What’s Good

Good morning!

Since the government says that you shouldn’t work on the holiday, I also decided to take that as a sign as to not blog on the holiday either. Or the holiday weekend, for that matter…

Not sure when I would have fit in the time, anyway. It was a very busy weekend. In this case, though, busy is definitely good.What with spending all my time lounging on rooftops and all…

That and having a few legendary days of going out with friends for brunch.Ahem…

What? PBR was on special…

I even found time in my busy schedule to meet up with blogging buds…Megan and SIL (from her fab features on Low and Behold) enjoyed a little of the Wrigleyville Block Party with me and my roomie on Sunday!Also, a lot of dancing happened. A LOT.Not sure what’s going to happen when I can’t bust a move at the street fests anymore? I predict lots of sadness.

And maybe a need to sign up for jazzercise. (spirit fingers!)

Most people departed the area after that (silly dinner dates and such), so Megan and I paired up and decided to take in a little of the scenery at Murphy’s Bleachers.

A fine establishment. Where we know people. People who let the drinks flow freely and supply us with endless mozzerella sticks.

It’s good to know people.

It’s also good to have a supply of coffee on hand along with Home Alone on the dvr.

What better way to spend 4th of July morning watching 90′s Christmas flicks?

It’s also good to plan outfits accordingly. Like how I did yesterday afternoon for a BBQ.The strategy is to always wear the loosest summer dress you own when attending BBQ’s.

You maximize your intake of grilled food that way.The BBQ was with Mon’s fam and friends. They’re fun. Hence the napkin.

I’ve also been busy at getting some physical activity in. As an attempt to cancel out some of the adult activity. 3.6 humid miles on Friday evening and 3.7 on Sunday morning. MapMyRun.com has been an awesome discovery. After being a little weary about the new technology I’m getting myself into, I’m now obsessed with mapping out the miles after every run.

Uh oh- is this the new motivation I need?

Hopefully so!

Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend. I’m gonna go sit and suffer my exhaustion hangover from the weekend. It was a loooooong weekend. Whew…

It also didn’t help that people in the neighborhood were shooting off firecrackers/fireworks until all hours of the night.

Sigh. Sleep is overrated anyway.

Later!

Vacation From Vacation

There’s something to be said about taking a vacation day after vacation is over.

That lil’ extra 24 hours off does wonders. I’m much more rested than I would have been if I came in to work yesterday. Ideal considering the mess that will be my inbox when finally opened up. Not looking forward to that one.

Seriously- is there a way email can be avoided for the rest of the day? That would be fantastic…

Anyway. After crashing and spacing out on the couch for a few hours after getting Sunday night, I slept in all the way to 6:30 yesterday morning.

That’s right- it was my day off and I was up before the roommate even left for work. It’s how I do.

The plan was to get an early run in and relax before the Cubs game.

Instead, it rained. And rained. And I started to wonder if either one of the previously mentioned activities would happen.

But a clearing in the sky happened and Megan gave me crap about being a wus, so off I went.

It was still decently early, so I ran through the remains of the celebration of the Chicago Pride Parade.

It smelled like booze and good times. A little crazier than my Sunday in the car. Which smelled like my friend’s gym bag (his fault), dirty hair (both guilty), and Arby’s (both guilty again) for most of the ride. A disturbing combination indeed.

Anyway, because I’m slightly ADD and still checking out all the streets in my running “area”, I was able to make a 4.65 loop before realizing the time crunch I was working with.

Neighborhood running may soon trump the trails I used to run on. Mostly because I keep entertained with sights and not trying to run people over. My speed may suffer. But it’s all about give and take in such non-gym member circumstances.

But back to the time crunch. I started to rush. Because some things are important to be on time for.This is one of them. Thank goodness the sun decided to stick around for the rest of the day. Imagine my annoyance and frustration had it been rained out when I took an extra vacation day from work.

Oh Wrigley Field… I’m a Cardinals fan, but I will always enjoy the Friendly Confines. This I know.Megan and I didn’t indulge in baseball favorites like last time, but there was still a brew or two to be had.

Monday Funday. It doesn’t happen often, so you’ve got to make sure to celebrate properly. Ya dig?

