Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hey! It's the Crap I Find On Etsy!

Chelles's note: I wrote this before I got off of work yesterday. And believe me, a ton has changed. I maybe had one of the most miserable nights in awhile. Between the crying on the kitchen floor and over a pot of poorly made noodles... and the mess I made of my relationship, I am pretty much spent emotionally. Even now, I am still crying. I realize that it is just one day in the scheme of 365, but the last five years have been all the same (minus the crying- this is the first one I managed to break down). There is a ton going on with me mentally that I am not prepared to share here, so I am going to ask you to bare with me. Can someone give me a redo of yesterday? Just pick me up, take me out, and let's pretend it's my birthday all over again. Please?

It's a perfect day. So right for my birthday! Seriously. 75 degrees and sunny. If it was a bit warmer, I'd head to the beach. Maybe this weekend or later on. I did get an amazing (free) shuttle ride to work today. As I was blasting Rilo Kiley's "Breaking Up" on my ipod, the bus turned on the stretch of the road that faces directly on to the lake. The sun was shining, there were sailboats of every color, and the energy was magnetic. Just as Jenny Lewis cries "Oh! It feels good to free!" rays of sun just trickled out of every corner of the bus. It was surreal. Maybe it is a reminder that even if I feel like I am 40 and already past this birthday let down thing- I am still young and alive.

I tried taking a picture of it all on my new phone, the Motorola Blur, but I still haven't figured out a majority of the options. Seriously, I am touch phone illiterate. Someone tell me how to download ringtones on this thing!

Anyways, it's only 10am and my phone has been blasted with texts and various other messages wishing me a happy birthday. I have three people on my list that I am not expecting a call or message from, but if they do manage to find it in their heart to make contact, I'd be a bit relieved and excited over.

Because I am in such a great mood today, I will present episode three of Crap I Find on Etsy! Moving from bags and purses, I bring you today's category of "bath and beauty." Let's start off with the good:

I'm not a girl who wears perfume heavily. In fact, I stick to one scent until I hate it or it runs out. I'm cheap too... a Lucky brand girl. Right now, I am reeking of vanilla christmas scents from Victoria Secrets. I do have a large bottle of perfume I got in Paris that has hints of watermelon and grape in it. I only wear that one for special, special occasions (aka, when I want to meet a man who's apparently really in to fruit). But dating the vegan and being eco-conscious makes me consider the effects of the perfume on both my body and the animals it is inevitably been tested on. That's why, for the good, I am picking this vanilla, eco friendly, and animal-free solid perfume:

It's my birthday- BUY! (Only $5)

Now, for the BAD. It wasn't a hard decision, actually, because this stood out as the most repulsive thing to put on your body. First of all, I get massive headaches when wearing leather so I cant imagine being drenched in the scent all day. Secondly, only bikers would approach a gal whose scented calling card smells like the seat of a their "hog." And no way will I buy something described as "smokey, leather." I used to live in Elgin. That was smokey and leather-y enough for me, thank you.

For those of you who enjoy the scent of mutilated cow during seduction time.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

23 Years In the Sucking- An Emo Post On Birthdays

In about two hours, I will turn 23. So exciting, right? Actually, I cant remember a time when I was really, truly excited for my birthday past the age of 14. My mom, the social butterfly that she is, planned ah-mazing parties for my sister and I. She was the queen of the hostesses. But princess parties in grandma's backyards fail to impress those over 10. Sorry mom. I still miss those days.

Unfortunately, when you are as close in age as my sister and I are (11 months), then you typically dont get to celebrate individually. Her birthday being the 23rd of June and mine on the 30th, there was no point in having two parties, especially when you are also brought up to have mostly the same friends. Last year, I got to add my sister's wedding to the mix when she was married 3 days before my 22nd. Starting to see a trend?

Every since the days of themed parties and sleepovers were long gone, my day of birth has been nothing but let downs. I'd attempt to make plans with my friends, like this year, only to find that because my birthday falls near a holiday weekend, I will have limited access to those dearest and nearest. Because it's in the summer, I had to deal with breaks and vacations also throwing a wrench in my plans to even associate birthdays with communal celebrations. My 21st included.

