Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rain, Rain, go away...

It's been raining non-stop now since Saturday...

I shouldn't be complaining because rain is no where near as bad as trudging through snow, but come on... pleeeease let it be spring already. All of my friends in Sacramento have been wearing short sleeve shirts and flip flops already, and I am still wearing scarves and rain boots and my coat...

My co-workers (long time residents and friends of this weather) even think this is lasting longer than normal, so it's not just me!

On the bright side, it's a great excuse to do some museum hopping which is exactly what my friend Karin and I are doing tonight... Thursdays are free from 5-8 so we'll trudge through rain and wind into a nice, warm, DRY museum for now... but please rain, GO AWAY!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jersey, NY and everywhere in between

For the better part of this week, I was in New Jersey and New York for training. The training portion was actually better than I could have hoped for, and really helped me get a feel for the big picture of my new job. The free time outside of training was even better. I met two new friends, who work in our New Jersey office, both of which also came from Sacramento, and I got to reconnect with my darling cousin and my best friend Matt, who both live in Brooklyn. Believe it or not, going into the trip I wasn't really all that thrilled or excited not knowing how much free time I would have, etc... but the trip was better than I expected with new and old friends; a wonderful treat!

In New Jersey, I met Liz and Rudy. Not only do they both
have the same position I have but they were both also born and raised in Sacramento. It was so nice to visit and talk through the trials and the excitement of just packing up and heading out. We bonded instantly. They took me to all their favorite bars, and New Jersey hang outs, and we also planned trips to visit each other in the coming months. It was so nice to be in the midst of others who are living the same experiences I am, and because of that I know we'll be friends for a long time!!

On Wednesday, we finished our training very early and headed into New York for the day. While in the city, a coworker and I got to go to a Broadway show; "Exit the King" staring Susan Sarandon and Geoffery Rush. I was an odd play, very thought provoking, but to see both of those actors on stage was priceless. We also spotted Geena Davis and her beau, who sat two rows in front of us... it was quite a fun experience!

After the show I met up with my sweet cousin Erin, and headed to Brooklyn to have some drinks and a visit. My long time friend Matt, who also lives in Brooklyn met up with us as well. It was so refreshing to see friendly faces and hang in their neck of the woods. We laughed, had great drinks, and took lots of pictures. At one point when I was sitting there it occurred to me that I could visit New York a lot more often now, only being about an hour and a half away, and that made me really happy. Knowing that I have family so close by is really a comfort. In fact we are already planning to spend and orphan Thanksgiving together this year since none of us will be able to make it home. Can't wait for that!

Today I am back in Chicago, very happy to be home, and sleepy from my early flight. Tomorrow it's going to be 80 degrees here WOO HOO!!!! I might not know how to act, or what to wear! ;) This weekend I hope to soak up lots of sun, and take lots and lots of pictures of the spring that has FINALLY sprung all around me... and yes Mom and Dad, there will be LOTS of pictures of the Tulips as promised! ;)

Happy almost Friday everyone... Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Now that I live away from home and all the familiar people I love so much...

I am craving... and would give anything... for a BIG, Warm, familiar


Just one of those days...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Last weekend

I have been so preoccupied with training this week, the gym, catching up on sleep, hanging with the roomies... that I have failed to write anything about my date last weekend. The date was okay, nothing to write home about (literally) but it was fun to get out in the City and see some of the sights that everyone's been talking about. We went to the Frank Lloyd Wright museum, which was amazing, it made me think of home, and my parents who would have loved all the rooms and clean simple lines of his style. After the museum we went to a restaurant on Belmont called Joey's Brick House. In Chicago there is a progressive radio show that airs on Sundays called "Family Values with an Oy Vey." The people who are on the air own the Brick House and Dan (my date and avid listener) had been wanting to go there, so I obliged. The restaurant and all the characters I met there turned out to be so much more fun than my actual date! I met the owners who were so nice and so funny, the place reminded me of my parents, family owned an operated... everyone taking part. I also met a really fascinating woman from France, a hot bartender who looked to be my age but turned out to be several years younger, and a VERY loud, very rich Jewish Attorney. I felt like I was on a TV show, and I was meeting all these fake characters. They all had such rich stories to share, and pasts that only Hollywood could dream up. I was having such a good time that after saying goodbye to Dan, and watching him catch his bus downtown, I hightailed it back to the bar... for just one more! (I'm sure by now you have guessed the date was less than memorable). But I am so glad he took me there, because had it not been for him I would have never found my neighborhood hangout, and all my new friends; The radio hosts, who actually mentioned me and Louise from France on their show Sunday morning. The Attorney, who wants me to help him find a screenplay writer (when you say your from California, everyone thinks you mean L.A.), and the adorable YOUNG bartender, who was so nice, I actually got up the courage to give him my number!

