Monthly Archives: October 2005

Another weekend comes and goes, and the clock ticks…ticks…ticks towards the middle of November. Agh!

So, anyway. We wound up doing very little on Friday night, which was pleasant – it offered some nice time to wind down. Datahawk continued her visit into Saturday, and we spent the day bumming around the house. I made some nice pancakes for brunch. I highly recommend whipping the egg whites – it makes a huge difference in the texture of the finished product. Also, I recommend keeping a can of Saco’s Buttermilk Powder around for those recipes where you just need a little buttermilk. It keeps for months, too.

For dinner, we met Ed and Chouette for dinner at Reza’s. The food was quite tasty, but we found unfortunately that Persian is not a good cuisine for Takaza – too much onions mixed in. Afterwards we walked around a bit and allowed dinner to digest while Chouette talked programming stuff by phone with Hartree. We found a (relatively) new ice cream place on the 5300 block of N. Clark, just up from the Starbucks. They carry ice cream from a small operation in Madison, WI, and it is absolutely divine. I had a hot fudge sundae made with Zanzibar chocolate ice cream (three different kinds of cocoas and almost black), which Dan got a cup of some delicious cinnamon ice cream. Their baked goods looked pretty good too.

Ed and Chouette offered to give us a ride home but we declined, figuring we’d take the Foster bus. Well, we found out too late that the Foster bus had stopped running two hours earlier. Ah well – exercise wasn’t going to kill us. We walked the 2.5 miles home, and it was actually quite pleasant.

On Sunday, Data took her leave. After a suitable amount of procrastinating, lazing about, etc., Linnaeus joined Dan and me in a venture down to Sam’s Wine and Liquors for a, um, pre-MFF reconnaissance mission. Man, one of these days I’ll get out of Sam’s for under $60, but I haven’t managed it yet. I picked up a lovely bottle of apple wine and a bottle of the extremely tasty Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal cognac. We’ll have these in our room at MFF, of course 🙂 Afterwards, we attempted to navigate the zoo that is the parking lot in front of the adjacent Whole Foods Market, leading to many and varied comments on my part on the intelligence of the average driver there and how the world would be improved with their swift and efficient eradication, preferably in the most painful way possible. Nevertheless, we were able to park and we picked up a very tasty bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with basil for dinner. We headed home, cooked up dinner, and life was good.

Today is a nice, slow day, for both Dan and myself (a welcome change for Dan!). He had some car trouble that I’ll let him talk about (since he never seems to post to LJ – {poke, poke}), but all is well. I’ve got some grocery shopping to do tonight, and we’ll probably take at least one evening after work this week to do some shopping in the Schaumburg area; there’s a couple of items that I want to look for around there.

Man, it feels like it’s 2 PM for some reason…

Bring on the Food Porn!

Courtesy of the Chicago blog Gaper’s Block, here are two photo tours detailing excursions into what can only be described as Food Pornography, dining experiences in which all five senses are used in a nontraditional approach to dining.

An evening at Alinea (and an overview of past menus)
Dinner at Moto

These are two of the hottest restaurants in Chicago right now, and with that hotness comes the attendant sticker shock: $160 at Moto and $175 at Alinea. But…damn. Were we a bit more financially flush, I would seriously consider it.

Half of a Useful Weekend

Hmm. Sox tonight, but also Amazing Race. Good thing we have Tivo…

So. The weekend. Saturday was a busy day for us. Takaza got up early (10 AM!) and we made the drive that I know so well up to my employer for the biannual Open House. It was pretty neat, actually – Dan got to see some of what goes into manufacturing tablets and capsules and hopefully got a little better insight into what I’m supposed to be doing up here every day. After the tour I showed up for my timeslot for the department “entertainment booth”, which is to say a toy 4-foot-tall basketball hoop in the middle of a hallway. Compared to other departments (DDR setup with full amp and mixing board, baseball with radar gun, free popcorn) we looked pretty crappy, but the kids seemed to like it when they made a took a couple of shots and got a free trinket. As a nice surprise, on Monday my supervisor instructed me to add the two hours we were there to my timecard, so that was a nice little bit of overtime.

That evening, we picked up unclevlad and gave him a ride to the party in honor of some-event-in-his-life-which-is-not-his-birthday, held at
emrldgirrl‘s place. The party was fun, and I had a good time even though I’ll admit I spent the majority of the evening hiding on the balcony. I don’t want anyone to think this is a criticism of the party, which was fabulous – it’s just that the loud music got to me a bit. That’s my own personal peeve, though; everyone else seemed to be having a good time, so hey – it’s all good. We headed out relatively early at 11 PM, just before the serious drinking started, I’m told 🙂 The blueberry cobbler I made seemed to go over well, so that was good.

