Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shoulda Known Better

The week before last I surrendered to boredom and ordered The Sims 3 from It took about 9 days to get here from Lexington, KY, which would be impressive if the Post Office was still using horse-drawn wagons to transport the mail. I got around to installing it on Thursday evening after church.

Oh boy.

I'm doomed. I'll never accomplish anything ever again. Sims 2 was bad enough for wasting time, with entire weekends being eaten up by marathon Sims-sessions. I'm not bragging about this, mind you, but admitting that I have a problem.

So, Thursday evening I stayed up until 11:00 getting acquainted with the game. At first glance that doesn't seem so very late, but when you consider that I needed to get up at 7:00 the next morning, and I have a difficult time functioning on less than 8 hours of sleep. . . . Last night, I was awake until midnight playing with my Sim. I could have kept on going, but my (limited and computer addled) sense finally kicked in and I went to bed.

But please don't judge me for my geeky gamer tendencies. I spend all day being put-together and professional and it feels good to let my brain check-out for the evening.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I took my brothers, my father, and Emma to the Daughtry/Theory of a Deadman/Cavo concert last night. I had intended to post something about that, but my brother beat me to the punch. There doesn't seem to be any sense in repeating what he already said. If you want to know how it was, read what he wrote. I'll just say be succinct and say that the concert was AWESOME.

Ok, so the concert was awesome. Waking up the next morning after a scant 6 hours of sleep? Not so much. The good news is that I was probably not in the same sort of fix as the trampy chicks who sat in front of me.... Well, sat when they weren't running out to buy more beer. I'm sure they had a lovely day today. No hangover here, just one zombified girl who did not get quite enough sleep. "Quite enough" meaning 10 hours.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Enjoying it while it lasts

My twenty-minutes in the car on the way home was the best part of the day. The sun was shining and I had my windows down, enjoying the nearly 70 degree air. Traffic was relatively sane (although there was that one idiot that seemed oblivious to all other drivers) and I was able to take it easy. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Nearer to home, someone (across the street, and therefore in unincorporated territory where stupid city laws don't apply) was doing a controlled burn of their vegetable garden and the air was full of thick, woody, leafy, autumn-y smoke. At home, Andrew had just finished mowing the lawn and the collision of the two smells--smoke and grass clippings--seemed to fit the weather perfectly.

So, could the weather just stay like this for a while? Please? That whole ice-and-snow thing is pointless.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is Winter over yet? Wait.... It hasn't even started?

As I sit here, wrapped in a blanket and shivering, I really miss my beach. The warm sun. The warm breeze. The warmest softest sand you've ever felt.

The food isn't too bad either.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Casual Day?

This afternoon, the announcement went out that tomorrow is Jeans Day at SUM-Law. Both partners will be out and there are no meetings scheduled, thus giving the paralegals and secretaries a certain feeling of freedom and relaxation. This idea was first run past the associate attorneys (both 20-something males, inclined to put their feet on their desks and wear IU sweatshirts at work when they think no one is looking), who thought it was a brilliant idea.

I suppose I'll be going along with it, although I dislike the idea of casual days at work as a general rule. The more professionally I'm dressed, the more I get done. Tomorrow, it will just take more effort, I suppose.

And this reminds me of one of my pet peeves, encountered this evening at the grocery store: why oh why oh why do medical "professionals" wear scrubs out of work? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? Aren't scrubs supposed to hygienic and aid in controlling germs and all those gross things that can potentially fasten themselves to street wear?

Besides that, they just look slovenly. I know they're supposed to be so comfortable, but so are pajamas and you don't see people. . . . Nevermind.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Exercising my selective memory

I've said before that I'm glad I don't live in the Chicago area, but I'm glad I did live there once. There were any number of reasons that we were all glad to get out of Chicagoland: probably too many to count, any one of which would be enough for it's own post. But I like to remember the fun parts too.

As a kid, I was there for five of the Bulls' six championships, moments of which I remember vividly.... standing in the middle of our great room, watching MJ on our little TV, jumping up and down and screaming. My favorite bedtime story was the Three Little Bulls--Michael, Scottie, and Dennis-- who always managed to conquer their nemesis, be it the Big Bad Barkley or the Big Bad Ewing.

