Archive for the ‘Chadslife’ Category:

End of Summer

What an awesome summer.  My first one in Chicago, and it went by so fast and kept me so busy I didn’t have time to write any blog posts.  ’twas full of chicago biking, sunshine, friends, and music – my favorite things.  I also worked on some good projects, and met many cool people.  Besides Chicago, I took a few roadtrips around the midwest, ventured to NYC by train, Atlanta by plane, and spent almost a month in California and Nevada.

Chicago Corner Farm

One of the biggest things I did this year was help start a community garden.  Shayna wanted to grow plants for making fiber, and she found a couple other locals, Noah and Margaret, who were looking to start a garden.  With some grant money from Shayna’s school and a lot of hard work, we cleared land, built some beds, and planted many edibles, a few ornamentals (flowers and such), and fibers for making paper.  We busted our ass on the weekends in the beginning, but was definitely worth it.  I enjoyed being outside, working with my hands, meeting neighbors, and of course eating tomatoes, basil, and other herbs and vegetables.  We also made a smaller garden in our backyard, too, with our upstairs neighbor, Andy.  You can read more on the website Shayna and I put together – chadnorwood.comC/a>.

Chicago Critical Mass, May 2009

Summer had a cold start this year.  In fact, I think we only turned on the AC once this whole summer.   But that didn’t stop us from having lots of fun.  I already blogged about Indiana Dunes camping, but we also started out in may doing the Chicago critical mass bike ride.  I spent way more time on my bike than in a car, bus, or train .. the way life should be.  Chicago makes it easy – it’s flat and its never too cold at night. We rode to brunch, to the beach, downtown, to bars .. I even rode over 10 miles home at 4am from the south side of Chicago. I also rode crazy bikes at the Tour De Fat festival sponsored by Fat Tire beer.

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Speaking of festivals .. Chicago wins.  Every weekend, all summer long, there are several street festivals in various neighborhoods throughout Chicago.  Blues festivals, House music festivals, Irish/Scottish/German/Polish Festivals, Beer Festivals, Ribs Fest, Wings, Taste of Chicago (biggest one ever), and the list goes on.  Chicago city law requires them all to be free, but they usually ask for $5 or $10 donation.  They always have street vendors – food, shirts, art, etc.  They usually have 2-5 stages where bands, djs, or somebody performs.  And the people go nuts if the weather is beautiful – unlike California, rainy days will keep you inside, but that makes the sunny days even more precious.

We also enjoyed many visitors – especially our SF friends !! Juan, Jason, Damian, Ramon, and Monica came out for a weekend making me feel at home.  We showed them the beautiful Millenium Park, the view from the top of the Hancock tower (2nd tallest bldg in chicago), the beach, summer street festivals, and chicago deep dish pizza.  A month or so later Checkoway visited and we had a similar experience – drinks, tall buildings, beach, and enjoying friends.

Shayna and I also loved the scenic and surprisingly comfortable 20 hour train to NYC for a wedding of an old friend, Sarah Bates, to Leo De Alvia .  I’m very happy for them and enjoyed seeing all our friends in NY.  In addition to NY,  I also made it to Atlanta for Fathers Day.  Got to give it up for good ol’ Dad !! And it was nice seeing my sisters families and nieces and nephew.  They grow up so fast. heh.

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We had lots of fun with our new Chicago friends – monthly dinner parties, rooftop BBQ on 4th of July, lots of biking around to bars, cubs game, and other summer activities.  Best event with Chicago friends was the camping trip to Oregon IL.  Oh man was that fun. We camped and made s’mores over the fire, told stories and went on hikes.  But the main event was on sunday – the Demolition Derby.  Oregon is the home town of Miss Amanda, and she showed us how they have fun in the midwest – crashing cars.  Booya !!

