Monday, August 22, 2016

I'm Here!

Guys, things have been insane.  I'm at the typical point in my summer where I just feel exhausted.  And then I think, 'Good job, Lisa, you've done good with summer.'  Here in Chicago, where we have 4 months of lovely weather (in my opinion) a year, you have to make the most of it.  And every summer around this time, I start to feel the exhaustion set in.

Also, I noticed during my wake-up call Wednesday, the days are getting shorter, friends.  Boo.

So let's see, what have I been up to?

Lots of time outside.  This whole central A/C thing in our new place is really throwing me off.  It's the first time I've had central A/C since I lived with my parents 11 years ago and I am not used to waking up and not immediately knowing what the weather is like.  So patios are all the sweeter.

We moved!  We successfully moved.  Moving weekend was not fun at all.  Not at all.  But we saved so much money and I was sore for probably 4 days.  (I'm counting that as a positive.)  Mike has unpacked all his boxes...I have not.  But I like to think I make a little progress everyday.

My parent's came to visit and see our new place while celebrating my sister's birthday (a bit early).  We hung out in Logan Square with brunch at The General and farmer's market fun.  Then we went sailing.  I love the relaxation of the water.

mom desired a trip on the ferris wheel!
Yes, I miss Lakeview sometimes, but I really do love Logan Square.  And we still went to Dry Hop on Sunday.  We just rode our bikes, rather than walking.

I went to Indiana for work and Mike & I explored Fort Wayne and Indianapolis before heading back to Chicago.  We were able to visit Sun King Brewery and the neighborhood Mass Ave. in Indianapolis, which we really liked.

I spent a weekend in Missouri with my parents and niece and nephew.

It's a good thing I have these two as my doctors since i never seem to make time for a real one...
My niece and nephew also visited Chicago with my brother and sister-in-law for a couple days.  Those two can keep you busy!

Seeing lots of friends and getting lots of blisters from so much walking.  I am not complaining.  How nice to be able to walk for so long outside!

I love living on Logan Boulevard.  Saturday we were sitting outside and started to hear music so we went to investigate until we found there was a free concert by the monument!

We're also becoming a bit spoiled with parking.  If the spots right in front of our place are taken, I sigh and park a block away.  A month ago, Mike would rejoice when he found parking 4 blocks away.

Now I'm rambling, but I'm starting to feel like I have a bit of a handle on life.  I even texted one of my friends who Mike & I ran into when we looked at the apartment we're now living in.  She said we should get together once I'm settled and I just got around to it...oh well.  Summer and Chicago.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fallen Bicyclist - Milwaukee Ave.

Of course I'm following the story of the bicyclist who was hit by a flat bed truck and killed Tuesday morning on Milwaukee Avenue.  It made me cry when I first read about it (although I think I'm starting to become more of a crier).  Milwaukee is one of the few Chicago streets I actually feel felt like I could let my guard down just a little bit.

I read a comment that stated: "The city absolutely needs to be held accountable for their negligence in failing to protect both cyclists and motorists. The array of construction projects on Milwaukee have eaten away at the bike lane and often there is no adequate signage or markings provided to indicate where cyclists are entitled to ride. I ride this stretch every day and it's terribly unsafe during commuting hours. This was entirely preventable, and a tragedy for both the dead cyclist and the driver of the vehicle who has to bear the guilt of this accident."

I get the outrage from bikers.  (Today one smashed the window of trucks that were, again, in the bike lane this morning.)  But I also don't think that does any good.  

When you're blocking bike lanes on Milwaukee Avenue, the closer you get to downtown, the busier they are, you need to provide clear markings for bikes.  "Milwaukee Avenue is the city's 'busiest bike corridor,' city Transportation Department spokesman Michael Claffey said, with 500 to 600 people using it per hour during peak times."

500 to 600 people
Jeff Miller, who lives around the corner from the construction site, emailed Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) on Aug. 4 expressing his concern about intersection, cautioning "it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt."
There is "literally no space for bicycles to go around that project causing them to also swerve into traffic," Miller wrote.
Miller said Burnett's office replied that they would "investigate the situation."
Most of what I've gathered is from this article

Milwaukee Avenue is supposed to be a safe space for of the few.  Remember this and this.

Please look out for bikers, friends.

Update:  more info

Friday, August 5, 2016

Moving with U-Haul

When we moved a couple weeks ago we used a U-Haul truck to make the move.  It was A LOT of work.  A lot.  It's possible we will not do it ourselves again...  The only thing that made us feel better is how much money we saved!  

As we drove our U-Haul all over Chicago, one stop in Wicker Park, to Logan Square, to Lakeview, to Logan Square, I noticed a sign that they will reuse boxes.  This excited me!  Almost all our boxes were already used before we packed and they had more life to them.  

They even say you can leave the boxes in the U-Haul when you return the truck.  We did not have time to fill the truck with boxes before we returned it, but we took some boxes over the next day.  

No need to just put them in the recycling bin.  Recycling is good.  Reusing is better!

U-Haul actually has several programs.

I actually really like it.

Think about it!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kitchen Safety

We moved!  We're in our new place and we just got wifi.  Wahoo!

