It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

NFL--stands for Not For Long??


After working in television news for 8 years, I've certainly dealt with people not liking me. I once had an Indianapolis woman e-mail me, saying she hated the sweater I was wearing, and therefore, she would never watch me again. Perhaps a little dramatic?

But nothing in television ever compared to the hatred dealt by NFL fans. There's a campaign going on in Chicago right now to fire Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith. Fans are raising money and even put up a billboard, saying "Fire Lovie Smith!" Ouch.

I guess they've forgotten he's the Bears 3rd most winningest coach behind Mike Ditka and some other guy. I guess they also forget he took the Bears to the Super Bowl just a couple of years ago. And I guess they forget that he's the only nice person on that team (according to local reporters I know, the players are jerks).

I told Mike how disgusted I was with this, and he said that's why it's the NFL, it's known as the "Not For Long" league. My point is this: you'll have good years, and you'll have bad years. The sign of decent and loyal person is sticking by someone through the bad years, knowing things will get better.

So to you Lovie--congrats on your amazing win the other night! You deserve to rub that in everyone's faces!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Congrats to my Pops

I just have to give a shout out to my Pops. He has been confirmed as Wyoming's next U.S. Attorney.

Pops-I've always looked up to you and been so proud. I know you're the best, and now the nation knows it too.
Love you!

Senate Confirms Crofts As US Attorney In Wyoming
BEN NEARY, Associated Press Writer
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) ― The U.S. Senate has confirmed Christopher A. "Kip" Crofts to serve as U.S. Attorney for Wyoming.

The Senate confirmed Crofts on Christmas Eve. He had been nominated by President Barack Obama after Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal submitted Crofts' name to the White House earlier this year.

Crofts, 67, currently serves as counsel to Freudenthal in the governor's office. Crofts formerly served in the U.S. attorney's office and as director of the state's Division of Criminal Investigation.

Crofts said Monday he will take office once Obama takes formal action on his appointment, which Crofts said he expects in the next week or two.

Crofts said he enjoys working with Freudenthal, himself a former U.S. attorney, and the rest of the governor's staff and has mixed feelings about leaving.

"But on the other hand, I'm looking forward to new challenges and going back into an office where I used to work, and there are some great people there, too," Crofts said. "So it's kind of a bittersweet thing, I guess. New challenges, new direction, that's always stimulating."

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Wyoming represents the federal government in criminal and civil court action in the state. Crofts said he doesn't anticipate making policy or personnel changes in the office.

"I think there is sometimes a little bit of prosecutorial discretion here and there, but I don't plan on making any big policy changes or things like that," Crofts said. "I don't have either the inclination or the authority to do that. Just enforce the law."

Speaking of the existing staff, Crofts said, "There's a cadre of professional lawyers and I know most of them and they're all good people. They used to kind of change everybody and nothing would happen in the office for six months until they got everybody staffed up again. That obviously wouldn't work in today's world."

Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both Republicans, have supported Crofts' nomination.

"I'm sure he will do an excellent job in this new role," Enzi said. "His accomplishments while practicing law in Wyoming and while serving in the military showcase the qualifications we need in a U.S. attorney."

"His confirmation is good news for the people of Wyoming," Barrasso said. "Kip is a solid choice and will do an excellent job as U.S. Attorney.

According to Freudenthal's Web site, Crofts was born and raised in Lander and graduated from UW in 1965. He served four years as an officer in the U.S. Army and saw service in Vietnam and the Dominican Republic before his discharge as a captain in 1969.

Crofts taught English and social studies at Laramie Jr. High School for two years, and then attended law school at UW, graduating in 1974.

Crofts served as a justice of the peace in Fremont County for four years. He then started working with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, becoming director in 1981, a position he held until 1990. He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Casper and Lander until 2005. He then worked for the U.S. Justice Department as a legal adviser on a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Iraq, serving in both Baghdad, and Basra before joining Freudenthal's staff.


(© 2009 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Here's to 2010!

As 2009 comes to an end, it's time to reflect on the past year and wow, what a strange one it was! I started in Indianapolis, moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and ended up in Chicago. That's a lot of packing!

Exactly one year ago I was working at a television station in Indianapolis, but I knew my contract wasn't getting renewed. So on January 20th, the same day President Barack Obama was inaugurated and starting his new position, I lost mine.

I then went home to Cheyenne to figure out my next move, and ended up getting a main anchor position. Things were going well, but then the financial bottom fell out at the station.

So finally I moved to Chicago, and after four long years apart, Mike and I ended up in the same city. And before 2009 was even over, I found out that I got into a Master's program and I got a new job. Phew!

All in all, 2009 saw a lot of change, tears and uncertainty. But I realize now, no matter how low things seem to get, there's another door that's about to open.

Here's to 2010. I'll be starting a new job, getting married, and starting a life with Mike. Perhaps there's even a new Chihuahua in our future.

I wish you all the best in 2010 too! Maybe a new job, new relationship, or a new grandchild is in your future. No matter what, a positive attitude will help make it a great year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

On the first day of Christmas...


Christmas has come and gone, and I say, thank goodness! I started out the holiday with my mom and stepdad visiting Chicago, then I went to Wyoming for a week for early Christmas celebrations, and then I went to Ohio to see Mike's family. On Christmas day, his family squeezes in as much as they can. I need to thank coffee and Cabernet for getting me through!
All that traveling reminds me of the Twelve Days of Christmas--Jeannie style. Enjoy!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Twelve nights sleeping away from home
Eleven upset bellies
Ten slick roads
Nine gifts to re-gift
Eight relatives complaining about my expensive wedding
Seven busy interstates
Six holiday celebrations
Five hours of sleep
Four sneezing and sniffling kids
Three pounds of food eaten
Two times I thought about not having children
And a carsick Chi-hua-hua!

Are you singing it? It's better that way.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE IT!

Are you sitting down? Please sit before you hear this news.

I GOT A JOB!!

I'm still in shock. After 5 months of unemployment, two interviews, hundreds of job postings, and applying for 60 positions, I finally got a job.

I'M GOING TO GET A PAYCHECK AGAIN!

Are you still sitting? Please don't pass out!

This is going to be a great Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I'm heading to Ohio, so I'll be off-line for a few days. Chat soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A fate worse than death?

The holidays are upon us, and just like tradition, airports across the country are preparing for delays. Just like clockwork, ice and snow are on the way across most of the Mid-West and Rockies.

I flew back home to Chicago yesterday, and even though it was before the big rush, it was still awful. When I sat in my cramped seat that wouldn't recline, therefore I was practically eating the hair of the passenger in front of me, all I could think was, "Why do we do this?" Is mom's turkey that good?

Nowadays, you practically have to undress to get through security, and it takes 4 bins to hold all my stuff. My potentially dangerous Sweet Pea lotion must be less than 3 ounces, in it's own plastic bag, in it's own separate bin. Then there's ALWAYS someone behind me who's in a big rush, and pushes their bins into mine, thinking that will speed things up. What they don't know is that makes me go slower! (Insert a witch's cackle)

Then I get behind an old man who was exploring his "inner pirate". He has big, gold hoop earrings, and apparently metal in every pocket. So does he remove all the metal the first time he beeps? Of course not!!! It takes three more times!

Also, why do airport bathrooms always stink?
Why do people wait to eat their onion/poop sandwich when we get on the plane?
And why does the guy next to me always have bad breath but insists on talking the whole time?

I'd better go, I need to pack for Ohio!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What were they thinking?




Are you ready for a fun game of who looks more ridiculous? Ladies and gentleman, may I present a Wiener dog wearing a Snuggie, and football player Chad Ochocinco in a Snuggie. I just can't decide which one makes me laugh harder.

Let's break it down....

Each one looks incredibly uncomfortable.

Each one goes by a stupid name. I mean, a Wiener dog. Really? And Ochocinco? He loved his football number that much?

And each one is going to have a difficult time peeing. Is there an opening in those suckers?

C'mon, who other than my 1-year old nephews wants to wear a onesie? I get hot in just a bathrobe! We probably all agree the snuggie is a silly idea, but I'm guessing the creator is laughing all the way to the bank.

Friday, December 18, 2009

But the twist is....

