Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things I must do before I die...

*For those who didn't see my lame-o myspace posting*

-In no particular order-

1. Kiss the pitch at Ibrox

2. Rebuild/restore a muscle car (resto-modded 67' Mustang fastback or and Oldsmobile 442 convertible, or maybe a late sixties Camaro coupe with an LS-2 aluminum engine with a manual six speed transmission. *linked is the engine*) http://www.gmhightechperformance.com/features/0405htp_ls2_inside_look_feature/photo_01.html

3. Catch a swordfish

4. Go to a Pixies or Superdrag show should they reunite (again)

5. Hike the entire Appalachian trail (doesn't have to be all at once) http://www.monmouth.com/~johno/A%20Large%20Detailed%20Map%20of%20the%20Appalachian%20Trail.htm

6. Invent something beneficial to mankind

7. Go surfing in Hawaii

8. Restore a historic house, or house in a historic neighborhood (Victorian era would be nice)

Good Morning

It's amazing the power a simple act can have. For example, a simple "Good Morning" from a stranger can help transform any morning grouch into a smiling person, full of hope for what the day will bring.

Each morning as I exit the El stop and begin my walk to my office building, I am greeted warmly by an older woman in a wheelchair. She joyously says hello to everyone, and sometimes offers polite comments on outfit choices. She refers to most women as sweetie, and most men as guys. Every morning, I know she will be there to start my day with a bit of hope. "Good Morning, " she says, as I pass, " Hi guys, good morning, " she sings to others, " Have a nice day ladies, " she offers to a group of women, "That's a cute sweater, sweetie, " she comments to the young woman in front of me. Each passer by is blessed with a tiny bit of cheer to start their work day.

I was actually sad she wasn't there one morning, worried something had happened and I would never see her again. Yet, a few days later, and every day since, she has been there, and as cheerful as ever to help brighten my day.

Thank you Wheelchair Lady.

Monday, November 26, 2007

An Enchanted Moment

Last week, I enjoyed an all too brief, but wonderful enchanted moment downtown. I had ventured into the cold to grab lunch and found myself in the middle of a greeting card scene.

As I walked, I noticed that all the trees were decorated with white lights, and each store commanded a spectacular display window full of holiday cheer. As I continued walking, I became aware of one of our many horse and carriages walking along beside me, and in the distance I could make out the faint, yet steadily growing sounds of Christmas Music being performed by a lone sax.

My mood improved as I stood on the sidewalk, taking in the sounds and the atmosphere. I smiled to myself as I realized that this was a perfect moment, and I was aware of being a part of it. These moments are often passed through without a moments hesitation. Last week, I may have been the only one who embraced this moment as a spectacular one, but I will remember it always, among the many memories of my first Holiday Season in the City.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turkish Day

This Turkish holiday, I was graced with the presence of three Finkens. They all managed to do the same things at the same time. One could never understand the unique experience of three people who decide to use their cell phones all at the same time on several occasions, but never any other time. You could also never understand the mind of three people who decide to disappear and lay down in the bed at the same time. It was strange for me.. I guess it was like filming cheetahs in the wild. They have an expected nature, yet it can still can baffle and amaze you.
I ate lots of turk', and had a terrible time deciding what to eat for dinner this evening because I have had so much food these past two days. I've narrowed all dinner choices down to about four areas of the earth, and have become bored with them already. If I'm so lucky to make it to eighty years old, I hope food finds a way of changing itself into something I have never tried before. I've become bored of food. When I get hungry, arguement ensues because A. and I can never decide what to eat. If you don't want Chinese, Mexican, Italian (including pizza), or American, like burgers or steak, what is there? Sure, theres Greek and all those other borderline freakish food uhmmm genres? that we could try, but it's essentially just a combination of the previously mentioned food categories. We've tried it all, and there is nothing new, or desirable to eat. I sometimes feel like my cravings for things have died. Ahhh well.. I guess there will always be Cuban sandwiches and 1% milk. It's almost as if I die starving, it will be because food is over-rated and I've tried everything.

Friday, November 16, 2007

O-H.... I-O

I'm not a huge football fan, or even a religious OSU fan, but when it comes to the age old tradition of beating Michigan, I can't help myself. I am from Ohio afterall....GO BUCKS!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Rhinestone Doggie Dude Ranch

Yesterday, I had an extended, lively talk with my mother while we worked out the logistics of "The Thanksgiving Trip" to Chicago. While, mostly we discussed arrival times, how to navigate public transportation, and what to do while I am at work for an entire day, the mentioning of The Dogs was inevitable.

