We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Truck

May 9, 2017 at 2:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

After 6 years, Scott and I officially live in a new apartment!

Well, new to us. And same basic location. We essentially moved from the third floor of a one-bedroom building in our courtyard to a two-bedroom place on first floor of building next door (in the same courtyard). So we have more space! Which is good because apparently we had crammed two bedrooms’ worth of stuff into our old apartment. Literally. The movers had to order an extra truck (and that just did wonders for our estimate, let me tell you).

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This is what my old living room looked like pre-move

Truth be told, the entire move was a bit of a nightmare and at this point I don’t want to leave our new apartment until we buy a place or until we die. And death may win on that. Why was it so painful? Let me count the ways:

  • We initially thought we were lucky since we were moving next door and figured the movers would be nice and cheap (we hired movers because we care too much about our friends to offer beer and pizza for moving heavy furniture down three flights of stairs – we’re too old for that crap). Well everything turned into a logistical nightmare and we couldn’t move into our new place until the morning of May 1st but we had to be out of our old place by 7am that same morning. And movers don’t exactly move from 2-6am so we had to hire movers to take our stuff Sunday night then bring it back Monday morning. Did I mention that it was POURING down rain Sunday night? Because it was. So our movers were tired, wet and understaffed while Scott and I sat awkwardly on the back porch waiting for it all to be over. Then we had to leave a giant wardrobe because there was no room in the truck and serious doubts about whether or not it could be moved without it falling apart in the rain. Anyway, we eventually got everything out (except that wardrobe, which was a surprise gift to the new tenant. Lucky bastard).
  • During the packing process we had to go back to Home Depot for more boxes and bubble wrap. Twice. This is on top of the 30 crates we rented and ream of bubble wrap we bought at the beginning of the whole damn thing. Told you we had a lot of crap.
  • Then Scott and I had to clean the old place. Our landlord told us we could sleep there overnight as long as all of our stuff was out by 7am so we cleaned until about 2am then fell asleep on the floor with our cat, our plants and our cleaning supplies for warmth. At 3am, I heard someone trying to get in the front door. Panic ensued and I confronted a very confused cleaning crew while I was wearing nothing much more than a large t-shirt (so that was fun…and cold). I explained to them that we were told we could be there and had no place else to go (cue Mary talking to the innkeeper) so they left and warned they would be back at 7am. At that point I was awake and running on adrenaline so I started carrying all of our plants down to our new back porch. It was during this that I experienced my first sunrise at our new apartment – even though we couldn’t pick up our keys for a few hours more.
  • Eventually (by this I mean 7am) EVERYTHING was out of our old apartment and by 8am we had keys to the new one. Then at 9am movers came back with all of our stuff and shortly after that we were left with four rooms full of boxes and crates. And the overwhelming urge to hide from it all. There were also more than a few moments of “Why did we ever think it was a good idea to move?!” regret but all in all, we’re happy now that we’re in. And once they paint and fix the requests we made, we can hang our pictures and it will truly feel like home!

That said – I’m making myself comfortable because I do NOT want to go through this again anytime soon. Neither does my cat.

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Crummy Crown

April 26, 2017 at 2:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Remember when I had to go to the dentist for the worst appointment ever, when I was super hungover and had to have a crown put on my back molar? No? Well, I do and the horror of that evening will always reside deep within my heart. However I tried to put it behind me and had mostly succeeded – I even managed to get through my most recent, routine dental appointment last month with nothing more damaging than some plaque removal so I figured I was all set. That is, until this week.

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Maybe I should just get a gold grill instead. Problem solved!

I was enjoying a fancy Cuban-pressed sandwich for lunch with a friend who happened to be in town when I felt it. A tooth. My thoughts went like this: Oh my GOD that’s a tooth and I don’t think I lost one. Is that someone else’s tooth?! Like that episode of Friends where Phoebe finds a thumb in her soda can and gets all sorts of rich? AM I ABOUT TO GET RICH QUICK?! Let me fish it out, oh god please don’t let it be a toenail or something like that oh CRAP IT’S MY CROWN! It’s my own freaking tooth and now I’m looking at LOSING money!

My mind works very quickly so I had all of these thoughts in about 5 seconds, or roughly the time it took to extract my crown from my mouth full of half-chewed food. I was a vision of pure loveliness, I’m sure. So not only was I worried, embarrassed and grossed out by my own damn self but then the raw nerve that had been covered by said crown began to throw a party in my face. Now. I could’ve understood the crown popping out if I was eating a caramel apple or chewing ice or opening bottles with my mouth (which is, by the way, how my genius self obtained the crown to begin with). But I was eating what was essentially a PB&J sandwich so there was just no excuse for it. Technically I was eating a guava jam and fried plantain with peanut butter sandwich but it was all still soft and the damn tooth should have just stayed put. So I got to rinse it off, call my dentist and nicely inform them of how I wasn’t going to pay for this to be fixed and then I spent my Monday evening getting the crown cemented back in my mouth. For free, so that’s something.

