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Thursday, November 30, 2006

You Never Know Who You Are Speaking To

Most of us have had a 'outsource' experience when we call our banks, credit cards, or try to obtain tech support. Usually one can detect a Indian accent on the other end of the phone who does his best to help you. I've never had a problem with it and always get the answer or solution I need. This morning for some odd reason my Satellite system for the TV did not work for the bedroom. I always like to listen to Good Morning America as I prepare for work. I was already running late, but needed the sound of the TV. I called the company and a lady with a Mexican accent answered. She transferred me to to a tech guy. The tech guy was painfully slow but polite. He also accidentally disconnected me . So I rang up the company again. I got another female with a very thick Mexican accent this time. She didn't seem to understand me , nor I her. Now I've lived and travelled around the world, grew up listening and 'translating' my fathers thick Nigerian accent . So I try to be understanding and sensitive about these matters. Hell my accent in any attempted language is atrocious! But when you have to repeat the spelling of your name and phone number at least 7 times, you become irritated. When the agent repeated back, it was all f***** up. I not meaning to be a witch or politically incorrect, asked to speak to another person who would understand me . She refused to to transfer me and soon I realized she was going to be my tech guide as well. After 10 minutes of shouting my name and digits she asked me to repeat several times what the message on my screen said. 'Invalid access card'. She couldn't understand me. Then she got what I was saying and it was my turn not to understand her. I finally deciphered she wanted to me to find a slot in the receiver box with a card in it. I took it out and reinserted it. Thank the heavens above the programming came through. I thanked her graciously (feeling a little guilty that she got under my skin the way she did). I just wonder why a company would set themselves up for serious complaints and dissatisfaction by placing one in a customer service position who not only doesn't understand ,but can't be understood. Time to get back to my German homework. You'll never find me as customer service rep over there.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Back To The Daily Grind


My messy desk
Originally uploaded by benandbeth.
I returned to work today after a week off. Mercifully my boss is off for a week, so I don't have to deal with interruptions and power trips, and can focus on what really needs to be done.I managed to cross of every item on my huge To Do List. Catching up on the office gossip , I learned that this wasn't a good Thanksgiving for everyone. A few deaths and accidents marred the holiday. This will be a sad week as my team says goodbye to a beloved colleagues husband. She came home the night before the holiday and found him dead of a heart attack . They were high school sweethearts reunited. I don't know how she'll go on without him. They were a touching love story..
Certain Someone and I attended a very nice Thanksgiving dinner at his Partners family home. What a big family with 20 well behaved kids. I was nervous but really enjoyed the evening. His colleague wanted me to persuade Certain Someone to decide to stay in the US next year.. It was beautiful home, dinner , and family full of love and cheer. the weekend got to be a little tense for us. The anxiety about the move next week is setting in and were both a little scared and on edge. I put his name on the door and mailbox, and he's changed his address.Its really going to happen. Certain Someone has already started to remodel my home in his head.Who knew he could be so handy! It will be nice to come home to my teddy bear this cold winter and sit like a old couple in front of the fireplace. I'm ready.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving


Fugly Turkeys
Originally uploaded by D'Arcy Norman.
They could use some neck cream, couldn't they?

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Enjoying The Last Few Days Alone


Alone
Originally uploaded by MAVargas.
Certain Someone and I realized the other night that these would be some of the last opportunities to spend alone before he moves in. As both of us were raised only children, and have for the most part lived alone , it was kind of weird. Besides living with family at odd times in my life, and a brief episode with some crazy roommates in college ( I'm sure that concierge still has nightmares about us), I have essentially lived alone. And I like it. So does he , I gather. I find when I'm over there for weekends,or he's over here, we share space pretty well. We don't seem to tire of each other at all. I believe we allow each other freedom and space. I'm prepping his own room to use as a study , X Box room, etc. so he can do his thing. Plus he'll have his own full bathroom.Although I suspect he'll try to use my jacuzzi bath on occasion.So for now this Holiday weekend we have no rigid plans in place. We are just enjoying our solitude, getting thing done, and plan to got to his partners for Thanksgiving. This could conceivably be our last days of singledom and freedom. I look forward to both the solitude,and time we will spend together. Now its times for more cleaning, and baking a batch of lemon curd cookies for tomorrows Thanksgiving Day feast.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Something On My Mind

