Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When the Clouds Align, At Last

When Beyoncé sang Etta James' "At Last" to Barack and Michelle at the Neighborhood Ball on inauguration night, it was arguably one of the loveliest moments ever to play out for an audience of billions. Honestly, I could YouTube that shit all day. When the same song plays during the black-and-white scene in Pleasantville where they drive down Lover's Lane while floating cherry blossoms create a sudden shower of blush pink, a similar fairy-tale effect is achieved. But lately, when Etta's silky first notes of this timeless tune announce the beginning of a new Hoover vacuum cleaner commercial, I'm forced to close my eyes, sing "LA LA LA" at top volume and change the channel before another strain reaches my ears. Hoover: As much as I respect your vast vacuum empire and enjoy the sheer dirt-busting power of my Wind Tunnel Complete (it certainly does suck), you're ruining it for me! Please, make up an original jingle about bagless debris storage or something.

In other news, I thought Bachelor Jason made quite the revealing slip last night when he said: "When I'm with Melissa, it's like everything just falls right into place. It's like when all the clouds align. She's such a fun and amazing and beautiful girl." If he were really in love with her, don't you think he would have said stars instead of clouds? Mark my words, Melissa will not be the winner of a product-placed diamond ring and soon-to-be-called-off engagement when the finale airs next week. But if she's lucky, she might get one more run-hug-twirl, Jason's best and signature move.

And now, please allow me to present today's Match Moment! Is it mean if I continue to feature cut-and-pastes from my favorite Match men on this blog? Come on, you know you like it. And so many clouds are aligning these days that I think we could all use the entertainment. So, here you go. Real uncensored romance, unleashed:

PRINCE CHARMING #1: Don't sweat the small stuff I always say! Tommarow's another day! Oops. I'm pretty much of a guy that when life slams me down I always stand up, dust myself off and go on!! Shit happens!!!! Get up and stand tall I always say!!! My match should be able to fish with no help if you know what that means. Camper also is great, but I know when a lady has to be a lady. I enjoy going out for dinner but the candle light thing works for me also! Love to snuggle an spoon!! I love snowy nights infront of the fire, and those rainy Sunday's sitt'n watchin the games, huge bonus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Huge Bears fan and Cubs fan you pick the game I have tickets for both!

PC #2: A Ray Of Sunshine.....And A Lot Of Laughs!!!!! If you are looking for a lot of fun and a bunch of laughs and can handle a great looking, fun guy! Look no further! I am looking for a girl who can be just a blast to hang out with. Someone I can look over and can't help but think "damn she is hot". I want a woman whose smile catches my eye from across a room and makes the heart flutter. A woman who smells intoxicating and I can't help but whisper "let's leave this party now!" Simple guy who loves to be active-sports-playing them...coaching them...watching them...loves the sun-why am I here in mid Feb??? Love to cook-hate doin the dishes...I am old scool romntic but why can't I have it all?!

PC #3 (accompanied by 14 shirtless self-portraits featuring a variety of silver and wood-bead necklaces): Well I'm 5 10 185lbs, . I'm 100% italian, STRAIGHT male, i have 11 piercings & 5 tats, im outgoing, spontanious, silly and fun to be around because I'm still a kid at heart. I'm very blunt too, i dont sugar coat things, I say it like it is! I'm professional with a bad boy side to me which always helps. I always get my way if I want it that bad. I love to work out, love my music (electro house, hardstyle, vocal trance, metal ) , go clubbing, beaches when its nice out, anything that can keep my interest.

Most of my friends are married engaged or work on the time that i have off so it's almost like I'm stuck in alot which sucks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

25 Things, Random or Not

So, is everyone aware of this 25 Random Things About Me chain letter that's taken hold of Facebook and choked the site's entire population in its irresistible boa death grip? Well. When I first saw it I rolled my eyes several times in a row. Like millions of users, I've been "tagged" in the 25 Random Things note nearly 1,276 times. I've always stoically resisted the urge to respond. Anyone who hasn't already been exposed to enough info about A.R.D. via Facebook status updates, MySpace golden oldies, blogs, Google searches, texts, e-mails, contributer bios, first-person essays, actual face-to-face conversation, etc., clearly has not been doing his/her research. Plus, an internet expert on the Today Show last week smirked while calling the list "the epitome of modern-day vanity," therefore making anyone who falls into its trap the automatic World's Biggest Dumbass.

