Friday, June 27, 2014

Miso update!

Our bags are packed and we are hightailing it out of this fog-fest for Charleston, SC for a mini-break after a furious day of getting things done.

This cab ride to Hyde Park gives me just enough time to update on sweet baby Miso.

I don't know what we were smoking when we thought that she would be super easy and a low-key addition to the family. Turns out she is a 100% kitten with more energy than the rest of us combined. She's a foot-tackler and a bug-chaser and a food stealer. We love her but dang, son, she is making is work for it. 

She's the cutest, though. Her best tricks are standing on her tower, and then falling about 89% of the time (when do cats learn about gravity?) and watching TV.

She loves The Daily Show (who doesn't?)  and cannot quite comprehend Jon Stewart's 2-dimensional-ness. She is forever looking behind the laptop to find the rest of him. 

She adores her big sister and midday naps on boyfriend's lap. Her cutest maneuver is end-of-nap-sleepy-face-scrunching. 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


No actual blog today - my financial advisor told me to quit dicking around and figure out my 403(b) so that is how I am spending my night instead of writing about my feeeeeelings.

Also I have to do laundry.

But in case you were stressed that I am growing up - have no fear...I absolutely ate pasta salad with my fingers at a bus stop tonight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The meh of both worlds

Today was an amazing day. A donut for breakfast, a quick Storytown show for some excitable kiddos with a terrible Sylvester Stallone accent, three-quarters of the movie Maleficent for free(-ish), another amazing Storytown show (this time with Mean Girl Bunnies, and school photo bits), delicious ice cream with sweet friends, and one of the last Bikram classes of the summer.

Today was a delight but at the end of the day I was left with a little bit of a feeling just under my ribs.

There is this strange middle ground of my life, of having a grown-up job (that is not quite actually a grown-up job due to its part-timeness and bottom-of-the-totem-poleness) and having this carefree, artistically satisfying life of creating amazing things with great people on a very, very limited basis.

Many would look at this and be all shutyourface. Its true that on the surface it looks like I am living the Hannah Montana, best of both worlds dream. And it feels like that most of the time too. I feel very lucky to have stumbled into a job that has a built-in day for skipping work and doing whatever my little artsy-fairy heart wants. I also feel very lucky that despite having extremely limited talents, I seem to have found people who will, on occasion, pay me to dance around, write words about things I don't understand, and hang out with awesome kids.

I love the whimsy of middle-of-the-week ice cream, and the consistency of 5:30 pm yoga class.  It feels like I have it all. And yet the problem is, I'm almost 30 and instead I feel like I have a little bit of everything, but not all of anything. I wish I had a job that was more challenging, with a better title and a full-time schedule. I wish I could live an entire life off of Storytown gigs and selling words to other people.

I know it sounds really, really childish - but actually it comes from a place of wanting to be slightly more grown-up. I feel like maybe I am ready for all these big girl things and yet, not everyone else seems to think so just yet. It is for sure a grass-is-always-greener, #princess problem but that does not make it feel any less real.

Let's be honest - during the summer, there is nothing better than this wonderful life of business on days 1-4 and party and fun on day 5. During the winter it loses some of that charm. One of my for-forever goals is to find a way to feel as though the winter of 2014 is just as great as this summer - either with a full time job at the ready or enough other work being offered up that I forget to remember that I'm just a kid with some dreams.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Run, T, Run

I'm bursting with pride about my friend Tierra Jolly's run for School Board in Washington D.C.

She is proof that if you believe in yourself and your convictions long enough and hard enough, you can do the things that you have always said you are going to do.

If you are reading this and you live in Washington D.C., I implore you to find a way to get involved. Tweet at your friends to follow Tierra. Go through your couch cushions and give all extraneous Hamiltons and Jacksons to her campaign. Campaigns are expensive (which is a bogus discussion for another day).

Not sure if you reside/hang out in Ward 8. Here's a Map. Chances are you maybe know someone who crossed the river for a reasonable rent. Tell that person to vote in their special election to help create some change.

There is nothing off the table in terms of helping with this election. Knock on doors, put up posters, wear a Jolly button to the Nats game.  Its rare to know someone who has the opportunity to do great things on such a public and valuable platform. I'm thrilled to support Tierra how I can, and I hope that those slightly geographically closer and financially more well-endowed will do the same.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TBIF: Real Good

Here's what happened on the internet this week.  Miso and I discovered this:

Clearly, we're obsessed.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My heart sings

If I were going to write a love song it would be in the key of goat cheese cashew caramel gelato.

