(The Blog Formerly Known as "Countdown to 30" and "30 is the New Twenty")

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Writer's Block No More!

For the first time in months, I've actually had the urge to write. I don't know what triggered this, but I am going with it. I've got ideas for several articles and might finish my screenplay by the end of the year. Today I actually set down to write on my top secret project. I am not done with, but I've got a good, solid rough draft and some direction. It feels awesome.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Alive!

I know I haven't blogged in a super, super long time. I don't have the interwebs at home (yet), so I have to haul ass to the local Starbucks, which is only three blocks from my house. The thing is when I do go to Starbucks to do Internet stuff, I've got so much to do that I forget about my poor neglected blog. Anyways, no excuses...


Things are going really well. I am enjoying my job again for the first time in six months. It makes a huge difference. My neighborhood is great and I love that I can walk to practically everything. I have only had to fill my car up with gas once since moving here. I have never, ever done that in all my years of driving.


My roommate and I found two of the Unique Thrift Stores in Chicago. They are just as good, if not better than the ones in Minnesota. I was a bit concerned about the lack of quality thrift stores in Chicago. After all, Minnesota does have some of the best in the country. We both found a ton of good stuff. I found a winter coat, a brown clutch, three necklaces, and winter boots all for $25. That made me happy, I was really missing my Unique Thrift store. Steve found coats, flannels, ties, scarves and shoes galour.


There's a Dunkin' Donuts on practically every corner. Sadly, I haven't felt the urge to visit them. I was pretty shocked by that. I thought for sure I'd go Dunkin' Donuts crazy. Maybe my urge was satisfied by visiting the uber ghetto one in Branson this summer.

Anyways, life in Chicago is good. I promise more blogging and pictures of my new 'hood.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I made it!

I finally made it to Chicago today. Woo-hoo! It still feels sorta of surreal to not be in Minneapolis. I never want to pack a box or haul crap around again. Last night told my dad that I would be ok with never seeing any of my clothing ever again. Yes, that's how tired of moving I was. Today that feeling quickly faded. I am excited to get settled in.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Post from Minneapolis

I've got two days left in Minneapolis before my move to Chicago. I am very excited, yet sort of sad at the same time. I'll miss Minneapolis and my friends, but I can wait for the newness of Chicago. I'm in the process of packing up my apartment and cleaning. Ugh. That's the part I hate. Here's some random pictures of my last day at work and moving.


My co-worker, Katie, made these cakes on my last day. They were so good.


Hello Kitty rings from the cupcakes at work. 'Cause I heart Hello Kitty.



Lastly, my Dad's Explorer, jam-packed with all of my crap.


This is probably the last post from the 612. Wow. I don't have Internet at home anymore and moving eats up most of my time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Overwhelmed


nataliedee.com

Today it finally hit me that I'm moving relatively soon. A week from this Friday, to be exact. That doesn't give me much time to pack my stuff and clean my apartment. Today it was really overwhelming me. I felt like the peanut in the Natalie Dee comic above. I know that I'm in pretty good shape, but there just seems to be a ton to do. I am way better organized than my last move, but today I would've rather packed stuff than gone to work. At least I have Wednesday off. I will do nothing but pack and clean. Grrr... I will stay calm. I will not freak out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Microwave and Rudeness

I forgot to mention that I sold my microwave the other day. It's sort of hard to adjust to life without a microwave. I'm not totally dependent on my microwave, but it really helps cut down on time spent cooking. I'm not one of those people that only cooks with their micro. I mainly use it for heating up leftovers or making frozen dinners. I've been taking things to work that I need to heat up and eating sandwiches at home. It works. I still have a stove.

The Furniture Liquidation is going well, but I have noticed a lack of manners by people responding to my ads. This has happened several times. I get really excited that someone has responded and really seems interested in my stuff. I respond back to set up a time to come take a look at it. The person on the other end NEVER RESPONDS! How rude! Is it really that hard to reply and say you don't want it? Since encountering this, I've been using a different strategy. I respond to everyone and the person who actually follows through gets the item. That strategy works best.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Branson and Moving

I'm back from my mini-vacation to Branson, MO for my cousin's wedding. I had such a good time. It was great to actually be able to spend more than a day with the relatives and I really was in need of a vacation. And we went to Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast one morning. I pigged out on donuts, of course. The coffee, unfortunately, was boiled and horrible. At least the donuts were good. Branson is a weird mix of the Wisconsin Dells and Vegas. Of course, lots of white trash tourists, too. It's almost like I never left the MOA. We made the mistake of going to the outlet mall on a Saturday--it was awful. White Trash Fest '08. Ugh.

Back in the 612, the reality of moving has hit me. It's weird how I went from thinking it was a long ways away to it's happening in less than a month. I think that the cleaning out of my apartment has really helped. This week, I sold my guitar and my crappy IKEA bookshelf. I only have nine days left at work. I still am super excited, but I'm also kind of sad. I will miss many of my co-workers. I will miss my local hangouts. But, at the same time, I am looking forward to starting over. This is a huge change. The last time I made a change that was even close to this was going to college. And that doesn't really count. College is such a controlled environment and this is, well, the real world. It'll be nice to step outside of my comfort zone. Find a new coffee shop and favorite pizza place. I cannot wait. More importantly, locate my creativity. It's in there somewhere. It has to be.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Furniture Liquidation Sale Update

The Furniture Liquidation Sale is loosing momentum. I guess it had to happen at some point. I probably jinxed myself. I still need to put my bed and kitchen table on there, but I am waiting until I get back from my cousin's wedding this weekend. That will be the last of the big money items. I've got my guitar on there right now, and no one has inquired about it. The guitar is the stupidest thing I ever bought. I was young and ambitious and really wanted to learn to play the guitar. Eight years later, I don't recall anything I learned. I spent an entire pay check on that. Ahhh... to be young and frivolous with my money. I haven't done that in a long time. I'm way too practical.

Off I go to do some more cleaning. I swear that's all I do lately. Of course, this is what happens when you're a packrat.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Last Month in Minneapolis

I've got 31 days left in Minneapolis. Wow. It still sorta seems surreal that I'm moving to Chicago in a month. At the same time, I am so excited. I've been stuck in a horrible rut for way too long. I just need some kind of change. I am really hoping that I can locate my creativity, too. It's been lost for a couple of months. I cannot even recall the last time I sat down to work on my screenplay. It's not like I haven't thought about it, but I haven't made the time to sit down and work on it. Grrr...

The last time I made a major move I was 18 years old. I came to Minneapolis for college at the U and I haven't left. Well, I did go home to Wisconsin for breaks, but that was it. I really think this move is well overdue. I recall when I graduated from college, I really wanted to move somewhere new. I didn't care where, really. I just wanted an adventure. I was far too practical and instead I ventured into corporate America. I totally should've listened to the voice inside of me and moved somewhere and worked as a barista (which is the job I thought was cool when I was 22).

I am really excited to be able to spend more time with my relatives. My Aunt was happy when I told about my move. She said she always knew that I'd move back to Chicago. I will be able to walk from work to her house. I can baby-sit for my cousin's kid. My Dad will only be two hours away. I can actually go to a Packers game with him. I can see his 3,000 Daffodils. At the same time, it is an adventure. A fresh start. It's finally starting to sink in. I cannot wait to move. Don't get me wrong, I will miss Minneapolis and my friends, but a new start is so appealing. It's just what I need.


Randomness

Tomorrow (it's not the next day til I go to bed) is my seventh day consecutive day of work. I think I've lost my brain somewhere on day four. I think the only thing that will help me get out of bed and go to work is that Chipotle is FINALLY opening a store in the MOA and they are giving away free burritos tomorrow. Woo-hoo. I am so there. I heart Chipotle.

