Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gummy Bears are the lunch of champions

A very good, very busy week!

Let's see... it started last Sunday with a trip to Pony. I met up with Glitter and Heinie there, and our bartender is back! She's still a bit shaky from what happened, but she's doing well which made things good. Glitter and I stayed all afternoon, but Heinie left to hit up another bar midway through the day and then rejoined us at the end of the evening.

Monday I met up with Glitter to do a bit of shopping / errands. We first walked down to Macy's in Herald Square and shopped there for a bit, before hitting up the busiest Sephora in the world and then a trip to get Glitter's ring cleaned. While we were waiting on the ring, we decided we needed wine so we texted our English girlfriend who also thought wine was an excellent idea. We then cabbed back to our hood because the 15 minute, 9 block walk seemed very long (yes, lazy), and hit up our regular wine bar.

They had a private party that night so we only stayed there for a little bit - long enough to get tipsy on lambrusco, short enough to not get drunk (I like small wins) - and then trucked over to another wine bar in our hood. And LOVE. The new wine bar was pretty awesome - tons of small mediterranean plates, tons of great wines. And then suddenly it was midnight and the 3 of us were loud stumbling our way home. It was a great night!

Followed by a massive hangover day! And a text from Mr Pooh who was stuck in Allentown due to weather in Philly. His flight had taken off on time, and then got sent to Allentown and they had to wait there for several hours. After I got notice from him that he did indeed make it to Philly, I headed off to Penn Station to make my way there also. The trip is actually pretty nice - you take a NJ Transit train through NJ to Trenton, and then switch to a SEPTA train in Trenton for the rest of the way to Philly.

Anyway, I made it to Philly around 4:20 pm and was seated in a (really awesome) bar by Mr Pooh's hotel around 5 pm. He joined me around 5:30 and we had several drinks at crazy good HH prices as well as some snacks. We stopped back at the hotel so I could drop my shit off, and then it was time for dinner! Mr Pooh's colleagues had suggested 13th Street area which is apparently one of the best areas to hang out in terms of food and bars, so that's where we headed. We hit up a tapas place for dinner and had some awesome good food (paella mixta FTW!) as well as a huge carafe of red sangria (huge carafe of red sangria FTW!).

After dinner, we found a great outdoor bar called Graffiti. They had massive space heaters and the entire place was actually sweltering. Like we had to take off our jackets even though the bar was outdoors. We had a good laugh about that - it was December in Philly and it felt like May in Florida. Anyway, a few tall boys at Graffiti and then we called it a night. As one of us had to work the next day (hint: not me).

Wednesday I finally made my way out of the hotel around 11 am and went straight to Reading Terminal Market. I wandered around there for about 30 minutes before sitting down at the cajun booth in the market. A huge cup of red beans and rice as well as a fried oyster po' boy made me feel a lot better. We were hoping Mr Pooh would be off work around noon, but then he texted and said it would be about 2 pm instead. So I finally started towards the historical district, making my way to Ben Franklin's grave. When I got there, Mr Pooh texted again and it looked like the meetings were going to be 4 pm end time instead. :( Based on that, I decided to head back to NY. It was Mr Pooh's lunch break so we met up super quick to look at the Liberty Bell and then I said goodbye to Mr Pooh and made my way back home.

I thought I would be done for the night as I was pretty exhausted, but then around 7 pm, an old coworker of mine who worked full time "not from the office" texted. He was in town for the night and was getting ready to meet up with my 2 bestie coworkers for dinner as well as yet another coworker "not from the office". So I managed to rally (I have no idea where I found the strength) and headed out with the crew. We did dinner first at a Thai restaurant and just spent a good few hours getting caught up on everything. And then it was a Pony run for an hour. And then the original texting coworker and I headed back to the Winchester and talked for a long time, finally heading out around 12:30 am.

And then on Thursday, my old boss texted. He had given notice and was having his going away drinks that night (it was a company sponsored HH, not just his drinks, but he combined the two). So I headed up and met up with my entire old office. I had a blast! It was SOOOOO good getting to see everyone I hadn't seen since I quit, as well as a lot of the people I had seen in the interim. We raged that night, as everyone was in the mood to just keep the party going. Finally around ??? (I honestly have NO idea what time I went home), I stumbled my way back to my apt where I shoveled a bologna sandwich down my throat and passed out hard.

Friday was also a GREAT day. First off, Blondie texted around 9:15 am and asked me to meet him for an early dinner at 4 pm. So I walked down the High Line to Blondie. We had been planning on a jamaican restaurant, but Blondie texted right when I got there that the restaurant shut down between lunch and dinner so it wasn't open. I then saw Blondie coming down the street and could see he was carrying a shopping bag. When I got closer, I realized it was a shopping bag from Louis Vuitton! Blondie bought me the most adorable LV bag for Xmas!!!! (I bought him sheets - I win the "you suck at buying gifts" award this year).

I spent the next 10 minutes squealing over the bag before we finally found an awesome mexican restaurant in Greenwich Village. Both Blondie and I were on that night - like making each other laugh, not having a shortage of conversation, and so we sat in the restaurant for a bit, imbibing in margaritas and beers, and then finally made our way to our favorite beer bar in the Village. We finally left there around 7:30 pm, and went straight to Winchester.

Because it was our Indian bar friend's birthday-eve celebration! The group met up in there and drank into the late late evening. Many many songs were played, many beers were drank, and a 7-11 run was made at around 11:30 pm. Saturday was yet another go-day as it was back to the Winchester around 4:30 pm for football and our Indian bar friend's real birthday celebration. Our bartender brought in amazing sausage rolls, and the bar kept giving us free plates of spicy fries, and again, many many drinks were had.

Today I am home for now, eating said gummy bears from the title for lunch. We are leaving in a few hours to head down towards NYU. A friend of mine has a burlesque show tonight, so we are going down to see her. And then hopefully tomorrow night, nothing.

Plans this week include: a trip to the Land of Cheese, first into Madison for a day and then onto Blondie's hometown.

And since I won't probably be online on Thursday, a very merry xmas to everyone!

--K

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I have no title today

But then maybe "I have no title" is my title?

My first announcement is that I'm renaming some people on my blog - instead of a big group of "bar friends" (which is what I call them now), there will now be Glitter (I might switch between that and Sparkles, but it's the same person I swear) and Heinie. Bar Friends will now shrink to just be my English bar friends and my Indian bar friend. It's simple right? :)

2 Sundays ago, Glitter and Heinie and Blondie and I headed up to Pony to wish our bartender well. Glitter and I ended up staying for awhile, but Heinie split off early to meet our Indian Bar Friend at another bar and Blondie only lasted a couple of beers before heading home. After Pony, we headed back to our local to meet up with the guys. We hung out there for awhile, but the guys were being grumpy (certain teams lost) so I trucked on back to my apartment to end the night.

Blondie and I hit up our local on that Wednesday, and everyone was in a much better mood then. I had been supposed to meet my English girlfriend to watch the tree lighting in Rock Center, but it was freezing cold and drizzling that day so I bailed on her, and went drinking instead. I'm awesome that way. It was good getting to hang out with everyone on Wednesday night, but it got even better when a couple of my besties from my old job texted. They were in the hood and headed to Pony, so Blondie and I left our local a little bit early and went and joined up with them.

I had a blast that night! I got caught up on office gossip, got to talk about some rumors I had heard, and just got to hang out with my friends. We were joined about an hour after we got to Pony by our Indian bar friend, and he ended up hanging out with our group into the night also. We finally left the bar around midnight. My bailing on the tree lighting was a great thing in the end as I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in awhile.

Thursday I was a bit hungover. A bit in this case means "a lot". I lazed around all morning before finally doing a weak workout early afternoon. A quick shower and it was time to meet Glitter at our local. She had asked the previous night if I had wanted to meet up for early afternoon drinks and I had agreed. The trip to Pony almost threw a glitch in the plans, as there was an unexpected hangover. But I pulled through. We met up around 2 pm, and drank into the evening, joined eventually by Heinie and our English and Indian bar friends.

Friday I was supposed to walk down and meet Blondie for lunch, but he ended up working from home in the morning. So we took off around 11 am and got some street tacos before he headed to work for the rest of the day. After lunch, I stopped and bought stuff to make chili as I knew we were in for 3 days of cold and rain ahead of us. And Saturday we made chili which was awesome because it was indeed cold and raining outside (we made Mrs Pooh's chili the week before and a red chili that week - so basically, I can haz chili).

Sunday I got texted from Heinie that we were skipping Pony that week and heading to another bar in our area to watch football. I joined up with the crew around 2 pm and we cheered some teams onto victory. After the bar we were at, we headed back to our local, and Blondie joined us at that point. We stayed into the evening, snacking on food and drinking many beers. All in all, a great day.

This past week was also good. Monday night was first spent calling the Packers unstoppable as they walked all over the Falcons in the first half of the MNF game. And then it was spent having mini heart attacks as the Falcons came back and walked all over the Packers in the second half of the game. But my buddy Aaron and his teammates "Cobb from Kentucky!" (all of them are "Cobb from Kentucky!" to me) pulled through, leaving us cheering and whooping around our apartment.

On Wednesday morning, I met up with Glitter and my English girlfriend at 9:45 am to go see "Wild" up at Lincoln Center theater. The movie was excellent - a real wallowing one which I appreciate. But I also loved the book too so I was already inclined to like the movie. After the movie, we headed back outside to see it had started to snow. Since we hardly ever leave Hells Kitchen, we decided to stay in the UWS for lunch so we popped into a mexican restaurant, sitting at the bar which had big windows overlooking the street. We ate lunch there, which involved many margaritas, before starting to walk back to our hood in the snow. We made another stop for cocktails at a local food court and then it was finally into our local to end the day. There was a giant party going on in our local, and the owner of the bar kept bringing us free food from the buffet in the back (cheeseburgers, french fries) and then another regular and I had a mini dance off which I won simply because she was way more wasted than me. Small victories - I'll take them.

Friday it was a trek down to Blondie to meet him for lunch. I headed down to him along the Hudson - it was windy and cold, but the sun was out and the walk kept me warm. We went to a local pizza place - Blondie got a few slices and I got a meatball sub, and then I walked back to our hood along the High Line. I calculated my walk after I got home - and what I thought was 3.1 miles each way was actually 3.5 miles each way. So 7 mile walk total. I stopped for snacks for the night at a local gourmet food store, and then just crashed out the rest of the day. That night we took it easy, watching TV and relaxing.

