Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stone Arch Festival of the Arts

If you're not busy the weekend of June 16-17 (Father's Day weekend), you should definitely check out the Stone Arch Festival of the Arts! It'll be worth your while. Dunno much about art, but this is the biggest event of the year for the historic St. Anthony Main area. And it all goes down right outside my apartment.

My first year living here, my friend/former roommate and I bought some really cool jewelry that had everyone at work green with envy. Art, entertainment and food...what more can you ask for?? Booze too. If anyone plans to go, let me know. I'll for sure be heading over sometime Saturday.

For the Love of Dogs...

A guy friend of mine and his girlfriend, whom I've met a handful of times, got into such a heated argument early Saturday morning after leaving my place that she pulled over on the side of the highway. Of all things, they were arguing over who liked dogs more -- me or her! Can you believe it?!? How silly! It gets worse...

A cop arrived and my friend declared he was driving even though it had been his girlfriend. He was arrested when he blew a .10 on the spot and .08 at the station. Still unclear of his motivation for taking the blame, or whether his girl had been drinking, but as it stands, either noble or stupid on his part!

You know you really love someone'd take a bullet for them, or get a DUI.

Big Brother Premieres July 5

I'm excited -- are you? No. Oh, ok.

"Big Brother 8 (premieres July 5 on CBS): A new group of house guests will move in together for the summer. The one who can outlast all the rest will walk away with $500,000 and exactly 15 minutes of fame."

Operation Bridesmaid Dress a Success

I never attended prom so I'd never tried on formal dresses before last weekend when a couple friends (one the bride-to-be) and I went bridesmaid dress shopping at The Wedding Shoppe in St. Paul. It was so much fun trying on all the dresses!

In the end, the beautiful dress the bride selected was one of the first we picked out. As a matter-of-fact, when she bought her wedding dress, it was the first she tried on. She's lucky in that regard! She'll be the most stunning bride -- her vintage-style dress is adorned with all this intricate beadwork. Exquisite.

The toughest part for her was probably selecting color -- for both the gown and sash. There was a deep brown (and similar dress) that looked fabulous next to her dress, but given that brown is a trendy color, I definitely think she made the right decision by going with black and a champagne-colored sash. My other friend and the bride's mom also brought up the fact that pictures of black and white weddings look gorgeous. Her wedding is going to be so elegant -- I can't wait!!

As an added bonus, the satin fabric feels very soft against your skin. So...if I pass out in my dress, it'll be like wearing comfortable pajamas!

Just look at the lovely bridesmaid dress...

Note: Not the best quality picture, I had to finnagle a few things. The sash is champagne, not ivory (not pictured).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

You got a Man?

It happened the first time four months ago. I was on my way down the stairs when Freak Show noticed me from the floor above. He called out, "Hello." When I failed to respond to this total stranger, he said, "Hey, hold up a minute," as he trotted toward me. Reluctantly, I retraced my steps. He wanted to know my name and which department I worked for. "You're beautiful," he said, "Would you like to have lunch sometime?" Not feeling the mutual attraction, I said, "No, I have a boyfriend." Shaking his head with disappointment, he said, "He don't gotta know." Irritated, I replied, "Uh, I don't think my boyfriend would approve of that." He expressed his disappointment, eyed me up and down, and complimented me one last time.

I just don't understand what kind of person thinks it's perfectly acceptable to flag down a complete stranger in the workplace and ask them out. Even if I had been attracted to him, I never would've agreed to go out with someone who did such a thing!

I'd forgotten what he looked like so I didn't realize it at the time, but I saw him a couple months later in the hallway. He walked past me and said, "Hey, how are you?" Again, aloof, I didn't respond.

It wasn't until the same situation occurred last week that it dawned on me. Only this time, when I didn't answer his greeting, he switched directions to follow me. Naively, I thought he was mumbling to himself at first. I could have sworn he said he forgot something, as if that were his excuse for heading back the way he came. When he caught up to me, he made the usual small talk. But this time he cut right to the chase: "You got a man?" Nothing wrong with a little white lie -- c'mon, they spare others' feelings. "Yes, I do," I said. "I just had to ask," he said with that creepy look of his. I'm guessing he didn't remember asking me out before, but who knows with a freak show like that.

So even if he had been non-creepy and attractive, the fact his grammar consisted of "he don't gotta..." and "you got..." would have been a deal breaker!

"Thumbs Up for Waitress Pie"

Saw the movie Waitress over the weekend. Definitely enjoyed it!

In the film, Jenna (Keri Russell), is unhappily married to Earl (Jeremy Sisto), her controlling, abusive husband.

The opening scene begins with Jenna sitting on a restroom toilet, awaiting the results of a pregnancy test with her two friends/co-workers, Becky (Cheryl Hines) and Dawn (Adrienne Shelly). When she sees the "bad line" (indicating pregnant), she declares it must have been from the night Earl got her drunk.

In times of distress Jenna, a waitress/talented pie-maker, creates new pies in her head such as "I Hate My Husband Pie" and "I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie."

Hiding money, she plots to leave her husband while battling feelings of hostility toward her unborn baby. When Earl finds cash stowed around the house, Jenna lies, insisting she was saving money for the baby. She later composes this letter, "Dear damn baby: If you ever want to know the story of how we bought your damn crib ... ."

Throughout all this, Jenna and her OB-GYN, Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion), start a mild flirtation-turned-affair. Despite the inappropriateness of the situation, the excitement is the only thing that brings her joy. On a deeper level, the movie is about happiness and what makes people happy.

Lighthearted and comical, I really enjoyed this flick. What I liked most about the film was Jenna's cynicism -- the way Russell delivered her lines was genius (could've done without the Southern accent though). Not to mention, she looks amazing on-screen. Contrary to popular belief, not all women dream of getting married and having babies!

As a somber side note, Adrienne Shelly, director, writer and actress of this film was found dead on November 1, 2006.

"Shelly's death was first considered a suicide. Days later, a 19-year-old Ecuadorian illegal immigrant and construction worker confessed to slaying the actress, who he left hanging by a bedsheet from a shower rod in the bathroom of her Manhattan office/apartment. She was found by her husband."

Shelly had complained about the noise her killer was making in the apartment below hers.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Run Forrest, Run

After slacking the past couple weeks, I did a 12-mile run yesterday. Initially, I thought maybe I'd do 10, but when I reached 10, I wasn't tired, so I figured, what's 2 more? I'd never pushed myself to run that far before so it felt good knowing I could!

I was a little sore yesterday and thought I'd be hurting today, but I'm happy to report no soreness. I would've liked to work out today, but forced myself to rest after that long run. Not only did I not work out today, but I slept in 'til 11:40 AM!! No recollection of the last time I slept in that late -- usually don't wake up past 9:30. Going to bed after 3:30 AM every night this weekend may have had something to do with that...

Dork Hierarchy

Let me start by saying, it was so good to have my friend from college in town this weekend! It felt like ages since I'd seen her. Good times. :)

Now for the weekend updates...

I give Friday evening four out of five stars. Loss of one star attributed to a friend, who will from now on be known as Buzzkill Biatch. Cruel, yes, but I couldn't think of a more suitable "b" word.

Dear Buzzkill Biatch,

When you make plans with someone, it's not necessary to confirm more than once, if that. There's nothing more annoying than receiving multiple confirmation emails, texts and calls from the same person.

When asked for your opinion of where to go out, don't say, "I'll go anywhere," when you really mean Harvey's is the only acceptable venue downtown. Granted, we would've vetoed your only choice anyway, but you lost all rights to bitch about bar destinations when you failed to speak up when given the chance. No one likes a whiner: "Drinks are too expensive." "Too crowded." "Meat market." "We should've gone to Harvey's."

There's this thing called buying rounds. I know, I know. The concept is a tad difficult to comprehend. You take turns footing the bill for everyone's drinks. When your turn rolls around, it's NOT cool to declare you're cut-off, decidedly switching to water. If, in fact, that is the case, you still offer to get a round for the others in your group. If all are done for the night, you assure them you owe them drinks next time you go out. And you follow-through.


Your infuriated friends

Most memorable award of the evening goes to the two dorks at the Imperial Room. Generally, I use this term loosely, but these guys were the epitome of dorkdom. Amidst the sea of dorks, this duo stood out above the rest. We all got a good chuckle at their expense -- two petite dudes (both in glasses) huddled in the corner, sitting extremely close to one another. Buzzkill Biatch: "Check out the pointdexters."

It all began when Buzzkill Biatch decided to sit on one of two nearby vacant chairs. This gesture was on open invitation for a guy to make his move and naturally, a dork in the vicinity did just that. Wearing a track jacket sporting the popped collar, he plopped down on the adjacent chair -- leaving his married wingman standing.

