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Monday, January 31, 2011

Hide Yo' Kids!

Courtesy: ABC 7 Chicago
Have you heard the news? People in 30 states are going to be shaking in their boots tomorrow and Wednesday as we deal with the worst blizzard in years. Forecasters are calling for 18-20 inches of snow. Yikes!

Here's my question--when don't they say a storm will be the worst in years? When don't they have the live shot of a reporter standing outside a grocery store talking about people stocking up on food? When don't they say you should avoid being outside if possible?

Okay, call me a cynic, but I've been that reporter who stood outside for 6 hours, doing live shots where I gave this "good" advice. I've been the person who showed the conditions saying "It doesn't look bad now, but just wait..." Heck, I've even been that girl forced to do "snow" live shots when there wasn't any snow. That one was embarrassing.

I could be wrong here, but I'm not worried about this potential Snowmageddon. It's Chicago people, not Miami...we know how to handle this. We are prepared. We get a lot of snow every year. I do understand when Atlanta shut down for a week last month because cities like that aren't used to the white stuff. But for us? This ain't our first rodeo.

Courtesy: Apartment Therapy
My solution? Stock up on alcohol...and donuts...and Cocoa Pebbles. Also, don't be an idiot. You can't drive stupid when conditions get bad. Oh yeah, and if you've shoveled out your parking spot on the street, put a piece of furniture there to protect your spot for when you get home. It's a Chicago thing.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Celeb Sightings

I am someone who gets, well let's just say, starstruck. I see a movie star, and I get weak in the knees. I'd probably even squeal if I saw a cast member of Jersey Shore. I am? A huge dork.
I guess it's because I just love Hollywood, and always imagined as a little girl that I would someday be as famous as Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep.
During my television career, I got to meet some cool celebs. Leslie Nielsen is probably the most memorable. He was funny and charming and extremely cool to interview.
90210's Jason Priestly was also very cool and willing to take a pic with me. His former co-star Ian Ziering, was equally as cool. I didn't get a pic, but he smiled and said "hello."
Jennifer Coolidge, a.k.a "Stifler's Mom" from the super popular "American Pie" movies was super fun! Mike's cousin rented out her New Orleans home for her wedding reception, and Coolidge stayed and got drunk with everyone. She rocked.

But then there are the celebs I've met who are total tools or not at all what I was expecting.....
Last night, my girlfriend and I were walking around downtown Chicago after hanging out at "Epic" for another girlfriend's birthday. All of a sudden, I heard some girls in front of me say, "Oh, there's Jamie Kennedy!" (He's a comedian and actor, probably best know for dating Jennifer Love Hewitt.) Before I knew it, he was flipping everyone in the crowd off. Weird, right? Like he was annoyed with getting recognized. But I thought B-list stars got annoyed if you didn't recognize them?? Then, he looked at his reflection in a window, fixed his hair, and went into the bar "Rockit." The whole thing was very odd.
Then there's the time I met Dustin Diamond, a.k.a "Screech" from the popular show "Saved by the Bell." He does comedy now, so some friends and I saw his show in Fort Myers, Florida. He is funny, but seemed a little jaded by the peak of his career being over, and I got tired of his jokes accusing Zach of being gay. Plus, I had to pay $10 for this pic and another $5 for his autograph. Lame.

 Then there was the time I got to interview Maxwell Caulfield, you know, the guy from "Grease 2." You can see from this pic with Michelle Pfeiffer he was a total hottie! I got up early that morning to make sure my hair and make-up looked perfect. Then he showed up..and well, let's just say, he hasn't aged well. He is now bald, except for a creepy little patch of hair on his forehead. Weird.

But perhaps my biggest disappointment was two years ago when I ran into Anthony Michael Hall, my favorite 80's actor. You know him..he was in Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science. My girlfriends and I were in New York, and decided to have lunch at a busy Sushi restaurant in Times Square. We needed one more chair, so we asked the gentleman next to us who was sitting alone. Then we realized it was him! I was SO excited...I'd been a fan of this guy for 20 years. We asked if we could take a picture with him, and he said "no." Ouch. When I told Mike later, he said, "What? He didn't want to take a picture with 4 beautiful women?"

He did agree to take this picture of my friends and me, which you see here. But no pic with him. I was bummed. If he didn't want to be recognized, perhaps he shouldn't have gone out to eat in Touristy Times Square, on a Saturday and chosen to sat next to a huge bay window looking out towards all the other tourists.

Feel free to share your celeb sightings in the comment section!

Friday, January 28, 2011

That's a first...

I knew marrying Mike would come with a certain amount of benefits. Tax breaks. Someone to open really tight jars (yes Prego, I'm talking about you.) Someone to rub my shoulders after a long day. And perhaps the best benefit...being able to wear a shiny ring on my left finger that is essentially a shield protecting me from the strong force known as douche bags in the bar.

