Friday, December 30, 2011

What Are Ya Doing?

It's been all rehearsals, shopping, and dining out this week with Mom here. We haven't been uploading a lot of pictures, so this is one from last week of my brother and I are our traditional "Christmas Eve in Front of the Tree" picture. Maybe Mom and I can have a photo shoot tonight and I'll have some awesome pictures from New Year's.

In theatre land, the show I'm working on is doing consistent run throughs. We have one more week of rehearsals and next week is tech week! 

As a production assistant my job ranges. Mostly I assist the Stage Manager and ASM in prop organizing and being on book. I also hang up posters, help locate props and set pieces, and badger actors about sending me their bios so I can complete the program. I did some publicity in the beginning with facebook, twitter, and making labels to send out post cards. During the run of the show I'll be the one woman run crew backstage assisting with quick changes and throwing things about. It's a lot of fun because you're part of the action on a lot of different levels, and it being my first performance in Chicago I'm fascinated with just about everything. It also helps that I'm working with a great group of people that always have advice to give, which I eat right up.

One such piece of theatre advice is that most theatre companies get their budgets in January, so that's when they do a lot of their hiring. I'll be stalking the job postings in the upcoming weeks hoping to land a few gigs. It's also the time when summer stock hiring starts; it's exciting thinking about a show that opens in the summer! Not that I don't love you Chicago winter, I know you have yet to begin. I'm still waiting on waist deep snow and days indoors under a blanket with hot chocolate.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm Baaaaack!

I could practically hear Steven Tyler screeching "I'm back in the saddle aga-e-ain! I'M BACK!" when I crossed state lines. Mom and I carted a whole other batch of my belongings to Chicago, only the true essentials mind you. My shoe collection has doubled and the bookshelves on the fireplace will make it look like I read too! Before I brought my small library it looked like Roommate was extremely well read and I was only literate in comedy and musical movies...this still might be true. And of course there were all the presents that had to come back with me too, Santa-Mom, Santa-Dad, and all my Santa-Relatives gifted me everything I wanted this year and more!

Exhibit A: My Blanket Sweater, A.K.A. The Lebowski Sweater. Perfect for curling up with a White Russian. Doesn't it tie the room together?

Exhibit B: The Warmest Jacket Ever! I had it on for two minutes indoors and was already sweating. And Chicago Local points for it covering my bum! Note the awesome ear warmer, courtesy of my "little" brother who I e-mailed with a link and he immediately bought it while he was still on the phone with me. Maybe not the most surprising but I am in love with how warm and stylish it is.

Exhibit C: Get out the scrap book, it's baby's first Chanel! I about died when I found this in my stocking Christmas morning. Every good mall trip for the past three years has involved me swinging by the perfume counter to spritz some Coco Chanel Mademoiselle and soon after demanding: "someone smell me! don't I smell purdy?" Now family and friends can smell me whenever I kindly command them to and it'll be a white musk-bergamot romp through a Parisian rose garden! (with some bourbon vanilla thrown in for good measure)

I'm sure I'll blog more of my favorite new things throughout the week. Mom is here until Saturday so getting pictures shouldn't be as hard as it normally is. Also more theatre-y things! The show I'm working on is going in to tech next week and I can't wait! Baby's First Chicago Theatre Show! Where's that scrap book?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Merriest

Have a Merry Christmas!

I have one more day in sunny (snow free) Columbus, Ohio and Tuesday Mom and I will road trip it back to Chicago. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday!

Photo via

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'll Be Home

Preparing for the trip back to the mothership! I'm flying out tomorrow which means there's a limit to how much I can actually pack...meaning I can't just stuff odds and ends "I think I'll need" in to my car. I'll be driving back with Mom, so that means I don't have to leave room in my suitcase to bring Christmas presents back either, ah-ha-ha!

If you were curious, this is how I pack...

I used to get horribly stressed out about packing. Now I have a system (as you can clearly tell from the above picture)

1.) Pick a color scheme. That way everything matches and can be mixed around. My scheme this time was black, white, and tan with pops of red and green (and denim is a given). I usually pick a color scheme based off what I'll be doing while I'm there or one new piece in my wardrobe that I really want to wear.

2.) Pull items from your closet that fit the color scheme and where you'll be going.

3.) I list the kind of outfits I'll need (a formal outfit, travelling outfit, etc.) and put outfits together on a sheet of paper. Whatever items of clothing I don't use on the list go back in the closet.

4.) Packing make-up, accessories, and shoes is really easy after that. Pack make-up that compliments the clothes, and I always make sure I have a formal shoe (if I have a formal outfit), a flat, tennis shoes, and a pair of boots during the winter.

