So I’ve disappeared from this blog for a little while. As you can guess life was just a little depressing to me and frankly writing about it wasn’t making me feel much better. Although I am still pretty sad, unreasonably so I have finally taken a step to better my situation. Quitting my job may not seem like the best thing for me to do, but I really really hated it. How could anyone outside of college be happy at a place where your position was stagnate. They refused to give me a raise, refused to give me more hours, wouldn’t let me work another position. It wasn’t challenging, I was so bored and there was nothing I could do about it. In efforts to step up, I was crushed. I am now working through my notice and I am almost free.
I have given dating a second try and have fallen flat on my face. Going to take another step back from that, it truly is terrible and I don’t understand how anyone does it. Who are these people that find that sort of thing fun? They are simply happy with just hooking up. I would not be. Also I am going to forget about all my x’s ever. They do not exist. Book shut, I believe this will help me drastically. Just need to practice.
I am moving to Florida for a year. Nothing is set in stone, but I am completely optimistic about it. There are a lot of possibilities with this . . . saving money, traveling, going back to school, creating art, etc. Its a sort of vacation from my life, maybe I will even quit aging. It is doubtful that I will be returning to Chicago afterwards. I have never liked this place, it’s not for me. People say people are the same everywhere, but I don’t see how that could possibly be true. I do believe that “you” attract a certain type of person and I may not be able to do anything about that. I am eager to change as much about my current situation as possible.
Went to Sola with my friend Liz. We very much enjoyed the food, drinks and service. A bit expensive, it is a nice place, but definitely somewhere I would considering returning.
The Coffee Studio situated in Andersonville not my local coffee shop, but very nice. The coffee was decent, not bad not remarkable. The space there is really nice and the customers are friendly and actually talk to you.
My friend Aimee’s Birthday Brunch at Toast was AMAZING. I do like me some unusual fancy breakfast food. Pancakes with marscapone cheese, lavender pine nuts and honey or my! Also for the savory side, fresh crab benedict with truffle oil hollandaise. Service was okay, ‘cept I had to ask for my coffee three times. I’m soft spoken I guess.
Rained out from a tennis game, head to Urban Belly to try some food. Honestly didn’t know what to expect. Some friends have gone to it previously . . . and I guess they liked it. So my friend Kim and I went, missed out on the BYOB. Very limited vegetarian/pescatarian menu, don’t really expect to go back although everything was fine.
On a date with a jerk, at least had the pleasure of some really decent food. It was probably the best sushi that I’ve had in this town, but I can’t remember exactly what we ordered. It was weird because we shared some rolls with consisted of me taking a bite and giving the rest to him. I am just glad he was too grossed out. The best more memorable item was the lean to fatty salmon. ah . . . yum. Could do without the not cute or flirty commentary on how I was trying to be an independent woman by paying for my half of the meal. Pretty sure this guy just turns into a dick after a few glasses of sake, because this wasn’t the first time. Would like to go back with a nice person.
Caffe Gelato, very authentic I guess the flavors are all in Italian. I still prefer Paciugo, goat cheese, lavender, olive oil and black pepper, yes I like obscure flavors.
Random 20 mile bike ride with friends ended up in Evanston. I have obviously never been there before and was really surprised the lakefront path didn’t go all the way up. I was told in the past that it did. Very awkward journey after Hollywood beach, cars are not friendly. On our way we spent sometime on the beach exploring different areas, even happened upon a beach side concession stand where we enjoyed some nachos with cheese food stuffs. Once in Evanston we walked around a bit and laughed about all the rugs stores. If you counted all the rug stores in my life before I went there, it was easily surpassed in just the few hours there. We didn’t really go out to eat but picked up some groceries at an asian market then grabbed some liquor and mixers and made our way back to the beach. Just north of Montrose beach we ran into a Movies in the Park, showing Rent Sing-A-Long. It was so so awful, but we still had fun making fun of the shrill voices.
Rainbo Club, everyone I’ve known has talked about this place. I’ve never been because I live so far north it’s quite a distance for me. I was told there were cute boys there, and for the most part that seems true. The best part of the night there was meeting three new friends that were just amazing happy wonderful people in general.