There is the strangest story on CNN Headline News. A little boy stole his mom's beer, drank it, broke into the next door neighbor's house, stole several gifts, opened one that was a little girl's dress, and then put the dress on. He apparently did all this so he could go to jail just like his dad. The anchor described all the craziness of the story, and then said, "But the twist? He's only 4 years old!"

Okay, I agree that's young, but when you hear this story, is his age really the twist? Not the fact that he's drinking a Keystone Light and cross-dressing?

230 channels and nothing on

Have you watched TLC lately? They have certainly found their niche. If you have a litter of kids or are a small person, bamn, you have a show.

I watched "18 Kids and Counting" today. I wanted to be annoyed that they have a show just because they have a lot of kids, but the family is so darn cute. And the parents? So patient! How in the world do they do it? The kids are much better behaved than many families I've been around with just two or three kiddos. But if you have 18 kids, aren't the chances that you'll have a black sheep in the family so much greater?

Now I'm watching "Little People Big World." It's about two little people who are married and have three kids. Again, they are the cutest family and you can't help but watch.

But I'm drawing the line. I will not watch "Table for 12", "Little Couple", or "Little Chocolatiers." Seriously? They have a show because they are small and make chocolate?? Strange.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

1988 was a great year!

If you've gone through the day today without feeling old, let me change that for you. When I went to the liquor store last night, there's a handy sign that lets workers know who they can and cannot sell alcohol too. The sign said, "You must be born before on or before December 16th, 1988 to buy alcohol."
1988???
Sheesh! I think I was wearing makeup and driving by them!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good news to report!

I've only been out of Chicago since Saturday, but a lot has happened since then. I'm excited to report I got accepted into DePaul University's Masters of Education program. I have a job interview on Monday. (Finally!) And, drum roll please....I'm a finalist in Publisher's Clearing House drawing to win a million dollars. Wouldn't winning that solve all my problems? Wish me luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The season for giving (and cutting you down to size)

The holidays are a time for counting your blessings and spending time with family. It's also the perfect time for your family to put you in your place. Take this conversation with my brother, for example.

Me: "Thanks for reading my blog."

Shane: "Yea. It kind of reminds me of Seinfeld."

Me (excited): "Really? That's so cool!"

Shane: "Yea, you know how Seinfeld was the show about nothing? Well your blog is kind of like the blog about nothing."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back home in Wyoming

I don't think I'm so old that many of my stories begin with, "Do you remember when...?" But as I was flying back home to Wyoming last night, I thought, "Do you remember when people dressed nicely when they flew?" Now it's like a contest to see how disheveled you can be!

As a little girl, I'm not sure if my mom told me I had to, but I also wore a dress when we flew to Kentucky to visit my grandmother. Now, I see young girls and tweeners in their pajamas! I even saw one still in her slippers and holding a pillow. Wouldn't that be embarrassing?? I wouldn't even wear gloves when I was her age.

I also love seeing the different outfit ensembles people put together. Last night I saw a man in a cowboy hat (Awe, back home again!), green sweat pants, white socks, and brown sandals. Wowsers! I'm assuming even if he doesn't own a mirror, he had to at least seen his reflection sometime.

And I saw a 60's-ish woman with curlers in her hair. Okay, so if you decide to leave curlers in when you go out in public, what is the special occasion for which you want curly hair? Staying in??

Friday, December 11, 2009

Are they still enjoying this?


I tell Mike when we get older, there's no way we'll want to live in the city. I say the suburbs will be perfect when we have kids and an increased need for space. He insists we'll always want the sights, sounds and excitement of the city. But by the older people I've seen here, I'm guessing the "excitement" gets old.

Case in point: I almost had my eye poked out by a cane-wielding woman who wants to be Luke Skywalker in her next life. A car tried to turn while she was crossing the street, so she hit the hood of his car with her cane, twisting and turning it like a great swordsman. She then turned her moves on the crowd, and I had to pull out my best Matrix back arch so I wouldn't get hit.

At the grocery store, people in their 70's and 80's look like they are simply worn out. They're no longer in the mood for pleasantries like apologizing when they run over my toe with their cart. At the checkout, the cashier tells them, "Oh wait, you forgot a bag!" They grunt, roll their eyes, and hesitantly grab the bag. I'm thinking, you bought the stuff, so why are you so cranky?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pack Your Patience!

Speaking from personal experience, television stations get crazy when there's snow coming, or even when there's just a chance for snow. In Indianapolis, I once had to do 6 live shots for the morning show, saying "It may be clear now, but we're expected to get snow later!" We finally did get some about 9 a.m., and it wasn't more than a dusting.

Yesterday and today, the Chicago news stations are full of reporters at the airport, near traffic, and on interstate overpasses, showing us "all the angles" of the storm. As Mayor Daley put it, "I'm pretty sure Chicago has gotten snow before."
One reporter talked about the increased sales of snow blowers, and had a customer on who exclaimed, "The bigger it is, and the more gas it takes, the more fun it is!" (He may have inhaled too many fumes.)

And the station put up a graphic so the anchor could read these important safety tips:
* Give yourself extra time in the morning. (Hmmm, in a city of millions, that's good advice!)
* Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. (Not going to happen here.)
* And if you're heading to the airport, pack your patience! (People who work at the airport must take a vow they will use this saying early and often.) But wait, I can pack patience, but no liquid over 3 ounces??

Here's where I think the problem is...there isn't a need for 27 newscasts, per station, everyday. Sometimes there just isn't much going on! This is my opinion...instead of filling time with "important safety tips", just show reruns of The Golden Girls.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

He lived 29 years on his own?

When Mike and I were looking for apartments, several of them didn't have a washer and a dryer. What? That's like not having heat. So I told him if we got a w/d, I'd do all his laundry--forever.
Look at what I found in his pile the other day. It's the shirt and vest he wore on Thanksgiving day. It appears he just unbuttoned the top button, and somehow squeezed himself out so the shirt and vest are still in one piece. C'mon, he wouldn't want to waste time unbuttoning the whole thing!
I also find that ALL his socks are inside out, presumably because he pulls them off as quickly as he can. And on more than one occasion, I've washed gum, receipts and Kleenex left in his pockets. I ask him, "Do you ever check your pockets?" "Nope." "Even when you did your own laundry?" "Nope."
I don't mind doing his laundry because I have a nice washer and dryer as part of the bargain. But here's my question...how do they live without us?

Monday, December 7, 2009

My worst fear comes true

At the risk of using an overused news term, my worst fear has come true. When people asked me if I was worried about moving in with Mike, I told them I had just one concern--only having one bathroom. What if we both have to go at the same time? What if my Chinese food doesn't agree with me? What if I have to number two?
I never guessed we'd have this problem. For some reason, our bathroom door won't shut anymore. The fact that we have wind gusts from the lake ripping through the elevator shafts and through our apartment probably isn't helping. Last night, I couldn't hold it anymore, so I finally went. Mike thought it would be funny to sit on the couch and wave to me the whole time, letting me know he could see every move.
I exclaimed, "What am I going to do when I really have to go?"
He laughed and said, "Well, since you're not working, you can go anytime during the day."
Phew! One upside to unemployment.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Serenity now!



Big girls don't cry, but big boys apparently do. Did you see this sad face yesterday? It's Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the University of Florida. The team lost their game and therefore, their chances of winning a National Championship. I understand it's your senior year, but really Tim? Crying on national television? One blog is naming him the "2009 Crysmen Winner."

This makes me wonder why men take sports so seriously. When I watch the Buckeyes with Mike, he paces back and forth, screams until the dogs are hiding under the bed, counts to 10 to relieve his anxiety, and constantly repeats to himself, "Serenity now! Serenity now!"

I try to relate to his love of sports by comparing it to my love of shopping. But I can't make sense of it all. Here are some scenarios I'm imagining...
Salesman: "Unfortunately we don't have that in size 8."
Me: "No!" (begin wailing)

Macy's salesman: "I'm sorry ma'am, use can't use that coupon for clothes, shoes or purses.
Me: "No! Serenity now! Serenity now!"

Or when I discover the escalator isn't working in the 8-story Macy's.
Me: "Oh my god, what am I going to do?? Why does it have to be so hard? All I need is a new puffer jacket!!"

So really Tim Tebow, are you regretting the tears?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Don't do it!

