Chicago Road Trip!

If you have been keeping up with my blog, I spoke about how I was driving to Chicago to visit a friend from college. I acted like a tourist taking pictures of everything while she took me around the city. When you visit Chicago, you walk everywhere! On Friday alone I walked about 10 – 12 miles and Saturday probably at least 7 according to my iPhone.

Chicago has a lot of really good food. My friend took me to Portillo’s which is a chain featuring Chicago style hot dogs with no ketchup and plenty of pickles. Deep dish pizza is all the rave as well and we ended up picking Giordiano’s and it was heavenly. We also went to this cute little cupcake shop in the “richer” side of town. I knew it was the richer side because the shops were all designer / name brand clothing. My red velvet cupcake was small and sweet.

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As far as this trip, my main goal was to see all the museums. Museum campus is right along Lake Michigan and it features the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum and the Planetarium. Shedd Aquarium was breathtaking! My favorite part of the aquarium were all the otters because otters are the cutest. The Field Museum has Sue right in the middle of the first floor which is an almost complete T-Rex. Unfortunately, we did miss the planetarium as it closed early, but we also saw the MSI which was the Museum of Science and Industry. My favorite part of the exhibit was the human body portion and the storms portion.

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Beluga Whales!

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Sue the T-Rex

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Science Rules.

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Tornado!

Overall, it was a nice getaway from my normal routine on weekends. I am glad I got to see her and catch up. I am considering making another trip down to Chicago for C2E2.? Don’t know if that will happen, but I have always wanted to go.

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Harvest Festival + Upcoming Chicago Trip!

October has been one of the first months where I have had plans every single weekend. Sometimes it’s nice to be busy, but I have been craving some down time. This past weekend I went to a Harvest festival in Stillwater, MN which is a gorgeous river town. This next weekend from Thursday – Sunday I will be in Chicago visiting a friend from college. Hopefully after Chicago, I should have a couple slow weekends until Thanksgiving. I wanted to share pictures from the Harvest Fest and talk about how excited I am to go to Chicago again.

Stillwater is right along the St. Croix river on the border of Wisconsin. It’s a bright river town away from Minneapolis & St. Paul. There were a couple activities such as the beer tent, but we didn’t participate in those. Instead, we walked around the town and explored. There’s a candy shoppe which was filled with chocolate goodies and I ended up purchasing a dark chocolate covered oreo. Nearby was a small bookstore attached to a coffee shop. I did end up buying some books which I know I didn’t need, but I cannot resist a cute bookstore. It turned out to be a perfect Fall date day. The pictures below are from Teddy Bear park which has life size statues of bears for kids. Me and the boyfriend wanted to check it out.

IMG_3205Teddy Bear Park

I have only been to Chicago once and that was back in July 2016 on my birthday. My former roommate from college is from Illinois and is living near the downtown area. We coordinated a weekend where I could drive to stay with her. It’s about a 6 1/2 – 7 hour drive from my apartment to Chicago which seems long, but I would rather drive that distance than pay 180 – 200 dollars to fly for a 45 minute flight. I already have my podcast episodes picked out for the drive and I’m looking forward to a smaller vacation away from my daily work routine with 2 days of paid time off. I am counting down the days till my tiny road trip.

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So that sums up what I have been up to and why I haven’t been blogging as much. I try not to let myself get frustrated if I hit a writer’s block or I become busy. My blog will be here when I’m done with mini vacations or I have a short 30 minute window to write about what’s on my mind.

 

Quitting My Second Job :/

Why haven’t I made a blog post in almost two weeks? Great question. My free time has been used up plus I am fatigued. I don’t have the energy to read a book before bed because my eyes feel heavy as my head hits the pillow. I hadn’t seen some of my friends in a month and I went weeks without calling my grandmother. Two weeks ago, I made a decision to quit my job at Steamship Coffee and Tea and today was my last shift on the schedule.

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I can change the background on the screens, how cool is that!?

I originally applied to be a barista because I missed it! Being a barista is challenging which is what I enjoyed. I compare this to a real life Diner Dash work environment. I can be my boisterous self and yell over the sound of the espresso machine pulling shots. It balanced out my full time career while introducing me to a new set of regular, geeky customers.

Steamship Behind the Counter

Behind the Counter

As I mentioned, I started to notice changes in my demeanor. I would come home and crash right away or my friends would text me about plans Saturday night, but I was busy working. Me and the boyfriend didn’t have quality time together because our schedules were so chaotic. Thankfully, me and the boyfriend have Sunday’s off so we can have a regular date day once again. I asked for advice from friends and family who both said maybe I’m doing too much.

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Making Kyoto Drip Coffee

Plus my gaming decreased! One reason why I was excited about being a barista was because it was connected to Universe Games. I haven’t had the time to put a Magic the Gathering deck together or roll my Star Wars Destiny dice. I am looking forward to becoming a customer rather than an employee.

I always look at the positive side of any situation because that’s who I am. My co-workers know if they need a shift covered, I’m the first one they will call. So technically I’m “quitting”, but I could still work a shift in the future. Instead of crafting the perfect latte, I’ll be drinking cups of coffee while gaming as a loyal customer.

 

Geeky Job, Lady Gaga & Remembering my Kitty

It’s nice to sit in my newly unpacked apartment with high speed WiFi to blog with. Not having WiFi for a couple days felt odd to me yet I still drove to Starbucks to write for this blog. Life has been chaotic so I decided to combine different life events into one written article. I started my new geeky job, attended the Lady Gaga concert and found out my cat died in my childhood bedroom closet.

