Monday, February 26, 2018

Oklahoma!

I adopted a dog today. She's a 1.5 year-old American Blue Heeler mix, and she's already the love of my life. Her name is Oklahoma.


Why Oklahoma? That's where she's from. She migrated from there to a clinic in Arkansas, where she got her shots, and then she traveled north to Chicago Canine Rescue, which is where I stumbled upon her. The moment I saw her picture online, I thought, "this one." The moment I met her in person, I thought, "definitely this one." 

She's fairly high-energy—enjoys long walks just about anywhere and loves to jump on people and give kisses. That said, she's been shockingly well-behaved so far. She barely makes a peep, and she doesn't beg for food. Which is to say: I piled myself a plate of food, sat at the table, and ate it, all while she sat quietly behind me. Never seen anything like it. Maybe she doesn't realize that she can eat human food? Let's hope she never figures it out. 

Only downsides are that she sheds constantly—I'll need to get a Furminator—and that she whines when I put her in her crate and leave the house because she thinks I'm never coming back. Like I could abandon that face! And those ears! 


The best ears.

It was great working with Chicago Canine Rescue; if you're so inclined, it would be cool if you threw a little cash their way. Lots of cute doggos in need. And if you're in Chicago, you can also come sign a waiver and walk their dogs! Fun and helpful. 

I also want to give a shoutout to ALIVE Rescue. I tried to adopt from them more than once, and it simply didn't work out—bad timing, not a good fit for an apartment, and so on. But they were so kind and forthcoming—I appreciated how much they wanted their dogs to find the correct home, rather than just any home. You should consider donating to them as well. 

Want more photos? Okie has her very own Instagram: @okey_dokey_okie

Want to give me dog owner/training/whatever tips? Leave a comment. I'd appreciate it. I'm a little nervous to be a dog mom! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Birthday month continues...

As you know, my birthday requires not a mere day of celebration, but rather an entire month. It is only right and proper. And I must say, 30 is turning out to be quite an extravaganza. My friends and family are really pulling out all the stops this year.

Last Wednesday I went to see Hamilton with the parents and sister. (Technically this was a Christmas present, but I'm going to count it as a birthday present.) It was just as good as everyone says it is. Charming as hell. Even my grumpy, conservative father loved it, which is amazing considering that he normally will not deign to categorize rap as music at all. The songs are wonderful, but I feel like not enough people are freaking out about the brilliant choreography and set design. The final duel between Hamilton and Burr blew my mind. Dancer-as-bullet! A magnificent piece of theater.


Saturday night, however, was the kicker. 

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Felipe had organized a drag night for Saturday—Meg, our friends, and I enjoy turning Felipe into the gorgeous Felicia Fish from time to time. So Meg and I packed a suitcase full of ballgowns and make-up, and after a belated birthday dinner with their family, we headed over to Gena's, where the event was to take place. 

SURPRISE!!!

Yeah, that's right. Our friends threw us a Harry Potter-themed surprise birthday party. And because Rachel is a theater props designer, this happened: 







It was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. I am so ridiculously, stupidly lucky to have friends like mine. Not sure what I did to deserve them. <3 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

My hips and lower back still haven't recovered from our whirlwind birthday trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this past weekend--but I suppose that's what turning 30 does to a body. I have no regrets, however. It was just as magical as I hoped it would be.

Meg, Marc, and I arrived at our hotel on Friday afternoon, where we were met with an impressive spread of cake, fruit, and champagne, courtesy of our generous parents. I never knew how much I needed a tacky airbrushed shirt until Marc provided Meg and I with our very own. Along with our obligatory birthday tiaras, we were ready for a night out on the town.

And by "town," I mean the Universal Studios CityWalk, full of overblown restaurants and loud pop music. We ended up eating dinner and drinking chocolate old fashioneds at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, which is basically a steampunk chocolate shop and eatery. We interacted with the "proprietor," who asked us about how best to land her dirigible in windy Chicago. And we made ourselves sick on sweets, as is only right and proper.

The next morning we stepped through a brick wall into Diagon Alley, where I was able to fulfill my childhood dreams. We raided the vaults of Gringotts bank, drank butterbeer and pumpkin juice at the Leaky Cauldron, and my wand chose me at Ollivanders (vine wood with a unicorn tail core, obviously). The wands they sell are equipped with bluetooth, so there are actually spots all around the park where you can do "magic." I felt somewhat bad taking a turn when there were so many little kids waiting around to try, but you know what? Little kids can deal with it. I've been waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance since I was eleven, dammit.

Speaking of Hogwarts, we had to take the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station to get there. (The Harry Potter worlds are spread between both Universal Parks--because tickets are more expensive that way, of course.) We got off the train in Hogsmeade, then walked up to the castle for another wild ride. The attention to detail is amazing--I loved the paintings of the four Hogwarts founders bickering with each other. And the roller coasters aren't really roller coasters; many of the effects are made with screens and 3D and hydraulics. The engineers who built the place must have had a field day.

I mean wizards. Wizards who built the place.

We also visited Hagrid's hut and bowed to Buckbeak the hippogriff, had another butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, and stocked up on candy at Honeydukes--which is when I received a fraud alert asking whether I really meant to buy nearly $100 worth of chocolate in a fictional town. DON'T JUDGE ME, BANK.

After all that we were pretty tuckered out--it was a full 8-5 day of walking around and standing in lines and skipping with excitement--so we went to our hotel and soaked in the hot tub for a while. Then it was back to CityWalk for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (we had a coupon), where our waiter made us stand up in front of the entire restaurant and blow out the candles in our complementary ice cream sundaes.

Our flight back was at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning. Gross. The moment I returned to my apartment, I fell into bed and slept for three more hours. I then proceeded to spend the rest of the day in bed as a birthday staycation. It was glorious.

Needless to say, being back at work is kind of a bummer. But at least I have so many magical memories. Not to mention nearly $100 worth of chocolate.