Category Archives: Chicago Life

This Is a Mommy Blog. But, Am I Mommy Blogger?

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about what exactly this blog is. Is it a Mommy Blog? Am I a Mommy Blogger? Or, is this site just like every other blog I have ever written in my life – a narcissistic diary for me to review my own life on? Does my writing have a direction?

Obviously, I write because I have to write. It’s in my makeup, my DNA. I don’t lack for topics, as I can always word vomit out some bullshit about my life and form it into a coherent narrative.


In an update to yesterday’s blog post: While they’ve opened the Lakefront trail, they have re-closed the far north Chicago beaches and the beaches south of us remain closed, with no plan to reopen them. Plus public pools are expected to stay closed all summer.

They have based this decision on observing the behavior of adults with kids on playgrounds and beaches. (See my rant about entitled parents on yesterday’s post.)

I can’t take her to the Lakefront trail without her making a bee line for the beach. We’re going to be restricted to the boring park and walking around the neighborhood (which she hates.)

I am screwed. This severely limits Peej’s outside options. I need to talk to our landlord and Ex British Husband about buying a kiddie pool/sandbox for her. =(

Or, beg my parents to let us come back to Lakewood.

It’s supposed to be high 80s and low 90s here all next week, with excessive humidity.

I hate COVID-19.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It has been raining the last 3 days in Chicago. Peej is cranky, as this means that she’s stuck inside. I don’t blame her, I’m cranky, too. At least yesterday there were breaks in the weather when British Ex Husband could take her out to stomp in puddles at the non-crowded park.

There is a park near the beach where -past noon- people do not social distance appropriately. There are stupid moms with no masks that let their germ ridden crotchfruit play on the closed playground. Then those non-masked moms let their crotchfruit run up to little 2 year olds, (who are being socially distanced appropriately by their masked parents,) to wipe their gross germs all over that little 2 year old.

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John Cusack is Stalking Me

[So the conversation I referenced in yesterday’s post didn’t end so well… had to unfriend and block someone I have known for 20+ years. Total bummer. So today, I am going back to a funny – albeit, rather old – story I used to perform at open mic nights. The reason I am retelling it is twofold: One, there is an update to it and two, my business partner – Lisa – has never heard the story and I started telling it to her last Sunday and was not able to finish it. Also, it’s fucking funny.]

Me and John 2010.png

Photo manipulated by Heather Payer-Smith

John Cusack is stalking me. I know, I KNOW – this seems incredibly hard to believe. I mean, the man is a celebrity, why would he stalk a random woman from Chicago? Granted, I have been a huge fan of his since I was… oh… sixteen… but, my love of his work and charming goofiness isn’t enough to make it okay with me that he is stalking me. And, he has been doing so for more than 16 years.

Don’t believe me? I have proof:

March 2001, Los Angeles  — I moved to LA in the early 2000s with dreams of becoming the next funny character actress on a television show or in the movies. In reality, what that meant for me was that I got a couple of commercials, worked as a SAG stand-in on a popular television show and bartended at night to pay my bills. I also partied A LOT.

After one particularly weird night at a random club in Hollyweird, I ended up too intoxicated to drive home to my apartment in NoHo. So one of my sober friends offered to drive my car to his house in the Hollywood Hills and let me sleep on his couch for the night. This was during my goth phase, so I was out on the town wearing tight leather pants, huge stacked heels, a fishnet shirt and a black bra – plus a LOT of makeup. I was 27 and skinny and blond and hot, so why not?

Sleeping in leather pants is not so comfortable. Especially not on a couch. Luckily for me, the way I stayed skinny was by working out like a fiend, so my gym bag was always in the back of my car. So I ended up sleeping in my gym clothes – a big oversized tee shirt that used to belong to my Dad and sweatpants.

The next morning, I was supposed to meet my friend B to workout and then to get brunch in Silverlake. I managed to shake myself awake at the appropriate time and chug some water, borrow a toothbrush and get myself into my beat up Toyota Camery to get myself to the gym reasonably close to the time I was supposed to be there. I called B on my new cell phone (basically the size of a brick or a man’s shoe) to let her know I was running a little late. We were chatting about what we’d been up to the night prior when I pulled up to a stop light on Cahuenga and a silver BMW pulled up next to me.

I looked over out of the corner of my eye and noticed that the driver of the other car was wearing a Chicago Cubs hat, this caused me to turn my head and give the person another look (as I rarely saw Cubs fans in LA) – only to discover it was JOHN MOTHERFUCKING CUSACK.

Having been a fan of his since I was a wee girl, I freaked out. Screaming into the phone to B “It’s John Cusack!”, I dropped the phone on the passenger seat and pulled the scrunchy out of my hair and started to try to comb it with my fingers. I pulled my visor mirror down and saw that I *literally* looked like death, with pale ass makeup all over my face and rings around my eyes from mascara and eyeliner like a raccoon. I licked my thumb and was trying to get that under control when I looked to the side and saw that John Cusack was staring at me.


The light changed and he pulled away and of course he probably went to some fancy brunch somewhere with his then girlfriend (gag) Neve Campbell and told the story of the weird goth girl who freaked out at seeing him at a stoplight and went all weird.

Okay… well I could live with that. It’s not like I’d ever see him again.


Seriously, Cusack – WHO’s the dork?

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