Tuesday, January 30, 2007

9- I can only think of one way this could possibly be better.

Greetings all, I am, as it were, still alive, despite all the pneumonia and shivers, and all that jazz. I'm actually getting better, and returned to work today, which was exhausting, but I really can't afford to call in sick, basically for the rest of the year.

Anyways, I was crawling around the net looking for ideas for tonight's pub quiz general knowledge round, and I found this video:

Now honestly, the only thing that could possibly improve on this is if it had occurred at Joey and Wendy's wedding. I would have definitely put in the rehearsal time for my part- barong, yarmukle and all.

Friday, January 26, 2007

8- The Story of the Night of the Hand Grenade.

A week ago today, the Assassin and I landed comfortably at Louis Armstrong Airport and were waiting at the baggage claim when a jazz band walked up and started playing. We both got a big kick out of it, and enjoyed two or three songs before our bags finally came around the carousel, a process that seemed ridiculously long at best. After all that, we headed out to catch a cab downtown.

The cab was by far the worst smelling cab I had ever been in, and I've lived in Chicago and New York City. I mean, it just plain smelled. I wasn't sure if it was mold, BO or what, but it was not a pleasant 30 minute ride. It was an interesting view, though. From I-10, you can't really see how damaged the city was, but once you get closer to downtown, you notice certain things, like buildings missing some windows still, some signs are still broken and as we got off the highway, I noticed a house with the now very familiar FEMA cross on it. Over the weekend, I saw this a few times, but never took a picture of it. It was just a little too eerie.

The first thing I noticed about the French Quarter was how close the buildings were to each other. It was a little weird at first, but I grew to really like it. Especially since walking 4 blocks in the French Quarter is probably the equivalent of walking 2 in Chicago. After checked into our hotel, we went looking for dinner, as neither of us had really eaten that day. We found a nice place, had dinner, and then went wandering down Bourbon Street for a while. I noticed that there were a lot of people walking around with small plastic glasses shaped like hand grenades. We finally tracked down one of the 5 places that sold them. Now, the side of the glass proclaims the Hand Grenade as "New Orleans' strongest drink." And holy shit is it ever. We each ordered one and wander around, even visiting touchdown jeebus, where the Assassin said a little prayer for her football team, who, oddly enough, was playing the local team that Sunday.

I always get a kick out of it when she's religious.

After wandering some more, and being thwarted in our attempt to have a voodoo palm reading, we settled into the Tropical Isle, the home of the Hand Grenade. We had a few drinks and talked a lot with the bartenders. We threw plastic hand grenades into a net hanging from the ceiling. She got hit on by some drunken idiots while she was trying to talk on the phone. It was, all in all, a fun night.

Then, I decided I wanted to keep one of the glasses, so I ordered another one. The Assassin bought me some beads, and we snapped this lovely picture, perhaps the last one of the night where I didn't look completely wrecked. We walked back to our hotel, which was fortunately very, very close and ran into another couple in the elevator. "You guys are having hand grenades tonight, huh? I had one of those once- it took me most of the night to finish it."

The guy seemed nice enough, and I was in a making-friends mood. "Oddly, this is my second. I'm not sure what kind of morning we're going to have."

"Good luck with that!"

"Thanks man, bye!" We crawled into bed and passed out pretty much right away. The sad thing about this entire story? It was 11:30.

New Orleans' strongest drink? It definitely gets my vote.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

7- I went to New Orleans with a cold and came back with a "mild case of walking pneumonia."

I called my new doctor's office yesterday while I was home sick from work. After several attempts to contact a living person, I finally got through to them. I made arrangements to meet with a different doctor than my PCP, because he wasn't in. After several rounds of questions, and several different concerts performed by my lungs for the singular benefits of my new doctor's colleague and med student, the verdict was in: I have a mild case of walking pneumonia.

Well, this just plain sucks, friends and neighbors. I'm stuck at home again today, and still feeling like crap warmed over in the microwave. At least now I'm on the antibiotics, which are yummy-yummy, but I'm still having an allergic reaction to something, as my hands, feet, and lips are still swollen and itchy. Needless to say, this is not a very good day to be Logan's Dave.