Today , my second day of vacation, I spent cleaning, napping, and following up with friends who had and had not attended the party last Saturday. One particular friend was in the back of my mind , as she has been for quite some time. I attended high school with this person and we both lost my mother and her sister to cancer the same year. I always thought it was great that after all these years we found each other in Chicago of all places. Neither of us had changed much. I wouldn't say she was my best friend, but a close one. I always thought she was a bit too opinionated, which I noticed caused her to fall out with others. With her you couldn't agree agree to disagree, but I respected her intelligence. I thought her so called liberalism verged actually more to the right, but its a free country. Over the past year or so it became increasingly difficult to connect with her both in the time and friendship planes. Our lives had diverged,she with two kids, and me with my ' thing'.Little things she'd say would bother me, but I still considered her a friend,although at times misguided.She was who she was, as was I. She became increasingly vocal about her disapproval of how I lived my life, not that it was any business of hers. Regardless I called at times, and emailed, to no avail. The friendship was essentially over . When we did meet up once , due to mutual friends visit, we were mutually lukewarm. Nevertheless I decided to invite her to Saturdays party as one more try to bridge the gap. I know she saw the Evite, but she ignored it. Our mutual friend commented that she said 'we just weren't close anymore'. I've fallen out with other friends at times with similar strong personalities because I was true to myself and would not let them bully or influence me with their self righteous opinions. I was talking to another friend about how we always seem to give more in these one sided friendships, and in the end the they hurt and let down. Am I bothered? Yes. But I tried , and that's all one can do. Time to move on to the next phase of my life and surround myself with people who accept me, my tastes, and views , as I am, without judgement.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Grazie, Mercie, Gracias,Danke....


My first "homemade" cards
Originally uploaded by audinou.
I returned from several days at Certain Someones with a big bag of Birthday loot. My friends, family ,and boyfriend are the greatest. For someone that's always crying broke, and has been under the radar lately, it touched me to see people I haven't seen in a while show up on Saturday for my 'cocktail' party in a South Loop Bar. There friendship and generosity really blew me away. The offer of drinks were flowing( so much that I had to turn some down), the presents were thoughtfully chosen, and everyone had a mild relaxing , sophisticated good time. I really have a broad , eclectic group of friends. I'm a blessed and lucky girl.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Birthday Week Update


Swag in a Box
Originally uploaded by powerbooktrance.
This has been truly a busy and wonderful for week for me. On my birthday Certain Someone and I dined in the romantic Les Nomades. What a feast! I chose an assortment of pates to start, duck consomme, duck confit and breast, and a Grand Mariner souffle. Not to mention the wines and champagnes that accompanied each course. Certain Someone went for the gusto with five courses. We were the youngest couple in the restaurant and always sneaked a quick kiss. He's not afraid of tasteful public displays of affection. When we got up to leave , after all that food and wine, the tipsy feeling set in.The owner remarked that thankfully we only lived next door. How did she know that?
Before dinner he gave me a I Pod Nano in red. I have never had one before and am truly excited to join the I Pod crowd. I will let my sweetie set it all up for me ( 1,000 songs). I wonder if I even have 1,000 songs. Certain Someone has really spoiled me this week. In a few hours were having dinner and the my Birthday Drinks party at M Lounge. I'm expecting around 30, but who knows.The wine bar where I work part time has already called and begged me to work tonight. No can do.Yesterday she suggested I have my friends come there for my birthday, and now she wants me to work.People don't listen. Well I'm determined to continue my good feeling and hopefully will survive working the Sunday Brunch in the morning.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Weighing In


