Laissez les bons temps rouler!

February 9, 2016 at 1:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I wish I was celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans this week but I’ll have to make do with debauchery in Chicago instead. And actually, if I’m being honest – I’m not wild enough anymore to really wish I was New Orleans right now. My mom went to Mardi Gras two years in a row a few  years back and just hearing her talk about it made me tired! I know it’s a lot of good, not-so-clean fun because well, that’s the best kind to have in The Big Easy and I hope everyone down there has a blast this year too.

Image: Rex

Let the good times roll!

Traditionally, Mardi Gras is the last day of recklessness before Lent and that’s kind of why it gets so crazy. People have to cut loose before they start giving things up, right? I don’t exactly take part in Lent anymore though so I don’t have the need to go nuts before the religious stuff sets in. I choose to go nuts any day of the year! And if that means going to the gym and then having grown-up wine and cheese with a ladyfriend this evening, so be it. I guarantee I’ll be feeling better tomorrow than some of the people in this picture!

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Jailbreak!

March 18, 2013 at 11:05 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

My capacity for an entertaining and witty blog post isn’t what it normally is today because frankly, I’m exhausted.  My weekend was pretty great but it was also very busy.  I met up with my mom, sister and her friend’s on Friday evening after work and we spent some time at their hotel before getting them tickets to the IU game on Saturday, then we came back up to my neighborhood and had dinner and drinks at a bar until almost midnight.  I was up and out the door by 7:45 Saturday morning and battled trains full of drunken St. Patrick’s Day revelers before having to wade through hundreds of people doing some 7k (10k? 5k? Whatever, they were in my way) race on my walk to the Field Museum.  Once there, I attended a 5 hour lecture on the newest exhibit (I’ll get to that later this week), then I met Scott at Trader Joe’s on my way home so we could do our grocery shopping.  After a quick shower at home I turned around and went back downtown, where I ran around with the girls until we met up with Scott for dinner.  After finally finding a place that didn’t have a two-hour wait, we ate then headed to an Irish bar off Michigan Ave.  We stayed there for a while and it was almost 1am by the time we got home.  I was able to sleep in some yesterday then forced myself to go to the gym before meeting with everyone back downtown once more for more beer and food.  After eventually indulging in some Chicago deep-dish pizza, I made my way home and walked in the door around 10pm.  And now I’m at work, guzzling coffee and in need of a nap.  We all had a great time all weekend long but I’m sort of kicking myself for not using a personal day and sleeping until 2pm today.

Ballsy, that’s for sure!

So instead of writing about anything else, I’ll provide you with this link to an interesting story involving a jail break, a helicopter and Canadians.  Enjoy!

 

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Pop Pop Fizz Fizz

December 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Friday night I was part of something I haven’t been a part of in a good long while – a Girl’s Night Out.  A friend of mine recently turned 31 and a group of us met at her place for some wine before heading downtown to Pops for Champagne, a fancy-schmancy champagne bar.  We all got dressed up (I even wore a new dress!) and gathered around a table to enjoy some light snacks and a huge bottle of champagne.  And, from looking at the scale shown, this wasn’t really considered a “big” bottle. There were five of us girls total and it took us a fair bit of time to kill it all, after which we were all feeling…well, fizzy.  The bar itself wasn’t one that I would frequent very often because 1) I don’t go to fancy bars all that much, 2) it wasn’t exactly cheap, 3) it’s far from the local dive bars in my neighborhood and 4) the majority of the people there were kind of snobby.  I’m really glad I went though because it was a blast, though I wish they had let one of us pop the cork instead of discreetly doing so in a cloth napkin.

Well, I thought a Magnum was big...

Well, I THOUGHT a Magnum was big…

By the time we finished our food and the biggest bottle of champagne I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying, I knew I needed to head home.  My five-hour stint at the Field Museum was going to come quicker than I wanted and trying to sound engaging and educational while really hung over isn’t something I wanted to experience.  So I bowed out early and I later learned that the others had a night which culminated in two other bars, buckets of booze, shots, someone throwing up and everyone almost walking out on a tab.  While that sounds entertaining, I’m kind of glad I wasn’t around to see it.

