Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wrinkle Free

I am one lazy bitch. For years (and years), I've gone to work (or out for that matter) in wrinkled clothes. I am all about being comfortable, and if my clothes are wrinkled, that has no bearing on my comfortableness. So instead of going in the closet and lugging out the ironing board that is generally buried under my Grandma Katie cart* and vacuum, I just go out in wrinkled clothes.
Ignacio has been talking for years about putting an ironing board in our wall. I was so against it. I didn't want something in the wall, jutting out, looking bad. I fought him for years on it. Then, my friend Don came to stay with us over the Christmas holiday. Ignacio pitched his idea to Don about the ironing board (Don is an avid ironer), and Don LOVED the idea.
Fast forward a couple weeks, and I come home from work and there is a GAPING hole in the wall for the ironing board that Ignacio purchased at Home Depot. There was no discussion before-hand, just a hole in the wall. I guess Ignacio just needed Don's approval to get going.
Let me say for the record, I was wrong. Ignacio and Don were right.
I love the ironing board in the wall. I actually use it! I feel like Lucille Ball for some reason.

It even has an 'arm' to come down if you want to iron your sleeves. It also has a light inside and an outlet so you can plug the iron in right there. There are also metal plates inside the cabinet where the iron is placed. That means no worries about putting a hot iron away! Pretty awesome. I swear, that Ignacio can do anything.

*Grandma Katie cart is a wheeled cart that I use for grocery shopping and laundry, named for my dad's mom who never drove and just wheeled her cart to the Hi/Lo grocery store in South Chicago.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January's Dinner: NIGHTWOOD

Heather's pick for January was Nightwood.  It is a restaurant that has a menu that changes daily depending on what is available at the markets.

There were eight of us at dinner: me, Aimee, Susan, Nancy, Heather, Liz, Stephanie, and Pat.

Dinner got off to a late start because a couple people that shall remain nameless (AIMEE AND SUSAN) were 40 minutes late.  Do they not know me by now?  Do they not realize that I may kill someone if I do not eat when I am hungry?  I mean, seriously people.

Everyone ordered an appetizer, and by the looks of the plates, they were pretty tasty.  Naturally, my appetizer had goat cheese involved.

Dinner was very good.  Again, from the look of the plates, people enjoyed what they were eating.  The things that were ordered were:  trout, ravioli filled with short ribs, home made spaghetti, chicken,  and some other home made pasta with butternut squash.

Nightwood was very smart and sat us at a long table in the basement.   A couple of us, or shall I say, most of us, can be a loud bunch.

I am so tired right now.  I am writing at well past my bedtime so that people who shall remain nameless (LIZ) will not give me a hard time for writing during work hours.

In summary, another successful, delicious dinner in Chi-town with a fabulous group of women.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I idol Idol auditions

I started dancing when I was four years old. Along the way, there were plenty of auditions that I went to. I was thinking about this because as I was watching American Idol, I couldn't help but notice how many support people there were for a contestant. A contestant would come out of the audition room, and 10 people would come running to cry and hug the person going on (or not) to Hollywood.

My mom was the only person with me at the auditions I went on. Only one time that I can remember was someone else with us. My brother joined us for an audition, I am assuming my dad had a side job or something and he had to tag along. If I remember correctly, the audition was at McCormick Place for The Nutcracker. I was probably around 8 years old, I'm guessing. Well, just like the previous year, I didn't get the part, but they took one look at my younger brother (who didn't even audition) and asked him if he wanted to be in The Nutcracker!! Really? I'm the one that shows up all cute and ballerina like, and he gets offered the part. Seriously, whatevs.
The ONE time I have more than one person at an audition to support me, and he gets offered the gig. Go figure.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Couch to 5K ...(and back to couch again)

For those of you who have been sitting on the edge of your seats just dying to know how I did on the Couch to 5K plan....I didn't make it. As the title (and size of my ass) suggest, I went back to my couch.
The program is an iPhone app that is a nine week program that trains you to be able to run a 5K at the end of the ninth week. I got to week 4, day 1.
Week 4 consisted of a 5 minute warm up, run 3 minutes, walk 1.5 minutes, run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes, run 3 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes, and then run for 5 minutes. On the 5 minute run portions, I was begging the jogging goddesses for breath. Running jogging walking super duper fast sucks. I have such a problem with that little thing called breathing.
Air. How I love thee.
Since then (because of jogging?) I have developed a bad case of plantar fasciitis (which is terrible heel pain). So bad that walking sometimes can cause tears in my eyes. I've been to the foot doctor, but I am not a fan of getting shots in the heel to mask the pain. I got the shot the first time, but I refused the shot the second time (did you cringe when you pictured getting a shot in your heel?).
I tried working out to Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred DVD at home and I liked it until it REALLY aggravated my foot. Now, I am back at the gym on a machine that doesn't force me to move my foot much.
Aleve is my friend, and I have to sleep with this contraption on my foot that keeps my foot flexed during the night. I also am not allowed to walk barefoot (no support for my not there arches), which is good because I am not a fan of my naked feet.
One day, I would like to give running jogging (really slowly) another try. Once I get this pain managed, I might just give it a whirl. Until then, my new reclining couch is calling my name.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Getting my Zzzzzzzs