weight
Originally uploaded by michgm.
They say every decade past the age of thirty, you can , and can't shake an extra 10 pounds. Well on my last day of being 37, the weight of my body, and the world are weighing me down. I started off the week with a great dinner on Sunday,and am salivating over my anticipated birthday dinner tomorrow night. Certain Someone is making me anxious as he had to go to Florida at the crack of dawn this morning ,and as I type this evening, is jetting back , all so he can be with me tomorrow. I also have been concerned about the state of health of one of my aunts. She underwent open heart surgery yesterday, and everyone is on pins and needles. Last I heard shes doing really well and will be home for Thanksgiving.Speaking of which I had planned a small dinner for Certain Someone to get more acquainted with my Auntie Mame. but she'll be with her sister in D.C as she recovers understandably. So it looked like it would just be us two. I even bought the turkey tonight. But now we are going to his partners house. Less pressure ( weight ) on me then. I'll still cook for us to have some leftovers.Another few pounds of added weight! And lets not speak of the job pressures I'm undergoing. I guess I should be thankful, as I have been bored out of mind for some time. I guess the only time I feel weightless , is when I'm asleep. I'm looking forward to a lot weightless moments next week after all the birthday festivities, and after Thanksgiving, when I'm on vacation.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Little Red Riding Hood

Last night Gabi took me to dinner for my Birthday. I had offered to pick her up prior, but ever the independent she said she'd meet me there. She picked a great Wine Dinner at West Town Tavern that offered five courses and wine. I found the spot and waited till our designated time. Gabi , due to bus issues was running late. I was a little worried as to where the bus would drop her off, as the area was one of those 'GENTRIFIED" ones Chicago is known for . Gabi called in and informed me she was off the bus(it was old and didn't announce the stops. etc) but not near our destination.She was trying to hail a cab ,but had no success. I immediately offered to meet her and asked her location. I asked her location and she said Halsted and Clyborn. It didn't register to me exactly what the area was, but I drove over there . We talked on the phone as I drove because I sensed the area was getting strange. Then it occurred to me, she was heading towards the infamous Cabrini Green Housing Projects! I warned her and she said that there some nice condos in the area. That's the paradox, upscale condos mixed with low income housing. I found her just in time , around Heckys Rib House,as one more block south she would have been in some rough territory. I'm amazed how my friends, especially the foreign ones, find their way around the city via public transport. I'm too spoiled now to navigate and have no patience for it. Plus I need the car for my job.All ended well and safe. We had a great dinner and catch up. After taking her home , I went to Certain Someones. He was engrossed in X box with The Rock. I told them about Gabi, looking so cute in her red coat about to accidentally enter the dicey world of Cabrini Green. Hope shes careful in LA.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes


glimpse
Originally uploaded by .ash.
Today at lunch in the company cafeteria and interesting interaction went on between the young ones and my age group. I've only recently started eating at the office because its way cheaper, and loads of great food. I am regulated to sit in the off area where visitors, construction workers and the outside sales reps sit. For a while I've noticed a group of young former interns who now work officially for the company sit at their usual table. They are always so confident , optimistic, and have very healthy senses of self.Maybe even a bit to much. Ah to be young, arrogant, and to feel the world is yours! Well anyway one of them who happens to be a assistant to a Rep made a crack about our age bracket. It started with discussion of a rapper called Jim Jones. The elder person said the only Jim Jones she remembered was the religious nut who poisoned his followers with KOOL AID. The babies had no idea about who she was talking about, Then they started cracking about when the elder went to college. They mistakenly dated it to the mid seventies and referenced a movie that was actually made in the late eighties, Spike Lee's School Days( a realistic look at life on black colleges). By now all the Thirty/Forty somethings were flabbergasted. I corrected one on the date of the movie, and another assured the young ones that we didn't ride mules or horses to get to class. They thought computers didn't exist for us in school. When someone mentioned a Smith Corona, they thought we were talking about beer. I rolled my eyes at the exchange. I thought back to when I was that age, and surely I was more in touch and informed than these kids. The future of America.....

