Monthly Archives: October 2006

Oh yeah, I’m still around

Yeah, no posts of note last week. I was feeling kind of down and much feel like posting.

So what did I do? Well, on Wednesday I struck out northwestwards to get some pictures for use by Midwest FurFest. This put me conveniently near the engravers who handle our staff badges every year, so I was able to stop by, chat a bit, and kick around ideas for this year’s designs. I’m pretty happy with what we decided on, and now all I have to do is e-mail him the template and the list of names and titles and we’ll be good to go (and this year I won’t forget the Guests of Honor like I did last year, with that lovely “Oh sh#t!” moment on Wednesday night). Afterwards, I drove down and picked up takaza after work. Last week was month-end for him, and between doing the work of multiple people and the stress of more and more tasks being piled on him, it was not a good week. I hope I was able to help a little bit, anyway.

On Thursday, after I took Dan in to work, I stopped by the MFF storage locker and picked up a few things, and dropped off a few things that had been sitting in linnaeus‘s garage since Anthrocon, as well. I stopped by a printer and got a quote for the attendee badges for this year – we’re going to a new, faster system, but wow, the price of badge blanks just got a lot more expensive! I need to call a couple more places for quotations and see if I can get the price down at all. That was also an especially tough day for Dan at work, so I drove back out and picked up dinner for him (and a tasty milkshake as a special treat), and after we ate I sat at the desk across from him and read the paper while he finished up; he finished up and we left $employer a little after 9 PM.

Dan got out of work surprisingly close to on time on Friday, and in much better spirits too. After I picked him up, we took back roads up to Antioch and had a lovely evening with roho, genet, and the visiting-from-Maryland ottr. We had a delightful evening filled with tasty burgers at Charcoal Grill, a hysterical shopping trip in the liquor department of Woodman’s, drunken Apples to Apples, and the alarmingly rapid consumption of a bottle of Pucker (“How does it taste?” “Blue.”). The next morning, following a typically delicious breakfast at Las Vegas Restaurant (mmm, chocolate chip pancakes…), we all went our separate ways.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on MFF-related stuff: preparing last-minute orders for promotional materials, Dan working on the con book, me helping Dan work on the con book, and other fun stuff. I’ve got a stack of confirmation postcards to go out (and I need to print more of them and buy more postage – great googly moogly, that’s a lot of registrations!) We also took some amusing pictures to accompany the Chairman’s Welcome (I’ll be keeping those for future blackmail material, Paul 😉 Dinner Sunday night was some tasty steaks, and catching up with “The Amazing Race.”

Lots to do this week – hopefully some good stuff going on tomorrow, but in the meantime there’s a ton of orders I need to place and phone calls I need to make. Never a dull moment…

Last-Minute Plans?

FYI: If you’re attending Midwest FurFest and haven’t reserved a room yet, check out this post in for what options are available right now. The Hyatt and the Amerisuites are sold out, though rooms should be coming available at the Amerisuites in a couple of weeks when some other groups’ underperforming room blocks are released.

A Random Weekend of Stuff

Well, I’ve been productive enough today, so I guess that means I have time to look back over the last few days and see what’s been going on.

After a small series of scheduling snafus, I picked up lisagems on Friday and we met up with foxish to ostensibly start the moving process early in the afternoon. Well, that didn’t happen, but we did get two loads of stuff moved over to the new place by evening. emrldgirrl was nice enough to pick up gyros for everyone and a very entertaining dinner at the new house was had. Still a lot of work to go on that, but they’re getting there.

On Saturday takaza slept in until quite late, but he had had a rough week and was certainly due the extra rest! He and I ventured out into the burbs and ran some errands, in particular picking up a PCI wireless card for the spare desktop we keep in the bedroom for extra storage and emergencies – emergencies like Dan’s laptop dying. Just because he was using it to make the MFF conbook, that’s no cause for alarm, right? Ack! Fortunately, the card worked great and he is now on his way to getting stuff together for the book.

Sunday, I joined Linnaeus, siriuswolfstar and simbalion for lunch at the Lucky Platter in Evanston. I had the “Omelet #1” (artichoke hearts, goat cheese, avocado, and roasted tomato sauce), and it was just amazing! I loved the food there, and I’d love to go back! Afterwards, I gave Sirius and Simba a life to Beast Buy where we wandered among the slack-jawed and they picks up some needed items. On the way back to their place we stopped by Evil Squirrel Comics to say hi to woodychitwn, then had an interesting conversation about who can and cannot be considered a “hack” furry artist. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing around the house and getting in some quality snuggle time with my sweetie 🙂

Yesterday…not a whole lot to say. The usual job applications, grocery store runs, etc. Dinner was excellent, and I’ll be posting that recipe shortly since I want to make it again. I did call in Dan’s laptop to Circuit City’s warranty program, since we paid for it after all, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the problems seem to be covered and they’ll be sending a box to ship the laptop back to them for repair.

Today has been quite productive. Laundry has been running all day, and I have put in the orders for our sponsor gifts, Registration bags, and cloisonné pins. In a little while I’ll hit the road out to the burbs to help out with the moving once again; I figure if I can’t be useful here I might as well be useful somewhere. There’s some other MFF-related stuff I need to do later this week. I’ll probably talk about that more later.

