The September Of My Years [OR] Screw You January

[Warning: introspection ahead. So, maybe there are a few things I’ve failed to mention over the past year. So, maybe I’m mentioning them now.]

Seriously, screw January. And all of its dreary, pretend optimism.

Here’s the deal: New Years happens in January is because it gives people a shred of hope amid what seems to be an eternal, bleak panorama of frozen tundra and dead things. Or at least that’s the consensus from behind my Midwestern ice-glazed window and $200 gas bill.

Well guess what world? I don’t buy it, and I refuse to accept New Years as my fresh start.

It’s all about September.

Everything good happens in the fall, thus, I’ve decided so should my clean slate. And no, I’m not trying to get a head start on all of your fresh starts. When people begin losing in Monopoly, I conveniently forget to collect their rent cus I feel bad for them. So I assure you, I lack the competitive edge to one-up you on your new beginnings.

When I think back on this past year, I sort of want to curl up in a fetal position. But then, I remember I did a lot of that already…  plus I’m not as flexible as I used to be. A couple months ago, I came to the point where I felt like I had nothing of worth, no direction, and I had screwed up my life beyond repair. Know what I mean?

Since this blog contains only 20% of what happens in my life, you may not know it has been a very pivotal year. I bet you’re thinking that now is when I’m going to start listing off the things that made it so pivotal. In truth, I was about to warm up some spaghetti, but I guess I could take one for the team.

Pivotal moments this year:

I broke off my engagement to the man I thought I would marry the instant he shook my hand. My best friend Kenny moved to California. I went through an almost clinical level depression. My family experienced great challenges. Financial stress, career changes. I caused tremendous hurt to some pretty incredible people. I took some risks that did not pay off. I’ve been paralyzed by Regret.

And Regret, coupled with its slightly better-looking twin sister, Guilt, can ruin your life. It’s like a ghost that lays dormant for years, and then all the sudden goes all ape-shit crazy. So how do you get past it? How do you recover?

First step: I took the summer off of dating to sort myself out.

P.S. Boys, sorry but you do not = drama-free.

Second step: self-reflection. That = no fun. I needed perspective. I cried until my eyes didn’t resemble themselves, wrote some letters, started a collection of over-the-counter sleeping pills, sought a lot of advice, freaked out, emptied several boxes of wine, forgave others, learned to forgive myself, started working with elderly people, started working out, cut off toxic people, went to see Eat Pray Love by myself (sad or awesome?), and spent many lonely nights thinking about my life, my past, and what I really wanted.

Cus if you haven’t got peace of mind, you’ve got nothing.

So, at the start of a new season, what have I got?

Hope. This has been a painful year of growth, arriving with the crappiest of timing. I am happy it is done and I move on with a better knowledge of myself, what I want, and who I want. Belief. I have never doubted the existence of a higher power; but, for a very long time I have ignored what that means for my life. That time has ended. Also, as shocking as it may be, I now believe that two people can exist happily together. Yes, for life. Friends. I have the kind of friends who drive an hour to my house to bring me a Kleenex. Friends who extend their hand in kindness, even after I’ve hurt them. Friends who exist only through written words, yet seem to get me completely. Friends who stay over, just in case. Oh, and Kenny moved back. Work. I have a job, which fell from the sky on a snowy day in January, that allows me to be creative and impact people’s lives. I guess I owe January a high-five for that. Family. When it comes to them, words aren’t good enough. Health. Or so I assume. I have been avoiding doctors for a few years now and aside from the mysterious lump on my rib, the locking hip, and the pain in my chest when I lay down, I feel great! And, finally, Peace. I’ve accepted that life cannot exist without regret.

So, that’s what I’ve got. And world, it’s pretty freaking fabulous.

Cheers to the 800th season of Grey’s Anatomy, falling in love, wearing scarves, figuring shit out, and most importantly – a New Year,


That Time The World Just Made Sense

No, you’re completely right. That never happened.

