Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Miss Randompants

Right now, Iwanski is watching the 80’s movie “Just One of the Guys.” I don’t know why, but that movie is always fun to watch. Maybe it’s just the 80’s nostalgia…or maybe it’s everybody’s favorite “girl passes for a guy” storyline. Either way, it’s really hard for me to concentrate on writing this blog post right now, while Terry (the girl dressed as a guy) is trying to talk like a guy and says, “How ‘bout another brewski, okay?” Too funny!


Work has been going really well lately, and I had a great performance review this week. Now we’ll see how that equates into salary…hopefully it equates well!


I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and pilates lately, and I’m feeling really good! I’m sleeping really well, too. (Now that I said that, I’ll probably toss and turn all night tonight!) I really love the yoga and pilates classes at Millennium Park on Saturday mornings. I can’t believe I get up early every Saturday now, but when I’m lying in savasana (relaxation pose) with my eyes closed, listening to the sounds of the city and the birds chirping, I just feel sooo relaxed and happy. Finally I found something that’s better than sleeping in!


I love how Facebook gets you closer to famous people. Like recently, I read the wonderful book “The Happiness Project (Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun).” I was so inspired by the book that I “Facebooked” the author (Gretchen Rubin) and posted a message to her, thanking her for her insightful and inspirational words. Just a few minutes later, I got a message back from her, telling her that she was glad I liked it! I thought that was pretty cool, especially considering the fact that she gets tons and tons of messages from her readers every day. I enjoyed my little interaction with a best-selling author.


Lately, Iwanski and I have really gotten into the t.v. show “Arrested Development.” We never watched it while it was in first-run episodes on t.v., and I cannot BELIEVE how hilarious this show is. It really is such a brilliant show, and I’m so surprised (and upset) that it only lasted three seasons. The writing is fantastic, all the actors are amazingly funny and talented, and as a bonus, Jason Bateman is SUCH a cutie. (Love him!) Last night, Iwanski and I watched the last few episodes on Netflix, and I swear, I almost shed a few tears over it ending. However, there are rumors of an Arrested Development movie coming out sometime soon, so I was consoled by that thought.


Speaking of TV shows, the 12th (yes, 12th!) season of the reality show Big Brother starts next week, and I can’t wait! Iwanski doesn’t want people to know this (so don’t tell him I told you!), but we watch Big Brother every year—and every year, Iwanski tells me that he’s not going to watch it this year—but I know better. He just can’t resist the allure of watching a bunch of confrontational idiots locked together in a house for the better part of a summer—and neither can I! So freakin’ fun.


And last, but certainly not least, yesterday was Iwanski’s and my 14-year wedding anniversary…and I couldn’t be happier. What could be better than being married to your very best friend? The last 14 years have flown by, and I feel so lucky to be married to the brilliant, loving, creative, talented, and hilarious Iwanski.

Aren't we the cutest couple ever????

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Today, Iwanski and I walked in Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade, in support of gay rights and the United Way.

It was a loud, fun, crazy, hot, fantastic day. I am proud of our city, and proud of the United Way for supporting gay rights and the betterment of our community.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summertime Feast

Has anyone else noticed how much harder it is to blog in the summer?

There are just so many other things to do in the summer that don’t involve sitting down at the computer, typing away. Like going on vacation in northern Wisconsin. (Fun!)

And like eating.

Today, I ate a cheese pierogi; sauerkraut pierogi; tortilla-encrusted tilapia taco; Irish egg roll; mustard-fried catfish; chopped salad with tomatoes, mushrooms, and blue cheese; blueberry Italian ice; mango rice pudding with dried cranberries; garlic mozzarella cheese bread; bruschetta; Italian sausage; breaded eggplant sandwich; hot link (spicy sausage); varenyky (potato, eggplant, snow pear, and Indian spice sauce), grilled shredded tandoori turkey, and cheesecake.

Yum! So where was I able to get all of these delectable tasties?

It could all be found at the magical once-a-year festival called the Taste of Chicago! And what a taste it was! Iwanski and I shared in these delicacies, and we’re both really full—and really happy. I love living in a city that has so many unique, yummy culinary treats to partake in.

And tomorrow, I’m going to work it all off (or at least some of it!) at Saturday morning yoga. And then I’m going to gain it all back again at Iwanski’s nephew’s birthday party tomorrow afternoon—where I’ve heard that burgers will be served up hot from the grill—yummy! And then I’ll work it off again at Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, where Iwanski and I will be marching in the parade in conjunction with my coworkers at the United Way. (I already have my United Way t-shirt all decked out with colorful ribbons for the occasion. I can’t wait!)

It’s summertime, and festival season is in full swing. I couldn’t be happier.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where Oh Where Did Miss Healthypants Go?

Guess where Miss Healthypants and Iwanski spent last week? I’ll give you a hint: it involved lots of driving, lots of deer, and lots of fried fish and cheese.

