Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I don't really have a lot of experience with feelings. So when I get a little tingle that I think might be a feeling, my first instinct should not be to post about it on the Internet, where lack of visual cues and inflection leave everything open to misinterpretation.

There are a couple of options for preferable first instincts:

1.) Remind myself that I'm pretty much a robot, so that little tingle probably just means I have to sneeze or something.
2.) Let myself think it's a feeling, but remind myself that the Internet, even my personal forum, where five-and-maybe-even-more people might read it, is not the place for self-revelation.

So, while I decide which of those two options I like better (in the event that a feeling or feeling-like tingle should arise again), please enjoy the following completely neutral, non-feelings-related, highly-unlikely-to-be-misinterpreted-to-my-disadvantage post about kittens, puppies, and typos.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Oh, you did *not* make that typo!

Cute Overload makes me smile daily and giggle out loud almost as often. I always try my darnedest to wait until the end of the day to look at the site, because then I can look at all the day's postings at once. I like the idea of hoarding all the cuteness and happiness and giggliness into one gigantic cute-happy-giggly moment at the end of a long day, but I almost never make it that long. So I usually end up checking things out around 10, giggling, checking for updates after noon, giggling at the same post that was up earlier, checking again at around 3, giggling at the one new post, then scrolling down and giggling at the post I've already giggled at twice. That's a lot of giggling; people are going to start to suspect... (I throw in an occasional "awwwwwwwn" too, just for good measure, and I've gotten a few people on the Cute bandwagon.)

One thing, though: I'm gonna have to bookmark the site eventually, because when I type in the site name, I always always type in "Cute Overlord" first. And then, of course, I giggle about that for awhile.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Baby Mama Drama

Just about anyone who's spent more than five minutes with me in a public setting knows (and has come to love, I'm sure) That Look I get when there's a baby in the vicinity. That Look is not the stereotypical girly misty-eyed omigod I want one of those looks you're thinking of, those of you who haven't spent more than five minutes with me in a public setting. It's quite the opposite, I can assure you. That Look is a sneery, bottom lip jutted, shoulder cocked, chin pulled-in look that any other girl would use to convey "oh she did not show up carrying my Louie."

Rest assured, though: I'm working on it. Or, at least I'm working on not being so obvious about it. (It has come to my attention that most mothers love love love their babies and aren't at all appreciative of the occasional "Man, don't babies suck?" look I toss out. I thought for awhile there that I had some special, sympathetic insight, and I guess I always kind of expect a mom to be like, "THANK you! Sometimes babies do suck, even this one! I'm glad to see someone understands!")

Normally I wouldn't hide my disdain at all (I don't censor my facial expressions for non-moms. What? They expect me to ignore that merciless wailing and conceal my utter disdain?) but now I'm on a mission. That mission? Get on the list.

From a seemingly-casual conversation I had with Fernando the other day:

"I can never drink that much again, or I'm gonna be off some peoples' lists."
"What lists?"
"You know. Lists. Like 'Potential Baby Daddy' lists. You're a single girl; you've got to have a list."
"No. No, I don't think I know about that. People have lists?"
"Yeah. I have a list. There's like, three people on it. I mean, what if I really want kids someday, and I'm alone? What if you really want kids someday and you're alone?"
"I won't want kids someday and... wait, what do you mean 'if I'm alone?!' Who's on this list?"
"Just these people. People I know. Who have good genes."
"I have good genes. Good genes and high SAT scores. And! I'm a natural blonde. Everyone wants a smart blonde baby. Blondes with high SAT scores are in high demand, you know, in that baby harvesting market."
"You do have good genes."
"So, I'm on the list?"
"You don't want babies."
"Minor detail. I'm on the list, right?"
"I haven't known you long enough. And you don't want babies."
"Well! You're on my list."
"You don't have a list. You didn't even know about the list."
"I have a list. What if I someday, miraculously, against all odds, wake up and need to have a baby? And [inevitably] I'm alone? You ARE my list. You can't take yourself off my list. It's my list. And, I think it's only fair that because you're on my list, I should be on your list. We can have babies. Not now, but someday. Babies!"
"You hate babies, and you hate moms, and you don't have a list. And there's already people on my list, people I've talked to, people who will definitely, eventually want babies."

