(special event) food & fashion

Sorry for my sort-of disappearance. I hope some of you knew we’d have the sense to have a Father’s Day special running last weekend (we know you did!) and you got to enjoy lunch with Pop with us.

I’ve been MIA because of random busy-ness at home in the ’burbs, getting involved with a trillion different things and meeting TONS of new and awesome people, and also because I’ve recently opened a new jewelry business!

This may seem neither here nor there, but I mention it because my mother is hosting a free lunch on Sunday, 22 July with my jewelry show — it’s going to be awesome. And fabulous. You’ll learn some great fashion tips and learn how to use accessorizing to your advantage and dress up your favorite outfits. In fact — feel free to bring your favorite clothes for work, the weekend, or for going out and I’ll give you a hand.

The event is invite-only — which means you need to get your name on the guest list!

Here’s the info. Share it with anyone you know who loves jewelry and fashion — or come by yourself if you’ve got a birthday or anniversary to shop for . . .

request an invitation by e-mail or phone . . . or by commenting here. We’re going green on tickets, so your name on the list serves as admission.


if you’re crazy and you know it

This was all over Facebook on Father’s Day.

I want to tell you about my dad today. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, here — this isn’t a whine-fest. The point is to implore you to understand that while my mom is usually here to compensate for his crazy, sometimes some of you may have the misfortune of coming into conflict with him . . . and this is the result of a number of factors; I’d say it’s his being a fob (so not being entirely culturally aware), his personality, and the fact that he is very set in his ways.

(Let’s face it — a lot of people at a certain age are just not going to change.)

He’s not a bad guy. In fact, your heart would smile if you ever saw him interacting with children and animals. I inherited my passion for all critters from him, and he will make the kindest and most patient grandpa one day. Truly.

The problem lies in his interactions with grown people who can communicate with words. I’ve seen him complain about servers at other restaurants, yet not tolerate when there are certain customers here that complain.

In any business open to the general public, you’re going to run into people who are different from you with different expectations and different backgrounds. Not everyone is going to be ideal or act perfectly (and that includes us).  If and when we mess up, you have every right to bring it up to us and we will take responsibility for it and do our best to rectify it for you. My mom, my sister, and I all get that, but for whatever reason, my dad missed class the day that lesson was taught.

Oddly, he just doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that in every interaction there are other points of views than his own. This has been the root of most of the conflicts between him and me, my sister, or my mother, and even though we’ve tried every tactic under the sun to explain to him he has to be able to see things the way another person would, it just simply isn’t in his nature.

Sometimes it works in his favor: He raised me believing that alcohol consumption was wrong/bad, and as a result I never had my first glass of wine until I was 21 (even though I was already living in Italy at the time, where it was legal). It took me a long time to eventually grasp that it’s not the alcohol that’s bad, but that it’s the abuse of it that is.

Thing is, he’s so set in his ways that he hardly takes the time to ever explain why he thinks the way he does. He just makes very frank and sometimes controversial statements (that must be where I get it from . . .) that perhaps would make sense if we bothered to debate it, but let’s face it. No one has the energy to debate it because he’s never wrong. (If you can’t read the sarcasm there, please go back and do so now.)

Bottom line, I’m issuing a very public apology to anyone out there who’s ever been directly offended by my father. He just doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Take this story, for instance:

One day at the restaurant, my mom angrily gets off the phone and tells me, “Your father is locked inside the gates at a delivery customer’s apartment because they got into an argument.”

Another time —

The phone rings. My mom answers and starts frantically asking questions. She hangs up and tells me, “Your father just finished delivering something and now he’s waiting for the cops.”

The first time I checked our reviews on Yelp:

Someone mentioned that the delivery guy had yelled at them for using Grubhub instead of the Mei Shung website. We all know who that delivery guy was.

. . . so please forgive us.

If you’ve had an issue with Daddy dearest, I’d like to suggest two ways to proceed:

1. Adopt this philosophy:

Thank you, Jessica Ortner, for this post on Facebook today.

or (and this is a bit easier) . . .

2. Make it funny.

If you need an example, here’s a terrific one that I got from my friend and energy healer Ryan Fukuda (which he posted to Facebook yesterday):

If you are feeling down and need a little amusement, just take a ride on the CTA. A woman is yelling at everyone on the bus about how we need to “live life to the fullest and to eat #&$@ing everything” . . . and now she can’t even get out of her seat. A guy in a wheelchair is trying to help her get out of the seat . . . no one else is helping . . . and then she had a finale by talking about vagina . . . and . . . She’s gone. I love Chicago.

Unpalatable situations just need a dose of humor.

As my friends always say to new people who’ve never been to Mei Shung:

“You might get yelled at, but the food is incredible.”

To be fair, most of the time you come in, you’ll be fine. But we can’t guarantee he won’t be all nuts to you — unless you happen to be three years old or be a fluffy mammal on a leash.

From Marriott Rewards on Facebook. AWWW.

The takeaway? We are often as shocked and as put off by his shenanigans as you are. But we’d love to make it up to you in great food . . . and worst case, you can just ask for Cindy.

officially summer in the chi

I’m not sure how slow I am on the uptake for this, since I’m based in the suburbs, but driving in to the city today I noticed with utter delight that Buckingham Fountain is on for the season! Memorial Day traditionally marks the start of summer, and it may have come and gone, but you know the gorgeous sunny days are here for good when Buckingham’s shooting in all her glory.

Beautiful, isn’t she?