It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Can you believe 2010 is winding down?  Aagh!  Where did it go??  It seems like just yesterday it was 2008, and I was planning a wedding for this seemingly distant date of July 3, 2010.  My friends teased me that it was so far off, cars would should be flying by then.

Here we are, and what a disappointment!  Cars aren't flying, but I guess it's not all bad... I did get to marry my best friend this year.

When you ask people about making New Year's Resolutions, many just scoff at the idea, saying, "Resolutions are meant to be broken."  I respectfully disagree.  I think it's important that we're always reaching for something better--perhaps a better job, being a better person, surrounding ourselves by better people, or perhaps getting into better shape.  With the recent passing of three close family friends, I'm reminded that no day is a guarantee, and we only have one shot at this thing, so we'd better make it good.

So here's to 2011...I'm so looking forward to this new year.  I'd like to take more chances and be adventurous.  I want to do things that scare me like trying to get published.  I want to start my Master's Degree.  I want to be a better person...not complain as much and only try and find the good in people.  I want to steer clear of negative people.  I'd like to spend more time with those who make me laugh.  Get to the gym more, and not quit when it hurts.  I want to eat healthier and crave things that are green and not brown.  I want to save more and spend less.  I guess most of all, I want to be the kind of person that I can be proud of.

I encourage you to watch this clip.  It's not the best quality...but it's gets the message across.  This was from Conan O'Brien's farewell speech on the Tonight Show.  I wasn't expecting him to say something so profound, but this message crosses my mind often.

Happy New Year everyone!  Make it a good one.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm one of those people....

Okay, I've officially lost it.  I'm now one of those "dog people" who thinks my dogs are the greatest things ever, and treat them just like my own kids.  (Okay, I've always been like that, I'm just taking it to a whole new, kinda sick, level today.)

I'm now joining the ranks of parents who make videos of their children doing cute things.  This video is actually from July 5 when Mike and I came home from our wedding, but I just finished editing it last night.  We left our doggies at home and a friend dog-sat them while we were away in Wyoming.  This is the very enthusiastic welcome home we got.  The dogs just kept running back and forth between Mike and I, as if wanting to spread the love.  (Yes, my friends, I have WAY too much time of my hands.)

Enjoy!  I'm sure you dog lovers will appreciate this.  You non dog-lovers will just shake your heads (but hopefully keep reading my blog after this ridiculous display.  I swear, I'm usually pretty normal.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Driving=Brain Surgery for some

Do you ever feel like you are the best driver in the world, and everyone else is just an idiot?  Seriously, if a person can't figure out a 4-way stop or a basic highway merge, how do they get through life?  How do people pass driving tests when logic is clearly not their native language?

On our long 6 hour drive from Canton, OH to Chicago this week, I realized there are at least three types of drivers that absolutely drive me nuts. (Trust me, there are more than 3, but I'll keep my complaining to a minimum...)

  1. The Left-Laner--This is the person who refuses to give up their position in the left lane, despite the fact they are driving slower than every other car on the interstate.  They will tie up traffic and piss people off, but they really don't care.  Even people on their tail swerving from side to side will not intimidate them, because let's face it, they never look in their rear view mirror.
  2. The Finger Lickin' Not-So Good Driver-- Ever played chicken with a driver for oh, say 30 miles or so??  You know what I'm talking about.  The driver gets on his cell phone and slows down to 10 under the speed limit, so you pass him.  Then a minute later, he's off the phone and cruises by you at Mach 10 speed.  Then a minute later, he's searching for something in the back seat, slows down, so you are passing him again.  Ugh, so annoying!  I'm tempted to make a sign saying "CRUISE CONTROL--USE IT!" that I always keep in my car, and flash to these Finger Lickin' drivers.
  3. The Tight Wheel Gripper--This is the driver who is leaning forward, and white-knuckling the steering wheel like nobody's business.  I always imagine this kind of driver quoting Kate Winslet in Titanic, saying "I'll never let go!"  This is almost always a woman, most often driving a large vehicle such as a minivan, and often has 4+ kids in the back.  Here's my question--you popped out 4 watermelon sized children out of a lemon size hole, and yet driving scares you???  Sheesh!  You should be able to do anything now!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dogs+Chocolate=Don't Mix UPDATE

