Category Archives: relationships

30 Days of 30: By the Numbers

Those of you paying close attention may have noticed that the 30 days of 30 technically lasted only 29 days (Jan 5-Feb 2).  There were also a couple of unclaimed days in there, but I filled them by hanging out with my mom and a co-worker.  

BUT… the 30 days aren’t really over yet.  When this blog goes live, I’ll be in Chicago for the finale, so I’m counting my party on Saturday as the 30th day.

If my calculations are correct, here are some other interesting numbers about my 30 days:

60– Number of people I celebrated with this month.* 

36– Number of locations– 16 restaurants, 11 bars**, 1 bakery,  1 arena, 1 bowling alley, 1 movie theater, 1 out of town location (Galena), 1 shopping center, and 3 private residences.  

The most common location for 30 days activities was Bunny’s, followed closely by a tie between Crane Alley and Boltini.   This is notable because I probably haven’t been to either of these places much in the past year, but I really like them.  Houlihan’s and the Courier were the most popular non-drinking establishments. 

6– Number of places I’d never been before: Galena, Bridget’s house, La Gourmandise Bistro, The Brass Rail, The Sandwich shop (whose name I’ve yet to look for), Cakes on Walnut.

14-  Number of different activites: lunch,  dinner, drinks, dessert, Illinois game, bowling, LOST watch, movie, snowboarding, Superbowl party, live band, book club, story teller, trivia

15– Number of times I went out for lunch

13-- Number of times I went out for drinks

6– Number of times I went out for dinner***

2– Number of times I went out for dessert.  Again, notable because I rarely go out just for dessert.

2– Number of Illini games watched**** (one at the Assembly Hall, one at Bunny’s)

2– Number of things I’d never done before:  go snowboarding and listen to a professional story teller

0– Number of pounds I’ve gained.  Seriously. I definitely feel fatter/less healthy, but according to the scale, my weight is the same.

I don’t even want to think about the number of drinks or calories I consumed.  Thank goodness I didn’t have this “by the numbers” idea earlier or else I really would turn into the guy from Supersize Me. Lol.

More importantly, though, I’m amazed at the number of things I was able to cram into one month… and the number of people I convinced to “play along.”  It was really a great experiment and I’m glad I did it.  I highly doubt 31 days of 31 are in my future, though :)

In case you missed them (or just want to relive the fun), here are the weekly recaps:

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Notes on the Methodology

*Includes only people in “my party” and does not include repeats (i.e. if I had lunch with Lisa one day and happy hour another, she is only counted once).

**For this purpose a bar is defined as a place primarily for drinking whereas a restaurant is an eating establishment.  I chose to count them based on why/when I was there.  (i.e. Farren’s is a bar/restaurant, but I was only there for lunch, so it gets counted as a restaurant.)

*** This number is probably lower than it should be.  I counted an event as drinks if drinking was the primary purpose of the activity (i.e. happy hour). It’s more than likely that dinner was also consumed.

**** Again, possibly artificially deflated.  There may have been an Illini game on during a happy hour that I did not record as a “game watch”

2008: A Year in Review, Part 2

Welcome to the 2nd half of my year. I just realized that I probably should’ve done these in reverse chronological order, but whatever.

July–I took my blog public, making it a whole lot easier to remember what I did for the rest of the year.  I also started biking to work and we had Kristi’s Bachelorette Party Boat Trip:

 

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August– I took two vacations this month, plus a Tour de Philo.  First up was my staycation and then a second trip to Nawlins for Kristi’s wedding:

 

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September– I started running, became obsessed with Mad Men and reconnected with an old friend via Facebook.  We also had Bunco at Erin’s in conjunction with Philo Fest, but-unfortunately- I have no corresponding photos :-(

 

I do, however, have a photo of this thing that I found on my fence (I know you all needed to see it again)

 

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October– was downright insane.   There was a crazy gas station incidentmy cat died, and I was involved in train accident on the way home from seeing Cross Canadian Ragweed in Carbondale.  To top off the craziness, this was the first year in a long time that I *didn’t* dress up for Halloween.  Odd.