Today I'm still laying in bed. I need to do a workout. I'm hoping to hit up Pony to see our bartender and find out how everything is going. But I can't make myself get up. Yay for me.

And I have exciting plans this week - a visit to Philly to hang out with Mr Pooh! He's coming on Tues and I'm going to head out there Tues afternoon and party with him PA style. So excited to see him again - that will make it 4 times this year which is unheard of!

--K

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

2 weeks ago was pretty boring. On Tuesday, I went out and ran some errands before completely randomly running into an old coworker of mine at Penn Station. I saw her hair (she has very distinct hair) and kind of walked sideways beside her trying to make sure it was her, before jumping in front of her and shocking her. It was really good getting to see her - she worked full time for my company not-from-the-office, and once I made the decision to quit, I didn't get to see her in person to say goodbye. We spent 20 mins just chatting away which made my morning.

After running into my friend, I decided to head to the movies - and went to see "Gone Girl". I've read the book, so there were no surprises for me. But I will say - the movie made me more ragey than the book did. At least with the book, I could be like "all right, you're a dick but I see why". With the movie, I was just like "You're a DICK". The highlight of the movie was for realz yo, NPH. He had a part in it and rocked it out.

After the movies, I went grocery shopping for some grub before stopping at Landsdowne for nachos and beers to end out my afternoon. I need to stop ordering those nachos though - ever since they dropped the cheese whiz from their menu, the nachos haven't been the same. First world problems you all, they're real.

Thursday was a visit to the vet with grumpy pants. Tigga lost about .1 lbs - which the vet actually said is expected. He thinks Tigga is at a good weight now (whereas I want him to gain 2 more pounds), and that a slight bounce up and down now is what he expects. The brighter news with Tigga is that they did a full panel of tests this time, and when the vet called with the results, he said and I quote: "I couldn't ask for better results". So we've got that going for him! What's a slight weight loss when the chemo and steroids are doing what they need to do.

Friday night was a visit to the Winchester to hang out for the evening. We got caught up with our friends and made some Sunday Funday plans. We had a bit of a dance off to end our evening, which is always a good time. Because I'm such a wicked good dancer. Wicked.

Sunday Funday plans were as follows: 1) agree to meet friends at 10 am at a local breakfast place 1 block from your house; 2) arrive 20 mins late because that 1 block felt like 45 blocks and 10 am felt like 5 am; 3) skip breakfast because you were 20 minutes late; 4) split up into 2 cars and drive out to NJ for the day.

No joke - it was our annual trip out to our bartender's local bar in NJ. We try to do this once a year (hence "annual") - go see him in his natural habitat. It was a really good time - everyone came from our bar that we are friends with, the food was solid, and the buybacks were plentiful. And the PACKERS WON!!! After the first round of Sunday games, we decided to head back to Winchester to hang with the Sunday bartender who was morose as we were all in NJ instead of at the regular bar (we had been texting him pictures all day). And we ended the night pretty late, pretty drunkenly, at a local diner - bookending our day nicely with eating. Or would've been a bookend if I had actually made it to the breakfast place on time that morning.

Part of Sunday Funday involved trying to talk Mr Pooh into the Great Saunter - which is a 32 mile walk around the circumference of Manhattan. I'm not sure he actually agreed to my insanity, but on Monday, I wanted to start walking my ass off to get ready for the Saunter. Soooo... I managed to convince Blondie to eat lunch with me and walked 3.1 miles down to Blondie, taking the High Line Park route, before walking 3.1 miles back to our hood along the Hudson River route (it was 70 degrees, sunny, and I was *coated* in sweat when I got back).

After getting back, I crashed out in our apt for awhile, before meeting up with my bar friend at Pony to hang out for a bit. We hadn't seen our Sunday bartender in awhile (she also works Mondays) and wanted to catch up with her - it was a good thing because of something scary that's coming up for her that we didn't know about. We were able to talk to her about it all, offer her our assistance, and hopefully just be clear that whatever she needs, we are there for.

Tuesday was a long walk on the treadmill gym (I've been working out at the gym since I quit my job - I don't talk about it much on the blog but I do. Also, almost all walking for the Great Saunter will be at the treadmill over the winter, so I truly am training for it even if you don't read about it), before spending the day being ultra lazy.

And Wednesday - wooo hooo! It started snowing right when Blondie and I headed out to see a play. So we decided to walk in the snow up to Broadway. On the walk to Broadway, it warmed up just enough to turn the snow to rain, so we were soaked by the time we got there. But the play was amazing - we saw "Disgraced". It was about racial tensions, domestic violence, just a really well-acted play (it had Josh Radnor - Ted Mosby from HIMYM - in it). It was NOT a holiday play if I need to spell that out.

After the play we headed for cajun food and hurricanes, and then home for an after dinner drink, before meeting up with everyone again at Winchester. Many drinks ensued. Lots of jukebox song playing ensued. Lots of "who the fuck played this song?" ensued as someone else in the bar also had the app where you can play the jukebox from your phone. And lots of appreciation for my life ensued at that time. Yay drunk emotions - so real.

Thursday was nice - it was snowing outside in the morning so I curled up with the cat and watched the parade on the TV while Blondie worked on his game for a bit. And then we met up with our bar friends at 3 pm to go bar hopping around Murray Hill area - we went to Molly's and met an awesome bartender, before heading to Tap Room and enjoying some crazy good beer. Our dinner that night was at BLT Prime, where everyone ignored the turkey and went for steak. They had a steak temperature called "Blue" which was one temperature rarer-than-rare. So I had my steak blue.

Friday and Saturday were spent not leaving the house - except for a liquor store run on Saturday as we drank all the rum on Friday. I made a huge pot of chili yesterday (THANKS MRS POOH!) in the morning and it smelled sooo good all day long. And we mostly have been just lazy, watching TV and movies.

Today it's to Pony to say goodbye (for a few weeks) and good luck to our bartender. And that's it.

For anyone who's interested in the Great Saunter and would like to walk it with me and Mr Pooh (hopefully), let me know - you all are invited! Also, random trivia, but I read that you can tell the age of someone by how many spaces they put after periods in their sentences - apparently, you used to do 2 spaces after a period on a typewriter to clearly identify a new sentence, but now on computers, there is no need to do that because one space works out perfectly. So if you learned to type on a typewriter, it's obvious on your resume which then spells out your age (guess who updated their resume to have 1 space after a period? Guess who still can't do that when writing up blog posts?)

The Grateful List:
1) Blondie and Tigga: sooo happy as always these 2 are in my life. So happy that Tigga is better, kicking his cancer belly's ass (can you kick a belly's ass?). So happy that Blondie is Blondie - I wouldn't change him for the world.
2) Travel: I did a lot of it this year, and saw some great things. New places I visited were: Key West, Redwoods x 4, WA / OR border, Alaska, England, Wales. Places I've been and got to revisit were: Detroit x 5, Chicago x 5, Lex x 2, San Francisco x 4, Minneapolis / northern WI, Jamaica, Madison (x 1 now, x 2 because Xmas trip coming up). I'm sure I'm forgetting some. But the point is - there was travelling.
3) Quitting my job: I'm ready to go back to work, but I'm glad I did it (I'm glad Blondie talked me into it and is supportive of me in this venture) as I'm now mentally ready to KICK SOME ASS at wherever I go next.
4) Family and friends: I love you guys.
5) NYC: I love you, guy.
6) Blondie (again) and Mr Pooh: Pulling off a 40th birthday surprise of a lifetime! (and Mrs Pooh for watching the Pooh-lets while Mr Pooh came to NYC). The 40th birthday itself sucked, but what came after made it all worthwhile!
7) Turning 40: I hate it, but I'm glad it's done so I can stop thinking about it.

--K

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Surprise!

2 Fridays ago, Blondie woke up and randomly decided he'd work from home. Little did I know there was no "random" about this. He made the decision and then started cleaning the apartment, so I helped him out. He just kept saying "it will be nice to have a clean apartment for the weekend". Around 11 am, we headed out to meet the program manager from my old job for lunch. We walked into the bar, and we grabbed a table. I was in the middle of texting the program manager that we were at the bar, and noticed that Blondie was looking over my shoulder and kind of smiling. So I turned around, and HOLY SHIT - IT WAS MR POOH!!!

Blondie and Mr Pooh had pulled off a MASSIVE surprise for a late birthday celebration! They had it in the works for months! It turned out that Mr Pooh had flown in early Friday morning and then hung out with my bar friends for the morning. It was SO GREAT seeing him, and knowing we had 3 full days of hanging out ahead of us!

Lunch was great - getting to see both Mr Pooh and the program manager was a blast, and then Mr Pooh and I walked up to go through the main library for a little bit. Afterwards we stopped and watched the ice skaters in Bryant Park and wandered through the xmas stores that are now open for business. And then we headed back to our bar friends' apartment to get Mr Pooh's bag before hitting up Landsdowne for many beers and buffalo balls. Blondie joined us around 5 pm and we headed to On The Rocks for a bourbon drink.

Around 6:30 pm we headed to the Winchester, and walked into Blondie completely organizing a surprise party for me! I had friends from both jobs I've had in NYC show up as well as all my bar friends! There was a cake, way too many shots, scotch and champagne. What a blast - seriously I was blown away by what Blondie and Mr Pooh managed to pull off!

Saturday was a "sucky" morning - I was pretty (A LOT) hungover, so we ordered in breakfast and when we finally felt better, headed to Pony for the afternoon. We were joined by my female bar friend, and saw my musician friend as well which was nice. After many beers at Pony, we headed back to the Winchester and just drank light beers for awhile before heading out to dinner in the hood. It was an earlier night for us, and ended watching Scott Pilgrim and just chatting.