My heart is racing. My palms are sweating. A big part of me is saying, "Don't do it!"
Is all of this angst for a job interview? Nope. (unfortunately.) A first date? (That would be a hard one to explain to Mike.) A presentation I have to give? (Again, no job interview indicates no job.)

No my friends, I am having a panic attack about shopping on Michigan Avenue in December. I have to get our niece something at the Disney Store which will be a hot mess of stressed parents, excited kids, confused tourists, and people dressed like Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.

Why, oh why didn't I buy the gift when I was at the tame mall in Canton, Ohio? Nope, I let my future sister-in-law convince me it would go on sale.

But most people love Michigan Avenue, right? You do until you live here. Then it becomes blatantly obvious that no one walks as quickly as you do. Families of 10 like to re-group about their shopping strategies in the middle of the sidewalk. And tourists just love stopping and taking pictures every couple of steps. Can you imagine when they get home? "Look, here's a picture of Nordstroms!" "And look, here's a picture of a homeless guy in front of Nordstroms!"

Wish me luck. If I'm not back in two hours, I'll likely be at the doctor's office getting a prescription for Xanax.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is that a rat?


When I go on walks with my 4-pound black Chihuahua, Bailey, I get a lot of stares. Sometimes I think people believe I'm walking a cat. Or at night, I admit it, she might be mistaken for a rat. Especially in a city where rats are more common than Uggs. But do you think I want to hear that?
Several times, I've heard people snicker, and say, "Look, she's walking a rat!" Perhaps they don't think I can hear them, but I can.
This may seem funny to you, but for me, that's my child, so essentially you're saying my daughter looks like a rodent.
So Chihuahua owners all over the world, let's join together and demand respect for our little dogs! As they say in Beverly Hills Chihuahua, "They Might Be Tiny, But They Are Mighty!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Burn, Baby Burn!

Have you ever put Hydrogen Peroxide in your eye? I did about 30 minutes ago, and trust me, you don't want to do it.
I've been having trouble with my current contact lens solution, so I tried another one that is better at removing proteins. Well, apparently I didn't read the fine print very well...

The first warning says, "Do not use a regular contact lens case with this solution. Use only the one provided." (Okay, I'm thinking it's just clever marketing to get me to use their product.)

The second warning says, "Do not remove lenses from case until at least 6 hours later." (No problem, I sleep for 10 hours these days!)

And the final warning says, "Do not rinse lenses with Clear Care prior to inserting lenses in your eyes." (Oops, guess I didn't read that far!)

So after screaming, thrashing around, and pulling the towel rack out of the wall, I finally got my contact out. But now with bloodshot eyes, I look like a drug user. Sheesh, you'd think it was a Monday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Plee to Potential Employers

Dear Potential Employers,
I spent a lot of time and effort on my resume, so when you ask me to re-type all of my work experience, references and education, you're wasting my time. Maybe we could end this recession if we do more working, and less filling out useless information.
Thank you,
Jeannie

Tiger, what in the world is going on?


Have you followed this strange story involving Tiger Woods and his wife? He got into a car accident outside of his Florida home early Friday morning, and his wife smashed the back window to supposedly get him out. This came just a couple of days after a story came out that Tiger is having an affair. So far, he's remained pretty hush-hush, which I can assure you is the WRONG thing to do.
So Tiger, here's some free advice from a former media gal.

* First of all, don't lie to us. You think we're dumb enough to believe your wife was so worried about you, she smashed out the BACK window to get you out of the FRONT? There wasn't even enough damage to make the airbags deploy.

* Secondly, don't remain quiet about this. You're right, it's none of our business, but when you make millions every year because of us, you pretty much give up your right to remain silent. Harsh, but true. You can take solace in your Hawaiian mansion.

* Third, just fess up. We only want to know because you won't tell us. I remember trying to do a story on the city council which was not at all interesting. Then the city councilman avoided me and wouldn't return my calls, so suddenly all I wanted was that city council story. If the councilman had called me back, chances are I wouldn't have even done the story.

So Tiger, if you just admit what happened, we can all move on. And I guarantee by tomorrow, we'll be focused on Britney Spears.

Monday, November 30, 2009

We're baaaaaccccckkkkkkk!


Awe, Home Sweet Home. I never thought a 660 square foot apartment could look so good. After hundreds of miles, and about 16 hours of driving, Mike and I are back in Chicago after our Kentucky/Ohio extravaganza. We first went to Louisville, Kentucky to spend the holiday with my family and celebrate my grandmother's 85th birthday. Happy Birthday Mama Mays! We then went to Canton, Ohio to finish out the weekend with Mike's family. Here are some observations I've made about the holidays/life/traveling. You can probably relate.

* Even though you just eat and travel, the holidays are way more exhausting than cramming for a college exam ever was.

* Michigan drivers apparently make a vow to drive in the left lane and go 10 miles under the speed limit. Always.

* Hardee's is single-handedly contributing to this country's obesity problem, but their mushroom melt is oh-so-good.

* Your dog and a relative's dog will get along fine one minute, but the next they are trying to bite each other's snouts off.

* Older women fart when they go to the bathroom to pee. Always.

* You think you are a better driver than anyone else because you ARE.

* You feel like your family is crazy because they are. But don't worry, you're not alone.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

P.S.

I'll be off-line for a couple of days for our Ohio/Kentucky Thanskgiving extravaganza. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

He has a flesh-eating virus!


Mike thinks I'm a hypochondriac, and he might be right. This weekend I was brushing the doggies' teeth, and I noticed Buckeye's gums were swollen and he had a loose tooth. I immediately called the vet, but they were closed until Monday. Dang! Then I called Mike, who was hanging out with friends, and told him to come home immediately. I sobbed, and told him I was convinced Buckeye had gotten a terrible flesh-eating virus from the doggie daycare.
The next night as we were sleeping, Bailey threw up in bed. (Yes, they sleep with us.) I woke up Mike, and wailed, "Bailey has the virus too!"
His response: "Relax! Didn't you feed her leftover Chinese food? It probably just upset her stomach."
Oh.
Luckily, the vet assured me, Buckeye doesn't have a flesh-eating virus. He says small dogs are just prone to losing teeth. Hey, this is good training for having kids, don't you think?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jiffy Lube should be Jiffy Don't!

Getting things done in the city, like an oil change, is just not as easy as it is in the 'burbs. Period. I can't even think of a gas station nearby.
So today I decided it was time to drive on the interstate (scary!), and get my oil changed before Mike and I hit the road for our Ohio/Kentucky Thanksgiving extravaganza.
Jiffy Lube is only about 3 miles away from the house, but it takes about 45 minutes thanks to construction. Then when I get there, the worker tells me I need to get everything filled or changed. She asks if I want to get my transmission fluid changed. I say sure, considering I want us to have a safe drive. Then, she tells me I need my radiator fluid changed. All told, the final price is $350. Wow, for an oil change? Seeing the shock on my face, she gives me %15 off. Wow, thanks.

Luckily I call my mom who sifts through bullshit better than anyone. She yells, "Oh, no! You shouldn't be paying more than $50 or $60! They are scamming you!"
I quickly tell the worker, "Stop! I just want an oil change!" So I leave paying a much more reasonable $66.33.

So to my mother: Thank you!
To the Jiffy Lube at 1049 West North Avenue: You should be ashamed of yourselves!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

John and Kate: Be Gone!

If you've ever tried to watch TV on a Saturday, you know there are NO choices. Seriously hard to believe considering we have like 300 channels.
As I was flipping through, I first picked the movie "Steel Magnolias". But it was the scene where Shelby is in the hospital and dying. Depressing! Then I start watching one of my Grey's Anatomy recordings. It's always depressing! So I decide on "John and Kate Plus 8." Ugh, I know, right?
If it was a bad show before, the "divorced edition" is even worse. In one scene, Kate takes the 3 boys to visit a war ship. In the background, you can see paparazzi photographers everywhere! Really, does US Weekly and People actually pay money for shots of that?
Then Kate had the nerve to say, "Despite what people think, this show doesn't harm the kids. If it did, we wouldn't be doing it." What? Having the paparazzi follow everyday of their lives is normal??
But here's the good news: The last episode is Monday. Hopefully the kids can get serious therapy before their awkward teen years.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oprah, you can't leave us!



