You’d think taking a 20+-hour road trip with an infant would make you want to run screaming deep into this vista, but aside from a couple of minor meltdowns, That Baby did just fine. It was Mommy who couldn’t stop asking, “Are we there yet?” in the 2700 hours it took to drive across Kansas.
Recently, our internet was out for Four. Whole. Days.
It wasn’t pleasant.
I mean, sure, it wasn’t like we were on the Oregon Trail, and had run out of food by day two, and then everyone died of diphtheria or drowned in the river by hour 37, but then again, maybe we were, and maybe we did. I can’t really know, because we couldn’t actually play Oregon Trail because the internet was out.
It should be noted that there are benefits to being cutoff from the internet at home. So much you can get done! For instance:
- Clean the shit out of your house.
- Finally put together the album of pictures from your wedding that happened eight months ago.
- Call friends and catch up on their lives.
- Cook and bake your way through your File Pit.
- Take your dog on ridiculously long walks that will finally, finally tire her out so she doesn’t do zoomies around your one-bedroom condo at 11:30 at night.
- Catch up on the back issues of Time, The Economist, Real Simple, and HGTV magazine that are piled around your house.
Here is what I actually did:
- Looked at Pinterest on my phone.
And actually, I probably could have played Oregon Trail on my phone, but I didn’t, because I didn’t think of it until just now.
Granted, Swede did some of the things mentioned above, because he is a much better person than I. But me? No, I pretty much became one with the couch and lamented the lack of technology in our home, and called RCN on the regular to see when they would be restoring service. (Guess what? The original tech forgot to put in the order for a line tech to come and fix our stuff, so yay! Even longer delay.)
And then, in a quiet, unassuming change, our service was restored. I’m not sure how, or why, but we woke up a few mornings later and waa-la! Interwebs! No call from RCN saying they’d fixed it (in fact, the line tech didn’t come out until like, three days after that to fiddle with something in the box and called us to assure that All Was Right With Our Internet) (and then ended up getting stuck in our parking lot) (it’s a common occurrence). It was just there.
And our regularly scheduled chaos of life resumed, as if nothing had happened, no break had ever occurred.
And now, wouldn’t you know it, I’m missing those quiet days on my couch like they were my One True Love.
1. One of the Le Creuset dishes we have broke. It was a big, beautiful oval dish with a bubble-like lid that was ideal for making casseroles. And let me tell you something, I love a good casserole. Anyway, it broke, and Lo! How the McPolish was bummed. But these things happen, such is life, and now I have a bigger quandary on my hands: while the oval baker part is in many several pieces, the bubble-like lid is still completely in tact.
What does one do with a completely in tact lid? I feel bad throwing it out. Is there a website that will place orphan lids where I can list it? Do any of you need an oval lid for your Le Creuset oval baker? Comments and suggestions are welcomed. Free to a good home.
2. It’s June. And that means fresh fruit. Which means making ice cream with said fresh fruit. You’ve been warned. Who is you? I don’t really know, to tell you the truth. Let’s just say it’s a blanket statement for the Chicagoland area. Why am I warning you? Again, not really sure. It’s entirely possible I’m drunk on homemade ice cream and letting my mouth get ahead of my brain. I may also be making wild gesticulations, but it’s not like you can see me because this is the internet and I’m totally a figment of your imagination. Me and my homemade ice cream made with fresh fruit. Oooooo….sppoooooookkyyyyy….
3. Speaking of summer…kind of…well, it’s June, anyway, which means that I can finally stop wearing a coat on the regular and hey! That might as well be considered summer in these here parts. ANYWAY. It’s nice enough out that Swede and I and The Beasts Who Live In Our Home spend a lot of time hanging out on the balcony thinking and talking about very philosophical themes and ideas, like What Is That Strange Man on the Sidewalk Shouting About Now? Or, Should We Get More Plants? And, What’s For Dinner?
What’s perplexing to me, however, is how little time our neighbors spend on their own balconies, enjoying the warmer temps. Every unit in this building has a balcony (one unit even has two, the lucky ducks) (though not so lucky when they have to be fixed and repainted), and we’ve all just been though the same seemingly unending months of gray, blah weather, and yet…nothing. Sure, there’s the occasional neighbor who will grill on their balcony, but most are apparently not fans of al fresco dining. Or al fresco drinking. Or al fresco anything. Which is a shame, if you ask me, but no one, as of yet has asked me, but if they do, mark my words I’ve got a statement prepared.
