False Advertising

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale. Especially at TJMaxx or Marshall’s. What I do not love, however, is false advertising. Anywhere. It’s like saying you’re 8″ when you’re really about 2″ shy of that…meaning 6″, not 10″ (because who would complain about the latter?). It’s like getting Catfished at dinner. Nobody likes a surprise like that.

A few months back, I bought an hourglass with black sand. Super cool, right? Aesthetically, yes. Functionally, think again.

I decided last weekend (thanks to a couple cocktails) to test it out with my friend and see if it actually went for an hour.

Forty-seven minutes later, we realized I’d been lied to. No wonder this sucker was at TJMaxx. Hello false advertising. How do you call something an “hourglass” when it’s really a “47-minuteglass”…it’s like buying a ticket to a Britney Spears concert and finding out it’s really Derrick Barry performing. While they both look the same and will be lip syncing their entire performance, it’s not what you thought what you were paying to see. Annoying. Same goes with a 47-minuteglass that you thought was an hourglass.

Granted this not-quite-an-hourglass isn’t being used to keep time so it really doesn’t matter, I just find it funny. And slightly annoying. But since it looks nice, I’m okay with it.

Roomies, Roomdogs, and Roommates from Hell

Roommates and I are like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It’s always either one extreme or the other, however some are just perfect. When it comes to roommates, I’ve experienced about everything there is to offer. Good roommates, bad roommates, and everything in between.

Growing up, I shared a room with my sister for over seven years – welcome to having a two-bedroom home with two children – until we finally put on an addition, so sharing a room was something I was somewhat experienced with already when I went away to college. My roommate freshman year and I couldn’t be more different, yet we got along great. A communications major at the time, I was the social butterfly. He, on the other hand, was an engineering major who wanted to design roller coasters. Super cool, but always studying. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to him, and I wouldn’t have nearly failed out my sophomore year. But that’s beside the point. We got along great, even though we never really hung out much outside of our dorm room…partially because we were both slightly obsessive compulsive when it came to keeping our room clean.

Fast forward to sophomore year. I moved into a three bedroom apartment with three of my friends from freshman year. Since I was staying in the city to work for the summer, I got to enjoy having the place to myself for the summer. Needless to say, when they moved in, I lasted all of about three months before I decided to head for the hills – well, downtown rather – and go back to living on my own.  Continue reading

An Open Letter to the CTA

Dearest Chicago Transit Authority,

I have never been more annoyed in my life than I am right now with you. And that’s saying a lot being as I’m the Often Annoyed Designer. Here. Let me explain.

This new Ventra system? Yeah…about that. If you’re going to transition someone over to it from the existing Chicago Card that they currently use, you should probably wait to deactivate their card until you send them their new card. But wait, that would make too much sense, now wouldn’t it?

Here. I’ll give the backstory, although I’m sure you’re aware from my tweets, emails, phone calls, and three separate trips to your customer service offices today. Yes, I had to come in three times…and you still haven’t been able to help me. Hence my open letter to you. Continue reading

Giving Head to Get (Others) Ahead

I’m sure you’ve heard the “Give head to get ahead” phrase. Well call me a whore, but sometimes this is true. Has it ever gotten me ahead? No. At least not yet. I’m not that lucky. Has it ever led to a connection that’s gotten someone else ahead though? Perhaps.

A few years ago when I lived in Nebraska, I came to Chicago for a design conference and trade show. I met this guy who also worked in the retail/design industry and was going to be going to be going to the same event that evening that I was planning on hitting up. He had some designer friends who worked in the city that he suggested meeting up with to build some more connections for me since I was looking to move here at the time.

Well, needless to say one thing led to another (or more appropriately one open bar rooftop party led to another) and I ended up back at his place at the end of the night. Cue the walk of shame(lessness) at 6am back to my friend’s place where I was staying and the questions about where I’d been all night. Whoops. Continue reading

Immaturity is SUCH a Turn-Off

Sometimes – correction, all the time – I wonder to myself how people manage to have any friends when they act as immature as they do. Then I realize that they surround themselves with people equally as immature and obnoxious so they feel right at home. These people annoy the absolute shit out of me.

While I’m fully aware that I’m not always the most mature person (I laugh to myself when my elevator says “Going down” and when I see “Penetration Plan” in a set of construction documents), it pains me to hang out with people who don’t have their shit together. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time fo that!”

Sometimes I think that I matured quickly since my dad passed away just before I turned 10. I was forced to grow up and act my shoe size (wearing a 13 at the time, I may as well have gone to clown school) rather than my age. Part of me thinks this stuck with me, so I’ve always acted slightly older than I am. Regardless, immature people are the reason I imbibe in a adult beverages…especially when in their presence.

For instance… Continue reading

Not-So-Happy Camping in the City

Tonight I came to the realization that if you want to be a happy camper in this city, perhaps you should actually camp out. And no, there is no pitching a tent required. And no, I’m not talking about actually camping.

