It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Sunday, October 31, 2010

People who change your life

Do you ever have someone touch your life in a completely unexpected way?  Perhaps years later you still remember what should have been a casual encounter.  For me, one of those people is a blind man I saw on the street several weeks ago.  I was behind him when a crazy homeless woman started yelling and harassing him.  I didn't say anything or help him, and I fear the guilt will stick with me for the rest of my life.  I was on the phone and distracted with the day, but still, I'm sure he was scared and I didn't help.  That event sometimes keeps me up at night.

I also met a person in Chicago who will stick with me forever, but in a good way.  His name is Fred, and he is the doorman at our old apartment.  I don't even know his last name, but his beautiful energy, friendliness and love for life will stick with me forever.  I'll be honest that during the move to our new apartment this week, I've been telling Mike how much I already miss Fred.

When I first moved to Chicago one year ago, I came to the city expecting people to be rude and trying to steal my purse.  I put up a wall just to protect myself.  I didn't say "hi" to anyone, make eye contact or smile...all of the things I used to do in Wyoming.  I thought in a busy city it would put me at risk.

Then I met Fred.  He was immediately sweet as can be.  He said "Hello" or "Good morning" to me everyday with a friendly smile.  When the winds were intense, he'd jump up from his desk and hold the door open for me.  He met my parents.  He wished Mike and I a cheerful congratulations when we passed by his desk with bags packed, on our way to get married.  Eventually our pleasantries included names, so it was "Good morning Jeannie!" and I replied, "Good morning Fred!"  Along with a cup of coffee, he became my favorite part of the morning.

This week, Fred and I said our goodbyes.  We hugged.  He then asked, "Is Mr. Michael here?"  When I said no, he look disappointed and said, "Well you tell that Mike...," then he did two hand gestures.  One was a thumbs up, and the other was touching his heart.  Come to find out, he and Mike always gave each other thumbs up when they saw each other.  I nearly lost it.

So Fred, thank you for changing my mind about a big city and big city people.  You brightened my days, and helped me feel like I was still in Wyoming.  I may not know your last name, but I can tell you--you'll always be in my heart.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The true test of any marriage

I know I've been a little AWOL lately, and I apologize.  We are officially in our new apartment, but it's taken blood, sweat and tears to get here.  How is that possible?  We moved from a 660-square foot apartment, not a 4-bedroom house, so how can we have SO MUCH crap?

Before moving to Chicago, I lived in a 2-story townhouse, so moving to a small living space with another person required some, well, adjustment.  That's a nice way of saying yelling.  And let me tell you, when you live in a one-bedroom apartment, there isn't anywhere to go when you fight except a little place I like to call Margaritaville.

Our closet now...and we haven't totally unpacked
When we moved in, I was so excited that all my stuff fit (barely) in the 3 closets available.  That's when Mike politely said, "Um, where's my stuff going to go?"  Oh yeah, we hadn't moved his stuff in yet.  Oops.

Fast forward to October of 2010.  We find an apartment that has almost everything we want...more square footage, a dishwasher, in-unit laundry, a balcony and a parking spot.  But...brace yourself....there's only one closet.  Okay, technically two, but the front coat closet was apparently built for Paris Hilton's Chihuahua, because the only thing fitting in there are fur vests made for a 4-pound canine.

So this means our marriage is being put to a new test....sharing one closet space.  Mike's prediction?  That I'll buy more and more clothes, and slowly push him out.  He says eventually he won't have any space.  My compromise?  I've put all my summer and spring clothes in every nook and cranny in this house.  I'm even storing stuff in a kitchen cupboard.  Yikes.  I can see it now...we'll have friends over for dinner, and I'll accidentally give them my underwear instead of a napkin.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Windy City living up to its name

Bad hair day
The Windy City is certainly living up to its name today.  Yowsers!  WGN's Tom Skilling says our winds our comparable to a category 3 hurricane.  It's so windy, I just found a leaf in my bra after being outside.  No joke!  I couldn't figure out why I was so itchy.

Forecasters were calling for this to be the worst storm in a decade.  Then they upped it to 70 years.  It's bad, but it doesn't seem earth-shattering.  In preparation for this storm, Chicagoans were asked to take everything off of their balconies.  Since we're short on space, many people's balconies become essentially a storage area.  You'll see suitcases, kids toys, all types of furniture, and of course, grills.  Forecasters were worried about these objects becoming flying debris.  Scary!