One of my favorite trips this summer was Lakes of Fire – a regional Burningman in Michigan, about 3 hours from Chicago.  It was about 500 people (instead of the 40,000 at burningman in nevada), and it felt more like home than i could have imagined. I met amazing people, saw some cool art, and had tons of fun.  I especially enjoyed meeting the freakeasy and illmeasures peeps – they throw good parties in chicago for the bman crowd.

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Last but not least was our trip to Burningman.  We joined Brasstax (our SF crew) in the Boombox camp.  It was my 10th year at bman, and altho i love it, i love my friends more, so i spent most of my time in the camp.   We flew to SFO on thursday, drove up early (friday before it started) and left 8 days later (sat night as they burned the man).  We assembled the boombox in 4 days and tore it down in 1.  We “burned” it … altho most of it was good wood so it got recycled.  I could go on and on about bman but pics are worth a thousand words.  Anyway, it was great to spend some quality time with my crazy friends.   After that I spent some time in California hanging out, Eumi’s and Lori’s bdays, a day hike at mt. tam, and did another trip to Tahoe for Fritz’s Bachelor Party.  I love tahoe – could be my favorite natural place on the earth.

The summer ended with one final trip to St. Louis for Shayna’s 30th birthday.  The main event was the city museum, which is my favorite man-made place on earth.  If you haven’t been, and you are still part kid, you MUST go.  It was also nice to do a road trip and see friends in another city.

Fall is supposed to be nice in chicago but pretty short .. in less than 2 months it will be cold for a while.  Then spring and summer again !!!  If you want to visit, plan now, cuz it’ll give you something awesome to look fwd to.

Cheers,
Chad

New Job

February 12th, 2009

After almost 3 years, I’m back in the game.  I’m working with MidVentures.com, a startup company that does web solutions, community building, and incubation.  Small and young, there’s room for growth, further definition, and refinement, yet they already have had several successful projects and proven themselves in Chicago.  They focus on web 2.0 tech solutions, which is a great fit for my experience, but they have an eye for building out good ideas and working with the community (including many non-profits), which is great for where I want to go.  Technically I’m a contractor, working about 40 hours a week, but that may change in the future.

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Since moving to Chicago last September I’ve looked into different career options before landing where I am now.  My job goal was to “gain experience in business roles while utilizing my internet, software engineering, and problem solving expertise” (according to my resume).  What that means is that I want to do new stuff, but not so new that I’m starting over with a bunch of recent college grads.  I wanted this new stuff to be related to one or more of the following interest areas: sustainability (help the world be a better place), business management (I want to own or run my own company one day), consulting (utilize the fact that my communication and social skills are above average compared to others with similar experience and skills), or any other area that is creative, challenging, and full of interesting people (my catch-all).  First I targeted a PM position at Google, but that didn’t work out.  I also considered getting an MBA, so I took the GMAT exam, which led me to train to be a Kaplan GMAT instructor (still in progress, stay tuned).  I also interviewed with trading firms (they attract a smart crowd), consulting firms (altho mostly use microsoft solutions in the midwest, which I don’t have experience with), and a few others.  I eventually came to realize I should work my strengths, bringing value, and then go from there.  That meant doing something internet and web related, so here I am.

I am very content with my accomplishments over the last couple years.  I traveled around the world, spent time with family and friends, improved my eating and exercise habits, ran a marathon, explored nature on many camping and backpacking trips, attended many music events and festivals, and spent time stress-free being happy.  I loved my time off, but without a full-time gig my brain felt like it was getting soft, so I am very excited to sink my teeth into work again.

2009 Goals

February 3rd, 2009

I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions since December and have had trouble deciding.  Then I got caught up in Obamauguration, but now I’m ready to commit.  Better later than never. First, lets review last year, where I said to “consciously spend time on the things that matter.”  I still value the same 6 things to be the most important to me:

  • Friends, Family
  • Fun, Music
  • Learning, New Experiences
  • Exercise, Nature
  • Giving Back
  • Love, Honesty, and Respect

I also wrote down 5 things for me to work on last year, and I did work on them, but in hindsight I don’t think they were specific enough to make much difference. This time I’m going to approach it a bit different (I liked Sky’s tips).  The following are more specific goals that are attainable.

