Monday, December 31, 2007
and today is new year's eve. it's hard to believe that another year has passed, especially one as eventful as 2007 has been. in no particular order, i jumped off a melting iceberg, got a new job, started grad school (in which i'm currently getting As, thank you very much), had an accident, bought a red mixer AND laptop, went on some dates - some good, some horrible, made some new friends, managed to keep all my old ones, witnessed some amazing sunsets and a few truly unbelievable acts of weather (including a double rainbow in the midst of armageddon-type clouds and birds that literally glowed gold in the sky), saw lake michigan from 96 stories up, came within near spitting distance of the pacific ocean, had two brushes with famed musicians, perfected my peanut butter cookie recipe, AND although i spent more days in pain than not, realized that i'm actually way stronger than i once thought i was. i'd say that's quite a bit to cover in roughly 365 days, don't you?
well, 2008, i have no idea what you've got in store for me, but i suppose i am as prepared as i'll ever be. so bring it on....gently, all right? :)
happy new year, all.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
anyway, the last month or so, i've been - for obvious reasons - very concerned for him and his family and prayerful that they could all be fully at peace with one another in his dad's last days....
friday night i learned through a friend's blog that his dad died 10 days ago and the funeral was that afternoon. my heart broke when i found out the news, even though i had been expecting it. it's hard to find out something like this and to feel so remote. all i can do is pray for them - that they would know some measure of peace and comfort in the midst of all of this....that they would all actively sense the presence of a God who loves them intimately and personally, even though they might not see him with their physical eyes.
which brings me to christmas. this year i've sought to place the majority of my focus on a child and a family whom i do not know - whom i will never know - to help bring them some joy, some idea that someone out there cares for them, in the midst of what must be an otherwise difficult time. and the fact that i can do this for these people fills me with such joy, i cannot even explain it.
i know that the gifts i gave (and salimah gave as well) were physical things, but as we bought them, i asked God to love them through the things....to help them sense the presence of someone whom they cannot see but who loves them deeply and personally. and really, that's why Christ came - to make a way for such a relationship.....to give earthly evidence of the kind of love that God has for each of us - a deep, personal, intimate love that started even before we came to this place.
i want to keep with me the brokenness of loss and the hope of promise all at once. i don't want to lose my sensitivity to what's going on around me, in the lives of friends and loved ones, people i no longer know or ever will. we all need the same thing. michael's dad needed it. those children need it. i need it. we need to know we're not alone. we need to know that someone loves us deeper than we can fathom. and somehow this Christmas, i'm believing that God can remind me - all of us - that He does. in our sickness and depravity, in our triumphs and our losses, on Christmas and Hanukkah and solstice and the second tuesday of the month, in the desert of iraq, in our suburban ennui, when we're mean to one another, when all hope is gone, He does.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
so my first flight back last thursday meant waking up at 3:30 PST to get to the airport by 5 for my 7 a.m. flight. i got on the plane and was waiting for everyone else to board when who should sit down RIGHT BEHIND ME but the legendary mr. harry belafonte!! my seat-mate didn't realize it was him until i pointed him out and she had a minor freak-out about it, even trying to take his photo with her phone after we had been told to shut off all electronic devices. he politely refused, covering his face with his hand. i'm thinking leave the man alone. he's 80. he doesn't need to be bothered.
harry spoke to the flight attendant a few times, mostly to request potato chips. (at one point he asked for 50 bags, which made the flight attendant giggle. apparently they were so delicious, his seat mate started requesting them as well. it's all about peer pressure.) his voice reminds me of gray cashmere....smokey and hoarse and lovely somehow.
when i went to get off the plane, i couldn't resist, so i leaned over my seat and said, 'excuse me.' he looked up at me. 'i just wanted to tell you - you're so lovely.....' i said. he looked me deep in the eyes, thanked me, beamed a huge grin, winked at me, and thanked me again. what a great moment that was. i told him to take care and i left. as i walked out of the gate, i saw who i assume was his granddaughter waiting for him. he's a dear man. i could just tell....
anyway, i obviously made it back safely, although since then i've been recovering from sleep deprivation. somehow i'm still tired, even after a week of being back on a fairly regular schedule. of course, it might help if i went to bed at a decent hour, but i digress....
tomorrow is the last day of my first semester of grad school. i can't believe i've almost made it! one more assignment to turn in, and then i'm done. and then i get a 10-day break and start all over again. *sigh* them's the breaks....
all right, i'll post something again soon. promise. in the mean time, allow me to leave you with one of my first glimpses of the pacific ocean, in all its glory....
Thursday, December 13, 2007
woke up this morning feeling slightly refreshed - at 4 a.m. local time, i might add! had a lovely phone convo for about 30 mins from 4:45 to 5:15, showered, dressed, checked e-mail, and then met my coworker for breakfast downstairs. had a ham and cheese omelette and some truly delish freshly squeezed oj (you've GOT to love california fruit!), along with strawberries and pineapple that were both sweet and delightful.
made our way to the office via cab and hit the ground running with day 2 of the long meeting. ended around 1, got some work done, and then left the office around 4 (7 by my internal clock) so that i could get taken on a little drive in my coworker's miata. i was most impressed that i managed to fold myself into the little number....further impressed that after over an hour tooling around in brisk air, my hair still looked pretty good! i saw the pacific ocean - finally - as well as some palm trees, a bunch of cool little houses, and some fun neighborhoods. oh, and smelled some truly divine mexican food (next trip). met up with the work peops at a lovely restaurant on a marina and had some nice wine and food....got to meet some others from my department, took some group shots, and had quite a little vibe going with our waiter (waiters love me) - especially after i informed him that he looked like ben affleck. he even winked at me on my way out and shook my hand. can you blame him? i'm enjoyable. oh, and i must say - i had some macadamia-encrusted mahi mahi with a peanut sauce, mango coulis, and a shot of frangelico somewhere in the mix. SO good.
anyhoo, suffice it to say that i work with some truly fantastic people. my coworker and i were discussing on our way back to the hotel how refreshing it is to work for people who are so passionate, knowledgeable, and down to earth. i'm so thankful for my job right now.
so, LA's been good to me. i'm glad i came, got to see how the other half of the country lives, etc. but truth be told, i'm SO ready to come home. my eyes are bloodshot, i feel out of sorts, and i'm tired as crap. but all in all, it was a good trip.
i'm off to bed again, because 4 a.m. (even if it's really 7) comes mighty early.
pictures will be forthcoming (if i got any decent ones!!)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
so, i made it here safe and sound. it was a long flight, but a relatively uneventful one. i left my apartment at 4:30 this morning and got to the airport and through security without delay. on the first leg of my journey (to atlanta), i sat next to a lovely gentleman who is ending his naval career and preparing to go back to being a civilian in another year or so. we chatted the whole way. he reminded me of a couple of people i know, so it felt like being next to an old friend. and more than anything, it made the time FLY.
the second part of my journey was much longer - more than 4 hours - and before we even took off, i thought the man next to me was having a heart problem. they nearly had to stop the plane and take him off. but he rallied and seemed to be fine for the rest of the journey. our trusty pilot managed to shave a half hour off the flight time (woo hoo!) so i made it to LA by around 11 local time.
after sitting in a very interesting but very LONG meeting, i made it back to the hotel. i am sitting here in my room with a stomach full of juicy burger and ice cream i ordered from room service (sparkling water to drink, of course), and i'm thinking strongly about bed. yes, i know it's only 7:25 local time, but to me, it's nearly 10:30 and i've been up for almost 19 hours now. yeesh.
i have meetings all day tomorrow, then a holiday party for my department, and then thursday i get back on a plane...back to the city that reads...back to deal with my car needing to be repaired and all of that. can't wait:).
so far, i have this to say: LA is HUGE. being on the plane, i was astonished at how big and flat this city is! and not as smoggy as i was expecting. in fact, atlanta was WAY smoggier. also, new mexico has some truly interesting landscape. finally, on airtran, go for the cinnamon-raising pita chips. delish!
that's all for now. i'm off to bed....