And here are some pictures, in case you still haven’t figured it out. We got away from it all, and it was a fun, relaxing vacation.

*Photos courtesy of sillyhead/awesome photographer Iwanski.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Up Early! Why?

This morning, I did something completely out of character for me: I woke up early (7 a.m.) on a Saturday morning.

Now before you try to tell me that 7 a.m. is not really that early, let me tell you that normally on a weekend, I sleep in until 10:30/11 a.m. So yes, 7 a.m. is quite early for me!

So what prompted this change in sleeping habits for one Miss Healthypants?

Free outdoor yoga!

Every Saturday morning in the late spring & summer, the city of Chicago, and McDonalds sponsor free exercise classes in Millennium Park, which is like three blocks from my apartment building. The schedule is:

7 AM - Tai Chi
8 AM - Yoga
9 AM - Pilates
10 AM - Dance Aerobics

They offered free exercise classes last year, as well, but I was always too lazy to get my butt out of bed on Saturday mornings to work out…but not any more! Miss Healthypants is committed to starting her summer Saturdays off in a healthy way.

Anyway, I met a couple of friends there, and we participated in a 45-minute outdoor yoga class on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn. The weather was cloudy, warm, and humid, with just a slight mist of rain during the whole class—which I actually found quite refreshing.

And the class itself was good—not way too challenging, but just challenging enough—a good moderate workout for a Saturday morning—appropriate for almost any fitness level.

But my favorite part of the class was actually doing yoga outside, in the park. It was so lovely to close my eyes and come into Ujjayi breathing (a type of breathing used in yoga practice), and hear the birds chirping away in the trees around me.

And then there was the moment when we all did “tree pose" (see picture below). It was just so cool to look around the park and see the trees and then see all of us humans in tree pose. What a beautiful moment!

Tree Pose - photo courtesy of

So I would say it’s safe to assume that I will be coming back to Saturday morning yoga in the park. Hell, maybe next time I’ll even stick around for Pilates!

Later, after class, I stopped in at McDonald’s for breakfast. And as I chomped my way through a breakfast burrito, I realized the irony—that the same corporation that had just helped me out by co-sponsoring a free exercise class, was now helping me to deliver fat and cholesterol into my body. When it comes to my health, I guess McDonald’s giveth, and it also taketh away!

Still, one of the central themes of yoga is keeping balance in your life. Just as I balanced in tree pose, I also balanced out my unhealthy breakfast burrito with some healthy fruit and orange juice.

And speaking of keeping balance, I will be mostly away from the internet and will not be blog-posting for probably a good week or so. So just in case you stop back here and think that I’m being a lazy-ass for not posting, just remember that I’m taking a hiatus to restore mental balance in my life. And yes, I’m also being a lazy-ass.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Here's something I don’t think most people know about Iwanski and me: We like old-time radio shows.

Does that make us sound like old fogies? Well, it’s true. We are old fogies.

Anyway, every night at midnight, we listen to the radio show “When Radio Was," hosted by Greg Bell, on WBBM 780 AM. “When Radio Was” is a program that features old-time radio shows from the 30’s, 40’s, and early 50’s…and it’s a good way to transition ourselves to sleepytime.

My favorite shows are "The Jack Benny Program" and "Burns & Allen"…but for most of the shows, I only have a very peripheral knowledge of what they’re even about—because you see, I usually fall asleep within the first 5-10 minutes of the show. So although I know the titles “Lum and Abner,” “Life of Riley,” and “Our Miss Brooks,” I really have barely any idea what any of these shows are about. And I know that the Shadow knows “what evil lurks in the hearts of men,” but that’s about all I know about the Shadow.

And then there’s the show “Chandu the Magician.” (Chandu is pronounced “Chahhndoo.”) This show is on “When Radio Was” at least once a week.

The other night, I said to Iwanski, “We have to go to bed soon—‘Chanduuuuuuuuu!’ is on ‘When Radio Was’ tonight.”

Iwanski laughed, “Do you even have any idea what that show is about?”

I laughed. “No, I have no clue. Do you?”

“No idea,” he responded, laughing.

“But we have to listen to ‘Chanduuuuuuu!” I giggled.

Seriously, for some reason, that show is like a sleeping pill for Iwanski and me. I don’t know why, but we hear about two minutes of the show, and immediately, it’s like someone injected us with Ambien.

Hmm, maybe we’re on to something here. Maybe we should start marketing “Chandu” for insomniacs.

Anyway, the only thing either of us ever really hear is the beginning music and the announcer saying in a loud voice “Chanduuuu the Magician!”—and then we hear an ad from the 1940’s for Chandu’s “Assyrian Money Changer”—a box that is supposedly magic and can turn a penny into a dime. And to get it, you have to put a quarter and a box top from White King Soap (?) in an envelope and address it to “Chandu,” at a post office box in Los Angeles (they pronounce it “Los Ann-galese”).

