Archive for June, 2007

A Letter to the Horoscope Editor

Dear Ms. Psychic,

I’ve had it. A few weeks ago you wrote that I would have ridiculous travel delays for the next three weeks. And unfortunately you must be in cahoots with the Man Upstairs, because for whatever reason, you CONTINUE to be right. Will you stop already? Can’t we just go back to the days of three-sentence fluffy horoscopes that have absolutely no connection with anything whatsoever, except for serving as a break from my normal routine?

I am convinced that you have cursed by logistical existence. Right now it’s 10:48 p.m. FDT (farm daylight time), and I still haven’t received my suitcase from United. I arrived at O’Hare over an hour before my flight, and yet my suitcase (which I checked because I was carrying my guitar on board) didn’t manage to make it onto the flight. When I arrived in Wichita, I got dizzy watching that silly baggage claim go round and round, then finally shuffled over to the ticket counter with 12 of my co-passengers to file a claim.

The United automated system still drones that a courier was supposed to be in touch with me to deliver my bag by 8 p.m.

As a result I was FORCED to stick around Wichita and eat loads of (my favorite dish) #45 at Saigon to drown my sorrows. Then I had to purchase a (fantastic) dress at Aspen Traders so that I will not be naked in church tomorrow. And of course I had to buy a (really cute) outfit at Harolds, so that I will not be naked when I visit my friends, should the bag not show up for several days.

And to top it all off, I broke the 6th string of my guitar while trying to tune it up. Sheesh.

Let’s call a truce. You go back to consulting your Alzheimers-stricken mother for horoscope fodder, and I’ll continue to consult you daily.

Regards,
Nelly

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Farmer Wants A Wife

About a month ago, Jenn was tearing it up in Neiman’s with her personal shopper Holly. The two got to chatting about Holly’s upcoming trip to L.A. — for the final auditions of a new reality show called Farmer Wants A Wife.

Though I’ve never met Holly, I can only surmise from Jenn’s description that she’s a 25-year-old blond city girl.

Jenn agreed that if I had applied, there’s not way I would’ve been cast. They’d never go for a ringer.  I mean, after milking cows for 20 years, throwing bales of hay daily, and generally being covered in pig doo more than not, I just wouldn’t make for good TV.

(Mom and dad just rolled their eyes.)

Seriously, why wouldn’t those girls just go about it the traditional way — www.farmersonly.com.

So tonight I Googled the show to see what’s happening with it. Apparently it’s supposed to air sometime in the 2007-2008 season, and it’s been a hit in a few other countries already. Here’s an article about casting for the star farmer in Nebraska.

Then I came across photos of the fine specimens in the Australian version. I vote for Peter. But then again, we all know about my habit of dating apostles.


 Farmer Drew
Age 32, Mudgee, NSW
Laid-back larrikin

“I have a cheeky nature… the lovable brat. There is never a dull moment in my life.”


Farmer Brad
Age 30, Swan Hill, VIC

A sensitive new-age farmer
“Really I’d like to settle down with a woman who’s ready and wants to share her journey with me.”

Farmer Jimmy

Age 37, Bedgerebong, NSW
Down-to-earth and social

“I enjoy a simple but rewarding lifestyle in wonderful surrounds and I am looking for that special someone to share my life.”


Farmer Gus
Age 32, Warren, NSW

Cool and confident

“I come from a close and happy family and firmly believe this has made me the happy confident person I am today.”


Farmer Peter
Age 25, Toowoomba, QLD

At 25, never been in love
“I am willing to help anyone who is willing to help me, it’s about partnership and it takes two to make it work.”


Farmer Trent

Age 23, Coonalpyn, SA
Young in age, mature at heart

“I’m looking for a girl who has similar interests to me, someone who can handle the country life.”

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Pride on Parade

Sunday was the annual Gay Pride Parade. Here’s the view from my skybox (aka living room) before the parade started.

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Last year I hosted a viewing / “housewarming” party for the event, and I was a little bummed that I was scheduled to have guitar lessons right during the pinnacle of the parade. Fortunately teacher Bob called and said that he’d rather spend the day partying, so I was free to spy on the crowd with my camera.

Yippie-kai-ay! Ride ’em, cowboy.

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The parade brings out all the crazies. Not only that, it makes normal people act kinda crazy. It reminds me of Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras (though I’ve never witnessed it in person). People bring their coolers and lawn chairs. And they walk around with colorful frozen foo foo drinks in clear plastic cups. (Then they barf on the wall in Panera while we innocent people stand behind them.)

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Strange as it might seem, there were plenty of straight couples cuddling up while they watched.

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This guy was sad that he couldn’t ride with the Dykes on Bikes. He tried his best to fit in, though.

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Man? Woman? Both?

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My friend Shannon was with me, and this little guy latched onto us. If you look into his eyeball, you can see our reflection.

