Thursday, August 28, 2008

Screw you Gustav... I'm goin' home

Just a quick post to tell you I'm getting out of harm's way after all. The great folks at Cayman Airlines added 2o+ flights while American Airlines is charging up to $400 for the change and have not added any more flights. (that's why I prefer UNITED!)

More when I get home to sunny Chicago!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's a hard job #3...

Well.... fuck...
Sorry, can't think of a better word to describe my luck.

For those of you who have asked me what the people who are members of my association do, they are the folks who use software and data from multiple sources to make the very map above that tells me that hurricane is going to screw up my conference on this very topic!

Funny that during my conference on Thursday, most of the presentations are centered around disaster management.... and that's when Gustav is expected to start hitting us here on Grand Cayman.

We'll be fine and I'll be using the opportunity to blogcument it all!

See you all soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's a hard job #2

You saw the view from the balcony at sunset (better picture coming) here's how it looks in all its sunny glory.

Cayman (well, the Caribbean as a whole it seems) has odd weather. We took a break from the exhausting business of laying in the water and/or snorkeling for lunch and happen to be in the room to catch this shot of the rain passing by. It was sunny and cloudless by the time we got back to the pool.

You can see the rain coming in the dark wall. So very cool.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's a hard job, but.......

Since college I've had to combat the teasing my friends gave me about the nature of my work. Yes I get to travel, yes I get to stay in nicer hotels than I ever would on my own dime, but I have to work from before sunrise until near midnight most of the time I'm there.

This trip, however, I guess i need to fess up and say, yeah... I'm enjoying this one! When managing a conference internationally, I need to be on-site a couple of days before the start so that we have a chance to get to know the property, contact the customs broker and make sure our convention materials have made it through customs, etc etc. This time, it's all gone well and I've had the chance to enjoy the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.... I would have more and better pictures, but I resigned myself to enjoy more than watch the clock or think of taking pictures. I did capture this one out of my balcony the first night here.

More to come :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Ode to Gary Larson

Seems I'm falling into comic strip mode this week. I did the Calvin & Hobbes test yesterday. Then today, while commenting on someone else's blog, I made a reference to a Gary Larson "Far Side" Cartoon. While I was searching for a pic of the particular cartoon (which I didn't find... dammit) I ran across some of my favorites, and I thought I'd share!

Gary! Come back! I need you!

There was another cat/dog one I loved (couldn't find the image) with the cat laying on the woman's bed, the dog is outside whispering through the window "puuut the caaaat ooouuuut"

I think anytime Gary put a cow on it's hind legs I was laughing! There was another involving cows, cars and the pasture. (couldn't find it either) But this time, people were standing in the pasture, a car full of cows passes by and one cow is hanging out the window shouting "Yakkity Yakkity Yak!" For the rest of my life, whenever I pass cows in a pasture, I yell "Yakkity Yakkity Yak!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm a little bit Calvin and a little bit Hobbes (n-roll)

Your result for The Calvin Or Hobbes Test...

A Bit Of Both

Calvin & Hobbes, like a scruffy yin and yang, are in perfect balance within you. Like Calvin, you're weird, a bit insecure, and can be a trouble-maker. But like Hobbes, you're down to earth and sensitive. It's a risk to say it here, after just a ten question test, but I'll bet you're smarter than most. Both Calvin and Hobbes are crafty, clever characters, and any one made from equal parts of each is a force to be reckoned with.

Take the TEST yourself!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pushing the seasons

I was in Wallgreens this weekend and ran across this lovely display above. It's August 16 and there's HALLOWEEN CANDY out already. Yeah, I was tempted to buy because candy corn (in all it's various shapes) is one of my favorites, but it's still August!

The weekend of August 9 was Market Days, a street fair that lasts two days and is the biggest summer street festival in the Midwest. Always a summer staple. This past Tuesday I was walking home from dinner with friends and noticed that the same area that was still cleaning up from Market Days, already had the fall banners on the street lamp poles.

One of the biggest differences weather wise I've had to adjust to moving from South Carolina to Chicago is that the summer is short. But what we consider summer isn't so much when the kids are out of school, or the named months of June, July, and August, but it is more defined by how many days we have to crank the AC, or wear shorts when we're out. Our summer days are numbered as we're getting less and less light during the day. But please, don't rush summer away with Halloween Candy and fall signage. The next step will be Christmas trees on sale for Labor Day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Over/Under Rated Friday - Special Olympic Twist

I haven't done an Over/Under in a while, but something this week prompted me to make sure I did this week's installment.

Overrated - Michael Phelps

Now I can hear the gasp of Lea from SC and others already, but back down, I don't mean him personally. I'm actually thinking of the impression I get from him ABOUT the whole shebang from his viewpoint.

Last Tuesday or so I caught a medal ceremony for one swim event or another. Michael Phelps (MP for short) had won gold and another US swimmer had won bronze. (sorry other US swimmer, I can't recollect your name) Anyway, after all the winners had been given their medals the flags were being raised and the US National Anthem was being played. The bronze winner was smiling as big as he could, you could see his lips moving as he sang along with the anthem with his hand placed firmly over his heart and you could just tell he was tickled pink to be there. MP, however, had his hand lazily across his chest like he was cupping a breast, he was looking left and right and the look on his face was even more lax than the picture above and kind of relayed a look like "if I picked my butt to get my speedo out of my crack right now, do you think they'd notice?"

