We’re finally back in Chicago after spending a fantastic couple weeks back home. New Years was great. Quite a few of the Radio/TV/Film and Theatre crew who I was in school with were back in town for the holidays so we all partied together. Three nights in a row of hanging out with some of my best friends? Sign me up.

First night was seeing Richard Kalinoski’s play My Soldiers. It’s a story about a National Guard medic, Angi, who comes back from Iraq with PTSD following an IED strike. It’s always interesting to see his work since he’s my alma mater’s artist in residence. It’s also awkwardly amusing to see him break his own rules for playwriting and poignantly demonstrate why they’re important. Principally, breaking the “show, don’t tell” rule with a long, expository phone call at the beginning. But by act two, the scenes with the competent therapist are perfect examples of playwriting done right. After the play we hit Polito’s, a by-the-slice pizza joint just off campus and caught up.

New Year’s Eve we partied at JP’s place, where I chugged a cup of champagne because it was given to me in a red cup with a foam head so thick I thought it was just beer. That was an eye opener. It was fun hearing stories from the friends of mine who are out doing professional productions, though none are writing or acting yet. I will admit, it was slightly awkward to be at a party where some were ten years younger than me, though I was not the oldest one there.

When we got back to Chicago, we had to make room for quite a bit of new stuff: a vacuum, a toaster oven, and a printer. Really, it was the printer that catalyzed the cleaning.

In just the area within reach of my office chair, I managed to get rid of two garbage bags full of junk. Everything from old D&D character sheets to an old messenger bag. I had kept the bag (even after getting a new one) in the hopes of finding a place that could repair the clasp, since even with the broken clasp it was the best bag I’ve ever owned. But in two years, I couldn’t get a replacement and the store that sold it is closed.

Other junk cleared out:
– Arm straps for using a pull-up bar for ab workouts
– A charger for a phone I haven’t owned in two years
– Notes for my first book that I never used
– An issue of a UWO alumni magazine that slipped in with my Mensa research journals
– Leftover Census forms
– A bluetooth hands free earpiece that always really sucked to use
– Tons of old driver disks for hardware I haven’t had for ages (Side note, who the hell has needed driver CDs since like . . . 2002?)
– Instruction manual for Acid Music that was shoved in a drawer
– User manual for a camera

But since most of this stuff was in drawers that are now empty, it doesn’t feel like the space is cleaner just yet. I’m sure I’ll notice it as the year goes on, though.

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