One would think that would be all of my health-related excitement for the week but I woke up Tuesday unable to turn my neck to the right because of some apparently funky sleep I had and I also have a bladder infection. So that’s fun and my pee looks like Tang.

At least I didn’t swallow my tooth because the last thing I want to do is explain why my tooth is stained bright orange due to being fished out of my infected urine.

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Happy Birthday Mom!

April 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Today is the anniversary of my mom’s 21st birthday! I mentioned this to Scott last night and he said, “haven’t we been celebrating her birthday for a month?” and the man had a point. But that’s okay because my momma is so special that she deserves it!

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Not me but my sister.

Her trip to Chicago with my sister was part of her birthday celebrations and that was nearly a month ago. We went down to visit her over Easter and we took her out to eat at one of her favorite restaurants, The Chicken House. You know I love my mom when I, a vegetarian, paid for an entire dinner at such a place! We also sang to her on Easter with the rest of the family and then my sister and I had flowers sent to her work today as an extra surprise. You may think that’s going above and beyond for one little lady but trust me – she’s worth it. Here are some of my favorite things about my mom:

  • She refuses to take shit from anyone and passed that trait along to my sister and me
  • She snorts when she laughs (also passed on to me…)
  • She tells it like it is, like the time she told me I may have inadvertently killed my kitten when I stepped on it (“Well, if you did some internal damage it will probably just die…”)
  • She makes the best fried egg sandwiches ever
  • She is clever and has more tricks up her sleeve to improve or simplify one’s life than you could possibly imagine
  • She’s always prepared and her Mary Poppins bag is as handy as it is entertaining to rifle through
  • She’s one of the most thoughtful and caring people I know – and I know quite a few of them
  • She’s pretty smart with her money and that’s something else that I’m glad she passed along to me
  • In fact, I’m pretty happy I inherited just about all of her traits
  • She knows more about plants than I know about the indigenous people of New Zealand. And that’s a lot
  • She’s tougher than dirt and stronger than nails yet she always has on pretty nail polish and has more than her fair share of good hair days
  • She’s a ton of fun and has drunk me under the table on more than one occasion
  • She’s always there for me and one of my very best friends
  • She deserves the whole damn world but I’ll settle for a damn good birthday!

Happy Birthday to my Momma!

 

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Friday Round-Up

April 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

As usual, my brain has been a little all over the place lately. I’ve been dealing with some family stuff that isn’t exactly fun and while it’s not over yet, some of the biggest hurdles have been crossed. I think. I hope. Because my head is more than a little spazzy, I’m going to let loose with my post to get some stuff out.

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Right?

It’s been raining for like three weeks and the sun came out today and I had almost forgotten what it looked like. I felt like a vampire and not in the sexy way. However, the juxtaposition of the first sunny day also being the first day our new “President” drops bombs on a struggling country without Congressional approval is somewhat difficult to align. I cried this week watching videos of Syrian children gasping for breath and I cannot imagine seeing that happen to my family. I don’t think there are any good or easy answers to these issues but I don’t see how fighting violence with violence will put an end to violence. Fighting a war for peace is sort of like having sex for the sake of virginity. But I’m not someone who gets to make those decisions so I will sit here and stare at my phone and think “What fresh hell is this” every time I get a new news alert.

What else. There are positive things even in the darkness and today I found some unexpected money that will go to a deserving person. I’m having a good hair day. And I think Scott and I convinced the guys in the apartment we’ll be moving into to move out a day or so early, which will help us save tons of cold hard cash when it comes to hiring our own movers. So that’s a win! I’m working all night at the Field Museum tonight and will get to spend my evening surrounded by excited kids, taxidermied animals and dinosaur bones. So clearly my Friday will be cooler than yours. And it’s going to be warm and STILL sunny this weekend so I plan on enjoying the crap out of our weather.

Also. I have Jury Duty next week for the first time ever and I’m pretty freaking excited about it. I really want to be chosen and am trying to determine a good way to ensure I do so without making the court think I’m a crazy person. I just want to see the judicial system in action and don’t even care if it’s for something like a traffic violation. This is my civic right so let me at it!

I still have great friends and great family and a great husband and I’m trying not to take the good things in my life for granted while I also fight off the bad. That’s all anyone can hope for, right?

And hey, at least it’s Friday!