4. Unlike last summer when I didn’t actually make it to a White Sox game until August, I’ve managed to get to two, count ‘em TWO, games so far this year. And while attending said games, I’ve spent much of my time eating my way through Comiskey.* And let me tell you something: Tater Totchos are not what I thought they would be. They’re delicious, don’t get me wrong, but basically all you’re getting is a Styrofoam bowl of tater tots that are then covered in nacho cheese.
I say “all you’re getting” like that’s a bad thing. It’s not. I think I was just expecting a little more pizazz. And it’s really just as straightforward as the name implies—what are nachos? Corn chips with melted cheese. What are tater totchos? Tater tots with melted cheese. Duh—and my own brain created a more dramatic rendition of the dish.
But let me tell you something else: Helmet nachos? Now those are something else, a beautiful sight to behold, and much guacamole to eat.
*The Cell. Whatever.
I was going through old photos from my trip to Ireland in 2012, and came across this one, which I think was taken somewhere near some sort of castle.
Which is an incredibly precise coordinate.
There’s something near a castle? In Ireland? That’s so strange.
Anyway, if I may tell you all the things I like about a picture I took myself–and I will–I’ll start with the blue, blue sky, and end with the way the water stretches out, like it’s on it’s merry way, off to have some adventures.
And that’s it. That’s all I’ve got for you today. Happy Friday, happy weekend, one and all.
Remember that time I didn’t throw up on my shoes?
That was a good time. But you have to be careful about good times, because they can be tricky. They lure you into this joyous haze—maybe or maybe not induced by refraining from public vomiting—and then you make wild decisions like getting suckered into volunteering to help plan and run those good times the next time they come around.
Which is all my way of saying I was on the planning committee for the 2016 Spring Fling, which went down a couple weekends ago. How did that happen? See joyous non-vomiting haze above, and also I guess when people look at you and think, “She didn’t throw up on her shoes,” they see that as a qualification of someone who can help plan big events, and signals to others that, I dunno…they’re drunk? I’m drunk? We’re all drunk? Someone must have been drunk. It’s the only explanation.
Anyhoo, there I was, eighteen months before the next conference, on the planning committee.
And then, quite not-so-suddenly, the eighteen months were up and the conference was actually happening. And then quite suddenly indeed, it was over.
If you’ve ever planned a conference, you understand what I’m saying. If you haven’t, all I can say is there’s all of this build up, this stretch of seemingly endless lead time, and then there’s not and even with all the planning you’ve done it’s happening, you’re in the thick of it, trial by fire, because God knows you’ve never planned a conference before, and there’s nothing left to do except be all, “HEY, THIS FIRE LOOKS NICE AND TOASTY. LET’S SING STEVE MILLER BAND SONGS AND DANCE AROUND IN IT.”
It’s just…it’s quite befuddling to have this huge event in your life for so long, taking over every minute of your free time, especially in the last few months before it actually happens, and then it’s…done.* You don’t have to think about it anymore. I mean, you do, a little bit, but really only because you’re not sure what else to think about. It’s a bit flail-inducing, all those spare minutes back in your own possession, and you don’t quite know what to do with them.**
If you’re lucky, like me, you’ll have three amazing women also on the conference planning committee who will share in your befuddlement. (And also share in all the wine you drank in the months leading up to the conference.) Thank goodness, because befuddlement is more fun when you’re among friends. So is conference planning, in case you were wondering.
I won’t get into the details about the conference, the workshops, the people, the swag, the speeches, the panels, the energy—I’m not sure I could do it justice, quite frankly, except to say that it was amazing. All of it and everyone. I am amazing! You are amazing! Your hair is amazing! Your mom is amazing! Our headliners and VIPs were amazing! So much so that I now have a girl-crush on every single one of them. I didn’t know it was possible to have girl crushes on so many women at once, but here I am, starry-eyed and moony over these 14 women.
And don’t even get me started on the actual conference attendees—I lurrrv them. I lurved meeting them and chatting with them, and celebrating their successes (and lo! Were there many successes throughout the weekend!) And I’m not just saying that because some of them politely laughed at my jokes during the opening kick-off. I could not have asked for a more enthusiastic, engaged, and appreciative bunch.
But now? Now, like I said, it’s over.
