Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beautiful Day in the City

I think summer has finally arrived. It was so warm and clear today. Last night I went to dinner with JM. We went to Cafe Absinthe -- good appetizers, and good entree, the dessert was burned though. We went to this great new bar in Wicker Park, called Lilac Hour. Most of the reviews I've read said what a great bar this was. After waiting outside for about 15 minutes before we could enter (some douche bag door man, wearing a $115 H&M Suit kept us outside to add to the mystique of the facility). This place was a dump. 30 items on the bar menu. No Grey Goose. No Olives. JM wasn't happy. I wanted a 21+ y/o scotch. They didn't have any that I ordered. I asked for the bartender to pick the best single malt scotch. It tasted like turpentine. The bar was full of fat girls wearing halter tops and jeans with high heals, drinking cosmos -- yeah, Sex and the City brings out the worst in America. We went to a few other places in Wicker Park and I just wanted to kill myself. Got home around 1am and slept like a baby.

I got up this morning around 7:30 am. JM was coming over at 9:30 to pick me up for a CAF tour. The tour was of Stearns Quarry at 29th and Halsted. It was an old limestone quarry from the 19th Century. It is being turned into a new topographically rich city park. It was a gorgeous day to be out on a walking tour. Such a great day. After the tour we had a group brunch at a mediocre restaurant in Bridgeport. I had a nice time though.

Got home around 2:30pm. Sat on the balcony. Listened to music very loudly. Enjoyed the heat.

Talked to EAD today -- haven't talked to him in quite awhile. Looks like I'll be going to DEN in July for JFBs 30th Birthday. Should be fun -- am looking forward to seeing the boys again. Next week I will book the following flights: YYZ, DEN, PDX. We are also talking more about our alternatives for my 30th. Dubai is still on the top of the list, but with the weakening dollar and sheer amount of travel time, we are trying to find another option. I'm shooting for a low key beach type vacation. Maldives. Hotels are quoted in US$, complete disconnection from the world, ability to meet like minded people from all over the world. Actually, I'll be happy with Dubai and anywhere we end up as long as I'm with friends (EAD/JFB, and who ever else is coming).

I am tired. Going to bed. I might go to a Lesbian BBQ tomorrow. Actually it's a BBQ hosted by two lesbians (and a gay Puerto Rican)-- I don't know what a lesbian BBQ would be -- and I think I want to know either.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Work, Life, Movement

I've said this before -- many times before -- I like my gig. I like the people I work with. I like what I do. I like that people trust that I know what I am doing, but don't just blindly agree/listen to what I have to say. One thing I don't like about my job -- I don't have many people I would call friends there. I know it's just a job, but I'm use to working at places (CAF, NNIB, MF) where I had quite a few friend -- and always a lunch companion. At SPC, a lot of people bring their lunch -- which is something that I really find revolting. When I worked at CAF and made absolutely no money, I still managed to take time and find the money to go out to lunch. It might have been half a subway sandwich ($1.99 at the time), but my lunch ritual is not something that I want to give up.

A girl I work with -- actually she's my cube neighbor, she was actually my FIRST cube neighbor, decided to leave the company and go back to school. She resigned today -- well I think she resigned today. I left before she told her boss, but her plan was to resign today. Anyway, she is going to Med School. How crazy is that!?

Sometimes, nay, most times, I feel like I am just standing still. Everyone is moving on with their lives and careers and I'm stuck in neutral. I don't know what to do -- maybe I should just stay in neutral for a while and see what happens.

Going to dinner with JM on Friday night -- that's always fun -- although it usually ends up being a long late night and me in a $40 cab ride home from the bad part of town. Saturday, she and I are going on a CAF tour -- I think it is an old mine being turned into a park. They say you should bring shoes that can get muddy. Yeah, I'm not doing that. I think I'll bring a cell phone and a cab number programmed in to help me escape. I moved to the city so I wouldn't have to walk through the mud. Silly people.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Trips and Tips...

I hate to say this, but work has been good. We haven't been swamped. I took a nice relaxing lunch today, read my favorite magazine, and had time to just disconnect. I am working on a trip to Toronto in June. I am going for an insurance meeting and a friends wedding. She is from Miami and she and her girlfriend want to get hitched right away -- and have no intention of waiting until Florida allows same sex marriage. The plan is for me to be one of their witnesses. Quite and honor.

I will probably be heading back to Oregon at some point soon -- probably 4th of July. It all depends on when my dad's chemo treatments are and how much airfare is -- it's nearly $600 for ORD-PDX r/t. That is outrageous.

