February 22, 2017

In The Heat of February

Well, well, well.

Chicago lost it's collective mind this weekend after it hit over sixty degrees, and continued to linger on for most of the week. While I wish I could have utilized the weather a little better, time was spent wrapping up projects and trying to give myself a bit of rest after what seems to have been a non-stop couple of weeks. I soaked up a few rays of sunshine today as it hit near seventy. Oh, the glory!

It seems as though I had been up to something nearly every day or evening and it just took it's toll. I finally went to see a doctor last Wednesday after having symptoms of a sinus infection for what seemed months (it was months). I hate admitting that I'm sick or that I have to actually go on some medication for what's going on with my body. This time I got three different things to take for it, and I finally feel better. It's a bit bonkers to think about how long I went just trying to get used to feeling like that. So it goes.

But whilst suffering that little infection, I had a rather fantastic time dabbling in a few other things; I FINALLY WENT TO THE AUTO SHOW. My own mind was blown at the fact that I had never been. Also, I had to go see the Maybach. For me, that was like going to see Concorde in person (which I did on a detour from DC to Virginia just to see it, along with the SR-71 Blackbird)  I mean, that's really all I needed to see there, but it was nice to stroll around and see things shine. I'm a big luxury vehicle fan, and had a glorious time sitting in all the Maserati's, except the Gran Turismo, they had that sucker locked-up. Of course they did. Above all else, I think I had the most fun getting extremely stressed out whilst watching the test tracks. Shoutout to Jeep for a glorious stress-fest (truly the best kind)

{Check out: 'The Trees In Russia'  and 'Wake Up Gladiator'}

I went to Schuba's last Monday to check out The Flashbulb take it slow and then make it funky. I had a feeling he was on tour, so I'm glad I got the inkling to check that out a few weeks ago. It's always righteous to look up and see an artist is on the road and still be able to snag tickets before they hit your city. We could talk about how sad I am that this was not the case with D.R.A.M last month or with Run The Jewels (they're here this week, I believe). It was really neat to see this played out live. I've been listening to his albums, specifically Nothing Is Real and Arboreal, for the past few months. As I dipped into some other stuff, I found he has quite an array of sounds. I didn't know exactly what his show would touch on, but it was a lovely selection that came together rather nicely. I would have stuck around after the show to snag a few words with him, but I had a 5am wakeup time and the show wrapped at 11:15 or so. 

And then it was Valentine's Day. Dan called me a few weeks ago telling me about Sumi Robata Bar and that he booked a reservation there, mainly because he was super curious about it, and knew I would probably dig it. Indeed I did! We ordered almost everything on the menu, at least on the Robata side. Once we started, we basically just kept upping our order. I am so glad that I could hold out for one more night so I could go here. Such a great time working our way through various courses. However, I woke up the next day feeling the collective effect of not taking care of your body. Even though I had the protein of so many animals kicking about in my system and not one, but two bowls of miso soup, nothing was enough to repair what was going on.

After a full round of meds and a few days on the low vibe, I'm almost back to normal. Full normalcy seems like a stretch at this point. I'm trying to take advantage of any bit of relaxation I can muster, the busiest day of the work day is next Tuesday and it's actually quite insane {Packzi Day}. What feels like half the city floods through the doors throughout the day. While it's madness, its also rather glorious. The excitement, the running around, and my most beloved task, keeping the team jazzed as hell. This is accomplished by just yelling and having a blast. There's nothing else you can do in that situation except just try to make it fun. The most difficult thing will be trying to muster up that energy after 8 straight shifts in a row, with the final one being the longest and the most enduring. BRING. THAT. SHIT. ON.

Onto the music! Here's what I'm vibin' on at the moment;

Desperado by Rihanna
Float by FTSE {Ft. Kenzie May}
Go Robot by Red Hot Chili Peppers
I Wait For You by SOULS
Love$ick by Mura Masa
I Am You by Nightmares On Wax
Without by Sampha
Everybody's Talkin' by Harry Nilsson
San Andreas Fault by Natalie Merchant
Headlock by Imogen Heap
Love Is Mystical by Cold War Kids
Hustle Rose by Metric
Spirit by Future Islands
We could talk about the MAJOR phase I went through with the album 'Singles' a couple summers ago. It was pretty much all I listened to for a solid three months. It makes me want to dance, cry, laugh, feel, and share it, so much so that I made a scarf based on the album cover. I'm actually really surprised I didn't devote an entire post to them during that period of time.

In other crocheted projects;

I made this baby blanket for a friend and co-worker who's due next month.
It's been awhile since I've been in blanket territory. It was good to be back.

Although I was plenty busy with this for a few days, I cranked out a few other projects that will be hitting the shoppe soon. While this was enough on it's own to do within a five day period, I found that once this was finalized, I kept wanting to crochet and keep creating. That is where I am able to really find some sense of self. I love turning a thought into a concept., and a concept into a design. I want to create on a much larger scale, with greater mediums. I'll have to see what I can do about that. But for now, I'm going to see what I can do about getting some serious sleep. TG

February 6, 2017

Dipping into 2017

When I first started writing this post, 2 months ago, it was a delightful four degrees outside, which was a major upswing from that morning's negative numbers, and wind chills creeping lower beyond that. So this city does what it does best and looked awful whilst trudging around in nine coats and three pairs of pants (it happens to the best of us, but not me because I took an Uber to work).