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Tourist Take on Chicago

March 30, 2017 at 3:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

My mom and sister spent last weekend here in the city in a four-day long celebration of my mom’s birthday and her 27th anniversary of being breast cancer free – my sister and I are pretty grateful for our great momma so we had to take her out on the town to prove it!

They arrived on Friday and we spend the evening gorging on Chinese food and hanging out in my living room. This was after my sister and I carried up my wedding present from her, in the form of a giant (and heavy) kitchen island that she oh-so-generously donated to me. If my mom ever had any doubts that she raised two strong and stubborn women, we put that to rest after carrying that thing up three flights of stairs! So our Chinese and rest was hard-earned. On Saturday we checked in at The Virgin Hotel, where we had a swanky room with separate dressing room “chamber” that came in handy when it was time to get ready for the concert we had tickets for. After a fancy dinner at The Walnut Room (told you we were going tourist), we went to the Chicago Theatre for the Experience Hendrix show. It featured a group of artists honoring Jimi by playing some of his hits and we got to see Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang, who happens to be one of my mom’s all-time favorite musicians. The show was good but we all agreed that we wished Jonny had performed a little longer…just gives us a reason to find another concert to see him in the future!

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Told you it was a trip!

We spend some time wandering around downtown and shopping but our grand plans of drinks at the top of the Hancock Tower were thwarted by bad weather. Such a shocker for Chicago. We finished the evening with snacks and drinks at the hotel then thoroughly enjoyed our room with crazy-black-out-from-the-future-blinds that made us feel like we were sleeping on the dark side of the moon. They even had a button to lower and raise them and not going to lie, it was pretty hard to get out of bed the next day. But we did! Eventually. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to a brunch complete with Bloody Mary’s before finding a huge Flower Carnival in Macy’s that was free, fragrant and pretty fantastic. Then we headed back to my place to nap it all off. But wait! There was more! We also had mani/pedi’s and drinks at the local bar  grocery store before watching a movie to cap off our weekend. What movie, you may ask? Finding Dory (because we’ve learned the hard way that watching family-friendly films with Mom are better than say, Black Swan).

I wish we could treat my mom to weekends like this more often but I think we managed to pack a good amount of fun stuff into the time we had.

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It’s Raining Babies!

March 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

And thankfully none of them are mine!

I feel like I make these posts every so often, where I talk about how every single person I know is pregnant. This is another one of those posts because once again I’m surrounded by pregnant people! Or pregnant women, more specifically.

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I haven’t planted any babies so that means I won’t get pregnant, right?

One of my closest coworker friends is pregnant with her third child right now, as are three of our other coworkers and one of my bosses. Two of these five pregnant co-workers sit directly next to me and all are due around the same time so I’m hearing lots and lots about this whole pregnancy thing . Also, over the weekend Scott’s little sister announced that she’s pregnant with her first child! This means we’ll have another little niece or nephew to spoil, since my brother-in-law and his wife have a two-year-old son too. On top of that, one of my closest friends in Chicago is trying for her second kid and one of my closest friends from high school is also trying to get knocked up – while our other high school BFF just had her first kid around Christmas. SO MANY BABIES!

You may think this is giving me baby fever but, even though we’re moving into a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor as compared to our one-bedroom pad on the third floor, I am in no way trying to get pregnant too. After all, I have enough kids around me to keep up without popping out one of my own!

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Girl Power

March 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

On this International Women’s Day…

I’m working today and I’m proudly wearing my red alongside my “Celebrate Diversity” and “Another Woman for Peace” buttons. I’m still writing my postcards and making my phone calls and I’m so glad Paul Ryan’s voicemail is finally working again. I’m volunteering at the food pantry tonight but that’s because it’s my regularly scheduled volunteer night and it’s what I would be doing regardless of the holiday.

I endure. I resist.

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To Move!

March 6, 2017 at 3:20 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Well, Saturday sure was productive. I worked at the Field Museum all night (literally) Friday then volunteered until about noon on Saturday. Then Scott and I had appointments to see some apartments but lo and behold, we signed the lease on the first one we looked at. So that’s done!

