Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Tonight I went to dinner with some friends from a past life, NNIB. There were three of us total. It was really good to see these guys (one girl, two guys, including me). We worked together during the tough times at the very end at Near North.

We were so young then, I can't believe it. It has been 6 years since NNIB failed. My companions have done very well for themselves, it was so good to see the great talent from the Brokerage was doing well and being productive in the insurance world.

Its funny to see how people change over the years, these guys, and others at NNIB meant so much to me back then and we pretty much lost contact. It happens with everyone from time to time.

We made an agreement to get together again in late September, but invite a larger group of people this time, let's hope we actually follow through.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oregon and Back

I returned from Oregon last night. Flew front of the bus yesterday. Met a friend of a colleague, had a nice chat.

We are in that sweet time of the fiscal year where Q2 True Up is done and RFQ2 hasn't quite started yet. It is quiet in the office. Around the quarters we get super busy where everything comes to a head at once. Its not really stressful, but it does add a bit of pressure.

I've been trying to push the boys to go back to Palm Springs in September, but the heat makes people a bit nervous. BAH, I say. We have also floated the idea of the Ritz in Cancun. I have never been, but its the Ritz, how bad could it be (as long as it isn't like the Jakarta Ritz, we should be fine). If any of my loyal reader (not a typo) has been or can offer suggestions, let me know. The bad part about Cancun in September, UAL is still flying those crappy one class cabin former TED planes. Its only 1444 miles, so I can suffer through it.

Any other resort destinations you might recommend for a 3-4 day weekend trip? Preferably some place without big bugs.... Costa Rica.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Empty and Quiet

I am sitting here in what was my parents living room in Mac. The movers came by today and took 55 boxes and a few pieces of furniture. One mover was hot, the other had no teeth. Nice.

My flight last night was uneventful. Up. Down. A little bumpy over the mountains. I was in the second over wing exit row, on the window... It was torture. This big fat guy kept elbowing me. I couldn't even work because he was restricting my range of motion.

After we landed I went to Rose City Cafe for sushi. I love this place. As I was drinking a local beer and enjoying myself a man next to me had a fit. I remember him asking if the "Walnut Raspberry Vinaigrette" had nuts, because he was allergic to nuts. Duh, dumbass. So he ate it and his throat started to close up little by little. He loudly explained to the 6 patrons at the restaurant how to use his epipen. I wasn't really listening. I can figure it out if needed, but I was eating dinner, c'mon! He lived, but it did take 12 minutes for the EMTs to arrive. That doesn't make me feel to comfortable.

Since our crazy old lady real estate agent sold all of our furniture, we were forced to stay at the Bestwestern Vineyard Inn. Over the past 2 years I have only stayed in Starwood or Marriott properties. A different class, obviously. Seriously, the motel (yes, with an M not an H) really wasn't all that bad. Very courteous and attentive. The room was clean, and well appointed, especially for the super cheap rate we got. It was a nice-ish room, with just a hint of meth.

It is very warm here. Its in the mid 90s. When we landed last night it was still in the 80s. I love it. Hot, no humidity, beautiful. The motel was sweltering hot, but luckily it was air conditioned. It still surprises me how many places out here aren't air conditioned... Mostly private residences.

The house is almost totally empty. Fiends are coming over to get my dads big craftsman toolbox and a bunch of his tools. I went through the tool box today. I felt like I did when I was at REI, there were lots of things that looked useful, but I had no fucking idea what they were for.

We went to the Evergreen Air and Space Museum today. It was interesting. The Air Museum was full of planes (military and civilian), helicopters and the Spruce Goose. The Space Museum (separate building) had a few artifacts, and several panels discussing space flight in the 20th Century, but a lot of empty space. Rumor has it the museum is trying to get a space shuttle. That will fill up the space, but it looks like a high school science fair now (not that my HS had a science fair).

I am not sure what I am going to do the rest of the weekend. The house is pretty much done. Maybe hit the casino, maybe go to the outlet mall. Who knows.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quiet Weekend Alone

My mom left for Oregon this weekend. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go out and have a wild weekend or just enjoy the emptiness of my house. I chose the latter. I'm such a silly dumb homeowner now. My house was designed to be retrofitted for wheel chair access -- I have big closets on both floors that were designed to be an elevator. I had been using the main floor closet as a kitchen pantry. It had one shelf and a floor full of junk. Last weekend I went to the Container Store and designed (with assistance) my new pantry. I fucking love it. Take a look at the before and after shots:

I know it isn't much of a change, but adding six shelves is really exciting! Nerd, I know. I'm now excited to go to Costco and get a big order from Peapod! YAY! I decided not to install this myself, I had the guys from Elfa install the full thing. It took them less than 30 minutes -- including measuring, cutting, installing, etc. Again, I know this isn't rocket science either but I think it was money well spent.
I think I'm going to have these folks build out half of my hall closet (keep half of it for coats/guest coats). I'd like a bunch of shelves installed here too -- for storage of DVDs and books mostly.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Long time, no blog

I know, its been a while, don't start with me.

As I start to write this blog, I am in the back seat of a taxi on IPR heading to ORD. I am off to meetings in Toronto today and tomorrow morning. I am currently fighting a summer cold ("those are the worst" - that old gas station owner in The Stand), which made me think of pandemics. I just have a slight sore throat now, and feel fine other than that.

I was thinking how fucked up it would be if I were "Patient Zero". I travel to YYZ and along the way infect hundreds of travelers at ORD, who in turn spread it to PHK, DXB, NRT, and LHR. I know this won't happen, I am not the 21st Century version of Typhoid Mary, but even if the chance is 0.000002 I think I should write about it. It would be like a big middle finger to the world from (insert creepy music) beyond the grave.

Seriously though, meetings all this afternoon, and s short one in the morning, then return to Chicago.

I have lived in my condo for about 10 weeks now, and I still have 3 boxes to unpack. Come on, just do it. I went to the Container Store on Saturday. I have these two huge walk in closets in the entry ways (that are designed to be elevators) that I am not using fully. I decided to make the one on the first floor a pantry. I worked with a "designer" and got it all worked out. I was excited to go home and build it... But it only cost $100 for them to build it for me...why not, right? At least when it is done wrong I can blame someone else. Either way, if it is fucked up, I will know I wasn't able to do it myself. It should be installed next week. Then I have to call Peapod and go to Costco' can't have an empty pantry!