On my recent trip to PDX I went wine tasting at Deponte Cellars, Vista Hills, and Maysara. It was such a fantastic day. It was so warm I could wear shorts and sandals -- what an odd way to spend a May day in Oregon, I know. I really appreciate the time that JLP-B put into coordinating the wine tours. Hell, it might only take her 2 minutes to put together, but it is a great way to spend the day. I need to think of a way to repay her.... hmmmm. I took a few pictures from Vista Hills -- the tasting area there is called the Tree House, and is just amazing. The view of the valley from the hill was just breathtaking. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

The final treat I had in PDX was lunch at Rose City Cafe. The food was good -- not as great as it has been, but still definitely worth the trip. A couple good local beers, an order of hamachi sashimi, Tako Nigiri, Fatty Tuna Nigiri, and Spicy Tuna Roll for a total of $31 -- COME ON! You can't beat that.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May Recap

So May is almost gone, and I haven't blogged. After San Diego/Portland, I spent 4 days in Chicago and then returned to the west coast. I went to see JDE in SFO. We spent a couple days in Napa. I got extremely sun burned --- although it turned into a nice (although short lived) tan the next day. We spent time with JDE's friend GXL. Spent the night at her house in Napa, cooking dinner together, drinking bottles of wine together -- and just having an amazingly peaceful night. The next day we headed back to the City -- had great sushi, hit a going away party, then a gross late night diner. Slight delay leaving SFO for ORD. Stuck in coach the whole trip. One thing that I realized on this trip -- that is pretty obvious but something I never thought about before. First off, let me preface this realization by saying my flight from SFO to ORD was a continuation from the flight from SYD to SFO. Let's just say, when people travel 15 hours on the same plane, the plane gets very ripe. Actually it smells like a rotten corpse.

BAD (the boss) quit. her last day was 5/19. I won't get into the specifics here -- I'll tell you about it if you really want to know. Where does that leave me? Probably in a pretty good position. I am very upset with her -- purely for selfish reasons -- she is a great boss, and a good friend. I wish she hadn't left. Do I get her job, you might ask? It's unclear. The whole thing is very nebulous right now. I will keep you all in the loop. If I do get a bump up, I'm going to take y'all out for a drink.

I spent one weekend in May in Chicago. I had dinner with KS on Saturday night. It was a nice time -- she had it catered and with a waitress/server/staff (what's the word??)

For Memorial Day weekend I came to Portland. JLP-B and her husband JB took me out to do some wine tours/tastings. I had a very nice time -- JLP-B is really a great resource on local wine. She knows so much (or at least it seems she does).

Other than the wine trip, I am just completely tortured here. My dad has been too sick to do anything. My mom has been staying up almost all night, and just sitting in her chair in a veritable coma during the day. I did plant tomatoes on Saturday (alone -- my dad was too sick to come out and my mom just didn't want to go outside). The weather was fantastic on Saturday. The rest of the weekend has been grey and rainy. We had a pretty rough thunderstorm on Saturday night (very rare in this part of the country).

I return to Chicago tomorrow afternoon. I'm flying up front -- so I'll have a few glasses of wine and work on the plane. I don't have any other trips booked right now. I have to go to Toronto in late June sometime. I will probably go to Denver in June or July as well. I might (MIGHT) come back for the 4th of July. The airfare is just getting so high for the visit -- but I know I need to do it, the money doesn't really matter -- and in a few years, I'll regret not coming back.

Monday, May 05, 2008


O'Hare on a Sunday night is like last call at any bar. There are a ton of nervous looking people hurrying around -- trying to get on that last flight (person) before it's too late. People running to the restaurants/magazine kiosks before last call. You don't want to be caught after last call without a drink in your hand. Everyone eyeing everyone else as the whole room starts to clear.

Anyway, I'm back in Chicago for 3 more days. Then off to SFO for a weekend in Napa. Unfortunately I'm flying in the back of the bus...which is a very sad state of affairs. I haven't flown the C word since I got stuck on TED to Orlando and again to Las Vegas. 4.5 hours in Coach. No free Booze. No food. Nothing at all. I am in no mood for this already. SFO will be a blast though. I can't wait.

Today was one of the longest Mondays ever. BAD had a bad day. JO is in PDX and LAX this week. I am fighting a cold, or something. I didn't sleep much last night -- Lilly was too excited for me to be home. I almost had to cage her, she was too affectionate. It's too bad I can get my pussy so excited, but that's about it, eh? Oh well.