The remaining three of us stood a few feet away, laughing at Married Wingman's tapered jeans and short sweater with undershirt hanging out. Eventually, my friend from out of town was summoned over to the dork group by Buzzkill Biatch, leaving myself and my friend as prey. We were anti-social by not joining the group, and boy, did we pay for it.

Pointdexter #1 and Pointdexter #2 walked up to us and asked if we wanted to dance. I couldn't look either in the eye, for fear I would die of laughter. We politely declined, saying we didn't dance, which prompted this smooth response from Pointdexter #1: "If I were Brad Pitt, you would dance." The fact he called himself unattractive, then dug himself an even deeper hole by comparing himself to Brad Pitt speaks volumes.

Pointdexter twins desperately tried to make small talk, but all I could concentrate on was keeping a straight face. Our other two friends witnessed what was going on and laughed at the situation -- they weren't about to save us! A close second to the Brad Pitt comment, the best part was we later found out the respective dorks (tapered jeans and all), simultaneously felt compelled to point out Pointdexter #1 and Pointdexter #2, saying, "Look at those dorks!" Hence, the Dork Hierarchy.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Boogie in New Enrique Video

Total dork here -- obsessed Big Brother fan. I saw a commercial for the upcoming season today, which begins in July! Boogie (Mike Malin), from BB2 and winner of BB7, appears as himself in the new Enrique video for Do You Know. Why, I don't know. "Class act." Riiiiight.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Office Recap: The Job

Only a week late, but here were my favorite highlights from The Office season finale:

* Kevin takes notes of who's hotter: Pam or Karen
* Oscar in the break room, in front of others: "Pam, I miss our friendship."
* Creed's blog: Ryan: "Last year, Creed asked me how to set up a blog. Wanting to protect the world from being exposed to Creed’s brain, I opened a Word document on his computer and put an address at the top. I’ve read some of it. Even for the internet, it’s pretty shocking."
* Angela: "Goodbye, Kelly Kapoor."
* Jan's boob job
* 1 ,000 Schrute bucks = 5 extra minutes for lunch. The ratio of Stanley nickels to Schrute bucks is the ratio of unicorns to leprachauns
* Jan: "I could wear stretch pants and wait for you to come home at 5:15."
* Dwight paints his office black to "intimidate subordinates"
* Jim & Pam (awww)
* Ryan's new job/Kelly break-up

Check out Creed's blog.

Howie Knows Heroes

hero (noun): a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

As I waited for The Bachelor finale earlier this week, I caught the last ten minutes of Deal or No Deal. I find this show extremely boring and annoying. Host Howie Mandel referred to the contestant as a 'hero' multiple times. Unfavorably against the odds, he turned down $300,000-some dollars in pursuit of the $1 million. He went home with $25,000. Mandel said: "You're the embodiment of a 'hero.'"

Supposedly, as a reward for his heroic efforts, he also went home with a brand new Jeep!

Greediness (or stupidity) = heroism.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Right to Write

When meeting someone for the first time, there's a 50/50 chance I'll express my desire to be a writer. For when I do, it's an easy way to deflect questions surrounding dissatisfaction with my current job. Oftentimes, this backfires when I'm bombarded by questions regarding my writing. I immediately freeze up, overcome with shame, when asked if I write and what it is I write. Truthfully, I have done very little writing in the past year, which makes me think I'm doomed for wannabe writer's hell.

Even worse, I'm often put on the defensive when inquiring minds demand to know, "If you want to be a writer, why aren't you writing?" Logically, it should be that easy, shouldn't it? Believe you me, I wish it were. My parents are the poster child for my pro-writing campaign. My contempt for their encouragement grows day-by-day. They mean well, but they do more harm than good. "Why don't you write a book about _____." You name it, I've heard it -- in one way, shape, or form.

With self-doubt as my arch nemesis, it's a battle of good and evil. The angel, on one shoulder, reminds me of all the positive feedback I've heard over the years. But the devil perches on the adjacent shoulder, spewing negativitity, "This is garbage. You'll never get published. No one would read this." After all, the odds of making it as a full-time writer are...well, too depressing to discuss.

Ultimately, you write for yourself, but there's part of you seeking validation for all your hard work -- the part that dreams of seeing your name in print. Not only do you want nothing more than to prove it to yourself, but publication provides evidential support to others as well, particulary those who rejected or questioned your ability.

In 4th grade, we were given an assignment to write a fictional story for class. I remembered thinking, this is my time to really shine! The day we were supposed to hand in our stories, my excitement turned to terror when my teacher told us we were doing peer review before handing in the final draft.

To my dismay, I was paired up with the biggest bully in the 4th grade and one of his ground-worshipping followers. Here I figured these guys would be bored out of their minds listening to my 11-page (2 was the minimum), handwritten story about a female protaganist with terrible luck -- she fell down the stairs a lot and had a brother who played cruel pranks on her. Sadly, that's all I can remember.

I don't recall any details of their stories, but if I had to wager a guess, they'd probably written theirs on the 10-minute bus ride to school that morning. They both rushed through reading their stories so I was completely mortified when it came time to read mine. That is, until I realized they genuinely seemed to enjoy my work and even laughed aloud at certain parts. After I finished, it came time to critique and their only comments were to have the girl fall down the stairs more. Typical guys. Not only did I feel relieved, but I felt proud for having entertained the biggest bully with ADD in my grade.

I still have the story so perhaps I'll dig it out and post it. Then again, I already feel embarrassed enough by all this talk of my writing. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier. I'd been planning to post about something entirely different until I read a thread on the Absolute Write forum that got me started on this.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Men: 15 Style Mistakes You Can Fix Now

Every man should read this article, 15 Style Mistakes You Can Fix Now.

I was going to post just a few of the highlights, but they're all so critical, I couldn't pick-n-choose!

1. Match your belt and shoes. If you're wearing black shoes, put on a black belt. And brown shoes demand a brown belt. A good, general rule is to never mix the color of your leathers.

2. For crying out loud, pull your pants down. You may be pushing 40, but you don't need to hike up your pants like you're ready to start walking the mall. And it's even worse if you tuck in your shirt like Napoleon Dynamite.

3. On the flip side, pull up your pants. Seeing some 19-year-old's boxer shorts is bad enough; we don't need to see your tighty whities. You should have stopped buying "baggy cut" jeans years ago.

4. Pay attention to your shoes. You could be wearing $100 jeans with a sharp-looking shirt, but you'll still embarrass your wife or girlfriend with those old loafers that should have been pitched in the 1990s. Buy quality shoes that look smart and stylish. Remember, people check out shoes. Potential employers often will look at them to judge a candidate's attention to detail. Good rule of thumb: Spend your money on shoes, not shirts and pants. Also, match your socks to your shoes (very easy) or at least make sure they are a nice "bridge" from the shoes to the pants. Save the tube socks for the gym and lounging on weekends.

5. Wear clothes that fit properly. At this age, trying to look trendy is a cry for help. And just because that fitted (another term for "your nipples are showing") medium T-shirt looks good on Jake Gyllenhaal, that doesn't mean it looks good on you.

6. A side note to No. 5; if you're short and stocky, don't wear horizontal stripes—you'll look 3 feet tall. (My wife has to remind me of this once a year).

7. Don't worry if you're a little chunky; just wear what looks good on a guy with a little heft. You can't go wrong with black. It's slimming, classy and makes you reek of confidence.

8. Put away the tank top—even at the gym. You're not 12 years old anymore, and no one wants to smell your pits.

9. If your woman's not happy, you're not happy. After getting ready to go out, if you see concern on her face when she looks you over, change your clothes. There's a 98.9 percent chance she's right.

10. Man boobs are our kryptonite, and we have to fight back. They're an immediate turnoff to women, even though most don't mind a plump guy. Attack the problem head-on: Go to the gym, and wear clothes that don't cling to your body. We have Phil Mickelson to thank for officially raising this to a national emergency. We're at Defcon 1.

11. If you wear glasses, remember they're a window into who you are. Update them at least every other year and consider style when choosing them. And don't skimp. Expensive glasses are infinitely better than those $50 specs on special at the local mall.

12. Drop the baseball hat. Yes, it was standard issue in college, but those days are gone. The only exceptions to this rule: Working in the yard, casually hanging out, or playing drums for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

13. If you have to wear cologne, tone it down. You get points for wanting to smell good, but those points are immediately taken away when your co-workers can smell you in the break room—10 minutes after you left. Just spray a small amount into the air and walk through it. Less is more.

14. If you have a hairy chest, you cannot wear a V-neck without an undershirt. This is not 1977 and your name isn't Smokey. Or Simon Cowell, for that matter.

