Sunday, November 30, 2008

Funny How Minds Work So Differently ...

Alyssa and I had the following convo this weekend:

Oh my god, did you see the apartment on 3rd Street between Avenue A & B? It has THE cutest Christmas lights ever! I took a pic:

Yesss! I was totally going to ask you the same thing!

For real though, who has that much time? Can you imagine how much work that was? They must have had professional help. I've been thinking about it the whole walk home. They must have put the lights on pipes and then put the pipes together on their balcony and then ...

A: Hahaha! Stop -- you crack me up how hard you think about the simplest things! I'm 100% sure they just walked up to the roof and dropped strands of lights down.

Oh ....
ya ... or that ... hadn't thought of that yet ;)


"Local Celebrity"

Everyday I walk past the corner of 1st & 1st to catch the subway ...
and every single day I wonder to myself,
"Who's the lucky-duck that gets to live in
the quaint little Lighthouse on top of that building?"

I think about this imaginary "local celebrity" more often than I'd like to admit ... I wonder what he/she does for a living. I wonder what the home looks like inside (specifically, if they went with a nautical theme because that's what I personally would do if I were the lucky-duck that lived there). I wonder if they have a telescope (because, again, I would) and where they go to "get away" (because, come on now, let's be real, who the hell would ever want to "get away" if you lived there?!?!)

Anyways ...
must be nice ;)

"One Man's Junk Is Another Man's Treasure"

Over the weekend, my neighbor placed this beautiful painting

in the weekly garbage collection outside our building ...

So I said, "I don't mean to pry but, are you throwing that away?"
She said, "Yes, I painted it in '96 and it's seen it's better days"
So I asked nicely if I could have it and she said, "Of course!"

It looks beautiful on our staircase
and I absolutely adore it :)

Just goes to show how
one (wo)man's junk is another (wo)man's treasure!

Friday, November 28, 2008

My 1st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade :)

Although it didn't really hold a candle to the Salmon Day's Parade

I loved every millisecond of the Macy's Turkey Day awesomeness!

Here are some highlights ...

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

I totally ate Sweet Potato Pie for breakfast
and snacked on brie cheese while uploading these pix


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Almost Turkey Day!

I'll be sure to send lots of pix from the Macy's Parade :)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

All the best to you and yours,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hurry! Before it Snows ... Check out Ann! other tree-friend (Arbor) is not quite as photogenic ;)

February (taken on the day we moved in!)




November :)

Thoughts on "Level One"

I've been thinking ...
shocking, I know ;)

For real though,
I've been thinking a lot about my recent demotion
Level I Yoga :(

Ya see the thing is,
I don't really ever do anything at level one ...

For real,
I don't think I've ever done anything at Level I in my entire life!

Even when I was little,
Jamie and Stephen were always pushing me to be at their level.

I remember one time when Jame was watching Cody and me
... she was maybe 11, SJ was like 8, and we were 5ish

Here are some visuals for reference :)

The Once "Innocent" Hall Trio

Codes & Me, Age 5

Well, thanks to the Sony voice recorder,
we pretended to be a live radio talk-show called

Jamie was the host (obviously)
and her topic that night just so happened to be "swear words"
(again, obviously)

To the tee,
the recording goes as follows:

Jamie: Hello, yoooou're listening to "WBBM Hall" and on my show today we have the lovely little Stacey Hall. Stacey, would you like to introduce yourself?

Me: Yes. Hi, my name is Stacey and I go to Kindergarten and I do math there. I'm talking in this microphone right now and everyday I go to Cody's house and Cody comes here. That's all I have to say.

Totally Level One, right?!!?

Oh not so much,
it continues as follows ...

Jamie: Stacey, can you please tell me your favorite swear word?

Me: Nooooooo

(Insert Stephen and Jamie both "encouraging" me to swear)

Me: Ok, fine ... dammit!

Jamie: Come on, you can do better than that!

Me: Ok, fine ... POOOP!

Cody: (Chiming in out of no where) FUUUCK!

