Thursday, 3 December 2009

I'm Back

Okay, so it's been a while.

Currently, I'm what my father calls "under employed." And my underemployment has kept me from blogging, but trust me, I still have plenty of time to feel the effects of un(der)employment and share them. So, I'm back.

Today I came across this brilliant blog post about how my fellow un(der)employed Americans and I are going to get through the holidays: "The Unemployed's Elevator Pitch for the Holidays."

Jobless and Less is a serious blog about unemployment- he's been layed off four times in nine years. But he's also really funny and insightful, and as my mother knows, there is nothing I am dreading more about the holidays (besides all the dairy) than the inevitable questioning of my unemployment. Thanks to Jobless, I now have a plan.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


My sister sent me this video from YouTube the other day and I haven't been able to stop watching these kids since (no, not the balloon boy- that family doesn't need any more publicity than they have already managed to get).

And apparently I am not the only fan of PS22 (check out their blog). My girls Beyoncé and Gaga fell in love with the group after they were invited to Billboard magazine's Women in Music Celebration Brunch. Ashton Kutcher tweets about them. And Perez has put them up on his site too.

These Staten Islanders are so lovably ordinary, except for their musical abilities. They look like every other grade school choir, until just one of them opens his or her mouth and starts to sing. And their excitement is undeniably contagious. Watching them sing and dance to "Just Dance" made me want to be there rockin' out with them.

They have gained popularity solely through the Internet and the efforts of their teacher (and veritable saint) Gregg Breinberg. He started posted videos of his kids on YouTube in 2006; now they have their own channel. Read more in the NY Times article.

Finally, here are the kiddos doing my favorite song of all time:

Monday, 12 October 2009

"Obama, I know you are listening"

I love Lady Gaga.

Every since my sisters discovered my resemblance to the performer, I have been following her with more than admiration. She has made a name for herself with her music, her fashion, and now, as a gay rights activist. Below is her amazing performance at the Human Rights Campaign event before the National Equality March in D.C.

And here she is speaking in our Nation's capitol for the Equality March:

Way to go, Gaga. Way to go.

(The photo that started it all. I see our resemblance, don't you?)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I can't believe we are 12 days into October and I haven't even plugged Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

My family and I are more of year-round breast cancer awareness supporters (below is a picture from the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer 2006), but I will have a pink ribbon on my Twitter avatar this month and am eating my Yoplait and "saving lids to save lives."

I cannot stress the importance of early detection enough. Getting regular screening tests is the best way for women to lower their risk of dying from the disease because they can find the cancer early- when it is most treatable. If you want more information, check out the Susan G. Komen web site. It is a wealth of information.

While there is still no cure, we need more research! So let's fund breast cancer research. Lisa's blog featured a post on Pretty in Pink, which features spa deals for $31 for the 31 days of October (all to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer).

Hanes is also Passionately Pink for the Cure. I heard Sarah Chalke on the Eric and Kathy show talking about a pink party that she and her sister had I immediately called Lisa to tell her we should do one. If you are looking for ideas for your own pink party, Komen will help you out!

Finally, Marie Clare has an entire slide show of products that benefit breast cancer research- everything from ChapStick to coffee makers. Check it out!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

So long, Gourmet

This week, Condé Nast closed four magazines. Goodbye, Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.

What a time to be looking for a job in magazines!

Personally, I don't think there need to be as many bridal magazines on the market as there currently are, but Gourmet? Really?

The Boston Globe ran a very creative editorial "Gourmet Magazine, 1941-2009: A recipe of obsolescence" that summarizes this great loss. Gourmet was a truly beautiful magazine, and I am sad to have lost it for that reason (because we all know my culinary skills aren't up to that level, nor could I digest half of the dishes in its pages), but what makes me even more sad is that it proves the recession is winning- in more ways than one.

The magazine closed because ad revenue had dropped too low (1 point for the recession), and the closing means jobs lost for Condé employees and less jobs for eager grads like myself (point 2). I am also afraid that it ultimately means Americans are giving up the "gourmet" way of life. First, the elimination of rich foods and gorgeous cocktails and second, the magazines that feature them (point 3).

But I refuse to let the recession beat the magazine industry or myself. I will continue to subscribe and pick up news stand copies in the hope that industry will prevail and one day have a job to offer me. It's karma- what goes around comes around. And even the recession can't deny karma.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Second City Savvy

It is finally here. Your one-stop shop for satisfying your need for style at the right price is Second City Savvy.

My sister Lisa, the original recessionista, has put together a site that aggregates sales on clothes and beauty products, as well as Chicago-specific deals.

But it's not just links. She writes about living a life for less, which believe me, she has been doing for quite some time now. She's smart and funny, like the Khloe Kardashian of the Noe girls (except NEVER compared to a tranny or amazon woman).

(In case you were wondering, that makes Megan Kim because she's the most serious and driven and I'm Kourtney, except for that whole being pregnant thing.)

So, check it out. Because who couldn't use an excuse to buy something new for their fall wardrobe?

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

"You're only as sick as your secrets"

Have you heard how the recession is making people healthier?