15. No socks with sandals. And if you do wear open-toed sandals, keep your feet groomed. Have you even looked down there since last summer? Trust us on this one.

Seeing these style blunders on a daily basis, here were the ones I felt the need to comment on:

"Match your belt to your shoes." This should be a given, but you'd be surprised by how often you see this no-no! Oh, and if you can't tell the difference between navy and black, please ask for a second, or third opinion before leaving the house. "Close enough" doesn't cut it.

"Good rule of thumb: Spend your money on shoes, not shirts and pants." Shoes are probably the most overlooked by guys, but shoes can ruin an entire outfit.

"If your woman's not happy, you're not happy. There's a 98.9 percent chance she's right." Duh.

I've already visited the cologne issue, but there simply can't be enough said about the art of subtlety.

"If you have a hairy chest, you cannot wear a V-neck without an undershirt." No shirt, no service. Lack of undershirt, or v-neck undershirt, is unacceptable in my book, so double negative points for sprouting chest hair!! Just the thought of it makes me squirm.

"No socks with sandals." Again, you'd think it wouldn't be necessary to emphasize this faux-pas, but it appeared on this list for a reason.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Confessions of a 7th Grade Drama Queen

Found an old diary. Oh, the drama.


Dear Diary,

Sorry I haven't written for so long. But anyway today is Christmas Day. Last time I wrote it was Thanksgiving. Kinda cool, huh?

For Christmas, I got a portable CD player and the Janet Jackson CD. I also got the Mariah Carey CD and some hair stuff from my cousins. Right now I'm listening to my Janet CD. I also got a Guess shirt, curlers, a mood ring and mood pen, which I'm writing with. It's very cool, it turns the color of the mood you're in. Right now both the pen and ring are dark blue, which means you're happy or in love. Both! I got a camera and some lipstick and nail polish. I also got skate guards and some Jolly Ranchers. My brothers and I got the Aladdin Sega game and the movie The Addams Family.

Guess what? My mom knows I like Bobby. Jenni told her. I'm not mad at her though. I need to give you a Bobby update, don't I? First of all, this is a long time ago now, but in Science we took a test. Mr. Bale (my teacher) wanted us to spread out. He put Bobby in front of me. I was like, yes! He had on a hooded shirt and he had one of those Coca-Cola bears in it. He had the bear tied into the hood by the strings of his shirt. He told me that it was his seatbelt.

Then during the test, he had a pencil that's eraser was major worn out. He had to use my eraser on my pencil about 4 times. He kept saying, "This is the last time." But, I didn't care if it would be or not.

At lunch, he always comes over to the table I sit at and asks everyone for money. He almost always gets at least $1. He has the cutest beg and puppy face. No one can help but give him money. I usually bring extra change just so I have some to give him. He always gets a can of pop and chips or something.

I haven't seen him in a whole two weeks. Last week, I was gone Mon. - Wed. On Thursday, I saw him in the morning, but then he left. The next day, I heard he hurt his back in gym and went home second hour. So he was gone Friday, too. Then he was gone Mon. - Wed. of this week. I bet he went on vacation. I know his parents are divorced.

Did you know his real name is Robert? I like Bobby better than Robert or Robby or Rob. I guess I never told you that Erin and Matt were going out again. They were for a long time, but Erin just dumped him on Thursday. They were both crying. Well, I gotta go. I'll write soon.

Why I don't Teach...

I had the most amazing first grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson. I believe if it weren't for her, I may not share a love for the English language -- learning to read and write from her was inspiring!! If I'm ever so lucky as to publish a book, it will be dedicated to her. We kept in contact for years, via snail mail, but lost touch as time wore on. I often think of her and should really put my stalking skills to use in hopes of reuniting.

As an English major, I'm constantly answering the question, "Why don't you teach?" As most young girls do, I went through a phase of wanting to become a teacher, but I don't think I'd be cut out for that role. For starters, I have very little patience. Although I'm beginning to think if I can put up with Deborah, perhaps I can do anything! In all seriousness, I truly admire all the great teachers out there. It'd be so fulfilling to have a profession where you make a difference in people's lives.

Yes, I have a tendency to be long-winded. So here's my point: I merely wished to post a link to this humorous blog, Rate Your Students. Very funny! Here's the description:

"Welcome to Rate Your Students, a public forum where faculty and students can work out the tricky dynamic of the modern classroom. Students can tell us why they won't take the iPod out during a lecture, and professors can tell us why their clothes are so frumpy."

Adventures in Dog Sitting

Dog sitting was the easiest $150 I ever made!! Lola, the Husky and Jersey, the Australian Shepherd mix, were a delight. Between the two, you can't help but favor Lola. She followed me around the house, from room to room, and slept beside me in bed. Just a very gentle and sweet dog with the most piercing blue eyes. I've always said I want five dogs: two golden retrievers, two labs, and one husky.

There's really not much to tell -- the dogs were well-behaved and I survived the ghetto. It's pretty sad when you're 26 and still lie to your parents, but I told my mom the owner's house was in South Minneapolis, instead of North, because I just KNOW she would've packed her bags for the weekend. Cooped up in a house with her for the weekend, now that, I wouldn't have been able to handle!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Strip Club Saga

As I've mentioned previously, I have a mental list of things to do before I die. If you're a close friend or devoted reader or both, you'll know, by process of elimination, which one I crossed off my list last night.

1. Donate hair
2. Run a marathon
3. Go to a strip club

Saturday night. My girl friend and I had a drink at Rosen's and then headed to The Annex. It took all of two minutes before a bachelor party struck up conversation with us. The group of men, mostly in their upper 20's, were small-town dorks from Climax, Minnesota, believe it or not. The groom definitely stood out as the most "normal" of the bunch. None of them were particularly attractive nor cool, but boredom was our number one motivation for choosing to hang out with them.

The scene on the dance floor was atrocious. All-around terrible dancers. The guy I talked to the most, a mortician, kept trying to "dance" with me. I'm certainly not the world's greatest dancer, but if you can't at least find the beat, you should save yourself the humiliation by sitting on the sidelines. This dude had NO rhythm or coordination. All I could do was laugh and sort of remain at a standstill because he just kept bouncing around and stepping on my toes. Ouch! I felt like a ragdoll; it was not a pleasant experience.

It was also great how the guys kept trying to hook us up with their friends by slamming us into them. What are we? 12? It certainly felt like a junior high dance. After the traumatizing groping session on the dance floor, the guys invited us to the strip club.

Call me strange, but I have always wanted to go to a strip club. Why? Curiosity! I mean, why wouldn't I want to know what it's like? That, and the fact I spent three months of my introductory sociology class studying strippers. My male professor actually wrote a book on the subject. I'm kind of surprised one of our assignments wasn't to visit one and take notes.

The guys wanted to go to the 418 Club, which I believe is called Whispers now. At least, that was their conclusion. It didn't really count as a strip club though. It was super small and there was only one dude there. We ordered water at the bar and we got the coolest waters I've ever seen! The bottle was rectangular --it looked like a cologne bottle with a silver square top and it said VOSS down the side. How much does water at a strip club cost? $8.50!!!

So the groom, Brady, decided we (me, my friend and him) should ditch his friends and go to a real strip club, Déjà Vu. I'm not really sure why he wanted to hang out with us so badly. Maybe he thought we'd be up for a threesome or something, but I was glad we left Whispers.

I'd always heard women got into strip clubs free and I thought if a guy brought a girl, he got free cover, but apparently not. Or maybe that is only certain clubs, but I thought that used to be the Vu's policy. It was $9 each and then everyone must buy a $9 non-alcoholic beverage, but Brady pretty much paid for everything.

The most surprising thing to me was the physical appearance of the strippers. I'd assumed most strippers were hot, like in the movies, but they're definitely not. Or maybe it's just a Midwest thing. But many of them were overweight with cellulite. I just couldn't imagine! You'd think you'd be inclined to really work on your body if that were your line of work, but wow, that is not always the case.

For bachelor parties, they set a chair on the stage and all the strippers line up and take turns physically abusing the bachelor, more or less. Brady didn't want to take part, though we tried to get him to go up on stage. Eventually he answered his friends' calls so they left Whispers and came to the Vu. His youngest brother kept disappearing to buy private dances.

If you pay $60, you go to the 2nd floor and receive three private dances. If you pay $90, you go to the 3rd floor. I'm not really sure what the $90 gets you, but we almost found out. That is, until we found out the cost. Brady wanted my friend and I to get a dance with him, so he called over a stripper, but my friend and I weren't really paying attention when she was explaining the fees.

We made it all the way up to the 3rd floor, you ride up in an elevator with your stripper as your escort. From what I could tell, there was just one completely dark room, with black lights as the only light. The room, however, is separated into different sections, each with a velvet bench, and black curtains as the only form of privacy between you and the guy next to you getting dry humped.

