Saturday, July 22, 2017

We Didn't Buy A Zoo

But we did go to one. My firm had an event at Brookfield Zoo today, so my mom and I took my sister and her family. It was kind of great! The animals were actually all doing stuff today, unlike other times I've been where they're all kind of just lying around looking like someone is forcing them to watch the second season of True Detective. I saw some kangaroos boxing each other; it was exciting just to know that animals can be assholes, too. My nephew got to see a polar bear diving at close range, but fortunately through a glass wall, so his face did not get bitten off. And we also had a close encounter with a grizzly bear without the necessity of leaving food trash out at a campsite. Animals are cool, when they're not trying to kill you.

We also got to take my nephew to my firm's lunch, which was amazing for him. He had a cut up hot dog, which he insisted on eating with a fork, because obviously that's the etiquette, and a piece of cheese, which he balled up with his fist. And then there was the corn muffin, which he ended up wearing for much of the day. Oh, and I mustn't forget the ice cream, as the other diners are unlikely to soon forget the shrieks of joy that accompanied it. Eating is just the best, isn't it?

Anyway, we did something, and things happened, and it was fun, and now it's over.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Weekend in the Country

I'm visiting Quincy with my mom this weekend. It's so exciting I barely know what to do with myself. We already went to Wal-Mart and picked up food; then we took Deja to the dog park, which was empty. She walked around sniffing stuff for a while, realized she was hot, and demanded to be taken back home. It is an incredible time to be alive.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain all day, which should only amp things up. We might Netflix some old Frasiers, who knows? And then there will be church. Who doesn't love a good old fashioned Catholic mass? The Apostles' Creed gets me especially hot and bothered.

Of course, I have a bunch of work to do this weekend, anyway, so it's really not the worst time to be trapped in a '90s living room with the world's most rambunctious dog. Time to let my productivity shine.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Physical Education

I had a friend in town last week who is really into Crossfit, and he asked me to go to class with him. Since I've been to about ten thousand fitness classes in my life, I figured it wouldn't be a problem. But it didn't occur to me that my classes are generally taught by tiny, cute women named Erinn With Two Ns or Bekah With a K who like to shout "you can do so much more than you think you can!" and Instagram. Crossfit is taught by enormous, chemically altered bros who like to overcompensate for their limited command of the English language. And so there was suffering.

The whole class was based on snatch lifts and squats. A very pleasant bro right next to me decided to adopt me when he saw how terrible my lifting technique was, leading to a twenty minute sequence of me apologizing awkwardly for failing to move my wrists and/or elbows and/or shoulders in the preferred method. Suffice it to say that it is unlikely to be set to music for a training montage any time soon. And then, about halfway through the class, the tops started coming off all around the room. I have never seen so many tribal tattoos and homoerotic ass slaps in one place.

The upshot, of course, was that I was unable to walk normally for three days. I was foam rolling every two hours and sucking down back & body Tylenol like it was my job. And I had to ask Ian to fetch things from upstairs for me since stairs were pretty much out of the question. Isn't being fit grand?

Sunday, July 02, 2017

La La Land... I Mean Moonlight

I spent the last week in Los Angeles for work. It was okay. As with most business travel, a lot of it involved the inside of a conference room, and those tend to look the same wherever you are. We did get to go to a good dinner at Craft, the restaurant run by the jolly bald guy from Top Chef. There was a salad with avocado and tomatillos that completely blew my mind, as well as a potato gratin that I would probably trade a week of my life to eat. And they were so nice -- they kept bringing us little complimentary snacks and even gave us packaged scones to go for the next day's breakfast. So I shall be fat but happy, it seems.

I don't think I saw a single fat person in LA, however. Everyone was thin and tan and conspicuously chill. That kind of chill where you feel there's an incredibly monstrous person just waiting to bust out, but still. And people kept randomly interjecting themselves into our conversations, as though we were all good friends and just waiting for them to join. I learned a lot of surprisingly personal information about people I was never even introduced to, let me tell you.

We did have one semi-celebrity sighting. Ryan Murphy was sitting at the table next to us at dinner one night. I completely ignored him, because I'm so cool. Didn't even confront him over his decision to allow Lady Gaga to act. I did try to eavesdrop, but the tables were way too far apart.

Anyway, LA is a strange place. I went there. Now I'm back. Crazy world, this.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Morning After

Do you ever have one of those mornings after drinking where you are filled with deep regret and fear and you know not why? I'm not talking about mornings where you repeatedly empty the contents of your stomach -- which may well be bright pink and gelatinous -- into the nearest receptacle, although of course I've had those too. I'm referring to the mornings where you don't quite recall all of your actions from the previous night and become overwhelmed with the sense that you may have done something horrible. Like, for instance, tell your friends the truth about what you think of their bangs, or leave a two liter of Diet Mountain Dew in their crop top closet. Not that I've done either of these things, but I did throw up on a girl once and not remember it until two days later. In my defense, I had mixed gin and vodka. Like, in the same drink.

