Valuable Life Lessons and Vodka-Lemonade

As I quickly close in on turning 26 (gasp), I started to think about who I am, where I’ve come from, and what I’ve learned over the years. Will this be slightly sentimental, possibly. Will it be entertaining, most likely, I’m a pretty entertaining individual (or at least I like to think so).

LESSON 1
No matter how hard I try, I’ll probably never be good at calculus or chemistry. Do I care? Nope. Doesn’t apply to my life. Over it. Those borderline-failing grades and late-dropped classes from high school and college clearly didn’t matter.

LESSON 2
Geography is not my strong point either. Clearly, since before I moved to Nebraska I thought it was the state above Texas. I also learned while out there that there are mountains in Wyoming so, therefore, it makes sense to put stacked stone in a bookstore.

LESSON 3
If you’re good at bullshitting and wording things right, you can make a job folding clothes and changing/aiming lightbulbs at Abercrombie & Fitch relevant to interior design. Same with putting away sunglasses at Sunglass Hut. Things like this can also help you land a good position after college. It’s all in how you talk it up. Continue reading

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The Culture Quest

So I realize I’ve been MIA for over a week. First off, yes, I’m alive. I haven’t been mugged, blown away by a giant gust of wind, murdered, or whatever other stereotypical thing you might associate with Chicago. I live on the north side, nowhere close to the south/southwest sides where the majority of gang violence occurs. No. I’ve simply been MIA because I’ve had too much going on this week to even think twice about posting. Hence the reason I’m sitting at home on a Saturday evening like a grandpa in my rocking chair boycotting Boystown in favor of unwinding (with a bottle of wine, of course).

So here we go…

I’m on a mission to attempt to become cultured. Call it Mission Impossible if you will. I say bring it on. And of course, my trusty sidekick and temporary roommate/maid/chef/sleeping-partner/whatever – or “winghoe” as she’s also referred to – will be by my side going balls-to-the-wall on this quest right along with me.

From shopping-fueled fundraising benefits to lectures to scotch tastings, we will become cultured one day/night/event at a time.  Continue reading

Dating Blindly

Ever have one of those days where your short-term memory seems to be nonexistent? Perhaps a goldfish one-ups you with their three-second memory span capability. Ever find yourself texting with too many people at once who want to meet up for dinner/drinks/coffee/whatever and you can’t remember who you agree to meet up with on a Thursday night and have to go back through your phone to try and figure out who it was? Welcome to my life.

After tweeting this morning about my dilemma of not remembering who I’m supposed to be meeting up with tonight, my friend @SpotGTony (since Twitter thought @TonyGSpot was inappropriate) informed me it was more accurately called #WhoreProblems rather than #GayBoyProblems. I beg to differ. I call it weeding out the idiots in a quest to find someone decent. It’s like the denim tables at Nordstrom Rack – you don’t typically find the perfect pair right on the top of the pile. The perfect pair is usually misplaced on the wrong table or at the bottom of a stack that you wouldn’t find if you didn’t go looking for it.

Which is exactly the reason why I’m more than willing to go on dates with a variety of people. I live in Chicago. I’m single. I’m fresh meat. I may as well take a chance, live it up, and meet some new people while that lasts. Plus you never know who you’ll randomly meet or the conversations you’ll have on a random date. At the least it’s good blog material.

Needless to say, I’m interested to see who I’ll be somewhat-blindly meeting (probably not having previously Facebook-creeped or Google-searched as usual) this evening. Perhaps he’ll be a winner (see also: I’m Not Picky….I Just Know What I Want). Perhaps not. Regardless, I better not get catfished…and he better pick up the tab.

