Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007 Resolutions

Making their last appearance of the year, the Cherry Ride Players are here to recite their resolutions for 2007.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A [Cherry] Ride (Sorta) XMas Tale

When I woke up on Christmas Eve I thought it would be nice to call friends in London that morning before my day got too busy and wish them a Merry Christmas. I realized that I'd left my phone in the car and Richard volunteered to go down to the street to get it. He came back a few minutes later and gently told me that the car had been broken into and the phone was gone.

I got my coat on and went down to see for myself. Someone had shattered the passenger side window of my car, reached in and took my cell phone. I couldn't fucking believe it. On Christmas Eve!

For a few minutes I was so angry I was shaking. I harbored fantasies of catching the asshole(s) in the act, while also holding in my hands a large, heavy iron monkey wrench (why a monkey wrench I'm not so sure but that's besides the point) and enjoying the feeling of said monkey wrench landing squarely into the skull of the perps.

But then something strange occurred a few minutes later as I prepared to help Richard clean out the car. I remembered something that had happened to me two weeks ago...

... My boss and I had driven out to Glendale Heights one afternoon for a client meeting. Along the way we had taken a wrong turn, became lost and were now about 15 minutes late. We were stopped at a busy intersection, about to make a left turn, and since we just got the green arrow, were about to make the turn. As this was happening a driver decided to run her red light and as she sped through the intersection she lost control of her car and came veering right towards us, missing our car head-on by literally a foot. Her car smashed into the car next to us and careened into the curb. It was like watching one of those new Jetta commercials where one moment your talking to your friend and the next a car blindsides you. I have no doubt that had we been just a foot further into the intersection we would have been hit by her 40 mph-speeding-car and I'd be (at a minimum) hospitalized.

But the really weird part of that incident is that we weren't even supposed to be at that intersection at that time anyway -- had we not got lost we would have already been at the client meeting and nowhere near that intersection. So did I witness this near-death experience for a reason? I dunno and try not to think about that stuff too much anyway. But there's a part of me that thinks this happened to make me realize how short life can be, and to appreciate the life I've got.

So as I walked back to the car with the vacuum cleaner, I decided to just Let It Go. Life is too short to get worked up about this stuff, and besides, it's Christmas Eve. There are millions of people on this Earth who have it worse off than I do. If this was to be my biggest problem that day, well then I think I've got it pretty good.

And as I processed this single liberating thought I actually smiled to myself. It felt good.

So here I am three days later. I've got a new phone (minus all my numbers, but I'll get them back) and the car is fixed. And in the grand scheme of things, I'm alive and healthy and alive to celebrate the Holiday Season. * (Besides, that phone sucked. It was one of those Motorola Razrs and I don't care what you say, those phones suck it. Hard.)

Happy New Year Everyone.

* However, if I ever DO catch those motherfuckers, for their sake I'd better not have a monkey wrench near.

No Time For Love Dr. Jones

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary that I've had this [Cherry] Ride. I started it because I'd just closed a large chapter in my life - I wrote my first entry the day after I left DC, the day I resigned my job, and the day before I hopped on a plane for Australia. It was time to start something new and my old blog just wasn't going to cut it.

It has been a fun ride so far, and since I'll be joining three pals in launching a sweet group blog very very soon, I think 2007 is going to be fun too.
Thanks to all my friends who've kept me going, and thanks to the new friends I've made over the past year.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

This is the first time in 14 years where I didn't have to get on a plane if I wanted to celebrate Christmas in Chicago with my family. 14 years!

Even though it was my choice to move back here, sometimes I forget why and wish I was somewhere else.

Then my mom called me at work on Friday with a problem she was having (which is unusual for her). We talked for several minutes, and I told her everything was going to be OK. At the end of the call she said she was sorry to have called me at work and that sometimes she just needed someone to talk through her problems. I told her it was fine and that I was glad she called. She ended with call with "I'm glad you're back," and as she said "I love you" I could hear a little emotion in her voice, which of course got me all flustered.

And that's why I moved back to Chicago.

