December 31, 2013

[lifestyle] The end of the year shakedown.

If you keep up with this blog well enough, or at all, you know how I fall into the trap of completely forgetting about it. That's not entirely true, I've been jonesin' to do some writing for awhile, but I figured I'd wait until I had some sort of content that would intrigue you. However, don't get too excited...

The last time I wrote anything was in August. How could I not? There were too many pivotal things occurring in my life, i.e; summertime, Lana Del Rey, hitting the road to see my man, and of course, Lollapalooza. August was also filled with apartment hunting in the city of Chicago. There's hardly time to write accurately when you're frazzled deciding on your next living space, or while trying to pack up your own. So edge up to September 1st, where we pulled our moving truck into the Lakeview neighborhood and set up camp in a groovy little apartment in the heart of it.

There had been so much personal and outward debate of whether or not this whole city-living thing was going to work for me. I was born a to be city girl, but raised in the burbs, so while I loved Chicago, I was anxious about calling it my home. Once we were moved in, I did however, settle in real nicely. Of course, I had no "real" plan for the city. My job transfer had fallen through, and it was all about me trying to make it happen. I ordered a surge of new business cards, built up some resumes, and hit the pavement, walking up and down around blocks I lived to score a new gig. At this point, I sort of felt like I knew the difference between a "suburb job" and a "city job". Working at certain places, like ones you could actually find in the burbs, were not going to work for me. I needed something with a bit of edge, a job where I could interact with the people of Chicago. In my exploring, I found that the local bar, Will's Northwoods Inn, was a huge Wisconsin/Packers/Badgers supporter, so I drummed up the little idea of whipping some hats up for them and try to sell them there for a little side profit while I figured it out. The owner loved the idea and decided to make it a part of his weekly raffle during the college games. He commissioned me to make him quite a few of hats in different styles.

 I was extremely grateful for the opportunity and felt like it was something that truly worked out for the both of us. In the end, when it came down to actually getting a job, I guess it works that I fell into the lap of one of the oldest and biggest bakeries around, who makes its way onto national lists for it's, it really works.

Luckily, work is going well, but CrochetBeat has thrived. Okay, I guess "thrived" is overdoing the description, but I think that I have a rad little thing going there. My sales have increased due to the factor of people just finding more of my stuff, but Will's had a big hand in helping me out because my products now met a new group of people, they were great about promoting my stuff.

here's a few recent sales; Jayne Cobb hats, 'Grey Street' scarf, and 'Gold Lion'

visual recap:

from my favourite bar; HEADQUARTERS! This is one of our usual spots. Free play pinball + arcade.
this bar truly works for me. I cannot quite drum up how it became so popular to go to packed bars and just
stand around whilst trying to have conversation. This place eliminates that issue with giving you something to DO.
 They play fantastic music, shows American Gladiator, football, hockey, wrestling, and random music videos and is chocked full of pinball and old school arcade games. Free to get in, you just pay for the quality craft beers and delicious cocktails. If you're in Chicago, you gotta get over here! I have to make my way over at least three times a week. should you!

I did have to say goodbye to some awesome people in the burbs...

But being in the city brings me closer to other ones!
Here's Dan and I with Lin Brehmer, he was hosting an event two blocks over.

Oh, and then I was asked to jump out of a cake whilst singing Happy Birthday. So I did that at an event...
seriously, how does one pass up such an opportunity?!

Dirk and I posing in Hollywood Mirror after I bought my pizza hat.
Then a few days later I saw these guys on the brown line. I mean, adorable, right?

and one time, I actually acquired a high score on pinball...

For Dan's 30th, we had made plans with Dirk and Sara to head to Cleveland to see NIN and hit up the Rock and Roll hall of fame. Both things were fantastic and it was a nice little roadtrip and weekend trip. We had all day to roam around the museum and anticipated the show later in the night. 

They had a piano outside the museum to play as you wanted. Apparently, they have an exhibit and have 18 place around in Cleveland for you to make some music around town.

Walking around and seeing music's history displayed before you was an awesome experience.
It gave you a better insight to artists and bands and made it personal. I am so grateful we had
the day to spend there. Seeing Stevie's outfits and things that David Bowie used to sport were
beautiful, and that was probably my favourite aspect of the whole place, was seeing the outfits
that were displayed. It was loaded with inspiration and history and I can only hope I can roam
the hall of fame once again.

Here's a few shots from the day. There was so much to see and so much to look forward to later in the night. It's always nice to see a band play where they got their initial start in music and made a mark.

 1). Copy of A 2). 1,000,000  3). Terrible Lie 4). March of The Pigs 5) Piggy 6). All Time Low
7). Disappointed 8). Came Back Haunted 9). Find My Way 10). The Frail/The Wretched
11). Into The Void 12). Survivalism 13). Running 14). A Warm Place 15). Somewhat Damaged
16) Wish 17). Burn 18). The Hand That Feeds 19). Head Like A Hole 
Encore: 20). Even Deeper 21). In This Twilight 22). While I'm Still Here 23). Hurt

 This was the second time we saw NIN this year.

