Thursday Things

1. I have major moral qualms with the NFL and the sport of football as we, for reasons that seem to defy all common sense and scientific evidence, insist on continuing to play it, but despite my ethical misgivings, I still watched the Super Bowl. I’m not really sure how much longer I can keep up with that, though. I know taking my one set of eyeballs away from a game probably won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but doing anything to support an industry that willing puts people’s brains (and, by extension, lives) at risk for the sake of the almighty dollar feels…icky, to say the least. As far as I’m concerned, the commercials and half time show are the real highlights of the Super Bowl anyway (though I will concede that the Eagles’s trick play was also a highlight), and since those are all available online without having to watch the game, that seems like the better way to go about doing things.

Regardless, I watched the Super Bowl this year, primarily for the commercials and half time show, but secondarily (or maybe equally primarily, even though that doesn’t really make sense) for the all-important tradition of overindulging in junk food during the Super Bowl. I got together with a few friends, and we had ourselves a feast of processed, fatty, salty, sugary goodness. It was fabulous.

The highlight, though–and, frankly, the entire reason why I’m even noting my Super Bowl viewing in this post–was definitely this find:



I discovered that groundbreaking idea at Jewel on Saturday, and didn’t have to think twice about whether or not it’d be an appropriate thing to bring to my Super Bowl get together. A cookie tray with FROSTING DIP?! Why don’t they sell these year round??

2. I got my official Chicago Marathon results in the mail a couple of weeks ago, and almost immediately threw it away (well, recycled it, but whatever). It boggles my mind that the race puts together what essentially amounts to a magazine of the race’s complete results, especially in a day and age where all I had to do was open the race’s app on my phone while still stumbling through the finishing chute to get my results rather than waiting three and a half months to find out how I did. It can’t be a cost-effective endeavor and seems wildly unnecessary.

But regardless, I decided before I got rid of the results magazine, I’d at least look up my name, be proud of myself for the briefest of moments, and move on with my life. I’ve never really paid any sort of attention to where I finished overall in the field, because when it takes you more than five hours to finish in a race with 44,300ish finishers, your overall finishing place is pretty irrelevant. But I was delighted to discover that, apparently, I came in exactly 28,000th in last year’s race! How about that! According to the unofficial online results, I came in 28,003rd, but I like 28,000th better, and that’s what the printed results say, so I’m going with it.

So there you go: while it may not be necessary, I guess it’s still kind of cool to get printed results and all the other tidbits of information that come along with it.

3. Speaking of Bank of America-owned races, I have a hot take on the Shamrock Shuffle that I want to document here for the whole world to see right now:

The Bank of America should sell the Shamrock Shuffle to RAM Racing.

Hear me out: the race has not been doing well, at least from a finisher standpoint, for years. As I pointed out in my recap of last year’s event, there were 40 percent fewer finishers in 2017 compared to 2013. That’s a pretty massive drop in participation over not very much time, and it doesn’t take a marketing degree to see the many, many ways the race has tried to entice people to sign up, particularly over the past two or three years. There has been a marked increase in swag (they now give out medals, which have gotten nicer each year; one year they gave out branded Buffs in addition to the t-shirt; another year they gave out branded winter hats in addition to the t-shirt), there has been a marked change in pricing (from one flat rate to incremental pricing based on your date of registration), a marked uptick in pushing the charity angle (the 8K Charity entry, where you pay full price for the race, but part of your registration fee is donated to one of the race’s charities), a marked change in convenience (the ability to choose to have your packet mailed to you to avoid having to attend packet pick-up), and a marked change in event offerings, period (a 2 mile, untimed walk in addition to the timed 8K race). None of this happened in 2013, and my suspicion is that it didn’t happen because it didn’t need to happen. The race seemed to be a self-sustaining entity, until suddenly it wasn’t, and suddenly marketing became a lot more important.

I am hardly the biggest cheerleader for RAM Racing, but here’s the thing: gimmicky, themed events are absolutely RAM’s thing. Cinco de Miler? Hot Chocolate? And it’s not like RAM doesn’t have experience putting on events similar to Shamrock’s current size. Last year’s Hot Chocolate in Chicago had 25,000+ finishers between the 15K and 5K. The Shuffle was just five runners shy of 20,000 finishers. You want to tell me the Shamrock Shuffle wouldn’t fit perfectly into that kind of portfolio?

I think the smartest thing the Bank of America could do would be to unload themselves of the Shamrock Shuffle, focus all of their efforts on growing the marathon instead, either in terms of participants or in terms of prize purse offerings (bigger prize purse=better elite gets) or both, and let RAM take the reins of the Shuffle. The Shuffle already draws a way different crowd than the marathon–it’s much, MUCH easier to do a casual 8K than a casual marathon, after all–and I think the people you’d risk losing by selling the event to RAM would be more than offset by the people you’d gain by selling the event to RAM. I also think RAM would have naturally lower expectations for the event–if they’re used to staging 25,000-person events, it stings a lot less to have 19,995 finishers than if you’re used to staging 40,000-person events–and would be perfectly happy with the current field size.

If this ends up happening some time in the future, I want a cut of the deal, since it was clearly my idea 😛

Did you watch the Super Bowl?


Garfield Park Conservatory

I accomplished a somewhat long-standing goal of mine on Saturday: go to the Garfield Park Conservatory during the winter. I visited the conservatory when I did my internship in Chicago in 2011, but hadn’t been back since I moved to the city after college. Two years ago, Erin posted about going to the conservatory to take pictures among greenery in the dead of a Chicago winter, and I was immediately inspired. It took me two years to actually act on said inspiration, but better late than never, right?


The Garfield Park Conservatory is really something. It opened 110 years ago as the brainchild of renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen with the intention of creating the largest public conservatory in the world. The design, featuring plants in landscape instead of lined up in pots, was a brand new idea at the time and made the conservatory a particularly unique place. Over a century later, I still think it’s particularly unique, if for no other reason than that it transports you to a totally different world right in the middle of the West Side.



The conservatory has eight rooms, each with a different theme: ferns, palms, aroids, and others. I particularly enjoyed the Show House, which featured so many beautiful flowers (though I’m sure it will soon feature even more: a spring flower show starts on Saturday and runs through Mother’s Day.). The Sugar From the Sun room was also really cool. Many of the plants in that room grow food, like oranges, grapefruit, papaya, bananas, cinnamon, turmeric, coffee, and cocoa. Living in the Midwest, I’m pretty disconnected from how most of those things grow–as far as I’m concerned, they grow on the shelves at Jewel–so seeing them actually growing was awesome.

