Plus Sides To Dating A Heroin Addict

Well, there’s always ice cream in the fridge.

And I don’t know if we’ve been introduced but that’s kind of a big deal.

That’s about it. Oh, did I say side(s)? Unintentional mislead, sorry.

So, with lightening speed we’re encroaching upon the worst time of the year: my birthday. For those who’ve been around awhile, you know that there are a few things in this life that’ll piss me off more than my birthday. Except this one is going to be extra special annoying since it’s my final birthday before turning THIRTY.

Can you even believe that crap?

And just as is the routine, I’m starting to have all these introspective and quasi-deep thoughts about life and where I’m at, or more importantly, not at. Oh, you couldn’t tell by the title that this was going to be one of those posts?

Good, cus it’s not. I wouldn’t do that to you on a Thursday.

But the next one will be. So get ready. I’ll also be giving out some props to select bloggers.

Like clockwork, every year, right around my birthday I lock myself out of my house. I never know when this phenomenon will happen, I am just at the mercy of the universe. But, there is always certain criteria, if you will:

1. It is hotter than a landscaper in Hates.

2. Humidity is at 600%

3. I am wearing either pjs or a swim suit.

4. I haven’t showered yet.

5. It always somehow involves working out/trying to get out of working out.

So, last week, at 11:00 am, the universe gave me my early birthday present. I was locked out, in pjs, looking disgusting, hundred degree weather, super humid, with no where to go except my cement patio which has full sun all day long.

Don’t ask how these things happen. Embrace the mystique.

My friend Jo, who is becoming a regular on Blunt Delivery yet is not at all okay with that, fortunately had the day off. The unfortunate twist is that she picked me up on her white horse posing as a Honda then hijacked me into “working out” via paddle boating. We get repeatedly disgusted at the rapid rate our metabolisms are malfunctioning and thus, we’re always searching for ways to exercise that aren’t really exercise.

Jo: Hey last year when we did this we saw a paddle boat of nuns, remember?

Me: Um. We gotta take these life jackets off so we can get a tan. Then this won’t be totally useless.

[after and hour of floating and talking]

Me: Where are we? Everything looks the same? Crap. I can’t feel my legs. I’m sweating everywhere. I need food.

Jo: When we get back, I know this mexican place where we won’t see anyone. I always go there looking like crap. And $2.49 margaritas.

[Two hours later after circling, fighting against extreme winds and what I’m convinced was a defective paddle boat, we got off torture island and effectively canceled our “work out.”]

And then double canceled it.

Then, as if the world’s most annoying day couldn’t get any longer, she decides to stop at the thrift store on the way home. Our eyes beheld many splendid treasures.

This is a choice no one should have to make. I’ll take them all!

Jo, thank you for rescuing me. I guess.

Wondering where I went? I have returned to blogging over at my whole foods blog Celery and the City, where we live so clean it’s like your insides took a bath.


Your Daily Dose Of Embarrassment And A Free Photo

[I apologize for all who tried to comment on the guest blog by Jen on Monday. Apparently, there were some issues with Explorer not allowing comments. Thank you for your emails and all the great advice! I really appreciate you guys. But more importantly, why are you still using Explorer?]

Yesterday, the moon was in the second house. The sun was shining. It was quasi-warm in the Midwest for the first time since Christmas. The alignment of all these rare events led to a brilliant idea on my part. And by brilliant, I mean an idea that led to devastating embarrassment.

I decided, for the first time in five years, to clean out my beautiful baby Saturn. I have oft neglected such duties on account that my baby is 12 years old, has a hole in the hood, leaks on me every time it rains and is probably about to breathe it’s last breath. And I figure that would just be quality time wasted on cleaning, when I could be Twittering or Facespacing, or thinking of more reasons to hate Neil Diamond.

Let me first set the scene for you. I had just gotten out of the shower and I let my hair air dry. Let me just tell you that you’ve never seen anything like an air-dried pile of half-curly, unruly Italian hair. That being said, I also had applied some white zit cream to my chin and left cheek due to an overly stressful week. I put on my “house glasses” and all of you who wear glasses know what I mean by that. You have the normal pair, which can be seen in public. Then, you have the “house” pair, which used to be a normal pair until someone sat on them or the prescription became outdated and now they are solely used for laying in bed and watching TV. Also, since it was warm, I was wearing my daisy duke plaid PJ shorts and a wife beater. And Ugg boots.

I went in the garage and started cleaning. The world was at peace and that’s where this story should end.

But it doesn’t, cus I’m full of bright ideas, remember?

