Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Where have you been?

I have been asking myself this question all month. Why haven't I been blogging? I was in PDX the weekend after the forth. I saw J&JB (reduced the initials on J as I am too lazy now), AB and her bf , and SO. I took SO, who is from Connecticut to Turkey Rama. It was quite the exciting time. I showed her Linfield and all of my favorite 3rd Street Bars (McMennimen's, NW Wine Bar, La Rambla, and the Deluxe (DEEEE-lux).

The next day I had a family reunion. Family reunions are great -- they remind me of my favorite Gandhi quote ever -- "I am reminded how I do not want to be". First off my cousin is the size of a small Buick. Her child seemed to be doing fine, except he is a baby and doesn't really make any noise (or I had a spell of hysterical deafness around him). My grandpa's brother, K, asked me why I thought I was "successful" and so many people in our family are just failures. He asked this in front of the whole family. He was obviously implying that my cousin was a failure. I'm not a big fan of hers, but people shouldn't be rude. Then he asked me how much I was making -- and I quote "Have you topped $40,000/year yet?"). For god sakes, leave me alone.

The next weekend I was in Denver. JFB turned 30. He had a part with about 50 people there. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the first night at dinner. I made a comment in ear shot of the waitress saying "This is your weekend, your birthday". She came over, and I said "Doesn't he look great, he's turning the big 4-0 this weekend". That went over really well with JFB. We got empanadas out of it though. Lots of drinking and eating. It is hard to leave those boys -- I have such a great time with them.

I've been running around a lot lately. The summer is slipping away. What is happening? Sometimes I feel like I am just cresting the top of a roller coaster and our speed is increasing and increasing and increasing. SLOW DOWN!

D&MH are coming to visit this weekend. Lollapalooza is here. Why is Kanye and NIN playing opposite of each other on Sunday night? That is unacceptable. I'm not really sure what the plans are this weekend, but my phone will be on me at all times, so SMS if you are out and about.

My parents are coming to visit for a couple weeks this month. I am looking forward to it. I hope my dad will be able to have an enjoyable and relaxed time. I'll blog more about that on the other blog.

Work-wise: I have hired two (well, one and a half) new people. They start over the next 2 weeks. I am excited. Both folks seem like great additions to the team.

Next trip: I am off to LGA in September, just a couple week days though, no extended time for myself though.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Little Bit of Baghdad, In Uptown

Pop. Pop. Pop. In rapid succession. Screams and squeals. People scattering in the darkness. Under normal circumstances I would have called the police, as my neighborhood can be sketchy at times. No phone call this time. Why do people think it is fun to use loud fireworks that only make gunshot sounds, nothing else? I guess it is fun to throw these fire crackers into crowds and watching people freak out and think they are going to die. That is funny. On the plus side, the smoke created by these things is wafting directly into my cement alcove in the sky. Lovely.

Supper club was last night. It was a huge turn out. I had a nice time. The food was fantastic. Pork loin and mashed potatoes -- just enough spice too. I am having a hard time mobilizing behind Obama. I have so many friends in Chicago that have been 110% behind Barack since the first indication that he might run. I am not against him, I am just struggling to move past the Hillary Clinton defeat. I know I will vote for Barack when it comes to election time. Maybe I am not ready to make a move in this respect yet.

I have been watching lots of U.S. history lately, mostly about Presidents, their decisions, their time and the outcomes. Unfortunately we as Americans remember the best presidents much more than the bad presidents. I will argue the four greatest presidents in U.S. History are (in no particular order): George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. We all can pick out half a dozen things that each of these men have done to dramatically change not only America, but the world.

What makes a bad president? Is it the choices he makes, or the choices he doesn't make? What makes any of us good or bad in eyes of our contemporaries or the history books? I think the worst presidents were mostly in the mid 1800's. The ones before the Civil War whose decisions exacerbated the growing schism between North and South, Abolitionism or Anti-Abolitionism. The ones after the Civil War, plundering the treasury, halting civil rights, pushing personal agendas during reconstruction -- perhaps these guys were worse than the pre-war folks. They were greedy opportunists.

