Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lazarus at the Ballpark

I have been a bit of an invalid this week, struck down by a pretty nasty case of pharangytis. The good people in the ER at Northwestern dosed me up with some antibiotics and pain meds that took a few days to kick in, but I'm now doing pretty well on the road to recovery.

And it's just as well that I've rallied from my deathbed so well, because it's the Memorial Day long weekend and Miss K has come into Chi-Town to spend some time with me. She arrived on Friday evening around 9pm and we chatted a bit and watched some TV and then crashed.

We were up early-ish yesterday and enjoyed a nice breakfast together at home, walked around the neighbourhood in the beautiful Saturday sunshine and browsed the market garden set up at the primary school on Melrose. Then we met Dr G and spent a lovely afternoon watching the White Sox play at Cellular Field. It was Miss K's first baseball game and aside from the cold winds whipping around us, she enjoyed the experience. I am not sure that Miss K will ever forget the fluoro hot dog relish (direct quote, "Eeek - that colour does not occur in nature!!").

After the game, we took the El back downtown and got off in the City (leaving Dr G to head home for a much-needed nap), and me & Miss K watched the new Indiana Jones movie. We both really enjoyed it - lots of the good old stuff and it was nice to see Harrison Ford back in his famous role.

Today we slept (really) late and we've had a leisurely breakfast at home, and we're about to go and meet Lex & C for a visit to Lincoln Park Zoo. My mission? To finally find the meerkats. I know they're there but in the three or four visits I've made to LP Zoo in my time here, I've never seen them. Today will be a different story entirely!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Now I know how the caterpillars feel

FaLLing dreamS ..
Originally uploaded by COLoriya.

For months it feels like all of us in the City have been hibernating, cooped up indoors and only venturing out to go to and from work. If we've headed out for social pursuits, it has been done with some reluctance because it has brought with it the need to lug around a raincoat, umbrella, and other such water-repellant accessories. And speaking for all of us, we've had enough.

So it's a welcome surprise to see some sunshine today, and feel genuine warmth to go along with it. I walked to my hairdressers today, rocking out to my ipod, and genuinely having a great time. Buses sailed by me, but I wasn't having it. People were driving past me, with dogs hanging their heads out the window, smiling goofily. It seemed that everyone, whether on two legs or four, was having a great time outdoors today.

And this has come at the end of a pretty good couple of weeks, all things considered.

I have gone out socially a few times this week, continuing my 'culture vulture' tendencies by going to the theater. I went to see Eddie Izzard in his latest show, "Stripped" and it was a hoot. He just has great timing, such a creative brain, and wonderful delivery. I've now seen Eddie 3 times and I think he's great.

Then last night I went to see "Shout", a musical with amazing songs from the 60s (think Dusty Springfield and just about anything that Burt Bacharach ever wrote). It isn't a musical that will change your life in any way, but it was still very well done and the girls in the show are very talented (you'd have to be, to be on stage full-time for 90 minutes - yikes!).

With the weather still so unpredictable, the theater is still the best place for me to hang out and I have a few more shows I want to see in the coming weeks.

But next weekend is the Memorial Day long weekend and K is coming to town. We have baseball tickets (I'm going to see the Sox - shh don't tell my Cubbies), but all I want is for the weather to hold out for us so we can walk around and enjoy Chi-Town some more. Fingers crossed!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Dad's birthday - the basics for a mexican style dinner
Originally uploaded by tg81.

Today I was excited because KH had just become a grandmother for the second time, but otherwise Monday-itis had threatened to creep in and devour me.

But today is also Cinco de Mayo ("5th of May") and it is a time when pretty much everyone around my neighbourhood commemorates an 1862 battle in Mexico between the Mexicans and the French. Today it is standing-room only in the Mexican restaurants around town, as everyone finds a legitimate reason to slam Patron shots on a school night.

As for me, I've decided to stay home and start my own tradition. I am making my inaugural Cinco de Mayo beef chilli and so far, it's working a treat. I've even found a cable TV station that is broadcasting amazing Mexican tunes [I have no idea what they're singing of course but they sound very happy and it's really feelgood, mariachi-style music.]

My apartment smells so great and even though I suspect the aroma of chilli powder and smokey cumin and jalapenos is going to take FOREVER to come out of my sofa, I am loving it.

And don't worry, I don't have any Patron in the house - or any alcohol at all for that matter. So clearly I did not plan this little one-woman fiesta too well after all, did I?

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

At least it's not Gwyneth's head in a box

If you've seen the movie "Seven", you're unlikey to ever forget the full list of the 7 deadly sins. After my relatively action-packed Saturday, I was the very embodiment of SLOTH yesterday and I was absolutely thrilled about it.

I got up early and did some loads of laundry, and felt a bit of a lame rush of excitement when I put brand new sheets on my bed. Come 11am, I had clean sheets, towels, and clothes, and I was ready to stare and the wall and wonder, "What next?".

Then I came to my senses and realised that I could quite comfortably lie down on the sofa, and stare at the TV instead. And so that's what I did. After a couple of "Food Network" shows, and an old Eric Bana DVD, I had a snooze for a while.