And this is what I end up with! If you're neurotic like I am the color scheme method of packing is awesome. If you're relaxed about packing then keep on trucking! You clearly have life figured out.

Can't wait to be awake and at the airport in less that twelve hours, you better be ready Columbus!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I like my pizza like I like my fashion...Chicago Style

Since arriving in the windy city in November and hopping on el's and walking around neighborhoods in December it's been kind of inspiring to see what the women of Chicago are sporting this season. I consider myself an expert on outer wear since my last job was almost exclusively outdoors and I always loved to see what other people are wearing. I've been noticing some common themes going on with Chicago lady's winter fashion, and it has me itching to try some new things...

First and foremost, the Chicago woman is very partial to long coats. It helps keep the cold out, and it also acts as a cushy seat cover when you're on the el. Warm chunky scarves are also popular, bonus points if your scarf matches your hat (or is even in the same color family which I can never seem to do.) Winter make-up is also seemingly minimal here. Just a great moisturizer, a lip chap, and a little mascara will do ya. The wind will take care of the flushed cheeks and sexy messy bedhead look. Although if you're not in to that lots, of girls forgo the hat and leave their hair down, mostly blown out and looking shiny. Although, I've never seen one girl fix their hair on the train, how do they do it?

Boots and a great tote bag are also a woman's best friend around here. The boots fight slushy dirty ground and keep your feet toasty while the tote bag can carry everything from work to the bar and home. Skinny jeans and thick leggings also make it easier to tuck in to boots and create a nice balance from your bulky coat. Tinted lip balm, some eyeliner, throw your hair up in a messy bun and you're all set! Thick infinity scarves also make it easy to wrap and go.

Another popular choice of women that are more, shall we say, employed than I am are pencil skirts or a-line wool skirts with a pair of tights. Sweater tights have become a new going out favorite of mine and a girl at a group job interview told me they're easy to layer under jeans when it starts to get really bitter out. Leather gloves keep it classic and also grip better when the train or bus stops too fast. Berry toned lipstick and the sleek pony tail is just another example of how Chicago women keep it chic and casual.

Inspired to try anything?

Pictures via Polyvore

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chicago Style Weekend

My weekend in a cell phone photo tour:

First, sparked with some curiosity about the neighborhood and a little cabin fever, Roommate and I went to the beach on a blustery cold day. The beach is only about two blocks from where we live. I can see it from the el platform when I wait for the train, so it seemed worth exploring up close.

Can you see the Hancock Building? Pretty sweet.
It was fa-reezing! And like most things I see in Chicago I thought to myself: this will be way better when it's warm out. And by "most things" I mean going outdoors.

But the outdoors didn't stop us from from going on a hike later. Bound and determined to fulfill a noble quest, Roommate and I went bar hopping.

Four bars in one night to be exact. Thank you foursqaure for motivating me to leave the apartment on a Friday. The first two bars were just north of us next to the train, kind of little hole in the wall places. Once we committed to earning the badge, we found a really cute bar attached to a theater in Roger's Park. Louis Armstrong music, festive holiday decorations, reasonably priced beer...what's not to like? And on our fourth and final stop...

Giordano's! From what I understand of Chicagoans eating here is a pretty crucial step in becoming a true local. And like I said before, being a Chicagoan is 10% what I witness and about 90% what people tell me... more specifically what Tina Fey tells me. According to Misses Fey, I'll be going to Gio's East of Chicago next.

While it is described in above article as "a casserole in a bread bowl" I think it's more like a giant mozzarella stick with plum tomato sauce. The crust, which is normally my favorite part, was a little too bland and cracker-y. But wash it down with some Goose Island 312 and you feel like a legit local. I'm still longing for some deep dish turbo crust from Jet's Pizza. Word on the street is I can get Jet's here, but somehow it isn't the same.

Saturday I woke up to this...

It was somehow more magical than the first snow. The flakes were sticky and fluffy, and the ground was evenly coated. It put me in a much Christmas-ier mood. The rest of the day was spent shopping in the loop, more specifically at Christkindlemarket. It's a German Christmas pop-up festival that sells cuckoo clocks, hand blown glass, and tasty tasty smelling food. I say this because I was not willing to wait in in the super long lines. I'm sorry I didn't take more pictures but it was elbow to elbow people shuffling in circles looking at all the different arts and crafts. The rest of my x-mas shopping was done in Andersonville in their awesome boutiques.

After Roommate and I got back there was a holiday gathering with only neighbors in our building that don't have children. It was filled with mulled wine and watching Jackass 3D, the perfect holiday movie if you ask me. It's right up there with White Christmas.  