(Follow-up to Yesterday's Post)

Our little Chihuahua, Bailey, must have a stomach of steel.  After eating what we now know was at least 3 Hershey Kisses plus a little wrapper, and subsequently drinking 3 teaspoons of Hydrogen Peroxide to make her throw them up, she has yet to puke, has had no signs of sickness, and her poo is solid with just a few specks of silver wrapper in it.  Are you kidding me?  From what I read online, this 5-pound dog ate what's essentially doggie arsenic, and yet she A-OK.

Her poor brother Buckeye, on the other hand, threw up twice after getting just 2 teaspoons of Hydrogen Peroxide.  (At first, we weren't sure who ate the chocolate, so we gave them both the magic throw-up liquid.  Poor guy.  Kind of reminds me of the time my brother and I both got our mouths washed out with soap because we blamed each other for throwing out an F bomb.  Sorry Shane--it was me.)

And that wasn't our son's first bad experience with chocolate.  Last Thanksgiving, Buckeye, who is a much larger 8-10 pound dog, got into chocolate and ironically enough, had the Hershey squirts for 3 days and 3 + states.  It made driving to Ohio and Kentucky?  Not fun at all.

So I guess the lesson in all of this, is that women really are Steel Magnolias while men are weak little things who always make the bathroom stink.  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dogs+Chocolate=Don't Mix

At what point in our lives do the holidays become less magic-like, and more anxiety-ridden?  At what age would you happily trade in cookies and candy for a large glass of Cabernet or a Jack and Coke?

As children, we can't sleep days before Christmas because we're so excited about the possibility of a new doll or truck.  As adults, we can't sleep because we're worried about aging relatives, traveling during such a busy week, sick kids or being able to pay all the bills. about losing the magic.

To add a little extra fun to the holidays, today one of my dogs decided to get into a little chocolate at my in-laws.  Hershey Kisses to be exact.  Mike and I were getting ready to drive back to Chicago when we discovered the evidence of two empty wrappers on the couch.  Knowing chocolate can be poisonous to dogs, I panicked.

I then did the only thing I could think to do...I googled "What to do if you dog eats chocolate" and texted two of my friends who are dog owners.  Online, I read that I should try to make the dogs throw-up, so we grabbed a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and made the doggies drink a teaspoon of it.  Nothing.  We gave them another, and Buckeye threw up.  It's the first time in his life we've actually cheered when he puked on the floor.  With Bailey, we waited and waited and nothing.  I gave her another teaspoon of peroxide, and?  Nothing.  She dry-heaved, but didn't get sick.  We're still waiting to see if she's okay.

I told Mike this will surely prepare us for parenthood. You know...young kids, peanuts, food allergies, making them puke. He didn't seem too amused...

But no really, I totally think we're on to something here.  If our kids get into something they shouldn't, but we don't know who did it, we'll just force all of them to drink peroxide until the guilty party pukes up the evidence.

Your thoughts?

Friday, December 24, 2010

My skinny jeans are fat

I heard on the news the other night that most people undo a year's worth of working out and eating right in the short amount of time between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Isn't that depressing?

Yep, you could count every calorie the rest of the year, but when it comes to your mom's fudge-- you undo it all.  You just can't say no, and find yourself eating 10 pieces at a time.  (My mom's peanut butter fudge could bring world peace...seriously.)

So that means every time I bundle up, dressing in 5 layers and big boots so I can walk 1/4 mile to my gym, I'm undoing every painful run, crunch and leg press whenever I eat a bite of my mother-in-law's pie.  (Gail's cherry pie could make grown men fall to their knees...seriously.)

In essence, that means every time we pass up a naughty treat the rest of the year, but give in during the holidays because "well, it's the holidays," it will take until June to burn it off.

