Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer in the City: Part 1

Ask me where I’m from, I say Chicago. But little known secret: I’ve never spent an entire summer here. So begins my series of chronicling my first summertime.

I don’t know how I ended up in a three-story warehouse party with free booze, free concerts and DJs, and free mini hotdogs, but I did. It was some invitation-only thing sponsored by Heineken, and my friends had an extra ticket. I find this out last minute and bike three and half fast miles up North just in time to catch the end of Matt & Kim’s “Daylight.”

The party looked like this: freely flowing beer. Enough material to play “find the biggest hipster” for hours on end. A (not very good) DJ spinning on glowing Heineken barrels several feet above the crowd. Screens everywhere flashing INSPIRE INSPIRE INSPIRE so ginourmously and frequently that I think I began to feel inspired - but maybe all the beer had something to do with that.

By the time Cold War Kids came on stage, I didn’t even care how unreasonably tall every single freaking person standing in front of us was. I danced, I sang shouted, I laughed when some rando dude with glasses crookedly falling from his face tried to mack on my friend. The show ended, empty Heineken glasses were hidden in purses and pockets, we were herded out.

The night went on. On my bike ride back, I passed an interesting assortment of a band: one saxophone, two trombones, one drum, one flute, and one maraca. They were playing something jazzy and had attracted a crowd. I hang there for a bit, then ran into I guy from one of my temp jobs months back. The catch-up conversation was good, and I told him to invite me to his next punk show. One more beer and some late night mac ‘n cheese later, I was in bed.

When I woke up the next day at 11:30, I felt refreshed. Then I ate a burrito.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why I < 3 H20 Aerobics

Remember that one time I ran a marathon? I mean those three times?

God, I can’t stand running.

I follow a probably unhealthy cycle in which I run and train and train and run for months and months and months, and as soon as I cross the finish line after 26.2 miles, I can’t look at a pair of Asics without thinking about how miserable it would be to have to put them on and run a measly block. So I don’t. Meanwhile I continue eating cheese and guzzling wine as I had been before. Then I get fat. In other words, I start feeling unhealthy and moody and a tad bit pudgy.

So now I try to maintain my fitness level by adding some diversity. But it doesn’t matter how diverse your workouts are, there are always days (like 90% of them) when I just don’t feel like doing it and would rather go home to eat cheese and drink wine.

Thank the Heavens for the water aerobics class. I now plan my lap swimming around their schedule. Cause the teacher’s music rocks super hard. I even told her so.

She’s got a good mix of ‘80s and oldies. She even incorporates current events - like when she played the Blackhawks theme song. I also enjoy the fact that she wears flashy headbands, just as you would expect a water aerobic teacher to. All this adds to great hour of swimming. Sometimes I even take a few laps with the kickboard so that I can enjoy a particularly good song. I already went swimming two times this week! No I can devour that wine and cheese without the slightest bit of guilt.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Picky Pet Peeves

Since I got a growed up job that involves doing a lot online, I’ve been spending more time on the Web. And ever so slowly, I’ve developed a short little list of things that have come to bother me. I know you are very interested, and that is why you are still reading.

Tweeting a link to your blog that is really a link to your Facebook page, which then has the link to your blog. I’m not a big fat dummy. I get what you’re trying to do. Your Facebook fan is just so much more interesting than every other Facebook fan page out there, and you would like me to see it/get page views. Unfortunately I don’t have a click of my busy day to waste, so shoving 15 links in my face will only get you one thing: a bit fat unfollow.

• On that note, if I follow your blog in my google reader, please do not withhold pictures and especially do not make me click on links to read the content. The point of my reader is to read your blog. If you make me click all over the place to do so, I’m unsubscribing. Unless you are the French Language blog. In that case I will still be pissed and will continue to play your stupid mind games because there is French involved.

