Thursday Things

1. Well folks, I’m officially a Chicagoan.


I’ve finally been to Big Star.

I know, I know: I’ve been here for just shy of three years (over three years if you want to count the four months I lived here during my internship towards my total) and never once had I set foot in Big Star until Tuesday. That’s basically grounds for deportation around here. (In my defense, tacos would never be my first choice of food, so Big Star was hardly high on my list of places I needed to try.)


But it was good! I had the al pastor and de panza tacos (I preferred the de panza over the al pastor), and they were both great. Go-out-of-my-way-and-wait-hours-to-be-seated great? Meh, for me, probably not — but like I said, tacos aren’t my food of choice, so my opinion on the matter isn’t really worth much. I’m glad I can finally say I’ve been, though, and I do get why people go nuts over their food.

2. Every now and again I toss some money in the direction of PAWS Chicago, since I like what they do, believe in their cause, puppies are cute, blah blah blah. Anyway, once you donate so much as a penny to any nonprofit, you are on their mailing list FOR LIFE, and they will send you letter after letter after letter asking for more of your money. Earlier this year, PAWS sent me a letter asking for a donation, but with added incentive: if you donated money in response to that particular letter, they’d let you name one of their future animals. That was more than enough to convince me to donate, and I kindly requested that they name one of their future dogs after my bestest fwend, Louie.

Since then, I would occasionally pop over to PAWS’s website to see if they had any available dogs named Louie. I had never seen any, but last Friday I happened to go over to the site, and lo and behold: they had a Louie puppy!!

While I suppose I can’t verify that this particular Louie is named after my Louie, I absolutely have chosen to believe that this Louie is named after my Louie. Puppies tend to go pretty quickly at PAWS, so on my way home from work I went directly to PAWS, pretending to be a potential adopter (I suppose technically I *am* a potential adopter, because if I were to adopt a dog, I’d adopt it from PAWS, but I do not in any way feel like I’m in a place where I could handle the responsibility of a dog right now) so I could meet Bestest Fwend 2.0.


(Not the best picture, but the best I have of his precious little puppy face…!)

Oh, you guys, it was such a wonderful moment. Louie the puppy was just as sweet as can be. PAWS thinks Louie is a bloodhound mix, and he certainly acted like one when I met him, sniffing every nook and cranny in the room. He even stuck his head in my work bag to sniff around in there, which I thought was hilarious. I didn’t get any kissies, sadly, but he was oh-so friendly and MORE than happy to snuggle (and sniff my jeans) so I could pet him to my heart’s content.


It was so, so nice to visit him, and it really meant a lot to me that PAWS would name one of their puppies after my puppy. If I were in a place where I could adopt him, you better believe he’d be coming home with me, because he was just the best. I think he does his namesake proud 🙂

3. I…think I’ve quit November Project.


really wanted to like November Project. I tried to like November Project. But there was something about the vibe that just did not work for me. While some people made me feel welcome, more often than not I felt like some rando who had just stumbled upon this group of neon clad burpee-doers at the totem pole on Wednesday mornings. I wouldn’t say I felt excluded, necessarily — just that I didn’t feel like part of the “in group,” and that I definitely felt like there was an “in group” with November Project. Which is fine! Honestly, I don’t know how you could even avoid that in any sort of big group situation like that. We definitely have an “in group” in my CARA group. We ABSOLUTELY have an “in group” in my dance classes. Dance is a little different, because our “in group” formed naturally with those of us who all started class at the same time and continued to take it. With my CARA group, however, I had to make an effort to be part of that “in group” (and by “effort” I mean “go with them to brunch and dinner.” It was a real burden, let me tell you 😛 ). Could I have put in that effort with November Project and joined the “in group”? Yeah, probably, eventually, after a long time. But given the choice between rejoining my Tuesday breakdance class, where I already am part of the “in group” or forsaking my current friends who I very much like in order to make new friends I don’t desperately need and attempt to break into the “in group” at November Project, I’m going to have to go with sticking with my current friends, because I really like my current friends and miss my current friends and would rather hang out with them anyway. Unfortunately, with November Project in Chicago’s timing, this does have to be an either/or situation right now: I can’t take a Tuesday night breakdance class and do a 6:28 a.m. Wednesday workout, because said Tuesday night breakdance class ends when I would need to be falling asleep to make said 6:28 a.m. Wednesday workout. Friday is my hard-and-fast non-negotiable rest day, so I can’t make those workouts, either (though if they would add a Monday workout…).

If I’m being completely honest, the only thing I ever really looked forward to in regards to November Project was the photos they’d post on Facebook after the workout so I could tag myself and look happy and active and thriving and whatnot, because social media is terrible, when I in fact pretty much never enjoyed the workout and was never actually happy to be there. Showing up just for Facebook pictures seems like a pretty terrible reason to keep doing something I don’t enjoy, especially when said something was dragging me out of bed way too early AND turning all of my Wednesdays into two-a-days, since I never ran enough during November Project to count it (in my opinion) as one of my runs for the week on my current half marathon training plan. That would only get worse once marathon season started (plus there would be the whole issue of sweating, which hasn’t been a problem when it’s been in the 30s and 40s, but would definitely be a problem come summer, since I don’t have time to shower after November Project and had to go straight to work. My coworkers are accommodating, but they’re not that accommodating 😛 ).