I definitely broke in the kitchen quickly.  I was making a panini type sandwich for a potluck get together so I preheated the oven.  The next thing I knew the fire alarm was going off.  Let me tell you they did not skimp on a very loud fire alarm.  Ahhhhhhhh

I opened the oven, which I know you're not supposed to do.  In the moment, I think I needed to see what I was dealing with.  There were definite flames.  Ahhhhhhhh

So I called Mike while trying to google what to do.  He was super calm the entire call while I freaked out (it probably helped that he couldn't see the smoke billowing out of the oven).  

He said to throw baking soda on it.  I did.  It seemed to fizzle but came back.

I searched the apartment for a fire extinguisher (maybe I should have looked for one before this moment).

This is while I kept trying to silence the fire alarm (to no avail) and open windows to let out smoke.

Then Mike said just throw water on it.  I have heard before this is bad.  Maybe they are referring to grease fires.  It worked.  The fire went out and I sat in the corner waiting for the fire alarm to stop.  (Note: this is false, I stood on a chair, frantically waving a towel at it, hoping the smoke would move away while my eyes burned.  Also note: it didn't work.)

Finally the alarm stopped.  Mike offered to leave work and come home, which I declined.  I called Karen and debated not going to my get together.  She encouraged me to go and my heart kept racing.

I was distracted the entire time I was with my friends, but I'm glad I still went.  I had no idea what the damage was, just that a cutting board we stored in the bottom drawer caught on fire.  The same items I had in the stove drawer at my old place.  Needless to say I will never use that drawer ever again, anywhere...ever.

I got home and Mike had cleaned everything up (and thrown out everything that was in the drawer).  I was so incredibly relieved.  Words can't explain.

The oven was good as new and I'm currently afraid of it, which I guess is okay in the summer...

As I look now it seems I did everything you're not supposed to do with a kitchen fire.  Maybe it worked because it was a cutting board (while it was happening I had no idea what it was).  So I write this to encourage you to read a quick article on fire safety because it all happened so fast.  My call with Mike was 15 minutes and he stayed on the phone a bit after the fire was out.  It felt like an hour, my heart was racing.  RACING!

And see if you have a fire extinguisher.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

A love note... my apartment.

Dear apartment,

We have been through a lot together in the six years I've lived here.  

In some ways it feels like I moved in yesterday and in others an eternity ago with so many changes. 

Remember the first day I moved in with a twin bed, tv stand, tv from college, and bike?  I rolled out a sleeping bag in the middle of my living room for a couch.  That was all I had.  Now I look around and with the help of craigslist, friends, and family you're quite full.  Countless friends came with me to craigslist pick-ups with their cars or just came with and we requested van cabs.  Grandma decided she didn't want her couch anymore.  Karen & I made a trip to IKEA.  And you started to fill up.

I started collecting posters and DIYing to create my ever changing gallery wall.  Mom & Dad gifted me some fancy artwork from the Lakeview East Arts Festival.  You became decorated.

This is just your appearance.  You were there for me as I made my way home from four different jobs, 6 including the temp ones.  Remember when I moved in I didn't even have one?  Karen lived here for awhile while she settled in to Chicago.  Trained for 3 marathons, hopping on the path right outside my door.  You soothed me as I put my feet up with ice on my knees after long runs.  Biked to work countless days.

We had to add rabbit ears to my TV once it was too old for the current public access.  But even that was years ago.  It's still trucking.

When I really stop to think about it.  The two things I'm going to miss most are having the lake at the end of my block and being less than a mile from Karen.  (location, location, location ;)  Actually when we were starting to look, we looked at Logan Square rather than Ukrainian Village to be closer to Karen.  We'll still have our sister dates, but we won't have the cab/uber/lyft or bike rides home together.  I know it will be easier than I work it up in my head...

Even though I'll miss this place, I know it's time to move on.  And I am excited to live in Logan Square.  You've been good to me.  Thank you.

P.S. I move this weekend so my place does not look like the photos.  There are boxes everywhere!

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Inevitable First Home Cooked Meal

I sat with my friend chatting about dating, years ago.  She invited the guy she was dating over for dinner and as we kept talking it clicked:  this is a definite, standard step in the relationship.  Almost all my girlfriends do/did it.  I did too.

My friend always makes the same dish (for different guys) lamb ribs or something.  I don't know, it sounded fancy.  She said it's the dish she's most comfortable making that has the greatest reward.  (I guess that it's fancy.)  

Note: remember in Ways to Lose a Guy in 10 Days he made her lamb rib or something and she said she was a vegetarian.  Hahaha.  I think I would cry if someone made me something like that and they were so proud.  I would feel terrible.

I've never had a specific dish.  I would just make what I felt like, but I do remember Mike coming over for dinner the first time.  I can't seem to remember what I cooked...chipotle gnocchi or something.

It's a bridge that is so frequently crossed.

My sister's go to is chicken and rice.  She knows how to make it comfortably and pretty much everyone likes it.  Easy choice.

What's your go to meal for guests (or someone special)?  Any other funny dating rites of passage you can think of?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Obamas

I am aware not everyone agrees, but the Obamas, man.  They got it.  If I could sign up for 4 more years of Pres. Obama.  I would.

Today I feature Michelle Obama.  Because that lady's got it.

See also: her City College of New York Commencement speech.

P.S.  See also, only somewhat related, Elizabeth Warren's 4 minute video on
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