Tag Archives: Change

love you like a love song.

You guys, today is the end of an era.

My work bff CJ is spending her last day as a resident in our office, and because of the terms of her leaving (working from CLE, coming back every so often to Chicago to work from there), I have pretty much decided that I can pretend she’s not moving next week.

Except she is, and it’s in six days.

CJ and I started off as acquaintances in adjacent cubicles, but we’ve morphed into the kind of friends who spend all day together and then debrief on the last eight hours over text that night.

It’s weird to really even call CJ my work friend, since after eight years and countless assorted adventures together, I think it’s safe to say that we’re just life friends.

In the spirit of CJ, who’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, I refuse to get overly sentimental, and instead, I’m sharing with you some of my best CJ memories over the past eight years:

1. When CJ showed up at SB, we were both 22. We invited her to a happy hour, and then all snickered when she actually stopped by. We couldn’t believe she would actually come to an event where she knew no one. That’s how my pal is though- she’s always up for a good time, and in a potentially awkward social situation, she’s the person you want at your side- she’ll be your friend in no time.

2. Once while sitting in our cubicles, we were chatting amongst ourselves and all of a sudden CJ interjected.

What’s Mountain time? she asked, straight faced, as we all giggled and then told her.

It’s new, don’t feel bad, our friend SK lied.

She kept a map of the timezones at her desk after that.

3. Our area was known for being the loudest on the floor for at least the first four years we were there. One day, CJ and I were discussing a woman’s right to choose (don’t ask me why, I don’t know), when I loudly added, “Well, I mean, what if I had a one night stand?” CJ’s eyes went wide and I thought I’d crossed the work friend appropriate level of conversation (I’ve now learned that doesn’t exist between us), but then I realized that no, it was just that the CEO was right behind me. We dissolved into horrifying laughter so hard that I think my abs still hurt seven years later.

4. CJ and I did a triathlon together, and spent an entire summer training our asses off. Among my favorite memories from that time: riding our bikes before the sun came up and giving each other pep talks, walking around Chicago beaches in our wetsuits, debating whether or not it was lazy to walk part of our three mile run (after our 25 mile bike ride), and answering “yes” to CJ when she asked if we were close to the finish line.

I mean, in the scheme of all our training, we were close to the finish line.

There’s nothing like meeting someone at 5am in spandex to solidify a friendship.

5. When our friend JK got married, CJ and I headed out to Montana on an adventure. She talked me out of overdosing on Xanax when I spotted the propellor plane I had to ride, and I made it through the flight without drugging myself out of my mind. We climbed mountains (without water, like idiots), discussed our love for the fresh air, and unknowingly spent the night in a motel where someone had been murdered AND there was a pet cemetery.

It happens, right?

Sometimes I wonder how we made it this far.

7. Although CJ and I worked together for eight years, we only spent a couple of years actually working on a client together. This meant an even more intense schedule together, which apexed in Boston several years ago when we decided that we should lay off the vodka red bull drinks if we were planning on making it to 30. Life hack: Pizza eaten in a parking garage tastes better.

8. This one’s not really one specific moment. The past eight years I’ve had someone who always nods when I say “we should get a drink,” is on the ready with on point advice on a myriad of topics, makes me laugh so hard that I’m crying, and is someone who I’m one hundred percent I’m never going to replace so I’m just not going to try.

When people ask me if I’m sad CJ is leaving, I immediately say yes, but I follow it up by saying I recognize how lucky it is that we got to spend eight years together- most people don’t get that opportunity and it’s the best thing that’s happened to me in my professional life.

Cleveland better appreciate that we’re about to send her one of our best.

Here’s to the next chapter CJ- I can’t wait to see what rolls your way next.

P.S. Don’t forget your bike.


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you and i, we’re the same.

Morning, chickens.

And a very merry almost-Christmas to all of you.

I have so many lovely, holiday-lit things to share with you, but first, I feel as though it’s important to address yet another heart wrenching moment in time we witnessed this weekend.

