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Showing posts from March, 2011

it's opening dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

oh i'm just so so so so excited it's opening day!  baseball!!!!!!!  this is the season i live for.  it just so happens that when it's baseball season it's my favorite time of year!
my dream is to be at an opening day before i die.
there could be a lot going on with the cards this year.  lots of shakiness, but also lots of fun fun fun.  i'm a fan no matter what.  i mean, sure it's exciting when we're winning, but i love the game.
i think a lot of our players are going to have an opportunity to shine with wainwright out this season...come on pitchers.  i have confidence though.  i think garcia and westbrook are going to show us some exciting stuff.  i also really started liking craig (who's not a starter right now) last season.  he just seemed to pull through for us.  and that continued through spring training this year.  so i'm excited to watch him too. don't get me wrong of course i love molina and the whole team.  i'm just excited to see how th…

museum field trip

i've been doing really well on my field trip resolution.

yesterday i hit up another one:  the chicago history museum.  it turns out it was a free day there, even though i was going to get in free anyway.  that means it was busy!

which is fine, i still got to take a gander around.  

I've never been to the history museum before so that in itself was exciting.

probably my favorite part was when they talked about the world's fair in chicago (i can't remember the exact name).  the buildings were so much grander than i imagined them in my mind while i read, devil in the white city a couple months ago.  it was fun to see what it was really like.  and wow!

there was also an awesome exhibit about workers rights and such.

so it was a fun little excursion.

holy mango!

i walk into whole foods with my coupons in hand.  i'm mingling around the front as i finish up my conversation with my brother. 

i look to my left and what do i see?

my favorite mangos that i ate ALL THE TIME at this time last year in mexico!  i've never noticed the type i love in the US before.  

and there they were.  right in front of me!

i could have screamed!

they were on sale 10/$10, which i guess isn't much of a sale.  (still pretty expensive for a mango), but i don't care.  it was well worth the splurge.  

i can't wait to have one today!!!!

i'll make a wish that each of you get a little surprise you weren't expecting this week!  it's funny how something so little can make me so happy.

nice pens can make the day so much easier

last night was our first park voyagers family workshop.  i wasn't super de duper excited about it, mainly because it was a night event, but over 80 people showed up and both my favorite families from that park came (and i got to meet their entire families) so i was feeling positive before it started.  
it was fun, of course.  ethan, one of my favs, started chit chatting with me at the end like he just saw me (even though i'd been talking in front of the entire group all evening) and i was like, 'awww he wants some one on one time.'  yea!  
then so many of the parents came up at the end to thank me and say how much fun their kids had during the program.  it was just super nice.  i can't wait to work with the same families this saturday at their field trip and next wednesday night as well.
heidi, my co-worker, gave me a ride to the bus downtown, which was super nice of her in the snowy, flurryish weather.  i got on the bus and let out a big sigh i was just completely sh…

chicago chef week

i was late.  
not super late, but still late.  
i really don't know what's going on with me.  i'm really good about being on time for work.  i'm actually always the first AE there, which let's me get settled before everyone comes in.  but anyway i did get there.

emily and i went to blackbird.  it was super nice and super fun.  it was the three courses for $33.  when i go out to eat i usually don't get an appetizer, let alone a dessert.  so not only was that a splurge, but this was like fine dining.  emily and i just kept laughing about it.  it was fun to go somewhere we never could afford normally.
i think my favorite dish was the appetizer.  it was some sort-of noodle, but there were so many different flavors going on.  it was wonderful!
then we walked back in the chilly weather, which was probably one of my favorite parts of the night, even though my stomach was hurting for some reason.  we just talked super loud and we were downtown so there were very few people …

black sheep of the family

it's sort-of a running joke that i'm the black sheep of the family for a lot of reasons.  i seem to like to do things differently and i'm a mix of everything.

we had family pictures taken... gosh i don't know... like 4 or 5 years ago.  we were taking a kid picture (jeff, karen, me) the photographer looked at my mom and said, "you have 3 very different personalities standing up there."  yes, it's true.
actually, my longest friend texted me saturday with a picture of our family picture from that time, which is still hanging in the studio of the lady who took them in ste. gen.  i thought, 'seriously... that was sooooo long ago.'  i guess it was a good one, or the photographer liked it anyway.

