Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Embarrassing moment # 1,437

I love performing. I danced for nearly 20 years, and loved being on stage. I was on the speech team in high school, and enjoyed speaking in front of people.

However, I do not enjoy dancing at a club and I do not enjoy talking to people I do not know very well.

The important thing is that I have practiced my dance or script, and I know what I am doing, and I can go on with confidence. I am just not quick on my feet. I have trouble in social situations when I don't know people very well. I have no idea what to say. I am shy as hell. I would rather sit in the corner eating appetizers (hmmm, maybe that's where all this weight has come from) than have to talk to people I don't know very well.
Poi Dog Pondering is my favorite band. Luckily for me, they are based in Chicago and I've probably seen them in concert 35 times or so. Most of those concerts have been with my friend, Scott. I've been to San Francisco to see them and Scott has seen them in Washington D.C. We have even 'borrowed' friends' children to go to a Poi Dog children's concert. Yeah, we like 'em. A lot.

A few years ago, Scott and I were out for dinner. We were dining and drinking and enjoying each others company like we always do. Then, as I was sitting there, I saw Frank Orrall, the lead singer/mastermind of Poi Dog come walking in the door. I bounced in my seat as I told Scott who was walking in behind him. Scott, the calm, cool, collected quick thinker that he is, said that we should send Frank’s table some drinks. So, we did just that. Yeah, we’re cool like that.

Next thing I know, calm and cool Scott is bouncing up and down in his seat as he tells me that Frank is making his way to our table. Can you imagine? The leader of the band we have been stalking following for years is coming over to our table.

Frank arrives at our table and thanks us for the drinks.

This is my chance, right? To tell the man how we love his music, how we’ve been listening for years, how we borrow children so we can witness his band’s magic.

Yeah, right. Whatever.

I so cleverly say:

We’re really big fans.”

That’s it.

Like I was Kathy Bates from “Misery” or something! Yeah, my big chance, and I basically scare the guy so bad, he hightails it back to his table.

See, it’s better if I just keep eating and keep my mouth shut.

Friday, March 26, 2010


This is one of my favorite pictures that elicits one of my favorite childhood memories. That is a picture of me and my dad on a slide at a ‘special’ park. I’m not sure why the park was so special, maybe because we had to drive to get there. I don’t know.

Anyway, from what I remember at the ripe old age of three, is as me and my dad were sliding down, my dad’s jeans got a hole in them. For a three-year-old, that was the most funny thing that could ever happen and it just tickled me to no end. And for the 38 years or so that I’ve been looking at that picture, it makes me smile every single time.

As for the park itself, the last time I remember going there is when I was in sixth grade or so, and my dad brought me and my brother to the ‘special’ park to tell us that he and my mom were getting divorced. They ended up getting remarried (TO EACH OTHER) two and half years later. So, why did they get the damn divorce anyway? I think it was because they thought me going through puberty and starting Jr. High wasn’t stressful enough.

As for the title of this post: K-R-A-P. Yeah, another great dad story. The four of us were sitting at the kitchen table having dinner. My dad starts to tell my mom that after dinner we should go to the K-R-A-P, and then he starts making a circle with his finger in the air. My dad was being real clever with spelling where he wanted to go, and knowing that my brother and I could spell, he was using some sort of code. My mom was NOT getting it. So he just keeps spelling KRAP, and making a circle in the air with his finger, over and over and OVER. My brother and I were laughing because my dad wanted to go crap after dinner. It was hilarious. And….

It was getting him NOWHERE.

All he wanted my mother to do, was reverse the letters (hence the circle motion in the air).

K-R-A-P   =   P-A-R-K

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I was showing too much skin

So I ordered these hot new sandals and I kept them for months before I had to do the inevitable and send them back.

The problem?  These sandals were showing entirely too much skin.  I know what you're thinking.  The point of sandals IS to show off a lot of skin.  Yeah but, I have a middle toe the length of a football field.

I've always hated my feet.  But this year, I thought, c'mon Nat, you're 41 years old, get over it, wear sandals for pete's sake.  So, I ordered those sexy sandals and tried them on.  They felt great and looked great.  But that damn middle toe.  It just goes on for days.

