Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Declare June - Confrontation Free Month

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I Am Not Confrontational, I Am Just Not Afraid of Confrontation
Earlier this week, I had a situation at Starbucks, I will get into details later, but it made me realize that I need to curb the not-backing-down attitude. I don't need to win every situation, every minute of my life does not have to be a competition. By declaring June "Non-Confrontational Month," maybe just for a short while, I can see how it feels.

Pink Wig

What Happened at Starbucks?
Last week in Chicago the weather was terrible, it rained all week. It was raining so hard that I never made it to my usual Startbucks, instead, I just went to the Starbucks next door. The Starbucks next door is uncomfortable, and I am not too familiar with the staff or the regulars, unlike the one Starbucks on Rush where everyone knows me.

Half way though my morning, I needed to plug my computer into the outlet located behind my chair. I noticed that an older French woman, who was elegantly dressed and resembled Christy Hefner, had her computer plugged into the socket and her power surge protector was blocking the second sockets. I very kindly asked if she could plug into the outlet in front of her (there was another outlet in front of her) and she refused.  She claimed her computer would die if she unplugged it.  I said, "Well, that is OK, I have about 20 minutes left on my battery, I can wait until you finish what you're working and and power off.  She ignored me. 

About 10 minutes left on the battery, I asked her again, "Excuse me? Excuse me?" She ignored me. "My battery is about to die...will you please plug into the other outlet?" She refused, she suggested I move and find another outlet. I grew angry, I said, "If you won't unplug it, I will unplug it for you." This made the old French woman very aggressive, she said strongly, "You will not touch my plug, if you touch my plug, you will be very sorry."

I was distraught. I hoped that she would leave before my battery died, but she did not. I sat there frantically staring at my battery life on my MacBook Pro...slowly dwindling...down. I thought about asking her a third time and then I decided that it would be best to ask a staff person to get involved. I felt so lame, I am an adult who has to rely on a 20-something Starbucks employee to resolve an outlet situation?

The employee came over and politely asked if she would unplug and plug into the other socket. Once again, she insisted that her computer would die but I was relieved to find that the Starbucks employee found her excuse weak. 

People started to stare, she started screaming at me in her French accent, "You did this on purpose! You know what you're doing!" I was stunned, "What am I doing? I don't think I am asking for something outrageous, I just want us all to be able to work." She did not stop, she kept yelling, "You need help, you need a psychiatrist!" A grown woman, well into her 60s, yelling at the top of her lungs, all this, over a socket.  I could not help myself, I said, "You really want to behave this way? You are a grown woman." I found sympathy in the eyes of bystanders as I sat there in silence while she lambasted me for a few more minutes. 

Dr. Phil - Please Help, Am I a "Right Fighter"? 

I thought about it in the shower the next morning. I thought about my feelings and I thought about a Dr. Phil episode I once watched on "Right Fighters". What made me behave that way?  What made me stand up to this woman even after I knew she was a little "off"?  Why could I not let go!?!
  • I hate the thought of being a push-over
  • I felt as if the woman was taking advantage of me and of the situation
  • I try not to allow sex, age or race determine how I treat people, in positive or negative situations
  • When I am right, I feel like it should be recognized
  • But most of all, deep down inside, I did not want to be a push-over

I Am Never One to Start Anything, I Am The One Who Ends It
In my normal world, I am overly considerate of others. I do my best to accommodate strangers, to make sure everyone is comfortable. I hate to see conflict, I hate to think of myself in someone's way or blocking an intersection. I always obey traffic lights, I never walk on the wrong side of the street, I never break the rules. I mean, never. I am overly cautious to say "Please" and "Thank you". I try really hard to live by a code of common courtesy and I expect others to do the same.

When I run into a situation where someone breaks this unspoken code of common courtesy, I turn into a common courtesy super hero and RIGHT FIGHT my way into re-establishing normalcy.  I want to stop this. I don't need to police the world anymore.

