Archive for May, 2008

SMALL TOWN

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

My friend Brett moved here from a small town called Waterford up in Wisconsin about an hour away from Milwaukee. He lives in a place in Bucktown Chicago with 3 other guys. Recently, he had moved in with his girlfriend at a place in Logan Square. Things went bad between them and I had to help him move out in the middle of the night while she was bartending. Brett told me that the only two neighborhoods in the city of Chicago that he wants to live in are Bucktown and Logan Square. Bucktown’s a nice neighborhood that’s right next to Wicker Park. It has a real energetic vibe and there’s a lot of artists and young people living there. Logan Square is one of the largest, if not the largest, neighborhood in the city. I’d have to check a map to be absolutely sure. Nonetheless, it’s huge. It’s so huge that different parts of the neighborhood are radically different from each other. Some parts are nice and some aren’t. But there’s not really much to do in Logan Square. No great bars or clubs and as many younger people as there are of everyone else. I prefer Bucktown myself. Definitely

WORST NIGHTMARE

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

If there’s one thing my father is afraid of, it’s having to be put into a retirement home. One of his oldest friends came up to visit from Arizona and was talking about how he had to just put one of his older cousins into a retirement home Decatur in Georgia and how he has to fly out there every so often to visit. My father just nodded along as they sat across from each other in the living room, but didn’t say a word. His own father had never been put into a home, but probably should have. My grandfather stayed active and fit up into an advanced age, but then while he was playing baseball with some much younger friends he accidentally got slammed in the side of the head by a baseball bat. That blow to the head really took a lot out of him and since this was back in the day medicine wasn’t as advanced. I wouldn’t have been shocked to hear his skull got cracked. But he spent the rest of his days staring off into space, needing someone to feed him and change his clothes for him. It must have been just awful and my father barely ever talks about it. Something like that happening to him is his worst nightmare.

JEWELRY MAKER

Monday, May 12th, 2008

My friend Jordan’s mom is a jewelry maker. Every time we are over at his house, there is jewelry making stuff all over his house. If we are going to play cards, we always have to clear off all of her beads, metals and cut tools. It is like at least a five-minute process for us, just to be able to play some euchre. The problem is, he has the best set up for us to play cards, so we always go there anyways. Last summer, hardly a night went by when we did not go over there to play some euchre. Now that we are all working more, we are lucky if we get to play once a week. In reality, we probably only play about once a month now. Which is really sad, because we always have such a good time when we get to spend some time together to play some cards. I think that the last time we played, we had been out having some brews at the local microbrewery. I kept telling everyone that I was not going to have the attention span to play cards, but they insisted. Despite the fact that I was a little spacey, we still won.

WRITING PARTNER

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Writing has taken me more places than I could have ever imagined. Last week, while on my way down to Florida, my writing partner and I stopped in some small little town for the night to take a break. It was the kind of town with one of everything. It had one stoplight, one drug store and most certainly, only one hotel. Since there was not much to do, we decided to take it easy, and have a cocktail or two in the hotel bar. The bartender told us the whole town was built around a factory that produces end mills. He said that almost all of the people that were there in that town either worked for that factory, or one of the few other businesses in the town. There was also the family that owned the diner, the family who ran the only gas station in town, and the bartender’s family, who owned the hotel. I asked him if they got much business at the hotel, since it was such a small town, and he told me that they got enough to stay in business. Since the houses in the town are not all that big, often visiting relatives stay at the hotel.

WOOD WORKING KNOWLEDGE

Friday, May 9th, 2008

My friend Jeffrey became an uncle for the first time this past week. I do not remember another time that I have ever seen him as happy or excited, as he was the day his niece was born. Growing up we were always pretty close with his older brother Simon, and it was really weird for me to think that Simon now had a daughter. Jeffrey decided that he wanted to make a rocking chair for his sister-in-law to rock the baby in. I offered to help, and he asked me to bring whatever cutting tools I had and said he would get the rest of the supplies. When I got there he had all the different pieces of wood laid out, and showed me a drawing that he had done. Jeffrey works for a company that builds recording studios, so that was the extent of his wood working knowledge. He rented some tools that would let him carve and shape some of the wood, so he could make a comfortable seat, and could put a nice design in the headrest of the chair. It ended up coming out amazing, and we knew it would be something that his sister-in-law would love and that it would mean so much to her.

FIGURING OUT MY LIFE

Monday, May 5th, 2008

All my life I wanted to be in marketing. That was my main goal growing up, when marketing was the “it” job. I went off to college unlike most other recent high school grads. I knew what my major was going to be, and I surprisingly knew quite a lot about it. I did everything right. I joined all the clubs I could, I volunteered, I took internships and I even played a college sport. The summer after college I decided to stay around Oregon for a while to pull myself together and try to figure out where I wanted to work. I thought it would be easy for me to find a job considering my background. I moved to Chicago with the dreams of working as a market researcher for a Fortune 500 company. Unfortunately I did not have a degree from Harvard or Yale so that didn’t work out. Even though I went to one of the few accredited business schools within a University, not one company seemed to realize my potential. I finally ended up working at an SEO company, which honestly isn’t a bad thing. The advent of search engine optimization is in its prime. The only way to go from here is up. The only problem was it sounded cheesy, which isn’t good for the resume. I worked for an Internet Marketing company. To me, that sounds like a scam. I am going to have to work on my bosses to change the name.