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!”

Jolly!

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?

Friday
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?!”
..
Saturday
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
..
Sunday
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??

Wedding bells in Detroit

I’m back in Detroit, sitting in my hotel room, balcony overlooking Woodward Ave. gorgeous 75 degree weather. Its been a while! The last time I was here, and the last time I saw Andy, he had just gotten engaged! I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a long time, old friends, great company and an extraordinarily happy couple! The wedding was beautiful (I’ll be uploading pictures when I get back to Chicago) and the reception fantastic! I missed these guys!


Just after the wedding


Well into the night!

Congrats to Andy and Kelli!!! Couldn’t be happier for them!

Whitewashed!

There was a surprise in store for Dave, TK, Steve, Hutch and myself when we got to O’Hare – Nick joined us for the trip! Mark and Gina were waiting for us at the airport and drove us to Mark and Dana’s home. Its got quite the interesting layout and the views are incredible! I’ll be posting the album once all of the pictures are compiled. We hit the slopes early this morning and skied all day – I’m exhausted! But the weather was absolutely beautiful and though it had been 3 years since the last time I had been skiing, it felt great! More to come as the vacation continues!

Always do your reasearch!

As I sit in O’Hare (21st on standby for my flight to NYC) I can finally take a breath and relax a bit after a very hectic week! My Aunts are in town from Spain for two weeks so I have had my “Chicago Tourist” hat on since last Wednesday! In addition to that, my initial 6-month performance review was finally going to happen this week so I had to do the “self evaluation” portion of the review. The night before the review and a scant 2 hours after my Aunts had come to see my office, I was talking to a vendor about a new telephone system… while in midst of his “sales pitch” the phone went click and my phone lit up like a Christmas tree! My first instinct was to point it out to my Systems Administrator “Look at this! How bizza…” then it hit me. The phone system had crashed. The whole reason I had been looking into new systems is because our antiquated Mitel switch was on its last legs. I have been concerned about the system going down for a few months now, so I can’t say I was totally surprised. I just though it would take something more than “the usual day’s activities” to crash it! I immediately went into emergency recovery mode and the next 4 hours flew by very quickly. After speaking to the consulting firm that had worked on our system in the past they had decided that the floppy drives as well as the power supplies were most likely in need of replacement. (Yes, our system runs on two 1.44mb floppy drives – it’s only mode of storage!) This was going to cost us $175 an hour plus parts cost (I estimate ~$500 minimum in parts) and they couldn’t tell us for sure if they would be able to recover the configuration from the floppies. We decided to wait until the morning and get charged the more economical rate of $110 an hour. Yikes! I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to tinker with the system for a bit first. So I took our the floppy drives and started some parts swapping from nearby PCs. (Now 14th on standby) The PC parts didn’t work quite as I had hoped, but I somehow managed to get the beast running. (Made it on the earlier flight!) Granted I got it working as well as it was before the crash – which doesn’t say much. But it is enough to tide us over until we purchase a new system.

I have gotten quotes from quite a few vendors and the most enticing quote was from Inter-Tel. They offered us the first 6 months without payments, which is perfect for us as we have no money budgeted for a system this fiscal year. Well, as I was doing a bit of research today I discovered that Inter-Tel has been debarred from the Universal Service Fund by the FCC! The fund provides us with a huge chunk of our money for telecommunications! This was very disappointing as I had mentioned the fund to the sales rep on our first encounter. She didn’t even bat an eye. Thankfully I found this before making any decision – they were on the top of my list!

In the mean time I saved our organization a huge chunk of change by pulling a McGyver on the Mitel PBX. Hopefully it’ll continue to run until I decide on a new system – VoIP here we come! When it came time for my performance review the next day, which we were both sure we would have to cancel in order to take care of the phone system problems — my supervisor was thrilled with the work I had done!

But for now, I can put that all behind me as I’m in the air on my way to New York City – my 4th visit! I’m very much looking forward to spending time with Teresa and seeing her big show! It’ll be great to put the “Tourist Hat” back on again and soak in the sights (and the warmer weather) that the city has to offer! I’ll do my best to moblog while on the road!

In other news…

So I’ve been meaning to post about the Northwestern game over the weekend. I really had some hope as they were up 35 points after the half! But, in what is now known as the “all-time largest comeback in NCAA Division 1-A football”, I think I’ll stay away from that story.