Monday, December 10, 2007
i need to finish packing my bag and then i must get to bed. 4 a.m. comes mighty early.
see ya, east coast. be home soon.
Friday, December 07, 2007
wednesday i worked from home because i had an ultrasound scheduled for the afternoon. as i sat at my desk and watched the snow falling outside all day, i wondered if i should reschedule my appointment. no, i thought, it'll take too long to get another one, and i need this situation resolved asap.
i really did think about it long and hard, but at the end of it all, i decided to go. so i made my way through slushy streets in the sleeting rain to GBMC, trudged through the snow to the physicians' pavilion, waited in an overheated office for what seemed like entirely too long, and finally got called back for my test. my podiatrist wanted both feet looked at, just to be sure, but essentially the test was to confirm what we both suspect: that i have a rather large neuroma (swollen nerve, essentially) in my right foot that is causing major pain and discomfort.
the test didn't take very long - 15 minutes at the most. when it was over, the ultrasound tech said simply, i don't see anything, sarah.
seriously, i was flabbergasted. what do you mean? i asked. she explained that normally with a neuroma, it's pretty obvious, but she said that i'd still need to wait for the final reading before i got my hopes up - or down, as the case may be.
i left the office feeling truly crappy. i mean, it's not that i want to have this wrong with me, but at least it would be a diagnosis that makes some sense of the pain i've been in for nearly a year now. at least it would mean that the next step could be taken - a procedure that might actually relieve the pain. but no. back to wearing athletic shoes everywhere i go for the foreseeable future.
so, i drove back home through what was now increasingly icy slush. and i almost made it home without event.
not 50 yards from the entrance to my apartment, bella and i were trundling along slowly when out of nowhere, the car in front of me spun out of control and crashed into a parked van at the side of the street. i immediately tapped my brakes, tried my best to slow down, but bella's tires had no traction, and i knew immediately that this wasn't good.
as my beloved car crunched into the passenger side door of this woman's car, i cried out in agony. it was all i could do not to cry....(don't worry - i did plenty of that later on.)
i called the cops, we stood around in the cold, filled out forms, waited. no one spoke to me. i was alone in the snow and the dark....with no neuroma in my foot and the pain still stinging from the ultrasound. i couldn't believe what had just happened. and it was only wednesday.
since then i'm slightly less frazzled, getting over some ambient soreness and an upset stomach (from the tension, i'm sure), and trying to brace myself to inspect my isabella when i leave the apartment tomorrow morning. it will be okay, i keep telling myself. really, it will.
i have work piling up around me, 2 weeks left of class in this semester, and a business trip to LA this week. in between all of that, i have to take bella to get inspected for damages and find time to pack and prepare myself for my first cross-country flight ever.
at the end of the day, i'm not injured, though (and neither was the other driver or her passenger), which i keep trying to remind myself is the most important thing. but can i be honest? i'm frustrated. and disappointed. and over the last couple of days, i'm chagrined to admit there's been a lump in my throat more than once. i'll say this, though: in the midst of all this mess i realized all over again that my friends...and my parents...are amazing. so supportive. people called to check up, offered to bring me whatever i needed (which was nothing, really). my boss let me work from home. my new coworker called several times for moral support. and a lovely person let me blubber my eyes out on the phone for at least 45 minutes that night. oh, and on top of that, i got an unexpected refund check from school for an amount that more than covers my rather hefty deductible. thank God for that.
so, really, sarah, it'll be okay, you see? really, it will.
Monday, December 03, 2007
i had a pretty productive weekend. got all my shopping done for the salvation army family salimah and i adopted, as well as an angel tree child i picked for myself. right now i've got 5 bags of toys and clothes sitting in my living room. some kids are gonna have a great christmas this year. that makes me feel happy:).
in other news, the tempo is definitely picking up at work. i'm trying to keep myself calm about it, but because i have a big learning curve (new job and all), i'm a bit nervous about doing a good job on my first big project. oh, and finding enough time to do my homework AND sleep. yeah, that'd be great.
speaking of biz-related items, i fly to lala land next week to meet my department and sit in on some meetings. first trip to the west coast. should be exciting to see how the other half lives:).
i need a quickie dinner (turkey sandwich) and then off to do homework. such is the story of my life these days....
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
in other news, i think i've become studious. i mean, i'm actually getting all my work done on time and i'm kind of obsessed with grades. this hasn't happened in, like, ever. i mean, seriously, i have this goal to graduate cum laude or magna cum laude or whatever is available that involves some honors, and i'm really hardcore about it these days....so much so that i've started making speeches to most of the people i care about that involves me announcing that it's been nice knowing them, 'see you in '09'.....stuff like that. i don't know what's come over me. i suppose i should just be thankful that i'm not slacking off and let it lie. but the nature of my obsession is that i can't let it lie. or anything lie, for that matter. in fact, i think about my grades on a regular basis. i'm constantly checking the gradebook to see if the professor du jour has posted last week's grades....and i'm all offended when he doesn't - to my specifications. and then it makes me grumpy - sometimes for days at a time. do you SEE what's going on with me? it's madness, i tell you. madness.
i bet you wish i'd just stuck with the head cold theme, don't you? but see, blog readers, it wouldn't be ME if i didn't let you in on my crazy little thoughts, now would it?
all right. that's all i've got for now. sleep beckons. i'm going to take a decongestant and get acquainted with it. 'night.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
finally, however, i'm getting somewhere. after spending about 3 hours in that room yesterday, salimah and i emerged (covered in dust, i might add) with about 7 bags of stuff for goodwill (plus an old air mattress and pair of crutches) and just as many bags for ye olde dumpster. it felt GREAT to purge like that. i even got a huge box of stuff out of my closet (again, a storage room that never went back to its original purpose once michael moved out) and got rid of half of its contents.
more and more these days, i want to let go of things....leave a space in their stead, either to be filled with something better or, sometimes, nothing at all. empty corners are my new dream for myself.
and i suppose that part of growing up is learning to say good-bye. yesterday i found some literary magazines from high school that, for years, i felt were important to keep. seeing them again yesterday, i felt nothing for them. that let me know it was time to let them go. there was no longing attached. but heck, sometimes even if there is, i still send things off with my very best wishes that someone else will find them special for a time.
besides, i've heard it said that if there's no room in your life - your heart, your wallet, etc. - how can it be filled up with the things - or people - you want?