I thought to myself, “It’s sunny out and everyone is at work. I’m just gonna back out of the garage for a bit so I can see things better, but I’ll still be inside the car so no one will see me.”

Well, I suppose that would have generally been the case. But NOT YESTERDAY. Around the corner, I see a man walking by out of the corner of my eye. I had the driver side door open, with one leg out, like some sort of car straddling white trash person.

I ignored him at first, because, I’m sort of the hermit of the neighborhood and no one talks to me.

Except, of course, new neighbors who move next door and want to introduce themselves.

Are you starting to connect the dots?

He walks straight over. Probably about thirty. Gorgeous, wearing a suit. As he approached, I instantly panicked. There is NO WAY I can escape this. He shouts, “I’m new here, trying to get around and meet all the neighbors.” I stared down at the floormats and kept cleaning. I said, Oh, nice to meet you.”

For goodness sakes, isn’t that enough recognition for any ordinary person? This is America, after all.

Then, only because it’s my life, he kept walking closer. He stands right next to me and I quickly adjusted the shorts, considering the very compromising position I was in. At that moment, I was so preoccupied with not flashing him that I did not recollect the zit cream on my face until he blatantly glared at my chin. As he stuck out his hand, he said, “I’m Todd. I work for the local news. Nice to meet you.”

Oh, the news. Of coursssssssse you do.

I get a lot of emails asking if people can purchase photos from my blog. So….I introduce to you: Free Photo Fridays.

[Free Photo Fridays are a little break from my regular blog posts. I love photography. And I love sharing it with other people. So, on Fridays, I post a high resolution download of one of my favorite pictures for you to use. Hang it on your wall. Use it for your desktop. Frame it and give it to your mom. Do whatever you want. Also, if you have a picture you’d like to add, send it to me at and I’ll feature it with a link back to your site. Share the love people.]

Since it is finally getting warm out, I will start with this picture of melting Midwestern ice. Click here to download. [3216 x 2136 px]

I’m In A Relationship With Life, And It’s Complicated

So what is the secret, exactly?

And please refrain from referring me to the best-selling book, Secret, as highly endorsed by Oprah. I don’t care much for self-help books. Or Oprah. Or tube tops. And more obvious things like Ranch dressing and humidity.

I’d say the majority of my life I’ve been what you might call “a planner.” And no, not like that. I haven’t had my wedding dress picked out since 7th grade, but at the same time I try to make sensible, well-thought out decisions. And I own a label maker. Of course, this is also coming from the person who gave her family 2 weeks notice that she was moving to London, and who also started a retail store with no prior retail or business experience. So if I were you, I’d take whatever I say with a grain of salt. Perhaps, several.

Maybe like even one of those cute little mini-shakers from Crate and Barrel.

One of my favorite movie lines is from Dan In Real Life when Steve Carrell says, “Instead of telling your young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised.”

If you think about it, life is nothing, but a series of surprises. Rarely have I heard anyone say,Why yes, my life has turned out most beautifully, exactly as I expected it would.” Both the best and worst things in life always blindside you on some idle Tuesday.

This is especially disturbing news for someone such as myself, who hates surprises. I didn’t even like Happy Meals as a kid. Or the DumDums with the big question mark on them. Screw that.

I think how each of us defines a happy and fulfilling life is continually changing. I wrote a ridiculously honest post a couple months ago about broken dreams – all of the different ways I had envisioned my life to be at certain milestones, and the harsh contrast of reality.

So is it dangerous to dream?

Is our happiness measured by the achievement of dreams, or plans? Or is the destruction of dreams the only way we truly live and grow? Are they, in fact, the only thing that forces us to change? If left to our own demise, who of us would really seek change? Rarely, is it our idea to venture outside of what is comfortable.

And if broken dreams are inevitable, how do we maintain happiness amid the constant challenge of rebuilding? I don’t know.

I’ve never known.

Cus, lately, I wish my biggest dream was just to build a sandcastle on the beach. With my mom.

America, This Is How Much I Love Your Beautiful Face

I don’t get it. So you’re saying that when I said I was going to start posting on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday rotation, you thought that meant I was posting a blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday?

Clearly, we have communication issues.

And in the interest of breaking free from my passive-aggressive behavior, I will simply tell you that is precisely why we will never work out.

Luckily, now that I’ve had the holiday weekend to cool down and get myself back to neutral, I’m ready to talk to you again.

As you may or may not know, it was the 4th of July on Sunday. As you also may or may not know, it is my second favorite holiday despite the fact that it always lets me down either in quality of company or the always-anticipated- but-never-welcomed raping of my eardrums by the Neil Diamond sky concert. Either way, I still dig it.