Last year, I was down right miserable on my 22nd. I was still getting over the "my little sister got married before me and I am still single" stress and pinning after a guy who secretly had a girlfriend in Thailand. After watching me sulk, my Roommate Green took me out to get cupcakes near our apartment in Boystown. I then spent the rest of my night regretting a certain sleepover at formerly mentioned crush's condo. I'd give it a D. My 21st was a total F. I went out at midnight with Panda, and Panda only. Call that depressing. I cant even remember what I did on the 16th-20th, but I know that most ended up with disappointment.

And that's why I have the adopted the "forget it" policy. Tomorrow will be like any other day- I will go to work, most likely do something with B that's not too out of the norm, and go home early for work in the morning. I will of course be expecting a couple phone calls, texts, and messages on my brand new phone (happy birthday to me?). But everything else will happen and end and I will come back here in a year and complain about this birthday as well.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In Rainbows

I've had an absolutely fantastic weekend. After having nothing to do at my job besides fret over what insurance plan I was going to pick and how to adjust my World Cup table, I was so glad for the weekend to come. I spent pretty much all of it with B, exploring my new neighborhood. The RP has great potential and this apartment is shaping out nicely now that I finally found time and motivation to unpack all of my crap. (ok, I might still have a box or two in my backseat!)

On Friday, we found a bar. Nothing exciting and no drinks quite as enticing as my beloved gummy bear at the Elgin Public House. We did get to watch the most uncomfortable wedding anniversary party ever...

Saturday was all about the heartbreak. My poor USMNT couldn't pull off another miracle and make it through to the quarters. I am proud they got through their rounds, but their play has been somewhat uninspired since they won CONCACAF. Unfortunately, unlike the Cubs, I cant say "next year." I get the four year rub. We made up for my heartache with long islands... lots and lots of LONG ISLANDS. Mixed with piano bars and a cute double date, it was all downhill from there. Ask KStrong and B... and everyone else I managed to dial or text.

I luckily woke up today with no hang over in time to go to the Pride Parade. Last year, my dad and Melanie came down and I attempted to find them in a massive sea of sweaty rainbow faces. This year, I spent the 2+ hour parade in B's brother's apartment with his family.

All I've got to say, and this may be the most meaningful thing I've got at this hour, is that love is love. It shows no preference to age, race, gender, creed, experience, clothing taste, money, etc. And I cant be any more proud that my generation is the one that continually accepts that. Every generation has its "cause." This one cant be anymore ours. And what could be more nobler than fighting for love?

And that's it for me. I promised three blogs a week. Let's just pretend I finished this 20 minutes ago.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hand Holding

This morning, while walking to my L stop, I saw maybe the cutest old couple walking hand in hand. It was 7:30 in the morning and I was still dreaming of gnomes eating my brains (true nightmare), so I really think that the lack of sleep mixed with the lobotomy performed on me made my heart flutter a bit more when I passed them up.

Maybe it was because I kept replaying that Zales commercial (shout out to my mom who works there) in my spinning head. Have I been that commercial exposed that I now look at two old people strolling as a sign that I need to get to the nearest jewelry store and spend 2 months salary on myself?

God. I hope not.

I could easily write about engagements, but I will spare you that for at least another 2 years. Instead, I'm going to present an ode to holding hands. Even though the Beatles beat me to it, one of my favorite movies mentions it, this article proves it scientifically, and Shakespeare made it famous, I still feel that nothing express romantic interest better than a good hand holding:

Oh, fourth grade love...

The kind that bewilders and excites.

How do I long to press

My fingers with frail might.

It's your sweaty palm, dear

That conjures mental mess

The way your eyes begin to peer

And how your arms will steer

Your dirty digits

To my lotioned fidgets

Embracing one last round.

A perfect fit.

A witty quip.

We walk hand to hand

Ground to ground.

