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October 25, 2003

Johnny, going out, and All Hallow's Eve

Another one of these massive update-y things.

Not much exciting has happened. The highlight of my week was having my Johnny Depp marathon on my day off on Wednesday. Six--six!--JD movies in twenty four hours. Borrowed Benny & Joon and The Astronaut's Wife from the library, watched them and took them back and borrowed The Man Who Cried and Dead Man, watched those, and rented Edward Scissorhands and Donnie Brasco from Blockbuster. All in the span of 24 hours. To my credit, I did do eight loads of laundry, a TON of filing/cleaning of the room, AND did my homework for class during said marathon.

Last night I went out to McGees with Em, Frank, and Em's friend. Was a good time. Took waaaaay too long to drive into the city, but once I was there, it was worth it. I need to get my butt out more. This I know. So I'm making an effort to do so. ;) Afterwards, however, I could NOT fall asleep. The last time I saw the clock, it was 2:20. And I thought to myself, two more minutes and it will be 2:22. I am a dork, yes. I didn't see 2:22, but I saw 5:52, when my alarm went off for work. Bah.

Worked today. It was massively busy. Which, I suppose, is the best way for it to be when in danger of falling asleep. I didn't have a moment to even finish up one thing before I had to start another, so I certainly didn't have time to be sleepy. It was a good day, though. Got a lot accomplished.

After work, I went to Shelley's. We watched *NSYNC on Loveline from '99 and Joey in RENT from last fall. Well, highlights from Joey in RENT. That's a pretty long play, yo. But that was fun. And then we went to my bank, to stop in on the one-woman show they were having tonight. Small crowd, but I'm glad I made an appearance. We had yummy apple cider.

Then, we went to Naper Settlement for their All Hallow's Eve event. Naper Settlement is this 19th century living history village, and they had it all done up for All Hallow's Eve. We had quite a time of avoiding both the Headless Horseman and a pumpkin-headed dude on foot. Somehow, they both seemed to be converging on us from opposite directions everywhere we turned. We also avoided Death and some undead pioneers, saw a ghost tea party, had a fried Snickers (Snickers bar dipped in funnel cake dough and fried... while not really authentic with the times, it was YUMMY and those 19th century folks were seriously missing out), and saw a dramatic reading of the Tell Tale Heart.

We also had our fortunes told. I'll take mine! I had my palm read. She said my love line and life line meet a bit later in life, but they run together strong and for a long time. So I will fall in love a bit later (which is good, because I'm well on my way to later rather than sooner being my exact destiny), but it will be once and for good. My wealth line also meets my love line, so I will marry a wealthy man. I will have four children -- three girls and one boy. My talent line splits into three equal parts, so I have three passions and will be successful at whichever I choose to pursue. Not too shabby, eh? If I held stock in that kind of thing. Heh. ;)

So that was that. Good times, good times.

October 21, 2003

The week since California

Whew. So after California (see previous post... whoo! I updated!), the week just flew by. On Thursday, I went to the Village (retirement home) in the morning, as I do every other Thursday. Then, in the afternoon, T, K and I had to go downtown to present our banker projects to the branch sales managers, regional managers, Illinois sales managers, marketing department, and training department. Whew!!

After the presentations, I met Karen for dinner at Cheesecake Factory. It turned out to only be about a mile from where I was, so I met her at Borders and we popped across the street. Hadn't seen Karen since February, so that was good to catch up. And GOOD food. I ate WAY too much. And pumpkin cheesecake. Yum.

Then, on Sunday, I went to the Strokes concert with Sarah. She drove down from Wisconsin about 3, and we headed into the city. We found the venue, and then (Aarti, you'd be PROUD), I navigated our way to Devon for some Indian food. After sitting in the parking lot FOREVER waiting for a parking spot, we finally found one. But it was really tasty food! There is a theme here... revolving around food. At this rate I will NOT lose the 1/2 inch to fit into Jamie's bridesmaid dress!!

The concert was... loud. Of the three "groups" (one girl, Regina something, who did a solo... thing, and then Kings of Leon (very 70's) and the Strokes), I had heard two songs before. It is just not really my type of music. A bit too alternative and LOUD for me. I prefer songs with lyrics that are understandable. But it was an experience, and I got in for free, so not all was lost.

