Monday, October 26, 2009

That didn't go as expected, now did it?

As I had written in my last post, this Sunday was supposed to include 30 minutes of in-the-present, focused, and relaxed "me" time.

I am sort of ashamed to admit that it didn't happen. But I think I have a good reason and really, I'm not feeling horribly guilty for not hitting that particular timeline. Maybe I am better for not caring? Who knows.

Here is what I learned this weekend:
Just because it is October, just because you *think* you know what sort of people might be attending an event, don't assume that you should wear anything resembling a Tutu to a concert in Chicago. I made this exact mistake, and BF rocked out his Woodersen costume from last year (you know, the dude from 'Dazed and Confused'?) at Saturday night's Yonder Mountain String Band show @ The house of blues. Rereading that sentence, I already see at least 4 things wrong with my actions. One, The House of Blues. in Chicago. This might be my least favorite venue of all time in the city. If you check message boards for artists' upcoming shows there, they all call is "House of RULES". That is true, as is the assumption that there is heavy consumerism and VIP action. With that being said, not a good place to wear something that doesn't involve jeans and shirt and some sensible shoes. Not only will everyone look at you funny, security might take your glow sticks and granola bar away for further questioning. The second item would be that BF was dressed as pretty much every neo-hippie's hero (It'd be a whole lot cooler if you did. .. Love those redheads. .. ) and therefore all of the neo-hippies (Yonder Mountain String Band plays bluegrass and frequents the jam band festival circuit- so there were a lot of these) could not get over seeing someone dressed like their hero in the flesh. I can say that sometimes I identify with this demographic (especially when Phish is involved), but I don't think I would drop so many "man"s in one sentence- ever. ANd worst of all, I was wearing a Tutu. The whole point of these concerts is come together, dance your cares away, we are all the same- even the guys onstage. Except I was wearing a tutu and therefore everyone started at me. This is not fun. Especially when the vegan girls with dreadlocks who only wear clothes from salvation army and only eat food from the dumpster get on their soapbox and how I am singlehandedly a jerk for destroying feminism and how could I possibly buy something like a tutu that would really be quite easy to make. *for the record, I bought the tutu at a resale shop. I had made one a few years back, but due to my lack of sewing skills, it pretty much disintegrated, so $10 for a tutu seemed like a steal to me.

So we left. Before the concert was even over. I am not YMSB's biggest fan, but I do enjoy live music and the entire scene of people and venue and ego was just too much for me to squeeze that enjoyment out. When I got home, and took off my glitter and tutu and tights, I realized that I really like me. Like I love that I left, even though who leaves in the middle of the concert? And I love that I came home and put on a black top and some skinny jeans. And I love that BF can rock Woodersen in public and do the voice and everything! IT all makes me laugh.

Which brings me back to my original point- the point of my assignment was to get more in touch with myself by focusing on something for me. Both my therapist and I had assumed that I needed total concentration and seclusion to do this. Obviously this is not completely true. No man (or woman!) is an island. Sometimes I wish I could be, but then I'm right back there.

So thank you Sarshie, for the suggestions. I sang the entire cab ride home. And then I hooped in my chic outfit in my living room when I got there. I guess those are my ways of being with myself.

(It occurs to me that I should be posting a picture, but seeing as this was written from my blackberry and I am just pressing "publish" from my office computer, that might have to come later. Apologies, because I do look pretty ridiculous/funny- but in a happy way! wearing a tutu.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blank Space? Anyone?

I keep trying to break up with my therapist. This is way more difficult than you might imagine. I have tapered it off to every other week and perhaps this schedule might pare down to once a month and then finally end. You see, she went on maternity leave this summer and I did just fine without a weekly dose of introspection (you see, I think too much already, so is this really helping?) and I was all set to be done cold turkey. But then I wanted to wrap things up (maybe I felt bad for quitting her- guilt!) and my insurance changed (making this an even more expensive weekly endeavor) so I figured I could just go once or twice and set things straight. Then she has to go and point out all of the things I SHOULD be working on (man, I must be lazy). Which is an epic list at any given point in time- the road to self actualization is long and winding road apparently. Maybe this is what the Beatles were singing about on The White Album? Who knows, all I know is that she pointed out that I don’t ever seem to take the time to just take care of me and do things just for me. There is always some sort of agenda, maybe I have created it, but it is certainly almost always serving someone else- not me.

She recommended taking 30 minutes a day to do something just for myself. It can’t be to forward my career, or develop a relationship, or improve, or maintain- it has to be solely me based and in the present. I thought about this and of course tried to do it. I lasted 30 seconds, no joke! I rang her after and told her the issue. She knocked it down to 30 minutes a week (suddenly I felt relieved?!). Half of me is dreading this 30 minutes and half of me is looking forward to indulging myself for that long. Except I can’t decide the logistical features, let alone HOW I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO PULL THIS OFF! Suggestions for what I should be doing for that 30 minutes would be appreciated. I can’t even decide what I should DO! I think it will fit in nicely on Sunday, as I don’t have a lot of immediate plans with people and work expectations regarding Sundays are quite low. Please provide a suggestion in the comments, or if you have my number/email/twitter, send me some that way- I would really appreciate it!. I am going to have to do this every week and I could really use a nudge in the right direction. I think everybody should do this too- if you don’t already that is!
Maybe there is a some big league of people that have made a pact with themselves and others that they are going to do something ridiculously inefficient and indulgent and ENJOY it too at a certain time every day or week or month or whatever? If you are one of those people, what is your secret?! Let me drink your kool-aid. . .