Tonight while driving home from work, I heard "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the radio. Apparently, some of the lyrics are too edgy and not family friendly. The line: "put a gun against his head.." was changed to "put a ________ against his head. Seriously. Why is that bad? I think everyone can figure that out. In fact, you can use context clues with the next part, "pulled the trigger, now he's dead." Noooo.... people won't be able to figure out it's a gun. Gotta love the FCC. Why is 'gun' a bad word? I just don't get it. Maybe they shouldn't play the song at all, if they're going to be that lame. I bet Disney is somehow behind this.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Craigslist is my New BFF

I don't know what people did before Craigslist. It has made my Furniture Liquidation Sale so much easier. With my crazy work schedule, I need something that is easy. And something that I can do at random times during the day. So far, I've sold my dresser and coffee table. I've got people coming for my desk and love seat. What I like the best is you don't have to put forth a lot of effort. It takes about ten minutes to get something posted and then you just sit back and wait for the e-mails to roll in. I was shocked at the responses I've gotten for my IKEA/ Target treasures. I actually had a bidding war for my dresser, which is so nuts. Not complaining, though.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fun with Technology

Tonight I spent close to forty minutes on the phone with my Dad, troubleshooting a printer problem . Last night he was printing something on his computer and his printer wouldn't stop printing. He turned his computer off last night and thought that would solve the problem. It didn't. Tonight he turned his computer on and the printer fired up again. I would like to mention that his printer is over 10 years old. After walking him through several options, it finally stopped printing and I had a headache. I really don't mind helping my Dad with stuff like this, because he's not very computer savvy, but I always end up annoyed. My Dad has no patience with his computer and is not a very good listener with stuff like this ( I think this is payback for me never listening when he helped me with math). It also never helps that I am giving directions over the phone, instead of in person. What always amazes me with my Dad's lack of computer ability, is he's a smart guy. Super smart. He can fix things and has a degree in Engineering but he can't solve a computer problem. I can't do math and science to save my life, but I do know how to fix computer problems.

We did make some headway tonight: I convinced my Dad he should get a new computer AND a printer. I offered to help him shop for them the next time I was home.

My Dad did tell me that I am more helpful than the IT guy at work. I explain things in layman's terms and am patient. Woo-hoo. Score one for the girl with a Liberal Arts degree.

Monday, July 21, 2008

SOLD!

I am having awesome luck with my Furniture Liquidation Madness Sale on Craigslist. I already have 50% percent of what I posted sold or spoken for. The best part: I posted less than 24 hours ago. Wow. I've had a huge response, too. Who would've thought Target and IKEA stuff is in that high of demand. My dresser is being picked up on Weds. I am not sure what I am going to do with all of my clothes, though. I am thinking suitcases and storage bins. I would rather sell it now, than drag it to the curb or move it to Chicago. I'm holding off on posting my bed until it gets closer. I really don't want to sleep on an air mattress that deflates while you sleep on it for over a month.

I am really hoping that I am not jinxing my luck with Craigslist by posting about it. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Going, Going, Gone!

Yesterday I researched moving companies and I discovered that they are way too expensive. I figured they'd be more because of the price of gas, but not what I found. My stuff isn't even worth what they are charging. The cheapest was a little over a 1000 and the most expensive was 2700. I don't even have that much stuff. Especially furniture wise. I would hate to see what it would cost for a family to move. Yikes. After brainstorming with my practical, wise dad, I decided that I am selling most of my furniture. It's cheaper to just start from scratch in Chicago. The exceptions are my kitchen table, which was my parents when they first got married. And it still looks cool. I have two end tables that are probably from the 50's that were my grandpa's. I am only keeping the items that could be on "Antique Roadshow." Everything else will be part of my Liquidation Sale. Let me know if you or anyone you know is in need of following items:

  • A double bed.
  • Two desks- one desk is huge and nothing special. The other one, is adorable. It's shaped like a yellow jellybean and has cute white legs. I am super sad to part with that.
  • An IKEA black cube bookshelf.
  • A kitchen island.
  • A love seat .
  • A dresser.

My prices will be fair. I promise. I'm pretty savvy at pricing things. Especially since most of my stuff is from Target and IKEA. It's not like it's Italian furniture. The bed is from JCP and the loveseat is from HOM.

Today I'm taking pictures of my stuff and posting it on Craigslist. I figure with back to school for college kids, I should have no problem unloading my stuff.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Facebook Rocks!

I never thought I'd be writing this, but Facebook is pretty cool. I admit at first, I was a bit skeptical. I thought it would be lame like Myspace and I'd have tons of freaks wanting to be my friend. I've had just the opposite experience. I've reconnected with my childhood BFF and close friends from high school and college. I have had no freaks wanting to be my friend, only people I actually know. I heart Facebook. At least for now. I am sure at some point the novelty will wear off.

BIG NEWS

This is where I'll be living as of September 1st. No, I'm not moving into the Bean, I'm moving to Chicago! I am so excited. I have been thinking of this for quite a while (almost a year) and I'm finally doing it. I've just been so restless and in need of a big change. I'll be much closer ( two hours away) to my Dad and I have relatives that live in Chicago. It'll be nice to be able to spend time with them. I really feel that Chicago is where I finally will become a writer. And where I will finally find myself the magical adult career (my Dad is still harping away on that).

In the meantime, I am drinking as much Summit EPA as I can (they don't have it in Chicago) and trying to downsize my crap. I'm going to sell a lot of my furniture on Craigslist and sell my movies, cds and books at Half Price Books. I will also have a trunk full of goodies for Goodwill.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flakes

I'm really sick of people being such flakes lately. I just don't get it. I have never been a flake. I don't know what goes on in their heads, but it stinks. The past couple of weeks have been flake fest '08. I am over it. I don't want to get too into the details and expose the flakes (maybe I should, though), but the worst example of flakiness was a friend who was in town. We made plans to get together and she never showed up (we were meeting at my house). After waiting for 40 minutes, I called her and left her a message. I never heard back from her. At first, I was really angry and upset. I quickly got over it, though. I really just don't comprehend how someone who is supposed to be one of my closest friends can just blow me off like that. It was her idea when we got together, too. And to not call me back. At all. In the Age of Technology there are so many ways to get a hold of someone when you really don't want to talk to them. My favorite is texting. The same week my friend flaked out on me, I had a woman flake out on me for a business meeting. Yes, a professional meeting. I waited for fifteen minutes before I called her and left a message. Guess what? She never called back. That one I think was worse. It's business related. That my friends, is low. People really have no excuses, except for their own general lameness. Oh, and a lack of manners or common courtesy. OK. Done venting. No more.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Getting Old

It's official: I'm old. The trends that I wore in high school are back with a vengeance. That my friends, is when you know you're old. I was looking at the Delia's catalogue (I have no idea how I ended up on the mailing list) when I saw a model wearing Doc Marten boots. I lived in my Docs in high school and college. I turned a couple more pages and another model was wearing those Minnetonka Moccasin boots that lace up and have fringe at the top. My childhood, bff, Jenny rocked those boots when no one else would wear them. I know that these trends never ever really go away, but seeing them in a catalogue targeted towards teens really made me feel old.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thirty is Here


nataliedee.com


My countdown to thirty has finally ended! Woo-hoo. I survived my twenties. Barely. Bring on my thirties. I don't feel any older or wiser. I always thought it was funny when I was little and an adult would always ask me on my birthday if I felt any older. Um... no. I would always spend a couple hours wondering what it felt like to feel older, though.

Yesterday Christine and I went on a quest to locate a McDonald's that had a Ronald Mc Donald statue. She decided it would be fun for me to kick Ronald in the crotch. Something everyone needs to do before they turn thirty. We failed. Miserably. Apparently, Mc Donald's took Ronald out of the stores. That just seems wrong. There has to be an old school Mc Donald's somewhere in Minneapolis.

I am off to enjoy my birthday and the beautiful weather. And possibly a nap this afternoon, so I am well-rested for bowling tonight. Ahhh... I must be getting old if I need a nap.




Happy Belated Birthday, America!

Last night in honor of our nation's birthday, my neighborhood was out of control with amateur pyrotechnic displays. I seriously thought I was living in a war zone. They went on until three in the morning. Isn't that a little excessive? And sort of lame. I could see until midnight, but that's the cutoff. I am not against people having fun, but I draw the line at moronic fun. These fireworks were not part of the pack that Target sells, these were full-on, last time I checked, illegal fireworks. Needless to say, I did not get a good night sleep. I went to bed at midnight and I got up again at one because there was no way I was going to fall asleep. I ended up watching television until 2 and went back to bed. Ugh. I'm sort of tired and cranky today.

Minneapolis and St. Paul both put on really good fireworks displays. Our tax dollars probably fund them. Why wouldn't you just go watch those instead of putting on home displays that might risk injury or a setting your house on fire? I just don't get it. I guess I can see sparklers, but not professional pyrotechnics.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Last Retainer Post- I Promise!

I can eat cereal again! Woo-hoo! Ok, ok. I promise this will be the last post about my retainer and being able to eat again...but it is just too exciting! For a week, I had to eat cereal on one side of my mouth. It was horrible. You wouldn't think it would be that big of a deal, but it is. Anyways, no more on my retainer.