Sunday? Well, I had all of the great things I wanted to do on Sunday. In reality, we relaxed around the house and generally were lazy. I did make some peanut butter cookies, which were quite tasty, and made dinner. Dan printed up some Registration postcards for me and was kind enough to grab them on Monday morning on his way to work, then cut them to size, stamp them, and mail them for me. I have the bestest husband!

This week should be a lot less hectic than the last. Datahawk is couch-surfing with us because it works out well for her work schedule; four people living in Linnaeus’ apartment may get a bit close, but I think we can work it out, plus it’s always a pleasure to see her (occasionally) smiling face 😉 On Thursday Dan and I are having dinner with Chouette to celebrate her putting MFF Programming to bed – well, theoretically, anyway. And there’s always more work to do for MFF…

Can’t Sleep, Con Will Eat Me

And so ends a particularly crappy week. Fortunately, the weekend is looking up.

I’ve been spending a lot of time this week working on Midwest FurFest related stuff (yeah, I know – such a shock!). Most of what I needed to order has been ordered, and I’ve already proofed a good bit of it as well; that’s a huge weight off my shoulders. Now it’s down to a lot of small tasks between now and the convention, which thankfully I can split up a bit more between neowolf2 and myself. I’m blessed with a fairly high level of interest from my Registration staff in working again this year – thanks guys! – and a registration server that works well and is even getting some slight improvements. Oh, and the restaurant guide is ready and just needs final proofing before being sent off for formatting and printing. Things are definitely going well.

Takaza was in training all week – his company is rolling out SAP companywide and his region is one of the pilot regions. They are so abundantly screwed, but that kind of goes hand in hand with SAP. Anyway, my poor wuff has been in training from 7:15 AM – 5:15 PM each day, then having to go back to the office and work another couple of hours. On the bright side, since he’s hourly he’s racking up a lot of good overtime. For me it’s been a pretty quiet week at work, but that lets me work on, um, outside projects. For instance, I was able to rewrite much of the travel information for the MFF website, incorporating a lot of the comments that I got last year. I sent it off to Puma just a short while ago, so it may be a bit before it goes up (if there’s links to hotel, air, train, and driving info at the top of the page, that’s the new page).

Tomorrow is the open house for my job, for which Dan and I will be here. Normally I would have skipped it, but it will offer some neat tours of tablet and capsule manufacturing and packaging, and it’s something I know Dan will enjoy. After that it’s off to a small get-together. And Sunday? Gloriously, nothing is planned! We’ll see if it stays that way, of course…

Oh yeah, the rest of the week…

So, there was indeed life after FRAC, which I sadly have failed to document (and I’m sure everyone is on the edge of their seats, oh yes).

After breakfast last Sunday (10/9), Takaza and I decided to opt out of any planned entertainment and head on home. We crashed hard when we got there; I napped for about an hour, and Dan slept for a good four hours. We had a small dinner after that then went to bed early.

Last week wasn’t too exciting. The big deal for me is that I started the Midwest FurFest Registration Buying Season, in which I spend thousands of dollars of other people’s money, yay! I placed the first few orders and visited with one of my vendors on Thursday after work. That visit was conveniently-timed, since I was able to go from there (in Wauconda) down to Schaumburg. I stopped by Ikea to pick up some nice (and cheap!) wine glasses, then it was over to Fuddruckers for the LAFF Western Suburbs Dinner. I admit I was a bit anti-social and mainly chatted with folks out in the parking lot, primarily because I couldn’t deal with the soccer team of 6-8 year old girls who were sharing the dining room with us. I had a good time, though.

We relaxed around the house on Saturday and I got some MFF-related work done. Then siriuswolfstar came over and I made a hyooge pot of chicken and dumplings. mirkowuff joined us later in the evening and Dan commemorated the moment by making a batch of yummy Good Eats chewy chocolate chip cookies.

On Sunday, it was it was the MFF staff meeting. Typically, the meeting was over in an hour, and the after-meeting chat lasted twice that. It was a very useful meeting, and we got a lot hashed out. I’m still working on a good location for Registration on Thursday night of the convention – we’ll see what layouts I can come up with. Afterwards we migrated over to Portillo’s for dinner, then went home and vegged out for the rest of the night, eventually going to bed by 9 PM because we’re old and boring that way 🙂

As for this week, it’s more ordering and more preparation for MFF. We’re now inside of a month, and I’m really trying to keep my stress level lower this year. Dan, bless his heart, puts up with me, but it’s not fair for him or linnaeus to have to deal with my crabby self for the next few weeks. We’ll see how successful I’ll be…

Observations

Funny, but when I play Blue Man Group on the drive in, I always seem to get to work a good five minutes faster. This probably not a good thing.

Also, happy commemoration of the day on which you entered the world and started down the road to pain, sin, taxes, and, eventually, death to roho, yotogi, and gatcat!

