City Girl, City School: Why UIC?

…I didn’t want to go to what I call a “cornfield school.” Why? Aside from the fact that I am a city girl, because there’s nothing to do there, in my opinion anyway. I wanted to go to school somewhere that I didn’t have to go to parties to have a good time. So here I am, living and learning in the West Loop, with the Magnificent Mile and the Loop as my playground. I couldn’t ask for more.

Then they started filming Chicago Fire near my neighborhood (Pilsen) and near UIC’s campus. So I started creeping. And guess what? It paid off.

Last week on Twitter, one of the show’s writers, Derek Haas, announced he would be doing a book signing for The Right Hand in Chicago. Naturally, I’m there in a New York minute.Signed Book

So while all my other friends were at UofI for Unofficial, I was at After Words bookstore in the Loop, hanging out with the writer and the cast of Chicago Fire. And there is no where else I would have rather been.

I would like to throw out that everyone was extremely friendly and down-to-earth. I expected that Haas would sit at a table, everyone would stand in line, he’d sign the book, and we’d leave. Instead it was more of a casual get-together than what I expected a book signing to be. But I’m certainly not complaining. Haas and Truck 81 introduced themselves to myself and the other guests right away. They were all extremely friendly. And I’m standing there, starstruck and in awe, and for once in my life completely speechless. In spite of that, I was still able to have conversations with the same people I watch on TV every Wednesday night. I was on Cloud 9 all night. Even my boyfriend (Andy), who reluctantly met me at the bookstore, thought it was amazing and had a great time. He likes the show but he’s not nearly as obsessed as I am.

If I haven’t mentioned this, I’m also a bit of a bookworm. I’ll read anything that can keep my attention, from the Gossip Girl series to Harry Potter to classics like the Great Gatsby. Haas’ book is a gripping thriller that had my attention from the first paragraph and now I’m hooked. And I don’t just like it because I like Chicago Fire. Although, it does make sense…

Truck 81

To prove that I really did meet who I say I did, here are some pictures of me with the writer and the actors. I was surprised that they actually offered to take photos instead of waiting for me to ask. And they didn’t offer with a too-cool-for-school attitude, they were just being nice. And it’s a good thing too, because I was suddenly too shy to even ask. The cat definitely got my tongue.

Side note, they said I looked familiar. I’m not sure if that means I’m creeping on the set too often, or if they really do recognize me from Twitter like they say. Or if it’s even a good thing. Either way, I’ll take it!

David Eigenberg

Even though Hollywood doesn’t always come to Chicago, it’s things like this that remind me of why I’m at school in the city. There are just so many things to do, places to go, and restaurants to try. I’d like to throw out that after the book signing, Andy and I walked down the street and had dinner at the famous Billy Goat Tavern. I am a city girl, without a doubt, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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