As a side note, two days until I leave my 20's behind me. Woo-hoo. So excited.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back to Normal

I finally got my retainer fixed today. Woo-hoo! The best part is I can eat like a normal person again. It seriously hurt to eat cereal. I was down to two meals a day and no snacks. I was drinking a lot of Naked juices because they didn't require chewing and are full of good things. Bananas and yogurt worked well, too. I really do not need to lose any amount of weight. It is also nice to talk without having a wire poke me in the tongue.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Best Birthday Ever

Growing up, I always had such fun birthday parties. They really were nothing special. My parents were quite frugal and at the same time kept things pretty simple. I always had my birthday parties in the backyard with games and cake. That was it. But, when you're five or six that is really all that you need. I never had a fancy birthday party at Mc Donald's with Ronald Mc Donald doing tricks and Grimmace serving up cake. I don't think I ever wanted anything like that, either. I was content with pin-the-tail on the donkey, Simon says, a pinata, and tag. Looking back, my parents were brill ant. They never had to deal with the mess in the house; it was always in the backyard. All they would need is a hose and a garbage bag. The best birthday ever was the year I had a pinata. The thing was constructed so well that my Dad had to get out the wooden baseball bat to break it. He also managed to crush all the candy with his strength. My Mom made the best birthday cakes ever. I always had a white cake with white frosting and strawberry filling on the inside. Yum. It is always amazing how the simplest of things made me so happy. I am sure my memory of my birthday parties is different than my parents. I am sure someone threw up or hit someone or some kid was very annoying. But, even now, 24 years later it still seems like the perfect birthday.

Figuring My Life Out


I think I'm ready for some kind of huge change. Not just a small change like changing my hair color, something big. The past couple of weeks have been bad from a restless standpoint. I just feel like I'm tired of my day to day life. I want to mix things up. I mainly want to find a way to be a serious writer. This is totally different than one of my four Quarter Life Crises. I am determined to make some sort of change, not just angst filled Michelle who hates her life. Ahhhh.. good old angst filled Michelle. She makes me chuckle. Mainly, because my so-called angst was very trivial. One of my co-workers and I were discussing our angst filled high school years and neither of us really had a reason to be all angst-filled. My angst stemmed from growing up in a wealthy suburb.
Anyways, my current situation is different. I am not going to rush into anything. I just need to think things through. I have a possible idea, I just need to work the logistics out. Just having some sort of idea, helps me with my restlessness.
As a random note (well, this whole post has been out there), I am still living life with my retainer wire poking me in the tongue. Grr.... tomorrow I will finally get that taken care of. It is seriously annoying.

Monday, June 30, 2008

More Vacation, Please!

I almost don't want to blog about this, cause it makes me seem like a whiny person, but I could really use another vacation. Yes, I've been back at work for a week, and I could use some more vacation. Unfortunately, the next "vacation" I have is in August for my cousin's wedding. I think this all ties into my restless nature. It's been out of control lately (well, since I came back) and I'm not sure what to do about it. At least this week won't be so bad. Thank goodness for the 4th of July and my birthday, my two saving graces.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Revenge of My Retainer

The other night I got my toothbrush stuck in my permanent retailer on the back of my lower teeth. After a bit of a struggle, I realized that I popped the bracket off the end. It really didn't hurt, but now I have a teeny tiny wire sticking up and poking my tongue. It's making talking and eating difficult. And is really annoying. At work I am convinced that people thought I had a speech impediment. It was sort of funny in a David Sedaris sort of way. I oscillated between being embarrassed and wanting to making my faux impediment worse. I know, I know. I'm sick. Anything though, to get me through the day.

Anyways, back to my retainer.. I feel like this is orthodontic payback for accidentally throwing out my non permanent retainer at Mc Donald's and at school when I was little. Grrrr.... Hopefully, I can get it fixed soon.

Two Special White Trash Moments

The other day I was waiting patiently in line at Holiday to pay for my ghetto ice tea, the giant Arizona Green Tea, when I heard the most ignorant and appalling statement I have ever heard in my life. "Man, she's got it made. I needs to gets me one of those. It be so much easier to get around." The woman was talking about a wheelchair. She kept going on and on about how great this would be. Her friend kept trying to get her to quiet down, but she wouldn't. I really wanted to say something, but I was so speechless, I didn't know what to say. I just stood there, dumbfounded. The woman in the wheelchair overheard this nonsense and came over. She told the super rude woman "at least you can use your legs." The Super rude woman didn't get it. And probably never will. I really give the woman in the wheelchair credit for that. Wow.

While driving home from Milwaukee, I stopped at a Mc Donald's in the middle of no where WI for my favorite car trip treat, a cheeseburger Happy Meal. Yum. The second I entered the building, I wanted to run back to my car. There was two woman with six kids between them and the kids were out of control. Not funny ha-ha out of control, but actual, out of control. They looked like a pack of wild dogs. They were jumping up and down, crying over not getting a soda and running all over. It was a spectacle and it was about to get worse. I turned away for a second and when I glanced over, a three year old had grabbed one of the bags and was grabbing cheeseburgers out of the bag. She proceeded to unwrap one of the cheeseburgers on the floor, put the cheeseburger on the floor, and eat it. Ewww... What did mom do? She asked her, "Did you get the one with the pickles?" I was appalled. Her kid had just eaten a cheeseburger that was on the dirty Mc Donald's floor for longer than five seconds. In addition to the pickles,she probably got some Salmonella, West Nile, Hepatitis, and Ringworm from that floor. I know that we have immune systems, but I don't think they protect against the dirtiest of all floors. The mom's concern for her baby having pickles was the classic do nothing parent. If I had done that when I was little, the cheeseburger would've went in the garbage and we would've went home, where I would've been punished. Of course, I knew how to behave in public. I saved my bad behavior for home. The kicker for me, was watching the family walk to their van with one of the kids running around outside without shoes on. Ewww... So Klassy. Klassy with a K, that is.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Wristlet

It just occurred to me that in my last post, I failed to post a picture of the Marc by Marc Jacobs Wristlet. Silly me. I posted a picture of the Marc by Marc Jacobs bag with the wristlet inside, but unless you had X-ray vision, you couldn't see it. So, here it is:

Isn't it so fun? The inside has tons of room and pockets for things, too. I heart Marc Jacobs.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back From Vacation


I'm back from my trip to Milwaukee and Chicago. I have to admit it was hard to come back, I had such a good time. I am really not looking forward to going back to work this afternoon. That is going to be a rude awakening. I did have six days in a row off. Which, in my world is unheard of. Anyways, back to the fun. Here's a picture of the roses from my Dad's awesome garden.

I am always so impressed and amazed by my Dad's garden. It takes up a huge portion of his backyard. And requires so much work. The one thing about Milwaukee I will never miss is the lack of quality radio stations. It is seriously the music void of the Midwest. As I was driving into town, I was listening to New Rock 102.1 and they were playing the same stuff I recall from 12 years ago. Not exactly New Rock. More like Old Rock. I heard local Milwaukee fave, the Gufs song "Smile." It was big when I was in high school. And the Offspring. Sigh.

I took the train down to Chicago. It's so affordable. It only cost me $37 round trip. And it only takes an hour and a half. Not, only did I save gas and time, I saved my sanity. I abhor driving in Chicago. I never would've gotten there in an hour and a half. Maybe three and a half hours. My Dad had to leave me with some words of wisdom before dropping me off at the train. "Remember that Chicago isn't like Minneapolis. It's a big city like New York." Oh my gosh! Really? I thought they were the same. I am so not country. And not stupid. I proved my city-savvy by beating out a woman for a cab at the train station. She tried to talk her way into me letting her have my cab because she had been waiting there longer than I. I don't think so.
Anyways, my friend, Steve and I checked out Millennium park, which very cool. And a huge tourist draw, which you can tell by the people surrounding it. I love how modern it is. Yet, it is odd to see something like this in a city.

This is the Bean . Sort of trippy. You can walk underneath it, which is even cooler.



While in Chicago, I did a lot of shopping. The stores there are so much better than here. Even the Old Navy is better. It's bigger and had great displays. It almost didn't look like an Old Navy. Shocking, I know. The highlight, though, had to be the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Bucktown. I heart Marc Jacobs. His store was really cool. The best part is they carry affordable gifty items that everyone can afford. I bought a rust colored wristlet for only $25. For Marc by Marc Jacobs. This makes up for the fact that I can't afford the super cute dresses that look like Marc designed them with me in mind.