I suspect the allergic reaction is coming from the cough drops I was previously using. I have now switched to Ricola's all-natural in hopes that there's some chemical in the Hall's that's making me break out so horribly. I'm also probably going to schedule some time with an allergist to see what the hell it is that gets me all swellered up like this. In the mean time, I'm going to quit typing, because I can barely feel the keys.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

6- Not quite a Foreigner song.

I've been pretty sick lately- a cough, runny nose, the usual, run-of-the-mill winter ailment that seems to go around every January- not quite the flu, but definitely not the picture of health I usually am. Well, a few years ago, I had was in a similar situation, and I was very sick, and suddenly felt much worse. My hands, lips and feet were swollen. I called Jen, who called her mother, who said "get some Benadryl in him right now."

After a trip to the local drug store, she came over, and fed me drugs. We went to bed, and at some point, I got up in the middle of the night, took three steps towards my bedroom door, and passed out, falling right on my nose. It was at that point that I took more Benadryl. In the morning, I called in sick and called my doctor, who said I had had an allergic reaction- obviously nothing life-threatening, but he was concerned enough to prescribe an Epi-Pen to me, and made me carry it with me where ever I did go.

This morning, my alarm went off, and knowing that I really just wanted sleep, I hit the snooze bar more than a couple times, and finally got up around 7:30. I noticed rather quickly that I felt a little funky. I got up, and noticed my feet felt heavy. I looked down, and they were slightly swollen. I looked at my hands, and they were also swollen. I bit my lip, and I couldn't feel it.

Around about this point, I thought to myself "shit."

I've been trying all morning to contact my doctor's office, which has prooved exceedingly difficult. Finally, I discovered that they aren't even open until 10:30, which isn't all that helpful anyways, as I also found they aren't just around the corner from my house, but in fact several miles away. Suddenly, I'm feeling my choice to go with an HMO instead of a PPO in order to save money on surgery I will need to have soon might be in error.

Not to worry, though, loyal readers. Your hero has called in sick to work and is currently feeling the euphoria that only Benadryl seems to provide, and waiting for the clock to strike 10:30, so he can hopefully set an appointment with his new doctor. Oh, and no heavy equipment will be operated by said hero for a while.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

5- I had my hands in the river

There's a lot to tell, stories and all, from this weekend's trip. Wait, there is too much. Let me sum up.

1) Hand Grenade.
2) Touchdown Jeebus.
3) French Market.
4) Spooky history tour.
5) Where should we eat?
6) Who dat?
7) Brennan's.
8) Weird Scenes inside the airport bar.
9) Home.

I'll fill in the blanks later. A kind of Paint-By-Numbers scheme.

Friday, January 19, 2007

4- Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans...

I've been a busy young man lately. Apologies for not writing about it at any particular point, but like I said, I've been busy.

And I've got a lot of catching up to do.

I do have big news- #1, I'm heading out of town. Presently, I am waiting for the Assassin and her brother to come pick me up. We're heading to the Big Easy for the weekend. Why? Because I nixed the idea of going to NYC in January, and she nixed my counter-offer of Mexico. #2- I finally did something about my broken camera, so there's going to be a rejuvenation of Shoshanna's blog, including new adventures with her hermaphroditic brother Duncan*.

Ok, so the news isn't really groundbreaking or anything, but it is something, ok?

Anyways, my ride is overdue, so I'm going to make some phone calls and pace for a bit. There's more of a story about that, but it'll have to wait for another day, maybe even Sunday, when I return.

*Duncan was a birthday present from none other than Sass. Sass gave him/her a boys name, even though s/he definitely has udders. Methinks that is hilarious, and I like it as a joke. I just hope I remembered his/her name right!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

3- A Horse is a Hoarse of course of coarse

I've been running my pub quiz for almost two and half years. Somehow, that seems amazing to me. What's more amazing? I haven't had a Tuesday night off in more than a year. I'm not really trying to complain, but I'm complaining a little.

Towards the end of November, my microphone started to act a little funky- cutting out at odd times, working even when the on/off switch was clearly off, things like that. Eventually, which is to say in a week or so, the poor thing just gave up. I took it apart to find that it had literally, fallen apart. Wires were not connecting to give amplification to my voice, and I was sad.