It wasn't until our stripper explained it was $90/person plus tip, I believe, that my friend and I bailed. Like we were going to pay $90 for that!!! I think I only had like $5 cash anyway. Even though I felt bad about our stripper, I'm glad I got to see the 3rd floor. Perhaps next time I'll get to see the 2nd floor!

Brady stayed with the stripper while we went back down to the 1st floor. His two brothers were the only guys still around and of course, they wanted us to party at their hotel room. For the second night in a row, guys got to be super annoying about trying to get us to go their room. Of course, we never planned on that. Gross!! They were so persistent about it, we had to lie and say we were going to the bathroom and promised to come back, at which point we fled and found the nearest cab to our cars.

I don't know if I can find the words to express why, but it was sort of thrilling for me to be inside the strip club. To know what actually goes on in those places and see it first-hand was sort of a trip! I still think it would just be sort of a tease for men, in that they can't touch the women and most of them would never be able to get women that hot in real life, but then there's the obvious reasons as to why men go to strip clubs.

So from now on, whenever I do something crazy, I'm just going to say I'm doing research for my blog!

Pathetic Wingman

Did you think I abandoned my blog? Work has been "busy" and it was the weekend of dog sitting in the ghetto sans wireless internet. How I've missed you, oh blog of mine. Before I get to the doggy business, I shall update you on weekend nightlife.

Despite my leeriness of the neighborhood, I went out both Friday and Saturday. For a change, my liver thanked me for the first time in a long while, for I only consumed one beer Friday and one rum and Coke Saturday. I felt it was essential I return to unfamiliar territory sober, especially considering the home is secured by an alarm system. The last thing I wanted to do was stumble home drunk and fail to deactivate the system before the cops showed up.

Friday evening was low-key. I met a girl friend of mine and her friends at sports bar, Major's. In contrast to last weekend, nothing unusual or out of the ordinary happened (that night anyway). When I arrived, my girl friend was sitting with her guy friend and his roommate. This "friend" of hers would very much like to be more than just her friend.

His roommate, aka Wingman, took it upon himself to do his very best to get her to go back to their place and play Guitar Hero, of all things. Apparently, she went to their place once before to play the game and didn't fare so well. So why the hell would she want to go back and play again?? Good question.

Ok, so bring it up once, maybe twice, and be done with it. Wingman would not let it die! Every few minutes, he'd chime in, "You know you want to play Guitar Hero." No, actually she just said she sucked at the game and didn't care for any of the music. But this guy would not let it alone and every time he brought it up, it would turn into a ten-minute discussion of how she didn't like the game and how he thought she should come over and play again. During all this, I couldn't help but wonder, did it ever occur to him to try a new tactic?!?

Here are a few of the classic lines men say to women to get them to go home with them:

1.) "Come over for an after-bar."
This has got to be the most popular and most successful way to get women to go back to your place. For one, it sounds innocent enough and oftentimes, is nothing more than members of the opposite sex getting their drink on. More booze = more fun!

2.) "We have a ____."
Entice females with a fun activity. Hot tub is the best answer to this fill-in-the-blank. Not only will women be excited to go home with you, but they're likely to get naked, or almost naked. Alternate options could be pool table, dartboard or simply the suggestion of drinking games.

3.) "Wanna watch a movie?"
So cliché it makes you cringe. Everyone knows what "watch a movie" means. Who doesn't like movies? Movies are watched in the dark, sometimes under blankets, sometimes you cuddle or hold hands. If a girl agrees, this is a pretty safe bet (attention all college students), presuming cock blockers don't interfere.

I got a little off-track, but the moral of the story is, if you're a guy and you want a girl to go home with you, don't try so hard!!! I can't emphasize it enough. If she wants to go home with you, she will. Pestering her and her friends until they're annoyed beyond belief is not the way to go about it.

Plus, you look transparent. Maybe even desperate. You're a guy -- we're well-aware of the fact you want to get in our pants. Why not mislead us by making us think you just want to get know us better?!? We're easily fooled, or to put it more eloquently, occasionally suffer from a temporary lapse in judgment. We're more likely to respond to aloofness than assertiveness -- we can overanalyze you that way.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Saturday Shocker

Sorry for the delay, I've mulled over whether to post this entry the past few days. It was never my intent to make this blog too personal, but admittedly, it's more interesting that way. I have no qualms about sharing my humiliating stories, but I shy away when it involves my personal relationships. You never know who may be reading and I'd like to be overprotective of friends of family. It just feels wrong to mention names. Anyway, so here goes.

Typical of most relationships, my first ex-boyfriend and I share a long history of good and bad, ups and downs and love triangles to boot. I cut off communication with him a few years back, but I stay up-to-date on his life via stalker's haven, MySpace. Prior to Saturday evening, I knew he was living in a townhouse with his fiancée and a zoo of animals.

I met up with a couple friends at Harvey's downtown Sat night. From there, we headed to Bar Abilene in uptown. Imagine my surprise when three deep from the front of the door line was the elder brother of my ex-boyfriend. I'm sure my jaw dropped to the floor. He stuck his hand out as we passed by so I half-shook it, but more held it for an instant, consumed by shock and disbelief.

Immediately, my mind began racing. It was the next big thing to running into my ex. In retrospect, it was better. Back when my ex and I were friends, he and his brother were extremely close. Family values played a dominant role in their relationship. I soon learned that was no longer the case between the estranged brothers. The reason: the fiancée.

As it turns out, the older (hence, wiser) bro strongly disapproves of her and thinks she is all wrong for him. So much so, that he attempted to intervene at one point in hopes his brother would see the light, but to no avail. He simply fails to hear any of the negative things said about her. More or less, old bro dislikes her because she's an uneducated whore (pardon my French). In fact, one of his good friends goes out of his way to avoid her because they've hooked up.

When I asked what his parents thought, he said they don't like her, but they've accepted the fact she's going to be a part of the family. What can you do?? Within the last few weeks, I'd heard a scandalous story involving her. As much as it kills me, I'll refrain from the details. I have no idea if my ex knows about this fun fact, but it's quite possible he knows now. My delivery of the news was in poor taste, but I was tipsy and the juicy tidbit was fresh in my mind.

The most surreal part was when old bro said I'd have been a better match for his brother. On one hand, it was reasurring and validating to hear, but at the same time, it depressed me. I'd put all that behind me so long ago, but it all came flooding back. At least for the remainder of the night. Talk about the ultimate buzzkill.

I'd been genuinely happy for my ex, presumably because he appeared to be very happy with her. Now I'm unsure. I have no regrets about past decisions, but still can't help but wonder. Only natural, I suppose.

On the lighter side of things, my parents got a huge kick out of the fact my phone dialed their house at 2:44 in the morning, at which point my friends and I were stuffing our faces at Uptown Diner, the Perkins of uptown.

In a deep sleep, my mom awoke and started yelling at Brody because she thought he was yipping in his dream. After a minute or two, my dad realized it was the phone, wrongly accusing my youngest brother as the guilty party. Undeniably, the most irresponsible sibling of the three. But, no, the caller ID reveals my name so my mom, in her disorientated state, starts shouting my name at the answering machine, never occurring to her to pick up the phone and hang up.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just Kill Me Now

It's a good thing there are no windows in the dungeon of my cube location, for I surely would have thrown myself from the nearest one by now. It was Quizno's day and a lousy one at that, filled with miscellaneous Deborah tasks, primarily writing and proofreading emails. The work I don't mind so much, but her stories are pure agony! I wouldn't subject this kind of torture upon my worst enemy.

Deborah's Top Ten Excuses Not to Work Out

10. It's raining
9. It's snowing
8. Upset stomach (i.e. gas)
7. Stressed
6. Tired
5. It's Friday
4. It's Saturday
3. It's Sunday
2. Errands to run
1. Too late after 4:30 pm

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It's Mom's Day

Happy Mother's Day to any moms out there. I know there's at least one of you reading, and yes, the one and only out of five readers.

I'm exhausted. I ate too much, drank too much, and got little sleep this weekend. I polished off a footlong Subway sandwich for dinner. Impressed or repulsed? Now I feel disgusting. In large part, due to my failure to get to the gym yesterday and today.

I have a good story from last night, but alas, it will have to wait 'til tomorrow. I hate to disappoint you by keeping you in suspense. I know, I know. You're on the edge of your seat. Try not to lose any sleep over this cliffhangover.

Dating Duds

A friend of mine went on a date last week. The so-called date felt more like a job interview with him firing off questions such as:

"Do you want kids?"
"Do you like pets?"
"Jordin Sparks or Melinda Doolittle?"

Ok, maybe not that last one, but the real dealbreaker was when he said, "So do you donate to charity?"

