Wednesday, September 30, 2015

10 Things I Want to Say...

10 Things I Want to Say to My Gynecologist

1. Can we skip the weigh in? I’m bloated twenty days out of every month. I don’t need three glaring numbers reminding me to skip Burger King on the way home. Can we do a visual estimation and call it good? She looks larger than last time but is not quite ready for a Richard Simmons intervention works for me.
2. Where’s the panty coat rack? Just once, I’d love to enter an examination room and see a place to store/hang my coat (and other clothing) while being poked and prodded examined. I’m tired of hiding my panties under my jeans that are rolled into a wad and stuck on a chair that thirty other naked women have already sat in that day.
3. The last day of my last period? You’re so funny! I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast. The date of my last period? Approximately one month so you better hurry up and get this examination done days ago.
4. Can we kill the fluorescent lights? Know what destroys a girl’s self-esteem faster than J-Lo walking into a room? Fluorescent mothereffing lighting. There’s a miner’s spotlight on your forehead. Is more necessary?
5. Do you have something a little bigger than a tissue paper doily that I can cover with? I’m not two. I weigh more than 50 pounds. And I’m definitely taller than three feet six inches. I require an actual full-size blanket or throw and preferably one not made from gift bag filling. Could I borrow that fabric room divider?
6. If I could SEE the straps, I’d definitely put my ankles in there. You’re lying on your back (without pillows) trying to focus on anything but what’s happening down south when dear ole’ doc says, “Could you put your ankles in the stirrups?” Seriously, dude? I just got comfortable, found an interesting piece of torn ceiling plaster to focus on (it’s shaped like Florida), and you’re asking me to find the straps? Pamper a girl. Put her ankles in there for her. It will feel like a day at the spa.
7. Yes, I can slide down more, but honestly, I don’t want my ass to land on your feet. Positioning yourself on a gynecological examination table is like landing a Boeing 747 at a small jetport. The clearance is limited and you have to inch your way to near disaster. There’s also the moment of feeling like a total idiot when you ask, “Is that far enough?” (Shit. Too far.)
8. D’FUQ?! That’s cold! From his (or her) hands to the stretch-a-hoo-ha nut cracker looking contraption, every damn thing used down there feels like it just came out of a freezer. Can we get a warming tray, perhaps? And a glass of wine?
9. You’ve tunneled to China through my vagina! Yeah, it hurts a little. I understand that doctors are obligated to ask these types of questions. I totally get that empathy is part of the job. But we’re all adults. Let’s assume that it hurts and ask on a scale of one to ten how much—one being the headache my toddler gives me after screaming for twenty minutes and ten being just after my husband stubs his toe.
10. Excuse me. Where are my parting gifts? Hello, SWAG bag? Do I get ANYTHING after enduring that type of poking? A visit to the dentist scores us a new toothbrush. The eye doctor sends us packing with free contact lenses. What do we get after a visit to the gynecologist? A big, fat nothing. Even a George Clooney sticker would be nice. Or a discount coupon for laser hair removal.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Give What?

When it comes to bathrooms, people just don't think. I mean, come on. My place of business has an annual giving campaign every October. Irony, humor, or just poor ad placement, I'm not sure, but they put signage on the bathroom entrance that says, "Employee Giving". It's pretty obvious that if I'm in the bathroom, I'm definitely "giving", but not sure it's what you're in the market for! Thanks for making me even more self conscience about my potential sewer donations. Sigh.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Blood Moon Eclipse - by Eric Miller
I'm a taxi service, 
grocery getter, 
dinner cooker, 
bike rider, 
park supervisor, 
medication giving, 
pep talking, 
5K jogger, 
car seat saving, 
bag packing, 
couch cuddler, 
vacuum cleaning,moon watching, weekend warrior. And I love it. 

