Friday, May 30, 2008

sad news

A few months ago, my parents took in a stray from our neighborhood that was noticeably pregnant. She'd had a few litters over the years, but it was winter and my parents were worried that her kittens wouldn't survive this time.

In March she gave birth to four adorable kittens, one short haired orange male, a black male, a tiger female, and a ginger, long-haired female.

When the kittens were old enough, we found homes for them, but Momma remained in the basement. My parents had made an appointment to get her spayed. See, she was a feral cat, which meant she's never be able to live in a domestic situation. So they thought the next best option would be to get her fixed and release her back into the neighborhood.

Although they would have loved to have found her a good home, because it wasn't possible they decided that if she had to be released, they may as well prevent her from having any more kittens, and allow her to live out the rest of her life without worrying about that.

Her appointment was scheduled for this morning, and my mom took her in at around 9am.

At 10:00am I got a call from my mom who was in tears.

Mom: "Tiff?"

Me: "What's wrong mom?"

Mom: "Momma didn't make it through the surgery."

Me: "What happened?!"

Mom: "They couldn't wake her from the anesthesia. Her heart stopped. I feel like it's my fault. I didn't get to say goodbye because I thought she'd be coming back home."

I reassured her that it wasn't her fault, and that these things happen. I mean, if she had made it through, and we released her back into the neighborhood any number of things could have happened out there, too. At least in this situation, she peacefully slept. And for the past few months she had a warm bed, food, water, and a place to nurse and raise her kittens.

My mom mentioned that Harlow, one of the kittens, began acting really strange just before or right after my mom got the news. Like her little kitten instincts knew that her mother had just passed.

I called my mom to check in on her. I know how she feels. Last October I accidentally backed over a cat in the driveway. It was the worst feeling in the world. To think that it was my fault that an animal died.

We later figured that the cat must have already been hurt and that I had actually probably put it out of any pain it was already in. I was going so slowly that it seemed unlikely that any animal wouldn't have been able to get out of the way of my car.

My mom's okay. Harlow has been sleeping on her chest all day. They're taking care of each other. And Momma is probably looking down, relieved that she doesn't ever have to go back out on the harsh streets and fight to survive.

At least, that's my prayer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

where the sidewalk ends

So I was watching the news last night as I worked on some crossword puzzles to keep my mind sharp. (Or maybe I'm just getting old..............nah.)

I was a bit surprised by a story coming out of Northbrook, IL about residents opposed to sidewalks. Now, I could understand if the opposition stemmed from being forced to pay for said sidewalks or having to actually install (?? this word doesn't really work, but I'll leave's early) said sidewalks.

But the opposition didn't really involve any of that. See, a lot of people want the sidewalks, especially near schools and areas of high child traffic. Makes sense, right?

Wrong. See, there are other residents that seem to think the aesthetic beauty of grass and landscaping far outweighs the need for the safety of sidewalks.

---cue record scratch---

Are you kidding me?!

Pretty grass? Really? That's your main concern?

It really got my goat. What a selfish and silly reason for not wanting a sidewalk. And what's so ugly about sidewalks? As long as they're maintained they're hardly noticeable. For chry-yi, I've seen grass more unruly than a cracked sidewalk.

It just seemed like a lame reason to oppose a sidewalk. There are much better reasons to oppose sidewalks...such as an allergy to concrete...or a fear of stubbing one's toe...hell, a dislike of anthills...I don't know. But aesthetic beauty over safety of one's neighbors? Seriously people. Get with the program.

Whatever. I have a side walk. And when I get home, I'm going to tell it how much I appreciate it...and how aesthetically pleasing it is to look at.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

prepare yourselves

It was a long, action-packed Memorial Day Weekend in the World of Tiff. I have lots of pictures and lots of stories.

All in due time, my dears.

All in due time.

So check back early and often this week.

Maybe even later on tonight.


Friday, May 23, 2008

charles leonard

My friend Erica reminded me that the pink stapler I talked about yesterday was picked out by her.

So, technically it is her stapler. She's since Arizona...and I will be leaving my current job very soon, so I figured she'd want me to take good care of the stapler that she so obviously was once very closely connected to.

So I'm stealing it. Okay, not stealing. Rescuing it. Who knows what hands might rest upon its clear, pink plastic parts in the future?! I don't want to risk it. Erica is a dear friend, and I'm sure that she'd only want the best for Charles Leonard.

