Sunday, March 23, 2008

If you listen closely, you can hear Chicago Suck...

I was sent to Miami Beach for a few days for work. Well, technically I was there to present on "Administrative Risk Control Techniques". I presented the same topic in Chicago and Los Angeles over the past 6 weeks. In each city the other presentations run longer thus reducing my talking time. My original presentation was set to be 20 minutes. Chicago ran late, so I cut it down to 15 minutes. LA ran even later, I cut it down to 11 minutes (+/-). Miami ran even later. I cut it down to about 8 minutes. Now listen here -- I'm not complaining. I was in Miami for about 48 hours for what turned out to be an 8 minute presentation. I did blow through it, but people got what I was talking about -- and understood why I needed the information.
Miami is beautiful. I love it so much. The heat. The diversity. Mojito's on the beach -- if there is something better, I have not found it.

My flights were fine -- had to fly coach both ways, but at least I was Econ Plus. UAL switched service to MIA (from ORD) now. It's now part of the eXplus service. Love these little jets. They seat about 70 people, and board very quickly. Unfortunately cities like PDX can't support them with actual gates -- never a fan of walking out on the tarmac -- what am I, a hobo?? The gentleman sitting next to me was flying with two children (I'd reckon they were about 8 and 10 years old. We were sitting in the seats with slightly more leg room -- Economy Plus. His kiddos were sitting about 10 rows behind us. About 30 minutes into the flight, as I am trying to sleep he gets up, turns around in his seat and says "HEY YOU KIDS! Keep it down back there!!!" My slumber was disrupted by Father of the Year. Another 15 minutes goes by, and I am sleeping. I am roused from my fitful sleep by a small finger poking me. I look over and a boy about (~10 years old) says "Daddy?" Now, this little fuck was looking me in the eye when he said that. Waking from a poor nap to a child calling you Daddy is a bit unnerving, to say the least. The baby daddy sitting next to me was still reading "Us Weekly" (dirt bag). I turn to him and say "Is this yours..." pointing to the child. He didn't find me amusing. Some back and forth between poppa and child, and an idle threat from each finds the child returning to his seat.

We finally land. Miami is warm. Miami is sunny. Miami is full of energy. Miami is not Chicago. I meet my fellow travelers (different airlines) and we go back to the hotel -- it's a Courtyard Marriott -- thus it's not nice, but it is clean, and I get points (and slightly better service as I somehow acheived meaningless Silver Status at Marriott last year).

Anyway we go to the group dinner, then go out drinkin' with the Airport Folks. These yahoos are fun. Everytime we get together we are out late drinking, playing pool, tellin' dirty jokes, etc. Usually around 1am some dumbass says "HEY! Who wants a shot??" and I'm all over it.
The presentations go well the next day -- I'm tired as shit though. I go out for martini's with a couple folks from our Miami office. Then we decided to take some tours of the facilities we manage (ie -- i'm working -- no vacation day deduction the next day for me!!!). One of these folks (JP) I've dealt wtih via telephone and email very regularly over the past 2 years. She so sweet (usually not an endearing quality in my mind). She is cute and funny and a Lez (again, not all that endearing in my mind...) We had a fantastic time.

I get an SMS from JO -- he left for the airport 5 hours prior -- he was en route back to the hotel -- with our New Orleans office folks -- flights were cancelled. The NO folks were fucking hilarious! I love the cajun accents. The down home racism is interesting -- but people shouldn't use the "N" word to describe an area of town. We laughed so hard we nearly cried multiple times. The girl with us was texting her husband around 3 am. I grab her phone and respond to his message (which said "I miss you")....my reply (on her phone) was "I miss you too sweetie -- I can't wait until you fuck me tomorrow night"). Evidently he was SO into this. Too bad it was a 12 hour drive or he would have been all over her like a North Avenue hooker on Welfare Check Day.

The final day I get up and work for a while -- then I hit the beach (see below). One thing that I hadn't enjoyed yet -- a Mojito. I hit the trashy bar out our CYM pool and get a mojito (or 4, I lose track). I also order the Jumbo Shrimp (Skrimp) cocktail. Why would I think that is a good idea? Luckily I didn't get sick. Flights were on time. I returned to Chicago to the news that on Friday we are expecting 6-9 inches of snow. FUCK THIS. I FUCKING HATE WINTER. NO MORE. STOP IT NOW. I feel like one of those kids on Law & Order: SVU -- when they yell "I need an adult!!!" I need someone to stop winter now. Do something. I can't ask Al Gore -- he'll say we should be happy for a cold spell -- in 10 years we won't have snow any more.
I am going to take at least two vacations this year. I want to go back to New Orleans and I want to go back to Las Vegas. Come with me. I'll be sure we have good local connections to take us out in each location. Come on!

Oh yeah -- if it snows one more time this year, I might just go to the 10th floor of our office's parking garage and jump.

Isn't Miami pretty?



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