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worth every penny!

So, a couple of months ago i learned of a great concert i wanted to go to. This is the story of the concert, worth every penny, and of course, it wouldn't be one of my posts without pictures to go along with the planning and attending of the

the two artists i wanted to see were Ingrid Michaelson and Joshua Radin
the problem was finding people go to not many of my friends here like the same kind of music i listen to. but i was able to find 6 others to go with, and i was stoked!

Three people ended up backing out for various legit reasons, and i had three tickets to get rid of. i asked every person i knew here...and no one wanted to/or could make it. so i posted the tix up on craigslist. the first response kind of started freaking me out...he kept having to 'reschedule' multiple times and by wednesday and the 5th 'reschedule' i said NEVER MIND PUNK@$$ and i posted the tix up again. within 50 minutes of posting the tix up thursday, i got rid of that was relieving! (ps, the first guy freaked me out because i started feeling like he didn't really want the tickets but wanted to keep talking to me, in a freaky stalkerish kind of way. he kept offering to stop by my house or at work...and then made ME feel guilty for not being available...anyways...)

then, friday, concert day...i had to run straight home from work and get in line to get a good spot on the main floor to get up close and personal with a few of my favorite artists. over all, the two artists i went for completely made the night. Meiko was OK, the Cary Brothers were really boring, other than Blue Eyes, a song that always reminds me of an old relationship (in a good way), and Dan Wilson was down right bad. like seriously, had i drank more alcohol, i would have boo-ed him off the stage. but Ingrid, and joshua....MMMMMM soooo good:)

Cary Brothers:
a little Ingrid:
and the amazing Joshua...more Ingrid...
So, this was her version of Radiohead's 'Creep'. i had heard that this version was great, but i can not even discribe the control of her voice and the inspiring arrangement of it, an already great song. nice work, Ingrid, nice work!!

Dan Wilson, the guy who wrote "Closing time" from the late-ish 90's, didn't gain enough of my respect to get a picture into this post.

Joshua came out to sing a couple duets with Ingrid to finish up the show...soo good:)
the girls that came with me. RR's boyfriend had to leave 45 minutes into the show, therefore missing all the good parts...don't ask...
Us with Meiko after the show:
and my favorite pic...
so, everyone was standing in the corner wanting to get a pic with Joshua...and i just went up and said, a stumbling sort of 'um...Thanks soo much for a great show, you were amazing, really' i went on to say something about my sister having seen him in Colorado and kind of couldn't stop talking...but he was genuinely interested in where my sister had seen him, and that she and we enjoyed the shows. he was more humble than i ever thought. once i finally stopped talking, i asked for a picture, and he happily obliged.

then we headed to a nearby bar and grille for some grub and went home...a great night:)


play time...

a few fun things i've been able to do over the last few weeks...

1).my friend BC came back into chicago for a few days, well more a few hours before she went to GR for a wedding. I was able to be pleasured by her company, and a couple other friends for some sushi. well, i don't eat sushi, but it's 'our' place in Bartlett IL :) i just get chicken and crab rangoons...yum!!!

2) i started making a quilt. yes, me. after making the general design, and cutting all the fabric with a rotary cutter, it's actually a lot easier than i thought...the finished product is sure to be posted i'm sure, at some point!!

3) my friend RR got two extra tickets to the musical Jersey Boys, and i have to say, i never would have thought to go to see it, but it was really actually quite's about the music group the Four Seasons, and it was like a walk down memory lane, driving in the car with my dad listening to oldies, and then...of course the good ol' "oh what a night" was fantastic!!
4) i also got to take my bro and his girlfriend for drinks at one of my favorite bars Dublins as well as try out the great Pancake House on Bellevue and Rush...good times!! i just didn't get any pics with them...

anyways, fun stuff!! now i'm gonna chill for a while and enjoy my sunday afternoon/evening before another busy week begins yet again:)


the reason i do what i do

so the last few weeks have been rough at work and i've been trying to stay positive but it's been hard. Some staff issues, and some work load issues...i felt myself draining of energy and will to go on..ok, not really, but it was hard. i'll give an example of the frustrations that i deal with on a regular basis..

