Archive for September 2009

29 September 2009

So I guess it’s fall

By: Jessica B.

The last two days in Chicago have proven to me that it’s officially fall. Yeah, I tried to hide from it and still wear my cute summer clothes, but I do hate being cold and soon enough a summer dress may just look silly.

So it’s fall now. Thanks weather, I got the memo.

It’s still going to take time to really let this sink in, but I want to be positive and list the things I am looking forward to with this change of season:

  • Leaves changing colors – I don’t see this a lot in the city, but whenever I go home, I go for a drive to enjoy them
  • Scarves – I love them and wear them all the time when it cools down. Time to get them out!!
  • Honey Crisp apples – These are like dessert in apple form. I always look forward to when they are in season
  • Perfect sleeping weather – Cool weather + blankets = perfect night’s sleep
  • Cotton jackets – Warmth without being too hot, perfect transition to the down jacket
  • Smell of fall – It just smells crisp and cool, that’s the only way I can describe it
  • Heated mattress pads/blankets – I love cuddling up in these with my slippers on and flannel jammies. So comfy!
  • Working on my “winter coat” – I mean indulging in the treats and warm drinks/foods of the season. All in good balance with going to the gym :)
  • College football!! – Yeah I love it. I plan to be watching the Minnesota/Wisconsin game on Saturday morning too!
  • Farmer’s markets – so much goodness in one place

Yikes, this is very close to last year’s list too!

Anyhow, one of my favorite things about college football is home games in Madison. Unfortunately, I don’t go to many of them (given the lack of car thing) but the best part of the home games is at the beginning of the fourth quarter when the student section erupts in the well known “jump around,” to the House of Pain 90s hit. On a bad day, I listen to this song on my iPod and do a little “jump around” myself.

The video isn’t great but you can hear the crowd sing along and people standing start moving up and down almost in unison. It’s pretty awesome.

And speaking of farmer’s markets, I went to one near the capital in Madison this weekend and took some awesome photos. Sadly, I didn’t buy all of these items, but the food porn going on is more than enough for me :)

Peppers, caliente!


Kettle corn!

I was good and bought apples, but I did that moreso because I wanted one of these guys:


Red velvet whoopie pie

I love red velvet and cake and I think I just found the perfect combo! Oh and it does taste like heaven, although it took me forever to finish this one. Damn it’s filling.

What are you looking forward to this fall? Is it finally fall-like weather near you?

Review blog update: Yes, I’ve been behind on this, but now that it’s getting cooler, here’s my favorite nighttime moisturizer

28 September 2009

Another conversation with grandma

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: family

Oh family. They make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. I can admit, sadly, that I am an awful granddaughter. I don’t see my grandparents much outside of the holidays, but I do try to call when I can, even if it is painful to do so.

My grandma means well but sometimes when she says things, it can be…back handed. I just chant to myself, “she means well, she means well.” I know in my heart she does, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t tease her a little bit when she makes these comments.

She’s also been “supportive” of my quest to stay single too. I’ve posted before about our “colorful” conversations regarding my singleton status and recently  had another dating-related conversation with her, yippee. Apparently she’s brought this back on the call agenda because I’ve entered into a new decade.

Let’s join our conversation.

Grandma: I saw a report on the news that women in their 30s are getting “more involved” than they did in their 20s

Me: More involved?

Grandma: Yes, in things they didn’t get to focus on a lot when they were younger

Me: You mean, like dating or having kids?

Grandma: Well yes, they just choose to hold off on that stuff so they can live their life. So that’s something for you to look forward to

Me: You know, it’s okay if I don’t get married or have kids. That’s not for everyone

Grandma: Well you’re in your 30s now, so you still have time

Me: Yeah, maybe, it could happen, you never know

Grandma: Oh yes, that single stuff we knew was just a phase

Me: Like rock music and experimenting in college?

Grandma: Experimenting with what?

Me: ……….stuff, you know, like, actually never mind, yes I’m going to definitely stop living my life now in my 30s and focus on getting married

Grandma: There you go! Good for you!

Yeah, I cherish these talks :)

Does anyone else’s grandma or family continunally poke at their single status and anything else?

I know now never to bring up weddings around her because she’ll say how great it is and how happy it makes family when their kids get married.

Enter more crickets chirping from my end of the phone.

27 September 2009

Weekend recap: weddings and football

By: Jessica B.

Just because I was sick last week, missing half a day of work and working from home one day, that could not stop me from celebrating two of my favorite things: college football and my friend getting married.

And after some last minute prayers to feel better and survive the craziness, I’m pleased to say that I’m back in Chicago in one piece and feeling a lot better than I did Tuesday-Thursday last week (thank goodness!)

So let’s get started!


My parents and I are huge Wisconsin Badger fans. Sure, I went to the University of Minnesota, but in our house, Badgers are #1 and getting invited to my take one or two of my parents tickets to the games is a big treat (*cough* 50 yard-line seats *cough*). And because I had to be in Madison for a wedding that same day, my dad gave me the golden ticket to the Michigan State game, where he told me beer would make me feel better (it does) and a soft pretzel (LOVE THOSE) would settle my stomach. My stepmom even smuggled in chardonnay, which we drank from a water bottle. Seriously, that woman is the QUEEN of smuggling stuff into games. Here’s the view from our seats.


So after a great game (which we won!), I had to get ready for the wedding, which I did in my own traditionally classy way, carrying my dress, shoes and make up into a public restroom and changing in the handicapped stall. The Badger fans that walked into the bathroom and saw me struggling to reach the zipper on the back of my dress must have thought I was c-r-a-z-y.

