Loopy Yarns: the StitchCraft Takeover

My epic knitting/crochet group StitchCraft met on Sunday at Loopy Yarns here in downtown Chicago. They have open knitting Sundays 12-5pm and so we organized four of us to meetup and chat/knit/crochet and shop. Beverly was so awesome to plan this for us! 20140820-080557-29157550.jpg

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Resilience Group with Igloo

A few months ago I saw a tiny little business card for a sustainability group here in Chicago. I was dying for some homies that were into sustainable and economical initiative and decided to inquire. I luckily ended up stumbling upon Igloo – an epic learning cooperative created by my friend and fellow life wizard Kyle King. Anyways, we meet every Sunday in Pilsen here in Chicago. Each week Charlie facilitates an amazing discussion about a certain topic pertaining to our local and global sustainable agendas. We’ve talked about local v. organic, waste water management, zero impact, we have learned about zero scaping, we have canned salsa together, and just had really impressive and well thought conversations about our world pertaining to sustainable initiative.

This past Sunday we actually went to Charlie’s casa and helped harvest his summer garden and plant his fall/winter selections! I love being able to work in the dirt and be a part of a community that allows for me to dabble in urban homesteading even though I don’t have the space in my current apartment.

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Noodles’ Dopesmoker

I got to meet an awesome tattooer and person this past Sunday – Noodles. Alisha Rice introduced me to him via their tattooing relationship and mega cat enthusiast agendas. Since Noodles works in a super successful and busy shop outside the city I didn’t expect to see him until my future appointment around Thanksgiving Day. However, he had a last minute opportunity to work at Chicago Tattooing Company and I figured if anything I’d pop in to say hello. Well it worked out he had time and I was stoked on some “Rollo-esque” flash he had done a while back so I chose a skull Dopesmoker.

Super happy with it. Thanks again Noodles!

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Xxx
GFK

Shotgun Showdown

Months ago I decided to pick up a LivingSocial Deal for a clay pigeon shooting session. Lois was in town over the weekend and so we decided it would be a perfect time to use it too.

The Richmond Hunting Club offered the deal and I wasn’t too sure what to expect before arriving. The Club is located about 80 minutes outside of Chicago (traffic free), close to the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. The thing about guns and shooting, in my opinion is that sometimes people are very protective and not very warm about teaching/fostering a sense of empowerment and safety. I wasn’t sure if we would stumble upon friendly gun-enthusiasts, or a grumpy city-hating gun club. (It turns out they were a GREAT group of gun enthusiasts in a very welcoming club.) Personally, I’m lucky enough to have grown up around firearms as well as been taught as an adult by my favorite ex-military Führer how to shoot, clean, and maintain firearms safely. I could imagine for some their first experiences with firearms could be not so safe/fun/interesting/proper though, leaving the door open for poor gun handling practices and unsafe conditions. Here in Illinois, there is a huge split about guns in our culture/society. Considering much of the state is rural – it’s no surprise firearms are welcome in farming/rural communities and so lamented within the city of Chicago. I have researched and also become informed about the huge illegal gun market/social problems in Chicago – but – for me, my experience with firearms and shooting has no correlation to this epidemic. I will never purchase a gun illegally, or at all in Illinois, nor will I ever engage in unsafe gun handling scenarios. I understand that guns are guns, but my experience with guns, in no way shape or form resembles the tragic gun violence that sadly plagues Chicago. I have no idea how to begin to remedy this issue, but I know that making guns illegal for all is not the solution. I do know that proper safety and engaging in a culture that passes down the respect and importance of guns is something I do identify with. That is my opinion from my experience – you are entitled to yours.

That being said. We arrived. The people were very welcoming and were incredibly excited that we were early! I have heard this complaint about Chicagoans quite often when traveling outside the city for appointments – apparently everyone forgets that 90/94 is a MESS most of the time and you always have to add 30 minutes on to a commute outside the city proper. We bought our additional 75 rounds at $1 a piece (!!!! this is when you can tell you are not at the gun show !!!!), grabbed some attractive safety vests, our 20G Shotguns, and headed to the clay pigeon course.

First, our ‘puller’ and firearm companion for the morning was awesome. He really made our trip and time SO MUCH FUN. We were able to quickly master the mechanics of the shotgun so that our marksmanship skills became the focus early on versus struggling with loading/processes. Lois did so so well at this. I was super impressed with her sighting skills and gained some great pointers from her gun/body movement. I’m much more a ‘wait till the target passes my line of sight’ versus ‘follow the target’ shooter. We both did so great. I was really proud of our skills and our aptitude at firing effectively. On the ‘bunny simulator’ I hit 8/10 clays and was really proud – but again I just set up my sight and waited for that ‘wabbit’ to breeze by and then BAM.

We shot 100 rounds each at 10 different blinds/scenarios and I would highly recommend the Richmond Hunting Club for any sport/recreational/hunting practice shooting. The ammo buy-in was really expensive, but the blinds and the shooting scenarios were worth it (seriously best course ever) – not to mention our ‘puller’ was just great. We had a blast. I will def try to get back as often as I can because it was just a really great time. Thanks Richmond Hunting Club! 🙂

xxx
GFK

Lost in Oblivion

Well June has historically been a quiet blog month for me and this one is no real exception. I guess the summer is always strange for me. Don’t get me wrong this one is great so far. I’m loving riding my bike around the city (my arm is finally okay to ride – not okay for pushups/inversions), the warmer weather is so awesome, friends are wonderful, there’s LOADS of events, and just exploring. However, summer is always full of so much change for me. I never have a summer that doesn’t almost ‘redefine’ me. Two summers ago, my grandma died – the dude left me – then I decided to move to Chicago. Last summer, the dude left me again, I got sober and changed most of the things I felt/did/experienced. This summer is the first summer that I am genuinely happy with me, my life, and my goals.

Something I’m working on personally is living in the moment. I tend to be a very goal orientated person. I find that most of my past four years has been spent saying ‘when I graduate…’ ‘when I take the GMAT’ ‘when I get a job’ ‘when when when’…. Well, it’s a fine line to look forward to something, like a vacation or a special occasion, and to live in that moment – instead of this one. I find that my expectations become insatiable when I begin to focus on something in the future. I have to say it was quite the wake up call when I did not do well on the GMAT. To go from such a structured ideology of what my plan was going to be, to actual reality was my signal to slow down. There are so many opportunities and options out there. What is it that I really want? I’m working on that now, because my ‘master plan’ has changed greatly as of two weeks ago.

This moment is special. I am in the best shape I have ever been in, in my entire life – mentally, physically, spiritually. I am so full of excitement about my hobbies and my interests, sometimes I have to just tell myself to ‘simmer down buddy’. This moment is my life. I’m so proud of my life. I’m proud of who I am and I have to constantly remind myself that although I do have goals and that everything is a process, that the journey itself is something to relish in versus endure. I’m not sure why I’m writing something so personal here, I guess I just feel I should document this for myself. This blog is living journal for me and occasionally I’ll randomly read something from years back and just marvel at all the things that have happened. It’s important to remember that this moment is special.

Anyways, I finally understand what everyone was talking about when they said ‘summer in Chicago is so amazing.’ It really is and I’m so happy I gave myself the opportunity to enjoy it.

I’ve been listening to a lot of this song lately too. Oblivion by Mastodon. “Leaving you behind was my lonesome song”

And of course as always Pallbearer.