Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Gym

So, going to the gym is supposed to be an uplifting experience that will make you feel better about yourself. But when I go to the gym after work, it almost makes me feel worse about myself. First of all, the gym by work is filled with all these rich, skinny Lincoln Park type girls who are all maintenance and no substance. Highlight, manicures, pedicures and they spend what seems like HOURS on the elliptical at full speed, at a pace I get winded just looking at.

And I look at myself in the mirror and I see my cellulite and my lumps and bumps and gut and I look around at the other girls and they have nothing, or so it seems. And I get on a machine and I tell myself I'm doing this to better myself, to look like one of these girls, at least health-wise, not the whole hight maintenance thing... but I can't help but worry about what they think of me.

I feel like I don't belong, but do they think that? Are the girls who spend YEARS running on treadmills looking at my ass and thinking, "What is that lumpy thing doing here, she doesn't belong?" Every time I look over and see the size two girls with the perfect ass going full speed on the elliptical I get a little sick, and I reassure myself that I'm at the gym to better myself, not to dwell on flaws.

But still, it almost makes me feel bad enough to eat my weight in chocolate when I get home after my 100-calorie-burning bike ride. Which kind of defeats the purpose of the gym, doesn't it?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Smart girls don't get love?

So, a friend posted this article from the Huffington Post on facebook earlier this week, which basically says that smart women have so much trouble dating because if a woman is smart, she's obviously dysfunctional relationship-wise. The article goes on to give smart women tips to make their relationships last. There are so many things wrong with this, the first one being the assumption that women are happier in a relationship. The second being the "tips" which are really just another form of relationship games.

Games and misrepresentation are the whole reason relationships are so complicated in the first place. Should I call, should I text? He's just not that into you, guys want girls with long hair... blah blah blah. The biggest hoax is the dating book market. They sell promises of making your love life better, but in reality they make you rethink every single relationship you've ever had and make you scared to even look at another guy again, because he's probably not into you, and if he was you probably just said the wrong thing and watch him go to the "restroom" and you'll never see him again. Games, it's all games.

Here's my advice (but let me warn you, I'm not married, but I am happily single [finally] if that counts for anything): First, look for a genuine connection. You'll know it when you feel it. They can be few and far between, my last real connection was in undergrad. Second, be polite. If a behavior or conversation topic you're thinking of wouldn't be considered polite, don't do it, don't say it. Three: communication is key to a good relationship, so don't be afraid to communicate. If you have a reason, that is. Don't call "just to chat" if you don't have anything to chat about. If you're making the call make it count. If you're texting, make it quick, make it dirty, or better yet, both. And leave it at one message or voicemail. He'll get back to you when he can. Not everyone is glued to their phone every second of every day, and you shouldn't be, either.

Bad relationships happen when people follow these rules that were made up years ago and add some more and take out the ones they don't like, and most importantly play games. That's where things go wrong. They go wrong because you create a fake person, and the longer you're a fake person, the worse things are in the end, and there will be an end.

Do what feels right, and do what's polite, and most importantly, be yourself.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is a great show about female independence, and at the same time a great show about family.

If you're not familiar, it's about Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Lorelai "Rory" Gilmore. When Lorelai was 16 she got knocked up, much to her blue-blooded parents' dismay. While her family wanted her to marry the baby's father and continue with her life as planned by them, she carried the baby to term, lived with her parents for a while and ran away with Rory to the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, roughly half an hour away from her native Hartford.

The show picks up 16 years later, as Rory is in her sophomore year of high school and applies to a prestigious but pricey prep school. Lorelai, who became a maid at the Independence Inn and worked her way up to manage said inn, can not afford the prep school. She asks her rich parents to finance Rory's education, who agree to the loan with strings attached, including Friday night dinners. This was a huge change as the relationship between Lorelai and her parents was strained, and they really only saw one another on major holidays.

Lorelai, a wildly independent chick her whole life, now owes her parents time and money.

Growing up in this world where women are supposed to be independent until the day they meet a dreamy boy and he moves in, Lorelai Gilmore is a great role model for women everywhere. She meets the dream boy, several times, but she also knows that dream boy doesn't mean a dream life, which is why she didn't marry Rory's father when she was given the opportunity at 16. Building her own life was important, as it should be.

Whether you find the love of your life at 16 or 32 or 48, building an independent life is important as a female or a male. But while building an independent life, Lorelai estranged her family in the process. Most single girls I know at least have their family to fall back on.