at my grandma's funeral one of my mom's cousins came over and started telling me how much i look like my mom and how much jeff looks like dad.  (karen was missing from the table that this moment).  i told her to wait until my sister got back because she is …

back to the lake

today was my first day of 2011 running on the lake.  it did have it's challenges, but it was oh so wonderful

-started out and saw sailboat lessons going round and round the harbor.  yea!
-then i quickly found i was in the middle of a race.  this i found rather annoying.  there were just lots of people and i was in the thick of it.  but soon enough they went off the path on their route and i had the normal amount of people.
-it started raining and the wind pumped up the power to blow directly in my face.  that part wasn't my favorite either.  but then i reached the halfway point and turned around.  the wind suddenly disappeared (it was pounding my back instead-much less noticeable).  the rain subsided for awhile before it came back again.

but even though there were a few annoyances it was awesomeeeeeeeee!

i mean i'm definitely out of shape, but i'm not worried about it at all.  it'll come.  
i just can't wait until the weather turns and i can run out there everyday!


whew what a day

definitely the fastest saturday... ever.
or fastest that i had work.

i came in ready to go despite the coffee smells surrounding me on the bus making me wish i took some with me.  i decided i would make myself tea when i got to work and make myself be satisfied.

i had tasks i needed to do so i was happy about that.  (saturdays are generally slow for me)

so here i am working when surprise the new volunteers, that i wasn't expecting until next week, showed up!
i now need to train them.
and find all their new stuff.
without anyone telling me they were coming.

then my boss left because she didn't feel well and we kept getting calls about the special moon tonight and i think they put a note up at the box office to call me if anyone sort-of possibly related to education comes in to call me on saturdays because i kept getting some crazy calls.

no lunch time for me today.

it all worked out ok.  they are two awesome high schoolers.  (usually high schoolers scare me)  they're so anxious to le…

i'm so excited

yes this week is definitely already on the upswing.  

i talked with one of my friends last night about doing the chicago chef week next week.  i've never done one before.  it's where they give you a three-course meal for $33, in this case.  Liz went with her boyfriend a couple weeks ago for restaurant week or something and they loved it. so that got me wanting to give it a try too.  

i was a little nervous because usually places have a set menu that you just get.  reminder:  i'm a vegetarian.  so i looked over the list (mostly places i've never heard of...i generally don't do fine dining).  i was hoping for girl & the goat, which i've totally been wanting to try... no luck there.  i saw mana, which i've definitely been wanting to try as well (vegetarian tapas).  and blackbird, which i've actually heard of, and heard good things.  very fancy smancy.

i called blackbird to check their menu options.  they were SUPER nice and said they would definitely have…

this week. a little on the rough side.

thursday liz and i got out of the adler, to the car, and to the park.  we decided we could/had to spare 10 minutes to swing before we started the sessions.  we talked and then i decided i needed to go all out so i started going high.  liz followed.  we stopped talking and just pumped.  i looked at my watch and it was time so i started slowing down.   i said "whew.  i feel so much better." liz "me too" and we were ready for our last day of the normal park voyagers before we start doing family stuff for the next couple weeks.
why did we need this release?
i guess work is getting both of us/all the AEs a little down lately.  i think the root of it is one of our bosses does not seem to understand or definitely appreciate what we do.  i look at this as a way for me to learn and grow for the future. at one point we were talking about something (all of us pretty annoyed-after this boss just had a meeting with the three of us) and finally i think it was liz who said "sorry.…

some like it hot

hot yoga  -  check
today i got to go into work late because i was still over on my hours and today was the end of the pay period.  i started thinking and decided this was the PERFECT opportunity to check something off my new year's resolution list.  i could go to a hot yoga class.  i knew the time would be tight, but i could make it work.
holy sweat.  that's the shortest, most descriptive thing i can say about my experience.
first i went in the room and was super impressed with the wood floors that were sort-of cushy, like bouncy.  i really liked those.  and i didn't think it was all that hot.  so i got comfortable on my mat and got ready to go.
so we started.  we moved through each pose rather quickly.  which i think you have to do in hot yoga considering obstacles that aren't necessarily usually there....
for example. my mat was drenched.  most the people in the class brought towels.  i did not.  in downward dog, i literally gripped the sides of my mat because my hands jus…

flashbacks galore

i keep having flashbacks to my time in mexico city.