The Aroid House, unsurprisingly, had an abundance of aroids (I am more familiar with these as “church plants,” since one of the churches I regularly attended as a child had fake versions of these in the narthex year round, haha). On top of the aroids, this room also has a Chihuly glass installation (!!) in the pond.


The Desert House, as you may expect, features a ton of cacti and succulents. I really enjoyed the variety, from itty bitty little guys to towering plants. Several of the plants were flowering, and some of the flowers were so unique and different from what I expected.


The Horticulture Hall had Birds of Paradise, which I didn’t realize were plants and birds until Saturday. Both the flower version and the bird version (obviously not on display at a conservatory) are quite unique and beautiful, though I’m guessing the plant, being a plant, doesn’t have as elaborate courtship habits as the bird 😛


The Horticulture Hall also has a beautiful Moroccan fountain, gifted to the City of Chicago by Casablanca.


The Fern Room is the literal centerpiece of the conservatory, being that it’s in the middle of the building. If you’re looking for heat and humidity during a cold and dry Chicago winter, this is the place to be. It was STEAMY in there, but also so green and so lush and so worth it.


The Garfield Park Conservatory is free to visit, and even though this post admittedly sounds a bit review-y, no one asked me to go and write about it (I just had too many pictures I wanted to show off to squeeze this into a Thursday Things post, so it gets its own shoutout 😛 ). I really, really needed a respite from winter, and a couple hours at the conservatory proved to be just what the doctor perhaps would’ve ordered if I had complained about my need to see the color green again without having to travel far. The conservatory has a parking lot, but it’s also immediately off the Green Line–really, the stop is called Conservatory. You can’t miss it.–so even though it’s a bit west, it’s perfectly easy to access. If you, too, are tired of winter, I can’t recommend an afternoon at the conservatory enough.


Have you ever been to the Garfield Park Conservatory?

Thursday Things

1. Things are slowly starting to improve in the wisdom teeth department, though not in quite as linear or predictable of a fashion as I had hoped. Last Friday, my left socket really bothered me after cleaning it after breakfast. It was the first time ibuprofen didn’t eliminate my pain, and by Friday evening, it had migrated up into my left temple. It was, truly, some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I don’t get migraines, but I have to imagine what I felt was similar to what migraine sufferers feel. I felt like someone was pounding a gigantic nail into my head, and even the prescription-strength ibuprofen couldn’t take the tiniest bit of the edge off.

I called the dentist Saturday morning to inform them of my condition, and they told me to come in that afternoon. The dentist took a look at my mouth and said everything appeared to be healing normally–she didn’t see any sign of infection, and new tissue was growing where it should be, so no bone was exposed (the condition required for it to be a dry socket). Regardless, she rinsed it out with medicated wash and then filled it with a medicated packing. Guys, GAME CHANGER. The packing, which included eugenol, solved all of my pain problems like that *snaps*. For the first time in a week, I forgot to take my ibuprofen, because my mouth didn’t hurt. It was a miracle! Why didn’t they put that in there to begin with?!

Sunday continued along in a similar vein, and I was pleased as could be…until late Sunday afternoon, when the eugenol packing started to wear off, and I was in increasingly worse pain for the remainder of the day and Monday morning. Fortunately things calmed down a bit, at least in the pain department, starting around Monday afternoon.

I mention all of this not just for the sake of documenting my recovery process, but to highlight what has, without question, been the most difficult part of this entire experience for me: the need to take pain medication. Even though I very, very strongly believe in a science-backed approach to medicine, I am also very, very hesitant to take actual medication, except under the most necessary of circumstances. I hate it, especially when the medicine primarily exists to manage or minimize symptoms rather than manage or minimize the condition. (Though to ibuprofen’s credit, it does minimize inflammation, so it did double duty for me in this case.)

The reason why I hate taking medicine is because, much like anti-smoking ads I saw on TV as a child convinced me that smoking would absolutely kill me, the side effects list on medications send me into such an anxious spiral that, unless I genuinely need to take the medicine to survive or function, I would rather just wait out whatever is ailing me. And yes, I understand that your chances of getting lung cancer or heart disease from smoking are much, much higher than your chances of encountering the worst of the side effects for any medicine, and I also understand that the side effects listed include just about every single possible thing that could ever happen as a result of taking the medication so that the manufacturer won’t get in trouble for not telling you something could happen if something does happen, but knowing that and believing that are two wildly different things for my anxious, hypochondriac mind.

I eventually got so anxious about taking so much ibuprofen for so many consecutive days that I decided to switch over to Tylenol. That was all well and good for three hours, until, in an effort to understand how acetaminophen works, I Googled it–and I swear on everything important to me, I only Googled it because I was, really, truly, genuinely curious how it works–and of course was stupid enough to click on the Adverse Effects section of the Wikipedia article. There, I became wholly convinced that I would come down with a terrifying, potentially fatal skin condition that, according to the FDA, happened to 67 people between 1969 and 2012 (that averages to 1.5 people per year) who took acetaminophen. The fact that 1) millions upon millions of people take acetaminophen and do not get this condition, 2) the condition is most often caused by drugs I have never even come close to being prescribed, never mind heard of, and 3) of the roughly 300 Americans who come down with the condition annually (.0001% of the population), only 1.5 of them come down with the condition as a result of acetaminophen, did little to quell my fears. So if I’m concerned over something I have astronomically low odds of getting, hopefully you can begin to grasp the crushing anxiety I have about experiencing side effects that are much more likely to happen, and, consequently, why I have so much anxiety about taking medicine that isn’t necessary for survival, and, consequently, why taking pain medication, even non-narcotic pain medication, has been a huge struggle for me in the mental health department after a procedure that in and of itself was ALREADY a huge struggle for me in the mental health department.

2. As I alluded to in last week’s Thursday Things, I got a tetanus shot earlier this month, and that experience could’ve gone much better.

I had had my last tetanus shot in May of 2008, so I wasn’t sure if my doctor would think I needed on in January of 2018, or if I’d be able to delay it until January of 2019, since it hadn’t technically been 10 years yet. Apparently, almost 10 years was close enough, so I put on a brave face and got my Tdap booster at my annual physical. While I wouldn’t say getting the shot was a fun experience, I’ve also been through much worse. My arm felt fine for the remainder of the day, and I didn’t think much of it.

