Posted by: kristabella | January 22, 2007

A Coat of Arms

I thought long and hard about starting this blog. I have a close friend that has his own blog and totally got me tuned in to the world of blogs. Before that, all I knew was that it stood for like weblog, and that didn’t help to explain it. People should have been all “it’s a web journal.” OK because that totally makes way more sense.

Besides Senor Beavis and his site, I found a lot on my own. (Boredom at work will lead you to a lot of creative ways to waste time. None of them productive. But still good, old classic fun.) A lot of them I read every day. There are a few that have similar life stories or write the same way I do or are just plain entertaining. It was the combination of all these things that led me to start my own “web blog.” You’d think it was a whim thing, but it really wasn’t. It’s quite an undertaking. I hemmed and hawed for months.

Every “blogger” has their own way of tailoring their site. It’s their site, they should be able to do with it what they want. For instance, on Senor’s site, all the Tourists (as us loyal readers are known) have nicknames. Senor and I go to brunch quite often and I still don’t know these people’s real names. And that’s how he chose to do it. And it totally works.

I chose to not do it that way. Mostly because I’m not all that creative with the nicknames and all. Senor has a wealth of knowledge about so many thing so it totally suits him. (There’s a golfer called KJ Choi? I had NO idea.) Seriously, I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything creative. And so I leave it to you to fill it out when you comment. But if your name is Shaniqua, more than likely, that’s how I’m going to refer to you in a post. (Man I wish I knew a Shaniqua.)

Also, some bloggers want to totally stay anonymous in their blog. But since I am not one to shy away from telling you my life story, I’m not one of those. I’ll post photos and stories and all that. And my friends and family know. In fact, now they worry. I’ve struck fear in all of them that they are going to be mentioned here in a bad light. (Mwah ha ha)

Let me clear the air. First off, I’m never going to post anything on here that you would offend to if I haven’t checked with you first (except maybe in this instance. We’ll get to that later.) And there are things that go on in the lives of my friends and family that I think would be excellent blog topics. But I usually check first. But mostly, it’s free game as to what I’m going to write about. If it happens in a public place, I’m going to write about it. This site is about me and my life and sometimes you are all innocent bystanders in it all. But I pretty much give you all fair warning when we’re out. If I scream at the top of my lungs “I’m so blogging about this” just deal with it because you ain’t talking me out of it.

OK, so disclaimer aside. I’ve really debated about writing this post at all. Because I’m a little afraid of the consequences. But I told myself that I’m not going to censor myself and I’m going to write what I want to write. It is my site, for the love of Pete. And if you don’t like it, then don’t read it. Or stay away from me when you hear me talking about blogging.

Here goes. So last weekend when Good Friend Rich was in town (and no, we’re not getting married) I invited all my ladies out to meet him. He’s pretty much one of my best friends. He is the only person I talk to every day besides my mom. Granted it’s on IM, but still. We’re tight. So I want people to meet him since I talk about him and he’s probably my most regular commenter, along with Scarlet and Senor and my mom. (You guys are awesome, by the way!)

(I would like to point out at this moment that I can’t believe I’ve gone on and on about something and haven’t even gotten close to the point of this post. I’m hoping you can sense my trepidation.)

(By the way, I’d like to take this time to shout out to one of my best friends, Cindy, who is preggers with her second child. She just found out it is another boy! And I’m SUPER excited for her and her family! And I can’t wait to go out and visit the new addition in AZ. I miss that I’m not sitting right next to her in a cube hearing all about it. Miss ya!) (And I’m so hoping she’s already told people! If not…hey everyone! Cindy’s pregnant!) (That’ll save you an e-mail, The Jens.)

Enough stalling. So last Friday me and some friends went to Howl at the Moon. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love this place. We hadn’t gotten together since the holidays, so Rich being in town was a perfect excuse to get us all together! And who doesn’t love dueling pianos?

So we get there about 9 PM and the place is packed, as per usual. We find a spot near the bar in the back. It’s a good spot because we’re easy access to the bar and have a place to put our coats. Which, if you’re in a winter city, you realize this is a big deal. We’re not talking tiny coats here. We’re talking huge down coats with scarves and hats. Lots o’ room needed!

So going back to my SF days (Haro and Sharona, you’d be so proud) we put our coats in a ball on the ground near the bar. It was really the most logical solution at the time. There are hundreds and hundreds (OK, maybe not hundreds) of coats piled on the bar. (I’m like two pages into this story and already feeling that I’m losing you.) So me and Jenn and Schwerer, we put our coats on the ground. Done deal. Good to go. Where’s me beer?

I’d like to point out, that I was sure our other friend put her coat on our pile. Because, hello? Follow the group. This is not the time to venture out on your own and be a “rebel.”

So we’re having a good time at Howl. Good music. Good people watching. They’re even playing the Bears fight sing quite often. We meet a nice gay man from Lakeview, who, if he wasn’t moving to Miami, would so be my new best friend.