  1. Get a Job
  2. Maintain Health (keep back pains down, energy level up)
  3. Do Yoga – Enough so I can do 60mins on my own accurately
  4. Incorporate daily Mental Resilience and emotional control
  5. Incorporate Green activities into my life (job, club, sustainability future)

Obamauguration

January 22nd, 2009

Last night we got home from a 5 day road trip to our nation’s capital, Washington DC.  It was a long journey, 12 hours and 700 miles each way from Chicago, but I’m glad I went.  Obama’s inauguration itself was definitely the highlight, being on the mall with about 2 million other people to witness the change of power and the beginning of a new day.  It was also great to feel the spirit and mood of Washington – the town was excited, energetic, and happy.

Obama Cheerleaders

Due to some car trouble, we didn’t arrive till late Sunday, missing the “We Are One” concert on the mall.  The Sunday show featured Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Garth Brooks, Tom Hanks, Tiger Woods, and more.  It also included a nice Obama speech and a test run of the jumbotron video screens and security, among other things.  Monday night we headed out on U street near 14th, and it was crazier than a friday night.  Restaurants had 2 hour waits, there were hundreds in line to get ben’s chili, and street guys were selling obama shirts, pins, posters, and really bad art.  We even passed a car just blaring obama speeches.  Not knowing how U street normally is, this probably does not impress you.   But trust me, you could feel the energy.  We ended up eating at some Italian place with a clueless bartender as our waitress, but that did not stop our energy from doing “OBAMA!” cheers (yes, that last person in the pic is the exclamation point).

Tuesday morning we woke up at 7am at our friend Becky’s apt (border of Adam’s Morgan and Columbia Heights).  We walked about 3 miles down to the mall, stopping for Starbucks and snacks.  When we were about a mile away it was so crowded the entire width of 18th street was packed with people streaming in.  We followed the stream to the Washington Monument, where 2 of our posse of 5 decided to setup camp.  Bobby, Shayna, and I ventured on towards the Capitol, mostly just to check things out.  We barely crossed 14th street at the north corner of the Mall (Madison Dr). I say barely because there were lots of camo-wearing army dudes that had zero understanding of crowd control and flow, preventing us from crossing easily.  Or perhaps they intentionally wanted to funnel thousands of people through small openings, creating artificial crowds irritated and confused to why people weren’t moving, you know, for security reasons. After getting through that, we ventured on as far east as 7th street, which appeared to be impassable. We retreated to the carousel on the south side of the mall near 10th st and setup camp. There were tons of people, but for the most part you could navigate as long as you didn’t try to walk in front of a jumbotron, as you can see in this google satellite picture.

JumboTrons

It was almost 10am by this point, and the jumbotrons had been replaying Sunday’s show for the last 2 hours, but now they were switching to live action.  From 10 to 11am we watched various politicians and famous people arrive, including all those Senators, ex-Presidents, Bush, Cheney (aka Dr. Strangelove in a wheelchair), Bidens, and the Obamas.   Everybody got cheers but bush/cheney, surprise, surprise.  I was surprised that the boy scouts and girl scouts handed out thousands of little American flags for everyone to wave – very nice move.  About 10 minutes till noon Biden was inaugurated as VP, then Obama shortly after noon (altho Chief Justice Roberts redid the oath).  When Obama gave his 18 minute inauguration speech (nytimes interactive video), we all listened carefully.  We were surrounded by a million people excited to be part of a new era, despite the fact that it was 22 degrees outside and we had been walking and standing for over 4 hours. I was moved by the speech, I identified with it, and definitely felt the moment much more so than if I was just watching it on TV at home. I won’t go into details of the speech, but I will say that I felt hope and inspiration, I felt a reconnection to our politics and policies, and I felt sober and ready to face the future. I was not alone, and many were moved.

