Wednesday, November 27, 2002

LoL#14: Holidays, Tofurkey, Shopping & Shoutouts


Okay so I know it's not till tomorrow, but I'm pretty excited! Four days off of work will be my longest (and most needed!) break since I started my job (August 19th). Crazy stuff, eh??

But yeah it's that great time of year when we're all overloaded with family, food, and football! And of course for those that have the extended joy of extended family you get that wonderful dose of questions "So are you seeing anyone these days?" "Any wedding bells ringing soon??" "When can we be expecting grandkids?" and all those other awkward no-pressure-really! questions. I urge you all to respond to these or any other bizzarre unwanted conversations with a simple question of your own: "What's the deal with Tofurkey?"

And just so you can be extra-wise asking questions that you know the answer to, tofurkey is tofu flavored (and sometimes shaped) like turkey as a Vegan/Vegetarian Thanksgiving alternative. I've never actually tried it nor do I have any specific desire to, but it's a great inspiration for conversation - especially if one is trying to redirect conversation away from one's personal life. First off, your audience may very likely just laugh at the very word "Tofurkey". If this doesn't happen there's a possible fear factor associated with the idea that a soy product could replace a several hundered year old November delicacy. If that happens go for the shock value and see if you can convince anyone post-mealtime that what you consumed was in fact the most realistic Tofurkey currently on the market. (...and if anyone's successful on that front, I want details!!)

Another random Turkey fact is that my mom bought a 23 pound Turkey this year. This wouldn't be too bad if we were having a year like last (fifteen people, three dogs and a partridge in a pear tree...) but we're not really having company this year. Granted at 9 people my family without guests is a sizable clan but when you realize that one of those nine is my seven month old niece, a quick calculation reveals that this comes out to almost three pounds of turkey per person. And we haven't even talked about side dishes yet....

So yeah, we'll all be eating leftovers until sometime half way through advent, but we need to keep our strength up for the Friday shopping extravaganza. My mom, sisters, (and sometimes aunt, and cousins) and I have the tradition of every year braving the crowds for awesome day-after-thanksgiving shopping deals. You know all those ads for "Early Bird Specials"? That's us. We're already scheduled to be at Kohl's at 6am. My sister Anne's bringing the coffee...lots of it... (As if you didn't think we were insane enough already...)

But I could ramble about holiday insanity forever and I'd rather give some cool belated-birthday shoutouts. Two super spiffy ladies had super spiffy birthdays last weekend, so happy belated birthday to Sara M and Kristin S...P!! [sorry, ;) still adjusting]

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday though and just to be extra sappy and cheesy, when we were little at Thanksgiving we would go around the table and everyone would list one thing they were thankful for. Even though we grew out of the tradition sometime around junior high, I think this year I would most likely say I'm most thankful for awesome family and friends like all of you!

Tofurke-fully Yours,

lisa :)

p.s. If anyone's in town and wants to join in on the insane early-morning shopping you're totally invited! Sleep deprivation and bargain's a beautiful thing! Or better yet, if anyone's in town and wants to come eat Turkey, you're definitely invited!! TWENTY THREE FRICKIN POUNDS PEOPLE!!! Do you realize how long that's gonna last??? *sigh* maybe I'll start fasting now.... You have to love too how after the first couple days it starts mutating into it's various forms... turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey casserole, turkey lasagna, turkey stew....


Tuesday, November 19, 2002

LoL#13: The flip side

Greetings from the flip side. There's an odd sort of irony to the fact that this is "#13" but I'm calling it "The flip side" to refer to the fact that this isn't necessarily going to follow my usual style of random hilarity. Granted I do still have random things to say but there are times too where I need you all to look a little closer at the serious side of yours truly.

I want to start with a birthday shoutout to the super spiffy Jenny T! Her b-day was actually yesterday but I didn't send this yesterday so happy birthday to her today!! At 19 years old she's also the youngest LoL recipient which is just way cool.

Speaking of birthdays, today November 19th is actually my birthday too. Now I know you're all going to jump on the fact that I already announced turning 22 in September, but today's my spiritual birthday. Four years ago today was when I first committed my life to Christ. You'd think that in those four years I'd have actually figured out how to do something as seemingly simple as live a Christian life but I'm still working on that one.

