I want that Wednesdays

I am really enjoying taking the train instead of driving to work every day. It takes about the same amount of time, but I don’t have to get all stressed out about traffic or worry about parking if I want to grab a drink or run errands after work. I do wish I could read on the train (damn you, motion sickness!), but I couldn’t read while driving either so no loss there.

But I am on the Cadillac of el lines, the Brown Line, so I need to step up my game. Back on the Red Line, nobody cared about the homeless guy peeing in the corner. And nobody cared about my plastic grocery bag of shoes, lunch items, books, etc. But now, I feel like I need a legit tote to carry my miscellaneous things around in so I don’t look like a bag woman. Enter, my newest crush:

I must be going crazy because there was a time when I never would have even considered buying a $178 turkey sandwich and flip flop transporter. But I do love Marc Jacobs. And I do have my “Christmas bonus” Nordstrom gift card…

Before and after: Rusty bench

It was over six months ago that I discussed plans for the little bench I stole from under the stairs at my old apartment. Remember?

Well, I’ve been meaning to update y’all on the progress of this little project for some time now, but I was bummed because the in-progress pictures were stolen along with my laptop. Wah wah.

But I did end up creating a cushion for it! And by I, I really mean basically my entire family. We tackled the project over Thanksgiving, and it turned out pretty well. Full disclosure though: It’s probably not worth it. It was very time consuming. And expensive. Foam does not come cheap, and I had to buy things that DIY veterans probably already own (upholstery needles, for example). But I am particularly proud of the fabric-covered buttons and the fact that we actually tufted it. Those people that try to DIY big, fancy headboards: insane.

I thought I’d use this bench to sit on to take off my boots this winter, but the few times I’ve had to do that, I realize my entryway is just too small. Hopefully at the next apartment I’ll have a proper foyer-type area that can house the bench and I can accessorize with the cute black and white hooks or hat boxes or something.

Weekend Rewind: Turtle races

Just outside of Andersonville, tucked between a fur seller and a gas station along Foster Avenue, is Big Joe’s. It’s your standard dive bar, plenty of dart boards, PBR on tap and bags of chips for sale (no kitchen, of course). But there is one thing that sets it apart: Friday night turtle races.

For every drink you buy at the bar, you get a certain amount of raffle tickets. If your number is called, you get to go up and pick a ping-pong ball out of a bag with the number of your turtle on it. There’s no actual betting involved, just lots of drinking.

This isn’t the equivalent to cockfighting or anything, though it does sometimes seem like the turtles might die before they make it to the red (and us along with them!). To keep it moving along, the MC will eventually call it if the turtles just aren’t moving. First place gets a free turtle racing T-shirt; last place get a drink on the house. (Spoiler alert: Last place is always Yolanda) I did eventually get picked, but my turtle, Lucky Dan, came in an unlucky second.