lindsey and andrew visit chicago!!

lindsey changes her plans:
this december has been a busy one.. i am normally much more involved in the holidays, but this year i decided to do it a little differently. almost every year, i start in early november trying to come up with the perfect gifts. i bake pies for the man at the convenience store, and i plan and plan and plan for my annual christmas party. this year, though the decorations did go up as scheduled, i decided to focus more on seeing my favorite people- rather than buying things for them. andrew and i flew to chicago on the 18th. this trip had a few purposes. the first purpose is to see alex (my favorite little brother ever) and his house and roommates.

yellow shirt saves three planes:
we had 6 am flight on thursday morning and i had a noon appointment in chicago to make (woof). we arrived at the airport with about an hour and a half to spare and walk in to see (literally) the longest line in the history of lines. it wrapped around so many gates you couldn't see the end from the beginning. it actually had to double back around because there was a wall halfway through. everyone was upset. two really nice girls behind us were extremely disappointed to be missing their ski trip in colorado. we were all lamenting and discussing what could possibly be done! when suddenly... the man in the yellow shirt appeared. he was in fact- the man- in charge- possibly only for the moment- for united airways. he stood at the highest point in the room (a chair) and said "everyone! please do not panic. we are holding the flights!" a small cheer rang out among the crowd. then he raised his arms and said "everyone going to san francisco- come up to the desk!" the mass of people headed to california rushed the desk while those of us bound for illinois and colorado stood still- holding our bags in anticipation. the word began trickling down the line from some guy at the front that needed to know all the details. through the grapevine we came to understand that we made up 97% of the passengers of these three flights and without us, each would have to depart with a mere 4 people. this was re-assuring. however, when one's blood pressure rises so significantly and their body isn't due to wake for at least another 4 hours, there is a slight feeling of anxiety coursing through one's veins. colorado came after san francisco. and headed to denver was a very large family (moving on this very day) with 2 enormous bags per person. (woof again) at last, chicago was called. we were checked in- ran to the gate- and boarded just in time. the 2.5 men that happened to arrive extra early and had been waiting on the plane for an hour were quite displeased. surprisingly enough, we made it there with only a minor delay!

a greeting on fullerton street:
we landed with plenty of time and got our bags after only a short wait. i still reject the idea of any kind of wheel-ed bag, and thus carried my incredibly heavy duffle on my back while holding a scalding hot cup of starbucks coffee (why they must make it so hot, i will never know- but i swear that lava could cool it down). for a reason unknown to myself, most airports in the world try to place as few signs as possible- perhaps out of a need for greater navigation, intuition, and patience on the part of american citizens. i have none of these things and was therefore quite frustrated at the difficulty we had locating the train. and yet after we did it was a quick ride to the california stop on the blue line! we emerged from the train and began walking toward my brother's house. he met us on the street about halfway and very willingly (or unwillingly) carried my bag the rest of the way. this is something most humans would have found frustrating, but alex too refuses to be grouped in with the rolling bag population.

the yellow house vs. the dust bunnies:
we arrive at alex's amazing yellow house (which is ironic, for i too live in a yellow house) and the first thing to be seen is the decor. there is a deer's head above the mantel (which has apparently been the object of thievery twice before) and the walls are papered in randomness. alex swears that cleaning day is sunday and that the end of the week is always the worst for the house, and i do not want him to feel i am being judgmental. however. the dust bunnies might have rivaled toby. it was the ultimate in relaxation. no need for cleanliness. only fun. i said to alex, "well at least you tidied up for us" (to which he responded with an equally sarcastic rebuttal). andrew's response? "see lindsey! i told you- this is why i miss living with the bro's." hence my reasoning for never understanding my gender's counterpoint.