When there are fictional role models like Lorelai Gilmore there is no reason for single women to be leaches on men. Men no longer rule the world.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A few notes on Sophie Kinsella

Before I start, let me preface this by saying I love everything I've ever read by Sophie Kinsella, and I own all of the Shopaholic books. Her characters are always relatable, to a point.

Girl in her mid to late twenties has moderately a sucky life, girl makes life changes, usually involving meeting some amazing and usually rich man, girl lives happily ever after. Right now, I would kill for the crap life her characters start out with, let alone the amazing and rich man. But I think that's why her books are so relatable, her leads are in the same place in life many of us are in. (Hello credit card debt?)

I would just like someone to write a book or tv show or movie or magazine article where the lead character doesn't have a glamorous lifestyle, she doesn't do anything crazy, or life changing, or doesn't fall in love, but in the end, her life is still awesome. Her life is still wonderful because of her family, pets and friends. Maybe no one would read or watch that, but it would be strangely reassuring for those of us who want to be happy with their lives as they are.

So, this is my message to Sophie Kinsella: Please keep writing your books exactly as they are. They give hope to the rest of us normal girls out there that a major change is just around the corner, and it could include an handsome new man, too.


When did the rumor start that all single people automatically had a ton of cash? That if you're not a parent or married, you're not struggling to keep money in the bank. When? Who?

Guess what all you married people with kids, single people have money trouble, too! In fact, we only have one income (unless we're working multiple jobs, but more about that later.)

A big issue married people are throwing in single people's faces is eating out. Guess what, most recipes serve like, 6 to 8 people or something like that. And restaurants usually portion things out into like, single or double servings. So we're eating out not because we can't or don't want to cook or save money, but because we want one burger, not four. Is it so much to ask that we can have different food every night, and not eat the same thing, or not pig-out on two dozen cookies when all we really want is one.

And this whole, you need to save money thing. Save what money? After rent, bills, and food, there is no money. Those great careers with amazing salaries, don't exist anymore. They've gone the way of the dinosaur.

Carrie Bradshaw and Helen Girly Brown made it look and sound so easy. But guess what, it isn't. I don't want Eurotrash friends or rich boyfriends financing my life. I want to do it my way, on my own, no strings attached. Money is a tough subject, and in today's world, it's even worse.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Credit Cards

My generation has financed our short pasts and risked our futures with credit cards and student loans. I am definitely not innocent of this, and it sucks.

We were told that we needed a college education, which turned into a bachelor's degree, which turned into a master's degree. We were told that we would only get jobs if we had theses degrees. As we neared collegiate age we were told that college was expensive, and our parents didn't save enough to pay. We weren't all smart enough to pay our way with scholarships, so most of us got student loans, most of which were from the government that educated us up to college.

And at the college, working for minimum wage or slightly above trying to buy pizza and beer and living off the refund of our student loans, and nice looking lady, someone who looks like our favorite aunt, came up to us in the student union and told us we could get a t-shirt or a free pizza if we just signed up for a credit card. You need a credit card to build your credit, so its a good thing. We'll give you a $3,000 limit, but if you only spend what you can, and pay it off, you'll be okay.

Damn that pizza was good, and $10,000 later with a 15% interest rate, that t-shirt is the nicest thing you own.

Credit is this scary thing that's catching up with us now. We're over-educated and underpaid and were planning on making more with our degree than we were when we started, so those "emergency" credit card purchases would be paid off. And now they don't want to hire us.

There are no jobs, or so it seems. We were told to spend, and now we're told not to. There are no fruits to our labor, because we have no labor.

Buying in Chicago

If you've visited Chicago in the past year and made a purchase, you've probably noticed our ridiculous sales tax rate. All purchases are subject to sales tax, which is 2.25% on grocery purchases, 10.25% on general merchandise and even more on liquor and bottled water (5¢/bottle). Which is crazy, because if you want to be healthier drinking water is one of the best things you can do for yourself and sometimes you either run out of the water you brought from home or forgot or didn't expect to be gone as long or what ever, my point is people don't always drink bottled water to be snobby but to hydrate themselves (who would have thought?)

But I digress, this isn't about bottled water, but about the general merchandise tax. The state of Illinois runs about 7% sales tax, and then Cook county adds most of the rest, which is 10% in the immediate suburbs. At a lower rate sales tax doesn't hurt that much and makes you feel like you're helping your state, but at 10% or higher, it really adds to the cost of a product. A $100 pair of jeans turns into a $110 pair of jeans. A recent purchase of $54.50 work pants and a $12.99 top added up to just under $75. It's kind of crazy to think about.

