Since I cannot do anything productive because I am busy hacking out a lung, why not update the blog? I can't really say I have much to update, except that it's still cold in Chicago, I'm still working, still paying too much for my apartment, yet surprisingly, I'm still a happy camper.
It's about that time in the winter where I start to get real annoyed at the pesky cold. The weather is fine in December; in fact, it's kind of pretty. The first snow, the less bitter cold spells, the beautiful lights lining the streets, the hot cocoa warming up your insides and the Ugg boots still looking fairly clean. You leave for a few weeks on a nice jaunt back to the best coast to celebrate the season with family and dear friends. Unsuspectingly and quite naively, you step out of Midway Airport to hail your cab and immediately run back inside, typically screaming expletives. Inevitably you failed to bring your warm down coat to California because why bother with that thing when you'll never wear it?
I'll tell you why bother! That bitter chill only to be experienced right around New Years is not habitable in some fleece or silly sweatshirt. It's like bathing in the kitchen sink. Just doesn't cut it. Sure it was raining the entire time I was in California, but 55 and raining is nothing compared to 10 before windchill is factored in. I wonder when I will ever learn. Suffice to say, I survived (barely) - I managed to shutter myself into a cab and back to my nook on Dearborn St. Only, of course, to repeat the same mistake again next year (well, if I am still here...which warrants a whole different post (that I will likely never write) altogether).
Chicago in late January may just be the most horrible time to visit - EVER. It's frigid; I am talking -30 with windchill last weekend. YEAH, NEGATIVE 30. Sure I only have a 1/2 mile walk to work, but do you know what a half mile feels like in -30 degrees? I didn't think so. And that hot chocolate I mentioned earlier - how it warms the insides in December. Well, in late January you have one of two choices: (a) chug it immediately once you step outside of the Starbucks, successfully scalding your insides, or (b) wait to let it "cool down" and it's a frozen chocolate brick in 3 1/2 minutes, literally (ok, maybe 5). Last week, I got the brilliant idea to leave my water bottle half full in the car, so the next day I wouldn't have to go purchase another one. You know, go upstairs and drink from the Brita, saving the bottled stuff for the car rides. Yup, frozen solid the next day. And no, I don't park outside. 3 1/2 years out here and I still haven't learned!
From all that, it may sound like I am not a fan of this place. But here's the kicker - I AM! I love it here! I live 3 blocks away from a Nordstrom Rack, Anthropologie, Lululemon (2 of them, actually); there's a McDonald's across the street and a rock 'n roll McDonald's only 4 blocks away! Can you say McGriddles?? When it's not bitter frigid, I jog 1/2 a mile and I am on the lake shore. Chicago has this amazing 16 mile long paved path along the lake shore. It is like nothing else I've ever seen. And get this, I live less than 2 miles away from my boyfriend! For any of you who know me know that is a HUGE accomplishment. Let's just say, in the past, I have kept the men I've dated at a distance (anywhere from 150-2000 miles). Who knew how fun living in the same city as the person you are dating could be?
And, my job! I love my job. I work with 4 awesome, under 30 women who rock my socks. In addition, I work on saving lives every day. We educate and empower young women who are at high-risk for breast and ovarian cancer to be advocates for their health. We provide education, support and a sense of community to young women so they can catch breast or ovarian cancer at an early, non-life threatening stage, or help them to take the steps to avoid developing the cancers altogether. The women I deal with are amazing. Talk about a cause worth waking up for everyday with a little pep in your step.
There are, of course, the obvious negatives: people from out here always screen your calls (who in their right mind knows where 707 is from), the whole CA salad movement has yet to catch on out here, Boba is practically non-existent, and it's a lot harder to pull off the blonde hair when your skin is see-through from your unhealthy Vitamin D deficiency. There were five other reasons...but I can't seem to put my finger on them...ah well, must be the cough meds.
Sending my love to you all. When you get it, don't be alarmed if you get the shivers.