Or at least I thought it would protect me...

Last night, my friend Gene and I went out in Old Town. As soon as we sat down, I saw a couple of guys on the other side of the bar grinning ear to ear. Pretty soon they were heading our way. They introduced themselves and tried chatting with us, despite she and I acting like we were totally enthralled in the IU/IL basketball game, therefore, turning our backs to them. (By the way men-women don't care about sports. If they're acting like they do, they're just blowing you off.) Then, one of them asks her and me for our phone numbers. Gene said no. Then it was my turn, and I was so excited...I finally could use my shiny ring sword! I held up my hand and said, "Sorry, I'm married," with a smile on my face.

What happened next I wasn't prepared for.

He held us his left hand, which also held a shiny ring, and said, "No worries, I am too."

Douche bag.

At the time I laughed about it, and wrote about it on Facebook because I thought it was funny. But the more I think about it today, I get mad imagining his wife waiting at home..perhaps even with a couple of kids...and here he is trying to pick up a couple of women in the bar. Disgusting.

To all the men and women in the world who cheat or try to cheat: You're gross. If you weren't ready to get married, why did you? If you married the wrong person, why'd you get married in the first place? You just thought it was time to do so? You just wanted to appease her or as a woman, you just wanted to wear a big, pretty dress?

Don't do anyone any "favors" by getting married before you are ready to, or decide to marry someone who seems "almost right," because you might just end up hitting on a girl who writes a daily blog.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Indy's Homeless Got Talent!

When I worked as a morning reporter, I had to cover some really terrible stories. And when I say terrible, I mean they had absolutely no news content or value, but I was basically filling time.

Like the time I had to cover "flooding" when in reality, there was only a few inches of water in an Indianapolis neighborhood. Or the time I was assigned to go live from a school bus stop to show kids waiting in the freezing cold. In reality, it was Florida, 30 degrees and only one child used that bus stop. Or the time I covered the Edison Parade of Lights parade in Fort Myers, and the fact that people reserved their spot on the street with duct tape. Yep, 4 live shots with no interviews, just showing tape with people's names on it. (Mike's family still teases me about this story...and the fact that people actually obey the "tape rule.")

But I can honestly say, in 8 years as a reporter or anchor, and another 5 working in news in college, I would NEVER have done this story. Have you seen it? An Indianapolis reporter did a follow-up to the amazing story of Ted Williams, the homeless man with a golden voice. She decided to hit the streets and see if Indy's homeless have talent. Yep, doesn't it sound like a really bad reality show idea? It's perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen...and Jon Stewart agrees.

Check out Video Here or click below. (If you watch the video below, you'll have to scroll through the first minute.)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indianapolis Homeless Talent Show
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

Wow. I can't imagine what the news meeting was like deciding this was a story. It's exploitive, embarrassing but of course, funny.

I have to say my first thought after watching this is thank god I'm not in news anymore.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A New Adventure
In keeping with my New Year's resolution of trying things that scare me, I went to a yoga class last night. I've only been to one other class in my life, and that was years ago, so I decided it was time to give it another go.

My whole life, I've convinced myself that gym classes are not for me. Broken down that essentially means, "I don't want to do something that hurts or have someone push me to go farther, so I don't do it." What I've learned is that these classes are perfect for motivating semi-lazy people like me.

While I was waiting for the class to start, I was shocked by the people showing up. First a man who looked like one of my friend's fathers arrived. Then another man came, his arms full of tattoos.  Hmm, didn't expect that. Then another man arrived with his own yoga mat tied in a cute little bow. Well, I guess I did expect that. But wait, there aren't any women!! Finally I asked one of the guys, "Um, is this a class for the ladies too?" He laughed and said he hoped so.

Finally, our instructor arrived and he was a sweet looking guy dressed in casual pants and a flannel shirt. He took off his glasses and begin giving us poses to do in a soothing and relaxing tone. This class was Vinyasa Yoga, which I've discovered means "breath-synchronized movement." The whole focus is breathing, and the instructor took us from one pose to another emphasizing the need to inhale or exhale.

All I have to say is I can't believe I didn't do this years ago, especially when I worked in the stressful television news industry. I found the experience to be relaxing, purifying and confidence-building. My body did poses I didn't think were possible which totally rocks and makes me feel like a 20-year old.

Next step: spinning. It totally scares me, but it's the year to try it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Big Day in Chicago News

Wow, what a crazy day in Chicago news! First, Oprah shocks us with the announcement that she has a half-sister, Patricia, whom she didn't know about until a couple of months ago. Oprah's mother gave Patricia up at birth, and she bounced around between foster homes. Can you imagine how her life is going to change now? I've got to say, I'm a little jealous Patricia. Do you think there's anyway I'm another half-sister? (This might work if the half part means my father is either Powder or a member of the Cullen family.)