What about modern history -- Nixon, Clinton, Bush (2)? All three were (are) liars. Clinton can easily be argued as one of the best presidents and one of the worst -- both points can be made pretty easily. I think history will show Clinton as one of the good guys and his impeachment just a footnote. George W. Bush is an anti-intellectual who is setting the American society back decades with his ill informed policies. Just think -- 8 years ago, with no war in Iraq we could have a stabilized Social Security System, a decent amount of money spent on alternative energy sources, and maybe some sort of national health care for the needy.

I realize that I am an Eleanor Roosevelt Democrat. I want universal health care, free education for veterans, excellent free education for all children, specialized training or university education for all, and excellent transportation. I wonder if Barack will be the person to turn our country into a place I am proud to live...I wonder.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Where the hell have I been?

So it is the July 4th long weekend, and I realize I haven't blogged here in weeks. I still haven't gotten art for my office walls. I still haven't taken pictures. I am still in the process to hire someone for the two positions I have open.

I went to Toronto a couple weeks ago. Delayed both on the outbound and the inbound. Days were packed with meetings. I did managed to go do some touristy things -- I went to the Blue Jays/Reds game (great seats, not the view in the picture though).

I did the CN Tower Tour, which honestly wasn't all that impressive, plus it smelled like curry.

My schedule got messed up in Toronto, so I couldn't be the best man in the lesbian wedding. I feel bad about the whole thing too. I really wanted to do it. Oh well, there is bound to be more lesbian weddings, right?

Last weekend was the annual Pride Parade. I am all about people being proud of who they are but some people just should be proud. I don't want to see a morbidly obese man wearing only a thong covered by chain mail boy shorts, or a woman with horrifically saggy tits (picture a fried egg hanging by a nail on a wall) completely nude, except for 2 "X"s covering her nipples (made of electrical tape) and a fake fig leaf over her cookie. I felt bad for her because everyone was aghast when she walked by. I don't usually have a great time at the parade, but I go. I see old friend and the most exciting part of the very long parade??? The last float, because about 5 minutes after the last float you see the army of Streets and Sanitation works cleaning up. You can stand on the demarcation line between post parade carnage and post Streets and Sans clean up and it looks completely different. Like New Orleans on 8/28/2006 and again on 9/1/2008 (but inverse).

I have been running more lately. Last weekend I ran Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings. This weekend I ran on Friday and Saturday (today). Doubt I will go tomorrow, as I have supper club tonight -- lots of wine, cheese food and desserts.

I had a few friends over for dinner last night. One person (friend of a friend) is always so harsh and rude. She wanted to know how much I pay in rent for my apartment. I told her "Probably too much" then changed the subject. She just kept coming back to it. I think that's like asking "How much do you make?" I will answer that question when posed from a VERY small handful of people (parents, JDE, JM.....that may be it.....) Rude. Then someone pooped and stunk up the whole house -- it was a late comer to the party, who didn't eat dinner with us. Gross. I did make sure to comment "It stinks like shit in here -- go light a candle".

I am off to PDX on Thursday night. It's an off chemo week -- so my dad should have energy to do things. I am still working on the ground transportation issue. My 50% off rental car deal is no more, so instead of renting a car and driving down, I might just take a car service. I have lots of research to do before Thursday. Any suggestions?

The following weekend I am going to DEN to see the boys. I am looking forward to the upcoming travels. I also got my Lollapalooza tickets yesterday. A couple friends are coming in from ANC for that weekend, should be fun. Hopefully it won't be 800 degrees with equally high humidity. There is still time to join us -- book it!

As I said, tonight is supper club, so I have to go get myself all pretty. A friend from the SFO area is in town and is joining us tonight. I can't wait.

I will do a better job of blogging this week -- promise.