Initially, I thought to myself: don’t be a downer, but then, I thought about someone who reminded me that maybe these two people might not get the attention they deserved, and so I felt like it was important for me to carve out some space in my corner over here.

Listen, chickadees. I don’t believe that tragedy is mutually exclusive. I don’t believe that in order to respect these police officers and their families, who will not have them home at this holiday or any other because of senseless, misdirected violence, I have to sacrifice anything else I see as a tragedy.

I don’t think wanting all police officers to be as good as I believe these two officers were is hypocritical when stacked against the fact that I’m outraged a person thought he could end their lives as some kind of retribution.

Yes, this killing is tangled with politics and dissension and angry people (such angry people, you guys), but you don’t have to choose one. You can choose to be upset, sad, and outraged by things that are connected. Things that may seem on the surface to be in opposition, even.

It’s human nature.

I don’t think we should apologize for being human, chicks.

Let’s not lose sight of that in what seems like our pointed quest to be divided. We’ve got more in common than we think.

P.S. I know this is so, so much more complicated than my 250 words on the subject, but then sometimes I also think, is it?

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what it says.

I was planning, this morning, to write something funny from my collection of hilarity around the things that my husband says on a daily basis, but then other things caught my attention.

JW will always be funny, so that will keep.

Yesterday, the man who choked Eric Garner to death wasn’t indicted.

Now, when recently the man who killed Michael Brown wasn’t indicted and I was heartbroken, I took to the Internet, where I was made to believe that my feelings came down on the side of liberalism. That how I felt said something about my position. On guns, on race, on police officers.

And maybe it does.

But mostly, when you think about the fact that some kid’s family (yes, 18 is a kid. Sometimes 30 is a kid if you ask me) got a call, saying your son is dead, and he’s been shot 12 times and he’s been laying in the street for hours and he had his hands up and he robbed a store and maybe he’s a thug (I hate when people call him a thug) and a cop killed him, none of this matters at all except the part when someone tells you that your son is dead.

And so no matter what your position is, you would think universally we could all get down to that level and be a little heartbroken.

For everyone involved. Including, I think, the officer, because let’s face it, those 12 shots ended his life as he knew it too.

I don’t think my initial reaction to the fact that we don’t dig deeper into this case because someone’s son is dead says anything about my politics.

But that’s what the Internet told me.

When the news came out yesterday about Eric Garner, the Internet was less clear on how I felt in relation to what it said about me, and I was at least relieved about that because I feel heartbroken again, and I don’t want it twisted up in anything except that.

Heartbroken is enough, chickadees.

But broken hearts need to turn into investigations and truth-seeking and nods of this is not okay and action to work in a direction to make sure it doesn’t keep happening. That more people’s parents don’t get calls that could be avoided.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

I believe that one, chickens.

That’s my position.

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signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours.

Last night was a long night chickens.

And I will shamefully admit to you that I am just listening to President Obama’s acceptance speech right now, because despite the fact that my parents were at McCormick Place with the President, I fell asleep on the couch ten minutes before he made an appearance, exhausted by a long campaign season and possibly too many  vodkas-on-the-rocks.

It was a stressful evening, for those first couple of hours.

I was glad we knew fairly early on that Mr. Obama won the re-election, because it meant my heart palpitations could stop while I paid attention to some of the other great things that were happening.

Like Elizabeth Warren winning in Massachusetts.

And Tammy Baldwin winning in Wisconsin.

And Claire McCaskill in Missouri (although honestly, how could we have thought the “legitimate rape” guy was gonna win?).

The Senate as of January will have more women senators than it ever has in history.

That’s a big deal, chickadees.

For me last night, this win was just about as important as my President having four more years stretched in front of him.

Congratulations, Mr. President. I’m so proud of you, and I cannot wait to see what strides we make in the next four years as a country.



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we have been told we cannot do this.

Hey chickens, sorry I’m a little late this morning.

I took an early run to calm my nerves and center my energy, and then I headed to my polling place.


The line was a little long, but people were friendly, the volunteers were great, and exercising my right to vote is hands down one of the most important things I ever do.

