I ordered a smokin’ hot pair of over-the-knee boots, but given the fact my legs are approximately 12 inches long…the boots hit far higher on my leg than I am sure the designers intended. And by “far higher,” I mean…the boots came aaaaall the way up to my girl-parts.
I took the boots to one cobbler to hem. He said the job was too hard for him and he turned me away. I took the boots to another cobbler and he said he could not make the necessary alterations. The THIRD cobbler I visited also denied me service. He explained that my request was rather challenging given the seam/zipper placement (blah blah) and the only man he knew that would be able to accommodate my needs was the Grandfather of Chicago shoe making. He gave me an apartment number and sent me on my way.
Did I mention I really like these boots? I really do…otherwise, I never would have embarked on this third-act adventure. I walked over to the address provided by the third cobler. As I approached the building, I was surprised to find it was a low income retirement center. This couldn’t be right, could it?
I had my doubts as I checked in with security and rode up the rickety old elevator.
I cautiously knocked on the door and was totally delighted (if not somewhat skeptical) when an 85 year old man opened his door and revealed a veritable studio apartment-sized shoe factory.
Apparently, this old timer is like a modern day shoe-elf, or something. He first started making shoes in “the war” (which one?! I don’t know). He can make any pair of shoes you can dream of…or remake any pair you own.
He took my measurements and I handed over my $40. He said he would call me in a a day or two, once my boots were transformed.
What I am doing with my life: In-Between Jobs Edition
I said goodbye to my previous place of employment last week and I don’t start dream-job until next Monday meaning…I have the week off. Wha?
Let me explain something: From the time I was 19 years old, I have never had a straight-up “free week.” Sure I have taken plenty of vacations and definitely enjoyed long holidays with the fam, but I honestly can’t remember the last time everyone else in the world woke up and went to work and I just didn’t.
Since my new job is one of those serious corporate gigs with long hours, I figured it would be a good idea to finally cross off those to-do’s that have been nagging me for ages.
Here is what I hope to accomplish this week:
Figure out how to mount our chandelier. And do it. [Completed!]
Suck it up and wait the 3+ hours it will take to get a table at any of Rick Bayless’s restaurants. [Completed!]
Hang the art work that has been resting against the wall of my apartment since we moved in FOUR months ago. [Completed!]
Make a decision and purchase Christmas Cards [Completed!]
Get art framed (including this and this) [Completed!]
Get boots altered [Completed!]
Put up the Christmas Tree and all related decorations [Completed!]
Sweat out every calorie consumed this weekend [yeah, so…I definitely did not accomplish this one. Not even close.]
Sweeney Todd: This musical secured Stephen Sondheim’s position as my hero. His work taught me that there is room for genuine emotion in musical librettos….that musical theatre (when done right) is art.
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: The #1 activity on my life’s to-do list was to attend the Tony Awards. After producing this show at our off-Broadway theatre and transferring it to the great white way, my dream came true. I was invited to attended the 2005 Tony’s where I watched my musical take home the coveted award.
Rent: Through my obsessive relationship with this show, I became part of a theatrical community. Before this Pulitzer winning musical, I had no social outlet to share my passion for theatre, but my 20+ experiences “rushing” for tickets introduced me to a whole new world of fellow dramatic zealots. And cemented my love of the gays.
Les Miserables: I was 8 when I saw this show. It changed my life. I walked away from the theatre knowing that my passion had just found me.
Billy Elliot: The first time I heard this score, it literally took my breath away. The opening number had such a visceral impact on me…I slid down to my knees and couldn’t move from my closet floor until the soundtrack had ended. This show reminded me that great theatre can literally knock you on your ass.
Note: The productions on this list are cliche. I know. I wish I could have compiled a sophisticated group of abstract high-art….but if I am being honest, these are the musicals that I owe the most thanks.
They are not necessarily my favorite shows…or the finest pieces of theatre…rather, these are the musicals that changed my life in a very real and lasting way.
5 things about my hometown that I am extra thankful for:
The Lakefront: While I have lost count of the miles and minutes I spent on the lakefront running path, I cherish my time spent on the water’s edge getting to know myself, my body and my city.
Theatres: Lookingglass, Steppenwolf, Goodman, ATC, Victory Gardens, AboutFace, The House (you would be hard pressed to find a stonger theatre community anywhere in the WORLD. That’s right…I said WORLD.)
Wrigley Field: My cubbies may suck ass but at least they do it in home of epic beauty and unarguable history. Maybe next year…
The smell of Chocolate that fills the streets
The fact I live less than a mile from all members of my immediate family. (I’m sorry, but it brings me joy to know that my parent’s are super cute urban dwellers.)
Honorable mentions: Oak Street Shopping, the Steakhouses, Green Mill Jazz Club, Oprah, Northwestern University, Buckingham Fountain and the distinctive personality of each neighborhood!
I can’t really explain it, I haven’t got the words It’s a feeling that you can’t control I suppose it’s like forgetting, losing who you are And at the same time something makes you whole
It’s like that there’s a music, playing in your ear And I’m listening, and I’m listening, and then I disappear
And then I feel a change, like a fire deep inside Something bursting me wide open, impossible to hide And suddenly I’m flying, flying like a bird Like Electricity, electricity Sparks inside of me, and I’m free, I’m free
It’s a bit like being angry; it’s a bit like being scared Confused and all mixed up and mad as hell It’s like when you’ve been crying And you’re empty and you’re full I don’t know what it is, it’s hard to tell
It’s like that there’s some music, playing in your ear But the music is impossible, impossible to hear
But then I feel it move me Like a burning deep inside Something bursting me wide open Impossible to hide And suddenly I’m flying Flying like a bird Like Electricity, electricity Sparks inside of me And I’m free, I’m free
Electricity sparks inside of me And I’m free, I’m free Oh, I’m free
The Festival of Light Parade where Chicago rings in the season and ceremoniously turns on the Christmas lights along Michigan Avenue (The parade staging area was just below our balcony, so we had the best seats in the city…watching from 22 stories in the sky)
Telling people in the right order (this is a form of political acrobatics…let’s just say I may have broken a sweat speed walking from office to office trying to get to everyone before they heard it through the grapevine)
Telling people in an appropriate way (choosing a tone that expresses genuine gratitude for your experiences while still communicates how freaking excited you are about your new opportunities)
Getting all the personal stuff off your computer (so. many. photos)
Trying to get people to throw you going away parties…without making it look like you are trying to get people to throw you going away parties.
So, I can finally share the great news that sparked the purchase of my “Celebration Shoes!” Guess what:
I got a new job!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am leaving my current position at the Education Marketing Firm to join the affiliate marketing team at [Redacted]. It is a dream position with a company recognized as one of “the best companies to work for.” (And when I say recognized…I mean by someone other than just me!)
This decision was not easy…I love my coworkers…but ultimately, I believe moving on is what is best for me both professionally and personally. And to get to move on to such a remarkable opportunity is genuinely a dream come true.
I do not make enough money to indulge on every high heel that strikes my fancy. Not even close.
But every paycheck, I put a little money aside (into my specifically designated “Stiletto Stash”) so that every now and then I CAN make a singular footwear dream become a reality. Some weeks, I only contribute $10…other weeks, a little more, but over time (over a loooong time), it does add up. And sometimes, it even adds up to beautiful fancy shoes!