Anxiously Waiting…

Back in early June I got the official word and position that I would be working for the new Laugh Factory opening here Chicago – a well reputable comedy club that’s extremely successful out in LA. I had the opportunity to work out there last summer as a cocktail waitress, which is fortunately how I was able to get in to this location here. As soon as I received word that they were planning on opening a club in Chicago, I immediately got in contact with the owner, had an interview when he was visiting here and basically got offered the position right then and there. They decided to bring me on as a social media and marketing person, since that was were my expertise was. I informed them about my passion with social media and the great benefits it’ll have for their company – especially since comedy is all about interacting with your fans. Since I’m not a talented comedian myself, I figured I can do more of the ‘behind the scenes entertainment’ and interact with the fans in a different manner – through tweeting, facebooking, blogging, etc.

Β The Laugh Factory is opening in the old Lakeshore Theater location on Belmont and Broadway in the Lakeview neighborhood. The building has been undergoing an $5 million dollar renovation which has ultimately taken the entire summer and longer to complete. After just recently meeting with my boss at the Laugh Factory and two other employees a few weeks ago, he gave us a start date of September 12th in the office – next Monday! and I can hardly wait!

I’ve been in talks and texting with my co-worker, Tricia – who will also be a social media and marketing coordinator as well – for the past few weeks. We’ve met previously to discuss all our thoughts, ideas and plans on what we want to do for the Laugh Factory. We had the chance to tour our new office, where our minds will be hard at work, and let me tell you… we’re completely feeding off the energy and excitement of each other, which is making us more anxious to actually start. The 377 person theater is planning for a red-carpet blowout, with promised A-Lister celebrities, something I hope Tricia and I will soon be diligently working on! I just keep telling myself patience is key… it’ll all fall into place, eventually. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a start date within the next week so we get in that office to begin planning and promoting this impressive new club coming to Chicago! Until then I’ll keep you posted, especially on the actual opening date of the club itself πŸ™‚

Unforgettable

This past weekend some of my closest girl friends came down to Chicago for a visit, and to celebrate Kate’s birthday. Hands down, one of the best weekends of my life. I knew I was lucky when I lived at State with 10 girls, but I can definitely say I’m one of the luckiest girls alive to have such a close knit group of girls that love each other for each of our unique and individual traits. Kate: you’re my beautiful bestie and always will be, I can’t even begin to fathom my life without you, it’s hard enough living 200 miles apart – best part about you, you never judge (me) and you embrace my quirky embarrassing self πŸ˜‰ Kelly: your giggle gets me every time, you’re a joy to be around and always seem to lighten the mood. Anddd you danced this weekend, you know Kellis is having a good time when she actually busts out a move. Lauren: Wouldn’t have wanted to spend 6 days with anyone else but you! So glad I could house you here, you’re WILD. End of story, and your spontaneity allowed you toΒ  hit it off with Danny Devito πŸ˜‰ jealous. Ashmac: I could totally quote you on a few things here, but I’ll keep it private to protect your classyness – damn hangovers will get you hah. Please move to this city, so I have a little bit of EL with me. Amanda: I love you, I could end it right there… you throw out some amazing one-liners from God knows where and you definitely added the Zing to our weekend. We definitely defined Jack-O-Lanterns on Friday night πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait to see how our video with Wayne comes together. If it’s not to raunchy maybe it’ll have a special place on my blog πŸ™‚ Lynsey: to my bestie in Chicago, what would I do without you? Literally. (I can’t imagine my life without McFaddens). I’m so glad to have rekindled an amazing friendship with a beautiful, bright and loving person. I miss you girls already, and if it was my choice we’d all be living under the same roof. It’s sad to think I’ll never live with 11 people again, but yet it’s nice to know I’ll always have amazing visitors to look forward to πŸ˜‰

Our planned trip to the Cubs game turned into more of a bar crawl.

Take Me Back.

