February Freeze?

February 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

This is what the weather looked like on my walk home on Friday, February 17th:

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Just ducky.

The temperature was in the upper 60’s…and this is not normal for February in Chicago. Hell, this isn’t even normal for May in Chicago! We’ve had a warm streak all weekend and it looks like it’s going to last a little longer before we dip back down to the 40’s…which is still quite warm for this time of the year in this part of the country.

It’s disquieting. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t nice to open windows and walk around in a t-shirt but it’s pretty strange and I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t miss winter. We’ve had maybe two snowfalls all year and they didn’t even last – where’s this record-breaking snow we were supposed to get? Thanks, Farmer’s Almanac. I’m sure if we were in the midst of a blizzard I’d be complaining about that but it was seriously eerie to see so many people in shorts over Presidents’ Day weekend.

But I still managed to overlook my guilt for our busted-ass planet long enough to enjoy the weather. I had a nice walk by the lake Friday as I went to work an overnight at the Museum, then on Saturday Scott and I walked the beach for a few hours before dinner with a friend. Sunday was spent protesting the current administration and their bat-shit crazy policies (more on that later this week) and then at a BBQ with my girlfriend from the Women’s March on Washington. Monday was also spent enjoying the weather, which I plan on doing as much as possible. Before the world turns into nothing but tsunamis and forest fires, that is.

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No Snow!

January 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Wait. No snow?

I know many people and places are being ravaged by the weather lately and trust me, I know what that’s like. I’ve lived through at least one veritable blizzard in my time as a Chicagoan and while it was a freezing, miserable experience, it was also pretty cool. Sure, the grocery stores looked like something from an apocalyptic movie and my tears and snot froze to my face every time I walked outside, but there was something exciting about it, too. Everyone in the city always seems to be a little closer when faced with impending awful weather and watching as the snow piles up brings out the kid in us. Well, most of us.

But not this year. We’ve had maybe two snowfalls so far this season and neither one of them left much of anything to write home (or on a blog!) about. So I can’t help but feeling a little jealous when watching everyone I know busting out the shovels while enjoying their snow days. Why can’t we get one huge dump of snow that incapacitates the entire city? I don’t own a car to shovel out and I’ve got good boots, so I’m ready.

blizzard_large

Not this kind of blizzard. But I’m fairly familiar with these, too.

Obviously, if a huge snowstorm does happen to appear, I’ll regret these words. I like to bitch and moan about the weather with the rest of the city and right now, many of us are bummed about the lack of snow. Of course we’ve been enjoying the warmer temperatures but if we could get one big storm at least once this year, that would be great. Maybe for my birthday? After all, it was my birthday when the last big blizzard came and I even got a snow day myself out of that. So – birthday blizzard? Pretty please with a snowcone on top? Then it can melt in a few days and we jump right into spring. Sounds good to me!

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It’s Fat Tuesday, Ya’ll

March 4, 2014 at 9:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Well, at least for a couple more hours (Central Time).

Fat Tuesday is traditionally the day to cut loose and let wild before Lent begins.  A time to indulge in all sorts of debauchery before giving up something fun, like candy or soda, for the next 40 days.  Of course if you’re a recovering Catholic such as myself, Fat Tuesday is a day to eat, drink and be merry before….another day of eating, drinking and being merry.

Until we meet again

Until we meet again

The Mardi Gras time of year always makes me long for New Orleans and this year is no different, especially since I have some friends there now and they keep posting their damn pictures on Facebook.  I know I was just there in November but I’m always game for a stay in The Big Easy so it doesn’t take much to make me miss it.  I’ve been going there regularly since I was a teenager and in that (gasp) decade or so I’ve been there with all manner of friends, family and lovers.  It’s a great place to experience with all of those people and even though I don’t remember all of the memories I’ve made in the French Quarter and surrounding areas, I’ve almost always had a good time.  And while I’ve never been to a Mardi Gras myself, I like to think I can somewhat imagine what it would be like.  Especially since my mom has been twice in the last few years and provided delightfully drunken running commentary while there.

So what would I give up for Lent if I was the giving-up-for-Lent type?  Hard to say.  I tried to give up talking one year and lasted all of 20 minutes before I caved, Lord help me.  I’ve done the candy/sugar/sweets thing and I think once I vowed to be nicer to my sister for those 40 days, which I can’t promise I did.  In my smart-ass teenage stage, I gave up eating meat…as a vegetarian, this was not difficult.  Then I gave up giving up things for Lent and that seems to have stuck.  I guess if I was going to give up something this year I would try to stop talking about the weather.  It sucks, we all know it sucks and it’s going to continue to keep on sucking.  As a well-known movie once said, “I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.”