The Dogs may be the most important and influential members of my immediate family, and so, finding a place for them to stay while "The Thanksgiving Trip" takes place, is highly important. Usually, when my mom travels, The Dogs stay with a family member, or a kennel. Typically these kennels consist of halls lined with individual cages, and sometimes a play area where the dogs can run around.

The Dogs have stayed in several of these types of places. That was, until, mom found The Rhinestone Doggie Dude Ranch.

From her description, each dog is allotted their own private suite, which includes: a full size twin bed with linens, a full size chair to lounge on near the window, their own private area to walk outside into, and a television. Also, she mentioned that the entire place is on a closed-circuit system which allows the curators to watch each dog, and give additional support for those having difficulty adjusting. The Dogs will be staying in an adjoining suite, which will allow them to mingle with each other, if they so choose.

During the course of "The Thanksgiving Trip" my mom and sister will be staying in a very nice Hilton in downtown Chicago. ( the entrance to the ball room pictured below)

Though, after hearing the amenities of The Rhinestone Doggie Dude Ranch, I'm starting to wonder who will really be pampered.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Last night I had the pleasure of visiting with one of my old college friends. Jules and I hadn't seen each other for at least three years, and we had a lot of catching up to do. We met over a famous Chicago deep dish, and talked about the past, the present and which life altering ceremonies and additions our adult lives have brought us and those we know. It was such a pleasant evening. An evening in which I discovered that I have blocked out the majority of my college existence. She mentioned our trip to Chicago during our tenure as members of Alpha Sigma Alpha. I remember the trip is being quite pleasant, and falling in love with the city, which is how I have ended up settling here. She remembers those things as well, but also a large amount of drama. I completely blocked this out.

She mentioned my old ( very very crappy) apartment in Kent, Ohio during one of my summer's in Cleveland. I remember that it was the worst place I have ever lived in, and that the hallway scene from The Shining, may have been filmed in the hall outside my door. She remembers swimming in the pool. I blocked that out, in fact it took me a few moments to remember the pool at all.

Apparently, I blocked out quite a bit. Who knows what other factual tidbits and interesting portions of my life I am missing.

I know as you grow older, you only remember certain aspects of your life. I thought, however, that I was remembering much more than I actually am. Perhaps this is why we need to reconnect with our old friends.. so they can fill us in on what we've forgotten about ourselves.

Thank you Jules, I feel refreshed!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I just now received pictures from my long time and good friend Ryan. This is from his wedding this past summer. I was very thrilled with this picture, and felt I'd share it. Here in this shot, I am sharing a laugh with my dashing twin brother John, and his lovely wife, Kelly. To my left (in the photo) is an all too familiar, but wonderfully calming and angelic face, the A., or the gelfling as I like to call her. If one were to look closely, they could see the twisty-tie ring I gave 'the gelfling'. Although it may not be as expensive as the ring my brother gave to Kelly or (on this special occasion) the ring Ryan gave to his newlywed wife, Amanda, I could surmise or deduce, in a flea market, dollar store kind of way, I had the same kind of love behind it when I gave the plastic/bendy-metal blend of a conjured ring to my A. [I love the fact that she held onto, and wore the thing until it broke... that A. is truly a class woman] -D.

I kept that ring for so long because I loved it and how D. gave it to me, in fact I still have it tucked safely away in a jewelry box. I will treasure it always.

Money = Happiness?

Check out this article:

And tell me what you think.

It sure does alleviate life's stresses, therefore leading to happiness. . .
I guess it would've been easier to just say 'yes it does'

The Haunted Bedroom

Each night in their new apartment made the couple more uneasy. From the first night they moved in, they were aware of a strange energy in their bedroom. The first of the weeks passed, and they concluded it was merely their insecurities manifesting themselves in the form of fear, and the anxiety of unfamiliar surroundings.

As the nights passed, each felt more and more uncomfortable, and chose to bring it up in subtle ways, as to not frighten their partner. The girl began having strange nightmares, unlike her usual dreams, and the boy became paranoid and worried. They both watched ghost hunting related television, silently trying to compare their experiences with those on the screen. Finally, both concluded that the strange feeling in their bedroom was due to a high amount of electronics, for they were no longer insecure or unfamiliar with their surroundings.

