Saturday, June 30, 2007

I got to play with a puppy today. My aunt and uncle had us over to celebrate all of the summer birthdays in my family and they have an eight month old puppy who just might be the cutest puppy in the world. She's really adorable. And I got to play with her for a while. It was lovely to see my family and talk with them and eat cake and stuff, but puppies...I have this thing where I feel like I need to befriend every animal in the world. Animals are just really amazing. Sorry. Had to scritch Owen for a minute and reassure him that no matter how cute the puppy was, Owen is still my favorite. Because he is. And if you've never spent a significant amount of time with an animal, I probably sound like a crazy person, but if you have, then you know of what I speak. Animals are so intelligent and each one has very distinct personality traits and yeah. I consider it an honor when an animal decides to play with me, or rub up against me, or playfully nip at my fingers, or let me scritch behind its ears. Because most of the time, I'm two or three times bigger than the animal and that's a huge leap of faith on their part that I'm not going to crush them, you know? But they trust me to be nice to them and take care of them and stuff. All just through behaviors and things since none of us speak the same language.

So I apologize to my family if I seemed a little anti-social while I was playing with the puppy. There's just something about spending quality time with an animal. It's so good for you.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Okay, so not to be a posting whore today or anything, but I have to take a minute to talk about how I love the way my cat learns things and how I get to be there as he makes these discoveries. When I first got him, although he was an attention whore, he would not sit in my lap. And his main way of trying to get attention from me was by picking fights. But through playing with him and being nice to him, he has learned that he doesn't have to fight with me to get attention, and that actually, my lap is a pretty great place to sit if he needs some scritching behind the ears. At first, he would only sit on my lap if there was a blanket on it and if I was sitting cross-legged. Then blanket with straight legs. Then no blanket straight legs, Then no blanket cross-legged. But all of this was only if I was on my couch. Well, he has now learned that my lap is still my lap if I'm sitting at the computer, so he will sit in my lap while I surf the net. One hand on the mouse, one hand on the cat.

Yes, I realize that to the wrong sort of person this could all sound very dirty. I assure you it's not. He's my cat for crying out loud. Get your minds out of the gutter. Sheesh.
How about them Cubbies, huh?

Tee hee.

So for those of you following the story, things are okay for the moment. There was a brief exchange which made me realize that a lot of it was probably in my head. Anyway. No knot in my stomach this morning and for the moment, I'm okay with staying put.

On to better things.

I keep having these dreams about this musician and they are getting progressively stranger. They're not sexual, just weird. In one, he was an eel in a trench coat with ribbons on his arms and eyes. And last night, there was something about racing through my grandmother's house in a two-person swan costume. But the noticeable thing to me about this dream, is that it kind of reminded me of that one I had a while ago about meeting a drummer who was absolutely great (which then led me to meet a real drummer who wasn't absolutely great). There was a sense of comfort in this dream, of belonging and acceptance and security. He was great with my family and my friends and it was just...nice. And if he's reading this, I'm sorry if that creeps you out, man. I don't really have control over my subconscious when I'm sleeping. But it made me think that maybe I'm not done with relationships. I know I'm done with flings. But maybe I have one more relationship in me. I dunno. Saying that kind of makes me cringe. Meh.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm totally going to be one of those people straight out of the iPod commercials who is dancing down the street listening to her iPod. And you know what? I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


So thanks for all of the emails and stuff yesterday. That was really nice.

I have to bitch for a minute, though. I'm so angry about the job situation, it's making me physically ill. My stomach is in a knot and when I'm awake, it's really all I can think about. I know I need to just let it go and I know that whatever happens, I'll land on my feet because I always do. I'm just irked by the whole thing. I'm going to have to have a talk with my boss tomorrow. I didn't go in today, largely so I could hunt for other jobs. But how irritating is this whole thing? I mean seriously.

Okay, I think I'm done. For now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Five years. It's been five years since I became vegan. I kept saying I was going to eat a bacon double cheeseburger or something on my five year anniversary so that I would get so sick that I would never want to eat anything like that again, but I already don't want to eat anything like that again. I like being vegan. I really do.

And this morning, I woke up feeling kind of crappy about some things that have been going on at work. But Bhodi (my iPod) seemed to know that I needed to hear some upbeat, empowering music this morning because that's what he kept pumping out on my way to work. So I get here feeling empowered and invincible and I'm told that yes, there was more discussion about me while I wasn't looking.