My solution? I'm taping this picture of me at the end of the treadmill, so that every time I want to quit running and instead do something much more fun (ex: eating), I just have to remember what "Miss Wyoming Jeannie" looked like 8 years ago. It's? Humbling.

Merry Christmas everybody!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Friendly Skies? Not so much

Home for the Holidays
I am not a good flyer, in fact, I've become a terrible one.  In order to handle my flight back to Chicago from Denver last night, I had to chug two glasses of wine before the flight and two beers in flight. Yet I still jumped at every bump and sound, and I even cried one time.  (Not my finest moment)

Ever since I had a really bumpy flight in May flying over tornadoes in Nebraska, I am panicked now when I get on a plane. That flight was so bumpy, people were screaming and crying and the little old lady next to me held my hand.  I was pretty sure the plane would go down, hence why I'm now a hot mess of a flyer. (Do you remember that blog? Read here)

Yesterday, when I arrived at DIA and told the airline worker my destination, she looked at me like someone in my family died, and said, "Oh, you're going to Chicago." She told me the Chi was getting terrible weather, so my flight was delayed, it might not take off at all, and if it did, it could be diverted.  She went on to describe Midway's notoriously short run-ways, and the danger of trying to land there, and yada yada, I didn't hear the rest because I began to black out.

Short runways?  Snow?  Ice?  Aaaggghhhh!!!

Do you remember what happened in 2005?  A plane skidded off the runway at Midway and hit and killed a 6-year old boy who was in a car with his parents.  I remember this so well, because I was scheduled to fly to Chicago from Fort Myers the day after this happened.

Back to last night...I told the airport worker I needed to think about what I wanted to do, so I got out of line.  After talking with my mom, we decided the airlines wouldn't take any chances and try to fly when it wasn't safe, so I decided to go ahead and check-in.  The very nice worker must have sensed my panic, because she gave my mom a special pass so she could go through security with me and hang out.  Such passes are usually reserved for the disabled or the young, and apparently this girl.

Thank goodness I had my mama, because she always has a way of calming me down.  We had a couple of glasses of wine at Rock Bottom and I felt better with each sip.  A couple of hours later, and I went to check on my flight.  Before I could ask about it, the workers started whispering to each other and I could hear "Chicago."  Ugh.  I asked if it was going to take off, and the worker said, "We feel confident that it will."  That didn't warm me with confidence.

Finally, we took off and the flight really wasn't too bad. I still had an anxiety attack, because that's apparently what I do now.  I also couldn't breathe, but that's because of a different reason....A gentleman in front of me asked the flight attendant to get his computer bag when the seat belt sign was still on, because he needed to do some work.  When the flight attendant opened the bin, that man's stupid bag fell like a rock on my stomach and knocked the wind out of me. I later saw him looking at nude pictures of women (with his wife and child next to him!) Apparently that was the "important" work he needed to get done on his computer.  Jerk!

I do have a favor to ask of all my fellow flyers who thought it was funny to joke, "Well, I hope we make it!" Or, "I hope we're able to stop on the snow!", I hate you.  Don't joke like that, it's not funny.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Can Never Surrender!

What is it about going home for the holidays that makes so many of us nostalgic?  Nearly every time I go home I look through old photo albums and reminisce.  I watch old home videos and sometimes cry.  I drive by the places where I used to play or go to school.  I look at the rolling plains and think they are so beautiful, and laugh at the fact I thought they were so ugly growing up.  I reconnect with old friends, and feel like we've never missed a beat.

I also love listening to old music, and remembering exactly where I was when I first heard them on the radio or a friend's walk-man.  Here are some of my more vivid song memories...

* Duran Duran's "The Reflex"-- I remember hanging out with my brother in our living room on Cottonwood Drive, listening to this song at full volume and pretending we were in the band.  He played guitar and I was on keyboards.  (By the way, he will totally deny this, I'm sure.)