Underbar is where we went next, you know me and those wonderful people I met. Underbar is a 4am bar, which I swear’d I would stay away from. No one really needs to be out past 2am anyways right? Well I must say it’s a very nice bar, and a really wonderful selection of beer. I had my first Half Acre Daisy Cutter there, a very floral beer that I’d like very much to have again. We did not stay so late, but I’d certainly go back since it’s pretty much right on my way home.
An interesting night with a friend started with gelato, a softball game, cocktails and football at the Globe. Totally a British Pub, on this particular night it was jam packed with USA and Mexico fans to see who would win the Gold Cup. A silly league that features pretty much just central american teams plus the US. Most South American teams are too good to waste their time with it. Anyway my friend wanted to pick opposite teams to make it interesting. I had heard from someone earlier in the day, that mexico would win because they had this great new player, so after my friend chose USA I rooted for Mexico. It was certainly interesting and Mexico won. Tequila shots all around.
Warmer weather has encouraged exploration in me. I have ventured out to many different new places and have been completely pleased with the experiences.
A very good friend of mine that I do not get to see all that often insisted on taking me out for a nice dinner. I have heard really fantastic things about Brown Trout since I have moved to the area but hadn’t yet tried it for myself. It is fine dinning at it’s best, morally. Sustainable and eco-friendly, the menu literally changes daily by what’s available and what’s fresh. They have a chalkboard that list all the farms they get they ingredients from and where they are located in the area. My meal was delicious, I had the pomme frites with a gruyere sauce and homemade catsup, and then a small plate of the wild mushroom and spring garlic risotto. My friend had the Q7 Ranch bacon burger, named after the ranch the animal was raised on and served with an oxtail, it’s across the board organic. This is a little funny, but here is a scene from Portlandia . . .
I don’t know why but about a year ago I bought a groupon for Dance Lessons. The Studio advertised that you didn’t need a partner and that they had singles classes etc. I don’t like dancing, not really . . . maybe after a few drinks and with good friends only, so this purchase caused a bit of anxiety for me. I waited till the month it expired to redeem, I did it I went. Big City Swing Dance Studio looks like a nice studio, they have two floors and a lot of nice people. Once you graduate from Swing 1, they take you out to join the swing dancing community. I marveled at the existence of a whole other subculture, could I really join them? Alas, the first class didn’t go very well, you do in fact need a partner unless you want to dance alone. It was humiliating and needless to say I didn’t return for any of the other classes and I certainly didn’t graduate and wasn’t introduce to this new social group. Maybe sometime in the future I can find a guy friend who will go with me.
Have heard non-specific great things about Rodan, went there for a drink after work. Obviously a nice contemporary jazz bar, apparently with good food, it was cool. I definitely felt under dressed, in my work clothes but no one made of feel less than. I think it’d be a really great place to take a promising date . . . just need to find a promising date, ha.
Friday night Happy Hours, Happy Day! because it’s illegal to sell booze at a discount for just a few hours in illinois . . . thanks bartender at Swig I don’t need a lesson in the laws of Illinois you know what we mean. After work headed to some new places but only worth mentioning the Blue Line Lounge. Have heard of this place many times but have never been. Decided a long time ago because of their constant craigslist adds for employment, that this place may not be that good. High constant turn over, even the employees don’t want to stay . . . but it wasn’t so bad. $5 for all bar snacks, we got some drinks, crab cake tater tots and bavarian pretzels. Service wasn’t very good like I suspected, not terrible she was sweet but clueless. I will return, because well it’s sort of a interesting place to people watch.
Last year, I bought some groupons to the Bongo Room south loop and enjoyed the service and food very much. Finally I made a venture to the Bongo Room (Wicker Park) which is suppose to be a lot busy with ridiculous waits. Not so much on a Monday morning at 8:30am. I like my breakfast to be sort of unique, I don’t understand the people who go out to get two eggs over easy with toast and some breakfast sausage, because frankly nearly anyone can make that at home themselves. I want pretzel pancakes with carmel and white chocolate sauce or a vegetarian breakfast sandwich with wild mushrooms, melted muenster cheese veggies and an egg made my way on a croissant. Yum.
