The Chronicler Makes a Surprise Visit

OK, so it’s been a while.  I’ve been busy — so sue me.  In random order:

  1. Facebook … Last week, my friend Audrey (classmate, 2nd grade through high school) contacted me out of the blue on Facebook.  That was nice; I really hadn’t seen her in a decade. This weekend, though, another grade-school friend, Katie, found me — and after her, Matt and Molly.  Plans may be in the works for a good old Catholic-middle-school class reunion, which would actually be a blast.  I support this endeavor wholeheartedly.
  2. Running phone wire … Nothing says fun like stringing 400 feet of six-strand phone cable through the bowels of a 140-year-old building.  My new office is located in the Sligh Furniture Building, a space previously occupied by a wood-furniture manufacturer, and the space is still (as the landlord says) “rustic.”  My second-floor suite had no phone wiring whatsoever, so after AT&T activated my line at the junction box and then quoted me $1,000 for the wiring install, I said I’d do it myself.  And I did!  I purchased a coil of wire, ran it from my suite to the second-floor fuse box, then down two flights to the basement, followed by a 300-foot run through the basement to the phone box.  I did have some help from the property manager and the occupant of one of the spaces I had to cut through, but the wiring was done by yours truly.  Why Mom still thinks I’m incapable of anything more physical than hiring a tradesman, I shall never know.
  3. BNI … I went to the visitors’ day event for a Lansing/Grand Ledge BNI chapter this morning.  Tony is the chapter president.  I couldn’t help but think I was being indoctrinated into a cult of some sort; I kept expecting Tom Cruise to jump out from behind a curtain.  Luckily, I declined to pay the almost $450 to join on the spot.  Figure I need revenue first.  But still — Grand Ledge at 7 a.m. would make Jason cranky were he not too tired to let his blood pressure elevate.
  4. Hospital … Emotionally, intellectually, professionally — it’s time to move on.
  5. Tony & Emilie … Two consecutive days of drinking.  Ugh.  A few Fridays ago, Tony invited me to Lansing, ostensibly to help him select a Blackberry to replace his phone/PDA.  OK.  Then he takes me out for a nice meal.  OK.  THEN he springs the trap:  Would I mind going back to his place to help him take apart his entertainment center and assemble its replacement?  I didn’t end up leaving until around 3:30 a.m., after engaging in heavy lifting, after engorging on food and wine.  Then, that Saturday, Tony and Emilie came to G.R. to see the office and also to let me buy them $100 of food and alcohol at Macaroni Grill, before Em and I returned to Lansing to have drinks at a downtown bar (mmm … great sake!) with Tony and the girl he was attempting to seduce.  With friends like these, who needs a liver?
  6. Facilities renovation plan … I will acquiesce to the conventional wisdom of my visitors and not invest too much into direct infrastructure improvements to my new office.  But, I *am* sandblasting the horrid green paint off the lovely pale bricks.
  7. Karate … Apparently, I have lost the ability to properly chamber my punches.  Must have happened after I finally mastered the art of watching my rear foot.  Damn you, shoshu kata!  As of testing this month, I am now officially closer to black belt than to white belt, and should test for blue in two months.  Scary how time flies!  It’s not about the promotions, though, it’s about all the fascinating new material coming my way. 
  8. I fought the door, and the door won ...  As I opened the heavy steel door leading into my office on Sunday, I swiped it hard across my big toe.  I was wearing sandals, which quickly became drenched with blood.  A millimeter deeper, and I would have required a dozen or so stitches.  Ouch!
  9. Karaoke songs … After pestering Tony, Emilie, and Rick about which songs should become my signature karaoke songs (I gave them 22 options), I’ve settled on Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, Surrender by Cheap Trick, and Rhythm of My Heart by Rod Stewart.  Emilie’s commentary about each proposed song was worth its weight in gold, and made Rick laugh so hard he nearly drooled on himself again.
  10. USGS retirement … Yes, time to do other things for now.  But it was a fun run while it lasted.
  11. Ireland v. Denver … I have to scrub the Ireland trip, I’m afraid.  I’m expected in Denver that same week for the Joint Statistical Meetings — I’m confirmed to present a paper on using SPC to assess performance in front-end revenue-cycle operations in healthcare, in addition to meeting with the executive board of the Quality and Productivity Section.  It makes me sad that I can’t cross the pond yet, but it is what it is.
  12. Meaning of life ... To hone my focus, I’ve drafted a paragraph (and posted it in a conspicuous location) detailing my version of the meaning of life.  To wit:  “Life has whatever meaning we ascribe to it.  I believe that each of us has potential, but few of us exhaust it.  The measure of a man is in his struggle to perfect his potential, not in whether he attains it.  For me, a well-lived life is filled with the joy that comes from learning, loving, and exploring.  I choose to walk the road less traveled, a riskier journey, but one worth pursuing boldly for its reward of rare experiences, diverse relationships, and the chance to develop a deeper wisdom.”
  13. Vision ... Likewise:  “I aspire to be an elderly man who has no regrets — who never demurred the unknown; who fearlessly plumbed the rich depths of inner space; who cultivated enduring connections with people of varying perspectives; who learned and loved and explored until every person is considered a brother and every place a home; who challenged himself and others to wring every last drop of potential locked within.”
  14. Let down … For the purpose of accurately preserving my own memory (this is a family-friendly blog, but it’s also a personal chronicle the serves in lieu of a diary) — Most people have a list of “naughty things” they’d like to try in the privacy of the boudoir.  I had the opportunity to check off all but two of the boxes on my informal, mental list, two weeks ago.  You know what?  The hype wasn’t worth it, really.  Been blah about it ever since.
  15. Drivers … suck.  Especially in the G.R. area.  Does no one understand that when I come up from behind you in my Grand Cherokee with a 20-mph speed differential, that you need to get the hell out of my way?
  16. Diving … Scheduling conflicts, for the third time.  Again, OWD training postponed.  Until mid-May.  Which is cool, because the following week, open-water driving sessions begin again.
  17. Vegas … T-Bone and I will make a return trip in about five weeks.  Woo hoo!  Three nights at the Paris … heavenly.
  18. Chiropractor … As of last week, I’m seeing a chiropractor for persistent (but mild) back discomfort.  Turns out, my cervical area is twisted laterally, and my sacral area is compressed.  Yes, I examined the X-ray films myself; I’m not a radiologist, but I play one on Teh Internets.  Much to the cautious delight of this firm believer in allopathic medicine — I’m experiencing relief.  But WTF, those neck adjustments are scary, like he’s going to twist my head off or something.
  19. Dinner w/Jen … One of our favorite baristas has become something of a social friend; Tony and I are going to have dinner with her (again) in a couple of weeks, to celebrate the end of her semester.  I really like all of my coffee wenches at Kava House.  They make it worth the commute to Gaines Township.
  20. Spring Fling … This coming weekend should be fun.  I will have a night of revelry with the Kalamazoo lesbians on Saturday, followed by a hung-over drive back to G.R. on Sunday to serve as M.C. for the bishop’s Confirmation Mass.  I wonder if there’s a liturgical rule against wearing sunglasses with a cassock and surplice?

More later.  At this rate, much more, much later.  😛

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