Gay Pride Parade

French Word of the Day: l’homosexualité (lome-oh sex-ewe-al-it-eh)- homosexuality

I had never been to a Gay Pride Parade, and I figured it was about time after 25 years.  If you don’t love color, you should probably skip this post. My friends and I each took a different color of the rainbow:

Rocio took this picture, but she was a lovely shade of pink.  (Clothing wise, not skin wise.)
Rocio took this picture, but she was a lovely shade of pink. (Clothing-wise, not skin-wise.)


The Pride Parade is easily one of the happiest parades I’ve ever been to.  Everyone was laughing, dancing and screaming- it was like Disney World with less expensive merchandise.

I’ve never seen so many things handed out in a single parade.  By the end, we had no less than 25 of each object: temporary tattoos, bracelets, flyers, pins, frisbees, flags… Whoever has to clean up the streets is having fun right now.

I took quite a few pictures.  Unfortunately, I’m short, so half the pictures are full of the hands, arms and heads of everyone in front of me. Okay, now full speedo ahead!

Territorial Rainbow

Rainbow FlagsRainbow Boys

Elphba and Glinda!
Elphba and Glinda!



Danse, Danse, Danse, Danse

French Word of the Day: danse (dawns)- dance

Entertainment is a beautiful form of escapism, and music is one of my favorites.  I’m a big fan of things that are happy and bubbly (I know I hide it well under a dark and depressing exterior), so it comes as no surprise that one of my favorite artists, Mika, sings pop songs.

Many people haven’t heard of Mika, but he’s a fabulous British man who (like me) lived in Paris and speaks fluent French.  I went to one of his first concerts in Chicago, and it was more like a carnival than a concert (in the best way possible).  They handed out lollipops, threw balloons into the audience, and came out on stage dressed in animal costumes.  Basically, he acts exactly like I would if I’d ever made it big as a singer.  Except at my concerts there would be an enormous spray of glitter from the ceiling at the very end.  And possibly a rainbow.

Record labels and concert venue managers would LOVE me.

So you can enjoy Mika’s talent, I’m posting a few songs.  This one has a few swears, but I’m hoping you’ll forgive me when you hear it:

And because we always need more French in our lives:

I’m not the only one who loves Mika.  His live show in Chicago was so popular that it sold out in presales, and tickets never made it to the general public.

My dad is also a Mika fan, and he was unwilling to accept that there weren’t any tickets available.  He began his quest for tickets during my last chemo session and sent out a few emails.  The venue manager took pity on his illness-ridden daughter (moi) and gave us guest passes.  (I’ve probably just spilled some great, unknown secret of the music world.  Oops.)

Mika Lincoln Hall

Our fellow concert goers used the occasion to express their creativity through their clothing.  One of the girls in front of us was wearing a glitter top hat.  I completely supported her because other than Halloween, Mardi Gras, your birthday, New Year’s Eve, and Saturday mornings at my apartment, there are only so many places you can wear a glitter top hat.

Mika’s show began with the most eclectic mix of songs I’ve ever heard- from the Beach Boys to Jay-Z to the Spice Girls to the Little Mermaid, he made sure everyone was represented.

Mika singingMika singing










I realize these are all very blurry.  My phone camera keeps everything in perfect focus until the moment I snap the picture.  I think it’s playing games with me.  I continue to blame the phone; there’s no way it’s user error.

Mika holds the lightbulb tragically

Those fairy lights are going to play a major role in my next apartment.  I will also grab them dramatically while I’m singing, because nothing makes you a better singer than grabbing onto a fairy light.  (It’s the electricity and the pain from being burned.)

Mika, fairy lights, and his gay back up people

Mika, my musical soulmate, I will go to your next concert in Chicago, so please return to me.

La fête de la Saint-Patrick

French Word(s) of the Day: La fête de la Saint-Patrick (la fet day la sawn pah-treek)- St. Patrick’s Day

My next treatment is tomorrow, so I’ve spent my last two weekends having fun honoring my Irish ancestors.  (For the record, this does not mean I was drunk.  I’m only allowed a glass a day.  If I got drunk off that, my ancestors would bow their heads in shame.)

Chicago has embraced St. Patrick’s as its own personal holiday, and by embraced, I mean uses it as an excuse to indulge in near-fatal limits of alcohol.  We’ve also embraced other holidays for this purpose, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but St. Patrick’s Day is by far the most heavily attended.  Drunk, green people can be found in every nook and cranny of the entire city.  (Sometimes they’re just wearing green, sometimes their skin is painted green and sometimes they’re temporarily green from being sick.)

I was feeling decently good for all the festivities, which was nice.  I lasted ALL of Saint Patrick’s Day and even got a few dances in at one of the bars we went to.

My cousin, Bridget, managed to make it to 21 without having a sip of alcohol.  Of course, this meant that she had to catch up on all the fun she’s been missing with a pub crawl.  I was only too happy to assist.  Don’t worry; she’s Irish.  She’s got the whole alcohol thing covered.  Not even a headache the next morning!  I’m so proud.