He has said himself he doesn't like losing. He obviously likes winning and I truly am proud that he does! He's reppin' the homeland very well. But is he as excited with the win as he is with the chase TO win?

Look above, Mark Spitz might be on the verge of breaking his jaw he's smiling so hard at winning another gold medal. MP looks like he's smelled a fart from the medal presenter and is playing with his nipple.

So AGAIN, I'm not dogging MP. I'm happy for him and really want him to get all 8 possible golds. But I'm just curious; CAN you win so often that it's just another medal ceremony? Seen one, seen 'em all? I just wonder if, by the continuous look on his face, if winning yet another gold medal for MP is overrated.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

12 of 12 (v3) August 2008

Always wanting to do something fun and new, I found a project being orchestrated by Chad Darnell when I was looking for other bloggers who were taking part in the AIDS Marathon Training Program.

Chad's project asks bloggers to take 12 photos of their daily lives on the 12th of the month. I tried to start this last month, but the 12th fell on a very rare Saturday when I had the day to myself and the pictures would have been 'me on the couch watching this movie' then 'me on the couch watching that movie' or 'me sleeping'... you get the idea.

So for August 2008, here's my day in 12 pictures.

I've actually been awake for 20 minutes, but couldn't pull myself out of bed. Check the weather. Is it not summer?

Starbucks be damned. I'm not a coffee person, but a bucket-o-Diet Pepsi will do the job.

"Route, X80, Lakeshore to Harlem" The bus says as the doors open and invite me to my usual seat.

At my desk a little early so I start my day with posting TMI Tuesday on my blog
(don't forget to comment on who should/could play me in a movie!)

Watering the only plant I've ever kept alive for any length of time. My old boss gave me this in February of 2007... he's about twice as big as when I got him. :)

I have a conference coming up this month and I've been working on the specs all day and will continue to work on them until the end of the day.

At lunch and enjoying a great book series relaying a fictional tale that gives background story to the legend of Arthur and Camelot.

At the Harlem station about to jump on the Blue Line back home.

Met Patrick, one of the neighborhood dogs who looks an awfully lot like my childhood dog Marshmellow (aka, Bash {short sounding a on that}, Barsh, "Run-like-a-piggy-bash)

Meeting a couple of Deaf friends at Halsted's Grill
(mmmmm....tater tots....)
Great weather for sitting on Halsted's back deck for dinner. Me signing something to my friends while also trying to discretely take my own picture.

The news takes me back to bed. As much as I hate the situation, I enjoyed immensely watching Cardinal George eat a BIG friggin' pile of crow as the archdiocese of Chicago announced a $12.7 million settlement in the abuse trials.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

TMI Tuesday - The Rushed Edition

I'm back after a week of travel and I'm still playing catch up, but did want to keep pace with TMI Tuesday since I missed last week!

1. What is your favorite song to have sex to?

I don't have a favorite song particularly. Just depends on what's playing 'in the background' :) But back when I was younger, and thought the whole seduction thing was paramount and planned, Anita Baker's album Rapture was a great soundtrack-o-love!

2. What is your vision of hell?

Being in a room of "Uber Christians" who are witnessing to me; telling me I should open my mind when they refuse to open theirs.

3. In the film made of your life, who will play you?
Danny DeVito
Honestly I have no clue. The seemingly obvious answer would be a tall actor, but Brad Garrett just doesn't do. I think I'll turn this question outward and ask the readers....
Who should/could play me in a movie?
4. What is the one thing you most urgently need to tell your mom?
That I need her back here. But I have a feeling she knows that already.
5. What will be carved onto your tombstone?

Hee! That was fun. Make your own tombstone here!

And the bonus: What is your drag name (which would be, first name: the name of your first pet; last name: the name of the street you grew up on)?

Dino Catawba. But does that have the same sparkle as Pixie Rimjob? (don't ask)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Just in time....perhaps

I travel a lot. Much more now than I used to and sometimes it can get burdensome. I'll be home a total of 13 days in August. Both times I'm away, I'm gone for work. The travel can be hard as I'm still working, and often working much longer than the standard 8 hour day. But the plus side can be a pick me up.

Such as, the end of this month will have me traveling to Grand Cayman for a conference. Yes I'll be in the Caribbean, yes I'll have an ocean front view, yes this is my hotel

But I'll still be up at 6am (which means no drinking the night before) and I'll still work on my feet until around 8 or 9pm that evening and I'll get to smile 24/7 answering attendee questions like "Where's the Ballroom" (the one that's behind them?) or "Why can't I have an ocean front room?" (because you're a cheap bastard and wouldn't pay $229/night?) I get all kinds of questions... but at the end of the day... I can step on the beach, take a few deep breaths and it will all fade away.

What brought this on was as I was looking for more Harry Potter stuff (Geek Ray set to stun) I saw a new bit of HP info that I'd not heard, or let's just say, my owl has not made it to me yet with the announcement about....

That's right! Opening approximately Spring of 2010, Orlando will unveil its newest park dedicated to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While I am a Harry Potter fan, I wouldn't truck my cookies all the way to Orlando for the sole purpose of this park. My dislike of Orlando and the vision of crazed and uncontrolled children on vacation far outweighs my love for Harry Potter. However... I did just sign the hotel contract for my 2010 annual conference at an Orlando hotel so I'll be there in October... Harry's world opens around April.... I think I know where I can go!

Time to get my broom....