Back up. Let me explain. The long and short of the story is that I neglected to run a spell check on a first draft of a document and my boss threatened my job over it. Granted, my bad for not running a spell check. I apologized for my error and immediately fixed the misspelled words (which were misspelled by my boss as my boss was the one to create the draft in the first place, so technically, they were my boss' spelling errors, not mine). And this particular document went through about sixteen more drafts before it was ready to go out to the client, so nobody saw the errors except for me and my bosses. But apparently there is continued talk about my carelessness and apparent inability to do my job effectively. I think they're going overboard, but hey, what can I do about it? Not much. I can deal with it or I can leave. And because of how I was feeling on my way in to work this morning, I'm leaning towards leaving. I wish I could do it right now and go apply for other jobs elsewhere, but I'm not sure I can. Okay, technically, I could. I could walk right now and what would they do about it? And I'm sure I can get another job elsewhere. I'll even be completely up front with future bosses about how the situation was handled and that I have learned from it to always run a spell check. Anyway.

I guess today I just feel like I'm too old to put up with this crap. And I'm too smart to be belittled and humiliated. And I'm too talented to be made to feel worthless. I have somehow always landed on my feet in the past and there is nothing to say I won't do the same again. So I'm feeling pretty good today. I just wish I could get out of here and go put in an application at Trader Joe's.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I've decided that I don't do well with fear and intimidation. I would much rather just walk away and find another solution than let fear or intimidation keep me from doing what I need to do. Is that wrong?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

So I have a new family member. He's small (1.62 inches long) and green and has some pretty little buttons on him and a little light that is orange at the moment because he's charging but will turn green sometime soon. Yes, I am now the proud owner of an iPod shuffle. It was a gift from one of my best friends, and had it come from anyone else, I probably would have declined saying it was too much. But I know it's something he wants me to have and was really excited to be able to get for me, so I accepted it and said thank you about a billion times.

Thank you again, my friend.

Only problem is, I don't know what to name my iPod. I think it has to be something simple and unassuming, because he is kind of simple and unassuming, but it should also be unique because, well, he's a little green iPod. I can't use Owen because that's my cat's name and that would get too confusing. Can't use Nigel because that's my posterboard roommate. My old laptop was Simon and my current computer is Chester. I'm not going to use the name I might want to give my son someday if I have one. So what's a good, simple, unassuming yet kind of unique name I can give my iPod? I'm open to suggestions. But I do think it should be a male name. I think he's a boy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I think I spend a lot of time selling myself short.

Note: I have had two glasses of wine this evening, and I did watch three episodes of "The Office," so I don't know that I can really be held responsible for what I post in here this evening, but I felt like writing.

My friend likes to take my picture because I'm more animated than most of his models and I have to say I don't mind doing it because in his pictures, he's not shooting me, he's shooting a character that I'm playing. And he gives me a lot of interesting characters to play. He gave me a couple of photos earlier this week that he had taken a while ago and I have one of them sitting on my TV. So I'm watching "The Office," but my eye keeps wandering to the photo and I have to say, I look great. Part of it is the angle. Part of it is the color saturation. But I have to admit that part of it is just that I'm cute.

I spend so much of my time yelling at myself in the mirror because I'm too heavy or my skin isn't perfect or I'm not a great lead guitarist or I'm not leading lady material. And honestly, that's really not fair. I'm cute. I'm delicate. I have porcelain skin. I write music that touches people. I am kind and generous and intelligent. And somehow, I really only feel lke I'm dong somehtng worth while when I'm making music and when I'm paying attention to my cat. When I'm playing music that my cat likes...bonus.

I have a crush on this musician. I've had it for a while now. And while I know he's just a person with a job and a life who makes really good music, it somehow sends me over the moon to know that he also enjoys my music. Like I'm not worthy. I use the same chords. I play the same insturment. And somehow, I've convinced myself that I'm not that good.

I walk around downtown and look at the women around me and some of them are bigger, some of them are smaller, some are tall and some are short. Some have scars or bad haircuts or insist on wearing flip-flops even though flip-flops don't count as actual shoes, and yet somehow, I've managed to convince myself that they're all better than me in one way or another. When the truth is, we're all equal. There are things we all don't like about ourselves and there are things we all love about ourselves. There are things we'd all rather be doing and things we all wish we were better at doing. And yet somehow, I've convinced myself that I'm not worthy.

I need to change that. Because I am worthy. Just about every aptitude test I've ever taken has told me that I'm more than worthy. And as much as I tell people that I'm an introvert and completely socially inept, people still like hanging out with me. Men still fall in love with me.

