Quick Personal Update

I just realized I haven’t blogged since July (!) so I wanted to write a quick personal update.

I am alive and well. I have re-relocated back to Chicago. We are in our new apartment but not really “settled in” yet; there is still much to do. Work has been running at ludicrous speed for me (and ludicrous levels of annoyance) and we’ve both been out of town (at different times) so we’ve been limited in what we can do. But so far, the new place is cool.

I’m in improv classes again, this time at iO. I had to start again from the beginning, at level 1. That’s been an adjustment.

That’s about all that’s going on with me. Yes, there’s A LOT going on in the world that I’d love to write about here. Hopefully I get the chance soon. Ciao!

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Their Honors

I want to take a break from ranting about politics, and post something a bit more cheerful. It’s a quick, true story.

Last night I went to a reception for alumni of the university where I went to undergrad. The event was in Manhattan, though the college is in Chicago.

At this event I met two older ladies (I’m guessing low 60s) and got to talking to them. This is their story. (Cue the Law & Order sound).

They were from New York City, and they were friends in high school. Based on their law school graduation date, they would have likely started college in the late 60s. They didn’t want to be secretaries. They told me they didn’t want to type things or get coffee for men. These smart, ambitious ladies wanted to be executives, they said. One of them wanted to go to law school. The other didn’t at first, but her friend convinced her. So they went off to Chicago together, to go to law school (the one affiliated with my university). They got their J.D. and returned to New York.

They worked for a number of years as public defenders. And now they are criminal court judges in Manhattan! (“Like on Law & Order!” I exclaimed.) In fact, they have their chambers right next to each other.

It was fun talking to them about what their jobs are like. One of them worked for mayors Koch and Dinkins and had some  funny stories about Mayor Koch. I learned that NYC criminal court is in session 7 days a week, and there really is night court. In fact, they told me how people used to make a date night out of it: go to dinner in Chinatown and then go watch night court! They said that was before most of the prostitution cases were moved to a different courthouse.

There are a couple things I like about their story. One, it’s a success story. They were ahead of their time and managed to break through the glass ceiling. Remember when they started college, things were like you see in “Mad Men” and sexism was rampant. And two, it’s a great story of friendship. These two have stuck together for more than 40 years, and that’s a pretty rare and amazing thing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this story. I’m sure I’ll be back to complaining again soon. There’s always so much to complain about!

Dateline: Chicago

So here I am, back in Chicago for the first time in 6 weeks. It feels like I’ve been gone longer. But time moves more slowly when you don’t have a job or friends or any real demands on your it. Or a DVR. Good gods, do I miss my DVR! But I digress. This was the longest I’ve been away from Chicago since my second year living here in 1990-something. It’s strange! But landing at Midway felt like coming home. It’s going to take a long time for that feeling to go away, if it ever does.

I have felt like it was time to move on for here for a few years now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t always love Chicago, faults and all, or miss it. While I do miss the city itself (it has a certain charm that I didn’t notice until I left and came back) I miss my friends much more. It’s much easier to adapt to a new environment than it is to meet new people. I’ve never been that good at making friends; I’m shy around new people and I’m not all that good at small talk. But I will do my best.

In a few days I’ll be back out east again, trying to win friends and influence people (to hire me). But while I’m here I’ll see whom I can and take in the sights and sounds I used to take for granted.
Cheers, Chicago!

More Moving

Moving boxesIt’s been quite some time since I posted my initial announcement about moving, so it’s probably time for an update.

The move is still happening. In fact, it’s already started. I moved out of my place at the end of April, and now live with the bf in his apartment, which is currently way too full of stuff. The real move is scheduled for May 30-31. We’re planning to drive, with the two little bundles of joy (the cats) and should arrive hopefully June 1. Exciting, eh?

I have only a few days left of work. This will be my first time being unemployed since I started college. It’s more than a little scary! I have done a little work on looking for jobs, but not a lot and I’ve had no success so far. I’m concentrating on networking, since I think that will be more likely to get me a job than just sending in my resume to jobs I find online. In my previous attempts at job hunting, I found that you almost never hear anything from that approach, which is very frustrating. I know that the people doing hiring don’t really have this kind of time, but wouldn’t it be great if you got feedback on why they weren’t interested in you? “You don’t have enough experience.” — “We’re looking for someone who has done XYZ.” — “Your resume is a hot mess and we think you have the writing skills of a turnip.” Good to know!

I’ll be sad to leave Chicago. I wasn’t born here but I’m close to having lived half my life here, and it will always have a special place in my heart. Of course, there’s a very good chance we’ll be back here in 2-3 years, but that’s not guaranteed. Who knows what the future holds. Of course, more than the city itself, I’m going to miss the people. Not all of the people, just the ones I like. My dear friends! I’ve met so many great people here!

Where are we going to live? Well… that’s not been decided yet but (=sigh=) it’s looking like it’s going to be in New… Jersey. It’s a bummer not to be living in NYC itself, but it’s just soooo expensive. We decided that–at least to start–we’d be better off with a place with a decent amount of space to ease the transition to this whole living-together-thing. And we simply can’t afford a place with that kind of space in the parts of NYC we’d want to live in. But I am sure I’ll get a job making big bucks any day now, so then we’ll see. (Heh, a boy can dream, can’t he?)

This is definitely a new chapter in my life. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know nothing will ever be the same again. Wish me luck!

Bruiser Blogs on Burgers

Five Guys burgerOne of the items I’m retrieving from my defunct previous blog is my Burger List. In a nutshell, the BL is a list of places I created based on several “best burger in Chicago(land)” lists from Grub Street, Chicago Magazine and Metromix. These are places I want to try a burger. It is my mission to try them all! The list is as follows, including my current progress toward my goal (*’d places are on the two original lists; the Metromix list was of new places, which I added in 2010): Continue reading