Friday, September 25, 2015


I had a very rough Wednesday (if it could go wrong, it did - work, personal, medical - ugh!), I was still feeling the residual stress well into late last night. Ever have that feeling after a bad day that you have an elephant sitting on your chest? Yeah, I had that. It sucks, because even though everything had been resolved, I just couldn't shake the elephant. It just stuck around waiting for someone to feed it peanuts I guess... but I digress. 

Thankfully last night was a great night which included some self medication found in good company and a drink. The night started with a little down town shopping and wandering. Okay, more wandering than shopping, but it was beautiful out. With no particular plans, the beau and I ended up at the Trump Tower and found ourselves seated at Rebar. Not as glamorous as one might expect from the name of Trump, but it was still a great experience. 

Random conversation, a beer, and some oddly flavored popcorn later we left to continue our night. We came across a sign that said, "$5 Burgers" and agreed, "Why not?". We were quickly greeted and seated in Chicago's South Water Kitchen and I requested a Brandy Old Fashioned, Sweet. Now, let me set the tone for this beverage. I had my first Old Fashioned about a year and a half ago in Michigan. It was great. Since then I've never had even close to a decent Old Fashioned, and not for lack of trying! When ordered, they've been either bitter or too sweet, and quite frankly disgusting and a waste of money. So with that, my expectations were that I'd have a crappy drink and then switch to a beer, something with a reliable and consistent taste.

Little did I know that according to this RedEye article, we were in the presence of Chicago's best bartender! I was served the drink pictured above and befuddled by the dark fruit that came with it. Not recognizing it, I dismissed the "sweet" and went straight for the drink. It was heaven in a glass. I immediately and excitedly commented to E that it was the best Old Fashioneds I've had since Michigan! A little more conversation about the drink found E braving the dark fruit and he made the assumption that it was a cherry, a very sweet cherry, but wasn't sure what had been done to it (regarding color and taste). 

A $5 burger, some fries and a near empty glass later we were talking up our late night waitress and she mentioned she'd be leaving, but would leave us in the hands of the city's best bartender. Chiding, we insisted we had to meet him first as she couldn't leave us with just anyone. And what was with the "best bartender" comment? She brought Dan over and introduced us. We quickly inquired about his status of "Best" to find out that he really had won a recent contest and was named the best bartender in the world. (Okay, just Chicago). I gave him rave reviews on his ability to make such a great drink, and we learned all about the process. 

The dark fruit - yep, it was a maraschino cherry. An unbleached cherry, in it's natural color and form. Those bright red, long stemmed things you see in most drinks? They've been bleached to get that coloring and the stems were removed during processing and then put back in afterwards. How shocking! Okay, yeah it's just a condiment to a drink but I never knew these details about the maraschino! Dan continued about his simple syrup making process and the ingredients he chose for my beverage. It was cool to learn about what makes a great drink, and to see his passion about his craft. 

Eventually Dan had to check on his other patrons, we finished our drinks and headed home for the night. It was a late night, and nothing "special" in the ways of big plans, but it was special none the less. It was a relaxing, light-hearted and spontaneous fun evening, just what I needed. I'm not sure when, maybe somewhere in between Old Fashioneds and fries, but the elephant left and never came back. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015


It's a throwback Thursday post today! The pictures shown are from my time spent volunteering with Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo's educational department. 
On the left is a co-volunteer, Keri, and I working the "Predator" cart. This picture was featured in an article on the LPZ website about the educational carts used throughout the zoo to encourage learning and to promote guest interaction and experiences. While the Predator cart was fun and allowed for discussions about animals and their "tools" (beaks, eyes, talons, claws, etc), my favorite cart was the Endocrinology Cart. Or, as we nicknamed it, the "Poop Cart"!

The poop cart always amazed people. Okay, it actually freaked them out to think we had real poop on the cart! The "poop" was actually rubber versions of the real thing. Imagine the guy who had to collect specimens and then make a mold of it in order to create the rubber poop - yeah, your job could be worse. But, as shown, we had different variations of poop which people were challenged to pair up with a picture of it's maker. Poop helped educate people about diets and digestion. We also had real, fossilized poop under glass for the guest's viewing pleasure!  

