Sunday, July 24, 2011

Marilyn Monroe in Chicago

26-Foot Marilyn Monroe "7-Year Itch" sculpture on Michigan Ave 
by Seward Johnson

This location is famous for art installations.
Most recent....
 American Gothic, also by Seward Johnson, same location
(An heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune)

Screw Toyota, I Should've Bought a Chevy

I am so disappointed in Toyota. This is a major statement coming from me. I have been a loyal Toyota supporter and fan since I was 13 years old and my dad started working for Toyota. My dad's income from Toyota helped to clothe, feed, and house me through high school and college. My first, second, third and sixth cars were purchased from Toyota.

Less than two years ago, we purchased a new itty bitty city car - a Toyota Corolla. It had about 3 miles on it. Wednesday evening, our new car started making a horrific sound. We pulled over and the engine was smoking. I was scared. I thought our car was on fire. The car managed to limp home. The next morning, all of the radiator fluid had leaked out. A friend followed J to the shop to make sure he made it there safely.

Come to find out, the water pump was NOT recalled. It was REDESIGNED. Toyota KNEW this was a problem but said nothing. That pisses me off. I drive with my kids on the highway. I could have been stranded somewhere with my kids during the hottest summer since 2006. That's not cool, Toyota. If you knew about it, you should have said something about it. Especially when we took the car to the DEALERSHIP this month.

A huge reason for purchasing a new car was to avoid costly repairs in the first 3-5 years. We maintain our car by having the oil changed on time, rotating tires, getting the recommended service. This was just not cool on Toyota's part.

It made me wish we had bought a Chevy. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Six

Usually the game is Friday Five but it's Saturday and here I am on my blog. Not sure I'll hit 6 but let's see....

1. I am in love with my rabbit. She reminded me of the rush of love that you feel when you have a new baby or a new niece or nephew. That unconditional, "I will love you regardless for the rest of your life, I did did not know I could open my heart so fast and so fully" kind of love.

2. Tickets are booked for my kids to return. I'm realizing I only have about a month left and need to make the time count. That means cleaning out their toy closets!

3. My sister is coming to visit me next weekend. This will be the first time someone in my family has come to visit in 3 years (other than my niece). I miss my sissy. She will love Chicago. I hope.

4. I really love my job. I know I've said this on here before, but I really do. It's crazy because I work harder and make less than I have in a very long time and it was only supposed to be for a year. But now I'm hooked and both kids will be at my school. Our lives will be radically different this fall.

5. It is amazing how much gas (and money) we save without having to drive to the other side of town twice a day for our daughter's school. We can go a whole week on ONE tank of gas.

6. I have been spending a fair bit of time in Boys Town lately. The gays have the best restaurants, the best bars, the best shopping, the best looking men. I would hate them if they weren't so fabulous!

Look at that, I hit six. And, I have several thoughts on blog posts I need to do. I could have hit at least ten. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Night From Hell Sent from Heaven

Maybe I should have entitled this "Wacky Wednesday" for the level of insanity that happened this past Wednesday!!!

I had two meetings and four tours scheduled. ALL four of my tours called to reschedule! When the last one called, I texted J and told him to come get me. 

J started cooking dinner. He messed up the rice. Who messes up rice? J is an amazing chef so this was extreme. We went out to eat.

We texted a friend and decided to meet up for dinner. Getting to his place, traffic was insane!!! It took us almost an hour to go 5 miles.

The power went out at the restaurant we ate at. It was sweltering hot without a/c! I threatened to start taking clothing off every minute the bill did not arrive. We were at a gay restaurant. Trust me, those boys did not want to see what my momma gave me.

The bar we went to afterwards was so gorgeous I was entranced when we left and forgot my purse! I had to run back to get it.

On the way to the next bar, we went to feed the meter.
We got a parking ticket!!!
J thought we had until :40 but it expired at :34.
Ticket was clocked at :37. Sigh.

J was so pissed at getting a ticket, he decided he needed to go out of our way to get a treat at Forever Yogurt. I was not so bothered by the ticket - I'll blame that on the a-a-a-a-alcohol.

Noise and Smoke
About a mile from our exit on the highway, a weird noise got louder and longer. It was scary. When we pulled off at the exit, there was smoke coming out of the ENGINE!!!

We have a NEW car. Smoke, crazy ass noises, and leaking coolant is not supposed to happen to NEW cars!!!

I have to admit. I was scared. I thought our engine was on fire.

We enter our condo from our patio balcony. J accidentally touched the grill. It had been on ALL evening! This sent us into laughing hysterics.

Heaven Sent
Every single one of these crazy incidents was exactly what needed to happen. J was scheduled to go on a business road trip on Thursday morning. The car would have died farther out and J would have been stranded.

If J had not burned dinner, we would have stayed in all evening which means we would not have sat in traffic. If the power had not gone out on our side of the street only, we would not have had to wait for our bill and would have gone home instead of seeking a/c at a bar. Had we not gotten the parking ticket which made J go out of our way to get yogurt, we would have gotten home without knowing there was a problem with the car.

Have you ever had something insane happen that made life better for you in the long run?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Knowing You, Knowing Me - July '11

knowing me, knowing you - july 2011

It's time once again for that monthly interview project that the Fairy Blogmother originated.

1. It's less than 6 months until Christmas, have you started your shopping yet?Sweetie, I'm trying to get to the point where I start Back to School shopping. Don't even start asking me about the Christmas shopping until December 1.