Months passed, each desperately clinging to the belief/hope that the electrical outlet behind their bed was the culprit. More and more often the girl would be lying in bed alone and feel the presence of someone lying beside her. Her dreams became increasingly frightening, as she dreamt of a shadow hovering above her as she slept, and then awoke to find her cat staring at the corner where the shadow had been, meowing. She dreamt she was hoisted to the ceiling in the bedroom by an unknown force, and awoke to feel as though she had a heavy weight resting on her chest. The boy began to feel as though someone was lying against him or pressing against him, when the girl was not. He began to see shadows or glimpses of things scurrying around the room during the night. Finally, both decided to speak openly about their experiences.

It was concluded that the cat was the cause of much of this trouble. This cat was not like usual cats, in that she often meowed at things that were not there, and often caused a great deal of disturbance throughout the night. She must be the reason for it all.

Days passed, each becoming more and more frightened to be in their bedroom. Weeks passed, and each began to fear what their terrible nightmares would bring. Months passed and each wished for the lease to expire sooner. Neither knew what would come next, what the next night would bring, what horrible nightmares they would endure, they were just trying to hold on until their lease expired and they could find someplace less haunted to live.

Ughkk... I'm telling yah', weird energy in that bedroom, thankfully I have someone to hold onto in there.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Robin Hood on the Streets of Chicago

Everyone has heard the classic fairy tale of Robin Hood, the gentle woodsman with a heart gold who gives to the poor, associates with merry men and is a deadly marksman. As a child, the cartoon version adapted by Disney in 1973 was among my favorite animated stories. As I grew older, I watched several adaptions. ( The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 1991; Robin Hood: Men in Tights, 1993 are among my favorites) And, so have grown to know the story quite well, as has most of America's population.

When you conjure the picture of the classic Robin of Loxley to mind, you end up with a general outline of a man wearing a smock ( probably green) and tights ( or very tight pants) over which there are a pair of boots to the knees. The colors usually range from green to brown, to perhaps even grey. ( The classic Adventures of Robin Hood star Errol Flynn pictured above)

While I will not dare say that Robin Hood is the most fashionable of all the fairy tale heroes, it is fair to say that he is reasonably dressed for his lifestyle. He needs clothing which allows him to swing from ropes and jump from tree to tree easily, as well as providing his feet with sufficient coverage for the terrain of the forest. His smock, tights and boots provide him with everything he needs.

So tell me, why are all the women wandering Chicago's trendy Magnificent Mile dressed as though they are the long lost members of the merry men? Can I believe that modern day fashion designers have started to rely on classic fairy tales for inspiration?

Bridget Moynahan, Sandra Bullock and The Hills' Heidi Montag were all recently spotted wearing a gray sweater dress. Whether worn with leggings or skinny jeans and boots (bare legged is a bit tougher to pull off), this is a chic look that virtually anyone can wear

Each time I pass She-Robin Hood on the street, I have to resist the urge to ask her to demonstrate her archery skills, or inquire as to the whereabouts of the fun-loving friar, or better yet, direct her to the nearest begging homeless person so that she may give her acquired riches to the poor.

I have been waiting for you to get to these ridiculous Merrymen wannabes.. I almost wished that you would've made mention to the Robinhooders' that have the tassle'yish, testiclesque fur balls dangling on them as well.. I wonder if they really think these boots are cool.. How do these chicks walk around with confidence when everyone has to be laughing at them..
oh, this reminds me, when are the oversized transition tinted seventies glasses going to die? Maybe there will be some heckling of these sad cases as well..

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dynamic & Non Retarded

After my post yesterday I re-read the quote by Chuck Klosterman, and found myself contemplating the words, "dynamic, non retarded Americans". Once upon a time I believed myself to be a member of this category. In fact, I believed it so strongly that it may have been the only thing I truly believed about myself. I was in fact, an interesting, dynamic person with an exceptional character and above average intelligence... I was also 17.

This feeling of being worth talking to, and as though I had something to say that might interest others, and that I was somehow more intelligent that the majority of those around me lasted until around age 24. At this point, I realized I will never again be 17. I will never have my 17 year old body again, I will never believe I am the most interesting person I know, and I will never again feel more intelligent or fun than anyone else. As time has progressed, I have come to realize, now 28, that I am in fact, boring and just like everyone else.

While I still feel like I'm worthy of friendships and somewhat interesting conversations, I have not been told , " Talking to you is like a scene from an independent film" for a long time. Those days of such odd, yet somehow more meaningful compliments have passed. I am old, and I am boring and I have nothing of interest to say.