The following day, however, was a very different story. My arm was SO sore when I woke up Tuesday morning–sore to the point where putting on clothes was a hassle–and by mid-morning, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I had a headache, I was nauseous, I was dead tired, and I was cold. None of these symptoms are abnormal after getting a tetanus shot, so I didn’t think much of it, either. I went to therapy, went to dance, and went straight to bed without showering that night (real life, folks).

I felt much better Wednesday morning, though my arm was still smarting. I went to the gym after work, did some strength training, and came home to shower. While scrub-a-dubbing, I rotated my left arm and noticed a HUGE red patch on it, from where I assumed I received the injection extending about two and a half inches down my upper arm and getting to be about an inch and a half wide. I had a somewhat similar reaction to the flu shot in 2016, figured this was just a normal reaction, and went about my evening.

I had to go back to the doctor on Thursday for another blood draw, and while I was there, I became increasingly panicked about this gigantic red blob on my arm. I took a picture of it and texted it to my second-favorite medical resource (after Google), my mom, who pointed out that since I was at the doctor, couldn’t I ask someone there to look at it? Good point. I saw one of the nurses, and as soon as she felt the red area and noticed it was warm, she was all, “Oh, that’s not good. I’m going to get someone else to look at this.” I then saw the PA, who, after determining that my temperature was normal, suspected I was having an allergic reaction to the shot, told me to take Zyrtec, and said that I would need to visit an allergist before I get another tetanus shot. Fabulous.

In my uneducated opinion, I don’t think my allergy is to the tetanus shot, or at least not the tetanus toxoid (or diphtheria or pertussis toxoids, for that matter). When I got my flu shot in 2016–the first injected flu shot I had had since I fainted after one in 2010–I had an almost identical reaction to the one I got from the tetanus shot: a large, warm red patch (though the one from the 2016 flu shot wasn’t as large) that extended down from the injection site and lingered for a few days after the shot. Since the flu shot contains the flu virus and, I would hope, no tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis, and the Tdap shot contains tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and, I would suspect, no flu viruses, I feel like my allergy/overreaction/whatever it is isn’t to the active ingredient in either of those vaccines. I suspect that one of the many inactive ingredients that goes into the vaccine is angering my arm. Based on the CDC’s list of inactive ingredients in vaccines, there are three inactive ingredients that appear in at least one of the two available versions of Tdap and at least one of the five gazillion flu shots, so that’s what I suspect, but I’m not an allergist, so what do I know?

For those of you keeping score at home: obviously this entire tetanus shot reaction situation was wildly anxiety provoking for me, your local hypochondriac. So when you combine my tetanus shot anxiety (Jan. 16-19) with my wisdom teeth anxiety (technically Dec. 13-Jan. 20, but especially Jan. 12-20) with my medicine-taking anxiety (Jan. 20-present), you can see that, at the most generous, I have been existing in a unrelenting state of heightened anxiety (that is, even more anxious than I am by default) for nearly three straight weeks now, and if you think that’s taking a toll on me, ding ding ding! You are the winner! I’ve survived anxious seasons of life before, and I assume I’ll survive this one as well (“assume” rather than “know” because since all of this anxiety has been rooted in health-related issues, it’s been hard to believe that I am not at all moments teetering on the precipice of premature death), but having been anxious for long periods of time before doesn’t make being anxious for a long period of time right now any easier. It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating, it’s discouraging, it’s depressing, and I can’t even put into words how desperately I want to have my normal self back.

3. In non-medical news, guess what! My sister ran her first ever half marathon last Saturday, and I’m just as proud as can be 🙂

My sister has been an on-again, off-again casual runner for probably eight years or so now–she ran her first 5K before I started running at all–and late last year, texted me to ask if I’d run a half marathon with her in January. I had to say no for a variety of reasons–PTO considerations, knowing that committing to a January half marathon would mean absolutely no breaks in training between February 2017 and December 2018, which, considering how tapped out I was on running by December 2017, didn’t seem like the wisest idea, and, ultimately, getting my wisdom teeth out a week before her race–but it absolutely killed me to say no. We had initially talked about doing this in 2016 (I actually ended up running F3 that year because she decided she wasn’t ready to do a half marathon after I had already started training), and I hated that I couldn’t be there to run the race with her. I did make her a sign and mailed it to her, though, so at least I was there in spirit.

I honestly think I’m prouder of my sister for running a half marathon than I’ve ever been of myself for running any race of any distance. I took up running after being heavily exposed to the running world through an internship, so I knew the tricks of the trade before getting into it–the importance of fueling, how to buy shoes, what kind of clothes to wear, etc. My sister went in almost entirely blind and had to figure out everything as she went along, which really put into perspective how many things I take for granted when it comes to running. For instance, at one point during training, she was telling me how discouraged she was at how her progress had plateaued. In the beginning, she had been able to add distance every week, but at that point in training, she wasn’t able to run more than six or seven miles without needing a walk break. There’s nothing wrong with a run/walk method for long distance running, of course, but since it seemed to be upsetting her, I asked her if she was eating anything during her runs. She looked at me like I had two heads. She had NO IDEA that it’s totally normal to consume easily digestible carbs while running (which I suspected, because I can’t go more than six miles without needing to fuel–I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to go for a seven mile run without fuel, only to fade HARD during the last mile). I gave her some of my Honey Stingers and some Sport Beans, and they made a big difference! When she complained about chafing and I asked if she had been using Body Glide, she responded that she “didn’t even know that was a thing,” so I gave her a spare stick of that, too. Just all these little things that, like I said, I totally take for granted, having been immersed in the running world before I ever started running. I’m really proud of her for sticking with it, and I’m glad to have another half marathoner in the family 🙂

Thursday Things

1. Hello, world! I’m coming to you half as wise as the last time we spoke. Two of my wisdom teeth came out on Saturday, and I have (so far) lived to tell the tale. I spend most of my days assuming that death by means ripped straight from a tabloid headline is right around the corner, and having surgery on my mouth obviously has not assuaged that fear at all. But at this point I’m still alive, so yay!

