guess this iconic apartment set...
You may or may not have noticed I'm typically a morning-post kinda gal. So this whole "posting blogs" at 4:00 p.m. this entire week is really throwing me off. You'll have to excuse me, I've been kind of busy actually "working." And it sucks.
But let's move on to more important things, like the fact just an hour I was hiding under my table because I thought Jenny Jehovah Witness was knocking at my door again and I didn't want her to know I was home. I should clarify and let you know that when I sit at my front table by the window, Jehovah Witnesses can definitely look in and see me ignoring them, thus the reason I was hiding under my table. And it's pretty much a life rule of mine that I won't open my door to strangers. It doesn't help the fact I've been feeding a homeless lady lately, even though my parents taught me when I was young I shouldn't do this because we all know "once you start feeding a stray, it won't ever go away..." The last stray I fed was a cat named Chula who gave me ringworm (allegedly) and yet I still didn't learn my lesson! Anyway, apparently the saucer of milk and cat food I've been leaving out for Homeless Sherry hasn't been enough lately because she's been creeping closer and closer to my house, she's harmless I'm sure, but just to be safe I don't answer my door to strangers.
Back to my story though, when I peaked my head up to see if the mysterious doorbell ringer was gone, I saw she was now taking photos of my house and front yard. At this point I decided to walk outside and offer a cordial "can I help you?" And why the hell are you photographing my place?
Turns out her name was Lisa and she's a "set scout" for ABC. Lisa liked our apartment and neighborhood and asked if we'd consider letting them use it as a location for a new television series being shot in Chicago. Reason #85 I love living in Chicago, you never know when someone is going to ring your doorbell and ask if they can use your apartment as a "set location." Naturally I let Lisa come right on in. I gave her a tour of the place and we chatted for a bit about "the biz" but of course Harlow had to be the spotlight of it all. I kid you not, in the short five minutes Lisa was here Harlow presented her with at least twelve different toys. "Like my rope?" "Look at my bone!" "Have you seen a Kong before?" "Look at this shoe!" "Lisa, grab this rubber duck!" Want to see my leash?" "Want to see how I can jump on the couch?" The list goes on but I think you get the point. By the end of it, Lisa jokingly asked if Harlow could be considered for the role of the dog for the series. I "jokingly" said of course.
Moral of the story- always make your bed. You guys, I am super anal about making my bed. I do it everyday. But the ONE day I didn't do it because I was running behind when I left for an appointment this morning, is the day a scout from ABC came into my house and asked to look around. I'll keep you updated if Lisa calls back...
And on that note, I need to go make my bed. So I'm going to leave you with a fellow Chicago blogger/writer by the name of Rachel from Raves and Revelations. When you head over to her page I recommend starting with this post.
Rachel is a wonderful writer (check out her advice below, I wrote it down to stick above my desk actually) and she has an incredible blog that you should all be reading if you're not already. (Make sure you check out her hilarious bachelorette recaps as well!)
What do you love most about Chicago in the summer?
What's not to love? Beer gardens, street festivals, concerts, al fresco dining, beer gardens, sunshine, the beach, boating (still looking for friends in Chicago with a boat, by the way). Did I mention beer gardens?
What do you recommend for people to do who are just visiting the city?
I not-so-secretly love the touristy stuff in the city—most of it anyway. My personal faves are architectural boat tours (I go on these all the time, even as a resident!), Cubs games and Navy Pier. Definitely check out Sears Tower (don't call it Willis Tower, either, no one else does) and the glass skydeck. (I can't vouch for this one—you couldn't pay me to go on that).
And EAT while you're here! Chicago has amazing food, from pizza to steak to burgers. Downtown has super nice, trendy places, but all of my favorite restaurants are hidden in neighborhoods throughout the city. Half Shell in Lakeview has the best (and cheapest) crab legs in the city, Bad Apple in Lincoln Square has phenomenal burgers, and Volo in Roscoe Village is the cutest wine bar ever.
What I would NOT recommend doing is canoeing down the river with your significant other. It's grounds for D, as in, divorce.
Favorite summer meal?
Typically, I like to eat light in the summer, but I also love anything associated with grilling. I'm always happy with a cheeseburger, potato salad and fresh fruit. And a glass of champs, of course. So much for eating light.
If you had one day to do anything you want, what would you do?
Let's assume that on this one this day, I had super powers, such as time travel. There's little I love more in the world than traveling, so I'd hop around the world to all my favorite places, and all the places I want to go: Bora Bora, Australia, Curacao, South America, Spain, Hawaii...how many hours exist in said day?
If I have to be realistic about this one day, I would be on a lake. I can be on the dock or in a boat. I only require that the sun is shining, I have a beer in my hand, and I'm surrounded by friends and family. This is my happy place.
What's one favorite summer memory from your childhood?
I have family who lives up in Lake Okoboji (in Iowa) and every summer, my parents, sisters and I went there for the 4th of July. We'd spend the week tubing, water skiing, putt-putt golfing, going to the amusement park...and as we got older, we spent many days at bars on the lake.
If I have to pick one memory, it's taking the boat out on the 4th, anchoring up in the middle of lake and watching fireworks overhead. (See earlier reference to "happy place.")
Let's talk about your blog for a second...
What inspired you to start blogging?
First and foremost, I love writing. It's my passion. I do it for a living, and I do it for fun. Call me crazy. My dream of all dreams is to be an author, so I started my blog in hopes to spark the process of starting my first book. Think Jen Lancaster: She's my author idol.
My friends and family have always said that I have the best stories, mainly because I've had a lot of crazy things happen to me in my short 29 years. These include, but aren't limited to: losing my engagement ring in a bar (and finding it), being in a coma, having a rib removed, breaking my nose in a cab accident, piercing my own nose and tongue, marrying my high school sweetheart, getting 6 underage drinking tickets, and my dad marrying my sister's husband's mom. I figured a blog would be the perfect place to write said stories down. I haven't even scratched the surface with sharing my tales of truth, so stay tuned.
What keeps you blogging?
I just love being able to write for myself. Not for my job—just for me, and the people who like reading what I've got to say. I've been making excuses for years about why I haven't started my book, or why I hadn't been blogging. After reading one of Jen Lancaster's books, I went to her website to write an email to get advice about becoming a writer, and this is what I found in her FAQ section:
Do you have advice for someone who hopes to be a writer?
If you want to be a writer, write. There's no secret formula or hidden cheat. Just write. Write all the time, not because you have to, but because your world simply won't make sense if you don't...(P.S. If you go around saying you'd love to write but you can't find the time, then you're not ready to be a writer.)
It was that last line that really got to me. That day, I wrote my first blog post and then let everyone know I had a blog to keep myself accountable. This a long way of saying, I keep blogging because I love it. My world doesn't make sense if I don't. And if others love reading it, even better.
What do you find most challenging?
A couple of things: Finding the time to write gets challenging, especially because I have a full-time job where I spend much of my time writing/sitting at the computer. To get home and do it all again is something I struggle with. I also feel like I try too hard sometimes. I see other awesome bloggers out there that I admire, and I see what they're writing, and immediately, I start to compare myself to them, or feel like I could never be that funny, that honest, that [fill in the blank]. I just gotta remember to keep everything in perspective.
I love the comments I get from people I've never met before. It's validating to have someone other than your mom or best friend tell you that you're funny, or a good writer, or that they enjoy what I'm writing. It's validation and praise, and we all like that from time to time!