Best Things I Discovered While Living in Chicago

One year ago today I moved to Chicago. And although I’ll be moving back to the suburbs in a couple short weeks, I’ve had an incredible year enjoying the Ram and the wonderful city life.

Here’s a list of some of my fave discoveries and realizations:

1) Kuma’s Corner. Holy yum. However the wait/crowd makes it hard to get a seat, so Kuma’s II is a great plan B. Also, order the banana bread beer!

2) Driving AGGRESSIVELY. If you don’t turn on red, you don’t turn.

3) The Korean Cinnamon and Caramel softserve at BellyShack.

4) Frushi. Available at Orange, this delightful dish is fruit sushi.

5) There is a burlesque theater down the road that does parodies of box office hits, such as a “Star Wars: A Nude Hope” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Boob.” I haven’t gone yet but just knowing that it exists is fantastic.

6) Nothing beats the fireworks from a tall Chicago rooftop. 18 displays at once? No problem.

7) Lyft is a pretty awesome service, once you stop thinking that it is creepy.

8) Girl and the Goat. Best food I EVER ate. Hands down, no doubt. I’ve heard there is a 3 month wait list so it helps to have connections. Seeing that I’m no longer dating my connection, I might never get to eat there again.

And as a bonus….

9) Sometimes you think the bus is stopping but it’s really at a red light. Do not panic. (Maybe not the best thing I discovered but probably the most embarassing.)

Things I Don’t Need at My Work Desk

This morning one of my coworkers approached me asking if I had any white-out to spare. This caught me off guard because I don’t believe I’ve used white-out since junior high, and even then I always made more of a mess than was worth it. So I searched my work desk and, lo and behold, I do have one of those 3M white-out tape dispensers! Admittedly, I’m not good at using those either (for some reason, only half of the white tape comes of for me and the I end up with seven layers of tape to hide one written error). But this got me thinking—what other things do I have at my desk that I don’t use?

1. Rubber bands. Granted, I could definitely use rubber bands on some of my large projects with many, many stacks of paper, but I’m somehow always in the midst of the project and prefer to segment it with binder clips, assuring myself that I will remove those and use a rubberband when I’m done. This hasn’t happened yet.

2. A temporary tattoo that says “Break Cancer” from a work fundraisera couple years ago. I’m not sure why I keep it around but it seems rude to toss it.

3. My IWU mug. Though I love my heavy alma matter mug, I already have another mug holding my pens, pencils, and highlighters. I still haven’t used the IWU mug at work, but I keep it as a conversation peice. No conversations have been started based on this mug.

4. My “Sex and the City” miniposter. I hung it as decoration when I first came to the company, but now it just seems odd.

5. My Lily Pulitzer “stuck on you” post-it notes. I bought them on sale at a TJ Maxx and fell in love with their design. Too bad they don’t stick. (I don’t blame the brand… I just assume the glue is old).

6. Tape. I have a large tape dispenser but don’t really have a place to use the tape. Maybe on the unsticky sticky notes.

Today’s nail polish:

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China Glaze—Paper Chasing. Very appropriate…

Sirius-ly.

I love my Sirius XM radio. What I do not love is the price. I first recieved Sirius as a free 6 month trial when I bought my Ford Fusion. After 6 months I decided to renew and noted that the variety of packages were all strangely priced. It seems like the cost was chosen at random but then there was a discount based on whether you were purchasing the service for 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years, whatever. And while the 1 year plan was supposedly the best value (save 74%!!), the cost per month was actually much lower for the 6 month plan. So I proceeded to pay $36 for 6 months and was happy. And then the promotion ended and my next bill came—$99! Absurd! But I was already late on payment so I paid with only a grumble. Just this past week I recieved another bill, again $99 for 6 months. No way. So I called up Sirius and (politely) asked if they had any better deals or else I would like to cancel my service. And wouldn’t you know it, I recieved 1 year for $104. Much, much better. Now, granted, it isn’t the $6/month I would have loved but I listen to my radio sooooooo much (I’m in a constant state of commute and traffic) that I swear it’s worth it.

Ok, with that off my chest, I now present you with my favorite songs that I discovered through Sirius first. (I should also probably mention that the stations I listen to are 70s on 7, 80s on 8, 90s on 9, The Pulse, The Coffee House, The Blend, Prime Country, The Highway, Outlaw Country, and The Heat.)

1. Guy That Says Goodbye to You is Out of His Mind- Griffin House

I LOVE this song. It’s everything that I could ever dream to hear from someone with a guitar and it makes me feel great about myself.

Fave line: Relationships I don’t know why / they never work out and they make you cry / but the guy that says goodbye to you / is out of his mind.