 

And then there was the trip to Chicago to see the New Kids on the Block:

 

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November– is always a busy month.  This year, I went to San Antonio for work. And had the usual Thanksgiving with the family.  Oh, and there was that whole historic election thing.


I also made a trip to Chicago for Nikki’s Big Ten Bar Crawl:

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And attended my only (gasp!) U of I tailgate of the season

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December–

 

Family and friends of Ryann Smith held a benefit in Tuscola and raised a bunch of money. I realize that I haven’t blogged about Ryann at all.  She was born a couple days after Christmas with a rare birth defect called CDH.  She is a fighter.  Please keep her and the family in your thoughts and prayers. If you want to know more, visit her caring bridge page:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ryannsmith.

 

I also had Christmases with my Grannie Rich,  my brother, and the rest of my extended family.

 

(And, because I know you can’t get enough of me and firearms, here’s the infamous gun shot one more time…)

 

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I spent my Christmas break lounging, watching movies (Marley and Me and Seven Pounds), reading (still making it through the Twilight saga… I’ll reserve judgment until I’m finished with all the books), and spending time with friends and family.

 

I rang in the New Year in Chicago, but failed to take a single photo.  Maybe I should resolve to be a better chronicler this year :)

 

Reflections on 2008

All in all, the year turned out pretty good.  In some ways, this is one of the hardest years I’ve ever had, but I’ve learned so much.   I’ve learned how to ask for help from those closest to me.  I’ve learned to say “no” on occasion and I’ve learned to enjoy myself in less-than-ideal circumstances. I’ve made some new friends, reconnected with others, and have spent more time with some of my family members than ever before.

 

This blog has really been a great outlet for me and I appreciate each and every reader, hit, and comment you all have given me.

 

Here’s to happiness and prosperity in 2009!


Interview with a Vampire-lover

I stole this idea from illini_girl, but it’s been a while since I’ve done one.  And I have so many random things to discuss.

Are you really too busy to blog?  What’s that all about?

Honestly, yes.  And no. It’s not that I’m too busy to blog. It’s that I’ve spent a lot of time away from the computer, so my blogging time has been limited.

Are you done with your regular Wednesday posts?  What about Foto Friday?

Yeah, I think I’m giving up Website/Wordy Wednesdays. It’s just too much of a commitment and I have kinda run out of things to talk about. I’ll keep Foto Friday, though.  But I gotta start taking more pix.  Seems like I have to dig through the archives more often than not these days.

Are you becoming a professional dog sitter?

I’m thinking about it.  Last week, I watched my mom’s two dogs-Desi and Lucy- at my house.   And this week I’ve been dog-sitting Knee at a friend’s house.  Thus, the lack of night-time Internet access.

Knee?  That’s an awfully strange name for a dog isn’t it?

Yeah, it’s short for Anfernee (you know… like Anfernee Hardaway, the bball player). But she’s the sweetest dog ever.  Oh, yeah, Knee’s a girl.

So, what’s up with this “re-training” of Roxie business?

I won’t bore you with the details, but basically Roxie has a “dominance” issue.  And she’s spoiled.  To help break her of this, I’m re-training her to sleep in her crate instead of in my bed.

What made you decide to do this?  How did you know what to do?

Well, the final straw was when Roxie scratched my friend in the face for getting too close to me.  But it really needed to be done.  

I did some research online and then I called into Afternoon Magazine on WILL FM.  They had experts on from the Dog Training Club of Champaign-Urbana.  You can listen to it online at http://will.illinois.edu/afternoonmagazine/monthly/2008/12/.  (Click on the Friday, December 5 archive. I’m at about minute 28 or so).  

They gave me some good advice, so I got a crate and started re-training  on a Monday.

How’s that working for you?