Not-so-Handyman

After a few months of living in my condo and several people managing to lock themselves in my bathroom because of an ancient doorknob with a mind of its own that liked to randomly lock itself, the little shit finally decided to lock me in the other night. A couple glasses of wine deep, I figured it was time to take matters into my own hands and ensure it wouldn’t happen to anyone else. A pair of tweezers, some creativity, and a little elbow grease later, I’d successfully removed the doorknob and let myself out. Take that, Mr. Doorknob.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to replace it and hiked my happy Hudson-skinny-jean-clad ass (complete with a cute sweater and loafers) down to the local Homo Depot on a quest to find myself two new doorknobs (because heaven forbid the bedroom and bathroom not match) and hopefully a hot, hunky, and – most importantly – handy husband.

Wandering around the store aimlessly, I managed to find doorknobs and a ceiling light. Calling my mother to see if she thought I’d be able to change the light in my kitchen on my own, she wasted no time reminding me of that one time I tried to rewire a table lamp and shorted out my entire apartment, nearly starting a fire in the process. Perhaps I’ll leave that to my landlord or, even better, an electrician.

(Fine mom, I’ll hold off on the light for now. I’ll call my landlord and see if he’ll pay to have it installed if I pay for the fixture. Seems like a fair trade to me.)

Doorknobs though…I can handle that. Continue reading

Putting the “Fun” in Fundraiser

Just yesterday afternoon as I was rushing to get home to my temporary live-in-maid/chef with a bundle of asparagus and two sweet potatoes to go with the steaks she’d been marinating for me to cook for us for dinner (yes, even live-in chefs need a night off once in a while), I was stopped and asked on the sidewalk if I had a moment to help save a starving child.

“Sorry, buddy. I’m on my way home to save a starving roommate before she bites my head off in hunger-induced cannibalism.”

I’m not sure if the look he gave me was one of shock, disbelief, annoyance, or if he was shooting daggers with his eyes because I didn’t turn around to see his reaction. I was on a mission.

Call me heartless, but when you get asked every day by the representative of some charity or another on the streets of Chicago to spare a minute and make a donation or, better yet, a recurring donation…you just have to say enough is enough at some point. It annoys me the most when I have my headphones in or I’m on the phone and this happens. Clearly I don’t have a moment to save a ___________. Can’t you see I’m in a hurry/preoccupied/whatever?

But sometimes, once in a great while, my Grinch-esque heart thaws momentarily and I decide to help out a charity. Continue reading

My Very Own Personal Travel Agent

I swear my mother missed her calling as a personal travel agent. For as much shit as I give her, she deserves a gold medal for putting up with me and making my travel arrangements on a whim…especially considering the fact that I call her at all hours of day and night – including right now since it’s currently closing in on midnight on the East Coast where she lives and I’m in the process of having her book my flight home for the holidays.

She’s phenomenal. Especially when she talks herself through every step of the process. She’s quite the ham to listen to on the phone.

“Okay. United confirmation! You are confirmed! Traveler Mr. ___________. Cool! And because I’m using rewards travel, okay, your first bag is free! Well no, wait, you know why it’s free? It’s because I’m using my United rewards card!”

And yes, this is all her talking to herself through the booking process. Now I know where I get the whole talking-to-myself thing from. Continue reading

The Hair Salon of Friendship

Going through life as we grow and mature (or not in the case of too many people it seems), we come to realize that there’s no room for negative people. So like a good haircut, those dead-end-like “friends” get cut off, swept up, and disposed of.

A prime example of this is a girl I’d been close friends with back in high school with whom I had actually gone to prom with one year. Despite being a pretty religious girl from a conservative family, she’d always been seemingly cool with the gays, and she was actually one of the first ones I’d told that I thought I might be when I was 15 or 16. So now, all of a sudden just shy of ten years later, she re-adds me on Facebook.

