The Good Bye

Friday, September 30, 2016

"I'm starting to worry about her, " he says to the Therapist.

"Oh? Why is that?" The man in the argyle sweater vest bites on the end of his small square framed reading glasses. They look like a pair you'd pick up at Walgreens on you're way out as an after thought.

"Where do I even start?" He scratches his ears and releases a quick sneeze.

"How about from the beginning," the Therapist puts the Walgreens reading glasses back onto the rim of his nose, readying himself to "read" his patient.

"I suppose it starts with the good bye."

The Therapist nods so he continues.

"It used to just be one. Just one good bye and then she'd leave. It was fine. Normal. I appreciated the salutation, you know? So I'd say good bye back and that was that."

"And now it's not normal?"

He rolls his eyes a bit and sighs, "No, it's become a whole thing."

"A thing?" Asks the Therapist.

He lowers his head and speaks a little quieter, "She says good bye at least 45 times now."

"Forty five?" The therapist mouths.

He nods, "Just over and over and over.  It's just, good bye, I'll be right back, I love you, I'll be back, bye, I'll be back. I love you." He scratches his ear harder, this time with his back foot.

"Can I help you out with that?" The Therapist pats his lap and Harlow happily jumps on it.

"And then she puts a pile of toys in front of me. Sometimes even on me. As if I'm going to play while she's gone and not just immediately fall into a blissful sleep." Harlow pauses to enjoy the ear rub and push his head harder into The Therapist, "thanks Doc, that's really nice. That scratch has been bugging me since the last one. Yeah, yeah right there."

"I see."

"It's to the point where I'm like, who are you doing this for? You or me? You know? Like I said, I'm worried." Harlow bites at his front nails, then continues, "what's the thing called when people are afraid to leave their house?"





"A mess."

"Obsessed, yeah that's it."

"No, I said a mess."

"I absolutely did not."

They both look confused for a second then the Therapist continues.

"Sounds like separation anxiety to me. Does she ever chew things or cause destruction?"

"Just inside her head, I think," Harlow turns around to lick his backside, then pauses, "sorry, do you mind?"

"Actually, I do Harlow. Several people sit on that couch."

"Good call, who knows where they've sat before this," Harlow jumps to the floor. "Between you and me, doc," he lowers his head once more, "After she leaves, she almost only comes back within five minutes. I'll be in the thick of a great nap and then she bursts through the door sputtering about a candle she left burning or a curling iron she left on. It's always something."

"Is there ever?"

"Ever what?"

"A candle burning?"

"No, I blow them out the second she leaves. Do I look like an idiot to you?"

Pit Bull Ban In Montreal

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Let's keep this short today because there's work to be done and I'd rather you all go and sign a petition to reverse the pit bull ban in Montreal rather than read a blog post.

In case you haven't heard, on Tuesday of this week Montreal passed a ban on all pit bulls. So any dog with a "blocky head" or "with pit like features" that is currently in a shelter located in Montreal will be euthanized on October 3rd. Apparently the law is so vague as to what is considered a pit it's laughable.

Except it's not laughable, because so many dogs lives are stake because of it.

Anyone who owns a dog "that looks like a pit bull" in Montreal will have to register it and pay $150, or risk it getting taken away at any moment.

I don't know if signing petitions will help, but I know that doing nothing at all for sure won't help. So I suggest starting here and here.

If you want to donate to the rescue groups who are working like crazy to move pit bulls out of shelters before their death date on October 3rd, go to this site.

Also this post has a lot of good information (and adorable photos of dogs.) If you have any other ideas or know of good reputable rescue groups who need funds, let me know.

And yes, I'm aware there's a lot of other issues going on in the world today. Trust me, I worry about all of them as well. Humans are complex individuals and we're capable of several thoughts (and worries.)  This one just happens to be on mind today as Harlow lays on my lap.

Since I've been a little vocal about this the past 48 hours several people have told me that unfortunately this is pretty common and in some cities pit bulls are immediately euthanized upon getting dropped off at a shelter. I was aware of this to some extent, but bringing up shitty situations that already exist doesn't help this one any so... so I guess that's my opinion on that.

