Friday, February 05, 2010

Chicken Tiki Masala

I was just taken to lunch by a friend and colleague.  We went to a nice little Indian place in one of the popular squares near campus and I am once again struck by how different my life is from what it was just 2 years ago when I moved to MA.  I live in a cool ass place and know some pretty cool ass people!  I'm so grateful that I am brave enough to take jumps like this and that I always land on my feet in a newer, better spot.  Not everyone can say the same thing, and I'm just very lucky to be that kind of person. 

I've always wanted to try the particular restaurant and lounge we went to today.  In fact, I dated a boy from this area a few years ago and while walking through the square I saw it even then.  It's got really neat windows and light fixtures and just seems super funky cool city like.  Today I got to go!  Crossing things off my mental to-go-to list is a good feeling.

Tonight I'm going out with a friend for appetizers and drinks.  The place we're slated to go to is also one that I've wanted to try for years but never have.  I hope that this experience tonight is just as good as lunch was.

In other news, Thin Mints rock my world.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

It's Been 6 Months Since You Looked At Me

I woke up this morning and for some reason thought, "It's been about 6 months since I've seen his face."  How can that be?  How can time have gone so quickly?  How can life have moved out from under my feet just like "that: and how can someone I thought I'd know for my entire life just vanish?

That's 6 months of wondering how this happened, why this happened and if he ever thinks of me.  6 months of trying to figure out how someone I trusted so explicitly could have hurt me so deeply.  6 months of sorting out how a friend could hurt me so deeply and not have a sincere apology ready for me when I told him my feelings and why I was not worth more than a 2 or 3 line email saying he wasn't going to write anything back.  And mostly, it's been 6 months of missing a friend who meant the world to me-a friend who I often described as the most supportive person in my life-and wondering if that too, was not real.

It's clear that I've been doing better and that I no longer cry for no reason.  He's no longer on my mind hourly and he's not the first thing I think of when I wake up.  But he's there-or rather, not there-in my life and there's a huge hole where he once sat.  I've recently found myself wondering if our paths will ever cross again and if they do, will he still know me.  Will I know him?  And most of all, do I want to?

6 months have slipped by.  There are still so many unanswered questions but at least they don't nag me 24 hours a day anymore.  Maybe in another 6 months, I won't even need to write a post like this.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Randomivity


Slippery man holes can be cumbersome when it's dark.

Get your mind out of the gutter. I slipped on one because it was icy.

Canned turkey-good intention, or bad idea? I guess it all depends on whether or not a can opener is involved.

Cinnamon bun pancakes still elude me.

Having a stranger tell you you're great is pretty, well...great.

No matter how many times I do it, I still feel ultra cool and city chic when I hail my own cab.

Small town girls can become city girls.

I know that this is the last season of LOST but I'm sad to see old characters on new shows.

Yesterday I made a slide show for my family and picked a random song. I didn't know it had words to it until my little sister emailed me and told me that it was the perfect song...now I can't find the name of the song and it really WAS the right song. "I'm Invincible..."

When I got back to work on Monday I had so much work to do that I worked straight through the day without stopping. It was glorious. I should work 3 days weeks all of the time.

My knee is starting to flare up. It hasn't done this since I was in college.

It's hard to know when to take the jump. Especially if it means the possible loss of another friend.

I have gotten many, many compliments on my new hat:

And I thought that it would be fitting to show you what was offered (comparable to my "ordered vs got" post before, with a better ending this time!!)

Promised:

Got:You can't really see it in these pictures, but it's pretty much identical. This was right when we got the hats and had to wear them without mirrors...I wear mine a little lower now, like the girl in the picture. Now THAT'S how you knit a hat! (or 3!!)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Toosdae ?'s

Good morning my faithful friends!  How are you this glorious Toosdae morning?  Me?  I'm deliriously tired but the sun is shining and the coffee is hot, so life is good.  I'm still high off of my travel experience and am looking forward to settling down over the next couple of months to save some money.  It'll be a lean time from now on but hopefully I'll build some savings up again.  All I can say is, the trip was WORTH IT!

Take a peek at this weeks questions and if you have a few minutes to make me smile, please do so by answering the them. 

1.  Have you ever missed a flight?  If so, what made you late?

2.  What is your preferred way of travel-plane, train or automobile?

3.  Do you prefer a vacation packed with planned events and things to do or a more relaxed vacation with nothing to do but, well...relax?

My answers:

1.  I think I've come close to missing a flight once, but never actually did.  There was bad weather and my first flight took off very late and I came about 5 minutes from missing my connecting flight.  I had to run all the way to the next terminal and beg to be let on.

2.  I think I prefer to travel by car but all of the super fun, exotic places require plane travel...so it wins by default.