While most of our carts were geared towards children, adults were often taught a thing or two about poop and lessons of comparative anatomy.  It's easy to teach a child something new, but it was a far more unique to wow the parents and visiting adults with a learning experience. It made volunteering all the more worth while. 

I miss my experience volunteering at the main zoo, having a Sunday morning purpose and routine, being outside, learning about the internal workings of the zoo and it's residences, but more so shaping little brains to be more earth-conscience and animal friendly for the future. Weekend time these days is spent with loved ones and trying to navigate life, but I still look for volunteer opportunities with the zoo and other facilities. I think once you're a volunteer, you're a lifer!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


"Love is the most important thing 
in the world, but baseball 
is pretty good, too."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Sit with Distractions
I can't say I was excited about my new class tonight, but thankfully my students are totally kick-ass and gave me the energy to rock out a great session! How refreshing to have "do-ers" and hardworkers in class! I absolutely loved it and was reminded what my purpose as a teacher is. 

It's hard to go weeks, or months, at a time in a teaching role where most students seem like they're on auto-pilot and not really putting in the amount of work and effort expected. And with that, not getting the results you expect from them as a teacher. You end up, or at least I end up, feeling like I don't make a difference and that my efforts and time are wasted. It makes me feel like giving up. A lot

But when you have that one (or more) special student that has a vested interest in the information you're sharing, it's amazing. When your students accept the challenges you throw at them and rise, instead of shut down, it's a true "bring a tear to my eye" moment. To see them shine and accomplish the things they didn't know were possible is probably the greatest feeling next to raising a child that I can experience.

So here's a big thank-you to the do-ers. To the students who seek out knowledge and use it. To those who master it and become greater than me and the skill set I provide - hats off to you! Thank you for making the training ride worth it.


Monday, September 21, 2015


Today is #MCM (Man Crush Monday) so here's my man-crush! 

E is my hero, saver of days, a giggle maker, solid advice giver even when I don't want it, appreciates me, is my best friend, bartender, purveyor of fun and adventure seeking partner, improves lives and most of all, loves me unconditionally. Awe!

Friday, September 18, 2015


I'm not a baby person in general. I don't think they are as cute as you think they are, and in general, I'm afraid I'll break them. But there's one in particular who makes my day. Whether I see a photo, a video, or get lucky enough to visit her in person, she's pretty awesome. She's funny and cute, and I can't wait to see what she does next and witness how she's growing up. Thankfully, her parents are pretty cool and let me visit as often as I can. So yeah, even though you can't read this, thanks "Peanut" for supplying lots of happy thoughts, even in the middle of a bad day at work! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015


..ache. Last week while away from work I didn't get one single headache. This week, I think I've had one every day! Coincidence? Someone said allergies. If that's the case, I know what I'm allergic too - work!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Today I went to my first AC/DC concert! While I'm not their biggest fan, I know enough of their music to have not felt like a total poser while in attendance. I'm glad I went at the urging of my significant other because AC/DC totally rocked and put on a great show!

From pyrotechnics, to one handed guitar playing and cannons blasting, the show was just that, a show. Not just about the music, this performance was sheer eye and ear candy. Of course, that's subject to the listener, I suppose. 

Did I mention that all this rockin' took place at Wrigley Field? I may be biased, but attending a concert this large, with a band of such great stature, in one of my all time favorite places was just amazing to witness. The amount of people in the crowd, the size of the stage - it was all just mind blowing.

The band did a great job of blending new and old tunes in order to satisfy the wide range of age groups in attendance. And speaking of ages, did you know the lead singer is still rockin' out at the age of 67 years old? He didn't miss a beat or note. 

