In my experience, it takes about 3 years to feel like you really belong someplace.
2012 was the three year mark for me in Chicago. Despite growing up in the Midwest, moving back after spending nearly a decade out East wasn't always an easy adjustment. But, for me, 2012 was transformative. My year was filled with sights, sounds, tastes and people that sparked my curiosity, made me think, and renewed my belief in the magic of the Midwest.
Go jump in the lake, says one Chicagoan to the other. I'm so glad I finally did.
January & February
|The Joffrey Ballet|
Woke early on a Saturday and hiked through mounds of snow to reach my destination, a warm basement with six sewing machines and a set of eager seamstresses-to-be. Completely entranced by Race at the Goodman and still referencing the inner turmoil from Time Stands Still at Steppenwolf. Failed to get a new job, oh well. I was invited to a savory and sweet Valentine's Party in Andersonville which buoyed my spirits. Felt honored to attend the world premiere of Invisible Man at the Court Theater - the image of all those hanging light bulbs is still burned in my brain. Ended February by celebrating a TEN YEAR anniversary the same way it started, at a dance concert. A certain tune from the duet performance during Winter Fire at the Joffrey Ballet has haunted me since.
March & April
|Artist's Point in Grand Marais, Minnesota.|
Pushed to think about composing an artful life at AWP and found some unexpected solace, too. Slipped into Mud Season in the Northwoods of Minnesota by accident, but ended up embracing it. Learned to track scat, take midnight walks in the woods, and howl back and forth with wolves at Gunflint Lodge. Me and my belly survived an epic pie crawl across the city - research never tasted so good. Spent an evening being soothed by Blah Blah Blah's lead singer Solomon David crooning at the Metro.Have you heard this band? They break so many hearts in this city.
|Oh Captain! My Captain! Sailing the Great Lakes with Captain Krissy.|
Spent a beautiful day sailing with friends on Lake Michigan. One sailor spilled beer all over his white pants and washed them in the lake before hanging them up on the boat, like a third sail, to dry. Cheered on Mike as he gave his last, and most touching in my opinion, performance at DePaul University as the military soldier turned Wikipedia informant Bradley Manning.
Mike graduated with his Master's degree and we celebrated by partying at the top of the Sears Tower before eating a proper steak dinner...while watching hundreds of naked bikers ride by. Took the plunge and saw my second sitting President speak at the Chicago Cultural Center, our Nation's first black President. It was brief, but I still got goosebumps.
M. and I went to a neighborhood party on the 4th of July looking like this...
...And I then I found myself sipping bellinis roof-top style at the Trump Tower later that week. Life can be funny like that.
Paid homage to my favorite landscape of all time in Northern Michigan. Biked the Betsie River trail (a rails-to-trails bike path) with M, my brother and his new fiance. Sipped my first honeywine, better known as mead, at St. Ambrose Cellars in Beulah, Michigan, and got invited to a barn party with the owners and his band (unfortunately, it didn't fit our schedule). Met my parents in Petoskey, Michigan, where we wined and dined our way through wedding planning.
Finally scored the job I've been waiting for. On Day 2, I flew to New York. This was my view. Mike made his professional debut at Chicago Playrights Theater in Freshly Fallen Snow. His performance as a doomed doctor during the Holocaust nearly broke my heart. We received a bonfire pit as a wedding gift, and hosted numerous nights 'round the fire, roasting marshmallows on sticks, right in the middle of the city.
|Zombie Burger in Des Moines|
Went on a theater binge and saw Wasteland at Timeline Theater and Assassins at the Viaduct. Took a quick trip across the prairie to Grinnell, Iowa, to find an oasis of culture and diversity nestled among the corn and wheat fields. Stopped for a zombie burger with this guy in Des Moines. Wish I had more time there.
|Old married couple haunting the Perry Hotel.|
I married my best friend in Petoskey, Michigan at the historic Perry Hotel. They say Hemingway had some wild times there, but I'm willing to bet we gave him some competition.
|Mucca Pazza at Logan Auditorium|
Closed out the last month of an energetic year by baking Christmas cookies with friends and singing Misfits-turned-Christmas carols with others. Spent New Year's Eve with a solid crew and ate a 3 course meal at Lula Cafe before dancing to the wild, chaotic and complete fun that is Mucca Pazza at the Logan Auditorium.
A gypsy punk rock marching band. Only in Chicago, folks.
Next up: a trip to China and a new gig writing for DIY Business Association. Onward!