A Bang of a Weekend

July 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

My mom and sister came to visit over the Fourth of July and we had an absolute blast, pun intended. We managed to visit some of the biggest tourist destinations in the city (i.e. The Field Museum and Navy Pier…hell, we even took a water taxi from one to the other), enjoyed third-row seats at Wrigley Field to watch as the Cubs beat the Reds, ooh’d and aah’d at a scary and death-defying fireworks show basically in my backyard, ate a ton of delicious food and drank lots of delicious beverages and watched a couple of movies (To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Independance Day, respectively…we have diverse tastes. And Patrick Swayze has great gams). We even got our nails done! As always, their visit was a great one and over much too short even though they were here almost five days.

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Perfect!

It’s always really hard to say goodbye to my family when we part ways but I’m so, so thankful for the fun times we had. I really value our quality time and the fact that sometimes we can give each other shit face-to-face versus via text or over the phone. Because sharing is caring, right? Plus, we couldn’t be too sad when we departed because I’ll be home again in about two months. For my bridal shower.

In other news – holy crap I’m getting married in less than four months! And since I didn’t burst into flames while typing that, I guess it’s meant to be. Look out married bliss, here I come!

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Cruises and Cubbies

September 22, 2014 at 7:41 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Not a bad view

Not a bad view

On Friday, my fellow administrative assistants and I were treated to an annual outing that was pretty dang awesome.  We all left work around noon, hopped in cabs and headed to Navy Pier, where we caught a huge yacht for a lunch cruise.  The ship was named The Odyssey and it’s the same one I took Scott out on for his birthday the year we started dating.  It’s super nice and we were given some adult beverages to enjoy while we shipped off from the dock.  The day was absolutely beautiful so obviously many photos were taken.  We then enjoyed a three-course lunch, complete with the best bread pudding I’ve ever had in my life for dessert.  There was a bit more drinking going on throughout but not enough to get me out on the dance floor (though there were people out there shaking and moving).  The cruise was about two hours long and then I got a free taxi ride back home, which was also very nice.  Between that cruise and working a conference for my office last week, I’ve been in a cab more often in the last seven days than I think I have in my entire time living in Chicago.  Not that I’m complaining – they sure are handy, especially when they’re free!

So close we could almost feel them sweat

So close we could almost feel them sweat

On Saturday, I used the absolutely phenomenal tickets I was given through work to attend a Cubs game with Scott and some friends.  They brought their baby and he sure got lucky for his first time being at Wrigley Field.  The tickets were literally in the third row behind home plate and we were all just plain giddy the whole time we sat there.  Unfortunately, it started raining in the 5th inning and didn’t really stop so that put a literal damper on things.  Still, it was amazing to sit close enough to the players to hear them talk and we are so lucky that one of the guys at my office couldn’t use those tickets.  We all felt like a VIP and it was nice to get a glimpse of a world that I will probably never, ever live in.  But it was fun to pretend!

And now – five days until I leave for my vacation!  You can bet your ass I’ll be blogging more about that!

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

July 26, 2014 at 9:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

So Tuesday night a couple of my sister’s friends were in town.  This couple is a couple I’ve also known for years and years and although they were only in town for a few days for a conference, we managed to carve some time out to hang.  Play ball!  They were going to a Cubs game and I planned to meet them beforehand for some drinks.  Well, in a fabulous display of luck, a banker at my office was giving away four tickets to the game Tuesday afternoon and I managed to nab them.  These seats were pretty awesome and just a little bit better than the nosebleed ones the out-of-towners had.  So I surprised them with the best seats they’ve ever had in their lives (according to them) and Scott and I were able to go to the game too!

We gave the original tickets they had away to some guys at a bar we were at before the game and honestly, we should’ve timed it better because they offered to buy us drinks but we were heading out.  Oh well, our good dead was done.  The weather the night of the game was nice but it was HOT – like in the 90’s hot.  And the water I used to wash my hands in the bathroom was also hot, which I felt like was kind of kicking me while I was down.  No matter though, I had beer and nachos and the CUBS WON!  6-0 – talk about a great game to go to!  There were three homeruns too which was pretty crazy.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night!

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Batter Up!

June 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Thanks to an awesome friend of mine, I have now been to Wrigley Field a grand total of 3 times.  My gal pal and her husband have season tickets and he graciously let her bring me along instead of going himself to last night’s game against the Reds.  I went to a rooftop Cubs game last month with my mom, sister and sister’s boyfriend and that was a good time but there’s something a little extra special about actually watching it all from the bleachers.  The weather was perfect and our seats were pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

Take me out to the ballgame!