Most of my favorite restaurants are still up in the northwest suburbs. (Drat, now I'm really hungry for a Hackneyburger.)

I still listen to The Roe Conn Show regularly and laugh at Chicago-related jokes.

I still feel a pleasant sensation of nostalgia when I get off work and listen to WLS for the twenty minutes it takes me to get home, especially when Jim Johnson delivers the rush-hour traffic reports. Oh wait. That's not nostalgia. That's schadenfreude.

The very thought of living within Cook, Lake, or McHenry County EVER again fills me with something between annoyance and dread. But it's fun to reminisce.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eleven, please.

One of the things I've had to get used to over the last few months is the daily ride in the elevator. I've never been a big elevator fan. When staying in hotels, I've been known to drag my suitcase up four floors (and not just at the hotel in Italy where that was the only option) to avoid being enclosed in a metal box and suspended within a shaft of unknown depth. I suspect that this senseless aversion has its origins in memories of my five-year-old self sneaking out of bed to watch TV and seeing one of the chicks on L.A. Law fall down an elevator shaft. That really freaked me out.
Now, I need the elevator to get to my office, to get to the building break room, to get to the rest rooms, and to come back down to earth in the evening. Thank goodness, I've gotten used to it and no longer experience any sort of apprehension.

I have noticed, however, that people act differently in elevators. There are the people who engage total strangers in conversation. There are people who look everywhere but at the other person in the elevator (kinda hard since the walls are mirrors.... ). There are the people who smile tentatively at their fellow passengers and then act really interested in their purse or cuffs. Then, there's the blonde from the 7th floor who acts like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, minus the hoodie. She steps on with quick, mechanical steps, keeps her head down, and heads directly for the corner. She stands there, impervious to the conversation around her until the doors open again and she can make her escape. Despite getting to work at approximately the same time and riding seven floors together almost every morning, I've never seen her face. Just her hair. Lots of permed, bleached, crunchy-sprayed hair.

When things feel particularly awkward in the elevator (and whenever Miss 7th Floor steps on), I just think of this and everything seems a little cozier.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Unlike most of my friends, I never thought I wanted to be a teacher. My pals growing up all wanted to be teachers. Or marine biologists. Or pediatricians. Or stunningly beautiful princess-ballerina dancers. I went along with those fads, but I never EVER thought that I should be a teacher. It wasn't because the teachers I knew were so horrible, although they did have a tendency to "seatbelt" children into their chairs and take recess away from the entire class because that one obnoxious eight year old boy in the back wouldn't shut up. (Huh. Turns out I'm still mad about that 14 years later.) Even knowing that my wonderful grandma was a teacher didn't help. I just knew that I did NOT want to be one of them.

It turns out I was wise beyond my years.
Hauptbeispiel: My Sunday School class. I am teaching the 3rd through 5th grade class, comprised of 5-9 girls (only girls, for some reason). They are all very sweet and smart and, since they've all been through confirmation classes already, they know their stuff about as well as I do. The problem is that they are all FUNNY and I cannot concentrate on the lesson for laughing.

I ask a question and they respond by pointing out the window and cooing about the cute birdies on the roof: I laugh.
I ask a question and they give an answer that strikes me as funny ("Well, I bet the rich man didn't trust God to take care of him because he had servants to do that stuff"): I laugh.
I ask a question and the only answer I can get is how this reminded so-and-so of a movie she just saw..... : I laugh.

THEY ask questions. Why do you sit on the desk instead of the chair like a normal person? Did you know that Andrew likes Gracie? Why don't you write on the chalkboard? Can I borrow your shoes when I'm older? Why don't you have a boyfriend? Why is it so cold in our Sunday School room? Can I read next? What does [list 10-15 long, foreign, and/or archaic words from the reading] mean? Why are you teaching us instead of, like, an old grown up? (HA! Loved that one.)

I just laugh. Victoria, my assistant who loves seeing me lose my composure, laughs. The girls look at me like I'm crazy, because these are obviously very serious matters. And then I try calm down and explain things without using any words with more than three syllables, which turns out to be harder than one would expect.

The good news is that they all come and we do get at least a little work done. We read the day's lesson from the Bible and (attempt to) talk about it. At least one of them will have done their memory work from the previous week. And if nothing else, they're getting a vocabulary lesson.