Saturday, July 7, 2007

Living for the City

So after work yesterday I decided to venture out to the city. I don't often venture into the urban metropolis that is Chicago mainly for the preservation of my sanity and avoidance of the demonized, crime infested alleys. Perhaps I should explain previous excursions to unfamiliar territories. I have a track record of getting "disoriented" in new locales. You may be wondering why I didn't use the term "lost." I prefer not to use the term "lost" because rarely do I not know where I am. I am well aware of my location. The problem is I am not sure how to get to my destination from my current detour. Many of my friends and family have received calls asking them to play cartographer and guide. To them I say thank you. To you I say stay by your computer and phone I may need you soon. Despite past wrong turns I still try to go to new places and learn to navigate my way. The Christmas gift of an all-in-one compass/thermometer/rape whistle/magnifying glass (which ALWAYS impresses prospective dates) also has come in handy when I'm temperature curious in a dimly lit alley facing impending danger and need to know which way is north.

With printed directions in hand I departed work for Union Tavern. Turn-by-turn I was in the zone. I could feel the navigational gods
Cort├ęs , Vasco da Gama and Magellan sharing their divine gifts with me. At one point I passed Lincoln Ave. In my defense, the street was not labeled and looked to be more of a pedestrian sidewalk than a road. A quick U-ie righted the ship and put me back on the path to my friends and an open bar. Lest ye fear, I found my way to the bar and somehow managed to secure a parking spot right outside the club. This may be where the gods got distracted and left me to fend for myself.

After visiting with school chums I was invited out to the Green Mill to continue the party. As a lover of jazz I enthusiastically agreed and offered a ride to some of those going. They opted for the train. I think my direction reputation preceded me. My cell phone battery was waning so I tried to make the call to my direction chief (mom) brief. Directions were delivered and off I went.

Life was good. I found a club AND a place to park. The skies were clear as the stars started to appear in the summer sky. Off I went up Halstead to Clark. The directions were simple. Clark to Lawrence and soon I'd be at the Mill soakin' up some soothing sounds. But the police had different ideas. Not the Chicago 5-0. I'm talking about the retiring rockers featuring Sting. They were holding a concert at Wrigley Field. The concert conveniently let out as I was on my way to the club. A detour and an hour later I was disoriented and defeated. Chicago had beaten me. Traffic had whittled down my will to live. I longed for the open roads of the 'burbs. Eventually I got out of the densely packed throng of middle-aged drunks.

Some wrong turns led me to more confusion. I turned on Broadway, but it wasn't the same Broadway that the Mill is located. Eventually I got to some street going North and was about to bail and head for home when my navi-mom told me how close I was. As the words registered in my brain I saw the sparking lights of the Green Mill.

The people I was to meet were still in the club and I was able to soak in some funk before heading back to my familiar home.

No matter how prepared I am with directions a road is always closed or there is some street festival. The lesson, I suppose, is that there will always be roadblocks. The key is how you handle them.

Future blogs include a commentary on a truly inconvenient truth, the excessive use of 'actually', french films and the ongoing job hunt which goes into week 3.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Now what?

Sixteen days ago I received that exalted piece of paper with Northwestern University in large script and my name in substantially smaller block letters. Contrary to my hope college degrees don't come with job offers. Instead of being welcomed into the real world with a firm handshake I have been warmly greeted with a proliferation of credit card offers and solicitations to consolidate my school loans.

The prospect of the end of required education was surely an enticing and exhilarating thought. No more dry history textbooks which lulled me into slumber after a few pages. Au revoir French homework that left me questioning "qu'est-ce que c'est". Goodbye midterm papers on Battleship Potemkin and Citizen Kane. My college days of rising with the sun for classes on south campus and walking on the lakefront bike path are sadly gone. While I didn't lose sleep over the tantalizing prospect of sitting in lecture halls it was what I knew. A large part of my life has been spent learning from others.

Now I rise a little later each day and look to learn some more. Shortly after coming home from school I stopped by the library to check-out a GRE book and some classical literature. I'm disappointed that one of my first actions after being emancipated from the education system was to get educational books. Each day starts with reviewing daily emails of new job postings. Each time you try to escape they pull you back in.

My hope in the creation of this blog is not to claim that my life is exciting and necessitates the journaling of my actions or my inner thoughts about the news. There are many people who are more insightful or intelligent than I am. My hope is to track the hunt for a job after completing college. This may be the only way to keep sane during the search. Also, I read this story the other day:,0,419978.story?coll=chi-classifiedjobs-hed

So logically I deduced that blogging gets jobs.

If you have tips feel free to pass them along. I don't consider selling all of my personal affects and moving to Idaho a tip. I'll try to share my interactions and hopefully the successful landing of a stellar job on this blog.

Finally, today at the grocery I heard a rather insightful remark from an older man when asked how he was doing. He simply said, "I woke up." That is a good day.