It’s almost like my witty, overly-dramatic titles don’t even fool you anymore. I guess that could be a good thing, cus it means we’re getting past the honeymoon phase of our relationship, eh? But if we’re being honest, which I think we are, my mom never thought it would last.

First, I’d like to start by saying: Gentlemen, I feel your pain.

I am QUITE aware of how difficult it is to find witty, brilliant, beautiful, self-confident women in this world because I have been searching with eyes wide open. And let me tell you something, these eyes are really starting to hurt from all the wide-openness. They’re all dry and reddish and people are really starting to question the meaning behind the name of this website.

So it’s a good thing the search is over.

Two weeks ago, I packed up the convertible, put my hair in rollers and said, “Mom, I’m gonna go be a stewardess.” With Simon and Garfunkle playing in the background, I drove off to California with a mystery boy in a velvet shirt, leaving only my record collection behind for my little brother.

Nope. But what I did was EVEN BETTER.

I packed up my friend’s Honda, drove to Chicago with a very bad stomach ache, a very full bladder, a McCafe that I now refer to as “the mistake,” and a GPS that had lost its ever-loving mind to meet up with two of the most amazing women the universe has to offer!

The flood gates of heaven’s splendor have finally opened and I have discovered where the world’s coolest women have been hiding: behind the comments section of this blog. I’m pretty sure a small piece of Chicago exploded from all the awesomeness of our reunion. You can click here for Lola Lakely’s report on the night, and here for V from Uncorked.


As could be expected, we did all the normal things that girls do when they get together. There were super tight pj’s, pillow fights, feathers, kissy face self portraits, boy-bashing, singing into hairbrushes, and jumping on beds while listening to Madonna.

You know, the usual.


Or, we profusely mocked all of those things. I’ll let you decide which scenario actually happened.


I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been sulking in the sadness and the void that I feel without these ladies around.  Why do you think it has taken me so long to post a blog?

I Attract Crazy People: Case Study #548

I’m not one of those people who tries to collect Facebook friends [or as my dad calls it: FaceSpace]. Those people have deep-rooted acceptance issues stemming from childhood. That is my educated guess based on the two psychology classes I took at community college.

This young man from London sent me a friend request, which I ignored, of course. I’m particularly leery of Londoners, given my extensive experience with a certain British creeptown. But we really don’t have time for that this week. A couple hours later, I noticed a message from the guy. I have so conveniently preserved the conversation for you to analyze.


Mind you, I thought this would be an appropriate time to stop responding as it sounded like we were on the same page: I’m not from the “tele” or a model or a singer = no further point to continue this conversation.

Just kidding! It’s Opposite Day!

He started a new message thread:


And now that I’ve posted this on my blog, I’m quite sure I’ve only sealed my fate. But I couldn’t help myself. You guys deserve to know the real reason why I came up missing. And while you’re mourning my absence, you can check out the other half of my creepy, abandoned house pictures.

They may, afterall, be the last ones I ever take.

It was nice knowing you.



5 Things Men Do That Annoy The Crap Outta Women

Wait, why are you holding a giant calendar with red X’s all over it?

…And why is there a whistle around your neck?

Did you recently become a gym teacher?

STOP TAPPING YOUR FOOT! What do you mean it’s only been a week and I’ve already broken my promise of posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday?

Well, well, smartypants.. perhaps you missed the memo where I mentioned that I’m now going off the ancient Mayan calendar. Bam, roasted! That also means that you’ve only got until 2012 before the earth explodes, which makes this whole broken promise thing seem a bit trite, eh?

Besides, you need to lay off me cus my birthday is on Friday and I’m having a breakdown.

Now. I realize that I’m pretty rough on women in this neck of the woods.* And guys, I feel like you might think you you have a free pass around these parts.* Well, sike. You better not even think you do, cus you don’t. I will further support that statement with the following numbered list of 5 Things Men Do That Annoy The Crap Outta Women:

1. Leave the bathroom floor covered in water. Question: Are you capable of washing your face and/or hands without turning the entire bathroom into a slip ‘n slide? Question: Is it possible to take a shower and actually step onto the conveniently provided mat when drying off?