Okay. Enough analogizing. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

Yesterday I’d received an email from Klout informing me I’d scored a new perk (and you know how I am with my free shit – you don’t? Well check out this post). Two free movie passes to an advance showing of the new movie Don Jon – starring none other than the drool-worthy Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Holy yum, Batman. Jackpot. Count me in with a +1 for the evening.

Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to finally get to know one of my many Grindr/Facebook acquaintances – one who actually interned this summer a block or two from my office and lives within walking distance of my condo hence a nearly-always-within-a-few-thousand-feet-away location (yet we’d somehow never met since our schedules always conflicted, minus that one time we were both on the same train platform at once – hello potential for a missed connections posting on Craigslist) – I shot off a text inviting him along.

RSVP times two: Check.

This afternoon at precisely 3:04pm, I receive the following email: Continue reading

Social Media, Customer Service, and a Justification for $200+ Jeans

People often ask me – in particular, my mother – why on earth I have no issue spending exorbitant amounts of money on jeans. I’ll tell you why. The quality of manufacturing and great customer service. A company that is willing to stand behind its product when something goes wrong – especially when contacted through social media – speaks volumes about the brand as a whole and fully justifies the cost of the product in my mind.

I recently had an issue with a pair of Adriano Goldschmied jeans that I’d bought at this awesome boutique back in Lincoln (that is now unfortunately out of business…but only because the owners are moving to NYC). The issue? The zipper refuses to stay up. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting, walking, dancing, whatever. If they made Viagra for zippers this pair of jeans should have been prescribed a maximum dose for daily wear. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about this pair of jeans except for the fact that the zipper refuses to stay up. 

So what do I do? The same thing any social-media-savvy twenty-something does these days: I took that shit to Twitter.

“I’ve never had more trouble with a zipper not wanting to stay up than with my favorite pair of @AGJeans #WasteOfMoney” Continue reading

I’m a Designer…NOT a Decorator!!

I cannot tell you how many times I get asked “Oh you’re a decorator? I just moved into a new place and have no idea what color to paint my walls or what pillows to get. You should totally help me out!” after telling someone I work in the interior design industry. This is seriously one of my biggest…pet…peeves…EVER. There are few things annoy designers more than being classified and referred to as a decorator. So to help you out, I’m going to take a little time out of my afternoon today to go over the difference between a designer and a decorator so none of you ever have to offend a designer again.

This was always a hot-button issue when I was in design school. So hot of an issue actually that our Interior Design Club put it as a line item on the back of our “You Know You’re an Interior Design Major When…” shirts (3. You feel the urge to strangle anyone who calls  you a “decorator” or asks for your help with pillows and curtains.) that, yes, I still own and wear to the gym.

According to the NCIDQ (a fancy exam that some states require you to take that’s on the interior design equivalent of the bar exam for lawyers), the difference between being a designer and a decorator is as follows: Continue reading

Networking 101

I’ve recently gone to a few networking events and launch parties – both professional and otherwise – and I was surprised (although not surprised at the same time) at how some of the events compared to one another. Particularly when it came to matters of actually socializing and networking…on both a personal and brand level. While I’m fully aware that not everyone is born a people-person, if you’re going to try and launch your product or promote your brand (or yourself) there’s a few things you should probably brush up on before you throw yourself out there if you want the night to be a resounding success.

I’m a huge fan of the RedEye. Seriously. Every morning I pick one up on my way to the train. 45 minutes later I have an interesting random bit of knowledge to share at the office, most commonly to my Mexican friend Party – otherwise known as Fiesta in her native language. From learning about some random topic or world happening (in some cases both birds are killed with one stone/story) to where a launch party is going on for some new brand or product, the RedEye is an amazing resource.  Continue reading

I’m Not Picky….I Just Know What I Want.

In anticipation of the date I have set up for this Friday – thanks in part to the assertiveness (total turn-on) of the gentleman caller who, after responding to his question of “What are you doing Friday night?” with a “I don’t have any plans,” promptly informed me that I did now and to make sure I didn’t double-book myself – I’ve put together a basic list of qualities, traits, and must-haves that I look for in a potential partner. By no means is this an all-inclusive list of absolute make-it-or-break-it requirements, because I mean, let’s face it, I’m fully aware that someone who meets all the criteria I’m about to list out either A) doesn’t exist, or B) is already taken. Some require a somewhat detailed explanation, while others are relatively self-explanatory.

ASSERTIVE – Friday boy already has this down.
AMBITIOUS  I don’t care what you want to do with your life (to an extent), but at least have a plan. Be ambitious. Is that too much to ask? If so, stop reading right now and go reevaluate your life.
DECISIVE – I hate being the one who chooses where dinner is all the time. I’m indecisive. Make a choice and let’s go….and on that note…
SPONTANEOUS – I love a good impulse buy (preferably a gift for me), a impulsive idea-turned-reality (i.e. let’s go do this!), etc. Continue reading