Vacation Here I Come!

September 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

This time on Saturday I will be wandering around the streets of Vancouver, immersing myself in anything and everything the city has to offer.  And I cannot wait!  I’ve got my currency, passport and a bag packed and I’ve also come up with a few things to keep myself occupied.  The Museum of Anthropology is at the top of the list, as is the Granville Public Market and Stanley Park.  There are a few other things that look really interesting and the hostel I’m staying at offers some guided tours as well, so I may just take them up on that.  There are some funky restaurants and shops I want to investigate and I’ve been told that Vancouver’s Chinatown is simply the best.  I almost feel like I should’ve booked a longer stay but then I wouldn’t have had time for the second stop on my itinerary, sunny San Diego!

Bring It, World

I’m staying with a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in years and we’re both super excited to hang out and catch up.  We’re going to check out the historic downtown Gaslamp District, La Jolla cove (which has lots of seals!), some delicious restaurants and a bar that’s kind of like a speakeasy, the Coronado Bridge and Island and various other things.  At least, we’ll try to do all of this.  I’m really only there for two full days so we’ll try to pack as much action into that time as humanely possible!

My last vacation was over a year ago when Scott and I went to Costa Rica and while that was beautiful and relaxing, I’m ready to get out and do some actual city exploration.  It should be an easy trip compared to many of my others, especially since English is the primary language everywhere I’m going.  I’m shoving all of my stuff into a backpack and I have a tendency to over pack so we’ll see how heavy that thing winds up being.  I don’t really need too much, but the weather in Vancouver is going to be chilly and rainy whereas San Diego will be warm and sunny, so I’ll be packing for both climates.  But having lived in the Midwest all of my life, I’m prepared for some erratic weather!

Scott and I are volunteering at an annual fundraiser for the food pantry I work with Friday night, which I kinda wish I had thought about when I booked my plane ticket.  We’ve been helping with this big event every year it’s been going on and it’s a whole lot of fun – we basically give out name tags while listening to live music and enjoying free food and drinks.  There’s a huge silent auction during the party and it’s in a really cool architectural space BUT my flight leaves at 8am Saturday morning (and since it’s technically international my butt will be there extra early) so I’m sure I’ll be dragging when I get on the plane.  Still – this is all extremely fun stuff and I’m not complaining so I’m sure with a coffee (or three) I’ll be bouncing up and down and enjoying myself no matter what!  How could I not?

Until we meet again!

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Time Flies…

October 19, 2012 at 10:43 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

…when you’re growing up.

Scott and I are traveling down to Indiana this weekend to attend my (gulp) ten-year high school reunion.  In some ways it seems like only yesterday that I was pulling my backpack on wheels (I was extremely popular, by the way) down the halls while trying to think of ways to ditch my Spanish class.  It also feels like I’ve lived about four lifetimes since then and the whole high school experience seems like eons ago.  I’m not someone who had a horribly traumatic high school experience but it wasn’t exactly the best time of my life either.  We had a five-year reunion which I did not go to (because seriously, it had only been five years) but this one is about 3 miles from my mom’s house and I was going home this month anyway so it all worked out.  I haven’t exactly kept in touch with tons of people from those days but I do have a couple good friends whom I see regularly and we’re all meeting at mom’s to drive over together.  If nothing else, I’m excited to spend some time with them!

What I’m not excited about is the fact that we had to pay $35 a ticket, which should include beer/wine and dinner.  Well I looked into it further and for vegetarians, dinner will consist of a veggie tray, some queso and chips and a salad.  Wow.  I used to have problems with finding veggie friendly food back in the day and at one point I wrote a petition for more options in our school cafeteria – it did the trick and after meeting with a few school officials, we began getting veggie burgers and some other items at well.  I didn’t realize I should have done the same with the caterers at the reunion.  I know we won’t be the only herbivores there and it’s cheaper to feed us anyway, but I digress.  We’ll eat dinner before our “dinner” and just enjoy the drinks, dancing and of course the company.

Should I say I invented Post-Its?

Obviously, the main reason for attending a high school reunion is to see your former classmates whom you haven’t seen in years, but I feel like my generation is going to be the first that has some issues with this, mostly because of Facebook.  I already know who got married, who had kids, where people moved to and what they now do for a living.  Hell, I’ve seen their kids naked in bathtubs and know the color scheme of their living rooms.  It’s a really surreal situation to be in because I’m not exactly sure how to talk to these people I haven’t seen in a decade.  Do I acknowledge all of the intricacies of their life that they’ve posted or pretend I haven’t seen the things they so clearly wanted to share?  How much talking and catching up is there really to do?  I know not everyone posts all tidbits of their lives online and my HS friends will basically know where I live and where I’ve traveled to, but still.  It’s something that no generations before us really had to face.  If you never completely lose the ability to look into someone’s life, do you really need to dedicate a night to a reunion?

I’ll admit, the anthropologist in me ultimately made my decision to go.  I want to see what it’s like to know yet not know everything about each other’s lives and how the interactions will go down.  Also, “free” wine (and salads).  It’ll be interesting if nothing else and since I’ll be with close friends already and also close to my mom’s house, if all else fails we’ll just go back there and spend some quality time together.  Because that’s really what it’s all about, right?

