On the rocks.

To ring in my 30th birthday, a few of us headed up to Wisconsin to make one of my dreams come true: a visit to the House on the Rock. It all all wonderful weirdness.

You! Me! Dancing!

If I had to pick my favorite spot in the city of Chicago, this tiny uptown cocktail lounge would be it. The Green Mill has been in business for over a century, and oh, the stories it could tell. A few years after the roadhouse opened, it became part of the enormous Green Mill Gardens that spanned the block; now the little lounge is all that is left. It made it through Prohibition -- be sure to say hello to Al Capone's favorite booth -- and went on to host an incredible assortment of musicians. Look it up -- there are far too many stories to tell here.
Julia [who took the first photo] and I have been going for years now, long enough to have a "the usual, ladies?" at the bar and working knowledge of the graffiti in the bathroom. Our traditional evening is Wednesday, when Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan play an amazing selection of gypsy swing, but a couple of weeks ago, Alexandra, Jeff, and I changed it up and headed out on a Thursday night to belatedly celebrate my birthday.
What an event! Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra was playing big band music all night, with old radio ads and announcements in between. There was an incredible range of ages and some fantastic dancing. We realized partway through the evening, gin martinis and Manhattans in hand, that this was the kind of evening that our grandparents could have had out on the town. I would imagine that we had just as much fun, although our dancing is not up to snuff. Our beloved bartender conned the lead singer into taking me for a spin on the floor; I only stepped on him three times. He was very gracious.
One of our previous adventures out; it's all darkness and wonderfully cozy.
We did a last minute dress-up and photo shoot before we left the apartment -- no pictures of Jeff in the suspenders, alas -- we're determined to make it a Thursday night tradition.

Just a taste -- not our video, but it was that kind of night! Our band boys were in suits, ooo la la!

Sorry, only silliness, just trying to get the hang of taking photos in the new apartment. Actual stories this week, I promise!

I've been frittering away my whole life.

It was such a treat to wander around the campus, although a tiny bit overwhelming, in a wonderful way. And honestly, when faced the library libraries, I just kept thinking about an old scene from Gilmore Girls when Rory decides that she needs to read at least one book from every genre and sub-genre to have any hope of conversing intelligently, and that she's been wasting too much time sleeping when she could have been reading. Sorry, I digress -- secret societies, war monuments, old mansions converted into classrooms and offices, libraries that can REMOVE ALL OF THE AIR INSIDE OF THEMSELVES IN THIRTY SECONDS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF FIRES -- Yale, I am impressed. Thanks for the grand tour, Andrew!

Possibly my favorite Latin.

Library happiness.

Hang with me.

I am officially in love with New Haven. Vintage shops, cheese bistros, classic cocktails? How could I resist? After a visit to the marvelous Peabody Museum [my camera refused to work at the first sign of a dinosaur], we made a stop at Fashionista, ostensibly to pick up some costumery for Andrew. Mistake. I ended up sucked into the wonderful world of vintage finery -- the women there could take one look at you and pull out your new favorite dress. I walked away with two, an Adele Simpson and a 1940s house dress, both bundled into a fabric sack and stuck through with a wooden pole, hobo-style.
After Andrew extracted me from THAT situation, we headed around the corner to Caseus, the CHEESE BISTRO. They somewhat apologetically sat us next to the cheese locker; we couldn't have been happier.

Photo via 

After slightly less classy [but no less amusing] activities -- surprise birthday parties, LOTR drinking games, flamingo felonies, IHOP -- I was promised a fancy outing. 116 Crown did nicely, as did my companion for the evening, Captain Hammer.
Photo via

The rest of the evening involved eight fancy pizzas, a nice selection of whiskey, and one the most diverse and fascinating groups of people I've met. The next day, though, was the LIBRARY TOUR. It all comes down to that.

New England.

Nature makes me wary.
I spent last weekend in gorgeous New Haven, just before the terrible weather hit the east coast, with one of my favorite people [hi, Andrew!]. It had been nearly four years since I'd seen him; the budding archaeologist is currently working on his doctorate at Yale, in between tromping all over the globe. I am mostly proud and only a tiny bit [FINE, YES, A LOT] jealous. It was a great little trip, full of tiny wonderful moments, but before I jump into stories, I thought I'd introduce you to the area. And Andrew, of course.
 It was perfect fall weather, and he suggested that we wander to the park and up the hill. I naively agreed that this was a fantastic plan.

This was our goal. There were, as it turned out, gigantic stone steps along the way. I gamely scrambled up until I couldn't breathe. Andrew was very nice about my lack of physical prowess and I tried to pretend that I was posing on the steps instead of just basically trying not to die.
We got stuck behind a couple of 10 year old boys who also felt that they were dying -- bless their hearts, it allowed me to inch along with them. When we got to the top, we were rewarded with a spectacular views of New Haven -- even the boys exclaimed that it was beautiful, though that admission was tempered with the discovery that there was a parking lot at the top.
[It was worth it.]

Andrew led us a different way down -- this time, less steps and more downhill! This is me breaking nature. 

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...