Me: Hahahaha (now giggling uncontrollably) SHIT! FUCK! ASSHOOOOOOLE!

(Insert roaring laughter from the "talk show hosts")

Jamie: Thank you very much for listening to The Sweeeaaaar Show! Be sure to tune in next time for an interview with Mister Winkie and Misses Butt! Goodbyeeeeeee

And thus ended my days
of ever doing anything ever again
at a Level One ...
even yoga!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Countdown to Christmas ...

Do you see what I see?!?

Yep, yep, yep :)

Looook Out ... Googly Googs on the Go!!

After I saw this auto-awesomeness,
I lurked around for a while
to see if it was possibly the batmobile to

no such luck :(

Thank God It's OVER!!

On Saturday we watched football at
Blue Seats

After the Michigan/Ohio State "game"
we each shotgunned a can of Rolling Rock and cheersed

Gotta give a big shout out to Penn State ...
Way to go boyz :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Restaurant Reccos :)

With the holidays approaching, it would be a shame not to try new places to eat (and that's
not just because "Operation Make Dinner for Myself" has proven to be a complete bust)

But there's always the inevitable question of "where should we go?"
Here are a handful of reasonably priced spots I would highly recommend :)

For Italian, try Bocca di Bacco in Hell's Kitchen ... the grilled octopus app is absurdly tasty and the pumpkin ravioli with a sage butter sauce is like Christmas in your mouth ... yuummmmm

For Latin cuisine with a perfect atmosphere (and BYOB! hollleeeerr), don't miss A Casa Fox on the Lower East Side. Try the selection of mini empanadas to start and then prepare yourself for the seared calamari with chorizo and the flank steak with avocado ... holy hell, there are no words. As mentioned, it's BYOB so be sure to hit up September Wines beforehand. There's always a tasting going on so you can drink while you shop ... brilliant!!

For Thai food, there's obviously a gazillion places to go, but I really like Eatpisode. It's a BYOB spot at Ludlow & Rivington that is a perfect place to eat before hitting up Spitzer's (and the bar food there is also awesome so you can't go wrong either way!) Anyways, I digress ... if you find yourself at Eatpisode, order-up the spring rolls, the Hoi-ob soup, and the Pad See Yu. You will not be disappointed :)

For birthdays, don't forget to score some cupcakes at Sugar Sweet Sunshine ... hell, it doesn't even have to be a birthday, everyone deserves this scrumptiousness :)

That's my two cents ...
Can ya tell I've been really hard at work on my cooking skills?!?!

Friday, November 21, 2008

O.M.F.G ... T.G.I.F

I very rarely claim defeat or admit when I'm totally wiped,
but tonight my so-called-life caught up with me :(

It's been one of those weeks ...

My Microsoft Outlook crashed,
the rollyball thingy on my Blackberry is on strike,
my to-do/did list is a sight for sore eyes

my bedroom looks like a bomb shelter

and this new "hobby" I've picked up
(a.k.a cooking dinner)
apparently comes with doing dishes ;)

Uuuugh :(

So after I spent some time getting my act back together,
I went to yoga to decompress a bit
and get this ...

I shit you not ...

After the little nap thingy at the end of the class we did our whole "namaste" nonsense and then the the alleged yogi came up and cornered me for a little "heart ta heart"

Apparently she's "been thinking about my practice"
and "feels my foundation could use some more mastering"

Repeat: Seriously??? W.T.F???!

I was so shocked I replied with something totally lame like,
"Ya, I'll think about it"

No, no, no Stace ...
she wasn't giving you the option to think about it!

She was blatantly telling you that
you've been sent back to the minor leagues ...
Sayonara, sistah!

"You aarrrre the weakest link ... Goodbye"

So it's official ...
I claim defeat :(

But on the bright side,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Year Ago Today ...

This may be a little hard to follow

but give it your best shot ... it's worth the midweek laugh :)

One year ago today I was living with one of my best friends (Kate)
in Wrigleyville (Chicago) and was attempting to write
my first book ("Fight the Crazy") as my full-time job.

