The New

Well hell. I have finally decided that lately I’ve been putting too much money into my slowly dying ’99 Pontiac Grand Am and am going to buy a new car.

This time, it’s going to be new for real. Not used-but-new-to-me.

What am I going to buy, you ask? This:

A 2007 Honda Civic EX. (That’s the top of the line model… complete with iPod plug, sunroof, etc. It’s loaded. And it’s going to be mine!!!

I am giving myself 2-3 months to pay off some debt and save up some for a good downpayment, as long as my current vehicle doesn’t crap out on me. Right now I need to get brakes, tires and I think some transmission work done, but I’m going to do the minimal to get by.

The best thing I’m looking forward to? Forty miles per gallon, holmes. Goodbye $250 a month gas bill.

Can you tell I’m stoked??

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A few weeks ago driving home from work it occured to me that fall would be here soon. It was about 85 degrees at the time, but I could feel it in my bones. The chill was coming.

Now it’s here. And I absolutely love it.

This is my favorite time of year. The way you can smell and feel the season; that doesn’t happen for summer, winter or spring. At least not for me.

I could write a million posts about fall, and probably will write more when I have more time. This morning I could taste red wine in my mouth, and tonight I bought some. So I’m going to go pour myself a glass and settle down into the windy, crisp night.

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Moving my blog

After months of wrestling with Blogger, trying to get a custom header and other adjustments to render correctly, I have come up with the ultimate solution: port my blog over to WordPress. Tonight I have started the experience. So… let me know what you think!

Where Were You?

So I hate the fact that everyone’s commercializing their coverage of the 5th anniversary of 9/11, but I didn’t want to avoid blogging about the date altogether. Just because the Bush administration makes it into a big PR campaign doesn’t mean others can’t have real feelings about their real experience.

So rather than dote on the numerous scare tactics used by said administration as a means of stripping us of our civil liberties one by one over the past five years, I want to ask you:

Where were you?

I was a junior or so in college (I use that term loosely, as I was in school for six years) in my Media Ethics class that started about 9:15 a.m. or so. A girl came in late to class, and before the professor could look to her for an explanation of her tardiness she said haltingly, “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I don’t think it was an accident.”

Without asking for more details, knowing like any experienced newspaperman that there were more, but would not be gleaned from anything this girl could say, our professor said authoritatively:

“Go find a T.V. now.”

And he left the classroom.

I walked out in the hallway not really knowing what was going on, but saw that some people in the mass comm building had rolled a giant T.V. on a cart out into the hallway, and students had started to gather around it. People whispered to each other as CNN unfolded the mystery to us: the towers were falling. Terrorists. Thousands feared dead.

As people started calling loved ones frantically on cell phones, mine rang. It was my friend Maureen in Chicago. Maureen is Assyrian, though some less cultured have mistaken her as hispanic.

“That’s it,” she said when I answered her call, “From now on I’m fucking Mexican.”

Not even two hours after the event had happened, Maureen knew what would happen to people of Middle Eastern descent. She knew how stupid people were going to be.

We chatted for a few minutes, and I let her go so I could call my then boyfriend. Even in a time of crisis he was an asshole to me, arguing with me that he was trying to watch the T.V. and didn’t want to talk to me (thanks, I’m glad to know you’re OK, too.) I figured nothing else was going to happen on T.V. and had already grown weary of the continual shot of the burning towers, and walked outside. The air did not seem fresh at all.

I had a Spanish class next, so I walked over to that building and sat outside my class, as I was about 30 minutes early. I called my mom to make sure she was OK, and she told me her office was sent home early. Pretty much all of downtown Chicago (the business distric/Loop) was being evacuated, too, she told me, but she didn’t know if they’d send my little sister home from school.

I don’t remember any more of that day. I’m sure I talked with friends/classmates/colleagues about it for the next several months, and I remember one day going through the drive-thru at work (I worked as a pharmacy tech at CVS then) and my friend telling me, “We started bombing today.” I thought, this is wrong. This is the beginning of the end.

I still think I was right.

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Fudge ‘Em All

So tonight Ian, Scott and I ordered pizza from Domino’s, and because we ordered a large we got free brownies. You know, those nasty looking things they’ve been advertising for the last few weeks? We figured they wouldn’t be good, but assumed they couldn’t be so bad that even Scott wouldn’t eat them (note: Scott eats anything. Well, anything except potato salad.)

And Domino’s fudgy brownies, apparently.

They far surpassed my expectations of nastyness. Scott claims it’s the fudge sauce that made it possible for him to consume one, but as I bit into the dry, crunchy, tasteless confection, I couldn’t imagine anything making it better.

