Friday, February 29, 2008

Unofficial is Officially Dumb

And that's from an Irish chick. Anyone outside of CU is probably confused. UofI started celebrating Unofficial St. Patrick's Day several years ago...since actual St. Patrick's Day usually falls around Spring Break...and college kids need another reason to drink. This year they have expanded it into a 2-day event. Who is 'they' you might, mostly bar, owners.
And this year, the local newspaper is covering the action minute-by-minute!

It is so odd to drive in campus in February and see everyone dressed in green and lined up outside of bars at 11am. It is the stupidest thing I can think of for a college town to do....encourage college kids to binge drink...for 2 days. Many arrests, citations, illnesses (my hub is so excited to work this weekend!), and even death. And it continues...bringing kids from all over the Mid-west. I just don't get it.

The cities try to 'stop it' by placing special restrictions on bars and liquor stores, having more police and emergency presence, and asking professors to require sober attendance to class on Friday, any employee arriving at work under the influence will be strictly disciplined (as my many memos reminded me of this week).

I'd rather try to change the culture and stop the allure of public or private drunkenness by college students or anyone else for that matter. But what can I do about that....I still baffle people when they find out that I am a legal adult who does not drink alcohol.

Leap Day!!!

Enjoy your Leap Day! or wait 4 more years!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Feel my pain...

So, on Tuesday I was fortunate enough to get a retreatment done on a old root canal. Sounds fun doesn't?! Apparently most root canals, especially those done by general dentists, eventually need to be redone. Lucky me.

I went to my young and cute specialty dentist. It took forever to numb my mouth. They were at the point of saying....well let's try one more thing or we will have to reschedule and do something else. Finally, I was drooling and numb. My mouth being so small they had trouble isolating the area a bit and I had to use a child-size bite guard (and that was really too big). On we go...apparently my tooth was basically filled tight with metal and it took forever to get through the crown and remove to old work. My tooth broke some of the drill bits! They said I was very special.

Almost 2 hrs later, I rush to pick up the boys from school. I felt ok...I little sore but not too bad. Just, I am in serious pain. The antibiotics are having big battle with the infection, the area was pretty traumatized and my jaw is sore. And I can't really take the pain meds they gave me because being conscious is kind of necessary for parenting. I just didn't anticipate being so yucky.

The best part is that I go back in 6 weeks to finish it up...but they promise me it won't be so bad next time. No really, the actual appointment wasn't bad, no pain...but the aftermath sucks.

I guess I'm just complaining. Sorry.

At least it will motivate me to keep on top of my kids' pearly whites.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Weekend without Kids....kind of

So I ran away this weekend to celebrate my brother's birthday...without the as fast as you can! I needed some time to myself and our daughter had to be back Monday at 7am for a field trip to Springfield (which she said was awesome, by the way).

First, I avoided my children's knowledge of said trip until necessary. Well, my 4yo got wind of it and wasn't happy. He withheld his birthday gift (an original manuscript of the Night Creature and the Bad Guys...complete with illustrations) and pouted a lot. There was a lot of 'Mommy don't go" and "Please take me with you...I like Uncle Phil, too". Honestly, I would have caved and brought one kid but he smelled like poop when he asked me and was reminded of why I was leaving the house for a couple days.

So after a minor mental breakdown (thank you messy house and PMS), I spent a lovely 2+ hours singing showtunes and chilling out. Got to my mom's and the 'read' the entire People Magazine while waiting for the older brother and niece to pick me up for a dinner with Grandma (gotta get off the Shit List). The weekend continued with lots of food and some well-needed sleep (after staying up late to watch a DVD by myself) and even some ice skating (super fun!). I went to a fabulous Target in the big city (and also my hometown one). It was a great weekend. And even though I spent most of the time with my 5yo niece...I didn't wipe any butts, I didn't cook or do any laundry, I wasn't responsible for entertaining anyone....I was an adult again.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Fitness Friday!

Here is a fitness tip for the busy parent or anyone else...

Stop Light Intervals!
When you hit a stop one of the following exercises:
1. tighten and release your glutes (your butt!)
2. tighten and hold your glutes
3. tighten and release your abs
4. tighten and hold your abs
5. do bicep curls

Do the exercise for the duation of the red light. Next light, do another set or a different exercise.

You will be finding red lights all over town!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I am originally from Chicagoland...before I moved 'down south'. My dad sent me this and it was very amusing...and very true.


1. Grachki (grach-key): Chicagoese for "garage key" as in, "Yo,
Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? How my supposta cut da grass if I
don't git intada grach?"

2. Sammich: Chicagoese for sandwich. When made with sausage, it's a
sassage sammich; when made with shredded beef, it's an Italian Beef
sammich, a local delicacy consisting of piles of spicy meat in a
perilously soggy bun.