Today, I had my midterm for my banking class. It went alright. I was totally out of the test-taking mode, as I haven't had an exam since December! I got a B on the test, which kind of disappointed me, because this was not differential equations. This was banking. Should be easy, yeah? It was all regulations and acts and laws and the history of banking and the history of the Federal Reserve Bank and who governs what and UGH. Not my cup of tea. So I guess a B is alright. I just need to step it up for the final!

And that's where I am now. I have tomorrow off, and I have almost exhausted the library of its Johnny Depp collection. He is so good, that Johnny Depp. I watched Inside the Actor's Studio with him the other day, and man. I'm so impressed. So, yes. Good times. I'm watching Benny & Joon now, in fact.


I haven't updated in forever. I know this. I suck.

Last weekend, I went to California with my dad. It was great fun. For your reading enjoyment, a play-by-play:

We got in late-ish Saturday night and sat for-freaking-ever at the Hertz place. We ended up with a Lincoln Towncar for our trouble, and damn was that thing big. Heh. Cushy, but ginormous.

The hotel was also cushy. Very fancy-pants. The conference was at the Westin Bonaventure, and in choosing there to stay (for convenience), we did not think of the fact that, in surprising my godfather, we would have to be stealthy for the first two days of the trip. We had to sneak around and keep a sharp eye so we didn't run into him and ruin everything.

On Sunday, we met up with Elaina, who is now living in Bakersfield, and she, Dad and I went to Disneyland. I had to compare. I am definitely a WDW girl myself, but it was fun to see the differences. They had some spiffy rides that the Magic Kingdom doesn't (Indiana Jones, Matterhorn Mountain, and the Haunted Mansion was all Holiday-ified), so it was a good time. Afterwards, we drove (and drove and drove) to West Hollywood (I think) to have dinner at Mel's Diner. I think we ate next to Tara Lipinski, if she would have any reason at all to be in LA. Looked a lot like her, anyway.

On Monday, Dad and I went to Hollywood, walked down the Walk of Fame (and resisted sitting down and taking my picture on a number of different stars), avoided the creepy Spiderman and Wonder Woman outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre. No less than three (three!) men sang "M-I-C...K-E-Y.....M-O-U-S-E" to me on the street because I was wearing my Mickey Mouse Club t-shirt. But THREE! One was a police man, too. I was amused.

We ate outside in a little outdoor mall where we could see the Hollywood sign from our table. That was fun. Then we went back to Mel's Diner to get a t-shirt for my mom (who is still known as "Mel" to all my dad's old college friends, even if she hasn't gone by that name in years) and to get a coffee at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf there. Good stuff. Afterwards, we took Sunset almost to the coast (took a little detour to shorten the trip), and stopped in Santa Monica for a bit, just to admire the ocean. So pretty. I would love love love to live in Santa Monica.

Monday night was the reception for my godfather as he takes over as president of the International Water Environmental Foundation. He didn't know we were there yet, so we spent the first half of the time keeping our eye on him and countering his moves around the room. They showed a slide show of really pretty hysterical pictures of him growing up, and then it was time for the speakers. My dad was up first, doing "the college years," and my godfather was floored when they announced my dad's name. Jumped out of his seat and turned around, then ran up to him and gave him a big hug. It was great. He was thrilled that we were there! Very fun.

After the reception, there was an after-reception-reception in my godfather's swanky penthouse suite. It was good to hang out with his kids (we've gone on vacations with them), who became a refuge in a room full of waste water engineers. We were *thisclose* to venturing out onto the town, and I wanted to go to the Viper Room, because hello, Johnny Depp's club. We ended up staying at the hotel, and boy. I now hear JC ended up there (at the Viper Room, not the hotel) that very night. What luck. But I'm glad I got to see the family friends, and they were the real reason I even went to LA, so. No regrets.

Tuesday, we left about 8:30 for the airport and got stopped by security due to our bags setting off an alarm for nitro-glycerine. Trace amounts on the outside. Which, I suppose, could have come from the hotel, the rental car, the bus we took from the Hertz place to the airport... any number of places. But they had to upack every. article. we had and check them all for explosives. Talk about embarrassing. This is the second time the entire contents of my suitcase have been dumped out for all of the airport patrons to see.

