Thursday, September 30, 2010

My friend

Well, I'm down to counting hours (19) now instead of days. After months of planning, it snuck up on me. I can't believe I'm actually doing this and I can't believe it's tomorrow!

My car is mostly packed. I still have various things to shove into places. Everything would fit beautifully, but now that I have an extra person for 5 days. Needless to say, I'm a little worried. Where will we all go? Packing for this trip is frustrating because it all has to go. I have no where else to put anything. In 19 hours, I'm homeless and jobless.

Seriously, I was sofrustrated and discouraged, wondering how I was going to pull this off alone when my friend, without me saying a word, offered to come over and help. This friend was in the process of giving me a two hour full body massage.Later after the massage, my same friend told me I was a "phantom" and my appointment had simply been erased from the the log. This is some friend!

So, Megan, this blog entry is totally foryou! You are amazing. Thank you so much for being the friend that I've needed these past few months. You easily came to more Second City shows than anyone else. You introduced me to some excellent movies. And, you made totally killer roadtrip cds. I'm so glad that I finally broke down that day and got a massage. That 5 pack deal was one of the best choices I've made in Chicago.

So, my favorite 6'1", Big Islander, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being my friend. my real friend.

I will miss you and can't wait to see what God has in store for you next. Keep me updated!!!


the nomad

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"We're going on an ah-plane"

Today as I was working on the never-ending packing, the boys decided to help. They brought all the "essentials": dragon castle, giant stuffed bear, bucket full of random small toys, and, of course, "Big Buzz" (Lightyear).

A: How do I break the news they aren't coming along?

Q: I don't... I just sneak off into the night while they're sleeping as planned. :(

At least they were talking about my "new house" as they were packing up all their stuff. I promised them that as soon as I figured out where it was I'd let them know. Hopefully it won't be too much of a surprise on Friday morning.

The SuperTrip WonderMap

Hello friends,

I am a smart lady in a lot of respects. Tonight I learned Google Maps is not one of them. So sorry to say instead of one big map you get 13 pieces. They should line up though and then you can see the entire plan. Also, the last half is not 100% correct, more like 90% but I just didn't care anymore. I was too tired of fighting. stinkin' Google Maps...

Again, I'd like to blame Google apologize for the weird things like those random airplanes.

In other news, my car is squeaky clean but still empty. My boss told me if I packed my car, it would get broken into. I started to argue the point but stopped.
1. I live in the safest neighborhood I've ever lived in.
2. If they want my water bottles, I suppose they can have them.
3. I'm packing my trunk.
4. It doesn't take much to convince a lazy person not to heave heavy items out to her car, especially when she has to it by herself.

Instead, I've paid off my debt to society, or at least Chicago. Take that parking tickets! or as I call them "my Chicago tax." I got another "Chicago tax" last night. ugh. At least it's the last one.

The biggest news tonight, though, has to be the fact that Catie's tickets are FINALLY BOUGHT!!! Yay! Of course, always the complicated one, she ended up being super afraid of flying so now Kelly's tickets are bought too! hah. Flying buddy. I'm pretty excited about it though. It will be nice to have a third person for the ocean cliffs. It gives me a chance to have more fun with my D3000 and spend less time about worrying about killing my family with a turn that wasn't quite soft enough.

Alright kids, that's all I've got. I need sleep. Only one more full day in the city. Today, we had a lot of appointments and the such so the boys stayed super busy. Tomorrow we have a free day. You know, what's fun? Taking my stuff to my car. yes...there's got to be a game there somewhere. hmm...I'll keep you posted.


the nomad.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the one where I announce my new camera

Let's finish up the weekend, shall we?

So Friday night, post warning, I got home exhausted and still ended up talking to my mother until 2 in the morning. ugh! I love her, but she can talk!

Saturday I was off to a slower start that I was intending due to the large volume of people in our house. (My mom had neglected to read the email and 3 texts I had sent her confirming my weekend and had invited another family to spend the night too. At least, I ended up on the longer couch.) First thing I did, after leaving my mom's, was take my car for an oil change and basic fluid check. I also walked around WalMart comparing tent prices and picking up a few more essentials, though I keep forgetting laundry detergent.

After the first major fix was out of the way, I decided to visit my aunt and newborn cousin in the hospital. It was a fantastic afternoon. The baby is adorable. And spending time alone talking to my aunt was priceless. Only one problem. I don't know how to leave places. I ended up staying 4 hours! Great bonding time. Bad fixing car time.

By the time I'd left, the tire store had closed. I had wanted a rotation and possibly a new tire after learning at the oil change that one of my tires is at 4/32. yikes. But no, I missed that. Also because I was in Smalltown, Indiana it wasn't open the next day either. Nothing is open on Sunday.

Instead of tires I ended up heading to Best Buy. My mom met me there and we scoured the store looking for the perfect camera. It had been my intent to look around, try a few out, and then purchase one online. Instead I found one a really wanted, found out it was on sale (which ended that day), talked the saleslady into a slightly bigger discount ($23), and bought it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce my new....(drumroll, please)

Nikkon D3000

I also picked up a 55-200mm lens and a camera bag.

