Monday, January 30, 2012

10 Differences Between San Francisco And Chicago Which I Have Noticed Since Moving Here

1. People are serious about this "Bay Area" business. From what I can tell (aka, what Wikipedia says), The Bay Area--which also includes cities like Oakland, Berkeley, and San Jose--is about 7,000 square miles. The Chicago metro area is about 11,000. But whether you're from Skokie, Hinsdale, or I'd venture to guess Rockland, if you take one step outside of Illinois, where are you from? Chicago. It's just allllllll Chicago. But Christ forbid you say you live in San Francisco if you do NOT. I mean, these other cities have their own SPORTS TEAMS. That is how serious they are about being from the "Bay Area" and not from "San Francisco". I think it has to do with this whole limiting bodies of water thing they've got going on.

2. We live near the ocean. I mean, EVEN NEARER than other people in the Bay Area. Which means, when it's foggy, foghorns keep us awake at night. CORRECTION: foghorns keep ME awake at night, because Joe falls asleep if you so much as say the word "pajamas". The problem is, the foghorns keep me awake because then I start thinking of Angel Marie's foghorn noises on Muppet Treasure Island.

Every time. Also, our windows don't keep out much sound because they are possibly the thinnest windows ever created. They might actually just be tightly stretched Saran Wrap. It makes sense: if there's never an insane winter, why bother spending money on stormproof glass? Because of the foghorns. THAT'S WHY.

3. To rival Luna, I present to you: Sleep Train Mattress Center. Jingle: "Sleep Traaaaain! (*train whistle*) Your ticket to a better night's sleeeeep!" And what image do you see while this jingle is rolling? Why, a VAN, of course. Apparently proximity to Los Angeles does not make for better local ads.

4. San Francisco is some kind of magical Mecca for restaurants. The combination between small-business love, hipsters, transplants from around the country/world, and young people with money creates a cesspool of creative, amazing restaurants. And you will never go to all of them. You just won't. There is always a slightly different experience you haven't had yet, and they all have descriptions to rival Stefon's. It's like that thing, where you sit outside with heating lamps and eat gourmet curry fried chicken while you watch a movie on a giant brick wall?

5. The weather. So listen. I know Chicago winters are eyeball-numbingly cold. I'm not going to stand here and gloat. But San Francisco is not southern California either. Basically, if you wear close-toed shoes, a scarf, and a medium-weight pea coat, you'll be fine almost every day of the year. And I'm okay with it.

6. Some of these buses are HIT. Like, Mickey Rourke-level hit. Graffiti everywhere. They look like how I imagine all of New York looked in the 80's. The double-length accordian buses have seen the worst of it, because the bus driver can't see people back there. It's become so bad, they have a special announcement on the bus that tells you how to report vandalism--in 3 languages, no less. I even witnessed it, too. I did what the announcement said and texted in the bus number, but nothing happened. I really wanted to be there when a squadron of police kicked open the back doors and dragged the guys away (how I imagine cops handle light vandalism). I could even bear witness because I took pictures of them IN THE ACT. But for nothing. Just so I could have pictures of two idiots ruining a bus.

7. On the bus, you don't notice the hills. In a taxi you DO. I guess because the bus is going slower and pulling over every second, and a taxi is careening through time and space. But I really almost forget about the hills until I'm in a taxi.

8. I have never smelled pot so often in my life. I guess it's the mixture of hippies and easily-attainable legal mary jane. But SERIOUSLY. Probably every day.

9. Homeless San Franciscans are on a whole different level than Homeless Chicagoans. See, people in Chicago are homeless because stuff has gone down in their lives. They've seen things. The homeless people of San Francisco have only seen things because the people in their head TELL them so. Sure, there are crazy people in Chicago, too. But more often than not, Chicagoans are just cold and hungry and quietly smelly. The homeless people in San Francisco are of a louder, more rambunctious seed. One guy just stands on the corner blowing raspberries into the air to make himself laugh. They do not claim doorways to hide from the wind. They move freely and with gusto. And it requires a serious ability to ignore those around you, which my little sister simply does not have.