Numerous memories that we all walked away with this weekend, wish we could rewind and do it all again, in precisely the exact same way πŸ˜‰

We finally met a Kevin, and we even met a Wayne. We danced until our feet were blistered and sore. Swamp ass was brought up far too much (especially in the Jersey accent). Future plans for our Advertising agency were discussed. Mr Saxobeat was never overplayed. Slumber parties were at their finest here, especially considering that each one of us had a “cuddle buddy” ha. I think everyone experienced my case of crazy legs – Kate you know you like them, and you miss spooning with me, don’t you lie. Authentic Mexican Food may or may not have been the worst decision Sunday, besides the lovin’ we threw on Taylor Lautner. 48 videos taken on the flip-cam already has me nervous to see the published results from Mandy…

By far the weekend’s theme song – Mr. Saxobeat.

Nothing Wrong With a Little Spontaneity

I felt like I was literally kidnapped today when friends Evan and Mauricio told me to meet me on the corner of Addison and Lakeshore. I was just enjoying myself and reading Chelsea Handler’s book when I got an unexpected call from them saying I had to join them on their trip – they didn’t really give me much of a choice. We drove up to Northwestern’s Campus, a campus I have never visited before. We attempted to check out the SigEp house, but had no such luck except for Mauricio’s attempt to slide open the front window, pull back the curtains and take a look. Not creepy or anything. Although it’s a gorgeous campus, it still doesn’t compare to that of State’s. We couldn’t seem to find streets similar to MSU’s popular M.A.C or Albert, and had a hard time finding out where the nearest bars (mainly a Rick’s type joint) were. Clearly this was not a top pick school for us πŸ˜‰

Driving around a little more we found ourselves in an extremely beautiful area of Evanston, indescribable houses on the marina and along the lake shore. Big, beautiful and dreamlike – but not as much as what we came across next.

For some reason, editing my pictures in Instagram makes them look so much more amazing.

We stopped at this Baha’i Temple, an absolutely stunning building. The one question we never found the answer to is, “Sooo who paid/pays for this?” Regardless, it truly is an amazing piece of architecture, and is presently only one of the seven in the world. Beautiful landscaping, gardens and fountains surround the temple – which were only tempting us to take a swim πŸ™‚ Sidenote: Evan thought he was about to be the first one to toss a penny into the fountain, little did he know he just couldn’t see the hundreds of others that were resting on the bottom. Not that cool dude. And to make matters funnier, as we were walking out Mauricio thought he saw sparkles atop of some flowers, naturally he thought it was a sign from God?? and went down to touch it. I looked at him, like are you serious? That’s a spider web with water molecules resting on it. I’m still laughing about it, and how quickly he pulled his hand back away from the web. Haha πŸ™‚ Oh and last but not least, we made sure to check out some brush to see if we could find any rabbits… because apparently they hang out all around the temple (says Mauricio, we never actually saw any). Overall, great afternoon – definitely didn’t expect my little silent day of reading by the water to turn into the adventure it did.

The fountain which was about to contain Evan’s penny, and his penny only.

If you’re ever in the area make a trip a few miles north and you’ll come across this temple, it’s worth even if it’s just for the amazing photography opportunity πŸ™‚

Happy Pride Day

I’ve been told by many that I must take the time to head up to the Annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade on the last Sunday in June. Ironically enough I live in “boystown” area, so go figure the parade is literally a block from apartment (I can still hear the remaining wanderers outside right now). Anyways, this parade was honestly one of the craziest things I’ve experienced thus far in Chicago.Β I walked up there with a few friends having no idea what to expect – and trust me I was not disappointed. I can’t even describe some of the things we saw; one, because it’s just indescribable and two, it’s inappropriate for me to even talk about…

Senators, State Reps, Boobs, Butts, Stilts, Rainbows (lots of rainbows), Tutus, Pom Poms, Cowboys, Stiletto Pumps (mostly on the men), Teachers, Children, Half Naked Tuba Players, Grass Skirts, Wedding Dresses, Combat Boots, Butterfly Wings, Harleys, Headdresses, Wigs, Pink (lots of pink), Prince William’s “Other Lover”, A Pageant Queen, Men in Shorts Shorter Than Mine, The Tin Man and did I mention butts and boobs? Yep, I think that pretty much sums it up.