Secondly, an appeals court ruled that Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former Chief of Staff, can not run for Chicago mayor because he did not live here for a year prior to next month's election. I have to say, I'm shocked by this. No matter what your political beliefs are, this just seems plain dumb. How could he live here? He was called upon to serve the leader of this country.

Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune
One of the main issues is Emanuel's house. He kept his Chicago home, but rented it out. The court ruled that essentially since his family didn't stay here and they didn't keep all their belongings in the house, he can't claim residency.

Who wouldn't rent out their house while they're gone? Even if you have plenty of money, why would you let a house sit empty? We're in a recession people! I think this was fiscally responsible. And what politician wants to live in a different city from his or her family? (Okay, excluding John Edwards and Mark Sanford).

I'm not sure I would vote for Emanuel, but I think we need to at least give him a chance. This afternoon, he announced he will appeal this decision to the state Supreme Court. Good, hopefully they have'll more common sense.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Think it's too good to be true? It is.

I made a huge mistake this week. I temporarily forgot the expression, "If it seems to good to be true, it is," and now I'm getting punished for it.

On Thursday, I started looking online for coupons in sticking with my 2011 philosophy "I'm not paying full-price for anything." I got to browsing, and found a website that offered to pay people cash to take product surveys. I thought that sounded perfect, because I'm full of opinions and always need money. So I signed up...and then it asked if I wanted to sign up for other paid surveys. I checked "yes", thinking score! I'll be making sweet cash in no time.

Then I figured out the catch. You only get money if you take the survey and then buy some product like an acne-treatment system, or new tires for your car. Dang it! But did I learn my lesson and stop there? Nope. I continued browsing and found websites that offer free product samples so you can write a review on them. I signed up, but found out again you have to buy other products in order to get these. Crap!

I closed out that web page, but the damage had already been done. All of a sudden, my e-mail inbox filled up with spam and before I knew it I was getting offers for Viagra, going back to school, getting "free" TV's, fighting hair loss and meeting attractive dark singles in my area. Now, I'm all about meeting new friends, but I have a feeling I'd have to pay for these new good-looking companions. (And I'm not sure the creators of this website meant to send their info to the whitest person in America. Even the girl who does my spray tans says there is NO one paler than me.)

As soon as I saw my inbox fill up with 50+ messages, the phone rang. When I answered, the woman said she was responding to my request to further my education. Sorry lady, I didn't sign up for that one (at least I don't think I did.) Plus, I've never really had the desire to be a mechanic.

Lesson learned: there are a lot of people out there trying to sell you crap, so beware. I think I may have to go into hiding just to stop the cyber stalking. But it's not all bad news--I think I did score a couple of free Oreos.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pasty White Skin

Do you ever have a hard time getting motivated to go out? You know it's the weekend, and you should, but the thought of staying in and watching a movie sounds much more appealing than getting dolled up and going to a crowded bar.

In cold parts of the country, it's even harder to find that motivation, especially when it's -15 degrees. (That was Chicago's wind chill temperature yesterday. Right now it's a much balmier 5 degrees.)

Me last night.  Sexy? No
Who wants to go out in that? As I was getting dressed last night, I had to laugh as I was putting on my long-johns and wool socks. I thought, "There are women in Miami and L.A. who are putting on cute stiletto's and little skirts tonight, and then look at me." Along with my warm undergarments, I then had to bundle up in my huge North Face coat, gloves and a hat that gives my hair a nice line around my head.

So essentially it's impossible to feel sexy this time of year in the Mid-West. Most of us have pasty-white skin, dry lips and static-y hair. Plus, wearing long-johns doesn't exactly scream chic style.

To Florida:  I must come visit you and know what it feels like to be a woman again.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Men Can't Live Without Us

In order to save money, I keep our apartment heat turned down really low. Since I work from home, this is tough, but the space heater I bought helps a ton. I just position it next to me at my desk, kitchen table or the couch.

At night, it goes down even further and we suddenly become a mix of characters from Twilight and The Sixth Sense. Our hands and feet are ice cold, and every time we speak, you can see our breath. I turn the heat down to 63, but we also have really drafty windows, so I'm guessing our temp drops to the 50's. (Also not helping: Chicago is -15 today.) In other words, it's COLD.

The other morning, I walked out into the living room to find this (see picture). Mike was sitting on the floor eating his breakfast huddled up next to the spacer heater with the hood of his sweatshirt around his head. I had to laugh, and of course, take a pic. Perhaps this subtle gesture shows I'm making the apartment too cold.