Friday, November 23, 2007
desipte the wackadoo weather we're having lately, i'm happy to say that i had a lovely, low-key turkey day with my friend vanessa and her fam.....a little bit of eating (not too much), a lot of talking, and some baby-watching (her 2-year-old nieces are a trip), and then i made my way back home. i was hoping to get my paper done (due today!!) but i was really tired and wound up doing a little bit of work and then a lot of vegging out - and eventual falling asleep on the couch. oh, and speaking of the couch, i managed to get chocolate on my white sofa, so i had to wash a few of the slip covers last night. honestly, that piece of furniture is starting to look a bit dingy and i'm starting to feel like i want a new couch (even though it's in perfectly good shape). am i awful?
anyhoo, this morning, i took advantage of a corporate perk from my new company - discounts at the apple store - and bought myself a new ipod. my old one is starting to show some wear, and i've had it for several years now (thank you, salimah). it's time for an upgrade to one that shows video. i'll be thankful to have that on my upcoming biz trip to LA in a few weeks. it's all about 6 to 8 hours of flight time, so you can bet i'll be watching some movies....
speaking of ipods and holidays and all things festive, i have an announcement to make:
let the countdown begin....
thank you, and good day:)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
last night salimah and i went to our dear friend vic's 40th bday party and after coming home kinda late and spending some time fixing her ipod that had lost its mind, we both took a muscle relaxer (i was achy and she had some muscle tension headache that was driving her crazy). well, these things knocked us both for a LOOP. i had the most deliciously long sleep i've had in ages, and even after getting up and under some hot water, i still felt like i could crawl right back in and keep sleeping.
eventually we got ourselves going, went to my beloved mari luna for lunch (so delicious, i can't even tell you), and then ran some errands until early evening. our travels took us to whole foods (last stop) where i procured some yummy things for the week and some spiced shrimp with cocktail sauce for tomorrow (or maybe tonight?). i'm in the mood to mull some wine and watch a fun movie. unfortunately what i need to be doing is cleaning and homework. blech.
for now, i'll settle for a good night's rest (sans sleeping aid) and a productive day tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
i was just thinking in the shower this morning (where all truly good ideas come to me) how much everybody wants to belong to somebody. it seems that lately, i've met more and more people whose marriages are in shambles and i can't help but wonder - what happened in that situation to make one or both of them feel that they no longer belong? these thoughts, of course, are all juxtaposed against the fact that one of my dearest friends married her sweetheart this weekend, and i have every confidence that they will go the distance. truly, they've already walked some miles - some of them quite difficult - and all it did was bring them even closer. i'm quite certain that my friend never finds herself in that position - of having to ask to be counted. and i'm SO glad for her.
i don't know why i bring all this up this morning. maybe it's because i'm feeling sentimental. maybe i didn't get enough sleep last night. or maybe, at the heart of it all, i'm realizing that i'm in a place where i am content. i may not be in a marriage - or anywhere close to it - but i've got deep, lasting friendships with people to whom i matter a great deal. in my early 20s, i was so blazingly insecure - so concerned that no one really cared about me - and it put people at a distance, i think. no one really had a chance to care as much as i wanted them to. all my worry kept them at arms' length.
but now, it's not about that anymore. if you love me, great. if you don't, that's okay, too.... i'm not meant to be adored by everyone. and the people who matter consistently rise to the top in my life. my friends are the cream, and i'm just so glad to have them. and that counts. it really does.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
there was a BUNCH of other weird stuff going on, but i think that gives you enough of a taste to the inner workings of my tres bizarre psyche. devika, feel free to analyze;)
in other news, today my friend maria gets hitched! i'm off to new jersey, folks....
Monday, November 05, 2007
1. got a flu shot last monday. had the aches all week, although they seem to be gone now (fingers crossed).
2. started my new job on tuesday. such a different environment - which is a good thing. the people i work with/for all seem great and very knowledgeable - also a VERY good thing. i'm looking forward to learning a lot and contributing to something i believe in. i would say the only downside at this point is that my cube is quite tiny and sits on a major thoroughfare, so the noise can be a bit much, but i'm hopeful that i'll get to move at some point within the next few months. no biggie.
3. friday i was in whole foods getting a salad for lunch when i saw this man standing next to me. i kept thinking to myself, that man looks exactly like michael feinstein, the singer/pianist. so i went up to him and said, excuse me, has anyone ever told you that you look like someone? he nodded. michael feinstein? i asked.
yes, that's me, he said.
i admit that i got a tiny bit exuberant at this point and half-shouted, i love you! i have your gershwin album! he seemed genuinely pleased to hear this and we chatted for a moment about what he was doing in town, etc. when i told him that i missed his concert, like, 7 years ago because i had gotten sick, he looked me dead in the eye and started serenading me! embrace me, my sweet embraceable you....embrace me, you irreplaceable you.... honestly, how great is that?!
he was lovely and charming and i was bummed not to be able to see him at the BSO this weekend, but perhaps next time. michael feinstein, you made my week!
4. saturday was a sushi hana throwdown with salimah and my friend kim. i just love it there....so delish. so when dinner was over, we were all feeling like we wanted a little something sweet. we asked our waitress what kind of ice cream they had. she started rattling off a list of sorbets: coconut, mango, etc. and then she got this excited look on her face and said, and we have egg-soddy-bumble! the three of us all said it after her....egg. soddy. bumble?
it turned out to be an exotic bomba, which was sorbet covered in two kinds of chocolate. we all passed, but let me tell you. egg soddy bumble will never get old. welcome to the repertoire.
5. week 1 of my new class is down, 7 more to go.
6. i'm gonna be late for work if i don't get a move on.
7. the end!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
but you know what? i’ll keep going. that’s what there is to do in life...you just keep going. if you even KNEW how significant of a statement that is in my family, you’d smile along with me right now.
there was a time in my life where i needed to take some time…to NOT keep going. to keep going, in fact, felt so antithetical to any real progress in my life. now, however, i’ve become my mother and her mother and her mother before her. i get slapped with something unpleasant, and i fix my hair, straighten my collar, and get on with it. life might give you lemons, but instead of taking time to make lemonade, i throw them in a bag and decide i’ll deal with that later. ecclesiastes still reminds me that there’s a time for EVERY purpose under heaven—a time to deal and a time to refrain from dealing.
and outside the window of the starbucks where i’m sitting, the rain is pouring down and there are a lot of questions still left unanswered and me? i’m fine. because right now my purpose is to plow through. plow through every disappointment and heartache and bad day and pain in my foot and pain in other places and just. keep. going.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
i'm not sure where the majority of the last 4 days has gone. all my best laid plans have gone completely awry, and it's clear to me that i've slipped into a tiny baby bit of a funk. i'm gonna need to get myself out of it - and fast.
salimah and i hit up my beloved bj's tonight (i re-upped my membership) and picked up staples for this weekend's party. i always worry that we won't have enough food. truth be told, i feel awful about it, because my original intention was to do all the cooking, but it became rather clear earlier this week that THAT wasn't going to happen. so much of it will be prepared. oh well. it wasn't really about that anyway....
i'm off to do homework. some days i can't believe i have 1 3/4 years left of this program before it's over....i can't believe i'm even thinking that way already. see what i mean? this funk must end NOW.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
oh, and i have to say that i heart my new dell laptop. it's red (shocker) and has a matching wireless mouse. the whole setup makes me smile.
on the docket for the rest of the day: meet up with salimah, procure some beer and wine for this weekend's autumnal fete, make more headway on my mini business plan, due thursday, and try to eat a reasonable meal that includes some vegetables. this shouldn't be so hard, right? this is what i'm thinking.
in other news, i've been truly concerned about the recent widespread fires in california. i suppose i'm thinking about it more than i might otherwise because i'm supposed to fly out there sometime in the next couple of months for work. i hope my soon-to-be colleagues are all okay....
well, john mayer and i wish you well, wherever you are right now. i think my hour is soon to be up, so i better post before i lose all this pithy stuff here. peace out for now....
