Friday, April 21, 2006

Hi, how are you?


So yeah, it's been a while.

I'm doing ok; just back from Chicago visiting the SOOTTAD since we had this past Sunday off from school due to the Easter holiday. Kinda crazy busy, and not just from the traveling. April marks the beginning of frisbee season -- I'm playing in the hat league on Monday nights and my club team has practices Tuesdays and Thursdays. And we're still trying to play pickup on Saturdays. And somewhere in there I need to squeeze in two practice sessions for school, not to mention the studying in general.

Oh, and we have a deadline at work this month such that they said it was ok for me to bill an additional 8 hours of work... if I wanted.

Um, yeah. I kinda took that to mean that they'd like me to work an extra 8 hours a week, although I wasn't really sure where I was going to find them. That's how my mind works, at least. And sure, technically I could skip frisbee, but I've come to think of it as therapy. Self-care. The difference in how I feel -- my mood, my demeanor -- is quite tangible.

I admit, I often feel guilty about it. It feels like rationalization, like I'm finding excuses to play instead of work, like the lazy grasshopper. It's like I'm taking sick days to stretch out a long weekend or something. Anyway, after the first two weeks where I was basically burning the candle at both ends, I ended up talking to the senior partner who had made the original option known, and it turned out that he really did mean that it was just an option (although he'd certainly be happy to pay us the extra money and have us pull in the schedule.) Can I tell you how great a gig this is? It's still work, but they're really a good group of people to work with. And I know how lucky I am to be able to pull this off.

Still, even without the extra hours, things have felt pretty crazy. Things seem to have settled into a rhythm, and I only hope that I can keep on top of things as school projects and papers start coming up.

Anyway, Chicago...

It was good to have a chance to spend time with the SOOTTAD, although the day I arrived, the SOOTTAD had just started coming down with a sore throat. Kind of a bummer. It meant that the whole visit was a little more low key which is cool, but I did miss having the opportunity to hang out late at a local bar and catching some music or something. We did hit the California Clipper and had a dance or two to Susie Gomez but even that night I think we were still home before midnight. Anyway, here's a quick rundown:

  • Pho at Tank. A proper pho, as opposed to what was offered at the local not-really-Vietnamese-place. I went with a beef and tendon pho. The SOOTTAD had a chicken noodle soup to try and help her throat.
  • Dinner at Hachi's Kitchen. Quite a fancy joint, modern with an artsy logo and everything; a bit on the loud side. Clearly several couples on dates were observed. Quality of the sushi was good -- very fresh and moist -- but a little on the bland side, which was kind of disappointing.
  • The aforementioned visit to the California Clipper. The only downside, none of my bourbons of choice, and no Old Style.
  • Brunch at Flying Saucer. The SOOTTAD seems a little critical -- I found it quite enjoyable. (although slightly disappointing to discover that their shake mixer appears to be for show only -- no shakes on the menu.)
  • A spontaneous decision to go and see The Devil and Daniel Johnston - a cool documentary about certifiably crazy (ticking timebomb, not ha-ha) cult singer-songwriter, Daniel Johnston. One of the first gifts the SOOTTAD ever gave me was a CD which including his song "Walking the Cow"* off the album Hi, How are you: the unfinished album. I had heard about the film a while back and just assumed that I'd forget about it until after it left the theaters. That worked out well.
  • Hot pot at Lao Sze Chuan. All you can eat for 17 bucks -- oh yes. Did I eat too much? Oh, yes.
  • Watched SPL on DVD. OMG. Sammo Hung. Donnie Yen. Bad guys. Good cops. Bad guys doing bad things, good guys doing bad things. Dark and gritty. Setup followed by serious action. Awesome.
  • A return to Woo Chon Restaurant. Still thwarted from getting the duck, but good overall. Although also a little disappointed that they didn't give us any rice or soup. The SOOTTAD thinks it was entirely because of the uppity server that had given us the hard time about ordering the duck. We need to return bolstered with greater numbers.
  • I went on a few runs while I was there -- exercise therapy, dontcha know -- and some of the graffiti around the neighborhood caught my attention. I saw at least three "you have nothing to lose..."s, three "i love you..."s and one other phrase that was written in the same style that I can no longer remember. Poking around for the images, I found more than (this) one person think that it has something to do with the communist manifesto, but it doesn't jive with the "i love you..."s unless there's something in the manifesto that I don't know about, which it entirely possible. The third message was the key, but of course, it's already forgotten. (It was on West Chicago between Damen and California on the north side of the street -- can anyone out there tell me what it said?) Still, it seemed more like a message of affection or camaraderie than a call to arms and uprising, but clearly that's just my take on it.

I'm sure there's more, but it's late and I gotta get to bed so that I can get up bright and early to go to work. So I can get home early to work on a practice client. And then maybe afterwards, I'll do some more work. Or study.


* Actually, my mind is apparently wandering off into La-La-Land itself. The song on the CD is actually a cover of "Living Life" done by K. McCarty. I had "Walking the Cow" on the brain because the SOOTTAD downloaded a copy of it onto my laptop sometime ago and has since gotten some regular playing time in the WinAmp shuffle.**

** The WinAmp shuffle being the functional equivalent of an iPod for those of us too behind the times or too cheap (or both) to actually get with the program and buy an iPod.

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