The Symptoms of Internships, Moving and Mold

I (meaning my best friend and conscience living in the Philippines, Philip. That’s seriously his name, irony is not enough to describe it), keep reminding myself that I need to pay better attention to this blog than I have been doing. I did start writing about how Chicago could have a new serial killer when bodies kept showing up in the North side harbors, but that stopped before I could post. What luck.

Apologies apologies, etc. moving on.drumming coworker

What I want to talk about, is what’s been going on that has kept me from this essential outlet and happiness of mine. I was interning as content management at a startup internet marketing company. It’s been great. They actually hired me, kinda. Well there was talk of salary and then bam, financial troubles and I’m paid per piece. Not ideal, since I do a lot more than blog and produce web content for them (Social Media FTW!). But whatevs, life goes on. To be honest, I don’t think I learned as much as I wanted to there. Since everyone is so busy, pretty sure my internship ended up being a little unbalanced. Like, I worked for free and learned that headphones= sanity, because Tom, on the other side of my cubicle thing, drums with his feet without realizing it. What I wanted to learn was more along the SEO, SEM analytics interpretation thing, all of which I don’t know enough about to be totally comfortable.

I also moved to Andersonville, the best Chicago “ville” in my opinion. It’s indie without being douchy. And that’s exactly what I want in my life. To walk outside and be greeted by nice people with dogs looking at sidewalk sales of vintage inspired happiness.

AAAAHHHHH!!!!One problem.

I started getting sick. Like severe sinus infection, fluid in lungs, bloody noses sick. Why? No effing clue, but it really put a damper on functional life, and all the coughing re broke my rib.  Luckily, one of the blogs I write is for a biohazard removal company whose owner was kind enough to come over and check things out. Here is an article I wrote for them recently.

black mold

black mold

RESULTS: The entire basement underneath our apartment was covered in mold. Landlords won’t admit to it, they say “Annalise, you’re allergic to the apartment,” which is insane. I’m not allergic to drywall. I’m allergic to the mycotoxins floatinging up and around my living space. Seriously, I have an inhaler now. AN INHALER! Not cool mold.
Directly below my bed lives a troll.I won’t even go into the creepy bed and junk that’s down there. It’s very unsettling in a Josef Fritzl way, my friends. We are currently looking for another place, and compiling evidence (pictures, dr bills, pharmacy receipts) for our lawyer.

Life, I suppose is a little frustrating right now, but antibiotics have been taken and we are aiming at a new, healthier situation for cats and peoples alike in the same neighborhood (because damn it, I love this place!).

And don’t worry, soon I will regain health and sanity, and get back into the DIY stuff that I love to share with you all. I’m thinking my cats have enough toys, but my client cat’s definitely could use some love. Then on to jewelry ideas, magnet creation and lamp experiments. And probably a blog or two about urban climate parallels between Chicago and The Wire, and whatever book I finished on the train last. Currently The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.

Who knows, I will never be satisfied with just one thing buzzing through.

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

Robert Frost

Nearly Finished Time Machine For Sale

image

If I could afford such an illustrious machine where would I go?

Would I go back and just experience life, or would I change things?
To Paris in the 20s to hang with the expat crowd and soak up their genius? Maybe kick Gertrude Stein in the shins?
Into the future and hope we’ve finally become a healthier country that also has hover boards?
Or to 2008 and not buy that wedding dress?
Where would you go, and would you change anything?
Oh Southport Corridor, what will you think of next.

City of Scoundrels, done and done.

City of ScoundrelsAfter reading, standing up holding on with one elbow as the train to and from the internship rattled and swayed, for a good while I finally finished my latest literary acquirement. City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago. Done and done.

It was fantastic in that I learned a lot about Chicago history. Things I knew became clearer. Gary Krist did some serious research when he crafted this completely non-fiction book by sifting through and unbelievable amount of information and seamlessly weaving a single narrative that is clear and interesting.

Lantern Slide of Burnham's concept for MIchigan Ave.

Lantern Slide of Burnham’s concept for MIchigan Ave.

I’m pretty much impressed. Was it Joyce? No. It was an easy read to be sure, but partially easy because of how to story is told. Chronologically, and with the unique perspective of looking back at something and accepting it as part of why we are who we are today. It’s dirty and corrupt, but who didn’t know that about this town anyway. Mayor Thompson, a man many consider to be one of, if not the worst mayor in Chicago history, is responsible for the lawlessness and corruption just as he is for much of the city’s beautiful Burnham vision coming to life.

I would recommend it if you are into real history told in a fiction format. The book includes the author’s notes, bibliography, and index, which I think is incredible in and of itself.

If all of our history was so easy to access, would we be a different people?

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.” ― Daniel Burnham

“Chicago ain’t no Sunday School.” –“Bathhouse John” Coughlin

John-Choi_SK_Chicago-Skyline

 

Where Is Your Support System Today?

I remember the days where if you got a blister it just meant you were getting tougher, or it was natural to just wrap up that twisted or sprained ankle and try again. When I landed on my head, neck, or back because of a misstep or a slip, I walked it off. No tears. No big deal. Just move forward. When I was 12 and I broke my wrist doing beam drills, I finished my crunches and cool down before I got in the car and told my mom that we should stop at the hospital on the way home. Did I stop pushing myself? No, I did everything I was doing before, just one handed.