But I told him, "You can always turn the heat up while you get ready for work!"

He said, "I should, but I don't know how to turn the heat up."

I laughingly said, "Just hit the button that has an arrow pointing up."

Here's the thing: because women take care of so much around the house, men often don't have any idea how to do the basics. When I left him for a week, I came home to find no toilet paper on the roll (or anywhere else in the bathroom. I'm guessing Mike held it until he got to work), and there was no soap in the shower. I joked that the toilet paper and soap fairies must have been on vacation that week too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

People are dumb

This may be one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. A Pennsylvania woman is texting while walking in the mall and not paying attention. Then, well...check it out.

Isn't this a riot? Also it's a little scary knowing people are so distracted by their cell phones. I wonder how many people walk into traffic because they are texting.

What makes the video even funnier is a) she gets right up and acts like nothing happened and b) no one even notices.

I first saw this video yesterday, then today I was watching ABC's 11 a.m. news when they teased that this women is now contemplating a lawsuit. What? During the commercial break I racked my brain, trying to decide what she could possibly be suing for. Perhaps suing cell phone companies for offering text messaging options which are distracting? Suing the mall for having a water fountain? Suing her parents for raising such an oblivious person?

When the story came on, a teary-eyed woman named Cathy Cruz Morrero sobbed, "No one helped me!"  Um, one saw you! Even on the alternate view, you see a janitor taking care of garbage nearby, and he didn't even sit it. Cathy is thinking about suing since no one came to her aid in the 2.2 seconds she was in the water.

Cathy--let's call this what it is. You did a dumb move, and now you're embarrassed that so many people have seen it. Yes, more than a million of us have watched it on YouTube, and laughed at you. But that doesn't justify a lawsuit. The idea of that is just making us laugh at you even more.

Happy texting!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eating a Double Cheeseburger=Committing a Crime

Do you ever notice extreme hunger makes you do really gross things you wouldn't normally do, such as eating something with 1,150 mg of sodium?

I had a hair appointment today at 1 p.m., so I didn't get around to eating lunch until about 3 p.m. As I was walking to the L train stop at State St. & Chicago Ave., I saw the all too familiar golden arches in my peripheral vision. In Mike's bachelor days, he lived at that corner for 4 years, so I knew all-too-well the nearby naughty spots. Despite my better judgement, I gave in to my rumbling belly and went in and ordered a double cheeseburger and fries. As I was devouring the deliciousness, I quickly glanced at the wrapper and saw the "nutrition" info. Ugh. 23 fat grams! 11 grams of saturated fat!

After I finished up, I decided to skip the L train, and walk home instead (for obvious reasons). As I was walking, I had to laugh at the things going through my my mind...the shame, the regret. I decided the guilt of eating greasy, fattening food is probably similar to what a serial killer feels. Case in point:

* I thought eating the double cheeseburger would be pleasurable, but it only made me feel dirty inside.

* As I was "doing the crime", I was hoping no one was watching so there wouldn't be any witnesses.

* Even though it felt wrong, I did it anyway.

* I really hope my friends and family don't find out about what I've done. (I guess if I kill someone, I shouldn't blog about it.)

* Despite it feeling disgusting today, I know in a couple of months I'll probably want to do it again.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crazy Things People Try to Bring on Airplanes

I had to laugh at a friend's Facebook post today, describing what he overheard at airport security. This is what he heard a man saying, "Oh no, they're calling my flight....look, I know what you're looking for. I hid a bottle of ketchup in my shoe." (A shoe packed in his carry-on) "Oh no, why did I pack that?"

You seriously can't make this stuff up.  But I feel your pain buddy. It's important to bring your own ketchup, because you know how bland airplane food can be. Oh wait, we haven't been given anything other than pretzels or peanuts in about two decades, so dude...WHAT were you thinking???

It reminded me of an odd experience I had waiting to board a plane in Southwest Florida. The worker at the counter called a man over and said, "Mr. Jones, I understand our workers found fertilizer in your checked bag. You can't bring fertilizer onto an airplane."

I'm pretty sure my two-old nephew knows that, Mr. Jones.

So this got me thinking, how many dumb people are out there? More specifically, what crazy things have people tried to bring on a plane? Here's what I found...

* A woman flying from Thailand to the U.S. strapped a sedated rhesus monkey to her belly, and had even gotten through customs at LAX before her arrest. Apparently she got caught because she had bragged to an acquaintance about her "monkey suit."  (Oh, us women....we have to share everything, don't we?)

* A Barbados man flew to the U.S. with 100 vials of clear liquid he insisted was "Holy Water" that he wanted for special healing powers. Turns out the Jesus juice was actually the hallucinogen "Special K,"
which can be used as a date-rape drug. I guess the man will have to resort to praying for a woman to sleep with him, instead of drugging one.