We’re moving from the third floor of our current building to the first floor of the building next door (same complex and everything). So basically we’re walking our stuff down the stairs and up one flight over. Actually, we’ll likely going to pay someone to do that for us because moving large furniture sucks and our friends are too old to do that shit for pizza and beer anymore. But we should get a price discount since there’s no actual truck loading or unloading going on, so that’s nice! And my commute will stay the same, which is also super nice and SUPER convenient!   88705

Our new place is like our current place 2.0. The bathroom is bigger and there are two (count ’em TWO) bedrooms – each with its own walk-in closet! THAT MEANS I GET TO HAVE MY OWN CLOSET AGAIN!!! The master bedroom is also so big that the current tenants have a queen sized bed and a futon along one wall, a desk along another and a ton of space for dance parties to spare. We’ll also have a small pantry off the kitchen and a back porch big enough for two chairs. We get to keep a dishwasher and central AC too! And we’ll just have to walk down the back stairs out back to get to our laundry, instead of the creepy trek through our long alley that we used to have. Basically, everything about this new place is an upgrade! Except the fact that it’s on the first floor, that is. As much as we bitched and moaned about walking up three flights all the time, living on top has its perks and we’re hoping our new upstairs neighbors don’t drive us bonkers with dance parties of their own. But all in all, we feel really good about this and are pretty pumped. In fact,we may or may not have already drawn out the floor plan and come up with similar ideas on how to arrange things. That also may or may not have been how we spent our Saturday night. Because we know how to rock and roll. And soon we’ll be rock and rolling into a new place!

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To Move or Not to Move

March 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

That is the question.

I’ve lived in two apartments in Chicago – one for two years and my current one, where I’ve resided for nearly six. Scott and I truly love where we’ve lived for so long but I’m not going to lie, we’re starting to outgrow it. We also love our neighborhood and want to stick close but that’s about all we’re certain of. Our lease is up soon and we’re debating on what to do so I’ll do what I do best – make a pro/con list.

Pros of Moving:

  • New place! New ways to decorate and new surroundings!
  • MORE SPACE! We only have one closet in our entire apartment and it would be SO NICE to have say, an extra closet. Or an extra bedroom. Or both, which is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
  • Laundry in the building and not down the stairs, down the alley, around back, through a courtyard and down some more stairs. Also, in-unit laundry is a pipe dream for suckers.
  • Did I saw more space? Having an extra bedroom would help with Scott’s studying as we could have an actual study, plus we could have more space when we have house guests (which we do frequently).
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This would be me the last time I moved sans movers. Never again.

Cons of Moving:

  • More money. Any place we move will likely cost us a few hundred more a month. This is because I got a great deal when I moved into our current pad and it’s essentially a steal. We could afford it but we could also stand to save some more money (who couldn’t?). Also, moving costs need to be taken into account because we are for sure hiring movers.
  • Won’t find all of the perks of our current place such as: central AC, dishwasher, (tiny) back porch, top floor so no one above us, corner unit so sharing no walls, ceiling fans in all rooms, trees outside of living room and dining room windows, open kitchen space with lots of room
  • Moving is a pain in the ass. And Scott’s in school so a lot of it would fall to me. Gross.
  • Would likely be slightly further from my train/my gym/my grocery store

So what’s a couple to do? Yeah, I don’t know either. I saw a few places last night and the first one immediately ruled itself out for being kind of nasty but the second one was decent – there was a bigger back porch than ours but it’s shared with a neighbor and faces a brick wall, whereas ours is ours alone and faces the neighborhood. There were two bedrooms and tons of storage space but it had a super tiny kitchen and the dining room table would have to be in the living room/sunroom area. And no dishwasher, which I can live without but may ruin my marriage if Scott doesn’t learn how to wash dishes immediately versus letting them “soak” for three days at a time.

No matter. We have a few more viewings set for this weekend so we’ll see how it all shakes out. After all, the biggest pro of all is that we don’t have to move if we don’t want to!

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One Month Down

February 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

So, we’ve had a new President for just over a month. To show my dissatisfaction with the backward policies, discriminating executive orders and general douchebaggery that’s coming out of the White House, I marched in Chicago on the one month anniversary of the Inauguration.

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We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!

I was not alone. Scott and I ran into a few friends at the beginning of the rally and we managed to lose them in the march. At one point, they were an entire three city blocks behind us as we all marched down State Street towards Federal Plaza, so that gives a small indication of crowd size. As we rallied before the march started, the entire crowd parted to let through a chanting line of Muslim men, women and children who were all embraced and supported by the group. We were proud to march with our immigrant neighbors and stand by their side and everything from fair and comprehensive immigration policy to upholding LGBT rights was stood up for.

We’re not stupid and we know that marching might not change the things we want to change. But we’re still showing up and voicing opinions and people are mobilizing to stand up for their beliefs like never before. Personally, I’m still writing postcards and making phone calls to Senators and other members of Congress and I’m still trying to financially support nonprofits where I can. I’m holding people accountable and I’m more politically aware than I have been in a long time. And I’m not sitting down or shutting up. Our current administration has made it clear that this will be a marathon and not a sprint and even though I truly hate running, I’m sticking with the race.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I was NOT paid or reimbursed in any way for my marching, chanting, protesting or blogging. Neither was anyone else at that march – we just really are that upset.

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