I need to stop seeing the fat misfit when I look in the mirror and start seeing me. Maybe I'll start with singing to myself.
I miss him. I know it's only been one game, but I miss Mike Barrett. I need to stop having favorite Cubs because they are, invariably, traded without my consent. Todd Walker was traded and then traded and now, I don't think he's playing with anyone. Shawn Dunston was traded and traded. Barrett was traded. And we don't even play San Diego any more this year, so I won't get to see him play at all this season. I liked him because he played hard. Yes, he made mistakes, but hi. We made three errors in the first three innings of today's game; he's not the only one having brain farts. He played hard and he had a sense of humor and he just loved to play baseball. To me, he was a Cub and I wish he would have stayed one. I know that's not the popular opinion and somebody is going to send me an email telling me how much better off we are now to have a switch-hittng catcher in the line up, but I still miss him. Best of luck in San Diego, Mikey.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I know a lot of people have a lot of beef with Michael Barrett for a lot of reasons (offense, defense, fighting, etc.) but I like him and will be very sad if he is no longer a Cub.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My big problem with the corporate world is that it moves at exactly the wrong speed. Sometimes, you need to have everything done yesterday. And sometimes you have to make running a spell check on a document keep you occupied for an entire day. Very seldom do you get the days with a constant, steady stream of work to do. So on days when everything needs to be done yesterday, I'm great because I do quality work and I do it fast. But then I'm stuck in fast mode and the general pace of the office slows down and I finish all of my rainy day projects when it's still sunny outside. I feel like I should be doing more, but frankly, how much more is there to do just now? I'm not deeply ensconsed in the office enough to know what random reorganization projects need to happen, and I've already done the ones I know about. And worst of all is that I'm probably going to have to bring this up at my review, which may take place at the end of the month. You know, seeing as I will have been here for a month at that point, my bosses are supposedly going to check in with me to see how everything is going. So how do you say, "I'm learning to take that extra minute when things are busy to make sure they're still done right, but I also need to learn to take an extra hour or two when there really isn't much going on to make you think I'm working harder than I am because really, I'm all caught up?"

At least I don't have to take my job home with me. That's nice.

Monday, June 18, 2007

You know those days that just don't end? And not in the good way? You look at the clock every three hours to find out that six minutes have passed? Yeah, I'm in the middle of one of those right now. Yay.

I think part of it also could be that I've not been sleeping very well. I got exactly what I wanted -- stinking hot weather. But it's not great for sleeping. I think my sheets are weird, too, because they're not absorbing sweat very well. I know, sounds gross, right? And women aren't even supposed to sweat, but I do. Trust me, I do. So I think I may need to invest in some new sheets if I'm going to make it through the summer.

Note: I'm not complaining about the heat. I love it that it's hot outside. I just wish I was sleeping better. Could also be that I have a lot on my mind. Meh. It's supposed to cool down for a couple of days so maybe I can catch up on my sleep then.

Friday, June 15, 2007

So I'm currently reading A Clockwork Orange. I know, I know, it's something I should have read years ago and years ago I tried. I just couldn't get into it because of the language. Granted, it's brilliant how he created his own language and used it so consistently and effectively, but it takes a little getting used to. But several years ago, I found a copy of it at a book sale and picked it up, but could never get into it. Flash to a couple of days ago. I'm not enjoying any of the books I got from the library, so I start perusing my own collection to see what I can take with me to read on the train to and from work. It has to be kind of small so it will fit in my purse, and hopefully nothing too deep. I see my copy of A Clockwork Orange and figure I'll give it another try. Within four pages, the language makes total sense to me like it never did before. I'm reading and actually quite enjoying the book. I only have about fifty pages left to read (including the last chapter which was apparently not included in the original American printing of the book, nor in Kubrick's film adaptation), and I woke up this morning thinking in nadsat speak. The words "govoreeting" and "malenky" running through my head as if they were actual, proper words to use in my everyday vocabulary. Kind of creepy. But maybe only a malenky bit, O my brothers.

Tee hee.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Okay, let's talk Cubs for a minute. Specifically Michael Barrett, the catcher.

I like Mike. I think he's a good player. I think he has a sense of humor, but he also takes the game really seriously. Yes, I was surprised when he and Zambrano got into it in the locker room, but it's kind of a badge of courage to get stitches in your lip and a black eye from your own teammate. Like being a hockey goalie. But yeah, I can see that incident as garnering headlines and punishments and whatnot.