Today was a lovely rehearsal and blog writing session complete with apple slices, cheese, and sour patch kids. Yum! A super weekend.

Happy Sunday All!

Picture via

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the Hunt

What I foresaw in my seasonal job future

As previously stated, I expected to come to Chicago and jump on the seasonal employment train, which has not worked out well. This being my fault, I expect, because I would rather go home for three days at Christmas than spend it alone in my apartment. That is the choice I made, but I now know that if I'm serious about seasonal work next year I'll suck it up and Skype Christmas morning.

So as of right now, no part time job landed.

I do, however, have a part time theatre gig as a production assistant which I am more than pleased to be working at right now. The pay is small, but the group of people I'm working with are fantastic and the show is hilariously fun to work on. One day I'm making rental inquiries about period-esque chairs for the set, and the next I'm google searching disaster images of the late 19th century. How can you not have fun with that?

Best. Task. Ever.

Right now I'm waiting to hear back from a part time "day gig" as the theatre folk around here call it. It has me all worked up because it would be such a fantastic job. It's something I have experience in, they're hiring morning shift people, and everyone I've talked to has been very cool. My theory is that they're waiting until after New Year's to hire me since I'm going home, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Until then I'll keep checking Chicago Plays for my next big break.

Pictures via & via

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gone Daddy Gone

Viking boyfriend set sail this morning for the magical land of Cleves, but we did have a pretty rockin' weekend together. This is what we did in photos...


Friday was mac and cheese, Saturday was chicken flautas which are shockingly easy and delicious. We inhaled them and watched Elf.


Wanting to cross something touristy off my list, we took the el down to Millennium Park and saw Cloud Gate, or "the bean". If someone had asked me where the "Cloud Gate" was, I would have had no idea.

That night we had burgers and watched How to Train Your Dragon. And I didn't even stop to take a picture of the burgers, which were awesome! We just scarfed them down.

Sunday morning we had pancakes!

True story about vikings, they don't like having their picture taken.

Hope every one's weekend was just as lovely! I'll be posting more about the Chicago job search soon...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Guess Who...!

Does your person wear glasses? No. Does your person have red hair? Yes. Does your person have a beard? YES!

Look at that beard!

My viking boyfriend is plundering Chicago! He had a weekend to spare in between finishing his third semester of grad school and going home to Cleveland. This means three days of dueling computers, singing Lonely Island, and being his sous chef while he makes dinners that I would never make by myself.

For example yesterday he made baked mac and cheese and we watched Princess Frog, recipe here.

Tonight we're making chicken tacos and watching How to Train Your Dragon! I sense a pattern here...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cheer

It's begun! Chicago Winter took me by surprise this morning. I woke up and looked at my phone which was sporting little crystallized snow flakes. I rushed to the window and this is what I found...


It snuck up on me to say the least. Luckily the windows are taped, the heat is finally turned on, and we've already decorated for Christmas! I would like everyone to meet my Christmas tree, Albert!

Albert in all his dining table glory

Now, as expensive as Albert looks, he was actually quite the bargain from Target. He had many brothers in sisters in shiny red, sparkly purple, shimmery silver, and crisp white. But we found Albert sitting by his lonesome with his less than eye catching matte green pre-lit cousins. Albert's color? Roommate described it as "dirty silver". He has kind of a Silver and Gold theme going on, and we love him for it. And since the ornament selection was not so great, Albert is decorated with things we found around the apartment. Earrings, feather hair clips, and beer bottle caps attached to the tree with scotch tape and thread. I am one proud mama.

From his good side

Roommate inadvertently picked out the tree topper when he spotted this peacock. He has one eye and his name is Azuleanno.


And Azuleanno matches the other new addition to the dining space, the blue twinkle lights.

All in all, the Macaque's Igloo is looking pretty spiffy for the holidays. And now that it's stuck in my head...


Here at the Macaque's Igloo (the decided name of our apartment) we have had the good fortune of never having to turn our heat on. We live on the second floor of a three story apartment building and I can only deduce that there is some kind of heat sandwich occurring. I have been going to bed with jersey sheets, a quilt, blanket, and comforter and a full set of sweatpants on, but still...

This morning I woke up shivering, despite my many layers and the cold proof curtain panels which were the BEST that $10 could buy. So I hoofed it down to the little corner hardware store and picked up some "saran wrap" and frost king tape and went on to winterize my windows; only to discover that the panels I bought were too short. Like, two inches too short.

Determined not to have to leave the apartment and face the cold again, I cut up one of the panels we used for the kitchen and made a "franken-panel" out of it. The seal: beautiful. I think I can take this skill straight to the bank.