Happy birthday {stomp} Happy birthday {stomp}
Doom and gloom and dark despair
People dying everywhere
Happy birthday {stomp} Happy birthday {stomp}

Well, that was a fun weekend!

Another weekend, another party. After much planning and preparations, Wuffmeet II came and went last weekend, and everyone seemed to have a great time. This time around we were at the Courtyard By Marriott in Glenview, IL. It was a nice hotel, but the general agreement seemed to be that the La Quinta in Hoffman Estates had more comfortable rooms. Unlike the La Quinta, which only has an outdoor pool, the Courtyard had a nice indoor pool and hot tub which was quite lovely, especially on Saturday night when our group was the only one in the place (the three(!) wedding parties that we were sharing the hotel with were partying hard elsewhere, I guess. Fine by me). This time around we tried a conference room as the general gathering area, and which it worked OK, certainly a space with sofas and more comfortable furniture would be preferred. We’ll look into that for future gatherings.

Thanks to everyone who attended: Aeto, Cheetah, Cobaltfox, Datahawk, DaveQat, Hartree, jimcyl, Linnaeus, Mirkowuff, moryssa, Mistletoe, wooisme, Neowolf2, Posicat, Ralkor, rcking, Rolliebear, Rustitobuck, Siriuswolfstar, steviemaxwell, Stormdog, UncleVlad, werellama, and Wyldekyttin. As usual, takaza did a fabulous job planning and purchasing all of the food and drink, and I’m happy to report that we pretty much broke even, which is exactly where we wanted to be. Takaza also did a fantastic job of keeping me sane 🙂

After seeing the walking dead attempting to have breakfast yesterday morning, we’re considering only holding these parties on three-day weekends, though. After staying up late on Saturday night (or well into Sunday morning, for some), check-out time on Sunday morning comes punishingly early. Plus, two days is just too short! Well, we learn as we go, and each party gets better.

In addition to the party, we introduced FRAC: Furries Race Across Chicago!, a combination race, scavenger hunt, and puzzle game. I’ll post more about that later today…

See, this is why I like organizing events – it lets me get all of my recreational stress out of the way. Yeah, that’s it. I woke up with a coughing fit at 3:20 AM this morning and was unable to get back to sleep, though I might have dozed slightly between 4:30 and 5, when the alarm went off. Don’t ask what I was worrying about, it was all silly stuff (did we remember to do X? Do we have enough Y?) that was quickly dispatched with a few questions once takaza woke up. It’s safe to assume that I won’t be staying up late tonight.

And now there’s the long day ahead. I wish I was buried in work, so the day would fly by. Sadly, I’m not so much buried as I have work up to about my ankles. There’s a few nice things about being underemployed, but boredom on the job is not one of them.

As long as I’m whining, I’ll throw this out: what the heck is going on with morning traffic? Back in the summer, leaving the house at 6:10 AM got me here by about 6:40 or so. It seems that since about the beginning of this month traffic at that early hour has really increased, to the point where it was stop and go on I-94 (Edens Expressway) this morning, and I got here at 6:50. Yeah, it’s just another ten minutes, but where the heck are these people coming from, and why are they out so early? And, most importantly, why can’t they GET THE F**K OUT OF MY WAY?

Ahem. Sorry about that. Anyway, that’s what’s going on right now. Long day, but the fun starts at 3:30 PM!

I Love the Smell of Toner in the Morning!

Wow, I just love these mornings when I come in at 6 AM. Well, usually. This morning the lovely hour before anyone else shows up was spent fighting network printers and trying to print up the 160 (!) postcards I need to send out. Well, I got the job half-done, anyway – the rest I’ll have to do at home, on our laser printer that isn’t really fond of cardstock. Oh well.

So, it’s been a few days since I last posted, it would appear. On Friday, we joined linnaeus, rustitobuck, and muganga in seeing Serenity. The experience was much-improved over the preview that we saw earlier this year – much better music, and improved effects. I thought that they changed around one of the scenes at the end, but I may be wrong.

Saturday, we bummed around the house and worked on some party planning and MFF stuff, then Hartree showed up. We grabbed a tasty dinner at Charcoal Delight, then bummed around the house for the rest of the evening, chatting. Sunday brought sparsely-attended MFF staff meeting, but we nailed down a few useful things there. Afterwards, mirkowuff came back to the apartment and we ordered some sammitches. Tasty.

This week has been so-so. I finally shook off the cold/whatever I had picked up, but I had a lingering cough that was kicking my butt and keeping me awake at night. That finally seems to be subsiding, though, much to my relief. So now it’s back to planning for the upcoming gathering this weekend and MFF stuff as well. I’ll be much happier once I can get all of the stuff I need to get ordered for MFF taken care of, which should be by this time next week. I hope.

Back to work!