Ok fine… it’s time to throw myself into work now and hopefully be so busy that I won’t even notice the awfulness that is Tuesday.

Weeeee!

A Block Party for the Books

Can I just say how much I love my new location?

The sights and sounds never cease to amuse me.

Like when I was walking towards Wrigley field to meet up with Kelly:

Beer pong on the sidewalks while blasting N*Sync?  Where was my invite, guys? I could have brought some Goose Island and Aqua to rock out to!

Actually, I couldn’t have- we’re not even going to talk about how upsetting it is that I’m no longer in possession of that cd.  :(

Anyway- Kelly was in town for work, but luckily she still had some time to come out and play for a bit over the weekend. She’s a Yankees fan (we’re not going to judge), and guess who the Cubs were playing this weekend?

She and her boyfriend met up with me outside the stadium and we started our assault on the strip of bars along Clark Street.

Earlier in the week, as Kelly and I were going back and forth about things to do, I saw an interesting post go through about the Wrigleyville Block Party…I thought to myself, “that looks like fun”.

But THEN… I found out another little tid bit of info about the party. And passed the info along…Kelly got excited. Being as how I talk about this cover band called Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press “all the time”.

Really? All the time? Do I? Crap.Look at those legs. Can ya blame me?Looks like someone’s enjoying the music. And we know what that means…DANCE PARTY!

I totally got showed up by a 3-year-old girl in the bustin’ moves department.

You win some, you lose some. 

Unfortunately, the band only got to play for under an hour because the block party wasn’t allowed to go past 8:00 that night (Boooo!). There are supposed to be a few more over the summer after Cubs games- maybe they’ll break down and extend it next time?

A girl can dream.

The show ended on a good note- they played “All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey- obviously.

After that, it was time to wander the streets once again in search of food. We were creepin’ in the windows of all the bars looking for a place that MIGHT just have a place for us to sit. Turns out Rockwood Place did. And so we feasted.All I saw was “BBQ chicken” and my choice was made. Nevermind the fact that I had white shorts on (seriously- how big of a disaster could that have been???).

Kelly and I chatted like we’ve known each other forever. Darren, after meeting me over St. Patty’s Day Weekend, was finally relaxed enough to know that Kelly’s blogger friend is not a psycho killer. Success!

So yes- I did get a weekend of fun and a little relaxation. Just what I needed.  :)

Have a good Monday, kids. Totally don’t mean to rub it in, but it’s only a three-day work week for me. Then I’m off to the ‘Lou for the wedding of one of my best friends.

I’m really not kidding when I tell people I have the month of June planned down to the minute. It’s starting to frustrate a lot of my friends.

My apologies.

The Celebration Continues

After working out to the royal wedding, Mon and I were feeling a little slighted that we couldn’t continue the celebration with the royal family.

But our luck turned when Mon’s work surprised everyone with a little bit o’ bubbly.You’re gonna shoot your eye out… you’re gonna shoot your eye out…

Name that movie.

This was Friday night, so you can probably guess we watched more wedding coverage. Seriously. It was everywhere…

And sure, we could have made it all proper and gotten some nice chocolate or caviar or at least something fancy to go with our champagne.Or barbeque?

Well- sort of. It was the last of the turkey leftovers my mom sent back with me from our family Easter dinner. Really it was just a matter of throwing on things that happened to be around. Such as avocado. Jalapenos. Pepperjack cheese. And BBQ sauce.

For dessert, may I suggest almost a half bag of Easter candy?

Not that I would have done that or anything…

Malted milk ball robin eggs… they get me every time.

No wonder why I was at the gym super early on Saturday morning.

3 miles at 8:31 pace. And 15 minutes on the stairmill. My first run over 2 miles in quite some time. Before, anything over 2 miles had left my leg feeling uncomfortably achy. But it’s a day later and I’m not feeling bad. So yippeeeeeee!

And yes, I still have plans to get it checked out. An appointment has even been made. Which is huge- I often will not visit a doctor without being dragged, kicking and screaming the entire way. Like an 8-year-old.

In short, I don’t like doctors much.

After the gym time, I was in a rush to shower and spend the ENTIRE day playing in Wrigleyville with my future roomie, Bailey (by the way, some have asked, and yes she knows about this blog- and has even been included in some of my posts… she’s just as kooky as the rest of the girls on here…).