I was a gymnast. A hard-core, gym before and after school, chalk smeared on my face and legs, focused, competitive gymnast. There was nothing else so important to me, and no feasible life beyond the doors of that building full of equipment and drive. I didn’t see it as work or exercise, it was training and I loved it.

that's me in the green

that’s me in the green

It really didn’t matter your social status at school or life at home, we all came from different places, were different ages, but as teammates were were also best friends. The common ground was a vault runway and spring floor. I will always consider those girls some of the most important people in my life no matter the distance between us. If you’re reading, I love you guys so much.

So why is this at all important? Honestly, I’m just trying to figure out when I became a fragile little wimp. Maybe I’m exaggerating, I’m not totally wimpy, (I actually have an incredibly high pain tolerance) but I definitely cry more about dumb crap.

A few months ago, before we realized my rib was broken and acupuncture was supposed to be my pain management (and hydrocodone, don’t judge), my acupuncturist said something to me. After asking me about my animal expertise and how that applies to her cat with IBS, she wanted to know where all my stress goes at the end of the day. I told her about my family being far away, my job generally being no human contact, my limited friends here in Chicago, and minimal contact with the ones at home. Then she pointed out something that I never saw as a problem until lately.

“So you really have no support system at all.”

I was a little offended, but I didn’t need to ask what she meant. However, I was high on prescription drugs from my doctor, so it has taken a moment to sink in.

Nationals in Florida

Nationals in Florida (second from left)

I know I’m not the only one who has realized this at some point or another. Are we really alone? No, not really. There are always people somewhere. Maybe the problem is that we have a hard time trusting that new people are going to get our weirdness or where we came from the way the old one inherently did. I have a hard time with trusting people, and for good reason. So how does one develop a decent support system… or any system at all instead of claiming emotional self sufficiency and ignoring the downside of being a hermit?

Any thoughts?

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
― Albert Camus

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
William Shakespeare

love and questions,

Midsommarfest Moments

Pretty sure everyone’s written the, “I’ve been neglecting you” blog once or twice. I have no solid excuse other than being tired of writing blogishness all day for my internship has the ability to fry my brain on occasion, leaving me lacking the will to write about things that actually interest me.

In the past week or so, I have learned how to tile a backsplash, deal with an uninsured driver, waterproof a basement, have written about high tech kitchens and bathrooms, bathroom design by decade, historic kitchens… none of which actually have any impact on my personal life being that I’m a low-income renter that doesn’t have a car. It can be hard to stay excited when you really don’t have a reason to care. But last night I actually did something for myself. A rare moment indeed lately.

midsommarfest

I finished up with my two kitty clients and headed over to Andersonville. Midsommarfest was/is this weekend, and I couldn’t wait to see what things were like during festival season by the new apartment. I’m really glad I did.

Meeting my roommate there after seeing my clients was a good idea because dealing with the traffic and CTA delays at the intersection of the Cubs game, RibFest, the Red Line and Midsommarfest was a bit of an exercise in patience, especially when my train was delayed before the Addison stop by some idiots leaning over the direct current tracks (morons) causing the train to stop twice to warn them. All I could hope was that they fell on the tracks after my train passed and not before. I don’t excel at sympathy for drunk people.

I arrived around 6:45pm. It was packed with happy people drinking and eating. We decided to get a bite and do some people watching. I’m growing very fond of Lady Gregory’s. Besides their mouthwatering food, the staff has never been friendlier and the people watching location is ideal. Pretty sure I saw the short gay version of THIS GUY while eating my baked bree outside.

Baked Bree w/ Date Compote

Baked Bree w/ Date Compote

After convincing my roommate not to steal one of their plates since we are moving in a block South and I would like to return, we started out stroll through the booths and found some really great local artist and shops that, if I had the monetary option to, I would support in a heartbeat. I love local Chicago art. From prints to signs to posters to antiques, I am a huge fan of things dedicated to a place I call home.

Some great people and places to check out:

Mad Canvases does some sweet Chicago stuff with black and white photography.

Chicago Filmmakers because they gave me this in sticker form: reelkitten

Woolly Mammoth because the owners and their awesome dog are great and they have something unique and new every time I go there.

Brownstone Antiques and Collectibles has layers and layers of antiquities to sift through. If you’re not claustrophobic give it a try, if you are… wait for the sidewalk sale.

We made out way through everything and ended up at Hamburger Mary’s to see Velicity Metropolis a bingo caller extraordinaire, friend and lovely lady pictured here with my roommate.

Velicity and Shannon

Velicity and Shannon

We also invested in this brownie sundae that knocked my chocolate socks off.

brownie sundae All in all, it was a pretty sweet night and I’m really excited about getting my life started over there next month.

If only I could motivate myself to pack all my junk.

sweet home chicago

Chicago Had A Makers Faire?

makers faireHow did I miss this Chicago?!?!?!   There was a Mini Makers Faire here on May 18th on the North Side (where I happen to live) and I somehow missed it. Why? Maybe I live in a little bubble of my own that includes me, my computer, the cats, and a bunch of tea. If that is true I should be ashamed, but if not, this thing was definitely not well publicized.

The artsy craftsy scene is this town is pretty prevalent, as is every other niche you could possible want to wiggle your way into, but I think it needs to work a little harder. This is festival season people! The only reason I am a bit perturbed is that I looked at the other cities that held similar events, including my old hometowns, and I was for once jealous of the people who still live there. Bay Area, Orange County, San Luis Obispo, they all had one large or multiple events.

Bay Area Faire

Bay Area Faire

This thing even reaches internationally.

Victoria BC... we're letting Canada beat us people.

Victoria BC… we’re letting Canada beat us people.

Chicago, how did we fall behind! Someone gather up some gumption and do it again, I’ll help I promise.

Do it big. Do it right.

And don’t do it in Wicker Park, the hipsters would bum everyone out.