June...I Declare, I Will Be a Pushover! 
When I get the urge to RIGHT FIGHT, I will relax, take a breath and move on. So.... Cut in line in front of me, no worries. Steal my food, I will smile, you probably needed it more than me. Take my cab, you must be late. Bump me on Michigan Avenue during rush hour, I won't shout profanities. You owe me money and don't want to pay me back (even though I went out of my way to help you), OK, take your time, give it to me when you can...if you can. 

This is a public notice, so if you have been itching to stand up to me, say something to me, do something terrible to me - this is YOUR chance!  I will not refuse. I will back down.  I am looking forward to becoming a push-over. I want to see how it feels to NOT care about winning.  I want to see if life is better as a pushover. 

Posts Related to my RIGHT FIGHTING:
 - Doris Clark and the Unemployment Office  - I am a little nervous about posting this
 - And another post about Chicago Boat Women - how I am not in trouble over this one, I don't know


Friday, May 27, 2011

After Shopping for Swimsuits This Week, I Owe @KirstieAlley an Apology

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Swimsuit Season is Upon Us....Ready or Not

I spent most of my Monday nights watching Dancing With the Stars on ABC, and in those 1-2 hours, I (lovingly) mocked Kirstie Alley over and over again. I mocked her weight, I mocked her costumes, I mocked her when she almost broke Maksim's leg, I mocked her when her shoe came off and I mocked her at the end of each dance when she was panting like a dog in 90 degree heat.  

However, I must add, that I also had great respect for Kirstie Alley on Dancing With the Stars, I thought she was highly professional, I found her to be sensual on the dance floor. I did not think she was the best dancer, but I did think she was the best for her age. I also thought she worked it better than most everyone else. (I was glad that Hines Ward walked away with the mirror ball trophy.)

As I shopped for swimsuits this week, I thought of Kirstie Alley
I headed to Nordstrom for their half-yearly sale and marched straight up to the swimsuits. I am leaving for Vegas for Memorial Day weekend and I needed something. As I searched for a suit, I commented loudly to my shopping companion, "My only goal is to not look like Kirstie Alley in Dancing With the Stars." I did not want to look like an aging, overweight, peacock while sitting poolside with two blondes (one who is 5'11 and about 135 lbs and the other about 5'4" and about 100 lbs). In fact, if it were socially acceptable, I would rather wear a birkini to the pool in Vegas.


I informed the sales associate that I was looking for something elegant and that it had to be a one-piece (or a birkini). I am about 10-20 lbs away from a bikini. The problem is, I don't want to look like my mother. Shopping for a suit of this nature is a terrible thing. 

I tried on a few pieces:
Badgley Mischka - a one piece in a solid fuchsia with criss-cross top and an empire waist that slims the torso. It also comes with a "Powernet" tummy lining to hold in your gut. The suit came in multiple colors, I tried it on in fuchsia and black. It did not work well on me.

The next suit I tried on was a Badgley Mischka bandeau top, one-piece swimsuit in this pewter color. It was very elegant but I looked like my mother (and not at all like this woman here). It had great detailing along the top of the suit and it was less expensive than the one above. The color did not work with my skin tone either.

I finally settled for this one-piece, black swimsuit with a bandeau top and more ruching to hide certain aspects that I would rather not have sticking out as much. It was a bathing suit from either Luxe or Blanca.

Additionally, I brought this strapless suit home too.  I think I like the idea of something strapless so I can get a bit more sun without worrying about a weird tan line. This suit is also by Luxe by Lisa Vogel.  And both of these last two suits can be found online at swimspot

All jokes aside, I am truly hoping that everyone would rather gamble this weekend in Vegas than sit by the pool.  I am going to do my best to make up any excuse possible to NOT go to the pool.  Work, gym, shopping - you name it.  I just do not want my body, stuffed inside of a black one-piece, swimsuit with ruching, like a big white sausage, walking around the pool area of my friends' luxury condominium complex in Las Vegas.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Travel Stories of Old

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Travel Journal from 1995 Blog Post Entry Continues

Due to the popularity of my blast from the past travel segment, coupled with my lack of time for fresh material, I am going to continue on with the travel journal from 1995.  If you've missed the past few posts: So...Enough About Me, Let's Talk About ME - or -  Every Day I Pay Attention, Another Day Has Gone By, you should go back RIGHT NOW and read those riveting, life changing posts. 