Crackly sunburnt foreheads. Watermelon. People blowing up illegal stuff. Shirtless men holding a Bud Light while grilling an assortment of mystery proteins on their front porches. Apple pie. Coolers everywhere. A general sense of gratefulness bestowed upon our military. It’s as if the country gets one giant free pass to be a hillbilly.

That being said, my 4th of July celebration was pretty typical:

1. I ate Mexican food.


2. I wandered around a cemetary in search of the archaeologist that discovered King Tut’s tomb.


3. I busted into an abandoned house while on an aimless photo-taking drive.


Thinking back on it now, I might have thought it was Halloween.

You can check out the Creepy Abandoned House Part 1 pics here. Part two coming soon!

Hope your holiday was simply fabulous.

Someone Alert The Environmentalists


But first, a note from our sponsors.

Dear Everyone Who Reads This Blog Whether You Like It Or Not,

As of late, I realize that my online presence has been replaced with tumbleweeds and probably a surplus of tears.  To attempt to explain exactly what has been going on, which has kept me from you like an unjust prison sentence, would require more space than the internet can provide.  I can only beg for your forgiveness in this matter, and instruct you to refer to my book.  That I will write.  Someday.  As soon as I can figure out what will be in it.  But the past two weeks, you can be assured, will be in it.

Patience is a virtue,


As I was running out of the house with my arms full, I realized that I just absolutely could not survive the next 4 hours without a box of Rice Krispie treats.  I stumbled into the kitchen, reached up into the cupboard, and that was the last moment of life as I knew it.  Had I met my soul mate?  My maker? Did I experience an epiphany that somehow pieced together every bit of my crazy life into a beautiful puzzle of clarity?

Not quite. As I was staring at my kitchen floor/cupboards/rug/fridge covered in olive oil and shards of glass, I shouted every bit of language I’d remember from my French class.  Which, unfortunately, was nothing since I took Spanish.  An entire 48 oz bottle of olive oil (extra virgin, of course, cus what am I a cheap bastard?) had been knocked off my counter by my extemely oversize (but tragically attractive) purse.  And. Holy. Crapballs. It was a freaking mess. Have you ever tried to clean up oil? OH wait, you haven’t…cus it’s IMPOSSIBLE.

OF COURSE, I was already 20 mins late. OF COURSE, I had no paper towels.  BUT OF COURSE, I’m a neat freak and couldn’t handle leaving a mess of this magnitude so my immediate reaction was to reach down and pick up pieces of glass. WHICH OF COURSE, resulted in about 6, 3459 cuts on my hands, which isn’t even possible. AND OF COURSE, when I went to change the clothes I tracked olive oil onto my carpets that were just cleaned.

Finally, I said screw this and I put bathroom towels over my entire floor and took off.

But of course, I’m not the only one in my family who’s been doing permanent damage to the environment lately.

You should know that here in the Midwest we’ve experience an extremely unlikely, cold, and damp summer.  So the other night, I went over to my parents house for a “bonfire.”  I walk out in the field and I quietly assume that this is what my dad was referring to:


Have you met my dad lately?

That’s what I thought.  Apparently, nor have I.


And as we quickly ran to escape the nearly 100 ft flame scolding our faces and the atmosphere, we all took a second to rethink Heaven and Hell.


And we started stripping off layers of clothing due to the surmounting heat, my father stood back and watched like a giddy Boy Scout.

Me: Well, I guess our town might as well stop recycling for about a year, cus we’ve probably just reversed any progress they’ve made.

Dad:  [laughing in a way that makes it impossible not to love him]  Tell Al Gore I’m sick of this cold summer, would ya?

Mom chimes in: I think the only place Global Warming is happening these days, is inside Al’s mouth.

Ah.  This is the heart of America, folks.


That’s My Daughter? She Sure Is Stone Ugly

That would be an exact quote from my loving, very proud, first-time father the moment I was born into this world.  I thought for years this was due to the fact that he had never seen a newborn in all it’s alien likeness before; however, my mom set the record straight when she told me I was indeed, super ugly.

I share this heart-warming tale about my birth with you because today would be the anniversary of that very day.  But I hate birthdays.  And they despise me.  They never call. They never write.  All they do is sneak around and steal another year of my life away, while gently whispering in my ear all that I’ve failed to accomplish.  As if I haven’t been robbed enough times in my life.


kids-birthday-partySpeaking of robberies, you do know that from 2006-2007 I was robbed six times, right?  Your ears did not deceive you.  Six.

I say all this, to say, that I got locked outside in the blazing sun yesterday, during a heat advisory with 100 + degree weather. Oh, and I was half nekkid. You don’t see the correlation?  I’m getting there.