Here is my wristlet, hanging out at the bar (in the safety of the bag). I have to admit that I was pretty obnoxious showing off my bag. But, it's not everyday that I buy Marc Jacobs. The other cool thing is shoes stores carry an awesome selection of sneakers. Tons and tons of unique Nikes, Pumas, and Converse. I did use my restraint and didn't buy any shoes. Woo-hoo. It was hard, though. I love fun sneakers, but really need to wear the ones I have.
All in all, it was a good vacation. I got to hang out with my friend Steve and catch up with my relatives that I haven't seen in a couple of years. The one thing I didn't do is go to Dunkin' Donuts. I saw a really big one with a Baskin Robbins in it, but I wasn't hungry for a donut. Sad, I know.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Gots the Skillz to Pay the Billz

My Dad's latest kick is that I need to have a "career" and not a "job." Actually, he's been on his "Career" vs. a "Job" soapbox for six months now. A "career" is something that provides you with adult-benefits like a 401K, paid vacation days, and the opportunity to stay with the company until the day you die. A "job" might have some of those adult-benefits, but it's just a job. More than likely you can't stay with your "job" until the day you die. Or if you do, you'd be in the same position as you started. I would like to believe that a job can turn into a career and a career can turn into a job. My theory is I am content as long as I can pay my bills and have a little left over for fun. Also, times are different. It's not 1968 where you stay with a company forever. Frankly, I don't think I could handle that. I am way too restless. In these crappy economic times, I am fortunate to have a job. My Dad means well. I just think a little bit differently than he does.

I only have two days of work at my "job" this week! Woo-hoo! I am going to Milwaukee to visit my Dad and to Chicago to see a friend and my rellies. I am so excited. I haven't taken a trip in several years. I really need a break. Thank goodness my "job" has excellent adult benefits like vacay (Ok, I'll put the sarcasm away).





Sunday, June 15, 2008

Just Walk Away

In honor of Father's Day, I bring you the best of the best of my Dad's lectures. First, I should share, that I my Dad lives for the lecture. When I was younger he imparted lots of good information, but as I got older I noticed that the lectures got less pertenent and more along the lines of "Are you kidding me? Do I look stupid" variety. I know he means well, but seriously pumpkin carving and fireworks safety? I'm already aware of it.

Anyways, the best lecture my Dad ever gave was during the summer of 02'. My cousin, Andrew and I road tripped from Minneapolis to Milwaukee to help my Dad clean out the basement. We were going to Summerfest (this huge music fest along the lake front in Milwaukee) with my friend, Tiff. Before we left, my Dad gave his standard safety lecture, but about half-way through, it took a weird turn. I didn't have any idea where my Dad was going. I thought he was heading towards the dangers of drugs and alcohol lecture, but he skipped right passed that. We stood clueless for a while waiting for the big message. After he rambled for a while he got to his point: if someone bumps into you or spills beer on you, JUST WALK AWAY. So simple. Wise words from Dad. It makes sense. And it can be use for a variety of situations. It was our big joke at Summerfest. To this day, my cousin and I still joke about it. My Dad's proud that one of his lectures were remembered and put to use on a daily basis.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Month Until My Birthday!

I'm a month away from saying goodbye to my twenties! So excited! I'm very ready to leave my twenties behind. Over them. Way over them.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Retail Baby


Yesterday my friend came up with a new catch phrase, "retail baby" to describe me. I think this term is quite fitting and I'm also not really sure what it means. I do, however, see this term being popular on the streets. It has huge potential. I could see two catty girls talking about a co-worker: "She is such a retail baby. That's why she got the promotion."
Let me explain... I'm a "retail baby" because I've got retail in my blood. There's no fighting it. On my Dad's side of the family, I'm third generation to have worked retail. My grandpa worked for JCP for 40 years. My two uncles followed in his foot steps and my dad sold shoes and swept floors there in high school. I even had an old mannequin when I was little. My mom worked for Marshall Field's at their State Street location in the bed and bath department. We talk retail at the holidays, too. As for me, I've got 5.5 years of retail fun under my belt. That's six holiday seasons. I still have my sanity, too. Yeah, I'm a retail baby.

Summer Hater


nataliedee.com


Once again, I heart Natalie Dee. This cartoon is so me. I am a Summer Hater. I try to get by without buying summer specific clothing. I like to find clothing that can work for multiple seasons. I don't wear shorts, instead I wear dresses, skirts, capris, or I crazily cuff my jeans. I'll throw on a tee or a tank and away I go. Maybe if I lived in California, where it's warmer most of the year, I might invest in more summer specific clothing, but it really doesn't make sense living in the Midwest, where winter is three-quarters of the year.

The Hazards of Life

I think I am getting Carpal Tunnel. I haven't been to the doctor, but I did my own self-diagnosis on WebMd last night. Today I am going to Target to purchase one of those lovely brace dealies. I've known for twelve years that this is probably inevitable. I am always typing on my computer and a lot of my jobs have been repetition filled. It is also my own fault. I am not always very careful how I carry large piles of clothing around at work. My preferred method is to grab a massively large handful of hangars between my thumb and my index finger. Yeah, I know that's not the best, but it's the fastest. I will have to stop that. It's just super frustrating. It's very hard not to use my left hand. I am a lefty, after all. Although, it does help that I am ambidextrous. It's what happens when you grow up in a right handed world. I can play most sports right or left handed. I was a fierce switch hitter when I played softball. I can use right handed scissors on my left hand (don't ask). Hopefully, I can cure this by resting my left hand and adjusting my routines. Cross your fingers...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

This is My Confession...

Ok, ok. I've been hiding this secret for far too long. Granted, it's not as exciting as Usher's confession... but it has potential for causing people's jaws to drop. Here it goes: I am not a fan of "Sex and the City" and I don't get it. I know, I know. Everyone on the planet loves the show and has already seen the movie. It's probably a crime to not like it. I have only seen a couple of episodes and I really couldn't get into it. When the show premiered, I was in college and my cynicism and non conformist attitudes were through the roof (I've really mellowed in my old age). I was pretty much the Daria of my social group. I even wore a green army style shirt with my Doc Martens boots. I found SJP really, really, really annoying and I hated her little voice-overs. The cynic in me couldn't believe that she was really a writer. Now, ten years later with the release of the movie, I am finding it slightly embarrassing to not be able to partake in conversations with people about SATC. I am sort of wondering what I missed out on. It seems like everyone watched it. It's the universal show for women, young and old alike. And the fashions. If nothing else, that would've sucked me in. Although, ten years ago, I didn't really have a sophisticated sense of style myself, but I still appreciated crazy outlandish clothing. Heck, I still liked to wear overalls out in public ( I've stopped that and encourage others to do the same).

I feel like I am caving to peer pressure. I am super curious and might go see the movie. I never cave to peer pressure. I think it's a curiousity about the hype.

So, there's my confession. I feel better. Hopefully, Usher felt better, too with his confession. His was huge: he had a baby by another woman and she's keeping it. That is so major.



Friday, May 30, 2008

At Peace

For the first time in about six months, I am completely at peace and comfortable with everything in my life. It's really nice not to be so stressed out and to not get a tension headache everyday. I hope this can last. Crossing my fingers...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who Does Stuff Like This?

Today I went down to the basement to throw in a load of laundry when I discovered that someone has been using my laundry detergent. There's no way I've used 3/4 of a bottle so quickly. No way. I don't do that much laundry. It has to be my neighbors. I live in a duplex and my roommate wouldn't do something like that. I just don't get it. If they were out of detergent, please ask me. I'd be happy to let them use my detergent. This just strikes me as such immature college behavior. Back in the days of college, this probably would've started WW III with my roommates. Of course, back then, it was who used my cookie sheet? Or who ate my chili? I just don't get it. I would never do something like that without asking. I guess I'll have to keep my detergent locked up in my apartment. It's so much more convenient to keep it in the basement, but I can't afford to keep buying more detergent.

This same sort of behavior is occurring at work, as well. Someone has been raiding the frig and cupboards and eating other people's food. Nothing outstanding, either. Half-eaten, day-old Subway sandwiches, leftover frozen pizza, leftover salads and yogurt. Seriously? I really don't get that. If you're going to eat someone's food, make it good. I really don't get this. It's usually not too hard to figure out who's eating the food. Just don't do it! This behavior is just so odd and childish. It reminds me of the episode of "Friends" where Monica makes Ross one of her special sandwiches-- leftover turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Ross brings the sandwich to work and someone eats it. Long story short, Ross goes crazy and is fired. I think this is one of those things I will never understand. What it comes down to is a lack of respect for other people's property and a general immaturity and serious lameness.