* Annie Lennox's "No More I Love You's"- I remember nervously driving my cute little red Fiero to pick up my date, Mike Kelly, for the Turnabout Dance.  I was sweating and so nervous!  I was also decked out in red car, red dress, red nails, and yes, even red hair.  (It wasn't a finer moment.)  I listened to this song to try and calm down a bit.
(It truly is a great song!  Super weird video though.)

* Kenny Loggins' "Footloose"--What a great song!  I still tap my feet whenever I hear it.  Back in the 80's, I could NOT get enough of this song.  I vividly remember listening to it one time in my room when I was grounded.  I played the song on my little walk-man, and danced around like I was in the movie.  At 6 years old, I was just sure I was going to be famous someday, and marry Kevin Bacon. (I guess I'll just have to settle for 6 degrees of separation.)

* Corey Hart's "Never Surrender"--This song takes me back to my HUGE crush on Corey Hart.  Yowsers, he was so cute!  (I'm pleased to report, he still is.  I just saw a current video of him on YouTube, and he did not gain 200 pounds. Score!)  I also remember blaring this song on the stereo with my friend Kristen, while we pretended to be dancers in his music video.
I heard this song again last night, which seemed so fitting for my visit home.  It was like I was 7 years old again without a care in the world.
If you haven't listened to this song in awhile, give it a whirl.  (By the way--when Corey Hart has his leather jacket on, and does a dramatic turn to the camera, my heart still skips a beat.  Wow, after all these years Corey...)

What songs remind you of your childhood??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's that time of year for, medical updates?
Oh, the season of Christmas cards.  Isn't it fun opening up your mailbox and finding cards from friends and family all over the country?  My all-time favorites are the ones that include pictures of little kids.  We still have last year's pictures of our nieces and nephews, and little ones of our family friends hanging on our fridge.  I just love looking at them every time I need to grab milk or O.J.

I also love getting letters from people telling me about this year's job promotions, weddings or fun changes in their lives.   However, have you ever noticed that not all Christmas letters are good ones?

Do you ever get the "Update of Everyone's Health Christmas Letter?"  It's a detailed account of what medical procedures the family went through that year.  What in the world are people thinking??  Is it suddenly the time of year to share stories about mysterious bumps we find in our nether regions?  Or the time of year to share the fact that we have bloody diarrhea?  Sheesh people!

Last year, I cried so hard I peed a little (hmm, that sounds like Christmas card material!) when I read a two-page letter from a family friend who described every doctor's visit, treatment or procedure her family had the past year.  It was so detailed, she gave exact dates and times.  She even described the "mood" of her family during the time.  Really?  Why do we need to know this information?  Why do 50 of your closest friends need to know this information?

I can't imagine how little Johnny feels knowing his mother just told everyone he is hitting puberty, so now seeing pretty girls makes him feel funny in his potty spot.  

C'mon people, have you ever heard of filtering yourself?

I must go blow my nose now.  I hope it's clear and not yellow or green, because you know what colored snot means!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two celebrity couple shockers!

Courtesy: People Magazine
Wow, what a shocking day in the world of celebrity relationships!  Scarlett Johansson and People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, Ryan Reynolds, announced they're ending their marriage of 2 years.  I no sooner found that out, when I heard High School Musical stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are calling it quits after dating for 4 years.

Both couples say they split "as good friends" with tremendous respect for each other.  When don't they say that?  I want the press release to say, "They actually can't stand the sight of one another, and have been secretly spitting in one another's food and flushing the toilet when the shower is on.  They can't wait to start dating other people and are looking for someone a little less 'crazy.'"

I feel bad for for celebrities trying to maintain a healthy relationship.  How is it healthy to have paparazzi stalking you, and having people always second-guessing your relationship?  Plus, tabloid mags are always lying about what the stars are/aren't doing with other people.  If I saw in the news that Mike was seen cuddling with Jennifer Aniston, I'd be outraged!  Even if I knew they'd never met, it would still plant the seed of doubt.