However, I also saw an incredible amount of prideful and unique individuals, some of the happiest people I’ve ever seen. Lyns and I were laughing, but seriously almost in tears at some points (regardless of the fact that I’m the biggest sap ever) it was really neat to see all these people come together and stand for something they believe in, better yet stand up for who they are. Overall, it was definitely worth my time in going – I’ll be back next year for sure πŸ™‚

Two More Worthy Causes…

(Read prior post titled: “Blessed” for this one to make more sense) I just recently came across two more foundations/organizations that I’m passionate about and that really hit home for me in which I would like to donate to. First one is something my mom actually informed me of. This will be her second year riding in the Wish-A-Mile 300 Bicycle Tour taking place at the end of July (visit the website to see more about the history of this specific WAM ride. It’s a three day trek across Michigan where my mom along with the rest of her team will ride 300 miles to grant wishes for the Make A Wish Foundation. All riders must raise a minimum of $900 to compete in the ride, while my mom’s own personal goal is to hit $2,300. In the words of my mother, “I am hoping you will help me – by giving up a few lunches out this week, a few lattes or a new pair of shoes just to help a family in need – so that this wish of their deserving son or daughter’s may be granted.” I know this is something extremely important to her and because of that I find it a wonderful organization to donate to!

My mom’s little hero from last year, said Christopher was truly an inspiration to her.

Secondly, this coming Sunday morning I’ll be walking beside my best friend, Mandolynn Ostertag at the 18th Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration & Walk along Chicago’s beautiful Lakefront. The four-mile walk is said to draw nearly 4,000 participants who will come together to support and donate to a research fund conducted by the actual doctors who saved my best friend’s life. It’s for obvious reasons alone why this donation will be one of the most important ones I can make. I remember it like it was just yesterday, she was texting me while I was on a late serving shift at Bdubs. I knew she had been in and out of doctors for the past 6 months with “mono-like symptoms,” but still had no clear diagnosis. After recently undergoing surgery to remove a swollen lymph node in her neck, I knew the news had the potential to be devastating, but attempted to remain positive. I called her as soon as I was out and that was when she told me that they had found cancer in her lymph gland after the surgery at Northwestern here in Chicago. So that’s when it all started – February 9, 2010 Mandolynn was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. At that point I don’t think either one of us knew exactly what the next few months were going to have in store. I remember her dreading the thought of going through chemo, the thought of losing her hair at 23 is not something any girl in their 20’s should ever have to think about. It was so unfortunate during this hard time in her life I happened to be on my way out to LA for an internship for the summer. So although the summer flew by for me – it seemed to be the exact opposite for Mandolynn and her family back home. By the time I arrived home in August, she had finished her 6th month of chemo and was considered to be in remission shortly after. At the time she chose not to know what stage of cancer she had when they did the initial scans, but come to find out she was actually in Stage 4 (cancerous cells in her lymph nodes, spleen, lungs and bones) with no signs of any symptoms, which is why it took nearly a year to diagnose her with the Hodgkins Lymphoma. Considering there is no Stage 5 with this type of cancer, knowing she fought back from Stage 4 only goes to show the true strength and positive thoughts she had going through the process. I commend this girl immensely, she is one of the strongest woman I know. Not only did she get herself through this “icky” 6 months, but she was the sisterly strength and support that I’ve needed for the past 8 years since I’ve lost my dad. She’s been by my side through thick and thin and because of that I know she’ll continue to be there for me as will I whenever one of us is in need. Love you forever and always Mandolynn! Looking forward to seeing you this weekend! πŸ™‚

Down visiting Northwestern for a check-up. Learning to rock the new dark brown, krimpin’, short hair πŸ˜‰ You do it well!

