My Space Blogs – July 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

pizza by surprise
Category: Food and Restaurants


Well, the Parakeet, some of you may be surprised to know starts each week with some kind of menu. She makes a schedule for dinners, then makes a grocery list and buys the right stuff. Somewhat anal, but it helps keep the Russell’s on a budget, and there’s not that whole ‘Well, what’s for dinner?’ conversation.
So, last week, Thursday, she was going to try a new recipe; a hobby, really. She likes to cook. And this one she was really looking forward to: Cashew-encrusted Cod. It sounds fancy, but it wasn’t – mostly cashews and crackers. She prepared the sweet potatoes first and then the fish. The recipe said to broil the fillets on high for ten minutes. Their oven has a broiler on the bottom. She put the fish in and started the green beans, complete with almonds. Everything was going to time out perfectly – and the presentation complete with green, orange, and white food would make her mother proud.
The Huz returned from walking the dog, “What is that smell?”
“Oh, it’s just the fish cooking. That’s what it smells like.”
Timer goes off.
The Parakeet removes completely charred fish from the broiler. What the? The pan was so close to the broiler all the encrusting turned black. The Huz and Parakeet stared at their “beautiful” plates. They ate a few pieces of sweet potato. They pushed around their green beans. They scraped away the black looking for the fish.
After a respectable amount of time, the bird turned to the Huz and said, “Really, it won’t hurt my feelings if you just want to order pizza.”
” I don’t want to make that decision.”
” Ok, I will. We’re ordering pizza.”
She called up good ol’ Chicago’s Pizza and they had sustenance within the hour.
Oh well, maybe this week’s Gnocchi with Shrimp and Asparagus will go better. Check in on Friday.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

blanco vino
Category: Parties and Nightlife


So, the Parakeet went to her sister’s wedding only a short time ago – days really. As mentioned previously, the Parakeet’s mother can throw a party. So, Meredith’s wedding weekend was no exception to the rule.
The Parakeet behaved herself at her sister’s bachelorette outing.
She behaved herself at the rehearsal dinner.
When the reception finally rolled around and the matron-of-honor pressures were off, she was ready to go and continued to fill her glass with vino of the blanco variety; white wine.
She was in Florida, in June, and ate half a turkey sandwich and a glass of lemonade before the wedding.
We all know where this is heading.
The bartender was kind and continued to tell her she was pretty (sidenote: female bartender) and the Huz was on his own trip down Buzz Highway and eager to keep the bird’s glass full as well.
When her brother told her it was time to get back to the house to set up the after-party, the Parakeet mocked, “Why is Ben so serious? Ugh, he’s always so silly and NOW he’s serious. What’s wrong, Ben?”
Ben said, “Put your glass down. We’re leaving.”
At the after-party, the Huz took up his post behind the bar and the Parakeet made the rounds. She chatted up all of her parent’s friends; telling them about how cold and long the winters in Chicago are, how it was hard when the Huz lost his job, how funny her sister was, how old her dog was getting….anything really.
Pretty soon, it seemed like pretty soon; it was the Huz, the Parakeet, the DJs from the wedding (friends of the family) and her youngest brother sitting at Mom and Dad’s fancy outdoor bar. The young brother was beginning to give away the extra booze – “Oh, take this bottle home. No one minds.”
Then, the Parakeet excused herself to the restroom. That is all she remembers.
The Huz apparently heard her attempting to throw up and decided to walk her back to the guest house where they were staying (and where her other brother and sister-in-law were already asleep)
There are interesting stairs up to the loft where the bird and her groom were nesting this weekend. In order to meet code, the stairs are scissored, so your feet are never on the same plane. You have to walk as if up two different staircases; one for your right foot and one for your left.  The Parakeet kept murmuring, “I want to throw up….”
The Huz carried her drunken, bahama breeze wearing, matronly body up those crazy steps, got her into pajamas and into bed. The Parakeet awoke to see a trashcan on the right side of her bed and a large glass of water on the left.

After a few hours of self-pity, shame, and moaning the Parakeet finally got some food down and was just dandy. It was then that the Huz explained how difficult she was to put to sleep.

“You think it’s hard getting a suitcase up those stairs, try a 115lb wife.”


Friday, July 06, 2007

Category: Travel and Places

The Parakeet spent this afternoon at the beach. About three hours. It took ten minutes to get there. It was beautiful, relaxing. Why doesn’t she do this more often? Despite her snobbery, it turns out…Chicago, does indeed, have a beach.


