2

Big Sky Country

I’m off to beautiful Montana for an entire week!

Interesting facts about Montana:

– The average square mile of land contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, and 3.3 deer.
– The density of the state is six people per square mile.
– The State animal is the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).
– The State tree is the Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).
– Montana holds the world record for the greatest temperature change in 24 hours. 103 degrees!
– It is illegal for married women to go fishing alone on Sundays, and illegal for unmarried women to fish alone at all. Additionally, it is a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.
– Sprint PCS Coverage in Montana can be found here.

What this means to me:

– If my calculations are correct, there are 6.1 ample-sized animals with freakish antlers to every 6 little human beings per square mile. I have no idea how many grizzlies are chillin’ per square mile, but considering they are the state animal, I’m guessing a lot. “Montana: Big Sky Country”. Not so much. How about “Montana: Just Like a Carnivorous Zoo, But Without Cages.”

– Better stock up on Claritin. I’m allergic to pine- I can’t even have a real Christmas tree! By the way, I am also allergic to cattle if anyone was wondering. While testing for allergies as a child, the physician checked me for cattle allergies. CATTLE, PEOPLE. Not the kind of allergies related to eating cattle beef, either. Nope, more like the rubbing-up-against-a-cow variety. You have got to love growing up in Oklahoma.
– What the hell is going on with the temperature fluctuation? Packing will be complicated, resulting in an achy back from hunching over and staring into my suitcase for at least 4 hours today.
– I have to make sure my grandmother hasn’t been locked up.
– The kicker. No cell phone coverage. Not really a big deal because I’m not fond of talking on the phone anyway. As for internet access, rumor has it, and I’m cringing as I write this, dial-up. Dial-up. Misery. Oh, I know, I know, I should enjoy this time away to refresh, rejuvenate and marvel at God’s country. Don’t worry, be happy! Well, the internet makes me happy. So there.

In all honesty, I am so excited about this trip. I get to spend a full week with my family that I MISS SO MUCH! Plus, I did a little research and I located 1 (one) internet cafe in the town I am visiting. Hell yes.

11

Proceed with Caution – PMS Ranting Ahead

Things that are bugging the shit out of me today:

1) The little pre-period pimples wreaking havoc on my chin.
2) The fact that my menstrually-bloated ass ripped the lining in my favorite suit pants while bending over this morning.
3) That I am going to a new kick-boxing class tonight where my face will end up looking like this due to my rosacea and heat intolerance. NO PEOPLE, I AM NOT DYING. IN FACT, MY HEART RATE HASN’T EVEN INCREASED. THIS CLASS ISN’T EVEN HARD! I HAVE ROSACEA AND MY FACE GETS RED. NO NEED TO STOP THE CLASS TO MAKE SURE I’M ALRIGHT. Seriously, I am going to make a t-shirt that reads, “Hi, I might look like I am dying, but I am really enjoying this class”, with www.rosacea.org on the back.
4) My job is the most uninspiring loser job on the planet.
5) My husband looking over my shoulder telling me how to improve my pop-up image, and then when I ask him another question, he scoffs at me like he doesn’t have the time. I DIDN’T ASK YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE, BUCKO.
6) My hair looks like ass.

Ok, I think I’m feeling a little better. Anything bugging you today?

6

Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town. Part Two

Besides eating everything in sight, D (my husband) and I had the chance to spend some time in our old neighborhood, Bucktown. I can not believe how many new restaurants and shops have opened their doors in the past two years.

Around the time we moved to California, a “neighborhood beautification” project was just starting in the area. I must admit, they have done a fair amount of cleaning up. Bucktown is considered an “up-and-coming”area, chock full of trendy boutiques, amazing restaurants, artists, musicians and strung-out crazies, but becoming more and more gentrified every day as the young professionals swoop in from Lincoln Park looking for housing steals (which definitely aren’t steals anymore, trust me).

Living in an up-and-coming area also meant encountering two signs at the end of my street on my early-morning coffee run (decaf, of course).

The Gallery Café was a sweet little place on the corner serving up yummy egg bagels, smoothies and coffee drinks. The kind of place that always had NPR playing through the speakers, pleasant people behind the counter, and most importantly, a place that shared a corner with some of Chicago’s finest. Mmmm, can’t you just smell it? The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and skank-ass ho. Fantastic. Yep, my neighborhood had a teeny-tiny problem with prostitution. It actually took me weeks to realize that the vehicles idling in my alley at 3 in the morning weren’t psycho murderers awaiting the perfect moment to break into my place and mutilate me. Silly me- those cars were temporarily housing prostitutes while they performed their specialties on nasty dudes. Delicioso!

It was pretty foul walking out to your car in the morning to find a used condom (hey, at least they’re using condoms! safe sex rules!) or two lying on the curb, so as time passed I got really angry about the situation until one day I noticed a flyer on my door. It was informing me of the Bucktown Neighborhood Association’s “Let’s bust the prostitutes doing the deed and chase them out of town with flashlights at 3am” parade. My prayers answered! Sign me up! Kind of sounded a little like Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 to me, but hey, I’m always up for a little neighborly bonding while chasing down hookers in alleys. So, the day finally arrived. I slept in extra-late to ensure full alertness for the hunt. I was so ready to go- look out hoochies! Well, I was ready to go until I decided to drink 6 vodka tonics while out with friends, come home, pass out and apparently unconsciously turn off my alarm when it went off in the middle of night. So much for that.

We managed to take some photos this weekend, although most were taken by my husband after forcibly hogging the camera the ENTIRE time. Click on the photo below to check them out.

Chicago Slideshow