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Bob Barker would be proud. (Clearly no spaying or neutering was in effect here.)

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Delays, Part II

Wednesday after lunch I jumped in a 15-passenger van with 6 other agency folks to head to Fort Wayne. We sang camp songs and snacked on Twizzlers for 4 hours, then checked into the Marriott before heading to dinner.

We should’ve know that a detour was inevitable when the hotel gave us a little card with pre-printed directions to the restaurant. We followed the directions exactly — and ended up 30 minutes in exactly the opposite direction of the restaurant. So, what should’ve been a short 10 minute drive to dinner ended up being a major trek.

Dinner was fantastic. That night was Club Soda’s maiden voyage of their new (and huge) awning covered deck. The weather was beautiful, and the food was excellent.

The next morning we headed out at 7:37 (EDT) for our day of meetings.

At 4:00 we headed back towards Chicago. An hour and a half into the trip, I heard something hit the van (a rock or something). Then the back driver-side tire started to hiss like a snake.

Crap.

Fortunately we were only 1/4 mile from a grody truck stop. And when we got there, the tire was as flat as a pancake. We blondes stood back and assumed the two guys with us would take over — which they did, bless their hearts.

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Just as we were surveying the damage, a snaggle-toothed 20-something dude pulled up in a hubcapless red Celica and whipped out his jack to help us out. Good thing. The guys were having a terrible time getting the cable undone that held the spare up underneathe the van.

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Finally, after 30 mintes of finagling the very rusty nuts/bolts, they got the tire off, put the new one on and started to bolt it down.

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Oops, one broke off. Then they couldn’t get the nut on the bolt next to the broken one.

I called dad. He called Dan. Dad called me back, said it was fine (that’s before I said the nut wouldn’t go on.) Then I told him of the real situation. And that we were going to drive on it anyway.

(Just what a dad needs to hear.)

We made it back to Chicago without a hitch — at 9 p.m. (CDT).  Six hours after we left Fort Wayne.

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Another YouTube Video

Our second YouTube video is now posted. I have to admit, I like Greg Hits Hollywood better, but I think it’s because this new one is simply a guy thing. You tell me.

These guys are called the Blame Society, and they’re best known for their Chad Vader spoofs.

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Delays

Go figure, the one time my horoscope is actually RIGHT, it was a crappy one! Here’s what my most trusted source said (Elle Magazine — major quality):

On the 15th, Mercury goes retro for three weeks, suggesting that travel may be a bit of a science project during this period and involve numerous last minute changes. Transportation in general could be complicated and almost more trouble than it’s worth. At moments like these, you’d rather be a pedestrian instead of a slave to your vehicle. It’s good to have a Plan B ready to implement so that you won’t be stranded should transportation arrangements go down the tubes.

Yesterday wasn’t quite so hideous — only a two hour delay (one of those was on the runway). Today, however, was a nightmare. I left our NY office for the airport at 1:45, and got to LaGuardia at 2:15. The good news was that I was able to get on the 3:10 instead of my scheduled 6:55 flight. At that time the 3:10 was already delayed to 3:40 due to thunderstorms west of NY.

We ended up boarding at 4:00. At 8:00 we took off. Yes, that’s FOUR hours of sitting on the runway. Fortunately I had nice people next to me (I was in the middle seat, of course), and they shared their high-fat chips. I got home at 10:15. I think it would’ve taken less time to fly to London.

But, there are a few things on the bright side:

  • The 6:55 flight was canceled, so it’s a good thing I went to the airport early. Otherwise I would’ve either had to fly directly to Fort Wayne tomorrow (without a change of clothes), or had to get up at the crack of dawn to get back to Chicago in time to leave for Fort Wayne at 1:30.
  • We had a really, really fun meeting today, which I can’t talk about! They will do me in if I speak.
  • Last night we took clients to dinner and then had drinks on the roof of their hotel — The Dream Hotel (competely serious about the name).  It was a great terrace that overlooked Times Square. The weather was perfect. But the Petron was a killer.
  • Today was my one-year anniversary at work. My how time flies.

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A Rude Awakening

At 8 a.m. I emerged from my drooling haze to the sounds of the sky falling. My first thought: a small plane is buzzing the building next to me. Then it got louder. Surely a 747 was going to incinerate me in a matter of seconds.

So I jumped out of bed, tugged on the roller shades, and saw a huge helicopter hovering over the building next to me. The trees and lamppost banners were flapping wildly in the storm of dust.

The helicopter squatted down towards the street with a bungee cord, and pretty soon, it lifted up an air conditioner and plopped it on top of the new health club they’re building behind my place.

Seriously, 8 a.m. on a Sunday?  People were yelling out their windows — so loud that I could acutally hear them over the chopper noise.

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Check out that wind:

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Then it  flew off into the sunrise.

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