I did, however, find this picture of Coblert wearing his alma mater’s colors as he was the Grand Marshall of Northwestern’s Homecoming Parade. Good stuff! (anybody got $25k+ laying around for his portrait?!)

The weekend consisted of apartment hunting for Katty mixed in with plenty of debauchery for TK’s birthday. Brunch on Sunday was a blast as well! I sent a picture from my phone of us all waiting around looking hung-over, but for some reason it never made it on the blog. *shrug* I have also finally started to settle in at the new (now 3 months old) apartment! Unpacked some of the last boxes, set up the trainer and my bike and even got a 30min ride in! Monday was quite productive! I’ll let you know how the rest of the week goes…

It also seems like I’ve gotta come up with a costume in short order and then not be too hung-over after the Saturday parties to help move Katty into her new place on Sunday! Its gonna be a long weekend!

Sage advice

I figured this was appropriate given how we are all getting older! (Happy Birthday Mila!) Advice given to a twentysomething from a fiftysomething Washington Post reporter (Gene Weingarten).

A few gems:

Cleanse your language of certain callow affectations common to your generation, for they will not serve you well later in life. I, for example, employed the word “groovy” well into my twenties, until I once
used it as a panelist on a TV political talk show, while discussing the sociopolitical ramifications of a gubernatorial veto. The studio audience actually laughed. In your case, when being interviewed about your nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, you do not want to say, “I was, like, ‘No way,’ and the president goes, ‘For realz, yo,’ and . . .”

and…

The index of male physical pleasure can be plotted by two lines on a chart. One of these lines, which begins very high in one’s younger years, represents the pleasures of the fedroom. The other, which begins quite low, represents the pleasures of the bathroom. I am assured by men older than I that these lines eventually intersect. I do not want to presume to tell you how to prepare for this moment, but I will share my plan, if it will be of help. When those two lines intersect, I will commit hari-kari. I will aim for my stomach, but will probably hit my prostate.

Ok, so it mainly applies to men – but still hilarious! Click here to read the rest of his advice!

Thanks go to Newly for this find!

Exhausted

At Barajas airport in Madrid now. I think that all of the lack of sleep is finally catching up to me as I feel like a total zombie today! Hopefully that will translate into sleep on the 8 hour flight that awaits us. It has been a fantastic trip! Many thanks to my parents for inviting me along. I can´t wait to write more about what we saw after having a chance to go through all of the picures. It´ll be good to get home and sleep in my own bed, that is for sure!

See you state-side!

Long weekend

Condo
View from the balcony of the condo my parents are looking at
vid of balcony view

The weekend started in recovery mode as both Katty and I had pretty bad colds. We ended up bailing on a party on Friday night to take it easy. Not so exciting, but we both needed it. Saturday I spent the morning assisting my grandparents with their computer/home/stereo needs. They will be moving soon and they asked if I could help with a few things. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a computer infected with so much spyware! I downloaded Spybot Search & Destroy (my anti-spyware software of choice) and did what I could for them…

Saturday night seemed as though it was going to be pretty low-key as well. Since it didn’t seem much was going on, Katty and I decided to head to the Poitin Stil on Jarvis just a block away from Katty’s place. We have passed it many a time on our way to the train station, but had never gone in. We were both plesantly surprised! Good atmosphere, live music, and cheap beer! Soon after Pepe and his brother Eduardo joined us. After switching over to whiskey (would regret it later), I escorted Katty home and then headed out with the spaniards. Ended up meeting Kathleen and Erin at Nick’s Uptown. More whiskey was had – late night phone calls were made (sorry Mel, Mike and Keri!) and we closed the place. 5am and I finally get to sleep… uggh. Felt. Like. Crap. the next day. But I forced myself into the car and on to Batavia…

Why don’t we do ads like this?!

Saw this on the Autoblog today and had to share it! One of the better ads I’ve seen in a while! Ties for second place with another Honda UK ad (no CGI used – thats all real!). But can’t top my current favorite, VW UK’s GTI commercial – too cool! (and not just because its a GTI commercial!)

Would love to see this sort of stuff in US ads before we TiVo everything out!