Anyway, I had one of those recently, and while it turned out that everything was fine and I didn't do anything untoward, it made me realize that I'm way too old for that shit. I should be, like, waking up and realizing I enrolled in the AARP or something. But as long as the Zima reissue lasts, I'm likely to find myself in this state from time to time. So somebody please stop me from peeing in the kitchen sink.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

To the Wonder

We saw Wonder Woman this week. I enjoyed it, but have to admit that I'm a little perplexed by the critical rapture that's surrounded it. Aside from Wonder Woman herself, I found very few of the characters interesting or complex enough to actually care about. In particular, I thought her little band of sidekicks was literally one-dimensional; we basically knew one thing (He's Native American! He's got PTSD!) about each one of them. And they played Wonder Woman herself as so naïve that she sometimes came across as mentally ill, staring contemplatively at people or things for minutes on end. I mean, she understands dozens of languages but finds the concept of floor-length skirts overwhelming? Plus, like pretty much every movie I've ever seen, I'd cut at least a good fifteen minutes out of it. There were probably forty minutes of punching and kicking alone.

Anyway, I don't want to be too negative -- I did enjoy it, and thought Gal Gadot did a good job. It was attractive to look at and had some great action sequences. I just wouldn't exactly start lining up the Oscars yet. Unless they have one for Best Use of Weaponry as Fashion Accessory; that one's all locked up.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Food Fight

Last night Ian and I went to the grocery store, as we frequently do on Friday nights, because we are cool. (The REAL Friday Night Lights are in the produce section.) My mom needed a few items -- largely junk food, since she is the woman who raised me -- so she decided to come along. What followed was an amazing adventure.

As so often happens, the checkouts were packed. But Ian and I found one where there was just a nice-looking older couple and no bagger, which we favor, because we seem to be the only people in the greater Cook County area who understand that large, flat items go on the bottom of the bags. Plus bagging your own is kind of like an even lower-fi version of Tetris. So far, so good.

But the older gentleman asked us if we minded if they had two transactions, which of course we could not say no to for social politeness reasons. And the second transaction was for like fifteen gift cards, which had to be individually activated at the correct amounts. And of course the cashier messed up on entering the final amount and couldn't fix it, resulting in a call to management, which resulted in five minutes or so of us awkwardly pretending to read about Jennifer Aniston likely dying alone in Closer magazine until a manager who likely had to get up early for debate club practice arrived.

All of which would have been irritating but not that big of a deal had my mother not rapidly zipped through the express lane with her twelve items or less and stood losing her patience just past the elderly couple in question. Her ice cream was melting, she later explained. We offered her the keys to the car, but she instead insisted on walking home. And so we passed her as we drove back about five minutes later.

At least there wasn't a sexagenarian fist fight. Those never end well.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Bachelorette

So one of my female friends (we'll call her Bonnie) is getting married next month, and yesterday was the shower and the bachelorette. The invite list for these events was entirely female but, as so often happens, I knew I would be getting last-minute pleas to join in, less because I am interesting than because when you are drunk lots of things seem like a good idea. And so, when I got back from my run around 3 yesterday, I had the following text messages:

Men, we need you to be strippers for Bonnie's bachelorette party tonight.

This isn't a joke.

100% serious.

Wait, stop responding to this chain.

I'm an idiot. I put Bonnie on it.

You're dead to us. Because you don't know how to text.

When the conversation resumed on a new text thread, I politely demurred, explaining that I had a prior engagement stripping for someone else. But as one might have guessed, this was not to be the last of it. Hours later, while walking the dogs on the 606, I got the following text messages:

Guys, the frosting on the penis cake is melting.

Premature ejaculation.

When does it officially start?

7:30 I think, but I don't know, because I never do.

Jay are you really not coming? Bonnie may not go through with the marriage if you do not.

Why did I take an uber pool with my inflatable penis?


Why did you inflate it before you got there?

I held out for a few more hours -- really just long enough to get through this week's DVR offerings -- before heading over. And it was super fun, even if I did have to get up at 8 this morning for church with my mom.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Famous Last Words

Oh my God, having a puppy has been so much work. Mainly for people who aren't me, but still. She gets up around 6 and whines until she gets taken out. After that, she needs to go out about every three hours, but she still feels free to poop on the carpet in between times. And the biting, oh, the constant biting. Her teeth are like tiny needles and biting people and things is her favorite form of play. She already took a chunk out of my downstairs carpet, and she's made several attempts on our ottoman, whose size may be its only real defense. Not to mention my arms. I've got little pricks up and down them that make me look like an intravenous drug user. So yeah, that's all going real well.