Continue reading

I’m Thinking Of…

My friend who lost his dad…  He was only 60 years old. An alcoholic, but a good guy.  And his mom died years ago.  Now my friend doesn’t have *any* parents.  What’s that like at 29? I mean, my MOM still has a mother.  Yeah, she has Alzheimer’s and is in the hospital right now.  But she’s still alive.  Shit, my DAD still has a mother  and he’s almost 65.  Why does my grandma get to live until she’s 90 while this guy’s dad kicks the bucket at 60????

What’s it like being 29 years old and an orphan?  Especially when you don’t have a very close relationship with your sister?  As a side note, my brother just said: “and it’s not like he’s close to his sister.”  That kinda made me all warm and fuzzy inside.  Like my bro realizes what we have is special.

Back to what I’m thinking of. Mortality. Death. The futility of life.  But, it is what you make of it, right?  I don’t want to turn out like that poor soul.  Alcoholic and alone.  But, what am I right now?  Alone and drunk with 3 dogs running around and my *mom* delivering me Taco Bell!  Is that pathetic?  

I don’t usually sit around drinking by myself, but I figured I had nothing better to do.  Does this mean that in 11  years my kids are gonna find me passed out in a diabetic coma?  Are the papers gonna get my survivors’ names wrong?  What will my legacy be?   Let’s hope it’s not this.

Wow… that’s some deep shit.  All because of drunken web surfing. 

You’ve Got 20 Minutes

I stayed in last night. Finished packing, went to bed early. Then my cousin called and wanted me to come out. I don’t get to hang out with him much, but I was being good… then he kept calling. So I went out. At midnight. The night before I had to leave. Ugh.

Pretty fun time. Went out in my sweatshirt, ponytail and glasses. Saw a couple of old flings. Good times were had by all.

Hopefully there will be something more interesting to discuss once I make it to Hotlanta!

Freewriting, part 2

Well, I guess we’ll try this again. I had two ideas for blogs yesterday. One was my theory on Tuesdays, which is no longer timely (but look for it next week!) and the other I can’t remember… I’ve been racking my brains to try to come up with it. No luck.

So, today is my vacation day and I’ve been up since 5. Woke up with horrible stomach pains and can’t get back to sleep. I have a mile-long list of things to do today. I’m thinking “take a nap” might be one of them. It’s supposed to be super nice so hopefully I can take advantage of it.

Last night was the Backyard Tire Fire show.

The show was good. I was annoyed ‘cuz my friend was already drunk when I got there and I was ridiculously tired, so I had some catching up to do. Strangely enough, I actually had fun with his brother. We generally don’t get along but he was a lot more fun, talkative, energetic than my friend. I really, really, really hate babysitting. And moodiness. Unless it’s my own moodiness!

As usual, Backyard Tire Fire was awesome. I love that they’re a local. I need to download some of their new stuff. I love live music. When its good, it’s REALLY good. Maybe I should try to see some shows during my yet-to-be-determined road trip.

I got a lil drunk, but not too bad. We left the show during the headlining act, got some McDonalds (thus the stomach problems) and came home.

What else? Oh, I’m grossed out by how much smoking I’ve done lately. My lungs need a break and I’m afraid I smell.

This has to be the lamest freewrite in the history of the world. Seriously. I generally have four thousand thoughts streaming through my head. Maybe it’s because I’ve been up too long and my emotions have been effectively repressed. Or maybe I’m just tired.

Oh, wait. I just remembered my other post…. time to write it. I guarantee this isn’t gonna do much for my hit count–ahaha!!

Bridget or Carrie?

So I was tooling around on the WordPress tag surfer when I came across this blog from a girl who has just realized she has her very own Mr. Big. (for those of you living under a rock, this is the name of Sarah Jessica Parker’s on-again-off-again boyfriend from Sex and the City). Her blog led me to a bunch of other blogs from single girls trying to make it in the dating scene. Interesting stuff.

But it also reminded me of my Carrie/Bridget theory: That is that every female blogger, when she sits down to her computer, has the voice of Either Carrie Bradshaw or Bridget Jones in her head. Any time we write about our relationships, or our diets, or our mothers (all of which I could expound upon for DAYS!) we owe a debt of gratitute to these pop-culture “bloggers” who were ahead of their time.