J.Crew Style on a Target Budget



I absolutely love J.Crew. I've loved it since I was in high school--back when I was into wool sweaters. About a year ago, J.Crew turned all upscale and the prices reflected this. I still drool over the catalog, but really can't afford a $230 pair of flats made of Italy leather or $195 cute as hell blazer. Until now. I was at Target the other day, looking at the clearance shoes, when I found the above flats. They look exactly like the J.Crew ones, but they were only $4.98! What a steal! I am ok with the fact that they're not made out of Italian satin. In fact, that's probably a good thing. I could just see myself ruining an pair of Italian satin in about five seconds. I'm so excited. They're so pretty. And very J. Crewish. And they won't break my bank.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Have You Seen My Motivation?

I seemed to have lost my motivation. I last had it while driving home for work. I was so excited and mentally psyched to spend all evening working on my latest Top Secret Project (to be reveled at a later date). I worked on it for a little bit, ate dinner, worked on it some more and that was about it. writer's block hit me. I know exactly what I want to say, but I can't connect. So. Very. Frustrating. I probably aggravated my lack of motivation and writer's block by staring at my computer screen blankly. Grrr... I am hoping I have better luck tomorrow

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Where Does My Time Go?

I really need a 30 hour day. I just don't feel like I have enough time to get everything done that I need to. Grrrr.... Maybe just building a time machine would help, too.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

National Week of Hell

This week has been dragging on and on and on and on. It was bad when I thought it was Thursday and it was only Tuesday. I feel like it's been the longest week on record, which is why I'm affectionately referring to this week as the National Week of Hell. I'm so glad it's Friday tomorrow and I've got the weekend off. I seriously might spend most of my time sleeping.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lack of Focus



This picture really sums up how I'm feeling today. No, I haven't come down with a mad case of rabies. I have absolutely no focus and I'm way too random. Which, is a bad thing. Usually, I embrace randomness, but today it's driving me nuts. I don't work until 3 today and I wanted to take advantage of the extra time to accomplish a long list of tasks. Sadly, I fear that I'll get nothing done.
Just in case you're wondering what the heck I'm doing in the picture, I'll fill you in.... I am helping to clean up the frig. I was in Jackson Hole, WY with the family about three years ago and it's the last night and we have to stuff ourselves silly with the food in the frig. It's better to get sick than to waste food. I think I have a mouthful of Cool Whip or ice cream. I can't tell.
Ok. I am going to atttempt to not be the poster child for adult ADD.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Today's Moment of Clarity Brought to You by Soul Asylum

Today while I was driving home from work "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum was on the radio. I was never a huge Soul Asylum fan, but for some reason, I resisted the urge to change the station. Sort of glad that I did. As I was literally parked on 4th Street headed towards Central, I had this huge realization that this song really describes my life right now. Who would've ever guess that a song that was popular twelve years ago, would hit home. The chorus was the part that practically screamed at me:

"Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here nor there."
Wow. It's as if David Pierner climbed inside my head. It's just so fitting. The image of the a runaway train fits so well. It's my life in a nutshell right now. It was like it was a wake up call to get my life back on track. I love it when a song hits so close to home. It is so very comforting. Right now that's about the best thing ever. And I have a song from 1994 to thank. Ahhh....Soul Asylum.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Post Office Made Me Go Postal

Today as part of my running errands kick, I stopped at the post office to get some stamps to mail Mother's Day cards. I left empty handed. I couldn't handle the crazy line. It was about half-way back to the door. I probably should've waited, but I just can't handle long lines at the post office. It drives me crazy. I always get stuck with someone in front of me who doesn't have any idea how it works to mail something. Or someone is so indecisive if they want Star Wars stamps or flowers. It's a stamp, just pick one! No one cares. I wonder if the massive line was due to the stamp price increase next week. It has to be. Or mailing Mother's Day presents. I'll have to pick a better time to go back. Maybe I need to practice being patient. Although, it is the place where I freak out and have little patience. It makes me want to go postal. No one wants to see that.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

For the Love of Bad Customer Service

Yesterday on my break at work, I got a cup of coffee from Starbucks and went over to For Love, the accessories store of Forever 21. I am on the hunt for a necklace to go with my dress for a wedding. I was in the store for a grand total of ten minutes and no one said a word to me. There was about four sales associates that were apparently too cool for school to talk to me. They greeted and acknowledged every other customer in the store. I was staring at a wall of necklaces when Suzie Sales Associate made her way over to me to inform me that I couldn't have a drink in the store. She would be happy to hold the drink for me at the counter while I shopped. WTF. Great customer service skill. She had a great totally teen attitude, too. Nobody else noticed. My beverage had a lid on it and I wasn't planning on dumping it all over the cheap merchandise. I could see if I had a big cup of soda sans lid or a big pretzel with a cup of cheese, but I was holding a cup of coffee with a lid on it. I was so shocked. I have never been in a store where you couldn't have a beverage with a lid on it. I didn't know what to do. I told Suzie that I was on my way out anyways. She was so snotty about it. I wasn't about to leave my drink with her. She'd probably spill it or put something in it. I wanted to ask her if her mommy drove her to work. Or where was the sign about no Food or Drink in the store? I just can't be that customer no matter how much I want to. I am partial to the rock star exit of dumping the coffee slowly onto the table of scarves and knocking the table over. Sadly, I am not a rock star and cannot do something like that no matter how much I want to. Plus, I paid money for the coffee and I'd like to enjoy it.

I just left. My coffee didn't taste as good because of rude snotty Suzie. It really isn't worth it to make a scene with a snotty teen who makes six dollars an hour. I can find better jewelry at thrift stores anyways.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Vampire Weekend and Sunglasses

The other day I finally bought the Vampire Weekend CD, Vampire Weekend. It is my new favorite CD. I love the happy and poppy sound of all the songs. It's the perfect spring/ summer CD. Especially here in Minnesota, where spring seems like months away. Vampire Weekend sort of reminds me of Bloc Party, with a slightly retro 60's feel. They are amazing. It is one of the few CDs that I've bought recently where I actually like the entire CD. The best part is Vampire Weekend ended my month long Radiohead Fest. I had Ok Computer and The Bends on autorepeat with a bit of In Rainbows thrown in for good measure. That's way too much Radiohead for one person. Trust me. Shockingly, my mood is better now.

I finally bought myself a pair of prescription sunglasses. Part of it was the cost and part of it was my general laziness. Plus, I didn't realize that you could actually get fun, trendy, cute frames. I recall when I was little and my parents wanted me to have prescription sunglasses and they had an old pair of my glasses turned into sunglasses with the old prescription in them. Looking back, I applaud my parents' frugalness, but for a teen, that's the kiss of death. I hated the frames and wearing an old prescription gave me a headache. I went to the Target Optical center in my neighborhood Super Target. I was so surprised at the selection of frames for glasses and sunglasses. Very fashion forward. Plus, the employees let you browse. I was shocked. I hate how at the Big Box Optical Centers, they pounce on you and won't let go. I usually have an idea of what I want and don't need someone else forcing their opinions on me. I ended up with a fun pair of Nicole Miller frames that are very 80s. Plus, they have a classic quality about them. I didn't want to buy a pair of uber trendy Olsen twin sunglasses that would be ugly next year. In the world of eyeglasses, it is impossible to find frames and lens for under $300. Not the case at Target. So excited.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shoes That Won't Break The Bank

I found the best deal EVER today at DSW. These shoes were only $14.98 I couldn't pass them up. I saw these shoes a couple of months ago and I loved them, but couldn't justify spending $50 on them. I love the vintage quality and the fun gold trim. Plus, they sort of remind me of tap shoes (I've always wanted to be a tap dancer). I heart patent leather, too. I plan on wearing them to my cousin's wedding next month. I'm wearing a black and white sheath dress and the shoes will work perfectly. Very Jackie-O. The shoes are super comfortable, so I'll actually be able to wear them for the entire time and not have to bring a pair of flats as back up.

Leave Poor Miley Alone

I really feel bad for Miley Cyrus with the controversy over her photo shoot with Vanity Fair. The picture is completely in good taste. It's not slutty at all. I think it is very tasteful. I was expecting a Maxim style picture. When I saw the picture, I thought, "This is what everyone is in an uproar over?" I don't see anything wrong with it. Poor girl. She's wrapped in a sheet and is showing about 12 inches of bare back. Oh my gosh! That is so immoral! Put some clothes on her! Essentially it is the equivalent of wearing a strapless formal dress. America is in an uproar over this picture. People claim that she's not a good role model for kids or the picture is scandalous. I am so tired of all this. She didn't do anything wrong. It's an artsy, tasteful picture. It's not like she did a spread for Playboy. But, here comes the Conservative Right ready to jump in and make much ado about nothing. They've turned it into an issue of teenage girls being too grown up and skanky. I agree that that's a problem, but Miley isn't fueling it. She is a so-called role model for kids because she's on television. Out of all the people kids could look up to, I don't think she's a bad one. She strikes me as a normal kid. Parents should be using this as an opportunity to show their kids how Miley doesn't compromise her integrity and expressed herself in a tasteful manner. It's art. I am sure these are the same parents that are upset when their child sees a nude statue at an art museum.

