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March 24, 2005

"I root for Kentucky, Illinois and anyone playing Louisville."

What a week.

Mrs. Dawn’s Day Spa for the Small & Troublesome has been closed all week so we’ve been balancing time off for taking care of Jack at home. Add to the equation that I had a business trip that required an overnight trip to Chicago. Argh.

The picture I posted the other day was from Tuesday morning where I was taking care of Jack before leaving. He was a giggle puss most of the morning and thought the picture taking was just a part of the game. Mr. Racetrack, home before he had to leave for Cleveland on business, was kind enough to come by and watch Jack for a few minutes while I ran to get Brittney, our baby sitter, who would watch him for the rest of the day.

Brittney is a student at the local high school and is the baby sitter Mrs. Dawn recommended to us. (If a mom of 3 makes a recommendation that’s a sign.) Brittney is responsible, punctual and polite. She takes notes and lets us know what happened while we were gone. When I look at Brittney in contrast to some of the other local teenagers the contrast is amazing. Her sister babysits for Shutterbug’s kids occasionally which can cause some funny moments. “Um. Is Brittney still here?” I think Brittney will go far in life for no other reason than the simple fact that she “gets it” where so many others don’t. Between the Racetracks and ourselves I think Brittney will be able to buy a car before she graduates.

My fear of flying was once more overcome by Xanax and a beer in the terminal. I am the epitome of a white knuckle flyer and always have been. Xanax has made traveling with me far more pleasant as I now tend to doze off during a flight instead of twitching and sweating like I used to do. Doctor Molotov deserves a recommendation for Sainthood for writing me the prescription the first time.

It was nice to get back to Chicago. I think the last time I was there was just before the wedding. I took the train in from Midway and was struck by all the old architecture just above street level. The skyline is amazing to watch as you approach and look at the 100 year old buildings surrounding it.

Work put me up in the Omni downtown. (It’s the all suites hotel that Oprah uses for guests.) I’m certain the suite was larger than my first apartment in Baltimore. When I dropped my overnight bag and my travel briefcase all I could think about was that needed to head across the street and buy some clothes to fill up the hangers. Alas, common sense prevailed.

Dinner with co-workers was at the Grand Lux Café. We ate upstairs and the large open space reminded me of an old Arthur Miller dance studio I once visited. Dinner was quite good. (I had crab cakes as an appetizer and a salad with chicken for the main course.) I nearly fell over when I saw that the total bill for 11 people, including drinks, was a little shy of $300. I’ll place the restaurant on my recommended list and encourage you to give it a try.

After dinner I met the Best Woman for desert at Ghirardelli. I hadn’t seen her in forever. Not even when we bought her old Miata last year. We spent most of the evening catching up: I brought photos of Jack and she brought photos of a trip to Utah she took with a friend of ours who now lives in Germany. (Hi Renee!) We discussed our long term plans for our Miatas that all seem to involve this place: Flying Miata. (Jack’s not getting the keys until he’s 18.) Lots of talk about our old industry and current work but mostly it was just nice to sit and talk with a friend. Eventually the travel caught up with me and I had to call it a night.

The meeting Wednesday was well done: Co-workers from across the region and good idea exchange. It wrapped up early which let me take a flight earlier than the later departure I had been booked for. I was beat by the time I got home.

Today was catch up and land running at work. I was thankful when I got home but the headache I acquired didn’t want to leave me alone. Ugh.

While I was out of town and at work Fabulous Babe had been working with Jack on a couple of new things. He now claps his hands and plays along when you sing “Patty Cake” and throws his arms wide and grins when you ask “How big is Baby Jack? He’s SOOOOO big!” He’s also standing up if you offer him a couple of fingers for handholds. Sometimes he’ll even take a few steps which is progress. No crawling yet but Jack may just skip that. Our baby is becoming a little man and the transformation is breathtaking to watch. I feel so old.

The MBA application has been filled out and the essays are being written. Fabulous Babe has lined up the letters of recommendation and her office is lining up the support necessary. We’ll know more in a few weeks.

Posted by Jim at March 24, 2005 11:03 PM


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