Lately

Lately I’ve been…

  1. Moving! We are almost, almost settled in at our new apartment on Damen Ave. This feels like the real version of nesting, much better than the half-nesting I was trying to make do with at our old place. Now I have a real kitchen that’s all mine and lovely and a whole four rooms to spread out in. It’s a dream, really truly a dream, and Isaiah and I are having a ball hanging things on the walls and figuring all of it out. It sort of feels like a prolonged stay in a vacation home at this point, all novel and cute. Real life will set in soon, I suppose, but I’m relishing these days where we still sort of look around with wide eyes and smile at each other in the strange pride of ownership.
  2. Heartbroken about the shooting in Orlando, a terrible flourish on relentless acts of violence everywhere. Oh my goodness, when will it end? In Chicago there are endless reports of shooting after shooting, and now terrorism attacking America’s very heart. I have nothing to say, just confusion and sadness and true hope for renewal and peace. My friend Jack reminded me of Tony Kushner’s “A Prayer for Aids,” a collection of words that feel like the right ones, shouting the need of the vulnerable, demanding much, trembling in faith. This is where we are left, defenseless with stacks of words, feelings of powerlessness, and hopes for at the very least no more automatic weapons being sold willy-nilly. As Kushner begins his prayer,”A cure would be nice.”
  3. Learning how to be a barista. I’m about to start a new job at a pretty great coffee shop in the Loop, the brand new Dollop on Monroe. I’m working on my latte art and starting to not hate the taste of espresso straight, so definitely making progress! It feels like the right day job for this little moment of my life. Not any sort of career or long-term dream, just something to do with my hands, people to interact with, not too much brain space taken up. I’m excited.
  4. Reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt and getting pulled in and in and in. This book was recommended to me by so many people. I knew for sure that it was a keeper when I picked it up from the holds section of the library and the librarian clutched it to her chest before scanning the barcode and said, “Oh, you’ll LOVE this!! I read it years ago and it’s stayed with me all this time.” When the librarian loves it, you know you’ve got the right book.  Also, if you’ve never read Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks get your hands on it right away. One of the most special things I’ve read in the past year. It’s the only novel of a fantastic poet, written over fifty years ago, the epitome of #blacklivesmatter long, long before hashtags or any semblance of equality, and it glitters, really.
  5. Listening to Carole King every day, especially now that I found Tapestry on vinyl for a dollar at Goodwill. It does a body good, all that “Way Over Yonder” and “Home Again” and such. Listen to it while you bake some scones or do the dishes and sing. Please, please sing.
  6. Not watching very much television, mostly because we don’t have wifi at our new apartment yet which greatly hinders netflix and such. It’s been sort of nice, to be honest. I’ve had more reading time.
  7. Feeling energized by change. New apartment, new job, new daily routines. This is a really good time for me with so much good time with friends, pizzas baked in my very own oven, new bus routes and coffee shops. It all feels novel and new, surreal and fantastic, and I’m loving it.
  8. Obsessed with the Tony Awards, and back to being in love with Broadway and theater, a part of myself that I sort of continually quiet. Last night, I watched the Tonys with eyes wide and teary and a stupid grin stuck on my face the whole time. I LOVE IT. I’M A THEATER KID AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME. That’s how I feel. This thing I fight for, theater, it’s worth it. It’s confusing and it’s worth it and I’m going to keep trying. “Love is love is love is love is love.”
  9. Keeping both eyes open for cheap vintage home goods, scouring craigslist for things like chairs and lamps and plant stands and paintings. It’s fun, this making a home. I’m letting it happen gradually, waiting for the perfect pieces to fall into my lap for the right price. I’m especially proud of the pretty cool table and chairs I found on craigslist for our little kitchen.

 

Lately in photos…

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The first backyard bonfire of my summer, and hopefully not the last.

 

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Saw these sweet lovebirds in their sweet new apartment!

 

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Had to dig through a literal mountain of musty pillows for these guys at the thrift store, but very glad that I did.

 

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Only in Chicago, hundreds of hipsters lining up around the block with crates for free books. We stood at the back of the line for about five minutes before thinking better of it and buying iced coffees instead.

 

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Had a blast at Avery’s dreamy wedding. Read all about it here.

 

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Whilst wandering our new neighborhood, found some unexpected glory behind a chainlink fence.

 

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I’ve heard this Portland airport carpet is legendary.

 

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There’s nothing like Italian food with friends.

 

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First attempts! It doesn’t look too good,  but it tasted GREAT!

 

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Flat tire in Lakeview, doing very well!

 

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And then we got our tire fixed in this fantastic little pocket of the universe!

 

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Looking scary over some moodily lit fondue!

 

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Mom life, chalk life, finishing up a season of nannying.

 

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Favorite thrift store, and a fruit stand besides.

 

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Learned to quilt at grandma’s house with blue fabric from her mother’s dresses. A first little quilt of (hopefully) many.

 

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Felt melancholy and tiny way up high.

 

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Frozen yogurt with these little dudes. This is before they had a contest to see who could get the most dizzy the fastest.

 

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It’s not summer till you’ve had Italian lemonade at Mario’s

 

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The mess of moving when your life feels like an avalanche has obscured it.

 

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First meal in our new home, Papa John’s from down the street. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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Always, always Ikea. This one only took three hours to put together.

 

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A sneaky snapshot from behind the counter at Dollop. I love how shiny all the espresso gizmos are.

 

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For his birthday, we toured Chicago in search of free food and were VERY successful.

 

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The beginnings of a nearly perfect meal at Dove’s Luncheonette.

 

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Saw this in-person for the first time and no one told me it would be SO BIG!

 

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Settling in, starting to feel like a home.

 

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Homemade pizza & sangria with friends, a surefire way to warm a house.

 

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Only just the beginning.

More to come on this new little apartment of ours! For now, I’m back to furiously reading some Donna Tartt and daydreaming of expensive houseplants!

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