Saturday, June 13, 2009

Going out to California

We're heading out to the West Coast early in the morning. Hopefully I'll get some time to check in and post a few updates or at least some photos but we've got a pretty tight schedule. For the time being, below are a couple of my favorite California related songs.

A bit about the music on this blog. When possible, I'll try my best to post up live music when it seems legally possibly. As you'll probably find over the next several weeks and months, I'm a big fan of Josh Ritter and you can find quite a lot of his live performances here. When it isn't possible to post up something you can download, I'll most likely use the player from Today you get one of each.

Josh Ritter "California (live)" [mp3] (recorded at the Double Door in Chicago, IL)

There's a great live recording of "California One" by Colin Meloy of the Decemberists floating around. It was part of a live NPR concert series. If you can still find it, more power to ya!

Friday, June 12, 2009

You Can't Beat Fun at the ol' Ballpark

Or so Harry Caray used to tell me on WGN. We're off to Wrigley Field in just a bit to see the Cubs battle the Minnesota Twins in the first interleague game of the year. This will most likely be the last game I attend in a long time. Weather looks perfect, if only a little on the cold side. Just checked the matchup and it appears we'll be seeing Randy Wells face off vs Kevin Slowey. Randy Wells has looked really good as a rookie call up. Although he's 0-2, he sports a 1.86 ERA. Not bad for someone who appeared to be brought up just to fill a spot for a few days. I haven't watched nearly as many games this year as I have in the past, but I do know that the Cubs appear to have cold bats whenever Wells pitches. Let's hope that changes today.

Here's an oldie but a goodie.

Postgame update, 11pm. Not a good one. Not by a long shot. Nevertheless, we got to witness history. After catching a fly ball for out number two, right fielder Milton Bradley turned around and threw the ball into the bleachers, thinking it was the third out. He also lost a fly ball in the sun and dropped another one. Not a good day at the office. Nor could the same be said for Randy Wells.

So to answer the above song's question: yes, they do still play the blues in Chicago. After today's ballgame we hopped on the L and rode downtown to see a bit of the Blues Fest. We enjoyed some ribs and a much needed bottle of water while listening to Charlie Musslewhite. It didn't completely erase the stink of that game, but it sure helped.

In which I voluntarily become unemployed

Get rid of clothes: check.
Donate old books: check.
Sort through boxes of odds and ends: check.
Quit work: check.

Wow, we've gotten quite a bit done this week but I'm still a little worried. There's an awful lot of packing ahead of us. Still, we managed to get rid of a lot of things. I am sure more will be thrown out before I'm gone.

Sorry for the delay in writing. I had a feeling it would be like this. I picked Her up last week at the airport. We've got that down to a science. I leave work a half hour early, drive to the airport and park the car. By the time I walk inside, she's pretty much walking through the gate. I am not sure I'll ever get over what a great feeling that is when we finally meet up again. The visits back and forth are worth it if only for that first hug at the airport.

We've spent a lot of this past week going through the checklist above. We've also managed to squeeze in a little time for fun. Last Friday we went to see the new film "Up." I definitely recommend it. Maybe it was just the timing of the visit, but the opening of the movie really hit me hard. I don't want to go into too much detail and ruin it for you. Just make sure you catch it while it is still out at the theater.

Saturday morning was my last German lesson here in the States. If anyone ever needs a recommendation for a teacher in the Chicago area, I've got a great one for you. Later that evening we visited some friends and enjoyed some Lou Malnati's pizza. Wow, that's going to be difficult to give up deep dish pizza. Sunday we drove up to Wisconsin to visit my cousin. I locked my keys in the car. I don't think I had ever done that before. Word to the wise: don't do that in Wisconsin. Local law enforcement is not allowed to break into your car.

She stayed in and got caught up on some sleep and relaxation during the week while I had to work. Yes, work. It'll be a long time before I get involved in that again. Yesterday was my final day at work. It was an odd week with my last day looming. I tried to wrap up any open projects (rather unsuccessfully), and I consciously did my best to avoid anything new (also rather unsuccessfully). Everyone at work pitched in and we had a little party at lunch time. She was able to come in for the party. I think it was a lot of fun for everyone to finally meet Her. She probably enjoyed it as well because I became the butt of many jokes.

There was a ton of food. Brats, potato salad, potato pancakes, (notice a theme?), dessert. Oh, and beer. Thank goodness for the beer. It was a pretty crappy morning at work, one that reminded me of another reason why I'll be glad to be done working. But the beer worked it's magic and after lunch I was able to settle down and quickly knock out a half-assed project that satisfied the most insistent, stubborn person I've ever had the non-pleasure of working with.

Once that was done we walked through the office and said our goodbyes. It was still a few hours early but I just felt like a big distraction for everyone else. Plus, there was really nothing left for me to do. It felt pretty good to walk out of there. I was just surprised that I got a little choked up at the end. But for all the bad feelings I have had over the years at work, it was rarely with the people I worked with everyday. I will miss you guys. Others not so much.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Come and Find Me

Finally. Tomorrow you arrive. No more waiting. No more sad goodbyes at the airport wondering when we'll be together again. Now it is the two of us. Together. Finally.

Come and Find Me

If I could trace the lines that ran
Between your smile and your sleight of hand
I would guess that you put something up my sleeve
Now every time I see your face the bells ring in a far-off place
We can find each other this way I believe

From the hills and up behind, my town
is naked from the horizon down
The curvature is pressed against the raise
We walked up in the fields alone
And the silence fell just like a stone
That got lost in the wild blue and the gravel grey

Come and find me now

Though I'm here in this far off place
My air is not this time and space
I draw you close with every breath
you don't know it's right until it's wrong
You don't know it's yours until it's gone
I didn't know that it was home ‘til you up and left

Come and find me now

I keep you in a flower vase
With your fatalism and your crooked face
With the daisies and the violet brocades
And I keep me in a vacant lot
In the ivy and forget-me-nots
Hoping you will come and untangle me one of these days

Come and find me now

Josh Ritter Come and Find Me (live)" [mp3]