A couple of nights ago, Barrett and the night's pitcher, Hill, were talking animatedly in the dugout and now everyone is all up in arms calling Barrett a loose cannon and wondering if he can get along with his teammates or if he's going to have to go. People, this is not news. There was no shoving, no punching, no real argument. They both had a rough inning and were venting. Pinella said so. The announcers said so. They say so. I mean seriously. Do we need to police our ball players so closely that they're only allowed to say, "Nice play out there, chum" to one another between innings? You could see when Hill was on the mound that he was frustrated with the inning -- he slammed the rosin bag down so it sent up a nice puff of chalk. He had just given up a home run; yes he was going to be annoyed. And when the inning was over, he and Barrett talked about it. So what? They should be allowed to discuss plays between innings. Mistakes are made in baseball, and the only way to learn from them is to talk about what went wrong. Maybe they were emotional when they talked, but it wasn't a back-page-of-the-newspaper-two-days-later kind of a story.

I think, at this point, after two and a half months of the Cubs not playing as well as they could or should be playing, people are just looking for any kind of story that will explain why we're not doing better. You know what? It's not because of fighting between Barrett and the rest of the team. It's because we're making fundamental errors and not coming through with clutch hits. That's it. Why are those things the way they are? Any one of a million reasons -- Floyd being distracted about his father, Soriano getting used to a new team, five outfielders vying for three positions, young guys in the infield, Ramirez getting injured, the team getting sold -- any one of a million reasons, or some combination thereof. It's not because Barrett and Hill talked in the dugout on Tuesday night. I can pretty much promise you that.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shampoo is shampoo is shampoo, right?


Now, I already know that a lot of the shampoos advertised on television only make your hair shiny because they have a lot of wax in them, which, ultimately, dries out your hair and prevents it from absorbing much needed moisture. And I already know that a lot of shampoos contain ingredients found in engine lubricants so that they look silky when they come out of the bottle. So I avoid those shampoos and have for years. Of course I have. I'm vegan. I use vegan shampoo. There was this one that I found that I sang the praises of forever and was really annoyed when I could hardly find it online anymore. You can still purchase it online and I know where, but it's also kind of expensive for a small-ish bottle. But it is a really nice shampoo that doesn't make your hair waxy or anything. Smells nice, too.

But in my penniless days (or the days when I felt penniless because really, I've not been penniless, I've always been okay) I went looking for a less expensive vegan shampoo and I found one, surprisingly enough, at my local Trader Joe's. When I first started using it, I thought it was okay, but it wasn't quite the expensive stuff I bought online. It would do, but I kept thinking about ordering more of the online stuff, just to treat myself.

Well, I had a little of the online stuff left and I used some for a couple of days and my hair was...meh. There were patches that were really oily, as if I hadn't washed my hair in days, even though I scrubbed those places even harder than usual. So I went back to my Trader Joe's stuff and poof! Perfect, soft, shiny hair. And then this past week, I was housesitting, so I brought my travel bottles of yet another brand of vegan shampoo and again, my hair felt like it hadn't been washed at all, no matter how much shampoo and conditioner I used, or how long I lathered. And now that I'm back at my house, using my Trader Joe's shampoo, poof! Perfect, soft, shiny hair.

Now, I don't remember if the shampoo I'm using is a Trader Joe's brand or if they just sell it there -- if you're really curious, let me know and I'll get back to you. But the long and the short of it is that just because a shampoo is expensive doesn't mean it works well. The stuff I'm using comes in a pretty decent sized bottle (16 or 20oz, I think) and costs about three dollars. And it definitely gets my seal of approval.

Isn't it fun to have me talking about frivolous things again?

Monday, June 11, 2007

So there are plans in the works in several major cities to make the entire city a wireless hot spot. Yet we don't have universal health care. Yes, I love the interweb, but in the grand scheme of things, which is more important: free internet access everywhere you go or access to health care for everyone?


Saturday, June 09, 2007

It's amazing to me how every building downtown is, in essence, it's own city. People talk to one another saying things like, "You're a 21st floor person, too?" And anything a person might ever have to do in one hour or less (errand type things) can be done in each individual building. There are post offices and restaurants and optometrists and coffee shops and you name it. Shoe shine places. So technically, once you show up to work in the morning, you don't have to leave your building for anything. Unless you want fresh air. But you don't even have to leave to get exercise because most buildings have a gym of some sort in them, too. It's crazy.