Next Door Neighbors
I've said before I have an irrational fear of getting hit by something falling from a building.  This fear was increased when a girlfriend's glass-top table went flying over her 47th story balcony.  Yikes!  On the news this morning, they showed video of a bad storm in 2002.  Window washing equipment plunged 40-feet off of the Hancock building, killing 3 women in cars below.  That incident is what prompted today's warning of getting everything off of balconies, and construction companies were told to put away all their equipment.

So to all those people whose balconies were not cleaned off (ex: most of my neighbors)...just remember, we are a sue-happy country.  If your BBQ grill falls on me?  If I live, I'm totally taking you to the cleaners.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oops, I did it again!

Oops, I did it again!  I'm talking about moving, and it really never sucks any less.  If you read this blog often, you know that Mike and I moved to Old Town, (just north of the city) so we could have a bigger place and a more neighborhood-y feel.

When you live in a city, you really pare down and only have the basics.  I don't keep old Christmas cards or wedding invitations, because frankly, we don't have the room.  Heck, in our old place, we didn't even have the space for a dining room table.

As I looked around this morning at our hurricane of an apartment, I had to laugh about what not only made the move, but what has also been unpacked.  Take a look..

Our 8 x 10 glossy photo of Indianapolis' favorite news anchor, Dave Barras. (Read all about this pic.)  The wait time to get this treasure is normally 8 years, but thankfully Mike and I moved up the list when we got married, and only had to wait 4 1/2 years.  We bubble wrapped it and made a special trip to our new apartment with only this to make sure it didn't get damaged.  We even blew through red lights so we didn't risk getting car-jacked and having this stolen.  Don't worry Dave, we'll put you in a good place.

I had to laugh when I unpacked these gems.  Yep, you're seeing right, these are New Kids on the Block trading cards.  Even though I was truly in love with Joe from NKOTB in the 5th grade, these cards are actually Mike's. (He was more of a Jordan fan.)  Seriously don't know how these made the cut, but Mike has such few guilty pleasures, I can hardly tell him to ditch these.

I might not be able to find my underwear, but thank god we found our Aerosmith guitar for Wii's guitar hero!  Mike works hard, so in his down time, he likes to play with his Wii.  (Yes I chuckle every time I say that.)

All-in-all, I started counting and realized my 10-year old dog has lived in 10 homes, and my 5-year old dog has lived in 5.  Think it's an exaggeration? Take a look..
1) 2000- Bailey started her life in the Tri-Delta sorority house in Laramie, Wyoming.  (Sorry to my house mom Kathy, because this totally was against the rules.)
2) 2000- My house mom Kathy discovered Bailey, so I got kicked out.  We then moved to a stinky little apartment in Laramie.
3) 2001- I got my first job in TV, so we moved back home to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Somehow making $14,000 a year doesn't really pay for rent (or anything else for that matter.)
4) 2002- I then got a news job in Grand, Junction, Colorado, so we moved to another apartment.  I got paid $565 twice a month, and my rent was $575, so I took a night job as a janitor to make ends meet.  (BTW-cleaning a urinal may be the grossest thing...ever.  Men, how can you have such bad aim?)
5) 2003- I then got a news job in Fort Myers, Florida, so we moved into a cute apartment we could barely afford.  Living in a tropical climate was such a culture shock, and I never got used to finding Gecko's in my closet.
6) 2004- I reported on how interest rates were so low, so I decided to buy a condo in Fort Myers.  Yep, that's all the thought I put into it.  We moved in and shortly after, got Buckeye.  I just started dating Mike, so I made him paint the entire place.  It was a test.  He passed.
7) 2006- I got a job in Indianapolis, so we bought a darling townhome in Fishers, Indiana.
8) 2009- The recession hit, so I lost my Indianapolis job and moved back home to Cheyenne, Wyoming
9) 2009- I decided after 4 1/2 years living apart, Mike and I should live in the same zip code.  I packed up my saddle, and rode on in to Chicago.  We chose to live in a Chicago high-rise downtown.
10) 2010- Now, here we are in Old Town, trying to figure out how to share one closet.  Yikes.  I when I say share, I mean I get it, and he's putting his clothes in the tiny coat closet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We gonna find you!