3. Da: This article is a key part of Chicago speech, as in "Da Bear s"
or "Da Mare" -- the latter denoting Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as
he's often called.

4. Jewels: Not family heirlooms or a tender body region, but a
popular name for one of the region's dominant grocery store chains.
"I'm goin' to the Jewels to pick up some sassage."

5. Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago department store.
Also Carson Pirie Scott, another major department store chain, is
simply called " Carson "s."

6. Tree: The number between two and four. "We were lucky dat we only
got tree inches of snow da udder night."

7. Over by dere: Translates to "over by there," a way of emphasizing
a site presumed familiar to the listener. As in, "I got the sassage
at the Jewels down on Kedzie, over by d e re."

8. Kaminski Park : The mispronounced name of the ballpark where the
Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play baseball. Comiskey Park was renamed
U.S. Cellular Field (now just "da Cell")

9. Frunchroom: As in, "Get outta da frunchroom wit dose muddy shoes."
It's not the "parlor." It's not the "living room." In the land of the
bungalow, it's the "frunchroom," a named derived, linguists believe,
from "front room."

10. Use: Not the verb, but the plural pronoun "you!" "Where use

11. Downtown: Anywhere near The Lake, south of The Zoo (Lincoln Park
Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.

12. The Lake : Lake Michigan . (What other lake is there?) It's often
used by local weathermen, "cooler b y The Lake."

14. Braht: Short for Bratwurst. "Gimme a braht wit kraut."

15. Goes: Past or present tense of the verb "say." For example, "Den
he goes, "I like this place"!"

16. Guys: Used when addressing two or more people, regardless of each
individual's gender.

17. Pop: A soft drink. Don't say "soda" in this town. "Do ya wanna
canna pop?"

18. Sliders: Nickname for hamburgers from White Castle , a popular
Midwestern burger chain. "Dose sliders I had last night gave me da

19. The Taste: The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge extravaganza in
Grant Park featuring samples of Chicagoland cuisine which takes place
each year around the Fourth of July holiday.

20. "Jeetyet?": Translates to, "Did you eat yet?"

21. Winter and Construction: Punch line to the joke, "What are the
two seasons in Chicago?"

22. Cuppa Too-Tree: is Chicagoese for "a couple, two, three" which
really means "a few." For example, "Hey Mike, dere any beerz left in
da cooler over by dere?" "Yeh, a cuppa too-tree."

23. 588-2300: Everyone in Chicago knows this commercial jingle and
the carpet company you'll get if you call that number -- Empire!

24. Junk Dror: You will usually find the "junk drawer" in the kitchen
filled to the brim with miscellaneous, but very important, junk.

25. Southern Illinois : Anything south of I-80. This is where
Smothers" is from....

26 . Expressways: The Interstates in the immediate Chicagoland area
are usually known just by their "name" and not their Interstate
number: the Dan Ryan ("da Ryan"), the Stevenson, the Kennedy (da
"Kennedy"), the Eisenhower (da "Ike"), and the Edens (just "Edens"
but Da Edens" is acceptable).

27. Gym Shoes: The rest of the country may refer to them as sneakers
or running shoes but Chicagoans will always call them gym shoes!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Godly Opportunities

So, I was watching Evan Almighty with my daughter for Girls' Night. One of the ideas of the movie is that God doesn't give you things (e.g. courage, patience, love)...but gives you the opportunity to achieve your goals (e.g. he gives you the opportunity to use patience or show love and compassion).

So here are the recent 'opportunities' God has sent me for patience, love, and understanding:
*My 4yo has suddenly lost the ability to dress himself (and we are running late)
*My husband is making a 30-min recipe and its going on an hour
*There are tons of people at the grocery store but only 4 lanes open
*My kids are waking pre-dawn
*I have snuck out of the house and only have a couple hours...and there are 20 mins of previews at the movies
*I'm trying to make dinner and the 2yo keeps turning the stove off
*Its past bedtime and the kids pick the longest books we own for reading time
*As usual, there is no parking at preschool pick-up time
*My computer is broken yet again
*The phone is ringing but the phone is nowhere in sight
*My 4yo insists on watching a video rewind instead of pressing stop-rewind...while the 2yo continually asks "I wanna watch Lil Mermaid"
*The 2yo has drawn a marker masterpiece...on the couch

Needless to say...I am a VERY patient person.

What opportunities have you had this week?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Riddle me this Batman...

I say I was born in the 70's. What do we say about our kids born after 1999? They were born in the zeros? The next decade can say there were born in the teens.

Another can I see the Oscar nominated movies if they are not in the theaters or on DVD? And why did I waste my movie time to see one actor who isn't going to win (e.g. Eastern Promises...I also didn't really like Atonement...did I miss something there?).

A last riddle...why isn't Batman on anymore? I LOVED that show.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Post to fill the week...