2. As I mentioned literally two sentences ago, I opted to only have two of my wisdom teeth removed. The stress of, “what if?” in regards to my top wisdom teeth and the risk of sinus perforation, combined with the absolute lack of information I had about my oral surgeon (more on that later), just felt like too much for me to handle, especially when you consider that the top wisdom teeth haven’t given me any grief up to this point anyway. Only one of my four wisdom teeth has ever given me any grief, so even getting the two removed felt excessive, since only one was an actual problem. I had my annual physical two Mondays ago, as I mentioned last week, and while I was there, bemoaning my upcoming wisdom teeth extraction to my doctor, she recommended me to an oral surgeon who is both a DDS and an MD (O.O That is SO. MUCH. SCHOOL. Four years of undergrad, plus four years of dental school, plus four years of medical school, PLUS, according to this guy’s bio, SIX YEARS in residency! So much school.). Given the potentially complicated nature of my upper wisdom teeth, I’d prefer to go to someone who not only knows about mouths, but also knows about sinuses, if I need those ones out. I was going to try to get in with him for a consultation before Saturday, but he didn’t have any opening for weeks, so that was unfortunately a no-go. Anyway, he’s on my radar for a consultation maybe sometime later this year. In the mean time, I was only comfortable getting my bottom wisdom teeth out, which I made quite clear to everyone in the office on Saturday.

3. The procedure itself, at least from my unconscious perspective, was infinitely simpler than I anticipated. I had never been under any kind of anesthesia before, not even Novocaine, so I guess I didn’t really know what to expect, but–and I realize this sounds stupid, but it’s true–I didn’t expect to be so unconscious. After they brought me back to where they’d take my teeth out, the nurse took my blood pressure (a sky high 140/100, compared to the 110/80 I had been at the doctor five days before–told you I was anxious), they inserted the IV (another new experience – I had never had one of those before. Though, after all the poking I went through last week, it wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I anticipated), they leaned me all the way back in the chair, my throat got a funny feeling in it, and the next thing I knew, I was semi-conscious and talking. It was all so bizarre. Coming off the anesthesia reminded me a bit of what it’s like to wake up from fainting (three time pro at that over here *brushes shoulder off*), except, somehow, less disorienting. When I’ve regained consciousness after fainting, it starts out with me feeling like I’m in a dream-like state where I can hear what’s going on around me, but I’m too tired to actually respond to it, and I’m not even entirely comprehending what’s happening–like I can hear people saying my name, but I don’t know where they are, where I am, or why they’re saying it. Then I wake up, drenched in a cold sweat, totally disoriented, and am basically useless for the rest of the day. This was a lot like that, except I did remember that I was at the dentist, and it was substantially less jarring to wake up. I was in an absolutely fabulous mood coming off anesthesia, and was talking to the nurses before I was even aware that I was talking to them. I actually woke up to myself talking. It was such a strange experience. I felt like I was thinking clearly, like my head didn’t feel fuzzy or clouded or anything weird like that at all, but I also felt so silly, for lack of a better term, like I was drunker than I’ve ever been in my entire life (not that that would take much). I had spent most of Friday listening to the soundtrack from The Greatest Showman and part of Saturday morning before going to the dentist watching behind the scenes videos on YouTube from the movie (which is kind of weird, because if I’m being honest, I really didn’t think the movie was that great. I thought the pacing was all off, the whole thing felt way too rushed, and–and maybe this is just because I’m particularly fond of through-sung musicals, like Hamilton or Les Mis or Phantom–so much of the musical part of it just seemed awkward. It made perfectly good sense when there was singing and dancing during the shows, but then since they did it in “real life” too, it was just…awkward. So yeah, I wasn’t much of a fan of the movie, but the music is really catchy.), so, despite not liking the movie all that much, I definitely had Broadway on the brain when I was coming to post-op. I very clearly remember declaring to the nurses that I want to be on Broadway someday (which is true, but only in the same way that I want to, like, be an Olympian or win the Boston Marathon or something. It’s a nice thought, but I’m definitely not quite there in the talent department 😛 ), and I also remember trying to explain how I didn’t get to see Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen in October, but that was hard to verbalize when I was so loopy. Eventually, the nurses decided they didn’t need to hear about my Broadway ambitions anymore and rolled me out into the waiting room to meet up with my ride, who had the great pleasure of being subjected to my mouth-full-of-gauze renditions of The Greatest Showman songs, my declarations that I “just wanna DANCE!” followed by rationalization that even though I couldn’t stand up, I could dance in a chair, and my proclamation that the Sears Tower is an “architectural wonder.” So the good news is, even when I’m high as a kite on anesthesia, I am apparently still on brand (though I didn’t mention birds at all. For shame!).

4. Speaking of all of this whole anesthesia experience: the receptionist at the dentist mentioned that post-op patients are either usually zombies, bawling their eyes out, or chatty when they’re coming off anesthesia. I ABSOLUTELY expected to be a crier, so it was a huge surprise to me that I was a chatterbox instead. Although the more I thought about it, the same thing happens to me if you put more than one alcoholic beverage in me in the space of like five hours, so perhaps chattiness is just how I respond to being uninhibited. Despite my ability to ramble on and on on the blog, I’m usually not that chatty in real life unless I know you well. Apparently sobriety is the only thing that keeps that in check for me, haha.

5. The recovery experience, thus far, has not been my favorite life moment to date. I haven’t felt like my pain is unmanageable–the prescription-strength ibuprofen I got has been doing the trick quite nicely–but everything else that goes along with this has just made me miserable. I didn’t get sutures, which means I have two gaping holes in the back of my mouth where my teeth used to be. Those will fill in with time, but not nearly enough time has passed yet, and they’re driving me up a freaking wall. I can’t eat anything without food getting stuck in them, which isn’t painful, but it’s such a hassle to have to flush them out after every. single. meal. On top of that, I’m also doing salt water rinses–not really sure if I need to still be doing those, but they make me feel better about keeping my mouth clean, so I’m still doing them–after every meal, and it’s all such a nuisance that I don’t even want to eat because of how much work I know I’m going to have to go through afterwards. My lack of interest in eating obviously hasn’t done me many favors in the energy department. On Monday, in fact, I could barely sit up in the afternoon, I had so little energy and strength. A bowl of Jello and glass of V8 Fusion fixed that immediately, so clearly it was a calorie issue, but man, I just hate this. I hate feeling like I have to chew my food with my front teeth, I hate only being able to eat soft foods, I hate having holes in my mouth, and I hate being so damn tired all the time. I originally hoped to go back to work on Tuesday, which definitely didn’t happen, then thought I’d go back for a half day on Wednesday but wasn’t able to get myself to the CTA that day, either. Hmph. I know my limited caloric intake holds a lot of responsibility for my fatigue, but I haven’t been sleeping very well, either. It’s taking me way, way longer than usual to fall asleep, and once I do fall asleep, I’ve been averaging about 8 percent of my night in deep sleep, according to my Fitbit. Even considering that Fitbits are hardly super accurate medical devices, I usually spend somewhere between 18 and 22 percent of my night in deep sleep, so I’m clearly not getting the rest I’m used to. I knew it would take time for all of this to heal, but since all of my previous healing experiences have been limited to healing from minor illnesses, where it takes 24-48 hours to notice major improvement, this is uncharted territory for me. And I hate it.

