Sunday, January 19, 2014


One of my biggest mistakes as a college student was not taking a psychology course.  At the time I was really twitterpated with Comparative Religion (I couldn't pick a focus between Jewish Studies, Early Christianity, or Eastern Religion) and Post Modern Literature classes, and I spent all my extra credits there.   People are fascinating.  Brains are fascinating.  In the last couple of years I've read a little bit on Child Psychology and Early Childhood brain development, and I just can't get enough. 

My father is the same way.  What can I say, I am my father's daughter.

This year for Christmas I got him a book by Psychologist Daniel Kahneman called, Thinking Fast and Slow.  Yesterday, I picked up a copy for myself and started reading.  I can't really recommend this book yet (since I just started reading it), but I am excited to learn more about (zombie voice) BRAINZ.  I will update you on my opinion (as well as my DAD's!) as soon as I have one. 

Also this weekend I went to a new bar in Logan Square called "The Distillery."  We had a great time even though they did not serve beer.  Re: Distillery.  I did however enjoy SEVERAL grapefruit vodka cocktails called, "Pomela Spritz."  Highly Recommended.  The hangover I experienced the next day, Not Recommended. 

In other BIG NEWS I found a one bedroom apartment in Andersonville that I will be moving into in February!  I am so excited to get back to cooking soups, having dinner parties, binge reading books that I purchased from Women and Children First bookstore (just down the street!), and walking around the house topless! 

2014.  The year of protecting hearts and building empires.

Here is a throwback song from Mates of State (2008) that I fell in love with all over again last weekend. You will too. 
"Everything is going to get lighter, even if it never gets better."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Starting Over.

Things end.  Things start.

Like this blog.

I stopped writing in it.  BAM.  Ended.

Sometimes things start anew.

I'm writing here again.  So, it has started.  Beginning.


2013 was a rollercoaster.  Tragedies, big changes, finding love, losing love, facing death, facing pain, facing identity, losing home, finding home, losing family, giving up, getting up, starting over...
In 2013 I learned so much about positivity.  I learned that there are incredible moments in even the darkest days.  I learned this from my students.  I learned this from my Mother.  I learned positivity from being in extreme pain.  Funny. Not really.

2014.  The year of protecting hearts.  The year of adventures yet to start.  The year of music, education, work, health, reading, finding silver linings, trust, forgiveness, laughter, caution, acceptance, vacations, bike rides, new friends, new loves, new family.

I'm going to make this magical year happen.  The only way I know how to make things happen is to plan.  List.  To do lists...

Here we go- Ten things to do in 2014:

1.  Read one book (for pleasure) a month.  I know this goal sounds small, but being a teacher is a wackadoo job that takes up most of my brain power and time.  I love to read.  I miss it.  I don't want to miss it anymore.  Reading.  Boom.
2.  I want to beat my PR in the proud to run 10K.  This will be great motivation for me to get back to the gym.  Right now I am the weight I was when I graduated high school (stress weight loss FTW), but I'd really like to be healthier and feel stronger.
3.  Take Guitar lessons.  (Prepare yourself to be serenaded, ladies!)
4.  Move into my own apartment.  No roommates.  Ever. Again.
5.  Go to Europe.  See my birthplace.  See where my Grammer grew up.
6.  Take a Yoga class.  I know.  I know.  Scary.  I'm going to make AJ go with me.
7.  Finish the word wall in my classroom.  (You guys have no idea how big that is.)  I'm going to trick Mandy into helping me.
8.  Go camping.
9.  Host my sister in Chicago over Pride weekend.
10.  Consume art.  Go to at least 10 concerts.  Make sure to check out free nights at the MCA.  See as many plays as my budget will allow.  Consume it.  Boom.
11.  Lastly, I will read Infinite Jest.  (Maybe...)

Books.  Bikes.  Beers.  Back.

Currently Reading:  There are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz
Current Favorite Beer:  Little Sumpin' Sumpin'
Current Bike Riding Status: None.  (ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!  Chicago has a -50 degree wind chill)

Now, watch this...

Thursday, January 17, 2013


My last post was well over a year ago.

I made a promise to be more diligent about updating this site, reading more books, drinking more beer, and talking about my two wheel adventures.

Obviously, I did not make good on that promise.

I got distracted.

I met my distraction on a blanket in Millennium Park on a sticky August afternoon in 2011. She laughed loudly, gestured wildly, and was sweating profusely. She was (is) so beautiful. I know I blame Missi for a lot of things, like the weight I've gained since we started dating (UGH!!!) or the crazy confidence I now have to pursue my dreams...

BUT ME FALLING OUT OF UPDATING THIS BLOG REALLY IS ALL HER FAULT. REALLY. REALLY! IT IS HER FAULT! (What is the point of having a super awesome girlfriend if you can't blame them for everything?)

 So... now that THAT is out of the way... Let us get to the important stuff. Anti-Hero IPA. Revolution Brewing in Chicago, IL. Just do it.

 My bike is in desperate need of a tune up. Winter riding in Chicago is AWESOME, but it is teaching my bike to make very strange noises. I'm thinking about taking it to The Bike Lane in Logan Square and purchasing myself a fixed gear whip for my birthday. Dreams, people. Dreams.

As far as books have gone in the past year (let me remind you I've been DISTRACTED) I read some weird stuff (Geek Love- I DON'T RECOMMEND IT), some crappy stuff (The Hunger Games- what?!) and some GREAT STUFF (The Handmaiden's Tale.)

