Platonic Lady Crush of the Week

Welcome to a (hopefully!) regular installment here at at LNEN (I luv abbrevs).  We all admire different special ladies, whether famous, fictional, or close to us.  This column will give us the opportunity to share our platonic love with the world and get these ladies some of the recognition they undoubtedly deserve.  I personally have many lady crushes that will be covered (by me or probably snatched by one of the other ladies) in the coming weeks; including: Leslie Knope, Tami Taylor, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Mindy Kalin, KATY PERRY (this will be an epic post, she is my platonic lady crush of my life), Emmy the Great, Luna Lovegood, The Young Victoria, etc. etc.

For our first official lady crush of the week, I have chosen (drum roll please):

taken from Last.FM

Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club!

I was listening to Slow Club this morning and was inspired to write about Rebecca.  She has a beautiful voice, she’s British, she has awesome hair (PURPLE STREAKS in their most recent video), is an all around blonde beauty, and she just seems like someone I’d get along with really well.  I did some research/stalking on her and found out that she writes a blog for the band!  AND she has a weekly post about her current crush (where I found out she also has an affinity for gingers, like me).  Hopefully one day I will get to see Rebecca perform live and actually get to meet her, but until then, I will start practicing the dance moves she displays in the video for “Where I’m Waking”.  And consider fuschia lipstick.

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Oh hey guys! and gals (ok, only gals)


For my first post, I’m going to go back. back to 2011. back to the year of blizzards, burning Christmas trees, graduations, new jobs, new cities, and new lives! 2011 was the year of many things, but I’m going to head and just list some of my favorite (mostly musical) things of 2011.



Great Albums:

1. Wye Oak- Civilian

2. St Vincent- Strange Mercy

3. North Highlands- Wild Ones

4. Cults- Cults

Cults – You Know What I Mean

5. Pj Harvey- Let England Shake

PJ Harvey – The Last Living Rose

6. Drake- Take Care

Drake – Make Me Proud

7. The Throne

Jay Z – That’s My Bitch

8. Lykke Li- Wounded Rhymes

Lykke Li – I Know Places

9. Los Campesinos- Hello Sadness

Los Campesinos! – Hello Sadness

10. Laura Marling- A Creature I don’t Know

Laura Marling – I Was Just A Card


More great songs:

Tune-Yards – Powa

Slow Club – Beginners

The Kills – Baby Says

The Elected – Look At Me Now

Eleanor Friedberger – My Mistakes

Little Dragon – Ritual Union

Okkervil River – Your Past Life as a Blast

Beirut – Goshen

The Drums – Money

EMA – California

Florence + The Machine – What The Water Gave Me

The Raveonettes – Forget That You’re Young

Dum Dum Girls – Wasted Away

Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

The Joy Formidable – I Don’t Want To See You Like This

Feist – The Circle Married The Line


Other great things-

This picture:


Coach Taylor.

FNL on Netflix

Parks and Rec


Trader Joe’s

The Royal Wedding

Robyn (still)



Harry Potter



A hodge-podge

This is my first post. Unlike the other bloggers, I’m a grad student. A science grad student. This means I spend a lot more time than most people thinking about, reading about, worrying about, and writing about science. My posts will probably showcase this. However, it’s still winter break for us grad students in Ireland so I’ve been left to my own devices. This yields:

1. I bought a kindle. It’s revolutionary. Everyone should. I’m reading EVERYTHING. Just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain. Such an emotional book. Dogs are the best.

2. I went skydiving. My parachute was blue. That might reveal something about my personality. It was terrifying but also amazing. I think I nearly had a heart attack at the start when the whole “there was a plane and now there is no plane” idea hit me. All of the photos, ect of this event look like I’m about to die of terror.

3. Meyers-Briggs wise, I’m an ESFP. I guess I’m more feelings than rationality (truth) and extroverted (very truth). The internet says based on this I should work in sales or counseling. Fat chance. SCIENCE!

4. My family has a college bowl games extravaganza. Out of the 20+ extended family members, I’m tied for last. N. Illinois better win this one!


Adventures in Book Clubbing

One of my favorite things to do when I have free time, and even when I don’t have free time, is to read. While I’ll read any type of book from any genre, one of my favorite genres to read is young adult literature. I could go on forever about why I like YA and why everyone should read it, but I no longer feel the need to justify why I read books written for teenagers. While my friends will make fun of me for my love of YA, I think that they all thank me for introducing them to The Hunger Games (am I right, Brooke?). When I found out online about a YA book club that meets in DC, I knew I had to go.