So there you have it: not only do I need to a.) start liking babies and b.) get on the list, I must also c.) beat out three other professed baby-lovers to get to the top of the list. I would never settle for fourth best, after all.

So riddle me this: am I really the only single girl in the world who hasn't been furtively auditioning every man in her life for the role of potential, somewhere-along-the-line sperm donor? Am I being furtively auditioned by every guy I meet? Are they sizing up my egg-harvesting potential and making mental tics in the minus column every time I order another beer? Does everyone really have a list? Do I need to get on this, like, yesterday? Gah!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Redemption is a dish best served with a pomegranate martini

Or, in my case, six. Six pomegranate martinis.

So, remember the Chipotlame incident, the one that marked the official advent of the Total Erin Spazzfest™? I thought I'd never get over the shame. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I did think, "Whelp. There goes my one chance to dazzle a former* reality show star."

Lucky for me, though, that thought involved concepts related to impressing boys and having some degree of Game, so, naturally, I was wrong.

I scored an invite (via my freelancing job) to my first Swanky Chicago Party, hosted by this webzine to celebrate the launch of this T.V. show. Given the proximity to work and the lure of free drinks, I couldn't not go, so I put on my Trixie boots and clip-clopped my way to Salthaus. It's one of those restaurants with floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of little furniture and little tealight candles and little hors d'oeuvres served on little minimalist white plates. It was very hip, and everyone there was very shiny** and I felt very much like Carrie Effing Bradshaw, except with cheaper shoes and a cuter Stanford.

The Brunette Ryan Seacrest was there, as were some other Important Chicago People, whom my much-more-in-the-know date recognized imediately and whom I had never heard of. Apparently, Real World Jamie is considered a Marginally Important Chicago Person, so he too was invited to this Swanky Chicago Party.

After seeing him near the stairs, I did some quick social math: Real World Jamie + free pomegranate martinis ÷ Trixie boots = Second Chance to make a First Impression!

I was nervous, of course; I wasn't the only girl there in sequins and Trixie boots, after all. But my date scored me the perfect talking-to-Jamie wingman: Nick had a very European, bangs-involved haircut, some well-placed bling, and a curiosity about the whereabouts of New Orleans castmate Danny.***

We were very not-obvious about making eye contact, and eventually Jamie came over to talk to us. Even after Nick got the Danny report and dropped out, I was doing really well: we talked about Chicago and Northwestern, and our jobs ("jobs," since he "just wrapped filming on The Gauntlet 2 and is now marketing something called the UberTap that has to do with beer.) I found out he reads my magazine and thinks it's great, which rocks because either a.) he reads my magazine and thinks it's great or b.) he's never heard of my magazine but wants me to think he thinks it's great. I think. We talked about The Gauntlet, and I'm pretty sure he told me the outcome, even though there are still new episodes coming out. He brought me another (!) drink, and we talked about the Windy City Rollers, and I think I must have made some cute-dumb comment about how I'd actually really like to wear a plaid skirt and ripped fishnets and roller skates and kick other chicks' asses in the Derby ring, because at the end of the night, Jamie came back over to me and said, "You know, you really should try out for the Windy City Rollers." Um... thanks?

Anyway, aside from that potential debacle that didn't actually backfire, I was golden. I even resisted the urge to be all, "HEY! Remember that time I totally lost my shit at Chipotle and threw a hissy right in front of you? You don't remember? Oh, well, I guess it was just a big deal to me and all the people who read my blog, then." I'm pretty proud of that little fact.