Oh, and funny thing. There was a plane leaving for New York City at the gate next to ours, and I swear they paged "Passanger Robson, passanger Wade Robson, please come to the desk, passanger Robson." They most definitely were paging a Robson, and my head snapped up at mention of the name that sounded very much like Wade. But that could have just been my ears fooling me. Heh. Would he have had reason to jet to NYC on Tuesday?

The plane was way delayed due to weather in Chicago, and we finally got home about 8:00 Tuesday night. Whew! It was far too short, but we packed a lot in. Not nearly as much as I would have liked to have done, and but what I did do was wonderful. I guess that leaves something to do next time, right?

So that was California. Next post to update the rest of my week.

October 08, 2003

Busy Beaver

I'm off today. It's the most perfect day to be off. It's in the 70's, with the bluest sky and just a touch of a breeze. The trees are starting to turn golden, and it's so beautiful. It's times like these when I love living in Chicago.

I got up early, chatted a bit with dear Miggie (where's your prettypretty background? Maybe it's just not loading at the moment...), and went to work out. I hadn't been to the gym since last Thursday, so I've been slacking! Oops. Then I got gas and got my car washed at the good car wash. It's all sparkly now!

I dropped off my movies at the library (made it through Sleepy Hollow and From Hell, but I'll have to take Drumline out again next time... no time for that) and headed to Target for a little shopping. Bought some cute work-out pants for winter. Well, one long pair, and one that's kind of like capris. My fall pair. ;) Also got a new suit, which I'm kind of on the fence on. It's not the cutest suit in my wardrobe, but it was only $32 for the whole thing, so that ups the value a bit. Heh. And a shirt to wear with the suit, and my make-up, which I was running out of. All in all, I spent under $100, and it was all necessary. So I guess that worked out well.

I came home and cleaned my room, did some laundry, and I am about to meet Theresa at the Addison movie theatre. Hee! She was giving me a lot of crap about seeing Pirates so many times, and then last week she admitted that she might want to see it. But she'd only go with me. So here I go again! This'll be the last time in the theatres, though. I'm telling myself this now.

Leave for California on Saturday. I'm excited! I wish we could have been leaving Friday night, but that's a whooooole other story. So we'll arrive around 7:30 Los Angeles time and probably crash, because I have to work early Saturday morning. Sunday we are planning on hitting Disneyland (YAY!!), and Elaina is probably going to come along. Double YAY!! I haven't seen Elaina since I visited her at school in January of 2000. She has been living in California ever since, so I'm looking forward to that greatly. Monday, Dad and I are probably going to just bum around LA, see what there is to see, and then Monday night is the reception. I don't know what to wear! Ahhh!!! Then home Tuesday. It'll be another whirlwind trip (don't I take enough trips I can count the number of hours spent in that city? One of these days, I'll take a whole week somewhere).

So. Off to the movie theatre I go!

October 05, 2003

::Sends good vibes to the Cubbies::

Yesterday was Megan's birthday (Megan-from-Wheaton, not Meghan-from-here). I went over to her friend Kelle's house (whom I had never met) to find our way downtown along with Kelle's friend Tina (whom I had also never met). Kelle and Tina live right close to me, though, so we thought we'd figure out the L and find the bar together.

We took the L from Cumberland, which is a new trick I think I will be using in the future when not wanting to find a place to park the car downtown and not needing to be right in the loop via the Metra train. Yay! Also. Exciting tidbit! (maybe only for Carolyn and me...) They guy who does the voice on the L ("Doors closing. Next stop, Adams. The doors will open on the right side at Adams.") is the guy from the monorail!!! Yes, yes. He's the same guy who says "Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas." Hee! The novelty didn't wear off. And he talks a lot on the L, yo!

We made it to Goodbar on Halsted about halftime of the Iowa game. The Iowa game is what we were technically there to see, as Megan is the biggest. Iowa. fan. ever. But the Cubs game was playing on the small TV in the corner, so Kelle, Tina and I all sat with our backs to the big screen with Iowa and watched the Cubs. Iowa beat Michigan, which I guess is a good thing, but we kept wanting the football game to be over so that they'd put the Cubs on the big screen where we could actually read the score and the count and all of that. They finally did. Sammy almost-not-quite pulled through in the end there. *sigh* Today, boys! And I hope Kyle didn't get hurt too badly. Ack. I really, really want a picture of him laying on the ground with his leg kicked up, though, because so adorable. Hee. It would have been awesome for them to have won yesterday, here in Chicago, but I have faith that they can pull through in Atlanta. Go Cubs!