6. I got my wisdom teeth taken out by an oral surgeon affiliated with my dentist’s office, and let me tell you, if I could go back in time and do it all over again, I 100 percent would not have gone that route. I thought it would be simpler to keep everything in-house, and maybe it was from a coordinating standpoint, but I was #notimpressed with the entire process. When I went to the dentist in December to get a scan done prior to scheduling my extraction, they sat me down with one of the dentists in the practice I had never spoken to before (not the oral surgeon), who reviewed my images with me, recommended that I get all four teeth out with the caveat that there were additional risks for the top two that I could discuss with the oral surgeon day-of, and then was handed off to some woman who talked–TALKED–me through my pre-surgery prep, even though my surgery wouldn’t take place for another five weeks. I have no idea who this woman was–is she a hygienist? A dentist? Just a random person who needed a job and happened to get one at my detinst’s office?–and I wasn’t given any warning that the information she was giving to me 1) would only be delivered to me once and 2) would only be delivered verbally. I didn’t get any paperwork, no handy, “This is what you need to do to prepare” pamphlet that I could refer to closer to my appointment. Plus, she was just not a friendly person, which I realize is maybe fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but her harsh “bedside manner,” if you will, was offputting. I then had absolutely zero communication from the dentist until 48 hours before my appointment, where another random person–again, not the oral surgeon, or even the dentist–went through a couple, but not all, of the things the first random woman had told me back in December. No one even told me the name of the oral surgeon. Wtf?!? When I showed up to the dentist on Saturday, I had to sign my life away and then pay before my appointment, which was fine, except that my charges were for getting four wisdom teeth removed, and I hadn’t had any opportunity to talk to the oral surgeon about the top two like the dentist has initially implied. So I told the receptionist I was only consenting to the removal of my bottom two, and then had to relay that information to the oral surgeon myself! And if I hadn’t, I’m sure he would’ve taken out all four teeth! There was no consultation, no introduction, nothing. And frankly, his bedside manner left a lot to be desired, too. He was just as brusque and no-nonsense as the woman who talked me through the pre-op procedures in December. Maybe he was going for professionalism or something, but for God’s sake, man, my blood pressure and heart rate stats were right there. It doesn’t take someone with an advanced degree to look at those numbers and deduce that I was anxious af and maybe, JUST MAYBE, could’ve used a little kindness in that moment. They did have the courtesy to send me home with a one pager about post-op care, but when I received a follow-up call on Monday afternoon I was, once again, just talking to the office’s receptionist, not the surgeon or even one of the dentists. I had a bad reaction to a tetanus shot I got last week–another story for another blog post–and my doctor, the ACTUAL DOCTOR–not a receptionist, not a nurse, not the office’s medical assistant–took two minutes out of her evening on Friday to call me to see how I was doing. The reaction I had to the tetanus shot, though not enjoyable, was HARDLY as traumatic from a physical standpoint as getting two teeth ripped out of your skull. If my primary care physician, who almost certainly has a higher patient load in a week than my oral surgeon, can find time to call me, I don’t think it’s unreasonable of me to expect SOMEONE with a dental degree to follow up with me after SURGERY. But no, apparently that was too much to ask of my dentist’s office. While I haven’t been particularly unimpressed with them from a routine dental work standpoint, I absolutely would not use my dentist’s office for any oral surgery needs ever again.

Thursday Things

1. I feel like I’m being a bad blogger by only posting once a week instead of my usual twice per week. I just haven’t had anything additional to say, and I don’t really feel like forcing myself to come up with content just for the sake of having content. This is what I like about marathon season: built in content. I suppose I could do training recaps all year if I’m that concerned about it (though lately, I wouldn’t have much to tell you about, other than that I’m making a lot of progress on Yoga with Adriene. I came down with a cold last week and wanted to get over it ASAP to be back to normal (at least in that department) before my wisdom teeth extraction this Saturday, so I thought it’d be in my best interest to back off in the workout department to encourage my body to heal itself.)

2. While we’re talking about medicine, I would like to subject you to my latest source of frustration: the “optional” health screening required by my employer.

I get an annual physical every year, because I am a responsible adult an anxious mess of a human who is constantly convinced that she is teetering on the precipice of sudden death, despite being fairly healthy in general, an having a medical professional tell me that all is well quells that anxiety for approximately 34 minutes. Point is: it’s not hard to get me into a doctor’s office. I would actually argue that it’s harder to keep me out of a doctor’s office (#anxietyproblems). But, because I am probably in the minority of people who stick to a physical schedule with admirable (?) rigidity, my employer/health insurance provider/corporate wellness program organizer find it necessary to coerce me and my coworkers into an annual health screening.

This screening requires a medically trained professional to take your blood pressure, your height, your waist circumference, and–and here’s where it gets sticky (puns) for me–your cholesterol, your glucose, and your nicotine status, all of which MUST come from a blood test, which MUST take place via venipuncture. Because this is “optional,” you do, technically, have the choice to refuse the health screening. However, if you choose to not participate in this health screening, my employer will punish you by charging you $925 more annually for your health insurance premium. So sure, legally, technically, officially, it’s optional, but when nearly $1000 is on the line, is it really optional? No, it is not.

To accommodate this option requirement, my employer provides onsite screenings. This is all well and good if you’re someone who’s able to maintain consciousness when needles are involved. Since I am not that person, I have to take care of all of this in the doctor’s office, where I am then responsible for all the costs incurred for the appointment. When I went to the doctor to have all this done on Monday, the doctor forgot to order the nicotine test (shocking, that she wouldn’t automatically think to do that for a patient who has never so much as touched a cigarette in her entire life /sarcasmfont), so now I have to go back to the doctor AGAIN to have my blood drawn AGAIN to avoid paying $925 extra on my health insurance this year.