I've fast-rewinded to October 20, 1995.  Apparently, I was just arriving in Prague on the night train....

I've been in Prague for 24 hours, it is great so far, although I was scared last night. I was on the last train to Prague, as soon as I stepped off the platform, and into the station, I was mauled by by people begging me (and the other backpackers) to stay in their apartments. They insisted...they even offered to drive us.  How convenient! Sure, take my luggage and then slit my throat in the back of your Citroen.

Of course, they disliked me the most because I exchanged words with them. I think their exact words to me were, "Let's see who is laughing tonight when we are sleeping in our beds and you are in the street!" It was strange. They wait for you at the end of the platform and hound you; trying to sell you a room, shoving pictures of apartments in your face. What a turn off.  It is almost enough to make you turn around and get right back on the train to Berlin. 

I like it here (in Prague) but one week may be too long.  Maybe I will go to Poland.  Krakow. I like the East, it is nice and cheap. People are goofy looking, but so far, so good. I totally dig the people I've met in the hostels. Vienna - a bunch of good, school girls. Prague - hardcore drunkards. Yesterday, we drank from 8pm until about 3am for 10 Crowns for a 1/2 liter beer. Dirt Cheap.

Tonight, I ate at the Hare Krishna joint. Decent food, all you can eat for $1.50 - what a place! Cheaper than going grocery shopping. I think I am in heaven.

Well, there you have it.  Totally true story, I ate at the Hare Krishna temple in Prague. I drank beers all night and I feared that locals would slit my throat in the back of a Citroen. Personally, I like the subtle detail of the Citroen best.

Once again, this was a journal entry from my travels abroad in 1995.  To read more posts about my travels, you can read my travel blog by clicking right HERE.  To hear me babble, follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Saga Continues

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I've really enjoyed my trip down memory lane - opening up my journal from 1995 and writing about my depression and angst. So...I will continue.

Dear readers, the past few posts have been excerpts from a journal I kept the year after I graduated from college - these ARE NOT my current thoughts or feelings. Although I empathize with anyone who has experienced (or is experiencing) these feelings, I am not currently depressed, sad or lonely. But, I thank you for your tweets and comments of concern.

Last we left off, I was on August 15th, 1995 I think I will thumb through a few pages. The depression of yesteryear is, quite frankly, depressing me. I want to get to the backpacking trip. I have listed below all of the items that were in my journal in preparation for this trip.

My Passport Photo from 1995

My passport picture

The Plan

(On the top of the page, it reads: May God and All That Is Mighty Give Me the Strength!!!)
  • Friday, August 18 - Carbondale
  • Friday, August 15 - 18 days 'til dooms day
  • Friday, September 1 - Put in notice
  • Monday, September 4 - Absolute last day to give notice
  • Friday, September 8 - Austin, Texas
  • Friday, September 15 - Get paid
  • Monday, September 18 - ***Last Day***
  • Friday, September 22 - ****Absolute Last Day Of Work****
  • Monday, September 25 - Day of Departure!

My Budget - might actually make you smile

    Housing - $775.00 ($25 x 31 days) Eurail Pass - $500.00 (15 day pass) Food - $300.00 ($10 a day) Museums - $200.00 Miscellaneous - $500.00 (transportation, souvenirs, medication) Entertainment - $500.00
    TOTAL $2,775.00

I also had a list of Pre-Expenses, now these are really, really funny!

