Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let's Play Catch Up

I guess it should be no surprise to me that it's been almost a month since my last posting. I tend to fall out of routines as quickly as I fall into them. But, instead of beating myself up for my lack of consistency, I will just try to forge ahead.

A lot has happened since my last post. The weather has drastically improved (although, there has been a ghastly amount of rain in the past couple of weeks). I've become more active and involved socially in my new hometown. And...I had my beloved girlfriends, Shahnaz and Shilpa, in town last weekend! We were the triple S threat and had so much fun just exploring the city together. I was very sad to see them go. ;(

So...I've been having all these weird thoughts lately. No, not weird as in "I have the uncontrollable desire to kill somebody" weird or, "I want to runaway and join the circus" weird. Just, your average, everyday, normal "weird."

I've been thinking that since I have been having such a difficult time narrowing down what it is I want to do next in my life, that I should just start doing anything and everything. At least then, I could get myself out of this stagnant rut and simply experience a vast range of ...well, experiences.

Going to law school straight out of college seemed fine and dandy at the time. But now, after going straight from college, to law school to five years of practice, I feel there are so many things I have yet to experience in life. More than anything, I suddenly feel the desire to meet people in different walks of life, and, as weird as it sounds, to encounter the types of hardships and experiences that an educated person with a doctorate's degree wouldn't typically have. A social experiment, of sorts...and I could write about my adventures! ;)

Maybe my first stop will be trying to work at an upscale hotel. For some reason, I have always been fascinated by hotels. Maybe it's the transient nature of the environment that allures me. People come and go and there's no risk of the pitfalls that come with permanence.

Hmmm...I would be happy to start off as a front desk clerk. "Welcome to the Chicago Pennisula Hotel. My name is Sae. How may I be of service to you?" See, I could do that, and be charming and winsome to boot!

Sigh. We'll see how that goes. In this economy, I'd be lucky to get a job in any sector (being overqualified for jobs in this market seems to hurt you more than help you). Also, with all of our trips planned and house guests this summer (some of them staying for as long as a week), what would be the point of getting a job? With my need for that kind of flexibility, probably the only "job" that I could realistically have this summer would be a freelance writing gig.

Food critic, maybe? Cross your fingers!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Neighborhood Soulmate: Bucktown/Wicker Park

It's been did.

I just finished running (well, more like a light canter and walking combo) around my neighborhood and I can't begin to tell you how nice it felt. It didn't even phase me that I was so out of shape I could barely run four blocks without panting and wheezing. The only thing that mattered was that I was from the shackles of a cruel Chicago winter (they say it was one of the worst).

Apparently, the thermometer has actually inched up to 70...and I can really tell.

Chicago in spring/summer is just an entirely different species from Chicago in winter. As I jogged, I saw people who clearly had just emerged from their cocoons spun out of doldrums and general winter misery. Like fragile, gilded butterflies, they emerged tentatively at first, unsure whether they should trust this apparent mirage of sunshine and warmth. Then, upon the realization that this was no illusion, their faces lit up, beacons of brightness and hope.

Ok, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but I definitely saw a difference in people's gait, faces, and general vibes. People are wearing shorts and flip-flops, strolling through their neighborhoods, and just soaking in all the sun.

This sudden onslaught of spring-like temperatures would not be as special if it wasn't for my neighborhood. I LOVE my neighborhood. In fact, I would not want to live anywhere else in Chicago.

The more residential streets in my hood are paved with picturesque houses that are anything but cookie-cutter. Little kids play out on in their tiny front yards and say hello as you walk by. Moms and nannies with strollers abound.

On the more retail-oriented streets, there are so many cute little boutiques that sell a vast array of items. There is this store called "Doggy-style" that sells all things pet-related. Coco Rouge sells fine chocolates. Milk and Honey is a popular brunch/breakfast spot, famous for their homemade granola. The list goes on and on.

One of my favorite streets in my neighborhood is Division. This street is unique in that its sidewalks are abnormally large, allowing many restaurants and bars to spill out onto the sidewalks. The patio seating at these establishments are highly coveted spots and are often filled to the brim with Chicagoans determined to take advantage of every warm day and evening. Wine drinking (and lots of beer drinking), chatting with friends, and prime people-watching are the sports of choice on Division.

A true sign of living in a great neighborhood...never really wanting to leave. If we're in the mood for good sushi, there's a place for that. If we want an upscale tequila bar that makes amazing margaritas, there is a place for that. If we want to meet up friends at a dive bar, there's a place for that. If we want to take Yoga classes, there's an app (oops, I mean a place) for that. If we want to check out a local band, there's a place for that. If we want a BYOB restaurant, there are a hundred places for that. If we want to buy a cool, unique outfit, there are a million places for that. ;)

So enough gushing. I can't wait for all my out of town friends (and my family!) to come visit us this summer (May is already booked!) so I can show off my neighborhood in person. Maybe I can convince them all to move least for the summers.

67 Degrees!

Is it possible? Has winter really made its final, dramatic exit?

Today, the forecasters are claiming it will reach 67 degrees...and tomorrow, a whopping 73. People, it is time to rip off that bulky parka, store the boots for good this time, uncork the champagne, y celebrar!

I am actually considering removing the dust bunnies from my running shoes (hmmm...i think I still know where to find those suckers) and engaging in something that (gasp!) resembles physical activity. Although I may huff, puff and wheeze my way through any sort of exercise considering my current physical state, I am willing to take the risk to feel a bit of sunshine on my Vitamin D-deprived skin.

I'm looking forward to this weekend (aren't we all?) for many reasons but mostly because...

On Sunday, I am going to a "pseudo" audition for this guy named Bernard Lachance. I say pseudo because while I will have to sing for him, most likely he will not be too particular since he needs close to 400-500 singers for his show. You may have already heard about him from YouTube. He is this guy from Canada who buys out huge theaters and then literally stands out on the street and sells tickets to his show. He lets pedestrians listen to his voice on a set of headphones and then if they like what he hears, he sells them tickets to his show. Essentially, the definition of an entrepreneur.

He has had much success in Canada and now has chosen Chicago to be the location for his first American concert. He has bought out the historic Chicago theater and has asked for singers to audition to be a part of a huge choir to sing with him during the performances. For me (as I'm sure it is for most), it is the allure of singing/performing in the Chicago Theater that is the attraction. For Lachance, it's a smart marketing decision since each member of his 400 voice choir will undeniably have his family and friends buy tickets to the show.

The last time I sang in such a big production was when I sang Mahler's "Symphony of a Thousand" with the Houston Symphony Chorus and the Houston Symphony Orchestra. That experience could only be described as soul-stirringly extraordinary, and it never leaves you. It was definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life and I look forward to experiencing that magic again. When you are surrounded by amazing musicians, all singing with so much passion and depth, you feel like you are painting a work of art...and dare i say, a masterpiece at that.

So, I'll definitely let you know how that first audition/practice turns out. I look forward to singing again with a group of people who are as passionate about music as I am.

Gotta running shoes are calling me.

Hellish Kitty

Hellish Kitty
My beloved childhood diary