It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

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


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


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


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.