Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Finally Posting Again!

Once again it's been far too long since I last wrote. Lots going on around here with catching up after Joisey Ken's visit. Last week I had the Bears game on Sunday, the Blackhawks on Thursday and the Cubs on Friday. Whew, that's a lot even for me. On top of that, Friday night we took Marissa to a Andy's (AKA Sausage) birthday party at a bar downtown. We knew we were pushing it a bit and we were as Marissa only lasted about an hour and then LL had to take her home. I stuck around and took the bus as planned, but we both got dinner first. It was a nice effort. Then we had brunch at a friend's house on Saturday morning and met other friends out on Sunday for brunch. Just a lot going on. 

Toss in there a thunderstorm that somehow knocked out my internet access (or at least made it sporadic) and it's been a long 10 days. Tomorrow the floors in the kitchen and dining room are being refinished, so it's off to Joliet and the inlaws for us. LL went there last night and I'll follow later today. Here's hoping it goes smoothly!!!

Marissa donning her cheerleader outfit on game day! 

The young lady at her second Cubs game. She was quite the hit as always.

I just love this coat. It's one of the best things about fall now, next to the 3-0 Bears!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend of Joisey Ken!

Many more Blogspot issues with signing on and such, but trying to deal with them. What a time waster!!

Joisey Ken came into town on Friday and we went straight to the golf course.  The two courses we played this time (one Friday and one Saturday) were very nice and the weather was great. The Glen Club was the first course up, which was pretty nice and near the airport. We had a forecaddie who, though in AA and 28, did a good job. Next time though maybe we won't need a forecaddie, since we'll have played the course before. Brandon did a good job for us though. Friday night we had some Pequod's pizza, which LL and I think is the best pizza in town.

On Saturday, we headed out to Naperville after a slow start to the day and played Cantigny Golf Club, another relatively expensive but really nice course. We had fun despite our 13 year old forecaddie who was absolutely terrible. It's not easy to screw up being a forecaddie, but this kid managed. Not only did he rarely actually track our shots, he couldn't read a putt to save his life. Fortunately Ken restrained me from verbally abusing him too bad. Ha! The course, weather and company were awesome though. Interestingly, when Ken lit up his cigar (both days), he lit up his game! The two days combined, on the 12 holes following the cigar lighting, Ken ended up 1 over par I think. Pretty awesome!

Joisey Ken getting his hugs in.

It rained on Sunday, so our tailgate was a little wet. The Bears have told me that we can't put up canopies during tailgating, so I didn't bring mine and then what happens? There were about two dozen of them set up on our deck alone and hundreds of them in the South Lot. Ticked me off. Great food again this week, but the rain costs us the post game tailgating. We went home instead and used the grill on my back porch to finish the job. Oh, and the Bears moved to 2-0 by winning 31-30 on a winning touchdown with 10 seconds left. Sweet!!!
Lots of Marissa pictures on the way.

Marissa had her Bears gear on again. 2-0 baby!!

Stop taking pictures of me mama!!
9/11 was her 6 month birthday!!

On Thursday, just before Ken came to town, LL and I got a babysitter and headed out for dinner and to see Kevin James do standup downtown at The Chicago Theater.  We had an outstanding meal!! The short ribs were amazing and we had plantains on the side. Yum!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blogspot issues