The top story on every Chicago station today is the announcement that Oprah's show will end next year after 25 years on air. I can't believe it's been that long! She started when I was just 6 years old, so I've grown up with her. No matter if you are a fan or not, you have to admit she's had a huge influence on people's lives. I watched a show a couple of years ago about how easy recycling is, and how it can make a huge impact, and I've been doing it ever since. I've also encouraged the people around me to recycle, and they are too.
I have to admit though, I cried during her announcement. That seems normal, but here's my concern. I also cried during a Hallmark commercial the other day. And when Mike and I visited a museum, the orchestra was playing music that made me cry.
Have I become a major sap? Is this what you do when you get older? Or do people just cry more often when they're out of work? Hmm....maybe it's a good topic for the Oprah show.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mr. Shuttle-man, Part Two

Okay, okay, hear me out for one more funny story about Mr. Shuttle-man. Confused? Read yesterday's blog.

Along with the anchor name-game, I also told my Bulgarian shuttle driver that I'm planning to go back to school to become a teacher. Most people's response is, "Oh, that's wonderful!". Or, "Following in you mom's footsteps, huh? That's great!" But here was Mr. Shuttle-man's reaction:
"Oh, no! You don't wants to be a teacher. They don't make mush money. Only like $50 or $60 thowsand"
Ha! I wanted to ask how much he makes driving a shuttle 2 days a week.
Here was my response, which he clearly didn't understand.
"Well, considering at my first broadcasting job, I made $14,000, this will seem like a dream! In fact, even in a top-25 market, I didn't make $60 thousand. Wow, come to think of it, I've never made much money!"

Not convinced, he says, "Oh no, you need to be just like Bawbara Walters."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is this a better alternative than walking 2 miles to the grocery store?

I recently discovered that instead of walking 2 miles to the grocery store, and schlepping my bags home in the rain, our apartment building offers a free, shuttle service on Tuesdays and Sundays.
Along with the service comes a very hard to understand, but sweet, driver from Bulgaria.
Yesterday on the way home, he asked if I had the day off. "Yes, I guess you could say that."
He then asked what I did, and I told him I was a reporter and anchor for 8 years. He thought that was the coolest. He wanted to name all his favorite anchors, only he couldn't remember their last names, or even their first names for that matter. Here was our conversation-- in broken English, of course:

Him: "Oh, I just love Bawrbara....?"
Me: "Walters?"
Him: "Yesh, yesh, wery good."

Him: "Oh, I just love that hanchor on CNN.."
Me: "Can't guess that one. I'm pretty sure there's more than one anchor!"

Him: "Did you know Opwrah made $200 billion last year?"
(I don't argue)

Him: "Whosh was the anchor before Tom Brokaw?"
Me: "I'm not sure."
Him: "You know. Briyan something.."
Me: "Brian Williams?"
Him: "Yesh, that's it!"
Me: "Brian Williams was after Tom Brokaw."
Him: "No he wasn't."
(Once again, I don't argue)

I realize now Mr. Shuttle man is like a leaky faucet. Once he turns on, you can't get him to stop!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You look just like.....


I realize now that telling someone they look like a famous person is not always a compliment.  At Sushi last night, when the waitress greeted us, she said, "Wow, has anyone ever told you you look just like Britney Spears?"  I said, "I hope pre-breakdown!"  She laughed and said, "Oh yeah, before she gained weight."
Hmmm.  I guess I should say thank you??

Monday, November 16, 2009

To all health insurance companies: Why are you so difficult?

The most common question I get about this blog is, "Why do you blog?  Isn't it a pain to do it nearly everyday?"
I tell those people it's a great release for when something isn't going my way, or if someone is rude, I can blog and then stop worrying about it.
So, please hear me out on yet another COBRA (continuation of health benefits story).  Get some popcorn and get comfortable!

If you read this Blog often enough, you know it took me more than 2 months to get health insurance after I quit my job in Cheyenne.  One reason is that Blue Cross never received my check.  So I stopped payment on it, and paid with a credit card on-line.  My bank charged me $20 to do that, but I didn't want to worry someone else would cash the check.
I then called the COBRA department, and told a "Brian" that I was stopping the payment, and he said "Uh-huh" with so little interest I knew he really didn't care or write it down.  I'm pretty sure he was playing Solitaire.
Today, I got a letter from Blue Cross saying I also owed them $25 for the stop payment. What?  Were they so embarrassed that the check didn't cash,  they think $25 will heal their wounds? 
"Nicole" tells me she'll put in a request so I don't have to pay the $25.  So in another 2 months, I should have an answer!

Awe, that feels good.  Thanks for hearing me out.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just Say No!




My son, Buckeye, is only 4, so he's too young to remember Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign, but I think it's a message he needs to hear.
Ever since we moved to the city, his behavior has changed. He doesn't want to do anything but eat or sleep. Look at the picture on the left. He can't even keep his eyes open during the day! He's lethargic and doesn't do any chores around the house like I ask him to.
I'm pretty sure he's getting his drugs from the Puggle next door. I knew that dog was trouble.
(P.S. I'm sure you're shocked to hear that I'm making all of this up. I was just looking for an excuse to post this ridiculously cute pictures!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Success!




I've never planned a surprise birthday before, but since Mike turned 30 this week, I thought it was the perfect time. We went to McFadden's on State and Division Streets, and we had a blast. It's the perfect bar for 30 somethings because they play all the best music from our youth.
But there was one problem. The usually laid-back, and not at all worried about being on time Mike, suddenly wanted to go out right away last night. I told everyone to get there at 8 p.m., and we'd be there by about 8:15 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., Mike was chomping at the bit to go out. So I told him I had to go to the ATM. Considering I really don't pay for anything these days, that was a weird request.
Then I said I needed some extra hairspray for my 'do.
Then I told him I just had to say goodbye to the Chihuahuas. I'm talking about all out cuddling and kissing.
Mike's like, "You're home with them all day, what's your deal?"
I said, "I just love them so much!"
But the greatest gift came from our cab driver. He's apparently lived in Chicago for only a few hours. He kept getting in turn lanes when we needed to go straight, and he drove down State Street which is a construction mess.
So thanks to hairspray, small dogs, and a non-English speaking cabbie, we timed it out perfectly!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can you hear me now?

I'm in a city of millions of people. 2 or 3 million, I've read different figures, but either way, it's a lot. So why can't I get a cell phone signal?
I got one on a ferry to Key West. I got one in the caves of Kentucky. I even got one in Lander, Wyoming, population 5,000.

When I was talking to a potential employer, he said, "Oh, it sounds like you just walked under a bridge." "Nope," I said, "That's just my living room."

When I was talking to my mom today, the phone cut out 3 times on Michigan Avenue. I can land some crack cocaine there, but I can't get any cell phone service!

And when I had to order a new remote control from someone in India (Slumdog Millionaire style), my phone cut out three times, and all three times the order hadn't been completed, so I had to call back. And talk to someone I couldn't understand. And explain the problem again. And be told, "Please hit every button on your remote, just to make sure it doesn't work."

So Verizon, I ask you, "Can you hear me now? Do something about this awful reception!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

P.S.

Thank you Pops for your service to this country during Vietnam and many years in the Army! And thank you Shaner for your service in Kuwait and also many years in the army. You both have always made your Jeannie Bug very proud.

How do they get a driver's license?

Sure, we've all thought about death, but living in the city, it's impossible not to think about it more. Not because you're morbid, but because of the scary fast yellow flashes you see, otherwise known as taxis.
No longer am I worried about a knife-wielding robber, or a terrorist on an airplane. I'm pretty sure if I go, it will either be in the back seat of a taxi, or
while crossing the street and getting hit by one.
Today when I went for a walk, I had to cross at a crosswalk. I looked to my right, and saw a cab coming towards me at no less than 50 miles per hour. Most Chicagoans would probably trust that he'd stop, and they'd go ahead and cross. Not me! I have more to do in this lifetime, like attend my big fat Italian wedding!

And the other day, Mike and I took a cab back from a concert when it was raining. The cab driver was going about 55 miles per hour down Michigan Avenue, splashing poor pedestrians, swerving and hydroplaning. Wow, I thought, I've never going to have children.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The gender saga continues...

