Friday, April 24, 2009

Berry Delicious Smoothie

It's smoothie season! Last summer I got a little bored with my usual strawberry banana, and my boyfriend wasn't a fan of its temperature - but thanks to the collective suggestions of Katie and Cari, I've created an easier, tastier, more refreshing alternative (makes two):

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 6 oz frozen mixed berries (I used Dole's "Wildly Nutritious" blend of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries
  • 2 large spoonfulls nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 16 oz orange juice

I'm thinking vodka might be a good addition ... I'll let you know if that's a very good, or very bad idea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sad Earth Day

A co-worker of mine came into the office today a bit flustered because he'd seen some commotion at the Metra station around a flower shop. He immediately assumed he'd missed some kind of Hallmark holiday and was afraid he might be in the doghouse tonight. We quickly assured him though that we doubted his wife was expecting a gift for Earth Day.

But how strange... Could it be that people were buying flowers for Earth Day? What a ridiculous thing to do, right, because the flower industry is a serious environmental offender, what with all the pesticides and overseas shipping, not to mention the terrible working conditions...

But don't worry - I figured out what the flowers were for later at lunch when someone mentioned it's also Administrative Professionals' Day. That makes way more sense.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stranger Danger

Like Mace, sometimes the armor you use to protect yourself from strangers (headphones, books, newspapers, etc.) is used against you. Instead of indicating that you want to be left alone, “friendly” people see this armor as a conversation starter. I don’t understand these people, and they can really put a damper on my commute.

This morning I quickly opened the book I’m currently obsessed with, American Wife, after I snagged myself a seat on the bus. Although it’s a work of fiction loosely based on Laura Bush, I believe the fellow next to me perceived it as an instruction manual I carry around on my quest for a CTA-riding husband. I hadn’t even gotten through a sentence when he started the dreaded awkward conversation with, “Is that a book about being an American wife?” Oy.

So I briefly told him what the book is about and turned back to the page. One sentence later: “So that’s probably like more of a chick book, right?” At this point I’m getting pretty annoyed. I really am obsessed with this book – stayed up way past my bedtime Wednesday night reading it – and my commute’s not that long, and I like to spend it READING. Also, I was hungover from Thursday night. But still, I smiled when I responded with a nod. Why, why, why? I have no idea.

So he proceeds to tell me what kinds of books he likes and that he’d like to be in a book club but they seem like a girl thing … and asks me what I do and then I ask him what he does (why, why, why – I guess because sometimes I act human and I felt obligated. Sigh.) … and we talk about layoffs and I keep trying to go back to my book but he keeps on talking … and then he brings up his brother who works at Google … and this I find interesting so I ask more questions. Damn it.

And here’s where it gets real awkward. He says he’s getting off at the next stop and asks if I have a card. I tell him I don’t have any on me – oh well. But no that can’t be the end of it. He then asks if he can write down my e-mail address. Usually I would just give it but for some reason – I think because I was really pretty miffed; this book is like crack – I said no. But he did seem like a nice guy and who can really blame him for putting himself out there – I know that takes a lot of courage, especially stone sober at nine in the morning. So I added that I have a boyfriend and I just didn’t want to send mixed signals, something like that … at this point I was suffering from full-blown diarrhea of the mouth.

Then we sat in a painful silence for what was probably about three seconds but felt like a week and a half, during which I obsessed over what I had said and wondered if he had really just been being friendly, and was now thinking he couldn’t believe what a giant ego this girl in an Old Navy jean jacket had – that he couldn’t believe I had just assumed he was interested in dating me.