I am not thrilled 😐

3. While I’m in a complain-y mood, I would also like to vent my frustrations at Amazon. Super uplifting day on the blog over here!

On Cyber Monday, I ordered three Christmas presents from Amazon: a ceramic planter and two books. I don’t have Prime, so I patiently waited for my packages to arrive as scheduled the following Friday. Throughout the day on that Friday, I got a few emails warning me that something had gone wrong with my delivery, and that Saturday, learned that the delivery had never taken place at all due to a shipping issue (that issue, as I later learned, was that the ceramic planter had broke in transit. How THAT happened, given how its replacement was packed, I’ll never know, but whatever. Amazon said it broke.). Amazon told me to contact their customer support to remedy the situation, so I did that right away Saturday morning. I was issued a refund for the broken planter, and the two books were reshipped to me. I reordered the ceramic planter and went on with my life.

On Christmas Eve, I received an email from Amazon warning me that I only had a couple weeks left to return the two books from the initial order, or else I’d be charged for them. This was concerning, particularly because I had never received the two books from the initial order in the first place. To my understanding, based on the tracking information associated with my initial order, all three items from the initial order were sent back to Amazon a week after Cyber Monday. The two books I ended up getting were sent in a different order that Amazon created on my behalf to get me the books I paid for. The initial order, including those two books, was never even dropped off. So I contacted Amazon, told them all of this, and they said to not worry about the email I received on Christmas Eve. I, once again, went on with my life.

Then this past Saturday, I received another email from Amazon telling me that since I had never returned the two books from the initial order, they were charging me for them effective immediately. I. Was. FURIOUS. Where on earth did they get off, accusing me of “not returning the order” that was never delivered to me in the first place?!?!?! My outrage only grew when I went back to customer support, and the person assigned to my customer support chat had the gall to tell me that the two books I had received were sent as a replacement to make up for what happened with the first books–which is all well and good, but the fact remained that I was now being charged for FOUR books, when in reality I had only EVER seen TWO of them.

I did eventually get my money back, but man, what a long, drawn out hassle, all over a problem that Amazon created for itself in the first place when THEIR delivery person somehow break a planter that was packed so tightly I had a hard time extracting it from its box to make sure it was what I wanted before gifting it. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of Amazon–I just feel much more confident buying directly from a retailer I know is reputable instead of hoping I’m buying from a decent dealer on Amazon–and let me tell you, this did NOT help matters AT ALL. I have a feeling it’ll be awhile until I buy anything from Amazon again.

4. In less whiny news, I am the proud new owner of ALL OF THE SHOES. Well, maybe not all of the shoes. But all of the shoes I needed to replace.

We have this thing at work where when managers are happy with something you’ve done, they can reward you points, which you can then use to get stuff–basically like credit card rewards, but without the spending-money-via-your-credit-card part of the equation. It occurred to me that I had points stored up in the system and that I probably had enough to get a gift card or two that could go to my shoe-buying needs. Lo and behold, I did!

I was delighted to discover that L.L. Bean had boots on sale (since L.L. Bean has such a generous return policy, I figured they were a safe bet in that department) and that Nike had their 2017 Frees on sale, so between the gift cards I could get from work’s system and the sales, I ended up spending a lot less of my own money than I originally anticipated.


While the boots have been great from a warmth/dryness standpoint, they are definitely taking some getting used to. The leather uppers don’t come pre-broken in, so they’re breaking my calves in the meantime. The boots have been way too stiff against my legs and have really irritated my lower legs. I’m sure once I break them in that won’t happen anymore, but the process of breaking them in is proving to be a bit more uncomfortable than I had hoped!

The Nikes, on the other hand, are a rousing success.


I really wanted them in this color, but they didn’t have any in my size online when I bought them (they do now, of course). These at least are still a little purple, even if they’re not OMGPURPLE like I wanted. Anyway, these are the Free RN Flyknit 2017s (I got the running Frees as opposed to the training Frees because they were cheaper…no shame), and they’ve worked excellently for both dance and a strength training workout thus far.

How should I spend my down time after I get my wisdom teeth out? Totally unrelated to this post, but this upcoming wisdom teeth extraction is about all I can think about, so here we are.

Thursday Things

1. I only have nine days of wisdom left.

Mark your calendars, because my wisdom teeth come out on January 20, and, in the least surprising turn of events of all time, I’m already freaking out about the whole thing, and I do mean the whole thing. I’m freaked out about not being able to eat or drink anything for six hours prior to my appointment (especially the “drink anything” part of the equation), I’m freaked out about being put under anesthesia, I’m freaked out about recovery, AND, in case all of that wasn’t enough, I’m freaked out about having to make a decision about what’s going to happen in the first place.

I went to the dentist in December for a scan that would give the oral surgeon a better idea of where my wisdom teeth are and where my nerves are to hopefully reduce the likelihood of nerve injury (which I am, nevertheless, convinced is going to happen anyway). That scan revealed that while I do have four wisdom teeth, my two top wisdom teeth are so close to my sinuses that I have a risk for sinus perforation should I choose to have those two removed. My top wisdom teeth are so far up in my head that they haven’t even begun to break through my gums and aren’t bothering me at all, so if there’s a risk for additional bodily harm by removing them, it seems to make the most sense to just leave them alone, right?

Wrong. Well, it does, but the problem with leaving them alone is that neither my oral surgeon nor I are psychics, and thus can’t divine what will happen with those teeth in the future. They could just stay exactly where they are, allowing me to go about my life unbothered. They could continue to grow, becoming more entangled with the nerves in the area, making extraction even more difficult in the future (plus I’d be older, which in and of itself makes your recovery more difficult). They could develop into cysts, which would also require future removal.