Monday, October 22, 2007
my last day at work was slightly anti-climactic because several people were off that day and they had given me a sending off on thursday. friday was really all about helping a friend with her resume, going out to lunch with a couple of girls, and basically chillin like a villain until 4:00 came. and when it did, i was surprised that i choked up a tiny bit when hugging a few people good-bye. but mostly it was all about smiles and lightheartedness and no regrets for leaving as the door closed behind me. besides, the people i've made as friends will continue to be my friends, and the rest is just a bag of experiences i take with me to apply (or not) in my next venture.
so, after leaving the job, i raced home to change and then met up with salimah, maria, and mel at christopher-daniel in timonium and had a fantastic meal to cap off the week...heck, the last 3 years. it's funny - i've been waiting for this for SO long, it seemed like it would never happen. i think it was at some point during my delicious 'diamond' martini that the realization finally came: this is actually over now.
and let me tell you, people....there was smiling. a lot of it. and it wasn't just the liquor talking:).
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
thank God i have some good friends who are here to bring me back to reality when my nerves start to fray...who will tell me the truth and forgive me for talking crazy and who offer some hand-holding for those moments when i just cannot deal with the unknown. what i wouldn't do without them.
and in the midst of my freakouts of late, there have been several (nay, many) people at work who have expressed to me heartfelt good wishes and who hug me and tell me they're proud of me and that i'm gonna be just fine.
and you know what? i think maybe they're right....
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
1. i slept in. until 9:30. this felt like heaven to me.
2. my hair is now at least 2 inches shorter with lots of layers again. it's gotten its mojo back and that, quite simply, makes me happy.
3. i bought a laptop. a red one!
4. it's freezing in my apartment right now. we've finally gotten a douse of fall-ish weather, and i love it! cocoa out on the balcony tonight with blankets and slippers - this is my prediction!
5. salimah is coming over and we're having dijon salmon, fresh green beans, and roasted baby potatoes for dinner. can't wait. i'm so excited, i might even crack open some wine!
6. i had a great phone call with my soon-to-be boss. she sounds fantastic and i'm truly excited about the work i'll be doing. it promises to be a great learning opportunity.
7. i'm in love with this little blue bird who sits on my desk. his name's fyodor. here's a pic of him with the as-yet unnamed sheep who hangs out there as well:
8. u.s. news and world report has been showing up at my house for the last several weeks. i have no idea why.
9. my eye is tearing and i'm not sure why my new glasses haven't come in yet.
10. a quickie vacation is just around the corner. sweet Lord, how i need it.
that's it for now. must go pick up salimah at the light rail stop. happy friday!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
grad school is going really well, even though i'll be glad to get through my introductory classes and into the 'meat' of it; also, i'm taking 2 classes right now, and somehow i feel like things will be less confusing when i only have one at a time. we'll see.
yesterday, 10/10, salimah and i celebrated 10 years of friendship. it's astonishing to me a) that we've known each other that freaking long and b) how much has happened in our lives during that time. i was so scared and easily hurt 10 years ago....so anxious and full of shame. thank God things look so different these days....
oh, and finally, there is this boy....:)
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
lately, however, my life has flipped the script on me. things that normally would take extra steps or the jumping over of obstacles to attain have been practically falling into my lap. and just when i think things couldn't get better, then they do. and it's happened in nearly every area of my life over the last 3 months. i'm trying not to analyze it too much; i don't want to question or complicate. i'm just letting things be what they are.
and man, does it EVER feel good....
stay tuned. in the coming weeks i hope to be able to share more specifics....but not just yet. some things are still too new to give a name. but i'm happy. i'll just say that. and really, isn't that enough?
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
some days i cannot make myself do grad school homework; some days i am so resolved i almost cannot bring myself to goof off. i'm not sure why i swing from one end to the other, but i know one thing for sure: consistency all too often hangs out there like a carrot on a string, taunting me.
it's a day in, day out struggle and some days i lose the game before it even starts. but then, there are the days where i come to the end feeling like a victor and let me tell you - those days make the others worthwhile.
and besides, the last time i checked, people who are all virtue aren't having nearly as much fun as those of us with a little streak of the naughty. and some of us have more of a streak than others....
Thursday, September 27, 2007
anyway, if it makes you feel any better that i've been rejecting you, consider that i've missed one of my favorite shows, 'the biggest loser,' for two weeks in a row because of homework or some other activity. oh, and there's been a load of clothes in the dryer for at least 5 days now waiting for me to retrieve and fold the items. heck, i haven't even managed to put the new roll of tp on the holder. it's just sitting on my countertop like an afterthought. really, it's not good.
oh, but maybe this will make you feel better: i think about you all the time...really, i do. something will happen and i'll think oh, this is SO bloggable but then the moment passes and i move on with my day. but the thought was there, and that counts for something, right? right?
either way, i know i'm lame. i'll try to do better in the near future. heck, this post alone should show something of my renewed commitment!! now then, i promise i shall cease and desist with the horn tooting starting now-ish:).
in summary: school continues to get more intense, work has been its own bag of tricks, and there are some slight developments in the personal life. that's about all i've got.
i hope you're doing well. and i promise we'll see each other again soon. call me, k?
Friday, September 14, 2007
i'm making a lasagna for my friend maria. she's never tasted my cooking and since she's moving to new jersey in another month or so, i wanted to have her over and just be able to hang out outside of work.
i spent the morning at the car dealership getting bella all spiffied up (also, she had a recall on her windshield wiper fluid cap, so i had to take care of that). she deserved new oil and to have her tires rotated. it's nice to be pampered every once in awhile.
tomorrow i get a hair cut, hang out with a friend, and hopefully get some homework done. then sunday i shall rest:). it's important to have one day where things aren't going full tilt.
happy weekend, all:)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
this is an excellent photo-essay about the first responders who, over the last 6 years, have suffered horrible health problems; as a result, many have lost their lives. they, too, deserve to be remembered today - every day.
in our hearts and in this world, may God's peace reign.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
also, grad school started on tuesday and i've been making my way through the first assignments. this is the only time in my program that i'll be taking two classes at the same time, and it has already been a bit confusing; the assignments seem to switch days (class 1 on the first day, class 2 on the second, and so on), so if i can remember what day it is, i'm okay.....which means i'm not always okay!
anyway, it's going well so far, i think. so strange to be back in school, though, and my how things have changed in the last 10 years. when i graduated from hopkins, i was just barely starting to use internet references. i don't know how comfortable i feel with citing web sites (unless they're evergreen, so to speak). i'm sure i'll still be using ye olde librarie from time to time.
