Sunday, February 23, 2014

Scenes From A Week: February 23

What a spectacular week.  The work week was a short one (due to President's Day) and the weekend was chock full of fun.  On Friday night, Scott and I went to a Bulls game (my first!) and it was a total riot.  I enjoyed myself tremendously, and had way more fun than I expected to.  On Saturday morning, Scott and I got up and drove to Iowa to hang out with my parents for the rest of the weekend.  I got my hair done, we toured three homes, we did some shopping, and we ate and drank like kings.  It was a riot.  On Sunday, we got up and headed back to Chicago for a fourth home viewing.  On our way, we ran in to my aunt and uncle in a gas station/ Subway in the middle of nowhere Illinois... how incredible is that?  It was a fantastic weekend.

bulls versus nuggets - bulls win!

beer and basketball... i like it.

incredible app that my parents had waiting for us... yum.

scott trying out my parents new bed :)

i call this country (music) kate

cocktails with my parents at the (former) top of the five!

one of my mom's famous green smoothies
17 years after their wedding reception in the exact spot!

best subway run-in EVER!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blackjack Billy show

I'm super belated in writing this, but Scott and I saw a new band at one of our favorite venues the other week.  The band was called "Blackjack Billy" and I don't know how to describe their music without using the word "party".  It was PARTY tunes.  I only knew one song going in, but left a huge fan.  (I downloaded the entire album - five or six songs - on iTunes the next day).

Part of the show that I thought was so fantastic was that the band did a medley of about 10 other songs that we knew.  It started off with Jason Mraz "I'm Yours" and continued in a really spectacular fashion - "With Or Without You" (U2), "Don't Stop Believing" (Journey), "Lose Yourself" (Eminem), "No Woman No Cry" (Bob Marley), "Must Be the Money" (Nelly).  I'm missing about five of the tunes they included, but it was one of the absolute best things I've seen musically.  Just so well done, and with SO MUCH energy.

Highly recommend this band - love them.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scenes From A Week: February 16

Another wonderful week in the books.  In all honesty, I'm not a super big fan of the idea behind Valentine's Day - I don't think we should need prompting to share our love with the people around us.  BUT, I am a big fan of love (romantic, family, friends) and of any excuse to have a date with Scott.  Anyway, this Valentine's Day was perfect - an incredibly sweet card and remarkably thoughtful gift from my husband, and a little too much craft beer with sushi at our favorite local spot.  It was just what the doctor ordered.

The rest of the week was filled with other awesome stuff - House of Cards Season 2 (three episodes in as of 9am this morning!), a mid-week manicure, buying awesome concert tickets for Labor Day weekend and a Saturday night triple date with two of my best friends.

so cute <3
i miss cr every day.  but -20?  yikes!
45 minutes after i left my house, i was finally on a bus,
BUT i was directly out front.  #commutefromhell
selfie showing off my curls
new blue nail color: borrowed and blue by essie.  love.
chicago you frigid beast.
valentine's day... shots?  yes.
loving my card from scott <3
saturday morning almond butter + jam
(made with the BEST JAM of all time - aunt barb's)

i'm getting so sick of having to dress like this
c'mon flip flops!
brb- see you in 13 hours.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Editor Kate February Edition

Another day, another batch of lousy writing/editing... and this time, two in one article.

1) his second son, a baby boy.  Well OBVIOUSLY.
2) if Robert Ford was born in January 2011, he'd be three.. not four.
As may be obvious, I do love US Magazine (electronically, mostly, as I refuse to pay for celeb gossip) but I do not love simple errors.  Seriously.  A teenager could proof-read this more effectively... perhaps US should invest in an editor intern.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cider Summit 2014

Scott and I have attended a few Beer Fests over the past few years, and we really love them.  As beer aficionados, it's a great way to try a whole variety of new beers without having to really commit - after all, if you don't care for the one you've tried, you can get rid of it without feeling like you're wasting your money.  When we heard about a Cider Fest coming to town, we knew we wanted to check it out.  His cousin emailed us with a link to a 50% Cider Fest pass, and it was set.  We bought the tickets late last fall, and at the time - February 8 seemed so far away.  Crazy how fast time flies.

Anyway, on Saturday, Scott and I took the bus downtown to Navy Pier to drink some cider!  We got there a little before his cousins, so we had some time to wander around Navy Pier.  I'm a person that normally avoids Navy Pier at almost all costs (tourist central) but on this frigid winter day, there were very few people around which was awesome.  There was a spectacular ice sculpture competition going on out front, and it was fun wandering around looking.  The sculpters were just outrageous - so talented.

Once we got so cold we couldn't take being outside anymore, we ventured inside.  I still had a few thousand steps to get in that day, so we walked around Navy Pier killing some time.  I hadn't realized how many awesome things were at Navy Pier - we commented that it'd be such a fun place to take my cousins children.  Lots for little ones to do - an imax theater, a children's museum, and lots of open spaces.