But of course, the real star of the show is Angus Young. Or as I refer to him, Angus Beef (don't ask, I don't have a good reason other than I think I'm being humorous). His legendary bright red school boy outfit  did not disappoint. Now whether he's frail and small with age, or just a petite guy (or both) he looked every bit the part of the school-age rocker with energy to match.

I think though, the best part of the night was sharing the experience with someone (E) who wanted so badly to share his love of the band with me. His passion for the band and music came through not only by watching him belt out the lyrics, but by all the tidbit information that got shared about certain songs and the band history throughout the night. The excitement was contagious, and despite sore feet (from having chosen fashion over functional shoes) I still managed to get up, pound the air with the rock and roll sign and shook it all night long! 

After the encore and fireworks, the stadium lights returned. We sat and watched the crowds dissipate while trying to take in all the glory of the night. It was memorable and great to be part of what I am sure will be a historical show. We were truly Thunderstruck. 

Monday, September 14, 2015


It's coming, it's officially in the works! 
That below is my memory quilt for which I started collecting t-shirts for in 2011. 
50+ t-shirts and I remember every single race.

Friday, September 11, 2015


I don't like bugs but found this little guy and the details of his markings fascinating. Something as simple as watching a little bug brought a type of serenity to my day. A simplicity. A simple life to be appreciated, yet brought to mind in contrast a day 14 years ago that brought such chaos and loss. 

I noticed that this guy was missing part of his (or her) antennae and wondered what kind of battle it had seen.  Was the cloudy eye normal, or a sign of wear and age? This simple sun bather was trying to enjoy its' day as much as I was mine. I thought of shooing it away, but observed instead. I took the time to appreciate this moment, soak up the sun, and reflect on my life, the people in it and was thankful that no one I knew personally succumbed to the tragedy that will be forever known as 9/11. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I signed a death waiver in order to participate in the 2012 Tough Mudder (wtf was I thinking?) Crossing the finish line, electrocuted and battered, was one of my proudest accomplishments to date. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


7+ hours of driving...
7 dogs to take care of...
7 days of nothing much to do...

I must be in Iowa.

Monday, September 7, 2015


If a picture is worth a thousand words, here's 10,000 about my weekend! 

Friday, September 4, 2015


I didn't really feel like going out tonight, no real reason as to why, but I'm so glad I did! I got showered and dolled up and headed out with E to see a local cover band, 7th Heaven. Ironically the lead singer, Adam, used to be in my favorite festival band before they disbanded a few years back. I thought all was lost when it came to hearing him again. While it's fun to be able to see him perform again, I do miss hearing the original songs by him and his former band, Dot Dot Dot...but that's not the point of this post.

The music helped make my night, but so did the crowd, the 312 and most importantly my dance partner! It was a fun, non stop night of songs to sing along to filled with dance moves that probably looked better in my head then they did on the dance floor. I felt young(er) again. I was reminded what my 20-something years felt like and appreciated the fact, based on the angst seen amongst many groups in the crowd, that I'm older and wiser now. Okay, maybe just older. 

My Friday was a reminder to appreciate my youth (yes I still consider myself young). To enjoy and appreciate the moments (and the people) in them. And included the sentiment of, sometimes going out and sticking with the plans made is exactly what you need, even if you don't feel like following through. Sometimes ya just gotta fake it til ya make it! And after my night, I definitely made it! 

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


I left my full-time job in Lake Forest to drive to a private lesson in Winetka, followed by a side tracked trip to Vernon Hills which ended me up in Skokie topped off with a night in Palatine. If you could have seen my car on an aerial map I'm sure it would have resembled a wind up clown car running amuck...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


My boss has big ideas for her business going forward, one of them being her own space! I got to see it today and the potential is amazing. I can't wait to be under one, quiet roof for training classes! I hope with the new space comes a refreshed sense of purpose and team unity - meaning that I actually get to see my teammates from time to time! Fingers crossed for new beginnings.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015