Stomach bug...ear infection...nasty cold...pre-teen was a busy week.

This is from Mrs. Chicken....perfect for our house.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All Is Write Again!

The writers' strike has finally come to an end...we hope. This is great! or is it?

Although Jon Stewart promised the writers to be back as soon as Wednesday (by the way, LOVED the Conan, Stewart, Cobert feud!)....most other shows won't be back until the spring, if at all (see any news source today about this situation) until late September. No Heroes, Sexy Money, Lost.

Here's my question....
Why does the TV season have to end in the middle of May? They had months off...why not just extend the season into the summer to make up for lost time? At this point they aren't really even showing reruns....just bad reality shows (thank goodness Celebrity Apprentice has been renewed...yuck!). I can't take that for another 6 months!

My assumption is that the staffs and actors are under contract a certain amount of time, including specific dates. To redo everyone's contracts would be a mess. But were the staffs getting paid all this time? I know the late-night shows were not (Conan paid them himself). And we have to allow time for the actors to try to make a great movie over the summer hiatius (Eva Parker's Over Her Dead Body is important cinema).

What about the consumers? Do they care if there is good TV on for 9 months? I think people have already lost interest in TV to some degree and making it worse for the duration will be bad for the business.

Oh well....Food Network is always on....right?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Morning Quickies...

*Its cold again outside time today....

*Watched Away from Her this weekend. Its an ok movie from our neighbors to the North with the accents to prove it. Julie Christie, who is nominated and slated to win an Oscar for her role as a beautiful older woman with dementia, is ok. I really don't see Oscar for this one...but she is Julie Christie. Her husband in the film, Gordon Pinsent, is wonderful and heart-breaking as his character deals with his wife's illness.

*Finally put up some curtains in our kitchen (that I painted in July). The kids the sewings isn't all that straight but hey. Now my hub can stop feeling like the neighbors are always admiring his chest hair.

*Today is National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAPPID) if you can get out to your kids' schools, regardless of your ethnicity.

*My kids are busy planning for Valentine's Day...which includes trying to get as much chocolate on the menu as possible this week. They had to watch a lot of Food Network this weekend for ideas....or so they said. has lots of Valentine ideas.

*Had to take the Nin DS away from the 11yo due to a drop in grades this week. She I have to be punished for bad grades? Yes....bring them up, kiddo. So, I felt compelled to try to break all of her high scores...which I did on one game.

*Skipped the Grammy's (for reading...I know, crazy). I feel conflicted over Amy Whinehouse...especially since she performed Rehab last night....

*I decided to hit the gym on Saturday for a couple hours...cause I really need to work out more, yea right. So, I was sore all day yesterday. At least I know how my students/members feel. Really it gave me two hours alone (with 30 other people).

*Last week, we got Junior's Burgers for dinner. Although I was excited over the sweet potato fries...the burger was just simply too greasy for me but it did have cheddar on it (opposed to the standard American on cheeseburgers). Didn't feel so good the next morning. They do have an interesting menu though...including a veggie burger and they deliver.

*We recently went to Applebee's (a place we rarely go but had a gift card!). Besides the wait and slow service...the food was pretty good. They have changed the menu a couple times over the past few years. The portions are reasonable as well as the prices. We liked the $9.99 3-course option (originated by TGI Fridays). The 'shooter' desserts are brilliant! For $1.99 you get a little bit of dessert. We would go there again...especially since we still have gift card money to spend. But avoid the dinner rushes with kids (any restaurant on North Prospect is packed from 6-8pm).

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Michael J. Foxxy

Something is drawing me to Michael J. Fox this week....Teen Wolf has been on AMC (a movie that should serve as a warning for fashion) and on Today, there was a Family Ties Reunion. Who doesn't love a basketball playing werewolf? And who doesn't love the Keaton's? And isn't Michael J. Fox not the cutest thing? And an amazing inspiration!

I think I might go pick up some Back to the Future!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Election...blah, blah

So what did Super Tuesday tell us...nothing really. That it is a close race for all involved and there is much more to come until August and September when final decisions must be made. If you have talked to me about the election the past few know that I am passionate about the process and find this election, in particular, fascinating.

Here is why:

*We feel like we have real choices really have to think about your decision to support one candidate over another because there are all bring a lot of good to the table.

*This process is crazy...Republican winners take all the delegate votes....Democrates only their percentage...but in the end...delegates can vote for whoever they want. And then there's the caucus, primary, jelly bean counting.... Does this even mean anything?

*Many people don't know who they are voting for and why. I voted for Obama because he's black (he's actually biracial, fyi)....I voted for Hillary because she's a woman....I voted for McCain because he's cute. I voted for this person because I don't like the other. I just filled in the circle. What is that about?

