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Showing posts from July, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Last week my parents came to Chicago for a few hours (literally) to see Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers at the Chicago Theater for their anniversary.

At first I thought it was going to be a comedy show.  I mean, Steve Martin, sure.  Oh, and I say at first... I walked into the theater, saw the stage set-up with lots of mics and a row of banjos and continued to think this until we were in our seats chatting and Dad mentioned Steve Martin played the banjo.  Hmmm... then it clicked. Dad even asked why I thought there was a band set-up on stage and I thought it was the opener.  

But that bluegrass was amazing!  I have a dream of someday having a hammock and while I was sitting there at the concert I just kept envisioning sitting in a hammock having this band play around me.  I'm a fan.
Come right over, play the mandolin, and sing me a song.

Dad scored us seats in the fourth row.  We were literally in the orchestra area.  
Happy 32nd Anniversary to Mom & Dad and happy crashin…

Skyline Views

I finished reading My Heart is an Idiot a couple weeks ago.  The author lived in Chicago for a bit and had several essays in the book where he mentioned Chicago.

In one essay he mentioned the skyline view from Augusta & Wood.  I was curious so I decided to go for a bike ride and check out this "amazing" view of the skyline.
This was it, people.  

I think I had a better view on the Damen bridge just north of Fullerton on my way there. 

I am a sucker for the unexpected skyline views around the city (like on Damen).  I'll also throw in the view from Chicago and Halsted.  Also the orange line between Western and 35th/Archer is pretty amazing. 
Do you have any places you love to take in the unexpected view?
I'm not talking the Adler... I consider that expected.


Yep, I listened to Grouplove on spotify all day today.  After several hours I finally thought, 'Wow, they have a lot of songs.'

Then I realized the repeat button was selected...
Who turned that on?

Happy Friday!

Biker T Shirt Round-up

Ok peeps.  I saw this one shirt in the threadless window on my walk to Next Door last week and I laughed out loud.  (one of the many things i stay extra alert for when biking.)
So it inspired a biking T shirt round-up.  Because I love my biking shirts ;)

Yes, I've admired this one for ... a long time.
Awww... isn't this one adorable. I've only tried to ride a tandem bike once.. with Karen... when I was in grade school... we were not big enough for the bike... it did not go well. A bit more of a statement
I could keep going because there are SO many... so many, but I will stop now.  

I loved a couple weeks ago when I mentioned my car to a friend and she paused and said, "Wait, since when do you have a car?  You always ride your bike."
Nicest compliment ever?

p.s. My dad sent me this article on the best bike paths in the U.S.  Chicago's #8!  
The picture for the Denver one looks beautiful.  (Well, I guess they all do...)


Saturday I went to Learnapalooza in Lakeview.

I only found out about the event last Tuesday so by the time I got online to register the majority of the free classes were sold out.  However... friendship bracelet making had spots.  You bet I signed up for that.  I like making friendship bracelets and I thought I might learn a new design.  

They have such a broad range of topics and activities.  It's pretty rad.

I had fun chatting with the other attendees and it was really nice that they provided the thread!  I was kind-of wondering how that would work out.

Did you know there are friendship bracelet patterns?  I'm serious.  I didn't know either.  
I hear the Logan Square one in September is supposed to be their biggest one!

Since I'm on my friendship bracelet kick, if you want one, let me know.

p.s. Friendship Bracelets via buzzfeed

Giving myself time to think

Being able to take necessary me time, I swear, makes me a better friend & person.  Honestly, when I travel all the time I feel like I'm mad at the world, it's probably just exhaustion, but I sure hope it doesn't show.  (I am working on this, by the way.)
I just get so many ideas when I'm not subconsciously blocking them out because I can't handle anything else in my head.

For example, this week I emailed my AE group #1 (Elena & Liz) that the dome program ended.  It was a short & sweet email, nothing special.  They've both moved away from Chicago & I hear from them every once in awhile.
They both responded so quickly with updates & hellos (Liz is even traveling in Indonesia right now).