Not shortening URLs when publicly sharing links. Just-between-you-and-me emails or gchat convos are fine because they’re spur of the moment and all, but please consider the eyeballs of people who read your stuff when you publish this:|CHILD=0|ALL=1&lengthOfStay=7&tokens=m3NYXjZuC09VE7x4%2B0jnT110o4GFb/DqOkrQ54xWxe5YKmRR5cvwV5YGlrPuirisst7ndyzcAbAuchhjJogRzgHO3IX3qmXy97Fb%2BbENCrPG69wDATJZgsk/xoYKeFQfhMl4XhtHMZXSUJWUB7tbYvHB%2B1zz3s7h65xXOBpAc%2B/VRnmlv67B1XT20T392vFhYUI/qhjKxkMGBi4QkoKFQAVY7CiN01WC1c4YbCEUZOu2DVCto85j1H6QQrLKAwkIWuZoj%2BQLBd7cUqvbpZzKCpGCv0qBbNzjgec9Y8mf9UAz8bld9clw032EmuakXsl5hGP%2BCz9G/FamHtpBS%2BKK51rIViepGVtZfMv0nuXbWCTYxxAo/sN1crbqtRYxxc93HaBTreon0TnoV9X9Zn5N0TjkY21QYUcPHaBTreon0TlPTbeN/aYMJVspk%2B/Wk%2BRmUU0fmGmC3WasiCaNNoH5N2d6ItmHAR25n4sL9PHn5YRNMYXXOy1YUyLn2eihPLyaHyR5LdXqoYPfpx5jfinkJE583l0BFcr/wozFOKwhvo6HGNYisLiHXw9OqkWnkVmRxyc4UUeNGzHYic%2BbfSW1HccnOFFHjRsx3xYXzoM2byc0F%2BFaQOWFZyNqKNzo7MLyE7VllRRmOrDnR/LRS1/lRM2rNpDLKx/7wxwglGN8H0NHgtZuPic2qvRGHj%2BESuoDOJzO2Xwu%2BGANlQfRBdTGEeU0I99daNEFuPAxwRgZEJA%3D&drnid=7238430 instead of this:

Tweeting about your kids when your twitter page is not supposed to be about your kids. It's pretty simple. If you were a mommy blogger, I would not be following you. Unfortunately you provide other valuable information that I do enjoy, so I have to somehow figure out how to embrace the knowledge that your 3-year-old woke up the baby from his nap by blowing in his face.

Acting like publishing readers’ content for no money should be really exciting. “Oh my gosh do you want your name and your words to be in print???!?!?!? Send your movie review or top secret vacation tips, and we will publish them FOR FREE!!” If this pay scale really appeals to people, they can just publish things on their own personal blog.

Pop-up Ads. So 2001. Stop it and others. And grow up.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Why I Made For the City's Worst Parisienne

Parisien Salon published an entertaining article earlier this week on the 10 golden rules of being a parisienne. In response, I thought about all the ways I sucked at it. I could have lived there for 10 years and never been able to blend in. Here’s why.

1. I own too much Dri-Fit clothing. Parisiennes are not the sportive type. They don’t run. If I didn’t want a crowd of French guys oogling me, I had to find a secret place to stretch during my runs. Also, most parisiens were really interested to hear about my marathon training. They had never met anyone who ran marathons. In America, where everyone and their grandma does them, I get no respect.

2. I dip croissants in my soup. A teacher at my school looked at me in disbelief when I did this. She told me croissants are strictly a breakfast food only to be consumed with something sweet, such as jam or jelly. I’m sorry, it tasted good. Other food faux pas of mine included consuming the breakfast-restricted pain au chocolate and café au lait whenever I damn well pleased. And sometimes I threw a baguette on the table and didn’t pay attention to turn it right side up. OMG I’M GONNA DIE (according to French superstition).

3. I think adults should use adult forms of transportation. My bike tires are the most kiddish wheels I’ve got. This isn't cool. Neither is this. Nerds.

4. If something brings joy to my life, I shall smile. Parisiennes don’t smile (#2 on the list of what inspired this post). Unfortunately, I do. Which is why I always got hit on. Old men thought I was hitting on them. No sir, I do not find you adorable. The cute little French girl trading me a lollipop for a piece of my baguette made me smile SORRY YOU GOT CONFUSED.

5. My hair will never be dark brown or black. My hair is blondish brownish whatever. Sometimes, I entertain the idea of dying it red. Which is still not dark brown or black. I don’t have perfectly olivey European skin, so dark brown or black hair would just make me look goth.

6. My clothes are too practical or comfortable or something. I will never be able to wear a scarf as effortlessly as a parisienne can. Can you ever see me pulling off an outfit like this? And I’ve got a rule when buying skirts and dresses: pockets. Which eliminates many chic parisienne options. Oh well. I like not losing my keys.