Still Not Settled

Although I have officially unpacked everything (except for that box that needs be taken to the basement but I’m getting to it, I promise), I don’t feel settled in Chicago yet.  I have figured out how to get to the theater and back home safely – I’ve even gone out on my own navigated some other neighborhoods, but the city doesn’t feel like it’s mine yet.  My neighborhood doesn’t even feel like my own yet.  Actually, I’m still not sure my apartment feels like mine.

My teeny, tiny Chicago room has been completely decorated with all things that shout me!  Me on my bookshelves, me on the walls, and me in that pile of dirty laundry on the floor that I was going to do today but didn’t seem to find the time.  Past my bedroom door is a different land…the land of boys.  My roommates are great and friendly, but I’m still not sure how I fit into this microcosm of Chicago called ‘our place’.

I’m just not used to living with other people.  I haven’t had a roommate who wasn’t a family member in four years, and even that family member couldn’t stand to live with me for longer than the 1 year lease.  I’m walking on egg shells a bit.  My version of walking on eggshells is apparently spending all my time in my room and discovering old television shows on Netflix.  (Have you seen Friday Night Lights?  GREAT show.  I’m all for an hour long drama driven by teenagers and hot/tortured boys like Tim Riggins trying to figure out their place in this world and on his Texas football team.  But is completing a whole season in three days a little sad?)

I know it’s probably just because I’m not very busy.  And I’m definitely not making any money yet.  I’ve made phone calls and sent emails – I even have people at the theater looking out for me – but nothing yet.  I’ll admit I’ve got a few things ‘in the works’ but I’m a completely impatient person and I’m starting to panic at the rate at which the total balance of my checking account is changing.  Of course, usually when stuff like this happens, my reaction is to shut down and lose myself in some t.v., movie, book, etc. (see above paragraph).

I don’t even have a favorite restaurant yet.  Back home, there were a few places where my best friend and I would love to go.  The food was a comfort (notice I said comfort, not necessarily good), we had our favorite booths picked out, and most of the wait staff already knew that I wanted a big Diet Coke to drink.  Of course the very best part was talking to my friend and learning every detail of what happened to you that day.

Ok, I feel myself moments away from turning some sappy, feel-sorry-myself mood so I must pick myself up and try to move on.  Maybe going to the grocery store will help (I already know where one is) and maybe even doing this big pile of laundry (have I mentioned my laundry room yet?  I need to remember to do that).  Then, with food bought and laundry cleaned maybe I’ll reward myself with Season 2.

https://i2.wp.com/www.bolumrehberi.com/images/tv-show/Friday-Night-Lights/friday_night_lights_wallpaper_1280x1024_21.jpg

Can you see the small town, teenage angst beaming from their eyes straight to your soul?

My favorite Riggins look….sweaty hair after practice.

Are you grossed out by his hair are totally turned on?

You can’t decide!!!!

You’re Welcome.

Hire me, please?

I’ve been here in the city for almost two weeks, and I’m really loving it.  The very significant BUT of this situation is that I still don’t have a paying job. 

I love the theater where I work.  The people are great.  The work is great.  It’s great!!!  (Aren’t you impressed with my descriptive abilities?)  However, as wonderful as this job is, it doesn’t pay.  Unfortunately, this is the case with the arts.  First, you must prove yourself for FREE, and only after that can you even begin to think about finding a paying job (where in all likelihood you will still probably have to have another job to supplement your income).  But this is my dream, and it’s what I want to do.

That doesn’t mean I have to like applying for jobs.  I hate it.  Who enjoys it, really?  No one likes being rejected.  It’s really no different than online dating.  I search on craigslist or some other job posting site, I send in my resume, and then I wait.  Sometimes they respond, sometimes they don’t.  And then I’m plagued with thoughts of “I wasn’t good enough” or “They must not like my experience” or “I guess they hated my picture” – wait, that actually is online dating.  Nevermind. 

Maybe, my standards are too high.  Maybe, I’m being way too picky about the jobs I actually apply for.  Maybe, I should just send my resume to every posting I find, qualified or no.  Could this also be my new online dating strategy?  No, I went too far, that’s way too frightening. 

So, I’ll keep looking and keep risking the possibility of rejection.  I’m nowhere near the point of panhandling in the streets….yet.

You can park anywhere….except here, here, or here

It’s day 5 in Chicago, so I figured a post was in order.

First thing, I absolutely love my job.  Theatre people are some of the best people in the world.  (They can also be some of the most annoying people in the world, but everything is new and positive right now.)  I’m really excited about the work I’ll be doing (even though I won’t be getting paid).

More importantly, what I am learning: driving in Chicago is not so hard.  Honestly, I was a little worried about bringing my car to ‘the big city’, but I had to get here somehow!  I convinced myself that driving in the city was going to be hard, but it turns out I’m wrong.

