Kidney Stones & Craft Beer: A Tale of One City

I’ve been living in Chicagoland for approximately one month now, and I have a few things to show for my time here so far:

  • Several hundred dollars worth of Metra BNSF passes
  • A watch with a martini where the “5” should be (some things never change)
  • A parking ticket from the city of Aurora
  • A working (albeit loose) knowledge of the general way to navigate myself around the loop, River North, and Michigan Ave (my bad)
  • Several hilarious attempts at hailing cabs, taking the L alone, and being trapped inside public parking lots
  • A kidney stone (also my bad)

I’m hoping to ditch that last one ASAP, but passing kidney stones can be likened to labor in more than one way. Go figure.

I won’t go into the nitty gritty details of the process because it involves fun things like urine sieves and narcotic-laden IV drips, but if anyone uses phrases like “writhing on the floor” and “worst pain of my life” when describing it to you, don’t hesitate to believe them.

I’ll be on my couch for the next two days should you choose to drop by and watch E’s Sex and the City marathon with me.

A few other notable moments of June:

1) Getting Stuck in the Parking Lot at US Cellular (Go Sox And Such)


I’ll go ahead and state the obvious and say that the real world is not quite like college. Or, in this case, Lot C at the Cell isn’t quite Lot X at Mizzou. When Kelsey and I drove out to meet Natalie, Scott, and Chris for a Sox game, we didn’t even think twice when leaving my car in the lot for – oh, I don’t know, the entire day – while we wreaked havoc on explored the city. When we attempted to drive back to the ‘burbs post-festivities, we realized that all the gates in our lot were completed closed and locked. A very angry looking young man in a golf cart had to come let us out about 45 minutes later, much to our embarrassment and much to his dismay. Lesson learned.

2) Whittl 

Working at a startup has been one of the greatest experiences of my life ever (if you live in the Chicago, you should totally book an appointment online there). I get to walk along the Chicago River on my way to the office every day, have been able to contribute to a bunch of different projects, and have learned approximately 1,000,300 new things. The office is stocked with beer, coffee, and snacks, and I’ve gotten to do some fantastic things, like go to TechWeek Chicago and watch the World Cup with my coworkers at a Mexican restaurant aptly named Patron’s.

I also conveniently work approximately two blocks from Mary, which is great come happy hour.



3) Sleep

This probably sounds incredibly lame, but if you’ve known me for any stretch of time in the last four years, you know that I slept approximately five minutes each night all throughout college. I now go to sleep at 10pm on weekdays. I shit you not. This is probably because I get up at 5am, but hey, I’m proud. And well-rested. I think.

No worries – I’m still my couch-crashing, sleep-deprived self on the weekends.

4) The Roach Family

After spending my entire childhood in Texas, it has been awesome living close to my extended family. I fully realized I could see them whenever I wanted on Father’s Day this year. I was on the phone with my grandpa, and in the middle of our conversation, he was like, “Katie? Do you just want to have this conversation at brunch?”

Touche, grandpa, touche.

My dad and stepmom also recently bought a cottage on Lake Michigan near South Haven, about two hours from Chicago. They’ll be here this weekend before they drag the U-haul out to the new place, and I am so incredibly excited for all the weekends of drinking beer on the beach reconnecting with the Roaches of the greater Chicago area all the time now. With Connor at U of I, this means that my immediate family will be reunited in Chicago frequently, too.

Where dreams come true.

5) Really awesome beer everywhere


This isn’t really new. Just, you know, notable.

6) Deep Dish Pizza

My Essential Reason For Existing, A Cumulative List:

  • Giordano’s
  • Jet’s
  • York Tavern
  • Gino’s East
  • Lou Malnati’s
  • Working harder, sry guys

7) And, as always, I’ve had more than my fair share of amazing food, wine, and beer since I got here.












And we’re just getting started.

Overall, my first month in the Windy City has been amazing. Actually, it’s been more than amazing. A bit of an early-life existential crisis led me here about two years earlier than I had anticipated, but it’s clear to me every single pizza-filled day that I made the right decision when I moved to this fantastic, magical city – or, as Jim Roach calls it, The Center of the Known Universe.

Mary, Christen, and I will be signing a lease in the city here in the next month or two, and we have been conducting every possible White Girl Activity we can dream up  (think Pinterest boards and Williams Sonoma trips) in preparation for the big event.

For now, I’m having a blast staying in the suburbs and relaxing with the always fantastic Herrmann family, going out in downtown Naperville and Geneva, and occasionally crashing with Ashley in River North so we can once again terrorize Blackfinn (wait, I think that was just me.)




It’s all quite ironic at the end of the day. I spent most of last semester lamenting moving across the country while drinking margaritas with Mary, and Kels and I were emotionally preparing ourselves to tearfully end our four-year roommate-ship. Alas, here I am, working in the city, living with Kelsey, getting lunch once a week (ok, more than once a week) with Mary and spending Friday nights in Geneva at Amanda’s. Life after college turns out to be just like college, except with tall buildings and a salary. I think it might be even better.


I’m so happy to be here.


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  1. And we are so happy you’re here, too! Make the most of this time, girl. It comes but once. And I hope those darn stones evacuate quickly and you can get back to all of these things that make you smile.

  2. Z

     /  July 2, 2014

    so happy for and proud of you. aLSO I live only 2.5 hours east of South Haven!!!! Cant wait to see you!!

  3. Heather

     /  July 3, 2014

    Love your post! Well, everything except the Kidney stone. Keep drinking that water girl!!! I am so glad you are happy. You just made my day! I’m still working on finding a weekend to come visit you. I had hoped to come this summer but I think it will have to be in the Fall. The good news is that then I will get to see your new apartment! Hang in there sweetie and take care of yourself! xo Heather

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