I had opened my windows up nice and wide yesterday so my apartment was full of honey-coloured light and the most relaxing soft breeze blowing through. It was impossible NOT to be relaxed.

When I woke from my nap, I realised that I had slept more heavily than I'd intended, and so I was feeling pretty out of it. But I forced myself to eat a small dinner (my first and only meal of the day), and then I watched a bit more TV before putting myself to bed.

Now of course Kevin Spacey doesn't need to bust into my apartment and bolt me to my bed for a year to demonstrate the folly of SLOTH. I needn't be punished for enjoying a bit of downtime now and then - and if you can't chill out on a sunny Sunday, when can you?!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving

I headed out yesterday morning to buy Jammin' Jems a birthday present. Feeling well chuffed that I was motivated so early, I stopped by Borders to get "Sundays At Tiffany's", the new book by James Patterson that has been getting rave reviews.

Sundays At Tiffany's

Then I called in to Aveda to get some hair product because at this point I hate my hair so much I just want to shave it off. This pomade is my last-ditch attempt to salvage a haircut that is driving me crazy (and now I think I'll last until my appointment with R-r-r-r-raoul next weekend).

Aveda Light Elements Defining Whip

By that time I was exhausted, and it was only 11am, so I paused for a few hours and watched the new Helen Hunt movie "Then She Found Me" at the cinema. Of course I cried. In retrospect it was Helen's own fault - she cried onscreen a number of times and I'm a sucker for that. Plus I love Bette Midler and would watch that woman in just about anything. But of course Colin Firth was just dreamy and had some truly beautiful lines in the film and said things to Helen that every woman wants to hear at least once in her life. If someone says those lines to me one day I will be a happy girl. So yeah, it was a good Kleenex day.

So the lights came up in the cinema, I was emotionally spent, but ready to face the shops and get the birthday present. And so once more into the fray.

"Victoria's Secret" yielded a body lotion and fragrance I had been meaning to buy. I think there is something conceited about a scent called "Very Sexy Hot" but hey, it suited my skin and was an inexpensive summery smell, so I think I can deal with it.

My latest summer fragrance purchase

The clothing store saw me load up on a summery dress, a couple of tops, and some spring jackets for work and by then I couldn't carry much else. It was fortuitous I guess that PL called up and offered to buy me a Turkish coffee at the store nearby.

Coffee turned into a burrito and a margarita, which turned into a quick shower & change to head out to a wine tasting and then onto "Rise" for sushi and more Aussie white wine. That turned into red wine at "Coobah" and then more red wine at "Eno" downtown. Somehow we switched to white wine at "NoMi" and then I had to lie down and sleep for a very long time.

And so Jammin' Jems, you'll have to forgive me but I have not bought your birthday present yet. By contrast, I did very well out of this weekend hehe.

Friday, May 02, 2008

It just slipped out, I swear

When I was living back at home, I house sat for a former boss of mine when he and his wife went on holiday. Fortunately I only had to look after myself and the house, as his dogs (who I suspect he loved more than the house) were on their own holiday with Grandma & Grandpa.

Taking me on a tour of his house, showing the locations of lightswitches, and demonstrating the finer workings of the hot tub, we ended in the kitchen. He smiled wryly and told me how he'd taken the liberty of stocking the fridge with milk, eggs, and butter to get me started - and he'd also bought a few extra goodies for the freezer. He opened the freezer door rather theatrically and pulled out a single-serve lasagne. "Spinster Lasagne!" he declared, and chuckled to himself hysterically. I had to admit it was kinda funny.

Cooking for one has become my strong suit and I love being able to cook what I want, eat what I can, and freeze the rest. It's a routine and it works.

But tonight I knew the weather would be bad, I desperately wanted a night in, but I was craving steak and vegetables. So off I trudged in the high winds with the greyest of grey stormclouds rolling in overhead, and into the supermarket for a turbo shop.

Getting to the register, I chose my favourite 'checkout chick', who is actually a transvestite. I adore him because he is so friendly and charming and compliments me all the time. Looking at my meagre order, clearly identifying that I was cooking steak and veggies, he smiled at me conspiratorially and said, "ahh, is your baby at home then tonight?".

And I said, "yes".

No sooner was it out of my mouth than I realised what he'd said. And how I'd responded. I'd basically just invented a relationship. By then there was a queue behind me, and I knew everyone had heard, so I couldn't very well correct myself.

So there I was, rambling on about my plans for me and my home-alone baby (who I hope wasn't actually meant to be a baby, rather a grown up man), and dribbling a whole bunch of rubbish about what meal I was going to cook. Naturally the fact that I bought Ben & Jerry's icecream PLUS two boxes of muffin mix only further compounded my domestic bliss lie.

I know that in the scheme of things, this was a white lie, and doesn't count for much, but hey - I even surprised myself about how quickly I fell into this relationship fairyland.

Something tells me though that if my 'boyfriend' happened to see just how quickly I devoured my steak & veggies tonight, he probably wouldn't have been all that attracted...