Osaka Food Court

Notice Osaka Tower (Tsutenkaku)  is in the background. After taking a three hour bus to Osaka from Nagoya, my friends and I were pretty hungry. We decided to go exploring in the rain and stumbled upon Shinsekai, a charming food district.

Advertisements

Patriotic and Proud

 

My Favorite View of Chicago
My Favorite View of Chicago

Going running on a beautiful not-so-summer morning is a great way to begin celebrating my second favorite holiday. Mainly, I decided to run because I had too much popcorn and soda yesterday, and I’ve been skipping my boxing classes for two weeks. Don’t tell anyone. To appreciate this monumental day, I’ve written a little poem for you all:

Roses are multicolored

Violets are violet

Happy Fourth Of July

Nothing rhymes with violet.

Venting About Chicagoans – Part 2: Apartment People

Want to hear a joke?

No? Oh well.

What’s more unnerving than hearing the loud, sexual moans of a middle aged man as you lay down to sleep one night?

Hearing his loud, sexual moans EVERY NIGHT. 

Sorry, I never promised it’d be a good joke. I’m not very good with punchlines. And I have never been clever enough for puns. Speaking of puns, I just want to say that I realize they are probably the least funny form of humor, but I believe they are the wittiest. My Dad can come up with puns like no one can. Every time he spits out one of those bad boys, I feel.. I feel.. well I feel something like this:

 

giphy

 

But that doesn’t stop me from staring at him in awe of his incredible punliness. Punliness. Let’s go ahead and add that word to Webster’s. Is it in there now? Ok. Good.

Last year, I submitted a post detailing my incredible annoyances with Chicagoans I encountered while dog walking throughout the city. You may read that hereBut only after reading this one first!! “You have to eat your carrots before you can have your ice cream, Jimmy!” –If you’re reading this and your name is Jimmy, I apologize at how creepy my post just became.

I’m going to preface this rant with another rant of what happened the first night I moved into this apartment. I’m going to preface that sentence and explain that the reason I like to preface so much is because I ramble when i tell stories. I think it’s because of my self-diagnosed ADD. With that, Onward!

So it was late one night last July. Aah, I remember it fondly. Mainly because it was warm…and this winter has been hell. I had just moved the last of my belongings from the hellhole that was my downtown apartment where I lived with Humpty Dumpty and Bozo the Clown. I was due to fly to VA at 6 am to finally pack and move everything remaining there to my new Chicago studio. I had a few hours to kill and no clean clothes, so I frolicked down the stairs, so excited to utilize the laundry room as an inhabitant of this amazing new building. Yay, I wasn’t the only one doing laundry. New Friennnnddddd, I thought as I licked my lips ready to strike at any moment. I loaded my machine, but there were no signs of how long the washing machine ran for, so I politely asked my neighbor. He told me they each took about an hour. I decided to introduce myself and explain that I had just moved to the area. He replied, “Yea, the people in this building don’t really talk to each other.” I was dumbfounded. Was it my heavy breathing in his ear as he retrieved his unmentionables that made him reject me like that? I’ll never know. Oh well. I skipped out of the laundry room and back up the two flights of stairs to my room. Preface now over.

Since that first night, I’ve had very limited interactions with people in my building. Either the laundry guy was telling the truth, or he warned everyone to stay away from me. If he’s smart, then probably the latter. I do have quite a bit of interaction with one resident, albeit it consists entirely of me screaming obscenities at my wall. There’s this indescribably infuriating man that I call “the Preacher”. I don’t know where he lives; his voice just kind of emanates through the walls in every direction and suffocates you with his nonsensical sermons. He is basically scream-mumbling at no one in particular. Every few seconds I’ll make out the word hell, or hate, or sin. Don’t get me wrong; I’m Greek Orthodox. I appreciate people who wish to practice whatever religion they choose. Just stop trying to convert me while I’m trying to take my 4-hour afternoon nap. Otherwise you’ll wake the bear. And this guy does- every time.

One night a few months ago, the power went out. I took my little flashlight and decided to venture into the hall to make sure it wasn’t just my room that was out. It was entirely possible my easy bake oven had blown a fuse again. I thought maybe other people in the hall might come out to do the same. No, just silence. These people really have no sense of community. I anxiously searched for a door to knock on. Two rooms down a couple sounded as if they were arguing. Naturally, I picked that one. It took them about 30 seconds longer than it should have to answer the door. Damn it, the laundry guy’s words travel fast. Eventually the door half opened, and a woman just stared at me. I nervously asked if they were out of electricity also. She just nodded at me, not saying anything. I retracted my head back into my shirt’s neck hole and slithered back to my room. Never again will I do that.

Then there’s the most recent addition to my list of people I can’t stand. This one is an enigma currently. About once a week, I will awake to five straight minutes of someone slamming a door literally, LITERALLYYYYY, so hard that my entire room and bed shake from the vibrations. What the hell are you doing? I will find this person one day. I will find you.