A few things we learned:

- Our scheduled day coincided with a pub crawl. Awesome because people were everywhere. Annoying because people were everywhere. Getting our first drink at a new place was never an issue. It was when the crowd would suddenly show up and SLAM the bar that caused the annoyance.

- Baby Guiness shots are fun (amaretto and Bailey’s). And should be done in pairs. Otherwise there is no point. Yummy, but total weak sauce.

- Batting cages are accessible in Wrigleyville (at a bar so properly named Sluggers). They are expensive. But awesome.The helmet would not stay on. My guy friend that was with us said the helmet was unnecessary and suggested I go without. I asked if he knew who he was talking to. He changed his mind and said to keep it on. That really happened.

Last year, Mon and I struck out (yes, I said that) on finding some batting cages near we live and had to settle with bowling (still fun!). But nothing beats hitting some balls around.

Ahem.

- There really are places in the area that will serve Busch Light in a can. That doesn’t mean you should actually drink it.

- You can find people to text while on the late night train home. That doesn’t mean you should actually text them.

- Finally, just because you’re used to waking up around 6:30 in the morning during the week doesn’t mean you should on the weekends. Especially when you didn’t go to bed until 2:30 because you were spending an entire day frolicking.

I should lay back down.

If it’s only 8:30 in the morning, does sleep still count for the night before, or is it already my first nap of the day? Hmmm…

First Baseball Weekend In Wrigleyville

Good afternoon.It was an extra-large-cup-o-coffee kind of morning.

I would imagine most people who participate in Opening weekend would agree.

Oh and do you see that awesome spot on my table? That happened last summer- don’t leave a bottle of sun tan lotion sit on your table for a day. Especially if you don’t realize the cap was open and it leaked… because it will eat the finish on the new table you just bought a few months earlier.

Anyway, on to more pressing issues.

Like who’s the smart one that schedules a Saturday baseball game at noon?

Really?If you were out in Wrigleyville, you may have seen me and some of my cohorts in action (even Megan joined in on the fun!). We were the group of delinquents eating nachos at The Stretch, hiding out at Murphy’s Bleachers, eating more nachos and dancing at Casey Moran’s or starting the dance party back at The Stretch.

We like nachos. And we like to dance.

Obviously.

So I’m quite tired today. May have been less tired had we not ran to catch a train and watched it pull away as we got through the doors. And then had to wait an hour for the next one…

We’re really good at that.

As you can see, I elected to spend the day in Wrigleyville and pass up my long run. Still feeling good after my little workout on Thursday night, so we’re going to do a little more running/cross-training today and tomorrow. Just not push it. And still take an extra day or two of rest. Annoying but necessary.

Luckily, as last week passed, I started to get much better at enjoying my sudden free time.

Which is easy to do in good company. On Friday, my good friend Annie and I decided to get together for a lazy night in with wine and a red box.And pizza… don’t forget the pizza…

She requested homemade pizza made by yours truly, and she took care of the salad.

Team work.

Anyway, it’s about time to get moving and try to enjoy the end of my weekend. Laters!

Everywhere and Back Again

I’m going to be cheap and use a shot of Jake Gyllenhaal naked to catch your attention:I’m not ashamed.  He is quite the handsome man.  And has come a long way from his Bubble Boy days. ;)

But yes, I just made this late breakfast. Yesterday was a whirlwind and I’m all out of whack it seems.

That can sometimes be a good thing. 

I got up early for a coffee date at O’Hare with my fantabulous friend Ashlee.  She had a 4-hour layover and we were determined to take advantage of it.Hey girl… heeeeeeyyyy!

 O’Hare is a huge place.  And I have no sense of direction.  So it took a bit to finally come together.  Which is sad, because I had a plan.  And a sign for when she walked out from the gate:Totally didn’t get to use it.  But it’s the thought that counts, right?

And yeah- we have nicknames.  I call her monkey and she calls me penguin.

You can try to understand our crazy if you want to.  But I don’t really even know how we became so weird…I already had breakfast, and Ashlee’s not a big breakfast person, so we split a cookie from Starbucks.  The white chocolate icing was fab.  But we both said the same thing.  Crunchy sugar cookies are not nearly as good as soft ones.  Truth.

