Thursday, July 23, 2009

My #1's

This post is dedicated to my mom and dad. Today is not a momentous occasion or anything, I just felt that they deserved a little praise once and a while. They are simply amazing, and make everyday better... always have.

My Mom; (also known as Marmie to me) is the most beautiful and loving soul. She makes me feel calm, and always finds peace and a gift in everything that comes my way. She is my very best friend, and gives the best advice that I always try to take to heart. She is wise, but not judgemental. I can tell her ANYTHING and she won't put on her "mom" hat and scold me. She'll listen, and relate and help me move on. My mom also always makes me smile. She has this quirky fun personality, and does the cutest things without even knowing it. She has an infectious laugh and can be silly when needed. She's also very domestic in an enchanting way, she makes any house or room or space feel comfortable and homey. She is an amazing Grandmother, patient and loving. She has so many things to teach Amelia, and does such a good job doing it. My mom is also extremely creative and artistic. She is getting better about making time for herself to do the things she loves like sewing, painting and playing her Ukulele, and her creations are simply the coolest most beautiful things. Most importantly, my mother has done a great job instilling the importance of being true to myself, and living in the moment... things I try to practice everyday. She has taught me to be kind, and to love with all my heart. She has taught me to be strong, and to stand up for what I want. She's amazing, and I am so lucky she is MY mom!

My Dad; is the strongest most hardworking man I know. He gives me the will to do better, to be better. I always no that he will support me on my path, whatever that may be, and he always is willing to pick me up, lovingly when I might stumble. He is kind to everyone, and does so much for others, wishing nothing in return. Someone once described my dad as a Renaissance man. At the time I had no idea what that meant, but now that I am an adult (and know the definition of the word) ...there is no better way to describe him. I'm totally bragging, but he is good at everything; fixing and constructing things, creating amazing food and recipes, running and managing a business, taking care of his family etc. And the most amazing part is that he does it all with such ease. I have never in my whole life heard my dad complain about his job, or say he didn't want to go to work, something I can only hope to feel someday! I am proud to be his daughter, and blessed that we are so close. He is my heart, and makes that phrase "daddy's girl" make so much sense. He is my best friend, and an amazing teacher. He is also an amazing Grandfather. It is so neat to see him with my niece Amelia, they both light up when they see each other... Amelia LOVES her papa, and giggles ferociously when he is around. And he simply adores her too. I cannot wait to have children of my own that will look up to him like I do. I could never ask for a better dad, for there is no such thing.

Mom, Dad... even though we are far apart, you are here with me everyday. Sometime I will see something and think of you both, wishing you were here to see it too. My heart swells with love for you both, and I hope you know that along with many other things... as parents you most definitely succeeded, I am me because of you!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Win or Lose, We Still Booze!"

I know what your thinking... what the heck could this story be about with a title like that?! Well, don't worry I haven't recently got in touch with my inner alcoholic. Actually I simply attended my first Chicago Cubs Game thanks to a work sponsored event. Technically I was on a private rooftop over looking Wrigley Field for the game but none the less I was still able to get the full, adrenaline pumping, beer guzzling, people swarming Cubs experience!

It was Friday afternoon, and the Good ole' Chicago forecast called for rain. Shocker! Set for a 1:20 game time, the rain decided to grace us about 11:30. It rained, and it rained... and it rained. The game was even delayed. But that didn't stop anybody, in fact based on the hoards of people, you would think it made them even more intent on getting into the park and getting the party started.

The opposing team, and one of the Cubs biggest rivals was the St. Louis Cardinals. First game of the three game series. Once I got out of the way of the crowds, marching like ants all dressed in royal blue and red garb, I was able to comfortably perch myself in the bleachers on the roof top... somewhat peaceful and quiet. However once I felt the energy blowing our way from the stadium, it made me anxious to go down and buy one of the scalpers tickets just to get into the game. It was simply awe inspiring really. I'll be honest, I am not one for baseball games, at least that's what I thought, but seeing all the fans, all dressed up and excited made me remember how fun a good old American Baseball game can be. I've been to little league games and even an occasional Giants game but let me tell you this is a whole different ball game. No pun intended. You see, being a Cubs fan is kind of like being in an organized religion. People miss work for this stuff, they come from miles around... they sit in traffic backed up from downtown. It's an awesome feeling being surrounded by such excitement and true loyalty. Cubs fans truly are faithful followers, and win or loose they sure do booze!