Courtesy: People Magazine
Magazines are always watching stars, and wondering if they are happy.  For example, they'll say, "Scarlett isn't wearing her wedding ring, there must be trouble!"  I don't wear my ring a lot!  If I'm going to workout--no ring.  Running errands--often not wearing a ring.  Going outside at night--sometimes not wearing a ring.  This isn't because Mike and I are having problems, I'm just scared about losing the single most expensive thing I've ever owned!

Tabloids also analyze every picture of celebrities together to determine if they are or aren't happy.  How can you tell someone's happiness from a paparazzi shot of them walking down the street?  From them eating at a restaurant?

If you got a shot of Mike and me walking down the street right now, I'd look miserable.  And I'd probably be cussing.  And I'd have a scowl on my face.  But the reason has more to do with the 10 below wind chill, and not because I hate his guts.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Year in Videos

Awe, as we near the end of 2010, we look back at the year that was.  Isn't it crazy how fast times go by?  In the 1980 or 90's, didn't 2010 seem like a far off destination where cars would surely be flying and we'd all be wearing silver alien-like sweatsuits?  (That actually would be awesome.  And comfortable.)  Now here we are, getting dangerously close to 2011.

YouTube posted their Most Watched Videos of 2010 today, and they. are. hilarious.  Do you remember this Old Spice Commercial?  It made the list, and I love it.

If there's one thing in life I like, it's random humor, and this defines randomness.  "Look, I have an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love."  Love it.  The marketing team behind this ad deserves major raises.

Have you heard of Greyson Chance?  Apparently 34 million people have.  He's a 13-year old who posted a video of himself playing piano and singing Lady Gaga's Paparazzi song at a school talent show.  Pretty soon, Ellen DeGeneres saw the video, invited him on the show and now he has a record deal and is touring.  Yowsers!  His voice is amazing.

And the most watched video of 2010??  Antoine Dodson's Bed Intruder song.  The parody of a television news interview has raked in nearly 48 million hits (it probably peaked after I blogged about it in October.)  Click here to read that blog.  It truly is fantastic.  After Antoine's passionate and hilarious interview was dubbed into a rap and hit YouTube, he's been on talk shows, sold products, has a Facebook fan page (which I'm on, of course), he had his own Halloween costume and he's made enough money to get his family out of the 'hood.  With a line like this, you can see why it's such a hit...
"He's climbing in your windows, he's snatching your people up, so y'all need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husbands too..."  You just can't make it up.  (Or get it out of your head for a week.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Bathroom Attendant: Why?

I want to question the city phenomenon that is known as the bathroom attendant. They are people hired by the restaurant/bar to sit in a bathroom, offer people paper towels and sell a variety of mints/gum/tampons/mouthwash, etc.  In other words?  It's weird.

I've been in the dingiest of Chicago bars that have bathroom attendants. So instead of investing in a better ambiance, the bar decides the best business decision is hiring someone to sit in the pooper.

On Friday night, Mike and I went out to dinner with some friends.  I left to go to the bathroom so I left my purse at the table.  When I opened the restroom door, there was a very friendly looking woman standing there, and she greeted me with a pleasant "hello."  While I was going potty, she was talking to another woman in the bathroom.  The other patron (very clearly drunk) was saying, "I'm on a fwirst date...and we's doing shawts of Patron.  Me very drunksh."  The bathroom attendant laughed and chatted with her like they were BFF's.

When I came out to wash my hands, the attendant was ready for me with two paper towels in hand.  I started feeling bad that I didn't have my wallet, therefore, no money to give her.  Then I thought, wait a minute, I can clearly get a paper towel myself, so why do I have to pay a dollar to do so?

I then looked at the candy bowl, and I was about to grab a mint, but there was a handwritten note inside, describing the bathroom attendant "Sheila" and how she depends on tips to make a living, so if you take something, you should donate money.  I quickly pulled my hand out of the jar...empty.

Here's the thing...who wants this job???  Sure, I've been unemployed in my life (as you know), but I'm pretty sure I'd rather work at McDonald's than sit in a bathroom all day.  Can you imagine the smells?  The sounds?  Ick.