2. What's your guilty pleasure?
Pedicures and um...waxing...

3. Are you on Pinterest?No. And I have no pinterest in finding out what that is.

4. Popsicle or an ice cream cone?Ice cream. We used to have a popsicle store down the street. The kids loved going there in the summer. Sadly, it is a casualty of the recession.

5. Are your toes painted?Yes. Always. Black polish. I love the massage chair at my nail salon. 

Now, head on over to visit The Fairy Blogmother!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Truthful Tuesday - Restrooms

Some of Chicago's best skyline views are from garage rooftops (Home Depot on Halsted, Best Buy on Roosevelt), and restrooms (Hancock Building). Case in point, here is the view from the ladies' restroom at Roosevelt Collection's ICON movie theater.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Kids Are Never Coming Home!

Motor Mouth and Mini Me left for their summer in Oklahoma exactly one month ago. They are supposed to return in about a month. However, I don't think they will. 
Look at the fun they are having at the farm!

Yeah, so not coming home....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

50th Wedding Anniversary

On July 1st, we celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. J and I were in Canada to be with my parents, siblings and their significant others for a BBQ. It was a nice family time. We always have a great time when we get together, especially when we meet up at Shangri La-Di-Da, my brother's home, nestled in the woods. 

Here is a video played at the anniversary BBQ. 

The flat screen outside was not cooperating so we found ourselves sprawled around the massive conference room type screen used as a TV in my brother and sister-in-law's bedroom. Some of us were on the bed, others on the floor, others on the sofa. I was in my brother's full body massage chair.

My mom's older sister was the only non-immediate family guest. A few days later she called my mom to tell her how special she felt being a part of our family. My uncle passed away four years ago and they only had one son, so four kids and their partners is huge for her. My aunt commented on how obvious it was that we love each other and the bond we share transcends money. It's about relationship, not how much money a parent gives their child she said (serious paraphrase).

Oh, I should mention the grandkids could not all make it. Some were out of the country, others had to work, etc...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Job

I love my job. Really, truly, love my job.

It's crazy that I love what I do so much. I work harder at this job than any position I have held. It's more out of my comfort zone than almost anything I have done before. 

I do marketing and recruiting for a private school. Initially, I was hired to do marketing and events. That morphed into much more, including recruiting. The thing is, I had really started to enjoy being a stay@home mom and did not want to go back out to work 2 years ago. In fact, I cried on the way to the interview. Cried.

My job is scary. What if no one calls? What if no one submits applications? What if I don't fill the classes? I clearly remember winter 2010 when my boss told me we had less applications than at the same time the previous year. I hauled ass! By the time school started in September, we had increased enrollment by 35% and had a wait list in two grade levels.

This year I could have coasted into a wait list in five grade levels. But instead, we added a new classroom. It is a challenge that I was chomping at the bit for. I could hardly wait to get the final go ahead so I could start working on filling a new class.

I love meeting new parents and new children. I love sharing about the unique educational program we have. I love mailing letters and calling parents to inform them their children have been accepted at our school. I love seeing the children I met at a tour or class visit when they start school. 

I love my job. Really, truly, love my job.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It Doesn't Matter

There are some things that I am sure of. I am sure that nothing I do really matters if I am fat. It doesn't matter what I have done for others, what I have accomplished, what sort of difference I make in people's lives if I am fat. How am I so sure of this? Because for the last 35 years, this is the message I have been given. It is the message that has been repeated by numerous people who love me so I know it must be truth.

It hurts me that nothing I have done for others in my life matters, only the fat matters. I started volunteering when I was 10 years old and for over 30 years, I have helped the elderly, hospital patients, had a Little Sister, taught Sunday School, worked to fight against impaired driving, helped young women facing crisis pregnancies, was a youth and young adult leader, have served on numerous boards and committees, held officer positions on non-profit boards, have spoken at workshops, and counseled young women. 

I have helped to organize picnics for over 2,000 people and plan volunteer banquets for over 800 people. I have chaired banquets that raised over $100,000 for charities, assisted in other fundraising that has raised over $500,000 for schools and other organizations.

My blog reaches countless women and couples facing infertility and adoption. I have served on an adoption coalition to help make a difference in adoption laws, have planned fun, family events that have brought joy to children and parents in 2 states and in Canada. I regularly answer adoption questions and am a resource women seek out when they are infertile and/or seeking to adopt. 

It doesn't make a difference that I have helped people and made a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of others. All that matters is that I am fat. 

When I worked as a computer consultant for a major international retailer, IBM said the country-wide, bilingual system installation project I managed was the most successful in North America. In Oklahoma, I went from being a part-time call center agent to executive staff as a corporate project manager. At one point, numerous directors were arguing over who could have me on their team. I spearheaded the at home contractor project, taking it from zero to the successful and sustained program vital to the company it is today.

Last year, as a recruiter, I increased the number of tution-paying students by 35% in a recession. I was not even hired as a recruiter. I'm damn good at whatever I do. But that does not matter. All that matters is that I am fat. 

I remember being told I was fat when I was 6 years old. I do not remember a time when I was ever told that I was beautiful just being me. In putting together the pictures for my parents wedding anniversary, I saw lots of photos of myself. I didn't see a fat person. I didn't see this fat teenager or young woman that everyone said I was.

What I did see was a beautiful, slim girl that wore clothes 2 sizes too big because she thought she was fat. I saw a girl that never enjoyed her weight appropriate body because no one who loved her told her she had a nice body or nice shape. 

In recent years, people have told me that because I'm so fat, I'm at risk of a heart attack. I can't tell you how many times I have wished I would just die of a heart attack already. Maybe one day soon. Because truly, I have lived a life that didn't matter. Because now, I actually am fat.