So now you know, take a few seconds to sign the petition and maybe just maybe the power of the people could win this one and save thousands of innocent dogs who have now idea what might happen to them in just one week and have no voice to speak up about it.

It's just not right.

Favorites of Fall

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Isn't it weird how we all lose our shit for fall?

I'm as guilty as the next (well maybe not quite as guilty, but I did eat Pumpkin Cheerios for breakfast.) However, I'll never drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte because they taste like a cup of pumpkin sugary syrup mixed with a little bit coffee- to me.

I feel like we have this brief window of time where it's fun to transition from tank tops to thick sweaters and then BOOM it's winter. And it stops being fun real fast. Even yesterday I had to add a jacket AND a big scarf for my morning Harlow walk and I was not happy about it. 

Yes I love fall, but I don't exactly do well with the end of summer either simply because I know what it's implying. Winter. Winter is coming. Winter anxiety is a very real thing in Chicago. People start talking about it in August already. 

We say things like, "Gotta enjoy these days while they're here, won't be long before..." Or "remember winter 2014? I just hope it's not like that," or "heard the cold's going to move in early this year, gonna be a long one."

We are always talking about, thinking about, and worrying about winter, once mid August rolls around. 

But enough about winter. It's not here yet, so I'm going to tuck that dark thought away for now and move onto much better things.  

Like the fact I've decided it would be fun to give one of you the chance to win a few of my favorite fall items. 

1. I've already talked about this cardigan 100 times and I think you all need to share in the joy of it with me. You could also swap for this one as it's another one I've bought in a few colors already this season...

2. This awesome mug from Darling Savage.

3. The perfect fall booties from Alice & Wonder

4. And of course, my COZY AF T-Shirt.

To enter, head to my Facebook page for more details. What do you think? Which item do you love the most? Comment below!

BRB tomorrow with a new pilates fan fiction post....

House Hunting in Chicago - Part II

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

We went to an open house last weekend where there was a line about thirty people deep before it had even started.

The house was tiny so we had to wait before we could even walk inside because there wasn't room to move around. By the end of the day it had three offers. Luckily, Chris and I didn't love it so we were happy to walk away.

A few weekends ago we saw a gorgeous brownstone (the second floor of it anyway) and I really liked it. But Chris thought it was too pricey for what it was. Did I mention it was only the back half of the second floor, the back "left half" if I remember correctly. Mind you, these are insanely huge brownstones that were single family homes only when they were first built back in the 1900s for Chicago's elite. These days they house about 8 families.

The owners purchased the back half just a year ago and already jacked up the price more than $100,000. So yeah, the market here is a little stupid.

We didn't put an offer in, but four other people did. Pretty sure it sold for above listing.

Our current space has been good for us the past two years, but it's time to go... I dream of having a bedroom where the bed has enough space for TWO nightstands- one on each side. Talk about luxury. Right now if I get up in the night I have to hurdle myself over both Chris and Harlow in order to get out of bed.

On most days this sweet little space becomes covered with T-Shirts. And labels, and tissue, and envelopes. It's a real shit show at any given time. So an actual work room with a work table would be dreamy. Also, working in a room with red walls just isn't good for online retail. Red causes anger.

And I know I've mentioned this before, but Chris and I share a closet that most would consider a coat closet. Imagine your own closet, then cut it in half, then once again, then add another person's wardrobe in there. The good thing is we don't keep unnecessary stuff around. When bloggers showcase their shoe closets I can't help but laugh. Let's just say my shoe collection doesn't exactly look like that...

We've lived in Lincoln Park our entire time in Chicago and it's been wonderful, but we're ready to branch out. It's gotten to be too comfortable and familiar. It's time we see some of the other awesome neighborhoods Chicago has to offer. So our primary search has been in neighborhoods like Wicker, West Town, Ukrainian Village, and a few spots in West Loop. If you're not from around Chicago this means nothing to you, but all of these neighborhoods are just a couple of miles southwest of where we currently are.