The car-less can make it out to many of these shopping centers in the 'burbs via CTA, but that doesn't save much tax-wise. Neighboring Wisconsin has a low sales tax rates and my native near-by Minnesota doesn't add sales tax to necessities like clothing and food.

But what if a trip just isn't possible? Don't leave home! When you shop online you are only charged state sales tax and many major online retailers offer shipping deals including low flat-rate shipping or free shipping. Go into the store and try on the clothing or check out the products you want, depending on the sales staff, they should be cool with this because in the long run, the money goes back to their company. If they're not just lie and say nothing worked, which really isn't a lie because, in the store, it doesn't work for your wallet. If you're not so good with remembering type a memo into your phone or write down the styles and sizes so you make sure you get the right products.

The next time you try on those awesome jeans, hold off, go home and check out the stores' website. If it doesn't save you money to buy online, they'll be there tomorrow.

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Right? Try the wrong!

I am so sick of conservative/right wing/Republican bull shit. I really don't understand what they're afraid of, a country that works?

I've written a lot about healthcare because it's something near and dear to my heart. I work at least 50 hrs/week at two different jobs, but I do not have decent healthcare. I have minimal emergency coverage through my dad's job that my parents pay for. I think I'm still a student as far as my dad's company is concerned.

I am well-educated. I'm not a slacker, I try my best to be a productive member of society. I pay my bills on time. But apparently, according to the aforementioned scum, I'm a horrible person. I rent, I don't have healthcare, I'm not married and popping out babies, I don't own a car or care to own a car. I am a liberal single woman, three things conservatives hate.

I'm sick of this Obama-is-Hitler-our-country-is-going-down-the-toilets-we're-all-gonna-die-he-hasn't-fixed-everything-yet-our-economy-is-horrible-the-unemployed-are-scum-unless-they-are-conservatives-at-which-point-they-were-robbed mentality that has overcome this country.

Use your brain and think before you allow yourself to be brainwashed by conservative garbage, please!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Benefits of Brinner

Brinner, or Breakfast for Dinner, is amazing. First off, how often do you get to eat good breakfast food in the morning? If you're like me, it's very rare. I'm lucky if I wake up with enough time to have a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit, most morning it's one or the other. Point B) if you're like me, you only get time to cook one meal a day, and that's usually supper. Example 3: Breakfast is usually cooked one serving at a time, which means that you get a fresh meal every night, rather than a reheated hotdish.

To keep it from being too filling, pick one breakfast dish like pancakes of eggs, skip the heavy meats like bacon and pork sausage (but if you must indulge, go with the turkey version) and top the rest off with fruit or veggies. If you like your eggs yellow, but still want to cut calories, add one yolk, but toss the rest into your scrabbled eggs or omelette. Do you love cheese as much as I do? Get the 2% milk version to top your eggs with.

Pancakes and fresh grapes, amazing! Eggs and all the cantaloupe you can eat? The best supper ever.

Brinner is also great to cook for a couple of friends, it's super easy and always appreciated.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Golden Girls

I've been watching the Golden Girls a lot lately, and they really embody the single girl spirit. Even though they all were married, they learned to live without men as protectors and bread winners. Three of the "Girls" were widdowed, but Dorothy was divorced.

It's hard to continue your life as normal after a break-up. A major part of your life is suddenly ripped out of your life, and minimal to no contact is preferred. It's hard, and you cry and you either eat way too much or don't eat anything and normal doesn't exist until you rebuild.

Now imagine that you've built your whole life with someone, not just a few months or a few years but your whole life. And you don't just break up with someone, they die. The person you love will never be back. That's what the Golden Girls is about.

They are strong female role models and I think young twenty-somethings can take a page from their book. No matter what happens in life, you must march on, and great friends are a key support.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Declaration of Independence

I like to be as independent as possible, probably to a fault. I don't accept help very easily, not with out a clear like of reciprocation on my part. Three weeks ago I carried an unconstructed shelf up three flights of stairs by myself even though it clearly said "team lift." (It wasn't really that heavy) I then proceeded to build the five-shelf bookcase alone. It turned out fine, I love it.

I love living by myself, I love being able to choose where things go and how they fit together. I get to decide what I eat and when. Although, I had little argument with my roommates about furniture arrangement, not because the trusted my judgement, but because they were too lazy to put anything back the way it was.

The biggest thing that sucks is when it comes to safety things. Especially with all the recent muggings in Lakeview and Lincoln Park, where I work. It's had me on edge, but I don't want it to ruin my independent nature.