I have done interesting things, mostly in my youth. I have travelled. I bought new heels in Paris and wore them as I climbed the stairs of the Eiffel Tower. I wandered around Versailles and imagined being Marie Antoinette, going mad and dressing up her sheep. I bought a knife in Toledo and imagined what my life would consist of if I actually lived in Madrid. I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and have fallen asleep on the beach in Ocean City. I like things. I love food, and will try anything once. I enjoy good restaurants and well.. let's face it, if you know me you know I can't live without chili cheese fries. I love reading. I have read all the classics, and enjoyed them. Though my other English studies counterparts will disagree when I explain that I hate the Bronte sisters with a passion. I read interesting literature and even strange dark graphic novels. I dyed my hair with streaks of red. I had a "suicidal" (I need attention) phase when I was 13. ( who didn't) I have partied, drinking insane amounts, until I have passed out and built my tolerance to the superhuman level. I have loved. I have loved and lost and I have loved again. I have seen a ghost, and been in a fight. I have done interesting things. Right?

No longer. Now I am just boring and that's it. What am I supposed to do as an adult? I may have used up all my interesting thoughts while I was sure I would never run out. I wrote a book once. I finished it, then lost it. I wrote brilliant things for my senior thesis. I used to have a million friends, more than my AOL IM would allow, and I knew them all in person. I used to correspond with my favorite artist. ( Local to Cleveland, Derek Hess, the print I want is pictured above) Now, nothing. NOTHING. I work, and talk to Mr. Pessimistic and watch television.

I wish I was young and interesting again.
(reply by Mr. Pessimistic)
You gotta' understand that from seventeen to twenty-two or whatever, twixters assume everyone cares about them, or thinks they're interesting, but in all actuality, no one does. From those ages, most assume that since they're considered an adult, and a young adult, that they've got some insightful thing going on, and that they've got some eventful, and life changing thing inhead of them which older adults have already gone through, but they want to believe that it's going to be different and more special than anyone elses, and that they're some kind of hub for those elders to drop their boring, but flattering advice on.
Then they'll turn twenty-eight and realize that they had higher expectations of what was to come, and have been vacuumed into the mundane and boring existence everyone else is in, only to reflect on what they thought of themselves, and realize that they're just like everyone else.. on the road to some life binding ceremony, and a constant and mounting pile of unpaid bills. What one would think is the awestruck interest in the eyes of someone looking at them when they're twenty-something, is just them thinking to themselves "that reminds me of me at that age" or "I was there once, I could relate to that exactly" but it's not bad, it's just that you will have become what everyone else has become, nothing extravagant, but nothing beyond the realm of comfortable mediocrity.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The John Cusack Effect

I had to bring it up eventually. It's actually surprising that it took this long. A long while ago I read, Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman, and was immediately excited about the very first chapter. At the time, I identified profoundly with the following:

But whenever I meet dynamic, non retarded Americans, I notice that they all seem
to share a single unifying characteristic: the inability to experience the kind
of mind-blowing, transcendent romantic relationship they perceive to be a normal
part of living. And someone needs to take the fall for this. So instead of
blaming no one for this (which is kind of cowardly) or blaming everyone (which
is kind of meaningless), I'm going to blame John Cusack.

Stories like Say Anything are fucking people up. We don't need to worry about people unconsciously "absorbing" archaic secret messages when they're six years old; we need to worry about all the entertaining messages people are consciously
accepting when they're twenty-six. They're the ones that get us, because they're
the ones we try to turn into life. I mean, Christ: I wish I could believe that
bozo in Coldplay when he tells me that stars are yellow. I miss that girl. I
wish I was Lloyd Dobler.

For me the love of Cusack happened much later than the 1989 release of Say Anything in which Cusack plays the infamous Lloyd Dobler, a lovable underachiever who wins the heart of the beautiful girl. While this is obviously the beginning of the Cusack identity we have fallen for, my own personal sickness didn't begin until I was introduced to Rob Gordon.

For years I have suffered from Cusack/Rob Gordon syndrome. In the 2000 release High Fidelity, Cusack portrays yet another underachiever in love with a woman. The film, adapted from the excellent Nick Hornby novel, has become a cult classic, as has Cusack himself. For years, I wandered, looking for my very own version of Rob Gordon. While I cannot go into detail as to what the appeal is, I can say that it has made my romantic life and the romantic lives of several other women in my generation difficult. Luckily, Mr. Pessimistic fits the bill. ( Watch High Fidelity and if you know D. you will see some similarities.. mostly music related) I'm not saying Rob Gordon is perfect, he clearly isn't, but I think that might just add to my love for him.

