14 August 2014

I am a weird people magnet

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

I am.

I could be in Chicago or any city and the offbeat, funky, weird group always find me. I’m not saying they’re all always homeless, but, I mean, that could be one trend among the people who find me.

Years ago, I was walking in my neighborhood and after accidentally bumping in to a woman and saying “watch where you’re going” (it was a GIANT side walk), she literally almost kicked my ass in front of my guy friend. Like, got UP IN MY FACE and said she would do so.

Then, while riding on a bus back from Target, the bus was empty and I happened to be stuck between a man and woman screaming at each other, her saying they slept together, him saying they didn’t and her countering that “JESUS KNOWS.” Coincidentally, Jesus did not give us to sign to know if it was true. Jury is out.

I don’t know why this seems to happen, but it does.¬† Everywhere.

The latest example was at a train station in Chicago. Me, on a Friday afternoon listening to music while coming home from doing errands, her, a woman waiting for the elevator on the platform as well to take us to the ground floor. It was a necessity for me with the boot. Her, I’m not sure why.

After a while of staring at me (again something I’m used to with this on), she says something to me.

Her: Wow, that [the boot] sucks.

Me: Yeah, that’s one word for it.

Her: How much longer do you have?

Me: Hoping only two more weeks, then transition out.

Note: This is usually where pleasant conversation ends w/most people asking about it. BUT NOT THIS TIME.

Her: You know, I’m just gonna give you a piece of advice.

Me: ……

Her: Use this time. Use this time to find out who your real friends and lovers are. Those who are with you on this journey. The rest, are just fluff. Let them go.

Me: …..okay? [Lovers? As in plural??? Like, more than one???]

Her: Use this time miss. It takes situations like this to tell you who your real friends and lovers are [Jesus here we go with the lovers thing again??? Who says that??]

Me: …okay.

At this point, I’m trying to get out the train station as quickly as I can because I do not want to hear the word “lovers” for the third time. Also, weird.

But she does have a point. Oddly, a point being made from a weird exchange w/a woman at a CTA station.

The boot has taught me a lot. And honestly, I’ve been a little disappointed in several of my close friends. Maybe my expectations are a little off, but yeah, they let me down. And it was a wake up call.

So now I’m just doing my thing, waiting for the next weird encounter with someone. It’s just a matter of time.

11 August 2014

Sleepless in the city – due to sleep training

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Full disclosure: I am not a mom. I have not been sleep deprived by my own child (although I have been from others kids) and I have not had to go through the process of sleep training my own child.

But right now, I sure as fuck am suffering from my neighbors sleep training theirs.

You guys. This.is.torture.

My apartment building is quite a collection of characters. Women who drink wine from Stella goblets, men who like S&M and lots of porn, cat owners and the occasional person who forgets to turn off their broiler before going out, starting a fire. It’s like a melting pot of “bring me your weird.”

And right now, those things are tame in comparison to the Everest I face. A neighbor sleep training their child.

Oh yes. For the childless (like me), sleep training is the process of teaching your child to go to sleep and sleep through the night. That means, sometimes….they don’t want to do that, and you let them cry it out.

And living in the city, where people are in close quarters, with windows facing each other, sound carries and bounces and thus, WE ALL SUFFER.

The baby sleep training in my building right now has moved away from being up screaming at 1am, 3am and 5am (7 days a week) and now has moved to screaming between the hours of 4:30am – 6:00am, but, left to scream for 45 minutes or more. Jesus, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

And my poor little oscillating fan can only do so much to drown out the cries. It also takes every ounce of my strength not to scream out the window “please for the love of God tend to your child!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not all of us need to be up this early!”

This gets back to the mothers vs. non mothers debate of “You choose to live in the city, where there are babies” and “I choose not to have children and shouldn’t be affected by your choices.” Trust me, it’s a fun chat.

I’m not saying families with small kids should be put in out to pasture until the kids can sleep through the night, but I guess, just have both sides be more courteous.

So…..yeah this will be good for when I get back to morning training again….yay.

07 August 2014

The boot – week 5

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

I’m on week 5 of life w/the boot. On August 15, I go in for my six week status and LITERALLY PRAY TO ALL HIGHER POWERS THAT I CAN START TRANSITIONING OUT.

By now, I’m used to people staring as I walk around, pointing it out to their friends or staring at it as they walk by and the going in to a hushed conversation after they pass me.

And the good news is that most people aren’t assholes about it. They offer me the handicapped seats and hold doors open. Yes, there have been some examples of asshole-ry (mostly by CTA drivers, shocker), but humanity has surprised me in a good way.

Some days are better than others, but by now, the boot and I have just embraced it.

Which reminds me of a quote from 30 Rock season two where Liz describes her relationship with Dennis.

Here is the exchange:

Liz: “Being with Dennis is easy. And if you give in to it, you just start to feel kind of numb and warm and then you just get sleepy. It’s not that bad.”

Jenna: “That’s exactly what they say it’s like when you freeze to death.”

Yes people I said it. My boot can be equated to hypothermia.