That being said, I like my pseudo city. I think it's a good one. There is even vegan food for me to eat there. Yay!

Now go vote!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I miss my fifteen year old fan. He was this kid who would come into the sammich shop where I play just to listen to me. One day, he even skipped geometry class so he could listen to me for two and a half hours. He wrote me a note on a napkin that I still have on my fridge as a sort of a fan mail thing. It’s just nice to look at once in a while, as a reminder that people do like what I do and that my art has touched people. But I don’t get to see him anymore because I switched days at my sammich shop, so unless he asks what happened to me and starts coming in on Saturdays instead, I won’t get to see him anymore. I kind of wish I could get a message to him to either come in on Saturdays or just to vote like crazy for me in this contest. I bet he would get all of his friends to vote for me, too. About a million times. And I could be wrong -- he might be older than fifteen, but in my mind, he’s my fifteen year old fan. Even when he’s forty, he’ll still be my fifteen year old fan. He tipped me five dollars one day, and I bought lunch with it, so thank you, my fifteen year old fan, for the burrito. It was tasty.

I miss my honorary brother, too. Since I’m working downtown now, I keep seeing all these men who kind of sort of look like him. Similar build, similar hair, similar beard. They’re not him, obviously, and to other people they may not look like him at all, but to me, they do. And they remind me of my honorary brother and make me wonder how he’s doing. I haven’t heard from him in a really long time. I know he kind of moved on to do his own thing and needed to put some space between himself and his past and that’s fine. But I do miss him and wonder how he is doing.

Yeah, that’s about it for now. Missing friends I haven’t seen in a while and have no idea when I’ll see them again. I hope all of you are doing well. And voting. And telling other people to vote.

God, I’m such a schill.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

So the new job. Not too bad. Can get a little intense, but I think as long as I stay organized, I'll be fine. It's when I let things go for a couple of days that I'll get into trouble. But yeah, in general, I think I'll be fine. But that's not really what I wanted to post about.

So I'm coming home from band practice the other night (we auditioned a drummer who was awesome! So much so that we're calling both drummers back to hear them again 'cuz they were both great and would have a lot to bring to the table, but in different ways, you know? But either way, we should have a drummer soon) and there are two police cars parked in the alley by my building. I thought they were giving someone a parking ticket or something. Nothing major. They were just in the way of pedestrians using the sidewalk (read: me). So I walk around the cars and go into my building and as I'm checking for mail, a police officer comes out of my building carrying a pair of damp jeans with tongs.

Now, I don't know much about police work, save for what I see on television, but a police officer leaving an apartment building carrying damp jeans with tongs would seem to imply that something not-so-savory happened in my building.

I've been watching the news to see if I can find out what happened, but I'm not seeing anything. And, of course, I didn't want to ask the cops what was going on because that would be nosey and annoying to them. So I'm forced to speculate -- which of my neighbors had a domestic dispute over laundry? Or was it something other than water that was thrown onto the jeans in question? Or were the jeans in question washed to remove traces of whatever had been thrown or splattered onto them?

I'm not scared to live in my building. I'm guessing that whatever happened was contained within one apartment, and I think it happened on a floor other than the one where I live. But it is kind of interesting to think that while I was out auditioning a drummer, making music, putting good things into the world, people in my very same apartment building were fighting so horribly that the police had to get involved.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

I have a confession to make. I'm a little bit addicted to this Last Band Standing contest I entered. I keep logging in to check and see how many votes I've gotten and it mostly makes me want to say thank you! I'm currently in the top 20, due, in large part, to you guys taking the minute out of your day to vote. You guys are awesome.

Speaking of awesome things, I drove to work today past some people walking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This weekend is the Chicago walk, apparently, and I have to thank everyone who is walking and crewing the event. I got all choked up when I saw them, remembering what it was like to be a part of something so huge. And also remembering all of the people who have been taken by breast cancer, and all of the lives effected by it. I thank them for their efforts and their determination and their strength and their courage to do the walk and to raise so much money for breast cancer research. Thank you for walking.

Friday, June 01, 2007

So I entered my band in a contest to see if we can play Lollapalooza this summer, and the first thing I need is a lot of votes. So go here and vote for me. You can only vote once per email address per day, so make sure to check back every day between now and June 30, when voting ends. And if you're not seeing the song, click through to my page and you can listen to it there. I have to say, I think it sounds pretty good.

And no, you don't have to live in Chicago or Illinois or even the United States to vote (as near as I can tell), so spread the word, vote lots, and thank you very much!