Now, I will admit that I hate writing poetry, but that did incite some little tingles of remembering the first boy I ever walked hand in hand with. We strolled through the mall, rocking our arms back and forth wildly, until we reached the movie theater where our hands didn't depart unless to grab more popcorn.

As I've become older, my hand holding has become more meaningful. I'm one of those girls who will linger until the other one pulls away or falls asleep. I believe in reading palms as a romantic gesture, even if it is just jest. I get goosebumps when someone offers theirs to mine without me going in for the kill first. And frankly, holding hands turns me on much more than a steamy make out session.

Plus, you cant fall down alone when you hold hands. The reciprocated either has to catch you or take the fall with you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crap I Find On Etsy pt II

Last week, I mentioned that part of my day at work was spent finding artwork for the office. I spent about 14 hours scouring the interwebs and sites like ebay and etsy until I found this:
Basically, it matches our office perfectly as we already have one etsy artwork in this color scheme. It is also kind of nerdy, in a way- perfect for biotechnology departments. We are going to purchase three of these with dark brown or black frames and put them on our currently blank main wall across from our desks.

See! Great things can be found on etsy if you search 3 times a week for over 14 hours!

Back to the crap though, because, duh, that's where the magic is. If you dont remember, I last assaulted you with baby leg warmers. Priceless and classy formal pageant wear for the teething set. I started off with accessories and am now moving on to my personal favorite, bags and purses (I am skipping art until I am not thankful for Etsy sellers/legit artists like the one above).

Now, I dont know about you, but when I go shopping for purses (less frequently then you think), I tend to channel my inner Rock of Love. This purse is called "Lightning Strikes," which might explain the painful display of leather fringe dripping from all corners of this monstrosity. The neon blue and the white stars make it only appropriate if you are dressing up like a skanky Hannah Montana for Halloween, or again, that old lady from season 2 of Rock of Love (you know, the cowgirl). Shame on this creator. Even he/she/it/ugh notes that you "cant find this purse anywhere else, maybe Saturn." It's out of this world in such a bad way that I am not sure if the gassy, remote planet would even spit crap like this out of its many icey rings.

In case you really want to visit the rings of crazy tacky purse shopping.

Ok, now for a good purse. As you all may know, I have no sense of style but I've watched a ton of Clinton and Stacey antics on WNTW to know that short=small. Being short and Pooh like in build, I have learned that my body cant handle a large, Mary Kate hobo bag which is ok with me as man on corner chic never appealed to me. I do, however, adore anything in vintage style and color. When a bag is in the shade of a particular vespa I've been drooling over since Europe, I tend to fall in love with it instantly. I can picture myself in a white summer dress, holding on to a rugged Italian (I'll make it Irish for B's sake) as he races down side streets in a baby blue scooter. We stop for french onion soup and cupcakes (MY FANTASY!) at some local cafe and drive off into the sunset for our picnic by the lake/river/ocean.... ahhhhhh...

My birthday is only 8 days away...

Happy shopping, folks!

P.S. If anyone is curious as to where I got my fantasy from... just revert to what I watched before bed last night and mix it in with my variously outrageous food cravings:

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Like I mentioned in my other posts, I am sorry for my absence. I've been exceptionally busy with the transition from one home to another. Now, I am all (sorta) moved in and adjusted. It wasn't without its own drama. For example, the original plan was to move in on Tuesday, but my leasing company (Chicago Apartment Finders) couldn't get the paperwork to go through fast enough. I eventually signed my lease on Wednesday and I began personally moving boxes on Thursday night after work.

My ammmmmazing dad had pre-arranged to come help me move all of my stuff on Friday night. But we soon realized that if we were to move everything on Friday, we would be making about 10 trips until about 4am. He took the day off and I leased out my younger cousin to help him move. B was supposed to contribute but he had an emergency car repair and couldn't make it. So while I was working a very dangerous graduation ceremony and attempting to keep up with the World Cup action at work, my dad and cousin Kyle were roughing through storms, flooding, and the unpleasant parking conditions to move almost everything in my old apartment in to my new one.