The quest by employers to figure out my gender got even stranger today. As I mentioned before, I applied for a job where there were 3 choices for gender, Male, Female, and "Unknown Gender".
Today, the third choice was.....are you ready for this?
N/A
Not applicable gender?? What does that even mean? I can appreciate choosing not to reveal your gender, but saying you don't even have one!?
I guess this job market has changed a little bit since I got out of college 8 years ago.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hangin' with Stifler's Mom!



So, do you recognize the woman standing next to me? That's actress Jennifer Coolidge! She's been in a ton of movies and TV shows including Legally Blonde, Best in Show, and episodes of Nip Tuck and Desperate Housewives. But she's probably best known as "Stifler's Mom" in the comedy American Pie.

It turns out the wedding reception we went to in New Orleans was at her house. She bought a very old and dilapidated 1800's home in Coliseum Square that she's been fixing it up for several years. The house is very cool and very big! I've read that she also bought an apartment building in the French Quarter that she planned to fix up and live in during the renovation of this home, but the building collapsed during Hurricane Katrina.

I have to say Jennifer was very gracious by taking pictures with us, and she even hung out at the reception. She's also very tall! (I'm standing in 4-inch heels next to her)

It was fun watching people at the reception react to seeing her. Older people had no idea who she was, and everyone in their 20's and 30's were like, "Dude, that's Stifler's mom!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There are three choices for gender?

As I mentioned before, I get nervous at the end of online job applications where they ask you to "voluntarily" give your gender and race. I worry that if I don't fill it out, they'll think I'm uncooperative, and if I do, I won't fit what they're looking for.
So I think I've found a solution.
On my latest application, I got to the gender question, and there were three choices. Three!
  • Male
  • Female
  • Unknown Gender

What? Unknown gender? Wasn't that a Maury Povich episode? Regardless, that's what I'm choosing from now on!

In other news, the doggies passed their behavior test. Yes! I think the girl at DoGone Fun just felt bad for us, but hey, I'll take it! So for the next four days, I probably won't be blogging because we'll be in New Orleans. I'll update you as soon as we get back!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We will NOT be granting you an interview.

When you're on the job hunt, you run into some interesting employers and their sometimes strange ways of handling things.
For example, I love what my good friend Janet posted on Facebook yesterday. She was wondering why a company she applied with sent her a letter, saying they would NOT be granting her an interview. As she puts it, she pretty much got the hint when they didn't call. To me, this sounds like a really popular high school kid calling a dorky girl, and saying, "Just so you know, I will NOT be asking you to prom."

Or the boss that I interviewed with a couple of weeks ago. He called me, and seemed really excited. Then as soon as I sat down, he said, "Let me tell you why we have real concerns about your work experience." What? You called me. I should have said, "Let me tell you why I have real concerns about you wasting my time."

And I just love the e-mails saying, "Thank you for your interest in _____ company. Unfortunately, we found someone more qualified for the position." Here's what I'm going to write back....
"Thank you for posting the _____ position. Unfortunately, I found a company with way better-looking people who actually have personalities."
Best,
Jeannie Crofts

Monday, November 2, 2009

Success!

Being the responsible parents we are, Mike and I realized this week we're leaving for New Orleans on Thursday, and we have no one to watch the dogs. Oops! I was hoping to make amazing friends on our floor, but considering Bailey and Buckeye tried to attack our next door neighbor's dog today, I don't think we'll be sending her a Christmas card.
I called a local doggie daycare/spa, because I figured if they do puppy pedicures, they'll take good care of the kids. One problem: I have to bring them in beforehand for a "temperament test." They have to behave themselves around the workers and the other dogs. So yes, I'm currently trying to figure out what plan "B" with be.
By the way, the fake sod on our patio I was telling you about is a success! The dogs learned how to use it in one day. Sorry for the graphic picture, but hey, I'm a proud mama.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why are there three?

If you're driving around Ashland and Division streets in the East Village, you'll probably do a double-take. Or I guess a triple-take. That's because there are 3 La Pasadita restaurants. 3! There are 2 on one side of the corner, and 1 on the other. I can't really tell you why, expect one family owns all 3 and I guess they like having the market, or in this case, the block cornered.

What I can tell you is they have the best Carne Asada tacos you'll ever eat. In his best cowboy costume, and me dressed as "I Dream of Jeannie" (clever, huh?), Mike and I went there about 1 o'clock this morning. We ordered 8 tacos, and yes, we ate all 8. They are AMAZING! (Are they that good when you haven't been drinking? I can't say for sure.)
A word of caution: the tacos will make you incredibly thirsty about 5 a.m. As I went to the kitchen and downed a 7-up, I looked over and saw Mike chugging water from the Brita filter. But I say it was La Pasadita worth it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Looking for a.....

In my quest to find the perfect job, I've posted my resume just about everywhere. Everyday, I get updates from several websites like Careerbuilder and Monster, letting me know what jobs are available that match my interests and experience.
Here's what Monster recently came up with:
  1. Therapy Specialist in Sacramento (I hear Sacramento is beautiful this time of year, but I'm never moving again!)
  2. Superior Tax Manager (Sure, I'm superior, but I don't know much about taxes!)
  3. Technical Operations Lead-Corporate Internet Group (English please!)

Hence why the job hunt is so frustrating! So if you find the "Looking for a former broadcaster in the Chicago area who doesn't want to work weekends or holidays, wants to earn six figures, and has to have really cute shoes," let me know!

P.S. Sorry to all the people living on floors 30-40 for the fire alarm going off last night. Who knew a frozen pizza would be so hard to cook???

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Seriously? You won't stand up?

My mom and step dad just got back from a wonderful European cruise. When I talked to my mom this morning about all the adventures, she brought up an interesting phenomenon: the person on the airplane who won't get up.
You know what I'm talking about. When you're boarding, and you tell the person on the aisle, "This is me. I have the window seat." And instead of getting up, they just put their legs closely together, and let you climb over them. So now your ass is in their face. Awkward!

Or in my mom's case, they were already seated, so she told the women she needed to go to the bathroom. The woman didn't get up, so mom climbed over her. Really? On a 9-hour flight, you don't want to get up and stretch your legs? Really? Is buckling your seat belt the hardest thing you've ever done, and you fear if you unbuckle it, you won't be able to figure out how to do it again.
C'mon people! Let's sign a pledge that when we're on an airplane, we vow to stand up. It's our American duty!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still Waiting...

On October 9th, I posted that I was sooooo excited about finally getting COBRA coverage(continuation of health benefits). I waited 66 days, but after my persistence, and a nasty letter thanks in part to my lawyer step dad, I finally got it.
But what they don't tell you--you're still going to have to wait WEEKS for it to actually go into effect. I've been trying to fill a prescription, and the pharmacist keeps coming back with, "I'm sorry Ms. Crofts, the insurance company says your coverage ended September 1st."
I say, "I know, I'm on COBRA. I guess the $260 I paid isn't enough???"
When I call Blue Cross, they say my check HAS gone through, but it takes 3 business days to process. The next guy I called said 7-10 days. Awe, don't you just love getting different stories?!
So as I said before, when you quit a job or a job quits you, it's going to be a pain in the butt for a long time.

On a lighter note--I want to say "hi" to my grandmother, Mama Mays. She turns 85 next month, but she's incredibly Internet savvy, and reads this blog everyday. I love you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More differences...

Mike's "light" packing for his bachelor party weekend away is not the only difference I've noticed between men and women. It's also their lack of small talk with other guys. Here's our conversation that reiterates that conclusion:
Me: "So, when is Jesse [the groom] getting married?"
Mike: "I'm not sure."

Me: "Is he getting married in Cleveland or Columbus?"
Mike: "Um, I'm not sure."

Me: "When is his brother Taylor, and his wife Gina, having their baby?"
Mike: "I really don't know."
(Keep in mind Taylor is one of Mike's best friends, and a groomsmen in our wedding)

Me: "What the heck did you guys talk about all weekend?"
Mike: "Really how pathetic Jim Tressel's recent coaching is, and how Terrelle Pryor is not playing well."