So I have the kind of mother who begged me to put on a baseball cap and “look as ugly as possible” when I was driving home after dark.  I have the kind of dad who got a boy expelled after spitting in my face in the second grade. So my parents were a bit over-protective.  After I got the hole in my head, everything took a turn for the worse.   But then after the drug dealer robbery and the stalking that followed…  ENTER: all-time world record for protectiveness. Just hold your horses, cus I’m about to blow your mind as I weave all these storylines together in a way that only a masterful literary genius, such as myself, possibly could.

patio-doorSo what does this have to do with me almost dying of heat exhaustion and /or embarrassment yesterday? Well, it was sunny out. I opened my sliding door and stepped out onto my porch, where I sat for about an hour, trying to become a bronze goddess and think of excuses why I can’t go jogging with my friend.  I vowed to go with her everyday, except I didn’t go once last week, and instead ate all of the ice cream I got at the Edys 5/$10 sale.  We went a day ago, and there wasn’t ONE solitary car at the bike path.  I said, Dana, does this tell you that maybe we shouldn’t run during a heat advisory? She said,We’ll burn more calories this way.”

So after an hour, I suddenly realize: “Holy crapballs, I’m about to die.” The heat index was 115 + humidity yesterday. I stand up, drenched in sweat, and as I reach for the handle on my sliding door, I feel friction.  Huh.  That’s odd.  Usually it SLIDES right open.  It’s a sliding door.  I try again, and remember that it can only lock from the inside…  OH, SNAP I’m having an optical illusion… I AM dying!

No, no. One of the wooden bars that my father had installed on every door and window as “extra security” to keep potential robbers out had somehow fallen down from being propped up, landed exactly in the correct groove, and locked me out.  I know you’re thinking I have a spare key around there somewhere, ha? Oddly, after six robberies, you don’t hide spare keys under easily-accessible mats or fake rocks anymore.  I know you’re thinking I had a garage door opener in my car, right? Well, since I finally cleaned it out after 2 years, it was actually parked inside.

So I spent the next 2 hours, nearly passing out from heat [there’s no shade on my porch] and confined to a scolding hot cement slab.  Why? 1. I was wearing swimsuit bottoms and quasi see-through tank top.  2. I had no shoes on. As I stood there half dead, with my bottle of tanning oil, and empty water cup, all I could think was: Thank God, now I have an excuse not to go jogging.”

Dear Midwest, Without You I’d Be Famous

You know your hair is too long when you have to start using conditioner meant for a horse.  Gees, people.  I’m just saying.  But on a side note, it works rather nicely.  So I’ve heard.


People always ask me, actually they harshly criticize and often yell at me, for the fact that I’ve never moved out of this God-forsaken craphole of a town. For those of you who don’t know, I live in a suburb outside of Chicago, where nearly everyone is a loser with zero motivation or aspirations in life.  So when I put it that way, I guess I can see their point.

Friend:  But you could be a big time writer in New York and travel the world.

Me: I’ve already traveled everywhere I want to go in the world.  And New York has too many rats.  And snobs.  And pricey food that comes on a giant platter but is the size of what I can only consider, a midget snack of sorts.

Friend:  But you could move to L.A. and write for tv shows and movies.

Me: I’m brunette, no one would take me seriously in L.A.  Besides, I can’t deal with the fakeness.  I would call everyone out and then they would hate me.  And then I’d run home to my lonely, roach-infested apartment, where I’d cry big, fat elephant tears and eat myself ugly. 

Friend: But you could move to the downtown and work for the Tribune.

Me:  I hate the news.  It’s depressing.  Plus, I probably wouldn’t get by with throwing in sarcastic comments when I was writing about the Korean missile crisis.  That job would blow chunks.  Give me a break, I’d never move to any of those places.  Seattle.  Now there’s a place I wouldn’t mind moving.

Friend:  You know that Grey’s Anatomy isn’t actually filmed in Seattle right?  So you wouldn’t be meeting McDreamy, or McSteamy, or any of the Mc’s?

So could all these people be partially right? Perhaps.  Is it true I want to continue my writing career on a larger scale? Mmm hmm.  Is it possible for me to accomplish all my dreams living here?  Heal no.  So what on earth could possibly keep me sandwiched here in the middle of the country, suffocating for air, slowly dying from lack of culture and white-trashy influences, you ask

Is it the ice-cold winters, which seem to get longer with every passing year, that make me contemplate roasting my own dog [or I guess my neighbor’s cus I don’t have one] over a rotisserie just so that I won’t have to leave my house for food?  Not exactly.  It’s much more complex than that.  But when isn’t it?