To any restaurant owners reading this: Do away with the bathroom attendants, seriously.  It's annoying to feel like you need to give a buck for a hand towel, and there are times when a girl needs to pass a little gas, but it's much harder with someone standing right there.  Sheesh.  (That's what I've heard of course, I wouldn't know myself.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Why didn't I make the list?

Did you see Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2010 special last night?"  It included 1) Betty White, 2) The Cast of Jersey Shore, 3) Jennifer Lopez, 4) Justin Bieber, 5) Sarah Palin, 6) Sandra Bullock, 7) LeBron James, 8) Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 9) Kate Middleton and 10) General David Petraeus.

What I realized is that Barbara only gets interviews with about half of these people, and the others, she plays older interviews done by her or other journalists.  It's a little shenanigan-ish, but still interesting.  Here are my observations about these people and/or the special.  (Geez--I have an opinion about everything, don't I??)

* This will sound mean, but I don't mean for it to.  I just think it's truly amazing that Barbara has had such a successful broadcasting career considering she can't really articulate words. Good for her! Only in America...

* I never thought I'd say this, but Justin Bieber is actually pretty cute.  And talented!  I'd never heard any of his songs until last night, and now I'm not feeling so good.  I'm hot, flushed...oh yeah, I have Bieber Fever!

* Sarah Palin always looks like a deer in headlights in her interviews.  And the thought of her running this country?  Makes me shake like a Chihuahua.

* We're finding out the cast of Jersey Shore is raking it in.  Mike "The Situation" reportedly made $10 million this year!  Wow, what am I doing wrong?  (Being the whitest person in America probably isn't helping.)  Some people may think it's ridiculous you can make that kind of money for really not doing anything, but I say, go for it!  Only in America...

* Finally, Betty White is amazing.  Seriously has the best attitude I've ever seen.  At what she describes as 88 3/4, she is upbeat, articulate, hilarious and so fun-loving.  When Barbara asked her about death, and if she worries about it, she said her mom had a great philosophy.  Her mom used to say nobody knows what happens at that moment of death, so when someone in their family would die, she say, "Well, now he knows the secret!"  Love it!  Barbara also asked her how she stayed so fit, and Betty laughingly says she lives in a 2-story home and has a terrible memory, so she's constantly running up and down the stairs. Betty should be a role model for us all!
You can watch her entire interview below...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Working from home? Rocks!

Usually I don't like people seeing me look so terrible, but I'm posting this pic to prove a point.  And the point is?  Working from home totally. rocks.

Yep, it's 6 p.m. and even though I have showered, I opted for no contacts, make-up or nice clothes.  Instead, I chose my Jersey Shore-ish sweatsuit and Ugg slippers.  I'm also working at our kitchen table with a big cozy blanket wrapped around me and a space heater blowing a warm, Florida-like breeze on my legs and tootsies.

Recently, a couple of my girlfriends told me they had the option of working from home, but opted not to because they missed the social interaction and had a hard time being motivated.  I see their point, but I think being able to do laundry, cuddle with my dogs and not have to worry about a big stain on my shirt totally outweighs those concerns.

After 8 years of morning reporting and hitting the snooze button at 2 a.m., I'm lavishing in sleeping in.  Today I woke up at 10:30 a.m.  Who does that besides 14-year olds on Christmas vacation??  Sure, I'll work into this evening, but I don't mind.  It took years to realize that I get my best work done at night.

In terms of social interaction, all I have to do is walk down the street toward the L train or to the local Starbucks.  Nearly every time, a bum will ask me for money, call me a profanity, or confess their love.  Yep, one particular bum near Grand and Fairbanks always yells that he loves me.  That's interacting, right?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Have you seen Home Alone in awhile?

 Every couple of days, I'm forcing Mike to watch a Christmas movie with me. I just love this time of year! Added with the fact that there's snow outside and temperatures have been in the teens, I'm totally getting into the holiday spirit!