Take me out to the ballgame!

I’m not a huge baseball buff and I don’t have a diehard favorite team that I absolutely have to watch.  I do however enjoy the atmosphere of a baseball game and can appreciate the sport.  My grandma, on the other hand, is a lifelong Reds fan and so I busted out the Reds shirt my mom gave me the last time she was in town and wore it proudly in her honor alongside my friend, who donned her Cubs top.  The Reds wound up winning but we didn’t stay to the very end, since it was a later game on a work night and we both turn into pumpkins if kept out too late.  I finished off the night with some take-home Taco Bell and couldn’t have asked for a better Tuesday evening!

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Red Hot

May 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I went to my first rooftop Cub’s game on Saturday with my mom, sister and sister’s boyfriend and it was awesome.  The Cubs were playing the Cincinnati Reds and since that’s a favorite team of both my mom and my sister, I rooted against my local guys and wore red myself.  Then I turned red, as I got super incredibly sunburned.  More on that proof of my own idiocy later.

So the rooftop game was pretty cool.  I’ve been to Wrigley Field a couple of times and while there’s nothing like watching a ball game from one of the oldest stadiums in the country, the rooftop thing wasn’t a bad deal.  We payed a flat price for all you could eat snacks and all you could drink beer/wine and when you consider the $8 PBR’s in Wrigley Field, I think we may have come out ahead.  I was a little worried about a lack of vegetarian food but they had pizza, chips, veggie burgers and cookies so I was all set.  There were plenty of beers to choose from too and I stuck with Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy throughout the afternoon.  All of that was well and good, plus there was a ballgame going on that I guess I should mention.  I’m the type of fair weather sports fan that much prefers a live game over anything else so this was more fun for me than sitting in a bar with a TV ever could have been.  The Reds wound up beating the Cubs (in fact, they did that all three games in the series) and since the ratio of Cubs to Reds fans on the rooftop was about even, it was fun for everyone.  There were some really entertaining people in the crowd too, including a few bachelor/bachelorette parties featuring super drunk brides and grooms-to-be.  Of course, drunken shenanigans is nothing new where Cubs games are concerned!

Pre-burn

Pre-burn

And now, the sunburn…the weather was calling for rain and clouds all day Saturday so imagine our surprise when the sun came out a little after the game got started.  Since we were sitting on a roof, there wasn’t really any shade.  I realized I should’ve brought some sunscreen about halfway through the game and by the time it was over and we found another bar, I was completely fried.  As was my sister, so at least I don’t feel too bad (you should’ve seen us trying to hug each other goodbye…).  I thought I learned my lesson last year after I got scorched on St. Patrick’s Day but noooOOOooo.  I will now be carrying sunscreen with me everywhere I go until at least November.  Seriously, this hurts.  My left arm is the one that was directly in the sun and I can barely move it.  The part in my hair got burned so my hair hurts.  I skipped the gym yesterday and am not real sure I should attempt it today since it pretty much pains me to exist right now.  I am taking full responsibility for my stupidity and dumbassness and here’s hoping I’ve learned my lesson once and for all.  And if I wind up with another burn like this anytime in the next few years, I give everyone reading this full permission to smack me.

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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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Stupid Cubs Games

May 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

I’m just going to say this now – I have no particular alliance to any baseball team here in Chicago.  I realize that’s grounds for revoking my Chicago citizenship, but it’s the truth.  I’ve been to a game at Wrigley Field and I had a good time, but I’m sure I would also have a good time if I were to ever go to a game for the Sox.  If I can drink a beer and sit outside, I’m cool watching just about any team play.  That being said, I’ve had people give me flak for living on the North Side and not being a die-hard Cubs fan.  However, I don’t know if I could ever be a full-blown fan for a team that makes my commute a living nightmare.

Yesterday’s commute may not have been quite this bad, but it was close.

I knew I was in trouble when I caught the bus home.  I was in a hurry, as I had a finite amount of time to get home, shower, gather my pasta salad and get to my book club meeting (which would’ve taken close to 40 minutes on a good day).  I don’t always follow the Cubs schedule but I know there’s a game when there are drunken twentysomethings on my train ride from the ‘burbs to the city and I saw a group yesterday that helped me realize I’d be battling crowds all night long.  The bus I caught wasn’t too packed but I knew it would get worse the later it got, and as my book club meeting and the beginning of the game happened to be at the exact same time, I knew it was going to be messy.  I got home, intending to take the quickest shower known to woman, and was promptly denied by my shower faucet.  It decided to quit working out of the blue, and so I cussed and banged around and was generally displeased for the ten or so minutes it took me to get it functioning again.  So, right there, I was running a few minutes later than I had hoped.  I proceeded to take a lightning fast shower and get everything together and then I was out the door.  And waiting for another bus.