Yes, the stapler's name is Charles Leonard. It says so right on the bottom. Which made it much easier for me because that name is just brilliant, especially for a pink stapler. No time spent trying to come up with a suitable moniker. Nope. Charles Leonard was already bestowed upon this fine piece of office equipment.

I plan to take Charles Leonard to JV with me. It'll be a big move for him, but in the long run I think he'll be much happier.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

my stapler is pink...

...which has nothing to do with this post. It's just, I can see it with my peripheral vision and I couldn't come up with anything catchier. (Haven't had ANY coffee yet...damn.)

So last night Jeff and I went to see Avenue Q.

Holy shit.

That was the best fucking thing I've seen in a while. I laughed so hard I nearly pissed the seat. It was great. I wanted to take a picture of the marquee to put on this blog, but I forgot to grab my camera out of my purse. I guess seeing puppet sex on stage stalled my synapses.

Afterwards, we went to eat. As we were walking, a bird just fell out of the sky and died. It was really strange. It was 10 at night. Don't birds sleep at night? But this one just fell out of the sky and died. Like that.

A few feet ahead of him there was another dead bird on the ground. What the fuck was going on? I wondered if there was some sort of bird cult at the top of the building and if they had just each had a drink laced with poison--ending it all in hopes of reaching some Mother Bird in an alien nest orbiting the moon.

Probably not, I guess. But still...two birds in one night? Just dropping dead out of the sky? I didn't like it.

This morning I woke up and headed into work from Chicago. I was thinking about how I can't wait until I start at JV on June 2nd. Mainly because I'm just really excited, but also because it would have been a lot closer than driving back into Indiana---only to sit at my desk and make sure that all of the check stubs from 1999 to present are in numerical order.

Yes. This is what I do currently. Crap.

As I drove down Foster, I noticed a man walking, hunched over himself, white hair spraying out of the sides of his scalp. He wore dingy jeans and an old blue sweatshirt. I couldn't tell if he was deep in thought or if life had just vacuumed out all of the hopes and dreams in his head. On the one hand, he looked as though he had quite a lot to think about, but on the other he just looked sort of empty. Talk about a walking contradiction.

But what really struck me was the bluish-purple bruise around his left eye. He didn't look like he would be a fighter. He actually looked brittle and frail. Who would punch this man? And why?

I remembered a friend of mine that used to hang out at Ravenswood Pub coming in with a black eye once. He was a really nice guy. He explained that he had been walking down the street when a guy came up to him, asked him for some change for the CTA, and when our friend told him he was broke, the man just punched him in the face and started running.

I wonder if he woke up from winter hibernation and is back on the streets, punching random people in the face again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

holy. crap.


I got the call yesterday.

On June 2nd I will officially be a professional writer. And I'll be able to say it without thinking to myself, "Well, not really professional. I mean, I've been paid for a couple of pieces, but one day..."


I got the job with Jellyvision. I can't even explain the millions of emotions that are running around inside me. It's crazy. I still get butterflies and chills when I think about it.

I worked so,so very hard. I almost gave up on myself. Thank God for my friends, family, and other supporters. And, thank God for coffee, ice cream, and laughter.

And now? Now I'm starting this new, crazy journey in less than two weeks.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I couldn't think of a catchier title.


After dropping Max off at school, I immediately headed down to the basement and realized that this is the first Tuesday since September that I haven't had something to work on. In the past it was searching Craiglsist, Monster, and Careerbuilder, looking for more hopeless rejection and sending out resumes and cover letters, you know, just to pour salt in the wound.

Lately, it's been working on stuff for the Jellyvision audition and one flyer for Miss Jackie and the Sass.

But today? Today I'm reading blogs, drinking coffee, and feverishly hitting refresh on my Yahoo! Mail Inbox. (So far, just an inspirational e-mail from my mom...bless her heart.)

I took a break to pay a visit to the porcelain god a few minutes ago (coffee seems to have that effect), and I ended up getting pissed off. Which, in this situation, is probably better than getting pissed on.

It seems these expensive, lacy, frilly, girl underwear that I paid way too much for (for chry-yi, they touch my freaking ass all day. That doesn't seem cause for them to cost about as much as a small Coach handbag),well, they're garbage.

As I pulled on them, the freaking ripped. Nearly in half.