But. When used as a procrastination tool, the 25 Random Things can be highly effective. Please don't disown me for doing this:

1. I'm considering full-on bangs, or maybe parting my hair in the middle.
2. My sister Claire and I are sometimes mean to each other about our eyebrows. The last time she told me mine were getting too thin was on September 22, 2008.
3. There's a jar of mint-infused honey in my kitchen that I don't want to open for some reason.
4. I've never met my current upstairs neighbor in person, but I know via Bob the Landlord that his family owns a popular Chicago shoe store where sensible shoes are sold.
5. When my sister Liv was a sweet little eight-year-old whose hair curled charmingly around her temples, I taught her to point to those curls and say: "Look, I'm horny!"
6. Magic Johnson cried a little when I interviewed him once. I am the next Barbara Walters, surely.
7. Personally, I always cry a little while watching Sweet Home Alabama or The Notebook.
8. And, I need to get over Ye Olde Hometown Sweetheart Love Story. At least, that's what various friends have asserted REPEATEDLY.
9. I keep a plaster cast of my own teeth above my kitchen sink. I got it the day my braces came off, at the ripe old age of 22 (see photo).
10. I know the horse racing industry is not always on the up-and-up, but I love the sound of many hooves thundering by on a dirt track.
11. Every Monday night, my uncle Jack and I exchange close to 58 incredulous texts on the subject of The Bachelor.
12. Favorite pen = Uniball Vision Exact, fine point, in blue.
14. I just skipped the number 13 because after last Friday, I'm feeling superstitious.
15. I've never been a bridesmaid.
16. Today I stood in front of the seal pool at the zoo, willing a seal to swim over to me. When one finally poked its head out of the water and flared its nostrils at me plaintively, I said, "Oh, there you are!" Like we were old friends.
17. The following fortune cookie wisdom is taped to my desk: "You have a slow and unhurried natural rhythm." I'm not sure if that's a compliment, but I like it.
18. I have to write a book. It just seems like the natural progression of things. But will people still be reading books by the time I finish mine?
19. After I park my car some nights, I like walking down the middle of my street in my party heels, in the dark. I consider it part safety measure, part Sex and the City delusion.
20. I am an incredible rapper. You should hear me on Lupe Fiasco's "Kick, Push." (My favorite song of the year.)
21. Also today, I wrote a letter of complaint to Hotmail about their banner ad featuring some girl's stretch-marked belly hanging over her waistband. I'm sick of looking at that.
22. I just sighed deeply.
23. I'm boring myself to death.
24. I have to go watch American Idol now.
25. Adios.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Un-Funny Valentine

It would appear that I do not have a confirmed Valentine this year, except for McLovin4U, who sent me a wink on Match last night but whom I cannot entertain as a possibility because he's yet another Vegas fanatic. Honestly, I can't wait until my subscription runs out. Whatever, no Valentine is better than last year's a-hole, who sent me an e-card, a couple texts and an arrangement of carnations that arrived at my office after I'd left for the day. He then went off the radar for the remainder of the evening (a time period during which I later learned he took his other girlfriend out to dinner).

This year, I'll be attending someone else's engagement party on V-day, and although I won't be taking a date, I will be getting into the spirit by wearing a rather beautiful pair of red satin shoes with jeweled bows, and that has to count for something. (See right for desktop still life.) They are my new ruby slippers, and if I could break them in enough to tap my heels together three times without wincing in pain, they just might take me somewhere incredible. Somewhere where health insurance is handed out like candy. Somewhere where every lottery ticket is a winner. Somewhere where the temperature at any given moment is 74 degrees and they serve a side of chocolate chips with every meal.