Sunday we were up and at 'em early, but didn't do anything until around noon. At that point, we headed up to another bar in our hood to watch some football with all my bar friends. Blondie had the game time wrong for the Packers but we still had fun watching the other games that were on (Mr Pooh came up with a brilliant idea for a youtube channel that still gives me the LOL's). After the first round of games, we stopped and bought a ton of cookies before hitting up Winchester for a few more beers. And then it was time to say goodbye to Mr Pooh. After which I cried off and on all night long. Making Blondie realize how much he puts up with from me. :)

I thought the week would be a sad one. 2 great weekends in a row, and I was wanting to just lay in bed all day on Monday and be miserable. But I made myself get up and start getting shit in order. Laundry, cleaning the apartment, hitting up the gym, etc. The week itself was actually pretty good. On Wednesday, I walked 3 miles down the island and met Blondie for some deep dish pizza. And on Thursday, I walked 2 miles across the island and met up with my people from 2 jobs ago to say goodbye to one of my best friends from that job (she got a new job, she's still in NYC). Friday Blondie wasn't feeling too well, so he worked from home again, and we went out early and got some grub for the day. And the weekend was spent being l.a.z.y. I haven't left the apartment since our Friday food run - no shit. It's cold out there, I don't feel guilty.

This week will be interesting - got some stuff in the hopper I need to take care of. Hopefully I'm back to an office job again soon - being at home full time is getting really boring and I'm ready to dive head first into projects, a work schedule, leaving the apartment 5 days a week, etc.

Thanks again Blondie and Mr Pooh!!!! Still having a blast remembering last weekend!

--K

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Random thing I learned on the day before my 40th birthday

I've turned into my mom. Complete with being able to float in water in a "sitting in a chair" position.
40

Soooo... brain fart big time. I've got to keep this blog up to date better. I don't know what's going on with my total lack of willpower to pick up my laptop and just write. I keep thinking every week that I'll be back into the mindset, and I'm not (ha - it's like how I work out!)

2 weeks ago, the highlight was getting to go see Little Big Town with Blondie! He had won tickets to see their record release concert, and we were both pretty excited about it. I love getting to go to these shows, even when I don't know the band's music. That day I decided to walk myself down to Blondie's office to meet him before the show - it's about 3.1 miles, but it goes pretty fast. I took the High Line and since the weather was kind of crappy, I basically had the park to myself. Blondie and I did dinner, and then a few drinks at a dive bar close to the venue (like TOTAL dive bar - we both fell totally in love with it). After that, we saw the show and both had a fantastic time.

2 Sundays ago, I met up with my bar friends at Pony for the first time in a long time! We got caught up with our favorite bartender, and I had my BALT sandwich for lunch (bacon, avo, lettuce tomato). Afterwards, we all trucked over to the Winchester and met up with yet more bar friends to get a little drunk before the Packers/Saints game that night. Which the Packers lost :(

Last week was actually pretty exceptional. It started on Monday when a sales rep I worked most closely with at my old job texted - she was in town for the night, so I met up with her at a wine bar in my hood. Blondie came along to meet her for the first time and they totally hit it off. We sat there for about 4 hours, chugging wine, and laughing hysterically at office gossip.

On Tuesday, I got yet another text - this one was from the project manager I worked with when I first started at my old job (he quit in January and leaving me with the NJ project on my own). He was in town as well as 2 of his best friends (who still work at my old job, but they are full-time remote employees so having them in NY at the same time was really a shocker). All 3 of them came over and met me at a gourmet food court in the hood. We drank a few buckets of beer and ate some food, before hitting up the Winchester to end the night. I unfortunately couldn't convince Blondie to come meet this group, but he would have loved them also.

Wednesday was also a blast! I met up with my female bar friend around 12:30 pm to get a mani/pedi in preparation for Jamaica. She was working from home that day and had blocked her calendar so she could come out without getting scheduled for meetings. We spent about 1.5 hours in the nail place before heading to a bar in our hood for fish tacos, buffalo balls, and many many beers. That night, Blondie and I ordered in pizza and chilled which was a great way to end the day.

And on Thursday, yet more catching up with old friends! One of my best friends from 2 jobs ago was in town for work - he also no longer works for the company that I know him from, but was in town for his new job. His husband also flew in and it made me so happy because it had been awhile since I'd seen them both. Blondie and I met up with them at a peruvian chicken place in our hood for dinner - we spent about 1.5 hours together before they took off to see Hedwig on Broadway (!!! My friend and I used to go to Broadway plays when he would come to town for our old job - we saw Addams Family and La Cage Aux Folles together, and had a blast at both !!!)

After our dinner, we said goodbye to my friend and his husband, and then stopped at Dunkin to buy a bunch of munchkins. We took them to the Winchester where all our bar friends had gathered and were hanging out for the night. We had an early bday celebration of sorts - a bunch of beer, a bunch of donuts, a bunch of "karaoke'ing" to the jukebox, and a bunch of dancing.

Friday we flew to Jamaica!!!! Our flight down was exactly on time which was nice - we had Economy Comfort seats and nobody took the seat next to us, so we got to spread out. Both of us ordered rum and orange juice at 9:30 am on the flight which started the stress leaving my body. We landed in Montego Bay and had very short customs and immigration lines, and then headed to the Sandals lounge to drink beers while we waited for the bus to our resort. And when we got to our resort, champagne was waiting for us to drink while we checked in!

That Friday was a perfect day - the sun was out, it was hot and gorgeous. We immediately got food and fruity rum drinks before crashing out on the beach. We took a few dips in the sea, before we both fell asleep in our loungers. That night, we took a boat over to the private island for our resort and went to a beach party. We had a ton of fruity drinks again, and watched the show put on by the Sandals staff (the flexibility/strength guys were OFF THE HOOK), before sitting in rocking chairs, listening to the sea in the dark, and talking the hours away. We eventually got a boat back to the main resort, and headed straight to the bar there, before ending our night around 1:30 am with quesadilla and hot dogs.

Saturday was also a pretty awesome day - the sun was out again, and I managed to snag 2 awesome chairs at the main pool. Blondie joined me a little while later and we spent several hours hanging on a floatie in the pool and going back and forth to the swim up bar. When we got hungry, we headed over to the beach grill and got some food there, before laying out on the beach the rest of the day. That night, we ate at the carribean restaurant in our resort, before taking drinks back to our room and crashing.

And then it was my birthday. My mood was horrible - I wasn't in an angry mood, I was in a depressed / weepy mood. Luckily, the weather was what I wanted - which was overcast all day. Blondie and I went for a breakfast buffet, and then went straight to the beach where we lounged all day long. We drank a ton, I cried on and off behind my sunglasses (I'm so awesome) and we fed the kitty who lived on the resort grounds. We finally went back to our room about 8 hours later, but first I stopped and got myself a bourbon and a daiquiri. We did dinner that night, before grabbing drinks and just going back to the room to watch the SNF game.

I gave myself through Monday night to be a whiny bitch about my birthday. So Monday was a little more melodrama on my part. We left the resort around 10:30 am to head to the airport (after a large breakfast buffet again). Going through security was surprisingly easy, so we stopped for fruit margaritas before heading to our gate. The nice thing on the way back was that we both got upgraded to first class (i.e. red wine by the bucket) and then the even nicer thing was that customs and immigration at JFK was DEAD - we zoomed through in about 4 minutes. This compared to when we came back from England (same terminal) and spent about 2 hours getting through everything. Dinner that night was ordered in mexican along with yet more wine, and an early bedtime.

This week is a lot less busy than last week. I feel okay about the birthday now, mostly because I'm just over it. No real plans this week except Blondie and I want to hit up the Winchester at some point. I'm meeting the program manager from my old job on Friday for lunch - she was one of my besties when I worked there so can't wait to see her and hear about her wedding!

And... for the important news, CONGRATULATIONS TO TCKITW! She scared in the 99th percentile in the Land of Bourbon, Tobacco and Horses with reading scores and got a medal from her school as a congratulations! I'm so proud of her!

--K

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kentucky, Food Poisoning, Jamaica

I took off for Kentucky 1.5 weeks ago on a Tuesday. I had a connecting flight through Atlanta which made my day a bit long, but it was still nice as all my flights were good. I got to LaGuardia super early so sat drinking mimosas in the sky club before catching my flight to Atlanta, and then hung out in the sky club there (this time drinking wine) before my flight to KY. That night, I met up with the parental units and Brother R and Shugs for some tasty mexican grub before playing a bit of cards with everyone and Mr Pooh.

My mom talked me into doing some Zumba for a workout on Wednesday and I really enjoyed it - including the fact that both my mom and I were shit at it. It made me laugh really hard - everytime the instructors were twirling hips, my mom and I were like stiff full body twirling because our hips don't work that way. After our workout, we met up Brother R and The Sheriff for lunch before playing cards again. After a bit of card playing, it was back to Mr Pooh's to hangout for the afternoon. And then a trip back to the house, and some Shittle Sneezers as well as yet more card playing ended the day.

Thursday was a really good day - it started with some Zumba again, before Mrs Pooh picked my mom and I up. We drove downtown, complete with multiple "where are you?" texts from Mr Pooh to get him. And then it was time for beers and tacos on campus. After our lunch, we hit up Town Branch Distillery for tour of both their brewery and distillery. It was a really nice tour - and ended with me asking if the bottle of water in the distillery was their white lightning.

After the tour, we said goodbye to Mrs Pooh and then mom, Mr Pooh and I headed to 6th Street Brewery for the afternoon. On the way to the brewery, we passed the Sheriff directing traffic at a construction zone and we "woooed!" our way past him. Many beers followed at 6th Street, as well as who had the better story surrounding vicodin (I like-o-din the Vicodin). Drunk grocery shopping followed (what might be a medium jalapeno to you might not be a medium jalapeno to others; also, don't send your grocery list to Mr Pooh because he'll forget about it ;) Dinner that night was with Mr and Mrs Pooh, TCKITWv1.0 and TCKITWv4.0, and mom and dad at PF Changs. And finally, we made a late night drive to the airport to get Blondie!!!

Friday started out with Blondie getting really sick - he threw up that morning so my mom and I skipped our workout as we didn't want to wake him up. Then my sis showed up for the first time that week, followed by Mr and Mrs Pooh. We decided to hit up OCharley's for lunch and were joined shortly after by Brother R. After lunch, it was back to Mr Pooh's where we all ended up walking up to the TCKITW's school and picking them up. More grocery shopping followed - as apparently drunk grocery shopping is not an effective way to grocery shop.

And then... all bets off! Mr Pooh started with shots, and the day turned into a drunken mess. My BFF TT and her family came over and we had a giant cookout, played games, drank ENTIRELY way too much, and just had a blast. After Mr Pooh's, it was back to the parent's house, for some gift giving (THANK YOU!) and then a lot more cards and beer.