A few weeks ago I went to a party with couple-friends, and we returned home @ 3am in a cab. I planned to walk the four blocks from their place to mine, but the male insisted they drive me home. I refused at first, not wanting to put them out any more than I already had. He insisted again and I reluctantly accepted, but tired and greatful, but a little put off at the slight macho-big brother protector attitude. Not at that it's a bad thing, but I'm just not used to it. I am the oldest, and therefore never had a big brother and my father was never that type.

I guess it's just something I don't want to get used to. Accepting help from a friend's fiance is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from relying on a boyfriend, and boyfriends disappear so easily. The loss of companionship and sex is one thing to deal with, but the loss of your perception of safety? That is something I can't deal with. Having my well-being depend on someone else and then have that suddenly ripped away from me? No, thank you.

Everything in a single live seems to go back to Sex and the City at least for me. Check out the the S4 episode entitled "My Motherboard, Myself" for my point.

So, for now, I'm independent. I think I always will be. Same last name, no joint checking, I'll ride the Red Line alone @ 4am if I have to. (not that it's my first choice, but it happens).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chivalry is dead... again

I've been noticing something lately, but I'm not sure what I'm noticing. You know, when you walk through a door that someone else is about to walk through? What do you do? Do you hold the door until the next person gets to it? or do you give the door an extra push in hopes that it stays open for the next person? Or, are you an complete asshole and exert no extra effort and let the door fall as it may?

I've seen more people lately just let the door fall, I mean, really, is it that hard to give it an extra push?

The strangest angle on this chivalry/rudeness trend? Gay men. Gay men in their forties, specifically. I don't expect any man in his twenties to hold a door. But gay men or any man in their forties and beyond who just let the door slam behind them, even when they see me coming, I expect that door to stay open two seconds longer.

Maybe I'm just witnessing this because I work just south of Boystown, and it's a general population trend and I'm getting the older gay gentlemen portion of it, who knows?

I thought that men born in the sixties and before were raised better than that. I get that you're not attracted to me, never have been never will. Your lifestyle makes no difference to me. But the simple fact is you have a penis and I don't, and that door should be at least pushed open in hopes that I make it to the door on time.

In general, we should just be better to each other as human beings. Will you really be that much later if you give the door an extra shove? People treat each other like shit, simple as that. So, next time you're walking through a door that someone else is headed for, give it a shove, or better yet, hold that sucker open until the next three people walk in.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


One of the hardest parts of being single is the lack of respect. I think, even in this day and age, that there's this stigma that being single means that you're not grown up. That by not "settling down" and getting married or building a long-term relationship you're extending adolescence and undergraduate debauchery.

This goes back to my favorite Sex and the City episode, A Woman's Right to Shoes. Carrie's $500 brand new Manolo Blahnik shoes disappear after being forced to take them off at a baby shower for a friend's third child. When Carrie confronts the friend about the loss of her asset the friend chides her for spending so much on shoes, and refuses to pay to replace them.

I can't tell you exactly when a person goes from being a child to an adult, but I can tell you it's not always when they slip a ring on someone else's finger or push another human being from their uterus.

There's this idea that permanent relationships and children have to be a part of adulthood that is ingrained in us as children. It's not even an on-purpose thing. Our first impressions of adults are our parents, people who conventionally engaged in a marriage or long-term relationships and had children.

In many cultures, there are rituals to welcome children into adulthood (ex: Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Judaism ) But there are none in America. Legally, we're adults when we turn 18, but you still can't drink alcohol until you're 21, and you still need to submit your parent's income to financial aid for school, which is bull shit and subject for another rant. We're not expected to grow up until it's too late.

Financial independence, in my opinion, is true adulthood. If you make enough to support your lifestyle without relying on family money or credit cards, you have achieved adulthood. If your lifestyle includes a spouse and 2.5 children, that's great. If your lifestyle includes two cats, cookies and solitude, that works too, as long as you can afford it.

I'm not quite there yet as a recent grad, but it is what I'm working to, and I'm working hard to achieve it.

Then again, maybe we never grow up, maybe we just get older.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Lately, I've been on an omelet kick. It started with the "Julie & Julie" trailer, and got worse and worse as I read "My Life In France" and "Julie and Julia," and started watching Julia Child's "The French Chef" episodes on

Eggs are great, because they're one of the few things you can enjoy fresh everyday in a flash. Almost everything you else you make begins with one big recipe, and you're forced to microwave the rest until you can't handle rubbery chicken anymore. But eggs are fresh every time you make them. And they can be different each time, too. Add some mushrooms and swiss cheese in an omelet one day and some green peppers, turkey and cheddar to scrabbled eggs the next. They're different every time!