To the minute,
this is how I spent my time last year,
on November 19th & 20th

If you think you're having a bad day ...


From: Stacey Hall <>
Date: Nov 20, 2007 3:12 PM
Subject: the last 24 hours of my life...verbatim


2pm. go to kinko's to make copy of manuscript to give to illustrator. stop into anthropologie next door "just to look."

3:30-5pm. meet with illustrator at border's in uptown. she proposes contract for much more money/percent-upon-publishing than i ever envisioned providing her. small beads of sweat develop in left armpit - right pit soon to follow. tell illustrator "thank you for taking the time to write this up but i will need to talk to my IP lawyer before signing anything". Ummmm,
WHAT?!? those words have never come out of my mouth before.
i feel kinda cool but more so uncomfortable :(

5:30pm. go back to anthropologie to purchase the "much needed" sweater dress that is stalking my every thought but "i will wait to wear it on thanksgiving"

6pm. shower. get ready for date with jim, the guy i met at bar while 8-sheets-to-the-wind after the michigan loss in madison last weekend.

7:30pm. board the halsted 8 bus
(secretly wishing it was the "santa express")

7:37pm. nick calls. "staceroo, i have a huge favor to ask. can you watch harper tomorrow? i will leave a key with the doorman." i say yes because i really am glad to do it, i just love that
dog. what's there not to love about a 185lb great pyrenes?!?! i ask if i can take him for a walk and then bring him back to my apartment so he can be my writing buddy for the day. nick says, "great. i'll pick him up at 6pm on my way home from the airport."

8pm. arrive to cafe babareeba. re-meet jim. he's cute. i order sangria at the bar and drink quickly.

8:20pm. we are seated....randomly next to matty, jeff, pat and several other michigan friends. i am thrilled...jim is less than thrilled.

9pm. jim says, "my grandma asked me if i'm gay. well, not exactly, she really asked, 'jim - is everything working ok down there?'"
i laugh...unfortunately at his expense.

9:45pm. jim and i walk out. he is holding car keys. i say, "oh, you don't have to drive me home!" he replies, "oh, i wasn't going to. i'll put you in a cab." i tell him it's a nice night and i'd rather walk. apparently the feeling (or lack thereof) is mutual.

10pm. share glass of white with tyndie and katie. we laugh at my oh-so-dismal "love life".

11pm. arrive home. open bottle of red (even though it makes my face turn shades of hot that have not yet been invented by crayola)

12pm. finish "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius."
(thank you for the recco, chris! i loved it.)


1am. go to kate's room to check my email
(she's in glenview for the night)
i see a fish!
i see fish food!
i want to feed fish.
i go to feed fish and see big sign reading, "DO NOT FEED FISH!"
i don't feed fish :(

8:01am. it's my mom.
i'm worried something's wrong - she usually calls at 10am.
"HOW WAS THE DATE?!?!??!!?"
i promptly hang up on her.

8:16am. it's kate. "can you feed the fish? i totally forgot. 4-5 pellets. no more than that. got it?" got it. will do when i wake up.
i shoulda just fed the damn thing last night!

8:25am. phone alarm sounds. i concede to the cell as it clearly does not want me to be in bed any longer.

9am. send IP lawyer email with the overpriced proposal. she'd like to meet in person. we agree to 4pm.

9:47am. sluggish from wine-over. mad at myself for drinking alone. not going to do that anymore in 2008. i put on my old-school porter-gymnastics-camp spandex under my new sweater dress. waiting to wear it was simply not an option. i pack my voice recorder so i can "write and walk". walk outside. realize i need another layer. grab kate's off-white sweater robe from back of door..."she won't mind".

10am. board red line.
feel let down again that it's not the "santa express"

10:40am. exit state and lake. pass dunkin donuts. decide to get a small coffee. very unlike me but today i feel like coffee. hazelnut to be exact.

11am. enter nick's super sassy apartment building. pick up harper.

begin long walk back to my apartment. i am very excited.
i just love this

11:17am. tackling the magnificent mile, harper sees cha-wa-wa and bolts. coffee spills all over me. kate's sweater is now a shade of off-brown. harper does poop #2 on the drake hotel.