After the speech we started heading out, fighting confused crowds and poorly designed routes to our friends Becky and David by the Washington Monument.  Then we ambled incredibly slow on the massively crowded 18th street back towards Becky’s house.  We stopped to eat, rest, and warm up at a nice mexican mexican restaurant – sitting and eating never felt so good.  The rest of the night was uneventful, followed by a 11 hour drive home Wednesday (9am to 8pm) with our driving buddies, John and Cat. Go Team.

YES WE CAN.

2008 Year of Change

December 31st, 2008

Love from the Midwest

This was a big year for me, the biggest thing being moving to Chicago.  I’ve said why I moved before, and even though its been 4 months since the move, its still too early to know how big this move is.  I do know that I miss San Francisco alot, mainly my friends.  So far I love Chicago and my new friends, but Shayna and I have had some ups and downs and I still don’t have a job.  I did take the GMAT, which is to MBA schools as SAT is to undergraduate college.  Studying for GMAT was a challenge, and I’m proud to have done well on the exam – gives me hope and reassurance to pursue my career change to business, MBA or not.  Even though I don’t have a job, 2008 is the year I decided I wanted a career change, a very big decision in my life. I’m still fine tuning exactly what I want, but I have been interviewing alot this December, trying to nail it down.  Another big personal event this year was running my first marathon.  I’m glad I did it, but I’m definitely not a marathon runner.  The race destroyed my knees, it took a couple months before I could run an hour without them hurting.  I still run (as well as goto the gym), mainly so I can stretch and stay healthy so my back problems won’t return. Nearly everyday I must remind myself to keep my back in check – I love being in my 30s.

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This was also a big year for friends and family.  Otto Schutt, diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2007, passed away May 28.  It was heart breaking, but the man was well loved in SF, inspired many with his generosity and his mantra the last year, Give Thanks.  He brought people together and improved the world he left behind.  I give thanks for Otto.   With Otto’s passing I think of all the new lives that were created this year, too.  Fred and Megan had baby Bradley, my sister Leslie had baby Jane, Steve and Monnia had Estaban, the Kobergs had twins, Sue and Ross had Malia Fujii.  And there were many committing their love to one another – Rachel and Brandon’s wedding, Ben and J9 wedding, Mike and Ranu wedding, Jason and Anna Wedding, and AJ and Joann are getting married today!  And almost as important are the engagements – Eumi and Michael got engaged,  Amy and Matt got engaged, Sarah and Leo got engaged.  One of my best friends, Juan, had a big year with his first real serious boy, Jason.  It wasn’t all sunshine for relationships – Jason broke up with Monica – my favorite couple ever.  Luckily they have many friends to help them move forward.

Chad shows his Love for Obama

And there are plenty of other events that happened this year – Erin Becker Graduated, Rosemary Graduated, Fritz and Sydney moved to Buenos Aires for 3 months (helping cement their relationship), Chips’ 40th Scavenger Hunt, Guille’s Brian’s 40th, My sister Lara bought a new home in Georgia, Tahoe with France and Snowcamp, Many hiking and camping trips (kings canyon, sykes, pascal’s bday),a week in Jamaica with midsummer crew (new friends for chad), road trip with shayna from California thru Yosemite to Chicago,  LA road trip with Juan and Shayna, Movies in Dolores Park, many beers at Zeitgeist and City Beer Store, Dressing up for Bay to Breakers, How Weird, BurningMan fundraisers, Halloween, Brasstax renegades on the pier, in GG Park, and by Candlestick Park, Tons of great music – Outside Lands (Radiohead, Black Keys, Cafe Tacuba), MSTRKRFT at Mighty, LA Riots at Rickshaw, MGMT and Beck at Aragon, Edit from Glitch Mob at Empty Bottle, Monotonix at the Hideout Block Party, Chicago bike rides with the BLVD Rollers, Chicago beach chilling, and many more events I’m sure I’m forgetting.  As always, a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out 2008 pictures.