So far we've watched "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (all-time favorite), the "Holiday" (sure, not a classic, but has classically handsome Jude Law in it) and last night we watched "Home Alone." Oh my gosh, I haven't seen this movie in probably 10 years!

Can you believe "Home Alone" debuted 20 years ago? (Watch trailer here) Argh! How does time go so fast?? It was written and produced by my all-time favorite, John Hughes, and filmed right here in Chicago! (Nearly all of Hughes' movies were filmed here.)

The beautiful McCallister home is in Winnetka, a suburb just north of Chicago. It was built in 1920 and is worth between $1.27 million and $1.74 million. As a kid, I dreamed of living in that house. As an adult, I still dream of living in this house.

Here are some other facts about the movie I found on-line:

* John Hughes wrote the script for the movie in one weekend!

* John Candy filmed his part in only 1 day

* The role of Uncle Frank was originally written for Kelsey Grammar

* John Hughes wrote the script with Macaulay Culkin in mind after working with him in Uncle Buck. Director Chris Columbus still auditioned hundreds of other boys, just to make sure Macaulay was right. (Can you imagine it with anyone else??)

* The movie is the 3rd highest grossing film of all time, and highest grossing live-action comedy of all time. It took in $533 million worldwide.

* It was #1 at the Box Office for 12 straight weeks. It debuted in November of 1990, and was in theaters past Easter of 1991. (I totally remember seeing this in the theater, and I remember it being the most packed movie I'd ever seen in Cheyenne, Wyoming. There were entire parts of the movie I couldn't hear because kids were laughing so loud.)

* The scenes were the family is running in the airport and in the Paris airport are both shot at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

* There is a scene where Kevin is walking past a driveway just as Harry and Marv are driving down it, and they stop just in time to avoid hitting him. This was achieved by having McCauley Culkin walk backwards, as the van was driven in reverse away from him; the film was then shown backwards. It's hard to tell - but if you look at the smoke from the exhaust, it's drifting toward the van rather than away from it. So cool!

Truly, if you haven't seen this movie in awhile, I highly recommend it! So well written. This weekend, Mike and I are going to try and find the Home Alone house, so stay tuned!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Avoid a cold tooshie!

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved the 3 years I lived in Florida with the beautiful weather, but there's something magical about the first snowfall of the season.  On Saturday, Chicago woke up to a blanket of snow and it was so beautiful!  There's something invigorating about having 20-degree temperatures hitting your face as soon as you step outside. (Now today it's 14 degrees, so it's not really invigorating, more like painful.)

When I moved to the Midwest from Florida, I was completely unprepared, despite having grown up in Wyoming.  Somehow all my coats had disappeared and my blood had drastically thinned.  One time when I went out to eat with Mike, the waitress could see me visibly shaking and asked if I was okay.  I explained about being weak due to my time in Florida, so she brought me a hot mug of water so I could put my hands around it to warm up.  She got?  A big tip.

Now, I feel like I'm a cold-weather pro, but it took some time and learning these tips:

 * Buy a North Face coat.  Sure, you won't look original because every 3rd person in Chicago has one, but they really do work.  Go for one that hits right at the knee or below because your legs need some lovin' too.

* Wear a hat and a hood.  You'll look like a dork, but I feel like I can handle any speed of wind this city throws at me as long as my head is covered.

* Uggs are great at keeping the tootsies warm, but just remember, they are slicker than bat shi* on the ice.  The same holds true for cowboy boots and men's dress shoes. (Case in point?  Last night I was wearing Uggs, and Mike's friend was wearing dress shoes, so we both had to hold hands with Mike to avoid slipping on the ice.  I'm sure people thought we were swingers.)

* I never thought I'd say this, but dress your dogs (especially small ones.)  When temperatures hover
around 10 degrees, they need sweaters, and if there's salt on your sidewalks, they need booties too, because the salt can burn their paws.  (To get your husband/boyfriend to agree to this, just buy college/NFL sweaters with their favorite team.)

