Some pictures from a quick trip to visit my best friend and her kitty in Indianapolis. It was a weekend full of (the best) donuts, an embarrassing cat stroller, ice cream, a sculpture garden, lemonades, shopping, burritos, sunshine and looove.

general american donut cat stroller scratchtruck indy funky bones indy 100 acres indy canal walk indy indianapolis leo

feelin 22.

I’m really behind on posting, so here are some pictures from my birthday food tour, which included sushi, ice cream, crepes, coffee, and cake. Thanks for a memorable night and a totally worth-it stomachache, Max!

winter reading list.

Yes Please Amy Poehler

Three months late, here’s what I read December – February.

Yes Please: I’m a fan of anything that my favorite SNL females come out with, and this book is no exception. It’s a fun, easy read about how Amy Poehler got to where she is (a lot of hard work) and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Honestly more of a picture book/scrapbook than a memoir, so it’s not really fair to compare to Bossypants…..but if we’re comparing, Bossypants is better.

Favorite quote: “I believe great people do things before they are ready.”

The Circle: This is the 1984 of our generation, in which Big Brother is not the government, but rather a tech company with a monopoly over pretty much everything. When you’ve had a social media profile since sixth grade, it’s hard to not be used to sharing everything on the internet, but reading this forces you to think about privacy and the wider (scarier) implications of granting a corporation access to your whole life. I think everyone should read it!

Favorite quote: “Better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than in the middle of some ladder you don’t, right?”

Dataclysm: I heard Christian Rudder speak at a Chicago Ideas Week event and had to read his book. He uses massive anonymized data sets from OkCupid, Twitter, Google, etc. to create interesting graphs and commentary on social issues and trends, from age perception in dating to racism surrounding elections.

Favorite quote: “…secrecy allows old attitudes to go unchallenged – and prejudice unchallenged is prejudice perpetuated.”

A Walk in the Woods: I love day hikes, but I don’t think I could handle camping, let alone hiking and camping for months. Thankfully, Bill Bryson has already done it and written about it, so I feel like I’ve completed the Appalachian Trail vicariously through this book. He weaves in a lot of heavy info about the history of the AT and the National Parks in general, so it’s not all silly anecdotes.

Favorite quote: “Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot…the world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret.”

A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson

Past reading lists: summer and fall

sunrise, sunrise.

jefferson park train jefferson-park-winter-metra jefferson park chicago

“Run baby run baby run!” a homeless woman cheers as I sprint to catch a train. Yet. Again. On the 5:12 Metra, the conductor, a monopoly-man-lookalike named Bill, bops through the aisles, chanting “evenin-erbody-whadda-we-got-fer-tickets-tuhnight” in a thick Chicago accent. Every day is the same – 6:30 alarm, train, bus, work, bus, train, home, sleep.

Routine is supposed to be a comforting thing. A cast of characters and litany of tasks that will consistently fill your day, every day, in the same way. I never think of my life like that, though. In my woe-is-me mind, I’m a drudge whose day is consumed by banality and despondent faces.

Standing on the train platform, in front of the billboard for Ben & Jerry’s newest creation, I realize I’ve watched the sun rise over the I-90 from this exact spot for a whole year now. Every weekday, I observe the same scene. Through winter, spring, summer, fall, and now winter again, I’ve found beauty in this moment – so much so that I’ve taken more iPhone pictures of smoggy sunrises than I can count. Over the past year, this one part of my routine has given me comfort and peace. But that’s just not really enough.

metra jefferson park sunset

six dates of christmas.

rosemont lights 1

Twelve dates of Christmas was something I really wanted to do in December 2014. We ended up with six, because twelve is a much bigger number than you’d think. On the first night, we had sushi and went to an elaborate light display in Rosemont. There were goats and sheep and thousands of lights and it was lovely. The next night, we saw my dad’s choir sing in the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert. The third was a double-date brunch with our friends at Lula Café in Logan Square, and the fourth was an after-work excursion to the Christkindlmarkt at Daley Plaza. Five and six were classic dinner-and-a-movie dates; we saw Wild and The Theory of Everything, and I loved both. The holidays are so chaotic with family and parties, so it was nice to consciously slow down for these six outings.

rosemont christmas lights rosemont chicago lights chicago christmas lights rosemont rosemont lights goats goats rosemont lights rosemont lights sheep rosemont lights