Saturday morning sucked - somehow both Blondie and I got up and made it out to the soccer games that day. It was really good getting to watch the nieces play, even though it was freezing outside. At least the cold made the hangover go away faster. After soccer, it was time for mexican lunch, and then playing some more games at Mr Pooh's. We ended the night at the parent's house, slowly saying goodbye to everyone as they left.

And then Sunday. Sunday fucking happened. I got up around 4:30, after only getting about 2 hours of sleep (a massive allergy attack and a monstrous headache had made sleeping the night before horrible). As I started to wake Blondie up, I realized I was about to puke - ran to the bathroom and just dry heaved. I chalked it up to the allergies, lack of sleep, etc. We got packed up and headed to the airport - while on the way, I felt like I was going to get sick again but as soon as I rolled down my window, I felt my much better. I felt okay-ish in the airport, and so we just went ahead and decided to head on home. The flight was pretty dead, so I got a row behind Blondie to myself. And as soon as the cabin start pressurizing, I realized I was in trouble. The longest 1 hr, 20 min flight of my life followed, fighting cramps and nausea the entire way (it was the worst I've ever felt on a flight, and I've been so hungover on planes, I've actually puked on them).

We finally landed in NYC, and were waiting in the aisle to leave the plane when Blondie asked how I was doing - and I had to tell him that I needed to find a bathroom stat. We busted off the plane and hit the first bathroom where I puked my guts out. Afterwards, I felt okay enough and we got a cab home but about 5 mins after getting in the cab, I realized I was in trouble again. We finally made it to our apartment where I spent the next 9 hours expelling from both ends, and the entire following day expelling from the ass. Yay.

I finally started to feel okay on Tuesday morning, so I went ahead and headed out for the day. I got my license renewed - no shit people, in and out in less than 7 minutes. I was completely blown away. Afterwards, since I had been planning on several hours for this, I decided to not head directly home and instead went and saw "Annabelle". And then on Tuesday night, I met my girlfriends for some wine - I had to drink extremely slowly and didn't eat anything, but it was good getting to see them.

Wednesday was when I was finally hungry again - I had a sandwich for lunch and then Blondie and I ordered in chinese for dinner which we both just picked at. And on Thursday, my English g/f texted and I went and met her for some lunch - we decided to go mostly veggie dishes for lunch as I was feeling like I needed a massive dose of vitamins, so we ended up ordering a bunch of sides to split. And Friday and Saturday we were mostly lazy - I was supposed to go out with friends from my old job on Friday night, but I had thrown my back out during my puking spree and it was hurting enough that I couldn't have ridden the subway so I bailed on them.

The good (EXCELLENT) news from this past week is that Blondie sat down with me and told me he wanted to do something for my birthday, and that ordering in pizza and watching TV in bed was not good enough for a 40th. He bought me a trip to Jamaica instead! We are flying to Montego Bay the Friday before, staying in an all-inclusive, and planning to just be flat out drunk on the actual day itself. I'm looking forward to a beach vacation finally with my guy where he's feeling good - I plan to hang on the beach, read a lot, eat a ton of jerk and seafood (separately and together), and when that gets boring, get in the pool and float my way to the pool bar and order many drinks.

WOOOO. FUCK 40!

--K

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I'm baaaaaaaack

Well, technically I've been back for awhile now. So much has happened. SO MUCH.

1) England and Wales - Blondie and I flew to Europe in August for 8 days of touring, relaxing, and seeing our bar friends get married again. We landed in London on a Saturday and stayed through Tuesday. On Tuesday, we took a train to a little village about 30 mins outside of Bath to stay with friends. On Wednesday, we went to Wales. On Thursday, we saw Stonehenge and then Bath, and on Friday we took a train to Oxford and stayed there through Sunday when we caught our flight back to NYC.

The trip was amazing. We did all the standard touristy stuff in London - Big Ben, Parliament, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, St James Park, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Jack the Ripper walking tour of the east end of London. My favorite things were the Jack the Ripper tour and the London Eye. The only things we didn't get to do that we really wanted to were to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace (they changed on Tues but we already had our tickets to go to our friends house at that point) and the jewels at the Tower Bridge ($30 to get in - couldn't make ourselves pay that kind of money to see jewels).

My thoughts on London are it combined what I hated most about SF (the weather) with what I hate most about NYC (the traffic) into a city where everything then shuts down at 11 pm.

We stayed in our friend's village then from Tues through Fri - we took the train up which was really nice and then we spent Tues afternoon just talking and chilling in their house. We went to a tiny town for dinner that night (Bradford-on-Avon; looked like it had been built in the 1800's and nothing had changed) and just had a relaxing day.

On Wednesday our friends drove us to Cardiff, Wales (they were going out further in Wales but dropped us off there). We took a train from Wales to Caerphilly to tour a castle there - that was one of my favorite things from the whole trip. It took us several hours to walk through it all, but it was a really great experience. After the castle, we ate lunch at a pub on the patio overlooking the castle before catching the train back to Cardiff. We met back up with our friends there and walked around Cardiff for awhile, and then back to their house for the night.

On Thurs, we started with a trip to Stonehenge before heading to Bath to spend the day. We did the circus in Bath, the crescent drive in Bath, and toured the actual Roman baths themselves. Afterwards, we hit up Marks&Spencer and drank some wine on a patio before heading back to our friends house.

And Friday, a train to Oxford where we met up with one of our bar friends to start a weekend of debauchery. Way too much drinking our way through Oxford on Friday night, combined with a 2 am McDonald's run (shame), led to a Saturday of feeling like crap. But the wedding was beautiful, the food was amazing, and we danced our asses off at the reception.

Sunday we caught a bus back to Heathrow, hung out in Virgin Atlantic's lounge (yay for being platinum on Delta - free access to the club), and then finally got a very long flight home. Where the lady in the row 1 up and across from me had her giant turd of a baby (this kid was out of control) puke all over her 2 hours before we landed. And the smell... just lingered... for 2 fucking hours.

2) Astoria, OR - Landed on Sunday night from London, and turned around on Monday morning and caught a flight to Portland, OR. Drove 2 hours out to Astoria and spent the week there with coworkers prepping for training a new group of users on our product. The area was beautiful but I was suffering tremendous jet lag all week. We worked through until Thursday, when training ended, and then I drove back to Portland to spend the night.

3) Alaska - On Friday, I caught my flight to Alaska!!!! OMG. Alaska was FUCKING AMAZING and if I didn't suffer from SAD as well as a hatred of all things cold, I would 100% want to live there. I met my cray cray uncle and aunt at the airport and off we went. We drove around on Friday, looking for moose, and just going up and down the water there. On Saturday, we drove to Talkeetna (the town that has a cat for a mayor) and hung out there before taking a charter flight over Mt Denali - the weather was so clear that day that we had amazing views, something that hardly ever happens. And on Sunday, we drove to Seeward and took a charter boat through the fjords for a day of glacier viewing and wildlife watching (Orcas, gray whales, sea lions, seals, all kinds of birds, etc). Sunday night we saw a moose with horns (!!!!!) and then on Monday, I boarded a flight back down to mainland US.

4) Northern CA - On Monday, I caught a flight to Seattle and then to San Francisco. I met a coworker there and we drove up through the redwoods to get to our site for launch week. The week was a very stressful one - for a lot of reasons. I was missing NYC, my cat, and Blondie like crazy. And I had reached a point with work where I knew I needed to not travel for a bit. So that Friday, after a long week of dealing with issues onsite, I called my boss and gave my notice.

5) Back to NYC finally - When I gave my notice, I told my boss I didn't want to travel anymore for work in the last 2 weeks. So it was back to NYC for me. I spent the week doing handoff on the remaining projects I had, and making sure everything I had been working on was up to date, and then that was it. I had given a 2 weeks notice, but they said I didn't have to come back for the 2nd week which was really nice of them. It's so weird not having a job, and I'm now actively looking again. I just didn't want to be fat and miserable at my job, and then turn 40 on top of it. I could handle 2 of the 3 but not all 3. It's a mid-life crisis I guess. Since I've quit my job, I've felt pretty good. I've been hitting up the gym like crazy again, cleaning our apartment, taking care of the cat, doing grocery shopping, cut off about 25 feet of hair, just getting my shit in order. It's been cathartic. And I'm grateful that Blondie gave me the go ahead to take some time and just get my head in a good spot again.

6) Miscellaneous - I've been catching up with friends again which has been nice. Not only my bar friends, but I've been able to meet up several times with friends from 2 jobs ago, as well as still seeing friends from this job I just left.

Blondie and I saw "This Is Our Youth" on Broadway for our 11 year anniversary a couple of weeks ago - it's an amazing play, and Kiernan Culkin blew me out of the water. If you live in or plan to be in NYC, I'd 100% recommend it. After the play, we did a dinner at a cajun place in our hood, and were joined by a bar friend for awhile which was nice.

I met up with my girlfriends this past week for a wine night in our hood - I hadn't seen my one friend since England (she just flew back a week ago), and the other friend has been busy cleaning up stuff at her job (she gave notice also and is going to join me on the "what are we doing with our lives" train I'm riding right now). So a good wine night with friends was exactly what was needed.

Blondie and I went to see a friend from 2 jobs ago do a burlesque show this weekend also! I had a blast, Blondie not so much. The actually had a dancer who could make her pasties go in opposite directions - I cheered that girl on like crazy. Blondie preferred the ones who were a little more refined (think dressed like a flapper, a classier strip tease type thing) but I liked the ones that were obviously having fun.

And we're off to Land of Horses, Bourbon and Tobacco next week to see my family again. The horse races are going on so we'll be doing that, as well as just catching up with people, doing a cookout, and I'm sure, playing some cards.

7) Tigga - Tigga now weighs 10.1 lbs!!!! This is HUGE progress from where he was a year ago, and our vet feels like we've turned a major corner and that he is 100% beating the cancer!!! GOOOOO TIGGA!

Recaps are now back. Sorry it took so long to get this post done. I just felt like I needed some time away from my life for awhile.

--K

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wales Watching

The symbol of Wales is a dragon. Caerphilly, Wales.


Drinking at a bar, overlooking a castle, wondering if I'm ever coming back. Caerphilly, Wales


Capital of Wales. Capital guy in my life. Coincedence? Cardiff, Wales


Cardiff castle flying the stars and stripes. 'Merica. Fuck yeah. But really Cardiff, Wales

Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey

Sort of, kind of, hanging with the royals.