So I’m hoping you’re exercising yours today, chickadees.

It’s more important than ever. As I reflect on my vote today, I’ve been thinking about a couple of things:

In just four short years since the last election, I’ve turned into a person who has a pre-existing condition (aside from being a woman). I’m 28-years old, I didn’t do something dangerous or get hooked on drugs or get into a catastrophic accident.

My cells just started fighting themselves one random day.

I’m a runner. I’m a healthy eater. I’m a young person. I’m a good person.

I’m not a pre-existing condition, and if something happens to my job, how in God’s good name do you think it makes sense that I don’t deserve health insurance?

That’s not entitlement, that’s a human right.


I have an awesome, beautiful, baby cousin named Anthony.

Anthony has Autism.

He also has a great smile.

And brown hair.

And a sweet Halloween costume.

He’s no pre-existing condition, chickadees.

He’s a delight, actually.


As a 28-year old and not a 24-year old, I have some different perspective this time around than I did in 2008. In 2008, I wanted to vote for a President who believed in equal rights because I wanted to make sure my women, minority, and gay friends were all treated with the same respect as a white man.

And I still think that.

But one day, (God willing), I’m going to have a daughter. Or a son. And I hope that if that daughter or son happens to be born gay, I can look them in the eye and tell them they can marry the person they love one day, because honestly, my friends, can you imagine how tragic it is to not be able to say that to your child?


After last week’s terrible storm- how can you not believe in climate change?

Worse, chickens, how can you vote for someone who doesn’t either?


As a woman, I  think I deserve to be the paid as a man doing the same job. End. Period. Stop.


I’ll be watching the polls all day today, chickadees, because too many people who I love count on our President being re-elected, myself included. Thanks for sticking with me during the past few months, and I look forward to chatting tomorrow.


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Home Sweet Home

Okay, chickens, I’m back.

And while I had an a-mmmaazzzing week and a half, I must say, I’m feeling pretty home-sweet-home-y.

And, in case you’re not friends with me on Facebook, my blog readers, you might not know that JW and I became minor internet sensations while we were gone.

Because, you see, my bridal party (including me) fell in a lake.

JW thought it would be a cool picture to get us all on his dock.

So did I, for the record.

But then, disaster struck. JW said he had the utmost confidence in the dock.

Then it snapped in half and started sinking.

And the rest is history. The picture was all over the internet, and so was the video, shot by Jennie’s boyfriend Jeff (and awesome, because we have a record of what happened after the dock went down):

While JW and I were hanging out on honeymoon, local news outlets (and Inside Edition- weird, I know) called to ask if they could show the footage.

We declined doing any interviews (because we were kind of busy, you know, hanging out on Martha’s Vineyard), but we let most people use the video/picture if they asked nicely (mostly, they used it even if we said no thanks).

It was pretty fun that the ridiculous, pretty much typical near-disaster blew up the internet (it was on reddit.com, which I had never heard of before last week, and apparently it got nearly 1,000,000 views.  The youtube video is at over 100,000. Bizarre.).

What was not fun was finding out that the internet harbors some pretty crazy people with some middle school level maturity levels.

Obviously I don’t take myself seriously. I generally don’t care what anyone thinks of me.

I fell in a lake, on my wedding day, and my reaction was to laugh my ass off and have a beer.

Because really, what else can you do?

However, there were, of course, a fair share of people who made it their business to share how un-classy I was (even though the Old Milwaukee beer was obviously a “what’s in the fridge” move, not a “I would love to have this at my wedding reception” move), how mean I was to JW (although telling him to towel my legs was a joke, and also, I fell in a lake, people, I think that’s kind of mild compared to what I imagine some bride’s reactions would be), and how giant American women in general are (to which I simply say, you’re  sitting in the dark alone making comments on a website photo of someone’s wedding- get out of town).

So basically, the wedding (both before, during, and after this particular moment) was awesome. We had pretty much the best dance party on the face of the earth, delicious food, and the most fun people ever.

I wish we could do it every weekend.

