I am an Idiot (and a Douchebag)

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So a few weekends ago my husband and I met up with some friends at a local watering hole after celebrating my birthday at a sushi place. We had a few cocktails and decided to call it a night as we were leaving early the next morning to spend a few days downtown. The next morning I realize that I can’t find my purse.

Now, I have always had a purse problem. I didn’t carry a purse for a long time, and now that I do, I just can’t seem to get used to having it. I’m always leaving it behind, or forgetting it in the car. Once, I left my wallet on top of the car as I drove away from an early morning stop at McDonalds. Another time, my wallet somehow slipped out of my purse on the floor of an airplane (probably on takeoff) and by the time I figured it out, it was long gone. I have lost my wallet and purse more times than I can count. At one point it started to affect my credit rating as I kept having to have new cards issued. (They don’t look favorably on having your cards cancelled four times in a year, FYI)

I call my phone and walk around the house listening for it. It’s ringing, but I don’t hear it. I check all the rooms in the house – I check the car. I check the bathroom. Nothing. Now I start to panic. Not only did I have every credit card I own in my purse, I also had my drivers license, insurance cards, AAA card, a $300 gift card for J Crew and my brand new fucking iPhone. I keep calling the phone, and it’s ringing, but nobody is picking up.

I remembered having it when we left the bar – or at least I thought I did. Oh! Wait! I went into the bathroom on the way out. Could I have left it in the bathroom at the bar? Could I be that stupid? Unfortunately, yes, I can. There was a big local high school celebration going on in the restaurant part of the place at the same time we were there – did the high school students steal my purse? Maybe the bar has it. We call – they can’t find it, but the manager isn’t in yet, and perhaps it was locked in his office. Later, we go to the bar and find out it is not there. So, I must have left it in the bathroom after all. Those fucking high-schoolers!

I keep calling my phone and leaving messages in hopes that whoever has the phone will give it back. My friends are also calling and seeing if they get anybody. I leave a couple of nice messages, then they slowly get more desperate and more rude. I call back into my voicemail and someone has been listening to the messages! I beg – I plead – I threaten – I offer a reward – I offer to kick their ass. I tell them karma is a bitch and they’ll get theirs. No response.

So, instead of going downtown, I spend the entire day canceling my credit cards and suspend my phone. My husband is not pleased, as two of them are joint cards and now he has no working cards, either. I have no hope for our future with bratty young chicks who steal purses from forgetful older chicks like me. I bitch to everyone I know about how these brats have ruined my faith in society.

Later that day, my husband goes out to the vegetable garden to get something. He comes back in laughing the hardest I have ever seen him laugh ever. “You’re in BIG trouble!” He says. What??? He holds up my purse. It was in the garden. I forgot we went out there and covered the tomato plants after we got home because there was a frost alert. I must have put the purse down and forgotten about it.

Oops. I was mortified. What a fucking idiot. One of my friends called me a douchebag after I told her I found the purse. She’s right. I couldn’t even bring myself to listen to the 32 messages on my voice mail – mostly from me to the squirrels in the garden. I just erased them all. Sorry to all you gals from Barrington High School. I do have hope for the future after all – just not for my lame brain.

The Beauty of the Chicago Dog

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There really is no comparison to the famous Chicago hot dog. Because they are so ubiquitous here, I don’t give them much thought since I can pick one up at any time. It’s just one of those things that you don’t miss until you can’t get it. But then – you get that craving and you must have it and you must have it now!

The Chicago dog is very specific – there is not a lot of leeway when having the Chicago dog. First and foremost, the dog must be a Vienna Beef dog. No other brand is allowed. Kosher Best? – no. David Berg? – no. Nathan’s? Fuggedaboudit. Vienna Beef and Vienna Beef only. Second, the dog must be nestled in a fresh, steamed poppy seed bun. Stale buns are a big no no.

Here are the rest of the ingredients, in order. No substitutions!
1. Yellow mustard
2. Bright green relish
3. Fresh chopped onion
4. Two tomato wedges
5. Kosher pickle spear
6. Two sport peppers
7. A dash of celery salt

…and for God’s sake – no fucking ketchup! What the hell – are you five years old?

There are hundreds, no, probably thousands of hot dog shacks in the Chicagoland area, so naming the best dog would be silly. As long as the above rules and regulations are abided by, they are good in my book. Some famous ones: Fluky’s, Frankly Yours, Demon Dogs, Franks for the Memories, Gold Coast Dogs, Little Louie’s (home of the first Chicago dog I ever had in Northbrook, IL), Weiner’s Circle. They are all awesome.

The only sour note? I know I am probably commiting sacrilege by saying this, but I have a problem with world famous Superdawg on the northwest side. I know they have been run by the same people since 1948, and it is a fact that they are a Chicago institutuion. But, they don’t use Vienna Beef dogs, and they put a piccalilli of green tomatoes instead of two slices of red tomato and no celery salt. Therefore I cannot put them in the same category with a traditional Chicago dog. Sorry Maurie & Flaury. It’s just not right.

If you’ve never had a chicago dog, or if you moved away and miss your dogs – Portillo’s will come to the rescue and ship them to you for a mere $50. 

I think I know what I have to do for lunch today…