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another Birthday Approaching


Happy Birthday Kay-Kay
Originally uploaded by Lall.

Next week is the big 38. Yes that's right ,38. Although everyone tells me I look more like my late 20's. I have a busy week coming up. A dear friend is taking me for a long overdue dinner( I don't get out much anymore , much to my friends consternation). Certain Someone is taking me to the world famous Les Nomades for a fabulous gourmet experience on the actual day ,the 16th. Then our group of friends will gather Saturday evening at M Lounge , a South Loop Martini bar. My good friend R and his love are flying in from Miami. And as if all that wasn't enough, Certain Someone and I will then attend the opera Romeo et Juliette Monday evening. Plus I'm on vacation and Thanksgiving that week. Its all kind of working out great. My mother used to tell me to always count my blessings. While I complain a lot about my job, finances, I have been given so much in this life. My 38 is so different from when my mother was that age. She had a teenage daughter getting ready to graduate from High School! I still worry about how and when I 'm going to have a child. I still have my health, life, jobs, supportive family, friends, and hope & dreams. So what if I'm not the size I was in my twenties. I can still turn a head or two. So Happy Birthday to Me!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Spell it Right


Spell it Right
Originally uploaded by BitBoy.

It has been brought to my attention lately that I have a serious spelling problem. Ironically I was never plagued with this problem in school. But as I become more addicted to my Blackberry and all things technical, my basic skills diminish. I have become to reliant on Spell Check, and am always in a hurry. My handwriting is suffering the same fate. I think faster than I write. The result is a huge mess. Certain Someone who's one of the smartest people I know is always pointing out my English grammatical and spelling errors. He's a taskmaster. He speaks 3 languages perfectly and he just makes me sick sometimes with his perfection .Last weekend my old friend M came in for a quick visit. As he lives in Seattle, the blog is a way he can keep up with my busy self. He politely pointed out that I've had Thirty misspelled on my header of the blog since the beginning. Certain Someone nodded in agreement . All this time and no one said anything! I also embarrassed myself firing off a quick donor solicitation email for one of my boards on the Blackberry( no Spell Check). I bcc'd Certain Someone and he quickly replied that I had misspelled two words. I proofed it several times. Oh well, I guess we won't be getting that donation. I guess I just have to slow down and pay more attention to details. This could explain why I haven't been getting much nibbles from sending out my resumes. But I had those proofed. Also learning German is adding to the confusion. My class partner and a new friend whose taking lessons too,and I mix francaise in with Deutsche. I didn't sit with him and he made a remark that I didn't want to fall into the habit again during class. Maybe on some subconscious level yes? So I need to hang out with better spellers and otherwise perfect people from now on.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Taking Out The Trash


trash house chronicles
Originally uploaded by Malingering.

My house is not anywhere near these pictures. However I find as I clear space to make room for Certain Someone , I have a lot of stuff. Last night while the youngsters of Hyde Park went Trick Or Treating, I looked like a mad woman hurling bags of magazines over my balcony . They were way to heavy to lug down the back stairs and I didn't want to get the janitor involved.. I managed to throw out about 3 years of Vogues, Town and Country's, W's, and Vanity Fairs. Not to mention the odd periodical I kept from my travels. It wasn't as hard to say goodbye to those as my 80's collection ( those were the days and fashion was far better and interesting).But there is a season for everything, and it was time to say Ciao. Needless to say the kids going through the alley didn't mess with me. I was a crazed woman on a mission. The next project will be to finally clean out Daddy's old room. I keep the door closed and use it as a storage room for evening gowns, etc. But this is where Certain Someone will store his stuff as I have no other closet space for him , understandably. Tonight however I will take a break and devote it to the study of German. I missed class for second time and already lost. If I could clear my mind and schedule as easily as throwing away the garbage, life would be great.

.

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Glamah-rous cook and baker. Thanks for visiting. I love to receive comments.

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