11:30am. i am no longer mad about the coffee. who could be mad at anything when you're walking along the lake?
chicago is so beautiful!

11:55am. cross bridge over lake shore drive. enter lincoln park. harper sees a squirrel. he goes flying causing me to forward somersault in the dirt. kate's sweater now off-black.

12pm. harper sees a flock of geese and begins running. i sprint after him screaming at the top of my lungs. harper jumps into lincoln park pond.
i am in shock. nice jogger man comes to help me call for harper to swim to shore. harper is on a mission to get a goose. he is starting to show signs of fatigue. i start to cry. jogger tries to console such luck.
"i gotta go in and get him. nick's gonna kill me!"
don't go in the pond
"i gotta go in the pond"
don't go in the pond!
i take off my boots, robe, and sweater dress. i'm now in the lincoln park pond. (no joke). swimming after a
dog who's swimming after a goose. i grab the leash. we make it to safely to shore. nice jogger man holds harper's leash while i put my layers of clothes back on.

12:15pm. i go to the bathroom at cafe brauer to throw away my wet tank top, socks, spandex and underoos. i can't believe i swam in my sceebies!

12:20pm. swarm of children outside of the lincoln park petting zoo want to pet harper. the zoo keeper lady compliments what a "good
dog" he is. harper proceeds to puke several pints of pond water. several children begin to cry.

12:25pm. i hail a cab. cabbie pulls over. "i can take you but no dogs allowed." i contemplate donating harper to the lincoln park lion house.

12:27pm. attempt to board the stockon 151 bus. i ask the driver if the
dog can ride. he shakes his head and says, "oh heeeeeeeeeeellls no." i can't help but to cry, again.
i do not like
this dog!

12:40pm. walking commando down clark, i enter the field house. bar owner says, "stace! are you ok?" i reply "tim, i need a beer. immediately."

12:43pm. harper engulfs water bowl.
stacey chugs coors light bottle.

12:50pm. walking down diversy. tears well up again. i'm freezing cold, exhausted, buzzed, and starving because no food has graced this belly since the bad date. i think about stopping for food but lord knows what would happen if i tied harper to a fire hydrant.

1pm. creepy crazy man on belmont sees me voice recording...
"are you a detective?"
"a reporter?"
no. i don't know what i am. i just want to get home :(

1:05pm. enter groomingdales.
groomers says, "you have a beautiful
i sternly reply, "it is
not my dog."
groomer agrees to have
dog clean by 5pm.

1:11pm. enter snuggles dry cleaners on racine.
drop off kate's once "off-white" sweater.
dry cleaner man agrees to have sweater clean by 5pm.

1:14pm. enter apartment. turn on shower. lay in bed. weep hysterically. laugh between weeps. hit head repeatedly. question the purpose of my life. feel adamant that pet-owning and/or child-rearing are two activities that really are
not for me.

1:20pm. take hot hot hot hot shower. experience "stand by me" moment. thank god - no leeches.

2pm. exit shower. eat sponge bob square pants macaroni and cheese. ponder how i will exactly tell nick of my adventures with
devil dog ;)

2:23pm. begin typing this email. debate what it's title should be.
i appropriately decide on "the last 24 hours of my life...verbatim"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hey Mom ... Look Who's Cookin!!

Yep, yep, yep ...

If Barack Obama can become the President of the United States,
then I sure as hell can make my own dinner!

I'd like to give a big shout out to Lipton Side Kicks ...
You make me feel more competent than I really am
and for that I am entirely grateful :)


Bon Appetit!

What's In a Nickname?!?