And last, but not least, Obama.  Change for America.  That gives me hope, which we need especially with the financial downturn that happened this year.  Go Team.

SantaCon Chicago

December 15th, 2008

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This weekend was SantaCon, where hundreds dress up as Santa or elves or reindeer and wander around downtown spreading good cheer and having a beer.  I’ve done several SantaCon’s in San Francisco, but this was my first in Chicago.  It was lots of fun, dressing up, singing, drinking, passing out candy canes and hugs to everyone we met along the way.  The peeps in Chicago are a bit more organized and disciplined, printing out song sheets and sticking to the schedule almost to the minute, compared to SF.  I suppose that is a result of the number of Santa’s .. SF has several hundred, whereas Chicago had about a hundred.  Props to the BLVD Rollers representin’ in great costumes.

Fall Leaves

December 7th, 2008

Fall has left, winter has arrived.  In California, seasons are interchangeable, but in Chicago mother nature announced the end of fall last week with our first snow.  I must say I am very excited for winter and seasons in general.  For me, snow means fun snowboarding, white Christmas, and snowball fights. But before I get too excited about snow, let me recap the fall.

I enjoyed my fall overall, spending time with old and new friends, going on a few trips, and studying hard (gmat).  It wasn’t perfect – Shayna and I had some bumps in the road (moving and adjusting to new life can be stressful), but I feel that I’ve grown and learned something from it.  Our new friends have made adjusting in Chicago not only easier, but great fun. We’ve had dinner parties, dance parties, bike rides, bowling sessions, museum visits, and restaurant adventures (yelp reviews).  We also left town a few times, which is always good for the soul.

Riverwood Boys

I’m not sure if its technically the fall, but Labor Day weekend was spent in Atlanta this year, the first time in almost a decade I did not go to burningman.  One of my high school friends, Jason Lichenstein, got married.  It was great to see several of my old high school friends, some I haven’t seen in like 10 years.  However, with everyone using facebook these days, I could find out what people are doing.  Still, it was nice to talk with each of them – Louis Merlin, Kieth Mannes, Bradley Grout, and Jason, of course.

Halloween was just what the doctor ordered this year – time with friends in our old stomping ground.  The weather was not entirely in our favor, it rained on/off all weekend in SF, but we drowned our sorrows away with beverages and parties galore.  I especially love tim and rick and zetta for hosting us and being good friends.  And fritz for opening his old and new place for hanging out, and brasstax for doing what they do best – halloween renegade.  For the complete story, view halloween pics.

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Thanksgiving was a chance to spend some time with Shayna and her family in Washington DC, where she grew up.  Her mom made a wonderful dinner for 14 or so people (big ups to Rosalie) with the rest of the immediate family joining in for turkey carving.  I had some 50 year old Chivas Regal then chatted with Shayna’s relatives and friends of the family, all very nice and interesting folks.  Friday we toured some museums and our national monuments.  Walking around the mall. especially from national monument to the Lincoln memorial, I felt very proud to be an American, especially after this year’s election.  It sealed the deal for the inauguration trip – we are planning on driving from Chicago to DC to be part of the 4 million people in DC welcoming our 44th president, Barack Obama.

Snow Covering my Jetta

And the best for last – I became an uncle again on November 7 with the birth of Miss Jane Audrey Aiken. I’m very excited for Leslie, Michael, Katheryn, and Jane, and can’t wait to see them over Christmas. Yes, I will be going to Atlanta for Christmas, leaving the white snowy land of Chicago for cold but most likely a snowfree land in the south.

I bid you adieu, fall, and warm welcome to winter. “Wait till February” everybody says, when you’ll be begging for spring. Till then, I’m gonna enjoy snow.