Someone suggested a while back that I might have ADD. Don't we all? To be so busy keeping up with the Jones', twittering, posting, emailing, blogging, facebooking, myspacing, calling, texting, and really interacting with people- how can you not have focus issues?

I used to self medicate by reading all of the time. Except most of the reading I do know is either “I need to go to grad school so help me god I must write good essays and pass this test” reading or “I have already read this book and I have always said I like reading so I’m just going to do this because it takes up time” or “someone suggested this book to me and we are hanging out this weekend, so I had better plow through this whether I like it or not so when she bring it up I don’t look stupid” reading. Not a lot of that “get lost in a book and go on an adventure in your head” type of reading that I truly love so much. I mean, how are you supposed to get into it with all of the noise and things going on and things you may be missing?

I suppose what I NEED is this: “got a blank space where my mind should be”. Where did that blank space go? Did it disappear with the Phish Summer Tour season? HELP me find it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. . .OR- Reality Bites

As a result of not sleeping all weekend because I was in Las Vegas and sleep is just not an option there, I seem to have acquired a nasty little cold. Just in time for it to SNOW in Chicago, apparently, so I guess it is fitting. So here I sit, at my desk, with a snot Niagara Falls coming out of my nose. Not exactly what I had in midn for my return to the office (think bronzed skin, cute little highlights, hydrated skin and face from a day of rest post flight), but at least people are keeping a wide berth. That means a little bit less busy work dumped on my desk:)

I had a great time. I actually forgot about life for awhile- I mean, Phish and music festival style. Obviously Vegas is a much different scene, but the feeling of escape is still the same. Except of course, when it is time to come home. Recovery is much more difficult and the stress level of not having any alone time, or bonding time with those that you are close to is enormous.

So what I'm say is. . . I feel like I have post vacation depression. Hopefully it is temporary and will pass shortly. BF was very kind to me when I got off the plane and that helped greatly. The airline managed to lose one of my bags- but found it! Then I couldn't go to sleep and BF stayed up with me- until 5AM (my inner clock is waaaayyyy off!). Last night I tried to go to bed early, but it didn't go so well. I woke up with this lovely upper respiratory awesomeness and so goes the day. I'm pretty sure some of the other ladies are feeling as good as I am right now.

But at least it IS chicken soup weather :)

Going to get some chicken soup for my soul and my throat.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Quarter Life Headache

I am on the edge of the life decision cliff right now- do I stay at my job that I can't stand but is very secure (and in a city I can't afford!), or do I strike out and try for another somewhere else? The biggest issue is the somewhere else I think. I desperately want to go back to school (thats right, throw some more stress on the pile!), and the graduate program I am interested in isn't exactly offered everywhere. This narrows some places down. Also, my family really wants me to be as close or closer to them. I don't think I necessarily agree with this, but it hurts to not agree with my mother on the phone, so I can't imagine what it would be like to call and tell her I'm moving to Oregon or something. Which brings me to my next point- where would I fit best? Weather, culture, job availablity, compensation, cost of living, accessibility; these are all factors too. Plus there is the BF card. . . .I am not sure if he is factoring in me when he is job hunting in other locales, but I am factoring in him. Obviously, after 5 (on and off) years together, I can't just forget about someone. All things I need to think about. No wonder my head hurts. Its enough to make me want to pack a backpack and hop the next plane to wherever!

BBQ and Beer with?????

I have been writing for The Local Tourist here in Chicago. This takes up some of my spare time, yes, but I really like doing it and it is my first "real" blog. I have been making my fair share of mistakes while doing this, don't get me wrong. Having a day job is proabably the first one. . .closely followed by tons of technical errors. Lets just say I'm glad I'm not getting scored figure skating style! Anyway, tonight is the North Neighborhoods Meet and Greet. This is basically a chance for everyone to come out and meet new friends, hang with old friends, and of course meet me. Sort of a debut party for me being the host of the North Neighborhoods. I am really hoping that any of you in Chicago come by! I like to meet new people and really like seeing old friends and people I have somehow managed to drift from.

To be honest, this is the first time I have helped "throw" an event that wasn't just an all you can drink boozefest for a friend's birthday. I didn't approach businesses very well for "sponsorship" because no one seemed very interested. They all asked if this was for a charitable cause and I pretty much had to say no, even though all donation monies for "swag bags" go to the Local Tourist herself, Theresa Carter, to put towards a goal of raising $20,000 for pedatric aids. She is even climbing Mt. Kilmanjaro. Then I just sort of shut down. I guess I am sort of shy sometimes. If you come up to me, no problem; but I seem to have issues coming up to you and spouting off what I have to say. So I think I mucked it up. Theresa has been very understanding and is a great mentor for all things social media. Me, I can't even seem to figure out how to work the google spreadsheet. Suffice to say, this event is turning into less of the multi faceted marketing, advertising, charitable, social networking awesomeness I had originally envisioned, and more like one of the birthday fests described above. Except that Sheffield's is actually nice and previous birthday fetes have been at complete dives. And Theresa did very well with the whole marketing thing- there are sponsors.