* Wear long johns.  Sure, they're not sexy, but they are a necessity.  I forgot to wear mine last night, and my legs were miserably cold.  (Mike enjoyed bragging that he'd remembered his.)

* Finally, don't be afraid to start drinking in the afternoons.  The bonus in Chicago is that it starts getting dark at 3:45 p.m., so it doesn't feel weird!

Stay warm everybody!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Am I a bad parent??

Dogs In The City
I never really thought about this before, but I'm guessing parents feel responsible for their child's actions.  Like if their child hits another kid on the playground, the parents feel guilty.  If their child says something mean to another child, the parents feels embarrassed.

So how should I feel if my children attack and try to bite another neighborhood child?  If my children didn't have 4 legs, I'm guessing I would get sued.

As I've mentioned before, my two dogs didn't exactly get proper socialization.  Bailey's crucial development was interrupted by the fact that I had to hide her in the Tri-Delta sorority house.  So instead of socializing with other dogs, we hid Bailey in my room for fear of our house mom finding out.  And Buckeye's crucial development took place in basically a retirement community in Florida.  Instead of playing with other dogs, we at dinner at 3 p.m. and were in bed by 6 p.m.

Then we moved to Chicago where every man, woman and child has a dog.  We moved to a dog community, on a dog floor near a dog park.  Within 3 months, I saw big improvements in my dogs, and by the end of our year there, my dogs were almost comatose around other dogs.  It was so nice.

Now...they're back to their devilish selves.  We're in a new apartment, and let's just say they're not exactly adapting well.  Our new neighbor has the cutest little puppy, and when he brought him home for the first time, I just happened to be outside with my little Satan's.  They growled, snipped and snapped at the cute little bundle of fur.  My neighbor told his puppy, "Well, it looks like we won't be making friends with them!"

Yesterday, we ran into them again, and my dogs were just as vicious.  The puppy rolled over on his back, as if saying by his submissive pose, "Okay, I get're in charge!"  While I was rubbing his sweet puppy belly, my dogs were still growling.

What should I do???

To make matters worse, Bailey is acting out towards certain people too.  When a very scary man walked by us who I was just sure was packin' some heat, Bailey growled and growled at him.  I closed my eyes, hoping we wouldn't get shot.  Luckily, the man looked down at all 5 pounds of her and just smiled.  Thank God.

If any dog owners have advice, I'll gladly take it.  Is this just because we're in a new 'hood?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Are you forgetting something? Perhaps pants?

I'd like to take a moment to ponder the reason why old people walk around gym locker rooms naked.  (You SO know what I'm talking about.)

Today when I got done working out, I walked into the locker room when to my horror, a woman was standing in front of the mirror, blow-drying her hair, naked.  I panicked..I didn't know where to look.  Now don't get me wrong, sometimes I sweat my arse off when I'm blow drying my hair, but it never compels to me blow dry naked, not even in my own apartment.  Strange.  She had a nice body for a 65 year-old, but still, it's weird.

Tonight I asked Mike if men ever walk around his gym naked.  He laughed, and said no, not too many people run on the treadmill in their birthdays suits.  When I clarified "locker room," he said, "The amount of nakedness in the locker is in direct correlation with a person's age."

I exclaimed, "Right??  Why do old people suddenly not care who sees them naked??"  I would think if I was ever going to flaunt my goods, it would have been at 22 during my workout-like-crazy Miss Wyoming phase, not at 65 after a few kids and c-section scars.

This brought me back to one of my earliest childhood memories.  I used to go to the gym with my mom so she could play racquetball.  She'd play in her 80's short-shorts, and I'd watch while playing with my barbies and eating animal crackers.  After her games, I went with her into the locker room.  On one particular occasion, I'd say circa 1983, I saw an older woman walking around naked.  I couldn't stop staring, because a) it was the first naked woman I'd seen besides my mom and b) I couldn't believe how everything had ventured "south," more towards the belly button region.  It was?  Disturbing.

I guess as we get older we simply don't care.  Either that, or we start forgetting the small details, such as putting on pants.