Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chi-Town Shakedown

I'm venturing out of my normal territory quite a bit this month, but I can't complain. This time last year, I was sweating buckets and swatting bugs down in Louisiana and Mississippi. Let me tell you, when it's late June, I'll take Chicago over Baton Rouge any day. I've really only driven through Chicago and spent a little time in the suburbs, so it was fun to get to spend a couple days downtown. Of course, there was some work involved, but our location was definitely one of the coolest of the year:

It's tough to beat a beautiful day on the shores of Lake Michigan. The only downside was our close proximity to the hot dog vendors. I probably gained 5 pounds from root beer and hot dogs alone. You can't not eat a Chicago-style hot dog (or 3) when you're hanging out right there.

Of course, we made some time for antics after work was done:

Leah and Angie, I thought of you guys when I was at the Art Institute and saw this Picasso painting called "Crazy Woman With Cats." Apparently this is what you two will look like someday:

No trip to Chicago would be complete without catching up with my old friend Rob. We used to kick it together down in Arkansas until he decided to grow up and get a real job looking at spreadsheets and talking about money all day long. It took a few hours to get him to stop talking about gross profit and ridiculously expensive neckties, but soon enough we decided that we wanted to go swimming in Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, it was a little cold for that kind of thing. Until Rob remembered that he had some wetsuits we could put on:

That was a fun little adventure. When we were done swimming, we didn't feel like changing again, so we walked the mile or so back to his apartment looking like ninjas. Or scuba divers. Or idiots:
If you can't tell, I had an excellent time in Chicago, but after six days in a row of working, I've found myself in the midst of summer needing a vacation, so I'm out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Keeping with the current trend, I have nothing of value to add to this blog. I've got nothing to say. Except for this: is the shizzle. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's one of those "opaque channels" where you choose a nameless hotel room based on location, star rating, and of course, price. Only after you've paid for the (non-refundable) room do they tell you which hotel it is. A lot of people I know just won't do it. They can't stand the thought of plunking down their hard-earned cash for an anonymous hotel room. I used to be one of those people. Not anymore! I'll admit, it's a gamble, especially when you're booking a 2 or 3 star hotel room. I've stayed at some pretty shitty "3-star" hotels. I haven't been brave enough to book anything less than a 4-star hotel though them. That's where the odds are. 4-star hotels are where the gamble has paid off for me. I've used Hotwire 4 times this year and here's where it's gotten me:
  • The InterContinental in Miami. Regular price: $199.00 Hotwire price: $104.oo
  • The Crowne Plaza in Orlando. Regular price: $180.00 Hotwire price: $104.00
  • The InterContinental in Milwaukee. Regular price: $249.00 Hotwire price: $109.00
  • The InterContinental in Chicago. Regular price: $289.00 Hotwire price: $122.00
The only time I've been disappointed so far is at the Crowne Plaza. That was no $180.00 hotel room. I don't know where those bastards got off calling themselves a 4-star hotel. It was all old and shitty and the service sucked. I'm not even sure it was worth the c-note I paid. I haven't actually stayed in Milwaukee or Chicago yet, I've just booked the rooms. However, the reviews for both of these places are quite promising. Besides, they're both in their respective downtown areas and even the 3-star hotels nearby cost just as much if not more per night.

So there you go. I'm sorry I haven't had anything hilarious for you lately. I just don't have it in me lately. You'll have to settle for some traveling advice instead.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

47 lbs ...

That's how much cheese is sitting in our refrigerator. Stupid Helen and her stupid MBA.

Sometime last year, Helen decided to put on her big girl pants and go back to school to get her MBA. Until today, I have applauded this effort. Until today, there was not 47 POUNDS OF FREE CHEESE in the refrigerator. You're probably wondering what 47 POUNDS OF FREE CHEESE has to do with Helen and her MBA. As a matter of fact, Helen's MBA is the reason we have all this cheese. As part of her degree requirement, Helen took an internship with Land O Lakes for the summer. While Land O Lakes is most often associated with butter, they also make delicious cheeses. Apparently they randomly give out free dairy products every so often at the office. Apparently Helen felt like we needed 47 POUNDS OF FREE CHEESE.

You might be wondering why I'm so upset about 47 POUNDS OF FREE CHEESE. Most people who know me would think that I would be pretty stoked about 47 POUNDS OF FREE CHEESE. Normally those people would be correct about my stoked-ness.

But here's the catch: I've sworn off cheese (amongst other delicious things like beer and Dr. Pepper) until after July 4th weekend. I was getting too fat, so I had to do something about it. I even told Helen about this last week. She knew that I'm trying not to eat cheese. So what does she do? She brings home 47 POUNDS OF IT. FOR FREE.

Oh, and Pip put a bunch of beer in the fridge too.

I'm purposefully avoiding opening the refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I am in a serious funk lately and I really don't have anything good to say. But, I vowed to post more often than Chris, so here's some crap that might make you chuckle, since I have no intention of even attempting to write anything worth reading.

Useful Pie Chart

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