Monday, July 09, 2007

it's just that
Category: Sports


the parakeet made it to the gym today. chicago has been having some heat waves so running in the hood is on pause. well, as she was lifting weights facing all the cardio machines, it quickly disturbed her that there was so much butt crack sweat. she was instantly self-conscious, wondering how her own rear end was holding up. mostly everyone at a work-out facility seems understanding about that kind of thing. but she had to admit that the row of butt sweat moving up and down on elliptical machines should have been hilarious but instead was a little disgusting.
just a little


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

is it hopeless?
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

The Parakeet and the Huz have been Netflix members since sometime in 2004. Their queue now has 340 movies. 340! Given the Parakeet’s need to cross things off lists, given her task-oriented mind, this is starting to look like a chore. But after finishing an amazing Season 3 of Deadwood (really the writing went up a step from Season 2 – very good…) today they will receive Pan’s Labryinth, Stranger than Fiction, and True Stories: Talking Heads. Should be a good week. But Seriously, with new movies coming out all the time, old movies being released on DVD and friend’s recommendations…..THERE IS NO END.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wednesday Mis-Adventure
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities


Well, winter is arguably ( and who would argue ) the worst part of living in Chicago. The entire city tries to make up for those awful eight months by cramming all the fun into July and August (occasionally June gets a woohoo, but it’s risky). The Parakeet, not being in a show for the first summer in a few, has been eager to take advantage of all the good times.
Last Wednesday Winnemac Park was showing “Monster House” outside at Dusk. The Keet and Huz live just one block from there. How fun! It’s a date.
So they made a yummy dinner, finished it up, grabbed the dog and left to walk the block to the movie. Oh yeah, and the Parakeet insisted on walking past a liquor store and getting a bag of m&ms. She’s wild, that one.
Once they got to the park, they realized, perhaps, the camping chairs would have been a good idea. Most people brought camping chairs and sitting on the ground they were hard to see over.
So…the good Huz went back to the apartment and left the Keet with the Dog. She watched the kids near her run in circles before settling in chairs and blankets. She watched dogs do the same. Couples snuugled and nature’s lights dimmed to begin the show.
That’s when the Huz came back – empty handed. What? You know where the chairs are. What happened?
I don’t have my keys, he says.
I don’t have my keys, she says.
The disappointment is racing from the Keet’s toes all the way to her neck. Why does she ever plan anything?
Ugh. The Huz is sheepish. His keys are always clipped to his belt, like a janitor. Wednesday – they were not.
The Huz and Parakeet walk back with Percy to their house. They find a neighbor sitting in the backyard and borrow her phone. Luckily, they have given a friend their spare set of keys.
Their friend calls back within ten minutes. She is home. So the couple leaves their dog with the neighbor and begins a 9PM journey to friend’s house.
They walk the ten-ish minutes to the el, ride it two stops, walk the 5-ish minutes to her house and then turn around and repeat the trip.
Somewhere between missing her movie and leaving their dog in the backyard, at least, the Parakeet swallowed a silly pill. It could have been those m&m’s. 
So the walk was enjoyable. She pretended it was excersize (even though she was in flops) and moved her arms in an obnoxious power-walk motion most of the way. The Huz employed many different accents to entertain her as well and even did the funniest walk she had ever seen from him in her life. It was a hunchback -trollish type contortion that can not be described in type.
So, they didn’t see the movie, BUT they did enjoy a summer evening. And maybe that was the point after all. Maybe.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

millions of peaches (a.k.a. for Blair)
Category: Food and Restaurants

The Parakeet loves the Trader Joe’s grocery store. Loves it. She buys most of their groceries there, but ends up at the Jewel each week also for things like soda and quite frankly; produce. On Tuesday, she was pressed for time. She was moving quickly through TJ’s and thought, eh, let’s just buy everything here and  keep it simple. Unable to buy just one or two peaches (that is not how Trader Joe’s operates) she picked up a basket of them. On Wednesday morning as she packed her lunch, she removed a peach from said basket; bruised. She picked up another one; bruised. And a third, you guessed it, bruised. UGH!
So while at work, she visited the ever helpful and used peach as the search. She waded through many recipes to find something she could make that night and salvage what she could of about five or six peaches.
TADA! Peach chutney – it even called for cilantro, jalepeno, and ginger – all of which were in her fridge and would go bad if not used soon. So, after her workout and a much-too-fun trip to Target, she began chopping the dying peaches. People, that chutney was so good. She and the Huz ladled it over grilled chicken strips, set some steamed brocolli spears on the side. Delish! As the Parakeet ate, she kept saying, “I just can’t believe I had all the ingredients for this right in my kitchen.”  There is a container of peach chutney leftovers in the fridge now, though – what exactly will they do with that?


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Even Steven
Category: News and Politics


There are on-going arguments between the Parakeet and her in-laws. Sometimes in jest and sometimes, well, for real. The first Christmas the Parakeet spent in Texas, her father-in-law took her picture holding a rifle. He has used this photo many times.
Last week, the Parakeet e-mailed him a picture of the Huz literally hugging a tree.
After four years – they are even.


11:29 AM 0 Comments0 KudosAdd CommentEdit Remove

two jokes for jill


The Huz has his wisdom teeth removed this week. When the first came out with no trouble, the dentist looked at the Huz and said, “That’s what I wanted; the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.”