So please come- and donate to the cause if at all possible. $25 online at this link gets you
BBQ Buffet
House Wine
Oktoberfest Beer (this is why I love Sheffield's)

and good company:)

It is $30 at the door of Sheffield's, one of my favorite bars in Lakeview/Wrigleyville (it rides the line between your favorite pub in college and a grown up pint).

Starts at 6:30PM and goes to 9:30PM.

Please come! Tickets here.

I am really hoping lots of my friends (that would be you) come so I don't look like a total loser. Plus I can only eat so much BBQ without exploding and it isn't good leftover. Neither is leftover beer.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If you really miss me. . .

I am also still here on twitter! I actually update that multiple times per day. Plus you can catch all of my Local Tourist posts there.
follow me: @randommsugirl

A new home on the Internet and renewed inspiration

Seeing as I have a monster conference call starting in 15 minutes about god knows what (sounds like blah, blah, blah to me), I think I may have some time carved out to write a blog post. On my own blog! I have been writing, but not exactly on my own site. Recently, I met a great gal in Chicago who founded this site that basically tells people where to go, whether visiting or residing. She asked if I would like to contribute, and of course I couldn't turn down an awesome offer like that! So I started writing for the North Neighborhoods of Chicago on (Save that in your bookmarks- and visit often, please :)) Which is great, because I am learning about how to best attract an audience, plus write about where I live and all of the cool things that there are to do. Is a win- win. Unfortunately, I had to keep my day job (which most of you know does not suit me at all) and my hours got increased, so my personal blogging took a backseat. But recently BF started a blog and reminded me why I love doing this so much- writing is my outlet; right, wrong, or indifferent. I guess this means I have decided to say eff the backposts I have stored on my desktop and just start writing again. As always, unedited and probably super random. If you want something more polished, check out The Local Tourist.

Monday, July 20, 2009

FRIEND ships

Two of my best friends in the whole world came to visit me this past weekend and it just drove home how much I miss them and how much I miss out on their lives. We happen to live an entire time zone away from each other, so whenever we get to see each other, it is cause for celebration! This weekend was no different. We started the weekend off by consuming a wee bit more wine than was probably a good idea at the best Thai food place in the whole wide word and then moved on to hula hooping in my living room (I am obsessed, I'll admit it!) before heading out for some live blues at Kingston Mines.

Several months ago, one of these lovely ladies came down here for my birthday weekend and we went to Kingston Mines that weekend too. Suffice to say, we were just as hungover on this occasion as the last one and we had just as much fun dancing ourselves silly. Yeah, we didn't feel so motivated or with it the next day, but it was totally worth it!

I am sad to say that I don't talk to them nearly as much as I'd wish to. Or see them. Or email them. Or be there when I feel like I should be there for them. I get upset and start to feel guilty about this, but it seems like this is how it goes as we get older. This is no excuse and it doesn't make it any better, but the onward march of time means that as we age, we give more and more to careers and partners and children and hobbies and less to the people and passions that mattered along the way. I am sorry that this is how it is, but it makes me treasure weekends like this past one and still wish that we had more to share. I miss you guys already!

There are gold ships and there are silver ships, but the best ship is friendship.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Obviously, I have been "away" for awhile here. People ask me, "when are you going to post again?" and I don't really know how to answer. I have a million excuses, not the least of which is work. The truth is, I do work a lot, and I feel a bit intimidated by my lack of social media background. I have decided to try not to let this get to me. Two of my good friends were in town for the Ragan Unconference yesterday, and we ended up going for dinner and drinks with some people I could only refer to as "internet friends". In talking with these people, it occurs to me that maybe I am not the square peg in the round hole after all. I actually knew that they were talking about and also, I could talk twitter with them. This is good, as most people in my day to day life have no clue at all whatsoever what twitter is. This is a good indicator that I need to start blogging on a more regular basis- MAKE time for it, because it is fun!

Which brings me to my next announcement; I am on twitter! I have been on twitter for over a year now, so sorry for the late announcement :) anyway, if you want to follow, you can do so by clicking here. I actually manage to update pretty often, as I can do so from my blackberry. I used to be able to access from the office comp, but they blocked it and I have to say that is probably for the best, or I would be stuck at work even later than I already am!

Also, when I first started writing this, I had some inherent fear of being "found". Too bad that already happened and I'm over it. By now most people know who I am, so I am just going to roll with it. Sarah from Sensibly Sassy seems to do just fine being "herself" publicly, so why can't I?

Anyway, feel free to drop by in the coming weeks. There might actually be something to read for once!

xoxo, I miss you all, especially those I got to see last night :)

Surviving and Thriving in Chicago as a Twenty Something Gal