Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Here Come the Irish

This Saturday, football season officially begins for me.  Notre Dame kicks off its season against Georgia Tech in Atlanta.  This will be the start of Notre Dame's run for the National Championship.  The expectations are high this season and anything short of playing the the National Championship game - and winning - will be a disappointment.  I just watched coach Charlie Weis' press conference from this Saturday where Weis talks about the defense (the big question mark for ND this year) with a shit-eating grin like we don't have any idea what they're going to hit us with.
I can't wait to see this team unleashed on the Ramblin' Wreck.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Year 30 - A Dinner with Parents

This post is one in a series of thirty stories from my life. For more info click here.

I've had dinner with my parents and I've had dinner with Dee's parents. Dee has had dinner with my parents and Dee has had dinner with her parents. I've had dinner with Dee and Dee has had dinner with me, but my parents have never had dinner with Dee's parents. Until this spring.

My parents decided that they wanted to make a rare visit to Chicago to see Dee perform at a Chicago Rush game (she's a cheerleader for the Rush). I convinced them to arrive on a Saturday so that they could have dinner with me, Dee and her parents.

My mom was very excited about the chance to see Dee dance, but she was even more excited when I mentioned that we would be having dinner with Dee's parents. You see, she is very fond of the idea of me settling down with someone and having kids. My dad was less excited - not because he doesn't want me to do the same, but because he's seen me date two different women for two years apiece without a wedding. He's not holding his breath. Dee's parents were excited as well - especially because of the place we would be eating.

Dee and I decided that we should take our parents to Feast - where we had our first date. Dee and I returned there on our year anniversary and thought that it would be as good a place as any to treat our parents to. Plus, they have good food.

We all arrived at Feast at about the same time and were shown to our table right away. Unfortunately, Dee and I were both surprised at how loud the place was. We had always gone on a Wednesday or Thursday night. Saturdays were much more busy and loud given the weekend crowd. Our parents seemed put off initially, but everyone adjusted and began learning a little bit about each other.

The conversation quickly turned to stories from my and Dee's childhoods. My mom told a couple of stories about the cute things I used to do and even one about me whacking my cousin with a microphone. Nothing too embarrassing - though I'm pretty hard to embarrass. Dee's parents mostly told stories about what a brat she was as a kid - but they threw a couple of good ones in there to make it seem like they weren't bad parents. Actually, they probably threw in the sweet ones to make it seem like Dee wasn't a complete brat.

The dads - who are both rather quiet - managed to find a few things in common and soon began talking about flying. The moms had no trouble at all entertaining themselves with some kind of mysterious mom talk that I didn't really follow or bother to pay much attention to. Dee and I managed to make each other laugh for a while.

We also passed around floor plans for the new condo that Dee and I had just contracted. Everyone pretended to be excited and interested. In reality Dee's parents weren't thrilled with the idea of Dee and I living together, but had come to accept it since they knew a bigger commitment was on the way. My parents were not happy at all about our decision to "play house." My parents are quite conservative and think that things should be done in a certain order. Living together does not come before marriage.

We finished dinner and made our way towards the door. Of course, the moms had to use the restroom before we left so me, Dee and the dads waited in the bar area. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. We all knew by this point that they weren't using the bathroom so much as chatting. God only knows what they talked about in the bathroom that night. I can only hope that it was about the really sweet housewarming present that they'll be getting Dee and I once we move in.

30 Stories

Check out this post over at Robberblog.  It's a summary of where he was in May every single year of his life.  I found it an interesting read and a fantastic idea for a post.  I had initially planned to completely rip him off and do the same here.  I'm still going to rip him off, just not as completely as I had once planned.
In a series of thirty posts, I am going to tell a story from each year of my life.  All of these stories will be strictly from my memory.  I will not consult my parents for good stories about me, I'll just use my memories from those times in my life.  The only exception will be the very early years of which I have no memory.  I'll also try to get some photos of me as a kid and post them along with the stories.  Since I'll be doing this all from memory, some of the posts may be a year or two off.  That's the price my readers pay for me not having a photographic memory.