In my days as a reporter, I certainly interviewed a lot of interesting characters, but there was never an Antoine Dodson. For 90% of you reading this, that name probably conjures up these expressions, "You are so dumb!" or "Hide your kids and hide your wife!"

The Alabama man (who actually grew up in Chicago) became an internet sensation after he was interviewed by a Huntsville, Alabama television station regarding the attempted rape of his sister. His passionate and flamboyant interview looking right at the camera is classic. Watch here. You really can't make this up.

The interview hit Youtube, and pretty soon people in office's across America were watching and sharing it with their co-workers, families and friends. Then the interview got spoofed into a rap and a ring tone which is hilarious! Watch here. (Warning: This song will be in your head ALL day.)
Millions of people have watched the bed intruder rap, in fact, it drew so much attention, Antoine got asked to be on the Today Show, he gained his own Wikipedia page and now has a Facebook fan page. I'm now his 233,785th fan. Can you believe it?? And if you haven't found a Halloween costume yet, never fear! You can be Antoine Dodson.

What I think is a really cool part of this story is according to US Weekly, Antoine used his fame to raise enough money for he and his family to move out of the projects. Good for you Antoine!

For those of you who question how someone can become famous without really doing much, i.e. Paris Hilton, I say that's the great thing about being in America. And I really hope my 15 minutes comes soon, homeboy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I got trapped on an elevator!

I've never been a fan of the overused news cliche "Your worst nightmare," but today after being trapped in an elevator, I can honestly say it was.

This week, Mike and I are moving into our new apartment, so I decided to take a load of stuff over this morning.  I finished up, and parked in the parking garage near our current apartment.  When I got to the elevator, I thought, "I really should take the stairs," but decided not to because sometimes you encounter scary bums.  I got on and hit "G" for ground floor.  Pretty soon it felt like there was a small earthquake, because the elevator rocked back and forth, there was a loud thud, and then it felt like I hit the ground.

I waited for the door to open, but it didn't.  Yikes.

I hit the alarm button, but nothing.  I hit it again, and still nothing.  Then I hit the "call" button and told the woman on the other end that I was stuck, but she didn't seem too interested.  I then called Mike and told him what was going on.  I told him, "If I don't make it out, know that I love you."  Okay, I was totally kidding, but I thought it seemed funny. (Side note: I'm totally grateful my cell phone actually had service, because it doesn't in 99% of Chicago elevators/high rises/restaurants.)

Then I noticed it was getting really hot, (probably my mind playing tricks on me) so I went to unzip my sweatshirt, but of course, the zipper was broken.  My Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirt that's been a staple of my wardrobe since college suddenly failed me.  I decide to shimmy shake my way out of the sweatshirt so all I had on was my sports bra.

Then I hit the "call" button again, and got a much nicer operator.  She asked me the color of the elevator, the cross streets I was near, and if there was an elevator number inside.  She said she was going to call security and the fire department.  Finally I could hear some commotion outside, which I knew was a good sign.  Then I saw a very nice (and strong!) gentleman slowly pull the doors open with all of his might.  He was so forceful, he actually fell.  (Sadly, I didn't get a picture of my rescue because I was busy throwing my sweatshirt back on.)  The elevator was only about 1/2 way down to the ground floor, so he helped me jump out the rest of the way.  The other security guard told me, "Thank goodness you didn't panic!"  All I could think was, "I can't wait to blog about this!"

Wow, what a scary experience!  I took these pictures with my cell phone.  I'm totally bummed that I didn't have make-up on or my hair done.  I'm sure Kim Kardashian would be much better prepared for this photo op.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

At look at The Social Network

The first thing I do in the morning is check my Facebook page.  It's also the last thing I do at night before going to bed.  During the day, I have to limit myself to looking at it 5 times or less.  It's how I've shared exciting news...the night Mike asked me to marry him, I immediately changed my Facebook relationship status to "Engaged."  The night of our wedding, I was so excited to change that to "Married" and also add on my new last name.  Facebook is the way I've reconnected with former co-workers and friends.  It's the way I've found out who's getting married, having children, getting promoted at work, or just having a really bad day.  Facebook has forever changed my life, and I'm sure you can relate.