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Random Fun

It was a night of randomness. So my girl crush suggested we go to this bar/restaurant called Miami in uptown for a couple drinks and the plan was to head downtown later. I got to the bar first and after fifteen minutes, I almost began to wonder if I was getting stood up. Not really, but given the situation, it was in the back of my mind until she texted to apologize, saying she had to stop for gas.

I was under the impression she'd be showing up alone, but she arrived with her roommate's boyfriend, Eric. Her roommate was busy studying so she invited him out with us. He was a petite little thing, but boy, did he have a mouth! He cracked me up with his foul-mouthed obscenities.

At one point, he turned to me and asked, "If you had to guess which race I was, what would you say?" He added, "I'll give you options to choose from: Indian, Asian, Latino, African American." He's Latino, which I guessed correctly, but he went off on a tirade about how people have thought he was all of those races. He said, "To the guy who thought I was black, I should've pulled down my pants to prove it to him." I wish I could remember more of his comments throughout the night, but it's fuzzy.

My girl crush looked beautiful!! She wasn't kidding when she said her dress was cute -- it was adorable! It was low-cut with spaghetti straps and had different shades of blue ranging from turquoise to royal blue. She wore blue eye shadow and eyeliner to match, which sounds hideous, but it looked really nice! Her blonde hair was half-up and poofed up with a bobby pin. She's hot.

It wasn't quite the same as when we were out together before, but it was definitely fun to hang out with her again. There were a number of distractions. I bumped into an old friend of mine from college whom I hadn't seen since we graduated so we spent a long time catching up. He bought a townhouse in the suburbs and lives there with his girlfriend of two years. I got the chance to meet her as well. I liked her because she wasn't the least bit jealous. Most girls would be giving me the evil eye or butting in the conversation, but she hardly seemed to notice.

His friends are regulars at Miami, an 80's bar. One of them was all decked out for the occasion. He wore a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, a red bandana rolled up and tied around his head and aviator shades. But that was just the beginning. He brought a back-up outfit which he changed into later. Super short cut-off jeans, a pink t-shirt that bared his midriff, and yellow leg warmers.

The night really began when they played Michael Jackson. This friend in the short shorts has all the Thriller dance moves memorized. Despite the lack of dance floor, a circle formed around him as he performed. It was hysterical. I took a video on my camera, but I can't figure out how to rotate the thing. I may upload it anyway because it's just too funny not to.

I wasn't kidding when I said it was the night of randoms. Guess who we happened to sit down beside at the bar?? Engaged guy! He thanked me profusely for dog sitting and told a few funny stories about the dogs. We told him we were going to Bootlegger's and later saw him in line outside, but it was just as we were leaving.

After the silly fun at Miami, we took a cab downtown and went to Bootlegger's, douchebag central, for all of five minutes, and then we headed to Foundation. Another new place for me. It's a club with techno music, pretty cool. I had a lot of fun dancing with my new friend. We ventured off to the hip-hop room and danced with a group of gay guys that were really tearin' it up! So fun.

A friend of mine wanted to meet up with us, but since we were bar hopping all night, I had to keep calling and texting to let him know every time we changed locations. Blaring bass makes it a tad difficult to have a phone conversation.

Anyway, I hope she didn't think I was bored or rude. My friend tried to find Foundation, but if you know me, you know my directions were worthless. I was kind of torn because I felt like I was ignoring both friends, one old and one new. So he picked me up and I left around 1:30. I just hope she doesn't think I left cause I was bored! She had a guy friend, Dustin, with her too, so hopefully she doesn't think I was ditching out.

Oh yeah, one other thing worth mentioning. My new friend either knows all the bar/club owners in Minneapolis or she has a friend whose slept with the owner. Works for me, never a cover charge! Also, the Miami owner is opening a 70's bar down the street next week!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

My Evening Date

Ok, I really should be getting ready, not blogging (excuse any incoherency or typos), but I had to quick hammer out this post. Guess what I'm doing tonight?!? I have a date with my girl crush!!! For the first time I've heard from her since that night, she included me on a mass text last night saying she was going out. I wrote her back and told her I couldn't make it, but to let me know if she was going out tonight. Lo and behold, she texted me this afternoon and we have plans to meet at some new bar for a couple drinks and see where the night takes us from there! So she told me she's wearing a cute blue dress. Uh, I have no dresses. I wear jeans and tanktops. Oh well. So I'm kind of nervous but super excited at the same time! It's weird. I totally feel like we had a drunk one-night stand and now we're getting together for the first time. Will I recognize her? Will it be awkward? What will we talk about?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Craigslist Creeper

Today I found this bed frame on craigslist. Yeah, yeah, that's the last thing I need, but it's interesting to see all the random shit for sale. So this afternoon, I started emailing back and forth with the dude selling it.

It was fine at first, just talked about boring work stuff. It should have been my first clue when he asked if I had any pictures of my kids on my desk -- he said most of the women around him did. Awfully strange way to pose such a question. I wrote, "No, no kids. In fact, I hardly have anything hung up because I never wanted it to feel like 'home.'" Fairly certain if we had an ugliest cube contest, I'd win hands-down. His response:

"I don't have much up around my cube either. I hung up some of my bowling awards. I like Disney princesses, so I have a cut out of some wrapping paper with them. A calender, and some various work stuff."

Ok, where do I begin?? Bowling awards? Enough said. Disney princesses cut out of wrapping paper?!?!? Hello, who is this freak?!? Needless to say, I WON'T be purchasing Creepy's bed frame! Yikes.

Mean Girls

Dating back to fifth grade slumber parties, I recall a period where my friends and I went through this beauty pageant phase. We'd take turns playing the host while everyone else would participate as beauty queen contestants. We never went so far to do a swimsuit competition, but we'd dress up, make fools of ourselves with silly talents and answer questions such as, "How would you make the world a better place?"

In the end, the host would be responsible for crowning a winner. At the time, we all laughed it off as no big deal, but the truth of the matter was, it was a big deal! How could you not feel disappointed when you weren't crowned the prettiest?

Our friend, Susan, was heavy-set with curly, strawberry-blonde hair, freckles and glasses. Her physical appearance made her the butt of all jokes. When we held these contests, the rest of us pitied her, really. We'd conspire behind her back when we felt as though it was "her turn" to win. I don't think she ever caught on, but she was at a clear disadvantage. Or at least, in our minds she was. We made awful wisecracks, not to her face, that reflected more than her appearance. We ridiculed her intelligence, her lame jokes and her wardrobe.

Susan went to a different school the following year, so the target simply moved to another friend. We greased her locker with vaseline, wrote her a love letter from a "secret admirer" and spent hours on the phone gossiping behind her back. We even came up with inside jokes she wasn't a part of with the sole purpose of excluding her.

Over the years, I find that not much has changed from my pageant days. Ever wonder why women go to the bathroom in groups? Womens' public restrooms serve as the breeding ground for all juicy gossip. Those bathroom walls know all!

I'm not naive. I know I've had my fair share of nasty things said about me behind my back. In fact, there are times I hesitate to leave a room full of girl friends for fear of what will be said when I depart. If paranoia sets in, you can always cup your ear to the door, as one of my college friends did, appalled when she heard, "What smells worse? 'Boy' or vanilla?" 'Boy' referring to the sleep smell of her boyfriend and vanilla being the scent of her body spray.

As I've said, I partake in this despicable behavior. If I'm going to hell, so be it. Yet I find myself asking why. I fail to come up with a good answer. Does it chalk up to insecurity, jealousy, validation? All of the above? I'm not proud of myself. On the contrary, it's shameful. And it bewilders me. Just trying to be honest and seek understanding. Why do women act in this manner?

Misconceptions of Love

One of my guy friends at work started dating someone a few months ago. As usual, prying into the personal affairs of others, I asked if he had said those three little words.

"Why?" he asked.
"Because that's what she's waiting to hear."
"Silly women. Men don't feel the need to say that kind of stuff."

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, couples didn't necessarily marry for romantic love. It wasn't until after this, people sought mates for themselves instead of people related to friends and family and women had more economic opportunities. Both factors changed our society's concept of love, dividing it into two parts: masculine and feminine.

Masculine: Shared activities, companionship and physical affection. Providing economic and practical help are most important. Love is not dependent on emotion, romance or verbal expressions of love.

Feminine: Open, verbal expression of emotions and affection. Romanticism.