A single thread is the only thing keeping them from morphing from panties to a handkerchief. Not that I plan on using them as a handkerchief should that string decide to break.

But it really is quite metaphorical. All that time and effort to create something so intricate and delicately embroidered...and all that's keeping it together is a tiny string that could break at any moment.

Maybe there's something in my inbox now...

Monday, May 19, 2008

the waiting is the hardest part part 2

So I had my final interview with Jellyvision on Friday. In short, I have been a burlap sack of nerves since, well, since early April when I sent my resume and cover letter.

I think my stomach has begun eating itself in anticipation.

It doesn't help that at work today I've been assigned the task of proofreading and double-checking spreadsheets due to a balance discrepancy. In other words, the task leaves my mind free to wonder things like, "What if my thank you email didn't go through?" "What if the use of the word 'fart' in my interview gave them second thoughts?" "Okay, so...buffaloes from Buffalo are Buffalo buffalo...who buffalo Buffalo buffalo...but what about the buffalo buffalo part?!?!'" and to check my email every 2.875647 seconds.

My heart jumped when I saw the "Inbox (1)" link. Unfortunately, it was just Circuit City trying to sell me a piece of technology I either don't want or don't need.

I guess this waiting and anticipation isn't such a bad thing. I mean, it puts things in how badly I want this. I mean, if I didn't care, then I wouldn't be nervous. And that would be a bad thing.

Now...time to stare at the phone for a few minutes...willing it to ring.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this morning I heard St Elmo's Fire on the radio at work. I've sort of made this song my anthem as of late...I don't really know why. But I heard it and imagined it was a sign of good things to come. Here's hoping...

a good day

Kiss FM played a New Kids on the Block medley...

...oh yeah, today's gonna be a good day.

Also, "Copa Cabana" was playing on Love boss chimed in with, "I LOOOOOOVE this song!"


Thursday, May 15, 2008

i sleep in a cave pt. 2

Remember this?

Yeah, well a few nights before, Jeff and I had gone to see the B-52's at HOB and then a nightcap at Howl...and he took this [incriminating] [scary] [strange] [what the hell?!] picture of me...after a few cocktails:

It all makes perfect sense now.

two reasons

Two reasons for this post.

1.) Miss Jackie and the Sass is the best. (And Miss Jackie has been my friend since we were 10.) So go see her show:

and 2.) I made this wonderful flyer for her. :)

Shameless self promotion and shameless non-self promotion. Brilliant.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

things i thought throughout the day...

So in between manually entering survey survey at a mind came up with a few different ways to keep from atrophying. They are as follows:

1.) In French 202, my last semester of French (which, by the way, was taught by a woman whose native language was Chinese...), my classmate and I drew dirty pictures to distract ourselves from learning how to say things like "cow" and "horse" in French. She reminded me of that today...and now I feel I must find them. We drew a large penis in vacation gear...and a very busty trailer house wife whose nightie was giving her equally as man-boob-busty and trailer-y hubby quite the two-dimensional boner.

2.) Apparently, to the senior citizen community, some of our theatre's past plays were dirty:

...either that, or they're referring to the fact that they don't use the Internet for porn...if only they had a computer...

3.) While getting coffee, I realized that my sugar has a first name, it's C-O-R-Y. Which immediately made me think of bologna, which also has a first name. It's O-S-C-A-R. Then I vaguely remembered dating a guy who called his schvanz "Oscar." I kicked myself for forgetting that one...

4.) The company that prints our letterheads gave us desk calendars. Their logo is a hot air balloon...and the guy riding in the basket really looks like Buddah.

5.) I hope the soap that I accidentally drank with my morning coffee (I rushed to wash my travel mug as I left the house...whoops) doesn't give me a raunchy case of gut rot later.

Back to the surveys...

i still play with sock puppets....

From a year ago:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

mom's day

I'm a mom...and if Max ever has a sibling, it'll probably go something like this...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

i love this...

Jeff found this for me. I love it.

like that dream where you show up naked for class

I went to bed last night, put in my meditation CD, and fell asleep pretty quickly.

Had a dream in which I went to the final Jellyvision interview and realized that I forgot to do my final revision. There was some sort of wait and I was asked if I wanted to use a computer to make any changes etc. And that's when I realized that I forgot to do it. So there I was, about to piss myself with embarrassment, trying to do the rewrite in five minutes.

