Flooding Susie’s Inbox

September 16, 2012

The Demise of my Domesticity

Filed under: About Me, Chicago, Entertaining, Writing — sashyjane @ 11:45 pm

I used to be quite domestic. I prided myself in setting a beautiful table, making impressive recipes from scratch, decorating my home… but now? Now, I’ve never once sat at my dining room table, I own one tiny skillet, one tiny 2-quart saucepan and no muffin tins, still haven’t hung pictures in my apartment after moving in 5 months ago, never make my bed, much less use pillow shams, and I honestly cannot remember the time I washed dishes.  Somehow I’ve regressed. Most people eat cereal out of re-used take-out containers, don’t have a single table linen and have refrigerators filled with more beer than food when they’re in college or right after, not when they’re 28.

When I look back on that domesticated life I once had, I’m a tiny bit nostalgic and I think I want to be that way again… some day. 24-year-old me would’ve shaken her finger at 28-year-old me for living like this. But come to think of it, 24-year-old me was wound just a bit too tight and she didn’t know much about having fun.

I don’t know if it’s because I moved out of the South and away from alleged societal pressures to be the perfect housekeeper and hostess or because I’ve finally started living fully. I’m busy now. I don’t have to fill my empty evenings with table linen shopping  or wreath making because my evenings are full. Full of lively, fun activities I really enjoy. Full of good, deep, true friendships. Full of writing and working towards a career I actually dream about.

So, I won’t mourn the demise of my domesticity. I’ll just get super rich and hire a housekeeper to be domestic for me.


October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

Filed under: Chicago, Friends, Funny — sashyjane @ 4:36 pm

Here’s a Halloween song to put you in the holiday spirit.  After you finish watching it you should watch other videos by my friend Greg. He’s pretty special.

October 10, 2011

For Julie

Filed under: Augusta, Chicago, Friends — sashyjane @ 2:51 pm

I was blessed this weekend with a visit from my dear friend, role model and person I want to be one day, Julie. Julie and three other girls from Augusta ran the Chicago marathon in record time (they blew right past the Kenyans and Ethiopians as if they were standing still) and still managed to have the energy for celebratory drinks and dinner followed by some live jazz at The Green Mill.

Julie, Jen and Kristin post-race. How is it possible to look this good after 26.2 miles? I would look like a wreck after 26.2 feet of running.

During our delicious supper at the Hancock Tower, Julie reminded me that I have a blog.  Whoopsie. I’d completely forgotten all about it.  So even though I have a lot to catch up on and very little internet time with which to do so (I’m currently using McDonald’s WiFi and trying my hardest not to spank every loud, obnoxious brat in the joint. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PARENTS THESE DAYS?!)  I thought I’d just drop a quick post congratulating Julie, Jen, Kristin and Veronica on their huge accomplishment and thanking them (as well as their faithful cheerleaders, Sarah and Sarah) for a lovely visit.

Julie, now you don’t have to look at those 3 boys anymore :)

April 28, 2011

Gainfully Employed!

Filed under: Chicago — sashyjane @ 3:24 pm

Come Monday morning, my 3 month unemployed streak will be broken. WOOHOO!!! At 9:00 a.m., I’ll start my new job as a Notice Drafter for the law firm of Pierce & Associates.

What is a notice drafter, you ask? You always ask such good questions. From what I understand, I’ll compose and send letters to all parties who hold a vested interest in home that’s being foreclosed on. These letters will inform them of the court date and location concerning their case. I don’t have any experience with law firms or anything but I’m looking forward to being employed and learning a few new skillz. I’m also looking forward to having somewhere to be on a regular basis and dressing like a professional adult again.

April 21, 2011

The Employee is a Lonely Hunter

Filed under: Boring, Chicago — sashyjane @ 4:02 pm

I have had a devil of a time finding a job! It would probably be easier for me to get hired as an ex-con or high school dropout than as a college graduate with 5 years of non-managerial experience. The jobs that require experience are going to those who have 10 or more years experience and the jobs that require no experience are going to those without college degrees because they’re cheaper to hire. I’m seriously considering setting up shop on a street corner.