I will continue to post other things to this blog before I finish all thirty stories.  So that you can tell which stories are part of the "30 Years" series, I'll title them with the following convention: "Year X - Title of Story".  X represents the year of my life the story is from.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Don't Act Surprised

In a preview for the local news, there were various shots of women in flip-flops walking around the city.  The voice over said, "Why flip-flops could be bad for your feet.  Next at 10."  My response was, "Well, they're basically a piece of cardboard and rubber bands, that's why they're bad for your feet.  I'm going to bed early."  I mean, really.  Is this news?  Is anyone surprised by the idea that shoes that I could make at home are bad for your feet?  If you are, you're an idiot.

Of course, people still smoke so maybe I shouldn't assume.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I received a fortune yesterday.  It read:

"Your principles mean more to you than any money or success."

So I have my principles to blame for not having any money or success.

At least I know.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Panhandlers and Bubble Wrap

I received a package at my office earlier this week. The contents were wrapped in bubble wrap. Everyone loves bubble wrap. Those little air pockets are so much fun to pop. I realized something new about bubble wrap today. If you run your hand over it before you set about popping every one of the little bubbles, it's kinda like feeling hundreds of tiny little boobies all at once.

As I was waiting for the train home this afternoon at the Monroe stop around 5pm, there were some panhandlers playing music when I walked in. Three guys. One with a guitar, one with a little egg shaped shaker and the third with a kick ass voice. In fact, they all had great voices and were obviously well rehearsed as they were hitting some pretty flawless three part harmony. I was impressed and delighted that this was the way I got to end my Friday. I walked over and threw a couple bucks in their hat. I almost let a train pass so that I could stay and listen a little longer. Almost.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blue Angels

Seconds ago I was startled by the sound of a high-powered jet engine buzzing my building.  I was alarmed at first, wondering what sort of terror issue caused the scrambling of military jets.  I quickly remembered that this weekend is the Chicago Air & Water Show.  My building is getting buzzed by the Blue Angels practicing their routine for this weekend.
I love working downtown.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Captivate Network

Since I've started my new job in downtown Chicago, a lot of things have changed for me.  My commute is shorter, I get more sleep and I now work in a fancy new high-rise in the Loop.  Part of working in a high-rise is taking the elevator everywhere.  I'm not used to using elevators since my old job was at a four-story building in the 'burbs.  In the taller buildings there are usually two (or more) banks of elevators that provide service to different floors.  In my building one bank provides access to floors 7-23 and the other provides access to floors 23-38.  If you're riding the elevators from a lower floor to a higher floor, you have to switch elevator banks on the 23rd floor.  Also, our elevators are equipped with something called "The Captivate Network".
Every elevator has a little screen mounted just above the button panel and it shows a series of different news items throughout the day.  This is called The Captivate Network.  A clever play on the fact that the audience is captive.  The Captivate Network does two things.  First, it provides everyone in the elevator with something to do so everyone doesn't have to stand around awkwardly trying to not make eye contact.  Second, it provides interesting little tidbits that people can use to make conversation.
The Captivate Network has provided me with plenty of little bits of information that I would otherwise never know or care about.  Here is a list of things that I have learned from The Captivate Network:
  • David Ortiz consistently leads the league (MBL or AL, I'm not sure) in RBI.
  • In India, the government has released a certain type of monkey to chase other monkeys out of the subway.
  • A waitress was handed her own stolen ID when carding someone at a bar.
  • Las Vegas enacted a law making it illegal to feed homeless people in parks.
  • L'esprit de l'escalier is the French phrase for thinking of a good comeback too late. (Like George Costanza and the "Jerk Store" thing)
  • Do not swim with shiny jewelry on, for sharks might mistake the shiny jewelry as fish scales and try to eat you.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coming Soon

It's been kinda quiet here for a while and I apologize to anyone who actually reads this regularly. I would like to think that I'm apologizing to a large group of people, but I'm not. Sorry, Tim and SBS. Okay, I think that covers it.

I do have an excuse for why I haven't posted in a while. First of all, I've been asked to write weekly editorials for The Colts Blog, so I've been working on my first article for that site. It should be up soon. Second, I've been working on a long-term project for this site that will consist of approximately 30 substantial posts. I've been busy mapping that out. Hopefully I'll have something soon.

In the meantime, check out this video. It's the way music videos should be and is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time.

OK Go on treadmills