If there is one thing I've figured out though it's that life's complicated. There's a quote from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where Dumbledore says "It is our choices, Harry, far more than our abilities that show us who we really are" (I like the way it's stated in the book better than the movie) and I think maybe I'm growing up to the point where I both accept and agree with this. The thing is I don't necessarily like to make choices.

Did anyone else ever read those "Choose Your Own Adventure Books" as a kid? Basically you'd start reading a story and it would be something to the effect of're walking down a road in a forest on your way to an enchanted castle (there was almost always an enchanted castle) and you hear a noise in the bushes off to your right. If you want to check out the bushes to your right flip to page 33 ; if you continue on towards the castle flip to page 18. etc. etc. etc. Thing is, I really liked these books but I'd almost always cheat. I was the one who flipped to pages 18 AND 33 to see which outcome I liked better. You can't do that in life. Once you're on page 18 you're on your way to the castle without ever looking back again at that noise in the bushes off to the right. In a way this makes life simpler - you can live life forward and define it backward. But in a way it makes life crazier - once you've chosen something you have to live with that choice and all the resulting consequences.

I think this is why I take so long to act on choices I make and why often times I let other people decide things for me. I rarely have confidence that what I do is "for the best" and especially when something will actually be better for me, I have an impossible time doing it if it hurts someone else.

To cut to the chase, Mike and I broke up yesterday. It was by no means an easy choice to make, but it was a choice. Please don't respond to this e-mail with how SORRY you are (find SOMETHING else to say). I don't want pity right now, and in many ways I chose this more than he did. It was an area of my life that needed to change. I'm not even going to guess what God's got in store for either of us relationship-wise in the future. I do wish only great things for Mike though, and I believe he really wants what's best for me too. I guess I just need the chance to take a look at my life in a simpler scope right now - to see who I am and what choices I make - without trying to be who other people want me to be or without constantly trying to please others.

So I guess that's the flip side. Me trying (and most likely failing) at an attempt to be more profound than I have any desire, reason, or right to be. But as always, make of it - and me - whatever you will.

Choicefully Yours,

lisa :)

P.S. Many of you know that my favorite fiction author is R.A. Salvatore and as cool as he is he got even cooler by releasing another novel (that's starting a new trilogy - sweet!). I have this odd deal where I'll pull quotes from his writing that speak my thoughts or feelings in words I could never put together on my own. The latest addition to my "QuoteBook NoteBook" is something of the following:

"It's one thing to know one's heart. It is another thing to admit it.
It is something altogether different to follow it."
~ R.A. Salvatore

Thursday, November 14, 2002

LoL#12: Nothing to say...yet I'm still talking

Okay I really have nothing of any consequential importance to say right now, but I'm a bit early to work so I thought I'd fill in my time - at least til someone else in my lab gets here - with this week's random update.

I got a flu shot yesterday. My arm hurts like...well it hurts a lot. I wasn't gonna get one too because the last year that I did is the only year in the past 10 I can remember that I actually got sick with the flu (yes, most of you have heard about my literally vomitous Valentine's Day 2000). But regardless I figured that Chicago winter combined with working at a hospital and taking mass transportation every day might be cause to try to insure myself against the flu.

And I'm just now realizing that my flu shot is by no means the most anecdotal part of my week. (Is anecdotal even a word? anecdoteable?? anecdotifiable?? whatever.) Regardless, here's my week:

Monday: it was monday...enough said.

Tuesday: I received an official Poopinator Award recognizing my acheivment in the field of Being able to laugh at almost anything. How cool is that??

Wednesday: I thought I had learned to stop asking the hypothetical question "what else could make this day crazier?" but I made the mistake of asking it yesterday and cursed myself with way too much going nuts. In short, the flu shot, two major experiments, journal club, sushi outing for lunch, an unexpected phone call, and the return of Jim.