GMAT: 0 – Chad: 1

November 21st, 2008

This has been a big year for me.  First, I decided to move to Chicago after living in California for about 13 years.  Second, I ran a marathon, one of those life long goals that I’m happy to have completed.  And yesterday I took the GMAT, the first (and some say the hardest) step towards getting a MBA and a new career.

Not only did I take the GMAT, I took it by the horns, wrestled it to the ground, and said “Who’s your daddy?”  Ok, not really, but i did do much better than I expected.  I could have done worse – I was low on sleep and low on practice (practice CAT exams). I also know I did not do my best, and I firmly believe with more practice I could have done better.  In fact, practice is the most important thing.  Here’s all the tips I have learned.

  • Practice – The most important thing by far.  I recommend taking a few practice tests at first (or just answer tons of questions) so you get a feel of where your natural strengths and weaknesses are.  Then study (more below on that), ending by practicing again and again.  During this latter phase of practicing, make sure you do CAT tests, not just non-computer paper tests. This is important if you’re targeting a high score, since most of the CAT questions will be very difficult and time consuming, as compared to non-CAT exam questions which you might be able to finish with time to spare.
    • Download sample test from MBA.com (windows required)
    • Take MGMAT tests online (see Manhattan GMAT below).
  • Study –  This depends on how much time you have to prepare, but try to spend 1-4 hours at a time at least 3 times a week.  I studied for about 8 weeks, 80 hours total, logging 30 of those hours during the 9 days prior to my exam. I would not have studied that much if I had a full time job.  Lucky me?
  • Class – Unless you’re rich, don’t take a class. If you are rich, get a tutor for custom help.
  • Books – You can learn almost everything you need from these, strategy and practice questions. Amazon comments compare books better than I do, but here’s my nuggets:
    • The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition – the bible.  Authored by GMAC, the guys who do the test.  The most practice questions. Good place to start to identify your weaknesses.  There’s also 2 other versions, verbal and quatitative (math), that I bought but don’t think were needed.
    • Manhattan GMAT 2007 – I bought 3 of the 8 books in this series, they were good but not great (I liked the sentence correction the best).  Get at least one new one so you have access to their online tests – one book gets you one year access and 5 complete practice MGMAT exams with hard questions and solid answer explanations.  My favorite practice tests.
    • Barrons’s 14th ed, 2008-2008 – I thought this book was a good overview, nice to get the same basic information in a slightly different way.  However, I found some errors in the answers to this book, making it a bit frustrating since I felt I could no longer trust all the answers.  I don’t recommend it.
    • Kaplan’s or Princeton review – I chose not to buy based on a few reviews, but never read them myself.  In hindsight I would recommend Kaplan’s over Barron’s.
    • McGraw-Hill’s 2008 -first book i got, from public library.  Not a bad book, but if you’re buying there are better ones.
  • Online – You will have some questions that books won’t answer.  Or you might want to join or start a MBA study group in your area. I found the beat-the-gmat forums useful.

Got any more suggestions?  Leave me a comment!!

Now the next step is researching MBA programs. You can send 5 copies of you GMAT scores to business schools for free the day of the exam, normally it costs $28 per copy per school.  So it makes sense to figure out which programs you might attend.  On test day you have to pick the schools before you get your score – I sure wish you got your score first. I’ll still in the middle of this research, although I love sustainable and socially conscious programs (yay for Beyond Pinstripes Top 100). Stay tuned for a future blog on this one.

I’m still working on finding a job, so if you know anybody who wants someone who is great at problem solving and is a very effective communicator, point them to my resume.

Settling In Chicago

September 24th, 2008

We moved into our new apartment on September 1, and now, 3 weeks later, I am finally starting to feel settled.  Hurray. But before I get into that, let me describe our awesome new place as well as mention a few happenings over the last month.

