals for the rest of my life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Messed up

When I think people might be coming over to my apartment, and it is a disaster - here is the order in which I clean things (...I discovered tonight):

Laundry Room
Clothes Closet
Linen Closet
My Bedroom*
My Bathroom*
Living Room
Guest Bathroom
Dining Room

...Either I have some super strange friends, or I have some super strange assumptions about what my friends are going to be interested in seeing. Or perhaps it is that I have some bizarre insecurity about what my friends are going to judge me on. Do they care that my dryer sheets are on top of the dryer, rather than the shelf. Erm...probably not as much as they would care that there isn't any toilet paper in the bathroom. Although, with my friends, that could potentially go either way.

I am discovering this new apartment has a great deal more places in it than my last few. Which is cool because I never have to feel obligated to throw anything away ever again, but I can foresee becoming overwhelming when I don't have anyone come over for a few months or so and then someone does come over and its like a 3 day process to get it looking acceptable.

But seriously, we love this new apartment. It feels more like home than anywhere we've lived together. It came with bright colors on the walls that we liked, so we didn't have to live in a taupe nightmare or resent any rooms for making us stay up until 4 in the morning painting. It fits all our things quite nicely without the real need to buy any new stuff.

I should take pictures of it and place them on the internet, but I am going to wait a few days - as it sinks back into its normal state of filth, because this is a blog - not a real estate listing.

*I am not saying this to be a dick, but I hate the term master bed/bath and I needed to distinguish the fact that I cleaned the least accessible bathroom before the one people will use.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Not Harry Potter.

This weekend, I was a very good girlfriend and went to see Magic Mike.

Boyfriend doesn't really agree with this statement. But here's the thing. He has all these new coworkers and I am trying to be a very good work-girlfriend so when some of the other +1/SO's said they were planning an outing to see Magic Mike - I selflessly agreed to go with them to make Boyfriend look better at work. What can I say, I'm a saint.

Magic Mike was surprisingly plotty for a movie about strippers. Meaning, I felt that I had to care about far more peoples' feelings and outcomes than I was really antisipating. More dancing, less emotions is pretty much my review.

And then?! The credits rolled and I found out that, what the what?! Steven Soderbergh directed this smoldering pile of man meat and cliched backstories.

For those of you who are my little sister, let me feel you in - Steven Soderbergh directed Erin Brockovich, Sex, Lies & Videotape, Ocean's 11 (and 12, and 13). He won an Academy Award for Traffic.

What the blunt is Steven Soderbergh doing directing this? Seriously...what?! how?!

I feel like the story of this movie eerily mimics Channing Tatum's actual life, where he is living this life as a stripper and has a dream and since he's so pretty, everyone just tells him to go for his dreams, even though he has shown that he isn't really good at the thing he wants to do in his dream world, because really?! things for pretty people (whether producing butt-ugly furniture or making really terrible movies) tend to work out.

Also, did anyone else envision - mid-talky part of the movie when Channing Tatum's face is all scrunched up with acting - a moment during filming when Cha-Ta threw a fit and yelled, "I don't want to say all these words, I Just Want To Dance."
That being said - I like dancing. And being the best girlfriend a guy could possibly ask for...

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Obliging obligations

I haven't blogged in ages and ages. There are reasons for my prolonged absence that I am not quite comfortable writing about all over the internet. Although - I am not sure why...

Okay, let me test it out, see if the walls come tumbling down...

I am looking for a new job.


So far nothing, but the types of walls that I am antisipating to see fall don't fall right away or even overnight. It takes days and sometimes weeks.

At any rate, I feel about six pounds lighter just typing it, flinging it out into space, its as refreshing as ice cold lemonade on a hot July day.

It has not been an easy process for a whole host of reasons, including the fact that me leaving my job is going to leave a Rachel-sized hole in the organization I currently work for. Its a hole that will quickly be filled by some one else, but I imagine that it will not be a perfect fit and that is hard to stomach sometimes. Even when I think about how much better things will be for everyone once the move is all done.

Anyway, now that that is off my chest, more blogging. All the time. About absolutely nothing at all. And food. Always food.

She's pint-sized and amazing.