(shown here with my favorite back-up singer, blackberry cabernet sorbet).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I'm in the midst of one of those first-world, nearing-30, existential white-girl problems.

The struggle is real with me and beach yoga right now.

As you four dedicated readers (who are my family) know, I'm big into yoga and big into it being summer right now. Naturally these forces eventually had to combine to make some sort of lululemon-induced dream come true.

So my yoga dealer roots & [then] wings got me to do a beach yoga with her on Sunday morning. In theory, this sounded like a perfect Instagram picture- except real. In actuality, it was a sandy disaster.

As an oblivious child, sand never really bothered me. It wasn't until we started vacationing with my extra-old-lady-neurotic grandmother who Cannot Abide by sand that I got weird about it. Why she vacations on an island covered in sand is still a mystery- but she passed on her neurosis and now having sand on my towel, my seat, my swim suit is unacceptable.

I am not quite sure what I thought beach yoga was going to be... were they going to just, like, remove the sand to make way for yoga mats? Nope. We just laid our mats down right on top of North Avenue Beach's mess of cigarette butts, bottle caps, and hypodermic needles and set our intentions. 

Mine quickly became to just get through one flow before having to brush off my mat. It did not help that the wind off the lake wind would occasionally flip my yoga mat (and the mats of all my companions) over exposing us to more.sand. Tree Pose with a wily mat was really not the zen experience it is supposed to be.  The deal was really dealt when I watch a number of my fellow yogis take giant handfuls of sand and plop them like little hillocks on the corners of their mats to weigh the mats down.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You are exacerbating the mat/sand problem!"

At the end of class, I had a long ponder about turning 30 and if this meant that I should step away from my comfort zone, and become one with the sand, or if it was finally time to just accept the fact that I am a crotchety-sand-hater. I never came up with an answer.

I feel like every couple of weeks I come to one of these moments where I feel as though I have met up with a bridge troll who is yelling at me that I'm getting old and it is time to make some gd. decisions about my life. As with many of the other times this has happened, I kind of shrugged and side stepped the question - this time by buying a 10-pack of beach yoga classes on groupon (instead of the unlimited one) - and figuring that by the end of the summer, I'll have decided one way or another. Until then, I'm just going to talk to invest in some "yoga rocks" (which are just regular rocks, but spiritual and more expensive).

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Friday

I wish I could bottle all the happiness I have during Chicago summer. I wish I could carry it with me throughout the cold, hibernation days of November and January.

There is nothing better than a patio and a plastic glass and a Friday afternoon stretched until the end of the weekend. There is nothing better than a Thursday night that feels like it will never end up a Friday morning. 

As I crash into this weekend, I want to remember my gratitude for how perfect this all feels and how fleeting it will all be. 

#herecomesthesun, Chicago. Get in it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ole, ole, Ole, ole.

Hey guys, you might not have known this about me - but I am a huge soccer nerd. #sorryIamnotsorry.

You grow up with a family of Eye-talians and it is going to wear off on you.

Last time there was a world cup, I watched almost all of it while in Europe which is basically like watching the Super Bowl from inside Cowboys Stadium (not in-person, mind you, just like, on the big TV over the field).  This year will pale in comparison because I still have to go to work and the prosciutto and mozzarella cheese sandwiches will be sub-par. But my brother won't be dying, soooo win some/lose some.

Here are some important things you need to be a world cup fan. Hop on, folks, there is plenty of room on this bandwagon and it comes with an excuse to drink at 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday!

This guide gives you all the good soccer bars in Chicago.

If you want an outdoor soccer viewing experience - U.S. Soccer is putting on a money-grabbing "free" soccer viewing party in Grant Park. I am pretty sure you can sneak booze into Grant Park, which is good because watching the U.S. get trounced by Ghana, Germany and possibly Portugal - you're gonna need it.

Also, if you want to be an educated fair weather fan, here is my favorite thing of all time - Drew Magary's Hater's Guide to the World Cup. If I had any wish in all the wishes in the wish bank, I would want my writing to sound like the love child of Drew Magary and Margaret Atwood. What a disturbed and beautiful love child my writing would be.