More importantly, all of the neighborhoods mentioned are even more dog friendly than Lincoln Park. If you walk down Division Street it's just patio after patio covered in dogs brunching or doing happy hour with their parents. I feel so at home there already.

As for an update on the actual show House Hunters, check back with me in about three weeks and maybe we'll know more...

How To Tackle Monday

Monday, September 26, 2016

I had a really good plan for today.

I was going to take my parents to the airport at 5 a.m. and then come home and GET RIGHT TO WORK.

Emails, T-shirts, blog posts, I was going to do it all and tackle this day hard to make up for a weekend of having a little too much fun and not doing a stitch of work.

Instead, when my alarm went off at 5 a.m. I stumbled into the guest room and told my parents, "I'm calling you an Uber." So for the 28th year in a row, I don't think I'm going to be winning "Daughter of the Year."

I went back to bed, but only until 7 a.m., at which point I moved out to the couch. While I was waiting for my coffee I decided it would be a great time for some Monday meditation. I like to start my mornings by pretending to meditate, when in fact I'm just falling back to sleep. It happens every time. I always start sitting up, but the second I close my eyes and try to concentrate on my breaths I lay down and immediately pass out.

I could pass out right now just thinking about how relaxing it is pretending to meditate.

It's basically noon now and I'm three hours behind on my Monday and my inbox is growing scarier by the minute. I have to do all the things, but instead I'm petting Harlow and talking to him about life. He's begging for his lunchtime visit to the park, but I'm trying to convince him we can wait until 3.

Okay, I need to quit dicking around and get to werk, werk, werk. We've got some big stuff coming in the next 30 days and I have to make sure I'm ready for it. Perhaps I should meditate about it real quick...

And before I forget, the cardigan I'm wearing above (and right now, and basically every day until summer 2017) can be found here. It's so comfy it almost pisses me off. Similar loafers found here and jeans found here.  And also this sweater because it's 50% off and I want every color.

Bye, Monday. Byeeeee.

The Politics of Communal Laundry

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

And now a post about the politics of sharing a laundry room with people you don't know. Perhaps some of you can relate to it, or perhaps you will have no idea what I'm talking about if you've never lived in a city, or are just lucky enough to be independently wealthy.

Whatever the case, it must be discussed.

Let me set the scene for you. It's Monday morning and I have two loads of wash to do; towels and sheets for the guest room because my parents are coming to stay.  I begrudgingly go to Trader Joes to get my roll of quarters, cursing the entire time that "why the hell can't our laundry units join the modern world and be hooked up to a card reader like every other damn laundry unit."

We've lived in our place for 2.5 years now, one would think I've accepted our quarter situation. And yet I haven't. Of course our washing machine can't take a card, it was manufactured in 1807. Occasionally it gets so out of control I have to physically stand on it to keep it from traveling to the back of the basement where the gremlins live.

But I digress.

I choose to do my laundry on a Monday morning because I know I have no shot on a Sunday. If you're not down there claiming a machine by 10 a.m. you are SOL, my friends.

And so I go down there and open washer machine #1- the good one, the one that doesn't do somersaults around the dungeon if you put one too many towels in there, and what do I see? A load of semi wet clothes.

Have they been in there an hour? Two? Four? I don't know. And thus begins the politics of the laundry game.

Having been a laundry sharer for five years now, I know what I have to do. And that's go back upstairs and wait it out (whether it's 10 min or 2 hours, it's just a polite gesture.) You can leap a person in the laundry game, but never on the first try. You have to at least get them once shot to switch it out because what if their cycle just ended?

But before I go back upstairs, I leave my basket of laundry on the communal table. 1. Because I'm lazy. and 2. because it's a sign to fellow washers that says "I'm on your back....." *but never leave your laundry soap. Unless you're a millionaire and can just afford to give away free soap.

I only give them thirty minutes because I don't have time to dick around today. When I go back down, the clothes are still in the washer.

At this point I have to move stranger laundry into the dryer and learn way too much about a person I don't know. I may not know the new guy on the third floor who moved in two months ago, but I know what kind of underwear he wears...