Well, it's true. At least it's true for me. Because I don't have to get up and go to work every day, I get up and go to the gym every day. Otherwise I would lay in bed all morning and just stare at the wall, which, I won't lie, has happened one or two times since graduation. Anyway, I get up and walk the two blocks to my neighborhood gym in order to see the Today show before it gets all Hoda and Kathie Lee. This way, I am enriching my mind and body at the same time (see, healthier).

Today, I watched a very interesting segment with Carrie Fisher. At first I thought it was just a book/show promotion, and then I thought it was another Mackenzie Phillips story about how growing up in the spotlight isn't as great as it seems (who thought it was?), but then I realized that what she had to say was very relevant to the current state of my own life.

Matt Lauer points out that in her new Broadway show she takes situations that most people would think are not funny and brings comedy to them. She says that once you "can claim something, you have more power over it. You're only as sick as your secrets... I say my weak things in a strong voice."

And thus you have the reason for my blogging. So eat your heart out, 10% unemployment rate. Seriously watch the interview. It's less than 10 minutes and she has some really interesting things to say about adolescence, mental illness and Michael Jackson.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Paper Jam

Mondays are the days I like to run errands/get things done around the house (pick up, do laundry, organize things). I usually plan out the rest of my week and work on some personal projects. Today's project is my closet. It is kind of overflowing.

And while I organize I am watching Office Space to remind myself why work sucks and unemployment is great.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Being unemployed allows you time to do all the things you couldn't do if you were working.

This week, midweek, I went to hang out with my sister in the city. I had been wanting to try out this class that she takes at the Dailey Method on Damen, so when my beloved Daily Candy offered me a coupon for half off a class (an individual class is usually $2o, not affordable for the unemployed), I jumped at the opportunity because another wonderful thing about being unemployed is that I have become quite the recessionista (For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, a recessionista is someone who makes do with what they have during tough financial times and looks fabulous while doing it. Thank you, Urban Dictionary).

The class totally kicked my ass, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to tone and tighten. Still a dancer at heart, I loved all the barre work and the dancer-turned-Dailey-Method-owner, Tami.

Afterwards, my sister (the ultimate recessionista) and I went to Coast aka sushi heaven. For those of you who are thinking that it is a swanky place that doesn't vibe with the recessionista way of life, you are wrong. It is BYOB, so there. And the sushi is worth the price, just ask Megan Baldassarre.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Grandparents' Day

Yesterday was National Grandparents' Day, so my mom and I decided to take Grandma Barb to see Julie & Julia (don't tell her I had already seen it). We were a bit over zealous about the idea when we looked up movie times and accidentally got to the theater over an hour early. To kill time, we asked Grandma if she wanted to get any errands done and then did everything but drag her to Menards to buy some African Violet potting soil (she wanted to sit and wait at the theater while we just went... we told her she was kind of missing the point of Grandparents' Day.

When we got back to the theater for the movie (at the correct time), we took our seats and said "Surprise! We also rented out the whole theater!" (Not really, but we were the only ones in there until about half way through the previews when about three other people strolled in.)

She enjoyed the movie, but not the previews asking me at one point, "We did come to see the movie, right?" I even heard her laugh out loud at Meryl's loud portrayal of Julia Child. Afterward we brought her to our house for dinner. Mom tells me we are no longer to give Grandma the option of coming for dinner. Instead we are just to tell her that we have prepared a light supper and then we will take her home. I think a 93-year-old woman should be able to decide if she wants to come for dinner or not, but I'd rather not disagree with my mom on this one. Living at home, I've learned to pick my battles :)

Before we started cooking, Mom and I put on our pearls (hers are my Grandma Barb's and mine are my Aunt Pat's) so we could be just like Julia, and when we served our delicious (and dairy-free) dinner we said in our best Julia impressions, "Bon appetit!"

As we were leaving the theater, Mom said, "You could turn your blog into a vegan version of Julia Child's book!" Enticing, but I don't know how I would get around boning a duck....

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Hooray! Hoorah! Mizzou! Mizzou!

So I thought that not having a first day of school would be hard, but today I realized not having a first football game of the season is even harder.

Even though I slept in a black and gold sweatsuit and made my parents do a "M-I-Z... Z-O-U" at 9 a.m. this morning, it just wasn't the same. No fight song to wake my roommates up, no Morrow Casserole to feed them and certainly no Frat Pit to tailgate in (okay, okay, Frat Pit has been gone for two years now, but I will always remember it as an essential part of football season). I felt even more like a forty year old who lives with their parents than ever.

Mom and Dad were good sports though. They were wearing Mizzou sweatshirts and t-shirts when I got up, and Dad even hung my Mizzou flag out in front of our house. We had some game time snacks, and then a Tiger victory made the afternoon complete. All in all it turned out okay, but it sure wasn't Columbia.

(Last year's tailgate in St. Louis with my favorite Mizzou football fans)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Dog Science

Today in my unemployed life I decided to perform an experiment with my dog (don't worry, no dogs were harmed in the writing of this blog post).

I wanted to see if Wilke would walk faster depending on the time of the day I took her out. For those of you who know Wilk, she loves to sniff and sneak around our neighborhood like she is investigating a crime (really she is just looking for used gum and other old food to eat off the sidewalks).