Since the next question is obviously who's Jim, I'll spare you asking it and say that Jim's the guy who had my job before me and left to go work for some high profile biotech company only to get laid off a week after I'd been hired as his replacement. Awkwardness anyone??? To make matters odder everbody loves Jim. Seriously, he should have his name changed to Raymond. Ever since the day I started I've heard how awesome Jim is and since he got laid off there's been an essence of Jim that's been hovering around the lab. To make a long story short, he showed up yesterday and got invited to lunch with us (us being me and three of the other ladies I work with). No really that's not awkward, "Hi, you must be Jim. I'm Lisa... thanks for the job???" He actually seems like a pretty nice guy too which leaves me with inevitable feelings of "oh my gosh I stole this poor guy's job".

So after convincing myself that his unemployment was not my fault or my problem I went home to an incredibly bizzarre conversation with my mom about an incredibly FALSE rumor that she heard from my aunt based on a three minute conversation with my cousin (and Jenny, let me know if you have Beth's e-mail address - I have some things to say to that girl! and do me a favor and DO NOT believe anything she or your mom is currently reporting about my life and future plans). It wouldn't have been so bad too except that my mom believed what she heard. My aunt convinced her that I had confided in my cousin something that I didn't want to share with my mom.

Grrrrrrrrrr.... So yeah, I'm currently seeking out weed killer for the rumor weeds sprouting up all around my family. But yeah it's Thursday now - WOOHOO! and aside from my typical evening plans of Survivor/CSI/ER my mom wants to go out to a midnight preview of the new Harry Potter movie. Seriously, this is her idea not mine. Not that I'm objecting of course but in considering my spastic spontanaeity, I now see where I get it from.
Anywho, I should probably start getting some work done now.

Harry Potterfully yours,

lisa :)

p.s. Sorry this e-mail isn't very amusing but I did hear some funny stuff on the radio recently:

news report in the morning last week: Winona Ryder didn't take the stand in her shoplifting trial...probably cause it was bolted to the floor.

random commercial for a fitness club:

Announcer Voice: What exactly is Pilates?
Big Booming Voice: I AM PILATES!!
Announcer: It's not a Greek God.
Snobby Voice: I'd like a large Pilates.
Announcer: It's not a froo froo drink.
Paniked Voice: Doctor, I think I have pilates!!!
Announcer: It's not a disease. Pilates is the new fitness craze sweeping Chicago....blah blah blah

I dunno it made me laugh but if you're not amused just see the previous note about why I won the Poopinator Award. Happy Thursday!


Monday, November 04, 2002

LoL #10.5: More things that make you go HA!

Disclaimer: Yeah I know it's out of order but I just realized that I forgot to send this out last week. I figured I'd send it now too seeing as how #11 is a little more ranty than I usually am!

First off, thanks to everyone who responded to my request for "Things that make you go HA!". To share a few replies (in the order received with no comment on their relative funniness):

1) Exudists: no, not nudists, exudists as in people who exude. Like me exuding caffeine. Or Jessica and her friend Ellen who exude happiness (or was it hyperness...probably both).

2) The Barundi Wand: no, I won't explain except to say that it's pure unadulterated evil (with a Brittish accent) - not to be confused with The President of Barundi...that's a whole nother story

3) TV theme songs without words that are great to sing along to: Law and Order is great in this category, as is Survivor which only sort of has words, but best is the theme to ER with the little "nyew nyew" part that Lauren always makes fun of me for singing along with cause I can never get perfectly in sync with the theme

4) The "Huh?" guy in Indiana Jones: Okay everyone go obtain a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark, now there's a scene towards the end where Indy's in some car chase scene (I think he's going after the Nazi's with the Ark?) but the jeeps they're driving go crashing through a village under construction or something and there's all these dudes on ladders and one of the ladders gets hit sending the poor climing dude crashing onto Harrison Ford's windshield. This really wouldn't be hilarious except that the dude looks directly through the windshield (and thus right into the camera) with a stunned "Huh?" look before taking a tumble off the car.

