Monthly Archives: April 2006

I hear the voices in my head/I swear to god I think they were snoring

Well, it’s been a real up-and-down week. On Wednesday, I heard from takaza that things weren’t going well at work. I skipped the gym and met him after work and we had a nice walk in a nearby park and talked some of his stress out. After that, we drove around a bit, exploring some of the northern burbs that we hadn’t seen before, and then wound up at Old Orchard Mall where we splurged a bit for some not-bad hot cocoa and some excellent chocolates. I’d like to think that helped Dan a lot and made the rest of his week a little better. We capped off the evening with a nice episode of The Amazing Race, though we’re bummed that the oldsters got bounced. They seemed like genuinely nice people.

Yesterday was relatively unexciting – work, then a cardio workout at the gym. Because of my knees, I’m sort of limited in the cardio I can do, so I vary between the treadmill and the recumbent stationary bike. If I ride the bike, I can definitely get my heart rate up, even though I top out at about twenty minutes and about 130 calories burned. If I use the treadmill I can go twenty-five minutes (and longer – I need to push that a bit) and that theoretically burns 320 calories or so, but my heart rate doesn’t really get into the “cardio” range. I need to figure out how to better balance these. I’m alternating those with one day of shoulder and abdominals exercises and one day of arm and leg exercises; that seems to work pretty well, but I’m having a hard time sticking with the five-times-a-week schedule my doctor has suggested. Well, some is better than none, anyway.

This weekend we’re rewarding Dan a bit for the two weeks from hell that he’s had by spending it at the La Quinta in Hoffman Estates. It isn’t all fun, though – we’re checking out the hotel to make sure they’re ready for Wuffmeet, and on Saturday we’ll be scouting the FRAC course, taking pictures, making notes, and making evil plots 🙂 On Sunday we’ll be hitting Sam’s Club to check prices for food and drinks and play with budgeting a bit more. In between, though, we’ll be doing a lot of relaxing, which I’m looking forward to.

Gotta get some work done, but look out for some links coming up this afternoon!

Sleepless in Chicago

When last we left our intrepid heroes, they were prepping for a big weekend. Well, sort of. Takaza wasn’t feeling well when he got home on Friday night, so we had a quiet night in. On Saturday I was up bright and early, ready to enjoy a beautiful day. Dan was feeling better, so we headed down to the Cadillac Room at Soldier Field for the event of the day, Night of 100 Champions, a fundraiser for Gay Games Chicago. Considering that there were over 80 tables, with ten seats each, and seats were $75 each, this was going to be quite a fundraiser. Over the course of the weeks leading up to it, we had been told that we would have a variety of jobs, but ultimately they all collapsed down to “Setup”. We started at about 11:30 AM and worked pretty much continuously until the event started at 5:30 PM. We did a quick change into more dressy clothes and assumed our roles as facilitators for the silent auction – checking that bids were following the proper increments, answering any questions anyone might have, that sort of thing. the auction was pretty impressive, too – stuff like flights anywhere in the US, cruises, extravagant dinner and theater packages, artwork, and even a signed, framed tennis racket from Billie Jean King. The auction was supposed to end at 8 PM, then it got pushed back to 8:15, then 8:30, then finally 10 PM. This wasn’t too big of a deal – the object was to raise the most money possible, of course, but communications were poor at best, and there was a lot of confusion.

I should say that the volunteers and almost all of the organizers that we worked with were great, and we had a lot of fun with them; the only downer, and it was a BIG downer, was one of the organizers who was completely and obviously incompetent. She had a tendency to rush in and micromanage, pull you away from the tasks that you were working on to do stuff that was important to her, change her mind on how things should be done and snap at you when you didn’t read her mind, and generally being completely annoying and difficult. When she changed the (previously arranged, sensible and organized) plans for assembling the winning bids and accepting payment for winning items for the auction right as we were trying to close the auction – that was when Dan and I decided we’d had enough. We packed up our stuff and went home.

Initially, I think we were both pretty pissed off and really doubting what our participation with Gay Games might be for the next few months, I’ve come to realize that we were having problems with one person and one person only (though someone should have seen the problems and told her to knock it off). We also learned that if you’re competent, you’ll find yourself in a leadership role pretty darned quickly.