After a couple hours, she had to leave for her flight home.  I’m being mischievous and am already coming up with ways to sabotage her next layover so she’ll have no choice but to stay in Chicago.  For good.  Muhahahaha…

I also had another friend who was in the area for the weekend from Philly.  We went to college together and there was an MU game on last night, so it only seemed natural that we made our way to The Spread (my favorite Mizzou bar in the Lincoln Park neighborhood).The three of us slowly and randomly worked our way around the city. It would have been faster had we not had a cab driver who hated life and decided to tell us why and then the other cab driver who seemed more lost than we were. 

My favorite spot of the night was at Cubby Bear just outside of Wrigleyville.  The big Northwestern vs. Illinios game was played inside of Wrigley field yesterday and ESPN College Game Day had been there.  Needless to say, the streets were packed.  The bars were full.  The drinks were flowing.

The pizza was also ordered.  And demolished.

We crashed at a friend’s house (drinking and driving should never be mixed, kids!) and I woke up with a bit of a headache.  Which is somewhat surprising considering how much we ate at the end of the night.  I’m not a big believer in Advil (seriously- I’ve only stashed one or two sample packets of Advil at home from work for worst-case scenarios), so my cure came in the form of this: They should really come up with a bigger size for their iced teas.  Like a pony keg.  I’d dig it. Because this was obviously not enough (refer to coffee in the first picture that was immediately consumed after my tea was gone).

I think I have a caffeine addiction.

I also think that is not a surprising revelation.

I also think it may be time to lounge some more.  It’s Sunday.  Sundays are lazy.  Truth.

A Day of Baseball

After my late night shenanigans on Friday, Saturday morning’s early wakeup call to go down to Wrigley was not a pleasant one. 

But I persevered.  Because I was meeting up with another gal from my hometown (who lives in the area) and a few of her coworkers to go cheer on the Cardinals during the Cards/Cubs series!I may not be a Cubs fan.  But I’m a HUGE fan of Wrigley Field.  How can you not be?  It’s iconic!

I’m also a huge fan of Murphy’s Bleachers.  It’s a bar just outside of Wrigley behind the outfield.I also like to drink Old Style at Murphy’s.  I was told during my first trip to Wrigley that it’s sort of a rite of passage. 

Drinking before noon is totally acceptable when done so in a ceremonious fashion.  Right?

I believe this is also the only time that drinking crap beer would be considered “ceremonious”.

One of the guys was able to pick up some bleachers seats for us.This was my first time in the bleacher seats.  Supposedly they get pretty crazy.  I would assume this happens when it’s a little warmer than 55 degrees and when one of the teams playing still has a shot at the playoffs.  The whole atmosphere was a little subdued.

I did spy some good looking eats in front of me.Who doesn’t love a huge helmet full of nachos?  And they were LOADED.  Unfortunately, I never found where these were being sold.  And had to stick with a dinky overpriced italian sausage.  Booo…

What’s your favorite kind of stadium food?  I used to seek out the Dippin’ Dots if wherever I was had them- I was obsessed!

Sadly, I had to endure a Cardinals loss.  I’m sure Paige, who was also there, may have more enthusiastic feelings towards the outcome of the game.  ;)

Oh and did anyone see Hawksworth get a line drive right to the face?This could be one time that I’m glad Wrigley doesn’t have a big screen for replays. It looked horrific- and that’s coming from the girl who saw it all the way from the outfield…

Afterwards, we made a trip to Cubby Bear (also right across from the stadium) and hung out there until I was ready to sneak out and get home.  I was exhausted. And kinda hungry.Trader Joe’s spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli.  Topped off with my “fancy” Prego and sautéed mushrooms.  Way better than another round of pricey stadium food, right?

And right now I’m up and at ‘em early again to drive down with my lovely friend Annie to totally OWN this 8k we’re doing.  Well- hopefully.  :)  I’ve been a little shaky on the left leg as of late (notice all the elliptical vs. running days).  But I’ve taken some time off of it and I think I’m ready to go!

Time to get my run on!

Have a great Sunday!

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