Monthly Archives: April 2010

Spring Cleaning Weekend! Well, Almost…

We had plans, you see.

Spring Cleaning! Lots to do! A three-page list of tasks from the garage to the upstairs office to the back patio, we were going to be a whirlwind!

Well, yeah. Anyway. Not so much. But you know what? It was a pretty good weekend anyway.

We wound up eating out all three nights, which was unexpected. Friday night was dinner at The Lake House with aureth, jenwolf, roho and genet to celebrate Aureth’s birthday. This was our third time at The Lake House, and each time the service and food quality has gone downhill. While the company was great and we had a fun time, I don’t see a huge need to return to that restaurant. There’s too many other good places in the area still to try. (Like Rugan’s, which has a “beer fraternity”!).

Saturday was gray and wet outside, and neither takaza nor I felt particularly motivated. We did give Buddy a bath, which is always amusing. Once he knows that it’s bath time, he’ll tuck his tail between his legs and walk slowly into the bathroom and climb into the bathtub on his own, then look at you with this expression of, “Can we please just get this over with?” Anyway, with him clean we took the opportunity to wash his bedding as well, but then pretty much ran out of get-up-and-go. Instead we opted for a bit of retail therapy. We needed someplace to put all of our DVD’s and (small) collection of video games, so we decided we needed to go to Ikea and pick up a couple of Benno DVD towers.

We called Roho and Genet to see if they wanted to join us; Roho was tuckered out, but Genet was up for it! One trip to Ikea later we had the towers, as well as a few other things (yeah, that’s the way they work). We then went over to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for dinner, the first time we had visited one. The verdict: great fries (yeah, Dan ordered the large size – big mistake), and pretty darned tasty burgers. A little pricey, but I expect we’ll be going back.

Sunday we made a small dent in some of the work to do, sorting through a few of the boxes in the office. Side note: we have a clash of family cultures in our house. We always have had an attic where we had a dozen or more boxes of stuff sitting around. We’d look at it every five years or so, shrug, and back into storage it would go. Dan’s family didn’t have the stash of boxes and doesn’t see my predilection for not minding all these boxes stashed in a closet. So we’re compromising: Sort through the boxes, get rid of what isn’t needed, sort the rest into clear plastic bins, and get some order into the place. Well, that was the idea, and we’ll still finish it at some point. On Sunday, though, we did a little work then decided to take a break. Then it was time to head out for dinner!

Dinner this night was at The Sequoit Creek Lodge a mostly-bar-but-also-a-restaurant in Antioch. There we met up with Roho, Genet, and chebutykin, on her way home from Ebertfest in Champaign (and recovering from drinking gin and Squirt with mirkowuff). We had a fun time, and were surprised at the end of the meal when Aureth and Jenne dropped by, having seen tweets of where we were eating. It was a nice reminder of how fun Cheb is to hang out with, and why we really must persuade her to visit for Memorial Day 🙂

This week is a lot more sane than the last. A high-speed project was created, written up, executed, and the final report signed off late Friday of last week, and I’m still recovering a bit from that. We’ve got plans for the weekend (more on that later) that will keep us hopping as well. Hope everyone has a great week!

They Like Us! They Really Like Us!

I just came across this profile of The Neo-Futurists in Gozamos (“A Spotlight on Chicago Community and Culture”). As you may or may not remember, The Neo-Futurists produce the long-running play “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”, which appeared at Midwest FurFest last year. There’s a great quote from Kurt Chiang, who was part of the ensemble for that performance:
What has been your favorite Neo-Futurist moment? I really enjoyed performing TML at the 10th annual Midwestern Furfest last summer. Those people were so kind and welcoming to us in their very specialized culture/geekdom (and I use “geek” in the a complimentary sense). They also dug the choatic dynamic of the show right away, which is rare for people who see the show for the first time.

(Summer, winter…whichever. At least they had a good time!)