It seems bigger on TV. Westminster Abbey.
Randoms that make me happy

Hehe. You said swallow. Bath, England.


Art. London, England.


Hehe. You said giant pickle building in the middle of London? Wait. What? London, England.
Bath

Drinks in Bath, England, after a day of touring.


Underground reservoir that feeds the old Roman baths


The Circus in Bath

And finally, much needed color in Queen Victoria Park on dreary Bath day

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Look kids! Big Ben! Parliament!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Road Warrior

I read an article the other day on the former CEO of MongoDB - he left his job to have a better work/life balance. A line in the article stated that before he quit his job, he had been on pace to fly 300,000 miles that year. And it made my head hurt. How in the world can anyone fly that much? I'm on track for about 75,000 this year and it's making me bat-shit crazy.

And that neatly sums up why I've been absent from blog world - 75,000 miles of travel.

So here is what's been going on in my life. Summed up into 2 parts. Let's start with the YUCK part first.

Work

So I've been in Chicago for the past 3 weeks. Travel started up with a bang on 7/28, and I'm literally on the road until 9/19. I also have 3 other projects queued up behind my current list - I'm hoping to pass some off to the new people on my team, but I haven't been allowed to do that officially yet.

Anyway, 7/28 was actually supposed to be 7/27 but I live my life like I'm in the movies - in this case, the movie was Groundhog Day. I got on a plane out of JFK on 7/27, which was already delayed. We backed away from the gate, parked on the tarmac for a long time, drove around the airport, and ended up back at the terminal several hours later with our flight cancelled. See: 4th of July / Land of Oil trip. So 10 hours after I left my apartment that day, I was back home to sleep in my bed for 4 hours before heading to LaGuardia to really leave NY.

I spent the week of 7/28, 8/4, and this week outside of Chicago (I also spent a day onsite in the Bronx on 8/11 - fell in love with that project that I'm on there, and can't wait to spend some time in my own city on that project). Which ends my time on that specific project - it doesn't launch until next week but I'm in London, and I'm now officially on vacation, so it's out of my hands. Go me.

Anyway, I've enjoyed this project a lot - the team is pretty great, the town is tiny but the people are nice, and the weather is always interesting (massive storms, power outages, etc). I've also been onsite with a great group of people from my work which always helps. There were many late night drinks, great meals, and good conversation going on which always makes my life better.

Some interesting "non-work" stuff from my work was that one day a coworker and I busted through a ton of stuff, and then left the site early to drive up to New Glarus, WI (home of New Glarus Brewery). It was SO WORTH IT. The drive was about an hour, but the town itself was this super cute, super quaint village. The brewery was a beautiful building out in the middle of nowhere (reminded me of Woodford Reserve in KY) and the beers they had on tap that day were nom nom nom. Actually, can you nom nom nom beer? Think - strawberry rhubarb beer, cherry beer, and my all time favorite Spotted Cow.

We then hit up a bar in the village and had some of the freshest cheese I've ever eaten in my life - in this little old divey type bar. I also bought Blondie a shirt with a fake leiderhosen printed on it from the bar (which yes, he's worn already).

Other than that, work has been work. I'm trucking along, working my ass off, having good and bad days <- nothing out of the ordinary.

Personal

Not much to report here because, well, 75,000 miles of travel this year. BUT. When Blondie was in New Orleans, I ended up having a great weekend. It started on that Friday I was at work - I knew it was one of my last 3 days in the office until 9/22 (having said that, I've gone through those 3 days and literally will not be back at my desk until 9/22). So I was pretty antsy about that and when one of my coworkers suggested leaving work early and getting some drinks, I was in. About 5 of us left around 2 pm, and headed for lunch and beers into the early evening. It was a nice way to end my "summer break" and thoroughly enjoyed the time that day.

That Saturday then, I met up with my 2 female bar friends - my one friend can do hair and makeup like nobody's business, so she went to town on me and my other friend. And then we went down to the west village for drinks and late dinner to show off our new looks. I had a pouffy ponytail and cat eye makeup and looked pretty dang fine if I do say so myself. We got back home that night around 2 am - I'm the one who ended the party b/c I was supposed to be flying out on Sunday (but if you read my "Work" section, you know how that happened).

The weekend of 8/1 was another great weekend. A really good friend of mine from work and her boyfriend came to my side of town for early afternoon drinks. It was my first time meeting her boyfriend and her first time meeting Blondie. We ended up at our local for several hours, before meeting up with my bar friends at a german beer hall in midtown for evening hours. Where we ended up in a pretty serious discussion about who would engage in cannibalism if it kept you alive (spoiler alert: all of us. All of us would eat someone if that meant not dying. Other spoiler alert: some of us would eat someone just for the experience. Other other spoiler alert: that was not me or Blondie).

After our drunken cannibalism conversation, we decided to walk back to our hood with my work friends, stopping for junk at 7-11 before downing razz-beritas on our patio. Finally around midnight, 10 hours after I started drinking, I ended up passed out in bed. It was a most excellent night.

And last weekend, it was off to Minneapolis / northern WI. Blondie's friend from college has about 400 acres in the "middle of nowhere" WI, and he throws a giant party / college reunion on a yearly basis. We haven't been up in a lot of years, so we decided to head up this year. We flew in Friday night to Minneapolis, and then rented a muscle car (hahahah - OMG. Never give us 2 a muscle car. Never) and drove up to the property. It's supposed to be a 2.5 hour drive, that we made in 2 hours, because I can haz muscle car.

We sat up late Friday night, drinking beers around a campfire with a ton of Blondie's friends. We caught up with his old roommate - whom Blondie was living with when I met him - and just generally had a blast. We had a cabin on the property for the weekend, so I was in bed around 1:30 am, with Blondie coming in around 3 am. Saturday was another great day - we got up and ate breakfast (eggs and sausage cooked over a grill - YUM). And then made the command decision with our friends that next year we would bring the fixings for a "make your own bloody mary" bar. Afterwards, we watched all the little kids do a "kids tough mudder" - a 1 mile obstacle course through the woods on the property. Yes - they had an "adult tough mudder" early morning which we slept through. To make up for it, we took the hayride with everyone and cheered on the kids. It was hard work climbing on the hayride. It was just like we did a tough mudder.

After the tough mudder, it was time for beers. We still sat around the campfire, but by then, it was every single one of Blondie's friends there - all of them joining our circle and drinking and laughing. After lunch, it was down to the mud and sand volleyball pits. Where I kept drinking and cheering people on. And then a nap. Oops. But I set my alarm so I didn't miss the WATERMELON CANNON.

OMG. Blondie's friend rigged a "cannon" to fire frozen watermelons across his property (seriously - this place is huge. It has a giant alfalfa field, houses/cabins/etc, surrounded by tons of acres of woods). It was so awesome to see - the best was this thing fired and this giant frozen watermelon goes like 400 yards down the alfalfa field, followed by 3 dogs chasing it. It made me laugh so hard.

After the cannon, it was time for dinner (chicken, ribs, corn on the cob), a lot more drinking and a cover band that played live for the party. We sat around the campfires and "candles" (hollowed out tree stumps that they lit on fire from the inside and looked like candles), drinking beer, talking to friends, and listening to the band. The night was chilly, and the beer, conversation and fire pit (okay, just the fire pit) kept us warm. There were some fireworks to end the night for the kids, lit off over the alfalfa field. And then it was just the adults, yet MORE beer, and the end of a great weekend.

On Sunday, we said goodbye to everyone and got back in our muscle car, and made our way to Chippewa Falls, WI, to tour the Leinenkugel's Brewery. But the wait was really long so we just did free tastings while chatting about our weekend and what fun we had. It was then back to Minneapolis, where we plopped down at a bar and enjoyed watching New England get beat up in their pre-season game. And then a flight back to NY, where I had to turn around the next day and head to Chicago.

Switching notes now - Tigga is doing really well. He's up to about 9.5 lbs which is a 2+ lb gain from when he was diagnosed with cancer. He's got a tiny little puff of a stomach now - but he just looks so much better physically. He's losing some fur - his nose is becoming bare, and he keeps dropping tufts of fur from various parts of his body, but he's acting like his old self. So what's a little fur loss.

And we're off to London tomorrow! We're having someone stay at our apartment with Tigga to watch over him and give him his meds, so that's a worry off my mind. And I can enjoy my LONDON TIME! Big plans - we're staying in London from Saturday - Tues, going to Bath on Tues, Wales (and a castle tour) on Wed, Bath (Stonehenge, a Harry Potter tour) on Thurs, and Oxford Friday and Saturday, before coming back on Sunday.

And I'm off to Alaska for Labor Day! I have to be in WA state the week before Labor Day and northern CA the week of Labor Day so I called my cray cray uncle to see if I could visit Labor Day weekend (would rather not do 2 cross-continental trips in 2 weeks). He was all "well, we're going to be in Alaska, so why don't you come there?" And that was all it took.

Travel plans are insane - 8/16-8/24 in London, 8/25-8/29 at the OR/WA border, 8/29-9/1 in AK, 9/1-9/6 in northern CA, 9/8-9/12 in the Bronx, 9/15-9/19 at the OR/WA border. And coming right after that is 2 more Michigan projects and a Brooklyn project.

I'll try to post when I'm back from London.

And of course: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BROTHER R AND SIS!!!! Hope you had great days!
AND HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY TO MR POOH!!!! I'll try to text from London on your birthday!

--K

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In Need of Some Rest

HELLO PAR-TAY PEOPLE! Hope everyone has been doing well. I've been quite the slacker in blog posts lately, so I'll do a recap of the good, and the not so good.

Our plans to meet up with the fam in the Land of Oil were unfortunately cancelled. Cancelled in the most shitty form imaginable. We made our way to the airport on the Thursday before the 4th, walking through security around 2 pm for a 3:30 pm flight. We immediately saw our flight had been delayed until 5 pm, but weren't too concerned. We started boarding our plane around 4:30, and about 5:10 the pilot came out of the cockpit and said we had been delayed again b/c of the weather between Land of Oil and NYC. We were looking at a 5:45 pm takeoff time instead.