Now poor Miley is embarrassed by her picture, which I find unfortunate. She should be proud of her picture. I think Disney brainwashed her. Not too many people get to work with Annie Leibovitz. And as a 15 year old? Even less. We're diminishing this great opportunity that Miley had. Isn't there something else to sensationalize? Maybe Mischa Barton wore an ugly outfit out in public. Or Britney tripped getting out of her car. Now, those are real stories.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Coffee Detox

I love a good cup of coffee with a splash of cream. Lately, though, I have been consuming waaay too much coffee. Take yesterday, for example, I had a cup and a half before I went to work. For my drive to work I drank 3/4 of my travel mug, and with my lunch I had a grande iced coffee. Yep. That's too much coffee for one person. Early in the afternoon, I felt like I was on crack. I had this crazy energy that I couldn't contain. It was horrible. This is not my normal coffee intake. Usually, the most I'll drink is three cups a day. I've just been so burnt out lately, that I feel like I need the extra cup (or two or three) to survive the day. Better yet, a coffee IV would be great. I must find a way to cut back. I can't cut caffeine out of my diet, because I these horrible headaches and I turn into a monster. It really isn't pretty for anyone. This week my goal is to only consume coffee in the am. In the afternoon, if I need a pick me up, I'll have a Vitamin Water or a can of soda. Hopefully, this helps.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ugh

This morning I had to scrap snow off my car. It's almost May. Can we please have spring? Seriously. Why does winter have to keep showing up? I am so over winter. I didn't wear a winter coat today. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I did put on gloves, though. And a spring jacket. Perfect attire for scraping snow off my car during a Global Warming Spring.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Outraged at American Idol

At least once a season on "American Idol," I am left dumbfounded at who America thinks is talented. Tonight it happened again. I really don't understand what criteria people use for voting. Maybe the tone deaf and dumb voted. Seriously. The bottom two didn't deserve to be in the bottom. Carly rocked. She was herself and "Jesus Christ Superstar" fit her big voice. Syesha did a great job with a really obscure song from "Starlight Express." Little miss wannabe singer songwriter Brooke who forgot the lyrics and started over is safe. I just don't understand. That is not the person I want to be my American Idol. She caves under pressure. As someone who has performed myself,I know you don't start over. I messed up in piano recitals and I forgot lines in plays. Did I start over? Noooo... I ad-libbed or just kept right on going. That's what a real performer does.

ARGH. Now, I am officially angry. Carly didn't deserve to go. I am blaming it on conservative America. How could Carly be the next American Idol when she has a tattoo? But, Brooke. She's so cute and sweet, poor little thing was nervous and forgot her lines. America likes the vanilla contestants.

What have I learned from this? I need to vote every week. Grrr.... Yes, it is just a television show, but it makes me mad when the talented go home too soon and we're left with the boring, bland contestants like Brooke. Apparently America is too stupid to recognize talent.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mmm...Donuts

What could possibly be better than Christmas? Eating a real Dunkin' Donuts donut in my 'hood. Today I ventured over to Cafe Donuts, 5001 Central Ave NE Columbia Heights. From the outside it looks like just a regular Ma and Pa donut shop, but on the inside it's all Dunkin' Donuts. They have all the wonderful varieties of my childhood, too. I am so excited! Even better--they still taste the same. The only thing that's different is I can successfully eat a jelly donut without getting the filling all over me. As a kid, my parents made me eat those outside or in the garage, so I wouldn't create a big mess all over the house. I am so glad I finally found good quality donuts in Minneapolis.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

No More Junk Food!

It's hard to pin point when it happened, but I've fallen off the healthy eating wagon. I think it might have been around Easter. I haven't been eating good, solid, healthy meals lately. I'm not quite sure way. I have had way too much junk food lately. I'm blaming the long, crappy, never-ending winter. And my addiction to Puff Corn. Whatever triggered it, it needs to end now. I am hoping that the warmer weather and better fruits and veggies being in season might help me eat healthier. I'm not 22 anymore where I can eat anything without any consequences. It never helps when the vending machine at work has yummy treats like peanut butter M&M's and Chili Cheese Fritos. I am being hard on myself because I used to be good about staying away from junk food. Grrr... I'm not sure what happened. I'm going to start eating better, though.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

AHHH! The Crazy Cat Lady


nataliedee.com


The cat t-shirt is my favorite part. It's classic crazy cat lady. Something I hope to avoid turning into when I am old.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dunkin Donuts Lives On in MN!

Today I discovered from a co-worker that Dunkin' Donuts is hiding from me--right in my 'hood. I am so excited. Apparently, there's a donut shop called Donut Time/ Donut Depot on Central Ave. and 46th-ish street in NE Minneapolis/ Columbia Heights. Donut Time looks just like a Dunkin' Donuts on the inside and sells real, authentic Dunkin' Donuts! This is better than Christmas! Before you think I'm crazy, I haven't had a Dunkin' Donuts donut in about 12 years. Since I was in high school. They are the official donut of my childhood. Growing up, there always seemed to be a Dunkin' Donuts on ever corner. Not anymore. The past couple of years, I've been on a nostalgia fueled crusade to locate a DD. I couldn't find one in Detroit and I'm never in the right area in Chicago to go to one. All this time, one is practically in my backyard. I can almost smell the Munchkin donut holes. This weekend, I'm going to check this place out. I only hope this isn't another thing that should stay in my childhood like Spaghetti O's and Dippin' Sticks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shhh! Don't Scare Spring Away! (And Other Randomness)

I really hate to even mention this, but I think it's safe to say that Winter is over with! Yay! Today is such a beautiful day! After last week, I thought Winter would never leave. Especially after driving home last Thursday night in a real life slushie machine. Yuck. I am so excited to put my winter coats away and bring out my spring jackets. Not to mention spring clothes. I am tired of my winter clothes.

Happy "Juno" DVD release day! I already bought my copy. Yeah, I know, I am such a dork. My cousin even pre-ordered it from Best Buy and got it yesterday. I bought the special addition that come with the shooting script. I am so excited to read that. I am hoping it inspires my own writing. Plus, it comes with a digital copy for my iPod. I love special features like that.

Also, Happy Tax Day! Woo-hoo. My taxes went in the mail on Saturday. I can't wait for my refund. Actually, what I really can't wait for is the Economic Stimulus Refund. I heart free money.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another Quarter Life Crisis Averted!

natalie dee
nataliedee.com



A couple of weeks ago I almost had another Quarter Life Crisis. I've had two official ones and several unofficial ones. I'm just the Quarter Life Crisis Queen. I guess I figured that wasn't enough and I should have one more before I turn thirty. Seriously, can I just turn thirty right now and leave my twenties behind? I can't take much more of this. I am my own worst enemy. I had myself so upset and frustrated with my life that I was contemplating joining a circus and traveling around the country. Ok. That last part is an exaggeration. I would never join the circus. I hate clowns. I really wasn't thinking very rationally or looking at the big picture. Luckily, a friend was able to talk some sense into me and I worked my way out of a full-blown QLC. It just wasn't a very pleasant experience filled with lots of crabbiness, emotional eating, and Radiohead music. Things seem to be much better since I got the last mini QLC out of me.

Ugh. I just need to turn thirty. A little less than four months to go! Seriously, my thirties have to be better than my twenties, right? Thirty is the new Twenty.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Just Don't Get It...