The Parakeet spoke to her father-in-law on the phone this morning. He asked about her upcoming shows. She explained that she would be playing a sidekick. He said “That’s great. You’re just the right height to kick someone in the side.”



Monday, July 30, 2007

Amazing Grace …
Category: Romance and Relationships


A few Thursdays ago, earlier in July, the Parakeet was at work. Like most Thursdays. She had to go down to the floor to bring the traders a ‘run’. Like most Thursdays. She stopped in the booth near the pit to make sure the computers were running correctly. She put on some hand lotion. It was about ten o’clock. She passed out the run. She stopped at the bathroom. She got in the elevator and came back up to the office. She began to pay the bills. Like most Thursdays.
She was finishing, putting file folders back into their tight little spaces in the drawer when she glanced at her left hand – no engagment ring. Her wedding band only surrounded that honored fourth finger, looking more lonely that it ever had.
The Parakeet instantly dropped the folder. She looked over her desk. She typed on google-chat “I have to go. I can’t find my engagement ring.” She got on the floor. She looked in dirty nooks and crannies. She took her trading jacket off her chair-back and dug her hand into each pocket. Her heart began to race. It was only 10:40.

Somewhere in the last forty minutes, her ring had gone missing.

How do you re-trace forty minutes? She told her co-worker. She went back to the floor, to the pit, to the booth. Her eyes were glued to the floor. Her stomach hurt and she willed herself to supress emotion and be logical. to be rational. To actually LOOK. no ring. Co-worker needed a lunch break. She sat down at the computer to fill futures. The memory of the Huz nervously proposing six years earlier kept flying into her head. She was sad.

She went home. The Huz was hanging out with some of his guy friends that night. She wanted to tell him in person. She made herself dinner. She went to the gym. She came home and began to clean the house furiously. A friend was visiting from out-of-town the next day and, besides, it was distracting. Therapeutic even. But at eight-thirty, she couldn’t stand it anymore. She called the Huz. “When are you coming home?”
“I don’t know. I’m gonna hang out a bit.”
“oh. OK.”
“Why? What’s up?”
“Well,…when you get home I want to talk to you.”
“What’s up?”
“I want to talk in person.”
“OK. Are you all right?”
“Um, yes. I’m not hurt.”
“Don’t worry, I”ll be ok.”
“I’ll just talk to you when you get home. Have fun.”
“Bye, sweetie.”
Poor Huz. He was home fifteen minutes later. The Parakeet didn’t cry until she told him. Telling him was sad. He was totally supportive and everything you’d suspect. He was relieved, probably, that ‘I need to talk” was only ‘I can’t find my ring’. He told her to stop looking and then she’d find it. He said he loved her. He wasn’t mad. Don’t cry because you think I’m mad. She wasn’t. She was crying because she couldn’t find her ring. And she had really liked that ring.

Soon he teased, “Oh, I get it. The five year is coming up. You want an upgrade.” They both laughed.

oh well. It’s just a ring.

On Tuesday (just eight days ago) an auditor came to the Parakeet’s office. She was trouble. What auditor isn’t? The Parakeet was prepared but she was still there longer than she’d have liked. She still had more paperwork to gather, more questions to answer. Around 2PM, she had to go to the floor and bring the traders a run. Whatever. On her way back up, in the elevator, she dug her hands into the pockets of her trading jacket – like usual. But as she fidgeted, she realized there were inside pockets to these jackets. She should have known that. There were four inside pockets  – oh just check, just in case. Her fingers brushed over something in the lower, right-hand inside pocket – her ring! She almost skipped out of the elevator.

Her co-worker said she should run out and get a lottery ticket. She was full of luck that day. So…eleven days later – her ring, still in the pocket of her jacket.

It was once was lost, but now is found.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

how to explain…..
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

The day job has been super yucky for a little bit. Well, since last Tuesday (you know, the audit). Then, the Parakeet started to fill futures. She does this every day for anywhere from 45 min to 2 hours, but she doesn’t often do it all day. Oh she did it all day. She even did it on this day. Oi vei. Which happened to be the Very same day that the Huz was scheduled to have his wisdom teeth removed. She had to drive him home. She finally was able to leave work – they paid for a cab. But the Huz had already got fed up and drove himself home, numb mouth and all. So he was disappointed in the Parakeet and couldn’t quite look at her when she came in the door and he had already been on the couch for ten minutes in front of the History Channel. And the next morning, her bosses couldn’t get over that she had left them on the busiest day in five years. They said they should have sent the Huz a limo. She couldn’t win. SAD times. The Huz luckily forgave after a nap and by Monday the Keet seemed to be back in the boss’ good graces (Friday was rough, but that’s another story). So hopefully all planets have realigned. Let’s just say that a  B.F.A. in Acting only gets a married bird so far in the options market.


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