    Swiss Army Knife - $20.00 Backback - $200.00 Shoes - $100.00 Small Backpack - $100.00 Film - $50.00 Books - $20.00 Journal - $10.00 Vitamins and Energy Pills - $20.00 Money Belt - $200.00
    TOTAL $460.00

Notes for packing. What does a 23 year old girl pack in 1995 when she is about to embark on a 3 month trip (alone) to Europe.

  • Film / Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Nail polish
  • Safety pins
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Travel tooth brush
(Why was I so obsessed with this Swiss Army knife?)

And what about clothes?? You might be surprised, I pack light.

    1 Sweater 1 Pair of jeans 1 B.R. Pant (what is this??) 1 Longsleeved shirt 2 Short sleeved shirts 1 Skirt or Dress 1 Pair of tights 1 Legging (oh look, they were in style back then too) 1 Khaki shorts (Really?) 2 Bras 3 Pairs of Socks 4 Pairs of underwear
I ended up staying in Europe for about three months - all by myself. The rest of my journal is filled with stories about my adventures all around Europe. I look forward to reading those and sharing them here too.

Totally Related Posts:
  • In The Shower This Morning

  • Darren By Popular Demand

  • Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Every Day I Pay Attention...Another Day Has Gone By

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    My last post was an former journal entry dated July of 1995, when I was very young and very miserable in life. I was so drawn to my former self, that I felt the need to post another entry.

    I would like it to be known that I don't know this girl, this girl I once was. As I read the pages of this journal, my heart goes out to the suffering and the sadness of my former self. If there are any 22-23 year old girls (or guys) reading this who feel like this - please know that it really does get better. Much, much, much better.

    Leyla in Las Vegas around 1995-96 (I believe I was less miserable by then)

      August 15, 1995 
      Every time I pay attention, another month has gone by and I am still miserable. My life worsens by the minute, although today it was not particularly bad. It was not particularly good, in that it did not differ much from any other worthless, meaningless day in my life. However, what made today different, is that I forgot to dwell on the horrors of my daily routine. Instead, I passed today without realizing it was there until it was nearly over. I imagine that is how "content miserables" must live - just passing the days. This is NOT something I want to get used to. 
      I think I can honestly say that I HATE (my boss whose name I will make-up) Douche Douche-o-roni more than any other human I have ever met. He wears on my soul. 
      He uses me so much. When I finish a day of working for him, I feel as if I've lived five. When I hear his voice, my ear folds inward! I can feel him when the phone rings and I dread picking up the hand set. When he slams open the office door, I don't flinch. Even though when anyone else enters, I turn with curiosity. When it is Douche, I just know. And even if I am not sure, my curiosity is stifled by the mere thought of the flames that burn in the pit of my stomach when I see his round, hairy, sweaty, greasy face. 
      When he smiles his little smile, that 1/2 smirk that shows off the brown stain on his tooth, it draws attention to that disgusting, never-shaven, ever-lasting, 5 O'Clock shadow goatee. I could throw up. 
      Who could think that one man's love of his new born child could make another human sick? Well, it did today, he made me sick while loving his child. When I witnessed him admiring his daughter, I cringed. I wanted to crawl out of my skin as I watched. I felt NO sincerity in his voice and no love. None. 
      I think he knows I hate him. Sometimes when I am standing in front of him with a blank look on my face, he'll say something to me and I won't hear him. Or, he'll make a joke and I won't laugh. Moments such as those, he looks at me and my face must tell a million truths, because he will turn away from me quickly. Like those moments when you're caught starring at someone from across the room and they catch you, and in your embarrassment, you immediately look away. Well, he does that when he catches my stare. It is as if he can read my mind and he is frightened at how real the thoughts are. Like a medium must feel the first time she/he receives a message. As if he were in denial. 
      Well, I do hate him. I hate him so much it makes my head hurt. I hope someday someone makes him eat every swear word he ever cursed anyone!

    Are you wondering what happened to Douche Douche-o-roni? He got his....and he keeps getting it. I always say, there is no heaven and there is no hell - we get what we have coming to us right here, every day. If my theory is true, he is the most precise example.

