Little Goat

Life lately.

You need a new environment. Go on vacation


I’ve been boring lately.

Really, truly, boring.

I’m not going to complain about it because being boring has been entirely my choice. I could be at Carnival with my friend Matt right now. I could be in Ecuador learning to surf with Chris. I could even be living on one of my friends’ couches in the city.

But, instead, I’m living in the suburbs. Staying with my mom. Without a car. Enduring one of the worst winters Chicago’s ever seen.

It’s a certain version of hell.

Besides a zoo, my town, the town I grew up in, has nothing of note.

There’s a small grocery store that fulfills all my canned goods needs, there’s the coffee shop that is completely empty after 10am except on Sundays when the church crowd comes in, there’s that one pizza place I eat lunch at several times per week, that one Chinese take-out place I order from almost every Friday night, and there’s a spattering of restaurant/bars with an exhilarating menu of reheated frozen food. Going anywhere else involves either walking for a really long time (in sub zero temperatures or however many feet of snow, mind you) or taking a train that only comes once an hour on a good day (sometimes only once every three hours.)

But, I’m saving money. And, right now, that is taking precedence over anything else.

In January I was offered a month of work at my old job, the one I quit to travel the world. And I took it. A week ago I was offered at least a month more. And I took that too. Because, why the hell not? It’s money. And for the first time in over a year I will be able to pay off my credit card in full. So when I do leave again I won’t have that unnecessary debt hanging over my head.

Besides work though, I don’t really do all that much right now. In my spare time I’ve been getting personal projects done: going through my stuff to see what else I can sell, scanning old photos, updating all my websites. But, really, a lot of times, I just come home from work mentally exhausted and sit on the couch watching tattoo artist reality shows.

I flip through Tinder and match up with men. Some who actually seem cute and nice. Some who just ask me to come over for pizza and sex. But the thought of meeting any of them, taking a train to the city, taking a train back, overwhelms me, so I just avoid any mentions of getting together. Besides, if I were to spend a night out I would want to see my actual friends. Who I’m not seeing much of.


Guys asking for sex on Tinder

Well, pizza and sex is the key to my heart…


Once I pay off my credit card for good I’ll hopefully get a little more exciting again. Maybe I’ll finally book another ticket out of here. Maybe I’ll ask a friend if I can crash on her couch so I can feel like I’m doing…something. Maybe I’ll have something to write about.

Give me a few more weeks.

To be fair though, I have managed to drag myself out of the house a bit, so here’s a little recap of some random things I’ve been up to over the past few months:


Jeremy's chicken.

Me: It’s good. Jeremy: When I ask how my food is, I want criticism. Val: OK, it sucks.


My first strip club!

My first strip club!!!


When you order a large espresso drink at Star Lounge they instead give you two smaller ones. Which is completely awesome for a girl like me who can drink a large mocha in a minute. So when I go there I can drink a smaller mocha in 30 seconds. Wait a while. Then drink another one in thirty seconds. And convince myself that I’m pacing myself.


Pork Hash at Bite Cafe

Pork hash at Bite Cafe.


Pink iphone

I may have bought a pink iPhone. Then I may have covered it in a pink case.


Red hair dye.

Hot pink hair dye

I dyed my hair again. (And again.)


glasses of wine


I'll be home for Christmas starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Santa versus the Martians

My friend Emily invited some of us over for a girly night of wine, pizza, and Christmas movies starring Santa Claus, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and robots…



I helped Mat cheat at a gingerbread making contest.


Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo

I went to the Brookfield Zoo with my nephews.


Chicago travel and Adventure Show

The Chicago Travel and Adventure Show was nowhere near as exciting as World Travel Market.


Poison Berry Cocktail at Davis Burke's Primehouse

Me: “What kind of poison is your Poison Berry Cocktail made from?” David Burke’s Primehouse bartender: “Arsenic.”


Meet Plan Go Meetup

A meet up for Meet Plan Go.


Dark chocolate sea salt cookies

Mom: “Did you mix up the sugar and the salt?” Me: “No, they’re sea salt cookies.”


I order all the Chiense food.

I order all the Chinese food.


Super Bowl 2014 food

Super Bowl Stuffed Animals

I went to a Super Bowl party where I tried to eat as many mini hot dogs as I could…and made some new friends.


Pork belly pancake at Little Goat Diner

Tempura mashed potatoes at Little Goat Diner

Pork belly pancake and tempura mashed potatoes at Little Goat Diner.


Little Goat

There is no rule against fighting on the escalator at Second City. Just sayin’.


Beer tasting

Beer tasting

Beer tasting

Beer tasting

My friend Glen had a tasting party for the beers he brewed. I particularly liked the cat beer.


Gouda morning burger at Hamburger Mary's

Gouda morning burger at Hamburger Mary’s.


my nephew's 5th birthday

My nephew is five. Five!


Glutton Force Five

My friends at Glutton Force Five were on Food Network’s Food Court Wars…and they won a space in a food court for the next year!


Chicago snow

Chicago snow

Chicago snow

Chicago snow

I survived the snow. At least, for now.


So at least I’m getting out sometimes. Right?

Until I become interesting again…is there anything you want me to write about? “Bad decisions,” travel stories, life events? Do you have any questions for me about me, my life, my travels, my anything? I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog this year so far. So if there anything you’d like to hear about, please leave me a note in the comments!

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • rebecca
    March 14, 2014at6:32 pm

    gees men on tinder are sleezy!!! all this boring will pay off. Im in the same situation – though, to be fair, im in sydney not a town with not much happening. I still feel boring, and untraveled though!

  • Tiana
    June 9, 2014at3:07 am

    I just read a bunch of your posts. I think I kind of love you.

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