Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Soul Singing Santa

I was at the Thompson Center today, at the post office. On my way back to work, I decided to pick up some tasty Pumpkin Soup at Au Bon Pain. While waiting to cross the street, I saw the Soul Singing Santa. It's a guy dressed as Santa who sings soul music, like Al Green and Lou Rawls. He has a little sound system with his backup music. Now I love this music! It always puts me in a great mood. And Soul Singing Santa actually has a great voice too! So I gave him a buck. I normally don't tip street performers (except the Puppet Bike), but I had to make an exception for this guy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

When I mention a train in my postings, I'm usually referring to the CTA. However I do enjoy riding the Metra which is the commuter rail to the suburbs and beyond. I went out to Oswego yesterday to see my former boss' home and have dinner at one of my favorite chain restaurants, Outback. Since I was born and bred in the suburbs of America, Outback is a very comforting place for me to be.

Anyway, back to the Metra. I boarded at Union Station, which is a few blocks away from Sears Tower. It takes a little over an hour to make the trip. The Metra is enjoyable for me because it is usually quiet, always cleaner than the eL could ever be, and the seats are cushy. I ike seeing all the "villages" that we pass along the way. It's just very relaxing.

Post dinner, I got to partake in ice cream from a local institution, Oberwies Dairy. The ice cream there is really amazing. While we can get the milk in the grocery stores, we don't have the ice cream shop in the city.

So after my enjoyable and relaxing day, I board the Metra with a full belly to head back to the city.

I'm going home to Florida for Thanksgiving. I missed last year and while I had fun with friends, there is nothing like being home.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Strange things about me

This is for my blogging friend Andie...


Ive been tagged!
The first player of this "game" starts with the topic "seven weird habits/things about me" and people who get tagged need to write a blog about their seven weird habits/things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next six people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says, "You are tagged"

1. I am slightly obsessed with stupid MTV programming like "Parental Control" , "Date My Mom", and "My Super Sweet Sixteen". I once made my boyfriend watch 4 episodes straight of "Parental Control" and "Date My Mom"

2. I get sick everytime I drink red wine. I always end up puking. I'm a wimp.

3. I can always fall asleep when on a plane. Typically I'll fall asleep right as the plane is taking off. Maybe this is more due to the fact that I like flying in the early morning (less chances for delays).

4. I love sweet potatoes, but not in the way that people are used to eating them (with brown sugar and marshamallows). I like to eat them baked in olive oil, garlic powder, black pepper and rosemary.

5. I'm rockin a big TV crush on John Krasinski from the Office. Could he be any cuter??

6. I used to walk dogs and pet sit to make money while I was in college (aside from waiting tables). My dog clientele ranged from Irish setters to standard poodles!

7. I harbor a not so secret love for the 70's pop duo Th
e Carpenters. Blame my parents. But how could you not love Karen's voice??

Hmm, who to tag? Oh! My friend who writes Musings from the Windy City!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lift your pinkys!

One of my best friends, PreppyGirl, has said that every woman should experience formal afternoon tea at least once in their life. In an earlier post, I listed "Tea at the Drake Hotel" as one of my Chicago "Things to Do". I was able to check off this item as PreppyGirl and I, along with four of our girlfriends had a 3pm seating for tea at the Drake. We all dressed for the occasion, with the majority of us in skirts and sweaters. While waiting to be sat, we enjoyed the fabulous people watching opportunity. We marveled at our beautiful and elegant table setting, which included this contraption:

Since the majority of us had never had loose leaf tea before, it was a first to use a tea strainer!

Afternoon Tea at the Drake Hotel is held in the Palm Court Room. For $26.50, you receive your choice of tea and four types of tea sandwiches including:
  • Roast Beef
  • Cucumber and Tomato
  • Egg Salad
  • Asparagus and Ham (looks like a sushi roll!)
In addition, you receive fruit bread, scones, devonshire cream, and preserves. After all of that, you get a wonderful selection of petit fours.