The new movie "The Social Network" (Click on this link to watch the trailer.  It's so well done!) is about the birth of this social media phenomenon, and truly one of the best movies I've ever seen.  It's amazing to watch how an argument with a girlfriend inspired Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg to create what would eventually lead to "The Facebook."  The quick banter in the opening scene between Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara (Zuckerberg's soon to be ex-girlfriend) is amazingly well-written and perfectly performed.  I'm guaranteeing this movie and Eisenberg are nominated for Oscar's.  Justin Timberlake, who so well plays the cocky and arrogant Sean Parker, the founder of Napster, will also likely get on Oscar nod.

The movie goes on to show how Zuckerberg is sued by his best friend and three other students who claim the idea for Facebook is theirs.  It shows two twin brothers, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, coming to Zuckerberg with the idea for "Harvard Connect," which in the movie leads Zuckerberg to coming up with the idea for Facebook.  I was so impressed with the actors who played the Winklevoss twins, that I immediately googled them when I got home.  Come to find out, they're actually played by unrelated actors, Armie Hammer and Josh Pence.  Director David Fincher decided he would later replace Pence's face with Hammer's so they looked like twins.  Crazy, huh?  But it totally works!  I had no idea.

Finally, I have to say the music throughout this movie is unbelievable, and keeps the film flowing in a way that you're never bored or have the chance to think, "I really have to go to the bathroom."

All in all, this movie is amazing.  It's powerful to see what an idea, money and greed can lead to.  If you're like me, you'll also leave the theater ready to do something great and leave your mark on this world.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Remembering Matthew Shepard

I'm sure you know by now I like to have fun with this blog and be super sassy. Today, however, I feel the need to be serious. (Don't worry, I'll get back to calling out people's shenanigans tomorrow.)

The reason for the seriousness is that I realized late last night that it is the 12-year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death, the University of Wyoming student who was tortured and murdered by two men. The story gained national attention, and even later a movie, because Matthew was gay and it was seen as a hate crime.

I was a Junior at UW when this happened, and I can still remember where I was when I heard the news. I was sitting in my Nonverbal Communications class when the girl sitting next to me told me what happened. Her cousin was one of the bike riders who found Matthew's nearly lifeless body tied to a fence post. From there, our campus turned into a media circus, with news cameras and live trucks everywhere, and reporters from all over the country sticking cameras in our faces and asking us questions on the way to class.

I had some strange connections to this tragic crime. I went to junior high and had a class with Aaron McKinney, one of the murderers. The fence post that Matthew was tied to was very close to my apartment. I also later found out I had a class with Matthew, however we never met.

After the tragedy, it became very clear that the media was trying to spin the story to make it seem like Wyoming was very close-minded and behind the times, and that we didn't accept gay people. When I got stopped by an L.A. Times reporter, she kept asking me, "Well, is this a Wyoming value? Do people in Wyoming hate gay people?" I assured her that was absolutely not the case, but she apparently decided my answer wasn't juicy enough. Here's what she came up with...

Jeannie Crofts, a 20-year-old student who grew up in Wyoming said she had seen gay friends in high school beaten up but ever imagined such anti-gay brutality was possible here. "I think about him out there, tied to a fence for 18 or 20 hours--what was going through his head? It's too terrible for me to even think someone would do that."

The quote is true, but what she said before is a lie. I can honestly say I have never seen a gay person beaten up, even bulled for that matter, and for her to say so was disgusting. That misquote got picked up by the AP and every news outlet across the country, and it's still on the web when you search "Jeannie Crofts." I realized then that some people in the media change the story to fit their agenda.

I can tell you one thing: Wyoming is a better place because of Matthew Shepard. People who had previously been afraid to come out did so after his death. People rallied together and supported one another. We became a closer state, a more loving one, and a more open-minded one too. Sure, we have a long way to go before there is total acceptance, but that's true everywhere.

Never for one second believe that hate is a Wyoming value. The two murderers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were not UW students. They were two guys with minimum wage jobs and no real goals or futures. They just happened to live in Wyoming.

To Matthew: you will forever be in our hearts and in our minds.  Thank you for making Wyoming a better place to live.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just one of those days....

