So right now in Chicago it is 4 degrees outside. And I have no heat. We haven't had heat since yesterday afternoon. We made it safely through the night with three space heaters, two small dog sweaters and a lot of whiskey and the heating dude is here now...though he does not seem to be doing much other than going out to his van every three to seven minutes.
But anyway, right now I am pretty much stuck in my bed since the bedroom is the only semi-warm place in the house thanks to the aforementioned space heaters. So I figured today would be a good day to revisit live-blogging.
So ummm...ask me anything? Either in the comments or via email to LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com or Twitter @FilingJointly or Facebook to Lauren Filing Jointly and I will answer it all right here live as the questions come in.
Ready? Aim. Fire.
Since you're freezing... Let's take your mind off of it. Tell us about your favorite tropical vacation locale.
I'm not a very traveled individual yet so I shall just say...the first place I get to hold a monkey. Which means Costa Rica, site of my honeymoon is firmly out.
Cocoa, coffee, or tea?
Depends on what sort of liquor I have on hand. Bailey's - Coffee. Peppermint Schnapps - Cocoa. It also depends on what movie I'm watching. Pride and Prejudice - Tea, The Santa Clause - Cocoa.
I lived in the Chicago suburbs for a good chunk of my life and never took as much advantage of the city as I should have. What's your favorite thing to do in the city?
I've lived in Chicago my entire life so I've pretty much done it all as far as museums and aquariums and the like go. And they're all wonderful and fabulous and smell like fish but my very favorite place in the city is the Harold Washington Library. It smells like old books and is gigantic and I can get lost there for hours. Plus it has the most amazing Owl-Gargoyles which are like normal gargoyles but obviously wiser. Sometimes I think about trying to stay the night a la Claudia in The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. There are night security guards though so it would be tough. I've tried to make friends with one of them by playing the game "Make An Owl-Gargoyle Noise" but I clearly won and then he was all bitter and now we just nod coldly to each other when we pass in the halls.
Boys names: No though we will probably use some part of Ryan's late parents' names (they were Gale Lynn and David Thomas.) Girls: Totally but for now it's a secret. And also Ryan hasn't completely agreed to them yet, though I'm getting better at talking him into it. Right now for example I've got him convinced that if I have girl twins that I am going to name them Primrose (Hunger Games) and Valentine (Enders Game). So now the actual names I have in mind seem less odd.
I know you love to read, as do I. Can you name 5 of your favorite reads and maybe a little about why you liked them.
Off the top of my head:
The Stand - I'm not generally a big Stephen King fan and END OF THE WORLD stuff scares the ever-loving crap out of me but for some unfathomable reason this book rocks my socks. OJ is reading it now for the first time and I keep getting random texts from him that are all "WHAT!!!?"
Pride and Prejudice - Love me some Mr. Darcy. I actually read pretty much every single unauthorized sequel that is written as well. They all suck a lot. I still read them.
One Thousand White Women - This book is just really different than any other book I've read. The premise is that a powerful Indian chief promises peace to the 'White Man' in exchange for one thousand white women to help them propagate their tribes. And the government totally agrees to it. And then asks for volunteers from mental institutions and jails and such. This is the story of the women that volunteer.
The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls' childhood was highly disturbing but it makes for a un-put-down-able book.
Gone With The Wind - Love me some Rhett Butler. The unauthorized sequel to this - Scarlett, also sucks a lot. I still read it. Twice.
What do you do at approximately 3:00 on a Saturday?
Hmmm...last Saturday at that time I was taking another shower because I literally wet my pants a little bit from laughing too hard after Ryan made some comment about how our dog Daisy (not his biggest fan) only gives him "bottom of the barrel kisses" and then I was like "Huh?" And he was like, "She always either burps or sneezes when she kisses me." I don't even know why it was so funny, but it was.
What was the worst injury/accident you have had?
Hmm...there's been quite a few but I would say probably either the time I got hit in the face with a softball or the time I fell off the climbing rope in gym class.
What's your favorite kind of hot sauce?
Sriracha, fo sho. I may or may not have gotten a bottle of it confiscated at the airport once. I suppose though, that it could be used as a weapon if you were creative.
What accomplishment(s) in life (besides marrying Ryan) are you the most proud? (I was going to say embarrassing moment, but you already have that covered. Ha Ha!)
I'm irrationally proud of the fact that I can still do a back bend from standing (I just checked to make sure I could in fact still do it and yes, I can.) I'm also insanely proud of the fact that I just got hired for money to write for another website. Sure it's definitely less than I was making as an accountant but this is what I really love to do.
What are some 'off the beaten path' spots in Chicago people should visit? Eat, shop, see, etc?
This is a tough question since Ryan and I are total homebodies but I'll give it a shot. Piccolo Sogno for really good Italian food. Their homemade pasta is to die for. The Spice House and Old Town Oil for all sorts of delicious and obscure cooking ingredients. (I also love to wander around the shops in China Town for the same reason.) The Celtic Crossing is a tiny Irish pub with a cantankerous Irish bartender that remembers everyone. And this isn't obscure but I highly suggest going to The Signature Room (restaurant at the top of the Hancock) not to eat but rather to go to the womens' washroom which has, unarguably the very best view of the city. Sorry dudes.