Geeky Barista Job

I wanted a part time job that was more laid back than my full time job. I applied to be a barista at a coffee shop attached to a board game store. I get 30% off of board games, Magic the Gathering sets and D&D guide books. Plus I get to be around coffee a couple days a week with cash tips. I am finishing training this week, but I’m looking forward to working while socializing with the regulars.

Lady Gaga Concert

On Monday the 21st, I carpooled with a coworker to the Lady Gaga concert in St. Paul, MN. Lady Gaga is the queen of pop who puts on an energetic show. She performed songs off her new album titled Joanne while also combining older songs including Poker Face, Love Game and Born this Way. I won these tickets from my full time job which included being in a suite with my coworkers. We were above the stage where I took numerous videos of Gaga performing. It was a certainly a night to remember.

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R. I. P to Ellie.

Unfortunately I’m ending my life update with a sad announcement of the death of my last cat, Ellie. Ellie was a shit like most cats are, but she was still my shitty cat. She had lost a lot of weight in the last couple weeks, but she was eating and drinking water. However, on the 21st, my mom texted me saying she thought something was wrong with her. When I called back a couple hours later, my brother informed me she died. I’m a little distraught about it because within a year, I lost both of my childhood cats. Animals are your furry children, so losing them is tough. I came home crying ugly tears to the boyfriend while staining his t-shirt with mascara. I’m glad she doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

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Once I get my routine down with my new job, my goal is to write posts every other day. This may not happen all the time, but I do like writing on this blog and I don’t want it to be forgotten.

 

 

Moving Out! + Stress About Money

This blog may get neglected over the past week because I just signed a lease to move out of my mom’s place into an apartment with my boyfriend! We toured the place yesterday and we both knew this would be a good place to start out. Cat rent is only an extra $15 a month and we get a small balcony. By December I’m hoping to rescue an older kitty from the Humane Society to pet after I get home from work. A couple hours after signing the lease, I got a little worried about money.

After my road trip in June, I was adding on to my savings after dipping into it a little bit for gas and fun activities. Since my last paycheck, my savings is the highest it has ever been which I’m extremely proud of. I also have to compete with once a month a withdrawal from my savings for my life insurance and Roth IRA. I know these withdrawals are going to be great for my future, but I still get nervous seeing money exit my savings account.

My boyfriend has been trying to calm my fears by saying if anything were to happen, he would have money to help me out. Maybe I’m stubborn, but I detest the feeling of relying on someone else. However, I trust myself in the sense that I am a hard worker. I make commission at work, and if I work hard them my commission will reflect that.

Even though I’m stressing about money, I need to start switching my focus to the positive. I won’t owe any debt from my college education nor do I have credit card debt to pay off. This means that I can fully focus on adding money to my savings each month. Plus me and my family have talked about a Orlando Harry Potter World trip next February and I’m determined to save for this trip.

New Comic Book Day Comedy Show

Wednesday is a special day during the week because it’s new comic book day! Besides new comic book day, a brewery in downtown Minneapolis hosts a comedy theme comic show every Wednesday night. I have been wanting to go for a long time, but I had been away at college for most of the shows. I attended my first new comic book day at Day Block Brewing Company this Wednesday and it was hilarious. Since I decided to sit in the front row, I cheered for the comedian who noticed me and gave me a free comic.

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Me and the boyfriend enjoying a beer before the show.

New Comic Book Day is hosted by Eliot Rahal and Katy Rex who are prominent comic creators from the Twin Cities. Eliot Rahal has written numerous comics including the one-shot for Bloodshot by Valiant comics. Katy Rex is a freelance writer and editor working on Jade Street Protection Services a comic that I can only describe as “punk rock Hogwarts students in detention and saving the world.” Both Eliot and Katy are energetic hosts helping to pull this show together.

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Eliot Rahal performing a sketch.

Each show has comedians who come on stage to crack some jokes before an onstage interview happens with someone in the MN comic scene. I didn’t know what to expect with the show, but I laughed so hard I almost cried during some of the sketches. After all the comedians perform, an interview occurs between the hosts and the featured guest. For this show, the featured guest was Adam Vermillion from the podcast Panels and Pizza.  At the show I met Adam in person and he’s a nice guy who has been essential in promoting the MN comic scene.

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Daredevil themed comedy sketch.

Plus I got a free comic!!!! I received issue #8 of Animosity thanks to Eliot Rahal. I did a google search and Animosity is about animals waking up and taking over the world. I’m interested in reading it and if I like it enough I may pick up issues #1-7.

If you’re in the Minnesota area, head over to Day Block to see this show. It was a whole lot of fun and Day Block has a great brew list too. My recommendation is to sit in the front because you’re more likely to get free comics.

 

 

Road Trip / Back to Blogging

Today marks the morning after getting home from my epic U.S road trip. For the past two weeks I have been taking my new car around the U.S on a longer road trip. This road trip meant a lot to me because I made new memories and saw a new part of the U.S. Chattanooga, TN was one of my favorite cities I visited and I highly recommend traveling there this summer. The idea to take this road trip came to me because I wanted to go somewhere as a reward to graduating from college. I could have gone overseas, but my philosophy is there is so much to see in the country I was born in.

I’m happy to announce my return to blogging with some book reviews, comic reviews even some gaming themed articles hopefully. I also have a new goal with my blog to write when I want so blogging become a chore. I wanted to leave a couple pictures of my trip, but if you’re looking for more definitely follow my Instagram account: @bizarrebrunette0117.

ChattanoogaKauffman Memorial GardensKauffman Memorial GardnesSuperman StatueWolf Ridge Winery