The first week with the boot, I fought it. Fuck no this won’t hold me back. I am a city woman, hear me roar *insert evil laugh*, yeah that is until I had a total meltdown in my maxi dress on the NBC plaza in Chicago in the rain. Not pretty.

Now, I’ve just given in to the boot. Sometimes, I walk around just fine, sometimes, it’s like a huge plastic weight that’s on my leg, dragging me down.

And Liz Lemon is right, once I gave in to the boot, I did get a little numb and warm (literally, the thing is like a fucking heater). And it does make me sleepy!

Now, boot and I have a little routine going. We grocery shop strategically (but it ends in exhaustion), we see a little movie each weekend (for free AC and a break), consolidate errands and sometimes (okay mostly), stay in on a Friday and Saturday night.

Friends know I need to sit on the far right side of tables so I can keep the leg out when we dine and some will even help me up if needed (gotta get that momentum going).

I’ve also started packing a little “activity bag” to bring w/me in case I am out and not stopping back at home for a while. It includes a book, journal and pen, and my Kindle (for more book options).

Big week next week. Any/all thoughts/prayers/well wishes are greatly appreciated.

04 August 2014

A new way to eat…update

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random

In May, I posted that my doctor wanted me to try and cut out dairy, processed sugar and gluten, due to me gaining a LOT of weight.

Well, I tried it, and it was really difficult. I even tried Paleo and that was tough and exhausting. Seriously, I was exhausted ALL OF THE TIME.

Then, after a heart to heart with a few friends, knowing (at the time) that I was training, I started adding carbs back in and a little dairy. And then I found out that a medication I was on was contributing to the weight gain (in addition to some poor diet habits) so I started withdrawing that from my system too.

But then, I started thinking about how I can try and fuel my body (pre-stress fracture) with as much good nutrient-rich stuff as possible. And see how that feels.So I started adding chia and flaxseeds to my foods, got dried apricots and nuts as snacks, started making my own lunches and dinners (unless I was going out) and they were loaded with greens, nuts, veggies, beans and protein.

And sure, some dairy too, but still not at the level it was before.And you know what?

One, it was really fucking expensive. Seriously, eating healthy has made my food bill double.

Two, I started feeling better. I was shocked how I could feel full from what I was eating, but not feel gross, like I could explode.

I would feel full and STAY full for hours, much longer than I would before.

And now, I find that sometimes I sleep better too.I’ll be real, I don’t always eat healthy. I have Saturday as a cheat day, full of donuts, cookies, wine, cheese flights and stuff (okay that was yesterday), but I am trying to eat as clean as possible. And as much of my own stuff as possible too.

I’ll always drink beer, drink wine, eat fried chicken or sweets. But since it’s been more of a balance and I have seen and felt the difference, yeah I don’t mind it.

And when I get back to training, it’ll help me be a better athlete again too. WIN!

But seriously, eating healthy is expensive!

28 July 2014

Things I love lately

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Hello everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend.

Today, I want to talk about things I love. And since I have a lot of time to check out new stuff and, well, write about it, I wanted to share with all of you!

Trader Joe’s Spicy Flaxseed Chips

– Yes, it looks like the chips have little poops (let’s be honest), but it’s full of Omega-3’s and a good source of fiber, and actually tastes like a regular tortilla chip, just less salty

Lake Street Dive

– A little¬† pop, jazz and swing with a little bluegrass isn’t my full forte (unless it’s Mambo #9), but after seeing them on Colbert and getting the free iTunes download, I AM OBSESSED. I cannot stop raving about them. Favorite song: Just Ask (Bad Self Portraits)

Nick Waterhouse

– You can hear him in some Lexus commercials, but I only found and fell in love with his music through chance that he was playing in Amsterdam while I was there and, well I was looking for non-pot involved evening activities. Look and feel reminds me of 50s So Cal pop and I love it. Mellow and perfect to cook (and dance) to. Favorite Song: Rania (Time’s All Gone) and Sleeping Pills (Holly).

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter

– I have been looking for a light, neutral concealor that doesn’t settle too easily in to fine lines or look caked on. And after a lot of brands, this is my favorite. It’s light and easy to apply and has long last. And it blends easily too.

Mary Kay Lash Primer

– I am obsessed with mascara. It is my #1 favorite and most used beauty product. And this helps it stay on longer and (IMO), apply much better. My lashes look fuller with this as the base and won’t flake off. Love!


– Until recently, I didn’t really buy pajamas. I slept in short and a T-shirt, usually that I got as a giveaway or something. But then I bought this sleep set at H&M overseas and NOW I AM OBSESSED WITH PAJAMAS. They’re comfy, sexy and yeah, comfy (again). I have been doing this all wrong. Now I want, ALL OF THE PAJAMAS. But first I really need a robe. Baby steps.

What are you loving right now?


  • Early holiday decorations (not before Thanksgiving!)
  • Muffin tops (not the bakery-kind)
  • Bar Louie restaurant
  • Laundry machine hogs
  • County sales tax (10.25 percent - come on!)
  • Michael Scott
  • Harry & David
  • Chicago meteorologists