Eggs are also a great source of protein. Yolks have been accused of having too much cholesterol, so I'll add one or two to my three-egg omelet, it adds the yellow color, but cuts down on the un-healthy part of the egg.

Eggs are really hard to screw up, start with scrambled and work your way up. I'm trying to flip my French-style omelets in the air yet, some days they come out great, other days I have quite the mess to clean up on my oven, but its all part of the learning curve. I might even try Julia's bean trick to practice!

Eggs, the perfect single-girl food!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In defense of butter

Butter is one of those divine gifts from nature that cannot be duplicated, no matter how much we try. There's been this war against butter for as long as I can remember (which is going on 24 years) and long past that. Humans have tried to recreate the goodness of butter in margarine and shortening, naming products "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" and the like, but there is no way to duplicate it's wonderful properties.

What is margarine or Crisco, anyway? Can you make it in your kitchen? Nope, didn't think so! To make butter you milk a cow, let the milk sit and the cream rise, skim the cream off the milk, shake the cream until the fat clumps together and forms butter. It's that simple! Of course, most of us don't have a milch cow in their backyard, but the same results come from a store-bought carton of heavy whipping cream. Margarine and Crisco take some sort of scientific process to make.

As for a spread, the new butters that have been blended with (natural) canola oil or olive oil are great and smooth and natural.

I say fuck calorie count for natural food. Our health problems haven't spread out of no where, and part of the problem is all of this food product we eat. Fake, low-calorie food can't hold a candle to natural veggies and fruit and pasta and meat and dairy. Just watch your portions and enjoy REAL food... including BUTTER!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"My Life In France"

I just finished "My Life In France" by Julia Child. Amazing read.

Growing up, Julia Child was that crazy lady with the silly voice on PBS that came on after Sesame Street. She's one of those people you always knew of, but never really knew why.

I never gave her much thought until she passed. Thinking of Julia Child reminds me of one of the few good memories I have of a roommate I was never too fond of. It was shortly after she passed, and somehow the conversation turned to her, and my roommate described how he remembered Julia: as a crazy old woman who would look at a red-hot pan, proceed to touch the pan and then exclaim, "Oh, my, that's hot!"

And that's exactly the type of woman she was. She need to experiment and see things for herself. We all could take a page from Mrs. Child's book(s).

Even though she was married most of her life, Julia Child is an inspiration to single girls everywhere. She didn't marry until she was 34, which, in 1946, was a feat in an of itself. Of course, she had WWII to thank for some of her independence, but she went through the nineteen thirties as a single girl in her twenties. She's one of the most recognized culinary figures in cuisine TV, but she didn't begin cooking school until she was 36.

What can the single girl learn from Mrs. Child? That your life is not decided until you are dead. There are days I'm terrified because I don't know what the future holds, but I'm learning that that's okay. She lived life with gusto; we all should.

Child is an inspiration for everyone, but single girls in particular.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Single and healthcare

There are few things scarier than living with out healthcare coverage. Anything that could happen to you physically is fixed with good healthcare. Most people with health insurance don't freak out at the idea of falling down, but if you take a tumble with out healthcare coverage and kind of hurt yourself, that not so horrible injury can turn into something bad.

There's this common misconception about people without health insurance being bad, lazy, lay-abouts, or young people being fearless and thinking they're invincible, but that's simply not the case.

As a person struggling to find employment in my desired field, I am willing to take a job with out benefits. Any job to get my foot in the door for the time being, something to build off of for later. And I'm far from being the only one. Many people, recent grads like myself or long-time pros, are willing to take a less than ideal position because it's a job, it's money, and we'll have to deal without health care, or at least without perfect healthcare.

President Obama's speech this evening outlined some of the blockades facing the uninsured, pre-existing conditions being one of the biggest roadblocks. A person with a disease needs to be treated before anyone else. Aren't there enough perfectly healthy people paying to cover the people who actually need treatment? And isn't preventative care the best way to catch these things before they get out of hand and treatment gets expensive?

I think a healthcare crisis may just be the big push we need to start taking care of ourselves. It's horrible, but if people knew they couldn't just run to the doctor and get a triple bi-pass when you eat too much pizza and red meat, they might try some fruit and veggies. I know I'm taking better care of myself than I did a couple of years ago. I used to drink Mountain Dew like it was water, now I barely drink pop, or anything other than water and beer for that matter. And what's really sick, the beers I like have less calories per 12 oz serving than a 12 oz can of Mountain Dew.