2. Cough Syrup- Young the Giant

I actually thought I was way ahead of the curve on this one, listening to a song that I thought no one knew. About a week later I heard it on Glee. Oops.

Fave lyrics: Life’s too short to even care at all oh / I’m coming up now coming up now out of the blue / These zombies in the park they’re looking for my heart / Oh oh oh oh

3. Red Hands- Walk Off The Earth

I first heard Walk Off The Earth because of their “Someone I Used to Know” cover (which I like better than the Goyte original). This song is catchy and I find myself listening to the entire song–a rare feat for me.

Fave lyrics: I’ve seen it all before, you back out, and everything’s changing /I needed something more, you stepped down, so what are you chasing?

4. F*ckin Problems – A$AP Rocky

Not sure why but I think this song is brilliant.

Fave lyrics: I love bad bitches, that my fuckin problem / And yeah I like to fuck, I have a fucking problem.

Also: Then just drop down and get yo’ eagle on / Or we can stare up at the stars and put the Beatles on

Also: She eyeing me like a nigga don’t exist / Girl, I know you want this di–/ Girl, I’m Kendrick Lamar / A.K.A. Benz-is-to-me-just-a-car

ALSO: Halle Berry, hallelujah / Holla back I’ll do ya

5. Beer Money- Kip Moore

This song always makes me happy, even on the morning commute.

Fave lyrics: So Come on, come on, / Baby, I’m buying / I got enough to last us all night and /You got the kiss that tastes like honey / And I got a little beer money

6. Whole Enchilada- Keb’Mo’

Fave lyrics: Now that you gotta whole enchilada / now that you gotta / Are you gonna be any better  / than the man you had to be to get her?

7. Leave You Alone-Young Jeezy

Fave line: Let me be your mind reader, let me read your mind /And when I’m done with the front, hit it from behind

8. Work Out- J. Cole

J. Cole’s borrowing from Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” is what originally got me hooked. Now this is my jam while dance running on the elliptical.

Fave lyrics: That’s unfair but / So is life, take a chance roll a dice / Money can’t buy you love cause it’s overpriced

Also: Move slow, cause you wanna live fast / Up late so you’ll probably skip class

The Seriously Blind Auditions: The Voice

Tonight, Logan and I (with some help from Sebby) decided to watch The Voice but experience it the way the judges do. We would listen to the contestants and type up a description of him or her and weren’t allowed to look until we were done. Read below to see how VERY wrong we were.

Contestant 1: Audrey

Logan: She seems like a weirdy (the mom, she just said she’s so nervous she could pee). Audrey on the other hand was a model for a while so we should assume she’s decent looking. I think she is a tall brunette with straight long hair. She’s skinny and is probably wearing jean shorts and boots. I think she is going to have a low vocal range. Here we go with her singing….oh this song. And, when asked by Sebby, I believe she has small boobs. And a flannel shirt on.

Monica: I’m assuming blonde. Ripped jeans. Thin, on the shorter side. She’s not wearing earrings or a necklance but maybe a little too much blush. She has streaks of black at the bottom of her hair. Blue eyes. White tank with a red flannel shirt tied up. Really tall heels.

Sebby: Brunette, 5’11, long straight black hair, broad shoulders, broad chest, small boobs

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Not quite…

Winner: Tied. No one was right.

Contestant 2: Brandon

Logan: Brandon from Louisville, Kentucky. He’s in a band called Dirty something and volunteers for autistic kids, aw! Sounds like a cutie. I think he looks like the poor man’s Peeta (oops I mean Josh Hutcherson…but with blonde hair so yea Peeta). Shorter, a bit on the bulkier side. He’s probably wearing black jeans and a tee shirt from American Eagle. Oh this song! And that voice! Let’s add a hipster brown leather bracelet. And he makes it look good.

Monica: He’s got sorta flippy dirty blonde/brunette hair. He’s very thin. Has a vest on and jeans. His lips are a little weird. He’s considered good looking.

Sebby: a young, short david hasselhoff, 5 oclock shadow, very bristly.

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Not even close..

Winner: Logan because she guess he would have a homemade bracelet. Also, Sebby pointed out that Brandon looks a little like Blake Shelton back in the day.

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Yikes. That is not a good look, Blake!

Contestant 3: Betsy

Logan: I think she’s black. Short and skinny with skinny jeans on and a neon colored top with those ugly sneaker high tops. Something is in her hair (headband or scarf) and long nails.  And her hair itself probably has some color in it, like a red streak.

Monica: has darkhair, is white, weird flippy skirt, platform heels, too tight shirt, bigger girl.

Sebby: *Disqualified for looking*

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Objectively, definitely not a big girl. Or black.

Winner: Monica, for guessing that Betsy’s white.