The feminization of love dominates our society, which hurts couples striving to attain this idealization of love. Since men don't express their emotions in the same way, a man may say "I love you" by washing his mate's car or spending quality time with them, but this expression of love goes unrecognized by the female. Additionally, individuals are misled to believe women are more capable of love than men. This difference in conception of love contributes to the reinforcement of gender roles in the U.S., with the belief personal relationships are reserved for women at home and the devaluation of women's love -- chores she does are regarded as work rather than affection.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Featherbed Delight

After a six-day workout streak, I decided to give myself the day off yesterday. So after work, I blew money on frivolous purchases. I've wanted a featherbed for a few years now, so I finally broke down and bought one yesterday. As a first-time buyer, I went for a relatively inexpensive one from Linens 'N Things. They had HoMedic featherbeds with the foam material as the interior and goose-down pillowtops, but those were double the cost. If I like the one I got, maybe I can look at the nicer foam ones in the future.

Anyway, it might take me some time to get used to my new featherbed. I almost feel like it's too soft!! But I think I will really like it once I grow accustomed to sleeping on it.

Good News for People who Love Bad News

Yes, I stole that from the Modest Mouse album. The band has nothing to do with this post, but I truly did receive the best news yesterday. When I arrived home last night, I had a manila envelope outside my door with a letter and new lease agreement notifying me my rent is going DOWN as of June 1. Can you believe it?!? It's quite possible I've never been happier. Such unexpected good news!! Given that I qualify for subsidized housing and apparently, due to something called fair market rents, my rent amount will be decreased. I consider moving from time to time, to suburbia for cheaper rent, but I guess I'll be sticking around a while.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Hair Woes

Ever since I hacked off 10 inches to donate back in December, I have been impatiently waiting for my hair to grow back. My short layers are still short, not to mention severely uneven! My highlights are the absolute worst, random blonde-yellow streaks of different proportions. I had it done just three weeks ago, but since it wasn't dyed down to the root, my dark roots are already very noticeable. Perhaps I should say I'm going for the Drew Barrymore look of intentional roots.

On top of that, my ceramic flat iron died on me. It was probably a year old, if that. Piece of junk. I read some negative reviews on the Target website claiming others had the same difficulty with that particular straightener, where one side stops heating up. Apparently, it's a recurring problem since consumers have replaced theirs, only to have the same thing happen with a new one. I guess the best brand is Chi, but they average a whopping $150! If I had curly, frizzy hair, I may be crazy enough to consider one, but my hair is flat as a pancake. Lucky me. So much volume, I'm beside myself. Anyway, yeah, I have to replace mine now.

Ugh, it's Quiznos Day

One day out of every week, Deborah and I go to Quiznos for lunch. It would have been yesterday, but I forgot my iPod, so I ran home so I'd have it for my workout. Quizno's sandwiches fail to compensate for lousy company. Yet I go because it somehow became tradition and I'm far too passive-aggressive to put a stop to it. Topics that will be covered during lunch:

1. Bugs.
It's humid outside today, but Deborah has this insane fear of bugs (among a long list of others) so she refuses to open her car window. In the past, she had a car with no air conditioning, yet she drove around during the summer, sweating buckets for fear a bug will enter her vehicle through the window.

2. Working out/Bally's.
Running is hard work. She thinks all her problems will be solved by liposuction. She'll bitch about not wanting to work out today. I receive a daily report on the spinning bikes at Bally's. Today I was told "only eight of the sixteen bikes work. The rest are broke."

3. Bad Drivers.
She's constantly paranoid on the road:
"Where's this guy going?"
"Does he see me in this lane?"
"Don't I have the right of way?"
Quizno's is only a few miles away, but it's a tortuous journey.

Yesterday when I arrived at work, a thank-you card with a Target gift card enclosed inside was on my desk. Seriously. Stop. Deborah. It's common with her. She buys me candy and pretzels and gum and random shit during her Target shopping sprees. On the one hand, yes, it's a nice gesture. But it's excessive to the point where she tries to buy my friendship!!

I remember when I first started with her, she told me she almost bought me a white down coat I'd been admiring. At the time, I'd only worked with her a few months. Now that would have totally freaked me out. Had she done that, I'd have requested a restraining order! Apparently, this is what she does for others in her desperate attempt for friends. Many years ago, Deborah told me she bought a gift for a female co-worker. The woman felt so uncomfortable, she severed their friendship from that day forward. Deborah's theory is the woman thought Deborah was a lesbian.

She's sad and pathetic and I feel consumed with guilt, but I just can't handle her. I do not have the patience or tolerance for desperate, needy people. This single, 50-year-old woman has no friends and no family, really. She only speaks to two of her nine of siblings, but it's not very often when she does. She spends weekends alone, holed up in her studio condo, flipping through bad T.V. between bouts of eating and sleeping. That's her life.

To me, the worst feeling in the world is self-pity. I personally hate myself when I feel that way. It's one thing to vent about your misery to your close friends and family, but it's quite another to essentially demand and/or guilt someone into feeling sorry for you. That is what she does. Time and time again, I hear, "don't you feel sorry for me? Nobody never feels sorry for me." At this point in the conversation, I am ready to hurl my stapler across the room.

Another frequent line is, "I don't have nobody to hang out with." For the last week, all she's done is talk about how she wants to go bowling, but doesn't have anyone to go with. She was supposed to go with her nephew over the weekend, but at the last minute, he expressed interest in seeing Spiderman 3, probably so he didn't have to engage her in conversation for three hours! The first thing I heard when I walked into work on Monday was, "Waaah, I didn't get to bowling. I'm going to have to go by myself 'cause nobody will go with me." In the last eighteen hours, she's repeated that several times. Obviously, she wants me to volunteer to go when I'd rather shove a pencil through my eye.

'Life's Short. Get a Divorce.'

At the risk of sounding crass, I like it. I admire the boldness, or "cutting edge" as Corri Fetman, the attorney behind this, refers to it.

The all-female law firm specializing in divorce cases, Fetman, Garland & Associates Ltd., fueled controversy with their Chicago billboard that reads: 'Life's short. Get a Divorce.' The ad shows headless pictures of a buxom woman in a black lace bra and the washboard abs of a man in a white towel.

I roll my eyes when people say it promotes divorce and degrades the institution of marriage when over half the people in this country get divorced. Yes, divorce is traumatic, but a billboard certainly isn't going to be the deciding factor in seeking a divorce.

Fetman defends her ad by saying, "If you're unhappy, that life is too short to continue in an unhappy marriage, those images provide hope."

Strategically placed, the billboard faces "Viagra Triangle," known for its' trendy single scene. There are plans in the works for similar ads, another to hit the "Gold Coast" neighborhood with glitzy nightlife.

The media uses sex appeal to advertise everything under the sun, why stop at divorce??

Monday, May 7, 2007

Cesar's Way

I love Cesar Millan!!! He has his own show on the National Geographic channel, Dog Whisperer. It's like Nanny 911, only with dogs instead of children. Cesar possesses an incredible natural ability to control canines. His demeanor is ultimately what makes the dogs obey and behave.

He got his start by helping Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, who then referred their friends, mostly celebrities, to him. Cesar claims to "rehabilitate dogs" and "train people." Being the dorky dog lover I am, I picked up a copy of his book, Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems.

"America's pet dogs long to have what most dogs in the wild have naturally: the ability simply to be dogs, to live in a stable, balanced pack. American dogs struggle with an issue unknown to most of the world's dogs - the needs to "unlearn" their owners' lovingly motivated but ultimiately destructive efforts to transform them into four-legged people with fur."

Should be an interesting read!

Devils' Threesome

Again, this is old news, but props for this Scrubs line:

J.D.: "So, this threesome of yours, was it two girls and a guy, or was it a devils' threesome?"

Devils' threesome = hilarious!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Wearing the Skirt

This is majorly delayed, but I intended to blog about last Thursday's episode of The Office. It was hysterical, was it not? I loved the part when Michael and the women were eating lunch at the mall and they were inquiring about his relationship with Jan. He told them Jan had a schoolgirl fantasy, to which they replied that was pretty normal, until Michael revealed Jan made him wear the schoolgirl skirt. So funny.

On a more serious note, it reminded me of something I've been thinking about for a while. Doesn't it seem a little warped that our society isn't more disapproving of the schoolgirl fetish? Is there a double standard? We're so quick to frown upon pedophilia and statutory rape, as it should be, but when it comes to sexual fantasy, it's a different story. I dunno, maybe it's just me, but it's such a sensitive subect matter, you'd think we'd be frightened to even crack a joke about it. But somehow it's almost encouraged, particularly ever since the infamous Britney Spears' video, ...Baby One More Time, where she dressed up as a schoolgirl.

A Life So Solitary

Have you ever lived alone? Let me clarify. Not the kind of alone where your boyfriend or girlfriend's name isn't on the lease, but he/she essentially lives there.

When I had college roommates, I often longed for peace and quiet and time to myself. But that was never really feasible, short of getting your own hotel room I suppose, which isn't realistic considering most college students don't have money to throw around. Or even if you were fortunate enough to have your own room, you were never really alone. Friends were always in the near vicinity.