* I suppose a better word would be "occasional."
** Chicago shiny is very different from Dallas shiny, I've decided.
*** I, too, wouldn't have minded more of a Danny update. There's always been something a little Timberlakian about him.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Four's my Lucky Num-bah

Really. It is. All that numerology, add up the numbers of your birthdate, divide by your social security number nonsense always comes out to four for me. So... I guess I have to do this meme, courtesy of Kara:

Four jobs i’ve had in my life:
• Swim lesson instructor (freezing water + bitchy kids)
• Pop music writer (free concerts + bitchy celebs)
• Art slave at Black Hair magazine (free weave advice + bitchy editors)
• Art director (free pizza + bitchy-fabulous co-workers)

Four movies i can watch over and over:
• Bring It On
• Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
• Grosse Pointe Blank
• Home Alone

Four places i have lived:
• Hudson, Ohio
• Colleyville, Texas
• Evanston, IL
• Chicago, IL

Four tv shows i love to watch:
• CSI: (but not its spinoffs)
• America's Next Top Model
• There and Back, the comeback story of Ashley Parker Angel (Kidding!... well, OK, I watched it once. Shut up!)
• Seinfeld

Four places i’ve been on vacation:
• Cork, Ireland
• New Orleans/Mardi Gras '95 (I was 13... scandal ensued)
• Savannah, GA
• Vegas, baby!

Four websites i visit daily
Television Without Pity
What the Font? (Because I'm shit when it comes to identifying anything but Futura or Knockout)
Chicagoist (Thanks for the tip-off, Kara!)

Four of my favorite foods:
• McDonald's fries with a Wendy's Frosty
• Tortilla chips with really hot salsa and a margarita (not technically food, but...?)
• Wild mushroom goat cheese quesadillas from Central Market in Dallas
• Anything peanut butter

Four places i would rather be right now:
• Somewhere Mediterranean
• Back in college, but learning to do something totally different, like forensic science
Thee Fish Bowl in the apex of the Evanstonian Universe
• Basically anywhere besides my desk

Four bloggers i am tagging:
• I'm copping out like Meghan did; if you wanna fill this bitch out, by all means, I'd love to hear what you have to say. Just let me know that you said it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Baby... One More Time

Being on deadline, I've decided, is like being pregnant. Not that I know anything about the latter from personal experience or anything. But: I've watched enough T.V. and movies, read enough books and magazines, and known enough pregnancy-beleaguered people to have picked up on a thing or two, dispite my total baby-block. And thus... some truths that apply both to being on a remarkably rigorous magagzine deadline schedule and to being with child:

1.) Skin = haywire. Seriously, my skin isn't as bad as it was during the whole Yearbook debacle, but it's angry. This probably is not completely unrelated to...

2.) Cravings. I've (or I should say we've, because this was a team effort, Fernando) consumed more pizza in the past two weeks than a frat house probably consumes in two months. There's something supremely comforting in greasy, bubbly cheese and a crust that's just the right consistency (props here to Salerno's, who makes a mean pie that is as delicious as 10:30 p.m. deadline munchie leftovers as it is when first delivered.) But there's also such a thing as pizza overload. This is why, mid-deadline, my dinner menu looked something like this:

• Two vegetarian rolls from the pre-packaged foods case at Dominicks
• Three quarters of a huge bag of Swedish Fish
• One handful of El Ranchero "WITH SALT"-flavored tortilla chips slathered in Chipotle Tobasco sauce
• Two conversation hearts (one white, one purple)

That's right. Swedish Fish and conversation hearts. These, I think, were both impulse buys during our one zombified trip to the grocery store. I can't imagine actually saying, "You know, I have a wicked craving for... what is it? OH! Swedish Freaking Fish!" but I'm not entirely convinced it didn't happen. I must have craved Swedish Fish because I subconsciously knew they made me happy, and I needed to be happy because...

3.) Hormones = out of whack. I've been feeling the highs and lows pretty acutely the past couple of weeks. I think since it takes every last fiber of my already-questionable goodness not to rip some clients' (or coworkers') heads off, I've been almost insanely slap-happy at work, and then really really glum once I get home. On Saturday I could barely muster the will to get out of my pajamas, and I caught myself getting all misty at (wait for it...) First Daughter. (In my defense, he should have told her he was in the Secret Service before he let her fall in love with him! Shame on you, Riley!) Ever have one of those nights where you get home, supertired, and think, "I should go to bed... but I really don't want to because when I wake up I'm going to have to do this all over again"? It's not the best feeling.