We all tried different flavors of tea. I selected the Ginger Peach tea, which was wonderfully fragrant. I wish I had a candle that smelled like that! I tasted some of the other teas ordered by my friends, including Wild Blackberries. The sandwiches were really tasty, with favorites being the Roast Beef and Asparagus/Ham. Our waiter even brought us an extra plate of sandwiches after we devoured the first batch. The petit fours were excellent as well.

It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. We spent two hours giggling about the tea experience and just having really good and funny conversation. I was really happy to be able to share this experience with these great girls!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Countdown to Sunshine

The apartment is on its way to being subletted (in the tenant application phase), I've scheduled movers, and I'm transitioning my work duties to someone else on my team. The countdown is on!

I suppose I could get sentimental about the city of Chicago during this post, but I've decided to concentrate on the lighter side of things.

Today's focus : The Drinking Glove

Say What?

The drinking glove is a necessity in Chicago when the temperature dips below 50. This is half the year. With the barrage of pub crawls that occur in the fall months, it is a necessity to have a drinking glove to wear on your hand to hold your beverage of choice. Also, think of all the tailgating that is done up in the Midwest. You need the drinking glove or your hand will be so numb that you won't be able to hold a beer. Best use of a drinking glove was during the Southside Irish Parade. You would see people not wearing jackets or scraves, but lo and behold, the drinking glove will be ever present. It's the one item you don't lose no matter how drunk you get.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Da Bears are Da Best?

So the Chicago Bears have had a perfect season. They have had more than their share of shutouts. However I really don't think that the Bears' perfect record is that impressive. Okay, hold on to that tomato for just a second. I like the Bears. I really do. I've been watching Rex Grossman since his days at UF. They are a good team. But Super Bowl bound great? Hmm..not so sure.

Why would I make such a statement against the beloved Chicago Bears? This is the primary reason. They are in a weak division. Let's look back at who they have played so far:

  • Seattle Seahawks - after Shaun Alexander was out (Final Score 37-6; Seahawks current record: 4-3)

None of these teams are especially steller. In all honestly, the Bears are in the weakest division on the NFL (the NFC North). The Bears have been playing pretty sucky team so of course they have been winning. The Cardinals game was the DIRTIEST win ever. Grossman and those interceptions. Don't even get me started. They should NOT have won that game. The Bears play the Miami Dolphins (1-6) this Sunday and again, I'm sure they will kill them. But this easy schedule is the worst thing that could happen to the Bears. They have a tough couple of games coming to them after the Dolphins game, which include the NY Giants (oh Eli--I heart him) and the New England Patriots. I will happily change my outlook about Da Bears if they can win against these two strong teams. The undefeated record would actually be meaningful to me if it has been maintained come December.

Let's imagine that the Bears do make it to the playoffs. I would be very interested to see how they stack up against the following teams: Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Baltimore Ravens.

A Bears/Colts playoff game? Bring it on!

eL Etiquette

While riding the Red Line into work today, I witnessed several eL etiquette atrocities. I saw several girls using their big Kate Spade/Coach/Louis Vuitton bags as weapons. The big bag is an essential in Chicago, as many of us don't have a car to use to schlep our stuff around. However, the big bag should never, and I repeat NEVER be used as a weapon. Many girls on the eL today used their bags to push against people as they manuevered their way into the car. Also many girls used their bags to establish their personal space zone. When you are packed like sardines in a car, there IS NO personal space. We are all just trying to make it into work without being too late. Could you just put your bag down or at least not use it to hurt someone?

I also saw a pregnant girl (at least 6 months) who had to stand because no one would give up their seat for her. I too was standing so I had no seat to give her. Everyone was concentrating a little too hard on listening to their iPods, reading their RedEye, or staring blankly into space. I even saw seated people look straight at her and not even flinch to give up their seat. I swear this happens on a weekly basis.

When we pulled into the Grand spot, there was a girl who shoved people out of her way to get out of the car. Mind you, these people were already in the process of moving for her and she just couldn't wait. Again, we know--you are late to work because the eL was delayed at Fullerton for like 10 minutes. But come on, the shoving isn't necessary.

So please..there is no need to shove or use fashionable accessories as weapons on the eL. And for goodness sakes, if you see a pregnant woman or an elderly person stading on the eL, give them your seat!