Right now I'm working through a book of short stories by Emma Donoghue.   Astray is a book about about people making a journey.  Whether they be runaways, explorers, or immigrants, all of Donoghue's characters are vibrant and textured.  After the stories Donoghue includes a brief description of what inspired her.  Honestly, it is pretty fun.

So.  That is that.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

you can hang with me...

Oh hai, y'all!

My extravagant summer has finally ended: PRE-SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION!

To all my adoring fans (aka Katie Lary), I'm sorry I didn't update y'all on what I was reading, drinking, or where I was riding my bike. GUYS! I WAS TOO BUSY! I SPENT THIS SUMMER THINKING I WAS DON DRAPER! I'm sorry. It wont happen again!! (Lets be honest: it will probably happen again.)

Here is what you missed:
I read some books (most notably: On Beauty by Zadie Smith... more on that one at another time.)
I drank some summery beers (mostly: Bell's Oberon, Summer Shandy ((don't judge! It is just SO refreshing!)) and Sam Adams Summertime)
I went to Hawaii
I went to Tennessee
I ran a half-marathon (HOLY CRAP, right??!)
I bought a new bike
I rode my bike all over town
I went dancing
I saw some theatre
I cuddled with Weeble
I co-taught a two week Theatre class to a bunch of three and four year olds
I wrote some music
I saw some live music (OH EM GEE- Sia AND The Flaming Lips)
I went to the Art Institute
I became obsessed with Twitter (FOLLOW ME @ThisKatAttacks)
I developed a crazy penchant for dance music (mostly Robyn- SWOON)
I made some new friends
I went to the lake
I went on adventures with both new and old friends
I went on some dates (oooh la la!)
I discovered something called a PIMM'S CUP (So good y'all... just don't try to ride your bike after drinking six of them, even if they do taste like juice.)

SEE! Busy right?!??
Well, guys, I'm back. Expect an another update soon! You can look forward to me telling you how I felt about Zadie Smith's novel, my favorite fall-time brew, and how I kicked ass in Lazar Tag at my friend Andrew's Bachelor Party last night...

For now: watch this music video & then head down to Pilsen to check out the Chicago Fringe Festival!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

these kids are incredible...

My dad posted this video on his Facebook profile this morning and I HAD TO SHARE! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

i've had it with these motha f*cking paddocks on this motha f*cking plane...

This week my beautiful bicycle was stolen from outside my apartment...

They took the lock, the bike and the stop sign the bike was locked to.

It has been a hard week...saying goodbye to my Cherry Red Jamis... BUT NEXT WEEK I'LL BE IN HAWAII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've decided to put the bike issue on the back burner until I return. In the meantime this blog shall be known as BEERS AND BOOKS... IN HAWAAAAIIIII!!!!

SO! For my trip I've been planning out beach reading material.
I think I have settled on:
No One Belongs Here More Than You (I was supposed to read this last summer... and didn't)
The Well of Lost Plots (Part Three in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next Saga)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (some scientists harvested this woman's cells without her knowledge...BOGUS!)

There it is! The whole fam bam flies out bright and early on Wednesday morning. It will be like Snakes on a Plane only more epic...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

two books, wacko and a great album...

I am no stranger to tears. In fact, some might say I am a "crier." I cry at weddings, movies and even occasionally while listening to NPR's This American Life. (oh, Ira Glass...) HOWEVER, it is rare for me to cry while I am reading. It has only happened a handful of times-- Bridge to Terabithia (ten year old Kat is still crying), Written on the Body (why IS the measure of love loss??!), Tuesdays with Morrie (I was 18...don't judge me) and most recently (on the EL) while reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

GUYS- to say this book is beautiful is an understatement! Atwood's tale of a once wealthy Canadian family is poignant, sad and incredibly creative. The story is revealed to the reader in three ways- through the eyes an elderly protagonist, newspaper articles and a novel (The Blind Assasin) written by one of the family members. A NOVEL WITH IN A NOVEL, Y'ALL!!! I give it ten stars out of five. Seriously. That good.

I finished The Blind Assassin on Tuesday night- and picked up Room by Emma Donoghue on Wednesday morning. I finished it this morning...

I've been very busy as of late with rehearsals, kickball, performances, meet ups with old friends.. but every second of free time I could manage the last couple of days was spent reading this book. The story is told from the perspective of a five year Jack, who has been in Room (an eleven by eleven foot soundproof shed in some man's backyard) his whole life. He was born in Room, he plays in room, he has P.E. in Room. He shares room with Ma- who protects him from the scary Old Nick who comes to visit Ma almost every night. As the story unfolds- Ma decides it is time to get out of Room.

This book is super terrifying/ incredibly interesting. A great summer read!!!

AND SPEAKING OF SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Magic Hat's summer brew "Wacko" is back! This beer has beets in it, y'all. It's not too hoppy and not too sweet... but delightfully refreshing. Check it out! T's has it on tap-- $7.50 double pints. le sigh.

IN OTHER BIG NEWS-- I got an advanced copy of Jill Andrews' new album The Mirror. AND IT IS WONDERFUL! The album goes on sale June 7th and can be purchased here.

here she is performing the title track:

I'm off to go for a run... HAPPY WEEKEND!!