After the game, we made our way to some tattoo parlor for Megan to get her bellybutton pierced. I could not watch. ::shudder:: It was kind of making me sick just looking at the little displays they had. They had plastic tongues, belly buttons, eyebrows, ears and nipples displaying different pieces of jewelry, and that was just... Eww.

We then tried to eat at Buca di Beppo, which would have been so tasty. The wait was 45 minutes, though (because, duh, thousands of people in Wrigglyville for the Cubs game... did we expect to not have to wait?), so we went to Pompei, which is kind of a Corner Bakery of the Italian food world. A step up from Fazzoli's, but you order it at the counter and they bring it to you. Afterwards, we took a different L route home and didn't have to deal with the scary tunnel of the first transfer we'd made going, but had to deal with an almost-equally creepy tunnel at this transfer station. I like the L much better when it's above ground. Heh.

So that was that. It was a good time, and Kelle and Tina were really nice. We're going to have a Johnny Depp-athon one of these days. Yay! Exciting.

October 03, 2003

Work: the good and the bad

Not many of my customers are too young to be receiving Social Security, so when someone under thirty-five walks through the doors, it's practically shocking. And when that someone spends the entire interaction hitting on me, in a kind of creepy way (I've never had someone say "How YOU doin'?" and not be 100% joking), I'm just thrown for a loop.

Speaking (sort of) of Social Security, I helped one of my new favorite (favorite new?) customers today get his Social Security direct deposit switched from his bank in Florida to his bank here. He's 93 and hard of hearing, so I had to talk to the fine folks at the SS office for him. He's just the cutest man in the world. Moved up here to be closer to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He's always in great spirits, and is in fantastic health. I need to learn a thing or two from him! Anyway, he was very thankful for my help. About ten minutes after he left, he popped back in and handed me a bag. Inside was a box of Fannie May Mint Meltaways! That gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies.

I've gotten thank-you notes from customers, but he actually brought me a present. For doing my job.

October 01, 2003

On October 1, 1971...

...Walt Disney's new theme park in Orlando, Florida opened. Happy birthday, Walt Disney World! The Magic Kingdom has been around for thirty-two years today.

I have so many fantastic memories of Walt Disney World. I can see myself, eighty years old, telling "This one time, at Walt Disney World..." stories to my grandchildren. Up through now, the best times of my life were those spent working for the Mouse.

Boy, do I miss it.

Let's quickly update my life

I went to Michigan this past weekend to visit the sister. Mom and I went up early on Saturday (but arrived just a bit before lunch). We took Jessica and her roommate, Amanda, to lunch, then did a bit of shopping. Jess had gotten us tickets for Grease for that night, which she had to work. We waved hello to her as she frantically took people's orders in the concession stand at intermission.

The play was quite good. Sandy was played by a girl from Estonia. I wish I hadn't known that during Act 1, because it would have been neat to see if I noticed at all. She did very well with the accent. There were only a few times that I smiled to myself over something she said. And she had an amazing voice. Actually, most everyone did. Especially the guys. Every one of them blew me away. Plus, Frankie Avalon! Hee! He reprised his role as Teen Angel (25 years after the movie came out... that's a long time!). He was so obviously having such a good time doing it that you couldn't not love him. After the play, he came out and had us do a sing-along to "Witch Doctor," sang a couple of fifties songs I didn't know, and then sang his two (or... two of his?) big hits (I only knew "Venus"). It was a good time.

It has gotten so cold out. We turned on the heat last night, because it was only 64 degrees upstairs. Eeep! It's been in the lower 40's the past couple mornings when I left for work. Not cool, folks. Not cool. Actually, too cool, and not in a good way. It's much too early to be worrying about frost and breaking out the lined coats. Brrrrrr. ::shiver::

I had class again last night. It's scheduled to go from 5:30-8:15. We started at 5:00, with the intention of then getting out at 7:45. Noperdoodles! We still got out at 8:15, but effectively squashed any time we could have used to eat some dinner between getting off work at starting class. Supposedly, we're going to be starting at 5:00 from now on, specifically TO get out early. If I'm not going to have a break between work and class, we better stick to the time schedule, yo. I become a bit cranky when I leave my house before 7 am and don't get home again until 9 without a dinner break.

And woops! Better finish getting ready so that I'm not laaaaate.