Monday, December 21, 2009

chilly in Chicago

The SIL (sister-in-law Ashton) has been teaching Abby where "Sarah lives" on a map. I'm not sure of all the details, because I've yet to see this party trick, but apparently I live in "chilly Chicago." Which isn't too far from the truth. In honor of Abby's new found talent, I give you two chilly Chicago stories--so chilly it's taken almost two weeks for me to write them down.

Story the first.

I bought some pants during my Thanksgiving shopping spree. (This isn't the chilly part.) They were perfectly lovely pants, I just never wanted to wear them. So I decided that I needed food more than I needed pants I was never going to wear. The problem is--or was--that the closest store isn't all that close. But I figured out that if I left from work, I could take a bus to the mall and then walk about a mile.

Which I did. In a snowstorm.

And not just any snowstorm. The kind that isn't so much snow as slush. With a good old Chicago wind to back it up (never mind that by this point I was in Skokie--it's the same evil wind).

I made it to the store, completely soaked, walked in, promised not to touch anything, and returned the pants. I then re-bundled and walked back out to face the storm. Sometime during this process, I realized that my hat was a nasty, sodden mess that I didn't want to put back on my head and that my scarf was too thin to be any help in this weather. There was an Old Navy across the street, so I braved the wind and the slush and the cars (don't worry, I used a crosswalk), and headed in to buy a cute, but affordable scarf and hat.

As I was walking in, a nice man held the door for me, but gave me an odd look. So did the woman who greeted me inside the store with sale details. And then the woman stacking t-shirts. I knew I was wet, but I had just come in from the slushstorm. I grabbed a scarf and was debating over hats when I turned to look in a mirror. And then looked again.

At some point during my journey, my eye makeup had decided to take a trip down my face. Both cheeks were streaked with mascara--and not a single line. A huge, maybe-she-means-it, stylized streak.

Too bad I didn't take a picture.

I cleaned up my face, purchased my scarf and hat, and returned to the storm to wait for the bus home.

Story the second.

Last year, my apartment was freezing. Sleep-in-multiple-layers, maybe-it's-warmer-outside freezing. The only warm room in the apartment was the bedroom my roommate never used. So I would go and stand there sometimes before going to bed.

This year, my apartment was freezing. I had asked my landlord about the heating situation, and he told me it was in good shape. The heat in the hallway confirmed this. So why was my apartment an icebox?

Two days after my shopping adventure, I woke up and could feel a draft. I sleep next to my not-in-use fireplace, so I thought maybe it was coming from there. Wrong answer. Then I checked the heat in the kitchen--it was on; the bathroom--not on; the front room/bedroom--on. And there, huddled over the heater, I felt the draft, coming from over my head.

My window was open. Not wide open, but open. Open enough to freeze my apartment.

So, being the genius that I am, I closed the window. Now there are nights when my apartment is almost too hot.

But just almost.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas music (not sung by Muppets)

I'm starting to get into Christmas mode. Kind of. Not really. But I like to pretend. Call me the Grinch who loved Christmas.

Okay then.

What I do love is crazy awesome Christmas music. The problem is, I've been bored with my usuals this Christmas. Even with my beloved Muppets (and Sufjan and Ingrid Michaelson and. . . just to prove that I do have taste beyond an eight year old).

So when 21st and Ivy started posting their Yuletide Downloads yesterday, I was more than happy to accept their suggestions of brilliant local musicians (local if you're in Utah, not local for me--stupid Chicago). Coming up are my talented-at-too-many-things friends Laura and Jim and their band Electron Deception, but the current offerings are pretty happy too.

Maybe happy is the wrong word.

Maryn, sister dear, these are for you. Happy belated birthday.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas shopping: check

Stephen is getting a nice yellow pebble. Maryn gave it to me last year, and Seth gave it to Maryn the year before that.

Monday, December 07, 2009

l love all the pregnant women in my life

but I love this just a little bit more.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

why do you let me stay here?

I could probably dig around this blog and find a post identical to this one at the end of every semester (BYU)/quarter (Northwestern). In the grand old tradition of being me, I have postponed the inevitable writing of the final paper to the day before the paper is due.

This quarter I thought I'd get creative. I thought I'd be clever. I thought, "What the hell. I have sick days. Nothing makes me as sick as writing a 20-page paper. One whole day to revel in poetic license."

Or one whole day to actually be sick.

That's right. This morning, my preferred "sick day," my body took me seriously. I spent the majority of the day actually sick. Actually sick, and not writing.

Which leaves us at 7:49 p.m. with no paper. It's due at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow. The good news is. . . well, the good news is that I've never not finished a paper before.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think there's some Diet Coke and a reference book with my name on them.

This time tomorrow night, I predict the following:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

pretty much the coolest thing ever

I frequently stop myself from letting my love for wedding details run rampant on this blog, but I just saw this at A Cup of Jo. If I ever get weddinged to someone who can read, this is definitely a possibility.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

it was the most wonderful time of the year

I feel as though I've spent the past week blogging, even though it's been almost a week. A whole week. Bad Sarah. But I just had the best Thanksgiving of my life, so I should blog it.



Sometime in September I realized that I would have two days off for Thanksgiving, right up against a weekend, which meant four days of no work and no school. Peasants rejoice. And then, genius that I am, I hatched a plan to visit that paradise of paradises, South Carolina. Which is the land of poodles, gamecocks, and Anna Bennion and Brooke Grant. The three of us haven't been together since PCA/ACA in San Francisco in April 2008. That's over a year, for those of you who are trying to do the math. Sad days.

So Brooke and Anna decided that I could crash their happy world in South Carolina, where Anna is a PhD candidate because she's awesome and Brooke teaches her brains out because she is also awesome. I bought my ticket in September, which was a mistake, because then I had two months of wishing I were in South Carolina.

Last Wednesday, I left my apartment at 4:00 o'clock in the morning (also the title of one of my favorite poems, Szymborska), checked my ridiculous suitcase ($20, stupid airlines), and did my best zombie impersonation (can one impersonate a zombie? are they technically people?) at O'Hare until my flight boarded and I could sleep. Which I did, for about an hour and a half. The plane landed in North Carolina, I found my suitcase, and Anna and Brooke found me. What followed can only be told in epic poetry and 1,000-word photographs (cue Joshua Radin, "These Photographs").

Our Thanksgiving feast: homemade tortillas, salsa, guacamole (which I can never spell), Calypso rice, and Diet Coke. Oh, and Diet Pepsi for Brooke, who has gone to the dark side.

On Friday, we avoided the Black Friday madness and went to Charleston. Here are Brooke and Anna, looking out upon the myriad harbor. . . love that song. Love these girls more.

Anna and I attempt to absorb some history. . .

I like to think of this as my "inspired by Abby smile." Not as cute on a 26 year old.

We made our first trip to a Columbia hot spot on Friday too--Cupcake. So I took a picture. Cupcakes deserve pictures.

They were so good, Anna and I bought seven more the next night. One didn't survive before the pictures happened. (Black bottom cupcake with cream cheese frosting. RIP.)

On Wednesday, Brooke and Anna made a stop at Disneyland--I mean, IKEA. They found the right style of table, but not in the right color (black). In my charming, sarcastic manner, I suggested that they modge podge the table top. Which is what they did. With pages from Mrs. Dalloway and Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Maryn would be so proud.

That's the end of my story. We saw a few (dozen) movies, ate a few (dozen) more meals, and on Sunday I had to return to Chicago. Sigh. (Please note: I am not trying to seduce the camera. I was trying to keep from blinking drunkenly every time Brooke took a picture.)

Template by Blogger Candy