But I pulled it together and was ready to meet up with Rebecca C and head to the ceremony.

And despite my “tough cookie” exterior and dead-inside heart, I do actually have a fluffy, nougat center (like a candy bar) and seeing two friends get married in such a personal, wonderful ceremony made me tear up, especially as the bride and groom choked up during the vows. I even had a moment, seeing them so in love and happy, where I said, “maybe this is something I want.”

Then my little group made our way over to a bar near the reception hall, but this bar had a tree inside. Yes, a HUGE faux tree. It was awesome. And drunk, male football fans were more than excited to see pretty ladies in dresses. I even discovered the joy of New Glarus’ Spotted Cow beer, which is almost as popular Miller in Wisconsin but is NOT available in Illinois. Oh the cruelty.

The reception was amazing, held at an old, vintage movie theater with the tables set at the floor of the theater with lovely accents and soft lighting. If I had gone with a date, yeah I would have been in the mood to make out :)

My weekend even ended with a French cab driver, asking me why I’m single and refusing to believe I’m 30. Yeah he got a little bigger tip than normal. Sometimes, it’s still nice to hear :)

So how was everyone else’s weekend? Do anything fun? Any other big college football fans out there?

24 September 2009

I am a child when I get sick

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: family, Random

When I was a kid, I used to get sick a lot. Allergies, mono, strep throat, flu, you name it, I got it. I was like a magnet for germs. And I rarely got to stay home from school, which installed a “go to work/school no matter what” mentality for me.

My friends who have known me for awhile know that I rarely take sick days or go home early.

And since I’ve been out on my own, I haven’t really needed to take a lot of sick time because *knock on wood*, I’ve been overall pretty healthy.

But I now notice that when I do get sick, I go DOWN like a sack of potatoes and instantly morph from being an adult into a child.

When I get sick, the following things usually happen:

  • I forgo any sense of hygiene outside of brushing my teeth (showering? optional)
  • I stop picking up my house and it becomes littered with cups, tissues and blankets that I’ve kicked on the floor
  • My level of annoyance about things goes up by 100 percent
  • I retreat to the couch and lay like a beached whale on it with the remote dangling in my hands
  • I turn to napping (which I never do, so that’s another sign of illness)
  • I start to complain…a lot

The complaining part is actually kind of funny (once I’ve recovered) because my dad will call to check in on me and he really is talking to a child.

For example, I’ve been sick lately and when I went home from work yesterday, our conversation went something like this:

Dad: How are you feeling?

Me: Icky *sniffles*

Dad: What does that mean? Sore throat? Cough?

Me: Icky means icky, I’m just really run down and feel like crap *whimpers*

Dad: What are you taking to feel better?

Me: Stuff, I dunno, ibuprofen, cough drops, water *pouts*

Dad: Okay well get some rest and I’ll check in with you later

Me: I don’t like feeling sick, can’t you come take care of me and make this go away *bats eyelashes, even though we’re on the phone*

Dad: No, get some rest

Then I’ll usually hang up the phone in a huff and go back to watching TV.

I know, I’m so mature.

Are you like this when you get sick or do you prefer to just be left alone?

23 September 2009

Boy Karma Bites

By: Jessica B.

Oh karma’s a b*tch, trust me.

And I got to thinking about karma, especially when it comes to guys, while I was recently closing up some matches on in prep for my  little dating break.

While I’m moved on from the disappointment about JohnBoy not working out, I couldn’t help but wonder if part of the reason it didn’t also didn’t work out was bad boy karma coming back my way. I’m not saying this is main reason why it didn’t work out, but maybe it was a small piece.

I feel like karma bit me on the a** with JohnBoy because while he and I were hanging out I was unintentionally an awful b*tch to another guy on Match. Again, timing was bad with this guy but I relished in my “bad girl” activity more than ever before.

So here’s what happened. The guy’s name is Dave and somehow we got to talking on Match and then on instant messenger because it was easier to talk that way at night compared to trading e-mails. But after a rocky first IM chat (with some odd “screener” questions from him), I got to be a little more interested/focused on JohnBoy and Dave kind of fell to the back burner, especially after he said he is unemployed and only half looking for a new job. I know, it’s not fair to put him on the back burner because of this, but I did.

He would IM me constantly at work, asking to chat and say hi (even though he knew I was fully employed) and then started e-mailing me all the time too because I was psuedo ignoring him. Yeah, I knew I was doing it, stringing him along, and I knew it was wrong, but I still did it. I’m an awful person.

And the entire time I was doing it, I knew I had to close up that match, friends told me to do it too but I didn’t. Why? Mix of lazy and distracted. Both are lame excuses too.

So after the whole JohnBoy thing imploded last week and Dave started becoming more aggressive and slightly mean on IM, I knew I had to close it up, and I did, including within my “no thanks” message a simple apology for not being more honest with him sooner. Fortunately, he’s stopped IMing me at night (now that he’s not on my buddy list anymore) but still, the karmic guilt about how I handled this lingers on.

Normally, I’m not like this with guys, but for the first time, it felt kind of nice to have that little bit of control over one, instead of always being on the reverse side. Maybe that’s why I kept it going too.

I’m not proud of my actions but hopefully by admitting them here and realizing that this may have had a karma-like effect on me, that little bit of guilt will go away and I can start fresh when I’m back from my break.

So phew, my soul is unloaded.

Have you ever done this with another guy, string him along and dangle the “I might still be interested” carrot in front of them? Or do you find you’re on the flip side of that coin too (like I usually am?) Or maybe I’m crazy in my theory on this?