Hopefully, I haven’t jinxed myself by writing this. The last thing I want is to write a Part 2 Cont. with an entirely new list of awful experiences. Before I end my post, I really must declare that I do love my cozy, bedroom-sized apartment in my cute, teal, four-story building. I love living alone in my studio; I just could do without a few nuisances I’ve encountered here. If you’ve had any similarly frustrating experiences, feel free to tell me about them. It’s always more fun to vent with others.

 

How Dog Walking became my Worst and Best Mistake

My instinct never serves me wrong.

Or so I thought.

A lot of people that I’ve spoken to in the past few weeks were unaware of my change in jobs. Whenever I relate a story about a dog that I care for, I get the recurring question, “What? You’re not doing massage at the spa anymore?” I’ve learned that I often get lost in my self-absorption and expect my loved ones to receive automatic alerts concerning all of the goings-on in my life without my needing to personally speak to them. And then I realize that this is not so– how inconvenient for me. When replying to the question, I used to let out a heartfelt chuckle and explain that I have moved on to greener pastures. But now when I answer, I just scoff into the phone with my air of feigned pompousness, wishing to give the illusion that although I am completely unhappy in my professional life, I am totally, totally in control and already have several other job opportunities lined up. So there!

I’m not upset that I left my previous job. I could easily write a dissertation on how horrible my working conditions used to be. I am more frustrated that instead of sticking with massage therapy, I abandoned it so readily and pursued something completely different than anything I would had considered before. I was convinced that I would be so much happier in this new field. I followed my gut feeling to chase after this opportunity. I SO believed that becoming a dog walker would send me off into the right direction! It would allow me to experience a completely different avenue, which would then give me insight as to what my next steps in life would be. I would have a job with nary a dull moment!  Dog walking was the answer! Oh and it was, just not the way I expected.

*I would like to state that I am in no way bashing the profession of dog walkers, (or “pet care specialists”, as my boss likes to refer to us). This job can prove very rewarding and lucrative for the right person. I am also very grateful for the opportunities to have had my experiences in this profession and to share them with all of you. 

Here are my lists outlining How Dog Walking became my Worst and Best Mistake

Let’s Start with the Good:

1. I finally realized that I’m ready to achieve more for myself. I’m strongly considering going back to school for my master’s degree. Had I never sacrificed my mental stability for the well-being of puppies everywhere and been subjected to the debilitating hardships of my endless bike riding and dog walking, I may not have acknowledged this route for some time.

2. I can finally see my abs! That endless bike riding has done wonders for my body and overall fitness. My stamina is through the roof and I rarely feel tired when I’m destroying the pads in my Muay Thai class.

3. Have you seen my coworkers?

Lola was my first overnight pet stay. She was lucky and I took her for a short trip to the beach, until that trip became two hours longer because I got lost on the way back to her house.
Lola was my first overnight pet stay. She was lucky and I took her for a short trip to the beach, until that trip became two hours longer because I got lost on the way back to her house.

IMG_3365

I actually take a lot of pictures of my dogs. Hank is just the only one who ever sits still long enough to pose for me, all while looking entirely confused .

 

 

IMG_3480

Believe it or not, this is the best picture I could get because this is primarily what Finley and I do during every walk. He has a constant case of the puppy munchies.

 

And now for the Bad:

1. One month after moving into my new apartment and purchasing my new 500 dollar bike, it was stolen.

2. I had to purchase a used, emphasis on used, bike the next day off of Craigslist; at least this one was a road bike!

3. One week later, the front tire was stolen from this bike.

4. I now have to carry my bike up and down two flights of stairs every day, also doing wonders for my arms!

5. I got doored by a woman in a parked car who was distracted by her three children inside. At least she felt horrible. So did my collarbone though…

6. I abhor petsitting. I’ll never again take advantage of the amazing feeling of being able to come back to my own apartment at the end of a long day and sleeping in my own bed.

7. I have to work holidays, and a lot of weekends apparently (which is what I was trying to no longer do).

8. The pay is not nearly what I had hoped/what I was told it would be.

9. Taxi drivers in Chicago — No, all drivers in Chicago are horrible. And they are hella rude. That’s right, I said it. HEELLLLAAAAAA.

10. People walking on the street aren’t all that friendly to bike riders either.

11. I, very  stupidly, did not even consider what riding my bike around in the winter would feel like. Actually, I did, I just convinced myself I would make do. Stupid.

12. Ever have a chain pop off your bike, have to fix it, and then try and clean the grease from your hands? No? Well believe me, it is not fun in the least.

13. Helmet hair is a term for a reason.

And we’ll stop with the lovely number, 13. I guess that looking back, I can say that my instinct didn’t lead me astray after all. I accomplished what I needed, and I have goals again for my future. I just encountered a few nicks along the way. So thank you dog walking for without you, I would still be lost.

I hope you enjoyed my fun little rant. See y’all!

Also check out this fun weekly challenge: /2013/09/23/a-word-a-week-challenge-mistake/

We Bought A Zoo!