Luckily, I’m not giving up anything for Lent and as such, I won’t be forfeiting my right to bitch and moan about our weather anytime soon.  For instance, Chicago winter has had the most days at or below zero this year – EVER (or at least since the mid 1800’s).  Awesome, right?  At least we’re in the double digits for at least the next ten days.

Mardi Gras is the only sign of Spring I see.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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BRR!

December 10, 2013 at 8:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

When it’s this cold out, I think everyone should get the day off to stay at home in their pajamas and drink hot chocolate while watching Christmas movies.  And if that’s not possible, I think our pets should be forced to do housecleaning while we’re away at work so we’re not so jealous of their warm little furry selves that we contemplate spraying them with water bottles.  Or am I the only one that does that?

The wind chill was -10 this morning when I made my way to work.  If it’s this bad in early December, I shudder (literally) at the thought of what it will be like once February rolls around.  How did our ancestors survive this biting cold weather without things like central heat and leg warmers?  Oh that’s right, they would cut up dead animals and use their skins for protection.  I’ve never been much on real fur but perhaps I should find a buffalo or deer or something and dispose of its innards so that I may crawl inside.

Agreed.

I think the cold does weird things do people’s brains.

What’s also frustrating is figuring out how to dress.  I have two interviews this week (and I am certainly NOT complaining about that) but it’s kind of awkward to show up for such a meeting resembling the abdominal snowman.  I can’t even wear my regular winter boots (not that it really matters because they leak so much my toes freeze anyway) because wearing snow shoes doesn’t exactly go well with business casual clothing.  What’s a girl to do?  That’s right, freeze.  Hopefully the frostbite setting in on my cheeks will give them a lovely, rosy glow that will make me impossible not to hire!

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Enjoying Summer While it Lasts

August 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Indoor Bonsai

Indoor Bonsai

Those lazy hazy days of summer aren’t quite gone yet and I’m trying to take advantage of the warm weather for as long as I possibly can.  This weekend, I definitely succeeded!  My Friday night started off with happy hour drinks with some coworkers as one of the IT guys is moving to a new job and Friday was his last day.  A few beers and a shot or two later, I was ready for the rest of the weekend.  I met Scott near Millennium Park and the two of us met with some friends of ours, who happened to have their two adorable children in tow.  We made our way to the Pritzer Pavillion and caught some of the free classical music being performed while we enjoyed some snacks on the grassy seating area.  The kids ran (or crawled) around and the adults got a chance to visit, which was really nice.  Sidenote: it’s weird to refer to myself and my friends as “the adults”.  Anyway, after the concert we hung out at their condo for a little longer before making our way home sweet home.

Saturday we woke up uncharacteristically early and went to brunch at a place neither of us had ever had before.  It was amazing and will have its own blog post dedicated to it later this week.  After brunch, we ran a few errands then basically spent the rest of the afternoon lying around at the park.  I got through some more of my book (which was also amazing and will also warrant its own post sometime soon) and Scott played around with a soccer ball like a little kid.  It was a beautiful day and the first Saturday in months where I didn’t something planned.  I could do with more Saturdays like that.  We ended the evening by finally finishing The Karate Kid which was pretty great in all it’s 80’s glory.

Sunday I woke up and went to the gym, then we headed to the Chicago Botanic Gardens a little north of the city.

The Bonsai Trees were especially appropriate after our Karate Kid watching

The Bonsai Trees were especially appropriate after our Karate Kid watching

The Gardens are actually close to where I used to live in the ‘burbs but I didn’t go there near as much as I should’ve back then.  This place is huge and has all sorts of different sculpted gardens.  There was a Bonsai Tree show going on which we got to check out, then we walked through the Rose Garden and the Japanese Tree Garden.  We walked through a bunch of other trails and paths too but there was too much plant life to completely remember it all.  We weren’t the only ones with this idea and the place was pretty busy, with families and kids darting around and even a wedding taking place at one spot.   It was another just plain fabulous day and I was really glad we got to spend so much of it enjoying the great outdoors.

