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Chasing Llamas and Tornadoes with a Kansas Native and Stanford Grad

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By , May 8, 2009 4:15 pm

Lauren the Kansas native

Lauren the Kansas native

We met up with Lauren while she was enjoying a dark lager in one of the recently opened up beer gardens in Lakeview. Although we usually don’t mix alcohol with work, the weather was just too great and the beer too cold to resist. Growing up, Lauren traded in one “farm” for another moving from Kansas to Stanford and graduated with a BA in International Relations. She currently works for the world’s largest candy company, specifically around crunching very large-numbers-with-dollar-signs for their gum division. She told us to write that she makes the gum, but unfortunately for her, we decided to print what was “off the record”. Outside of work, she enjoys playing volleyball, cooking and biking – the only problem is her bike was stolen, so she spends most of her days pretending that she has a bike. If you see someone “biking” around lake shore drive without a bike, that is definitely Lauren. Please cheer “Go Stanford! Beat any Division I team…please!” when you see her.

Lauren came prepared with very well thought of answers, but we ended up asking her some pretty irrelevant questions:
Did you see a lot of tornadoes while you were growing up in Kansas? Did you ever chase them? Never saw any. And no, I never chased them, do I look like I have a mullet?

If you could ask the wicked witch of the west one question, what would it be? Can I have the shoes? Is that even the right witch?

Going to school at Stanford was like summer camp, but there were too many squirrels so I moved to Chicago, where it’s only like summer camp 3 months a year and not too many squirrels.

My bike was stolen multiples times, then I got yelled at by my friends and family, and found that you really do have to lock it despite how nice you think your neighbors are.

My favorite gum flavors are Tropical, Blueberry, and Sweetmint, but I always wanted a sweet potato fry flavored one so I could chew it with my favorite burger.

Favorite igo car is a Civic hybrid, but, this one time, I found a bag of rotting fish in it.

Driving in Chicago is like playing “paper boy”, so I travel with NPR playing, and try to make my voice sound like an NPR voice (wow you really do sound like the radio…how do you do that?!).

I like MafiaWars because I’m addicted, I NEED TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL!! If I become Don (Vito) Corleone, I will return to playing scrabble on my phone.

So where do we find the Stanford kids in Chicago?
North Avenue beach is great when there’s a pick-up volleyball game, but when I want to bike (only pretend biking because my bike was stolen) without fear of small children, wild dogs, or cross-path dodge ball, I would rather take the North Branch Trail to Hackney’s for lunch.

I would definitely check out Kuma’s Corner on the Northwest Side, but never an Irish bar on a Saturday night in Lincoln Park

If I couldn’t use my igo for a day (because of the rotting fish), I would check out Montrose Beach and visit the Dog Beach and kayak on the lake for a bit.

Best place to get caffeine is anywhere that serves Intelligentsia coffee. If all the barista’s stopped serving it, I would have no motivation to wake up on Saturdays, but get my fix from Uncommon Ground instead.

Secret lunch spot: the Japanese Noodle place in the Illinois Center. Now that it isn’t a secret, I will start going to: Wow Bao. Uh oh. I don’t think I have any more secret lunch spots guess it’s Jimmy John’s for the 4th time this week.

When I feel artsy I go to the Old Town School of Folk Music. Otherwise, I just pretend to listen to the music at Ravinia while chatting and eating.

Top 5 places to go around your neighborhood: Diner Grill, Special Export (that’s not the name of the bar, I don’t think it has a name, just an old beer sign) (she won’t tell us because that’s her secret bar), Su Van’s, Wishbone, and Long Room.

The weirdest thing I ever saw in the city was a llama at an outdoor restaurant, but then I realized it’s too cold here for llamas, and it was all just a dream.

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