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!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

String Cheese

I've never been a big fan of the fake holiday that is New Year's, or of all that "resolution" nonsense. But this New Year's, I made (not a resolution) a deal with myself to crank up my motivation: write more, write better, have a purpose and maybe even find a nice, cozy little niche to curl up in (with all my purpose and motivation and better writing.)

And even though New Year's was only four days ago, I have some excellent non-resolution/deal-with-myself news: mission accomplished! Yesterday I was offered a position as a fashion and beauty stringer for a national web magazine. I'll be writing 12 pieces a month, getting some free shwag, and even making a little bit of money.*

Honestly, though, it's not the free loot or the stipend that have me all worked up; I'm excited about writing for real again. I was starting to miss assignments and deadlines and editors and that little frantic what if I don't get this done? What if this isn't at all what they're looking for? thrill. I'm a nerd, I know.

And, I know, fashion 'zine schmashion 'zine. I probably won't win a Pulitzer this year. But I'll have fun, and this gives me purpose...

... purpose and an actual, legitimate excuse to read Cosmo and US Weekly.

* I have already placed strict limitations on the allocation of these new funds; they are to be used strictly for research: magazine subscriptions and trendspotting expeditions (read: going to bars). Whatever would I do without a budget?