Also?  Penguins.  OMG.

After we'd gotten our steps in, we headed to the Cider Summit to get our cider on.  I'm a big cider fan, so I took notes of which ones I'd like to purchase.  My favorites were "Sonoma Cider - The Hatchet" and "Citizen Cider - Dirty Mayor".  So delicious.  Well done, Cider Summit.  I'd go again. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

on drug abuse and dying young

When I first heard about Justin Bieber, I was decidedly uninterested.  The boy-band types that I fall for are all in their 30s now, and he was just a little too young for my taste.  (I'll admit this changed when I heard "Baby" for the first time about three years after the general population.  I was am still pretty obsessed).

I've been following the saga of his "coming of age" dramatics with slightly tired eyes for the past few months.  Torn, I've wavered between feeling grateful that when I was 20, my antics weren't splashed across the pages of celeb glossies.  I've felt a little shameful, voyeuristic almost, watching someones private moments made very, very public.  And I've felt a little uncomfortable, wishing that his mother or manager would step in and bring him home.

While we're watching Justin, there's a feeling of youthful indiscretion - he's twenty.  Twenty year olds cause trouble... it's normal.  But I can't help but feeling that fFom across the Internet, it's hard to recognize the difference between raising hell, and addiction.  And as someone who has lost a loved one to addiction, I'm afraid for Justin -rightly or wrongly - afraid that he's wrestling with something more significant than a young adult testing their limits.

A few days ago, I saw the news that Phillip Seymore Hoffman was dead, having succumbed to likely drug overdose.  The Internet quickly exploded - with messages from his fans and other famous people, sending condolences to his family, and notes of grief, and of remembrance.

I wasn't a huge follower of his, but I certainly remember when he won the Oscar.  I'd seen a few movies he was in, and as a Hollywood aficionado, I know of him.  Knew of him. 

When I heard of his death, I got sad - and while I certainly am sorry that his life was cut short, I'm mostly sad for the three children left behind, the children that his addiction robbed.  


How do we tell the difference - in our loved ones, in ourselves - between someone who likes to have a good time... and someone who has a serious problem?  What's the cutoff, what's the hard line?  And how, and this is harder yet, do we help someone who doesn't recognize that they need to be helped?

Even harder, I think, is wrestling with how to classify addicts.  Is it a disease?  A lifestyle choice?  I sure don't know the answer, but as Mike's 14th death anniversary comes in to focus, I know that thinking of it as a disease makes it easier... on me.  If I think of it as a choice, it means that he picked his poison over me and my brothers, and I literally can't comprehend that.  I can't reconcile that who he was when sober.

High.  Sober.  Two sides of one man.  One face of addiction.

I don't know what the answer is, but here's what I do know: I refuse to throw stones at Phillip Seymore Hoffman.  I will not join a chorus of people calling addicts weak or blaming his choices for robbing his family of their father.  Instead, I will go for a walk out in the cold February air.  I will breathe deeply, and pray that he may now be at peace, smiling down at his family, along with other addicts - like Mike Maloney - who are gone too soon, the sufferers of a disease that grips so tightly. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Scenes From A Week: February 9

Mid-February is upon us, and with it... the early feeling of Spring.  While the weather hasn't caught up with my frame of mind, I can feel it - Spring is JUST around the corner.  (Maybe around the corner and a month, but it's a-comin').  As Scott and I prepare for a (hopeful) move this spring or summer, we're cramming in as much fun in our neighborhood as possible before we go, snow or not.

a beautiful sunset from our living room
scott to the rescue - helping his cousin get her car un-stuck from an alley
condo photos - listing our place soon, soon, soon!
blogging selfie.
cards against humanity at melissa's on friday night
incredible ice sculptures at navy pier

botanical gardens at navy pier
cider summit day drinking on saturday

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Scenes From A Week: February 3

This post is titled February 3... and I'm posting it February 6?  What is wrong with me.  Better late than never?  (Probably not but here I am anyway).  The last week of January was cold, and busy and awesome.  It's great to be alive.

another day, another indoor workout. c'mon summer.
spanglish, courtesy of my love. 
my second CTA fail in two weeks.  bus break downs are the new black?

"let's link arms" scott + his bff, adam corrolla, at a
"mangria" signing last weekend
spotted: cedar ridge whiskey at binny's in chicago.
cedar ridge is a winery/distillery near my hometown!
you're killing me with your sweet views, chicago
awesome show at joes on weed last friday - chris jansen was the opening act
(famous for songs like "truck yeah" and "probably better if i don't")
the main event was "blackjack billy" and i cannot say enough good things
about them and the show.  i didn't know much about them before the
show, but they blew me away.  rock and roll meets country.  bazinga.
saturday night in, with a big ol' glass of red. 

deep cleaned my house on sunday to the tunes of an oldie but a goodie -
tim mcgraw + the dancehall doctors.