What shoe do you put on first?
I think I was asked this before and could not figure it out since I was concentrating on it too hard. So I just tried again and somehow accidentally ended up with two shoes and ONE sock on and no idea which came first. I sort of forgot why I was doing it because my feet were so cold.
Do you have a favorite dinosaur? And do you agree that Earl Grey tea is gross?
First, I think that most tea is gross. But I really like Snapple Diet Peach Iced Tea or really good English Breakfast Tea. And my favorite dinosaur, very specifially, is Ducky from The Land Before Time. When Ryan and I first got a dog I actually wanted to name her Ducky but Ryan said that it is a rule that you can't name animals after other animals so I suggested Daisy and he agreed. Later he realized that logically, this meant that our dog's last name is Duck. Haha stupid Ryan.
How do you feel about toe socks? You know, the ones with the individual toe cubbyholes?
This is a topic I've actually spent a lot of time on. I feel like I should LOVE them because they're weird and I'm weird but they're not that warm and they're sort of uncomfortable. That being said. Here is a picture of some of my favorite socks ever.
I'm pretty old school when it comes to video games. Mainly because all of the new-fangled ones are entirely too hard for my non-existant hand-eye coordination. So I still really love the original Super Mario Brothers. Although I never could beat level whatever it was on that stupid ship with those stupid cannons and the stupid cannonballs with their stupid faces. Also if I'm being honest, really I can only beat levels one and sometimes two. One of my fondest memories from childhood though is my mom and my sisters and my brother and I sitting on the couches in our family room and watching while my dad sat on the ground in front of the tv and beat the entire Super Mario Brothers game.
If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
This is an excellent question! One that I can't answer entirely honestly because it would give too much away about my future childrens' names. But recently I was reading an article on The Bump (don't ask) and it was about Winter Inspired names and one of the suggestions was 'Branch' and I was like, I am so fucking glad my name is not Branch. (I apologize if your name is Branch, I just seriously could not pull that off.)
If you could be a super hero, what super power would you possess?
Simple, Super Speed trumps every other super power ever. You can not win this argument with me. Flying? Psssh, that sounds cold and slow and sure you could fly over the oceans and maybe catch a glimpse of a whale or two but if you had super speed you could just run really fast on top of the water and maybe touch a whale, which everyone knows is better than just seeing a whale.
Did you title this post to be sung to the tune Pinocchio sings in the movie that starts with "I got no strings to hold me down"?
I did indeed. I'd also like to take this moment to apologize for my sometimes extremely cryptic titles that make sense to no one but me.
And if so, which it so has-ta-be, what is the next verse of the song?
I can't believe I'm getting asked this! I tried to extend the title of the post when I wrote it but I couldn't think of what the next verse would be....
Maybe...I've got no heat to keep me warm, to thaw my toes, (which are misformed). I had heat but now I freeze. Ryan loves chickpeas!
That was terrible but seriously that boy can not get enough chickpeas. He's even starting to look like a chickpea a little bit.
If you had to go on Shark Tank, what product would you pitch?
I don't know! I'm still trying to figure it out! I would love a house-cleaning robot so maybe that? Ryan says that's stupid and why wouldn't I just get a maid (hypothetically, he wouldn't actually let me get a maid)? Because robots don't judge RYAN.
What do you picture your life will be like in 50 years?
Sounds like round three of babies to me, great-grand-babies. Which means Ryan had better get on the baby train pretty soon or my grandchildren will be having babies extremely young. It's your fault if they're all on the show 16 and Pregnant RYAN.
You and Ryan come to Maine. You buy 2 lobsters to eat. How many do you give Ryan? Hah okay forget it. I know the answer. NONE.
There's really nothing else for me to say here.
When reading your favorite books do you create a character for yourself and consider how they could be inserted into the story? If so, what are some of your favorite types of stories to "Character Bomb" and why?
OHMYGOD I totally never even thought about doing that. I have so many books to reread immediately. Starting with Harry Potter. My name shall be Ruby. I am excellent at illegal FireWhiskey summoning charms, have extremely long eyelashes and am really nice to Neville because he gets hot later.
Also, do you read any webcomics and if so, which ones?
I read The Oatmeal, does that count as a webcomic? Any others that you recommend?
What is the best way to sneak in a nap during the work day when you share an office?
That's really tough...I would probably go with bribery. Or alternatively, I can connect you with my sister's friend that literally sleeps with her eyes open. She might be able to teach you how to do it.
I know you love cheese because who doesn't but if you only had one more day to live what would be your last meal?
Appetizer: Tomato Bread from Momma & Me in Homewood, IL
Main Course: Homemade pasta in spicy vodka sauce with shrimp, side of steamed broccolini with lemon and garlic.
Dessert: (From Girl and the Goat)