Do you ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right?  The kind of day where even a clown could make you grumpy.
Mine started at the gym when I hopped on the digital scale and...wait for the magic number of 488 pounds.  Yep, 488!  I guess what they say about people gaining weight after marriage really is true.
Because I’m on Mike’s insurance now, I had to call to call and get a new prescription drug card.  Of course, I couldn’t actually talk to a live person, that would be too easy.  After 10 minutes of getting the automated runaround and choosing 25 different options, the automated voice said, “I’m sorry, we are having technical difficulties, so this call is ending now.”  Ugh.  (By the way--do you ever notice they always say, “Please listen to all the options before choosing, because the menu recently changed.”  I totally think they’re lying.)
When I called back and got through to someone, I found out I had the wrong number.  Ugh.  Start again.  I started yelling so loud, the dogs whimpered to the bedroom.  
As you know from previous posts, our building’s AC was turned off a week ago, so it’s 90 degrees in our south-facing, 31st floor apartment.  When I jumped off the couch to answer the phone, I blacked out from the heat.  Then I started crying, “It’s so hot, and it’s making me miserable!”  Dramatic, I know, but I haven’t slept well in 5 days, so everything seems like the end of the world.
But then I had new hope, realizing Mike and I can get into our new apartment this week.  Yay!  It’s only on the 2nd floor, and it faces the west, so no more sweaty ‘pits!  When I called the apartment leasing company, I found out they accidentally mailed the keys to our landlord instead of us.  
Oh yeah, and she lives in California.  
And it’s the only set.  Ugh.
Goodnight everybody!  Here’s to another day, and hopefully shedding 350 pounds.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Weekend In

Day 6 of the Chicago Indian Summer, and our apartment is sweatier than Brett Favre trying to explain himself to his wife.  (Seriously Brett Favre??  Do you think any woman wants to see your goods??)

As I mentioned in a previous post, our apartment is a sauna right now because Chicago is having unseasonably warm weather.  That along with the fact that our building turned off all the air conditioning and we live on the 31st floor facing the South.  We get direct sunlight from about 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and our white blinds just don't seem to be doing the trick of keeping the heat out.  I'm guessing our apartment has been around 85-90 degrees for days.  I left a message with our landlord that they just might find the bodies of two adults and two Chihuahua's in here if they don't turn the air back on.

This weekend, I found that I was lazier than usual because of the heat.  Mike was out of town, so I watched a lot of TV and movies.  I caught up on Jersey Shore, Keeping Up With the Kardashians and I watched...get this...5 movies.  That's crazy!  Here are some of my observations from my hours in front of the tube...

* Jersey Shore is getting really ridiculous to watch.  Mike "The Situation" is bringing home so many girls, you actually have to get an HPV vaccine before you watch.
* The movie "The Hangover" is ridiculously funny, and even funnier the second time you watch it.  Bradley Cooper donning his black suit is truly delicious perfection.  Wow, I think I need a minute.

* Okay, I'm back.  The movie "Blood Diamonds" is really well done.  It will make you question how you get your diamonds, and why Leonardo DiCaprio always dies in every movie he's in.  Remember this, "Jack, I'll never let go!"  Only Kate Winslet, you totally let go like 3 hours later.
* "500 Days of Summer" is a super cute movie.  You should watch it...especially if you're trying to get over a heartache, or wondering why someone dumped you.  Or if you just really like Hall and Oates.  (Guilty as charged.)
* Finally, "My Sister's Keeper" is emotionally draining.  Seriously, I cried for a whole 2 hours, and I'm talking about loud, uncontrollable sobs.  What I also realized afterwards?  Getting rid of the bags under your eyes the day after crying so much is a lot harder at 32 than it was at 22.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The rules of city livin'

When my mom came to visit Chicago a few weeks ago, she said, "You know what the biggest difference is about a city?  People don't look you in the eye."  It's so true!  I thought about it last night as I was walking home from work.  You don't want to look people in the eye because of 1) safety 2) you're avoiding a bum asking for money or 3) you're avoiding getting asked to donate money for a cause.

When I first moved here, I kept true with my Wyoming self and looked everyone in the eye and I would either smile or say hello.  After a few strange looks from women, or creepy men who thought I was hitting on them and winked at me in response, I thought I probably should stop this.  Now I realize, after a year in Chicago, I really don't look anyone in the eye.