This is going to make me very unpopular with the local music fans of the Twin Cities, but I don't care. Last night I saw local band turned national music media darlings, Tapes n Tapes on Conan. I was unimpressed. The only word I can use to describe them is: overrated. They're not bad, but they're not great. They're just meh at best. They just don't seem to live up to their hype. Tapes n Tapes is really nothing special. They seem the same as every other Indie Rock band. Everyone else in this town seems to think they are the best band ever. I just don't understand it. I've never understood it. I saw them before they broke nationally (before Erik Applewick jumped on the bandwagon), at the Hexagon, and I just thought they were ok. Mediocre at best. I would never go out of my way to see them, but they also don't make me want to rip out my eardrums, either.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

So True


nataliedee.com

Yet another gem from Natalie Dee. I heart her!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Super Hack

I would like to add Timbaland to my list of people in the music industry who drive me nuts (he's in good company with Adam Levine and Nickelback). This might seem to come out of nowhere, but he has completely ruined the One Republic song, "Apologize." It is so much better without his annoying little touches. All he added to the song is a couple of beats and a "hey, hey." I am sorry but a small child without a musical background could come up with that nonsense. When the song is listed on the charts or played on the radio he receives most, if not all of the credit. It's credited as Timbaland featuring One Republic or my personal fave, simply Timbaland. Did Timbaland write the song? Noooo. Oh, but he arranged it and ruined a good song. Yes, that requires full credit. The song is great on it's own. It's a nice, poppy ballad a la Journey. It really didn't need the help of Mr. Super Producer Timbaland. Ugh. Every time I hear the original version I hear the stupid beats and the "hey, hey," they're engraved in my brain. I've been brainwashed by Timbaland. Someone help me!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Cleaning!

Today I finally got motivated for some spring cleaning. Back in December I went through my closet and got rid of all the clothes I never wear, but I never went through my dresser. I managed to fill three grocery bags full of goodies that I don't wear anymore. In fact, I put less back into my dresser than I took out. Hooray! I had tanks and tees that were in horrible shape and some that I just don't wear anymore. I was also shocked to discover that I own more leggings and tights than American Apparel. I don't even know how that happened. I think it's one of those things that I can't pass up when they are on sale. Note to self: next time I should. I have more tights/leggings than I have skirts. I went through my purses, too. This was a really hard thing for me to do. I always think I need to have a Rubbermaid size tote with purses on hand. Today after going through the tote, I realized that I have the strangest collection of purses EVER. They run the gamut from totally teen to old woman. I have no idea how that happened. It was scary, though. I uncovered one of those initial purses and a beige Sak purse that looked like something a 60 year woman would carry. I also have an absurd amount of silly going out bags that look ridiculously cheap. Lately, I've been very cautious about clothing purchases. I don't want to end up with the scary wasteland of clothes ever again. It does feel good to get rid of all the crap. More importantly, I have a clear idea of what I need to buy for summer.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oprah Says Jump Off a Cliff

It really amazes me how women are so brainwashed by Oprah. Seriously. Oprah could tell women to rub dog poop on their faces to look younger and everyone would. There's something about Oprah that makes her the expert on everything. If Oprah has UGGS and a Juicy tracksuit, then I should too! Oprah loves Beloved. It's my favorite book, too! Oprah endorses Obama, I like him too! I just don't get it. I used to think it was just stupid women who live in the backhills of Arkansas, but smart women buy into Oprah, too. Maybe because I like to think for myself or I see through Oprah's act, but this doesn't work on me. I am also highly cynical and can see through her marketing ploys.

The other day, while checking out the sales section in the shoe department at Kohl's, I saw Oprah's power in action. I I overheard a middle-aged women say, " I really should get these leopard print flats. Oprah says that every woman needs a pair of leopard print flats." I was so shocked, that I had to look around the aisle to see if this was true. It was real. Her friend agreed and she bought the shoes. Wow. That's brainwashing. I knew Oprah was powerful, but to see it in action in suburban Minnesota solidified the power of Oprah on women. To clarify, there's a big difference between seeing something on television and wanting it because you like it than buying something because Oprah said you need them. I'd much rather hear someone say, "oh, I should get these leopard print shoes; they're really fun" than "Oprah told me to buy these."

The influence of celebrity scares me. Women should be thinking for themselves, not doing things because they come with Oprah's seal of approval. What will women do because Oprah does it? How far will they go? Will they go get a trainer, a cook, and a huge condo because Oprah has these things? Will people buy 10 Juicy track suits because Oprah has them? Would you jump off a cliff because Oprah says it's OK? Not me. I'm thinking for myself.

I Love This Ad!

IBM has the greatest series of ads, "Stop Talking, Start Doing." This one, "Ideating" is my favorite. There's a series of about four or five ads that are constantly played on the NCAA tournament. I think everyone has worked with someone who is all about the buzz words. They're the person that is all talk and no action. It always amazes me how people don't see through the bs. Buzz words don't solve problems. It's like the buzz words brainwash them. The series of ads are just genius. Very well done and so very funny.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dress Hunt '08

I've got two weddings to attend this summer. That means I need to find dresses to wear to them. I do have some cute sun dresses that I could wear, but I am just tired of them. Dresses are such a pain to shop for. I admit, I am a bit particular. I want something unique and something I might actually wear again. It just seems like all the dresses out there fit into two categories: super skanky teeny bopper or old lady. Since I fit into neither category, it makes it more challenging. Over the weekend, I thought I had found the perfect dress. I was shopping with the relatives at Kohl's when I stumbled upon the cutest Simply Vera dress. I loved the slightly retro style and the color combo is perfect for my hair and complexion. I could actually see myself wearing this again. Plus, if the weather was unpredictable, I could throw a blazer or sweater over it. The best part was the dress was on sale and I had a 15% off coupon. I tried the dress on and it fit me like a mumu. I had plenty of room for a mom pouch. Perfect for playing crabby old lady. All I needed was a pair of terry cloth slippers. I was so mad. The kicker: I tried on the XS. I am small, but I am not Olsen twin small. I just assumed that the dress would be cut on the small side, since it was Vera Wang. I forgot I was at Kohl's. It's just so strange. I can usually fit into misses sized clothes. Sigh. It looks like dress hunt '08 continues.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter from Scary Cat


Nothing says Easter like a little kitten with a disturbing look on her face. It makes me chuckle. If I was a little kid, this image would terrify me. It is better suited for Halloween than Easter. What was the marketing gurus at Starbursts thinking? Hmmm.... cute little ducks and bunnies are too much of an Easter cliche! We want a kitten with a psycho look on her face. What's wrong with fluffy? Did she eat too much tuna or did her owners abandon her? My guess is she has an angry look on her face because someone didn't finish their jellybeans. This Easter make sure scary cat doesn't get you; eat all your jellybeans. Happy Easter!

Go Away Winter!

I thought I was done dressing like Marge Gunderson a la "Fargo" apparently it's not quite time to put away my parka and my winter boots. Seriously, I am done with winter! No more. I guess it's not really that bad because the snow won't stick around. Today was the last straw having to shovel snow. It's just a pain to keep switching from winter coat to spring coat to parka in the course of a week. I do realize that it is Minnesota and it can pretty much snow until Memorial Day; I'd just like to enjoy spring for a change.

While I was outside shoveling the sidewalk, a man was attempting to plow the streets/ sidewalk, but was having a horrible time maneuvering the truck (he kept having to backing up, inching forward, repeat several times move). I sort of felt bad for him, until I got a little closer. He was having a conversation on his cell phone. Seriously. If you're going to be plowing anything, perhaps it would be easier to not talk on your phone. Duh. It did make me chuckle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Puffcorn: The Lazyman's Popcorn

I am hopelessly addicted to Old Dutch's Puffcorn. It is the best stuff ever! I swear it has to be laced with crack because it is so addicting. Puffcorn combines the salty, buttery taste of popcorn with the air-puffed goodness of a cheesy poof. It's super cheap,too. Target sells a big ass bag for $2.30. The other night I ate half a bag while watching television. The only problem with Puffcorn is I can't stop eating it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Randomness

Daylight Saving Time is still kicking my ass. Last night I couldn't fall asleep at all! Once I did fall asleep, I kept waking up every couple of hours like a senior citizen. Ugh. It was awful. This morning I had the hardest time getting out of bed and felt like I had been up for three days. So tired of this! I just want to feel normal. Hopefully, this ends soon.

I worked on my screenplay yesterday. I wrote four pages and I planned out the plot. I haven't written any new scenes since December. It feels good. I think I was motivated by "Juno." I am hoping I can keep this up.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Juno

I finally got around to seeing "Juno" today. Wow. It was fabulous. I was so amazed. It literally brought me to tears because it was such a well-done movie. When it was over, I was a bit sad. I seriously could've watched it again. It's well-written and well-acted. It is the best teen-pregnancy movie I've ever seen. It has such a fresh, new take on teenage pregnancy. And it wasn't just another teenage comedy, either. Good realistic teenage characters. It had such heart and really explained teenage life in suburbia. I was so impressed. Allison Janney had the perfect "mom" outfits; they really reminded me of my own Mom's wardrobe of comfy clothing. The casting was perfect. I loved Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner as the yuppie couple. Ellen Page is simply amazing.

