Category Archives: holidays

stuff I learned this weekend

pumpkin Boba Fett #huffencooper #halloween

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When your lovely pals invite you to join them for post trick-or-treating snacks “any time after 5pm” that means you should probably try to get there not at 7:30pm.

The Halloween you swear you will address any small child dressed as Elsa from Frozen, sporting long white blond hair and a light blue gown, as Daenerys Stormborn or Khaleesi or Mother of Dragons is the day you will see no children wearing that costume.

Chicken chili and a baked potato with butter and sour cream make for the perfect meal on a wet and blustery Halloween tonight.

Taking the Clark bus through Wrigleyville on Halloween night makes for good entertainment.

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new year’s girl

Pffft! (photo by Nite)

  1. Still lying in bed.
  2. Breakfast this morning was an egg roll and some orange juice swigged right out of the carton.
  3. Last night before bed I smeared on some Creme de la Mer eye cream. While the rest of my face looks 35, the skin around my eyes look 29.
  4. If any of you would like to contribute to my fancy eye cream fund, you can send me money via PayPal.
  5. I spent New Year’s Eve at Byl & Thom’s.
    1. I tried to find grapes per Philippine New Year’s Eve tradition, but had to settle for cherries as the grape selection at the Jewel on Broadway near Berwyn was, wait for it, the pits.
    2. We (K.C., Nite, me, Elisa, Danita, Byl, Thom) all leapt in the air at midnight for good luck or to make us taller or something.
    3. We were all disappointed that Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s was not born.
  6. I have no resolutions, as per usual, but I will try to do the following:
    1. Be fucking fantastic.
    2. Be nice.
    3. Be cheeky.

That is all. Happy New Year!

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advent: Coco’s tree trimming party

Coco's tree trimming party

Khloé invited me over on Sunday to help Coco decorate the tree. I didn’t help decorate so much as:

  • stand around the kitchen eating bread slathered with peanut butter and Nutella
  • drink coffee and orange juice
  • eat cookies
  • rearrange a few dolls that Coco tried to stick in the tree branches
  • stick my face in the branches of the tree to inhale its scent
  • eat more cookies

Man, I really do love this time of year.

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Snow my god!; or “I survived the Chicago Blizzaster of 2011 and all I got was this snow in my doorway.”

Yeah, so here in Chicago (and in most of the country), we have been having ourselves some weather. The word “snowthunder” became a reality. SNOMG!

When it began to snow yesterday, I hunkered down and did the best I could not to panic even though the howling wind sounded like it wanted to rip my air conditioner out of the window into which I’d set it. Continue reading

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a child’s Christmas in Forest Park

tiny paparazza

The thing I like about spending Christmas with Joe and Jacinda and Jacinda’s family is that I feel like family, too. I’d always feel guilty about wanting to spend Christmas with them, but who wouldn’t? They’re funny and only slightly nuts like all good families are and at Christmas dinner you can have as much shrimp cocktail as you want. I think I needed all of that, this year especially, what with the not having a job and all.

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jive turkeys

First plate

The buffet at the Mity Nice Grill was delicious. I should have taken pictures of the whole spread, including the dessert table covered in chocolate covered marshmallows, but I think this picture of my first place (there were three in all, though plates two and three were nowhere near this full) should suffice.

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a buffet and Burlesque

The plan for Thanksgiving 2010:

  1. Buffet at Mity Nice Grill with Nite.
  2. Burlesque at a yet to be determined movie theater somewhere near Michigan Avenue.

I wanted to embed the movie trailer here but for some reason the sound of Christina Aguilera’s voice was making me extra hurly, so I’ve decided to spare us all. It’s like she’s bearing down every time she opens her overly madeup mouth.

It's like a fish mouth.

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hearts and flowers

Place setting, The Palm Court at The Drake Hotel

Previously, I wondered why Elisa and Alissa’s plans for Valentine’s Day were so, well, low-key. Which is ridiculous on my part, as they are fairly low-key ladies. That’s part of the reason why I like them so much. Who needs fancy overpriced dinners and flowers and fireworks?

I guess I do. But that’s me, and I don’t need a boyfriend for that. I’m not saying I wouldn’t mind a boyfriend. I’m just saying that while I’m happy to be single (though it sounds like I whine about it all the time, eh?) it would be nice to know what Valentine’s Day is like with a man rather than without one.

