Looking Back

I found this picture at my grandmothers last week and have just fallen in love with it. The little boy all the way to the right (next to the Mamma) is my grandfather, August “Gus” Arado. His cheeky little smile kills me! We aren’t sure about the occasion for which this picture was taken, but likely either a 4th of July or maybe even after my Great-grandfather, who had immigrated from Genoa to Chicago, was inducted as an American Citizen. It must have been taken sometime in the early 1920s.

Permit me to get a little sappy for a moment. I found it appropriate to stumble upon this picture during the Thanksgiving holiday, as it truly made me pause and give thanks to the proceeding generations who made great sacrifices that have enabled me live such a cushy life.

Other favorites from my photo safari include:

My Grandmother around 1920

My grandmother (bottom left) with her sister and parents. Check out the car behind them!

My grandmother and her sister are again in this picture, I don’t know who the other kids are. I wouldn’t want to mess with the two blondies in the upper left, but I dig the bows in their hair.

My grandfather is on the far left with his brother and sisters. I think he sort of looks like Harry Potter. Must be the glasses and floppy bangs.

My Grandfather playing cards with the boys. Must be around the 1950s.
My Gram doing a hula-hula dance
Oh yeaaaahhh, the 1970s (must be around ’78 or so). I dig my parents matching plaid and my aunt and uncle’s matching glasses. My Gram is the most fashionable of the bunch!

Guess what….

I am blogging from BEVERLY HILLS (chicago)!

Oh yes, it’s a balmy 50 degrees outside, where is my bikini?? Any moment a waiter will be by with my martini and fresh mango. I am sure Lindsay Loh will be around any minute baring her crotch. Oh, poor Lindsay.

Seriously, I am hanging with my mom and grandma in Chicago for the holiday. I was able to get a decent flight deal at the last moment and flew out yesterday. We’re about half an hour or so out of downtown in the outskirts of the city limits. It seems like most of the buildings around were contructed in the 50s or so, although it looks like tons of old places have been recently knocked down to make more room for the superstores. Funny that a lot of the old buildings still standing have these marquis on them, or is it marquees, I don’t know, I was never a good speller, but that is a whole different story. Anyway.

The marquees, for the most part haven’t changed since 1978 by the looks of them. A dry cleaner we passed earlier promoted in big black block letters:
ED EARS TODAY THANK OU

I know, a picture would have been better, but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time. Moving on…

My gram is the cutest thing ever. Check her out here in the 50s:


She’s nearly 89 now, and doesn’t get around so well anymore, but she tells the best stories about our family in Chicago, especially during the 30s and 40s. I spent a large part of the day trying to replicate copies of her old pictures with my digital camera. Hopefully some will turn out well, like the one of my Gram wearing a hula grass skirt. Or my grandfather playing cards with the boys. Or the entire family standing in front of a huge black locomotive engine in 1935 or so. I will definitely be sharing later on, so stay tuned.

My first thought when they put me in the wheelchair was…

“Oh shit! I don’t have health insurance!”

Ok, yes being a little of a drama queen here. Let’s rewind.

I got a call last night from the local blood bank, where I have given before, asking me to come in as the local blood supply is very low. Sure, how about tomorrow? So I go to the local blood bank, just a few blocks away, and get started. Registration take forever because each time they have to go through my travel resume to make sure I am eligible. It doesn’t matter that each time they get the same story, it’s part of the process each time.

The “giving” process was easy. It really doesn’t bother me at all as long as I don’t watch what is happening. I give pretty regularly so there aren’t really any surprises. The fun began after I went to the recovery table to enjoy some free juice and snacks. I was feeling a little light headed, but nothing too serious and then all of a sudden I hear someone yell, “Nurse!” I thought, uh-oh, sounds like someone needs help. Oh, and oopps, that person is me– and next thing I know I am waking up to a strange environment feeling like someone was rousing me out of the longest nap ever. I was out cold. I fainted.

This was kind of cool since I had never fainted before in my life. After they revived me, they put me in a wheelchair and sent me back to the beds where I had given blood. Thats when I got scared about the health insurance. Yeah, still working on that.

Well, don’t let this little tale stop you from giving blood. It’s really ok… I have don’t it at least 20 times and this is the first time I ever fainted. I blame the Weight Watchers, actully. I mean, surely it’s the diet’s fault right?

Singapore Sling

I got my first interview in a while, thank god because watching my bank account slowly dwindling is definitely stressing me out. I have an interview next week with the Singapore Tourist Board in Manhattan. It isn’t a job offer yet, but getting a call back from one of the 200+ resumes I have sent out is certainly encouraging.

I’ve never been to Singapore, though I have sailed past it. Do you think that will count against me? I hear good things about it from a former co-worker who now lives there and Matthijs who just stopped there on his way home from visiting his sister in Australia. I once went to a presentation by Singapore Airlines while in my former job. It seems like an interesting place.

Also, I have acquired two head hunters this week. One thanks to dear Ashbloem, another I found is specialized in tourism employment. The more I think about it, the more I really feel like I want to stay connected to the travel/tourism industry. I have been checking out every tourist board in NYC looking for jobs this week.

Earlier this week I was watching a little of the Travel Channel and I started to get the itch. Man, I really want to be somewhere, anywhere, new with a guidebook in one hand and a camera in the other exploring quiet foreign corners with Damir. Well, who knows, maybe we’ll find ourselves on a flight to Singapore in the near future. Cross fingers (and toes) that the right thing comes along soon.

Hunting the Head Hunter

OK. I need to find a head hunter.

Yes, yes, some of you have been telling me I need to do this for a while and I am finally giving in. I don’t know exactly why I am so reticent. It just sort of feel like I should be able to do this myself. Why do I need someone to do this for me??

But here is the problem: where do I find one? I don’t want to just look in the yellow pages. Do I sign up for a bunch or just one? HOW DOES IT WORK??

I also need to find health insurance, but I just can’t think about that right now. Its just too tedious.