50 Million Pink Ribbons Can’t be Wrong

It’s audience participation time! Please hum “The Price is Right” theme song and keep on reading:

Say you’re a 32-year-old woman living a very sedentary lifestyle. If you decided to work toward completing one of those long-distance walks for breast cancer research next summer, would you choose the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure or the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer?

Here’s where these walks differ: The Avon walk is 39.3 miles, while the Komen walk is 60 miles around Chicagoland. You have to raise at least $1,800 for the Avon walk, while the Susan G. Komen foundation asks walkers to raise $2,300 to join in. Proceeds of both races go to breast cancer research and to fund mammograms, etc., for the un/underinsured.

I have an inkling of which one I’d like to train for, but the comments box is curious to see what you’d pick for me.

Party of Five: The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

1. Seconds turn into minutes and minutes turn into hours and hours turn into days and all the while, I am not updating my blog. Bad Tori.
My excuse? I’ve spent May on the move.

2. I met (New York Times Bestselling Author) Jen Lancaster at a Lincoln Park Barnes and Noble. She recognized me from somewhere. We couldn’t figure out where our paths had crossed. I’ll chalk it up to working near her North Shore residence.

3. The Mr. and I went to see Jellies! No, not the shoes popular among young girls in 1986 and 1995: jellyfish. I could have watched them all day.

4. I did some writing too. First, I attended a class called “Digging Into Character” by YA author Stephanie Kuehnert at Story Studio Chicago. She taught great techniques that helped me flesh out a character for this YA novel I’ve been meaning to start. Furthermore, it was great to talk to someone about how much Girl Goddess #9 by Francesca Lia Block rocks. I don’t get many opportunities to do that.

Here’s where I get cryptic: On Monday night, I submitted something to one of my favorite blogs. Since I haven’t heard from the blog’s editors yet with a frenzied “OMG WE MUST PUBLISH THIS IMMEDIATELY,” I’m assuming no news is bad news. They didn’t respond to another submission I sent their way last winter. When enough time passes, I’ll publish it here and let you be the judge.

5. Today is a special day. Five years ago tonight, I met the Mr. for the first time on the corner of 5th and National in Milwaukee. We shared some fish tacos (no, that’s not a euphemism) and made fun of the whole La Perla ethos. Now he’s sitting next to me watching Web Soup and sporting a wedding ring. Funny how time flies, hmmm?

The Lanyard

I could spend Mother’s Day 2011 trying to match the sentiments expressed here, but I’m going to let poet Billy Collins address a mother’s love and sacrifice for her child(ren.) I hope you love this poem as much as I do.

Long Time Gone

I’m going to work this blog over like it’s a ramshackle house. I swear it.

Well, I’m sure it would be a huge improvement if I just posted more often. But if I’m telling the truth, it’s hard enough some days to take my daily picture for the 365 project, let alone think of something coherent to say in a public forum.

But I want to do it, so I will. Watch this space.

Low Morale

Had you told me “April is the cruelest month” in March, I would have laughed in your face. April would never be cruel to me! February may be rough, but April treats me right. I’d tell you. Why, it’s when SPRING begins!Not this year. We’ve had three days of nice weather. (And I don’t even live in Wisconsin anymore, where they had snow yesterday. SNOW! On April 19!) But I digress.

I’m just feeling like the universe is playing quid pro quo with me. Sure, I met up with Anne on April Fool’s Day, but five days later I got the news that a coworker’s cancer spread to her bones. I struck up a love of photography, but now I’m running low on energy and ideas when I’ve got a camera in my hand. There’s all this stuff I want to learn and do, but I neither have the time, the energy, or the funds to make it happen.

I guess this is my official word that I’m in a rut. I know how to get out of one, and I ought to cut this rant off at the knees and make the rut disappear.

Party of Five: With Apologies to Mimi Smartypants

(Mimi Smartypants is the nom de plume of a Chicago blogger who will make you giggle. Also, we used to live somewhere near her environs whilst we were in the city. For example, she referenced a KFC we drove by 8 million times at Peterson and Kimball. But enough about me. Go! Visit her! Online! Well, after you read this…)

Three songs a death metal band should cover, if only to amuse me:

1. “Womanizer” by Britney Spears
2. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
3. “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” by The Mountain Goats

I am loving the hell out of the 365 Project and photography in general. (This interest would have come in handy while I was a reporter, but I digress!) I am reading photography blogs, getting ideas for future shots, and jonesing for a vintage Polaroid camera. Maybe one of these days I could start my tour of Vintage Neon Signs of Chicago.

One of the things I would like to improve at is shooting people. I don’t really have a lot of people around me on a day-to-day basis, and the majority of folks in my life blanch at being on the business end of a camera. For you photographers in the house, how do you find people to take pictures of? When you find them, how do put them at ease, so they don’t freak out or mug for the camera? Inquiring minds want to know.