tonight, i'm having a miniature organizing party with catchka. we will play with highlighters, get our syllabi straight, and then order dinner. lovely!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
sure, one might want to know salimah because of her awesome music collection, total recall of pop culture references, ability to intersperse literary quotes into daily conversation, affinity for guinness stout and scotch (neat, even), willingness to have madcap adventures at a moment's notice, facility with creating poetry so lovely, some are moved to silence (yes, i couldn't resist that one), or perhaps her general uber smartypants ways, BUT i love having her as a best friend because she is generous to a fault, completely honest (at times, brutally so), laughs loud and long at my jokes (some of which are even funny), 'gets' what i'm saying, allows herself to be surprised by my quirks--even after all this time, has embraced my eccentric family (and they her), remembers all the things that are important, gives me hugs when i need them (and even when i don't), stands up for my best interests, accepts me for who i am (bad stuff included), and cheers me on when i attempt anything that excites me. she is a phenomenal woman, much stronger than she knows, well-loved by her friends (and family), respected by colleagues and fellow students for her professional and academic aplomb, and she can be a true silly heart when you really get to know her. salimah, you deserve EVERY good thing that comes your way this year. i wish i could be with you to celebrate today, but we have many more days to celebrate you (and oh yes, there will be cocktails!), our friendship, and everything amazing that God has done in your life. as ever, i am so privileged to know you. your star shines brighter every year.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
seriously, people, either my subconscious mind is trying to tell me something, or it was the mexican food i ate for dinner last night. i'm hoping for mexican.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
the cut was surprisingly small for the amount of blood it produced. and thankfully, after a few moments of applying pressure, the flow had stopped. so i cleaned up my foot, applied antibacterial ointment, and bandaged it like crazy.
needless to say, after dinner there was mopping of the kitchen floor and feeble attempts to locate the source of the cut. no such luck. i don't think i have to tell you i'll be wearing my flip-flops around for a few days inside the house.
today is a new day, however. i got in a nice little weg's run this morning, stocked up for the next week or more, and stopped by the blockbuster to pick up some flicks and the dunkin donuts for an iced skim decaf coffee (super tasty, btw). i've showered and have a load of laundry in. i plan to do a tiny baby bit of tidying, watch at least 2 movies, and make something involving ground turkey for dinner.
oh, and the rerouting of the cable? not gonna happen today.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
let's see. some random tidbits from this week:
1. i got a pit turkey sandwich from the pennsylvania dutch market today. they clearly put crack in the meat, because that thing was SUPER tasty. no cheese (waste of points), little bit of bbq sauce, incredibly fresh roll (white flour, but worth it in this case). yum. also picked up a lancaster county tomato that i plan to eat at some point over the weekend as well as some sesame/flax crunchy snack chip things. not sure what they are, but again, delish.
2. speaking of food (again), chili's is a great option for people doing ww. they have some reasonable foods there points-wise. you can even get one of their mini desserts (that's served in a shot glass), which is a few points and just that right little bite of something sweet without being overwhelmed by a plate full of calories.
3. i've been loving the ipod at work this week. the project i'm working on requires me to speak to almost no one, so i pretty much plug in and tune out. heaven.
4. i desperately want a pedicure, but there are 2 problems: i have a rather large bruise on my foot from the shot i got a couple of weeks ago and frankly, if anyone tried to massage me, i'd probably involuntarily kick him or her in the face. i don't need a lawsuit right now. so much for cute toes.
5. i made a decision recently to start wearing eye makeup on a daily basis. i decided it's ridiculous to own eye makeup and not USE it. and one of my new year's resolutions for 2007 was to actually use the stuff i own. food in the fridge, candles that need burning, post-it notes, you name it.
6. i have a 50-dollar amazon.com gift certificate. i'm salivating at the thought of what i could buy!
7. i'm planning on rerouting my cable this weekend (shh - don't tell comcast) to reclaim use of my second bedroom. for the last 2 years, it's pretty much served as a guest room/repository for random crap. i want to make it useful again. besides, with grad school starting in 2 weeks, i want a place to put all of my school stuff that ISN'T my bedroom.
8. i've been getting dizzy spells the last few days. i feel fairly certain this has a lot to do with the fact that my head is pretty stuffed up. this happened last year before i got my death shroud illness. i'm hoping it's not a harbinger.
9. i couldn't be loving 'top chef' anymore if i tried. and thank the lord that 'america's got talent' is over. the ventriloquist won. he really is quite good. cas haley - love ya, but how can you beat a singing turtle impersonating kermit the frog? okay, i feel embarrassed to admit that i watched that show. moving on....
10. i'm tired. this isn't news. i feel like i've been tired for 2 weeks straight. this is a good way to tell you i'm going to bed now....or at least going to lie in my bed and think about sleeping (which, who am i kidding, will lead to sleep before too long).
Monday, August 20, 2007
i've been on to you from the beginning. fyi, if you're going to be a liar, get your stories straight from the get-go, because some of us are able to recall simple details (i.e. things said from day to day).
is it wrong that i find all of this hilarious? i didn't think so.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
looks like the laundry and cooking i was planning to do will have to wait for another day....
Thursday, August 16, 2007
on the upside, i had a delicious salad at california pizza kitchen tonight with salimah and caryl (who is trying out for american idol later this month - AWESOME!). it was a great time of hanging out and catching up. and then i came home, had some ice water, and watched the finale of 'so you think you can dance.' i know you're jealous of how my social life ROCKS. don't deny it. :)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
i've clearly consumed too much salt in the last couple of days, because i'm also retaining water. isn't that funny? so thirsty yet holding on to water like there's no tomorrow?
it seems that the body is in one constant state of rebellion or another.
Monday, August 13, 2007
the older i get, the more i find that writing is like bloodletting....and it's not just the chronicling of my daily goings-on, but it's the picking and choosing of words to get at the heart of the matter....the forming of images that plumb depths beyond depths.
the only other thing in my life that opens doors like this is music. a little more than a year ago, i joined a gym and was hardcore about going (this was before a long illness and subsequent injuries). i will never forget this one day - i was so completely agitated, it was all i could do not to just blow through the roof. i had already made a rap/hip-hop/r&b workout mix, and i knew that the only thing left for me was to tire myself out and leave the madness behind at the gym. so i got on that treadmill and started walking. i listened to every mary j. blige anthem, every song about being better off without someone, every rapper's angry tirade. and through the music and those artists' honesty, i was able to lay down everything i felt, all the crap that was clogging me up inside. their art freed me.
at the end of the day, i am interested in what unencumbers me. i am not interested in being tied down by unnecessary burdens - emotional or otherwise - so if something lifts me up and allows me to be open to possibility and to say farewell to the madness, then sign me up.
as for me in this moment, i'm not quite where i need to be just yet, but i'm going to distract myself with tilapia and roasted veggies and the hope that tomorrow may not be like today. but if it is, the words will be there....and i'll use them if i need to.
last night i made a casserole, finished my laundry for the week, and, because i am a sap, watched 'extreme makeover: home edition.' if ever one needs a little cleansing boo-hoo, that's a great way to get it. the people and their stories never cease to tug on the heart strings - all the more when i'm already feeling kind of emotional and worn out.
went to bed early last night, slept relatively fitfully, and i predict i shall be sleepish by 1 p.m. today. we'll see how long i last before i start fantasizing about napping....i could sure use a little respite right about now.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
how do you like your grilled cheese?
buttery, on whole grain bread, perfectly browned, with cheese that oozes and leaves a stringy mess when you pull it apart.
where was your last vacation?
chi-town, baby. at least that was my last time away. my last bona fide vacation was last summer to asheville, nc (sigh), but i was sick as a dog the entire trip.
who are your godparents?
i believe my uncle ed and aunt mary
how long has it been since you bought a new toothbrush?
i use a sonicare, which rocks the HOUSE, so i buy replacement heads once a year (2 per pack).
where are you at noon every day?
during the week, sitting in my cube thinking about lunch.
how many speeding tickets have you gotten?
well, to my great shame, i got my first one right after i bought bella last year (she's just too pretty to drive slowly). and then right after THAT, i got a red light camera ticket for going through one (just barely) in the rain because i didn't want to slam on my brakes and skid into the intersection. ridiculous.
do tarot cards tell the truth?
i find them bogus.
what was your favorite movie in junior high?
i had three: 'dirty dancing,' 'stealing home,' and 'shag' ('why can't we just tell your parents we didn't want to go to fort sumter and tour g-d colonial homes? we wanted to go to the beach and meet boys and go to wild parties and dance!')
what is the last thing you said out loud?
