Category Archives: Uncategorized

A German and a Chicagoan Explore Columbus

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About a month ago, Matthias (our exchange student from high school/brother-from-another-mother), received word he would be moving to Columbus to work for JP Morgan. Ever since he set up camp there, he has been egging me to come out. Over Memorial Day weekend, I finally did.

I have never been to Columbus, or Ohio for that matter, and didn’t really have that high of expectations. I figured it would feel like a Kansas City. I was wrong. All the different neighborhoods, places within walking distance, and all the different type of activities…made it a place I never wanted to leave.

We kicked the weekend off with a distillery tour at Middle West Spirits (OYO). Here we learned about vodka and whiskey and had a few samples. We also noticed this cool bar next store that served up mead. I don’t think I’ve ever had mead before, so Brothers Drake Meadery served as a great learning experience. We tried various flavors and cocktails while learning Matt opts for the fruity drinks and I like ’em on the rocks.

One of my top places we visited, and I made sure to put on the tour schedule, was The Book Loft. I had seen this a few times on various “Best Bookstores” lists and “must-see” lists in Columbus. The fact it was in German Village was just an added bonus. The place is absurd. Over 3o rooms that wind and dead end throughout the building beckon you to continually search, even when you don’t know what you’re looking for. The outdoor courtyard, garden and fountain just made this a place I never wanted to leave.

As fate would have it, the Cardinals were also in the state of Ohio. Matt and I headed down to Cincinnati and caught the Reds/Cards game (Cards came out on top). Real kicker: it was Matt’s first baseball game.

Another favorite on the weekend was heading to Buckeye Lake. We wandered around the community for a bit and then headed to a biker bar (by recommendation of a local) called Papa Boo’s. It was amazing sitting by the Lake, drinking a beer and sitting across from a kid who was just supposed to “pass by,” but instead became another person in the family.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to another reason to say yes to C-Bus weekend.

*Also, if I haven’t said enough, thanks Mum for bringing this kid into our lives.*

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First game for both of us at Great American Ball Park

 

Finishing a Distillery Tour and Enjoying Mead

Finishing a Distillery Tour and Enjoying Mead

We’re Becoming Labbies

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During last year’s Chicago Innovation Awards, I learned of the Makers Lab– a space in the Chicago Public Library (Harold Washington branch) featuring new technology and workshops. The best part? It’s all free. I’ve been trying to get in to classes since November.

And I finally did.

Two weeks ago, Amanda and I (and her baby bump) headed to the lab to create 3D cuff bracelets. After placing together shapes in TinkerCAD software, we picked our plastic color and watched a printer create crazy designs. I had no idea how insanely cool and efficient 3D printing is. Seeing other objects the team put together, I was completely mesmerized by this animal figurine with moveable legs, and the fact it was all built on the same plane. No assembly required.

Last week, a few of us from work went over to try the Laser Cutter printer during the Name Plate workshop. Using a program similar to Illustrator, we created our words and phrases. I went with “Write On” as a not-so subtle reminder/encouragement for the desk.

Below are photos from the first visit making bracelets. My bracelet printed in a boxed printer, so you couldn’t really see what was going on. Thankfully, Amanda printed in the open space!

#STPSochi2014

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For her birthday party this year, gal pal Amanda took full advantage of Olympic fever and hosted a shindig complete with Olympic activities and a firm dress code. #STPSochi2014 took place this past weekend at Fat Pour and with three events (Cross Country Pong, Figure Pinning and Chubby Bunny Biathlon), there were many opportunities to land on the podium.

I went back and forth on my costume. Do I wear all denim and go as a Canadian Tuxedo? Do I curl my hair, wear crazy pants and go as a curler? Finally, I took a cue and inspiration from the opening ceremonies.

Remember as a country enters the arena, they have a flag holder? And next to that flag holder is a gal announcing the country names? They looked straight out of Hunger Games. And were exactly what I would mimic.

Using a white dress, silver pipe cleaners, a headband, a hula hoop and some paper, I created my outfit for the day. Needless to say, didn’t really think through the whole commuting to the bar, but thankfully Melissa threw me in the backseat of her car. The party was total fun and I took home a silver in the Cross Country Pong event. We all were still riding that thrilling Hockey game in the morning, so nothing was dampening our spirits.

When we left, we decided to hit up Smoke Daddy’s for dinner. I cut myself free of my hula hoop and realized with the white dress and silver medal, I looked like one Nancy Kerrigan á la Lillehammer Olympics.