Me: "Oh". (I'm thinking, "Lord help me if I ever go to a bachelorette party, and all we do is talk about Ohio State)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yet another difference between men and women


What is the adorable pink suitcase you ask? Well, this is how much stuff I pack on any given weekend away (minus the Chihuahua, of course). I need all of my necessities to make me feel comfortable and to have a good weekend.
Men and their packing never cease to amaze me. This weekend, Mike went to a bachelor party in Cleveland. He didn't take an adorable pink suitcase. Heck, he didn't take any sort of suitcase. He filled his coat pockets with a baseball cap, socks and boxers. But then as I was walking him to the El train, he decided his pockets were too full, so he had me take the socks and hat back. All that was left--boxer shorts! Men, I ask you, "How do you do it???"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Phew!


I've always thought of myself as a pretty good shopper who can navigate stores effortlessly. That was until today...
Have you ever visited the Macy's store on State Street? It's better known as Marshall Field's, a staple in Chicago's history. You may remember it from one of my all-time favorite movies, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," where Chevy Chase does some shopping for his wife.
I had to buy a birthday gift for Mike, so I thought Macy's would be perfect. That's until I was trying to find my way around one of the 24 floors (okay, it's not that many, but it seemed like it.) I kept walking in circles, and that circle led me to the really expensive stuff!
I was feeling silly about how confused I was in the store, until I just read that it's the 2nd largest department store in the world! In the world! It's also on the National Register of Historic Places. Now that's some serious shopping.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

This is me pretty soon: "Can I super-size your order?"

Okay, so you thought getting my hair done was ridiculously expensive, but that's nothing. During my funemployment, I've thought about going back to school to become a teacher. Recession proof jobs seem to be the ticket, and considering I nearly passed out when my Chihuahua had his blood taken, I think health care is out.
So I started looking at area universities. Most of them focus on teaching in urban environments. I'm not sure this Wyoming girl can handle herself in a city school, so I kept looking. When I looked at Northwestern University's program, it didn't say anything about urban schools. Perfect! I was ready to make an appointment with a counselor when I thought I should probably check out how much it is. Drum roll please......$40,000 for a Master's Degree. About $2,700 per credit! I'm not getting my medical degree people!
So, unless I win the lottery, I think Northwestern is out.

Friday, October 23, 2009

You pay what?

I used to love to shock my good friend, Dave Barras, with the horror stories about getting my hair done. When I worked the morning shift in Indianapolis, I knew I still had another 5 hours until I got home if it was a hair appointment day.
I got my hair done in a suburb southwest of the city. I lived northeast of the city, so that was problem number one. I also had a stylist who insisted on working on other people's hair at the same time, so more often than not, I'd sit in the chair with soaking wet hair for at an hour. Then, I had long hair with ridiculously intricate highlights, so that was another hour. When all the torture was done, I still had to drive an hour to get home during rush hour. The cost for this day of torture? Anywhere from $130-$200 dollars! You understand Dave's shock.
One benefit of my funemployment--I can't afford to get my hair done, so I'm cutting and coloring it myself (pathetic, right?) But it only takes me 30 minutes with Nice & Easy, and it costs $6.99! Sure, I'm a redhead now with uneven bangs, but I just saved hundreds of dollars.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I got an interview!

The good news: I had a job interview today. The bad news: I didn't get the job. And thus continues the roller coaster of emotions, also known as job hunting. One of my friends told me he interviewed 4 times before the company finally decided on someone else. 4 times!
I've decided us 30-somethings with 8+ years of experience are stuck in the middle of this horrible job market. When we apply for entry-level jobs, we're told we're "overqualified". When we apply for jobs that only require 2-3 years experience, we're told the company found candidates who are "much more qualified." Of course! We're up against baby boomers with decades of experience, or 20-somethings who understand technology even more than us.
So the job search continues. I'm bummed, but just as motivated.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"But I don't wanna go!"

As little girls, we read stories of Prince Charming who is strong, brave and will protect us in any situation. I think girls should know the real story that their man will have morning breath, an urge to scratch, and be total weenies about certain situations.
Take for example, the dentist. We all know we should floss everyday and go to the dentist every 6 months for a check-up. Then why is Mike so afraid of this?

I understand that he had a rough childhood when it came to his
teeth. They were really bad, so he had to have several pulled
and braces on for at least 6 years. So to get him to go to the dentist I had to...
a) Find a dentist close by
b) Set up the appointment
c) Call 3 times until we finally had the insurance worked out (Mike tried to give me an insurance card for a company that hasn't covered him since 2005. Hmmm..) and then
D) Go with him to his appointment today.

Their findings? He does need to floss and brush everyday, he needs to get a chipped tooth fixed, and he has 3 cavities. Also, since he has such thin teeth from his years of orthodontics, the dentist asked him if he's Bulimic or a Meth User. I wonder if Prince Charming ever got asked that?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cohabitating

People keep telling me living with Mike will be the true test of our relationship. And he'd better pass, because we've already paid for the wedding venue, my dress, flowers, and photography. So if I discover I can't live with him, I'd better find someone else before July 3rd. Ha!

Our first true test was definitely moving in. As I mentioned before, it was truly awful schlepping all our stuff up to the 31st floor. We moved my stuff in first, and I quickly realized I filled up all 3 closets by myself. I'm talking every inch. Mike had no hope of even getting his Ohio State t-shirts in them. It was hard, because I went from a 1200-square foot townhouse (that I lived in alone) to a 660-square foot apartment that I had to share.

Mike handled it in stride. When he looked around, he said, "Well, I guess it looks like you'll be living here alone, because there's no room for me!" Luckily, my future mother-in-law was here, and kindly reminded me that since it's October, I don't need to hang all my summer clothes too. We packed those away, and I gave Mike one whole closet! (Minus the Christmas decorations in the corner of it). And who says I never give him anything?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

'Da Bean




Since I moved to Chicago, I've been told I need to see the bean, a.k.a. Cloud Gate on the AT&T Plaza. (I hope I get free phone service now for giving them a shout out!)
The bean is located in Millennium Park, right off of Michigan Avenue. It's a 110-ton sculpture that is intended to reflect the city's skyline and the clouds. It's pretty neat. Amazingly enough, people have posted reviews of the bean online, and I thought they were funny. Here are some...
"It's a great metal shiny bean!" (True)
"It's a Chicago must-see!" (By all the foreign-speaking visitors, I'd say they read that review too. They thought, 'When we go to America, we just have to see the bean!')
And my favorite, "Don't stand underneath it and spin around. It will give you the worst hangover and trip you've ever had." (Good advice!)
By the way, here are the answers to yesterday's post. It's illegal to park your vehicle in a bicycle lane. A white painted curb means a loading zone for passengers or mail only. And you should signal 100 feet before you make a left turn. (I'm presuming that's true for right turns too?? Uh oh, I'd better go study some more!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Do cab drivers pass driving tests?



The only thing I hate worse than packing up all my crap every three years and moving is getting a driver's license in a new state. In Wyoming, we've very straight forward (Hence the Whoa instead of a Stop sign. Easy, right?) In Indiana and Illinois, you have to take a ridiculously hard driving test. I took a practice one, and got a 40%! It takes an 80% to pass. I'm thinking, "Really, the crazy cab driver who took right-hand turns on two wheels passed, and I can't?" Let me share my pain with some of the practice questions I got wrong...


1. It is illegal to park your vehicle
  • Within 3 feet of a private driveway
  • In a bicycle lane
  • In an unmarked crosswalk

2. A white painted curb means

  • Loading zone for passengers or mail only
  • Loading zone for freight or passengers
  • Loading zone for freight only

3. You are about to make a left turn. You must signal continuously during the last ___ feet before the turn.

  • 75
  • 50
  • 100

Hard, right? Now who's laughing at my 40%? I'll give you the answers tomorrow (Ha! You'll have to read my blog again!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Balloon Boy costs a lot of money

I literally got nothing done yesterday because like so many others, I was glued to the TV watching the alien-like helium balloon floating through the sky with a 6-year old inside. Well, at least that's what we thought for about 4 hours. Turns out, Falcon Heele was hiding in his family's garage. Today many are questioning whether or not the family did this as a publicity stunt. I can tell you one thing--TV stations across this country lost a lot of money because of this. I was watching CNN, and they did wall-to-wall coverage for at least 2 hours without a commercial break. Money lost. My friends say the Denver stations were doing the same thing. Money lost. Denver TV stations sent crews all over the place, trying to talk with the family in Fort Collins, and trying to get a crew at the scene when the balloon finally came down. Money lost. Then when Falcon was found about 5:20 p.m. Central Time, stations were scrambling because this was their lead story, and probably most of their A-block (meaning the first 8 minutes of the newscast). But then the kid was found in a drama-free way. What do they do now?? I guess I question whether we should all go crazy relying on a 10-year old's account that he saw his brother climb into the balloon. Then again, it made for great TV.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"C'mon people!!!"