About a week later, they found some weird headset thing that had two earphones and a mic, but it didn't work worth a damn. Instead of speaking into the mic, you were supposed to speak into one of the earphones. It didn't work very well, and honestly, I had to put my mouth right on the damn thing, which meant I could taste yummy, yummy foam or just shout out my questions.

I chose to shout.

It was fine for a while, but only while crowds were small, with the holidays going on and all that jazz. Now things are picking up, and crowds are back, and I'm spending my Wednesdays nursing my voice back to health, a process that lately has been taking days.

This is cutting into my karaoke time. Although it has been suggested that I start doing Tom Waits songs. In my experience, they're pretty hard to come by in karaoke bars.

Right now the solution is Sugar-Free Halls and Lemon tea. And, because I'm tired and it seems like a good idea, even though I hate to do it, I added a shot or so of single malt sketch. The Assassin (that's the girlfriend's new codename, FYI) likes to baby me with cough drops and lemon tea with rum when I stay over after pub quiz.

Me, I just like it when she babys me.

Anyways, I know I have some readers who are frequent singers, even if only in karaoke bars, and I'm hoping that someone or two or three of you were like me, and spent a lot of your primary and secondary schools in some form of chorus classes, and that you might have a suggestion or remember what they always taught us back then, because I clearly haven't found the right mix.

After all, in high school, we were all about vodka and beer.

Suggestions? Please e-mail or comment. Thanks in advance.

Oh, and I promise to catch up on the 365 thing, too.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2- Jeans at work.

I've worked in offices for most of my working life- going back to the sunny days of July, 1989. I got my first job as a kind of a fluke of nepotism- my dad was a teacher at the soulless company that stole my youth, and they were short one day, so he suggested they call me. They did, in fact, call me, and before you could say W-2, I was on the schedule. That job was interesting- we weren't prohibited from wearing jeans, but it was usually reserved for Fridays, when we were closed, and the weekend.

I was there for a few years before I took an opportunity at a friend's company, a very relaxed place. I wore jeans everyday. Of course, I didn't last long there. I made my one and only dip in the company ink and paid for it. I quit and went back to my previous job, now under new management. I still couldn't wear jeans during the week, but my career took off. Next thing I knew, I was traveling the country as a systems administrator/tech trainer/database specialist. Job offers came in from all corners of the U.S., and I settled on moving back to Chicago.

Suddenly, I was the boss of a small team of workers, and I made the executive decision that it was perfectly acceptable to wear jeans. I even, once or twice, wore sandals to work. Hey, I was the boss. A big part of my job was heading to New York for weeks or weekends, depending on what I could swing. It didn't hurt that I had a friend who was constantly suggesting that I do beta testing, so I got a lot of free trips to New York City. Eventually, I got a job there.

I figured my wardrobe would have to change, but it didn't. I can remember days when I wore concert t-shirts to my first corporate job. Hey, I was 25, and life was good- t-shirts to work, jeans underneath, and a nicely paying job in the hotbed of life that is Midtown Manhattan.

After I quit and ran away from that company and got back to Chicago where I could get a handle on my life, I didn't work in an office for a while. Then I did, and in that office, jeans were a very strict taboo. Even on casual Fridays, which was the only day I wasn't expected to wear a tie.

Anyways, today is the first time I've worn jeans to a job in years- call it about 8, and I have to tell you, I feel pretty good.

Monday, January 01, 2007

1- All is quiet.

I have, regrettably, made some New Year's resolutions. I don't usually, but this year, I feel the need to make a couple changes. For one thing, I've been neglecting my blog way too much lately. So, I'm going to make it a resolution to blog at least 365 times this year, hence the number in the title. I'm certain I'll change it around soon, but that's what I'm doing for now.

And because I'm doing a few things this year that actually require me to save money, I'm going to work on being more financially responsible. After all, I need to buy a new bike, and that's going to run me some cash, and I'm heading to a wedding in Japan, which will cost me quite a chunk of change. Needless to say, I should really get a hold on those things.

That's all for now. More in the morning.