Friday, July 01, 2005

How... Un-American!

We have no patriotic plans for this weekend. Tomorrow, we are going to drive to Indiana. We are going to pick out Scratch's birthday present at the Le Crueset Factory Store in Michigan City, then visit the Senior Scratches in Crown Point.

I will watch Yankee Doodle Dandy, maybe, if channel 11 shows it. Otherwise, it's a completley boring, unpatriotic weekend. No Turkey Legs & Toe Rings Fests, no sparklers, nothing. And I'm not even sad or bummed, I'm relieved. Is it wrong? Or do most people like us stay inside and hide from people who like to eat standing up?

It's the First of the Month!

OK. To try to make this a blog with some purpose, I think I will do some monthly goals for July:
  1. Continue to follow Jorge Cruise's "3 Hour Diet" and exercise three times a week.
  2. Track finances & budget for us (more on that below.)
  3. Try to follow some flylady rules at least once a week.

Regarding goal #1: Scratch & I were looking for a non-restrictive diet, so I bought this Jorge Cruise book. His philosophy is to eat every three hours. Sounds appealing doesn't it? So far I have lost no weight, but to be fair, I like my wine. Hopefully it will have more of a long-term effect of portion control. I'm also pledging to use the free fitness center at work three times a week. It's nice, clean, and quiet, so that shouldn't be so bad. My only obstacles this month are two long business trips I am taking towards the end of the month. We'll just have to see how that goes.

Regarding goal #2: Scratch nominated me to be the CFO of our marriage, so to speak. Since neither one of us is any good with money, it's a dubious proposition. I got the job because of my obsession with paying bills on time and saving papers. Possible reason why I'm wrong for the job? I immediately interpreted my new responsibility as a reason to spend more money (on filing systems and desk organizers, of course!) To stave off the spending, I'm bringing home some binders and stuff from work to try to organize our sorry asses. Secretly? I want to buy myself one of those green visors, and some sleeve garters, and maybe some bifocals, and a big old-fashioned adding machine. Or, to go the minimalist route, I wonder what Scratch would think if I cleared off our desk of all envelopes, papers, stamps, and reciepts, and replaced it with an abacus.

Regarding goal #3: is an incredible site! It makes 'keeping house' easy and do-able. There are lots of great tips and a practical approach to cleaning. My only issue with the site is that it is designed for stay-at-home people (work from home, super-moms, etc.) and so I can't fully benefit from the hourly emails telling me that I should really be doing something in my house right now. But, for the weekly schedules of rooms to focus on, advice on routines, and the genius of the five or fifteen minute approach, I am truly thankful.

In other news... did you know that even babies who can't talk can have websites/blogs too? My friends who live in Basingstoke (that's in the UK) welcomed a sweet baby boy in March, and they have set up a website for him! How cool is that!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Do You Have Your City Sticker?

Your city sticker expires today! Get thee to a currency exchange!
I must applaud the City Clerk's website for processing my request quickly and efficently. I also recommend this product to anyone with a city sticker. It's fabulous. The razor-blade method has never worked for me. And Goo Gone? Puh-leeze. Take the solvents out of the equation! And I just bought mine in Evanston, so they had a lot in stock. Warning: Police/Government officials don't like it - but I don't think it's illegal... yet.
As of today, I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to be publicly humiliated or anything for wanting to keep my windshield neat and pretty!

Could the 'Wrong' People Read This?

And I don't mean it in a bad way - but I have slowly started putting this blog in the 'my homepage' field of things like my flickr account. It made me wonder, what if people like my mom start reading this?

My mom has always been super-supportive of me and everything I do. Every school play, every new life adventure - she's always my biggest cheerleader. But then I thought, what if my mom starts reading this blog, and starts posting comments on every entry.

"Good job honey! You're the best! Love, Mama"
"You're so funny! I'm forwarding this to all of my friends. Love, Mama"
"You should be famous! That was great! Love, Mama"

Thanks, Mom, for loving me!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"Venture" into this post, I dare you.

Over at Justin's Blog today, he mentioned the loss of the K-Mart store on Peterson Avenue (not the loss of the K-Mart at McCormick/Devon/Lincoln, which used to be Zayre, and is now Home Depot.)

Well, I grew up around 3 blocks from there, and I worked at that store when it was Venture. Remember Venture, with its bold, black and white stripes, and low low prices? Well yeah, I worked there for about 3 months when I was 16. My title? Switchboard Operator.

My job involved sitting in the co-ed fitting room, answering a PBX switchboard, paging people, doing store announcements, and 'straighenting up' the area around the fitting room when the phone wasn't ringing off the hook. I made no friends there.

Biggest highlight: Going toe-to-toe with Mike Royko when he called and demanded information on cameras from someone in the Camera Department. I had to be the person to explain to him that, even if the person assigned to Camera ever did pick up the phone, he or she would not be able to answer any of his questions, and he should try calling a more legitimate camera store for help.

