Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catch Up

I have completed my last work trip of the year, which is both good and bad. I am happy that I won't have to go on a mileage run (or two) to Salt Lake this year, but its hard to think this year is almost over. From a mileage stand point I will have flown 54,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (a/k/a butt in seat miles) this year. 10 segments or 17,390 of those to/from Portland this year. Next year I will have a European trip under my belt, but it won't be enough to replace those miles.

Anyway, my mom is in W. Va for a month. My aunt, who traditionally I really liked, had both of her knees replaced. Her husband was fighting cancer for almost as long as my dad did. He was under the care of hospice. My mom went out to take care of my aunt, while she recovered from surgery. Since my aunts husband couldn't take care of himself, they moved him to a short term hospice clinic until someone could take care of him at home again. They moved him on Monday, her surgery was Tuesday, he died on Wednesday. Perfect.

My mom was pretty distraught. This guy was far from an admirable character. He was abusive, drunk and selfish. Not that I wished he was dead. My biggest frustration with him was that he was declared cancer free about a year ago, and instead of loving life he just drank excessively and popped pills. My dad didn't have the chance to "be cancer free". I know it doesn't really mean anything now, but it is pretty frustrating.

I must admit that I am totally enjoying my empty house. It is great to have the whole place all to myself. I must also admit, the house is a bit too big for just one person, but I still love it.

I have been pretty productive so far today too. I slept in until 9am, which is very late for me. I have several home owner projects ahead of me this weekend, nothing major, just simple seasonal stuff, like changing the air filters, removing and cleaning the screens, spraying for bugs, etc. It will take me a whopping 20 minutes probably, but still things I can check off my to do list.

I am still having problems with gnats and I can't figure out the issues. Its not a fruit fly issue, as they aren't swarming around anything but me. I thought it might be plant related, but I've sprayed the plants and while there are a lot of dead bugs I are no movement at all. I hope it was just because we have a warm house and had an ill fitting screen, and that's how they got in the house. We will know in a day or two, I suppose.

Am heading home now to install dimmer switches in the living/dining room... Here's hoping I don't electrocute myself. Do me a favor, if you don't hear from me, see an updated blog posting or facebook activity before 9pm tonight, call the police.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Things that piss me off today.

Yesterday was supper club. We went to Cafe 28, a great little place in Ravenswood. I had a nice time. Afterward JM and I went to Scot's, a little bar 4 blocks north of the restaurant. We sat down and some creepy middle aged guy started talking to us. I love meeting crazy people, but this guy was too much.

He was originally from Paris, lived in Chicago for 17 years and lost his partner of 22 years just 4 months ago. We learned all this info within the first 90 seconds of talking to him. His accent was very thick and since the bar was loud it was very difficult to understand him.

He told us how Chicago is not a world class city, and never will be. Chicago is no New York or Paris he says... No shit. I was in no mood to debate some dumb frog over how great Chicago is. He can go fuck himself. I mentioned I grew up outside of Portland. He tells me that Portland is much more of a world class city than Chicago. His examples: theater, ballet, sport and culture (museums). What??? Don't get me wrong, I love Portland, and both cities have their strong points, but no way does Portland out shine Chicago under all these categories.

He then brought up Roman Polanski. He asked my opinion and I told him. Looking back I could have censored myself, knowing he was a frog, I chose not to though. I told him I thought Polanski should answer for his crime as per the plea agreement he entered into over 30 years ago. He admitted to committing statutory rape. Before he could serve his time he fled to France. Do I think he is a pedophile? I don't know? Do I think he forcibly raped this 13 year old girl, no. I think she wanted to break into films and she thought -or he told her- that this would be the quickest way.

People say that since it happened so long ago, we should give him a break. He created so many amazing films in the last 30+ years they say. Does this make his crime less heinous? Does the legal system not care to look out for victims if it has been a long time AND the perpetrator has entertained us for years?

If Osama bin Laden stops organizing terrorist plots and begins to make amazing films or write moving plays or take breathtaking photos in 30 years will we forgive him?

Ok, I will give you a few points against me now: some stories say this girl didn't consider this rape, it appears that he hasn't continued this practice and he does make great films. Granted. The law is the law. He signed the plea agreement. He needs to serve his time.

This bar frog told me that since it has been 30+ years we should forgive him. I argued the importance of law and without it we descend into chaos. He disagrees.
He cannot be persuaded. I change my argument and he continues with his one response, "people should forget it, it was along time ago, and he has entertained is for years".

