Friday, May 29, 2009
monday: lazy, glorious day. the only thing on the agenda was bingo with my seniors and jon & kate + 8.
tuesday: yeah yeah yeah's concert of course
wednesday: finally got a good night's sleep
thursday: dinner date with the bf at a restaurant that we've been dying to try
friday: it's freaking gorgeous in chicago! and i'm going to the turkish festival for lunch with all my coworkers. mmm kabobs.
can't complain. hope you all had a nice week too!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
the bf isn't the only one that gets me into shows and other free vip situations. one of my best buds got a hook up and took me to madonna for free. INSANE. same bff took me to an absolut mango launch party that was full of free alcohol, giveaways and entertainment. she has also managed to get us complimentary bottles of champagne, vip seating and give me a free ipod touch....she's nuts. another friend took me to a cubs game a few weeks ago. another bff took me to a fancy fundraiser earlier this year. she also knows the manager at one of the bars we frequent so we get free food and drinks there. another bud knows quite a few stand-up comedians and gets us into shows for free and usually a bit of quality time with the comedian afterwards.
i do get some decent things on my own. when i worked for luna i got to fly out to cali a few times and always had a ton of luna goodies and product. when i was in undergrad i got to go to san diego for a leadership conference and meet comedians and bands through the organization i was involved with. i have also gotten some pretty nice hookups through my current job. free cubs game and trips to d.c. and baltimore. but the only thing i was able to offer my friends was free tickets to xanadu. right up there with madonna right? when i write everything out it seems absolutely out of control how spoiled i am. you'd think with all these hook ups and freebies i would have a lot more money.
i'm one lucky girl.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
some of my happiest childhood memories involve these places and these areas. i love that practically nothing has changed and i can go back and feel like a kid again. i remember the kids burying each other in the sand, cruising on my multi-colored zebra float, my dad holding me and covering me with a towel when it was too windy, making smores and so much more. it's still totally my happy place filled with those memories and some more recent ones too.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
this particular event was a bridal expo. this was great for me because i could check out vendors for work and for play. i started the day with a nice walk in the sunshine to meet the current LUNA intern for my alma mater who also works on regional events. she is quite possibly the most cheerful person i know and i am so grateful to know her! then we headed to the expo to meet one of my favorite buds from college who was going to staff the event with me. working the expo turned out so much better than we expected. not only were the brides totally great, we also got a bunch of free wedding cake and sweets samples! i also got to see some other familiar faces throughout the day- someone from work who was recently engaged, one of my best friends checking out vendors for her mom's upcoming nuptials and a girl i knew in high school. it didn't even feel like work and that's why i love LUNA. getting paid to make people happy with free samples, enjoy free samples myself and to chat with friends is a good way to be.
after the expo, i popped into whole foods which is totally a happy place for me. i got all of my favorite natural and organic foods to enjoy this week. then i spent the night with my man who didn't complain when i wanted to watch my best friend's wedding :)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
after i graduated college i knew i would be bored with just working 9-5 everyday so i made a list of goals, projects and to-do's to keep me busy. the list included working out regularly, monthly museum visits, scrapbooking my travels and college years and volunteering. i did pretty good with the list. i started working out at the free campus workout room by my office, i scrapbooked all of my favorite college photos and i visited museums more often than i ever had before.
most importantly i got involved with volunteering through chicago cares, an organization that coordinates various volunteer projects throughout the city. i wasn't really sure where to start so i went with convenience and picked a seniors bingo project near my apartment. on my first night i was seated with a man named joe. i was greeted by him squinting at me saying, "thank god you're not a blonde. i hate blondes." he also came up with colorful phrases to yell out throughout the game. for example, the caller would pull the I-30 bingo ball and joe would say, "I-30 your face is dirty. clean your face vera!" to the partially deaf woman that couldn't him screaming. he once asked me if he could be like my grandpa and i gladly said yes, ofcourse. i also helped a resident named jesse who needs help placing his chips on his card. jesse is THE most gentle, patient man i know and i have never seen someone get more excited to get a BINGO. the other residents really get into the game too and really enjoy our company. even on my first visit, i realized that they were special, quirky and completely ridiculous and i had to come back. i have been attending every monday since february 2008 and loving every minute of it. i am now a project leader once a month and have gotten to know the residents very well. getting involved with the bingo project led me in the direction of a variety of other chicago cares volunteer opportunities.
joe passed away shortly after i started volunteering there and i was devastated. but everytime they call I-30 i mutter clean your face vera under my breath in his memory :) i still sit with jesse and some other residents - a different joe, lee and peggy. they are all sort of my substitute grandparents since i have none of my own anymore. they give me peppermints, tell me amazing stories, meddle in my life a little bit and greet me with a warm smile every time i walk in the activity room on monday evenings. just as a grandparent would. hightlights from this past monday: joe won 3 times and everyone else was pissed, they noticed that i got a new purse and jesse wore a 'bingo nut' baseball hat.
these people are so important to me and add a value to my life that i can't even fully understand just yet. more on them soon...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
* my supportive, beautiful, fun-loving friends
* my wonderful, thoughtful, adorable boyfriend of 7 years
* my fantastic family
* my amazing job with the best coworkers/boss and benefits
* my own apartment that i cherish in the best city in the world
* my ability to travel often
* my volunteer projects that make me happier than anyone could ever know
and so much more - i can't wait to share stories about all of these delightful things, so stay tuned.