2. Don’t properly take care of your feet. I’m not exactly sure what happens here. Question: Why does almost every man between the ages of 18 and 80 have at least one (if not all) deformed toenail? It’s either yellow, or crusty, or infested with some sort of mystery fungus that is resistant to over the counter treatments. In most cases, all of the above.

3. Leave a new toilet paper roll on top of the counter instead of putting it on the holder. Question: I’m too furious to ask a question right now.

4. Always being the hero, even if it requires making up a fake crisis. Man: Did you see that guy? He totally just checked you out! Who does he think he is? Can’t he see you’re with me? He’s totally staring at you?! Girl: Um, I didn’t even notice anything. Man: Stay right here. I’m gonna take care of this. Girl: Can’t we just go eat? I’m hungry.

5. Refuse to check the order at the drive thru. You know it’s gonna be wrong, it always is. Ask my metro sexual bff Kenny what happens when he fails to check my order and it’s wrong. Just ask him. [Speaking of, Happy Birthday Kenny. It just isn’t the same without you around here to throw a highly inappropriate combined birthday party with.]

Ladies, please feel free to add to the list.

That being said, guys, you know I love you. You fill the world with muscles, sweat, problem solving skills, a wealth of useless facts and movie trivia, the ability to vaguely determine the general origin of a scary car noise, and an endless supply of “It’s going to be okay’s.” But, sometimes, I just want to strangle you with that loosely fitted metro sexual tie.

*I’ve recently spent a lot of time at my parents’ country house. Sorry.


Check out my latest photography post Where Have All The Good Looking People Gone?


Your Twenties: One Giant Excuse To Do Nothing

Does it ever seem like you just keep running up against walls? No matter what way you go something unexpected happens and you find yourself in an endless cycle of spinning your wheels? And then the next thing you know, all the weeds have grown up around you and there’s just no way out?

Yea. Unfortunately, we don’t really have time to talk about that right now. But I am sorry you feel that way.

I mean, we are REALLY pressed for time. This whole blogging three times a week thing is cramping my style. But a promise is a promise. Except, of course, when you’re in a relationship cus then a promise is merely a meaningless statement you make to set the other person’s mind at ease.

At ease, Soldier.

I’ve got a meeting in an hour and I’m typing this in last night’s tshirt, yesterday’s frizzy hair, and some eyebrows that have seen better days. And by better days I mean, ones where you could distinguish me from Bert. I have leftover pieces of face mask and cake frosting on my chin,* and I’m just hoping that one of my long lost loves decides that today is the day he’s going to surprise me at my door. Cus that is pretty much how my life works.

*currently daydreaming about a face mask made of cake frosting.

So this picture. You know, the one of the car hitting the giant cement bricks that I cleverly used as a metaphor for the lives of people in their twenties and then siked you out by saying we weren’t gonna talk about it? Well, I took that yesterday. It was raining, which is when I get most of my creative inspiration, and I went for an aimless drive with my camera and my iPod. As I was driving through the not-so-desirable parts of town, I noticed alot of things that I thought were beautiful and interesting. So I decided to start a photo project called My City, As Seen Through My Car Window. If you are cool enough to follow me on Facebook, you’d already be abreast* to this fact.

Why my car window?** Well, partly cus I don’t want to get arrested for wandering around condemned places. Partly cus I don’t want to get my camera stolen, cus man, it’s pretty. So there was a lot of stopping abruptly in the middle of the road and making people very angry. This is nothing out of the ordinary.

*Again, I just can’t stop saying it.

**Unfortunately, today’s picture taking attempts resulted in the loss of my passenger side mirror.  We’ll see how long this project lasts.

Go to Indigo Photography.


About As Much As I Love Geraldo Rivera’s Mustache

That girl.

