From the news

Books I'm reading

Books I'm about to read

Books I just read

new blogus magogus

8:48 p.m. - Wednesday, May. 12, 2010

It's here! Hooray!

0 bazillion comments on this entry

gone soon

4:35 p.m. - Wednesday, May. 12, 2010

It has come to my attention (thanks to Jenn) that the fact that I didn't want to shell out $100 to have comments for two more years has actually meant that y'all can no longer leave comments, which really is just unacceptable! So I'm searching for a new home for this diary, which I have kept since high school. Yes. All because I don't want to pay for something that is free and better elsewhere. For a long time I talked about loyalty and continuity, but no more. Go figure.

0 bazillion comments on this entry


9:01 a.m. - Wednesday, May. 12, 2010

Hi friends,

I've learned many things since I last wrote. Time is marching on. I've learned my start date at Deloitte is August 23, which was my first choice—not too late (i.e. late September) but enough time to get some hardcore vacationing, apartment hunting, moving, and spending time with Mike in.

Since I have a date at which my life officially changes, I feel like I've had my calendar open 24/7, making plans. Even though I have a bad case of the senioritis, I've still been pretty overwhelmed by everything that is going on with school and graduation and the like. But at dinner last week, Mom introduced me to And, friends, it has changed my life.

For example, I've been doing the 10+2 procrastination strategy. Basically you set a timer for 10 minutes and really focus on a task. You don't check email, you don't look at websites, you just work work work, and because there's a timer urging you along you actually do it! It's like a race. Then after 10 minutes your timer goes off and you set it for 2 minutes. THEN you check facebook and your email, walk around, get coffee, pee, wash a dish, etc. All the things that I somehow end up doing when I'm supposed to be working. When I'm supposed to be doing reading, I end up vacuuming the apartment and cleaning the toilet.

Voila! A day of productive work. Almost any task can be broken into 10 minute increments. Sometimes you do the same thing for stretches of 10 minutes, sometimes you may want to switch it up if you have multiple things on your plate that are all due around the same time.

The other thing about 43folders is the to-do lists. They encourage you to break down your to-dos into small, actionable tasks. Like, instead of "plan graduation brunch," it would be "order carafe from Williams-Sonoma," "email Sheena to set up a time to go to IKEA." And when you have every task put together, you have done something big! It makes things seem much more manageable. Mom suggested Toodle-Do, and I love it. It's free online but you can buy a cheap app to have it also on your iPhone. The 43folders people recommend having your to-do items with you. If you're standing in line or stuck in traffic or on the bus, you can knock out a few phone calls or return some emails or schedule something.

You probably all think I'm crazy, but I am way less stressed out. I have a lot on my plate but it's all broken into little segments with due dates. And that is why I can sit on this here couch and write a blog entry and watch the Today show.

So, anyway, moving. Some of you have done this quite a lot. What do I need to do?! And what do I need to do to not get anything lost?!?!?! I'm thinking of carrying all my photographs and letters in my carry-on bag when I visit DC. I'm glad that I'm selling all my furniture and giving away a lot of stuff. Bleh.

0 bazillion comments on this entry

meerkats at the beach

11:02 a.m. - Saturday, May. 01, 2010

Last night Mike and I went on a most enjoyable daaaaate because it is around our sixth monthiversary. This is very exciting as most of you know I have never had a relationship that lasted this long. Hooray!

We went to Mercat a la Planxa, which to me translates as "Meerkats at the Beach." Since everyone knows that planxa sounds like plage which means beach in French. No bother that it's actually a Catalan restaurant and therefore probably a Catalan name. I had seen this restaurant many times, as it is the last thing you see on Michigan Avenue as you ride home on the 6 bus. And I was all, what a weird name for a restaurant!

Well, our meal was tasty, though I would have to say that some of the dishes were a little off. The decor is beautiful but there is pulsing, loud music the whole time. If you don't like eating to a beat, you better not go in this restaurant. We had paella negra (that means black paella!) which was very tasty and seafoody, but much too salty. However, when I bit into a big chunk of octopus I felt like I was hanging out in a tide pool in the sun. It was a most delicious feeling, though I got only two big chunks of octopus. We also had some goats milk cheese with green apple slices and garlic dulce de leche. I know, garlic? Dulce de leche? It was so good that I didn't understand why no one else was putting garlic in their dulce de leche. We also had rabbit in homemade pasta. The dish came out with suds, with brandied cherries under, and brown butter sauce and pureed chestnuts all over. It was delish. It was so delish that I sat there and ate the sauce with my fork while Mike sat there and judged me. The rabbit was a little tough, but that was a good dish. For desert I had chocolate mouse with some sort of crackly hazelnut and sugar shell, espresso hanging out in the shell, and sweet cream gelato on top. It was good, but unlike all the other dishes it was too big to finish.

So, a good meal but I would have been happier paying about half as much for it, as it had issues.

Then we went to the Joffrey Ballet, which I've wanted to see since I saw The Company, one of my favorite movies by Robert Altman. The program was called "Eclectica," because it was a mix of stuff. The first ballet was made in the 1970s. It was pretty classical-looking. The dancers were arranged symmetrically throughout the stage, they smiled, their arms looked very flowy, etc. They were accompanied by a live pianist and a cellist who wasn't very good, though the piece was very hard. Still, I think he should have practiced more.