I guess what they say is true, everything happens for a reason. When I arrived home, I sat for a moment just reflecting on my night and all the fun I had had. I realized that this was only the beginning. I opened my e-mail to find a new message from my Mom and Dad;

Subject: WHERE ARE YOU?????!!!!!!...

It read;
What the heck, its Saturday night you had a date with practically a stranger, and you said you would call us when you got home. Its 11:15 our time which means its 1:15 in chi town, where are you !!!!!!!!!!! Please call us just to let us know you are alive. Love marmee and dad

Aren't they so cute. Just as I read their worried e-mail the phone rang and it was them, just making sure I was alive. Have I mentioned that I love my parents!? I got to
re-hash the whole night with them before bed, and then passed out, full. Full of wine, full of happy thoughts, and full of hope. The night although not what I expected was perfect.

Sunday morning... I woke up to SNOW... yippee! Needless to say I had a bit of a hangover and didn't leave the house all day! Here is a picture through my bedroom window (obviously I wasn't going out there!)

The good news is, this weekend calls for sunshine the whole way through! A high of 55 degrees, which to me feels like 80 these days! My room mate and I are headed to Aurora tomorrow, a suburb West of Chicago to explore and do some shopping, and Easter I will attend mass at a beautiful Church a mile or so South of my house, and then enjoy cooking a meal and eating with my room mates.

Happy Easter to all of you!

Rare Sighting

Today on my way to work as I sat on the bus, gazing out into la-la land as I normally do in the morning, something wonderful caught my eye from across the park... something I haven't seen in a while... something beautiful and rare.... GREEN!!!!!

Spring must finally be on it's way... thank goodness.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Pump Room

Quite an interesting night...

This week at work I've been in training. An Account Manager from our Long Beach office has been here showing me the logistics of my day-to-day work and over the course of the week we have become great friends. Tonight, we planned to have drinks after work and she suggested maybe going to the bar a
t her hotel. You see, she happens to be staying at the Ambassador hotel... which to my generation is no "W" but was quite the swanky place to see and be seen in it's day (the late 30's early 40's.) As we arrived, and made our way through the dark loungey corridors lined with black and white photos of every celebrity under the sun... I knew I was in for a treat. We made ourselves comfortable sinking down into the leather bar stools, and I was instantly in awe of the crowd and the history that lie within the walls. At one time, Bette Davis could be found curled up on the piano bench; Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall celebrated their wedding in "Booth One," as did Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood. And of course, Frank Sinatra was a Pump regular; seated in the corner booth behind the glass window countless occasions. Now, I'm not claiming to be this much of a history buff. The information I just spouted was kindly shared with me by one of the Pump room's regular guests, Mr. Peter Decadeur. Peter as he preferred to be called was perched in his normal spot at the end of the bar, dressed in a evening coat with a pocket square and was as frisky and fun as you could expect an 87 year old man to be. He actually happened to be of average age of the patrons that surrounded me.

I got an ear full, a few dirty martini's and one steak dinner more than I bargained for, (Peter thinks women should eat more beef.) I heard stories and gossip about celebrities of his time that I could only dream of reading about in US weekly. In his hay-day he claims to have rubbed elbows with Judy Garland and to have had countless drinks with Louis Armstrong when he would make it to town. Had I been willing to stay and drink Scotch with him into the wee hours of the night, I may have known his whole life story, but I was kindly released only after promising that I would attend his 88th Birthday party on the first of May. You see, he has been a patron of the Pump house for so long, that they are actually throwing him a Birthday party. He told me he'd be wearing a tux that night, and that I should probably get a dress... (as he glanced down at my jeans and Uggs) the sad thing is I think he would actually notice if I didn't show up! ;) And this my friends is just another example of why Chicago makes me smile: You never know who you'll meet or where you end up. Sometimes I wish I had a tape recorder so that I could write down all the things I hear at the end of the night! The people in Chicago have great stories indeed, and radiate kindness and friendship. They want to show you around and help you find love in their city as if you are family instead of an "out of towner." It makes being away from home, so much easier. I'm not sure if I will actually go to Peter's birthday, but I will without a doubt join him for a drink another time or two. He has helped make me feel at home, and that means a lot!

By the way, I do intend to post something about last weekend... the date, Joey's brick house, the Jewish attorney, and my new favorite streets.