We were in first class so we started drinking pretty heavily at this point. We had checked the weather and it was horrible in between the 2 cities so whiskey seemed like a brilliant idea. Around 5:45 pm we pushed back from the gate, but with the warning that we had no route at that point and wouldn't get one until we got in line to takeoff b/c of how fast routes were opening and closing. A VERY LONG taxi then occurred before we got in line with a shit ton of other planes. And then we sat and sat and sat. And sat. And finally they pulled us over to the side of the tarmac and parked us while we waited. And waited and waited and waited. All the while drinking whiskey

Finally around 8:30 we headed back to the terminal - but were told don't leave as we were still going to fly that night. At 9 pm. Blondie and I went and grabbed burgers and beers at that point, showed back up at the gate to a 9:45 pm leave time. And the finally at 9:15 pm, they cancelled our flight. 5.75 hours after we were supposed to leave. I was shell shocked at that point, so we just cabbed back home, I cried for a little bit, and then we went to our bar for the rest of the night.

We had debated driving or training to Land of Oil the next day (neither of us were in shape to drive that night) - but a 7 hour drive wouldn't put us into Land of Oil until late afternoon. And then we'd have to leave super early on Sunday to get back. It was a total fucking bummer.

Friday was the 4th and I ended up meeting up with my bar friends at our local for many drinks. The bar was dead b/c they did fireworks this year on the east side of the island, which was kind of nice. Around 9 pm we walked up the road to a sports bar and watched the fireworks from the TVs there. And drank some more.

Saturday was way nice - I met up with my bar friend for tacos and beers for lunch, before heading up to see Cabaret!!! OMG! AMAZING! Alan Cumming was incredible in it, the music was awesome, the dance routines were insane, and we were 2 tables from the front. I loved that musical sooooo much. My friend even pointed out that we were far and away the youngest people in the theater - which gave us a good laugh. Cabaret is set in late 30's Germany, and deals with a lot of very heavy issues - and it was a sad musical. But it was also an upbeat musical - no other way to describe it.

After the play, we stopped at a new tavern for a beer before finally dropping in at a new wine bar that had just opened in our hood. The wine bar was pretty cool - I had a sparkling flight and we had a few appetizers between us. And then we made our way back to our local to end the night. Sunday I went and got a pedi, then met up with Blondie for lunch at 5 Napkin Burger. After lunch, we dropped by Pony for a few beers before heading home and taking a nice long nap.

Work was work that week - I'm in the midst of 4 weeks of no travel (!!!!!!!!!!) which has been *desperately* needed. The weeks are going fast as I'm still busy as fuck and then I'm catching up with my friends from being gone for so long. That Friday though, work threw us a bowling party, so a few of us left early to go pre-party, and then went and met up with everyone for bowling into the evening. I only bowled a little bit before just drinking, socializing and then finally shooting some pool. I was home for a nap around 8 pm, but back up around 10 pm, because PFunk and Slick were flying in!

Friday night we sat up for a long time, just drinking beers and chatting. Saturday we went for a late breakfast before doing the 3 hour circle line tour of the island - the boat actually circumnavigates the whole of Manhattan and as I spend almost no time on the east side, getting to go all the way down the island on that side was pretty cool. After the boat tour, it was time for cocktails and oysters, before stopping at our local to let everyone meet our friends.

Dinner that night was 2-fold - we first went to a lebanese restaurant b/c they were supposed to have a belly dancer, but for whatever reason, she didn't show up. Also the A/C was busted in the restaurant, so we only stayed for a little bit - had some hummus, a few drinks and a hookah. Left a gallon of sweat behind as I decided to dance to their DJ - and it was sweltering in there. The 2nd dinner that night was tacos from our local little mexican restaurant. And then it was time for bed at a really late time for me.

Sunday I went with PFunk for a few hours in the morning to run some errands, and then we all took off to meet up with Slick's cousin for watching the World Cup game. After the game was over, we went down to the East Village for dinner and drinks. We fell in love with a venezuelan restaurant, and then fell SUPER IN LOVE with a dive bar his cousin's wife knew about. OMG. Dave = the best bartender EVAH! Next thing I knew it was 1 am, and Slick and I were trying to convince PFunk and Blondie to stay out to no avail.

Slick and PFunk left on Monday which was sad - I worked from home in the morning, and got super swamped, so had to say goodbye to them around noon for the day. Work this past week was really fast - I had a ton of meetings to go to, a ton of planning to try and do, and I feel so far behind right now it's not funny. I'm mentally gearing up for travel starting next week that will go through the end of Sept. It makes me want to cry.

Friday though was excellent as the one and only Shelby Shelbs showed up for a visit from SF!!!! We met up with her for drinks and dinner on Friday, but it was an earlier night as she was pretty tired from the week. And then yesterday I went down to Soho and met her in the afternoon for pizza and wine - and catching up on our own for the first time in forever. She's gone through a lot recently and I'm glad we got a chance to "in person catch up". We then came back to our hood and met up with my bar friends at the new wine bar again. A trip to the piano bar ended our evening, and I stumbled in pretty hamschkied around 1:30 am this morning. And felt like shit all day today.

Other random stuff has been: going to lunch with a different group of people this past week which has been pretty nice (we're all friends, I just don't normally go to lunch with them); drinks out with work friends several times; meeting up with 2 coworkers who had quit in the last 3 months for a quick coffee one afternoon; my boss taking our whole group out to lunch; 2 new people starting on my team; and fighting a strong urge to quit my job and just bartend a few days a week.

This week should be quiet. Blondie is headed to NOLA this weekend for a bachelor party, and I have big plans to be as lazy as fucking possible while he's gone. The cat is good - he's getting a tiny bit fatter every day. You can now pinch a very tiny piece of skin on his stomach whereas before there was nothing to grab onto. It's TINY, but it's there now!

Okay. I'm outtie for the night.

--K

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fatty Tigga!

The good news first before the recap: Tigga has gained .7 lbs since his last vet appointment! Woooo! He still looks really thin but we are now officially back into the 9 lb range (barely there, but we are there) instead of the 7 lb range when we started off on this journey in December. He's a big boy and should probably weigh around 12 lbs, so we have a ways to go, but forward progress makes me, Blondie, Tigga, and the vet very very happy beings.

Recappity cap time. Ugh.

Chicago: Well, technically 90 mins outside of Chicago. Things went really well in Chicago - I flew in that Sunday night and met up with a coworker early Monday morning to head to our site. We met up with yet another coworker onsite, and the 3 of us spent the day doing menial tasks in preparation for launch on Wed. The highlights of Monday were the "Circle of Trust" we established at the local Applebee's (or as we called it by the time we left - "Your neighborhood bar and grill") and many delicious beers watching US win their World Cup game that night.

Tuesday was a good/bad day (or bad/good I guess). We got through everything we had left, and then we started running tests with our product that we were going to deploy. The tests should've worked without issue as we had already done training at this site without issue (and it's the same exact tests I was running then as I did before training). But they didn't. Insert sad trumpet sound here. It was a mad scramble to get the right people at the NY office to look at the problem, but they did. And they pulled off a miracle and found the issue within 60 mins. And we got it resolved.

Wednesday and Thursday were about the same - we started launch and it was a little bit boring. Not every person decided to use our product on day 1, so it was pretty quiet. Wednesday night was a bad night because of a work reason - not anything to do with the site we were at, but with something back at our main office. I sent my concerns about what was going to happen, got ignored, and then people started looking into the thing I was complaining about - and yo, dood. I was fucking right. <- Very cryptic, but work stuff, lah lah lah. So I took myself a tiny bit down the street for a queso/marg dinner to cool down.

And Thursday afternoon was good - the site shut early and was closed on Friday which was unexpected. So I made the trek up to Madison to hangout with my BIL and his family. I met him and his kids for a pizza dinner, and then we went back to his house and met up with his wife for many drinks into the evening. A lot of catching up, a lot of beer, and then it was time for another pizza delivery. OMG. I slept on their couch that night, and think I farted all night long. It was awful. The farting, not the hanging out with family. That part ROCKED!

Friday was a drive back to Chicago where I spent several hours eating sushi and drinking beverages, before catching my flight back to NYC (first class again - I'm so lucky with this, honestly. I never take getting first class for granted, and just am happy to have it whenever I get it). I landed to a text from our bar friends telling us to come to the bar, so I called Blondie and we agreed to go. My cab dropped me at the bar and we spent the evening with good friends, having a dance off to the jukebox.

Saturday we met our friends for a boozy breakfast at a new place down the street from us (the place isn't new, just them serving breakfast is new). And then Blondie and I ran some errands before meeting back up with my girlfriend for drinks into the afternoon and evening. We first went to a bar in our hood that's not our normal bar, before hitting up poison bar and then the surf bar to end our night. Blondie cooked me spaghetti and meatballs that night and it was awesome!

Sunday was a boring day, but we did meet up with all of our friends to watch the USA game of the World Cup. My friend from England ordered in hot dogs and pizza to the bar - as it's "american food" (direct quote), and we all were devastated at the last minute tie.

Monday was a low-key day and then Blondie left for SF on Tuesday. I took Tuesday night to be lazy in our house - I ordered in vietnamese, and spent the night eating, drinking wine, and watching OITNB. And most importantly, cuddling the cat. Wednesday it was freaking HOT in NY (not complaining, just stating a fact), so after I work I slunk into our local for a few beers. My friends and I decided to go for little tacos, but then another friend called and said the line was super long at the little taco place, so instead I walked a mile down the river and met up with a bunch of coworkers for drinks into the late evening. I got back to our hood around 11 pm, stopped at a grocery for chips and queso for dinner, ran into my bar friend on the street afterwards who ragged on my choice of dinner, and then finally crashed at midnight for the night.

Thursday I was supposed to work most of the day but got emailed early morning that my flight that night was severely delayed so instead I got on a 2:30 pm flight to SF. I worked from home a partial day then because of that, so my weekend started off on a good note! I boarded the plane in NY (fully expecting to not get first class upgrade b/c of a policy the airline has about flights between JFK & SFO), and got my coach seat. Towards the end of boarding process, a woman came up to me and told me I was in her seat - but I wasn't, I was in mine. We checked boarding passes and we both had the same seat. We told the flight attendant who checked and it turned out they upgraded me last minute to first class!!!!