10. I do not get tired of Joe.This isn't actually a difference between San Francisco and Chicago, it's just something I've noticed of my San Francisco experience. Before I moved, I was curious--when we moved to a new land with few distractions to keep us apart, could we survive on nothing but each other? The answer, so far, has been yes. I just don't get tired of him. EVEN when he calls laundry, "Laundo Calrissian" (Which he does. Every time.) I mean, maybe talk to me in 50 years when we're yelling at each other in Walgreens because neither of us can see to read the cough syrups any more (or perhaps did we witness that from an old couple last weekend). But for all the time I spend with the guy, and it's a LOT, I don't find myself planning his untimely demise. All in all, it's been pretty smooth sailing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Broadway Nerding Out in 3...2...

Look. I love Hugh Jackman with the rest of them. He is the wholesomest wholesome this side of Wholesomeville. I tend to support his decisions without question, and I lament with the rest of them that 3 of his 4 IMDb "Known Fors" are Wolverine-related. Really? No Kate & Leopold? No Someone Like You? IMDb, I thought you were better than that.

But Hugh Jackman is slated to be Jean Valjean in the upcoming MUSICAL feature film of Les Miserables. (Liam Neeson, God bless you. I think you and I and Future Husband Colin Firth should drink early morning tea and silently read the newspaper together. But I assume you can't sing your way out of a paper bag. So you weren't about to reprise the role.)

I'm suspicious. I'm suspicious of Hugh.

Sure. The man can sing. We all know. We've all watched the Oklahoma! clips on YouTube. But THIS is what he is up against. THIS is what he has to aspire to. THIS is the likes of which he needs to be fitting in with:

And I have my doubts. Despite the abilities to remix, cut, and start over a billion times if need be, I have my doubts about Hugh's chops. Well, his falsetto chops anyway. Not his mutton chops, of course. Because you, me and IMDb knows how well he pulls those off.

What do you guys think? Do you believe in Hugh? What do you think about the rest of the cast?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It has been well-documented that I haven't seen many movies, I've just seen a FEW movies MANY times. Can I repeat every word to Titanic? Of course. But only tape #1. (Tape #2 was the sinking. That would be awkward to have memorized. And yes, I'm old enough to have watched Titanic on VHS. DEAL.)

But there are tons of movies that I've just never seen. It took me 5 years to finally watch The Matrix. And if you remember the leather-shrouded feelings people had about The Matrix when it came out, five years is an INTENSE amount of time to not know the difference between the red and blue pills.

A lot of movies I missed were 80's and 90's classics that I avoided because I was either too young to see them, or too scared--let's be honest. I never saw Braveheart because I heard they ripped his guts out while he was still alive (Finally saw it, closed my eyes.) I still haven't seen Fargo because of the wood chipper scene. I KNOW, IT'S FARCE. I'll see it! I'll see it! GOD.

So when Joe and I started dating, he went through his mental rolodex of movies I haven't seen (And no, I'm NOT old enough to have owned a rolodex, DEAL.) Then we added those movies into Netflix, and dubbed them "boy movies". Because sometimes apparently I'm not very feministic. In the past few years, I've been slowly knocking them down one by one. Field of Dreams. The Godfather. Top Gun. The kinds of movies that, when I admit I haven't seen them, cause people to clutch their pearls in horror. Even boys. ESPECIALLY boys, frankly.

When we started our Netflix Crusade, I took notes on the thoughts I had while I watched. But the notes weren't really calling out to me. So I lazily never blogged about them and let them float away from my mind. Now I find it hard to remember which explosions happened in Mission: Impossible and which happened in Speed.

But yesterday I was made aware of an amazing, amazing little movie review of You've Got Mail by Anne T. Donahue. You can find it on Hello Giggles. And yes, there are two more reviews. And yes, I believe it will be an ongoing series. YOU'RE WELCOME.

What I'm trying to say here is: bitch stole my idea. And what I'm trying to say by that is: this hilarious woman did what I could not. And I'm jealous. And I want to awkwardly hold her hand.

Mostly because she made this:

I MAY have reposted that image onto every media outlet I could get a hold of, including taping it inside printed newspapers.

But also, her Pinterest (OH YES MY STALKER LEVEL HAS GONE THERE) has this:

Not only is Tom Hanks the only image in her "Babes" board, but it's the T.Hanks image that I hold so dearly to my heart.

I mean, it's not like the girl has a monopoly on humorous movie reviews. I think we all know Gene Siskel still holds the title for those. (I kid. None of us knows who Gene Siskel is. Except my dad, who was DEVASTATED by the loss. ANYWAY.) So I could still write some. But now I feel like they would just be a sad, weepy version of this masterful You've Got Mail one. I feel like a toddler who throws a temper tantrum for having a toy taken away that was never actually hers.

