The Kates.

If you are in Chicago, you must attend The Kates at some point -- it's an all-girl stand-up comedy extravaganza. I've been to plenty of terrible comedy shows in this improv laden metropolis, but this one night doesn't disappoint. It probably helps that it is held in the wonderful Book Cellar, a cozy shop that combines three of my favorite things: books, drinks, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Add in a few talented ladies [like the charming Anna Lucero, below], and you have the ingredients for a fantastic night out.

While the cat's away.

Actually, this mouse was too sick to play. I unexpectedly had the weekend to myself  -- i missed out on a trip to Tennessee and spent most of it holed up with pudding snacks [the only thing i wanted to eat], Inspector Lewis, tiny amounts of coffee, and sorted through my entire collection of tights. Party times in Chicago! I did briefly make it to the Art Institute for tea and a dose of culture, not to mention some company; i know that i'm supposed to be excited about the Monet and Picasso works, but really the piano was the item that caught my eye. No accounting for taste!

Hit the beach.

Indiana Sand Dunes in boots -- i think that i had more fun on a beach in a winter coat than i have in a bathing suit. My friend Jeff and I ended up there a while ago; it's less than an hour drive from downtown Chicago, but it feels a world away. At some point, i noticed that i felt strangely off balance; it took me a minute to realize that my poor brain didn't know what to do with the silence. No sirentrainalarm in the distance. Don't worry, i learned to cope.

Thanks, jbowen, for the pictures [and the magic wand].

Behind the scenes.

That last post was a little ridiculous. Something sillier? I was wondering if i should experiment with a couple of outfit posts, but then i remembered just how many photos i end up taking to get just one that i like. Here are a few of the unused ones...


I had a strange feeling for months and months; it took me forever to pinpoint it. My life had taken some amazing and surprising turns, and i was happy with so many things, but... something was off. It wasn't depression, it wasn't exhaustion, it wasn't even the usual restlessness that constantly creeps up on me. It was something else entirely, but i didn't have a term for it.
One morning, i half woke up with a word in my head -- "doldrums". When i fully woke up a little while later, it was still there, flashing in my brain every few seconds with a strange intensity. I knew the literal version -- an area of the sea with no wind, causing ships to becalm -- but i promptly looked up a more abstract description: "stagnation: a sluggish state in which no development or improvement occurs". That was it. That was it exactly. I was drifting, no motion, stuck without a breeze. It wasn't a dire situation, by any means -- i had plenty of supplies and entertainment on board, but i simply wasn't going anywhere. I had started out on the expedition with huge intentions, then gotten stuck. But now that i've recognized the situation, i've dragged out some oars and have started slowly paddling out.
Enough with the ships. It's a new year. Goodbye little rabbit; hello, dragon. So how do i fix this? What do I want?
I want to be honest. I want to love people like crazy, to drop some of the sarcasm and just let people know that i care. I want to mend broken friendships. I want to take dance breaks. I want to finally get through the Baroque Cycle. I want to learn everything, everything, everything. I want to wake up earlier. I want to take more classes -- tap and Charleston were a good start. I want to let go of a few things. I want to write more letters. I want to be more productive. I want to be so much braver than i am. I want to start that league. I want to bake more pies! I want to learn a new instrument -- hello, banjo in the closet. I want to write that story. I want to hear more stories from other people. On and on and on.
A friend and I made a pact -- we're going to shake off the apathy and get clear of the doldrums and we'll give this year everything we've got. I'm pretty sure we'll be amazed by where we end up. 

A Vida Portuguesa

I wanted one new blog post in 2017, with the promise to myself to document my travels in the new year, before I completely forget the a...