Soccer (although now I hang out with enough British folks I feel like I should be able to call it Football) is the best sport to watch in the summer, because its easy and you can kind of half pay attention in the sunshine over your almost-finished bloody mary, eat all the rich, European food you love and then shrug when the thing is over in a 0-0 tie and go take a nap.  The people's game!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer of Strawberries. In the middle (of the rhyme)

Holy cowtown, it be raining strawberries on Uptown.

Our strawberry jar is quite full of little misshapen mini strawberries and I love them all.

I am mildly concurnicus that there are some squirrels around who also love them, but that's fine - I only eat July home-grown strawberries.

Everything my mother said was right (per usual), they are so amazingly easy. Just some water and some sunshine and a few positive growing vibes sent in their direction.

I have not eaten any of them yet, I remember the first batch of last year's strawberries being so gross and sour. Next month I will know if the are more than just a pretty picture, but for now - the summer of strawberry is raging, get on it. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Happy Monday

I do not normally invite people out for drinks on a Monday night. Mondays are for bras-off-pajamas-on laptops-on-laps loafing until you can work up the energy to go to bed. 

So maybe it's because it is summer. Or I was on Facebook at the very right moment. Or I just wanted one day of not carrying my yoga mat to work. Or that I love spending time with my new co-workers, and my family, and am always up for a free drink. 

I said "let's go." 

And they all said, "yes. Let's."

Angel's Envy puts on the Monthly Muddle at a swank Chicago bar the second Monday of every month. They find three b.a. bartenders to make three drinks each, then you go and you get to sample some drinks and then buy some more. Then you eat other people's french fries. 

Like so many things, I am kicking myself that I didn't get my act together to go sooner. Check the Angel's Envy facebook page to get in on this next time around.

I am so happy we went out. I am so happy we tried fancy drinks. I'm so happy we talked through big, important things even though I still (forever) feel like "the new girl." 

All Mondays should end feeling this good. One out of many isn't too bad.

To happy Mondays and homemade horrchada. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

And one more...

This weekend had so many fun amazing things happen.  The very most fun and amazing is the introduction of the newest member of the Grandipants Team.

Miso came to us all the way from Tree House Humane Society (which is conveniently located around the corner) where she was named Pockets. We have been talking about getting a kitten since Boyfriend bought the apartment, and finally we had a whole Saturday to spend picking out our favorite and helping her get adjusted.

She is hanging out in our guest room and when she is not hiding under the dresser, she can be found hiding in the carrier or under the bed. She is doing better about coming out and visiting us when we go into say Hi and she is a big fan of lap sitting, just like her big sister.

Big sister, Hazel, knows something is up because she is being extra adorable and snuggly since we brought Miso home. She spends a lot of time looking intently at the guest room door and trying to stick her paw under it. With any luck she will realize that Miso is her mini-me and they will be best friends.

This has been a fun experiment if for nothing else, it is giving us a small sneak peek into how we are going to do with parenting - cutthroat competition for who can be loved the most by the baby.  We are both trying to be very cool about it, but we are absolutely counting how many minutes the kitten spends in a lap before moving to the next one. I have taken most of the snuggling duties while Boyfriend is in charge of cat-toy usage.

The people at Tree House are the best. Their cats are the best and you can even watch the kittens on the internet - Kitten Cam, it is like Panda Cam, except you can totally take one home with you. They will try to convince you that you take maybe two or three, but stay strong - the cats may not outnumber the people, no matter what Sydney the cat lady tells you.

We are super excited for Hazel to have another non-human companion to keep her company, we just hope she is as excited as we are. Miso has been practicing being adorable to win her over.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Be Happy 2014: Binge and Purge

Summer makes me want to hug everyone.

I spent so much time outside in May. It was full of cartwheels and glorious.

In June I plan to keep enjoying sunshine as much as humanly possible. The trick to bonus outside time is eating dinner out there. And then just watching people go by and be grateful for these moments of warm weather.

June will also be a month of doing everything. All the yoga, all the meals, all the opportunities to stay out late and regret it the next morning, all the patios and getting tan.

June will also be a month of getting rid of stuff. We're purging closets and unpacked boxes and pieces of furniture we will never use again (adios papasan chair!).  Of course, this means new things will come into replace them eventually (bonjour new living room armchair!) but for now we are enjoying shedding things and fitting just perfectly into our home.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Sleepytime post

I need to remember to write in the morning some times. Because other wise we end up with nights like these, where its 10:30, and I've been working for twelve hours and all I want is to crawl into my bed and wake up sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Sadly, thats not how this will shake out for me but its okay. I am cool with it - it just means no real blog post, just this place holder.