The bond I had/have with my AE groups (I was there long enough to experience 2.) I don't think will ever go away or be replicated.  Put 3 people who are very different in one cube, give them the shittiest projects, & bam... magic.  Oh and you could add spen…

Divvy Bikes

A few years ago there was a bike sharing program in Chicago.  Then it disappeared.  Not exactly sure why, but, I mean, I didn't seem to be that popular.

Then a few weeks ago Divvy happened.  I don't know what Divvy is doing differently, but it is a hit.  It's everywhere.  And I also see their bikes out everywhere (they're easy to spot).

Divvy is the new bike sharing system in Chicago.  (They're the blue bikes with lights flashing on the front.) 
I haven't rented one myself, as that wouldn't make much sense since I have my own bike, but I heard some renters (they happened to be tourists) say they are definitely meant to be commuter bikes, not road bikes because they're heavy.  Which makes sense because that's exactly the market they're going for... commuters.  I don't work downtown so I don't know if a lot of commuters are actually using them, but I do know a lot of tourists are using them for sure.

Divvy is operated by Alta Bike Share, Inc.…

Dry Hop

A couple weeks ago I was finally able to go to the newest Chicago microbrew, which just happens to be a few blocks from me:  Dry Hop.

The set-up is awesome and so is the ambiance.  (That might be considered the same thing.)  The beer was awesome and I like that they are always updating what is available and changing out the beers (although that is a pretty good sign I won't like any of the options in the winter months... oh well).  Right now the selection is awesome.

The food was ok, but I mean it's a microbrewery.  That's their main focus.  

They also have the very popular, new take on patio seating... the retractable doors that create a huge door to the street, with a roof over your head.  More and more places seem to be doing this.  It definitely makes sense, but I hope the literal outdoor seating at places doesn't disappear!

Fun Fact:  If you buy a growler, they encourage you to bring back in the glass growler for a refill.  I'm all for reusing and why wouldn't…

Keeping Food Simple

Pretty much as soon as someone finds out I'm a vegetarian they wait a tiny bit and then ask me what I eat.  It's probably one of the questions I am asked most often.  

You would think by now (about 7 years) I'd have an awesome answer.  I still don't.  I usually just shoot down the common misconception that vegetarians can and do only eat pasta and salads.  I mean, honestly, I'm not a huge fan of pasta and I like salads, but not all the time.  

I know a lot of vegetarians are fake meat connoisseurs and yay for them.  I'm not really.  Sometimes I really enjoy them, but usually I just throw something together (it's much cheaper that way).

All this to say this was my breakfast this morning:
So so good!  Yellow squash, onion, mushrooms, tomato, spinach all sautéed together in some olive oil.  So quick, easy, and delicious.

And in case you care, I counted the calories.  Just over 100.  I was surprised.  I mean that's a lot of food for just over 100 calories.

p.s. T…

Eye Black

Why do baseball players put those black stripes under their eyes?
And why don't they have them on at every game?  If you've noticed, sometimes players put them on and other games they don't...

Turns out it's functional.  And it's called eye black.

It is a grease that helps to reduce light glare.  This includes sun or light glare.  Apparently, Babe Ruth was one of the first baseball players to start wearing the grease.  Now, it's also common to see anti-glare face strips to serve the same purpose.

This would make sense that they only need to wear it in certain stadiums in certain situations so not all the time.

Summer Balance

Summer time is so much fun and my favorite season, but sometimes it's hard not to get nostalgic while it's still happening.
I find myself go go going and not taking refreshment time (which is very important).
There's just so much going on I often overbook myself and have to schedule relaxation time.
For some reason summer always has a sense of urgency, but my level of love for SUMMER will never go away. 
Oh the endless possibilities.
Staying in the moment can always be a challenge, but it's especially challenging for me in the summer.

Here are some snapshots from my weekend:
Friday night Bachelorette Party
One of my lovely friends is getting married!  Yes, weddings seem to be quite overwhelming (for the bride and her friends).  But through the stress of it all, it's so fun to bring friends together and have the special time with my friend.

me & cinthya |  Cinthya & her sister (clearly at the end of the night... I hope she doesn't see I posted it ;) I wish I had a…


Let's talk about tattoos.
How do you feel about tattoos?  Do you have one?  Do you want one?

