Taxi Cab Confessions

Just took a cab home from Loi’s bachelor party and had a fascinating conversation with the driver. I asked him how he was doing and he said that it was a crazy night. He told me that he decided long ago not to pick up “single” (one person) people anymore. He said that they were usually so drunk and so upset that they were going home alone that they take it out on him! I asked him why he picked me up – he said, I looked like a happy person. Ha! He then told me that women are crazy, he had piqued my curiosity. Apparently, when people leave cell phones in the cab, they usually realize it and have a friend call their number until the cabbie picks up. He then meets with the person wherever they are to return the phone, expecting a bit of compensation for his trouble. He said that the guys always give him a big tip for helping them out – and that the women only give him a dollar or two. Because of this, he no longer returns women’s phones when they call, he tells them that they have to pick it up from the company the next day! Hilarious! As we approached my place, he said “I’m glad I picked up such a jolly person!”


Too much?

I went to bed early last night, 9:45pm to be exact – it was much needed as my ‘lil sister kept me out all weekend! Its funny, I feel like I’m not doing much, or I don’t have much going on – but when I sit and actually think about it – I’m doing a lot. The question is, is it too much?

6:30pm – meet with Greg for dinner
8:00pm – Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Mahler’s 6th
11:15pm – meet Teresa and friends for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (they sold out and ordered out!)
12:45am – Konak’s until close
~1:45am – Fireside (time uncertain as we walked a hella long way) until close (many Hacker Pschorr’s later)
~4:30am – headed back to one of Teresa’s friend’s places to continue the party
~7:00am – Sarkis baby (the reviews are hilarious)
~9:00am – show up at my Parent’s place, both of them having just gotten up “Pablo – what is going on?!”
11:30am – wake up and somehow convince myself that I’ve had 5 hours of sleep
12:00pm – realize that the keys to the GTI are at my apartment, drive down to get them
1:00pm – get back to the P’s and get to work on fixing the GTI (don’t ask what broke)
3:00pm – take the GTI for a spin, and come home to watch the Cal game with Greg and the family (sorry Greg!)
6:00pm – head back with Teresa to get ready for TK’s b-day party
8:00pm – Bravo Tapas for the b-day dinner
12:00am – MAC’s
1:30am – 3:00am – Melanie’s friend’s party
3:30am – finally home
10:00am – had to set the alarm – watched F1 qualifying
11:30am – Jackie’s place for breakfast with Pepe, Ciara, Enda and the baby
3:00pm – Watched Chicago Fire v. L.A. Galaxy – they clinched the playoffs! (eat it Beckham!)
6:00pm – watched the final F1 race of the season at Jackie’s with Pepe (3 way race for the title! Bummed that Hamilton didn’t win, stoked for Kimi! Andy’s take)
8:00pm – home and totally exhausted… trying to prove I’m not 30??

Storm front

As I was driving to my parent’s house last night, I noticed that Lake Michigan was unusually calm. This seemed a bit odd as there was a major storm on its way. I felt an impulse to find a spot to watch the lake and view the impending storm. As I was almost in Evanston, I decided to pay “the rocks” a visit. It had been a while. To my surprise, the campus has changed a great deal since my last visit. It seemed as though my quest had been thwarted by some fencing that was put up, but I managed to find a way around. I couldn’t tell if the rocks themselves had actually changed, but something seemed different. Perhaps it was the bushes that had slowly encroached upon them – or more likely, time encroaching on my memory. I finally found my rock. Though it no longer holds the meaning it once did, the faded paint always seems to have a message for me. 9/96 – it has now been over eleven years. How time has passed. I sat down and took in the scene. The lake was smooth as glass – yet the winds were blasting the air bringing the storm closer. It seemed such a strange juxtaposition; tranquility surrounded by chaos. But the lake didn’t seem to mind. As the clouds approached, the setting sun illuminated them with the most incredible colors. My digital camera was not at hand – cell phone to the rescue. I knew it couldn’t possibly capture the colors, but at least it gives an idea. At one point part of a rainbow emerged – I couldn’t help but to smile. The storm front seemed to miss Evanston by about half a mile, for everything south of where I was covered in dark clouds. At one point the city vanished as the storm engulfed it, lightning illuminating the clouds in the distance. I had not intended on staying as long as I did – but it was quite the spectacle. As I watched the clouds thunder by, it brought me back to my childhood; watching the storms roll by from the top of the hill in Dixon, with nothing more on my mind but the shapes of the clouds and the distance of the thunder. After some time, I walked back to the car feeling refreshed and invigorated. It seems as though I need to follow those impulses more often!