The rest of my weekend was a blur of museum stuff; driving around for nearly two hours trying to find parking for Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights (Scott and I wound up giving up to the parking gods and we’re going to try again, but next time we’re taking the bus); brunch with a friend of mine from Kindergarten who was in town; an expensive trip to Target (though aren’t they always…); grocery shopping; cleaning my bathroom so well that I thought I was going to pass out from the fumes and watching the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead.  Which makes me wonder – just when the hell did a MID season finale become a thing?  Thanks a lot, cable.  And 65 degrees in December?  Thanks a lot, global warming.  At least it was warm enough for me to wear my new dress!

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

August 14, 2012 at 11:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

What a weekend!  I actually took Monday off to recuperate.  My little sister and mom came in town (late) Thursday night and we spent the next few days enjoying all that Chicago has to offer.  On Friday we met up after work and went to Millennium Park, where we met with Scott and another friend of mine and enjoyed food and beer while listening to classical music.  We had amazing weather all weekend, starting with that night, and it was a great way to end a crappy work week.

Might not have been behind the dugout but these seats were fine with us!

On Saturday we had brunch at one of my favorite spots in the city and then headed to Wrigleyville to watch the Reds beat the Cubs.  I’m not a huge fan either way but I do enjoy watching live sports and I’d only been to Wrigley Field once before so it was a lot of fun.  There were three of us wearing Cubs shirts and my mom stuck out with her Reds one but we were all pretty much just rooting for everyone.  We had a hat full of nachos that was so humongous that the guy in front of us asked for a photo and then we were pretty much kicked out of the park at the end because we were having such a ball that we didn’t want to leave.  But leave we did, and wandered to a bar for some more brews and of course, more snacks.  Saturday evening ended with a nice walk through my neighborhood, getting locked out of my apartment twice (more on that later this week) and watching a movie before bedtime.

Since Mom and Sis left on Monday, we had all of Sunday to enjoy as well.  We had yet another delicious brunch and then went to the beach so we could all have our food comas while enjoying the cloudy but still decent weather.  My sister hadn’t been to the beaches up here before so I’m glad we got to go and I’m also glad it wasn’t 100 degrees and extremely sunny.  After the beach we went to Retro on Roscoe, a street fest in nearby Roscoe Village.  My sister and I bought a couple of items and were finally able to exchange birthday presents (mine is in February and hers in May) so now we don’t owe each other a damn thing.  I gave her a nice drawing of Chicago to frame and hang in her living room and she bought me this super awesome, classy looking pocket-watch/necklace.  I’ve kind of always wanted a pocket watch so when I saw this one (yes, it works!), things all came together.  And now neither of us owes the other a gift until Christmas!  After the street fest we met with a girlfriend of mine for one last beer out on the town and then ended the night with a chick flick.

They left yesterday around noon and after picking up my apartment for a bit, I spent the rest of my day off on the couch.  It was much needed.  Actually, I also spent a little bit of time at the gym because after all the food and beer, that was much needed too.  It’s not easy coming back to work after a long weekend and a long weekend full of my favorite people and favorite places makes it even harder.  I’m just thankful it was all as fun as we hoped it would be and I’m already looking forward to their next visit!  That and of course the fact that I’ll be in Ecuador in three weeks!!

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Thanksgiving Recap

November 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

My Thanksgiving was eventful, as always.  If you think you can handle it, I broke it down into a ginormous list – sorry if it hurts your eyes but once I got going I couldn’t stop!