When I got off of work, I ran through a lightning and hail storm to my new pad only to find that we had lost a much beloved member of my furniture family. I recently purchased an amazingly cheap, but still a splurge, mattress set. B struggled to pull up the boxspring by himself so I figured that would be the WORST part of moving. I was so right. My dad and cousin spent about 45 minutes until they broke it and gave up. Now I am sleeping on the mattress alone. I'm not going to lie, it sucks. Hopefully I can find a quick and easy solution that will get me up off the floor asap.

But really, I have nothing but thanks for my father. This is a man who has moved my growing amount of crap at least 10 times in the last 5-6 years. From tiny dorm rooms to 4th floor transition apartments during major baseball games, my dad has done it all... often with little to no help from this weak armed party.

Not to mention the fact that he has seen me through three cars, three major boyfriends, and three major life changing career moves... My dad is amazing. And I, of course, now have unobtainable expectations of what a man should and shouldn't do. But most of all, he has given me life lessons. These are just six of them that I take with me in my every day life:

1. Be kind to everyone you meet.
2. Trash talk and gossiping behind one person's back only leaves you open for them to do the same.
3. Create your own opportunities and never be afraid to say yes when possible.
4. Find a good man that will listen to you when you are sad and share in your joy when you are happy.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
6. Good movies can include Meg Ryan.

Oh, and listen to plenty of Paul Simon. Daily.

Another great man in my life is B. I spent most of yesterday out in the country at his family's home in celebration of the Solstice. It was a beautifully bright day, and I again loved meeting his family. They are such a wonderfully open group of people. And the kids are just adorable! Hearing little Logan tell B that he knew that his beer wasn't "big kid's pop" was hysterical.

Today, I woke up with to B moving and unpacking most of my stuff. He apparently got up and couldn't sleep, so instead of waking me up or just turning on the tv, he spent the majority of the morning unpacking, and organizing my desk. Later, we went out for lunch, saw Toy Story 3 (A+++++++++), and then watched the Guild while eating pita take out. Yummy weekend!

Anyways, I will make sure to pick up my blogging as I unpack and get acclimated with my new neighborhood. Hopefully I will have some time to check out the beach, see some of the shops, and learn the L line a bit better. Pictures to come!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You'll have to excuse me. I am in the middle of a huge exodus from E-town to Waterworld. Managing a full time job while planning a massive move from one completely different environment to another has sucked all of my energy and patience.

I had written an awesome post on meditation, but blogger wont let me copy and paste it from another format. SUCKS. I will have to re-write it a different day, but I just wanted to keep you readers up to date with what is going on and why I have been absent.

I will be internet-less until Saturday, but then I am going on a summer celebration with B's family. I will return (to my new) home on Sunday. I will post some pictures of the new place, along with the mess that has been the packing situation.

See you on the Waterworld side!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'd Like To Thank You All For Nothing

Today has been nothing to write home about. Work is getting a little less confusing as projects start pouring in. And I finally got my netID so I could set up an email and access the systems without my supervisor logging me in every time I accidentally "x-ed" out (which happens a ton).

I'm grateful that my supervisor is also totally in to soccer, like me. We were both talking about the World Cup and streaming today's games (WTF ITALY!) on our computers. He even suggested that we both "accidentally take the day off" on Friday to watch the US play Slovenia. I agree with him- it only happens every 4 years, so we've got to enjoy it now!

About half way through my day, I got a phone call from HR about my papers not being processed correctly, so I was sent on a 1/2 mile hike to their office building. It was such a dreary, foggy, rain-filled day that it was almost surreal. It gave me time to do a little reflecting on some problems that have popped up unexpectedly.

But really, the rain made me think of one of my favorite Wilco songs, "Misunderstood."

Well you're back in your old neighborhood
The cigarettes taste so good
But you're so misunderstood
You're so misunderstood

There's something there that you can't find
Honest when you're tellin' a lie
You're hurt but you don't know why
You love her but you don't know why

Short on long term goals
There's a party there that we oughtta go to
Do you still love rock and roll?
Do you still love rock and roll?