So yeah. Gave it a shot (six shots, actually), and I just don’t think it’s for me, at least not as my life stands right now. Never say never though, right?

Are you a taco fan? Clearly I’m not. However, if someone suggested tapas, I’d be there in a heartbeat.
Who’s going to adopt Louie for me? I promise to dogsit for you whenever you need it…! 😀

13 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Tacos are my first choice either, they have to be really really good, with plenty of good sauce/salsa. I say you have to give a workout three tries before you can say you don’t like it, so you’re 6 is good in my book! The group I workout with is interesting, some of them I know are better friends outside, but I do get invited to most workouts, I generally make a different plan but schedule around their start or stop time since I run a few minutes slower per mile than they do. Social media can be a powerful thing, but I would remind yourself that you’ve got a couple other great groups, and by saying “no” to the november project, you can say “yes” to something else!!

    • Exactly. I actually read something a day or two after I decided I was done with NP that talked about not doing things that aren’t serving you just for the sake of doing them, and that kind of validated my choice to stop going to NP for awhile…and/or ever. It’s always something I could go back to, of course, but right now I just don’t think it’s for me, which is totally fine.

  2. I totally get what you mean about November Project. 9 months ago I would have looked at you like you had 18 heads for saying you didn’t feel like you were part of the “in group.” But now I get it. I was part of that group when we were smaller here before I moved home. Then I came back 3 months later and everyone had grown super close. I’m kind of on the outskirts of the “in group” now if that makes sense? That’s why most of the time, I only go to see my 2 really good friends I’ve made out of it. And the facebook pictures. Sad, but true. I’m glad you gave it a shot though! It’s a great group and it’s an awesome workout, but there are other ways to get in equally good workouts and feel like you belong. it doesn’t have to be NP!

    • I think the formation of “in groups” and whatnot is to be expected in a situation like this, especially among those who’ve been there since Day One (or pretty close to it). They’ve been there longer, they’ve had more time to get to know each other, they’ve consistently been through things with each other, so of course they’ve formed a tight group. And as someone who is in “in groups” with other things, I totally get where they’re coming from – they’ve found their groove, they’ve found their people, and they’re perfectly happy with things as they stand. To be honest, I don’t know if that kind of thing is even unavoidable. It seems like it’s kind of the nature of group things. But like you said, there’s plenty of other ways to get in a good workout, and I think for now those suit me a little better 🙂

  3. Would you believe that I’ve never heard of Big Star? I’ve lived in the Chicago area my entire life, too!

    Louie the puppy looks SO ADORABLE!!! He definitely does Bestest Fwend proud. =) Sigh, I would have had a really, really time walking away. I hear a lot of stories of folks who go to PAWS or other animal shelters just to look, and then leave with a new furry friend.

    I’ve never been to November Project but I get what you mean about the “in” crowd in general. I was very involved with an Asian professional society for well over a decade, but these days I’m noticing the cliques more and more. It’s no longer for me, either. It’s like our junior high and high school years never end!

    • WHAT?!?! You’ve never even HEARD of it?? That honestly does shock me. I thought EVERYONE had heard of Big Star – like everyone has heard of Girl and the Goat or something like that. Looks like you need to get yourself to Wicker Park 😉

      Not gonna lie: when I was at PAWS, I was brainstorming how I could make it work. “Well, my landlord has never specifically said we *can’t* have dogs, and none of my roommates have ever specifically said they don’t *want* dogs, so maybe I could talk to them, and…” Realistically, there’s just no way at all it would’ve worked out (the whole “not having a car” thing would I think be a big challenge in dog ownership — how to get him to/from the vet and that sort of thing, never mind the expense that comes along with having a dog. Someday…

      YES. I guess I’m not all that experienced at being an “adult,” but it has SHOCKED me how much adulthood is like high school. Haha. I guess cliques are just a part of life, regardless of whether you’re a teenager or not.

  4. I’ve never been to Big Star either because I’m a neighborhood snob and prefer to stay in the West Loop if I’m gonna go out to eat 🙂 Although, we did go to Geek Bar last night (Damen & North Ave) so I guess I do occasionally leave the ‘hood.

    If I could adopt another puppy I totally would. But someone else would have to pick it out because clearly I pick out the dogs with issues.

  5. I’ve never been to Big Star although I don’t really consider myself to be Chicagoan at all. I haven’t even been into the city in months! I will admit when Matt and I were on our honeymoon I just told people we were from Chicago because it was easier. Sometimes when I am back home people will be like “how’s Chicago?” and I sometimes want to correct them because I live far away but whatever I usually don’t.

    I would love to get a dog but it just seems unrealistic right now. Matt and I both work a lot and it is not uncommon for us to be gone from the house 11 hours. And that just seems like a long time for a dog.

    • People in college did that ALL the time. Everyone from Naperville or Wheaton or even Elgin was from “Chicago.” Hahaha. Okay. If you say so.

      Yeah, I’m in a similar boat. I’d hate to abandon a dog for a whole work day, but I also don’t think I could pony up the $$$ to send him/her to daycare five days a week. Someday…

  6. I’m confused, going to Big Star makes you a Chicagoan? Is that up for discussion? 🙂 I’ve never been there either because I just heard about it here.

    That is so cute that another dog was names after YOUR Louie. Yes, I believe that too.

    Too bad about November Project. I’ve heard so many things about it. But it sucks that you did not feel included. I hate it when that happens in groups. Why are we like that?

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