* Snakes on a plane, well almost. A Malaysian man was trying to smuggle so many boa constrictor snakes onto a flight, 95 to be exact, that his bag busted open on the conveyor belt. Can you imagine the chaos that created? Most women I know go running and screaming when they see a spider.

* Finally, my favorite story. Two German women heading from Berlin to the UK were caught trying to bring a corpse onto a plane! Apparently the man was the husband and step-father of the ladies, and had died an estimated 12 hours previously. The women put him in a wheel chair, slapped on a hat and sunglasses "Weekend at Bernie's" style, and tried to board. An airline worker wanting to know why the man wasn't moving took his pulse, and well, the women were arrested from there. The alleged motive--the women didn't want to pay high repatriation fees to transport the body. (I wonder if this man was able to dance in a conga line and host raging parties like Bernie?)


Monday, January 17, 2011

Do you remember when?

There are certain moments in life you remember like they were yesterday.  You can recall exactly where you were when they happened. Maybe you even remember the mood of the day...the weather...what you were wearing...or who you were with.

I still remember being in Mrs. Dennison's 2nd grade class when we got word The Challenger exploded. I walked home with Kristin Mackey and we watched it on the news. I couldn't believe the astronauts, who all seemed like really good people, could be gone.

I also remember watching the news in high school-- Mr. Trowbridge's French class to be exact--when we saw the O.J. Simpson verdict announced. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I ever cussed in front of a teacher when I heard the words "not-guilty."

It seems like only yesterday I was working my first job in TV news as a Master Control Operator, when I turned around to watch the live feed from New York, and saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center. That day, I thought surely the world was falling apart.

I also remember seemingly insignificant things like the time I stood up for myself and yelled at a boy in high school who wouldn't stop teasing me. I remember getting grounded at around age 5, and using the time in my bedroom to jam to the song "Footloose". I also vividly recall the restaurant I used to go to in college that made my clothes reek every time I ate there.

Now, I'll likely remember January 17th, 2011 for the rest of my life.  That's because this is the day.... I found my first gray hair. Sigh. When did I get so old?

It started off as a normal day, celebrating MLK. Because of that, Mike has the day off of work. We decided to go get breakfast, and while I was getting ready in the mirror, I looked closely at my hair, thinking I couldn't get my roots done soon enough this week.  And then, wait...what is that? That hair is really blonde...oh wait, it's not blonde, it'''s, GRAY! I yanked it, and immediately held it up next to a black dress in my closet to see if perhaps I was mistaken.

I was not mistaken.

I was not ready for this day. I told Mike, preparing to hear my younger-than-me husband tease me about it. Luckily, he didn't, instead he showed me that he has a few gray hairs too. And this was his response, "I'm excited to get gray hair. People take you more seriously that way."

Oh men, do you always have to have a positive outlook on everything? It's kind of annoying.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Didn't expect that!

Usually I think commercials are like an annoying relative...meaning you have to deal with them but they still irritate you. However, there have been some very clever marketing campaigns lately, and there are even some commercials I look forward to seeing. Weird.

I saw this commercial for the online dating site Zoosk for the first time last night. I literally laughed out loud and spit a little food! Take a look. Apparently this has been banned in first and then we'll discuss...

Isn't that ridiculously funny?  Love it. But seriously Europe? Banning this? Yep, I think that's a good idea. Don't want people picking up ideas on how to kill each other with darts.

This next commercial is just great. Whenever it comes on, I literally stop what I'm doing just to watch it.  It's nice to see such a popular actor, Kevin Bacon, being able to have fun and joke about himself.

"My favorite Kevin Bacon movie? It's a tie between all of them.." Great line.

You can always count on GEICO for having clever commercials. I've always loved this one..."Does a former drill sergeant make a terrible therapist?" Funny enough, the actor is actually a former drill sergeant who made his debut in the movie "Full Metal Jacket." The line from the patient, "I think that's why yellow makes me sad" is maybe the funniest thing I've ever heard.

Kudos to all the clever marketing folks behind these. Looking forward to see what the Super Bowl brings!

Happy Sunday everyone.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A man's priorities...

Last night I went to a marketing event for women, and it was great.  I met some really cool people and may have even landed some more freelance work, holla!
When I got home, I was greeted by the doggies and their usual barking until they could see it was me. I heard the shower on, so I knew where Mike was. I decided to peek my head into the bathroom to say "hi", and I figured I wouldn't startle him because he probably heard the dogs.
But boy, did I startle him! I opened the door to see Mike stark naked, a mouth full of toothpaste, a toothbrush in one hand, and his other hand...well, covering up the family jewels. I was so shocked, I just shut the door without saying a word.
It was only after he got out of the shower I realized how funny our encounter had been, and I started laughing and teasing him.  I said, "Really? If someone is breaking into our apartment, your first reaction isn't to find some sort of weapon or to throw up a karate chop, but instead to cover up your privates?"
He said, "I have to protect what's important!"