'byeee' as i hung up the phone with salimah
what do you think of the iPhone?
ridiculous waste of money
what is the weirdest thing in your bedroom?
i don't know that i have anything truly 'weird' in my bedroom, but if i did, it'd be nunyabizness!
where did you get the shirt you're wearing?
well, to be perfectly honest with you, i'm sitting in a towel. i have a bad habit of air-drying on saturday mornings.
do you use a plan book?
i've tried to use a planner, but honestly, no. my brain seems to work fine for now.
at what age do you plan on having kids?
the more i think about this, the more i wonder if i'll ever have them....
when was the last time you swam?
like, actually swam laps? it's been years. got into the water and bobbed around? hmm. a couple of years ago, in north carolina at a hotel with my ex-bf.
what do you order at subway?
well, if i must rely on subway (which i try not to), these days, i get something very virtuous: 6-inch turkey sub on whole wheat, no cheese, with honey mustard, onions, tomato, lettuce, olives, green peppers, and maybe banana peppers if i'm feeling saucy:).
do you keep your closets organized?
well, my bedroom closet is fairly organized right now. my linen closet is VERY organized right now. the coat closet in the front hallway is semi-organized (i hardly use it, truth be told), and the closet in my second bedroom is a nightmare. but let's not talk about that.
how do you make headaches go away?
have you owned a betta before?
if you moved out of state, what state would you move to?
illinois (chi-town) or massachusetts (boston)
how old is your best friend?
did you attend preschool?
heck yeah, and i LOVED it.
what do your shower curtains look like?
my bathroom has a door (stall shower), and my second bath has a red curtain with a paisley design on it and eiffel tower shower curtain rings.
did you have an imaginary friend as a child?
i tried to, because i thought it would be whimsical, but i just didn't feel like sustaining disbelief long enough. i'm far too grounded in reality for such things.
how do you make eggs?
i like them any which way, but some classic favorites are poached, fried (over medium), or scrambled with goat cheese and caramelized portabellas in a whole wheat tortilla
where do you wash your clothes?
in my laundry room inside my apartment
which parent do you look most like?
i think my dad, although there are moments that bits of my mother creep into my face
who are the neighbors who live to the right of you?
if you're facing my door, it's an older couple with some random kids, grandkids, and Lord only knows who else.
what are your thoughts on tom cruise?
loved him in 'jerry maguire.' it was his last good movie before going insane in the membrane.
what is the next vehicle you wish to buy?
this isn't even on my mind. i'm in a lease for 3 more years, so wait for it.
do you pay bills online or by mail?
everything is online except my rent.
what would be the best gift someone could get you right now?
a maid service and/or some cold hard CASH
what is something stressful you will deal with next week?
what is something in your home that you collect?
how far north have you been?
maine or quebec
where did you last get gas?
hmm, i think at a citgo. not sure.
how do you take your coffee?
i don't drink coffee much, but if i DO, it's decaf with lots of milk or fat-free half&half and a bit of sugar.
what is the oldest thing in your fridge?
i've been purging recently, but there are condiments that are several years old. plus, there are some nuts from a couple of years ago. i should either toast them or toss them.
on your keyboard what key is wearing out from pressing it so much?
the ones that tend to go first are the s, the a, and the t, but at this point, nothing has worn off. there IS a patch on my space bar, however, that is showing some wear.
where do you put your keys when you come home?
on a table right next to my couch, just as you come into my living room OR on the butcher block in the kitchen
where do you go for thanksgiving?
these days, i tend to spend it with friends.
how old will you be in 2010?
on july 1 of that year, i will be 35.
what actor/actress would play you in a movie?
i don't know. somebody wicked smaaat.
how much cash is in your wallet?
i have a few coins. maybe 7 cents. maybe.
would you have a one-night stand with your favorite movie star?
i'm not really a one-night stand kind of girl. then again, i'm not getting any younger! ;)
what color is your house?
i don't have a house, but the outside of my apartment building is kind of beige.
if you were starving to death would you eat a pet?
well, i have no pets, so i can safely say no:).
ever been to alabama?
what kind of accent do you have?
i've picked up a little of nearly every place i've been/lived: a bit southern, a bit midwestern, a bit jersey, and a TINY bit maryland, hon.
what kind of alcoholic drink could you come up with in your fridge right now?
vanilla martini, pomegranate martini, baileys, and the makings for a truly delish margarita
in other news, i slept for the majority of the evening yesterday. i basically came home from work, checked blogs for a bit, and then snuggled into bed for several hours, with occasional interruptions for phone calls, etc. otherwise, i was just sleeping. then, at around 10:30, i got up to chat for a bit and then went back to bed around 12:30 and slept until 7:30 this morning. clearly i was pooped.
in the last 3 hours, i have managed to do all my dishes (several days overdue, to my great dismay), replace my pur filter (i'm a pur girl, not brita), and watch the end of the movie 'singles' while eating leftover shrimp and broccoli from thursday night. good times, people. good times.
i'm in desperate need of groceries. i ran out of bread AND poultry sausage, so yesterday's breakfast at work was a half bowl of cereal dregs. pathetic. but to make up for it, i had delicious sushi at lunch yesterday, compliments of my friend shannon:).
today i do believe i'll chi my hair in preparation for going out to see a play tonight and hang with friends at starbucks afterwards. i've got laundry to do (we'll see about that) and need to do a little dusting and vacuuming. otherwise, it's all about how to get my arm to stop twitching. seriously, i can do without the spasm, thanks. no, really. thanks.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
speaking of being at my job, during my lunch break today, i went over to the weg with a friend and we were eating in the cafe upstairs when the power went out in the entire store. TWICE. needless to say it was pretty freaky. when we left, it was POURING outside, so in an effort to be valiant, i informed my friend i would just run and get the car (well, pseudo run), which would have been fine, except that i got to what i thought was bella, and i'm trying the door and thinking what the heck is wrong with my door lock?! when it dawns on me that i'm attempting at this point to force entry into someone else's vehicle. nice. so i turn around and look at my friend, standing under cover and in no way soaked the way that i am at this point, and she points to the next row over where my car plainly sits. so i run over there and throw myself into the vehicle. people, it was raining so hard that my underwear got wet from water coming at me from every which way (including up my skirt, apparently). it was sheer craziness. at least i managed to dry off by the time i left the office at 5....
so after a quickie nap (sorry to say, it was inevitable), i ordered myself some shrimp and broccoli for dinner (very low on groceries). because i was SUPER hungry, i clearly ate too fast, and now i sit here typing about my day's adventures with a case of indigestion. good times.
i'll take one weekend, please. well done.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
asking nothing in return
except the lessons i will learn
by holding crazy faith
i've been touched by that bright fire
down to the root of my desire
while the smoke it rises higher
on crazy faith
you're not asking if i love this man
i know you don't, you don't believe you can
yet i've seen love open like a dancer's fan
it's crazy i know
but my faith says so, it tells me
am i a fool for hanging on?
would i be a fool to be long gone?
when is daylight going to dawn
on my crazy faith?
the questions will not let me sleep
answers buried way too deep
at the bottom of a lover's leap
made by crazy faith
you're not asking if i love this man
i know you don't, you don't believe you can
yet i've seen love open like a dancer's fan
it's crazy i know, but my faith says so
it tells me
love your losing, lose your love
let the hawk fly from the glove
then do not search the skies above
search your crazy faith
love is lightning, love is ice
it only strikes the lucky twice
once, so you will know the price
and once for crazy faith
you're not asking if i love this man
i know you don't, you don't believe you can
yet i've seen love open like a dancer's fan
it's crazy i know,
but my faith says so
Sunday, August 05, 2007
i guess some things never change....