ceyda has a fold-out couch:
i have yet to mention my brother's beautiful and amazing girlfriend. ceyda. she is from turkey and has the cutest accent. she only recently heard about the kkk and that martin luther king was black. she is an incredible hostess- i got to try turkish coffee and liquor! and she is absolutely the funnest (word?) person in chicago. on the way over alex was explaining (possibly complaining) how ceyda has a tendency to clean a lot. we arrived at her apartment and- as promised- the door opened onto (**angels 'ahh-ing'**) ceyda's very clean home. i stayed on the fold out couch. and alex won't read this, so i'm not too afraid of his response.
lindsey visits art school?:
so about my degree situation. i did not like UT. i enjoy claiming it as a school i was accepted to. i enjoy cheering for their football team (national championship- woot). and most of all i enjoy living in the beautiful austin texas. however, i am ready to move on. therefore, i have been considering s.a.i.c. (the school of the art institute of chicago). though the people at this school are very clever, none of them were ever good at naming things. even still, they have a painting program over which i lust. i had a visit with the admissions office (with an amazing fellow named larry lee) and was given a very thorough yet very unofficial tour by our own alexander james. i loved it. everything about the city and school- i loved it. i hope toby won't mind the cold!

j.r. and jack daniels show up for the party:
what a fantastic night! i was taken to a lovely bar downtown and got to hang out with the best of the best of alex's posse. my dearest friend j.r. (now a chicago resident) came out to see us and the night only progressed in funness. in short, it involved an expensive round of pink shots, a conversation with an cowboys fan on the train (whom accused me of rooting for the saints), a trip to 7-11 for some jack daniels, a bit of a dance party at ceyda's apartment, jenga, sun chips, and a vacuum cleaner. what a good night it was!

all things must end- with pancakes:
we wrapped up the trip with some pancakes (that i can only assume were good) and a brief trip around downtown. the cowboys played new orleans on saturday night and andrew and i forced alex's friends to watch the game with us. i appeased them with a 100+ dollar order of pizza and wings, and then everyone scattered off to fun while we sat in disbelief at the cowboys shocking win. we woke sunday morning (another early flight) to a winter wonderland. the city was blanketed with snow and the quiet morning stirred only with the arrival of our train back to o'hare. unfortunately we arrived back in dallas to a sunny 70 degrees.

looking forward:
christmas is a mere day away and i am as excited as ever. i believe my annual christmas party might be pushed into a "post-christmas party" and hopefully still be fun. my shopping is done and my presents are wrapped. the eggnog is in the fridge- chilling in preparation for the 24th. as i type a cold front should be blowing into texas, so hopefully it won't be a total bust as far as the weather is concerned. i have watched home alone 3 times each (one and two) and muppet christmas carroll 4 times. i am fully ready for st. nicholas. so to all you readers- a merry christmas indeed. i hope all of you get a chance to enjoy your families as much as i. merry christmas eve (almost) with love!


addendum to previous

lets talk real fast about frosty the snowman.
as a child, i really really loved him. i have always been most fond of snowmen in fact. everyone has the "christmas icon of choice." some people prefer santa, some angels (creepy), some like trees. some people even go for nutcrackers, which i find a terrible and frightening tradition in general. but i, my friends, prefer the snowman. there are a million and one ways to make them look ridiculously cute. last year i made andrew and myself stockings with snowmen:

you get it, i like snowmen. but i say this only for you to understand how traumatic is the idea of my beloved winter friend melting away with springs arrival. snow was not something i saw frequently as a child, unless we were skiing (and i assumed that snow in utah was year round, so that didn't count.) but one glorious year we saw an enormous amount of snow in abilene texas. this was amazing to me. i loved everything about snow. i loved that it was frozen- it was soft- you could lay in it- you could mush it into balls- you could eat it- and you could catch its flakes with your tongue. but most of all, i loved that it could become a snowman! i also was quite fond of the frosty the snowman movie (you know, the animated one). but i remember literally shedding tears thinking about frosty having to melt! thats not funny- thats tragic! the boy finds magic in the silk hat and becomes best friends with a living snow-being and he melts?! i'm telling you, its sad. and yes, i did cry when the (below) snowman of my childhood melted away (after only hours of sitting in our yard).

apparently he had been a yankees fan. and note the pinwheel. and oreo eyes? yes. the most snow to ever come to texas, i'm sure of it. and ps, why does frosty run through the square "saying catch me if you can?" sounds a bit like a trouble maker.

i was also thinking a bit about "santa baby." that one might could be considered creepy too. santa needn't be referred to as "baby." even in a different decade, i feel that is inappropriate. i mean, what if mrs. clause got her hands on that letter? and why does the young lady's christmas list consist of things like a yacht, a convertible, checks, a duplex?? and her logic here is that she hasn't been kissing "fellas." santa, this sounds like a bribe and i'm not buying it. she's a slut. the end.