Well, that was fun


And here’s what ate up several hours of my day today: 250 confirmation postcards for MFF. Normally it wouldn’t take quite that long, except when you run out of postcards and have to print and cut down more, then run out of stamps and have to go to the post office to buy more. Ah well – they’re in the mail now! (And these don’t even include the end-of-cheap-pre-registration mailed-in registrations!)

Apple-y Goodness!

It was such a great weekend, it took me a day to recover from it before I could write this! (Or I’m lazy. One of the two…)

We had a fabulous weekend, though! On Friday I picked takaza up after work and we headed north to Antioch to hang out with roho and genet. Traffic being what it is, our 6 PM arrival became 7:15 PM, but that’s OK – we weren’t in too much of a hurry and I always enjoy the time spent with Dan. We chatted a bit once we got there and then headed out to a Mexican joint that was…well, a wee bit underwhelming. We need to take R&G to the taquiera around the corner from our place for something a little more authentic. Following a stop by Armanetti’s Liquors, we chatted for a while back at the house and tested some of the Tasty Beverages we had purchased. After a bit, I was shocked by the arrival of datahawk! Yeah, she lives there, but it’s not like they ever actually see her 🙂

The next morning was the usual slow start, but pleasantly so. Eventually we motivated enough to head down to BD’s in Vernon Hills to meet up with linnaeus, feren, and lady_curmudgeon. Tasty stir-fried food was consumed and we had a great time chatting. Afterwards, we returned to Antioch for a quick stop by Antioch Packing House for dinner grillables, then a stop by the house for pit stops. As we were leaving there, I unfortunately managed to step approximately in the same place that Feren did and twisted my left ankle. I imagine I looked pretty impressive staggering around a bit before collapsing to the grass. Ack! I was still able to walk, though, so we pressed on, though somewhat slowly.

And press on we did, to Brightonwood Orchards! This fabulous place is just north of Richard Bong State Recreation Area and only about a 20-minute drive from Antioch. When we pulled in, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the orchard also had a winery! The winery made apple wines and hard ciders, and they had a tour – well, not so much a tour as one of the guys who makes the wines and ciders who just loves talking about it and showing off their shop. I took several pictures, some of which should amuse you homebrewers out there. After the tour, we had a great time tasting their wares and picking up a few bottles of the drinkable apple-y goodness. We were joined by grabstein_69, silverwind, and their daughter Chayla right around then, too.

We walked (well, I hobbled) over to the apple barn where they had a respectable variety of heirloom apples. I grabbed a variety of different apples, though of course now I have no idea which are which but hey – it should be an unusual eating experience. As we were leaving I remembered that neowolf2 had mentioned how good Northern Spy apples were. I hadn’t seen any on display, so I asked the cashier and she said they had some in the cooler. I bought four of them and tore into one as we were hanging around while Giles fed Chayla. OH MY GOD that apple was so good! Slightly tart, slightly sweet, and nice and firm. Just excellent, and very flavorful. I’m glad I bought them!

After the orchard, we had a nice evening relaxing back at R&G’s place, enjoying grilled meat, mojitos, and good company. We capped off the night by surprising Roho with a birthday cake I had made the day before. Yay for surprises! The cake was tasty, too, though a bit dry due to a little overbaking. The dark chocolate frosting made up for that though. Yum!

On Sunday Genet made a tasty breakfast for us, then we said our goodbyes. Dan and I headed south, all the way down to Glen Ellyn, where we helped crim_ferret and wyldekyttin move some of their possessions to their new place in Naperville (if anyone wants to know where it is: Conveniently located just south of The Big N). Unfortunately, between the fact that my ankle was shot and we had an online Midwest FurFest staff meeting that night. we weren’t as helpful as I would have hoped. We got some of their bookcases over, at least. We returned to The City by about 5 PM, which gave us time to grab dinner from the taquieria before the meeting. The meeting was moderately useful and mercifully short, and we spent the rest of the evening working on con-related stuff.

And Monday? The usual – apply to a bunch of jobs, go to the grocery store, run some errands, that sort of thing. Today was more of the same. You see why I don’t write much about my weekdays? They’re boring as heck!

The Purple Hotel? I hear that’s a great place!

For you locals familiar with the place, here’s a bit of amusement:
Lincolnwood wants the Purple Hotel, a well-known north suburban property that has fallen on hard times, to correct what it calls “dangerous and hazardous conditions.”

The village cites such things as a leaky roof, a moldy heating duct and rodent droppings and an insect infestation in the kitchen in a court complaint.

The filing comes after workers from Lincolnwood’s building department found what it believes to be a host of violations of building, property maintenance and fire codes during three inspections late last month. The complaint says “dangerous and hazardous conditions exist” at the hotel “which, if the hotel is not shut down immediately, create an imminent danger to property and life, jeopardizing the public health, safety and welfare of the persons and property within and adjacent to (the hotel), unless and until such time as the numerous code violations are remediated to the satisfaction of the village’s inspectors,” according to the complaint, filed Sept. 29 in Cook County Circuit Court.