Ultimately, the decision is mine. The oral surgeon won’t take out my top wisdom teeth if I tell him not to. The dentist recommended I get them out, with the caveat that 1) the oral surgeon might have a different opinion and 2) I was free to disregard their medical advice if I so chose (right, because that definitely makes it sounds optional *rolls eyes*). Even if the oral surgeon does recommend that I get them out, I don’t know that I’ll believe him. I’m extremely skeptical of dentists and their reputation for upselling, and frankly rarely trust a dental professional to make a recommendation purely in my best interest when they stand to make a lot of pocket change from that recommendation. I already have a cost estimate for the extraction, which clearly shows that each–each–top wisdom tooth is worth over $700 (while the bottom teeth are worth closer to $600 each). How am I supposed to trust someone to give me sound medical advice when over $1400 for him is on the line? It reminds me so much of when I went through the whole orthodontia rigamarole as a kid. The orthodontist insisted I needed the whole nine yards–expanders, retainers, braces, and then more retainers–to have healthy, happy teeth as an adult. After going through the expander/retainer piece of the equation, one of his assistants, apparently the altruistic person in the office, told my parents during a consultation that they were welcome to spend $3000 on braces for me, but I definitely didn’t need them and would survive just fine without them. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t end up getting braces, and presumably, the orthodontist office had to wait for the next schmuck to come along to get enough money to upgrade the Gameboys (what’s up, 1998) they had at every single seat in the clinic (true story) or finance his kid’s education at the most expensive, uppity-ist private school in town (another true story) or pay for the massive salt water fish tank they had in the waiting room (a third true story). (Perhaps the lesson to be learned here is that I should steer clear of dental professionals who are all aboard the conspicuous consumption train, she thought to herself as she considered how her current dentist’s office reeks of trendiness and curated aesthetics. *headdesk*)

Even taking the top teeth conundrum out of the equation, I’m still terrified that something is going to go very, very wrong during this. Yes, I know people get their wisdom teeth taken out every day and don’t die during the procedure, or soon after the procedure, or from an infection they acquire as a result of the procedure, or don’t have to live their life with excruciating nerve pain or other devastating side effects after the procedure, but just because plenty of people get through this in one piece does not at all reassure me that I’m going to get through this in one piece, especially since I’m not 17 like everyone else who gets their wisdom teeth out. I know I’m probably being irrational, but I don’t feel like I’m being irrational. I just hate the whole situation 😦

2. Now, I’m just going out on a limb here, but I think my phone may not be the best device to use as a level.



I changed out some framed pictures on Monday and had the genius idea to use the level function on my phone to make sure they hung straight. I thought the frames looked a little off kilter when I was trying to arrange them so that my phone would tell me they were level, but I know sometimes it’s hard to see if frames are straight when you’re right next to them, so I figured that was the problem. Nope! Haha.

It occurred to me later that the level might’ve worked better if I had taken my phone out of its case before I tried to use it, but by that point I had already used my eyes to put the frames back to normal anyway. Should’ve just trusted myself to begin with.

3. My 10 year high school reunion is this weekend, and I’m being a chump and not going.

I have many mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it doesn’t make sense for me to go. The reunion is on a Friday, which would mean I’d have to take time off work: an idea that did not thrill me, since I can think of other ways I’d rather spend my PTO than by hanging out with a bunch of people I didn’t want to hang out with 10 years ago, never mind now. I have to be back in Chicago on Sunday morning, so it’d have to be a ridiculously quick trip back to Michigan. I just traveled my eyes out two weeks ago, including a stop in Michigan, and really have no desire to pack up my suitcase again to go back home again. I keep in semi-regular touch with exactly one person from high school who I saw when I was home two weeks ago. Additionally, the girl in charge of organizing the event is friends with the girl I’m still friends with but is not (and never was) friends with me, so even if I went to hang out with my one remaining friend from high school, the entire night would that same stupid delicate song-and-dance I had to engage in every day in high school where I could only really hang out with my friend when she wasn’t with her other friends, and man, I am not 16 anymore and do not have time for that ish. I barely had time for it when I was 16, so I can most certainly assure you I don’t have time for it now.

On the other hand, the whole reason this reunion is happening when it’s happening is because my high school’s basketball team is playing our (their?) #1 rival that night, and between the girls game and boys game, they’ll be honoring the 2007-2008 boys basketball team (“my” team, if you will–the team my senior year), which won the state championship that year. Of course, that whole thing spiraled out of control: first it was the 07-08 boys basketball team, then it turned into the basketball team + the 2008 girls soccer team, which also won the state championship that year (fair enough), and then turned into the basketball team + the soccer team + the cheerleaders, for Lord only knows what reason. (Because their pom pom waving is what drove the boys basketball team to a state title? I’m not trying to knock the cheerleaders here, but this whole shindig was set up to recognize the people who won state championships, and the cheerleaders, who didn’t compete in ANYTHING, not even cheerleading competitions, most certainly did not win a state championship. If they’re getting recognized, how come I, a four year member of the pep band who never missed one single home game in my ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL CAREER, am not being recognized? Oh, right: because my trumpet playing didn’t win a state championship. And probably because the band director is a bit less obsessed with the illusion of high school greatness: a sentiment that most certainly cannot be applied to the cheerleading coach. High school, I tell ya.). Anyway, all of that nonsense aside, boys basketball games, particularly during my senior year, were the highlight of my entire high school career. I felt like almost all of my happiness from December through March hinged on how the basketball team performed, despite having no real ties to the team to speak of. Those games (and the outcome of those games) meant everything to me, so to not go back for a celebration of the one thing outside of my grades that I really cared about in high school feels weird, to say the least. But not weird enough to make me want to take time off for it, app.

Did you go to your high school reunion? Or would you go, if you haven’t had yours yet?

Thursday Things

1. Before flying off to Seattle for a few days last week, I went home to Michigan to celebrate Christmas with my family.


Lake Michigan, that snow-generating body of water, threw a bit of a monkey wrench in our usual Christmas celebrations. It started to snow on the way home from church on Christmas Eve morning (which, being the last Sunday in Advent, which just a regular, Advent-y, Sunday service, not a Christmas service) and didn’t stop snowing…ever. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true, but it didn’t really stop snowing until the night of Christmas Day. The snow wasn’t too bad on Christmas Eve, but it was really, really bad on Christmas morning. It was so bad, in fact, that we didn’t even make it to church that morning, which is absolutely, 100% unheard of in my family. The only things that ever kept us from church under any circumstance growing up were contagious illnesses or church itself cancelling the service, so to not go to church on Christmas of all days was A Big Deal. My mom’s church (the church we always go to on Christmas morning) now streams its services online, so we watched at home, but it definitely wasn’t the same.