3.  I can go either way but I have a hard time sitting still for too long.  I really love my beach vacations which generally have no agenda except for sitting on the beach reading novel after novel and playing in the waves but I also love going from place to place seeing as much as I can...like this weekend!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Whirlwind Tour, The Windy City aka My 2nd Favorite City

Thank you for being patient with me-the cable company messed something up so when I came home last night I had no television and no Internet. Which means I could not edit pictures and of course, could not post...so, without further ado, here is the story of my very first trip to Chicago!

The flight to Chicago was great-not only was I excited, but I didn't have to sit next to anyone! I took the opportunity to sleep a little bit because I knew I had a long weekend ahead of me. When I arrived in Chicago, found the train station and began my way to the hotel.

Arriving at Chicago O'Hare


Let me just stop here for a minute to say that the "el" as they call it, is disgusting. It's dirty and smelly and if I didn't have a large suitcase and 2 bags, I would have stayed standing up. I laughed at the announcement that denounced smoking, eating and drinking but failed to mention peeing. Because let me tell you, there's a lot of peeing going on.

The hotel was only a few blocks away from the train station, so I buttoned myself up and pushed through the cold. When I finally got to the hotel, I saw the sweetest face I've seen in a long time smiling at me from in front of the fire. I dropped my bags (literally) and ran over to him (literally) and got my long overdue Mo hug.

Let me stop here to say that the hotel was really pretty-very much my style with a funky modern decor. In fact, Mo said that a few of the items there should belong to me! The colors, the shapes...it pretty much suited me perfectly. And the staff was super friendly and the beds...well, the beds were HEAVENLY!


Hotel Lobby & Fireplace


Mo wanted that purple glass thingy. It's not a vase because it's closed on the top. Pretty neat, huh?

I told Mo that if I didn't think there were strange naked butts on these pillows at some point, I would have shoved them in my suitcase! Especially the 2 on the right.


I mean, c'mon...how perfect is this shower curtain!


After catching up for a little bit, we ventured out to Navy Pier. The hotel told us about a FREE trolley just a few blocks up. We were psyched because we did not want to spend money on a cab. Let me just say, the trolley was fun! Perhaps it was because the driver loved me! He told Mo that the only reason he picked him up was because he was with me! And then when he picked us up later, he used the loudspeaker to say "Only for you honey" before he stopped. He also told Mo to "Stick with her, kid!". It was a fun way to start the trip and it gave Mo and I something to laugh about.


Our delightful trolley driver



And then we got to Navy Pier...


Deep dish Mo


(Ms. Maggie) Moo cows

Mo brought me to see the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. It was so breathtaking and quite a treat in the middle of a mall...


And then there are the views from outside...



And the beautiful garden on the roof (where we saw a homeless woman preaching to 2 tourists!)...


We then made our way back to the hotel and took a few pictures.

Then we went to dinner here:

It was Mo's first time having tapas, and I'm pretty sure he loved it! Though it was loud inside, we talked over lots and lots of food. It was fun for me to introduce my good friend to a type of food that I love. I'm so glad he was with me!

On our way home we saw this place. I think it's a restaurant, but it had fireplaces on the wall all the way up and really neat drippy lights.

And we tried to capture it in the background...but failed. (But I love this picture!!)

This is a cool rose on the outside of a weird and cluttered store.

The next morning we got up early to go to breakfast at a very cool restaurant. I was told I "had" to go and over the last couple of weeks my excitement grew knowing I'd be tasting cinnamon bun pancakes. I think Mo got excited after looking at the website too. Which is why we were so disappointed when we arrived (after walking several blocks in the cold!) to see this:

The website did NOT say that it was not open yet. I was so sad!! But the hotel breakfast was actually pretty good and the fact that it was free made it ever better! So, it turned out well. After breakfast, we made our way to the Shedd Aquarium for a few hours.











Yeah, I'm a 3 year old. But c'mon-it's funny!


You can't tell in this picture, but this sucker is HUGE. And it hid itself pretty well and Mo and I both gasped at the same time when we saw him.


I thought it was funny that they said, #1 and #2.


The aquarium was very pretty and because we got there right at opening, it wasn't very crowded...until we were leaving, actually. I'm glad we got to visit and that we got to see the baby beluga (born 12/14/09). But by noon rolled around, I was hungry for pizza and excited to meet Melisa, who was picking Mo and I up for lunch here:

Because I was only in Chicago for 2 nights and Melisa wanted to show me as much as she could, she suggested we call our lunch order in before getting there so we wouldn't have to wait 40 minutes to eat. What a genius idea! Even though we got a little lost (and my GPS didn't want to admit it was in Chicago) we made it in time to eat these lucious little balls of cheese:

Cheddar Cubes

And then there was the pizza...delicious! The crust was crispy instead of spongy like I thought it was going to be and it was kind of buttery. I had the sausage pizza and it was SO good. Just the right amount...mmmmm. I would like some now please!