If I can recall winter 2015, which I definitely can, I remember it being super mild, like, sitting-in-parks mild because it was fifty freakin' degrees in the heart of December. But 2016 it was when this post was being written, which in every other sense was a total bitch, so it seems on par. I also feel like those who had a "good" 2016 are keeping that slice of information to themselves. It would very much be like claiming your adoration for the Cleveland Indians in the final week of October in Chicago. You just didn't do it. But while the weather was rather miserable, there have been some beautiful flurries that momentarily coat the city in wonder and beauty. Luckily today is not one of those days, as the temperature reads in the mid forties.

Whatever, let's get to the good stuff, which is music. I feel such a large shift lately. I will FOREVER be an XRT girl. That is where my core base of music is and it will never, ever be neglected by my musical soul. I just find that I'm gravitating towards an array of other things I haven't been into in a long time, or have been, just haven't properly shared. I know I briefly touched on this topic in my last post, but music transitions are huge, and perhaps hit me harder than they would most. I typically have about two or three each year; where I listen to particular groupings of certain genre's. I never know what it's going to be, but usually it's something I already love and have completely neglected for at least a year, as if it's a musical Rolodex, and there are somethings that just stay in the background for longer than you intend them to. I guess it's all about the mood, and the mood always has the ability to change.

This particular set of music has come to me at all different times, from numerous sources. Some old, some new. I've been listening to these particular jams and the albums they belong to, quite a bit over the past two months. I have been in such a whirlwind, that it leaves me little time to write, but so much time to listen.

{Heavy in Rotation}

Wolf and I by Oh Land
Legend Has It by Run The Jewels
Okay, sidenote; I've been a RTJ fan for a minute now, and a month or so ago
my cab driver asks me which radio station I would like for him to put on.
Obviously, I chose XRT. It's The Big Beat with Jason Thomas. He plays
'Noise Pollution' by Potrugal. The Man (solid jam), and THEN PLAYS THIS SONG.
I lost my mind in the back of this car. Chicago's Finest Rock bringing my
other finest choice into the mix. HOT DAMN! What a moment. Also, this song solidifies
my final decision in needing a pair of nunchucks. I need to just throw down to this song.
and every other Run The Jewels song.
Demon Days by Gorillaz
Outlier by Bonobo
Say Something Loving by The xx
Obsessed upon first listen.
Adorn by Miguel
Holy. Shit.
Oui by Jeremih
My girls were bumpin' GCI in the back at work one day, MONTHS AGO, I heard this song AND FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. I had no idea who it was by, all I knew was "ah ah yah" and that apparently helped no one. I hadn't heard it again until 5 days ago. I thoroughly flipped out and was finally able to find out who it was by and it's title. THE SATISFACTION WAS REAL. This is an album I've been listening to in full. Another rather sexy jam off Late Nights: PLANEZ (ft. J. Cole). If this guy needs a dancer for any show or tour he ever does, he can contact me.
Hard Liquor by SOHN
Hot Thoughts by Spoon [NEW SPOON! YES!]
Déjà Loin by Yann Tiersen
I put 'Fervier' on my Halloween mix a couple posts ago because it was
extremely appropriate. However, I've been listening to him for years. I even
went to see him live hoping I'd get to hear some of the songs I love most. 
Nope. Anyway... his album, C'était ici, has to be one of my all time favorites.
He's behind the music for Amelie, which hopefully helps familiarize his work.
I listened to this album straight through twice in a row a few weeks ago whilst decorating cookies.
Houdini by Foster The People
Shades of Cool by Lana Del Rey

All in all, 2017 has been an interesting array of emotions compacted into what feels much more than two months in. Overall, things have been going well. There's always room for improvement and progression, and right now I need a lot of both. There have been a lot of great things going on and ways I've been keeping myself plenty busy. Dan and I celebrated the incoming of 2017 at Scofflaw (seriously, GO THERE) - one of our favorite places and had an amazing time. I attended the XRT Listener Poll in the first week of January, The people that I surrounded myself with that evening were exquisite. I had a really lovely time and am so glad it was able to happen. I've been spending plenty of time at Bitter Pops, Dan and I checked out the Art Institute last week and tried Terzo Piano, Tony's latest - verdict is out, it was delicious.

 Roamin' with the Lions outside the Art Institute and  The lovely ladies at Bitter Pops/2nd home

NEW YEAR'S EVE at Scofflaw

I recently made this concept for my shoppe - based on Run The Jewels 3. I was super stoked when I found these yarns and knew right away I needed to utilize them properly. I am in love with the album and wanted to make an inspired, yet wearable piece. LISTEN TO THE FULL ALBUM HERE.

A groovy group of us that can usually be found sending off righteous tweets pertaining to XRT, gathered, and took over the front table at City Winery. We listened to the finest DJs from the finest station lay down what went down on their station in a year's time.
It's a night where you feel like you're best friends with everyone in the room.
It's always nice to meet with those you interact with on a different platform. An inviting group of people where everyone just seems to "get it".

We are enjoying your treats from this morning and you're a very good dancer.
and the morning after you get some Twitter love. Treats earn tweets. As does dancing well.

And here I am. In the thick of transition, which seems to be my favorite place to reside. All that I care about right at this very moment is getting outside and soaking up some of that sun that will only be here for an hour or so. I've been nothing but productive today, but as always, I've got some extra energy to burn. A Monday afternoon stroll is exactly what I need. TG