It is lovely. I can't get over the clarity. I can't wait to actually learn how to use it. You know, aside from the automatic button.

After that huge purchase, which felt like it cut me deep (I hate "impluse" buys. I wish the sale had lasted one more day), I went to Chili's with my mom and her friends. Yum.

The rest of Saturday night is kind of a blur. I think we spent most of it talking about the trip, gathering mom's personal trip items, and calling my sister to yell at her because she STILL hadn't decided if she was coming or not.

Sunday I woke up, after sleeping in a bed, and went to church. It's always nice to be back at my home church. I love it. love it. love it. Being with people who actually full like family is refreshing. People whose lives I've invested in and they've invested in mine. I simply love it. I am still loving our new minister. He is wonderful and really studies before he preaches. Though he is in my my mom's age range, he studied at a sister school to mine back in the day. I can't describe how great it is to be among like-minded people. After a year in the Chicago church scene, the only word I can find is "refreshing". I wish I could find a church like that up here. I know it's one of the reasons I still don't have roots in Chicago.

After church (we, true to form, were the last ones out), we headed to Long John Silver's, much to my mother's chagrin. Thankfully it wasn't up to her, my 2 year old "nephew" decided. I appreciated.

By the time we left, I was getting nervous. We still had things to buy and I STILL hadn't found anyone to fix my cigarette lighter. My mom, aka. Ms Fix-It, decided she could do it and headed off to Auto Zone. Leann and I and "nephew" headed to Meijer and then Walmart where I finally bought a 6 person tent.

We reconvened back home. It was there that the most devastating part of the entire weekend happened. Mom got to work on my cigarette lighter. She worked and worked to get it out. Finally, she was able to pull in the new one. Nothing happened. She decided to check the fuse, though my sister's exboyfriend, a mechanic, had told me he had checked it and it was not the problem. Guess what? It was the problem!!!! AGH! I have been living without the ability to charge my phone in my car for about a year because of his stupidity. Truthfully, I could have checked it. I've changed fuses before but silly me, I trusted the guy who fixes cars for a living. Ugh. I could punch him. Needless to say, it actually works now.

After that, I pretty much finished collecting stuff, solidified some more plans, ate dinner, and headed from my dads to sleep.

Thus concludes the final weekend. shoo... If you had read every word, you probably deserve a medal.

the nomad

Sunday, September 26, 2010

blue & red lights + green machine = another night in Indiana

Hello again friends,

Today I'm writing you from the lovely town of Lafayette, IN, home of Purdue University, Jeremy Camp (really? really.), and my dads. Lafayette has become the perfect stopping point from all my trek from Chicago. But not anymore. nope. Tonight is the last because...



shoo, now that that's out of the way, let's continue...

On Friday night, after saying goodbye the best hot dog in the world, I continued down toward K-Town. Let's take a quick moment to remember how tired I was. The night before I had stayed up all night (almost 2) to clean & pack everything so my boss could rearrange the furniture. I had then wake up by 7am to take the van to the shop. I got off work at 6:30pm, packed my car and headed on the 4 hour ride home, stopping at Portillo's for hot dogs and Meijer for something to drink (naked's green machine) in Lafayette to try to stay awake. All this is to remind you of my extreme tiredness, so when I tell you I got pulled over for drunk driving 30 miles outside of my home town you'll understand why.

So, 30 miles outside of K-Town, I see blue and red lights in my rearview mirror. I had been talking to my mom and had just realized I was speeding a bit in the small town (60 in a 30?) so I had just hit my brakes a little. This is when the lights came on. I quickly rush out, "Mom, there's a cop. gotta go. bye" and then like a good, self-respecting Chicagoan, throw my phone.

The officer who comes to my car is seriously the nicest cop who has ever pulled me over for drunk driving (yes, there have been others...I wasn't drunk then either! see why I don't drink!?!). He explains that he watched me cross the center line a few times (Keep in mind, I'm in the middle of Nowhere, Indiana) and was just to making sure I was okay. I tell him I thought he had pulled me over for speeding and talking to my mom on the phone. (I'm an idiot.) Thankfully, he was apparently a little deaf because he didn't say anything as he took my license and registration.

While I sat there, feeling the lights pound into my headache, I reached for my newly acquired Green Machine drink. I opened it, took a sip, and immediately began making facing and looking for a place to spit it out. Quickly I realized I had to swallow it because opening the door to spit liquid out my mouth was not going to help convince the cop running my license that I was in fact sober. Oh that disgusting liquid. After swallowing but while still making the faces, I turned it over and reread the back. Just like I had remembered there were still all those lovely fruit pictures but what I had apparently not registered before was the list of other natural ingredigents that been included, such as wheat grass (ugh! that's what I had tasted.) and green tea. green tea! green tea! I had bought and started to drink something that contained green tea! I must have been drunk! I'm allergic to caffiene, for Pete's sake!