The Vineyard was also awesome (but I’ll cover that later this week), and still awesome is that it’s only Saturday, I’ve hit up the farm market, and I’m ready to cook something in my kitchen (a novel idea) and celebrate my dad’s birthday tonight.

Bring on October, chickadees, I’ve got a good feeling about this month!


Filed under Did I really do that?, Good times, Reflections, Wedding

Should have been born on the milky way

Good morning, chickadees.

And happy Friday.

Thank God you’ve arrived.

Now if only I could get this GD 9:30 call off of my schedule.

Last night we spent many happy hours at Theory, drinking vodka and toasting GB, whose last day is today.

Since we already celebrated/said please don’t go last night with cocktails, we’ll be celebrating/saying please don’t go this morning with squagels.

It’s the way of my office. To celebrate with both drinks and  square shaped carbs.

It’s a pretty good set up, I think.

The wake up call at 7:00 this morning actually wasn’t as bad as I had counted on, based on last night’s later.than.I.anticipated arrival home, although I did wake up to the sad news that apparently, I ate half of my lunch last night.

I was hungry, what can I say.

Other than that though, the outlook is good.

It’s sunny-ish, the weather seems to be cooperating, and I’m headed for my first Restaurant Week reservation tonight.

I love Restaurant Week. It means new places and three courses and reasonable prices.

It also means that I’ve made reservations here, here, and here, so I’ll probably be broke at the end of it.

But I’m willing to risk it.

Additionally, adding to my it’s.finally.friday.how.great mood, in the Great Upload of 90s music 2011, I seem to have found my Dawson’s Creek soundtrack.

And it’s still as awesome and dramatic as it was in 1999.

Thank God some things never change.

Have a good one, chickpeas!

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Filed under Good times, Near Disaster, Reflections, Things that are delicious, Wedding

Lethal Shredding.

First of all, let me please say that you cannot go anywhere in Chicago this morning without knowing that Mayor Daley has decided to retire.

Here comes what should be the most interesting fight to the finish of all time.

I’ve already read eight million profiles of political hopefuls who’d like to be the ones to take the reins from Daley.

But it seems it’s all speculation at this point, as at least a quarter of the contenders have expressed that really, they’re not contenders. In fact, they’re not even interested.

Like I said, things are about to get interesting around here. I’ll keep you posted in case you happen to not dwell in the Windy City.

In other news, last night, I decided to return to this:

I have a lot going on at work this week, and knew I wouldn’t be able to take off at 5:00, so I thought that this would be a quick alternative that I could feel good about.

I decided to do Level 2, because while it has been months since I’ve slipped this bad boy in my DVD player, I did just do a triathlon. I was in shape enough to take on Level 2 right away.

Except that struggling through the 25 minute workout, you wouldn’t be so sure that I had just done a triathlon.

You’d think maybe that I’d spent the last year on the couch.

Wheezing like a rhino, losing my balance as if I’d never stood on one leg before.

I finished it, and moved onto to reading Glamour and watching John Adams, but I’m feeling it this morning.

Jillian Michaels, I’m sorry that in my quest to complete the tri, I neglected strength training.

I promise to get back at it.

If you promise to quit abusing me in my living room.

And now, it’s off to my cubicle. And then back to the gym, to see if I can redeem last night’s performance.

Have a good one, chickadees!

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Filed under Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Politics, Reflections

Past the halfway point…

In this week. Also, my back has recovered to the point of a light jog. This is a great improvement.

So last night was State of the Union Night in the Palluzzi-Wagenschutz house. Despite which party’s in the White House, I’ve always been intrigued by the pomp, tradition, and hullabaloo of the ceremony of this speech.

Except I could maybe do with all the incessant, long clapping.

But that’s all part of the fun, I suppose.

In any case, I thought the speech was good. I’m biased, of course, there’s no avoiding that, but I thought that the President touched on all the right topics, and I liked his ideas.

I think it’s important to be focusing on clean energy, jobs, and education.

I also thought that his promise of ridding us of the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of, the Don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, was a breath of fresh air.