In other news, several things occurred yesterday and the day before:

1. I watched a dried Christmas tree float down the bike lane on Wells Street like a homesick tumbleweed.
2. I went to the dentist for my toothache, which hurts at all times but especially when breeze blows on it. My dentist said she can find nothing amiss and asked if I'm under a lot of stress, then brought up a toothache of mine from several months ago that vanished mysteriously. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have been diagnosed with a phantom toothache.
3. I took myself out to breakfast at Nookie's, where I sat near a multi-pierced girl who faintly resembled Angelina Jolie and who carried on a mostly one-sided conversation with her unlikely dining companion, a Nerdy Dude:

Angie Junior: If I can draw really good cartoons, then why shouldn't I, you know?
Nerdy Dude: Seriously.
AJ: And the weird thing about it is, everybody says I look like Angelina Jolie, and everyone says Jeanette looks like Jennifer Aniston, but we don't fight, we're actually the best of friends.
ND: That's so weird.
AJ: Jeanette's a Pisces, so she's really outgoing, which is kind of the opposite of me but not really.
ND: Hmm, interesting.
AJ: I would like to have nice teeth at some point, you know, get some work done on my teeth or maybe get Lasik surgery, even though my mom had complications from it. She couldn't see out of one eye for a long time.
ND: Wow.

P.S. I've loved print media since I was roughly 11 years old, when I first started reading Sassy magazine. (Or, maybe it was a fascination born out of running around Granddaddy's office at the Louisville Courier-Journal as a child and getting black ink on my socks. Or reading my mom's Redbooks while she was in Jazzercise.) Magazines have always been my most reliable bedtime companions, and I can hardly bring myself to throw away my Vanity Fairs even when they weigh 20 pounds and I've read every page. I once thought to myself: I want to write for a magazine. And that's what I did. But last night, I met with CNN's Ali Velshi, who just wrote a book about the recession titled Gimme My Money Back: Your Guide to Beating the Financial Crisis. I knew I was expected to ask him a question, so I said, "Ali, I work in print media. When do you think I might be able to get a new job?" His response: "Get a new career." So, I'm taking suggestions. If you can think of a line of work for which I might be suited, please let me know. And please don't say Waffle House.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

See Here: Sassy Water

The next time you come over to my apartment, I'm totally whipping you up a batch of Sassy Water. I just made my second-ever pitcher of it, and it's so refreshing I think everyone should give it a whirl. The only problem is that it's so summery-looking, which is contrary to pretty much everything else. But the chance to offer someone a "glass of sass" is so pleasing that I'm just going to overlook the seasonality thing. Here's the recipe. It's from the Flat Belly Diet, a book my mom and I were recently lured into buying from the end-of-the-aisle discount selection at Target:

8 cups water
1 cucumber, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
12 mint leaves
chill overnight
(see right: Sassy Water reclines upon my desk)

In other news, Black Beauty was towed last Sunday sometime after 3AM, which was the last time I laid eyes on her. Such a thing has NEVER previously occurred. I hated everything about it, from walking outside the next morning to find zero transportation to Graham's birthday brunch, to extracting $180 from the ATM to cover costs, to taking a cab to an underground trailer on Lower Wacker Drive to retrieve her. My friend Jeff accompanied me on that mission, and luckily he was able to find some entertainment:

Jeff (to counter lady at Chicago Central Impoundment trailer): Ahem. Um. Have you ever been on TV before?
Counter Lady: No.
Jeff: Really? You look so familiar.
Counter Lady: Oh, I was on the news one time when they was filming down here.
Jeff: Oh.
Counter Lady: Maybe you're thinking about Jon & Kate Plus Eight. Me and Kate have the exact same haircut.
Jeff (eyeing haircut dubiously): Oh.

As we drove away, Jeff mused, "She said Jon & Kate Plus Eight. But I really thought I saw her on Springer once."

Later that day, I drove by an actual hot dog tent sale at the Vienna Beef factory on Damen Ave. Now that, I thought, is not Flat-Belly-approved.