In my "funemployment", I've been watching a lot of TV (while looking for jobs of course!) There is a strange trend that is truly annoying...John and Kate Gosselin. They are all over the entertainment shows with, "Did John steal from Kate?"
Is "John dating women too young for him?" Is "Kate's new haircut fabulous?" My answer...WHO CARES??? I actually heard Billy Bush on Access Hollywood say "A star as big as John Gosselin." What? What major blockbusters has John been in that I missed??
My take on all of this....just because you have enough kids to start your own athletic team,(Octomom) doesn't make you a star!
In the words of my good friend Janet Wilson, "C'mon people!!!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How to ________ (fill in the blank)

Since I'm not working, I figure I should have a meal cooked for Mike every night. It's the least I can do considering he's paying all the bills. So last night, I wanted to boil some vegetables, but I didn't know how long I should do it for. (Hey, I'm new at being Debbie Domestic)
So I started typing in "How" on Google, and before I could type anything else, these presumably popular searches came up...
"How to tie a tie" (Seems hard, indeed)
"How to kiss" (Can you read how to do that?)
"How to get pregnant" (You're in trouble if you have to search that)
"How stuff works" (A little broad)
And "How Billy Mays died" (Really?)
That's my favorite. Are there that many people interested in how Billy Mays died? May you rest in peace Mr. OxiClean.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"I'm so sorry, my dogs are getting used to the city!"


The source of most of my anxiety is not moving to a new city, or even finding a job--it's how my dogs will act around other ones. Chicago is a city of 2 million people, and I'm guessing about 1 million dogs.
Everyday I have to walk my Chihuahuas through our hallway (on a dog floor), get them on the elevator to go down 31 flights, through the revolving doors, and across the street to the park. Let me tell you, it's almost always drama-filled. Some days the doggies are good, other days they try to attack a Weimaraner dog twice their size. Understanding their socialization window is probably closed (Bailey is 9, and Buckeye is 4), I think I've found the solution. When Mike isn't around to help me take them out, they'll use this artificial potty on the patio. (It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?!) I ordered it yesterday for $150, so I'll let you know how it works. I'm thinking this is the perfect solution when it's 10 below zero and the lake-effect winds are in high gear.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Justifying Lettuce Wraps

I don't know how anyone is overweight in a city, because we walk EVERYWHERE! For example, today I went to the grocery store. No longer are the days of me driving my big SUV to Super Target, parking in the closest spot, and then unloading my groceries at home in my garage. Now I walk one mile to the store, and one mile back, all while carrying the necessities over my shoulders in cloth bags. (Note to self--don't buy Drano and Milk in the same trip, it's very heavy!)
And then last night, Mike and I wanted to go to P.F. Chang's. It's nearly a mile there and a mile back. So I don't feel guilty ordering lettuce wraps and my meal now...because I'll burn it off. Maybe giving up driving isn't too bad....but I'll let you know how I feel in December :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why?



There is an interesting phenomen I'll never understand: running for 26.2 miles in one day. Today is the Chicago marathon, a day where 45,000 people gather in an anxiety-provoking crowd, and run until their lungs are ready to explode. Today was a beautiful day, but no one looked like they were enjoying the elements. I saw people limping or on the ground with ice on their knees. What about this alleged "runner's high?" I didn't see the runners high-fiving each other, or saying, "dude, I totally felt amazing after mile 17."
So my question is, why do they do this to themselves? Mike and I enjoyed the day walking around and getting a hot dog. Sure, I don't have the bragging rights of running a marathon, but I don't have a swollen knee either.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Getting in the groove


After a week in the city, I think the doggies and I got into our groove today. My very spoiled, not-at-all socialized Chihuahuas just played in the dog park with a Golden Retriever and a Dachshund! I'm the happiest mama. A few months ago they would have shivered in the corner and snapped at anyone who came close. Today they played with other dogs, and even let their owners come close.

I also got into my groove. Mike, his Chicago friends, and me went out in Lincoln Park and watched the Ohio State game. Super fun, but here's my dilemma. Our bill (picture on the left) came to $438..and 3 of us are unemployed! Our mission: find cheaper entertainment in the city.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I finally got it!

When you're out of work, it's the little things that count. Like finding out I just got my COBRA coverage (continuation of health care). I literally did a happy dance in my living room. In the old days, the happy dance would have been saved for buying a pair of cute boots. Now it's for getting discounted prescriptions.
I've been working on getting COBRA for 66 days. 66! E-mails, phone calls, being on hold for no fewer than 30 minutes, even sending a nasty letter to my former incompetent employer. Every time I called, no one seemed to know what was going on. And then my paperwork got "lost in the mail", or "eaten by a dog", I'm not sure which.
Lesson learned: When you quit a job or a job quits you, it's going to be a huge pain in the butt. Just be prepared.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I found a Target!

Now that I've found a Target near the apartment, my life is complete. Sad, but true. When I was shopping, I realized I only had about half of my list, but there weren't anymore aisles left. Then I saw that you have to go upstairs. Uh-oh, all I saw were escalators. "How am I going to get my cart upstairs?" I wondered.
Well, living in a city is certainly interesting. They have a special escalator for your carts! You line up the wheels, and put it on. It stays upright so nothing spills out. How cool is that?? Then you get on a people escalator right next to it.
Yes, the picture is shaky, because let's face it, I didn't want people seeing that I was taking a picture. I'm trying to "blend in" as a city girl. I wonder how well I'm doing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Moving, Part III

So you know I was cranky when we were moving our stuff in. To get to the freight elevator, you have to pass the building's dry cleaner. At one point, I'm carrying 3 boxes (my max!,) and I see a woman standing in line who's clearly in my way. She's really irritating me because she's so cute with her Uggs on, and I haven't even had time to shower that day. Polite Jeannie would have said, "Excuse me." But cranky Jeannie thought, "This woman surely sees me and is just being rude." So when I walked by, I knocked her with my 3 boxes. Ran right into her. I didn't say, "Ooh, I'm sorry!" Just kept on walking.
I later saw her at the elevator and she was sweet as can be. She said, "Oh, don't you just hate moving! I did it a few weeks ago." I nervously laughed and agreed.
Second lesson in the city: Don't assume people are doing things just to irritate you. You might be overreacting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bitchy White Woman

When we moved in, I wanted everything to be perfect. We reserved the freight elevator for two hours starting at 4:00 p.m. We arrived at 3:55...perfect. Except when we pulled up, a moving crew was pulling into the loading dock. I ran up and yelled, "What do you think you're doing??"
He said, "Sorry ma'am, we're late, but we need to move someone out."
"Oh no!" I screamed. "We've had this elevator reserved for weeks!"
He said they would only take about 30 minutes. I yelled, "Great, then you can wait until 6 p.m. Now get out!" (Hence why I was called the bitchy white woman.)
They pulled the truck out onto the street (into the rain), but had to keep moving furniture.
So we were all working around each other. I have to say though, the movers were VERY polite. Each time I walked by, they moved out of my way and said, "Excuse me."
When they were leaving, I apologized for being so rude. They laughed and told Mike he got a "feisty one." The driver said, "Man, I'm supposed to be the scary black guy, and here I am, afraid of you!" We had a good laugh about that one.
Lesson learned: not everyone in a city is rude or out to get you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I made it!