So, for the time being, I'm going to be walking a lot, and heading to they gym when it starts to get cooler, and I'm trying to cook more at home, adding veggies, fruit and yogurt to my daily diet. Hopefully nothing bad happens in the time being.

Single Girls and Pets

Pets can enrich a single life so much, especially after a break up. It doesn't matter that they can't talk, and you have to pick up their poop, it's just nice to know that there's someone waiting for you at home.

I love my cats, it's nice to have someone that will curl up on your lap and act like they love you, even if no one else does. Especially when you feel like no one will ever love you again. That cranky ball of fluff will love you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Renter's Delight

So, I'm watching The Daily Show this evening, and the guest is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank. The conversation turned to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the push to turn renters into home owners, because apparently renters are bad people.

I like being a renter. There's no way I could pay less per month with a mortgage and insurance and property taxes and HOA fees for a place comparable to the one I rent. And when you own, all of your places problems are yours. Like when my ceiling in my bedroom collapsed this winter during heavy rains, I would have had to pay to fix it. Your fridge breaks, you buy a new one. Your plumbing gets effed up, you have to pay the plumber.

There's nothing wrong with renting. I don't think it's throwing away money, especially in the current real estate climate. If you buy a house, you're set paying the price you bought it for, simple as that. But rent can go down, you only sign a year, possibly two year lease at a time, and if you're a good tenant you can lock in your monthly rent, or even get it lowered. Granted, refinancing a mortgage is an option, but that's just changing your interest rate, it doesn't get lowered if the "value" of your house plummets. House value is just a perceived number pulled out of someone's ass based on supply and demand. (Granted, rent is the same thing, but, like I said early, there's a little wiggle room for good behavior.)

I am a renter, and I am not a bad person.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Adult Jello

Who hasn't had a crazy night followed by a painful morning that can be credited in some way to Jello shooters?

As we grow up, we learn that Jello shooters are a little College (by Asher Roth), but how much fun is it getting trashed on Jello, that oh so innocent desert peddled by none other than Dr. Cliff Huxtable! Here's a way to make your Jello shot a little more grown up:

You will need:
  • Your favorite flavor of sugar free Jello
  • A corresponding or complimentary fruit
  • Plain or flavored vodka (matching either the Jello and/or the fruit)
  • Redi-Whip or Cool Whip or (if you're so enterprising) freshly whipped cream
  • Your favorite fancy container or stemware

In four dishes or glasses, place fruit at the bottom. Prepare Jello as directed in a bowl or container with a pour spout (I like my 2-cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup), substituting 1/2 (or if your so bold, all) or the cold water with vodka.

Let chill in your fridge for the alloted time, top with whipped topping of your choice, and enjoy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

16 and Pregnant

MTV reality shows are like crack. I don't want to watch, but once I do, I'm hooked. It's happened with True Life, I Want a Famous Face, The Newlyweds, Engaged and Underage, and now 16 & Pregnant. It's strange watching these girls who are a few years younger than me go through very adult things that I know I'm not ready for.

I was watching an episode today, and got curious to see what others thought of the show. Specifically when the knocker-upper bought a $20 engagement ring from Wal-Mart after returning a $500 PS3. There were a few comments about that, but most of the threads were concerned about the girls parenting ability, tax implications on the married and working, and the girls decision to have sex in the first place.

You'll always get that right-wing nut-job who doesn't say anything except wait until you're married to have sex, which is easier said than done. People give this advice to teens all the time, but what happens when that teen doesn't get married young?

When you tell a 16 year old to wait until marriage, you're asking her to wait years to have sex. In 2007 the average marriage age for women was 25.6. If you were hungry but were told to wait 9 years to eat, could you do that? Not that sexual appetite is the same as the need for nutrition, it is hard to ask someone to wait that long for something that seems so urgent.

I'm not saying be an enabler, but I think we need to cut this "wait until marriage" crap once and for all. Young girls will never grow up to be strong, independent women if they have hang-ups about the moral implications about sex.

Telling girls that they're whores because they have sex before marriage will turn them into whores. Giving them proper birth control information and reasons to wait until they are legal adults (aka at least 18) with honest answers to any questions they may have has been proven again and again to be the best option.

As painful as it can be for people to admit, sex and love do not always go hand-in-hand. This is another one of those horrible facts that make being a productive member of society so much easier after a break-up. I'm not saying Sex and the City's Samantha Jones is the best role model, but she does have some good points. Separating those amazing bodily feelings with those amazing feelings in your heart will help save a lot of pain down the line.

