Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EwwwwBox 360

Is anyone else seriously grossed out by Microsoft's XBox 360 ad campaign?

I'm sure you've seen the commercials. It starts with some weirdly expressive young man, woman, or kid and some plunky music and then the camera pans around the person until you see that instead of a normal head, filled with skull and brains and stuff you'd expect to see - instead there's a creepy, hollowed out amitheater where their cranial innards ought to be.


Seriously? Does anyone NOT feel like throwing up after watching these commercials???

Maybe it's just me.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Sharon is trying to bribe me.

Man... That woman knows how to play me. She's been trying to get me to enroll in a class at the gym - ANY class - ever since we started working together.

But I don't want to do classes. I'm not a joiner. I prefer to workout solo - aside from my sessions with Sharon. I don't like having other people looking at me. I'm clumsy and I lack coordination (it says so on my Kindergarten report card) and I get very self-conscious in situations like that.

So Sharon's latest idea has been to get me into a spinning class. Her theory is sound. There're no goofy dance steps for me to flub up or difficult moves to master. Just pedal. Pedal pedal pedal. (And yes, Garth, you know I think of you every time I get on a bike!)

And the carrot?

Sharon: If you go to a class I'll give you a surprise.
EEE: Oooh! What surprise?
Sharon: You won't know unless you go.


Oh, yes. She knows how to play me.

So, I have not yet gone to a spinning class yet (there's one on Tuesdays at 5:15am that would fit my schedule perfectly) but only because I wasn't sure A) that my ass could handle it or that B) I was strong enough to bike for an hour straight.

But I've been working to break in my ass. Sharon told me that it takes three sessions on a bike to break in your ass. The first time will hurt. The second time will hurt. The third time will hurt. And then, like a miracle, the fourth time: no pain.

And, what do you know? She was right. I've biked almost every day since she first mentioned the spinning class. The first time it hurt. The second time it hurt. The third time it hurt. And the fourth time - just like Sharon said - it didn't hurt.

Huh. Who knew?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Benadryl Dreams

I occasionally get hives. Not often, just every few years or so.

Several of my friends have had them in the past and I never really thought much about them until I contracted them myself.

Let me tell you, I would not wish hives on my worst enemy. They're not just ugly and annoying. They're TORTURE. They itch. They itch like hell.

I would rather be in pain than itch.

And the really wretched thing about hives is that most cases have no known cause. While 75% of women will contract them at some time in their lives, the majority of cases are idiopathic. Grrr!

Luckily, while the cause is unknown, the cure is simple (for me at least): Benadryl.

I don't like taking Benadryl. It has a lot of side-effects: sedation, tiredness, sleepiness, dizziness, disturbed coordination, drying and thickening of oral and other respiratory secretions, and stomach distress. May also cause low blood pressure, palpitations, increased heart rate, confusion, nervousness, irritability, blurred vision, double vision, tremor, loss or appetite, or nausea.


Benadryl knocks me on my ass. I know people who can (and do) take it every day. Not me. It knocks me to sleep within a half hour. And I get weird dreams. The sort of dreams that seem real but can't possibly be real.

Last night, for instance. I took one tiny little Benadryl and soon I could barely raise my head from my pillow. Before long I was having Benadryl dreams.

I dream that my power went out - and I dream that my cat was eating my hair - and I dreamt that the lamp doing a tap dance. And I was convinced that there was someone in my front room (it was probably just Fluffy Kitty Butt eating the Xmas tree) But I couldn't do anything about any of it because I was practically comatose from one little pill.

The dreams are weird and they freak me out. But they're still better than hives. No question.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Creamy Honda Center


I haven’t driven my car since the last time it snowed – which is only about a week, but it’s enough that my car was buried under several inches of snow before this latest blast of Winter Fun arrived in Chicago.

So now there will be even more snow on top of it. PLUS a lovely layer of ice.

Do you remember that dessert topping Magic Shell? The chocolate syrup that hardens into a shell when it hits the cold ice cream? I think they may still sell it but I don’t know. I’ll have to ask Jo. She always loved that stuff.

Anyway – I fear that’s what my car is going to be like when I finally dig it out tomorrow: A crispy ice shell over a fluffy layer of snow with a creamy Honda center.


Happy Holidays, All!!!!!

Be safe and happy and don’t let the batsards get ya down!



Thursday, December 18, 2008

One for you; Two for me

Ugh. I have a problem shopping around the holidays. I don’t shop very often normally. When I need something, I’ll go to a store with that particular item in mind, buy it, and leave.

The problem with the holidays is that I’m not shopping for me.

So I end up going into stores that I would normally not frequent.

And I see all sorts of new, cute things. And I want them.

So I end up buying my Secret Santa coworker the tie he requested – and I end up buying myself two new sweaters and a pair of earrings.

But they were all on sale!!!!


Through most of the year when I see something I like, I have a soft rule that I will leave the store without buying anything. If I still want it the next day, (hell, if I still REMEMBER it the next day!) I’ll go back and get it.