Specifically on the Democratic side...I am bothered that people are dismissing Hillary for the same reasons they are embracing Barack. My hub says...I just don't like her. I ask why? I just don't. Why do you like Obama? I just do. Where do they stand on the issues? Well....I don't really know.

First of all....they stand in about the same proximity on the issues. Secondly....Hillary gets a bad rap for because....I don't know. And Barack gets a good rap becauses he's a charismatic leader (not that there is anything wrong with that). My mom keeps talking about how Sen. Clinton has changed her image including her speech and everything throughout the election. Well...sure. They ALL have stylists...speech writers....speech coaches...research staffs...publistists...people telling them what they should and shouldn't do to win over the people. Perhaps because, one, we've 'known' Clinton the longest, and, two, she is a women with more noticeable hair and clothing (since they are unlike any of her opponents)...we notice the changes more.

Basically, I'm pissed that people don't know the candidates and don't look at the big picture. I like pieces of all the Democratic candidates and even some the Republican ones. But I had to make a choice yesterday...not that it really mattered...nothing is settled and I go back to supporting them all.

Take the time to listen to the their backgrounds and policy ideas...look at what they have focused on throughout their lives. Get over the first impressions and learn about our next president.

*On the lighter side....there are a series of YouTube mock videos about the candidates. This is my favorite.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Get out and VOTE TODAY!

If you are in CU, try to get there before the rain hits!

Monday, February 04, 2008


* VOTE TOMORROW! Super Tuesday is so exciting! Go online and do some research....know your vote. This is a great reason to watch Anderson Cooper on CNN for hours. My husband and I are, for the first time, voting for different people.

*Super Super Bowl! That was one of the best games of football from the past few years. What a great game! Good job defenses! hub and I were cheering for different teams...mine won last night! I was more into the game than if one of my teams were playing. And the commercials were good...I loved the Pepsi ads (Night at the Roxbury and Justin Timberlake) and the E-Trade talking baby!

*This is why living the in biggest town around is bad...I made a wrong turn this morning in the dense fog and ended up in nowhere. I was late for an appointment and crying. I couldn't see anything around me...I was in the country and apparently on a road that wasn't connected to any other roads. I had only driven for 5-10 min! Thankfully, my hub hadn't gone to bed yet and talked me down.

*Successful dentist trip for the little ones! with 2 bathroom trips (we spent more time going potty than in the dentist chair!) then the 4yo's legs stopped working...that is what he told me as he lay sprawled out in the lobby.

*My daughter finally won a prize in the library reading club. Her brothers won every month in the fall. But January was all hers! She reads like a book a day! We tried to enjoy the Chinese New Year event but it was super we just hung out in the children's section.

*My 2yo has taken to 'marking' his toys. Yes, he literally pees on is a specific action. I don't know what to do about this. We don't see it coming and then he pulls his pants down and holds a toy out. (it is actually funny in a way).

*Snow! Fun, fun! Enjoy it while it lasts...which won't be long.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Yesterday we were treated to a great theaterical performance at the Armory Theater....Student Playwrights Outreach Theatre (SPOT). Why was it so great?

The acting was great, the pacing fabulous, the music fun, direction perfect...but it was the writing that was the best part. This collection of short plays were all originally written by 4-5th grade students...our daughter being one of them (about awaiting her friend's arrival to her HSM Party). The stories were adapted and then performed by UIUC students.

Besides the content of the stories ranged from pure fantasy, pre-teen experiences, family situations, and emotional powerpacks...oh and some political was great to see the range of work from the kids. Then for the kids to see their stories on stage was amazing. They felt like superstars! Maybe we should make a shelf for a future Tony or Oscar! After the performance the writers got awards and, of course, cookies. It was very special to have my daughter meet the actors and directors...they all said they loved her piece (and it was their favorite).

What an amazing and simple program....where everyone wins! Thank you SPOT!

Here is the NG article about it (sorry...if I had know in advance there was a public performance I would have told you all).

Friday, February 01, 2008

Why J-Lo?

Msnbc reports:
Considering Jennifer Lopez has spent the bulk of her pregnancy swaddled in Roberto Cavelli, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the mom-to-be is planning on going couture during her stay on the maternity ward.
A source close to Lopez said that the singer’s scheduled a Caesarean section, has packed her bags and will be checking into the hospital with four pastel-colored couture hospital gowns and a coordinating robe all designed by in tow.

That is so stupid. In general packing anything that you think you will wear while you are at the hospital is useless. Although most hospital gowns are not necessarily attractive....they are very functional. For nursing moms, the tops snaps right off. They are really easy to change while laying in bed in pain. Plus the hospital will wash them...which is good because they will get nasty. Sweat, blood, milk, who knows what else will get on those things.

In my opinion, you can bring a robe if you like but all you really need is a couple bras and something to wear home....and a toothbrush! (always the first thing I want after giving birth)