I gave Scott a grow-your-own-Bonsai-tree back at Christmas and while the seed produced a tiny little tree-like thing, it hasn’t grown at all for months.  We’re not sure if it has something to do with the tree itself or our sneaky little cat who likes to nibble on plant edges but for whatever reason, it’s been stunted for a while.  Scott found some super cheap soil at the Bonsai show that will hopefully help his little tree to flourish, though I guess only time will tell.  But if the apple tree that I planted in elementary school can start producing fruit nearly twenty years later, then I have hopes his Bonsai Tree can make a comeback.

And yes, that happened with the apple tree in my mom’s front yard.  Gotta love nature!  And I will, as long as the weather permits!

 

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Quarter Life Crisis?

March 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve been having a late quarter life crisis this week.  I thought that those were supposed to hit in your early 20’s, about the time you graduated from college and realized you had no idea what to do with the rest of your life, but apparently my crisis is a late bloomer.  I’m not sure what’s going on but I just feel…amiss.  I’m bummed that my job isn’t exactly my dream job and while I keep my eyes and ears open for new opportunities, it’s a harsh reality that I can’t really afford to do what I really want to (i.e. go back to school or maybe work for a non-profit).  My ugly student loan situation ruins lots of the big plans and ideas I have and it’s never really easier to deal with.  Perhaps when I’m 55 and have it all paid off I can go back to school but man, that’s a long way out.

Thank you, thank you very much.

It seems like all my friends are getting married and having babies and while I honestly don’t want to have to deal with either of those things anytime soon, it feels like I should want that.  You know?  Or maybe you don’t.  I’m not sure how to really describe the feelings I’ve been having and I’m sure this post seems scattered and confusing, but I’m hoping it’ll help to let some of this out.  The rational part of me knows that I’ve actually got it pretty good – my bills are paid, I’m able to save, and my financial situation isn’t nearly as dire as I sometimes think it is.  I’ve got great friends, a great family, a great boyfriend, I’m still able to travel etc., but I still feel like I should be doing more.  When I was growing up I envisioned myself having a job where I was able to actually help people on a daily basis and I just don’t feel like I’m making the sort of difference I should be.  I know that some people are finding relief due to my bankruptcy work but it’s not really tangible.  And I also know that I’m helping people out at the food pantry I volunteer at and as a Docent at the Field Museum but…it still doesn’t feel like it’s enough.  Which is crap, because all of those things are satisfying in their own ways!

I’ve got a plan to take some sort of class this year, whether it’s a language course, dance class, or cooking class.  I miss learning on a frequent basis and even if I can’t afford to actually go back to school, I can still try new things.  I’ll be training for new exhibits at the museum all month so I’m really looking forward to those lectures, at least.

But back to the crisis – just what is wrong with me?  I need to put on my big girl panties and suck it up.  Maybe this is all just PMS, or perhaps I am in dire need of a vacation.  It seems like everyone around me is planning one trip or another in the upcoming months and I just filed my taxes, so perhaps planning something for Scott and I is on the horizon as well.  This crisis I’m having this week could also be weather related, as we’re currently in the long stretch of  Chicago winter and it feels like sunlight and warmth will never make appearances ever again.

Well.  I do feel a bit better after venting, and at least it’s Friday – and someone finally cleaned out that stinky fridge in the corner.  Onward and upward!

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Wacky World of Weather

January 29, 2013 at 2:03 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Having lived all my life in the mid-west, I’m used to some random weather.  I’ve seen snow a day after sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s, hid in basements during tornadoes and even heard the elusive thundersnow during the Chicago Snowpacolypse.  Still, strange weather manages to grab my attention and seems a little noteworthy.  For instance, in the past 48 hours I’ve walked in: rain, hail, freezing rain, snow, fog and lots and lots of wind.  Sunday night there was thunder and lightning during a torrential downpour.  This was called a “wintry mix”, which is about the most vague description of weather that once can come up with, making it perfect for Chicago.  Today is supposed to be in the 60’s…for it being the end of January, that really is strange.  Too bad there’s more thunder, lightning and possibly tornadoes instead of sunshine (sure going to make my evening commute fun).  The high of 15 on Friday is more like what I’m used to for this time of year but it’s not exactly something I’m looking forward to.

And then this happens when a building catches on fire and it’s well below freezing outside.

My dad told me that it was in the 80’s down in Louisiana last week and that he had to turn on the air conditioning in his truck.  I told him to bite me.

So when will it end?  It won’t.  And I really do try to accept that fact and just deal with the weather as it comes but sometimes it’s just so difficult.  Much like trying to plan outfits that correspond to climate.