AND… to top the evening off… my bottle of Tamás pinot grigio came complete with a complimentary moldy cork. I ran down to the liquor store and bought another bottle of wine (different kind, of course), but by the time I came back home and confirmed with my wine-expert friend Aubrey that indeed a moldy cork was trouble, I was no longer in the mood to imbibe. The perp is the bottle on the left

Tomorrow, however, is a new day. Hopefully one free of crusty fudge impostor brownies and moldy corked wine, but we’ll see. All I know is I’m making a stop by the liquor store to advise them of the injustice (not to demand a refund; rather, but to let them warn others of certain doom). And tomorrow night I will enjoy my bottle of Fat Bastard sauvignon blanc–safely bottled with a synthetic (and thus mold-resistant) cork.

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Does This Make Me More or Less Crotchety?

I like to think of myself as a very open-minded person. Even if I don’t share the same beliefs as someone, I respect their right to hold those beliefs, and to act on them as long as they are not endangering someone else or interfering with someone else’s right to their own beliefs.

My downfall, though, is that even though I respect someone’s right to a different belief, if that belief is something like acting like a little bitch (or something like that), I tend to talk shit. About them, to them, it doesn’t matter. I can’t stand assholes, closeminded people, bitches, drama queens, etc. Most of the time I just grumble to myself about it (or to Ian and my friends), but sometimes it really eats me up inside.

I internalize everything.

Lately I’ve been thinking, though, that maybe there’s a deeper reason for assholes in this world. Now, I’m not going to attempt to understand everyone (especially not the president and other public figures), but people that affect me personally are a different story.

Maybe I should be more tolerant of people who are mean or annoying to me. Maybe I should try more often to think of what the underlying issue is that they’re dealing with that is making them such a drag to be around. I think this goes beyond respecting someone’s rights, it goes into understanding the psyche. And that’s a difficult thing to do; it surely won’t keep me from internalizing.

Maybe the next time someone pisses me off personally, I should remember that they probably have deeper issues and just let it go. If there’s no way I can help them overcome their stick-in-the-ass-ness, there’s nothing else I can do but say “Fuck it, dude. Let’s go bowling.”

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What a Great Day!

Even though I’m still a bit hung over from Friday night (yes, I said Friday. Read my last post), I have been pretty productive today. I woke up about 11:45 a.m. and paid some bills, threw in some laundry and picked up downstairs so the Roomba could do its thing (I freaking LOVE my Roomba). Then I got on iTunes and decided to check out some Barenaked Ladies videos (for those of you who don’t know, Barenaked Ladies is my most favorite band in the entire universe. EVER).

This was a great decision, though offhandedly, because while browsing through their extensive catalogue (I don’t really know why I was, since I own everything they have put out), I realized that their upcoming album was available already! There were three versions on iTunes: the deluxe edition (due out Sept. 12), the regular edition (due out Sept. 12) and the deluxe edition minus a digital booklet–out now!! Obviously this was a mistake. Surely I would not be able to purchase this much-anticipated album right this second–a full nine days early??!

Yes, I could. And I did. And it is glorious.

I still pre-ordered the physical CD from their Web site because I’ll get a bonus disc with acoustic sets on it, and I realized after I purchased the mistakenly available album from iTunes that I should have only purchased the deluxe-version songs, since I’d get the first nine on the physical pre-order CD anyway, but hell, I was excited!! I don’t mind paying a few extra bucks toward the BNL anyway just to have the songs now!!

Ok so by now a lot of people reading this (like that assumption that a lot of people actually do read my blog?) think I am completely nuts. Well, yes, I guess I am. But it’s rare lately that I get so passionate about new music (there’s so few great bands anymore coming out with new tunes) so I gave into my giddiness.


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Ugh. I’m Getting Too Old for This

Ian, Alex, Tabby and I went out Friday night to The Parthenon to celebrate my ongoing recovery (mainly the fact that I can walk and sit upright again). This was awesome–partly because it’s my favorite restaurant in town and partly because Tabby and I have been trying to get Alex there FOREVER. Ian knows the piano player, who breaks out the classic rock (Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Styx, etc.) whenever we come in. So it was a very nice way to celebrate.

After dinner, however, turned out to be a different story. We went back to Alex’s house and played poker, a usual weekend night for us. The not so nice part came after a decided to drink an entire bottle of wine (and I had two glasses at dinner as well.) Now, I’m kind of a lightweight, but I’ve drunk a whole bottle of wine before and been ok with a few extra hours of sleep. What I failed to account for, however, was the fact that I have not been drunk since the weekend before my surgery. Jumping back into that game with an entire bottle was NOT the smartest thing to do.

And I’m still paying for it today. I am too old for that shit.

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