I've heard the saying that a long middle toe means you're really smart.  I don't buy it.  That's the same as saying rain on your wedding day is lucky.  Really, what you are saying is:  awww man, you're screwed that it's raining so bad on the day you've been planning for a year, and, MAN, is that toe looonnnngggg and ugly, you freak.

I walk into a room, and my middle toe has already sat down, had a glass of wine, and is eating appetizers.  My middle toe gets to the party way before I do.

It's been almost two years since I've gotten a pedicure.  I always presumed that pedicures make your feet look better.  If you have ugly toes, painting them red is only going to bring attention to the said ugly toes.

I remember growing up and my brother and I would bury our toes in the sand when we went to the beach.  We both hated our feet.  My brother now wears sandals.  He is so 'over it'.  Good for him.  More power to him. 

As for me?  No sandals yet again this year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March Dinner: Veerasway

For our March dinner, Jodee chose Veerasway.  It is a small and hip Indian restaurant in the West Loop.
The five of us made it this month:  Jodi, Jodee, Heather, Susan, and me.

We ordered a bottle of red and white, and proceeded to try to figure out what we should order. 

 We asked the waitress a lot of questions, and she was very helpful.  We decided on the dishes we would share as well as two orders of naan:  garlic and butter.

I thought the food was really good.  Naturally, I didn't eat the lamb or the chicken, but the other two dishes and the naan were delicious.   I did hear a couple people say that the lamb was too spicy, but that the chicken was their favorite.  I brought the rest of the lamb home for Ignacio, so we'll see if he thinks it's too spicy also.  Oh yeah, they also brought out chutney and chips when we first sat down, and I gobbled those up.
I had to ask the waitstaff for 7 carafes of water (not really, but you get the idea).  Whew!  That food was spicy, and I certainly got in my 8 glasses of water and then some on this day!
Oddly enough, I now have a taste for more Indian food even though I just had it.  Luckily, there is a restaurant in my neighborhood that I can walk to whenever I'm having a craving for more water Indian food.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

That's it! It's war.

There is a war going on under my dress today.  My body has declared war on my Spanx.  I recently ordered what I thought were Spanx, but ended up being some generic form of them.  I purchased the kind that is a short with long legs, you know, to control the belly, cut down on the chub rub (when my inner thighs rub together), and to make me appear 'slimmer'. 

Well, where do I start?

First of all, did you ever notice that the models that are wearing the Spanx, don't even freaking need them??  Sure, we are supposed to believe that the model looks so slim because the Spanx are holding everything in.  Nice and tidy like.  Well, let me tell you something.  When you are in need of Spanx, there is no such thing as 'nice and tidy like'.

What I want to know is what am I supposed to do with the 'stuff' that is all smooshed out where the Spanx end?  It's like my body has been put into a sausage casing, but instead of being sealed off at the end, my body is trying to escape at the points the Spanx ends on my body. 

My body is trying to make a break for it.

So, what I really need is a set of Spanx that is head to toe.  And it needs a closure at each end so there is no skin/fat/blubber trying to Escape from Alcatraz.  Oh yeah, that's hot.

I also am going to start a grass roots movement to force ad agencies to show 'real' models when advertising Spanx.  I want to know that I am not the only woman with a muffin top overflow where my waistband ends.

Not to mention, as I sit here typing this, if I let my stomach go, I can make the waistband roll right down my tummy.  It's a great game and passes the time, and it's really good for my self esteem.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

I love giving strangers compliments.  I am a good one for telling a woman on the street, "great shoes" or "great hair", something along those lines.  I just feel like people don't say enough nice things to one another.  The women probably think my curls are tickling my brain, but that's okay.  I feel better after giving a compliment.  And just think, if I feel better after giving a compliment, just maybe the receiver feels even better.  I can only hope.

A few days ago, I found this link on a website for these great little cards. I printed them, cut them, and put them in my purse.  If you look around the website (which is aptly named KIND OVER MATTER), there are a few different types of cards.  They are great little cards to leave for strangers to find, and to hopefully make someone smile.

So far, I've only left two:  one inside a menu of a champagne bar, and I left one for Ignacio.  But, look out world!

It's the little things that can sometimes make a big difference.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."  -- Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

40-Year-Old Bully

At my job, I have no peers. I could probably go all day without saying one word. Thank goodness I have two cats and a dog that love to hear me talk in the morning before I set off for work.