As we get older, more and more of us are starting to pair off and priorities begin to shift. 2008 is going to be a big year for weddings. It'd be silly for me to call up my married friends with kids to tell them about the asshole who cut me off in traffic or how I heard the song on the radio that reminded me of the time we cut class in high school when they have real problems to deal with like changing a screaming baby's diaper.

While I cherish my privacy and freedom, it can be hard at times. I wouldn't trade it for a roommate, that's for sure. But sometimes you have something stupid you wanna say, but there's no one to hear it. In part, I guess that's what this blog is for. I think it would be beneficial for everyone to experience living on their own before getting married. Living alone teaches you a great deal about yourself you may not have otherwise learned. If only it were more affordable.

At Least I Made it... the gym this weekend. Saturday was a slow struggle to make it 4.5 miles and today I took it easy by opting for the elliptical. If I go to the Maple Grove Lifetime, they have 4 different types of elliptical machines. The one I like best does a really good job of working your glutes because it is raised at more of an incline so it works different muscles than the standard elliptical. I tried out another elliptical today that sits lower to the ground, but it aggravated my knee, causing it to pop, so I guess I won't be using that one. I'm certain knee replacement surgery is in my future!

As for other updates, I am officially registered for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7. On Friday, there were a couple people at the birthday shindig who have run marathons so they were discussing it in great detail.

This former co-worker/friend of the birthday girl ran Twin Cities last year and the way she described it, made it sound so exhilirating! She said she literally felt like a rock star because people are constantly cheering you on, and even though you know they're not just cheering for you, it genuinely feels that way.

One of the guys also present has run many marathons and I guess people often write their name on their shirt so that the crowd yells your name and then you really feel pumped! He also told this fantastic story about how one of his friends collapsed so he and his buddies physically carried the guy to the finish. How amazing is that!

I'm not a believer of fate, but in this case, I strongly feel as though I was meant to run this marathon. It's something that's been in the back of my mind for years and years. This year, by chance, I heard the bit on the radio and then when I was in the company of marathoners on Friday, I knew I had to go home and register for the race. Failure to finish is my biggest fear, but that's a lousy excuse. I know I'll feel even more rotten if I don't at least try.

The Amazing Race All-Stars: Eric & Danielle Win

That was a real nail-biter of a finish, and a disappointing one at that. Eric and Danielle are the official winners of The Amazing Race All-Stars.

I blame Kandice for her and Dustin not winning. How could she have not said Rob & Amber for "least trustworthy?" That has got to be the most obvious answer!!! I will NEVER understand that.

That vault game was pretty cool though. Each team member had to go in a room and answer questions about their competitors which produced a 4-digit code that locked a safe. Then the other teammate had to go in the room and try to match their partners' answers to arrive at the same code to unlock the safe. It reminded me of a competition they would do on Big Brother, my absolute favorite reality show.

On the bright side, at least it wasn't Charla & Mirna to run across that finish line first.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

No Game

As predicted, Friday night sucked. It was a female friend's birthday. She made a bitchy comment to me at one point during the evening so that was a major buzzkill. I won't bore you with the details. Instead, I'll surprise everyone, myself included, by focusing on the positive rather than the negative.

The highlight (if you can call it that) of the night came during bar time. There was a group of us, two males and seven females. We sat/stood beside a table in the lower area of the place. A two-top table was situated directly above ours and became occupied by two gentlemen in their late 20's. Initially, I thought they were lovers. It was something about the way they interacted. They leaned toward one another, speaking very closely. However, they not-so-discreetly pointed out women in the crowd to one another. Curious, I enlisted the opinion of one of the males in our group.

I'm so grateful I did because his answer proved to be very informative. He immediately declared they were nerdy, not gay, the two being easily confused. He then proceeded to point out all the obvious reasons for their lack of game.

For one, their clothes. One guy wore a tan, cotton jacket that was probably from the GAP circa 1998. The other dude wore a polo shirt, perhaps from the mens' department at Kohl's, that was a size too large. I could have identified the clothes on my own, but my friend had surprising insight to offer. He emphasized the importance of a wristwatch. Both men were watchless. I totally underestimated this male accessory. I can definitely see how it would enhance a man's attractiveness, presuming it's a nice watch of course. Also a potential conversation starter, if nothing else.

Not only did their game fall flat, but so did their hair. The IT dorks wore no hair gel. One of them even had decent, thick hair that would have looked nice with the addition of some pomade. As an example, my friend picked out a random male at the table beside us with spikey hair. He said, "Check him out. He's an okay-looking guy. But look at the two women he's with." Indeed, he sat with two very attractive women. He added, "Now that guy has game."

Last but not least, their choice of beer wasn't about to get them laid either. He said it depends on the venue, but we were at a nicer place, Figlio's, where they have a decent selection of beer, but these guys were not interested. He said, "Those guys went up to the bar and asked what the specials were. They thought about getting a pitcher, but decided it against it and went with the cheapest beer on tap, Miller Lite." He claimed the least you could do was get a Guinness!

And then, as if on cue, one of the guys struck up conversation with the nearest female in our group. We were too far to hear his lame pick-up line, but I'm sure it was smooth! When both guys started testing their mack skills on her, he said, "Watch this. I'm about to make those guys feel real uncomfortable." He went up to her, gave her a big hug, and whispered something in her ear, looking very intimate. The guys lost interest and went back to picking out hot women they didn't have the balls to talk to.

Unusual for a guy, my friend had very keen observations which were not only admirable and entertaining, but enightening as well!

Mother Knows Best

Phone transcript with Mom...

Me: I'm gonna register for the Twin Cities Marathon.
Mom: How many job interviews do you have lined up?

Oh, snap.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Tonight's Prediction

Last Friday I spent no time getting ready before going out since I started at 6 pm. It unexpectedly turned out to be one of the best nights out in a long time. Excluding the following morning when I looked in my purse to discover I'd lost my debit card sometime after 1:33 am (according to my last receipt).

Tonight I spent an hour getting ready. I bet it will suck.

Evening goal: don't lose anything.


Yesterday's run was not good. I never fell into "the zone." I'm sick of my songs so it's time I added new music to my shuffle. That may have been part of the problem. I jogged at a slower pace, 6.4, and I kept hoping it would get easier as the miles stacked up, but it never did. I also felt unusually dehydrated. I had a bottle of water in my cup holder but I was too lazy to stop. If I had, my body probably would have shut down altogether, having lost my momentum. It was that kind of day.

It's a shame I had no camera because I did see some interesting outfits. I saw one woman wearing a bright orange top with matching pants who looked like she'd just escaped from the nearest prison. Then there's an older guy with a mustache and crazy mullet who always wears the same faded Everlast tanktop with his gut hanging out between where the shirt ends and his shorts begin. One dude on the treadmill worked out in jean shorts. Odd.

Still, the prize for tackiest outfit went to a middle-aged woman with salt and pepper colored hair. I can only assume she came straight from work because she was wearing black nylons under her shorts!!!!! She then had white socks over the nylons paired with white tennis shoes. Ridiculous. I hate nylons with a passion. I can't imagine anyone choosing to work out in them. Why, why, why?!?!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Private Practice/Grey's Anatomy

Only half-watching this two-hour show. It's disappointing. They are trying waaaay too hard to build sexual tension between all the new characters. And what's with the soundtrack?? Let's play random songs during inappropriate scenes such as a woman giving birth. I don't care for this episode at all.

I dislike Addison when she's crying and insecure with men. Has she become the new Meredith? Addison telling a random stranger about sexual tension in the elevator was dumb and even worse when she was acting crazy by talking to herself in the elevator. I liked her character when she was bold, assertive, and went after what she wanted. Instead she's been replaced with a whiny, indecisive, and weak individual. It's not enjoyable to watch.

The best part of this episode is Christina and Burke's wedding. It's amusing to watch her be so uninterested in all the plans whereas Burke takes on the stereotypical female role with his desire to have a big wedding. Their relationship is far from perfect, which is what makes it the most realistic.

I didn't know Merrin Dungey, Kelly from King of Queens, was going to be on the spin-off. I like her so it was a nice surprise to see her.

Anyway, this episode is like a bad soap opera. They've spent more time talking about sex, relationships, and infedility than anything else, falling very short of expectations. Just blah.

Reaching my Quota for Stupidity

I'm amazed by my own stupidity. I figured out what caused the scrapes on my stomach the other day and NO, it was not the friction of my running shorts. I laugh aloud at the thought of it! How ridiculous am I?!? It's my iPod shuffle. I clip it to my shorts and it rubs against my skin. Perhaps I'll have to clip it to my shirt or look extra cool by tucking in my shirt.

