the food and the movies and the yeah

I can’t decide if this is utterly charming or disturbing – Vogue’s take on Alice in Wonderland. The idea at least is brilliant.

A nice quiet day. We’ve done nothing but lie around and eat and sleep and read. Joe and Hannah called earlier with a pressing Jay-Z question. It was nice to talk to him for a couple of minutes – Joe, not Jay-Z. Not sure the entire plan for the evening, but I believe it entails getting food and watching movies. We have a couple from Netflix, and apparently Lost in Translation is showing on campus somewhere, sometime. We’ll see.

Tonight is my work Christmas party (yes, we know it was a month ago), but I just didn’t feel like getting dressed up to go hang out with the people from work. I like them a lot, but I already spend 40 hours a week with them. Did I mention I got the first “Perfect Teller Cruiser” award yesterday? It’s a new award for quality customer service that they’re presenting on a monthly basis – I was the first one at our branch. My supervisor heavily commended me on my customer service – for the customers and for my coworkers. She also praised me for alllllll the stuff I’ve gotten done on my own, which is nice. I’m a fairly industrious and independent worker and it’s nice to get praise for things I’d do anyway. 🙂

Last night’s game night was fun, but disappointing in that Chris and Amity didn’t show. Hannah blew off Kory’s party to come play with us – we had homemade pizza and brownies in an impromptu Finding Nemo birthday party, courtesy of my mom. It felt very third grade-like. We played LOTR Trivial Pursuit and were v. silly. It was a lot of fun, though would’ve been even better if the rest of the kids had been able to come. Being in a new-ish relationship can be very insular – too bad there isn’t a better way to make your friends come out and play.

Now it’s back to reading – I’m reading For the Love of Books, which is proving to be quite wonderful. Shawn wrote a nice review of it on the book club site last weekish. Sarah also apparently really liked it. I had to start a must-read list as there are so many wonderful things I’ve missed. I’m really enjoying the informality – the way each contributor has his or her own voice – how we find out not only the works that are supposed to matter but also the ridiculous ones that only matter on an individual level. Anthony Lane, for example, cites Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy World as “a resourceful tour d’horizon whose cosmopolitan principles reverberate in my mind even now. I cling fast to the belief, for instance, that the benign theives of Paris invariably hide from the police in tureens of green soup, that the ghosts who float through Danish castles are obliged to wash their sheets in the laundry, and that the present unrest in Algeria could be peacefully solved by Couscous, the famous detective (“My! That Couscous is a clever fellow.”)” And I’m in love. 🙂

Off to figure out something for dinner – Shawn is trying to convince Gambit to go get us some sushi, but it just isn’t working. Boo to the cold and the having to get dressed to go outside.


Hooray for sushi racing!

Also hooray for possible free bookcases, courtesy of the now-defunct Babbitt’s.

Also hooray for my random customer service award.

Also hooray for warm.


I must not be a good feminist. I don’t know what I am – and I don’t generally worry about those labels – but occasionally I’ll find myself in conversations that just make me shake my head. It doesn’t matter to me if women choose to work or choose to stay at home, as long as those things are choices. I don’t feel empowered by knowing that there are women out there making obscene amounts of money any more than I feel empowered by my mother’s choice (and ability) to stay at home. I get angry with feminism in the same way I get angry with people push-push-pushing affirmative action. I don’t want to get a job just because I’m a woman. I don’t want to be looked at differently because I’m a woman. I don’t want people to make special caveats for me because I’m a woman. It’s bullshit. I guess what I’m for is equality – not elevation, not reparation, just equality. And maybe I’m an idealist for hoping for those things.

But feminism for me, I guess, is more of a personal choice than a public statement – just as my stance on abortion is a personal choice rather than a public statement. I can’t make decisions for others. I’m not angry with men for keeping women in the house for centuries. I’m happy to live in the time in which we live. I’m happy that I have the choices that are presented to me, and I hope that things continue to get better for women in the days to come.

Or maybe it’s just that I don’t understand militancy, in any form. Militant feminist, militant lesbian, militant (insert cause here) – maybe that makes me passive, maybe I’m just different. I don’t know.

This post isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll leave it at this. I support women’s rights, but I’m not going to deny that I have decidedly un-feminist bents to my thinking. I’m just – me.