The second ballet was kind of awful, and premiered a few days ago. The theme was "religion," the music was all commissioned by the church, very standard classical stuff. The set was a bunch of horizontal and vertical black monoliths (basically) that moved around the stage between the movements. The dancers were wearing very drab costumes with similar horizontal and vertical bars on them. The ladies' costumes were quite long--they looked like nuns, and at least one of them fell because her foot caught in her costume. There wasn't much of a theme to the dances. There were some jerky movements and straight limbs. I would say that was the only exciting thing about the whole dance, except that I had seen some very similar kinds of movements in an Alvin Ailey dance from the 60s that I saw a few weeks ago. So, not that original. The monoliths would move to hide and reveal dancers from time to time. That was kind of neat, but in the end kind of gimmicky. The only dance from this second part that I like was five men dancing with their shirts off, but not for the reason you think. At first I thought, men with their shirts off? How does this fit with religion? It was a very athletic dance, though, and then men looked like they were working very hard. First I though "back in the day, religion was all about your body, and this dance is very sensual and about the body." Then I thought "these men are working very hard. Religion really is hard work." You could see the sweat on their chests, and they looked like they were toiling. Otherwise the dances didn't really speak to me.

The third dance, on the other hand, was also a world premier, but was around 100 times better. The very first scene was arresting—a man held up a lady whose arms were held out, but curled up toward her chest in a very unnatural post. Her shoes were blood red and the rest of her outfit was white. Her legs just sort of hung out in the air. There was fog all over the stage and a lot of lighting from the side. Then ballerinas in traditional, long white tulle skirts came out and danced gracefully around them. Though the lights were bright, somehow you could tell that the dancing was taking place at night. The pas de deux was with the red-shoed lady and her partner. She seemed like a machine or a doll—he danced her around and around, but she had a blank expression on her face and seemed totally disengaged. At some point she started a creepy walk, curling and uncurling her arms in front of her body. Lest you think she was doing the robot onstage, the effect was very subtle. She was either a very listless person or a very lifelike doll. Throughout the ballet other dancers made machine-like motions, but sometimes they were spastic, sometimes they were mechanical, and sometimes graceful. There was also a great, whimsical dance with five men who would walk, spazz, and leap around. Their dancing seemed joyful, but sometimes uncomfortably energetic or silly, and it was a cool effect.

What I think separated this dance from the other two was the use of the stage. From the beginning, the dancers were very close to each other. Groups would dance around a single person or a couple and really envelop them, and then the whole caboodle would move across the stage together. There was no symmetry, but it really looked like the dancers were interacting with each other and lending meaning to each other because of how close together they were. You couldn't watch one person dancing without seeing it in relation to everyone else on the stage. In these modern dances were people often are doing seemingly random movements, it's important to maintain some kind of cohesiveness, which this dance did. Suddenly, people would seem to be in sync out of nowhere.

Mike read me an excerpt from a "review" that said the second dance will be remembered and danced throughout time. Give me a break. The third dance, though, might. It was that good.

0 bazillion comments on this entry

i got an award!

8:33 p.m. - Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2010

Hello, you are currently reading the blog of the co-winner of the Community Service Leadership award for the Harris School!

I cannot tell you how much this means to me. I'm sharing it with my buddy Megan. She messaged me and said "tell me again how I'm involved in community service?"

It's kind of a weird award, and I'm not sure how I won it, but I'm very happy to have done so.

In other news, I went down to Springfield for a most enjoyable visit. I taught my dad about Glee, I got a manicure and pedicure, I trimmed six rose bushes (ouch), I planted muchos impatiens, we put up beautiful curtains, and we ate a lot. We got Grandma out of the house probably three times more often than she's used to. She was very tired at the end of the weekend. Glad to see us go perhaps!

I also found a lot of letters to my family from WWII and many pictures. Some of Japan's surrender. Very interesting letters though—one is from a German guy who was in the SS and then in a PW camp for a bit. Also, a hint of a family secret. My grandfather looks nothing like his brother. I mean, they look more different than two white men could possibly look. Also, my grandfather was the first born but not named after his father, as his younger brother was. Weird, huh?

Good times. I have senioritis. The weather turns warmer every day. Mike got me absolutely beautiful flowers for our six month anniversary. I am spending the night at home so that I can spend more time with them. It smells so nice here!

0 bazillion comments on this entry

NOT pre-emptively fired!

4:30 p.m. - Monday, Apr. 19, 2010

Hellow! I just got my first email from Smoosh about how someday I will be working there! Yes! They wanted my resume to see what projects they can put me on, which they will discuss on Wednesday. I guess I should contact the people I want to work for and tell them they should request me. If they're even invited to that meeting.

This is good because I don't think I had heard from them since, oh, October when I got the offer. All kinds of things flitted through my head, such as whether I had already been fired!

I still don't know when my start date is. But I just re-read my contract that is not a contract and it looks like it's before or around September. Hopefully I'll find out soon and I can get back to planning my life as if I know what's going on.

0 bazillion comments on this entry

People I know

Colin sucks
Dan was almost fired for his blog
Ellen digs things in England
Erin doesn't allow links to her blog
Jenn is an entire librarian
Kenny is from Lubbock, TX
Mike is my boyfriend
Sam doesn't have a blog

RSS feed

    follow me on Twitter


    The Harris School of Public Policy is where I go to school
    The Alumni Schools Committee is where I volunteer
    The 20th Ward is where I intern
    College Admissions is my former job
    Carolyn Hax is my favorite advice columnist
    Diaryland hosts this site
    Speke's gazelle inflates its nose
    Martha Stewart's blog
    Marketplace is where I buy my furniture
    Manor House completely obsessed
    Chicago Public Radio I'm a proud member
    Pay a parking ticket in Chicago
    The Post-Punk Kitchen has vegan recipes
    Ultimate Chicago pretty obv
    Google Maps Pedometer to see how far you've run

    Last five entries

    new blogus magogus - Wednesday, May. 12, 2010
    gone soon - Wednesday, May. 12, 2010
    toodle-do! - Wednesday, May. 12, 2010
    meerkats at the beach - Saturday, May. 01, 2010
    i got an award! - Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2010