Tag Archives: beach

i wonder what it’s like to be the rainmaker

Morning, chickens!

We’re right back at the beginning, it seems.

This was a beautiful weekend, filled with the farmer’s market, the beach, and hanging with my favorite teens and babies.

It’s always sad to see the weekend say goodbye.



Also this weekend, I’m back on the reading circuit, which means I spent all of Sunday in a beach chair, devouring a loaned library book MC let me borrow.

I still haven’t managed to handle my fine situation, so I’m actually now at the point where I’m borrowing borrowed books.

Which I promise to return on time.

In any case, last week/weekend’s big reads included Bernadette, Where did you Go?, which is a hysterical/fast book about a traumatized architect who can’t bear people in general (aside from her daughter and husband) and is confronted with a trip (a cruise!) to Antarctica. What ensues is both hilarious, slightly disturbing, and crazy. The book’s written mostly in letters, e-mails, and faxes, which makes it even more interesting to read.



As for my borrowed, borrowed book, it’s called The Interestings, and I zoomed through almost 500 pages in 2 days.

It was that kind of a weekend, chickens.

This book starts at an arts camp in the 70s, where six friends dub themselves The Interestings, head back to New York City (and the suburbs) to continue their lives, and the reader gets the chance to follow all the paths they take (or are handed) over the next 30 or so years. The characters were interesting, the writing was good, and what happens to everyone’s not easy, but that seemed realistic. I only wish I had another few decades of book so I could find out what the rest of the cast’s lives look like- this is a good one to pick up before summer ends.



Reading is so much better than not reading, chicks.

I don’t care how nerdy that makes me.

And with that, I’m off to the busiest week I’ve seen in some time- I’ll report back from the trenches.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!

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Filed under Chicago, Good Reads, Weather

worry, why should I care

Sorry, chickadees, but it’s been a little bit crazy around here the past few days.

We spent the weekend catching up, heading to the John Mayer concert (which in case you were wondering, attracts all kinds of people), getting ready for the teens to head back to school (and yes, I maybe read their high school handbook cover to cover- it’s important to know the rules!), visiting our nephew, and hanging at the beach.

It was a nice break to take.

See for yourself.


And now I’m back at it, in the midst of a five day week for the first time in awhile (I know no one feels badly for me- I don’t either), enjoying the last few weeks of summer and the last few weeks of being in the office before I head back out into the wild.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the wild, chickens. I don’t begrudge a trip that gets me out from behind my cubicle.

And with that, I’m off to hit the bus, train, and office to get to this one.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it, chicks.

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Filed under Good times

Five Photos to Get Excited for Summer







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Filed under five good things, Uncategorized

executing the good intentions

Hello chickens!

I’ve missed you!

The past couple of days, I’ve been hard at work in my leadership class, discussing books and generally having good conversation with smart people.

Good beers, too.

Also, cruising the city on a riverboat.


Now that is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

After a few hours of watching the Olympics/catching up on some work last night, I headed to bed and set the alarm for five-thirty.

I thought this would the right kind of day to start off with a serious yoga session, complete with lavender towel and peppermint oil while I breathed into Savasana pose and felt decidedly zen-ier.

And serious it was. But I feel stretched out, calmed down, and ready for a well-intentioned, exciting trip to my home state of CT to celebrate the wedding of a friend who I’ve known since I had triangle bangs and a penchant for a horizontally-striped shirt.

You hang on to those people- when they say they love you, they mean it.

I’m hoping to see old friends, lay my eyes on my family (who I know, I’m the worst at informing about my travels- it’s been a crazy few weeks over here and I promise to make it up to you with jokes) and enjoy the general east-coast-iness of my journey.

I love nothing more than hanging by an ocean chickadees, and I’m headed straight toward executing that intention today.

Enjoy the sunshine when you have it, my friends!



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Filed under Good times, Reflections, Yoga

Better than Science Fiction


Last night JW and I watched an entire show about jellyfish.

It was called “Invasion of the Giant Jellyfish.”

One of the jellyfish weighed over 220 lbs.

I could have nightmares about that kind of creature.

Anyway, it reminded me of my childhood visits to the beach, where around August, it was jellyfish season.

When Jennie and I were little, we used to capture the jellyfish and bury them in the sand so they couldn’t sting anybody else.

At the time, we thought we were performing a service to beachcombers.

Looking back, I think this was maybe twisted.