A couple of thoughts.

Again, this wireless network thing rock rock rocks. Except that the one at Green Street appears to be much more volatile than the one at Za’s. So much for the getting coffee and checking my email lunch break. I’ve been here 10 minutes and have moved tables once. How annoying.

Yay for Johnny Depp and his Oscar nomination. Tasty. Actually, yay for all the Oscar nominees. I’ve seen more nominated films/people this year than last, and I feel pretty good about that.

I can’t imagine the courage it must take to campaign for President, especially when you’re one of many candidates and far from the front runner – and that’s just competing for your party’s place on the ballot. I know upsets occur, but still. At that point you’re either extremely passionate and convicted – or a masochist.

More snow last night. It’s lovely, except when you have to drive and/or walk in it. I’m thinking about stew for dinner, then reading on the couch. Oh, and 24. Of course 24.

I’m really sore tonight for no apparent reason. OK, that’s not entirely true. After a peaceful morning, I had a terrifically stressful afternoon. They’ve hired someone to work with me MWF, but they don’t start for another 2-3 weeks, so for the time being, I’m working like crazy.

What’s wrong with Jay Leno?

Sorry, I digress. Anyway, I was insanely busy from about 1:30 until 3:30 – the only line I had all day – and I literally ran from about 1:30 until 4:30. I’m really surprised I balanced without a problem and that I didn’t go crashing into the wall while running down the ramp. It’s going to happen one of these days – I know it. In the last week I’ve tackled a couple of stupid projects that no one could be bothered with, including tracking down people who haven’t picked up their check orders from 2002.

There’s something seriously wrong with Shawn. I feel like I need to make this public service announcement before something tragic happens. I’m not sure what sort of tragedy could come from such oddness, but there you have it. Maybe one day he’ll try too hard to explain something that’s funny and fall off the couch. It could happen. Shawn wishes you kind readers to know that he just did an impression of Bernie Mac with no segue from talking ABOUT Bernie Mac. He also claims I just don’t understand his humor. Is there anything else, Shawn? He is now hunched over, and Coke might be coming out his nose. Oh. I am now apparently a blasphemer. He is laughing so hard that speech is difficult. And maybe he’s hurt himself. I repeat myself, there’s something seriously wrong.

I’ve just been tackled. Apparently I didn’t explain the Bernie Mac impression in an adequate manner. I’m still not sure what I missed, but I will leave that alone so as to avoid being tackled again.

Our first real snow – of course everyone’s acting like 3-5 inches is the end of the world. It’s not, really. I did see a small child in a Burger King hat slip in the snow, but that’s about it.

OK, too much randomness. I’ll leave it at that.


Two reasons I love my laptop and network card:

1. Last night I talked to Shawn and Adrienne and Jen online while in the bath. No worries, I didn’t actually have the computer in the bath – it was on a kitchen chair next to the tub. I was warm and submerged to my waist in water, but my arms and hands were high and dry. A while ago I said the ultimate thing would be to have a computer in the bath – my two greatest addictions – and now I can have them both. Muahahaha.

2. Right now I’m blogging from Za’s. I know the wireless network thingie isn’t a novelty to, well, anyone – but it’s pretty damned thrilling for me, now that I’ve gotten it to work. I just had tasty fettucine with mushrooms, garlic, artichokes, and black olives in a cream white wine sauce, garlic bread, and a soda, and now I’m sitting by the window, watching the students walk by in the slushy snow. I know I said I was going to come home for lunch more, but today I just didn’t have time to pack a lunch. I’m thinking there will be lots of lunches at Green St or Moonstruck – perhaps a covert sandwich along with coffee and free free internet.

Ah well, back to work. Hooray for rocking internet, boo for worky-work. Oh well.


Not much to say, for it’s been a quiet weekend. I suppose most weekends are quiet around here, and that’s mainly a good thing. I’ve had enough insanity for one twelve month period.