But then he kindly broke the silence by asking if I by any chance had a twin who was single. So I guess my assumption was correct… This person didn’t just want to be my friend. So then what’s the point of it all??? Is anyone of the opposite sex really just being “friendly”? Are you supposed to just ignore them right off the bat if you’re not single or interested? Ugh … I just wanted to read my book.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about SSB (secret single behavior), coined, I believe, by Sex and the City, episode 13, season four. When Aidan moves in with Carrie, she complains to her friends that she can no longer engage in SSB—which for her, is standing in her kitchen and eating a stack of saltines and jelly while reading fashion magazines. Charlotte empathizes and reveals that her SSB, before Trey, was studying her pores for an hour every night. Miranda’s is conditioning her hands in Vaseline while watching infomercials. Samantha of course has no SSB because she has no shame, which isn’t such a bad thing.

So I’ve been thinking about my SSB (unfortunately more disturbing than the SATC girls’) because after living alone for two years, I’ll soon be cohabitating in a new apartment with my guy. (Yay!) Some of my SSBs, like eating an entire tub of Merkts sharp cheddar while watching episode upon episode of The Hills, I’m sort of looking forward to having a reason to kick. But others... I’m afraid I won’t be able to suppress.

Which got me wondering: What if bringing our SSB out of the closet is just the next step in the relationship spectrum, phase two of the big reveal? Phase one, I believe, is unleashing the crazy. In the beginning it’s relatively easy to act out near-perfection—but as lunch becomes brunch and dates turn into weekends, it becomes virtually impossible to keep unruly emotions in check, especially when alcohol is involved. But if the other is in fact significant, they actually find your “quirkiness” rather adorable—and any insanity that ensues after a fifth glass of wine mostly bearable, at least forgivable.

So then after the crazy comes the weird, phase two—which is where SSB comes in. While the former reveals your emotional issues, the latter brings your habitual oddities to light. That would mean you don’t have to give up your SSB completely—only in the sense that it can’t really be a secret anymore. That’s probably the symbolism of the end of the episode, when Carrie opens the curtains she had closed between her and Aidan, after he agrees to be quiet and let her be weird by herself on the other side. But then again, Carrie completely freaks out and breaks up with Aidan before the season’s even over, much to this dismay and tears of viewers across America.

I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see how well my theory pans out in real life... Because, as people keep reminding me, Carrie is a fictional character, and SATC is just a show. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing either.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kelly's day in court, according to my imagination

Inspired by ZIP's post about NYC Real Housewife Kelly and last night's episode, which was AWESOME, I've envisioned what the scene may have looked like yesterday in court, as Kelly faced a judge Tuesday morning for allegedly assaulting her ex, according to today's RedEye.

Kelly: [Grinning maniacally, eyes wild] Judgey Judge!

Judge: You’re an hour and a half late, Ms. Bensimon.

Kelly: [Crestfallen] Okay, I was willing to be friends, but your attitude is unacceptable, and it won’t be tolerated. You need to grasp the reality of the situation, Judge. [Gesturing] I am up here, and you are down here.

Judge: [Confused] Ms. Bensimon, we are not friends. I am a judge, and I’m sentencing you to 10 months of community service.

Kelly: Oh really? Really Judge? And why is that? Enlighten me. I’d really like to know [Hiccups/snickers].

Judge: Domestic violence, Ms. Bensimon.

Kelly: You know what, this is kid stuff. Kid stuff. You know, I don’t think you’re cute. And I don’t think you’re charming. And I’m not going to play your childish games.

Judge: This is not kid stuff. These are real-world consequences. I hereby sentence you to 10 months of community service—and psychiatric counseling.

Kelly: [Beginning to walk toward the door] W-w-waaaait a second here… I didn’t agree to this. I don’t think you understand how busy I am. You know, while you’re wasting time judging, I’m busy doing stuff. I just can’t lend my name to any charities.

Judge: [Summoning bailiff] You won’t be lending your name. You’ll be picking up trash on the side of the road, in an orange jumpsuit.

Kelly: [Grinning maniacally at bailiff and judge, eyes going back and forth wildly] Ohhhh… What? [Incomprehensible grumble/giggle] Orange… orange is the new pink! Cute!
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