so. i work with adults who have mental illness. and as one might figure, money is always an issue with people who have a disorder that makes it difficult to have a stable mood, or weed through auditory/visual hallucinations and try to hold on to a semblance of reality. some of these adults have families that help provide for them, some are receiving Social Security benefits due to their mental illness . Some are older, and some are younger and some are still applying for these benefits. But just as one might expect, the government doesn't want to give money away to any Joe Shmoe that claims they need it, especially if that person is a young twenty-something who 'looks' like they should be able to hold a job and might 'just be lazy'. and for most cases i don't disagree with that. we do work with some people that have been denied benefits for good reason. However, some of our most troubled members are young and can't focus enough to sit for 15 mintues without responding to constant internal stimuli. The government, however, wants to make sure that these younger applicants are truly 'sick' and in need of the monetary assistance, and often decline applicants just because they're young. the process of applying is long enough, then you put appealing the denial and possibly starting back from scratch and you end up feeling like the process will never end. what often happens also, is that because things take so long, staff forget about it, or sometimes don't get paperwork back in time, and their application will be closed and they have to start all over again anyways. SOOO Frustrating.

enter me: starting in July on a new team with a new caseload, including one of these young, mentally unhealthy adults who had applied for benefits and had been denied due to insufficient information ('our' fault) and had already reapplied. it was as good as, let's put this file on the shelf and forget about it. slowly, i'd get requests for more paperwork in the mail, one says he needs info from his current psychiatrist, then a few months later they say they need him to go see one of their psychiatrists, then later some medical information. sometimes it seems worthless to go on, and in the mean time, he's living on less than $50 a month out of our account fund, in an apartment that we have available for free through one grant, we got him glasses through another agency that gives opthomological appts and glasses for free, and with government food stamps that the state graciously approved to provide for him. the good thing is, if someone is approved, they will get retro-active pay from the date the application was filed...a small incentive to keep going and hope for the best!!

today, 9 months after i took over his case, and over a year since his application was filed, i got another letter. This letter states that they need him to go into the office for more information, but they need him because they need to know who his Representative Payee is going to be and where to...wait for it...SEND THE CHECK. OMG he got approved!!!!!

this is the reason i do what i do. not to get people money, but to provide opportunity for people and give them hope about their future. This will allow for him to improve his living situation. It will allow him to purchase new clothes and have a few items that are completely his own and that he can be proud of. It might just give him a reason to work on his recovery, to get better, and to improve his life. This is actually the second person we've gotten benefits for who was on their second or third application since i've been on the team, we have a few more, but i'm seriously so excited for this guy!! and the only credit i can take for this is making sure that paperwork was collected and sent in on time. i certainly didn't pay anyone off or convince anyone...except by providing appropriate psych and progress notes, and not letting things fall through the cracks, which really should be the way things run anyways...but overall, this is crazy exciting!

i worked really late came home and cleaned my apartment, instead of leaving work at 4:30, coming home and vegging on the couch...guess i got another boost to keep going just as much as he will:)


turning green

Turns out, St Patty's day in chi town is a HUGE deal, almost as big as the fourth of july, minus a few fireworks. There's a parade, the city turns the canal water green, and people go out in droves in green shirts, hats, coats, boots. It's like a college football game. i even saw a poor dog wearing a headband with paper cloves on the end of springs. it was a sad moment for the dog. every bar is decorated, every store becomes 'Irish'. it's funny. They even have parties starting at 8am just so you're drunk before noon...and every hour thereafter.

Green beer mostly tastes the same, mostly looks like a super sweet glass of Kool aid, mostly kind of weird. i went to a party last night, and it was more of the same, kind of college-party meets happy irish-wannabe's...good times!

Apparently Irish is the thing to be...i must have missed the memo...:)


why is it...

that i always end up wanting something once i can't have it anymore???

does it mean that i really wanted it in the first place and didn't know it yet, or that i just want it cause it can't be mine??


venting to mom for 15 mins just wasn't enough to get over this...

Don't judge...i'm just moody and need to vent some more!...

ok. so. I'm REALLY getting tired of being lied to, being manipulated and taken for an idiot. i understand that nothing comes for free, but seriously, don't tell me about a free estimate and then charge me $60 to 'clean and update'. And you know he won't agree to even look at it without cleaning it first, b/c 'without cleaning and updating, he won't be able to figure out what's wrong with it'. Don't be all nice and lure me there and then piss me off. The thing is, if nothing else, he'll still make $60 bucks on me. Even as i'm standing there filling out my name and number, i know that i've been took and i should just walk out. but i can't do it, and plus, probably everyone in the whole city will tell me exactly the same thing. it's just really infuriating. i don't like being lied to. i dont like being 'lured in'. if you want something say it, if you don't then say so. Don't string me along with lies. (all this over trying to get my sewing machine fixed so i can make a damn blanket)