Contestant 4:

Logan: Patrick. I think he has short blond hair and is probably a bit heavier. I think he is wearing a v-neck sweater and jeans and overall is clean cut (shaven, no piercings or tats).

Contestant 4: 35, memphis, patrick dun?

Monica: Heavy set, light jeans, dark shirt, embroidered, short hair under a cowboy hat, boots but under jeans

Sebby: tall, lanky, weird, small mouth, blond hair, sneakers, earrings, gender confused

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Not quite the cowboy I had in mind…

Winner: Sebby for guessing that he would be alternative

Cute Shoe Alert

Well this is hardly a reason to make a blog post but I want the world to be aware that I bought (well, my boyfriend bought me to be quite honest) the cutest pair of shoes ever. I’m madly in love with them. To make it even better, they were on clearance at JC Penny and I had a 20% off coupon.

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My two fave things: cute shoes and a pencil sharpener that doesn’t always work.

Sigh. It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

A Commentary on the Cast Commentary of Jersey Shore Season 1 Episode 1: A Live Blogging

So Logan and I decided to separately type up commentary on the commentary of the first ever Jersey Shore episode. Check out how our comments line up!

Part 1

LS: Omg the roomies look like babies. Fist pumping. Hahahaha Ronnie’s laugh. Watching this makes me wonder just how this show became so big. They all sound like douchebags…..”I don’t try to date a lot of guy’s girlfriends, I just do”-Pauly D

MP: Oh Jersey Shore episode 1. It’s like I’ve forgotten how this all started. DJ Pauly D honestly just said he wants girls to cum in their pants when they hear him spin. Really? I mean, it’s a lofty goal but no music has ever been that good.

LS: Ooh there’s Rider! Proof her and Snooki were actually friends before the show. When you are commenting on your show and can quote yourself before you say something on screen it worries me.

MP: OMG. The Situation just made a “Twins” joke. A classic movie. I think I’ve also forgotten how great his abs were. Like too good. They look photoshopped. But not in a sexy Ryan Reynolds way.

LS: Sammie! HA “get with a lot of good sexy guidos”. AKA Ron?

MP: Oh man, listening to Sammi say that she wants to hook up a bunch and Ronni saying that the first rule is never fall in love at the shore is just ridiculous in retrospect.

LS: Sitch just said Sammie doesn’t dress good and I agree. She steps it up in later seasons. I forgot that a lot of them had never even gone to the Shore before for a summer.

MP: Sitch just said that Sammi doesn’t dress well. This is too good.

LS: OMG J-WOWW just looks like trash in all of these scenes. And she has skunk hair. Lolz lolz Ronnie “never fall in love at the Jersey Shore”. Ugh Angelina. Maybe hindsight bias but it seems obvious she’s not going to gel with the other roommates. Ok here they all come, Jersey Shore bitch!

MP: Everyone in the commentary is way too concerned with asking each other where each clip was filmed.

Part 2

MP: Hahahahaha I’m dying because Sitch, Sammi, and Pauly all decided to sleep in the same room because they are all “chill.” What a terrible idea.

LS: I love that the Situation is talking like he’s hot shit in the first episode. Proof he was a prime candidate for this fame. Sammie has an annoying voice when she’s talking to the camera in these driving scenes.

MP: Jwow’s hair is disgusting. Like skunky awful. Thank god she fixed that.

LS: Aw Pauly D and Mike, makes me sad because it goes downhill in a few years. Bahaha Vinny sprinting down the stairs to meet J-WOWW. Do we know if “J’WOWW” was an actual nickname before or made up for the show? No surprise, here come the shots. Ronnie wants a stripper pole in the living room-just wait two seasons Ron! Ugh Angelina. Wait Sitch knew Angelina before the show? “I don’t want to work I’m a fucking DJ”-Pauly D. But I think Pauly D ended up being the best worker!

Part 3

MP: Snooki keeps trying to touch Sitch’s package in the kitchen on the first night.

LS: Snooki is just a hot mess. She passes out on the couch upstairs, then is stripping and getting in the hot tub. Bah and falling on the stairs. And macking on all the roommates.

MP: Man. How awkward must it be to be Snooki watching herself try to get on all of her friends. Yikes.

LS: Love that they are wandering down the boardwalk without any paps/crazy fans. Ah the duck phone! Oh Mike and Sammie, I always forget about this.

MP: The whole cast keeps saying “good” instead of “well.” Annoying.

LS: And back to Snooki being the receptionist. Who gets arrested in this season? Ron?

MP: Snooki’s lack of understanding of how the duck phone works is beyond ridiculous.

LS: Vinny calling J-WOWW a shady bitch-one of the top quotes of this episode.