last week while liz & i were at brands park we needed to deal with some misbehavior.  one boy in our session was a kindergartner, brady, and a chatty one at that.  in a classroom full of fourth graders he stood out.  

all the sudden one of the boys asks urgently to go to the bathroom.  then brady starts urgently saying, "they're going to tell on me."  

liz just looks at me.

luckily i have experience with classroom management.  not a lot.  i was never very good at it, but i knew i needed it now.

i took brady out of the room with me and he instantly bursts out crying.  totally afraid i'm going to tell the park staff.  but that's not how i roll with 5 year olds.  i like to talk.  we talked about what he did and why he did it (he made a mom joke)  in between his bursts of crying.  finally, i got him back on track with why that was bad and what he was going to do now.  that works because later on if they do it again i…

little sunday reflection

i went on several service immersion trips while attending depaul.  during winter break junior year i went to nogales.  this trip changed me in a lot of ways.  i was suddenly exposed to an issue i really hadn't thought much about:  immigration.  i just can't seem to put that trip into words.  i gave a couple speeches on it after we got back from the trip at depaul.  (i should look and see if i saved that anywhere) i have no idea why i was chosen from the group, but i did it.  and i don't know where i even started to come up with that.  i vaguely remember trying to summarize a trip for a migrant and why they do it, in 3 minutes.  whew.
honestly, i think that trip was one of the main reasons i decided to do a year of service after graduation, among other things.
sus, one person who went on the trip with me, you might remember her from our trip to oaxaca in july, started working for the organization we went on the trip with, after she graduated, borderlinks.  i know she's a …

friday sunshine

the sun's out today!  
it just makes me feel so happy.  
i love having the sun up while i'm at the gym.  i swear it gives me more energy.  this morning i just couldn't stop.  i didn't know what came over me.  maybe it was the fact that i got some extra time off yesterday since i've been working so many long days so i had some time to take care of things here and rest a little.  but maybe it was the sun!
yesterday i had coffee with one of my friends and the sun suddenly made an appearance and was sort-of shining in my eyes, but i didn't even care.  i couldn't dare move it was so wonderful.  
i'm looking forward to a friend's bday party tonight.  i hope you all have a lovely weekend!
and let's hope for sun.
i leave you with a find on

special connections

Noah and the Whale - Five Years Time by bejeebus
a little musical enjoyment while you read this post

it's it funny how your connections are to some people?
i saw people doing a special handshake and i had to think back to mexico.  i had 2 special hand shakes.  one with pool and one with giovanni.  well giovanni's was more of just a touch which rooted back to us being phenomenal.  that's a long story.  and i'm not quite sure how me and pool's evolved.  
i sat there and tried to remember the hand shake i did with them everyday for almost a year.  
it suddenly became very important.
with some people you have songs.   i recently saw a quote on oheasytiger about music:  "music is a total constant.  that's why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know?  because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person.  no matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment." -sa…

coffee & tea exchange

i have officially found my favorite coffee place.  it's especially significant because they don't even have seating (except in nice weather, outside).  it's just that good.
i love the laid back atmosphere and the reasonable prices are definitely a plus as well.  also the fact that it's the closest one to me.  sometimes i just love walking by and being overwhelmed by the smell.  mmmm....
they make up concoctions every month and give them clever names.  This month a few are:  naughty leprechaun, pot o' gold, lucky charm.  in february they had many valentine's themed drinks including bad romance latte, kiss and make up, ugly break-up.  
i had pot o' gold yesterday.  i mean why not?  and in february i remember giving bad romance a try.  it's just fun.  
i went in on valentine's day and they had a note up:  "happy valentine's day and to those opposed happy monday!"  which made me laugh too.
i mentioned before their countdown to spring.  well, it…

pulaski day?

well i love pulaski day.  do i know who pulaski is?  well... no.

this is the first time i've heard of pulaski day.  i was supposed to have a park voyagers program today.  meaning i'd have to work on my day off.  but the parks are closed so i get my day off!  we will have a tight schedule at the park (brands) the other two days this week, but i know we can do it (we have before).  

so... who is pulaski?

