If You Give A Mouse A Move Across The Country…

Hiya folks! Figured I’m a wee bit overdue on a check in and there’s things to share!

“So did you take that test?” – FSOT/Foreign Service πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ›οΈ

  • Update: I did not take the test/apply in October
  • The move took more out of me than I thought it would; September was insanely busy post-move and I just…didn’t have it in me. Trying to do a better job listening to my body when she’s like ‘maybe you need to actually REST.’ So illness snuck away the June date, I chose to skip the October date which means FEBURARY IS GAME TIME, Y’ALL
  • This means ALL the diplomatic podcasts, tv shows (Hi, Madam Secretary), blogs, Reddit, etc. and of course…
  • FSOT study guides! I also subscribe to the FSO Compass site and have found it SUPER helpful. I even talked a friend into subscribing! Click here to check it out/join (full disclosure: if you sign up using this link I get a mini perk when my re-subscribe time comes up)!
  • Want to know more about why I moved across the US to prepare for applying to the Foreign Service? Why I think it’s for me? Check out my August 2022 post here.

“So do you still do standup?” – Improv Comedy 🎟️🎭

  • I took a standup class at Second City and quickly learned I’m a team sport kid through and through; improv is my speed, not stand up.
  • If you’re ever in Chicago please, please go see my former teammates and still-friends at RIFF do the most brilliant musical short-form improv at the Annoyance Theater on Thursdays – they will make you laugh and probably learn some weird history factoids from my friend Ben. Yes, there’s two of them. They’re both full of strange facts.
  • If you prefer your improv a little outside Chicago, see a show or 7 at Laugh out Loud in Schaumburg. I got to be part of this ensemble for only a year and I’m still sad that was it! They have an amazing cast and are one of the best-prepared theaters I’ve been a part of!
  • However, now that I live in Washington State, that commute to Chicago is untenable and I’m excited to share some fresh news: I’ve been cast on the Upfront Theatre’s performance team. The Upfront is the spot in Whatcom County for improv; I’ve been lucky to guest twice before when visiting and I’m so excited to be re-learning my long-form improv muscles with this cast. The audition process was truly fun (trust me, that’s rare) and it feels just…good to be doing improv again regularly. Like my creative brain sighed and happily wriggled her toes, doing make-believe about stroopwafels and Swedish Fish.
  • I’ll shout out when I start being in shows; they doing a great job of easing you in over 3 months and assigned us each a mentor during the break-in process. Please know I will judge you for the suggestions you shout out.

“How are the cats?” – Queen (Fleck) & Bean (Blitzen) Update 🐱🐱

  • *Peers over side of bed* lookin’ good
  • Mostly sleepin’ at night
  • Still need to find a vet locally
  • Delighted w new treats I brought home today from TJ Maxx (Blue Buffalo)
  • Like hunting bugs and watching birds since we live by a creek
  • Both have turned 1 year old! Which is wild. Queen’s bday was the first week of September, and Bean’s the first week in November. I got him a lil HAT and he HATED it and the word HAT is inside of HATE and now that’s cute. Like him.

How’s Washington?” – PNW Stuff 🌧️🌲

  • The usual weather for fall – but it did take forever to get here – highs in low-mid 40s, lows in low-mid 30s – ranging between all gray er’day to bright, sunny, crispy crunch-ety. Pretty wet/damp.
  • I got to go to a high school pal’s wedding and it was amazing. I drove 6 hours in the Jeep (is this a road trip) and took a ferry! by myself! My mom was like “It’s only scary if you’re the first car on” which means of COURSE I was the first car on and indeed! it’s spooky! But happy to have done a brave new thing, seen a bunch of people I love for the first time in a long time, and get dressed up, eat good food, take silly photobooth shots and laugh more than should be legal.
  • Speaking of catching up, I got to grab dinner with several high school ladies (and ran into 2 other folks from our graduating class) this week; what a gift to see the people we’ve grown into. That we’re all just people trying our best and that there’s a lot more to connect us than divide us.
  • Gas is still expensive, but thankfully down from the very-close-to-$5-per-gallon. Normally around $4.05-4.15 at Costco and you best believe your girl makes strategic Costco trips just for gas.
  • Still enjoying driving but sometimes I miss the ease of just getting on the train or bus and resting/turning off my brain during the ride. Now I have to be alert and there’s speed limits and I have autonomy yuck I like it all right I guess (and love parking this tiny, bitty Jeep).
  • In other, tougher, news: our family had a hard weekend; one of our best boys, Grizz, passed on late Friday afternoon. He’s been struggling with his breathing for awhile and we’re all so happy he’s no longer in pain and is now breathing good in clean air, jumping in crunchy leaves, probably eating oodles of cheese and snuffling up dropped food in a world made for him. He was the best himbo: he loved with 104% of who he was and knew we loved him too. He took care of us for 12 years and the world seems a little dimmer without him the last few days 🐾

That’s all for now; excited for some next steps like getting into things at the Upfront, ordering some chrome steps for the Jeep (right now you gotta hop up in there like a Keelber elf), and having my first Thanksgiving at home since I was 18. Yeah, it’s been that long.

✨ Look forward to me editing this in a day or two with “OH NO I FORGOT THIS BIG THING I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT I—”

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