My friend Melissa and I, after we discovered we shared a love of YA, had been talking about joining this book club for a while, and we decided that this week was the week. However, we were still timid about the thought of joining a group of people who have already had the chance to bond over some good reads. I’ve never been part of a book club but I assumed it was an elite group, unwelcoming to outsiders. Thus, our plan was not to actually join the book club but rather sit next to them and eavesdrop with hopes that they would ask us to join their group. This is more or less what happened.

The book club was due to meet at an adorable little teashop at 2:00 (I’ll refrain from giving actual locations in case anyone from this book club ever stumbles upon this and reads about how pathetic I am), so Melissa and I decided to get there early and scope out a good spot for creeping. I got there first and found a good table next to a group of girls that I pegged correctly as members of the book club. I listened to them discuss YA books and movie adaptations of YA books as more members of the club began to arrive. When Melissa got there the book discussion had already started but she confirmed my suspicions that this was indeed the club we wanted to join. We spent the hour at our own table drinking tea and eating delicious scones until we noticed that the book club was disbanding. Then, Melissa boldly went over to their table and told them that we had overheard their discussion and were interested in joining the group’s next meeting (partly true). Information and email addresses were exchanged, introducing us to the book club and making us 100% more likely to actually sit with them next time.

This blog isn’t meant to be an advice column but I hope that my situation has given some good lessons about what to do when hesitant about joining a new group or club: don’t be outgoing and join outright but rather lurk on the outside and wait for an opportune moment to jump in.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on future book club activities.

Chicago Avenue

I live in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, very near to the John Hancock Building, Water Tower Place, Michigan Avenue and the endless stream of tourists that shop there.  Living so close to great shopping is fun for me, bad for my wallet.  Michigan Avenue is a great place for people watching and being so close to the lake gives me no excuse not to run along the Lakeshore path.  But one of my favorite things about my apartment is the location of the CTA train stop that I use (also known as the “L”).

Photo from WikipediaI often take the Red Line to visit my friends and family in Lincoln Park; getting off at Fullerton is so easy, and when I am super lazy I get off at Fullerton and switch to the Brown Line to get to Brookie’s house.  The Red Line is also very convenient for getting to all the bars in Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville and Lakeview.

The L stop that I frequent most is the Red Line stop of Chicago and State.  “State Street, that great street” is actually great for shopping too, but Chicago Avenue is notorious for being a sketchy street.  I usually start walking down Chicago Avenue at Fairbanks, across the street from Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  This part of the street is actually very nice, with a couple of parks and an historic fire department building.

Then comes Michigan Avenue…PEOPLE EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME (except in the middle of the night, which I have experienced a few times when returning home from the bars).  Continuing down Chi Ave one passes Anthropologie (one of the most beautiful stores ever), Nordstrom Rack and a few fancy hotels.  This is where it starts to get interesting.  On the next block there is a “Checks Cashed Here/Currency Exchange” place; RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM A GIORGIO ARMANI STORE!  Do you think people who shop at Armani ever need to get their payday checks cashed immediately?

Down the next block are a bunch of food/coffee places, including a Jimmy John’s (seriously still freaky fast in the city and delivered by a hipster on a bike), Chik-Fil-A (never open on Sunday, the only day I’m hungover enough to crave it), Starbucks, a

Looks totally safe during the day...

fro-yo place (which I’m sure I will frequent often in the warmer months), Qdoba and the most entertaining place in the vicinity, the 24 Hour McDonald’s.

I’m certain that the regular police presence near the entrance to the L is only because of this 24 hour McDonald’s.  It attracts homeless people, drug dealers, drunk people, unsuspecting tourists who strayed too far from Michigan Avenue and people who live in the area that just want some chicken nuggets and a McFlurry (like me).  I enjoy seeing the policemen though, because they make me feel safer, and they are always cute.  And once one of them saved me from a crazy homeless man.

It was Halloween weekend and I was returning to my apartment from Wrigleyville alone (probably not a great idea), dressed as Minnie Mouse.  I was very proud of my mostly homemade costume and sequin Minnie ears which I had bought the last time I was in Disneyworld.  As I descended the escalator up to Chicago Ave with other still drunk passengers I was lunged at by a crazy old homeless man.  “MINNIE MOUSE!” he yelled as grabbed me.  I was still a little inebriated, so at the time it seemed like more of a hug and I wasn’t frightened, but looking back on it, I probably should have been more scared.  Luckily one of the cute members of the Chicago PD was there to tell the guy to back off and I scurried home.

That is the most memorable thing to happen to me on Chicago Ave (so far…), but I’ve also seen/smelled people smoking pot, witnessed 2 drag queens dressed as Lady Gaga get into a cab (also Halloween weekend) and more recently heard 2 homeless men discussing their New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m sure many more adventures await me on that bizarre street and I will greet them with a smile (unless it is someone coming at me with a switchblade).

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