Greetings, dear readers. I arrived back in Las Vegas after three glorious weeks in Chicago just last night--or rather, very early this morning. I apologize for the long silence, but my visit to the Land of Lincoln was filled to the brim with activity.
That's not entirely true.
When I went home for Christmas 2014, I spent a week or so in the city, hopping from one friend's couch to another, catching up with as many people as I could. Then, after a brief break in the suburbs over Christmas itself, I was back in the city for some more nomadic living. It was fun, but somewhat stressful, carrying my belongings on the CTA from Edgewater to Uptown to Ravenswood and back again. Winter Break 2015 was different. Many of my friends were out of town, spending the holidays with relatives or significant others, so I spent about 2/3 of my vacation at my family home in the suburbs.
My mother kept insisting that I must be bored, but that wasn't the case at all. As you may remember, my anxiety was out of control last semester, and on top of that I caught a bad cold, so I desperately needed a little rest and relaxation. Right after I got home, I spent two days straight laying on my couch, snuggling with my dogs and binge watching Law & Order re-runs. I consumed lots of other media as well: the most recent season of Doctor Who, Star Wars with Meg, Spectre with my dad. I did yoga and ate dark chocolate. I spent Christmas Eve with my cousins and their many babies, and Christmas Day in my pajamas with my family. We even played Cards Against Humanity. (My mother kept winning. She's a twisted woman.) My big Christmas present was a professional massage, so I also did that one day. Basically I spent a great deal of time taking care of myself, and I believe that's the best thing I could have done. I didn't write as much as I would have liked, but I still have a few weeks of break left for that.
This isn't to suggest that I didn't see my friends at all. One night early on I went down to the city to hang out with Gena and Marty. We got milkshakes at Pick Me Up and went to see a production of the Improvised Shakespeare Company at IO. I accidentally crashed Felipe's family Christmas after I went to see his improv show--his family is so sweet that they simply wouldn't allow me to not come to lunch with them. And after Christmas I went back to the city for several days. I wasn't a nomad this time--Meg and Marc were kind enough to let me make their apartment my home base. We had our annual Future Christmas Gift Exchange with Molly and Leta via Skype. As always, it reminded me that I am the luckiest person alive to have such thoughtful and creative friends. Leta hand-stitched a bag for me that says "Too Glam to Give a Damn," surrounded by glittering crystals. And Meg made me a looseleaf tea set--literally made it. Built and decorated and bought lots of different teas for the refillable tins with chalkboard labels so I can switch them out in the future. They know me too well. It's kind of alarming.
Meg hosted a Goth Detectives-themed New Year's Eve party. (If "goth detectives" means nothing to you, do yourself a favor and watch Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2006 posthaste.) I looked pretty awesome. We made way too many cookies and brownies. And chocolate mousse. And tiramisu. We played party games and had a champagne toast at midnight. The next day we slept in and brunched and watched movies. The day after that we finally cleaned the apartment, and that evening Meg and I went to see a production of Guys & Dolls in Evanston, which was great. We made a spontaneous trip to Delilah's afterwards, and lo and behold, our favorite bartender was there to give us hugs and free drinks. On Sunday I brunched with Ben (brunch isn't a thing in Vegas, so whenever I go to Chicago I have to get my fix), and then Lindsey, Catalina, Gena, Meg, and I drank mimosas and turned one of our friends into a beautiful Liz Taylor-esque drag queen. Because what else are you supposed to do on a Sunday?
Then it was back to the suburbs for laundry and packing. And after a connecting flight in Minneapolis (on which I wrote and wrote and wrote to make up for lost time), I finally made it back to Sin City.
Now I just have one semester to go, during which I have to complete my thesis, and then...who knows? Huge life transitions are a blast.