Lollapalooza 2016

Walking in July.

Do you want to know what I did in July? I walked.

I got up early and ran on the elliptical before work. In the morning, I got off the train two stops early and walked the last mile to work. At night, I got off the train a stop or two early and walked home. I walked around the park, dodging the children and teenagers and adults hunting Pokemon. I walked around my neighborhood, winding down all the streets I’ve never before visited. I took six mile walks to other neighborhoods. I took ten mile walks along the lake.

Much to the chagrin of all of my competing friends on Fitbit, I walked.


My shadow while walking around Welles Park in Lincoln Square. Not playing Pokemon Go.

My shadow while walking around Welles Park in Lincoln Square. Not playing Pokemon Go.


It’s all part of this newfound commitment to get back in shape, to lose weight, to feel better about myself. And, in many ways, it’s working. I’m losing weight (slowly, but surely), I’m feeling better, have more stamina, I think. But I’m also tired. Or, at least, tired enough that I don’t want to come home and do more work. Tired enough that sitting down to write something “profound” is the last thing on my mind.

Last month I blogged about the men’s Fourth of July eating contest but I never got around to the women. I still plan to, I swear, and soon. And I still plan to write about all those other things swimming around in my mind. I swear. And soon.

I just need to sit down for a moment.

In the meantime, here’s what I did in July that didn’t involve walking (though, really, most of it did anyways…)



I was in New York for the first few days of July. I told you about that and the men’s hot dog eating contest. And I super swear I will share photos of the women soon. Here are a few more photos from the pre-show entertainment at the event.


My softball team might have lost our second playoff game while I was on the plane home from New York, but we probably would have squashed all the other teams with our mad karaoke skills. Just sayin.


I went to Square Roots Festival, which is one of my favorite festivals in Chicago and not just because it’s right outside my door. OK, so the fact that it takes place right outside my door is a good reason to love it. I probably wandered in and out five or six times over the course of the weekend alternating with going home to get shit done. But they have good music too, an eclectic mix of bluegrass, jazz, country, rock. And they have good food, like spicy fried chicken from Budlong. And they have good craft beer and cider. And they have kids bands too so I could force Heather and Jeremy to bring Maggie along for a morning even though Maggie totally didn’t get how to play tambourine.


No Chip Manicure

I got my first no-chip manicure, which I love because it makes my nails too strong to break and guards them against my teeth. But I hate because I’ve had it for three weeks and way too much nail is showing at the bottom now because I can’t afford to get one more than once a month because lets face it I can’t even afford to get one once a month.


I went to a PR event for Marriott Cancun at the Chopping Block in Lincoln Square. We cooked enchiladas and Mexican rice and drunken beans and flan.


And I went to another PR event for Townplace Suites and Weber Grill and watched country stars battle in a pizza grill off.


Cruz Blanca in the West Loop, Chicago.

I had dinner with my friend Alyssa at Cruz Blanca and had pork tacos and guacamole and fruity beers and smoky beers…


I went to Pitchfork Music Festival and saw BJ the Chicago Kid, Brian Wilson, and Sufjan Stevens.


I had a picnic and saw members of the Ryan Opera Center, Lyric Opera’s artist training program, perform music from Of Mice and Men at Millennium Park.


I went to Lollapalooza, which I haven’t been to since 2008. And we saw Yeasayer and Bastille and Kurt Vile and 1975 and The Arcs.

But, mostly, we just goofed around in the rain.

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How was your July?

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.

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