Melisa, Mo & I after Cheddar Cubes and Pizza

Before I move on, I should tell you that Melisa rocks. I am always amazed when I meet someone who makes me feel so comfortable right away and who is just...well, nice. She really is a wonderful, funny woman who I feel so blessed to have met in person.

OK, moving on...

Before bringing Mo to the train station, Melisa "snuck" Mo and I into the John Hancock building. Well...not really. But she took us up the the Signature Room so she could buy a gift certificate for a friend of hers and "suggested" we take a look around while she distracted bought the gift card from the hostess. I didn't get any pictures because I got caught entering a private room, but let me tell you, the view was amazing.


They had the coolest hand dryers. You stuck your hands in and pulled them slowly out kind of like a car wash. It was so neat! And yes, I realize this was the 2nd picture I took of bathroom stuff. I swear it's the last one!

Sadly, the next part of the trip was when Mo had to leave. So Melisa and I whisked him over to the station and said our goodbyes, promising to see each other again soon-ish.

And this is the part of the trip that I can entitle, "The One Where Melisa Tried to Kill Mags...Twice." :)

Melisa was kind enough to agree to drive me to see Wrigley Field. Even though my Sox don't play the Cubs, I'm a huge baseball fan and almost everyone who goes to Chicago seems to have a picture in front of the stadium. So we went! It's here when Melisa pulled a fast one and said, "I'm going!" and turned left. This time, the car wasn't really that close, but I joked with her and thanked her for making that decision-the one where MY side of the car would have been hit! We laughed and moved on.
It took us about 15 minutes to get to THIS message!



Yeah, we're cute!


After pictures we jumped back into the car and took a ride around the city. Melisa drove slowly past certain landmarks pointing them out while I did drive by shooting:




I believe it was actually about this time when Melisa really almost killed me. She had another "I'm going!" moment and turned left (I see a pattern here) WHILE someone was crossing the street and also WHILE a bus was pulling out toward me.

The bus driver didn't stop. The pedistrian kind of did...Melisa halted and I said a Hail Mary. But we all made it OK...by the skin of our teeth! (Again, thanks for making THAT decision! LOL!)

The day was winding down and we had plans to meet Lou for dinner, so we parked (for free...kinda) and walked over to the Tribune Tower where Melisa pointed out the various rocks implanted in the building.



We walked around and then made our way to Portillos.






There, we met Lou who was such a sweetheart because he had his mother knit us hats! He read the post about my bad hat experience and he came to the resuce! Aren't they beautiful?!?

We spent the hour chatting and getting to know each other over hot dogs and other yummy foods and then took a few pictures...



At this point, I had to part with both Lou and Melisa because I was hosting an event at the iO Theater. So we said our goodbye's and I went to the hotel to freshen up. One thing I realized after seeing these pictures is that I can NOT wear my hair wavy when I'm going to be outside. I look washed out and gross. But, I had fun and that lesson was learned, and luckily I had time to curl my hair before going to see the show.

I told you I'd explain why I wasn't so creepy when I got home. Here's why: the guy in the show has a fiance who moved from Chicago to Boston about the same time I was deciding to move to one of those cities. So I googled Chicago versus Boston and was brought to her blog. I read her blog while she lived here and he showed up there, of course. I saw that he had a blog and I followed him too. They are both very funny people and seem really cool so I continued reading here and there. It's been about 2 or 3 years and when I knew I was going to Chicago, I knew I wanted to see one of them perform if I could. It turns out that he was, and so I organized an event to see the show.



I have to tell you that I did have a geeky moment. I was waiting outside for the group and he walked off the street into the theater...and he nodded and said hello to me. :) I was a little star struck. Yeah, I am a geek.

Anyway, he is really quite funny-in fact, the group I was with and I all agreed that he was one of the funniest ones in the group. I'm really happy that I got to see him perform and I highly recommend that anyone visiting Chicago go see his show.

Afterward, the group and I went out for drinks. They were a fun group of people and I felt really comfortable there. On the way home in the cab, I smiled because while I am very happy I decided to Boston, I know that had I chosen Chicago, I would have fit in there too. That's a good feeling.

Chicago Beer...it's my beer, but NOT my hand holding it.

When I finally made it back to the hotel, I was tired and sad that my stay in Chicago was almost over but happy that I decided to take the trip, even though I probably should have waited until money was a little less tight. I went to be smiling because I am an independant, likable person who can adapt to many different places. I am thankful that I am open to new experiences and willing to try new things and that there are people in this world like Mo, Melisa and Lou (and the 4 strangers who I hung out with on Saturday night) who are willing to share their lives with me and to show me the things they know.

I'm planning a 2nd trip to Chicago, hopefully this summer....Life is good.