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The Weekend + Hiking in the Dunes, and I promise this isn't turning into a travel blog

It is the 29th. And I am SO CLOSE TO FINISHING LIKE THREE BOOKS. I'm determined at least some of these will happen before the end of July, or this shall be a very lackluster summer, reading-wise. But the weekend seems to have just ZOOMED by, which I know is a cliche, but that is the pace at which it went. So thanks, ACCURACY.

While trying to finish Invisible Woman -- which is about Nell Ternan and Dickens and I have been working on it since January don't worry about it -- and Rose of No Man's Land -- by Michelle Tea, who is like if you had an author and made her an amazing author -- and The Gifts of the Jews -- which I was maybe supposed to finish for church small group and then none of us really finished the reading because we never do we just sit around and eat Thai food and chat -- so while trying to finish all these this weekend, and making some slight headway, I had to go to the Art Institute with my lovely friends from college, Hannah and Nahree and then tea and then...the Newberry Library's annual book sale.

My roommate told me about this book sale, which is INSANE, because he's SEEN my bookcases and the fact that our dining room table is LITERALLY COVERED IN MY BOOKS RIGHT NOW, but he was still texting me being like "Hey, there's a book sale, you should go." I feel like this is some sort of long game where in the end I die from inhaling too much old book dust, and he Weekend at Bernie's it so I still get paid at my receptionist job, and he gets a two bedroom with cheap rent.

So then froyo after the book sale with my friend Skye at Forever Yogurt, because they have Captain Crunch and let you put your own toppings on, unlike SOME froyo places -- looking at you, Place on Halsted I Refused to Learn the Name Of -- and she's an awesome playwright and has a reading coming up and it's all very exciting and then I went home and napped. BECAUSE I HAD TO HIKE THE NEXT DAY. *cue pictures*


The Indiana Dunes are awesome, and I went with a swell girl named Emily who is NOT my church friend Emily but another Emily, because I guess that name's popular or something. 

So they're part of a state park pretty close to Chicago, and they're popular because it's a bunch of forest and tall sandy hill things (I almost called them mountains, because ahaha I live in Illinois), and you hike around and there's a plaque that's like "BEYOND THIS POINT, you shall encounter the dunes as Native Americans and early settlers did," which would be true if Native Americans and early settlers occasionally encountered people probably named Marla and Dave who were staying in an Airstream trailer down the road and decided to just walk around for a bit before making their grandkids stop zooming around on damn scooters and almost knocking over responsible hikers who have packed trail mix in their backpacks BECAUSE THEY ARE SERIOUS ABOUT THIS.

being a serious hiker

We hiked for a couple hours, and I got very excited about going up pretty much any incline, which Emily was an excellent sport about considering she'd just done an almost-70-mile bike ride the previous day and played softball that morning, whereas I had consumed tea and Captain Crunch-strewn frozen yogurt before napping.

Then we walked down and sat on the beach next to Lake Michigan, which you could see Chicago from (very exciting) and I kind of felt like I was in a Corona ad, except I just had a bottle of water and my Michelle Tea lesbian novel, and neither of those feels Corona-y.

You know when you make yourself go out and do things, and you're like "Huh. If I weren't sitting on this beach right now in 70 degree weather, having just hiked up and down sand dunes that've been around since before early America, I'd be sitting in my apartment figuring out what else I can combine with hummus and eating a chocolate covered banana." Yeah, so what I did was way better. And I encourage you to get out and do shit, because Emily and I HAD NEVER MET BEFORE, and I just messaged her and was like "Hey. Wanna go hiking?" And she DID. And we spent like seven hours together and it was super-fun and awesome and she let me play Gossip in the car ride back, which is the band I'm currently obsessed with (playlist on my Spotify profile if you all want an amazing summary).

Sitting around your apartment watching stuff on Netflix is easy and sometimes necessary, but when you look back on previous years, the things you remember are the things where you had to push yourself in some way. And sometimes that pushing is just "Oh man, this one time I had to get somewhere awesome, but it took THREE BUSES, and I almost stayed home because three buses is bullshit, but I ended up going and it was the best." And you'll remember it because it was different and took effort, and even if you get there and it seems not worth the effort, you have a fun story of this thing you did that turned out to be hilariously shitty.


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