It's only a quarter to three
Reflecting off the O.C.D.
You're looking at a picture of me
You're staring at a picture of me

Take the guitar player for a ride
Cause He ain't never been satisfied
He thinks he owes some kind of debt
Be years before he gets over it

There's a fortune inside your head
All you touch turns to lead
You think you might
just crawl back in bed
The fortune inside your head

You know you're just a mama's boy
Positively unemployed
So misunderstood
So misunderstood

I know you've gotta God shaped hole
You're bleeding out your heart full of soul
So misunderstood (x4)

I'd like to thank you all for nothin'
I'd like to thank you all for nothin' at all

I take the lyrics to be kind of sarcastic. It reminds me of my friends who complain that there is no one that gets them or appreciates them. It also makes me think of those awkward times when you revisit done and over friendships and relationships. You're constantly gripping at strings, trying to get back what once was.

I dont think this song really describes me, per say. We all feel alone in this world, some more than others, and I've always been a bit independent with my feelings. I'm ok with being alone, dealing with it in my own way, finding other portals to vent. But when I need it, I make sure I get it.

This song has come up in my head over the last month because I have been struggling to get back to the independent side. I've become less emotionally sufficient than I once was. And instead of just moving on, I'm holding on to grudges or issues a bit more than I would like to. My goal for the rest of this month is to do some more meditation and get back to the point where I can feel less lonely in my own body and less reliant on the boyfriend, best friends, and phone contacts for companionship.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Home: Where a Traveling Toothbrush Does Not Abide

As a child, I was shuffled around from home to home. Spending each morning and late night at my mom's home in the country, but then being picked up by my aunt after school to head to our grandmother's home in the blue store for the day/night. It was never ideal- the whole move around bit. My friends rarely called or invited me over because they knew I lived more than a half hour away from their perfectly settled lives. As a clique-y 10 year old, it was crushing for the self esteem. And when I got a job and a car, it became all about stretching my limited gas funds so I could make rounds to the school, friends, work, and two homes in one day.

I've been living independently for over 5 years now. My first two years were spent in a shoebox college dorm with KStrong. We littered that place with McDonald's wrappers, Doritos bags, and Gilmore Girl movies. We filled it with pictures of our current boyfriends and programs from our theater shows. It was a good time and I made a best friend/hermit collective out of it. When KStrong made her grand departure, I fled for a solo dorm in the same building as my current long-term fling. I (hazily) remember spilling jello-shots on the hardwood floors, hiding in one of my two walk in closets, passing out in the bathroom, and playing slightly pornographic and disney videogames with friends cheering me on.

When I hit senior year, I realized that I was: 1.) Tired of dealing with parking, 2.) Missing roommate lovin', 3.) Feeling like an ambitious adult. I took an offer to move in with a girl I knew very little about. She was quirky, daring, and a great cook. Her boyfriend visited as often as mine, making little fuss over awkward morning run ins. We watched, shamelessly, Secrets of the American Teenager and spied on people walking the path outside our window. Eventually, we took the green carpet space to her abode in Chicago. Moving to the city prompted breaking up an already sour "relationship" and finding solace in some very unusual places with some very unusual companions.

And then life calmed down in all departments. I took a job as a music teacher and ran away to E-burbs alone. Sometimes with a companion, often without, I learned to find friendship in playing piano and Beatles rockband. But I grew tired of being apartment poor, yet consistently bored. And now I am off for a new adventure back in Chicago, again solo.

It's not ideal- the loneliness, especially when you spent years 6-18 shuffled from houses filled with friendly faces. But I've always considered moving a welcome price to pay. It means never having to put down roots, never having to worry about shuffling, and never having to revisit old wounds for long.