Meanwhile, back in Seahawks land, Rich texts me and tells me the team has landed and are finally at the hotel. (There was some snow that evening. Which can be a bitch to travelers, no matter where you’re from or who you are.) And one of the coaches of the Seahawks used to coach with the Niners and is one of my good friends. I mean, this man, when he got fired or “released” from his contract, called us into his office to drink some champagne with him to toast him on his new life with Seattle. And this wasn’t Safeway brand champagne. This was like circa 1970s Dom Perignon. Good shit. I’m not a champagne drinker but it was smooth. Especially at 2 in the afternoon. Love. Him.

Anyway, it was really important for me to see him. I love him. He’s a great guy. So at this time, Rich texts me that Coach is about to leave the hotel bar. So I’m all “bitches, we need to go.” So we decide to head out. We all go to grab our coats. The three of us, Jenn, Schwerer and I, we have our coats. We’re good to go. Our other friend? Hers is gone.

Let me preface with this. Just so you all are where we were in this whole coat situation. (Helps if you’ve had about 5 beers too.) If you read up above, Schwerer, Jenn and I put our coats on the floor. Our other friend was a little slow (as she is in life all around) in taking her coat off. We assumed she’d follow our lead. She didn’t. Apparently, she put her coat on GINORMOUS PILE OF 1,000 COATS. Oh, and did I mention? Her coat? A black, wool coat. Totally sticks out in a crowd.

So as we go to leave, she can’t find it. She starts looking everywhere, and we’re helping her look. But pile has totally dwindled and her coat is nowhere to be found. Among the THREE other black, wool coats. That aren’t hers.

So she gets hysterical. Like absolutely, fucking-crazy-hysterical. Complete with big, fat tears. About a coat. I try my best to calm her down. Because really? It’s a coat! And she has her purse, and her keys, and her ID and all other items that would be so much worse to lose. Silver lining, silver lining.

Now the reason I didn’t want to write about this is because this person tends to overreact. (Shocking as it may seem.) Yes, it sucks to lose your coat when it’s like 15 degrees outside. But we live in Chicago. There are cabs everywhere. They are a-plenty. You aren’t going to be outside that much. (I won’t tell you that my solution to all of this is “drink more since you won’t be feeling anything anyway” because it doesn’t go over well.) After some probing, we find that she’s had this coat for (wait for it, wait for it) FIVE YEARS! FIVE! Now, I love coats. I mean, I have about 12 of them. And being here 2 winters, I’m already tired of mine. And I’m so getting a new one next year. So for five years? I’m thinking you’re about damn due.

She tells us it’s an expensive coat. So we ask, how much? It’s a $200 coat. As you all know, I have no money. To drop $200 in one purchase is A LOT for me. I get that. When did she buy it? Five years ago. FIVE. OK, now you know me. I’m a stickler for money. I know what $200 means to an average Joe. But I also know that $200 spread out over 5 years is nothing. That’s like what we each spent at Howl at the Moon. In one night! And I get that she was all weepy (??) about having to buy a new coat when she recently totaled her car (and by recently, I mean mid-November. So like over two months ago.) and is going to have a car payment on top of her other bills. But, Jesus Christ. Go to Wal-Mart. Go to Target. It’s fucking mid-January. Get a cheap fucking coat to hold you over for two months. And then, if you have to, save up your God Damned money and buy a nice coat next winter. So. Not. The. End. Of. The. World.

(Or ask your mom to get you one as your early birthday present, which is a little over a month away. Again, silver lining, silver lining.)

So, on top of all this, we go to leave Howl. We’re all in a single-file line leaving the establishment. Of course, I’m leading the pack. I have people I need to see. So I walk out and hail a cab. As any good City girl would do. As I turn around, I see only Schwerer. Somehow in the 10 yards of space, we’ve lost the other two. Without them saying “hey! Stop! We’re going to check for my coat at the bar!” (Yeah, good fucking luck with that.) (I want to add here that my friend is convinced that someone stole her coat. Not accidentally took it by mistake beacuse it LOOKED LIKE EVERY OTHER FUCKING COAT. But stole it. Because only bad shit happens to her. We all live totally harmonious lives.) (Did you get the dripping sarcasm? Did ya? Huh? Did ya?)

So back to the cab. I hail one. In a line of six. No shit. And I get in with Schwerer. We wait for a bit and cabbie is all “um, where are your friends? I’m totally getting honked at and harassed by these other cabbies.” He pulls to the side of the road because it’s one of those areas of the city where the cabbies come one after another after another. Which is why, after a minute or so (with the meter running) I tell him to take off. We are going about five blocks. The total fare was a little over $5 for the two of us. Schwerer, being the good person she is and NOT worrying about seeing the Seahawks coach, was a little worried about us ditching them. But I figured (being a little tipsy AND in a hurry) that “it’s not that hard for them to find us.”

So the “lost coat friend” calls to try and bitch me out for leaving her. But the fact is, my argument is better than hers and IT’S A FIVE DOLLAR CAB RIDE! So I tell her exactly where we are going. And they seriously get there maybe 2 minutes after us. Such a big deal. (I later found out that Coatless Girl was totally ripping on me to Jenn in the cab.) (And Jenn had no problem with taking the separate cab to the hotel bar. So if she had no problem, then I’m thinking it’s not that big of a deal.)

Coatless Wonder didn’t stay around long because she full-on FLIPPED OUT because the scarf her mom knitted her was with the coat. And it upset her so much, apparently, that she had to go home. And I get it. The scarf had sentimental value and was a nice scarf that her mom made for her. But, you know the saying? Shit happens. Unfortunately, that’s what happens in life. So you have to learn to roll with the punches. Because if you look back and really the only bad things that have happened to you are you losing a coat and a scarf, and not something worse like a parent or someone close to you, I’d say you’re doing pretty damn well. Because really? It’s a fucking coat. Yeah it sucks, but no one was out to purposely harm you. It was an accident. DEAL WITH IT. Go buy a new one. You are not the only one who has had to deal with bad shit in your life.

And that was our evening. I had fun regardless. And don’t feel like I did anything so bad. Yeah, maybe the cab thing wasn’t the best idea. But I’m the first to admit that I don’t always make the best decisions when I’m drinking. But I still will never, for the rest of my life, understand her overreacting to that whole situation.

So kids, the moral of the story is that you should always look at the positive side of situations. (Anyone else humming “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python?) Not everything is negative. Every negative has a positive. And the sooner you start realizing and embracing the positive, looking for a silver lining, the happier you will all be.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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Responses

  1. Hmmm, I can see something like that really bumming me out, but I wouldn’t let it ruin everyone else’s night. And if my coat meant that much to me or was expensive, I would have taken better care of where I put it.

  2. Well, thanks. Now I’ve been whistling that Monty Python song all day.

    Thanks for the love. Crazy as it is, given the circumstances, I’m not sure we’d be friends if I didn’t have a blog. Which is high on my list of reasons I’m glad I do it. 🙂

    Actually, most of the “nicknames” come from my referring to people by their [other blog hosting site that sucks] name. They generally make them up themselves. I think I started doing that to try to make people feel more comfortable with commenting. A couple years later, if I ever come up with the magic formula that makes people feel more comfortable commenting, I’m going to market it. Oh, and you can refer to me by my real name if you want. I just write in under the same name for continuity’s sake.

    As for your story, it’s a classic makes sense from both sides. The friend could probably give a fuck about the dude from Seattle, so she doesn’t get why that’s so important to you. She shouldn’t be bitchy though that a friend you don’t see often takes precedence for you over her clothing. If I had an expensive coat, I’d probably never wear it “out.” And $200 at Howl? Did the piano guys give you a lapdance? It’s nice that at least someone’s life is exciting enough that they don’t have to blog about crowd noise regulations. 🙂

  3. I think we all know that none of us are safe from being the subject of your blog since the grammar blog…and that was family!
    I’d like to think that I’d atleast TRY to be grateful I had the more important things with me (purse, keys, etc.) and just be pissed at myself for losing my coat. Hard to call…
    Cab incident: no brainer. Take the cab instead of wasting money on the meter running and waiting for someone lost in limbo.
    On a totally different note, Skyler called me “Mahnee”. Jealous?
    Hope Seattle is treating you OK….seems like you had a lot of time to write so I hope you’re having a good time.

  4. Well, Mom, I’m super jealous. But it’s harder to say Auntie than Mahnee. As far as Seattle, it’s awesome (as you’ll see when I type the next post) and I haven’t had any free time. I wrote this coat post on Saturday and posted yesterday.

    I agree with everyone…if it is a nice coat and means a lot to you, DON’T TAKE IT OUT TO A BAR!

    As far as $200 at Howl, I meant on beers. We each bought 1-2 two buckets a piece and at $20 a bucket, that’s close to $200. But I meant, $200 divided by 5 years, is $40 a year. And we each spent over $40 at Howl with cover AND beers.

  5. I REALLY hope coat girl doesn’t know your blog addy:)

  6. She has it. It was why I debated about writing it. But it had to be done.

    Plus, she doesn’t read all that often. If she does, what’s up?

  7. oh boy…

    if there is one thing i admire about you, girl, it is your ability to speak your mind!

    if there is two things i admire about you, it is your ability to down the booze AND remember that night enough to blog about it!

    if there is three things i admire…alright, enough ass kissing…

  8. Oh, I’m blushing.

    But that don’t mean you stop with the compliments. 🙂

  9. This blog about your girl and her winter articles looks like an effort to justify the whole incident to yourself.

    Sounds like a cold cold night for your friend on many levels.


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