At any rate, by the time the officer returned bringing me my WARNING (yay!), I was definitely wide awake and ready to be home! So in my lane I stayed as I sped home chatting with my mom. After all, I didn't even get a warning for those. Ah, Indiana... it's been good to be home.

the nomad

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Few More Lasts

I'm writing this post from one of my favorite places: Portillo's Hot Dogs
(that's right, they're air conditioned!)

Just look at this piece of deliciousness:

yum yum.

The sad thing is for dinner at the house I ate a hot dog. It wasn't very good and I ended up wanting something else. Who knew that would eating being another hot dog!

Fear not, that's not all I got though...

this is the crown jewel. The Shortberry Shortcake. a steal at $2.99. it's huge and just look at all that cream! This cannot be healthy at all.

Ah, Portillo's, I shall miss you.

In other news, I'm still exhausted. But instead of sleeping, I'm on my way to Indiana. Hooray! I ended up getting off work early. You should also know I had the van to the shop by 7:45 am and we still don't have it back. My boss moved the only piece of furniture that I hadn't completely cleared out (don't look in my bathroom right now!) and the chairs. Bye-bye deer chairs! I scored a new down couch for my room of 4 more days. I can't wait to actually sit in it.
Furthermore, I did not make it to Costco, Target, or even karate class. However, I definitely think I've found my replacement. She even speaks French and Sign Language! If I wasn't leaving, we'd probably be friends "for real life", as my boys say.

Well, it's been fun catching up but it's time to get back on the road now...

the nomad

PS. I'm sure this is gonna start a huge discussion but I'm asking everyone, I'm thinking of getting a SRL camera for the road trip. What do you suggest?

The Great Divide

Boy, I'm exhausted. It's 12:54 am here in the Windy City. I have to be up tomorrow to take my boss' vans to get the brakes fixed at 7am. ugh. I just saw the schedule for tomorrow and I'm scheduled to work until 9pm. double ugh. During those 14 hours, on top of getting the brakes fixed, I also am supposed to take care of the 3 boys per usual, take one to karate, do a huge shop at Costco for a Saturday party (without a car?), shop at Target (without a car?), conduct 2 nanny interviews (one of which was schedule during the karate class), and allow someone in my room to rearrange the furniture. it's gonna be a long one....

The furniture situation is particularly irksome. Not only is this something that could been put back a week, but this also means I have to had my room clean. not super clean. but clean enough for movers. and much cleaner than it's gonna look 6 days before a MAJOR road trip/life change. After all, even if I come back to Chicago, I'm not coming back to live here.

But fear not, it's done. It's now 1 am and I have finished. Nothing in the chest. Nothing on any chair. Nothing on the floor. The bedside table stuff could be easily transfered. I'm exhausted. have I mentioned that?

The silver lining is everything is now separated to go home or go on the road trip. My car is currently sitting empty. My closet is sitting full. And, my eyes are sitting heavy.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the scary side of the fun roadtrip

I do not intend for this to become a whiny journal. I've had one of those before. ah, the Xanga days... (I was going to hyperlink an entry or two but decided it was in my best interest to refrain. I'm still friends with some to the boys I was fawning over back then. truestory)

Anyway, tonight, I make an exception. After all, this blog is all about the truth of the trip. Well, here's tonight's truth. Tonight's no-good, whiny, poor-me truth:

I'm scared. I'm frustrated. I'm overwhelmed. I want to cry when I actually stop to think what I'm doing. I want to call it all off. I want to puke. I am terrified of the cliffs on the 101, the traffic in LA, the long stretches of road, the lack of proper rest stops in South Dakota, the way I will smell after the first 3 days, the animal skins in the Indian villages, the living bears in Yellowstone, my car getting a flat tire in the desert, the infrequency of solid sleep, but, mostly, the uncertainty of life after the trip.

I feel like I'm so close to the trip that I'm starting to lose focus of the trip.

Everyone is talking about it like it's a huge vacation. I'm getting huge discounts places (I just got upgraded at the Hilton! squeal!), which is cool. I'm researching the best things to do in every city. But that's not the point. That was never the point.

I put this trip together for one purpose: to see what God has next for me.

It's hitting more and more that I'm not leaving time for that. Where did I schedule that in between the Lake Mead paddleboat ride and the iO tickets?

I think I'm starting to get really scared because it's one thing to say you want God to direct your path, it's another to let Him. God and I haven't been bffs this year. We've been more like office friends. The kind you see on the street or at the grocery so wave and smile to but keep walking on. I don't want that. I haven't wanted that. I think that happens when you are away from the Bubble. I want God to tell me what's next. However, I also want to be in control. I'm very good at control. Just ask my sister who I left in tears tonight at the end of our phone call. But, so very, very, uncomfortably soon, I will no longer be in control. The time for planning will be over and it will be time to do nothing but trust.