Remebering Unky Steve

His Obituary

I have just arrived home from the return trip to Minnesota. It has been a long weekend – but it was wonderful to be surrounded by family, and to be there for, and with, each other to celebrate Unky Steve’s life. (we have called my uncles “unky” all of our lives) The funeral service today was beautiful, I can’t imagine a better way to honor his life. Last night I decided to write something to read during his eulogy, as thoughts about his life, and his impact on mine had been swimming in my head for days…

One of my first memories of Unky Steve is at the pool when we lived in Dixon, IL. Unky Steve would demonstrate to us the arcane art of the Cannonball. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Canonball, let me take a moment to describe it. Unky Steve would begin by taking a swig of brewsky, he would then walk confidently onto the diving board, once he got to the edge he would pound on his chest with his hands, then jump as high as he could, grab his legs close to his chest, and attempt to displace as much water as humanly possible. For my brother Greg and I, this was the ultimate spectacle at the pool. We would watch in awe as the resulting splash would send water in all directions, creating waves so large that they would spill over the edge. He would always emerge, vigorously shaking the water off of his head, with a jovial laugh, awaiting the report from us on how high the water went. “It was higher than the fence!!” “It went up to that tree branch over there!!” We were amazed at this talent, and would try to duplicate it ourselves, as Unky Steve would laugh heartily at our attempts while taking another swig of brewsky. Nobody can do the Cannonball like Unky Steve!

Now I see that Unky Steve himself epitomized the Canonball. His voice and his laughter were both explosive and infectious. He made waves wherever he went, his joy of life spilling over and touching the lives of all of those who surrounded him. He would face each challenge by standing at the edge, pounding on his chest, jumping higher than the time before and creating an even larger splash! He was always drinking in life, enjoying every last drop. Those of us that had the fortune to witness it will always strive to duplicate his resolve and his passion for life.

For his last Cannonball, everybody watched. He fought like hell, approached the edge, pounded on his chest saying “come on Kimball”, and then finally jumped higher than he ever has before. When he came down into the water – his waves washed over us all, the resulting splash reached the heavens.

We’ll miss you Unky Steve.

Thank you all for your phone calls, messages, thoughts and prayers – your support has helped me grieve and helped me heal.

Prayer for Uncle Steve

My Uncle Steve passed away this morning at 11am. He had been taken from the Mayo clinic to a Hospice closer to his family in MN. My Mom and Uncle Greg were with him when he passed away – the rest of us are heading up there tomorrow morning. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. My Mom sent me this prayer recently:

Do not look forward to the chances and change of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto…
Do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, he will bear you in his arms. Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to beat it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
— St. Francis DeSales


Its interesting the way we seem live today – in snippets. Everything seems to happen so quickly that I hardly have time to register it before the next thing comes along. I feel that blogging is much the same way. There is so much going on in my life right now, but I find it difficult to share in small doses like this. I also sometimes wonder if its actually worth sharing in this context. The title of my blog lays claim to who I am, yet I feel like I share very little of that here. Am I really defined by the weekend adventures that I have? By the pictures that I take? By the websites I visit? I’d like to think that many of you readers know me well; but for those who have stumbled upon my site, or that are just tuning in – I’m not sure if my posts (or recent lack of) are living up to the title of my blog “I am Pablo“. Perhaps its too much to expect to really delve into the depths on these pages, and perhaps the snippets of life that I share here are just enough to evoke an idea – but somehow that doesn’t feel like enough. I also wonder if maintaining a blog gives an illusion of a connection – as if those who read it have a sense they know whats going on in my life. On the flip side, do I really know whats going on with the lives of those whose blogs I read? I guess each of us only discloses what we feel comfortable disclosing – but lately I can’t help but to feel as if that is bit disingenuous. I suppose that partially accounts for my lack of writing as of late. I’m also finding that in this world of perpetual connectedness it is quite hard to detach – just when you think you have, something reminds you that you are still plugged in.