The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever

Friday, August 30, 2013

What a doozy of a week this has been. Sure we might be going to war with Syria, and yes tomorrow marks the 16th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, but what does any of that really even matter when we've still got a crazy Miley Cyrus roaming the streets of this good country free to corrupt our children? Two nights ago CNN transitioned from a story about Syria to bring us more information about Miley's VMA performance. We need to concentrate on the important news stories here my friends, like when did "little horns" come back in style and how come no one told me? 

I've got a full purple caboodle back in Nebraska full of butterfly clips and tiny elastics just waiting for the day that horns and knots come back in style. And I think that day has come.

But enough about Cuban Pete, let's get into another edition of The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever.

First up, I've got to give a big shout out to this awesome reality show couple on the announcement of their soon-to-be baby girl. 

Wait, this is real? A Jonas brother really has his own reality show? I guess I didn't realize they were still around. I'm sorry, I saw this headline and I kind of thought it was a joke. And it appears he's married to the daughter of a RHNJ lady? Am I right? If I had to guess I would say this is Lexi, Dina's daughter, all grown up? Well good for them! See, not all Disney stars are doomed for failure. 

Speaking of doomed Disney stars, you wanna know who else is really having a good week right now? Sexual predators in Switzerland. Why you ask? Oh just because of the fact their largest city, Zurich, is now offering sex drive-in Mondays, which will be hosted in garage style rooms in the industrial side of the city. But don't worry, it's only on Mondays.

You know it's like taco Tuesday, only taco Monday... Around 30 to 40 women are expected to work at the site each night. Sex workers have to pay 5 Swiss francs per night to make use of the so-called "sex boxes" (because sex garages didn't quite have the same ring to it) but customers don't have to pay an entrance fee. Because nobody likes paying a cover fee, am I right or am I right? Hey, at least we live in a country where people still get all uptight about a foam finger.

Guess I might as well move on to that. Foam fingers are officially backkkkkk, and just in time for football season no less. Foam fingers haven't gotten this much air time since... well I don't think ever.

So thank you, Miley, for not only giving my friends on Facebook something to talk about as well as worried moms on internet forums everywhere, but more importantly thank you for boosting the sales of foam fingers around the nation, as well. 

Speaking of sports, girls who pretend to love Fantasy Football also seem to be having a pretty  great week.  How do I know? Because it's all. they. talk. about. They tweet it, they Facebook it, they Instagram it. I understand that some girls truly love fantasy, like Sarah obviously, but I also understand that there's a large amount of you who just love it for the sake of proving you're a real "guys gal." But guess what? That's okay too! Any reason to pretend to like football is A-ok with me. You know why I love football? For the tailgating and the bloody marys. That's pretty much it. And there's nothing wrong with that.

And if anyone really owns this shirt we need to become friends asap. I'm also going to bet you owned a shirt when you were a kid that says "Dance Is A Sport Too!"

All in all guys, there is only one thing having the best week ever. And that's a three day weekend. Enjoy the lake, or grilling, or tailgating, or whatever it is you choose to do this weekend. At the very least be happy we still live in a country where the only thing we serve at drive-ins are burgers and french fries.... And on that note, lunch is calling my name.

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A Husker Survival Guide

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The first Nebraska football game is just two days away. I realize to many of you this means absolutely nothing. But to my people in Nebraska, this means everything. It's basically what our state lives for, and I happen to think that's actually kind of cool. Perhaps "cool" isn't the right word, I guess I should say I think it's awesome.

Since I've lived in Chicago I haven't been able to make it back for the first home game, but such is life. Even though I am not there physically, I am there mentally and spiritually. See that first home game is always quite the challenge to make it through in one piece. What with the late August heat and the intense crowds of people dressed in striped overalls and just the wave of excitement that runs through the air in that lovely booze filled town called Lincoln. Stinkin Lincoln, how I love thee.

Because I care for the well being of all my friends and readers, I've put together a simple do's and don'ts list that I would suggest you follow when it comes to Saturday if you happen to be lucky enough to grace the streets of Lincoln.

Do start the day off with a Bloody at The Bar in the beer garden.

But don't snarl and glare at all the beautiful young college people you no longer recognize, you already had your time. And envy isn't a good look on anyone.

Don't get to the North Bottoms too early, as it becomes a death trap of tailgating you'll never be able to escape.