I whipped up a monster hat this year, was out and about in festive wear, and hit the lakeside while the temperatures were still appropriate to do so.

HQ... ALL the time. It's so close to our apartment and such a wonderful environment.
As previously mentioned...

this was another high score round!

..and you KNOW that if I'm in charge of some decorating, that they're going to be some
Heisen-boo's around Halloween time!

Halloween at work came around twice, one over the weekend, one on the actual holiday. I was a figure skater for Saturday, and Princess Peach on Halloween. But seriously, how cute is the work crew?
But of course, by night I was a pinball princess.

THEN IT WAS TIME TO GO TO L.A. out of nowhere.

 So I came home from work one night and Dan informed me that he had entered our emails in a NIN contest to see them taped on Jimmy Kimmel. Forgetting about it completely three days later, I opened my inbox and found out I had won! So, since it was so spontaneous and didn't include airfare or any extra goodies, we did the math and made it work. We would have less than a day in L.A., but it seemed too neat to pass up, so we did the four flights in two days. 

we had our friend Ashley come scoop us up for some beach time and lunch in Venice before our night
back in downtown Hollywood. It was really nice to take the drive on the highway, be beach-side
and play in the ocean a bit. By sunset, my body was running strong on Mimosa's and I was ready to hit the line for the outdoor stage.
so the funny thing is that there was really no special privilege. The raffle is essentially free to everyone, you just have to get them in time. First come, first serve. I mean, it was a little ridiculous to fly out after we had seen them twice this year, along with How To Destroy Angels in March, but there are some things that simply cannot be resisted. So we went and enjoyed California and some NIN. We met some cool people in line and I got to meet up with a twitter buddy in person!

Michael and I in the NIN crowd!

Although we hated leaving after such short time, it was spectacular to have a change of scenery, and L.A. was just what we needed!

...the unfortunate fly-home.
There is something so calming about flying, yet something so maddening about it.
I love taking off, and then as soon as we do, I pretty much snap into
"Okay, good talk, when does this thing land?" mode.

So then it was back to Chicagoland where life would continue as normal...

I whipped up the hat on the left, which I call "epic hat" and of course
always save some time for 10,000 Maniacs, because, how could you not?

Work had me in charge of cutting out the houses this year.
What a terrifying process. However, the decorators turned it into the real art.
I just pretended I knew what I was doing with some dough and a straight edge.
These were displayed in the window of the bakery.

I have only gone here one other time and it was when I was standing shoulder to shoulder
with half of the city trying to eat a damn bratwurst. This time, I was a smart kitten and went on a Tuesday.
Not just any Tuesday, this was one of those random 50º days you get smack dab at the beginning of December. So I went, I ate, and I bought some German goods.

Here we are by the tree, which basically just looks like a Christmas galaxy.
We're with our good friends Mike and Karen, they wanted to play German, too.

So then I got all inspired by the Sound of Music and did up my hair Bavarian style
and then a couple weeks later hopped in a bag for some photo worthy shots.
All in all, December has been busy.

yes. we pulled out the catholic wafers....
and then pretended to feed them to each other.
it was cute. or something.
Getting together with these girls = non-stop laughing. What a group.

This is how work went down on Christmas Eve...

I got this banner from an event I went to, where I actually met Marc Alghini
for the first time, not to mention that it was my only point of going to said event.

My uncles rockin' the hats I made for them for Christmas! 

And I'll close the visual recap chapter there...
That's been what's going on since the last time I posted, but it's time to take a little time to talk
about 2014...

All in all, as the new year is literally hours away, I can say I'm pretty excited to ease into 2014. I know there's a ton to look forward to. I know that I still have a lot to learn, but I also realize that I did learn a lot in 2013. I'm assured with the fact that I'm not running from this past year. I can comfortably glide into a new set of time. I am so glad that I was able to make this the year I made a big change in my life, a change that I'm really happy with. I'm well aware there's a lot of areas I need to improve in, but I'm really happy with who I am at this point in my life. I'm grateful for the people I've chosen to surround myself with. I can say that 2013 brought me a lot of opportunity. I worked at three different places, and have enjoyed them all and learned different things from each one. I met amazing people at those places and have continued to meet new people as my life in the city here rolls on. I moved to a new area, started my Etsy shop last January, and settled in with my counterpart. There has been so many different aspects of life and culture that have influenced me over this past year, and the music! 

Oh, the music!...

There have been so many amazing albums dropped this year. I'm so over the moon that I got to enjoy yet another Lollapalooza this year, and see so many remarkable artists throughout the past 12 months. I hardly doubt I could name them all, but I have my sights set on seeking out the new music that 2014 has to offer. I can only hope that things go as well for me as they can in the new year. I'd like to think I put out an unreasonable amount of good karma in 2013, so hopefully that will swing back around. I know that things will change, but I'm hoping that everything that happens, happens for the best. Here's to it! Here's to an incredible 2014, with love, laughter, charm, and A WHOOLLLLLE LOTTA WIT!