I guess the most important advice to give a young girl about sex and relationships is that you can live with out them. No one ever told me that, not explicitly. Most of the people in my family got married to their high school sweethearts, and the group of couples I hung out with in high school all got married, except me. No one told me that it was okay.

But I learned on my own. I've survived, in fact, I would say I've prospered.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Here's a great money and calorie saving tip:

You love Jello, right? And I bet you love those individually sized portions of Jello that make a great desert for your lunch, right? But, those pre-packaged cups aren't exactly cheep compared to a box of Jello. So here's what I do.

I buy individually portioned yogurt in cups with lids. Personally, I prefer Yoplait, but I'll suck it up for a week and eat the stuff with lids. Save the cups and wash them out with your dishes. You'll want 5 cups, so a week's worth of yogurt is all you'll have to suffer through. If you really don't like yogurt and don't live with someone who does, you can buy little reusable plastic containers about this size of 6oz yogurt cups.

One box of Jello will fill 2.5 6oz yogurt cups, so use two boxes of (sugar free) Jello. If you want them to be all one flavor, double the water quantities and follow the directions on the package. I use a 2-cup liquid measuring cup to mix Jello, I boil the first cup of water in the microwave, mix in the Jello and then run the tap until the water is cool enough for the second cup of water. Use a bigger measuring cup or a bowl with a pour lip to pour the Jello into the yogurt cups if you're doing one flavor.

To do two flavors, mix one packet of Jello as directed, fill each yogurt cup half-way, and set as directed. Once the cups are set, mix up your second flavor, pour on to the top-half of the cup. The flavors will blend gently, but not mix. The hot Jello will just melt the top layer of the original flavor.

For a fraction of the cost of the store-bought stuff, especially if you catch the Jello and yogurt on a super sale, you have great, custom made Jello for your lunch all summer. I tend to use my yogurt cups for a summer, and throw them out at the end of my Jello season, starting over again next summer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beat the summer heat

It's pushing 90˚F in the Windy City today. That's pretty dang hot, and I don't want to be cooped up in my (slightly) air-conditioned apartment all day.

There's nothing like a frozen treat on a hot day, but ice cream is not friendly to the calorie minded. (My personal favorites are Cold Stone [yummy but has enough calories for a few days worth of food] and Bobtail Ice Cream [local favorite, and another big calorie count])

So what's a girl to do on these sweltering summer days? Popsicles! Sugar free Popsicles have 15 calories per pop. 15!!!! You (probably) burn that walking to the freezer to get yourself a Popsicle! And if you're not into the artificial sweetener thing, regular Popsicles have 45 calories per pop, which still isn't breaking the calorie bank. I bought the red white and blue Firecracker variety, and they only have 35 calories per pop.

And it doesn't stop there. If you want a creamy, chocolately treat, no-sugar-added Fudgsicles only have 40 calories. They also have a low-fat version with 60 calories per pop, and a super-sized 100 calorie bar if the smaller version just doesn't fill your cold chocolate craving.

So fear not my sweaty and calorie-counting single girls, Popsicles are the perfect treat for any summer day. Plus, there's just something hot to a guy about a girl eating a Popsicle ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mountain Dew, WoW and dating

Okay, so I've never been a fan of WoW (World of Warcraft for all you lucky people who don't know what that means) or any other MMPOG (massive mulit-player online games). They waste too much time. I like video games, especially ones involving Star Wars, but MMPOGs are just too involving. Games aren't played for minutes or hours, but days. There was a report in the New York Times saying that employers don't want to hire people who play MMPOGs because their mind isn't on their work, but on their game.

The first video just goes to show that MMPOGs are addictive. If that kids wasn't seriously screwed up from this game, he wouldn't try to shove a television remote up his ass or hit himself repetitively on the head with a shoe.

And on to Mountain Dew. I used to LOVE this soda (or pop to those of us in the midwest) but the calorie count was crazy, and I'm 2.5 years Mt. Dew free.

Like I said, the calories in a bottle of Mt. Dew are crazy high, it's one thing to market it in the extreme sport way that it's been marketed for the past few years, but now it's being marketed to gamers, probably the most sedentary group of people. They're never going to loose the weight from this soda, unless they give up MMPOGs, and pick up a Wii Fit.

I refuse to date anyone who plays MMPOGs, I don't want to become some gamer's slave, bringing him food because he doesn't dare hit pause and leave his game.