Man. I’d sure hate to be these guys

How Did I Get This Busy?

Even when I’m unemployed, I seem to have a lot to do. Yesterday morning I drove takaza to work, then killed the morning at Panera, then at Mount Prospect Public Library, working mainly on the Restaurant Guide. We met for a quick lunch, then headed over to the Hyatt Regency Woodfield where Dan had a meeting with the hotel representatives. I sat in, took notes, and mentioned a few things where I could, but mostly stayed in the background. It was a long meeting – three hours! – but a lot got discussed and I think everyone came away feeling pretty confident about the stuff that was discussed. Afterwards, we stopped by the overflow hotel (the Amerisuites Schaumburg) just across the parking lot, and Dan made sure everything was in order there. That’s a really nice hotel, and maybe a possibility for a future Wuffmeet. Hmmm…

After that we fought our way home through rush hour traffic, and had leftovers for dinner – Dan had the last of the chicken and dumplings from the night before, and I had some of the pork roast from Monday. Mm,, that made some tasty sandwiches! Then it was out to the previously-announced Ice Cream Night where the attendance was a bit light: only lisagems and woodychitwn were there, besides us. It was fun, though. Woody thoroughly schooled Dan in Connect Four, and Lisa and I commiserated about the lives of the unemployed. The pumpkin and cinnamon ice creams that Bobtail has for fall are divine, and I had an ice cream latte with a scoop of the cinnamon ice cream in it. Delicious!

Today has been somewhat less busy, but still I’ve gotten a lot done – mostly laundry and shopping. We’re going to try some mini-meatloaf from Cook’s Country tonight. We’re making plans for the weekend, and it looks like we’re going to take advantage of what may be the last warm weekend to visit a local apple orchard, and generally spend time with friends. Sounds like a great plan to me!

REMINDER (for locals): Coffee and Ice Cream on Wednesday!

COFFEE (AND ICE CREAM) NIGHT!
When: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM, Wednesday, October 4 (tomorrow!)
Where: Bobtail Soda Fountain, 3425 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
That’s a half-block north of the Brown Line Southport station, and the El is by far the easiest way to get there. Street parking is available,though you may have to hunt a bit. Bobtail has very tasty (Intelligentsia) coffee, and excellent ice cream as well. They don’t serve much in the way of non-dessert food, but there is a Potbelly Sandwich Works right across the street. Takaza and I will probably hit Potbelly at around 7 PM for a quick dinner if anyone wants to join usthere. If you’d like us to save you a seat, just let me know, here or by e-mail!

Weekendness

So, I spent most of Friday driving around Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, and Arlington Heights collecting information for the Midwest FurFest Restaurant Guide. I’ve got a lot of additions, a couple of deletions, and I need to come up with a bunch more restaurant reviews. Fun! That’s something that will keep me busy this week. It was also the end of the financial year for takaza‘s employer, so he was a crispy critter when I picked him up at the end of the day. We came home and we both collapsed, eventually getting around to making quesadillas for dinner.

On Saturday, Dan had gotten some tickets to see the penultimate Cubs game of the season at Wrigley Field. I wasn’t much interested, so he shared the tickets with perro, darkwolph, and woodychitwn and they had a good time. Linnaeus was off hanging out with the visiting saboutlours and carol_kitty (and I hear mirkowuff was around as well), doing the tourist thing, leaving me at home alone. While that’s not unusual given the current state of my employment, it was nice to have a day when I didn’t have to do anything – I watched college football, relaxed, and even dozed a bit. It was a nice break, actually. Come evening, the two groups converged (less Mirko, who had to take the train back to Da Region), and we went to the always-tasty Tre Kronor for a delightful dinner (and abused their BYOB policy with a bottle of Sarah’s Blend and a wonderful pinot grigio, the latter a gift from camstone and mooivos that was very much appreciated!).

Dan and I relaxed around the house Sunday, eventually wandering out to walk around the neighborhood in search of the makings for dinner. The supermercado a block and a half from us had some good produce, but the butcher’s section was mobbed (and I still need to learn what to do with all of the unusual cuts of meat they offer), so we instead wound up at the halal meat market around the corner and picked up some ground beef. The grind was a bit finer than we were used to but it made for some tasty cheeseburgers! Unfortunately, we ate a bit late and the dyspepsia plus worry about miscellaneous things led to a bit of insomnia for me.

And then there’s yesterday: I took Dan in to work, got some promising calls from various recruiters, and worked out at the gym. For dinner, I made a very tasty pork roast seasoned with Argyle Street Asian Seasoning, as well as fried potatoes in butter and olive oil. Arr num num num! As for today, there’s the trip to the gym (ow, still sore from yesterday…) , the usual shotgun-blasts of resumes across the net, a bit of food shopping around the neighborhood, and working on a nice batch of chicken and dumplings, since Dan has had a taste for it lately. Bored? I don’t have time to be bored!

Note to Woody: I don’t EVEN want to hear you complaining about how many links you have in your posts! 🙂