he was a revolutionary war cavalry officer born in poland.  he is known for his contributions to the us military in the american revolution by training its soldiers and cavalry.

why is this holiday only observed in illinois?

apparently because it's celebrated in areas that have large polish populations, like chicago

so today i'm going to watch waiting for superman, do some cooking for the week (i need to prepare my lunches), and have some friend time

thank you pulaski for allowing me to have my proper weekend.

visit to MCA

i had a wonderful trip to the mca!  i'm determined to make good use of my free admission to museums this year.  and so far i'm beating everyone in my deptartment and i think i'm at 3:  art institute, shedd, and now the mca.

i read about jim nutt's exhibit and really wanted to make my way there (through may 29).  
this exhibit was super interesting.  but i don't know.  maybe not my cup of tea.  as Eric Lebofsky said "I couldn't reconcile the electricity of the line work, which bordered almost on obscenity..."  there's absolutely no doubt that the work is very creative.
i'm going to let you decide on this one.
i liked that they had his work displayed in order from when it was made so i could follow his progression.

i was so excited to check out the other exhibits though...

i checked out susan philipsz work on workers collectives and their struggles for proper working conditions and sufficient wages.  it's a sound installation and i really enjoyed …

i was there

last night at the astro overnight i was chatting with my new buddy lauren, one of our volunteers for special events.  she asked if i remembered how jennifer hudson was at the adler (aka in our parking lot) before the last astro overnight.  i said sure.  even though i didn't.  once she said something it sparked my memory so i sort-of remembered.

she said she found out jennifer was making a music video and it's out now.  so here it is:

so basically all it shows is the skyline, but it made me think about how i take this view for granted.  everyday.  i'm going to try and appreciate it more.

friday fun

if there was a reggaeton bar or something in chicago i would definitely give it a try.  a type of music that caught on for me from mexico.

this is one of my fav reggaeton songs

but i won't be hitting up any clubs tonight with an astro overnight at work.  i get to go in late, but i also work until like 10 or 10:30.  i really enjoy astro overnights i just wish they didn't involve me needing to work until 10.  having to work saturdays is already rough enough on my social life.  but i do love the time with the kiddos.  so yes.  it's worth it.

so in honor of friday and reflecting on the week (while you listen to some reggaeton music) i wanted to share more about park voyagers.
while this program is exhausting and challenging.  it keeps me on my toes.  and i love the kids.  even though we only get to spend 3 days with each group it's so much fun.
our schedule started out with a park that was basically in the burbs then we moved a little closer and now we are at inner city parks. …

latest in books

i finished The Devil in the White City
by:  Erik Larson
What did I think?
I mentioned previously it was a little disturbing.  I stick with that statement.  Through the whole book for some reason I thought it used factual events, like the World's Fair in Chicago as a backdrop and he invented the rest.  The murders and such. 
Well.  Once I finished I realized it was ALL based on facts.  Including the murderer and everything.  Ugh.  
I would still say it was a good read, but I'm sure I made some entertaining faces for my bus buddies.
Did you know Shredded Wheat was invented for the World's Fair?

The Santaland Diaries
by:  David Sedaris
this was one of those that i laughed out loud on the bus.  many of my bus buddies looked and stared.  i don't blame them.  i only can hope they looked at what i was reading and read it themselves so they can join the club.
maybe one reason i enjoyed it so was because i applied to be an elf at macy's this year.  and i didn't get the job.  th…

pure bliss

today's park voyagers school was a challenge to say the least.  afterward the first group Liz, my co-worker, said, "it's like talking to a brick wall."  we are DEFINITELY going to make some changes for tomorrow.  but i had the second group and we sat on the ground and went through all the ground rules.  i had to keep reminding them, but it was better. 
they needed one on one attention to understand.  but man, there's only one of me.  which, personally, one on one time is the part i love.  i love it when it clicks for them.  liz and i have said that i am stronger in one on one and she's stronger with the entire group.  so we compliment each other.  
one kid really wanted to laugh at me.  (i act silly sometimes)  i touched his arm and i was said, "smile, smile." (in a weird voice)  finally he let it out and had a good laugh.  
these kids really are great!
and i think they like us, but they are a challenge.  

so i finally get home and i told myself in the m…