Do have a pitcher of Elk Creek Water at Sandy's, but don't gawk at all of the farmer's wives in their best jeweled Husker attire while you're in there. They don't know any better.

Do stop by for a drink at the lovely outdoor area at The Tavern, but don't get feisty if the doorman doesn't let you in because you forgot your ID even though you are clearly twenty-five and several workers know you and your age and you are with your parents, no less. Just don't, save the 'tude for the Downtown.

Don't feel tempted to go buy a new Husker shirt at the Union just because you're there and caught up in the moment (dad.) But do buy some beads, beads are always fun.

Do stop by every tailgate you can, the bars will be waiting for you after the game, but don't expect the tailgate food to be waiting for you at the end.

Do head into the game on time, but don't tear up when the tunnel walk song comes on. Some little girls from Norfolk just weren't meant to play defense on a D1 football team. Life goes on.

Do get a slice of Val's pizza, but don't try to eat the cheese that is stuck to the cardboard, just chalk it up as a loss and order a Runza.

During the game, don't get huffy if the person next to you is taking up "your leg space." Instead, do just rent a stadium chair for $8 and save yourself the stress!

Following the game, don't wait for a photo with a player if you're over the age of ten. It's just a little weird (dad.) Jk, my dad doesn't do that. But my brother does...

Don't go into Brothers Bar afterward no matter how cheap they claim their drinks are. Unless of course you're dressed in Affliction and/or a Jersey dress, then by all means Do Brother it up!

If you're able, do cut the line at the Rail. And if you're not able, don't get mad at those of us who are.

Once inside the Rail, do check your judgement at the door. The Rail is a judge free zone, especially in the back bar. Just don't touch anything in the bathrooms. Or the freezer...

When it's time to move to The Bar, don't stop by the hotdog man first. Do realize mustard stains all Husker clothes.

When you finally make it to the Bar, kick back and enjoy yourself. Don't worry about a thing. Do remember, it's just the start of another Husker season after all.

And don't forget Lazzaris after "Take Me Home Tonight" starts to play and the dreaded lights to start to turn on.

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Harlow & The Almost E.R. Visit

I didn't intend to write every single post about dogs this week, I truthfully try to space them out so this doesn't turn into an accidental dog-blog. But after last night when I was literally five seconds away from rushing Harlow to the Chicago Animal ER I've really got no other choice.

Let me just start by saying I've been known to "overreact slightly" when it comes to Harlow's health, according to Chris anyway. One time when he was a puppy I rushed him to the vet in tears because I was certain he was choking on something and couldn't breath and I thought he was going to die, when in fact he just had a large amount of dry cereal caked to the roof of his mouth... Let's just say in the three short years of Harlow's life he's been to the vet no less than fifteen times. 

Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that for the past few days Harlow's been having "flu-ish" like symptoms. I actually tried to get him into the vet yesterday morning, but cancelled after he seemed to be doing much better on Tuesday afternoon. He was fine again all day Wednesday, but after dinner last night he started acting very funny. He wouldn't come near Chris or I and instead chose to just lay near the front door; something Harlow never does. I took him outside and the poor thing just plopped down on the ground and refused to move. He just collapsed on his belly with his big droopy eyes looking up at me begging me not to move him. He eventually started throwing up again and then shaking profusely. 

After a while, I coaxed him back inside and sat on the ground with him as he crawled into my lap with his muscles shaking and his breathing getting heavier and heavier. And then I started googling things, which only lead to me full on panicking. My biggest fear was that he somehow got into rat poisoning, which is actually pretty prevalent in a city. However, Harlow is never more than five feet away from me, so I knew the chances of this were pretty slim. But never the less, it was all I could think about. 

It got to the point where Harlow was lying on his back, feet in the air, panting heavily when I said enough was enough and I was going to pay the $200 to take him to the emergency vet. I would sell every last thing I own to pay for medical treatment if Harlow needed it. Luckily, Chris tends to be a little more logical than I am and suggested we maybe take him for a quick walk before we rush him to the E.R. and subject ourselves to more Harlow medical bills we can't exactly afford. 

We hadn't so much as got around the block when Harlow spotted a rabbit and suddenly his tail started wagging and he was excitedly pulling on the leash to go after it. This was my first indicator that perhaps whatever was ailing him wasn't quite as serious as I thought. The second indicator was when we got to the park and took him off leash he dashed right for his favorite drinking fountain. And even went after a few squirrels on the way there... At this point I started to feel a little silly for all of the tears the way I overreacted and figured that perhaps a trip to the vet could wait until the morning like Chris originally suggested. 