When you're moving stranger laundry it's crucial you do it AS FAST AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. God forbid they walk in during the midst of your laundry jump. Other than getting mugged on the train, this is my number one Chicago fear. I would die if the upstairs people saw me touching their wet laundry. Die die die.

I put stranger clothes in the dryer, but don't start it obviously. First of all, I don't want to shrink their shit. But more importantly, I don't want to waste $2 in quarters! If I was made of quarters, I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

40 minutes later my wash is done and I see their wet clothes still sitting in the dryer. So what do I do? Move that shit back to the washer. And suddenly I feel excited that I'm about to do a full laundry leap- washer AND dryer. I feel validated in my decision to skip them when I did, had I waited, I'd still be waiting- you know?

One hour later my dryer is done. The wet clothes still remain in the washer. Has the other person stopped down even once to move them in the past hour? I shall never know. But now I present to you the age old question, who's the asshole in the laundry situation?

1. The Mover.
2. Or The Sitter.

Am I rude for jumping out of turn? Or is the other person rude for taking their sweet ass time?

Someone's communal laundry habits say a lot about them as a person in general, I think. For example, I know I can get kind of pushy and should settle down and take a chill pill. But also, I don't like to keep people waiting and expect from others what I expect from myself.

And this concludes the most wonderfully self indulgent post about laundry that I have ever written. I truly enjoyed it. I hope you did, as well.

House Hunters

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I have a very long mental list of stuff to do "once things calm down." One of which is getting back to blogging every single day. I hate not being able to write regularly.

But then I remember that I've been waiting for this magical "calm time" for awhile now and perhaps it's never coming. Maybe it's just called life. And I should probably learn how to balance things sooner or later (or "time block" as Chris says) because it's only going to get busier.

I look around at people my age with 2 or 3 kids and a four bedroom house and wonder how in the hell they do it. It's a struggle for me to keep our two bedroom apartment clean on the regular and it's just Chris and I. And Harlow. And in my defense Harlow insists on dragging every single toy from his basket to various places around the house every single day.

Speaking of houses, we've been on the hunt lately. Our realtor has jokingly told us he knows the producers from House Hunters and do we want to be on an episode? I jokingly bring it up every time we meet with him...Because yes, yes I do want to be on the show. And since I am a hustler I would just casually change the t-shirt I'm wearing every five minutes to showcase my entire collection during filming.

House hunting in Chicago is interesting. Houses get listed and sold within hours, often for above asking price. And when I say a "house" I mean the floor of a house, sometimes even just the back half.

We have our lists of "wants" and "must haves."

After living in the city for five years my "must haves" seem pretty simple, yet also pretty dreamy after being without them for years.

*In-unit laundry.
A washer and dryer NOT in a scary dungeon basement that is also shared by 8 other tenants would be AMAZING. Every time I do laundry now I have to make sure we have quarters (we never do and the quarter fight is an on-going thing in this house) and then I have to fight off rats and spiders in a basement that feels like the Upside Down.

So to have laundry steps away from our bedroom and/or kitchen would be unreal. I wouldn't know what to do with myself. Probably laundry all the time.

*A parking spot.
Doesn't have to be covered (what do you think I am, a millionaire?!) but simply a designated spot where I know I always get to park.

Walking a block with eight bags of groceries isn't as fun as it seems. Especially in January.

*Two bathrooms.
We've lived with one bathroom for far too long now. We have people stay with us A LOT and one bathroom makes everything so much harder.

For example my family is coming to stay with us this weekend and I'm already dreading the bathroom situation. I can't wait for the day we're living like fat cats with two toilets in the house.

I guess that's pretty much it. Like I said, we're not looking for anything too crazy here.

I guess I forgot one thing, I'd love to have a fridge that has an ice maker. I don't feel like that's asking too much, and yet I've gone my entire life without having this luxury. And I am so damn tired of filling ice trays.

Anyway, we've been looking for about six months and have already seen some crazy shit. I need to write more about house hunting in Chicago but it's already 1 a.m. and I'm exhausted and need to head into T-Shirt Town for a bit.

The thought of buying anything is exciting and also very overwhelming. If you're a home owner, have any tips? Give me all the tips, please.