It's like when I do air swings. I love being cranked up. I love swinging down. I hate letting go of the cord. The second I have to let go, is the worst second of the entire experience. Up to this point, in my warped mind, if anything went wrong, I could pull myself to safety with the little piece of rope. But as soon as I let go, everything will fall apart: the rope holding my up will mysteriously be severed in half in midair, the entire apparatus will collapse, and the aliens will finally come to collect all earthlings. Yes, it's for your safety, as well as mine, I hold on.

How conceited am I? It's time to pull the rip cord.

wish me luck. but more importantly, pray for me. thanks.

the nomad

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

trying to figure out picture posting

So my friend, Corie, finally explained how to post pictures where I want them. So let's try this, shall we?

Subject matter: The Second City graduation.
ah, I remember it like it was yesterday....

Hugging my teacher...

Receiving the T-shirt...

Finding out said T-shirt was almost as long as my dress...

Ta Da!

(yeah, there wasn't much to it and I decided to not include all the pictures of my dancing the night away. Though, if you have a strong stomach, they are on Facebook)

And now, hopefully I've learned how to upload pictures!

Which begs the question....Should I buy a new camera in the next week? If so, what kind?

hooray and goodnight

the nomad

A few of my favorite things

I have decided to do this while I'm still excited (though,admittedly, slightly scared) about the impending trip and not an emotional pile of sludge on the floor.

These are the things I shall miss:
90 min massages
my paycheck
a paycheck
a walk in closet (albeit a mini one)
queen size bed
bathroom right off of my room
the carpet in the living room
living in a house that has an entire room devoted to a baby grand piano
driving a minivan
free museum passes
free parking at Lincoln Park Zoo
all the perks at the Museum of Science and Industry
the giant wrap around couch in our living room
all the fruit I can eat
free groceries
free laundry
free bedroom
the Polish cleaning ladies
Flat Top Grill
the Brown Line
walking around downtown
rooftop fireworks
Corcoran After Parties
spending afternoons in Lincoln Park
Farmer's Markets
the crepes at the farmer's market
swimming pool access
performing at The Second City
typing in security codes to get in/out of my house (I don't every time but I do love it)
driving to places on a normal basis that I see in movies
my blasé attitude I've developed of the Magnificent Mile
living in the city my friends want to visit
the island in our kitchen
Chicago style Hot Dogs
Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinders
The Art Institute of Chicago
driving on Lake Shore
living close to a body of water
*Am I missing anything?

Things I will NOT miss:
the screams of other people's children in my sleep
the screams of other people's children when I am not sleeping
white walls
bowtie light fixtures
deer print chairs
the "windy" part of the Windy City
6 way intersections
the Nature Museum
making excuses to not to go to the Field
living in a city that slowing becoming the coffee capital
8 am start times
not having a weekend for basically 17 months
not having skim milk
sharing laundry with little boys and housekeepers
cleaning up other people's messes
being a quieter person
worrying when/if I'd make friends
doing other people's jobs and watching them get the credit
feeling weird about inviting people over to my residence
parking stickers (and parking tickets!)
everyone always asking me how I can drive in this city
Scott 1 ply toilet paper
*I'm sure I'm missing things!

All things considered, this was a fantastic year! I'm going to miss a lot. I'm truly grateful that I've got to live on the other side and see how "the other half" lives, definitely differently than Mt Healthy! Sometimes people tell me I don't seem grateful. I am. I definitely am. I acknowledge that, for whatever reason, I've been incredibly blessed. I just never expected this type of blessing. I expected a couple part time waitressing jobs and living with a couple people I met on Craigslist. Instead, God gave me more than I needed, more than I even knew I wanted...and then He threw in some deer print chairs for good measure.

it is finished.

After a year and a half of travel, classes, teachers, moving, shows, and everything else, last night I graduated from the Improv (comedy) Conservatory at The Second City!

Last night, thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of training came down to an one-size only t-shirt, thin crust pizza, and a couple pitchers of beer (of which, I drank none). ha. talk about underwhelming.

welcome to the world of comedy.

You only do comedy because of passion. The all consuming passion that makes you believe it's the only thing you can do. People always ask me how I got into comedy/why I do comedy. The answer is always the same: "I had no choice." Anyway who sticks with comedy to be famous is a fool. There is no glory. There is no fame. And there certainly is no money.

There is, however, a large t-shirt, thin crust pizza, a couple pitchers of cheap beer and, let's not forget, dance party. And, I, for one, wouldn't trade that for the world! :)

the nomad

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pirate Balls

Pop Quiz:
Today I did ______ to prepare for the trip.

a. so much I could cry
b. 20 jumping jacks, 10 sit ups, and ran 2 miles
c. nothing
d. more packing and sorting

And the answer is: "c. nothing"


However, silver lining, stuff was done for me. I received an email confirming sleeping arrangements to Seattle! yay!!!

So what then did I do with a free Sunday if I wasn't packing? excellent question.