Anyway, if you have seven minutes, the Sweeney Sisters would like to wish you Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Holiday Cards

I’m a total slacker and do not generally send out holiday cards.

I blame it on the fact that about 10 years ago I got all ambitious and bought a stack of cards, and spent about 10 hours writing long sincere messages in each. I sent them out (on time) and about a week later I came home from work to find the whole lot of them sitting in a pile in my mail box with “insufficient postage” stamped all over them. Apparently, square cards need extra postage because the US postal system is a piece of shit (but you all knew that already). It pissed me off
so much that I decided I’d probably never send a Xmas card again.

Last week Richard and I went out and bought a small box of Christmas cards and actually wrote some out and sent them. Hopefully I’ve learned my postage lesson and these cards will actually get to their intended recipients (most of whom live in Australia).

Why am I writing this? Mostly to accomplish a few things:

  1. Serve as a thank you to those friends of mine who have sent us cards. You are sweet and much better people than I am. Know that even though you’ve sent me a card you are likely not getting one in return, at least this year. It doesn’t mean I’m an ingrate. It just means that I’m lame.
  2. Serve as some kind of (really really lame) HAPPY HOLIDAYS message to all of you out there; and:
  3. Serve as an advanced apology to those of you who were expecting a holiday card and have not/will not get one from me this year.

Maybe I’ll be better next year. Maybe. But I’m definitely not making any promises on that one.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Very Scared

I was just told by my boss that on Thursday there will be a "team building" event starting at 1:30, prior to our company Holiday Dinner Party. But what has me scared is what he said immediately following that:

"Be sure to bring a beach towel you don't mind getting dirty."

So to recap: I need to bring a beach towel. That will get dirty. To my company team builder. In December.

... I think I'm calling in sick on Thursday.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Under Construction

Hello Boys & Girls.

Please bear with me as I work through some template issues. I tried making some "small" changes to the blog last night and, well, things got a bit out of hand.

Until then, enjoy this lovely photo of a squirrel.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Hell: The Company XMas Party (Pt. I)

Is there anything worse than the Company Holiday party?
Walking that tightrope of: 1) not drinking too much because you don't want to make an ass of yourself, and 2) really, really, really wanting to drink too much just so you can get through the torture of having to be friendly to your bosses in a social setting?

I've been lucky that in the past I've worked for organizations where either:
1) I liked the people I worked with; or
2) the company was big enough that nobody paid any attention to me; or
3) both.

This year I am not so lucky because I work for a company of nine people, very few of whom I would associate with outside of work (just as I'm sure most of them would not care to spend time with me). Which means there will be no fading into the background or excusing myself to go to the bathroom and then climbing through the window to escape without someone noticing. I will actually need to be "social" and "witty" and "engaged in conversation" and "not a threat to national security." It sucks.

Reading Wingman's thoughts on her company party (as well as several other's adventures and thoughts) and the fact that mine is in a few days got me thinking about all the other work holiday parties I've attended and some of the bad things that have happened. On the one hand, I'm hoping my company party goes smoothly and without incident. On the other, it would be great to add a few items to the list below for next year:

Worst Company Holiday Party Moments (in order of significance):

  1. First off we can start here as a warm-up.
  2. Me spilling a run and coke and the brand new white carpeting in my boss' house. (For as long as I worked there - which was a year - he never let me forget it.) Bonus: I wasn't even drunk!
  3. Me introducing my date/friend to my boss, and my boss responding to her with: "You have nice tits." Bonus: my friend/date calling him a prick to his face. (No, I didn't stay with that company very long after.)
  4. Me smoking a cigar (my first ever) with my boss and getting so buzzed and nauseous from it that I needed to leave the room and use the wall as a means to keep steady and not fall over. Bonus: only about three co-workers saw this.
  5. Me using the bushes behind my boss' neighbor's garage to vomit from smoking a cigar (see #4 above). Bonus: it was fucking raining outside and I got wet.
  6. Me getting behind the bar at the club my company rented out for the holiday party and attempting to play bartender to co-workers and executives. Bonus: I actually made a vodka tonic for one of the VPs.
  7. Me getting yelled at by the real bartenders for getting behind the bar at the club my company rented out for the holiday party and attempting to play bartender to co-workers and executives. Bonus: there are photos of this.
  8. Me thinking it would be funny to lay across the bar while a coworker got a photo of it. Bonus: None. There's no upside to that.
  9. Attempting to get down with the clown on the dancefloor with the CEO of my company. Bonus: Hard to say -- for awhile afterwards she knew who I was, but I don't know if its because she liked that I danced with her or because she thought I was an idiot. I prefer to think the former.
Stay tuned next week for an update... Proper.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cherry Ride Tips for Triumphant Living #3

