I left my phone on my bed this morning, before I left for work. Looked at it, made a mental note to put in into my bag before I walked out of the apartment, but somewhere between packing a lunch and choosing the best song to walk to the bus stop, I forgot.
I got to work and was sitting in the break room when a co-worker asked what was wrong. I told her nothing, but then rethought the statement and admitted that I forgot my phone. “It’s driving you crazy, isn’t it?” she asked.
“No,” I responded, “Well, maybe a little, but only because I’m addicted to the thing. Who would need to contact me on a Sunday morning? I bet once I get back and check it there will be nothing on it.”
She nodded. I was wrong.
There was one text message and three missed calls all from an editor at Lehigh’s paper, The Brown and White. The only thing the text message said was to call him immediately.
That’s when I heard the news that left me numb. A peer, co-worker and most importantly, dear friend, Debbie Pearsall passed away last night. (Even writing the words, it doesn’t see real. How can someone so young, with so much passion, talent and life just be gone?)
RIP Debbie. May your memory live on through the people you touched and the words you wrote. Please click the picture to visit her website.
I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to be embedded in a community of creative thinkers. Life in a coffee shop can be stifling, surrounded by the same smells of espresso and freshly baked muffins; the world of a freelance writer becomes a very small – almost claustrophobic place. But when I read a blog post like Shanley Knox’s – a writer, philanthropist and overall amazing person – it makes me step back and think about my current position.
(I know in a prior post I promised to think less. But the person I made that promise to was unable to follow through on a couple of his, so I feel no need to stay true to mine.)
Shanley described her 22nd year of life as the year of the “hot mess,” and I can empathize with this statement. I will be turning 23 in two months, and look back at the last year of my life as a shit-show of sorts. I completed college (and partook in all the celebrations that go with it), spent a summer in a depressive hole of unemployment, got my big break at a Chicago newspaper, moved into the city, made incredible progress at a rapidly expanding website, met dozens of new people and kept in touch with a treasured network of old friends. Not bad for a year, eh?
Where was I a year ago? Recently heartbroken, unsure about the direction of my life or career, in decent physical condition, maintaining a healthy relationship with my family and an even healthier one with alcohol. Aside from a few more bylines and slightly shorter hair, where I am now does not feel that different than a year ago. What have I been doing with myself?
Let me make one thing very clear before we proceed. I am not a country music fan. Sure I went through a Dixie Chicks phase as a child, but like all fads of the 90s, I grew out of this. Despite The Civil Wars country twang, thanks to simple arrangements and a lot of soul, their talent is undeniable. This beautiful video is for the title track off their debut album “Barton Hollow.” But I encourage you to listen to the album in it’s entirety – multiple times. Their melancholy voices meld in perfect harmonies over acoustic guitar, the occasional violin – is that a banjo I hear? – and basic percussion. (The lead male singer also looks a lot like Johnny Depp, don’t ya think?)
This is a foodie’s Christmas wish list. The 5th annual Chicago Restaurant Week released the list of participating restaurants. It is the holy grail of Chicago cuisine and has everything from Latin to Asian, steak houses and BBQ. And I plan on eating it all, without shame, and possibly without utensils. Each restaurant puts together a special menu with some of their signature dishes. The prix fixe lunch menus cost $22 and dinner $33 ($44 if you wanna be super fancy, and extra for drinks and tip) .
There are 215 restaurant to choose from, and only one week to hit up as many as possible. Rather than eating at a dozen places each day, I narrowed down the list to my top picks. Full menus can be seen by clicking on the picture above.
- Branch 27
- The Bristol
- Cafes des Architects
- Chicago q
- Grange Hall
- Nacional 27
- Paris Club
- Table 52
I love getting hit on at a bar as much as the next girl. It’s very flattering to have a guy go out of his way to show interest in you. I know it takes a lot of courage to approach a stranger in a vulnerable situation like that, and kudos to any man who has mastered the technique. In my opinion, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to approaching women in a bar-like setting. Go up to her, say hi, and deliver a genuine compliment. Done. Easy peasy. But, oh, the cheesy pick-up lines are endlessly more entertaining. The ones that emulate phoniness, that you can smell coming from a mile away, and then, when they finally arrive, feel greasy and make your face cringe. Even the most over-used, under-creative, “baby, did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” pick-up line is more palatable than what happened to me at The Bedford last night.
Me in the vault at The Bedford with the infamous curly hair
My friends and I were invited to Time Out’s 100 Best Party by the VP of Marketing, who we had met a few months back. We knew him fairly well, and had met a couple of his friends at other events. They are older than us, and a slightly awkward, in a kind of cute, borderline pathetic sort of way. We spent most of the night downing free drinks and scouring the room for passed hors d’oeuvres, while the gentlemen calculated the perfect moment to approach our table to say hi. It took them about an hour to accumulate enough liquid courage to make the move.
Said VP’s friend was the first to journey into the lionesses’ den. Let’s call him Toby. Poor Toby; he was drunk, didn’t remember our names even though he had met us multiple times (it’s okay because we didn’t remember his name either) and could barely stay seated on the stool. We made simple small talk, mostly about the VP/host of the party, who had yet to acknowledge our presence at the event he invited us to. Then it happened, the strangest thing that has ever happened to me at a bar. Continue reading