My friend Aimee and I had decided to get together on a regular basis so on monday mornings we try to meet at a breakfast place, chat and catch up from the week. The bongo room above was one, and Lulas Cafe is another example of such a meeting. This one was Aimee’s choice. I have heard great things about this place as well and have attempted to go on a number of occasion and just hadn’t had the opportunity so was quite happy to finally visit. Aimee order a strata, which was a special on the menu, but I didn’t see any crazy sweet things so I kept it simple with two eggs over easy, soy sausage, potatoes and some toast. Ha ha, just like I mocked above, but how ever ordinary it was quite extraordinary the eggs had to be the most fresh eggs I had ever had. I am sure there are chickens in the back. Aimee enjoyed her strata, whatever it was . . . it was huge and intimidating. I would like to go back and have dinner sometime although it’s a bit expensive.
The Perfect Cup just a little local coffee shop near the Damen Brown Line stop. It is cute comfortable definitely the preferred place in the ‘hood. Nothing remarkable, I couldn’t even tell you what kind of coffee they brew.
Anthropologie (Michigan Ave and Chicago) As much as I love Anthropologie, I didn’t care for the setup of this particular store. It recently opened at the end of last year and unfortunately they closed the store in the Viagra Triangle. I really liked the old store, it seemed to be in a building that resemble an airplane hanger. Everything was so open and accessible, the lighting was great through the skylight. Now it’s in the old American Girl Store, which is a basement location. Not going to lie, they did well with what they had, but still wasn’t pleasant to shop there. The sale rack was in a cramped little closet, disorganized and a lot of things were just thrown on the floor.
MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive was a really cool experience. For a small registration fee, benefiting the Transportation Alliance of Chicago making Chicago streets safer for bikers and pedestrians alike, you got the privilege of biking along Lake Shore Drive sans cars! I think it will become an annual thing I do whilst I live here. The morning was very misty, it took away from the experience because you couldn’t quite tell where you were. Buildings were invisible, I could only see 25 feet in front of me at a given time.
A great month! So happy Chicago has given me an opportunity to visit so many different places and events. I’m not even going out as much as I could. With the coming of summer there will be outdoor festivals and movies in the park, sporting events, maybe even some road trips in the future.
April Showers bring May Flowers, the month has not disappointed. The first two weeks only showed us two days without any rain. One of those rainless days was a surprise, a big surprise. April 10th I ran my second Shamrock Shuffle, expected 60 degrees and a bit of rain for the morning but instead we got nearly 90 degrees full sunshine. It was amazing and I did enjoy it, but it showed with a bright red face the next day. Through all the rain, and unpredictable weather I managed to try some new places out.
Was feeling a bit “winter gross” (I stole this from a new friend) and decided to do something about it. I have done Bikram in the past and thought I’d try this studio that is much closer than the others, Andersonville Bikram Yoga. Bikram is a sequence of yoga moves done in a room that is 105 degrees. The heat allows you to sweat, releasing toxins and it is suppose to help the body bend and stretch. I enjoy it but it became really difficult to go, with work I seemed to always be tired and out of time. The classes are an hour and a half long and another half hour traveling time. Just can’t do that as much as I’d like.
Although I haven’t been to this studio, I do know some of the instructors. Moksha Yoga Studio, Logan Square is a very nice studio and I went to my first class with the groupon I had purchased months back. It’s very nice and clean although sort of hard to find. I attended Camela’s Sunday night class and loved it. It was for semi-beginners, but also challenging and fun.
The most exclusive Donuts in the city can be found at Doughnut Vault. For a friends birthday I woke very early to venture down to River North and bring her some doughnuts to share at work. First I got lost as the roads got a little odd near the river and the map I looked initially was very very wrong. Once I found it, I got in a smallish line . . . 45 minutes later I got my per person half dozen. They were out of gingerbread and chocolate, so I took two chestnut, two vanilla, and two french crullers. Made from real ingredients, and vanilla bean . . . best donuts ever! Getting to work was another adventure since a Brown line train derailed at Belmont cause a lot of trouble for everyone on their morning commute. Luckily I took a couple of buses and arrived in time. My birthday coworker was not so lucky. The fancy donut more than made up for it, and she was a happy girl.
Out on a “date” or more of a meeting I visited Four Moons, a small little dive in Roscoe Village. It was nice, with a pool room and a back area good for conversation. The bartenders were nice as well as some of the clientele, who offered many suggestions.
