One of the most important parts of being a successful lifestyle blogger is traveling to exotic, adequate locations. And my travels to Chicago last week reminded me that I took these photos of places in Chicago. I’ve been slacking on my “four arbitrary things” lately, so please enjoy these four photos of a Chicago that I love. These four photos are very arbitrary!
It is not Wednesday, nor is it last Wednesday (which I skipped), but time is merely a human-designed construct, so LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF I LOVE!
- Easy Answers. Most questions in life don’t have easy answers. Why are we here?, for example, or What is the meaning of all of this? But over the weekend, dozens of flies turned up in my house and they were all dying. Gross! Also, unsettling! Poisonous gases? But one quick google of “flies are dying in my house” told me that it’s just cluster flies, which sound fake but are real. The hide in the walls and emerge on a hot day, dying all at once. Gross! But easily explained. But gross.
- Anticipation. SandwichQuest is leading me all the way to Chicago next week, and I can’t wait. It’s the kind of excitement that, for me, only comes with getting to go back home and/or eat my favorite sandwich. What I’m saying is, stay tuned for the next installment of SandwichQuest
- Drinking Alone. Being at bars by myself makes me extremely anxious, but I was feeling writers block-y this week and coffee shops weren’t doing the trick. I ventured to happy hour at a dark bar by myself, laptop in tow. I sequestered myself away in a dark corner, was ignored by everybody, and got drunk on happy hour old fashioneds. Also it was pretty productive. And I don’t remember the walk home!
- This Video. I don’t know, I just like it.
I know, I know, every Wednesday I’m supposed to bring you a list of four things to love from the previous week. But loving things takes a lot of energy, and this week I just wasn’t up to the challenge. Also it is currently Friday.
So I bailed on everything and went to the beach!
I might be a deeply unfun person who does not love the beach, but I DO love some other things.
My friend Carly came to town, and I love Carly!
Brigid buried John in sand, and I love other people’s misfortune!
This photo is heavily filtered, and I love pretending that it’s reality!
I don’t have a lot to say about this week, but it’s Wednesday so I have to. After all, how can I lead others to follow my lifestyle without sticking to a schedule? What kind of a lifestyle blogger would I be if I skipped this week? So here goes.
- Emails. Nothing says “I’m coming out of a deep depression” like sending a flurry of excited emails in the same hour. I sent a lot of emails this week.
- Podcasts. So many podcasts. Good ones, bad ones, boring ones, interesting ones. They all help drown out the noise in my head. Listing specific podcasts is too much effort, and since I’m phoning it in, I’ll save the actual recommendations for another week. I do love those podcasts though.
- Free NYT Articles. I love them so much, I ran out of my ten for the month already! On the 11th. Boy, those articles sure are great.
- Phones. Can’t phone it in without phones. Love me some phones.
I spent roughly two days of this week being a tour guide for a visiting college friend. It was delightful! But that was enough to make the whole week feel exhausting. But don’t worry, I can still love things while in an inexplicable mental fog! Just watch me!
- Frasier. Sometimes, when everything feels like too much and my brain refuses to function in any way, I reach a point where the only acceptable activity is watching an episode of Frasier. I don’t love Frasier more than any other 90’s sitcom. In fact, I never ever watched much of it until recently, and maybe that’s why it’s so comforting: it feels familiar while still retaining some sort of newness. At any rate, I reached a point this week where even watching Frasier seemed like too much mental effort. And if that doesn’t provide a lovable amount of perspective on where my life’s at, I don’t know what does!
- The End of Migraine Visions. On Saturday afternoon I found myself with one of those lethargic, weird headaches. I lost track of time, space, and any accountability I had to the day. Suddenly it was time to meet aforementioned college friend to go to a poetry reading at the Ace Hotel. I poured myself onto the bus, and found myself in a strangely lit room listening to a long series of poems, read haltingly by nervous writers. The uneven lamplight danced off my retinas and I was forced to breathe through a weird series of optical tricks. I wasn’t “seeing things” exactly, but my vision wasn’t normal. Every once in a while the pain was almost blinding, but in between, I just knew something wasn’t right. The reading stretched on for hours (less than two of them). By the end, my headache was finally breaking and the visions went away. I have to find something to LOVE about this because I typed it all out, so let’s just pretend that it was nice to experience poetry in a surreal way.