Also just as an update, that super inspirational girl from Pakistan, Malala, is doing better and better.  Keep it up, girl!

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Well Hello There

September 21, 2011 at 10:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Last night I began the third and final course needed for me to complete my certificate in Museum Studies at Northwestern.  Now, these classes begin at 6pm and run til 9pm and I walk there straight from work, so it’s a long day for me.  I had some rather heavy stuff on my mind when I rolled into class and plopped in my seat and I didn’t really look around or pay attention to anything or anyone until we got started.  We did the usual “say your name and tell a bit about yourself” thing and we started with me, as I was in the back of the class (just call me trouble).  As I began to speak and the class turned to look at me, I realized that the girl sitting directly in front of me lived on my dorm room floor my freshman year in college.  I promptly said “HEY!” and stopped for an awkward moment because I wasn’t exactly prepared to see her.  I quickly mentioned (to the entire class) that I knew her from college but hadn’t seen her since and then had to try to salvage the rest of my introductory speech.  It was weird and random and while I knew she lived in Chicago I hadn’t really seen or spoken to her in like….8 years.

We managed to catch up a bit over the break and since my last class buddy finished the course already, it’s nice to have another familiar face.  It also served as a good reminder that it really is a small world and even in a city of nearly 3 million people you can still manage to run into people from your past.

I cannot make this shit up

The rest of the class went well and as I trudged to the train I encountered something else that is worthy of a mention on this here blog.  Right around Michigan Avenue, I came upon a young couple pushing a stroller.  Adorably predictable, right?  Not so.  As we passed, I glanced in and was more than surprised to see a dog, not a baby.  A.  Dog.  In.  A.  Stroller.  I did a literal double take and realized that it seemed to be a stroller specifically for dogs and I almost lost my shit.  As I was staring behind me in disbelief, the male portion of the couple leaped ahead, crouched down and snapped a picture of the pooch while the lady smiled proudly.

I almost gagged.

What, were the dog’s feet so dainty and delicate that they couldn’t bear to touch the sidewalk?  Or is this couple so delusional and rich that they had nothing better to do than to shove a poor animal into a cage on wheels?  I don’t know.  I do know Catsby would smother me in my sleep if I tried a stunt like that with her.

Oh, city living.

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It’s the End of the Week as We Know It

March 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

It’s the happiest day of the week!  It’s also been a busy one for me so I don’t have much time to write.  I’m taking a megabus road trip after work to go to Indianapolis, where I’ll be attending my first-ever bachelorette party tomorrow night.  I may or may not be doing a post about that because sometimes what happens at bachelorette parties should stay at bachelorette parties.  I’ll also be crashing with some great old friends whom I haven’t seen in months.  Hopefully I won’t have a seatmate on the ride who’s been drinking Jack Daniels since noon but with the megabus you just never know…

Regardless, have yourselves a great weekend!

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November 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

After my marathon post yesterday, I’m going to take a bit of a break today.  I successfully completed my first full week of work on my own and I get to leave a little early this afternoon.  I also have an old friend in town all weekend, plans with other various college chums and my docent orientation at the Field Museum tomorrow.  Then two more days of work and I’m off to spend a week in Louisiana! Things are good.

Happy Weekend!


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August 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Our Guidebook

Yup, I did it.  I braved crowds, expensive beer and eardrum destruction to attend the Lollapalooza festivities on Saturday.  My best guy friends from Bloomington and I got a bit of a late start but we were in Grant Park by the afternoon.  Since I apparently lack the ability to keep up with new music, I wasn’t too familiar with any of the bands playing prior to Green Day.  After randomly bumping into an old friend of ours on our way into the venue (and quickly downing many energy drinks, as he had just found out he wasn’t allowed to bring them in), we wandered over to a grassy area and set up with our blanket.  We caught Grizzly Bear (eh, they were okay) and then squeezed our way into watch Metric.  Metric is headed by some bad ass blond chick who knew how to work a crowd, that’s for sure.  We rocked out to her for a while and then partook in some of the delicious food gracing the booths in the street.  I had a veggie falafel gyro to start with and got some potato skins with seitan later on (for those of you who don’t know, seitan is wheat gluten.  Might sound nasty to you but if cooked right it’s delicious to us veg-heads).  A giant scoop of cookie dough in a waffle cone was dessert.

Wait, what was I saying?  Oh yeah, there was music at this thing too.

This was one of my first Green Day CD's. My mom confiscated and lost it before I was "grown up" enough to get it back. Well, Mom, I saw them in concert and they dropped the f bomb like it was their job, so taking and losing my CD really worked out, huh?

After Metric, we walked around a bit more and caught the end of Spoon, whom I’m actually familiar with and always enjoy.  Then it was time to make our way over to Green Day, where we tried to meet up with a buddy of mine but lost him to the sea of concert-goers.  No matter, we made ourselves a little spot on the grass and proceeded to dance and jump around with a general merriment and lack of care.  I used to listen to a lot of Green Day back in the day and I was thrilled that they played some of my old favorites.  They put on a helluva show in general and I’m so glad we got to watch.  Billie Joe Armstrong called some kid from the crowd up to sing a song and you could tell it was this guy’s dream come true – and when Billie Joe gave him his guitar at the end of the set, I thought the kid was going to cry.  It was a nice rock ‘n roll moment.

