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Archive for the ‘Windy City Life’ Category

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all!  Yes, I know that the real holiday is Tuesday, but if your city is anything like mine, this was the weekend for the celebratin’ aka all-day drinking, and a ton of fun.  And this year, as an added treat, the worst cab ride ever.  Keep in mind, this is coming from a girl who once endured a New York City cab ride to La Guardia after consuming three very strong mimosas.  But that came nowhere near the cab ride of this weekend.

It started with a normal cab ride to one of Chicago’s many Irish-themed pub, where My Guy and I met up with a group of his friends for a day of drinks.  I had some ciders and two shots of Jameson (that’s right!), and about seven hours later (around 6:00 or so) we were ready to move on to meet another group of people.  Eight of us split into two cabs.  And then it got interesting.

First of all, it being St. Patty’s weekend, cabs have been used all day, and there was something fruity and foamy in the backseat, that one member of our group insisted on telling me repeatedly was some sort of bodily fluid as I sat impossibly close to it.  Then, our cabbie turned the wrong way down a one-way street.  My Guy sat up front next to him, and I can only imagine it was even worse for him to stare down the cars facing us.  And as our cabbie backed-up, pulled forward and backed up over and over to turn around, people on the street laughed at us and then we were on our way.  Still with the fruity goo awfully close.

Then our cabbie missed the turn and proceeded to back up  on the crowded Chicago street.  I turned around and saw myself staring down a bus.  Finally he got on the street and made his way to one of our cross streets.  And something (experience) told me not to trust this driver.  I peaked over the partition to make sure he was turning right.  He had his left signal.  “Um, no.  The street is right from here…You need to turn right!” I commanded. He finally did and he got to our second destination.  Whereupon said cabbie got maybe an 80 cent tip.

I think we were too generous.

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Oh, so much to say, so little time.  First of all, the contest winner.  After throwing participants’ names into a Starbucks mug–coffee keeps me balanced–I’m happy to announce the winner is…Marissa!  I’ll send along your prize just as soon as I get it from Nilsa.  Um, cause I left it in her car…long story.

In other news, maybe it’s because My Guy is in Puerto Rico this week, but I began contemplating summer, and my lack of sandals.  So I ordered some online from my new favorite site Endless.  Why favorite you may ask?  Because they offer free, overnight shipping on select items.  And that included both pairs of sandals I got.  They arrived Wednesday, promptly in time for the snow we received.  Sigh, a reminder that it is, in fact, still February and there are still a good two months or so moving forward before I can actually wear said sandals.

This past weekend was a reunion weekend of sorts for me. On Saturday night, I met up with an old friend from high school that I was happily able to reconnect with thanks to Facebook and our reunion. This is how I know she and I really are friends despite being out of touch for almost a decade: we sat in a bar talking and laughing about the past and present for four hours. Then, on Sunday I met up with a college friend in town for dinner.  We laughed and talked and enjoyed half-price sushi.  Yum!

This week is work, work, work, capped with a movie on Monday (thank you work for giving us President’s Day off) and martini night on Thursday.  Oh, it also entailed a cold.  I’m hoping it’s planning on leaving soon.

And how are all of you?  Anyone else ready to purchase some sandals?

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About 12 years ago, I stopped eating red meat.  If it bleeds when you cook it or resembles blood in anyway, I don’t want to eat it (which is also why I don’t like to eat beets–they look like blood and taste terrible, gag).  For a while I stopped eating poultry.  And so, when it came cookout time I first turned towards veggie burgers.  I like a good veggie burger, but they just don’t taste the same.  And I needed some protein.  And there it was…soy.

And so I tried Boca burgers.  (Disclaimer: Boca is a client of my company)  Mmmmm, Boca burgers.  As far as I’m concerned they taste like a real burger (I don’t really remember what a hamburger tastes like any more, or a steak).  I’ve heard their chicken patties are to die for as well.  Every summer I stock up on Boca burgers for the grilling season.  And, they are also good crumbled on a salad.  So, imagine my delight when I got to attend a Boca-sponsored event all about balanced living.

I attended with the ever-fabulous Nilsa of SoMi, and got to see other fabulous blogger pals. And in honor of healthy, balanced living we sampled Boca burgers, yummy side salads, and were treated to manis, pedis and massages, plus tips on healthy, balanced living. I think pampering is definitely part of a balanced life. It’s just about treating yourself well, treating others well.

And speaking of treats, Boca supplied a most excellent goodie bag that I am now gifting to a commenter. It contains, among other things, a yoga mat, a day planner and a relaxing CD. So leave me a comment about how you live a balanced life. All participants get their name in a hat and one lucky winner’s name is coming out of that hat. What are you waiting for? Comment away…

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Who’s sick of winter? 

You can’t see it, but my hand is up in the air.  Well, not really.  I mean, come on.  But what’s real is this.  On Friday night into Saturday until about 5:00 it came down here in Chicago.  Our forecasted two to four inches turned out to be more like eight.  Can I just say, thank god I have four-wheel drive, or I’d be eating stale crackers or something.  I should know better than to let the food supply dwindle in the winter.

Thankfully it stopped in time to actually meet some friends for a night of drinks.  Well drinks for them.  I’m detoxing.  Until Friday anyway.  That’s when I’m going to a place called Martini Park.  And if you think I’m going somewhere called Martini Park and not having at least one martini, you don’t know me very well.

Chicago currently sits in the midst of a blizzard warning.  Ack!  That’s going to add another who knows how much snow to the mix.  And also, it’s supposed to be something like -9 F later this week.  Oy.  It makes it hard to keep a date, have the dinner with friends you’d planned or celebrate a birthday, that’s for sure.