I've also stopped saying "excuse me."  In Wyoming, if you're in someone's way or you accidentally brush up against them, you say "excuse me."  So for the first few weeks in Chicago, I was constantly telling people this.  But here's the a city, you will ALWAYS been in someone's way.  You will have accidental collisions everyday.  Sometimes you will have to bump into someone, or accidentally step on their toes on the L train, but people don't take it personally.

A third change I've noticed is that I used to be so bothered when someone walked or stood super close to me on the streets or in line at a clothing or grocery store.  I used to take it personally, like they were trying to be rude or get me out of the way.  I've come to realize they don't know any differently.  They've been in a busy city their whole lives, so they are used to being in close proximity with other people.

All-in-all I would say Chicago has made me a much more patient person.  When you're stuck in traffic or behind a slow person, you can either choose to get really annoyed, or just take a deep breath and realize it's the price you pay to live in a really cool city.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's hotter than....

It is hot in Chicago.  Well, hot for October.  It's 74 degrees right now and the sun is setting.  Beautiful.

What's not beautiful?  Inside our apartment.  It's 85 with a chance for even more steaminess as we head into nightfall.  Here's the thing-when you live in an apartment or a high-rise, you often don't get to choose your own temperature.  When Mike lived in an old apartment at the corner of State Street and Chicago Avenue, his landlord controlled the heat, so their top floor apartment felt like 95 degrees in the winter.  We had to keep the windows open all the time.  His roommate joked that at least 3 times a night, he had to stick his head out of the window just to get some gasps of fresh air.

In our building, the maintenance crew decides when to turn off the air conditioning for the year, and they decided to do so last week as temperatures were dropping into the 50's.  But now we're back in the 70's, so it seems like their decision was a little premature.  Plus when you add in the fact that we live on the 31st floor and face south, we get sun ALL day long, so it's hotter in our apartment than two mice going at it in a wool sock.  I also seem to have more of a man's body temperature, because I like it really cold.  My mother-in-law hates to visit because she says "She just can't warm up."

Because of the heat, I started to black out today when I was blow drying my hair!  Last night, I had to sleep on the couch because our bedroom could have been mistaken for a gym sauna.  Even the dogs didn't want to cuddle, and I swear our Chihuahua had sweaty 'pits.

I'm actually contemplating renting a hotel room just so I can control the temperature and have a little air. I know, I know, I'll miss this in December.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh no he didn't!

I am afraid to stick up for myself.  I seem to be incapable of defending myself against people trying to overcharge me or someone saying something nasty to me.  I think a lot of women are the same way.  When a man sticks up for himself it's seen as aggressive, whereas for a woman it can be seen as bitchy.

Case in point: When I was Miss Wyoming competing at the Miss USA pageant, I remember one of the contestants (I won't say which one, but think West Coast) saying to me, "Dark eyebrows and blonde hair, huh?  I wouldn't have thought of putting those together!"


I didn't say anything, I just laughed nervously.

I've told you before about a news viewer who saw me without make-up on and said, "Wow, you look so different!  Don't worry honey, I'm not a natural beauty either."

I didn't say anything, I just laughed nervously.

Anyway, for the past few years I've made it a new year's resolution to stick up for myself...and it's slowly getting better.

This weekend, Mike and I needed to take a shuttle from our hotel to the airport to fly back from Atlanta.  The hotel told me the fare was $70 no matter how you shake it.  When we got in the car, the driver said he wouldn't accept a credit card, so when we got to the airport, Mike went inside and got money from an ATM.  When he came out and asked the driver how much it was, the driver said $80.  What?  Mike said "Whatever" and handed him the money.

I quickly ripped it out of the driver's hand and said, "No, it's $70!"

He said no, it was $80.

I told him we were only paying $70, and asked if he had change.  Of course he said he didn't.  So I said, "Well, the hotel said it was $70 and we're not paying $1 more.  I will go get change."

I started taking my bag and the driver grabbed it and said, "Oh no, it's staying here!"

I yelled, "Fine!"  I went inside and asked about five people if they could break a $20.  I finally got a coffee shop to break it for me.  I went outside, handed it to the driver, and get this....I didn't thank him!  Ha!  Pre-Jeannie would still have thanked him despite his obvious attempt at ripping us off.