And, this isn't just me. http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy/2006/06/40_reasons_why_.html Another woman, whom I can assume is close to my own age, wrote a blog about loving Cusack, and, if you scroll through the comments, most of them are from women suffering from the same sickness.

What has happened to us? Why has John Cusack become the beacon of hope for our romantic lives? And, more importantly, why are we all so attracted to underachievers, and/or music ( pop culture) elitists?


* please note this is in no way a commentary on my relationship, or Mr. Pessimistic himself, but rather a look into the psyche of women in my generation*

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

And So It Goes... I'm Freezing Already

Having recently moved to "The Real City", a few aspects of life have changed dramatically from what I was used to in Cleveland. For example, I no longer need a car, nor a snow shovel, but I do need a cell phone/blackberry. Apparently, where once I would drive my car into a snow drift, then dig myself out, I will now just call or email someone for help should I be stuck somewhere. Do not get me wrong, I have no complaints about being a person who does things themselves, and having been such a person for all of my life it has been a difficult adjustment to make. However, this easier lifestyle has it's perks. (I can order my grocery's online and they will deliver them. That in itself is enough of a reason to move to "The Real City".)

One thing that has remained a constant, however, is the weather. It is November, and as I have mentioned before, this brings coldness. I have a lovely winter coat that I love, and served me well in Ohio. I never really ventured out in the winter time except to my car, then from the car to the store etc. This coat, is warm enough for that purpose and the occasional trip outside to get the mail. This coat, however, is not warm enough for the 1 mile walk,and the 15 minute El ride, pressed against several other people that I face every morning and evening. Oh, did I mention that this coat is also white? Again, not the best option for my new circumstances.

So, upon learning of this situation with my coat, my wonderful mother offered to purchase me a nice new WARM coat. I was instructed to scour the Internet for my new outer wear. Armed with the knowledge that white is not ideal, and that it will be cold this winter, in addition to the knowledge that I live in "The Real City" and therefore will not be required to shovel snow or be expected to dress as though I live in the tundra, I looked. I found the perfect coat... if I were my mother. I found it and KNEW it was the one she wanted me to have. This was later confirmed when she described the perfect coat for me. I, of course, trying to be fashionable, rejected this idea, and it was decided that I would just have to freeze. Perhaps I was mistaken.


And, nearly 3 days following that conversation, here I am... freezing already.

I guess my easier lifestyle just got a little harder, (well, at least colder).


Friday, November 2, 2007


Have you ever gotten to that point where you need a day off, mostly because you need to sleep in? I hit that point on Wednesday, but of course have had to suffer through until today. Tomorrow, I will have to do work, I will have to run errands, but at least I will get to sleep in. I can't wait.

Of course, I might be extra exhausted this week since it was Halloween and I had to be visually assaulted by women's costumes. On one hand, I understand that Halloween is a time when women can express themselves by wearing outfits they would not normally wear, however, must everything be the "slutty" version? Do we really need the "sexy" little red riding hood, or snow white. It just seems like this is somehow ruining the essence of the character. I'm all for expressing yourself, and I love Halloween, and I even like some of the costumes, but, really, is EVERY woman expressing her hidden "slut" on Halloween, or are there just not many options?

I have decided that this is directly linked to SGB ( Stupid Girl Brain). Let me explain... SGB cannot be helped and while some of us are fully aware of it and the negative effects, we cannot turn it off. SGB is the thing that tells us we must compare ourselves to every woman we see, including super models, even though we know this is ridiculous and cannot in any way help our self esteem. SGB tells us we are fat ALL THE TIME, and tells us that men mean something much deeper than what their words project. So how is this linked to Halloween? Every woman has this need to feel attractive all the time, hence all the comparing and whatnot. Therefore our SGB tells us that we must dress "sexy" and we must adjust our perspective of what is attractive to match what the typical male believes is attractive. Now, not all males believe "sluttiness" is sexy, but not one of you can tell me that you don't enjoy some of those costumes. So, in an effort to feel attractive, women are subjected to the need to wear these for Halloween.

And, honestly, if you can pull it off, and you are of appropriate age, DO IT. It's a great feeling. But please, ladies, let's not let this phenomenon spill over into our daily wardrobe, or for the love of everything holy, the wardrobes of young teenage girls ( Damn... too late.. )
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