I’m really, really glad I was able to make a day of concerts.  I’m also really, really glad that my paycheck for my writing gig came in the mail Friday so I was able to go to the concerts.  I also more than enjoyed the time spent with my guys and it makes me sad to know that they’ll be gone by the time I get home.  Tear.  I guess I’ll have to get used to running around pants-less in my apartment again while eating cookies for dinner.  Sure is a hard life.

I also managed to meet up with an old friend for brunch on Sunday (we Chicagoans love our brunch).  This gal and I go back to junior high days and some of my best trips abroad have happened in her company.  I’m lucky to have had so much great, quality friend time in such a short span and I’m extremely thankful for it!

In other, completely unrelated news – I’m still getting lots and lots of extra hits to this here blog, all thanks to my celeb crush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL, remember?).  Since dozens of people are stumbling across this page every day whilst searching for photos of him, I’ve decided to add a Photo-A-Day category.  These won’t all be contemporary, because if I start looking for recent JGL photos I’ll never leave my desk.  Here’s today’s pic:

JGL Photo of the Day!

Joe As Seen on Roseanne

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Weekend Hijinks

May 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

I spent my weekend having good times with old friends.  I traveled a bit south for a few days and was lucky enough to see all sorts of people I’ve been missing for months.  You know who you are.  There was lots of visiting, food and beer thrown together and I had pretty much the best time imaginable.

Going back to the town where I spent my college days generally means I’ll be making the rounds to my favorite old haunts.  No, not bars – restaurants.  I feel like all I do on these trips is eat but I really don’t see anything wrong with that.  For instance, I had been looking forward to going to Upland Brewery for a few weeks and was salivating at the thought of some of my favorite dishes.  I arrived Saturday, hungry and ready to eat.  That’s when I found out that, since it was May 1st, they were having their annual Mai Fest celebration.  Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I knew this was a tradition but my desire for their artichoke dip must have clouded my judgment.  The Mai Fest was fine and dandy, but it meant that I could only order from a limited, German-style menu.  It was mostly full of sausage.  I managed to find a veggie burger option but it just wasn’t the same as the oh so amazing macaroni and cheese that the place is otherwise known for.  Eh, c’est la vie.

After the Upland Germanic experience, I was lucky enough to spend the rest of my evening with a bunch of smart, beautiful women.  I’ve missed nights like that and hope to have more of them in the near future.  These girls have known me for years and they support me in ways not many other people can.  I love ’em, and I’m so glad we got to spend so much time together!

Also thrown into the mix – a bus ride with a woman frantically dealing with a stolen wallet, a hangover breakfast with my mom at the one and only place in the universe (that I’ve found, at least) that will serve biscuits and gravy sans sausage, some awesome spring thunderstorm action, NOT watching the Kentucky Derby (whoops), watching a video of my cousin getting proposed to, a quick random meet up with friends in Indy, moments of hilarity involving little tiny bugs, a surprisingly on time bus ride back to Chicago and a very enjoyable Sunday evening in the city.  All in all, another fabulous weekend with more fabulous people.  How did I get to be so lucky?

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School is Cool

April 30, 2010 at 11:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’m bouncing out of work a little early today which means I don’t have my usual lunch hour in which to write.  So this might be a bit short but it’s better than nothing at all!

Big News of the Day: I’m going back to school!!  If you’ve read this blog enough, you know I have a bit of an obsession with The Field Museum.  As in, I would sacrifice my right ovary to work there.  I’d be happy in the gift shop but ultimately would like to do something that would enable me to use my Anthropology degree a bit more.  I would love love love to go to graduate school but that’s not a financial feasibility at this point, so I looked into some Continuing Studies courses through Northwestern.  There’s a program that will allow me to get a certificate in Museum Studies and I will likely try to begin that in the fall.  There’s also a two-day class called The Exhibit: from Concept to Opening and Beyond.  It teaches all about the research, funding, design, implementation and execution of museum exhibits.  I think it sounds awesome, and I just enrolled for the course later this summer!

At the risk of sounding like an uber-dork, I’ve really missed learning in a classroom environment.  The woman teaching this course was the curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for six years and has worked in museums all over America and Britain.  Perhaps she’ll decide to take me under her wing and help me find a position at a museum in the city…or maybe she’ll just be a great teacher and I’ll learn a lot.  Either way, I’m more than pumped!

Other things:  My grandma is still doing well, which is awesome.  I resigned the lease on my apartment for one more year and even got my landlord to agree to put a ceiling fan in my living room.  Score!  I haven’t had a ceiling fan since I lived at home and I’ve missed that free-flowing air – now I’ll have it, and right in time for summer.  Also, I’m heading out of town this afternoon to visit some long-lost friends in the college town of my alma mater.  Ok, they’re not really long-lost, but it’s been almost half a year since I’ve been down that way and it’s about time.  Here’s looking forward to another great weekend – hope yours is good as well!

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