Why did I leave such a worker's paradise? Well, here's the oft-told shit shift story:
One night, I returned from my 10 minute break, and as usual, everything was trashed. The phone was off the hook, there was Venture-Quality clothing strewn everywhere, and a really, really bad smell. So I investigate the stalls, and bam! In one of the fitting room stalls someone had taken a crap. And, to add insult to injury, rubbed the crap up and down the wall of the fitting room stall. I paged a manager, who told me to just page a Cart Attendant (another 16 year old) to clean it up! I was all, 'that's not fair, he should attend carts, not attend biohazards!' but the MGR wouldn't have it. So I quit that night. And was given crap about not serving 2 weeks.
Then, years later, Crappy Venture became Crappier K-Mart. I'm actually relieved that Target has razed the building and is starting anew, because that building had a film of 'gross' all over it that could never be scrubbed away!

Oh, and PS Justin also linked to my Trader Joe's/Aldi post. Thanks for the puh-puh-plug!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pick An Oldie, Any Oldie

What with the widespread mourning of Oldies 104.3, I just wanted to post that at 5PM today, while flipping through my presets, I had the choice of:

Sunday Bloody Sunday, U2 - Year Released, 1983
Truckin', The Grateful Dead - Year Released, 1970
Missionary Man, Eurythmics - Year Released, 1987
Twist & Shout, the Isley Bros. - Year Released, 1962

Now, that is from my 'tier one' presets - not counting my other secret set that contains Power92, etc. So which station was playing which song?

The "9" 99.9 FM
Real Oldies AM 1690

Guess? I dare you. There's only one gimme in the bunch. And, while we're talking about 'gimmes' - why hasn't Real Oldies conquered the oldies market by now? Oh wait... because somehow "oldies" is a code word for "light rock" these days. Because they play neither Elton John's Crocodile Rock nor Bob Seger's Old Time Rock N Roll. Give Real Oldies some love people!

The "Next" Next Food Network Star.

Well, Food Network. You got close - physically close, that is. If you had gone just a few blocks north and a little west of the HB cafe, you would have found your new star-in-waiting, Chef Scratch. His show would be called "Don't Touch That!" and he would be the hero of all frustrated budding chefs who have annoying sidekicks/spouses always wanting to 'help' by 'stirring' things. Until that fateful day, you'll just have to read his blog. Wait 'til next year.

The Hundred Acre Wood is Clearing Out!

First Tigger, now Piglet.

It reminds me of the Milne quote, "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you." I wonder if they were even friends.

My favorite Disney V/O artist (and original Pooh Bear) Sterling Holloway, passed in '92.

It's a sad day for plus-sized women everywhere who own Tigger and/or Piglet henley shirts.

Trader Joe's vs. Aldi

The other day, Scratch & I were talking about the prevalence of Trader Joe's stores in the suburbs. I noticed one in Aurora/Geneva last week right across from a Wal Mart, and on our way home from Libertyville we saw the TJ beacon at the Waukegan Road exit of the Edens.

I started to ponder how ironic it would be if Trader Joe's was, in fact, owned by the Walton family, and all the tote-bag loving WalMart haters were actually handing over their organic greenbacks to the Retail Red State Devil. I was close.

Trader Joe's is owned by the Albrecht brothers, who are most famous for owning Aldi. Karl Albrecht was Forbes's #3 Richest Man in the world in 2004. That's richer than the Waltons! And brother Theo ranked #20 - apparently his stock went down after being kidnapped and ransomed in 1971. I didn't think anyone except maybe Bill Gates was richer than the Waltons. Now, you can say, well the Albrechts aren't EVIL, and aren't trying to manipulate all of the products and foods we consume (see the June 2005 issue of Gourmet) but feeding anti-union billionaires is still feeding anti-union billionaires. So, in your face, self-righteous Trader Joe shoppers!

Doctor Update

Well, Chef Scratch needed no stitches. That's a good thing! But his hand will be bandaged up for at least a week. We bought peroxide and the right bandages at CVS. So, a happy ending. Yucky student was there, but luckily she did not participate in his visit. Yay!

Monday, June 27, 2005

How was your weekend?

Why, thanks for asking, blog!

On Friday afternoon, I went to see my doctor about a couple of things. I love my doctor very much, I have been seeing him for ten years or more. I even love that he always has students and sometimes my annual 'feminine exam' is a little bit like a cocktail party because there are four or five people in the room (next year I'm bringing Ritz crackers and punch.) On this last visit though, I didn't have enough wrong with me for a student to benefit. But I had to be interviewed and examined by a kind of snotty woman who I didn't like, instead of talking to my doctor for fifteen minutes and getting a prescription refill. I was bugged by that.

On Saturday we went to my friends John & Jon's party in Libertyville. I used to work with John, and we don't see each other much now, so it was nice to catch up. Scratch helped me make some stuffed mushroom caps to bring. His blog probably will have the recipe.

Yesterday (Sunday) we went to Sam's to buy wine, then Costco to buy meat, then I took our laundry to my mom's for quality time with her, Fritz, and the Maytag. Scratch broke a glass bowl and sliced his hand open! Aaaaagh! So we are going to my doctor today to get him checked out and I hope that student isn't there. I hope he gets a different student experience. I'm predicting four stitches in his hand, but we'll see.

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