    Totally NON-related posts...
    Posts of how happy I am today and how badass my life turned out!

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    So...Enough About Me, Let's Talk About ME!

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    I love having a platform dedicated to my narcissism, and my numbers show that you love it too. Tonight, I wanted to reflect a bit. 

    It is Sunday night and I am really at a blank, what to write? When this happens, I pull something out from the archives. Stay with me for a minute while I go and grab a journal. Let's see what time/place will be discussed.

    The journal I pick up is my journal from 1995, months before I left for my trip to Europe. The front cover reads: In celebration of the worst year of my life....angst, what could have been so bad young Leyla? That is right, I was turning 23 that year, and turning 23 felt like the end of the world to me (at that time)! I always believed that youth was king.

    The first five pages of this journal are dedicated to "Great words" and here is the first of the "great words" according to 22 year old Leyla: Wanton: Gratuitously cruel, immoral, unrestrainedly excessive, overabundant, frolicsome, playful, undisciplined. (I was so emo).

    Let's check out the first entry - Planning my lone backpacking trip to Europe

    Looks like I was an angry 22 year old, very much in my rebellious, anti-establishment phase - it is a bit embarrassing, but worth sharing, though I am editing to save face. The person negatively described below by 22 year-old Leyla, sadly, resembles Leyla of today. Apparently, maintaing a non-conformist lifestyle well into your 30s is harder than I expected.

    St. Peter at Gaudi church

    July 11, 1995
      I started to plan my trip to Europe, my dream come true. I think the most thrilling part of the trip will be that I will have absolutely no time constraints; I can walk leisurely knowing I have no where to be, no one to meet and not a thing to find. 
      Everyday I hate my boss a tiny bit more, and everyday, I wonder how ANYONE, especially his wife, could endure him. He repulses me and is not worthy of one more stroke of my pen. I hope one day I am famous so that I will not have to mingle among the "Young, Savvy, Ambitious" media types that over use words like "Absolutely" and "Wonderful" and phrases like "At your earliest convenience". The types that must end every sentence with an exclamation. It is a wonder they can stand one another.

    Fast forward a few pages, my depression persists and my hopes of finding the answers in Europe continue

    at the louvre

    July 20, 1995
      All looks so hopeless. It seem as if all I have left to look forward to, all I have left to wish for, is a walk-in closet and maybe Europe. And I have big dreams for Europe - interesting jobs and beautiful, smart, well dressed men. I realize it may be an unfounded dream, but it is just so far away (the trip is in four months), I think it could be possible. Somewhere so foreign and different has to have many offers unlike my present state. 
      I want so much, yet so far all I've sought thus far is a reckless lifestyle. Partying, boys and enough alcohol to drown a room full of sorrow. Unfortunately, all it has gotten me is a rude awakening, a bitter entrance into adulthood. Hello, I am almost in my mid-twenties and I know I am going to wake up tomorrow, thirty years old, with nothing. 
      I have two choices while I am hanging onto the threads of my former youth:
      1. I can stay reckless and careless
      2. I can point my gun, aim and fire - pursue my goals

      All of these things can be accomplished if I could stay focused. TV and laziness are my biggest enemies.

    End of the journal entry...

    There you have it...the journal of 22 year-old Leyla.  Leyla who was living at home, working in a dead-end job (before breaking into advertising), drinking far too much and unsure of where she was going in life.  Until reading these journal entries tonight, I had NO CLUE I had put so much weight, and so many expectations, into that trip to Europe.  I always knew it was important but I guess I forgot how important.

    It was one of the greatest highlights of my life.  I spent three months, alone, backpacking through thirteen countries.  I jumped off the Swiss Alps, I ran from the French police, I visited Auschwitz, I rode the subway all night when I couldn't get into my hostile, and I was scammed by a sixteen year old kid in Gaudi park. 