The one whose overly pushy, Sicilian boyfriend was able to convince her that entering a beauty pageant, despite the fact she was allergic to hair spray, 4-inch heels, up-dos and beauty pageants, would be a super awesome way to get scholarship money for her overpriced private college education.


The one with absolutely no rhythm or hand-eye coordination, who was forced to perform a group dance number to Cher’s Believe.

The one who discovered, upon signing up, that she needed something, como se talent? Since she had not been practicing the art of lap tap dance or clarinet since the age of 5, she wrote a comedic monologue about her trials with teenage acne.

The one who survived blissfully on nothing but McDonald’s cheeseburgers and Sour Patch Kids until realizing that it wasn’t just televised beauty pageants that had bikini competitions. She then ate nothing but granny smith apples for an entire month. Why granny smith? You’ll have to ask her.

That girl.

She’s gotta stop posting such ludicrous pictures of herself on THE INTERNETS.

For crying out loud, it’s embarrassing.

For her, that is.

Marriage: This Is What It Boils Down To

Dad: I got serious heartburn from that strawberry shortcake.  It was the milk.

Mom: Milk? I’d blame it on the strawberries. They’re so acidic.

Dad: Milk contains lactic acid. Don’t ever forget it.

Mom: Well I should buy lactose free milk then.

Dad: You did. You were buying that Soy Milk, but then you said it was gonna kill me for some reason so you stopped. Now I have heartburn.

Mom: They had something on the news about that for a week, Denny!

Dad: All I’m saying is that I may be avoiding death by Soy Milk, but I have no quality of life. I have heartburn.

Mom: Oh, fine. I’ll start buying the Soy Milk again.

Dad: What are you trying to kill me?

Twenty-five years of marriage and this is what it all comes down to. Not for me of course, cus I’m not getting married. But for all of you, these are the conversations you’ll be having.

That aside, I had a revelation the other day. And it wasn’t just that I needed a tan.

Or that I desperately need to visit the dentist. Still.

Or that I haven’t started any kind of workout and it’s mid-June.

Or that I still want an English Bulldog named Shakespeare.

Or that an unfortunate day is quickly approaching: my birthday. And I fear for the lives of many famous people on that day.

Or that I’ve been eating spaghetti for the last 13 days.

No, it wasn’t any of those things. But now that you bring it up, those are some serious problems.

I realized that I need to force myself to write more. I am veritably the WORST blogger on the planet. I get alot of emails from people asking why I don’t post more, yet you always stick around.  The truth is, I haven’t been posting cus I wasn’t inspired. Now I’m inspired, but I’ve never been so busy in all my life. I’m actually using my DayPlanner, as opposed to just admiring how cute it is.

But, I am going to post more. This is probably the only commitment I’ll be making in the foreseeable future. We’re not talking every day here, don’t get all clingy on me. We’re talking like a Monday, Wednesday, Friday type thing. Sound good?

What’s that? You don’t care?



Speaking of busy, Eric Bana stopped by my town last weekend. Each time, he lets me snap some pictures of him. We’re tight like that.


That Time I Told Everyone Your Secrets

“In life, we all have an unspeakable secret, and irreversible regret, and an unreachable dream.” Diego Marchi

I currently have strep throat. I have taken my nightly cocktail of drugs and shortly I will feel myself slipping away to reruns of Sex and the City. You know, the TBS ones sans nakedness. So as long as I’m conscious, you just put your feet up, pour yourself a glass, and forget all about your problems while I wax poetic about the mundane details of this life talk about mine. I’m your Carrie Bradshaw and this is my way-too-personal-sex column. Of sorts.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about secrets.

Secrets hold great power. Once revealed, they can disrupt your entire life. Although many of us hold secrets in a negative light, there is such a thing as good secrets. Example:

  • I’ve been in love with you for years. Oh, and I’m perfect.
  • Grandma died. And you’re the sole heir to her bagillions.
  • Even though you said you didn’t want to get married, your boyfriend is proposing to you in Paris!