Letting It Go

Or: Things you think about while walking the dog, Part 26

I could be angry and annoyed at the dog for waking me up 45 minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off, but would that make any difference? No, not really.

I could be stressed about the paperwork that needs to be done at work and the mad scramble that is sure to come over the next few days, but will that make any difference or get the work done faster? No, not really.

I could worry about commitments to upcoming conventions and all of the work that needs to be done between now and then, but will that make any difference, get the work done faster, or make me feel any better? No, not really.

I could remember these facts and have a happier, less stressful day. That, I can try to do.

Spring Has Sprung, The Grass Is Riz…

Spring continues apace! Last weekend we had considered doing some Spring Cleaning, but after thinking about it, takaza and I decided the weekend was better spent doing very little 🙂

Friday night after work, we decided that we really wanted to see How To Tame Your Dragon again, this time in 3-D. We bought tickets at Gold Class Cinemas in South Barrington, and we were joined by roho, genet, justincheetah, and calapurr. Yes, the tickets were a bit expensive at $17.50 apiece, but considering we were originally looking at the IMAX in Lincolnshire ($17/ticket), it was a very good deal indeed. Gold Class is a “premium theater”, one of the more over-the-top examples. There are (I think) ten auditoriums, the small ones having 22 seats and the large ones having 44 seats. And what seats! Comfy electric recliners with lots of space all around, and pillows and blankets provided on request.

We decided to try the whole deal and ordered dinner and drinks before the movie, to be delivered during the movie. Dan ordered the Wagyu beef burger duo (which unfortunately turned out to be served with mustard – not to his liking at all). I had the Cuban pork sandwich, which was delicious. Also, they have a fantastic drink called a ginger collins (Hendricks gin, Canton ginger liqueur, fresh strawberries, Pama pomegranate liqueur, sweet and sour mix, and ginger). SO GOOD. The prices were sky-high, though, and although the food was good, we could have had an amazing dinner at a fine steakhouse for what we paid. We won’t be doing dinner there again. Fortunately, there’s a Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant and Winery right in front of the theater, so I can see a nice combination of dinner and a movie right there.

Oh, and the movie? Really great, even the second time. The 3-D did add to the experience, so I’m glad we saw it that way. We’ll be buying the DVD for sure.

On Saturday, we did nothing. And it was good.

Sunday, I got a little more motivated. I took Buddy for a walk at a local forest preserve, then did some shopping at Garden Fresh, our local grocery store. Why do I love this store so much? They cover the basics, but also have a wide variety of ethnic foods. It’s a wonderful mix of foods and cultures, and I was amused when I stopped by a sample table and had to help a Korean woman explain to a Middle Eastern woman what was in the kim chee dumplings (tasty, too!). Roho and Genet joined us for a dinner of bacon cheeseburgers, grilled asparagus with rosemary, lemon, and goat cheese, and a dessert of grilled pineapple. Somewhere in there we attended the online Midwest FurFest staff meeting and watched an episode of Glee, too.

This week is going by pretty much as usual. One bright spot is that with a nice influx of reimbursements from various sources we’ve paid our credit card off. Looking ahead to this weekend, the Spring Cleaning will kick in in earnest. After that, our weekends are claimed through the beginning of June. Yikes!

A Call For Help At Anthrocon!

We’ve got a bit of a crisis in the Anthrocon Artists Alley/Con Store and we need YOUR help! Through no fault of their own, we have lost three experienced and hard-working staffers this year, creating a huge hole in our staffing. I need your help! I need folks who don’t mind giving up 4-5 hours of their day each day during the convention, between 9 AM until 6 PM. You would be running a cash register and helping to staff either the Artists Alley or the Con Store. The duties are well-documented and easy to learn.

What do you get in exchange? Well, that’s the good part. You’ll get FREE admission to Anthrocon, easy registration (bypass the huge lines!), a free T-Shirt, and a free delicious dinner on Sunday night. Additionally, you’ll get to work with some really fun and amazing people and enjoy a great feeling of accomplishment when the convention is over.