I'm sure every man reading this can relate.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's Honor Little Christina

Green Family/AP
I like to keep this blog light, but sometimes it's hard. Like today, I'm sitting here teary eyed, watching broadcasters cover the funeral of 9-year old Christina Green. Little Christina was the youngest victim in Saturday's shooting in Tucson, Arizona. She sounded like a doll--she was the only girl on her Little League baseball team, she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues and she'd just been elected to her school's student council. That interest in civics is why she was at Saturday's political event.

In the news, broadcasters and those they interview have been looking for someone to blame.  They question whether our country's unsettled political climate was the cause. That perhaps the alleged shooter, 22-year old Jared Loughner, was tired of all the political fighting.

I propose this: let's stop looking for someone else to blame whenever anything goes wrong. Can't we just accept the fact there are some really sick people out there who have no reasonable explanation for their actions. Changes in federal law, or any other thing people are proposing right now, would likely not have stopped this truly demented person.

This country was founded on democracy, and different beliefs, and that's what makes us great.

No matter what side of the political coin you're on, I think we all need to take these words to heart. This is from President Obama's speech yesterday, memorializing the victims.

I want us to live up to her [Christina's] expectations.  I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it.  All of us - we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

I believe we can be better.  Those who died here, those who saved lives here - they help me believe.  We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us.  I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Things that make you go hmmm....

The following blog post is about things that make absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Please feel free to add your own! (I've made commenting on this blog much easier.)

Last night I was trying to order a pizza online, but first, the company wanted me to fill out an online profile of myself. Annoying, but totally worth it if the prize is getting a delicious Stuffed Crust Pizza. (However, I'm sad to report Pizza Hut doesn't deliver in our 'hood, or really anywhere is the heart of the city. Bummer!) 

But before I knew that, I was forced to fill out my profile. It asked for my birthday which I thought was strange, because who cares? Will I get a male stripper and a pepperoni 'za on June 9th?? When I scrolled down the list, every year from 1910 to 2010 was listed. Really people? Do you think my one-year old nephew can get online and order a pizza?  Or some 100-year old man? Do centenarians really order food online? Do they ever know what being online is? (And yes, I had to look up centenarian :)

Tonight, when I was looking at a job posting, I noticed they asked applicants to list their race and gender.  Listed under gender were 1) Male, 2) Female, 3) Unknown.  Really? I've met some confused people in my day, but does anyone NOT know that answer? That would make filling out a profile for online dating really tough.

Or when applying for a job online, why do employers have you attach your resume and then immediately ask your to fill out your work history? Isn't that what a resume is?

When I've ordered things online lately, or tried to comment on a blog post, it asks me to fill out the word code that I see in the box.  Apparently this is to prevent spam. Have you noticed that most of these are impossible to read??  For example, look at this one I came across the other day. What in the world does it say? Sheesh.

Have you ever noticed there is Braille on drive-thru ATM machines? Why is that needed?

Have you ever called a 1-800 number and had the recorded voice NOT tell you to "Listen carefully, because the menu has changed." Does the menu ever stay the same? And what to I have to hit to get a LIVE person??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top Reasons I Could Never Be On The Bachelor

What do you get when you add one very attractive man, 30 crazy women competing for that man and TV cameras? Really entertaining television.

I've been hooked on The Bachelor for years. When I worked in television news, I even got to interview Season's 2 Bachelor, Aaron Buerge and his choice, Helene Eksterowicz. I felt like such a snot when I asked, "Aaron, do you think Helene is the "one" or just the best choice out of the 30 women?"  Ouch. Hopefully I didn't lead to their eventual break-up.

This season, super hunky Brad Womack, is getting a 2nd chance at love.  Three years ago he was The Bachelor, and ended up being the only one in history to reject both woman. (One was actually named Jenni Croft...weird, huh?)

Now Brad's back, and has decent choices for women. One of the two prettiest (in my opinion) is Michelle, who kept complaining last night that it was her birthday, and she didn't want to be there. Mike, who detests the show, shouted out, "She's the worst! She's such a wet blanket!" I agree.

Have you noticed this show has gotten more ridiculous over the years? Women are going further and further to get the Bachelor's attention and a little camera time. Some of my favs over the years? The woman who did a cartwheel in her evening gown, this year's girl who wears Vampire fangs, and all of the girls who immediately start crying.