For Christmas, my mom got me just what I asked for: a Zafu and Zabuton. Every morning, I try to meditate/send my thoughts to the Universe/set my day up. I sit quietly for 10 minutes, and ground myself and generally think good thoughts about my day and life. I also BREATHE. Do you ever have one of those times where you are doing something, and then you remember that you forgot to breathe? Sitting quietly helps me remember to breathe, and what a gift deep breath is. It feels beautiful.

I start and end my meditation saying this: I am a whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, happy, 140 pound, international billionaire. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I am well aware that a couple of those things are not true----YET. Just you wait.

I also get an e-mail from the Universe every morning that helps me set the tone for my day. I've been getting them for a couple years now, and I love them.

So, I thought with getting the new floors and having an uncluttered living room, that a zafu and zabuton would be just the ticket to help get the last few things of my mantra to come true.

Yesterday was the first morning I brought out the z and z for my morning meditation. I set them up on the NEW floor, and I went to sit down. I must have placed my large butt too far back on the zafu, and off I fell, right off the back of my z and z. I made it look good though. As I was falling backwards, I pulled into a back somersault, then extended out into a handstand. Can you picture it? Oh yeah, that got a good laugh from me. The cats and dog were even snickering.

I eventually did get my booty situated just right on the zafu, and it was a great morning meditation. The zafu and zabuton are a great, comfortable combination, and I can just feel that I'll be a 140 pound billionaire any day now.

Yeah, Camel is showing me how it is done.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010: It's all about SOUL

Those of you who know me, know that I am not the neatest person. I am close to being featured on the show 'Hoarders'. Right around Christmas, my office was painted and carpeted. That meant I had to clean out all the stuff that had accumulated in my dungeon. I even had the painter paint one of my walls lavender. So, now I have a brand new, neat office.
New Year's Eve 2009 started off with my purchase of a 2010 Kia Soul (loving it). It was time to bid adieu to my '98 Chevy Cavalier. On the way to the dealer, I was talking to Bessie, and telling her that she served me very well for 11 1/2 years, but that it was time for me to move forward. Getting a new car meant that I had to clean out 11 1/2 years worth of crap that had accumulated in Bessie. So, now I have a brand new, neat car.
The week after Christmas, Ignacio started putting laminate flooring in our home to prepare for the arrival of our new furniture. In order to make room for new flooring and new furniture, I had to clean out years worth of crap that had accumulated in our home. Ignacio worked his tail off, and the floors look great. So, now I have a brand new, neat home (except for where I dumped the accumulated crap from the office, car, and living room).

So, to start celebrating my brand new life, NYE 2009 was spent with 13 of us total (including our amazing chefs and Ella G) at my friend, Aimee's house. Our evening was spent eating 12 courses of amazing food and drinking MANY bottles of wine.

Here is a picture of our scrumptious butternut squash soup and one of the many glasses of wine.

Here we have our menu and our chefs Monica and Michael. This is our second year (of many to come, I hope) that we have been fortunate enough to have Monica and Michael cook our AMAZING NYE's extravaganza. You can read all about Monica and Michael at

Susan was down for the count after course 11. Poor dear, I'm not sure if she was able to eat her dessert (chocolate mousse). Hey! If she couldn't eat it, why didn't I?

Here is the gang at the stroke of midnight. We were bummed that Miss Tracy wasn't able to make it because she had to work the next day in Indy.

Noel, Ignacio, Cecilia, Jeff, Aimee, Nat, Scott, Jodee, Steve, and Susan (Monica and Michael were taking the picture and Ella G was sleeping...too much wine, I suspect).

2009 is over. I made it through - barely. 2010 is starting fresh. Probably as fresh as you can get. I've purged from my office, car, and home. Now, it's time to start cleaning out my body. Oh yeah, my body could really use a purge. 2010 is showing great promise, and I am optimistic that it will be a good year.
 2009 showed me what great friends and family I have (aw shit, I started to tear up, and had to dab my eyes). They really helped me get through this past year. Of all the life lessons to learn, that is a pretty good one.

For your viewing pleasure, make sure you watch the movie at the bottom.....