But after hearing that Chandu ad, we’re both in Snoozeville.

One of these nights, I’m hoping that we’ll actually hear an entire episode of “Chandu,” so that we finally find out what it’s all about.

Then again, I think it’s more fun this way. I think it’s good to have a little mystery in your life—even if it’s just the mystery of “Chanduuuuuuuu!”

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mistaken Identity

About three times a week, I get a voice mail on my cell phone for “Jackie Rasha.” Who is Jackie Rasha, you ask? Well, apparently Jackie Rasha is the subject of a search by a collection agency—and it seems that I have her old cell phone number.

When I first started getting these messages, I did my due diligence and called back the company to let them know that I was not, in fact, Jackie Rasha. However, the calls never stopped, so I finally just gave up and accepted the fact that the company doesn’t seem to care, since they obviously think I am her. At some point I even started wondering, maybe I am Jackie Rasha.

Anyway, the voice mail usually starts with the name “Jackie Rasha” in this funky computerized voice that sounds really drawn out—like “Jaaaaaaaaaackie Rrrrahhhhhhsha.” For some reason, I find that voice really funny. So of course, I started calling Iwanski “Jackie Rasha”—especially when he does or says something that I consider silly.

Then Iwanski started calling me Jackie Rasha. Now, we call each other Jackie Rasha on an almost daily basis.

The other day, we were walking down the street, calling each other by Ms. Rasha’s name—and I said to Iwanski, “What if someday we’re calling each other Jackie Rasha, and the real Jackie Rasha walks past and hears us saying her name?” What would she say? What would we say?

Just in case that ever happens, we should probably stop calling each other by her name.

But I’ve gotten pretty used to saying it, and the computerized voice is just so damn funny.

Oh Jackie Rasha, you have no idea how much your name has amused us.

And I’ll bet you all had no idea how little it really takes to amuse Iwanski and Miss Healthypants.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Miss Healthypants Mixes It Up

With a name like Miss Healthypants, you’d think that I’d spend some time writing about healthy foods that I eat…but nooo…

As I look back on my blog over the past couple of years, I see references to Chinese buffets, an Indian buffet, a huge-ass piece of pizza, chicken wings, BBQ pork chow mein, string cheese, cheese curds, frying cheese, cream cheese (you see a pattern here?) and White Castle hamburgers. ..but barely any mention of fruits and vegetables (unless you count the few references to a salad drowned in ranch dressing—yummy!).

But now I feel that I must write about my new favorite food obsession…


I have recently discovered how absolutely freaking simple it is to make your own fruit smoothies. Actually, my friend Diane convinced me to try making my own by telling me I could just buy all frozen fruit, stick it in the blender with a bit of orange juice, then a couple of minutes later…your very own yummy smoothie.

I was skeptical—as I don’t tend to cook or prepare anything that you don’t have to peel the plastic from and stick in the microwave—but I thought, what the hell. It sounded easy.

So I bought frozen mangoes, strawberries, and blueberries—and also some bananas, just for kicks. I mixed it all together in the blender with a bit of O.J, said a prayer to the smoothie gods….and…


I loved it—and even more surprisingly, Iwanski loved it. Oh my gosh, Iwanski likes something that’s healthy! I need to capitalize on this!

So now, every morning when I get up, I make a couple of smoothies and then yell to Iwanski, “Come and get your smoothie!” I say it in a really high-pitched voice, too—I try to sound like that goofy Kate Gosselin when she yelled “Come and get your pop-corn!” (No, I don’t watch that silly show—they just kept playing that hilarious clip over and over again on "The Soup.")

Anyhoo, the absolute best part about making smoothies is that YOU CAN’T SCREW IT UP. I really don’t think you can—and if anyone could, I could (you can read all about my cooking foibles here). I’ve tried a bunch of different fruits and juices in several different combinations, and it’s always good.

I’ve even started sneaking some veggies into the smoothies now—so far I’ve tried throwing a bunch of spinach into the mix, and you can’t even taste it. Tomorrow, I’m going to try adding some chopped up carrots.

For the first time, I feel that “cooking” (if you can call it that) is like a creative venture for me. I love to experiment with different fruits and vegetables and different juices (FYI, Trader Joe’s Dixie Peach Juice is fabulous for smoothies—and it also tastes really delicious on its own).

And the best part is that both Iwanski and I get a healthy start to our day…although I do think that Iwanski is concerned about how far I might go with the smoothie creativity.

Tonight, as I was chopping up some carrots to use in tomorrow’s smoothies, he said, “Don’t get too crazy now—don’t start adding peppers or anything.”

Peppers in a smoothie? Yucky! Or would it be…? I just googled “peppers smoothie” and right away came upon a website that has a recipe for a “Sweet Red Pepper Smoothie.” I am SO going to check that out.

Iwanski has no idea what he’s in for!