When brushing your teeth, refrain from singing aloud to the Wilco song* coming from the stereo. Because jamming your toothbrush into your gums because you're trying to hit that high note hurts like a mother bitch.

* Note: it doesn't even have to be a Wilco song. I suspect your mouth will bleed just as much from trying to sing any other song from any other artist.

Other CRTFTLs can be found here and here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Monday

... Sometimes I just can't be bothered.

In other news:

Fuck off, blogger. **

** if this entry makes no sense to you, don't worry as it shouldn't.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Actual Dreams/Nightmares I’ve Had in the Last Three Weeks

Ranked in order from least to most disturbing:

  1. Went to go see a movie, but we kept going to the wrong theater.
  2. Went shopping on a street in a strange city that resembled London, only this city street was about 30 stories up in the sky and there was constant danger of falling off the sidewalk. And I don’t even think I bought anything!
  3. Boarded a train for a long journey away from home, saying an emotional goodbye to all my friends and family, only to have the train drop me off minutes later right where I started.
  4. I began falling backwards down the marble-like stairs in Kane Hall (the assembly hall at my grade school).
  5. It was hot day in the city, and every attempt I made to drive to the beach was blocked by traffic, construction, or my car simply not working.
  6. Went for a swim at Maroubra Beach, when suddenly a storm came up and the water turned green and I started to drown.
  7. My teeth became brittle and began falling out one by one, with bits of them getting stuck in my gums causing me to constantly spit in order to get them out.
  8. Had to eat big live bugs ala “Fear Factor” style, only I wasn’t on a game show or in a contest; I just had to eat them for some reason. And it was difficult – they kept crawling out of my mouth as I tried to swallow them. (Later in this same dream, I tried to vomit the bugs out of my stomach but they were so packed in there nothing would come up/out.)
  9. Tried leaving comments on other people's blogs, but Blogger wouldn't let me!

Monday, December 04, 2006

12 Hangovers of Christmas

Results from last week's CRQOW are in.
It seems a slight majority of you (about 28%) are staying faithful to the True Meaning of Christmas by being drunk/hungover throughout the Holiday Season. Bravo -- I expect to hear stories of
drunken company holiday parties, bar brawls and alcohol-fueled fights with family members over the next four weeks.

Disappointingly, slightly less than a quarter of you will be whoring it up this month. Either that, or many of you are just plain lying. C'mon people, I expected more from you.

Unrelated: Is anyone else having problems leaving comments on other people's blogs? I haven't been able to for over a week now. And it is pissing me off!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thoughts I've Had On My Way to Work Today

[Ed. note: for those of you not living in Chicago, we got dumped with about a foot of wet snow overnight, making the morning commute a bit hectic. Also, I walked 30 minutes to work this morning.]

In chronological order:

  1. This is awesome. I love the snow!
  2. Hmmm – Maybe I should just take the bus instead of walking. My feet are getting a little wet.
  3. I love snow and all, but this is getting ridiculous.
  4. Hey you, girlie over there - you aren’t going to last 5 minutes in that skirt. This isn’t Miami.
  5. A little snow is fine, but this is bullshit.
  6. Every bus is full. I guess I'll keep walking. This is bullshit.
  7. Where did this hill come from??
  8. It’s literally snowing upside down. WTF! This is bullshit!
  9. Mother fucker!
  10. When is it going to be summer? This is bullshit.
  11. Bullshit!!