also, can you ever call anywhere just for information??? without having to give your name and number so they can hound you until you get what you were just asking about in the first place? i called Bally Total Fitness last night, to find out starting prices, hours, parking, JUST INFORMATION, because i've been feeling like a blimp and it's too damn cold outside to exercise. he says, 'yes, i can help you with that, can i get your name?' so i dodge the question and say 'i just want to know the hours', and he gets a little snotty and goes 'is it OK if i get your name so i can talk to you about the great options we have to offer you?' so i give him my name. part of giving the information to me includes 'when can i schedule you in so you can come and have a trial workout and i can show you the equipment, can you come tonight?' i'm like...NO...I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE TIME YOU"RE OPEN. so i said, 'i can't tonight, maybe tomorrow'. i called this evening to cancel. but he almost got me to go and just try it, he even called me this morning to confirm our appointment tonight. But when he called again this afternoon to confirm, a.g.a.i.n, i knew i had to get out of this, i knew if i went he'd hound me about signing a contract and probably sign my life away...GEEZ...(he then called again after the cancelled visit to find out if everything was ok)

and i wonder why i have trust issues!! haha. No one ever says what they really mean. it's all about manipulation. everyone's trying to screw you over.

ok, so i know that's not entirely true...but sometimes it feels like it...
i will switch to the opposite side...and tell about one guy in particular has shown me that people really are good at heart, even if he's the only one in this whole city, and i don't even know his name...he didn't try to get anything from me, he did nothing but help...let me explain.

last week thursday, when i took my day off, i decided to spend the afternoon walking around the city and then once downtown, i's donate blood. i haven't given blood since college, but there's a blood bank right by my house and i've always wanted to donate again. after the first time i donated i was turned down b/c i had low iron. anyways, i was 'ok-ed' for donating last thursday, told to drink some juice, and about 10 minutes later i was done. I sat for another 20 minutes, ate some oreo's and took my time getting up. they took a pint of blood in a short amount of time. i don't ever remember feeling tired or weird after i gave blood, i just remember a HUGE bruise at the injection site. So, i decided to head home when i started to feel pretty normal. i walked to the bus stop, fine. i sat down on the bench waiting for the bus, fine. i stood on the bus cause it was way too full and i couldn't tell granny to get out of her seat to let me sit down, fine. or not fine. i started to feel lightheaded but figured i'd make it home. then i started feeling really hot and more lightheaded and i took my scarves and gloves off. i realized i should've gotten off the bus at the last stop, and started to bend over, hoping that i could stop from feeling so damn lightheaded. i poked the nice guy in front of me to tell him i needed to get out and then....what felt like 5 hours later (but must have only been a few seconds) i started waking up and trying to orient myself. i had somehow twisted around and was sitting on my feet, one piece of my head phones in my ear, so i had a dream like feeling with music in the background. i started hearing 'is she ok?' and 'what happened?' and "seriously, is she ok?" and i realized that they were talking about me and that i had fainted. the nice guy was trying to talk to me and i realized the bus was stopped and he was going to get me off the bus. i thought i'd be ok and grabbed his arm to help me, but things still weren't fine. there was no where to sit once off the bus, and i 'came to' once again crouched on the ground holding onto an unknown pole, while the nice guy came back to me saying he had just gotten a cab for me. He kindly rubbed my shoulder and told me to relax and take my time. However by this time, i realized that the whole bus was staring at me, and waiting for me to be better so they could continue their trip. the bus driver was on the phone telling someone that he had asked if i wanted an ambulance but i had turned down the offer and was waiting to get into the cab. i made it to the cab, apologizing to the nice guy for being a bother, cause even in my semi-conscious state i have issues with someone having to go out of their way to help me. i should have asked his name or something, or thanked him instead of apologizing the whole damn time. anyways, i barely kept from passing out again in the cab, though i was almost home, and the rest of the night was spent on the couch recooperating.

so, i can't say that Everyone in this city is out to screw me over. this guy was very kind and i will never forget him!

ps. for those nurse friends of mine...i have a question. do i have something to be concerned about?? turns out, i don't have a bruise from the straw sized needle they used to take my blood, but i have a shooting pain all the way down my fore-arm when i put pressure anywhere on my arm, like a nerve was pinched/wripped/punctured...??? it also hurts when i stretch a certain way. i called my physician and the nurse said it is somewhat normal because the needle is so big...and that it will take a while to heal. but am i looking at any irreparable damage here? did they ruin my arm for life?? i told the guy when he put the needle in that it hurt an unusual amount and he said that was normal, but something felt weird...????