Paris, Je T'aime

J'adore le film Paris, je t'aime. It weaves together almost twenty different romantic stories, all taking place in the city of love. I know what you're thinking: there's no way twenty different stories can blend together to make a focused movie. BUT THEY DO. Limiting each story to 5 minutes allows the movie to show many different kinds of love that all fuse together nicely.

The movie received so much praise at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival in 2006, that it led to a similarly written movie based in the big apple: New York, I Love You.

New York, I Love You, which has a star-studded cast, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008 and is set to be released in 2009. I can't wait!


Retiring to New Orleans

I was talking to a friend the other day about our dream retirement cities, that is of course, assuming that I had a brilliant career and money were no object.

I absolutely adore Boston. However, I think I would rather retire to New Orleans, but only if I could live in the Garden District. The last time I was in New Orleans, I spent hours just walking around the neighborhood looking at all the houses.

I love New Orleans' charm and relaxed, comforting atmosphere. I think I could retire happily there: reading books, sipping lemonade and rocking back and forth on my porch.


Organizing Memories

I always carry my camera and I take pictures of everything. But with a digital camera it's so easy to take a ton of pictures and forget about them as soon as they're loaded to your computer.

In high school I was really good at organizing all of my photos into books as soon as I developed film but I have been terrible at it since then. I just feel like I never have the extra time to sit down and organize so many photos (even though I know the task keeps getting bigger the longer I wait).

This past week I had some free time so I decided to organize a book of photographs. After looking through pictures on my computer for a while and getting sentimental, I ended up printing more than 600 pictures! (This was about 500 more than I was planning.)

After a day of watching Will&Grace and organizing photos, I now have 5 books to look at whenever I feel like reliving my college years. While I really enjoyed going through old pictures, I think from now on, I'll try to keep up on printing and organizing photos.


Missing College

I'm planning a trip to my college town this weekend. I have sooo many great memories from there that I would love to relive. I realized that I can't go back to those college years no matter how much I would love to. Sad.
Here are just a few of my favorite memories:

Enjoying some of the best sporting events in the country.
The outrageous holiday that is Halloween.

Enjoying the company of friends and a pitcher of Spotted Cow on the terrace.

Drinking boots of beer and polka dancing at Essen Haus.

Most of all, I miss spending all my days and nights with some of my best friends.


I Wish I Was There

On beautiful days like today, my friends and I would sit at the terrace, drink a pitcher of beer, have a brat and play cards. I miss those days.


Down on the Lake

Tomorrow is supposed to be cold, but sunny. I think I may head down to the harbor and play with my new camera. Here's one from last spring.


More Than a Kiss

Don't you wish you saw more absolute bliss like this in your everyday life? I love looking at this picture. I never get tired of it.

photo via LIFE

Vintage Shops and Theme Parties

A couple days ago, my friend and I spent the afternoon thrifting in Wicker Park. I love finding old vintage clothes and home decor. Some of the shops had really cute, old items but some were just a little too new and funky for me. I did find a shrug to wear to a black and white party I have coming up soon though.

I have to find a cute shop that has more vintage clothes and jewelry from the 40s. I love the way people dressed back then. My sister is planning a 1950s prom party that I'm really excited for. Now, I just have to find a dress.

{photo via Midwest Living}


I Am in Desperate Need of a Haircut

But I think they are honestly one of the scariest things ever. I get so nervous every time. I'm always worried that something is going to happen and I'm going to leave the salon with a buzz cut instead of a trim.

I found a picture of me getting my hair cut when I was about 2 or 3. I even look scared then. I'll let you know how it goes.

I Have a Thing for Middle Names

If I know you well at all, I know your middle name. I think that’s a clear indication of whether we are good friends. As weird as it sounds, I think middle names are much more important than first names and are very important for determining character. My middle name is Eileen. It means light. My older sister’s middle name is Anne, it means gracious, which is very fitting.

It is for this reason, I know I will stress over the middle names of my children. Although, I decided when I was very young that if I do have children, one will be named after my grandpa. That’s one name down.

Anticipating St. Patty's Day

Terrible Picture, I know. This was the scene from my St. Patrick's Day last year in New Orleans on Bourbon Street. This year, I'm going to celebrate in downtown Chicago. I'm looking excited for all of the festivities including, but not limited to: a green river, Irish bars and two parades. I love St. Patty's Day and I'm really looking forward to celebrating, Chicago style!


I Miss Good TV

I don't watch a lot of TV. Any really. But I don't feel like I'm missing out. TV sitcoms just don't seem as good now as they used to be. And there are way too many reality shows that I can't stand.

The poor kids today don't have anything good to watch- family sitcoms at least.

I thought up a little list of TV shows from my childhood that I miss (But this is definitely not the full list nor does it include shows that I watched as reruns like Mary Tyler Moore, MASH and Get Smart. Get Smart is a classic.):
Full House
Growing Pains
Cosby Show

Family Matters
Saved By The Bell
Major Dad
Star Search
American Gladiators
The Facts of Life
Who's the Boss
Doogie Howser
Small Wonder

I still watch many of these today. I know I'm forgetting a lot of good shows. I'll remember them all tomorrow.