“Liking” the occasional post/photo/comment/whatever, was about the extent of our interaction for the most part aside from the occasional message checking in saying “hi”…until just recently. She posted a link to a Fox News article about a bakery in Oregon that had decided to close its doors rather than cater to a same-sex couple wanting to commission a wedding cake for their special day. She posted the link to the article with a comment to the effect of “So glad someone is standing up for Christian beliefs. Wish more people would recognize traditional values and what God wants.” Continue reading

Meet the Future Host of MTV’s Catfish

Sititng here watching MTV’s Catfish with Not-so-Carrie while she sets up an online dating profile, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d be an excellent candidate to host this show should one of the hosts be unable to stick with it. Partly because I may as well have “Professional Googler” listed as a marketable skill on my résumé.]

And you can bet your happy ass that I’ll be utilizing these skills as she gets ready to meet up with these men.

Allow me to elaborate.

A few weeks back, she’d been visiting a 31-year-old Adderall-snorting toolbag (sorry, but it’s only cool if you’re 25 and under) who’d bought her a plane ticket to see him. Needless to say, she didn’t enjoy the weekend and he was dropped like a pen that wouldn’t be picked back up via the Bend and Snap technique perfected in Legally Blonde.  Continue reading

Interior Design is a Disease

Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me when I walk into any given environment and begin to pick out everything about it that’s wrong or doesn’t work. In instances like this, I begin to think I’m a judgmental bitch. Perhaps, but not really. The root of all evil in this case is that I am a designer. It’s in our blood to study the design of any space we’re in and try to figure out how (if at all) it can be improved upon.

One of my biggest annoyances is when stairs aren’t designed on a 7/11 ratio. What is this, you ask? Stair treads should be 11″ deep and only raise 7″ up. The steps at most CTA stations, the stairs that go from Michigan Avenue down to East Illinois Street, the stairs going down to the Chicago Riverwalk – these and several others drive me up a wall because they aren’t built on a 7/11 ratio making it uncomfortable to go up or down them because your feet either don’t fit on the stair correctly, or you have to take more than one step per stair. Call me crazy, but go for a walk and see for yourself.

ADA is also my worst nightmare. She’s a whore. She haunts my dreams day in and day out. She is seriously everywhere. From door swings to clearances and everything in between, her special needs get hammered into your head in design school and become even more apparent in the real world. There’s no escaping her. She is contagious, and I have caught her disease.

Is this Interior Design Disease life-threatening? God I sure hope not. Is it annoying? Very. I feel like rather than appreciating the space I’m in like any other normal non-designer human being, I’m stuck with this gift/curse of walking into somewhere and instantly seeking out what could have been done better or what doesn’t meet code. It’s ridiculously annoying, but at the end of the day, I’m perfectly content having this disease because I love what I do, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

True Life: My Former Best Friend is a Psychopathic Sociopath

I’d like to apologize in advance, but some people just need a harsh dose of reality…or a swift kick straight in the mangina. One such person is my former roommate and one of my closest friends who decided to pour our friendship down the drain like the bottle of gin he probably shouldn’t have consumed before scoring his second DUI. But really, there’s no hard feelings between the two of us, can’t you tell?

But really…where do I even begin? Perhaps at the beginning of our soon-to-be-trainwrecked friendship.

When I first moved to Lincoln back in June 2011, I was absolutely terrified to say the least. Not knowing a single person – no friends, no relatives, nobody at all – it was probably one of the biggest leaps of faithlessness I’ve ever made in my life. Stranded in the Midwest with no friends and not even knowing where the gay bar(s) were – if any at all.

Perhaps you’re wondering, “What did you do?” “How did you meet anyone?” “How did you become the Regina George of the Mean Girls or the Teresa Giudice of the Real Housewives of Lancaster County?” Simple. This bitch got on Grindr and networked his ass off (much like he did in Chicago).

I wasted no time making friends with the first non-shirtless guy around my age who had something other than a bathroom mirror selfie for a default pic. Rescuing me from an exciting evening of Netflix, sweatpants, and antisocial drinking, I was informed to be at a certain corner (typical) at a certain time. I would be meeting up with my new soon-to-be-made friend and his friends who would become my new friends. Continue reading