Beyond the Breaking Point

So this is a really lazy, boring post about one of my co-workers, Deborah. She makes every day a living hell. She is a very nice person, but she annoys me to no end. I entered her name in the search field of my sent messages and found all these excerpts where I felt the need to vent about her to friends. Be prepared for plenty more posts regarding her, this is only the half of it.


I am terribly annoyed by Deborah from work. It is killing me! She wants me to feel sorry for her because she doesn't have any friends so she wants to hang out with me all the time and she calls me a lot to tell me the most pointless stories, while I'm sitting there thinking, "couldn't you have waited to tell me this tomorrow at work?" Sometimes after work we go out to eat but she only likes two restaurants around here, Bakers Square and Perkins, so we always go there and it's all elderly people at both! She talks about the same old stuff every single day. Complains about the burnt pizza in the cafeteria, complains about our co-workers incorrectly setting up accounts, complains about her weight as she devours an entire box of Zebracakes in one sitting!! It is driving me insane. On the other hand, she is really nice, but I can only handle so much of a person before I reach my breaking point! Oh, and I almost forgot how I have to help her every time she needs to send or write an email because she's dyslexic and computer illiterate. I didn't mind in the beginning but it's not like she remembers or retains any of the instructions I give her. How hard is it to send an attachment????? Ugh, she has jumped to my number one motivation for finding a new job.

Ok, sorry for that rant. I feel a little better now. I don't know what to do because I do feel bad, but can't she understand that I need my space and I don't like to discuss the same meaningless topic for weeks on end??? I can't take it much longer!

Oh god, she just called me over there so she could look up the Wal-mart ad online because she doesn't even know how to look it up on her own! Going insane..... She talks non-stop!


Deborah cleaned out 3 vending machines of cookies so she had to go to the 4th floor to buy more cookies.


We're getting a new girl at work. The last woman they hired was a smoker who hacked up a lung every 10 minutes and she never bathed so the smell of smoke was embedded in her clothes. She also was missing teeth. My boss said the new girl is younger so maybe she'll be cool. I have to train her because nobody else wants to. That sucks. Deborah has been calling me every half hour to tell me the most pointless stories in history.


Friend's response:


I really want to meet Deborah. I need a face to put with all your funny stories about her!


...Deborah and another guy have the day off today (what a relief).


Deborah is driving me insane yet again. She wants me to hang out with her after work, which means going to Bakers Square because she wants pie. I keep making up excuses and I feel bad but seriously I don't want to. It's bad enough having to listen to her bitch about the same insignificant shit over and over again during the work day, but what a waste of my spare time.


I've been here for about an hour and it sucks big time already. Really if it weren't for Deborah, it wouldn't be nearly as bad. She is calling me over to her cube every 15 minutes to help her with some idiotic task. It's like having my mom at work, it really is. Talk about technologically challenged. Seriously though, you would think that if you worked on a computer every day things would begin to click, like how to search the internet, or send an email attachment, or how to use Microsoft Word!! But no... On top of that, I have to proofread every email she sends because her spelling and grammar is at a 3rd grade level. I want to punch the wall every time I hear her say, "mines" or "hurted" or "says" when it should be "said" or "Targets" or "don't" when it should be "doesn't" etc. Wtf??? It's bad enough when I see it written, but to hear someone say it day in, day out drives me over the edge!

Now she was just trying to convince me to go to lunch with her and she wants to pay for me cause I said I wasn't spending money 'til I got my paycheck. Oh, and she calls me "Little One" which annoys me too. I cringe every time I hear it. It reminds me of a horrendous nickname your family comes up with when you're too young to know any better.

Last week I went to lunch with J. and that was annoying too - he kept picking his nose and picking at zits on his neck. Seriously, what is wrong with these people???


Work is awful, I want to die. At least Deborah is gone so I have a break from her, which makes it more bearable.


I am already depressed at work after hearing a 30-minute story about how Deborah can't find her way to the Mall of America. She has serious issues. Someone, shoot me!!


I've now heard Deborah's story of how she got lost going to the MOA 4 times -- as she's told co-workers and friends over the phone!!!!!!!!

Ha, are you still reading?? If you are, perhaps you should take up a new hobby like cross-stitching!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Victoria's Got a Secret

Anyone else find the packaging of Victoria's Secret mysterious? I received the ivory cloudspun robe in the mail last week. Since the robe was scheduled for backorder until June, I was thrown for a loop when this unmarked package arrived. Oh, the irony! With their notorious pink-striped bags, I half-expected their package to be pink or stamped with that cheesy dog icon.

The return address label was cryptic as well, VSD. Why go by VSD? What does the 'D' stand for? Department?

Could this be a clever rouse in case a man wants to discreetly send his mistress lingerie?!?

Coming Out

I had a great deal of reservations about starting this blog. First and foremost, I value my privacy so that was, and still is, of great concern to me. Secondly, I fretted over the commitment factor. I didn't know if I had the required dedication and desire to blog, but it's been over a month, and worked out so far. Thank goodness for a boring job and equally boring life.

In the end, my need for a creative outlet won. Introvertedness can be exhausting! If only you knew how much work went into keeping everything bottled inside...

I've only told a handful of close friends about my blog, but I will gradually pass the word along to others in the near future (possibly). It's not fun without an audience, so thanks to the few readers!

Anna Nalick
Breathe (2 AM)

2 AM and I'm still awake writing a song
if I get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me
threatening the life it belongs to
and I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
cause these words are my diary screamin' out loud
and I know that you'll use them however you want to

Puppy Love

Silly me, I neglected to mention who I am dog sitting for in a few weekends. None other than, the engaged guy who slobbered all over my nose and kept wanting to "go in the corner." Guess why he needs a dog sitter? He'll be strolling down the aisle very soon!! I had the pleasure of seeing him last weekend, at which point he asked me about the evening we met. Apparently, the pictures on his camera phone the following morning were his only recollection of the nights' events. I heard some of his 7-day bachelor party Mexico stories. Um, yeah, I'm sure you can imagine. Funny, he mentioned giving his fiancée numerous chances to back out, but she hasn't much time left!

He sent me a few photos of the dogs. The Husky is beautiful. I want one. I'm going to their house this weekend to meet his future wife and the dogs! Ah, life is, unpredictable.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Stone Arch Bridge

This is why it's hard to run on a treadmill...

The Unavailable Man

There's a Sex & the City episode where Carrie, restless in her carefree relationship, tells her boyfriend, Aidan, she wishes he were less available to her. When Aidan follows her suggestion, Carrie begins to freak out at the prospect of losing him. In turn, this triggers the butterflies in her stomach, the feeling she'd been missing. I always believed this unavailable man theory to be true, but I heard something interesting on the radio this morning.

On KDWB, psychic Gary Spivey, told a female caller who claimed she was still hung up on her ex-husband that she actually was just playing passive-aggressive games with her ex, whom she didn't still love. Spivey insisted the woman was in love with her current boyfriend only, and that if she didn't cease her passive-aggressive ways, he would leave her, and she'd continue the cycle and wind up a cat lady.

5 Days Later...

I did 6 miles in 54:28! Still not that great of a time, but a vast improvement from my prior record. Upset with myself for skipping 5 consecutive days, I took out my aggression on the treadmill. For the last 1/2 a mile, I even cranked the speed to 6.9. Pretty sure the highest I'd EVER had it before today was 6.7. The weather was beautiful today too, but I forced myself to go to the club because I actually push myself there.

I'd like to buy a heart rate monitor watch, but haven't done enough research on them yet. I really need to get serious and keep track of my splits. I'll be more motivated outdoors that way.

Old habits die hard. Once again, I failed to stretch so I could be in pain tomorrow!

Update: I ran so hard today my favorite Old Navy running shorts chafed my waistline! It hurts. Sigh.

Twin Cities Marathon -- Now or Never

This morning, Dave Ryan talked about the "love it" or "hate it" experience of marathon runners, in preparation for the Twin Cities Marathon. He did Twin Cities last year and loved it. Registration opens Thursday, May 3, and online registration starts Friday, May 4. Running a marathon has always been on my list of things to do before I die. I figure this is the year to do it -- I'm 26 years old so there's a mile for every year of my life. Besides, I'm not getting any younger!! So I'm going to take the plunge and sign up.

It's comforting to know it should be relatively cool that time of year, October 7. Also, Dave said it's pretty much all flat except for a slight incline on mile 19 and no matter where you are on the course, there are supporters cheering you on. No music will be a difficult adjustment for me, but hopefully the adrenaline rush will somewhat compensate. At least if it's horrible, I won't have to spend the rest of my life wondering what it would have been like...

Alec Baldwin Calls Dora the Explorer

Check it out.