Tonight I filled out the page in my
Listography journal about nicknames:
  • To my brother I'm "the Ace"
  • To my sister I'm "Teets"
  • To my dad I'm "Impy"
  • To my mom I'm "Stacey May" (or when I'm in trouble, I'm "STACEY MARIE HALL I did not raise you like that!")
  • To my grandma I'm "Stacers"
  • To the Gundrum, Kearney & Moretti families I'm "Staceroooo"
  • To Cody I'm "Ho", "Ho-bag", "Hoochie" or sometimes just "Hooker" (note: although I kinda wish they were, these names are no reflection of my love life ;)
  • Freshman year of college I was "Nadia"
  • To Mega I'm "Munch"
  • To Tynd I'm "Woman!"
  • To Regs I'm "Hallsm"
  • To JoJoMa I'm "Stachia"
  • To Katie Rakoczy Thomas I'm "Stacey Hallway"
  • To Alyssa, I'm "Face"
  • To Lesley Roy, I'm, "Charlie"
  • To Melissa Hall I'm "Cuz
  • To my cousin Timmy I'm "Dudette"
  • To my Aunt Joy I'm "Racey Stacey"
  • To everyone that knows me in a friendship capacity I'm ... "Stace" :)
What are yours?!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Feet :)

I know it's not Spa Week,
but I felt like my toesies could use some lovin ;)

I picked "yoga ball blue"
in hopes that every time I looked at my feet,

it would be a subtle reminder to get my ass to the gym.
But it's not so much working,
because every time I look at my toes
I just wiggle them and giggle :)
Tee hee!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Thoughts on Dodgeball

I'm genuinely convinced that "Ma! Meatloaf!"
did not
end the season last night on a high note because ....
I forgot to throw a Pasta Party

Remember those from High School?!?

I miss Pasta Parties the night before a big game,
don't you?

Remember how cool it was on game days that the whole team
would either dress up or wear the jerseys to school?

Oh the joys of nostalgia ;)
Why am I such a dork?!

As I've already alluded to,
Dodgeball season came to a close last night
but have no fear,
Winter league starts back up again in January
and sweet revenge is in order!! :)


For the record ...

Last night after the game,
I was talking to some friends who'd read my b-l-o-g

If you also happened to read yesterday's post,
allow me to clear up any confusion.

In regards to #3) This guy I was super into in September texted me tonight after a two month hiatus claiming he was in "techno-detox" ...

Please let me state for the record:

No, no, no ...
No Night at the Roxbury guidos for me.

The context of "techno-detox" was an entirely lame way of saying:
"Sorry I've fallen of the face of the earth for two months"
"Please believe I somehow became Amish for the last two months"
or better yet,
"I left Manhattan and somehow found myself stranded on a desert island like Tom Hanks in Castaway"

Confession: I cried like a baby when Wilson
drifted away in the ocean :(

Bottom line: it's one thing to get blown off ... it's another to get blown off by a techno music d-bag ... I just needed to make it clear that the latter of the two is not the case here.

So I've got that goin for me, which is nice ;)


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is Today Christmas?? I Must've Missed the Memo

"When it rains it pours"

"Things will eb and flow"
"Life tends to happen in threes"

Call it what you will,
but today felt like Christmas came early :)

1) First I got this fruit-fun-awesomeness as a thanks from a client
GO PEANUT LABS! Please keep growing so I can stay employed! ;)

2) Immediately after, I got a call from Jess (waaait for it)
asking me to stand up in her wedding!! :)
I felt so honored and happy that I screamed, "Yes!"
as if she were proposing to me ... Hahaha, not so much ;)

Helllloooooo Wedding Season 2009 ... Let the games begin!

3) Last but not least (remember, this is all within the same HOUR!)
Regan surprised me with possibly the coolest gift on the planet:

Meet "Blue" ... I LOVE HIM!

If you're asking, "Are you serious?!?!?" or "Is that for real?!?"
Have no fear, I shouted the same rhetorical rhetoric myself.
He is indeed real and traveled all the way from Chi-town to be with me! We are totally going to live happily ever after ;)

Holy hell, I can't sleep for so many reasons right now:

1) At dinner tonight one of my friends talked about how she's sleeping with a guy who's not circumcized. I cannot help but to google this shit for visual reference ... the conversation was too funny not to inquire further. Besides, let's face it, I have the type of brain that only rests when little is left to the imagination.