It felt like college. Okay, not all of college, but one of those days when something was due in an hour and I had taken too long on my smoke/coffee/socialization break and only had fifteen minutes to turn it into something spectacular. Those were rare days, but with my old schedule they sometimes happened.

It ended up being alright, and after the interview I teleported to a house party where I was told I needed to buy some liquor. Walked outside to a liquor store across the street that turned into a Dominick's as soon as the automatic doors opened.

Spent the rest of the dream wandering the streets of Chicago looking for booze and kicking myself for forgetting my revision.

No more ranch popcorn and Frasier reruns before bed ever again.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


What sounds like woodpecker porn is emanating from my coworker's computer.

His clowns are still in a box on the floor by the way...

Did you know that India Arie covered Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter."

Yeah, I didn't either...I wish I still didn't.

I think I'll ask my coworker to turn up the soundtrack on his dirty bird movie...

could you copy this deposit ticket while balancing 3 camels on your head and dancing the tango on your swivel chair?

At work, it's often the case that one person will give me a project...then another person will, and then another, and another, and so on.

At the moment I am balancing about 4 projects (I can't keep track), one of which was going through a list of group travel company websites, seeing if they'd be companies we could work with, and then writing down their contact info to enter into a spreadsheet.

I have one word of advice to ANYONE contemplating a website: If your company name includes more than 25 letters or so, please abbreviate. is not a functional website address. Period.

On another note, one girl decided to make over 500 photocopies, creating a back-up for the copier that put traffic on the Dan Ryan during construction to shame.

I needed to copy 2...yes, TWO deposit slips. The woman I needed to copy them for was in the copy room, sending out a fax.

Me: "Hey M____, are you copying?"

M____: "No, Tiff. That's P_____'s project. But I have to make some copies too."

Me: "Well hey, since you're already going to make a few copies when P____'s copies are finished, do you just want to copy these [two very minuscule deposit slips that will take five seconds that are technically going to end up back on your desk anyways], too then?"

M____: "No no! You keep those and copy them." (M_____ dramatically books it out of copy room, mumbling inaudibly...something about creamer...and the new towels she bought on her lunch break...)

Me: eyes; notices that only 160 of the 500 copies currently printing are done. Rolls eyes again. Makes a fart noise.)

-End scene-

Is it 5 yet?

i sleep in a cave

This is Jeff's drawing of me.


That's me.

It's not that he lacks proficiency with crayons, it's that we were playing a game.
I like to call it "Blind Art." (Catchy, right?) Basically, you have to draw someone or something without ever looking down at the paper.

This is what Jeff came up with when he tried to draw me. Fabulous.

When he saw it, he laughed himself to tears. Max thinks it's so hilarious that every time he sees it he squeals like a howler monkey.

My take on it: Apparently, in Jeff's mind's eye, I'm the infamous "Bat Child."


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

holy crap.

I made it to the Jellyvision final round.

This really is like American Idol...only much cooler...dawg.


They've rearranged desks at my office. My boss has moved out to the same area as me...and so have his clowns.

I'm not sure if they're going up far they're in a cardboard box on the floor in front of his desk.

I will keep you updated.

I'm going to take a lunch my car...and listen to the Cubs game for an hour.

never noticed the redbud trees before

Sunday I noticed redbud trees for the first time...ever. There they were...beautiful, electric purple trees. How did I ever miss them?

The old adage is that we should all take time to "stop and smell the roses" but I've always thought roses smell like outdated perfume. I mean, if you like roses, by all means, smell them, but I think there are so many more things that we should stop to do as well.

I just read a sad story and I'm not going to go into detail, but it was local and it involved someone who also attended PUC and was just about to graduate.

I'm pretty aware of the important things in life, but stories like this always give me that extra, introspective nudge to really keep the important stuff well...important.

Noticing the quiet beauty of the redbud trees gave me that nudge too.

I guess sometimes the Universe just wants to make sure we keep things in perspective.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the waiting is the hardest part...

I just sent my Jellyvision audition. Right now I feel like I did the first time I left Max with a sitter. Part of my soul is just floating around out there and it's gonna be a while until I hear about it.
Damn I'm profound today.

On another note, Max turned 8 on Sunday...

...a few days before his birthday, he received an invitation to join the AARP. He carries his sample membership card with him, but I'm not sure it's going to help him get a discount...