Then I remembered that we also used to grab as many “moon jellies” (I’m not sure what their actual name is, but they’re clear and don’t sting) as we could get our grubby paws on, tear them apart, and toss them at each other as we shrieked.

I think, in retrospect, this is more twisted.

In any case, it has come to my attention that a definite plus to living on Lake Michigan is that I don’t even have an opportunity to make any morally questionable decisions about stinging sea creatures.

Let’s all thank God for that.

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Filed under Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Reflections

Just a quick one…

While I gulp down water and try to sit still for a minute.

Six mile run, check.

Let me just say that when this is all over,  I will be more than happy to go back to run only workouts. Six miles running is infinitely easier when I haven’t just biked eight million miles.

Just a thought.

Up today, after intense showering, LE and I are headed to the beach, despite the fact that the clouds are on and off.

It has even occurred to us that this might be nice, for sitting at the beach.

After that, we’re meeting up with Ky and getting ourselves some sushi, because really, what’s better than that?

We’re actually trying a brand new place (brand new for us, not the city) called Hatsu Hana, in East Lakeview.

It’s good to expand your horizon beyond Cozy Noodles, Moody’s, and Fernando’s once in awhile, I’m telling myself.

Plus, it’s BYOB, which is the best idea ever thought up.

All right, chicks, I’m off to take a shower and see about some freezer repair men before I take off.

Freezer repair men, you ask?

There’s a crazy noise coming from within my freezer. It sounds like a gremlin, trying to get out.

Sadly, it’s not a cute little freezer gremlin, so it’s gotta go.

Check you guys later, enjoy the weekend!

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Running, Things that are delicious, Tri-Training

Look at all that E. coli in there!

This is a post about our swim last night.

But on a side note, if you’re ever looking to do something to sweat out your pores, might I suggest a 12 mile bike ride, followed by a 4 mile run?

Because that did the trick for me this morning.

Anyway, after stalking the beach report in the morning for news on Lake Michigan’s water condition, the Chicago Park District finally decided to let us know that only a couple of the beaches were on advisory, and that the rest were good to go for swimming.

I told CJ and JK that we could hit the lake, and they accepted this with no enthusiasm.

I understand why. I mean, sewage, in the lake. Gross. But we needed to swim. I was willing to look past it.

Does that make me gross?


We all met after work and changed into our swim suits to start the trek down to the lake.

“I don’t know about this”, they both said to me.

“But we’re in our swim suits already!I said cheerfully.

Inwardly, I was remembering the time I went to Germany and came down with e. coli, which basically feels like death is knocking at your door.

We got to the lake, noted that it wasn’t that busy, but reluctantly struggled into our wetsuits.

I almost just wrote “slipped,” but that would be entirely untrue.

One does not slip into a wetsuit.

Once we were in our swimsuits, JK looked at us and said,

“I don’t think I want to do this.”

CJ looked like she agreed.

I pushed thoughts of lying on my bathroom floor dehydrated for a week out of my head.

“We’re in our wetsuits! We have to go!

They both looked at me with raised eyebrows.

I knew this was a lame rationale, but really, it’s not easy getting into a wetsuit. I didn’t want to have wasted the effort.

Then, as I rifled around in my bag for my swim cap, I realized I didn’t have any Vaseline.

Which meant a lot of uncomfortable arm chafing.

Don’t ask–it’s a sleeveless wetsuit thing.

Suddenly, I could see where they were coming from.

But as previously mentioned, we were at the water’s edge.

We were in wetsuits.

We pressed on.

Finally, after a lot of collective hemming and hawing, we got our ankles in the water.

“Look at all that e. coli in there!” JK exclaimed.

I was pretty sure it was seaweed.

But then again, I don’t know what e. coli looks like.

“We’re in the water!” I felt the need to speak out loud every move we made, delivering it the group as progress.

“I am very unhappy right now,” CJ said, matter-of-factly as she flipped onto her back to float.

We all paused, using silence as mutual agreement.

After about five more minutes of treading water sullenly, a minor wetsuit malfunction, and someone suggesting that we play Marco Polo instead of swim, we finally headed out.

We did an entire mile, stopping a couple times to make sure we hadn’t lost anyone (I have a tendency to get pointed in the direction of open water, and CJ came down with a leg cramp that nearly drowned her), struggling to see into the extremely murky water, and trying to avoid gulping in any potentially e. coli infested water.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t succeed at this.

At the end of it all, we pulled ourselves out of the water like drowned rats, toweled off, and walked ourselves and our wetsuits home.