Friday night my network and internet connections decided to fail – still not sure why, because after a couple of reboots and 45 minutes on hold with tech support they spontaneously came back to life. Ahh blessed internet, you are my friend. I cleaned my apartment, then Shawn came over after four hours of minestrone-induced coma – we had dinner, which tasted much better than it looked, then watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico. I’ve seen Desperado, but not El Mariachi, which we also rented – maybe I’ll get to that later today or tomorrow. Anyway, Once Upon a Time in Mexico was fun, but definitely rental fun, not $7.50 movie ticket plus popcorn sort of fun. Johnny Depp is insane, and Antonio Banderas is pretty-pretty, but shouldn’t talk much. He’s v nice to look at when he’s emoting. 🙂

Saturday we slept in, then exhausted my breakfast resources with french toast. I took Shawn home around noon, then bummed around the apartment for the afternoon. I took a long bath and read Steve Martin’s The Pleasure of My Company, then picked Shawn up so we could go to dinner with the kids for Hannah’s birthday (which is actually today – happy birthday!). We all convened at Radio Maria, which was excellent for the second week in a row. It was so much fun to have everyone there – that hasn’t happened since before my arrival down here – Sarah, Hannah, Amity & Chris, Sam & Brian, Dan & Mariko, Sara L, Oday, Shawn, and I. I had the chicken tangine which was remarkable – it was served with apple-mint couscous and a coconut cilantro chutney that was to die for. After dinner we traipsed down to the art theatre to see The Company, which was better than I expected and elicited a few gasps of remembered pleasure from me because Neve Campbell’s character worked at Neo, my very favorite Chicago club. (Ahh, Neo. Such fond mmmmemories of my last visit. That wall in the alley – wow. OK, we’ll leave that one alone. It’s a good wall.) Anyway, the movie was lovely, and I’m glad I saw it. Went back to Shawn’s afterwards, fondly rehashed Neo, then watched the ultimately forgettable SWAT.

Slept in late this morning, then read in bed for a while. I dreamt last night that I failed the GRE’s because I had to fill out some sort of registration paperwork, which was blown out of my hands into the Mississippi River, and I was on some sort of precipice and couldn’t get down to it – and they wouldn’t let me reregister. Don’t know where that one’s coming from. I also dreamt that Shawn was moving from his current apartment to a new one tomorrow, only he didn’t have a new apartment yet, and somehow was going to move all his books without any sort of boxes. And after those two, I laid awake for a while, worrying about money. I’ve decided that I need to make a serious effort at getting a part time job – even an extra $100/month would really help out. The CPL is hiring, as are a couple of other places I’ve seen, so I’m going to send out a couple of applications and see what happens. That would also help with the loneliness and downtime as my friends get busy with school and I remain, well, not busy with anything. And then I started worrying about grad school again, and about whether or not Nate was taking care of his end of the divorce (aka signing the paperwork) – and then Shawn made coffee, very kindly threw a shirt at my head, accused me of stealing the blankets and not being conscientious of the sheets’ feelings, and neglected to apprise me of the morning’s plan until he was putting on his shoes and I was still clad only in the aforementioned shirt. It was silly and random – and just what I needed to snap out of it this morning. We went to Aroma for lunch, where I finished In a Sunburned Country (which has to rank as my second favorite book, behind Microserfs) and was charmed by two ten-ish girls who plopped down in the chair next to us and talked about coffeeshops and complimented each other on their respective braces. I took Shawn home in the blustery cold – at some point it started snowing in earnest – and am now sitting on my couch with a cat in my lap, trying to decide what to do for the rest of the day. The last few Sundays have been dominated by reading, then dinner and Law & Order at Shawn’s, but he has work to do and the Golden Globes are on anyway. So we’ll see.

Oh yeah, and we joined Netflix this weekend and already have approx 75 movies in our queue. Any suggestions are welcome. 🙂

on work

I guess I would just say that working those jobs served the purpose of making me understand that earlier thing about grace and money. The harder I worked, generally, and the less the work had to do with something I loved, the less I had to use (for good, or for love, or for kindness) at the end of the day. –George Saunders in the New Yorker

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C milk
3 T vegetable oil
1/2 t vanilla
3 eggs
2 2/3 C bisquick
1/2 C chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. Grease 5″x9″x3″ loaf pan. Stir together bananas, sugar, milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in large bowl. Stir in bisquick and chocolate chips. Pour in pan. Bake 50-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan, then remove. Cool 1 hour before slicing.