Long story not very short, as of now Harlow seems to be doing much better. If anything, he's just a little more clingy than usual, which I don't mind one bit. He's sleeping soundly in my lap right now and hasn't been quivering or shaking for the past hour. But a trip to the vet and a few more bottles of Gatorade will definitely be happening today. 

In the meantime, I promise a more upbeat/nothing-to-do-with-dogs post will be coming later today. Can it just be Friday already?

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Life As Of Late

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

As of two minutes ago I just made a donation to the ASPCA for $345 because of all of you! That just makes me so very happy. So thank you all so much who were able to give, sending nearly $350 to help animals felt pretty good this morning. And if any other donations continue to come through they will immediately be sent to ASPCA, as well. I know the money will probably be spent on important things like medical treatments or making sure the facility is fully equipped, but this morning as I gave Harlow his breakfast of Greek yogurt and blueberries I imagined that it would be nice if there was a gourmet food fund where all of the abused dogs would get to try steaks for the first time in their life. And that's why I'm not in charge of allocating the donation money... But someday when I start the Harlow Foundation for abandoned and rescued dogs, there will be a gourmet food fund. There certainly will.

On another note, is anyone else feeling this August heat wave rolling through? It's as if August suddenly felt guilty for being so random in the beginning that it finally decided to throw all the scorching temps and high humidity into the last four days as intensely as it possibly could. Chicago has been in the high 90s all week long. To be quite honest, I don't mind the hot temps (unless I have to take public transportation for the day.) Harlow, on the other hand, isn't too fond of them.

When he spotted a public water bowl yesterday on our walk he plopped down with his head in the bowl and refused to move. At one point he was actually lying there with his snout under the water just blowing bubbles. And that's why I refuse to drink from public water bowls...

I finally got him up and we walked just a little further to the pond lookout. He stood like this for about five minutes looking at God knows what.

I don't know if he saw ducks or fish or squirrels, regardless, people passing by got quite the kick out of Harlow posed like this. Then again, perhaps he was just admiring the skyline? Har loves Chicago as much as I do.

Today is one of those days where I'm feeling a bit scatter brained because I have a lot to do, but no idea where to start. So instead I've chosen to take far too long writing this one, pretty short, pretty uneventful post. I think I'm distracted on account of Saturday. You know, the first Nebraska football game of the year. It's always a special time for me. But I'll save this talk for tomorrow.

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For The Dogs

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tonight I was attempting to get a cute photo of Harlow as he slept soundly on the couch, his head propped perfectly on a pillow, his entire body wrapped tightly under a blanket, because it's National Dog Day after all and I hadn't posted a good photo yet. 

If you'd like a visual, this is the photo I ended up taking.

Precious, right? 
It was literally seconds after I took this photo when CNN broke into a story that I haven't been able to get out of my head. As of yesterday, 367 dogs have been rescued in what is known as the second biggest dog-fighting raid known to date. Nearly four hundred dogs were rescued from their horrendous conditions of living on dirt and pavement, wearing painfully heavy chains, most with zero food or water in sight. It's just almost too much to handle. 
The photos are painful, yet also a little hopeful. Because every one of these pups you see are currently being treated in a rehabilitation facility thanks to the miracle workers from the ASPCA. The flees are being removed, the open wounds are being stitched, and the empty emaciated bellies are being filled with fresh food and water. 
Stories like these resonate me. They resonate with me to the fact I will probably never forget about them. I'll torture myself and read every article I can find and look at every photo possible. 