Ok, so I did have a terrifying moment on the expressway when Merry and I first drove into town- I’m pretty sure if I had looked closely Merry’s grip on the door handle would have revealed white knuckles- but other than that I can handle it.  Well, I did get honked at today, but there was no way I was going to make that left turn before the light turned red, so just settle down, lady!!

I can get over a terrified passenger and honk or two, but parking is another story entirely.  There’s some secret code to parking, and I just haven’t gotten it figured out yet.  And there are about a million signs that you are supposed to interpret before you choose a parking spot (if you happen to spot one)!  Some places are only available some of the time, and there are arrows pointing to the areas that are ok right next to the places that aren’t!  It’s very confusing.

And I’ve heard horror stories about how fast you can get a ticket if you park in the wrong place.  I’ve almost convinced myself that someone will be waiting for me to make a mistake and jump out from behind a dumpster, or a fire hydrant, or whatever else might obstruct them from view the minute I park in the wrong spot.  And then the ticket they give me will cost me about $10,000 and I’ll run out of money and I’ll have to move back home and my Chicago dream life will be over.  Of course, I might run out of money anyway, since sometimes you have no choice but to pay for parking.  $1.75 for one hour!!  (And that’s in the cheaper neighborhoods)

Of course, I won’t be driving everywhere.  I took the bus yesterday to get to work.  I was a total bus-riding badass.  It was like I had been taking the bus to work for years.  Except for the fact that the driver had to show me how to put my farecard in the machine, but only the front half of the bus saw that.  That means the back half still thought I was a badass….or they could’ve just been waiting for their morning caffeine to kick in….I couldn’t tell.

I just remembered one more hard thing about driving in Chicago.  Intersections.  Not every intersection, but some.  You see, Chicago is set up like a grid….except for the few random diagonally routed streets.  This may not seem like a big deal, but sometimes you have a six way intersection.  Six roads converging at one point.  SIX ROADS!!  (Technically I guess it’s three roads, but cars from six directions….you get the point.)  Anyway, I’m expected to quickly read the signs and interpret which road I’m supposed to be turning on all before the car behind me grows impatient and honks!!  (Being from Mississippi I’m just not used to the angry honking.  Half the time at home, it just means someone is saying hello to their friend walking on the sidewalk)  So you must decide quickly if you are taking the hard, diagonal right or the normal, perpendicular right.  Usually I just take a guess….and usually I’m wrong.  But that’s why we have google maps on our iphones.  Maybe I should get used to the bus.

I Have Arrived

I feel the need to update everyone, but I’m not sure if I have the energy or mental capacity to write witty, entertaining prose.  So, I will write this post in the form of an outline.

1.  Packing

  • I hate packing.
  • Luckily, my friend Merry will be arriving to go with me to Chicago.
  • I wasn’t quite done packing, but Merry helped me.  She’s the best.

2.  Driving

  • Merry and I leave by 8:30 on Saturday morning.  My mom bought us snacks.
  • The state of Illinois is really long…..I get tired of driving in Illinois.
  • Merry says she doesn’t feel well.  I say she’s just tired.

3.  First Night

  • I’m not sure anything is scarier than driving on the expressway in Chicago after 10 hours on the road with a Uhaul attached behind you letting every other vehicle know that you don’t know what you’re doing. 
  • It’s hard to find parking for an Xterra plus Uhaul in Chicago. 
  • Sometimes, when you’re parking your car you see a homeless man peeing on the sidewalk. 
  • After a day of exciting travel, it is necessary to take two Nyquil and go to bed early.

4.  First Day

  • When I wake up, I’m excited about what I will do my first day in Chicago.
  • When Merry wakes up, she has 102.2 degree fever and a wicked sore throat.
  • I decide that the best way to spend my first day here is finding a nearby clinic, getting Merry a prescription, and making sure Merry drinks fluids in between her feverish naps.
  • The best way to end the day is watching The Devil Wears Prada while Merry puts an icepack to her forehead. (I fell asleep before the end of the movie)

5.  Second Day

  • Merry still feels bad, but she has a plane to catch so we find the airport. 
  • On the way home, I get gas which costs $4.45 a gallon!!
  • When I get home, I realize how much I miss Merry and now I have to deal with living in Chicago on my own. 
  • Since I’m feeling overwhelmed, I take a very long nap.

6.  Current Status

  • After my nap, I felt really guilty about not doing more unpacking today.  But then I realize I still feel overwhelmed. 
  • I go to Wendy’s searching for something familiar.  I get a #1 with a Diet Coke…..and a frosty.  (I eat the frosty first).
  • Now, I think I’m finally ready to start doing some serious unpacking.