When I watch, I realize I'm SO glad I'm married and don't have to be on this show. I'd go nuts!  Here are the top seven reasons I could never be on The Bachelor...

  1. If a man told me "His heart cries when he sees me hurt" or  that "He's not looking for the most beautiful girl, he's looking for the most beautiful heart," (Yes, Jake Pavelka, I'm talking about you) I'd probably kick him in the shins and demand he hand over his man card.  What a pansy!
  2. I could never come out of the limo doing high kicks, cartwheels or any other ridiculous thing to get a man's attention. (I prefer somersaults. Being closer to the ground is much safer.)
  3. I'm not kissing a man 5 minutes after he kissed another girl.  That's just gross, and a sure-fire way to spread herpes.
  4. Sure, I had a feeling Mike was the one after our first date, but I kept that information to myself for oh, about 3 years, not two dates. In real life, those kind of love admissions get you dumped, not another rose.
  5. I'd feel ridiculous having a camera crew filming me taking a shower with a bikini on. I'd probably laugh the whole time, and insist they not show my "backside"
  6. Every time Chris Harrison comes out and says "Ladies, Brad...this is the final rose tonight", I'd end up yelling, "No s*** Chris, we can count too!"
  7. And finally, when the producers wanted me to talk about my feelings after one date with Brad, I'd have a hard time saying "I think he's the one, he makes my heart smile!"  Instead, I'd be more likely to say, "Well, he's hot, and I hear he has money, so there's potential here."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Checking out at the grocery=torture
I realized today what absolutely drives me nuts about going grocery shopping: it's checking out. Do you ever feel like the check out line is really a convention of stupid people? Seriously, brain function stops and it takes WAY longer to check out than it should.

Today, I decided our milk is smelling a little funky, so I went to the store. Everything was going great, until I went to check out. I found a line that wasn't too bad...just one woman with a handful of groceries, and a man with about 10 frozen dinners and snacks. I thought the line would move quickly, but then the woman had trouble with her credit card. The machine wouldn't read it, so she asked the cashier to manually enter it. The cashier left for a couple of minutes, and when she came back, said "I'm sorry, we can't enter it manually. Can you use another card?"

The woman, with a diamond ring the size of Kentucky, said, "Well, why not? I want to see a manager." Ugh. The manager started coming over, but then a shoplifter diverted his attention. I wanted to get out line, but I was trapped by two people behind me. Once the manager came back, he said it was against store policy to enter it manually. The woman complained, saying, "The Jewel store always does it for me!" After a lengthy explanation, the woman finally gave in and tried another card. Really lady? You don't notice the line forming behind you, and couldn't have used your other card, oh say, 10 minutes ago?

I thought the madness was over, but then I realized she wanted her groceries to be on two different transactions, so we had to wait for her to swipe her card again, and then get step-by-step instructions about signing the screen, etc. Apparently this was her first time using a credit card after the year 2000.

Finally, she finished and left, and then it was the man's turn. Suddenly he pulled out a pocket full of coupons and then argued about the price of EVERYTHING. Didn't see that one coming since, well, he's a man.  He must be single.

Seriously people, there should be a special island we can send all of you to.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I like what I'm seeing

I'm seeing a trend in Chicago bars that totally rocks. Deejays are passing up the techno music that vibrates in your chest, doesn't have words and all sounds the same, for songs performed by the greats including Vanilla Ice, Hall & Oates and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, or OMD (Okay, I think they're great, alright? If you don't, well then, Forget You! But keep reading.)

Last night we went to two bars in Bucktown that were playing fantastic songs, and the response was electric. All of us 30-somethings were dancing, singing along, and presumably, staying at the bar longer and spending more money than we intended.  I think it's a win-win for everyone.

After having some drinks with girlfriends at the D.O.C Wine Bar in Lincoln Park (cool vibe and good times),  I headed to Cans Bar in Bucktown to meet Mike and his friends. (The serve beer in cans. Cute, huh?) The deejay started playing fantastic songs, so everyone turned the bar into a huge dance floor, and we were all jamming to Miley Cyrus' Party in the U.S.A.(one of my personal favs), and then the new Cee Lo Green song. Have you heard it yet? It's so catchy! Here's the clean version, "Forget you."

Then we went to the innjoy Bar, also in Bucktown, and I was instantly in love. When we walked in, the bar was not only playing the songs, but also the music videos for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" (What a hilarious video! There's a man doing back flips with just his undies on. Not kidding.), Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" (I told Mike we're totally remaking this music video. He thinks I'm kidding. I'm not), Bill Medley and Jennifer Warn's "Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing (I miss you Patrick Swayze), and OMD's 80's favorite "If You Leave" (From the totally amazing 80's movie, "Pretty In Pink." I'll never not love this song.)