Mandolynn visits me at MSU for the first time – why did it take us so long to organize that trip?

When a House Becomes a Home

What takes most people nearly a year to complete, I think Erica and I were successfully able to do in under a week. After arriving in Chicago last Wednesday I moved into what seemed to be just another apartment. And just 5 days later we’ve actually created a “home” for ourselves. There’s been numerous times already where either Erica and I walk through the dining room with a smile and comment to one another about how much we truly adore our new place. It’s a great feeling to have especially after we each left what we have considered to be a normal life, and a comfort zone back home. We’re now in a new city, experiencing new things and living a new life – and by having what I’d like to think of as an inviting and cozy apartment like ours to come back home to – really seems to have helped us settle in with little stress.

Our bright kitchen where all the delicious treats are made! Check out Erica’s blog Little Shortcake to gain some insight on some of the best tasting sweets you’ll ever eat πŸ™‚

In love with our living room. Fortunately we loved all the colors that were initially painted on the walls and we were able to match all of our furniture and decor accordingly!

My little abode… slowly coming together. Walls are still bare, and I have no lighting besides a lamp and a window (waiting on the landlord to send out an electrician to put in new fixtures… or something like that – he’s been saying that for a few weeks now haha)

Another favorite area of the apartment, the dining room where all our tasty meals are eaten! If only you could see the other side of the room you would see my project from last week. Painting a light wood hutch to black helped to tie the room together. Except Erica and I got a little to anxious to move the hutch back in to the room – pretty sure the cabinet doors are stuck shut because we refused to let it dry for the full two hours. Oh well, still looks classy πŸ™‚

Last but not least – our first night out in Chicago! Happy girls

Turning the Page to the Next Chapter

Today’s the day I’ve been dreading for so long. The day I leave my “happy place,” my comfort zone, my second family, the Hillcrest Palace, and more importantly I’m leaving behind what has so far been the best four years of my life. I’m currently sitting in a Penske moving truck in a seat that’s not even a seat. It’s a stool with a pillow atop of it placed between my mom and my stepdad (my ass is killing me mind you) and we’re in route straight to this windy city.

Leaving beautiful East Lansing where it was nothing but sunshine to head to Chicago which Erica says is rainy and cold. Boo. Not a great way to top this bittersweet day off.

Saying goodbye to my 9 girlfriends/sisters and 2 house brothers was nearly impossible this morning. We kept saying to each other this isn’t good bye it’s I’ll see you later. But in a way it is good bye. It’s good bye to the irresponsible but unpredictable and exciting college life that we lived. It’s saying goodbye to a “palace” that housed 10 amazing girls. When will I ever have a living situation like that again? I won’t. Those girls are more than just friends, they’re family and my comfort zone. I’m now moving out of that and that’s what’s a little scary. All it took was one second of eye contact with these girls and the tears started pouring.

Through it all we’re trying to find the positive. We’ve created some awesome places to visit in the near future. Thanks to Lisa – working in hospitality business – she’ll be working at a Fairview Hotel in the heart/heat of Miami. Sounds like a perfect hotspot for our next roomie reunion. Kyla will be on the west coast in Portland which would make for another great vacation. And me, I’ll be in Chicago allowing for a great weekend getaway of shopping for all the girls! Thank God most the girls will still be on EL providing a place to crash when I come back home for the Michigan vs Michigan State football game. Already looking forward to that weekend.

Like I’ve said before, I know Chicago already has a lot of wonderful things in store for me, it’s just depressing leaving all I’ve know behind. Β But I truly can’t wait to pursue my dreams here. Although it’s looking awfully cloudy heading into this city, I’d like to think my future is looking pretty bright. πŸ™‚