One glimmer of hope – I had a very positive interview with a temp agency this morning. Fingers crossed that they’ll send me on a job soon.  I sure would hate to spend my days digging through Clark Street trash cans and pushing a grocery cart down the sidewalk.

I’ve also applied for a number of dog walking/sitting jobs and various and sundry waitressing and retail positions.  If you have any other suggestions for where I can find work in Chicago (without a car) I’d LOVE to hear them! In the meantime, I’ll continue to survive on gruel and rusty tap water. :)

What a professional!

April 15, 2011

Here’s Something Neat

Filed under: About Me, Boring, Chicago — sashyjane @ 7:38 pm

Preface: I try not to talk about weight because it’s a very off-putting topic but it will occasionally sneak in. If you’d like to maintain the illusion that I’m super tiny and cute, please keep scrolling and don’t read this.

I had an interview at Bath & Body Works today (that’s right, a Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of PR experience have potentially qualified me to sell moderately-priced lotion and shower gel gift sets to people who don’t know what to give as gifts) and I had a devil of a time finding something to wear. All of my pants and skirts were at least 2 sizes too big and the only way I can keep them on is to cinch up my belt as tight as it will go in a very Huck Finn fashion. Why are all my clothes too big?

  • I do not have a job, therefore, I do not have much money
  • Since I do not have much money, I can’t afford more than 2 meals a day
  • Since I do not have much money, I can’t afford public transportation so I walk everywhere

While this is fantastic news for my health and waistline, it’s not great news for trying to look professional. My pencil skirt looks like a zippered pencil bag and my tops all billow and bag in a very unflattering fashion. It’s a vicious cycle: I need new clothes that fit properly in order to get a job but I can’t buy new clothes (or have the existing ones tailored) until I have a job that provides me with money. Woe is me!

I realize this is all very silly and petty compared to most of the world’s problems but if I can’t complain on the internet to strangers, where can I complain?

April 11, 2011

I’m so hacky!!*

Filed under: Chicago, Friends — sashyjane @ 4:27 pm

My terribly generous parents UPS’d me 4 boxes of linens, kitchen things and towels.

Puzzlingly, there was only 1 pillow in the box but 17 boxes of 3-year old diet food had been packed up from the garage and shipped to my Lincoln Park place. Daddy later explained that he was worried I would run out of money and he thought I could eat this diet food when I couldn’t afford groceries. No word on why a pamphlet about “Historic Women on Stamps”  or a print-out of an email from a wedding client in 2007 were included.

Remember those “before” pictures of my empty apartment? I can now reveal to you the stunning “after” shot. I hope you’re sitting down.

I now have a bed!! Still no table, chairs, sofa, TV or internet. Heck, I don’t even have mail (a problem that is becoming increasingly more annoying as the weeks wear on.) But a bed is a great improvement over a lone towel and the hard floor.

Just when I thought my week couldn’t get any better, my friend Kelly arrived Thursday morning from Athens for a weekend visit. And she brought presents (Georgia peach coasters and a copy of  Tina Fey’s Bossypants which I may or may not have already read 2 times through.) We ate some lunch, rode the bus downtown (I am obsessed with riding the bus! I will sometimes just get on to ride around like a homeless Vietnam Vet), walked around Macy’s, saw Millenium Park, walked in the Art Institute Museum, ate deep dish pizza at Giordano’s (thanks again, Kim!) and then walked most of the way home in the rain because I don’t know how one-way streets work.


Kelly, posing with some guy she met at a club.


On Friday, we woke up, ate some breakfast and set out to see some real Chicago landmarks: the homes of Larry & Balki and the Winslow Family.