I really liked the Midwestern suburbia touches of the movie. It is so dead-on. Juno's house has the homey cluttered quality. Her step-mom clearly shops at JCP and Sears. The family has a mini-van. Juno and her friends play pranks on each other. They drink slushies. Yeah, people probably do these things on the east coast, but there's this indescribable Midwestern quality about the movie that made me nostalgic for my own childhood in Midwestern suburbia.

It was nice to finally see the movie and be able to form my own opinions about the movie. I don't understand why people don't think the dialogue wasn't realistic for teens. Juno is a smart. sassy teenager, of course she's going to talk different than an average kid. People also took issue with the catch phrases. That's another part of teenage vernacular. And Diablo really deserved the Oscar. It is so well-written.

I left the theater so inspired to work on my own writing.

Daylight Savings Time= Ugh

I am not a big fan of Daylight Savings Time. I know, I know, we're doing it for those poor kids in Indiana who had to wait for the school bus in the dark. The horror. I do enjoy having it be lighter longer, but it is really hard for my body to get used to it. This phenomenon started a couple of years ago. It must be a side effect of getting old. It seriously takes me a week to get used to DLST. This morning I woke up and felt like crap. I felt like I'd been up late drinking and was horribly hungover. Except, I went to bed early and haven't had any alcohol in days. After a cup of coffee, the pseudo-hangover effect went away, but I still feel like I'm running in my own time zone.

The weird thing is I don't really get jet-lagged when I fly. Granted, I've never left the US, but whenever I end up in the Eastern time zone, I never have a problem adjusting. I have a feeling that my DLST adjustment is psychological. There I said it. This year, I am doing my best to trick myself into not thinking about DLST. It worked yesterday when I had to work at 8 am, after working until 12 am, the night before. Yesterday, I didn't even think about the fact that I was getting up at 5 am instead of 6 am. That actually helped. I was a bit tired and crabby at work, but it really helped in my survival.

At least spring seems to be lurking right around the corner. It's supposed to be in the 40's tomorrow. Woo-hoo! For us Minnesotans, that means a heat wave! Break out the shorts. I am really looking forward to wearing spring jackets. I am tired of my winter coats.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sad

Yesterday I was shocked and saddened to find out that the Oak Street Cinema is more than likely closing its doors in May. I love that theater. I used to go there quite a bit in college. When I lived in T-Hall, it was practically in my backyard. They hosted the Minneapolis- Saint Paul International Film Fest and other cool events. I love old theaters with character. It makes watching movies a much better experience than at the 24 screen multi-plex.

I just hate it when old buildings like that get closed and torn down in order to build more housing. I wish that someone could save it and if they don't show movies there, they could turn it into a restaurant or a club (sorta of a la the Varsity Theater). I'll have to make sure that I make it there one last time before it closes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Road Rage Minnesota Style

This morning my psychic abilities kicked in and told me to leave for work extra early. Good thing I did, because it took me about 35 minutes to go 2 miles. Normally, I could get myself to work in that amount of time. Yikes. I just don't understand you, silly Minnesotans: why does a dusting of snow cause people to forget how to drive and just drive stupid? One would think that we would be old pros. Seriouly. It's the one thing that miffs me. And makes me crabby. Grrr.... At least I managed to arrive at work on time and in one piece.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yet Another Reason Why Tina Fey Rocks

I know I'm a little late with posting about this, but Tina Fey made her return to SNL last Saturday. If you haven't watched her "Weekend Update" segment, you need to watch it here. Seriously. The Hillary part was the best--and so true. Especially the part about women doing what "Oprah" tells them to do (don't even get me started on her). What I love the most about Tina Fey is she's not afraid to speak her mind and tell it like it is. Everything she said is so true. Women don't like other women that are in a position of power or who are outspoken or who get things done. I don't get that. Women should be working together not against each other . I completely agree that "bitch is the new black."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's baaack

It's happening again. I've got a nasty case of writer's block. Argh. I was so excited to have today off. I was planning on writing for most of the day. But, noooo writer's block has to show up and ruin the day. It's not like I don't have ideas, 'cause I've got plenty. I just can't make it happen. I've been staring at my screenplay on my computer screen for an hour and I haven't written a word. Grrrr... I am going to do some dishes and make some coffee. I hope that helps.

Shopping Tales

In between my battle with the flu, I was able to sneak in some shopping. Christine and I checked out the Buffalo Exchange that just opened up at 27th and Lyndale in Uptown. I was really excited because I've heard good things about Buffalo Exchanges. Unfortunately, I left somewhat disappointed. Word on the street is that Buffalo Exchanges carry designer and vintage apparel. Not the Minneapolis one. The store was packed with Target, JCP, GAP, Forever 21, and Old Navy castaways. Many of the garments were priced higher than their actual retail price and looked like someone dragged them behind their cars for miles. I was expecting Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson, Chloe, etc. I would've settled for Free People. Even vintage Marshall Fields, JCP or Sears would've been a treat. Valu Thrift and Unique have a better selection of clothing. The shoe selection was pretty decent and reasonably priced. I found a pair of classic black canvas Vans for only $15. They were in good shape--maybe worn once. I didn't buy them because I really don't need anymore sneakers. Ahhh.... restraint.

What really got me was the customer service. As a seasoned retail veteran, I am understanding to sales associates having bad days or simply being too overworked to go above and beyond the call of duty. What I don't tolerate is non-existent, appalling levels of poor customer service. We were greeted with a feeble "hello" when we walked in the door, but that was the extent of the customer service. Most of the sales associates were too concerned with prancing around in the little outfits they were modeling to even say hi. I am not a high-maintenance shopper, but a little acknowledgement is always nice. Especially when its a new store. Christine and I both got the too cool for school Uptown hipster vibe. I noticed one associate eying me up and down with a nasty look on her face. Apparently, shopping shouldn't be done in a funnelneck sweatshirt and jeans. The kicker was the line at the register for about five minutes. No one noticed, the associates were too into their modelling and staring down the customers. The last time I checked, the name of the retail game is making money. Finally someone came over and rang everyone up.

I did find a cool kelly green leather jacket for $12.50. Here it is:

The picture really doesn't do it justice. It's made of super-soft leather and is perfectly broken in. I love it when I don't have to break in a jacket. And it'll be great for St. Patty's Day.
I will probably give the Buffalo Exchange another chance. It was their opening weekend and they might have been picked over, however, I can't excuse poor customer service.
Last weekend, I checked out one of my favorite stores, Rewind, in NE Minneapolis. They have an excellent selection of vintage clothing and lack the hipster attitude. I can always find something there. Here's what I found:
The denim vest is the coolest vest ever! The brand is Country by Loretta Lynn. How cool is that? I never knew that Loretta Lynn had a line of clothes. I love the 80's country grandma trucker look. The bag I couldn't pass up. I had a tan one when I was little that I carried my piano books in. I also found a cute little panda pin. All of that cost me $20. Hooray!
The moral of my shopping tales is shop with your money. Yes, I did buy a jacket at Buffalo Exchange. I doubt though, that I'll make a habit of shopping there. I'd rather support stores that don't have the too cool for school attitude. Fashion isn't just for the hipsters; it's for everyone. I put up with enough bad attitudes when I'm on the other side of the register (I handle it all with a smile and kindness) that I don't need to deal with them when I'm shopping.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hooray for a Survey!

Here's a survey for you.... I've never done one of those on my blog... I got this one from Catherine's blog.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago? In 1998?

I was a Sophomore at the U studying English and Spanish. Well... those were my "declared" majors. I liked to unofficially change my mind every week. I was freelancing for the Minnesota Daily in my spare time. I also didn't get enough sleep and drank way too much coffee and beer. I got daily naps in whatever boring gen ed. I had.... I think it would've been "Rocks for Jocks" . I spent lots of my time procrastinating. Ahh... those were the days.

Last year?

I had just finished school and I was coasting. Trying to figure out what to do with my life. And as always, trying to set the world on fire and not myself. I was enjoying having more "free time" and a steady paycheck.

2. What are your five favorite snacks?

Popcorn, popcorn and more popcorn. I could eat my weight in popcorn. I love it! I also like apples, chips and salsa, cereal, and ice cream.

3. Five Favorite "Toys?"

My computer, my iPod, a notebook and a good pen, my imagination, and my journal.

4. What I like to do

Writing, reading, watching television, sleeping, thrifting, watching movies, and playing Nancy Drew.

5. My bad habits

I am a procrastinator, a nail bitter, I take on too much, and I'm my own worst critic.