Obviously, this rule doesn’t apply if I’ve traveled all the way out to fooking Woodfield or the store is otherwise difficult to get to.

Apparently it also doesn’t apply during the holiday sale season.

I mean, really, $25 for cashmere???? How am I supposed to turn that down?

So, a rational person would then make the decision to do the rest of her shopping online where impulse buying is easier to resist.

But I’ve waited too long, dammit, and I’m now running the risk of my gifts not arriving on time.

So. Everyone left on my list is getting stuff from Best Buy. I don’t impulse shop at Best Buy.

Though…. Maybe I’ll buy myself a new DVD. Or two….


Friday, December 12, 2008


I spent the last week serving on a jury at the Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California.

It was the luck of the draw, mostly - I was called early in the day and apparently I'm an ideal juror...

All in all it was a very positive experience. I found the process itself interesting and I wised up enough after the first day to bring my own lunch. The judge told us from the onset that the trial would last three days and he was 100% correct.

I took copious notes. Seriously, I had an effing transcript by the end of the trial. I felt like I was back in school.

The case was presented to us fairly efficiently and without too much drama. It was almost a disappointment - we kept joking amongst ourselves that it wasn't at all like Law & Order.

Overall, I was actually almost enjoying the experience. Almost.

Until the very end.

The attorneys presented their closing arguments and we were lead back into the jury room after the two Deputy Sheriff's were sworn to not allow us to leave or have any contact with the outside world.

We selected our foreman. It wasn't me - I had decided that I'd step up if no one else volunteered and one guy jumped forward immediately. We should have thought that out more (the guy was nice enough but there's a reason Programmers don't lead people...) In the end, another juror and I had to step up several times to keep us organized and on track (INTJ reigns supreme...)

We agreed to most of the charges fairly quickly - finding the defendant Guilty of two counts of Armed Robbery and one count of Aggravated Battery with a firearm. But it was the charge of Attempted First Degree Murder that we had more trouble with.

Honestly, I could have gone either way on that charge at the beginning of our deliberations. I was on the fence and I said so. Several others were as well.

I was supremely impressed with my other jurors. Everyone - absolutely EVERYONE - took their duties with utmost seriousness and we all treated one another and our various opinions with complete respect. I am very proud of each and every one of us.

In the end, we agreed to a Guilty verdict on all counts.

I had no problem signing any of the verdict forms and when we re-entered the courtroom, I held myself upright. But when the court secretary read the verdicts aloud, my stomach began to twist. I felt I owed it to the defendant to face him.

I did not expect it to be as difficult as it was. I do not regret my decision at all. But here it is, two weeks before Christmas and we tendered a verdict that can only send a young man (he is 20 yo) to prison for the rest of his life. It is not a happy job.

So yes, we found the defendant Guilty.

But I feel guilty as well. Not shame - I would do nothing differently if asked again - and I am proud to have been a part of Justice and I am 100% positive that the defendant (and his victims) received justice. But I'm not dancing in my PJs today.

I am sad. This whole situation was utterly heartbreaking and a waste of several human lives. I can take no joy in it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We Love U

I think my mom is using the internet too much.

I got my first round of holiday cards today.

The first is from my trainer. That was nice of her. I feel a little guilty because I don't really send out cards. I'll just tell her tomorrow that I got her card...

The second card I got was from my mom. Technically it was from "Mom & Dad" but I've never seen the words "Love, Mom & Dad" written in Dad's handwriting. Ever.

But the odd thing was that above the "Mom & Dad" were the (hand-written) words "We Love U"

Not "We Love YOU" but "We Love U"

A fantastic sentiment but pretty disconcerting.

Lord help me if she ever starts to text...

Monday, December 8, 2008


I had jury duty today.

And I'll have jury duty tomorrow.

And the next day.

And the next day.

Yep. I was Chosen.

Luck of the draw, mostly. My panel group was called early and in the group I was called early. So unless they had a reason to object to me, I was going to be Chosen.

It's not a bad time at work for this to happen. I'm not terribly busy right now and the judge is fairly certain it will be a three day trial. Period.

I'm actually kind of intrigued. I'm curious about the legal process and if nothing else, it's an "experience" and I'm all about the "experiences" in life.


So you know I'm totally going to try to be the foreperson....


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I have a troll problem.


Do I have a sign on my back that reads: "Trolls Wanted: Ask me How" ????

Apparently I have the ability to annoy anyone anywhere.

Also I have mad alliteration skills.

But lately it's been a bit ridiculous, even for me. There was that Babar chick who got all shirty when I offered gift-giving advice that she didn't like. And then yesterday there was the Super Spud who LIKES TO TYPE EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPS. And I HATE that.

Should I have let it go? Yeah... probably, but he got it into his head that I was really his arch-nemesis in disguise and he wouldn't let it go.

But I have to take a look at the common denominator here: ME.

What am I doing wrong? More importantly: WHY do I let myself get drawn into these stoopid, pointless arguments with people I don't even know????