Larry & Balki's Apartment

The Winslow Abode

We stumbled upon Oz Park, saw Wrigley Field, ate a cupcake at Molly’s and went to the World’s Most Pretentious Hipster Movie Theater** to see Win Win, a very likeable film. The evening ended with a pleasant meal at Oodles of Noodles where we each pulled a muscle rolling our eyes at the party girls seated next to  us.

Saturday, we took a stroll through Lincoln Park and walked along Lake Michigan. Despite the overbearing fog and lack of sun, I still managed to get sunburned. I think it’s my spiritual gift – to sunburn even in the absence of sun. Afterward, we headed to Old Town where I showed Kelly The Second City and the Training Center (that makes me feel like Jared from The Pretender or Jason Bourne in Bourne Ultimatum), we had some lunch and walked back uptown. We cleaned up and ate supper at The World’s Most Diverse Restaurant**. They had gyros, American-style Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and dressing), Japanese stir-fry, burritos and more. We then saw an improv show at The Playground Theater which was most enjoyable and hilarious. One half of a delightful couple from Ethos performed with her improv group and the other half sat with us during the show. We may or may not have made another trip to Molly’s.

Sunday, we worshiped at Ethos where there was fantastic music and a very solid message, further cementing my decision to choose that church. Brunch was consumed in record time, we grabbed Kelly’s bags, jumped on the bus and raced (at a public transportation rate) to Midway airport where Kelly boarded her flight in the nick of time.

It was a delightful weekend. It was even warm on Sunday! In Georgia, 81 degrees** on an April day is chilly but everybody in Chicago was parading around in shorts and flip flops like it was full-blown summer.

*If you haven’t watched every single episode of Ruby on Netflix Instant, please go do so. I’ll wait. Are you back? Do you find Ruby increasingly obnoxious but can’t stop yourself from clicking “Next Episode”? Me too.

**Somebody needs to teach me how to do that little TM thing or the copyright C in a circle. And the degrees symbol too.



April 3, 2011

Lap of Luxury

Filed under: Chicago, Friends, Houses — sashyjane @ 1:56 pm

I’m all moved in! And by all moved in I mean my clothes are in my apartment. I still don’t have any furniture, sheets, pillows, basic living necessities. I did buy one towel so I could shower before church this morning. It’s a good thing I bought that or I wouldn’t have had any covers last night. In what was arguably the least restful sleep of my life, I spent last night on the floor in long johns, long john shirt, flannel pajamas, 2 pairs of socks, gloves, a knit hat and my puffy coat, covered with a towel. I fashioned a pillow out of a tote bag stuffed with a puffer vest and another coat. I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. and woke up about 37 times before I finally got up at 6:30 a.m.

Why was I so bundled up, you ask? Because when I arrived at my apartment yesterday morning, it was 10,000 degrees (Celsius) so I turned the radiator down. Turns out that I turned it off and then I couldn’t for the life of me make it come back on that night. About 2:30 a.m., it came roaring back to life and it was once again sweltering. Surely there’s a happy medium  between frigid and roasting.

Since I don’t have a TV, I haven’t hooked up my cable and internet yet (I’m currently blogging from the comfort of my across-the-street Starbucks.) Since there’s no cable or internet and no furniture, yesterday afternoon and evening were quite boring. I could’ve called a friend but that would’ve required showering and showering would’ve required drying off and drying off would’ve required getting my “covers” wet. So I just went to bed instead. To entertain myself, I listened to a CD Mama sent me a few weeks ago. It reads the entire New Testament aloud to you over the course of a month. I listened to 24 days worth. The actors are pretty terrible – the guy playing Jesus sounds like Lyle Waggoner.

To further entertain myself, I made a rough floor plan of how I’d like to arrange furniture once I have it. Keep in mind that the only “design” program I have is Publisher and this is not even remotely to scale. Who knows if any of this will even work. But for now, let’s pretend, shall we?

I didn’t attempt to draw the bathroom or kitchen because I knew they’d look ridiculously out of scale. What do you think? Do you see a better layout?