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Burned

March 20, 2012 at 11:21 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I am sunburned.  Badly.  In Chicago, in March.  What in the what?

Scott and I went to the park this weekend to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and abundant sunshine but my dumb ass did not think to put on sunscreen.  Apparently the fact that my pasty white skin hasn’t seen the light of day in half a year doesn’t matter much to me and I completely neglected to take the appropriate measures.  I am now paying for it as little bits of skin fall off my body.

Since Google Image searches for sunburns is really scary, here is an illustration of what I felt like until I looked in a mirror

It’s completely my fault and I take full blame.  It was just so nice to sit on a blanket with my book that I fell asleep before I knew it.  I didn’t realize anything was wrong until we were walking home and stepped into the shade – that’s when I looked down and groaned.  You would think that at this age I’d be a little better prepared but noooo, not me.  I tempted the sun and the sun won.  In fact, it completely kicked my ass.  But what about my red-headed boyfriend, who is the fairest of the fair?  He didn’t use sunscreen either and looks perfectly fine, albeit a bit more bronzed.  The rays only had eyes for me, it would seem.

I’ll live and all but I do feel rather stupid.  I guess it’s good to get it out of the way now and not when I’m on vacation in May, right?  Maybe.  I still feel like an idiot and am red in the face (in more ways than one).  So I’ll sit here and simmer while applying yet another round of Aloe.

Welcome to Spring!

 

And PS – GO IU!!!

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Snow Show

January 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’d almost forgotten where I live with this weather we’ve been having lately.  50 degrees and sunshine in January?  Pssht, unheard of around these parts.  However, as anyone with access to the internet, a television, a newspaper or a radio will tell you, SNOW IS COMING AND YOU BETTER BE PREPARED FOR IT BECAUSE APPARENTLY EVERYONE IN THIS CITY HAS FORGOTTEN HOW TO ACT WHEN WHITE STUFF FALLS FROM THE SKY.

This is how I feel today

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a little over all the hype surrounding this, the first “Winter Storm” of winter.  Not that I’m not ready for it – at this point in every other year of my Chicago existence, I was so sick of the sight of snow that I would’ve paid someone good money to place large heaters along my route home so I didn’t even have to look at it.  Now, though, I’m anxious for a little bit of a winter wonderland.  The sparse dustings we’ve had so far have really done nothing other than tease and while I know the newness will quickly wear off, I’m good with a nice old fashioned heavy snowfall.  I just wish the city wasn’t freaking out like it’s the first time it’s ever happened.  If you have warm clothing and a good set of boots there’s really nothing else you need (in case you drive…then you’ll need good tires, plenty of gas and a chair or piece of plywood you can carry around to help save your parking spots).  It’s something we deal with every winter and just because we’ve made it this long without it didn’t mean it wasn’t going to happen.  And while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the downright balmy temperatures we’ve been experiencing, if it means there will be snow in June I shall be pissed.

Regardless, it looks pretty outside right now and I’ll enjoy the novelty of the first real snowfall of the year while I can because, if I know Chicago,  it won’t be a novelty for long.

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Nice While it Lasted

November 10, 2011 at 11:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Well, it’s cold.

Brr

We’ve been relatively lucky so far this winter and temperatures haven’t caused us to cry just yet.  Today that all changed.  I’m not entirely sure the high will get above the mid-40’s today and I had to bust out my large winter coat for the first time all (seasonal) year.  I knew this was coming and so I can’t really complain but I’m sure not happy.

Why does summer seem to go so fast?  I know that I chose to live in a city with an extremely brief burst of warm weather but I can safely say I made the most of it while I could.  I hit the beach a number of times, read and napped in the nearby park, went to various street and music festivals and spent many a lazy afternoon enjoying a cold one on my back porch.  I’ll miss all that while Chicago freezes over and I seriously contemplate moving to Mexico.  There are a few winter festivals to look forward to but it’s hard to get excited about putting on four layers just to walk to a bus stop.  And to be honest, it’s not even that cold out today – in two or three months I’ll be begging for temperatures in double digits and anything above freezing will feel like a heat wave.  There were even reports of snowflakes today but I luckily didn’t see any myself.  My opinion is that the first snowfall of the year needs to actually mean something and produce some accumulation – none of this wispy washy flurry bullshit.  Of course Mother Nature has never really listened to me or my opinion so there’s a chance I’ll see some snow tonight.  If it’s light enough to see anything by the time I get out of this building.

Is it Spring yet?

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