AM I A HIPSTER? (AND OTHER CONCERNS.)

I wear Ray-Ban Wayferer glasses, I’m big into finding new spots, I like craft things, I’ve had poutine more than once, and I totally think bacon on popcorn is the great new frontier. Pop up dinners? I’m in!

When I moved to Chicago, I moved to Wicker Park, and then to Pilsen. Guilty… and guilty by association too!

I’ve been going through each item of the “hipster definition” list, and I’m afraid I may be one. I appreciate art:

instagram pic aic

… and I downloaded the Snoop Dogg (pardon me Lion) app and thought it was hilarious. Laughed a good while.

billcosbydisdain

I’m sorry. I would like to apologize, formally, to everyone. I have come to terms with my reality. I won’t even offer up a defense – I am a hipster, and I’m OK with it.

The only thing that I feel deeply conflicted about is Liz Lemon not accepting me (but secretly, I think she would like me if we hung out.)

hipster nonsense

All you other people, don’t care. Do not care at all.

But even coming to terms with this hasn’t calmed down my neuroses. I’ve started to realize I am extremely neurotic, and it’s only getting worse with age. (The fact that I’m only realizing that now gives me more stress. The other day I found myself contemplating if I was destined to be a late bloomer for life.) I also started worrying about my Vitamin D intake. Should I be taking more? Is that a thing?

What I mean is, now that I’m well into my 30th year of life, have I really learned anything? Am I in any way smarter than say, when I was 25? I thought 30 would mean “you got your shit together.” You know, you’re an adult, and you do adult things. But since turning 30 I quit my job, moved in with my mom for the summer, and decided to move half-way across the planet for “new experiences.” Is that what adults do? Or have we altered the definition of adulthood?

And here is where I have arrived. Another year older, and I thought I had nothing to show for it. A new decade and not a clue about what I’m doing with my life. The main difference is, I don’t care. Or better, I don’t mind. I have no clue what these choices will bring. I can’t really tell, but if adulthood is knowing who you are, I definitely know who I’m not! I keep remembering a philosophy class from college (yes, that one that everyone remembers.) The professor said to describe a chair to someone who had never seen one. One by one students gave descriptions:

“It has 4 legs.”
“So does a horse.”

Not earth-shattering, but at 18, students

KKwhatevs

The exercise was just that. A way to chip away the preconceived notions of language and how we view our reality. At the time it was simple. A chair, the number 3, what’s more real? Like a really painful study of Magritte. But now in it’s most tangible way, if applied to adulthood, it can become a clear definition of what an adult is. Or better yet, isn’t. An adult is not someone who has a mortgage, is married, has a 401K, 2.5 kids, and a dog. (BTW – if I have a dog, am I closer to adulthood?)

An adult is someone who knows if he/she wants a mortgage, or to be married, or how to prepare for the future (or even if you want to prepare), if you want kids (some people should not be entrusted with minors), and if they want a dog!

I’m not defining the future by what I want to do, or where I want to be. So far, I know what I DON’T want, and where I DON’T want to be. I think that’s good enough.

Also, I think Tuesdays are the worst day. I’m writing this on a Tuesday. Tuesdays unlike Mondays don’t have the lingering residue of the weekend, and they are so far away from the next weekend. Wednesdays at least have the “hump day” marketing now. We’re seeing the cup of water week half full by Wednesday. Tuesdays are just boring. Uninspired. Sorry, Morrie. (This is a legitimate concern and thought ruminating in my brain.)

Your brain

brain

Your brain on critical thinking

brain ping pong

Other concern-musings from recent weeks:

  • Did my metabolism really shoot to zero at 30? If so, how do I lose weight/stay in shape? Do I need to work out more? I can’t work out more…
  • Does my dog think I’m abandoning her? Am I doing irreparable damage? Does that make me a bad person?
  • Could I have developed adult ADHD?
  • Am I just another Millennial statistic? AM I A MILLENNIAL?
  • Do I need to cut down my Facebook friends?
  • Am I watching too much reality TV?
  • Does “48 hours” count as reality TV? Am I watching too many crime-drama shows? Are they helping or glamorizing murder? Does that speak more to how our society operated or our creative collective?

My brain is fried, so cats.

funny-cat-gif

***

*I heard of a place that will serve toast all day, and I am genuinely excited to find this place and try their toast.

Emotions I’ve Felt This Week

In gifs because that’s the only way I know to express myself anymore (and in no particular order – except for the first one because I had freaking waffles for breakfast and that is a MAJOR WIN!)

 

Golden-Ticket

so good to see you

 

shock

i-love-food_911

you what

 

mindblown

cuddle

alcohol

bitch

sister act dancing nun

 

AND IT’S JUST WEDNESDAY!!!

Summer Pot Pourri

Now that Labor Day is just around the corner, I thought it was the best time to update my blog on the summer city-escapades!
And for arguments sake lets pretend I meant to do this entry now, and not that I let time pass and am now somehow playing catch-up. Try and say it, I’ll deny it!

Moving on… this was actually quite an eventful summer. I convinced my brother to move to Chicago, I graduated from the Second City Training Center Improv program, kept up my training for the marathon, did a drinking trolly (not my proudest moment), and Grief Bacon (our sketch/improv girl group) made several appearances throughout the city of Chicago.  Yeah, I’m cool like that. I’m kind of a big deal… in my head.
Most importantly, I convinced Jose to move! His “look-see” trip started with a meal at an Irish pub in Old Town.

I’m already winning.

Gratuitous food shot.

The weekend Jose came was also the 8mile run for training, and I made him come with me to the run. The forever trooper he is, he came and he ran 6miles. I promised him crepes and farmer’s market.