And now I need a nap.
And maybe some potato chips.
Here’s to Spring Fling 2016, my friends. And to the 2018 Spring Fling planning committee, God speed. Here, let me pass you some wine.
A pillow will be waiting for you at the end. It will be the best nap of your life.
*Kind of like a wedding. Which is also something I was planning during this same time period. Because why not? Why not join a conference planning committee while working full time, and then decide with your main squeeze, hey, NOW is a GREAT time for us to get hitched. (The wedding was actually easier to plan.) And then you know what else you should do? Get pregnant. And also have your first trimester, when you feel like you’re hungover all the g-d time without the fun and delicious red wine to get you to that hangover, happen during the intense six months leading up to the conference. Listen to McPolish, people. I give great advice.
**Eventually you figure out what to do with them. And it involves writing ridiculous blogs and eating pizza, sometimes simultaneously.
The only thing these two agree on is that Ham is Delicious and Yes, We Will Sit Nicely Until The Big Man Hands It Over.
1) I loathe paying late charges. I really, really do. I see it as an absolute failure at something so simple, and the sign of a completely disorganized life. I’m guessing that no one really enjoys paying late charges, so I take comfort that I’m not the only one out there (though it’s possible that people don’t find them quite as abhorrent as I do, which is fine, to each her own).
There is one exception to this: library overdue charges. It’s rare I can remember to return my books on time or renew them within the proper window. Why? I don’t know. Possible it’s due to (no pun intended) the fact that I go to the library multiple times in one month and check out oodles of books so they all have different due dates, and it’s not like I’m reading said checked-out books in any logical order. Anyway, the point is I have no qualms about paying library fines for overdue books. In fact, I actually feel quite good about it. I consider it my duty as an active reader living in the City of Chicago. I know part of my tax dollars goes toward funding the library, but whatever the amount actually is I’m going to argue it’s not enough. And while I could just donate directly to the Chicago Library Foundation—and I probably should, no really, I must add that to my To Do list, now that I think about it—CPL will have much better luck garnering monies from me through my lack of attention forgetfulness flagrant disregard for missing due dates.
2) HGTV always seems to be showing marathons of Flip or Flop whenever I’m at the gym, which on a scale of 1 to 10 of my HGTV preferred shows rates a Meh. I like the idea on the whole, and if I didn’t like seeing the transformation from crappy to happy, well, that would pretty much go against everything I love about HGTV. I like Tarek and Christina El Moussa, and I root for them each episode, that they’ll make a profit and won’t get totally screwed over with their latest purchase. And I truly appreciate Christina’s commitment to false eyelashes—to wear them on the daily is no joke, you guys.
But for all that is holy and decent, can someone please give these two some acting or some such type of lessons? Because their monologues to the camera are killin’ me, Smalls.
An example for you–about 8:14 seconds in when Christina starts telling–not describing, telling–the camera everything their plan.)
It’s fine when they’re being filmed going into the house. Their reactions are as genuine as possible for something that’s probably filmed three different times from four different angles. But it’s those moments when one or the other is talking directly to the camera and telling us what’s happening that irk the hell out of me. They are scripted within an inch of their lives, and the lack of emotion just, gah. It really distracts from the excitement they’ve just created in showing us the major transformation of the property.
3) I’m making a concerted effort to watch more movies, both at home and in the theatre. Swede and I love going to see movies, we just…don’t…very often. But! That’s changing–since Christmas we’ve seen The Big Short (holy God, a wonderful movie that makes you lose your faith in humanity) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (FOMO) (kidding) (about the FOMO, not seeing the movie. We did actually see it, and it was quite good) in the theaters. And much like I keep track of books I read, I’m keeping track of movies (and documentaries) that I watch. (PS—Thank you, PBS station on Netflix, for your American Experience series helping in my efforts.) What have you seen lately that I should add to my list? (Don’t worry about me having already seen the flick—I’m notorious for having never seen many a hit movie, including, but not limited to: Die Hard [though I’ve seen Die Hard 2, for some reason], The Godfather, Anything Nominated in 2015 for Best Picture, and It’s A Wonderful Life [though I have absolutely no desire to see that one.]) (Surprisingly, I have seen a hefty portion of movies nominated for 2103 Oscars. How that happened I have no idea, but well done, me.) And if they are available on Netflix or Amazon Prime, all the better.