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I’ve been a bad, bad girl.  Or a bad, bad blogger anyway.  So bad that I missed my own blogoversary in February.  This blog itself is two years old.  And I did nothing to mark the occasion.  Sorry blog, sorry blog buddies.

Maybe it’s because there were another two years behind these past two years of blogging on the now defunct Reality Check (may ye rest in peace ol’ blog), but somehow lately I am not feeling the creative blog juices flowing.  I never wanted blogging to feel like a chore, and yet lately it somehow does.  It’s something that I sometimes feel like I have to do, rather than want to, at any given moment.  And yet, overall I do want to blog.

Blogging brought me a lot of unexpected things, including some friends, some quite good friends actually.  I never knew coming into this that it wasn’t just a one-way street o f my pumping out my insights and anecdotes.  That with comments back and discovering other bloggers, I’d find a way to connect to people.  People I consider friends.  Who cheer me on when I need encouragement, celebrate when the good happens, and have offered sympathy and support if it’s something bad.

And so, I apologize to you.  I feel somehow I’ve let you down.   And you’re sometimes what keeps me coming back.  Which is the best part of all.  I know you’ll be here whenever I have something to say.  And for that I thank you.  On on this, my belated blogoversary I send the happy and good wishes your way.  Thanks.

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If you want to get me riled up, go after my blog. It is personal. I try to give it some depth, to refrain from being “surfacey.” And even though sometimes I regret something I wrote and wonder about whether or not to blog, the fact is, it’s a part of me. I’ve only ever tried to be genuinely myself on here, because it’s an expression of me. Diss it, diss me.

Which is why, a comment on my most recent post pissed me off. Not only because it was rude and out of line, but because it came from a family member. A cousin on my dad’s side of the family. Admittedly, I haven’t had a lot of contact with that side of the family since he died. Hell, I didn’t have a lot of contact with them before that. There was clearly something going on there. But that isn’t important. What is important is this: a few months ago I realized that family, other than my mom and sister, had found the blog. But I took it in stride. It’s publicly posted and this is par for the course.

But to suddenly get a comment like this, from someone, I can’t even remember the last time I spoke to, is too much. He was completely out of line and harshly judged me for no damn reason. So Matt, this is all I have to say:

You’ve had enough of this? Fine with me. If you’ve had enough of this, then don’t fucking read it any more! I’m going to assume no one is up there in Milwaukee with a gun to your head, forcing you to read my blog. I won’t miss you if you stop reading. Perfect solution for us both, really.

On mortgages: Thirty-year olds might not own a house, but to say NO ONE owns a house is a stretch. My mom owns her house. That’s what happens when you PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE. I’m sure wealthy people and people whose houses have been in the family for generations own the house. Nothing like hyperbole though.

On wine: I’ll get where? Seriously, this isn’t the only time you haven’t made the most sense in your comment but whatever. And I do like a generous glass of wine. I’m half-Italian, after all.

On uncles: I’m aware my uncle, your dad, is dead. I was at his funeral.

On musical taste: Once again, do I give a fuck? If my blog or taste in music is painful to you, GO AWAY!

I ain’t cool? How the hell would you know? You don’t know ANYTHING about me. You probably don’t even know my middle name or my birthday, or where I went to school or what I do for a living. Which is fine. I don’t know much about you in that respect either. Since I don’t know you, I will not offer any commentary on whether or not you are now, or used to be, cool. Although your comment? Pretty uncool.

And yes, I know your mom reads this. So does your sister MP. They have let me know they read it, in nicer ways than this. If you feel the need to lash out at the family, I can actually understand that.  But why you’d choose the youngest cousin on that side of the family, whom you haven’t seen or spoken to in 15 years, is beyond me.  Hopefully though, since you’ve had enough and find the experience of this blog so painful, you’ve realized by now that you don’t need to be here.

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This is my 200th post to this blog.  Even the hiatus didn’t stop me.  I’m not sure how many posts I had to my old blog any more, and it doesn’t exist, except in its finest, which is not its entirety.  I don’t think I’ll ever again erase years worth of blogging and thoughts. 

Anyway, since I came back to blogging, I’ve been wondering where some people went!  And since it’s my 200th post, and I would love to hear from you I’m declaring my own de-lurk day.

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Please leave a comment.  You can tell me your thoughts on my blog, that you think I’m weird, I don’t care. Tell me a story.  Leave your favorite quote behind.  I just want to know you’re out there.

As added incentive, I decided to hold a contest for this de-lurk.  As I said, you can de-lurk however you like.  But I will chose my three favorite de-lurks and then we’ll all vote on whose we like best.  That person gets a prize, hand-selected by me!

So, show me a little comment love.  Leave a message.  Consider this your beep…

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Doesn’t it just figure?  I decide I’m ready to blog, I make a couple of posts, and then I got nothing.  Nothing!  Maybe I’m just a little rusty on the ol’ blogging but really, I had four years of experience and have a natural propensity towards writing.  You’d think it’d be like falling off a bicycle. 

Instead….

(insert sound of chirping crickets here)

And I can see people are turning out in droves to read it too.  Sigh.

Help a fellow blogger out.  What should I write about?

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Not long after I decided to take my hiatus, I noticed something about this lovely chenille throw I’d recently bought myself at Target. Like many throws, it is adorned with fringey tassels at either end. One night I saw that one entire edge of the fringe was a massive, matted, knotted mess. It was not sleek and soft like it should be. I started fighting with it, got really frustrated and just gave up, ready to resign myself to a semi-mangy throw that I would just try to conceal.

Then a few nights later, as I sat watching TV under the soft chenille goodness, I thought to myself, “You can do this, just start at one end, take your time and sort it out.” And as I finished watching some drama, segued into the news and late night programming, I did it. Slowly, it untangled into a presentable, smooth and sleek picture of what fringe should be. And it struck me. That’s what I needed to do with my life.