I need at least three people, and four or five would be even better. If you know someone who might be interested, send them my way as well! If this sounds like something you might enjoy, you can comment on this post or e-mail me directly at Thanks!


Big Plans for 2011!

It doesn’t seem so long ago…

November 18, 2001. We were at the Sheraton Arlington Park, just wrapping up the second Midwest FurFest. We gathered with our family and friends in a ballroom there, and before one and all, takaza and I pledged our love for one another in a celebration of our commited relationship. It was a magical night, and one that we will never forget.

The tenth anniversary of that event is coming up, and we have decided that we want to celebrate in style. And just like before, we would love to do it with those who are dear to us. Dan and I would like to invite all of our friends to join us on a fabulous cruise to Alaska! Things are very much in the formative stages, but the one thing that we’ve learned is that booking a year out is a Very Good Idea. Even better, booking early allows you to make down payments on your ticket, which suddenly makes this a viable option.

Here’s what we’re looking at: Cruising from either Seattle or Vancouver on an 6- or 7-night cruise through the Inside Passage of Alaska in July of 2011. Depending on what accommodations you select, the cruise will be between $1,000 – $2,250 per person (the former for in interior stateroom, the latter for a suite with a balcony). There will also be the cost of plane fare to/from the embarkation city, whichever it will be. And while this may sound like a lot of money, if you pay it in installments over 12 months, that may make the cost much more attainable.

Once we get an idea of how many people we might be talking about and what the group might be looking for in terms of shipboard activities, shore excursions, and accommodations, we’ll talk to a travel agent and get the best possible deal that we can.

So…who’s in?

Thunderstorms, Conventions, and Really Good Fajitas

We had some impressive thunderstorms roll through last night. While Buddy had been pretty much unaffected by storms that had come through earlier in the day, something about storms in the middle of the night freaked him out. He wound up crawling up on the bed between me and takaza and shivering and panting for a while, until he calmed down. Unfortunately he kept shifting around and waking me up, so I was a meanie and evicted him from the bed (hey, I had to get up and go to work in the morning, he didn’t). He was OK, though – he curled up into a ball right next to the bed on the floor and seemed to weather the rest of the night without incident.

As for what else is going on, this is a short week for us since we’re taking off Friday (and the following Monday) to attend Furry Connection North. Dan has been helping with their publications (as have I, in small places) and although we were supposed to help perro move on Saturday, we instead wound up spending most of the day at home as Dan put the finishing touches on the Restaurant Guide. It worked out OK, though, since that allowed us to pick up my car from the dealership (60,000 mile service + new brakes) and do some shopping at Woodman’s in Kenosha for exotic Wisconsin sodas.

On Sunday we invited roho and genet over for a low-key dinner and to watch The Amazing Race. Dinner was marinated skirt steak grilled and made into fajitas. The ripe avocados that we added to the fajitas were excellent and really propelled them over the top. We’ll be making those again!

Looking ahead to the coming week, we have stuff to take care of tonight in preparation for the convention (cleaning my car’s interior, for example, including getting the nose prints off the windows 🙂 Tomorrow night we’ll drop Buddy off at Dan’s mom’s place, where she is going to watch Buddy and Roho & Genet’s Samoyed, Brianna. This will be in addition to her 8-week old Rottweiler puppy, Bailey, and Bud the three-legged cat. I think she’s going to have her hands full! But it should all work out.

We leave for the outskirts of Detroit right after work on Thursday. We’re expecting to roll into the convention hotel at around 10:30 PM or so, and will likely collapse not long afterward. It should be a busy convention for me since I will be working in Operations. Dan will be busy as well, working in a behind-the-scenes role similar to what his mom did at Midwest FurFest. We’ve also got a party and a dinner planned for the convention; those should be a blast as well.

Come on Thursday, get here soon! I’m ready to hit the road…