Well, sadly that's more true than false. I was supposed to meet my fake sister (what you don't have a fake sister? I thought everyone had a....Mooooom...not everyone has a fake sister! why are we always the weird family? oh well, such is life.), Kelly, downtown when her train came in at 1:45pm. I woke up, eyeglass-less, seeing this: "11:5588" and yelling this: "crap, crap, crap...please say 11, please say 11!" um. no. Upon retrieving my glasses, it definitely read "1:58"! ack!

How did I sleep that late? Don't answer that. For most of you, the thought of me sleeping that late is not in the least shocking. However, absolutely honestly, I have not slept that late since moving to Chicago! or not least 2 months.

Anyway, after a quick plan change, I drove downtown, picked her up, and drove off to place in Chicago she had never been: Devon. For those of you who don't know, Devon Ave is a wonderfully ethnically diverse street in Chicago. It is mainly known though as "Little India." You step out of your car and into another country. The air smells different, the language on the signs is different, people look and dress's wonderful.

Within minutes of being there I learn that Kelly has never eaten Indian food (or Thai or Sushi or or or....!). Fast forwarding the story a bit, we end up eating at Chopal. I could not asked for a better place to introduce her to Chicken Biriyani, Dal, and Naan. Sure, the heat level was slightly above the 3 that I had warned her it would be, but the service was fantastic. I had told the server that we were just stopping in for a snack so we weren't getting much and we'd share. In true Desi fashion, they didn't listen as they loaded us up with free stuff: soup, white rice and salad, dessert, and tea. :) (I just tried to post a picture. someone please tell me how to put a picture here where I want it and not on top of the entire post! thanks)

After a couple of hours in Devon, we were ready to move on. On the way back to my house, we passed an antique shop that I've always wanted to visit. Kelly pointed that I'm running out of time to visit everything I've always wanted to see. So I took a hard turn and parked. The antique shop was everything an antique should be. It was wonderfully cramped with random objects ranging from children's books to working 1940s radios to a table made of deer legs and hooves (I "eeked" and ran away!). The absolute best thing of all was the chest filled with authentic pirate cannonballs from the Caribbean! The guys told me to pick one up. They were SO heavy! For only $125 each, they can be yours.

We left the store empty handed, dropped off my car at my house, and took the train downtown. The next destination was Buckingham Fountain. Thankfully we made it in time for the lights and music. simply beautiful. (I have pictures that I'd post if someone would tell me how...)

Then we walked through Grant Park, down Michigan Ave, past Crown Fountain, through Millennium Park, and took very dark, grainy pictures of Cloud Gate (the bean). How many more times will I be able to do that? Next I bought a homeless man a footlong at Subway and Kelly gave him the Gospel of John. We moved on to Daley Plaza and chatted there for a bit before heading to Union Station.

At Union Station, I finally did the "English Pirate" that she'd been begging for all day. haha. Who could blame her? It is "International Talk Like A Pirate Day" after all! Who knew English pirates were so pleasant? "Would you like a scone and some grog?" "'cuse me, but you mind if I take yer booty?" "Avast! I be in this queue, ye bilge rat!" well, mostly polite.

After she boarded her train, I walked to the Quincy station, stopping only to talk to a random girl about if I liked her vest or it made her look like a brick house at which I started singing "Brickhouse" to her and her friends, all strangers, and then I took the Brown Line home.

aw life. How many days like this will I have left with you, dear Chicago? Today was my last Sunday. how strange. how strange indeed.

the nomad

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nerd Alert

Well, today ended up being a pretty productive day considering I felt like I did nothing:
  • I can add "The Princess and The Frog" and "The Ugly Truth" to the list movies I've seen.
  • I got to watch "Modern Times" again. Boy, I LOVE Charlie Chaplin. I'm really hoping to visit his studio especially in LA.
  • Laundry is done. :)
  • Suitcase is out and sweaters are packed. :)
  • And the super nerdy packing list seems to be about finished. Can you see the packing list?I still trying to figure Blogger out. Am I leaving anything out of the list? (Okay, I admit it's a bit ridiculous and a little Type A, over-the-top, but what else do you really expect? I love this kind of stuff.)

Random subject change:
I want to thank you all. I know you are not all sitting on the edge of your seat, biting your nails waiting for the next post as I like to imagine. But just knowing you are there and feeling that I must update at least day is keeping me motivated. And right now, as the date approaches, I need all the motivation I can get. I don't do well on my own. I never have. So thank you friends. Thank you for reading and commenting. Thank you for reading and not commenting. Every time I see someone visited the page it is a bit of a kick in the pants, which I always need. So thank you. thank you. thank you.


the nomad

Saturday, September 18, 2010

forget cleaning

I just bought way too much music!