Wow. I started writing this to tell you about my original plan of reviewing "boy movies" and it's really just devolved into a love letter to Anne. I'm fine with it. But I'm also going to go (So I can stalk her more, perhaps?? No no no no. .....yes.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The New Job

Facts about what I'm doing here:

1. I am very superstitious about jinxing things, so I need to clarify that this is technically contract-to-hire, so I don't have a full time job YET. Also, time goes slowly when you are living paycheck to paycheck. Regina's cat's breath is out of control, and I really need to make enough money to get her to the vet.

2. It's a start up company that makes a very cool mobile app. That's all I'll say about it, but also you probably have not heard of it--YET. It was started last summer and I am the 11th employee, I think.

3. We get free lunch every day. And free snacks. And free beverages. So...basically it's the best place ever. Also, I think I may be addicted to sparkling water now. You guys may need to form an intervention soon.

4. OH! I haven't actually told you what I'm doing here! So I'm their writer. Like, their only writer. So I'm in charge of the brand voice, wherever they need it. And hopefully soon, I'll be writing a blog for them, and taking charge of their Facebook and Twitter posts. Which will be fun while it's happening, and when it's over (hopefully not for a long time) I'll have something really concrete on my resume that will make me stand out.

5. The company doesn't have a front desk or anyone in an administrative role. My desk is kind of the closest thing to being that front desk, because it faces people walking in. So now I have also become the person who signs for packages and greets people who look scared. I absolutely don't mind it, because distractions are my lifeblood. When I write, I am absolutely the dog from "Up". Except instead of "SQUIRREL!" it's: "FACEBOOK!"

6. The hours are a little different here. No one comes in until 10:30, but they stay later. Which means I probably will have to start working out in the morning. I was really excited about the idea until this morning when I actually attempted to do it. And by "attempted" I mean, I turned off the alarm and spent 45 minutes making excuses about why I couldn't POSSIBLY get out of bed, by which time it was too late to go work out. PROBLEM SOLVED.

7. SPEAKING of early mornings! This has nothing to do with the job, but last night Joe and I were woken up because a parked pick up truck outside our window was blaring its horn non-stop with no one in it. The fire department showed up after about 4 seconds (They're just down the street. Good to know.) Apparently there was a fire under the truck. They put that out with the hose, then broke into the car, popped the hood, and stopped the horn. Joe and I watched this from our 4th story apartment with intrique and annoyance. Mostly, I was relieved that we didn't die, because we SO COULD HAVE. The way I see it: fire under the car, fire travels to the engine, fire + gasoline= EXPLOSION!!, the pieces fly into our window and smash into us. Piece de resistance: Regina escapes out the smashed window.

So, I don't know. Does that cover it? Are there more questions about the job that I haven't answered, or have I told you everything and more?

Monday, January 16, 2012

We'll Have A Brain Fart Time

So I know I promised I'd still be blogging, and I totally am, but I'm having a bit of a brain fart time of it right now. I keep trying to say something insightful about how things are starting to look up, but it gets RULL boring, RULL quick. Either that, or I become one of the people that I hated only a week ago--the people who are too damn happy for their own good and need to quit making the rest of us Normies feel bad.

Side note: I'm SUPER into the non-word "Normies" right now. I'm considering using it until it catches on. It'll be so fetch, just you watch.

So anyway...brain farts and all that. I'm not sure what else to write about at the moment, but I promise I'll be around.

Also, since the Golden Globes were last night, can we talk about Aunt Meryl for a moment? Well, less of talking about her and more just...let's just acknowledge her existence with a moment of silence.


Also, Colin Firth. As I tweeted, that man is a dapper son of a bitch. We all know he is on the short list of men I would marry, but despite his growing age and/or jowls, I think he might be climbing to the top of the list, even past Future Husband John Krasinski, who, despite my best efforts, is still married to that damn British chippy.

But let's consider both of these things:

I mean...that's just...come on, now.

Anyway, this is really all I have for now. Quotes from Colin Firth. Sorry. Maybe an update this week about the job and how it's going? OH! Also, Joe and I just bought tickets to see a screening of The Dark Crystal in February and WHO is going to be there? Oh that's right, Dave Goelz--NO BIG DEAL, HANNAH.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Twitter: The Results Show

Fail Whale? More like WIN Whale, am I right? Ohhhhhhhh, ME.