The reason this guy know Portland so much is because his best friend lives there and he goes to see him about once a month. He has been flying out there for over 2 years now. His best friend is a 17 year old boy. No fucking joke. No wonder you love Roman Polanski, you've been fucking children for years.

This is what pisses me off today -and last night.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Rain, Golf, Food Yoga

I had a really great yoga session last night. Carl is the instructor (yogi? Is that right?). He is still new, but it is such a great workout. I am sweating like a whore in church when we are done. We still focus on core and balance, at my request.

Two nights ago I fixed curry for the first time. It was much less flavorful than I anticipated. If anyone has a good (healthy) curry recipe, please send it on.

I am off to my 4th or 5th golf lesson tonight. We are queued up to go to the driving range tonight. It is raining and I am a bit sore from Yoga last night, but I will definitely hit a small bucket of balls tonight. It makes the lesson really hit (no pun intended) home.

My friends LB and KG are getting married this weekend. I have the honor of being in the wedding party. LB is such a free spirit (in a good way). She is super organized and puts up with shit from no one. She also doesn't stand on ceremony either. I think her best trait is that she asks questions when she doesn't know something or needs some clarification. So many people just clam up and pretend. I do that. I don't want to seem like a dolt. She never seems like a dolt, she has a genuine yearning for knowledge. As I re-read this it might come off as being sarcastic-far from it in reality.

I am off to Denver for work on Monday night. Have meetings through Friday afternoon and then am spending the weekend with EAD and JFB. I cannot wait.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Public Speaking

Speaking of public speaking, I took a class on it today. It is something my boss, my coach and I all agreed was a skill I needed to hone. The class was good. Of course they wanted us to drink the Kool-Aid and buy big bundles of CDs and DVDs and books and a bunch of other crap that I won't use.

I arrived 10 minutes before class started and went up to a table with one woman sitting alone and said "Is this seat free?", pointing to one of 4 empty seats. She says, "No, I am saving them cuz people from da job is comin'".

Right. So I sit my ass down right in the middle of the seats. She rolled her eyes and stared at the table top. So, I am not only there to become a better public speaker, but to network. What better person to network with than this peach of a lady here, eh?

So I begin peppering her with questions, to which she responds with one or two word answers. I then pretend she said "And you" after each question she answered, so I tell her where I work, what I do, where in the City I live, how many of these classes I've taken, etc.

Her colleagues arrive. They all were former teachers and now work for the Chicago Public Schools Pension Fund. By the end of the day the lady who didn't want to talk to me was my new best friend. Of course we didn't exchange cards or anything, but still we are sisters.

Her colleagues were those annoying former teachers who were always loud and RIGHT. They would ask me a question that they knew the answer to (but were wrong) and before could get 5 words out they would start in again. I was very surprised and annoyed that adult learners are so obnoxious.

Overall the class was good though. I did have a couple of take aways what will be beneficial. I would probably take a class from this group again.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

October of Tim?

So my well laid plans for September of Tim, didn't leave me feeling super accomplished. I did attend some art events, a couple cooking classes, read more, took golf and yoga classes, and made time to see 3 of my closest friends... It just wasn't as fulfilling as I had hoped.

I will try it again this month. I will be traveling to Denver for work, with a vacation extension. I have a wine tasting class and a couple of golf lessons in the queue. I have the house to myself for 3 weeks too, as my mom is going to WV to help her sister following surgery. I have some lunches and dinners planned with former colleagues and supper club folks.

I still feel like I am just drifting without a purpose. I am really working hard to make healthy nutrition and activity choices too. I have been cooking healthy new recipes at home-last night I made a chicken and vegetable curry. It was a bit spicy, but I chock that up to my first time working with curry.

Today I am off to a public speaking course. This is one thing everyone can agree that I need help on. I don't really get nervous, I just am far from dynamic. I have addressed larger crowds (between 50 and 150 people) probably 15 times since I have been at my current company. I don't project very well and I don't engage the crowd. Let's hope todays course will give me some techniques to remedy these issues. An 8 hour public speaking course isn't my idea of a great way to spend a day in the fall.

Friday, October 02, 2009

This is it.

As I write this, we are just a few short hours from the announcement on who will host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I have been in favor of our bid since it was first brought up in a passing manner a couple years ago.

Everyone agrees that Chicago has put together the best bid (technically and financially) an American City has ever done. No one can argue with the star power behind our bid: Oprah and the Obamas are truly a force to be reckoned with.

I have many friends who do not want the games in Chicago, they think it will be a nightmare for us for the 3 weeks of the games, some are afraid it will increase our likelihood of being a terrorist target. I cannot refute those charges.

Fingers crossed America (et al).