June 18, 2010

Living La Vida con Amorelinda, on uno peso

the awesome and brilliant (just IMO) DJ Jeff Craven
After leaving the lunch (for which I paid the City of Chicago metered parking in the amount of--what--is it now 25 cents for fifteen seconds of parking? Seriously, I paid $7.00 for one hour and 43 minutes of metered parking), I rushed home for an appointment, later met a tenant for lease signing in the Gold Coast, then drove to Streeterville where I parked my car and walked a block to the North Pier terminal to board a boat for an evening of fun, frolic, food, friends, and dancing to the machine--the sounds--of legendary DJs Jeff Craven, Lego, and Phatman. My shout-outs are coming hard and fast these days, but Jeff Craven and the lovely Marla are one couple I have admired and adored since the day I met them--at their wedding ~ ten years ago!

Little better place to be in the world than a cruise on Lake Michigan on a hot June night, especially when it is a benefit event for a worthy charity and lots of great friends, new and old, are on board.

Laura Donnelly Schmidt and Marla Craven (in rainbow sequins)
How does a broke girl swing this? First, anything that's for charity is an easier spend than just doling fifty bucks outright for an evening cruise. So that's done. But what about the $25 parking fare in that upscale part of the city--huge tourist center?

I originally planned to bicycle to the event, or take public transportation. But then I happened upon a website where, just serendipitously, I could sign for a mystery shopping assignment at a parking lot just one block from North Pier terminal, where the boat was boarding. How awesome was that? Sometimes being Broke but Happy is about being in the right place and at the right time. I am actually willing to take occasional very-low-paying mystery shopping gigs when it suits my schedule and needs. Rather than paying $25 for parking, I snagged free parking, plus will get a $10 check in the mail in about two months (worth the wait), for having completed an online report tonight about how the parking lot, signage, pay station and parking booth cashier experience played out.

Best part of the night: Fun is really truly priceless. Wind in your hair, sun in your eyes, and later moon, skyline of Chicago, fine conversation with great people, a few of whom I have known north of 20 years, some of whom I just met --like a woman whose name I thought was so cool. She introduced herself as Amore-Linda--"pretty love" in Spanish.

Thus wrapped another wonderful day in the life of this Broke Girl who left her corporate working-for-the-man days long behind. Stay tuned for more tips and crazy antics. (Like sending a check deposit in the amount of $1,000 toward a bath renovation I've decided to start next week, but mailing it to the contractor in a recycled envelope--how's that for broke-y craziness?) Ah, but if I didn't recycle an envelope here or there, or do three more parking garage mystery shops tomorrow in my spare time (to net another fifty bucks' pay), I'd be back there working for the man, or unable to afford the new bathtub I'm looking forward to getting installed.

Pretty love to you, my dear reader.

Pretty City / Cuidad Linda, si?

A handsome square jawline ya showing there, Dave Hollar

Backview of the Lyric Opera Building
Emily Kiang

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