the idea of a guy walking around my house while i sleep is unsettling too! i don't care how many presents he has. i was in the grocery store yesterday and i guess they thought it a good idea to hire a santa! this santa was incredibly jolly- even had a real white beard. and after asking andrew if they could trade hats, he told us he had a 7.5" head (and that is with a shaved head!). sweet santa.. he then told us he couldn't really take off his hat because it would scare *thumb point behind him* the one year old behind us in line. though jolly, santa was indeed not a perceptive one. he did not realize that his mere presence in the line was already enough to frighten the child into hysteria. in fact, if anything would calm her down, it would probably be to remove the hat! andrew and myself then had a long discussion on the topic of santa deception. we both had parents that chose honesty over christmas fun- but i saw my fair share of kiddos getting their hearts broken. doesn't that seem to betray the very spirit of the season? i mean, santa presents are fun, but no logical child past 3 really thinks someone that big can fly around the world and fit down chimneys. and if they do, then you are abusing their intellect.

ranting much? i'll stop. i still love christmas, just love to talk about its ironies too. thanks for listening! peace on earth.


the creepiness of old christmas songs

it is safe to say that i am slightly obsessed with holidays. and christmas is the superbowl of holidays. i spend days on end baking treats, perfecting my tree, shopping for the perfect present, and listening to all the classic christmas songs. and yet i would say that even people like me- those of us that really love christmas music- even they reach their limit eventually. we all find ourselves in some strip mall thinking, "i'm going to hold an employee hostage until they turn off this crap." and how many christmas songs are actually in existence? there are a total of like seven songs that have been re-sang, re-arranged, re-mastered until there is nothing left but ashes. mariah, you can sing as loud and as long and as high as you want, but you haven't improved "hark the herald angels sing." and as much as i support the idea of equality, you cannot rap christmas carols. i had the pleasure of shopping to one of those little numbers, and i barely left with my sanity in tact. country artists love christmas music. not sure why that is, but they seem to have a pretty good piece of that market covered. its probably because its so touching, and there is an unspoken law that country music must be sentimental in some way. however, to this day, no one will ever improve on "once upon a christmas with dolly and kenny." i mean, hard candy christmas? perfection.
but the point of all this rambling is that i was just listening to my mix of all the classics, and that "baby, its cold outside" song came on. definitely one that has been drug through the years of christmas because artists keep thinking they can do it better. jessica simpson and nick lachey did NOT do it better. nor did james taylor (sorry man). bette midler, war, rod stewart? please stop! but the most troubling thing of all is the lyrics to this "classic." when i hear it, all i can think about is some poor girl trapped in a creepy dude's house. she's attempting to be polite and he just won't let it go.
my mother will start to worry
my father will be pacing the floor
seriously, thats probably the point when you should just leave. but no, it goes on:
say, what's in this drink?
i wish i knew how
to break this spell
are you insane?? get out of there!
i simply must go
the answer is no.....
well maybe just a half a drink more
what?!? no means no! and then she ends up staying! and in some of the versions the dude singing is way too old to be with the chick. its unsettling.

i'll leave you with that, my friends. i hope you are all having as fabulous a christmas season as i. and to all my ladies reading- thumbs to eyes, and heel to groin. no always means no.

toby the elf- no appreciating his hat.


k is for kristen and b is for birthday

happy birthday favorite cousin!
i would like everyone to know that it is my cousin kristen's birthday today.
she and her best friend have a co-blog that is basically a handbook about how to make every day of your life fun. check it out: lullaby lubbock.
i spent about 90 percent of my childhood trying to be as cool as kristen. now that the age gap between us is less intrusive, she is one of my best friends. she spends hours and hours driving/flying here and there just to support her family and friends. she is always up for a party and makes the most of a night off. she is the ultimate in creativity and comes up with some of the cutest stuff i have ever seen. and with jeff's help, she is raising three of the most adorable children i have ever encountered- and to whom i attribute my getting over a crippling fear of babies (i am fully recovered and now am quite fond of them). when i think of my cousin, i think of someone that loves absolutely unconditionally and works every single minute of her life to be loyal and supportive of those in her life. kristen- you are such a special part of my life and i'm not the only one that thinks that. i love you to death. happy birthday!

life 70.