I happen to live a few miles from Wrigley Field and the main bus that takes game-goers in passes right by my apartment.  This was the route I needed to take to get to my book club host’s apartment, so I sucked it up and prepared for the worst.  I didn’t prepare myself enough, because the bus that stopped resembled a can of sardines.  I managed to squeeze on and then the driver decided he couldn’t fit any more people.  Of course, he still had to stop at every stop to let those waiting know that, so the drive was not as quick as I would’ve liked.  About halfway to my stop (which would’ve also been the stop for those going to the game, as my bad luck would have it), the driver pulled over to let someone off.  Then some idiot at the back of the bus pulled an alarm, which began to shriek, loudly and incessantly.  The driver tried to tell the idiot how to turn it off and when that failed, he got off the bus and walked around back to fix it himself.  That failed too.  While he was trying to shut the damn thing up, a few people who apparently don’t know how a bus works tried to board using the rear doors.  They were (not so kindly) told by others on the bus that they couldn’t do what they were trying to do, and so they boarded the front.  Funny side note – it was the same group from my train ride home from the ‘burbs.  Yup same exact people.  It looked like they had stopped in a bar along the way, as they were much drunker than they were the last time I had seen them (and they weren’t sober then).  Anyway, right about the time they boarded the driver announced (over the still shrieking alarm) that he couldn’t fix it and we were all going to have to catch the bus behind us.  Right, because a double-sized bus crammed full of people will all fit on another, equally crowded bus.

At this point I decided to walk.

Now, because I have that super fancy smarter-than-I phone, I was able to reroute my trip in such a way that I could avoid Wrigleyville altogether.  Huge relief.  Until I started to get harassed by some guy on the train.  He wouldn’t stop talking to me and trying to get me to go to a bar with him, and of course he happened to get off at my stop.  We were set to walk in the same direction too, until I realized that and walked the other way for a few minutes to lose him.  Of course, that mean I was even later to book club.  It was only about 20 minutes total, which is not a big deal, but I was crazy exhausted by the time I got there.

The apartment of the girl who was holding the meeting was near the lake, and it was amazing.  I don’t think I’d ever been in an apartment building with an actual elevator button for the Penthouse before, but I was last night.  Her place was very nice and we all brought a dish and some wine so we quickly got down to business.  The book we read was our first foray into erotica, and it was a collection of short stories.  I’m going to ‘fess up now – I didn’t read the book.  I tried, in vain, to find it but forces beyond my control kept it out of my grasp (I’m looking at you, Amazon).  I listened to everyone discuss it though and it seemed that, while it wasn’t as steamy as some were expecting, there were at least a few good stories.  If I end up borrowing it from one of the ladies, I’ll be sure to post my own review.

So we ate, talked and were generally merry.  The women in my club are all intelligent, driven and funny so I always enjoy our meetings.  I wish I could’ve stayed longer last night but I knew I would be battling all of the Cubs fans leaving the game on my way home and so I left a little early.  Sadly, it didn’t help.

I managed to get to the top step of the train platform as my train pulled away, so I sat and waited for about ten minutes.  I took the next train to the bus stop, where I knew drunk Cubs fans would be joining me.  After waiting another six minutes or so for a bus, we all got excited to see one approach.  It slowed down, we were able to see how full it was and it just kept on moving.  Awesome.  I waited another ten minutes for the next bus and when it still didn’t show up, I started walking.  Mind you, I was not wearing footwear appropriate for this endeavor.  I eventually caught a bus and didn’t have to hobble all the way home and even though this bus was insanely packed with drunken fools as well, at least it was transport.

Sigh. Due to all of this (and more) craziness, I was unable to fall asleep last night.  I forced myself to quit checking the clock at 2am because it was doing nothing but pissing me off, and I know I was up for a good long while after that.  When my alarm went off at 6 I almost cried, but being the good employee I am I hauled myself out of bed.  Some of you might be able to function on 3 hours of sleep – I am not that kind of person.  I’m hoping to become one with my bed as soon as I can tonight, and I’m also hoping to avoid the crowds around Wrigleyville on game days for a long, long time.

Holy crap. I just noticed how long this post is.  If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around for my vent.

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