Also not the best feeling? Going out to celebrate the end of deadline, getting trashed at a gay bar under the delusion that someone (someone) there is going to take pity on you and want to make out, waking up in a bed that's not your own, and discovering YOUR OWN PHONE NUMBER in your pocket. Yeah... I don't even know. But...

4.) In the end, there's a little bundle of joy that you can smile down on and know that you helped to create. Sappy when it comes to a baby, kind of awesome when applied to a creative project like the biggest issue of our magazine in its 20-year history, featuring my very first cover design! Office speculation has this issue pegged as our most picked-up, and, if I do say so myself, the cover is extremely hot. I'll set up a account or something when it's officially hit newsstands so you can share the joy.

I'm gonna be such a proud mom (I'm registered at Target, FYI).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Since U Been Gone

News of The Former Loves of My Life has been cropping up all over the place recently.

I actually had a Former Love of My Life sighting on New Year's, when Is-He-Or-Isn't-He? Mark showed up as a friend of a friend at the party of a friend of a friend (try figuring the odds on that one). It was as pleasant an experience as I could have hoped for in a random and unprepared-for encounter with a Former Love of My Life; he seemed genuinely happy to see me, and I felt genuinely comfortable jokingly-but-not-really-jokingly admitting that my 19-year-old self had a major jones for him. (And, for the record, he so totally is— just my luck — but so totally was not the night I took him to my freshman year sorority formal.)

I caught wind of the first-ever Former Love of My Life, Skirt Wearing Joey, at Christmas, when my cousin said, completely in passing, "I can't stay for dinner. I'm picking up Joey and taking him to a meeting." My audible gasp was (thankfully) drowned out when my mom said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "Skirt Wearing Joey?" as if she knew him personally or had actually witnessed his skirt wearing (even I never witnessed his skirt wearing, and though tales are told that involve a broomstick skirt and pigtails, I refuse to believe what I never saw with my own two eyes.) I asked if I could tag along, and was told that, no, I couldn't, because the destination was an AA meeting; Skirt Wearing Joey was fresh out of rehab. Fabulous.

So that's two down.

Hearing about those boys makes me wonder whatever happened to the other Former Loves of My Life. I was devastated when Jake the Underage Mormon just up and moved to Utah with his huge Mormon family the summer before I went to college. He had curly hair and played the accordian and was just adorable enough to convince me that leaving school for 40 minutes to go to Taco Bell wasn't going to ruin my chances at getting into a good college. We went on a few "actual dates," which consisted primarily of me driving him to McChevron (he didn't have a license) and buying him caffeinated beverages. Oh, the Sin! Knowing the way things go for me with regards to the Former Loves of My Life, Jake the Underage Mormon is probably traipsing through Botswana on a mission from Jesus, or married, or both.

And of course there's the Former Love of My Life, the one who sets the standard for all future Former Loves of My Life: Mike "I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness" Wheeler, who, when faced with the choice between me and a witch, chose the witch. And I'm not namecalling here; I got dumped for an actual, practicing witch, the kind of person who spells magic with a "k" and sometimes uses it as a plural noun, the kind of person who says she's a vegan but has no scruples about small-animal sacrifice, the kind of person who can turn people to the dark side (thus handily providing me with the timeless line, "Yeah, well at least you were never in love with a warlock!" That shit never gets old.)

I'm still awaiting a report from Kara about her visit last weekend with Pat. (He doesn't get a nickname because I don't know how to spell that stock "angels-ascending-from-above" sound they use in movies.) I'm guessing the news does not fall in my favor, but seriously? At this point, I would be relieved to hear "he has a girlfriend". As long as he's not spreading the Word of Our Lord, kicking a nasty cocaine habit, wearing jewelry that involves pewter talons and crystal balls, or doin' it with dudes, I'm in good shape.

... I must admit, though, I'm a tiny bit curious to see if he — or any potential Former Loves of My Life, for that matter — can top what I've already put up with.

The race is officially on, boys!