*Sorry, based on experience that last one was a poor example.

That being said, these Manolo Blahniks have been carrying a lot of secrets around. So many, actually, that they might be reaching their secret holding capacity. I mean, I wouldn’t want to break a heel. And they aren’t just my secrets. They’re your secrets too. And don’t you think that with the friendship should go the secrets? Why should I have to tote around moldy secrets of people that I don’t even associate with any more?

So while I was compiling a list of your secrets to blog about, I took a seat next to my giant New York apartment window, and in true Sex and the City format, I stared at my laptop and said to myself:

I can’t help but wonder… what are my secrets?

*My family always wondered why my cat BamBam looked a little strange. When I was 5, I wanted her to look like Heathcliff so I bit a chunk of her ear off.

*Speaking of ears, my right ear is significantly larger than my left. Like, my left ear is normal size; my right ear is ridiculous. I discovered this in high school, but my parents had kept it a secret since I was a baby. I always wear my hair down and no one is the wiser.

*My senior year of high school, I was always late for my curfew. Every time, I told my mom that a cop pulled me over. Every time, she believed me. I don’t know if this is a credit to my persuasive skills, or a testament to my poor driving ability. Truth is, I was driving in cars with boys. Actually, one boy. And I found it impossible to leave him.

blake-mycoskie-toms-shoes*I think Blake Mycoskie is the single-most attractive man on the planet. He’s generous, brilliant, well traveled and scruffy. He went on vacation to Argentina and saw hundreds of children without shoes, so he decided to dedicate his life to changing that. He now runs a successful business, TOMS, while traveling the world and giving people shoes.

*I wrote a paper in 6th grade about Pearl Harbor. By my second year of college, I had handed that paper in to about 8 different teachers along the way. What alarms me, is that I never even edited it.

*I dig the Twilight saga.

*In high school, when I worked at Chuck E Cheese, I would purposely misspell the names on the birthday cakes so we could eat them. They were so, so good.

Well, my dears. That’s all you get for today. Maybe someday I’ll tell you my big secretsMaybe even the ones involving boys. But right now, I’d rather pass out. Of course, I’d love to hear some of yours – I promise I won’t blog about them. Right away.

Happy Memorial Day!


It’s Like Something Out Of Deliverance

[I’m so sick of people saying that. And I’m so sick of other movies referencing that movie. I’ve never seen Deliverance and so every time someone makes a reference, I don’t get it.  When I ask what the movie is about people always say, “Horrible. Don’t watch it. Creeptown city. People get tortured and stranded and it’s just bad news.” Ok, then why have you ALL seen it?]

So have you ever tried this dating thing? There must be something in the autumn Illinois air that is making everyone want to set me up with their finest, handomest available male. I usually date men I’ve known for awhile, thus I haven’t gone on many “first dates.” And I’m finding the entire process to be sort of, different.

Someone asked me the other day to give him the “Cliff’s Notes” about myself. With a sigh and a sarcastic laugh, I said, seriously? I can’t even sum up the last week of my life in Cliff’s Notes format.

So in the interest of efficiency and simplicity, I have devised a form letter that I can simply hand across the table when presented with the statement “So, tell me about yourself.” I suggest you do the same.

Dear Gentleman Suitor:

I hate form letters. I love to travel, but I can’t fly unless I am unconscious. The aesthetic quality of my penmanship is a constant let down, as are my driving skills. I take issue with people who don’t understand the meaning of aesthetic. Although you may not fall head over heels in love with me, you will with my family. I’m a night person, so don’t even try. Whatever it is, do not try.

Truth is, I’m a total nerd. I get annoyed when people use “than” where they should have said “then.” I color coordinate the books in my room. I’d rather buy office supplies than jewelry. Because of these facts, it is a natural result that my friends do not include girls who talk about shopping, tanning, how much their feet hurt in heels, their new eye shadow, or how much they can’t WAIT to see Lady Gaga in concert. My mind explodes from all the meaningless information. But let there be no mistake, I look great in heels.