The game itself was very fun to watch. The fans cheering radiated through the streets, the announcers deep and animated voice announcing the next batter, fluctuating with every exciting play. We even had a home run! The whole thing was all quite nostalgic. And of course the outcome didn't come as much of a surprise; the Cubs lost 3-8... Blah! But you could have fooled me! You see, what is sure to hold maybe more excitement than the actual game... is what comes after.
Picture it: Chico. Halloween but during the day. Tons of young people... excited, loud, and DRUNK! Then picture a Major League Baseball field right smack dab in the middle. That my friends is Wrigleyville! I can just hear my brother now... "That'd be AWESOME" and maybe if that's your scene you're good to go, but I'm warning you, be prepared to see it all! People swaying from side to side on the sidewalk, stopping to throw up on the lawn of someones front yard... or people walking barefoot, girls flashing you screaming and yelling rooting for the the cubs... News FLASH girls, the game ended hours ago! It's all quite entertaining, and such an experience. I have to admit, I am actually really excited for the next home series. My good friend Steve Jones will be here, and I am sure we will be going to at least two out of the three games. It's good times, good Ole' American fun... and drunk people or not, it's not about whether you win or loose, it's about how you play the game!... (AND of course how you booze).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Personal Soundtrack

Do you ever buy an album, and just listen to it non-stop... like it's your own personal soundtrack? Well let me tell you, I know this might be shocking because the album I am about to mention is NOT Dave Matthews Band, but it is seriously amazing. I was introduced to Pete Yorn back in 2001 I think. I has just started driving, and had gotten a job at Ralph Lauren. Martin, who is still a dear friend of mine today told me about this guy he had heard in New York, and he was crazy about the album. So I went to Borders on my lunch break to buy it, and I was hooked. It had this hip cool deep voice feeling, and every song was amazing. Since then, Pete Yorn has released two other albums (not including live concert recordings) neither of which I have cared for much... maybe one or two songs, but overall just not the same as the first. So about a month ago this album was released; titled Back and Fourth, as in the fourth Album, and it is off the charts. Every song is great. And all the lyrics are perfect. I feel like it is the soundtrack to my life. The changes I have made, the adventure I am on.. all the things I leave behind. I have listened to it enough times to have most of the words memorized, just cause I like it that much, and the best part is I am going to see him live here at a small venue in Chicago.

It's not often that we find music that really moves us, let alone provokes a feeling that will never go away. From here until forever, this album will always remind me of my times here in Chicago... the soundtrack to my life as I know it.

Check it out if you dare... go in with an open mind, hopefully you will enjoy it, even if just a little ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Route 136

When I moved to Chicago, I left many possessions behind. My furniture, my bed, boxes of personal belongings and my car. Actually I sold my car. I knew that it would be hard to find a place to park it, and didn't see the necessity in having a car in a big city.

Now that I am here, I honestly have MAYBE missed my car about two or three times. It has definitely cut down the number of trips I make to Costco, Target, and Taco Bell, but it has also improved my life in many ways. For one, I have no car payment or Insurance... also, my company actually pays for public transportation (SCORE!!), I walk A LOT, and I get to to take a bus, which believe it or not, I totally enjoy. I get 45 minutes in the morning to wake up, listen to music, and read, and the same time at the end of the day to wind down from work or my workout, and just relax. Also, riding the bus has really assisted me in developing a social life!

I'm sure you all recall the talk of the Dave Matthews look alike I met on a morning ride, who I ended up having a date with (that went to no-where ville BTW), I've met several fashionistas who after short conversations have pointed me into the directions of many great sales... and best of all I've met a few really great, really normal, really fabulous new friends! One of the first friends I made on my bus was actually a 4 year old. She was absolutely adorable and broke the ice by complimenting me on my sparkly flip flops. I thanked her and then day by day she talked to me more and more. One day she asked... "Where do you live?" followed by, "Where does your mom live?" and "Why do you live so far away from your mommy?" (Kid, I ask myself the same question everyday!) But no, really...

Long story short, thanks to McKenzie and her 4 year old curiosity, her mom Shannon and I got to talking and became instant friends. She invited me to game night, which she and some co-workers hold every Thursday. We had lots of laughs, and I got to meet several other cool new friends. We have gotten together since several times and I guess you could call her my first REAL Chicago friend. It's been fun finding out about each others past and stories, and of course little Miss McKenzie... well she is quite a hoot! Most importantly though it's sooo nice to have someone to talk to. Someone who lives here, who is my age, likes the same things I do, and someone to just do things with. You start to realize that it is a lot harder to make friends as an adult than it was as a kid. You have responsibilities and time constraints, and of course no "recess." My new friends make Chicago a lot more fun, and make home seem not so far away. It also however makes me realize how thankful I am for the friendships... I left behind. I realize how lucky I am to have them, and even though for now I miss them terribly I know they'll still be there when I return.

So... while giving up possessions, and familiar things may have seemed impossible to being with, it ended up bringing new and great things into my life.

Thanks to the lack of my car, and the new need for public transportation I have a social life again.

I have some new friends.