But unlike the other animal abuse stories I read, this one actually has a happy ending. Because these four puppies in the photo below won't have to grow up in chains, or be trained to fight. 
I didn't intend to get on my animal abuse soap box today, but when a story breaks like this how can I not? Animal abusers are absolutely despicable to me. I hope the criminals involved in this case will rot in their jail cells. But sadly, I know they won't. Some are even being held on as low as a $5,000 bond. But actually forget the jail cell, let's tie them up and let them fight it out on their dirt patches instead like they've done to their dogs for so many years.  
I can hardly put into words the type of hatred I feel toward these people. Hate's a strong word I don't use often, but if you're abusing animals or babies I really and truly hate you. But even as I say that I know it's almost ignorant of me to think. It's easy for me to say I hate people who choose to abuse others because I've never been abused. I've lived a pretty damn charmed life. But imagine the children who grow up in homes where their dad brings home the pay check after a good night at the dog ring? How are they supposed to understand they're not supposed to hit a puppy when they themselves get hit every night? It's just a vicious vicious circle I will never understand.
So for now, I'm going to continue to think about the positive. About the fact 367 dogs were rescued this week. But so many more are still out there. If you're in a place where you're financially able to give a few bucks to the ASPCA, I've set up a very simple way to donate via paypal below, because they are going to be in desperate need of funds trying to treat all of these new pups.  I know I've never done anything like this before, but with Harlow sleeping safe and sound right next to me I feel like I have to try to do something. If we can raise $50 or $500, at least it will be something. 

And now I'm going to leave you with a few of my favorite photos from yesterday's rescue. Talk about the best National Dog Day ever.

If that's not a look of freedom I don't know what is.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you, more than he loves himself."
-John Billings
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*And if anyone knows of a better donation button where it actually shows how much has been raised, I'd love to know and switch it out. Thanks!

Hot Summer In The City- August Edition

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Just as I was about to sit down and recap another amazing weekend spent in Chicago I found myself a bit distracted on Facebook reading statuses about the VMAs last night. My first thought was, these are still on? And my second thought was, why are my friends on Facebook still watching them? Isn't there an age limit or something? Like for instance if you still remember the show Undressed, you're probably too old to watch the VMAs. I digress.
Of course all of the talk was about Miley's performance, and because it's my job to stay on top of pop culture (for my blog obvi) I had to youtube said performance immediately. Miley Miley Miley. I'm not afraid to let it be known that I kinda like Destiny (that's Miley's real name) and find some of her music kinda catchy. Seriously though, Destiny. It gets me every time. 
Party In The USA? It's my jam. Her remix to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun? Love it.  But after last night I'm just ashamed. I'm just not sure if it's more for Smiley, or for Robin Thicke. I kinda lost a lot of respect for that guy after I watched what he let Miley do to him. He should feel violated. Or dirty. Probably both. I know I do.
As if the hair and outfit weren't bad enough there was also this. At least twenty-five times...
I apologize for posting this because it probably makes you just as uncomfortable as it does me, but it had to be done. And while I'm usually not the biggest Will Smith Fam Fan, their reactions during this whole thing were just priceless.
And now I don't want to give this any more attention (for today) simply because I don't want it to taint  all of the lovely photos I was just about to share. But after last night, I think we're all a little tainted. We got Cyrused and we didn't even see it coming. 
For the next few minutes I just ask that you forget the darker side of Miley, and instead enjoy a few photos of some clean family fun and relish in the beauty that is Chicago in the summer. 
Friday afternoon, I was riding my bike downtown to meet Chris and his parents for lunch when I happened to stumble upon an outdoor dog yoga class. As you can see the gentlemen in the curly black hair is leading the class with a simple downward-dog position, the others all seem just a bit reluctant to join.
Seafood cob salad at Ditkas, just as good as it looks!

To celebrate Chris's parents 35th anniversary, we went to dinner at Bavette's.

 It's a dark little steakhouse with amazing food and great wine.

The wedge salad is unbelievable. See that pile of red on top? That's just the thickest bacon you'll ever taste.

And then I followed that up with the standard filet I always like to order.

As if the rich dinner at Bavette's wasn't enough food to last us for the next twenty four hours we went to Publican for brunch on Saturday morning.
This is some sort of egg fundido. I know enough about life that when I see the word "fundido" on a menu I'm ordering it.

And have I mentioned lately how thrilled I am to have my Harlow back? Because I am.
And just a few more photos from the boat tour, the Art Institute, more brunching, and just sharing my overall love for this city in general.

This city is just gorgeous in the summer. Am I right or am I right? Do me a favor and remind me about all this Chicago-love talk in mid January, would you?

Remember that dog I'm excited to have home? He's currently whimpering at my feet to be taken on his fourth walk today. It always takes him about a week to "adjust" back to Chicago life after coming home from camp in Nebraska where he does as he pleases. And by "adjust" I mean stop being such a little asshole.

It doesn't help the matter that his 21st birthday is a few short weeks away. He's insisting on throwing a rager... We shall see.
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