I’m very tidy, but I hate the word tidy along with several others. Compliments make me feel awkward. I like to cook. I like it even better if you like to cook. It’s not that I hate reading. It’s that I hate reading mind-numbing fiction, sci-fi, romance, or essentially, almost anything contained in the public library. Got it? If it’s witty, well-versed, or based on someone’s actual experience, I’m in. Got it? I believe in God, and although I have always loved Him with my mind, I have not always done so with my life. I’m passionate and creativeI love making people laugh.

I’ve lived alot of life in my short time on this earth. I must be with someone who can hold their own. I view money as a necessary evil, nothing else. I hate people who get embarrassed. I’m independent, and I will rarely ask for your help unless it involves heavy things or snowy weather. I want to move to a place that has fall weather permanently. My household uniform is a hoody, plaid pajama pants, and braids. I’d rather fight it out than ignore it.  If I end up really liking you, I’ll probably worry about your well-being and you’ll get annoyed. Most importantly, I’d rather be single forever than with a seemingly perfect man who doesn’t understand me.

Thank you for your interest. If you find this alarming rather than endearing, no worries, you can step out for an important call and I will go make out with the attractive waiter.



I hate dating. It’s like something out of Deliverance.

An Ode To Park Benches And Passion

“The Greeks didn’t write obituaries. When a man died, they asked only one question: did he have passion?”

I help take care of this elderly man named Allen. He can’t remember what happened five minutes ago, but he can give you a play by play of everything that happened during his time in WWII. Sadly, he is aware of his condition and why he’s in a nursing home. Every morning he still goes outside at 7am and salutes the flag. I work with another lady, Elene, who always walks around holding a picture of one of the Saints. She passed away yesterday, and I had to go into her room. I glanced at her wedding picture, next to her bed. It was from 1935. There were pictures of her grandkids, trips to Paris, and family Christmases. I noticed her stack of journals, chronicling her 90-some years on this earth. Next to them was a box that contained tattered love letters from her husband, who had died several years prior. He wrote her a note everyday telling her how much he loved her.

Then there are the others. The ones whose rooms are empty.

I’ve been taking my ipod on alot of daytrips to the park lately. Parks are bittersweet to me, as are daytrips. At any rate, they are good places for reflecting. If we ever met, you would probably instantly recognize two things: I play with my hair alot, I’m sarcastic, and I’m passionate. Okay, three. I’m also Italian, which makes the problem of passion significantly worse. But is it really a problem? Interesting you should ask. I hadn’t thought about it much until recently.

It’s a tricky dichotomy, Passion. I’ve always gravitated toward passionate people. People who aren’t alarmed by my enthusiasm for composition notebooks and travel size products, but rather, appreciate it. They take notice of little things that may appear insignificant, however, they are anything but. Passion can also be easily misunderstood.

Someone once told me that passionate people are amazing lovers, and even better fighters. When we’re in, we’re in. And when we care greatly, we hurt greatly. I share this with you because I like to keep it real. I’m not about pretending to be something I’m not. There is no greater disservice to the world, and to yourself. I’ve done some horrible things, which illustrate all too well, that there is a bad side of passion.

young-victoriaWhen I went to college in London, I learned a lot about Queen Victoria. I took a trip to her castle. I was excited when the movie Young Victoria came out, as she had such an incredible story that many haven’t heard. After living in near isolation and becoming Queen of the British Empire at only 18 years old, Victoria eventually married her best friend, Prince Albert, against all odds. He died of typhoid fever when he was only 42. In honor of him, she had his clothes laid out every day until her death, at age 82. Their story was one of passion.

Despite the bad side, I can’t see living any other way. Don’t be scared of what will happen if you jump all in. Life is just, life. It’s messy and horrible and wonderful. In the end, you’ll lose your hair, your health, and your good looks. Don’t end up with an empty room.