- Downtown at Night. After the poetry reading, I missed the bus I was trying to take home. It was 10:30 at night, and there wasn’t another bus for an hour. Unsure what to do, I started walking. Walking downtown at night is oddly peaceful – I miss living in a city where that’s more common occurrence, and it’s nice to do it when I can. I like it even more because it’s clearly a bad idea. It was a crisp night, and I felt truly alive as I walked by groups of drunk people walking into leather bars and dodged cat callers. Everything in my world made sense, if only within the tiny microcosm of my quiet stride. I debated walking all the way home. Then I turned a corner and instantly felt legitimately unsafe. I called a Lyft in ten seconds flat and waited for it, terrified. The walk was nice while it lasted.
- Finishing Stuff. It’s 1:30 on Wednesday night (Thursday morning) and I am determined to finish this post on time. If you’re in Hawaii, it’s still Wednesday. So I did it, and I love that.
I am not having a productive week, but I am having a good time with it. There’s what you should care about with me this week!
- Spring Break. My bus route to work goes by three high schools, which means the person to skateboard ratio on the bus is usually 1:1. Last week, though, there were no skateboards and thus no people. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by youth and potential every day, but it’s way more refreshing to sit anywhere I want on the bus. My sweatshirt got a seat, my purse got a seat, even my podcast got a seat. Now I’m back to sharing a seat with the manspreaders of tomorrow, but I LOVED it while it lasted.
- Library Books. I love the library! A few months ago, I checked out an enormous short story collection on a whim. I read approx. 5 pages out of 2000, and then renewed it several times to avoid returning it. It was due a week ago. I carried the enormous brick of a book all the way to work, but the book drop at the downtown library was locked. Locked! I have no choice but to keep this book. I often miss the days when art was more tangible, so it’s refreshing to be weighed down with this physical reminder of all the fines I’m racking up.
- Procrastinating. In college, I never started paper more than twelve hours before it was due. Now that I’m out of school, sometimes I miss it – the feeling of dread and wasted hours sitting in the bottom of my stomach, the heightening panic as a deadline approaches. Yesterday, I had a lot of free time and a long to do list, so I indulged. Without realizing it, I spent over an hour watching clips of Jimmy Kimmel man-on-the-street bits (why?) instead of starting my laundry. I found myself feeling deeply and inexplicably sad later – is time-wasting not the rush it once was? – but on the whole, it was a lovable throwback to a simpler time.
- StumbleUpon. This deserves a whole separate category, even though it technically falls under #3. I just remembered about StumbleUpon from college – it’s a website randomizer that helps you find novel ways to waste time. And it existed before clickbait was even invented. As I was getting really nostalgic for my college study habits, I went see if my old friend still existed. IT DOES! Hours were wasted! I read about Syria, read a quote about intimacy, and looked at these fun cardboard dioramas. I’m not sure how old I am anymore, and my laundry isn’t put away, but I’m loving it.
I’m having a terrible week! But that doesn’t absolve me from loving stuff. Because I am a lifestyle blogger, and thus, I am obligated to influence the masses.
- Cold Brew Coffee. I usually like my coffee like I don’t like my weather: hot. But my friend Will started a cold brew coffee company, and I’m pretty into this whole Cold Bruja Coffee thing. I normally think of iced coffee as a thing to drink in the sunshine on a patio, but I drank this one in bed on Saturday morning while trying to physically meld with my comforter. Is getting out of bed even worth it oops I mean necessary anymore? Also there’s a fun blurb about a witch on the bottle!
- Working Behind a Big Desk. My job requires so much sitting that most of my coworkers don’t even know I have legs. Usually this is frustrating and I know it dooms me to die an early death. But yesterday, I was eating the remains of a cold breakfast sandwich and I spilled some chipotle mayo on my sweater. The horror! But with a big desk hiding my whole body and personage, nobody could tell.
- Using a Machete. There’s a drought in California, which absolves us of all responsibility for taking care of our lawn we’ve decided. Eventually though, the grass gets too tall to walk through, and my roommate thought a machete was the best way to handle that. I took a turn at lawn macheteing this weekend, and it was a great way to exorcise some demons before I got too tired and collapsed into a crying puddle on the couch. Cathartic!