Why do we love these songs so much? They take us to a time of no bills, recession, responsibilities and totally great hair. (And let's be honest, who doesn't secretly want to be in an 80's music video?)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Illinois needs to get its priorities straight

The Great State of Illinois is known for, well, corrupted government.  Six of our governors have been charged with crimes after representing the state, and as I've said before, we're dirtier than fudgesicle day at your kid's preschool. 

Courtesy: ABC 7, Chicago
One of the big stories in Chicago right now is the case of former governor George Ryan. He's currently in prison, where he's served three years of a six and a half year sentence for corruption. He's accused of accepting bribes from truck drivers in order for them to get commercial driver's licenses. What makes it even worse, one of those truck drivers got into a fatal crash that killed six children with his "Ryan License." The case is absolutely heartbreaking.

Ryan's wife of 55 years, Lura Lynn Ryan, is dying of cancer, so the former governor has made repeated requests to visit his dying wife in the hospital. Those got denied, with many people questioning why he should get special treatment.

Then today it was announced that the prison's warden allowed Ryan to visit his wife for two hours last night. I personally think this is total crap.Why should he get special treatment?  If he didn't want to be in prison, then why commit crimes? Just because you are in government, doesn't make you above the law.

According to ABC 7, a Chicago man imprisoned for drug dealing was not allowed to attend his 12-year old's funeral four years ago. She was actually killed in a car accident going to visit her dad. Really? If I were this man's family, I'd be suing the State of Illinois right now.

To make it even more unfair, ABC 7 also reports that sixteen years ago, the former presiding judge of the Cook County Chancery Courts, David Shields, was allowed to leave prison for 72 hours to attend his daughter's wedding. He too, was in prison for accepting bribes.

C'mon Illinois, get your priorities straight! You are setting a really bad example by letting government employees have furloughs, but any man on the street, cannot.  Do you really want the entire nation to keep laughing at us? 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My favorite products of 2010

Chicago has been good for me.  Not only am I more confident, I also take better care of myself than I ever have before. Inspired by all the beautiful women around me in this bustling city, I'm much more into skin and hair care and less of a hot mess.  So I thought I'd share my favorite products of 2010...

1. CHI Hair Products are the best and smell amazing too! Every time I wash my hair, I spray on the Keratin Mist to protect my locks from heat and environmental damage. The Silk Infusion is great for calming fly-aways and makes your hair so smooth.

2. Redken Heat Styling Thermo Actif Spray- This product is a godsend. My curls used to never hold up in the Midwest humidity until I found this amazing product.  Now, I spray it on my hair before I curl it and afterwards too. It's great!  

3. Oil Of Olay-Let's face it, the thought of looking older makes all of us shake like a Chihuahua. The ProX skin care system is fantastic, and constantly voted #1 by women. The moisturizer is not thick, which is perfect for acne-prone skin like mine.  I also recommend the makes your skin feel like silk!
 4. Aquify Contact Solution-My baby blues tend to be sensitive, especially in the winter. This solution is so mild, it never irritates my eyes. My optometrist brother-in-law highly recommends this solution.
 5. Philosophy Lotions and Sprays- One day I literally stopped a woman on the street and asked what scent she was wearing. She told me it is Philosophy's Amazing Grace. I also love Inner Grace. You'll feel so pretty wearing it!
 6. Sally Hansen Nail Polish- For about 1/2 of what you'll spend on other polishes, the Insta-Dri series is great. Look at these cool Shrek inspired colors! You usually only need one coat, and they dry quickly, so less down time is a huge bonus.
(From left to right- Mint Sprint, Snappy Sorbet, Lickety-Split Lime and Brisk Blue.)
 7.  MAC Eyeshadows- If you don't buy anything else I've mentioned, you have to buy Mac Eyeshadow! They are great! The highly pigmented shadows are virtually fool-proof, and look great blended. My personal favorites are Vanilla and White Frost for the brow bone, and Green Smoke and Silverthorn for the eyelids.
 8. Roc Multi Correxion Skin Renewing Serum- Serums are the bees knees of skin care, and should be a staple in every 30+ woman's skin care routine. This product has retinol in it which is a must for helping wrinkles. (It will burn a little, but that means it's working!)
9. Clairisonic Mia Face Brush- Recently during a facial, the esthetician told me it doesn't matter how many fancy face creams I buy, they won't work if I'm putting them on dead skin. She told me every woman should have a Clarisonic face brush to remove make-up and exfoliate the skin. Clarisonic boasts that it removes 6 x as much make-up than just washing alone. After you use it, your skin will feel great! Warning: You may break out a little when you first use it, because it brings break-outs to the surface.

For more tips and products, check out my friend Amber's blog at  She's absolutely beautiful and loves products, and she's willing to share great finds!