And holy shit - cross continent first class is like a fucking dream. I had a glass of champagne as soon as they transferred me seats (literally I sat down the flight attendant was all "champagne?" and handed me a glass - I didn't even have to ask), a 3 course meal, whiskey, wine, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, an "almost lie flat" seat and a regular sized pillow (which was good for my mid flight nap), and I saw The Lego Movie for free in my personal monitor. I got off the plane in SF and felt amazing - sure didn't feel like I had just flown 6 hours.

Okay, enough blabbing about first class (I didn't get upgraded coming back so there's that). I picked up my rental car and met Blondie at his hotel in downtown SF - I'm a nervous driver but have totally gotten over the "driving in SF" frightened feeling which stopped me from driving completely when I lived there. Awesome. I don't drive at all in the 3.5 years we lived there, but in the past 2 months, have driven through the city 6+ times without problems. Who sucks? Answer: Me.

Anyway, Blondie and I then took MUNI out to Little Star which was one of our favorite eat spots when we lived there followed by many rum punches at good old Hobsie's. We left early b/c I was still on east coast time and it felt like 1 am. Who sucks again? Answer: Stilllllll me.

Friday we were up early and started driving towards the redwoods. We stopped to do a wine tasting a little ways north of Healdsburg, and we used the time to have a picnic on the winery grounds. The place was amazing - beautiful old house with a GIANT porch, and the wine was really good too. If you get that way, Jaxon Keys FTW. The redwoods were also beautiful and I'm so glad I got to do them with Blondie - we took the Avenue of the Giants and just marveled at the scenery. Blondie did the drive through tree - got some great pictures of him doing that. And then we did one last wine tasting - where the guy pouring the wine called certain wines "EG Wines". When someone finally asked, "what's EG?" it turns out that means "eminently guzzable". LOL. Literal LOL. That guy.

That night was spent at a beautiful B&B in Ferndale. The house was gorgeous and we got a giant suite for the night. We did a dinner out and then decided to just watch TV and drink wine in our room for the rest of the time. And Saturday we drove back to SF, stopping at a casino to gamble a bit. Where Blondie dropped some $$$ into a slot machine and walked away with a ton of money. Everytime he spun the wheels, he made like $50. Ass. Everytime I spun my wheels, I lost about $10. The answer to "who sucks?" is still me. Just me.

Saturday night was spent having a great meal of chicken fried steak and clams in linguine, before meeting up with Shelbs for a bottle of wine at her new place. It was so great seeing her, so great that I farted upon entering her house. I have no idea. It wasn't even like I knew I had to fart. It just happened. But anyway, she's doing well and looks amazing and Trudy Thunderdog is still a bundle of furry fatness. Love them both!

Sunday it was an early flight back to NYC in coach, followed by madness trying to get home through all the pride activities in NY. (on political soapbox) But a long commute through the city is a small price to pay for equal rights for all! (off political soapbox). Dinner was mexican and margaritas, ordered in b/c we were exhausted.

And today it was back to work but with a stop at the oncologist first. Like I said, Tigga gained .7 lbs which is amazing! My guy is doing so well! The funny part of the appointment was when the vet was bringing Tigga back to the examining room after doing his bloodwork - I heard a woman say "What a beautiful cat!" and then I heard growling and thought "is that Tigga?" and then I heard the vet say "He hates us big time and he's a chatterbox" and then I heard more growling, and then I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and then it was the vet with Tigga. My cat growled so loud I could hear him a flight of steps away. It made me laugh big time. Tigga: a fighter, not a lover.

Okay - plans this week. Land of Oil! The week after that - a visit from the one and only Slick and PFunk! And I just got put onto yet another project - this one in Washington state. Hopefully I can visit my cray cray uncle in the next few weeks as I get that project kicked off.

--K

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A FABULOUS WEEK

What a great week - it was one of those weeks that make you never want to leave NYC. That kind of goodness. So much fun crammed into a few days, getting to see friends and Blondie non-stop, the weather was beautiful, all of it - a lot of love for my life this past week.

Tuesday I worked from home, which I hardly ever do. It was raining on Tuesday and just was not feeling that walk in, so I asked my boss if I could stay home that day and he ok'd it. I hung out in our living room (on our couch - YES, we finally bought a real couch), cuddling my cat, working, and watching TV. It was a perfect day.

Wednesday it was back to the office - the day went really fast because I went in late and then my boss was so excited that me and my work BFF were both at the office on the same day (doesn't happen often b/c I travel non-stop and she's on a project that's in the middle of crazy time). So he took the team to an out of the office lunch.

And then the best part of Wednesday - I left work on Wednesday night around 7 pm to meet up with my girlfriends to see Kinky Boots on Broadway!!! OMG. SO FREAKING AMAZING. The music was by Cyndi Lauper, the book by Harvey Fierstein (whom I saw in La Cage Aux Folles about 3 years ago), and the company was a ton of fun. The plot was that a shoe factory in the UK was going out of business and the owner found a way to keep it going - which was to make boots for drag queens - KINKY BOOTS! The whole audience was cheering and clapping in the final runway scene - I love when the audience gets into it like that. And it turns out my bar friend had met "Lola" (the main drag queen) in person 2 weeks ago - so that was pretty cool.

After Kinky Boots, we headed over for drinks and dinner at 5 Napkin Burger - we sat there for awhile, just rehashing the play and having a blast. Afterwards, my friend and I split from the rest of the group and we slowly headed back to our apartments. I filled her in on something that had happened at work (a bad thing, but it ended up being a good thing in the end - nothing I did) and we must've talked for about 20 minutes on the street corner before I headed into my apt (at midnight - that's a late night for this one).

Thursday Blondie and I had made plans for dinner and then he texted a little bit after I got to work to tell me he had forgotten about a work happy hour. He was trying to decide what to do - and I was in the middle of texting him to tell him to go, when it hit me that my work also had a happy hour that night! We both had a good laugh that we both forgot - but we did end up going to our respective happy hours. I only stayed for a little bit (I ran in, chugged a few free beers, and ran out) because I met up with bar friends for the return of trivia night! Now normally we place top 5 without problems but this time... we were shit. I think we placed 17/19 teams. It was so bad that on the last question of the night, we all sat there staring at each other before I said "let's just put down 'fuck you, you fucking fuck'" and it made us laugh our asses off. So we put it down. The emcee for trivia has a great sense of humor though - he got a good chuckle out of it and then swung by after and told us it was the hardest trivia he's ever done. The highlight of my night though was when Blondie showed up from his happy hour to surprise me! He didn't tell me he was coming, he just showed up. It was awesome!

Friday was another good day - I left work early as I was pretty beat. Blondie joined me around 6 pm at the house, and we hung out for a bit before I headed over to our local for a beer. It was a very early night though as it started raining and all I wanted was to be cuddled up with Blondie. He met me after my beer at a local gourmet grocery and we got some eats for the night and then just hung out watching TV.

And Saturday... oh Saturday. I started by cleaning up our apartment a bit and then doing a workout. Blondie and I then headed out around 1 pm to grab some lunch at Landsdowne. We got seats right at the front windows, had a few beers and some food, and then headed back to our local for a bit. Around 3:30 pm, we were a little tired, so we headed home and napped, before heading back to our local at 6 pm to watch the England game with our bar friends (2 of whom are English). All the crew were there, all of cheering for England, but to no avail.

After the game, Blondie and I decided burritos and margaritas were in order so we headed to Chipotle for dinner. The margaritas were actually pretty strong - not at all what I was expecting from Chipotle. And then we hit up the surf bar in our hood for fruity drinks and some chatting. And then finally, after months of waiting and talking about it, we saw HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH!

We had tickets to the 10 pm show - and omg omg omg omg omg. It was without a double the COOLEST fucking thing I've ever seen. I LOVE NEIL PATRICK HARRIS and he BLEW me away in this show. I was singing, woo-wooing, dancing around in my seat - along with the entire audience. This audience put my Kinky Boots audience to shame! The story is about German singer who gets a botched sex change surgery and is left with the "angry inch". NPH was just incredible in it - he brought that character to life. It was funny, it was sad, it was energetic, it was depressing, it was all of it crammed into 2 hours of one of the best times of my life!!! (NPH just won the Tony for best actor for this role).

We floated our way home after (well, I floated - Blondie just laughed at me), and then sat up for a bit talking about the play (well, I talked - Blondie just laughed at me). I slept like the dead last night - just went to sleep on a cloud. The week was so amazing. If all weeks were like this past week...

Today was a bit of a bummer unfortunately, bringing my good week to a close. I slept in and then spent the morning with Blondie, before packing and catching a flight to Chicago (first class - one bourbon, and then a long nap - the flight attendant even said "I tried to bring you another bourbon but you were sleeping hard!"). And here I am, about 90 minutes outside of Chicago, in the hotel room I'm going to call home for the next 5 days. It was ridiculously hard saying goodbye to Blondie and Tigga (who has totally gained some weight! we'll find out specifics next week but the cat has some heft to him again) today - after the week I just had, I had NO desire to leave so I had to run out of the apt because I was about to start bawling.

So yep, I'm here for the week - flying home on Friday. Next week it's off to SF again - but for fun this time. And the week after, we are meeting up with the family in The Land of Oil. A lot of travel. Lot.

Happy Father's Day to the Sheriff and my father-in-law and Mr Pooh! Hope you guys had great days!

--K

Monday, June 09, 2014

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA! Your glasses are dirty!

Last Sunday was a nice day for just the 2 of us. Most Sundays are deemed "Sunday Funday" and involve friends and beer. But this past Sunday was just Blondie, me, and beer. We were mostly lazy all day, and then around 4 pm, decided to head out for a short walk. We walked down to the pier and watched the water and boats for a bit, before stopping at a bar on the pier for a few drinks to end our afternoon. Blondie was wearing a shirt from Key West that day, and someone saw his shirt and ended up stopping and talking to us for a long time (because he used to live in Key West). It was pretty cool and pretty random. And after the pier, we got a few more beers and then sat watching traffic from our balcony.

Monday and Tuesday were crazy days at the office - just go, go, go all day long. The highlight of Monday and Tuesday was Tuesday evening drinks with 2 coworkers. One is a really good friend who I drink with a lot, and the other was his boss that I'm not that social with. But his boss rocks and we had a blast just shooting the shit and relaxing after a long day.