Christmas itself was nice, though. Only one of my cousins and cousins-in-law weren’t able to make it (it was their year to spend Christmas with the cousin-in-law’s family), which was a pretty impressive turnout for us lately. Two of my three cousins lived abroad from 2015-2017 (one of them still does), so it’s been tough to get the entire family together for any occasion–in fact, I don’t remember the last time every single one of us was together for something. Regardless, it was really lovely to see the family that could make it, especially considering the snowstorm situation. The highlight of the get-together, other than seeing my family, of course, was that my aunt and uncle’s dog most unexpectedly decided that I was The Chosen One on Christmas. Their dog is obsessed with my aunt and usually never leaves her side, but on Christmas, she (the dog) jumped up onto my lap while we ate appetizers and didn’t leave until I kicked her off after we had finished opening presents a couple hours later–which I only did because I felt bad that everyone else was helping turn over the room from appetizers/present-opening to dinner while I was just sitting there with a dog on my lap. But it did make me feel pretty important 🙂

Now, however, I’ve been dealing with a shockingly strong case of post-Christmas blues. I never like the Christmas season ending, exactly, and taking down Christmas decorations is one of my least favorite things (not only because I don’t like how much work it is, but because I hate the end result: a boring, blah, unfestive living space. Putting up Christmas decorations is a lot of work, too, but at least you get something pretty out of it.), but man, this year has been rough. Like, crying-while-taking-the-ornaments-off-the-tree rough. I’m not really an OMG CHRISTMAS!!!!1!!1!! sort of person–Easter is by far my favorite holiday, in fact–but there’s just something about everything being over, especially after months of everything happening (going straight from my birthday to the marathon to Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s with barely a second to breathe), that really gets me down. I think part of what got to me so much this year was not being able to go to church on Christmas. Going to church is important to me, not so much from a piety standpoint, but more because it’s just one of those intrinsic parts of the rhythm of my week that makes me feel like myself–like going for a long run on a Saturday, or my lunchtime walks on weekdays. Obviously the benefits I get out of going to church are different than those I get from exercise, but it’s still a part of what I feel makes me who I am, so not going on one of the biggest days of the year, not getting to participate in all of that, felt, I guess, like training for the Chicago Marathon all the way up through the last run on the Thursday before the race and then not getting to do the race itself. And, much like the Chicago Marathon, there’s no “next week” for Christmas: I have to wait an entire year for it to come around again. I don’t know, maybe I’m being petty, but it was a big disappointment for me, and I think made me feel like I didn’t get the Christmas I had expected or was used to. So all of that, combined with the dread I feel of staring down a solid three months of grey and cold and gloom with no string of major events (birthday, marathon, et. al.) to look forward to until late April combined with knowing how winter usually affects me mentally (that is to say, not positively) really made it hard to see Christmas end this year. Just writing that makes me feel like I’m being childish, but it is what it is, I guess.

2. Speaking of Christmas, all of my family gatherings officially ended on Tuesday, when some family I wasn’t able to see during the holiday itself came to the city for a small Christmas get-together and a trip to the top of the Sears Tower. While I have been to the 99th floor of the Sears Tower before, I had never been to the Skydeck, so I was quite excited!


While the weather on Tuesday was fairly miserable from a temperature standpoint (it was -6 when I woke up), it was just about perfect from a visibility standpoint, which made for some awesome views from the 103rd floor.


I enjoyed going to the top of the Empire State Building when I visited New York in October, but I think I got more out of being at the top of the Sears Tower since I could actually identify things. I enjoyed putting on my wannabe Chicago Architecture Foundation volunteer hat and doing things like distinguishing between the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, identifying various downtown buildings, and pointing out a few easily identifiable suburbs, like Evanston and Oak Park. I kinda-ish found all of my Chicago residences, and I particularly enjoyed marveling at the planes flying into Midway, which were easy to follow across the lake and to the airport from the south side of the building. I also noticed a few O’Hare-destined planes flying over us on their way east to loop out over Lake Michigan before coming in to land at O’Hare, but the Midway planes were much easier to see.

I even went out onto the Ledge! I wasn’t really nervous about it at all until it was time to actually step out onto the glass, which was certainly stomach-churning. It was a cool experience, though, and I’m glad I did it.


3. Well, here we are again. Another few years have passed, and, like clockwork, my snow boots have sprung a leak.


Fortunately, I haven’t needed to wear my boots in actively snowy conditions yet this winter, so it hasn’t been too much of a problem thus far. But I’m sure I’ll need to trudge through unshoveled snow at some point, and then, having leaky boots will be a problem. So now I need new snow boots again, and I’m super annoyed by it. I decided to spring for expensive snow boots the last time I needed a new pair (my current pair), figuring that spending more on a name brand would yield better durability results than my usual method of spending as little as possible on whatever I could find at DSW. And while my boots did, technically, last longer than before, they only lasted three winters instead of two winters, which is hardly worth mentioning, especially when you consider that it snowed all of like three times last winter and I barely wore my boots at all. Regardless, if I’m going to spend close to $100 on footwear that only sees the light of day during five months of the year at the MOST, and only sees a lot of activity for three of those months, I expect them to last longer than three years!! I don’t see why that’s so much to ask! The Nike Frees that I complained about springing a leak last month have seen WAY more activity than my snow boots during the same amount of time, and while, yes, they did both end up with tears, at least the tears in my Frees 1) took a LOT longer to develop from a usage standpoint (I wear those shoes multiple times per week, often during high intensity activity that involves a lot of foot movement [like dance]) and 2) don’t complete negate the entire purpose of the shoe to begin with. The tears of my Frees are a little bit unsightly, but at least they still do their job of protecting my feet when I work out or walk. The whole point of snow boots is to make it safer and more comfortable to walk in the snow. A tear may not impact the safety aspect, but it most CERTAINLY impacts the comfort aspect. I don’t feel like it’s so much to ask that they manage to do their seasonal job for a long time without breaking 😡

Give me your very best snow boot recommendations. I will spare no expense (well, maybe not no expense, but any expense that’s like $150 or less) on boots, but only if they will LAST. My current pair are Kamik Brooklyn2’s, which clearly were not worth however much I spent on them if they could only make it three years. I’m not going to for style points here (then again, am I ever?): I want something black and classic that I can wear for the next decade in Chicago winter conditions. Help.
Have you ever been to the Sears Tower?