The food was good, the company was better and we managed to fit more into the long weekend than I would have thought possible.  This included, but was not limited to, the following:  Meeting four new additions to the family that aren’t blood related; continuing family traditions such as drinking at the dive bar known as Fluidz the night we all arrived in town; cramming 15 people around various dining room tables and chairs for the main meal; eating so much food I thought my stomach was going to explode in a bloody Alien-esque scene; making two trips to Wal-Mart (two more than what I usually do in any given year); dyeing my hair for the first time in four years from a box purchased on one of the said trips to Wal-Mart; making a mess of the hair dyeing process and ultimately loving the new look; sleeping next to my sister three nights in a row while trying in vain to block out the television that she seems to be unable to sleep without; kicking myself for not bringing my ear plugs and eye mask; watching the Macy’s Day Parade and being thankful for not being anywhere near those crowds; drinking Jager Bombs and making S’mores around a fire (they do not go well together, in case you were wondering); taking photo’s of my 54-year old uncle’s hickey; driving my grandma’s Lincoln Navigator just a tad faster than what was legal; opening gifts from my grandmother with my other female cousins that all looked remarkably sexy and indecent (made for an awkward few moments until we figured out what the garment was); driving into New Orleans and staying at a 125 year-old hotel in the French Quarter; navigating various elevators that would only take us to certain floors because the hotel has been built onto so many times that it is now an official labyrinth; hearing ridiculously cheesy pick up lines all night long (including the old standby “What’s a girl like you doing here on a night like this”); having an eerily interesting palm reading done by the same guy at Marie Laveau’s  House of Voodoo that read me two years ago and hearing much of the same thing (only this time I’ll be married in a year instead of three…); getting lost in the lap-dance area of a strip club; voluntarily eating meat for the first time in almost 15 years in order to get an hour’s worth of free drinks out of my sister (it was a piece of fried crawfish and I managed to drink $40 of booze in that 60 minutes…also it will probably be another 15 years before I eat any more seafood); watching men on the sidewalk try to decipher drag queens from real women; more bar hopping than I’ve done in years and two hungover plane rides back that included horrid turbulence, screaming children, late departures, no time for transfers during my layover, lost luggage, hitching a ride on the old folks’ golf cart thingy, being the last person to make it on my connecting flight and uttering the words “Jesus Christ” at the end of it all only to be told by an airport official “Tis the season for that”.

The Big Easy can sure take a lot out of you

There were some other occurrences but I think this gives you a fair picture of what my holiday was like.  It’s a good thing it only rolls around once a year because I don’t know if I could handle this much excitement more often than that but I will admit that it would be fun to try!  I hope your Thanksgiving was equally awesome in its own special way and if it wasn’t, maybe you can come down with me next year.  That is, if you think you can handle it.

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Just Beachy

May 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

It seems like every day I find something else to love about my new apartment.  Yesterday I was able to add one more item to the list when I realized that there was a beach no more than a mile and a half from where I was sitting on my couch.  Since it was actually sunny and in the 90’s for our Memorial Day, I figured I should probably hit the sand.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Chicago weather for making me look like a lying fool.  I’ve had house guests two of the last three weekends and each of these visitors have had to put up with rain and unseasonably low temperatures for the

Beach Day!

duration of their stay.  Then, just as Mr. Murphy predicted, the weather cleared up and became downright beautiful once they left.  As an example, my old college buddy and I spent Sunday morning battling downpours as we walked to breakfast and then drove to the grocery (friends who stay with me and then drive me to do errands earn a special place in my heart).  These were serious downpours too – flash flooding was taking place and my friend actually had to climb in her passenger side to get in her car because the streets were so saturated.  It was miserable and I haven’t seen a drenching like that in a good long while.  After our brunch and errands, my friend departed into the storm.  Not even three hours later the rain had ceased and the evening became warm and pleasant with a nice sunset to boot.  Of course.  That was Sunday – Monday I woke up to 90 degree temps and abundant sunshine.  Double of course.  While I was bummed that my friend missed out on the nice weather, I did everything in my power to enjoy it enough for the both of us.

There are many beaches throughout Chicago and each of them are known for different things.  North Avenue beach is probably the most popular but as I’m not the type of person who goes to the beach to see and be seen, I’ll stick with what’s local.  Foster Ave. beach had plenty of kids and families but not so much that it made the entire experience ultra annoying.  There was some beach volleyball action going on and I definitely had some ice cream from a street vendor.  A friend of mine and I enjoyed the sun for a few hours and I even braved a walk in Lake Michigan before heading home – and it was freezing.  Lesson learned in that respect.  It’s nice to know I have such a sweet spot so near to my humble abode, even if I only get to enjoy it 3 months out of the year.

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