So, I walked her around noon and she started out walking really quickly, but sure enough, half way around the block I had to start dragging her.

I walked her again at 4:30, which is when I usually take her out in the afternoon. I thought maybe she would walk faster on a different route, so I took her around the elementary school near our house. No faster at all, not even at the beginning. She also ate two pieces of gum before I was able to stop her.

Conclusion: Wilke is an old dog that may never walk fast, but while I am unemployed I am determined to pick up her speed and reduce the amount of gum she eats.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Jimmy Buffett

A couple pictures from this weekend:

Jimmy Buffett is kinda like Mardi Gras for middle-aged people (I saw a lot more of our tailgate neighbors than I ever wanted to). We had a good time, except for that whole concert part, ate good food and didn't allow the rain to get us down. Will we be back next year? Probably not.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

"On Wednesdays, we wear pink"

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

I had a dream that a family I babysit for got a pet snake, and they kept it in a shopping bag in the car. As I was driving with them, the mom pulled it out of the bag during its "nap." Needless to say, it was then awake and kept trying to get out of the bag. I am more than terrified of snakes and woke up drenched in a cold sweat. It was not a good start to the day.

The weather in Chicago is also beyond awful today. I can't be bothered to do anything besides pilates and watch Mean Girls.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Today was a great day in my unemployed life:

1. I got an interview at Chicago Home and Garden, a dream come true
2. My vegan cookies turned out wonderfully
3. SVU marathon

It's amazing the odd jobs you pick up while unemployed. Today I got an interview for a real job, but also got a dog/house sitting job, built a fortune teller to show to my mom's third grade class tomorrow and made two lunch dates for this week. When you have no conflicts, your schedule fills up pretty quickly.

I have also found the time (hehe) to train for a half marathon that my sister wants me to run and am happy to report a very successful interval training session today. If anyone has any good training tips, feel free to pass them along!

Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got these cookies off of Thanks, Denise :)

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp.salt
cinnamon to taste (optional)
vegan chocolate or carob chips - put in as many as you like
1 cup raw sugar (turbinado #1, sucanat works too but sucks up a lot of the moisture)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. It will work if they're not at room temp but it works MUCH better if they are. Also, while your oven is pre-heating put the cookie sheets you are going to use on top of the oven so they get preheated as well. Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (if you choose). Add chips. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium size bowl mix vegan sugar and oil. Mix it well. Add the vanilla and then add the water. Mix it well. Add the wet to the well in the dry. Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it. Add more chips if you need to. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Put them in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes and then flip and rotate the sheets.(top to bottom,and 180 degree rotation) Bake another 4 minutes and check them.

The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be. They will harden up some as they cool. I usually go in two minute increments from here untill they get to where I like them.

Take them out when they are done and move them to wire cooling racks. If they split or come apart when you try to remove them let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring them to the racks.

Serves: almost two dozen


Okay, I didn't have vegan sugar and did have to add another 1/4 cup of water to get the batter to stick together. Also, I discovered we didn't have any chips while I was making the batter, so I put it in the fridge overnight until I got some. When I was ready to cook them, I took the batter out of the fridge and let it warm to room temp for about 45 minutes.

If you look at the comments, cooking time can vary greatly. I cooked them at 350 for 4 minutes, then rotated the cookie sheet 180 degrees, then cooked for another 4 minutes and they turned out great!

Also, the addition of cinnamon is key :)

Here is the original link with all the comments people made (there were some interesting substitutions):

Monday, 24 August 2009

Yet Another "Gap"

So, I have come to yet another metaphorical gap in my life and can think of no better way to get through it than blogging about it.

Today was the first day of school for (what seemed like) everyone beside me. It was the first time that I too wasn't going back to school, and it didn't feel good. I have been searching for a job since April, to no avail, and today was only a reminder that while everyone else is starting anew I remain stationary in a life where there is no difference between the week and the weekend.

But, I am going to take advantage of this "gap" too. Being unemployed allows for lots of free time for projects, including vegan and vegetarian cooking projects. Today I am trying out a recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies. I just started, but when they come out of the oven, I'll let you know what I think.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Lisa on the News!

Check it out. Lisa was on the news. I just wish they had gotten a shot of her eating fried chicken!

View more news videos at:

Monday, 23 February 2009

Great Story

ESPN featured this incredible story on Sports Center (and the coach from De Kalb was a former Sports Camp camper/staffer). Check it out. It'll warm your heart.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

New Blog!

My last semester of college includes a capstone (or final) journalism course. Mine happens to be the class that I came to Mizzou for: Advanced Magazine Design. For this class we are required to keep a design-focused blog, so I will be posting (quite often as is required) on that blog for the rest of the semester.

Design novices: please don't shy away! There should be some interesting posts that are relevant to all readers, including examples of my published work from the semester.

So, check it out: White Space

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Happy New Year

Well, it's finally here: the last year my parents will have to pay college tuition (otherwise known as the year I graduate from college). I literally never thought the day would come.

In more exciting news, my friend Nate is headed to India today for a "away rotation" in his last semester of medical school. Read more at his blog: The Rickshaw Express