My brother is turning 30 today! Holy cats! I hope his day is kicking ass.

Yesterday I met up with Anne, a friend of mine who was just starting college as my undergrad days were coming to an end. The last time we saw her was when we went to a Slater-Kinney concert in Grinell, IA. That was in 2002!

She’s married now to a Nuclear Engineer and lives in Raleigh, NC. In her spare time, she teaches junior high school students.

She and her husband were in town for a wedding. We ate dinner in Lincoln Square. “It’s really good to see you,” we kept on telling each other.

Why do I say this? I need to get off my hinder and make some friends who are local. At this point, I’d settle for friends who lived in the same state I do. It’s fun to keep up with my tribe across the country, but I need some dinner dates once in a while with people who are not my husband.

So as part of my mission to Meet Others and Make Friends, I’m planning to volunteer at a nearby hospital. I’m just going to come out and say it: if I weren’t so pathetic with math and science, I would have gone into a healthcare field.

All About My Mother, Pt. 1

I called my mom tonight. We talked for twenty minutes. As my dad was urging her to wrap up the phone conversation due to dinner being on the table, Facebook was the topic of conversation.

She said, “Do you talk about me on there?” I said, “As in, *grumblegrumbleOMGMYMOTHERgrumble*? No.” She said, “Good. You aren’t acting like you used to.”

Whoa. What did she read? As someone who had her teenage rebellion from ages 21 to 26, I may have put some irrational comments about the woman who brought me here online. (What can I say? I had a (locked) LiveJournal during a lowly period of time? Everyone I knew was doing it?)

Since I’m now past 30 and a bit more mature, I’m going to give you five stories about my mother over the next few months and hopefully illustrate to you why she rocks. I hope she comes across this when she googles “Tori Rosin Szekeres.”

Party of Five: Spring Rising

1. My parents are arriving to Casa Victory* in about 20 hours. What better time to update this blog? Continue reading

Party of Five: For Renee

1. Have you ever seen a toilet puke? It’s a genteel thing: one minute I was putting lotion on my arm, then the toilet erupted all over the floor. After an hour of clean up, I can say I prefer it when humans vomit – at least you can throw a receptacle in their general direction.

2. And after I wrote the above Friday night, the toilet gacked twice more. Our shower was backing up every 10 minutes. Our sinks every three. Our house became a knot of sewage and water and the roar of the sump pump and shouting and dirty towels and the gulping of the wet/dry vac. A ralphing piece of plumbing is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Anyone at all.

2a. As I write, the husband is downstairs with the plumber. Hopefully, the plumber can make Friday a one-time event. The plumber just stopped rodding the sewer line and said, “Wow. Wow.” I’m too scared to go downstairs and see what’s going on.

2b. The plumber just said, “It’s obvious something is going on with the pipe.” DSJSJAHAFFFF!!!!! Thank everyone we don’t own this house!

3. I’m going to be an old woman of 32 (!) come Thursday. The less said about that, the better. Who am I kidding? It’s not like anyone’s going to say anything, really. I’m going to celebrate my impending dotage by taking myself to see Mavis Staples Saturday night. The only song of hers I know is “I’ll Take You There,” which I love. I forsee some heavy YouTubing in my near future.

4. I’m working on an ambitious guest-post for a blogger’s side project wherein I will interview an author about his book. But I have to get the okay from his publicist! It’s been a day and she hasn’t answered my e-mail yet! Stay tuned.

5. Check out my 365 Photo Project here. I’ve made it four straight days! I don’t do much for four straight days…

I Didn’t Know This Was A Thing…

…but I guess the new trend in telephony is to call someone and pretend you’re a turtle?

Wait. Let me back up here. On Tuesday the husband and I were sitting in a Culver’s in Libertyville when he pulled out his phone to look at something. I pulled out my phone in response and had a missed call from Los Angeles.

I don’t know anyone in Los Angeles.

“Someone called me from Los Angeles!” I told the husband. “Huh,” he said. I called the number back. It wasn’t a bill collector, as I thought, but some guy named Brian.

Must be a wrong number. I put it out of my mind.

When I woke up from a nap this afternoon, my phone stated I had a text from Milwaukee Sarah and another missed call from the same number in LA.

This time, I went to Google. The number matched up with a production company in Los Angeles. The proprietor? A Facebook friend of my brother’s.

I called my brother next. When I told him this serious of unfortunate circumstances, he started to giggle.

It turns out his friend, Brian Spaeth, runs Turtlecalls.com, a service where you give him two to three bucks and he will call the person of your choice, pretending to be a turtle. My brother thought it would be funny for me to get a call from a turtle, which I understand.

See an example below:

I think Brian sounds more like Balki from Perfect Strangers rather than a turtle, but then again, I’ve never heard a turtle speak.

In the long run, people in your life need to get phone calls from a turtle. Check out turtlecalls.com.