Of course we should get rid of it. Now, let’s hope that this is a sign of things to come. If someone wants to serve our country, I don’t think it matters who they love. They love America–sign ’em up and thank them. Profusely.

Those are my thoughts.

In any case, I thought it was a positive speech. I think when he mentioned education as the best anti-poverty tool we had, he resonated with everyone in that room, and that is a good thing. I would have liked to see some more unity in the room, but the more I read about history, and our government, the more I learn that this is nothing new.

I don’t think it means it has to be this way though. So try and place nice, Congress. You’re starting to get embarrassing (and that’s directed at all of you).

Also, he was funny. That always makes the speech go more smoothly.

It was a good way to get through the hump of Wednesday, and I’m excited for a day that includes book club (this was the club choice this month- more to come), time with my friends tasting delicious new recipes by my friend AS, and Friday waving to me from the horizon.

Hope everyone has a good Thursday chicks!

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We’re serious about this?

Okay, so I had several items on my docket that I felt like sounding off about today. Like the fact that maybe I am a novice after all, because my five mile run was excruciating. Or that it was hard to get anything done today, because Oprah was conducting a three ring circus directly outside my building (although James Taylor was there, so mostly, all is forgiven).

But then I was reading CNN and thinking about something my mom was talking to me about today, and I just got all fired up.

So we’re gonna talk about that.

This is the text of the speech our elected President of these United States gave today.

Isn’t it good?

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure here, I am nearly as liberal as they come. Well, that’s not true. But I’m pro-choice, I don’t mind that my taxes help pay for government programs, and I think that probably, we don’t need to have AK47s in our homes and we probably shouldn’t have gone into Iraq under the guise of a giant search for WMDs.

Take that to mean what you will.

Now, in the spirit of a former journalist student, I don’t see any clear, political bias in this speech. Nothing in here screams “SOCIALIST AMERICA!” or even, quite frankly “Democrat” to me. What this appears to me to be is an appeal by the most powerful man in the world to do your best. More directly, to work hard, do your homework, and stop making excuses for why you can’t. What a simple and positive message.

However, in the town where I graduated from high school, they decided this was too much. It might be seen as political.

It might even (gasp) upset someone.

Turn it off! Please!

Now, I’ve lived in the Midwest for 10 years, and I know that Chicago is a different world than this semi-suburban, sort of rural town in Michigan, but honestly, we’re really truly worried about upsetting someone over the message of “Please do the very best you can”?

We are. Because in the small town Midwest (and I am generalizing here, I know I am), we don’t want to cause any unrest. We don’t want to offend anyone.

Are you bored yet of this idea? Because I am. And, I’m offended.

I’m sure this isn’t the only town that chose this option. This idea of sweeping something under the rug in an effort to downplay any controversy that it might cause is nothing new, and quite honestly, it is anti-American. We’re supposed to be a nation of free speech and differing ideas.

This whole country is based on the idea that our future is invested in our children, and that our children can be anything or anybody who they want to be because of the education and opportunities they are offered. Everyone, not just school children, could use a reminder of that from time to time.

But in this particular town, we didn’t do that. We instead divided people, acknowledging that this might be something political, and therefore partisan and divisive. Does anyone else see this as circular reasoning?

And what I would really like to know is, how do you downplay this one? If your seven year old asks you why your school didn’t air the speech given by the President, what do you say?

We didn’t want to risk upsetting anyone.

It doesn’t stand up. But President Obama’s message does. And it wasn’t political until someone decided to make it that way.

And if we’re ever going to get ourselves together and be a unified nation, we better knock off calling things political when they’re not. We need to figure out how to come together and realize that there is no party that doesn’t want a more educated and successful next generation. There is no party that does not want the USA to do better.

So when someone wants to encourage the millions of kids in the midst of a recession and uncertainty that they are our future, that they can do whatever they put their minds to, guess what? We should let him.

I’m going to leave this with one of my favorite sentences from this speech. And I want someone to please let me know what’s partisan about it. What about it is propaganda?

And please, don’t worry about upsetting me. That’s never bothered me.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
-President Barack Obama

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