This morning I went to Park Community Church, a mere 3 blocks away. I didn’t love it but I met some very nice people and scoped out some foine fellas (Lincoln Park seems to be chock full of handsome gents.) Ethos is still my #1 favorite church though.

My good friend Kelly will be here Thursday!! HOORAY!!! I’m SUPER excited for her visit because it’s been far too long since I last saw her, she’s hilarious and she is a guaranteed good time. Kelly is a good traveler and likes to do local things and eat at non-chain places so I have big plans for our culinary experimentation. Any suggestions for where I should take her?

Alrighty, I’m off to find some lunch and then maybe take a walk to stave off boredom. Only one more night of sleeping on the floor – my bed is delivered tomorrow afternoon!

April 1, 2011

April Fools To Me

Filed under: Chicago, Houses — sashyjane @ 5:07 pm

Today has been one of those days where you just want to crawl under the covers, go to sleep and start over tomorrow. However, it has a happy ending (fingers crossed since it’s only 4:00 p.m.) – I’m in my apartment! I don’t have a single stick of furniture or any creature comforts but to quote Mrs. Potts, “these things take time, my dear.” Here are a few pictures of the barren (until Monday when my mattress, box springs and bed frame are delivered) place.

Super tall cabinets

Fireplace and double closets

View from my back porch

Dining room but I think I'll make it my bedroom

And the complete tour:

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March 25, 2011

Adventures in Real Estating

Filed under: Chicago, Houses — sashyjane @ 5:03 pm

In my last post, I thought this apartment search would be a short and sweet little jaunt around town where I’d find the perfect apartment 30 minutes into my search. Not so, it seems. After looking at 16 places, I finally found the right one! I’m just waiting to hear back from the leasing agent on whether or not I’m approved.

Remember the first apartment that was absolutely perfect and gorgeous except for the unfortunate bathroom situation? Although I LOVED it, I decided the bathroom was a deal breaker so I  went out with a rental broker to look at some properties in Lakeview and Lincoln Park. The two apartments I posted about previously were not available so I saw some that were either smaller or more expensive. I wasn’t sold. I contacted two more brokers and went out with one this morning and one this afternoon. What a broker hussy!

The places I saw this morning were all very nice. Three were in Lincoln Park and one was in Old Town, just a block away from The Second City. The Old Town apartment was inhabited by a guy, a fact made obvious by the sheetless bed, enormous TV and dirty toilet bowl.  When walking out of the bathroom, the hem of my coat accidentally knocked a tube of lotion from this fellow’s bedside table.  The broker, building manager and I all looked at the tube then at each other. We all chuckled uncomfortably before I picked the lotion up and placed it back on the nightstand. I’ve washed my hands about 10 times since.

Two of the other Lincoln Park places were nice but very small and lacked the charm and character I was hoping to find. But at the third apartment, it was as if the heavens opened up and angels were singing. It has everything I’ve been looking for! It’s in a great location in Lincoln Park, has hardwood floors, a separate dining room, fireplace, back deck/porch area, it even has granite counter tops and new cabinetry! I’m absolutely in love with it so I hope the leasing company accepts my application.

Exterior of my new apartment

Even though I’d just found “the apartment” I kept my afternoon appointment with the last broker. It’s a good thing I did because he was ridiculously tall and handsome! Sort of a cross between McGee and Dinozzo. He showed me some beautiful places and laughed at my jokes so obviously, he has fantastic taste :) One of the buildings was a bit out of my price range but I fell in love with the two apartments we saw. They were sunny with tons of built ins, large kitchens,  huge closets, shiny parquet floors and great views. Seeing those apartments was the real estate equivalent of trying on a wedding gown outside of my budget.

Hopefully my real estate search has come to an end and this time next week I’ll be hauling my suitcases north about 15 blocks. Now I just need a job and some furniture. Piece of cake, right?

UPDATE: Here are some pictures of a similar unit in the same building. My unit is prettier.

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