It doesn't stop there.   The other day a man cut in front of me at a breakfast restaurant and I said, "You totally just cut in front of me."  He apologized.

Watch out've changed me for the better.  This nice Wyoming girl is tired of getting walked on...unless it's in cute Manolo Blahnik's, of course.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ever worked in retail?

My closet.  Yes it's color coordinated.
As some of you regular blog followers know, I took a job in retail several months ago to help pay the bills until I become a famous writer.  (However, the clothes are really darling, so I'm not actually sure I've made any money.  But my closet has never been cuter...seriously.)

Anyway, I could tell you a thousand retail stories.  Stories about working in a very busy downtown Chicago location and dealing with theft.  Stories about how many women buy hundreds of dollars of clothes, only to return every single piece the next day.  Stories about size 8 women trying to squeeze into size 2 clothes.  And WTF (What the f***?) moments.  My favorite?  I once saw a woman trying on a skirt...only she wasn't in a dressing room.  She was in the middle of the store.  I guess she didn't want to bother taking the skirt back to the dressing rooms.  It was?  Gross.

Today came a new experience.  As I was ringing a woman up, she asked me to look up her store credit card info because she didn't have it with her.  When I did that, the automated operator told me the woman had a $700 balance.  I let her know, and she said, "Oh yeah, I keep forgetting to give the bill to my husband."
I said, "Oh really?  That must be nice!"
She smiled and said, "Yeah, I shop and he pays the bills.  It works out well."

I'm sure it does lady, I'm sure it does.

Tonight when I told Mike the story, he said, "Well, either the guy is loaded or a real sucker."

Either way, don't you think it's odd for a man to pay all a woman's bills?  I would feel really weird not paying for a thing.  Where's your sense of satisfaction if you don't work for what you have??

Now that being said....Honey, there are a pair of brown over-the-knee boots I'd harm a small child for, and my self worth can totally take a back seat if you buy them for me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My take on Southern Women

Wow, what an amazing weekend!  Mike and I flew to Atlanta for my girlfriend, Melissa's wedding.  She and I met while working together as reporters for WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Florida, and we both served as bridesmaids for our 2010 weddings.  I had so much stinkin' fun!  The wedding was in a suburb of Atlanta called Marietta, and it was a true Southern wedding.  The South is so cool!  I told everyone this weekend that in my next life, I want to come back as a Southern woman.  Seriously!  Here is what I'm talking about...

First of all, they have the best hair.  Seriously, what is it about Southern women?  They all seem to have these thick, beautiful locks of hair that they somehow manage to make look perfect despite the humidity. My hair is as limp as a dishrag in July.

Secondly, they have the darn cutest accents and tell the best stories!  I could listen to a Southern woman talk all day.  They know how to add every detail of a story to make you feel like you are right there.  Plus, who doesn't want to hear someone say, "Y'all", "I'm full as a tick!" or "You can butter my butt and call me a biscuit!" (I really don't know what that means but I love it.)

They also have Sweet Tea which is a-maz-ing.  In Chicago if you ask for a Sweet Tea, you'll get handed an Iced Tea with a packet of Splenda.  In the South, Sweet Tea, pronounced "Tay" is made with this delicious simple syrup which is basically cooked sugar, so it blends perfectly with the tea.  I reckon' it will change your life.

Also, a Southern woman is not afraid to tell you how it is.  If you need more lipstick, they'll tell you.  If a Southern mother thinks her daughter should wear a different dress, she'll tell her.  If a Southern woman's husband is out of line, well, you get it.   They are as tough as whit leather.  We Northerners think these things, we just don't have the bourbon balls to say it. (Get it?  Bourbon and chocolate bourbon balls are also huge in the South.)

Finally, Southern woman are true friends.  When you befriend a Southern woman in high school, college, sorority, pee-wee softball, etc., they'll remain your friend for a lifetime.  I was so impressed with Melissa's circle of friends.  They've known each other forever, and will always will be there for each other's big life moments like weddings and babies.

So to Melissa: thank you for adding me to such a cool circle of friends.  To Ciana, Tracy, Laura, Kristen and was a pleasure.  If you ever want to trade lives for a little bit, just let me know.  I do declare it would be fun.