Ok, enough of the cheesey, metaphorical ah-ha moments. Things I did while on hiatus:

-Celebrated Halloween, as a flapper girl.

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-Voted. And my guy finally won! Just when it was most important. As soon as 10:00 hit, CNN projected Obama as president-elect. And I had tears in my eyes. Not just because it was my guy, or because of the inspiration and hope he instills in people. But in all honesty because I never thought I’d see a non-white president this soon in my life. I was really, truly proud of America. Until I heard about all the anti-gay legislation that passed. It seems we may have come far racially and maybe even along lines of gender, but not sexual orientation. It’s sad. Especially because really, whose business is marriage and family? Whose? Is my life any different if two men in Boys’ Town or two women up in Andersonville want to get married? No.

-Dealt with a mouse situtaion. Thank you all for your supportive comments about how brave I was. I wasn’t. Ask my mom who heard the hysterical tears that accompanied me facing the reality that I would have to dispose of the writhing, squeaking, very-much-alive mouse in my kitchen. But I had to do it. That’s me. I do what needs to be done. And I can do it. But damn if I just don’t want to do it. I want, just once, someone else to kill the bug, or dispose of the mouse, or change the lightbulbs.

-I went to a friend’s wedding. Which, while a joyous occasion in and of itself, was interesting for two reasons. One, because it was the first time I was at a Catholic mass in a very long time. We’re talking years. And PS why does the Catholic church insist on a full mass for a wedding? Is there something wrong with JUST the ceremony? I digress. As my first Catholic mass in a very. long. time… I blanked out on the response to the readings. And so when the first reading from Genesis (much to Sixth Degree’s chagrin) was over and the reader said “The World of the Lord” I said “Amen” not “Thanks be to God” which I quickly mumbled instead.

This wedding was also interesting because of the reception. Sixth Degree had told me she thought this wedding would go all out. But I don’t think either of us expected a full-on desert buffet. Now, I haven’t been to a ton of weddings, this is true. I think my constantly single status has actually saved me from about half the weddings most of my counterparts have out there. Anyway, at the weddings I have been to (or in as the case may be), you eat your dinner and get a piece of the wedding cake. Not so at this reception. We didn’t see a crumb of that wedding cake. Instead, we were served a rather large desert, and when we went to get coffee we found a buffet of more dessert–cakes, tarts, fruit, bon-bons, chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecake, brownies, cookies. And when we left, they gave us our wedding cake. Like I said, I’ve never seen anything like it–but I approve.

-I volunteered at a local shelter. There is a neighborhood in Chicago called Lincoln Park (there is also a park by that name stretching a good portion of the lake shore north of downtown, and this neighborhood borders a portion of the park). The LP is pretty upper-crusty, but they have a community shelter that, I found out, functions as more of a program and less of a stop in for a bed and meal one night, kind of shelter. There are requirements for people to stay there and they offer programs to help people get back on their feet like job searching. Anyway, my friend, Sista had volunteered once and when she went again, I joined her. We made dinner for the residents–chili and some sides, nothing fancy but a good solid meal. It’s very humbling to be reminded of these people, sleeping in bunks and eating communally in a renovated church basement. As I headed home to my own apartment, stocked with food in the cabinets and refrigerator, and three rooms all to myself, it was a good reminder for the next time I grumble about waking up to go to work, or get a credit card bill for my shopping trip to Target. Right before Thanksgiving, it was a good, gentle reminder of everything to be thankful for.

-Saw Margot & the Nuclear So-and-So’s, one of my favorite bands this year, perform. This was the first time I’ve seen them live and they sounded great. Also one of their opening acts–Kaiser Cartell–was really good, so a new musical discovery. It was a successful musical venture.

-Went home to Minnesota to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Recharged my batteries, ate some turkey, laughed, drank some wine and most importantly, was thankful.

-Went to my high school reunion.  It really is a post unto itself, a high school reunion.  So while you all await more, I will say this.  I went with my two best friends, Erica and Erin.  There is no one I’d rather get on that time machine with than these two.  Anyway, I hemmed and hawed for months, nay years, about going to my 10-year reunion.  In the end, I’m really happy that I did.100_6363

Oh, and in case you hadn’t realized–I think I’m back! And ironically, the snow just came to Chicago today.

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Busy

I now interrupt the insanity of my work day/week to draw a breath and say: sorry I haven’t been such a great bloggy buddy lately.  I may have to mark you  as read, but it’s just to get a fresh start.  I’m still here.  I’ll be coming soon to a blog near you and leaving a comment.  Promise.

And this weekend, I’m taking a trip.  To visit Kendra in Denver.  It’s pretty much guarenteed to warrant some posts for you all.  So you won’t have to stare at memes for so long.

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Ok seriously…is it already August? When did that happen? No, really. The year is two-thirds over now. Although all in all, it’s been a pretty great year, so I’m quite looking forward to the final four months. And along those lines, ironically as my head whirls over the fact that it is now August, I’m also really looking forward to the mid-to-end part of the month, so I definitely would like August to get a move on.

It’s been a stressful week, but one that had some definite ups as well. And that’s good. Finding a reason to smile each day eases the stress and helps you forget your troubles. But I’m tired, I had two busy weekends with a week of doctor’s visits and trips to the ER sandwiched in between, so I’m ready for low-key. Oddly enough, my weekend plans include a pig roast; I don’t eat pork. But it’s about the people I get to hang out with.

So if you didn’t notice me around this week, that’s why. I’m trying to get caught up though.

I think I addressed everyone’s questions of late. If I missed something, if there is a stone still left unturned or a question you must have answered, let me know.

And that’s the end of the filler post.

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