Kathy invited me to tea at The Palm Court, a gorgeous lounge at The Drake Hotel, and I was happy to accept. I’ve been going to tea there for a very long time, so it was nice to go somewhere elegant on a beautiful day. I didn’t wear any red (not even my usual red lipstick) but I did wear my favorite hot pink coat. I thought I looked pretty adorable, as did Kathy, who sported a red cashmere sweater/shrug/shawl. We were a little more dressed up than most, a fact I became aware of acutely while we were waiting to be seated. A family with small children preceded us in the queue. “It’s his first time having tea,” the mom explained to a pair of older woman while gesturing towards her young son. “We’re culturing him!”

I thought that was pretty rich coming from a woman who let one of her daughters out of the house wearing fleece-lined Crocs.


Shaun Rajah, who is the special events manager for The Palm Court, welcomed us, gave us each a single long-stemmed red rose, and showed us to our table. Shaun is, I learned after some Googling, is the special events manager for The Palm Court. More than a maître d’, he was literally the man. Showing parties to their tables, directing them to coat check, quickly and discreetly helping the staff do their jobs all dressed in an immaculately tailored suit. So I know it’s probably his job to look like a badass but if he could manage to do that then why couldn’t the lady with the Crocs-wearing girl put her baby in some patent Mary Janes?

I know if Jacinda were reading this as I typed, she’d remind me that her own daughter has a funny habit of removing her shoes in public places, and maybe that mom decided it was easier to go with Crocs rather than fight her daughter for cuter footwear. Maybe, but that doesn’t explain why her husband turned up for tea wearing what appeared to be a nylon tracksuit jacket instead of a more formal coat.

But let me get back to the tea. Shaun informed us that Oprah’s own manicurists were on hand to provide complimentary hand massages as he showed us to our table. I got excited about this, as I haven’t had my nails done since Lisa and Eddie’s wedding. Which was in November. OMG I’m gross.

While I fantasized about my free hand treatment, Kathy and I ogled the tea selection. Our rather adorable waiter came by to take our order: a bellini for Kathy, a mimosa for me, white jasmine tea for both of us. The cocktails were the first to arrive and frankly, they were incredibly tasty. The food arrived as did our pots of tea.

The food did not stop the conversation, which covered a number of topics. Valentine’s Days past (I still rank our dinner at Frontera Grill in 2001? 2002? which served every single dish from Like Water For Chocolate as the best one ever), the Super Bowl (Kathy’s building had a viewing party for its tenants), my brother, her sister, what Kathy’s giving up for Lent (swearing!), dieting, the lady who does did Kathy’s hair, “Absolutely Fabulous”. Every so often, I’d peek over at the table where the manicurists were set up, and they always had clients. Damn. We ended up not getting our hand massages but it was totally fine when I saw two rather nerdy looking middle-aged men getting hand treatments. The looks of glee on their faces cheered me up.

After tea, we had to get Kathy’s parking validated which means we had to do just a little shopping at 900 North Michigan. Seriously — no validation without purchase! Also, the mall was offering tax-free shopping at a number of their shops. Even better. We went to J. Crew, where I bought some barrettes and a pair of cap-toe ballet flats. Kathy got this lovely blue shirt that she can wear under sweaters now and then by itself when the weather is warmer. Which helped me to remember that one of the reasons why I like Valentine’s Day so much is that in a matter of weeks (okay, more like months for Chicago) it will soon be spring.

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countdown to Thanksgiving: “A Turkey Named Brotherhood”

Posts from now until Thanksgiving are going to be speculations on family, food, fat, feasting, famine, and fortune. The usual shit, but with a melancholy Thanksgiving twist. Awesome!

When I was a sophomore in high school, I spent most of the year living away from home. Along with my older sister, I lived first with a foster mother in Washington Heights, and then in Forest Hills Gardens with my best friend father and stepmother. I don’t remember the period preceding this year as being especially dark, but these events have lived in (and sometimes even clouded) my memories of my adolescence ever since.

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license to kim jong-il

Dear Leader

License to Kim Jong-il

The Kim Jong-il costume was a success, I think. I pinned closed my Old Navy trench at the neck to get the look of the Leader’s usual collared jacket. I braved the Trixie hordes (who were all buying Lady Gaga wigs) at Beatnix to buy an Elvis wig. Tucking in the sideburns turned Elvis into Kim. I found his glasses, a pair of imitation Gazelles (like the ones Run-DMC used to wear) in the basement section of Ragstock. It didn’t take much to complete my transformation.

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