Our apartment is HUGE.  Almost twice as big as 116 in San Francisco.  And its cheaper, better condition (hardwood floors, beautiful wood trim, etc), laundry in the building, one neighbor upstairs (not an old lady .. bring the noise!).  Neighborhood is great, too – plenty of street parking, covered with trees, 3 minute walk to the Blue Line (subway stop), 5 miles from the Loop (downtown Chicago), and several bars and restaurants within a 5-10 minute walk.   I also splurged and got fast internet and satellite HD TV (read my AT&T blog for more).  Everyone says Chicago is awesome except for the winter – so being close to the subway and to corner stores, bars, and restaurants is essential.  Good work Shayna on picking out such a badass pad.

Besides spending time getting settled, we have also been busy doing… things. Most notable were the friday night out with Anu, Corey, Mazen and crew, Bobby’s visit where we had drinks and dinner, and the block party last weekend with Monotonix. We’ve been hanging mostly with Shayna’s college friends – Rachel, Brandon, Lara, Katie, Jenn, etc.   As mentioned in earlier blog, Rachel and Brandon were dope enough to let Shayna kick it on their couch for a couple weeks while she was apartment searching.   And pretty soon we’ll be starting up a bike gang .. so hide your booze and daughters.  Other fun times include bowling and beers with Lynn Trahey, and getting our dance on – once on a monday night at subterranean with shana (yes, 2 of ’em in logan square), another time to see DJ Mehdi at Debonair Social Club, and Friday we’re planning on seeing Flosstradamus at Sonotheque.  All three are like 20 minute bike ride from home. Werd.

So yeah, getting settled.  We had to buy lots of furniture, meaning I spent lots of time shopping at thrift stores, which chicago has tons of.  The best is Brown Elephant, but Ark is good as well, and Target and Ikea are cheaper than most other used furniture stores.  Did i mention we have 2 giant Targets about a mile from us?  Used items bought in chicagoland include our purple couch, kitchen table and a chair.  New items include TV stand (a buffet table), 2 dressers, bookcase, many shelves, and several plants. We still need a bed frame, a dining room table, and a couple more little comfy stool seats, but those are low priority.

Next I need to explore more of the city, start thinking more about jobs, and continue studying for GMATs .. oh yeah, I’m taking the GMAT this fall, possibly hit up grad school next year and get me selves one of dem MBA’s.

Goodbye SF

August 28th, 2008

After 10 years in SF, and months of “about to leave” … I got on the plane yesterday and left San Francisco. The main reason I moved is because I want to be with Shayna as she starts grad school in Chicago. But almost as important is that I need a change. I need to change my career. I need to change my lifestyle. I don’t need to change my friends, I love them dearly. But it has been tough to change other things with friends doing soo many fun things in SF. I want to be serious about something, something I can sink my teeth into. For that reason I’ve decided to start studying for the GMATs which I plan on taking this fall, leading to MBA and Business school next fall. More on that in another post.

Da Boyz

Pub Crawl Silliness

I haven’t fully digested this move yet, I feel like i’ve been just going through the motions. I planned a week alone in SF to pack and say goodbye, but it was over before i knew it. I did have my fun and i did get to spend some quality time with friends, for which I’m grateful. Specifically, I loved my surprise welcoming committee at the airport, Janine and Ben’s wedding (including an hour in the pool), Paul’s daughter’s first birthday (Free the Pony!), one last pub crawl in lower haight, dinner with friends, 2 days of outdoor music festival at GG Park, quality time with good friends for brunch, dinner, and one last hike on Mt. Tamalpais. And Big Ups to Juan for being a great friend for over 10 years.

Oh, and our roudtrip a few weeks ago from SF to Chicago was great. Shayna did an excellent job recapping roadtrip 2008, and i think my roadtrip pictures say it all. I do want to go back to Jackson Hole and Grand Tetons (give props to Tatanka), that place is BEAUTIFUL.

As i mentioned before, I moved to chicago. Chicago. Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. I’ll have more to say in a week or two. Till then, I got a wedding in Atlanta and a new apartment in Logan Square to get used to.

We are the party of Change. YES WE CAN.