2) After much talk of the aforementioned male anatomy, we discovered a super falic googly goog and jumped at the Kodak Moment. (Please note: no one in this photo is the sex offender mentioned in #1. She remains anonymous as requested).

3) This guy I was super into in September texted me tonight after a two month hiatus claiming he was in "techno-detox" ...
Ummmm, for real?!?
Repeat: For real?? Who says that?!!?!

Looks like it's time to count sheep ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To All Men Seeking Women ...

Allow me to caveat upfront:
This is not meant to exclude men-seeking-men or women-seeking-women, it's just a verbiage vomit of thought from a heterosexual chick who is up
way too late after having too much wine with a couple of her besties ... Please take this with a grain of viscosity ;)


I hate to be a walking enigma ...
No one likes a Rubik's Cube ;)

And it's not that I don't like to be "figured out" ...
It's just that my mind (and mood) change like Amy Winehouse's medication list (and rehab status)

Not to generalize all women,
I just so happen to know loads of them

That said, here's two cents from a girl who, in turn, happens to know a little about a lot ... take it for what it's worth!

At 27.2 years old, not one thing in my life is certain,
so let's just start there:

- 6 out of 7 days a week I dream of breaking the glass ceiling yet (at least) 1 day a week I dream of Betty Crocker meals, 2.2 kids, and a white picket fence.
- Every single Sunday I swear-off booze, beer (and baked zitti) but Monday-Saturday I find myself acting otherwise.
- Often times I look in the stand-up mirror loving the 7 (to 10) pounds (details, details) that I've gained in NYC...and other times I want to personally dial-up Jenny Craig herself.
- Some days I like yoga...other days I'd like to say "Namaste my f#&king ass!"
- Most months I don't mind paying rent, but there are the few-and-far-between moments in which I crave a mortgage.
- Public transit remains my ride to Hogwartz, but the 16 year-old in me can't help to wonder what it would be like to seal-the-deal on an all-American Ford (or even just an Oldsmobile).
- Fate and destiny remain a daily pendulum
-I think religion and politics are "to each their own" however, I frequently find myself trying to convert Republicans and Atheists
(just being honest)

Point being:
Women are never going to be just black or white
figuratively and literally)
So if she says she "hates flowers" then ...
If she says she doesn't want you to rub her back then ...
If she indicates that you've hurt her feelings then ...

At the end of the day,
the best thing I think anyone (male or female)
could ever possibly do for another

is to simply add to their life :)


Take the time to figure out what makes your partner tick ...
Dare to do what is least expected and expect nothing in return ...
Strive to make everyday more fun and giggle-full than the last ...

Bottom line, no one really has it all figured out
(and life is hard enough as it is) ...
So if you really care about someone,

And although it's just my two cents ...
It is what it is, so take it for what it's worth.
Ooops, already said that. Time for bed.

To anyone who is also up right now ... Hi-loha!
To the 99.9% of the rest ... Goodnight/morning ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fun Times in Philly :)

This weekend was full of "firsts" ...

First time to Philly to visit two of my besties :)

First time to fully read the Declaration of Independence
& to see the home of the Constitutional Convention.

First time to tour where Betsy Ross stitched the first American flag and to see the Liberty Bell:

First time eating a real Philly Cheese stake at Jim's
yuuuummm, my arteries are still in recovery ;)

it was my first time to a real NFL game!!

Note: I have been to pre-season games before ... One time I had a ticket to the real Bears/Packers game but, I had a little too much fun at the tailgate chillin' with Chicago Transit Authorities ... woooops

My buddy John is a scout for the Eagles and aside from the fact that I reveled in the awesomeness of his occupation,
I was sooo proud of him :)

It's unbelievably cool to see your friends doing so well
... hard work really does pay off!

I had no business being on the field before the game,
but boy-oh-boy was it fun :)

Now that's what I call a Tight End ;)

If you ever have the chance to make it out to Philadelphia,
I would highly recommend it ...
such a neat city, and a very important one at that!

P.S I'd just like to take this moment to also thank Pennsylvania
... Way to Ba-rock the vote baby :)