- Night French Toast. On Sunday night I felt so dissatisfied with everything around me and within me, that the only thing that could possibly fix it was to make French toast at 10pm. I don’t know why. I don’t make the rules, I just crack eggs for them. But something about watching maple syrup congeal on a spongey piece of bread really calmed me, and as the one piece of toast cooled too fast while the other one was still cooking, making it impossible to eat both pieces in a neat stack, the chaotic nature of life made sense in a new way. Yum 🙂
It’s important to me that you care what I, a successful lifestyle blogger, am into every week. Well, since you asked…
- Afternoon Coffee. I’ve been desperately addicted to my morning cup of coffee for a while now. I love the ritual of racing the clock to get to that sweet caffeine before the headache kicks in. But it’s become routine and stale. Yesterday, though, I made myself an afternoon cup of coffee. It felt as joyful as that morning cup used to feel, and might even be opening a door to a brand new addiction!
- Ignoring Sports. In LA, the seasons don’t change, and time exists only as a weird amorphous blob where months pass like weeks and suddenly it is the middle of March. This gives me even less awareness of important sport times that other people are paying attention to, and because I don’t live mere blocks away from a baseball hellscape anymore, it’s not being shoved in my face. It all washes right over me, along with what holidays are coming up, which day rent is due, and how old I am.
- Small, Nervous Dogs. I was terrified of dogs as a child, and while I got over the fear, I never really became a dog person. But lately I’ve been hanging out with a couple of tiny dogs with tiny anxiety disorders, and their stress makes sense to me. I, too, sometimes shake for no reason and need to be constantly comforted. Often I have heart palpitations and I don’t know why. And my legs are much shorter than they should be.
- Staying Hydrated. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been getting a lot of headaches lately. If I go to the doctor, I’m pretty sure they’ll ask me questions like, “Are you getting enough sleep?” Are you drinking enough water?” “Do you exercise?” Obviously: no, no, no. This one seems easiest to address. For the last week, I’ve been drinking a lot of water. Like, actively drinking water. All day. For some reason, I feel a lot better! Also I can’t stop peeing.
This is a lifestyle blog, and lifestyle blogs LOVE “five things” lists. They also LOVE weekly series. So in order to be a successful lifestyle blogger, every Wednesday I will post a list of four things I loved during the previous week (five seems really ambitious). That’s a lot of loving of stuff, but I think I can handle it.
- Stone IPA with Blonde Coffee Roast. I had this beer at Jay’s Bar the other night. All the alcohol of a strong beer plus the bitter dregs of an over-burnt Starbucks roast? Count me in. That sounded sarcastic, but it was perfect. The added perk is that the caffeine is definitely included. I skipped dinner and drank it at 10pm on an empty stomach, which is an experience I recommend. Afterwards I wandered the aisles at Von’s, confused. I think I made a cameo in someone’s grocery store snapchat. I either stayed up all night or fell asleep immediately, and I couldn’t tell which one it was. It’s an experience I’d like to repeat ASAP.
- Tastemade’s Tiny Kitchen. This is a series where disembodied hands cook tiny versions of popular dishes. I find it hilarious when any object is smaller or larger than it’s supposed to be, so I’m powerless against this clickbaity nonsense. On the other hand, I can’t even get it together to make myself normal-sized French toast that I could eat for a regular human meal, so it downright offends me that somebody has time to make novelty meals. Feeling torn about this one.
- Apocalyptic Weather That Would Be Benign Anywhere Else. I woke up on Monday to a horrible, loud, crashing noise like I’d never heard before. I thought maybe plane fell out of the sky? I was terrified! Except it was thunder. That’s it. Just thunder. In the midwest, storms happy like three times a week and they’re 100% normal and fine. In LA, cloudy skies are a call for panic. Free anxiety? Count me in!
- Vending Machine Breakfasts. I was really responsible for about a week – I bought a box of oatmeal packets so I could eat breakfast at work. But those days are over, because I keep forgetting to buy more. So lately I’ve been getting morning snacks from the office vending machine. I love it because it’s better than eating saltines from a drawer in the kitchen, but cheaper than going out for a bagel. Usually I’m responsible and choose something like chex mix or vegetable chips, but this morning I answered the siren song of the mini vanilla sandwich cookies. I feel ill.