Wednesday my alarm went off at 4 am so that I could get up and get to the airport for a 7 am flight to Chicago. I was upgraded to first class before I even checked in, so that was nice (the plane was full and there were 24 people on the first class upgrade list so I was happy I got upgraded). The flight went on time and was pretty quick, but we landed in Chicago to a very chilly rainy day. I picked up my rental car and drove out to my project site (about 90 mins outside of Chicago) to spend the day working there.

I met my coworker first who had driven in also and we went for lunch and got caught up, before meeting the staff for the first time. They are actually a really great group of people who made me laugh pretty much all day long. We tore through a ton of work that afternoon, and then my coworker left to go back to Chicago (she lives there) while I drove about 30 more mins to the town I was staying in that night.

I did a lot of work that night from the hotel and then treated myself to a margarita and queso dinner. Afterwards it was back to the hotel to crash HARD for the night. Thursday was another busy day - I was onsite by myself this time, but managed to get through a ton of work at the various sites we are going to be deploying in. Thursday night 2 coworkers flew in for our training on Friday. I met up with both of them at the hotel lobby before we settled on hibachi for dinner. After dinner it was a few drinks back in our hotel lobby before the night ended a little early.

Friday was training - always a nerve wracking time as you want things to go WELL for the users. And it did! Relief! I had a few things to do at one of the sites before training, but then showed up about an hour before training started to get prepped. The users seem very enthusiastic about it all and we just generally had a good day with everything. After training ended, I chatted via phone with a staff member for one of my other projects for a bit, before making the drive back to O'Hare and dropping off my car.

The train into Chicago from the airport was pretty fast and before I knew it, I was seeing Slick and PFunk for the first time in almost 2 years! My cab from the train to their area (which, just, LOVE) dropped me at their local bar and they had secured us a spot on the patio. We spent several hours there getting caught up on each others lives before one of their other friends joined us. We had a few more drinks there after that, before taking PFunk back to their apartment and the rest of us heading out to another bar. We ended up closing that bar down and then making a burrito run to end our night.

And then of course, Saturday morning sucked. I lazed around until 9 am, and then drank a couple of coffees with Slick before he took me to the airport. A huge McDonald's meal, which I got in an attempt to kill my hangover, did not in fact, kill my hangover. And then my brilliant thinking decided hair of the dog was in order. So I got on the plane (first class yet again) and got a bourbon. Which took me almost the 2 hour flight to drink. And did not in fact kill my hangover.

When I finally got to my apt, I took an hour nap and then Blondie and I went out for a date night. We headed up our street a bit and stopped at dinner at one of our favorite places, before heading to our local to watch the Rangers game and catch up with our friends. It was a later night (because I finally killed my hangover), but a really good one.

Yesterday was spent drinking. Heavily. I started by meeting up with some friends at Pony at 12:30. One of my friends was getting texted frequently for work (it was his day off) and he was getting stressed out. When they finally got the issues resolved that they were trying to deal with, he turned to me and said "let's get fucked up". And it seemed like a *brilliant* idea. (It wasn't). We drank at Pony for a long time before heading back to our local bar to wish our bartender happy birthday. And ended the night at 10:30 pm at yet another bar. And then went home and passed out immediately.

The story of my life. Sleeping. Working. Drinking. Exciting... so exciting!

Plans on tap - NO TRAVEL THIS WEEK! Well - maybe not quite. I'm due back in Chicago area next Monday for the entire week so I thought I might try to fly into Madison and hang with my BIL and his family this weekend. If that happens, I'll either be leaving Friday night or Saturday morning. I also got the Madison project officially. So most likely will have to be back in that neck of the woods in the next 2 weeks.

And then the exciting news!!! Blondie got accepted at Google I/O! From his entire company, he was picked to represent his division. He'll be going out for that conference to SF at the end of June and I'm going to join him for a few days so we can do the "Redwoods Run" and hang out in that area for a bit. AWESOME news for Blondie - it's truly a HUGE deal to get into this conference - so happy for him!

And after Google I/O, it's time to meet my family in the Land of Oil for a few days of golfing, middle-aged men roller skating, and baseball.

How is it already almost mid June?

--K

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Cray Cray Time

Sooooooo. Here I am. I'm back. I'm tired. I would LOVE a beer right now. I can't make myself get out of bed today. That's my mood. If I had to describe myself in 1 word today, that word would be "blah".

The last day of the S Clan visit involved first a phone call from our bar friends. They were hanging out at Pony so Blondie and I headed up for a few beers before meeting up with some of the S Clan for our play. The play was pretty good - we saw "The Cripple of Innishmaan" (too lazy to look up the exact spelling) which starred Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame. The plot was that a tiny island off the coast of Ireland had some Hollywood big wigs coming to film a documentary and everyone wanted to star in it, including the Daniel Radcliffe character (the cripple in the title). It was a dark comedy, made me laugh out loud several times, with my favorite line being Daniel Radcliffe saying "Why get a real cripple who can't act? Instead get a good actor who can pretend to be crippled". Meta. So meta. Also - I'm bringing back the word "feck" which is what they said instead of fuck. Feck!

After the play, we went to the surf bar in our hood for some fruity frosty drinks. One of Blondie's aunts can't drink for a medical reason, so she loved this place as she could order virgin drinks and still feel like she was part of the fun. And then after that, we went for a french food with the entire S Clan. We all had a lot to eat and drink, laughed our way through dinner, and then we took a quick walk to our jazz club to end the evening.

The jazz club was pretty cool - it was an 18 piece jazz orchestra we went to see, and even I liked it. They only did an hour set but then the club said we could stay for free for their 2nd set if we wanted. We debated about it but then decided we were all tired, so it was back to everyone's hotel/apartment for the night. I said goodbye to the S Clan then.

Because... California, here I come. I caught a flight out around noon - going through Atlanta. Had several glasses of wine in the Atlanta airport before hopping my plane to SF. It was seriously the biggest plane I've ever been on in my life - and due to my status, even though I wasn't upgraded (I was 34 out of 58 on the upgrade list - when I saw that, I had another glass of wine), I got premium economy (comfy seats). So I konked out almost the entire flight to SF. I landed and picked up a coworker who had flown in earlier that day - he was drinking in a bar in downtown SF, and we ended up doing a driving tour around SF before we left the city. It brought back so many memories - from Lucky 13, to Hobson's Choice, to seeing my old apartment building for the first time since we left, to the bison field in Golden Gate park, to watching the sunset over Ocean Beach.... It was nothing but gooey gooey love for the city I used to call home.

My coworker and I made it about 2 hours out of the city before stopping that night. We got up early the next morning and hightailed it through the Redwoods to get to our project site - we had a few hours worth of work to do and tried to bust through that (it was slightly derailed by a young woman who took a liking to my coworker) but after we were done, we decided to play tourist for the day. We headed back to the Avenue of the Giants and tooled around in that area for awhile. My coworker did the drive-thru tree while I took a ton of pics.

After the Redwoods, we stopped at a gem and mineral store. I got a pretty cool pair of earrings - they are all garnets but they are strung together to look like bunches of grapes. And then we decided to hit up a local brewery the site staff had told us about. OMG - northern CA can make some rocking good beer. We had a few drinks at the brewery, chatted with a couple next to us who were getting ready to do a 3-day long hike (my coworker nick-named them the Swingers and then repeated everything they said to me under his breath while putting a sexy tone to it - it.was.bonkers).

After the brewery, we drove to our hotel to check in and meet up with one more coworker. She had flown in that evening, and realized the airline had lost all her luggage. She was doing the training for the site the next day so we had to do a quick Target run to get her some clothes, before we all went for dinner at yet another brewery. We ended the night early as we were all pretty tired at that point.

Training went *exceptionally* well - the 3 of us that were onsite make a really good team, and it shows in our work that we do together. After training, we stuck around and talk to site staff for another hour or so, before saying goodbye and heading back to the brewery for lunch. We sat out in their beer garden, in fecking (hehehehe) gorgeous weather, before splitting up and heading random places (me back to SF, one coworker up to Portland, the other coworker to tool around the Redwoods). I drove back to SF and realized I had made Platinum status when I got to the airport (not because I've flown enough for that, but because they ran a promo that I signed up for and flew enough to get that status). The flight back was pretty crowded, and I wasn't able to sleep very well, but I was happy to be home when we finally landed.

I took Thursday to mostly sleep through the day. Blondie and I split a few bottles of wine when he got home, and then both of us worked from home on Friday. I was still pretty knackered though, so ended up taking a 3 hour nap in the afternoon, before we headed over to our local bar to start 3-day-weekend celebrations!

The weekend was a lot of fun - we partied with our friends for a bit on Friday. Saturday the weather was shit, so we ordered in pizza and ate in bed while watching TV. The rest of the day was also spent in bed watching TV - making me feel like the laziest person ever. On Sunday, I went and got a pedicure, and then my bar friends texted before I was finished and wanted to head out for a bit. So I met them at Pony and got caught up with our bartender there. We stayed for a few hours before heading down the street to another bar we've been wanting to check out (we got followed by creepy stalker guy from Pony - it was random and a tiny bit scary, but after unsuccessfully trying to pick me and my friend up for 15 minutes, he finally left the bar).

After stalker guy bar, we headed back to our local bar and were joined by Blondie and another bar friend. We hung out there for a bit before some of the site staff from my NJ site texted - they were in the city and wanted to meet up for drinks. So we all went back to the surf bar and hung out with them for a bit. And then it was time to pick up little tacos and go home and crash out for the night (12 hours after I started out of my apartment that morning).

Monday was spent recovering, taking it easy, before work started up with a bang on Tuesday. I worked all day on 2 presentations I had to make the following day, and then on Wed, took the train out to Brooklyn and start off yet a new project. We took a break in the middle of presentations and the account rep told me that she thought I was getting yet another project that she had just signed on - so I checked my email, and yep, Chicago. Here I come.

After the presentations, it was time for a late lunch before going to the office to work a few more hours. Thurs was spent being exhausted and busy in the office and Friday it was back to Brooklyn to run a few tests at the site. I met up with some coworkers on Friday night at my local for many drinks into the evening - which was a great way to end the week. And then yesterday it was lazy town in our apartment.

Plans - I'm off to Chicago on Wednesday this week, staying until Saturday. I have a SHIT TON of work get through tomorrow and Tuesday, not sure how I'm going to fit it all in. And I'm 99% sure I'm about to get a Madison, WI, project tossed at me too.

Feck.

--K