Reunited … and It Feels a Little Mysterious Wednesday, Nov 17 2010 

For those of you following the exciting missing-mug saga, the whimsical pig mug has been returned to its owner.  It appeared, as quickly as it had vanished, in a little-used cabinet in my work kitchen. Granted, I had checked this cabinet multiple times, as had other mug investigators.

I hope the little piggy had fun on his fortnight-long journey, wherever he may have been.  But I said no questions asked, so I am happily enjoying my Cinnamon-Stick tea.  It’s going to be a good day.


Getting Mug’d at the Office Saturday, Nov 6 2010 

In 2005 or so, I bought a bug at discount-department retailer Kohl’s.  I spent about $3 on it, perhaps less.  It’s a fun upsloping conical shape and it has smiling cartoon pigs on it.  In fact, here’s a picture of it, full of Starbucks hot chocolate:

I kept said mug at my office.  It made me cheerful, be it filled with green tea or cocoa.  I got lots of compliments on it. Sometimes it was the brightest spot of color in a dreary work day.

Last Friday, I saw this mug for the final time.  (And I didn’t even know it to say anything!) Monday, it was no longer in the cabinet at work. All week, I trolled both floors of my office space, peeking into private offices, walking through cubicles, hoping for a glimpse of my familiar mug.  I sent the above picture to friends in all corners of the office so they could watch their respective areas. I obsessively checked the dishwasher, like, six times. This little piggy went somewhere other than the kitchen.

So stupid I was to not keep it at my desk under lock and key!  But how stupid someone else is to assume clearly whimsical mugware is the property of our company and there for anyone to use; the initials on the bottom of it are also a clue.  Or maybe it was broken being unloaded from the dishwasher and no one had the heart to say anything.  Point being: either it has ceased to exist or has been sitting on someone’s desk coated in half-and-half and who knows what else for days.

The mug was $3 and is half-a-decade old.  But it is irreplaceable.  Google “Pig mug Kohl’s” and the results are vaguely terrifying. If it’s gone forever, it’s truly gone forever.  And while cheap and silly and ultimately trivial, it does make me sad. I may just have to print out the picture above and keep it in a frame on my desk while I drink out of my cheerless paper cup.

Or maybe some good Samaritan will return it to the kitchen sometime soon.  No questions asked.

My M-F Home Thursday, Sep 30 2010 

*That’s “Monday through Friday,” peeps, not “Mother [Effing].” Well … occasionally both. I work in the Chicago Board of Trade, also known as The “CBOT” or, simply, “The Board.” You may remember it from such films as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Dark Knight. Check it out:

It’s an icon in the Windy City. A National Historic Landmark. It defines the Southern barrier of the Loop. It was once the tallest building in the city. There’s a bar on the first floor that neglects to put mixers in any of its cocktails. It is also 80 years old. As are some of the grizzled floor traders (not my company’s business) that work within its walls.  These men, with whom I share an elevator every day, are driven by sweat, years of tobacco abuse, and greed-fueled adrenaline. Gordon Gekko is nowhere to be found. This is down-and-dirty bartering and the man with the loudest voice (and tallest genes) often wins.

But I digress. Part of the “charm” that comes with working in a relative fossil of a building is similar to what a home-owner faces in a pre-war fixer-upper. Sometimes, no matter what you clean, pretty up, and modernize, old problems seep in. And run deep. (more…)

The first of many age-obsessed posts Monday, Mar 22 2010 

I have two friends at work … well, actually, I have lots of friends at work (shockingly!) but let’s talk about two in particular.  One is technically an intern (as she’s still in college), though she is as integral to the team as anyone else.  She’s 13 years younger than me, but we fraternize frequently – happy hours, lunches, what have you.  The other is a great mentor and fellow writer – he’s 10 years older than me.  We still occasionally see each other socially, for team events.  And he’s a hip dude, always learning about new music, new trends, etc.  The guy’s on Twitter, after all.

So short story long, one is 13 years my junior, one is 10 years my senior.  And yet … I feel I assimilate much more with the youngster.  Is it because we are both girls/women?  Is it because my elder has kids and a life in the suburbs as opposed to a strings-free life in the city?  Is it because I don’t act my age and am a constant embarrassment to all those around me?

How old would you say you are if you didn’t know how old you were, they say?  And I think I would honestly say about 8 years younger than I am.  Unless I’m trying to run a mile, in which case … 79.