Thursday, January 31, 2008

you go, girl

Sometimes there are days in your career where everything comes together and you're a total superstar. My friend Natalie had a day like that today when her client was a guest on the unbelievably high-profile Oprah show.

Natalie's working with football star Kevin Everett to promote his new book, "Walking Tall," about his journey of rehabilitation following an extremely serious spinal cord injury in September 2007 during a football game.

Some days in for-profit public relations are completely un-gratifying (pushing press releases and planning events that don't exactly make the world a better place). But occasionally there are days when you can say "damn, that really touched someone" or "wow, I made a difference in that person's life." The inspiring life of Kevin Everett is that kind of story, and Natalie was so the right girl to promote it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I'm not going to lie - I love bowling. Often viewed as a geeky, lame sport, bowling is really quite the opposite! Bowling is also a great outing when you live in a small town with limited night-life or cultural options.

I started bowling as a youngster on Saturday mornings when I'd have much rather stayed home and watched Muppet Babies. But my brother was a bowler and if he was at the alley, I wanted to be there too.

He's done a much better job staying active in the sport than I have. He even bowled a perfect game *a 300* a few months ago.

So I'm dusting off the ball to bowl in two tournaments this month. The first tournament is Saturday, and it's more of a "fundraiser," but I'm on a team and prizes are at stake so it's more of a competition than a fundraiser in my opinion.

The second tournament is late February and it's a couples outing. This tournament is set up so that the couple shares each frame (Ben will pick-up whatever I throw and vice-versa). I'm sure this will be very interesting...and potentially argument inducing. I'm already practicing patience.

I'll let you know how it turns out. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


It was nice to see a bit of Hollywood fashion at last night's SAG awards. Angelina Jolie looked very strange in the tent-like dress she was wearing which just goes to show that the saying "she'd look good in a potato sack" is B.S.

I can't believe we even need a State of the Union tonight, but I guess our president needs to keep up appearances that he's doing his job.

We've been watching a lot of Food Network lately. If you can't get enough of that cute Brit Jamie Oliver, check out his new show "Jamie at Home" (Set your TiVo because it airs at a stupid time on Saturday mornings).

The depressing TV season will get a lift on Thursday with the return of Lost. I can't wait to find out who is leaving the island (is anyone really leaving?), where Michael and Walt have been, what's up with the "flash-forwards" and more.

The Google Doodle is super fun today!

It's gone from below zero to 50 degrees in the last 7 days.

I swear this is my last post mentioning the weather for awhile.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

everybody likes a snowman

It's that blah time of the year when winter is just getting started and I'm ready for it to be over.

So I am attempting to think positive about the 75+ more days of cold weather...What are some good things about winter?
  • College basketball games - we've had fun watching the great season of the ISU Redbirds - and Michigan hockey
  • Catching up on TiVo and Netflix
  • Weekend matinĂ©es of Oscar nominated movies
  • Soup and grilled cheese
  • "Staying in" is an acceptable plan every night
  • Sledding and snowmen
What else can I look forward to?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

deep freeze

Bloomington, and much of the Midwest, is getting an Arctic blast this weekend. It's so cold that the windows in our bedroom were frosty Saturday morning. It was in the single digits most of the day with wind chills well below zero.

It's hard to believe it's warm anywhere on the planet right now...but it is. In fact, my mom leaves tomorrow for sunshine and 80 degrees in Hawaii, and I really want to hop in her suitcase. Heck, I'd settle for 50 degrees and sunny (current weather in Las Vegas according to Lynn and Jeff).

Today is a good day to hate the Midwest. If it's going to be THIS cold, it should at least snow so we have a nice landscape to appreciate from indoors!

Monday, January 14, 2008

small town bummers

A few weeks ago I posted about my favorite small town perks. It's taken me longer than I thought it would to come up with some was even hard for me to come up with the word to describe the drawbacks. After all, this small town is my home and I don't want to be too hard on it.

