So Strum is not Ho Hum

As summertime (slowly) approaches, I find myself seeking news tunes to drive to with the windows rolled down, relax on the porch with a book or singalong with friends at the beach. Enter: Tyler Sjöström. Think Mumford & Sons meets Shakey Graves meets another awesome band. I’ve been a big fan of Tyler practically my whole life, namely because we grew up three blocks away from each other and he happens to be my friend’s brother but I digress..

I’ve mentioned Tyler on this here blog before but his music is now readily available on good ole Spotify! Check out What We Say We Are below and be sure to follow Tyler.


Lucius has a new album and music festivals are around the corner. Any new tunes I should add to my repertoire? Feel free to send any suggestions my way.

Source: Spotify


Thanks to a wine-heavy book club and a subscription to Audible, I have become oddly addicted to audiobooks. While I do not miss the 1.75 hour commute from the suburbs to downtown or the 30 minute el ride from the west side, I do miss the daily time dedicated to sitting down with a good read. Enter, audiobooks.

While my commute now is too short to listen to more than a chapter of a book (no complaints here!) I now listen to audiobooks throughout my morning routine. Breakfast? Audiobook. Applying makeup? Audiobook. Packing my bag? Audiobook. An added benefit to this morning tradition is I now typically tend to keep e-mail, social media and most phone use (aside from Audible) until once I’m at work. Win-win.

PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage2

Stealing from my sister, because that is what siblings do, here are one (or more…) sentence critiques of the latest devoured books.

  • Boys in the Boat –  Slow to start but loved it all the way through. Also, narrated by Ed Hermann, rest in peace.
  • Paper Towns  – Wanted to read before the movie and was so uninterested I never made it to the movie.
  • Girl on the Train – Not my favorite. Didn’t think the “twist” was that unexpected.
  • Gone Girl  – Incredibly well written but I hated all of the characters and found myself uninterested in any of their fates.
  • The Martian – Phenomenal. Even if you read the book I suggest a second pass with this narrator.
  • Brooklyn – Zzzzzzz. End.

Up next: Modern Romance, We are all Completely Beside Ourselves and The Nightingale and ticking some boxes on the 2016 PopSugar reading challenge

Source: Amazon

20 Things in 2015

This post is absurdly delayed but there’s a hedgehog asleep in my lap so please accept this visual as my peace offering. It’s 2016 – Where did the time go?

I can hardly believe it’s time for another 20 Things round-up (2014 and 2013 found here), reflecting back on another year of failures and successes, told my social media.

  1. Theater! Met Dee Snider, saw his Christmas musical and had one too many with the cast, watched Book of Mormon with my mom and saw an opera for the first time.  
  2. Filmed a sketch with some of my favorite improvisers (and a roommate cameo) and landed on ABC’s Windy City Live. 
  3. Series wrap on Bad News!  
  4. Started at The Chicago Improv Den and was welcomed onto a House Ensemble called TRISH.
  5. Traveled to Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Kentucky, California, Wisconsin (x2),
  6. Met comedy idol Paul Feig, internet geniuses Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart and Glozell, the Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig. Bonus points: Went to Billy Joel and Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence danced on stage.
  7. Was very Chicago: Rode a Divvy for the first time, checked out the Skydeck at Willis Tower, enjoyed the Pride parade (in a crop top, naturally) and got this mug on the Bears jumbotron.
  8. Made homemade apple crumble and cooked the most delicious salmon I’ve ever had.
  9. Ran yet another Tough Mudder alongside friends and family.  
  10. Moved into a new apartment in a new neighborhood with a new roommate.
  11. Took my kayak on her maiden voyage on the Fox River.
  12. Tried clams. Learned I don’t like clams. Reaffirmed my love for butter.
  13. Hosted not one, but two successful Harry Potter-themed parties.
  14. – 20. Covered lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of conservation and animal care stories for the zoo and got quoted on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. Also got face to face with red panda cubs.

Cheers to 2016 which has already brought a lot of challenges and opportunities. Here goes nothin’.

Shakey Graves

Way back when my sister introduced me to Shakey Graves and now every time they pop up my heart does a little jump and my mouse immediately clicks on whatever may be on the screen. Therefore, this may be in the background all day today. Whistle while you work.

Also going to take this moment to promote my friends Mike Golden & Friends and Tyler Sjostrom who both kill it in this genre. Feel free to join me for a show or several.

Source: NPR 

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