This necklace turned my neck green.  Luck o' the Irish my foot!
This necklace turned my neck green, so obviously it’s made of only the finest materials.

People did ask if she was wearing an Irish dancer’s wig.  Nope!  That hair is the real thing.

Also, can we observe how you can’t even tell mine’s been falling out?  I told you I had mad skillz.

I hope you all had merry St. Patrick’s Days!

La Pleine Lune

French Word(s) of the Day: la pleine lune (lah plen loon)- the full moon

Did last week feel like it lasted forever to anyone else?  By the end of Monday, I knew I was in trouble because I was convinced it was already Thursday.  There was a full moon, and the crazies came out in full force!

Full moon

I got asked how to use a phone and how to send an email.  (In case anyone was wondering, the most common resolution to any tech problem is “please turn on the machine.”) Someone also asked me how to use Google.  I showed them, but it was extremely rough going there for awhile.  They just could not find that “search” button.  (Yes, the one in the middle of the screen.) I almost sent them this:

But I didn’t because I like not being fired.

Of course, I could just be suffering from all those mood swings I was promised.  Maybe I just had less tolerance for stupidity?  Considering everyone else at work felt the same way, I don’t think it was just me.  Luckily, there was a ton of food left over, so everyone just kept eating their feelings.

Having so much food on hand meant I was eating brownies and cookies at least twice a day.  My stomach has been extremely displeased with my decisions.  (But really, just try to turn down a chocolate peanut butter brownie.  See?  You can’t even resist based off the name!  You’re probably all Googling it now!)  As a result, I swelled up a bit this weekend.

I was okay by Sunday afternoon.  There’s nothing a little Pilates, yoga, and dark chocolate can’t fix.  Except Global Warming.

Stay sane, everyone.


French Word of the Day: l’automne (aw tum)- autumn

Fall ends tomorrow, and with it, my opportunities to post the 5 thousand pictures I’ve taken on my phone.  (A season is only good to me if it’s photogenic.)

In case you all thought I was languishing at home like some 19th century writer, depressed about being ill and frail (5000% of 19th century writers had tuberculosis), here’s some proof that I’ve been going out and enjoying myself rather than writing depressing sonnets in iambic pentameter.

I hope you’re all ready for some orange.

I’ve never tried the gallery thing before, but the Mayan Apocalypse is tomorrow, so I thought I’d try something new before oblivion sets in.

It’s snowing.  Bring it on, winter*!

*Dear Winter, I’m kidding.  Please don’t.

More Lupus Walkin’

French Word of the Day: le comité (co me tay)- the committee

Rocio will be able to make all her ideas for next year’s Lupus Walk become a reality.  She and I have both been placed on the Lupus Walk Committee for 2013.

I went to the Lupus Foundation’s Chicago headquarters today to pick up my prize for raising money (again, thanks everyone!).  It’s a sweet tumbler:

I also got a purple bag for grocery shopping.  I’m all hooked up with my lupus gear.  I’m going with the “I got them because I’m spreading awareness” mantra, but really I just wanted that tumbler.

While I was picking it up, one of the women who works at the Foundation asked me what I do for a living.  I mentioned that I’m a meeting planner, which caught her attention.  She invited me to help plan next year’s event.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

I think this means you all have to actually attend next year.  I’m giving you a year’s notice instead of a week’s this time.

Although I have no idea what day it’s taking place.  I should probably figure that out before the first committee meeting, yes?

Trop Chaud

French Word(s) of the Day: trop chaud (troh show)- too hot 


Mother Nature has been testing us all with her heat waves.  Perhaps she’s trying to burn us all of the face of the Earth?  Because in case you were wondering, 100 degrees Fahrenheit is hot.

You know how much I love my lists, so here’s my handy-dandy Surviving a Scorching Summer guide (note: these are in no way environmentally friendly):

  1. Do not go outside
  2. Ever
  3. I mean it
  4. If you have to go outside, get ice cream.
  5. Or make friends with someone who has a pool.  Use them for their pool.
  6. Wear sunscreen.
  7. Don’t bother to make your hair look pretty; it won’t by the end of the day.  In fact, your hair may need sunscreen.  Indulge it.
  8. Get air conditioning.  Ignore everyone who says air conditioning is bad for your health/ pollutes the air.  Try not to say, “I told you so” when they ask if they can use your air conditioning because their homes are unlivable.  (But really, I did tell you so.)
  9. In a pinch, standing in front of the refrigerator will do.
  10. Plan a trip to the South Pole.  I hear it’s lovely this time of year.

Of course, I’m currently wearing tights, a scarf and a sweater because it’s so cold in our office building.  I’m expecting it to start snowing any minute.  Never fear; I’ll go outside and thaw in under 20 seconds.

Just curious, has anyone attempted to fry an egg on the sidewalk?  Does that work?