    That was living!

    Related Posts

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    It is SUMMERTIME in Chicago...You Know It!

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    Chicago waits in eager anticipation for summer, and my friends, I believe we've finally made it.

    How I know summer is here??

    I had a 9A meeting this morning with a friend/colleague and we sat outside at Starbucks (I was not cold). In our meeting a lovely butterfly landed on his hand and just chilled for a while.

    After my meeting, I had to send out a deck for a LARGE SCALE EVENT I am working on for September of '11. Much like the incredible event I produced last summer, but this time, it will be exponentially better. Check out @DTDash

    Around 3PM, a client called. He and his wife (My BFF) were having lunch at Big Bowl (just down the street). I met them to discuss their upcoming Boxing Event at the UIC Pavilion.(Discounted tickets for my blog readers!) After lunch, we headed for some ice cream with their son.

    I left Dom and Tina after our much deserved ice cream break and headed back to work for an hour or so - cleaning out my inbox and dealing with some lawyering stuff. Good times.

    Around 5:45p, I was ready to call it quits. I had to make a pit stop for a bit of shopping. I am a woman after all, and I need a swimsuit for Vegas in two weeks. I really liked this one. Modest (for someone who has put on a few lbs), yet sexy.

    Tankini-Modest Swimwear-Cadette-Luxe by Lisa Vogel

    Next, I joined the rest of Chicago on the lake front path for a run. I was pleased to find that most everyone on the lake path was struggling and in crappy shape (like me). Also, everyone was very pale (I'm SO going tanning this weekend).

    As my run was coming to a close and I was heading home to the Oak Street underpass, I noticed some kids. They had set up a make-shift tight rope and were taking turns walking on the tight rope. THIS is what summer in Chicago is about!

    By Popular Demand....

    ** Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post and links to client events **

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    I Want to Shop....What Should I Buy?

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    I went shopping today and I need to make some decisions

    Each Spring (btw, I can never remember is spring is capitalized or not) I do some pre-shopping. I walk around and take a look at the stores I like (and can afford) and make a mental note of the fashions that I really want. I then go home and take everything out of closets, boxes, storage, etc. and put it all out. Lay everything on the bed, color coordinate everything, match them with shoes and determine what I need.

    Because I am self-employed, and I sit around a lot starring at a computer screen, I need a lot of comfortable clothes. And because I am a lover of sophistication and elegance, I need items that are stylish and beautiful. Finally, because I visit Vegas often, I need some slutty clothes too. Throw in shoes and accessories and Imma broke.

    So here is what I've done....I've put together a whole bunch of cute stuff in this blog post. Some are links to the advertisers where I may get a commission if you make a purchase.

    Let's start with luxury...
    I have been a big fan of Wolford Legwear for years! I have many pair of tights and a few of the Wolford Stringbody pieces, their bodysuits. I thought this bodysuit would be a perfect for spring/summer, a versatile piece I can wear to work or out.

    Cape Town String Body

    Cape Town String Body

    Next up Agent Provocateur beautiful, stylish and feminine lingerie, accessories and swimwear. I know I am not buying any lingerie this year (no budget and no point) but I like to visit the store anyway. Lately, I have been purchasing more jewelry than lingerie from Agent Provocateur.

    I put this in here because I own this ring (and the matching whistle necklace)
    and love it so much!

    Staying on the jewelry theme, here is this adorable necklace I found today. I liked it because it has a Lotus charm and business is called Lotus Marketing Services. I found the necklace while I was looking for something else, it is from a site I had never heard of, but they have adorable charm necklaces and semi precious stoned jewelry.

    I also looked around for Tshirts, jeans and dresses. Didn't find anything that stood out. But this Michael Stars Pocket Tee Dress is the type of look that I am looking for...something comfy yet sexy.

    Michael Stars Dolman Sleeve Pocket Tee Dress

    That is what I do...write about stuff I want on a Saturday night. Exciting times!!

    Here are some related links: