Update from yesterday’s post.

The first interview was a success! I got the job, or I suppose if you can pull off the word “gig” that’s what it is… I just have trouble believing I can use that one. I will be the narrator/on-air host of the River Trails Park District training video. Obviously nothing monumental or you know, actually on TV, but you know what? They’re paying me a pretty nice amount for a one day shoot and this will go down in Michelle history as the first time I’m actually getting paid to do exactly what I’ve been trying to do for the last year. Milestone.

Even bigger milestone – I went to Jewel in a dress with my hair done and make-up on. Ok, I was still dressed from the interview, but I still managed to conquer the fact that I usually put pajamas on the second I walk in my door.

Finally, just one measly day until my favorite fest! I do still have to get through work today, but then I get to go home, bake, mix Sangria, make Jell-o  and clean for the weekend.  There’s that 8 mile run Tommy and I are doing at 6 am tomorrow, but that means, in just about 22 hours, I will be in Septemberfest mode awaiting my nieces and nephews ride-riding mornings, Bingo afternoons and a weekend full of not having to leave my house at all. PLUS my friends and family come over. I don’t think you can ask for anything better than that, especially when the weekend is three days, not just two!

Important note to fest-ers: If hurricane remnants happen to pour down in Schaumburg this weekend, you still have to come over. Otherwise my dad and I will be sitting in the garage — me probably in pajamas, and he will be rotating Septemberfest shirts and wearing his bright pink hat —  watching the rain, eating all the cookies, brownies and muffins and drinking all of the pitchers of Sangria, wine, tequila,  a fridge full of Old Style and a Costco bottle of Captain Morgan by ourselves. I don’t think my mom would like that.

Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone with three questions:

1) What are your weekend plans?

2) What is your favorite weekend of the whole year?

3) And what is the best tradition you have that has transcended childhood and you might even love more as an adult?


Unnecessary Incognito


I’ve been trying to not wear baggy black yoga pants, blouse-y tank tops and my LA hat in public anymore. Mostly because when I do, I realize I look like a slob, and also because my mom has reminded me that I’m not famous. The hat and glasses aren’t a necessary grocery store duo.

Now, if you know me, you know that I hate pants. They aren’t as comfortable, budget friendly or easy to find as they claim. I prefer dresses with or without leggings. Leggings in August? Yes, it is 69 degrees in the ICB building, and sitting on your butt all day doesn’t warm you up.

This clothing quandary has led me to wonder what the current attire rules are in the business world. I’m trying to think if I ever actually worked somewhere with a strict dress code, well somewhere where jeans, black gym shoes and a low-cut V neck black shirt isn’t part of that strict dress code, and I believe there might have been one when I worked at Meredith Corporation. I recall wearing a lot of skirts, dresses and black dress pants, but I feel like sweaters and jeans were staples too.

Why am I boring you with this information? This is a multi-part answer. First, I do actually plan on cleaning my closet out this fall and I’m curious what to keep from the “I never wear these clothes because I work in a bar” section of my closet. Second, even though I don’t have a whole lot of expendable money on me I like shopping and thus I think I should be buying clothes that I can wear to a job or as a normal Target shopper, in hopes of keeping my pjs for inside my house. Lastly, because I have two job interviews this week!

I’m excited so you can be too (mom, Auntie Roe, Kathy & Justine), but I’m trying not to get too pumped up in case I flop them both. One is today and the other is next Thursday, so I’m hoping to report good news tomorrow along with my official one day til Septemberfest excitement.

Side note: Pretty sure neither of these jobs would require fancy office clothes, but still no pjs. My one never worn, tag still on it, collared blouse and blazer can stay hanging in the back of my closet for now.

365 days ago


was my “last day at Westwood.” I know because I wrote in on my calendar, in my little brown q&a book and I planned it so that I would have ALL my stuff shipped by September 1st and, of course, before Septemberfest.

I’ll be there at 4:30.

Instead of being blah about it, I decided to laugh and be happy that they let me come back and make some money. I mean, remember that mind-clouding debt I had in April, well that’s gone, and my student loans are stepping their way out forbearance this month, so that ability to go to work and come home with money is appreciated.

Now, I had to do a little convincing myself to not be blah about that, but what I don’t need to convince myself is to be happy about the two interviews I have in my near future! Neither are the perfect job, but you know where they aren’t? Indiana. (By the way, that person never re-contacted me after asking me when I was available for a phone interview. Interesting.)

I’ll update you with those results/information at they occur, but until then I have two more things to type your way.

1) Check out your Daily Herald’s Food section tomorrow, Wednesday August 29th, for my cheesy face potentially holding a jar of cinnamon sticks and cinnamon extract. I’m guessing the picture will be embarrassing, I’ll let you know tomorrow.

2) My favorite weekend of the year is upon us!!! Four days until Septemberfest! 

I lied, three things.

3) After looking for that fest link,  it looks like September is like my month for big changes.

2009 – Finally got a job after college – Westwood.

2010 – Realized I wanted to go back to school – ICB

2011 – Moved across the country – LA

I’m pretty anxious to fill in the blank after 2012 – ?????

2 minutes is a long time to wait to spit

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The night that I shot my fudge video, I bought a $95 toothbrush on Amazon. I know, that sounds super nuts. Well if you’ve been reading this blog (or know me at all) you know that it’s not super nuts, it’s super-michelle. I ordered the toothbrush because that night I realized that I really do want to be on TV, and since my teeth are pretty much by best feature, I need to keep them clean and nice for as long as possible!

My dental school friend picked me out the Oral B 5000 (I think that’s its name), mentioning that all of his dental school students have that one, so I made a super impromptu purchase and four days last my expensive purchase arrived. This was right about the time I took my halfsie paycut (part-time internship + restaurant = <$ full-time restaurant), so I had a spare $100 at the time, now not so much.

Anyways, the point of my story is two-fold. #1 – the toothbrush is great, but it makes me feel so lazy! I literally press a button and for 2 minutes (the wireless timer tells me when to move the brush to a new region) I hold my toothbrush and slightly move it, the brush does the hard part. I feel like I’m at the dentist just chilling out with toothpaste all over my chin waiting to spit. This reminds me that we are sooooo lazy and pay lots of money for machines to do work all the time… though this time it leaves my teeth plaque-free 🙂

And I can’t forget #2 – that these clean teeth will hopefully come in handy, because I’m going to visit broadcasting school next Wednesday! Smiles on that 🙂 but I’m thinking it might be one more of those big purchases (and by that I mean student loan add-ons) I’m not really equipped to pay. Oh well, I’ll deal with it. TOMSUE better hold on though because,  my bank account doesn’t want to pull double duty!!

PS – 2 days til my dessert detox is up… but more importantly until Septemberfest!! YAY, my favorite weekend filled with family, friends, fireworks and fun! And other things that don’t fit into my alliteration. The orange fences, rides and tents are up!

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!!

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Yesterday, My grandpa turned 80! That is such a cool thing to say, he’s had 80 years of life that he shares with his five children and 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Cool is really the only way to describe it. He’s one of my favorite people in the world because he is always himself and doesn’t change for anyone. And he’s funny, and loves dessert – we’re really similar 🙂

My mom and her four siblings flew to Arkansas (where my grandparents live) to celebrate with him this weekend. I can just picture the seven Italians falling back into familiar family roles they haven’t played in a while. It’s probably been over 20 years since the seven of them have been alone together, which made me think about my own immediate family of six.

The last time we were alone together was my 19th birthday (over four years ago), when we went out to dinner. For some reason my sister-in-law and brother-in-law were busy that night and my niece and nephews weren’t even contemplated. It was a nice but weird feeling to fall back into a group that’s been expanded (by five people). It makes you think of the funny family things that have changed in my house, like we all rotated in the “big” room, which obviously is mine now that I’m the only one here, and we also rotated seats at the dinner table – though some of us still argue about that when we’re at the table together… family is funny, and I can’t wait for Septemberfest next week to see everyone (can’t get my favorite weekend off my mind!)

Happy Birthday, Grandpa! Hope you’re enjoying your kids and your flashback to the past!

1 down, 11 to go


I’m ridiculously competitive.

I hate being told I can’t do something, especially before given a chance. I bet people things all the time, and I once ran so fast up and down the stairs at Westwood with what felt like a gazillion drafts on my tray because a man at a party asked me, if I “was going to be able to handle this?” I think it comes from trying to compete with my brother, Michael, while growing up. Michael always wanted to impress our oldest brother, Tommy, and I always wanted to impress him. It didn’t really ever work, though between the two of them I learned how to eat triple cheeseburgers, burp really loud and throw a football with a pretty good spiral.

Being über competitive isn’t always a good thing, but it’s not always a bad thing either. It makes me challenge myself with some things I wouldn’t attempt. It also gets me in a lot of arguments… but let’s get back to my point, the good thing about being competitive is that I can convince myself to do things that are good for you. For example, I am challenging myself to go 12 days without any dessert foods. You might think, yikes, the dessert queen without dessert? You may not know but for two years straight I’ve given up chocolate for lent, and it’s been difficult but I handled it successfully. So this time I need a mini dessert break for two related reasons.

Reason #1, my most amazing Tuesday night resulted in about 400 pieces of fudge in my freezer. Now I am super excited for my article and video on Wednesday, but I’m gonna be honest, there are probably only 200 pieces of fudge left. Ok, I didn’t eat it ALL myself, but I ate enough… which brings me to reason #2: siting at a computer burns less calories than running around a restaurant. That’s a pretty self-explanatory one. Granted I’m still working both jobs, it’s not the same, enter the 12 day-no-dessert challenge. I made it through day 1 (after a cinnamon themed baking marathon last night), wish me luck! PS, in case you’re wondering where I came up with 12 days, it’s because that’s how many days until Septemberfest!! My favorite “holiday” (well it is a holiday technically) weekend of the year!! Filled with yummy ice cream vendors, melting pot chocolate fondue and Jell-O jiggler shots (technically desserts). So that will be my reward.

cloudy with a chance of Septemberfest!


It’s been a while since I did a treadmill movie, I actually feel like it makes time go way faster because movies are meant to hold your attention for long periods of time vs. TV which is for quicker spurts. I was watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, yep a cartoon. I’ve never read the book but heard the movie was cute and since I love food so much I figured I would like it. So far, so good, I didn’t finish it since it’s not “5 Mile Monday,” so I stopped at 3.5 miles, right at the spaghetti tornado scene.

The movie was super silly and the one character is really obsessed with the golden scissors he uses to cut the banners at grand opening events, this made me laugh because I once got to do that and it was one of my favorite things ever. When I was Miss Septemberfest in 2006, I got to cut the food tent ribbon when it opened Saturday morning, and we have a framed picture of it in my basement (funnily enough, it’s right next to the treadmill). I can’t help but smile when I think about it because that was probably one of my favorite moments of my favorite weekend of my life–maybe Tuesday night actually had some competition for “best hour ever.”

Also today, Stevie reminded me she is coming Sunday night for Septemberfest which made me super happy and led me to count, only 21 days until the best weekend ever! If you don’t know what Septemberfest is, you’re really missing out, and even if you do know what it is, if you’ve never had an “Abraham” Septemberfest, you only know half the awesomeness. Look out for more counting down in the next three weeks!

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