Nevertheless, small town life does have a downside.
  1. Limited fresh food year round. Big cities, especially those on the coast, get amazing fruits, veggies, fish and more. I almost cried the first time I went to our local farmers market, and the market season is very short comparatively.
  2. Poor public transportation. Say what you will about the dysfunction that is the CTA, Chicago has a pretty rockin' transit system. I-love-my-car-LA is shameful, but the Santa Monica bus is above average. Ben can't even take the bus home from campus because it stops running before 9 p.m. Major downer.
  3. Restaurants leave me craving more. Sure, Normal is home to a bar that serves cheese balls many worship and a no-frills Italian restaurant that people crave years after leaving ISU, but sometimes I need a great vegetarian dish (that doesn't rely on four different cheeses to be delicious), melt-in-your-mouth sushi or tasty French cuisine. Not going to happen here, unfortunately. This town can't support "eclectic, high-end" restaurants. They come and go time and time again.
  4. A huge downer for me is the total lack of shopping venues. It's shocking how bad the malls are here (nope, they couldn't get it right the second time either). Nearby Peoria even has a Banana Republic for Heaven's sake! Our Gap is an embarrassment to Gaps everywhere. Shoe departments consist of sad little corners full of unattractive, clunky messes. We do have a very small number of independent retailers, and I'm sad to say many of them come and go faster than our 10 minute rush hour.
  5. Did I mention shopping? Oh, yes...Well, that counts for two cons in my fashion-starved heart.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

a case of the mondays (on sunday)

I love the idea of a lazy Sunday, but I often have a hard time fighting off crankiness about the looming work week.

Five days of work and two days off just doesn't cut it most weeks. How can anyone truly rest in only 48 hours? Subtract errands and chores from that number and the real rest period is even more depressing.

I guess I'm feeling particularly fatigued this weekend because I haven't worked a five day work week in more than a month. So this week kicked my ass.

I should probably spend less time whining and just get on with the day. The dirt's multiplying rapidly in our kitchen and don't even get me started on the bathroom....*sigh*...

I think I'll go see Juno instead.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

who cares?

I'm getting really angry with all the media attention a few so-called "news" items are getting lately so here is my list of things I could care less about...
  • Anything to do with the misbehaving group of Hollywood crazies such as Britney, Lindsay, Mischa and Nicole (among others!)
  • If Tony Romo is cursed by his girlfriends
  • Stalkerazzi photos of every baby bump in Hollywood and the constant speculation about those who could be preggers
  • Tom Cruise and Scientology
  • If Hillary got teary or "moist" and how voters responded (seriously?) and all of the other overly dramatic, trumped-up political coverage
Feel free to air any of your additional "who cares?" items!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"guy" and "girl"

We watched the highly acclaimed, little watched Once this weekend, and it lived up to the hype.

It feels like a documentary about two musicians - an Irish guy and a Czech gal - who are both in difficult phases of their lives. The story is told through their music and sparse dialogue. It's quirky, thoughtful and touching.

Most movies are so over-told these days I feel like they're hitting me over the head. The subtleness of "Once" is a nice change of pace. The movie isn't for everyone, but give it a try if you are looking for a beautiful story.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I learned something today - what the heck goes on at the Iowa Democratic caucus. If you have no idea either (hint: no one touches a voting machine), check out this piece by the Chicago Tribune.

I decided who was getting my vote almost a year ago when I went to Springfield, IL to hear Barack Obama declare his candidacy. It was absolutely freezing outside, but the enormous crowd was buzzing with this insane energy. I voted for Obama when he was running for the Senate and am thrilled I'll get a chance to send him to the White House.

Whatever you decide, I hope you exercise your right to vote (on Feb. 5 for Illinoisans).

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008: the year of 30

Happy 2008! We celebrated in a very low key manner at home - Bloomington just doesn't have the party scene of Chicago and LA (not to mention a lack of public transportation and/or nearby establishments to walk too which makes drinking while out nearly impossible).

I'm not one to make a list of resolutions, but I do observe the new year as a point of reflection and a chance for a fresh start. I think I'm pondering the new year more than usual because I'll be turning 30 in six months.

I'm not dreading 30 because I'll be "old" per se, but more so because it's a reminder that time keeps flying by and the list of things I want to do (travel, master's degree, kids, etc.) seems especially long and my progress toward those goals needs to be kicked up a notch.

2007 was a transition year for me with the move, new job and new house so I'm aiming to make 2008 a year of..."progress" doesn't seem like the right word but something like taking action on some short-term goals to get on a track toward achieving my long-term goals. So, for example, I want to enroll in a class or two (don't know what!) and move toward a master's degree (actual degree still TBD).

What is everyone else hoping to do in 2008?