So the Twitter Poll results are in! Of those who answered, most are at least ON Twitter. And of those people, it was one part "Yes, let's party it up on the Twitters," one part "I can't keep up with the confounded thing so you do whatever the hell you want and I'll occasionally tweet when I'm stuck in line at the grocery store," and one part "shhh...if I don't answer the poll I can still pretend like I don't read this blog."

Word to your mother.

Well okay then, how about this? My twitter handle is (unsurprisingly) @iheartejs. Follow me and I'll follow you back. I pretty much follow anyone back, which is how I've gotten into the predicament I'm in. See, I've been on Twitter since early 2009 and have pretty much been following people willy nilly. Which means I follow a bunch of people who I don't really care about (but then also Tom Hanks, as well as nearly the entire cast of Parks and Rec--again, unsurprisingly. Best tweets? Jerry, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.) So, okay, here we go. I'm going to unfollow a whole bunch of people. Watch me.


There we go. I'll call it The Great Purg---nope! Nope, not calling it that. Regardless, I have room now to follow people I actually want to hear from, aka: YOU. So if Tweeting is your thang, let's be Twitter budz. If for no other reason, to make it so Adrienne is not the ONLY person I interact with over there. I mean, I love her like Leslie loves Ann, but I want more. And I promise to cultivate my Tweets and actually read and respond to others, not use it as a dumping ground for my poorly-crafted one liners. Usually. Sometimes. A little.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back To It

GAH, sorry I've been so absent. I'm the worst blogger ever. I don't even deserve to get paid to write this thing. Which I don't, so that's fitting.

But guess what, Y'ALL?! (Oh that's right, I said y'all so you know something big is coming.) I actually AM going to be paid to blog! Because I just got a contract-to-hire job offer for a small start-up, and among other things I would blog for them! I wouldn't get to be as nonsensical there as I am here, which, let's face it, is better for all of us. But I do still get to write in a fun voice that has some 'tude. Oh god, I just said 'tude like some kind of teen magazine quiz. I'M A LITTLE OVEREXCITED; NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE!

So. What does this mean for you? I will tell you. It means that I'll still blog around here, and hopefully still semi-regularly as long as my new work gets done and doesn't drain me of wanting to write anything ever again. Doubtful. I have too many opinions about exfoliating face wash left to share. It also means that I'll have some money to go on adventures, which of course means blogging about awkward interactions with strangers and falling down a lot! The possibilities are ENDLESS!

In conclusion, things are looking up for you and me both. Stay tuned about the face wash. Am I serious? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Let's Do This.

First things first: the ankle is doing much better. There was a Quasimodo limp going on for a bit, but I'm walking normally now. There's pretty xtreme bruising (no E, that's how bruised it is) but I'll be fine. My first day home, Hannah kept calling me Beth, so I wrapped myself in a blanket and told her that the only gift I wanted for Christmas was for the war to end and father to come home.

But I'm healing. My time in Chicago has been another great vacation from my problems. I needed some time to just be with people I know, in a place I know, without stressing about working. And now I'm ready to get back to it.

It feels like every sentence I utter anymore is: "Once I have a job, I can..." and I'm tired of it. It's been a year since I felt safe enough to spend money and it's wearing me out. I mean, it's not like I want to toss my mink pelt over my shoulder and start ordering people around with my scepter, I just want to buy pure maple syrup without feeling "extravagant".

But it's more than money, too. I don't feel like a productive member of society without a job. Sure, I feel better when I get stuff done. I can exercise and write and clean and basically do ANYTHING besides scroll through Pinterest and Tumblr (Oh, Tumblr...your Parks and Rec gifs are so hard to turn away from). And I'll feel like at least there was something to define my day, to prove that I was here and I helped.

So I'm ready to go back. I'm actually still in Chicago right now, back in SF late on Wednesday night. At first I imagined myself leaving Chicago kicking and screaming (or at least slightly tearfully) just because I was so happy to be back with everyone and didn't want to leave them again. But now I'm ready. I'm ready to actually get this thing started FOR REALZ. The last few months laid the groundwork. I've made connections, I've interviewed, I've figured out a lot about where I want my next steps to fall. I just need that final leap to an offer. That way I can start the rest--the adventures, the extracurricular classes, the pure maple syrup--that will complete the circle of why I went in the first place.