It's time once again for a Crush of the Month double hitter, as it were. Did I use the term 'double hitter' correctly? Sports confuse me. Did I use the phrase 'as it were' correctly? Pretentious phrases confuse me. Either way, this November I bring you my couple crush: Husband and wife Abraham and Lara Levitan.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Lara: Freelance Writer, StoryBooth Facilitator at StoryCorps, Wannabe Novelist
Abraham: Musician, and owner of Piano Power (a music-lesson provider)
Lara: Yoga, cooking, laying on the floor. Is meditation a hobby? Seems weird.
Abraham: Tennis, basketball, eating meals, listening to sports on the radio, snacking between meals
Our Town How did you two meet?
Abraham I was playing a poorly-attended solo show at the Hideout in 2004. Lara and her roommate came to the show, and during a very melodramatic ballad called "Kill You," I noticed that, while the rest of the attendees were seated, this really hot girl in the back was dancing and swaying around. I thought to myself, this is a unique person with a good grasp of situational irony.... and also, a hot person. As I was singing, I walked out into the audience and began wrapping the mic cord around her neck, simulating the subject matter of the song. So, I mock-strangled her before we actually spoke. Afterwards I made sure she signed the mailing list, so I could harass her about going out with me. (Beware, mailing-list signers!!)
OT Describe your wedding day.
Lara I scored a dress for $99.99, so it didn't matter that I danced so hard I ruined it beyond repair (seriously). I passed out roses to all my girlfriends, Abraham sang me a Bob Dylan song, people sweat their asses off because it was a hot June day with no air conditioning.
Abraham Rain was in the forecast, but it held off, at least for the ceremony. One thing I remember is that I didn't urinate for the 8 hours of our wedding and reception -- rare because I have a pretty small bladder. I thought I was going to cry during the ceremony, but instead Lara and I were both pretty giggly. We had Lou Malnati's pizza, and then an order of White Castles came through the room at about 11:00pm, so you can tell we have very refined palates. Also, we got married!!
Lara It was one of my favorite days ever. Michael Jackson died a few days before, so the dancing to "Wanna Be Startin' Something" was especially impassioned.
OT Abraham, you make up on-the-spot tunes for your game show Shame That Tune. Were you always able to write under pressure or is it a skill you’ve honed?
Abraham I've always wanted the writing process to be over as soon as possible, since I find it pretty agonizing. So, Shame That Tune, for which I do more or less improv songwriting, takes that idea to its logical extreme. I still don't think I can write well under pressure, but as long as we're taking a quantity-over-quality approach, then I guess it's a skill.
Lara, you’re a writer. Where do you find inspiration?
Lara People watching, people's faces, strange glimpse of life seen from a car or train window, advice columns, other novels and short stories, my problems, my friend's problems, music, movies, my talented writer friends and writers who I wish were my friends.
OT A two writer relationship. Pros and Cons?
Abraham Pros: We both like wordplay (and Scrabble) Cons: We sometimes ramp up each other's existential angst.
Lara Pro: We respect each other's moodiness and sensitivity. Con: We also resent it sometimes. But overall, I wouldn't want it any other way. It helps us understand each other. Abraham's creativity and brilliance are also an inspiration to me.
OT Describe your perfect day.
Lara It would involve sleeping in, challah bread, a mind-blowing movie, Campari, a beach in Europe, buying the apartment that Tom Hanks had in the movie Big, except a king-sized bed instead of bunk.
Abraham It would definitely be twenty-four hours long. Not to be cheesy, but I think any set of activities can make for a perfect day if you're in a good place emotionally. If not, then I think you could string together any number of dreamy things, and you'd still be stewing in your own angst. So, a day when I wake up on the right side of the bed is good.
OT Relationship Deal breaker.
Lara A few: humorless negativity, lack of perspective, lack of curiosity, being a dick to a waiter or anyone in the service industry, the inability to enjoy dessert. (Abraham has none of those things! He especially enjoys dessert.)
Abraham I do not date ANYONE over eighty. And don't try that fake ID crap -- I can see right through it.
Who was your first crush?
Abraham A girl named Kate in my first-grade class. I can remember listening to "I Wanna Know What Love Is" by Foreigner on my Walkman, and noticing that it made me think of her. I was kind of surprised.
Lara Ryan Rundquist (my first boyfriend, we dated for 2 weeks and he dumped me hard). Also Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. I once told my dad that I liked when Venkman said (about Zhoul) "Let's show this bitch how we do things downtown!" and I got in trouble for it.
OT Why are you crushworthy?
Lara Eh! I make a good tuna casserole.
Abraham I'm a blond Jew. That's kind of like a unicorn.
Any questions for me?
Lara Where'd you get that shirt? I have one just like it and I can't seem to find it…
Brief Bio: Lara Levitan freelance writes, works for StoryCorps, and chips away at her first novel. She's also the literary editor for Gaper's Block.
Abraham Levitan: co-hosts Shame That Tune, a monthly live comedy game show at the Hideout. He was the frontman and songwriter for Baby Teeth, a pop/rock outfit specializing in retro sounds. He's currently working on a solo album. By day, he serves as founder and head of Piano Power, which offers at-home piano, guitar, voice, and drum lessons to more than 250 students in Chicago and the northern suburbs.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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