Winter, I’m so over you! You’re really cramping my style.

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So yeah, I took down my ranty post about my apartment.  People with Bloglines or Google Reader can probably still see it.  But even with the update I put on the end, it didn’t seem right to keep it there. 

Anyway, this morning there was a sign on the door to my building saying roaches had been reported and we should call to make an exterminator appointment.  This following mice and not having heat earlier this year, and my realization that no, I can’t live with just one closet.  But anyway, I got upset because I can’t handle cockroaches or centipedes.  I’m good with most other bugs–good as in, I can handle them.  If I can kill it with a shoe and it’s not actually  on me, I’m ok. 

I never saw a roach, or signs of roaches.  After the mice scare I still check my foodstuffs for gnawing and infestation.  Turns out a tenant want to break her lease so she’s crying “Cockroach” as her gameplan.  Exterminators found nothing–no roaches, no evidence of roaches, no source of roaches.  Now that does make me mad.  Freaking sublet your apartment!  Don’t scare other tenants with false claims about potential vermin.  Sheesh!

Anyway, back to a happy 2009!

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There is this thing in the city of Chicago–and I’m sure in other cities of snowy climes–where certain street are designated as snow routes.  So if it snows a certain amount, you can’t park on them, lest you get towed. My understanding is that this is for the snow plows to get through and/or emergency vehicles.  I live on just such a street.  This weekend, I parked on said street.

This morning I checked the weather report but was assured that it wouldn’t start snowing til late afternoon/this evening.  So I went to the el and to work.  Then I checked Facebook and saw multiple statuses (stati?) about the snow that was a-falling.  And my afternoon went from hectic to just plan crazy.

My boss is a great boss.  She let me work from home one day while I waited for the mice exterminators.  Today, she let me leave to move my car before it was too late, provided it wasn’t already too late.  I made it just in time to unearth my snow-covered lump and move it to a side street.  Crisis averted.  Sigh of relief.

And speaking of snow, did anyone catch How I Met Your Mother last night?  My home state got some mad props when Marshall (Minnesotan) took Robin (Canadian) to a Minnesota-themed bar to help her feel a little more at home.  They drink beer from Bemidji and mourn the ’99 NFC championship gone awry.  But they don’t like non-Minnesotans (so untrue!) and Robin has to lie.

After much purple pride, a joke about Robin thinking there is a Rashad Tarkenton, and many jokes about Canadians being afraid of the dark (sidenote: really?  I haven’t heard that one.  It’d be unfortunate seeing as how it gets pretty dark up north this time of year) Robin is outed as a Canadian and asked to leave.  Wherein she commences on a speech about how accepting Canadians are, and how nice and how they gave us  Trivial Pursuit. Um yes, and we thank you.  But can you please take Nickelback back?  You so owe us there.

All in all, that was some good TV.  I’m down with laughing at Minnesota.  I love the movie Fargo, dontcha know?

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I’m interrupting my own hiatus to bring you this one-of-a-kind story.  You see, this weekend I killed a mouse.  With a brick. 

But let’s back up, shall we?  To Friday morning.  Very early Friday morning.  3:45 or so. I’m all cozy in my nice flannel sheets and velvet duvet cover, which came in handy as the weather had turned just that night from balmy-for-November 60’s to ah-that’s-what-I-thought 30s.  I heard noises.  I turned on the light.  Nothing.  I tried to convince myself the noises were outside and go back to sleep. 

I heard it again.  A scurrying.  A scritchy-scratch of claws on the hardwood floor.  “Aw fuck, there’s a mouse in here,” I told myself.  No longer able to deny it, I turned on my light, looked over at some boxes next to my bookcase and saw a little rodent with beady eyes staring back at me and as I choked on a gasp (being one for silent horrification) I scrambled out of bed, turned on every light in my apartment, and the TV, and began making as much noise as humanly possible. 

The maintenance man put out traps.  The sticky kind.  I went home, saw traps in the living room and bedroom and as I talked to my mom on the phone (because of course I had called my mommy), walked into the kitchen and saw a little tail and back end of mouse next to the stove. “Oh my god, I  caught one,” I wailed to my mother.  “And they’re in the kitchen!!!” I ran into the living room as my mother convinced me to call the maintenance guy to remove said mouse.  Because did I mention, it was still alive?  Stuck to its sticky trap but alive nonetheless. 

When I got his voicemail I left a message but called my mom back.  “I can’t listen to it squeak all night,” I cried.  Because as it tried to loosen itself, it squeaked away in depseration.  My mom asked if I could kill it.  “No! I don’t want to go near it,” I cried with tears streaming down my face as I confronted my new-found phobia.  Finally, she talked me through the process of using a broom to get it in a bag.  Which I put in another bag, and promptly took to the dumpster. 

I spent the night at Best Friend’s.  I went home to find a trap I bought (one that kills) triggered.  And yet another mouse struggling on a sticky trap.  And once again I swept in into a bag, into another bag.  And it writhed and squeaked and I realized if I took it to the dumpster and it struggled more it would just starve to death.  So I did what I thought was humane.  I grabbed a brick I use to prop up the air conditioners, and dropped it on the bag.  Twice.  I had to put the thing out of its misery.

And when I tell this story, most people gasp at the thought of me killing the mouse.  But I didn’t know what else to do.  Because I am not running a B&B for Mickey and his friends.

Bluebird brought her cat over to patrol.  And two more nights have passed, bringing no more mice.  And I’d like to keep it that way.  Those bricks are heavy.  Plus, I hate to think they’ve turned me into a killer.

And now, back to my hiatus.  Pretend this never happened.  I know I’d like to.

For your listening/viewing pleasure…

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