The storm seems to be over....for now! As you know, my real estate training class has been every morning for the last two weeks and with the studying on top of that and the occasional social event, there hasn't been any time to write or read a blog. The studying paid off though as I got the highest score in the class (of 40 or so) on the mid term with a 94% and scored a 97% on the final exam (not sure if that was the highest or not).  Anyway, next up is the State exam.  Joisey Ken is coming into town on Friday, so I'm thinking the week of the 23rd will be good. Lots of time to study and a nice break until then.
Sweet baby Marissa continues her reign of awesomeness. She now can roll over from stomach to her back almost anytime she wants. She loves to sit up and reach for things (the object of which mostly ends up in her mouth).  Today LL took her to Joliet early for the day and I didn't get to see her before they left. Apparently she was saying "Da-da?" the whole way there. Awwwwwwwwwwww, just broke my heart. I'll hug her extra tonight. 
Here she is in one of her Bears onesies.
And speaking of Bears, it was opening day and a home game! It was by far the biggest tailgate I've had, at least on the grill was: egg McMuffin sandwiches, sausage links rolled in croissants, bacon wrapped figs and dates, ribs, hamburgers, Andouille brats, veal brats cheddar brats, hotdogs, filet mignon steaks, salmon, veggies, Hawaiian bread sandwiches and then we had taco dip, guacamole, chips, some kind of crack disguised as graham crackers with shaved almonds and honey, bloody Mary's and beer. It was unbelievable. Gar, the guy who sits in front of us, brought his posse as normal AND a DJ!! Yep, spinning tunes right there in the parking deck. It was "off the hook" as the kids say. We had a good crowd of folks too, including my buddies Tom and Dave who bought the seats next to me, Blind Mender, Benny Baseball, Eric, Jimmy and his wife (I played ball with Jimmy a few years ago). Then the Bears come back from a 21-10 deficit to win!!

 One of the social events I attended was the first Bears "welcome back to football" concert. Being on the season ticket holder advisory group, I was given two VIP passes. Little did I know what that all meant. They actually said we had two free passes, but didn't mention VIP passes. We were in the balcony of the Aragon Ballroom with free drinks and food, rubbing elbows with the likes of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Ted Phillips, Safety Chris Conte, announcers Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer to mention a few. Good times!!

And surprise surprise, it was another Bears event earlier in the week that distracted me. Benny Baseball joined me at the Walter Payton Center at Halas Hall for a radio show with the Bears GM, head coach and President. We also saw the CEO, George McCaskey, pictured below.
Back to pictures of our angel!! Here she is in her padded shopping cart cushion.
And her she is at her first Cubs game! She made it about 6 innings or so before we thought it best to leave. She didn't melt down, but it looked like it was coming. She was a trooper though and with the Cubs sucking so much, we had plenty of room around us.

On the way home from Starbucks, I took this picture. It was just there on the tree by the sidewalk in the middle of the morning. Pretty cool.

 Finally, I had to write this using the Explorer browser since accessing the blog from Chrome is giving me problems. For some reason it won't let me access the writing portion as it won't let me log in. Not sure why. I've cleared my cache and my history and nothing seems to work. I've logged out of all of my devices that were logged in...still nothing. Oddly, I CAN access the blog on my phone or second computer, but not my desktop.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Why so few entries?

Time has always been a precious commodity, but it seems like lately it's even more so. Especially the last two weeks as I have been preparing for Marissa's baptism and for the real estate class that I'm currently taking. Actually, I didn't prepare much for the class, it's just the actual TAKING of the class last week that ate up time. And much more time than I thought.

I'm taking the accelerated 2 week course where you go 3 1/2 hours a day, in the morning, and then you have to pass the class final exam at the end. That qualifies you to take the state exam. Pass that AND find someone to hire you and you're a real estate agent, certified to sell commercial or residential real estate in Illinois (as well as some surrounding states with whom Illinois has reciprocity). What I didn't plan on though was how intense the class is and the shear volume of material needed to be learned. Hence going to softball on Wednesday night put me behind. Going to the Bears game on Thursday night put me behind.....and didn't do much for my ability to take the mid-term exam on Friday morning. However, I'm all caught up now though, thanks to selling my Saturday Cubs tickets on Stubhub.

When I realized how much studying was going to be involved, it was too late to cancel on my softball buddies and leave them shorthanded. This week though, I've cancelled in advance so they aren't counting on me showing up. I've also already put my Wednesday afternoon tickets on Stubhub and decided it wouldn't be prudent to play softball NEXT Saturday when I have to prepare for the Bears tailgate and game on Sunday morning as well as study for my final exam which is Monday morning. Oh, and did I mention I also had one fantasy football draft this week and another one tomorrow night? Or than I went to dinner at Girl and the Goat on Saturday night? Or that I'm going up to Halas Hall for a Bears radio show and general festivities event tonight? No? Well, THAT'S why I haven't been able to write much. More to come soon I hope though including a review of Girl and the Goat, run by ex-Scylla chef/owner and Top Chef winner, Stephanie Izard.