I was tired and sore Sunday morning and Dan was even worse off, suffering a dual curse of respiratory nastiness and a flare-up of the pinched nerve problems from earlier. He elected to stay home and I attended the MFF meeting. I was still in a pretty grumpy mood from the night before so I probably wasn’t the most pleasant to be around, but the meeting passed quickly. We spent Sunday night hanging out and being laptop geeks, as usual 🙂

Last night Dan was facing a recurrence of the god-awful all-nighter from last week. faced with dinner alone, I opted to walk up to Tom Yum, the sushi/Thai place around the corner from us, and had a tasty and inexpensive sushi dinner. The walk back was pleasant and perfect after a good meal. Dan didn’t leave work until after 11 PM, and didn’t come to bed until after 1 AM. We talked a little about the silliness that had kept him so late, and that got me more and more irritated until i couldn’t get back to sleep. I finally got to sleep again at about 3 AM, so you understand why I’m dragging a good bit today. Bleah. I’ll still hit the gym today, though, and we have a nice dinner of fettuccine carbonara lined up for dinner. Pasta makes everything better 🙂

Time to head home!

Do the Friday Dance!

Don’t know what the Friday Dance is? Just jump up and dance around because the next two days won’t be spent stuck at a desk all day. YAY!

Last night was lots of fun. After pulling an all-nighter, Takaza was told that a sizeable bonus is in the pipeline for him. This, coupled with the nice chunk of change I’m getting back on my federal and state taxes will help to pay down some of our debt that much faster, which makes us very happy. To celebrate, Dan informed me (as I was relaxing, exhausted from the gym) that we were going out to celebrate! We stopped first at Martin’s Big and Tall, a nice little shop in Lincoln Square. I had thought that they were a bit expensive in the past, but since Dan and I both needed shirts, we stopped by to see what they had. It turns out that they had some great shirts at reasonable prices (MUCH better than Casual Male’s shoddy crap), so we bought several, including the spiffy shirt I have on today.

From there we decided to explore Lincoln Park a bit (and hang out with trixies and chads) and took the Brown Line down to Armitage. Dan was in the mood for steak and while we were looking around we stumbled onto Select Cut Steak House at the corner of Armitage and Halsted. The steaks were good. We both got combos; Dan had a strip steak and chicken breasts (“it’d be good on a chicken sandwich, not so much by itself”), I had the strip steak and ribs. It’s telling that as I dipped my fries, Dan pointed out that it was probably barbecue sauce I was dipping into and not ketchup. It took me a couple of fries to tell the difference. We also felt a bit rushed by the waitron, which was silly since the place wasn’t busy at all. All in all, it was an OK meal but I don’t see us going back. We finished off the night by stopping by my new favorite place for desserts, Bobtail, just off the Southport El stop. I {heart} the Brown Line!

So tomorrow is Night of 100 Champions. We’re supposed to be showing up at around 11 AM at Soldier Field and help set up the raffle and silent auction, then (tentatively) will be helping to sell tickets and pimp the auction items. Theoretically, we’re also supposed to be helping out with the brunch at the same location on Sunday, but that’s even more loosely-organized. I think I’ve been spoiled by the conventions I’ve worked on, because volunteer organization for this event is a bit lackluster and disorganized; I’ve always followed the guidelines that volunteers want to know what they’re going to do, where they’re going to do it, and when they are going to be there. There’s a few gaps in these facts for this event. This is a shame because there’s plenty of people willing to help, but I fear that by the end of the night it’s going to be a valiant few who have stuck around through the chaos who have to clean up. I hope I’m wrong.

I had a few other items to touch on, but work calls. More stuff to come!

Bet you didn’t know accountants pull all-nighters too

Poor takaza. He went in to work at 7 AM yesterday and got home just in time for my alarm to go off this morning at 5 AM. Theoretically this is the last of these crazy overtime blitzes, but we’ll see. His boss has dangled the prospect of a spot bonus for him when this is all over (one of those “might be $20, might be $thousands” kind of things). All I’m sayin’ is, it better be on the north end of that range.

Dan’s home sleeping now, thank heavens, and told his boss that he’ll be unavailable before 2 PM, and even then he’ll only be working from home (which I think is generous, but I’m a bastard that way). A nasty side-effect of this is that I kept waking up last night, worrying about him. At 3 AM, I woke up and imagined horrible scenarios of Dan in a car wreck on his way home, so I had to get up and IM him to make sure he was still at work and safe. What can I say? My mind works in weird ways when I’m sleepy.

So now it’s 9:30 AM and I’m yawning up a storm. Even after this morning’s three cups of coffee, the can of Monster on my desk looks awfully inviting, but I’m going to save that until this afternoon, when I’m really gonna need it.