Monday, November 16, 2009

Detailed Update

The recession has hit Chicago hard, unemployment rates are high and steadily climbing. I've been searching for a job and it's been pretty discouraging. There have been times when I've been tempted to pack up and go home, or move on to another place like Minneapolis, where my good friend Kasey lives with her boyfriend, Andrew, and where the employment rate is actually going up a little bit. But I really do love this city and want to be a part of it, so I'm going to try to make it work as best I can.

So I've found a temporary job that will last at least until January, it's right downtown and the schedule is such that I could pick up a second job waiting tables or something a few nights a week if I wanted to. It's data entry and mind-numbingly boring, in a too-warm room that makes me sleepy, but I've made a friend or two there and it's a really relaxed atmosphere so it's not that bad. There's free coffee and soda in the kitchen. And anyway, it's money.

I've also been looking at different possibilities for graduate school. DePaul is my first choice, but it's really expensive and I'm not sure if I want to spend that much money, as much as I love the program they offer. I'm also looking at the University of Illinois in Chicago and Loyola.

I found an apartment to share with a girl about my age. It's a two-bedroom condo in Lincoln Square, and it's really cute. She's renting out the second bedroom for a little while until her boyfriend moves up to Chicago from out of state. I'm excited about it, she's nice and it will be fun to have a little corner of the world to call my own again, until I get into the kinds of circumstances that would allow me to rent my own apartment all on my own.

So that's that. It's a tough time here in the Windy City, but I've heard that hiring goes up in the first quarter, so if I can last until February I could be the lucky recipient of a shiny new permanent job with... hope of all hopes... benefits! Sweet, sweet benefits.

UPDATE

WOW! It has been a long time since I've written.

It has been about a month since I've written about my adventure, so I'll break this up into short and sweet segments before giving a more detailed current situation recap.

Part 1: Icelanders.


I met some Icelanders through the Icelandic Association of Chicago. They're lots of fun and it's nice to get out and explore the city with different groups of people.




Also, the group participates in Christmas tree decorating at the Museum of Science and Industry. The museum decorates their lobby with lots of Christmas trees decorated by different countries.




Part 2: Halloween

I spent Halloween in the suburbs with Sara, her husband Steve, her parents, and Logan the Baby. (Vern the Dog joined in the festivities as well.)

I had originally intended to go as a Greco-Roman statue, but moving kind of zapped my costume budget, so when I came across a plastic fox mask at a Halloween store for under five dollars, I decided to go with that.

Sara and Steve are big costume people and love playing with make-up effects. Sara went as a gothic rag doll, and Steve went as one of the "Red Shirts" from Star Trek.


 













Of course, it wouldn't be a holiday with Sara without theme food!


Apple cupcakes with frosting by Steve.










                                      Deviled eggs w/ black olive spiders.









"Maggot dogs," which are made by sticking uncooked spaghetti through hot dogs and then boiling them.








                                        
              Home-made macaroni and cheese with a face made of veggies.