5) Infomercials: Can you do anything but laugh at them??? I'm still thinking that the Revo Brush is super cool cause I can get one for me, one for a friend, one for my neighbor's dog along with attachment sets for a number of hair styles including wavy, curly, straight, mohawked, 80's frizzed, crimped, flipped or even go bald all for forty five easy payments of $666 along with a three minute warranty contract that they'll throw in if I opt to sell them either my soul or my first born child - I mean, I'm thinking about calling now! How can anyone resist this deal??!?! [On the serious side the Revo Brush is an actual infomercial product that's a psycho spinning brush thing and I'm really concerned about the people using it on the show because honestly if you have difficulties with a standard round brush I think one that spins is just an all out evil thing to try. But they did promise to throw in "A Magic Comb"...what's up with that? What's so magic about it? Can you just wave it over your hair and get a style? ...actually that would be pretty sweet....] There's also a store in the Fox Valley Mall called the As Seen on TV store where all their products are marked with the little red "As Seen On TV" logo. I like walking through there cause it only takes a few minutes to feel like you just watched eight hours of TV at 3am. :)

That's about it for now. Thanks again to all who shared funny insights and stories.

Have Fun & Keep Smiling,

lisa :)

p.s. One more funny thing to share: My car. See, a while back my mom got a new car so my dad took my mom's car and I'm buying my dad's car. Somehow I've had a lot of really random/ funny conversations involving this simple fact. And there's some blah blahs at parts I can't quite remember but here's the jist of a few:

Me: blah blah Saturn is toast...I'm buying my dad's Lincoln.
Karrie: What kind of Lincoln?
Me: A black one.
Karrie: (rolled eye look)
Me: (moment of realization) OH...heh meant model....

Me: Hey, once I buy dad's car can I get a license plate that says "ABE"?
My mom: Abe???
Me: Yeah! I want it to be an "ABE" Lincoln!


LoL#11: CamPAIN Season

Yes, tomorrow is the wonderful first Tuesday in November when citizens everywhere rush to their local polling places only to see their shadows and determine that there'll be another six months of winter. Unless of course we're talking about voters in Florida who never really have winter and can't quite figure out how to use ballots anyway.

Am I being a little too cynical here?? Probably, but I'm starting to find that the only thing really great about election season is bribery. And for some odd reason every candidate for an Illinois public office seems to think that people who commute to Chicago from Naperville must be the dumbest - or at least most easily persuadable - shmucks in the entire state. Not that I can complain too much because last week a candidate for state Treasurer was bribing all of us schmucky train riders with free Krispy Kreme donuts. The very next day a candidate for the same position was giving us all coffee. [Note I'm leaving out all names because I refuse to endorse anyone with this e-mail] I will stop to point out, though, that I think some more thought needs to be put into some of the bribery attempts that are going on. This morning I was accosted by some lady who wanted me to vote for her favorite candidate for the sole reason that she gave me a 4" by 6" flag designed car decal.....a car decal....and you're giving these out at the train station.....if I'm riding the train doesn't that sort of simply that I don't use my car too much???? And then of course there's the lady who approached me with her literature as well as the question "Are you old enough to vote?" I can't tell you how hard it was to bite back a snide reply of "Yeah, and I have been for the past FOUR YEARS!" (Do I seriously look like a seventeen year-old??? Maybe instead of med school I should just go redo high school. I could be like John Cryer in Hiding Out....and I'm betting that my obscure 80's movie reference is lost on the majority of you...)

But I honestly wouldn't mind the whole election thing if it weren't for excessively stupid commercials. "Vote for So-and-So! He supports Illinois Schools!!!" "Vote for What's-Her-Name! She'll lower unemployment rates!" I mean seriously people! Is any candidate ever going to say right out "I couldn't care less about education and I'll do my best to get people laid off!"??? And I think I could even tolerate choking on the cheesiness of these ads if they weren't on the tv or radio every 30 seconds. I just got done watching the six o' clock news and not a single commercial break went by with less than three campain ads (yes the misspelling is intentional) I honestly never thought I'd look forward to seeing a nice non-mud slinging McDonald's, Coke, or Nike commercial. Heck, I'd even take the Britney Spears Pepsi ads....
...ok so maybe I wouldn't go THAT far....

Anywho, I guess my biggest beef too is that I'm not even voting tomorrow. Yeah yeah you can all lecture me on civic duty and democracy at some other time. I was registered in Champaign (since that's where I was the last 4 years) and I missed the deadlines to change all my info to my local stuff. I suppose I'll take all the annoying propaganda as my punishment for not being a good citizen or something like that.

But to all of you - regardless of Republicrat, Democan, or Groundhog - Happy Election Day!

vote-fully yours,

lisa :)