So hopefully we can hold off on using the heat some more, you know, until it gets really really bad. Because there is no happiness in the world like receiving an electric bill for less than $25 dollars. Although I'm sure the pain of frostbite cancels that out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Initiation in to the Ranks

I can cross three rites of passage off my "becoming a Chicago Local" list

1. People keep asking me which el to get on! I think I just look so darn friendly shivering on the platform OR they see me and think "wow! she looks stylish, confidant, and determined, I bet she lives here!" Clearly it's all of these things...and the fact that they're almost positive I won't mug them. Joke's on them. I'm gonna punch the next person that asks me which el to get on and take their wallet. I need to start living up to this.

2. I got a 30-day CTA pass! I was not aware this was a rite of passage until my roommate came home with one, and what I believe to be a chicagoan is 10% what I witness and 90% what my friends tell me. I think I'm in good hands. In any case I figured with job interviews and theatre-ing around town I probably needed it.

I color coordinated with it on really

3. Lastly, I had my first run in with Chicago crime last night! (mom, don't read this...)

Coming home home last night I got on the red line and got to the next stop when CTA came over the PA and told us to get off the train and on to a shuttle bus that would take us to the next open train station. I whipped out my handy dandy phone to check and apparently there was police activity and the el couldn't just run right through it.

I got on to the shuttle where I settled in next to a woman who kept exclaiming "this is no place to raise your kids!" A gentleman who kept trying to make nervous conversation, and an older man hovering above me and making gagging noises. Hurray!

Let me say that the bus' speculation as to what was going on was heightening by the minute. "I hear he's got hostages! He's holed up in an army surplus store and he's got AK-47s!" Now, it being too dangerous for the el to drive through it made me assume that we wouldn't see anything, but no, the bus drove right by the police line, 5 news trucks and 6 police vans but not much else that we could see.

An hour after getting off the train the shuttle finally dropped us off at the station and let us ride for free. The whole crowning jewel on the evening happened when a man started an impromptu comedy routine on the train. Memorable paraphrases included: "I saw the Target and the McDonald's next to the crime scene were still open. Did anyone want to go back and shop or get a burger?" and "Who let an ex-convict in to an army surplus store? He shows up with the orange jumpsuit and chains and they let him in. This isn't Chicago, this is Chi-raq!" However inappropriate, I was reduced to tearful laughter and felt a little less distressed.

Here's what actually happened. Not near as ridiculous as bus speculation, and there were no hostages, and no one was hurt

More of the initiation ceremony to come!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Sunday, like rest of my week (or the past month), it's been full of job applications, cleaning, and some serious movie watching. My ├╝ber private screening of Zoolander in my apartment on Friday has me seriously lusting after this bad boy which I consider the official battle uniform of #chicagowinter. That and orange mocha frappuccinos!

My "home detention center", very cozy.

Since moving here at the beginning of November it's been voluntary house arrest because I am now deathy afraid of spending the savings I have. I venture out for groceries and the occasional job interview or excursion with friends. Mostly I hang out at home and fill out part time job applications online hoping to get a call back. I think I have to start reconsidering my approach.

My plan originally was to: move to Chicago, check. Put in applications to jobs/internships in theatre, check. Secure a part time job immediately so I don't have to ask my parents for a loan in a few months... womp womp.

From my understanding, the best thing you can do to land a theatre job in Chicago is the way I've been trying. Through League of Chicago Theatres and , both awesome resources. What I'm not so clear on is the part-time job market. I've gotten results putting in online applications (interviews, no offers) and I've also been told to just print out some resumes and canvas the neighborhood for openings. This might be my next approach.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Christmas lights: better than the yule log channel

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Very Good Place to Start

Try to think of this like the pilot post. I have to cover the characters, the major plot line, and where the rest of the series is going...stick with me here...

This is me!

I'm Kiley and I moved from Ohio to Chicago three weeks ago. I've never lived anywhere else but Columbus, I'm an unemployed writer/theatre professional, and I'm trying to make it big! How's that for a pitch?

Here is how this blog came to be...

I was recently not so recently speaking with someone at a funeral (of all places) and we were talking about theatre, which is the profession I've been trying to crack for the past year. She was giving me some awesome "hang in there kitty" advice that a post grad loves and absolutely needs to hear, and at the end of the conversation she said: "I can't believe no body's written a book about this yet." How to get in to theatre. The mystery of it all.

This conversation combined with my desire to be a writer, my obsession with reading blogs, my current "freelancing" status and much urging from my mother who will probably be the only person who reads this for quite some time, this is my blog.

I want to cover a range of things to my liking such as local life, theatre, fashion, make-up, puppy envy, my attempts at being lady-like, and the most fearsome...Chicago Winter. Will I survive? I just don't know.