The other day, I was bronzing myself on the back porch, as the landscapers were mowing my yard.  I arose from my position to make sure I was decent as they were mowing right in front of me.  The last thing I need is a sweaty, landscaper-stalker.  But on a serious note, could they possibly point that grass blower thingy in another direction?   Then as I was gazing at all my patches of dead grass, a thunderbolt of realization occurred to me.  Um, why can I see those?  Where is the tangled pile of hose that has been laying in my backyard and covering the dead grass since I moved in?  Wait a minute. THESE PERVERTS STOLE MY HOSE! @#$!  And now they’re blowing grass at me.  What the?

As it turns out, my father had slithered outside at some point and drilled a bracket into the side of my house and wrapped the hose nicely around it.  BONUS: he was smart enough not to install one of those plastic roller pieces of crap that break after two seconds, which would result in a lifetime of frustration and ultimately, the death of more grass.  EXTRA BONUS:  He planted grass seed.

Folks, I’m sorry, but with quality service like this, the Midwest has a hold on me. 

I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Sunscreen

I’m the only person in the world who used to like the Sunscreen Song back in my high school days.   You know what I’m talking about… the one where Baz Leuhrman reads profound advice from a ’99 valedictorian speech, accompanied by “Ooo’s” from the all boys choir in the background?  The song ends with “trust me on the sunscreen”… and it’s possible that truer words were never spoken.

Although I might have listened to that song repeatedly on my Walkman for upwards of six months, or until the batteries died and I discovered that the ones in the remote were also dead, it doesn’t appear that this sage advice has fully sunk in yet.  Or maybe I’m just a rebel. Or maybe I’m a really bad listener. Or maybe your mom should make me some enchilladas. Who knows.  But as soon as there’s the slightest inkling of sunshine, I’m slathered in the nearest oil and frying like a chicken.  I’m not quite as bad as my mother, who used to cover herself in Crisco and lay on sheets of tin foil, but I’ll venture to say that I’m definitely breaking a few rules.

Me: Hey, I have this mole on my leg.  It doesn’t look like anything serious, but my aunt and my grandma have both had skin cancer so I was wondering if you could check it out?

Dermatologist:  Yes, I can check that out.  Have you been covering yourself and staying out of the sun?  You look very tan.

Me:  [smiling sheepishly] Oh, well, thank you.

Dermatologist:  That wasn’t a compliment.  You won’t be laughing when I do one of those skin damage scans on your face.

Me:  Well, it’s impossible for me to stay out of the sun, but I do wear sunscreen.  My job requires me to spend quite a bit of time outdoors.

Dermatologist:  Well, it says here that you work at a bank.  Isn’t that mostly an indoor job?

Me:  OH, that needs to be updated.  I’m actually a Park Ranger now.  I work at the Forest Preserve.

Dermatologist:  Hmm, really? I can’t picture you doing something like that.

Me:  What’s that supposed to mean?  Do I seem high maintenance?

Dermatologist:  Well, you were just complaining a minute ago about how you hated exercise, and that’s an active job.

Me:  What do you have superhero memory powers? Fine.  I lied. I do that sometimes.  I’m a lifeguard.

Dermatologist:   Oh really, that’s cool.  Where at?

Me:  At this pool…

Dermatologist:  Is this another lie?

Me:  Anything’s possible.

Dermatologist:  Seriously though, this isn’t a joke.  You’ve got to listen to what I’m saying.  And you have to be honest with me about your health.

Me:  OKAY ALREADY!   Listen you pasty freak, I’m not a mother trucking lifeguard. I’m not a park ranger.  I don’t even know where the parks are. I’m a writer, and I don’t even go outside to get the mail.  But when the sun comes out, I emerge from my cave and stretch across my patio like a bronzed goddess, okay?  And you know what, I don’t wear sunscreen.  In fact, I’ve never even tried it.  Double in fact, I don’t ever want to.  Triple in fact, I actually wear oil that makes me burn worse than if I was just regularly burning.

Dermatologist:  You’ve never even tried it..  but I gave you a whole bottle for free?

Me: And my father sends his regards.


Dear Matthew McConaughey,

Dear Rickety Old Lady,

Anatomy of a Creeptown

What Women Really Want

My Lemonade Stand Can Beat Up Your Lemonade Stand

how-to-beat-lemonade-standMy entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy disposition began at an extremely young age.  Younger than most.

I remember waking up at 5 am., walking over to my neighbor’s  house, and telling him that he needed to get his butt in gear and come help me make the cranberry juice.  (neither of our moms ever had lemonade, so we had to improvise).

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