All the while, I lost touch of the country and the blue store. Partially because I hated the drive back and forth down one torn up highway to the next, and partially because I never wanted to deal with the shuffle. But because you cant have it both ways and my aunts and grandma loves cats (which I am terribly allergic to), I was essentially moved out of one childhood home to the next. When the country home was sold to my drama filled sister, I knew I wasn't invited back. My leftover mementos were either destroyed by their negligence or handed over to me in two boxes. When I go home, I exclusively spend time at my dad's house- one that I never grew up in.

I went home last night to pick up this computer- an early, emergency birthday gift from an awesome aunt. When I walked in to the blue store, I was bombarded by my sister's dogs and her hostile attitude. I locked myself in the bathroom for a bit to settle down, kissed my ailing grandmother hello-goodbye, and walked out the door. This morning, I found a postsecret that more than perfectly sums up how I feel- inspiring this much needed blog and evaluation of what I call home:

Today, I imagine home is where I will come to be when I am ready. It will be with my husband or live-in-companion- most likely with children. It will be that apartment/condo/town home/house where I can finally say that: "This is it, this is where I want to be." No more shuffling, no more roommate strain or dependency, and no more solo piano playing on a Friday night. Everything up until that point will just be stomping grounds and temporary locations for me to sleep in and pay absurd amounts on parking for. I'm going to fill my home with flowers, antiques, collections, red doors, blue walls, old books, and music- above all- music. My toothbrush wont be traveling in purse from boyfriend's dingy bathroom to my equally disgusting one. It will rest in one cup with one toothpaste (most likely cap less). Side by side, making a home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Crap I Find On Etsy

I started my new job last week at a major university. Because the Spring semester is just wrapping up and the summer semester hasn't yet started, there isn't much training to be done. On Thursday, I spent my 7.5 hour work day on one of my favorite websites,, looking for artwork for the somewhat barren office.

After hour 4, I was more of just browsing everything and judging how much free time one needs to knit lambs wool undies or sculpt phallic shaped candles. As a creative person, I can openly say that when you give a person some artistic freedom and an potential monetary incentive, anything can happen.

So, in these bi-weekly posts (one on the weekends and one sometime during the week), I will venture through the ETSY categories and bring you my favorite horror story of arts and crafts. Oh, and then I will show you something that I would personally invest in if I had some spare change laying around.

For your pleasure, we will start with Accessories- Leg Warmers. Now, I would never, ever wear a leg warmer. EVER... let alone put my own child in one. If babies legs didn't already look like sausages, let's stuff them in tight long socks and top them off with tulle and buttons. And if that wasn't bad, this listing says right off not to purchase because this item is already reserved. SOMEONE BOUGHT THIS FOR THEIR INFANT! Ensue shame on the human race.

Now, looking through the accessory category, I am going with the apron sub section. I've been trying to be a better, healthier, and more adventurous cook. But overall, most of my cooking adventures end up with me stirring a pot of shells and cheese. Maybe, with a cute, 50's inspired apron, I can get the motivation to whip up something other than pre-made mashed potatoes.

With this little bit of inspiration and horror, I conclude my first "Crap I Find On Etsy" post. Enjoy and happy shopping!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Introduction To Me

It seems like all I do is sum up my life in writing. Whether it be a one page resume and another for a cover letter, my now dusty dating profile, or those terrible facebook personal surveys. I have become an expert on making myself seem like the most experienced, creative, admirable person- in print. However, I know my audience. And I know my audience of this blog is going to be people who already know me. In person, on my other blogs, or through the various sites I frequent.

And while it truly is all BS in some way, shape, or form... I cant get past it. I will warn you that some things are off of the table. While I may be open to discussing personal (family, love, work) issues, please do not expect real names, dirty details, or gossip. I may vent and I may just be nasty. All I ask is that you take this blog with a grain of salt. I use this blog as a diary, and I take it a step farther by making it public. I'm not sure why, other then it feels great to "publish" something for the world to see. And the connections I have made at my other blogs have been nothing but fantastic.

So glance over it, bookmark it, read it religously... this is what it is. It's the diary and findings of a 22 year old rural transplant with way too much free time on her hand.

Light and love,