I think I delivered!

On Sunday I followed up with a Red Sox v Cubs match up. Yeah, Old Epstein v New Epstein. Little did we know at the time that it would also be one of Youk’s last games with the Red Sox. He bleached them soon thereafter.

Big Pappy was *thisclose*

That’s Youk!

Beer and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly.

So… In my never-ending quest to convince my brother to move to Chicago I packed the weekend in with cupcakes AND comedy!

Red Velvet and cream cheese frosting between baseball and comedy.

Yes, it was perfect and hilarious. We met up with Aimee and Jen for a drink and then all headed over to laugh with not at: Marc Maron (my favorite), Hannibal Buress, and others – hosted by Sarah Silverman. Silverman was great, and on point! I laughed so hard I had tears coming down my cheeks. I also felt more neurotic after than I did before.

Funny side note about the evening: when we left it was POURING. There were no cabs, and there would still be so much walking after we rode the train that Jose and I thought it was best just to walk all the way back to my place. We were soaked through. Worth it. Totally worth it.

***

Well, the trip wasn’t over, and we were celebrating. SO, I made a reservation at Girl & the Goat

It’s all it’s hyped up to be and more. It’s also where I ate meat. You don’t go somewhere with goat in it’s name and eat peas. I would put up with the illness JUST to eat. So, I did. Below is a series of pictures of the food. It’s just food porn. It is. Don’t look if you’re hungry, it won’t be pretty. But it was so pretty, and we had such a good time, it was hard to choose the pictures! And I edited, so there’s more where that came from!

Harmasa Crudo

Roasted Beet Salad

Green Beans

Goat Loin

Proof of the meat eating that would make me sick for the following week. Worth it. Worth. Ever. Bite.

PIG FACE!!!!

How Pig Face looks after you’ve mixed it together. YUMMMMM!!!!

Dessert #1

Dessert #2

Followed Swiftly by Food Coma.

***

We ran again. I think we felt guilty about the gluttony that we committed. Not really, this was the 312 run. We ran for beer… and company. Alyson, Jose, Laura, Melissa and me owned those 3miles in the blistering heat. They cancelled the 5miles because of that heat, so yeah, we’re badasses.

And we got sweet wayfarers.

I will now go back to thinking about my life in a vacuum. I’m going to tear and examine every single choice that I’ve made or not made, why I chose like that, decide if I should change anything, and ultimately be too lazy to do anything about it. This Saturday will be exactly 2 years since I moved to Chicago. I’ve managed to accomplish some things, but like Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” I want more.

OK, I don’t want to sound like the entitled little jerk she was at the beginning of the Disney movie, but you know the reference, and I bet you even sang the line. I just now need to think about what my next steps are going to be. I finished Second City, my reason for moving here, what do I do now? What am I doing in Chicago?

And this, we shall see.

That’s right, no resolution just yet. This is my summer cliff-hanger.

***

The Reluctant Vegetarian

If you know me, you know I love bacon. Not just a little… if I were a pig I would have a hard time not eating myself.

My love affair with bacon was torrid at best, so, when 3 years ago I got sick  I had to end it abruptly and try to find a new happy place. However, like with many things in life, my issues did not start 3 years ago, but when I was a tween. Because tweens.

When I was 11 and starting my 7th grade year. Some of my friends and I decided that we wanted to go all Greenpeace and save all the little, furry creatures on the face of the Earth. While they all backed out the second our school cafeteria served “canoas” (delicious sweet plantain concoctions with ground beef, marinara, and cheese that look like a canoe) I tried to stay strong and had a grilled cheese. Then, I was told by both one of those friends AND my mother that I wouldn’t last more than a couple of months and that it was just a phase. Well, if they didn’t know then, they were about to find out. I am a very stubborn individual, to a fault, really. To my own fault.

Cut to 7 years after that. I’d had it. I wanted chicken BBQ, pulled pork, filet Mignon… bacon. So, I cut all ties with my vegetarian self and started eating meat. (It was slightly prompted by visits to nutritionists and an alarming low level of iron.) Just like that, I was eating animals again. I took the “it’s the circle of life” approach.

Yet again, life had other plans. A few years after my omnivore change I got very sick and had to enter a very strict diet. Slowly, I was able to start adding items to my diet. Much to my chagrin, animals are still not on the list of nutrients my stomach is allowing me to ingest. One nutritionist told me that it could be my own body rejecting it from the early developmental years in which I deprived myself of meat. Another nutritionist said these things happen and I may be able to eat it again. Either way, I have no one to blame… well, maybe I can blame my mom a little*… firstly, for telling me not to, and secondly, for indulging me and making me separate “vegetarian-friendly” meals.

(*not really, she’s an AMAZING woman!)

Now I spend my nights and days trolling the Inter-webs in the search for the perfect vegetarian recipe that will  not leave me hungry, have enough protein,  and doesn’t rely to heavily on cheese. Believe it or not, just becoming a vegetarian doesn’t mean automatic weight-loss. Well, not if you really enjoy cheese, and could easily substitute it for anything.

In this continued effort to expand my palate, I bought Brussels Sprouts, broke out the tofu, and tried to make something resembling a full meal out of it. While it may not make you jump out of your chair in excitement (I get it, a sirloin steak would put this to shame, you don’t have to be a jerk about it) it was enough to make me feel full, and it was quite “meaty” for lack of a better word.

Adulthood: coming to terms with our limitations, embracing them, and searching for options.

Brussel Sprouts – Cut in halves

Adding Tofu for protein, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and raw almonds.

The final (edible) product.

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