MP: I love the discovery of Jwow’s boyfriend. Pauly offers to help her forget him.

Part 4

MP: Ok. Snooki asks her roommates to hold her hair while she pukes. HOLD YOUR OWN HAIR. Sickkk.

LS: Just noticed the leopard rug in their kitchen. I want that! I also don’t get all this wood paneling in the Shore house. It’s MTV, couldn’t they have afforded better?

MP: Everyone, but Ronni especially, keeps calling Snooki “Snookers.”

LS: Yea it’s the SHORE STORE!

MP: No one in the house knows how to peel garlic.

LS: First family dinner! Mike should make a cookbook. Why is the Holy Bible prominently displayed on the table?

MP: THERE IS A BIBLE ON THE DINNER TABLE. Why? Do you honestly need a bible present to say grace?

MP: Sigh. I miss Jersey Shore.

Part 5

MP: I think Pauly has a giant Cadillac tattoo. What was the thought process behind that?

LS: First episode, the guys don’t even have to leave the Shore house to get girls. Why did this not happen for them more often? But these chicks are kind of grenades. I love that Ronnie is being the voice of reason in this scene. And he looks adorable with that fedora. This scene is pretty skanky.

MP: It’s crazy to watch the first season because this was long before anyone knew who these people were. So there’s no one following them on the boardwalk, no giant crowds, no one to crowd them at bars. The random chicks brought upstairs are definitely grenades.

LS: I just remembered season two when Angelina and Vinny hook up. Yuck.

MP: Sammi and Angelina watching the hot tub party is really, really uncomfortable.

Part 6

MP: So the JS guys are about to go to a random shore house with some high school girls. Bizarre.

LS: Vinny clearly doesn’t understand bro code.

MP: I think this might be the first time some of the cast has watched this episode.

LS: …Meanwhile Snooki is packing.

MP: Angelina may have just said “Bring some girls with some classes!”

Part 7

LS: Ugh what if Snooki had actually left? Ron has no sympathy. And did they not know her name or like “Snickers/Snookers” better? Clifffhanger!

MP: Seriously in this episode, Snooki looks an awful lot like her SNL parody counterpart.

Snooki’s Booki (no spoilers)

I did it. I read “A Shore Thing” by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.

Now, I have to admit that I love trashy books and silly books and high school drama crappy novels. So stooping to the level of reading Snooki’s book really wasn’t a far fall. I’ll also admit that I love love love the Jersey Shore. I think it’s wonderful in the craziest of ways. (In fact, Logan and I may have rewatched the very first episode moments ago). To be fair, if you put nearly ANY seven people in a house with no tv, no internet, no cell phones, and TONS of booze, taped them 24/7, and then pared it down to a 42 minute show… um yeah, you’ll get some footage of debauchery and dumb quotes. So putting seven loud, outrageous people who live at the extreme end of the stereotype spectrum lead to a lot of hilarious quotes and unforgettable moments.

Just another Thursday.

Snooki, who is 4’8”, usually dressed in animal print, and used to rock a hair poof so tall that she would have made any girl with a Bump-it jealous, was definitely a breakout star from the Jersey Shore. She is not, however, known for her smarts and as soon as she came out with a book, the most common joke was “Snooki can read?”

And I can’t pretend the book is a work of genius. It isn’t. But did anyone think it would be? The storyline is basically an episode of the Jersey Shore. Or even moreso, it is like a season of “Snooki and Jwow.” The two main characters are clearly a thinly veiled Snooki and Jwow. The setting IS Seaside Heights and girls are still chasing juicy gorilla guidos. The plot overall is fiction but it’s plausible enough.

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The question isn’t really whether it’s a good book, but rather, did I enjoy it? And yes, I absolutely did. I laughed a lot and knew I would finish it. I also couldn’t help give it my editorial eye. At times I wasn’t sure whether Snooki was letting the reader in on a joke (DJ View instead of Deja Vu) or whether she had a horrible editor (“red, crotched bikini top” instead of a “red, crocheted bikini top”… unless of course there were red crotches on the top…). But there were many parts that were both as funny and as ridiculous as Snooki.

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Here are some excerpts that I flagged:

When their lips touched, Bella’s heart beat up the beat. -pg 241

Gia groaned. “You can’t mean that. You’ve been single for a few months, and you’re ready to run back to a stalker? I’ve been single for years. Sorting through jerkoffs to find a decent man takes time. But you have to do it, or else become a lesbian. Don’t think I haven’t considered it myself.” Gia had done more than think about switching teams. But when she’d made out with girls, something was always missing. Something hard, jabbing her in the leg.” -p. 194

“Do you really think I’m a genius?” asked Gia.
“You bet your ass!” he said, grabbing a big handful of it. -p 63

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