There are two women at my job that are from an Eastern European country and we have vastly different beliefs. The rest of the people I work with are guys, and while they are nice enough (save for one), I can't really go to them and ask them their opinion on which purse I should buy to go with my lifestyle.

Unfortunately, the closest thing I have to a peer, is a 40-year-old bully named Ike*. He is the closest to my age and is a manager like myself. But, he is not really a peer because he is a bully, and I can't have a bully as a peer.

Here are a few examples of a day with Ike: (due to my limited memory, these are relatively recent experiences with Ike and I could probably write a book if I had a better memory)

  • Ike leaves the office several times a day for a cigarette break. On a recent break (that takes him past my parking spot), Ike returns to the office, stops at my door and says "nice parking job" (italics will from here on out mean: spoken in a snarky voice) and then walks away. So, I just sat there like, "wow! Hello to you too, Ike." I'm just doing my job, and those are the pleasantries that are exchanged here. Nice.

  • Ike and I have polar opposite political views. Trying to have a meaningful debate or exchange of ideas with him is nearly impossible. He's a bully, and just can't listen to an opposing viewpoint. He will try to force feed his opinions on you. It's painful (and has left me in tears a number of times). After the recent election, Ike came into my office and was "enraged and disgusted" by the lack of voter turnout. I had voted at lunchtime that day. When I asked Ike if he had voted, he said 'no'. Poor Ike, "enraged and disgusted" for not exercising his right to vote. (for YEARS as I come to find out)

  • Recently, I had to ask Ike a question, so I ventured into his office, and before I could get any words out of my mouth, he looks at my outfit, and says "that's WAY too much gray". In my mind, I thought, "well, Ike, it's a good thing I don't value your opinion."
But after reflecting on my interaction with Ike, I decided, by George, he was right! My outfit consisted of entirely too much gray. Hence, I purchased the red patent leather boots you see below.

I guess I do value Ike's fashion opinion after all.

*names have been changed to protect the guilty

Monday, March 8, 2010

The perfect epiphany

I love my new purse.  Well, really it is a camera bag that doubles (for me) as a purse.  I always have a camera in my purse, and in the past, I've just always carried a Canon point and shoot camera.  I love taking pictures, and am trying to get better at it.  I've been learning more and more about my Canon digital SLR camera, and I would love to carry that around with me instead of the point and shoot.  Now, I can. 

Isn't she gorgeous?  Her name is "Belle" and I got her from and I love her!  There are two other colors that I just may have to save for.  So, let's hope with my new found enthusiasm for photography, and the ability to carry my camera with me at all times, I'll be able to hone my eye, and find that perfect shot.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The apple doesn't fall far

I come from a long line of pack rats. Well, I am third generation, at least. My maternal grandmother was great for not throwing anything away. She was also great for taking salt and pepper shakers from restaurants, but that is neither here nor there. My mom inherited the pack rat trait, and her home is filled with what I lovingly call: crap.

Maybe six months or so ago, I went to my mom's house to help her clean out one of her closets. I was excited to throw away every dried flower arrangement I saw, as well as every holiday themed sweater or sweatshirt. And my oh my, there was a sh!tload!

There were many clothes that were still in the dry cleaning bags, and I can understand that. I often keep clothes in the bag to avoid dust and cat hair. However, when I went to take a look at what was in this particular dry cleaning bag, the receipt was still attached to the bag, and the receipt was from the dry cleaner in the town I grew up in, not in the city where my mom currently lives. No big deal right? Well, my mother moved to her current home in 1998. 1998!!

Isn't there some rule about cleaning out your closet, and if you haven't worn it in a year or something like that, you aren't going to.

The other day I was on the phone with my mom and she is getting ready to go on a trip, so she cleaned out her refrigerator so she wouldn't come home to any odd smells. She told me that she found the box of baking soda she put in the fridge to keep it fresh. She had even written the date on the box so that she would know when to replace it. The date on the box? 2004! I think that box of baking soda soaked up all the stink it was able to in 2006.

Recently, I was cleaning out my closet and found an old plastic box thingy, and it had a prescription label on it. The date on the label? 1968.

me: "Hi, my name is Natalie and I'm a pack rat."

PRA*: "Hi Natalie!"

*PRA=pack rats anonymous