See for yourself:

Lake Shore Drive Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
Eternal Flame The Bangles
Kokomo The Beach Boys
I Get Around The Beach Boys
Fight for Your Right Beastie Boys
No Rain Blind Melon
If We've Ever Needed You Casting Crowns
The Devil Went Down to Georgia The Charlie Daniels Band
Let's Hear It for the Boy Deniece Williams
Robots (Live) Flight of the Conchords
Ruby Tuesday From 'The Royal Tenenbaums'
The Power of Love Huey Lewis & The News
Be OK Ingrid Michaelson
Giving Up Ingrid Michaelson
Over the Rainbow Ingrid Michaelson
The Chain (Live from Webster Hall) Ingrid Michaelson
Lady In Spain Ingrid Michaelson
Keep Breathing Ingrid Michaelson
Oh What a Day Ingrid Michaelson
The Way I Am (Live on WERS) Ingrid Michaelson
Can't Help Falling In Love (Live At Daytrotter) Ingrid Michaelson
Be OK (Acoustic) Ingrid Michaelson
The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena) Jan & Dean
Hot N Cold Katy Perry
U Can't Touch This MC Hammer
Party In the U.S.A. Miley Cyrus
My Help Comes From the Lord The Museum
You Got It (The Right Stuff) New Kids On the Block
Here It Goes Again OK Go
Hit the Road Jack Ray Charles
Better Regina Spektor
Samson Regina Spektor
On the Radio Regina Spektor
Field Below Regina Spektor
Hotel Song Regina Spektor
Après Moi Regina Spektor
20 Years of Snow Regina Spektor
That Time Regina Spektor
Edit Regina Spektor
Lady Regina Spektor
Summer In the City Regina Spektor
Another Town (Bonus Version) Regina Spektor
Uh-Merica (Bonus Version) Regina Spektor
Baobabs (Bonus Version) Regina Spektor
Düsseldorf (Bonus Version) Regina Spektor
Music Box (Bonus Version) Regina Spektor
Hero (Bonus Track) Regina Spektor
Bartender (Bonus Track) Regina Spektor
Laughing With Regina Spektor
Here Comes the Sun Richie Havens
Somebody's Watching Me Rockwell
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair) Scott McKenzie
If It Makes You Happy Sheryl Crow
You Can Have Me Sidewalk Prophets
The Sound of Silence Simon & Garfunkel
Born to Be Wild Steppenwolf
All Delighted People Sufjan Stevens
Enchanting Ghost Sufjan Stevens
Heirloom Sufjan Stevens
From the Mouth of Gabriel Sufjan Stevens
The Owl and the Tanager Sufjan Stevens
All Delighted People (Classic Rock Version) Sufjan Stevens
Arnika Sufjan Stevens
Djohariah Sufjan Stevens
Chicago Sufjan Stevens
Casimir Pulaski Day Sufjan Stevens
Ice Ice Baby (Exclusive Version) Vanilla Ice
Bitter Sweet Symphony The Verve
On the Road Again Willie Nelson

Good news is a bunch of these songs (especially the random ones) were on sale for $.69 and others I got on cd sales. However, that's not the case with all of them. eek.

Welp, I guess I'm set for music. Unless in case, you want to mail me some sweet mixes. We are down to 12 days. There is plenty of time. :)

I've hit a wall

Last night, I continued working on this trip. Actually, I bookmarked every WikiTravel page from here to there. Don't mock. I'm sure that counts as work. I love WikiTravel! I did actually read most of them too. I learned things such as there are no left turn in San Francisco and Four Corners is a fairly pointless stop (but I'm still doing it!).

During my information bingeing, I burned 7 cds for the road trip. I already owned most of these cds but they have either been broken or lost over the years. That still counts, right?

I also watched When Harry Met Sally and thought about crying.

This morning I woke up ready to work more instead I watch The Princess and The Frog. Oh, streaming Netflix, you get me every time...

So now what? Today had been the day I was going to go home, drop off everything I don't need, and have my car fixed. However, my sister broke up with my mechanic, I realized I may need the stuff I don't need for at least another week, and a high school friend I haven't seen in 6 years called to see if I want to hang out in Chicago. Super! I'll just go next week.

The friend called about an hour ago and had to back out. bummer.

So now I need to chart my next course of action... I'll re-read my list...
1. I could go shopping but it'd be cheaper in Indiana.
2. I can't really pack yet but maybe I could get started...hmm...sweaters...
3. Maybe I could go un-pack my car. Oh, yeah, it's raining...
4. oh Catie....
5. this one is out of my hands right now.
6. worked on that last night
7. Yes, this is what I should be working on. ugh. The not fun one...

Well, I'm off to clean. that's a lie. I wonder what else is playing on Netflix...

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm the queen of good deals!

I just officially confirmed the sweetest package ever in Vegas. Thanks to a random email I received yesterday from"The Chef's Table" program at Benihana, Leann and I are now getting the following for $185:
  • Hotel accommodations at the Las Vegas Hilton (with strip view) for one night
  • Two five-course Hibachi Steak or Chicken dinners at Benihana Las Vegas
  • Two collectible ceramic Benihana mugs with your choice of beverage
  • $20 in Complimentary Bet Chips
(*Squeal! *Swoon! *Sigh!)