Hey Readers! Sorry to get your hopes up with the title. Unfortunately, I don’t make nearly enough money as a massage therapist to purchase a zoo. However, if I ever do have that much money, my first purchase will definitely be a zoo for all the little children of the world to frolic around.

This post is really about my recent trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo!

One of the many entrances into the zoo off of Stockton Drive which runs parallel to the Beautiful Lake Shore Drive!
One of the many entrances into the zoo off of Stockton Drive which runs parallel to the Beautiful Lake Shore Drive!

My friend Annette, who you will see in my follow up blog post, joined me in this adventure! We know each other from college, and I am lucky enough to be able to hang out with her while she is back home in Chicago for her Summer vacation. Which means… that I have a personal tour guide of Chicago! Muahahaha.

For those of you who have yet to visit this zoo and plan on it — Don’t worry, I am not going to ruin the experience of the zoo for you. I will not be posting any of the 80 pictures of animals and scenery that we took during our three hour expedition into the Chicago wilderness.

Except For This ONE!!:

Only because I love Hippos!
Only because I love Hippos. We are alike in too many ways.

The zoo is completely FREE to the public, but offers donation stands all around in case you wish to offer some money. As the name implies, it is located in the most beautiful (my opinion only) of the Chicago neighborhoods, Lincoln Park. I would love to go into a full discussion on why I love Lincoln Park so much as compared to the main downtown area, however I will save that for its own post one day so as not to bore you all now.

984090_638776306152542_1805008090_n-1
Isn’t it Beautiful here. The Conservatory is the building shown, which we also visited. I highly recommend
The view of Downtown from the zoo isn't too shabby though. That's Annette pictured.
The view of Downtown from the zoo isn’t too shabby though. That’s Annette pictured. She came with full camera gear, while I used my dinky iPhone to take photos.

As soon as you enter the zoo, there are multitude of paths to choose from to start exploring. Obviously, so we would not get lost, we took pictures with the map of the zoo.:

IMG_2461
We are so resourceful, AND well prepared I might add.

Warning: If you have a terrific fear of spiders or cockroaches, I do not recommend you visit those two exhibits. Trust me.

There are also tons of places to eat situated all over, although the food can be a bit pricey. However, that is expected from an amazing, free zoo. The zoo kind of sits wide open to the rest of the neighborhood, and runners jog right through the area. It is a very welcoming area. There is also a boardwalk that leads you to Lake Shore Drive, which holds the beaches.

Next time I go to the zoo, which will most likely be very soon, I want to order food from this guy:

IMG_2455
How cool is this food truck?

A Seat Fit for a King

 

IMG_1431Sometimes it’s fun to just post a little picture of something funny or cool I find in the city. Here is some graffiti I found while exploring downtown. Notice the great detailed work done for the butt cheeks. I’m assuming they are butt cheeks.

Friends on a Ledge

We're so mysterious looking
We’re so mysterious looking

I’m happy to announce that I’m finally beginning to feel less like an outsider in Chicago. I mean I’ve yet to make any close friendships, don’t work full time yet, and I still get lost walking more than 10 blocks away from my apartment, but at least I’m not completely homesick anymore.

This past week has been a lot of fun, mainly due to my friend having some visitors. From this past Tuesday until Friday, I have been able to distract myself from my loneliness by going on plenty of adventures. A few of the next blog posts will be covering these events.

This post will cover our trip to the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). If you’re in Chicago, it can easily be identified because it is the tallest building there, and it has two large antennae protruding from the top. It was regarded as the tallest building in the world up until a few years ago, and it is still the tallest in the United States. The main thing that draws people to the Tower is the amazing SkyDeck that you can pay 18 dollars to walk onto. It is a glass cubicle that extends a few feet from the building so you can have the most amazing view of the city, the sunset, or both.

IMG_1404 IMG_1411

Kind of Scary, huh?

When you walk into the lobby of the building designated for entrance into the SkyDeck, you are greeted by the elevator pers–well, greeter. Our greeter was a large black woman who I am assuming had one too many visitors act rudely to her. A female tourist, who appeared to have spoken very little English, had apparently accidentally walked into our greeter without apologizing. As my friends and I exchanged awkward, yet amused, glances at each other, the greeter ranted to no one in particular that she is a human being with feelings. I had to admit, it must be frustrating to be rudely disregarded the way she was, but she also blew it way out of proportion. Anyway, the elevator takes you to a floor with a more important elevator, which leads you to the SkyDeck. Before getting there though, you must pay the fee, go through some metal detectors, and take obligatory pictures of all of the cool exhibits and signs in the Tower.  We took many goofy photos while overlooking the city, but I won’t show those all on here. Instead, I’ll encourage any of you haven’t been to the Willis Tower to visit and take your own :).

IMG_1451IMG_1401

We are standing in front of a giant "103" which stands for the 103 stories of the building we are to ascend
We are standing in front of a giant “103” which stands for the 103 stories of the building we are to ascend