In My Life

Have you ever noticed that there's a Beatles song for every occasion? You could honestly create a soundtrack of your life from only Beatles songs. Think about it. The final song could be 'In My Life.' If one was playing for me right now, I think it would be 'Here Comes the Sun.'


Bucket List

Someone in my family close to me died this week. I'm not generally the type of person who thinks about dying. I'm not afraid of it, but the more I think about it, I'm afraid of not living to the fullest. I haven't really done anything remarkable in my life so far. It's pretty ordinary and safe. Translation: boring.

But this has me thinking, I should really make a 'bucket list,' a list of things to do before I die. Now I just have to think of things to put on it. Are get married and have kids too obvious?

OK, well so far, I have: Go to Italy, Visit all the ballparks in the country, Try crazy exotic foods that I normally wouldn't, Go skinny dipping, Ice skate at Rockefeller Center, Learn how to surf, Go to a Packer game at Lambeau, Go for a stroll in the English countryside, Read on a beach in Cape Cod...

I know, those are pretty boring. I have to work on that a bit more.


100 Books

My cousin had this on her page so I thought I'd fill it out too for fun. The BBC said most people have only read six. How Many of These Books Have You Read?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (Yes)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (The first two)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (No)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (All seven)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (My favorite book ever)
6 The Bible (Only in CCD)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (Yes)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (No)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (No)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (No)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (No)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (Yes)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (No)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Complete? No, but four or five)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (No)
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (Yes)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk (No)
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (Yes. Love.)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (No)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (No)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (Yes)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (No)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens (No)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (No)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (No)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh (No)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Yes)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (No)

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (No)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (Yes)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (No)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (No)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (The first two)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (No)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (No)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Yes)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Yes, I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns more)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres Mais (No)
39 Memoirs of a Geisha -Arthur Golden (No)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (Yes)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (Yes)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (No)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (No)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (No)
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins (No)
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (No)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (No)

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (No)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (No)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (No)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (No)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert (No)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons (No)
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (Yes)

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth (No)
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (No)
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (No)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (No)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (No)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (No)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (No)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (Yes)

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt (No)
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (No)

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (No)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac (No)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (No)
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (No)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie (No)
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (No and never will)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (No)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (No)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (Yes)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (No)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (No)
76 The Inferno - Dante (No)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome (No)
78 Germinal - Emile Zola (No)
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (No)
80 Possession - AS Byattn (No)
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (Yes)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell (No)
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (No)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro (No)
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (No)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry (No)
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (Yes)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (Yes)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (No)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton (No)
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (No)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Yes)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks (No)
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (No)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy (No)
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute (No)
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (No)
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (Yes)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (Yes)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (Yes)

So I've read 27 of the 100. Not too bad I guess but a lot lower than what I thought it would be. But this is a very strange selection of books. And I read more social commentary books than fiction.


Sending Chicago

On Friday, I decided to spread a little Chicago love. I bought several postcards to mail to my friends that moved away or I don't get to see anymore. I thought it would be a cute way of saying "Hi, I miss you." I think it's much better than an email or Facebook message.

It makes me smile, I hope it makes them smile too.

I love snail mail, but I love getting postcards most of all.


Leave The Gun. Take The Cannoli.

I finally bought The Godfather. I know, it's basically the epitome of a man's movie, but I LOVE it. I really don't know why it took me this long to buy it.

Those who know me well, know that I have a weird fascination with the Italian mob. (Sometimes I wish I was Italian.) The Sopranos? Loved it. Goodfellas? Amazing. The Godfather? The original, the best.

My dad's cousin once had a sit-down to make a deal with a mob boss. He needed booze for his wedding. It was probably one of the best stores I've heard.


Oh, Memories

Today, I heard Ace of Base's song "The Sign" on the radio for the second time in two days. How random. I remember when that song first came out, I loved it!

Actually, my older sister Maggie and I listened to the tape so much on vacation one summer that my cousin Charlie threatened to throw it in the lake. We were barred from listening to it the rest of the trip. As soon as we got home, the tape was back in my boom box. (Oh, how I miss my boom box.)

And so, I am re-uploading "The Sign" onto my iPod. I think it's a sign.

Blah, Blah, Blah

You never know when people are going to say the most ridiculous things. That's why I always carry my quote book with me wherever I go.

If someone were to read it, they most likely would not understand half of what is written and wouldn't think any of it was funny. But I laugh every time I read some of the quotes.

A few personal (recent) favorites:
"Did you ever see one of those grills?"
"She kicked me with her little shoe."
"We'll put Martin Sheen in the plants."
"Hey, are you wasted and macking on boys?"
"I thought that was a guy, but it was a mailbox."
"Slow your roll."

You didn't understand them, huh? Didn't think they were funny? I told you so.
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