Saturday, August 04, 2007
honestly, sleeping feels like such a waste of time to me some days. the older i get, the more i prefer the 'up and doing' philosophy my family has always espoused.
so, in the spirit of that philosophy, i better get my butt up off this chair and get to the doing!
Friday, August 03, 2007
on tap for the weekend: finish an online orientation course for school, fill out financial aid award papers, clean my bathroom, buy more veggies, watch some movies....not sure what else.
okay, off to the grind!
Monday, July 30, 2007
in addition to all this, i'm feeling this distinct sadness right now. it seems that as the days get shorter (even just a bit), the longing inside me grows. God, how i wish i didn't want all the things i want. i wish i didn't still want them, even after i've been told they're not mine to have...or at least not yet.
things are fine, you know? i mean, sure, they could be better, but they're fine. and it's the fine that's killing me. it's the fine that drives me to distraction. because i don't want fine. i want amazing. i want life-altering. i want comfort and familiarity and something deeper than what i've had before. i want vacation pictures and inside jokes and fits of laughter and favorite spots. there's no sense in pretending otherwise. once you want something more, trying to un-want it is like packing a whole world of possibility back into a matchbox. and what sense is that, really? that opened world will spill out everywhere and make itself known regardless.
well, there, i said it. so now you know.
brighten my northern sky
Sunday, July 29, 2007
okay, so onto other things....
i've gotten so much done this weekend, my head is spinning! laundry is nearly complete, vacuum and ALL other necessary items have been procured, grocery shopping (including seriously macked out produce and a few staples from trader joe's) was done before 10 a.m., dusting and vacuuming of living room is ova, and dusting and vacuuming of bedroom is about
dinner tonight will be something light with lots of fruits and veggies, although i'm not quite sure yet what that will be. oh, and within the next hour, i hope to sit down on my couch and watch 'blood diamond,' which i've been wanting to see for awhile now.
i'm going back to work tomorrow feeling like i ACTUALLY got something accomplished. gosh, that's just a nice feeling. last weekend's trip to chicago was amazing, but it totally threw off my chore schedule. lots going on in the next few weeks (including the start of my mba program), so more than ever, i need to stay on top of the logistics. even though they tell you not to sweat the small stuff, if that stuff adds up, it can really kill ya.
on duster, on bissell, on swiffer, on sweeper! okay, that's all the reindeer names i've got for now....
Friday, July 27, 2007
1. return library books (maybe check out a couple of new ones)
2. watch and/or return some movies
3. make a target run (new vacuum, dish drainer, citronella candles)
4. get produce, bread, peanut butter, and dairy (milk and eggs, mostly)
5. vacuum and dust the heck out of my apartment!
6. laundry - lots of it
i plan on hitting target at 8 a.m. tomorrow and then the library before picking salimah up at the light rail.
in other news, i'm contemplating getting a new desk (right now, i use a tabletop, actually) for the start of school. i really don't have enough room to work (partly because i have too much stuff on my desktop) and i cannot be doing schoolwork at my dining room table. ick. of course, i don't have the money for this just now, but it's on my personal wish list. we shall see....
off to clean up before i hang out with my friend nina!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
in other news, i have to say that subway - while not my favorite restaurant - really IS a great place to get a ww-friendly lunch. if you avoid the cheese and scary mayonnaise and other creamy condiments, you can really get quite a bit of food for not that many points. i'm all about bang for the buck, so to speak.
it's 11:20 and i should be asleep by now, but i took a post-work nap that was longer than i anticipated...what was i thinking??
i just keep remembering this one moment on friday morning. i was standing in front of the sears tower; i looked up into the brilliant blue of the sky, felt the breeze blowing all around me, and knew i'd remember that snippet for a long time to come. it was the moment that something inside me said yes.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of people, too
People who smile at you
And each time I leave, Chicago is
Tuggin' my sleeve, Chicago is
The Wrigley Building, Chicago is
The Union Stockyard, Chicago is
One town that won't let you down
It's my kind of town
the first item of import is that the weather was AMAZING. low to mid-70s, perfectly sunny, and breezy. no humidity. did you hear me? my hair was beside itself with happiness (that, and the chicago water made it look particularly perky).
friday, after a breakfast we wound up getting for free at our hotel, we made our way into the city on the L and proceeded to wander around for an hour or more before getting our bearings and heading in the direction of the palmer house hotel, where we were scheduled to meet our 2:00 mini bus tour (but not before salimah tried to get us a free ride on an out-of-service trolley by flirting with the driver - bummer it didn't work).
after 2 1/2 hours of chicagoland sight-seeing - including the field museum, lake shore drive, buckinham fountain, the trump towers (several times), wrigley field, and oprah's house - we decided to head to lou malnati's for some serious deep-dish chicago-style pizza. holy crap - this stuff was delicious.
i could get all technical on you (okay, i will) and say that while there was sausage on this pizza (the layers are as follows: sliced mozzarella - which was fabulous - raw sausage - their own special blend - and a chunky tomato sauce, topped with herbs and romano), it was in NO way greasy. the flavors were subtle, the crust perfectly cooked, the cheese appropriately stringy, and honestly, while i am a fan of thin crust, new york style pizza, this was an experience all to itself. i know i'm gonna crave this treat until i get to have it again. oh, and for you east coasters, don't waste your time with pizzeria uno. it doesn't hold a candle to lou malnati and what he's got going on....
so, after our pizza break, we took our one and only cab of the trip (all the rest of the time, we took the L and buses to get everywhere - a completely accessible option, in my opinion) to the top of the hancock building, where we proceeded to have delicious but overpriced cocktails at the signature lounge. the view was spectacular, but i did get a bit of vertigo from the experience (you could actually feel the building moving a little bit). in this photo, you can see the sears tower in the distance. it's truly an awesome sight.
by the time we left the hancock building, the sun was JUST starting its descent, so we made our way back to the train and trundled off to our hotel by the airport. once back, though, we were feeling up for just a BIT more adventure, so we decided to go off in search of a REAL chicago-style hot dog. there was only one option at this point: superdawgs. so, we put sleepy salimah in the back seat of the car and made our way north and west. (the one adorable thing i will remember about salimah from this trip is that every time we got on public transportation - train, bus, whatever - this girl was napping! at one point during the superdawgs outing, she briefly woke up and asked if we were in wisconsin. you have to love it.)