This will happen directly following the best Hoover Dam day a girl could ever ask for. (Courtesy of Comedy On Deck Tours and, my best friend on this trip, Groupon!) Seriously, I picked up this sweet little package a couple months ago for $75! Here it is:
  • Pick up on the Vegas Strip
  • Buffet Breakfast at historic Boulder Dam Hotel
  • 30-45 minute tour on top of Hoover Dam led by tour guides who claim to be comics
  • 90 minute paddleboat cruise on Lake Mead
  • Free tickets to the "Mac King Comedy Magic Show" on the Vegas Strip
Vegas is shaping up to be a lot better than I had orinigally planned. Now, we just need to find a place to stay Friday night and all will be perfect! Yay! Yay!

Anybody been to Vegas? What do we have to see on Sunday?

busy bee

This is my first Droid post. So far not a fan. oh well, do what you can when you can, right?

This morning I started the day off by getting right to work on the SuperTrip. I sent 3 facebook messages about places to stay. I haven't heard back from any yet but at least I'm trying. :)

I also began my packing list. This is going to be a challenge indeed!

car's done. got to go :)

the nomad

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Two weeks from right now... I will be surveying my room for the last time and walking out to my car to pick up my mom for the SuperTrip.


Today I decided to be at least a bit SuperTrip productive. I went to Costco.

Since moving to Chicago, I have begun a love affair with Costco. The kind of torrid romance that I would have openly mocked in others in the past. I love the prices. I love the quality. I love that if it seems it's too "bulky" I can justify it by splitting it with someone or by realizing that it will just last forever. It hit me on vacation just how head over heels I had gotten. That's when I realized all my snacks, water bottles, Dove shampoo, Dove conditioner, and each of my 3 swimsuits had been acquired at the store in question, on separate occasions, no less! Every time someone asked me something, I responded with, "oh yeah, you can get that at Costco..." It was sad. I think the absolute worst was the day the doorman not only recognized me but told me! I had a cart full of stuff, some of which buried by other things, and added "I can move some of this" while handed him the receipt. The reply was chilling: "ah, don't worry about it. I know you. I've seen you in here." Yes, friends, that's what happens when you average 2 visits a week to a store. ugh. I didn't even have the boys with me that day. I was mortified. Though, upon reflection, I don't know why. I like that they know me. It's like I have my own Cheers. only instead of a friendly, neighborhood bar, I have a giant warehouse that carries all kinds of things I love at fantastic prices!

All this leads to today. Today we kind of had a free day after picking up the kindergartner. So where did my co-worker suggest going? You guessed it! Off to Costco, we went.

I was on the hunt for a tent. not just any tent. The $50-sleeps-4-tent I've been eyeing all summer. Turns out I should have stopped eyeing and started purchasing a few weeks ago. It was gone today. Replaced by a 2 ft tall, plush, light up Rudolph. ugh. If there's anything I hate more than not having something I want in a store, it's replacing it with tacky Christmas decorations 4 months before the event!

By this time, I had lost my co-nanny and the twins and was growing increasingly tired of hearing/answering "how much is this" as we passed every single (not exaggerating) item in the "tent" half of the store. Side note to other parents/caregivers out there: never tell a 5 year old that he can have anything in the store that cost $2 or less and then go into Costco. nothing is $2. except the churros, which was the point...the point, that he missed.

but I digress...

Once I found them again, I went to get the biggest pack of Ice Mountain money could buy. After I gathered enough strength to lug it back to where I had left everyone, they had disappeared again. ugh. Needless to say, I was not wearing my happy face. It was precisely at that moment that I realized that I could not buy things for the trip today. After water, what was there really left to buy that would last two weeks before the trip even started?!? Bread would mold, milk would curdle, and fruit would rot.

I continued my hunt shifting gears a bit. CDs. Ah ha! I knew I'd strike gold there. After all, isn't that where most of my family's Christmas gifts came from but a mere 8 months earlier? Well, sad to say, once I arrived on the scene, I remembered I had procured DVDs for my family, not CDs. Ugh. Strike gold? not unless you count books on tape. (Ma, are there any you want? They're just $8.99)

Not to be a quitter, I looked around for a new plan. I found my 5 year old trying to ride the 2 ft Rudolph! "AH! stupid reindeer! stop blinking your nose, it's September! The sun's out for Pete's sake! Ahhhhhhhhh......!!!!" (you should know, I didn't scream that audibly. better not to look too crazy in a Costco.)

While I collected my inner thoughts, I glanced at the time. Oops. We had been here longer than planned and I still only had water. My coworker, meanwhile, had filled her portion of the cart. As we walked by the sample ladies, I was getting desperate.