After shedding blood, sweat and tears, we've made it. Mike, the doggies and me are settled into our apartment 31 stories high. In the movies, you just see the glamorous side of moving into a high-rise. But let me tell you, it's a pain in your sore and sweaty butt.
You reserve an elevator for 2 hours, but everyone tries to take it. You have a loading dock reserved too, but ours was taken by another mover (who I quickly yelled at and was known as the "bitchy white lady"...more on that later). And even though there is a loading dock, you still have to walk about a block with your stuff.
So I've decided this is it. I'm living in a one-bedroom apartment for the rest of my life. Even if we have six kids, we're not moving.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wow, my pants are tight


It's a good thing today is my last day in the south, because I'm bloated and four pounds heavier. (BTW-I'm typing this as I'm eating Caramel Corn) It seems like around here you're either eating or waiting to eat. Even my doggies are doing it. Here's a picture of Buckeye around 8:30 last night. He's just laying there by his food dish, hoping the next 12 hours go by quickly so he can get fed again.

I'm heading to Indy tomorrow before leaving for Chicago, so I'll be off-line for a couple of days. Wish me luck on the move! (31 floors up, ugh!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

You might be a redneck if....

Today Mom and I went wedding gown shopping and I found my dress! Finding it was an interesting experience though. I made an appointment, but two women, one young and one older, came into the store and asked if they could try on dresses too. They didn't have an appointment. I wasn't thrilled that the gal helping me needed to help them too, but I wasn't going to let it ruin my day.
They had an interesting relationship. The older woman is marrying the younger one's father. She had salt and pepper greasy hair, and decided she wanted to try on tight fitting dresses. But the best part of the day is when she asked the younger one, "Are you using the same diamond from your first wedding?". Ouch!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jeannie Crofts is....

People in nearly every country use it everyday. I'm talking about Facebook...the place where friends have reconnected, couples have met, and even some people have lost their jobs or scholarships. (Did having a posted pic of you topless ever seem like a good idea?)

The other day, my friend Jenn brought up a good point about Facebook users. She said it drives her nuts when people use their posting abilities to brag. Such as "I am soooo tired after running my first marathon today!" (If I posted this, my friends would know I was lying. For me, running two miles is a feat.) It got me thinking there are really 4 kinds of Facebook users out there.
1. The Captain Obvious users
2. The Braggarts
3. The I'm too cool for Facebook, but I still use it.
4. The Third Person users

The Captain Obvious users post things like this, "I hates Mondays." Or "I just love Fridays." Really? You're saying Fridays are cool? Why? I'm confused. Seriously, why even waste your time on the computer?

Courtesy: Millionaires Secrets
The Braggarts are Jenn's pet peeve, like "I am looking for a partner to help run a multi-million dollar business. Message me if you are qualified" Here's the thing I've come to realize in my time on this planet. The people who show off their money or qualifications are really poor and unemployed. People who don't brag about their money and drive around in beat up Chevy's are actually billionaires. (Think Sam Walton.)

The I'm too cool for Facebook user has a FB account, but never posts anything or comments on any one's pictures or status updates. My opinion-they're fearful that no one will comment on their post or give them an approving "Like" with the thumbs up, so they keep a low profile. (In reality-they're probably just too busy with life and utilize their time much better than I do.)

Finally, the 3rd person post-er is really odd to me. Have you noticed some people will say, "Jeannie is really tired tonight and looking forward to winding down." It just seems strange. How about using I or me? It reminds me of the time my girlfriend went on a date with a guy who referred to himself as the "Gibster." Let's just say the "Gibster" didn't getting a second date (Or anything else.)

What kind of Facebook user are you? 

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Walking in Memphis"











I've never thought of myself as much of an Elvis fan, but since I'm only about 60 miles away from Memphis and Graceland, I decided to do the tour. It is very cool, and I would recommend it to anyone who's thinking about coming to Tennessee.

Elvis bought Graceland for his parents, paternal grandmother and himself in March of 1957. He was only 22 and bought it for $102,500. It's amazing how much fame and success he gained at such an early age.

The picture in the middle is at the base of the staircase. The tour does not take you upstairs because the family wanted to keep some things private.
The picture on the left is the famous "Jungle Room." The round chair with the stuffed animal on it was a favorite of Lisa Marie's. Just like every other room in the house, the jungle room has a true 70's feel, complete with green shag carpet on the ceiling. In February of 1976, RCA brought in a mobile recording studio so Elvis could record songs in his own home. That October, he recorded his last single "Way Down" in this room.
Elvis, his grandmother, father and mother are all buried at Graceland. There is also a headstone for his brother Jessie, Elvis's twin who died at birth. People stand in line forever just to get a picture of this.
Elvis died on August 16, 1977. He was found by his girlfriend, Ginger Alden, in the upstairs bathroom. He died of a heart attack, and they say several kinds of prescription drugs were found in his body.
To this day, people still cry at his grave site. It is a truly powerful tour that gives you great insight into his life and career.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ewww!


Sure, I'm having a relaxing time in Tennessee, but I'm also constantly on guard against insects. The south is an interesting place for them. This picture is what we believe is a gigantic Texas grasshopper. We found him in the pool--gross! These things are almost as big as my Chihuahuas! Tennessee is also dealing with an invasion of red biting fire ants (they blame Texas for that too.) After my dogs go potty, we sometimes have to run and dunk them in the pool to get the ants off. So, if you're coming to the south anytime soon, my advice is to bring bug spray, a flyswatter and benadryl cream. Or you could try WD-40. Southerns praise it for taking the sting out. Haven't tried that yet...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gotta Love the South!

I'm spending two weeks at my parents' place in Jackson, Tennessee before heading to the city. This is a great place to relax because there is little to no cell phone service, we get one channel on TV, and they only have one neighbor who's about 1/4 mile away.
It's relaxing, but my gosh, I'm probably going to gain 10 pounds! We went on a lunch cruise for my mom's 60th birthday, and here was the menu...Catfish, hush puppies, baked beans, fried potatoes, "slaw", and lemon pie for dessert. For lunch!
Here's another Southern tradition-- we prayed before we ate. We asked for god's blessing, but I secretly prayed for no cellulite.

Friday, September 18, 2009

That John Denver is full of shi*

In the past two days, I've driven through Wyoming, Nebraska (all of it), Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. In the very long journey, here are some of the things that went through my mind. 1. This truly is a beautiful country 2. I can't believe that after you eat White Castles you can still taste them 13 hours later 3. And my god Nebraska is an unnecessarily huge state with way too much construction. (sorry Holly Wagner :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saying goodbye

I'm about 14 hours away from leaving Cheyenne and it's getting so hard to say goodbye! I know at 31 I should be strong and ready to leave, but part of me still feels like I'm 16. The best part of coming home has been spending time with the family. My mom and I have been going on bike rides 2-3 times a week. Last week, we got to talking and having fun, and before we knew it, we had ridden 20 miles!

When I arrived, my 3-year old niece, Kylee, didn't really know who I was. Now whenever I see her, she comes running up, and yells "Aunt Jeannie!" I cried after I said goodbye to her last night.
Being in between jobs is stressful, but I have to say, spending time with family is the best paycheck.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Following the Rules

Do you ever feel punished because you are following the rules? At my nephew's soccer game yesterday it was "Silent Saturday." That means the coaches, parents and fans are supposed to be quiet and not yell. Apparently, this rule doesn't pertain to everyone though. My family and I accidentally sat on the opponent's side of the field. All around us parents were yelling at their kids to "be aggressive" or have a "big foot" (whatever that means). As the game went on, they got mad at the refs yelling "come on, make a good call!" Or "don't be an idiot!" I realized this is the role model they are setting for their kids, so pretty soon their children are yelling at the refs too. I heard one say, "I'm going to kick him in the balls!" Oy vay.
All the while my family and I are sitting there quietly. Playing by the rules, but really wanting to yell obscenities too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"I'm sorry"


Someone one said that women apologize too much. Lately, I been monitoring my use of "I'm sorry" and the women around me, and I realize that person is right. A couple of weeks ago when I was flying back from Chicago, the women right behind me started to choke. It scared me to death! I felt so helpless, and the only thing I could think to do is hit the flight attendant button.
Everyone came rushing in, and luckily the woman was able to swallow the pill that had stuck in her throat. But for the remaining hour and a half of the flight, the woman apologized to anyone who would listen. She apologized to every flight attendant and told her husband she was "sorry for embarrassing him." What?? She couldn't breath for what probably seemed like an eternity, and SHE was sorry?
I was just telling my mom about this post, and she told me about her experience today at the grocery store. A woman inadvertently cut in front of her in line, and then apologized. My mom, in her true female way, said that "she was sorry too." We had a good laugh about that.