well, folks, i'm here to tell you that the superdawg did NOT disappoint. here are the dawgs now.... this place is just charming and the food is really great. plus, it's a drive-in with car hops, so you can just sit in the parking lot devouring the beefy goodness and watch all the classic cars roll through. it's like happy days or something. a bit of a tip: i'd avoid ordering the sport peppers on the top. i felt like they made the eating experience even more unwieldy and plus, they really were rather hot!
in case you don't know, by the way, a chicago-style hot dog includes finely chopped onions, mustard, bright green sweet relish, a kosher dill pickle slice, slices of tomato (although the superdawg had a wedge of a pickled green tomato), sport peppers if you want, and all of this is packed into a steamed poppy seed bun. at the superdawg, your beefy treat is also nestled in among some superfries and comes in its own cute little box. anyway, enough of the food lesson. we finally got back to our hotel and passed out, exhausted from a packed day.
saturday morning we headed back via train and went to navy pier (which juts out into lake michigan and has tons of places to eat, shops, and rides, including a huge ferris wheel). we lunched at charlie's ale house and then hopped on a cruise around the pier and the lakefront. afterward, i did manage to purchase a few small souvenirs, and then we hopped on a cross-town bus to second city where we saw a truly hilarious comedy show. i fully expect some of these folks to be on SNL any day now....
after walking around a beautiful little neighborhood in the north end of the city, we hopped the public trans. back to the hotel where we geared up for our final hot dog run of the trip - this time to portillo's. (those things are addictive!) salimah then suggested that we round out our final night with drinks back at the friday's attached to our hotel. after two (including a long beach iced tea), i was pretty much down for the count, so i left the girls and went back to our room to shower and pack for our early departure back to b'more. (4:40 is when the alarm went off this morning!)
this weekend was filled with fantastic moments, lots of great food, amazing weather, gorgeous scenery, incredibly friendly people, hysterical laughing fits and hijinx on the train, and the feeling that this will not be the last time chi-town and i will meet one another. it occurs to me, though, that if i keep going back, i might really not want to leave....but maybe that's not such a bad thing....
well, in the mean time, i'm going to gear up to get back in the swing of things tomorrow. but before i do, let me raise my glass. chicago, you're a true class act. you exceeded all my expectations. your people are friendly, your streets clean, your drinks delicious! (okay, that wasn't really the selling point - although they were.) i know now why frank felt the need to croon about you. here's to next time. you really are my kind of town....
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
listening to a little nelly while i charge my ipod. other than the fact that i haven't washed up a few dishes, all systems are a definite go....
Sunday, July 15, 2007
after driving salimah home - with groceries in tow - i got gas and made my way back to my still-dusty-but-much-tidier apartment. i'm contemplating lunch, which at this point is sounding more and more like some heated up chicken satay with brown rice (purchased at trader joe's earlier today).
i'm still kicking butt on the ww and i'm managing (relatively successfully, i might add) to keep my head in check. the only wound sustained in the fray of the last 48 hours is an occasionally bleeding cuticle. and once again, doesn't one part of life mirror another? for it seems that despite all my best efforts, some bit of me - no matter how small - cannot manage to hold itself together.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Le jour de gloire est arrivé.
Contre nous, de la tyrannie,
L'étandard sanglant est levé,
l'étandard sanglant est levé,
Entendez-vous, dans les compagnes.
Mugir ces féroces soldats
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes.
Aux armes citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons,
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons.
today i am building my own fortress. today, for me, marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. unfortunately, i'm not quite sure what's beginning. what i do know is that the memory of bloodshed stays with a person perhaps indefinitely. i am not the same girl i was 18 months ago. i feel on some levels that i was stronger then. i had a clear resolve and fortified defenses, but i allowed those things to crumble around me in the hopes that someone else might take up my cause (two is better than one, after all). but it didn't happen, and what it left me with was desolation.
so i set about to slowly rebuild - and rebuild i have. and today it is from the top of my embattlement that i sing heartily along with the french. although if i'm being honest, inside these castle walls, there's a broken heart that has yet to mend.
today my goal is to be as focused as i can on the things i can do right now: eat well, have fun with my friends, and plan for my trip to chi-town this coming week. i will endeavor to keep my mind from the one thing that plagues my thoughts, infiltrates my dreams, and wakes me from every peaceful sleep. it is the ache of all aches.
first, shower. then eat. then lay another brick. and another. and another....
Thursday, July 12, 2007
in other news, i'm sticking to the ww like a fiend. last night we had a retirement party for two women who have been with my organization for a LONG time (one nearly 40 years). it was an emotional event with many tears and tons of food everywhere. i ate like a peasant (a vegetarian one at that) and avoided the creamy crab dip. it wasn't that hard, really. i don't need something derailing me at this point. i'm just not interested in it.
plans for the weekend include getting my hair cut/highlighted, doing some chores, catching a play on saturday night with salimah, and scoping out some furniture a friend of mine is giving away. i may be in for a new bedroom suite. we'll see....
things are moving in the right direction. just in time.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
finally, as i began to get myself back in the saddle health-wise, i started having major foot problems, which have continued to this very day. being sick and/or in pain in some capacity nearly every day for an entire year can really wear a person down. couple that with some colossal disappointments in my personal life, and the hits just keep on coming. no matter the effort i put into my goals, the answer kept coming back loud and clear: not this time.
well, in the face of starting over, i find in myself slight (and sometimes a lot more than that) trepidation, but my resolve is strong nevertheless. i believe that, by God's grace, this year will be different than last. day 2 of ww was a bear, but i made it through. this season is all about telling my body who's boss and getting it to show me the money.
Monday, July 09, 2007
so, i'm back on weight watchers. i've reached the point where i'm ready to start back up again and i was tired of crapping around. so today after work, salimah came with me, and i hobbled my way through trader joe's and picked up a bunch of great, quick, healthful foods that will jumpstart my new regime just swimmingly.
tomorrow's breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, 2 slices of turkey bacon, 2 pieces of wheat toast (it's pretty thin), a dab of brummel and brown, and a small grapefruit. that ought to hold me good and plenty until lunchtime. i need major food in the a.m. - including lots of protein - otherwise i'm just no good. no good at all.
since i can't work out the way i'd want to just yet, i'm focusing on the food. one thing at a time, people. one thing at a time.
and furthermore, the only way for me to be successful is to treat myself like a new recruit in boot camp. of course, there will be slightly less screaming going on. slightly. believe me, i've got an inner drill sergeant. and you can bet yer bippy she's got a bahstahn accent....
Thursday, July 05, 2007
here's an example (albeit an unpleasant one): if you've ever seen the animal cops show where they go in and rescue abused animals, you may have seen episodes where they find houses packed with cats (literally hundreds) and while the animals may be in some stage of salvageable physical health, they're so feral that they have to be put down because they are truly beyond the point of setting right. it's so sad to me because in every fairy tale, the story ends with the point of rescuing (except with an afterthought to be like, 'oh yeah, and they lived happily ever after'). but what about the people who are rescued but who are still beyond hope of anything resembling success coming their way?
now, i'm not talking about chronic mental/physical conditions that might prevent a person from having what most people would consider 'normal/everyday' interactions with others, but is anyone ever so marked by the past that, aside from God's heart towards the person, he or she is basically unacceptable? is there always a possibility of coming back from things, or is it sometimes just not going to happen?
i honestly don't know.