Then another idea hit me, "cereal." Of course, cereal. I remembered they had those perfect little individual cereal boxes. Everyone on the trip would be happy. I could be happy. A new cereal everyday. You don't really have to have milk for those. perfect. Except like the tent and the cds.... they were not there. egad! "That's it. Let's go home." I walked out of the aisle grabbing whatever I could get my hands on, knowing the entire time in my conscience brain that I will in fact be back. After all, Costco and I have a history.

(For those keeping track: I wound up with 36 bottles of Ice Mountain water, a jumbo amount of trail mix, and the world's largest bag of dried prunes. Oh, yeah, look out, world, I'm ready for anything...)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

it starts

Hello friends,

Welcome to what may become the single greatness blog the world has ever seen.

Whoa, that's a lot to live up to. Let's just settle for a blog where I post daily and update you all on life and the trip. deal? deal.

shoo...lot less pressure. thanks.

Now that that's settled, let's get down to brass tacks: I'm leaving for this super trip in 2 weeks from tomorrow! ah!!!! so much to do! so much to do! ahhhhh....

1. Finish Gathering Supplies: tent, buy Costco stuff, etc...
2. Pack Super suitcase (mary poppins' style, of course)
3. Pack Car (note to self: next time travel by umbrella)
4. Buy Catie's tickets. (oh Catie...)
5. Solidify a few places to stay (I'm looking at you, Seattle and San Fransico!)
6. Finish the roadtrip cds. (still time to send some awesome mixes my way!)
7. Put room back together the way I found it. (eh...moving on...)
8. Create a road trip blog (well, at least I did something tonight!)
9. Perform last show at Second City (Monday 7:45 tickets $5)
10. Say goodbye to my boys (I don't want to. please don't make me...)

That, my friends, is a lot to do! Seriously, though, I don't know how I'm going to be able to say goodbye to the boys. I know there is a chance I will be back. But, as a realist, I also know that means there is also a chance I won't. Tonight I choked up during a coffee commercial. These boys have changed me this year. Crying at commercials?!?! Who am I? Well, I guess that's what I'm about to re-find out. Though this is not a "find yourself" adventure, as some would call it, but rather, a "find what's next" adventure, I can't wait to actually get out on the road and reconcile the person I've always known with the person I've been forced* to be this year.

All this talking and I still haven't explained this trip. Shame on me!

Confession: I have always known I was born to do something big.

However, as I age I feel like I know less and less about what that big thing is supposed to be. and where it is supposed to happen.

I am tired of waiting. The last few years have felt like someone hit the pause button. I tried to make a change and, somewhat begrudgingly, moved to Chicago. Here I have been restrained at every step. Again I've been waiting. Waiting for life. I know nothing ever happens when a person is just sitting and waiting. That's the reason I've been a vagabond my entire life. I go where the wind blows, where God leads. I strain hard to listen to His voice. So far, He's taken me further than I ever imagined going. This is a trip all about asking Him to do it again. Again, I yell out, "God, where do you want me?!?"

On September 30th, it all begins. While I say goodbye to the boys I've lived to serve for the past year, my mom is hopping on a MegaBus and heading my direction. At 9 pm, she arrives and I will be there, car packed, waiting to pick her up, throw her suitcase in the backseat and head north. We are only driving far enough to get out of the Chicago am traffic before finding a hotel to crash into (though, hopefully, not literally.)

So let's pretend (like I am) that my actual trip begins on October 1 (like it's supposed to, mom!).

A rough outline of the trip looks like this:
1-4: Drive to Washington State with my momma stopping at Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone Nat'l park
4-7: Deer Park, WA with a college friend
7-11: Drive from Spokane to LA with my sister, Catie, stopping at Seattle, Mt St Helen, Portland, Red Wood Forest, and San Francisco
11-15: Los Angeles with cousins
15-20: Drive from LA to Colorado Springs, CO with my sister, Leann, stopping at Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Four Corners
19-?: Stay and explore Colorado Springs/Denver with my dads (yeah, it's plural)

So there you go, the TRIP. She's a beaut, eh? I can't wait to get it started. And now, now you're along for the ride. Check back daily from postings and pictures. I'm sure there will be everything from beautiful sunrises on the oceans to ugly catfights from the front seat to record. And I'm completely inviting you to take part on the trip as well!

If you know anything about that part of the USA and can offer advice, please do. If you want to pray that God tells me loud and clear where I need to go to stay on track for my BIG mission, that would be awesome! If you just want to be a secret internet creeper and track my life, well, I guess that's okay too, you know unless, I have to one day get a restraining order, then that's not okay...

Well, off to do more packing a such. Where was I? Oh yeah, I remember, "2 weeks. ah!!!!"


*all usage of words such as "forced", "restrained", "stuck", etc... in reference to my last year are meant to be indicative of God sending me to Chicago. I still don't know His entire plan about this year but I suspect it have a lot to do with stripping away a lot of what I've always known as my strengths and quieting me down for life that is to come. It in no way has anything to do with my boss, housing arrangement, or second city. They have not forced me to do anything ever. It's just been a year like no other...