15 hours later, I’m happy to report that no one has any symptoms of bacterial poisoning.


But tomorrow’s plan is a swim at the Y, and I will say that I’ve never been so excited to hop into an over chlorinated public pool.

See you chicks next time.

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Filed under Near Disaster, Tri-Training

Along the Lake.

Happy Friday, kids!

One more day in the office and then two lovely, overheated days off.

You’ll be able to find me huddling by the AC.

This morning I took a 15 mile bike ride along the bike, and the whole time (when I wasn’t praying that someone would ram into my little bike), I kept thinking about what a good opportunity it was to get myself down to Lake Michigan, one of Chicago’s best assets.

This led to a list (in my head) of things that made the ride so pleasant, and I thought I’d share.

Also, I should have taken pictures, but you guys, I’m nowhere near ready to take pictures while I ride. And I was too obsessive compulsive about my training to hop off the bike and snap any.

Plus, I’m nearly certain I would have been run over.

Anyway, here it goes.

1. There is literally nothing better than watching the sun rise over the lake. It’s amazing. Especially with the beautiful Chicago skyline in the distance. And then in my face.

2. This morning there was a storm east of the lake, and while I didn’t get rained on, I had the chance to watch the storm roll through the rest of the city. Sweet.

3. I love watching the swimmers at Ohio Street Beach. They look like otters in their wetsuits, and they look so calm and rhythmic in the water. I have a feeling if I was watching myself, the picture wouldn’t be so tranquil, but it’s nice to think, maybe.

4. Being waved at by friendly people on the path, all united in the cause of getting the blood circulated in the early hours of the day. Also, this morning, a nice old man looking at me and saying “Good job.” Thank you, sir.

5. Checking out sleepy people who are just relaxing by the lake early, or, in one case this morning, a biker napping on a patch of green grass by Monroe Harbor.

There are eight million other reasons that I love taking a ride by the lake, but those were top of mind this morning. Anyone else take themselves out to that area for their workouts? Please tell me you love it as much as I do.

Now, off to start the day. Have a good weekend, chicks.

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Filed under Reflections, Tri-Training, Weather

Good morning, Monday.

Last night, I was feeling a little stir crazy in my air conditioned apartment, since I’d spent hours perched on my new loveseat, finishing Cider House Rules, which I had never read (or seen, in movie form, so it’s on the Netflix queue), but which I really liked, even though I suspect John Irving himself to be a giant snob.

But we don’t have to be friends for me to like his books, right?

Anyway, after a dinner of grilled chicken, couscous, and broccoli on the deck, I asked JW to take me to the beach.

Even though it was after seven on a Sunday.

And we’d have to drive through the remnants of the Gay Pride parade, which meant lots of buzzed, happy, noisy people.

We took a ride up to the Roger’s Park beach, which I love because it’s both less crowded and because it’s my old Loyola stomping grounds.

We drove by campus, which is what looks to be a giant construction scene at the moment, and I once again lamented to JW how much I wish we’d had newfangled conveniences like a CVS and a Five Guys restaurant when I had gone to school.

We’d just had an abandoned parking lot sprinkled with broken glass and a hippie living in the basement.

That’s another story for another day.

Then we found a parking spot and strolled down the beach for awhile.

Lovely lake.

That's a serious skyline.

A few Loyola buildings.

Squinting into the sunset.

We walked on the wet sand for awhile, and then took off, finishing off the night at Dairy Queen, eating blizzards and wondering what happened to the weekend.

This morning, I’ve been up since sunrise, taking a long bike ride into the wind, which once again, ended in relative success.

I say relative because I’m still not really sure how to shift my gears successfully.

And my toe cage keeps dragging on the ground.

But big picture, things are going okay.

Enjoy the sunshine, chickadees, and I’ll catch you later!


Filed under Reflections, Tri-Training

Home Again, Home Again…

Chicks, that was an intense four days. It was filled with sun, food, family, the loveliest wedding, more food, a road race with LE, a trip to the book barn, and then topped off with ice cream cones and a ride to the airport. I think it’s going to take a couple of days to get all my words around the past couple of days, so here are some pictures, to start it off.

We started the trip with fried clams and Sam's Summer...how else?

Waiting for the bride!

Wedding time!

Five seconds at the beach.

More to come, since Jeff took 802093 pictures, each of which I am grateful for, but I don’t have my paws on them yet.

Now I’m off to work, if I can remember how to get there.

Have a good one, chickadees!


Filed under Good times