I kind-of love them.  No, I do not love all of them, but most of them... yes.  They're definitely a conversation opener (the visible ones).  
Here's my thing.  I would really like one and I know what it would be and I haven't changed what it is for years, but would I want it forever?  That is exactly what holds me back.  Sometimes I just draw it out for fun.

What is it, you ask?
I would definitely get the yoga tree pose in stick figure form.  This all comes from a yoga class I took in a park in 08 when the instructor described the pose as this:
*your toes are the trees roots.  These are the people in your life who root you and aren't going anywhere, like your family, they are your foundation.
*your fingers are the leaves on your tree.  They represent people that come into your life for awhile and then they may drift off, but they were still part of the tree while they were there.

Walk the Moon Recap

Let me tell you a story:
A couple weeks ago, my friend Vicki said her friend Carlos was getting people together to go to a free concert at Congress Theater.  I said sure why not.  Free concert?  Anything but country.
Last week she sent me the link to register and when I did I almost didn't believe Walk the Moon was headlining.  Carlos was all excited about The White Panda who I hadn't heard of before, but seriously... WALK THE MOON!  For free!  I was there.
Then Vicki had to cancel, but I didn't care and after checking around to see if a few people were free, I decided to go alone because I was not missing that concert.
Then Carlos still wanted to go and apparently everyone canceled on him too.  
So Carlos and I went together.

Last minute they changed the venue from Congress to Joe's on Weed Street.  This was part of the Budweiser Made in America Festival (which is seriously such a genius event, they have to get so much return on that investment).  I'm not sure why they …

Lake Running 2013

Yes, the hills from last year were still there.

They are always a bit of a shock since I'm not used to hills at all.  Some of those hills I thought it was pretty pointless for me to run since I don't think I was moving any faster than if I was walking, but I kept right on going.
My hill mantra was knees up... knees up.  
During my week of running in Missouri I saw two deer.  One I saw at the lake and the other at Creve Coeur lake in St. Louis right before heading back to Chicago.  I took the path off to the Katy Trail and I swear the doe I saw was hunting.
Maybe my dad told me you work 30% harder running up hills so that's good to know it's not just me.  My heart was a beatin when I got to the top (of all of them).  

It's weird, in a lot of ways I feel the most myself while running.  At both extremes...
I get so excited while exploring.  I just let myself be.  
While running in Cincinnati I saw the "castle" in the distance, I went up a hill & crossed over so…

Lake Dinners 2013

Just like last year, we all picked up some days to make dinner for the fam while at the lake last week.  These are all great ideas if you need to feed a crowd (and have some leftovers).  

Saturday Mom & Dad treated us to pizza at Chicago Brothers Pizza Pub.  They didn't mess up my order this year so I was a happy camper and the pizza was delicious.  Although, I always seem to be the last one to finish my beer so as everyone walked out of the restaurant I grabbed Dad's arm and asked him to wait with me as I chugged the rest of my beer.  Classy.

Then we headed to the grocery store.  Heyyyyyyy lots of food!  They had a cute car for the grocery cart so Charlie was entertained.

Sunday Mom & Dad enjoy tamales from a lady at their farmer's market sometimes so they thought it would be fun to bring a bunch along for dinner.  (They were 50¢ each!  That's a steal in case you were wondering.)  They ordered chicken, beef, pork, spinach, & corn.  And they were delicious.  

Lake 2013

First of all... HAPPY JULY!  June was a bit of a bear for me so I'm super excited for a bit of a fresh start.  

I'm back from my family vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks.  
The lake is a man-made lake, 92 miles long.  (via)
We stayed at the same lake house as last year and had a lovely time.  My uncle and aunt were able to join us for a few days with their boat and the rest of the week we had a rental.  I'm going to try to have posts on some of my reflections from last week coming up, today I give you a scattered layout of our activities for the week.  

If you want to stop here, here's the short story:  we were basically on a boat the entire week.  There you go.  A nice quick summary.  If you'd like to read on here's a bit of a snapshot of our week:


Favorite time skiing was Thursday, right after a quick storm when the lake was basically empty.  Karen & I skied on the main lake versus setting up camp in a cove it was so calm. I felt like I was cutting my …