I need someone to tell me how to get my brain to stop automatically checking facebook. Its a reflex and I need to turn it off. If I took all the minutes I spend on facebook in a day and piled them together, it would make an amount of time that I could actually get something done.

But this isn't the time or the place for that.  This is the time and the place for washing face and going to bed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A decade of talking about feelings

Ten years ago, today, I was already up to my chin in what would be an absolutely life changing summer. I am known to throw around the hyperbole pretty loosey-goosey over here, but as I look back on my development into human-hood, the summer of 2004 stands out as a 1-UP-mushroom game changer for life.

It comes down to having the opportunity to invent myself. I had never really had the chance to be new anywhere where people cared. The person I was in high school was just a slightly taller version of the neurotic, precocious asshole third grader I had been, despite the fact that I now had boobs and a quickly developing dry wit. No one cared if I had become a better human, they all knew me and had written me off (except for my friends. You four are the best).

In New York, I had time to perfect the version of myself that I had been cultivating. But I was also busy cultivating keeping our electricity on and learning how to be a functioning roommate instead of a slobby asshole. The summer of 2004 was where all the practice of being a person paid off. I was not the best version but I was finally, a version of me that I liked more than any of the other previous iterations.  It was nice.

Also, let's be real, it was a summer of hedonism. Booze, pasta, lack of pants.  I subsisted off of alcohol and whatever other people would feed me, with the occasional peanut butter sandwich. I lived in a room with a girl who I delighted in despising. She was a fine person, but it was more fun to hate her and make drama (though, with that in mind, we got along great for two people who shared a 10'x4' cell that was only ever 100 degrees F). And it was a summer of shitty things too. Some not-nice things happened. There were so many tears, and not-nice words. But even those moments are tucked away with, "I am happy these happened, they made me a better version of me."

I learned that life should be lived, if for nothing else, "just for the story." Most of my favorite, best, oft-retold stories are from those brief and shining months free from responsibility and left to make choices that felt right in the moment. So I almost drove a car into a house, and made my friend do a shot of cooking oil, and poured hot wax on another friend's chest by accident.

I lived with people that, somehow, to this very day are in my top 10 of favorite people. I also lived with people who I have never seen since, and that is just as awesome. They came into my life for this one shining moment, with their kittens and their Mormonism and their ginger boyfriends.

It would have been totally different if I went to actual college, if I had four years of what I got all in one summer. I probably would not hold this summer up on quite such a large and sparkley pedestal, but I feel like I almost prefer it that way (which is good because our time machine is in the shop).

Since the end of May, I have been thinking about this post, and these memories. I have been reliving it with some of the cast of characters but mostly alone, enjoying reflecting on a time that feels so far away, and yet, not that long ago. I also am grateful/wistful/thoughtful that this all happened before facebook was even a twinkle in our eye. So the only picture I could find online of it is this one.

Which is pretty perfect (despite the fact that my shirt looks really weird). I am fairly sure I had no idea how that camera worked. It is only because of this turd nugget of a magnificent human being this even happened. Stupid Mikey Pits putting ideas in my head and instigating dumb shit like this.

While it is only in retrospect, I am always and forever (ie- never), tryna hang out.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Humor in sadness and gravity.

I have so many blog posts backed up in the mental queue. I have all the things that I am thinking about and I haven't told you guys about my stupid strawberries in ages.

Anyway, that all has to wait because I have to tell you how super-bummed Boyfriend and I were last night when all of a sudden our three-peat dreams were dashed and the Blackhawks had to leave their own ice with that walking-on-skates-shuffle of a loser.

It didn't seem fair. All that work, all that coming back from behind, all those goals and on our own ice. Of course, after the first shock and disappoint set in, the next voice was the little one that whispered, "this is probably how the Bruins felt last year,"

So we're off to a pretty sad start to our week. Its hard to be on the losing end, especially when you get so close and the playing is so exciting and good. So we'll take a seat and watch the rest and get amped for 2015.

But, the silver lining to this cloud is very obviously this vine. Every time I watch it I giggle.

Go Rangers.

She's pint-sized and amazing.