She is adorable, though. Primarily when she's sleeping. There are some other mellow times, though, when she's full of snuggles and kisses. And she's so teeny! My theory is that God makes babies and puppies cute so you don't just outright strangle them.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Summer Program

Aubrey has a new summer intern. My mom got a new puppy this morning from our friends at Midwest Beagle Rescue (that's just an expression -- we don't actually hang out with these people) and she is settling in at our place for the summer. I know that Aubrey is looking forward to delegating some of her less complex tasks, like napping and licking her own butt, and perhaps she'll even branch out into some challenge projects, like eating unfortunate amounts of currency. Either way, we're of course looking to make this experience as much like the real work of being a beagle as possible.

We were a little bit concerned because people keep telling us how puppies are "so much work," but she's pretty much slept since she got here. There was a brief window where she was wandering around and biting at her feet, but other than that it's been straight Zzzzs. Of course, I'm not pretending this will last forever; we have stocked up on chew toys and more piddle pads than are necessary for just your average weekend. I would not call it work, though, as so far no one has offered to pay me for it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Picture Perfect

Let me be honest: I couldn't really think of anything to write about today, so I decided just to post a bunch of random photos from my hard drive and call it a day.

Here my friend and I are guests of a guest at the birthday party of some girl we don't know. She seemed nice and all, though. Pretty sure I had a PBR.

This was the Fourth of July at my friend Hillary's house, where you can see hundreds of illegal fireworks displays in every direction. I love America so much it hurts sometimes.

This was a party with people from my amateur theatrical for lawyers. I included it mainly because I like that sweater. 

This was Liz's baby shower! Spoiler alert: she had the baby. Also I spilled pesto on that shirt and there's a small oil stain on it that still drives me crazy even though no one else knows it's there.

Here we were in a wedding photo booth. With a child, for some reason. I feel like we look super great, though.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

On the Town

For the second weekend in a row, Ian and I went to dinner just the two of us, got lightly drunk, and blew off other plans to come home and watch Vanderpump Rules on Hulu. Last week, at least we had the excuse of the weather being miserable. This week, it was Ian's birthday, and he decided that the best give I could give him would be for us to skip the play we were supposed to go to and get into our pajamas instead. To be fair, we've ended up wishing that we'd walked out the last two times we went to the theater, and I couldn't even tell you what this play was going to be about. Coming to terms with something, I would guess. Or the American Dream.

There were actually very few if any regrets involved, to be honest with you. Dinner was at Little Goat Diner, and therefore quite delicious and filling, and I did have no fewer than four drinks involving two different kinds of liquor in about two hours. I mean, it was Cinco de Mayo, and I had to be culturally aware. And we're finally in season four of Vanderpump, which so far involves a third nose job and a surprising number of adults in a bounce house. Sometimes you just have to take time to smell the roses, you know what I mean? Or in this case, the combination of lavender and the faint odor of urine that I imagine Lisa Vanderpump smells like.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rain Man

We're going through one of those phases in Chicago weather where it won't stop raining and the sun doesn't come out for days. I'm not a fan. The absence of sunlight wreaks havoc on my emotions; I'm still convinced it's why I cried at that 90210 rerun that one time. And it's not like it's ever easy for me to get out of bed, anyway. Although I didn't exactly enjoy having the norovirus back in February, sleeping for two days straight was sort of my platonic ideal.

Anyway, it's nasty AF out, which means that I spent a good chunk of today watching a Murder, She Wrote marathon on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and speculating about Jessica Fletcher's sex life. I did go to the gym and to the CVS, but that was really just because I desperately wanted Life Savers Gummies.

Yesterday was far more adventurous for me, since I had an all-day meeting with a client. The Willis Tower is kind of a weird place to be in the rain, since you basically end up inside the clouds. And for some reason the temperature in our conference room dropped to near-Gwyneth-Paltrow's-vagina levels. Nothing like typing in your winter gloves to instill confidence in your legal abilities.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

TV Roundup

We've been watching a lot of TV lately, and enjoying relatively little of it. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is finally reaching the end of an interminable season; you know things are bad when they're still fighting about something that happened in episode two in the season finale. Real Housewives of New York is back, and so far okay. My litmus test for these is whether they feel like they're forty-five minutes long or approximately sixteen hours long, and in this case I haven't yet found myself checking the time on my phone every three minutes.

I think we've got one episode left of Feud, which I really wanted to like but have ended up mainly being bored with. The acting is good, despite the fact that I spend a lot of time wanting to punch Susan Sarandon in real life, but I don't feel like that much actually happens. And there's lots of speechifying; I have a hard time believing that people in the sixties spent this much time commenting on the role of women in their society. I am happy to see Sally Draper doing something with her life, though.

We're also working our way through Legion. It started pretty strong for me, but then it just got super weird and hard to follow. I can really only handle two or three different realities, max. I like Aubrey Plaza and I'm always happy to see Designing Women working in general, but there's something about Dan Stevens I find relatively offputting, and mainly I just feel lost (not to be confused with Lost). We'll see.

Oh, and Southern Charm. Too early to tell on that one. No screaming catfights at Confederate-themed galas just yet, but there's still lots of time.

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