Should the Summer Games ever hit right with my birthday, I clearly know the winning theme.

Preparing for the Cross Country Pong event while not breaking character

Preparing for the Cross Country Pong event while not breaking character

Medal Biting Ceremony

Medal Biting Ceremony

Tapping the Tap

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Last year, with the help of one KZeller, I looked into tap classes as a way to challenge myself and learn something new. And then, that inevitable thing happened and life got insanely busy and I let those excuses pop up and take my focus.

My co-worker Amanda started talking Yoga classes to receive her teacher certification just because it’s something she likes to do. Seeing her at the office with her Yoga mat every day all of a sudden made me incredibly envious of her dedication to a craft. And with winter coming, I’m dodging the excuses and doing this tap thing. If the passion/desire is still there after a year, then you surely cannot walk away right?

When I came across this, (first seen on Thought Catalog), I couldn’t stop looking up tap classes.  I think I sent this video to everyone in my office and listened to it on repeat for way too long. While I’m well aware I’m most likely not a tap prodigy and won’t be busting out moves like this, it was just the reminder I needed.

In the Thick of It

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Film Fest season has quickly arrived and taken control of my life. Though I must say, the 48th Chicago International Film Festival has provided lots of surprises, lots of guests and lots of fantastic films. Every day I’m there, at least three shows are sold out. And the films I’ve had the chance to see are simply magnificent, two in particular:

1.) Numbered— A documentary about Holocaust survivors today and what the number they received in camp means to them. Not nearly as depressing as I thought it would be, I often find myself drawn to any book or movie dealing with this topic. It was jarring, heart warming and saddening all at the same time. One of the directors is a still photographer and his images are so very poignant, they move the doc along without actually moving. Film clip here.

2.) The Sapphires–Mark my words, this film is going to do wonders when it’s released. Picked up by the Weinstein Company, it tells the tale of an Aboriginal girl group that plays for the US troops in Vietnam. Based off of a true story, I sat in my seat dancing and singing along to these tunes. You’ll surely tap your foot along. Chris O’Dowd (of Bridesmaids fame) is stellar delivering one-liners every where you look. No one left that theatre unhappy.

 

I also would recommend checking out Opening Night’s Stand Up GuysAny Day NowKing Curling and Off White Lies. We’ve completed our first week and have one more to go with this weekend’s Junior Board event featuring Helen Hunt and her film The Sessions. It’s been exhausting, trying to keep up with Cardinals baseball has proved at times difficult, but so very worth it. Meeting various directors and other filmmakers is inspiring. They walk around the theatre wearing their passion for their film and industry right on their faces–everyone’s smiling and eager to talk. It’s very catching.

Come see the world…

Fellow Junior Board Member (and Volunteer) Marcella and I spreading the good word

Dancing in the Dark

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Last week had been a busy one at the office. And I was quickly losing steam. This past Friday, I found myself at the office late, again, and just thinking of how great it was going to be to get home, throw on sweats and completely veg out for the entire weekend.

“So, I just got Bruce tickets tonight at Wrigley. We should probably go,” said Dan, the Client Service dude working late with me.

We left everything at the office, grabbed a cab and walked into Wrigley Field just as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the stage. It was an unbelievable night. I cried, danced, I shouted, I sang at the top of my lungs. And the coolest part? Looking out among the crowd and seeing the range of demographic. I cannot remember the last time I was squashed among such a range of ages.

It was just what I needed after a crazy a work week. And it just went to show me, you can lean on those in the office you never imagined. Because we’ve all been there. And we’re all going to be there again. It made me realize that work isn’t the end-all-be-all and letting it effect me so much hasn’t been good for anyone. Thanks to Friday, and Bruce, I was able to step back and see, life can still surprise you just when you need it most.

Bruce still has it. Which is no shock. Because to quote Mom, “He’s the Boss!”

Color Me Happy

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A little belated, but here are some photos from the Color Run. It was ever so fantastic, despite the fact that the green did not wash out of my armpits or belly button for more than a few days. Note to self: Don’t run through the color bomb areas with your arms up and mouth wide open. Quite unpleasant.

In keeping with the theme of doing 5ks that get messy, this Sunday, we’re doing the Go Dirty Girl Mud Run. It should be a hot one, but with two of my Color Run buddies, I know it will be nothing short of a hoot. We’re The Dirt Devils.

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