I mean really, would you want to date this?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Mad Men" and the other woman

I've been watching "Mad Men" on On Demand.  It's one of those shows that I never got to see before but always wanted to watch.  I love the idea of the fifties and early sixties: the hair, the clothes, the culture.  Everyone (at least on the show) is so put together, it's dazzling.  I love the idea of drinking at work, with the boss, in broad daylight, before you meet with a client.  Does anyone do that anymore?  (when did alcohol become bad again?) The whole show reminds me of "The Seven Year Itch" with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell.

The idea that every successful man has two-point-five kids in the suburbs with a beautiful housewife, and a regular mistress in the city, preferably a working girl with income that he doesn't have to support, and the possibility for tail at every corner.  Those were the days (at least for men).

The whole thing gets me thinking, who has the more fulfilling life?  The housewives go to therapy and are worried that their husbands are unfaithful, but the "other women" know the shakedown, they know how it's gonna be.  They support themselves, and have fun.

Of course, there are drawbacks to being the "other woman," but the social structure is much different these days.  Being a single girl, not in a relationship, really makes you the "other woman."  I feel like the "other woman" these days.  Every guy I smile at, he could be married, or engaged, or living with someone, or have a girlfriend that he doesn't live with, or gay but no man is single (and strait).

A single girl, supporting herself, living alone, paying her own rent, paying her own bills is just a rare as it was fifty years ago.  Women are still being supported, but in a very different way.

I'm a single girl, living in the city, where's my hunky executive, looking for an escape from his wife?  (Just kidding, I want someone all to myself ;) )

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

I know that these have been out for a while, (like, a long while) but I need to sign their praises.

These freaky sponge-like things will clean all of those weird spots that you just don't know what they are. Case in point: I get this strange shadowing where my garbage can is. I don't know what it's from, exactly. I've tried everything to wash it off. Soap and hot water, Scrubbing Bubbles, window cleaner... nothing worked, except for the Magic Erasers!

You know that grey/black stuff you get on your walls where you touch them often, or your fridge, or your door. They get rid of that, too. Those nasty spots that make your house look gross, and make your parents and married friends call you a lazy single slob? They're gone, with ease!

Cleaning isn't reserved for families, we just need to clean less often ;).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets

These things are super easy to use. Put the sheet in the washer, put your laundry in the washer, turn on the washer, wait for the washer to finish. All of the stuff that is supposed to wash off washed off, and my clothes plus the laundry sheet was off to the dryer. An hour later (my building has well-working but OLD machines) I pulled my sheets and blankets out and brought them upstairs (three flights, outdoors!).

Here's the verdict:
My stuff was clean, but my fleece blankets aren't as soft as they usually are with traditional softeners. The sheet didn't look like a regular dryer sheet in the end, it resembled really thin quilt stuffing. I might have to double up this sheet with regular dryer sheets for stuff I want to keep fluffy, like my fleece blankets or hoodies or sweaters. Other than that, I plan on buying these guys again.

They were $5.99 @ Target for a pack of 20 + a case or 24 refill pack. My regular detergent is $4.99 at Target, and gets about 32 loads in, but that isn't an exact amount, because you can never measure the liquid stuff perfectly every time. And that price doesn't include liquid softeners or dryer sheets. Value wise, they're totally worth it.

Not having to carry a bottle of detergent, softener and a box of dryer sheets was totally awesome. And I didn't have to worry about forgetting anything, because it was all in sheet.

I can't believe no one has thought of this before! Single girls best laundry friend!

Hey, that sounds cool, can I try that?

I'm a sucker for a new product, be it hair care, window cleaner or cat treat, I'm all over it. So I was super excited when I saw the ad for Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets. My first thought was, "Dude, that will totally lighten my load when I'm walking down three flights of stairs on my back porch to the outdoor access only laundry room." (or something like that) How great is that on little sheet can take up the place of two bottles, a box and one of those little softener ball dealy-bobbers. I can just throw the sheet on top of my dirty laundry, load up my baskets and head downstairs. Finally, someone designed a product with me in mind!

Or so I thought. When looking for a review of this product online, I could only find mommy-blogs. You know, the mother-wife-productive member of society who can barely find time to sit down let alone write a blog, but somehow she finds time to do it. While I respect this type of blog, and the type of people who seek them out, I'm not one of them. I don't care if your husband was too much of an idiot to figure out laundry before, but this solves everything! I want to know if it did the job it says its going to do, and if it ruined any clothes, or if they weren't really soft at the end of the cycle.

So I bought the product, and am going to try it out this evening. (I had an unfortunate beer spill on my couch which is actually a futon and therefore is covered in a sheet. The sheet needs to be washed) Look for a review of Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets in a bit, with a single-girl perspective. 'Cause it's great if it cleans up baby puke, but that's not really my problem.