Another meeting place, but this time it was business. Doing a little labor catering on the side met a client at Alliance Bakery. Alliance is the favorite bakery of a friend of mine, we have discussed this many times. I went in and got an espresso and a cookie shaped like a pipe monster from Mario Bros.
So on the night of “Doughnut” friend’s birthday we all went out to dinner, drinks and ended at Marie’s Ripe Tide. If you are unfamiliar with Marie’s it’s a 4am bar. It’s for service industry folk who want to go out after a late night at work. This was my first time at a 4am bar and let me tell you we closed it. I happened to know one of the bartenders due to the “smallness” of the neighborhood and we all had a great time. The jukebox is a treat with some real crowd pleasers and a interesting rendition of “Happy Birthday”. Perfect ending to a great night.
This time through the magic of Livingsocial.com I picked up a coupon for discounted pet products at The Active Pet. It’s a bit north of my house, but a cute place. The owner is very nice and accommodating. I picked up for Machi, a bag of liter a bag of cat food and a little electric laser pointer. I paid 20$ for the coupon, which entitled me for $40 worth of products.
On a strange little date, we visited El Tapatio, a place I have admired for some time. It’s a cute little Taqueria with a great patio in the summer. This was a sort of coldish spring day so we ate inside. I ordered the Chiles Rellenos, which would have been good if there was slightly less cheese and it wasn’t deep fried. I have had such a version elsewhere and it was good. I am sure everything else is pretty standard. Would I come again? Yes I would, but it’d be for extra large margaritas with friends on the patio.
Another successful month, lots of new places tried and many more to go. I am also working on my writing, finding myself deleting a lot of “really” and “sort of” and extra “verys”. Words I got into the habit of using in college when we needed to hit a required word amount paper.
You could say I am dating, which I am sure I have never done before. I am on a website perusing men’s profiles on a regular basis. I have gone on three first dates and they have been alright. The first guy was rather interesting, it was such a proper date. Bought a pretty new dress and shoes, and went to a nice wine bar. I was adorably nervous (he said) and got quite drunk, the night continued with pool and we were smitten. The second date with this guy was awful, and he was shown the door.
Then I went out with a second guy a week later. I had chatted with this one over the course of a month and I really felt like I knew him. We finally met up for brunch, which was nice and more casual than the first. In the short time we were together, he smoked more cigarettes than I have in my life and that was enough to secure no second date.
Later in the week, I get a call from the first guy wanting another chance, sure let’s do 2 out of 3. It all went splendidly, he was a gentleman the dinner was nice. We went out several more times after that, he met my friends and coworkers, it was starting to look like a real thing. Then one night when I was sleeping at his apartment I had an awful dream. In my dream I punched him in the face because I found out he was sleeping with another girl. I couldn’t shake this peculiar feeling, so I asked him about it and he admitted to be actively dating several other girls. He claimed that it wasn’t malicious, he was just exploring. We both deleted our online dating profiles after we went on several dates, but I opened a new one and found he had a secret profile. I busted him, he deleted it, but two days later there was yet another profile. In his first profile he stated that he was one the website to get off of the website, but his later profiles asked very directly for sex and were quite sleazy. Fun.
For a few days I stayed away from the site, thinking all men were disgusting. Other friends I knew where having somewhat similar experiences with their dating. I did dust myself off and am trying it again obviously, my whole philosophy on dating has changed. I am certainly taking it less seriously and am less interested.
I have gone on a third first date even more casual than the previous and not even a date, call it a meeting with drinks. All of my first dates have gone well I am lucky, there was never a dull moment. I’d rather have good conversation than just a pretty face, and if it’s both bonus and if they think my face is pretty double bonus. Still waiting for that, but I am in no hurry now.
1. Solving crossword puzzles
2. Dinner at new places with food that is Amazing and service that is also good 😀
3. $6 movie night
4. New cat toy, wears out cat, for trouble free sleep
5. Expressing feelings in a positive way
6. Turning a FUBAR situation, into a life lesson
7. Anticipating friends coming for the weekend
8. Sorbet . . .
9. Resisting Girl Scout Cookies
10. Warm socks, in the fickle springtime